Monday, February 27, 2012

One Of Those Days...

I haven't posted anything for a little while so this morning, when I read this, I thought it was good enough to borrow. I don't know who wrote it. I wish it was me but that's just not the case. I wish I could give the author the credit he/she deserves. I laughed out loud as I was reading and figured if it was good enough to make me laugh on a Monday morning with only one cup of coffee under my belt, it was good enough to share. Enjoy. And thanks, Tony...!

"$5.37." That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me."Only $4.68"he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 58, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?

I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?

"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?"I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind!

"Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing.

That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus: The car seat in the back seat.. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?"

All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here?" At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake."

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

He offered these kind words: "It's OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40 mph zone. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And “No,” I told the officer, “I'm not too old to be driving this fast.”

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanket.

The good news was I had successfully found my way home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Racism And Politics - Where Does It End?

Over the past few years, since Barack Obama has been President, I have been involved in numerous discussions of his policies, actions, statements and philosophies with many different people, mostly friends and associates but also strangers via Facebook and through comments after various political articles. Some of these discussions have gotten heated, some fairly petty, and others have been drawn out and meaningful. I have learned some things and have disregarded others but have always enjoyed the communication.

During some of these discussions it has been said (or insinuated) that I’m a racist because I don’t support President Obama’s agenda. It has even been suggested by some (no one who knows me well) that anyone who disagrees with President Obama does so only because they’re racist. People like that simply cannot understand, apparently, that while there certainly are those who dislike President Obama because he’s black, many of us on the right simply disagree with what he stands for, both politically and philosophically. The race card seems to be far too easy for some people to throw on the table in an effort to keep people from disparaging the President over his policies or beliefs.

There’s a good chance I’ll upset some people with what I’m writing today but I’m wondering whether or not to be offended by what I saw earlier this morning. I saw a news report and video in which President Obama announced he was launching the 2012 “African-Americans for Obama” campaign for the upcoming election. Apparently I’m a little behind because this campaign was announced on February 2, 2012, by the President himself. And while I can certainly understand the strategy behind it, I’m having difficulty understanding how this is not racist in and of itself. This same question was asked by Lloyd Marcus, a conservative black American (his words) in Florida.

President Obama is the first African-American ever elected President. It was an historical event, to be sure, and he has much to be proud of. In fact, the entire African-American community in the United States has a lot to be proud of. Many never thought they’d see it in their lifetime (although I had no doubt I would) and particularly not so soon. But it happened in 2008. And that feat is something to be remembered and celebrated in this country where just 50-60 years ago black people had very few rights. Even though there are still a lot of racial differences (and by differences I mean hatred and discrimination) in this country, the election of a black man to the highest office in the land is certainly a huge step forward.

Which brings me back to my dilemma. What do you suppose would happen if Romney wins the Republican nomination and goes on television to announce the launching of “Caucasian-Americans for Romney”? Or Rick Santorum announces “Anglos for Santorum”? Or Gingrich launches one called simply “White Americans For Gingrich”? (Some people I’ve talked to would expect Gingrich to do just that but that’s a topic for another day.) Of course we all know what would happen. The Republicans would be called every kind of racist there is and the left would be outraged as would be, I’m pretty sure, the African-American community. The campaign of whichever candidate did that would suffer greatly. So why is it OK for our current President to begin a campaign for African-Americans? Does this not also follow the same lines of racism as those suggested above?

See, here’s where the dilemma arises. In America for the last 50 years or so it’s been politically incorrect for white people to say anything that even hints at racism while whites have been fair game for other cultures, races and ethnicities. And you know what? I can understand that. Whites dominated everything in the United States for almost 200 years and the other cultures, races and ethnicities had to work their way up the ladder, so to speak. Not that there was necessarily a ladder but people of color had to suffer, fight and struggle and laws had to be passed for people of color to gain equality in this country. And that struggle isn’t over yet in many ways.

President Obama was touted as the “Great Uniter” during his 08 campaign. His election was going to repair racism and change hearts and minds. Yet racism seems to be on the rise in this country because of things that have happened or things that have been perceived during the last three years. In my humble opinion, President Obama’s “African-Americans for Obama” campaign is another point of racial division. The nation came so far in 2008 in electing the first African-American to the Presidency. Can’t we leave race out of the 2012 campaign?

By now, and very unintentionally, I’ve probably irritated several people yet, as I indicated earlier, people who know me well know race is not something I have a problem with. I am truly curious whether people on both sides see Obama’s campaign as a racial slap in the face to Caucasian voters or perfectly fine and something that should not be questioned. I ask you again to look at those suggested campaigns for a Republican candidate and seriously think about whether President Obama’s campaign is really any different in substance. Racism is racism, isn’t it? Starting a public campaign asking people to vote for the African-American candidate because they’re African-American to me seems just as racist as a campaign against voting for the African-American because he’s just that. Where do we draw the line? When does separating people because of race/color change from racism to perfectly acceptable behavior in the political arena?

All in all it is my prediction that this 2012 Presidential election will be one of the ugliest, most divisive and hate filled elections ever held in this country. I truly hope I’m wrong but it seems to be gearing up that way. I truly hope race doesn’t play a big part in this election but I’m already thinking it will. And it will be played by both sides.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

American 2012 - Goodbye To Common Sense

I have no idea whether the following story is true or not. I read it attached to a picture of some soldiers on someone's Facebook page. I have no way of verifying whether or not it's true but the way things are going in this country today I find it more believable than not. After all the bonehead things I've seen and read about the TSA and their actions around the country, this would not surprise me at all. If it's true I don't know whether to scream in complete disgust or cry in despair about the complete lack of common sense our government now seems to have. And no - this isn't a shot against the current administration. The TSA was initiated under President Bush after 911 and in theory wasn't a completely terrible idea. But the TSA has grown and evolved into a ridiculous (to the point of stupid) creature that seems to have disallowed common sense and decency. If this story is true, on behalf of a grateful nation I would like to apologize to these men and women who were treated so poorly by the TSA in Indiana. It's truly pathetic.

Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy ~ As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan , I witnessed the following:

When we were on our way back from Afghanistan , We flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon , Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis , Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That's where the stupid started.

First, everyone was forced to get off the plane - even though the plane wasn't refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.

It's probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren't loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it re-inspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to re-inspect our cargo - just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, re-inspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols

So we're in line, going through one at a time. One of our soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the soldier that they're going to confiscate his Nail clippers.

The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can't take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I've had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You're not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I'm allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can't use it to take over the plane. You don't have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your F**K**G nail clippers so we can get the F**K out of here. I'll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

To top it off, the TSA demanded we all be swabbed for "explosive residue" detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from a war zone], because we tested positive for "Gun Powder Residue". Who the F**K is hiring these people?

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns - but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

Can someone please tell me what the hell happened to OUR country while we were gone?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Divorce Agreement

I've seen this before but it's always fun to read and share. It's obvious that a lot of thought went into it and whether you agree with the sentiment or not, it's humorous. Kudos to Mr. Wall for his wit and humor.

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, regressive, Marxists, and Obama supporters, et. al.:

We have stuck together since the late 1950s for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

1. Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by land mass, each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy. Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides had such distinct and disparate tastes.

2. We don't like redistributive taxes, so you can keep them.

3. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

4. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA, and the military.

5. We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar, and bio-diesel.

6. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore, and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

7. We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart, and Wall Street.

8. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless homeboys, hippies, druggies, and illegal aliens.

9. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.

10. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

11. You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.

12. You can have the peace-niks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

13. We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

14. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness, and Shirley McLain. You can also have the U.N., but we will no longer be paying the bill.

15. We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks, and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

16. You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors..

17. We'll continue to believe healthcare is an earned luxury and not a right.

18. We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."

19. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya," or "We Are the World".

20. We'll practice trickledown economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

21. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our constitution and our flag.

22. Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

P.S.: Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, and Jane Fonda with you.

P.S.S..: And you won't have to "Press 1 for English" when you call our country.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thinking Of You Today, Christopher...

Ten years. Ten long years. Ten short years. Where did they go? How could they have passed? How could the agony of my grief fade away? How could it not?

In 1996 I had a dream that Christopher’s mother called me, early in the morning, and told me he’d been killed in a car accident. I woke up crying real tears and feeling the pain of loss even though I knew it was just a dream.

On February 10, 2002, that dream became a reality. With only a few minor details different, the dream came true that morning. At the same time of the morning as in my dream, Christopher’s mother called and told me he’d been in an accident and that the doctors did not expect him to live. She told me I needed to get there to say goodbye.

Was my dream a premonition? I’m thinking it was but who knows? Can we ever really be sure of that? All I know is that about 95% of the dream was re-lived that morning. And the ultimate outcome was the same.

It’s been ten years today since that terrible, heart-breaking phone call. I got to Oklahoma before the doctors finished the last of the numerous tests they did on him to determine if he could survive. I was there when the doctor came in for the final time to tell us his brain was gone; the arteries which supplied blood to his brain had been severed in the accident and, between the lack of blood and the initial trauma, his brain had died almost instantly. There was no chance for him to survive, merely for his body to continue its existence on life support. The doctor told us he didn’t suffer and most likely never even knew anything happened. After offering his condolences, the doctor left us alone to make our decision of how to proceed.

How do you make that decision??

It took less than a minute. We looked at our 17 year old son, the boy we both loved more than life itself, and knew he wouldn’t want his body to be kept alive on a machine if he wasn’t in it. And his mom and I didn’t want that either. I went out and gave the doctor our decision. Friends and family members were in the Emergency room waiting area and we gathered them around him to say our goodbyes. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my life. And it was the right decision. I hated that we had to make it and I hated that he didn’t wear his seat belt that night and I hated that he was out of the house at all. And I still do. But reality is reality.

Like most parents who have lost a child (and I know far too many of them these days) I tell my story today for two reasons, neither of them sympathy. First - to remind everyone how very fragile life can be and how quickly it can be taken away. Second, and most important – to remind everyone that because of reason number one we should all be more appreciative of those we love (and those who love us) and let them know on a regular basis. The last time I talked to Christopher I had no idea it would be my last. I told him, at the end of our conversation, that I loved him. Those were my last words to him while he was alive and conscious and cognizant of everything around him. The last time his mom talked to him, before he left the house that night, they had an argument and he left with both of them angry at each other. Can you imagine the guilt she must have felt over that? I can, because she shared it with me on more than one occasion.

The night as we said our goodbyes in that quiet, sterile place of life and death, we both told him we loved him. His brain was dead. Did he hear us? We liked to think that his spirit did. I’ll ask him when I see him.

Parents, please, please remind everyone you love of the importance of seat belts when in a car, regardless of where they sit. Christopher was thrown from the back seat because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. The car didn’t roll over or anything that dramatic. It spun around a couple of times. He went out the window and never knew it. The other two people in the car walked away. They were wearing seat belts. Please ensure those you love wear them as well.

I miss you, Christopher. I miss you every day. I’ve learned to live with it and move on, as you wanted, but not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. You will always be my baby boy and I’ll love you forever.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Political Correctness vs Truth

I’ll probably get slammed by a few people for this but it’s something I’ve mentioned before about the lack of honest reporting by the main stream media. Leaving out details, as the New York Times did, which are important to the story (such as the religious affiliation of the defendants which has been shown, in many cases, to be directly related to these types of crimes) is not valid, honest reporting. Calling this case one of simple domestic violence is as ludicrous as calling the atrocity committed by Major Hasan at Fort Hood a simple case of “workplace violence.” And that skewed thinking came from our current administration.

Those of you who disagree with me may spin it however you will but Bill O’Reilly nails the truth down in this article. The Fort Hood massacre was an act of Islamic jihad rather than simple workplace violence. And these murders in Canada were Islamic honor killings, not simple domestic violence. Overlooking the truth in the name of political correctness will lead to the destruction of America.


by Bill O’Reilly

The story is grisly: a husband and wife murdering their three young daughters, ages 19, 17 and 13, by drowning them along with their stepmother. The couple was assisted by their 21-year-old son. All were found guilty of first-degree murder in Ontario, Canada. They were sentenced to life in prison.

Mohammad Shafia and his wife, Tooba, immigrated to Canada from Afghanistan in 2007. Being Muslims, they believe in Sharia law, which in some cases allows so-called "honor killings" -- that is, if a family member deviates from strict Muslim teachings, other family members can execute them. Of course, that's insane. But under the Taliban in Afghanistan and in some other parts of the world, "honor killings" are allowed.

In his eyes, Shafia's three daughters were guilty of becoming westernized, wearing nontraditional Muslim clothing and associating with the dreaded Christians. So this demented father ordered the girls killed, as well as his first wife, whom he believed was aiding them in their alleged transgressions.

Reporting on the story in America has been scant and strange. According to the Media Research Center, the initial Associated Press report made no mention of the fact that the convicted murderers are Muslim. They were described as "Afghan." In fact, the only theology mentioned in the AP dispatch is Christianity, used while describing the boyfriend of one of the daughters.

On NBC's "Nightly News," anchor Brian Williams said this: "A verdict has been reached in a murder case that's gotten a lot of attention because it involved so-called honor killings of family members. In this case, an Afghan family living in Canada. It is a culture clash getting a lot of attention to our north."

Culture clash? Between whom? Afghans and Canadians? What is Williams talking about?

The reporter on the story, Kevin Tibbles, also avoided using the word "Muslim." He described the motivation for the violence as "a strict religious family that felt it had been disgraced."

What religion? Incredibly, the reporter didn't say.

This is no coincidence. The politically correct U.S. media are frightened by Muslim violence. They avoid the issue whenever they can.

Just think about what would happen if a Catholic father murdered his daughter for having an abortion. Would the AP and NBC News not have mentioned the religion involved? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Political correctness is dangerous because it obscures the truth. It allows certain people and groups to avoid scrutiny for destructive actions. Today, the press in America is dominated by liberal editors who believe they are protecting "minorities" by failing to mention facts that might cast them in a negative light. Thus, honest reporting is becoming almost obsolete when certain groups are involved.

Shafia, his wife and his son are Muslim fanatics who believe they have the right to commit murder in the name of their religion. Somebody get that dispatch to the media.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Was Raised

One of my friends posted this on Facebook the other day and I liked it so much I had to copy it. I don’t know who wrote it initially and I deleted the part at the end that said “If you agree, repost” because I don’t do that. If I post something I leave it up to those who read it (or view it if it’s a picture) to repost it if they so choose. I do the same thing with religious or spiritual e-mails and posts on Facebook. No matter how good the saying or the picture is, if it says something like “If you agree with this, repost it” or “If you repost this (and/or send it to 7 friends in the next 10 minutes) you will receive a blessing from God” I don’t do that either. I don’t believe God reads our Facebook pages and e-mails to see if we’re forwarding things as we’re instructed to do by the poster/sender. See for more details on that subject.

Anyway, I liked the sentiment and wisdom of the below post so wanted to share it with others. You are not required to forward it or repost it and if you do I can’t tell you you’ll receive any kind of blessing from God or anyone else. But I can tell you that some others will agree with you about being raised and taught correctly. And, like many of us, they’ll wonder when that stopped happening in America. I wonder if it still goes on today?

‘I was “raised”. I didn’t just grow up. I was taught to speak when I enter a room, say please and thank you, to have respect for my elders, to get up off my lazy butt and let the elder in the room have my chair, say “Yes, Sir” and “No, Sir”, lend a helping hand to those in need, hold the door for the person behind me, say excuse me when it’s needed, and to love people for who they are not for what I can get from them. I was also taught to treat people the way I want to be treated.’