Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Warrior Comes Home 

One of my brothers-in-law held a party this weekend, and one of his sons that I had never met, was present. He has just returned from his third tour over in Iraq. Yeah, his third tour.

And we're not talking motor pool duty, either. He's in the special ops for the Marines. His specialty is "perimeter breaching" - he's the door-kicker.

He is a 15 year veteran (33 years old), a sergeant that has recently signed on to finish his 20 years with the Corps. He's going to be able to finish his career state-side in a training capacity.

I honestly may have never met a more impressive young man in my life.

Some snippets of our conversation:

Without getting all squishy and huggy, it truly made you proud to be an American knowing that guys like this were out there fighting on our behalf.

Boo ya!


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

We're Breaking The Law 

And There's Nothing You Proles Can Do About It

Many administration apologists contend that it is just fine for Bush and Company to disregard the FISA laws and the 4th Amendment prohibition against unlawful searches. So of course they're just fine with AT&T, et al, releasing our phone records to the NSA. It's all in the name of security, after all.

This administration seems to feel it is in a unique situation. It feels it's in a place that simply could not be imagined by our founding fathers, or the members of congress when they passed laws such as FISA. We're under attack. So they just do as they please. All in the name of security.

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes, Bush seems to believe that his wishes trump American law,
The Government wrote that "the court -- even if it were to find unlawfulness upon in camera, ex parte review -- could not then proceed to adjudicate the very question of awarding damages because to do so would confirm Plaintiffs' allegations."

Essentially the Government is saying that, even if the Judiciary found the wholesale surveillance program was illegal after reviewing secret evidence in chambers, the
Court nevertheless would be powerless to proceed. The Executive has asserted that the Program, which has been widely reported in every major news outlet, is still such a secret that the Judiciary (a co-equal branch under the Constitution) cannot acknowledge its existence by ruling against it. In short, the Government asserts that AT&T and the Executive can break the laws crafted by Congress, and there is nothing the Judiciary can do about it.
That's not how the founding fathers wrote it up, George.

And what is truly sad is, there are readers of this blog out there that will agree with the administration. That, as Commander In Chief during a time of war, Bush has the ability to cast aside any and all laws, as he sees fit, in the name of National Security. That's just plain wrong, and short-sighted.

King George, indeed.

Those of you that have read this blog for any amount of time know I'm not some left-wing whack job. I'm painfully patriotic. I'm jingoistic in my love of America. I regard the Constitution not as a "living document" to be wildly bastardized, but as the law of the land.

What this president is doing borders on treason. He is gutting the very foundation of our country - we have the right to our liberty. He believes the needs of the government come before the needs of the people.

He's got it all backwards and this slide must be stopped. If you can afford to do so, do as I've done and contribute to the EFF so that they are able to fight the good fight, on all of our behalf.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Really. Glad To Be Back 

I need more time off....

I've been on vacation and out of the office for a spell. Goodness, it sure can hit the fan when you're gone!

And what's been going on in the world of politics? I barely read a paper or surfed the Internet while trying to relax. Korea's gonna nuke us. Iran's gonna nuke us. We're having GI's kidnapped in Iraq (WTF?). Holy shit.

I think I'm just gonna go buy a big piece of land, stock up on ammo and food, and just hunker down for a while. Can't you kids just play nice while I'm gone?!


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Kinder, Gentler Marines 

I just couldn't let this pass without comment....

I finished up my post about my anniversary, and had a nice little "love glow" thing goin' on. I click over to Google news and see this shit.
The US general in charge of coalition forces in Iraq has ordered his commanders to conduct "values" training to reinforce moral and ethical standards of soldiers in the battlefield.

Let me put this into perspective: I am vehemently opposed to the war in Iraq. It was a War of Choice, they posed no threat to the US, Bush lied to us - you know the drill.

That being said, this is an attempt to pacify the media hacks that are praying oh-so-hard that this is another My Lai massacre.

Where's our fucking spine? Instead of this general teaching our Marines how to engage their feminine side, he should be shouting at the top of his lungs, "Just like all Americans, these Marines are innocent until proven guilty. We are in the process of investigating this incident, and will report to the American people when we have a conclusion. Until then, these Marines will be afforded all of the rights and responsibilities of any other American."

Even the damned President was mealy-mouthed about this. I can't find most of the quotes I heard from him yesterday, but this is the general tenor of his comments,
The White House has said that the details of two separate military investigations into the killings - which could be the worst case of criminal misconduct by US troops since the invasion - would be made public. "If laws were broken, there will be punishment," said President Bush yesterday.
Way to support your troops, Commander In Chief.

These guys are getting their asses shot off, or blown all to hell by IED's, and they're ALL being made out to be these marauding, blood-thirsty murderers. How about cutting these guys some slack until the evidence is in? How about treating them like the honorable warriors they are, until proven otherwise?

Well, that wouldn't be PC, now, would it?


What A Long Strange Trip It's Been 

Twenty years ago today, I married my honey on island of Oahu.

We had been going out for 5 years, and Living In Sin for the last 3. We've both gotten a little wider and a lot wiser over these years. We've raised a couple of fine young men - one graduates from high school this year, and the other one, next year. As of right now, they both aspire to get degrees, then become firefighters (I have no idea where this came from).

The boys are as different as night and day, with one other exception: They are both honorable and decent young men. We really did a fine job raising them, if I do say so myself. We didn't pamper them - they had chores as soon as they could use a rake or push a broom. We gave them responsibility at an early age. I think that's important. And we whacked their butts when they got out of line as toddlers and youngsters. They understand that there are consequences for your actions.

My honey is a 5th grade teacher, and the horror stories she tells would curl your hair. From one extreme to the other. Very little self-control and self-reliance is emphasised by parents nowadays. Regardless of the cost, these parents will do damned near anything for their kids to "succeed". From parents doing their kid's homework for them (WTF?) to kids being physically beaten (as in ass-kicking) when they don't get straight A's. The parents in the latter category get visited by Child Protective Services, and the parents in the former category get a tongue lashing from Mrs. S. I'm not sure which is worse!

I do love her with all of my heart. We're beginning to discuss what we'll do during retirement - she's an old broad, 5 years my senior(!) - so this is a more pressing matter for her. Travel is definitely in the cards, we just can't agree on domestic versus international. I've only been to 11 states and would like to see more of them, at a more leisurely pace. She wants Europe. We've got some work to do here....

We're leaving today for a long weekend trip to Vegas. Bunch of shows together, a good deal of poker for me, and lounging by the pool for her.

See y'all next week (still have some of those Texas speech things goin' on...)


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