Sunday, November 30, 2014

Motivation Monday

Like many (most?) people my thinking on this has evolved.  I was in the US Navy for 25 years and for all of those years being gay was a crime.  It was outside the culture and grounds for immediate dismissal.  During the last few years of my career Don't Ask, Don't Tell came to be the rule.  But it always seemed like sort of a bullshit rule to most people I knew.  I mean, either ban it or not.   But don't keep people in limbo.  And then after leaving the Navy,  I didn't think too much about it until Proposition 8 came along. I sort of mindlessly agreed that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman.  So what that meant was that marriage would be defined by the majority of the people.  But then one day it dawned on me that I had voted to take a right away from someone just because of their sexuality.  And that didn't seem right.  Ultimately Proposition 8 was overturned.  And the tidal wave of courts striking down laws banning gay marriage which resulted in many, many States allowing it has been perhaps the most rapid and sweeping social change in my lifetime.  And the sun still comes up in the East in the morning.  I think we're finally approaching the better alternative to Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  That would be...Don't Care.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Friday Funnies


I guess, because it's been in continually in the news, that sooner or later there would be a post about Ferguson.  But as an old, white, baby boomer who is a registered Republican and has never been in a tussle with the police, it's a difficult stretch to say something that would sound anything other than trite.  Oh I could trot out all the stuff about personal responsibility, parenting disfunction, flouting authority, the arrogance and stupidity of challenging the police, etc, etc, etc.  But why?  Who would listen?  Like I said, my credibility on this issue is not very high.  But I read something today that seemed to me to hit the nail on the head.  It's a post from an NFL player, Benjamin Watson, regarding the whole Ferguson situation on his Facebook page  It is short, direct, authored by someone highly credible, and from my perspective, is spot on.  So I think I'll let him do the can read it here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


This is an oldie but goodie and one my favorite stories.  Don't know if I've posted it previously but here it is.

Bob Norris is a former Naval aviator who also did a 3 year exchange tour flying the Air Force F-15 Eagle.  He is now an accomplished author of entertaining books about US Naval Aviation including "Check Six" and "Fly-Off".  In response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military academy to attend, Bob replied with the following:

Young Man,

Congratulations on your selection to both the Naval and Air Force Academies.  Your goal of becoming a fighter pilot is impressive and a fine way to serve your country.  As you requested, I'd be happy to share some insight into which service would be the best choice.  Each service has a distinctly different culture.  You need to ask yourself "Which one am I more likely to thrive in?"

USAF Snapshot:  The USAF is exceptionally well organized and well run.  Their training programs are terrific.  All pilots are groomed to meet high standards for knowledge and professionalism.  Their aircraft are top-notch and extremely well maintained.  Their facilities are excellent.  Their enlisted personnel are the brightest and the best trained. The USAF is homogenous and macro.  No matter where you go, you'll know what to expect, what is expected of you, and you'll be given the training & tools you need to meet those expectations.  You will never be put in a situation over your head.  Over a 20-year career, you will be home for most important family events.  Your Mom would want you to be an Air Force would your wife.  Your Dad would want your sister to marry one.

Navy Snapshot:  Aviators are part of the Navy, but so are Black shoes (surface warfare) and bubble heads (submariners).  Furthermore, the Navy is split into two distinctly different Fleets (West and East Coast).  The Navy is heterogeneous and micro.  Your squadron is your home; it may be great, average, or awful.  A squadron can go from one extreme to the other before you know it.  You will spend months preparing for cruise and months on cruise.  The quality of the aircraft varies directly with the availability of parts.  Senior Navy enlisted are salt of the earth; you'll be proud if you earn their respect.  Junior enlisted vary from terrific to the troubled kid the judge made join the service.  You will be given the opportunity to lead these people during your career; you will be humbled and get your hands dirty.  The quality of your training will vary and sometimes you will be over your head.  You will miss many important family events. There will be long stretches of tedious duty aboard ship.  You will fly in very bad weather and/or at night and you will be scared many times.  You will fly with legends in the Navy and they will kick your ass until you become a lethal force.  And some days - when the scheduling Gods have smiled upon you - your jet will catapult into a glorious morning over a far-away sea and you will be drop-jawed that someone would pay you to do it.  The hottest girl in the bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore. 
Bottom line, son, if you gotta ask...pack warm and good luck in Colorado.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


i inadvertently deleted this post.  Damn!  Thought it was pretty good.  I don't have the time nor the inclination to reconstruct it here.  So here is the gyst...Obama is a liar, an opportunist, and a terrible President.  He does noting but divide us.  And everything is political.  His action regarding illegal immigrants is cynical and only taken to try and get a leg up on the Republicans.  It's disgusting.  But...Republican's should let it go.  There is plenty of blame to go around for not working on an immigration bill over the years.  So just accept that he is an arrogant jackass, formulate a bill and send it up, and concentrate on blocking whatever disastrous proposal he will next try to implement.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Do You Think...

That maybe, just maybe, we're starting to get beyond the divisive politics of the last 6 years.  We've been enduring the politics of division for so long that it seems like we've just gotten used to it.  But maybe the results of the election this week will start to point us as a society and people back to our roots.  Back to what we are meant to be.

I was struck this morning while attending my Grand Daughter's assembly at their elementary school as the student body recited the pledge of allegiance.  "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Untied States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  Those words are so powerful.  We are not a nation that is bound by tribal loyalties.  We are not a nation that has a bloodline that we need to revere.  We are not a nation that has a history of a geographical dedication.  There are no Kings or Princes that command our fealty.  No, we are a nation bound to an ideal.  We pledge allegiance to an idea.  The grand idea.  That of liberty.  No where else is it so fundamental or so powerful.  We've gotten away from that in the last six years as our leaders have divided us.  They've tried to put us into groups that are pitted against each other.  Blacks, whites, northerner, southerners, westerners, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Atheists, hispanics, women, men, gays, etc, etc, etc.  It's total BS.  We are Americans.  And no matter where we live or what we believe, we need to embrace the unity that binds us together.

I think that the elections this week might just be a start.  No matter where you looked, the politics of division were repudiated.  People who embraced Obama, the head divider, were thrown our or not reelected.  The whiners and dividers were sent packing.  Now I don't for a minute think that the battle is over, but this was sure a good start.  Gaining the power of control of Congress is huge.  When BO and his ilk try to put forward policies that will do nothing but divide us, now hopefully we will see credible resistance.   Only time will tell, but this was a good week for America.  A very good week.

Friday Funnies

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Told Ya So

Obama and the Democrats got their asses kicked last night.  Spin it how you will.  Explain it away however you want.  The fact is that by any measure they got beat like a dirty rug.  And the whoopin' wasn't in just one or two geographical areas.  Or just focused in the Senate, where all eyes were focused.  It was everywhere.  And it was in the Senate, the House, the Governorships...everywhere.

So I was interested to hear BO in his 1 hour and 20 minute press conference today.  If you listened to the pundits, you would think he'd be at least a "smidgeon" conciliatory.  You'd think he might reach a hand out to the victors and start to construct a dialog that would lead to accomplishments.  But this was classic Obama as we've come to see him.  Arrogant, superior, not my fault, all they have to do is capitulate to my ideas.  It was literally, blah, blah, blah, my way or the highway, blah, blah, blah.

So stand by folks.  We're gonna have 2 more years of gridlock.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Elections Matter

So today was a good old fashioned ass-whipping by the Republicans.  By any measure this was a wave election that swept them into power.  They are stronger in the House.  They gained control of the Senate.  They picked up a large number of Governorships.  This last thing will be decisive in 2016.  If you're a Republican, you're riding high.

So now what?   I've been listening to all the talking heads on various channels and they are falling all over themselves talking about how the Republicans can now force an agenda.  They can now get something done.  They can do this, and they can do that, and they can move things forward.  I'm not sure what planet they are living on, but all of their analysis and predictions assume that Obama wants any of this.  I'm not buying it.  I don't think he cares one lick about what they want.  I don't think he cares one lick what Americans want.  It's his way or the highway.  He not only has no desire to compromise, he doesn't know how.  His record of reaching out to Congress is nonexistent.  I hope I'm wrong.  I hope they get together and get some stuff done.  But I don't think so.

If You Don't Vote...

...don't complain!

And That's When The Fight Started

Saturday, November 1, 2014