Friday, February 24, 2012


Try to Grow Up and be Like These Men

I watched the movie ACT OF VALOR (Relativity Media) on the first showing today.  Not often does a movie make me feel nostalgic.  I could see the Silver Strand off San Diego in the movies first scene; the HALO jump (high altitude, low opening parachute jump).  I remembered sitting in an office on that beach all too long ago now.

A few steps outside of my office there was an open cement quad bounded by barracks.  Beyond that was sand, sand berms then the beach.  Beyond that lay the Pacific Ocean – I spent almost a decade of my life sailing West across it.  Sometimes I broke the rules and brought my dog to work with me.  A prissy, arrogant little shi tzu named Gigi; she used to love to walk around like she owned the whole place.  One of her favorite things to do was walk around in the ranks of BUD/S candidates watching them doing what they do – while being yelled at.  Gigi ignore the instructors while the candidates tried to ignore her.

These were amazing men—still are apparently.  Fit beyond belief, dedicated, driven – and the instructors were even tougher. Part of my job was inspecting the barracks but really, all they needed me for was to make sure the lights worked and the shower drains didn’t get plugged by all the sand they always had clinging to them.  It was an honor just to be around them.

I have heard some of the reviews and read some of the concerns about ACT OF VALOR.  Some people are concerned that we are giving away too many secrets here, showing the enemy how our boys operate in their covert missions.  Not to worry.  I assure you nothing is exposed that every enemy doesn’t already know about.  In fact, the only message I saw was:

“Our boys will out-train, out-hustle and out-shoot you and everybody you know.” If that comes as a surprise to anyone it is only the American public.  Our enemies and allies already know this.

Navy SEAL Teams are a close knit community.  They are stable, trained and secretive as a matter of course.   Nothing in the movie even implied where the men lived back stateside to avoid giving jihadists a general target area.  Some California landmarks appeared to be altered in the movie which was a very good idea.

Other elements in the movie got less attention.  The SEALS are an impressive group.  They are supported by outstanding special operations groups around the Navy and in other services.  The big double rotor helicopters carrying the boats are air force special ops CH-47s with extended range and some impressive gear.  The boats are manned by a specially trained group of Sailors who undergo similarly rigorous training so they can perform up tight to the enemy in very dangerous places.

The submarine force is integral to inserting operators from the Army, Navy and Marines unseen close to the beach in enemy waters.  The new Virginia-class boats have a lot of modifications that allow excellent support for these men and can hold their own against any seaborne threat.

The Blackhawk helicopters supporting the night mission south of the border might have been Army, Navy or Air Force.  In the Special Ops world, they units are combined to form the most effective team for the mission.

I will review the movie briefly.  As an action movie it is sharp and relatively tame by modern movie standards.  They had no over the top stunts, no double-O gadgets or extended martial arts fight scenes – they made mostly head shots.  The acting was below par, but so what.  There is something refreshing about not having to watch phony heroes using stuntmen and special effects to look brave.  We know these SEALs are brave.  If their acting is not great, well, most Americans will overlook that just for the brief glimpse into their world.  When our showing ended the audience applauded.

The movie is worth your time, their service is worthy of your praise and our way of life is worthy of their sacrifice.

2.      Special Boat Unit boat at sea:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Doonesbury Gets it Wrong - Again

Cartoonist, Gary Trudeau went too far this time. It is not often that a Sunday comic strip can create a problem but Mr. Trudeau’s Doonesbury strip for 2/19 manages a scorched earth attack on several honorable historical figures; the most prominent being President Abraham Lincoln.

The others denigrated in this diatribe are Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Wright Brothers. Gary Trudeau has attacked virtually everyone who stands for anything since his strip began back in his Ivy League days.  He began his career, which spans decades, attacking the military and veterans of the Vietnam War.

Mr. Trudeau is trying to attack Republican candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Whatever his feelings about Speaker Gingrich he should never have drawn the following parallel; in the final two panels Doonesbury character Roland Hedley associates Abraham Lincoln with the words “demagogic, vindictive, racist, unethical, hypocritical, adulterous and sleazy” (Trudeau, 2/19/12).

I wonder how many of those terms Mr. Trudeau believes apply to Lincoln and what is his proof. If such is factual what does that say about our current president who claims his presidency is founded on Lincoln’s principles? Barack Obama often quotes Lincoln and approves of posters with both of their images going back to his own days as a candidate.

Think what you will about what Lincoln did but he was definitely a man of integrity who did great things at the most difficult time in our nation’s history. He was not a perfect man but he was the perfect man for the job at the time. Without his steadfast faith, the nation would have split and the institution of Slavery would have endured for many decades to follow – if it would have ended at all.

I have overlooked much of Doonesbury since the strip went national long ago. Trudeau is a committed Leftist who despises everything that makes America great. He has benefitted from the best this country has to offer, he has prospered in the free market system yet he still does not believe in the nation that offers him so much and asks so little in return.

Like many in the non-Fox Media (NFM) and entertainment industry, he is disconnected from the people he proposes to champion. He has no significant contact with the mythical “worker class” he thinks he is helping. If he were to meet people who are middle class, working for a living and for their families – people living in those “flyover states” he ridicules with his Liberal friends over cocktails and tea – he would realize they do not want his help.

American people who work know the value of work! They know the satisfaction of completing a job and producing results that improve the community. Working people are happy with what they can get through the work of their hands; without the help of big government. Teachers certainly don’t get up at 6 A.M. for the paycheck. Policemen do not patrol dangerous streets in the middle of the night because of the job benefits.

Most importantly, Mr. Trudeau, people like me did not sign up to serve in the military for 10% of your annual income for the sick thrill of flying overseas and shooting foreigners so rich people can get richer. We did it in the past and kids do it every day for much higher reasons. I could explain it to you but I know you have been told already; you just don’t listen. I do have a message for you though.

I am a Black man who has worked for many years. I have had disappointments and have suffered racism at many hands. But I still believe in America. No other place on Earth will give me a fair chance to move up from the middle class to the 1% through my own efforts. I know; I’ve been out there all around the globe. America is not perfect but living here is still a darn sight better than any of the alternatives.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This We Will Defend

Americans have no idea what their rights are and from whence they come. The most educated of the population will say our rights come from the Constitution. Few of them can tell you with any certainty what those rights are beyond “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” For the majority of Americans it is enough to say “I’m free.”

However, it is necessary to be clear what that freedom entails. I am free to swing my arms around but not in a space occupied by you. I am free to walk where I choose except where someone has locked the door on their property. Freedom is limited. No one has absolute freedom to act as they please when their actions impact another.

I am compelled to say that again because a large segment of the American population is apparently ignorant of those limits. The Occupy Wall Street crowd and their hundreds of spin-off groups have forgotten that individual freedom is limited by the freedom of others. The 1%, the top 10% or even the top 25% are not fodder for the lazy and indigent. People who work hard, build businesses, and employ their neighbors at a decent wage and pay taxes are “pursuing happiness” while enhancing life for others.

The protestors are mostly college-educated people who want to pursue happiness as well but at other people’s expense. History and civic responsibility are apparently no longer a part of college curricula. The crime of it all, they want to employ the power of an over-reaching government to take away the prosperity of others – all under the supposed guise of Constitutional rights.

I understand this about the Constitution - it is merely an old piece of paper. The Constitution does not give us the right of Religious freedom; neither does it ensure our liberties of any kind. Our history has shown that we only have those rights for which we are willing to stand. For without blood on the line, the Constitution is merely ink on the page.

In Boston, ordinary men stood and died facing overwhelming military superiority. In Valley Forge they stood shoeless in knee-deep snow. In France they waded ashore in the face of withering machinegun fire. And in Korea they drew the line against tyranny.

Americans have relied on the judicial system to define liberty for us. Lawyers in court have to tell us precisely how far our reach can be and just how much of our neighbor’s land we can cross before it is a crime. In the earlier days of the nation such limits were clear and easily defined. We did not need seven volumes of civic ordinances to tell us to respect our neighbors; we only needed one – the only volume most courts in the nation owned until the 20th century.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor,” (Exodus 20:17 NIV). “‘Cursed is anyone who moves their neighbor’s boundary stone.’ Then all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ” (Deuteronomy 27:17). That was it; plain and simple – and intuitively clear without lawyers.

But it takes more than lawyers to mess up a great nation; it takes judges. Judges in many roles and in many robes all the way up to the Supreme Court do their part to keep law out of reach of citizens. Judges like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who no longer respects the Constitution even as it is her sacred duty to uphold the document crafted so long ago by men much wiser than her and tempered in blood through the ages. Justice Ginsburg does not see the relevance of a document written without consulting women. She missed the part about them each consulting God. They don’t teach that in Law School.

Nothing the protestors or the professional classes can do can destroy freedom. Legislators and jurists combined with the lazy and indigent cannot put an end to this noble experiment. It is the unconquerable will inside the American body that gives liberty, it is the willingness to face enemies abroad or at home that ensures freedom; even if that enemy is in the White House. No man can take from us that which we will not give. We only need decide to stand.

Michael Moore courtesy of his friends at  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dreams from Our Dictator: How President Obama sees America

The President of the United States made perhaps the most dangerous claim ever spoken by an elected official on NBC on Sunday February 6, 2012.  Speaking to Matt Lauer, President Barack Obama explained that he did not accomplish his campaign promises because of the Founding Fathers.  No, for once he did not blame his predecessor.  He reached all the way back to the beginning of this great nation – a nation constructed on the expressed will of the people – and complained about the limits Jefferson, Franklin Hancock, et al placed on the office of the president.

President Obama laments not having dictatorial powers.  Our president, the most powerful man on Earth, does not feel he has enough power.

As Obama sees it, he is the wisest man in the nation and he knows what is best for the peons who enjoy the blessings of living in his country.  We should express our gratitude for his leadership by investing him the benevolent authority to impose his will on us.  If only he can remove two obstacles from his path: the duly elected Congress and the Constitution.  Fortunately for him few in the Non-FOXNews Media (NFM) reported his words or their dire implications for our future if this man were reelected (or voted out of office as I stated in Scorched Earth).

A long time ago a group of men gathered to create an original concept in governance. Their task was not easy and it was not safe either.  One of the most powerful armies and navies on Earth belonged to the country they were in rebellion against – England and the royal monarchy.  King George III wielded full autocratic power over his vast kingdom.  No instrument in existence opposed his capricious will except the bible and he claimed that as the basis of his authority through the Church of England.

The Founding Fathers stood up to him declaring that God did not intend that man should be subject to the will of another man but to the Sovereign Will of Almighty God.  The concept was pure though it had problems in execution.  All agreed that educated, landed gentlemen should not be subject to a distant monarchy without just representation.  The sticky issue of how far the statement “All men are created equal” extended became the defining issue of the Constitutional Congress.  Did the term “all men” include ordinary men, male slaves, and women of any station?

The early compromises settled none of the big questions and ultimately sowed the seeds of the Civil War.  When people failed to end slavery with a stroke of a pen in the beginning then God demanded it be settled in blood four score years later. One out of every six American men lost their lives in that war.  That is the equivalent of over 29 million men in today’s population.

No, the Founding Fathers were not perfect, but they understood their own limitations and that of other men.  They knew that there never would be born a man fit to govern the land with autocratic authority nor can any man be trusted to act with selfless compassion when full power is in his hands.  These were classically educated men of their day.  They studied the Greeks, the Romans and the monarchies of Europe.  They knew that true benevolence is the exception and not the rule.  Power in the new nation must be shared.  No part of the government should act without limits, and the balance maintained by the other branches of government within the constraints of the Constitution.

Obama is chaffing against these bounds.  Two hundred years after these brave men placed their lives on the line to create “One Nation under God” Obama sets himself up as smarter than all of them.  He knows better than all of them.  He knows better than all of us how we should live, how our money should be spent and whom we should worship.

We should have seen this coming. Just like Marx in DAS KAPITAL, Hitler in MEIN KAMPF, Obama telegraphed his intentions in his pre-ascendency book DREAMS FROM MY FATHER.  Only a cursory reading of the book would reveal it is a declaration of hostility toward the American way of life.  He tells of his distaste for White American mainstream values – their monoracial sense of normalcy.  He is equally annoyed with all aspects of the Black American community – the split personality between those who want to seek separation and reparations from White society and those who seek assimilation and accommodation with it.

Furthermore, what does the title tell us?  Who is Obama’s father and what did he dream about?  According to his novel he is the son of Barack Hussein Obama, a senior governmental economist from Kenya.  He died in an automobile crash in Nairobi, Kenya in November 1982.  Young Barry did not live with his father from age two so we don’t know the extent of the elder’s influence on him.  We do know that Obama, Sr. was born a Muslim and became a self-professed atheist before his death.

Obama’s step-father was also foreign born. Lolo Setoro was an Indonesian Muslim. He married Obama’s mother after her 1964 divorce and moved the family back to his home country in 1967.

I cannot speak to what dreams either of these men harbored.  They might have been decent men for all we know.  But I do know that neither man shared a cultural heritage with Americans of any race, they did not see the world the same way we do; neither did they possess an understanding of the American way of life.

Despite the words and efforts of the American president, America is a good place; the American Dream is a good thing.  If Obama cannot see it so much is the pity for him.  I know I disagree with some of my Conservative friends and most of my Liberal Democrat friends but in the end we all want what is best for our nation and for each other.  The only person who cannot see that is sitting in the Oval Office trying to find a way to put an end to our dream – the dream of liberty from tyranny begun so long ago by OUR fathers.