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Friday, August 15, 2008

State of the Union

As is my wont, I am perpetually up to date on current events political and military not to mention sports, and when a confluence of events occurs to me that I haven’t seen anyone else recognize, I start itching to address it. It all started a week or so ago when Barack Obama essentially told a little girl who asked him why he wanted to be President that, “America is no longer what it could be… what it once was.” I actually agree with him and it has been bugging me ever since.

I have been reading about how many people are not really into watching the Olympics and I can assure you that I am not one of them. I have a deep appreciation for athletic excellence and to witness the yield of many years invested in becoming the best. I also enjoy watching Americans dominate the world on this peaceful stage and receive a “thrill up my leg” watching our athletes on that medal stand above their foreign competitors with their hands over their hearts relishing our National Anthem. I honestly get a bit misty every time I hear the Star Spangled Banner and especially when it is played as a serenade to American Olympic victory. But I get the feeling that fewer and fewer Americans share my deep and abiding pride for our country as compared to the past.

I remember most the 1984 Olympics in my hometown of Los Angeles where I was privileged to witness several of Carl Lewis’ historic Gold Medals (although we had lousy seats and I could hardly see). I recall Mary Lou Retton winning the Gymnastic’s All Around Gold, Zola Budd knocking down Mary Decker in the 3000m, and the crazy pastel/fluorescent color of everything in town. The Soviets and the Warsaw Pact countries boycotted in retaliation of Moscow 1980 and Afghanistan was the latest conquest of the Russian empire. Funny, the more things change, the more they stay the same. But there was one thing that those Olympics and that America certainly wasn’t lacking for and that was pride in our athletes, our city, and most importantly our country. Maybe I’m a weirdo, but there is no ecstasy like the feeling I receive when I witness my nation and its citizens living up to the ideals and history that make this the greatest nation the world has ever known. The only thing better that that feeling, is the sense that I am sharing it with the rest of America.

I haven’t felt that I was sharing it for some time now. It seems that all things wrong and evil in this world can somehow be attributed to America. It may be a trifling thing, but watching Bob Costas mocking US Gymnastics coach Bela Carolyi for cheering on his girls and invoking some ephemeral “journalistic neutrality” doctrine is a bit much. Who does he think NBC is broadcasting to? Why shouldn’t they be cheering for our athletes? Of course there are many more egregious examples starting with Iraq and extending through the current Georgian crisis. Ole Bob took care to mention while showing the medal count that it really wasn’t important and should not really be emphasized, but for all of you non-world citizens out there- here you go. What the fuck is he talking about? What else matters? I’d like to see a medal count that showed US medals and the medals earned by athletes who did not train for the Olympics in the US. Every other swimmer and track athlete that is in contention trains using our facilities, coaches, food, security and general comfort just so they can with their medals and say they beat the American guy. Well, I’d like to see Kristy Coventry of Zimbabwe set Olympic records training at home instead of at Auburn University.

Which brings me to the current situation where my own countrymen cannot distinguish the difference between our invasion of Iraq and the Russian invasion of Georgia. I’d almost like to think that these foolish people are simply advocating indirectly for their presidential candidate by taking such a ridiculous position, but then I realize that their willingness to throw our country and its foundational principles under the bus for a political candidate’s fortunes is an explicit act of betrayal as opposed to rank stupidity. But they aren’t all THAT stupid now are they? Am I questioning their patriotism? Indeed I am. We have seen this before. We all remember the nuclear freezers, the hippies, and now the modern Democrats. It’s just that back in the 60’s and the 80’s it didn’t seem like there were so many people so eager to disparage their country, its leaders, and their motives. Perhaps the concentration of these types of people in the press is giving them a disproportionate voice, but that voice itself is harmful and is doing harm every day.

This is a truly scary election as these self-loathing Americans are foisting their poster child onto the scene with a relish and sense of urgency that I do not recall. I tend to agree with Senator Obama about the state of the union, but I hope that it can be turned around. He just the guy who’s not able to do it.

Monday, October 16, 2006


I’m sitting in the airport this morning, waiting to leave North Africa and Ramadan behind me. While it has not been all fun and games, I have enjoyed my trip. Coincidentally, I started reading The Looming Tower on my flight over, what a poignant setting to digest this incredible work - and being joined at the hip for two weeks with a former general from the Egyptian police didn’t hurt either.

One of the highlights of my trip was an evening spent with The General, two other contractors working with us, and our guide Mohamed. After dinner at Mohamed’s riad, the conversations drifted toward my two favorite subjects – politics and religion. During much of the preceding week, Mohamed had punctuated his commentary on the region with not so subtle plugs for Islam. I must say that this was the first time I’ve ever been witnessed to by a Muslim. While the experience may sound altogether horrible to some, I must say that I was impressed by his passion and humility, not to mention the fact that his is just a nice guy, a good family man, trying to improve what he can within his sphere of influence.

Now listen, I know what you’re thinking, but rest assured – I have not changed my name to “Hamid” and declared Jihad. But I did hear, for the first time, a bona-fide Muslim tell me that what some folks have been doing in the name of Allah is dead wrong. That’s right, a real Muslim condemning terrorism. Mohamed went so far as to say that the people doing this are not Muslims. The General agreed, he has seen first hand the effects that the terrorists have had upon his country and has seen the benefit of the aid the US has given to Egypt to help them fight this scourge. What was discouraging though is the perspective I found among other, less learned folks.

Many of the people I spoke with, including the two younger contractors (also Egyptians), were predictably biased and uninformed. While not particularly religious, and having no particular affinity for the Palestinians, most folks just don’t like the fact that the US is involved in the Middle East. While their justifications ring about as hollow as those of the Democrats (indeed, they sound eerily similar), once their arguments are drawn out, it always comes down to the same two things, non-Muslims in Muslim lands and US support for Israel. It just burns them to no end that we will not let Israel’s neighbors wipe her off the map. They demand that we invest in and support their countries while at the same time insisting that we turn a blind eye to the open hostility for us and our friends.

Well, I guess I must cut it short as my flight is boarding, and none too soon, but it has been and good trip. I’m leaving here much more informed than I was before I came and more convinced that we can win this war, but we need not only to prove our resolve to the Muslim world but to bring reason and logic to the debate, in region where those two things are seemingly in short supply.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Recommended Reading

Two don't miss items today.

First is this speach from the Senate floor yesterday. If you're really sold on global warming you probably won't like it much.

If you've got any reading left in ya' see the Clinton FAQ at Hugh Hewitt.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Several days ago I received a forwarded email from a friend and former toadman, Walter Disney (no I’m not kidding). I don't usually read those forwarded messages, as they generally seem kind of hokey to me but this one wasn't bad. I won’t reproduce it here, on principal, as it included a line at the end about how I had to forward it to 12.2 million people or my eyes would be eaten by maggots. Nothing I hate more than being told I have to forward something - but I digress.

As I was one of several people on the address line and the responder replied to all, I received this message in my in box:

This is sweet and surely well-meaning. The service of our GI's is
beyond the comprehension of most of us. But insinuating that if you believe in Jesus, then you support the war in Irag, doesn't hold water. Please don't equate Christianity with right wing politics.

Yes, God bless our troops. And God, please help us out of this mess we've gotten ourselves into. Amen.


PS Supporting our troops and supporting the war are two different things.

Well, needless to say I felt compelled to sort this guy out and you can read that below. While I was pleased at the responses from others of like mind thanking me for my response, I was a bit concerned that nobody else replied to put this guy in his place. If you’ve ever wandered what you can do to support the troops in this war on terror, here it is. Put these poor misguided pinheads in their place. Simply tell the truth. Truth and logic are light in dark corners.

There was a time (back when I first knew Walt) I truly wanted an opportunity to go to war. After meeting Christ, I realized that was no longer on the top of my things to do list and I left the military. Several years later I realized that I would probably be a much more effective fighter than I would have been back when that was my desire.

While I’m not glad that we have to fight the terrorists, I’m glad we are fighting them. Our war was not just with Osama bin Laden, but with a segment of the Islamic world (much larger than most comprehend or are willing to admit) that has a hatred for us and wants us dead along with Israel. And make no mistake friend, their hatred for Israel will never go away and will fuel this war until the end.

While a belief in Jesus does not automatically make you a right wing conservative, it certainly does impart some moral clarity. Moral clarity allows us to see that we were attacked starting in the 70’s and those attacks continued through 9-11, while we were not attacked by the same people we were attacked by the same idea, an idea shared by hundreds of millions. Do I want them to burn in hell? Absolutely not, I hope that somehow our Lord finds a way to cut through the lies they’ve been fed and bring them to salvation; however, that does not negate the need to fight when we are attacked.

I’ve heard the argument that Iraq was not directly linked to Al-Queada. Whether they were or not, they were a state sponsor of terror – proven fact. I know people who have done raids in Iraq that have produced intelligence directly leading to prosecutions and convictions in the US. Saddam was hosting known terrorists and paying the families of suicide bombers. And while we have not yet uncovered large amounts of WMD’s we have uncovered over 500 chemical munitions that were being hidden from inspectors, and we do know that there was illegal trade taking place under food for oil that involved munitions, dual use technology and chemical precursors.

Moral clarity allows us to shine light in dark corners and recognize what we find there. Moral courage allows us to deal with what we find in there. Sometimes we find hurt and pain that we must absorb, in order to bring a loved one back to Jesus – turning the other cheek. For those who have experienced this, it is an incredibly painful and demanding process that brings us into such sweet fellowship with Him that we almost wish we could stay in the pain just to stay close to Him. Sometimes what we find in the corner is evil that we must confront and fight, using every available tool.

While right wing politicians and therefore right wing politics don’t get it right all the time, there is by and large some moral consensus on the issues of the day. Facing terrorist enemies and fighting them there instead of here – right. Abortion - wrong. Standing up for the inclusion of God in the public square - right. Sanctioning homosexuality and perverting marriage and family - wrong.

Many don’t like President Bush - he is so inflexible. Thank God. He identified a problem, took action and then stuck by that action at great personal and political cost; all because he was convinced (in large part due to his faith) it was the right thing to do.

While you don’t hear it much in the MSM, there is much good happening in Iraq, the majority of people are still glad we toppled Saddam. Our troops have gone over and above the call of duty to try and limit civilian casualties. While there have been some horrific atrocities, they have been exposed and dealt with, and that - with a level of transparency that would not be found anywhere else in the world.

Sorry for rambling so much, this is obviously an issue near and dear to my heart. With so many people saying the support the troops, while at the same time playing politics with this issue in a way that endangers our troops and emboldens the enemy, I get a bit steamed.

God Bless America

Oh, by the way, I must now take a step back from my earlier post about the terrorists getting worked for eternity by herds of bloodthirsty transtesticles. That was irresponsible of me to take pleasure the eternal suffering of others, I guess I just got a bit carried away.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Osama bin Laden and 72 (She-Male) Virgins

That’s right, based on recent exegesis of ancient Arabic manuscripts, some scholars are claiming that the Koran promises not just any old virgins, but 72 She-Male virgins, the big gnarly kind with man hands, five o’clock shadows and hairy bellies.

It is widely known that Satan wants to lie, kill and deceive. So it makes real sense that he would take great delight in the astonishment of the “faithful” upon discovering that they’ve been duped. While this is certainly ground breaking stuff and may ultimately change the face of the war on terror, what exactly does it mean for Osama bin Laden?

Well, as much as I love the thought of those he-vixens having their way with Osama for eternity, I’m just not convinced he is dead. Are you? After all, our evidence is coming from the French citing Saudis – now there’s a real axis of trustworthiness. But who cares?

Dead or not dead yet, in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter.
Sooner or later he will get his. Whether those virginal man-ho’s have already worn him out or they are simply biding their time until they get their big hairy paws on him, his fate is the same. Time has a way of catching up to us all. Take Saddam, he seemed uncatchable…until we caught him and trial schmial, he is done. Zarqawi the big bad beheader is dead. Has Islamo-terrrism ceased? Don’t get me wrong, we still need to hunt down bad guys but bin Laden is not THE problem.

The problem is Islam and grumpy Muslims who want to kill us. Compounding the problem are the fools in the rest of the world who have no moral clarity or, if they do, are not willing to voice it. When Clinton recently said he tried to get bin Laden (he didn’t try very hard but let’s get past that) he illustrated for the bazillionth time that he’s just didn’t want the program. Clinton simply did not want to man up to the war on terror. Killing bin Laden may have postponed the problem, may have bought a little time, but little else. In the context of this war of civilizations killing bin Laden is a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.

All the knuckleheads say they don’t hate America, they just hate President Bush. Wait a minute folks; President Bush is America, my America, an expression of American will. If they were to get rid of him, would they beat America? I think not. Will killing the Pope stop Catholicism? Nope. Neither will killing bin Laden stop the grumpy Muslims just frothing at the bit for their own little perverted den of paradise.

Speaking softly works great until you start swinging the big stick. Once you start cracking heads, speaking softly only serves to confuse your friends and embolden your enemies. Our war is not with Osama alone, but with hundreds of millions of Muslims who wish us harm or support those who do.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Long Overdue Update

Whether you are a faithful reader, stopping by to see if the faithless have left something new or you've just wandered into this dark closet from some more vibrant and healthy part of the blogosphere, welcome to the ruins of the Frogosphere. For a while now, I've wanted to post a personal update and give explanation for my abrupt disappearance.

It has been a busy year; we are on year three of the renovation/remodel/addition (I've taken a crash course in drywall, tile and stonework, concrete countertop fabrication and other various and sundry subjects), I've spent the better part of 5 months traveling for business, and most importantly tried to be the best husband and father that I can be.

About this time last year, I was returning to work full time after recuperating from an ACL reconstruction. The ramp up was quick and between everything, my children it seemed to take it the hardest. At one point my oldest son asked me why I never had time to play with him anymore. Wow, talk about a reality check; I could almost hear Harry Chapin playing in the background.

At that point I realized that something had to go. I felt bad for leaving Matt to go it alone but I realized that he would probably get over it and my children probably wouldn't. While blogging was great and I sorely miss having the outlet and the discussion (many of my friends and colleagues don't know or care that Senator McCain is a wiener) I can in no way justify the 1-2 hours required every day just to stay relevant. And as moderation has never been my long suit an early retirement seemed the best option.

One thing about retirement though, it is boring. I miss the Frogosphere! With the election season approaching and stupidity seemingly rampant, I may allow myself some limited blogging. So without any promises, I'm going to try to kick this pig - in moderation.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Colorado State Frat Hosts Benefit for Naval Special Warfare Foundation

If you're in Colorado on April 29th, CSU's chapter of Gamma Beta Phi is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Naval Special Warfare Foundation at 1900 at the Colorado Springs Marriot.

I'd first like to thank GBP for stepping up and honoring the SEAL Community especially at a time when universities are not embracing the people who make their pot smoking beer bashes possible. Secondly, I'd say that if you have a heart for the SEALs, the NSWF is the place to honor them. I personally donate to NSWF every month, so rest assured that my money is where my mouth is.