Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Path of Neo....

I beat the game man. Well worth the worn out thumbs and the $49.99.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Gee thanks, Pal.....

I responded to a web log post from Grouchy Old Cripple In Atlanta in which he lampooned the urge to be so politically correct about saying, Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas. I thought it was pretty funny myself, and I think all of the flap about what is "proper" to say is much ado about nothing. However, someone left this message in response to his post.

Hey Democrats, have a shitty Christmas...oops X-Mas...and a horrid 2006. You're
all a bunch of traitors.Posted by Paul at December 22, 2005 03:58 PM

I responded with this post:

Paul,
In response to:


Hey Democrats, have a shitty Christmas...oops
X-Mas...and a horrid 2006. You're all a bunch of traitors.


Merry Christmas to you, too. And thanks for not making sweeping generalizations about Democrats. Just a question, were those Service Members that died in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 who were registered Democrats traitors also?


To everybody, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that 2006 is a better year for everyone.Posted by Dkelsmith at December 24, 2005 09:47 AM

Which in turn he responded with:

Dkelsmith, I don't think there are any registered Democrats in our military,
and if there are any, they've since voted Republican or are plotting to commit
treason. Your Party is filth, and I'll debate you on any topic any day, pal.
Have a shitty Christmas, and I look forward to watching your Party melt down as
we approach elections in 2006. Your Party's stance on our war in Iraq and the
Democrats have spun the wiretapping leak has infuriated millions of Americans,
including me, and we're taking you mother fuckers out.Posted by Paul at December 25,
2005 12:57 PM

I tried to call Paul to talk to him personally, but he was already on his way down the mountain into "Whoville".

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone. This morning didn't start as early as I thought that it would. The kids slept until about 8:30 which was a huge surprise. At this point we are trying to get it together to hit the road and go to Lexington. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday Season, and I hope the coming year is a blessing for everyone.



"Pope Benedict XVI said in his Christmas Day message that signs of hope in Iraq, the Holy Land and Lebanon need to be reinforced by actions on the ground. Benedict also urged protection for those suffering "tragic humanitarian crises" in Darfur, Sudan, and other parts of Africa, and called for the settlement of "dangerous disputes" in Asia. It was Benedict's first Christmas "Urbi et Orbi" message -- Latin for "to the city and to the world."

I sincerely hope that in this, the holiest of the Christian Holidays that there will be as much peace and happiness as possible for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines that are deployed to various parts of the world. Though they will not have the comfort of being with their families, they will hopefully find comfort in the fact that we are holding them up in our thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


December 22nd, 2003...

Two years ago my Mother-in-law passed away after a brief battle with cancer. She passed not too long after her birthday, and not long before Christmas which made it all the more tough. If anything, my mother-in-law and I had the atypical son-in-law, mother-in-law relationship. I really loved her, she was one of the most kind, endearing, and selfless people I had ever met. I thought about the date of her passing on the 22nd, and I sort of felt bad for not making mention of it to my wife. On one hand I was glad that she was in good spirits and went about her days without mentioning it. I suppose that perhaps this means she is ready to remember her mother's life more so than she is the moment or time of her death.

My mother-in-law got to see and spend time with our youngest daughter Alex, but she never go to see my nephew, Xavier. I have always had a wistful feeling about that. All of the children loved Annette, and despite her claims to the contrary she loved to open her home up to them in the summer time. Now it is Christmas Eve, and I am reflecting on some of the routines that have changed since her death. This year we are going to have Christmas Dinner and celebrate at her house for the first time since her passing. I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 17, 2005



Despite what some Americans think about other Americans and their viewpoints about this war, I hope that we can all remember that though they seem broad, the differences between us are very small. America....love it or leave it.

Phone Tap?

Perhaps I am naively ushering in the new Imperial Forces, but I am really not worried about the government secretly recording any of my email or voice transmissions overseas. This article is talking about what Bush is doing presently. Its not that I think that the government should intimidate people, but I just have to think that , "If you aren't doing shit wrong, then what do you have to worry about?" So long as they are only looking at things that are wrong under the civil code you shouldn't worry about it....besides, only a dumbass would use a chatroom, cell phone, or letter when planning illegal activity. We ought to lock them up for their own protections.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

34.....

Not such a huge number, but one that looks strange to me. I didn't approach this birthday with any trepidation whatsoever. I never have been like that. I don't dread birthdays..hell, having a birthday beats the alternative. I was a lot more excited about last years birthday, but this one just seemed to be like any other day. Last year I swore that I would let everyone know what I accomplished during my 33rd year on this earth. I thought I did a pretty good job, but for the most part it seems like I am lacking in one way or another. Oh well, I am happy to have my health. Things could be much worse, I suppose.




Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Currently I am:


playing....


The Path of Neo


Reading...


and...



and...



Great stuff so far. I'll give you all a review of "The Path of Neo" after I beat the game.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Veteran's Day/Armistice Day

Lloyd Brown was a teenager serving aboard the USS New Hampshire when the World War I ended. He distinctly remembers Armistice Day, and the happiness that Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines had when the war was over. At the time, who knew that there would be another Great War at the time?

The day is no longer called Armistice Day, it is called Veteran's Day as a tribute to those who have donned a military uniform, and given up some of their individual freedom's so that we can perpetuate this idea called liberty.



Veterans Day, always celebrated on November 11th, is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.

I hope for at least one day, we can forget about the politics of the conflic in which we are engaged and use this day to remember those who are gone, honor those who currently serve in harms way, and celebrate the freedoms that our might and out determination have brought for us. I am a liberal guy, but the military man in me has me more toward the center than most. I am amazed that some of my favorite liberal pundits and bloggers have not made a post or a statement about Veteran's Day. No worries though, I hope all of you have a blessed day anyway.

You ought to read a great post that Lashawn wrote. Go check it out as well as the rest of her blog.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gubernatorial and Mayoral races around the country.....

I would say that the elections around the country are probably going to be heavily influenced by the President's popularity.....or lack thereof. VA is in, and Tim Kain (D) looks like he is going to be the winner. I am not going to be able to stay up and watch what is going on, work is too early in the morning for me. As a military man, staying up late is not a good thing. We only do more before 9:00 a.m. because we get up so freakin' early. Check out the progress at this link:

Race coverage

Virginia is a veritable bastion of Republican Strength, and an upset loss during the mid term could be a harbinger of many more disappointing things to come for the Grand Old Party. I will post more about this later on. Good night all, I have a full day tomorrow.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Corruption......

Corruption, greed, opportunism, all things that have no place in American Governmnent, but when politics get nasty they inevitably happen. I am trying to recall if things were this bad under the previous Administration.

Read more here.......



From the playbook

Monday, October 24, 2005


Rosa Parks is dead at the age of 92...

She was probably one of the most well-known from the civil rights era. This definitely gave me a moment of reflection. I hope that we all can endeavor to make "positive" strides to continue the dream of all of those who have gone before us. Not to simply seek benefit from it.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I took the political test...you ought to try it...

You are a

Social Moderate
(50% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(30% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mayor halts return to New Orleans
Nagin cites concern over Tropical Storm Rita

Full Story

So somebody at the State and Local level can be proactive......too bad they weren't that way before the Hurricane hit.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Damn it's late....

I need to go to bed. Good night everybody.



I don't know about that, Cindy....



I was watching an episode of "Big Idea Town Hall" hosted by Donnie Deutsch. On this episode they featured the families of fallen service members talking about their loss. They also had notable family members such as Cindy Sheehan, and Tammy Pruitt, as well as some other fathers. The common meme was that we all support the troops, however, there were some differing positions on whether or not we should be in the war. She said that the war was based on a bunch of lies, she further stated that besides the WMD, and AL Quaeda Link issues, she said that her recruiter lied to him about a litany of things when he entered the service.

  • "The recruiter said that he was going to get a $20,000 bonus but he only received $4,000.

When you are offered a bonus, you usually receive a portion, sometimes half, up front, and the remainder further into your enlistment. If he was actually offered $20,000 and the only money he receive was $4,000, then it must have been an increment of the total.

  • "He wanted to be a chaplain's assistant, but when he got to basic, his drill sergeants said that field was all filled up, so he had a choice of being either a mechanic or a cook."

If the Army cannot fulfill its part of a contract, you have a choice of either getting released from your contract, or selecting something else to do. Also, Drill Sergeants don't make choices in what jobs that Recruits go into.

  • "His recruiter told him that he could finish college, but they wouldn't let him take any classes."

This could be true, but they only tell you such things when you are "on the bubble" for deploying. The reason is that you will not be there long enough to finish, and there are mandatory skill sets that every soldier and unit must be signed off on. To try and do other academic things would be a distraction.

  • "His recruiter said he would never be in combat because his ASVAB score was so high."

I seriously doubt that any recruiter would make such a statement. To me, this sounds like something that a kid would tell an uneasy parent when they announce they have already enlisted in the service. Certainly any person, regardless of their experience with the military should know you cannot guarantee where and when our military forces will be attacked.

One statement she made caused me to raise my eyebrows.

  • "My son was raised in a gentle non-violent home. He didn't want to go to Iraq."

This could very well be true, but when you join the military you don't simply raise your hand and mutter a few words. You sign a contract that states what you are getting and what you are giving. Essentially you are giving yourself to the greater good of the country.

Let me say that I am indeed sympathetic to Mrs. Sheehan for the amazing loss she has suffered. I have three children of my own, and I cannot imagine outliving any of them. But, I have to say that perhaps she may be speaking to some things on behalf of her son that he may or may not agree with. I can't be sure of this, but I think that this could have something to do with it. I am not saying that she is being disingenuous, but sometimes emotions make us see things in a certain way. Cindy Sheehan has lost a lot. Nothing can refut that, but in the end I have to ask, "What would Casey have wanted?"



Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Pledge is now unconstitutional.....





I used to say, "What the hell is next?" any time I heard something shocking, but I am afraid to do that now. Read the full story here.



Full Story

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and the "NO" vote....

Many people are lashing out at the federal government about its response, or lack thereof regarding Hurricane Katrina. The blame game has been tossed back and forth between the local, state, and federal government. Some people have brought up issues of race being a factor in the slow response, and some have cited a lack of preparedness on the local government. One thing that is certain, however, is the fact that this event will be talked about for a long time to come. I did notice, with particular interest that 11 members of Congress voted against a 51 Billion dollar Katrina relief spending bill. All were Republican. I wouldn't go so far as to claim that this shows a "lack of compassion" on the part of the Party on the whole, but seeing as this is one of the worst natural disasters to occur in the United States, you have to ask about the reason behind the "No" vote.

Some of the Republicans who voted against the aid package claimed that they voted no because they were not satisfied that there would be proper oversight of the disbursement of the money. One notable quote that came from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ),

"$50 billion is simply too much to give FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) all at once and ensure proper oversight."He noted that he'd supported the earlier $10.5 billion supplemental bill for hurricane relief, and said, "this is an issue of oversight, not priority."

I understand oversight, and the need for oversight. However, I think I would rather worry about that later and get much needed money to the people who are in distress. This may be an "issue of oversight, not priority", but our first priority is the people, is it not? Just like President Bush said, there is plenty of time for blame and finger-pointing, but lets alleviate the problem first, and then we can start typing our white papers on this one.

Lastly, Democrats blasted Rep. Flake, and spoke of how he voted for H.R. 1268 which was an $80 billon aid supplemental aid to the Tsunami victims in Indonesia. But, to be fair, the spending bill also covered more appropriations for the continued war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who knows how this will pan out?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Things that make you go...."Awwww"

I read this while I was perusing milblogs. I had to leave a comment. It came from a weblog called, "A Storm in Afghanistan".


My wife passed along this little tidbit.Seems my daughter, Marissa, showed up
with her pooh bear backpack, and declared it was time to go.Go where, she was
asked."I go to Anananatan to go get my Daddy!!"(approx.) 35 days to go.
posted by SC Eagle at 4:33 AM on
Aug 27 2005

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Justice Rehnquist is dead...

If you thought that things were contentious before, we haven't seen anything yet........




Full Story

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Pregnant woman's remains found near Philadelphia
Police arrest former boyfriend



Not surprising, the suspect is a former boyfriend who was caught with a pistol and was wearing a bullet proof vest. Not to jump on the bandwagon with other folks who quickly turn to the race card, I wonder why this lady's missing disappearance didn't garner the media coverage and the man power that the Laci Peterson and Natalee Holloway case have? Any thoughts from anyone?

I personally believe that while it may not be an out and out conspiracy to basically ignore the plight of missing women who are not white and attractive, I believe that it is an unconscious lack of concern. Perhaps this is fostered by the notion that crime is pervasive throughout the black and latino community. Other people share my point of view, and in a related article a representative of MSNBC takes exception to this view.

Mark Effron, vice president of MSNBC News Daytime Programming, disagrees. Effron said the stories of missing women typically bubble up from local network affiliates who are covering the stories based on the public outcry they generate in their home communities."It's not like there's a kind of cabal where MSNBC and CNN and Fox get together and say, 'Boy, this is a good one. That's not a good one,' " he said. "Usually, there's an involved family that tends to be sophisticated in how to use the media."I'm not disputing numbers. What I'm telling you is that we have never, ever, ever turned down a story based on race or any of those factors."




I am not going to snipe his statement, or over analyze any statements he made, but I was dismayed to see him say that some "involved family" tends to be "sophisticated in how to use the media". My contention is that the family of the missing person should not be what drives the media machine, the story in of itself should be enough. Woman missing, young, pretty, pregnant....print the story, let people know about it, and I guarantee it will have a life of its own. Just my thought though.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

August 14th, 1990

I can't believe it has been 15 years. But on this day I arrived at the Reception Station at Ft. Sill, OK. Time flies when you are having fun. 15 down....twenty to go! ;-)
Black Republicans

Recently Harry Belafonte blasted blacks in George Bush's higher administration as being "tyrants". He earlier raised eyebrows by stating that Colin Powell was a House Negro. Other well known people such as Al Sharpton have labeled any people who align themselves with the Republican Party, or with conservative ideals as being black in physical characteristic only. As if, there is some litmus test of socio-political thought that allows you to be a card-carrying member of the black race. I myself am a Democrat, and I am more of a centrist on issues. But, overall when it comes to social issues I consider myself to be liberal. I have no problem calling myself liberal, and it irks me when people rename themselves as "progressives" to avoid the "scourge of being declared a liberal". I recognize the ebb and flow of political and cultural tides here in the United States, and I remember when the Republicans were the minority party, the idea of being conservative was synonymous with backward, stilted thought, therefore I see no reason to hold true to your ideals no matter what.

What I do have a problem with is the notion that Black Republicans are thought of as being anything but black. When you look at powerful people such as Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, and Clarence Thomas you can't help but to admire the great things that they hae accomplished in their life, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. Yet, these people find themselves denigrated in a more harsh manner by people of their own race as if they are somehow race traitors. I suppose the notion is, "You are black, why don't you think like the rest of us?" Usually my exasperation over the notion that blacks are a monolithic, multi-organism yet single thought race is reserved for white people. I had a good friend ask me once, "What do black people think about Condoleeza Rice being named to Colin Powell's former post?" I said, "Hell I don't know what 'black people think', but personally I think it is historic for an African-American woman to take the post of a high office immediately after an African-American male had the same position." Immediately I think he realized the mistake he made and sort of dropped the subject.

There are black Conservative Bloggers such as LaShawn Barber who routinely draw the ire of others. I have seen things written about her that called her everything from an Uncle Tomasina to a right-wing nut job. Granted, she and I are probably worlds apart on a lot of things, and we would probably become frustrated with one another while we argued politics or something like that, but believe me, I could respectfully disagree with her in that light, yet probably have a great conversation with her about a myriad of other things.

At no time would I ever tell a person that they were or were not black because of how they vote, where they and if they go to worship, their sexuality, their socio-economic level, or even if they have had brushes with the law. I suppose that is the vaunted open-mindedness that we liberals talk about, but we should apply that liberalism across the board, not simply when it suits us.

"Black Republicans" is a word that used to speak to a much smaller population of people, but now it is growing larger, and we should ask ourselves why. I think that this ought to be a message to the Democratic Party that there are alternatives out there. Additionally, I think we ought to act more like Party Members, and not as if we have "handlers". The term Black Republicans was originated in a negative light by the way.


Black Republicans
a term applied by southern
Democrats in the years before the Civil War to members of the
Republican
party
. Those who used this term intended it to be an insult, hoping that
white Americans who felt racial prejudice toward African-Americans would reject
the Republicans as too sympathetic to the slaves' demands for liberty and equal
rights. They continued to use this term during the
Reconstruction
period to label Republicans who favored legislation and other government action
to help the freed slaves.


This definition came courtesy of "The Great American Fact finder which is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin. In the end, I look at an outrageous quote by Al Sharpton in which he stated that black people did not need to simply work on getting blacks into higher office, but the "right kind of blacks". He states, and I quote....

"We shouldn't be talking about getting more blacks in high places, but
getting the right blacks. If we doubt that, just look at Clarence Thomas," he
said. "Clarence Thomas is my color, but he's not my kind."


In the end I have to ask, "What kind of person is Sharpton's kind? The kind that will denigrate a person for what they believe simply for the color of thier skin? If so, I hope I am not Sharpton's kind of person."

Saturday, August 13, 2005


I joined the milblogs webring today. Cool.

Friday, August 05, 2005


South Beach Miami and 4th Anniversary



I am blogging from my hotel room in beautiful Miami. Yesterday was our 4th Anniversary, I got up early and went for a run on the beach, after I got back to the room, I took a shower, and waited for Renee to get ready. We went to the mall, had brunch at the Cheesecake Factory, and shopped for a little while. We came back in the afternoon and changed clothes before we went to Chima Brazilian Steakhouse You talk about good! I was so full I felt like I couldn't move. I have never had such good meat before...anything you can imagine!

We then had a few drinks at another outdoor cafe and went back to our hotel room. More to come later, but it is about 8:30 a.m. as I am typing this, and I think that I am going to go for a run on the beach. More to come later!

P.S.

Somebody is NOT joining me for a run on the beach, but I am not going to mention any names.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Don't wait to exhale....just finish letting the air out.


Terry McMillan is getting divorced

That really isn't a statement that would have seemed possible in the mid to late nineties. As a woman who wrote books that gave black women inspiration, she would have to be the authority on relationships it would seem. But, nevertheless, she is getting divorced and it is getting very nasty. It would seem that she is accusing her former beau of using her to get U.S. citizenship, and for her money.......Wow. Who would have thought that a man who is marrying a female multi-millionaire nearly twenty years his senior would have alterior motives? Of course I am being sarcastic, and if you want to know, I am not trying to make light of, or have a laugh at the expense of another human being who is in pain. But, given the fact that this is the woman who literally wrote the book on man-hating, it comes as quite a shock. I would never have thought that this would have happened to her.

The most in-your-face detail of this whole episode is not the fact that she is getting divorced, that she was used, or that her husband cheated on her with someone younger, it is the fact that her husband has come out of the closet.....damn.












At this point I am looking at the picture above, and I wonder how she could have possibly been shocked that he came out of the closet. I suppose I do hold a little bit or resentment toward Terry McMillan that may be misplaced. Terry McMillan capitalized on the new field of contemporary African-American Fiction by strengthening the already shattered image of the negative behaviors of black men while ignoring the equally, and sometimes more hateful behavior of black women. Not to say that all, or even most black women fit this bill, but I have seen waaaaay too many black women who arm themselves with a litany of Mcmillanesque quotes about being strong black women, and doing their best to show that they do not need, desire to tolerate, or support their bumbling male counterparts.

There are some quotes in the linked article that I provided that show that McMillan is trying to show strength by making outrageous statements. Check out the quote from an MSNBC.com article......



NEWSWEEK’s Peg Tyre tried to talk to McMillan about her new book, her readers and her literary plans for the future, but McMillan wanted to vent about men and marriage. She also had plenty to say about husbands on the “down low,” in particular, Plummer, who she calls "Scott Peterson without the murder." Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: The main character in your new book is a middle-aged woman married to a boring guy. Will your readers relate?


Terry McMillan: Absolutely. Because men are like that. They expect to be entertained. They blame women for their own boredom and their boredom with us. When you meet a man who has an imagination, they get snapped up. [Most men] find out what works and they do it again and again. I mean, please! Go for a walk on the beach. Have a picnic at night. Break up the monotony.

Newsweek: In the book, you portray monotony as being every bit as corrosive to a marriage as infidelity. True?


Terry McMillan: Yes, yes. Men feel like they deserve to be constantly enchanted. They should spend half as much energy showing their appreciation. Women's magazines give us a million ways to keep marriage alive. They should hand out those instructions at halftime at football games. Women get tired. You can't do everything. It takes more than good sex to keep a relationship working.

Newsweek: And yet your new book has a surprisingly hopeful view of long-term marriage. Why?


Terry McMillan: The book was finished before all this happened. By the time it was in the catalog, I was so sapped and so pissed off, I didn't know what to do. My credit cards were maxed out. I almost went bankrupt. I was supporting him in his dog-grooming business. I was miserable, but he was happy as a lark. Now he's got his citizenship, he's coming after me for my money and he's writing a tell-all to capitalize on my fame.

Newsweek:But you had a prenuptial agreement, didn't you?


Terry McMillan:I was a multimillionaire. I married a 21-year-old who hadn't finished college. Of course I had a prenup. I wouldn't marry Eddie Murphy without a prenup. My lawyers are on Madison Avenue. I'm not stupid. I'm not paying him a dime. I'll go to jail first. I have a valid prenup. He's out of the closet. He's committed a crime. His citizenship should be revoked.



Sounds like a whole lot of angst to me. A Prenuptial agreement? I would have expected more faith from a woman who writes so much about true love. But, had she been an older man marrying a younger woman she would have been a dirty old man looking for sexual gratification with a fit young woman. But, since she is a woman, she is somehow some enlightened other-level type woman. Note the self-aggrandizement and the generalizations about men? That is the sort of thing that really pisses me off. I hate that. Just like people shouldn't spew hate-filled invectives in rap music about bitches and hoes, we shouldn't keep on with this so-called "irresponsbible black man" phenomenon. It really gets on my nerves. I am sorry that Ms. McMillan is going through this, I hate it for anyone, but I also hate what she is doing to the persona of black men. Believe it or not, there are a lot of us out there who take care of our children, earn honest wages, live a faithful and Christian lifestyle, and actually don't beat the hell out of our wives. But we don't get the "respect" that "strong black women demand". We lead our invisible, never commented upon lives in anonymity. Wouldn't that be a boring book to see a black man portrayed in a positive light?

McMillan will be okay though. She will write a book about a *"self-proclaimed strong black woman" who has overcome yet another injustice at the hands of a vile black man and make millions off of it. Then, she and the scorned title character of her latest literary work will move on to the next unsuspecting black man, and make his life a living hell with all of their demands, and irrational misgivings. That is what so-called Strong Black Women do.



*I don't doubt the existence and the need for truly "strong black women", but the majority of women who go about their lives telling everyone that they are a "strong black woman" for the most part don't realize that being overly contentious, loud, and disrespectful are not the traits of strong black women. Truly strong women don't talk about it. Much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are self-proclaimed black leaders, yet, MLK never considered himself a leader...just an organizer. See the difference?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Another Fallen Guardsmen....



Unfortunately one of my duties as a staffer for Joint Forces Headquarters is to handle some of the processes that are in place when our soldiers die. Today I went to my first funeral for a KIA (killed in action) Soldier. The Soldier's name was SGT Ryan Montgomery. Montgomery was from Greensburg, a small town in Central Kentucky. Montgomery was in a Field Artillery oufit that was tasked with force protection and convoy security missions around Baghdad. On July 3rd Montgomery fell to a roadside bomb. Very sad, but not as sad as the disruption that almost occurred at his funeral.

Last night I went to a bar to unwind after work, a guy at the bar wearing a suit and a tie struck up a conversation with me, and we inevitably started talking about "work", he was intrigued when I told him that I was a Second Lieutenant. He immediately started asking whether or not I had heard about, or knew the latest soldier from the Kentucky Guard that had been killed. I told him no, but I was planning to attend the funeral. He told me that he planned to go to help keep the protestors away from the family. When I asked him what he meant, he stated that a nutcase from Arkansas who claims to be a Minister is picketing the funerals of deceased servicemen in a celebration. Essentially, because they claim that someone blew up their church, now God is punishing our servicemen by killing them with IED's. I later learned that this is the famous lunatic who picketed Mathew Shephard's funeral.

When I got home, I called the SGS at home and told him about what I heard, but he was already in the loop. I was shocked to learn that they had picketed a funeral of another KY Guard soldier. I wondered why I had not heard about it, but apparently a group called, "Taskforce Omega" had intervened and stumped any attempts that the members of Westboro Baptist Church made to disrupt the funeral. These brave and patriotic people decided to attend this funeral in order to ensure that the Church did not disrupt the funeral.

Luckily, the protestors declined to set up when they saw the big group of Task Force Omega members. Task Force Omega is comprised of bikers, many of whom are Vietnam Vets. They are a rough and tumble looking group, but I really admire their resolve. They plan these "counter-protests", and sometimes travel hundreds of miles to attend funerals. After this funeral was over, I walked over to the group and shook each one of their hands and thanked them for their service. Great Americans they are....each and every one of them.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Happy 229th Birthday, America!



This was the scene in front of my house just a little bit before 10:30 p.m. on the 4th of July.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

CNN.com - Tourist bitten by shark off Florida coast - Jul 1, 2005

Hey, I have a novel idea for all of the people on vacation in Florida.....

cupping my hands on either side of my mouth......

STAY OUT OF THE DAMN WATER!!!!

The reason I have not supported gay marriage(reposted by request from February 2004)....

I don't support gay marriage for one reason, and one reason alone. I discovered that I had a prejudice bias against the homosexual lifestyle. Don't worry....you haven't run across a racist, homophobic, sexist individual's weblog, I am simply stating the reason why I don't support it. I never made a conscious effort to like or dislike homosexuals, I suppose that there was always a level of unconscious indifference regarding them. I was always quick to say, "Hell, I'm not homophobic, what someone does in the privacy of their own bedroom doesn't bother me." But for some reason the gay marriage issue has, and I had to do some soul searching in order to find out why.

I suppose that the urge to chastise homosexuals starts at an early age. I knew to call the boys who could not run fast, catch a ball, or take a punch without crying, "sissies" when I was in grade school. In later years some of the friendly taunts to my high school friends was to tell them they played ball like "girls", or their outfit looked "gay". And perhaps I still have that feeling toward people that I deem to be "different". My reasons for not showing support toward gay marriage is the same as everyone else's I just choose to be honest.... in today's modern society, homosexuality is still a "no-no". There...I said it. I can admit it, but some of the most staunch opponents to gay marriage always claim reasons based in religion. It doesn't matter that shows such as "Queer eye for the straight guy", or "Sex and the city" portray the homosexual community to be the haute couture of style, fashion, and glitz. We still have a condescending and distrustful eye toward them.

I find it funny that the "religous right" has such a problem with gay marriages. I also find it funny that so many people feel that homosexual marriage is an "attack" on the sanctity of marriage. In all actuality, I would say that cell phones, alcoholic beverages, internet connections, chat rooms, personal ads, and pay-by-the-hour motels are more of a threat to marriage than gay people. I don't see how anyone getting married or not getting married, whether they are gay or straight can do something to damage my marriage, let alone the "sanctity" of marriage on the whole. I would say that most major religions frown upon homosexuality, but in so many ways, those who used to be persecuted by their sexuality now find themselves being reached out to by the Church....somewhat.

The Anglican church is going through a bit of turmoil over the newly installed, openly gay Bishop. My church, the Catholic Church, is reaching out to its homosexual members, yet still admonishes them to live a chaste life if they cannot overcome the earthly "temptations" of their sexuality. The gay community has found itself in the newspapers over this issue, and now unwillingly finds itself a major subject of the Presidential campaign. Kerry isn't sure, and Bush is being pegged as a homophobe for saying that he is "troubled" by the marriages being performed in California. No doubt we will see this issue, as was the issue of gays in the military, being hashed and rehashed all the way through November.

Is Gay the "New Black" this election year? Usually the stumbling block for a candidates viability is how he or she does on racial issues. But it seems that perhaps attention toward a sexual classification, rather than an ethnic group may be the litmus test to see how effective the people vying for the White House will be. I do say that I am surprised that the Democrats, a group that long prides itself in being "progressive" (liberal is a naughty word, as was conservative in the late eighties), is so sharply divided over this issue. The Republicans, who have long touted State's Rights, and less government intervention, are jockeying to have a Constitutional amendment that will specifically define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Wow. Aren't those the guys that rail against Judicial Activism? Undoubtedly, many gays wonder how women's groups and minority groups aren't rallying to their side for equal protection, but it seems like the view of homosexuals is one thing that the most diametrically opposed groups can agree on. "We don't understand and don't want to understand", is the common consensus. I would say that a black militant and a KKK member would probably put their fists down and shake their heads in disgust if two men walked past them holding hands. Sad to say, but that is true. We all have our own self-serving interests and it seems that if things do not directly affect "Us", (whomever that may be), we have no cause to get involved.

Television shows and movies usually stereotype a gay man to be some limp-wristed, flamboyant, prissy, and annoying specimen. Someone who not only probably can't fight, (hetero male society's unspoken measure of a man's manliness second only to the number of women he has knocked off), but is of no utility except for helping his female friend's pick out shoes and decorate their apartments. Lesbians are portrayed as steel-jawed, manly, lumberjacks who have a penchant for misandry. What is even worse, in some of the stereotyping we do of gay people, we throw sexism in there as well. How many guys have joked about a woman being a lesbian due to bad relationships with men? There should be several hands in the air now....
The fact of the matter is, being gay is about as much a life "decision" as being black or white, or male or female. Because we live in a society that was founded by Christian men, yet demands to be free of the Church, we find that religous pressures still pervade many of the issues that we deal with. (i.e. Abortion, Cloning, Stem cell research, gay marriage, gays in the military, the legality of prostitution.) The fact remains that the reason that most heterosexuals frown on gay marriage is because we look at the attraction between two men, or two women to be nothing but the physical act. Because the idea of same sex copulation is incomprehensible to the point of being revolting to many of us, we are not willing to dignify a homosexual relationship with the possiblity that two people may love one another. Arrogance or instinct?

I was looking at CNN the other day, and saw an article where two women were getting married. They had been a couple for 51 years. I am sure that in that time they had probably purchased a home and several vehicles together, paid state, local, and federal taxes, and probably planned for a retirement together...for 51 years. Yet, me and my wife of not quite three years, enjoy tax breaks that these two women did not. Simply because we are not the same sex.

In closing, I have to say that probably acculturation is to blame for my hesitancy to support the idea of gay marriages. But, I do have to say that I am a product of my upbringing, and environment. The way I feel is not a choice, it is who I am. If I look at gay marriage under the microscope of socio-political theory I would have to say that there are many cases for gay marriage. The main case for it rests in the document that they are trying to amend to ban it. However, something holds me back, my own bias that I am finally admitting. So, I do apologize, sincerely I do.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Just another day at the office....

Should Karl Rove Apologize? Should Durbin?



Everyone wants an apology when they get their feathers ruffled, but really, what good does it do? The Republicans want Durbin to apologize, the Democrats want Rove to apologize, but where does it end? The fact of the matter is that all of this bickering in the press accomplishes nothing. I think Democrats hurt themselves by reinforcing the notion that they are touchy-feely when they complain about such things, or when they liken conservatives to Nazis. Conservatives reinforce notions that they are arrogant, short-sighted, and indifferent when they call liberals or people who do not have their viewpoints "Anti-American." The bottom line is that we need the polar struggle in American politics to keep some semblance of stability. I don't think that Rove or Durbin should apologize, but they should make pointed comments, not blanket comments.

In the case of Durbin, he needs to realize that there are Conservatives in Iraq right now that are trying to reinforce the infrastructure of Iraq. In the case of Rove, he should realize that wimpy liberals have engaged in, been wounded in, and in sometimes been killed in firefights and IED attacks in OIF and OEF. The bottom line is, no matter how much partisan politics comes into play, we are Americans and we are the only resource that we have....one another. I am not planning to hum a few bars of Kum-By-Yah, but all of this political banter frustrates me and confuses me.

I have been BOG (Boots On Ground) in Iraq, Saudi, and Kuwait, and I will more than likely spend this upcoming Christmas in Afghanistan, so I do get a little resentful when someone paints me with a wide brush and calls me wimpy for the side of the aisle I vote on. I may disagree, but I play ball for the team. In one way or another we all do.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Happy Father's Day!



Happy Father's day to all those it applies to. Unfortunately I am away from my Father today. I am also away from my kids.....the military seems to have a funny sense of humor in regard to that. I have missed my last three Anniversaries, my wife's last two birthdays, the last two father's days, and my daughter's second birthday because of duty. Maybe next year I will be home more.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I think Lashawn Barber got it wrong this time....

Everyone has been talking about the latest report from Amnesty International, the prison scandal, and the Koran desecration scandal in Cuba, and everyone seems to have a different opinion. Lashawn Barber is a conservative blogger who is tired of all of the press surrounding the scandal. In that regard I agree with her, I am not only tired of, but fearful of the attention that this brings. Lashawn seems to feel that kowtowing to the outcries from the different Muslim groups, or spending time investigating our military is a waste of time and shows some inherent weakness. She also says it speaks to the fact that liberalism is a mental disorder.

I'm now convinced that liberalism is a mental disorder.


Another one of the quotes that she uses is,

Despite what they may say, Muslims are and have always been on a mission to conquer and kill infidels. They've been doing it for centuries and will continue until we're all dead, or they're all dead, or the world ends, whichever comes first. We need to get over ourselves and focus on stopping the spread of Islamofacism. Period. Save civility and Koran 'handling' for less perilous times.


I disagree, there is no more serious time to save civility than right now. We need to show the world that the ultimate end to our endeavors in the Middle East is to make the world a safer place. We have to do that now regardless of whether or not people agreed with our original reasons for going to war. Now is the time to take a watchful eye and evaluate what we do, and how we do it. Yes we are people of action, but we must make sure that actions are reflective of our basic principles.

I don't feel that the majority of Iraqis are out to kill Americans, but there is obviously a significant portion that are. I don't think that Muslims want to kill everyone who is not a follower of Islam, but there are a lot who are. Even in the face of the dangers that our soldiers face on a day to day basis, we must hold ourselves to the same standards that we expect everyone else to adhere to.

But, if Barber cannot wrap herself around the idea that while a hardline American stance is great for John Wayne movies, it is impractical when dealing with other cultures, then she ought to know that the global coverage of these stories tend to inflame the situations that our Soldiers face on a day to day basis. I haven't had as much schooling as Lashawn Barber, I will readily admit that I don't write as well as she does, and I probably haven't studied the issues as much as she has, so I don't pretend to be some political pundit. But I have been on the ground when shots were fired in Iraq and Kuwait. Most likely I will be celebrating Christmas in Afghanistan this year, so if a little civility keeps me from having to deal with a rabidly incensed crowd of angry Muslims, then I don't think that is too much to ask. Do your bit to help...don't make the situation worse. Don't give the media anything to report.

I believe in my Christian faith, my Country, what it stands for, and the need to defend its interests. I do this thinking about my own family. (As cliche as it sounds a wife and three kids) But I do know that there is probably a man whose convictions are equally as strong as mine, who loves his faith and family just as much as I do mine on the other side of this conflict. As much as I want all of this conflict to be over, I actually dread meeting him. I'll still do my job if I have to even though it doesn't sound very John Wayne. I guess it is just my liberal mental disorder.....


So for all of you people out there who aren't like me.....


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Contender

WHOA!!



Generally I am anti-reality television, but I thoroughly enjoyed "The Contender". I was happy about the final, but I would have rather seen Alphonso fighting Sergio in the final. Peter was a straight-up guy, and Sergio was a straight-up guy. Great fight, great series, no cattiness. I would love to see a Contender II, and damn...was that soundtrack the shit or what?!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Derby 131

Derby 131 was pretty good this year. Of course I finished about 100+ dollars in the hole. But, oh well I had a good time. I had a hunch about the #4 hourse called "Noble Causeway". Noble Causeway is a horse that was getting increasingly better as this year progressed. He had run the Derby length before, and had finished worse than second only once in his last 6 races. He was known to cruise the first turn, and come on stronger as the races progressed.

Noble Causeway was foaled in 2002 and bred in Kentucky by the Baums. He is a Nick Zito horse which seemed to bode well for me. Nick Zito is a famous trainer who has bred not one, but two derby winners. Noble Causeway is a chestnut colored colt who had beautiful muscle tone. So, I put an undisclosed amount of money across the board on this horse, and for all I know...he is still running.



My wife, really likes the colors of pink and green, and she picked Giacomo because the rider's silks were colored pink and green. Scientific, huh? I sniffed and snorted at her choice, but in the end, on a $2 across the board bet she raked in about $170. Next year I am going to go with my hunches again, but I am putting double that amount on my wife's color choice.



It didn't seem like rocket science to me, but my wife looked great in pink and green, why shouldn't a jockey do well that is wearing pink and green silks?



Well, I lost my butt at the Derby, but the drinks were great, and I got to wear my new shirt. I guess the weekend wasn't a total waste after all!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Sorry for the long drought....

I am going to post again on a regular basis soon. Unfortunately I have been so busy that I have neglected my writing in my journal as well as my online blog. I haven't updated my website in over a year, so I would say I am suffering from a devestating case of lethargy in regard to writing. More to come soon....I promise.

Friday, March 04, 2005

local6.com - News - Teens Leaping For Thrills In 'Garage Jumping' Trend

The city is being sued....the garage owner is being sued. Who is going to sue the parents for raising a bunch of damn jackasses?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New Position...

I have been away from my blog for quite some time, but I have really been busy. I got a new position with the J-1. Pretty cool, my new boss is a Lieutenant Colonel. I don't know how long I will be a staff puke, but I really don't mind. I am getting a lot of exposure here, and it is opening doors already. I really need to get to a line unit so I can pick up some more command time. WIsh me luck.
New Position...

Sorry for the inactivity in my blog. I started a new job in the J-1. My direct supervisor is a Lieutenant Colonel, and life is pretty good. I'm not sure how long I will be a staff puke, but it is opening up a lot of doors for me. Of course, I need to get to a line unit for some command time. More to come later.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

CSPI Slams NASCAR Hard-Liquor Deal ~ Newsroom ~ News from CSPI

Wow....I'm discouraged to hear that NASCAR is allowing hard liquor sponsorships for its cars and races. I'm surprised to hear that, when I think of NASCAR fans I think of a whole group of genteel non-drinkers who just love powerful cars. I'm kidding of course. I really don't see what the big issue is. Though beer is less potent by volume than hard liquor, I would say that an exorbitant amount of beer and hard liquor is consumed prior to, during, and after most NASCAR events. I seriously doubt a non drinking NASCAR fan would be so struck by a Jack Daniel's advertisement that he would go out and down a fifth to pay homage to his favorite driver.

"If’n yur gonna drank, yur gonna do it regardless of whut Mark Martin has on the hood of his daggone car.".....avid NASCAR fan.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Do I wanna join a suicide party?..Hell no!

Sheriff: Online suicide pact had sexual overtones
Alleged plot also involved people in Canada, Britain



Sheriff: Online suicide pact had sexual overtones
Alleged plot also involved people in Canada, Britain
Saturday, February 12, 2005 Posted: 10:54 PM EST (0354 GMT)


FULL STORY HERE

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking about. For some reason this guy decides to have an internet "suicide party" in which people were going to hang themselves on webcam. One woman planned to kill herself as well as her two young children. Luckily one of these rocket scientists got cold feet and alerted authorities. Apparently this was supposed to happen on Valentine's Day and its sphere of influence was supposed to have included some people in Britain.

He was contacting people through a chat messenger and his screen name was SUICIDEPARTY2005. I believe I would immediately block someone out if they contacted me with that name. Thank God they got this nutcase before anyone went through with it. More than that, at least that foolish woman's children are safe. In the end I have to wonder, "What the hell were they thinking?"

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Condoleeza Rice sworn in as first black female Secretary of State: Sworn in with the most "no" votes since 1825....

Condoleeza Rice was sworn in today, and as most people realize, there was no chance that she WOULDN'T get the nomination. But, the Democrats, and rightfully so, took a moment to let their thoughts be known, and reiterated their differences with the present administration. Senator Barbara Boxer asked pointed questions, and other Democrats grilled her. I am not a Republican, but I do admire Condoleeza Rice fore all of her qualifications and experiences. Unlike a lot of my fellow Democrats I realize that her former position over the NSA required her to do the "bidding" of the President in order to stay in agreement with his policies. I just hope that she is able to let her opinions be known as Secretary of State. The State Department is vastly different than the NSA, and as the "Chief Diplomat", she not only speaks for the President when abroad, she speaks for the nation. I think that it is possible that she will do well.

I found fault with one thing about the Condoleeza Rice nomination. The fact that Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia was against her nomination. This didn't surprise me in the least. Not because he is a Democrat, but because he is a former Klansman. He was a recruiter for many years, and corresponded with the Klan after he "officially" left them. He filibustered against the Civil Rights Act, accused Thurgood Marshall of injecting "racism" into government, and was against the desegregation of the Army. Look at the cut and paste from the Jewish World Review to see what Michelle Malkin found out about him:



This ex-Klansman wasn't just a passive member of the nation's most notorious hate group. According to news accounts and biographical information, Sen. Byrd was a "Kleagle" -- an official recruiter who signed up members for $10 a head. He said he joined because it "offered excitement" and because the Klan was an "effective force" in "promoting traditional American values." Nothing like the thrill of gathering 'round a midnight bonfire, roasting s'mores, tying nooses, and promoting white supremacy with a bunch of your hooded friends.


The ex-Klansman allegedly ended his ties with the group in 1943. He may have stopped paying dues, but he continued to pay homage to the KKK. Republicans in West Virginia discovered a letter Sen. Byrd had written to the Imperial Wizard of the KKK three years after he says he abandoned the group. He wrote: "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia" and "in every state in the Union."


The ex-Klansman later filibustered the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act -- supported by a majority of those "mean-spirited" Republicans -- for more than 14 hours. He also opposed the nominations of the Supreme Court's two black justices, liberal Thurgood Marshall and conservative Clarence Thomas. In fact, the ex-Klansman had the gall to accuse Justice Thomas of "injecting racism" into the Senate hearings. Meanwhile, author Graham Smith recently discovered another letter Sen. Byrd wrote after he quit the KKK, this time attacking desegregation of the armed forces.


The ex-Klansman vowed never to fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds."


If this ex-Klansman were a conservative Republican, he would never hear the end of his sordid past. "Ex-Klansman who opposed civil rights and black justices" would appear in every reference to Sen. Byrd. And even the "ex-" would be in doubt. Maxine Waters and Ralph Neas and Julianne Malveaux and Al Sharpton and all the other left-wing bloodhounds who sniff racism in every crevice of American life would be barking up a storm over Sen. Byrd's latest fulminations. Instead, the attack dogs are busy decrying latent racial bigotry where it doesn't exist, while the real thing roams wild and free in their own political backyard.



I agree we should question Condoleeza Rice about her appointment, but we also need to question why this guy is a ranking Democratic Senator. Go figure....



HOT 97, Miss Jones, Miss Info, and the Tsunami Song....

I appreciate humor, even in its most irreverent form, but anything that parodies the deaths of thousands and thousands of innocent people is not humor in my book. Unfortunately HOT 97 in New York felt that it was okay to make a "Tsunami Song" about the disaster in South Asia. The song is sung to the tune of "We are the world". Here are some of the choice lyrics.

..All at once you could hear the screaming ch*nks and no one was safe from the wave there were africans drowning, little chinamen swept away you could hear god laughing, "swim you b*tches swim"
So now you're screwed, it's the Tsunami
you better run or kiss your ass away, go find your mommy
I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head
and now the children will be sold to child slavery...


Wow....that was real funny....

I just don't understand how the Radio Station execs would have let this song air. What is worse is the fact that one of the DJ's by the name of Miss Info, who is also Asian, simply stated that she was not behind the song being made and aired and was berated by Miss Jones, and DJ Envy. Here is an MP3 transcript of that.

longer_hot97_tsunami.mp3

While I do think she did the right thing in distancing herself, I was amazed that she said that she respected the rights of Miss Info, and DJ Envy to say what they want, and to make fun of who they wanted. I felt that she should have said that this was outrageous, and they ought to be fired for it. I agree that there is more than one way to look at things, but when it comes to certain things, we all know if something is inherently right, or inherently wrong. This....was wrong. I don't think that there is any room for moral relativism in this instance at all. The bottom line is the fact that Miss Jones, and DJ Envy need to be fired. Before Michael Powell steps down I think he needs to address this.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Howard Dean is back....."YEAHGH"!!

This weekend I was watching ABC's this week with George Stephanopoulos interviewing Howard Dean. I have to say that I was impressed. Howard Dean fell off of the radar during the Democratic Primary race. Even before he gave his famous, "I have a scream speech", he found himself being derided not only by the GOP, but by some of his own party members. He made, what appeared to be at that time, many gaffes that made him out to be the type of person who speaks without thinking. Many people, myself included, began to get frustrated with Dean, and consequently he lost the lead to John Kerry. I personally thought that Dean was trying too hard to come off as a populist, this thought was confirmed when he made the statement, "This party should not be the party of urban liberals, but of they guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks." I couldn't see it then, but I do now.....Dean made a great point. To me, part of the problem with the Democratic Party has been a loss of vision, a loss of purpose, and a loss of directions. In early years, it was very easy to maintain power by simply "not being Republican", but as we can see, the social and cultural tide has shifted in this country, and the GOP is at least saying enough to keep people interested.

During Stephanopoulos' interview with Dean, he spoke of Bill Clinton and his appeal to the common people, he started to say something to the effect of, "so is that what the Democratic Party needs, another Southern Democrat to...."

At this point, Dean cut him off and said that "we don't need to start thinking like that". He was right, we don't need to wait on a Democratic Messiah to rejuvenate the party. It has to start at the grassroots level in order to get us back on target. The Democratic party is on the ropes, yet, while a defensive posture is necessary, curling up in the fetal position is not going to save us. The Democratic Party, like the African-American community is too content to wait on the big Icon of the day to save us. Even if we could take the DNA of the five greatest U.S. Presidents and make a super leader, that would not help the Democratic Party in the long term. We don't need one Icon, we need many iconoclasts to break away from the conventional "party thought". Whether we agree with him or not, Howard Dean has the Populist appeal that is necessary to turn this Party around. His failure in the Democratic Primary was not in being PC enough in regard to Confederate flags, his all-white Cabinet in Vermont, or even his "I have a 'scream' speech",(Personally, I felt all of the media coverage of the infamous scream was much ado about nothing. Yes, he may have sounded like 'The Rock' when he spoke, but I thought he was just trying to energize his supporters.), his failure was in completely speaking his mind. Despite all of the opprobrious gestures by the current administration, the Democratic Party was dealt a one-two punch that is still being felt at all levels of government.

Dean, though he fell from grace as a candidate, will make a good Chair of the DNC. There are many people out there who say that he is, "too liberal". People say that, especially in reference to Dean's stance against the War. But, we forgot that he spoke out against gun control, socialized medicine, and gay marriage. And certainly his economic plans would have been a great deal more conservative than the sitting administration. But on that same note, just like Ted Kennedy said, "we don't need to make ourselves out to be Republicans in order to regain our strength." We need to come up with an objective, state it, and work toward it and the betterment of our country.

John Kerry was trounced by Centrist voters despite the fact that his economic policies would have been more advantageous to them than W's. In retrospect it would seem that Dean's call to reach out to culturally conservative voters was prescient. Many Dems, much to my dismay, are trying to derail Dean's quest for the DNC chair, and they also say that he is using this position to facilitate a 2008 run. Dean claims that if he gets the chairmanship that he will NOT seek the presidency again. Of course he could change his mind....in a way I hope he gets both. In either capacity he will be great because whether you agree with him or not, he will always speak his mind, and the common people will know what he is saying.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Dkelsmith, 1.....Corrupt Cops, ZERO!...

Man I love Law and Order. Oh, okay. I'll admit that is an exaggeration, the Cop wasn't corrupt, (Really to call him a Cop was doing a lot. He is a Kentucky State University police officer. I still don't know why they issue tickets on roads that are close to campus, but not on campus....sheesh!) and this wasn't a landmark case but I had a bench trial yesterday for a speeding ticket that I received and I WON!!!!!! The Prosecutor offered me traffic school and a reduction in the ticket so that I would be going five miles over the speed limit. But I refused and said I wanted the judge to hear it. I guess watching Law and Order for so many years emboldened me. But, when I got up to present my case to the judge I was a nervous wreck. I mean, it wasn't like I was Scott Peterson, but standing in front of a gruff looking judge to argue a speeding ticket is not easy. Especially when he had just sent the last fellow to jail for 180 days for driving on a suspended license with no insurance for the second time.

I was ticketed for traveling 45 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. This was complete rubbish, because there was no speed limit sign posted anywhere on the quarter mile stretch of road where I was driving. Besides, I had just made a 90 degree turn off of a State Road when this guy gunned me. There was a lot of traffic on the road that I turned off of, and more than likely he "gunned" someone and tried to pin it on me.

As I turned off of the main road I saw his car about 100 to 110 meters down the hill from me. He was backed into an intersecting street for a speed trap I suppose. His lights were off, but I could plainly see the police emblem on the door. Not thinking I was doing anything wrong I continued on. Suddenly the white lights between his strobes cut on as I passed. He swung out behind me and followed me. I looked at my speedometer and I was going about 30 miles per hour. Suddenly the blue lights come on, and I pull over. I got my license, registration, and proof of insurance out and had it ready. The cop comes up next to my truck, and I roll down the window and hand him the documents. He says, "That's what I like to see." (This offers me hope that a good schmoozing and yessirs and nosirs will get me out of whatever I have done wrong.) He looks over them for a moment and says. "You know I could take you to jail right now, right?" (So much for the schmoozing...)

I said, "For what, Sir?" He proceeds to tell me that I was going 55 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. I say nothing and he tells me to wait in the car. After about 10 minutes he comes back to my truck and says, "You have a problem with speeding don't you, son?" (Now there is a John Wayne baritone and inflection to his voice...I begin to worry.) I said, "I'm not sure I understand what you are saying, Sir." He says, "I ran your record, and you have been to traffic school before it seems." He literally rocks back and forth from his toe to his heels, and back again after he says this. (Jesus, give me a freakin' break and put the riding crop away, Field Marshal.) I tell him I had been to traffic school before. He hands me the ticket, and says that he is giving me a "break" by knocking the speed down to 45. He tells me about paying the ticket, and if I contest it where to report...yada..yada...yada.

After I got home I thought about it and decided to fight it. I showed up on the court date and plead not guilty. They then gave me another date in which I could have a bench trial, or ask for a jury trial. When I showed up for this date and walked up the courthouse steps, who should I see standing outside smoking a cigarette, but the cop who gave me the ticket (Dirty Harry incarnate). He says, "Good morning"! and winks. I am not sure if it was a mocking gesture or if it was sincere, oh well. After an insufferably long wait my name is called by the Prosecutor. Apparently he wanted to clear some of the list before the judge came in. He asks me what my defense is, and I tell him that there is no speed limit posted there, and that I was not going that fast. He follows with, "In Franklin County in the absence of a posted speed limit, the speed is 25 miles per hour. I'll offer you traffic school and a 10 mile per hour over the speed limit which will only be three points off your license. That's my only offer, if you don't take it now the deal won't be on the table if you go forward. (LOL! Did he say the "deal" would be off the table?.....Am I being offered a "plea bargain"?...LOL!...little did he know that he was feeding my tendency to be overdramatic. I love Law and Order, and I had to push for it.) I said, "No I'd rather contest this." (It was murder to fight the urge to say, "I guess I'll see you in court, Counselor.")

I went back to my seat and waited what seemed like an eternity until my name was called. Finally it was my turn, I stepped up to the bench and waited nervously as the Prosecutor droned on about the facts of the case and said, "Officer ******* is present also, Your Honor." We looked around, and he was nowhere to be found. He had gone out to smoke again! I was elated, I thought that certainly this surly old Judge would dismiss it because he wasn't here, but instead he sent my name to the end of the docket! He says, "Oh well, we'll just do them at the end, go on with the next person. (I thought that was total bullshit. Can you imagine what would have happened if I had stepped away and wasn't there to answer when my name was called?)

So, after another half hour of waiting, and after the court room was empty I finally got my chance. I stood by and listened as the Prosecutor gave the details of the case. He asked the Officer questions, (Which he was not altogether truthfulaccurate in his answers.) The Officer probably didn't remember everything as well as I did, because I am sure that he had fucked a bunch of other people over issued many citations since that day, but I was quick to clarify. The Officer said that there was a sign on the road that stated the speed limit. I had photographs of the entire stretch of the road that proved my assertions. The Prosecutor then said that since it intersected with Cold Spring Avenue that it was 25 miles per hour and I should have known that. I countered with the fact that Cold Spring Avenue intersected with Cold Harbor Drive more than half a mile from where I was stopped, and I could not have seen it from Cold Harbor. I had a Yahoo map with detailed street descriptions and distance on it to prove that. I also plotted the Officer's stationary position, where I was "gunned" as well as where I pulled over. I then added that under that premise if intersecting streets were justification of the speed limit, then under that premise since I had just passed a 55 MPH sign on Martin Luther King BLVD that would indicate that Cold Harbor was also 55 MPH. The prosecutor then stated that my speed was excessive for a presumed road speed of even 35 miles per hour in a residential area.

I told him that I was only going about 30 miles per hour and that the Officer made a mistake. The Officer grinned smugly, as did the Prosecutor and the Judge. I then took out my digital photographs and my video footage to go along with that which showed that the turn from Martin Luther King to Cold Harbor was above 90 degrees. (I said 93 degrees to sound like a keen expert.) I then showed on the map that I presented from Yahoo that it was 110 meters from the turn to where the Officer was stationed me. He had previously said that he had gunned me at a location before I passed the street he was on, and that I didn't hit the breaks and just let the car slow to a stop when he put on the blue lights.

I told the judge that I was just short of the halfway point between the turn, and where his cruiser was parked. Roughly 50 to 55 meters. I told him that in making a 90 degree plus turn in a truck with a short wheel base like mine I had to slow to 10 to 15 miles per hour to make the turn. I also had video footage of me from inside my truck making the turn, as well as footage of other smaller vehicles making the turn. I told him it was physically impossible for me to get to a speed of 55 miles per hour in 50 meters even if I tried. I had printed off a description of how radar guns work, and I told him that if radar is aimed at two vehicles moving at different speeds, it will only register one speed and the Officer had to make a distinction based on his line of sight. I further surmised that his radar had clocked a vehicle that was continuing on Martin Luther King instead of me. The guy who had written this paper was a Ph.d at some University, and I had this as well as his credentials printed out. Lastly I added, (with a great deal of trepidation), that none of the police currently employed at Kentucky State University were officially trained and certified in the use of handheld or vehicle mounted radar as prescribed by the State Police Academy. At this point the Prosecutor didn't say anything but simply shuffled through the papers I had given him. The judge stopped me and said, "Well sir, do you now know what the speed limit is on that road.?" I said, "Yes.", and he said, "Well today is your day, I will let you off with a warning." I shook hands with the Officer who seemed pissed, and I thanked the Prosecutor. He was actually smiling and said, "Have a good day." I felt like a million bucks. He wasn't Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy,



But I am sure that they both would have had this to say after losing a hard fought case to Dkelsmith Esq.

Man, I can be an arrogant bastard after I win, can't I?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Brad Pitt takes his lumps...



I know...I know...."Why in the world is Kelly commenting on something as trivial as celebrity breakups?" I do know that they are quite common in Hollywood, and other places, but this one was sort of interesting. Not in the fact that it happened, but in the way people purport to know the reason behind it. Apparently Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston have asked people to respect their feelings and their rights in regard to this. Nice try, but you know the media is going to have a field day with this. If they covered Bennnifer in its entirety, you know they will exhaust all efforts on Brad and Jen. Unlike J-Lo and Ben Affleck, these two are actually likeable and have some acting talent.

I admit that rumors in Hollywood are about as predictable as weather in Kentucky, but some of the more juicy rumors that flew around were those that hinted at marital infidelity on the part of Brad with Angelina Jolie. The most popular rumor, and the one most likely to be some hint of the truth is the fact that they had different ideas about when and if they would start a family. Generally people think about women being the ones that pine for children and all that goes along with it. I remember when Benjamin Bratt and Julia Roberts broke up people crucified her. I still don't know the reason for that. I haven't really seen people take sides on this one, more often than not people just say they are sad to hear that Brad and Jen have gone splitsville. But one article that pointed the finger of blame caught my eye.

I am an avid reader of salon.com, and I enjoy reading articles by Rebecca Traister. But, I have to say that she is being horribly unfair in regard to this breakup.

She starts her article off by saying that Jennifer Aniston is being pilloried for putting her career before motherhood. If anything Traister is garroting Brad for wanting a family. I see nothing wrong with Jennifer Aniston thinking of her career at this stage in her life, at 35 she only has a few more years to be thought of as "sexy" to the 25-34 year old populace which supports the movie industry. Besides, as a lot of people say, a woman's biological clock does not run down as fast as what it used to. But, is Brad Pitt so wrong to have a strong urge for children at 41? I think I can understand his point of view, why not have kids and be young and energetic with them? But, he is being cast as the demanding husband with the wife-beater tee shirt on in that Salon article. Here are some wonderfully one-sided quips by Traister.

The media lesson we're all being fed in the wake of the breakup--whether it bears even a passing resemblance to the realities of Pitt and Aniston's marriage--is glaringly clear: You may land a hot husband, ladies, but you'd better pop one out soon, or you won't keep him.

Pitt hasn't helped matters by dragging his sorry ass around town and opining to anyone who'll listen--Vanity Fair, Diane Sawyer--about how eager he is for kids.


Sheesh! Give me a break! That smacks of misandry. Feminism is fine, but when it comes across as "men bad, women good", it gets tiresome. Why does Brad Pitt have to be a "sorry ass" just because he is open and honest about wanting children? Were the shoe on the other foot, and beautiful Jennifer wanted children and he did not, then I am sure that Traister would have accused him of being an over-the-hill perpetual playboy that needed to "grow up". I can just imagine the entreaties for Jennifer to "move on", and "forget him." Of course that is basically what is happening now. From my understanding of some news articles, she asked for the split, but he was not too far behind. My take on this is simply this: If two people want two separate things in regard to family, perhaps it is time to step back and evaluate whether there is a future. This doesn't have to entail mud-slinging, nasty court battles, or anything else. I hope Aniston and Pitt continue to be civil to one another, and who knows...maybe they will eventually get back together.

Lastly, I hope Traister and all of the other press hounds remember this request from the couple.

"For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any speculation reported by the tabloid media. This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration, we ask in advance for your kindness and sensitivity in the coming months."


I think Traister needs to take note of the last line, and finally forgive that guy that stood her up for Senior Prom.

Friday, January 07, 2005

In retrospect.....

I last committed time to my weblog over a month ago, therefore this is my first weblog post of the New Year. The only thing I resolve to do this year is to not compound my life with the hypocrisy and failure to committ to a set of resolutions. I am just going to live like the best that I can. I'm not sure where the tradition of making resolutions came from, but I am sure that the first guy that came up with this probably failed in keeping with what he resolved to do.

I am, however, taking a moment to look back at my life, look at myself now, and think about where I should be in the future. I never was ambitious enough to have a real long term plan in place....though I should have. But, I am looking at my life now in a different perspective than I ever have before. I am now 33 years old, which is still a considerably young age in many regards, but it is still sobering. I don't have the same qualms and anxiety that many people have about growing older. Rather, I am relatively comfortable with each year, but I do have a feeling of restlessness that tends to gnaw at me from time to time. I suppose I am beginning to understand what the 45 year old guys would call a "mid-life crisis."

Don't get me wrong, I am happy with things such as marriage and kids, but it is the question of my purpose above that which leaves me at a quandary. I suppose that is why I have mixed emotions about being deployed. While I was unsure at 19, I would have many more reasons for reservations now that I am married with children. But, though I know better, I feel as if I am "missing" something. I have no aspirations to be a "hero", or go on a grand adventure, but I do want to play my part...to the hilt. With that, I think about the military, what it has meant to me, done for me, and sometimes done TO me. Nonetheless, I can't help but to feel that there is something out there somewhere that I was meant to do, to accomplish, to pilot, to fix, to save.....something. Yet, I don't know what that something is.

I think that a frank discussion on this would not only give the people closest to me a wrong impression of what I am feeling, or what I am dreaming about, it would also tend to purvey drama into my life. And that is the LAST thing that I want. I, like many other sane men, allow thoughts of family, fortune, and future to be the arbiter of the life choices that they make. Ego notwithstanding, those are the things that will guide most of us. I just want to make the best decisions and not simply respond to that gnawing feeling.