Category Archives: Perspective

I Have Not Yet Begun to Fight!

John Paul Jones
United States Navy

Okay. The election is over. Some of us feel like we lost. And we did. We feel it in our heart of hearts. But to quote Sir Winston Churchill:

Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning to the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Or as Rumbear put it:

Mount Up……
The battle for liberty begins anew this morning.

Let’s do this people! This is no time to be quitting and yielding the field to those who would tear America down. Remember:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

FIGHT’S ON!

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Filed under Freedom!, Patriotism, Perspective, Politics

The Daily Lex – September 16th

“Executive Experience”

Not all that:

It’s not often that one person plays key roles in two — count ‘em, two — trillion-dollar disasters. Welcome, my friends, to the world of well-connected Democrat Jamie Gorelick.

It’s no mean feat to spring from toadstool to toadstool in quite the way Gorelick has done. She came to our attention […]

Originally published on September 16th, 2008.

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Enjoy Labor Day

Summer is inexorably waning; solstice is but three weeks away.  A day set aside to honor those who toil has, like so many, morphed into something else.  I shall eschew discussions of agricultural versus industrial or service labor, unions good versus union bad and such.  What I ask of you, Dear Readers, is that if you do have this day free from toil, to remember a few who get up today and it is like any other day of work for them.  Some are part of some branch of what is referred to as “organized labor,” some are very definitely not. But for all of them, and tens, if not hundreds of thousands like them, today is NOT a day off.

US Marine Patrol

Hotel Staff

Coast Guard on watch

Law Enforcement

Army Foot Patrol Eastern Afghanistan

Health Care Providers

Food Service Workers

Firefighter

Sailors at Sea

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Ember Arriving!

Ember Celee when she was just minutes old

Ember Celee when she was just minutes old

My thanks go out to Glenn for posting Ember’s pic the day she was born 😀
My apologies go out to everyone for my absence, but I figured you’d understand 🙂

Cindy and I have been pretty busy.  Cindy’s been taking care of Ember and healing up from the C-Section while I’ve been busy working – especially since I found a steady job!  Everyone’s healthy and happy even if we are rather tired 😉

And yes, my perspective on many things and my understanding of some of Lex’s writings have changed a bit since 22 August 2012.

I should have a real internet connection at home soon, so I’ll be around much more often.  Have a great day, everyone!!!

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Filed under Family, Perspective

Please, Do Tell Me Again About Your First World Problems.

Somehow, I don’t this guy really wants to hear about hard it is to find a decent Feng Shui facilitator, or how bad your bike ride was into work.

Corporal Todd Love

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2195897/Triple-amputee-veteran-completes-grueling-10-5-mile-endurance-race-called-The-Beast-hours-honor-fallen-U-S-soldiers.html
True grit.

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Filed under Heroes Among Us, Perspective, Valor

Communities

The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “community”, in part, thus:

“com·mu·ni·ty

noun, often attributive \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\
Definition of COMMUNITY
3 b : common character : likeness <community of interests> c : social activity : fellowship d : a social state or condition
Origin of COMMUNITY
Middle English comunete, from Anglo-French communité, from Latin communitat-, communitas, from communis

First Known Use: 14th century”
This usage has, of late, become expanded upon by those who like to give a sense of inclusion, to nearly Brobdingnag proportions. “Community organizer,” “the Farmall tractor collectors community,” “the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople student community,” ad infinitum.  It has been used, and miss-used to such an extent that at least one weary radio commentator has taken to “foghorning” (a more elegant raspberry, “The sound one hears immediately after uttering an incredibly moronic statement and/or a word not in the Garage Logic Lexicon. All FOGHORN-ABLE words are words whose original meanings have been distorted and embraced by mysterians in an attempt to mean something else.”) the phrase when it creeps into pompous public pronouncements like so much ragweed onto the lawn of living. ) All that being said, there are times when communities do in fact spring up, based upon a broad or narrow common interest or enterprise.  The creation of Mr. Zuckerberg, et. al, has certainly aided and abetted such ad hoc gatherings of people of like minds.
Those of you, dear readers, who have suffered along so far in this extended literary enterprise know that Son Number One, now known as “Specialist Dunno,” has joined a considerable number of young men and women from both these United States and even a few who’s origins are elsewhere in enjoying the sunny climes and gentle zephyrs that waft this time of year through the pines of central South Carolina, there to build upon his knowledge base, his physical character and enjoy other suitable pastimes, all under the guidance and direction of an older cadre of caring mentors, known to the general population by the appellation “Drill Sergeants.”

Personalized mentoring, Army-style.

Out along the periphery of all this, stand a cadre of parents, friends and romantic attachments, both established and yet-to-be-formalized.  Back in the “stone age,” e.g. pre-interweb, they would wait individually, lurking near a mail box in the hopes that they would perhaps receive an epistolary glimpse of their loved one’s current enterprise.  Now, courtesy of the tireless efforts of untold trillions of electrons, we have the ability to form near-instantaneous groups, therein to “share” our mutual, shared joys, worries, knowledge and even, I venture to say, pride.

The military has been naturally hesitant to embrace “social networking,” for some good reasons.  Also, it has been our habit to be more than a tad “traditional.” To the point that on the occasion of each and every Navy Birthday your humble and obedient servant has been party to, raise a glass in toast to “the United States Navy: 237 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress!”  To its credit, though, the Army, as have the other armed services to various degree, been becoming more and more engaged, because they have discovered that with developing social communities, comes interaction, understanding and “buy in” by those who would otherwise stand off and wonder just what it was their loved one had gotten themselves into.

Likewise, we now see families and loved ones of in this case the “Soldier In Training” (SIT) also setting up ad hoc groups.  In the case of SNO, there’s now a group, gathered on the ubiquitous Face Book, brought together by a parent who has “seen it, been there and done that” that will last less than a summer’s length; about ten weeks in all.  But over the course of this time we will share what we know, what we don’t know, what we may have heard in hurried phone conversations or read in letters. (As if, in the case of SNO)  I witnessed people who’d never known each before helping others, for example, navigate the ins-and-outs of how to get airline tickets for their SIT’s graduation.  Others jumped in and explained in fine detail other things to a non-native English speaker in their native language. The last 24 hours saw a flurry of messages and responses within our little Face Book “community.”  It was supposed to be “phone call day,” the first time since our SIT’s began the most intense phase of their initial training sequence, the one where all the cliches from every movie ever made about this kind of thing, comes into reality.  (Well, maybe except for one)

The Doctor and I planned our day for this call.  All outside tasks and chores and errands completed well in advance of when we thought religious activity availability (“church call”) would be done, and sat by our cell phones and the home phone.  Your truly’s thighs began to ache from all the leg jiggling.  Time did NOT fly, it dragged.  Calls caused an immediate jump to whatever instrument was ringing, only to be quieted when we realized it was not the call we’d been waiting for.  I assured The Doctor that as soon as someone from our group heard from theirs, they’d post it.

Finally one courageous soul had to ask, had anyone else heard anything?  The floodgates opened; even as we read one response, two more would pop up, all with a universal negative.  “Hopefully soon,” said one.  Others offered their own hope, their own sense of waiting.  The day went on and still nothing.  Slowly, inexorably, we shared stories from letters, what we’d heard.  Finally, a former SIT from SNO’s Company, sent whom for purely medical reasons, and who had contacts “inside the wire” so to speak, broke it to us: No calls for them.  Something had happened, time had run short, they were the end of the line, and the line stopped ahead of them.

The disappointment was naturally palpable, and people who less than four weeks ago had never even heard of one another, who shared neither physical proximity nor regional culture or even a love of baseball, for all we knew, came together to express the frustration, the let down and the resignation that Things Were Not To Be.  In those few hours, as evening’s twilight spread from east to west across the breadth of the Union, I got to witness in the cool light of the laptop’s screen a remarkable thing. We began to deeply bond.  THIS was not little bits and pieces about own kids, husband, wife, fiancee.  It was about us.  About the sharing, and the sense of a group of people brought together.  Last night it was out of frustration and disappointment.  In a few weeks, on a parade ground set among pine trees and red earth, it will be out of pride.

Like our young soldiers, we too, in a sense, will have bonded for a time, and will always be, in our own way, “Echo Company.”  For an old sailor, let me say this: “Hooah.”  Carry on.

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Filed under Family, Perspective

Heard in the clear

This one was the latest from America’s Sergeant Major today.

Got some really good lines in it. Really good lines…………….

As has been said before, you can’t make this up at all.

“Today’s final offering was found posted above a urinal in one of Cleveland’s finest establishments:”

So for a good read and a really good laugh, hit the link above and go see for yourself.

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by | August 6, 2012 · 7:17 pm

The Northern Lights

I know, I know, it’s all just particle physics and stuff, where radiation hits matter and magnetic fields intereact and they glow and it’s all easily explained.  Except it’s much more than that.  It is a majestic and bountiful gift that causes us to lift our heads and set our eyes to the heavens and gaze in awe at the splendor revealed.  Whether or not you feel there is the work of a Great Architect of the Universe at play here, or simple natural science, easily explained with formulae and observation and measurement matters not.  It is breathtakingly beautiful, and once glimpsed in person, an experience you seek out again.

Up here on the shores of Gitchee Gummi, we were lucky the other morning, in the hours when the barest hint of light begins to edge away the dark.  A friend and gifted photographer, Deb Panietz Carroll got up very, very early the other morning and took these, shared with you all with her permission:

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Filed under Good Stuff, Perspective

Legacy

We need something to make us smile in all the doom and gloom these days.  And sometimes that can be achieved by just being nice.

A man’s dying wish for a random act of kindness turned into a waitress’ good fortune in Kentucky, and now more struggling restaurant servers could be in for generous surprises.

Relatives of Aaron Collins, 30, who died on July 7, carried out his last wish by giving a random waitress in Lexington a $500 tip after their pizza dinner, MyFoxTwinCities.com reports.

“Aaron never had much money, and he didn’t have enough to make this happen, so I started a website and took donations,” brother Seth Collins said. “On July 10 we were able to make his wish come true for the first time.”

30 years old is just too damn young to die of anything.  And yet the family of Aaron Collins has found a very unique and life-affirming way of carrying his memory in their hearts – and sharing it with others.

And do go read the link – there is more great stuff there about this amazing story.

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Filed under Faith, Good Stuff, Perspective

`Naval Aviators` continued…..”The Channel Dash”

I think it seems wholly appropriate, following on from my little tribute to John “Jock” Moffat below and COMJAM’s excellent posting showing off the beautiful `PV-2 Harpoon` that I do a follow-up on those incredible, historic men of Naval Aviation, particularly as `Hudson’s` feature in the tale.

I am going to move on a few months from the action against the Bismarck. It’s now early 1942 and the war has just been joined by a shocked and badly bruised United States of America. The `sleeping giant was awake and seeking a terrible resolve` but elsewhere, in the stormy North Sea, another giant – this one with an evil heart – was intent on moving into the Atlantic.

I have provided a link at the end to what I feel is an excellent and highly detailed account,  one that will require the reader to set aside a little extra time, but I think you will find it worth it and as moving an experience as I do whenever I read of the action of Lt Cdr Esmonde VC and his band of brothers. They were not fearless, they were scared to death, but they carried on despite all their natural in-built warnings telling them they were crazy and to get the hell out of there. Lt Cdr Esmonde VC had flown against the Bismarck and knew exactly what it would be like this time. It is that which made them truly magnificent – masters of their fears. Lt Cdr Esmonde’s Victoria Cross, as you will have guessed, was awarded posthumously.  Here is an extract from the involvement of the aviators:

Sub-Lieutenant Brian Rose was flying the second Swordfish in the first subflight. Soon after the initial encounter with the enemy he was hit in the back. He was still able to fly the aircraft, though he was now in considerable pain. Moments later, another shell fractured the petrol tank. The engine faltered and Rose decided that he had to get rid of his torpedo. He aimed it at the second big ship, Gneisenau. As he turned away it “seemed to be running well”. He estimated the range as about 1.829 meter (2.000 yards).

In the cockpit behind him the gunner, Leading Airman A. L. Johnson, had been killed. The observer, Sub-Lieutenant Edgar Lee, had escaped injury. He had even tried to take over the gun but Johnson’s body was in the way. It was now quite clear that the aircraft would never get back to Manston. Rose brought it down into the sea about 457 meter (500 yards) from the enemy destroyer screen. His back was now in very bad shape but Lee managed to help him out and into the rubber dinghy. Johnson’s body was too firmly wedged in place to be shifted before the Swordfish sank. The two men waited until the German ships were well out of the way. Then they fired two distress signals with a Verey light pistol. They were seen by an MTB, which picked them up after 1½ hour.

The German Vice-Admiral Ciliax said afterwards: “The mothball attack of a handful of ancient planes, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day”. Helmuth Giessler said: “Such bravery was devoted and incredible. One was privileged to witness it.” Captain Hoffmann said during the attack: “Poor fellows. They are so very slow. It is nothing but suicide for them to fly against these big ships.”

You can read the full account here.

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Filed under Airplanes, Heroes Among Us, Perspective