Thursday, November 24, 2005


Thank you, to our Founding Fathers, for their sacrifice and devotion in establishing a new Republic.

Thanks, for a flag which stands as a Beacon of Freedom.

Thank you; to more than a million servicemen who gave their lives that I may live in freedom today.

Thank you, to the millions more who fought for freedom and lived.

Thank you, to all the mothers and wives whose hearts stopped every time the doorbell rang.

Thank you, to my mother who taught me the right way to live.

Thank you, to my wife; for 14 years of marriage and concurrently 19 years of friendship.

Thank you, to my son; for devotion and desire to do what is right.

And most of all…

…Thank you God for all of this and everything else.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Opinion by Steve Chapman

This is not mine but a good read and suprisingly printed in the more liberal of Tucsons two newspapers.

My opinion Steve Chapman: San Francisco gun control law pointless Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.15.2005 Printed in the Arizona Daily Star

It's not easy to do, but gun-control advocates in San Francisco have come up with an anti-firearms measure that embarrasses even some gun control advocates. The red-faced ones may realize this one is not likely to work even if it is upheld in court, which it almost certainly will not be. But the pointlessness of the initiative didn't stop San Franciscans from approving it by a hefty majority.

Proposition H outlaws the sale, manufacture, transfer and ownership of handguns and ammunition in the city. Unlike other cities that enacted bans but allowed residents to keep weapons they already had, San Francisco included immediate confiscation in the deal: Anyone who now has a handgun must surrender it to the police by next April. The only people allowed to possess these firearms will be police, soldiers and security guards.

So what's wrong with this plan? Just about everything. Start with the fact that it appears to conflict with the state constitution, which gives the state sole jurisdiction over firearms regulation - a defect that doomed San Francisco's last handgun ban, passed in 1982.

University of California-Berkeley law professor Franklin Zimring, a staunch supporter of gun control, says the new ordinance is a "sure loser" in court.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who as mayor signed the 1982 law, saw no point in taking a position on this one because of its obviously fatal infirmity. Current

Mayor Gavin Newsom admitted the initiative is "a public opinion poll."

Nor is there much point in city-by-city efforts against guns. Trying to ban handguns from one municipality in a nation awash in firearms is like trying to empty the water out of one section of the Pacific Ocean. The city has the means to close down gun shops within its boundaries, but any San Franciscan who wants to make a purchase is within an easy drive of other suppliers.

The city can tell handgun owners to turn in their arms, just as Glendower in Shakespeare's Henry IV could call spirits from the vasty deep. The question, as Hotspur said, is "Will they come when you do call for them?" There is a simple term for citizens who will abide by the law: law-abiding citizens.
But law-abiding citizens, by definition, are not the kind to commit murder, if only because it happens to be illegal.

No, the sort of San Franciscans who commit murder are criminals. But people who are willing to flout the laws against murder will not meekly submit to laws against handgun possession. As Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck notes, criminals are already barred from possessing firearms. The law affects only non-criminals.

So bad guys will keep their handguns, and only good guys will give theirs up. That may be good for the bad guys, but it looks bad for the good guys.

The ordinance is an attempt to reduce the city's firearms deaths, which rose from 69 in 2003 to 88 last year. But a law that seeks to reduce the murder rate by disarming those owners who are not criminals makes about as much sense as fighting alcoholism by prohibiting beer sales to Mormons. They are not the problem, and the people who are the problem will be serenely unaffected.

The intuition behind the law is that anything reducing the prevalence of handgun ownership will reduce the frequency of their misuse. Experience, however, demonstrates that more guns don't mean more crime. The number of guns keeps rising, while the number of murders keeps falling.

San Franciscans fantasize that passing a law to eliminate handguns will make them safer. But reality will have the last word.

Contact Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune at


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Veterans Day!

I hope you all have a wonderful Veterans Day! I'll be enjoying a Scout campout with my son, so see you all after the weekend.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Socialism is a very desirable state; however, it has never succeeded because of human nature. In a true socialist system all members must work and live within a single goal. It only takes one member to take more than his share or only one member to do less than his share for the entire system to fail.

In today’s quasi socialistic societies we see many examples of forced socialism for the betterment of the ruling party, aka capitalism, and voluntary or legislated socialism for the betterment of the less fortunate, aka the welfare state.

We can clearly see now that Soviet communism was nothing more than an exoskeleton with a hollow core incapable of maintaining the shell of a world power. What power it did project came from tyranny and fear. A legislative socialism can only survive as long as there is a strong working class which can be bled to support the less fortunate and freeloaders.

The one thing that makes capitalistic societies work and socialist societies fail is the simple phrase, “What’s in it for me?” The human animal is naturally selfish and will endure great effort to survive. When you insure survival many stop taking the effort to provide for them selves. While living in Australia I remember a PM that promised, “By 1990 no child will live in poverty.” He won the election and promptly established their dole system where money and shelter were given out based on how disadvantaged you could prove you were. Consequently, the number of children living in poverty doubled by 1990 and large dole neighborhoods filled up with freeloaders.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Lost AA Blogs: Culture Shock

Traveling home is an activity everyone looks forward to with great anticipation. Not only is it a reunion with loved ones but also a return to activities and luxuries not available in many parts of the world.

First, traveling by military air has its advantages. The new C17 is spacious and most crews will let you spread out and even lie on the floor. An experienced military traveler will bring a ground mat, blanket and pillow on long flights to get some good sleep. The C17 also has regular electrical outlets and you can plug in your laptop to watch a movie if you don’t feel like sleeping.

I flew on a C17 from Bagram to Germany but transferred to commercial air travel after a nights stay in Frankfurt. The most noticeable difference in Germany was all the vegetation. Next was the availability of alcohol and many took advantage of that but my first item of business was ordering a pizza at the exchange. Fresh dairy products are hard to come by in Afghanistan and my taste buds are craving just about anything dairy. The rest of the flight home my friends and I experienced the gratitude and appreciation of many while they helped expedite us through ticketing and customs, we were even offered free drinks on the plane.

We had another stay at Ft. Benning for a few days to out-process where we received medical screening and the army documented everything for our military records. A few days can seem like an eternity when you are this close to home. Somehow we survived our out-processing and were on a plane again for the final leg home. Arriving home wasn’t one of the grand ceremonies you have probably seen on TV with the band, all the waving flags and loved ones running toward each other with extended arms. It was a few families waiting around the baggage claim but there was still some excitement with plenty of hugs and kisses.

Once at home, many of the activities that were planned do not happen like I may have dreamed about so many times and unexpected changes must be dealt with but it still feels good to be home again. I have some adjustments to make, I don’t have a weapon with me all the time any more which gives me a half dressed feeling as if I was forgetting something vitally important and I still continuously scan for potential hazards but these anxieties will fade with time. One feeling that had a tendency to revisit me after previous tours even years after my return is being overwhelmed by our great bounties like when I walk the isles of the local grocery store; sometimes it brings tears to my eyes. We should all be profoundly grateful for the opulence we experience daily in such a wealthy country.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Lost AA Blogs: Armed Reconnaissance

In the Army we have a saying, “The worst ride is better than a good walk any day.” I’ll illustrate the statement in this blog. This mission is similar to the last one only this time we’re driving.

The vehicles were Land Rovers with the soft tops removed and only the roll bars to protect us from the harsh sun. Each one had a metal post in the center of the bed upon which a light machine gun was mounted. There were small benches along both sides of the bed and a little bit of padding made them barely suitable to sit on. We could get only 2 other men in the back with a little bit of equipment, food and water and still leave enough room for the gunner to move around a little. They were hastily painted in sand colors and some scrap desert camouflage netting broke up their outline enough that they did seem to disappear into the countryside at a distance.

The roads were primitive jeep trails up steep mountain valleys which have probably never been graded and we drove up each side trail just as far as the Land Rovers would take us. The dust rose from the road with each moving vehicle and it didn’t take long before everything had an additional layer of natural camouflage. The skies were cloudless and temperatures reached 110 degrees each day.

The further up the mountains we drove, the more vegetation we saw until we even found ourselves driving through thick forests of junipers. Everywhere we drove there are adobe homes and small villages built right into the mountainsides. The homes were thrown in at any angle or location that seemed to fit the builder’s ease of construction. What was even more impressive were the terraced fields that were everywhere, they occasionally reached all the way up a mountainside. These homes and fields must have taken centuries to build.

After a couple days of driving we had covered more territory than we would have in a month of walking and only had suntans, sore seats and sour demeanors to show for it.

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