Friday, March 28, 2014

Church and State

I've long held the belief that the First Amendment has been perverted by the liberal left portion of our nation.  One only needs to ask, "What does a voluntary prayer have to do with the establishment of laws," to see the fantastic stretch of imagination that is required to be a liberal supporter of what has become the modern day "separation of church and state." 

A series of Supreme Court cases, beginning with Everson v. Board of Education, has perverted the First Amendment, and led to a slippery slope of rabid condemnation of our country's foundation of beliefs.  This nation was not founded by atheists, nor was it founded by muslims.  It was founded by Christians who had a strong desire to escape religious persecution in England.  Now, Christians face religious persecution in America, while muslims, who openly seek the destruction of our nation, seem to be a protected species; what an ironic twist. 

Everson v. Board of Education led to the belief that there must be separation of church and state; I dispute that belief.  I believe that the First Amendment was intended to prevent the establishment of a national (or state) church.  It was NOT intended to prevent kids from praying in school, or the display of the ten commandments in front of a courthouse (no laws passed in either case, right?).  The perversion of this court decision (and the others that followed) is absolutely disgusting.  It is now assumed that any mention of God by a member of any government body is an official, state recognition of a particular religion.  Nobody even acknowledges that Everson v. Board of Education started out as an argument about funding school buses.

We now live in a nation where Christians are actively ridiculed by members of their own government for simply being Christian.  Our President even poked at Christianity when he lamented that certain red states cling to "...their guns and bibles."  This is a sad state of affairs.

I believe that our nation is speeding down a path that will be difficult to backtrack upon.  We only need look to Europe (which we fought to become independent from) to see our future; it's pretty bleak.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Why I Hunt

I love hunting animals.  That's an "offensive" statement to some folks, but I can't fully understand why.  As humans, we're omnivorous, as anyone that paid attention in biology class could tell you.  Meat eating is in our DNA, and I oblige it.  To say that I love to hunt is an understatement.  I love everything about hunting: I love the talk, the equipment, the preparation, the stalk, being in the woods, the kill, the meat preservation, the cooking and, of course, the eating.  I thought I'd talk a little bit about the why of it all.

My dad took me dove hunting as a kid and I loved it.  I loved the challenge of it, and I loved the fact that we could bring home food that we had gone out and killed ourselves.  Many Americans take meat for granted.  There really are people out there that believe meat comes from factories somewhere; they really are that ignorant.  The rest of us know that eating meat requires the killing of animals.  I choose to be in charge of that killing, when I can.  My meat is 100% organic, locally grown, hormone free, free range, humanely butchered, or whatever other buzzwords that the overly-sensitive folks are throwing around this week.  This leads me to my next point, which is the fallacy of how "inhumane" hunting is.

Hunting is as old as life itself.  All organisms compete for life, and humans are at the top of the food chain.  The idea that hunting is bad is a very new concept, relatively speaking, since man has been hunting for the entirety of his existence.  The only reason that the anti-hunting crowd even exists is that the commercial meat industry has removed the need for families to hunt.  Meat can now be "harvested" at your local grocery store.  The anti-hunting activists claim that hunters are cruel, but they don't post footage of commercial slaughter houses on their websites.  My kills are humane, and the animals I kill don't spend their lives on death row.  They grow up in their natural habitat, get a chance to breed, and live their lives in the manner that God intended. 

God made us in his image, and I'm convinced that God is a meat eater.  Anyone that differs from that opinion needs to show me God's dental records.  I am a meat eater and, as such, I enjoy harvesting my meat myself.  I love the chase.  I love trying, and usually failing, to outsmart the critters that I'm after.  I love being in the woods.  I love seeing wildlife, even when I don't kill it.  I love the adrenalin that pumps through me when a deer walks in front of my tree stand.  I love the process of releasing my arrow or pulling the trigger, and validating the many hours of practice that got me to the moment of killing that magnificent animal.  I absolutely love the emotions that are involved in the hunt, as complex as they are.

Killing an animal is no small thing to me; I don't take it lightly.  Killing deer has been an emotional experience for me, almost spiritual.  I feel a hint of lament for the killing of such a beautiful animal, and I'm so thankful for the harvest of so much meat; it's very moving.  I wish that the English language allowed me to fully express what I feel when I kill an animal.  I'll never be able to fully explain how I feel when I bring that meat home to my family, or when I put my hand on the ribs of that still warm deer.  

I guess it's safe to say that I love to hunt, but it's also safe to say that I support hunting because it gives back to the environment.  Hunting pumps many millions of dollars into conservation efforts, billions of dollars into the American economy, and is a vital piece of effective wildlife management efforts across the globe.  I'm proud to support the wildlife conservation efforts that hunting contributes to, while enjoying the sport that I'm passionate about. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Things from My Childhood 3: Stealing a Sip

When I was a kid, my dad was a beer drinker.  He would have a couple of beers on the weekend, and often would place a partial can in our refrigerator while he attended to other things.  

When I got to be 12 or so, I would occasionally sneak a sip of those open cans of beer.  I thought I was pretty slick, and it was just a sip. 

One evening, I had dish duty after supper.  My mom had made something fried and, as usual, she had drained the grease from the skillet into a can.  I just didn't know which can...

While doing the dishes, I took a break and decided to take a quick sip of the open beer can that was in the fridge.  I tilted the can back to take a healthy slug, and had to fight the urge to gag as I realized that my mom had drained the grease from the skillet into a beer can, and placed it into the refrigerator to cool.  Yuck!

I didn't tell Mom or Dad about that, so I'm sure they'll laugh when they read this.  God is always watching, even when your parents are not.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Things From my Childhood 2-- Learning Baseball

When I was young(er), my dad was more patient with me than I gave him credit for.  I was a baseball enthusiast, and he did his best to teach me about the game and improve my skills.  There were many sessions of catch, batting practice, etc.  There was even one season that he worked with me on my skills as a catcher.  The team's coach let me take the catcher's gear home and told my dad to throw lots of tennis balls at me.  The idea was to get me accustomed to digging bad pitches out of the dirt without the bruises that typically follow that experience.  I can't remember how much time he spent doing that, but it helped.

There were also a few sessions of batting practice at the spot in the above picture.  I think that is, and was when I was a kid, some sort of water treatment facility along El Sobrante Road.  The clear spot near the arrow used to be a very rustic baseball diamond.  My dad used to take me there on weekends and help me work on my batting.  He would pitch and I would attempt to hit his very toned down throws.  I think that's where I learned to bunt as well; I never asked my dad how he learned to do such things, but I just sort of took it for granted that dads know how to play baseball.

One weekend during our batting practice, a fish and game warden pulled up in his truck.  He was curious to see what we were up to, and asked if we had heard any gunfire.  In the back of his truck was a dead eagle.  It was the biggest bird that I had ever seen up close and he told us that it was a bald eagle.  I asked why its head was not white, and he informed us that it was an immature specimen.  It had been shot, and I still remembered being puzzled as to why anyone could possibly want to shoot an eagle.  My dad was smart enough to point out to me that there were a couple of chicken ranches nearby and one of the ranchers probably confused it with many of the red-tail hawks that frequent the area, and had mistakenly acted to protect his livestock.  I again assumed that dads just knew such things.

My dad is a pretty handy guy.  Thankfully, it runs in the family.  I'm often thankful that my dad forced me to do various things myself,  or made me help him when he performed various repairs or construction projects himself.  I'm also thankful for all of the baseball lessons.  Thanks, Dad.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Things From my Childhood Series

Writing occasionally on the pages of this blog is fun, sort of, and I thought it might be beneficial to write about my childhood.  My kids might even laugh about some of this stuff someday, so why not document it before I reach an age where my memory is so poor that I cannot share it?  On that note, I have decided to document glimpses of my life and past here.  So here are a couple of stories from my past, and I hope to post more of them as I recall them.


That Joshua Tree with the bottle caps in it:  My dad and I used to make regular trips to the high desert to ride dirt bikes, shoot and generally fart around out in the desert.  He and I both enjoy being away from urban sprawl and the high desert has a certain appeal.  We used to load the bikes up in his 1974 Chevy truck (which ended up being my first vehicle) and head out past Victorville, California.  There is an exit off of I-15 for Stoddard Wells Road and, a bit farther on, a second exit with the same title (the one past Denny's).  We used to exit the 15 at that second exit, and park near a Joshua tree that provided almost no shade.  We would ride from there and return periodically to the truck to rest, eat, or to have something to drink.  Over the years, my dad would occasionally flip bottle caps from his soda pop or beer up into that tree.  He even commented once about how many might be up in there.  We were, after all, in the middle of the desert, and there wasn't much out there to disturb the tree.


One weekend, we made a trip out to the desert with a friend of my dad's from work, or maybe it was a friend's son, I'm not sure.  I was still riding a little Yamaha YZ-80 at the time, and the acquaintance that was with us commented on how well I was riding.  My dad complimented me as well, and I asked him if I was riding better than him; he admitted that he thought I was indeed a bit better than him at it.  I recall asking him at least one more time later if I was really better than him at riding; he was puzzled by the fact that I was fixated on that and I said, "Well Dad, it's a big deal; I've never been better than you at anything before!"


We had many good times out there in the high desert.  A couple of years ago I looked on the internet and was able to see the subject Joshua tree on either Google Earth or maybe Google Maps; it was still there and I wondered if it still had any of my dad's bottle caps in it.

Respect, A Dying Trait in America?

"These kids today, I tell you what..."  How many times has that been said by every generation in America?  Probably too many to count.  I do believe, however, that the kids today have outpaced previous generations' youth in their complete lack of respect for, well, just about everything.  Who's to blame?  The kids?  Their parents?  Our declining public education system?  Hollyweird?  I say, all of the above.

Children today are literally bombarded by bad examples of behavior.  Compare today's "role models" with those of yesteryear.  As a child, my role models were guys like Neil Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, and my dad.  Who do kids today have to look up to?  Professional athletes are  habitually in trouble with drugs, the law and all manner of other unsavory things.  Musicians?  Please!  Most modern entertainers can't even spell "role model."  Youth role models of today are best known for their latest brushes with the law, trips to rehab, or sex tapes.  What about the examples set by their parents?

I'm well aware of the fact that there are plenty of great parents out there, but the number of worthless parents seems to be spiraling upward at an alarming rate.  When is the last time that you saw a parent discipline a child in public?  Many are fearful of reprisals from busybodies and law enforcement personnel.  Others just cannot be bothered to teach their kids right from wrong.  How can we expect a kid to grow up into a good man or woman if their parents are lowlife scumbags?  Schools are no better these days either.

Most public schools seem to have completely abandoned the idea of disciplining students who misbehave.  If a child is not being disciplined at home, and their teachers don't bother to discipline them when they act out, take a wild guess as to how that kid will turn out as an adult.

Media outlets are plastered with examples of our youth's lack of morals.  Take a look at the "occupy movement."  All of those encampments were dens of crime, drugs, and all manner of filth.  Most of the participants were misguided young adults with a twisted sense of entitlement.  Where are they getting this sense of entitlement?  They're being taught at every level of education that they can rely on the government to take care of their every need, and a free ride is only a vote away.  Thank you, higher education.

All of this is nothing new, but most of us go about our daily business without any real sense of alarm about this trend.  I don't know what the solution is, but an examination of what our kids are being taught in school is a good first step.  Since there are absolutely no repercussions for being a worthless parent, that fight will probably never be won.  I'd be interested in your ideas; fire away in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another List: Rude Things People Do

There is currently no shortage of rude people on this planet, but we are, unfortunately, prohibited from removing them from the gene pool.   Somewhere along the way, being polite has become passe, particularly among our youth.  I was discussing rude people with a friend of mine the other day and came up with a list of stupid things that rude people do.  Here's a few of the contenders.


Driving while yammering on their cell phone.  This one drives me nuts (no pun intended).  These clowns routinely cause traffic accidents, compound congestion, cut other drivers off, drive too slow/fast, weave all over the damned place, and generally drive like the morons that they are.  I haven't decided if their habit of endangering others is due to arrogance, or just stupidity, but it certainly is rude.  My wife and I saw a gentleman with a handwritten sign in his car window that read, "Get off of your damned phone and drive, a$$hole!"  To him I say, "Bravo!"



Parents that let their undisciplined offspring act like amphetamine-fueled heathens in public. You know which kids I'm talking about--The ones that run loose in restaurants and pester other patrons, the ones that scream or talk ceaselessly in movie theaters (usually along with their alleged parents), the ones that kick the back of your seat on the plane...the list goes on forever.  The parents of these little future welfare recipients pay absolutely no attention to the kids' behavior, or they offer, at most, a halfhearted, "oh, stop; don't do that," once in a while.  If, after putting up with their kids' unacceptable behavior for a while, you dare to say something to the parent, the parent will almost certainly act offended, defensive, and almost accusatory in their rabid defense of their little angel.  It's a shame that these people were allowed to breed.


Mothers pushing strollers down the middle of the street.  I haven't figured out if giving birth to a child causes a mother to suffer from a certain type of selective blindness or not, but they seem incapable of noticing and making use of the perfectly good sidewalks that line their residential neighborhoods.  Roads are meant for driving on; it's annoying as can be to have to stop or drive like I'm negotiating an obstacle course because one or more mothers has decided to push their offspring down the middle of the street in their ridiculously elaborate strollers.  These pinheads often engage in this rude behavior in pairs (or more), walking two or three abreast down the middle of the road.  Did they not pay attention to their own parents as kids?  Try rolling down your window and politely asking them to use the sidewalk; you will almost certainly get a disapproving scowl from these self-important dolts, combined with some sort of weak excuse like, "All six of us can't walk next to each other on the sidewalk!"  They need to get the hell over themselves and stay out of the street.

Shoppers that leave their unattended cart/buggy in the middle of the aisle. The aisles in our local supermarket are not very wide as it is; when some inconsiderate person leaves their cart in the middle of it, the aisle becomes all but impassable.  Granted, it might take them an extra couple of seconds to push it to the side of the aisle, but that doesn't seem like an unreasonable expectation to me.  These folks act as if they are the only ones entitled to shop that day.  Sometimes, I'm tempted to grab the cart and park it on a different aisle; the oblivious shopper probably wouldn't notice.




Shoppers that don't know why the frozen food section has glass doors.  Have you ever seen a shopper standing in the frozen food aisle of the supermarket with a glassy-eyed look on their face, holding the glass freezer doors open for minutes at a time?  Have you ever tapped them on the shoulder and said, "Hey, do you know why the door is glass?  It's so you can decide what you want before you open the door."  If you've ever said that, you've undoubtedly had the shopper respond by looking at you like you have a penis growing out of your forehead.  They don't comprehend that the door stays fogged up for half an hour after their confused effort to pick out a TV dinner has ended; they probably don't care either, because they're rude and inconsiderate of others.


People that don't pick up after their dogs.  This one has been around for as long as people have had pets.  Most people that walk their dogs will carry a plastic bag, or some other method or device for picking up after their dog when it craps on somebody's lawn (those in rural areas obviously don't need to bother with such things).  A growing number of people don't bother with such distractions and just leave their mutt's droppings wherever they happen to land.  I'd like to follow a few of those folks home, squat over the hood of their car, and take a dump on it.


These are just a few examples of the things that rude people do.  Got any examples of your own?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Marine Snipers Pose with Nazi SS Logo

The subject photograph depicts some Scout Snipers from Recon posing with an objectionable flag in the background.  The font used is unfortunate, and the fact that all of these Marines claim to not have known what it represents is indeed sad.  In their eyes, SS stands for Scout Sniper.  The logo, however, means something entirely different to those that are moderately informed about world history.

Our Commandant took one for the team and addressed this issue head on, but it's a sorry state of affairs when we're in a situation that requires him to do this (Article Here).

Some have said that our military should take greater steps to educate our personnel about such issues.  I have to ask the stupid question:  What the hell is going on in our (now politically correct) schools?  Is it so out of fashion to teach the truth that our young adults don't know about Nazi Germany, or what they did during WWII?

I worry that one day, we will have to stop using terms such as, "warrior," "war fighter," "kill," "destroy," and the list goes on.  We're in a hard business, and we require hard men (and women) to do this business.  As much as we want to make warfare more pleasant, it never will be.  Will our concern over who we offend affect our readiness?  

I'm certainly not defending the use of the subject flag, but I do question the need for such a high level investigation, and the shaping of operations based on feelings. 

In the mean time, a hearty salute goes out to our CMC for handling this in a professional manner.  The uproar, hopefully, will subside and we can re-focus on the threats ahead.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Defense Cuts: Military Retirees In the Crosshairs Again

As our military faces deep, possibly crippling cuts, those that have spent the better part of their adult lives serving our nation are, once again, being targeted.

SecDef Leon Panetta outlined his plan for saving dollars and many are concerned that it will adversely affect our defense capabilities and readiness.  He centered on the fact that draw-downs would  keep our forces above pre-9/11 levels, but not by much.

In addition, "the Pentagon recommended an increase in health care fees, co-pays and deductibles for retired military members."  Really?  I'm sure that a few stuffed suits will argue that this is smart business because it won't have any effect on readiness.  I disagree, and here's why:  Retirement benefits are incentives that directly affect long term retention of quality personnel.  If retention suffers, readiness will suffer. Get it?

It's not rocket science, but this sort of thing sure seems to be beyond the grasp of those holding the purse strings.
Article here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wikipedia to Go Dark. Who Cares?

I came across an article that informed me of Wikipedia's intent to "blackout" for a day in protest of some pending asinine legislation that many search engines and online providers of various media are in opposition to.  To this announcement I say, "Well then, I guess lazy students and bloggers everywhere will have to use real references and sources for a day!"  (article here)  Perhaps I'm missing out on the significance of this event, but I think the sun will still rise tomorrow without this glorified social media site being up and running.  Well, there could be some entertainment value to this; we'll see...

UPDATE: It seems that our elected tormentors have had a brief moment of clarity and have abandoned (for now) their efforts to pass idiotic and freedom-stomping SOPA legislation (article here). I do, however, doubt that Wikipedia is the source of this rare dose of common sense.  There are far better ways to get the word out than by adopting an "I'll show you!  I'll take my ball and go home!" approach.  Other, more realistically managed websites simply encouraged patrons to contact their legislators.  THAT is what got the attention of our slimy politicians.  Hollyweird's tantrums bore no fruit...this time.