Saturday, September 11, 2004

National Guard Service

I'm getting just a little tired of politicians treating National Guard Service as if it was little more than a Scouting experience. My father enlisted in the National Guard and was transferred into the Regular Army after December 7, 1941. When he enlisted, no one really thought we'd be at war within a few years. His Guard service didn't keep him from being shot at by German soldiers. He also told me about one fellow he served with who watched as his discharge papers were torn up in front of him. In the space of seconds, he went from being discharged from the National Guard to serving another five years in the regular Army.

If National Guard Service keeps its people out of "harm's way", what about my cousin David who was in Iraq during the first Gulf War? He was in the National Guard, how come he ended up in Iraq? How about all the men and women serving in Iraq right now who are members of Guard Units? One of my co-workers is in the Coast Guard reserve. He guarded prisoners in Gitmo. Sure, he wasn't getting shot at by the Iraqi Army, but he didn't expect to end up in Cuba for six months either. My agency has a wall with photos of employees who are serving in Guard Units. Most have been deployed to Iraq. One of my sergeants was deployed to Bosnia during our time there. She didn't expect to go to Bosnia when she signed the papers to enlist in the Guard, but she got her orders and went.

I want to go on record and say that any military service, whether regular service or Guard service is honorable and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
September 11, 2001

Three years ago today, 19 men changed America forever. They used boxcutters to highjack four airliners. Two planes flew into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. One plane flew into the Pentagon. The fourth, because of the actions of courageous passengers, went into the ground in a Pennsylvania field rather than into the Capitol Building, it's supposed target. Over three thousand people in the airplanes, the Twin Towers and environs, the Pentagon, and in that Pennsylvania field lost their lives that day. Countless others were directly effected due to the loss of life of a friend or loved one.

Policemen, firefighters, airline employees, and citizens of the US and other nations died that day. We tend to forget that foreign countries leased office space at the WTC. They also lost citizens that day.

America changed that day. I love the television ad that shows how America changed. We went from a country that just went about its day-to-day business to one which wears it's patriotism on its sleeve. On September 11 we were angry and confused. Who would do such a thing? How could anyone want to hurt so many innocent people?

There are people who are jealous and afraid of our way of life. We are a prosperous country and our citizens, our freedom to choose our religion and our freedom of speech. They are afraid that if their citizens are allowed the freedoms we enjoy, they will lose control of their countries. I liken these people to the class bully. I have something they want, so they take it from me, or my life miserable until I give it to them. Ever notice how the people around the bully, and there usually are some, always agree with the bully and do what they are told? They're afraid not to. They capitulate so that the bully will leave them alone. They are afraid to stand up for themselves so they appease the bully. It usually doesn't last. At some point, the bully will beat them up too.

The leaders of these countries know that if their citizens are allowed to speak out, they may not stop at speech, but also want all that goes with it. This is dangerous to the leaders of these countries. They may lose their positions, power and wealth. They live very well at expense of the citizens of their countries. Just look at the countries that are governed by despots and dictators. They have little contact with other countries, when they do, it's usually with like-minded countries. They don't want their citizens to be able to find out that with freedom comes a better lifestyle than they have. Why do Haitians and Cubans still make life-threatening attempts to come to the US? They are taking the biggest gamble of their lives so that they, and their children, can have a better life. They believe that death is preferable to what they leave behind.

On September 11th we were stunned. We were confused and we were angry. We can't forget anything about that day. What actions did our leaders take that day? Who reacted and how? And how did you yourself react? Did you give blood that day? Did you join the search for survivors? Did you mourn the loss of a child, sibling, parent, friend? Did you join the military? Did you begin wearing a flag on your lapel? We all show our feelings in many ways. We are patriotic in many ways.

Among all the things we must do to save the American way of life, there is one thing we must never do. We must never forget what happened on September 11, 2001. It changed our lives forever.

Hurricane Ivan

Well, it looks as if we might be engaging yet another hurricane this season. Florida in general, and me in particular, has had enough already! I've talked before about my Mom and Dad, so I'm still relying on them to steer Ivan away.

Manatee County experienced little effect from Charley and Frances, and I'm hoping that will continue. I'm hoping Mom and Dad will gather all the angels together on Florida's west coast and flap their wings so that Ivan will go west. Not that I want anyone to endure a hurricane, no matter the category, but like I said, Florida has had enough!

Update: Ivan has been upgraded to a Cat 5 hurricane. If he remains on his current course, he will side-swipe Florida's west coast. The coast line will be on the east side of the storm. Not a good place to be, even by staying off-shore he could do a tremendous amount of damage because of the high winds and storm surge associated with a Cat 5. I'm still hoping Ivan will take a more westerly turn into the Gulf.

While I want people to understand just how dangerous a Cat 5 hurricane can be, I'm a little tired of constantly hearing the words "devastating" and "extremely dangerous". I worry that overuse might make people downplay the danger. I am very happy that people have left the Keys. This is a very dangerous storm and there are only three ways to leave the Keys: by road, by sea, or by air. And the Overseas Highway is the only road out. Just heard that the Key West airport has closed, so that leaves only two ways out.

My agency has cancelled all leave for next week. If anyone wants an exemption, they are to contact the Chief Deputy for the exemption. It's gonna have to be a good one to get the exemption. We have not received word that non-essential personnel are relieved from duty. I expect that on Monday or Tuesday, depending on where Ivan is. My position is non-essential, so I will be relieved at some point.

Wicktory Wednesday Comments

I found this comment in my Wicktory Wednesday post. It is word for word as posted with one exception: I bleeped the expletive. I don't like such language and won't allow it on my site. I also pay little attention to anyone who won't allow their identity to be known and rank them along side those who wear masks. If you are proud of what you are doing or saying, you should be proud enough to make your identity known. Another thing that irritates me is anyone who can't or won't capitalize the beginnings of sentences or proper nouns (not to mention that it drives Spell Check crazy). Then there is the name calling. I am happy that I only bleeped one word and was only called a "brain washed happy-go-lucky idiot". What doesn't bother me? The fact that this person has the right to think and say whatever he or she wants to think or say. We have a difference of opinion. And we both have the right to our opinions.

Who am I to say to say how the way things should be? I'm so glad you asked. I'm an American citizen. The Constitution guarantees me the right to say how I think things should be. It's called Freedom of Speech. Just because I say I think something doesn't mean anyone has to do it, but I do have the right to say it. It guarantees you the same right to use abusive language and to call me names; to believe the things you believe and to speak out on forums such as this. I also do a lot of reading and research. Just because I don't espouse Liberal ideals doesn't mean I'm uniformed.

Do you realize that since we freed the Afghani and Iraqi people (25,000,000 people) they now have the ability to use this same forum (blogging). Had they spoken out in any way against the Taliban or Saddam, they could have lost their lives. Now they have the chance to speak out and verbalize their beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. It's one of the reasons there is still fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are people who are fighting for their beliefs; they want to subjugate the citizens of those countries back into the same mindset they endured for decades. Shouldn't the citizens have the right to decide which way of life they want? Both countries have elections coming up. That's when they can voice their opinions just as we will in November.

And a fact you apparently are not aware of: most of the 9/11 highjackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan, although they trained at Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

The Domino Theory does work pretty well, I have to admit. It worked very well when the Berlin Wall came down and all those communist countries, including the Soviet Union which ruled most of them, became free and democratic. We must be doing something right if other countries also want freedom of religion and speech.

One more question for you: What countries do we now own from any other conflict or war? This country is remarkable in the fact that after two world wars and other "conflicts" where we helped free millions of people from occupiers or oppressors, all we ever asked for was land to bury our dead. We did not take over governments and install our form of government, something we also are not doing in either Afghanistan or Iraq. We helped those countries form a government that their people could live with under their customs.

I'm guessing that you are the kind of person who believes that you have the "right" to health care, the "right" to an education, the "right" to have a salary that gives you the lifestyle you want to have. And you are entitled to that belief. I don't want the government taking money from me to give someone else healthcare, an education, or the lifestyle they think they want. I'll provide that for my family and I expect others to do the same. It's a system that worked for many years before Social Security was created and government started "taking care" of people. Prior to that time, families and communities took care of their people, not the Federal government. It was also prior to the time when people began to think the government "owed" them anything except the freedom to live and prosper.

I don't want the government telling me that it knows better than I do what I need. I believe that I should choose my doctors, where I get my medication or which hospital to go to when I need surgery. I believe that I should work to earn my education, so that my education is mine, and not provided by the government. I want to earn my own lifestyle. I believe that if I want or need something badly enough, I should earn the money for it, and not allow someone else to pay for it. When I get something from the government, it's because the money for it has been taken from another taxpayer. I believe that the money I earn should be mine to do with as I want. I want the government out of my life wherever possible.

If I'm a "brain washed happy-go-lucky idiot" I'm happy I am. And, I will be voting for GWB in November. And I hope all the other "brain washed happy-go-lucky idiots" will do the same.

Here is the full comment:

are you (bleep) kidding me? brain washed happy-go-lucky idiots like you are the reason for such widespread ignorance in the world today. it's plain to see that bush jr. is a war crazed, murdering, hating, women-belittling sob! ever heard of the domino threory? yeah, when those crazy communists were trying to spread their government and impose it on other contries when they had absolutely no businiss doing such. With dubya as our president we have become those communists. let me tell you a little something that may not have passed through your brain-washed mind before. Just because you like our form of government doesnt mean that it's the "right" government or the way that things "should be" Who are you to say the way things should be?! you have no right to force your customs onto foreign contries who have done nothing but mind their own bussiness (aka iraq) now don't get me wrong, i had no problem with going into afghanistan seeing as most of the people involved in 9/11 were from there. but how in the hell did this war suddenly shift into iraq, a country that has never even threatened to harm a hair on america's head?! i'll tell you how it shifted there! O-I-L! which = $ for bush. who the hell cares if he kills thousands of innocent iraqis. his wallet is getting fatter by the second. if you truely can say that you want someone with this mindset running our country then i respect your opinion, but for god's sake be informed.
posted by Anonymous : 9/8/2004 08:38:38 PM

All that being said, I hope you come back and visit again. You and your comments are welcome as long as you remember your manners.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


I have to apologise to two people who left comments on my Random Musings post. I accidently deleted comments that I didn't mean to delete. So, again, my apologies.
It 's Wicktory Wednesday!

There are only eight weeks, 55 days, until the election. If you want to hear the words, President-Elect Kerry when you wake up on November 4, then you don't have to do anything. If you don't want to hear those words, then, please, volunteer your time to the Bush/Cheney campaign. You can't donate money, but you can donate your time. Time is always the right size, color, and style so you don't have to worry about it being returned.

Another way is to talk to your friends, co-workers, and family about why President Bush should be re-elected. It really is that important. Will the world end if President Bush is not re-elected? No, but life will change, and we have to consider what is best for our families and for our country.

And the best way is to vote in November.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Random Musings

*I'm torn about my feelings toward 527's. On the one hand, I hate that people or groups can advertise hate-filled messages about another person. Some are filled with lies, half-truths (which are also lies), and innuendos and are just hateful. On the other hand, I'm in total support of Freedom of Speech which protects these organizations. Just because the scale tips in favor of Freedom of Speech doesn't mean I have to like what those people have to say. Organizations like the Swift Vets, a 527 organization, have a story to tell and have earned the right to tell it. Other groups, like, and people like Michael Moore, have the right, under the First Amendment to tell their stories. I just wish they weren't so hate-filled. Truth I can listen to, whether I like it or not; hate, no, I won't waste my time.

*Speaking of 527's, I happened across another one. Yes, it promises to tell the story of the real John Kerry. Truthful? I don't know. Hate-filled? Maybe. I haven't seen the ads yet, so I can't say. I have looked at the website and it's definitely not in favor of Mr. Kerry. As a reader of this site can tell, I do support President Bush. I do have major disagreements with his policies, but there is little to nothing of Senator Kerry that I feel is supportable. Site found via The Daley Times Post.

*I am about tired of hearing Senator Kerry accusing everyone under the sun of questioning his patriotism. I listened to both President Bush and VP Cheney's speeches during the convention. Neither of them had anything to say about the Senator's military service except that it was honorable. Nor have I heard either of them at anytime say anything but that his service was honorable. This is questioning his patriotism? Perhaps he is talking about when someone, anyone, reminds people about his Senate record where he continually voted against defense spending. Kerry did vote in favor of the Iraqi war, but then voted against funding it. Read Zell Miller's speech to see what else he voted against.

*Was Zell angry? He supported Clinton in '92 and says that he was told the party was going in a different direction than the one it took. Was he angry? He sounded to me like a man betrayed by the party he devoted his life to. Most people, feeling that betrayal, would jump parties. Zell plans to remain a Democrat to his dying breath. Just because he doesn't like what the party has become, doesn't mean he can jump ship. He's a man with integrity and a moral core. I liked that he was angry and wasn't afraid to show his anger. Maybe he'll wake a few Democrats up who will take a clear look at what their party has become.

*After the election, I will be considering what party I want to line up with. I am currently registered as an Independent. I might stay Independent. I was a registered Democrat for years, but couldn't accept what it's become. The Democrats have become more socialist than Democrat, the Republicans more Democrat than Republican and I am so confused!

*I've found some more Florida bloggers and will be adding them to my sidebar. Please check in on them during the clean-up and (please God, no) event of Ivan adding to the situation.

*I found that having a new puppy in the house leads to clean floors!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Frances Update

Well, it looks as though Frances has moved off-coast and into the Gulf. According to the weather service, there is a chance that she will re-organize enough to become a minimal hurricane before making landfall somewhere in the Destin vicinity.

I checked outside several times yesterday, and couldn't see much in the way of damage. No downed tree limbs or power lines. We never lost power here, although several times the power started to shut down, but didn't; not even enough to re-set the clocks or interrupt the cable. I was very impressed. We usually lose electric when a cat pees down the street. The cable has been very slow. Seems to take forever to sign into certain sites, although I guess that could actually be a site problem rather than ISP. It takes long enough that it takes me back to dial-up days. I'm not exaggerating. It's that slow. And I'd rather blame the cable company than the site.

I took some pictures out the front door and might post them if I figure out how to do it. I doubt you can see much except for the pond that accumulates whenever we have a heavy rain. All I saw this morning was leaves scattered around. I don't think the wind got to the 40 mph we were expecting. I haven't heard how much rainfall we actually got, several inches I'm sure. Not nearly as much as the east coast and inland counties got. We were lucky once again being on the west/south side of the storm - not as much wind or rain as on the east/north side.

I haven't seen any news today on what damages were sustained on the east coast. My father-in-law should be arriving in Melbourne sometime today. His vacation in Massachusetts was lengthened by three days because of Frances. He'll let us know when he gets home and what damage, if any, his house sustained.

And now we have Ivan to look forward to. Hopefully, he'll take the southern route south of Cuba and head into either Mexico or Texas. Not that I wish a hurricane on either, but Florida doesn't need another storm of any magnitude. We've had more than enough for one season.

I have a list on my sidebar of Florida bloggers. Check in on them and see what they had to say about their experiences with Frances.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Frances Update

I've been flipping between Fox News, and our local all-news station, Bay News 9 to find out where Frances is, what's she's doing, and where she's headed. Fox is saying that we can expect another 18-24 hours of weather activity before Frances finally exits into the Gulf. Bay News 9 is good because they give all kinds of good, useful information before the storms such as what you should do to prepare, what evacuations have been suggested or ordered, what shelters are open; you know, the usual pre-storm stuff. Then, during storms they give updates as to weather conditions and what to expect in the coming hours locally. I actually prefer Fox News, but I'm not really sure why. I think it's because they don't give local information, such as shelters that BN9 gives. They have reporters in various locations on the east coast giving updates on their locations. I like that. For some reason, I don't really care for the Weather Channel reporting.

The best way to see what the weather is like is to actually open the door and stick your nose out. So that's what I did. The wind has picked up since yesterday and we've had some rain. We've already had more rain than we did with Charley, but we haven't seen anything but rain bands yet. I expect the wind and rain to start picking up anytime.

Looks like Frances is travelling in a north-westerly direction and will exit just north of Tampa. Since I live in Bradenton, which is south of Tampa, this is a good thing. Frances should be a tropical storm by the time she exits into the Gulf, so there will be less wind and rain when she finally enters the Gulf. I've noticed from the weather radar that the eye has continually decreased in size, and according to the weather announcers (con't know whether they are really meterologists or just weather knowledgeable) is somewhat disorganized. Still plenty of organization, time, and strength to cause damage, but at least not at hurricane strength.

Update: Maximum sustained winds are at 90 mph. Miami International Airport plans to reopen this afternoon with a limited flight schedule.

Again, if you are in the path of the storm, be sensible, take appropriate precautions, and stay safe. Your life is much more important than material possessions.