Independence Day

Independence is defined as “the fact of being independent”. The definition of independent is someone or something that is free from the influence or control of another. An example of independent is someone who lives on their own and supports them self.

Of course Independence Day was the name we gave the day we fought for and won our independence from British Rule. Starting in 1773 with the Boston Tea Party, America’s first major act of defiance against the all powerful British King George III, the Thirteen Colonies began their ten year battle for self rule, ending in the Treaty of Paris, on September 3, 1883. The story of that ten year period defines who we are as Americans. Thirteen individual Colonies, with their individual alliances and allegiances, had to first come together, then fight a unified war for American soil, and then finish off all ties fighting battles on the high seas before independence was finally achieved.

Some 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. It is believed that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were as the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war. There was a definite price paid for Independence.

Since  that time many Americans have fought and died to insure that we maintain our independence from all tyranny. Any threat to independence is a threat to the United States, because we stand for independence, we are the poster child for freedom from tyranny. The American flag is the symbol for that awesome, world wide responsibility, and as Americans we strongheartedly and willingly shoulder that responsibility.

Cherish your freedom and independence, revere the Flag, and all it stands for, and remember those who paid the price.

Now you see it… Now you don’t. What are we……the Taliban?

The Budda of Bayan

The Buddas of Bayan in Afghanistan were crafted between 507 and 554 AD. The smaller was Shamama (“Queen Mother”) and stood 35 meters (115 Feet) tall; and the larger, Salsal (“light that shines through the universe”) stood 53 meters (174 Feet) high. These were magnificent examples of  the Gandhara style of statue construction. In 2001 the Taliban blew them to smithereens. They first used aircraft and tanks, to no avail, and finally a truck load of TNT did the job. POOF! Priceless history gone to mankind for eternity, all because one dumb-ass Mullah decided to do it. Mullah Omar spread his hatred through Islam.

We are tearing down statues all across the United States for reasons no wiser or convincing than dumb-ass Mullah Omar used. Today I read that the indigenous community is very upset with President Trump for wanting to hold a rally at Mount Rushmore, where similar edifices to the Buddas of Bayan reside. Rushmore eulogizes four great Presidents. One of those Presidents fought to free us from British Rule. One of those Presidents wrote our Declaration of Independence, the foundation of life in America. One of those Presidents fought to end slavery. One of those Presidents was the leader of the then Progressive Movement and a Conservationist who championed National Parks and the eternal preservation of our native lands. The indigenous community labels those Presidents as “Disgusting Images of White Supremacy”.

It doesn’t take much of a genius to understand the magnificence of statuary, but it does take a major dumb-ass to tear a statue down for fear it is a current threat to our society.

I’m a Normalist

Today it seems that everyone needs an identity. “I identify as a……………………person”, is a common response these days. Growing up, I was completely aware of big dogs and little dogs; black, yellow, brown and white humans; fat cats and skinny cats; mens rooms, ladies rooms and unisex rooms; colored and white water fountains (for a brief period in my life); tall, short, fat, skinny, hairy, bald, pretty, not so pretty people, natives and foreigners and everything in-between in my sphere of awareness. I kind of thought that everything was normal, the way it was, part of the scene, what was happening.

I identify as a NORMALIST person. A Normalist person is one who believes something to be the normal state of things, not requiring remediation. I don’t give a rats ass how you identify, you are who you are…………….normal.

WOW – We can’t possibly forget

This morning, like most mornings, I got up, fed the dogs, made a cup of coffee, sat down and read the newspaper. I got all the way to the end before it dawned on me that there was not one mention that it was the 76th Anniversary of D-Day. For a few moments I sat quietly and thought, “How can this possibly happen?” “It is unthinkable that a June 6th, of any year since 1944 can go by without a rememberance of the thousands that died that day.”

!!!News Flash Gavin – Climate Change Is Here!!! Has Been For The Last 4.6 Billion Years.

“At least 75 major temperature swings in the last 4,500 years.”

Gavin…….there have been at least 75 major temperature swings in the last 4,500 years, the graph above shows 13 of them. As much as you would have us think; the earth does not revolve around California, nor the Governors Mansion, nor your self anointed fat little head. The earth wobbles and revolves on an axis that, in its imperfection, is causing all sorts of issues. The plates move, the magma spews, the Sahara becomes Eden every 20,000 years or so, and living objects on earth adapt or perish. You talk about Climate Change as if it is stoppable, and you are the only person on Earth  that can accomplish it……. Well with exception of that other idiot AOC.

President Trump chastised you for not taking care of California’s forests last week, and you cried “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.” Climate Change is inevitable, it has gone on for 4.6 Billion (with a B) years. As a practical man, the President has asked you to understand climate change and to learn to live with it. We can all head for cooler climes or we can get busy learning how to live with the one we’ve got. For God’s-Sake, California will burn to the ground a thousand times before you can spend enough money to alter Climate Change.

As always, your mouth continues to motor on, and somehow, by default, you are always part of the conversation. I suggest you press the “mute” button, and follow in your predecessor’s footsteps and join a monastery somewhere and do some deep soul searching. You might find out that you are not the center of the universe after all and that you can really do some good for society as a whole (not just your misguided constituency).  See the real problems, Gavin. Climate Cycles are longer than the next news cycle, or the next election cycle. Start making REAL DECISIONS.

My fondest wish for this Political Season

ASK NOT!!!!!!!

As I listen today to the Democratic Candidate’s speeches and addresses from Joe, Kamala, Elizabeth, Bernie, Cory, Pete, Andrew, Amy,Beto, Julian, Tom, Tulsi and whoever else is still in the race, cringe, from what my aching ears, brain and heart have withstood thus far. I cup my ears to try and hear a political promise that actually means something to our American Society. Thinking their words might be faint, I crane my neck and stretch as close to the words as I can get to hear just one thoughtful, necessary, significant, consequential political promise. They ask us to be Socialists (obviously they don’t know American History), they ask us to turn in our weapons and ammunition (obviously they haven’t read the Constitution), they ask us to believe in “affordable Health Care” (obviously they have a different provider than the rest of us), they ask us to open our borders (obviously they don’t get what the United States Stands for). I say to all of them ASK NOT!!!!!!

When ASKING FOR OUR VOTE they should ASK NOT what our country can do for them, ASK what they can do for the Country. ASK NOT to toss out the Constitution and the Rule-of-Law, ASK for proper interpretation and application. ASK NOT to fear monger with mis-truths, and exaggerations, ASK for and speak the truth. ASK NOT to make promises they know they can’t keep, ASK what is necessary and affordable for a better life for each and every American Citizen (No matter what his gender, origin, ethnicity, religion, skin color, or sexual orientation)

I would gladly trade every Campaign Dollar, and there will be Billions that will be spent this Political Season, for just one of them to remember their iconic Democratic predecessor and ASK NOT.

D-Day – And What it Means

It seems so long ago, 75 years does, and yet it feels like only yesterday that Mom, Dad, Brother John and I sat in front of our RCA radio listening to the reports, looking at maps, which were the front page of every newspaper in those days of “Can our boys do it?, Can we win? Will Ike win the day?”. So many fears, prayers, joys and sorrows were launched from the shores of England that day, and everyone in the world stood still, waiting for the verdict of the “Longest Day”.

That “bastard Hitler” was beginning to feel the sting of Allied determination. He was beaten in Africa, he was beaten in Italy, he was beaten on the Eastern Front and he had one last chance, England and the Western Front to make his final stand. On that momentous day over 150,000 sea sick Allied soldiers (From England, Canada and the United States) charged from the LST’s; wading 200 yards with full pack in the chest deep Channel surf; then through 200 yards of mines, hedgehogs exposed beaches, runnels, razor wire; then 200 yards of open beach, in a hail of crossfire, and then scale 100 to 170 foot tall cliffs to accomplish the days mission and secure the blood stained beaches code named Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah. Close your eyes and make that run in your minds eye, hear the bullets whizzing by, feel the cannon and mortar concussion, smell the cordite, hear the yells and screams, experience the fear. My God what those boys went through. Canada gave 1,000, England gave 2,700 and we gave 6,600 of our courageous young men, most under 20 years old, to the fight that day and 6,500 gallons of prescious young blood, soaked those god forsaken sands.

My wife and I toured those hallowed grounds back in 1978. I tried to film the white crossed graveyard at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. Before I could pan 10 feet of that sacred ground, my lens fogged up and I began sobbing uncontrollably. I dropped to my knees, I could only cry for those wonderful boys I never knew, but loved like family. It gave me peace.

Today there are 450,000 (RRS Sunday Supplement 6/2/19) of those heroic men that marched to victory across the D-Day Beaches remaining today. Most in their nineties. They are dying at the the rate of 362 per day. As an American, you should travel to Normandy and pay homage. If you can’t do that, seek out one of those remaining heros (Start at the Veterans Groups in your Town or City), shake his hand and thank him for giving you everything you are today, and pray for those you can’t thank personally. You’ll be very glad you did.

How Did This Happen

How did we get from a little red hat saying “Make America Great Again” to a smear campaign calling our President and others racists for wearing it.

I’ll tell you what I think. There is something called a news cycle, the media act of reporting on a single subject or event from beginning to end. A typical news cycle runs for 24 hours. There are some that go on for days, weeks, months and even years. SOTU speech is an example of a 24hr cycle. Roger Stone examplifies a week cycle, Beto is an example of a month cycle, Robert Mueller is an example of a year(s) cycle. There is a singular cycle that carries on forever, “Bashing Trump”. Trying to bring down President Trump has become a media epidemic, an internal disease so powerful that the media can’t help itself, spreading a disease that has no cure. I don’t even think that President Trump’s demise would stop the insanity. It is a shameful situation the Media has gotten itself and our country into.

I have been saying to myself, “Keep it up media, it is only a matter of time before you are exposed for what you are” or “Hell I’m going to die soon, and why should I give a rats ass”, but that is no way to feel and think. I have grandchildren that will have to navigate this murkey bog, and they need a strong moral compass to get through it. “Make America Great Again” should go a long way to keeping and even keel.

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Of My Fa-vor-it Things

Teeth into the wind

There are two things (other than the usual exclusions, like wife, friends and family) for which I have a true passion, and they are words and dogs. Words and dogs are both unconditional, loyal and steadfast.

Recently this dog came into my universe and showed me the meaning of the word INTREPID, by bravely traveling 4,000+ miles by air, through blizzards, reroutings and delays and landing without complaint in a strange setting, giving and looking for love with every step of her grand entrance at SFO United Receiving . As I look at this picture and roll the word INTREPID around in my brain I wonder if I am using enough of a word to properly translate what I wanted say about her. A quick GOOGLE has put my fears to rest.

Take a minute and read each of these synonomic-descriptors in turn and as you say each word slowly to yourself, look at her picture.
“Fearlessunafraidundaunteddauntlessundismayedunalarmedunflinchingunshrinking,
unblenching, unabashedbolddaringaudaciousadventurousdashingheroicdynamic,
spiritedmettlesome, confidentindomitable, bravecourageousvaliantvalorous,
stoutheartedlionheartedstalwartplucky, gutsyspunkygame, and ballsy.”

Yeah, I think I that’s a good word. Don’t you? 

 

 

Odin, Thor, Edgar – OMG This is so cool

We were coming home from the gym, and these 7 behemoths met us at the corner of our Dead End street. We stopped our car dead in its tracks to take a hard look. They didn’t scare and take flight, but rather shifted from talon to talon, stretched their necks and wings and stared, beady-eyed out of their ugly little red heads. There was one on the ground that, coughed up something, pecked at it, and downed it again. He flew back up into the tree and took his place on a empty limb, and there they all sat. Never in my life have I seen a sight like this. I sat mesmerized, frozen and a little scared.

What did they forbode? Why were they there, all facing me, on my block, when there was all of California, Baja, Arizona and Utah to land in. “Are they waiting for me? Is this really a cruel joke? Are they even real?”, I found myself thinking. “Holy Smokes is this an omen? Is Odin or Thor calling me to Valhalla?” I cringed at the thought. “Did Edgar Allen resurrect, and is he here staging a photo for the cover of his newest novel?” My mind was going crazy. “Is that it? Am I going nuts? Do I start foaming at the mouth any minute now?”

The California Condor is a creature that has survived near extinction, soars like and eagle, does nothing to harm humans (live ones at least), and cleans up our roadkill. Sitting, staring at them I saw a palpable strength. I could feel it. Why were they roosting there? I also thought I saw a weariness in their demeanor. In the end I felt very blessed, privileged and finally happy to be in their presence. What an experience.