Tuesday, April 14, 2009


So, today I learned that not everyone's opinion is the same as mine.

O.o* (blink * blink)


I tho't everyone felt and thought and believed and behaved the same as me!? How can someone's opinion differ from mine?!

And, to add insult to injury, he was critiquing my writing! (pout) I gather that, even tho' he's a Vet, my poems are "divisive rhetoric" and I need to "tone it down."

Well, this country was founded on the ideology of freedom of speech, so I can't fault him. He has as much right to his opinion as I do to mine. (by the way, he also feels there's too much ideology and we need to move away from it toward more truth....)



I was actually quite nice (I'm so proud of me!) and managed to politely point out that ideology and truth don't need to be mutually exclusive. I told him I appreciated he had a different opinion from mine, that this country was founded on the belief we all had the right to have, practise and freely speak about our opinions (no, you may NOT practise your opinion up in my face! thank you!) Civility while expressing our opinions would be nice, but isn't always to be expected. I know, that sounds rather cynical, but that's what sin has done in this world. We all tend to believe everyone's entitled to our opinion. (or, as one t-shirt I saw put it, "If I'd wanted your opinion, I'd have given it to you!")

See, this man, too, is a Vet. I have to respect him for that, alone. And, no, I don't believe every soldier agrees with every last thing he's told to do. I believe our men (and women, I know) all have opinions about every war they were told to fight. Every battle they had to face. I don't expect every one of them agreed with what and how they were told they would do. But, they did it. I respect them for that. And I love them for the fact they stood there and did their best (and still do) to stop the Mad Man.

Apparently this little contretemps over my writing came about from the essay/monologue, of which I published a copy of in my previous entry here, "A Warriors' Voice". I'm not sure if the essay itself provoked him, my assumption that I was speaking for ALL Warriors (I never would, as I told him, I've never been in the military, so I don't know the military mind... and I did add a disclaimer in my essay that I would never BE so presumptuous) or what, but apparently, somewhere in there (or maybe one of my poems, I'm not sure) I also left out American Indians and what they contributed to our military (not that I ever specified culture... I know a naturalized citizen who joined the Army and fought for his adopted country with great pride!)

Well, as I stated at the start, this country was founded on the belief that we're allowed to think how we want, speak how we want and to freely express ourselves. So, I'll let Mr. Opinion state what he thinks, and I'll try to be respectful of it even if I think he's wrong. (well, it was my work, y'know!)

A Warriors' Voice

Okay, I'm going to be a bit lazy tonight. I do have things I want to say about the SEALs who took out the pirates (GO SEALs!!! ~ Yes, I'm very pro-military!), but I don't have it all the way I want it, yet. I'm working out the wording and the point (when I write, I usually put pen to paper and, literally, go with the flow). So, until then, I am posting this.... well, I guess you'd call it an essay. It's from my writing.com page and it's not meant in any way to speak for a Warrior. It's simply my take on what a Warrior might say, given the opportunity. But, decide for yourselves:

A Warriors' Voice

Look at me.

No, look me in the eyes.

Don’t pretend you don't see or hear me. You had a question. I heard you ask it and because of that I’m the one who gets to answer so don’t stand there and ignore me, don’t avert your eyes and don’t pretend to care when you don’t understand what these crosses really stand for.

Not yet, you don’t.

But you will.

You wanted to know why we chose to join the military. Why we chose to fight. Why we chose to go to a far away country and, I believe your words were, "invade it." That’s what got my attention, what got all our attention.

That one little word.


As if we chose to go to war. As if war is our fault. It isn’t. I don’t care which war you’re asking about, none of the wars were our fault. But, there were actions that required an answer. A firm, decisive, line-drawn-in-the-sand answer. The enemy didn’t quite believe that line was real, so he not only stepped over it he tried to obliterate it and anyone near it in the process.

Oh, yes, there’s an enemy and it isn’t me or my fellow Warriors. We’re not the ones who killed women and children in the name of “purification of the human race.” We’re not the ones who strapped bombs to the bodies of our youth and sent them out to kill themselves in the name of some god who hates us because we don’t believe in him.

We’re the ones who kept those killers from these shores.

You watch the news and you see what they want you to but you miss the good things we do.

The toys we hand out.

The medicines we dispense.

The smiles and hugs freely given.

The games played with children who don’t get to play much anymore.

The child cuddled because the Madman shot and killed her entire family and she’s sobbing for a mother she doesn’t understand won’t ever again come to hold her.

That’s what the media doesn’t show you. That’s what we fought and still fight for.

You still don’t get it, do you? Maybe I, we did our jobs a little too well. Because we chose to fight the Madman, we’ve been able to keep him from our shores… well, mostly. You’ve suffered some deprivation, you’ve grieved over lives lost, but you haven’t really suffered.

Not really.

Yes, I get to say that to you. I get to say that because I and my fellow Warriors have suffered. Suffered to keep the Madman away from you. In heat, cold, rain, snow, whether we were sick or well, hurt or whole. It didn’t matter. Wherever he was or is we’ll go there to fight him.

But, it’s not just for you we fight. Sure, we want him to stay far, far away from the homes of our loved ones. Even from those who hate us for the job we chose to do. But, we also fight for the innocents. You’re not the only ones who should be free from senseless death and genocide. You’re not the only ones whose children should feel free to run the streets and scream with laughter instead of fear.

Do you see, now? Do you understand, yet?

We didn’t “invade” anywhere for personal gain but, rather, to liberate those under the oppressive heel of tyranny. The places we’ve gone, the lives that were lost, it was a choice we made. One we knew might mean our deaths.

One that did mean my death.

But, it was a choice that needed to be made. One I would make all over again, even knowing the suffering I’ll go through when I’m shot. Even knowing the emotional pain my family will have to live with, I’d make that choice again.

We all would.

You see, because we made that choice, and even though our families grieved and grieve for us still, they are Free.

They cried when they received word that we’d died in battle.

But they received it in Freedom.

They cried and held each other as they watched our coffins lowered into the ground, the graves marked by these simple white crosses.

But they clung together, and in Freedom.

Our families have not been separated and interred in prison camps or forced into slave labor or killed simply because they didn’t fit the Madman’s imagined “perfect” human because we chose to defend that Line-In-The-Sand against the Madman.

It’s a hard choice. It’s made harder still by those who call us “war criminals” simply because we stand up to the school-yard bully. That’s exactly what he is, too. A bully. He runs and hides when we step up to defend that Line. He won’t face us in honest battle. But, instead of crying out against the Madman, we are denigrated for trying to stop him and protect you. It makes a hard job harder still.

Especially for our loved ones.

You certainly don’t want to hear that someone's told your family you are a "tool of the military industrial complex" or a "warmongering psychopath brute," do you? Yet, so many of you do just that to ours. You upset our parents and spouses who already worry about us. You scare our children into thinking we’re blood-thirsty monsters. We’re fighting to keep you free, too, you know.

Instead of calling us names and deriding our choice to defend your freedom, think about what would happen if we weren’t there.

Think about what would happen if the Madman won because we gave up.

Think about the Freedom you have and then imagine it gone if you didn’t have us to defend it.

Defend it with our blood.

Defend it with our very lives.



Now you can cry.

But, don’t cry for us.

We chose this life that we knew might mean death.

No, don’t cry for us.

Cry for those who still don’t understand these crosses.

Cry for those who refuse to see we fight because we love you more than ourselves.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stoopid Is As Stoopid Does...

Anyone here want to admit to being stupid? Show of hands? Anyone?

Well, I'm certainly not going to shy away from admitting I am, ON OCCASION, stupid. Not an unlearned, ignorant type of stupid. Nor the, WON'T learn type of stupid, either. I mean "stupid" in the mildest form of its definition. As in, "Wow! Didn't see that coming!" It happens to all of us. We get blind-sided from time to time by things, even people, we didn't expect it from. Even the "Okay, I SO screwed that up! I can't believe how stupid I am!" kind of stupidity strikes us all from time to time. Every one of us has moments we'd like to take back and, like a kid in grade school, shout "Do Over!" Or, for those of us from the VCR-era, hit the Rewind/Erase button of life!

But, there are people out there who work off the assumption that everyone else is stupid and they are brilliant. People who con others out of time, money, even property. The really good ones, you never see it coming and don't even know it's happened until it's too late. They're that good. Even when something starts to set off that little "this is not right" alarm in your brain, they can effortlessly charm and/or explain it away in a manner that seems plausible. Well, plausible until after the fact, when we look back on it and wonder why we fell for it in the first place.

My favorite type of con artist is the one you can see coming a mile away. Problem is, they're few and far between. And usually found on the internet in your e-mail. Yes, the ever exciting 'YOU HAVE WON OUR ONLINE LOTTERY PROMO!' e-mail just landed in my box not 30 minutes ago. Oh, there's a couple others I love, too. There's the "I am a bank official at a bank in (insert African nation of choice) and I want to ask you to help me move millions of (so called) unclaimed dollars out of here before the government takes it all away!" Or, perhaps, they got your name by talking to an official at an Embassy party while they were in New York (a doctor I worked for actually got that one in snail-mail). Oh! And what about the man dying in a hospital (the last one was in London, England!) and he wants to send me his millions of Pounds to dispense to various charities so his wicked, shiftless relatives don't get their hands on it! I actually played with this one a bit. I mean, honestly, folks, why would any SANE person offer to send an ABSOLUTE STRANGER money of any type, let alone millions!? I asked Mr. English Citizen why he didn't go to his lawyer and have him, oh, say, write up a will? I'm sure they have wills in England, same as here in America. I'm sure the law states a will has to be complied with in England, same as here in America. The law's funny that way. You're supposed to obey it, y'know?

Anyway, I took leave in my reply to Mr. EC to doubt he was actually in a hospital, never mind a millionaire. I actually got back a picture of some man of vaguely Arabic decent sitting on some sort of bench/stool in a hospital gown, a small table holding a lap top on it and various tubes looking like they were running up his nose and into his arm. He was really quite wired up. I was impressed. For a con, they were working this one hard. Thought they'd found a live one, I guess. I offered to gladly give them my bank information to transfer those millions of Pounds as soon as they could send me that promised percentage, up front, so I'd know they were legitimate because, if they were NOT legitimate, I was going to turn them over to.... well, I think I made up some scary sounding branch of the FBI that I was going to send it to. For some reason, I never heard from Mr. EC again.... O.o* (innocent Bambi-eyes)

**quick aside.... if you ever do decide to play with one of these idiots... which I don't really recommend, it just shows they've reached a legit e-mail, but IF YOU DO!... tell them you want them to route it to a special account you've set up just for this money since, obviously you don't want the government of (insert favorite African nation) finding it, let alone the US government's IRS since they'll just want to tax it. They can just transfer it to The West Bank of The Mississippi under the name Buddy Yu bin Touk. That's another one that gets them to leave you alone (hahahaaaahahahahaha!)
...okay, back to our story in progress**

These sort of internet cons continue because there is a plethora of stupid people .... no, let me re-type that.... STUPID PEOPLE! out there. People who truely believe that someone in a foreign country dug around until they, *gasp*, found them and that person just knows they are writing to an honest and upright person, God bless you! (as if invoking God's name somehow makes the e-mail legit!?!) I'd say "Use some good old common horse sense, folks!" but sense isn't so common anymore, stupid horse-brained masses!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Okay, time for the Minstral to flex her abilities.

I love our military. I have no way to express that except to shake the hand of every Vet I meet and tell him (or her) "Thank You." But, how do you thank a man who chose to put himself in Harm's way for people he didn't know? How do you tell a man you appreciate the sacrifices he and his brothers (not to mention his family back home) made in the battle for freedom? Especially when so many FOOLS today want to decry that very sacrifice. Want to heap criticisms on our Warriors. Oh, man! They had SO better not EVER do that to a Warrior, retired or active, in front of me. It's entirely possible I'll be brought to trial for murder with their body as evidence! (grrrr!)

Several of the men in my church were in the military. One was in Pearl Harbor that fateful December 7th. He shouldn't have been, he was just transfering through and was supposed to leave on Monday... the 8th.... He'll talk about that day, tell you of his memories, but his aging, nearly blind eyes will fill with tears as he sees again the horrors Japan visited on our sleeping country. I don't remember his name, but almost immediatly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese General is recorded as having said "I fear we have woken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible purpose." He was so right. And that purpose was fed by the fierce heart of our Warriors. Even one of my cousins was in the Air Force. I don't know exactly what he did, he just smiles whenever he's asked. I know he was in Afghanastan at one point. (during the first Bush administration, I believe) Then there's the men who are in Special Forces. Wow. And our Marines? (in dress uniform, double wow!..... okay, okay, I'll behave) No, seriously, in any branch, these are people dedicated not only to the preservation of peace (even more than the cops mentioned in my previous post, they'd love to lay down their arms), they are also ready for war. They know it will come. They're the ones willing to stand up to the school-yard bully and tell him he's not allowed to cross that line! And, if he does? They're the ones there to meet him. He's NOT going to get near their familes! No way!

So.... how do you thank them? A simple handshake just doesn't seem like enough, yet I've been humbled when I've said my Thank You to Vets and seen them tear up because Just. One. Person. Cared. And their proud, loving families have, too. Don't decry them. Think about them. Think about what they do. What they're willing to do.
Think about how it would really be if they weren't there.
Think about what THEY gave, and give.
Think about their love....

No Greater Love....

As I stare in awe and wonder
At this flag before my eyes,
I see within its glowing depths
Those who fought for Freedom's prize:
The heart to win, the will to fight,
The choice to stand for God and right.
I see the men who knew me not
Yet, for my freedom, fiercely fought.
Of cold and sickness, fear and pain,
Endured all that we might gain.
As I stand in awe and wonder
And I think on Freedom's past
And think of all the battles fought
That Liberty might last:
I hear the cry of soliders lost,
To save my life they paid the cost.
I hear the thunder, battles fierce,
I hear the sobs the heart to pierce.
A mother's loss, a country's gain,
How hard the heart feels not the pain?
As I watch this flag above
And think upon a Warrior's love,
Giving all for Freedom's gain,
Counting not the cost or pain.
Standing fast tho' heart should break,
His friends-at-arms he'll not forsake.
The Warrior's heart will ne'er give in,
For Freedom's sake he'll fight to win.
Proud, this flag shows Warriors' love,
He gave his all for me and you.
It's proof? The stripes of boldest red.
He fought for those he never knew!
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." John 15:13

© Copyright 2003 Pam Sears (UN: condorsfan at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cops have rights, too!

I'll confess, I tho't of several other equally appropriate titles for this ("Dumb Criminals Make Cops' Job Easier" or "Dumb Citizens Make Cops' Job Harder"... can you tell who's side I'm on, here?) but we'll stick with the simple. Yes, Cops have rights, too. They uphold the law for us and they have the right to:

1) our gratitude: they keep the criminals, dumb or not, off the streets
2) our thanks: see reason one, plus all the other things they do that DON'T have to do with upholding the law. Say, for instance, the charities they work with and for to help children or battered women.
3) our help: how can we help them? BY STAYING OUT OF THE WAY!! And by not castigating them when they DO their job!
...most important, they have the right to:
4) go home, in one piece, to their familes every time their shift ends.

I get SO TIRED of these imbeciles who criticize cops for doing their jobs. Do cops make mistakes? Sure. So do you and I. Are there bad cops out there? Of course, but there are bad apples in EVERY barrel! You can't point a finger at someone without three pointing back at yourself. Remember that! A few years ago, I saw an idiot holding up a sign stating that the cops had murdered her brother. What the sign DIDN'T say was what the brother may have done to get himself shot by an officer doing his job. With rare exception, cops would rather NOT have to pull their guns, let alone pull the trigger. It's a huge responsibility to carry a weapon, knowing that you may have to injure someone, or even end their life to preserve your own or someone elses. Gun owners will jokingly state that "Gun Control Is Hitting Where You're Aiming"; but, it's more than that. Gun control is knowing you CAN use the gun, but choosing NOT to unless you're forced.

Okay, a few examples. Last month in my city, there was an officer involved shooting. Allow me to set the scene:
It's mid-afternoon on a Sunday, a church service has just let out and adults and children are milling about in the parking lot fellowshipping after the service. They notice a young man, a teen, in the parking lot of a drive-thru across the street and someone notices the kid has a knife.

Okay, time out, I don't know about you, but I see someone - even across the street - carrying a knife in plain view, I'm going to chase all the kids BACK INSIDE THE CHURCH and lock the doors before I call the cops. Just common sense, folks (which, apparently, isn't so common any more!) Our church had a similar incident about six months ago. The police were searching for a man in our church's neighborhood whom they'd exchanged gun fire with. What did our pastor do? He made sure the kids were locked in the basement for Sunday school, the doors to the upstairs access were locked and that several of our bigger, stronger men were on guard duty in the lobby. In short, he did everything he could to ensure our safety until we were given the all clear by the police. COMMON SENSE!

Okay, time in:
People at this church call the police about this young man and one group flags down a female officer, pointing the youth out. Now, the group that flags her down happens to be in the same parking lot as the knife-carrying youth. She's out of her car by now, sees who the citizen is pointing to and tell the kid to stop and drop his knife. Apparently this kid was either on something he shouldn't have been, or off something he should have been on. Whichever, he was dumb enough to bring a knife to a gun fight. Witness accounts say he threw his knife at her and the citizen who'd flagged her down, rather than drop his knife. Some try to say he lobbed it over her head, but others state she had to duck. As far as I'm concerned, this kid just assaulted a police officer. With a very sharp, potentially deadly weapon. She slowly approaches the teen now that he's no longer sporting a weapon, her gun drawn and tells him to lie on the ground.

But, Stupid isn't done. Instead of obeying the nice officer with the big gun, he reaches into a pocket and pulls out a second knife, unfolding it to use as a weapon, and takes several steps in her direction. I don't know about you, but someone with an edged weapon starts walking toward me, and I have a gun, I'm going to stop him by shooting him. I'd rather NOT take the chance that I'll be seriously injured, or worse, by trying to disarm him in a hand-to-hand fight. Especially if he's hopped up on something. Apparently this officer agrees with me because she shot him.

However, she didn't kill him. She merely wounded him. Deliberate or not, the teen survived with only a bullet hole to show for his stupidity. What does this officer have? Well, her life, thankfully. But not, apparently, the gratitude of those who called for assistance in the first place. The man who flagged her down and pointed the boy out says (and I quote) "We didn't call the police to do what they did [shoot the suspect]. They'd hoped officers could talk to the teen about what was troubling him." (word for word from the paper) The officer was also criticized by those in the church parking lot across the street for shooting because there were children outside. WHY WERE THEY OUTSIDE WHEN A CRAZY MAN WITH A KNIFE WAS PRESENT?!?

I've learned a few things, recently, about how the human mind responds to a physical threat. Joe Average Citizen takes 6 seconds to realize there's even a threat. It takes us another 3 to 6 seconds to RESPOND to that threat. At the other end of the spectrum is Joe Special Forces who has been trained to analyze, recognize and begin responding to a threat within those first 6 seconds. Somewhere in the middle is Joe Cop. He doesn't respond as fast as Joe Special Forces (unless he was one), but he DOES respond a lot faster than Joe Average Citizen. A threat we might not even recognize, or recognize fast enough, is assessed, the level of danger is determined and the officer responds accordingly.

People who criticize an officer for what they deem their "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude don't understand the threat officers have to live with on a daily basis. They don't just chase speeders or bank robbers. They go after gang members, rapists, murders, people who commit unspeakably violent acts without a care because they can. Except, there's this group of committed people who say, "No. You can't." They stand there and say "The Law says that's not allowed. And, I won't allow you to do it." They could get killed for making that choice. Worse, they could be permanently injured and/or maimed for making that stand. But, do we thank them?
Should we?
Oh, yes!
If not for them, anarchy would reign. People would die for simply looking at someone wrong. Thieves would steal even more than they do now (those who have been the victim of robbery know the feeling of violation and helplessness... that would be increased by a factor of 10 squared if not for the police)

I believe this officer acted correctly. The teen, by throwing his first knife at them, threatened both her life and that of the citizen next to her. He threatened her life even further by pulling out a second knife before he was shot. Nowhere in any of the accounts was it stated she simply went cowboy and started firing away. She made a fast, but informed decision that this teen was not going to respond to normal commands and was, in fact, going to cause harm. Smart woman.

Live woman.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Beginnings are fragile.... will things work? ...am I too chicken to try something new? ...what if I make a fool of myself? Oh, wait! I don't MIND making a fool of myself! HAHAHA! And here we go.
Thought I was talking about a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, didn'cha? Nope. I'm talking about the start of a new blog. Another "on-line diary" for the world to see. Wow! Isn't it so exciting that one more person wants to share their most important thoughts with everyone? Isn't it amazing how many of us believe our thought OUGHT to be shared with the world?
Hmmm.... well, regardless, and in spite of the brevity of this, my first actual post, I will be sharing my thoughts as they come to me with whomever deigns to read them. Enjoy (or, you know, not. It's your choice, eh?)