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Showing posts from December, 2006

Baytown ready to fight back!

Baytonians are fed-up with violent and senseless crime and are waking up. Baytown Sun reporter, Kirk Ehlig reported crime has risen 7%, but it feels like 70% to most of us who read the police reports and the local news. The online forum, Baytown Talks, sponsored by the Baytown Sun has numerous posts every day about the crime and what is happening around town. We Baytonians are taking notice. We are watching.The heinous serial rapist at large is something most of us thought would never happen here. Now little Baytown, turned big city, has big city crime. Armed robbery has become commonplace. Abductions in broad daylight, shotgun-wielding robbers, burglaries, beatings and as many as four hit and run accidents are reported daily in the police reports.Honest hard-working citizens are buying guns and taking the concealed handgun course out of desperation. I regularly travel around town with one of my handguns, something I used to do only when I hiked. When my wife and daughter leave…

Strong Leadership in America

Folks say Donald Rumsfeld went out in disgrace.I don't see it that way. I applaud the man for attempting to win the war on terrorism mainly on strategy and technology while minimizing the unnecessary loss of life.

The old way of aerial warfare was carpet bombing and even though some may believe it is still the strategy we should embrace, I beg to differ.For every “bad guy” killed by saturation bombing, non-combatants fell in droves.With a few exceptions, targets are now annihilated where they set and often by a single bomb.This leads to spectacular demoralization of our enemies. Don’t think for a second that it doesn’t.There's no telling how many lives on both sides are spared by fighting this way. Donald Rumsfeld is the main force behind this philosophy.Rumsfeld has been a very strong leader, especially to our enemies, as has Bush.No one bats one hundred percent in the decision making department.An old rule of warfare says “make plans for everything and then toss them out afte…

The Perfect Christmas gift

When I was a kid, I thought the perfect Christmas gift was something having to do with toy guns and the Army.My generation was the baby-boomers of WW2 and the Korean conflict and we watched Movie Stars save America from the Axis countries on TV, most every night.My brothers and I wanted to join the effort to fight the bad guys, so we all asked for toy guns so we could practice.As I entered Jr. High School and “Stingray” bicycles came onto the scene, I wanted one of those real bad.Real bad.The high handlebars and banana seat on a 20 inch frame was the coolest thing I had ever seen.A couple of boys down the street had mini-bikes, but that was out of the question.All I wanted was one of those bikes. It was the perfect gift.Along the way, gifts came and went.Baseball gloves, penny-loafer shoes, varsity-style jackets, dart boards, board games, and “groovy” school clothes.Christmas was all about what I received and I took little thought to what I gave.It was about me and “the perfect gift” …

The Gift of Knowledge

I just survived 5 days adrift in the Philippine Sea with the crew of the USS Indianapolis and I must say, it is good to be back on dry land. The constant threat of shark attacks along with the absence of fresh drinking water had me gulping down gallons of the precious liquid as I turned the pages of: “In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis”This was quite a change after last weeks jaunt around Europe as I traveled with Saddam’s bomb-maker. We were buying up components to make Iraq a nuclear bomb. Thank goodness, Dr. Hamza saw the insanity involved and defected before the program came to fruition. It’s all documented right here: “Saddam’s Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda”.2006 has been a busy year book-traveling, but one I wouldn’t trade for all the Plasma TVs China can produce.Why, back in November, I got a first hand look at the trouble in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Vietnam through the eyes of war correspondent P…

The Greatest Gift

Every day at work, I wash down the bird droppings from the pigeons and dove that nest in my area. I’ve thought about ways to keep them out of the covered areas and really want to do it in a way that isn’t harmful to them. Their droppings are surely a health hazard and I get aggravated when each day, I drag out the water hose to flush it into the Plant sump.

Yesterday, I saw a pigeon all fluffed up, sitting on the ground and I instinctively knew it was sick. Instead of feeling justified, I felt nothing but pity. Under my breath I whispered a short prayer for its recovery. I guess I’m getting old, or mellow, or something. In my earlier days, I wouldn’t have given the poor bird much thought, as sad as that sounds.

Each day in the media and the online forums, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is tossed back and forth with a detachment that is as bad as my former aloofness concerning sick birds. We complain about the war and the way it’s being handled and all the while “our boys” are in the th…

Hunting Texas style

Hunting, firearms, reloading, rifles and shotguns used to be a passion I enjoyed every hunting season. The nine months leading up to it was used to sharpen my skills. I voraciously devoured hunting journals, magazines and books by great hunters and firearm experts. Skeeter Skelton, Dan Wesson, Bill Jordon, Peter Capstick and Elmer Keith all taught me, through their hunting and firearms books.

My three brothers and I bought RCBS reloading equipment with its famous Rock-Chucker press and before long we were building rifle, revolver and pistol loads tuned to the firearms they were intended for. We built special life-sized antelope targets and took them to Turners range, where we punched precision holes in them at 200 yards.

I obsessively studied ballistics and could argue bullet drop compensation; the effect wind velocity has on a 150-grain boat-tail bullet at 300 yards. I could tell you in no uncertain terms why the .30-06 is THE rifle to buy, if you can only afford to buy one gun. I…

America takes one on the chin

Back in December 1941, America was deep into isolationism. Hitler was rolling across Europe with ease, swallowing up whole countries with his lightning war offensive. It was Europe’s problem was the common consensus; why should we be bothered with it?

Japan had been building its war machine compliments of American steel exports (mainly our junk cars, which Americans found hilarious) since it invaded Manchuria in 1931, then China in 1937 and although analysts warned of Japan’s war intentions, Americans were in no mood for “fooling with them”. We saw ourselves as invincible and a self-sufficient “island”.

We took one on the chin, when Japan wiped-out the U.S. Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor and forced America into the war.

At the Tehran Conference, Winston Churchill warned Franklin Roosevelt that placating Joseph Stalin would have repercussions impossible to correct. FDR chose to ignore that excellent advice and we entered into 40 years of contention with the Soviet Union, “The Cold War”…

Failing to launch

I’m told there is a movie about a 30-something year old son, failing to leave the nest. He not only doesn’t “launch”, but also according to my slim research, doesn’t plan to. The parents have to take subversive and subliminal action to make the almost middle-aged man…get out and join adulthood.

This is probably a hilariously funny movie and I would most likely enjoy watching it, if it were not for a sneaky suspicion that it is a sad American reality. Kids aren’t leaving when they turn eighteen, or nineteen, or even twenty. Why should they? Mom and Pop give them plenty of spending money, set them up in a new car with all the do-dads, and pay their monthly credit card bills.

Every kid out there is toting a mobile communication device with features Captain Kirk wished he had (thanks Dad!). As their late model cars and trucks zip around town, heavy pounding bass rumbles out (thanks Mom!). New X-Box or PS3 just hitting the market? Don’t worry kiddos (18 to 30 age bracket), there’ll be one un…

Casting Bread

I received an email from a lady who didn't understand why she hasn't received a reply for the numerous packages she's sent to G.I.'s overseas. As far as I know, she is not referring to anyone in particular and she was questioning me, because she knows I am strong on Veterans issues and follow the war in Iraq closely.

This is what I told her and if anyone reading this has wondered the same thing, maybe this will help you understand the unique predicament of our troops in combat areas. Please keep in mind that the war on terrorism is completely different than WW2, or even Vietnam. In this war, there are few boundaries and all military members are potentially a prime target for violence.

Concerning the soldier’s apparent apathy and non-existent replies, I offer this:

One day, while talking to my son on the phone, I explained how important it was to reply and thank people who took their precious time and money to send an email, letter or package. His response surprised a…