Friday, April 23, 2010

Michael Yon and Mess Deck Therapy

Michael Yon has done our country, cause and troops a great service as an embedded reporter in the Sandbox. I've relied on his reporting heavily to inform my views of the war in Iraq and A'stan.

For quite a while there he was one of the only sources that was reporting first hand while the pool journalists hunkered down in the Green Zone. He still gets out there in front more than anyone else I've found reporting. He's become more than just a reporter for many of his readers -- he's a patriot and a brother veteran.

All that's to call attention to his recent de-embedding by our military. I picked up on it soon as he posted on Facebook.

Since then there's been plenty of words in the mil blogosphere about his status.
There's even been a song parody about him (based on Carly Simon's "You're So Vain").

The mil blogger's almost universally think Yon's getting what he deserves for tone of some posts and needs some R&R. Maj Z's take on it is that he's "Gone Nanners."

From Yon's Facebook posts it sounds like continue reporting unembedded but is not getting any R&R.

I wrote my Congressman, Duncan D. Hunter, Capt USMC, himself a 2 time vet of the sandbox and asked him to check into Yon's de-embed.

Here's the response I received from Congressman Hunter,

April 23, 2010

Dear "recovering sailor":

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on the situation with embedded reporter Michael Yon. It is good to hear from you and I welcome the opportunity to respond to you on this matter.

As you know, according to Mr. Yon he had been directed to end his embed with coalition forces serving in Afghanistan because of an attempt to filter the coverage of the counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan. According to a recent statement made by military officials, "As his (Michael Yon) agreed-upon time in Afghanistan began to wind down, he let it be known that he intended to remain embedded through August of this year. Given a finite ability to host embedded reporters, this decision amounted to a choice to deny some of his colleagues an opportunity that he had enjoyed from more than two months, and which he can always request to repeat. The ripple effects of that choice in one way or another would have impacted 26 journalists currently scheduled to embed later this month (who are still waiting to be matched with available slots), 76 who have been wait-listed because of a lack of slots, and hundreds more who are hoping to embed in Kandahar later this summer. The responsible PAOs therefore decided to disembed Yon against his wishes."

As a veteran of both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan I understand full well the importance of making certain that the courageous stories of our troops fighting in harm's way are made available to the public. As well as the stories that expose poor judgment and government waste and fraud. Rest assured I will be following this story very closely with your thoughts firmly in mind.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.


Duncan Hunter
Member of Congress

In case anyone cares here's my take on it...

Lately Michael’s tone has reminded me a bit of a guy who’s been on WesPac too long without a beer day.

Michael is prior enlisted and therefore no officer and gentleman. I don’t expect the tone of his reporting to sound like he's a politically correct ring knocker. In fact, that's much of his appeal. As as a former enlisted guy an old Navy NCO I expect (and enjoy) his blue collar perspective and language.

Truth is there’s critical talk that’s normal, expected and even healthy in berthing or the shop when the Chief and Div O aren’t around. Ya gotta keep it in bounds though.

The purpose of that "mess deck" therapy is to vent and recalibrate among mates, not to go back up on deck with a sour grapes attitude. That does the individual or the group effort no good at all.

A little leaven, leavens the whole lump.

Like I said at the top, I've relied on his reporting heavily to inform my views of the war in Iraq and A'stan. I'll continue to follow his reports and facebook posts.

I'd encourage others to continue following his posts. Just be sure to "Eat the chicken. Leave the bones."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Second Amendment Saturday

"...In whatever government the people neglect to retain so much power in their hands as to be a check to their rulers, depravity and the love of power is so prevalent in the humane mind, even of the best of men, that tyranny and cruelty will inevitably take place."

- Instructions of Town Meeting, Preston, Connecticut (November 26, 1787)

I missed making my Saturday 2nd Amendment post this weekend. This video showed up in the e-mail inbox this morning...

AssociatedPress — April 15, 2010 — A suburban Chicago police officer caught on video hitting a driver more than a dozen times with his baton and firing a stun gun at the man's passenger was charged with battery and misconduct, and more charges are possible, prosecutors said. (April 15)

"Submit to the LAW! I'm here to enforce it!"
"Yes, sir. 3 bags full. How high?!!!"

Could this guy have avoided the beat down with that response?

Maybe. Still and all, the phrase 'monopoly of power' immediately comes to mind.

We used to primarily speak of Police as being public servants who "Protect and Serve." In my lifetime that seems to have been replaced in the lexicon with the term "Law Enforcement Officers."

Hmmm... There's something in that to ponder

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Place for Old Men?

Maybe you saw the movie last year? This post has nothing to do with it except to make a word play on the title.

An old shipmate of mine made a facebook post this week lamenting the loss of a couple old men in his neighborhood. His recollection of time spent with them conversatin' and fellowshipping on the front stoop were really touching. Really got a sense of the local color and life added by a couple men that other folks might have just seen as typical grumpy old men.

He got me to recollecting and reminiscing about the neighborhood we lived in before our current home. After expressing condolences to my old buddy, I posted this bit of my own reminscence back to him. A bit "random" as my teenagers would say but still...

Yeah, seriously. I had a similar relationship with a couple old WWII tincan sailors. One across the street and another a couple doors down. Ozzie and Orrie.

Orrie was a Swede, the "silent waters run deep" type. When he spoke it had meat to it and there was a lesson to be heard. He and his wife Millie were great family people who took a real interest in our young family and their growth.

Ozzie was a light hearted, chainsmoking, yarning, seastory telling, lying son of a 5" gun. He was a tall (~6'3") barrel chested Spanish speaking native American with a heart the size of California that he wore on his sleeve. He lasted the longest. He was always around checking in on the kids or my vehicle or remodel projects and talking story the whole time.

There were a couple Viet Nam vets next door and across the street too.

I took to posting my flag daily in that 'hood. On holidays I'd get the kids (Gabe usually) to put the flag out right at 0800 and I'd blow Colors on my trumpet or bugle. The vets started expecting it and I'd go out at 0800 to see them all standing on their porches waiting for Colors. They'd render salutes. It go so that if I slept late or forgot the time they'd send one over to knock on the door and get me out there.

Old men are alright. If'n they leave their teeth in while in public. /heh

Tea Parties: The Morning After

Went late to the Tea Party at our local Post Office. First Tea Party I've been to. Can't compare attendance or tone to any previous events. Still ruminating on my impressions this morning. Not completely sure what to make of it.

There was about 100 people there. The Gadsen flag and homemade pro-freedom/anti-tax signs were the overwhelming choice of demonstrators. Well behaved, salt of the earth type folks. Drivers going by were all loud in supporting the demonstration.

There were a few anti- Obama posters and at least one birther poster. They were visible enough to make it seem as much of an anti-Obama rally as an anti-big government rally.

Sign of the day (seen online somewhere)

"When injustice becomes law resistance becomes duty." - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Americans split on taxes

Saw this today from Gallup:

Americans Split on Whether Their Income Taxes Are Too High

Views since Bush tax cuts were implemented continue to be more positiveby Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ -- For the second straight year, slightly less than half of Americans say the amount of federal income tax they have to pay is too high, while almost as many say the amount they pay in taxes is about right.

full article...

I gotta wonder if this has anything to do the fact that half of us don't pay any income tax.

Maybe I'm just cynical. Nah...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eyeballs. Click Sir!

aaaaand, he's outta here. Pressed and polished bright and early this morning. MCT at Pendleton begins now.

"Come on Mom. I gotta go."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

America Rising

This posted by an Alabama college-aged Facebooker.

h/t Hugh Hewitt

2nd Amendment Saturday, 'Arm Yourselves'

Events along the border expose the false hope of so many that law enforcement will protect, that law enforcement CAN protect you.

One sheriff has made that clear to the people in his county.

Last week, residents held a town-hall meeting in Fort Hancock, Texas — a sleepy agricultural town on the border, about an hour southeast of El Paso, that looks like the bleak set of No Country for Old Men.

A couple hundred people crowded into the grade-school gym to hear a chilling message from Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West.

"You farmers, I'm telling you right now, arm yourselves," he said. "As they say the old story is, it's better to be tried by 12 than carried by six. Damn it, I don't want to see six people carrying you."

"You farmers, I'm telling you right now, arm yourselves. As they say the old story is, it's better to be tried by 12 than carried by six. Damn it, I don't want to see six people carrying you."
- Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West

His warning was prompted by the killing of the Arizona rancher, and the spiraling violence a couple of miles away in Mexico in a region known as the Valley of Juarez. The notorious smuggling territory is being fought over by the Sinaloa and the Juarez cartels.


When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One small step for freedom

A bit of good news on the legal front. Lot's of concern out there about the amount of info the Census insists on being provided -- under penalty of law.


Judge puts brakes on Census Bureau
Attorney: 'Huge victory for the Constitution and for privacy-loving Americans'

Americans who refuse to answer questions they consider invasive on their Census questionnaires will be able to sleep a little easier -- at least for now.
A federal judge ruled yesterday that the Census Bureau has no automatic right to ask questions felt to be personal or intrusive and that it cannot threaten or prosecute citizens who refuse to answer such questions.

U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon granted attorney Mark Brewer, of the Houston-based firm of Brewer and Pritchard, a temporary restraining order in a Census suit filed by five Houston, Texas, residents. Attorneys for the government conceded that none of the five plaintiffs will be subject to actual or threatened prosecution during this litigation which is expected to go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling is especially far-reaching.

"For the moment, this will prevent prosecution against any American who chooses not to answer questions other than the number of people living at their address -- that's all that's required by the Constitution," Brewer told WorldNetDaily. "It's a huge victory for the Constitution and for privacy-loving Americans, because we now have a ruling in a federal court case.

"The Census Bureau cannot extract this information under threat of criminal prosecution -- that was the issue I presented to the court," he said.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Contract From America: Tea Party Top Three

From the Christian Science Monitor...

The top three vote-getters among 360,000 respondents on the Contract From America website:

1. An enumerated powers act to force lawmakers to check the constitionality of new laws
2. Requiring a two-thirds majority in Congress for any tax hike
3. a legislative backstop to prevent the EPA from "backdoor regulating."

Tea party: 'Intellectual reform movement?'
"[The ideas in the tea party-coined Contract From America] takes our protest movement and really sets forth a real kind of intellectual reform movement," says Ryan Hecker, a Tea Party Patriots activist in Houston, and a founder of the Contract From America website. "It's a response to the idea that the tea party people don't know what they're fighting about, and it shows there's a real intellectual center to this movement and that we really do have ideas."


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday Baptism

Got up, went to church, got wet. Baptized the Son&Heir during our Family Worship service today. He decided late in boot camp it was he got it done and asked about it in a letter home. Coincidentally his first Sunday home was Easter.

Baptism on Easter. Apropos of the day indeed.

Romans Chapter 6

v3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What a difference a year makes.

Last April...

This April.

"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."
- General James N. Mattis, USMC

2nd Amendment Saturday

California is one of 10 remaining states (if recent Iowa bill gets signed) that is "may issue" for carrying a concealed weapon. The rest of the states are "shall issue" or have no licensing requirement at all (e.g. Vermont and Alaska). Permits in CA are rare as hens teeth. Some few rural county sheriffs are more generous in issuing but it's the rare sheriff that understands the scientific fact that more Guns equals less crime.

That means Unloaded Open Carry is effectively the only option for most Californians that want to be able to exercise their fundamental right to self defense when outside their home.

There has been a growing number of freemen in CA that have been exercising the law allowing unloaded open carry (UOC). Now the statist's led by State Rep Saldana have started to push back on that and want to take away that freedom as well.

SAN DIEGO - There's an open-carry gun debate brewing. A local assembly woman wants an outright ban of guns in public. Right now you can carrying an unloaded gun, but there's a push to change that.

Our founders thought that being "out and about" while carrying a weapon was perfectly normal.
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.
--- Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.

UOC advocates are working to restore that norm. Freeman are free to bear arms. Lacking that freedom they are no longer free.

[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
---James Madison,The Federalist Papers, No. 46.

Ms. Saldana,
What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand?

Clearly you are afraid to trust the people with arms.
Ergo, you are no friend of liberty. Your legacy will be on the side of tyranny.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Family Day

Yesterday was spent at MCRD Family Day. Today is the even bigger day -- Graduation!

After a morning of waiting, presentations by the MCRD staff and the excitement of seeing the new Marines on their Moto run the big moment arrived as we all waited at the Parade Deck for our Marines to be turned loose for liberty.

Platoon 1007 arrived, last of the following element.

A couple short speeches, several musical numbers by the Marine Band, and the Chaplain's prayer...

The moment we've all been waiting for, "Dismissed!" Ooooo-RAH!!!

Hug's all around. It was a blur of cammies and mommies!

After the initial hugs and hellos it seemed a bit surreal.

Group shot!

Now, to get serious about 13 week wish fulfillment. Carne Asada gone in 60 seconds flat. Eaten? More like inhaled!

The afternoon was spent in on base liberty, enjoying recruit sea stories, meeting some mates, touring the museum and generally milling about smartly.