Just watched the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in DeeCee.
POTUS Barack Obama paid his respects, and in doing so marched in perfect step and pace to the center of the memorial, laid the wreath, executed a proper civilian salute during our National Anthem, and later, during Taps. He left his position, using military facing movements.
This all required practice, and I commend President Obama for taking the time to practice. In the past, he has not shown this level of dedication to the military minutia which is important for the respect it conveys.
BTW, if you are into conflict management planning as I am, you might consider this date: Wednesday, the Seventh of November, 2012. That is the day after the election, and assuming Obama is re-elected, that is the day his "complete-the-dictatorship" program starts. Assuming you are going to resist that dictatorship, YOU will have to be prepared to begin your resistance on that date. If you are on the other side, and will be joining Obama IN his dictatorship, that is the date, after which you will begin laying your life on the line for Obama, every day until one side or the other wins unconditional victory.
Today, we are on the Seventh Day of the Fifth month of 2012. There are exactly six months, one half a calendar year, left for you to prepare for this conflict, both physical and mental preparations. The world of your comfort, as you presently see it, ends in six months. Six months from now, you will be fighting, for or against Freedom, right here in your United States of America.
Preparing to go to "war" in the City Council chamber of Portland two days hence.Willboat vs. the High Priests of the Green Religion which is almost totally established as a State Religion now, in defiance of the Constitution's Bill Of Rights (First Amendment). The City Council will hear the First Reading of their Grand Plan to boost paddling and supress motor-boating on the Willamette River. This Grand Plan is an important item on the Green Agenda, and it's defeat would mark an important turning point in the fight to restore the Constitution in these parts.
I note with delight that Fox News has picked up on this Establishment of a State Religion, and I've heard it two days in a row on their morning show. Perhaps I can lend my modest forces to the fight to save this important part of the Constitution.
BTW, the event he spoke of in the poem, taking up a young, suddenly-orphaned girl and taking her home, that has actually happened, and I was a part of it.
I don't remember the Winter day now, it's been 25 years and I shredded all those Patrol notebooks long ago, but I was on patrol on Dog Watch (6pm-4am), and there was a terrible car crash out in the East County. Initially, I wasn't assigned, but as I listened to the dispatch calls, two patrol units went Code Three, then a Sergeant, then two Fire/First Aid companies, then the dreaded call for the Medical Examiner (Coroner) came from the crash scene.
I went about my patrol duties in my own District, but noted some interesting radio by-play about the crash call, involving passing of numbers for calls to the District Attorney, the Juvenile Court, the Children's Services Division. Eventually, I finished my shift, having gotten no closer to the call than some highway-blocking duty, for just a few minutes until a Reserve unit could relieve me.
As I turned in my shift paperwork to the Dog Watch Sergeant, I asked him about Deputy Stellato, who had gotten the original call for the crash, but had not been seen on duty, or heard on the radio since.
"He's on Family Leave" was the Sergeant's curt reply. I got curious. "Did one of his kids get sick?" I asked. "No", said the Sergeant, "he just got a new Foster child." The grizzled old Road Sergeant didn't want to talk about it, but he looked up from his stack of paper long enough for me to see HIS eyes were wet, "The couple who just died in that wreck left a little girl at home, and Stellato volunteered to foster the little girl, and it's all been handled properly."
Well, this hardened 'Nam combat vet, 8-year Road Deputy got a sudden lump in his throat. I still can't think about that night without tearing up.
Andy Stellato died this year, some sort of nervous-system disease, ALS maybe, and I went to his funeral, of course (he was a Police Academy classmate of mine). The Pastor related this vignette of his life, and most of the Deputies who were with Andy that ugly night were there to wish him Godspeed.
May God speed you about your Life on Earth, and welcome you Home when you leave it, but fear not in the meanwhile, there are always some stout men and women wearing Deputy's Stars to handle the rough stuff for you.
H/T to the Patriot Padre, who's spent some time behind a badge himself, including pulling MY bacon out of the fire on a dark night in a rough barfight.
In six days, on 11-11-11, our Nation celebrates Veteran's Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, which celebrated that, at the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the Armistice was signed that ended the hostilities of World War One.
Yes, we've allowed some "mission creep" in here. Nowadays, the day doesn't just remember the Armistice which ended the horrors of World War One, the first war fought on a large scale with what we now consider modern weapons; the day now celebrates veterans, period. When I was a young child, a "war baby", it was still Armistice Day, but on October 8th, 1954, President Eisenhower proclaimed that from then on, the day would be celebrated as Veteran's Day. He would have known, having, within that past decade, led troops in yet another World War, and had seen hundreds of thousands of US military killed in action, and many more wounded. We took about a million casualties overall in our successful efforts to defeat the Axis Powers. With the exception of Desert Storm, which had very limited objectives, we haven't had a significant military victory since. This Cold War veteran considers our victory in the Cold War to be an economic one, not a military one.
When our men went overseas to fight the Axis Powers, defeated them utterly, and returned, they were hailed universally as heroes, as all returning warriors should be. Such has not been the case since WW2.
Korean Vets weren't really "welcomed" back, after the diplomatic failure which ended that war, which promptly became known as "the Forgotten War". They just came back and assumed their former places with little fanfare.
Vietnam Vets, such as your writer, were mostly viewed in a negative light upon our return from that war, a view tolerated, and some say, encouraged, by the majority political party of the time, the Democrats. This was mostly due to ineffective wartime leadership from President Johnson, a man with the mistaken belief that his version of liberty (the freedom to spit on returning soldiers) had to supersede the orderly re-integration of the military back into civilian life.
Since 'Nam, the National Leadership has ignored the rule that one can't send troops to fight, fail to lead them to victory, and then expect them to lead happy lives afterward. To this veteran, this is a failure of our society as a whole. The society is in dire straits, having forgotten what it was which made it as great as it once was. Victory in war, not disgrace in war, was an important part of that superlative past.
Let's get to the nut of the problem.
First of all, society fails when it has to go to war in the first instance. War should always be a last resort, and it is always afailure when reasonable people fail to reason and settle their conflicts peacefully AND honorably.
Second, society fails again when, after engaging the failure mode of reason and entering upon war, it completely fails to understand that war is un-natural to humans, and having put a lot of their humans into an un-natural state of mind for so long, it is society's responsibility to ease the stressed minds of returning veterans, not present them with further obstacles in their now-peaceful lives.
A returning warrior is entitled to the respect of those he/she protected, and it is a high moral crime when that respect is not freely and willingly given. I don't know about YOU, my veteran friends, but I feel that at least half of today's "support the troops" message is phony. When I see a car plastered with all sorts of sticker-statements indicating surrender as a way of life (i.e. liberal bumper-stickers), then I also see a "support the troops" yellow ribbon decal, I want to puke.
Here's a short motivational video to keep you in the proper mindset, veterans. H/T to my "padre", every inch a warrior himself, he personifies "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition".
We're still on duty. We're still prepared to fight, and only God can save this Nation if we have to fight again. Pray that day never comes, but prepare for it anyway.
It's incomplete though, and incomplete deliberately.
While most of the so-called "leaders" of this Nation, some elected to posts of temporal authority, some poseurs who seized moral authority, will mouth the words, "Never Forget" today, you'll never get them to say what is on their mind, that we should give up the battle against Islam.
Here's what "Never Forget" means to me:
I'll never forget that it was a twisted religious creed that drove the attacks on 9-11-01, and many before it and since.
I'll never forget that while our fine fighting men and women have killed these twisted believers in the tens of thousands, we have never even planned to kill their "religious" leaders, so we will never win this contest.
I'll never forget how quickly after 9-11 OUR "leaders" steered us away from blaming the extremist "religious" leaders of that that most foul creed, Islam. Yes, I also won't forget that many of Islam's adherents would never take up the sword to force conversions to their belief, but I also haven't forgotten that such a "moderate" majority of Islam's followers STILL REFUSES to cleanse their "peaceful" creed of the extremists.
I've not forgotten, so I must continue to fight Islam as I can, in MY time and place.
Nothing screams DICTATORSHIP louder than using "mental illness" as an excuse to lock up, or enslave, or even mass-exterminate your political opposition. Hitler did it, and got away with it while he was still vulnerable to removal in the early to mid-30's. He built vast "hospitals" for the "insane", and his Gauleiters dutifully "registered" tens of thousands of "sick" people, who were led into the new asylums as soon as they were built. There, these victims were given massive doses of psychoactive drugs (which the German labs invented, and rapidly produced) and maintained just above vegetative states on those drugs.
Who were these victims? They were people we now consider "disabled". They were children with Downs Syndrome, severe autism, congenital birth defects (extra toes and fingers, club feet, etc). They were the old and infirm. There were a few political dissidents, but not many. Hitler's program was more about cleansing the gene pool, and it went along with forced sterilization, which he also invented. Hitler wasn't a dummy, he was simply a power-mad individual who wanted to impose a new and different style of government on those he led.
When the War started, maintaining those patients became a burden on the Third Reich, so they simply started to kill them all. Tens of thousands were given lethal injections.
Hitler wasn't the only one.
Stalin took the idea and fleshed it out into reality also, but his main stooge, secret police chairman Beria went a step farther than Hitler: he used "mental illness" as an excuse to terminate all the rights of millions of people, MOSTLY political dissidents. These people were gathered up and sent to, not expensive mental hospitals as Hitler had done, but ordinary slave labor camps out in the Siberian hinterland, where they died far more often than they survived. Read The Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn.
What's been the history of mental illness treatment and handling here in the USA?
In a word: spotty. In this nation, based as it is (or, more accurately, WAS) on individual rights, there are strong legal protections against snatching people up and declaring them mentally unfit to belong in free society. In fact, and I've pointed it out in these posts several times, it is probably the #1 policing problem we face: responding to the dissonance caused in our harmonious lives by crazy people. It's difficult to lock crazy people away for treatment, though. The Courts see to that, perhaps mindful of the historical impact on the issue made by Hitler, Stalin and lots of other dictators too numerous to mention, but Chairman Mao was fond of that trick as well.
So, here in the USA, if we give any mental health treatment at all, we usually just start the patients on medications, mild enough so that they can still care for themselves, and turn them loose on society. Of course, most of these folks don't actually TAKE the meds they're given, so they're still crazy and still a bother to the police, their families, etc.
Now, we have to jump a political fence.
Oof! The old geezer lands heavily after his jump and looks around. In his new location, he sees some folks reeling emotionally from a recent severe mass killing by a presumably-deranged shooter. He sees that political action to take advantage of the nation's shock has basically failed. In fact there is negative reaction to the government. He sees a determined leader of the controlling political party wanting to STILL find some more ways to enlarge his government's authority over people who might be dissident to his "progress".
What does the old geezer find on the other side of that political fence?
He finds this. Yep, after the lessons of Hitler, Stalin and Mao (socialists all, BTW), he finds evidence that thinkers on the Left are starting to consider the path of those legendary dictators.
The geezer doesn't have a lot of years left, and he knows that he may not live to see "mental health" laws trump our Civil Rights, but he also knows how the collective mind of the power-mad politicos works, and once they seize on this idea, and apply their infamous incremental planning and implementation to it, an American Gulag WILL be brought into being.
The geezer hangs his head and begins to cry, wondering if THIS is why he brought children into the world? So that their sharp thinking and Question ALL, All the Time analysis he taught them could land them in the Gulag?
The sadness turns to resolve. The geezer vaults back over the political fence, easily this time, and there is a spring in his step as he clearly sees his duty. He knows now that he shortchanged his children by stopping when he had taught them how to Check the First premise, First, and ALWAYS look for the political motive in the actions of the government which affect them.
The geezer know that he now has to complete their education. He has to teach them to RESIST.