"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Monday, April 30, 2007

Laughlin River Run 2007

Yours truly ready to ride Friday morning. Temperature was a warm 80 deg to start, but by the time we reached Yucca Valley, it was near 100 deg. We road by 29 Palms Marine Base, but only came within 2 miles of the front gate

By the time we got to a little whistle stop called Emboy, My arms were as red as fresh tomatos.

Typical Fare on the strip

Honey, where did I leave that small block chevy 350ci engine?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday Hero!

I am sorry for my tardiness, but as I pursue a new position, my time is consumed with familiarizing myself with the requirements.

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Sunny Kay

Col. Cyril Richard
Col. Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla
68 years old from New York City, New York
16th Air Assault Brigade, Parachute Regiment (England)
Platoon Leader of 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) (U.S.)
September 11, 2001

Col. Rick Rescorla is a multiple time hero. In 1957 he enlisted in the British Army and began training as a paratrooper with The Parachute Regiment of the 16th Air Assault Brigade. He went on to serve with an intelligence unit in Cyprus, a paramilitary police inspector in the Northern Rhodesia Police (now the Zambia Police Service). When his military career ended in England he joined the Metropolitan Police Service in London. But he found the paperwork too boring and quite at the behest of a friend who encouraged him to join the United State Army. Which he did.

In 1963, Rescorla enlisted, with his friend, in the United States Army. After he completed basic training he attended officer training school and was assigned as a platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

He was shipped to Vietnam and participated in the Battle of la Drang. While in Vietnam, he was given the nickname "Hard Core" by his men for his bravery in battle.

In 1968, Resorla became a U.S. citizen and continued his service in the Army Reserves until 1990 when he retired. In 1985 he joined a financial services firm, located in the World Trade Center, as security director.

In 1993, when the WTC was bombed, Rescorla was instrumental in evacuating people from the building. Afterwards, he enacted a policy in which all employees of the firm practiced evacuation drills every three months.

September 11, 2001. Rick Rescorla was supposed to be on vacation getting ready for his daughters wedding. Instead he was at work covering a shift for one of his deputies so that he could go on vacation. When American Airlines Flight 11 hit Tower 1, Rescorla ignored officials advice to stay put and opted instead to put his evacuation drills to use. While evacuating the 3,800 employees of his firm in Towers 2 and 5 he kept reminding them "be proud to be an American ...everyone will be talking about you tomorrow" and sang God Bless America over his bullhorn. When Flight 175 struck Tower 2, Rescorla had already evacuated most of the employees from his firm as well as many others from other floors. He then went back in, despite being told he needed to evacuate himself. The last known words anyone heard him say were, "As soon as I make sure everyone else is out". Tower 2 collapsed with Rick Rescorla last seen heading to the 10th floor looking for more people to help.

As a result of his actions that day, all but six employees of his firm made it out alive. One of those being him and three others being his deputies who followed him into Tower 2, Wesley Mercer, Jorge Velazquez, and Godwin Forde.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Blue Angels Team loses one of its finest

Yesterday, the United States Navy was devistated by the loss of one of its top pilots from the BlueAngels.

It is a sad day indeed. My prayers go out to the famliy of the pilot, his team mates, and the USN.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Senate Sentiment

I stole this from CopTheTruth

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday Hero!

This Weeks Soldier Was Submitted By Anna

Chief Mast Sgt. John Gebhardt
Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt
Superintendent of the 22nd Wing Medical Group at McConnell Air Force Base

Have you heard of Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt? Maybe you have and maybe you haven't. CMSgt. Hebhardt gain some notoriety recently. Not for an action that he took on the battlefield, but rather for a picture (not shown because it is graphic) that was taken of him.

In 2006, CMSgt. John Gebhardt was photographed holding a little Iraqi girl that had been injured. Her family had been attacked by insurgents. Both of her parents were killed, along with many of her siblings, and she had been shot in the head and left for dead. But she was tougher than that. She was brought to Balad Air Base Hospital where she was operated on and ultimately saved. As you can imagine, it was an extremely hard time for this little girl. Her recovery was hellish. But when CMSgt. Gebhardt would hold her, she seemed to be comforted. He spent many nights sleeping in a chair with her in his arms. The picture wast taken by a fellow airman while CMSgt. Gebhardt and the little girl were napping. Said CMSgt. Gebhardt, "I'm sure that probably just gave her some inner peace that she could reach."

On a side note. This is why I started doing these Wednesday Hero posts. Because of people like Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt. It's soldiers like him that make me proud of our military.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

A typical day on the ‘Rock’.

As some of you may recall, during my days, months and years of active duty, my duty station was Command Fleet Activities Okinawa (CFAO) Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) located on Kadena Air Force Base, Okinawa Japan. This story is about one aspect of life on ‘The Rock’; the weather.

The weather on Okinawa is tropical with monsoons moving across the island like cars on an L.A. freeway. It may be sunny and 80 degrees, and without warning, a monsoon sets in and dumps about 6 inches of rain in a matter of a few minutes. Then back to warm and muggy sunshine.

My job while serving in the United States Navy was to trouble shoot, disassemble and rebuild T56-14 jet engines found on P-3 Orions. After the engine was rebuilt and passed several thorough inspections, an operational prop would be mounted on the engine and we’d tow it to our test cell where we’d load the engine, and run it as if it were in flight. We would put it through its paces running all matter of operational tests, before we would issue it to the Squadron that happened to be stationed with us.

We had a 20,000 fork lift with a special adaptor to lift and install the rebuilt engine and prop onto the test cell, but this activity would require a ground man to ‘tail’ the prop so as to insure it wouldn’t spin and collide with the fork lift or test cell structure.

On a particular day, yours truly was aboard the fork lift preparing to load an engine when I noticed coming from my back right side a very dark set of clouds bearing down hard and fast. My ground man that day happened to be a Petty Officer 2nd Class female whose name has long since left my grey matter, but for the sake of the story we’ll call her ‘Gert’.

Now Gert was a nice enough gal, but didn’t have a lot of experience with jets and none with fork lifts, and well, she really wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, so I saw a unique opportunity for a little entertainment.

Knowing that in just a few seconds we were going to get very wet if we didn’t get under cover, I lowered the engine so the prop blades were about 6 inches from the ground, secured the fork lift, jumped down and told Gert to stand fast holding the blades so they wouldn’t spin from the wind, and then ran for shelter in our small shop near by. What happened next was quite entertaining, but nearly earned me a Captain’s Mast (Non judicial punishment).

Seems Gert didn’t like being nearly drowned by one of the worst monsoons I’ve seen, and was a bit angered that she had to provide me and my cohorts an impromptu ‘wet tee-Shirt’ show. The storm past in about seven minutes, and the sun came out once again, but my stomach hurt for a couple of days from the laughter. I suppose a Captain’s Mast was appropriate even though I did apologize for not utilizing the sand bags we had stored a few feet away for the purpose of resting the prop blades on, but then I wouldn’t have had this story to tell.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Republic v. Democracy

Recently, this topic has come up in different comment sections, and I am compelled to post it as a reminder to all our left sided thinkers who believe their voice is as important as the President's voice.
As this article is fairly long, I posted it on GhostGawfer

Republic v. Democracy

by David Barton

We have grown accustomed to hearing that we are a democracy; such was never the intent. The form of government entrusted to us by our Founders was a republic, not a democracy.1 Our Founders had an opportunity to establish a democracy in America and chose not to. In fact, the Founders made clear that we were not, and were never to become, a democracy:

[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.2 James Madison

Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.3 John Adams

A democracy is a volcano which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption and carry desolation in their way.4 The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness [excessive license] which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty.5 Fisher Ames, Author of the House Language for the First Amendment

We have seen the tumult of democracy terminate . . . as [it has] everywhere terminated, in despotism. . . . Democracy! savage and wild. Thou who wouldst bring down the virtuous and wise to thy level of folly and guilt.6 Gouverneur Morris, Signer and Penman of the Constitution

[T]he experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived.7 John Quincy Adams

A simple democracy . . . is one of the greatest of evils.8 Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration

In democracy . . . there are commonly tumults and disorders. . . . Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.9 Noah Webster

Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state, it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.10 John Witherspoon, Signer of the Declaration

It may generally be remarked that the more a government resembles a pure democracy the more they abound with disorder and confusion.11 Zephaniah Swift, Author of America's First Legal Text
Many Americans today seem to be unable to define the difference between the two, but there is a difference, a big difference. That difference rests in the source of authority.

A pure democracy operates by direct majority vote of the people. When an issue is to be decided, the entire population votes on it; the majority wins and rules. A republic differs in that the general population elects representatives who then pass laws to govern the nation. A democracy is the rule by majority feeling (what the Founders described as a "mobocracy" 12); a republic is rule by law. If the source of law for a democracy is the popular feeling of the people, then what is the source of law for the American republic? According to Founder Noah Webster:
[O]ur citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.13
The transcendent values of Biblical natural law were the foundation of the American republic. Consider the stability this provides: in our republic, murder will always be a crime, for it is always a crime according to the Word of God. however, in a democracy, if majority of the people decide that murder is no longer a crime, murder will no longer be a crime.

Pine Trees know it's Easter

My 'cuz' sent this to me this morning. I guess I'm getting just a little sentimental as I age upon this earth. But since this is my blog, Id like to share with you why Pinetrees know it's Easter.

I hope you enjoy the link.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Gathering of Eagles Slide Show

Great Video! H/T: My pal Bushwhack Who was present March 17,2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Unsatisfactory Behavior of captured Royal Sailors, Marines

I have recently made some comments on other blogs about the behavior of the Royal Navy and Marines during their two week captivity that has raised the hair of some folks. I have been criticized for being ‘too hard on them’, and that ‘I don't know what they went through’. Though I'm sure we'll all know what they went through when the 'Made for TV mini series' airs later next year, my comments are based solely on the Code of Conduct expected from US Military personnel. One caveat, I do make the assumption that the British Code of Conduct is similar, but I believe that to be a safe assumption knowing that their militaries are run in the same manner as ours.
So then the question becomes "from where did I get my information?" Below is the Official Code of Conduct that is expected- nay required of every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine in the United States Armed Forces. You will see it very clearly outlines expected behavior of our professional military when or if captured by an enemy combatant. It is clear that the Royal Navy and Marines did not follow this code by evidence of public comments and apologies made on IRIB (Iranian TV). That should be in all circumstances considered shameful. These men and women are professional Sailors and Marines, fully trained with expectation of capture.

Code of Conduct

1. I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.


2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.


3. If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.


4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.


5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.


6. I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

Below, Brig. GEN James Marks (Retired) explains the conduct codes and describes the American soldier as one who would not confess, apologize or otherwise undermine the mission as the British soldiers did. CNN video

Friday, April 06, 2007

Another Letter to my Congresswoman

I have never been so frustrated with an individual in Congress as I am with the Speaker of the House. So frustrated in fact that I penned this note a few minutes ago to my Representative. If you are as annoyed with Speaker Pelousi as I am, perhaps a note to your Representative would alleviate some frustration as well. Feel free to use and modify as you wish.

April 6, 2007
Dear congresswoman Bono,

First of all, thank you for your service to our Country, State and County. You are doing an excellent job. I recently heard of the National Arsonist’s Registration data base you are working toward establishing. That is a fine and noble effort.

But this correspondence is regarding the recent visit to an enemy state our illustrious Speaker of the House chose to make, ill respective of the wishes of our current administration. That was clearly the most defiant and irresponsible action taken by any Speaker of the House our Country has ever seen.

Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is any reference or authorization made directing the Congress of the United States to make or attempt to influence foreign policy (other than declaring war), yet because of a clear hatred and utter disregard for the President of the United States, Speaker of the House Pelosi has wounded this Country with her unbridled desire for power. She has exhibited a complete lack of discretion and self control that is required of her position, and should be censured and encouraged to resign.

I understand you have but one voice in congress; however, when even members of the Democratic Party are willing to criticize her cavalier behavior, I believe it would take but a small effort to win the necessary 10 to15 Democratic votes required for censure.

Congresswoman Bono, Speaker Pelosi has been in her position for a mere 3 months and has already been involved in “Plane-Gate”, voting against the troops, and now being nicknamed the “Damascus Diva”. What else does she have planned, a coup-de-ta? She is an embarrassment to the United States and Congress, and does NOT speak for me.

I am a conservative blogger and will post this letter on my blog, ( and will look forward to your response.

Once again, I thank you for your service, and pray for wisdom in your decision making.

Constituent, and Conservative Blogger

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesday Hero!

Maj. William D. Chesarek, Jr.
Maj. William D. Chesarek, Jr.
Royal Air Force's 847th Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force

Maj. William D. Chesarek, Jr. has done something no other U.S. service member has done since WWII. On March 21 of this year, Maj. Chesarek was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross, by Queen Elizabeth, for saving lives and in recognition for his bravery during combat operations in Iraq. Maj. Chesark was assigned as an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force's 847th Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force in 2005 and was the pilot of the RAF’s Lynx Mk7 helicopter.

On the evening of June 10, 2006, Chesarek was providing radio communication relay for British ground troops conducting a company-sized search operation near Amarah, Iraq. Listening to radio transmissions, he overheard that a vehicle involved in the operation had became disabled and a crowd of insurgents was firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at the company.

According to his award citation, "Chesarek elected to fly low over the area in an attempt to distract the crowd and if possible, to engage the insurgents." Because the crowd was so close to the ground troops, instead of engaging his machine gun, he "opted instead to provide bold, harassing, very low level flight over the area in an attempt to disperse the crowd."

You can read Maj. Chesarek's story in it's entirety here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.


Last WWI Navy Vet Dies

Associated Press April 02, 2007
CHARLOTTE HALL, Maryland - Lloyd Brown, the last known U.S. Navy veteran to fight in World War I, has died. He was 105.

Brown died Thursday at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Maryland, according to family and the U.S. Naval District in Washington.

His death comes days after the death of the last known surviving American female World War I veteran, Charlotte L. Winters, 109. Their deaths leave three known survivors who served in the Army, and a fourth who lives in Washington state but served in the Canadian army, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The fourth of nine children, Brown was born Oct. 7, 1901, in Lutie, Missouri, a small farming town in the Ozark Mountains. In 1918, 16-year-old Brown lied about his age to join the Navy and was soon on the gun crew on the battleship USS New Hampshire.

"All the young men were going in the service. They were making the headlines, the boys that enlisted," Brown told the (Baltimore) Sun in a 2005 interview. "And all the girls liked someone in uniform."

Brown finished his tour of duty in 1919, took a break for a couple of years, then re-enlisted. He learned to play the cello at musicians school at Norfolk, Virginia, and was assigned to an admiral's 10-piece chamber orchestra aboard the USS Seattle.

When Brown ended his military career in 1925, he joined the Washington Fire Department's Engine Company 16, which served the White House and embassies.