"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

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday Hero!

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Jenn

Staff Sgt. Darrell R. Griffin Jr.

Staff Sgt. Darrell R. Griffin Jr.
36 years old from Alhambra, California
2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
March 21, 2007

"He was a really patriotic young man", said Darrell Griffin Sr. "He said that the people there really needed us and he felt it was the right place to be. He wished we didn’t have to have wars, but since that’s the way mankind is, he felt he was contributing an important part to his country".

SSgt. Griffin lost his life in Balad, Iraq when his unit came under fire as it was returning to base after conducting security operations in the Iraqi capital.

The eldest son of six children, SSgt. Griffin worked as an EMT before joining the California Army National Guard in 1999. He enlisted in the Army two years later, and in July 2001, was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, in Ft. Lewis, Washington. He served with that unit in Iraq from October 2004 to September 2005.

On his second tour of duty, SSgt. Griffin had been awarded the Bronze Star for valor in 2005 when he was credited with saving the lives of three U.S. and two Iraqi Army soldiers injured during battle in Tal Afar. He had also received the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachute Badge, and the Meritorious Unit Citation.

"Griff was the type of man you want to have by your side in a fight," Maj. Brent Clemmer, his former company commander, wrote from Iraq. "He was the type of squad leader every young soldier wants to have".

"Darrell was my husband, my Soldier, my gift from God who was also the love of my life and always will be." Said his wife, Diana. "He was also 'a Soldier's Soldier of Strength and Honor' whose commitment to duty, honor and loyalty will be forever remembered by all who know and love him. The news of his death saddens us deeply and we ask for your prayers in our time of grief. Please also continue to keep our Soldiers in your prayers

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. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Logan Act

I found this today over at CIR and was very pleased. Ever since our esteemed Speaker of the House decided to visit with the leadership of a country that has been deemed hostile to the United States, I have been very frustrated that she has not been held accountable. well, perhaps I was wrong. I have wondered why she has been noticeably quiet of late; this may be why:


TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 45 > § 953

§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

Perhaps she got off with a warning, the proverbial slap on the wrist. Let's see if she has the cajonies to do it again. She did after all, mention Iran not long after she returned from Syria.

And as a side not, I received an invitation from Yahoo to respond to a question posed by the congressional mouth piece. The question was what I would like to see added into the global warming bill she is currently working on. My answer was simple: "Her resignation. As it is not within her scope of responsibility as Speaker of the House to make or engage in foreign policy or to represent this government to foreign nations, and she willfully went against the wishes of the current administration, my confidence in her ability to lead congress is no longer present." Yahoo did not post my response. Imagine that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday Hero!

Lance Cpl. Hatak Yuka Keyu M. Yearby
Lance Cpl. Hatak Yuka Keyu M. Yearby
21 years old from Overbrook, Oklahoma
3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force
May 14, 2006

Hatak Yuka Keyu Martin Yearby was remembered in funeral services as a small town boy who balanced his Choctaw tribal heritage and his military life.

He did traditional American Indian dances with grace, compassion, discipline and free spirit — "the way he lived his life," the Rev. Timm Emmons said Monday.

"He had a desire to be in the military since he was a young boy. And he believed in what he was doing. He was a warrior, and he was a hero and he finished the course."

Yearby was killed by a roadside bomb, along with fellow Lance Cpl. Jose S. MarinDominguez Jr., in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, two months after he arrived in that country.

Friends and family, fellow American Indians, teachers and classmates filed past his open casket for an hour after the funeral while a U.S. Marine Corps honor guard stood at attention.

About 1,000 people attended a funeral service meant to celebrate the life of the 21-year-old newlywed from Overbrook in southern Oklahoma’s Love County.

Those who spoke in the packed Marietta High School auditorium talked of how he loved to hunt, but never came back with anything. He played tricks, won dancing awards at powwows and appeared on a recruiting magazine for Upward Bound because of a headdress he made from a T-shirt.

Nine of his friends stood on stage to remember Yearby. Jake Barber spoke for them, pausing several times to regain his composure.

"Many great words describe Hatak. The only real word you need to say is 'brother'. He will always be known to us as the ace of spades, the most important card in the deck. He touched us so dearly that words cannot explain,".

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. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Salesman stuns Simon

UPDATE: Congratulations to Paul Potts on winning the competition!
Grand Final - The Winner
Britain's GotTalent
It was as if the tension would never end - but finally, eventually, painfully... Dec announced Paul Potts as the Britain's Got Talent winner.

Tip-o-the-Hat to FTGF for the update.

OK, I typically don't watch American Idol or any other Idol for that matter, simply because I struggle every day along with 300 million other Americans to make the best life I can pursuing happiness. But when I clicked on this short little video from Yahoo, I tear'd up. This is breathtaking at its best. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Simulated WTC Impact Video

This is a very interesting simulation of one of the impacts into the world Trade Center. By using math formulas and geometry, scientists were able to recreate a very accurate simulation of impact, and overlaid fire simulation as well as glass and dust movement thru the impact from various angles. Kinda blows the conspiracy theorist's arguments.

Shock and Awe???

Leave it to the Air Force...

Watch this news report about how the Air Force once proposed a chemical weapon to make the enemy "sexually irresistible" to each other.... Video

My friend TheLoon posted this a couple of days ago, and I thought it to be humorous. Then, reading through's current articles, I found a video for it. I find this quite peculiar that someone comes up with an idea for a 'Non Lethal' weapon, but certain special interest groups find it "offensive" in nature.

So to appease the special interest groups, here is my suggestion: change the molecular structure of the agent to create an insatiable desire for goats... oh wait, our enemy already has that. My bad.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wednesday Hero!

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Malinda

69-year-old Bert Brady has never stepped foot in Iraq or Afghanistan, yet many soldiers who have know who he is and appreciate what he's done for them. You see, for the past year Mr. Brady has made a trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport nearly every morning to welcome home returning American troops. Bert Brady, along with fellow veterans, is a member of the Welcome Home a Hero program. They make sure that every soldier who steps off a plane in Dallas gets a special homecoming.

Brady shows up each day with the goal of making soldiers feel appreciated and proud of their service. He's often joined by veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars who did not get a warm reception when they returned from battle.

"We are not going to forget them like a lot of Vietnam soldiers have been forgotten," Brady said. "We are not going to forget the soldiers of today."

To read more about Bert Brady, you can go to

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. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Unwinding in Iraq

After a long day of negotiating construction contracts with Iraqi business owners, interacting with the local community, calling in air strikes on a building that has fired upon your fellow marines’ position, and cleaning your weapons for the gozillionth time, all the while wearing nearly a hundred pounds of body armor, how does a marine unwind? Why, hitting golf balls across the border into Syria of course. Does anyone know how to say FORE! in Arabic?

Thanks to my Marine for providing this pic of the “WELCOME TO SYRIA” sign he took while performing said tasks... with a 3 Wood I believe.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Last year, my buddy Gunz posted this video, and I couldn't stop laughing. He (Gunz) hasn't been blogging in a while, so this is in honor of him. I hope you all enjoy! Oh yeah, please note the actors are squids from VP-9.


Posted Jan 24, 2006

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Who else are we inadvertantly fighting?

MDCONSERVATIVE posted this article, and it shook me up.

Back to the Cold War? Putin's Policies Head in a Dark Direction
By Joel Himelfarb May 1, 2007
Read the entire article Here

It's difficult to avoid the impression that with Russia, we may be gravitating toward a new cold war. Flush with cash as a result of soaring energy prices, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin behaves like a man who is utterly unconstrained by "world opinion" (however defined), or the possibility of incurring Washington's wrath. We see Russia's use of heavy-handed coercion against neighboring countries, most of them democracies; and a willingness to undercut U.S. foreign policy interests time and again in dealing with rogue states like Iran and Syria and with terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Russia has joined with China to push for the closing of U.S. military bases in strategically critical Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Moscow and Beijing, who have been cooperating on military intelligence matters since the end of the Cold War, have started conducting joint military exercises -- which they claim are not aimed at any other country -- reassurances that aren't taken too seriously in Washington or Taipei. And Moscow is helping fuel Beijing's military buildup, selling it submarines, jet fighters, destroyers and other advanced weaponry.

While cultivating Beijing, Putin, a man who describes the fall of the Soviet Union as "the geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century," has become increasingly shrill in his attacks against Washington. In a Feb. 10 speech to an international security conference in Munich, he delivered a searing, almost Orwellian attack against the United States. Putin painted a picture of an increasingly brutal, violent world, suggesting that the United States, and not terrorist groups or despots, was to blame. He complained that "unilateral" solutions to problems (in other words, American policies) had resulted in a situation in which principles of international law were disdained in a world in which "nobody felt safe." Why, he asked, "is it necessary nowadays to start bombing and shooting on any given occasion?"

The Russian leader attacked the idea of expanding NATO eastward and accused the United States of triggering an international arms race. "One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way," Putin said. "This is very dangerous. Nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law. This is nourishing an arms race with the desire of countries to get nuclear weapons." (It's no great leap to say that, in Moscow's view, Ayatollah Khamenei and Kim Jong Il don't want nuclear weapons in order to intimidate other countries, but because they feel a genuine need to protect themselves from Bush Administration bullying.)

In an effort to respond to Putin's concerns, Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week offered to share a missile defense system with Russia -- much as President Reagan offered to share the Strategic Defense Initiative with the Soviet Union. On Thursday, Putin responded by freezing Moscow's commitments under the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, which was negotiated right after the Cold War. Gen. Yuri Balulyevsky, the Russian military chief of general staff, warned that Russia might launch a military attack on components of the missile defense system deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Read the entire article Here

You see, when I was serving in the USN, we had one enemy: the Soviet Union. All other adversaries were of little consequence. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, I personally felt a great burden lift off. Talking to my buddy Jake tonight, he made and interesting statement: "You can take the man out of the KGB, but you can't take the KGB out of the man." Cleary, Putin is intent on reinstating some form of the Soviet Union because of perceived threats from the U.S.- I was curious as to why we are currently chatting with Poland and the Czech Republic about installing missile defense systems in their countries.

Then to underscore the potential threat, Putin has been in cahoots with Beijing, selling them advanced weaponry, Subs and warships. With all the media attention being directed at the war on terror, it has served as an excellent cover for the nefarious activities of Mr. Putin. This concerns me greatly.

Wednesday Hero!

This Weeks Soldiers Were Suggested By Mary Ann

Col. David Sutherland
Col. David Sutherland(Left)
45 Years Old From Toledo, Ohio
Commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division

Since being deployed to the Diyala province of Iraq in November 2006, Col. David Sutherland, along with brigade Chaplain Maj. Charlie Fenton, pictured on the right, has made it a point to visit every wounded soldier and say goodbye to each and everyone of his men who've lost their life. Four of his soldiers died on one day in April 2007 and the bad news arrived at his office in waves -- a knock on the door, a note handed in by an aide, heads bowed, knowing glances exchanged. Aides say Sutherland walks to the mortuary affairs tent at his base and embraces the dead bodies of his men. "I hug all my fallen soldiers", said Sutherland. "They are my own".

Diyala province is one of the worst places in Iraq. Public beheadings of Iraqi police, tribal wars, sectarian wars and al-Qaida. "I didn't come here thinking it'd be easy. No one told me, 'You're gonna get 9 hours of sleep a night and you're not gonna lose soldiers'. But I believe this is the place for me."

"As a soldier, I want to be here on the ground," he said. "As an American, I want it to end."

For more information about Col. Sutherland, visit this page.

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. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

The things that 'Bug' Me

While reading a friend’s blog recently about spiders and such, I was reminded of my own encounters with said beasties whilst in Okinawa. Okinawa is a tropical island about 900 miles south of Mainland Japan, and is home to many creepy crawlers, but these short notes are about a particular insect most of us are familiar with; the disgusting cockroach. Now I’ve heard stories of large cockroaches in the Gulf States area, but being from California, the ones I could identify never grew larger than say an inch or two. In Okinawa however, they were as big as pets.

Story number one:

I lived off base in a 2 bed one bath house with 4 other guys; one was a missionary working as a school teacher, and the other 3 were ‘Zoomies’, who were also stationed on Kadena AFB. We were all friends who met at a Christian Coffee house called ‘The Net’, which was located a few blocks down from Gate 2 on Gate 2 Street.

There were 2 racks in one bedroom, and a set of bunk beds and a third rack in the other. Two or three of the Zoomies worked nights, so the house was rarely completely occupied, but it gave us a place to hang out that resembled real life (barracks stories later).

I had the top bunk in the room with 3 racks and was asleep one warm night when I was awakened by one of these said beasties running across my chest. Without thought, I grabbed it with my left hand and chucked it across the room. Then it struck me. My buddy Paul was asleep on the single rack that was located in the direct path of my throw… I lay there quietly, wondering if Paul was going to realize he was sharing his rack with a friendly when all of a sudden, Paul came straight up outa bed and screamed like a girl. I continued to feign sleep, all the while burying my face in the pillow laughing and crying.

Story number two:

Arriving home one night, I walked into the house. I never walked into a dark room without first turning on the lights (thanks in part to the first Halloween movie), so standing at the door, I reached around and found the light switch. As soon as the light came on, a small brigade of four and five inch cockroaches went scurrying back into hiding. Yuck! I noticed one was still visible on the wall across the room, so, in a flash I thought I'd kill at least one of them. Slowly approaching the victim of my wrath, I took off a shoe and was ready to strike when the dang thing took off and flew across the room. UGH! They fly! So that was how that cockroach from the first story got onto my top bunk!

Story number 3:

Walking down from our little parking area toward the house, I noticed a very large (for Okinawa) CR working its way thru the grass toward the house. Remembering the night from the previous story, I thought to my self “I’ll do what I can to stop this invasion!” so raising a powerful right foot I slammed down on the creepy and stomped about five or six times until I was confident it had been thoroughly pulverized, and removed my foot to see the carnage. Hmmm. No carnage. As I was looking very closely at the area where I had just defeated the foe that was as big as my cat, I felt that sorry rascal cross over my knee and was heading up my thigh inside my pants! EEGAD! I grabbed it thru my pants and squeezed as hard as I could smearing the guts on the inside of my pants. Dang it! I had to change my pants, but not just for the bug.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I had an interesting day yesterday. For those of you who see me as a bright and shining star who spends all day thinking of clever anecdotes and comments to leave on other blogs, I actually work for a living. Currently, I am preparing to construct 2 simple cycle LM6000 turbine generators to create electricity for peak usage here in the Golden State. I build Powerplants for a living.

Part of my responsibility is to secure building permits for the county which has proven to be a mini version of the federal government red tape conspiracy. Yesterday, I spent all day about 10 miles north of the Mexican border working diligently to persuade county officials that we are indeed a good company with their best interests at heart.

My co-pilot for the day is a new hire- a Lance Corporal Reserve in the United States Marine Corps. I know, how lucky can I be, right? Anyhow, this young fellow returned from Iraq in December, and was a civil affairs liaison with the Marines near the border of Syria. Good man. However, he is currently operating at 100% aggressiveness (all marine). That tends to intimidate civilians (specifically the female gender) with whom we are trying to win confidence Never-the-less, we pressed one, and I believe were successful to the point of securing an advocate within the county system who felt sorry for our plight, (we have been chasing permits for ny-on 7 months now). We’ll see.

Back to the story. During the winter months, Naval Air Station El Centro is home of the Blue Angels, and is an active facility providing various types of training for Navy and Marines, so being in the neighborhood, we decided to head out there for a little nostalgia and some chow. My young marine was concerned about the quality of chow at a Navy Galley, but I assured him “Navy Chow, Best Chow, Air Force Chow, Best Chow Halls”. We were not disappointed. For $3.65 I had chicken and cheese enchiladas, beans and rice, 2 cookies and a diet coke. He just ate a big pile of something, though he concurred with the quality. We also made a stop at the NEX where I found and purchased my Navy Rank (AD3) and a tee-shirt that reads on the front: GOT FREEDOM? And on the back: COURTESY OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY. Guess what I’m wearing today.

Anyway, our adventure then took us to a peculiar place called LoveMountain and SlabCity where squatters show up and make a home on a deserted WWII Military post. While driving slowly through the campers and trailers, I told my marine “this place is a little creepy”, to which he responded “I think we need to lock the doors” and then executed said maneuver.

Traveling into town to provide the fire chief with our planned access route, we noticed a fire just outside of town. Driving by, I noted that it was quite strange that a fire occur in what looked like an abandoned wrecking yard, and asked the deputy at the fire house what the story was. His comment… “Meth-Lab.” Nice. Did I mention my shirt?

The day ended with another150 mile drive back to civilization and a Gatorade. Did I mention my shirt?

Go Navy!