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    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    You Raaannng??

    I was going to be ROY G BIV tonight for my Halloween costume and just offer some of the neighborhood kids some Warlock Stew (Dr. Pepper and Orange Soda with Dry Ice for special effects) but now I think I'm going to go as Lurch from the Kerry Family and terrorize the neighborhood. Seriously- this guy is scary.

    I'm usually not one to make fun of people, especially the way they look, but John Kerry has brought the worst out of me. I was dumbfounded by his comments recently, and even more dumbfounded by the fact that the audience laughed, genuinely thinking that was a funny remark. I just watched the CNN headline news girl at 1645 EST today try to say that it was all a mistake, and that is was simply misspoken. She must think we're as stupid as Kerry thinks we are. The man said what he said. It's not like this is the first time he has said something stupid. It's not like this is the first time he's said something in opposition to the armed forces of the United States. The guy called us terrorists not that long ago. I wasn't at all surprised by his remarks, but I was pissed. Speaking for myself, I received a college education at a public university in my home state on a full scholarship. Granted, my humble Conference USA school is by no means Ivy League, but I worked hard and earned a degree in Management Information Systems which is not an easy field. If I were born into a rich family, or blessed with being a super-genius like Stephen Hawkings, maybe I could've gotten into Yale. I guarantee you one thing- had I gotten in, I would have performed much better than Senator Kerry on my report cards. My degree program opened up an opportunity to work as an intern during my junior and senior year for a major defense contractor at one of NASA's space centers. Upon finishing my degree, instead of taking a generous job offer I decided to do some non-profit work instead of going right into the rat race. I was burned out from the treacherous meanderings of the cubicle jungle, and felt, in my heart, I was being called to Christian ministry at least for a few years. Then came September 11th. That changed everything. Even so, I finished my committment overseas, and tempered my desire to enlist immediately with prayer and above all- time. It was a thoroughly explored decision process to eventually join the Army. I joined a full two years post 9/11 with the same fervor I had on that tragic day. When I joined the Army I found people from all walks of life, as I expected. However, one thing I have yet to find is someone who says they joined because they had nothing else to do. Now, I'm sure there may be some out there, but I haven't met one yet. Now that I'm in the Q-course, the quality of men I'm around is incredible. These are the smartest, strongest, and most dedicated guys I've ever known. You simply need to meet some of the guys I hang with every day. One word to describe them. STUDS. Yes, me too. As for education, my bachelor's degree is one of many in my circle of friends. In my eleven man language class alone there are five college grads, one of whom is an electrical engineer. We're all learing Arabic while three of us, myself included, already speak other languages. In a couple of the other classes there are a few guys with Master's degrees. None of these men are officers- all are enlisted. So, we're not stupid Mr. Kerry, and Miss CNN headline news anchor. We volunteered for this, and we freaking love it. So, when politicians say stuff like this, and patronizing news anchors try to insult my intelligence, yes, it pisses me off.

    That's all for my Halloween post. Have a good time tonight, and whatever you do- don't go dressed like this. What a shmuck.

    *** UPDATE ***

    Here are some other of us so-called dummies who weighed in on the cerebral Mr. Kerry's comments.

    The Fast Squirrel
    SGT Hook
    Andi's World

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Think You Can Hang?

    A good buddy of mine (like many guys I work with) is a fitness guru. He's one of those fellas who works out in all of his free time, and loves it like an eight-year-old loves ice cream on a warm summer day. I'm more of a adventure seeker in my free time who likes to stay fit, does that make sense?

    He's just started his own blog called Crossfit: SWCS where he keeps track of his workouts, along with anyone who wishes to enter the torture chamber with him that day. Yes, you will see my results on there as well. I recently took Drew on one of my adventures on the Gauley River in WV for some whitewater rafting, and now he has recently convinced me to do Crossfit. Is that a fair trade? I don't know, but I nearly killed him on the water, and I gotta tell ya he nearly killed me on day one in the gym. I've never done Crossfit exclusively for my daily routines. I've always used it as a "shock day" to get my routine out of stagnation. It's a hell of a routine, not for the faint-hearted so if you think you can hang- give it a shot.

    So, go give Drew a visit and tell him how nice his pectorals are. He really likes that.

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Al-Lawrence, and Today's 500 pound Gorilla

    "So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people - greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are."

    I've been quite busy studying Arabic as of late, and recently took a break to watch an old classic that I hadn't seen in a long time, Lawrence of Arabia. I usually would not quote a movie on such a weighty subject, but this quote really caught me off guard as I watched the scene unfold. Is this the same continuing problem the Arab world has today? T.E. Lawrence was certainly an extraordinary man, and one whom would be of great assistance in today's current affairs. However, I'm not sure a Westerner could accomplish what he accomplished with the Arab people today. Lawrence believed in the Arab people to the point that he was willing to go against all schools of thought in the British Army at the time, and succeeded in many ways, but also watched much of his success eventually crumble as time and time again the Arab people, frankly, couldn't get their act together.

    My other thoughts as of late concern Islam. Is Islam itself a threat to the Western world rather than Islamic terrorists? Is Islam really a peaceful religion perverted by a few "fundamentalists"? Personally, when I see the attempts the media makes at projecting that view, and when I hear politicians call Islam a "peaceful" religion, I am extremely skeptical. It seems to me that political correctness and our pluralistic, multi-culturalistic views have us hog-tied when it comes to articulating the motives behind Islamic jihadists and the Islamic mind. Why are we so afraid to interpret things at at face value? It's the classic case of the 500 lb. gorilla sitting in the room about to kill someone while everyone just kind of pretends it's not there. Another question I have is how can people make comparisons between Islamic fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists? If a looney Christian blows up an abortion clinic, he is fundamentally going against anything the Bible, or Jesus taught. Now, let's take a suicide Jihadist killing some Zionists or Infidels. The Jihadist is doing what the Koran and Mohammed taught and what the majority of preachers in mosques are teaching today. Not only are the occurences of violence by Christian fundamentalists scarce in comparison with Islamic fundamentalists, but 99% of Christians would say that's crazy, while Muslims would certainly not have any near the same percentage of dissent, but would likely be sympathetic to their "martyr". When's the last time you heard an Ayatollah condemn such attacks on innocents? Never. When will we wake up?

    Here are some articles a friend passed on to me concerning the growing threat of Islam.

    The first article is written by a well-known liberal, and he is surprisingly unbiased in his assessment. Great read. He choades both Liberals and Conservatives in his 10 reasons. The second article is by conservative Tony Blankley who is spearheading the conservative think-tank effort to educate Americans about the truth concerning Islam and it's threat to our way of life. He highlights the points in the Pope's now famous speech and Henry Kissinger's recent weigh-in on the Nuclear clash of civilizations. Comment which points from the following articles struck you the most.

    "Can the West defeat the Islamic threat? 10 Reasons Why Not" by David Selbourne

    "The Pope and Kissinger Warn the World" by Tony Blankley

    I apologize for my lenghty absence. I simply do not have as much time now. However, I will coninue to post when I can, and hopefully it won't be a month at a time.