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    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    "It's been a nice ride..."

    "...but now I'm gonna have to shoot your horse"...

    You know I dont even know if anyone out there still reads this dinosaur of a blog anymore, but if you do and you've been waiting for a post I do apologize for the lack of notification that I will no longer be blogging. Well at least for now, and at least not as Jake Commando.

    So, this is my official sign off from this blog, and should I return I will certainly let all of you know. As for an update on my life... Well, I officially donned the Green Beret in April of this year after finishing language school successfully in Arabic, and then completing the final training exercise known as Robin Sage. I've been assigned to 5th Special Forces Group at Ft. Campbell, KY and am looking forward to joining my new team and deploying ASAP. All is well.

    I will still continue to receive email at the address on this site, so feel free to keep in touch. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the great debates, and getting to know all of you. I will continue to read your blogs when I can, but as you know, my time is no longer my own.

    Your truly,
    Jake Commando

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Abraham Lincoln Once Said...

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character give him power."

    -Abraham Lincoln

    I think this is an appropriate thought for our current political atmosphere. The Republicans showed us what their character is like when in power, let's see if the Dems can do any better. Let's hope they'll put some good ideas forward- really. Thus far, I haven't heard anything other than "Bush sucks", but I am a reasonable man, and am certainly all ears if the Democrats have an actual agenda other than yelling about how much they hate the POTUS. Let's see what they do with their new found power. Any guesses or predictions?

    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.

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    The Gipper Once Said...

    "Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."

    -Ronald Reagan

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    "Hey, I'm no Dr. Phil"

    I went to Charleston, S.C. last weekend for a little R&R. One of my best friend's wife invited me along with a couple of her friends and her sister. I don't want to drag this out too much and I know she is reading this now, so "A" I'm about to let off some steam- prepare yourself and forgive me ahead of time. I'll be brief and begin with how I was completely unprepared for how very difficult some females can be to travel with. I've been spoiled with some pretty good gals whom I hike, kayak, and backpack with now and again here in N.C., and I think I was in shock when I had to deal with the typical Mississippi Southern Belle and her high-maintenance ways. Examples? How about wearing heels after being warned not to because of all the walking required in Chraleston, and then complaining and wanting to go home because of blisters? Another example? How about not taking advice to get a solo kayak rather than a tandem, and then complain about how horrible the tandem is and then go so far as demanding that someone switch? It gets better- how about throwing a fit all night long keeping everyone up by slamming the hotel room door, and crying and screaming and arguing with folks until someone finally caved in to give said person her due attention... this is a 29 year old BTW and I finally got to sleep at 6AM and woke up at 7AM to lead a kayaking tour. I could go on and on, but then I'd be borderline asshole, maybe even total asshole. Now, in all fairness, this young lady happened to be going through a very tough time in her life, and I suppose I should have been a little more sympathetic. I was not on my best behavior in the sensitivity department although I did make a valiant effort- I swear! I have a very sarcastic and dry sense of humor which can be taken incredibly offensively if one does not know me very well as I tend to deal with difficult situations with these, in my opinion, "qualities". I am also quite arrogant at times, which is certainly not my intention, but my confidence can certainly get out of hand. To make a long story short, this girl went barking up the wrong tree with her manipulative ways, and Jake had to send that dog wimpering away with her tail between her legs. Yes, I made her cry. In the end, all I can really say is, "Hey, I'm no Dr. Phil."

    Charleston wasn't a complete failure. I and the others still made the best of a bad situation. The city is incredible, it reminds me of New Orleans in many ways except cleaner and less sweltering. I ate enough to feed Somalia for a week and I think I fell in love... with the views of course. I was constantly wondering about these South Carolinians and their flag. If you've ever been you know what I'm talking about. That flag was on every vehicle, in every window, and on every other T-shirt. I began to have dreams about that damn thing. At first I thought to myself "that looks like some kind of Muslim flag- what the hell?" After some investigation and interrogation of a local merchant I got the full scoop over a praline and bottled coke. Apparently, the Crescent was worn by the militia during the Revolution, and the Palmetto (which is a plant) was used to defend the city against the cannons of the British Navy during the great blockade. Apparently the pliability of this large plant faired better than hardwood, even causing some of the cannonballs to bounce off them. The explanation was much more colorful and storytellish than what I just regurgitated, but that's the impatient Jake version. I've got a lot to talk about and am trying to cut this down a bit. These South Carolinians are worse than Texans with their flag, and I'd say they rival the Canadians and that little Maple Leaf obsession that those confused North American/French/Indian (sorry Jenna just a small joke) insist on sewing to their luggage and backpacks when traveling. Kayaking was cool, we saw dolphins up close the entire time, and it's always cool to see new kayakers enjoy themselves so much (all but one). A horse carriage ride is a must, as is a walk in the old artillery battery. Charleston is haunted too, and I think my ghost will be returning again soon before I leave the East Coast. Oh yeah, and I brought back two and a half pounds of pralines.

    That's what I did last weekend, the week before that I was simply eating, working out, sleeping and eating... a lot. My training over the last few weeks at Camp Slappy was intense to say the least. Turns out eating acephalous worms, turtles, grass, stingling nettle, and berries doesn't do much for nutrition, and neither does stealing a handful of rice from prison guards. I lost a total of 22 lbs. It was all muscle, as I didn't have an ounce of fat on my body going out there. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I thought I looked like a light-skinned Ehtiopian. I was in such disarray I decided to call Worldvision and apply for being a Worldvision kid. I figured I could get a couple of sponsors who would help nurture me back from starvation. Turns out I'm a little old for the program, so I called Sally Struthers, turns out she's been long forgotten somewhere in the dark continent herself. So, I've taken to two-a-day workouts, lots of Muscle Milk, and Creatine, and lots of resting, hence my absence.

    I also was able to see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby this past weekend. Holy cowbell! That movie was ridiculously funny if you're a Will Ferrell fan. It is a total joke of all things Red State. The worst part is that Red Staters have no idea they're being made fun of, and all those Red Sate Nascar fans are the ones buying all those tickets. Go figure.

    Lastly, what is the deal? I leave for three weeks and come back to Israel invading Lebanon? Mother of Pearl! I always miss the big stuff. Well, there's the update- long and uneventful. I am officially back, but I can't say that I'll be as active as I was before, I just am getting the squeeze on some things here, and things are a little crazy with Mother Army these days. I'll keep you posted.