If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Jenn!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Radio Electrician (Warrant Officer) Thomas James Reeves (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 7, 1941, on the USS California. His citation reads:

For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own safety during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. After the mechanized ammunition hoists were put out of action in the U.S.S. California, Reeves, on his own initiative, in a burning passageway, assisted in the maintenance of an ammunition supply by hand to the antiaircraft guns until he was overcome by smoke and fire, which resulted in his death.

Quartermaster Jeremiah Regan (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 15, 1862, on board the U.S.S. Galena. His citation reads:

As captain of No. 2 gun on board the U.S.S. Galena in the attack upon Drewy's Bluff, 15 May 1862. With his ship severely damaged by the enemy's shellfire and several men killed and wounded Regan, continued to man his gun throughout the engagement despite the concentration of fire directed against men at their guns by enemy sharpshooters in rifle pits along the banks.

Ordinary Seaman Patrick Regan (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 30, 1873, on board the USS Pensacola. His citation reads:

Serving on board the U.S.S. Pensacola, Regan displayed gallant conduct in the harbor of Coquimbor, Chile, 30 July 1873.

We would like to wish our good friend Jenn a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! We hope Clark and the boys make it a great one!

Today we’re going to look at immigration… It seems to be a pretty big issue in the USA (yesterday, today and probably tomorrow). So I thought I’d give you my views on it. Before I get into this, let me talk about something I saw on TV. It was a protest somewhere (don’t remember where) with people holding signs telling illegal immigrants to “go home” and saying “you aren’t wanted here” (or something like that… I probably shouldn’t have used quotes since I’m not sure if they really said that, but proper writing rules are all relative on here). Then this “hero” (according to the media) walked by and started yelling at this crowd. This “hero” was a “Native American” (i.e. Indian… for those of you old enough to remember playing Cowboys and Indians, not Cowboys and Native Americans) who yelled at the protesters something like “You are all illegal immigrants! We should have held these signs up when you came over!”

Good one, “hero”... Of course, the media types all took up the talk that unless you are this type of “Native American” (Indian), then you are an immigrant (some even said, illegal, but I don’t have the time or energy to point out all of the mistakes I see in the news). I’m getting a little off topic here, but stick with me and I promise to get back to the immigration topic I started on. First, I’d like to point out that I was born in the great state of South Carolina which means that (because of the yankees won the first war and wouldn’t grant a re-match) I was born in America. Therefore, I would be a native of America. Not that it matters, but the same could also be said for my parents and their parents (and so on and so forth… but I’d have to consult Sonny to find out just how so on and so forth). Now, listen to some of these media types and you will hear about how these noble people (who, I can only assume, grew up from the ground… or maybe God created them here… in which case I will regret all of this, but I’ve got some room for more regrets) were living as one with nature when big bad Whitey came over from Europe and sent the whole place to hell. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there weren’t any peace loving tribes and I’m not saying Whitey did everything right. So try not to misunderstand me when I say get over it. It sounds harsh, I know, but it’s the only way you’ll ever get past it. Listen, I get it. Like the current “Native Americans”, my land was destroyed by a conquering force (also Whitey, come to think of it). And like the current “Native Americans”, it happened long before I was born. I admit that I would get pissed off reading books on the Civil War when I was growing up… until I read The Guns of the South, at which point I realized that alternate history books on the Civil War were far more pleasing to read than actual history books. I would suggest “Native Americans” either read or write an alternate history book to have things play out the way they wish it had. Even then, get over how real life went down.

I am reminded of an exchange between Bobby Bowden and Tommy Bowden after Bobby’s FSU football team had crushed Tommy’s Clemson team. The two met at mid-field and Bobby shook his son’s hand and looked him in the eyes and said, “Get better players”. He didn’t say, “Gosh, I sure am sorry my players kept beating the crap out of your players”… he simply said, “Get better players”. What’s my point? I’m not 100% sure because I got interrupted while writing this, but I think what I was getting at is that Whitey had better players. Yes, the “Native Americans” were here before Whitey… but Whitey came over and bought, traded, lied, cheated, stole and killed to now have the land. I wish it hadn’t gone down this way, but it did. And it’s not like the “Native Americans” went down without a fight. They just needed better players. (Note: My people had the players, we just needed AK-47s… read the book if you don’t get it). Let me just drive home this off-topic topic by saying I don’t think “Native Americans” should live under separate rules or in separate areas from everyone else. I’m not saying forget your history or traditions, I’m just saying it’s time for all of us to be Americans.

Now back to immigration. I happen to like it. Immigration is what got me my Uncle George (who swam all the way from Cuba on a plane to New York City where he stopped, took one look around and said “I’ll be damned if I’m gonna live up here with all these yankees”… So he swam back down the east coast, saw the Morris Island Lighthouse and said, “This is where I shall make my home”). Eventually he went inland with a six pack of PBR to Knightsville to find a wife (because that’s how things were done back then… it was a different time and I feel like we shouldn’t judge). Anyway, Uncle George worked hard and was eventually rewarded with a nephew like me. It wasn’t always easy for him, though… There were times he had to overcome people having trouble understanding him (not because of a Spanish/English issue… he speaks English fine… it’s just that for some time in his life he had a mustache the size of my forearm, so I’m guessing that had to make it hard for people to understand him). My point in this, is that I am not against immigration.

That does not mean, however, that I don’t think some changes need to be made. Of course, I don’t have all of the answers. I have ideas, but I’d love to hear ideas of others. The first thing that should probably change is enforcing the laws on the books now. I’ll be honest and tell you I have no idea what those laws are, I’m just confident that they aren’t enforcing all of them (that seems to happen a lot). The boarder needs to be protected. I know when you usually hear this in the media, it’s being said by Crazy Whitey who doesn’t want immigrants to enter his country. That’s not the case with me (as I’ve already stated). But we do need to protect the border (of course, by “the border” I mean the border with Mexico). There are many reasons to do this… It helps bring order to the immigration process down in that area; It helps keep terrorists from coming in through that now wide open door; And it creates jobs! Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

My other thought is that there needs to be changes in the US immigration process. Again, I fully admit I know nothing of the current process… I’m just basing this opinion on the fact that we seem to have tons of illegal immigrants and, well, I know the federal government enough to believe there’s too much un-needed red tape in the process. Of course, this brings us to the fact that there’s a chance not all illegal immigrants want to become US citizens. Some just want to come and work. Fine… I’ve got no problem with that. I would just like people in this category to be here legally. Of course, doing this might make it hard for them to find work… especially if the minimum wage is raised, but being here legally has to be a must. So what about the people here illegally now? Well, this is where not knowing the current process could cause me some problems… but surely you know by now that I will never let a lack of knowledge on a subject/topic keep me from having an opinion. I would give them a chance to either leave or become legal. If they want to become legal, I would grant them a temporary work visa that will last just long enough for them to get a real visa. So if it takes 90 days to get a work visa, I would grant them a temporary visa for 90 days. If they don’t have a visa after 90 days, but can show they are in the process of getting a visa (it just hasn’t happened yet because Whitey is dragging his feet), I’d grant an extension. But if they just haven’t gotten around to getting one, then they’re out of here. This is just a one-time thing. I know that’s easier said than done, but it should still be said. So what do we do with illegal immigrants after this (because, of course, it’s probably something that will never really go away)?

I would say the first time they are caught, lock them up. When you have enough to fill a plane, send them back. The second time they are caught, send them back on a plane… but this time make them parachute out when the plane is over their country of origin. The third time, they get to jump out of the plane without the parachute. It might sound harsh… but when you consider some people would like to shoot first and ask questions later, I think my idea isn’t all that bad. I have heard that Canada has a good worker-visa program. I have no idea if this is true (or if it is because nobody really wants to work there… kinda like Vermont having good “race relations” because you only see one race when you’re there for a wedding over a long summer weekend), but it would be worth looking at. Now, being here legally to work and wanting to become a US citizen are two different things.

I believe it is harder (and takes longer) to become a US citizen than it is to just be here legally to work (which makes sense to me). I don’t know what is needed to become a citizen, but I do know that speaking English should be one of those things. Listen, if I move to France, I should speak French. If I move to Spain, I should speak Spanish (you get the idea…). I don’t mind foreign languages being taught in school (I wish they started teaching them in first grade), but English is the language in the USA. I’m not sure how long it takes to become a citizen, but you should be able to reduce some of that time with military service (sure, this option won’t be available to everyone, but life isn’t fair). I’m sure I’ll have other ideas come to me later, but that’s all I’ve got right now.

So what about the kids who are flooding into the country now? This is where churches need to step up. Sadly, I think the best/right thing to do (for the most part) is send the kids back. But there does need to be a process to this. Perhaps some of these kids should remain in the US (for various reasons). Regardless, the process to send these kids back isn’t an overnight thing… So these kids need to have somewhere to stay until the process is complete. This is where churches (and various non-profits) can step in and provide temporary shelter/food. What better way to show Jesus’s love? Again, this is something that shouldn’t be needed after this group is sent home as long as the government decides to secure the border.

Having said all of that, I’d be willing to grant immediate citizenship to anyone willing to come stand guard on South Carolina’s northern border to keep yankees from moving down here. That’s not nearly the joke some of you may think it is…

Picture Thursday

MR after getting her braces

She got pink and green

This is where Scooby goes every morning when I go to get in the shower...

I came home one day and found this on my floor... so I decided to find out who did it.

I tried to ask Scooby, but he wouldn't make eye contact.

Maverick looked me in the eyes and told me, "Scooby did it"

I turned back around and saw this... I'm sure he was thinking "Well, this is awkward..."

He still wouldn't look me in the eye

The shame was finally too much for him

It's not enough just to get into my bed... they also have to spread out as much as possible

MR getting braces...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

John 14:6-7

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Second Lieutenant Robert Dale Reem (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 6, 1950, at Vicinity Chinhung-ni, Korea. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a platoon commander in Company H, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Grimly determined to dislodge a group of heavy enemy infantry units occupying well-concealed and strongly fortified positions on commanding ground overlooking unprotected terrain. 2d Lt. Reem moved slowly forward up the side of the ridge with his platoon in the face of a veritable hail of shattering hostile machine gun, grenade, and rifle fire. Three times repulsed by a resolute enemy force in achieving his objective, and pinned down by the continuing fury of hostile fire, he rallied and regrouped the heroic men in his depleted and disorganized platoon in preparation for a fourth attack. Issuing last-minute orders to his noncommissioned officers when an enemy grenade landed in a depression of the rocky ground in which the group was standing, 2d Lt. Reem unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, springing upon the deadly missile, absorbed the full impact of the explosion in his body, thus protecting others from serious injury and possible death. Stouthearted and indomitable, he readily yielded his own chance of survival that his subordinate leaders might live to carry on the fight against a fanatic enemy. His superb courage, cool decisiveness, and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon 2d Lt. Reem and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Private James W. Reese (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 5, 1943, at Mt. Vassillio, Sicily. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life. above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict with the enemy. When the enemy launched a counterattack which threatened the position of his company, Pvt. Reese, as the acting squad leader of a 60-mm. mortar squad, displaying superior leadership on his own initiative, maneuvered his squad forward to a favorable position, from which, by skillfully directing the fire of his weapon, he caused many casualties in the enemy ranks, and aided materially in repulsing the counterattack. When the enemy fire became so severe as to make his position untenable, he ordered the other members of his squad to withdraw to a safer position, but declined to seek safety for himself. So as to bring more effective fire upon the enemy, Pvt. Reese, without assistance, moved his mortar to a new position and attacked an enemy machinegun nest. He had only 3 rounds of ammunition but secured a direct hit with his last round, completely destroying the nest and killing the occupants. Ammunition being exhausted, he abandoned the mortar. seized a rifle and continued to advance, moving into an exposed position overlooking the enemy. Despite a heavy concentration of machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire, the heaviest experienced by his unit throughout the entire Sicilian campaign, he remained at this position and continued to inflict casualties upon the enemy until he was killed. His bravery, coupled with his gallant and unswerving determination to close with the enemy, regardless of consequences and obstacles which he faced, are a priceless inspiration to our armed forces.

Private First Class John N. Reese, Jr. (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 9, 1945, at Paco Railroad Station, Manila, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

He was engaged in the attack on the Paco Railroad Station, which was strongly defended by 300 determined enemy soldiers with machineguns and rifles, supported by several pillboxes, 3 20mm. guns, 1 37-mm. gun and heavy mortars. While making a frontal assault across an open field, his platoon was halted 100 yards from the station by intense enemy fire. On his own initiative he left the platoon. accompanied by a comrade, and continued forward to a house 60 yards from the objective. Although under constant enemy observation. the 2 men remained in this position for an hour, firing at targets of opportunity, killing more than 35 Japanese and wounding many more. Moving closer to the station and discovering a group of Japanese replacements attempting to reach pillboxes, they opened heavy fire, killed more than 40 and stopped all subsequent attempts to man the emplacements. Enemy fire became more intense as they advanced to within 20 yards of the station. From that point Pfc. Reese provided effective covering fire and courageously drew enemy fire to himself while his companion killed 7 Japanese and destroyed a 20-mm. gun and heavy machinegun with handgrenades. With their ammunition running low, the 2 men started to return to the American lines, alternately providing covering fire for each other as they withdrew. During this movement, Pfc. Reese was killed by enemy fire as he reloaded his rifle. The intrepid team, in 21/2 hours of fierce fighting, killed more than 82 Japanese, completely disorganized their defense and paved the way for subsequent complete defeat of the enemy at this strong point. By his gallant determination in the face of tremendous odds, aggressive fighting spirit, and extreme heroism at the cost of his life, Pfc. Reese materially aided the advance of our troops in Manila and providing a lasting inspiration to all those with whom he served.

The I’m just sayin… Gospel Verse of the Week
John 14:6-7

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Friday, July 25, 2014

Missing MaMa

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private James C. Reed (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 29, 1868, in Arizona. His citation reads:

Defended his position (with 3 others) against a party of 17 hostile Indians under heavy fire at close quarters, the entire party except himself being severely wounded.

Private William Reed (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 22, 1863, at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His citation reads:

Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."

Private Charles A. Reeder (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865, at Battery Gregg, near Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

I didn’t really plan this, but it seems rather appropriate that I have a post like this on the anniversary of MaMa’s passing. I still miss our talks… the times I’d call her and talk to her and the times I’d stop by and just sit and talk to her. All were wonderful and all left me feeling better than I had before. Truth is, a lot of my views (good and maybe not as good… haha) come from MaMa (California will fall into the ocean one day… and that won’t necessarily be a bad thing; President Lyndon Johnson was a crook; Girls are a lot meaner than boys: If two boys are mad at each other, they’ll fight and be done with it… but girls can be sneaky and ruthless and so on and so forth).

Anyway, let’s get to the task at hand. You need to realize that while I do usually have all of the answers and know everything, these subjects I plan to talk about are things I don’t really know everything about. I don’t know all of these answers. So this will be fun. I might end up fighting on both sides of the issue… who knows? Sometimes when I argue with Sonny, his strategy is to just let me keep talking until I end up on his side of the argument (at which point he will yell, “I agree”). And that’s fine. There are times I’ll argue with people I agree with just because I think their argument (for the thing with agree on, mind you) is flawed. Truth is I’m ever-changing… There are only a few things that will never change: I believe Jesus died for my sins; I love my family (and most/some of my friends); And I firmly believe that Free Bird is a better song than Smells Like Teen Spirit. Outside of those things, my mind can be changed… it might not be easy, but it can happen.

I’m not sure if you saw this a few weeks ago, but Hobby Lobby won their case in the Supreme Court having to do with contraception. The argument was that, due to their religious beliefs, the owners of Hobby Lobby did not want to provide certain types of birth control because they considered these types of birth control to be abortive type things. The “news” coverage of this ruling was biased based on what political party the various “news organizations” sided with that you might have seen that this was either a huge victory for religious rights or that 5 old men on the Supreme Court have now given men (who own Hobby Lobby) the right to tell women that they can’t have birth control. Yep, some “news outlets” actually said this ruling would mean that women who work for Hobby Lobby now can’t have birth control (because they’ve lost that right). My wish, perhaps more than any other wish that I will tell you about in this sentence, is that there would be at least ONE real news organization out there that could be trusted to just REPORT the f’ing news. Just state the facts and let me make my own decisions.

Anywho, the whole freaking thing gave me a headache, so I kind of stopped researching it (i.e., I’m not that news organization I’m wanting). From what I could piece together, this was a very narrow ruling that could be a slippery slope into a very big problem once lawyers really get their hands on it and pick it apart. I also saw that it may or may not be for all contraception (the confusion here might be that Hobby Lobby only cared about a couple of things, but the next religious fella might care about all of them). I’m not 100% sure how to organize what I want to say, so forgive me if I kind of bounce all over the place with this. I would like to start, I guess, by pointing out that insurance doesn’t cover all medication anyway, so get over it. I believe that these various birth control pills and whatnot are now mandated by a healthcare bill that may very well have some good ideas in it, but we might never know because I’m not sure anyone has actually read it. By the way, before the new health care bill came into play, did the Hobby Lobby insurance plan cover all of the birth control options being argued in this case? Has anyone asked that? (Hmmm…. Based on my research staff, it seems the company did offer some insurance plans that covered things like the morning after pill, but they didn’t realize it at the time and once they found out they stopped… so that doesn’t really help me either way). Whatever the case, though, the Supreme Court did not rule that women can’t have birth control. Women covered under the Hobby Lobby insurance plan can still get birth control… it’s just Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to cover it. I get that this would mean the birth control is now more expensive, and thus could keep some from being able to afford it, but they still have the right to it.

On one hand, I don’t think a business owner should be forced to do something that is against his religious beliefs. And I think that adults should be responsible for their own birth control. Of course, finding out that this kind of thing has been covered in the past somewhat negates that line of thinking. On the other hand… What exactly is the “end game” for Christians (who were the people this time trying to protect their religious beliefs)? It would seem Hobby Lobby (and, I think, most Christians) are against abortions. Their argument against some of these birth control methods that they didn’t want to cover is that they are “abortive” methods. Based on things I’ve read, I don’t think they are correct about this… but that’s not really the point of my argument. If the goal is to stop (or at least limit) abortions, then maybe that is where the focus should be. But Greg, you say, that is where their focus seems to be! In the eyes of the church (for the most part), there is a simple solution to the abortion problem… don’t have sex unless you are willing to take care of the baby who might be a result of said sex. And, of course, don’t have sex if you aren’t married (or if you aren’t married to the person you want to have sex with). I may be over simplifying these points a bit, but I don’t think I’m too far off point. In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be a problem… but the world is not perfect. Not only that, but not all of the people in this country are Christian… so they might not buy into these views. And even those who are Christian might not follow these views. So perhaps they are focusing on stopping abortions, but maybe it would be better to try to tackle the problem from a different angle. One way to do this is to make birth control as affordable/available as possible. People should be responsible on their own…. But they aren’t. And a lot of them aren’t any more responsible after they’ve had their baby, which means at some point we the people are responsible. All in all, it’s cheaper to help prevent conception than it is to help raise a child. I also think the church needs to be proactive in providing options to abortions. Simply telling people (believers and non-believers) what they can/can’t do doesn’t really seem to be working all that well. I know I am going to get a little off the Hobby Lobby topic here for a minute, but it’s my blog so…

This is one thing the people who protest outside of abortion clinics need to realize. And don’t get me started on people who bomb abortion clinics. How many people is that bringing to Jesus? How many people see that and start singing “I have decided to follow Jesus…”? I don’t disagree that abortions are, for the most part, bad and should be avoided… but I do see some issues with how they are trying to stop the abortions. Instead of taking that approach, maybe the church (each on their own or in cooperation with other churches) should look at starting/running/supporting orphanages (which many do in other countries… so why not here?). I’m not saying this would be easy, and there might be some laws and/or red tape that would need to be worked around… but if abortions are evil enough to “make” someone kill to prevent them, then surely it is worth the time and effort to prevent them. Right? Along these lines, maybe the church should look into promoting adoptions (and, maybe even helping church members adopt children who would otherwise be aborted). With fertility drugs becoming better at doing their job, I fear (without doing any research what so ever… I mean, I am on my computer yet I’m not even doing a simple google search on the subject) that fewer and fewer people are looking at the adoption option. And that is too bad, because a lot of needy kids could be missing out on some kick-ass parents. Maybe these things wouldn’t stop people from having abortions… but aren’t they worth a try? At the very least, I think this kind of approach might do a better job of showing Jesus’ love then bombing a building.

So one last thing about the Hobby Lobby decision… I thought it was the wrong decision. Not because of some of the very political (i.e. not 100% true) reasons that have been in the media, but because of the one legit reason I heard during Morning Joe. That reason is the fact that Hobby Lobby is a corporation… a “closely held” corporation, to be sure, but still a corporation. Why does this matter? Because: What sets the corporation apart from all other types of businesses is that a corporation is an independent legal entity, separate from the people who own, control, and manage it. In other words, corporation and tax laws view the corporation as a legal "person" that can enter into contracts, incur debts, and pay taxes apart from its owners. Other important characteristics also result from the corporation's separate existence: A corporation does not dissolve when its owners (shareholders) change or die, and the owners of a corporation have limited liability -- that is, they are not personally responsible for the corporation's debts. (thanks http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/corporations-faq-29122.html) I could be missing something, but I don’t think there is really a difference between “closely held” corporations and other sized corporations as far as protections go. This means that when the owners of Hobby Lobby decided to become a corporation, they did so based on the protections they could get as a corporation. By definition, once they became a corporation, Hobby Lobby became separate from the owners. This doesn’t mean there can be no mix of religion and business… because the owners do still, for good reason, have influence on the business (just like with Chick-fil-A), but that is different from what we are talking about here.

I hope I didn’t ramble too much and was able to make the points I wanted to make. It’s possible this is all rubbish and I will read this tomorrow and think “What the heck was I trying to say?”… but I think I’ve said all I set out to say. Let me know what you think. There’s a chance I’m completely wrong about this stuff… if I am, let me know. But don’t just say, “You’re wrong!” (if I wanted to hear that, I’d talk to The Wife)… give me your thoughts on the subject. If you don’t want to leave a comment, then talk to me the next time you see me… or shoot me an email… (If you never see me and you don’t have my email address, then I guess you’ll have to leave a comment).

Thank you and good day

Thursday, July 24, 2014

RIP James Garner

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Axel H. Reed (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 19, 1863 at Chickamauga, Georgia AND November 25, 1863, at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee. His citation reads:

While in arrest at Chickamauga, Ga., left his place in the rear and voluntarily went to the line of battle, secured a rifle, and fought gallantly during the 2_day battle; was released from arrest in recognition of his bravery. At Missionary Ridge commanded his company and gallantly led it, being among the first to enter the enemy's works; was severely wounded, losing an arm, but declined a discharge and remained in active service to the end of the war.

Bugler Charles W. Reed (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His citation reads:

Rescued his wounded captain from between the lines.

Private George W. Reed (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 21, 1864, at Weldon Railroad, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag of 24th North Carolina Volunteers (C.S.A.).

Due to my posting schedule, I’m a little late with this, but we’d like to say goodbye to actor James Garner. I didn’t know him myself, so I won’t tell you how great of a man he was… he seemed great to me, but I don’t know. I can tell you this… I thought he was one heck of an actor. He played Bret Maverick in the TV series Maverick and Jim Rockford in the TV series The Rockford Files. He was also in over 50 movies (my favorites being Maverick and The Great Escape… as well as Danny’s [yes, that Danny’s] favorite The Notebook). He will be missed…

THE NEW BOOK IS HERE!!!!!!!! Caribbean Chill, the much anticipated follow-up book to I’m just sayin…’s highly recommended Alpha Threat, is now available. Mine is on the way. I’ll let you know how it is when I’m done reading it. I can’t wait!

Speaking of things I can’t wait for… Labor Day Weekend is right around the corner! As you know, Labor Day is my favorite non-religious holiday, by a very large margin. I will most likely be packing before the end of the month. I’m usually packed and ready for the holiday weekend at least one month before we actually leave. I can’t help it… I have too much fun seeing everyone to NOT be excited. As soon as I remember how I did it, I’ll put the countdown clock back up.

I know you’ve been waiting for some “deeper” thoughts from me, but those seem to take a little longer to type and time has been short around here lately. I’ll try to get something on here tomorrow about at least one of the topics I listed last week. Until then, let me remind you that I am not without prejudice. My prejudice is not based on race, sex (male/female and/or sexual orientation), religion or age (for the most part)… Nay, my prejudice is based on things more important. Family first, then friends, then people from James Island, then people from Summerville/Knightsville, then people from the Lowcountry, then people from South Carolina, then people from Georgia/North Carolina, then people from Dixie, then people from the mid-west, then people from the west (excluding California), then people from the United Kingdom, then people from Mexico, then people from South America, then people from Canada, then people from California, then people from the north, then hippies… I think you get my point. Of course, as many of you know, people within these groups are ranked (sometimes literally) and can sometimes move from one group to the next (so some friends may be above some family and whatnot). My point is that I’m not one of these people who will tell you that I am not prejudice. I am… and I’ve noticed that I am (some of what I listed was kind of a joke, but not much). Anyway, I don’t know if any of this will play a role in my views that I’ll start posting tomorrow… but I’m sure it plays some kind of role. I guess the real question is how much of a role do these prejudices play.

Picture Thursday
Our pictures today are going to be of Mary Ruth... pre-braces.  All of these are from the week MR got to spend with Teresa Lynn and Brent (and the girls)...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Matthew 21:22

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant George F. Rebmann (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 9, 1865, at Blakely, Alabama. His citation reads:

Capture of flag.

Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr. (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on November 5, 1950, near Chonghyon, Korea. His citation reads:

Cpl. Red Cloud, Company E, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. From his position on the point of a ridge immediately in front of the company command post he was the first to detect the approach of the Chinese Communist forces and give the alarm as the enemy charged from a brush-covered area less than 100 feet from him. Springing up he delivered devastating pointblank automatic rifle fire into the advancing enemy. His accurate and intense fire checked this assault and gained time for the company to consolidate its defense. With utter fearlessness he maintained his firing position until severely wounded by enemy fire. Refusing assistance he pulled himself to his feet and wrapping his arm around a tree continued his deadly fire again, until he was fatally wounded. This heroic act stopped the enemy from overrunning his company's position and gained time for reorganization and evacuation of the wounded. Cpl. Red Cloud's dauntless courage and gallant self-sacrifice reflects the highest credit upon himself and upholds the esteemed traditions of the U.S. Army.

Corporal William H. Reddick (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions during April 1862, in Georgia. His citation reads:

One of the 19 of 22 men (including 2 civilians) who, by direction of Gen. Mitchell (or Buell), penetrated nearly 200 miles south into enemy territory and captured a railroad train at Big Shanty, Ga., in an attempt to destroy the bridges and tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta.

The I’m just sayin… Gospel Verse of the Week
Matthew 21:22

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy (late) Birthday Janie!!!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Seaman George E. Read (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1864, on board the USS Kearsarge. His citation reads:

Served as seaman on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Acting as the first loader of the No. 2 gun during this bitter engagement, Read exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended for his gallantry under fire by his divisional officer.

Lieutenant Morton A. Read (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 8, 1865, at Appomattox Station, Virginia. His citation reads:

Capture of flag of 1st Texas Infantry (C.S.A.).

First Lieutenant Frank S. Reasoner (US Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 12, 1965, near Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. The reconnaissance patrol led by 1st Lt. Reasoner had deeply penetrated heavily controlled enemy territory when it came under extremely heavy fire from an estimated 50 to 100 Viet Cong insurgents. Accompanying the advance party and the point that consisted of 5 men, he immediately deployed his men for an assault after the Viet Cong had opened fire from numerous concealed positions. Boldly shouting encouragement, and virtually isolated from the main body, he organized a base of fire for an assault on the enemy positions. The slashing fury of the Viet Cong machinegun and automatic weapons fire made it impossible for the main body to move forward. Repeatedly exposing himself to the devastating attack he skillfully provided covering fire, killing at least 2 Viet Cong and effectively silencing an automatic weapons position in a valiant attempt to effect evacuation of a wounded man. As casualties began to mount his radio operator was wounded and 1st Lt. Reasoner immediately moved to his side and tended his wounds. When the radio operator was hit a second time while attempting to reach a covered position, 1st Lt. Reasoner courageously running to his aid through the grazing machinegun fire fell mortally wounded. His indomitable fighting spirit, valiant leadership and unflinching devotion to duty provided the inspiration that was to enable the patrol to complete its mission without further casualties. In the face of almost certain death he gallantly gave his life in the service of his country. His actions upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

Before we get started today, I’d like to wish my Labor Day Aunt Janie a VERY HAPPY (LATE) BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not sure how I missed her birthday yesterday… but I did. Still, Sonny doesn't believe in birthdays, so I know I wished her a “Happy Birthday” before that sonofagun.

So I've been thinking a good bit lately about stuff that’s been in the news. I have come to realize that my life is filled with contradictions and, while I wish I could be more consistent with my views/actions… I've decided for now to just accept it and move on. This will probably be something you notice in upcoming post(s) where I will share with you my views on such things as homosexuality, immigration, birth control and gay immigrates on birth control (just kidding about that last part… unless something comes up in the news that gets my attention). Every now and then I think it’s good to update you on how I feel about different “issues”, as these things can possibly change over the years (or months… or days… or hourly). While I usually have all of the answers, these are some things that I honestly just don’t know everything about. Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t… that’s fine. Maybe what I say will make you mad… I think that’s kind of silly, but I can live with it. If anything, maybe what I say will make you think about your views on these issues. Maybe it will change your mind, maybe it will strengthen your views. Maybe you’ll forget everything I wrote ten minutes after you leave here to check out Facebook. I’m not here to change the world… or your mind. I’m just here because it’s free and I like to pretend that what I write is important. But honestly, my own children don’t listen to me, so I won’t be offended if you don’t either. Until then… let’s enjoy some pictures!

Picture Thursday

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Corporal William H. Raymond (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His citation reads:

Voluntarily and under a severe fire brought a box of ammunition to his comrades on the skirmish line.

Ordinary Seaman Charles Read (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 6, 1865, on board the USS Magnolia. His citation reads:

As seaman on board the U.S.S. Magnolia, St. Marks, Fla., 5 and 6 March 1865. Serving with the Army in charge of Navy howitzers during the attack on St. Marks and throughout this fierce engagement, Read made remarkable efforts in assisting transport of the gun, and his coolness and determination in courageously standing by his gun while under the fire of the enemy were a credit to the service to which he belonged.

Coxswain Charles A. Read (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1864, on board the USS Kearsarge. His citation reads:

Served as coxswain on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Acting as the first sponger of the pivot gun during this bitter engagement, Read exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended for his gallantry under fire by his divisional officer.

Today I’d like to wish my good buddy Ross a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! We hope he has a great day!

We’d also like to wish Tony Kornheiser a very Happy Birthday!

The I’m just sayin… Gospel Verse of the Week
Matthew 22:36-40 (KJV)

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Random pics…

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Sergeant Charles W. Ray (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 19, 1899, near San Isidro, Luzon, Philippine Islands. His citation reads:

Most distinguished gallantry in action. Captured a bridge with the detachment he commanded and held it against a superior force of the enemy, thereby enabling an army to come up and cross.

Hospital Corpsman Second Class David Robert Ray (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 19, 1969, in Quang Nam Province, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a HC2c. with Battery D, 2d Battalion, at Phu Loc 6, near An Hoa. During the early morning hours, an estimated battalion-sized enemy force launched a determined assault against the battery's position, and succeeded in effecting a penetration of the barbed-wire perimeter. The initial burst of enemy fire caused numerous casualties among the marines who had immediately manned their howitzers during the rocket and mortar attack. Undaunted by the intense hostile fire, HC2c. Ray moved from parapet to parapet, rendering emergency medical treatment to the wounded. Although seriously wounded himself while administering first aid to a marine casualty, he refused medical aid and continued his lifesaving efforts. While he was bandaging and attempting to comfort another wounded marine, HC2c. Ray was forced to battle 2 enemy soldiers who attacked his position, personally killing 1 and wounding the other. Rapidly losing his strength as a result of his severe wounds, he nonetheless managed to move through the hail of enemy fire to other casualties. Once again, he was faced with the intense fire of oncoming enemy troops and, despite the grave personal danger and insurmountable odds, succeeded in treating the wounded and holding off the enemy until he ran out of ammunition, at which time he sustained fatal wounds. HC2c. Ray's final act of heroism was to protect the patient he was treating. He threw himself upon the wounded marine, thus saving the man's life when an enemy grenade exploded nearby. By his determined and persevering actions, courageous spirit, and selfless devotion to the welfare of his marine comrades, HC2c. Ray served to inspire the men of Battery D to heroic efforts in defeating the enemy. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

1st Lieutenant Ronald Eric Ray (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1966, in the la Drang Valley, Republic of Vietnam. His citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Ray distinguished himself while serving as a platoon leader with Company A. When 1 of his ambush patrols was attacked by an estimated reinforced Viet Cong company, Capt. Ray organized a reaction force and quickly moved through 2 kilometers of mountainous jungle terrain to the contact area. After breaking through the hostile lines to reach the beleaguered patrol, Capt. Ray began directing the reinforcement of the site. When an enemy position pinned down 3 of his men with a heavy volume of automatic weapons fire, he silenced the emplacement with a grenade and killed 4 Viet Cong with his rifle fire. As medics were moving a casualty toward a sheltered position, they began receiving intense hostile fire. While directing suppressive fire on the enemy position, Capt. Ray moved close enough to silence the enemy with a grenade. A few moments later Capt. Ray saw an enemy grenade land, unnoticed, near 2 of his men. Without hesitation or regard for his safety he dove between the grenade and the men, thus shielding them from the explosion while receiving wounds in his exposed feet and legs. He immediately sustained additional wounds in his legs from an enemy machinegun, but nevertheless he silenced the emplacement with another grenade. Although suffering great pain from his wounds, Capt. Ray continued to direct his men, providing the outstanding courage and leadership they vitally needed, and prevented their annihilation by successfully leading them from their surrounded position. Only after assuring that his platoon was no longer in immediate danger did he allow himself to be evacuated for medical treatment. By his gallantry at the risk of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, Capt. Ray has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Well it looks like another week where I’m not going to have time to talk about everything I want to talk about. Alas… maybe next week. The good news, however, is that the Medal of Honor site I use is back up… so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

My cousin Susan had a chance to see me last night. I’m sure it was the highlight of her summer. We had a great time going out to eat with Uncle George and Aunt Yvonne and Mom and Dad (and Susan). I give Susan a hard time, but she did show me some pretty cool pictures from her vacation in California… which was nice, because the odds of me going to California are about as good as the chances of me joining the Westboro Baptist Cult. I will say I have entertained the thought of maybe going to San Diego someday… but unless it moves a lot closer (or gas prices get a lot cheaper), I doubt it will ever happen.

Auditors are in my office this week and next week. Pray they don’t pull my files. I’m 99% sure I have been doing things the right way and my stuff is ok… but I’d rather not take the chance that I’m wrong.

Looks like Brazil studied France’s WWII defense while preparing for their World Cup match against Germany. Honestly, you probably have to go back that far to find the last time Germany scored that much (and that fast). I do feel bad for Brazil… This is one huge advantage the US players have. Once the US got knocked out, our guys were able to come back to a country where it’s not that hard to “get away” from the World Cup (if they wanted). Not so much in Brazil… where, A. The World Cup is being played and B. 99% of their citizens LOVE futbol (the other 1% are from America).

Picture Thursday

I love when MR makes me laugh... here she is playing with some crab claws

A nice pic of me and The Kids

Mary Ruth giving Da a kiss....

Another pic of me with Mary Ruth and The Twins

MR and The Wife

She's goofy

Daniel and Scooby sleeping on my bed...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Matthew 21:12-13

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

I found some info on Wikipedia… so we’re going to play a little catch-up today…

Private Myron H. Ranney (Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 30, 1862, in Prince William County, Virginia. His citation reads:

Picked up the colors and carried them off the field after the color bearer had been shot down; was himself wounded.

First Sergeant Edward Ratcliff (Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 29, 1864, in Henrica County, Virginia. His citation reads:

Commanded and gallantly led his company after the commanding officer had been killed; was the first enlisted man to enter the enemy's works.

Assistant Surgeon Jacob F. Raub (Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on February 5, 1865, in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. His citation reads:

Discovering a flank movement by the enemy, appraised the commanding general at great peril, and though a noncombatant voluntarily participated with the troops in repelling this attack.

Corporal William H. Raymond (Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His citation reads:

Voluntarily and under a severe fire brought a box of ammunition to his comrades on the skirmish line.

Ordinary Seaman Charles Read (Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 6, 1865, on board the USS Magnolia. His citation reads:

As seaman on board the USS Magnolia, St. Marks, Fla., 5 and 6 March 1865.

Coxswain Charles A. Read (Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1864, on board the USS Kearsarge. His citation reads:

Served as coxswain on board the USS Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864.

The I’m just sayin… Gospel Verse of the Week
Matthew 21:12-13

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

4th of July Eve

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients: So… It seems we have a problem here. The website that I get this information from was down. I’m not sure how long it has been down because I got all of the info for my June posts back in the end of May. I hope it comes back up soon, because we still had some names to get to. And… this is probably my favorite part of the blog.

I was going to start the blog with something else, but decided to put this first. RIP Stanley Feldman. I played baseball in the Fall of 1996 with his son Aaron. Aaron was a nice guy (like most of the guys on that team), but I wouldn’t really say we were close. I wasn’t really close with anyone on that team. I was kind of an outsider to a group of guys who played legion ball together (for the Charleston Legion team) and high school ball together (some for Bishop England, some for Wando). Aaron played for BE, which meant I liked him a little more than I would have if he’d played for Wando. Hey… I’m just being honest. Anyway, we were on the team together that one fall and that was it. Had Mr. Feldman never spoken to me after that fall, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it. Like I said, Aaron and I got along fine, but I don’t remember us being real close. But every time I saw Mr. Feldman after that fall, he would say hello. That next spring during the high school season, my JI team played Aaron’s BE team. BE had a runner on base with zero outs. The batter (maybe it was Aaron… or maybe he was the runner on second… or maybe he wasn’t involved in this play… that’s one part I don’t remember) lays a sacrifice bunt down. I sprint to first to cover the bag… Theo (my favorite defensive first basemen of all time… and I mean ALL TIME) starts in, but then sees the catcher (Moose) is going to get it, so he sprints back to the bag and calls me off. So I do what I’d been taught to do and start back peddling down the right field line to back up the throw. This was really just a “going through the motions” type thing, because Moose had a gun for an arm (and very accurate too) and Theo could catch any/everything (I know, because he saved me from having about 40 throwing errors). Well, wouldn’t you know this is the one time Moose throws high and Theo can’t get it. As I’m still back peddling, I also have to jump to catch the ball to keep it from going to the fence. Because of this, they held the runner up at third… saving us a run (the funny thing is, I'd be willing to bet that if the runner had gone home, I wouldn't have been able to throw him out). We ended up winning the game (not because of this… but I’m sure it didn’t hurt). Mr. Feldman brought this play up every time I saw him after this. Mind you, he would come up to me to say hello and then he would bring it up. How nice is that? I played with some guys for four years and I couldn’t tell you what their parents look like… and I doubt they ever talked to me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame them for this… because that’s how I am. I think that’s the reason Mr. Feldman sticks out so much in my mind. Because I found him to be so nice… and he didn’t HAVE to be nice to me. He didn’t have to be anything to me. I wasn’t a longtime friend of the family or someone who he saw all of the time. Dad knew his dad… but I didn’t find that out until this week, so it’s not like our families knew each other well. But he would still come up after a game or anywhere else out in public and say hey. That’s a classy guy in my book. Stanley Feldman died earlier this week. He had brain cancer, I believe. He was just 60 years old. I know life doesn’t work this way… but someone this good shouldn’t die that young.

Oh, the best part about the story I just told you? When I sent Dad a text Tuesday morning to tell him Mr. Feldman died. I mentioned that he would always bring up a play I made against BE. Dad knew the exact play that I was talking about. He said it was a play Sonny would have never made, because Sonny only thought about himself and never backed up his teammates… ok… I might be making that part up. But if you read between the lines of what Dad texted me, I think you could see that...

I’m off tomorrow, so I’ll go ahead and wish you a Happy July 4th (or as we at I’m just sayin… like to call it, “The last time the French were worth a damn”). Forgive me, but I saw something recently about President Obama wanting women to get paid maternity leave. I won’t get into my thoughts on that just yet (because I’m not really sure what I think about it yet), but I can tell you my first thought was “No”. Why? Because one of the first arguments for it was, “France does it”. I’m getting just a little sick and tired of hearing about all of the “great things” France does. I’m not saying there aren’t any good ideas that we could take from France (and Europe in general), but I don’t want to hear “France does it” as a reason. If these United States of America always followed France’s lead, we’d all be speaking German right now. Yep, none of these “France does it, so the USA should do it too” seem to remember that. I’m sure France has some good soldiers and it’s probably not right for someone like me who never served in the military to question the military of another country… but I can’t help it.

Good news… I think I’m getting somewhere with Jeremy on this podcast idea. Right now, he’s worried that nobody would listen to it… which is kind of funny, since I’m worried that people would listen to it. Right now, I’d say the main thing stopping us is Jeremy figuring out how to do everything and then making sure we have the equipment to do it. That and all of the other little details that we didn’t really hash out the one time we emailed each other about this. I’ll keep you updated on the yet to be named podcast (one name idea I’m just now telling Jeremy about is Two Drunk Guys… Our thing could be drinking while doing the podcast… that could be fun).

How about Tim Howard?!  You take that guy off the team and that match on Tuesday would have been a real ugly loss.  That guy was GREAT.  The US team needs to add speed.  I'm sure there's other stuff (I'm no soccer expert), but speed is the main thing I saw missing.

I actually had a bunch of other stuff I wanted to talk about, but Mr. Feldman passing bumped that stuff. I’ll get to it next week… because it’s thoughts on some recent issues that I really want to get to on here.

Picture Thursday

Today is a Daniel picture day...