Saturday, February 8, 2014


Life is somewhat cyclical in the sense that children become their parents.

I watched some of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics last night and today I caught some speed skating, snowboarding and women's hockey.  I particularly enjoyed the USA women's hockey team defeating the Finnish team at 3 to 1.

In my earlier years I use to watch my father watch sporting events on television that would bore me to tears.  It would be basketball, football, track, golf and the Olympic games.  I would always find something to do like go outside or curl up with a book or magazine and escape the sound of the amped up television.  I could never understand my father's fascination with those sporting events.

Last evening I was watching the broadcast of the opening ceremonies and at a certain point Bob Costas began to interview President Obama.  Obligatory remarks were made about the athletic prowess of the competitors but soon it was all politics and all about me.  I became incensed.

I wanted to see the ceremonies and the parade of athletes.  I muted the television and after surfing the web for a while I returned to a very entertaining event.  I do admit at times it was boring but interesting nonetheless.

This evening after viewing some events Bob Costas was in studio talking with Chris Collinsworth and an Olympic athlete.  The discussion centered on the opening ceremonies and the excitement that participants were feeling about being involved in a worldwide production.  It went well for a while and then Costas began to editorialize and Collinsworth verbally slammed him down.

I finally realized what my father saw in these competitions.  He saw himself, he saw his children, he saw his grandchildren.  The games are about THEM. 

It should not be about politicians.  It should not be about ideologies.  It should not be about talking heads.  It is about THEM.

It has taken me over forty years to finally understand the lesson my father was trying to teach me. 

Thanks Dad, I finally got it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Just my Opinion

I know many of you are disappointed that President Obama so far has chosen not to come to Gettysburg for the commemoration of Dedication Day at the Gettysburg National Cemetery on November 19, 2013.

This should be a surprise to no one who studies history.

In a recent political tiff the president had with congress, he used the National Park Service as political club to inflict as much pain as he could into the lives of patriotic Americans.

It wasn't the closing of scenic lands and recreational parks that cut deeply into the flesh of veterans and historians, rather the unnecessary closure of national battlefields here in the U. S. and the national cemeteries both home and abroad.

Those actions betrayed the most historically tone deaf president in our history.

His actions were designed to support his political agenda by creating a straw man that would destroy his political opponents by creating a public opinion conflagration. It did not work and he was seen as the clueless historian he truly is.

He had many alternatives but he chose to inconvenience the American public as much as possible.

His disrespect for the American dead that occupy all our "hallowed ground" was witnessed by everyone on the planet. It would seem an extreme example of hubris if now he tried to show reverence for the soil he had secured behind locked gates a short time ago.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Shameful Incongruity

The inability for the President and Congress to sit down at a negotiating table and produce some productive measures to satisfy all political factions is disgraceful.  All voters regardless of party, should be angry with their elected officials.

This failure to compromise is hurting the taxpayer and government employee on a daily basis.  People aren't paid and government services cannot be fulfilled.

With living near Gettysburg, one can really feel the pain.  Tourists have been deprived of visiting the battlefield and national cemetery.  Licensed guides suddenly have lost income overnight due to the inability to guide anywhere with the closure of federal property.  Locally businesses are losing income everyday as tourism spirals downward.

The real shame is that all of this could have been prevented regardless if there was a government shutdown or not.  The Executive Department (i.e. President Obama) made a political calculus on how to address the government slowdown and decided on closure in order to hurt the public the most.  This has been confirmed by at least one federal park ranger and the actions of the Department of Interior which have adversely affected private commerce near the federal parks.

In the instance of Gettysburg, the Visitor's Center is open because it is run by a private non-profit organization.  There is a minimal federal staff present in law enforcement and maintenance. 

The point is President Obama could have allowed the public to walk and visit their OWN property but he decided not to.  He decided to take the "pour the salt in the wound" approach to remedy a political imbroglio of his own making.

The biggest shame is not economic nor service related, it is that patriotism, thanksgiving, appreciation, remembrance, thankfulness and respect for American sacrifice has taken the largest and most painful hit.  And to think, this avenue of political vengeance has been ordered by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Until further notice,  we cannot contemplatively stroll the National Cemetery or amble the hallowed ground of the Military Park until this present president changes his mind.

That is a vile shame and a repugnant disgrace.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hopelessly Clueless

So we left Iraq, we are leaving Afghanistan.  Both are now a devil's stew.

And we are going to Syria for???  Bombing milk plants and aspirin factories?  Oh, WMDs.

A good old fashion "I have no idea what to do so let's lob some missiles at them and see what happens!" 

I admit, this may be more effective than his "Grovel and Apologize" foreign policy.

When is the next presidential election?

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Memorial Day Remembrance

In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, Private First Class Clairus L. Riggs of Company B, First Battalion, One Hundred Sixteenth Infantry of the Twenty-Ninth Infantry Division was being transported across the English Channel aboard the troop transport S.S. Empire Javelin.  He was from Coalport, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania.

At 0330 hours, the landing craft containing Boat Team One of Company B was heading toward Omaha Beach.  Riggs carried a Browning Automatic Rifle which is a light machine gun that was deployed in a squad of men.  At 0640 hours the ramp of the landing craft was lowered in the surf off of Dog Green Sector.  As the six foot two inch soldier stepped on the ramp he was hit by enemy gunfire and fell into the water, dead. 

PFC Riggs was originally buried in an American cemetery in Normandy but his body was one of many that were requested to be re-interred in the United States.  On November 26, 1947, the U.S.S. Robert Burns arrived in New York harbor with its blessed cargo.  Since Clairus was from Pennsylvania he was selected for a U.S. cemetery in this state. 

On December 16, 1947, at about 2:00PM, PFC Riggs was buried in Plot 2, Site 308 at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.  He is one of twelve D-Day KIAs buried there.  He rests peacefully with all his comrades from the other wars America has fought.

Rest in peace Clairus L. Riggs.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The I Word

  • Fast and Furious,  a clandestine and clownish operation by the ATF which resulted in guns being sold to Mexicans and one of those was used to kill a U. S Border patrol agent.
  • The Benghazi cover up and scandal in which the Obama administration has been lying about since September 11, 2012.
  • The IRS was prejudicially targeting conservative non-profits for punitive political purposes.
  • The DOJ wiretaps the telephones of the AP at an unprecedented level which even sparked the ACLU to call for an investigation.
  • The Homeland Security Department refuses to enforce the federals statutes concerning illegal immigration.

Impeachment, to bring formal charges against a public official for wrongdoing while in office.

This isn't oral sex in the Oval Office, this isn't a burglary of a private office, this isn't violating the Tenure of Office Act and questioning the legitimacy of Congress.

Americans died, some needlessly, the rights of Americans have been violated by governmental agencies.  All the agencies or departments involved are under the purview of the executive branch of government.

Investigations into some of these matters have not even begun and others have been stonewalled by an uncooperative executive branch.  Impeachment now, no,  but it's a possibility.  I guess it all depends on what the meaning of the word is, is.

" The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Generations, generations.

I grew up in a small town in the Southern Tier of New York State during the sixties and seventies. 

In our modest six member household we had about a dozen long guns in the house.  We all loved out of door activities such as fishing, hunting and camping.  It was a rite of passage that my two brothers, my sister and I became of age and took the state mandated hunter safety training course at fourteen years old.

With each of us it was the same procedure.  Upon successful completion of the course my father would take that child to Dicks or Philadelphia Sales to get our hunting license AND buy us our first shotgun, used of course.

I remember the other long guns in the house as a 30-06 rifle, several .22s  ( one long and one short) rifles, a .225 (?) rifle, 410 shotgun and probably a few others that I have forgotten about.

The firearms and ammunition was stored away but not locked up.  My whole family had unfettered access to all the guns and all the ammo on a 24/7 basis.

We shot a lot of rabbits, squirrels, grouse, pheasants and deer.

We never thought to use the guns for any other purpose other than hunting or target shooting or the emergency of self defense.  Our household was typical of the homes in our neighborhood in regards to firearms.

Fast forward to today in New Jersey.  A picture of a youth that was lawfully possessing his rifle is shown on social media.  Due to a flawed reporting system, overzealous child protective personnel and police rush to the residence to investigate the matter under the guise of child endangerment.  They brow beat the father of the child to gain entrance to the home and insisted on seeing the firearms that were locked in the safe.

The confused and concerned father contacts his attorney via phone and the attorney advises him that unless the authorities have a warrant they must leave the premises upon his request.  He requests, they leave.  

At the time of this writing it is not know if any charges are being contemplated by the authorities.

I suggest that the agents of the state, in New Jersey, that were involved in this incident, go to a refresher course at an in-service training session on topics that include the rights of citizens in regards to the Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Generations, generations.