Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Friday, October 26, 2007

497th Reconnaissance Technical Group 2008 Reunion

Those of us who are both alumni of the 497th and live in Colorado - and enjoyed the 2007 reunion - have decided that a reunion next year, in 2008, is a great idea. Charles Sakai is in charge of planning the event. You can also leave comments here, and I will forward them to Charles. We hope to have an even greater attendance than last year.


Immigration and "reform"

I have a neighbor that is in the United States legally - in fact, I think he's a citizen. I don't see him often - he must work 20 hours out of every 24. He lives with his family and two other families in a house less than a block from me. He has a great job, makes a good living, and is a good neighbor. I believe the other people living with him are part of his extended family. I have no idea whether they're here legally or not, and don't much care. They are productive, assimilating into the neighborhood, have great families, and are better neighbors than some I have.

That's not true of all immigrants, whether they're legal or not. Quite a number of them are criminals, others have an "entitled" attitude towards federal largess, and still others believe they can "retake" the southwestern United States for Mexico. None of this type of "immigration" is good for the United States or its citizens. A good case for calling it an invasion, rather than immigration, can be made, especially by those who back La Raza and other separatist groups. Granting these people amnesty, regardless of what it's called, would be a disaster.

There are other illegal immigrants entering the United States with even more dangerous intentions. The number of "other than Mexican" illegals being caught is steadily rising. Many of these are from the Middle East, and have harmful intent for the citizens of the United States. Others belong to drug gangs and other harmful elements like MS-13. We have enough criminals of our own, we don't need to be importing them from elsewhere.

Congress - mostly the Democratic Party - keeps wanting to repeat the mistake of the 1980s, when all illegals were given blanket amnesty, and the 1990s, when Bill Clinton "legalized" hundreds of thousands of illegals with little or not checking of their background or intent. Neither of these did anything to stop the flow of illegals into the United States - quite the opposite. The next group also expects - actually demands - equal treatment. It's time to stop repeating what failed before, and create a truly EFFECTIVE immigration policy.

The first thing Congress needs to do is to cut off the flow of illegals. Many say a fence won't work, but it's done wonders for Israel, and it's cut the flow of illegals to a trickle where fences exist. It would be expensive, but far less so than the costs of illegal immigrants continuing to flow into the United States.

The second thing that is required is to force all illegals in the United States to register with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Failure to register will be unappealable grounds for immediate eviction if discovered. Give the illegals 90 days to go to the Post Office, fill out a postcard form, and register. Aliens who register then have one year to prove that they are an asset to the United States. I discussed such an option here in April, 2006. It's time to implement it.

The third thing that needs to be done is to pass a law that states that anyone knowingly employing an illegal alien, or failing to actively pursue guaranteeing someone they hire is in the United States legally and permitted to work, forfeits their business to the Federal Government, who will then auction it off to the highest bidder. That will be sufficient incentive for businesses NOT to hire illegals. Many people may be hurt by such actions, but if enough feel the pain, hiring illegals will end.

Fourth, the United States needs to nullify the "anchor baby" laws. Only children of people in the United States legally may be considered for citizenship. That will do more to end the flood of illegals.

Finally, the United States should enact federal legislation that states that any illegal alien caught committing a crime in the United States will be forever banned from US citizenship, and that their full sentence MUST be served prior to their being deported. At least half that sentence should be forced labor maintaining the fence between the United States and Mexico, and between the United States and Canada. Yes, we need fences in both locations, although Canadians aren't anywhere the problem that Latin Americans are. The biggest reason for a fence between the United States and Canada is the flow of undocumented third-nation immigrants, especially those from the Middle East and other nations hostile to the United States.

Then, and only then, can this nation consider the "illegal alien" problem under control.

The Verdict is In on the Jena 6 case

Apparently, the case of the Jena 6 is another in a long line of journalistic malpractices by "major media", as attested to by this detailed analysis by someone who both lives there and has enough common sense to look at ALL the evidence.

I grew up in the little town of Tioga, about 30 miles from Jena. I played sports against the Jena high school teams, and had friends and relatives throughout that part of Louisiana. As a young boy growing up in the 1950's and early 60's, there wasn't a better place in the world to explore and learn.

Most people think of Louisiana as being full of crazy Cajuns that live on bayous and go barefoot year round. Actually, the area is far more diverse than that. The area north of the Red River is home to many different cultures. The town of Jena itself is named after the German city of the same name. There's another town, Kolin, about 30 miles from Jena, that was settled by Bohemians. There are areas settled by descendants of Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, and French (not Cajun) settlers, as well as Native Americans and others. There are large numbers of blacks throughout the areas, although there are only a few areas where they're in the majority. There was a lot of "diversity" in the population long before the 1964 Civil Rights act was passed.

The media's categorization of the area, and the event, devoid of any of this background information, is a disservice to the people of Jena, the state of Louisiana, and all civic-minded Americans. It's also another in a long line of self-perpetuated "truths" that show the American major media as being more interested in creating a story than in reporting one.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Items in the news...

There's lots of things going on right now that don't warrant a whole post, but do deserve a comment or two. I'll try to cover all the things I've been reading lately that deserve such treatment.

Fluorescent light bulbs

The "distinguished" Senator from Colorado, Ken Salazar, is pushing the use of fluorescent light bulbs in homes to reduce "greenhouse gas emissions". My wife and I have switched to fluorescent light bulbs in about 2/3 of the lighting in our home, not to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but to cut our electric bill. We estimate we save about $.30/month per bulb. If the average bulb actually lasted the 60 months they're advertised to, we'd save about $13.25 per bulb($.30/mo x 60mo - difference in cost - about $4.75/bulb). Unfortunately, most fluorescent bulbs DON'T last 60 months, but only last about 30 months - cutting the savings in half. Also, there's a problem with burned-out fluorescent bulbs - they contain toxic materials that end up in a land-fill, and eventually into the soil. We still use them, but I wonder if the actual savings is all that spectacular. I guess it depends on how much you pay for electricity, and how many lights you leave on all day.

Wildfires in California

Once again, the combination of Santa Anna winds and stupid people have ganged up on southern California, causing misery for a half-million people. Some of it could be prevented, but at a very large cost. Eventually, however, the cost is going to be less than the cost of constantly rebuilding in the path of danger.

We have a similar problem here in Colorado - we have several million acres of trees that are a monster forest fire waiting to happen. The trees need to be thinned, beetle-killed trees need to be removed, and a lot of the underbrush needs to be plowed under. Unfortunately, a lot of "environmentalists" don't want ANYTHING done. They want Colorado's mountains to "remain in an unspoiled state". That's utterly impossible, but some people who are gung-ho to "preserve nature" know absolutely nothing about the subject. In reality, things change, and change constantly. There is no standing still. Trees grow, mature, and die; they're attacked by disease, insects, and an ever-changing environment; water is taken out of the western slope watershed and piped to a thirsty Front Range with a population of more than 4 million people, most of whom want bluegrass lawns in a semi-desert.

Teddy Roosevelt created the National Forest system to ensure the continuity of the nation's lumber industry, yet today "environmentalists" have all but killed that industry through legislation, lawsuits, and intimidation. A vibrant, CONTROLLED lumber industry could do a lot to restore our forests to more healthy, fire-resistant, and economically sustainable resources. Locking things up forever is both arrogant and stupid. It's time it stopped. Building homes in fire-prone areas without adequate safeguards, and expecting the "insurance industry" (I.E., the average insured, regardless of where they live,) to bail out destroyed communities, is also arrogant and stupid. Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. We have over 50 years of history telling us that doing some things bring bad results. Maybe we need to do a few things differently, at least on an experimental basis, to see if we really can make a difference.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies are the National League champions, and will meet the Boston Red Socks in the World Series. In order to get where they are today, the Rockies won 21 of their last 22 games. We'll see if the Red Socks, or a week's inactivity, have made any difference in how the Rockies play. Whether they win or not, it's good to see the Rockies, a franchise that's only been in existence for 15 years, at the top of the heap. It's also fun to watch many of the former Colorado Springs Sky Sox players in action in the major leagues. May the best team win (the Rockies, of course)!

Politics - Yuck!

This election cycle's early start, the crowded field, and the fact that the Republicans aren't fielding their Vice President, has made for a wide-open, no-holds-barred dogfight for the nomination. Some of it's already gotten VERY dirty. Sometimes I wonder how politicians can survive in all that slime they constantly fling at one another. Some of the candidates are beginning to drop by the wayside, either due to poor performance, or more frequently, lack of money. Again we see a Clinton running for the Presidency, and again we see tainted campaign contributions. There's a pattern here, and I hope the nation can see it. We've also seen that McCain-Feingold has done nothing to remove corporate money from the campaign, or done anything else it was touted as doing. It's a bad law, a bad precedent, and needs to be repealed. The Supreme Court's failure to declare the entire thing unconstitutional just goes to prove how badly the courts have become politicized over the past 75 years or so.

It's going to be hard for this Independent voter to make a choice this year. There doesn't appear to be a truly outstanding candidate from either party. A third-party candidacy would probably screw up things even greater than they currently are. So far, there's not a single candidate that meets even my minimum criteria for president.

The War

It only takes one side, one incident to trigger a war. World War I was triggered by a lone Serb assassinating Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. World War II was triggered by the Treaty of Versailles, and Hitler's unilateral repudiation of the truly disgusting treaty. Failure of the West to stand up to Hitler early led to a cataclysm that killed more than 60 million people. But people forget.

The West (not just the United States, but all non-Islamic societies) have been at war for the past 35 years. Yasser Arafat declared war against the West, and attacked targets throughout the Middle East, as early as the late 1960's. The abduction and killing of Jewish athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics was just one in a series of events that saw Islamists (mostly Arabs) attacking Western civilization. The assassination of an American diplomat in Sudan, the killing of American citizens during aircraft hijackings, the destruction of American foreign assets throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe, and the killing of American citizens by "terrorists" has continued to this day.

These are acts of war. It doesn't matter that they're being conducted by "non-state" entities, they remain acts of war. They are sanctioned, supplied, financed, and assisted by a half-dozen Islamic states through out the Islamic world. Refusing to accept that we're at war is just as insane as refusing to accept that your brakes need replacing, and driving 200 miles every day on an Interstate highway. Sooner or later, each will result in someone's death.

We used to know how to wage war. That was before the lawyers got involved. Too many people think they can talk away the problems. That worked so well with Hitler and Tojo, with Ho Chi Minh, with Fidel Castro, and today with Osama bin Laden, Amadinijad, and Hugo Chavez. It takes at least two people to make an agreement, but only one to wage war. Talking has failed to achieve any lasting results. It's time to go back to a process that worked - destroying your enemy's ability to fight against you.

People talk about how "stupid" George Bush is, and how badly he's handled the war. Wars are always full of surprises. We seem to have adjusted, and the war is heading in the right direction. As for the "stupidity" of attacking Iraq, anyone who says that doesn't know much about military history. Establishing a secure base in the midst of your enemies is one sure-fire way of ensuring you're going to be the victor. A secure base of operations in Iraq would provide ideal placement to take on Iran, Syria, an aggressive and degenerating Turkey, Saudi Arabia (the source of more than half the funding for terrorism), and with bases in Afghanistan, a rapidly degenerating Pakistan. The war we're currently involved in will last five or six generations. I wonder if the current United States will be able to survive five or six more YEARS of fighting.

A lot of people have tried to compare the war against state-sponsored terrorism with the Cold War. The main difference is that there will be far more dead bodies from the current war than people who died in the Cold War. For the uninitiated, more than 80,000 people died in the service of this nation during the Cold War, and that doesn't include Korea or Vietnam. Many died in training, others died in accidents, and a few died in operating against an aggressive, determined enemy. Few are known to anyone but their families.