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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our Adolescent President

I just read an article over at Sarah Hoyt's weblog that clarified something about President Obama I've been thinking, but didn't know exactly how to express. She's given me the words.

Our president is a 50-year-old adolescent.


President Obama has lived a charmed life. He's never really had to work for anything. He was sent to the most exclusive schools, and "succeeded", regardless of what his grades were (we don't know - they're sealed).

He's been groomed and moved from point A to point B to point C with little or no effort on his part. He and his wife both have held jobs that paid well but required little actual work. He was always among people who praised him and protected him from reality.

His political career has been equally manipulated. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate, later to the US Senate, and finally the Presidency when the people he was running against collapsed, either from their own efforts or from being undermined by others, including a fawning press. His achievements in lower office are minuscule to non-existent. His "achievements" as President have been outright dangerous.

There are plenty of signs of aged adolescence scattered throughout the President's first term. His most repeated display of always blaming his predecessor for every problem, his inability to make clear decisions, his "flip-flopping", are all signs of arrested adolescence. Michelle Obama has also displayed many of the same signs, but in her case it's spending the people's money on extravagant clothing, vacations, and parties (teenage use of Mom and Dad's credit cards, anyone?).

The president has also failed, and shown signs of arrested adolescence in his inability to get along with the rest of government. He's used a heavy hand, demanding that things be done HIS way, regardless of what the law limits him to do. That trait is called "bullying", and it's a part of arrested adolescence where someone has never faced a determined foe that can slap the nonsense out of him.

Another major problem that reflects poorly on the president is his surrounding himself with sycophants who are as arrested in their development as he is. He's also surrounded himself with bullies and petty tyrants, yet he's quite willing to "throw them under the bus" whenever it's convenient to him. He has no long-range, deep commitment to anyone but himself.

Some of the other signs of arrested adolescence that President Obama displays include his inability to follow through on task, compromise, accept failure, or understand when something doesn't work and won't work. There's also his tendency to openly reward those that flatter him, and to destroy those that don't.

November 6, 2012, will determine whether the United States will be governed by an adult, or a 50-year-old teenager.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Obama's total lack of Understanding

President Obama told business owners last Friday (July 13, 2012) that, basically, they weren't responsible for their business success, and that it was government infrastructure that was responsible for it.  Everybody, on both sides of the aisle, have been using that to show how Obama is so out of touch with the world today.  That's not my purpose.  My purpose is to show that President Obama has absolutely no understanding of what kind of government we have, and what its purpose is.

Thomas Jefferson expressed the basic idea of this nation when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence that:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

The preamble of the US Constitution describes what the Founding Fathers were attempting to do to create a just government for the people of the United States:

 We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Basically, the Constitution was created to govern the people and the states, to establish a common system of laws and commerce, defend the nation, and ensure the rights and privileges of its citizens.

There are some things that need to be done at the national level, such as providing for the common defense, establishing a basic infrastructure of "post roads and highways", establishing a common currency, and ensuring that the laws are both just and equally administered.  The government pays for those by assessing taxes and fees.  The government has NO money of its own, and can only do these things from the taxes paid by its citizens. 

To believe that those who create business have never, ever paid a dime in taxes before their business is a success is absolutely stupid.  Each and every one of us has paid for the current infrastructure, the current defense, and the current legal system since we were born - either directly or indirectly.  Every successful business pays taxes by the gross, but even the failures have to pay some licensing and start-up fees. 

The President, in essence, was saying that's not enough, you need to pay more.  You need to be punished with higher taxes because you succeeded.  And he stresses that this is "only fair", because you benefited from all those things you've ALREADY paid for. 

There's a saying that if you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it.  The President of the United States has gone on record that he wants less successful businesses.  Successful businesses are what keep this nation prosperous.  Without them, this nation would collapse.  Is that what the President wants?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I visited Sarah Hoyt's website because I'd seen the name a few times, and she'd substituted for Glenn Reynolds when he went on vacation.  I like most of Glenn's substitutes, and have them bookmarked, but this was the first time I'd approached Sarah Hoyt's site.

I found a treasure.   Several of them, in fact.

Sarah frequently talks about family and other things, but she also talks about writing -- her own and the work of others.  She's recently talked about the changes in the publishing industry, what's happening and why.  She's an unabashed supporter of "indie" (Independent) publishing, and ebooks.  I've been visiting her site less than a month, and what I've learned already will make a significant difference in my own writing.

I've also read one of her novels, "Draw One in the Dark", which is about shape-shifters.  That's not something that's appealed to me until I read a short excerpt from a book she's currently writing.  I liked the excerpt, and I liked the book.  It's not something I would write, but it was entertaining.

Almost as entertaining as Sarah's blog are the "regulars" that comment there.  Some of them have imaginations that leave me struggling far, far behind.  They've also given me the ideas for at least three new books to write, one of which is going quite well.

Sarah posts a chapter or two of another book she's writing, "Witchfinder", every Friday.  Again, it's different than the books I normally read, but entertaining -- pleasantly so.  I don't know if I could do that -- write something in the early hours of the morning, and show it to several hundred people before noon.  I did appreciate the idea, and copied it, posting a chapter or two of my recently-finished but unedited novel "Greenfields" online, soliciting comments from readers.   I may do something similar with the novel I'm currently working on.  If I can find somewhere that I can upload it, I may post the entire thing, then hold a contest to supply the title.

Sarah has several links to other weblogs on her site, many to fellow writers and friends, plus other people in the publishing industry.  I've been so busy writing and reading Sarah's site I haven't checked out many of those, but the few I have are definitely worth the effort.

Check out the site, the links, and the works.  If you like writing, and talking about writing, her site's a treasure.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where I'm coming from

My childhood was one of the most fascinating, enjoyable times of my life. The first eight years of that was spent in a house my dad put together from two temporary buildings he bought from Army Disposal, and joined with an eight-foot extension. There were no inside walls. Each was about 24 feet square. One was used as living room/kitchen/dining room, the other as a bedroom for both my parents and my brother and me. We had propane for the stove, but heat was provided by two wood-burning stoves. Some of my most enduring memories is helping my dad cut wood with a cross-cut saw. I was young - six to eight, I guess - but provided some help, and at least kept the saw balanced. It was also my job to cut the kindling to start the stoves. I do wish I'd known about pine cones back then... (G).

I ran pretty freely most of my childhood - from about the time I was four until I left home. Most of the area beyond our home was open forest - about 220 acres of it. I had access to it all, and it became my domain! We caught crawfish (and occasionally fish), I ran a small trap line for a couple of years, we raised a HUGE garden (a little more than an acre - all hand-turned, hand-weeded, and cared for), and we had animals - cows, chickens, a small donkey for awhile, and turkeys. Somewhere here in my house I have a negative of myself riding a turkey I had as a pet. We had to kill him when I was about seven, because he'd attack ANYONE ELSE but me. He dressed out at 67 pounds! HUGE bird.

When I was eight, we moved down onto the road into a house Mom and Dad bought on three acres of land. At the time, it was a major improvement -- there were FOUR ROOMS, and my brother and I had a bedroom we didn't have to share with Mom & Dad. We still didn't have indoor plumbing (that didn't get added until I came home with my new bride, who was a "city girl". It also had inside walls that we covered with wallpaper. There was also running water in the house, in the kitchen. As in Sarah's case, cold water only, but we had city gas and electricity. I helped Dad add an extension when I graduated from High school before I left for the Air Force. After that, my brother and I both had a room (I left three months after that was finished, and before the bathroom was put in).

I now know I did many, many things other people haven't done. I realize now that we were "dirt poor" in the true sense of the word, but I never felt deprived. I also had relatives. My grandparents lived on one side of us, and an "uncle" (actually a cousin by marriage) on the other. My uncle's mother-in-law lived across in front of us when we first moved down onto the road, and my uncle and his wife moved in after she died. There were a dozen other families that lived nearby that were related by blood, and many, many more that were "relatives of consciousness".

I went to school in the same school for twelve years, with pretty much the same set of classmates. That's totally unheard of today.  I also went to school with a number of relatives -- two of my dad's youngest sisters until third grade, and with cousins my entire twelve years.  I graduated with two of my first cousins, at least one second cousin, and two fourth cousins.

Part of the neighborhood is reasonably the same, but most of it's changed.  Not surprising, since it's been 48 years since I graduated and left home.  The houses I grew up in are long gone.  The state built a freeway through the town, and many of the roads I used to travel no longer go through.  The school I went to no longer exists, replaced by a junior high school.  The football stadium is the only thing that's still where it was, but even it has changed.  The changes are more than I care for, and I don't go back there very much except occasionally for a family reunion.