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, November 18, 2005


The current Democratic position expressed by Democratic Congressman John Murtha makes me angry enough to want to break both his hands from his fingertips up to his chin with an axehandle. He is proposing to do the same thing that cost us the victory in Vietnam. He is willing to create another "killing field" similar to Cambodia in the Middle East, and engrave even deeper the belief that the American people can't take a long war. This will not only make us more vulnerable to the threat of guerilla and terrorist warfare, but totally erode what little allied support we currently enjoy. I can have no sympathy, and no agreement, with such misguided, STUPID ideas, and the people that believe them.

It's not like we don't know what would happen if we pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan before the job is done - we've been told by our enemies, and we've seen what happened in the last time American Congressional resolve was lacking. Any intelligent person KNOWS that what this moron is suggesting is a horrible idea.

There is something even more fundamental at stake - the belief that Congress can control the President's methods of waging war that it had previously authorized, including telling the President when to stop. This is not only idiotic, it is unconstitutional, and needs to be terminated immediately. The people pushing this idea are weakening the government of the United States, and setting this nation up for failure. To my eyes, that is treason, and deserves to be answered by a .303 round between the eyes at 30 paces. Marine or not, officer or not, congressman or not, failing to understand the role each portion of government is responsible for under the Constitution, and failing to remain within those limits, deserves a thorough ass-kicking.

Once Congress authorizes war or military action, it is the President that executes that action. He alone is responsible for its success or failure. He alone is the one that sets the objectives, and issues the orders. Congress has two roles - to fund the war, and to "advise the President". They don't grab the wheel of the Ship of State because they differ with the President.

The Democratic Party has hit bottom, and continues to dig. They don't care what harm they cause this nation - or others - as long as they can inflict some minute damage to President Bush. This is not the role of a true "minority party", or even a "political opposition". This is the role of an enemy of the US Constitution and the people it represents. People like Congressman Murtha, like Senators Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, John Kerry, and Barbara Boxer, don't want to win the war on terror - they just want to be in power, to execute their agenda. The American people have rejected that role for the Democrats in five straight elections. So far, the Democrats haven't gotten the message. Maybe the next step is to outlaw the Democratic Party, and hope the next national party will contain some more intelligent people in its leadership.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Case for a National Militia

The disasters that have occurred across the world this past year illustrate that current structures are inadequate to deal with many of them. There needs to be something more. I suggest creating a national militia to aid and support local, state, and federal agencies in the face of emergency situations.

Who would be involved?

At first the National Militia should be comprised of all retired veterans of military service, regardless of branch of service. The Retired Reserve already has many of the skill-sets necessary to respond to national emergencies, and have a continuing military committment. Once the concept of a National Militia has been refined and properly developed, it can be opened to other veterans and non-veteran individuals on a case-by-case basis.

All military retired veterans would be required to participate in the National Militia until age 65, and may continue on a voluntary basis after age 65 until they are no longer capable of performing their assigned duties. Exceptions may be made for those physically unfit for any duties, or who are emotionally or psychologically unfit for such duties, all on a case-by-case basis.

All military retired veterans except those specifically exempted due to religious beliefs will be issued weapons, and required to maintain both the weapon and their proficiency in its use. National Militia members would be available to assist government at all levels. Specific training in operations necessary to support local government would be provided by that local government entity.

In the event of a local or national emergency from either natural disaster or acts of violence, the National Militia would be called to duty on an individual or group basis, consistent with the type of support needed and the required area of deployment.

Duties of a National Militia

The first duty of the National Militia is to support the defense of the United States within the nation's boundaries. This includes responding to local situations (local disasters, riots, acts of terrorism, catastrophic accidents, etc.), and response to national defense requirements (border security, security of transportation and communications nodes, natural disaster recover operations, reconstituting civil government in areas affected by natural or manmade disasters, etc.). The National Militia would also have the responsibility of maintaining neighborhood security in the event of natural or manmade catastrophies.


The National Militia would first be accountable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and secondly under the local or national jurisdiction which have called them to duty. The National Militia would be under the supervision and management of the United States Department of Defense in time of war or national crisis, and under the Federal Emergency Management Administration in response to natural disasters and catastrophic accidents.


National Militia members may participate in duty either on a voluntary basis, or upon a designated basis, depending upon the type of response and the needs of the government. Some duties (I.E., border control) may involve both voluntary and designated duty. Other, such as response to disasters similar to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana, would include primarily designated deployment of needed skilled individuals and voluntary deployment of individuals in a general support role. Individuals may or may not be required to be armed during their deployment, but should deploy with their weapons in all instances.

Individuals recalled for duty who have not been issued appropriate uniforms may draw them from the nearest miltiary supply point or military clothing sales store. Individuals may also purchase military clothing issue from other sources at their own expense. ALL SUCH UNIFORMS WILL CLEARLY INDICATE THE INDIVIDUAL IS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL MILITIA. Former rank insignia should be removed, unless the individual is being recalled in response to an attack upon the government and people of the United States.

Opt-Out Policy

Many retired military veterans find other employment after leaving military service. The National Militia will develop and institute an "opt-out" policy that will allow individuals otherwise employed and unable to participate in response to a particular incident to indicate they are not available for duty during that event. Individuals who consistently refuse to accept any duty will be dropped from the roles, and not allowed to rejoin. Loss of some military retirement privileges (purchases from the clothing sales store, Class-6 store, etc.) and other punishments may be applied on an individual basis to those who chronically fail to participate.


National Militia members should be compensated for any loss of income that occurs due to directed deployment. All National Militia personnel will be credited with one duty-day creditable for retired pay for each 24 hours of duty performed on either a directed or voluntary mission. Additional compensation may be awarded by Congress on a specified-mission basis (i.e., disaster response, border security, riot control, etc.).

Diseases and injuries incurred during duty in response of a National Militia assignment would be considered service-related, and treated in local military or Veterans Administration hospitals or other facilities at the expense of the government initiating the assignment.


The Government of the United States, and each of the political divisions at lower levels (i.e., state, county/parish/borough, city/community) will establish training requirements for individual mission response, and make this training available to National Militia members. National Militia members will be required to attend some training, and will be encouraged to complete other training. That training that is compatible with Internet usage will be made available on the Internet at no cost to the National Militia member. Specific training requirements that must be completed in person (drills, emergency medical training/recertification, etc.) will also be provided at no expense to the National Militia member, but expenses in providing the training may be compensated for by the Department of Defense or the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Release from Duty

All military retirees and other designated members of the National Militia will be automatically released from required duty at age 65. Continued service on a voluntary basis will be allowed in an individual decision process.


Normal first-responders (police, fire, emergency medical personnel) are adequate for day-to-day operations. Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Pakistan, the tsunami in South Asia, and the events in France provide incontrovertable proof that both first-responders and local government are immediately overwhelmed in catastrophic events, and require assistance. National crisis events, whether single-action or ongoing, also require additional, trained personnel in order to respond adequately. The retired military contingent in the United States contains more than six million individuals between the age of 37 and 65. A large percentage of these individuals have skills and training that would be invaluable in such emergency situations. What is lacking is any organized method of identifying and using these skilled individuals. The National Militia organization would provide such a method usable by local, state, and national government.

Many military consider their duty hasn't ended upon their retirement, and wish to continue to serve in some capacity. Many do this through the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans service organizations. The National Militia would provide an additional means of continuing to serve the United States and its people. It will also allow the individual veteran to continue their education and training in a military atmosphere, and would provide a legal means to respond as necessary to disasters on the local, state, and national scene.

A National Militia would not be limited in its duty by the Posse Cometitus laws that limit active-duty military personnel. At the same time, they remain under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ, both as retirees and as members of the militia. The use of National Militia personnel would relieve some of the pressure on the current active duty military, and allow it to spend more of its efforts in other activities more compatible with federal requirements.

Things NEED to Change

The past year has been an edifying one. Natural disasters in the United States and Asia, combined with unnatural disasters in Europe and the Middle East, have highlighted a host of problems that all of us need to be concerned about.

  • The tsunami in South Asia killed 200,000 people, and caused billions of dollars in damages. Today, almost eleven months later, things are still chaotic, many people are still living hand-to-mouth, and the areas most severely affected are only marginally recovering.
  • Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma caused tens of billions of dollars in damages across the Gulf Coast, and severely affected oil production and refining capacity in seven states. Widespread looting broke out in New Orleans after the levees broke, and disaster response at the local, parish, state, and national level left much to be desired. Florida, hit for the sixth or seventh time in the last 22 months, is actually recovering faster than the rest of the Gulf Coast, hit only twice, and not in the same place. The Houston evacuation was a debacle, and by the time the storm actually hit, many who had fled had driven into harm's way.
  • The disasterous earthquake in Pakistan and India highlighted problems long dormant - poor construction techniques, graft, corruption, and government indifference. The people most responsible suffered the least.
  • Islaminazis continue to wage war against civilization with bombings in London, Bali, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and of course a continuous war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Russia, and elsewhere in central Asia.
  • The current Muslim uprising in France has already claimed millions of dollars in property damage, and has seen copy-cat acts in Belgium, Germany, and Greece.

It's not going to stop just because people want it to stop. We're always going to have natural disasters as long as we live in a geologically and climatically active world. Unnatural disasters - those inflicted upon the populace by the behavior of a small group of people - can be either suppressed, or dealt with more firmly and more efficiently than what's currently being done. I offer the following suggestions:

  1. Give people something other than hopelessness to strive for. Reform education by banning the teacher's unions, insist upon a workable approach to education, and crush the "fad" behavior of "educational professionals". Go back to teaching basics the way that worked for 100+ years, and get rid of the fancy garbage that DOESN'T work. Destroy the political power of the unions to control education, and return it to the hands of the local community. If it means outlawing teacher's unions, do it. The past 50 years have proven to be an unmitigated disaster and a continuing erosion of educational achievement in the United States. Put a stop to it, doing whatever is necessary.
  2. Push the idea that employment depends upon whether the individual is worth hiring. Teach basic job skills (punctuality, courtesy, integrity, capability, etc.), beginning in elementary school and continuing through advanced technical, vocational, or liberal education. Establish remedial education programs for those that failed to get the information the first time. Do not promote those children and adults who fail to achieve a minimum level of competency - it's better to establish the precedent at a young age and have the individual overcome it than promote "self-esteem" at the expense of competency until the individual tries to get his first job, and find themselves totally crushed by their worthless skillset and unemployability. Establish institutions that prepare people for life, including the concept of doing an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. There are no guaranteed shortcuts to success.
  3. End the psychobabble and "social experimentation". The future is too important to be playing silly games with. End the self-destructive behavior of tearing down "old" institutions and trying to replace them with a house of cards. "Rediscover" the concept of the "work ethic".
  4. Promote individual rights, including the freedoms described in the US Constitution's "Bill of Rights", personal property rights, and the rights to intellectual property. Institutionalize the concept of "personal ownership" and individual reward for individual performance. Give people something to protect and defend. Give them the individual rights to protect and defend what is theirs through personal ownership of the means of defense, including laws that are easily understood and applied equally across all ethnic, social, cultural and political groups.
  5. Promote both individual, cultural, "civic" and national pride by recognizing and acknowledging outstanding achievement at any level. Don't cover up failures, but use them to illustrate how to avoid repeating them. Encourage everyone to try, but don't give false rewards for less than outstanding behavior.
  6. Stop condemning competitive behavior. Competition is the key to success - as individuals, businesses, and other enterprises. Unless you're willing to be competetive, you will fail. Don't settle for being second, third, tenth, or umpty-ninety-ninth - strive to be better, do better. Some people will always be better at some things than others. Being unable to compete at one thing may force people to search to find what they're better at, and increase their personal satisfaction. It's better to be the best third clarinet in the band than to be a lousy first trumpet.
  7. Stop relying on false indicators to make decisions. Much of what passes for "business wisdom" today - especially in Europe - was proven ineffective and useless 100 years ago. Scrap the "social progressive policies" and enter the 21st Century. Socialism collapsed under the weight of its own inequities - in Russia, in China, and it's in the process in Western Europe.
  8. Stop instituting economic policies for political reasons in business and government - it just muddies the water and keeps people from doing what's necessary to survive. Affirmative action is dying - let it go. Accept that the world is made of individuals, not cookie-cutter assembly-line-manufactured drones, and start creating economic, business, social, cultural, and government policies based upon this truth.
  9. Understand at the basic level that all things change, and at their own speed. There is NOTHING that will ALWAYS be "just this way". There is always need to respond to change. Individuals should be aware of this, and be able to adapt to it. That includes teaching them the truth about change, and how to respond appropriately to the changes in their everyday world. The individual who can't change will be crushed - by change.
  10. An individual's belief system is their ultimate personal property - government, society, and business need to leave it alone. Imposing rules that create unnecessary impositions upon the individual's practice of their beliefs is equal to trying to outlaw or supress those beliefs. Nor should one person's beliefs take precedent over another, regardless of their position within a company or institution. Personal beliefs should never be permitted to be an excuse to engage in violent criminal activity against the lives or property of others.

The world will continue to change. Those who are prepared to accept change, and respond to it to the best of their abilities, will succeed. The rest will always be "victims".

Friday, November 11, 2005

I HATE Arrogant Stupidity

Today's November 11, 2005, Veteran's Day. I've been a "veteran" most of my life - since June 29, 1964, at the ripe old age of 17 years and ten months. I've done my part, both in combat and in garrison duty, in Vietnam and a half-dozen other foreign locations around the world. Most of my fellow veterans are intelligent, thinking people who understand the world isn't perfect, and that it takes people with the courage to do horrendous things to others to ensure that the rest of America can live in relative peace and comfort.

Now that I'm retired, I don't try to put on airs that I'm better than anyone else because I'm a veteran. I haven't worn a uniform since my retirement date. There's a sticker on my automobile because I use military facilities, and because I'm proud of my history. I don't JUST seek out friends among veterans, but get along well with most of my neighbors, veterans or not. My closest friends, however, ARE veterans - because we have strong ties of common experiences that were created by circumstances few others have experienced. We share a common bond, linked by service to our nation, and the common experiences that duty required.

I'm having a difficult time rationalizing the worldview of a few other veterans, especially those that seem to want to make a lot of noise about themselves. John McCain's attitude is "it's all about me", rather than his extremely limited and skewed history as a veteran. His actions as a lawmaker are not those that most veterans would agree with. That idiot popping off his mouth about "American attrocities" is another one that seems self-agrandizing. My mother did more to protect and defend the United States during her three years in Washington, DC, as a WAVE, than John Kerry did during his entire Navy career - and deserves more respect for it than sKerry ever does.

I learned very early in my military career that my primary duty was "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and to bear true faith and allegience to the same", and everything else the military asked me to do was in support of that duty. Too few of today's post-Vietnam-era veterans - and even a lot of those that served in Vietnam, and elsewhere - with me seem to understand that. Those that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be the exception. THEY understand that, as Thomas Jefferson said, the rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" are ordained by God to ALL men. It is the duty of every member of the US military service to protect those rights from those that would try to destroy them, and to aid others who also wish to live free in the same tradition to attain the protection of those rights.

Too many people today, especially too many lawyers, believe that "rights belong to whoever has the best lawyer", rather than accept that some rights are inherent in a society that promotes individual freedom. Too many of that latter type of lawyer have been elected to governmental offices. They talk a lot, but say little, and do everything in their power to increase their power at the expense of the freedom and independence of the individual. Thomas Jefferson also said "that government governs best that governs least". The amount of government necessary to accomplish the limited duties assigned to it by our Constitution is the most government that we as free men should tolerate.

It's been the citizen, as soldier, that has protected and defended our rights as individuals since th Revolutionary War. Today's soldier is every much the citizen as those that gathered under George Washington at Boston and Trenton, that fought on the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima, and served proudly both in time of conflict and during periods euphemistically referred to as "times of peace". Their devotion to duty ensurred that the rest of the nation could live without the threat of injury or loss of freedom. That devotion to duty is what ties all veterans - past, present and future - together as brothers. The nation needs to respect that devotion, and to honor it - not with empty phrases, but by sincerely understanding and accepting the truth of the sacrifices ALL soldiers make, regardless of rank or service branch.

Too many "citizens" today see the military as "the enemy", rather than their defender. Few citizens today understand the role the military has played in protecting and defending their freedoms, not only during times of armed conflict, but also during those periods when the big guns were silent. They don't understand that this nation has never truly been at peace, but constantly attacked by those who do not choose to recognize the truths we recognize - the truths of individual freedoms, the right to own property, the right to speak out against what we see as attacks upon our freedoms. This nation has grown and expanded, both across a continent and into international prominence, because of individual freedoms. Far too often that growth and expansion only occurred because there were strong men willing to do battle to support this nation's right to exist. This is equally true of the state of Israel, which is why so many of America's veterans honor that brave, small nation. We recognize our brothers in freedom, wherever they live or serve.

There are too many people today, and certainly too many politicians, willing to give away the hard-won victories we who served have won. That includes the idiocy of the "McCain-Feingold" attack on free speech, the constant attack upon the elected president of the United States by unelected members of the current government bureaucracy, the sheer stupidity of the "mainstream press" in attempting to warp and shape the news to fit a personal agenda that is dangerous to individual freedom, and the behavior of the political opposition in attempting to tear down the current Administration, unwilling to admit that such destruction will harm everyone, not just the Republicans.

Unlike most nations, we have never had a military coup. Our "civil war" was fought to determine whether we would be one nation or two, and that the laws of the nation would be equally applied to all. Any future "civil war" will most likely be triggered by the arrogant stupidity of those that feel they have the "right" to govern as they choose, instead of according to the will of those that have elected people to government office to represent THEM. Those that arrogantly believe they have the "right" to do whatever they can to achieve their "victory", irregardless of the Constitution or the will of the people, are tyrants, and will be dealt with as such.

In the meantime, this nation - at war with a foreign enemy for its very survival - will continue to be served by the corps of veterans, current and past, in defense of the Constitution of the United States, and the people it protects.