Saturday, February 24, 2018

You Can’t Handle The Truth!

Posted on September 3, 2009

I have always been a fan of Jack Nicholson. Ever since I watched the movie “The Shining” and the whole “here’s Johnny” scene as he hacks through the door with an axe. I especially liked him as the arrogant Marine Colonel in “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise, and that one girl from G.I. Jane. I thought Jack played the part really well in that movie, almost too well.

One of my most favored scenes from that film is the trial where Col. Jessup is subpoenaed to testify about the transfer of Pvt. Santiago from Guantanamo Bay. How ironic that Guantanamo Bay is mentioned here, but I will get back to that later…

In case you haven’t seen the movie, Col. Jessup (Jack) is on the stand and Lt. Caffey (Tom) is confronted with whether he should go with his gut feeling and question the Colonel about his involvement in the death of a Marine in his command, or let the “high ranking” officer off the hook simply because of his military record and not risk his own career if he is wrong. Well, like in any Tom Cruise movie, he does the most risky maneuver possible (i.e. in a 2G inverted negative dive with a Mig-29) and goes for the glory.

And it is this part of the movie that I get my inspiration for this post. Col. Jessup goes into a 1 minute and 15 second speech on what life is really like in the real world and I would like to recite that speech here:

Col. Jessup: “You want answers?”

Lt. Caffey: “I think I am entitled.”

Col. Jessup: “You want answers?”

Lt. Caffey: “I want the truth!”

Col. Jessup: “You can’t handle the truth.” …and the speech begins

“Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s going to do it? You? You Lt. Weinberg?”

“I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines, you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. And Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall; you need me on that wall.”

“We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man that rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand the post.”

“Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”

It is at this point I would like to stop the quotation from the movie and relate how I think this applies to modern day politics.

You see, in the news the last week has been the word that our new Attorney General is going to “investigate” allegations that the CIA mismanaged the handling and interrogations of “detainees” from the “Overseas Contingency Operation,” as labeled by the new administration, but referred to as the “global war on terror” the last 6 years. Now that the liberal left has their hands on the controls there in Washington D.C., they want to obliterate anything that has to do with the former administration and cast them in the worst possible light in order to appease their supporters?! With this comes the exposure and dissection of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose mission is to find out things from the bad guys in order to keep the good guys (us) safe.

So, even after the current President said he was going to “look forward and not look backward” for the sake of our great nation, his highest ranking prosecutor is digging into the CIA in order to take that evil Vice-President Dick Cheney down, once and for all!

Well, I have a few things to say about this whole witch hunt. First and foremost, I don’t give a damn about how many times some dirty terrorist was waterboarded or how many they did it to. I could care less for the bastards. I know this sounds a little harsh and isn’t in line with the “new order” but believe me, if we didn’t do it to them first, they wouldn’t hesitate doing worse to us. Let me refresh everyone’s memory about the love these people have for us.

Remember poor American contractor Nicholas Berg who went to Iraq to help rebuild the country. He wasn’t a soldier or a contract killer, he was a civilian who took interest in taking part in the rebuilding of a nation and wanted to do his part. What did it get him? Well, in case you have been hiding under a rock for the last 5 years, he had his head chopped off while he was still alive, sitting in front of a camera, by one of these “regular guys” that just needed to hear “we’re sorry” and then be given a big hug. I am sorry that Mr. Berg didn’t think about this before they went to hacking his head off with that machete and then setting it on his back as his body emptied his blood all over the floor. Too bad he didn’t just tell this pig that he was “sorry” for all the things that had gone wrong in his life. Too bad he didn’t have the sense to just reach out and hug this pig. Perhaps then they would have set him free to spread the message that all they needed was some love!

Or how about the American contractor Paul Johnson, Jr. who was decapitated by his captors in June of 2004. Why didn’t he think about just sitting down in a circle with his new friends and singing “We are the world” while drinking green tea? Silly American. All they wanted was to be held.

Or how about Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was beheaded in 2002 by his most hospitable captors to leave behind a wife expecting their first child. His unrecognized friend was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who admitted in court that he personally beheaded Mr. Pearl. My heart goes out to Mr. Mohammed since the CIA was so mean to him and waterboarded him so many times without so much as a hug or a lollipop. How dare they? I mean, to make a guy think he is drowning by putting a protective cover over his face before applying water is just plain mean. And I am sure the water wasn’t even brought up to room temperature before it was applied, those animals.

Listen, I have seen what these guys can do, what they have done, and what any of them would do again, given the chance, to any one of us American citizens and I am fairly certain they would pay no attention to what political party you were associated with before they separated your head from your body in the name of Allah. This is what we are up against, folks. These are not nice guys and they would jump at the chance to kill anyone of us in this country simply because of our nationality, our lifestyle, our belief system, etc. It’s an ugly world out there, often more ugly than what we see on the nightly news. These people want to wipe us out, eliminate us from the planet. The CIA has a mission and that mission is to find out who these guys are, what they are planning and try and prevent it before it happens in order to protect you, me, and our families. If they have to shake a few people up and sprinkle a little water on their faces in order to get that information, I am all for it.

The facts are, out of the tens of thousands of prisoners of war, and that’s what they are, prisoners of war and not “detainees,” the CIA exercised advanced interrogation techniques on a handful of them and only three, that’s right, three, were waterboarded. Hell, I think it should be a part of the welcoming package when they get to Gitmo. Who knows what you might learn.

The second point I want to make is that by desecrating the CIA with these senseless witch hunts, we are weakening our country. We are going to inhibit the personnel in charge of keeping us safe for fear he or she may be brought up on charges that they didn’t fluff Mr. Iwana Chopur Headoff’s pillow correctly or his evening tea was too cold. Listen, I don’t believe we should be chopping fingers off or running bamboo splinters under fingernails and if anything like this occurred, they should be brought up on charges. But, I think manipulating their minds is fair game. To make a prisoner think they are drowning when they clearly aren’t should be fair game. To make the guy think you are going to run a drill through his hand if he doesn’t talk should be fair game. To make a guy think you are serious by staging an execution should be fair game. To put a little fear in the guy with the threat of killing his family should be fair game. It’s all mental and not physical and if it keeps my family safe and my country safe, I am all for it. But hey, once the prisoner skins his knee or pees himself, he should get a 15 minute coffee break to regroup, first-aid up, and get back in the game.

This is where I make the correlation with the speech given by Col. Jessup in the movie “A Few Good Men.” We have the luxury of not knowing what they (the CIA) know. Their existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to us, saves lives. We don’t want the truth because deep down in places we don’t talk about at parties, we want them on that wall; we need them on that wall. They have neither the time nor the inclination to explain themselves to a man that rises and sleeps under the very blanket of freedom that they provide and then questions the manner in which they provide it. I am sure they would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand the post.”

“Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!”

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The Current Thoughts of a Dreamer

Posted on August 11, 2009

It has been a long while since I have taken the time to sit down and write. I have been busy with many things, many projects, many tasks since the election of 2008. One of those many things involved becoming a “victim” of the economy. I was laid off from my corporate job in February and have since been trying to redefine myself and make myself fit many odd shaped holes in order to support my family and not become another statistic.

With that said, I have been watching, closely, the actions of our new president and our senators and representatives in congress since the swearing in of Mr. Obama in January and there is not much that makes me fell all warm and fuzzy inside. Of all the legislation and reform and stimulus that has taken place in the last 7 months, none of it prevented me from losing my job in the residential construction industry, none of it has created a new job for me to take, and none of it has stimulated the economy in my state.

Today, the big debate is over healthcare reform. Listen, I am in favor of reform of anything that doesn’t seem to be working correctly and needs improvement but I think healthcare may be a ways down the list of things that need our attention in this category. Let’s look at the programs we have in place already and how well they currently work. Haven’t we been hearing for the last few elections all the doom and gloom about social security and how, in it’s current state, is going to be bankrupt sooner rather than later? Why aren’t we feverently trying to “reform” this broken program and get it working how it was intended to work? How about Medicare and Medicaid? Are those programs flawless and efficient? I am not involved with either program but from what I am told, it needs a lot of work in order to be what it is intended to be. What about any other government program? Can anyone name me one program that is efficient, free of wanton waste and abuse, and does all the things it was set up to do? I can think of only one and that would be the United States Marine Corps. Now, there may be others, but I am most familiar with the Marine Corps because I served in the Corps and was directly involved in budgeting and spending for a squadron of KC-130 aircraft. We touted the fact that we were the only branch of service that returned money to the coffers at the endof the fiscal year instead of looking for more to cover overspending. Each year, we did more and more on less and less when it came to travel and training.

What does this have to do with what’s going on right now? A lot! This is proof, given the right leadership and control, government run programs can be efficient and productive at the same time. Perhaps if we put a few retired former Commandants of the Marine Corps in charge of government, we may see some progress. But I am just a dreamer and perhaps a little biased being a former Marine. But there is a correlation here.

In regard to healthcare reform, I think we may be letting ourselves think that what our current President and his administration are saying is actually possible and that big government can provide and run an efficient and productive, high quality program. Just today, President Obama, at a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire, tried to defend his program by saying that private options would remain in place and citing the fact that by doing so, healthcare quality would remain high due and prices low due to the competitive nature of having a government run option as well as privately run options. In his example, though, he may have given us a hint of what we already know. Here is an excerp from a CNN article about the Town Hall: ‘..Obama defended his call for a government-funded public health insurance option to compete against private insurers. He said such an option would hold down rates, rejecting accusations it amounted to a government takeover of health care because private companies can’t compete with a government-funded plan. “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine,” Obama said, referring to private courier services that compete with the U.S. Postal Service. “It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.”‘ The last part of this quote is what I think may be his tell. He states that “It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” Excuse my French but, No Shit! What part of this equation makes government run healthcare seem the least bit appetizing?

If the government can’t seem to run a simple delivery business, what makes them think they can run a complex industry like healthcare? To me, the writing is on the wall and we should be concentrating where the real expense lies. I think what we should be looking at is tort reform first, then let’s see if that reduces the costs of medical care. It is a fact that doctors must pay up to 40% of the income towards malpractice insurance. That is before they pay a dime of income tax or anything else. Lets reduce that expense to the doctor and see if rates come down. But again, I am just a dreamer. This will never happen and you know why? Because it will force government to put a value to a human life. In order to do that, they must determine what the average length of a human life is. In order to accomplish this, they must determine when life begins. Do you see where this is going? If they get into that debate, they set themselves up for many a fight over life, when it begins, and at what point abortion becomes murder and they don’t want that fight.

The fight they do want, at least in this administration, is the one where capitalism takes the hit and socialism gains ground. Let’s face it, President Obama got elected on two principals: change and handouts. People were tired of the way things were being managed but they also wanted a handout from government, they believed Obama was going to make everything all rainbows and lolly pops and all their troubles would go away. In my head, I keep seeing that YouTube video of the woman at his victory speech in the Chicago park that said she “knew everything was going to be OK now”. She knew Obama was going to take care of everything and that he would put gas in her car and she didn’t have to worry about paying her mortgage anymore. I wonder where she is today? Has he paid her mortgage? Has he put gas in her car? He sure as hell hasn’t taken any of the burden off my shoulders.

President Obama, let’s work on fixing the programs that we already have in place that are broken and missing their mark. Once we get all that stuff cleaned up, let’s move on to government run healthcare and try it out in a state or two before we upload it to the whole national system. But I am afraid, due to the backlog of malfunctioning government run programs, you will need to get term limits for the office of President changed to at least 4 terms so you can get your chance at healthcare. Oh, and perhaps the Post Office should be at the top of your list of programs to fix first. It seems there are, in your book at least, already two successful business plans in place that are “doing just fine” that you could emulate. But again, I am just a dreamer!

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The Eve of History

Posted on January 19, 2009

Here I sit, on the eve of a historic event for this great country of ours, with a few thoughts about the whole state of things.

First off, we keep hearing about the inauguration and the tab for the historic event. $140 million should cover it! What? $140 million? I understand there is need for more security due to the number of visitors to our nations capital for the event but I know quite a few retired Secret Service agents who would be willing to work the gig for a little walking around money. I distinctly remember the squawking from the liberal left about President Bush’s second inauguration bill, set at $40 million, and how we, as a nation, shouldn’t be spending that kind of money on the party when we were at war on two different fronts, etc., etc. Well, where are those fiscally responsible liberals now? I have one word, “Hypocrites!”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand and fully appreciate the historic relevance of this event. We, as a nation, have elected, to the highest office in the land, a disadvantaged bi-racial man who has very little experience in politics. No matter what your political affiliation, this truly is a day that will mark when the fences finally come down. Now, I have heard recently that the civil rights leaders refuse to give up their fight, saying they still have a “long” way to go when it comes to the rights of minorities. To me, this is just a cry to keep their job. Without racism, what do these people have to make their living on, I ask you?

To me, this is the reason we see the likes of Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, etc. working every “event” that might have a tint of racial prejudice. Ironically, we don’t see them standing up and fighting for the “civil rights” of people of Caucasian decent when they are targeted because of their race or religion. If they were to preach to their flock to ignore the bully and just keep on keepin’ on, we would see a decline in discrimination claims and the “bully” would move on to the next, easier target. Just a thought. This is much easier for me to write since I am a white anglo-saxon and don’t experience racial discrimination in its common sense. I do believe I am disadvantaged since there are so many programs in place to make sure I don’t get a job that any minority or female could do. But that’s a topic for another post.

Now, on to much more serious issues. Right now, we as a country are in a bad spot. We are experiencing things most of our population hasn’t had the pleasure of going through before. We are losing jobs every day, people are losing their homes, losing their businesses, and losing everything they have because of the media driven panic that was started like an arson-originated wildfire in the hills of California in an attempt to control the outcome of an election. They succeeded and got their candidate elected because of the fear and panic that set in beset by the mortgage crisis. None of this was truly justified and we would have overcome it easily if the media didn’t have their own agenda. But now the run-away train in rolling down the tracks and I am afraid it can’t be stopped as easily as it was started. I could be wrong and perhaps the mainstream media will reverse course on Wednesday and everything will be rainbows and lollipops and will turn around for the better. I certainly hope so, having recently been the victim of the economy and laid off from my job.

My biggest concern is this, we are like the boxer who is down on one knee in the middle rounds of a 12 round fight. Whether the situation is manufactured or not, the people, the sheep, are believing it is legitimate based on what they hear in the media. If we, at this given state of confidence or lack there of, were to be attacked by al Qaeda in the likes of 9-11, I am afraid it would put us into an unrecoverable flat spin headed out to sea, just like Maverick and Goose in Top Gun! Not to make light of the seriousness of the situation but, I am seriously concerned about this. And if an attack like this were to happen, which is the typical M.O. of al Qaeda; attack a new administration before it has the chance to really get settled in, then we need to be extremely vigilant in the coming days and months and not let our guard down for one minute. We are very vulnerable right now and a shot like that could end the bout with a K.O.

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