Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Way it Was

(The teeter-toter Dad made in the back yard. That is my Grandpa Foil making sure I don't fall off. Besides Ron, the second from the right, the rest are cousins.)

During this past year, I enjoyed sharing stories about my youth and had several comments about those stories from others. Ron and I have talked about growing up in Show Low in 1950's and 60's. We both agree, it was the best place and the right time. We had great adventures. We did things that we should not have, but they were basically harmless (most of the time). Life for the neighborhood boys was filled with the kind of things that help you grow up and the experiences that make you more confident.

Recently, Ron reminded me of some other "boy things" we engaged in, such as "pocket knife chicken". I remember making darts from wood match sticks and guns from clothes pins. There were rock fights in the street with other boys. The Spudnut (donuts from potatoes) Shop was within walking distance during my early years.

I guess the things that made the difference were the different era and the small town - along with parents who allowed their boys to be boys. We wrecked bikes, scooters, motorcycles, go-carts, and cars; but survived it all. We shot birds, frogs, snakes, squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs, and an occasional cat or dog. Once in a while, we even shot each other. We dissected lizards to see how they worked. We were chased by ranchers who did not want to hear the sound of gun fire while we shot rabbits during the night.

We hunted for arrowheads and pottery, camped out in old log cabins, rescued a litter of wild puppies, fell out of trees, examined the spray distance for skunks, caught poly wogs and watched them grow into little frogs. We explored an abandoned dump with rusty cars from the 30's and 40's. During the night, we had to hide from a policeman after hitting his car with pine cones as he drove by. We saw puppies and kittens being born in the wood shed. We knew how to fix a bike tire flat and stick playing cards in the spokes for sound effects.

We had fox holes with tunnels in the field behind our house and a rope swing in a pine tree beyond that. We camped out under a lean-to we made by chopping down small pine trees. We burned our trash in a 55-gallon drum in the back yard.

We would shoot BBs straight up in the air, watching them as they went up and listening to them hit as they came back down. Ron had one come straight back down and ric-a-shay off of his stomach. We enjoyed building things and built a club house. We made model cars and painted the details. We had a crochet-golf course mowed into the back lawn. We built snow forts and sucked icicles.

Those early years helped shape our futures.

Probably just as important as the things we did were the things we did not do. We did not drink beer or smoke cigarettes. We had not heard of "pot" or harder drugs. We did not spend time in front of the TV because we did not have one until the late 50's. Even then, it was one channel in black and white with undependable reception through a converter box and roof top antenna. There were no video games. I had kids before I ever saw my first video game. It was Pong and though was interesting at that time, no one today would be interested in playing it. There were no computers, boom-boxes, remote-control toys, etc. This was before seat belts or car seats. I remember standing up behind the front bench seat while we drove along.

It all added up to an amazing time in an amazing place with an amazing family. I am very blessed to have that start.

War Journal - Jan. 1, 1945

The crew of Dad's B-26

1945 - We are still sitting around the ARC in Warrington waiting for the intense fog to clear so we can take off. I have never seen any thing to equal this weather. Celebrated New Years by going to a show. Talked to Earl over the phone this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Over the past few days we have heard a lot about "profiling". Last Friday, on Christmas day, a person tried to blow up an airliner as an act of terrorism. Oh wait, let me correct that, ...a potential human caused disaster.

This guy has an Arabic name, was traveling from Yemen-an Arabic country which has known ties to sponsoring terrorism, was reported by his own dad to be a threat to America, was on a "watch list" for the State Department or Homeland Security, bought a one-way ticket for cash to America, stated that he planned on being here for two weeks, had no luggage... He gave us just about all of the "red flags" you could want in order to stop him from doing damage. He carried, on his person, explosives that were sewn into his underwear. While in flight he tried to detonate the explosives but only succeeded in causing a fire. Passengers gained control of him after a struggle.

It could not have been much more clear that this guy was a threat, if he had it printed on his forehead. Yet, with all of this, he was allowed to board the airliner with no questions asked. He almost killed about 300 people.

Over the weekend, government leaders appeared on various TV talk shows and discussed this situation. When one admitted that the terrorist was on a terrorist watch list, he was asked why no one was then watching him. The answer back was, "There are over 500,000 names on that list." Evidently our government does not have the resources to keep track of these people. We seem to have the resources to bail out every conceivable company on Wall Street, to bail out banks, to bail out GM and Chrysler, to add thousands of pork barrel projects to bills, to take over health care for 300,000,000 Americans, to screen our emails, to listen in on our phone calls, to read our blogs. But, we do not have the money to keep us safe.

So, my question is, what is wrong with profiling? If we cannot screen everyone who tries to get on an airliner, why not thoroughly screen the passengers who fit the profile of a terrorist? It is not hard to figure out who these might be, pretty much every one of the terrorists who have attacked American interests over the past ten years have several things in common. They have Arabic names, are of Arabic decent, are Muslim in faith, are men between the ages of 16 to 45, have similar skin color, have black hair...

What they do not have in common are: none are elderly white women, none are black children, none are Jews or Christians, none are blue-eyed, none have blond hair...

It seems so clear that singling those who fit the profile out for more intense screening would make us all safer. So, why don't we do it? Because that would be "profiling". We would rather be politically correct (PC) than physically safe. The people in charge of security at major airports (TSI) are prohibited from profiling. So, they pull the 75 year old, white woman aside to pat her down for weapons. While they are doing this, the 30 year old Muslim with a back pack passes through security with no scrutiny.

Limited resources? Then use them wisely. Put the money and man power to work where they can do the most good. Profile, Profile, Profile!

How does our government respond to the latest bombing attempt? They suggest new rules for passengers on airliners. You must have your hands in plain view, on your knees, with nothing else on your lap and you cannot get out of your seat during the last hour of the flight. Why? Because this guy tried to hide what he was doing with a pillow and it happened during the last hour of the flight. How stupid are they? How stupid do they believe we are? How stupid do the real threats think we all are?

We will continue to profile shoes, laptops, shampoo, pillows, etc. But, we will not profile the guy who could be the poster child for your typical terrorist. Our negligence will result in another deadly attack. The terrorists change their methods and all we ever do is respond to the last attack.

Rest easy, in the words of the Secretary of Homeland Security - you know, the one person who carries the responsibility for keeping our homeland safe - Janet Nappy, "All systems functioned appropriately." What a dangerous joke she is! It is not just her, she is typical of the liberal mindset. We are bad and they are misunderstood. If we tell them we are sorry they will like us. We must have done something to deserve all of this. We need to get past being a military superpower. Let's all just talk and get along. The real terrorists are the Christians, conservatives, x-military, gun owners, patriots who want to protect the Constitution.

No wonder we are a target - we project weakness to our enemies. They see right through BO and see nothing but an empty bag of hot air.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trash Can - Part Whatever

Welcome to another version of the trash can - a collection of political items of interest and concern.

1. Janet Nappy, Secretary of Homeland Security, continues to endear herself to the American people. Most of you are aware that a terrorist attempted to blow up a plane with around 300 people on board on Christmas day. As the airliner was getting near Detroit, after flying across the Atlantic, an Arab passenger tried to ignite an explosive device. Between his incompetence and the action of passengers, his plan failed to kill everyone.

Secretary Nappy made an announcement that all systems functioned as designed. She believes that her department did its job because the passengers and crew took appropriate action and her department had other planes in the air notified to be watchful. Typical of Nappy, she believes all went well because the plane did not explode.

My humble opinion - all did not go well! This Arab had been reported to the US by his own dad. He had known terrorist ties and was on a watch list for Homeland Security. HS failed to put him on a no-fly list because none of his prior threats involved an airliner.

Let me see if I understand this right. HS puts names on the no-fly list AFTER they try to attack an airliner. The fact that he is a known terrorist is not an issue. The fact that his own dad was so concerned about the danger he posed, was not an issue. This if valuable information to other terrorists who want to bring down a jet load of people. All you need to do is be successful on your first try. HS will let you fly until you try!

If HS had worked properly, this guy would not have been on a plane.

2. The government is getting ready to impose another "sin tax". A "sin tax" is a tax on a product or activity that big brother has determined is bad for us or unhealthy for us. Examples are federal taxes on cigarettes. Recently, big brother has suggested a federal tax on cola products. Now, they are going to tax the use of tanning beds. Yes, tanning beds are the latest target.

3. Hawaii is not exempt for budget woes. Their state government is cutting expenses in an attempt to balance the budget. One of the areas cut is education. To help deal with the education shortfall, they have imposed 17 furlough Fridays in addition to Wednesdays being half days of school. Yes, the kids only go to school for 3.5 days per week for 17 of the school weeks.

4. On Christmas Eve, the Senate voted to pass the healthcare bill. In order to get all of the cRats lined up to vote for this monster bill, several were paid off with our money. Senator Nelson (D-Nebraska) held out until he received a sweetheart deal. The bill requires all of the states to expand their Medicaid plans so that they cover more people. Nelson was told by his Governor that the state could not afford to take on more Medicaid expense. So, in order to get his vote, Hairy Reed added language to the bill that protects Nebraska from having to pay for the Medicaid program, FOREVER. Yes, one state will get their Medicaid program paid for by all of the other 49 states, FOREVER.

Other Senators received their share of our money. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) received $500,000,000 even though his vote was never in doubt. Senator Chriss Dodd (D-?) got $100,000,000. And there were others. Hairy Reed made a speech that the Senators did their jobs in getting as much for their states as they could. He basically stated that the Senators who did not sell their vote did not do justice for their people back home.

5. As BO prepares to close Gitmo prison, the politicians in Illinois have been making public statements telling us all why bringing these bad guys to our soil is actually a good thing. The reason we should not object is that more prisoners in our prisons translates to "jobs created". Yep, endangering all of us by having sworn enemies brought within our borders, on purpose, is a good thing because it will create more corrections officer positions.

Evidently, BO's plan to spur the economy is to create an environment where there are more people in prison. Do the crime, create a job!

I have an idea! Why don't we round up all of the illegal aliens and arrest them? This will solve two problems. First, the job they hold now (you know, the ones that Americans will not do) will be opened up for an American to take. Second, putting them in jail will pad BO's "jobs created" numbers and make him look like a genius.

War Journal - Dec. 27, 1944

Photo - 12/24/1944 - Looking over a destroyed German bomb dump in France

Went to London by train this afternoon - had several hours to look the place over - and then on to Burtonwood (Warrington) by train near Manchester. I am broke, dirty & tired.

War Journal - Dec. 26, 1944

Dad with lady who ran the American Red Cross (ARC)

Went by C-47 to Bishopstrotford near London today. Could not go any further due to weather. Spent the night at the ARC. Had a good time too.

War Journal - Dec. 25, 1944

Photo - 11/28/1944 - "Myself in France"

Started out to England today but weather forced us down at Pontoise near Paris where the 344th is located. Spent the night there - saw several old friends from LC - lost my wallet with $230. This was suppose to be a 6 hour trip.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

War Journal - Dec. 24, 1944

Pappas, Borst & I were suppose to go to England today with six other crews to ferry new ships over to replace our losses recently. The B-17 that was to take us went hay wire so we did not get off. Standing guard duty tonight - Xmas Eve - It is cold!

A Child is Born

I'll bet you have an idea where this is going. Well, you are half right.

I just received a phone call from Anne. She is at the hospital and preparing to have a baby.

As Christians, we dwell on the amazing birth of Jesus during this holiday season.

You may remember that I wrote about death being the last of many miracles that make up a life. Well, birth is one of the first. I don't know what all of your experiences have been concerning births, but I am sure that each of you have experienced the process first hand - or maybe first foot. I cannot imagine, after having witnessed the process, that anyone could not believe that a birth is a miracle.

This miracle is about to take place in Idaho with Anne and Mark having Cody. Around the country and world, similar miracles are happening while I am writing this. But, right now, I want to concentrate on the reason for the season.

The birth of Jesus was a miracle. In fact, it was a miracle several times over again. As with any birth, it was the miracle of a new life coming into the world. That in itself is an unbelievable event. Second, it was a miracle due to the virgin birth. That in itself is a must-be-believed event. Third, it was a miracle because this baby Jesus was God in the flesh coming to dwell among the people. That in itself changed the course of history for the unbelievers and believers alike.

Setting aside the miracles of a birth, a virgin birth, the appearance of God in the flesh; what was the importance of the birth of Jesus? Why is this such a big deal? I believe the answer is tied to the miracle at the other end of the life. The birth of Jesus became a history changing event due to the life and death that followed.

If the plan of God had not been what it was, then this birth, over 2,000 years ago, would not be noticed today. Even if that birth was still a virgin birth, I do not believe we would take notice. The world takes notice, each year, of the Christmas holiday. They do not all believe that Jesus is or was who He claimed. They do not all believe the Bible, but they almost all do take notice of this day whether it is to celebrate it or deny the reason for the celebration.

The birth was the beginning of the unique life of the God-man. Jesus was all God and all man at the same time. What would we remember and celebrate about the birth of Jesus if the birth and the unique life was all that happened? These two parts, together, may be enough for us to still remember and talk about. Maybe even enough for us who love God to have set aside a holiday in remembrance of that special thing that happened a long time ago.

The celebration of the miracle of the birth of Jesus is directly tied to the miracle of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the ending events that make the beginning events so special. The plan of God not only included a virgin birth for the Son of God, but culminated in the three days that changed everything since then. It is the death of the Son of God and what that means for us that is so special. Without Jesus dying in our place we would be without hope.

It is because of the miracle of the death of Jesus that I celebrate the miracle of the birth of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

War Supplement

The following story was told by Dad on 10/3/2009:

During the Battle of the Bulge there was some resentment between the Army Air Corp and the Army Infantry personnel. To help with this situation, some members of each group were assigned to accompany groups of the other on some missions.

An infantryman was assigned to Dad's B-26 for three missions to bomb over Germany. The first two went fairly well with little or no resistance. The infantryman teased the bomber crew about how easy their job was. They just flew, dropped their bombs, and flew back. They got to sleep in dry tents and eat warm meals.

On the third mission things changed. Dad's plane was in the #4 position. The box formation consists of six planes. Across the front are three, #2, 1, 3; with #1 being the lead plane for the mission and flying slightly ahead of #2,3. Right behind these three were #5,4,6. Also with #4 being slightly ahead of #5,6. If something happened to #1, then #4 would pull up and assume lead position. The back three were right behind and just below the front three. The wing tips for #5,6 were about 30 feet off of the wingtips for #4, so it was a fairly tight formation.

After dropping the bombs over Germany, the box was flying back and as they were crossing the Rhine River, German anti-aircraft fire struck direct hits on #5 and #6 planes, at the same time. "Both planes vaporized. It was hard to even see shrapnel."

German anti-aircraft (AA) worked as follows: One man controlled four guns that all fired together. They were good at firing to explode at the correct altitude of the planes. All four shells would explode, at once, in a square shape. When two of the four shells hit #5,6 planes, the other two shells were right behind the box.

The infantryman was sitting on the floor in the waist of the plane when the two planes were hit and disappeared on each side.

When they landed he got out and said, "Never again!"

Dad then ended the story with, "There was considerable risk involved."
The photo above shows two box formations, at the top of the photo, forming up as they began a mission.

War Journal - Dec. 22, 1944

Squadron had two rough missions today. My crew was scrubbed for Pathfinder in the morning & we couldn't get off the ground in time in the afternoon so I missed both of them. Fighters shot our squadron all to pieces - eight dead - several ships lost - all damaged. What was able to fly in the afternoon was shot up by flak - Incidentally we bombed our own troops in the afternoon. Nazi paratroops landed 13 miles from here last night - we were on alert 24 hours a day - guards are tripled - everyone carries sidearms & gas mask & is restricted to our area. Things are pretty serious. This was the first good day since the German offensive began.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Secret Sins

The media has been overly occupied with a side-story for the past month. Tiger Woods has fallen from a perceived, lofty perch. No evidence yet that he will be any less dominant as a golfer, when he returns, for his fall has been of the moral nature. Tiger has shown an all-to-familiar weakness.

Mr. Woods, up until now, had been able to maintain a reputation that was pretty much squeaky-clean. He enjoyed the position of being on the top of the golfing world. He not only made millions of dollars playing golf, but probably made much more through endorsements. In order to get and maintain multi-million dollar endorsements, an athlete needs to have a good, public perception, besides being a super-star at his game.

Though the story-line is thousands of years old, it still makes headlines when an “idol” tumbles from the top of a marble column. Tiger is far from being unique in his situation. Most of us remember similar stories about President Bill Clinton, Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, Reverend Jim Bakker, Kobe Bryant… Each man appeared to be on top of his world with fame and fortune. We could add to the list: Senators, Representatives, Governors, movie stars, singers, mayors, etc. The list is not exclusive to men, there are famous women who have taken the same fall.

We hear their stories because we all know who they are. The media loves to divulge all the intimate details and to speculate on the “facts” they do not know. In each case there is at least one other party who is a participant. Behind each case there is at least one other person who has been betrayed. The hurt brings various responses, all the way from “stand-by-your-man” to move out and hire the attorney.

Some find these stories to be fascinating. They check each day for the latest gossip. They help spread the rumors and add to the speculation. There seems to be a frenzy around the abuser and the abused, just like a bunch of vultures around a wounded cow lying out in a field.

Behind the titillating details, what really happened? What is the base-line of the story? In each case, the names and faces change, but the basics remain the same. We have the super-star being caught in a secret sin. Did they believe they would never be found out? I have no idea, but whether or not they thought they could get away with the sin in secret, they proceeded as if no one would ever know.

The first day of the Tiger Woods story, I hoped that he was doing something like heading to Walgreens to get medicine for a sick family member and had an accident because he was sleepy. It upset me when I heard the media guessing as to whether Tiger was heading to a rendezvous in the middle of the night. Why did it bother me? Because I had a lot of respect for Tiger and I wanted the whole thing to be an innocent, unfortunate accident.

It appeared that others had a different desire. It almost seemed like some were hoping that there was some seedy story that they would be able to talk about. It seemed as if some were taking pleasure in his fall as more became revealed. Probably all of us hurt for his wife and children, but I also hurt for him. Not because he was being wrongfully charged or that he did not deserve the public humiliation, but because he became a regular guy whose world was crashing around him and I know how that feels.

You see, it is not just the high-and-mighty who take great falls. Some of us have a shorter distance to bottom, but the landing hurts just as much. There should be no pleasure enjoyed in the fall of another person. No matter how big or how small of a kingdom that person once possessed, it hurts as you watch it crumble around you, knowing it is your fault and there is nothing you can do at this point to stop the disintegration.

There is another aspect to the story-behind-the-story. It is a moral matter of spiritual relevance. I have no idea as to whether some of these famous people who have fallen are Christians, but some claimed to be and I sure did. I would have to believe that the hurt may be a little more painful to one who claimed the moral high-road than to another whose morality never was seen as a thing of beauty. To one who had no good reputation, it became one less thing to lose. But to those of whom more was expected, the embarrassment and failure just added to the weight.

In the case of Tiger, I pray that there is someone close to him personally who has or will come alongside. Someone who will hold him accountable, help him deal with the pain; but most importantly, point him in the right direction-spiritually. I hope that his emphasis is not on how to save his kingdom, keep his sponsors and repair his reputation. I hope that he is a broken man who is seeking a better path, forgiveness, and reconciliation with his wife and a relationship with his Creator.

We tend to treat immorality in public figures as an interesting story. We wait for the latest revelation and check for videos posted on the Internet. We should not. It is not something that, just because it is happening to a star, is okay for us to watch like a soap opera on TV. It should not be a story that is glamorized by enticing images and tales. It is a situation that deserves to be treated just for what it is – a sin and a fall with a sinner and victims.

I listened to Wayne’s sermon on Luke 7:36-50, “Forgiven Much”. He deals with the self-righteous Pharisee who invited Jesus to come to his house for dinner. During the visit, a sinful woman came and washed Jesus’ feet with tears and anointed his feet with perfume. The Pharisee thought that it was disgusting that Jesus let such a woman touch him. Jesus taught the Pharisee the parable of the debtors with the result being that he or she, who is forgiven much, loves much. This woman was expressing much love for her sins were many and exposed and she was dealing with them. Jesus told her, “Thy sins are forgiven.” On the other hand, the Pharisee was not showing love to Jesus, had not dealt with his sins and wanted to maintain the public perception of him being a righteous man.

Was the Pharisee a righteous man? No, he just carried his sins in secret. He was sure that he was smart enough that he could hide the dark side of his nature. To him and many times to us, we believe that if no one knows our secret sins then we are getting away with them and no harm done. All the time we are pretending to be the righteous man, we are faking a close walk with God because on the inside we know the truth and we know God is not fooled.

None of us are any better than Tiger Woods, the Pharisee, or the sinful woman. We are just at different stages. Some are where Tiger was a couple months ago, hiding our secret sins as if we can continue, unexposed, forever. Some of us have had our sins exposed and are dealing with them. Some are already to the point of hearing, “Thy sins are forgiven.”

Where are you? I pray that if you are living a lie with secret sin, you would flee from the immorality as fast as you can. I pray that you would fall on your knees and get your relationship with God back on track. I pray that your world would not crash around you unless that is the only way God can get you humbled and ready for change. I pray that your eyes would be opened and your heart softened to repent and seek mercy.

Do not stand back and cast stones. Rather crouch down next to the guilty one and offer a word of encouragement, point the direction, and lead the sinner out of the depth of despair.

James 5:20 “Let him know that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

Over 15 years ago, God sent a man to come along side of me when I was on the receiving end of the stones – as guilty and embarrassed as I could be. His words were filled with truth and his hands were empty of rocks. Though I was almost a stranger to him, he dropped what he was doing and was there to help me as much as I needed. I will never forget his love and will always hold this special friend very dear to my heart.

If you find yourself on the forgiven list, instead of the secret sin list, then you too can be that person who holds out a hand of love and saves a soul from death.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

War Journal - Dec. 20, 1944

Headquarters using some of the old buildings after fixing them up.

Some excitement around here today - Nazi agents are known to have landed in this vicinity last night. Today everyone is ordered to carry sidearms again, the guard is doubled tonight & orders given not to take any back talk from anyone in any uniform or dress - shoot then ask questions. The big shots seem to be pretty worried. - Also the town of Beauvais is one of the hottest political centers in France - with every known faction operating there. 27 were shot last week at a public execution in there. Visibility for two days has been less than 1/4 mile at all times - so no flying.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bizarro World

Can the world of politics get any more crazy? Every single day there is something new that our government is involved in that is unbelievable. Every single day I am amazed at what they are pulling and pushing. Every single day I am shocked at what I hear that our leaders are doing. Every single day...

If this were not so serious, it would be funny. If this were the script for a movie, we would not sit and watch it because it would not be believable. The things that make sense are exactly the opposite of what is being done. Logic has no place in Washington any longer. There is a saying that applies here very well, "the inmates are running the asylum."

I will summarize some of the recent news items that I am talking about -

1. Congress, since they have nothing better to do, is considering (again) comprehensive immigration reform. The current bill has these provisions: increased over-sight on the border patrol to make sure they are not infringing upon any "rights" of the illegal immigrants (which is code for tying the hands of the agents so that they can no longer effectively do their assigned jobs); stop construction on any more border fencing, eliminate local law enforcement's ability to enforce immigration laws; and provide a streamlined process for illegals to become legal (you remember the promise that they would have to pay a fine and jump through hoops - that we are not giving them amnesty). Well the new process will involve that they each will tell us their name (no ID required) and pay $500. After jumping this this hoop, they will be given the documents necessary to make them legal.

2. Never mind that the whole "scientific community" supporting the Global Warming intuitive has been exposed to be a bunch of frauds who have altered and manipulated the so-called "indisputable scientific data". Never mind that the whole Climate Change program has been a hoax all along. Never mind that all of those hypocritical, concerned individuals who are now gathered in Copenhagen hoping to pound out an agreement, came there on private jets and in limos. Never mind the data that shows the Earth's average temperature has actually cooled over the past decade. Never mind all the scientists who tell us that there is nothing going on other than normal climate cycles. Never mind that All Gorey promotes the inconvenient lies and has positioned himself to make multiple millions of dollars in carbon credit trading. Never mind that any action taken will further damage our weak economy and raise taxes and cause job loss.

None of this is sinking into the BOA (BO's administration). Our dear Secretary of State, the lovely Mr. Hillary Clinton, made a speech at the Copenhagen conference this week. When she promised that the US will commit $100,000,000,000 (that's 100 billion dollars) to the unjust cause of fighting climate change, there was loud applause from the audience. But, hold on to your seats, that was not all. This dollar commitment is not the total, but is the annual commitment for the next ten years. Yes, my tax-paying friends and neighbors, that is ONE TRILLION DOLLARS of your money to be given to a bunch of frauds to supposedly fight a phony crisis.

Just how much is a trillion dollars? We seem to be hearing that figure a lot from Washington this year. Let's break it down to a number that hits close to home. It amounts to $3,000 for your commitment. $3,000 for my commitment. $3,000 for every man, woman and child in our country (prior to the new immigration laws being passed) having to cover.

3. In a related Bizarro story, we had Hugo Chavez (the dictator leader) give a speech to the same Copenhagen conference. His talk followed after Clinton's promise. He (Hugo, not Hillary) announced the death of capitalism. For this, he to received loud applause.

I am not surprised by his comments or their reaction, but I am puzzled. America, the main capitalistic country in the world, is the most prosperous and it's citizens enjoy the highest standard of living. I can understand others being jealous, we have had it really good in this country. So, instead of trying to tear it down and destroy the system that produced this situation, why not copy it? Why does the rest of the world want our system killed? What do they believe they will gain by our loss? Do they believe that we would be promising $100 billion each year if we were operating any other economic system? To me, this is bizarre!

4. Healthcare. You had to know I would get to this. We do not want it but Washington is bound and determined to give it to us anyway. This week, ABC ran a poll. 53% disapprove of the healthcare plan in congress. 52% disapprove of the way the government is dealing with the economic situation. These polls are usually based on around 1,000 people being contacted. I was reading this on AOL. AOL also conducted their own poll with the same two questions. When I voted, there had been around 10,000 votes cast. The current results were 89% strongly disapprove and 93% disapprove of the healthcare plan. 85% strongly disapprove of the handling of the economy and 91% disapprove.

So, why are they determined to force this down our throats? Why pass a plan that raises premiums, still leaves tens of millions uninsured, raises taxes, imposes fines for not buying the mandatory insurance, and now has even dropped the public option from the bill? For that last part, the Left is mad. For the rest, the Right is mad. Even Howard Dean wants the plan scrapped. is running ads against the plan. Basically, no one is happy with it, but the BOA, Hairy Reed and Queen Pelousy are going to give this to us for Christmas, anyway.

BO actually has the nerve to stand before us and claim that this massive spending plan (which will be over a trillion dollars) will "reduce the deficit". Is he just plain stupid or does he believe we are? You and I both know the answer to that.

I could go on and on, but you get my point. The world has gone crazy. Common sense does not exist in government. This is bizarre!

War Journal - Dec. 18, 1944

This was the only hanger left standing when the Germans left. We had movies in it until they built a theater.

Had the life scared out of me today. The Germans broke thru our lines on the 9th Army Front so it was compulsory for some accurate bombing to be done. Weather was terrible - so we were briefed to go in at 1500 ft. As it turned out - we could not leave the ground until this afternoon and it was possible to bomb from 12,000 ft in safety. Bombed the town of Dreiborn a couple of miles from the last target we had. This was my second mission with the big shots around here. Flew with a Colonel today from Group in lead ship. No flak or fighters.
(The Battle of the Bulge began on 12/16/1944. It was Germany's last attempt to stop the allied advance. This enemy attack concentrated on the area of France just to the east of where Dad's air field was located.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

War Journal - Dec. 16, 1944

Made mission ten yesterday to Wollseiffen, Germany - ten miles southeast of Aachen. Had a narrow escape on takeoff - nearly crashed. The mission was PFF - no flak or fighter opposition. The object was to destroy the entire town. On returning we were forced down on a P-38 fighter strip - 12 miles northwest of Reims. Landing conditions were very bad - the first attempt was almost fatal - but by a miracle we made it safe on the second attempt. Spent the night at the 323rd B.G. near the little town of Leon. It was terribly cold and with no blankets or fire we could not sleep at all. Made it back to our home base in a rain storm today. Under present conditions the landing & takeoffs are proving so hazardous that I am beginning to feel pretty nervous about flying. The missions are easy in comparison. Missed our trip to Paris by being away from here two days.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Cheer from Washington

Today, Sunday, while we were relaxing; the Senate was passing a $1,100,000,000,000 spending bill - that's 1.1 trillion dollars. This bill represents about half of the annual spending bills relating to the budget - not in dollars but in the number of bills. This bill combined six spending bills into one. Five others have already been passed and one remains - the military spending bill.

Today's bill covers the annual budget for several departments, all of which received increased spending approvals. As much of the public is unemployed or under-employed and most of the rest are not getting any raises, this bill gives federal workers a 2% raise. You may remember that a few weeks ago the government announced no raises for those on social security for next year due to there being no inflation for this year. So, the 2% raise, you could say, is above the cost of living changes. This is not a raise to let them "keep up" with higher costs, it is an actual raise for every one of them.

As always, these bills include items that are unrelated to the main bill. Included today is approval for the District of Columbia to pay for abortions and legalize marijuana. This bill includes 5,000 pork barrel projects that total $3,900,000,000. These projects amount to $12 for every man, woman and child in the country. You may think that that is not so bad, it's just $12 for each of us. Remember, this is just the extra, pet projects added to this one bill. There were 9,000 of these added to the stimulus bill passed as soon as Obama was elected. Just about every bill that they pass has more of these. The upcoming military spending bill is always loaded with thousands of pork barrel projects. The cRats load the military bill because they know iCan'ts will vote "yes" as they support the military.

Another perspective on today's spending bill - the total reflects $33,000 spending, this budget year, for every man, woman and child in the country. Remember, this is only about half of the spending bills for the year.

Our government is out of control with spending! It is controlled by professional, career politicians. They have lost touch with reality and do not represent the public any longer.

It's time to "sweep the House"!

War Journal - Dec. 13, 1944

Pulled a mission today - target about ten miles southeast of Aachen - named Euskirchen. No flak & no fighters encountered. That's the way I like them! Flew with a mixed crew today. The pilot is famous for his bad flying & the co-pilot had never flown a B-26 before. I did a lot of sweating. I think we missed our target so will probably go back tomorrow. PFF mission with bad weather & icing most of the way.

Friday, December 11, 2009

BO and More Job Creation

One of the many stories coming out of Washington over the past few days has to do with BO's request for control of the +-$200,000,000,000 of TARP funds that have not been spent. When the law was passed last year for TARP funds ($700,000,000,000+), we were promised that the emergency (which could not wait for passage past the coming Friday - or the US economy would collapse) measure would provide funds to buy troubled assets (TARP-Troubled Asset Relief Program). The troubled assets were the foreclosed homes on the books of the banks and other organizations such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We were told that if this massive amount of money was passed that the taxpayers (i.e. government) would actually make money - maybe triple the investment by later selling the homes for a profit.

They talked up the plan and it was approved and signed into law. Here we are, over a year later and they have yet to buy foreclosed homes. Almost before the ink was dry, the plan changed from buying troubled assets (where we had a chance to "actually make money") to giving the money away to Wall Street companies and banks.

The TARP law states that any monies not spent would have to go back to reducing the government's debt. Well, for some reason, BO's administration did not give it all away, yet. BO cannot stand to take the money ($200 Billion) and give it back to reduce the massive debt he is running up.

So, he is lobbying to have congress pass approval for him to retain control of the money. He states that he wants to use the money for more job creation. Let's examine how successful the other hundreds of billions of dollars have been in creating jobs since it was approved in Stimulus One (SO). Unemployment is over 10% - BO promised that if SO were passed, unemployment would not go above 8%. Lets see, on his own web site (the one that cost us $18,000,000 to create) how the claim that they were successful in creating jobs has worked. The website was full of bogus claims that even the main-stream media criticized.

What do I think? I believe he is just saying what he believes we want to hear. If he gets his way, again, the $200 billion will not go to debt reduction, as required by law; but will be given to him to pass out to his cronies just as most of the rest was used.

Rush Limbaugh, today, made an observation that every time a liberal says something, it is a lie. That is just about the truth of the matter. You cannot believe anything they say. You can count on them to try to manipulate the public, with lies, to get whatever they want.

Professional Aide

Now that there are over 300 postings, this site qualified for professional help with the above title and heading.

You can thank Jenae for her fine work.

Good job! Thanks.

War Journal - Dec. 12, 1944

I have pulled four dry runs in the past two days. All I do lately is put on & pull off heavy clothing. Will probably make number 9 tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

300 in 284 Days!

This posting is number 300. I began this blog on March 1, 2009. In the 284 days since then I have posted 300 entries. I am as surprised as you probably are. You, who know me well, know how I have no opinions or strong feelings about anything and who would expect me to write sooooo much.

I appreciate those of you who take the time to read this blog. A lot of the time I feel like I am writing to myself, as usually there are no comments added by anyone, and I already know what I think.

Thanks for hanging in there!

War! What is it Good For?

My generation is familiar with the lyrics of a song, "War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!"

Though I do not agree with that blanket answer, I do wonder what the value of war is when we are not committed to win?

These thoughts reminded me of something my Dad said a few years ago. I asked him something about how the Japanese fought and how brutal they were in WWII. His answer surprised me as I expected some condemnation for their actions. He said, "They fought to win."

A couple days ago we passed another anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Whether or not it was a mistake by the diplomats, the attack was carried out prior to Japan declaring war. If you read my post about this attack (below), you will see a list of the places Japan attacked during the first 24 hours that began with the attack on Pearl Harbor. They had a plan, they carried it out, they gained a strong upper hand, and they had every intention on doing whatever it took to win. They did not worry about public relations, political campaigns, allegations of brutality, etc. They figured that if they won, who would stand as the accuser.

There is another saying, "Winning is everything!" There are no moral victories in real WAR. Real war is winner take all. The winner lives and rules, the loser is often dead - period.

Since World War II, the United States has been fighting PC wars. We have never, since 1945, gone into a war with the attitude that we would do whatever it took to make sure victory belonged to us.

In Korea, we were gaining the upper hand on the North and the end was in sight...that is, until China sent around a million soldiers across the border to drive the US and South back. The war ended with a "seize fire" and a line drawn in the snow. Now, around 55 years later, we are still there guarding that line. We did not win and did not do what it took to win. When China sent overwhelming numbers into the battle, we were not willing to use the weapon that helped end WWII and secure victory. A couple atomic bombs on a million soldiers in a small area would have ended China's interference. You say, "That is so cold and cruel!" I remind you of another saying, "All's fair in love and war."

We did not learn our lesson and carried the same PC attitude into Vietnam. By then, the enemy probably had atomic weapons of their own and maybe that would not have been the solution. But, there were more conventional methods that were not used and it ended with the US bailing out and the South being overrun by the enemy.

We have been in smaller conflicts between Vietnam and Iraq, but no major wars.

If there has been any exception to the US not doing what it took to win, it would have to be the first gulf war around 1990. In that war, the US used overwhelming manpower and weapons to accomplish the goal in record time. There has been criticism about us not continuing on to deal with Saddam, once and for all. But, killing him was not the goal, defeating him and his army was the goal and getting them out of Kuwait. If there was PC in this war, it was not at a level that prevented victory, and was probably involved with decision to stop before Saddam was dead or removed from power.

The beginning of Iraqi Freedom, the second gulf war, showed signs of determination to do what it took to win. Later, we got involved in PC that tied one hand behind the soldiers backs and resulted in prolonging that war. Hence, we are still there fighting.

Afghanistan has turned out to be a PC war. We are not doing whatever it takes to win and have a decided victory. We are strapped with restrictions and limits as to what our military can and will do in battle. Our enemy has no restrictions. They are like the Japanese in WWII, they intend to win. We, evidently do not. The PC has been evident in this war since the beginning but has multiplied since BO took office. It is clear, his agenda does not involve military victory.

My Dad said something else to me several years ago. I asked him what he thought about Ron and I not going to Vietnam. He told me that if we had been fighting to win that he believed that we should have gone just like the ones who did. But, since we were not, he is glad we did not have to go.

How do the dads and moms and wives and husbands and kids feel today about their loved ones going off to fight, half way around the world, in a war that our government is not planning to win? A soldier is a tool of war, he is another weapon at the disposal of the commanders. It is one thing for his life to be lost in the great cause leading to victory, it is another for the loss when pulling out and walking away is the plan of action by the Commander-In-Chief.

What is it good for? War, in spite of all of the carnage, can serve a great and noble purpose. It is the means to set people and countries FREE. It is the means to defend our freedom. It is the means to conquer evil men and put an end to their deadly plans. Sometimes war is inevitable and may be mandatory due to what others have chosen to do against us. War has its place. War set the stage for America to be free and become the greatest nation on earth. War ended the evil and deadly deeds of Japan and Germany.

All of this is dependant upon one aspect holding true - we must fight to win. To do that, today, would take a major shift in policy and attitude by our politicians and many of our citizens. I believe, without these changes, if the US became involved in another major war against another major enemy (such as Russia or China), we would have no chance of winning. We do not have the desire or determination in the halls of leadership to do what it takes to see victory. My prediction is that the next real WAR will result in defeat for America.

We have lost our capacity for production. We do not mine the necessary ores. We are energy dependant on foreign nations, some of which would fight against us. We lack, in leadership, a "killer instinct". We are worried about POWs getting a "fair trial" and are in the process of giving the enemy constitutional rights. We have limited our FBI, CIA, military, and others in their ability to gain intelligence from the enemy. We have "rules of engagement" that restrict our soldiers from fighting back when a battle is in process. We play politics with war and cater to the Left who have never seen a war worth fighting. We are side-tracked by issues like gays in the army. We no longer "carry a big stick" and pipsqueak leaders of tiny countries have no respect or fear of America actually "doing" something. We are all talk! We are a joke to the other powerful nations of the world. It so happens that the other powerful nations would all love to see the "great US of A" out of the picture. It so happens that none of them would ever consider fighting a PC war. They would all fight to win and they would if we do not change soon.

War Journal - Dec. 10, 1944

B-26 in flight.

We never fail to pull a mission on Sunday! Bombed a suburb of the city of Duren today. Had light inaccurate flak - came home alone through bad weather.

War Journal - Dec. 9, 1944

Plane in hardstand and bulldozer repairing perimeter track.
Some tents.

Flew window mission this morning all the way to the IP - before bad weather turned us back. The IP was inside the bomb line so we did not get credit for a mission. It was so cold we had to open windows for the pilot to see out. Inside the plane was -25 degrees C. Went to two classes in afternoon & was suppose to fly at night but a plane crashed on the runway & we couldn't take off. We are losing a plane a day average from the extremely bad conditions on this field breaking & cutting tires & landing gear. Take-offs & landings are more dangerous than being over Germany.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Healthcare With Bandaids

We are once, or twice again reminded of how our leaders in Washington either think we are stupid, or not paying attention, or that we do not care what they do.

Hairy Reed made a big announcement late today that the cRats have reached agreement for compromise on a Senate version of healthcare legislation. (First of all, take note that this compromise was not between cRats and iCan'ts, but was between liberal and moderate cRats.) The iCan'ts do not get a say in this process.

You may think that calling Republ-iCans, iCan'ts; is not fair since they have been excluded from the whole process by the cRats. Well, not so fast with the sympathy. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is the Minority Whip in the Senate. He is one of the top dogs for the iCan'ts. He was recently asked what the Republican strategy is for dealing with the Democrat's version of healthcare in the Senate. His answer helps explain why we are in trouble. He said that the strategy is to propose amendments to the bill to try to make it better. (WHAT???? - Are you kidding me????)
Yes, the iCan'ts do not have the muscle or backbone to literally fight to stop the bill and save all of us from this coming train wreck. All they are trying to do is stick a few bandaids on the bill, here and there, where they think it hurts. The apparent goal - let it pass but be able to go back home and claim that we fought to make it better.

Well, how are the bandaids working for you, so far? Not so good! This morning, the Senate voted on one of those bandaid amendments. It would have placed some restriction on funding abortions with taxpayer money. The bandaid failed to pass by a vote of 54-45. But, at least they tried to make it better! For that, we should all send them money and work for their re-election next time.

The "strategy" should be to do whatever it takes to kill this bill. Do not try to fix it with failed amendments, KILL IT! We do not want Washington running the healthcare industry.

A couple weeks ago, the House passed their version of the bill. Queen Nancy did whatever it took and spent whatever amount of our money was needed to buy the votes to barely pass this monster. (By monster, I mean the bill, not the Queen.) One example was $300,000,000 to one district for the Representative to use to buy votes from her voters back home.

Now, Hairy Reed is doing the same thing in the Senate - whatever it takes and whatever it costs of our money. So, what was the big compromise he had to give in order to bring moderate cRats into the trap? Details will probably not be made public until after the vote. The Senators will probably be faced with voting, again, on a bill they have not read and do not know its contents, provisions, or amendments. Some parts of the compromise have leaked out. They include dropping the "Public Option" and expanding Medicare to cover those 55 and older.

Yes, we are against the "public option" concept so you might think WE WON! This is where the part comes in where they think we are stupid. Do not think for a minute that a government run healthcare plan will not include the government controlling the healthcare system, the insurance, the benefits, the premiums (yes, the money and power and control). Whatever gets voted on in the Senate will not be the final version of the bill. There is no way the cRats will settle for private insurance companies controlling the premiums and benefits. No way!

This is just a move to get the votes needed to pass this out of the Senate. Once that is done, one of two things will happen. First, the House and Senate leaders will convene a committee to "work out the differences between the versions passed in each chamber of congress." The House version has "public option". So, either it will be added back at that time before going back to both houses for final vote; or they will add it back to the new law, once passed, by making it an amendment attached to some other bill that they know will pass. They will get it one way or another.

Yes, we are paying attention! Yes, we do care! And, yes, we are smart enough to see right through these anti-American thugs and crooks shoving this down our throats!

That is why the iCan'ts are so pathetic. They know what will happen and they are not fighting to kill the bill. They just want to try to fix some aspects with a few bandaids. My opinion - POOP on them!

As to expanding Medicare to cover those of ten more years, my first question would be, "did you keep the part of the bill where funding for Medicare will be cut by half a trillion dollars?" Don't you know that we can all look forward to great medical care in our older years!

Monday, December 7, 2009

"A Date Which Will Live in Infamy"

USS Arizona after the fire was out.
USS Arizona explodes as Japanese bomb hits forward magazines.

USS Arizona after being updated in 1931.

USS Arizona during the 1930's.

December 7, 1941
The navy ship yard at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked, without warning by the Japanese Navy around 7:00 AM on Sunday morning.
This event was the most deadly, single attack against the United States prior to 9/11/2001, and launched the US into WWII.
The photos are all of the USS Arizona (BB-39), a Pennsylvania Class Battleship, which sunk after being hit by a bomb and exploding. Of the crew; 1,177 were killed during the explosion and fire or were trapped inside the ship and died that morning.
Several ships were lost and over 2,000 servicemen perished in the attack. The next day, President Roosevelt made his famous speech before Congress and war was declared. It would take nearly four more years before the war would be over. The war in Europe began in September of 1939, but the US had remained neutral (officially) until the attack on 12/7/1941.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Speech to the U.S. Congress on December 8th, 1941 (as delivered)

"Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, of the House of Representatives:
Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The People of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.
But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.
I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the People when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our People - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941 a state of War has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire."

War Journal - Dec. 8, 1944

The front of our enlisted man's tent.

Three years of war today - This is off ops period but Ed, Pap & I are on alert to fly window for other squadrons. Flew training mission in the morning - started on window mission in the afternoon but it was scrubbed. Suppose to fly training mission at night but had trouble with our ship and didn't get off.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

War Journal - Dec. 6, 1944

Pulled mission seven today. It was a milk run - no flak & no fighters. Our target was to destroy an entire town the Germans have fortified. It is located about 40 miles southeast of Aachen - south of Euskirehen - named Munstereiffel. It was a RFF mission so results were not visible. We were alerted for another mission as soon as we had returned but it was scrubbed for some reason before we could get in the air again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

JOBS!!! (Part Two)

(Read Part One, below, first.)

As mentioned, BO appears to be focused on the concept of "creating jobs". This is part of the problem - wrong focus. He made a speech, this week, where he basically blamed "small business" as being the problem for the high unemployment figures. He said that small business owners were finding new ways to get more productivity out of existing workers, resulting in profits for the owners, instead of hiring additional help. Shame, shame on them! How dare business owners find new ways to make profit. Don't they realize that their goal should be the betterment of the masses at their expense?

What do I mean by the wrong focus in "creating jobs"? First of all, how does the government create a job? One of two ways, either they add more people to the government payroll or they come up with some "busy-work" project somewhere. These are not the type of jobs that usually result in permanent employment or careers or even good pay. They have one purpose, get the numbers down so progress can be claimed. For the workers, it is a temporary bandaid.

By focusing on creating jobs, we are missing the point and the solution. The goal should not be to create jobs. Jobs are a natural by-product of a growing economy. As a business begins to prosper, they grow and they hire more help. Bingo! Jobs are created. When business is over-burdened by taxes, regulations, fear of what the government will do next; they hold back hiring more help. We have a economic climate in America that is anti-business and growth. That is the problem and solving that problem will bring the solution to the jobs issue. Do not focus on jobs, focus on what can be done to improve the business situation.

If you want to create something, create a healthy climate conducive to economic growth. Do what Reagan did - it worked! Lower taxes to start with. Reduce government regulation and the burden from being squeezed on every side by one agency or another. Encourage innovation and invention. Reach for the stars as Kennedy did with the space program. By the way, Kennedy also promoted reduction in taxes to stimulate the economy. Stop the massive spending spree by our government. This robs the economy of available funds and makes business growth more difficult and expensive. Encourage those companies who moved jobs overseas to bring them back. Give them a reason to believe that America is the best place to call home.

It's not rocket science, folks! BO did not need a summit of his cronies to figure out how to create jobs. He has no real intention of solving that problem. How do I know this? Everything he is doing and has done since last January has been just the opposite of what was needed to stimulate the economy. His interest is not in creating a healthy economy, it is in creating a dependant society; one where more and more citizens look to Washington (and especially the cRats) for their needs being met. This creates a larger "entitlement" class of people who will vote to keep those who give and give to them in office.

It's a grand scheme for more power and control. BO and his buddies are not dumb. They know exactly what they are doing and it is working just fine, according to reaching their real goal.


There is a new four-letter word, "Jobs". This little word is garnering a lot of attention over the past year or so. With unemployment in double-digits, we probably all know someone who cannot find a job. Jobs are scarce right now. If you have one, keep it; if you don't, this subject probably occupies a great deal of your time.

BO has coined a new phrase, "jobs created or saved". No president has ever taken credit for the number of jobs they claim to have "saved". Since there is no way to accurately track that number or to determine the sole reason for someone not losing their job, he can make all the wild claims that he wants because no one can prove him wrong. This phrase was the result of an evolution of a campaign promise to create a certain number of jobs, if he were elected president. As the campaign progressed and it began to appear that he would win, he began to modify some of his promises. This was one of them. Another one was the promise of a tax cut to every family who made less than $250,000 per year. How did that turn out? Well, he had the withholding tables adjusted so slightly less was taken out of the paycheck for wage earners. Notice, the withholding tables were changed, not the tax tables. At the end of the year, you will still owe the same amount of tax, you will just have to come up with some out of your pocket, since not as much was withheld.

As to the jobs promise, the "jobs created" evolved into "jobs created or saved". It is not hard to come up with a number of employed workers. It is clear if that number is growing or shrinking. Since he did not expect to be able to keep his earlier promise, he adjusted the wording to a goal that cannot be measured or proven.

We are all painfully aware that the number of unemployed has steadily grown during 2009. For the past two months, the official report on unemployment has shown at least 10% of the work force is looking for work and on unemployment benefits. Many economists believe the true number is somewhere around 1.5 times that amount, or at least 15-16%. This is due to many who do not have a job also not receiving unemployment benefits. The ranks of the employed is also somewhat misleading as many people who lost jobs are now employed for much less than they were making - "under-employed".

A month ago, the unemployment rate was announced to be 10.2%. It was the umteenth month in a row that the "experts" were "surprised" that the number kept rising. This month, the number is 10%. To BO this is great news, even though the report explains that the drop is due to people being hired for the holidays on "temporary jobs". BO is claiming this as a sign of a healthy economy emerging. Yes, some folks getting temporary, minimum-wage jobs is BO's claim-to-fame as evidence his great plan is working.

Yesterday, BO held a "jobs summit" in Washington. He brought together some elite-leftists and union thugs to brain-storm ideas on how to create even more jobs. I wonder if anyone suggested that we have another Christmas shopping season in February? This would help keep some of those "temps" on duty a little longer. The summit was another example of King BO acting like the professor over his group of adoring students. He gave a little pep talk and then divided the class into small groups for them to problem-solve the situation. He told them that he would be back later to gather their ideas. I wonder if anyone was assigned to "take names" while the teacher was out of the room.

BO is fixated on the concept of "creating jobs", at least in his public speeches. This makes him look "concerned". He announced that he "will not rest until things are better." Based on past promises and performance, it will be interesting to see how he measures "better" and how soon he will claim to have reached that goal, and begin to rest.

This promise goes along with another of his promises, this week. BO gave his speech about sending 30,000 more troops to war, but then gave the date for the start of withdrawal. Then he said that he is committed to "get the job done" in Afghanistan. This makes me wonder, again, as to what the definition of "job" is? He makes statements like that knowing that we will assume that he means "winning" as being the "job". He doesn't! He has no interest in winning the war.

(You probably think that the preceding paragraph is off-topic. Well, not really, notice the word "job" intermingled in that interesting side-trip.)

You probably heard about the great unveiling of BO's new web site - Its the one that cost us $18,000,000 just for the web site. Creating the web site probably created more jobs than the actual ones it was claiming to have been added. Within days of boasting of the number of jobs created or saved and documented on the web site, it became apparent that much of the claims were bogus. A little investigation into specific claims proved many were make believe.

(See Part Two)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dennis and Ashley

This week Dennis and Ashley celebrated their third anniversary. In this short period of time, they have had quite a journey. It has been exciting to watch them grow and bond.

The two met while they both worked at Safeway. I'm not sure what all took place in the storage area, at the back of the store, but I do know that one day I went back there to find Dennis and there he was throwing a football (if I remember it right) with this young girl. With them both having the look of being caught at something, Ashley quickly vanished to the front of the store.

My first impression - she is so young! It happened that Dennis was falling in love with a girl just slightly younger than he was. It was not hard to see in his eyes that he really cared for her. I admit that I wondered about this situation, being that Dennis had an eight year old son and I had to question if Ashley realized what she would be getting herself into. It cannot be easy to step into a small family with a son, at her age.

Around a year later they married. As with many new relationships, there were some hard times to work through and some bumps to get over. Over the past three years, I have watched Dennis fall deeper in love with Ashley and her grow and mature into a such a fine young lady. Not only do they have a strong marriage but Tyler and Ashley have grown very close. Now, the baby, Adam is finding his place in the family of four. He is walking and beginning to talk. If I remember right, I believe I heard that Grandpa was his first word. Adam, now around 18 months, is getting where he is not so afraid of me. I think he still remembers how his Grandpa was willing to let him cry himself to sleep.

I am very proud of Dennis. He is a great husband, dad, man, hard worker, and a son that any dad would be glad to have. Ashley is one of my four girls and is also very special to me. She is a necessary part of this family and I am so happy that the two of them dedicated themselves to do whatever it took to make their marriage work. For that hard work, they are being rewarded with a strong foundation that has been built, one brick at a time.

Dennis, thanks for being such a good son. Ashley, thanks for being such a good daughter. May God bless your marriage and family and as you grow together during each of the coming years, may you also grow in your relationships with the Lord. His hand is definitely upon the two of you and I see Him working in your lives. He has taken "two" and made "one".

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

War Journal - Dec. 2, 1944

This group has had a couple of rough missions lately. Lost two ships from flak one day - lost four ships in two days on landings from bad tires. We were supposed to fly two training missions yesterday but the runway was still cluttered up with three wrecked ships so it was scrubbed. I started a three day refresher course on gunnery today. The rest of my crew went on a mission. That makes me low man now.