Earth Day…

… is also Lenin’s Birthday.

Hmm…interesting coincidence or something else?

Lenin’s political philosophy knew nothing of morality, he once said that, “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.” Some environmentalists take this to heart as well, placing metal spikes in trees so that when these trees get to lumber mills the spike will ruin the saws and have in some cases injured or even killed mill workers.

You decide.

Patriot’s Day

Today is Patriot’s Day.  The day that the fledgling colonies took up arms against the British.

Patriots Day may be the least known American holiday, and the day most deserving of our recognition. Observed in Massachusetts and Maine only. Don’t know it? It marks the day, April 19, 1775, on which Americans took up arms against their king, and bled, at the crack of terrible dawn.

Go here for a well written account of the day.

As The Year Turns

With the turning of the new year, we are conditioned to reflect and plan the next years events. Now we all know that every plan has got to be dynamic enough to manage events as they come at us. So, I tend to keep my goal setting loose enough to be achievable. Actually, to have some identified goals for the year is an unusual condition for me. We’ll see how it turns out.

Reflecting on 2007, I have to think of it as year of re-discovery for me. I re-discovered some old skills, and interests and embraced them. As a result, I have redeveloped a personal life. There’s more to life than running a consulting practice and I think I am better off for it. Of course the birth of my 3rd girl this year certainly is an event that helped to prod me back into some interests. Some re-discovery highlights:

  1. History. History has always been a fascination of mine and I lost touch with it somewhere in my life. This year I found it again, which has led me to ….
  1. I have a BRAIN. Having achieved a great deal academically, I moved on into the business world and I stopped using my brain and learned how to do things mechanically like everyone around me. No creativity, no leadership required just follow the herd. This year, something tripped and triggered my brain back into active mode. I like it.
  1. Self Defense Skills. I have to credit my eldest (6 yr old) daughter for this one. In 2006 an event occurred that changed her opinion of a friend of hers. Of course she would not share the details but, as a result we decided that some sort of self defense awareness was appropriate for her. So, we enrolled her in a local Kyuki-do class for kids. It turned out to be so good for her that I joined her, as has her younger sister. I am having a ton of fun relearning throws, and controls all over again.
  1. Taking all three of the above together, triggered this old sheep dog into picking up a firearm again for the first time in a long, long time. Again rediscovering a skill set that I had put aside.

Now for 2008 I actually have a modest set of personal goals. If this isn’t a first for me it is the first time that I have actually had a conscious set of goals for a specific time period. There are always the standards that I don’t think need to be stated like: Be a great dad / husband / son, etc. So here are the specific new ones:

  1. Become a firearm owner, and continue to improve my skills.
  2. Regain, a reasonable level of fitness.
  3. Provide my parents a once in a lifetime event for their 50th wedding anniversary this year.
  4. Achieve a “Brown Stripe” belt in Kyuki-do. This one may be a stretch goal as it would be a four belt achievement from where I am today.

We will have to see what the year holds, and where my goals may be overcome by events. I hope that you all achieve you goals for the year as well.

Presidential Politics

It seems like the major Presidential candidates have embarked on a holiday message campaign. One of them hit me right between the eyes as entirely appropriate both for the season, and for his character.

Me thinks someone has their priorities straight.

NORAD IS TRACKING SANTA!

NORAD is up and ready to go.  As they have done for many years NORAD is prepared to share their Santa tracking data with the world.

The tracking site is here: http://www.noradsanta.org/en/home.htm

Merry Christmas!

What do the holidays mean to you?

Sometimes these things are actually pretty close….


What The Holidays Mean to You


For you, the holidays are about celebration. You enjoy all the fun and fellowship that the holidays bring.
You celebrate the holidays in a natural style. Homemade gifts are your favorite, and you can’t stand imitation Christmas trees or wreaths

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be comforting and relaxing. You don’t like the holiday rush… you just like the simple pleasure of the holidays.

Your best holiday memories are of childhood foods and traditions. You secretly still wish you believed in Santa Claus.

What Do the Holidays Mean to You?

July 4th

Excerpted from the Decleration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

These words, and others, have formed the foundation of our nation since July 4, 1776. For 231 years our democracy has existed and played a role in events around the world, based on the beliefs and principles put forth in the Declaration of Independence. During this time, our nation has seen highs and lows. While in comparison to the nations and cultures of Europe and Asia, our history is very limited today the United States is recognized on the global stage as a “superpower” both economically, and militarily.

Today our nation is embroiled in a conflict that has raged hot and cold throughout the ages. From a time before our nation existed, to today the conflict has existed. In 1787, our young nation was vying for it’s economic life. Establishing trade routes throughout the world, without being able to provide military protection to the trade fleet. During the course of these events, America ran afoul of the Caliphates of the Ottoman Empire and had our first taste of Islam, and many of the tenants set forth in Koran. In areas of the world today our troops are engaged with an enemy that has embraced the more extreme tenants set forth by the Koran. This is the same enemy that tried to strangle our nation in the 1780’s through piracy, and kidnapping.

Today, while we find ourselves facing an old enemy we also find ourselves in a more dangerous world. The enemy that is 21rst century Islamic radicalism hides within the cultures around the world, they are hard to target and even harder to conduct a dialog with. With the notable exception of Iran, they do not have the structure or face of a national government. Our foe has tools, tactics, and weapons (NBC) that did not exist in the 18th century and they bring them to bear on not only US interests but on the interests or other nations as well.

Our nation of 2007 is embroiled in a great debate. Should we withdraw from our conflict with radical Islam and essentially withdraw from being a superpower and the world stage? Or do we continue to embrace the principles laid forth in the Declaration of Independence? The principles that have set forth the greatness of the people of the United States throughout history? Our history, and our culture is one that has been that of tolerance, and acceptance to a point. Throughout the time as a nation, I believe, that we have diluted much of that history and become allowed our tolerance and acceptance levels to push the bounds of reasonableness. As a result, the current debates that we see over immigration and foreign policy (as examples) receive much more credibility than they are due.

We are a nation of laws. There should be no debate on whether to, or how to enforce those laws. The priority is enforcement of the current laws. If those laws are no longer viable in the context of today’s society then the law maybe changed. All of these mechanics are laid out in the Constitution.

We are a nation founded on the principles laid forth in the Declaration of Independence. By extension of those principles, we believe that the principles extend to all of mankind. We have not historically actively sought out armed conflicts that would extend those rights to the citizens of other nations.

Today is the 231rst anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America. During the course of the day, take a few minutes to reflect on the reason that we celebrate today. Take a few more minutes to think about those times that we have had to engage in armed conflict to support the principles on which this nation was founded. Find it in yourself to embrace those principles.

If you need another kind of reminder… read this post

Enjoy your holiday celebrations, be safe.

Semper Fi!

I know my readership is light right now but feel free to discuss this topic amongst yourselves.