Orlando Shooting

On June 12th, 2016… Omar Mateen went into a gay bar in Orlando, Florida and killed 49 people… wounded another 53. Mateen was a registered democrat and a muslim. But do you think the media and our illustrious president called this a terrorist attack? No, they refuse to use the term. Instead they doubled down and blamed the United States and then called for more restrictions of our 2nd amendment.

We’ve become a nation of idiots being led by fools.

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Could this be a possibility?

This election cycle, for lack of better words, has been very unusual. Sure, both Parties are consumed by the typical infighting we’ve all become accustomed to seeing, but there’s also a growing undercurrent at work here.

I remember the days of Ross Perot dividing the Republican Party and helping to cause the election of Bill Clinton. The Democrats just loved that. Then came along Ralph Nader a few years later and did the same to Al Gore. Wasn’t as funny to the Dems then. But the Republicans loved it! Now comes along Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is threatening to split the Republican Party and the Democrat Party. I think it is safe to say that Trump is no conservative. Hell, he’s no RINO either. If I had to define Trump politically, I’d call Trump a populist. Trump is smart, he’s not running as an independent. Trump knows a third party candidate faces a near insurmountable political climb to the presidency. Make no mistake… the Republican Party has no love for Trump. The current Republican establishment is full of RINOs. That said, Trump’s best chance is to run as a Republican.

For many years now, people have felt they’re not being represented by our entrenched two-party system. That sentiment has given rise to the occasional independent candidate. Independent candidates fail. Trump appeals to this group of voters. He’s as ‘anti-establishment’ as a candidate can get. He owes no political favors to any party and cannot be bought. He’s a maverick and a successful businessman. Love him or hate him, Trump is Trump.

This is my prediction. I believe Trump will win the Republican Party nomination. In the general election he’ll take away a lot of Democrat votes to win the presidency in a landslide. It’ll look like the Reagan-Carter election results all over again.

What I hope will happen: After Trump gains the presidency, he leaves the Republican Party and establishes a new Populist Party. The new Populist Party forces both the Democrat and Republican Parties to put forth candidates who appeal to the American people. The subsequent election cycle will be the first modern three-party election.

Will a Trump win eventually lead to elections being won by popular vote? I hope so.

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Our universe is amazing!

Everyday things we tend to take for granted… the warmth of the sun, our own moon, and even the jewelry we wear. All of these things are the result of physics that started billions of years ago and is continuing on today. From the Big Bang to the collapse of stars… our universe is constantly changing and creating new stars, solar systems, and worlds.

Galaxy-background

From the death of stars, the potential for life is born. Stars are in a constant tug-of-war battle. The exploding fusion reaction of a star is in a delicate balancing act against the immense gravity crushing down on the star’s core. Eventually, gravity wins out in this epic struggle. The death of a star occurs when gravity keeps compressing and creating heavier and heavier elements within its core. Once a star creates the element iron at it’s core, the death of the star has begun. Iron stops the fusion reaction occurring within the star. In a matter of  seconds, the star goes super-nova, gravity finally overtakes the fusion reaction and the star collapses. This collapse happens so suddenly, the inner core literally turns inside out, changing places with the outer perimeter of the star. As the star explodes, spewing matter hundreds of millions of miles into space, heavier elements are created… among these are silver, gold, and platinum. The light emitted from the super-nova briefly outshines an entire galaxy. This burst of radiation can send exploding material at a velocity about one-tenth the speed of light. The mass that’s left after the collapse of a super-nova is called a neutron star. They are the smallest and densest stars known in the universe.

So, as you go about your daily routines… take a moment to reflect upon all that is around you. The sun, waging a constant war against gravity… will one day die. Life on Earth, made possible with water molecules emitted from stars and carried to Earth via comets… our moon, the result of a long ago collision of Theia with Earth… gave us tides which helps in the cycles of life on our planet. Life, our world, and the jewelry we wear… all came about from the death of stars.

Posted in Random thoughts..., Things that make you go 'Hmmm'? | 3 Comments

Always thinking…

It seems, even if my outward life is quite stable and consistent, my thoughts are always evolving. They’re constantly in flux. Why I believe the things I do and how I view my world are reevaluated on a regular basis. Recently, that reevaluation has preoccupied a good portion of my ‘quiet hours’… time that I take for myself after the responsibilities of the day are done.

I’ve always been amazed about the physical world around me. Learning leads to questions, and the subsequent answers, to ever more questions. It’s a vicious cycle. The complexities of our world and the makeup of our universe, in all of its awe-inspiring variations, are truly a wonder to behold. It’s easy to assign these wonders to an all powerful entity… God. But, is it… really? I mean, is there a God?

Evolution

I believe in what is scientifically provable… what is logical. For me, in order for God to exist, God would have to be able to defy all the laws of physics during and after the Big Bang, more than 13 billion years ago. Also, it is estimated that there are 10 trillion galaxies in the universe… Why then, have we humans of Earth, been singled out by any God for ‘salvation’? And why humans? Why not another species? We’re just the latest in a long line of animals to exist on Earth. Were it not for the death of dinosaurs, humankind most likely would never have had the opportunity to rise up to become the dominant species currently at the top of the evolutionary food chain.

Something to ponder…

Posted in Random thoughts..., Things that make you go 'Hmmm'? | 2 Comments

It’s kinda funny, really…

It should come as no surprise to my closest friends and family… I’m a far right leaning conservative. I’m laughing as I write. Why? Because I strongly believe in the Constitution and what the Founding Fathers intended when the United States gained its freedom from our English masters. And, by the standards of many today, that’s considered ‘far right’. The general public has no idea about the basics concerning our country or Constitution. Their ignorance is pitiful.

constitution-scroll-flag
Here are a few items commonly not known by most Americans.
1. There isn’t a separation of church and state written into our Constitution. There is a clause that restricts the government out of religion, but it isn’t a two way clause.
2. The Constitution is a rigid document, not a ‘living’ document that could be interpreted differently over time. If it were a ‘living’ document, there wouldn’t be a need for the amendment process.
3. The three branches of government are not all equal. Our Constitution only grants the Supreme Court two powers; original jurisdiction and the setting up of lesser courts.
4. The Supreme Court  (SCOTUS) does not have the power to judge any law unconstitutional. In the decision of Marbury v Madison (1803), the SCOTUS grabbed the power of ‘judicial review’. Since that time, the SCOTUS has abused their illegally gotten power to create law and rule on the constitutionality of laws.
5. The amendment process allows for the changing of our Constitution. The 2nd amendment cannot be changed. Why? Because it contains the language ‘shall not be infringed’. But that hasn’t stopped laws from being created that restrict, deny, and limit who can or cannot own/possess firearms.
6. The common misconception is that the Civil War was over slavery. Simply not true. http://www.history.com/news/5-things-you-may-not-know-about-lincoln-slavery-and-emancipation

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My friend, Earl June Green Jr.

It has been more than 7 years since the passing of my friend, Earl. I found myself thinking of him earlier today. He was such a nice guy… a great friend… it still hurts knowing I won’t see him again.

I first came to know Earl during my freshman year at Lee High School in Huntsville, Alabama. He was a year ahead of me and we were both in R.O.T.C. together. He was an integral part of a close knit and small group of cadets during our time at Lee. Tall, always smiling, and wearing his heart on his sleeve… he was always a good friend to me. During the summers, we would keep in touch with one another and maybe take in a movie or just hang out.

Our group was close but drifted apart after high school. The comedian of our group was Alvie East. After graduation, he became a mortician and I never saw him again. Raphael Beckman, feisty but loyal, stayed local and has kept in touch over the years. Brett Chafin ended up in Tennessee and now works in the music industry. Earl went off and joined the Army Rangers and would visit when his leave time allowed.

Brett contacted me when Earl passed away. I was devastated. The news shook me to the core. I couldn’t believe the news. Not Earl! Why? What happened? He was only 39 years old! The details of his passing aren’t important. A great loss is not lessened by knowing the details. I was saddened to know his wife and children had lost their husband/father… his parents lost their child… and his siblings had lost their brother.

I called Earl’s folks. I spoke with his father for quite a while. I know my voice broke several times during the conversation. If it was that hard for me, I couldn’t imagine the pain his family must’ve felt. I shared a few stories with his father, Earl Sr., but none seemed to capture the depth his friendship had meant to me over the years. Some friendships are just that way… words simply cannot do it justice.

Earl June Green, Jr.    28 August 1968 – 7 May 2008

I miss my friend.

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Dreams

I’ve always had the ability to remain calm and collected during times of great stress. The world, in a manner of speaking, could be on fire… and I would pause, assess my situation, and cautiously plan my next several moves. In such times, my dreams would roughly parallel reality. The dreams would be very lucid, almost tangible, and would leave me thinking about them long after waking.
One particular dream seems to reoccur periodically. The dream would pick up about where it left off previously but would then loop around and begin again… much like a skipping record. In the dream, I would be crouched on a narrow wall, looking inward, as best I could… into a small square-shaped, but very dark courtyard and, with what little light was available, a shadowy vapor-like mass could be seen lurking… wandering about. It moved much like a living organism and behaved as if it were intelligent. From time to time, I’d have to re position myself along the top of the wall trying to avoid the shadow below. It appeared to me that it was seeking me out but it didn’t know quite where I was. My periodic movements would attract its attention… and it would just be a matter of time before I’d have to move again, to avoid being caught.
The shadow had the air about it of malevolence and harshness. It filled me with a sense of dread and impending doom. From my vantage point along the wall, I could faintly make out that the ground below was slowly rising. As it rose, I could see the mist getting closer to reaching me. Moving away quickly and quietly as I could, I snuck along the wall to escape its reach. To my amazement, the wall must’ve been on an incline, because I could see that I was putting more height between myself and the following mist. The ground kept rising… I crept along… the mist kept coming…
Inevitably I’d awake with an uneasy feeling… with the dream fresh upon my mind. I’ve thought at length about the underlying meanings of this dream. I could feel my angst reflected perfectly in the dream. I’m the type of person who avoids conflict if at all possible. The mist symbolized the stressful situation at that point in my life. Moving along the wall just out of reach, and trying to not attract the attention of the mist, was my way of distancing myself from an unpleasant event. The ground rising up, to me, symbolized unresolved issues coming back to haunt me. The inclined wall was my temporary escape route.
Would the courtyard ground ever stop rising? Would the wall level off and allow the mist to reach me? Would I finally have to confront the mist?

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Series: My brother, the Gunny.

My brother is a moron. That’s right, I said it. We’re family and I love him, but he’s still touched in the head. Tony is the middle child in our family and he always had to be at the center of attention. I’ve compiled a few stories for your consumption.
Never, and I mean never, go out to eat with my brother. Drive thru windows aren’t safe either. We were out together one day and decided to get something to eat. Pulling into a Wendy’s drive thru, he place his order. “Yes, I’d like a number two combo, large, with a coke. And don’t be stingy with the chili sauce either!” He then turned to me and asked, “Hey, you want anything?”
Seriously? I’m going to order something after he was an ass at a drive thru window? Those guys make minimum wage. Do you think they’d give a damn or think twice before screwing with your order?
“No, thanks, I’m good.” I replied.

He did the same thing once at a Carl’s Jr. After placing his order, he finished by telling the order taker, “And don’t put any of that goddamn secret sauce on it either!”
Good move, Tony! I’m sure they’re not inside, lining up to spit on your order… Dumbass.

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My brother, the Gunny.

My brother has a way of doing things to cause a stink… literally. It’s his way of saying he likes you.
One afternoon I was watching TV when the phone rang. I saw from the caller ID that it was from my brother so I answered.
“Hello?”
“Patrick! You know what the hell your brother just did?????” screamed his wife Kelly through the phone.
“Hey, you married the guy. What do you want me to do about it?” I replied.
“Listen to what he just did to me!” she said.
“Ok…” Hell, in all honesty, I didn’t have anything else to do and she was pissed. I figured this might be fun.
“I was in taking a shower, all by myself…” she started out saying.
“Get to the point, Kelly. The sun is going down.” I sarcastically replied.
“Shut it, mister! Shut your damned pie hole and listen!” Yeah, she was mad. Kelly was a Navy Corpsman, a psych tech (Marine Certified) to be exact. She was used to other people’s attitude and she wasn’t having any of mine or my brother’s.
“Go ahead….” I knew this had to be good.
“I was taking a damned shower and all of a sudden this god awful smell started choking me. I was like WTF??? So I pulled the shower curtain back and saw YOUR brother taking a shit! Right there… while I was taking a shower!!!” Her voice trailed off in a high pitched squeak.
“Kelly, did you lock the door?” I asked.
‘No!” she said.
“Then it’s your own damned fault. You know how Tony is…. YOU married him!” I shot back. Kelly hung up. She should have known she’d get no sympathy from me.

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Southern Charm

Growing up in the Deep South, it was always ingrained into me that manners were important. Rich or poor, even if you had nothing else in life, you should have good manners. Common courtesy was a fundamental part of everyday life.

I moved to San Diego in the summer of 1999 after divorcing my wife of eight years. I wasn’t too surprised at the pace of life being much brisker than Alabama. I had moved around a bit as a child and had experienced life in other places but San Diego took a little bit of getting used to. The typical pleasantries that defined the world I was accustomed were noticeably lacking.

Shopping was awkward when it came time to pay for my purchases. The cashier would almost always ask, “Did you find everything you needed?” My response would habitually be “Yes, ma’am/sir”. That, more often than not, generated somewhat of a pained expression upon the cashier’s face. It happened that one cashier retorted to my “yes, ma’am” with “I’m not that old!” To which I replied that it had nothing to do with age but rather common courtesy. It didn’t matter how old she was. It was all about being respectful towards others.

In the Deep South, ostentatious display of wealth is also frowned upon. You could be in line next to someone wearing overalls, sporting a few days growth of beard, and looking as if they hadn’t a dime to their name… in truth, that person could very well be a wealthy man. They just didn’t ‘put on airs’, as it is locally known.

Dating was another area where I was called out on my social graces. More than a few times, I would attempt to open a door for a lady and she would say something like “I can open my own door.” I made it a point not to ever ask her out again. One thing that bothered me when dating some women here in San Diego had to do with them asking me what I considered to be very superficial questions. Things like, what kind of car to you drive? Do you own or rent? How much do you make?

Wow! I never could get used to that. Before formulating what my net worth could be, wouldn’t be a better idea to get to know me as a human being? What happened to politeness? Were these people not taught manners as children? Was I expecting too much? I married my second wife in 2002. Neither of us knew what the other earned until about two weeks before our wedding day. Our relationship wasn’t based upon financial statements.

Over time, I’ve learned to just ‘go with the flow’. I try not to let the lack of courtesy bother me as much as I did years ago. I do miss what some would call ‘Southern charm’ but still remain true to my roots… to my manners.

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