Musing about al-Qaeda

In writing about bin Ladens death, I realized that part of my rage at al-Qaeda is fueled by people and elements of the media that are all for appeasement.

There is no appeasing jihadis unless you’re willing to convert to Islam, have your wives and daughters cover themselves and submit to a theocracy where brutality is the norm.

If you’re willing to sacrifice everything that we as Americans are then I suppose appeasement is a choice.

For me, for a variety of reasons appeasement is completely off the table. I realized shortly after 9/11 that while I was too old to serve in the military, I still needed to make a decision about where I stood.

Admiral Yamamoto in the early days of World War II counseled against a Japanese invasion of America. He said if Japan tried to invade America there would be “a rifle behind every blade of grass”

Ghost Trees (c) 2010 David Kendal

I believe that we should make sure he was right.

I decided that if it came to a “Fifth Column” in America, or an invasion, or God help us appeasement under the threat of some nuclear or biological threat, that my only choice would be to fight.

I suppose it’s my Northern European roots. Something in me says it’s better to go out with a weapon in my hand and dine in Valhalla than to be led submissively to slaughter like a sheep.

Perhaps in that way, I’m no different from the 15th century beliefs that fundamentalist Islam preaches…

I’m still a barbarian from the North.

What part of this don’t they understand?

In anticipation of loosing my job, I recently updated my resume on one of the big web search sites.

Within the site there is a field that says “Available Date” in that field I wrote 06/30/2011. That seems fairly straight forward don’t you think?

So WHY am I being bombarded with emails and phone calls describing “Immediate” openings? The  most annoying come from Indian (dot, not feather) headhunting agencies.

Frankly these “opportunity” emails are badly written, (Doesn’t India still have a British based education system?) and the voice mails were completely unintelligible.

I have some problems with these offshore headhunter agencies.

First, these people have no idea about the distances involved. The last “opportunity” was in San Francisco and was gasp! a 3 month gig.

So let me get this straight, these people think it’s reasonable for me to give notice, move 400 miles to San Francisco, rent an apartment, and work with no benefits for 3 months for less than a 1/4 of what I’m making now?

That is preferable to staying with my current employer taking my full pay, getting a severance package, and being eligible for unemployment if I need it HOW? I don’t have a business management degree, but common sense says hold onto what you have.

About 6 months ago out of the blue I got a call during my daily commute. This one was straight from Bangalore the young lady was very polite and explained a lovely opportunity.

She wanted me to be at the interview the next day and I was thinking ok what the heck? I knew my current job was probably going to come to an end, so I say sure whats the address? She very precisely gave me the company name and the address. The kicker was that the company in question was in Maine.

I asked her to repeat the state thinking I’d misheard. Nope! She wanted me to interview in Maine @ 8 am local time the next day. I asked if she had access to a map of the United States. She said she did, I asked her to locate Southern California she did, then I directed her to Maine. She found the state and said “Well it’s not too far is it?” I said no, only about 3000 miles… This also was a short term contract with no insurance. Needless to say I suggested she narrow her search to the North Eastern part of the United States.

I have other colleagues that have similar experiences. In general my colleagues and I are not responding to emails and phone calls from these folks.

It’s just too difficult to work with them and they seem to have an attitude that they’re doing you this great favor. Hey, we know the score… the headhunter places us, charges the company at least double for our services and pockets the difference.

When was the last time a prostitute thought her pimp was doing her a favor?
 When my colleagues and I say we’re not interested, many of these folks get really nasty. I was told, “This is why America is failing.” when I declined a 4 week contract in Chicago for $35 an hour.

Don’t take this wrong, for a real opportunity I’d relocate and I might even relocate for a sort term contract of say 6 months in another state. It would give me an opportunity to figure out if I liked the area well enough to consider moving there. But I’m not going to relocate for a 1, 2, or 3 month contract.

Perhaps I’ll reconsider when I’m actually unemployed but I don’t think so. First and foremost, I try to run my life like a business. As such I’m going to look at any opportunity from a “how does this benefit me?” position.

It’s nice to know that I’m apparently marketable, but I do wish that people would read the entire profile.

Politeness

There was a a worker that showed up a while back.

I’ll give him 10 out of 10 for being on time.

But I’ll subtract 4 points for parking his truck across the driveway so that my vehicles were blocked in the garage.

This is not the first time I’ve seen this phenomena. Another worker did the same thing when he came up to evaluate my house for a big-screen TV / sound system install. He pulled up in a Volkswagen Bug and parked squarely in the middle of the driveway even though he knew I was meeting him at the house… I ended up having to park in the neighbors drive.

Mind you the drive way to my house is 2.5 cars wide. So why do these people think they can park diagonally?

I’ve seen the same thing at the BMW dealership. Someone will just stop in the service drive and go into the parts counter to make a purchase. This is the only drive OUT of the service area and people that are picking up their cars or their loaners cannot leave. Additionally, any of the mechanics who need to test drive a car are held up too.

So I find myself asking WHY?

Did courtesy, and politeness get tossed out during the rise of Political correctness?

Follow me here, if it’s inappropriate to hold a door for a lady, because you might offend that lady implying that she’s incapable of opening the door for herself, does it follow that folks in general narrow their focus to their own little worlds?

Why is it now just as “reasonable” for people to cut in front of you in line at the grocery store as it is for them to cut you off on the freeway? What is happening to us as a people and nation?

I wonder about these kinds of things. Of course I have too much time to think sitting on Southern California freeways so that may be part of the problem.

Is it that folks are so focused on their own little view of the world that they become oblivious to the other people in the world around them?

I’m constantly amazed and dismayed at how carelessly rude people are to each other and how surprised they are if someone points out their rudeness.

I’d like to see little ‘ol ladies and grandmothers shaking their fingers at people and reminding folks about the benefits and virtues of being polite and courteous.

The worker moved his truck and was most apologetic when I pointed out that not only had he blocked me in the garage… but that he’d have more room if my car WASN’T in the garage where he needed to work.

The TV installer people… well they lost the sale of the entertainment system and the 1500 bucks they were going to make installing it. Not because of his parking… but because the guy didn’t have a clue about the equipment or options that were available for that equipment. I couldn’t see paying these guys top dollar to install stuff, if I was going to have to be supervising the installation at every stage. Ultimately it took me an afternoon to install the system and I saved myself the $$$.

But I thanked them for their time…

Osama bin Laden is DEAD!

WHOOOO HOOOO!

I’ve been told by my more moderate friends and family that I shouldn’t be so dang happy about it. But I’m happy we finally gave him lead poisoning.

The only thing I wish is that we hadn’t buried him at sea. I don’t think he deserved that courtesy.

I’ve wished for years that we would capture him and then whip him naked through the streets of New York and Washington DC. Then have him shot in the shadow of the Washington Monument and his head placed on a pike for the world to see.

Brutality and violence seem to be the only thing al-Qaeda understands. I’m all for giving it to them in abundance.

I’d guess that we have targeted all of the al-Qaeda leaders and subordinates.

I hope that their heads are squarely in the crosshairs of a SEAL, Ranger, or Other Special Operations guys, and that the al-Qaeda body count is about to rise very quickly.

Gothic! Medieval! Brutal! YES! All true and there is a part of me that is a little ashamed of that, but bear with me here.

That desire is born out of pure rage that comes from seeing our soldiers bodies defiled, and seeing videos of these al-Qaeda “Freedom Fighters” decapitating kidnapped terrified civilians.

I’m enraged because despite the fact that we haven’t had much in the way of attacks here in the US since 9/11, our way of life has been irrevocably changed. We are not as free as we were, we have lost some of our rights, traveling by air has become nightmarish, and we now look at everyone with suspicion. In one regard the terrorists succeeded, they made an impression and they took away our innocence.

On Sunday, our military brought justice to one of the people responsible for the changes to my home. I’m good with that and I thank those guys from the bottom of my heart.

And in other stupid news…

Is it me?

Obama released his birth certificate. Big deal! It would have been more useful for him to have done this what? 2 years ago? That simple action would have avoided the whole birther stupidity.

Then we have the ongoing Trump fiasco. First he’s claiming victory for forcing Obama to release his Birth Certificate. Now he’s being accused of racism because he made comment about Obamas grades not being high enough to get into Harvard.

So for me, the question is; Were Obamas grades good enough? If we pulled other entrance grades from Obamas sophomore class at Harvard what would we see? Would his grades be at the middle of a bell curve, at the top or at the bottom? It’s a legitimate question.

It’s not a relevant question.

The fact of the matter is that Obama IS THE PRESIDENT! He has been since 2008 and there are a lot of people that need to GET OVER IT!

I’m not saying he’s a good president or a bad one. I’m personally not impressed. But history will judge if he was good for the country or not.

I’ve said all along that it is unrealistic for the American people to expect instant change in our government based solely on the installation of a new president. In his first term Obama cannot be expected to undo decades of bad political decisions.

He’d actually do well just to understand where those decisions were made, their ramifications, and what to do about them.

It will take a very strong president (Not Obama in my opinion) a full two terms in office to even BEGIN to steer the country in any direction. And that is predicated on a President even wanting to change the country’s course.

I am sick and tired of hearing the cry RACIST whenever someone asks a question that folks of color don’t like.

Asking a question don’t make you racist, it makes you curious.

If I were black and asked the same question about Former President Bush would the Racist Label still fit? I think not.

FYI folks. White people don’t have a lock on racism. The color of your skin doesn’t make you racist nor does it make you immune FROM being a racist.

Prejudice, discrimination, and hatred directed against someone of a different race makes you a racist. And you know what? That sword cuts both ways…

So how about we stop all this stupidity, let the President finish out his term and in 2012, We The People will again decide who our leader will be.

A Brief Introduction

Just a quick snapshot of my current state of mind…

You can take the boy out of the country… but cant take the country out of the boy.

I am capable of carrying on a conversation with someone that has a different opinion. That’s the art of conversation. I’ll even concede a well made point.

I don’t adhere to a strict Republican party line and I don’t automatically dismiss all the Democratic party line. I do try to be moderate.

Lets see if I can sum myself up briefly (pardon the run-on sentences).

I’m a constitutionalist.

A Liberal Red Neck, who believes in personal responsibility. I want freedom from overbearing rules and regulations designed to protect me from myself. I’m pretty sure about God, not so sure about Jesus but think either way what the guy tried to teach were very good lessons, I just wish more people worked harder to live by those lessons instead of using them to push agendas.

I’m kind of anti law. I think that the government is way too involved in our daily lives and that they really do need to get the hell out. I’d love to see us reboot all the law in this country and start again with the fundamentals.

I’m not advocating anarchy, or revolution, Im simply saying that we have 250 years of laws on the books, many of which are completely irrelevant and a large body more that are simply incomprehensible.

It shouldn’t require a law degree to read and understand a law. I think that when a law starts getting so complex that you need a lawyer to interpret it then you can’t say things like “ignorance of the law is no excuse”.

Since relatively few of the population do in fact have a law degree. What happens when someone uses “I didn’t know that was illegal” as a defense? Can you legitimately try and convict someone whose educational level precluded them from understanding a law as it was written? Don’t we end up on the slippery slope of mental incompetence at that point?

(I’ve been sitting in traffic too much. Too much time to think…)

I don’t want special laws on the books for gay marriage, or to permit inter-racial marriage. I think that Marriage should be honored, respected and extended to ANY TWO CONSENTING ADULTS, regardless of race, creed, gender, or whatever else, because Marriage (or partnering) is basic and fundamental to humans. If it’s allowed for one group… it by definition MUST be allowed for all. Religion really doesn’t enter into it in my opinion.

I contend that marriage is in reality nothing more that a contract between consenting adults that delineates ownership. No, not of the parties involved but of their possessions.

As I see it if I’m married to someone then the STATE prevents my relatives from taking my stuff away from my spouse when I die. This right of possession does not exist for a gay couple.

We’ve seen time and again where one of a gay couple dies and the other is fighting greedy relatives and the STATE to keep his or her home. This doesn’t happen often in the case of a male /female couple married or not. But it’s all too common in the case of gay couples.

Even if gay couples spent the money with lawyers to attempt to secure their rights, the legal battles often drain the estate to the point that the surviving spouse has to bear the burden of the loss and financial hardship. This is simply not fair and shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

I think since we’re in wars in the middle East we should fight them to win and establish prefectures in those countries, we should be honest about our intentions and admit we’re after the oil if in fact thats what we’re after and simply own it.

I don’t think we should give a damn about being “liked” globally, I hate the fact that we’ve been throwing money and food at broken governments and feeding people who ultimately will (or do) hate and attack us when our own people go wanting.

I think the UN should be asked to remove themselves to Geneva. The UN, like the League of Nations before it is a failure. The UN has the added attraction of being in my opinion horribly corrupt.

I’d like to see us CHARGE the UN and other Nations for our military intervention. If the world wants us to be cops… they should be willing to pay for our services. I don’t think the American Tax payer should have to bear the burden of cleaning up someone else’s mess.

I don’t want us to become more involved in Libya. I’m a bit annoyed that we’ve spent 100 million dollars on cruise missiles and that we will in all likelihood end up fighting a ground war there too.

I’d like to see our country STOP trying to impose morality and our form of government on the rest of the world. It’s none of our business if some tin pan dictator is abusing his citizens. In due time they’ll revolt and when they do they’ll be ready for a new form of government of their own design. It may be better, it may be worse but the people of any country should be the ones deciding their own fates… NOT US.

I don’t believe in gun laws. I can purchase an illegal weapon in about 1 hour in LA. Often the price is less than I would pay retail.

The big difference is, illegally there is no check on my fitness to own or operate the weapon and the illegal sellers will throw in ammo and extra magazines.

Legally, I’m subject to a 21 day waiting period, a background check, huge state and federal involvement and I have to prove I know what I’m doing with the gun.

Lets face it, the genie is already out of the bottle regarding guns. Draconian laws & excessive rules will not put the genie back in the bottle.

When I was growing up there were guns around the house, all us kids knew where they were, the guns weren’t locked up and nobody got shot by accident. I think that says something about there being no mystery about what a gun was or what it could … and could not do. As always education and training trump silly regulations.

Sexually, I’m not terribly sure what I am any more. I’ve lived the straight life, I’ve lived in the gay life, I’m not ashamed of either.

I honestly don’t think my sexuality is necessarily anybody else’s business except my close friends and the man or woman I’m sleeping with.

There was a time when I was exclusively straight and I enjoyed the heck out of being with women, but they rarely touched me in a deep emotional way. Men, on the other hand have touched me in a deeply emotional way, but it’s been somewhat transient.

I suppose that I’m happiest when I’m not being defined, contained, or labeled. At this stage in my life I’m more interested in getting back in touch with myself and not worrying about where I fit.

All of which is to say… I’m probably more conservative than liberal, More Republican, than Democrat. More about personal responsibility and common sense than laws, rules and regulations, but I’m willing to consider and listen to the other side. I’ll revise my opinions as I get more information.