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Category Archives: a little history

NASA and the final Shuttle Launch


So yesterday I watched the final Space shuttle launch and I have to say its kinda sad, actually the fact that its the last launch is not the sad part. The part that is so sad is that we are outsourcing the space program. Obviously it seems that the private space market has not taken off due to a very limited market. I also know that its proboly a smart decision to not continue the space shuttle program for a whole list of technological and financial reasons.

But damm, making a contract with the Russians to ferry us to the ISS, I just feel like JFK must be rolling in his grave. Maybe its a sign of how we have “evolved” but more likely its a negative reflection on how Americans have lost the American Dream.

 

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4th of July weekend


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So its the weekend of 4th of July. While your out BBQ’ing, drinking a nice cold beer or whatever please remember why we celebrate this day and how we got there. But also remember that just because we became independent and free 235yrs ago doesn’t mean that we cant loose those freedoms.

Freedom is a constant battle and unfortunately it takes a tremendous amount of time/ talent/ treasure and blood to keep us free.

I have only two requests for you all, join me in this if you choose. 1. If you end up putting out a new bright and shiny American Flag this weekend double check and make sure it was made in the USA. 2. At somepoint this weekend your going to run across one or more Millitary Veterans or Active Duty servicemen thank them for their time and service.

I am very blessed to be surrounded by veterans in my life from my Sister In Law to many co-workers and extended family. To all of them I would like to thank them here.

 

Now go out enjoy some sunshine and be safe.

 
 

James “Whitey” Bulger arrested in California


I woke up this morning to see that one of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives was arrested within the last 24hrs. I never personally followed this case but any time we see somebody come off the 10 most wanted list its a pretty cool day. I still really like when you walk into the post office and see these pictures up on the wall. Even in today’s world of everything cutting edge technology the idea that a snapshot in a public place still works. I also think its pretty cool that both when the military caught Bin Laden and with the capture of Bulger they were found by finding there girl friends. Not to fugitives on the run, shut up during the pillow talk.

From FoxNews:

The FBI finally caught the 82-year-old Bulger at a residence in Santa Monica along with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig on Wednesday, just days after the government launched a publicity campaign to locate the fugitive mobster.

“Recent publicity produced a tip which led agents to Santa Monica where they spotted both Bulger and Greig at a residence,” FBI Special Agent Greg Comcowich said in a statement Thursday. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/23/police-mobster-james-whitey-bulger-arrested-in-california/#ixzz1Q78bqLKi

 

Color me conflicted


I firmly believe that one of the greatest things about America is that for the most part we do a far better job than most at not discriminating on the basis of race, creed, color ect. We have certainly had our black marks in history and I assume there is always room for improvement. But if you go to any of major city its pretty diverse with many cultures being represented at the same time.

The American military is no different while the military is not a perfect cross section of American society its certainly not homogeneous either. While I have never served I am sure that the combination of different attitudes, cultures and personalities combined with the stress of the environment could cause some serious strife. However it seems that we very rarely hear of these instances turning violent. However there has been a pattern of Muslim soldiers attacking other service members. First in 2003 we had the case of Sgt. Asan Akbar who tossed a grenade into a tent killing another servicemen in Kuwait and wounding 15. Then in November of 2009 we had the Ft. Hood attack perpetrated by Nidal Malik Hasan. Today I wake up to the story of Yonathan Melaku who was found in Arlington National Cemetery at 0130 this morning. In his backpack were 5 pounds of a yet to be identified substance that was labled as ammonium nitrate but field tests came back as negative for explosive material. Details are still coming out as to what exactly his plan is or weather this was a test run for something larger or not. However what is clear is that his man was a Marine Corps reservist and a practicing Muslim.

I am afraid that this series of events is going to damage morale for our troops overseas. It would seem logical that these men and women need to know that there is a ZERO chance that the soldier next to them is “playing for the other team” My initial reaction was that there needs to be some sort of additional screening or procedure for practicing Muslims in the US Military but that doesn’t sit right with me, I don’t like the idea of instantly assuming these individuals are working against us. I would also hope that the chain of command would send up red flags for any individual who was showing signs of radicalization regardless of the individuals creed or belief system.. Should these men and women be limited to non-combat roles? Should they be screened differently? Is this just an unfortunate downside to having a military that is as diverse as it is? I don’t have the answers and I don’t really have any suggestions to make the problem better, however what I do know is that we have too many brave men and women fighting for me and my family, and I don’t need to add any burden to them.

 

How I got into guns


This week there has been a lot of bloggers doing articles about how they got into guns or more accurately how we became gun nuts. I first Read Daddy Bears story then Jennifer’s and deiced to do my own.

So here is my story, growing up my Father was a shooter who although he always owned guns and strongly took the approach of educating us about them rather than just keeping them locked away and saying “don’t look in the box” he believed strongly in gun safety and when he took the guns out safety and the 4 rules were always the most important. When we were kids he would occasionally go the range but never really made a big deal about it. My Mother was at best neutral on guns, she never really supported the hobby but was not anti-gun either. Prior to high school essentially all of my shooting experience was through Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. I remember lots of days on the rifle range at summer camp. I wasn’t always the best shot but I took a lot of pride in what I did. I thought I was hot stuff when I could reliably shoot the clothes pin that was being used as a target holder. (Much to the dismay of several of the adults who had to explain that just because I could didnt mean I should)

I specifically remember that the indoor range near us had a rule that you had to be 14yrs old to shoot there and right after my 14th birthday Dad took me. Now prior to this I had shot a lot of .22lr rifles but had never shot a handgun. My fathers handguns were mostly .38/.357mag revolvers with a little Astra .380 mixed in their as well. The first gun I shot was the .380 because I thought I was way too cool to shoot a revolver. I later took a liking to his little Detective special .38spl and became pretty damm good with it. This range also had some rental guns so we rented a few as well. From that point on my passion was always there but I didn’t get much shooting time. Then when I went off to college a buddy of mine from the debate team told me that he bought a gun because he wanted to learn to shoot and wanted me to go with him. He and I went a few times a month after debate practice and I would generally rent a springfield XD because I loved that gun. He had a S&W 4906 and I liked his gun but knew I was not a fan of steel framed pistols.

Then in 2006 I got the opportunity to work for the College Republican National Committee and was stationed in Nevada. While I was down there it seemed like most of the guys were into shooting stuff out in the desert and were always willing to take me shooting. On this trip I didn’t bring any guns but there were always plenty around for me to use. Shortly after that I came home went to the range a few more times and was all ready to buy a Springfield XD. Well then one day I go the range the XD was not available and the range master suggested that I try the Smith and Wesson M&P I shot that for the day and LOVED it, it fit my hand much better and I had a great time. 2 weeks later I went out to a local gun shop and bought a new M&P. It is now my daily carry gun and I love it. Also being the first gun that I bought its kinda my favorite. That’s the quick and dirty story. I do feel that I should add one quick anecdote though. The date that I knew I wanted to work hard for gun rights was a vastly different date. This was about in 4th grade when our class was doing a music program  on “The Oregon Trail” the teacher asked for suggestions on “sounds of the Oregon trail” I immediately put my hand up and suggested a gun shot. She reluctantly wrote it up on the board and then explained that since gunshots don’t have a place in school we wont be using that particular sound effect. I WAS PISSED, it did not logically comprehend how you could do a production on the Oregon trail without having a gunshot. Were we honestly suppose to believe that no animals were harmed in the making of the American West???? I went home got sympathy from mom but she also kinda said “give up and just go a long” well long story short the day of production came I still was pissed about this and I ended up with the rain stick instead. This was the first time that I had really been exposed to the politics of guns and now that I am an adult I look back to that  as a defining moment in my life. See even my role as a gun nut can be blamed on the public education system LOL.

 
 

Movie Review: The Bridge


I listen to a lot of podcasts, some of them are gun related like Down Range Radio others are pure comedey such as The Adam Carolla show and then of course there is VC, but one that I only started listening to about 8 months ago was “The Film Vault” its a film podcast and part of the Adam Carolla network of podcasts. I enjoy the Film Vault because it exposes me to a lot of movies that I would not have seen prior. One of those movies is “The Bridge” this movie made in 2004 is a documentry on the Golden Gate Bridge specifically the large number of people who choose to end their lives by jumping off the bridge each year.

This movie tells the story of many people who have chosen to jump with most of the story told by family and friends. There is also an interview with a man who jumped and survived. While this movie was very depressing and actually hard to watch at times because I lost a family member to suicide less than 2years ago. However this movie was incredibly respectful and non-judgmental of the choices people have made. Essentially the movie is the same story being told multiple times by different families however the nuances between these stories is where the real interesting part is.

Over the course of the movie you do witness a number of people jump off the bridge to their death, you also see a woman get pulled back from the edge and multiple interviews with people who have witnessed others jump. The part of the movie that I assume was left out on purpose and I felt was missing was any sort of interview with an official either with local law enforcement or bridge management. I would like to know what their stance on this situation is and if there have been any measures put in place to mitigate the large number of deaths.

While I firmly believe that this would not stop the majority of the people from dying, I do believe that there would be a vested interest in not having those deaths occur on the bridge. Also it seems odd since the San Francisco area is know as one of the most intrusive nanny state regions in the country why would there not be some sort of mitigation for this?

 

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in a little history, movies

 

The retirement of the Huey Helicopter


I don’t like to just copy and paste somebody elses blog post but I think this was so well written and so amazing you should all read it.

FROM OLD NFO

“The last Hueys have been retired by the Army and the Marines, so an iconic airframe passes into history with little fanfair, other than military ceremonies… 

First developed by Bell for medivac and utility use in 1952, first flight was Oct 1956 and first produced in Mar 1960. More than 16,000 total have been built. It first saw combat in Vietnam as the HU-1, hence the “Huey” nickname. It’s official name was the Iroquois. “

Please go read the rest of his post HERE