Friday, December 18, 2009

A Senatorial Non-response

At least Senator Bennet responded to my letter. Senator Udall has a bad habit of turning off his phones and ignoring critical emails.

This is what Sen. Bennet wrote me, and my responses I'll be sending back to him.

Dear Rude1: 

Thank you for contacting me regarding comprehensive health care reform. I appreciate hearing from you. 

On Saturday, November 21st, the Senate voted to begin debate on The Patient Protection and Affordability Act. I also voted to start debate on this bill. We're going to go through weeks of debate and amendments to improve the bill.

Please explain to me Senator, why you and your colleagues insist on improving this bill, instead of starting at the beginning by identifying the problem (supposedly sky-rocketing insurance costs), narrowing the problem down to root causes, and writing a bill that will fix THAT problem instead of turning the world’s best healthcare system into a bureaucratic nightmare?
That is the right process to go through. If we stick with it and we do the hard work that people in Colorado and across the country need us to do, we will have made a meaningful difference.

Define meaningful difference please sir. Wouldn’t a better plan of action focus on making meaningful, quantifiable improvements? 

If we are going to solve the fiscal problems that threaten our economy and our kids’ future, we need to pass effective reform that will rein in skyrocketing health care costs.

Again, have you and the brilliant minds in Washington identified the root causes of these rising costs? If so, then why aren’t the lawyers who instigate frivolous malpractice suits for astronomical settlements being vilified instead of the insurance companies? You know, the companies who have to PAY the astronomical settlements, with money from their fees. Why is there such a vicious opposition to tort reform?
This bill will significantly reduce the deficit, bring down costs and provide affordable health insurance to all Americans.

How exactly, and what do you mean by significantly? Currently our annual deficit is close to 1.5 TRILLION dollars; that to me sir is significant. How can yet another government program reduce that when said program will cost over a trillion dollars itself? Stop telling me how great this is and start showing me the numbers. I’m sorry Senator, but your word on this is not good enough. I’m still confused as to how increased government programs can result in decreased deficit? Simple economics deems this impossible. Where will the money come from? How will the cost of health insurance go down? Will the decreased cost offset the increased taxes? Please don’t tell me that only the “rich” will be taxes to pay for this. We both know that is not true. Don’t tell me you are going to make existing programs more efficient to cover these costs. Instead sir, why don’t you make them more efficient NOW? Prove to me that you can and will fix the broken existing systems before you ask me to fund another sinking ship.
Now is the time to put politics and special interests aside and enact meaningful, fiscally-responsible health care reform that will put our families, our small businesses and our country on a sounder footing for generations to come.

Okay, I agree that we need to put aside politics and special interests. Now I expect YOU to adhere to your own words. From what I see out of Washington, your definition of putting politics and special interest aside means that anyone opposed to this farce of legislation needs to abandon their beliefs and embrace yours. Stop with the worthless rhetoric and put some action behind your own words; put your money where your mouth is.

Coloradans, like all Americans, want a health care system that affords real choice – so you can keep your doctor – and you can select the health coverage that best suits your needs and those of your family. Reform must also end annual double-digit increases to health care costs, and promote better access to affordable quality care for more families. Coloradans want these changes accomplished in a fiscally responsible way. We should be open to any and all options that will help achieve these goals.

Yes you should be Senator, but you are not. If you were, TORT reform would be at the forefront of this legislation, abortion provisions would be strictly forbidden, tax breaks for personal insurance would be key, and portable insurance, not allowance of pre-existing conditions, would be critical facets of the bill. 

Coloradans are frustrated because they are seeing double digit increases in their premiums, do not have adequate access to doctors and nurses and, in many cases, are being completely shut out of the system.

No sir, we are frustrated that YOU and your colleagues refuse to listen to what we’re saying. NO ONE is refused treatment in this country. I’d like for you to provide concrete, verifiable examples of these claims of people being “shut out of the system” or denied adequate access to healthcare. 
We’re frustrated that our government continues to spend money like an out of control spoiled socialite with no sense of responsibility. 

Small businesses are under enormous pressure to stay competitive in this economy. As health care becomes more costly, small and even large businesses are dropping employer-based coverage, leaving individuals at-risk of unaffordable coverage, or denials due to pre-existing conditions.

Okay, let’s talk pre-existing conditions. Why can’t I buy auto insurance that will fix my previously wrecked car? Because it is fiscally irresponsible! You cannot expect anyone to pay a few hundred dollars in start up premiums and immediately put in a claim for tens of thousands and expect it to be paid! This argument for pre-existing conditions is ludicrous. No company can sustain itself (make a profit) by doing business this way. Health insurance is no different. A better option here Senator is to open interstate commerce for health insurance, thus making it portable and open to competition (which would not only reduce the pre-existing condition argument, but would in fact lower coverage costs; again, simple economics).
Colorado leads the nation in entrepreneurship and innovation and we cannot allow health care costs to continue to be such a burden to our businesses. 

We must also invest in cutting-edge medical research to save lives and bring competitive biotechnology jobs to Colorado. We must be committed to establishing a fair Medicare and Medicaid payment system that does not hurt providers and does not put beneficiaries at risk of losing coverage.

You are already too late on this one sir; reimbursement to providers is already so low that healthcare providers are forsaking new Medicare and Medicaid patients in droves. If you cannot provide just compensation to providers now, how do you propose to do so with even more people covered?
I will continue to support legislation to modernize our health care system by encouraging hospitals, nursing facilities, health centers, and physicians to keep investing in information technology, saving both lives and dollars.

Nice words Senator, but how do you expect them to pay for these investments? It seems to me that the money has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere will be increased costs to the patient for services, or through government assistance. Government assistance would mean higher taxes wouldn’t it sir? So how does this help lower costs again? 

I hear countless stories from Coloradans across our state about how year after year they have paid for private insurance only to discover that when they needed coverage the most, it wasn’t there.

Really Senator, countless stories just from within Colorado? I find that EXTREMELY hard to believe. In a state this size, I would figure there is probably less than 50 examples of this, and that is being generous. By the way Senator, did you happen to get any details of these examples? What were the circumstances behind your so-called countless examples? Were they legal citizens, did they pursue all available avenues to help themselves or did they simply throw up their hands and cry “Government save me!”?
The public option is a common-sense approach that would inject competition into the marketplace, drive down costs, and provide affordable health insurance for Coloradans.

Based on what, the example of Canada or Great Britain’s exemplary systems? Or maybe based on some computer model where only select data is input to guarantee the results you want?
If we are going to require people to have insurance, we need to make sure they have a choice.

Explain to me again WHY you feel the need to REQUIRE people to have insurance? Oh that’s right, you have never explained this yet…
A public option should be just that, an option, one of a number of choices – public, private, and non-profit – that families and small businesses can choose from. The public option should also be affordable, self-sustaining, and shouldn’t pay at Medicare reimbursement rates.

And why shouldn’t it pay at Medicare reimbursement rates? Is it because Medicare is a broken system, a sinking ship? Or are you proposing that this wonderful new option would pay at an even LESS rate than Medicare pays? 

As the Senate continues its work to address this crisis, I will keep your thoughts in mind. I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.

Crisis sir? What crisis? According to poll after poll after poll; the majority of Americans are happy with their healthcare. This “crisis” is a manufactured scenario that Washington has created to pander to non-contributing individuals and the guilt complex of the rest. Don’t worry Senator, I certainly will continue to keep you informed, but I’m not sure why since you have failed to address even one of my concerns. Instead you send me a letter that by all accounts reads like a talking point paper, yet fails to address or even mention a single point I raised. I say again, LISTEN to us and stop the lies! 

For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at Again, thank you for contacting me. 


Michael Bennet

United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at and fill out the webform for a prompt response. Thank you.

Amazing Model Builder

Buck posted a video yesterday about an RC modeler in Germany who has the most amazing RC plane I've ever seen. I'm a sucker for just about anything dealing with aviation, so when I got an email this morning about this model builder, I had to post it.

Go check out the pictures of his models, they are amazing! The detail in second to none. I'm speechless, I really am.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Open Letter to Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall

Senators Bennet and Udall,
It is my duty as a registered and active voter to inform you of my dismay and dissatisfaction at the direction you and your colleagues are heading with the so-called “Health Care Reform.” You Sir are preying on the fears of the uninformed and are ignoring the wants and wishes of the majority of citizens of Colorado and these United States. You Sir were sent to Washington to represent the interests of the people of the State of Colorado; not to get caught up in the frenzy of passing feel good legislation that has little or no value added benefit.

This proposed legislation is constantly being described as historic, revolutionary, urgent, or many other worthless platitudes that never actually say anything. We’re constantly being told that the “status quo” is no longer an option. Let me tell you something Senator; the “status quo” is a better option than what is currently being proposed. The “status quo” is still the best health care system in the world, where no one is left untreated, despite what the spin doctors say. Yes it has faults, yes there should be changes and improvements; but heed the age-old cliché: “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!”

This legislation is being written behind closed doors, and we the people are being purposely misled as to its contents. The costs involved can and will have catastrophic consequences to our economy. Those of you in Washington can spin the numbers with your creative accounting, but at the end of the day, this sort of reckless spending and sleight of hand financing will have dire results. The back alley shenanigans and down right lies need to stop now! If you are so supportive of this bill, then put it out there where we can read it, analyze it, and come to our own conclusions. It’s time that you and yours quit underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

It’s amazing to me that out of all the highly educated people on Capitol Hill, not one seems to have applied even the most basic of problem solving skills to identify the root cause(s) of the increasing health care costs. If they had, the legislation being proposed would be drastically and significantly different than what you are all fighting for, and it would probably have the support of the majority of the people. The US government spent a lot of time and money teaching me how to identify root causes and implement effective changes. I offer those services to you should you really want to fix the problem.

I urge you Senator to do what is right for the people of Colorado, to listen to the majority of your constituents. You asked for this job. The primary action required on your part to keep this job, is to do what your constituents want you to do, NOT to do what YOU want to do.

The people of Colorado (and the rest of the country) are fed up with the elitist attitude prevalent in Washington. We are angry that those of you we sent to Washington are not listening to us. We don’t want half-baked legislation rushed through without careful and due consideration. We don’t want anything forced upon us, especially if you yourselves are not forced to live with the same legislation. Quit playing cute semantic games. If you support the legislation, then take out the loopholes that exempt you from your own legislation.

Get out and talk to the people Senator, and LISTEN to them. You may not agree with their views, but not only is it your job, but also your DUTY to support the majority. If you are not willing to do that, then you might as well start packing and say goodbye to the luxurious Washington lifestyle.

I’m urging you not to support this worthless legislation Senator. Stand up and be strong, do the right thing. You would do well to apply this philosophy to all legislation, not just this issue.



Monday, November 23, 2009

Respect? I Think Not

It's hard for me to respect someone who shows so little respect for all that I hold dear. I spent the majority of my life serving this great nation and I get a little riled up when anyone, especially anyone in power, disrespects this country or by extension, any of the symbols of it. Be it the National Anthem, the Flag, or the uniform of those who protect her, do NOT disrespect this country that better men and women than me have given so much for.

As a leader, I know the importance of image. You must portray an air of confidence, strength and ability. You do NOT show weakness or servitude to your peers. Doing so undermines your ability to lead; you become a joke, a puppet. Your subordinates, peers and superiors lose confidence in you.

I will always respect the office of the President; but I can NEVER respect the man currently holding it. His staff, or anyone else can spin his actions any way they want. Bottom line is he is in way over his head and is not only disrespecting this great nation, but is driving her right into the fires of hell.

The President of the United States bows to no one.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


BR posted this video of the attorney general (not capitalized on purpose) getting rightfully slammed by Sen. Graham about his decision to try KSM and others in federal court. I listened to parts of the hearing the other day and couldn't get over the ineptitude of the AG. He kept trying to justify his decision by saying that 5 others were being tried by the military. It seems fishy to me that there is exactly the same number being tried by military as there are being tried in civilian court. Using his own argument, at least two of the five being tried in military court should have been tried in federal court.

IMHO, this is just another case of political showmanship by this administration. The only possible reason for this theater is to put the Bush administration and their policies on trial; not to seek justice.

I'm not the smartest guy in the room, but I do know that the majority of the condemning evidence will not be allowed in a civilian court. Also, there is already grounds for an appeal based on presumption of guilt statements made by not only the AG, but by the president himself (no cap on purpose). Both have all but stated that KSM will be found guilty and sentenced to death.

Sorry Mr. ag and Mr. president, but the pair of you have screwed the pooch on this one. Hard to believe that two so highly educated men, and lawyers to boot, could make such a basic mistake. But then, it isn't a mistake is it?

How cool would it have been to see Sen Graham stand up and tell Holder just after the video ends "Kapow, take that Slappy!"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Duty to Remember

I wrote this a couple of years ago and thought it might be a good post for (the day after) Veterans Day. Shayna no longer posts, so the link is dead. Oh well!

BR over at A Tale of Two Buckskins wrote how it was a privilege to serve his country. I couldn't agree more. It was indeed an honor and a privilege to serve. Thank you all who have, are and will serve our great nation.

Shayna recently wrote about Eugene and it got her thinking about how sad it is that we, as a nation, tend to forget or overlook those who gave so much. She wished that they would talk more about their experiences in the hopes that the rest of society would be reminded of what they went through and not to forget them.

I wanted to try in some weak attempt, to explain why that probably won’t ever happen. I agree with her; we should be reminded not to forget those who sacrificed so much and gained so little, but the sad fact is that the majority of combat vets won’t talk about it. At least not to just anyone. They’ll talk at length with other combat vets, or tell some of the funny stories to their families; but most won’t open up about the serious times.

My theory about why is rather simple, yet strangely complicated. I know that most vets are very proud of what they did, of their contribution to history, of being part of something important, something historical. But the difficulty lies in that to be proud of that, in some way the vet must be proud of killing; an act that is taught to us from the earliest stages of our life, to be the ultimate sin. Killing another human being is one of the most reprehensible thing anyone can do. Yet the bottom-line job of the military member is to kill.

We desensitize ourselves by making light of it, or even advertising it. “Our job is to kill people and break things.” “Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.” “Killing is our business, and business is good.” None of us really feel that way, but we try and convince ourselves that it’s okay. The training and preparation kicks in during battle and instinct and training take over. There is no time to reflect, but deep down, late at night, especially after the battle, and the fog of war starts to dissipate, we look at ourselves in horror. We don’t want anyone to know the horrible sin we’ve committed; the taking of another human life. Forever silencing the voice of someone’s father/brother/son/mother/sister/daughter/friend. You can’t take that back. But it’s what we do. We have to, or else evil will prevail.

So the combat vet stays mute about it except to another combat vet. Someone who’s been there too; someone who understands. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you want to understand, to sympathize, to help; you can’t. You cannot fathom the guilt/pride conflict raging within. The combat vet doesn’t want to remember the killing, but it is something that can’t ever be forgotten. Even those “lucky” enough to have never actually killed; the sights, sounds, smells, and touch of combat casualties is every bit as traumatic. As a military member, your job is to inflict pain amongst the enemy, but as you see the aftermath, you question how can civilized, sane people do such things to one another. So you shut it down, you don’t talk about it, you hide it away because if you don’t, you run the risk of seeing the looks of revulsion from those you love. You so desperately want to forget, but you can’t.

There are countless stories out there of combat heroes, whose families have no idea of their bravery. Navy and Air Force Cross recipients, Silver Star recipients who put their medals in a dusty box in some basement or attic. People who did extraordinary things while under fire, but hide them away like forgotten trinkets. I remember reading how John Levitow’s wife, also an Air Force member, didn’t know he had been awarded the Medal of Honor until she studied it during a required Air Force history class. She knew he had served in Viet Nam before they met, but had no idea he was the lowest ranking AF member to be awarded the Nation’s highest military honor. Or of Susan Rescorla finding her husband Rick’s military medals only to have him refuse to let her display them. Rick Rescorla not only was a hero of the Ia Drang Valley in Viet Nam, but he was chief of security for Morgan Stanley and lost his life in the WTC on 9/11, but not before ensuring over 3000 of his charges were evacuated safely.

This is the reason why military members are the last people who want to go to war. We make the sacrifices. We run the risk of being killed or wounded. We run the risk of losing our closest friends. We run the risk of having to kill or maim another human. But we do it when needed. Some may think we rush into wars, but believe me, the vast overall majority of military leaders will only advise military action if all other avenues have failed.

It is not the job f the combat vet to remind society of what they did, it is the responsibility of society to remember the sacrifices of the combat vets and to honor them. The combat vet doesn’t want sympathy. All he wants is acceptance and possibly a thank you. It’s societies job to HONOR them, and to never forget. Don’t pity these heroes, for most of them would do it again even knowing the consequences. Don’t pry or try and understand their silence, respect it. Don’t patronize them, but be their friend. Most of all, don’t forget them; they did what they did for you.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

What is Racism?

I'm curious. Can caucasian people be discriminated against in America?

I just came from court where I was fined $200 plus court costs for a grand total of $459.50. The interesting thing to me is that while I was sitting in court, waiting for my name to be called, I watched three other people go before the Judge on the exact same charge that I was facing. All three of these people had Latino surnames. All three of these people pleaded the same as I would be pleading. All three of these people had the charges dismissed. The only other caucasian person to go in front of the judge before me was fined $200 plus court costs. Now to be fair, she was facing a different charge than I was. However, when I was called, I assumed my charge would also be dismissed since the three prior to me had been. Sadly, I forgot that the Judge too had a Latino surname. BAM $200 plus court costs. Pay the clerk.

So I'm curious, is this racism, or should I be glad to pay my fine, knowing I'm merely making amends for all the wrongs us whites have bestowed upon the poor abused Latinos?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Odd Things I Think of...

I've often said that my mind is a scary place. Strange thoughts seem to pop in and they seem so obvious that I don't know why I don't hear them anywhere else. I had one this morning while in the shower...

Why is it that the Enron execs have been vilified and prosecuted on false charges, had their lives ruined by untruths and false evidence, yet Al Gore is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his false analysis of Global Warming? Better yet, why was Bernie Madoff imprisoned (rightly so) for conning millions of dollars from people, yet Al Gore is still walking around a free man while STILL conning millions of dollars from people.

In the old days, that snake oil salesman would have been tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail.

WHat do you think?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

USAF's Latest Multi-role Strike Aircraft

As some of you know, Congress recently voted to cut funding for the F-22 Raptor. Now the Raptor became operational right as I was retiring from the AF, so I never had any first hand experience with this jet. However, my Squid-in-law is stationed at Norfolk which is just down the road from Langley AFB where the Raptor nests. I've been out there a few times and all the folks I've talked to seem very impressed with the Raptor; both maintainers and pilots.

Be that as it may, the funding is cut. Done. Finito. So what are we supposed to do for air superiority now?

I've been able to smuggle out a photo of the Top Secret aircraft the Obama administration is pinning it's air superiority hopes on. It's a modified version of the aging, but still formidable F-15 Eagle. The newest version of the Eagle, called the Eaglet, is much smaller than it's mother, with a smaller payload. However, due to the size and construction materials, it is by far the stealthiest aircraft ever made. Virtually invisible to all radar and has no heat signature.

It does have a very limited range, both in weaponry and airborne endurance. However, the cost is a minuscule.

According to an anonymous administration official "...we can equip hundreds of squadrons with the Eaglet for less than a single F-22." "This aircraft fulfils the Commander and Chiefs wishes for an inexpensive and ineffective replacement for the horrific killing machines we've used to force our will around the globe." he said.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Be Afraid; Be Very Afraid...

I found this link over on ALa's site.

Talk about a scary doll. Wait, I guess it's an Action Figure, but someone needs to tell the manufacturers that it would be more appropriately called an INACTION figure. Although I find it funny that for someone who has shown little or no stomach for action against our enemies, he sure is portrayed as Billy-bad-ass. Should that be Barry-bad-ass? Just wonderin...


Friday, October 09, 2009

Give Me a F'ing Break

Just when I think the people of the world can't get any dumber, something like this happens.

In light of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's most recent decision to give president (lowercase p used on purpose) O the Nobel Peace Prize; I honestly believe it will now be changing the name to the Nobel Piece-O-shite Prize.

Awww, and they didn't want to wake his highness up. How thoughtful.

What a fucking joke the NPP has become.


The lovely Cara has a terrific post on this. She puts it in a way I wanted to, but that's the difference between a writer (Cara) and a reader (Moi).


I've heard this at several places, but had to repeat it...

Obama awarded the Heisman Trophy for watching a college football game.

Stay tuned for coverage of his upcoming awards; his Tony, his Grammy, his Sainthood, his Emmy, his Clio, his Super Bowl Ring...

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Southbound into Ogden a few years ago. I really need to get back in the air!


Elk on the hill behind our house.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why I'll Never Forget

I posted this on 9/11/06 originally. Someday I'll go back and dress it up some, but for now, I'll leave it as is. I drove down to the VA hospital in Albuquerque very early this morning, and on the radio I listened to the remembrance programming and it brought back so many painful memories. During each moment of silence, I pulled off onto the shoulder, took off my hat and quietly prayed. I was struck how not one other vehicle did so. Have we forgotten? Have we grown callous or just too caught up in our own existance? I was almost late for my appointment after a four hour drive, but to me it was more important to remember and show my respect in some small way. I'm sure the VA would have understood. Anyway, here is what I remember...

It started out as just another normal day; the weather was nice, not perfect, but not bad. The sky was blue with only a few high altitude clouds. It would be a full day of flying for our squadron of F-16s. Again, nothing really out of the ordinary; we had a full schedule planned and my job as the Lead Production Superintendent or Pro Super, was to ensure we had all the jets covered with appropriate mechanics. Their job was to either support the active flying or fix those that had mechanical problems. Just another day…

I spent the early morning like all others; in a meeting going over the condition and plan for each of our 27 assigned jets. Little did I or any of us know how the world was changing while we discussed aircraft status. After the meeting, I went out to my truck to get the daily work started. I was coordinating with the mechanics the who, what and where we would do that day when we had an odd radio call. “Attention all radios this net, this is the MOC (Maintenance Operations Center) with an announcement. All local flying has been cancelled; please respond with your call sign.” “Rude 1 copies” I replied but didn’t really think much about it. Cancelling flying is rare, but not uncommon in the military, but usually I have an idea of why; bad weather, an accident or something like that. This day however, I was just thankful we didn’t have to worry about flying our schedule, but could instead; focus our efforts on the several jets that needed maintenance. Boy was I in for a shock.

I still didn’t have any idea what was going on since I didn’t have the radio on. In my truck, I had to listen to two tactical radios and use my cell phone, so I didn’t play the radio. I was briefing my supervisors about the change in the schedule when another odd radio call interrupted me…”Attention all radios this net, this is the MOC with an announcement. Implement THREATCON BRAVO. I repeat implement THREATCON BRAVO. Please respond with your call sign, MOC out.” “Rude 1” I said then wondered aloud if there was an exercise I wasn’t aware of. I told my supervisors to get moving with BRAVO procedures, and then went over to a Security Policeman driving around the flightline. I asked him if he knew what was going on, but he was as clueless as I was. I couldn’t really call the MOC to ask, since they were probably eye-ball deep in what ever was happening, besides, I knew I would be briefed soon enough. Right now, we just needed to follow orders and get things done.

About ten minutes later, the Chief of Maintenance came out to my truck and started talking about smoke boiling out of the Pentagon. I thought he was talking metaphorically, you know, I pictured all the Generals with smoke coming out of their ears as they worked some issue. I still didn’t know. Then he talked about the crash into the WTC. “What the hell are you talking about?” I asked. “You haven’t heard? Where have you been?” he asked. Out here doing my job, now what the hell is going on?” He told me we were under attack. I couldn’t comprehend what he was telling me, so I went into our ready room and saw the images of the second plane flying into the south tower. I was stunned for about 20 seconds, then knew we needed to get focused and be ready for whatever tasking we would receive.

I immediately called my supervisors together and had them round everyone up and form them up in the hangar. I needed to talk to them. I don’t really remember what I said, but it was along the lines of “Our country is under attack. We need to put our personal thoughts and feelings aside and focus on what we’re trained to do.” “Anyone with family in NYC or Washington, get with your supervisors after the brief.” “I know you’re worried about them, but I’m sure you won’t be able to get through to them for a day or two, so try to contact them, but don’t focus on it.” I told them to focus on what we needed to do to get our jets combat ready. We’re trained and ready, let’s show them so when the commanders start looking for jets; we’re right at the top, ready to roll.

I told the supervisors to keep an extra eye on anyone with family in the area, not to let happening. I told them to let everyone take breaks when they needed to get updated on what was happening, but to make sure they didn’t forsake their jobs. I didn’t need to worry since our biggest problem was getting folks to take breaks; no one wanted to stop working. Those men and women, some no more than pimple faced kids, had to be ordered to eat or rest. These people were (ARE) DEDICATED. I was so proud of each and every one of them, and humbled to have been leading them.

We got our jets ready and were standing at the ready, wondering what our tasking would be. Since I was the Lead Pro Super, I had to attend the pilots briefing to let them know what the status of our fleet was. As I sat there, listening to the latest intel I couldn’t help but feel for the first time in my life, that I was glad I wasn’t a fighter pilot. I looked at their faces as they were briefed on the possibility and rules of engagement of engaging and firing on an unarmed airliner. I couldn’t read their expressions, but know they had to be conflicted inside. I know they would have performed their duty had they been tasked, but was praying they wouldn’t have to. Thank God they didn’t.

The rest of the day was a mixture of meetings, giving and taking orders, and praying. Praying for the victims, praying for our leaders, praying for those who would be asked to go into harms way. Yes, it was only a few hours since the towers fell, but I know we would be sending folks into harms way.

Later that night, after working a 17 hour day, I was able to call my wife. She was on her Air National Guard weekend and 500 miles from home. She told me they had been on a C-130 getting ready to fly a training mission, when they suddenly shut down the engines and told to get off the plane and return to their squadron. After they were briefed, they went into action putting together emergency response kits (her unit is and Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron) and verifying everyone’s qualifications in case they were called to help. She too had a very long day and told me the folks in her squadron were just as dedicated and focused as mine were. I had no doubt about that; the people who serve, whether active duty or Guard or Reserve, are a patriotic, dedicated, honorable population. I’m humbled to be in their company.

While talking with my wife that night, we finally allowed ourselves to grieve. We cried on each others shoulder, even though it was over a phone line. We prayed together. We cried together. We comforted each other.

Since that day, we keep the victims, their families, and those in harms way in our daily prayers. We refuse to forget; please don’t forget either.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I'm so sick and tired of the double standards and pussyfooting that goes on in Congress. The latest bit of crap to set me off happened when Dick (head) Durbin said this: "The person who said it will pay a price,” Durbin said. “I think the average American thinks that the president and the office deserve respect, and that was a disrespectful comment. They'll pay a price in the court of public opinion." in reference to Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst during the president's (again, no capital P on purpose) address last night.

I'm still angry with the way things were handled when the same Dick (head) Durbin compared the U.S. military to Pol Pot, Nazis and Russian gulags back in 2005. I wrote my senators back then and received a canned response from Orrin Hatch telling me how he agreed with me BUT, Dick (head) had apologized and therefore forgiven. BULLSHITE! I wrote Mr. Hatch back and told him that I had learned when I was seven years old that saying you're sorry when you knowingly said or did something wrong, didn't cut it! You need to be accountable for your actions, not act like a spoiled kid.

I wonder if Dick (head) thinks the members of our military deserve some respect, or the common folks of America for that matter.

It's time we have more members willing to stand up and call these people out. Forget this "distinguished gentleman" or "the honorable" so and so. Quit acting like a bunch of pompous pussies and show some back bone. Stop trying to out-nice the next guy. I for one want to hear some honest dialog.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Is it just me, or is Robert Gibbs an utter and total failure as the mouth of the One? I've yet to hear him answer a legitimate tough question. He isn't even a master at avoiding tough questions; all he does is stammer and ramble in several directions until he's forgotten what the question was. Either that or he becomes the most glibb, sacrastic and patronizing SOB I've ever witnessed!

On top of all that, he will flat out LIE to reporters (and therefore us). I'm sorry, but he is the mouthpiece for the president of the United States (again, no capital letter on purpose) and therefore should NEVER be glibb or sarcastic. It's yet another example of the elitism and inflated sense of themselves. They feel they are so f'ing superior to the masses that it makes me furious! Mainly because I'm sure that I, along with a VAST number of citizens are smarter than they are! I have an above average IQ and sure get pissed off when empty heads talk down to me.

I have to laugh these days at the utter absurdity of this administration. If I don't, I'll go nuts. We the citizenry have been so lazy and uninvolved for so long that this satire of an administration has been allowed to exist. The good news is that America is waking up. She is tired of the arrogance of her elected officials. I for one am going to enjoy seeing the results of the next few elections. Members of the House of Representatives and even the White House are about to learn you cannot ignore the people who them there, nor can they continue to LIE, CHEAT, STEAL and treat their constituants like mental handicaps.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Concert Observations

Last night, we drove down to Albuquerque NM to see Trace Adkins and Toby Keith in concert. Yeah, it's what you do when you live out in the middle of nowhere; drive four hours, catch a concert, and drive back for work the next day. YIKES

Anyway, the concert was worth it. I like Toby Keith and Trace Adkins both, so to see two for one, hell, you gotta. We had great seats and loved every minute of it. The music was good, people well behaved, and nice weather. Good time. Heck, there was even a suprise visit on stage of Eddy Raven and David Allen Coe!

I like watching people at places like this. There are some very interesting folks out there! I saw several women around my age (forties) that looked like nice respectable ladies from the neck up. LOL, they had nice hair, makeup etc, but from the neck down it was slutville! I was cracking up! Skimpy tank tops with no bra, shorts so short Daisy Duke would have blushed, and mile-high heels. One lady dressed like this was with a guy with a huge beer gut and dressed in business casual. Very odd couple! Another lady had on a bright yellow mini dress with bright yellow cowboy boots. And I couldn't count the number of brand new cowboy boots worn last night... Hell, we still had horse crap on ours! I seriously LOL'd several times.

Okay, enough poking fun at the posers and groupies... One thing happened that rubbed me the wrong way. First off, no one supports the troops more than I do. No one has more respect for them than I do. Hell, I spent most of my adult life serving my country and know the sacrifices made to wear the uniform. Both Toby Keith and Trace Adkins are HUGE supporters of our Military and have traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the troops. They both are Patriots. Now, what got in my craw last night was two soldiers in the crowd, wearing their utility uniforms. During the encore, they made their way to the front and got invited up on stage, then went back stage with Toby and Trace after the final number. Oh yeah, they waved their girlfriends/wives up on stage too. Okay, fine. Good for them. I'm sure they had a very special experience. So what's my grief?

Maybe I'm a cynic, but I think it's a disgrace to all the men and women who serve to use your countries uniform to meet a celebrity. Albuquerque is an Air Force town. A major USAF base is right there. I'm sure there were thousands of military people and vets in the audience, and these two Army clowns dressed in their utilities so they would stand out and get invited up on stage. New Mexico has three USAF bases and only 1 Army base (which BTW is a long way from ALB.) The New Mexico Army National Guard is in Sante Fe, 60 Miles North of Alb. So, either these two Army soldiers had to drive down from Sante Fe or over from White Sands. Either way, there was NO reason for them to be wearing the uniform except to exploit it.

Okay, so why does this piss me off? First off, it is against military regulations to wear the utility uniform off-base EXCEPT for short convenience stops. Short convenience stops are generally described as less than 30 minutes. The concert started and 7:30 and went till 11:00. Secondly, like I said earlier, Toby and Trace have done ALOT for our troops, and these two decided to take advantage of their patriotism for their own personal wishes. To me, they showed a lack of HONOR, not only for themselves, but dishonored their brothers and sisters in uniform.

I'm sure most civilians are probably thinking that I'm just jealous and full of sour grapes. Fine, think what you want. The Vets and the majority of those serving know what I mean, and that's what matters.

So, to the Army clowns at the concert last night, I hope it was worth it. I hope that if your Senior NCOs find out what happened, they take appropriate disciplinary measures. To all those who serve and have served with honor, Thanks for doing our uniform proud. And to Toby and Trace, keep it up, you guys ROCK!


I know it's hard to see, but when I was moving the horses the other morning, this doe came around and kept getting closer and closer. She would walk around the meadow nonchalantly, occasionally looking at us. She would occasionaly leap into the air, kicking to the side and throwing her head around. I was trying not to laugh at her antics, hoping not to scare her away. Eventually she slowly walked up to me and sniffed my hand. I guess she thought I was okay, 'cause then she let me rub the top of her head. She'd jump away a few feet, then come back and let me rub her head again. Pretty bizzare!

Eventually, I found out she had been released from the wildlife rehab center several years ago, and hangs out in our canyon. She enjoys hanging out with horses and is comfortable around some people. I guess I'm one of them now! All in all, it was a rather strange morning!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Great Way to Start a Day

I woke up this morning after listening to it rain all night long, knowing it would be a wet, muddy day today. I looked out the window and noticed that the pasture was empty; no horses. I looked and looked again, but still no horses. Shite, they got out sometime between 10pm when I checked on them, and 6am. I looked across the hills, behind the house, down the canyon and nothing, no sign of them.

So I get dressed and slog my way down to the pasture through knee deep grass and see the broken wire from the electric fence. I see that they've headed up the canyon, which is nice since it's a shorter search. We get in the truck and drive up the canyon about a mile and I see them grazing on the side of the mountain. Off I go, up the hill through the rain and wet grass. My mare sees me and ambles over, not a care in the world. At least she's easy to catch, and the other two will follow her. I halter her up and start down the slick hill to the muddy road. My wife drives the truck back to the house and I get the pleasure of walking three horses down a mile of slick, muddy slime back to the house. In the rain. Nice.

Sometimes animals can be such a pain in the butt! At least none of them were injured. Then, to top it all off, my wife's jeep had another flat tire; that's four in the last six weeks! I really wish the county would do something about our excuse for a road! Grrrrr!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It Has to be a Bad Dream

This has to be a really bad dream. What the hell is happening to our country? Actually I guess I should ask what is happening to our government? Everyday I listen to the radio or watch some TV and am stupefied by the blatant abuse of power, disregard for the Constitution and lack of concern/action of the American people.

Lately, the whole healthcare change debacle is making me want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil. I don't get why there is such an urgency to dismantle the best healthcare system in the world (yes it has problems, but there is No. Better. System. Anywhere) and replace it with a system that has been proven time and time again not to work! Also, why are we doing this when the vast majority (85%) of our citizens HAVE healthcare coverage and those without coverage still have ACCESS to quality care?? I mentioned that 85% of our citizens have coverage. It's probably closer to 96%; it all depends on what number of uninsured you use. 47 Million seems to be the big number Herr Obama is throwing around, but if you take out the illegals and those who are temporarily uninsured, the number is closer to 15 million. Compare those numbers to 306 million citizens and you can do the math yourselves.

Back to my point. WHY are we so willing to sacrifice the wishes and penalize the 259 - 291 million covered Americans for the 15 - 47 million uninsured when they DO have healthcare available? And WHY does it seem that not one of the clowns in government, or their high paid aides have any basic problem solving skills?? Instead of shooting from the hip and trying to reinvent the healthcare wheel, why don’t they look at the problem, break it down to the causes and finally to the root cause, and FIX THAT PROBLEM?

This isn’t f’ing “Rocket Surgery” people! Medicaid and Medicare are failures. The brain trusts up on Capitol Hill should be fixing THOSE nightmares while providing incentives for businesses and individuals to get their own private coverage, and fixing the problem of malpractice coverage for medical providers. Or how about this; provide a cost-share program to all American citizens up to a certain amount; sort of like a 401k. You pick the coverage and carrier you want, the government price matches up to a certain level. Anything above that level the individual is responsible for.

I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that the way this is being handled right now is against everything this great country stands for. Right now the government is putting the needs, scratch that, the wants of a small minority over the wishes of the vast majority. While it’s true we are not a Democracy in the USA, we’re a Constitutional Republic. There is a difference, a big difference. What this means to all of us is that it is our DUTY, every one of us, to contact our representatives and let them know that we the people, we the MAJORITY, will not tolerate the systematic dismantling of our nation. They need to be reminded over and over again that it is OUR wishes, not theirs, that matter. We the people have the power, authority and RESPONSIBILITY to make sure that our representatives do what WE want them to do; NOT the other way around. This is not the time for quiescency; this is a time for action.

It’s easy, just call (202) 224-3121 to reach the Capitol Switchboard and ask for your representative, or speaker Pelosi (yeah, I know I didn’t capitalize speaker) or any member you wish to speak to. Let them know; call them, email them or better yet, write them a letter and MAIL it, the old fashioned way. Heck, do it all and then do it again and again. Find out where they’re speaking and go there, confront them (peacefully of course) and let them know where you stand.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Charge Your Government Rep with BRIBERY

I'm fed up. Our government representatives have perverted our system of government into an unethical, probably illegal system of bribery and graft.

Strong words. Maybe I'm being over-simplistic, but when Queen Pelosi, Herr Obama, Prince Hairy Reid and every other politician (Republican and Democrat) twist each others arms to get votes they want, it stinks of bribery to me. Just one example; when Pelosi, Obama and Reid are going to Congressmen asking "what do you need to vote yes on the healthcare (or cap and trade, or any legislation)?" "Do you need my support for one of your bills, or extra money for your district?" "You'll get it if you vote yes on this." That to me, is bribery.

I don't buy the bullshit that "that's how things get done in Washington". These people are OUR representatives, and when they get together and make their shady backroom deals for the advancement of THEIR carreers or THEIR causes against the will of their constituants, THEY. ARE. WRONG. They need to be held accountable and either brought under investigation, the whole damn lot of them, or voted the hell out.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obama et al are LIARS and IDIOTS

I'm listening to Herr Obama and others trying to tell us how we need universal healthcare, how private insurance is sooooo expensive that millions can't afford it, blah blah blah. SO the answer is of course, force a program that is unsustainable and doomed to fail while killing thousands due to the timeline it wil take to receive certain treatments (look at Canada, Great Britain etc).

Now I don't know how the folks in our "gubmint" got where they are without some basic problem solving skills (except Herr Obama, cause face it, he never had a job so he didn't need to learn these skills; it's just so easy to blame someone else right?). The way I see it, and I do have some knowledge here as my wife is a professional healthcare provider, the reason most folks dont have healthcare is the cost. Okay, I can see that to. a. degree. Let's forget the folks who drive Escalades and other high dollar vehicles while living on food stamps (a big portion of the population where I live) cause no matter how cheap healthcare insurance is, these folks are not going to pay for it. So, lets look at responsible folks who live within their means, and can't afford insurance.

Let me back up a sec. The problem isn't that these folks don't have insurance, the problem is that it is too expensive, right? So, NOT having insurance is a SYMPTOM of the problem, expense. Now, anyone with BASIC problem solving skills should see this as a glaring example. Anyone with BASIC problem solving skills knows that you don't treat symptoms, your look at causes, and narrow it down to the ROOT CAUSE and treat THAT!

So, back to our responsible folks who can't afford insurance. How do we help them afford it? I know of a few ways, and by no means claim that I have the final answers, but here goes.
First, get the lawyers out of healthcare. Get the ambulance chasers out of the mix. Insurance costs are directly related to the malpractice insurance that medical providers MUST carry to protect themselves. The vast majority of healthcare providers are good, honest, caring people who are in the field because they want to help people. Unfortunately, our society has made it very easy to target them for astronominal settlements when things go wrong.

Don't misunderstand and think I'm against fair compensation for mistakes, but we need to stop awarding millions of dollars for a bothched boob job. Healthcare providers should be held accountable for any costs incurred for treatment or correction of their mistakes, a reasonable amount of lost wages incurred (NOT millions for "potential earnings lost"). We need to stop the get rich schemes at the expense of our health care professionals.

Herr Obama and his army of idiots on the hill need to stop, analyze the problem, get to the root cause and fix that; not shooting from the hip and treating symptoms.

Monday, July 13, 2009

How Much is a Trillion Really?

Just a bit of perspective. Does anyone really understand just how much a Trillion dollars really is? According to my calculations, based on the latest info, there are 306 million people in the good ole US of A. That is every man, woman and child. For simplicity, I'll use 1.04 Trillion; close enough. So, here I go.

First off, a Trillion is one million million. Okay. So, if there are 306 Million people, and each of them (not families, but every single one) gave $3,333.00 to the "gubmint", we would come up with $1.04 TRILLION. Simple right? Okay, how about this demo.
x 3333

So, what I see is that for every TRILLION dollars of "gubmint" debt or spending, it costs my family (just me and the wife) $6,666. Not a huge amount, but about 4.5% of our income. But what about larger families with lower incomes? Let's take two hypothetical families and compare.

Family A: Four people with a gross income of $250,000.
Family B: Four people with a gross income of $60,000.

Family A's cost is $13,334 and approx 5.6% of their income.
Family B's cost is also $13,334 but approx 23% of their income.

Now, let's not even get into the families without income, or those below the poverty line, cause we all know who is going to incur those costs.

I'm by no means a financial genius, but I have an above average IQ (yes, I qualify for MENSA) and know that this current financial fiasco our current administration is trying to force on us is One Big Ass Mistake Assholes.

So I have to say to our "gubmint"... Do the fucking math assholes, it ain't that hard. Stop spending what we don't have, and have no hope of getting! Remember, this is just for ONE trillion! What happens to us when they're talking about a trillion for bailouts, a trillion for healthcare, and how many trillions we're already in debt for? How the hell do they think this can pass any sanity test?

I'm going to go stab my eyes with a pencil.

Okay, the math portion didn't format the way it should, but I don't have the time or energy to try and fix it. No one reads this anyway, so it's no biggie!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Is It Spring Yet?

Spring must be finally here... This heard of Elk was down from the high country last night and hanging out on the hill behind our house. I love living out in the country!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Goodbye My Friend

For the past few weeks, our injured horse has been getting worse and worse. Today, we made the difficult decision to put him out of his misery. I know it was the humane thing to do, but it doesn't make it any easier. I feel like I let him down. We tried about everything we could within reason. We could have continued to try, using more and more sophisticated and expensive treatments, but the bottom line would have been the same; a lame horse in constant pain.

We agonized over this decision. Although we had only owned this horse for less than a year, he had proven himself as an exceptional horse. Anyone could ride him and he could handle anything we ever asked of him. Everyone loved him, and most wished he belonged to them. Even the Vet had a hard time putting him down. In the end, we all agreed that it was what was best for him.

I knew it was the right thing as I lead him out of the vet's stall to the area out back. He limped painfully along, even though he was doped up on the maximum amount of pain killers. He followed me faithfully. I think he knew where he was going, and was glad to see and end to the pain; at least I hope so. We arrived at the spot where he would be put down and he turned around stood there waiting. The vet, his assistant, a close friend of mine and myself stood there for a few minutes in the softly falling snow. His warm breath billowed out of nose in quiet clouds. He looked at me with soft eyes as I rubbed between his ears and along his face. I quietly thanked him for being such a good horse and gave him a few of his favorite horse treats. I rubbed his warm and powerful neck as I appologized for what we were about to do. I tried to tell him that we tried everything to get him better, but we just couldn't find a solution to his pain. I knew he wouldn't want to live his life in pain and restricted to a small pasture, unable to run.

He just looked at me as the vet administered the fatal dose. I'll spare everyone the details of putting down a horse, but it isn't a pretty thing. Thankfully, the vet told me that the brain shuts down almost immediately, so there is little chance he felt anything. God I hope so.

After the vet checked and told me there was no pulse, I knelt in the snow and rubbed his still warm cheek and neck for several minutes. Gently talking to him, and asking God to take care of him. I'm sure there are horses in Heaven. The snow continued to gently fall. I noticed a few flakes landing on his eye and knew he was really gone and free of the pain. I still held onto my composure.

As I got up and turned to thank the vet for doing all he had, his assistant handed me the halter. My throat suddenly became tight and my eyes started to fill. I had a difficult time forming the words to thank the vet, but I did. I shook his hand and the hand of my friend, thanking them both. We said our goodbyes they left quietly, leaving me alone with my friend.

After a few minutes and another prayer, I turned away and walked through the quietly falling snow, the only sounds were my boots crunching and my sniffing. I got into my truck and called my wife to let her know it was over. Afterwards, I sat in the darkend truck and cried quietly by myself.

Goodbye my friend, may you find endless green pastures.