As I’ve aged, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for our military veterans.
I don’t know why, exactly?
Maybe it’s because, with my childhood Life plans having failed, due to my leg disability, I was unable to join the largest, least-exclusive club in the World (Service Veterans). And I’ve been able to observe, albeit from a distance, the brotherhood, camaraderie and sacrifice imbued in those men and women.
On previous Veterans Days (when I was employed) I made it a point to walk around on break and shake hands of those I knew had served and say “Thank You!” I know it’s not much, especially for persons my age who returned from Vietnam and were denounced as war criminals and spat-upon. And the Korean War Vets who were (and are) pretty much largely ignored by the media.
I was accompanying my roommate to another of her doctor’s appointments on November 11 this year, and there was an older guy (my age?) with the jacket and cap, embroidered with his service particulars. I didn’t see what they were. I made a point to walk over to him and shake his hand. It was the very least I could do.
After her appointment, J. wanted to get a bite-to-eat, so we stopped at a restaurant we sometimes frequent. And before our meal arrived, in walked another veteran. Also with an embroidered cap and patched jacket. Significantly older. A larger man, with silver hair. With his wife.
After they were seated and had placed their orders, I got up and walked over to them. I excused myself, apologized for interrupting, and explained I just wanted to thank him for his service. He smiled, shook my hand vigorously, and his wife beamed.
Then I saw the identifying patch on his sleeve.
I left hurriedly back to our table, so he wouldn’t see me cry.
For those not paying attention to the calendar…
And prayers and good thoughts for the victims, first responders and survivors.
And woe be to those who committed and continue to commit such heinous acts!
Originally, I was going to post today regarding The Declaration of Independence (link), and suggest you all read it, being painfully aware of the list of usurpations then, and now, perpetrated by
The Crown The United States government.
Then two things occurred to me. One – I’ve already written and posted much regarding said usurpations, and Two – I was in much need of guffawing (as I’m certain you are)!
With that in mind, here are some seasonal cartoons, some funny, some less funny:
h/t Dave the mechanic
Some gave all…
ALL who gave all in service to The Republic.
It’s more than barbeques, people!
(Truly, I cannot believe it’s been Twenty Years!)
There are things that are good to remember; things bad to remember; and things important to remember.
The crummy part of all this is sometimes my brain is not too good at discerning which is which, or what goes with what.
My character (being flawed and neurotic as it is) has a tendency to default to the bad.
A shrink, I’m certain, would say it’s all about low self esteem, negative messages from childhood, etc. The reasons don’t matter.
Twenty years ago, today was the accident in which our daughter Molly was killed.
I was driving – this makes me ultimately responsible, as I was The Dad. The Protector. The fact the other driver ran the red light while speeding is of no consequence.
I carry a sidearm. I’ve done so for 41 years. Long before I even met Molly’s mother, I chose to do whatever I could to protect myself and my family and friends. It’s a roll I haven’t taken lightly.
And I took my assignment as Protector even more seriously when I became a father. It’s what father’s are supposed to do!
We were making a left turn from 44th Street, East onto Thomas Road. A little after 1 PM. Going to Monkey Wards after an earlier visit to Famous Footwear @ 20th St. and Camelback. Saturday’s with 12 year old daughters meant shopping! The signal didn’t have a left turn arrow back then. It was just like in the movies – in the midst of completing the turn, I sensed something was wrong. Based on the estimated speed of the other car, we were pushed across the intersection in about one-tenth of a second.
And many lives changed forever.
I’ve no memory regarding what happened next. Nothing to recall on the witness stand months later. I was told I regained consciousness enough to give my estranged wife’s phone number to the ambulance guy, when I was asked if there was anyone he could call.
I had early drugged hospital memories of being on board a ship(!) Not enough consciousness to ask why I was on a ship. Turned out, with one (now re-inflated) collapsed lung and the other half filled with fluid, County Hospital had me on a pneumatic bed which kept hissing and rolling, to keep fluids from settling in my damaged lungs. Ribs pushed into a lung. Broken collar bone. Broken arm. Tube up the nose, and IV morphine/ativan drip.
My sister, wife and friends were there, being supportive and keeping loving watch as much as they could. Not wanting to answer the obvious question: Where was Molly?
In my few awake moments, I remember asking about the funeral, desperately wanting to be well enough to attend.
My wife was told Sunday morning there had not been any brain activity, and had the courage to disconnect life support. Had our roles been reversed, I don’t think I would have had the bravery. I am forever grateful to her for this. A number of folks benefited from her decision.
The funeral was that following Tuesday. I was largely unconscious in ICU at County for another two weeks.
Ultimately, after being moved to Good Sam, being given Tylenol in lieu of the morphine/ativan drip (!) and weeks in the regular hospital and rehab, I was able to walk and breathe again.
I was deeply depressed and pretty much just counting the days.
Until I could pay my respects.
That came weeks later.
I’ll say it again, as long as I take breath – Tell your family and friends you love them, right now!
Because you may never get another chance.
AND be an organ donor.
I try to remember the good times. The IMPORTANT ONES. It’s what has kept me alive for the past twenty years.
My thanks to all of you, family and friends, for holding me up, until I could stand on my own.
(Commentary has been turned off – I know how you all feel. Thanks, again.)
I’ve posted something DAILY, along with a quote, a cartoon, a picture of a beauty, and a You Tube clip, EVERY DAY FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS!
Currently at 285,831 hits; 355 followers!
And, much to my continued surprise and delight, have not only attracted followers, but made friends! Some of whom have communicated with me off-line, and sent money and gifts I
probably don’t deserve. And some with whom I’ve had the privilege of sending lead downrange!
You guys are amazing!
My BLOG MOTHERS™ (including Tam and Brigid) whose own postings spurred me on to blogging, are a great joy! And terrific friends.
A special thank you to Borepatch, Murphy’s Law and Rev. Paul. Without whom, etc.
I plan on continuing to annoy, confound, confuse and disturb for at least another year.
(Or until the powers-that-be decide I need muzzling!)
This weblog remains a work-in-progress. As such, I’ve edited out some of the Usual Suspects who appear to be no longer blogging. If I’ve done so in error or you have a new link, please advise. My apologies.
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUED FRIENDSHIP AND SUPPORT!
*my very first blog post was so entitled Well, Here We Are…
(It’s that horrible anniversary, again. I’d no idea what to write – thank goodness others did! – Guffaw)
By Alan Caruba
As we close in on the 13th anniversary of the infamous 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the media is full of predictions about attacks that will occur.
A September 2nd Debka File, an Israeli news agency, reported “Credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches—ISIS in Iraq and Syria and AQAP at its base in Yemen—have wrapped up plans to roll out coordinated terrorist spectaculars around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. According to Debka File’s counterterrorism sources, they are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for U.S. targets in the Middle East and Europe.”
This report and other factors incline me to believe there will not be a major attack somewhere in the U.S. on what is now officially called “Patriot Day.” There could be a lone wolf attack along the lines of Major Hassan’s 2009 “workplace violence” at Fort Hood or the Boston Marathon bombing, but the threats being made by the Islamic State and other elements of al Qaeda, while intended to raise fears in America, are likely to be manifested in the Middle East. American outlets there will be on full alert for sure.
The Islamic State, while now wealthy, well equipped militarily, and attracting every lunatic Islamist and wannabe terrorist, is facing an increasingly united group of Middle East nations that have put old enemies like Iran and Saudi Arabia on the same page together. Iran has dispatched troops to Iraq to support the Kurds. When other Middle Eastern nations finally screw up enough courage to actually do something they will wage a war on ISIS in the interest of self-defense, a powerful motive.
As for al Qaeda’s war on America, it was declared in 1996 by the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden and, other than 9/11, it has done little to follow up on that dramatic sneak attack except for a few failed efforts. The U.S. responded by bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and our troops there have been attacking the Taliban ever since. Obama says he will pull them out in 2015. Given events in Iraq, that is a very bad idea.
The Department of Homeland Security has been on alert ever since it was created shortly after 9/11. This is not to say that the U.S. doesn’t need more on-the-ground intelligence penetration of al Qaeda and its affiliates. Indeed, DHS and other government agencies don’t know the whereabouts of several thousand foreign students who are supposed to be at our colleges and universities. They likely do not know who else among those with easy access to the nation is a potential terrorist.
So, yes, that could mean I am very wrong and that 9/11 would be a day for a whole series of attacks for much the same reason our consulate in Libya was attacked that day in 2012. The Benghazi cover-up has been falling apart ever since. The lie that it was caused by a video grows more absurd and obscene very day.
The Israelis have made a far greater and more successful effort than us to infiltrate their enemy’s organizations. Hamas was so rattled by the effectiveness of the Israeli bombing of sites where its rockets were stored and fired from, as well as the killing of a number of its leaders, that they made a public display of executing a number of people they accused of being Israeli spies, whether they were or not. The likelihood was that they were Gazans who had spoken out against Hamas.
After breaking a number of ceasefires, Hamas, running out of any support, accepted the most recent one and Israel thereafter announced the annexation of more West Bank territory for its settlements and, no doubt, for militarization to protect against further attacks. The Israelis know how to deal with their enemies, to prepare, and to take action rather than issue empty threats.
There have even been a number of small events by American Muslims speaking out against barbarity of the Islamic State and the threats leveled at the U.S. That is a hopeful sign, but it needs to increase in numbers and volume. The vast silence of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world is an offense to humanity.
The Arabs of the Middle East are forever making dramatic threats, but they have a record of doing little. When Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, he waged a war against Iran that ended inconclusively and then invaded Kuwait and was defeated by a U.S. coalition. When he continued to make threats the U.S. invaded again and deposed him.
What followed was an effort in several Middle Eastern nations to rid themselves of their despots. This occurred in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Only Egypt, after a brief encounter with a Muslim Brotherhood government, rallied again with a military coup that led to the election of a new military leader. The Brotherhood has been banned! Libya is a failed state that has been taken over by Islamic militants. Tunisia has a new constitution as of January and numerous political parties. Its government is battling local militias.
Iraq is in near failure as it tries to unite its Shiite and Sunni factions in a functioning government. Much of the nation has been taken over by the Islamic State in the same fashion as northern Syria whose civil war has killed 190,000 and driven over a million out as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and anywhere else they could flee. Who has put troops into Iraq to resist the Islamic State? The Iranians!
One threat the President of the United States does not appear to have taken seriously is an Iran with a nuclear weapon and the intercontinental missiles to deliver it. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are far more aware of the danger this poses and in all likelihood Israel will conclude it must destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and military installations.
The United States has lost virtually all the influence it once had in the Middle East, even if it came from the barrel of a gun. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, is held in low regard by both the Israelis and Arabs. The President, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton keep insisting that “climate change” is the greatest threat to mankind.
If President Obama does not engage in the destruction—not “containment”—of the Islamic State, its oil wealth will enable it to become a major threat in the Middle East and beyond, including us. They have demonstrated no restraint on their use of violence and pose a threat comparable or even greater than the Nazi regime of the last century.
Will there be attack or attacks in the U.S. on 9/11? We all wish we know the answer, but we don’t.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
My only responds to Alan is how do we separate the wheat from the chaff? The normal from the radical Islamic folks?
Those held hostage by radical elements of their own religion?
Regardless – please take a moment to remember the innocents lost thirteen years ago.
As they said on Flight 93 – “Let’s roll!”
h/t Theo Spark
I remember walking home about a mile-and-a-half (in the Summer heat, in Tempe, Arizona) the day of the Moon landing, with friends Jim and John, after bowling a few lines @ Tempe Bowl. The RED CARPET Lounge, in the bowling alley, had an exterior sign missing some letters. As we were irreverent high-schoolers, it was always the Ed Carp Lounge to us!
We came home to watch the history on our televisions.
Interesting that there is a direct line from JFK asking we land on the Moon ‘in this decade’ (certainly as a technology/arms race with the Soviet Union), to the Moon landing, to further development of solid-state technologies leading us to personal computers, the Internet and cellular telephones.
We didn’t know the half of it watching Neil and Buzz!
But we were proud.
h/t Theo Spark
Of course they do, you nit, it’s just not INDEPENDENCE DAY!
Here, we celebrate our freedom from government-imposed tyranny!
…or perhaps not.
(In addition to the constant video and audio surveillance, warrantless searches, police overreaching, Internet spying, illegal detentions, eminent domain theft, inability to defend ourselves, welfare statism, forced unionization, ad infinitum – ad nauseum.)
REGARDLESS, HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE INDEPENDENCE DAY! I plan to read the Declaration of Independence aloud today, in it’s entirety, before doing so is also banned! – Guffaw
And some days just seems replete with events – births, deaths, famous stuff.
A few select examples…
1883 Franz Kafka Czech, author (Metamorphosis, Trial, Amerika)
1913 Dorothy Kilgallen Chic Ill, columnist (What’s My Line?)
1941 Gloria Allred feminist attorney
1943 Geraldo Rivera aka Gerry Rivers, nosey newsman (Geraldo)
1962 Tom Cruise Syracuse, actor (Risky Business, Color of Money, Rainman)
1969 Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones drowns to death at 25
1971 Jim Morrison rocker (Doors), dies of heart failure in Paris
1981 Ross Martin actor (Mr Lucky, Wild Wild West), dies at 61
1989 Jim Backus actor (Magoo, Gilligan’s Island), dies at 76 of pneumonia
1841 John Couch Adams decides to determine the position of an unknown
planet by irregularities it causes in the motion of Uranus (insert joke here)
1861 Pony Express arrives in SF with overland letters from NY
1895 Start of Sherlock Holmes “The Adventure of Black Peter” (BG) (insert joke here – I know, I’m a sick puppy!)
1898 US Navy defeats Spanish fleet in Santiago harbor, Cuba
1911 Ty Cobb hits in his 40th straight game. Does not get a hit next day
1915 US military forces occupy Haiti, remain until 1934
1939 Lou Gehrig day; Gehrig makes “luckiest man” speech
1950 1st time US & North Korean forces clash in the Korean War
1976 Israel launches rescue of 103 Air France crew & passengers being
held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by pro-Palestinian hijackers
1988 US Navy shoots down Iranian civilian jetliner over Gulf, kills 290
Other days, not so much.