As far as I’m concerned… it’s a man’s world

 

fallujah-battle-reuters

A couple of days ago I willingly engaged in a back-and-forth with a long ago public school friend of mine when he popped up on Facebook as he does every few months.

Steve (his real name) is a classic, knee-jerk liberal of the California variety not well-versed in his intellectual foundation and so must rely on being smug, holier than thou, and full of ridicule and hubris.

So Steve stopped by my Facebook page to ridicule a post concerning a new variant of the venerable 1911 pistol… a somewhat technical article about a military firearm; I linked it to a number of friends with similar interests.

Marine Fowler-PresBushPurpleHeartSteve: “It’s expensive… but I am going to run out and by one for my son’s 16th birthday……Who cares about the money if it can save him from the black boots who will inevitably be coming for him.”

Like all libs Steve cannot debate an issue–any issue–in the straightforward; because he knows, like the Viet Cong, he cannot effectively mount a sustained firefight…. hit and run is best he can do.

I dusted him in short order as I always do but this carried some weight even with him:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Steve: the gentlemen listed above, whom I’m privileged to have as friends, include fellow combat Marines, retired military officers and senior enlisted, Medal of Honor Recipients, distinguished marksmen, retired law enforcement officers, a card-carrying member of Mensa and a widely respected military author and journalist.”
The takeaway for me in this lopsided little skirmish was how proud and satisfied I am to live in the world of men such as those whom I’d introduced to Steve.

This doesn’t mean that I live in a world of high-octane, risk-taking, minimal thought and all action… on the contrary. I’m talking about a world in which my friends live the most important parts of being a man…. leader, protector, healer of wounds, first to answer the call, instructor; most are voracious readers and possess a multitude of varied interests.

300In this group debating whether or not Nietzsche was full of crap is as likely as why in hell did Hitler stop the almost assured destruction of Britain and open the Eastern Front against the Soviets?

Men in my world are scholars and can ably discuss most every current event on a day-to-day basis…. why? Because we believe being forewarned is being forearmed.

These are men who have ridden to the sound of guns, who ran into fires while most such as Steve, ran out. The main differences between these men and Steve is that he would have but one thought in mind: “Get out, get out, get out, get out.”

In my world the only thought is “Who is still alive in there?”

One man's patriot is another man's terrorist.... in AmericaIn my world men wear head gear… they wear caps (veterans, NRA, John Deere) and Western hats (straw in the summer and felt in the winter), helmets, construction hard hats. They have calloused hands and despite advanced degrees, usually know their way around horses and aggressive dogs.

We (not all) drink whiskey, some chew and most are reformed smokers and and we condemn to the deepest levels of hell the enemies of our country and those who turn against us.

We believe that in the event America is invaded, a significant fifth-column of our fellow citizens would immediately rise and inform on the patriots for 30 pieces of silver… or a loaf of bread.

firemanMost of us still cannot set aside the nagging possibility that the enemy may hit the wire any time, despite age and infirmity…. ours, not theirs.

We deeply fear as did the Founding Fathers, an all-powerful federal government. Over our many years and life experiences we learned to recognize danger from afar because recognizing it “danger close” does you no good.

All this is lost on the Steves of the world.

We find most people tiresome but do not say so; essentially we are taking count, silently rating them:  can they be counted on? And to do what?

It’s automatic.southland04

I have numerous pairs of latex gloves in my truck (yeah, a big, burly 5.7 liter)… if you don’t know why I have them then we probably don’t hang out.

I cannot estimate the number of accidents at which I’ve rendered aid… I know my first aid, I know my artificial resuscitation, my Heimlich… I’ll never (nor will my friends) be the ones running around yelling “someone help!!!!”

Does this mean were something special and crave attention. No, it means that in my world, men act, we stand on the wall and the others… the Steves… can mock and disdain all they want.

It is so because most people lead a safe and protective life thanks to my friends in the military, law enforcement, as first responders, medical personnel, firefighters while most males have never had to defend their Country, families or themselves and ironically are the first to ridicule those who have made their low-risk, no-risk lives possible.

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So in honor of Robbie Burns Day…….

Here’s tae us
Wha’s like us
Damn few,
And they’re a’ deid
Mair’s the pity!

May those who live truly be always believed,
And those who deceive us be always deceived.
Here’s to the men of all classes,
Who through lasses and glasses
Will make themselves asses!

I drink to the health of another,
And the other I drink to is he
In the hope that he drinks to another,
And the other he drinks to is me.

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand
Andy may his great prosperity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

Posted in Heroes, Liberty Constitution, Marine Corps, Medal of Honor, Military, Politics, Second Amendment, Uncategorized, Veterans, War | 2 Comments

“Nothing on TV”?? You haven’t been looking.

As a movie maven and serious television drama critic, I offer the following for my friends, some of whom claim–despite cable, satellite, Netflix, universal remotes, DVRs, newspapers, Google, and rabbit-ear antennas and tin foil–they don’t know when the following shows I recommend are on or which channel. 

Caution: If you spend a lot of viewing time with bearded duck hunters, fat southern redneck families, junk dealers and pawn shop owners…. you may not be interested in the following.

True-Detective4

True Detective — HBO  — reruns of the eight episodes available here.

If you did not see this deeply dark psychological cop drama starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey (True Detective is some of the best work either veterans actor has done) which ended last week, you missed the best show of the season which will sweep next year’s broadcasting awards.

“In 2012, Louisiana State Police Detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart are brought in to revisit a homicide case they worked in 1995. As the inquiry unfolds in present day through separate interrogations, the two former detectives narrate the story of their investigation, reopening unhealed wounds, and drawing into question their supposed solving of a bizarre ritualistic murder in 1995. The timelines braid and converge in 2012 as each man is pulled back into a world they believed they’d left behind. In learning about each other and their killer, it becomes clear that darkness lives on both sides of the law.”

mattWritten and created by Nic Pizzolatto whose credits also include another very good dark cop series ‘The Killing’, ‘True Detective’ gives near equal time to the relationship between the two detectives and their personal demons, and their search for a prolific, psychopathic serial killer.

Simply, there is nothing wrong with this best-of-the-best HBO offering… well-written, shot and edited, you find yourself on the edge of your seat, completely engaged as the fast-paced dialog, plots and sub-plots adds to the tension. The viewer must take on the role of the rookie, either keep up with these two dedicated (obsessed?) veteran cops or go back to a patrol unit.

Even the sound track music–selected by none other than T Bone Burnett, the Oscar-winning producer and musician– is amazing.

Judge for yourself… this is just the opening theme song:  The Handsome Family’s “Far From Any Road”

The good news: The show was always intended as an anthology with a new story each season so more seasons of True Detective, but Oscar winner McConaughey has already said he will not return.

My guess is that the hit series will continue with the same theme but with different cops/investigators/P.I.s, locale, tortured souls anew and the study of those who do a job no one else wants to do…. at the risk of their lives for peanuts, bad coffee, worse hours, child support and a drinking problem.

House of Cards — Netflix: both seasons available for a streaming charge of $8 a month.

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If you’re the least bit political and especially if you’re a student of the federal government and blood politics … you’ll consider this inside-the-beltway drama more truth than fiction.

‘Cards’ fits comfortably between “Advise and Consent” and “Seven Days in May”.

‘Cards’ confirms all your worst suspicions… and it’s even worst than that; welcome to the world of (now Vice-President) and former House Minority Whip, Southern Democrat Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey).  Underwood and his wife played by the well-cast Robin Wright, has a plan but no ambivalence or constraints.

He is the most dangerous man in Washington D.C.

The entire first season and second seasons (13 episodes each) are now available via streaming; Netflix announced the show’s renewal for a third season.

Others to consider:

The Killing — AMC: all episodes (three seasons) available; fourth season on Netflix.

killing

AMC canceled The Killing after the second season but it was picked for a third season. Now Netflix has renewed the show for a six-episode fourth and final season. Like House of Cards, it will air exclusively on Netflix.

One of the main actors in this dark crime series is the dark and dank, constantly raining environs of Seattle… faithful viewers eventually develop Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Starring Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos (two cops never looked so world-weary or in need of bed rest and therapy than these two talented actors) the rich, serialized storytelling in The Killing thrives on Netflix, and “it is only fitting to give Sarah Linden (Enos) and Stephen Holder (Kinnaman) a proper send off,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix.

“We are looking forward to offering fans — both existing and new — a series that we know is perfectly suited for on-demand viewing.”

Southland — Available on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime

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One of the all time best cops dramas of all time, Southland stands as one of the finest cop shows ever produced, as well as a series that captured the LAPD and Los Angeles as a backdrop, in all its rich diversity, as few programs (or for that matter, films) ever have.

Southland was a mix of gallows humor and drama that characterized “NYPD Blue,” which at the time was perceived as the last word on groundbreaking police dramas when it premiered 20 years ago. (Seriously, where did the time go?)

It originally aired on NBC for one season from April 9, 2009, to May 21, 2009, and then on TNT for four additional seasons through 2013.  

Southland began airing on TNT on January 12, 2010.  On April 26, 2010, TNT announced it had picked up Southland for a ten-episode third season to begin airing on January 4, 2011. 

 Southland was renewed for a ten-episode fourth season on March 22, 2011; it was cancelled in May, 2013.

Roger 10-42, Southland… thanks.

Posted in Crime, Media, Politics, TV | 2 Comments

‘Lone Survivor': A Rorschach Test for the left

Red wing team

(The SEAL team, led by LT Michael P. Murphy and consisting of petty officers Danny DietzMatthew Axelson, and Marcus Luttrell, were on a mission to kill or capture Ahmad Shah, a Taliban leader who commanded a group of insurgents known as the “Mountain Tigers,” west of Asadabad.)

The following is less a review of the film, “Lone Survivor”, the true story of “Operation Red Wings”– one of the worst days in US Special Forces history than it is an indictment of Americans who hate the military, it is simply about 18 troops who were killed in action in the remote mountains of Afghanistan eight years ago.

The four-man  kill/capture SEAL Team lost its communications for air support and was trapped, overrun and three were killed in action; the fourth, Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor, who against all odds and wounds, lived to tell the story of his brothers in a book and now the film.

The film is face-paced, relentless, brutal and does not tolerate the ignorance of things military by civilians in the audience; they have to keep up as best they can; this is not to say it is hard to follow, it very much embraces my formula for a successful motion picture…. “A simple story told well.”

luttrell4 NC

(Photo: Marcus Luttrell awarded the Navy Cross by a real Commander in Chief, George W. Bush.)

This movie could have been made about Americans in any war as it is based on the truth that soldiers don’t die for grand ideas or governments, they die for the man on their right and on their left. After all, truthful movies were made in (or about) WWII –see: “Saving Private Ryan”–but they were never done about Korea or Vietnam or until now because of the steady rise of anti-military/anti-America forces from then until now.

Especially in Hollywood.

For the left, “Survivor” is a Rorschach Test.  All the negative reviews I’ve read are uninformed, simplistic, and dunder-headed and with one theme…. the movie failed because it isn’t a left wing movie.

Exactly… and it’s killing at the box office… a movie for Real America; screw the rest of ‘em.

I have been fighting this military v everyone else battle since the ’60s– but “everyone else” is now largely populated, not so much by the doctrinaire leftists, but even worse:  by idiots–those who admit they get their “news” from the Comedy Channel. There’s a joke there, but sadly it is on us… on America.

us_navy_seal_trident_Never in history has the gap between veterans and civilians in America been wider; today the average person in America could not tell the difference between an admiral and a master sergeant. Yet in the late 30s and early 40s, grade school children learned to identify the silhouettes of US, German and Japanese aircraft.

Why? Because they were taught… with flash cards in the classroom; because they were Americans and we were all in a fight for our lives.

Hell, now they don’t even say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rather than giving me hope for America’s future, “Lone Survivor” simply exposes the gulf between those who would sacrifice and die for America a and those who simply do not give a damn.

And that includes Marcus Luttrell and SEAL Team 10.

I have been writing about Operation Reed Wings since it happened:

2007 — Murphy up for Medal of Honor  

Murphy’s is third MOH of the Afghanistan War

Operation Red Wings planning map

Mapped photo of actual battleground  — Even the movie does not do justice to the impossible terrain faced by the SEALs or Operation Red Wings.

Posted in Crime, Heroes, Humor, Left-wing radicals, Media, Science, Travel, TV | 8 Comments

Respect… a two-way street

obama salute

Dear Joyce,

I read your post (below) this morning and I am compelled to address your observations therein:

“I’ve always been under the impression that members of the military were bound to respect their leaders. Open disrespect for the current commander in chief by members of the military, regardless  of personal convictions towards him, seem to me to be quite inappropriate and downright rude.”

First I would ask your to send me the sourced examples of “… Open disrespect for the current commander in chief by members of the military…..” that you mention. So until you do, we must set that issue aside.

Members of the armed forces are obligated by military law and their sworn oaths to follow all the lawful orders of their superiors through the military, the Department of Defense and ultimately the President in his Constitutional capacity as Commander-in-Chief.

In addition, service members are to show proper respect at all times for their commanders and those lower in rank as well…. the “respect” you are apparently concerned about is expected and shown for the rank, the uniform, the commanding position… not for the individual. In other words, you don’t pick and choose which officer you like or admire to show respect… the old adage is that “you salute the rank, not the man”; it is the essence of the military “chain of command”.

That includes the Commander-in-Chief as well.

fallujah-battle-reutersAt this juncture I must say that I never heard your concerns about “disrespect” during the Bush administration…. I assume there is a reason, because more disrespect was heaped on President Bush than most  presidents in the last 50 years.

Service members have been disciplined, “fired”, fined, demoted and even discharged for violating the regulations by making political speeches or statements in uniform or in publicly criticizing the decision or action of his or her superiors.

Having addressed the above we are must consider “respect” a two way street… and respect, as we all know… must be earned. In other words, I’ll follow your orders because I swore an oath… but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that you are the most incompetent, cowardly jackass in the entire military—I just cannot show it.

Again, the rank, not the person.

As for Obama, who has already secured his place is history as the worst president in American history, is universally despised by the military and veteran community because we see examples everyday in every way that he  detests  the military, does not care about the dead, wounded or disabled  and is actively attacking our benefits as retirees and veterans.

We believe he has gravely damaged our Nation.

Having been medically retired from the military, as a citizen I do not have to respect this narcissistic, affirmative action temp worker who was forced on the military by Americans voters who are completely ignorant of the military…. as indicated by one of your Facebook friends who commented on this topic — “What happened?”

VA delaysYes… what indeed.

The next time you are deeply concerned about “rudeness” and the proper respect… why not ask a veteran?  Drop by a military or VA hospital… they’ll give you an earful about respect and the CnC, trust me.

Most presidents, especially this frat boy, have zero military experience, understanding or interest , yet by virtue of winning an election due to the color of his skin… Obama has the power to send us to fight and die in God-forsaken, Third-World s**t holes because he thinks it’s a good idea.

Over 75% of the dead in Afghanistan have killed under Obama’s command.

Remember… you vote with a pencil or a computer; we vote with our lives.

So, I’d like to see some “respect” coming back our way.

So, please send the examples of “disrespect” for POTUS “by the military” you’ve found as soon as possible, because such actions are punishable under military law and that is against military regulations.

FLAG casket a01_50263067

Posted in Liberty Constitution, Military, Obama, Patriotism, Veterans, War | 8 Comments

‘Missing’ Chamberlain Medal returned to his home

chamberlain MOH

Stories about the Medal of Honor… the actual medal itself… are varied, fascinating and often test the boundaries of the odds and belief.

  • One Recipient requested that the name of his mother, who died just shortly before he was to be awarded the medal, be engraved on the obverse of the medal instead of his own name… Col. Jay Vargas… MOH-Vietnam.
  • The vehicle of a harmonica-playing Recipient was broken into while he was at a speaking engagement when all his instruments and the precious Medal he was awarded by President Lyndon Johnson, in it’s case, was stolen; how he got the Medal back is a remarkable story.
  • A thief who befriended a WWII Recipient and offered to “mount and frame all his medals” did so, and it was a beautiful job.  Except he switched a stolen medal and placed it in the framed for the real one. But the FBI solved the case and returned the cherished medal with the blue, star-spangled ribbon.

And now we must add the remarkable story of “The Chamberlain Medal”… earned by one of the Civil War’s greatest heroes in the decisive battle of Gettysburg.

“One of the most prestigious medals earned by one of Maine’s most decorated sons was recently discovered at a church sale and turned over to an organization for safe keeping, the group has announced.

“The individual who owned the medal found it in the back of a book he had purchased “several years ago” at a sale held by First Parish Church in Duxbury, Mass.”

Chamberlain_poster-rf681d0db745a4351a5c44ac33e6c8db7_aieex_8byvr_5120

Joshua Chamberlain — who would go on to become president of Bowdoin College and governor of Maine — received the Medal belatedly in 1893 for “distinguished gallantry” 30 years earlier. 

The historically significant Medal was thought to have been lost for decades. Chamberlain received it in 1893 for his heroism at Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg. 

The Pejepscot Historical Society, which owns the Joshua However, historians verified that the medal was real. The Pejepscot Historical Society, which owns the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum where the Maine native lived for more than 50 years is now a museum.L. Chamberlain 

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Museum received the medal earlier this summer in an anonymous package in July but its authenticity was questioned.

(Photo — The 2oth Maine Infantry’s position on the far left flank of Little Round Top… the critical position that Chamberlain and his men held to the end of the bitter, pitched battle that would turn the tide at Gettysburg and doom the Confederacy.)

Upon his death, February 24, 1914 (aged 85), the medal was given to his granddaughter, whose estate was donated to the First Parish Church of Duxbury, Mass., following her death in 2000.

Little_Round_Top1

After purchasing some items from the church “garage sale”, the anonymous donor remarkably found the medal between the pages of a book and later sent it to the museum.

The Medal had been “missing” for almost a century.  For a photo gallery of my 3-day tour of Gettysburg click here.

Gettys sign

Posted in Heroes, Medal of Honor, Military, Patriotism, Veterans, War | 1 Comment

It’s coming because you didn’t stop it… but don’t plead ignorance; you must plead stupid.

Reid says Obamacare just a step toward eventual single-payer system

Reid O care

In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care “exchanges”.

But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.

Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care…. and into the clutches of “single-payer health care”.  

This was the plan from the start… it was the plan when this was called HillaryCare.

As simply as I can put it…. this is what “single-payer” health insurance means: Single-payer health care is the government, rather than private insurers, paying all health care costs. Single-payer systems may contract for healthcare services from private organizations (as is the case in Canada) or may own and employ healthcare resources and personnel (as is the case in the UK).

VAIn other words if this leviathan is not killed in its cradle……. you will have (not health insurance) but health care directly from the same people who have run our national debt to approaching $20 trillion and cannot get out of its own bloated way.

In other words…… welcome to the VA; I know of what I speak.

  • Six weeks to get a doctor’s appointment. You cannot get an appointment with a specialist except through a referral from your primary doc. Once took me 4 months to get a dental bridge….. with three (of my chewing teeth) ground down to nubs.
  • All day, every day VA hospitals are teeming and overburdened… I mean multiple hundreds of vets going to, coming from appointments, treatment or tests, waiting for same, waiting for paperwork, waiting for new appointment to be made.
  • To see a specialist I have to drive to Dallas VA…. well past the Zoo.
  • I once had an odd sensation that my throat was closing or swelling… I have allergies and I was concerned that I was having a sort of anaphylactic reaction; I wasn’t far from the VA clinic in Denton and dropped in.

Asked the office manager if I could just catch my doc or any doc between appts. to simply look down my throat. Absolutely not, not no way, not no how… Nobody gets into see the Wizard.

January 20, 2013I replied that “I bet I could see a doc if I fell on the floor here and began screaming that I can’t breath.”

People actually do “narrow their eyes”.

I left, drove back home and got in to see a local doc I’d never seen before in an hour… $50 for appointment and $17 for ‘script.

While waiting I got a call from the VA clinic… they could get me in in an hour and a half.

  • Once I was at the Dallas VA and had a root canal… they sent me downstairs to the pharmacy to pick up my pain meds and antibiotics. After waiting 30-40 minutes for my name to come up on the video monitor… I was told that the dental clinic hadn’t place my order.

Back on the elevator and to the clinic… closed. Luckily I ran into a staffer who had checked me in an hour before. She said she’d take care of it … back to pharm; after 20 more minutes and and now facing rush hour traffic, I said screw it and drove home.

The hole in my jaw eventually got infected and I self medicated with bourbon… a week later I got my anti-bios and pain meds in the mail.

  • I once drove 120-mile round trip for a properly arranged and waited for appointment only to learn the someone got ill or it was an asteroid or the bridge was out or there was a homicide-suicide.

So the appointment was cancelled, as was a half-day’s work and then there was the cost of gasoline.

I self medicated with bourbon. This is why VA hospitals have armed federal cops.

VA delays

But it will be worse for you…. M. Single-Payer.

Why? Because at least the VA has a stand alone, small community clinic system as an alternative to the hospitals. Single-payer health care doesn’t have any hospital or clinic system. Most hospitals… and most major hospitals are owned by churches and synagogues, and other charitable organizations.

Where will all you government-dependent patients go?

Of course, my fear is they will dump everyone on the VA system…. along with the leeches of society, including 11 million illegal aliens.

So, if you voted for Obama and/or support this kind of medical care…. I’m glad the same thing will soon happen to you….but it’ll be worse than the VA experience.

Why? Because at least the VA has had 85 years of running single-payer hospitals, just to get it running like the above examples. But your health care will be run by health care experts….. the IRS.

Bwaahhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

But hey… come on over for a shot of bourbon anyway.

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Posted in Economy, Health, Military, Veterans | 6 Comments

Catcher in the wry….

GA best CUAs far as I’m concerned, catchers are born not made; not that all those who don the “tools of ignorance” are blessed with great athletic talents though some are, most of us just seem to end up a backstop. I was destined primarily by being a vertically challenged and calorie-infused young lad; I made up for this by being slow.

Must have been my second, third year in the community sand-lot youth baseball program we had when I was a ‘ute that I realized that good or bad, I had a specific place in the line-up.

Sure I wanted to make the fantastic, acrobatic catches in the outfield, but there was that lack of speed again.

Never had a yen for the mound… pitchers never seemed to have much to do except throw. Hell, catchers throw more than pitchers do…. every pitch, every game, all games.

So that’s when I began to notice Yogi Berra.

YogiLawrence Peter Berra

Positions: Catcher and Outfielder
Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Height: 5′ 7″, Weight: 185

Although I would get taller and heavier than he was…. I and all other catchers save a few, pale in comparison.

Appearing in a record 21 World Series, Berra is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. He was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team fans in 1999. According to the win shares formula developed by sabermetrician Bill James, Berra is the greatest catcher of all time and the 52nd greatest non-pitching player in major-league history.

Heady stuff.

Catchers are “mudders” and “plodders”… stubborn, persistent, team players, pugnacious, usually good with pitchers (and human beings as well).

The necessary skills come naturally for the gifted; but for those of us with less talent these can be approximated by employing the above personal attitudes and endless practice.

Catchers are also offensive linemen–usually guards– and goalies—hockey, lacrosse or in soccer; but there is no explanation why anyone would want to play soccer…. pastime of the communists that it is.

GA flip softball DSC_2059In junior high and high school I moved around as my speed got better and the height:weight ratio evened out, but the plate was always mine.

This attitude would latter be summed up easily by an trash-talking NBA center who refereed to the paint as “my house.”

Therefore, collisions at the plate come with the territory. A good catcher can make a lot of great run-saving plays by blocking the plate with a kneeling left leg, hip and shoulder, simultaneously putting the often sliding runner off course to the side, and absorbing the impact to deny the plate.

The bang-bang plays always favor a good blocking catcher…. the runner has to go over, around or through you to score… that takes a a few extra milliseconds, giving the ump the best look.

Done correctly the catcher is in a low, kneeling crouch with his left lower leg parallel to the deck and his upper body braced to protect the ball in his glove or right hand. An upright runner is at a disadvantage, his pin to your bowling ball; and the sliding player often fairs less well, his impact area (feet, prone legs) is small, but he can kick at, thrust, stretch his legs to get around your block or swipe or reach with either hand. Like fighting an octopus for a second.

Sometimes its just an upright, mano a mano collision, like jousting with the game or maybe a tooth in the balance. To enjoy a longer career one should take care how this is attempted, it can be an end to your playing days. See Pete Rose v Ray Fosse, All-Star Game 1970.

Once in a round robin tournament in Fort Collins or Colorado Springs, I caught five games back to back for a total of 35 innings and we ended up 4-1 for the day…. our loss a one run affair after three extra innings.

Yeah you gotta be durable, but looking back it’s more a matter of determination and setting your limits higher and higher as it gets harder and harder and older and older; hell, they even moved Mickey Mantel to first a lot late in his career.

This is absolutely not to suggest that I would ride in a 100-mile desert bike race with President Bush … or anyone else.

catcher2-articleLarge

In my 25 years of baseball and softball mostly behind the plate and at first base, I earned four AC joint separations (2 each shoulder), stretched knee ligament, a separated sternum and 2-3 cracked ribs, one concussion that I’m sure of, a badly pulled hamstring that bothered me a lot the last few years before I hung up my tools, and which still does should I have a nasty brush with exercise.

Catchers are involved in the game like no other player and are expected to keep laser focused, pitch-by-pitch, play by play; a lot of that is because the catcher is the only player who can see every player and the entire field from the best seat in the house.

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How many outs, balls and strikes, the clouds, sun; know the hitters well enough to know if they are pull hitters, punch and judys, opposite field, slappers, plate crowders, and the particularly nasty guy with great speed out of the box who can embarrass you with a surprise bunt down the base line or send a slow roller back to the mound…. even on a 3-0 count.

The Umpire Strikes Back

With a good ump, you can usually say anything as long as it’s not profane, crudely describes his wife or mama, and if you don’t turn around; he’s right there over your left shoulder anyway.

“Damn, I’m sorry Blue, I stood up too quickly and blocked your view of that perfect rise ball on the outside corner, be sure and lemme know if that happens again.”

“I know the count and I can do it without a clicker!”

“I know a good optometrist.”

But when he says, “Okay, that’s one,” you can’t be sure you’ll get a second.

rubarb

For all these reason catchers seem to make good plate umps and managers.

For example all four managers in the 2012 LCS were former catchers — Bruce Bochy of San Francisco, Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees, Jim Leyland of Detroit and Mike Matheny of St. Louis.

But it’s not just the win-loss stats that may or may not “prove” short-stops or pitchers are better managers… it’s also a lot of intangibles which in the long run are apparent among catchers. 

And we’re funnier than any other position player….

Bob Uecker — “Mr. Baseball”

One time, I got pulled over at four a.m.; I was fined seventy-five dollars for being intoxicated and four-hundred for being with the Phillies.

When I came up to bat with three men on and two outs in the ninth, I looked in the other team’s dugout and they were already in street clothes.bob

They said I was such a great prospect that they were sending me to a winter league to sharpen up.; when I stepped off the plane, I was in Greenland.

People don’t know this but I helped the Cardinals win the pennant; I came down with hepatitis… the trainer injected me with it.

I knew when my career was over. In 1965, my baseball card came out with no picture.

Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. But to be able to trick people year in and year out the way I did, I think that was a much greater feat.

Baseball hasn’t forgotten me. I go to a lot of old-timers games and I haven’t lost a thing. I sit in the bullpen and let people throw things at me. Just like old times.

Posted in Humor, Sports | Tagged | 3 Comments

“If the line isn’t drawn here and now then it will be generations before our youth revolts.”

Yesterday, I received a straight-forward and important question from a thirty-something, male friend:

“I want you to help me…. instead of bitching about the same ol Obama bullshit, I want you men and women to come up with a solution to my problem.

“I’ve tried talking politics to younger people but they don’t care. They only believe the five seconds they heard on MSNBC  I have the will and determination to change the world, problem is I just don’t know how.

“If the line isn’t drawn here and now then it will be generations before our youth revolts. What is a realistic plan to help the situation?”

I know the documentary– “Agenda” –isn’t likely to be watched, let alone embraced by the general sheep-public who have already earned the title of “useful idiot” for the communists.

(Editor’s note: see documentary here only available for a limited time:  Agenda–Grinding America Down .)

I suggest it more for Real Americans who are in a position to “teach others” if you will… someone like yourself; don’t bother with your “low information” peers… as you have seen, they are a waste of your time and effort.

It’s said that “all politics are local” and that’s where the individual can be most effective…. the Tea Party movement being a prime example of a grassroots, loosely-connected group of the like-minded with cells of local leadership which remain autonomous.

It’s not a showy march on Washington and it doesn’t need be… the tea party kept the conservative base of the GOP energized and carried the day in the 2012 election; imagine where we’d be right now if the communists controlled the House too.

And that was nothing more than friends, families and neighbors throughout the nation gathered around a central rallying cry of small, efficient federal government, a strong national defense and unfettered, free-market capitalism.

Glen Beck was probably most successful in getting results in his calls to arms which produced very large crowds… and that is a helpful thing for morale purposes among all patriotic groups.

I think that’s where the motivated individual needs to put his/her time and effort, and that’s where a truthful collection of connect-the-dots facts such as “Agenda” can be best utilized.

Before we know where we are going we need to how we got here and that’s what “Agenda” made disturbingly simple and obvious… by tracing communism from President Obama (the ultimate goal for the communists) all the way back through all its permutations to Karl Marx and his Communist Correspondence Committee formed in 1846.

That’s how long they have been at this…. communism never died or went away, it morphed into a most successful and pandemic evil by quietly taking over other groups (especially “feminist” and environmental groups), hollowing them out and forming something far different in their place. Do you think that the United States military and the National Football League would have catered-to, embraced, supported and fawned over gay “rights” and “gay marriage” 40 years ago?

Of course not, but that’s exactly what we have now… the gutting of two organizations, one for national defense and one which was a war-like, gladiator-like, Spartan-like sport… four decades ago; but now both organizations have mandatory “tolerance” “employee” brain-washing programs where they are instructed that gays are a protected class and if you don’t accept that, you do so at your own peril:

“Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, was so giddy over helping pave the way for openly gay sailors to destroy the world’s premier navy, said ‘We treat each other (gays) with respect or we find another place to work. Period.’ ”

Can we say that the moral, ethical and masculine heart of these two disparate organizations has been cut out and replaced?

Absolutely.

There is not a one facet, private or public, of our society that is does not face destruction by communists (progressives). They have destroyed to the black nuclear family which resulted in multiple generations of welfare- dependent  stupid (because they are under educated) sheep; this group, among others can be turned against the middle class, the workers and providers, the tax-payers. It is a standing army awaiting the  collectivists’ orders, no matter what political party is “in charge.”

Let me entertain a similar point at this juncture… the State Department is known for calling the new president and his administration “the temporary help”, no matter who is Secretary, President, Chairman… regardless of party; the civil service careerists run the place, cannot be impeached or recalled or balloted out of their highly-paid and protected positions.

The left wing philosophy begun under “progressives” like Woodrow Wilson remains in place to this very day.

But remember there are more of us that we realize, it’s just that the left has succeeded spectacularly in making 100 people seems like a thousand, and a thousand seem like one hundred thousand. That’s the payoff for working the last 40 years to infiltrate all of news media, publishing, entertainment, unions and most especially our educational system.

Understand… this cannot be fought against trusting either party. We know what the dimocrats are and have done… and the GOP leadership is simply “liberal lite”Lindsay Gramnesty, McRino and the rest.

Taking control of the party from within (ala the progressive paradigm) and “growing” Constitutional originalists for elective office, the federal courts and especially as states rights governors…. is the answer.

But the question is “time…. how much do we have”?

Maddeningly, simply, not much.

Posted in Economy, Enviro-whackos, Faith, Family, friends, Film, Homosexual agenda, Left-wing radicals, Liberty Constitution, Media, Military, Obama, Patriotism, Second Amendment | 2 Comments

Remember her well, Sweetheart.

Me Sparky DSC_5929

As I pulled into the parking lot for Sparky’s vet appointment, the pickup parked haphazardly across three spaces near the front door meant something was not good.

As we entered a young girl, 12 or so, stood in the lobby, arms wrapped around her thin frame, she stared down the hall at an open door.

A small, dark-haired woman hurried out of the clinic, there were large blood spots on the leg of his jeans; she quickly moved down the hall and into the last room.

I asked the girl if she was okay…. “It’s my friend,” she said. “Her dog was hit.” The fingers of both hands pressed tightly against her chin; her red-rimmed eyes shed tears that stained her flushed cheeks.

The girl’s high-pitched wail came out of the room at the end of the hall and flooded the lobby.

“NO! She can’t be.”


“She can’t be.”

I turned my back for their privacy and choked on my own pain.

“She can’t be. No, she isn’t. No. There’s something they can do.”

The plea, the demand, came again and again… bashing against what she knew was true, and the dread.

All that was absent was the unspoken word… “dead.”

The girl emerged slowly, her mother’s arms wrapped tightly around her. They sat. The young friend stood frozen in the middle of the room.

The girl’s strangled tears marked the pace of her slowly dying hope and the cold reality that her best friend in God’s world was gone and that she was alone.

Still clutching Sparky to me, I debated and then moved slowly toward the sobbing child.

I pushed wet strands of hair from her face and touched her cheek. 

“I am so sorry sweetheart, so very sorry. Remember her well, won’t you?” It was all I could speak.

I hoped that if she remembered the words, she would realize I meant to remember her friend often and with a smile… and remember when she was whole and not in her last, tormented hour.

I wanted to say more, do more…. I was the only male in the building, I wanted to protect her and give her what I had learned about people and dogs… always our best friends.

I wanted to tell her about my Rusty who was with me as soon as I could walk, until the sixth grade when his health abandoned him and there was nothing we could do.

I would have told her how Rusty and I conquered vacant lots and chased squirrels, how we were together night and day and how we talked as kids and their best pals do. I wanted her to know that I shared in her grief though my loss occurred longer ago than her parents had been alive.

“But it is still as if it happened yesterday,” I’d have said.

But this mother and her poor sobbing daughter didn’t know me, a large crying man clutching a Pomeranian, making himself part of the worst day in her life… still I wanted to say or do more.

I would have told her that because of the overwhelming pain of losing Rusty I did not have another dog for more than 40 years… and that decision was a mistake.  As a result, even my best friends didn’t know I loved dogs, I never spoke about them, or had one.

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Until I was in my late 40s I couldn’t talk about Rusty without crying.

“Don’t do what I did,” I’d have said.

“Dogs brings us joy and comfort, love and I missed out on 40 years of that because I feared the pain. I realized that not having a dog was unnatural for a guy who has a dog-shaped hole in his heart… so I got my beloved Tripoli and he changed my life.

“But then he too passed away and again I didn’t think I would survive the loss and grief, but I did; now I have four dogs that other people didn’t want or couldn’t keep.

“And now we all face the world together as best friends.”

So, Sweetheart, remember your best friend well… but be sure to open your heart to your next best friend when you are ready… you’ll know when you are.

Coop Sparky Jack Bed email

Ripley bday DSC_2428

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Random and indiscriminate fire…..

You’re in luck, it’s Scatter Shot Monday:

The death of a Navy SEAL and veterans advocate, Chris Kyle, last week was a shock to the national veteran community.

It also prompted the left-wing ghouls to use the murders of Kyle and and his friend Chad Littlefield to blame the victims and pontificate about “evil guns”.

Unless you are a combat veteran, have vast experience in PTSD, have ever faced your own violent death, own guns and fire them, and are immersed in the brotherhood of firearms, then you need to shut your pie hole about what caused this tragedy.

All we know for fact is that Kyle and Littlefield went to help a fellow vet in trouble and something went terribly wrong.

When you are trying to help someone, especially a fellow veteran, you must meet him on “his level”.  In my 20+ years in treating post-traumatic stress disorder I would have been toast had I approached a client and informed him…. “My theoretical orientation is Jungian but I rely heavily on behavioral/cognitive techniques and Ericksonian self-hypnosis.”

I would simply say…. “I was a grunt in a Marine Corps rifle platoon in ‘Nam .” 

Kyle and Littlefield were meeting this allegedly troubled, combat veteran on familiar turf in order to tell him he wasn’t alone, that his brothers would help .

What would be more comfortable to a jarhead than a shooting range with military comrades ?

Bottom line…….. you want to criticize the dead who did far more for this nation by the time they have breakfast, than you will do in your whole life… STFU before someone punches a hole in your chest.

Child abuse…It was not a “tear-jerking performance” of the Sandy Hook Elementary Choir, for anyone with a brain; we know when we are being manipulated by the gun control crowd.

The only thing accomplished by bringing 25 little kids and their “parents” the the Super Bowl is making them “professional victims”; for some it will become their identity, their whipping boy and their excuse for all personal failings… “I was at Sandy Hook Columbine, Aurora, VaTech….blah, blah, blah.” 

Truly concerned parents and teachers will see to it, insist, that their children return to normalcy, and that is impossible if they are offered the spotlight, national TV and being famous–which requires victims… step right right this way Billy!  

Finally there was a Super Bowl ad voiced by Oprah Winfrey for Jeep which was commended for its cringing emotional manipulation and predominate black faces that our troops were all home and everything was just hunky dory in Obama’s America.

Does the America you see reside in that commercial?

Exactly……….

Posted in Left-wing radicals, Military, Obama, Patriotism, Psychology, Second Amendment, TV, Veterans, War | 4 Comments