Saturday, July 30, 2005

From the Management

When I started this thing, I thought "I sit at the bar and discuss weighty matters with my friends all the time, how hard could this be?"
I mean, gee whiz, subject matter pops up in the news all the time, I know tons of trivia and history, have learned friends and family on both sides of the political line, I've been published before- so I know I can write a little. So... what's the problem?
As it turns out I'm not as smart as I thought I was. Sure, I know stuff, maybe even a lot of stuff, but I'll be in the middle of an article/post and realize I don't have all the information I need to back up what I say. In a bar you can get away with that, everybody's drinking, just deny it later. On paper (even cyber-paper) people have days, weeks or even months to call bullshit.
The only thing I hate worse than a know-it-all, is one who thinks they do... and don't.
I refuse to be that guy. (I can hear my brothers and sisters snorting behind their hands right now)
I can write opinion posts, and I have, do, and will; but I want to add weight to what I say by being correct in my research.
I have several posts that have been started, and hopefully will be posted soon (It's tough to do since I work 50-80 hours a week- no, I'm not whining) so be patient with me. I'd hate to lose all three of my readers just because I'm slow.
Just know when I post something, it will be something I have put time and effort into, and not just some crap I threw out to stay daily (or weekly at this point).
Please visit the links at the side, for two reasons- 1) I like these blogs and read them pretty much daily. 2) It puts me on their blogroll, which means people will be able to link to me from their sites.
I promise I'll get faster, and feel free to send me some ideas, commentary, or just ask questions at alphaknine @ (leave out the spaces, they're there for anti-spam reasons) It's an account I set up just for this site.

The dog has the soul of a philosopher -Plato


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Holy Trinity

Today, July 16th is the Anniversary of the Trinity test at White Sands, NM. The first explosion of a Nuclear weapon... ever.

60 years ago at 15 seconds before 5:30 am (Mountain War Time) Dr. Oppenheimer's project gave birth to the atomic age.

So, happy birthday to the weapon that allowed us to avoid a costly (in lives and monies) ground war on mainland Japan, and the proliferation of which allowed us to spend the former Soviet Union into collapse, and which in the wrong hands could potentially be the end of civilization as we know it. The true holy trinity... Savior, Protector, Destroyer.


Sunday, July 10, 2005


Friday, July 08, 2005

Shiite for Brains

A very dear loved one of mine said to me, "We need to get out of the Middle East or they'll only hate us more."
Hate us more? How the Hell can you hate someone more than it takes to strap a bomb to your own body and sit amongst strangers and blow yourself up to kill them? How can you hate more than to slit the throat of a poor girl who just wanted to offer you peanuts, and then fly a plane full of average working Joes into a building full of more average working Joes just because they don't share your beliefs... And get a group of people to do the same thing two (almost three) other times within a few hours. How can you hate more than to live in a city amongst people whom you see everyday and then blow up trains and busses full of them to make a point?
After the cowardly craven acts of violence in London yesterday how could anyone think they could hate us more?
I read somewhere that one of the Brits asked, "How can human beings do this to each other?"
Simple answer: They can't. These aren't human beings anymore. They are rabid slavering beasts, following orders of an insane master. They are worthy of nothing more than being taken out and hanged, no chance for re-habilitation. They are not soldiers, for they do not go into combat. They are not mercenaries, for they receive no payment after their deeds. They are not insurgents, for they are not revolting against an established government. They are becoming less terrorists now, for they are not inciting terror as much as they are anger anymore. They are creatures of fear and darkness, hiding from the eyes of real men whilst they plot and plan destruction.
It amazes me that in the "civilized world" we have trouble getting people to believe in a benevolent and loving God, but in third world countries they will follow a god that asks them to kill innocents, and do so by committing suicide. A child in America can get suspended for having a Bible in school, but we have to provide Korans and prayer matts to prisoners in Gitmo. This is not a war against terror, it's a war against darkness and hate.
Do not misunderstand me, I do not believe that this is a religious war (from our point of view anyway), but believe that Faith will be a stong weapon for the side that chooses to use it.
The media however well meaning it intends to be has no use in combat. Our soldiers face hard choices and ugly realities every day. We try and assimilate that information from a 1 minute video and soundbyte. Attacks in Iraq are planned for certain times of the day to insure that it makes the news over here. Videos of atrocities committed against our people are circulated on the internet. Rumors are circulated about advance warnings and conspiracies. All this is done to shake our faith.
Too many of us are giving in, Hollywood tells us that Washington is wrong and we believe them. The U.N. misapropriates aid money, and appoints inhumane countries to humanitarian councils and we listen to them. We listen to nay-sayers and doom-criers because it's easier than trying to think positive about a tough situation.
Remember this, and remember it well, our enemies have faith, strong faith, and they are willing to die for it. The only way to stop them is to have faith of our own, and ensure that they do exactly that.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Just Deserts


Operation Homecoming

I recieved this e-mail from a friend of mine, an ex-Marine (if there is any such thing) and a historian. I asked his permission to post it, and as I suspected he would, he gave me the go-ahead. I met Weasel five years ago at a Civil War re-enactment outside of Winchester, Va. The unit I normally joined in with didn't come and his unit adopted me. He and I spent the whole weekend fighting Yankees, telling stories, and cracking wise around the campfire. Although I haven't even been in the same city with him since, we have kept in touch through my divorce and moves all the way to Texas.

Thank you Weas.

Hey Friends,
My neighbor across the street, John, is a Marine Combat Vet from Vietnam, serving from 66'-68' with 3rd Marines, who is very active and vocal in the local and Natl Nam Vet's "scene", as well as a support home front site for the present war in Iraq. He and his girlfriend recently came back from a Vietnam Vet Reunion in Branson, Mo, and he got tears in his eyes telling me about his experiences there. He took alot of photos that he put on a web site dedicated to ALL Veterans, and I promised I would forward it to everyone on my list. Please let him know if you check it out, and pass on any comments to him via his e-mail address on the bottom of the info page of the site. And also check out his site for the troops in Iraq.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Gratuitous Jeep Pictures

I am a Jeep owner (Jeep Wrangler), and have been for almost a year. I love, love, love it. These pictures are from a trip to Big Bend National Park (near Terlingua, TX) last November. I can't wait to go again.

We rolled through Big Bend's 4wd drive roads at 45mph... sideways. It was cold first thing in the morning, but it warmed up fast. We were there for the chili festival, which I'll post more on if I decide to do a "not work safe" area.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Have No Fear...

I was relating to a friend of mine a week or so ago a scene from the Paul Riser/Helen Hunt TV show "Mad About You". I'm almost certain that it was the first show, but the setup was: they met on the street and she lied to him to con him out of his newspaper. She dropped a drycleaning slip and in order to meet her, he picked up her clothes and took them to her office. She had just come out of a bad relationship and, of course he suffered some abuse at her hands. Riser's character then spoke a line that has stayed with me to this day... "Next time you and your girlfriends are sitting in a bar crying into your daiquiris because you can never meet a nice guy, remember that you just did." Of course, at that point they hooked up and the show went on for several seasons.

I have not always been a nice guy. I've done some things that I regret, and some that may haunt me to my grave. That being said, I know that I'm a nice guy now. I know, because I have seen both sides. I'm a little rough around the edges, a little too arrogant and loud, I have road rage, but I'm a nice guy.

I got beat up a little (deserved, I'm sure) over my ego last night. So, why is it that nice guys are supposed to be meek and mild? Lois Lane liked Clark Kent, but she loved Superman. Polly Purebred had a soft spot for Shoe Shine Boy, but Underdog made those little heart thingies pop out all around her.

I got the message to tone it down a little, but you see the thing is... I don't want to be Shoe Shine Boy. I want to be (not a bird, not a plane, not a frog... a frog? No, just little old me...) Underdog.


Monday, July 04, 2005

Our Fathers' Voice

I've been reading a lot of other bloggers today, looking for some sort of inspiration for my own post on our nation's birthday.
Some posts have the Declaration of independence for all to read. Some are pouncing on the shortfalls of our current administration (real and imagined). Some are complaining about the complainers. I see dejection in some and anger in others. A few are giving shout-outs to our troops overseas and some to the ones who served in the past. I see mentions of our founding fathers, and also theories of what they meant, and how they would view our world today.
I hear voices of dissent and disappointment mixed with voices of pride and defiance pitched a little too loud. Most of what I write is going to be opinionated. Some things will be outright raving. I'll even throw in a little history now and then (skewed to my own beliefs, of course). This will be no different.
This is a world full of strife, the same as it was 229 years ago. Political turmoil is nothing new. Bad news is the same, we just get it faster now, and with more vivid detail. It's a world of fear and hate and anger, of war and racial injustices, of hard work for unseen gains. The men who forged this nation were men of belief and conscience, but I'm sure that none of them imagined a utopia by the year 2005. I'd imagine what they hoped for was a generation willing to fight to keep freedom alive. They provided for us a playbook, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to give us the tools and the guidance to uphold a dream. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. No one promised you anything but a chance.
Now, I'm going to let these men speak in their own words, words that don't call for any interpretation:

"Yes we did produce a (constitutional) republic. But will they keep it, or will they in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the (sure) path of destruction!" Concern from Thomas Jefferson about human nature

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace; we ask not your console or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands that feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countryman" Samuel Adams - 1776

"A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know the price the rights which God has given them, cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins." Benjamin Franklin 1706 – 1790

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." ~Thomas Paine

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin 1706 - 1790

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." ~Thomas Paine

"The Constitution [shall] be never construed to ... prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." -Samuel Adams, Massachusetts' U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." - George Washington


Sunday, July 03, 2005


July 3rd 1863, the turningpoint of the war between the states, and the beginning of the end for the confederate army.
Gettysburg, PA, after 2 days of unsuccessfully trying to turn the Union flanks Gen. Robert E. Lee decides the weakness must be in the center of their lines. He orders Longstreet to organize an attack up the middle of a mile wide valley between two ridges following a massive artillery barrage directed against the union lines. Longstreet's advance, better known as Pickett's charge started strong, but came under heavier fire and artillery as it advanced, eventually coming under fire from three sides. The Confederates reached their goal, but were so decimated by that time they were killed or captured. Lee's army had achieved some of their goals, but the idea of a northern campaign to end the war favorably for the south had failed.

The very same day 1000 miles southwest in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Gen. John C. Pemberton decided to surrender the stronghold on the Mississippi to Gen. U.S. Grant. Having held out as long as they could, the starving citizenry and garrisoned soldiers had been reduced to eating Mule meat and rats with bread made from cow peas. Grant's siege of the city had begun an astonishing eight months before in Oct. of 1862. Completely cut off and having endured daily bombardment by Union forces Pemberton sent word that he would surrender on the following day, Ironically, July 4th... Independence day. The loss of the Vicksburg was a far worse blow to the Confederacy than was Gettysburg, due to the fact it was the last open port to receive supplies from her European allies.

(side note: The citizenry of Vicksburg, Miss did not celebrate the 4th of July again until World War II almost 75 years later)


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Independence Daycare

nanny state
n. Informal
A government perceived as having excessive interest in or control over the welfare of its citizens, especially in the enforcement of extensive public health and safety regulations.

As Americans, freedom is of great import to us, and yet what have we done with those freedoms afforded us?
We have enacted (or allowed to have been enacted) laws to restrict those very freedoms we enjoy. We have invited a government that we created, that we elected, that is supposed to work for us into our homes and lives so that it can over-mother us into a society of afraid, cowering children.
Through asinine lawsuits, simpering civil complaints and overt whining we have opened the door for an oppressive nanny state to stick its nose into our personal lives.
We enact smoking bans on places that we do not go. We enforce safety compliances on vehicles we do not operate. We sue fast food restaurants for our own lack of self control.
I often wonder how an entire population could survive thousands of years and then decide that almost everything is unsafe enough to restrict or control within three decades. How did I and my generation even reach the age of 35 without the help of bicycle helmets, motorcycle helmets, seat belts, smoking bans, gun locks, hot coffee warnings, labels on our lawnmowers not to stick our hands into the rapidly spinning metal blades &ct? How did this same generation then decide to legislate commonsense personal decisions?
Don't get me wrong, I don't smoke (well, the occasional cigar, but usually at home), I wear my seatbelt, I wore a helmet all the years I rode a motorcycle, I think we should try to protect our offspring and I never reached for anything under a running lawnmower. I'm not against health and safety, I am against government legislation of personal choice.

Take a look motorcycle helmet laws. Name the helmet brand most states with these laws recommend. Tell me the quality requirements for these helmets. Can't do it? That's because there are none. NONE! Helmet laws are bogus because there are no set standards. There are no set standards because then the governing body would be responsible if those standards turned out to be inadequate. So the result is government intervention with no definitive result. Implied safety to placate a portion of the populace.

How about seatbelts? The major argument for seatbelt laws was (for a long time) insurance costs. A person injured in a car wreck costs time and money and makes your insurance rates go up. Well, statisticly people not wearing seatbelts are more likely to be killed in a major accident, and those with seatbelts only injured. Injured people require hospital time, doctors costs and rehabilitation, all expensive. Not to be morbid, but on the other hand, dead is dead, and will have limited cost effects. So, now we've moved into a slight untruth for more control.

Shall we move on to the smoking bans? This issue makes me so apoplectic I can barely articulate sometimes. Push aside the smoker's issues for just a moment, and think about the business owners. Imagine you have a business, you pay rent, licensing fees, and upkeep costs. You work hard to gain clientele. Now, a group of people who do not bring you any revenue, and do not frequent your establishment, petitions the government to stop your customers from exercising a personal choice, a LEGAL personal choice in your place of business.
It is the besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which the masses of men exhibit their tyranny. -- James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)
Now we have created a crime out of a legal act.
(for more on the Austin smoking ban please go see

Gun laws are another sore subject for me. There are thousands (yes, thousands) of gun laws on the books. Waiting periods, background checks, magazine capacity restrictions, carry restrictions and rate of fire restrictions are just the beginning. How, where and when you can use your gun are also tightly regulated. All these laws have one thing in common: a criminal already breaking the law will rarely hesitate to break these as well. The vast majority of gun owners are good responsible citizens. These laws only make it tougher for law abiding citizens to protect themselves. The governments solution: rely on the police for protection. Do not attempt to defend yourself, don't fight back, leave that to the professionals. So, lastly we are left at the mercy of the system.

Notice the progression, from ineffective and undefinable (and in some cases unenforceable) statutes to creating crimes out of thin air (so to speak) to being helpless and watched over.
We have started down a path that at best will be hard to turn away from and at worse will result in the loss of additional freedoms. We have given up personal responsibility for a false sense of security.
This 4th of July, have fun, be safe (use your brain) and think about freedom. The freedom you have, the freedom we've given up and mostly the freedom you want for the future.


Separating Church & State... With a crowbar

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
-First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Just recently it was decided that the monument of the ten commandments on the Capitol grounds in Austin, TX will be allowed to stay. Conversely it was ordered removed in other cases in other places. Personally I think this was done to allow the Supreme Court to do some backpedaling in the future, but that's just me.
Between the commandment issues and the phrase "under God" in the Pledge I have heard the words "separation of church and state" shouted from the proverbial mountaintops, not to mention my TV.
I've heard of separation of church and state all my life. I never thought about it much. Basically I was given to understand that it meant the government couldn't tell me how to, or to Whom I had to pray (or even if I had to pray at all for that matter) and that was good enough for me.
With all the furor over this so-called separation I decided to look it up for myself. I'm fairly certain that I hadn't really read the Constitution since my high school days of the 80's. I could not find it. Nowhere (and I mean NO-WHERE) does it say "separation of church and state". I put it up top just in case you don't believe me. As it turns out it says almost exactly what I thought it meant. The more I thought about it however, the more it kept nagging at me. The phrasing of "no law...Prohibiting the free exercise thereof" stuck in the back of my mind. Doesn't that suggest to you that the government (Congress in particular) can't tell you that you can't exercise your religious beliefs, ie a monument of say... The 10 commandments?
I'm not a religious man. God and I have an understanding, I ask for very little and He ensures that I get it. Overall I am against moving or removing monuments that have historical connotations, newer monuments not so much, but I have the troubling feeling that government coercion forcing the removal of displays with religious overtones is not the correct interpretation of the first amendment.


Friday, July 01, 2005


Dead Dog Walkin', a half-rabid rant by an opinionated pain in the ass in central Texas.