Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Vlad The Absconder

This story needs to develope a little before a conclusion can be drawn, but so far it looks as if Russian President Vladimir Putin has gotten bored with trying to steal Chechnya and is now heisting jewelry.

Apparently, while on a business trip to Russia, the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, let the Russian leader try on his shiny new 2005 Super Bowl ring. The ring then went from Putin's finger to his pocket. Exit stage left.

There is confusion whether it was meant to be a gift (not bloody likely), or that there has been an unfortunate misunderstanding. Kraft has been curiously quiet on the subject. No doubt he is waiting to hear what the official story will be before speaking to the press.

The only word from Moscow on the subject is from an anonymous source whom I shall dub Borschtthroat. He claims that the $15,000 bauble was a gift and that the bent ring is now in a showroom of gifts from foreign nationals. There was no mention of what these other items are or when Vladdy relieved their owners of them.

The ring has probably been recut and sent to a fence for resale. You know what a fence is. It's a legitimate front for crooks to sell their haul. A Russian Front if you will.

There has been no official word, as of yet, from the Russian Grifter-In-Chief.

If you are thinking of wearing your 'spensive jewels to Russia......just say Nyet!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Captain Brian Chontosh, USMC

A friend of mine brought this site to my attention and I am glad he did. It raises a very interesting question which has been asked many times before but has yet to be satisfactorily answered. Why are the news media so dead set on seeing the United States fall flat on it's face?

We have been brought story upon story upon story of alleged torturing of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. We've been brought to the brink of madness, self-flagellating over a few pictures of heartless killers being forced to form a naked human pyramid at Abu Ghraib. We've had baseless rumors of Koran descration forced down our throats time and again, the nightly talking heads touting fiction as news. Worst of all are the body counts. The media keeps track of dead G.I's like an aging beauty keeps track of gray hairs.

Where is the good news coming out of Iraq? Tom? Dan? You gleefully show us the bill every night. Why not show us what we are purchasing with the blood of our sons and daughters? Is it not news that the Iraqis can speak about their concerns and not have to worry about being fed into a wood chipper? Is it not news that Iraqi men are no longer held down and forced to watch as their wives and children are sexually violated by madmen on the government payroll?

Is it not news that America has men like Captain Brian Chontosh of the United States Marine Corps?

During the drive on Baghdad, Captain Chontosh and his men came under intense enemy fire. Captain Chontosh then proceeded straight into the enemy guns where he used his own weapons and, eventually, captured enemy weapons to single-handedly dispatch 20 enemy soldiers and wound at least that many more while clearing over 200 yards of trench and taking the heat off his Marines. He earned the Navy Cross for this act. But he deserves the Medal of Honor.

His actions are news enough for any paper or television program. But then, that kind of news doesn't undermine the war effort does it?

And that is what the media is all about.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Missed Rendezvous

As a veteran of the Airborne, I am a member of a fairly small community. Quite a few of us manage to find each other and correspond one way or another.

I have found that the most satisfying way for me to congregate with my brothers is to meet in an online forum. I do so regularly. Quite regularly, in fact, and am now the chief moderator of that particular forum.

The members of this forum have a yearly gathering, much like the furtrappers and mountainmen of yesteryear had their rendezvous'. Pretty much the same carrousing and sport at each event. Drinking, shooting, drinking, throwing sharp objects, drinking, grappling, drinking, ad nausaeum. This year's gathering was near Nashville, TN and it was arranged months in advance that I would drive down to Indiana, link up with a distinguished member of the forum, and we would drive the rest of the way together.

Alas, life reared it's ugly head, and I was forced to back out and miss the gathering. The Troopers are keeping the less fortunate of us members updated regularly on the forum with commentary, pictures, and even a live feed of the festivities. How they can carry on in the absence of yours truly, the Vita Convivii as it were, is a testament to the stuff these men are made of. Okay, perhaps I am a bit dramatic with that last statement.

I am severly dejected though. I feel like the lonliest mountainman in the wilderness. I've missed my rendezvous.

Friday, June 17, 2005

I Got Stuck With A Meme

Salty ole Guy S., of Snugg Harbor fame, has requested that I participate in a meme. It will be the first on this blog and since it involves a subject near and dear to me, taking up the baton from Guy will be no hardship at all.

1.) Total number of books I own.

There are one hundred and fifty-nine on the shelves in my room at this time. Another large portion is in storage and a few select volumes are on loan to close friends. This is, of course, nowhere near to encompassing the exact number of books I have read though you will find no books on my shelves that do not greatly interest me as space is at a premium for the present.

2.) Last book I bought.

Actually, I didn't buy this book. It was given to me by my brother. It is An End To Evil by David Frum and Richard Perle.

3.) Last book I read.

The last book I read was On War by Carl von Clausewitz. More precisely, I was re-reading chapter VII, Friction In War. I am presently at the crisis in the novel Black Orchids by Rex Stout.

4. ) Five books of notable influence on me.

If by notable influence, what are meant are books that have so profoundly impacted my thought as to change the way I interact with others and live my life for the better, I can only name one. The Holy Bible. Any other writing is simply the opinion of the author and meant to be pondered and considered; none of which I have yet found were of the necessary import to dictate the course of my affairs.

5. ) Five people to hand this meme off to.

1.) Beth of Yeah, Right, Whatever.
2.) Kyer of What's a Kyer?
3.) Bonfire
4.) Mr Minority
5.) Wallace, owner of the Big Gold Dog, over at Streams.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Fan Superstitions

I've never been a superstitious man.....well, except for the teensy fact that I always, ALWAYS had the same maroon beret in my left cargo pocket whenever I jumped from an aircraft. But I digress, I am not a superstitious man.

I have found, however that whenever I watch the Tigers play on television while wearing my Tigers ballcap, they flop in the most humiliating ways. I don't like it when they lose games; pro contra, I like for them to win.

I found have found three ways to help ensure that my team makes a good showing.

1.) Don't watch them.

2.) Wear a Brooklyn Dodgers cap while watching them.

3.) Wear a Detroit Tigers cap and listen to them on the radio.

The former two are admittedly the least desireable of my choices because, primarily, I enjoy baseball and like to feel like I'm a part of it so following games post facto through box scores is out. Secondly, wearing a Dodgers cap while following the Tigers is not only disloyal, it's very much de trop.

My latter choice is ideal. I can be in uniform, so to speak, and follow the game while I am on the computer! It's the daily double! It's a tribute to yankee ingenuity and the American way.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Celebrity Justice

No. I really can't bring myself to comment on the latest outrage. I'm sure most of you feel the same.

It's That Time Of Year Again

It's dark, rainy and moist. dark purple clouds hang over the landscape, pregnant with donder und blitzen. And is it hot!

I am sitting here at my desk gazing lovingly at some plaques, certificates and photos hanging on my wall; keepsakes from a more exciting and fructifying time in my life, my old Army days. What better to do on the birthday of the United States Army? Then the thought hit me....with the season coming upon us in this part of the country, would I be able to save something special if a tornado struck? One of these trinkets on the wall? Or maybe the family Bible? How about the wedding album or my son's baby photos?

I couldn't possibly save everything that is near and dear to us whilst simultaneously shooing the family down the steps to the basement.

This was all fatuous reverie, however. An idle mind and all that. For you see, I actually do have a plan for such an emergency and running about the house like a fool gathering up family trifles has little to do with it.

What would you do if the weather ate your house or simply the electricity for a few weeks? A month or more? What would you consider as being indispensible to you and yours during an emergency? And most importantly....is it ready and at hand?

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Promising Offer

I was talking to a friend of mine who is an active duty Paratrooper, and I might add, a natural and very successful soldier the other day. We were chatting about this and that when he made the most astounding and unexpected offer.

Because of his successes at soldiering, he knows a few people. From what I gathered, his friend was impressed with something I helped my friend with and was wondering if I would be interested in accepting a job in Iraq.

Now some of you who know me, know that I am recovering from a pretty severe back injury. Less of you are privy to the fact that this back injury prevented me from re-enlisting when the war started and that I was absolutely crushed that I couldn't do what I felt was my part.

This might be my chance to redeem myself!

I told him I was indeed interested and I am now awaiting further word.

Pray, friends and readers......pray for me.