Friday, October 31, 2014

Back From The Field...For The Weekend. Quick Discussion on Stoicism.

That's right, after spending 10 days in the field, sleeping under the stars in the New Mexican desert, I have the weekend off, then bright and early (should I say pitch black and chilly?) Monday morning it is right back out to another patch of New Mexican desert for more field time. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to practice training my trigger finger, more like my trigger thumb, flipping a switch on a radio headset in the Troop's Command Post.

The biggest hardship is not the port-jons, or the bad food (organic polymer material called "eggs"?), sleeping on cots in the open, or the lack of sleep. It is not having signal for the cellphone in order to keep in touch with family, or check email, or worse yet, no news.

A lot has happened in the world, and I will not recap it all.

I was pleased to see a growing spurt of discussion on the topic of Stoicism. The Defensive Training Group had an excellent article here.

I had heard of Stoicism long ago. but had never read deep into it. A couple of years ago I ran across a presentation (here) the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale gave in 1995. I keep it in a binder with another article from 1979 entitled The Farmer at War, which is about the farmers in then Rhodesia trying to keep what they had built. I have always thought it was an interesting combination by accident.

As with any word in language, meanings and definitions will flex and vary, and being "Stoic" is no different. I may not agree with all of the philosophy of Stoicism, but what I do agree with I can add to my personal code of life.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Another Dry Spell.

Folks I am heading back out to the field yet again. While I may be out of communication for about 10 days, I will be writing down articles and posts in a book to be published as soon as possible.

Keep reading, commenting, and more importantly, read the articles posted by the bloggers on my blog roll. We create our communities by thought and deed. We need to support each other. We are all we have.

If you do not see your comment published right away, hang tight, as soon as I get signal, access to the internet, or get home, I will publish them as soon as I can.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Prayer For The New Knights Of The Church Militant

I found this on a friend's facebook page and the title for this post hit me. It really ties into some thoughts that were expressed here and here and here. It is time to gird ourselves, train our arms, heads, and hearts for battle, and stand in the gap, spiritually and physically if need be.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Consequences Of The Civil War Revisited

Consequences Of The Civil War Revisited

Early next spring the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War will be celebrated. Maybe.

Twenty-five years ago there was definitely more fanfare throughout the country during the 125th celebrations and observances that occurred. I still have plenty of friends in the reenacting community. It seems like that part of the population is still just as enthusiastic as ever. This is good. We must never forget the sacrifices that were made 150 years ago.

But in a larger sense we have forgotten the lessons of 150 years ago. What is even worse is that we are primed right now for an even larger conflagration with in our country. We have allowed our nation to be broken down not by state, region, or even political affiliation. We have allowed ourselves to be herded into special interest groups, be they political, social, economic, or etc.

We don't even know the neighbors in our own neighborhoods any more. It has taken my family several years to begin to crack the self imposed isolation that many of our neighbors have developed. Some still refuse to acknowledge that we exist. It is amazing that we have allowed it to become such and the speed of which it happened. It speaks unwritten volumes to one of the failures of our modern society.

So this is the reason why I posit that when the next civil war begins, the killing and the slaughter will be so much worse than before. We have zero connections with our neighbors. No shared sense of mutual self interest. We have created our own islands of isolation and have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Just consider what happened in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s for two brief more modern examples. Also study the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. Then ask yourself, could that happen here as well?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Something To Contemplate: The Spanish Civil War As Prototype To The Next American Civil War

I had 24 hour CQ duty last week and ran across this documentary. It is over 4 hours long and is rather dated. It was broadcast in the early 1980s. However, many of the survivors and movers and shakers of the conflict were still alive and able to tell their side of the story.

One of the things that will confuse most people right away is the different definitions for such terms as "Republican", "Nationalist", and so on. However, the varied and diverse kinds of political groupings should look very familiar to most of us.

There were unique political and social situations to the Spanish at the time, however, it does not require great leaps of logic to see similar situations here in the United States. If you do not have the time to watch all of the documentary, just do some research on the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 and see what you think.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Why Are They Attracted To Islam and ISIS?

Most days you can peruse the internet news pages and see another news story about some Western young person who has decided to throw in their lot with ISIS. The writers then lament asking the question "why?"

My wife and I were discussing this the other day. I may have an idea why.

The Appeal of Islam. Think about people you have know in your own life who were hellions and then suddenly went straight and narrow in an extreme sort of way. Islam may have that kind of appeal to youth here in the West. Think on this: Today, America and the West is better known around the world for its "anything goes - no boundary society." When some people come up out of the slums of their life, they look for an outside source of discipline and total life belief that appeals or makes sense to them. Since academia and media has done an excellent job of castrating many of the traditional Western sources of this discipline (the military, the Church, etc), these same people start looking for the non-Western ways of life. This satisfies two goals in their mind: 1) attaining the discipline and boundaries that they seek, and 2) still sticking it to whomever they were rebelling against in the first place.

What better way to achieve this total life makeover than through Islam. It will totally schedule and direct your life!

But why ISIS? They are the current super soldiers of Islam. Everyone wants to be with the winner, right? Right now they are. They have attention of the world and they are on the march. Will the West wake up in time? Europe is already lost in many corners of it. What Islam could not do originally by the sword, they are doing by the birthrate.

Tom Kratman wrote a very interesting novel back in 2008 called "Caliphate" which describes an Islamic Europe in another 100 years. When I first read the novel I really appreciated the unblinking truthful look at how horribly women and children are treated in caliphates. One of the things I have noticed lately is a resurgence in Militant Christianity, or a rejection in the idea of total Christian pacifism. More people are realizing that they are their own when it comes to the the protection of their and their family's lives. The recent Moore, Oklahoma beheading really shook a lot of people I know.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Signs Of Our Times

The mysterious polio-like paralysis virus that may or may not be connected to the D68 virus.
ISIS (or ISIL if you prefer), their reach, and their origins.
Public corruption in high places.
Misinformation from media (at best).
Economic woes (stagflation at best, inflation/depression at worst).
Government intrusion into everyday life.
Small percentage interest groups dictating ways of life.
Near oppression of certain religious thought and expression, while other religions are not only untouched, but celebrated and protected.

All of the above remind me of the old saying: “May you live in interesting times.”

Man's history on this planet is replete with the rise and fall of kingdoms, empires, and civilizations. Some were quick. Others not. Since my college days I have long discussed and debated how civilizations were rarely brought down by one single event. It was almost always a grouping or series of events that would ultimately relegate an empire or civilization to the dustbin of history. You as the reader may not agree with the assertion above, but, I will bet that we would agree that like today, those civilizations did not realize until it was too late that their way of life was almost gone, AKA “the normalcy bias.”

There have been Cassandras of every lost civilization. We have our own today. Like Cassandra of Troy, they have been largely ignored, until recently. However, by and large, they are still criticized and pushed to the fringe by the very people they are trying to warn and save.

It is arrogant to think that our current civilization and way of life will buck the trend. Our country has for far too long been complacent behind its walls of water to be worried or concerned about events and happenings on distant shores that may have direct consequence on our own shores. We have locked into our own normalcy bias.

All the items listed at the beginning of this piece are real. Not fantasy. Not illusion.


With real consequences.

Try to ignore that.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Out Of The Field

I have been in the field the last four days. Finally got back in. Shot a lot. Slept on the tops of Strykers under the most brilliant stars I have seen in years. But the world has gone to the crapper in those four days. I have tried as hard as I can to inform and educate people that I know. At this point I am beginning to think it is too late.

Oh well. Happiness is a