September 21, 2001

What is Justice without war?

How can someone pray for justice without war? There already is war and as of yet we are not fighting back. Would this person have prayed for justice without war in 1940 as the Germans rolled blitzkrieg thru Europe and then cried "God Bless America!" when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor?
I don't have time for people that are only patriotic when the passion is aroused. I have that passion ALL THE TIME. That passion has been a part of me since 1989 when some very hard-core first-class petty officers in Orlando, Florida taught me what patriotism is; now that I am a first class petty officer too and that passion burns so hot that I can hardly sit in my desk because I have the overwhelming desire to be a part of the undoing of every organization that reigns terror throughout the world. I don't want revenge or retribution, and I don't want to kill civilians. I want the terrorism to stop everywhere, not just in New York, not just in the West Bank, not just in Northern Ireland, EVERYWHERE. That is what Operation Infinite Justice is about. That is what I am about, and that is what every single person anywhere in this world that treasures freedom and honors those that have died in the pursuit of freedom ought to be about. We didn't declare war on Japan and Germany until they attacked that freedom that I treasure and honor. And we didn't declare war on terrorism until America was wounded right smack in the middle of the heart. But American spirit doesn't reside only in the heart, it is in the soul too, and the soul is everywhere and nowhere and can't be destroyed by anyone. If those that hate America were capable of understanding that, they never would have brought this war to American soil. America is about freedom, and I support an extremeist's right to hate whomever he wants to. But you, Mr. Terrorist, have stepped over the line and now we are not going to respect your rights, your homes, your buildings or anything that remotely touches your life. We are going to take it away from you. We are going to make war on you like you have never dreamed of, and we aren't going to stop until there is nothing left of you to make war on. Then we are going to keep going, and take away your ability to re-create anything of the sort. It is over for you Mr. Terrorist. I don't care who you are.
There can be no justice without war - justice is gone right now, and can only be revived by taking away the ability of those that hate freedom and justice and the American spirit from ever creating the terror that killed justice. When they are gone, justice will return.

September 12, 2001

This from a local South Carolina newspaper today.

"The barbarians will learn what America's all about"

By Leonard Pitts Jr., Syndicated columnist

"They pay me to tease shades of meaning from social and cultural issues, to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard. What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause. Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve. Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, cultural, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae, a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though - peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people - you, perhaps - think that any or all of this makes us weak.

You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals. Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of its ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, indeed, the history of the world.

You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before. But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future. In days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic reedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.

You see, there is steel beneath this velvet. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

Still, I keep wondering what it was you hoped to teach us. It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don't know my people. You don't know what we're about. You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn."
CNN News Coverage

The peaceful ones point their fingers at the war-mongers and say "who are you going to attack?" They say we are not at war and we don't know who the enemy is. They need to watch the news. We know who the enemy is. We have their car, we have their suitcase, we have intercepted their celebratory congratulations to one another proclaiming "we hit the target!" We are in the process of tieing the entire chain of events back to one person, Osama bin Laden.
So the peaceful ones keep quoting Ghandi - "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave us all eyeless and toothless" - that's right. You go ahead, peaceful ones, put things into a comfortable context and take a biblical statement literally. The war-mongers are mad. We dedicated our lives to making sure that the people that worked in the World Trade Center didn't have to worry about being attacked. We helped create a United States that doesn't have anti-aircraft guns and missiles surrounding our major cities. We built a country where you felt safe, where you could raise your voice in protest, where you could call us baby-killers and animals, and you were safe and comfortable. We spent our lives on watch, below decks, in the sand, on the post and on guard. A great number of us died so that you could remain free, and be safe.
Now you aren't free, you will see some of your liberties taken away. You aren't safe, you could be the next to perish in a fiery crash caused by those that don't treasure your freedom. You are the targets of people that are not afraid to die for a cause that they believe in.
So now your tune starts to change. You tie on your yellow ribbons and vow to support us, because now you need us. You need us to make you free again. You need us to keep you safe again. We don't want a war. We don't want to start a war. We do want to make you safe again, and we want you to be free. This is a cause that we believe in so strongly, that we are willing to die for it. Things are different now, and yet they remain strangely familiar. We will do our jobs, so that you can continue to do yours. You don't have to thank us, and you can even start calling us war-mongers again. We know, that deep inside, you appreciate the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that have died for you before, who stand in harm's way for you now, and will dedicate their entire being, up to their last breath to defending the freedom that was attacked on Sept 11, 2001. We will attack those that attacked New York and D.C. - we will take away their ability to do it again. We will make martyrs of those that aspire to martydom and we will continue to punish those that step up to take their place. The United States will overcome this, and you will be free again; you will be safe again, you peaceful ones.

September 10, 2001

By the way - even tho I said I wouldn't, I still watched the Vikings on Sunday. I am not a "we" though. I hardly complained about the loss at all. I heard someone refer to this season as "2001: A superbowl Odyssey" - what a laugh. I am thinking about doing a parody called "2001: A super-blown oppotunity" sure to be a hit when the Vikings fall flat on their faces when it counts most. As always...
Hope you all don't mind the format change to the blog page here. Had to get it into the same format as the rest of - I am teaching again at Rasmussen this fall. I can't have my students see my site in such disarray if my class is on HTML and design, now can I?
Weeks and weeks of torturous chasing and falling and trying again were replaced with about 15 minutes of effort on Saturday night. Lucas started riding his bike without training wheels and he really didn't need much help. I remember falling off my bike for days, maybe even weeks after the training wheels came off. I am pretty sure I have memories of my Dad helping me along with his hand on the seat of my bike for at least 3 or 4 sessions.
We went for a walk on Saturday night. Lucas rode his bike with the training wheels on. When we got home, he wanted them off. So I took them off and we went to the cul-de-sac across the road from our house. Once I ran down the street behind him, holding either the seat or his shoulders. He never had a serious fall, just one or two when he tried to stop and realized that the training wheels were no longer there to keep the bike upright with no momentum. The second or third time I pushed him off, I let go and just ran beside him, holding on to nothing. His grin when he realized that he was doing it all by himself was priceless. He exclaimed "I am balancing! I am doing great!". He was. Sunday he was out of bed and wanting to go do it again before the sun came up. Eventually, after the Sunday morning grogginess had worn off, I put Sam in the stroller and Lucas walked his bike to the corner and got on. He tore down the road leaving Sam and I to watch. I got down to the cul-de-sac and asked him if he needed help. He said no, so Sam and I went home to mow the lawn. He rode to his freind's house, then to another friend's house. Then I don't know where he went, we had to call around the neighborhood to find him. I remember about 2 days ago when I had a little 5 year old that wasn't in school yet and had training wheels on his bike. I don't know who this new kid is.

September 01, 2001

Lucas is resting now. So is Sam and so is Caleb. In fact I just checked on Sam and he is in a somewhat fetal postition in his crib, but he is laying on his front side with his legs up underneath him. All the boys are tired from playing here at Shirt Lake this morning and at Crosslake this evening. My Aunt has a place there right now, and like the place at Shirtlake, it is crawling with Grandkids. We are having a fire in the cast iron chimenea and I am going to go out there and write on the laptop..this pc is indoors and I don't want to be indoors right at the moment.