Time To Lower My Subscription Numbers

Yes, it’s time for one of those posts that will alienate a whole bunch of people. 

ON second thought, that’s how I’ve built this readership. But I always lose a few readers/friends when I talk about abortion.

Now, for those who don’t know, I’m anti-abortion. That doesn’t mean anti-choice, for the baby has no choice. It does, however, mean pro-life for the unborn. I’m also in favor of anti-life, perhaps “pro-choice”, for selectively thinning the herd of terrorists, rapists, child-molesters, and other assorted criminals, including people who leak classified material to hurt their country. Especially people who do it by circumventing the classification and data laws. But elderly women in Upstate New York rarely fall under my jurisdiction, so there’s that issue.

One of the arguments, a true straw man, that pro-abortion people use is that “Evangelicals love them only before they’re born, and then abandon them.”

Well, it’s time for a word we don’t use a lot around here: BUSHWA!!! I know more evangelicals who have adopted children than I can even count. I’m decidedly non-parental and my wife and I sponsor 4 different children financially. So, let’s put that silly little bit of rubbish to the side. 

The argument – again strawman – that we only care about the unborn takes a segue when you ask them why they think we feel that way? The most common response is that we don’t want to spend the money on the children, and that nobody loves them once they’re born. 

Given that stretch, wouldn’t it logically mean that we also advocate euthanasia of all unloved people who are expensive to maintain? I can think of several people I know who are not particularly lovable and have major medical issues. Is it time to just snuff them? Uh, that’s abhorrent to me. 

What about those who can’t take care of themselves? Then we need to kill all children under about six years of age, because they can’t fend for themselves, anyone with a major injury, anyone in a coma, anyone with ambulatory or back problems. We also need to include the addicted and the foolish. We do spend a lot of time on them, and even more money. So, who here is in favor of abortion and murdering the average 4-year old who isn’t properly loved by their abusive family?

I’m hearing crickets here. Good. Take it as food for thought. Killing babies in the womb isn’t an evangelical issue. It’s not a religious issue. It strikes at the heart of our moral fiber as a species. 


Come back next week when we discuss something else sure to enrage many readers. I’m leaning toward ethics and the democrat impeachment ploy. 

 

Terrorists Do Best At Room Temperature.

And, if the path to room temperature is via a drone strike, a special forces action, or even a small bomb, I’m okay with variations in that temperature before they assume room temperature. 

Let me talk specifically about the very late Sulemani. Now, for those of you who don’t want to live in the real world, you may want to skip this blog today and instead grab your coloring books and draw a nice picture of Nancy Pelosi, or Adam Schiff.

First, a little  primer on classified information for those without experience. Many in the press, and congress, were whining that the administration didn’t tell us all of the reasons for the strike, or what embassies were going to be hit. Yeah, get used to it. It’s called need-to-know. 

An example?  I’ve been out for over 30 years, and I will not discuss certain things. If you start talking about them, the collection method can be blown and never used, or trusted, again. I was often sent off to do things elsewhere, and when I got back to my home command, I would not discuss my activities with those above me in the chain of command. They did not need to know. The wise ones didn’t ask, the foolish ones were rebuked.

But, you say, Congress has oversight! Yeah, that’s true. But the specifics are not part of that deal. I cringe when I listen to members of Congress talk to the press. I know what they shouldn’t say based on my experience. Even three decades later I can detect “sources and methods” disclosing information. Politicians love to talk. And, if you give them the information it will eventually leak out. If I can spot it 30 years later, our adversaries can spot it as well. The difference is that I know it is wrong. They can figure out how we got the information and put it to use to tighten up their system – or kill the person who is spying for us.

On occasion you have to accept the fact that people in the field know more than you do, and accept it. Is it open to abuse? Yes. But the cost of questioning it and pushing for answers to things you do not need to know is very high.

Sulemani (and I really don’t care how it’s spelled) was responsible for deaths of Americans going back to at least 1983. He earned a spot on the hit list for his role in taking over the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979. That, coincidentally, is the year that Iran declared war on the United States. We just haven’t formally extended the courtesy to them, but they have considered themselves at war with us for over 40 years. 

His 1983 run included blowing up the embassy in Beirut. Followed by the massacre of our Marines at the Beirut airport. He moved on over the years to killing people in other countries. This list includes the attack in Buenos Aires against jews, roadside bombs designed to maim and kill Americans in the Middle East, and countless dollars funneled to assorted terrorists around the world.

He was one of those guys who would show up in nifty places like Venezuela to chat with Hugo, or North Korea. We don’t always get pictures of these events, but he was in touch with all sorts of creepy bad people over the years. 

He iced his own cake when he attacked the embassy in Baghdad a short time ago, and then had the hubris to fly in and get ready to direct the next phase of his asymmetric war. 

You see, he should have been dead a very long time ago. But he kept upping the game because nobody had the huevos to swat him down like a cockroach found on the breakfast table. 

Enter President Trump (whom I lovingly think of as “Donnie Two-Scoops”) – a man known for not wanting war. He’d ignored previous Iranian bad actions on a military level and instead imposed financial sanctions. None of the earlier actions had resulted in deaths. But when Iran, and it’s proxies, attacked an American base in Iraq, and killed an American, fun time was over. Couple this with Iranian backed forces attacking the United States embassy – well, nice was out.

Enter Sulemani – a guy who wasn’t supposed to leave Iran according to the United Nations. A guy who was in Iraq to direct further attacks. I mean, he wasn’t in Stockholm chasing blondes, or on the Riveria having an ice cream. He flew to Baghdad from Beirut to kill people, and direct others in killing people.

So, we know where he is, and how many he’s killed – let’s call triple digits just to keep the numbers verifiable – and now it’s show time. We use a drone that only blows him up. Not the airplane he was on, not the terminal, not the home where he was headed, but a single vehicle outside the walls of the airport.

What does Iran do? They launch a ballistic missile attack on Iraq, targeting American forces. They miss. Was it on purpose or by accident? I don’t know. Don’t know the brand of missile, the circular error probability of the warheads used, etc. But that war-mongering maniac Trump strikes back swiftly with …. Well, he imposes more financial sanctions, offers them a chance at diplomacy, and is very statesmanlike – not a toffee-nosed twit like some would like, but more of a real-guy who is saying “knock it off or it gets worse.”

I fail to find any fault here. I think it was a prudent course of action. Frankly, Sulemani should have been room temp in 1983, but a number of presidents let it slide. That time is over. 

You see, letting someone slap you in the face does a couple of things. First, it makes your face hurt. Second, it makes them happy. Third, it makes others wonder what it would be like to slap you in the face. Fourth, it eventually leaves a mark that won’t go away.

On the other hand, when they slap you in the face, and you knock them down, it gives them a chance – once they wake up – to ponder their mistake. They may make it again, but they’ll think about what comes after the knock-down punch. It works. In real life. I’ve seen it proven with individuals and nation states. 

People who say “But it keeps the cycle of violence going” have not reviewed history very well. It goes all the way back to Cain and Abel. I’m all in favor of diplomacy and negotiation, but unless there is a goal, and both sides pursue it, it’s just an act. Iran has been acting like they want peace for over 40 years. Slapping time is in session. 

 

I’m On Vacation Until January 13th, 2020. ***UPDATED***

Since the news is in a holding pattern, barring some catastrophe I’ll be absent for the next two weeks. I’m a tad bit tired after 35 events in 25 days. Evidently “Orange Man Bad” has been impeached because he’s a threat to the Republic, but the congress-critters don’t think he’s enough of a threat to interrupt their splendid three-week vacation. Draw your own conclusions about the urgency/validity of the issue based on that nugget.

A parting thought: Nobody elected you the Sheriff of the left lane. Move over. 

Gosh, that felt good to say. Lots of miles this December, many of them impeded by lunkheads doing the limit in the left lane. 

 

***UPDATE**** 
To my fellow authors:  I love you, and want to help you. Alas, I am overwhelmed with work right now, and am forcing myself to go on a six month hiatus of reviewing manuscripts and writing endorsements and reviews. 

I know how much help I’ve gotten over the years with this, and I will resume in July. But for right now, I’m buried alive. I will only be able to answer quick questions on procedural issues for those who already use me for a source. 

Sorry if that screws up anyone’s plans, but for the moment it’s a survival issue!

Yuletide Greetings.

I’d like to leave you with some thoughts for Christmas. I’ve had a magnificent season, which ended Monday night with the Minnesota Vikings. They have been most kind to me this year, and it was a great way to finish the year. 

After 19 years as Santa, some things have become even more obvious to me than when I started:

You get love in direct proportion to the amount you give. A sour puss and miserable attitude bring it right back. But being kind, and welcoming people into your life is the most rewarding thing one can imagine.

Prayer fixes a lot of things. If you doubt this, send me a note. I’d be glad to cite some miracles for you to help lessen your doubt. In addition, praying for other people makes you feel better. That time with God is priceless. 

Racism is a complete waste of time. There is beauty in everyone, and all you have to do is hang out with children as Santa to fully recognize that fact. It’s what they’re taught, and how they are treated, that either nourishes a good soul or brings forth the ugliness we see in adults. It doesn’t take much to sour a human for life, but it takes just a bit of love to nip that in the bud. 

Our brothers and sisters who are gay are just that: our brothers and sisters. You may not endorse the lifestyle, but being kind and loving them costs you nothing and improves and enriches your life. Keep that in mind. Some of the best interactions I’ve had this season were with people very different than me. And I thank them for the kindness and love that they showed for me.

People of different faiths are not your enemy. That one is simple. It takes some action to earn that distrust. Most people – the vast majority – are trying to get by and live a decent life. Treat them like your coreligionists until they’ve proven otherwise. I’ve chatted with more people about their lives in Arabic this past year than ever before. Exactly zero had a problem with Santa being a Christian. And, I was warmed by their smiles.

Spend some time with people who could be your parents. That gets harder each year as you age, the target group shrinks. But my visits to memory care units and senior facilities have been very rewarding. I’ve met some real characters and some mighty fine people who’ve shared their memories with me. If you don’t engage and talk to them, a rich part of life is lost with their passing.

Do something randomly nice this week. And every week. This morning somebody bought my breakfast at Mickey’s because I posed for a picture with them. That simple act of generosity touched me deeply. I love posing for photos with people, and I got a great and unexpected blessing. I try to return those blessings regularly. It makes me happy. 

Sit down and talk to your pet. Fish might be an exception, but cats and dogs love that attention. They give you love in gigantic quantities, and all they want is your attention. Chewy loves it when I talk to him. He might be a dog, but he’s an individual who craves that contact. My life is a lot more hirsute with him around, but that’s a small price to pay for even one lick on the nose – mine, not his.

Celebrate your family. Be kind around the table tomorrow. Don’t bicker over stupid things – politics included. Remember the love, choke down the angry words, cut them another slice of pie and keep in mind that they won’t always be there. View every family gathering as your last and cherish them. 

That’s all the wisdom I have for now. Merry Christmas.

 

Busy Week, Sorry For The Absence

I promise to write something good for you all to gnaw on next week. I have a few things cooking in the meantime, and I apologize for the brevity of this post – and its late appearance in the week. But, better writers than I did stories on me this week, and I present them to make up for my sloth.

First, The Pioneer Press did a nice article on me on Monday, and my thanks go out to Bob Shaw and Scott Takushi for this lovely piece. Just follow this link. (And, yes, I stole Scott’s photo because I couldn’t get it to imbed properly in the latest software upgrade of this blog.) 

 

(Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

 

The second piece was a lovely interview with Jana Shortal at KARE11. This is so nice because there were no deceptions – just a chat. And I have great admiration for her sense of humor and kindness. It is one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever been featured in. Here’s the link.

 

And, the first article of the season was a very nice interview with David Scheller of shop. dine. live. 

 

Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I have lunch with the good men of the Union Gospel Mission shortly and I’ve got to put on my good clothes. I’m still out and about this weekend at both Midtown Global Market and Keg and Case Market – please stop by and see me. If that fails, I’ll be the Purple Santa at the Minnesota Vikings game on Monday night. Stop by for a pre-game photo on the plaza. Times are up in the air, but I’ll be out there for at least an hour around 6 pm taking pictures with fans. 

And, since I know how this will go, I won’t be posting until Christmas Day. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!