Sadness and Grief

Many years ago, when I was going through Officer Candidate School, we had the opportunity to interact with some of the combat veteran Captains going through the Captain’s career course. During the question and answer portion, one of the candidates asked, “What does it feel like to lose a Soldier?”

The Captains looked at each other, and sidelined the question, as how do you answer such a deeply personal question? There really is nothing you can do to prepare for loss, and the only thing you can do is cope and move forward. But unless you are a sociopath, you will have to deal with those feelings as best you can.

I’ve never lost a Soldier under my direct command in combat, but I have lost a Soldier due to suicide and I’ve lost former Soldiers when they were following other Officers. It doesn’t help either way, you feel the same loss at each death.

Yesterday, my Grandfather was laid to rest in a national cemetery. His service with the US Navy during the Korean war era was voluntary. He met my Grandmother at a dance, and that led to 63 years of marriage before he went to sleep on his easy chair, and drifted off into eternity. Grandfather now rests one section over from one of my Soldiers who passed on, due to a command wire IED in Zabul province, Afghanistan.

I wish that my words here could help someone through their own grieving process, or that maybe they would bring some comfort to someone else. Either way, a man who is younger than my youngest sibling, and my Grandfather, now share the ground with men and women, and family members of the military, from WWI until the War on Terror. The cemetary is a peaceful place, and I hope that all the other families of departed veterans can find some semblance of peace when those who spent a portion of their life in service are laid to rest surrounded by others who made the same choice.

Those of us still living, those of us still serving, will eventually have to pass the torch of freedom on to a younger generation. And like the torch was passed to us, we must trust that it will not be extinguished on our replacements watch. Those of us who managed to come home, carry forward the memories and hopes of the fallen, until the day that we can no longer go forward. On that day, someone else must carry our hope forward into the future. May God comfort those who have gone on to rest, and those of us who grieve them.

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Echoes in Eternity

I think the first memory I have of a Christmas tree was at my grandparent’s home. I can’t really recall what my first memory of my grandfather on my mother’s side was, but I do remember he had a happy laugh. But it wouldn’t be accurate to say he was always a happy person.

My parents and grandparents had a “contentious” relationship every so often, and as a kid when things were good then things were really good. And when things were bad we didn’t see much of them until things got good again.

I associate the smell of coffee and pine burning in a fireplace with my grandfather. Both my Dad and Grandpa (mom’s father) had scratchy chins, at least when I was a kid. I only ever saw Grandpa really drunk once that I remember, and that was because he thought we’d bailed on visiting because we were a couple hours late. He cried a little, and said that he was afraid we weren’t coming.

It wasn’t a secret that grandpa was an alcoholic, a lot of men his age and generation were. And the empty Wild Turkey bottles were a reminder that when we weren’t there, Grandpa still drank.

But, for his grandkids he stayed sober, as best he could. And a lot of the dysfunctional habits he got when he was a kid managed to work themselves out, although not totally. As far as I know I’m the only one in my family still on talking terms with everyone else in my family, but I can’t be sure about that cause someone might not be on talking terms with me and never bothered to tell me.

But, this trip down memory lane and subsequent reflection on my family, is due to the passing of my grandfather. He was a stubborn man, in all the good and bad ways that you can be stubborn. His mind started going a few years ago, and he and I would have the same conversation every time I visited. But he got to meet his great grandchildren.

The mighty oak that dares to stretch towards the heavens will eventually fall. Sometimes due to a stroke of lighting. Sometimes due to a rot weakening the trunk so that it cannot hold its own weight. Sometimes to the ax or saw. But no oak stands forever. Although if Grandpa were a tree he’d probably be Douglas Fir or Western Red Cedar, the kind that doesn’t change its branches just because some minor inconvenience called “winter” came along.

I was raised religious, and although I’ve lost the deep certainty of a true zealot in knowing exactly what others need to get right with God, I believe that Einstein really did stumble upon something “divine” with E=mC^2. That famous equation says that energy and mass are inextricably linked, and therefore that all things are linked and essentially indestructible. So as my grandfather passes on from this life, his “energy” is still here in this universe, echoing through eternity. As the laws of thermodynamics tell us that every reaction increases the entropy of the universe as things move to a lower energy state, and so I hope that grandpa is resting now, moving into a deeper slumber as the pain of life, and ravages of time, cease.

When I enlisted grandpa told me to stay out of the booze halls, and I could make something of myself in the service. It was good advice, and while I have done some hard drinking, it never became my life. And I’ll honestly miss having that one conversation with grandpa, how he spent time in the Navy up in Alaska, working on the flight line. Missing someone, is one of their echoes through eternity, the proof their life had some meaning to someone.

We all grieve in our own way, and sometimes an emotion is just to big to feel all of it at once. So you feel a little of it at at time, and eventually, somehow you get to a point where it is dealt with, and you find peace on the other side.

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The increasing normalization of violence by the Left

The world is always shocked by “right wing” violence, but it is NEVER shocked by left wing violence.

One of the reasons why every successful terror attack is almost always immediately blamed on the “right wing extremists” is that if it was effective, no one expects Leftists. However, that’s also because the media is leftist driven, and can’t imagine “our side” doing those horrible things.

Recently there was this post by John Mosby:×4-to-the-teeth/ which outlines why leftist violence works, and how leftist “revolutions” work.

That inspired this bit of response from Aesop: which I think is a bit foolish, there won’t be much Leftist violence in California because they already own that state. As long as the Left holds power, they won’t resort to violence to gain power.

And that’s the rub of violence, it is only used for two purposes. To gain power, or to maintain power. The Left in California WILL use violence to maintain power, but it will look a lot like “police conduct a crackdown of…” news stories rather than “angry mobs burned a family alive for voting for an evil Republican…”

Of course if you are voting for them “evil Republicans” in California, you already know that your odds of a police no knock raid on your home. Many celebrities are “SWATted” and just imagine what would happen if Saul Alinksy were put in charge of California Law Enforcement. Remember that Alinsky had no problem inciting violence, and would hope really hard that some “right wing extremist” resisted a “no knock raid” so he could dance in the blood of a fallen officer to gain even more public support for his side, and erode public support for the “evil conservatives.”

But…All that theory is fine, but the indicators out there on the normalization of leftist violence are getting to become a downright constant barrage: Leftist students normalizing physical violence, and hiring/coordinating with an experienced boxer to do so. The beginning of Communist Revolutions almost always starts with upper middle class college students starting to hang out with hardened criminals so they can learn how to hurt and kill people. Another naked call to kill people who aren’t supporting “black lives matter” hard enough.

The “Limousine Liberal” set giving public permission for violence:

This idiot thinking that there is a war coming and that the “Left WILL win!”  Which is only the rantings of someone utterly devoid of any historical facts about leftists violence. Leftist violence doesn’t always win, but Leftist violence is always based on useful idiots like Alex there believing that “the revolution is inevitable and we just need one successful spark and the people will rise up with us!!!”

Solid blue cities like Portland, OR, are one of the places where leftists don’t need to riot or commit violence, because they are already in power and are more concerned about not having that monopoly on violence to maintain power:

The good news for people who live in rural red areas, violence is not coming to your neighborhood any time soon. The leftists will always try to consolidate power in areas they are strong first. For the folks who live in suburbs…your risk level is higher because you have so many different areas to travel through for work and normal life.

But…with violence normalizing at this level in the dead of winter, I really have some questions about what the hell will happen this summer.

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Compare and Contrast F35 with U2

The US Air Force claims that the F-35 is “now ready to answer a combatant commander’s call for it’s unique capabilities to fight ISIS.”

Which is really ironic, because what the Combatant Commander is actually calling for is an aircraft that entered service at least eight years before the longest current serving service member in the entire military, a U2 spy plane:

I would say that the “unique” characteristics of the F-35 really aren’t in that much of a demand, especially when the logistical footprint to keep the “Albino Elephant” in the sky are so extensive and the Combatant Commander knows that the budget for operations isn’t unlimited. Remember, when you request a capability the upkeep for that capability comes out of your operational funds. Makes the old U2 with all it’s known maintenance costs a much more attractive option for the Commander to request.

Then again, it’s not like we need a stealth pocket bomber to go after ISIS, as drones have pretty much uninterrupted access over the sky, and regular fighters have done just fine, only requiring an F22 escort when the Russians came to play. Notice no one is asking for F35 escorts…

Comments are open.

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Jade Helm and Civilian Interactions

Anyone else remember the complete butthurt that some folks in the “patriot community” got when Jade Helm was going to take place on and off post? Evidently the same patriot community isn’t all that “woke” when it comes to training off post, in Germany.

I like to make fun of easily disproved conspiracies, and Jade Helm was one of the easiest to disprove. But all kidding aside, there are some very important lessons to take forward.

1, for military forces to be relevant in the international conflicts happening today, they need to train to interact with civilians and around civilians. The days of a front line far away from civilization are over.

2, the first point isn’t going to stop the conspiracy theorists from pointing out that they are idiots by believing that every off post exercise is some sort of scheme to get the civilian population accustomed to martial law, or some other BS.

3, because point number 2 is a reality, you can expect the “idiot signal” to be amplified by the usual suspects like Sputnik news, RT dotcom, and bloggers who amplify Sputnik and RT like Alex Jones. They don’t care that they are advancing enemy information operational goals, they just want to be a part of point number 2.

There are further reaching consequences of the current face of warfare, and essentially it has taken the traditional SOF roles of FID, CA, and COIN and handed those off to the regular military, while the SOF community focuses more on breaking apart networks and a a “counter-SOF” mission. I don’t mean to say that SOF is becoming irrelevant, only that the relevancy is changing as the little squabbles between superpowers devolves more and more into “gray zone conflicts.”

It is an interesting time to be alive.

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The passing of a pioneer.

In the early days of blogging, before such easy services as “blogger” and “wordpress” you had to code your own and maintain it. This would be the ancient days of dial up internet and Windows 95 and 98. So mid to late 90s.

At that time Rush Limbaugh was the voice of conservatives on the radio, and the Democrats were regretting their decision to free up the FCC rules on radio because he was hurting their narrative. And while traditional media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) were still reeling from right hook the talk radio, early bloggers like Kim and Connie Du Toit were following up with a left hook on the internet.

So it is with a bit of real sadness that I received word that Connie Du Toit has passed. She wasn’t always a nice person online, and had rather sharp things to say for those whose lifestyle choices were a bit outside the norm, but the impact of her and Kim on the “gunternet” or “freedom loving community” can’t be minimized. So many people found each other through Kim’s site that if you used the acronym RCOB I think that many would still recognize is as “Red Cloud of Blood.”

Connie wasn’t perfect, but none of us are, and her impact on lives well beyond her immediate circle was profound. When I pass, I hope that someone can say the same for me.

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How many “lone wolves” would you need?

I read something incredibly interesting, and to follow along with the rest of this post, you need to read it too:

It’s a bit of a read, but all of the information is important. Especially the part about the existing power structures that support violent leftist groups, and the distinct lack of power structure that would support right wing violence.

The author’s conclusion then that in a potential civil war, that leftist violence would be better organized and logistically supported is rather sound. You don’t expect the John Birch society to take up arms and bombing.

So, if the author’s conclusion that “right wing” violence will take the form of racist groups and lone wolves the next logical question is, “well, exactly how many lone wolves do you need to not lose to the violent left?”

And that…is a very good question. So what follows are just my thoughts, as I pondered the potential scenarios playing out. It might make for an interesting intrigue novel or series of short stories, so it’s been on my mind.

But, here is what I think.

One thing about lone wolves is that in order to be effective against an actual organization is that they need information in order to find out, “who do I kill to have the most effect?” And that information really has to come from outside the lone wolf themself, because one of the good rules of getting away with a crime is to not get caught casing your victim, er, I mean “target.”

At any given time, there are multiple hard left groups willing to either support violence or conduct violence. Student groups, political groups, and some groups that aren’t groups just flash mobs of multiple groups.

So imagine that the recent trip by Milo to Berkeley was supported by just one “lone wolf” with a silenced rifle. How many people throwing molatov cocktails could that “lone wolf” kill before someone decided that being an anarchist was less important than letting the police know that someone was killing the anarchists? That’s a very, very good question and I don’t have an actual answer for it.

But, I do know that if “right wing” violence is to be effective it needs to be a few things.

1, it needs to be targeted at hard left groups actually conducting violence. Yes this will make martyrs, but not all of them will end up like Che with a line of T-shirts.
2, it needs to target violent leaders whenever possible. Che, despite a highly successful line of Tshirts wasn’t much of an asset to any people’s revolution as he decomposed into base elements.
3, it needs to be anonymous. Rather than claiming acts every “right wing” organization needs to issue statements that they do not condone violence, but respect the right to defense of life and property.

Because the “hard left” will target police and businesses. The “hard right” needs to target the “hard left” specifically in the acts of targeting police and businesses. Nothing wins the hearts and minds of the people like the feeling that someone out there is on their side. Notice that’s how Trump got elected, as a backlash against people feeling that the “coastal elites” weren’t on their side, and didn’t care at all about “flyover country.” (Which, if you look at the lefts reactions to the wildfires in Tennessee, confirms that the coastal elites really think rather poorly of people in flyover country.)

So, how does a “lone wolf” go about this?

Well, they first need information about what the “hard left” is going to do. Remember that part about the Episcopal church supporting a parasitical hard left group? Well a “lone wolf” can join a “hard left” group and let them feed the information on where the next violent protest will occur. Let your ideological enemy feed your operations.

What this means is that the most successful “hard right” lone wolves will look a lot more like hipster douchebags than redneck Rambo. Camouflage is important, and hipster douchebag will have a lot more access to “hard left” activities than some veteran with a “Death From Above: AIRBORNE!” Tshirt.

It also means the potential “hard right” heroes are Black, Asian, and Latino and have a lot more females as those groups will get less scrutiny than Steve Rodgers.

And what would success really look like? When the “hard left” groups start purging the hell out of each other trying to eliminate the moles in their ranks and they stop being able to effectively commit violence on the population at large.

I guess you could say that those “lone wolves” are much more like “sheepdogs” in a grand scheme of things. And you would need about one “lone wolf” per every “hard left” group that could possibly become violent, in every local chapter. That’s an awful lot of lone wolves, and I don’t see too many “threepers” or “sheepdogs” lining up to infiltrate the base of power of the “hard left.” And by the time the “lone wolves” could recognize the need for that it would probably be too late.

So how many “lone wolves” would you need? More than you’ve got. Still, it makes for an interesting thought experiment.

Comments are open if you have any better ideas on how a “lone wolf” could be effective against a widespread conspiracy driven leftist agenda.

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