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Archive for August, 2022

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.  The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.  As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.
    —     Abraham Lincoln
[Does history repeat itself or is it simply that the more things change, the more things stay the same?    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 To Trust Providence
Exactly
2020 I Am Learning
Plus Plus
2019 Day 2: All Things Considered
The Path To Reward
2018 Ryan, McConnell & The Republican Controlled Congress
The Proud Dad
Day 35: Five(5) Weeks Completed!
2017 Serving Is Proving Harder Than Winning For #DumbDonald
2016 Come Again…
2015 At Five
2014 Touching The Past
The Supreme Question
2013 Children Will Judge
2012 Liar, n.
2011 Freedom To Doubt

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As we in the United States are currently experiencing terrible flooding in our South – South / East and extreme deadly heat in our South – South / West, let us take a moment to think about our fellow humanity suffering equally devastating weather related catastrophes in other parts of the world.
Tonight, as I am thinking of / praying for my fellow Americans in Mississippi, I am doing the same for Pakistan where there are estimates of over 1,100 people having lost their lives and over 20 million are homeless due to rain and flooding.
May God / Allah assist you in your time of need…
Salaam Alaikum for and from the people of America.
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On This Day In:
2021 Why Republicans Are Unhappy
I Guess It’s True
2020 A Tiny And Fragile World
Your Lyin’ Eyes
2019 Day 1: Done
#IncompetentDonald Fails On All Three
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.
    —    Yogi Berra
[But it sure would be nice if the Giants beat the Dodgers a little more frequently…    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Why Republicans Are Unhappy
I Guess It’s True
2020 A Tiny And Fragile World
Your Lyin’ Eyes
2019 Day 1: Done
#IncompetentDonald Fails On All Three
2018 I Put It Down To Bad Teachers
Day 34: In And Out
2017 And The Future Is Now
2016 I Am
2015 Positively Aiming Higher
2014 Suspicious Minds
2013 We Are Not Alone
2012 Lawyer, n.
2011 Each Day Remember…
2010 Impossible Dreams of Camelot

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Over the last weekend, Senator Lyndsey Graham (R – South Carolina) was interviewed on TV and virtually assured that if former President Trump is indicted for taking classified government documents to Mar-a-Lago, there will be “riots in the streets”.
My response to Sen. Graham is:  “Fine!  Rioters will be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law…”
Under 18 U.S.C. § 2384, “seditious conspiracy” occurs when two or more persons:
conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof.
NO ONE is above the law – particularly when it comes to the defense of National Security.  This especially includes former Presidents!
If there is sufficient evidence to indict / convict Donald Trump, then he should be indicted, arrested and brought to trial.  If found guilty, Trump should serve time.  If found not guilty, Trump should be released.  He IS presumed to be NOT guilty until he has been found guilty by a jury of his peers.
If individuals (or groups) wish to meet PEACEFULLY to object to / protest the indictment, trial, or results, they have their First Amendment right to do so.  They DO NOT have the right to riot or interfere with the process of the lawful administration of justice.
Anyone found guilty of rioting and / or conspiracy to riot should be placed on a domestic terrorist watch list for the remainder of their natural lives.  They should be reminded that – in the “good, old days” – terrorism, sedition and insurrection were punished by death.
If we – as a nation – accept the threat of violence (“riots in the streets”) as a reason to not prosecute ANYONE who would otherwise be subject to prosecution / trial, then we are no longer a country ruled by law.
The general public needs to be reminded former President Trump was not the only person in his Administration who was aware of the unlawful removal and possession of government documents (not just the “classified” documents), and they should ALL be indicted and prosecuted.  This is the only way to ensure this does not happen again  – by an Administration from either political party.
Equal Justice Under Law…
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On This Day In:
2021 How Learning Infections Begin
Stay Young At Heart
2020 Policies Not People
Just Thinking To Myself
2019 Should I Start With My Religion?
2018 Fear And Hope
Day 33: Good News & Prep
2017 Directions
2016 Handle With Care
2015 Nothing But Pride
2014 Go
2013 Well, Does It?
2012 Near Misses Aren’t Successes
2011 Uncomfortable Feelings
2010 San Francisco (favorites)…
Bullets or Butter?

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I want to know what everything is, and nothing is;  the beauty of a note and the silence which surrounds it.  I like to know and understand myself, and those whom I meet, or nearly meet.  I am conscious that I will not always be conscious:  that my curiosity is unlimited but my time is finite, and I cannot waste a moment of it in acquiring things which will not make me richer in a way I value.
The amusing thing is many would consider me as living in la la land, where poetry is a secret form of currency, and music a mode of transport which might carry me to lands and vistas invisible to the naked eye:  to where angels might dwell and we begin to forgive and truly understand the love which passes all understanding.  I can live with the opinions of the “many”, but I cannot live without my imagination.”
One of the great temptations of life is to lose sight of the beauty of the whole, or the mystery of an instant amidst the mass of worries, jealousies and insecurities which crowd in on the average day, including mine, but while I have a breath to draw I will, whatever my circumstances, raise my eyes in wonder to the horizon and marvel at the miracle of consciousness.
    —     Peter Wells
Originally found at one of the blogs I follow:  Countingducks
Located at:  https://countingducks.wordpress.com
The specific post is:  A Matter Of Philosophy
https://countingducks.wordpress.com/2022/07/18/a-matter-of-philosophy/
[Please visit the original site if you have a few minutes to spare.  You’ll get hooked, too!    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 How Learning Infections Begin
Stay Young At Heart
2020 Policies Not People
Just Thinking To Myself
2019 Should I Start With My Religion?
2018 Fear And Hope
Day 33: Good News & Prep
2017 Directions
2016 Handle With Care
2015 Nothing But Pride
2014 Go
2013 Well, Does It?
2012 Near Misses Aren’t Successes
2011 Uncomfortable Feelings
2010 San Francisco (favorites)…
Bullets or Butter?

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You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.
    —     Robert M. Pirsig
From his book:  “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
[Thirty-eight years ago my Hil came back to me!!  I still fall asleep – “Counting my blessings…”    —   kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Or The Person You Love
Still Beating For You
2020 The Chain Must Be Broken
Back To Me…
2019 Love Like This…
2018 Open Hearts Find Strength
Day 32: Planning The Future
2017 Thinking Out Loud
2016 Fighting Change
2015 Get Change
2014 Trapped (Again)
2013 Someone Else Believes
2012 The Practical Value of Science
2011 Seize Gladly The Difficult Task
A Constitutional Conversation
2010 The Fierce Urgency Of Now…

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Words create worlds.
    —     Anonymous (actually it is attributed to numerous sources)
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On This Day In:
2021 Your First Important Clue
Smooth Brass
2020 Stand First
RNC: Day 1 Thought
2019 Tough Values
2018 I’m Still Here
Day 31: A Calendar Month
2017 Start Typing
2016 Just Saying (Nothing)
Thought Of You
Saldaga (“As I’ve Lived”)
2015 A Terrifying Cycle
2014 Rights
2013 Do Bold Things
2012 Seven Causes
2011 I Feel A Tingle Coming On

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Good habits are as easy to form as bad ones.
    —     Tim McCarver
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On This Day In:
2021 The Margin Of Safety
Hold Your Head Up
2020 In The Path
Hangin’ Out
But I Won’t Do That
Unless You Are #45
2019 Seeking Nobility
2018 My Family Calls It Hoarding
Day 30: Done & Dusted
2017 Rogers’ Rules (Hexadecimal)
2016 But, It’s Such A Simple Mistake
2015 Crawl Towards The Light
2014 Sweet Songs
2013 The Wife Of An Ordinary Man
2012 Three Words
2011 Know Anyone Like This?
2010 Apoplexy??
When Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…
Sibling Awareness

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We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
    —     Blaise Pascal
[The sooner #45 is charged and brought to trial, the safer the country will be.    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Helping Refugees
2016 A.D.
2020 Imagine That!
Call Me Sometime
Before It’s Gone
2019 Imagine If…
2018 How Many Now?
Day 29: Tied (By The Time You Read This)
2017 Earn The Gift
2016 Still Loud
2015 Surprise! No Evidence
2014 Real Ideals
2013 A Happiness Weapon
2012 An Eagle Has Departed
Ummm
And In My Prayers
2011 Welcome Doubt
2010 Talk, Talk, Talk…
Every Day At Least
Democratic Suicide
Pleasurable Reading
Loose Joy
Do, Er, Write – Whatever
This Glorious Company
Relax With A Good Book
Neither Vice Nor Weakness
That’s Rich!
Man Will Prevail!!!
Frankly Speaking to Arizona
Brother By Another Mother

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Without suffering we know neither our limitations, nor ourselves.
    —     Leo Tolstoy
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On This Day In:
2021 But Verify
I Feel Like Slow Dancing
2020 In 50 States And Voting Against Trump
A Two Steps Comparison
2019 My Last Must Be My Best
2018 Making Friends
Day 28: A Normal Loss And A Headache
2017 Sea Worthy
2016 Rising Integration
2015 No Worries
2014 Devouring The Present
2013 But So Far…
Twice Moved
2012 Just Like Bubbles
2011 Caring and Driving
Achieve Greatly
2010 Unwise To Trust
Attitude
If The Mind Is Not Tired
Irrationally Crazy
2nd Pair – Shoe Review
Ahnu – Gesundheit!
2009 As for me…
Health Care Reform Now!!

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We Were Soldiers”  —  (2002)  movie review
Today’s movie review is for the film depicting the first major air-mobile battle of American forces in Vietnam in the Ia Drang Valley which occurred in 1965.  The movie stars Mel Gibson as the commanding officer Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and Madeleine Stowe as his wife:  Julia Moore.  Other main actors include:  Greg Kinnear, Sam Elliott, Chris Klein and Keri Russell.  Kinnear is a helicopter pilot;  Elliott is the battalion First Sergeant;  Klein is a junior officer (2nd Lieutenant) and Russell is his wife.
The basic plot shows how a “gung-ho” Army leader forms a unit, trains his officers / men to implement a new technology (helicopters and air-cavalry) and then leads them in a “major” engagement with the enemy.  Unfortunately, the engagement shown is Lt. Col. Moore is leading his men into a trap where his men are cut-off from direct (non-airbased) support, surrounded and heavily outnumbered:  roughly 10 to 1.  The bulk of the movie is about their three day battle to survive (“win”).  The essence of the Vietnam conflict is shown as superior American mobility and firepower (air and artillery) versus a dedicated / committed adversary willing to use close engagement (hand-to-hand) to negate the enemies strengths.
There are three “main” secondary plots / story lines:  1)  the effects of military life (death) on the families of the soldiers (limited to officer’s families);  2)  the civil rights / racial issues which were erupting in civilian society and getting carried into the military (depicted mainly on the family side);  and,  3)  combat leadership and how it differs from non-combatant and political leadership.  The first sub-plot is intertwined with the bulk of the combat portion.  The societal issues are mainly presented in the early portion (training) of the film – and, again, by the families / spouses.  The leadership sub-plot is just sprinkled in and is more implied than actually shown.  As it turns out, there were significant portions of this sub-plot which only appear in the “deleted scenes”.  I had to view these on YouTube as my version of the movie does not include the “extras”.
So, what did I think?  Is this a good movie?  Is it an accurate depiction of combat / war / military life?  Is this an “anti-war” movie or is it a glorification of war movie?  Were the sub-plots interesting / accurate?  And, lastly, to paraphrase “Gladiator“:  was I entertained?  In order:  yes;  yes;  more anti-war than I thought it would be;  yes – the sub-plots were interesting, accurate and important to the movie;  and finally, NO!  This isn’t an “entertainment” movie.  The time spent watching it was well spent, but while I can be entertained by over-the-top special effects / Sci-Fi movies, I don’t watch many horror / slasher movies and I don’t find realistic depictions of war “entertaining” – no matter how much I may “like” the film.  To me, it’s similar to reading a book to learn about something, versus reading a book to be entertained.  This is a “learning” film;  it is not an “entertaining” film
If you like(d) any of the more recent “war / combat” movies:  “Saving Private Ryan“, “Fury“, “Hacksaw Ridge” or “Black Hawk Down“, you will almost certainly “like” this film.  I liked all of the above and I liked this movie, too.  This film depicts heroism and personal risk / injury without a glorification backdrop.  The film shows combat:  brutality, chaos and terror.  In a refreshing turn, the movie shows the “enemy” in an almost equally positive light:  they are fighting for their country, on their land, and they have families “back home”, too.  This was one aspect of the film which I really did not expect as “the other side” is rarely shown in a positive light – otherwise, how would you understand you’re supposed to hate them and root for them to lose / die.
Anyway, as an amateur military historian, I found the first section (the character introductions) with the unit formation to be very interesting.  I found the description of the air-mobile infantry (Air-Cav) and the specific references to the unit combat limitations to be both accurate and insightful.  I found the sub-plots also accurate – as far as my limited experience was concerned, but maybe a bit too glossed over.  I was single during the 1970’s when I was on active duty, so all of my “personal” information about family life / support is really second hand.  The racial issues had not gone away between the film’s period (1965) and my service time (mid-70’s).  And, I don’t think there is ANY doubt (IMHO) the “Congressional / military / industrial complex” has only gotten worse since the 1960’s.
The film concludes with a visit by Col. Moore to the Vietnam Memorial “Wall” in Washington, D.C. and a list of the seventy-nine Americans who died in the battle.  It is an emotionally powerful scene on par with the cemetery scene in “Saving Private Ryan“.
Final recommendation:  highly recommended movie.  This is one of the “better” military genre movies I’ve seen in some time.  This is not an anti-war movie, but it also does not extrapolate the personal integrity and heroism of the individual American soldier on to the American government or senior military command structure.  A note of caution:  the combat scenes are brutal, realistic and sometimes horrifying.  This movie is not for the squeamish.
Final comment:  if you’re wondering why I’d never bothered to see this before…  Two reasons:  1)  I’m not an “all-in” / committed Mel Gibson fan.  I’ve enjoyed his directing more than his acting.  Also, 2)  when this movie came out I was not keen on supporting U.S. military adventurism around the world.  At that time, I wanted revenge for “9/11”, not occupation and nation-building in Afghanistan.  I did not support an invasion of Iraq and foreign government toppling.  I may have been wrong, but I viewed movies and TV shows in this genre as propaganda for the Bush Administration and a “war of choice” in Iraq.  Despite the quality of this individual movie (in that time period), I still hold that “propaganda” view / opinion.
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On This Day In:
2021 On Learning To Play Guitar
When You’re Feeling Small
2020 Remember Your Obligation
Smile And Shuffle
2019 If One Is Lucky Enough
Basic Training (In Films)
2018 Being President Doesn’t Make You Presidential
Day 27: 4 Weeks / 55lbs
2017 I’m Seeing It, Too
2016 Personal Decisions
2015 Verbal Fluency
2014 Familiar
2013 Unbending
2012 Simple Sayings
2011 Wupped Again?
2010 3 and 1…
Musical Notes…
Doubt Tries…
Northwest Passages – Evening Two
The Beierly’s Web Site

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
    —     Albert Camus
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On This Day In:
2021 On Learning To Play Guitar
When You’re Feeling Small
2020 Remember Your Obligation
Smile And Shuffle
2019 If One Is Lucky Enough
Basic Training (In Films)
2018 Being President Doesn’t Make You Presidential
Day 27: 4 Weeks / 55lbs
2017 I’m Seeing It, Too
2016 Personal Decisions
2015 Verbal Fluency
2014 Familiar
2013 Unbending
2012 Simple Sayings
2011 Wupped Again?
2010 3 and 1…
Musical Notes…
Doubt Tries…
Northwest Passages – Evening Two
The Beierly’s Web Site

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You always get exaggerated notions about things you don’t know anything about.
    —     Albert Camus
[To all of the #45 supporters of his “Big Lie” about a “Big Steal” –  Former President Trump KNOWS he lost and he continues lying to you for two reasons:  1)  his fragile ego won’t allow him to publicly admit that he is a loser;  and, 2)  he wants to continue to leech money from his supporters.  (And not necessarily in that order…)
Ask yourself two questions:  if he has proof the election was stolen, why has he NEVER been able to show it to us (or in any court);  and, if he is such a rich and successful business person, why does he have to keep asking you (his FAR less wealthy supporters) for your money?
Remember when he was the only one who could fix our tax system, our health care system, get Mexico to pay for building a wall and he (alone) had a “secret” plan to win in Afghanistan / Iraq and the Middle East because he was smarter than the generals?  How about when he said he was so rich he didn’t need money from “special interests” and he could finance his campaign himself?
From his high office, he tried to overturn the election he clearly lost and, with the willful help of other traitors in Congress, he nearly succeeded.  If you continue to support him, you are no longer “just” an enabler.  You are just as much a traitor to the Constitution of the United States of America as he is.    —    kmab]
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On This Day In:
2021 Incomplete And Probably Inaccurate
I’ve Made A Few Mistakes
2020 One Of Your Responsibilities
God Is Watching Us
2019 Just Asking…
2018 Or Attacks On A Free Press
Day 26: Life
2017 Still Looking For The Key
2016 Not So Much Anymore, Boss
2015 Green Binge
2014 Overdone
2013 The Courage To Remake The World
2012 Minor Gifts
2011 I Love It When A Plan Comes Together…
2010 Eloquence
Cleaning the Chalk Board

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It is really wonderful how much resilience there is in human nature.  Let any obstructing cause, no matter what, be removed in any way, even by death, and we fly back to first principles of hope and enjoyment.
    —     Bram Stoker
From his book:  “Dracula
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On This Day In:
2021 Full Value Division
EWF On Ice
Strung Along
2020 The Responsibility Side Is On The Right
Where Clear Winds Blow
2019 Define Your Life…
2018 It Is No Secret
Day 25: When 4 or 5 equals 2
2017 Cowardly Defamation
2016 With No Allowance For Chance?
2015 Details
2014 Here’s One…
2013 Non-Fungible Commodities
2012 Hope And Tears
2011 Just Long Enough
Meaningful Thoughts

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It’s easy to play any musical instrument:  all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.
    —     Johnannes Sebastian Bach
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On This Day In:
2021 Already In That State
Reflections In The Waves
2020 Register And Vote
Feel It In Your Feet
2019 Always Surprises
2018 You’ve Got To Stand For Something
Day 24: Hand Touching Hand
2017 The Tide Will Turn
2016 Dreamers
2015 Three Roars
2014 Be R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T
2013 Lacking
2012 So Small A Thing
2011 Is Your Time Valuable?

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