Alcohol a Crippling Reality

I had maybe two beers before I turned 21, I think I have always had this profound respect for law and doing the right thing, I don’t know…
When I turned 21 I was in a war zone in Eastern Afghanistan, I couldn’t even have a near beer to celebrate because all of the Spec Ops boys drank them all. When I got home from Afghanistan I didn’t drink that much (unlike most of my peers) beer here, liquor there…didn’t do much for me to just pound it down. I much prefer drinking the good stuff and savoring the flavor of a top notch beverage. I didn’t boast about a crazy night at the club (because it never happened) I didn’t post all over social media how awesome it was to down a whole fifth of jack, because that’s not what men do.
I don’t drink away the pain like most grunts do I just push through it. I don’t know what it is but colleges seem to impress this stigmatic peer pressure of alcoholism among their students. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 4 out of 5 students drink alcohol. About half of college students that drink consume alcohol through binge drinking. What’s the point? What terribly traumatic experience has made you turn away from responsibility and turn to the bottle?
I can at least understand why Vet’s drink although I stay away from it as much as possible. I have seen death, I’ve carried dead children and handed them to their weeping parents. Was math class really that hard this week? I don’t expect sympathy and I won’t drink my sorrows away. I like being in control of me, when you lose control of what you do you stop being a rational man and start being an irrational animal.
Furthermore and most importantly, as someone who employs people I wouldn’t hire you if you had a large amount of unruly posts about drinking escapades on your social media. It doesn’t instill in me the idea that you are a grown mature adult. Be smart. Enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation. 
Don’t give up your life or your school work because of stupidity.

Professionalism and What it Takes to Succeed

No one is more professional than I. This is the first sentence to the creed of the non-commissioned officer. I mentioned in my last posting that it is important to live your life on the basis of a creed. A creed is an ideology or proclamation of one’s beliefs that mold your character. Every type of job should develop leaders in various forms and professions. Someone has to take charge, yet in taking charge also work in accordance with each other.
The Army is not how it used to be. I know that on the basis of how it was intended and designed to work, not because I have seen it change in the last 4 years. In the history of the professional military officers have always been royalty or high-born, of some sort. This helps create a barrier between the enlisted and the commissioned. It makes sense and it creates a professional environment in which soldiers can be subordinate to those appointed over them both because of rank and status. In today’s Army experienced enlisted instead get thrown around by inexperienced boys who graduated a couple of schools and were commissioned. (That statement does not apply to the percentage of enlisted who become officers through hard work and perseverance, for those men are some of the finest leaders I have ever known.) 
Instead of being professional like the NCO creed states, those I know in the ranks around me have turned from that into something else entirely. This is a cut throat business, get promoted or get lost. Professionalism aside, creeds aside, people judge you on what it is you can offer them. Not skills in the workplace, or your ability to lead and train, but instead how you “play the game.” We are weak, we have faults and we have strengths. The only way a team can work proficiently is by relying on each other to enhance one’s strengths and to over power one’s faults. You should always achieve rank and stature not on the pretense of who your friends are, but instead how well you can perform and lead others.
I challenge you in your own individual work places to uphold courtesy at all costs, maintain professionalism, do not confront those you despise with false allegations, but instead out-shine them, out-perform them and eventually over power their impotent and hollow excuse for a professional person. 
Including the virtue of charity with your professional attitude is probably the single most difficult thing to do in most work places. (especially mine) Maintain an inner calm at all times, remember to pray for peace of mind whenever you get a free second. The un-professional person will always try to undermine your authority and knock you off balance. Do not let this happen! If you are wobbling and feel like you are on that tight rope between being calm and punching the other guy out, always remember the ultimate meaning behind “turning the other cheek.” It will always be better for you and your future to be the one who stood tall while the other person made a fool of themselves in front of others. As long as your subordinates and peers respect and admire you who really cares what anyone above you thinks?
Remember where you came from and always have a clear conscience, it is imperative through discipline and hard work that you go through life being the best but never saying the you are the best. Be the guy (or gal) that every body talks about in whispers. Be the person to stand up for the meek. Saint Paul constantly called upon those in the early Church with inspirational words of leadership, and to stand up for the cause that Christians fought so hard for. Do not condescend, do not patronize, instead, teach with gentleness and reverence. Instruct with authority on the pretense of creating more leaders as opposed to merely giving an outward appearance of caring. 

One last thing: Know that no matter what someone said to degrade you or your reputation, that person will answer for their dis-courtesy. The great thing about being Christian in an ever so heathen environment is that we have a creed we live by. A code of ethics, and a long list of philosophical ideals that set us apart from those around us which in turn put us way ahead in the slow marathon to eternal salvation.

Ferguson a Muddled Reality

I moved to Ferguson last Spring, I did so not because the house was cheap and I needed a place quickly, I did so because I fell in love.

I fell in love with the horse farms, the old victorian houses, the big trees, and the large plots of land. You want to know what Ferguson has that most municipalities in St. Louis County do not? Family owned businesses. Ferguson is the perfect image of a town of entrepreneurs. I have one of the best butchers in St. Louis less than a mile from my house, a brand new cigar lounge (Montrey’s) that I am a proud member of, several excellent restaurants, and one of the best micro-brews in the state.

The above mentioned things are things I am proud of and things I know most towns around me do not have. The things I have yet to mention are the things that we DO have in common with every other city in America. We have a large amount of unemployed people living in our city. We have a large amount of underpaid people living in our city. We have underpaid/overzealous police officers in our city. We have too much municipal regulation in our city. We have high property taxes in our city. We have a weak underfunded public school system in our city. Everything I just mentioned can be found in most towns in America.

The cause of the Michael Brown fiasco was not a police officer doing a stupid illegal act (like so many have and gotten away with) the cause of the Michael Brown fiasco starts with the family. It is the family who is ultimately responsible for the misconduct of their children.

If little Johnny throws a baseball through the neighbors window then Johnny will be doing a lot of chores to pay off that broken window. Michael Brown was not a gentle giant. Michael Brown was a young thug that did bad things because he knew he could get away with it. Michael Brown did not obey the police because he grew up thinking that they were pigs. If you do not give someone a cause to like or trust you then they will not. Michael Brown died that day because he was stupid. He failed to submit to authority because he had no authority in his life. His parents were divorced and his mom had a blatant mistrust towards police officers.

Darren Wilson did not kill Michael Brown, Michael Brown killed Michael Brown.

It is extremely important that we do not draw conclusions from what the media has told us about Ferguson. Ferguson is no worse off than Ballwin or Manchester or any other middle class municipality in St. Louis County.

In the aftermath of the shooting in August and the decision in November most people did not legally and peaceably assemble. There was looting and burning, all of which was caused and instigated by organized thugs and riotous anti-government groups (almost entirely from out of state.) Michael Brown did not die because he was black. If even the most remote cause of his death was because of racism what makes you think that the black attorney general of the United States would not have prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? If Darren Wilson had unjustly shot Michael Brown do you not think that the democratic prosecuting attorney would not have prosecuted him to the fullest extent of the law? Logic is always the answer.

Bottom line is this: Fake witnesses and real witnesses alike all purposefully lied and told the media what they saw and/or thought happened was what actually happened.

Confusion, slander, liable, and a general ignorant disregard for the way society should run was the cause of the Ferguson Fiasco.

I love Ferguson, Ferguson will bounce back, the value of my property will not lower and businesses will still build because in the end a blatant and illicit disregard for ones government and law enforcement will not be tolerated.

I am a combat veteran who fought for the rights of all Americans. I am proud father, a happy husband, and a homeowner at the age of 24. I have a good job and friends and family that I can rely on. I support Ferguson and Darren Wilson because it is logical to do so.

Do not be swayed by public opinion, decide for yourself through the powers of deduction and cause and effect what the real issue is here.

God Bless America.

Music: A Change to Reality

I recently just started concert piano lessons. I am excited! I am ready to face the challenge of picking up this new talent.

I was always wary of taking lessons because I thought I would fail. The fear of failure is something that we should never let discourage us.

It always needs to be I CAN and I WILL, not I think I can and I think I will.

I know that I am up for the challenge and as I fast approach my 25th year I desperately need something new in my life. (besides my gorgeous wife and beautiful 3 month baby.)

I will not settle for the slow monotonous life that I am slowly sinking into. In order to make myself better as a person I must change the way I am living and the mediocre things that I am doing.

One of the main reasons why I decided to take up piano is because I like to entertain people at my house. I have noticed that dinner and cards or a game just doesn’t cut it. Yeah…if you have a Bbq and watch a ball game that is one thing but nothing beats listening to the soft tunes that roll off the keys of a nice piano.

I think ideally what I am going for here is a personalized Dick Van Dyke Show. Hahaha I wish…..

(Dick Van Dyke was one of the best comedic entertainers of the last century by far.)

In final, do something different, pick up a new hobby and love it. Every time someone asks you how you are doing always have a story to tell. For we are known by the good we do in our lives and if we have a story to tell we will be remembered until the end of time through the lives of our children’s children.

A Disrespectful Reality

If you know me you know that I have a high amount of disdain for guitar bands in Mass. I feel and so do many others that it is extremely disrespectful to the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. The way I look at it should be very easy to understand but for some reason some of those who grew up in the 60′-80’s seem to believe otherwise.

It is not wrong to want to praise our God and King it is however most utterly wrong to do it in a manner that is unbecoming. When the moment of Transubstantiation happens we should be quiet, solemn, and reflective, while simultaneously being joyful at this moment of adoration. One cannot and should not do this while beating a drum and strumming a guitar, you can listen to that music outside of God’s holy temple. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bend and every tongue confess the glory of the Lord. The Bible does not say at the name of Jesus everyone bang on the drums so those around cannot pray in solemn silence.

Are there many ways to pray? Of course there are but when we truly are in prayer and are experiencing God’s enduring love and kindness we can only do so in a silent reflective state so that we may hear the Lord’s wishes and desires for us.

This Sunday I attempted to sink into solemn prayer during Mass but alas to no avail my mind could not separate itself from the incessant pounding that was going on in the background of the Church. Is this saying that I have not trained my mind to separate itself from distractions while in prayer? Or maybe it is just proof that people in today’s society care more about the music in Church than they do about the ultimate meaning behind the Mass, the celebration of the Eucharist.

There are hundreds of quite beautiful songs that can be sung or chanted during Mass that praise God in his glorious majesty so please do not limit yourself to an irreverent rock out session. That is all, be at peace.

Bowe the Traitor

If you would like me to rant about the topic of Mr. Bergdahl’s allegiances please seek me out at my residence and I will surely talk to you in great detail of why this sad story is so important for America to understand. I will on this blog however state a few very discomforting facts that you may not be aware of.
The facts of his disappearance are only alleged because he has yet to be tried by the military courts. Trust me when I say this, he will be tried and we will find the truth, I am most certain of it. Now let me state what many find to not be obvious facts, (i.e. Susan Rice and various other misguided ignorant politicians.) 
The Taliban, let alone the Haqqani network do not keep hostages for 5 years. They extract whatever information they can, and then they subsequently behead the individual on live T.V. 
PERIOD thats what they do. 
Now if an individual decides to defect then that is a totally different and much more serious matter altogether. I can not speak as to the personal intelligence of Mr. Bergdahl or what training he did have that would be an asset to the Taliban but like any other well trained infantryman I can only assume the worst. He knew quite a lot that would have been extremely useful to the enemy. So it can me presumed that he did not just repeat his name rank and serial number to the enemy for five years. It can be surmised on the other hand that he gave up tactics, techniques and procedures to the enemy. We can assume this both from hearing first hand accounts from his fellow soldiers as well as from common sense. I don’t care how weak you are, if you are a red blooded american combat soldier you do not give up your brothers. Sad to say and I do with an extreme amount of resentment that this man did indeed give up both his family and his brothers in arms. That is all I have to say in regards to the facts that surround him individually.
As to the interesting story of his father Bob, I have some things to say as well. The man was clearly distraught as any father would have been, however I find it both alarming and somewhat intriguing as to why Bob took all the time to portray himself as a sympathizer to the Taliban agenda. This guy learns two languages and grooms himself to the standards of a Taliban operative just because his son was taken captive? Very weird, in fact if I were a journalist I would most definitely delve into any incriminating evidence behind the father’s allegiances as well.
If you can not obtain just the smallest amount of anger at this story so far I direct your attention to another angle. Just as the U.S. wants Snowden to be brought back to the States for trial we wanted Bergdahl back as well. I disagree wholeheartedly with the trade that took place due impart to the illegality but also to the degree of the swap. You do not trade two bishops, a knight, a rook, and a queen for one pawn. Furthermore, you must tell Congress and seek their approval, period. CHECKS and BALANCES Mr. President! The last thing for me to harp on is the utter ignorance of our most educated and esteemed politicians. I implore you before you put out a public statement about something that you know naught of, to investigate it to the extent of your powers. You have the right to request any and all secret information that you so desire in the proper setting from our intelligence agencies, so DO IT!
Now that I have summarized my feelings on the issue I bequeath upon Mr. Bergdahl a Christian saying lest he forget what principles our glorious country was founded upon: “God help you, for in this world of man you have already been condemned to a lifetime of public disgrace.”

On a personal note I served in Afghanistan 10 months after the incident took place 2 miles from COP Mest and am very familiar with the area, it was extremely sympathetic to the Taliban. Therefore you can understand both from that statement and my military experience that I know a lot of this issue. Feel free to contact me for any comments.

A Weak Power

The U.S. is playing a dangerous game of chess in world politics. If we do not have the ability to successfully threaten a country of equal military power then what good are we? In certain instances in todays geopolitical sphere we NEED to have the ability to push the rowdy little brother countries back into line. This means REAL and FORCEFUL sanctions against countries like Iran, Syria, and now Russia. I think a lot of people had hopes for Russia, meaning we thought that they would actually put their act in gear and become a solid addition to the the most powerful countries in the world. Instead they have once again bullied their way to the front of the chow hall line. Sadly they do not bully in a way that is very healthy to the rest of us that just want to live normal peaceful lives.

We are no longer in an era where the world is centered around who has the biggest empire. Colonialism breeds slavery. Slavery is bad in all meanings of the word, and the way that Putin has used it against old soviet republics is especially frightening. The Russian President is essentially a dictator and with that power comes the ability to create laws much like U.S. executive orders yet with relatively no checks and balances. Yes there is a Prime Minister and a Federal Assembly (Parliament) who have to approve certain things that the president does but in the case of Russia these are all just formalities.

According to President Putin, Crimea being soaked back into the Russian borders was merely correcting a historical injustice. Please someone tell me how this is true, why not just take over the rest of the old Soviet countries again? That would probably make him happy considering for the majority of his youth and young adulthood he had a predominant role in illegal intelligence gathering for the Kremlin. He loved the Soviet version of his beloved Russia and was probably clapping over-enthusiastically during the Soviet portion of the Olympic opening ceremony.

In order to deter people like Putin from making these power grabs we must have the ability to push them back into place using diplomatic bullying and sanctions that will make it impossible for Russia to be economically stable without the help of the E.U. and the United States. The United States could approve the Keystone Pipeline and start to use its own oil supply and in turn severely reduce the 26 billion dollars that is being paid to Russia for crude oil. If the E.U. drastically cut importing from Russia, the Russians stock market would crash. The problem with this is we rely too much on countries for things we need and have no other immediate method of obtaining such goods.

Whether or not the U.S. acknowledges the Crimean annexation to Russia is pointless because it happened and it is very real. In the bejeweled halls of past Russian Czars Vladimir Putin signed a treaty for Crimea to join Russia, they expanded their map and in doing so expanded their empire. Whether or not the people of Crimea where forced to vote for the annexation or not will remain unknown. We can however assume that they where bullied in the same methods that the people of North Korea are forced to vote in their country.

What else can be said, except to try and keep on living the way you do knowing that we give Russia almost 27 billion dollars a year. Most people don’t care about this, because like everything else in America “It only indirectly affects you.” And that lady’s and gents is how World War’s start. Whether it is assassinating a world leader or invading other countries, leader’s who are too power hungry will forever be on Earth and will always strive to obtain more power.