Friday, December 29, 2006

Loose Ends

My head is being filled with the madness of the day.

Ford dying
Saddam hanging
Last minute tax issues
New Years
The old year

Ford -- made it to 93. He had a long life and got to experience the greatest job on the planet. He can be found to have done both good and bad for America. Appointing Justice Stevens to the Supreme Court and how it has changed the future of America, may well be what tips the scales on his legacy.
How can this one mans death after 30 years of almost invisible status be held to such high visibility in his end?

Saddam -- This man has done so much to so many. He had the ability to reach around the globe and cause the stir of a number of emotions. Most of which are bad.
Like it or not, this man is getting what he deserves, far to late for many. May his death revive the soul of his country and bring them hope.
Many fear reprisal, I long for healing and renewed confidence in the future of Iraq. Maybe we here in America could learn something through the carrying out of Iraqi justice.

Taxes -- Have you looked at your bottom line to make sure you haven't missed any deductions. Now is the time to make donations and contributions. Now is also the time to look at asset management. I believe all should pay their fair share but no one should be robbed.

2007 -- I can't believe it is almost here. I have been waiting for this new year. It offers promises that I have been waiting so long for. I wish you all the happiness as it comes upon you.

2006 -- This was a tough year for my family. We lost two and will miss them very much. We over came many struggles and yet we live on with hope.

How many of you will inventory your year and find it wanting? Now carefully unwrap the new year and make plans to make it better. You learned the lessons of the old year. I hate the word resolution but what will you do different?

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas To All

I wish each and everyone of you the merriest Christmas Ever.

Please spend time with love ones and tell them how much you love each of them. This might be the last time. Make it a tradition to share the gift of Love.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Failure Isn't An Option

When it is life and death, people over come incredible odds to be the survivor. They somehow find inner strength that no one would know was there. When they realize the desperation of their struggle, they throw their full selves at it. 100% of who they are deals with what ever the issue. When failure isn't an option, we rise above and succeed.

I read some poll that says only 42% of America is committed to winning in Iraq. We were in luck because 53% think it is still winnable with significant changes. Funny thing was, no one had a list of the changes that this group would suggest. We got our new secretary of defense flying all over the planet looking for this answer. How can so many Monday morning quarterbacks be so assured that we can win without submitting a plan?

The first problem with Iraq is our PC policy making. All you need to do is look at how Japan was handled after WWII. This stark difference offers the opportunities that the terrorists seek. Look at how MacArthur dealt with the task. This was not PC, it was necessary.

We have done nothing to change the educational outlook of the Iraqi children for example. We rewrote the text books in Japan and changed the entire educational system. The only real change offered in Iraq, girls can now attend. How do we expect people of different character to emerge when we offer no differences to build on. You would think that we here in the US would have a better grasp of how to win minds through education. Children who are only now entering Iraqi high school will be leaders and decision makers for their communities in less then ten years. I submit to you that we have already allowed three years to pass with no substantiate change in personal outlook for the average Iraqi. The insurgents and terrorists know how important this is. They are blowing up schools and killing teachers hoping that the masses will not be reached.

MacArthur recognized the need for a national security force but he also knew that waiting before moving forward would allow for this to be successful. They demanded and collected all small arms and destroyed them. They focused on breaking the ties of lords and corrupt officials. This separation period allowed for true loyalty to be returned to the military when it was re-established. They did not have to worry about secondary loyalties like we see with various groups in Iraq.

I started this by talking about true commitment and what it takes to get a job done. I also pointed out how poor Iraq is polling. Total commitment and these poll numbers don't speak well of how we are dealing with Iraq. We failed to learn the lessons that MacArthur taught us. Now our lack of commitment may force us to pay a far greater price. Let me suggest to you that the answer we seek is already written in history. All we need is the guts and fortitude to follow the lesson plan well learned sixty years ago.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Has The Party Left You?

I have posted how the current party system is failing. I have posted how we need to refocus on the candidate and stop focusing on the party. Our current system gives us the candidate the party wants not necessarily the candidate the people want. Many have suggested that we need to stop giving to the party of choice and make direct choices with our money on the candidate. I have even given money to candidates I can't vote for simply because they represent values and ideas I would like to see advanced in our government.

The other day I was listening to talk radio and I heard an older women's shaky voice suddenly gain strength as she professed her political party. Once the name came out in all its glory, the strength left her and she once again continued in her feebleness. This tone and confidence change really got me. The power and history that welled up in this small voice made a strong impression and sent my mind off in other directions. I don't remember the program or topic but that voice stuck with me. Once again, I pondered how far our political parties have wondered.

We still use gross generalizations when speaking about ones political party. We tie them up with all kinds of labels and bows and present them to various people we come in contact with. These can become welcome conversations or bones of contention.

The reality of it all is the parties are no longer what once made them great. They are a mere shadow of what once unified and strengthened this nation. They carefully cloak themselves to gain favor and power. Often they rely on past triumphs to cover their less them stellar performances. How many times will past presidents be dug up and held high?

Have you ever considered how your values stack up to your party of choice? If you are an independent, how does your values stack up against the party of power?

I would love to see a national poll that actually shows how well the party stands up to its constituents. If a poll could find all registered voters for each party and list the main platforms to see how well the party is advancing those platforms and how many of those platforms actually represent those who would vote in their behalf. My bet is many are sucked in by single platform items. They may find much of their party of choice in direct opposition to where they stand. Yet, one or two key issues force them to hold fast. This very reason should force us to choose our candidates wisely. We need to stop the partisan separations and start focusing on key issue candidates who have similar values to our own. This subtle change in political choice may be the key to returning our nation to prosperity and uniting the divides that are tearing our nation apart from within.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006


I know many of you are tired of hearing about the Kim family. Why this became a national story escapes me. This is a tragic story about a young family that didn't follow basic guidelines when venturing out into the wilderness. The stories list all sorts of crazy things that would have stopped most of us and made us question our decision.

Facts have come flying in with decision stoppers like.
They had to remove large rocks from the road in order to drive on.
The road is an abandoned logging road.
The road has a number of signs warning about winter dangers.
The weather was reporting a winter storm warning for the area.
The road is barely passable by four wheel drive, why would someone choose to use a Saab wagon?
No food planning went into the trip.
The Kim's failed to fill up with gas before accessing the road.
No survival planning.

I personally have taken survival courses and ventured out in treacherous conditions. I have dug snow caves and made fires in difficult situations. I know it isn't easy. One must takes steps to prepare yourself and these people had done nothing.

After many days of doing little things with the nothing you have we find the man, James, venturing out on his own. His lack of familiarity with the surroundings only succeeded in confusing him. Failure to function as a group ultimately caused this mans death.

This same story is played out in various forms all over the planet. We see people making poor decisions with a lack of planning and fore thought. This man paid the price with his life. Others simply make every attempt to avoid responsibility for their actions. James couldn't avoid it nor push blame onto others.

Each of us should weigh our decisions carefully. We should look at both the pros and the cons. We should be prepared for the blessings and the curses and stop relying on others to come to our rescue. We should further take steps to prepare for set backs large and small. Since Katrina and 9-11 everyone has been told to put together a basic survival kit. Have You? Are you prepared for the next big disaster coming to your home town?

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Friday, December 01, 2006

A Different Christmas Poem

I recieved this from a friend. I know many of you will enjoy this. Feel free to pass it around.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

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