20 January 2009

A New Beginning For America

Historical Events are taking place today for the Country. The First African-American was sworn into Presidency, The Honorable Barack Obama Commander and Chief, I am so proudly to say. He gives us hope for this Country and a Positive outlook on things. Right now I am watching the on going events as I write this. Wishing I was in D.C to celebrate.

As I listened this morning to the first speech from the our new President I regained hope for the Country. President Obama says, "Putting off unpleasant decisions has surely passed, we need to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and begin rebuilding America." I think this is very true. We need to stop complaining and dwelling on the negative things and start focusing on what we can do as a country to fix the problems we have created. We need to Focus on the Economy and the Military and what it going to happen with the War. As a Active Military member I will be looking forward to President Obama's plans with the military and the war. Today is a day of celebrating for the Obama family. Tomorrow is the day work begins for the New President and the Country.

19 January 2009

The Guy who Dances on the Internet

So this guy Matt Harding, travels all over the world and is recorded dancing in the places he goes too. It's pretty cool actually. Stride Gum, sponsors him now. Man I wish I could travel all over the world for just a little dorky dance! Anyways Stride Gum sponsored his trip to 39 countries in all 7 continents in 2006 for 6 months. Then again in 2007 and 2008 so for 14 months he traveled to 42 countries and was recorded dancing. Here is the result.

I Have a Dream

As Martin Luther King says,

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

I think his dream is alive and being lived today. As tomorrow the country will have the first ever African-American President of the United States. 46 years later. Who would have ever thought back then that there would this day.

I think we as a country have a long ways to go. And maybe not just as a country but as world. As he states at the end of his speech, "When we let freedom ring." People need to be aware of the worlds problems and what they can do to help. If everyone would stop and think about someone else besides themselves, for once (not saying that people don't) but if they did look at how much we could accomplish in today's society. Why does war always have to be the answer, that really doesn't solve anything (yes i am in the military and it is job security for me but it doesn't mean I'm all for it.) If you just take the time and read part of his speech i posted, maybe you can learn a little and apply one of his dreams to your life.

18 January 2009

Gran Torino

This movie was great. I laughed and cried throughout the movie. It reminded me so much of Ken (non-biological) grandpa. It was almost textbook alike.
It was a good story about learning about life and death. And the meaning of it. Clint Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, a crusty old Korean War veteran whose neighbourhood has been overtaken by, what he so affectionately calls, zipperheads and gooks. Kowalski's anger does not begin and end with the Chinese people in his neighbourhood. He hates his two sons. He doesn't seem to like his priest. He certainly doesn't like his grandchildren. And I'm pretty convinced he wasn't too fond of Walt Kowalski either.

But with all that being said, good ol' Walt did have an affinity for beer, guns, his barber, his dog and of course his 1972 Gran Torino.

I don't want to give to much away. But I would strongly recommend this movie.

17 January 2009

AF Reading List

Each year the Air Force comes out with a recommended reading list. This years reading list includes 12 books. This year's reading list is organized into three areas: 1) Military History; 2) Mission, Doctrine, Profession; and 3) Our Nation and Our World. Here are 3 books that General Schwartz highlights.

The first book speaks to our Military History. American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day, by Robert Coram, details the life of a heroic man in the United States Air Force. Coram's superb biography of the most decorated living American veteran begins with Bud Day's childhood and follows him through joining the Air Force, marrying his high school sweetheart, and flying demanding missions in Vietnam. It is a truly remarkable story of a great Airman and Medal of Honor recipient.

The second book, Modern Strategy by Colin S. Gray, makes sense of the strategic history of the 20th Century and what this implies for the 21st Century. Gray recently wrote a thought-provoking Strategic Studies Quarterly article about Airpower and Irregular Warfare, and this book is an excellent backdrop for better understanding the demands on our Air Force.

The third book for this quarter is Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win, by Jeffrey Record. This book examines the phenomenon of victories by the weak over the strong, and more specifically, insurgencies that succeeded against great powers. Mr. Record reviews eleven insurgent wars from 1775 to the present and suggests why the seemingly weaker side won. He concludes that external assistance correlates more consistently with insurgent success than any other explanation.

Mission, Doctrine, Profession

Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice - David Galula
Twenty-First-Century Strategy: An Introduction to the Modern National Security Processes and Problems - Dennis M. Drew and Donald M. Snow
Modern Strategy - by Colin S. Gray
Thinking about America's Defense: An Analytical Memoir - Glenn A. Kent

Our Nation and World

Afghanistan: A Short History of its People and Politics - Martin Ewans
Beating Goliath: Why Insurgencies Win - Jeffrey Record
Contemporary Nuclear Debates: Missile Defense, Arms Control, and Arms Races in the Twenty-First Century - Alexander Lennon
Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda - Sean Naylor

Military History

American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day - Robert Coram
Fast Tanks and Heavy Bombers: Innovation in the U.S. Army, 1917-1945 - David E. Johnson
One Day Too Long: Top Secret Site 85 and the Bombing of North Vietnam - Timothy Castle
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power - Max Boot

Happy Reading.