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The Ugly American
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
  The Sailor's Christmas
A friend sent me this. I wish I could acknowledge the author but it came anonomously. For those of you that have never served understand why those of us that do or did do it. It's love of country, family and friends that make us do what we do.

The Sailor's Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.

They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 80-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.

They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, at once I saw clearly.

A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.

This was the hero I saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."

"Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear."

I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it's Christmas Eve and the ship's underway!
But freedom isn't free and it's sailors who pay.

The Sailor say's to our country "be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night's cold chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is Secure!"


Do a good thing, click on my link to Treats for Troops!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2004
  Buying Blue (or Red)!
Buying Blue (or Red)!

I came across this web site this morning. It’s called . It was put together by “blues” but I’d say it’s useful to both sides.

The thing that caught me eye about this list is the fact that while “red” retailers gave significant amounts of money to “red” candidates they didn’t give ALL of their contributions to one party. On the flip side, many of the “blue” contributors gave 100% of their political donations to one party. The other thing that I found a little strange was the fact that the stores that “blue staters” like to slam and associate with “red-staters” actually deserve to be associated with them! Looking at that list would also explain why I had trouble finding “Unfit” at Barnes and Noble.

I also found it kind of amusing that beer and hard liquor tend to support “red” and wineries tend to support “blue”. I guess that explains that wine and cheese crowd I hear so much about!

The thing that disappointed me most was seeing my beloved “Sonic” supporting all “blue”!!! At least I still have the Macaroni Grill!
  Snow in Hampton Roads!
Today marks the start of winter here in Hampton Roads. Weather turned a little nasty last night as Virginia Beach was dusted with a whopping ½” of snow late last night and early this morning.
I grew up in the Northeast so the occasional snow storm is not new to me. I also spent a winter living on a golf course in Syracuse, NY. The course was white almost the entire time I lived on it. It doesn’t matter how much snow they get in Syracuse, nothing EVER stops up there! But down here it’s a different story. In ’96 we had a snow storm here. 5” fell one night and my kids didn’t go to school for 5 days! Virginia, or at least this part of Virginia, is not prepared for any amount of accumulation.
I heard Rick Rumble, one of our local morning radio personalities, say this morning that 4 wheel drive doesn’t mean 4 wheel stop. It looked like there weren’t enough people listening to my radio station this morning! This is pretty standard around here though.
It seems like the snow has only accumulated in the intersections. At least that’s the only place it seems to be sticking to the roads and man, people just don’t seem to care. They go flying down the road like it’s a nice spring day and then they go sliding through the intersections. There are accidents all over the place!
But to me, the most entertaining thing that happens around here is due to the way the drainage systems are built. On many of the roads around Tidewater there are drainage ditches along the sides of the roads and I mean right along the side of the road. At least that’s what they claim they’re there for. They do fill up with water when we get the torrential rains that we get around here sometimes but they do seem to work extremely well at keeping cars and trucks out of your living room when we get this occasional winter storm. So, instead of some dumb ass driving through your living room they end up down in the ditch!
Anyway, the sun is out and most of the snow should be gone by the end of the day. The beauty that snow brings, turning everything white for a while will melt away and luckily, it’s supposed to warm up so there should be no black ice problems tonight. That’s one thing we don’t need around here is ice. The snow is bad, but people with 4 wheel drive really think they got something going on when there’s ice on the ground!
To all you poor bastards that live in real snow country, watch out for the folks that live in my neck of the woods. They don’t have a clue how to handle these “treacherous” conditions!
Thursday, December 16, 2004
  Missile Defense...when?
An experimental interceptor missile failed to get off the ground in a test of the U.S. national missile defense system early Wednesday, I would say, this thing really sucks!

According to this the first full test in two years. They say it actually went 5 for 8 once, but the test was extremely scripted. So unless Kim Jong Il calls the Whitehouse and says, “I’m firing………!”, We might be screwed!

In my limited search I wasn’t able to come up with any civilian companies involved with this project. Maybe that’s the problem? If it’s being completely controlled by the government it’ll never get off the ground!
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
  Digital Video Recording!
I just hooked up my new DVR from Cox Communications and I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread! For the price of a video rental or two a month you can get a Digital Video Recorder from my cable company. From what I can tell, this nifty piece of equipment is showing up all over the place. I was visiting family up in NJ and Comcast was offering a DVR also.

This little electronic marvel is awesome. It allows you to pick your favorite TV series and record them all. I can finally catch up on all those episodes of CSI I missed because I was too stupid to know it was a good show until a few friends told me about it. I set it up the other night to record all the CSI’s on the Spike channel. My butt will be planted in my easy chair for HOURS watching these programs!

It allows you to watch 2 football games at one time and never miss a minute of the action. It even allows you to pause a game, get up and take out the garbage before the end of the game and not miss a second of the action! Although, I’m not really sure this is any kind of benefit for any guy I know! And how about this? Fast forward through the boring commercials just to watch the twins in the Coors Light commercials! Over and over if you want!

Up to 60 hours of recording! Anything your little heart desires. Fast forward and rewind features. I’m telling you, this thing is great! What more could a TV junky like me ask for?

The only downfall I’ve found so far is that I have to relearn all those buttons on the remote. Like any good channel surfer, I know where all the buttons are on the remote. It might also have something to do with the fact that I use reading glasses these days (must be something in the water) and I can’t SEE the damn buttons! I’m sure I’ll have this little problem fixed in a jiffy!

One more thing. I'm renting mine from my cable company because they surely ain't cheap! I'm also not sure that if you purchased one it would work with all cable inputs. I still think it's an incredible new toy!
  Christmas is gone!
All around the world Christmas is disappearing! I read on today that it’s not only happening in the U.S., but all around the world!

We have the parade in Denver, the Christmas tree in Jacksonville and now this! Reuters Even in Italy, home to the Vatican, it’s apparently not politically correct to show reverence for what this holiday season really is all about. In Rome, which is where Vatican City is located, several Italian schools have replaced a play about the nativity with Little Red Riding Hood! They were even banning bus drivers in Chicago from playing radio stations that play the occasional Christmas tune. I bet it’s OK to play Adam Sandlers’ Hanukkah song though!

The thing that really irks me is how I keep reading that Christmas is being banned but holidays like Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are not! What makes that fair? In a discussion about the Denver parade someone told me it’s not supposed to be all about them, them being people who celebrate Christmas. I said I agreed, it was supposed to be all about EVERYBODY! What’s next? I guess I better get my personal copies of “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” before they get banned! I actually already own a copy of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I think I’m allergic to it. My eyes always seem to get really watery towards the end!

OK look, I understand this cultural diversity thing, but let’s get real here! How many of you are NOT going to take December 24th off this year? That’s what I thought. How many of you have a Christmas tree, or as a good friend of mine used to call it, a Hanukkah bush in your house? Yeah, I figured that one out on my own also. Done any CHRISTMAS shopping yet? Me either, I always wait until the last minute too! How about the front of your house? I’ll even agree and call those “holiday” lights.

I’m one of those so called, self-hating Catholics. I don’t go to church anymore for anything other than weddings, baptisms and funerals but I still celebrate Christmas. My kids know what Christmas is really all about and no matter how hard “they” try all kids should be allowed to know what Christmas is really all about. We as a people are told that we need to understand other religions and cultures and I say that’s fine. I just don’t expect it to happen at the expense of my own culture!

It is THE holiday season and ONE of those holidays is Christmas!
Thursday, December 02, 2004
  Canada Flooded!
This came in an e-mail this morning so I thought I'd share it with anyone that wanders in here off the street! Enjoy!

Mon Nov 22,12:10 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly.
Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology and education professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.
''I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry.
''He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken.
When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"
In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. ''Not real effective," he said. ''The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."
Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.
''A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water.
They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though."
When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch football and NASCAR.
In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers. ''If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.
Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.
''I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. ''How many art-history and education majors does one country need?"
In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice-President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said.
''We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is determined to reach out."
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
  Values my.....Eye!
I keep hearing this value issue and people from the left just screaming how it’s the end of the world, the sky is falling. Holy Mackeral!

Exit polls seemed to consistently show that people were looking at values as a deciding factor in who they voted for this year. The left takes this to mean that the religious right is now taking over the country! Depending on which poll you look at on it’s either 26 or 40 % of people say they attend services at least once a week. I believe the 26%. That's not a big chunk of the voting block folks. I've also covered the Supreme Court issue before. It'd be 7-2 right now on the conservative side if justices voted the way they were appointed.

Here’s a definition of value: A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable. Anything in there say religion? I don’t see it. The deal for me as far as values goes would be what I saw from the swift boat veterans. And even if you try to tell me half of what they say is a lie I say that’s fine the other half is enough to let me know that this guy should never ever be president!

It was Kerry’s' ENTIRE chain of command! I did 20 years in the navy and I guarantee you I can find at least one person that I worked for that would stick up for me! You would think that a guy running on his war record could have come up with a few more buddies to back him up! I saw to many people that served with him that said he was no good! Again, even if you only believe half of them, the other half is enough!

You know he came down here where I live for a swift boat reunion and couldn't get a photo op? That was before the book. None of the guys he served with were willing to have their pictures taken with him!

I'll tell you this about military life. Navy life. You sure do forget a lot of the BS over time. You remember your last command as a good command even though you thought it kinda sucked while you were there.

And you remember most of the guys you were stationed with as pretty decent folks, but I think there might have always been one or two guys...that you just didn't like. Listening to all those other veterans, that was the feeling I got from them.

He's never signed standard form 180. WHY NOT? What’s he hiding? I’ve heard rumors, but I’ll be nice and not put them here.

And that's the values I'm talking about. You can't put it in words. It's an "I just don't like him" kinda feeling. I honestly think that a person I wouldn't want in my backyard for a barbeque should not be president of the United States of America.

So Mr. Kerry, you are not invited to my next barbeque!

Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

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Location: Virginia Beach, United States

20 year Navy vet, originally from NJ now living in Virginia Beach and yeah, Life Is Good!

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