Friday, April 30, 2010
Why can't I write inspired sh*t like this? - S.L.
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton was a completely crazy nutjob who had more adventures on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night than most lesser humans manage to cram into a two-week vacation inside the stomach of a still-breathing whale. This author, soldier, adventurer, explorer, geographer, translator, linguist, fencer, duelist, anthropologist, and pretty much anything else you can ever think of –ist spoke a mind-crushing 29 different languages and dialects fluently, wrote 50+ books ranging in content and sanity from travelogues to erotic fiction, explored uncharted lands in India, Africa, and the Middle East, and was the first person to translate the borderline-pornographic content of The Kama Sutra and The Arabian Nights into English. He also had a gnarly attitude, a glorious beard, and a hot temper that drove him to kill more people than a Dirty Harry movie.
MORE of this glorious MADNESS continues here . . .
His plan was to occupy Mexican forces to prevent attacks against the critical supply convoy it was his mission to defend. While the Legionnaires prepared to defend the inn, the Mexican commander, Colonel Milan, demanded Danjou and soldiers surrender, noting the Mexican Army's numeric superiority. Danjou replied: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." He then swore to fight to the death, an oath which was seconded by the men.
Around 11 a.m. the Mexicans were increased in size by the arrival of 1,200 infantry. The Hacienda took fire but the French had lost all water early in the morning when pack mule were lost during the retreat.
At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died; his soldiers continued fighting despite overwhelming odds under the command of an inspired 2nd Lt. Vilain, who held for four hours before falling during an assault.
At 5 p.m only 12 Légionnaires remain around 2nd Lt. Maudet. Soon after, with ammunition exhausted, the last of Danjou's soldiers, numbering only five under the command of Lt. Maudet, desperately mounted a bayonet charge.
Two men died outright, while the rest continued the assault. The tiny group was surrounded and beaten to the earth.
The Mexican commander Colonel Milan managed to prevent his men from ripping the surviving legionnaires to pieces. When the last two survivors were asked to surrender, they insisted that Mexican soldiers allow them safe passage home, to keep their arms, and to escort the body of Captain Danjou. To that, the Mexican commander commented, "What can I refuse to such men? No, these are not men, they are devils," and, out of respect, agreed to these terms.
Thanks to the heroic stand of the Foreign Legion in Camarón de Tejeda, Veracruz, the French supply convoy made it safely to Puebla. The Mexicans failed to relieve the siege and the city fell on May 17.
"Camerone Day" is the most important day for the Legion Etranger, for it best represents the fighting spirit of these men. The wooden prosthetic hand of Capitaine Danjou is brought out for display and veneration in special ceremonies at the Legion headquarters at Aubagne, France. That day officers prepare the coffee for their men to celebrate the one they didn't have time to drink before the battle.
After hearing of the battle, French Emperor Napoleon III had the name Camerone embroidered onto the flag of the Foreign Legion.
In 1892, a monument was dedicated to the Foreign Legion at the site of the battle. It reads:
ILS FURENT ICI MOINS DE SOIXANTE
OPPOSÉS A TOUTE UNE ARMÉE
SA MASSE LES ÉCRASA
LA VIE PLUTOT QUE LE COURAGE
ABANDONNA CES SOLDATS FRANÇAIS
LE 30 AVRIL 1863
A LEUR MEMOIRE LA PATRIE ELEVA CE MONUMENT*
They were less than sixty opposite here a whole army. The masses crushed them rather. Their life, rather than courage, gave up these French soldiers on April 30, 1863. In their memory the fatherland raised this monument.
French Foreign Legionnaires during the French intervention in Mexico (1862-1867)
To this day, Mexican soldiers, present arms when they pass this monument.
The French Foreign Legion still possesses the wooden hand of Captain Danjou, its most sacred relic.
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Canis latrans - Not normally a threat to humans, they do go after small pets. In some areas coyotes have begun to act aggressively toward humans, chasing joggers and bicyclists, confronting people walking their dogs, and stalking small children.
" . . . Perry carries a .380 Ruger with hollow point bullets when jogging, as the area is known for coyotes harassing dogs and cats in the area and sometimes people. He primarily carries the pistol because he is afraid of snakes."
The next time I pack heat when I'm out on a long-distance run through the woods won't be the first time - for jogging I carry a lightweight frame Charter Arms five-round snub-nosed revolver loaded with ratshot for the snakes interspersed with hollowpoints for the big, two legged snakes. - S.L.
Anybody know where I can get a good deal on one of these babies?
A 70-seat Tsunami?
Will it make a difference? Can they undo the mess the Dems got us into . . . or is it too late? - S.L.
No Surprise Here:
Media still clueless about Tea Parties
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Two weeks ago a mentally ill man hacked to death a second grader and an elderly woman with a meat cleaver in southern Guangxi, and injured five other people.
The Gun is Civilization
By "Major L. Caudill, USMC(Ret)" - a.k.a. Marko Kloos
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat -- it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.
It removes force from the equation . . . and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
"So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced."
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Bin Laden had 'No Clue' About 9/11 Retaliation
WASHINGTON - Osama bin Laden had no idea the U.S. would hit al-Qaeda as hard as it has since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, says Noman Benotman, who was head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the summer of 2000. "I'm 100 percent sure they had no clue about what was going to happen."
Sitting on the floor at bin Laden's compound in Kandahar, Afghanistan during a meeting the summer before the attacks, Benotman shocked bin Laden and more than 200 other international jihadist leaders by telling the al-Qaeda leader his jihadi strategy was "a total failure."
"He asked for my help. Bin Laden asked me personally, you know. I responded immediately on the spot, 'No. I'm not going to help you.'"
Bin Laden was stunned.
Benotman says he spoke frankly because his reputation allowed him to . . . he was someone bin Laden respected.
"What happened after the 11th of September was beyond their imagination, " says Benotman, who adds that al-Qaeda thought the U.S. was a "paper tiger."
"I've spent more time in the front line engaging with the enemy than bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri and the entire group of al-Qaeda."
Zawahiri laughed when he warned those at the 2000 meeting that the U.S. response would be swift, hard and long. Zawahiri, according to Benotman, expected only a missile attack.
"When they attacked the embassies in East Africa, they estimated the U.S. launched 75 cruise missiles and eight people got killed. So they said this time, maybe they will launch 200 and they laughed about this."
Noman Benotman with gun.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) also known as Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya is the most powerful radical faction waging Jihad in Libya against Colonel Moammar al-Qadhafi. Shortly after the 9-11 attacks, LIFG was banned worldwide (as an affiliate of al-Qaeda) by the UN 1267 Committee.
This man's testimony rings true. Read the rest here.
When Army platoon leader Lt. Sam Nuxoll was asked how he spent most of his time in Iraq, he responded, “Making PowerPoint slides.” When pressed, he said he was serious.
The mind-numbing effect of the ubiquitous "Death By PowerPoint" 30-slide presentation has become so counter-productive, even the general officers are starting to get it.
Secretary of State Colin Powell gave a posthumous award for "constructive dissent" to Hiram (Harry) Bingham IV.
For over fifty years, the U.S. State Department resisted any attempt to honor Bingham. For them he was an insubordinate member of the US diplomatic service and a dangerous maverick who was eventually demoted.
Now, after his death, he has been officially recognized as a hero.
Harry Bingham came from an illustrious family. His father (on whom the fictional character Indiana Jones was based) was the archaeologist who unearthed the Inca City of Machu Picchu , Peru in 1911.
Harry entered the US diplomatic service and in 1939 was posted to Marseilles , France as American Vice-Consul.
The USA was then neutral and, not wishing to annoy Marshal Petain's puppet Vichy regime, President Roosevelt's government ordered its representatives in Marseilles not to grant visas to any Jews.
Bingham found this policy immoral and, risking his career, did all in his power to undermine it.
In defiance of his bosses in Washington , he granted over 2,500 US visas to Jewish and other refugees, including the artists Marc Chagall and Max Ernst and the family of the writer Thomas Mann.
He also sheltered Jews in his Marseilles home and obtained forged identity papers to help Jews in their dangerous journeys across Europe.
He worked with the French underground to smuggle Jews out of France into Franco's Spain or across the Mediterranean and even contributed to their expenses out of his own pocket.
In 1941, Washington lost patience with him.. He was sent to Argentina, where later he continued to annoy his superiors by reporting on the movements of Nazis there.
Eventually, he was forced out of the American diplomatic service completely.
Bingham died almost penniless in 1988.
Little was known of his extraordinary activities until his son found some letters in his belongings after his death. He has now been honored by many groups and organizations including the United Nations and the State of Israel.
He is a Hero. Honor his memory.
- Sean Linnane.
The "En-Zed" in ANZAC stands for NEW ZEALAND -
New Zealand and Australian soldiers landing at Anzac Cove, 25 April 1915.
"From One of The Anzacs
'Tho we've done a bit of fighting
We still got more to do
For they took us from Gallipoli
Before we got quite through
But let us hope we'll finish
Very soon, what we've begun
To wipe forever off the map
The Devastating Hun."
A New Zealander displays the flag of her country at ANZAC Cove for ANZAC Day Sunrise Memorial Service, Gallipoli.
Monday, April 26, 2010
A reader writes from Down Under:
The media said today there were about 20,000 people at the Australian War Memorial at 0530 for the Dawn Service. I think is was probably about 12,000-14,000, personally. It was very dark . . .
Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
The first Dawn service I went to at the AWM was about 1985, and there were no more than 400 to 500 present and it was held inside the Galleries of the Fallen.
Since that nadir, attendance has just kept growing. Something - I do not really understand what - is happening to my countrymen, that attendance at ANZAC Day Dawn Services and marches has grown so much since the 80s. But if you want to try and understand an Australian - attend a Dawn Service. You, of course, know this.
Always surprising to see how many busloads of people, especially school kids, are there. It had poured with rain for much of the night, but they were still there, and would have been if it was still pouring.
The media said there were about 12,000 at the march and daytime Services (1000-1200 local time), they were not far off. After my unit marched past and we got into the stands, I counted about 10,000 people visible to me. Each stand has 1089 seats, making crowd estimation simpler.
There are no more 1914-1918 veterans now, and the ranks of the 1939-1945 men are thinning. Once, we thought that mattered and the lefties celebrated the thought that ANZAC Day would sort of fade away.
Now, we know this to be untrue. As the ranks of the veterans thin, attendance rises.
I think that says something solid about my countrymen.
About 40,000 people gathered on a crisp, still morning for the Anzac Day dawn service at the West Australian War Memorial in Perth.
Australian soldiers fix bayonets in preparation for the assault in the Battle of Fromelles, France, 19 July 1916
The Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
"They gave their lives. For that public gift they receive a praise which never ages and a tomb most glorious - not so much the tomb in which they lie, but that in which their fame survives, to be remembered for ever when occasion comes for word and deed." - Pericles' speech over the dead warriors of Athens
My mother took me & my brothers to see the Australian War Memorial during a visit to Canberra in 1974. We have several Australian veterans in our family; my maternal grandfather Bob Leonard had three ships torpedoed out from under him in the early years of World War I and survived, and my uncle Phillip was shot down over Charleroi, Belgium in October of 1941 - his name is engraved upon the inside of the dome in the Hall of Memory of the AWM - when I was stationed in Germany I took my family to visit his grave and we paid our respects - Sean Linnane
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day – 25 April – marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
This day special to Australians -
In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders.
What was planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.
Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed in obscure, far-off places with strange sounding names: Suvla, Anzac Cove, Lone Pine. The Gallipoli Campaign made a profound impact on Australians; 25 April has become the day on which Australians remember the sacrifice of their honored war dead.
ANZAC Day 2010 marks the official one-year anniversary of Blog STORMBRINGER. The following is reprinted from last year's ANZAC Day post:
The Dardanelles / Gallipoli campaign of 1915 set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies, via the straits of the Dardanelles. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany.
This was the Operation Enduring Freedom (Iraq War) of its day; what had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. But while Operation Enduring Freedom actually achieved its tactical objectives, Gallipoli was a tactical and strategic defeat for Allied forces.
As First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill was credited with developing the overall strategy; the campaign's failure led to Churchill’s demotion and contributed to the collapse of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith's government.
On 15 November 1915 Churchill resigned from the government, and though remaining an MP, served for several months on the Western Front commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, under the rank of Colonel. This is the equivalent of a Bush Administration cabinet-level Secretary – or a serving Congressman - participating in a front-line capacity in the battles of Fallujah or Rumallah.
The campaign began in February 1915 with a series of naval actions in which aging British and French battleships attempted to force the straits. These actions proved disastrous after mines sank two British battleships.
Commonwealth & French forces landed at Gallipoli on 25 April against fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. At the end of 1915 allied forces evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.
A trench at Lone Pine after the battle, showing Australian and Turkish dead on the parapet
In all, the Gallipoli Campaign cost the Allies 141,113 killed and wounded and the Turks 195,000. Over 11,200 Australian and New Zealander soldiers were killed and approximately 23,700 were wounded in Gallipoli, of which some 2000+ were permanently maimed (as attested in the patriotic song ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’).
The Australian and New Zealand casualty figures represented a significant percentage of the overall military-age population:
• Approximately 40% of the available men of military age of Australia and New Zealand (about 10% of the total population of both countries) served in World War I.
• Of the total casualties 1914-1918, almost 15% of all Australians and New Zealanders killed in action (KIA) during the First World War died during a six-month time period in a very small place called Gallipoli.
By direct comparison to the current American men-of-military-age demographic, this would represent an approximate figure of 600,000-plus KIA across any single six-month period 2003 to present, in an area of operations less than 7 miles wide by 25 miles long. I have always maintained that “body count math” is a sick science that absorbs defeatists, but this ratio certainly puts our current engagements into a perspective that even the most cynical critic of the current conflict must appreciate.
The Australian War Memorial website
New Zealand History Online
The memorial at ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Bone Yard, near Davis_Monthan Air Force Base - Tucson, Arizona. As you inspect these amazing photos, bear in mind that each one of these babies had a multi-million dollar price tag!
For those of you that have never seen this, it is something to see.
The precision in the way they are parked is impressive.
It's difficult to comprehend the size of the 'Bone yard' and the number of aircraft stored there. Of course the important thing to remember is that they are all capable of being returned to service if the need ever arises.
If you are ever in the Tucson area, the weekly tours of the bone yard are still given through the Tucson Air Museum, located just south of Davis-Monthan AFB.
Both the museum and the bone yard are very popular attractions in the Arizona
desert. It is difficult to comprehend the number of military aircraft in dead storage
until you see these photographs!
Even if you have seen this before, look again. The 3rd largest Air Force in the world is sitting on the ground here.
A United States Marine was attending some college courses after doing his bit in Iraq and Afghanistan and getting out. One of the courses had a professor
who was an avowed atheist, and a member of the ACLU.
One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "GOD!! If You are real then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes!"
The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop.
Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am GOD, I'm still waiting . . ."
It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.
The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently.
The other students were shocked and stunned, and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What in the world is the matter with you? Why did you do that?"
The Marine calmly replied, "God is too busy today protecting American warriors who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff like that and act like an idiot. So He sent me."
The preceding anecdote illustrates to me, better than ever before, the meaning of the Serenity Prayer; guidance I use to help keep me from driving myself insane at the stupidity and illogic of the world around me - Sean Linnane
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Right now I am in the airport coming home- I will attempt to post via my Blackberry device. The hardest part is getting imagery to accompany the post.
- Sean Linnane)
By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."
Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:
"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.
I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.
"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed
Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.
But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."
Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.
Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.
Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke
Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.
If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.
I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.
Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.
Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."
Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.
And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.
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