ENGAGE ME. I AM ONE OF YOU.

I’d meant to publish this in it’s musical format in memory of my Brothers, but I’m just not there yet.  My voice is still shot, my guitar work is shaky, so, I decided to let it go as is for today and I’ll get back to the musical version as I can.  They wont mind as long as I didn’t forget.

RIP Santi.  I know you’re watching.  I miss you Brother.  Hi to Prince and Rex.

Engage Me

What was the price I was supposed to pay?

What quest did I fail, to whom should I pray?

Did I come back too whole to warrant your greetings?

Was my soul not enough, or were your graces too fleeting?

Best friends dying, some gone in the head

Others are drowning in poisons instead

No one back home cares a damn for this mess

They wish it was over they do confess

 

Engage me

I’m not a name on a wall

Engage me

Just one little call

Engage me

Why do you stall

Engage me

This will end in a fall

 

If you live through the chaos and make it back home

They’ll think you’ve been brainwashed, a killer drone

If you don’t conform and act just like them

You’ll be banished for life, scorned and condemned

People will leave you without recourse

No one will show one bit of remorse

They’re done with you now, you’ve outlived your need

Move along soldier, we’ve got a new breed

 

Engage me

There’s a price on my head

Engage me

I’ve made mistakes that I dread

Engage me

I’ve been so scared that I fled

Engage me

Give me some purpose instead

 

Once you were golden, the cream of the crop

The best of the best that no one could stop

Your buds had your six, they kept you alive

Twenty-four seven, three sixty-five

Now you’re a nothing, you’re on your own

Left for dead in the VA zone.

Nothing can be done, there’s nothing we can do

Just roll over there, boy, join the twenty-two.

 

Engage me

I cannot live in this place

Engage me

So, I don’t fall on my face

Engage me

My choices end in disgrace

Engage me

Give me a chance in this race

 

Nobody warned us how you would turn

That in a moment you could burn

All that we gave, and all that we saved

You’d be happy to lend us an early grave.

What if we didn’t answer the call

What if we turned away from the brawl

How would your towers still stand tall

What good would be done if we all fall

 

Engage me

I don’t want to be through

Engage me

I am one of you

Engage me

Can’t you see that it’s true

Engage me

I bleed red, white, and blue

 

I am just like you

end

03JUL16 oped

RIP Elie Wiesel. You are Israel.

Elie

I’ve read some really interesting op-eds regarding the UK split with the EU. Charles Krauthammer makes it sound as if the whole seventy or so year experiment was a circular exercise. It started out as a great idea. It did after all bring seven decades of peace to a Europe that hadn’t seen peace for over a hundred years. The grand experiment was poorly executed, however. With Brussels making itself more and more the unelected governing body of all, the twenty-eight  nationalist governments that make up the Eu are left holding the bag, so to speak and developing nationalist resentments. In other words, it was bound to happen and it did on June 23, 2016 in the UK. The “circular” part comes if and when Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to leave the UK. Then the UK’s exit will itself become a great idea executed badly.

Then we have Byron Williams penning (and I’m paraphrasing) that what is really important about this whole Brexit  thing is what’s going to happen down the road…and that we have only speculation to describe what that might be. Now that’s scary. The EU still have the Greek crisis, migration/refugees, a rising Russia, and terrorism to deal with. They must move on. In the UK, the “Leave” side are already reneging on some of the political rhetoric that brought them victory. The promise of monies coming back into Britain’s coffers won’t be realized for some time now as an exit can’t really happen overnight. Oh, and by the way, what if Scotland and Northern Ireland do leave the UK?

What does all this say about our own nationalist movement and Donald Trump? If as a result of Brexit, world markets continue to slide right up to November and if Brexit ends up turning Great Britain into Little Britain, does the Trump train derail?

The similarities between the two situations makes all of this compelling reading for me.  The Brussels crew taking over local power is so much like our own federal government taking over the state’s rightful duties, Brexit almost feels like a prequel to November.

I’m voting with the Brexits. Send the feds back to DC and the borders where they belong.

The day after

WhySoldiersCryI’ve not held California responsible for the way they vote since I’ve been here (1987). This ain’t Reagan’s California, not by a long shot. This is more like Che’s California. There’s an epic battle coming here in a few days regarding the next democrat to run for president. Killary has her fair share of followers but I have a feeling a lot of young and Hispanics are going to be feeling the Bern come June 7. This socialist leaning state is going to choose a socialist I believe and that, coupled with the renewed call for Killary’s head over her misuse of a personal server to do our county’s business, might just be enough to make the DNC a rather entertaining side story to the general election.

That’s not why I’m writing today though. There are other things Americana that I don’t see here in Cali or pretty much anywhere very often, if at all.

Yesterday, Memorial Day, I witnessed something I’ve not seen in years and it warmed my heart. I’ve been to ceremonies on this solemn day across the country. At most there have been a few hundred folks in attendance. Mostly older Americans who probably struggled to make it but make it they did. This has been a severe test of my endurance over the years. The more I believed you all didn’t give a damn, the less I wanted to be part of your world… and I would isolate until late June at best. To ease my pain and prevent catastrophic meltdowns, I’ve stuck with my hometown ceremonies here in Livermore since about the year 2000. There are never big crowds mind you but there are 3 of them and each carries several hundred participants each year. That seemed to appease the beast within that wants all of your attention on the fallen for this day.

This year has been a kind of awakening for me so at the behest of some really wonderful new veteran friends, I branched out once again and attended the ceremony in Danville, CA at the “All Wars Memorial” run by the Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley.  I was astounded.  I was in tears. I was prouder of my America than I’ve been able to be in a while. There were a thousand people there at least. Not just old folks but whole families braved the sun and heat for a few hours to pay their respect to the best of us no longer with us.  Danville, a little town with a huge heart made my day. Thank you Danville. Thank you VNDVD.

I slept good last night. My brothers and sisters were remembered and they let me be.

There is hope…

Why soldiers cry

No one strives for glory
It comes at too great a cost
For buried in that story
Are lives forever lost

Smiles and pride for those who survive
On the surface all is swell
Deep inside where memories strive
The soldier flirts with hell

A battle never ending
Rages on within
Past and present blending
Neither one will win

The moments few without care
A soldier’s strength decays
Another brother is always there
Or a sister in harm’s way

The soldier watches in abject fear
As others enter the murk
Of battle’s grind, of rend and tear
Where grief and shadows lurk

Sentries we wait for the return
Of any who may survive
Dying more with each soul turned
Crying for those still alive

There are no words, no prayer will do
No song that soothes our pain
When a teammate falls we fall too
Our hearts are one and the same.

No one told us the reason why
The price we paid was right
But now we know why soldiers cry
For the souls in eternal night.

In the news

I am normally very much a pro LEO kind of guy. Even without knowing all the details I will normally give the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement. Sadly, it is becoming more and more apparent that some departments have lost or are in the process of losing the ability to properly vet new recruits. Or have they simply given up in the cement jungles? It’s a terrible thing to be afraid of the people we have traditionally depended on to be there for us because they now might very well intentionally hurt or even kill us while in custody.  But to have management seemingly on board with covering it up is significantly worse. Something is wrong. Every day or nearly so I read, hear or see a report about another police brutality case. Today I’m reading about an old case that was never investigated. It involved the BART police (local public transit authority), the Hayward police dept and one DUI suspect the officials claimed was acting aggressively. The victim’s family members got access to the film from a body cam of one of the cops involved, there were many, and it was quite horrifying. James Greer, pulled over for suspected DUI wasn’t the aggressor, the video shows, contrary to official reports, and he was tased so many times that he died as a result. 7 minutes after Greer was rendered unconscious the cops began CPR.   SEVEN MINUTES AFTER! No one investigated it. No one. Shame on you BART and Hayward, CA.  Who the hell will ever be stupid enough to trust you now? Yes the family are in the processes of suing both. The larger problem of course is where do we go from here? I don’t believe trust is an option in some areas. Them v us? How much does that suck?

Looking at numbers for land loss due to development, every 2.5 minutes we lose an area the size of a football field to  developement here in the USA. Each year we lose an area the size of LA.  Yet, in CA where the loss was the greatest from 2001 to 2011 (785 sq mi), out of the states 155,554 total square miles of space, we’ve only developed 30,641 sq mi. Space is hard to reckon I reckon but it seems like we’ve spoiled a whole lot more than 1/5 of Cali.

Local politics: prop 50 is an initial attempt at reigning in corruption in  Sacramento. It allows the assembly and the senate to withhold pay for a suspended member. Good start but there’s more work to be done. This won’t stop corruption. It will punish caught corruption. It’s reactive not proactive. There are still lots of shady activities that don’t qualify for suspension too. More work to be done but something is better than the usual nothing.

Folks want to know why there still is an education divide among our diverse population. Asians graduate HS at a 64% rate, whites at 45% and 34% of blacks. Here’s what I know. Asian kids don’t do anything until their homework is done, corrected, redone and re-corrected until right, every single day. Take it from there.

No laughing matter, men who’ve had accidents that cost them their man parts may now have the option of transplant. It works apparently. This is awesome news for soldiers who come home from combat the victim of “emasculation” injuries. A big HOOAH to medical science for that one.

Nothing much newsy on the political front. Bernie has won 19 states. The Clinton camp wants to know, “Wtf you still in the race for?”.  Bernie said, “cuz”. Everyone, everywhere is still desperately trying to derail the Trump train in any way possible. The Donald still don’t give a flying fart and is serving cocktails in the lounge car. “Data is overrated”…fekkin  beautiful.

Clinton now claiming that a vote for her is a vote for Slick Willy too. She must have need for a lot of interns, eh? Wink, wink, nod , nod. 😉 No, she really means for him to take over the economy, since she doesn’t have the first fucking clue herself. OMG!😠😡😕😣😤

The shine sure comes off quick doesn’t it? TESLA busted for importing and then not only underpaying them but even abandoning injured workers? Wtf, over? Don’t go begging the old, “this is a sub contractor not TESLA” pitch. It occurred in your facility working on your product. BOOOOO! Take care of business.

Wow, Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma, that was impressive. Did you do that just for me? With Westbrook and Durant to offset Curry and Thompson, this is going to be fun.  So, okay, I’ll shut up about it now. Go dubs!

Sharks fans are down to their last fingernails already. Relax folks, it’s one loss. If they lose two, then we can start freaking out. Go Sharks!

Notice how smoothly I can turn into a Bay Area Sports Fan when there’s no Boston skin in the game? Don’t laugh. Most often I would continue rooting for Beantown teams even if they didn’t make the playoffs. I’ve grown.

Tim landed with the Angels. Good for you bud. Now go out there and smoke ’em again. It would be so awesome if Tim Lincecum could return to some level of his previous prowess. I’ll be cheering for him. This kid carried SF and the whole bay area for a few years. To have lost it so young? Ugh! You go freak.

Quick quiz: What is Memorial Day about?

Hints:

Nuff said? We are who we remember to honor.  Honor no one and go to the beach instead, then we are no one.

In the news

There needs to be a clause in the secret service handbook that says when the president starts acting like an ass, they are allowed to slap him in the face. No one in this country deserves a slap in the face more than Obama right now, Not even Killary…at least until I finish these paragraphs.
WAKE UP AND GET OUT OF OUR LIVES. You’re the president not God. We do not need your morals. They are yours. I will absolutely bust any man’s head if he attempts to go into the lady’s room with any female member of my family. I identify as a protective father type. Put me in jail for that, Mr President. What a SHIT! 😠😬😤

Finally, the baggage this person has collected is catching up with her, and just in time too. Mrs Killary is being pounced on from all directions now. From the scrutiny being shown her “Clinton Global Initiative” entanglements (can she ever really disengage from her global goals and function solely as president? How?). Gowdy seems ready to drop the hammer finally on Benghazi. One has to wonder if ole Trey ain’t been sandbagging all this time and really does have some meat to lay on the table. I wait with batted breath (for her head to roll). The FBI is completing their investigation into her use of a personal email server for government business, including perhaps state secrets. One hacker has already been into her server. IMO, I would not be surprised if half the world has been in her server too. She sure as hell doesn’t know. It doesn’t appear that she cares either since she also used an unsecured blackberry at the same time.  Can you say irresistible?

All the crap they’re slinging at Trump isn’t enough to dent his lead over the murderess. They are digging deep looking for sex scandals etc. Hahahahaha. How fekking stupid are they? Are they really going to open that can of worms with the possibility of a Randy Slick Willy returning to the WH? Box of chocolates and stupid is, etc…

The top commander of Lebanon’s Hezbollah has been killed in an explosion in Syria. Mustafa Badreddine, who was helping Assad fight rebels in Syria since 2012 is now dead, stumbling around somewhere terrible I hope, looking for his 72 virgins. Yes friends, God is great. 😇

Congress again did nothing yesterday. Puerto Rico can go fish I guess? The poor starving dears in congress want a raise too. I make about 1/8 of what they do on SS. I can’t get a raise this year. Neither can Veterans. Congress, illegals and refugees “earn” more $ and benefits than I do and I’m the one who worked and paid for them. Is this your America? It sure as hell isn’t mine. Thanks for that, by the way. And yes, next time you fuck up and need my life to save your punk ass, I’ll still be here. Just call. Ungrateful shits!

Women in combat. Women in the draft. Whew? We smokin now! 😉 Are we paying them the same yet? No? Shame is!

Moonbeam ran out of other people’s money so Calitaxia is about to get hammered again. I guess he figures dumping another few billion of debt on our grandkids isn’t such a great idea. We’ll reject his request for a tax extension and he’ll defer the debt instead anyway. Nobody says NO to Moonbeam, nobody, even if he needs the money for the same shit he didn’t do with the money last time he forked us. Ah, California, where to go to get screwed by your state as bad as you get screwed by the feds. We willingly elect this crap over and over again. Or we don’t and they own the whole process. I don’t know really, which makes more sense…

Oh and we’re claiming (Californians) that we have been way out on the leading edge of the transgender potty issue. We have, actually, for years had “unisex” restrooms in place in schools, libraries and the workplace.  Problem solved without  jeopardizing children’s safety. These are single units. Why not build a few of these and let birth sex identifiers have their privacy? Are they not citizens too? I know, I know. This is way too fekking simple and some no-function liberal functionary from a prominent do-nothing think tank didn’t take 6 years and $7 billion to figure it out, that’s why.

College kids are pissed off at Google for using their data. Hahaha. Let me ask this. Do you pay for Google services? Mail, +, search, maps, guidance, etc, etc ad infinitum??? No? Did you think “Google does stuff cause their like really cool dude”? Take note for the future, nothing is for nothing.

Mallard Fillmore today: “Hey Martha, remember when “Is the Pope Catholic” was a rhetorical question?”
Ba doom bah!
WUMO: Two mad scientists in a lab with an old white guy in a large test tube…one is reporting, “We have succeeded in distilling the essence of an old, white male’s anger and see great commercial opportunities. It can be used in chemical warfare, manufacturing of acid, for fighting weeds…”
You have no fekkin idea!😈

American hero, we have so few, SWO1 Charles Keating IV, was laid to rest yesterday. He was honored by Americans lining the streets of Coronado who’d come to say goodbye. A Navy SEAL who fell in Iraq on 3 MAY 2016, defending innocents, standing tall, fighting to allow a rescue to unfold. God bless you brother. Rest in peace with all your many brave comrades. Thank you to the wonderful Americans who showed up for him and his family. As always, thanks to the Patriot Guard.

There are no words, no prayer will do
No song that soothes our pain
When a teammate falls we fall too
Our hearts are one and the same.

From “Why soldiers cry”… To be released when I can.