Major Dad 1984

Cursed By A Classical Education

Let's just say that I intend to use this blog to blow off some steam that I might be feeling with the International/National media, my work situation, or maybe even to tee off on the family in a humorous way of course!


Common Sense....Just Ain't All That Common

As part of my job...I'm fixing to send a group of folks to places that include Iraq and Afghanistan. Part of my job is to make sure that they have the appropriate gear to make them comfortable and mission ready. If you can believe that t-shirts fall into that category of equipment, then you're way ahead of me.

In any case, yesterday afternoon, I went to the local Military Clothing Sales Store to purchase 128 t-shirts for my "gang." Even on a post as large as ours...I cleaned out shelves...forcing myself to go across different brands to get all 128 shirts. When checking out with an over-flowing shopping cart, the cashier and I did our level best to keep track of what I'd bought...and what I'd paid for with a government credit card. I knew that in my heart of hearts that there would be at least a few mistakes.

When I got them back to the office and began to lay them all out, my worst suspicions were indeed confirmed. What I had on the tables in front of me didn't balance with the line items that appeared on the receipt. No problem, these folks will be easy to deal with. The bottom line...was that I had 127 t-shirts, not 128 and I didn't have the right numbers of types/sizes.

Trying to exercise some common sense, I decided to take the shirts that I had no use for...back for an exchange/refund and then get the remaining shirts needed to outfit the force. Bottom line, I thought that if I took the receipt (that reflected completely different figures) and the six shirts I had no need for, that I could get what I needed done, done. MajorMom was along for the ride when I had taken about 60 minutes making notes to help me explain the situation...I had to tell her that I was trying to figure out the best way to explain to someone with less than a room temperature IQ what had happened...and why they should help me.

Well, upon arrival at Clothing Sales I did get to talk to a manager...and there were more than a couple of "deer in the headlights" looks. She just couldn't seem to figure out that I was trying to be as honest as I could with her...and that since the receipt reflected incorrect quantities and charges...we'd have to enter into some degree of trust to get the transaction corrected. The manager I was speaking to simply couldn't get to that point. Trust wasn't going to work with this lady. Her recommendation was for me to drive back across post, gather up the 121 other shirts that were exactly what I wanted/needed, and to return to Clothing Sales so we could fix the problem. Begrudgingly I agreed...

Upon arrival back at the office, I bagged up EVERYTHING that I'd purchased yesterday, and loaded it into the back of my PT Cruiser (surprisingly, those little things have LOTS of storage space). When I returned to Clothing Sales with two shopping carts of returns...a different manager was there to help me and was indeed most helpful! We went through the story again, she immediately grasped the problem, and we figured out how to expeditiously get the quantities of shirts I needed, my credit card receipts straightened out (the Army's horrible about's not like I was trying to buy implants for a secretary or anything) and I now have what I need to issue tomorrow morning to some deploying soldiers.

Where was I going with this rant? The fact that common sense isn't very common anymore (although we seem to be tripping all over ourselves to raise the minimum wage without any increase in minimum skills) and that a customer's word means next to nothing. I get treated better at Walmart...most of the time.

Frustrated on the high ground!


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Help for The Unhappy Democrats...

If you agree with the headline from a British tabloid below...

Here's a link you might find helpful. Put your money, your Yugo, and your family where your mouth is.

Canadian Immigration

I suppose I could be more industrious and provide a number of other choices...but figure that most folks that would seriously consider leaving the US would be so lazy that anything further would be overkill.

Not that Mexico is a bad place, but I think that they've figured out that nobody really wants to go it stands, you'd think our border only worked one way. I hardly anticipate hearing about a Ryder truck full of unhappy Hollywood elites to be found several miles inside the Mexican Border...

From the high ground!


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The Bush Mandate...

What does it take for the average Democrat to accept the results of the democratic electoral process we currently follow in this country? Their candidate has to win!

It's been four days now since George W. Bush defeated Senator John Kerry and just this morning I read former President Bill Clinton's assessment...and I think that he got it pretty much right.

Paraphrasing him...

1. The "Soccer Moms" became the "Security Moms" after 9/11/01. It was very clear in the polling that people trusted our national security to Mr. Bush much more so than Mr. Kerry.

2. The Republicans had a great message and they were very effective in getting that message out to the people. All the social programs in the world will mean nothing to those that need them if the government and our nation are under attack by radical Islam. We need to take care of keeping out the wolves and foxes before we start worrying about the condition of the "henhouse." Mr. Kerry wanted to negotiate with the wolves....and seek assistance from henhouses too far away to assist us.

3. The Republicans had a much more likeable candidate. Again, polling bears this out. While being liked isn't required to be a good does when you have to be elected to the position. Mr. Bush appears to be a "real guy" to male voters....someone we could tip a beer with while we waited for the meat to char at a female voters, Mr. Bush appears to be a very loving husband and devoted father. On the other hand...Mr. Kerry takes opportunities to show it "guyness" by snowboarding (at Vail, CO of all places) and sailboarding off of Martha's Vineyard...a couple of things that most "real men" have never done. On the other hand, women may see him as being guilty of marrying "heiresses" multiple counts.

Now where do we go from here?

I maintain that we should accept the vote of the people...and yes, I believe that a majority of the popular vote should deliver a mandate to our leader for the next four years. The last candidate to carry more than 50% of the vote was Mr. Bush' father, in 1988. If this isn't a mandate, I don't know that we have them anymore.

I believe that we need to put the partisan name calling behind us. Democrats, back off your drumbeat of calling the "Red States" a bunch of evangelical Christian, Walmart shopping morons. It's not fair and you know it. For those of us in the "Red States" we must be sensitive to the causes that might not be at the top of our even a liberal Democrat can have a good idea now and again.

From the healing ground...


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Election Night...and it's Past My Bedtime

Dear Gentle Readers...

Well, it just passed midnight in the East...and the Bush/Cheney campaign appears to be closing in on a victory. It was hard fought, but for the most part, I think the Republicans ran a campaign that I'd expect from "men of honor." On the flip-flop side, I think that Democratic ticket were grasping at straws from the word "go." Scary stories about the draft, an economy that has shown tremendous resiliency since 9/11, progress in Iraq, outsourcing the capture of Osama Bin Laden all failed to shake the average American from their belief that now is not the time to try and switch horses in the middle of the rapids.

I know that there are some of you out there that will guffaw at calling two men "of the age" that didn't find their way to Vietnam honorable. If you do, I think you need to take a look around and try and remember your friends, friends of the family, and the like that may have pulled some similar stunts to avoid combat service as well.

The call of military service is not one to be answered by one and all. (And as an Army leader...I can say that we're certainly glad of that!) However, what President Bush and Vice President Cheney may or may not have done to avoid combat in Southeast Asia was well within the law. Draft dodgers that fled the country or simply disappeared without complying with their draft notices...absolutely did not. Pardoning those that shirked their duty by running away was something that I'll never forgive Jimmy Carter for. That and allowing the Americans to be taken hostage in Iran.

While both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have never heard a shot in doesn't make them lesser men or incapable of continuing to lead us forward in the Global War On Terrorism worldwide or in Iraq.

While the loss of Americans deeply saddens me with each fallen comrade I read about, I know that for the most part they were out doing the job that they loved. Nearly 14 years ago I wrote my parents from Riyadh Airbase, before I headed north to the border with Iraq, that if something happened to me...that I was exactly where I wanted to be...where I had to be...where my country needed me. I know that was probably no comfort to parents left behind worrying about their only son, but I wanted them to know how I felt. I believe that a majority of our troops feel as zealous and filled with a duty concept much like the one I had all those years ago.

Our president is within a handful of electoral votes of being re-elected...and that just has to put a smile on this old soldier's face. While I may be a little too old to be serving on active duty, I'm still doing what I can to make sure that the young troopers of today are getting the equipment and training they need to deploy anywhere, against any enemy, any time.

God bless you, Mr. President. Nine states left...but I have the faith that you'll get the remaining votes you need. Keep up the fire! And if you REALLY, REALLY need me back in uniform, we might need to talk about a retroactive promotion.

Looking up to you from the high ground...


UPDATE: 12:41 am EST...President Bush has won Florida and Ohio, that was a fat lady I saw tuning up awhile back after all. While it's not looks like the curtain's about to go down on "The Johns." Mr. Kerry, we'll see you back in the Senate on Monday morning....Mr. Edwards, we look forward to seeing you chase ambulances again in January.

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