Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
When James McEachin was producing "Old Glory" it was a distinct honor to be one of two people allowed a look at the script prior to filming. One line stood above the rest. America was described not as a place but as a blessing.
Despite our recession, America remains a blessing. Should you believe otherwise take a moment to click on the link below and follow the simple instructions. Are you rich?
My mother taught giving as a lifestyle. A person with a giving heart always finds something to share. My personal giving involves both discipline and random acts of kindness. Last week a spontaneous gift went to the newly established Marine Corp Association Foundation. Offering a financial gift to the USMC was important to me.
When is the last time you opened your wallet to bless your fellow man? Concerted movement to sustain an organization or foundation brings blessing. But the individual blessing extended to a neighbor is oft-times the gift which brings the most emotional benefit. Two organizations and one individual have received a financial blessing from the Swofford family this month.
America is a blessing. May God always sustain and protect us. And may Americans continue to be a blessing to others as we attempt the climb out of the recession. Remember that the vast majority of Americans are rich compared to most of the world.
Marine Corps Association Foundation
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Begin viewing at 5 minutes 20 seconds. You will begin to see multiple German landmarks depicted. The threat of operational activity by ideological terror networks remains very real.
*This link is from an internet source other than the heavily populated Jihad site where I first viewed it this a.m. It is a new posting for the original site since last night.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Definition: A bitch slap is a powerful, full-swing slap in the face with the front of the hand.
If the attacks had truly materialized Springfield and Dallas would have received a bitch slap today. American citizen Michael Finton (aka Talib Islam) and Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a Jordanian national are "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit B". I refuse to call them human because any person who sets out with a bomb-laden truck bent on a repeat of the Oklahoma City bombing is just a bastard disguised in a human frame. Both criminals set out to kill, maim and injure the maximum number of American citizens possible.
Today might have ended with your household receiving the news that a family member was presumed deceased. But no need to consider a burial plot. Bodies are in fragments with the kind of plans initiated by this crowd.
Bitch slap. Possibly you are unaware of the distinct danger Al-Qaedah and copy-cat Jihad flanks still present for decent humanity. The situation in Afghanistan has been described as "complex". In actuality there is not a word in the English language to sufficiently denote the complexity of what is facing both our military and nation today. The word does not exist but the danger remains.
Bitch slap. It is time to wake up and forego the Nevillization regarding the Jihad flank of Islam which maws at our children. Deep throat. This thing has a deep throat. You have no idea.
Last week took me to a Jihad site with over three million hits. Posts were coming in approximately every hour, at times mere half-hour intervals apart. All the usual garbage. Posts hawking Jihad magazines with glitzy covers of our dead soldiers, videos of our dead soldiers and a virtual pyrotechnic heaven if you care to watch hours worth of videos which depict with monotonous frequency buildings and vehicles going "Kaboom" again and again.
We can be like Britain which continues to feed the mambas and allow the anti-West hate to spew forth in public squares or we can sit with thumbs up our arses and practice appeasement. It doesn't matter really. The bitch slap is coming. And it will come again and again until we take seriously the need to eviscerate and completely take the guts out of organizations such as Al-Qaedah.
Threat directed against Springfield
Threat directed against Dallas
I swear the story is true. The world is really small and I found out exactly how small in recent years. In 1973 I started working in broadcasting through a high school program, afterwards proceeding to radio school. I received a First Class Radiotelephone license from the FCC at the 17, which was unheard of at that time. This started a career which was pretty darn good. I met many people, bonded with friends I will never forget and became a "local celebrity" in Sulphur Springs, Texas and in every town that I performed on the air. By the early 80's I was burned out with the "on air" part of broadcasting and started utilizing the electronics training I had pursued to become a broadcast engineer. For two years I worked under some very good techs and they taught me the ropes.
In late 1981 I began to seek my first break in radio management, that of being a chief engineer of a broadcast property. In January of 1982 I began working at KSEL in Lubbock, Texas. It was a fine facility, well-maintained. Moving up to a major market San Antonio was my next stop and I went to work for a fellow named Jack Roth at KONO/KITY. I then moved into the AM/FM combo market in Corpus Christi. The thing which jogged my memory of that wonderful town was a family vacation there this past weekend.
I was hired by a general manager named Don Sitton, one of the funniest nicest guys you will ever meet. I went to stations KEYS/KZMF. On arrival, I found that Don had left and Ken Burgess was the new General Manager. Two months later, Ken, gave his notice. In a period of three months the GM position had been vacated twice. Jim Sumpter from Houston, then stepped into the position. This time Jim Sumpter knew his cards and knew how to play them. With market researchers on the phones every night for three hours he got enough input to tell which direction to take the station.
All of this leads us to Glenn. Jim and I were pretty close during this time and he told me confidentially he was bringing in a new morning man and asked me to help him get everything he needed to make his show work. I asked about Glenn and he said, "He is 19 years old." Well, my jawbone hit the floor. Nineteen years old? And he is going to lead us to the Promised Land? Jim told me, "You have to trust me on this one. This guy is going places and he is going to be one of the greatest you have ever seen. He is 19 and already being announced as the next great thing."
Glenn finally showed up at the station and he was very polite, a kind young man. His fiancee moved down with him as they were to wed shortly and she needed to also find a job. Her name was Claire. She had a typical Catholic school girl look and was an absolute darling of a person. I must mention that she was beautiful as well. Glenn was just getting settled in his modest apartment and asked me if I knew anything about telephones because his were not yet wired. It was a brand new apartment complex. I went over and wired him up. Extremely nice guy and I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. I left the station about six months after Glenn got there because I could not handle the grind of eighteen hour days. Glenn loved the long hours. He had started working in radio at age thirteen and worked at two stations at the same time. He was amazing in his ability to light up that station. The station went from dead last in the market to overwhelmingly #1 in a single rating period. This natural talent working the morning show was named Glenn Beck. And Corpus Christi is where he started his push into the big time.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Flotsam. I am certainly getting a steady flow of political refuse streaming into my mailbox on weekly basis. Political flotsam has always been out there in the form of print edition yellow journalism. But with internet access where each man is an island, and er.... a (self) noted world class editor the loathsome flotsam is almost more than I can bear.
Let me be the first to note that members of the Swofford blog team rarely engage flotsam sharing files and photos. There is just a level of disinterest. Snopes exists because Americans are incredibly gullible and uneducated. I don't use Snopes. If it looks like yellow journalism I just delete it and move on.
We should be ashamed of ourselves. Political fraud and disinformation via online flotsam is at deluge levels now. We need to begin to operate and maintain intellectual dams within our email. A "Delete" dam is the easiest to operate. The leak in that dam is the "Forward" function. If political flotsam in your email makes you laugh then by all means go ahead and laugh. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. But if what has been sent your way crosses a personal line of demarcation just send it on to the trash where it belongs.
I am a moderate centrist on most issues and rapidly becoming more laissez-faire as our federal branch seeks to be more restrictive of individual liberties. But I find it both inconceivable and irrational the level of derision directed toward a man who holds the highest authority in the nation. Sure, I am adamantly opposed to many of the policies of the current president and his administration. But I will not strip another man of his dignity by internet hawking of cleverly photo-shopped images. Yes! Intelligently attack policy issues. But attack and propose solutions with humanity, not the inhumanity which strips the very clothes off a man's back, photo-shops his features or mocks the manner in which he throws a baseball.
Disgusting. It has been personally disgusting the many times I have received the images of men and women in police photo galleys wearing Obama T-shirts. Silly. It is absolutely silly to view a photo-shopped picture of Obama as Hitler. Unkind. It is distinctly unkind to refer to the Commander in Chief as "Zero" or "Osama". He is deserving of neither designation.
Many of us endured the unrelenting public cruelty heaped on President George W. Bush. The same is now being heaped on our current president. Problematic is that it just makes us look like asses to the rest of the world. But is also diminishes the respect toward our Commander-in-Chief when he travels abroad. We have become unruly and mouthy children. We have become a nation of Dixie Chicks. It is time to employ a lip zipper against the rampant and continuous political bashings we are serving up on the internet.
Each one of us can power down the flow and distribution of political flotsam. Do not click on the "forward" function of your email. Liberally use the "delete" when identifying offensive content. We must continue to communicate, network, and propose solutions within our various political blocs and alliances. But can we do it without the political ugliness?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Boisterous! The American political scene has always shown itself boisterous. We are rough, clamorous and opinionated. It brings health to our nation. Jolly good show! Yes, it has been a jolly good show the past few weeks.
We are not a nation of three-toed sloth. Nay! We have never shown ourselves to be arboreal residents merely contemplating our next omnivorous snack. We are two-legged carnivores. We enjoy the flesh of our fellow citizen best. Our salivation quickens when we catch the whiff of a scent coming from their meat being slowly turned on a spit. Ahh, the happiest of times!
Whether you break a sweat or remain cool under fire in American politics you are fair game when on the stage. So if you are Rep. Joe Wilson giving a shout-out “You lie!” the spit is pressed through the flesh and the embers on the fire stirred as soon as the words are out of your mouth. This brings us to his mea culpa issued later in the day:
“This evening I let my emotions get the best of me..... While I disagree with the president's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility."
Rep. Wilson! Politics would have remained fun and healthy if you would have merely affirmed your bark had no bite and given an additional growl that you meant every word of it – yeah, both of them. But you tucked your tail and ran! Political chihuahua.....
I love politics! It allows adults to behave as children again. And we all need a few kids in our lives to keep it exciting.
On the heels of Rep. Wilson’s passionate outburst the Tea Party crowd rapidly girded their loins for battle. “You lie” signs, mini-marches and speeches were quickly produced. An acquaintance proudly braved a rainy day to come up over the berm of battle with the Republican hordes and her little sign in sleepy cowtown Fort Worth last week. She claims to have had a wonderful day, a sense of personal destiny and loves America more than ever for her short stint as a political firecracker.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are probably complaining to Homeland Security and cautioning them to engage electronic surveillance on her computer. This crowd has strange ideas wedded to those of the ill-advised DHS directive regarding the "threat" of right-wing religious "extremists". My best guess is this gentle lady is probably weeding her flower bed. She is not searching for internet guidance on bomb assembly and how to make a detonating device from common items purchased at Home Depot. That would be the Denver guy from Afghanistan that the F.B.I. just picked up for questioning.
President Barack Obama is also on the spit for remaining fairly cool under pressure. His was a political platform built on the ever elusive and ethereal concept of "hope". As Americans we are addicted to concepts and catchy little slogans during election cycles. Hope was marketed with his award-winning smile. What a guy! So friendly!
Today we are adjusting to Sir Obama, the Aloof. He is a president who has distanced himself from his detractors too early in the presidency. His agenda and message is so tightly cordoned and controlled now that the only way to elicit a response is with loud anthem of voices, and a few bullish snorts of protest. Hence, the spectacle of a passionate opponent in the ring, Rep. Wilson.
Although in distinct disagreement with the careening and historically debunked socialist agenda of President Barack Obama I dread the day he exhibits a public meltdown. I want our president to maintain his composure while considering the rights of The People of the Republic. Do you really want to see the Commander-in-Chief blubbering along and blowing snot into a handkerchief because of men such as Rep. Joe Wilson? Of course not. But neither should it cause personal discomfort to observe such boisterous political outbursts. Men of passion should engage politics. And when passions run high, the child in all of us comes out.
But there is desperate need to establish a new lexicon when describing American politics. Let us not call our fellow American a racist, right-wing Fundamentalist or left-wing Commie. Let us not taunt the other as being narrow-minded, Bible-thumping or godless should he disagree with us. Let us merely acknowledge political participants as boisterous.
Stagnation of thought hurts our nation. Apathy creates a slow political hemorrhage. Inbred and unchallenged political stances produce policies with two left thumbs and a clubbed foot. But passion keeps our nation on the right track.
Boisterous! Let's continue to be boisterous! Read my lips! It will not harm the nation. The State of the Union will remain strong. And at the end of the day may we all cling to the only damn title that really counts: American.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Last week I released my fifth brief into the stream of free discourse. I usually take several months to work with absorption of information and then move into the production mode. This is the first time work has moved forward at rapid pace and both absorption and production cycles were cut by fifty percent. It is also the first work written directly to a Muslim audience.
Islamic studies will continue to be my focus because, Gosh! - I am still scraping the surface and wish to move a bit further past the veneer and into the hard woods of texts. Those who are familiar with my work know I lean heavily toward primary source documents and literature. No direct embroilment in Muhammad cartoons with a caricature of a man with a bomb sticking out of his turban.
This morning I checked the analytics for this site and found a key word entry:
"number of Americans who believe aliens have landed"
I knew immediately that my audience missed me tremendously. Thank you!
The blog will return to a slower cadence beginning on Monday as I am moving into a new area of research of personal interest. Most likely -Blackfoot and I will be the primary voices. Life is just busy for all of us! smile
But do take a look Monday. It will be good to engage the writing enjoyed most - the leisurely pace of the blog world.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man...."
*Portion of a statement voiced by Jimmy Carter during an interview with NBC's Brian Williams on Tuesday.
It is good to dig a bit in the archives and see an assessment of the speaking and critical thinking skills of the former president who made such a ludicrous and broad-sweeping statement.
Friday, September 11, 2009
They had known each other for years in the casual manner that professionals pass each other in the workplace, share pleasantries while awaiting the morning coffee order.
She knew that he was married and had two sons. The eldest was in his first year of college and the younger son who bore his name was the quarterback for the high school football team. She knew he always straightened up his tie a bit as they parted saying, "I need to look good for my next appointment."
He knew that she was married and her one small daughter had entered kindergarten. She always ordered the same coffee and pastry combination and seemed sure of herself. But he noted that when she seemed to hesitate on anything her fingers would find their way to one of her earrings and she would touch it like a good luck charm.
The first Tower had been hit and they stood on the ledge of the second Tower watching the flames leap and the billowing smoke moving into the atmosphere. They both knew the beginning of the story but not the end. The nation was under attack.
As the flames became more intense advancing its relentless march toward their backs she began to cry. "I am afraid to jump." Her body then began to convulse with sobs. Gently lifting her chin he responded:
"Look at me. Do not look down. Hold my hand. I will jump with you."
She reached up to touch her earring. He straightened his tie. Clasping hands, they jumped.
*This blog post mirrors a conversation with another person who was reminiscing about 9/11, the view of a man and woman holding hands as they plunged to their deaths. It is a work of my imagination that seeks to show dignity toward the deceased. But it cannot in any form or fashion depict the stark terror felt by the many Americans who jumped with flames at their backs. Stop and reflect on how the final moments of life were spent by each murdered victim.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Bloggers note: Please engage a bit of computer hygiene after entrance to the link. I use a Norton anti-virus clean-up when entering the cyber stage of the unknown.
This morning I pulled up the latest military headline of American troops "storming" a medical facility. The truth is out there. But the truth is also to be found in non-traditional media sources.
Check out the chart on this link.
It shows the operational tempo for July 2009 for the other guys. Now while believing the thirteen disabled aircraft may be a bit of a stretch, the chart is worth a view.
Our troops are not trained to pull off the perfect high society tea party. They are trained to do their work effectively and efficiently. Possibly what transpired in the search of a medical facility was not the Storming of the Bastille. The demands of the environment dictate what is done for operational safety. As with all things regarding media portrayal, read with a filter.
Remember our troops in your prayers today. Most of us are on holiday this Labor Day. The troops in Afghanistan will have no such liberty.
Friday, September 04, 2009