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Monday, April 21, 2008

Conservative Commentary Buffet

A diverse range of content today, none of which is too serious - one item that has my goat today, but I will get to it.

I am not a tree-hugger by any means, but I believe in a clean, safe environment for all. I was a scout in my younger days, and then as a Marine we obviously try to keep our presence unknown in the woods. The Scouts have a philosophy of "Leave No Trace" when we are conducting our activities, and that includes meetings or major campouts. My dad always taught us boys to leave nature cleaner than we found it, and pick up any trash and not just ours.

Technology has advanced us to a point where we produce mass amounts of plastics and use chemicals for everything from swimming pools to space stations. We are a victim, so to speak, of our own brilliance. We can keep food for decades, but the unintended consequence is the effect of the packaging. In my county, the Cahaba River is the main source of drinking water, and there is a volunteer organization that works to keep it clean, in conjunction with our District Civitan organization. So, at 500 am this past Saturday my wife, son, and I boarded a canoe with 29 other canoes of volunteers and cleaned a seven mile stretch of the Cahaba. Being a take charge kind of person, as well as a little green amphibious monster (Marine) who loves all things water related, I was a "team leader" for the event. It was my job to clean as I could, but to help out all the others and make sure everyone was safe. So how did that work?

About mile 1.5 we took a nice little swim while crossing some rapids. It has rained here more in the last month than it did all past year, and the river was deep and fast moving. Other than a moment of panic to find my son, and a few scrapes and bruises from the rocks, we were fine. Until today. I think I have a little bronchitis developing from our cold water adventure. We live on a mountain, so the water here is cold. But we did a good thing, cleaned hundreds of pounds of waste, a half dozens tires, and had a good time.

We are playing baseball, and my son's team is 5-1 for the year. Nothing is more exciting in the world of sports than seeing a group of six year olds developing knowledge of a game and learning sportsmanship.


My Civitan Club is chartering next week, and we will begin with at least 25, maybe 30, charter members.

The item that gets my goat? Defense Secretary Gates said at Maxwell AFB today (my hometown) that the Air Force is not doing enough in Afghanistan and Iraq, and needed to do more. Apparently he has been "...trying for months..." to get the Air Force to increase the capabilities of aerial platform for surveillance and it is like "...pulling teeth..." to make this happen. I am confused. Has out military become so pitiful that they don't recognize a tasking order? I will go on a limb and say that this would never happen to the Marine Corps. Geesh, give us the Air Force budget and we could take on the world by ourselves. Since we only get 12% of the defense budget, can you imagine what the Marines could do with some real money?


Have a great day!

2 Posts From Readers:

rockync said...

My goodness you are busy! Sounds like all worthwhile and enjoyable projects -- well, the dip in the river, not so much. Hope you get over the respiratory illness soon.

Anonymous said...

Sounded like fun till you took the spill. Actually the spill could have been fun if it weren't for the cold water!

I love baseball season too! We are out there 5 days a week, between practices and games. But I wouldn't trade it for anything!

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