Category Archives: My Heroes

World’s Tallest Midget, Reporting

I haven’t posted for awhile, but I am still around, and doing well.  With Hubs deployed, I am once again travelling our time away. Also, I have the honor of working on a worthwhile project. With my extensive experience arguing on Twitter, I reckon that I’m well suited to the task of answering questions about my nominated hero in 500 characters or less.

500 characters is way more than 140.

Thanks to Mr. Carey for continuing to faithfully add me to his link list.  Every time I get used to seeing tumbleweeds roll across my screen, the Sentry Journal kindly lights up my comment section.

Thanks also to Lady Liberty, Citizen Tom, and Freedom, by the way for their nominations of my humble blog for the intimidating title of Most Influential Blogger.

I fear that being Most Influential Blogger may in reality be less noteworthy than being World’s Tallest Midget, but nevermind.  The important thing is, you like me.  You really like me!

I like you too.

The questions that a Most Influential Blogger is supposed to answer varied from blogger to blogger. Here are the ones I felt like answering:

  1. Why did you start a political blog and when?  I started my political blog in 2010, about a year after getting active in Tea Party activities. I did so because bleep holes on the left called us all racist, and they are lying bleep holes.
  2. If President Obama invited you to a beer summit, would you attend? No. Not even if it was the last beers on earth.  Which would totally stink, by the way.
  3. What book other than the Bible has influenced your life, and how? Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress because it introduced me to libertarian concepts when I was a mere teenager, in a way that stayed in my memory.
  4. If you could visit one nation you’ve never been to before, which one would it be? Totally Hawaii. Except, oops.  That’s one of the 57 states, isn’t it?  Still, I’ve never been there before and would love to go.
  5. If you could create your own planet, what would it look like?  Willy Wonka’s factory. Because yummy.

Have a great week all.  I’ll be back!

Miracles

I haven’t posted much about my personal experience with homeschooling this year, for pretty simple reasons.  First is the busy-ness.  Next, when things are going well I feel as though I am bragging.  When things are going poorly, well I just feel like a whiner.  Either way, bringing up the issue often feels like I’m putting traditional Brick-and-Mortar peoples on the defensive.

Anyhow, as I often say in my really real life, no news is good news.  Which means that the school year has gone well.  Which means that sometimes I want to pull my hair out, often it’s a day-in day-out drill, and sometimes I feel the blessings of great miracles.  Those great miracles are mostly everyday things to most people, but to me–miracles.

Three-year-apart brothers who act like best friends (most of the time). . . a second grader reading at third grade level . . . a fifth grader who takes charge of his own Latin studies (because I am no help) . . . children who are excited on group-class days . . . camaraderie with like-minded parents . . . and freedom.

The freedom is easy to describe.  Anyone who has worked for a large “Dilbert” type corporation can be likened to the typical parent with school-aged children–a cog in the machine.  Homeschooling is like running your own business.  You don’t get to clock out, but the decisions are all your own.  No zero-tolerance policies.  No TPS reports.

Speaking of miracles, there is the Tampa Bay HEAT.  All year I’ve been grateful for the various homeschool a la carte schools, fellowship groups, and co-ops.  The HEAT, though, has stood out.  The obvious reason is the opportunity for team athletics, but I didn’t truly understand the group’s impact until last night’s Sports Dinner.

After all, homeschooled kids get a chance for team athletics in Florida–the state from which the phrase “Tebow law” originated.  All homeschoolers have to do is try out for their local public school’s team.

Let’s face facts, though.  An impassioned superstar will benefit from a Tebow law.  He gets to compete on a first-rate team, and his talent will likely guarantee the team’s acceptance of an outsider.

What about the average, or even the below-average athlete?  As the mom of a decidedly untalented, albeit enthusiastic, athlete, I’m not too interested in a Tebow law.  Older Son probably wouldn’t have made the team, whether homeschooled or not.

But Teresa Manganello had a vision.  Her vision was of homeschooled children playing sports with other homeschooled children, thus incorporating a key component of healthy family life:

Community.

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HEAT is three years old now, and recently acquired full membership of the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) for their high school level program.  I’m betting their accreditation will soon include middle and elementary school levels.  The HEAT keeps growing.  I’m proud to say that my son was a member of their inaugural elementary boys basketball team.

The team boasted seven players–a team formed simply because there were enough warm bodies.  Barely enough to give players a rest during games, of which of course they won exactly none, but what do we homeschool moms call that?  Character building we chorused, smiling.

And my son, who the public schools are more likely to put on “the spectrum” than on an athletic team, was awarded Most Improved Player.

Guess who is ready to go for Most Valuable Player next year?

Miracles.

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Hey Girl

It’s Paul Ryan!

I’m so excited!

Picture from the awesome Hey Girl tumblr, which you should totally peruse if you haven’t yet.

Iowahawk:  (Via Instapundit)  “Paul Ryan represent Obama’s most horrifying nightmare: math.”

 

 

Memorial Day 2012

I know that every one of you readers are patriots who love this nation and understand the sacrifices that help make it great.

Here at the No One house, we remember all the fallen on Memorial Day.  Yet, there is one we remember and miss every day.  I keep the really personal stuff under wraps most of the time, but Robert was an extraordinary fellow and worth sharing.  We were so blessed to have him in our lives for a time.

The Marine Corps was his true calling; above all else he wanted to serve his country.  A few years before 9/11 (back when we were young and gonna live forever), he introduced both my husband:

Robert giving Mr. No One his first salute

And me to military life:

“Welcome to the Navy, Mrs. No One.”

The military life has been a good one.  I just wish Robert were still part of it.  Semper Fi, buddy.

I hope everyone has a blessed day, and maybe some comfort from sorrow, should you need it.

On Women In Combat

Awhile back, I reblogged a post from The Patriot Perspective about the problems with allowing women in the Marine Infantry School.  In the comment section, I mentioned learning that, for the time being, the Marines were not going to “gender norm” the physical standards, i.e., they will not make it easier for women to pass than men, based on each gender’s physical capabilities.

Short Timer has been kind enough to elaborate on the issue, and it’s worth sharing.  Beyond the basic question of “is she physically strong enough,” he details a few other reasons why women-as-combatants are problematic even if the answer is yes, she is physically strong enough:

  • Chivalry is an innate male behavior which cannot be entirely eradicated, and it will interfere with mission accomplishment.
  • Mixing young and healthy men and women together in will inevitably cause, um, distractions, and interfere with mission accomplishment (I discussed this issue regarding Navy ships here).
  • Accommodating the personal, private, and hygienic needs of men and women in a confined and dangerous space is logistically difficult, and makes mission accomplishment more difficult.

Even more important than all of that, Short Timer says that the Marines will use something called “gender neutral” tests, and that quotas will be imposed.  In other words, the Marines will simply lower the standards for both men and women, and require the Infantry School to pass at least “x” number of women.

Huh.

You see, when I read over at Outside the Beltway that there would be no “gender norming,” i.e., no differing standards for men and women like we have in the Navy, I assumed that the standards would not be lowered at all.

Confirmation is right here:

“. . . there is a plan to evaluate male and female Marines against new physical fitness standards that are being developed.”

New physical fitness standards for both men and women are being developed.  Tricky.

Important, too, are the quotas Short Timer mentioned.  My own quick Google search does not unearth anything about quotas, i.e., requiring a military school to pass a certain number of females.

However.  I specifically remember an old friend complaining about “the quota” when he was an instructor at Officer Candidate School.  The requirement that at least 7% of the graduating class be female was a real source of frustration.  It was hard to find that many female candidates worth their salt.  (I think he said it was 7%.  Wish I could ask him now.)

So, thanks for the additional info, Short Timer.  And thanks for your service in God’s own Corps.

And read the whole thing, ya’ll.  He includes a little Rule 5 bonus.

CORRECTION:  My friend was an instructor at OCS (Officer Candidate School), not TBS (The Basic School) as I originally wrote.  Whoops.

Another Hero in the Army of Davids

I’m adding another fellow to my hero list.  You may have run into this video, in which a Wall Street Occupier explains how great things are in North Korea.  I thought it had gone more viral, but it’s only at 38-thousand-and-change as of today.

Thanks to Judge Napolitano, we learn that the videographer is Vladimir Jaffe:  Russian-born American, small businessman, and Tea Partier.  The combination of a Russian accent with the swift exposure of his subjects’ ignorance gives Jaffe’s videos an amusing Borat vibe.

Mr. Jaffe has been steadily uploading new clips for several months, and I have enjoyed following him on his journey to educate the lost leftists of New York City.  Some clips are on the long side, so I’ve culled and annotated a few of my favorites for your expedited viewing pleasure.

Skip right to 2:00 in the next video.  Two young leftists inform Mr. Jaffe that Cuba has the highest standard of living for all the nations in the Caribbean.  “That I’ve heard,” the young lady adds as a bit of an escape clause.

Then, at 3:00, the young lady declares with a straight face that a doctor should not necessarily be paid more than a street sweeper if that doctor’s education was free (I have to assume she means free to him–somebody has to pay for that education).  A person’s hard work, time, dedication, brains and talent mean nothing, apparently.

At about 9:20, the young lady says well, I don’t defend the system that existed in the USSR, so Jaffe asks, then why is the hammer and sickle on this table then?

On to the next clip.  Start about :50, when an old commie guy defends Trotsky.  Then at 2:05 he claims that Lenin’s revolution was bloodless.  (Note to all you Occupiers out there:  don’t try to school a Russian on Russian history, it makes you look really dumb.)

He tries to blame first Stalin, and then the isolation of Russia for the failings of that particular glorious revolution.  Then, at 4:25 he is forced to fold:  “Alright, well, you are welcome to read through the books that we have . . . .”  Just leave me alone, you horrible man with your facts and your logic.

Mr. Jaffe presses:  “You are promoting all of this.  It’s my country you want to change.”  At 5:34, he asks Old Commie Guy for an example of a successful socialist country.

Cuba.

Old Commie admits that he couldn’t set up a table and promote capitalism if he were in Cuba.  Yet, he refuses to back down.  Having revealed his totalitarian core, he walks away.  What more is there to say?

A pattern emerges in these video clips:  through language or imagery the subjects associate themselves with the likes of Stalin, Lenin, Che, Castro, until they are called out by an actual victim of one such regime.  Then, they distance themselves.  They claim that “wasn’t really communism/socialism.”  They insist that they are in the vanguard of a new system.

I have to applaud Mr. Jaffe for his patience.  Unlike Borat, he never descends into simple mockery.  He is actually reaching out to these maddeningly misinformed malcontents.  The folks above remain unmoved, undeterred.  In other clips, however, he may actually be making a lasting impression.  Watch as this poor fellow runs out of talking points.  Skip to 4:00 for the best part:

The awkwardness is palpable as the interviewed fellow admits “he doesn’t know which companies we invest in.”  Mr. Jaffe points out, well, since you are sitting at this table as a representative, I assume you are familiar.  He presses the young man on the question of what is so wrong with coal, and the man folds completely.  He lamely refers Mr. Jaffe to the “research department” in a brochure and gives up on the conversation.

The next video clip is the longest, because the subject interviewed is actually willing to listen.  Skip to 7:50, where the young man makes an outlandish claim about Israel.  Mr. Jaffe then leads him by the proverbial hand down a path of logic and history.  Watching his discomfort as he tries to wiggle off this path is both comical and gratifying.  Because he can’t.  He can’t escape the logic.

“I think there’s a lot of sh** behind that, that we have no idea about,” he mutters lamely at 12:09, but Mr. Jaffe rolls his eyes.  “Why are you rolling your eyes at me?” he says reproachfully.  Look, Mr. Jaffe says, these are simple facts.  If you don’t believe the facts, then I don’t know what to else to say.

The last clip is short and sweet.  A representative of the Freedom Socialist Party dives into a helpful explanation of socialism, until Mr. Jaffe asks her whether Che was a socialist.

Immediately uncomfortable, she refuses to answer.  At 1:50 he asks, how are you going to make socialism different now?  “Russia and the movements in the past also lacked international support,” she offers.  Jaffe runs through a long list of countries with which Russia had relations, both the friendly and the forced, and asked her to help him understand why socialism didn’t work in those places, but will work here.

“I’m sorry, are you filming this? I would prefer that you didn’t.”

Yep.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed these videos.  Aside from the amusement factor, they serve as an important lesson for me:  go ahead.  Call them out.  It feels like a waste of time, but it isn’t.

What would happen if we all got out and pressed the loudest propagators of Leftist Lunacy?  As Mr. Jaffe demonstrates, they quickly run out of words.   If leftists were confronted by an Army of Jaffes and Breitbarts and other assorted Davids every time they stood up to bleat something stupid, how many of them would finally, and at long last, shut up?

Hmm.  I think I’m off to Facebook to see if I can pick a fight.

UPDATE:  Cross-posted at Disrupt The Narrative.

How a Real Hero Conducts Himself

If you haven’t yet seen this recent ad by Veterans for a Strong America, well wait no longer:

Some pretty shameless self-aggrandizement in that ad, huh?

Now.  To cleanse your palate, I want to share an example of a real hero.  His name is Bob Baird:

“[Baird's] description of the Dust Off pilot’s job and when he was wounded was matter-of-fact.

However, it was anything but, said Cheryl Fries . . . .

During Baird’s first tour, he was part of an extraordinary mission that saved almost 1 million lives . . . .  As a Dust Off pilot, Baird flew unarmed medical-rescue helicopters into the bullets, through the night, and in all kinds of weather to save lives.  He and his fellow Dust Off veterans put their own lives at risk every day to save others, including American troops, civilians and even, at times, the enemy, she said.

From May 1962 to March 1973, 496,573 Dust Off missions were flown and 900,000 casualties were airlifted. If not for the use of MEDEVAC helicopters, historians believe that U.S. killed-in-action rates in Vietnam might have exceeded those of World War II . . .

‘Bob, like most Dust Off veterans, is both humble about and reluctant to share his war experience.  To a man, they are quick to tell you that the Vietnam War heroes’ names are engraved on The Wall in Washington, D.C.  And yet, the heroes of Dust Off — those killed in action — and those who survived are heroes by every definition of the word.  Their intrepid courage and unhesitating commitment to face death in order that another might live not only saved thousands of people, but revolutionized battlefield medicine and came home to transform domestic trauma care,’ Fries said.”

I love you, Bob.  Thank you for your service, your sacrifices, and your bravery.  You’ve earned that spot in the Ohio Military Hall of Fame, and I am truly blessed to have you in my life, and in the lives of my boys.

UPDATE:  Here’s the write up of the conduct that earned Bob Baird his Distinguished Flying Cross.  An excerpt:

“Braving murderous fire, Mister Baird flew into the compound and landed. Bullets struck all around his ship, and the intensity of the fire increased. Ignoring his welfare, he remained on the ground until his ship was loaded to capacity. Then, skillfully operating the controls, he took off amid a furious enemy barrage and flew the patients to safety. Twice more during the day, he returned through the insurgent’s fusillade to evacuate casualties . . . .”

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