Tag Archives: Chris Kyle

“The Age of Innocence” – Lost Forever

Like most grandparents today, I would do anything for my grandkids.  Grandma P and I are very fortunate to have a group of intelligent, thoughtful and personable grandkids.  They deserve the best and for the most part, they are receiving it.

Our two oldest will be teenagers next year, reaching that milestone age of 13.  So far, we are not the ‘dorky’  grandparents as we do feel welcomed every time we see them.  That ‘dorky and unhip’ mantra will become more prevalent as they get deeper into those teenage years….you know….those years when their friends know everything, and their parents and grandparents are dumb as a box of rocks.  Grandma P and I  are hoping we never get to that, but we are preparing for it, none the less.

But try as I may, I will never, ever be able to give my grandkids one thing……

Did you hear about Ahmed Mohamed?  You will certainly recognize him if I tell you he is the 14 year old that constructed a ‘clock’ and brought it to school in Dallas, Texas.  Under the pretense of wanting to show this ‘clock’ to his teacher, he brought it into the school.  Another teacher saw this science project, thought it suspicious, and notified authorities.  Ahmed was arrested and led away from the school in handcuffs.

Did you see a picture of the device that was a clock?  It looked very sinister and did not look like anything that  would appear on my nightstand next to my bed.  Because it was in a briefcase, it looked all the more menacing.  So, little 14 year old Ahmed was led off to the police station in handcuffs, and the media blitz began with all the fury of a category 5 hurricane.

“Racial discrimination!”  “Religious discrimination!  (Did I mention Ahmed was a Muslim?)”   “He is only a young boy!”  On and on and on.  The liberal media, the liberal press, liberal celebrities and the liberal POTUS could not attach and interject themselves into this event quickly enough.

I read three news sources on the internet every morning.  I follow that up by reading my local newspaper every morning.  After I am done with this daily ritual, I always feel as if I am up on the events of the day.  On that particular morning, there was no mention of Ahmed.  The first I heard of it in the afternoon,  was because the President of the United States was inviting some 14 year old from Dallas, Texas, to the White House for a visit for being castigated and arrested for building a clock!  What?  MIT had invited him to visit their campus.  Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and billionaire of Facebook had invited him to visit his corporate headquarters.  He has had over $15,000 donated to his scholarship fund.  Overreaction?

Let’s look at this a little closer.  What would have happened if that device was a bomb and the school did nothing?  If something would have happened, the public would have cried for the heads of the teachers and administrators for allowing such an occurrence.  If the death of Cecil the Lion  created such an outcry as to want to execute the hunter, what would the school bombing create in terms of outrage?  I am sure those teachers and administrators remember well the events of Columbine and the Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Where I live, the schools still have deputy sheriffs assigned to them.

Religious discrimination?  It appears to me that everyone is so afraid of broaching the subject of religious discrimination that they fall over themselves to prove they are not discriminating.  But let’s be honest here,  in my post, Boo Hoo, I’m a Victim, I outlined 27 terroristic world events that were all done by Muslims.  Not Lutherans.  Not Baptists.  Not any other religion.  Muslims.  How can you not be a little more leery about Muslims with their track record of terrorism and killing.  This was not a Lutheran kid bringing a bag of lutefisk to school, this was a briefcase full of wires.

Someone brought up the idea that this was handled terribly because he was just a ‘kid.’  I will admit that maybe, just maybe, the police did not have to handcuff him.  I was not a witness and neither was anyone except the five police that were involved.  They probably wanted to be overly cautious rather than under-prepared until all the facts were known.  Hurray for them!    The comment about being only a ‘kid’?  Well, let me tell you that there are many of our veterans from Viet Nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq that will whole-heartedly  disagree with that statement.  Unfortunately for those veterans, they often fought and often killed fighters that were much younger than 14.  (According to Sharia law, a girl can marry as young as 9 years old!)  If you read the book or saw the movie, American Sniper, one of Chris Kyle’s first incidences involved a young boy, 8 or 9, that was going to fire a rocket propelled grenade at an approaching Marine force.  So, as far a Ahmed being a kid, if he were a terrorist he would already be a veteran by age 14.

Like all good liberals, there are often reactions before all the facts are known.  Did you know that Ahmed’s older sister was suspended from school for a bomb scare three years earlier?  Did you know that Ahmed’s dad once ran for president of Sudan and is a defense attorney?  Do you think any of that may be an influence on this whole event?  Could it have been staged?

Ahmed, by bringing this menacing looking ‘clock’ to school, broke a boat load of laws, both state and federal that have been enacted since 9/11.  I hope he takes his clock to the White House.  I hope MIT gives him admission.  But if I were them, I would review my admission standards for someone that blatantly has broken the law.

The one thing I cannot give my grandchildren?  My grandchildren will never be able to experience the “Age of Innocence” that Grandma P and I were a part of.

When we were growing up in the 50s and early 60s, life was much simpler and safer.  Our parents never had to lock their home.  Never.  Unlike today, no one ever thought of having a home alarm system.  It would have been thought to be ridiculous and unnecessary.  Today, many homes have an alarm system, including ours.  Without air conditioning, the windows were often open all night.  On a really hot night, the doors were open because the screen doors allowed the entry of any cooling breeze.

No need to worry about losing your car keys.  They were always in the ignition.  No one locked their car doors in my home town.

We never had to worry about illegal drugs.  There weren’t any.  Our idea of being ‘illegal’ was smoking a pack of Marlboros.  There wasn’t any market or usage of marijuana.  Being in a farming community, marijuana, or Indian hemp as we called it, grew wild in the ditches and around our fields.  It was a nuisance weed, so it was destroyed.  Who knew?  (That possibly explains why so many county workers volunteered to destroy it by burning.)  On occasion, as if we wanted to audition for membership to the Hell’s Angels, someone would steal a beer or two from their parents.  Six guys would share two beers.  You can tell that we were really greasing the skids straight to hell!

There was never any sex, swearing or violence on TV or in our movies.  We did not need PG whatever or PG18 whatever for ratings for our movies.  Every movie was pretty much appropriate for any age group.  I still love watching some of these old movies.  They were not only classics, but they were classy.  This was entertaining without being raucous.  Today’s movies and television are loaded with explicit sex scenes, swearing and overdone in very detailed explicit violence.  Your kids and grandkids are watching this!  From that and from violence enhanced video games, what are they learning?

In my youth, differences were settled with your fists.  Today….an assault rifle.  It takes a real man to punch someone in the face as opposed to shooting them in a drive by shooting.  If you punch someone, you are close enough to receive retaliation.  The cowards of today resort to lethal violence, from a distance.

In the 50s and 60s, we did not live in a world that was instantaneous.  We did not have social media or computers for that matter.  We had TV and radio news, magazines and newspapers.  We believed what our newscasters told us.  Today, less than 40% of the public trusts the media.   If ignorance is truly bliss, then we were damn happy.

We knew who our friends and allies were and who are enemies were.  It was pretty much cut and dried between the NATO members and the Warsaw Pact nations.  Our country said the Pledge of Allegiance; I did it every school morning for 12 years.  Our country was one made up of extremely proud, independent and patriotic citizens.

Every generation is marked by an event  or events that change their lives forever.  For the Greatest Generation, those who lived and fought during WWII, it was the Great Depression and the attack on Pearl Harbor.  For the Millennia’s and earlier, it was 9/11.  For the baby boomers of my generation, it was the assassination of President Kennedy.  If I had to throw a dart at a calendar to mark the day that my Age of Innocence ended, it would be November 22, 1963.  The 60s were marked by turmoil on a worldly stage.  Viet Nam was a protracted war that took over 57,000 American lives.  Both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated in the later 60s.  Lyndon Johnson decides not to run for reelection.  It seemed that almost overnight, our country went from being stable and peaceful to being one of turmoil and dissention.

My grandkids will never experience an ‘Age of Innocence.’

What would have happened with Ahmed if he were living in the US in the 50s?  He would have had his ‘clock’ taken away, reprimanded for bringing it to school, and then made to copy a page out of the dictionary with Miss McCarty during lunch recess for punishment.  My, how things have changed  He’s going to the White House and MIT.

Dirty Harry and Superman versus Michael Moore and Seth Rogen. An Even Match?

I remember a military axiom that went something like this, ‘Always put your brain in gear, before engaging your mouth.’  That is an excellent piece of advice in any life situation, and I make every effort to follow it.  I especially engage my brain before writing this blog.  More often than not, at least. However, with today’s numerous outlets for people to instantly share their thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc. (i.e. Twitter), it is unfortunately a difficult axiom to adhere to, especially for narcissistic celebrities.

Apparently, we need to put that axiom on a bumper sticker and sell it in California, specifically Hollywood, California.

Have you heard the comments by Michael Moore and Seth Rogen about the latest Clint Eastwood movie, American Sniper?  These two men made some comments about the movie and have since been ‘caught in a defecation storm without an umbrella.’  (Admittedly, I would have stated that last sentence differently if I thought my grandkids might never read my blog.)

Ah, yes.  Hollywood, California – the place where some people will do or say anything just to stay in, or get into, the spotlight.  Paris Hilton and the Kardashian family immediately come to mind.  Have you noticed how revealing the ladies’ clothes are for celebrity events?  They certainly don’t dress that way to shun attention.

But some people don’t just draw attention with their dress, they draw attention with their comments.  In some cases, very stupid comments.

Some background information.

American Sniper was a book written about Navy Seal sniper, Chris Kyle.  I read the book and it  provides a fair and detailed assessment of what the war in Iraq was like, as it was based upon his four tours in Iraq.  Chris Kyle was hailed by the Navy as being the most successful sniper in American history, being credited with over 160 confirmed kills.  Thus the title, thus the book, thus the movie.  Grandma P and I saw the movie and were greatly moved by the brutal reality of war life.  Chis Kyle is an American hero in every sense of the word.  He was trained to protect other soldiers and marines, as each of them had put their lives on the line to protect this country.  After suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he regained normalcy by throwing himself into helping other combat veterans that needed help facing their PTSD problems.  He was shot and killed by one of these people in early 2013, leaving a widow with two children.

This was the first of three books written by former Navy Seals.  The second was Lone Survivor.  This was also made into a movie. It was about the experiences of a Seal by the name of Marcus Luttrell.   The third book was The Red Circle.   The Red Circle refers to the color of the sight pattern while looking through a sniper scope.  It was written about the experiences of Brandon Webb, a former trainer of Seal snipers.  Brandon Webb was the sniper trainer for Chris Kyle.

I have read all three of these books.  They discuss their Navy Seal training in depth.  They discuss their combat deployments in depth.  I never, ever felt these accounts glamorized war.  Quite the contrary, they tell of their successes and their failures.  They talk about their fears of being in a combat zone and discuss their brushes with death.

American Sniper, the movie, was directed by Clint (Dirty Harry) Eastwood.  It stars Bradley Cooper.  Both of these men were producers of this movie, as Steven Speilberg dropped out of the project.  The movie was released just prior to the Martin Luther King four-day weekend.

Whether because of stupidity or because of the lack of the limelight, Michael Moore took it upon himself to make the following comment on twitter, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2.  We were taught snipers were cowards.  Will shoot u in the back.  Snipers aren’t heroes.  And invaders r worse.” Mr. Moore tweeted this comment two days after the opening of the movie.  Unfortunately for Mr. Moore, American Sniper is breaking box offices records for a movie previewing in January.  In the four-day MLK weekend, it has grossed over $105 million.  His comment about ‘snipers aren’t heroes’ has not resonated well with the public, especially the public that has served in the military or has sacrificed a family member while in the military.

Seth Rogen, that Canadian comedian who has made his living in the US, decided, for stupidity purposes, to throw his can of gas on the expanding fire.  His comment?  “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds.”  That movie he is referring to is about Nazis.  I have a bit of advice to Mr. Rogen:  There is no American soldier, sailor, airman or marine, past or present, that wants to be compared to a Nazi.

Not only did these two make some decidedly ‘off the wall’ comments, but there has been much criticism from both performers and critics that American Sniper glorifies war.  Really?  I must have missed that message in the movie and in all three books about snipers.  After seeing the number of civilians killed and the number of American military people either killed or maimed, the words ‘glory in war’ did not enter my mind.

So I propose that this whole issue be decided with a no-holds-barred tag team grudge match between Michael (I went to college for one year) Moore and Seth (Don’t hurt me, I’m Canadian) Rogen on one team and Clint (Dirty Harry) Eastwood and Dean (Superman) Cain on the other team.  Dean Cain became close friends with Chris Kyle during a TV show on NBC called, Stars Earn Stripes.  So here we go……………….

Ladies and Gentlemen…………Are you ready to R-R-R-U-U-U-M-M-M-B-B-B-L-L-L-E-E-E?

In this corner, 61 years old, 5’9″ and weighing too much, a man who has written, produced and directed some of the crappiest liberal movies ever known to man, the Mouth from Michigan……….Michael Moore!

And his partner weighing in at 185, 5’11”, 31 years old and a mediocre actor and comedian in some forgettable movies, hailing from Vancouver, Canada, the Canuck that’s a Snook……………..Seth Rogen!

And their opponents.

First, weighing in at a slim 220 pounds, 6’4″, an 84-year old hailing from San Francisco, California, that noted actor, producer and director who has directed over 30 movies including Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Jersey Boys, Letters from Iwo Jima, American Sniper, Space Cowboys, Invictus, and Flags of our Fathers, that two-time Oscar winner………..Clint (Dirty Harry Callahan) Eastwood!

And his partner weighing in at a sculpted 195 pounds, 6′ tall, a 48-year old hailing from Mt. Clement, Michigan, a close, personal friend of the late Chris Kyle who has recently said, “Seth Rogen, I wanna kick your ass,” everyone’s favorite modern day Superman……………………..Dean (Superman) Cain!

They meet at the center of the ring with the referee….

“Gentlemen, I want a clean fight…at least for the first 30 seconds.  Michael, because you started this whole ‘defecation storm’ with your stupid comments about  snipers, you will be in the ring first for your team.  Clint, because you have won two Oscars for directing, and Michael hasn’t even gotten the sniff of an Oscar’s butt, you get to use your .44 magnum from the Dirty Harry movies.  You may choose to enter the ring, or….if you prefer, you can do your Dirty Harry bit from outside the ropes.  Seth, you will then take Michael’s place in the ring.  As you are a Canadian, and Canadians are always making half-assed comments about the United States while making their living here, Dean will be given, for his use only, a Canadian hockey stick to use as he chooses.  He probably won’t need it.  Now shake hands and come out fighting!”

Now how much would you pay to see that match?  I think we could make a dent in the national debt with the gate receipts and the TV rights.

So there you have it.  Another Hollywood example of actors and critics shooting off their mouths about something of which they know very little.  But this movie is stunning them.  It appears to be a blockbuster!  It is great to see the American public vote with their pocketbooks, and take in this really enlightening movie.  And the whiplash to these stupid, senseless comments is gaining momentum.  It is not only gaining momentum, but it is getting louder.

Much to their credit, both Moore and Rogen are attempting to do ‘the damage control shuffle.’  If I were them, I would hire an ‘image consultant’ because their attempts at damage control are missing the mark.  I would also quit tweeting!

America is waking up.  Unlike the way the Viet Nam veterans were treated upon their return to the states, the citizenry of our country are much more appreciative of the sacrifices that are being made each day by our armed forces in defending this country.

God Bless America, and God Bless all of those that put on a uniform every day to defend her.

Footnote:  I have seen all but one of those movies that I have listed for Clint Eastwood as director.  I did not realize he had directed over 30.  I did not go to the movies because he directed them.  In many instances, I did not know he was the director until after the movie was done.  Without  a doubt, I have found all of his movies entertaining and enjoyable.  Unbeknownst to many, Clint is also a US Army veteran.  He was not selected for the ‘best director’ category for this year’s Oscars for American SniperAmerican Sniper has, however, earned six nominations, including one for Bradley Cooper for best actor.  He should win it.   Clint takes up 30 pages on Wikipedia.  Michael Moore takes up seven.  That really sums up their prominence in the entertainment industry.