Shirts for heroes who hunt down evil
vereor non magnus nocens lupus
Oct 27

What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name?

All I’ve been hearing on the news for the last two weeks is “lone wolf” or “self-radicalized”. Martin Rouleau, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, and Alton Nolan have all been described as one or the other, or both depending on who you’re talking to. “They don’t have any real connections to ISIS”, or “We don’t know that he’s had contact with anyone in the Middle East”. It would appear that in order to be a terrorist one must have a membership card or some other overt means of identification. Maybe an “I Heart ISIS” t-shirt would do?

What I’m going to say now, I’ve said before. But it bears repeating. I want to make sure that it gets through to at least one person. Two if I’m lucky.

It doesn’t matter what we call these people. None of the labels, names, or descriptions we assign to them mean a hill of beans. We can call them “Lone Wolf”, “Self radicalized”, “Independent Contractor”, or my all-time favorite “Wannabe”. They are all meaningless. “Well what does matter, Chuck? Since you’re being all preachy.” What matters, the only thing that matters, is what these people (and I use the word “people” loosely) believe themselves to be.  In simple terms, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has feathers like a duck, it’s a duck. There is no such thing as a “Wannabe”, there is no such animal as a “Lone Wolf”. If these folks are committing crimes that they believe will further a root cause or ideology, they are indeed what they profess to be.  We, in the military, and more importantly in this case, law enforcement communities don’t have the luxury of asking for a terrorist ID card along with a driver’s license and proof of insurance. We must take these folks at their word. If you call yourself a jihadist, I have no choice but to treat you as such. “Are you sure that you’re acting in accordance with Article 10, section 5, subsection 23 of the ISIS rule book sir?”, “Are your Taliban membership dues all paid up?”.  It’s a silly prospect, a dangerous one in fact, to not accept at face value what we’re being told by these guys, whether it be straight from the horse’s mouth or through a preponderance of evidence. Let me frame it a different way. I have a suspect in a murder where the victim’s body was surrounded by “NHC Rollin’ 60’s” graffiti. My suspect is a ginger white kid from Suburbiavilleland. He doesn’t know any other Crips. He’s never been to prison. He’s never left Suburbiavilleland and has no friends. The victim had on a red shirt but has no known gang ties. He does, however, know the complete history of the Rollin’ 60’s, has a framed picture of Tookie on his wall, calls his dad “Big Homie”, bangs a blue flag, and believes that the murder has sufficiently marked the boundaries of his “territory”. He has committed a crime in the name of a larger organization. He, despite being “alone” in his actions, believes that what he is doing will further a greater cause. He believes, in his heart, that he is doing what is required of him to be a gangster in good standing. Who am I to tell him that he’s not “real”? He’s as “real” as he believes he is. It makes no difference if he’s net banging or hood banging. He’s no less a danger, or potential danger, to society. Not a perfect example I guess, but I think you’re picking up what I’m putting down.

Why did I call out the LE community as “more important”? Because when this stuff comes home again, and it will, it’s going to be the beat cop that is the first to show up. I’d like nothing more than to see some d-bag jihadi step off on a rampage only to be put down by a 21 year old girl with a S&W 642 before anyone gets hurt, but I don’t think the odds are in our favor. I feel confident that it will be one cop, in one patrol car, with a .45, a shotgun, and maybe an AR (assuming it hasn’t been taken away from him in the name of political correctness) to confront one of these clowns. And I can assure you that asking the bad guy if he’s a “real terrorist” isn’t going to be an option, nor will it matter. I feel pretty confident that none of the folks I named above called themselves anything but what they believed themselves to be, and I doubt that they give a damn what we call them. It is of the utmost importance that we are, above all, honest with ourselves and with each other. Call them what they are. Not according to what we believe them to be, but according to what they know themselves to be.

In closing, let me say this. If you don’t carry everywhere, everyday, start doing that. If you’re a cop and you don’t carry off duty, choke yourself. If you’re active duty military, do the best you can to carry. I know the rules on base are shady, but figure something out to make it work without getting yourself in trouble. The important thing is to be an asset. We were put here to make the world a safer place, not only for ourselves but for everyone else. If we aren’t doing that, we’re not living up to our name. 

A wolf in sheep’s clothing is no less a wolf.

Be safe. Or be dangerous.   


Sep 18

Moderate?

The House of Representatives voted today, 273-156, to arm “moderate” Syrian rebels to fight the plague that is ISIS, or ISIL. ISIS, or the group formerly known as the “JV Squad” are what we’ve come to know as Islamic Extremists. This brings me to my question; why in the hell do you fight anything “extreme” with an opposing force that is described or defined as “moderate”?

Let’s think about this for just a moment, shall we? If you have an extremely large hornet nest in your yard occupied by extremely angry hornets do you rush down to the store and grab a spray can of moderately strong hornet killer? If your doctor tells you that you have an extreme case of crotch rot would you want him to treat you with a moderate form of penicillin? The answer of course, is No. It just doesn’t add up. Moderate doesn’t succeed in extreme situations. An example, our military. It doesn’t consist of moderate Americans. I’d go out on a limb and say that even the most passive person in the most passive job is anything but a moderate American (generally speaking), and time after time they have defeated the most extreme adversaries. It takes extreme to defeat extreme, “Game recognizes game” in the modern parlance.

We live in a society that celebrates moderation. And in some cases rightly so. There are things that are always better in moderation such as eating unhealthy foods, consuming alcohol (heh), and autoerotic asphyxiation. Conversely, there are situations where moderation just won’t do. One of those situations is eviscerating an extremely dedicated adversary. One cannot expect that a group of moderately minded fighters will realize even the slightest amount of success over a group of animals like ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever we’re calling them today. What is needed is an equally extreme group of warfighters who are equally as dedicated to the cause of ending those mutts as they are to proliferating their brand of terror. Am I advocating that the US take a more active role in this fight? No. But in the words of Ron Swanson, “Don’t half ass two things, whole ass one thing.” If we’re going to stick our nose in this thing, it needs to be all the way in. No more half ass-ing. Stand all the way up, or sit the fuck down. The ass clowns that we keep electing have decided that we’re going to get our hands dirty with support so it may as well be dirty up to the elbows.

I don’t know man. I’m no foreign policy expert. I’m just a guy selling shirts, but it seems to me that extreme problems require extreme solutions, not moderate policies. What say you?


Jul 5

A Child

I am a child of America

A bastard

Born of righteous treason

Swaddled in the blanket of liberty

Washed clean in the sweat of sacrifice

My tyrannical father, cast away

His crown crushed under frozen foot at Valley Forge

Divorced on parchment

Letters scrawled in blood

Freedom, a fleeting moment

But for my vigilance

Never again will I be shackled

I will wrap my children

In the blanket of Liberty

Wash them in the sweat of sacrifice

Their rights

Unalienable

Equally created

Endowed by their Creator

I am a child of America

I am Freedom’s ring


May 30

Warning: This is full of bad words

Do not read this out loud at work. Foul language to follow.

I’m pretty much done with this finger pointing bullshit as it relates to the VA healthcare debacle. “Thanks Obama”, “This wouldn’t have happened if Bush didn’t throw an illegal war party”, “Republicans want you to die”, “Liberals hate the military”….Blah, blah, blah. Fuckin’ done.

THEY ALL OWN THIS SHIT. EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM. Republican, Democrat, Independent, TEA Party, Green Party, Communist, Socialist, Whig, Torre, all of them. The VA health system has been a dumpster fire for decades. This isn’t a new problem. Just today I had someone send me a link to a video of Bernie Sanders (http://www.politicususa.com/2014/05/27/bernie-sanders-terrifies-republicans-pointing-war-va-problem.html) where he says something to the effect of “Well, there was a war and the VA wasn’t ready for all of the business” (I’m taking some liberty here of course). Holy Shit Bernie! There was a war? Two of them you say? Well why in the fuck didn’t someone tell the Federal Government? I mean shouldn’t they be aware of something like that? God forbid someone recognize that war equals death and injury. If only they could have made preparations for an onslaught of wounded people, if only there had been a memo. But why jump to conclusions? I mean isn’t it just as likely that we could roll up two countries full of terrorist assholes without one single casualty?  No need to get ready for anything, pre-war staffing and funding should cover it. Idiots.

And then there’s this gem of blissful ignorance (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/05/29/dem-rep-declares-there-are-no-problems-with-florida-va-system-so-the-internet-reminds-her/ ).  Everything in my district is hunky dory. No problems here. I mean, yeah, some folks got put on paid leave for not following SOP, but shit, it’s all good. I get it, toe the party line. But to be so far in the tank for your ideological head honcho that you can’t even admit that there’s a problem? Get. The. Fuck. Out. And that shit works both ways. Both sides of this political gangbang of failure and stupidity are all about the “We’re going to save you” photo-op. Fuck that, and fuck them. These dickholes send people off to war, any war, without batting an eye at the real human outcome. I don’t think Joe Average gives a rat’s ass who’s doing what as long as someone is washing the Agent Orange off of his body, or replacing the arm he left in Iraq with a shiny new prosthetic.  

You can bet your ass that if someone hadn’t come forward there wouldn’t have been a peep about this. Not one word. None of them gave a damn until the wheels came off the cart. Somewhere a light switch got turned on all of the little cockroaches are running for cover under the fridge. I’d say it’s unbelievable, but it’s totally believable. And downright disgusting.

You best unfuck yourselves Washington DC.

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to get a square deal afterwards. – T. Roosevelt  


May 28

Blame Game

Poor baby. Can’t get laid. “Those mean girls over there doin’ the thing with those other guys that aren’t me. That gives me an angry! Never mind that I’m all creepy and whatnot, with my videos and my posting on PUAHate.com (look that shit up, it was a real thing).” What. The. Fuck? Why is this even happening? Why are we talking about Elliot Rodger? Why was this fruit farm walking the streets?

I’ll take a stab at it.

Involuntary commitment. It’s a thing. It didn’t happen.  Even here in lil’ ol’ South Carolina a family member can go to a probate judge and have someone put in a looney bin, if even for a minute. All you have to do is show the judge enough evidence that the person in question is, in fact, “out of sorts”.  California has the LPS Act that allows qualified persons (LEO, clinicians, etc.) to have an individual held for a psych eval (5150) based on their educated observations and evidence. EVIDENCE. You know, like posting crazy ass videos on YouTube. This kid’s parents called the cops, they took the first step, but they didn’t disclose everything apparently. All the cops had to go on was what they were told and a brief face to face with the good Mr. Rodgers. He seemed fine. Of course he did. He’s crazy. Lord knows I’ve been fooled a time or two. Crazy people are good at masking their issues. Those guys that went out and chatted with this kid feel like shit. I know they do. Right now they are beating themselves up, and will continue to do so for the remainder. It makes me sad for them. But the parents, what more could they have done? Maybe talk to a shrink? Maybe press the issue? “Yeah, the cops came out but we don’t think they made the right call, our son is a lunatic is going to hurt people.” Maybe that? But no. For whatever reason, they didn’t go far enough. Embarrassment? Pride? Ignorance? Who knows? Maybe let’s go through Elliot’s personal belongings after hearing the fucked up stuff he was saying, and writing, and posting? Maybe let’s practice some due diligence here to ensure that our nutbag son doesn’t hurt someone.

Let’s blame the NRA/guns/gun owners. Of course. Whatever. I suppose we need to get on the sharp knife manufacturers as well, seeing as how he stabbed three people to death. And stabbing is not in the same universe as shooting. Stabbing takes a whole different level of violence. It’s personal. You have to physically touch your victim. You have to force the blade through their skin, and muscle, and connective tissue. You’re going to get dirty. Your victim is going to suffer. This kid did this not once, not twice, but three times.

Let’s blame Republicans and/or conservatives. Also “no”.  Blaming politics for the acts of a crazy person? Really?

Let’s blame Elliot Rodger. Probably the best route here. I say that tentatively though. Maybe he was a product of some uber-liberal upbringing (still his fault, plenty of liberals aren’t assholes). Maybe he fell prey to the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality that is so prevalent in our modern society (also still his fault). Or maybe Elliot just got a bad processor when the parts were being assembled. It happens. Maybe this kid was just wired wrong from the jump and it was just a matter of time before something bad happened. But maybe, just maybe, if mom and dad had taken the extra steps and had him committed. Maybe that would have given someone the time to evaluate what he was doing, search his room, get him on NICS so “legally” purchasing a gun is a problem. Stuff like that.  This kid was walking around because he was failed by the system. And by “the system”, I mean his parents. Maybe it had to do with their political views, maybe not. But at the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that they could have done more. They knew. And they failed to act in a timely manner.

Maybe I’m wrong.


May 20

Just because you can…

So now everyone is mad at another business.

“They’re anti-gun!”

“They don’t support the 2nd Amendment!”

All puffy red faced and angry. Sitting at home in front of the ol’ laptop smashing the keys into fine black powder as they bang out a strongly worded letter to the owner. “I’ll give these bastards a piece of my mind, tell me I can’t bring a gun into their establishment…Tyranny!”

Now. Riddle me this.

Why is it that as soon as a select few learn that Establishment X is cool with guns or doesn’t have that stupid little “No Guns, come kill everyone” sign they feel some burning desire to sling their $4000 AR (chambered in 300Blk, in case you were wondering) and cinch up that drop leg around their 5.11s?

“Let’s go down to Establishment X!”

“Hell yeah, lemme grab my breaching gun and my side arm!”

“Cool, cool. I’ve got my SCAR. Hang on, I gotta get my chest rig.”

Inevitably someone calls the cops because they see some dude walk into Establishment X with an “assault rifle”. Now you’ve got a couple of patrol cars pulling up with cops who know nothing more than some dude strolled in to a restaurant with a long gun. Is it an armed robbery or a 2A party? I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell not walking up on something out gunned, so the cops grab their rifles. And when they finally figure out what’s going on they feel like tools for making a “sneaky” approach on a group of folks enjoying a burrito. But wait! Someone had their phone out and recorded the officers with their rifles and uploads it to TheyreOutToGetUs.com. Now it’s the “militarized police coming to snatch your guns and babies”.  

Why? Because you can? Sounds reasonable. I mean why not, right? I get it. Let’s make a statement. Let’s show the world that we’re not going to be told we can’t. The 2nd Amendment protects that right and we’re going to use it. It makes sense…or does it?

What have we accomplished by flooding into a chow hall or coffee shop dripping with hardware? What message are we sending? Are we not telling the staff and management of these places that we don’t give a rip about their other customers? Or their right to run a business as they see fit? What’s wrong with throwing on your EDC and having a cup of joe without calling attention to yourself? I mean, you can do what you feel like. But you can also throw on a pair of yoga pants and a thong to get the same effect. By standing around in Starbucks draped in everything we own are we truly champions of our cause? I submit that we are merely making ourselves the true to life stereotype that the other side makes us out to be.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t be a dick. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You may be able to finally afford that clown costume you’ve had your eye on, but don’t wear it to a Coulrophobia convention. It’s just not cool. Carry every day. Carry everywhere you go. Be safe. Make others safe. Just don’t be a douche.

“This is a tool, I am the weapon”, not the other way around.


Apr 1

Distress

I don’t care to see our flag flown upside down. It bothers me. It shouldn’t, but it does. Yes, you have the right to do it. The First Amendment protects that right. But I don’t like it. It’s “en vogue” right now, lots of folks are running “’Ol Glory” up the pole to wave in the breeze with her beautiful blue field staring at the deck as a way to protest the government’s actions and/or policies towards one thing or another. And that is EXACTLY what the First Amendment is all about.

But.

The act of flying our national flag in such a manner is addressed quite specifically in our Flag Code. It uses the term “dire distress”. Now the case can certainly be made that some actions taken by our government equal “dire distress” in both the literal and figurative sense. I, however, take the two words quite literally. I save “dire distress” for “I’m all out of bullets, Charlie is in the wire, I’m wounded, everyone else is dead, and I’m down to an E-Tool and an empty MRE bag that I’ve filled with my own feces and set ablaze.” To me it means impending death. It means “I can’t fight anymore”. I need someone to come save me and that upside down flag is the signal. It signifies defeat. All is lost.

Now if one is inclined to believe that all is, in fact, lost, then you’re doing the right thing by signaling dire distress. But I refuse to believe that we as Americans are a defeatist culture. I refuse to accept that the American people have no more fight left. Are we that easy to push around? Do we now take things lying down? Is our only gesture in hard times to take the flag that so many have given so much for and flip it? If only “true patriots” fly the flag upside down, does that mean that those we disagree with have taken ownership of the proper flag? I think not.  If those that wish to undo America want a standard, let them wave the flag in distress. Let them have the bastardized version. As for me, until I’m down to throwing rocks, I’ll fly my flag right side up.

Laws can be changed, policies rescinded, politicians replaced. That flag represents our nation, her children, and our Constitutional Republic. She is us, and we her.

It’s just my opinion, and you know what those are like. We’re all on the same team here and I believe that we all want the best for each other and America. If your opinion differs, awesome. That’s what it’s all about, well that and the Hokey-Pokey.


Feb 27

Social Media

I have an idea. Let’s all take pictures of ourselves in questionable situations, post them to the world wide interwebz, and then get all confused about why we don’t have a job. Stupid, right? Yeah, stupid.

If you are;

A person

Have a job

Need a paycheck

I would recommend not taking selfies while you’re doing “stupid” and then post it for everyone to see. Everyone will see it. That’s the social part of social media. The risk is tenfold if you’re a member of the military (active, reserve, NG, whatever) or a cop. Like it or not you’re held to a higher standard than regular folks, and as we’ve seen lately that stuff will make the 6 o’clock news. We’ve all done things we’re probably not proud of. There’s a bunch of people that have made a mad dash for the door when Colors starts to play. That unmistakable “crack and pop” coming from the speakers on any base just before the music starts has made a Usain Bolt out of many a PFC. Do we brag about it? Not smart. Do we want to get caught by the Sergeant Major? Nooooooooooooo. Because we know it’s wrong. So why publicize it? Is there anyone who would take a picture of themselves with their badge proudly displayed while they’re stuffing $2 bills into Tiffany Dawn’s  G-string at BillyBob’s House of Debauchery and Dildo Emporium? Maybe. Is it a great idea to IG that stuff so your homies can be all jealous? Not so much.

It’s been said, ad nauseam, that the “new generation” doesn’t have the same level of discipline, respect, training, and so on that we older cats have. That may be true to some degree but I don’t buy it all together. We speak of the accomplishments and valorous acts of those from WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam and quietly think “they don’t build ‘em like that anymore”. Until you read the MoH and Silver Star citations from OEF/OIF and realize that those models are still in production. Is Salvatore Giunta any different than Audie Murphy? Is an Ann Carrizales any less of a cop than Frank Serpico? I say no.

 Have things changed? Of course. But I still believe that all of the same badass, red, white and blue bleeding, All American studs and studettes inhabit our ranks like they did 200 plus years ago. Sadly, I also believe that the “10%” now have a more powerful outlet for their douchebaggery. Twenty years ago the shitbirds in your unit were known to pretty much just your unit. With the advent of modern technology those shitbirds can reach millions with their acts of idiocy. All you need is a cell phone and a signal. In short, the 10% will always be the 10% but in this day and age everyone gets to share in the joy. And just like it’s always been, it is up to the leadership, whether it be FTOs or NCOs to “correct the issues” on the spot. Are there some that are just beyond repair? Yup. And they can be handled accordingly as well.

The bottom line is this; Think before you share that picture. If you have to explain it, it’s probably not a good idea. Well, unless you have that IDGAF attitude. In that case you can GTFO. You’re not doing anyone any favors by sticking around.


Feb 20

What Would I Rather Be?

What would I rather be?
I’d rather be the flag at half staff
The subject of a raised glass and a drunken toast
I’d rather be the story that starts “You’re not gonna believe this shit”
The Breaking News at 6
I’d rather be broken and full of holes
An empty mag and melted barrel
All of these things I’d rather be
Than a casual observer
Wondering what could have been…
What I could have done
Who I could have helped
What would I rather be?
I’m it.

Feb 14

What you don’t hear

What are these voices you don’t hear?

The visions you don’t see?

A long night, a comfortable bed, sleepless.

A racing heart, pounding at my chest, straining to get out

In a room full of friends.

Panic. Because I’m safe.

Explaining to the kids

Not to sneak up on daddy

Guilt

I should be with them, not here

But I am here

Surrounded by love

Embraced by my demons

The voices you don’t hear

The visions you don’t see

My reminder

I hold them close

They are my strength, my armor

I’m not broken

My scars tell a story

Like the lines of a puzzle

Pieces put together

Whole

A beautiful illustration

Of the voices you don’t hear

The visions you don’t see

My demons on the inside

Fight monsters

On the outside.