So long 2011, Do not let the door hit you in the ass as you depart!

By The Piratearian December 29, 2011

2011 was a mostly a year to forget. Forget because it was not a good year financially for the world, there were a number of major natural disasters and much international and domestic political upheaval that will have global consequences for decades to come.

Earthquakes, at least Al Gore has not blamed the earthquakes on global warming.  All around the ring of fire and even in New York the earth shook.  No matter how advanced a society we become we will never be able to control the earth movement of the earth (Nor the rise and fall of the seas from melting ice, but that is for another post!) I do not know if you have ever been in a major earthquake but it is not fun. In 1989 I literally saw the earth roll at me in waves as I was driving home to watch my Giants in the World Series.  Japan was a stark reminder that we have no control over the environment and that we are not as safe as we think we may be.

Financially the world is in terrible shape. Politicians keep kicking the can of debt down the road and consistently spends more than it brings in. We have a President who in 3 years has accumulated more debt than the U.S. has had in its entire history!
In 2011 our countries credit for the first time was downgraded. (Hint ,Hint!)
Greedy bankers spurred on by greedy corrupt politicians who forced them to write loans that borrowers cannot afford to pay back. We have a national debt that will never be fully paid back in our lifetime.   I do not see much getting better in 2012.

Wars and rumors of wars: 2011 was a year of war, but the drawdown of war in Iraq. (Maybe too early, we will see)
It is interesting that our President Barrack Hussein Obama, who ran on an anti-war platform, led us into multiple conflicts, continuing in Iraq and Afghanistan, but expanding to Libya, Pakistan and other covert actions in Africa, including state sponsored assassination of U.S. citizens.
Our military has done an outstanding job with many major victories including the take down of some bad terrorists! But what do they get in return? Micromanagement cuts in their funding and a return to civilian life where job prospects are few, and a VA healthcare system that desperately needs funding and attention. There is also the “Arab spring” which has been encouraged by the administration but is not quite going as the US State department had wished. We allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons and have a President who nicely asks them to “Please return our top secret drone that was spying on you.”


Domestically our government is in tatters, the Constitution hanging by a thread. I feel that there is a coordinated effort by the administration and their backers to destroy the economy, freedom and political system in the U.S. Many laws have been broken in the name of progressivism.  Our government needs to be reduced in size and scope for us to get back on a solid constitutional footing. And do not even get me started on the size and scope of DHS. (It went from a focus on international terrorism threats to domestic terrorism threats) Our privacy is threatened, our freedom is at risk. The next administration I hope exercises oversight, brings in forensic accountants to find the Trillions of dollars that was spent without regard to accountability. The department of justice needs to return to following the constitution instead of chasing after enemies of the administration and allowing the civil rights of normal Americans to be trampled on.

In 2012 America has the most important election in its history. We need to decide what we want to be, do we attempt to recreate the glory and freedom of the past? Or will we sink into the progressive European socialism that has not worked so well for them.

The question is: What road does America want to take?
2012 will definitely be a very interesting year. 

Fast and Furious just a symptom?

By The Piratearian 12/5/2011

I am an Arizonan and proud of it. I like the desert, the independence, living in the wild west, I am also a gun owner. Arizona is a proudly conservative state. We are Americans, we clutch our bibles and our guns. Which is why I took notice in 2009, when Janet Napalitano, Hilary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama started politicizing the “Flood of Guns” traveling from Arizona south into Mexico. There they were being delivered into the hands of drug gangs to be used in crimes and to murder innocent civilians. This was soon after the State of Arizona started talking about taking on the responsibility of the Federal Government to deport the flood of illegal immigrants in Arizona which were burying our local government in Millions of dollars of debt.

Right away the thought entered my mind that they would use this as an excuse to implement gun control.  
The Second amendment reads: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

In America (outside of the beltway and certain liberal states) this is taken very seriously.

But the current administration saw an opportunity and decided to take advantage of it. Then something happened they did not expect,  Brian Terry, Terry a Marine Corps Veteran and former police officer was just doing his job protecting the border when he was ambushed by drug runners. He was shot with a AK-47. When this gun was traced, it was shown to have been sold by a gun store in Glendale Arizona.
At first there was outrage, how could this happen? Then the wheels started to fall off for the justice dept.

Agent Brian Terry

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was monitoring sales of firearms in Arizona. They had put together a program to “trace” weapons going from LEGAL Gun dealers in Arizona, being bought by straw buyers then into the hands of criminals in Mexico.
This sale could have been stopped, but the ATF told the gun store owner to sell it to the couriers even though the store owner was suspicious.
Now so far this sounds great right? Track the weapons and arrest the criminals. But being that the President Obama WANTED to count more illegal weapons going over the border, they let the guns WALK. The ATF, FBI, DHS, DOJ all let these weapons go into Mexico WITHOUT tracing them, OR telling the Mexican Government.
Now there is tons of evidence that this was all planned and executed by officials at the highest level in the Dept of Justice and the Oval office. There are cover ups being put into place.
I pray that Justice will be done and the administration will be held to task. This is just one way our civil liberties are being taken away from us by the current administration.

Lives have been lost to advance a political agenda of gun control. Of this there is no doubt. What else are they doing to steal our money and reward their followers? How else are they creating “opportunities to take away our civil liberties?”

We as Americans need to be aware of the lengths our current government will go to in order to take away our rights as citizens. I encourage the House and the Senate to keep up their investigations. (Even though Harry Reid works hand in glove with the Obama administration).
People need to go to jail for the crimes that are being committed.
Like the Who say “We won’t be fooled again” I hope this is true.

Today I realized that my father was dying.

By The Piratearian

I think I am like most as I have gone through my life not thinking about death too much. My family has been blessed for the most part with longevity. With the exception of my mother’s father who passed when I was 2 years old, all of my other Grandparents lived to a ripe old age. We all adored his parents, lifelong Democrats they made our childhood exceptional, toting us all over Chicago to museums and other cultural events, dive bar restaurants, riots and political conventions. (1968 Chicago, Think about it) Two better grandparents a child could not hope for. Yet they did not seem to have a close relationship with my father. He was always quite formal in his interactions with them that I remember, but I cannot state with certainty if they showed him the same love they showed their grandchildren.

Now I am not afraid of death, I like to think there is an afterlife, and that I have lived my life worthy enough to pass through the gates. If I am wrong and there is nothing I just hope to pass without pain.

But tonight the reality of losing a close family member soon, is hitting home. And I think it will be harder for me to deal with this death than my own.

The eldest of 5 children, 4 boys, you would think that I would have a close relationship with my father, but that would not be true. Now, I feel that this is through no fault of my own. My father is not an emotional man, he tends not to express his inner feelings, and not very communicative with family members, he also feels he is smarter than anyone else, and if you disagree you are wrong.  Yet in his relationships with others outside of family, he is outgoing and very expressive, forming close friendships with co-workers and friends.

At first he was a typical father, growing up on the North Shore of Chicago, he coached baseball and would take us to sporting events and on nice vacations.
But when I was about 8, I realized that somehow I was not good enough for him. I was not the best baseball player on the team. I was not bad, I became the catcher and could hit for average, but I was not a star. My twin brother was much worse and it became obvious that my father was greatly disappointed in him. He had always had the dream I think that we would all be exceptional.  A Stanford graduate, University of Chicago Law School, A lawyer, he started working many long hours, and was a moderate to heavy drinker. As time passed he would spend less and less time with us children. It was all about the billable hours that are so typical of those in the legal profession. We moved cross country in the early 70’s to California, and that was the beginning of the end for my parent’s marriage and for living in a 2 parent home.

I have always envied my friends who had great dad’s. You know the type that would always spend time with their kids, talk to them, be friendly not only to their own children but to all the friends also. I became close to many of my friends fathers who would always make me welcome with their family. One, my best friends father always welcomed me to their cabin in the Sierras. I would spend a few weeks there every year, exploring, fishing, hiking and having fun. He taught us responsibility too, whenever we would come up to the cabin he would have chores for us to do. We would happily chop wood or build a new deck. Paint the cabin or build a new bridge. I respected Bob and was very sad to see him pass.

My father never taught us much. We were expected to be exceptional on our own as if it was just in our genes. Now don’t get me wrong, he would try. He would make promises and take us places. But unfortunately he only kept his word about half the time. Now growing up with an unemotional father can be dealt with, you understand and lower your expectations. And if my dad would of made promises and never fulfill them we could adapt and learn to blow him off as a liar. But no, he would keep his word about half the time. As a growing child this becomes confusing as you never know what to expect. This is the life I led. If you could not depend on your father, who could you depend on?

By the time I was 17 my parent’s relationship was over. He was never home, and soon left the family for another woman just 3 years older than me. Now I realize that this woman (his wife) does make him happy. (Married now 30 years)I can see it in him. He is more relaxed. She waits on him. More power to him.
I have learned that I would never have a close relationship with him. We would go to sporting events, he always had the best tickets. Whether a 49er game or Giants, Stanford football or a Super Bowl. He would compensate by bringing some of the kids along. Don’t get me wrong it was fun, but we were just in the same place at the same time it seems. We would never talk past small talk.
For fun us kids would start saying “I love you dad” and watch him squirm as it made him so uncomfortable.

17 years ago I moved away to raise my own family. He would sometimes come to Phoenix for spring training and buy us dinner or take us to a game. But he was still always distant. Never really seeming interested in my wellbeing, though he did seem to be entertained by his grandchildren.

I realize that I spent too many years searching or trying to gain his approval. Hoping that he would say “good job” or “I’m proud of you” but that never came. And now I realize that it will never happen. He is who he is. I realized that I do not need his approval to be happy. Now sometimes when he comes to town he never even tells us. Pretty sad in my book, now I am pretty sure he doesn’t hate me or my family, he just doesn’t care.

A few years ago his health started deteriorating. A heavy smoker most of his life, he had a series of arterial issues, culminating with total renal failure a few months ago. He went on dialysis and his life has changed.  He is now an old man, losing weight, sleeping more. He is soon going to attempt to get a kidney transplant. If he does not qualify forit, it looks like his end may be coming soon. Even with it, it will extend his life only 2-3 years from what I understand. (He has not told me this, I need to pull the information out from multiple sources.) He still has not expressed to any of us that his life is near the end. He is too private, too withdrawn.  He will not speak of emotions, relationships, fear or death.

One of my favorite movies is “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner. I can relate as my dad loves baseball and always wished he had played pro ball. (My dad played fantasy baseball for many years, dressing up in SF Giants uniforms and being coached by players) I sometime feel like I am Kevin Costner’s character, always chasing after something and not really knowing what.
But I now realize that I will never have that final “game of catch” with my father.
In over 50 years he has not told his children that he loves us, not once. It would be foolish to expect it now. We all make a point of telling him how we love him. We watch him get flustered and uncomfortable, but he never returns the emotion.

I will get a phone call one of these days telling me “your father has passed away”, or “you need to come quick.”
I will need to deal with it and how I was never able to connect with my father, to be loved as a son, for him to be proud of me.
He will deal with death on his own terms. I do not know if he is afraid or not, or where he thinks he is going. All I know is that my father will be gone and mostly I think I will be sorry I never had a dad who could love me as I loved him with all his flaws.
But I do realize he taught me something. I learned to hug my boys. To tell them I love them, and when I am proud of them. I vow to be a better father to them than my father was to me, whether they appreciate it or not.  So at least they will know when it is my time to go, that their father loved them very much.

That will be my legacy.