"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Just Got Tix to Broadway - Allegiance

The wife and I are looking forward to experiencing this musical from George Takei.  It's not just a musical, it's a history lesson from a man who lived the events.

It's about military officers who violate their oaths of office, and use the American military to subjugate 70,000 American citizens with force.  No charges, no trial, no due process.  No Constitution.

Sadly, it's incredibly relevant to the state of affairs in America today.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Enjoy Time Off for Memorial Day - But Do You Deserve It?

Each Memorial Day I try to re-cage myself and my sense of service.  It's not about strats or school slots or the wing commander liking you.  It's not even about what your bros think.  Service isn't a seventh grader lunch table.

Most of us will not perish in the line of duty, and that's a good thing.  Still, it is important to remember those who gave all, and to reflect on that ultimate measure of sacrifice and the reasons for it.  But to do that we must honestly reflect.  And we must truly care about their sacrifices.

It's not enough to reflexively acknowledge their sacrifice as others slap a bumper sticker on a truck.  We must ask ourselves why their sacrifice was important.  When we do, we will undoubtedly consider words like freedom and liberty.  But what do those words mean?

What is freedom and liberty?  Military professionals should know the answer, as we all took an oath to support and defend those liberties as codified in our nation's supreme law of the land.  We took an oath before God to support and defend our Constitution without mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and we swore that we took the oath freely before asking for the help of the Almighty.

So how are we doing with God's help in that oath we swore?  What kind of person are we truly, what kind of public servant?  Do we really have what it takes to make liberty and freedom a reality in our nation, to move the ball forward after greater and stronger Americans who lived harder lives and sacrificed so much more than ourselves for America?  Or are we just pretending, like Enron employees in camouflage, like bankers on Wall Street in flight suits sending nonsense up the chain and plotting our next career and financial moves to serve ourselves?

These are things we should ask ourselves each Memorial Day, if we want to truly honor the sacrifices of those who died defending this nation.

Most of us in military service will not be placed in harm's way in a manner like those we celebrate on Memorial Day.  That doesn't mean we can't serve and defend American freedom in a real way, and in a manner that requires very real courage.  To be true to the oaths of office we took requires a massive amount of courage in the reality we find ourselves in today, and such courage is greatly needed as the freedom of our American neighbors are under attack like no other time in American history.  And that attack is not coming from outside our borders, it's coming from those of us who raised our hands and swore to be sheep dogs instead of wolves.

We have a great opportunity to earn our paychecks and the four day weekend we are now enjoying.

For my part, while I have significant aviation combat time, I've never been put in the position of our combat warriors who gave all.  Nowhere near it.  But that doesn't mean I didn't train for the battle.  Likewise, some may never be put in the position to risk their career to defend the liberty of Americans here at home but still they should prepare for it.  They swore they could be counted on if the moment arose, and they most certainly accept a paycheck twice a month from the American people.  They should be familiar with the Constitution they swore to defend, and they should consider how it might be attacked on their watch, and they should be ready.  That's why Americans pay them.

"...against all enemies, foreign and domestic."  That's how it went.

I was ready.  I refused an unlawful order and I resigned my commission in the military with more than fifteen years of service, rather than obey an unconstitutional order that spit on the graves of great Americans who died in combat.  I was ready because I took my oath seriously, I had previously spent the twenty minutes to read the Constitution, and so I refused the unlawful order on the spot.  It took some measure of courage.  But that's the job, and I have never refused a paycheck so there would be absolutely no excuse for me to fail when tested.

Whether you think you will find yourself in a similar position or not, you have to prepare and be ready to do right by Americans should the moment arise, whether it's a complicated one way mission over Japan Doolittle-style, or whether it's an unlawful order requiring you to refuse to violate your oath of office and our nation's rule of law.

We get paid to be ready should the need arise.  Military officers don't get paid to punch a clock.  Rather, we get paid to get it right when the pressure is high and the stakes are real.  Many of us forget the importance of a commission.  We don't work for IBM even if the office environment might feel that way.

For my part, I happily took the paychecks from struggling Americans, just as I will happily enjoy this four day weekend.  I hope we can all reflect on what service truly means, and ensure that we deserve what Americans provide us.

So don't suck.  Prepare yourself in case you are one day tested.  Americans depend on you to get it right.  They need you to defend them, not yourself or your career.  Whether you are military, a cop, a federal agent, or a federal judge you have to get it right and there is no excuse for failing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Military Perhaps Able to Protect Their Families Using the Second Amendment?

Congress is considering part of the NDAA which would allow military installation commanders to allow military personnel to keep firearms on base.  I have blogged previously here and here and here about the insane installation policies which disarm members of the armed forces when they travel to and from work, unlike their civilian neighbors, despite the fact that military members and their families are targeted by terrorists here in the United States.

There is a chance lawmakers will graciously extend our Second Amendment rights to service members so that they can protect themselves.

U.S. Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, an author of the law that passed the House of Representatives, wrote:

"Texas has twice mourned the loss of our soldiers and civilians after shootings at Fort Hood just north of my district. In 2009, Nidal Hassan walked into Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Center, shouted Allahu Akbar, and opened fire, killing 13 and wounding 42 others in the most horrific terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Five years later, another shooter opened fire on the base, killing four and wounding 16 others . Enough is enough. We must give our base commanders more discretion and our soldiers more protection. Thousands of my constituents in Texas already exercise this right responsibly. It is time for our service members to be allowed to do the same."

Let's hope these legislators succeed in their attempt to ensure that common sense is not infringed.  It could very well save American lives.

They Don't Call it a Military State - They Call it a Police State

Tyranny, pure and simple.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Airman Kayce M. Hagen Lays the Smack Down on SAPR

Her article, posted with a pen name on John Q. Public, was outstanding.  It goes to show the doublespeak of "equality" so often found in the military, and the kid-gloves-high-school-monitor approach applied to warriors like Kayce who signed up to brave circumstances most Americans cannot fathom.  I particularly enjoyed her depiction of the Tyranny of the Offense Takers that has taken hold, at least in my experience, within office environments in non-combat units much moreso than I have ever seen before:

You told me, and everyone else who was listening to you this morning that I had a right to dictate what they said. That I had a right to dictate what they looked at. That I had a right to dictate what they listened to. That somehow, in my shop, I was the only person who mattered. That they can’t listen to the radio because they might play the Beatles, or Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that I might be offended.

As a Gunship guy with eight deployments during actual no-kidding shooting war, the stuff I see from non-combatants in our service today from those who seem to think they work at IBM (if it were genetically crossed with a day care) staggers me.  I feel like a stranger in a strange land.  I remember conducting combat operations, with a thirteen "man" gunship crew that included, of course, females.  We all lived and slept in the same tent, crew integrity, with poncho liners put up as dividers for our cots.  Now if I bring up a war story about a mission I conducted, in front of young military officers that I'm supposed to train for combat aviation, eyes get wide and mouths drop like I farted in church.  This illustration from one student years ago captures it perfectly.

But those missions included females, and not just our intelligence officer who I later married.  Our Gunship Gals were not protected and isolated and treated like children.  They were military professionals and experts in the art of war.  They didn't need protection, but you can be sure their male crew members would provide it just as the females would do the same for their male counterparts.  It was a tight knit, highly effective combat organization.  It was not a bunch of tough guys taking care of the fragile girls forced into the unit.  In the real profession of arms, nobody needs protection because they have met the standard expected of all, they are equals, and they will protect themselves.  They kill the enemy and they save American lives by superior performance, grit, and dedication.  They don't need protection from men, and they also don't need it from politicians.  And you cannot form an effective combat outfit when you isolate and treat some of its members differently.

I can sense this disgust at the patronization felt by Airman Kayce in her article.  We're in the profession of arms, right?  So why do we now feel like we're at a Chuck E. Cheese with mandatory nap time and arts and crafts?

Not all communities are created equal.  Not all standards are the same.  But on the whole, our service really needs to grow up instead of attempting to grow down.  It's losing focus on its purpose.

Good on Hagen for effectively communicating what so many of us are thinking, while we try to deal with a minority of insecure people, supported by a good chunk of politicians in uniform, who feel empowered by the latest (and I don't care what the slide says) political correctness crusade.

Sexual assault is a problem and it needs to be dealt with.  But not in the thin skinned pseudo-intellectual manner that has characterized some of the approach so far.  It's not all bad, and good on the service for trying to tackle a once historically off limits topic.  But that last batch of an attempt left some marks on self imposed foreheads.

And good on Hagen for plugging Sir Mix.  Seatown represent.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King & Suspicionless Checkpoints

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals proved itself unwilling to comply with its own case law, unwilling to comply with clear case law of the Supreme Court of the United States, and unwilling to honor the Fourth Amendment guarantees of our Constitution.

As Dr. King and many other great Americans showed us not long ago, words on paper guaranteeing us our rights are useless when public servants lack the character and professionalism of their oaths of office.  The principal protections on our nation's parchment, require principled protection in our courts and among our law enforcement.

Statistically speaking, the chances the Supreme Court will correct this matter in my lawsuit are very slim.  In that case, if an entire branch of our government fails to uphold our laws and safeguard our rights, I will ally myself with other great Americans and we will see you on the streets following the example of Dr. King and many other Americans who demanded our rule of law be upheld.

Equally.  Not just for government against the people.

I'm looking forward to the "you should have used the established system for complaints and to seek accountability" quips from the ignorant and the deceitful.

You can consider my pledge clearly established.  And we will win, I promise you that.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Going to The Supreme Court of the United States

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals strangely decided to deny my petition for en banc rehearing without the judges even voting whether or not to rehear the case.  This is strange given the dissent from the panel decision and the Supreme Court making it even more clear several days ago in Rodriguez v. United States that even when drug smugglers are pulled over with suspicion of a crime, any delay beyond the mission or purpose of the stop that extends the stop is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

 13-51114 [Richard Rynearson v. USA, et al], Non Dispositive Court Order
  Docket Text:
  COURT ORDER denying petition for rehearing en banc filed by Appellant Mr. Richard Rynearson [7886098-2] Without Poll. Mandate pull date is 05/11/2015 [13-51114] (NFD)

Seems a very unorthodox tactic by the Fifth Circuit, similar to the two judge majority refusing to consider whether or not the fourth amendment was violated in my appeal (ie the appeal itself).

Next stop, requesting cert before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Airman William Wallace

"We'll build spears, hundreds of em, long spears, twice as long as a man."

"That long?"


"Some men are longer than others."

"Your mother's been telling you stories about me again!"

"I'm offended. I'm going to tell and you're going to get in trouble. Such humor has no place in the business of war."