12/12/18

Holiday Duty

Somewhere in the world, there are young Americans standing a watch, flying a patrol, getting ready to take out a combat patrol, defending a position, making us and the world safe.

They were not with their families on Thanksgiving and they will not be with them on Christmas.

But, they will be with all of us whether we acknowledge them or not.

They issue forth from places like Virginia Military Institute and they are the “rough” men (and women) that George Orwell spoke of thusly:

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

To those Americans who perform that duty, I say, “Thank you from all of us. Merry Christmas. Be safe and know that a grateful nation appreciates your service.”

To those veterans who served before them, we salute your service.

From those of us who were privileged to have been educated at Virginia Military Institute, know that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John will be there with you.

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Matthew, Mark, Luke, John — combat veterans of the Civil War and the Mexican War — standing ready to fight tonight under any conditions. Aimed down the parade ground of Virginia Military Institute. Merry Christmas, guns!

Ready to fight tonight.

Merry Christmas.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.

12/7/18

Pearl Harbor Day

Every Pearl Harbor Day, I remember a conversation I had with a soldier who had been at Pearl on the day of the attack. It reverberates in my head. I can’t get it out.

This man had been at Sunday morning chow and was returning to his barracks when a Jap Zero made a low pass over the parade ground. He was located at one of the Army airfields and knew that there wasn’t supposed to be a Meatball flying over his parade ground.

He was there when the Japs returned and bombed the airfield into oblivion.The Japs would destroy all the American fighters that were lined up wing tip to wing tip to prevent sabotage.

I asked him, “What did you think the second you saw that Jap Zero?”

His answer was insightful. At first, I didn’t believe it. I would ask others if they felt the same way.

My Dad was in the Army that same day and he told me the same thing.

This is a picture of my Dad three weeks before Pearl Harbor on maneuvers in Louisiana when the Army was beginning to grow and shake out its fighting capabilities.

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12/5/18

A Single Act of Kindness

Big Red Car here on a day when the sun is struggling with the gloom. Gloom is ahead on points, but the sun is trying to rally.

A befitting, somber mood for the state funeral of President George Herbert Walker Bush.

If you see no other part of that funeral, watch President George W Bush eulogize his father. Bring a handkerchief and be with people in front of whom you are unafraid to cry. But, know that this is the America we all aspire to live in.

In his passing, President George Bush provided a singular act of kindness — he ensured that our current President, Donald J Trump, and our First Lady would be welcome at his funeral and that we would not see a replay of the tawdry Trump bashing which was the John McCain state funeral.

George HW Bush did no “reconcile” with President Trump. He moved on. He called President Trump a “blowhard” in his recent book. But, he moved on from that.

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12/2/18

Geo HW Bush & Ross Perot 1992 Election

Big Red Car here like a lot of people feeling the loss of former President George HW Bush and reflecting on the accomplishments of this good and great man.

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“Fair winds and following seas, Mr. President. We have the watch.”

I use the word “good” before the word “great” because he was as revered for his goodness as he was for his greatness.

This was a man whose most significant professional limitation came in the form of a short guy with a crewcut named Ross Perot.

In the 1992 Presidential election, George Bush was just off the victory in the First Gulf War tempered by his failure to adhere to his own “read my lips, no new taxes” promise.

No Democrat wanted to take on such a popular President, so the Dems picked a nobody Arkansas Governor named William Jefferson Clinton.

The election was made more interesting by the injection of an independent candidate — Ross Perot.

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10/22/18

America – Go Upcountry

Big Red Car here on a gloomy Monday in America (haha, Texas, really). The rains stopped and yesterday was sunny, but it’s gray today. Getting cold (58F).

Today, the country feels divided. Divided by things political and a number of important issues. We have mid-term elections in a couple of weeks and, today, early voting starts in Texas.

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Are we really divided? I don’t want to answer that question, but I do want to suggest that part of the solution is to go take a look at our country. Not your city, your neighborhood — the country.

If you live in a big state like Texas (On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all) then go around your state. If you live in a tiny state like Maryland, then you have to go to other states. Discover America.

How do you do it?

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10/14/18

The World is a Dangerous Place

Big Red Car here on a glorious Sunday morning thinking about the strange doings in L’Affaire Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who has come up missing in Turkey at the Saudi Arabian consulate under suspicious circumstances.

It is alleged that Mr. Khashoggi has been murdered by the Saudis for having written columns in the Washington Post critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and the government.

Khashoggi is documented (video) as having entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 October and was never seen exiting thereafter. His fiance was waiting in a car across the street from the consulate.

What is alleged is that the Saudis dispatched a fifteen man assassination squad who murdered him and dismembered him within the consulate.

He was, apparently, set up by being told to return four days later after an earlier meeting. In that interim, the Saudis dispatched their hit squad. The hit squad departed immediately after Khashoggi went missing.

The Saudis deny all allegations – in fact, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself made the denials, which greatly elevates the stakes – and say that Khashoggi left by a rear entrance which was not covered by a camera. [OK, so he didn’t hook back up with the fiance waiting across the street in the Mercedes?]

The Turks, who claim to have a recording and video of Khashoggi’s last minutes taken through his Apple watch (a technology which the American NSA has kept secret for years), say that the story is fiction. The Turks also note that the local Turk staff was given an unscheduled day off on the day Khashoggi was scheduled to come get some papers. WTF?

In any event, Khashoggi, who was seeking paperwork (proof that he had been divorced from a previous wife) to be able to marry a fiance, Hatice Cengiz, showed up and disappeared. These facts are not in dispute.

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10/11/18

Labor by the Numbers

Big Red Car here looking for some labor love. Nah, I’m way overstocked in love, but I do want to talk about how the labor picture looks in the United States.

The top line shout out is — low unemployment, wage gains, and more job openings than people to fill them, but the real picture requires us to look a little deeper. So, we shall.

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OK, I get it. It’s not labor day, but we’re talking “labor” right? If you have a job, every day is labor day.

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04/24/18

James Shaw Jr — American Hero

James Shaw Jr. is an American hero. Let me tell you about him, may I?

On this night, this man refused to die in a Waffle House at 3:30 AM. He refused to accept his fate. He took matters into his own, capable, strong hands. His actions saved lives, most importantly, his own. He is a great American.

The Antioch Waffle House shooting was an enormous tragedy, but from it emerged an interesting story – that of James Shaw Jr, an unlikely hero who went mano-a-mano with the gunman and wrestled his weapon from him, throwing it behind the Waffle House countertop thereby stopping the killing spree. At 3:30 AM in a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee this man found out who he was and he let us in on the secret.

James is a reluctant hero who makes no bones about the proposition that he was acting in his own self-interest. Faced with the highly likely proposition of death, James refused to go quietly into that dark night. If the gunman was going to kill him, it would not be without a fight. It is a strikingly American thought. We Americans will not go without a fight.

What did he do? He attacked the gunman when the gunman was dealing with his weapon – not clear whether the gunman was dealing with a jam or re-loading. James was smart. James picked his moment and acted.

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09/27/17

The American Flag, a Veteran’s Perspective

Veterans have a special attachment to the American flag. Allow me to explain why.

Big Red Car here in a cloudy Austin By God Texas day with some reflections from a veteran on the flag of our great country. This is written to explain how enraged veterans may be over recent events which they interpret to be disrespectful to the flag under which they served and, by reference, disrespectful to them. The Big Red Car is not doing missionary work here, not trying to espouse a view, but trying to provide information for you to be able to understand how a veteran might feel about this.

“I want you to see how this became about the flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, veterans, and patriotism. It is not an illogical conclusion,” said your Big Red Car.

Firstly, this controversy was initiated by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he sat down and then, subsequently, took a knee during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at the start of a San Francisco 49ers game (26 August 2016) . He explained his action thusly, “I AM NOT GOING TO STAND UP TO SHOW PRIDE IN A FLAG FOR A COUNTRY THAT OPPRESSES BLACK PEOPLE AND PEOPLE OF COLOR.”

His words are the glue that attaches his protest to the flag. The flag was being displayed during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. There is no necessity to look for linkages to the flag and the Star-Spangled Banner, they were there from the beginning. They were put there by Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick went on to say, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

In this manner, Kaepernick drew attention to the idea that policemen killing innocent people should not be tolerated. He fleshed this out in numerous statements which identified specific police killings of black men.

Let’s stop for a second and reason together. Regardless of whether one agrees with Kaepernick’s actions, is there anyone in favor of cops killing black men? As a foundation value, that is not particularly controversial. Nobody wants cops killing anybody, if it can be avoided.

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07/23/17

Russia — The Bear Who Shat in the Woods?

Russia, the Big Red Car is talking Russia today. Let me bottom line it, Russia is a punk.

Let me tell you why.

US GDP $17,947,000,000,000 — $18 TRILLION.

European Union GDP $16,220,000,000,000 — $16 TRILLION.

Russian GDP $1,324,000,000,000 — $1.3 TRILLION.

Italy GDP $1,815,757,000,000 — $1.8 TRILLION.

As you can see, the US and the EU (a fair approximation for NATO) has a GDP of $34 TRILLION v $1.3 TRILLION for Russia.

Hell, Italy is bigger than Russia!

Hello, world, you getting this? Russia is tiny when compared to the West. Hello, America!

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