22 September 2006

Where's Draven?

I've recieved a few comments asking why I haven't posted.

I got an animation gig, doing some animations for a show that will air on cable TV in October. The work really picked up- oh, say, Sept 12.

That, and school starts up next week.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go register for classes. Haven't had time for that, either.

11 September 2006

That day...

Many other people have written about it, but I haven't yet.

On the morning of 9/11/2001, I had just finished a deadline project, and was sleeping late. My roommate had seen the tower collapse on television as he left for work. He left the TV on very loud and I came out into the living room ticked off the TV was left on so loud...

...And stood there and watched them replay the collapse of the towers.

I was horrified... But, with complete honesty, I wasn't shocked. I had expected that spending eight years contemplating the lint in our belly buttons mean that we were in for something- I was relieved when the planned December 31,1999 attacks were stopped.

Unlike many Americans, I've read a significant chunk of the Koran. I've read the passages that insist nonbelievers must be converted at the point of a sword. When Osama Bin Laden made his statements about his intent, I believed him. Many Americans did not.

The attacks on 9/11 killed three thousand Americans- funny, all the news sources are still quoting different numbers- including 343 policemen and firefighters who went into the World Trade Center with the intent of rescuing people.

We went into Afghanistan and Iraq to root out terrorists and the states that support them. Whatever the reasons for going into Iraq, there is one certain end benefit- the 'Iraqi insurgents', primarily (95%) non-Iraqis recruited by Al Queda- are fighting our military THERE, instead of fighting our military and police and civilians HERE.

Al-Queda constantly threatens to attack American interests within the United States. I believe that if we weren't engaging them on two other fronts- Iraq and Afghanistan- that we'd be fighting them here. I may be a gunnie, a marksman, a rifleman- but I'd prefer to NOT have to be called up in an activation of the unorganized militia to fight terrorists.

If even only 10% of them came here, we'd still be dealing with what, 5,000 terrorists?

Anyone that thinks that terrorists can't find their way across the southern border is a fool.

Anyone that thinks NICS checks would stop them from getting firearms- when a full auto AK costs $50 in Pakistan- is a fool.

Anyone that thinks that a 'coyote' wouldn't take a quarter million dollars to bring eight or so men of middle eastern descent across the southern border... Well, you get the point.

Terrorists can still get their hands on that kind of money. Terrorists can still get here. Terrorists can still get weapons into the country.

When United 93 came out, many of the 'man on the street' interviews done by local Los Angeles TV stations, people were saying, "Its too soon to be reminded about the 9/11 attacks."

Its never 'too soon'. If you're already trying to forget, then you need to be reminded. Some people, from the way they talk, need to be reminded every day.

I woke up on 9/12/01 with the realization, every day from here on is a gift. This realization was heavily influential in my decision to return to college. It also influenced my more recent decisions to become a gun owner again, and to teach my skills and knowledge- both firearm and non-firearm- to others.

See, I live in Los Angeles with my wife. We were already engaged on 9/11, and we were married on 11/10/01- two months after 9/11. My wife is from the Boston area. We were married in the Boston area. I flew from Los Angeles to Boston two weeks before we were married. There was a palpable feeling on those flights... We all knew what could happen.

Al-Queda figured that the attacks would demoralize us, that we would cave in to whatever new demands they made. They were, by any measure of the term, very wrong. Many of us- myself included- became more motivated and dedicated than we were before the attacks. Even today, Al-Queda overestimates the effect of- let's call it 'the Vietnam Legacy'- and underestimates our determination and motivation.

To those we have lost in the fight:

We will remember your sacrifice.
We will continue the fight.

Because we must win, or all is lost.

07 September 2006

Its that time, folks...

From the National Archives Bill of Rights transcript:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Today marks the beginning of the 'blackout period'- sixty days before an election- where broadcast media is officially prohibited from running ads that basically are 'issue ads' by an organization against another candidate.

I, personally, don't care how the Supreme Court ruled on this issue. These provisions, along with most of the other provisions, of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Incumbent Protection Act- a.k.a. the 'McCain-Feingold' Act- are supposedly designed to prevent campaigners from getting too much money from particular sources- particular support organizations.

Of course, this hasn't stopped George Soros from giving a reported ten million dollars to MoveOn.org to support liberal candidates or attack conservatives. What is has done is largely silence small political action committees from being able to make their opinion on a candidate's issues heard.

Geek with a .45 put it best here on the McCain-Feingold Insurrection site.

All this Act means is that those that can afford to spend their own money to get elected will get elected. Those that have money from years of campaign donations- i.e. professional politicians- will have money to spend to get elected. People that are trying to enter into the political arena anew, especially people that haven't spent years in lower offices, won't have the money to spend to be able to challenge these candidates. Thus, the incumbents, or those who have already held political offices for years, win.

I've gotten to the point where I have a serious problem with professional politicians, in general. But that will be another post, I think.

If some conservative organization wants to run a political ad on my blog, they can just contact me. Especially if they are based in California, and dealing with this state's... serious issues.