Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
For some reason this year I have been ready for Christmas since before Halloween. While honestly Halloween and New Years are the two holidays I generally ignore (inspite of doing Trunk or Treat with my church as a community outreach).
Christmas has always been the most important holiday for our family. I have only had two Christmas's that I can honestly say were horrible. One where I was all by myself and the Christmas after les's felony disappeared. Even the Christmas after Dad was killed has some really warm memories for me because we all clinged to each other because there wasn't anything else we could do. That was the Christmas we started doing things that would be more sentimental than necessarily practical.
While being a bachelor I don't have the stress of worrying whether or not I get my Christmas cards sent out (Being a bachelor I can just claim I'm an insensitive jerk and I don't know any better...people just sort of expect it of me so why not milk it) or worry about Christmas parties or Christmas programs.
I'll be honest I do enjoy Christmas shopping. Trying to figure out what will really touch mom or Brenda's heart is always kinda fun. Dwight is quite abit easier because he is a hunter so I just get what I'd want for him.
After dad was killed we haven't had a normal Christmas. Our Traditional Christmas was dad would do a Christmas eve service whether it was singing all the carols, a family communion, or a communion, then we'd come home eat pizza, dad would read the Christmas story out of Luke and then we'd open Grandma and Grandpa's gifts first so we could call them and thank them and then open the rest of the gifts. I don't know what my favorite gift was growing up (although, I do still have my Daisy BB gun). Last year was kind of fun even though we didn't make it to Brenda's. Getting snowed in Brooking where Dwight's dad is made for a fun vacation and Christmas. It's too bad my step sis and brother-in-law, and brother aren't going to be able to join us but that's life. I'm sure we'll Skype them at some point.
I don't make any bones about getting sentimental this time of year because for whatever reason this is the one time of year Christians seam to be able to be vocal about our faith anymore. I still love watching Frosty, Rudolph, and the Charlie Brown Christmas. It also is the only time adults can feel like kids. If my niece were closer she would be getting a stuffed horse about as big as she is. Well, what are hick uncles for but to spoil them with such things. When mom and Brenda are around I somehow even allow for watching those cheesy love stories on the Hallmark Channel.
The one tradition that we kind of have with our new extended family is we go to the movies. Whether or not we all go I think Brenda and I are going to the "True Grit" remake and I'm going to get to see a buddy I haven't seen since college and meet his girlfriend (weather permitting).
While I know that people say don't have big expectations for Christmas you'll be disappointed, my only real expectation is celebrating what Christ was willing to give up for us. While I hope we don't get snowed in Brookings this year and do make it to my sister's. It already has had some fun moments with the Dickens festival in Garrison and I'm hoping to talk at least one friend into going to look at Christmas lights.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Since I had won a sweatshirt from Scheels for their "Why I love Hunting contest" I figured I would post what I wrote since the people I included were so prominently featured in the essay.
First off, I love deer hunting just because it offers a good excuse to go home and see people that are included in my extended family. I don't generally have a good excuse to go back since I don't have any blood relations up in Watford City. While my sister and I grew up other places we both kind of consider the Corners home because that was the last place we were together as a family. Don't get me wrong I love Dwight and I have some great memories from Mom's and Dwight's place down in Sturgis, but I don't really have anything tying me to Sturgis once they moved. The ranch I go hunting on, the land owners took us in after dad was killed and we owe them so much, they looked after mom after I moved to Michigan for a year and half. Having worked for most of the people in our church family and knowing the Pastor that took over for Dad for most of my life there will always be a connection. I even do what most hunters would think is nuts just so I can see everyone. I take Sunday and go to church.
Although, the sun coming up over the Badlands is a religious experience in and of itself, seeing my extended family is just that important to me. The hours I spent walking through the badlands last year helped me relax.
I will admit, it is great to get some venison into the freezer. It's just part of the reason I love hunting. There is a freedom to knowing that you can provide your own food...it also tastes so much better knowing that you did it yourself.
Friday, October 22, 2010
As November 2nd approaches my love of country gets more and more focused on politics. A while ago my mom and Step-sister asked why I ceased to be a Republican. To be totally honest, I have to start with the two biggest reasons: les lemm and the Minnesota Republican Party. Les reportedly is a 'conservative' but has never admitted his culpability and has blamed everyone other than himself...kind of like what liberals do to try to get murderers off. The Minnesota Republican Party couldn't care any less that they were running a killer about ten years ago.
I tried to hold on to my Republican roots through the Bush years, BUT there was one point where trent lott tried to silence dissent when they were trying to push immigration reform. I never really cared for john mccain, he lost ALOT of my respect with his pushing of campaign reform, I mean protect the incumbent act, AKA mccain/feingold. The Republican party the last ten years have tried to tell the rank and file to sit down and shut up we are better than the democrats...that may have been true until the first bail outs that President Bush pushed through. I take my Freedom of Speech as serious as I do practicing my 2nd Amendment rights.
The 'compromises' that were made with the left hasn't protected freedom but eroded it. AGAIN, I DO NOT believe in compromise...it never works.
I have absolutely no respect for politicians like lindsey graham. If you straddle a barbwire fence like he tries to...
The total lack of support the Republican party has shown to Christine O'Donnell, Sarah, and those that have focused more on what the Founders intended rather than what the close-to-the-fort-politicians desire for more power.
I will admit I will be voting for Governor Hoeven for the US Senate, and Rick Berg for the House, and I will be voting for Republicans, but I WILL NOT EVER support Governor Huckabee because he pardoned at least 12 that needed to meet their maker rather than freedom and I WILL NOT vote for any politician that would limit free speech or brag about gun control they pushed, I don't care if I agree with 99.98% they believe. Limiting freedom is a threat to this nation no matter who pushes it.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Ever since the movie came out Dad and I talked about going to see the "Field" but we just never did more than talk. After Dad was killed, the last scene took where Ray got to ask his dad for a catch took on something that would be a view of Heaven for me. While I fully understand Theologically speaking there won't be baseball in Heaven...besides you couldn't get any umpires in *snicker.
I know when we get home we will meet the Saints before, but one of the things Dad and I would do to bond was to listen to the Twins and play a game of catch.
My Uncle stood back and watched people just walk into the pick-up game and was amazed that it didn't faze anyone...The only thing I can really say to that is the scene before Karen falls off the bleachers and James Earl Jones's Character tells Ray that they will come and not know why but the memories will be so thick that they will have to brush away the memories. There is a shared consciousness that the movie has brought to people.
While I'm sure my sister could explain the psychological thought that playing on the field it felt like I was having another catch with dad. (I fully realize I know it's more that I WANT to believe Dad knew I was there..it's the same thing that mediums prey on) The trip obviously meant alot to me. I don't know how better to explain it than this and I know the friends that I have that don't have a great relationship with there dad may not fully understand, but the one or two that have lost their dad and they were really close will understand.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Has an article about the 9th Circuit Court saying that the government can sneak onto your property without a warrant and slap a GPS tracker on your vehicle.
Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.
That is the bizarre — and scary — rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant. (See a TIME photoessay on Cannabis Culture.)
It is a dangerous decision — one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.
This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle's underside.
After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA's actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)
In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno's privacy rights in two different ways. For starters, the invasion of his driveway was wrong. The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government's intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy.
The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited. (See the misadventures of the CIA.)
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.
Judge Kozinski is a leading conservative, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, but in his dissent he came across as a raging liberal. "There's been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there's one kind of diversity that doesn't exist," he wrote. "No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter." The judges in the majority, he charged, were guilty of "cultural elitism." (Read about one man's efforts to escape the surveillance state.)
The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant. There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high. After all, if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state — with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.
Fortunately, other courts are coming to a different conclusion from the Ninth Circuit's — including the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled, also this month, that tracking for an extended period of time with GPS is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant. The issue is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.
In these highly partisan times, GPS monitoring is a subject that has both conservatives and liberals worried. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's pro-privacy ruling was unanimous — decided by judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. (Comment on this story.)
Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last," he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell's totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: "Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania."
Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Dodge has this pick-up coming out. I want a red, white and blue one, OR even better a yellow one with a big ole rattlesnake on the tailgate.
Posted by DAKOTARANGER at 04:47
Thursday, August 12, 2010
There is this New Hampshire Democrat that wishes that Sarah would have been on the plane with Senator Stephens. It's good thing the left is known by their love, oh wait.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
As if I need a reason to break out the Winchester and my Peacemaker, but I'll probably hit the range today with both to honor the cowpokes that has kept this great Nation in beef for more than a century.
I hear modern historians try to claim that our cowboy traditions go back to the Mexican Vaquiro, it seams like a stretch to me. Cowpokes always use what work. Vaquiros used a bolo when working cattle, on this side of the border we never did pick it up, for instance.
Those guys that drove horns post-Civil War were pretty well integrated. Only 1 in 3 were white, which means that the other two were likely either Indian, Mexican, or African-American.
So, by remembering this holiday we are really honoring the best of who we are or can be.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I wrote about five years ago my perspective on the Battle that took place June 25, 1876. The reason I'm updating this is because I filmed a quick video overlooking the Missouri River and a friend of mine made a suggestion about me being a history teacher. This is my proposal: June 2011 friends and family that would be interested in taking a tour of Ft. Lincoln south of Mandan, ND with me meet me in Bismarck. The weekend of June 25th I'm going to go the Battlefield in Hardin, Montana. It is one of those things that hotels would have to be booked months in advance due to the locale ect.
While there are literally thousands of books that have been written about Custer, Sitting Bull, Gressy Grass, Little Bighorn, the weaponry that was used, and numerous other things that pertain to the battle. This is merely my perspective on what I've gathered over the years. I am not footnoting it because this isn't a strict scholarly work...it isn't something that I'm donating hours upon hours to prepare. It's more to entice my Easterner friends to come out to see me.
As with any human, no one is strictly heroic. Although, General George Armstrong Custer (which would have been the proper way to address him since that was the highest rank he had obtained...he wasn't demoted for cause, it was due to the lack of need, hence he could keep the title.) was incredibly arrogant and brash he was charismatic. Simply put either you loved him or hated him. One the things that I fully respect was that he was willing to put his career on the line by testifying before Congress about the corruption that was tied directly to President Grant's brother. His career was pretty close to being scuttled at this point because the Lakota and Cheyenne were getting Winchester Rifles (capable of holding about 15 rounds. According to the Clinton Era Assault Weapons Ban it would be an 'assault weapon.')
The troopers were saddled with the Springfield Armory Trapdoor carbine. It was a single shot rifle that was converted from the muzzleloaders left over from the Civil War. The first Henry Rifles (later Winchester) were produced during the War along with the Spencer Rifle. The army was afraid that such a weapon would cause a 'spray and pray' affect from the soldier where the soldier would waist ammo. While the trapdoor rifles were incredibly accurate at long range there are several problems with them. First off they were obsolete the second they were developed. They make great buffalo guns...not so much in a fire fight. The quality of brass that was available wasn't the greatest, especially when the barrel was heated from continuous fire. The troopers would have to dig out a spent cartage with a knife, not good in the middle of a firefight where rate of fire will keep you alive. The battlefield was with in 100 yards not out to 1,000 yards.
I've read historians where they swear if Custer would have accepted the three Gatling Guns he would have survived. First off, Custer was in the Civil War. He would have seen what they were and weren't capable of. The Seventh was a Calvary Unit. They were akin to our Special Operations operators today. Quick and light weight. The Gatlings were considered fixed artillery pieces and were ANYTHING but light weight. They would have slowed the column and you would NEED to have trained personnel to operate them. The gravity fed magazines are not like the modern spring-fed mags, the way that the guns would have to have been traversed WOULD have jammed the barrels. Taking any of the advantage that they would provide away.
Then there was General Terry he was to the South East of the Battlefield. I've heard the question why Custer didn't wait for him. Personally, I'm convinced his orders were partially a holding action. He was told not to get greedy, but he was still told to go in. IF he hadn't proceed he could have been courtmartialed for cowardice. There also was an old adage "If you see an Indian, YOU KNOW they saw you three miles ago." NO ONE had ever heard of a village the size of what Custer stumbled into. He should have listened to his scouts but then again NO ONE had ever heard of a village that size.
There has been criticism of him for dividing his forces. Which may be valid because he was worried about any Indians escaping. But he would ONLY truly be worried about this IF he was to fight a holding action. The fact he was concerned about this only strengthens my argument that he was fighting a holding action (or in other words keeping the Lakota there). It was a tactic that worked numerous times for him, there would be no reason he would doubt it either.
Reno was worthless as a commander. He freaked out once the brains of his scout were splattered over his uniform. IF Benteen hadn't shown up his command would have been slaughtered. Reno later in his career was court-martialed because of his unwanted advances on a superior officers daughter. He was real quality person. Benteen may have hated Custer, but he had no choice but stay with Reno's command to save what was left. The packs that Custer had ordered Benteen to bring up didn't arrive until later that afternoon. They ended up not playing any real factor in the battle.
Unlike most modern historians I do believe there was a last stand for Custer's Command. There were some that made a run for it, but we have always known that. Custer 'last stand' was on that hill. He was killed fighting fairly early on what has been dubbed 'last stand hill' but he still died fighting.
The Lakota and Cheyenne both give credit to Sitting Bull for the victory because of his vision he had where the troops 'just stumbled into the village. I've seen Lakota historians mention the second half of the vision where Sitting Bull warned them NOT to take spoils and with regrets they wonder what if. This part of the story as a PK has always intrigued me, because I remember the Israelites were told at one point not to take spoils. It just has always been a major hmm thing for me. Just something I have always pondered. The Lakota, Arapaho, and Cheyenne won the battle but really just weren't going to win the war. It was a war of Attrition that there was no way they could win.
Honestly, I could point fingers to who is to 'blame for the loss' but the truth is the Lakota, Arapaho, and Cheyenne were better armed, in better shape, better trained, and in their terrain. They won. It's too easy to say it's Custer's fault, because of there was also inadequate weaponry, inadequate support, and inferior logistics. It's not something that true fault can be assessed on one set of shoulders, and to really do so is to take away a hard fought victory.