Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

'TIS THE SEASON . . . OF MY POLITICAL DISCONTENT

Okay...here goes. As we stand poised on the brink of making yet another quadrennial decision that will determine the next President of the United States, I have a confession to make. I have been quietly suppressing and consciously omitting my position on the candidates for president (and any other races) from the electronic pages contained within this blog. I've felt that we are inundated with a sufficiently blistering daily barrage of ads and sound-bytes. Finally I said to myself, "Hey! My (our) Blog, My (our) Opinion!" I recently submitted letters-to-the-editor at the Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville and the Idaho Falls Post-Register. I am relatively certain that those two august institutions and pillars of journalistic insight will not print my letter. Primarily because the letter exceeds their requirements for length, but also because the content of the letter does not embody or mesh with their prevailing political ideologies. Regardless, I now feel compelled to include it in our blog. This will, in all likelihood, be the only comment or opinion on the election you will find in this blog. You are not, by any means, required to read it. I am just presenting you with the opportunity to do so. If you would like to read it, feel free. If you read it and want to pass it on, again, feel free. If not, hey. . .that's cool too. The letter follows in its entirety:


Dear Editor,

I must say something, if for no other reason than to get it off my chest by utilizing this forum. I am not naive, nor do I harbor any illusions that what follows will in any way facilitate a change in the mind-set of anyone with an alliance to the Democrat Party's candidate for the presidency - particularly those most strident in their adulation of him. It has been my experience that leters to the editor rarely have such a dynamic impact on people's personal perceptions. No such result is anticipated here. Hoped for perhaps, but not expected.

I do not completely agree with each of John McCain's positions in this election campaign. He does not enjoy Carte Blanche with me. In my eyes, he has much work yet to do if he is to prove himself worthy of my complete and ringing personal endorsement. He is, however, on the way to accomplishing that task. At the same time, I believe that Barack Obama is possessed of all the political, diplomatic, socio-economic and constitutional astuteness and insight as an empty peanut shell. My apologies to the empty peanut shell.

It is beyond my capacity really, to comprehend how any one person can speak so much, for so long and say absolutely nothing of import or substance. His platitudinal prose carries all the weight and impact as any other inert gas. The vacuousness of his oratorical rhetoric is both stunning and mind-numbing in its scope; to say nothing of its hypnotic ability to mesmerize those who fawn and swoon at his footstool.

In those rare instances when he has been pinned down and had his feet held to the collective fire of his stances on significant issues, Obama has revealed himself to be a master of political expediency, equivocation and vacillation.

Additionally,his radical afilliations and uber-liberal predispositions aside, his judgment appears devoid of any moral compunction. As the self professed see-all, be-all, cure-all panacea of such things as the economy; health care reform; terrorism; taxes; oil exploration; firearms legislation; illegal immigration and the war in Iraq, he has failed the litmus test of not only understanding, but of effectively addressing these issues as well. Understanding the intricacies and potential ramifications of any issue is imperative if one is to achieve a successful resolution.

Indeed, Obama's open-armed and doe-eyed embrace of the essence of Socialism, i.e., "From each according to his ability, To each according to his need" strikes at the very heart of free-enterprise, open markets and the capitalism that have contributed to this Republic's enduring legacy of entrepreneurial spirit and accomplishment.

Socialism cannot provide for or promote the common good. It can only take, abase and usurp. It stifles and chokes personal, familial and community advancement. It cannot liberate, elevate or enrich because it enslaves, corrupts and suffocates. In its application on any societal level througout history, Socialism has invariably failed miserably because of the inevitable greed, corruption of power and heavy-handed control by the state over every aspect of the lives of the populace.

As an American, let alone as a conservative, I find Obama's relentless mantra of, "Change We Can Believe In", to be hollow, reprehensive and absent of any credible foundation. Change that brings about beneficial, measurable and tangible results is prudent and desired. Change for nothing beyond the sake of change lacks focus, definition and efficacy. It is the harbinger of chaos and the hallmark of an undisciplined mind.

I respectfully acknowledge and defend the inherent privilege and responsibility of each individual to vote for the candidate of one's choice in accordance with the dictates of one's own conscience.

For me however, the prospect of Barack Obama becoming the next President of the United States is at best, frightening - and at worst, devastating in its potential implications for the immediate and long-term future of this nation.

Respectfully,
Greg L Hutchens
United States Citizen
Elizabethtown, KY



There it is. Getting to be a bit long-winded and loquacious in my old age, don't you think? Any comments you may have, please feel free to express them openly, knowing full-well that I wield within my very fingers the power to expunge any of them at my discretion.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BYU SLEEPWALKS PAST LOBOS, 21-3 TO WIN 16TH STRAIGHT

"GOT BULLETS?" THE KNOB CREEK MACHINE GUN SHOOT IS A BANG-UP WAY TO START THE DAY!

I got up early this morning and went to the Knob Creek Machine-Gun Shoot which is held in West Point, Kentucky each April and October. This is the same shoot that has been featured on the History Channel with R. Lee Ermey (Gunny) hosting. You can go to Youtube and check out this year and previous years' shoots by searching for 'Knob Creek' or 'machine gun shoot'. There are some decent video clips available, especially some of the night-shoot videos.I am posting a slide show of some of the pictures I took this morning and a couple of short videos as well. This was a blast!!! Literally.
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Did you ever watch the movie, 'Predator' with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura and Carl Weathers? Remember the scene where they are shooting all of their weapons into the jungle at the Predator? Alright. Imagine that scene. . . with the chain-gun and the grenade launchers, and everything else, but NO JUNGLE! That is the Knob Creek Shoot! It's awesome! In fact, if you mute or pause the music on the music player at the bottom of the page and play the videos, you will actually hear the chain-gun (minigun) in the background. It sounds like a lawnmower and is firing upwards of 60 rounds per second.
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This shoot is attended by thousands of visitors from across the country, Canada, Mexico and overseas. I spent a lot of time watching a multitude of machine-guns being shot on the firing line and browsing through the exhibits in the adjacent gun show. I waited for about 45 minutes for my chance to shoot the 'Quad .50'. This is a dual set of tandem mounted .50 cal machine guns (for a total of four) mounted on a heavy-duty, shock absorbing transom that fire in synchronization. It was worth the wait and the twenty bucks I had to fork over. I almost felt guilty spending twenty dollars to shoot a machine gun. . . until I watched some dude from California plop down a cashier's check for $40,000.00 to buy an 1877 Bulldog Gatling gun. 'Cha-ching'. There is a photo of it in this post.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

CASEY'S LAST VISIT HOME BEFORE HIS DEPLOYMENT TO IRAQ



Last week, Casey drove down to Kentucky from Fort Drum in Watertown, New York. He has spent the better part of a week visiting with family and friends in the Louisville, Elizabethtown and Frankfort areas. Today he and his girlfriend, Jen, stopped in at our house for about four hours and we took them to lunch. We were babysitting Madi for Michael while he was in town, so we took her with us and then Mike met us for lunch. These are some of the pictures that were taken at the restaurant.

Lynne has been having a very rough and emotional time, knowing that this (including seeing him off at the airport tomorrow) will be the last time she sees Casey until he returns from Iraq. He deploys from Ft Drum in early November. Today was difficult for her because she wanted to be as supportive as possible, yet her heart was being torn and haunted by the spectre of uncertainty for the weeks and months to come. Being patriotic - as we have come to know, understand and define patriotism - and espousing a love of country is almost always an emotional and usually a thought provoking experience for most of us. However, from a personal perspective, that patina of patriotism takes on a somewhat different and perhaps more somber hue when a mother hugs her son for the last time before sending him off to armed conflict half a world away from home.

She is no more patriotic than she was yesterday, nor is she less so. Her sense of patriotism and love of country, however, has now been distilled into something that has a greater and deeper meaning for her. A more profound meaning. It has crystallized into something with more clarity and definition. It has now become a much more personal matter. Personal in a way that she couldn't have imagined or fathomed last year, last month, last week, or even yesterday. News of the war will now be listened to and watched with a keener insight, a more attuned ear and with a stronger and more fervent prayer in her heart and on her lips.

AUTUMN ARRIVES IN KENTUCKY

Although the daytime temperatures have consistently remained in the mid-to-upper 80's for the past couple of weeks, overnight temps have dropped into the 50's and there is a noticeable nip of Autumn in the air. What's also nice is that the humidity has been practically non-existent compared to what we have been experiencing through the summer. I put together a brief slideshow to let y'all see what out here is referred to as, 'Autumn in the Bluegrass'. These shots are an example of the colorful banquet that an afternoon's drive will lay before your eyes. I understand and appreciate the fact that these photos may not be as dramatic and breath-taking as the fall foliage in the canyons and the slopes of the Wasatch, but we hope you enjoy them just the same. Some of these photos are from a couple of our favorite places: Bernheim Forest, which is located literally across the street from my office, and Otter Creek Park off the Dixie Highway along the Ohio River.

Saturday, October 4, 2008