Thursday, December 31, 2015

Interlude (AKA Hell Is For Heroes Part III)

Now I know the difference between you and me: we may both burn in Hell but the Devil is going to greet me like an old friend.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Politics of Self-Preservation (Op-Ed)

The New York Times published a front-page article on Saturday, December 12, describing how San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik was subject to - and passed - three background checks conducted by both the U.S. State Department and the Department of Homeland Security before setting foot in the United States, despite her self-proclaimed and self-published support for violent Islamic jihad.

Malik and her husband Syed Rizwan Farook were responsible for the Dec. 2 shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., that killed 14 people and left 21 wounded in what counter-terrorism experts are now calling the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001.
    
The White House has continued to tell the American people that it will conduct "extraordinarily thorough and comprehensive" vetting procedures on incoming refugees from Middle Eastern countries such as Syria - countries that both sympathize with and host known terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (Malik herself was originally from Pakistan.) However, it has become clear that the American public is no longer buying President Barack Obama’s detached rhetoric: A survey published November 18 by political journalism organization Politico discovered that the majority of Americans (53%) disagree with the President’s plan to expedite 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States by the end of 2016.

“Neither you (Obama) nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terrorist activity,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated in a front-page article published November 17 by USA Today. “As such, opening our doors to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.” More than half of the nation’s governors (31 at last count) say they oppose allowing Syrian refugees into their states, at least until the federal government and Congress conduct a thorough review of current screening procedures and background checks.

The recent terrorist attack in San Bernardino has given credence to this concern. If a jihadist sympathizer can pass the vetting process, what does that say about said process? Who else can slip through the cracks?

Who else already has?

Time will tell if the White House will override the will of the people, as seems to be the growing trend in this day and age.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Keeping your mouth shut makes you guilty by association.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Feel The Burn

Nixon: "I like my women like I like my filét miñón . . . well done!"

Verona: "So you like your women dry?"

Nixon: "That's not really where I was going with it . . . "

Recon: "And chewy, don't forget chewy."

Nixon: "This conversation just got disrespectful . . . "

Verona: "You started it, we finished it."

Recon: "Feel the burn, Honey Badger."

Nixon: "Indeed."

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Operation Eradication

Standing in the middle of some God-forsaken jungle with the remnants of my platoon - William, Manny and Bernstein - tracking the creature that has systematically and mercilessly eradicated our team, regrouping after its most recent attack and realizing the handwritten note I keep in my right vest pocket from my four year-old daughter Anaya (whom I have yet to meet in person) is gone.

"Daddy, I miss you a lot. One of the best things that has happened to me is you. Please don't die, Daddy. I love you. I always will."

I keep it together for the sake of my teammates but on the inside I struggle with the most profound sadness that I have ever felt. Take everything I have but please, let me keep that letter. It is all I have of her . . .

"Alright gentlemen," whispers William, our squad leader. "Let's find and kill this fucking thing so we can all go home. Ooo-rah?"

"Ooo-rah," we all echo.

We begin planning our follow-up offensive. I propose setting off an incendiary charge in a nearby field to draw the creatures attention, thereby setting the stage for an ambush. I volunteer to rig the explosive myself while the others dig in and establish a classic L-shaped ambush formation. The charge is set without incident and I take my defensive position just in time to watch everything go to hell, starting with Bernstein being skinned alive.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"It's just . . . I'm so fucking sorry, that's all."

In my mind the moment is perfect.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jealous Again

You just don't get it, do you? Hardcore as a lifestyle was never meant to be sustainable. We live fast and die young. The punk-rock rulebook will get you through your teens and early twenties - if indeed you live that long - but there is no Act II. If you aren't dead by your mid-twenties than it's safe to say that you missed the boat and are on your own.

What comes after? I wish I knew.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Paola

The truth is I am writing this just to keep you close. Before long there will be thousands of miles between us . . . and you won't know until I'm not here.

I am only ever bad timing when it comes to the people that I love.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Envy Of Every Ghost (EOW 11-01-2013)

We both know you took the bullet that was meant for me, took that bullet so I wouldn't have to at the expense of your own salvation, to ensure that I would get to see my family again at the end of that day's shift. The weight of your sacrifice and the guilt of my failure will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Forgive me Gerardo, I am so fucking sorry for being alive.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I haven't wanted to kill myself this badly in a long time.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Thank you . . . it's just, I needed that.