Thursday, December 1, 2016

People Need People

It's okay to not be okay. Tell someone you're not okay, feeling blue, lonely, lost, overwhelmed, or struggling. Really. Don't give your problems permanence.

Everyone says: "If you need anything, don't hesitate, I'll be there for you". Many of us mean it. I refuse to waste my limited time here on earth with relationships of convenience. If you are my friend here it's because you matter to me. I don't look for perfect people, instead, I value honesty, integrity, loyalty, and accountability.

I've heard people say, "Nobody looks like I feel." Chuck Chamberlain's response was that's because you're comparing their armor to your raw meat. Find people you feel safe being vulnerable with and let them in. Don't get bit by the same dog twice.

I try to do what I can for people. Sometimes that's just listening or being a sounding board or offering a friendly verbal kick in the ass.

People tend to be a lot more fragile around the holidays. We have a controversial new president taking office in January and plenty of folks across the board are freaked out and afraid. Be there for people. Don't wait for people to ask for help or to wait too long, volunteer.

Try to call at least one friend a day that you don't talk to regularly. The life you help save may be your own.

May is Mental Illness Awareness Month, but we need people year round. Please check on your friends!

How are you really doing?

Feel free to share elsewhere.

#peopleneedpeople #suicide #help #reachout #handup

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ending The War on Drugs and the Thirteenth Amendment

If you follow me on social media or know me in real life, you can't help but be very aware that I am a passionate and vocal advocate for repealing drug prohibition and ending America's failed War on Drugs. If you know me well at all, you know that I am a former police officer and this might seem to be a bit of a conflict of interest. Not so. When I took my oaths to be a police officer, a sailor, and a soldier, they were not to a particular law or set of laws, but to support and defend the US Constitution. it read;

"I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military JusticeSo help me.(God is optional here)"

What does this have to do with Cannabis and other drugs? The War on Drugs is not a war on chemicals or morality, but a war on freedom and the American People. In America, we become legal, consenting adults at the age of eighteen. We then have legal self-ownership. We have the right to make our own choices and to live with our successes and failures. Our nation is infested and overwhelmed with unconstitutional laws that are stripping us of our autonomy and reverting us to the status of wards of the state. On the one hand is Big Brother, watching over us and doing our thinking for us because we can't make intelligent, mature decisions for ourselves. On the other hand, is the Nanny State, providing all of our basic needs at someone else's expense, and making sure we don't harm ourselves.

The War on Drugs is destroying the fabric of America. It is statist government run rampant. It comes down to one thing; Self-ownership. The complete repeal of prohibition and an end to the War on Drugs. I think every time someone gets giddy because they have "allowed" limited medical marijuana or decriminalized simple possession making it "just" a civil offense with a fine rather than a misdemeanor or felony, we reaffirm that they had a right to tell us what to do with our bodies in the first place and they dig in harder about allowing more. 

California's recent legalization was not popular with a lot of advocates because it greatly limits manufacturing and other options leaving a lot of control in the hands of government and big business squeezing out small businesses and individual rights.

We are adults and we should never permit our government to treat us as anything less.

I do not currently indulge in the use of cannabis and haven't for years. I am one of many people who would greatly benefit from it in a lot of aspects. I have arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, heart disease, healing problems, neuropathy, sleep apnea, insomnia, and mild depression. Most of my medical care is through the VA. Everything they prescribe has severe side effects. Cannabis has no dangerous side effects and there has never been a documented fatality from cannabis usage alone.

People drown in bath tubs, and drink bleach, antifreeze, and drain cleaner. They choke to death on pen caps and yet we don't ask the government to ban them to protect us from ourselves.

They say consensual crimes are victimless. That is false. Because these activities between consenting adults have been made illegal, everyone pays. The laws do far more damage than the acts themselves. We turn people who hurt no one into career criminals when their record keeps them from gainful employment. Their spouses and children become dependent on a broken system when they are no longer there to provide for them. We create enormous profits that finance organized crime and turn neighborhoods into war zones. Problem users find difficulty getting help because of the stigma and legalities. Our prisons overflow with non-violent offenders with mandatory minimum sentences while dangerous violent offenders are turned loose. Our law enforcement is corrupted, militarized, and develop a Them vs. Us mentality. Racial discrimination runs rampant. Politicians are paid off by Big Pharma, Big Timber, Big Oil, Big Cotton, the private prison industry, and other special interest groups, and America loses. America loses. This is unacceptable.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It's about time we enforced it, rather than turning everything into a crime.

I am proud to be a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and urge you to check them out and support their efforts.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Castrated Nation

America has gotten soft. Castration, as well as self-castration, will do that. I am reminded of Hugh Farnham's son, Duke, in Robert A Heinlein's insightful novel, Farham's Freehold. A great read.

I don't want to be castrated by political correctness or the Thought Police. I don't want to be defanged by Big Brother or the Nanny State for thinking for myself. I served my country in the Navy and the Army as well as as a police officer. I still serve and protect. I am still under oath to protect the United States Constitution and our country from all enemies both foreign and domestic. I'm the last of the Baby Boomers. We were taught to be independent, to question authority, to think for ourselves, to stand up for the righteous underdog, to do the right thing even when no one is watching, to be proud of who we are as individuals and Americans, and to have a strong work ethic. TANSTAAFL. Much of that seems lacking in many of today's entitled, highly sensitive youth. We, as a people and as a nation, will not survive if we do not reclaim it soon! Sky Daddy might hand out Participation awards, but Real Life rarely does.

Many of the misguided liberal denizens of Academia have always tried to make the warrior class seem like mindless heathens. History is full of warrior scholars and those too afraid to get out from behind closed doors will always fear and demean them. The old military adage, "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way." comes to mind. If you choose to castrate yourselves and bleed to death on the side of the road, you have only yourselves to blame. I face my fears head on, with intelligence, courage, and conviction. If that makes me a monster, so be it.

If you are reading this and still clueless what I am rambling on about then read Ayn Rand's Anthem. It doesn't come with a free spine, but it helps. I am a Libertarian. It is not a party to me. It is the philosophy that a people with minimal government and maximum freedom has the most opportunity to excel in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We are not guaranteed happiness. Life has risks. Without it there is no gain, no progress, and little meaning. "Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff." It should be simple. No Safe Places, Time Outs, or Stress Cards required. Is Donald Trump my first choice for president? No, far from it. Is he the end of the world as we know it? No. Our government is not set up that way. Quit caving to the fearmongers. Exercise your Constitutional rights, especially the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as it protects all of the others. Nobody is coming to save us. Take responsibility for yourself and your choices. Nut up.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Battle of the Pyrotechnic Rectums

This election's presidential campaigns have probably had the most muckraking in recorded history. Both the Republican and Democratic candidates have accused the other of umpteen crimes and character flaws. Mainstream America seems to see them both as deeply flawed, despicable, detestable caricatures from some B rated Reality show. The truth is, one of them will probably be elected because the media is privately owned, corrupted, and biased to the core and they have shut third party candidates out so extensively that those people not involved with politics would be hard pressed to name them, no less share their achievements and track records.
Libertarian candidate, former two-term New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson was shut out of all three debates, yet didn't feel the need to make horrible allegations and fling shit in every direction possible with no concern for the repercussions. He has a phenomenal track record as a governor, a businessman, and a world class athlete. The worst I have heard about him is he blanked when asked about Aleppo and he has been involved in the LEGAL cannabis trade as well as an advocate for cannabis.
Trump and Clinton, on the other hand, have proven themselves to be petty, bitter, vindictive, self-righteous, conniving, vicious, blowhard scumbags that you wouldn't want collecting your trash or anywhere near where you live. The damage that has been done to both of their reputations is indelible and worldwide. The light's have been turned on to expose giant glistening cockroaches invading our homes. What sensible American or foreign power could ever trust either of them? How the Hell could America elect either one of them when they should be being run out of the country on a rail? Neither can be an effective leader after this campaign. Neither will ever be considered truthful or trustworthy.
Is this how deep our corruption and apathy run? It's like voting for AIDS because you hate cancer. America is being guided in the wrong direction. It's not too late to take the road less traveled and rip the reins of power from the professional politicians who have done nothing but lie to the people.

Please, please, please set the party loyalty, propaganda, and prejudice aside and invest a little time looking into Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party. I thank you. America will thank you. You'll thank yourself. You know your party is far from perfect, see what Johnson's might do for all of us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Misconduct In Office & Ethics Violations

I sent the following letter in an e-mail to ALL of my State and local legislators. I hope you, too, will take the time to write something similar. It is far past time for these elected officials to be held accountable for their actions, not just at the polling stations, but each and every day. Misconduct in office and ethics violations are the least of it. Will no one hold Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) and other elected "officials" accountable for violating their oath to the Constitution, spreading lies, and other propaganda? Mr. McGovern made the statement, in congress today, that we need background checks to keep people from buying firearms online without them. You cannot buy a firearm online without having it shipped to a licensed FFL dealer who does a background check before delivering it. Mr. McGovern said we need to keep people on the No Fly List from buying firearms. That would be a violation of the Second Amendment and Due Process as one does not need to be charged with or convicted of any crime to be put on the No Fly List. Does Mr. McGovern have no respect for our judicial system? If these officials break their oath to support and defend the United States Constitution one time, they should be impeached and charged with treason. Yes, it is that simple. If they don't know or abide by the Constitution, they have no business holding any government office or representing any American citizen. Police officers and members of our military die defending that oath every day. Sincerely, Dave Cowles (representing We The People who serve and have served, who vote, who pay taxes, and who see being an American as a privilege and a duty) #gunrights #NRA #guncontrol #Oathkeepers #veterans #III #Threepers

Saturday, September 17, 2016

They Leaned In

They leaned in. (Shared)

With six seconds to live, they didn't run, they didn't hide. They stood their ground, and leaned in.

Almost 8 years ago, two Marines from two different walks of life who had literally just met were told to stand guard in front of their outpost's entry control point in Ramadi, Iraq.

Minutes later, they were staring down a big blue truck packed with explosives. In spite of this particular shred of hell bearing down on them, they stood their ground.
They leaned in.

Corporal Jonathan Yale, and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter. These two brave men lost their lives valiantly defending their post in Iraq, on 22APR2008.

I have read the story many times, and I understand it was powerfully retold by Marine Lt. Gen. John Kelly's to a packed house in 2010. 

Just four days following the death of his own son in combat, Kelly eulogized two other sons, in an unforgettable manner.

From Kelly's speech:
Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour.

Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines.

The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island.

They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” “You clear?” I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way—perhaps 60-70 yards in length—and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped.

Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different.

The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event—just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion.
All survived. Many were injured … some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”

What he didn’t know until then, he said, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.”

“No sane man.”

“They saved us all.”

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “ … let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”

The two Marines had about five seconds left to live. It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were—some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.
For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers—American and Iraqi—bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have know they were safe … because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber.

The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God.

Six seconds.

Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you.


This is the caliber of men and women that serve our great country, out of dedication and commitment to something greater than themselves. These are the people The Battle Buddy Foundation works to serve after they return home from combat. Forged from the same commitment to our brothers and sisters in arms, TBBF was founded by veterans to serve veterans.

With an average of 22 veteran suicides daily, we cannot afford to stand idly by while we lose such valuable individuals in our communities and families.
Stand with us, and 'Lean In' alongside us at The Battle Buddy Foundation as we work to serve our nation's heroes.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ignosticism - Eyes Wide Open

"Lighthouses are more useful than Churches." - Benjamin Franklin

Religion is a safe haven that promises us that our suffering and good behavior are not for naught; that it will be better than we ever could have believed if we just believe and don't rock the boat. The Scientific Method doesn't change, it allows and embraces progress and truth.The rules are steadfast and eternal. One of the appeals of Ignosticism is the freedom from labeling and categorizing everything. Go with the flow for a while, quit trying to control the uncontrollable, and experience the freedom it brings you.

This might help.

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles
Twisted Faces Web Site

Kowulz on Facebook

Dave Cowles's Facebook profile

Caricatures by Rock Kowulz