Posts Tagged ‘Patriotism’


Monday, October 14th, 2013

Silverlake, High Sierras. Two standup paddleboarders , fishing

Is not the same as being full of life. The word Ha’ole in Hawaiian translates roughly as being without breath. When we come into this world, it is the first thing we do, draw breath. As we leave, it is the last. We expel it.

I have long seen it evidenced that the heart and soul of culture can benefit deeply by being connected to Nature, especially through water. It is both breath and life. This is why indigenous cultures consider themselves to be a vital part of nature and the eco system. They are inseparable from it.

This is one of the principle reasons I found the shuttering of National Parks and enforced disenfrachisement of the American Public, such an offense. To me it is an indication of the complete loss of moral compass heading and corresponding duty of care, by what passes for leadership in Federal Government in both Legislative and Executive Branches today.

One really had to look no further than see the barricades put up under order of the Executive Branch at the Veteran’s Memorial on the Beltway in DC for an illustration of what we as a people have allowed to rule over us. A formerly wide open and unsecured area, the Memorial was built by the people of this Nation to honor the people who served at great cost, to preserve this Nation and it’s inalienable rights on the field of battle.

The President had it locked down. That was expensive. And I am not speaking merely of the likely 1000 fold increase in daily expense to fence and guard the Memorial, but of the complete loss of respect for the rule of law in this Country.

Because what does one do when Governance becomes Rule and Tyranny descends?

The Veterans once again, led the way.

In defiance of a Federal shutdown of the Vets Memorial by the Executive Branch,the people of the US occupied it.

In defiance of a Federal shutdown of the Vets Memorial by the Executive Branch,the people of the US, occupied it.

Here is some coverage of what has been going on, which Factory Media has declined to air.

Freedom was never free. While the black hearted nature of many in leadership depresses me, the courage of these Veterans and their families and our heavily downtrodden working class, is indicative of strength and hope.

I had thought on what the American Flag means to many recently, and recognized, especially watching very educated people fall willingly into partisan thinking once more, that maybe she should be flown upside down for now. Those of you with Military or nautical backgrounds will know what that means.

I ran across this piece by Nahko Bear. It is called My Country. One man’s take on the land he loves.

I hope all the Artists and Musicians pick up their tools and get to work.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are inalienable rights. Best to recognize when they disappear, that someone has sold them and in process, you. Did you know that an inalienable right is one given by God?

Maybe think about that.

Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness


The Independence Adventure

Thursday, July 4th, 2013


I like the Fourth of July as a holiday a lot. It always reminds me that some were brave enough to sacrifice the relative comforts of home to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and in process change the potential of their lives.

They became Independent.

It was not without risk, expense, hope, fear, sorrow, loss and oh yes, joy. I never forget the joy part.

Whenever I see our flag, it is not generally the rah rah of National Pride I experience. But the expense, joy, privilege and hope that our Independence seeking forbearers forged. Yes, that is right. Independence is forged.

Here is a little videopiece  for a special project, about men and women who have been through the fire, and emerged.

A remarkable look at the Psychology of Patriotism.

My friend and colleague, Dr Ed Brenegar, sent me a note from the road today, enroute to his home after a sad visit to Gettysburg. Do yourself a favor. Listen to the Gettysburg Address today.

Cherish what you have. The fire is always there. Happy, blessed, 4th of July.












Waging Peace: A Memorial Day March

Monday, May 28th, 2012


In the course of time, mankind has gotten more efficient in the act of waging war. As technology has blossomed, the business of the Military Industrial Complex has embraced the tactical advantages of tech, and implemented it to great effect in terms of kill yield.

Think about that. Tech makes for a better, more efficient visit of the Grim Reaper upon our adversaries. But that comes at great expense, monetarily, and in other ways. Never think that anyone escapes reaping what has been sowed. No one does. Not individuals, not Nations.

We all can lose sight of our goals. It is just an illustration of entropic law really: to morph the message.

Today is Memorial Day. A day when we endeavor to reverse that. But as happens frequently over the course of the passage of time, we have turned the day to suit our own emotional needs, and possibly to assuage our sense of guilt, as well as loss.

Honor Bound

Honor Bound

Maybe we ought to think differently?

“We can‘t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein

Here is a great piece written with a Historic perspective on Memorial Day. In it you may be surprised to learn that the Holiday was mandated during the Truman Administration, to be a National Day of Prayer for Peace.

Fly the Stone

Fly the Stone

Ever spend time in a National Memorial Cemetery? I have. I do, to this day. And not just on Memorial Day. Here is what happens.

I walk the graves. I pass my hand over the grave stones and feel the lettering, the coolness of the stone. I meditate on the life of each person there and those connected to that person, and the collateral damage to Family, Friends and our Nation.  Typically the experience makes me weep. But on a spiritual level, an anger and resolve embeds. These people were called, went, and ended their days in service. By proxy, that service was for me. So I did this. I killed them. I have a moral obligation to make damned sure that this level of sacrifice matters, moving forward. I, we, have a blood soaked trust.

There is a tendency in our Country to wave the flag. I appreciate that. I love our flag, and what it stands for. But I hope and yes, pray, that this Memorial Day, more people begin to understand that we have a moral responsibility to question our leadership. As a people, while tech spins out many of the key components of humanity and compassion, by virtue of it’s process, particularly as it implements death via modern warfare, we need to work on our own process.

Possibly as never before in human History, we need to reflect on our Philosophy and actions, and where those head us all, or we could be down a very dark alley, from which there is no return. Because as surely as the National Cemeteries are full of the bodies of our fallen, in EVERY Nation we go to war with, well, there are far greater numbers of dead, due to conflict.

Maybe we should reconsider our willingness to allow this?

Sacred Trust

Sacred Trust

I am genuinely concerned about what appears to be a grand disregard for Honor,  Sacrifice and Expense, on the part of Political Leadership. In this post modern rush at connection via net, I see us losing touch with our humanity, not drawing closer. It is not really what one would expect to occur, if ten years ago, someone were to tell you that a system was coming online, that would allow you to connect to anyone, anywhere at any time: that you would feel less, become calloused. The “net effect” is not intrinsically beneficial to humanity.

Seth Godin explains why.

So what can we do about that?

We could connect personally, and endeavor to impart accountability, honesty, and integrity. We could encourage, inspire, cajole and plead to “Please wake up my Nation. Let us wage peace.” It takes a strong country to do that. Let’s connect to that end. Let’s stop pandering to the weak, and let’s certainly refrain from electing them, or giving them too much of the moments of our own lives in the form of attention and money, as they endeavor to clamber into the Political arena and monetize their personal lives in process.

People seem to have forgotten that Political Office was not originally a life long career. Our Representative system of Governance was comprised of people who would serve, legislate and then return to Civil life to live under the legislation which they had created. You can see today the negative result of our Nation’s move away from this. The telltales lie dead in our National Cemeteries.

We need a more perfect Union, not more Politicians. As I studied this week, I researched the changes in both tone and example that occurred in the Legislative and Executive branches from Truman on through to today. In the course of that time, we have seen progressively less of the aspects of Leadership and far more of the tenets of reign, emerge.That appears to head us in the direction of more death, more damage to Families and our Nation. We seem to have become accepting of the inevitability of reign.

As you memorialize the fallen today, maybe think about the expense of that acquiescence, and begin to promote leadership. But here is the rub: it must begin with you.

Leadership is the judicious use of the power, wisdom and understanding, which as been entrusted to you, within the framework of your vision.

We need power, wisdom and understanding today. It is fairly simple to obtain. It comes from a relationship with God. Remember that funny exercise you did in grade school? That thing with the hand over your heart? The Pledge of Allegiance? We need to return to the essential, imperative truth in that.

Time to Pray. Time to lead. If not you, then who?

Memorial Day 2012, our National Day of Prayer for Peace, as we honor the memory of all of the fallen, and we are still standing.

Medal of Honor Holder, Col Lewis Millet

Medal of Honor Holder, Col Lewis Millet


Johnny Cash presenting a short, appropriate history, and performance of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Yes we have a hymn for battle. That says a lot. The show was recorded in 1969. Doing this was incredibly gutsy while we waged “war” in Vietnam, and the pro peace movement made any allegiance to then President, Richard Nixon or anything to do with the War Machine, incredibly unpopular. Why did Cash do this? It was in the segue of the song: “I keep a  close eye on this heart on mine. I keep my eyes wide open all the time. I keep the ends out for the ties that bind. Because you’re mine, I walk the line”.

We must do that.


Truth Glows

Saturday, February 18th, 2012
Darkness and Lightness: Flow

Darkness and Lightness: Flow

Big difference between the darkness of a Lie and brightness of Truth.

Seth Godin absolutely nails the job description of the Creative, in this blogpost he titles Transparent or Translucent.

Below is a fascinating story taken from an internet hoax of sorts where someone twisted the TRUTH and did it to their own benefit.

My Colleague and friend, Shawn Alladio injected some light into it. This is the true story! Glowing.


Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL)
Michael Anthony Monsoor
April 5, 1981 – Sept. 29, 2006
Petty Officer Second Class Michael Anthony Monsoor was born April 5, 1981 in Long Beach, Calif.  Michael grew up in Garden Grove, Calif., as the third of four children of George and Sally Monsoor. He has an older brother James and older sister Sara, and a younger brother Joseph.Michael attended Dr. Walter C. Ralston Intermediate School and Garden Grove High School where he played tight end on the Argonaut football team and graduated in 1999. An incredible athlete, Mike enjoyed snowboarding, body boarding, spear fishing, motorcycle riding, and driving his Corvette. His quiet demeanor and dedication to his friends matched the “Silent Warrior” SEAL mentality that was to become his calling in life.

Michael enlisted in the U.S. Navy March 21, 2001, and attended Basic Training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.  Upon graduation from basic training, he attended Quartermaster “A” School, and then transferred to Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy for a short period of time.

Petty Officer Monsoor entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, Calif., and subsequently graduated with Class 250 on Sept. 2, 2004 as one of the top performers in his class. After BUD/S, he completed advanced SEAL training courses including parachute training at Basic Airborne School, Fort Benning, Ga., cold weather combat training in Kodiak, Alaska, and six months of SEAL Qualification Training in Coronado, graduating in March 2005. The following month, his rating changed from Quartermaster to Master-at-Arms, and he was assigned to SEAL Team 3 Delta Platoon. He deployed with his platoon to Iraq in April 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was assigned to Task Unit Bravo in Ar Ramadi.

From April to Sept. 29, 2006, Mike served as a heavy weapons machine gunner in Delta Platoon, SEAL Team 3.  During combat patrols he walked behind the platoon point man with his Mk 48 machinegun so that he could protect his platoon from a frontal enemy attack.  Mike was also a SEAL communicator.  On 15 operations, he carried a rucksack full of communications equipment in addition to his machinegun and full ammunition load-out.  Collectively it weighed more than 100 pounds.  He bore the weight without a single complaint, even in the midst of the 130 degree Western Iraqi summer.

Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor recieved the Medal of Honor posthumously in a ceremony at the White House April 8, 2008, for his actions in Ar Ramadi, Iraq on Sept. 29, 2006. On that day, Monsoor was part of a sniper overwatch security position with three other SEALs and eight Iraqi Army (IA) soldiers. An insurgent closed in and threw a fragmentation grenade into the overwatch position. The grenade hit Monsoor in the chest before falling to the ground. Positioned next to the single exit, Monsoor was the only one who could have escaped harm. Instead, he dropped onto the grenade to shield the others from the blast. Monsoor died approximately 30 minutes later from wounds sustained from the blast. Because of Petty Officer Monsoor’s actions, he saved the lives of his 3 teammates and the IA soldiers.
Though he carried himself in a calm and composed fashion, he constantly led the charge to bring the fight to the enemy. His teammates recall his sense of loyalty to God, family, and his team.  He attended Catholic Mass devotionally before operations, and often spoke lovingly of his family – his older brother, a police officer and former Marine for whom he held great respect; his sister, a nurse; and his younger brother, a college football player.Mike was one of the bravest men on the battlefield, never allowing the enemy to discourage him. He remained fearless while facing constant danger, and through his selfless nature and aggressive actions, saved the lives of coalition soldiers and his fellow SEALs.  He was a loyal friend and exceptional SEAL, and he is sorely missed by his brothers in Task Unit Bravo.

He is survived by his mother Sally, his father George, his sister Sara, and his two brothers James and Joseph.

During the funeral, as the coffin was moving from the hearse to the grave site, Navy SEALs were lined up forming a column of twos on both sides of the pallbearers route, with the coffin moving up the center. As the coffin passed each SEAL, they slapped down the gold Trident each had removed from his own uniform and deeply embedded it into the wooden coffin. For nearly 30 minutes the slaps were audible from across the cemetery as nearly every SEAL on the west coast repeated the ceremony.
The display moved many attending the funeral, including U.S. President George W. Bush, who spoke about the incident later during a speech stating: “The procession went on nearly half an hour, and when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten
Medal of Honor citation

Michael A. Monsoor’s Medal of Honor pictured with the Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident.
“The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to




For service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Automatic Weapons Gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army sniper overwatch element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent-held sector of Ar Ramadi Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element’s position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy’s initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor’s chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

Silver Star citation

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Platoon Machine Gunner in Sea, Air, Land Team THREE (SEAL-3), Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, Task Unit Ramadi, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 9 May 2006. Petty Officer Monsoor was the Platoon Machine Gunner of an overwatch element, providing security for an Iraqi Army Brigade during counter-insurgency operations. While moving toward extraction, the Iraqi Army and Naval Special Warfare overwatch team received effective enemy automatic weapons fire resulting in one SEAL wounded in action. Immediately, Petty Officer Monsoor, with complete disregard for his own safety, exposed himself to heavy enemy fire in order to provide suppressive fire and fight his way to the wounded SEAL’s position. He continued to provide effective suppressive fire while simultaneously dragging the wounded SEAL to safety. Petty Officer Monsoor maintained suppressive fire as the wounded SEAL received tactical casualty treatment to his leg. He also helped load his wounded teammate into a High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle for evacuation, then returned to combat. By his bold initiative, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Petty Officer Monsoor reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

 Bronze Star citation

“For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy as Task Unit Ramadi, Iraq, Combat Advisor for Naval Special Warfare Task Group – Arabian Peninsula in Support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from April to September 2006. On 11 different operations, Petty Officer Monsoor exposed himself to heavy enemy fire while shielding his teammates with suppressive fire. He aggressively stabilized each chaotic situation with focused determination and uncanny tactical awareness. Each time insurgents assaulted his team with small arms fire or rocket propelled grenades, he quickly assessed the situation, determined the best course of action to counter the enemy assaults, and implemented his plan to gain the best tactical advantage. His selfless, decisive, heroic actions resulted in 25 enemy killed and saved the lives of his teammates, other Coalition Forces and Iraqi Army soldiers. By his extraordinary guidance, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Petty Officer Monsoor reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Regards,Shawn Alladio
K38 Rescue

Be not just hearers of the Truth, but doers also. Matthew 7:21


An Independent Nature

Sunday, July 4th, 2010


The United States Of America is founded on the tenets located in the US Constitution. All laws and the people who preside over the law, are based on this document. All Municipal and State laws are superceded and presided over by the Federal laws, based on this document. So no entity may pass a law that is not in accordance with this document. If you find that someone has. You not only have a right, but a civil responsibility to inform and if necessary, litigate that entity.

That is what is meant by the legal tort of Rule of Law, which dates back to Aristotle in 350 BC.

HERE. Know the Law of your land. Your liberty rests on you knowing this.

Those precepts were instituted by the biggest collection of social misfits that the world in Western Europe could produce in the late 1600′s. Wiki has a pretty good summary here. It is informative to understand the History of a thing, as there is power in that. Within it resides truth, for the most part. Though admittedly, History is written by the victors.

But a revelation of the true strength and character of the United States, lies in an examination of the nature of those individuals who had the tenacity to put their lives and their families on the line, and leave a vast history and legacy behind them in order to venture out to a new frontier in the Americas.

It all is summed up pretty well in this image loaned to me by the Dunbar’s of their son, who after severe stress in childbirth, had this to say, as he lay in Neo Natal Care, full of tubes. Kate Slaton Dunbar is descended from the people who settled the area in which I live.

When I saw this image, which her husband shot, I was surprised. To me, it seems sometimes like all of the world would love to snuff America out. This boy’s response is the basis for what our instinctive reply should be to ANY entity within or without, that attempts to rob this country of what we paid for in vision, obstinence, perseverence, bravery, and blood sacrifice.

One thing to say

One thing to say

Independence Day. Think about that word.

independent |ˌindəˈpendənt|
1 free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority : the study is totally independent of central government | Canada’s largest independent investment firm.
• (of a country) self-governing : India became independent in 1947.
• not belonging to or supported by a political party : the independent candidate.
• (of broadcasting, a school, etc.) not supported by public funds.
• not influenced or affected by others; impartial : a thorough and independent investigation of the case.
• ( Independent) historical Congregational.
2 not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence : I wanted to remain independent in old age.
• capable of thinking or acting for oneself : advice for independent travelers.
• (of income or resources) making it unnecessary to earn one’s living : a woman of independent means.
3 not connected with another or with each other; separate : we need two independent witnesses to testify | the legislature and the judicature are independent of each other.
• not depending on something else for strength or effectiveness; freestanding : an independent electric shower.
• Mathematics (of one of a set of axioms, equations, or quantities) incapable of being expressed in terms of, or derived or deduced from, the others.
an independent person or body.
• an independent political candidate, voter, etc.
• ( Independent) historical a Congregationalist.

If we truly stand united. Expect to stand alone amongst the Nations. Independent. Victory is never given. You have to earn and seize  it. That is us, from our inception. It is what we were. It is what we should be.

One of the single most powerful songs that I have heard. America. Samuel Shoemaker and the Shoemaker Brothers. It has inspired quite a bit for me in the month or so since I first heard them play it live here, in Ventura.

America the diverse, proud, obstinent, independent and free. It is our nature.

The following gallery is a memorial homage in honor of our obstinence, persistence, and our laws.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.