February 23, 2003

A little long...but WELL worth reading

This is lengthy by very much the whole truth and certainly worth the time to
read - many of us have the same feelings

Brian Shul ... A Vietnam era USAF fighter pilot flew 212 combat missions,
shot down near the end of the war, was so badly burned that he was given
next to no chance to live. He did live, went on to fly SR-71s and completed
a 20 year career in the Air Force. He has written four books on aviation and
runs a photo studio. Sometimes someone says something you
would have liked to say and does it better than you ever could. His words
below
This just about says it all ... you decide.

JT Brian Shul's Chico Rally Address: October

Thank you for the opportunity to address this rally today. It is not often
that a fighter pilot is asked to be the keynote speaker. There is a rumor
that they are unable to put two sentences together coherently. I'd like to
dispel that rumor today by saying that I can do that, and in fact that I
have written several books. I always wanted to be an author, and I ARE one
now.

I'm a pretty lucky person really. I'm like the little boy who tells his
father that when he grows up he wants to be a jet pilot, and his father
replies, "Sorry son, you can't do both." I made that choice a long time ago
and flew the jets. I was fortunate to live my dream, and then some. I
survived something I shouldn't have, and today, tell people that I am
28 years old, as it has been that long since I was released from the
hospital.

It was like I received a second life, and in the past 28 years, I have
gotten to see and do much, so much that I would not have thought possible.
Returning to fly jets in the Air Force, flying the SR-71on spy missions,
spending a year with the Blue Angels, running my own photo studio and so
much more. And now, seeing our country attacked in such a heinous way. Some
of you here today have heard me speak before, and know that I enjoy sharing
my aviation slide show. I have brought no slides to show you, as I feel
compelled today, to address different issues concerning this very difficult
time in our nation's history.

I stand before you today, not as some famous person, or war hero. I am far
from that. You know, they say a good landing is one you can walk away from,
and a really great one is when you can use the airplane again.
Well, I did neither ......... and I speak to you to today as simply a
fellow American citizen.

Like you, I was horrified at the events of September 11th. But I was not
totally surprised that such a thing could happen, or that there were people
in the world who would perpetrate such deeds, willingly, against us. Having
sat through many classified briefings while in the Air Force, I was all too
aware of the threat, and I can assure you, it has always been there in one
form or another. And those of you who have served in the defense of this
nation, know all too well the response that is needed.

In every fighter squadron I was in, there was a saying that we knew to be
true, that said, when there was a true enemy, you negotiate with that enemy
with your knee in his chest and your knife at his throat.

Many people are unfamiliar with this way of thinking, and shrink from its
ramifications. War is such a messy business, and there are many who want no
part of it, but rush to bask in the security blanket of its victory.

I spent an entire military career fighting Communism, and was very proud to
do so. We won that war, we beat one of the worst scourges to humankind the
world has known. But it took a great effort, over many years of sustained
vigilance and much sacrifice by so many whose names you will never know. And
perhaps our nation, so weary from so long a cold war, relaxed too much and
felt the world was a safer place with the demise of the Soviet Union. We
indulged ourselves in our own lives, and gave little thought to the threats
to our national security.

You know, normally my talks are laced with numerous jokes as I share my
stories, but I have very few jokes to tell this afternoon. These murdering
fanatics came into our land, lived amongst our people, flew on our planes,
crashed them into our buildings, and killed thousands of our citizens. And
nowhere along their gruesome path were they questioned or stopped. The joke
is on us. We allowed this country to become soft.

We shouldn't really be too surprised that this could happen. Did we really
think that we could keep electing officials who put self above nation and
this would make us stronger? Did we really think that a strong economy
adequately replaced a strong intelligence community? Did we imagine that a
President who practically gave away the store on his watch, was insuring
national security? While our country was mired in the wasted excess of a
White House sex scandal, the drums of war beat loudly in foreign lands, and
we were deaf. Our response was to give the man two terms in office, and even
then barely half the American public exercised their right to vote. We have
only ourselves to blame. Our elected officials are merely a reflection of
our own values and what we deem important.

Did we not realize that America had become a laughing stock around the
world? We had lost credibility, even amongst our allies. To our enemies we
had no resolve. We made a lot of money, watched a lot of TV, and understood
little about what was happening beyond our shores. We were, simply, an easy
target.

But we are a country awakened now. We have been attacked in our homeland.
We have now felt the reality of what an unstable and dangerous world it
truly is. And still, in the face of this unprecedented carnage in our most
prominent city, there are those who choose to take this opportunity to
protest, and even burn the flag.

If I were the regents or alumni of certain large universities in this
county, I would be embarrassed to be producing students of such ignorance
and naive notions. Like mindless sheep, they march with painted faces and
trite sayings on signs, blissfully ignorant of the world they live in, and
the system that protects them, hoping maybe to make the evening news.
Perhaps if they had spent more time in class they would have learned that
those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. They might have
learned that all it takes for evil to succeed in the world, is for good
people to stand by and do nothing. If they had simply gone back in history
as recently as the Viet Nam War, they would have learned that an enemy that
knows it can never defeat us militarily, will persist as long as there is
dissension and disruption in our land. Their ignorance can be understood, as
their young empty minds have been filled with the rewritten history tripe
that tenured leftist professors can spew out with no fear of removal. But
the unwitting aid they provide the enemy, in disrupting the national
resolve, is unforgivable.

I think this is a wonderful country, though, that gives everyone their
voice of dissension. I am all for people expressing their views publicly
because it makes it much easier for us to identify the truly foolish, and to
know who cannot be counted on in times of crisis. These are the weak and
cowardly who, when the enemy is crashing through the front door, will cower
in the back room, counting on better men than themselves to make and keep
them free. Well, the enemy is at our front door, and isn't it interesting
that those who cry loudest and most often for their rights, are usually
those least willing to defend it.

I heard a student on TV the other day say that this war just wasn't in his
plans and he would simply head to Canada if a draft occurred. Just wasn't in
his plans. I wonder what plans the young men at the beaches of Normandy had
that they never got to live. I wonder if it was in the plans of 19-year-old
boys in Viet Nam to lie dying in a jungle far from home. I guess the men and
women at Pearl Harbor one morning had their plans slightly rearranged too.

Gee, I hope we haven't inconvenienced this student. Those people in the
World Trade Center have no more plans. It is up to us to have a plan now.
And it isn't going to be easy. Who ever said it would? Just what part of our
history spoke of how easy it was to form a free nation? It has never been
easy and has always required vigilance and sacrifice, and sometimes war, to
preserved this union. If it were easy, everyone would have done it.

But no one else has, and we stand alone as the most unique country on
earth.

And isn't it amazing that we have spent a generation stamping God out of
our schools and government, and now as a nation, have collectively turned to
God in memorial services, prayer vigils and churches around this country. I
am also very disturbed to hear that there are people in this country, at
this particular time, who feel it inappropriate to wear the flag on their
lapel because they are on the news or in a public job, and school officials
who want to remove pro-American stickers so as not to offend foreign
students. Well, I am offended that these people call themselves Americans.

I am offended that innocent people were killed in a mass attack of
unthinkable proportions. And I am offended at listening to TV broadcasters
speak to me condescendingly, with a bias that screams of their drowning in a
cesspool of political correctness. I pity the person who thinks they are
going to remove this flag from my lapel. This flag of ours is the symbol of
all that is good about this country.

America is an idea. It is an idea lived, and fought for, by a people. We
are America, and this is our symbol. We are imperfect in many ways, but we
continue to strive toward the ideal our forefathers laid down for us over
225 years ago. I could never imagine desecrating that symbol. Perhaps there
are many people in this nation who have never been abroad, or in harms way,
and seen the flag upon their return. Those poor souls can never know the
deep pride and honor one feels to see it wave, to know that there is still a
good ol' USA. With all our warts we are still the greatest nation on earth,
and the flag is the most powerful symbol of that greatness.

When I was in grade school, we used to say the Pledge of Allegiance every
morning. It is something I never forgot. I wonder how many children even
know that pledge today.

This flag is our history, our dreams, our accomplishments, indelibly
expressed in bright red, white, and blue. This flag was carried in our
Revolutionary War, although it had many less stars. But it persevered and
evolved throughout a war we had no right to believe we could win. But we
did, and built a country around it. This flag, tattered and battle worn,
waved
proudly from the mast, as John Paul Jones showed the enemy what true resolve
was. This banner was raised by the hands of brave men on a godforsaken
island called Iwo Jima, and became a part of the most famous photo of the
20th Century. Those men are all dead now, but their legacy lives on in the
Marine Memorial in Washington, DC. Those of you who have seen it will recall
that inscribed within the stone monument are the words - When Uncommon Valor
Was A Common Virtue - I don't believe you'll see the words, "it was easy,"
anywhere on it. This flag has even been to the moon, planted there for all
time by men with a v! is! ion, and the courage to see it through.

I personally know what it is to see the flag, and feel something deep
inside that makes you feel you are a part of something much bigger than
yourself. Laying in a hospital bed, I can vividly recall looking out the
only window in the room and on Sundays, seeing that big garrison flag flying
proudly in the breeze. It filled the entire window, and filled my heart with
a
motivation that helped me leave that bed, and enabled me to be standing here
today. And many years later, while fighting another terrorist over Libya, my
backseater and I outraced Khaddafi's missiles in our SR-71 as we headed for
the Mediterranean, and I can still clearly see that American flag patch on
the shoulder of my space suit, staring at me in the rear view mirror as we
headed west, and it was a good feeling. Now don't ask me why we had rear
view mirrors in the world's fastest jet; I can assure you, no one was
gaining on us that day.

I am so happy to see so many flags out here today. Long may it wave.
History will judge us. How we confront this chapter of American history will
be important for the future of this great nation. This will be a war like
none other we have endured. The combatants will not just be the soldier on
the battlefront, but will be fought by us the citizens. We are on the
battlefield now; the war has been brought to us. We will determine the
outcome of this war by how well we remain vigilant, how patient we are with
tightened security, how well we support the economy, and most important, in
the resolve we show the enemy. There are some things worth fighting for, and
this country is one of them.

I pray for our leaders at this time. In the Pacific, during WW II, Admiral
Bull Halsey said, "There are no great men, just great circumstances, and how
they handle those circumstances will determine the outcome of history." Our
future and the future of coming generations are in our hands. Wars are not
won just on military fronts, but by the resolve of the people. We must
remain tenaciously strong in the pursuit of this enemy that threatens free
people everywhere.

I am encouraged that we will win this war. Even before the first shot was
finished being fired, there were brave Americans on Flight 93, fighting
back. These people were the first true heroes of this conflict, and gave
their lives to save their fellow countrymen.

This nation, this melting pot of humanity, this free republic, must be
preserved. This idea that is America is important enough to be defended.
Fought for. Even die for. The enemy fears what you have, for if their people
ever become liberated into a free society, tyrannical dictatorships will
cease and he will lose power.

How can they ever understand this country of ours, so self-indulgent and
diverse, yet when attacked, so united in the defense of its principles? This
is the greatest country in the world because brave people sacrificed to make
it that way. We are a collective mix of greatness and greed, hi-tech and
heartland. We are the country of Mickey Mouse and Mickey Mantle; from John
Smith and Pocahontas to John Glen and an Atlas booster; from Charles
Lindbergh to Charley Brown; from Moby Dick to Microsoft; we are a nation
that went from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base in less than 70 years; we are
rock and roll, and the Bill of Rights; we are where everyone else wants to
be, the greatest nation in the world.

The enemy does not understand the dichotomy of our society, but they should
understand this; we will bandage our wounds, we will bury our dead; and then
we will come for you.......and we will destroy you and all you stand for.

I read this quote recently and would like to share it with you:
We are pressed on every side, but not crushed,
Perplexed, but not in despair,
Persecuted, but not abandoned,
Struck down, but not destroyed.

That is from II Corinthians. Not too long ago it would have been politically
incorrect to quote from the Bible. I am so happy to be politically
INCORRECT.
And I am so proud to be an American.

Thank you all for coming out today and showing your support for your
government, and your nation. You are the true patriots, you are the soldiers
of this war, you are the strength of America.

Brian Shul

Chico, California JT Brian Shul's Chico Rally Address: October

Thank you for the opportunity to address this rally today. It is not often
that a fighter pilot is asked to be the keynote speaker. There is a rumor
that they are unable to put two sentences together coherently. I'd like to
dispel that rumor today by saying that I can do that, and in fact that I
have written several books. I always wanted to be an author, and I ARE one
now.

I'm a pretty lucky person really. I'm like the little boy who tells his
father that when he grows up he wants to be a jet pilot, and his father
replies, "Sorry son, you can't do both." I made that choice a long time ago
and flew the jets. I was fortunate to live my dream, and then some. I
survived something I shouldn't have, and today, tell people that I am
28 years old, as it has been that long since I was released from the
hospital.

It was like I received a second life, and in the past 28 years, I have
gotten to see and do much, so much that I would not have thought possible.
Returning to fly jets in the Air Force, flying the SR-71on spy missions,
spending a year with the Blue Angels, running my own photo studio and so
much more. And now, seeing our country attacked in such a heinous way. Some
of you here today have heard me speak before, and know that I enjoy sharing
my aviation slide show. I have brought no slides to show you, as I feel
compelled today, to address different issues concerning this very difficult
time in our nation's history.

I stand before you today, not as some famous person, or war hero. I am far
from that. You know, they say a good landing is one you can walk away from,
and a really great one is when you can use the airplane again.
Well, I did neither ......... and I speak to you to today as simply a
fellow American citizen.

Like you, I was horrified at the events of September 11th. But I was not
totally surprised that such a thing could happen, or that there were people
in the world who would perpetrate such deeds, willingly, against us. Having
sat through many classified briefings while in the Air Force, I was all too
aware of the threat, and I can assure you, it has always been there in one
form or another. And those of you who have served in the defense of this
nation, know all too well the response that is needed.

In every fighter squadron I was in, there was a saying that we knew to be
true, that said, when there was a true enemy, you negotiate with that enemy
with your knee in his chest and your knife at his throat.

Many people are unfamiliar with this way of thinking, and shrink from its
ramifications. War is such a messy business, and there are many who want no
part of it, but rush to bask in the security blanket of its victory.

I spent an entire military career fighting Communism, and was very proud to
do so. We won that war, we beat one of the worst scourges to humankind the
world has known. But it took a great effort, over many years of sustained
vigilance and much sacrifice by so many whose names you will never know. And
perhaps our nation, so weary from so long a cold war, relaxed too much and
felt the world was a safer place with the demise of the Soviet Union. We
indulged ourselves in our own lives, and gave little thought to the threats
to our national security.

You know, normally my talks are laced with numerous jokes as I share my
stories, but I have very few jokes to tell this afternoon. These murdering
fanatics came into our land, lived amongst our people, flew on our planes,
crashed them into our buildings, and killed thousands of our citizens. And
nowhere along their gruesome path were they questioned or stopped. The joke
is on us. We allowed this country to become soft.

We shouldn't really be too surprised that this could happen. Did we really
think that we could keep electing officials who put self above nation and
this would make us stronger? Did we really think that a strong economy
adequately replaced a strong intelligence community? Did we imagine that a
President who practically gave away the store on his watch, was insuring
national security? While our country was mired in the wasted excess of a
White House sex scandal, the drums of war beat loudly in foreign lands, and
we were deaf. Our response was to give the man two terms in office, and even
then barely half the American public exercised their right to vote. We have
only ourselves to blame. Our elected officials are merely a reflection of
our own values and what we deem important.

Did we not realize that America had become a laughing stock around the
world? We had lost credibility, even amongst our allies. To our enemies we
had no resolve. We made a lot of money, watched a lot of TV, and understood
little about what was happening beyond our shores. We were, simply, an easy
target.

But we are a country awakened now. We have been attacked in our homeland.
We have now felt the reality of what an unstable and dangerous world it
truly is. And still, in the face of this unprecedented carnage in our most
prominent city, there are those who choose to take this opportunity to
protest, and even burn the flag.

If I were the regents or alumni of certain large universities in this
county, I would be embarrassed to be producing students of such ignorance
and naive notions. Like mindless sheep, they march with painted faces and
trite sayings on signs, blissfully ignorant of the world they live in, and
the system that protects them, hoping maybe to make the evening news.
Perhaps if they had spent more time in class they would have learned that
those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. They might have
learned that all it takes for evil to succeed in the world, is for good
people to stand by and do nothing. If they had simply gone back in history
as recently as the Viet Nam War, they would have learned that an enemy that
knows it can never defeat us militarily, will persist as long as there is
dissension and disruption in our land. Their ignorance can be understood, as
their young empty minds have been filled with the rewritten history tripe
that tenured leftist professors can spew out with no fear of removal. But
the unwitting aid they provide the enemy, in disrupting the national
resolve, is unforgivable.

I think this is a wonderful country, though, that gives everyone their
voice of dissension. I am all for people expressing their views publicly
because it makes it much easier for us to identify the truly foolish, and to
know who cannot be counted on in times of crisis. These are the weak and
cowardly who, when the enemy is crashing through the front door, will cower
in the back room, counting on better men than themselves to make and keep
them free. Well, the enemy is at our front door, and isn't it interesting
that those who cry loudest and most often for their rights, are usually
those least willing to defend it.

I heard a student on TV the other day say that this war just wasn't in his
plans and he would simply head to Canada if a draft occurred. Just wasn't in
his plans. I wonder what plans the young men at the beaches of Normandy had
that they never got to live. I wonder if it was in the plans of 19-year-old
boys in Viet Nam to lie dying in a jungle far from home. I guess the men and
women at Pearl Harbor one morning had their plans slightly rearranged too.

Gee, I hope we haven't inconvenienced this student. Those people in the
World Trade Center have no more plans. It is up to us to have a plan now.
And it isn't going to be easy. Who ever said it would? Just what part of our
history spoke of how easy it was to form a free nation? It has never been
easy and has always required vigilance and sacrifice, and sometimes war, to
preserved this union. If it were easy, everyone would have done it.

But no one else has, and we stand alone as the most unique country on
earth.

And isn't it amazing that we have spent a generation stamping God out of
our schools and government, and now as a nation, have collectively turned to
God in memorial services, prayer vigils and churches around this country. I
am also very disturbed to hear that there are people in this country, at
this particular time, who feel it inappropriate to wear the flag on their
lapel because they are on the news or in a public job, and school officials
who want to remove pro-American stickers so as not to offend foreign
students. Well, I am offended that these people call themselves Americans.

I am offended that innocent people were killed in a mass attack of
unthinkable proportions. And I am offended at listening to TV broadcasters
speak to me condescendingly, with a bias that screams of their drowning in a
cesspool of political correctness. I pity the person who thinks they are
going to remove this flag from my lapel. This flag of ours is the symbol of
all that is good about this country.

America is an idea. It is an idea lived, and fought for, by a people. We
are America, and this is our symbol. We are imperfect in many ways, but we
continue to strive toward the ideal our forefathers laid down for us over
225 years ago. I could never imagine desecrating that symbol. Perhaps there
are many people in this nation who have never been abroad, or in harms way,
and seen the flag upon their return. Those poor souls can never know the
deep pride and honor one feels to see it wave, to know that there is still a
good ol' USA. With all our warts we are still the greatest nation on earth,
and the flag is the most powerful symbol of that greatness.

When I was in grade school, we used to say the Pledge of Allegiance every
morning. It is something I never forgot. I wonder how many children even
know that pledge today.

This flag is our history, our dreams, our accomplishments, indelibly
expressed in bright red, white, and blue. This flag was carried in our
Revolutionary War, although it had many less stars. But it persevered and
evolved throughout a war we had no right to believe we could win. But we
did, and built a country around it. This flag, tattered and battle worn,
waved
proudly from the mast, as John Paul Jones showed the enemy what true resolve
was. This banner was raised by the hands of brave men on a godforsaken
island called Iwo Jima, and became a part of the most famous photo of the
20th Century. Those men are all dead now, but their legacy lives on in the
Marine Memorial in Washington, DC. Those of you who have seen it will recall
that inscribed within the stone monument are the words - When Uncommon Valor
Was A Common Virtue - I don't believe you'll see the words, "it was easy,"
anywhere on it. This flag has even been to the moon, planted there for all
time by men with a v! is! ion, and the courage to see it through.

I personally know what it is to see the flag, and feel something deep
inside that makes you feel you are a part of something much bigger than
yourself. Laying in a hospital bed, I can vividly recall looking out the
only window in the room and on Sundays, seeing that big garrison flag flying
proudly in the breeze. It filled the entire window, and filled my heart with
a
motivation that helped me leave that bed, and enabled me to be standing here
today. And many years later, while fighting another terrorist over Libya, my
backseater and I outraced Khaddafi's missiles in our SR-71 as we headed for
the Mediterranean, and I can still clearly see that American flag patch on
the shoulder of my space suit, staring at me in the rear view mirror as we
headed west, and it was a good feeling. Now don't ask me why we had rear
view mirrors in the world's fastest jet; I can assure you, no one was
gaining on us that day.

I am so happy to see so many flags out here today. Long may it wave.
History will judge us. How we confront this chapter of American history will
be important for the future of this great nation. This will be a war like
none other we have endured. The combatants will not just be the soldier on
the battlefront, but will be fought by us the citizens. We are on the
battlefield now; the war has been brought to us. We will determine the
outcome of this war by how well we remain vigilant, how patient we are with
tightened security, how well we support the economy, and most important, in
the resolve we show the enemy. There are some things worth fighting for, and
this country is one of them.

I pray for our leaders at this time. In the Pacific, during WW II, Admiral
Bull Halsey said, "There are no great men, just great circumstances, and how
they handle those circumstances will determine the outcome of history." Our
future and the future of coming generations are in our hands. Wars are not
won just on military fronts, but by the resolve of the people. We must
remain tenaciously strong in the pursuit of this enemy that threatens free
people everywhere.

I am encouraged that we will win this war. Even before the first shot was
finished being fired, there were brave Americans on Flight 93, fighting
back. These people were the first true heroes of this conflict, and gave
their lives to save their fellow countrymen.

This nation, this melting pot of humanity, this free republic, must be
preserved. This idea that is America is important enough to be defended.
Fought for. Even die for. The enemy fears what you have, for if their people
ever become liberated into a free society, tyrannical dictatorships will
cease and he will lose power.

How can they ever understand this country of ours, so self-indulgent and
diverse, yet when attacked, so united in the defense of its principles? This
is the greatest country in the world because brave people sacrificed to make
it that way. We are a collective mix of greatness and greed, hi-tech and
heartland. We are the country of Mickey Mouse and Mickey Mantle; from John
Smith and Pocahontas to John Glen and an Atlas booster; from Charles
Lindbergh to Charley Brown; from Moby Dick to Microsoft; we are a nation
that went from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base in less than 70 years; we are
rock and roll, and the Bill of Rights; we are where everyone else wants to
be, the greatest nation in the world.

The enemy does not understand the dichotomy of our society, but they should
understand this; we will bandage our wounds, we will bury our dead; and then
we will come for you.......and we will destroy you and all you stand for.

I read this quote recently and would like to share it with you:
We are pressed on every side, but not crushed,
Perplexed, but not in despair,
Persecuted, but not abandoned,
Struck down, but not destroyed.

That is from II Corinthians. Not too long ago it would have been politically
incorrect to quote from the Bible. I am so happy to be politically
INCORRECT.
And I am so proud to be an American.

Thank you all for coming out today and showing your support for your
government, and your nation. You are the true patriots, you are the soldiers
of this war, you are the strength of America.

Brian Shul

Chico, California

Posted by Pepperkat at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2003

Freedom!

I've been free for a few days. Thats koo...but I've also been sick/allergies. Thats inkoo. We got our 15 dvd set of The Muppet Show yesterday.

A joke because I'm bored.

Two snakes were crawling along when one snake asked the other, "Are we poisonous snakes?"
The other replied, "You're darn right we're poisonous! We're rattlesnakes. Why do you ask?"
To which the first replied, "Because I just bit my tounge."

heheh...funny...

I'd post a link to my quiz...but stupid quizilla is down again...VERY inkoo.
Oh well, I think its messed up anyway...everybody was getting the same answers...

Posted by Pepperkat at 05:24 PM | Comments (2)