Author: Hoplite0352 (Page 2 of 27)

Permanence (A Post About Love and Divorce)

The concept of permanence is rather troubling to me.  I need to know that something is permanent.  This, I believe, is a very close tie-in between thinkers like myself, and your more religious types.  They (mostly) hold onto the idea that souls are immortal and we will find ourselves in heaven, valhalla, whatever, following our departure from this mortal coil.

Now, I personally do not ascribe to that belief.  I think when we die, we die, and we come apart, continuing the circle of life.  We came from star stuff only to return to star stuff.  But, as with most things, I think along larger time lines.  Again, I need something to be permanent.  I talk of my politics as playing the long game where we leave this planet and our species survives  forever, beyond even the death and rebirth of the universe.  If there is no chance for anything to be permanent, then I see no reason to care about any of this.  There is no reason to set an example with my life, or to even preserve our species another day.  I am a selfish man.  It is just that my utmost desire is permanence for our species, so my selfishness can be misconstrued as altruism.

I loved, no, strike that, I adored my ex wife.  Still do.  However, she is gone.  She has been for a few weeks shy of 2 years at this point.  Gone, and remarried.  Now, I have adapted as necessary, but I don’t believe I’ve adapted terribly well.  One of the hardest parts to deal with was the acceptance of the transitory nature of love.  One day I was told she loved me, the next that she wanted a divorce, her kind words going instead to a former friend.  Permanence indeed.

Now, I cannot control another human being, but I can control myself.  I still love my ex-wife, though sometimes I have to ask myself why.  It has crippled my ability to create good close relationships with other women.  I could not control her.  Indeed, I’m convinced my active desire to not control her was a large part of the downfall of the relationship.  But, I can control myself.  And in controlling myself and pushing women aside I can tell myself that something is permanent: my love for my ex-wife.

I’ve spoken at length about the issue of awareness.  Once a person has become aware of a problem, he is then in full control as to what he does in response to the problem.  At this point I think I’m nearing a place where I need to recognize my need for permanence, but to accept that perhaps the best course of action is to seek permanence elsewhere.  Perhaps by disconnecting from the permanence of the love for my ex-wife I will find nothing permanent in this life.  But by the same token, fortune favors the brave, and what joy is there in seeking permanence in something you can no longer have?

You may ask, “Why is this post in the Legal Blog?”.  Well, about half of my practice relates to family law.  What I have found so interesting about dealing with family law is that sometimes the lawyer’s most important job is managing the hearts and minds of their own client as well as that opposing party.  These are emotional issues that people deal with, and at times the best thing an attorney can do is tell someone things they are not ready to come across by themselves yet.  They sabotage their case through a lack of awareness, and perhaps by the overzealousness of their attorney who is enflaming and endorsing their hatred.

Be wary of the lawyer that wants to take everything to the mat.  Sometimes it’s better to let that $300 television go than to spend $400 on legal fees to save it.  Sometimes it’s better to bite your tongue and give up 2-3 days of extra custody each year than to have your child have to watch her parents go through a 6 month long nasty divorce.  Yet for others, perhaps you need to spend that extra time drawing things out into a nasty fight.  I see it with women especially.  Sometimes, women need to put up a fight for their own growth and to begin to learn their own value as humans, especially in relationships where they’ve been abused or have lived as the submissive housewife.

The point is that every person is unique.  We all have unique needs.  We are all in different places in our lives which have their own set of challenges and advantages.  When you hire a lawyer, you need one you can trust to see you as a person rather than a dollar sign.  You need a lawyer who adapts to your case rather than simply going through the traditional motions of trial prep.

Choose wisely.

In other news, I went to see this guy at the Alley the other night. Great show. It was also one of the few times I’ve ever been in a bar so packed I couldn’t drink for want of space to be able to lift my glass of Turkey.

Women in the Infantry (almost)

It appears that 4 female Marines are going to pass infantry school.  I’ve spoken at length about women in the infantry before so I’m not going to rehash it here.  I would like to make a few points though.  First off, I’d like to congratulate these women.  When I graduated boot camp I did not feel it was terribly difficult physically.  Mentally on the other hand…

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the fact that boot camp did NOT even come close to preparing me for infantry school.  The humps and range runs were very difficult for me.  So congratulations to these women. They’ve done something to be very proud of.  It’s also worth noting that in general you cannot just drop out of infantry school.  You can be dropped, and if you’re persistent you can drop out of boot camp or infantry school, but you can’t just put up your hand and say, “I quit” like people going out for special forces can.  These women had the option to quit that the men didn’t.  That they pushed through is a testament to their character.

Secondly, I am somewhat concerned about watering down the standards.  I’m not sure when they chose to do so, but the final hump was 12.5 miles.  This is just a shade over the 10 miles the final hump in boot camp is.  I haven’t been out all that long (I graduated infantry school in 2000) and the final hump was 18 miles  (word is that it was closer to 21, but I’ll stick with the published number).  Were my tin foil hat improperly adjusted I’d say women joining the infantry and lowering of the most grueling task in infantry school are related.

Finally, and perhaps the part most entertaining to me, is the fact that these women will not actually be attached to an infantry unit.  They’re going back to their pogue units.  I would hate to be a male Marine in the same admin/supply/motor T/air wing/whatever section as a female Marine who passed infantry school.  Those men would have to go to work every day knowing that the most badass Marine in their section was a female.  Seriously, grunts think they’re invincible.  Grunts think they’re better than everyone else.  If you’re an admin Corporal or Sergeant and you want to chew this female Lance Corporal’s ass for any reason, and she’s passed infantry school, well, good luck with that.

In short, Marine Corps, toughen up your damn standards.  But all the same, congratulations ladies.  I’d be honored to meet one of you over a beer.  I’ve always wanted a wookie I could call my own, and it’d be amazing were she a grunt as well.

That about sums it up

That about sums it up

No Speech for You!

So I’ve been banned from commenting on a second Facebook page that I was a part of.  This really isn’t news.  Frankly, I shouldn’t be upset about it, but I am.  Not in an “end of the world” upset, but more like a disappointed upset.  Allow me to explain:

A few months back I was disallowed commenting privileges on the page Am I Libertarian?  My offense?  I had commented that libertarians are supposed to be more independent minded, yet there is a cult-like following and agreement with any and all things done by a Rand or Ron Paul.

A few days ago I was booted from commenting from the page Grunt Stuff because I dared challenge the moderator who said that everyone should be conscripted into the military following high school.  I stated that this was a violation of the 13th Amendment, and that the draft was in effect, slavery.  This isn’t appropriate for a supposedly free country.

Why do I care?  Well, here’s the deal:  I’m a libertarian.  I’m a grunt.  These are MY PEOPLE.  Were I to make such a comment challenging the dogma of people who I were ideologically opposed with I would expect such behavior.  Hell, were I to have spoken inflammatory or made personal attacks I wouldn’t have been upset at getting the ban hammer.  But I didn’t.  I expect more of my people.  For a libertarian group to kick someone out for not following dogma causes me to fear for our cause.  I expect the free intercourse of ideas from a libertarian.

An infantry based page should also know better.  These pages are regularly being shut down by Facebook for stating things that aren’t terribly popular.  They then go and rightfully complain about people being butthurt and acting like crybabies who try to shut down ideas they don’t like.  But then, an infantry page, people whose ideas are being discriminated against and people who additionally should be above having their feel bads hurt go and shut down the voice of a fellow grunt, well, again, it just makes me sad and causes a little bit of my faith that we’re going to make it after all dwindle.


Actual picture posted by the admin of grunt stuff hours before banning me for stating the draft is slavery.

I concede that I expect too much of my people.  I concede that I should probably just lower my standards.  But that just isn’t going to happen.  I simply compartmentalize these people and groups and move on in my search for those special few that keep the world spinning.  They’re out there…somewhere.

Not a Good Idea

Look, I get that you may not like cops.  Hell, I’m generally distrusting of the police.  A large portion of why I’m a defense attorney is because of my distrust of the police, along with a bad run in with Moscow PD which resulted in having my Constitutional rights violated by one of Moscow’s finest.

That said, I’m not sure not letting cops into your establishment is a good idea.  There are a few reasons for this:

— it isn’t appropriately targeted.  It is the idea of the police in general that was being being kicked out.  Even someone as unfriendly toward the police as myself will admit that SOME police are necessary, even if the “some” is about 10% or so of what they have right now.  Maybe don’t let in ones with a track record of abuse.  Don’t kick them ALL out.

— You poked the bear.  Do you really think this is going to result in fewer cops around your establishment?  In fact, it’ll probably end up in more patrols, with people AROUND your business being harassed.  You don’t poke a bear.  You either kill it or you leave it alone.

— Additionally, I can’t imagine that you’re going to be a top priority to help when you actually call the cops.  And you ARE going to call the cops when you need them.  You run a hipster commie Portland coffee joint.  You do not run CD’s Smoke Pit, with their 10% discount to people carrying firearms.  CD’s will NOT need to call the cops to solve their problems.  You will.

— Finally, that cop you kicked out was none other than Jim Crooker.  He was my Staff Sergeant in Iraq.  He’s the most honorable officer I’ve met in my life.  He’s one of the precious few good men in a profession in desperate need of good men.  He does however need to grow his mustache back.  It was epic.  I promise.   Besides, I’m sure if you got the “red” in your “red and black”, those cops would just be soooooooo nice to everyone, just like in all of those other “red” countries.  So, congratulations on that, YAAFM.

Though I gotta say that comparison to the civil rights movement…… I think you’d probably take that one back if you could SSgt.

A Drunk Post

Maybe I’m a fool for posting this drunk after a night of wild turkey.  But I think this should be posted while still drunk.  I’ll probably clean it up in a post tomorrow.

The Vietnam vet has become somethign of a running gag, “You weren’t there man!”.  WEll, I just walked home alone after a night of drinking.  The roads were empty.  I was so god damned lonely on the walk home.  I walked the streets looking like any drunk college kid.  But I wan’t in Moscow, Idaho.  I was in Fallujah walking alone in the dark on base.  I was there at camp cupcake, al asad crying, knowing the war was over for me forever and being sad it was gone.  There were nights I spent alone in Okinawa.  But there, in Oki, in Iraq, in the Phillipinnes, I at least felt like others could grok me.  I coud fool myself into thinking there was a mission.  A goal.

In Moscow I’m a man alone.  Relaly, really alone.  And I guess it sounds like I contradict myself, but I’m not alone.  There are wartime Marines who feel the same every night, 20-30 years removed from service.  There are wartime Marines, peacetime Marines all feeling the same.  There is no such thing as a real peacetime Marine.  For some, being a peacetime Marine is the hardest, becaucse they didn’t get the war.  They didnt’ get to fight a lava monster or on a chess board.  YOU don’t know what it’s like to NOT get a kill.  YOU don’t know what it’s like to get a kill.  YOU don’t get us.  And when we come home that leaves us very very alone.  That feeling doesn’t abate.

What’s the answer?  I don’t know?  Maybe it’s taht warhorses should fight until they die.  Maybe there’s peace in death.  Maybe that’s peace n the halls fo valhalla.  Mabe the only peace is in the middle of f istfight.  Maybe it’s shouting cadence at passing cars.  I don’t know.

Many men carry a woman’s picture in their helmet.  I didn’t.  I carried a woman’s picture in my flak jacket flap, next to my heart.  That woman left me for another man.  I won’t trust another woman.  Mabe that makes me a bad person.  A sexist.  A misogynist.  I don’t know.  I just know that I’m alone.  I was lonely at war.  I was lonely deployed.  But here, stateside, I’m actually alone.  There’s a difference betwen being lonely, and being alone.  And you don’t know.  “you weren’t there man!” 😉  I’m not the only guy that feels this way.  There are thousands of us across the country.

A Conversation With Windows

Me: Dear Windows, please let me take a file from my desktop and put it on a thumb drive.

Windows: No, no, how about I open up internet explorer and kick open some popups?

Me: No, why would you even think to do that? Close.

Windows: Are you sure? How about I just open it in a new tab or 3?

Me: NO! I don’t even want Internet Explorer open. I don’t even watch porn on you, why are you so buggy?

Windows: Fine, I’m taking my operating system and going home. /crash/

<repeat ad infinitum>


I concede, this is probably a hilariously simple accomplishment for most people, but I spent the last 2 days at a total of about 7 hours, changing the brakes on my truck.  Let me show you what my rotor looked like:



Either way, the truck is back in the fight!  What’s neat is how much simple grade school education comes into play if only you remember it.  As I’d been taught before, you need a buddy to help bleed your brakes.  You loosen the bleeder valve, press the brake, close the valve.  When you’ve pushed all the air bubbles out you’re set.  You close the bleeder valve after you press the brake because if you don’t it’ll suck air back in.

Well, I didn’t have any friends to help me out.  But then grade school science made its appearance.  What if I just put the hose into a clear bottle that already had brake fluid in it?  It wouldn’t be able to suck up any air.  So, I set things up and press the brakes while watching the bottle.  The bubbles stop and the brakes are bled.

I felt a similar feeling of accomplishment recently regarding my trash can.  You know the common problem of putting a trash bag in there and the bag not going in right because of all the air trapped in there.  Well, grade school science my friend.  I grab a drill and make a hole.  The air pushes out as the bag goes in.

Fixing computers, fixing trucks, and fixing your legal problems.  BAMCIS!

On Fear (The Learned Sergeant’s Unified Theory of Purpose)

So, there is a 4th Dimension.  This is not to be confused with the 5th dimension:

Now, I’ve mentioned in the past that my life’s true passion is space.  I’ve recently taken some time to go back and rewatch Cosmos with Carl Sagan.  Old Boy can sure rock a turtleneck.  Recently I watched his attempt to explain the 4th Dimension.  Watch this before moving on:

This thought is horrifying.  I’ve spoken at length before about how man is destined for the stars lest we damn ourselves as a species.  Here’s the problem:  there ARE aliens.  Consider our 2D man in Flatland.  Should this 3D man decide to wage war against him, 2D man hasn’t a prayer.  What then of those aliens capable of operating in a 4th dimension?  Even the most foolish and base barbarian capable of traveling in a 4th dimension would be able to destroy the most technologically advanced civilization we can muster.

Out there in the black is war.  It is death and darkness and war the likes of which we cannot imagine.  There is such incredible evil and power out there that the darkest of humans and beasts would be considered saints.  Reavers are child’s play.  There in the black we are but guppies in a vast ocean.

Yet we have no option to be travel out there if we wish to survive.  We will have to wage into nightmares so horrid that we lack even the ability to imagine them.  Still, we must go.  Our science fiction authors have not yet prepared us for this.  “Shoot a nuke down a bug hole and you’ve got a lot of dead bugs.”  Well, bugs are out there.  We will meet them, and fight them, and kill them.  That’s what we’re being prepared for.  That’s nothing.  What’s out there is much worse than that.

Now, we’re going to have to go out there and fight.  We may be able to make peace with some, but there is no such thing as peace unless YOU wage it.  The wasps that live under my stairs are not at peace with me.  I’m at peace with them.  Should they get out of line, or really if I find myself sufficiently bored to go grab some brake cleaner, they die.  Peace exists only when you are the baddest motherfucker in the universe.  The odds will never be in our favor considering the vastness of the universe.

The day we kill the first civilized creature we will show ourselves as a threat to anyone and everyone out there aware of our presence.  At that time we will rain hell onto ourselves.  But we have to fight.  There is no other option.  Out there is war –dark, hellish war.

The problem compounds still.  Even if you are in fact the single baddest force in the universe, you are not safe, and I’m not talking about interspecies alliances.  On February 10th, 1990, Mike Tyson was the single baddest man on the planet.  On February 11th, 1990 he was defeated by Buster Douglas.  On that night, Tyson would have been able to kill 100 men capable of beating Buster Douglas.  But he could not beat Buster Douglas.  Anderson Silva is the baddest man in MMA, yet he is not unbeaten, to include his last fight.  So too will it be with life beyond the stars.  Even the best will not be unbeatable.

Now, this all isn’t to say we’re doomed, despite the gloomy attitude I’ve taken.  Just as in this video Sagan has demonstrated that those in 2 dimensions can flesh out and understand the 3rd, even if they cannot perceive it, just as we can made a model of the 4th dimension, perhaps some day our minds will allow us the ability to enter it technologically, either by machine, or by biological enhancement.  Maybe we will find a way to fight and defeat those that wish to do us harm even if our eyes cannot see them.  Maybe.

But the most likely outcome is simply that if man wishes to survive, he will have to do what EVERY species will have to do, even those nightmarish civilizations that could destroy us on a whim:  expand forever at a rate faster than any conquering army can overtake them.  On Earth we have found war, death, and destruction.  Out there it is no different.  A warlike people will find death but at least they’ll have a chance.  A pacifistic people will not find death — death will find them.  In peace there is slavery, with survival only at the whims of their betters.  Politics/War/Science/Religion — They are one.  Whether we’re talking about space travel or the British Empire, Patrick Henry said it best:

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

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