Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The crazies are out in force after the recent shooting spree in Florida. Crazies on all sides and facets of the shooting.
I think that some things need to be addressed as liberals have, predictably, attempted to lay the blame on firearms.
There is a new anti-gun rhetoric piece floating around Facebook. It depicts a muzzle-loading firearm along with how "this" was the available weapon when our founding fathers penned the 2nd Amendment.
It is further proof that liberals have no understanding at all about what the 2nd Amendment is all about.
The 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with an type of weapon. The 2nd Amendment is written to give Americans the right to protect themselves, in whatever manner necessary, from tyranny and oppression.
There are two types of people in this world. There are predators and there are prey. As much as our liberal friends would like us to believe it, no amount of wishing, good will, peace efforts, or compromise, will ever stop predators from attempting to do harm to prey.
The only way for prey to remain safe from harm is to meet force with equal, or superior, force.
When the most sophisticated weapon available was a rock, the only way to remain safe was to wield a larger rock.
When the best weapon was a muzzle-loading rifle, another rifle was the way to insure safety.
Now is perhaps a good point to interject that when our founding fathers wrote the laws of the land, they included penalties for those who broke the law. If you killed someone, and were tried and convicted, you paid with your life.
We did not allow those who threatened our way of life to breach our borders.
The 2nd Amendment is no less important than when it was written more than two centuries ago. The difference is the tools necessary to meet current threats.
About now, liberal anti-gun advocates are going to say, well, if guns (any/all) are outlawed, we wouldn't have to worry. It is that sort of fantasy from which massacres are born.
There is one, only one, way to deal with those who would wish to kill you and that is to kill them first. Doesn't that sound cruel? It may, but this is the real world, not the liberal fantasy world.
Peace sounds wonderful. Oh, that we could live in a world where there was no violence. But, we live in a real world. A world in which the only way to protect ourselves and our families from predators is to be ready to defend ourselves. And the only way in which we can is to meet force with whatever means is necessary to survive. That, my friends, is why the 2nd Amendment is as vital to our very survival in 2016 as it was in 1791.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fighting terrorism ... take a lesson from history

The United States, as well as much of the rest of the free world, is under siege. Terrorists, ISIS, are attempting to advance their way, the Muslim way, of life by killing, maiming and destroying the world we live in.

Most all agree that we must stop these people. Our political leaders talk a good talk but no one seems to be willing to walk the walk.

One has only to look at our history to see the answer. The question is, do Americans care enough about their freedom to "walk the walk"?

The history lesson can be summed up with one man, Frank Goettge.

Goettge was a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. 

The United States was beginning its first offensive campaign of World War II in the Pacific Ocean with the invasion of Guadalcanal in August of 1942. The Japanese had started the war in the Pacific with their attack on Pearl Harbor months earlier.

American Marines, as well as soldiers, seamen and airmen, knew that they were in a war where the options were just two ... kill or be killed.

Still, our American boys had been raised to treat human beings with respect and, to them, even in war, their was to be honor and some faith in their fellow man. Yes, they would have to kill the enemy but only when necessary.

Our American boys had no idea what they were facing in a fanatical Japanese enemy. Men who had been raised from birth to believe that it was an honorable thing to die for their Emperor.

On August 12, 1942, United States Marines were fighting for their lives on the island of Guadalcanal, a place that most of them had never heard of prior to 1942. Col. Goettge, a native of Canton, Ohio, was the intelligence (G2) officer for the 1st Marine Division.

Goettge received word that day from a prisoner that a group of Japanese were wishing to surrender. They claimed that they were tired, sick and hungry. Goettge, as with most all Americans at the time, took them at their word and led a 25-man patrol to locate and accept the surrender of the Japanese.

The men fell into a Japanese trap. The prisoner led the Marines into an ambush and in the ensuing hours, all but three men were killed. The three survivors managed to make their way off the beach and swim to safety.

Goettge was the first to die, shot through the head. When their bodies were found, they had been shot, stabbed with bayonets and mutilated by the enemy. 

This was the first of many lessons that taught our red-blooded American boys that the only way to fight a fanatical enemy was to give no quarter.

In order to induce the Japanese to surrender in World War II, it was necessary, repeat necessary, to fight a no-holds-barred war. 

Even with that mindset and a nation determined to fight and win, it took four long years, along with the innocence, and thousands of lives, of an entire generation of Americans, to defeat the enemy.

We are facing the same situation today. As it was then, it is now. There is only one way to defeat a fanatical and determined enemy, with courage and resolve that leaves them no choice, to surrender or die.

Americans must unite. Our government must stop talking and take the fight to the enemy. 

When it comes to ISIS and Muslims, there are no innocents. War is not for the faint of heart.

Our ancestors fought and many died in order that we could live today in a free land, a land where we could raise our children and keep them safe.

The only way that we will remain free and our children remain safe, is to destroy ISIS and Muslim fanaticism once and for all.

As the saying goes, freedom isn't free, it comes with a price.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Spare the rod and spoil the child

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

As part of my job, I monitor police/fire/rescue calls in Miami County.

One type of call seems to increasingly attract my attention, and raise my ire.

I cannot believe the number of calls to Miami County 9-1-1 requesting assistance from police officers to deal with supposedly out-of-control children. Perhaps I should mention that these calls come from parents of the children, some as young as seven or eight years old.

I guess my feeling is — I just don't understand.

If you can't control your kids when they are in elementary school, how in the world do you think you will be able to handle parenting a teenager?

No one ever said that being a parent was easy. As the old saying goes, "Gray hair is hereditary. I got it from my kids."

I understand that life today is difficult. Kids will try your patience, your nerves and anything else they can try. But, it is our job as parents to be ... a parent.

Being a parent is fun but it requires more work and more responsibility than any other job on earth. I think that most parents at some point feel as if they are failing. It is a natural feeling. In spite of all the hard work and trying to make life easier for our children, they will still screw up. My best advice for kids and parents, is deal with it and move on, but not before acknowledging that a lesson was learned.

I'm not sure that trying to make everything easier for our kids is the wise way to go. The generation of Americans who lived through the depression and World War II have become known, justifiably, as "Our Greatest Generation," as coined by Tom Brokaw.

That did not happen by accident or coincidence. Those of my parents' generation grew up working hard just to survive. Just as they reached adulthood, they marched off to war. An all-out no-holds-barred total war. I have my doubts that any generation of humans at any other point in time, could have faced the tasks and hardships of World War II, on the battlefield or the home front, and come out victorious.

Our "greatest generation" never had anything handed to them. Today, we want to give your children everything. No work involved. We want keep them safe. No risk allowed.

Too many parents try to be a friend to their children, not a parent.

No one wants to discipline their children. Sometimes, in order to make a point, you have to get their attention. If kids know that there are no real consequences for misbehavior, they will just keep going.
There is no crime in spanking a kid. You heard me. A whack on the hind end is a necessary tool in raising many kids.

We have all heard, or used, the phrase, "This is going to hurt me more than it does you."  That is because a good parent, hates the fact that they are going to spank someone they love and it does hurt to have to to that. But kids need to learn that misbehavior or breaking the rules carries consequences.

"You were bad!" just does not get the  job done for most children.

Ignoring misbehavior over time leads to kids becoming increasingly difficult to manage. And it is our job to manage our children. Their brains have not developed to a point where their judgement is always the best. It is our job to teach and train them to use good judgement.

Far too many parents let their children, and their children's friends, raise themselves. Out of sight, out of mind.

It scares me that a parent who feels the need for police re-enforcements in order to deal with a misbehaving third-grader, has actually been charged with responsibility for a child, a growing and developing human being. I pity the child.

What has our world come to that a parent feels intimidated by their own child?

"Spare the rod and spoil the child."

Friday, April 19, 2013

For those who like to criticize our law enforcement officers ... put yourself in their shoes

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

I never cease to be amazed by the, I will just come right out and say it, stupidity, of some people.

An incident occurred in Piqua this week that had police and deputies from the sheriff's office, searching for a man who as reported to be armed.

The man was located and stopped between Piqua and Troy. We was armed — legally. He was arrested on a charge relating to what allegedly occurred and taken to the county jail, without incident.

I was on the scene during the arrest and photographed the gentleman as he was being handcuffed.

As a result of one of these photos, our Facebook page "lit up" with people criticizing the police for the way the arrest was handled. Their judgement was made on the basis of — one photograph.

In the image, one of the police officers can be seen with a carbine, that could be termed an "assault rifle" to you anti-American gun haters. Two officers were patting down and holding on to the suspect while two officers stood by.

I would first like to look at the situation. First, to those who were criticizing the fact that one of the officers was armed with a rifle, please let me point out that in a situation where deadly force might be necessary, there is no such thing as excessive deadly force. Whatever it takes to make sure an officer comes home alive from his, or her, shift, is considered "necessary."

If I am in a situation where I am sent to face a suspect armed with a handgun, and I am given a choice of a handgun, (to make it "even" maybe?), or an M1 tank, I choose the tank.

Many years ago, as a young law enforcement officer, I read a book that was recommended to me by a fellow officer. It was written by a legendary United States Border Patrol officer, a former United States Marine. His name was Bill Jordan. The title of his book was, "No Second Place Winner."

Think about that title for a minute. We live in an age where no one wants there to be a loser in sports or activities. Life — reality — is far less forgiving. For our law enforcement officers, and their families, a gun battle is, literally,  a matter of life and death. There truly is ... no second place winner.

For those of you who choose to complain about "overkill," what weapon would you choose for your loved one if he, or she, was entering a potential deadly force situation? I think that you, too, would choose the tank.

I would also like to point out some things to those who took issue with the officers holding on to the suspect and inferred that he was being "given the treatment."

In the photo, the gentleman is being searched. This is standard procedure. It keeps officers alive.

Also important for everyone to know is that once someone is detained or arrested, those officers are responsible for a suspect's physical well-being. In the photo, his hands are cuffed behind his back, not the  most comfortable or stable way to attempt to stand. The officers were helping him stay balanced, making sure that he did not fall down or sustain injury.

In this particular instance, everything worked exactly as it should. Officers found the man quickly and effected an arrest. They were prepared for any eventuality, but no force was necessary. This looks to be a case of a good man who has some things going on in his life that caused an error in judgement. He will pay the price and life will go on.

When law enforcement officers respond to a call, they have no idea what they will face. Not all things end peacefully. They cannot afford to be unprepared, mentally or with inadequate tools to handle a situation, immediately.

I consider myself lucky to be in a position where I observe our local law enforcement officers in action daily. I am proud to be around these men and women who stand between us and the "bad guys" on a daily basis, keeping us safe from harm.

Our law enforcement officers face these situations daily. They do it with grace and professionalism, and even with a sense of humor.

I thank God that we have them. I would also hope that when incidents like this occur, rather than trying to find an excuse to act like a big shot and point out "issues," you would instead give these men and women a much-deserved, "Well done!"

Friday, April 5, 2013

Reel Stuff set to be a Real Treat for aviation lovers

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

As President Barack Obama and congress continue to make life more difficult for all of us, this summer promises to be dismal for aviation enthusiasts.

Obama's sequestration of government-funded projects and events has meant that many air shows have been forced to cancel, including the annual Tattoo event at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, representing the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, do more for morale and recruiting than dollars can measure. Sadly, they will be sitting on the sidelines this summer.

In spite of all of the bad news for our country and aviation fans, there is good news.

The Dayton Air Show is still scheduled to go on, in spite of the loss of the Thunderbirds.

A new event in the area is set to kick-off next weekend at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation will be the inaugural event for the newly-renovated state-of-the-art digital theatre.

The weekend will provide a much-needed aviation fix to those who love airplanes, aviators and films.
I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend that to take in a couple of aviation films and tour the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Founder and director of Reel Stuff, Ron Kaplan, past director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, has put together a great series of aviation films, including a pair of screenings of the recently-released Top Gun 3-D.

Among the presenters for the legendary film ,is actor Anthony Edwards, who portrayed Lt. "Goose" Bradshaw. (Edwards is also known for playing Dr. Greene on the hit television series ER.

As a side note, Kaplan played an integral part in some of the early research for the soon-to-be-released Disney film, Planes, assisting the director in his visit to the air force museum in 2009.

Dayton has a long and rich history of being on the cutting edge of aviation. In this summer of sequestration, we are fortunate to not have to look far to find a way to beat the frustration.

The Reel Stuff Film Festival of Aviation promises to be another aviation "home run" for those of us who enjoy anything and everything about flying.

The original Reel Stuff Film Festival, sponsored by the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and held at several venues around Dayton proved to be quite a success. Legendary actor Cliff Robertson was one of the early supporters of the festival. I am extremely happy that the festival has been reincarnated and found a home at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

I am very much looking forward to next weekend.

The festival will take place April 11-14. For more information on the event, visit www.airforcemuseum.com/reelstuff or call (937) 253-4629.

I hope to see a number of my fellow aviation and film friends at the event.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dodgeball = bullying? Really? Stupidity reigns in America

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

Stupidity in America strikes again!

This past week, a New Hampshire school district, Windham Schools, banned the sport of dodgeball.
School officials cited bullying as the reason for banning the activity. The sport was banned after a parent allegedly complained. No doubt, this parent was probably a former wimpy kid who is now a wimpy parent.

I am so sick and tired of the wimpy, pacifistic attitude in our country today. Competition is a good thing. Okay, some kids are not as athletic as others. I get that part. But they should at least be required to get out there and give it a good effort.

Windham school superintendent Henry LaBranche reportedly stated, "We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free." Violence, really? Since when is throwing a soft rubber ball violent?

What exactly are we supposed to teach our children about life? Is life without pain? Is life without risk? Is life without competition?

We are increasingly teaching a couple of lessons to our children that scare me to death. One, if you don't feel like doing something, you don't have to. Two, if you don't like something, ban it.

I have a news flash ... life is not that way. Or, at least it should not be.

A phrase that I heard frequently when I was growing up was, "survival of the fittest." That is the very basis of nature.

We had bullies when I was in school. I know first-hand, as most of us do, about being on the receiving end of bullying. I was one of the smallest kids in my school.

I can remember being pushed and shoved. I can even remember being shoved into a locker and the door shut behind me.

Did I like it? Heck no. Did I go home and cry about it? Heck no. I learned to stand up for myself. I learned to fight back when necessary. There is nothing wrong with fighting back.

Do you really want to stop, or at least curb bullying? Try teaching kids to fight back.

As I see it, if you want to read something about bullying into a harmless activity such as dodgeball, how about it being a harmless way to teach a kid to stand up for him or her self? They can submit and be quickly eliminated from the game, or they can fight back and learn how to block and defend themselves with a little pride. They can learn that taking the offense back to the opponent can even the odds, and even make them the winner.

As far as I am concerned, the parent who went crying to the school board should be told to butt out. The school board should be removed from office for failure to represent a majority of citizens.

We live in a time when the majority opinion is all-too-often shamed into silence by a vocal minority. It is no longer acceptable in the United States of America to stand up for one's self.

The minute someone dares to stand up and declare that they are going to buck the system that is dragging us ever-closer to a future as a submissive state, they are, themselves, immediately labeled a bully.

Our children need to be taught the difference between right and wrong. They need to learn to treat others with respect. That single word, "respect", is the most important life lesson we can impart on our children.

Far too many parents just let the "system" raise their children. All kids will face bullying. If they are raised to respect themselves, as well as others, they will learn to deal with it.

As for the parents who oppose dodgeball and the school officials who are too weak and sissified to stand their ground, you are all examples of the sad situation our country is in. None of you deserve to live in this once-great country. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Where were you 100 years ago, at this very moment?

By Mike Ullery
Chief Photographer

Where were you 100 years ago at this very moment?

I know, it is a dumb question, but I cannot help but look around me and think about the fact that exactly 100 years ago, at this very moment, on ground we stand upon, the greatest local natural disaster in our history was wreaking havoc, destruction — and death — upon area.

I hope that you have been following our Piqua Daily Call flood series over the past several weeks.
I believe that I can speak for our entire staff when I say that the research, the writing and taking current, related photographs around the area in preparation for the series has been a great learning experience for all of us.

One has only to look at the many historic images from March of 1913 to get a small sense of the destruction that devastated Piqua, Troy and Dayton.

Most evidence of that terrible time is lost to the ages. Thank God for memorabilia such as Mr. Arther Adams’ diary, that I was so fortunate to be able to look at as I prepared by portion of our flood series. I could not help but think as I held that invaluable book in my hands, that a century ago, a young man, just about the age of my son, Ryan, was writing his experience on those very pages. He and my son have much in common, Mr. Adams was serving in the Ohio National Guard, based in Covington. Ryan currently is serving in that same Ohio National Guard, although his unit is based in Piqua.

I imagine that Mr. Adams was much like Ryan, a young man who was enjoying life … when duty called.

Residents in, and around, the Piqua area lost homes and property during that horrible time. Some, lost their lives.

The building that served as a temporary morgue for those who perished in Piqua’s flood waters is now gone. A parking lot stands on that spot.

With few exceptions, one of them Lock 9 Park in Piqua, the flood closed the book on the Miami & Erie Canal.

Today, high levees line the banks of the Great Miami River where it winds its way through our city. Most of us give little thought to rainy spells and the accompanying rushing water. We take for granted that the levees and safety features built by the Miami Conservancy District in the years following the flood, will do their job and allow us to continue business as usual.

For those who survived the flood waters of March 1913, I doubt they ever felt completely secure when news of possible flooding reached them.

Most of us have been complaining recently about “Old Man Winter” hanging on too long. As we celebrate our weekend, and prepare for the upcoming Good Friday and Easter holy days, I hope that we all take a moment to give thanks. We really don’t have it so bad.

For that, we also owe a debt of gratitude to our forefathers, who worked to insure that their children and grandchildren did not suffer the same fate. They paid a terrible price as a “perfect storm” taught them that no matter how hard we try, it is difficult to overcome nature.