I live on the other side of the hills from Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. In the evenings sometimes I hear booming sounds coming from that direction, and I can only assume they are from various battle scenarios going on around base as a means of providing training for our troops.
When I was in the Navy, on my second ship, we participated in some of those war games. I was on a Tank Landing Ship (LST) at the time, so I became accustomed to amphibious operations. Sometimes we launched Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) which are basically floating tanks that can float to the shore and then track right up the beach with 25 Marines in each of their bellies. Sometimes my ship would actually pull up on the beach and the Marines would come running out of the Tank Deck onto the sand with their rifles at the ready.
Anyway, the sounds of the cannons booming, or whatever it is making the sounds over at Camp Pendleton, makes me wonder if it is anything close to what it is like living in Israel. That tiny little country is in the heart of terrorist activity, surrounded by the enemy on all borders (and within), and is constantly being bombarded with shells, rockets, or suicide bombers. Yet, despite all of that going on, Israel thrives as a nation. I read an article in my newspaper not to long ago how some Arabs living in Israel prefer Israel over Arab nations because of the freedoms afforded to them. In fact, an Arab just became acting president in Israel, the first member of Israel's minority Arab community to serve in Israel's top ceremonial post. Doubt if any Arab nation would allow that for a Christian or Jew.
Something else before I go. Remember that situation with a suicide bomber, and the Taliban claiming it was intended for Cheney in Afghanistan? Big story for the news, right? Wrong. It appeared on page 6 of my newspaper, the Press Enterprise. Instead, the front page was graced with a story about a boy accidently shot by his friend with Dad's gun, and the sudden drop of the stock market.
Speaking of the drop of stocks, I personally think that it was just a matter of "what goes up must come down" but that the market will steady itself quickly.
And if you wondered why I missed a day and a half of posting, came down to exhaustion from my job in the construction industry. I'll explain more about that on Saturday's Radio Show.
Oh, and one more thing; the Political Pistachio bumper stickers came in. Already have a few folks having theirs mailed out to them this weekend. If you want one, let me know by e-mail at douglasvgibbs at yahoo dot com, or at politicalpistachio at yahoo dot com. Send me your address, and I'll send you a bumper sticker at no cost to you. As for your address, once the bumper sticker is in the mail, you have my word that the address will be shredded.