Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Homeward Bound Tribute

Take a moment on this Memorial Day to view this video tribute to our military personnel. It takes a little time to load, but it is well worth the wait. I defy you to watch it and not get emotional.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Let’s Put “Memorial” Back In Memorial Day

Neither the title nor the concept of this blog is original, but the sentiment is spot on. The United States of America is the most magnificent country in the world, and it is so because of its people. America did not get where she is by happenstance. There is a character trait within the people that accounts for the attainment of all that makes the country great. Of course, not all Americans have the character necessary to sustain the success of the nation.

One character flaw is the failure to express gratitude to those who gave their lives and/or efforts in the defense of this nation. When Memorial Day becomes just another holiday from work and an excuse to party, the character flaw is expressed. If enough people express the flaw, the country will cease to be great, and it will decline into a second-class status.

It is our responsibility to teach the younger ones the significance of Memorial Day. To make the day significant, highlight the sacrifices of a family member. I wrote a Memorial Day blog to my kin last year, and they should read it each year.

Previous Posting: To My Kin, Memorial Day 2006

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jessie C. Alba Is Not Forgotten

This Memorial Day, May 28, 2007, thousands of motorcyclists will converge upon Washington, D.C., to commemorate American military dead, missing and prisoners of war. I saw many motorcyclists heading east as I rode west, returning from my own “Ride to the Walls.” Several friends and I made a pilgrimage to the Vietnam War Wall, Korean War Wall, Police Memorial Wall and the World War II memorial.

I wanted to leave an “In Memoriam” patch, where appropriate, at the memorials. At the Vietnam War Wall, I posted my patch beneath the last name on the Wall, Sgt. Jessie Charles Alba. Sgt. Alba was chosen because I could post the patch without obscuring the names of any of the other lost veterans. In so doing, I created an emotional link to Sgt. Alba, and I’ll never forget him.

Guestbook messages are posted at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial web site. Two messages on Sgt. Alba’s page reach out and grab your heart strings:

Ken Walden wrote:

Sarge was my squad leader
“Screaming Eagle”
He was 100% Paratrooper!
He is part of my everyday life.
I will never forget him!
Sarge sometimes I can hear your call, safe in your refuge, behind the wall.

Mary Ann Lopez, Sgt. Alba’s fiancée, wrote:

To My Life Long FriendI Mary Ann know this hero very well. We became engaged in Nov. 1967. We were high school sweethearts. I remembered how proud he was of his uniform and being given a chance to prove to his country that he was ready to die for it if necessary. The military was his whole life. I knew I would come second in his life once we would marry, but I knew that the love he had for me and for the army would be more than enough for us both. I loved him with all my heart and soul. I was to plan for our wedding at end of December 1968 when he would return from Vietnam. Last time I saw him standing proudly in his uniform was December 1967. Little did we both know that it would be our last time together. I waved goodbye to him as his plane took off taking him to Fort Campbell Kentucky where he would leave to war. He was a paratrooper with the 101st airborne division. And yes, he was and always will be my hero. He paid the ultimate price and so did I and his family. He was so young and full of life. Even now after so many years past I still think of him and what our lives could of been. In 1996 I got a chance to see the Vietnam wall with his name on it and since I got there at night time it was so overwhelming for me. The wall is so hugh and very scary in a way. I finally found his name and how ironic it was that his name is the last one almost all by itself at the end. I thank God I got a chance to see his name on the wall along with all the other heroes too. My heart is at peace now and I was finally able to say goodbye after all these years. He is with God now and may he rest in peace.

Sgt. Alba died of multiple fragmentation wounds in Thua Thien, South Vietnam, on May 25, 1968, thirty-nine years ago today. On the day that he lay bleeding and dying, I was about to graduate from college after having taken advantage of a student military draft deferment. Shortly thereafter, my military draft induction was thwarted by an Army doctor. Time has revealed that the doctor’s medical decision was not justifiable. Perhaps his decision was personal.

I suffer from guilt for not having done my part. The only thing that I have to give to Sgt. Jessie Charles Alba is a lump in my throat, a tear in my eye and my eternal gratitude for his sacrifice for my family and me. Thank you Sgt. Alba.

Previous Posting: Some Have Not Forgotten

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Testicles, Moral Morass Exhibit Six

Testicles. Now, there is a word not often used in general American conversation. It is more common to hear slang words such as: balls; cahones; or family jewels, to mention just a few. We have an aversion to using correct names for human sexual organs, and perhaps that is because we are insecure sexually. Some would say up-tight.

You can imagine my surprise driving through Sedalia, Missouri, and seeing a billboard depicted in the photo herein. It turns out that country folk have no problem using the correct terminology when referring to the male genitals of non-human animals, along with a slang word or two as well.

A quick search on Google showed that there a number of annual “testicle festivals” and one huffy lady objecting to an article on the festivals. She wrote:

…I have to wonder why you would waste your time writing such a low-level kind of article, and glorifying the vulgarity of this "festival," except that it might serve to titillate the more crude segment of the population.
It also, again, proves that men think very little of their reproductive equipment so that it is frequently the subject for poor jokes and snide remarks -- once again proving that more of their time is spent in being occupied with what is between their thighs than what is between their ears. Or, put into easy vernacular -- they think more highly of their b--ls than they do of their brains. Result: they end up thinking with the b---ls.

It turns out that even the huffy lady doesn’t use the word “testicles” when referring to male human anatomy. I suspect that there is something dreadfully wrong with a segment of our collective vision of our own bodies, and it can’t be healthy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

War on Terror-When is Enough, Enough?

Gaze at the faces of the fallen, both male and female, from Afghanistan and Iraq at the Women’s Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery and then gaze into the faces of your grandchildren. Now ask yourself, when is it that we have paid enough with the lives of our young in this “War on Terror?”

Generally, there is little sense among Americans that we are engaged in a war. Except, that is, for the families of the dead and wounded and for those actually engaged in the war. For military personnel and some law enforcement, the war and its consequences are well understood.

It took Americans at large a long time to recognize and accept the fact that fascism was knocking on the door until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Suddenly they understood the threat, a threat that instantly became easy to visualize. For many, the threat today is not so easy to visualize because there is no obvious nation-state flying its flag from battle cruisers, airplanes, tanks or missiles.

To walk among the dead at Arlington National Cemetery is a sobering testimony that evil has always been present in the history of the U.S. in the form of someone succeeding in killing Americans. The fact that Arlington National Cemetery exists today is an acknowledgement that Americans have and continue to make sacrifices for the good of the majority.

When someone pokes you in the eye with a stick and has every intention of poking you in the other eye before slitting your throat, what should be your response? Today we are being poked many times abroad and at home. We are paying the price in lives.

When is it that we have paid enough with the lives of our young in this “War on Terror?” It is when every Islamo-fascist has been given what he really wants, a final trip to be with Allah. It is time to pick the side that you want to be on. Either take up fundamental Islam and submit to the rule of the Sharia Court, or take up arms. It’s your choice, and your children and grandchildren will reap the consequences of that choice.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Honor & Privilege-Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Yesteryear In New Orleans

Just settin' in the parking lot of a police station with a flat tire.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

So California Breakfast Spot

Great place for breakfast. Located just off I-10 on the West end of Banning, CA. A favorite of the motorcycle crowd. Well, the Harley folks, anyway.