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Don’t Just Stand By And Watch – Quote

Do something… Hiding, or sitting back, is not going to accomplish anything. And the gunman would’ve been successful if my friend Spencer had not gotten up. So I just want that lesson to be learned going forward, in times of, like, terror like that, please do something. Don’t just stand by and watch. Spencer Stone, U.S. Airman and recipient of France’s Legion d’honneur for taking down a rifle wielding Jihadi on one of France’s high speed trains Source: American train attack heroes awarded France’s highest honor For his warrior spirit and frankly for ignoring DOD policies that tell service members to hide and barricade themselves during an active shooter situation, Airman Stone along with National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, their longtime friend Anthony Sadler and British businessman Chris Norman are the latest inductees into Prepography‘s Wall of Honor.   FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Book Review: American Sniper by Chris Kyle

I recently finished the book American Sniper:  The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice.  Kyle’s wife Taya wasn’t credited but also contributed significantly to the book. When I bought the book I expected it to be an account of the weapons and tactics that led Chief Petty Office Chris Kyle of S.E.A.L. Team 3 to become the most ‘lethal’ U.S. sniper in history surpassing the legendary Marine Carlos Hathcock’s Vietnam era record by over 50%.  I expected Kyle’s book to be very similar to Hathcock’s Carlos Hathcock: Marine Sniper : War Stories And Tactical Tips From The Master Sniper which is also a great read…but what I ended up with was a love story.  Don’t get me wrong, Kyle’s book has lots of war stories and countless humorous anecdotes of his life as a Navy S.E.A.L.,  but he didn’t focus nearly as much on the mechanics of shooting as he did on the decisions, situations and loves that led him placed him in the positions that led to his lethal record. I love a good military autobiography and the psychological makeup of snipers makes their stories particularly compelling.  As I mentioned above I’ve read Hathcock’s book as well as the autobiography of  Vassili Zaitsev, NOTES OF A RUSSIAN SNIPER which was made into the movie Enemy At The Gates.  As much as I enjoyed those books Kyle’s was something broader and in some ways more compelling. Kyle told the story of his life, his S.E.A.L training, peacetime duty, and his four tours of duty in Iraq (including his contributions to the Second Battle of Falluja, the Battle of Ramadi, as well as various incursions into Sadr City) interspersed with the story of and the conflicts between his three great loves. Love of Profession Kyle writes eloquently about...

Charles Durning – Wall of Honor Inductee

It’s been a while since we’ve inducted anyone into the Prepography‘s Wall of Honor.  For those who’ve joined us since our last installment the Wall of Honor is for those that do the right thing when faced with a difficult choice. Our recipients aren’t perfect…no one is… but the behavior they’ve demonstrated is behavior that we want the rest of our society to emulate. If you have someone you’d like us to recognize then use our contact page to send us your nomination, a link or description of the person and activity as well as your rational for the nomination. Today’s inductee is one of my favorite actors and had a very successful career on the stage, the big screen and the little screen.  We honor him not for his artistic accomplishments, but for his service to his country.  Charles Durning survived some of the fiercest fighting of World War II.  For his service he’s being honored by our nation with a resting place in Arlington National Cemetery. Durning was reportedly hesitant to discuss his wartime service and it’s no wonder considering the particularly brutal nature of the fighting he survived.  Not only was he among the first wave of U.S. soldiers to land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion, but he was reportedly the only member of his Army unit to survive.  He was wounded three times including being bayoneted in the leg by a German soldier he was forced to kill with a rock.  Later, during the Battle of the Bulge he was captured and narrowly escaped death a third time when the Axis forces began massacring prisoners. Durning was a recipient of a number of military awards and service ribbons including Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.  For his service and heroism to our nation, Charles Durning is the latest inductee into the Prepography Wall of...

The Prince of Sealand is Dead, Long Live the Prince

Even though I don’t have the financial resources to participate in the micro-nation or sovereignty movements I’ve followed the attempts and developments with interest for several years.  This week those movements lost their most successful practitioner and one of the founding fathers monarchs; Prince Roy, born Paddy Roy Bates of The Principality of Sealand.  For his love of liberty, contributions to both the sovereignty and micro-nation movements and entrepreneurial spirit we induct Prince Roy into Prepography’s Virtual Wall of Honor.  The Prince of Sealand is Dead, Long Live the Prince (Roy’s son, Prince Michael). We’ve mentioned Sealand briefly before in our article on another budding micro-nation but Sealand is both the most successful and the most micro of micro-nations…the history of Sealand is really Prince Roy’s story as well. Before founding and becoming the Prince of Sealand on several abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platforms in the North Sea, Prince Roy had already Fought in the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer at age 15 in the International Brigade Fought his way throughAfrica, theMiddle EastandItalyin World War II Survived a plane crash and being taken as a prisoner of war (POW) where he narrowly escaped execution by firing squad Been promoted to Major in the British Army as an Infantry Officer Numerous war wounds including a grenade explosion Established and run several businesses Founded a ‘Pirate’ Radio station named Radio Essex to broadcast Rock & Roll music to Great Britain during the years it was banned in the 1960’s It was from this last endeavor that Prince Roy developed an interest in what came to be known as the Sovereignty movement.  He broadcast Radio Essex from just offGreat Britain’s shores until he was prosecuted under maritime law at which point he moved out to international waters by occupying several abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platforms.  He declared independence and the...

Honoring Our Veterans

Today we welcome Tom Jones of Land O’Lakes Florida to the Prepography Wall of Honor for honoring our veterans.  When Tom learned that his fellow veterans were being buried in cardboard boxes instead of urns he enlisted his  woodcrafting club and they began crafting wooden urns to honor these fallen comrades.  The urns vary in size, construction and type of wood but all have the same inscription stamped into the bottom “A Place To Rest Honoring Our American Hero Veteran.”  …“It’s our hope that we’ll get woodworking clubs around the country to do this,” he said…It takes Jones a day to make two urns.  He does it with care.  He cuts the sides of the boxes with a router, creating four interlocking pieces that fit snuggly together like a zipper. The top glues on. The remains are put in the box through the bottom, which is then screwed tight. He spray lacquers the whole box.  via Woodworkers give veterans proper burials – Army Times FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

Phoenix Says No Bottled Water Without Permit In 112 Degree Heat

It’s been a while since we did a straight Government Gone Wild or inducted someone new into the Prepography Wall of Honor…so here’s a twofer from the desert southwest: PHOENIX – The City of Phoenix could face a lawsuit if the city doesn’t apologize to a Valley woman for telling her she could not hand out free bottled water to people in the summer heat. Dana Crow-Smith said a City of Phoenix worker came up to her during the First Friday festival in downtown Phoenix last month and told her she was violating city code by handing out free water because she did not have a permit. Crow-Smith and a group of others were there exercising their Christian beliefs by engaging people to talk about religion if they wanted. The group brought several cases of bottled water to give away in the 112-degree heat, but said a Neighborhood Preservation Inspector told the group they had to stop handing out the water or would be cited. “It was really hot and yeah we wanted to show God’s love and a small act of kindness is a great way to do that without shoving it down someone’s throat,” said Crow-Smith. The Rutherford Institute , a non-profit civil liberties organization, stepped in to represent Crow-Smith and calls this is “a violation of Crow-Smith’s First Amendment right to freely exercise her religion, her Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, as well as Arizona’s Free Exercise of Religion Act.” “It is a sad day when local government officials prohibit Americans from such charitable acts as giving water to the thirsty in their city,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. In a letter to the city , Whitehead demanded the City issue a formal, written apology to Crow-Smith, assure her no City officials will interfere in future with her distribution of water, and...

Happy Birthday 101st Airborne!

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile).  The Division that become known as the ‘Screaming Eagles” was activated on August 16th, 1942 and saw battle from D-Day until the end of the war. As part of the U.S. Rapid Deployment Force, the 101st was an key deterrent during the Cold War and has seen additional combat action in Vietnam (where it was transformed into an Airmobile, helicopter borne force), Operation Desert Storm (Iraq), Afghanistan, and Iraq.  In addition to its warfighting duties the 101st or subelements of the division have deployed numerous times for stability and support or peacekeeping duties  to places like Egypt (where I first worked alongside the 101st), Somalia, Haiti, Central America, South America, Bosnia and Kosovo. There’s no more flexible force in the Army than the infantry when there’s an unusual job that needs to be done so it was the 101st that President Eisenhower called upon in 1957 to escort the first group of Americans of African descent to their classes at the newly integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. To all the former members of the 101st Airborne (Airmobile) out there…this old soldier salutes you for your service and your place in the history of our great nation. You can read more about the Screaming Eagles at the official Fort Campbell website. FacebookPinterestGoogleRedditTwitterTumblrEmailPrintPocketMoreLinkedInLike this:Like...

ICE Agent Being ‘Frozen’ Out by Agency

The latest addition to the Prepography Wall of Honor is an unidentified Immigration & Customs Enforcement Officer (ICE). For those of you new to our site The Wall of Honor is for those that do the right thing when faced with a difficult choice. Our recipients aren’t perfect…no one is… but the behavior they’ve demonstrated in the relevant article is behavior that we want the rest of our society to emulate. If you have someone you’d like us to recognize then use our contact page to send us your nomination, a link or description of the person and activity as well as your rational for the nomination. “They’re punishing law enforcement officers who are just trying to uphold U.S. law,” said Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council. Crane is a union representative acting on the unidentified officer’s behalf. The officer under fire is an 18-year law enforcement and military veteran. On March 27 he and another officer were conducting surveillance on a vehicle in Newark, Del. with plates that were registered to a criminal alien target. During the surveillance, they observed an individual get into the vehicle. The person was detained, questioned and taken to an ICE office so that his fingerprints could be run through a federal database. The individual was not their criminal alien target. However, he was a 35-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico who had ten previous traffic violations – including driving without a license. “The officer made the determination using prosecutorial discretion that he would charge (the suspect) as being in the United States illegally and let the judge sort it out,” Crane said. “That’s our place in the universe,” he said. “We’re supposed to make arrests and let the judges and the legal system sort through the details.” Instead, two supervising officers, including the acting field director, intervened and ordered the officer...

RIP Stephen Covey 1932-2012

My first (civilian) job after college was for a Fortune 500 Company in financial sales.  The company provided excellent training on both our products and the consultative sales process but I don’t think I would have been successful without an element that my new boss added to the curriculum…it was Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits Program.  For those of you not familiar with the book/program it provides a values based structure… not just to help you achieve your goals, but also to live a fulfilling life.  Covey’s 7 Habits program is just as useful for those of us seeking to become more self-reliant as it was for the future entrepreneur I was then. For his support of and contributions to America’s entrepreneurial spirit Stephen Covey is the latest inductee onto the Prepography.com’s Wall of Honor. To review Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits continue reading: Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits  Be Proactive:  Take the initiative and realize that your decisions are the primary determining factor for your effectiveness. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow. Begin with the End in Mind:  Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Identify your various roles and relationships and envision the ideal characteristics for each. Put First Things First: Prioritize, plan, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich your roles and relationships. Think Win-Win:  Strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood:  Use empathic listening to create an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving. Synergize:  Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have...

My Favorite Obama, George

I know from reading President Barack Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father that he was born into a large and complex family.  Aside…the President’s father was a bigamist and Mitt Romney’s Grandfather was a polygamist…what are the odds that the two presidential candidates both came from multi-spouse families…I’ve only met one person in my entire life that came from a multi-spouse family.  Back to the post…one of the President’s many siblings is a young man in his late 20’s named George who lives in a hut in Nairobi, Kenya. Like his more famous brother, George is also an author.  George has written on race relations and colonialism.  I recently watched a film clip of George where the interviewer tried to get George to lament his life in poverty when his brother has the ability to lift George above it.  George’s answers were eloquent and reflected a philosophy of self-reliance that have earned him a place on the Prepography Wall of Honor.  He essentially said: I am a grown man I can take care of myself My brother has his own family to take care of and a pretty demanding job My brother doesn’t owe me anything While I haven’t read George’s book, Homeland (see description under More below), I was impressed by what I saw of this young man.  His eloquent and confident message of self-reliance, along with his rational views on post-colonial race relations were a refreshing change from our election year politics of division and culture of envy.  See the clip here. George Obama Homeland is the remarkable memoir of George Obama, President Obama’s Kenyan half brother, who found the inspiration to strive for his goal—to better the lives of his own people—in his elder brother’s example. In the spring of 2006, George met his older half brother, then–U.S. senator Barack Obama, for the second time—the first...

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