Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Random Shots - I like Jack Daniel's!

OK, so my shots are hitting their intended targets. I'm glad you like my new column.

First Shot!

Yes, I like Jack Daniel's! When I do have a drink now and then, I prefer a good sour mash whiskey. And yes, Jack Daniel's is a great sour mash whiskey!

"Old No. 7" has been around for a long time. One story says that "No. 7" came from the railroad shipping number on a barrel way back when.

When I was a kid, I remember being told that the "No.7" was put there because 7 is considered lucky.  Then later I was told that it was that the 7th recipe, or 7th trial batch, that he may have tried before striking gold.

About 15 years ago, I was in Tennessee and found that not even the great folks who work for Jack Daniel's Distillery know exactly how it became known as "Old No. 7" - as they said, Mr. Jack took that secret to his grave. 

By the way, here's a bit of trivia for you, the Jack Daniel Distillery was licensed in 1866. That my friends makes it the oldest registered distillery in the United States - and it is a registered National Historic Site.

So about now you're saying, this guy really likes Jack Daniel's!

But there are other reasons, and among those reasons is the fact that Jack Daniel's paid for some of the travel expenses for our Troops last Christmas.

That's right, an AP News article from Nashville, Tennessee, back on November 23rd, reported that Jack Daniel's donated more than $100,000 to pay for plane tickets and travel funds for our soldiers at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to spend Christmas with their families -  all over the country.

The command at Fort Campbell is said to have worked with Unit Leaders to identify the neediest soldiers who would have been eligible for plane ticket vouchers up to $300 for each family member. But wait, that included Debit Cards of up to $100 for each family member for gas and lodging.

Jack Daniel's started the fund with a donation of $101,000 in honor of the Fort Campbell based 101st Airborne Division, which had recently returned from a year long deployment in Afghanistan. As most already know, the soldiers stationed there come from all over the country. Subsequently travel expenses can be a huge burden on single soldiers or a young family with children.

Ms Jennifer Powell, who is the Senior Brand Manager for Jack Daniel's, said that they hope their donation will build awareness of the needs of these soldiers. Country musician Craig Morgan, also a veteran from the 101st Airborne, helped promote the campaign in a video on Jack Daniel's website.

While the 2011 Christmas season was the first that Jack Daniel's has made this donation, Ms Powell said that she hopes the support from the public will allow them to expand it and make it an annual campaign.

"Every little bit does help. Where the power is going to come is getting the American public to see there is a need and that we can facilitate a way for them to help support our soldiers," Powell said.

Jack Daniel's has asked the public to help them by making contributions to this great cause. In this case, obviously the fund will build so that cash-strapped soldiers can be helped next Christmas. 

I remember how it was to be stuck on base on duty at Christmas. It is a cold and lonely feeling. Maybe that's why Christmas has become even more important to me over the years. I hate to see others in that situation.

For reference, donations can be made to the Operation Ride Home campaign online at http://www.jdoperationridehome.com/

I'm always amazed at the breath and length of kindness that we Americans have for each other. But especially for those who serve us in our military.

Yes, I really like Jack Daniel's!  Now even more!

Second Shot!

OK, in an e-mail, I was asked an interesting question that I needed help answering. 

Imagine that! Could it be possible that I don't know everything? You can bet the ranch on that! And when I don't know what I'm asked, yes, I look it up.

This time it's about Combat Zones.

In the e-mail, I was asked, "What are the areas of the world that are considered Combat Zones for American troops these days?"

Well, I thought about it, then I made a list of where American Troops are stationed. After that, I tried to figure out where we were in the world that we were actually in action. I know that we're in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.

And yes, I know that in November that Obama sent combat troops to Uganda to support Uganda's Muslim government who is fighting Ugandan-Christian rebels in Uganda's Civil War.

I then talked to friends who I thought would know, but they didn't. Then I tried looking it up. Well, guess what, I have the definitive word as to "What geographic areas are considered Combat Zones?"

The information that I found does not come from the United States Marine Corps, or the Army, Navy, or Air Force. It doesn't come from the Pentagon or the White House. It doesn't even come Neil Steen who usually knows this sort of thing.

This information comes directly from the Internal Revenue Service. Yes, the IRS!

Fact is that the IRS knows precisely what areas are designated "Combat Zones" because the troops there in those areas on specific operations get their salary "Tax Free".

This is reprinted here from the IRS website:

Combat Zones

Q-1: What geographic areas are considered combat zones?

A-1: Combat zones are designated by an Executive Order from the President as areas in which the U.S. Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat. There are currently three such combat zones (including the airspace above each):
  • Arabian Peninsula Areas, beginning Jan. 17, 1991 -- the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, the part of the Arabian Sea north of 10° North latitude and west of 68° East longitude, the Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Kosovo area, beginning Mar. 24, 1999 -- Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Albania, the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea north of the 39th Parallel.
  • Afghanistan, beginning Sept. 19, 2001.
Public Law 104-117 designates three parts of the former Yugoslavia as a Qualified Hazardous Duty Area, to be treated as if it were a combat zone, beginning Nov. 21, 1995 -- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Macedonia.

In addition, the Department of Defense has certified these locations for combat zone tax benefits due to their direct support of military operations, beginning on the listed dates:

In support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan combat zone):
  • Pakistan, Tajikistan and Jordan - Sept. 19, 2001
  • Incirlik Air Base, Turkey - Sept. 21, 2001 through Dec. 31, 2005
  • Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan - Oct. 1, 2001
  • Philippines (only troops with orders referencing Operation Enduring Freedom) - Jan. 9, 2002
  • Yemen - Apr. 10, 2002
  • Djibouti - July 1, 2002
  • Israel - Jan. 1 through July 31, 2003
  • Somalia - Jan. 1, 2004
In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (Arabian Peninsula Areas combat zone):
  • Turkey - Jan. 1, 2003 through Dec. 31, 2005
  • the Mediterranean Sea east of 30° East longitude - Mar. 19 through July 31, 2003
  • Jordan - Mar. 19, 2003
  • Egypt - Mar. 19 through Apr. 20, 2003
If any one knows, I believe the IRS knows for certain.

Next Shot!

A 1793 penny fetched $1.38 Million at a Florida auction. The copper coin is from the first year that the United States started making its own coins. That's right, a penny from 1793.  

It is believes that there remains a few hundred 1793 coins in different condition, but the penny auctioned off Wednesday night is rare because it wasn’t in circulation. Auction officials said that it shows no wear on its lettering, its Lady Liberty face, or the chain of linking rings on its back.

The news release said that the coin is known as a “Chain Cent” because its chain of linking rings was supposed to represent the solidarity of the states. The design was changed to a wreath after some critics claimed it was symbolic of slavery.  Imagine that!

I guess Political Correctness is nothing new after all. The design of a chain linked together in a circle was supposed to show the strength and unity of our new nation. It had nothing to do with slavery.

In 1793, George Washington starts his second term as as something called the President of the United States. It was the year that Washington (D.C.) replaced Philadelphia as our nation's capital.  It was when George Washington laid the corner-stone to the U.S. Capital. And yes, it was also the year that the 1st U.S. Fugitive Slave Law passed which required that return of escaped slaves.

Great Britain saw 1793 as the year that it again went to war with France and the Bank of England handed out the first £5 note. That year, Canada saw one of its explorers, Alexander Mackenzie, become the first man to complete a transcontinental crossing of Canada and reach the Pacific Ocean.

I read where almost 600 coin and currency dealers were at the auction that also featured buffalo nickels, dozens of silver one-ounce pieces and coins from antiquity, and yes, even misprinted cash and Confederate notes.



Only God knows why someone would buy that penny? I don't get the attraction. And friends, I'm not going to apologize for not understanding why people, yes, those with more money than they know what to do with, would need to buy such a useless item.

I know that someone out there is going to write me to say that "useless" is all in the eyes of the beholder, and maybe in some ways they'd be right. For me, useless is something inexpensive that I'll hope to find a use for later. A useless item, to me, wouldn't cost an arm and a leg.  And yes, I'd know that I'd use it somehow.

Friends, rare or not, I can think of a lot of other things to do with $1.38 Million Dollars - and none of it has anything to do with rare coins and Confederate paper money.

For me, if I had $1.38 Million Dollars burning a hole in my pocket, well I'd first make sure my wife and mother have financial stability. Second, I think I'd buy land, maybe start a vineyard, or maybe open a Therapeutic Riding Facility for handicapped children, or maybe a Horse Sanctuary. Maybe I'd have the smarts enough to start a business where I can employ others and allow them to live a better life in an area where jobs are far and few between.

Another Shot!

Is it another Terrorist Attack? Make no mistake about it, yes it is! 

This time the terrorist attack took place at around 4 a.m. on Sunday.  Luckily no people or animals were reported hurt during the blaze which erupted just before dawn at the Harris Ranch feedlot.

Located in Coalinga, California, the Harris Ranch feedlot is ranked by many as the largest on the West Coast. And yes, there is really no doubt who is to blame for torching their equipment. 

Fact is that the terrorists used fire to destroy 14 big-rig tractors and several trailers at California's Harris Farms cattle operation. The total dollar amount of the equipment lost in the attack is unknown at this time, but could run well over a Million Dollars to replace the torched equipment.

And yes, an Animal Rights Group has claimed credit for the arson attack. That's right, in an email released by the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, Animal Rights "activists" claim full responsibility for the arson fire at this state's largest cattle feedlot, beef processor and beef marketer. 

Though the North American Animal Liberation Press Office email includes a detailed description of how the fire was lit, Fresno County Sheriff's Investigators are only looking into the claim among several other leads.

Yes, that's right, according to Reuters, the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which says it conveys messages on behalf of anonymous animal rights activists, distributed a statement saying the 14 trucks were set ablaze deliberately to protest "the horrors and injustices of factory farming."

The statement said containers of accelerant and kerosene-soaked rope were placed beneath the trucks and ignited by remote control using digital timers.

"We weren't sure how well this was going to work, so we waited until there was news reports before writing this," the statement said. "We were extremely pleased to see that all 14 trucks were a total loss with some being completely melted to the ground."

A spokeswoman for the Animal Liberation Press Office said the trucks are used to haul cattle to slaughter from the feedlot.

Mr Mike Casey, a spokesman for Harris Farms, says the company has not received any recent threats from animal rights activists.

Mr Casey went on to say that Harris Ranch has received the support of the farming, beef and feeding community. "These business should be outraged by what happened, and we are grateful for the support."

"I think it’s crazy. I don’t really know what they think they are accomplishing. They say they want better rights for animals but what did burning 14 trucks do for them?" said Cynthia Herrin, a resident in Fresno County.

Mr Casey told Fox News that some of the trucks that were destroyed from the fire had sleeper units where truck drivers can sleep during off time, but none was occupied at the time of the fire.  His point was well made in that it is "Not something that happens often, but it could [have] easily killed or seriously injured somebody."

Harris Farms' feedlot is the 14th largest in the United States with a capacity to handle 100,000 head of cattle.  The Harris Ranch Beef Company ranks itself as California's largest fed-cattle processor, producing nearly 200 million pounds of beef a year.

The North American Animal Liberation Press Office was also the jerks who distributed a statement for the terrorists who claimed responsibility for a fire in September that caused $100,000 in damage to a retailer of fur coats and fireworks plant in Boise, Idaho.

I prefer to call these so-called "activists" what they really are, "terrorists". 

An "activist" is a person who is a vigorous advocate of a cause, be it social or political. A "terrorist" is a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism, violence, to terrorize or frighten others into accepting their demands and beliefs.

Terrorism is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce. It is the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism.

So why not an arrest? I don't know. Where's Homeland Security on this? They are responsible for protecting Americans from International and Domestic Terrorism. Why is it that they appear unconcerned with Animal Rights terrorist acts?  Could it be because these are Leftist and not their usual target  - Christians?

Will the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI even bother looking into these sorts of acts, or will they wait until they kill innocent Americans? 

Last Shot!

Talking about Liberal Terrorists!

Back in November, near Salem, Oregon, Police stopped three men leaving the Occupy Portland protest. They were pulled over for speeding on I-5.  During the traffic stop, the police searched the vehicle and found, marijuana, firecrackers, two gas masks, goggles, a safety helmet, and two big mortar shells.

Yes, two mortar shells!

All three ended up being arrested because the Police found explosives devices in their car. The three admitted they were are part of the Occupy Portland movement and brought explosives to the demonstration last night.

Why did the so-called "peaceful" Occupy Protesters need explosives? Well, the three admitted that they planned to use the explosives against the Police - if the protest escalated into a violent confrontation between the protesters and the police.

Yes, all three were arrested and booked at the Marion County Jail.

So much for the Occupy protesters being a peaceful group. One of the most interesting aspects of the Occupy protests is that President Obama said he would stand with them and that he believes "the Occupiers are just like the Tea Party."

If this is a test of his intelligence, it shows how much he knows! Maybe that's why he won't release his College transcripts? Maybe he doesn't want us to see failing grades in courses that required common sense and a belief in America - like say Political Science.

I went to the Tea Party rallies, and after going to the rallies in Sacramento at the California State Capital, I can say without hesitation that the Tea Party is nothing like the Occupy protesters.

I was there and saw how energized everyone was.  Hope and Change were in the air.  Yes, we all hoped and prayed that we would be able to fight the horrible changes that have been coming out of the Obama White House.

No where did I see violent depictions on posters, nor did I see any sort of suggestion of violence anywhere, posters or otherwise. There were no hate or racial propaganda. There were no confrontations. It was Patriotic and the speeches were inspiring.

If Obama would compare that to the filthy mayhem of the Occupy protests, well friends, I really believe that President Obama would try to pee on my boot, look me right in the eye, and tell me it's raining!

And yes, that's how I see it! 

Now, go out and buy a gun, have a steak, pour yourself a Jack Daniel's, throw your calorie counter out the window, and piss of the liberals who are trying to control our lives!


Story by Tom Correa

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