You may have missed this Supreme Court ruling.

June 30th, 2012 by John Morris

I served four years in the Army Security Agency. I did only enough to get a small number of medals, but I am proud of them. None of them are for valor and can best described as “participation awards”. My time in Vietnam got me two. The good conduct medal I refused to accept followed me into civilian life. It came because I didn’t screw anything up that couldn’t be fixed.

The Stolen Valor Act was a law enacted to punish anyone who took credit for awards not earned or actions not attended. They would face big fines and prison for their duplicity. A little balance was restored to our nation. It was working quite well until the lying posers claimed their lies are protected by the U.S. Constitution. So of course, they took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This week, the highest court in our land sided with the liars citing a constitutional “right to lie”. This is a slap at any Veteran who did the heavy lifting that comes with war. This ruling says any talented liar can bask in the glory earned by others at great cost.

Veterans will continue to be on the outlook for braggarts without credentials. It saddens me we will now have no recourse to punish those who chose to steal our valor to boost their own pathetic lives.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/06/28/2873191/supreme-court-rejects-stolen-valor.html

On the road from Exton to Downingtown

June 24th, 2012 by John Morris

My medicare cards allow me to ride buses and trains for free or nearly free. It’s quite fun too.

As I stepped on to early buses, I was greeted with cold stares masking thoughts I’d rather not know. Two years later, I’m greeting with smiles and nods of recognition. We been through a lot together.

Some of the more memorable moments include helping the driver turn a corner after being wedged between a fence and traffic light. I had a woman pass out on my lap. I stayed with her until she recovered consciousness. Today’s trip will rank amoung the other rememberable ones.

I caught the bus at the last stop before the Exton Square transportation center. There was only one open seat on this small bus, and a nice lady moved aside to allow me to get it.

When we arrived at the transportation center, ten people got off and thirty got on. The riders standing extended from the rear and into the driver’s sacred zone. Our driver called for reinforcements but was told to go ahead. The following stops had a positive affect if the plan was to jam more people into our already crowded bus. Some riders shouted discouraging remarks like, “This is not safe.” and “Are you crazy, driver?” Odd thing was all of the loud ones chose to ride on than de-bus.

The lady to my right and I exchanged witty (to us) remarks avoiding any criticism of our driver. Example: I was asked if I’ve ever ridden a bus so crowded I responded, “Not in America.” Those folks standing seemed to feed on our conversation which I hope lessened their discomfort.

What discomfort you ask? With every stop, anyone standing forward of the departing folks would leave the bus until the exiting ones were off and then reestablish their place in line.

The ride took quite a bit longer than normal, but I was drinking in the group dynamics.

Before I left the bus, I complemented the nice lady on her calm demeanor and told her I enjoyed our ride together. Stepping off the bus, I told the bus driver he did a good job this day. His face changed from stressed to pleased.

I ask where can you have so much adventure for so little money? I understand some folks look down on public transportation. There was a time when I did. Now I look at it as a way not only to transport myself cheaply but make a smaller carbon footprint too.

My newest challenge: grandfather

June 23rd, 2012 by John Morris

At 66, I became a grandfather for the first time.  It’s been a long time coming, and wife, Lyn and I are still enjoying the buzz.

The Momma is Beth’s partner, Julie. His name is Jackson John Sterling, and he will have a good mix of grandparents: experienced – Joan & Dick Sterling, and giddy – Lyn & I who are chopping at the bit to spoil little Jack.

Friends and associates have repeated the same mantra to me about grandchildren. I am sure to love them at a deep level, and what’s more, you hand them back after a rousing day spent spoiling them. Great fun I was told.

In time, I will post more about the musings of our special little guy. For now, I wanted you to know how my life has changed and to give you this heads up.

 

 

Don’t pay the ransom, I escaped.

June 23rd, 2012 by John Morris

For a couple months, my blog site was held hostage by a nasty malware. People visiting the site were given a pop-up warning about its existence and a choice to “go back” or “continue”. Some choice that is. As its writer, I could not offer new postings in fear the readers would also catch this malware.

My son, Adam stepped up and tackled the project of vanquishing this invader. He worked with the host site and in time, my blog site was sanitized. I am deep grateful to him for using his expertise and determination to free my blog.

I am not certain how this malware invaded my humble blog site. Maybe it was one of my journeys down a string of internet searches. Or perhaps it was after I opened one of those third hand emails sent from a friend they knew nothing about. The point is that as entertaining the internet can be, it has an element of a strip club in it.

Enjoy the show, boys but watch your wallet.

 

 

about


The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.

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