Dons Valentines BlogPost 2/14/2019

I am finally back. I want to start with an insane shout out to my partner in crime in these affairs for being about the best business partner one could ask for. Not only did he check up on me all the time, he covered several blog posts for me and intended to cover an episode until that unruly brother of his took him on a duck hunt. But who can blame him.

As of right now, Dax is 3 weeks and two days old. Jordyn is feeding him while we watch “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” while I write this post. This three weeks has been… the most trying of my entire life. I never lacked respect before, but now have a new found respect for everyone who has children that have made into adulthood happy and healthy. I have already started to learn things as a father and also had to learn some things for myself that people had already tried to warn me about.

When you have a baby everyone has advice or their own story. Some of that stuff is really helpful. Weird ways they burped their baby or something like that which may come in handy. Also if you have a boy, he will pee on you. And then you will make sure he is covered always. But he will still get you.

One of the things that always caught me was that so many men told me that the moment I held my baby everything would change for me. That women are mothers when they find out they are pregnant and men are fathers when they hold their child. I looked forward to that.

When Dax was born I didn’t experience that instant feeling that everyone talked about. I don’t know if it’s because I was so tired or it didn’t go exactly as we planned or what, but I didn’t feel that and then was nervous. This is all so new and I didn’t know and still don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. All I can do is what feels natural.

I took three weeks off of work and had a fair amount of time to think about what I wanted or whatever was on my mind. And it took until the third week for me to figure it out. Dax has some days where he is inconsolable. The nurses at our local hospital call it “the phase of purple crying“ and gave us a DVD to help us deal with it. It essentially breaks down that sometimes your baby just cries, and there isn’t anything to be done. Eventually you have done everything but the baby is still upset and it’s easy to get frustrated or upset with yourself because you might think you are doing something wrong, when really you aren’t.

So it’s in the middle of one of these days where I’m trying to let Jordyn get some sleep because she is up every time he wants to eat which can be exhausting. So I’m holding my baby who is screaming at the top of his lungs and has been for 45 minutes, and that’s when it hits me. I know I love him because I wouldn’t accept this behavior from anyone else. Not even my wife. I would just walk away for a while or if it was someone else’s child I would never watch them again.

But when Dax is this upset, as frustrated as I am, all I want is for him to be happy. I want him to be calm so he can sleep and eat and be fulfilled. But it’s not just with this behavior, it’s with everything. Right now in my area we have an average of about 9” of snow and anyone else I would force to go places with me if I wanted them to. My son, I didn’t want to even leave the house if he didn’t have to. I’m limiting the small children I bring my baby around because I am afraid for him to get sick when he is this young. I told my mom yesterday that all I want for him right now is to be safe.

I am beginning to understand what people mean when they say the love you have for your child is indescribable. I don’t mean that in the cliche way like “oh man it’s just so intense I can’t even describe it“. I mean I don’t understand it. Being a father to a newborn is something that is foreign to me in the way my brain works. I have lots of experience with babies and newborns, but spending 3 weeks straight with something that makes no logical sense is extremely difficult to even really comprehend when you live your life based on logic. Because the behavior of a baby is not dictated by any logic past eating, pooping, and sleeping. On my best days I can be very understanding, but on my worst days at 2:30 in the morning? Not always the case.

As I watch my son flail his arms around and every so often slap himself because he doesn’t even know that his hands are attached to his body, I am astounded. Astounded that human beings brains are so wildly complex that we can begin as creatures that are barely sentient and learn and grown and evolve in just a few decades to put people in space or learn to put someone’s face on someone else’s body. It instills an appreciation for people that I did not have before, but now do not think I will ever lose.

I cannot wait to see Dax grow up and choose a path for his life so that I can say that I have seen the entire scope of his progression of intelligence, at least as much as I could. I’m sure when he is an adult I will eat those words and want this time back when he relied on us and was actually comforted by us instead of annoyed by us. Right now I just try to take it day by day and make sure I am doing everything I can to do my best everyday.

Donavan Phillips

Salt of The Streets Episode 48

On our the first classic episode in a few weeks the birth of the first Salt of The Streets baby is announced and the boys get back to the basics with hopefully what will be final shutdown related coverage, the current political strife in Venezuela and different ideas on how to handle it, the recent arrest of Roger Stone, new abortion laws being introduced, a new law considering exeptions from vaccines, lots of red dead talk as well as the first few weeks of father hood and of course SPORTS!!

Things were crazy the last few weeks but should be getting back normal so you can expect our usual pre shows on Saturday and the occasional Sunday, new episodes like this one every Monday, the full video on our YouTube on Tuesday, am the written and audio blog posts on Thursday. All audio originates on our SoundCloud and then can be found anywhere that you can find a podcast.

We love feedback from the listeners and of course answering any questions you have or covering any topics you request. You can reach out to us on ANY of our social media either business or personal and we WILL answer. We also have T shirts for sale that can be purchased from us at any time. If you leave us a review wherever you listen, take a screen shot and send it to us you will get $5 off of your first shirt.

Colin is Angry

Written by: Colin Offenbacker

Welcome back to the Salt of the Streets Blog, Colin here again this week, filling in for Don. Instead of doing the 3rd part of my Iran-Contra series this week, I’m going to be discussing something a little more contemporary. I’ll be back again next week with more Iran-Contra but today were going to be talking about some of my personal frustration stemming from the partial government shutdown. If you didn’t catch Don and I’s hour and a half long conversation on it on the last podcast your seriously missing out. We covered a million different aspects of the shutdown, but I still have a chip on my shoulder about the whole thing. It’s an avenue we didn’t focus on too much, but today, I’m going to get into it.

I’m going to start out by telling a story.

Now, I feel like I should preface this whole thing by saying I do have a pretty mushy soft spot in my heart for little random acts of kindness and charity. That being said, last week I was thumbing through my facebook feed and stumbled upon a post that left a single salty tear slowly rolling down my cheek. It was a post from the wife of an old Coast Guard shipmate of mine. The first thing that caught my eye was the picture attached to the post. It was a picture of an opened card with a simple sympathy entry inside, it said “Just remember, YOU’RE NOT ALONE in this.” And below this was a hand written message, reading, “Sorry your family is affected by the government shutdown. This isn’t much but hope it can help in some way.” The cover of the card didn’t have an address written on it, no return address, just the family’s last name. That right there tells me that the anonymous do gooder was perhaps someone local to there community. They weren’t looking for any recognition, they simply wanted to help a family, a friend, or maybe a neighbor, who through no fault of there own were in need.

This post filled my heart all at once with both joy and sadness. Joy for the selfless act of anonymous charity. Sadness, and rage due to the fact that an active duty service member and his family, do to the shutdown, were in a position to necessitate an act of charity.

Being a prior member of the United States Coast Guard myself, I have been highly agitated by the federal governments complete blundering of the political situation centered around The Wall. As I prefaced in the beginning of this post, I won’t be rehashing all the things Don and I discussed around the shutdown here. No, I have a separate bone to pick today.

This time, my animosity is focused on “my people”. The social and political commentators from the Conservative side of the political spectrum. Particularly Ben Shapiro of The Daily Wire and John Podhoretz of Commentary Magazine, both of whom host shows I listen to as part of my regular podcast regiment.

They, like many on the conservative side of the spectrum have seemed to beat the drum of, hey so what if some 800,000 federal workers are either furloughed, without pay, or are having to work, without pay. I am very much of a similar mindset, when it comes to most bureaucratic branches of the federal government, but, when one of those branches is an active duty military branch, my lack of sympathy reaches for the hand break and screeches to a stop.

This ridiculous shutdown has been going on now for the ladder part of a month, with no end in site. All this time, there has been more than 40,000 of our nations young men and women in the United States Coast Guard standing there watch, braving perilous waters to perform search and rescue operations, interdicting massive drug shipments, stopping and often saving the lives of, what would be undocumented/illegal migrants who were trying to make the dangerous voyage across literal oceans to get into this country, and a dozen other various missions. All without being paid.

The complete lack of almost any conversation around this idea of an entire branch of the military missing out on paychecks, and by conservatives no less, seems fundamentally wrong to me. As someone who generally lands on the conservative side more times than not, I always thought that regardless of politics we stood by our military, we supported our troops, at home and abroad. It’s a fundamental core belief. Apparently taking shots at the bevy of democratic presidential hopefuls coming out of the woodwork, or at the lefts latests rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is more important. Don’t get me wrong, I love to destroy the crazy things that come out of her mouth as much as the next guy, but it’s like shooting the broad side of a barn with her. It may be fun, yes, but there’s no substance to it, at this point it’s all just part of this “own the libs” routine they all seem to be playing. All while our nations finest are baring the brunt of another ridiculous game of political softball. I’m disappointed, I’m angry, I mean these are “my people” and they’re dropping the ball on calling out the government for there stupidity and shear incompetence.

Do we need a wall? I mean, who the hell am I to say. I don’t know, I would like to think that in 2019 we could be a little more sophisticated than a fucking wall, but in the end, this is political debate that should be happening on the floors of the House of Congress and in the Senate. That’s how this is supposed to work for god sakes. If we the people, working through our elected representatives haven’t collectively figured out the answer when it comes time to fund our over-bloated government, tough, we’ll have to continue to debate and to politically negotiate while we continue to fund and run the behemoth governmental machine that we’ve all helped build.

In closing I want to leave you with just a few of the statistics put out by the U.S. Coast Guard covering Fiscal Year 2017:

Removed over 223 metric tons of cocaine; 31,190 pounds of marijuana; 6 kilograms of heroin
and other opiates; and 168 kilograms of methamphetamines worth $6.6 billion wholesale.

Interdicted 2,512 undocumented migrants.

Responded to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria assisting more than 11,200 persons.

Conducted over 5,300 hours of icebreaking operations to support movement of cargo worth
over $1.5 billion through ice-impeded waters of the Great Lakes and the Eastern Seaboard.

Not counting hurricanes, they responded to 12,270 pollution incident reports; responded to 16,069
Search and Rescue cases; assisted 22,004 people; saved 4,228 lives; and protected more than
$76 million in property from loss.

Iran-Contra Part 2: Iran

Written by: Colin Offenbacker

When we last left off , The Reagan administration had just been stopped by the US congress from funding the Nicaraguan revolutionary collective known as the Contras directly.

In this week’s blog were going to explore a little of the background of Iran, and how it was that they came to be on the Reagan administrations radar. An international relationship that would ultimately lead to the political controvercy known to us as, Iran-Contra.

This week, Iran-Contra Part 2: Iran.

Last week I mentioned my love for proper context when examining historical events. I would argue that the same is true when it comes to looking at political events, especially historically significant political events. This part of the Iran-Contra affair is one that really needs a serious set up to get at least a partial grasp on why things happened the way the did.

We’re going to jump back in time again. This time were going all the way back to 1953. In the U.S. McCarthyism is in full swing against communism and all the way on the other side of the globe Iran is going through some interesting political change as well.

The nation of Iran has been in an interesting place since the end of world war 2. The nation has a democracy in place and the Elected Prime Minister of Iran is a man by the name of Mohammad Mossaddegh. He is a member of the political party known as the Iranian National Front, a technically pro-democracy group with some rather socialistic tendencies.

He has been involved in government as a member of Parliament for a number of years but has only been Prime Minister for about a year.

In keeping with his parties strangely nationalistic though still democratically socialist ideals Mossaddegh makes a move that would spell his ultimate demise, he nationalizes the oil industry, the economic cornerstone of the nation.

Since world war 2, the oil industry in Iran was not only mainly built but also mostly run by western nations like the United Kingdom and the United States. This move to nationalize the industry forcibly expelled these nations out and choked off there control of the oil.

Enter Operations Ajax or if you’re from the UK, Operation Boot. This was a joint covert operation to overthrow the Prime Minister carried out by the former Iranian monarchy with help from both the US and the UK. It’s important to note that this was the first time the United States had ever covertly deposed a foreign government during peacetime.

Known to the west as the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, Prime Minister Mossaddegh was other-thrown and a member of the former monarch was installed as ruler.

His name was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a pro-American, anti-communist monarchical dictator, better known to most of the world simply as “The Shaw”.

The Shaw is a total fascinating individual, who lived a very interesting life and is more than deserving of his own deep dive show, but for now I’ll just have to keep that in my back pocket and save it for a rainy day.

Under the Shaw’s rule, Iran marked the anniversary of 2500 years of “continuous” Persian monarchy, dating back to the founding of the Achaemenid Empire by none other that Cyrus the Great. Unfortunately we need to leave him here and jump all the way to the mid 1970’s.

The Shaw has been in power now for quite a while and he has started to make some serious enemies, as monarchical dictators often do. In 1979 the Shaw left Iran on what he called a vacation, only he never really came back. He bounced around from one side of the globe to the other, but after a cancer diagnosis, which might have actually happened somewhere between 1974-1979 he reached out the the United States, seeking the worlds best medical care.

President Jimmy Carter was opposed to admitting him given the growing unrest to his leadership back in Iran but ultimately folded under pressure, primarily from Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller. Even before he was in the states a religious leader by the name of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had seized power during the Iranian Revolution and established a totally new government, an Islamic Republic.

This new government and the revolutionaries were certainly no fan of the west, particularly the United States. Once they heard of the Shaw coming to the US for his Cancer treatment, they’re anger grow to the point of bursting. Soon mass protests were being staged outside the US embassy in Tehran, and on November 4th 1979 a large group of them attacked the embassy, broke in and took 63 people hostage. Before anyone really knew what was happening they took 3 more hostages from the Iranian Foreign Ministry bring the total up to 66. In a few days the Ayatollah had released a total of 14 of those hostages leaving a total of 52. Those 52 would end up being held for 444 days.

The Carter administration tried numerous things to try and negotiate the release of the hostages but even after a military extraction plan failed before it even actually started, Carter, and his administration were left totally embarrassed in front of the American public, paving the way for his Presidential challenger, Ronald Reagan. I think we all know how that election turned out.

After the election the Iranian government had started to feel the pressure from not only American economic intervention but also the international community at large, and only hours after President Reagan had been sworn into office, the negotiations between the United States and Iran had yielded fruit and the hostages were on their way home.

Episode 46 of SOS Podcast!

On this episode Don and Offie take a long look at the government shut down to help breakdown how we got here, whos fault it is and some ideas on how to get us out. Why hydro power is not considered a “green energy”, why the term “the wall” might actually be the problem, what it means to Don to be an American, thoughts of a vacation for the Offies , why Don doesn’t lie and reactions to his last blog post, some things Offie learned and reasons why he went into the Coast Guard, and did anyone know Kim and Kanye had four kids? also a HUGE staff changing SPORTS!!

This week we used some feedback as topics for the show and LOVED it. We love to receive questions be they personal, political, or even advice. You can reach out to us on any of our social media both personal and Salt of The Streets main social media. Let us answer the questions that you have!

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BlogPost 1/3/2019: Fatherhood Approaches

On the show this week I had said I was going to do my blog post on a book by Toni Morrison that my Grandma had asked me to read. I changed my mind. Not because of the book, because it was pretty alright, but because my mind has been consumed with the incoming arrival of Dax in all arenas. Offie and I talked in the intro of this weeks’ show about part of what has been on my mind and I decided I would expand on that instead so that this isn’t just a forced piece of writing.

Without harping on it too much or trying to make myself sound special, growing up without a father is something that affected me in many ways as a child and continues to affect me today. When I look back on it now, I don’t think I realized how much it affected me when I was a child. My parents were divorced when I was 2, and I think I was 5 when he moved from Washington to Oregon and then eventually to Arizona where he lives now. I have some memories from when he lived here, getting ice cream in his big blue truck, him working on his big blue truck, him helping us move into our house on Quinault, one fight between him and my Mom, and then my next memories are from visiting him in Arizona.

I think I was 7 or 8 the first time my sister and I went to visit my Dad, and I was either 9 or 10 the first time I went by myself because my Sister had begun to learn of the skeletons in my Dads closet that I was too young to be told about. So I continued to visit my father by myself until I learned those same secrets. I can’t honestly say I learned much in the times I DID visit. I wasn’t really into sports when I was a kid but not because of my Dad not being around and I can’t honestly attest to whether or not he would have made me if he was around so that wasn’t a traditional aspect I missed out on, but I did feel it early.

There are the more traditional male things that I missed out on like being shown how to properly do yard work, learning how to work on cars or use power tools, maybe being shown guns and made more comfortable around them. I don’t like to focus on this too much because I honestly don’t know my Dad well enough to know if he would have taught me these things if he WAS around. But if he IS into those things, I could maybe have been made comfortable with them sooner or been exposed to them in a safer environment than I was.

This may be totally unconnected but to this day I am apprehensive but eventually comfortable using big power saws and tools. This first gun I saw was one shown to be by someone I will not disclose, but the gun was not registered to them and had been used in a crime. Someone had to show me how to change a tire the first time mine went flat when I was 18. The things I know about cars are limited to the things I have had to fix on my own. I did yard work poorly for years because I was just told to do it and not generally given instructions, because the women in my house didn’t want to do that.

Outside of these are the things that people may not think about or could possibly take for granted. There is a healthy list of things that were decided to be my responsibility when I was growing up “Because you have a penis” and that is a quote directly from my mother. That didn’t make sense at the time, and felt like an excuse for me to do something none of the women in my house wanted to. There are all kinds of things NOW I won’t let my wife do because I feel they are my job as a male: picking up dead animal gifts left by our cats, picking up cat or dog vomit in the house, mowing the yard, washing the cars, etc… It took me years of this being explained to me by OTHER peoples fathers that there are just somethings that you are supposed to do for your wife and the women you love, but without it being presented in the right way and by the right person, it doesn’t make the impression it should.

I now understand that these things, these responsibilities of a man, CAN be learned from a woman and can even be better learned that way. But it takes the maturity and objectivity of a grown person, that which a child is not old or experienced enough to comprehend, to understand and be able to see the difference that I was not. That even though my mother and I communicate in vastly different ways and that what she was saying to me WAS that these things are things a man should do and I would eventually have to do for my wife, I just didn’t perceive it that way. I was not able to separate the person telling me with the information I was receiving.

Hard as it was to deal with learning to be a man without what I perceived as anyone to teach me to be a man, as I said I am now able to look back at my upbringing with my Sister, Mother, and Grandmother and see the valuable lessons I was able to learn. Easiest to remember and probably guess, I always felt incredibly comfortable around women. From family to strangers to girls that I had feelings for, I never had or really even understood the problems other boys my age had with talking to girls they liked. It was always first nature to me to speak the same “language” that the teenage girls I was courting did. I was open and honest with how I felt and unafraid to show my feelings (which was actually a very convenient cover for not being able to CONTROL my feelings). This coupled with my large stature and natural gift with words is largely how I got my beautiful wife.

On top of this I was around to hear the stories from my Sister, Mom and Grandmother of their boyfriends, husbands and ex husbands and the grave mistakes and missteps they had made, but also of the things they loved the most and would never forget. I can promise you I learned more from the bad stories than the good. And the older I get, the more boyfriends my sister has and the more stories I hear from my Mom about my Dad, or from my Grandma about the incredible man that my Grandpa was and how proud he would be of me for who I have become and who I have been able to shape myself into.

There is no doubt, as I told Colin this week on the show, that if my Dad or Grandpa were around my life would be drastically different. Shaping my image of what I think a man should be or the man I want to be may or may not have been easier, that I can’t know for sure. Learning some of the skills I am learning now, or the skills I WANTED to learn may have been easier. That I can’t know for sure. What I DO know for sure is that everyday, the confidence I have in my ability to be a strong father to Dax grows. The doubt and hesitation I felt when the discussions of fatherhood began, are largely mitigated.

While I see extreme value in the presence of a steady father in the raising of a child, I recognize now that in that lack of such father, it is simply necessary for the correct roles, responsibilities, and skills to be imprinted on a young man in a way that they can be recalled when proper growth and maturity has been reached. It is vital that the child be raised with the understanding of what being a strong man, husband, and father means and for that, a father is not always required.

Episode 45 of Salt of The Streets

With a new theme song and the same routine Don and Offie are back and talk about what it’s like to be a son with no father, the withdrawal of troops from Syria and the subsequent resignation of James Mattis, the temporary partial government shutdown , why it is important to understand basic civics, some details from the newly Senate-passed farm bill, the difference between “the wall” and “border security”, the decriminalization of drugs and prostitution, and a healthy SPORTS!!

We want to thank all of the members of Upper Left for their work on our INCREDIBLE new theme song, we couldn’t be any more please with it. You guys are amazing. You can find all of their music on there SoundCloud HERE!

All of our podcast episodes are available on our SoundCloud or ANYWHERE else you can get a podcast. The pre show video can be found on our Facebook as well as on our YouTube with the full show video and all the rest of our video content. The full video for this weeks show will be available tomorrow afternoon.

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