March 12, 2011

LCDR Rosendo T. "Ross" Santonil, USN (1931- 2011)


My Father's last words to me, as I was moving away with my wife and child to another land, are still preserved on video.  Even though I remember what he said, nothing he said ever had a more powerful and lasting impact than when he talked to me about two things.  Those were: his childhood . . . and his escape from economic bondage.

I think now there is a reason why these topics are so prominent whenever I recall having so many conversations with him.  I feel like he always emphasized those topics in order to give his sons a way to express what he could not in his 80 years on this planet.

Every American here today is witness to his legacy.  Those of you who knew him well know that he was a man of action, instead of words.

His years of Naval training always made you feel a sense of urgency when you were in his presence.  There was always a project to compete.  There was always a goal to be met.  There is always a mission to accomplish, and thanks to Our Savior's death and resurrection, there is always someplace to rest.

In many ways, my Dad's restlessness was a constant reminder to me about a youth spent shining shoes in the streets of Manila, only to come home late at night, finding nothing to eat, except a small bowl of rice that his sister Lydia had saved for him.  Now, hopefully, he will be able to see her again, and thank her for her gentle kindness.

We are gathered here today not because he died.  We are gathered here today because he lived his life with robust energy and a disciplined drive.

Outsiders only knew him as "Commander," but those of us who have reaped benefits from his courage and compassion need to remember a young naive Filipino sailor in 1952, who could not afford an education.

We are here today because a young boy in the Philippines dreamed of giving his children the gift of Liberty to use their God-given talents to build their own lives, to feed their own families, and to live without the psychological shackles of poverty, free from the petty obligation and self-serving oligarchies that are the remnants of his childhood.

I do not need to list for you his long career resume, or recite his academic curriculum, or mention his business acumen.  There is no need to boast about the success he achieved in his favorite arena, his life AFTER the Navy, on the golf course, although I'm sure he would have wanted me to tell you that twice he made a hole-in-one.

I am speaking to you today to help fill the final orders from Lieutenant Commander Ross T. Santonil, a United States Naval Officer, whose life, in my view, gave meaning to the term "Service."  His identity as a man was not circumscribed by national origin, or his military rank, or by religious preference, or even barrio affiliation;  far from it.  I know because I grew up in his house, and I saw how time after time, people came to him, and so many lives were affected in a positive way because he would not refuse them.  I saw how he worked so hard to serve his family and adopted country.  Now that I have a family of my own, he has become more to me than just a Dad.  He is my hero.

The last command from Commander Santonil came to me in one of our man Father-Son chats. He told me, Son, when I die, I want everyone to have a fiesta.  Celebrate; and feed everyone.

Those were his final orders.
Before I'm done, I want to share a few words about the nuclear family he is leaving behind.  To my Ma I think you already know this, but you were the true object of Pa's desire.  You were the apple of his eye, and the source of all his passion and energy.  Whatever brought you and Pa together, it is the sustaining power of your Love for each other that inspires me in my own marriage.  To my sweet sister, Penelia, the good soldier, what can I say that we have not already shared, and that we never would tell our parents!  To our little brother, Ross, who could not be here today, thanks for showing us that some things in life are private, and for proving that it was you who learned the most from Pa about how to live free of the past.  And to his granddaughter, Tori Tam, my little mochi, you will always carry Lolo's spirit with you, anytime you look towards heaven.

To all the Santonils and Barins here today, and all our dear friends and close associates, we are humbled by your presence, and we are hopeful that my Dad was someone you could think kindly upon, and remember in your hearts that his life's aim, purpose, and pleasure, was Service . . . to his family, this country, and God.

I know I speak for all of us today when I say we deeply appreciate your kind gestures and prayers as we let go of a man . . . a brother . . . a cousin . . . a husband . . . an in-law . . . a friend . . . a father . . . a grandfather . . . and whatever may come, he will live in our hearts, finally, as our Fallen Hero.

December 26, 2010

"The End of the Trail" James Earle Fraser (1915)

Witness the quest for power in spite of others' private property rights.

The FCC, through Barry Soetoro's crony schoolmate, have taken the bait.

Say no more. This is my FINAL POST for Wittgenstein

* * *

Perhaps . . . I'll start another blog with less zeal, but this 2-year journalistic experiment is over, my agenda illustrated, hopefully with a legacy of humor being left behind. And though Exile may be a precondition for Redemption, I can't sit and wait behind my computer screen. There's too much real life going on to spend venting my frustrations about "the Law," as a wanna-be William Blake, scrivening in artful obscurity. Not to worry. Good men must do something in the face of evil, but I pray someday we also gain the wisdom to know when to do nothing. So long, and thanks for all the fish . . . I'm outta here.

I'll see you on the golf course. Par is doomed.

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

I have carried a heavy load on my back ever since I was a boy. I realized then that we could not hold our own with the white men. We were like deer. They were like grizzly bears. We had small country. Their country was large. We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not, and would change the rivers and mountains if they did not suit them.

I am tired of fighting.... from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce (1840 - 1904)

There is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9

December 19, 2010

DREAM Dies, Nightmare Lives, Winning Ain't Old

The end is near; for Year 2010, that is. (Can we get a measurement?)

Sorry friends, I can't resist spouting off. Blame my high school soccer coach. He was a Navy Captain, and a judge in the JAG Corps. He always reminded us that "we are playing for fun (long pause) . . . and winning is fun."

Seeing the Senate vote the DREAM Act into its deserved oblivion, helped push my psychic balancing act a smidgen towards what can maybe be called hopefulness about the next session of Congress. It's only a single-issue result, but the issue rests at the core of our national discourse, and portends how and whether we continue in the political sphere, to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

* * *

Professor Victor Davis Hansen has become a regular contributor at National Review and American Thinker, preaching to the conservative choir, and maybe occasionally winning over a convert or two. Last year, I unwittingly scooped (by five weeks!) an idea of his for an essay title. It was about ObamaCare. Now, the professor offers some observations about life in rural Fresno, CA. In "The Two Californias", he paints a picture of how living conditions have changed in the San Joaquin Valley.

While it may be seen as alarmist, and while America has not yet fallen to the squalid corruption, institutionalized ignorance, physical insecurity, and oligarchic oppression of other countries, the Senate's rejection of the illusory DREAM Act at least temporarily puts the brakes on those encroachments. I am grateful, as a naturalized American, that I can say, as the Third World encroaches: "been there - done that - never going back."
I note this because hundreds of students here illegally are now terrified of being deported to Mexico. I can understand that, given the chaos in Mexico and their own long residency in the United States. But here is what still confuses me: If one were to consider the classes that deal with Mexico at the university, or the visible displays of national chauvinism, then one might conclude that Mexico is a far more attractive and moral place than the United States.
Substitute "the Philippines" or any other Third World country for "Mexico," and you will finally get my point. The DREAM Act sponsors, especially the activists, are either confused or lying when they advocate in favor of laws which effectively trash America. To wit,
[T]here is a surreal nature to these protests: something like, “Please do not send me back to the culture I nostalgically praise; please let me stay in the culture that I ignore or deprecate.” I think the DREAM Act protestors (sic) might have been far more successful in winning public opinion had they stopped blaming the U.S. for suggesting that they might have to leave at some point, and instead explained why, in fact, they want to stay. What it is about America that makes a youth of 21 go on a hunger strike or demonstrate to be allowed to remain in this country rather than return to the place of his birth?
What indeed?
I think I know the answer to this paradox. Missing entirely in the above description is the attitude of the host, which by any historical standard can only be termed “indifferent.” California does not care whether one broke the law to arrive here or continues to break it by staying. It asks nothing of the illegal immigrant — no proficiency in English, no acquaintance with American history and values, no proof of income, no record of education or skills. It does provide all the public assistance that it can afford (and more that it borrows for), and apparently waives enforcement of most of California’s burdensome regulations and civic statutes that increasingly have plagued productive citizens to the point of driving them out. How odd that we overregulate those who are citizens and have capital to the point of banishing them from the state, but do not regulate those who are aliens and without capital to the point of encouraging millions more to follow in their footsteps. How odd — to paraphrase what Critias once said of ancient Sparta — that California is at once both the nation’s most unfree and most free state, the most repressed and the wildest.
Hundreds of thousands sense all that and vote accordingly with their feet, both into and out of California — and the result is a sort of social, cultural, economic, and political time-bomb, whose ticks are getting louder. [bold added]

Here is the link.

* * *

In the sports world, my San Diego State Aztecs are reaching heights heretofore unscaled, thanks to a full complement of returning starters, a first-time Top 10 NCAA Division I ranking, and sellout crowds at the campus arena.  These basketball games are such a hot ticket, even the surfers are paying attention.  Trust me, if you went to school on The Mesa and are familiar with Monty's Den, it should warm the cockles of your heart knowing that our massive alumni base is rising to national prominence, not merely for the laid-back surfing, party-school image, but for old-fashioned, disciplined teamwork, humility, talent, skill and determination. Evidently, warm cockles have been underrated.  Now I should go look up the definition of "cockles."

Our student body voted overwhelmingly to keep the team name "Aztecs," in spite of the PC crowd's insistence that we were insensitive racists. And being happy about the DREAM Act's demise will probably invite more of the same baseless name-calling.

I don't care what they say.

Knowing California the way I did, and seeing current events the way they are, I harbor a glimmer of hope that love of country will go beyond something that's merely trendy, and even my self-loathing loyalty will win its own reward.

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

[Ed.note: tense and syntax changes; deleted Steve Fisher video 9/24/15]

December 14, 2010

"Poker Face" Lady Gaga (2008)

Are those briefs on the table?

I was too lazy to embed the cool video acoustic version, so just click on the title if you really want to view it.

Well, it's too cold to golf right now, so try drinking and and laughing through the Holidays in the company of your relatives. Forget the national scene for now. It's Shakesperean sound and fury, as our president gets lessons from Bill Clinton on how to schmooze with Republicans. The Tea Party needs a Mad Hatter, as the front lines have moved to the judicial branch, which happens to be the stealthiest arm of Progressivism because of its predisposition for arcane academia (it's more vulnerable to dangerous bullshit).

To our majority Monotheistic friends, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Have A Really Nice Ramadan.

If you are Polytheist, Many Manu Blessings.

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

December 8, 2010

The Resurrection of Sam Kiniston

If you've never heard of Sam, he's was the late ex-evangelical preacher turned comedian who found salvation through Rock 'n Roll. This ten minute video shows him re-incarnated as the founder of Their tag line is "There's a War for Your Mind."


If you are a government censor reading this obscure blog, then dude, you need to get out of the house more often. Have at it. I use a condom. LoL. Maybe the most ironic thing you can say after viewing this "current events" video is to quote Billy Joel, except that the MSM is "shooting the piano player."

Only the good die young.

Regarding this whole Wiki - Assange affair, my first question would be: How do you prosecute an Australian for treason against the U.S.A.?

Oops, I forgot. We've become idiots.

Gee, maybe I should incorporate?

Be Afraid.  Be Very Afraid.

Poor Alex. He's only partly right. It's not just foreign bankers he needs to worry about. Don't forget the lowly insurance companies and securities traders. But not to worry, we have a new law guaranteed to fix it.

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

November 22, 2010

Creepy Misfits and Multiple Losers

With a record of 1-9 so far, Carolina's lowly status in the League is no problem to us fans. We have already been through the humiliation of a 1-15 season (must ... kill ... George ... Seifert ... kill George Seifert), so any victory the Panthers can scrape out between now and the Super Bowl is pure gravy!

Ironically, there are more than draft picks to be gained as I write from this illusory soapbox for misfits and losers. If you need further proof that we Tea Partiers have nothing to lose, click on this confessional example of the folly of political punditry. How often do TV's talking heads get it wrong? Yet we persist in paying heed and pretending substance can be found by debate. There is no debate. There is only the noise of debate. Furthermore, there is no "reason" in TV land. There is only the emotional appeal persuading commercial interests.  Sanity is the off switch.

"Hey man, I'm just trying to find the bridge."

What's worse for American civilization is that broadcast images bring on a form of mass hypnosis, induced when the synergy of balmy weather and narcissistic surfers obtains the structure provided by a self-deluding authoritarian mythology. This monstrous gospel of self-esteem disguises itself in the sheep's clothing of movie nostalgia, entertaining and fascinating the public like a cankered whore, a cultural cancer from the coasts, Hollywood and Broadway.

The kind of national character produced from these depraved unassimilated sub-cultures is one of clownish, joyful arrogance, an apathetic disrespect where civilty comes through a servile sneer, whose only authentic cultural expressions are diverted through the perverse whimsy of the remote control and slavish attachment to their appetites. Their bloody deeds reveal a tyrannic desire, immersed in the belief that they are acting with impunity.

Stay classy, San Diego. I'm keeping my precious self-loathing.

Okay, even if this web log is Wit, Gun and Stein, (Wittgenstein, if you don't know me by now), a little bit of Nietzschean craziness will intrude from time to time, for no better reason than to acknowledge eternal recurrence.

Maybe I should write a poem: An Ode to Shattered Innocence. We are the rejected building stones, but the Truth marches on. Thank the Lord, this personal history lesson is over. No "gods," no "masters". No turning back. A legacy of misfits and losers is not fed by dreamy promises of Peace, but by the parting of the terrible swift Sword. Either Oswald acted alone, or,

"I shouted out: Who killed the Kennedys? When after all, it was you and me."

When I was a child, I saw as a child, but when I became a man, I could no longer serve two masters. BTW, you get a free T-shirt if you win the auction.

Heads up!

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

November 5, 2010

"Hey Nineteen " Steely Dan (1980)

"She thinks I'm crazy, but I'm just growing old."

For my friends and those with enough energy to pay attention, there is a lot going on as Winter makes its approach. Let me preface this video segment by giving you the non-linear logic which led me to post this piece.

At first, I thought of something from the group Exile, rather than Steely Dan. Unfortunately, there was no way I could put up a vid of their only top song. It would have been really inappropriate. Frankly, broadcasting "I Want to Kiss You All Over," over the internet didn't quite fully or accurately encapsulate my own interpretation of today's current political climate. Really though, Exile should put the band back together so they can do something for Marco Rubio's 2012 run.

Hey, just kidding.

Then, I wanted to talk about the politics of antidisestablishmentarianism. Boy, was it fun to say that word back in middle school (ooh, it's soo long) but, Roger Kimball pretty much covered it (so to speak), as of two months ago.

For some real incredulity, I commend to you a CBS piece headlined:

"GOP Leaders: Sarah Palin Must Be Stopped"

Really?  Are you f***ing kidding?  That's not funny.  That headline is beyond out of touch.  It's beyond silly.  It's just out of order.  That's right, out of order.  I tell you, Brian Montopoli, you're out of order.  CBS is out of order.  You're all out of order.  Attica!  Attica! 

"Hey Nineteen," on the other hand, means more than the number 19, so I went for it. Plus, it makes for the lucky 7th post using Becker and Fagan.  The number applies if you have ever partaken of the fine Columbian. It would definitely apply if you live and vote in California, where the cathechism of Prohibition maintains its supposedly overwhelming sphere of artistic, social, political, cultural, and prurient influence, having no redeeming value when considered in light of community standards.

Clearly, the paradigm has not shifted in toto in CA.

"Hey, Nineteen's" lyrics suggest the speaker is someone looking back in time, a disturbing lamentation on the innocence of young girls, with the depressing possibility that his social status is now diminished in comparison to his college years as a "dandy of Gamma Chi." They can't dance together.  They can't talk at all.  In a broader, modern context, that communication gap is not merely between genders, it is between generations. "She don't remember the Queen of Soul."

Nonetheless, the speaker seems to have passed the stages Grief, and reached Acceptance.  Tonight is "a wonderful thing." You can't deny the unabashedly American theme: exile and subsequent redemption are wonderful things.

This seven-minute live version is cool for many reasons.  Highlights include the "political debate" between Mike Leonhart and Jim Pugh at 2:45, Fagen's ad lib before the chorus, the good resolution, unique product placement, and of course, the hot back-up singers (including Mike's sister).

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

Way back when in '67
I was the dandy of Gamma Chi
Sweet things from Boston so young and willing
Moved down to Scarsdale where the hell am I?

Hey Nineteen
No we can't dance together
No we can't talk at all
Please take me along when you slide on down

Hey Nineteen that's 'Retha Franklin
She don't remember the Queen of Soul
It's hard times befallen the sole survivors
She thinks I'm crazy I'm just growing old

Hey Nineteen
No we got nothin' in common
No we can't talk at all
Please take me along when you slide on down

--ad libbed lines--

The Cuervo Gold
The fine Columbian
Make tonight a wonderful thing
[say it again]

The Cuervo Gold
The fine Columbian
Make tonight a wonderful thing

The Cuervo Gold
The fine Columbian
Make tonight a wonderful thing

We can't dance together
No we can't talk at all.

Performed @ Charlotte, NY 8/12/2006

Donald Fagen - Keyboards and Vocals
Walter Becker - Guitar
Keith Carlock - Drums
Jon Herington - Guitar
Carolyn Leonhart-Escoffery - Backing Vocals
Michael Leonhart - Trumpet
Cindy Mizelle - Backing Vocals
Jim Pugh - Trombone
Roger Rosenberg - Baritone Sax
Freddie Washington - Bass
Walt Weiskopf - Sax
Jeff Young - Keyboards and Backing Vocals

November 2, 2010

Why We're Winning Wars With Words While Wondering Whence They Were Wrought

Hey there, citizens and bloggers. (You are a citizen, aren't you?)

Thanks for stopping by.

It's literally down to the Wire here in the USA. As you know by now, (What? You haven't signed up to "Follow Me" yet?) I've rebooted this blog to focus on golf. Nonetheless, in the spirit of this blog's namesake, and since I'm in between rounds, let's spend some time, ergo money, on the "other stuff."

I respectfully disagree with Jon Stewart, who cleverly manipulated my "end times" theme into a "hard times" placation.  So it's election day (or as I like to re-phrase it, The Day of Choosing the Elect) and according to all the freaks of reasonableness, here's the video from April of 2009 which pretty well covers what most see as THE BIG ISSUE facing our purportedly self-determinating Republic.

Here's the deal (insert flash of satori here). We learn our lessons or repeat until we do. Oh and don't forget the key political principles we learned in our Political Music class, back in March of this year.

The mockery will go unabated, however, so it's better to decide how you prefer your tea.

With a "W," perhaps?

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

October 23, 2010

An Even Lower Low

Yes, this is a blog that talks about golf and other stuff, too.

Give credit where credit is due. The Lord has blessed me and humbled me. Life's forces conspired again to result in my all-time low score. I say blessed for numerous reasons, not the least of which is the mere fact that I even play this game. I've been humbled because despite the inner satisfaction of shooting the best score of my life, I missed a 3-foot putt on the final hole that would have fulfilled some of the promise I made to my Father, that I would someday break 70 for him. It's another one of the bittersweet charms about the mental journey contained by the game; many middle aged men perhaps still seeking a psychological catharsis with "dad's approval."

I would maintain that that's a beautiful thing.

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

  • Missed birdie putts inside 10-feet on holes #2, #9, and #18
  • Huge up-and-down par saves on  #4, #7, #13
  • Round saving 15-foot par putt on #14 on top of Ron's birdie
  • Birdie on long-par3 #5 from 12-feet followed Ron's birdie from 18 feet
  • Partners dubbed it "the par from hell" on #17, after a penalty drop
  • We played the white tees
  • 27 putts, 13 pars, 3 birdies, 2 bogeys, 11 GIR, 10 fairways
  • It was my daughter's birthday!

1 John 4:18

October 13, 2010

A New Low

Losing the Ryder Cup by a mere half-point should push Americans to "up" our games as we recognize there is no respite when the rest of the world enjoys seeing us lose.

I've been making lots of small adjustments to my game, now that we're post-Labor Day and shouldn't be wearing white on the golf course. By the way, that's my driver on the left.

Some family is coming in for Race Weekend in Charlotte (and my daughter's birthday), so as you can see, the posts are coming less frequency, with fewer political rants, acerbic as they may be.

Pardon my mixed metaphor, but the snowball/butterfly effect of bloggers with empathy for the Tea Party seems to be coming to fruition, a fruition often vulgarized beyond recognition.  As Tom Petty once sang, even the losers get lucky sometime.

So anyway, since we bloggers only talk about important stuff, I can report that I've made seven birdies in my last two rounds after making a slight change with my putting grip.  Five of the birdies came during my new low round at my home course (all-time low is 70), when I lipped out for eagle at 18.  In addition, I now have four consecutive rounds in the 70's  (78-79-72-79) and my index should be dropping back to around 8.  We'll see if the streak continues next week.  The lessons are working!

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

September 28, 2010

2010 Ryder Cup Preview

So much for playing more golf.  After a three week hiatus from blogging, a numerical procession of scores (83-83-81-80-88-84-85) has only raised my USGA handicap index.  Alas, you can never beat this game, you can only play it.

The freewheeling futility of regular practice rounds, rather than stoking the fire for me to rejoin my competitive golf league, only made me retreat to the computer again to write away and purge the self-limiting thoughts I encountered on this sacred journey of self-actualization.  At this rate, I may not play another tournament until Spring. Here's a quick review:


My take is simple. If you are going to have "playoffs" in golf, use Gary Van Sickle 's cumulative par system.  It's easier to follow for everyone involved, fans and players alike, and it is much less contrived than the current system. Listening to Dan Hicks try to squeeze drama from what should be a meaningless bogey putt by Bo Van Pelt on the 18th green, because it might affect Matt Kuchar's chances for a solo 25th place finish does not compelling television make.

Money putter

Best back story of the playoffs:  Jim Furyk's $39 dollar putter.  I had a small rant about the deleterious effect of money upon the game here, but that was really meant to cast aspersions on real estate developers who are ignorant about the game of golf. As a representative of Srixon Golf, Furyk's win was a particularly satisfying "poke in the eye" of other golf manufacturers whose relentless assurances dig deep into the wallets of hapless weekenders who believe in "buying" a cure for their lack of skills. That putter is in play this week. Here's the rest of the story.

Euro K, But We're Better

I'm barely a coin flip above my NFL Picks as we enter Week 4, so why not another bold prognostication?  Consensus is as useless for sports betting as it is for political leadership, but the bottom line is we have a better team of guys who can putt.

What makes this Ryder Cup interesting this year, and perhaps what makes this biennial competition/exhibition more compelling lies in what we know about the character of the team captains.  Corey Pavin has essentially built his career on "grittiness," not only by the way he won the U.S. Open at Shinnecock in 1995, but in the way he competed in numerous Ryder Cups during the 90's.  Monty, well, he's Monty.  Petulant, gruff, immensely skilled, and a Ryder Cup assassin, his view of golf is very Euro-centric, as signaled by his glaring omission of the 7th-ranked player in the world, an "Americanized" Paul Casey, from the team, and the selection of Padraig Harrington, who has been in poor form.

On the American side, fans will be watching closely as Captain Corey makes the key critical decisions regarding pairings.  Who indeed will Tiger team with?

Still,  since my "old" NFL team, the Chargers, have been so disappointing, and my "new" team, the Panthers, are destined for the division cellar, I'll be taking heart in the healthy jingoism and subtle rejection of Euro-bama-socialism by predicting that the USA will retain the cup. Enjoy your weekend!

© 2010 Roy Barin Santonil

LCDR Rosendo T. "Ross" Santonil, USN (1931- 2011)

A SON'S EULOGY : My Father's last words to me, as I was moving away with my wife and child to another land, are still preserved ...