Friday, December 31, 2004

More on the Absurdity of Aid from the UN by The Diplomad

First The Diplomad tells you what the UN is doing (NOTHING) like have another meeting to decide what to do in the next meeting! All this while US FSO's and State are working almost round the clock.

Do I really need to say anything more? "Only really the UN can do the job?" We have US C-130s flying in and out here dropping off heaps of supplies; US choppers arrive today; USAID is doing a knock-out job of marshalling and coordinating US and local resources to deliver real assistance to real people. The Aussies have planes and troops delivering stuff; even the Indians have goods on the way. The UN? Nowhere to be seen. OK, I'm not being fair. Last night they played host to a big "coordination" meeting of donors to announce that the UNDP has another large "assessment and coordination team" team arriving. Our USAID guys, who've been working 18-20 hrs/day, came back furious from this meeting saying everybody would be dead if the delivery of aid waited for the UN to set up shop and begin "coordinating." The UN types are upset with the US, Ms. Short, dear, not because we're undermining them but because we're showing them up as totally inept.

Then there's: Things That Make You Say 'Blah!' The UN Response to the Tsunami

Our regular readers know that this blog is very critical of the Foreign Service and the State Department. But to be fair, I think Americans would be proud of the dedication shown and of the work being done by their Foreign Service, some incredibly competent and energetic USAID workers, and, of course, the US military. Everybody in the Embassy community is giving up leave, canceling long-standing holiday plans, volunteering for every imaginable duty -- including some quite hazardous ones -- and doing incredible work, all to save the lives of people, many of whom a few days ago probably would have been perfectly willing to burn down our Embassy or march against the USA. Most of the bureaucratic crap is forgotten and common sense rules the day. Americans are everywhere in this corner of the Far Abroad doing things that no other country on earth can or will do and at a truly amazing pace. Proud to be an American (and for the Aussies, you, too, can be very proud of your folks who are doing a bang up job -- as the Aussie military always does.)

In stark contrast, the much-vaunted UN humanitarian effort is a disgrace.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

You might be a liberal if ...

Update: 1/01/05 The author of this piece is Ed Lynch of so that should clear up
any questions.

If you answer yes to any of these questions then you too might be a "liberal".

You think that if someone is getting richer, someone, somewhere, must be getting poorer.

You think that protestors outside nuclear power plants are dedicated activists, but protestors outside abortion clinics are dangerous zealots interfering with a legal activity.

You believe that more federal regulations will make your life better.

You believe that even though the top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 80 percent of income taxes, that the rich are not paying their “fair share.”

You think that Rush Limbaugh’s listeners are mindless “dittoheads,” but you have never doubted anything that you heard from Michael Moore.

You believe in global warming today just as firmly as you believed in global cooling back in the 1970s.

You believe that the network news is a better indicator of what “real” news is than talk radio, Internet news sites, and blogs.

You believe that there was never, ever a problem with biased news coverage until Fox News went on the air.

You believe that Mikhail Gorbachev deserves more credit for losing the Cold War than Ronald Reagan deserves for winning it.

Your parents gave you an acre of preserved rain forest for your first birthday.

You cannot name a single NASCAR driver.

You mentally subtract 100 points from someone’s IQ if the person speaks with a Southern accent.

You think that Dan Rather got a raw deal.

You panic if you discover that you’re out of chick peas.

You think that the phrase “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution.

You pride yourself on your global awareness, global sensitivity and global outlook, but can’t name your state legislator or school board representative.

You are dedicated to helping the poor, the downtrodden and the less fortunate, but you have never given blood.

You have not seen "The Passion of the Christ," and you don’t know anyone who has seen it.

You believe that a woman should make it on her own, without depending on her husband (except for Hillary Clinton).

You believe that professional, working women should never be judged on their appearance (except for Katherine Harris).

You believe that rich people should not be allowed to contribute so much money to candidates for office (except for George Soros).

You believe that government should make a special effort to hire members of traditionally oppressed groups, such as African-Americans (except for Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice).

You feel a deep sense of common cause with oppressed groups, such as Hispanic immigrants (except for Cuban Americans fleeing Castro).

You believe that a mother’s wishes for her child, especially a mother’s last, dying wish for her child, should outweigh the wishes of a father who had long before deserted his family (unless the child is named Elian Gonzalez).

You think people in south Florida, who can’t figure out how to work a butterfly ballot, ought to have the final say in choosing the president of the United States.

You have no problem with Hollywood movie starts flying around in private jets to give speeches on the evils of SUVs.

You think that raising taxes will reduce the budget deficit.

You deplore prejudice and bigotry in all its forms, but think that everyone in the “red states” is an idiot.

You are more concerned, more often, with the rights of convicted felons than you are with the rights of small business owners.

You uphold a woman’s right to choose, unless a woman chooses adoption, chooses to be a stay-at-home mom, chooses to homeschool, or chooses to start a business.

You are more concerned with Vice President Cheney’s links to Halliburton than with Saddam Hussein’s links to international terrorism.

You have used the phrase, “in Europe, the government pays for health care and vacation,” without irony.

You are worried about how the French view Americans.

You believe that nativity scenes should be banned from public view, but that anyone objecting to pornography “only has to look the other way.”

And finally, you are almost certainly a liberal if you refuse to admit that you’re a liberal, and accuse anyone of calling you a liberal of McCarthyism

Where's the Canadian Forces with Relief?

Here's a good breakdown on what's happened to the Canadian Military, at least their rapid response team. They can't get their even though people are trained and ready to go. This relates to Canada's problem overall with any military situation. They have a force of equipment and supplies which are either in decay or non-existent. The Canada of old is gone and probably won't be coming back. The Socialist moonbats have taken over their country.

Our strategic airlift capability is virtually non-existent. Our fleet of 32 C-130 Hercules, which are not even strategic airlifters, can muster only 6 - 8 serviceable aircraft on most days. It would take several dozen C-130 chalks to deploy DART, depending on the destination. We have been embarrassed in the past, when even small-scale deployments have been aborted due to lack of serviceable aircraft.

Bush 'Undermining UN with Aid Coalition'

I think this is just wonderful. President Bush has done a work around and the UN is being "undermined". You know what I think (errrr well tough, you're gonna hear it anyway) I think the UN can join the Fockers and take a hike. Oh so the UN is the only one who has the "credibility" to manage an effort like this? But the US is so stingy and the NY Times says it and the Mpls Strib says it so I can't imagine why the UN would want to work with such an evil and stingy war monger like the US!!

“Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme.

“It is the only body that has the moral authority. But it can only do it well if it is backed up by the authority of the great powers.”

Get that - the UN has the MORAL authority. Holy crapola. Are these freaks smokin' crack!

Letters from people in the know

COUNTERCOLUMN: All Your Bias Are Belong to Us - from Jason.

I find these letters interesting in that there's a history to follow. Most of the history leads back to the last 10 years for the military. It can be directed towards Congress or towards those promoted in the military but mostly it leads back to the Administration in charge and how they felt towards the military. I'll leave it at that.

We Love Life

Linked from Beef Always Wins. We have another example of how forgiving our soldiers can be. Here are Marines who have terrorists shooting at them and the Marines turn around at their own risk to give medical help to the wounded terrorists! Personally, I don't know how they can do this. I'd find it difficult to help these animals myself but that's why our soldiers are the BEST!

BLACKFIVE: Every Care Package Is Important

I really like this story from a Marine Mom. She tells how her son and his buddies used a female care pckg which contained some tampons to save another Marines life. So, I had sent some mini pads to a couple of my soldiers who I had been supporting for quite a few months. They kindly told me um "that's ok, we really don't need them". See, I had read about a soldier who used them for stopping the sweat from getting in his eyes. He'd put one on the inside of his helmet and it would then catch the sweat on his forehead. But it wasn't a winner. Maybe I should send tampons with the linked story. Hmmm.

Into the Tar Pits -- VDH

Victor Davis Hanson has tarred the Left in this commentary.

We may still rant about the American rejection of Kyoto. But is anyone alarmed over the hundreds of coal plants sprouting up in India and China to ensure billions of people that there will be enough energy for a possible future lifestyle of the type we now take for granted in Santa Barbara and Nantucket? In short, we will soon enter an age in which China may well change the world's environment, affect the price of oil, and govern the world's trade as much as the United States — and will care almost nothing about what Western liberals say, secure either that its fraying socialist veneer or sheer size and power will earn it a pass from the censure of Western intellectuals.
Course the MSM and the Neo-Socialists (read:Democrats) never take China or any other country to task. Just the US.

What will Earth First do when this socialist behemoth sprouts its oil rigs in the Arctic tundra and pristine seas?
I love this sentence.

As the old politics lie in ruin from hypocrisy and incoherence, the Left needs to get a new life. Here are a few more suggestions:

Remember that multilateral inaction
Quit idolizing Europe
Stop seeing an all-powerful United States behind every global problem
Don't believe much of what the U.N. says anymore
Stop seeing socialists and anti-Americans as Democrats
Ignore most grim international reports that show the United States as stingy, greedy, or uncaring based on some esoteric formula that makes a Sweden or Denmark out as the world's savior

Action and results, not rhetoric and intentions, are what matter. Cease blaming others for declining popularity.
Read his commentary, his suggestions are explained in further detail. I just wonder if there's a politician out there that would ever take the advice above which of course isn't new. There is a fundamental lie continually promulgated by the MSM in conjunction with the Neo-Socialists in this country. They need to be taken down and hopefully this will happen with the emergence of the 'new media' - bloggging!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Quakes and Tsunamis and Leftist Babble

The Diplomad

Wow - this is a great post from someone who's there and in the State Dept. He tells how USELESS the UN is in these situations and also how complicit the MSM is in this fallacy of the UN doing a good job with humanitarian relief. The ones doing the heavy lifting and contributing the most are the USA and the Aussies.

One more note about the USA. The amounts listed in the newspapers as donated by the USA greatly underestimate the true size of the donation we make. We are moving huge numbers of aircraft, ships, and personnel to help out. We have carriers and even a MEU on the move. And guess what? We don't charge the UN for that, and we don't include those enormous costs in any "pledging conferences." The only countries I see delivering goods and services where I am are the Aussies (who are terrific!) and us. The EU is only to be seen in press releases.

On The Matter Of Stinginess

I have refrained from commenting on this whole debacle since to be honest I was afraid of what I might say. If you've read any of my postings you know how anti-UN and anti-Euro I can get. Once I heard about this comment from a UN Moron regurgitating more anti-American rantings my first instinct was to send off emails and call my reps to tell them just say NO to any support. Of course, my saner instincts came through realizing this is the UN speaking and not the countries in need. Capt. Ed has compiled the numbers to date of who's helping and by how much! The a$$hats own country isn't even on the list (Norway). Sweden the country every lefty loves is less than generous or rather almost non-existent. Now I heard on Fox News some globalist is talking about how there should be a worldwide system developed for warnings of this kind. Now, just who do you think is going to pay for this? I'll give you 1 guess. As it was, Thailand was notified of the tidal wave by an American National Weather agency but it was ignored or lost. Anyway, go read Capt Ed's summary. I've donated to World Vision as recommended by Hugh Hewitt. They also have a number which is : 888-562-4453.

Interceptor body armor

Lance in Iraq has a humorous posting about priorities and Interceptor Body Armor.

Don't Thank Me

Hey - there's a new blog out there and it's well .... here:

What We Have Here.
Alright people, what we have here is 1 Blog, 13 Veterans reporting for duty, and millions upon millions of soft, fluffy, Civilian brains THAT WANT TO BE EDUCATED IN THE WAYS OF THEIR PROTECTORS!



I first saw a mention of this over at Sarah's Trying to Grok and then I saw it at Rebel Rouser and was curious what they were up to so now I know and you can too!!

A Laugh at the News Media's Expense

Came to this email joke via Beef Always Wins:

Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, along with a U.S. Marine assigned to protect them, were hiking through the Iraqi desert one day when they were captured by terrorists. They were tied up, led to a village, and brought before the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda leader in Iraq.
Zarqawi said, "I am familiar with your western custom of granting the condemned a last wish; so, before we kill and dismember you, do you have any last requests?"

Follow the link for the rest....

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Loose Canons - Let the Big Dogs Run

Jed Babbin has a great commentary on why the media frenzy all the time against SecDef Rumsfeld.

When the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke, he and Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Dick Myers were subjected to a six-hour marathon of congressional hearings in which they were subjected to little speeches by little men aimed more at scoring a sound bite on the evening news than at getting answers. He has been accused of spending too much on the war, and too little. His faults are found in every failure on the battlefield and in the nation-building process we are pursuing in Iraq. Few know, and fewer still care, about the facts of the latter.

And here's something else I learned:
In the planning for the Iraq campaign, Mr. Rumsfeld proposed a plan in which a provisional government would have been formed before the invasion, and would have taken over immediately, reducing the need for American presence, and making our presence that of one ally helping another. A competing plan, advanced by Colin Powell and George Tenet, chose an extended occupation with Iraq ruled by a MacArthur-like consul, and gradual turnover of Iraq to an interim government chosen by the major representatives of the Iraqi population. The President chose the latter, the wrong plan, and then stuck Rumsfeld with the job of implementing a plan Rumsfeld knew was not likely to succeed. In the past twenty months, the interim government wasn't formed as predicted, because some of the major Iraqi leaders -- most notably leading Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani -- refused to play L. Paul Bremer's diplomatic games. Worse still, the President hasn't yet decided to deal with the insurgency at its sources. Without the support of Syria and Iran, the insurgency wouldn't be able to continue under the constant pressure of Coalition military action.

There's more from Senator Jeff Sessions which is right on target.

It’s Time to De-Fund the UN

What is it about US Politicians? They don't want to listen to their constituents regarding illegal aliens and protecting the US Border. They don't want to listen to their constituents regarding the UN. In fact with both of these issues they are going in the opposite direction. I thought this whole deal with the UN Loan for a building was long dead because I read about it well over a year ago. The situation with the UN is in the gutter for most Americans and yet the Congress is only debating whether to make the loan an interest bearing or non-interest bearing loan. No talk about forgettaboutit to the UN! The only punitive measure the Congress is looking at for the UN with the Oil for Food scandal is withholding 10% of US funding to the UN for 2005 and 20% for 2006 IF the UN doesn't do some clean up measures. This is a slap in the face of all taxpaying Americans.

It’s Time to De-Fund the UN
By Melanie Morgan December 28, 2004

Just when you think taxpayers have been soaked enough, another ridiculous idea comes from Washington. Now they are talking about sticking the taxpayers with a loan or a loan guarantee for the United Nations to build a new headquarters for a cool $1.3 billion.

Duke University hosts pro-terror organization's conference

From Powerline we find out about more "diversity" training at US Universities. Anyone who says that colleges and universities aren't havens and recruiting centers for terrorist organizations has been smokin' some lawn clippings.

"............One of the scheduled speakers at the Duke conference, Charles Carlson, has openly called for lethal attacks against Israelis -- "each wedding, Passover celebration, or bar mitzvah [in Israel] is a potential military target."

Monday, December 27, 2004

Global warming: The new religion

This is the new religion of the left......bowing at the altar of junk science (errrr I mean enviromentalism).

History says the rise of reason and revulsion stopped religious witch-burning. Or maybe they just got all the witches. Likewise, the global warming hysterics of today may run out of steam when reason prevails. Or when they get all the capitalists.

MIT professor Richard Lindzen, heretical scientist, has an insight into the global warming industry.

"Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question," he said at the National Press Club this month. But it keeps a lot of preachers of the faith employed and the folks stirred up.

Continuing on the professor's theme: Either the Earth will warm catastrophically, or not. Belief has nothing to do with it.

Two Iraqis

Interesting story from the Mosul attack:

Two Iraqis
Both of them were blown from their seats by the blast, which they described as, “very powerful, lots of noise and heat.” The two Iraqi soldiers were both dazed. One of them could only hear a loud ringing sound in his ears. The other couldn’t believe his eyes: Every where he looked people were gasping for air or bleeding profusely. Before the two Iraqis lay a helpless American soldier, who staggered across the smoke-filled mess hall at first only to fall on the ground. They couldn’t understand a word coming out of the American’s mouth. They only saw the blood spewing from his leg.

Mosul - The Shot Heard 'Round The World

Mudville Gazette has a roundup of blog postings from 'Doc' at CSH to different bloggers in Iraq. There's also the visit of Sec Def Rumsfeld and what wasn't reported in the MSM. Great roundup.

The unfair and untrue condemnation of Don Rumsfeld - Sunday, 12/26/04

A father of a fallen Marine speaks out about his experience with Mr. Rumsfeld.

The Tennessee man spoke of a defense secretary, on an early May day, who came to visit the wounded at Bethesda Naval Hospital — without any press coverage.

And he remembers a defense secretary and his wife who gave him 20 minutes to listen, talk and cry about the heroics and loss of his son, Brent.

The Banty Rooster - A Must Read Email From an American Soldier!

Go check out this email.

.....I knew the Secretary was nearby, and it turns out he was in the ICU. The patient drew enough attention because of his bruised, banged up face that the 4 star came over to get his story from the surgeon. I was doing some charting by the bedside when Mr. Rumsfeld came over and heard the kid's story .......

Poll shows troops in support of war

Some interesting numbers here. In the Mpls Star Tribune yesterday the front page story below the fold mentioned that the military was having trouble filling recruitment numbers. Not true, but why let a few facts get in the way of an agenda.

According to a poll from Military Times:
Sixty-three percent of respondents approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, and 60% remain convinced it is a war worth fighting. Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting.

But the men and women in uniform are under no illusions about how long they will be fighting in Iraq; nearly half say they expect to be there more than five years.

In addition, 87%% say they're satisfied with their jobs and, if given the choice today, only 25% say they'd leave the service.

Compared with last year, the percentages for support for the war and job satisfaction remain essentially unchanged.

A year ago, 77% said they thought the military was stretched too thin to be effective. This year, that number shrank to 66%.

The findings are part of the annual Military Times Poll, which this year included 1,423 active-duty subscribers to Air Force Times, Army Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times.

The subscribers were randomly surveyed by mail in late November and early December. The poll has a margin of error of +/—2.6%.

Among the poll's other findings:

• 75% oppose a military draft.

• 60% blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone.

• 12% say civilian Pentagon policymakers should be held accountable for abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Donald Rumsfeld's Record

Do you think maybe the naysayers of Mr. Rumsfeld have a bit of the sour grapes cause he stepped on some of their pork barrel toes?

A brief review of Mr. Rumsfeld's record is in order to remind his critics why. He has rebuilt the U.S. military, which has freed 50 million people from tyranny, decimated al Qaeda, won two wars and is busily consolidating the second of those.

After the large drawdowns of the 1990s, Mr. Rumsfeld's efforts to get uniformed personnel out of civilian Pentagon jobs boosted Army troop levels by 30,000. None of his critics concede it, but those 30,000 alleviated the need for a draft. He killed unnecessary defense systems like the Crusader artillery piece against the wishes of congressional pork-barrelers and the special interests.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


The stockings are stuffed on the ledge with care, even my Spreadsheet expert (Tink) has her own treats to dip into. House is cleaned (errr well as good as it gets...). Gifts have all been wrapped and put under the tree. Went to the Meat market and got goodies for breakfast on Christmas morning. The house is all decorated inside and out and it's just waiting for the family to descend. I do love Christmas not just because of the religious aspect but also because my family all gets together and we are a large and boistrous bunch. We even include the canines in the fun. Christmas Eve day my parents will arrive to stay with me and then, after the Vikings vs The Pack, we go to one of my brothers and he's got homemade Pizza (he makes the best) and a little violin and guitar Christmas program. Then we have white elephant gifts to exchange along with a bit of vino. Then maybe a Domino tournie.

Christmas Day the fun starts around noon with my other brothers and sisters with spouses and kids ( some canines) in tow will arrive at my little abode. It gets very loud and energetic with my Mom at the center of attention. The kids will go outside and play on the ice. We open gifts and it looks like a tornedo has ripped through the house. Then it's down to the serious business of food!! We have homemade ravioli every year for Christmas Day Dinner. I'm usually full after two raviolis since I've probably been munching on too many cookies....yeah, naughty. Everybody cleans up and then usually by 5 pm everyone is gone. It seems so quiet after 5 hours of bedlam and chaos.

Everyone (for all 2 or 3 of you) my best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and please say a prayer for our soldiers and their families. If you can, donate a few dollars to one of the organizations listed above. Thank our soldiers for letting you have a wonderful Christmas with your families while they are not with theirs. Never forget that Freedom isn't Free.

Merry Christmas to ALL

Are American soldiers doing the Lord's work in Iraq? You bet.

It's really a shame that a military officer can't even reference God in fear that it will be misconstrued by the MSM who seem to have a penchant for creating headlines out of nothing. Hurrumpfff!

God and Good Government

Tuesday, December 21, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

The most surprising thing an American military officer told me about his work in Iraq came in a statement he later asked to retract. And it strikes me as something worth thinking about in this Christmas season as we go through the annual ritual of pulling crèche scenes from courthouse lawns across America. In the debate over faith in the public square there is rarely an acknowledgement that there is a link between morality and government.

After describing the good works his men were doing by rebuilding schools and providing food and medicine to Iraqis, the officer summed up this list by saying "We're just doing the Lord's work." At the time the comment seemed perfectly appropriate. I do not know the officer's faith or even if he is a Christian. But his meaning was clear: His men were performing vital humanitarian work in addition to taking on insurgents. The surprise came a few minutes after the interview, when a public information officer asked to retract the comment. Apparently in the post-interview debriefing someone got scared that it could be misconstrued. The officer did not mean to imply that he was doing the Lord's work at all, I was assured.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Military Moms of Minnesota

I found this via The Iraq Files. Funny cause you'd think this would be someone you'd see in the local rag but hmmm, nope.

Aside from the family story who's sons are in Iraq there's also a mention about the politics in Minnesota.

Would you call this Minnesota Nice (btw for those that don't know this is a jab at the lefties in the state):

MINNESOTA -- A VERY BLUE state -- must be a very odd place these days. John Kerry won Minnesota in November by three points. Its population isn't large compared to many states, but about 13,000 Minnesotans are in the National Guard, and many are in Iraq. The support the troops get from their families is incredible. Unfortunately for the younger members of the family, politics sometimes is substituted for the support they should receive from their teachers. Maybe it's a blue state problem.

The normal pressures of being 16 are enough for Tyler Wieman to have to deal with. He and brother Kyle are worried about Josh. And about themselves, thanks to teachers who are doing their best to scare the hell out of the kids. Tyler's teachers have been telling him he's going to be drafted and sent off to war. Their mom is too busy helping to be really outraged about this, but we should do it for her. Any teacher who is scaring kids -- especially those with brothers or sisters in harm's way -- should be fired forthwith. Fortunately for Tyler, calls from brother Josh, stationed in Baghdad -- and his parents' effort to set the record straight -- are relieving some of that pressure.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Training for Eternity

This is a heart wrenching posting from a Chaplain at the attack in Mosul. Leave him an encouraging comment. Link from Hugh Hewitt.

A Marine's Father Speaks

This is in reference to SecDef's not personally signing letters:

Don't get me wrong, we would appreciate the condolence letter from the SecDef, as well as one from the White House and from our Senator and Representative, from the Mayor and Governor. But none would bring back our son. And they are all form letters, signatures be damned. A letter from his 1stSgt, from the men we know in his unit would be a treasure and a comfort.

I don't know what happens in other branches, or even other units. But in 2/4, I know the 1stSgt's personally contact the surviving family with letters, emails and phone calls of condolence.

And then he adds some info about the UNPUBLISIZED visits President Bush has had with families......

Editorial: Solstice/Doesn't it seem darker this year?

For anyone who doesn't know about the drivel produced by the Minneapolis Star Tribune here's an excellent example. THIS WAS THE EDITORIAL FOR TODAY!!

Today's sunrise brings the solstice, and not a moment too soon. This year's run-up to winter has been different, somehow; a procession not so much of shortening days as of lengthening nights.

As in every year, the late-December sun has been setting a little after 4:30. But the darkness that follows has seemed somehow darker -- deeper than usual, or denser -- as it swallows streaming taillights and enforces the boundaries of streetlamp pools. In the mornings, too, the dark has seemed to linger not just longer but more heavily in the low spots, and under the shrubs.

A fellow we know happened to mention this observation out loud, in company, and was surprised to hear a general agreement: Yes, they said, the darkness has seemed darker this year. But why?

Seeing a darker darkness is a highly subjective thing.......

Remember this is the major newspaper in the Twin Cities market. Seeing a darker darkness??? I'd say that my 13 year old nephew would do a better job of writing an editorial than these morons.

Wyden treads slippery slope in intelligence reform debate

So, I guess it's ok to disclose intelligence info by Senator or Representative as long as there's justification from a budget perspective according to the Democrats. Here's a bit more info I posted previously.

Sen. Ron Wyden, during this month's debate on intelligence reform, said a "major acquisition program" was "too expensive" and "unnecessary."

Here's what a Middle East expert said in response to a comment from Rep Baird (D-Wash):
As in the Church days, the government still doesn't report total expenditures on intelligence.

As in the Church days, the government still doesn't report total expenditures on intelligence.

"How does that number compromise our security?" asked Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash.

Tanter, a Middle East expert who teaches at Georgetown University, said if the total intelligence spending figure were released, observers could calculate trends over time.

"If you know what the trend is," Tanter said, "then you can infer whether the United States is putting more money in technology or in human sources, and that could give a signal to where things might be headed."

Then we have this response:
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., has another theory about why some large projects are kept secret.

"They're classified because they're hugely wasteful, unnecessary projects that are incredibly expensive, and they just want to keep that from the public," DeFazio said.

Gee and some people wonder why the Democrats can't be trusted. Anything spent on intelligence and defense needs to be open source to all which pretty much renders it useless. These are the same people screaming about our intelligence and lack thereof!! And they wonder why we have a problem....the problem is THEM!

Elves devise holiday treat for boy battling cancer

This is just a heart punching story that shows what a great country we live in and what strangers are willing to do for a little boy. I'm printing the whole story so I have it as a reminder for myself.

Posted on Sun, Dec. 19, 2004
Magic for a miracle
Elves devise holiday treat for boy battling cancer

The Kansas City Star
Chief Elf slouches at his desk, a blitz of yellow sticky notes circling his computer screen like a wreath.

At Elf Central, all is quiet at 2 a.m.

But with just one week to go before Christmas 2002, all is not well.

Chief Elf leans on his elbows, rubbing his forehead and stubble of beard. What's left of his hair is turning gray. His worry lines are sinking deeper. And his aging eyes are bleary from staring at photos of children, most of them terminally ill. The Elves already are working on eight other Christmas projects. But they have one more to arrange.

Try as he might, no amount of brainstorming can conjure up a gift idea for Spencer Mattson, a toddler from rural Cameron, Mo.

Relatives describe Spencer as “a little farm boy.” Just weeks ago he corrected his nurses at Children's Mercy Hospital, telling them that tractors don't run on gasoline, but diesel.

Chief Elf knows the idea should involve farming and growing. But on this night, he cannot think anymore.

Spencer's 3-year-old body is battling a brain tumor the size of an egg. Choroid plexus carcinoma. He has spent most of his childhood in hospitals, enduring three brain surgeries, chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, blood transfusions, MRI tests and numerous catheters he dubs his “noodles.”

Spencer's family suffers too, with a shortage of hope. Doctors told them their little boy probably would not see another Christmas, guessing he might live 10 to 14 months if they're lucky.

The Elves of Christmas Present want to give Spencer the Christmas memory of a lifetime.

For 15 years, the Elves have sifted through heartache in the metropolitan area, trying to make Christmas extra special for a few families who have had a tough year. The Elves' gifts go far beyond the ordinary store-bought presents.

A true gift is wrapped in sacrifice, they say. The Elves sacrifice their talents, money and time. Especially time. Most gifts are executed late on Christmas Eve, into the young hours of Christmas morning. Years ago, the Elves learned that within those 24 hours, the impossible becomes possible.

One year, they synchronized 250 carpenters, electricians, finishers, roofers and plumbers to build a handicapped-accessible bedroom and bathroom for a mother with the recent amputations of an arm and leg.

Another year they brought “mountains” to a Kansas boy who was too sick to travel to them. The Elves installed in his bedroom a wall-size painting of snow-capped peaks, complete with sound and lights.

And once they gave a boy whose sister had died on Christmas Eve the ride of his life — and a happy memory to replace a sad one — delivering gifts with Santa Claus in a helicopter, landing in a cul-de-sac in Kansas.

The Elves usually never see the joy connected with their gifts. Always anonymous, the Elves toil in secrecy, working in teams, leaving before the recipient awakes.

But Spencer and his family won't have any special Christmas moment if Chief Elf doesn't think of something.

He flicks off his computer and heads for bed. Maybe sleep will bring an answer. The Elf, who walks with a cane, limps past the living room. The television is blaring a station his family normally doesn't watch. Annoyed that one of his four children left the TV on, he reaches for the switch.

And stops. The flickering images show a landscaping company moving large trees.

The Elf spins around, boots up his computer once more, and spends the last hours of darkness digging out information on truck-mounted tree spades.

And imagining a tiny acorn growing into a mighty oak.


In his Kansas City office, Santa Claus adjusts his reading glasses and places his desk light to shine on two clusters of acorns about to be inspected like fine jewels.

Half a dozen of the nuts are from Massachusetts; the others are from Maryland. Claus called his brothers on the East Coast right after Chief Elf called him with the idea. Their boxes arrived overnight by FedEx.

Claus peers over each looking for blemishes, black marks, imperfections. Only the prettiest and biggest acorn with the finest nut cap and stem will do. After all, a magic acorn from the North Pole should be absolutely perfect.

On this same morning, Spencer Mattson is completing a week of chemotherapy at Children's Mercy Hospital, waiting for yet another bout of the yucky medicine to drip into his veins.

Nausea and vomiting are regular visitors whenever he has this procedure. Still, the protocol is a gift, buying him time. And Spencer is really happy this day: Christmas comes in two days, and he's going home.

Project Spencer, as the Elves call it, is taking form. Details are checked off hour by hour.

The acorn? Check.

Fertilizer from the North Pole? Check, with a nod to Mrs. Claus, who found red and green sugar sprinkles in the baking section of Price Chopper.

The watering can and trowel? Check. Claus has a multicolored watering can and a trowel carved with the initials “S.C.”

Spencer's grandma, Robin Connell, also told Chief Elf that Spencer loves watching helicopters land at Children's Mercy. The Chief lined up an Elf helicopter pilot to arrange for a ride.

But here it is, two days before Christmas, and the Elves still haven't found the tree or a tree spade — no one wants to work on Christmas Eve. They need a tree spade that can chomp a 7½-foot circle out of frozen earth. A truck so strong it can lift almost 13,000 pounds, the calculated weight of the dirt along with one large oak.

But Christmas has its own magic. Another phone call. Another tree farm. This one, The Tree Patch, is just seven miles from Spencer's home. Owner Ron Diven has not one but two 90-inch tree spades.

That afternoon, Diven takes a chilly walk around his farm, searching for one perfect oak. It must survive the shock of transplant. With Spencer's diagnosis, no one wants his parents to watch his special tree wither and die while he struggles to live.


The morning of Christmas Eve, Julie Mattson is nervous. She has tried to prepare her son for what strangers have assured her will happen, reading Jack and the Beanstalk to Spencer over and over and over again.

But she has doubts. The plan just seems too far out, with too many chances for error. And she's pretty sure Spencer will not climb into a helicopter.

The plan: Santa Claus arrives at their farm by helicopter. Claus and Spencer plant a magic acorn and fertilize it, marking it with three orange construction flags. Then Spencer is whisked away for a helicopter ride. When they return, a mighty oak will have burst forth from the acorn.

Yeah, best laid plans, she thinks. Five days after terrorists destroyed two towers in New York, she and her husband, Rob, learned that their baby boy had a brain tumor. He was just 2, their only child, the baby they waited 11 years to have, the baby that doctors told them they never would have. Spencer is their miracle baby.

Now their lives revolve around medical scans of brain tissue and an egg-size tumor breaking their hearts.

The Mattsons won't allow themselves to plan. Spencer's cancer has taught them that. The only way to find happiness is creating special memories, moment to precious moment.

Hours later, 90 miles away at Johnson County Executive Airport in Kansas, two Elves — a helicopter pilot and co-pilot — are running through their safety checks. The air is bitterly cold at 22 degrees. Puffs of white smoke pool with every breath.

Santa Claus arrives, and after settling his 6-foot body with its 350 pounds into the whirring machine, discovers the seat belt won't reach around his belly.

Afraid this glitch might ground their plans, he tells no one.

At 5 p.m., according to the Team Spencer Agenda sheet, they zoom off for their 40-minute ride to the Mattsons' farm. Pilot Elf follows Global Positioning System readings that he set the day before. As an added safety feature, a dozen firefighters from the Cameron Volunteer Fire Department wait at the landing site, ready to aim their brightest halogen lights.

At 5:30 p.m. in Cameron, a convoy gathers a half mile down a gravel road from the Mattsons' place. At the front, two Big John Tree Spade trucks idle in the darkness, one carrying a 30-foot oak in its massive claw.

Pickups arrive, along with cars carrying electricians, ground crew, friends and relatives — all Elves tonight.

Eyes search the starry sky. The convoy's instructions are to wait, hidden, until the helicopter ascends once more with Spencer.

Right on cue, a speck appears on the horizon. Just a tiny red blinking light. It grows larger, accompanied by the crescendo of an engine beating the air. The fire department hoists its lights, making the grassy hill a stage.

Spencer's gift of a lifetime has begun.


His parents remember the night as a blur, but Grandpa Ken Connell videotaped everything.

There's Santa climbing out of the helicopter. Santa asking Spencer about tractors. Santa and Daddy and Spencer planting the magic acorn. Santa trying not to panic when he realizes digging a hole in the frozen ground is almost impossible.

There's Spencer grabbing the watering can and fertilizer, and then, because the water is sprinkling out too slow, pouring it out in one swoosh, sending all the adults into peals of laughter.

Lots of laughter.

When Santa asks Spencer if he wants to ride along, Spencer races to the helicopter, beating both the pilot and Santa. The engine whirs again and the helicopter swings aloft, its nose pointing toward Kansas City. As they ascend, Santa looks back and sees a cascade of headlights switching on.

The workers on the ground know they must move fast. They have maybe 35 minutes to plant a tree. The first truck's claw rips out the hole. Following right behind, the second spade plunks the 30-foot pin oak into its new home.

Just for a moment the tree stands alone. One perfect oak.

Then the crowd descends, filling the hole, mulching, watering. Strings of lights rise into the air on poles and are draped onto the oak's uppermost branches. Fourteen light strings flow away from the tree, transforming the oak into a Christmas tree.

One final Elf detail: three orange construction flags waving from its very top, as if the tree had burst from the acorn.

Now, in Kansas City, Pilot Elf and his passengers pass over the Country Club Plaza lights and then hover above the mouth of Kauffman Stadium before heading back to Cameron. None too soon, either — with just a hint of trembling in his voice, Spencer asks for his family and his blankie.

Pilot Elf scans for the firefighters' lights on the hill, but the light of the tree guides him best. The crowd chatter rises as the helicopter appears, then lands. After a few seconds, Santa emerges, carrying Spencer.

A hush. Everyone waits, watching for the moment, the look on Spencer's face when he sees that his tiny acorn has grown into an oak.

Spencer looks, there's a pause … but it passes like a sigh.

Yes, he smiles and utters, “That's my tree.” But the toddler wants his mommy and daddy, and his blankie. He's done with Santa, the helicopter and the glittering lights.

All he wants now is to bury his face into the safest place in his world: Mommy's shoulder.

With her husband by her side, Julie Mattson wraps her arms around Spencer and looks out at the sea of people, their faces illuminated by the tree — friends, relatives, strangers. She marvels that so many would care enough to stand in the freezing chill to give their little boy such a gift. Such a memory.

And just for a few moments, she doesn't notice the cold.


For the past seven months, Spencer Mattson has lived life as a normal kid.

No hospital stays. No radiation treatments. No vomiting from his yucky medicines.

Although treatments destroyed the egg-size tumor, others popped up. But since April, the two small tumors that remain have not grown. He continues his chemotherapy and will have his next MRI in January.

Earlier this month, in what is turning out to be an annual tradition, Spencer's pin oak was lit for the third year.

Santa Claus was there too, riding out to the Cameron farm on a fire truck with red lights flashing. When Spencer saw Santa, he flung his arms around his neck, gave him a big hug and asked for more of that special fertilizer so his dad could use it on his crops.

And everyone there who loved the little boy had joy for one reason: Spencer, now 5, is still here.

To reach Lee Hill Kavanaugh, call (816) 234-4420 or send e-mail to

Women in combat (again)

So, this has been in the news on a low key basis for a few weeks. What I'm wondering for any of you military people out there (both male and female) what your thoughts are on this change. Apparently the change is happening under the radar screen based on a loophole from former SecDef Aspin. Note: I've selected certain pertinent paragraphs from the article. I'm interested in honest opinions and not what's PC.

What has raised concerns is a Nov. 29 briefing by a senior Army officer responsible for Army personnel issues at the Pentagon along with a civilian. The briefing by these two people was for Lt. Gen. James Campbell, director, Army Staff. It included a phrase, "The way ahead: rewrite/eliminate the Army collocation policy." Collocation is military-speak for deploying mixed-sex non-combat units alongside all-male fighting units. The official Army policy prohibits female soldiers in units specifically designated as combat units. But some Army officers think they see a loophole large enough to drive through their social agenda.

The linguistic questions revolve around a policy memorandum written on Jan. 13, 1994, by then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspin. After "restrict(ing) women from direct combat on the ground," Aspin wrote: "The Services may propose additional exceptions, together with the justification to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness)." (emphasis mine)

The language choice is significant. In Aspin's 1994 memo, the word "may" appears after the four restrictions on women in combat. The word "propose" follows "may." Aspin did not say the Army has the power to act unilaterally, as the Nov. 29 briefers apparently contended when they claimed Army policy is "silent on dropping restrictions on women in combat." Adding weight to Aspin's memo is a July 28, 1994, letter from Aspin's successor, William Perry, who said he "approves" of the Army's "proposal."

For all of the reasons argued against such a policy in the past, including unit cohesion, increases in sexual harassment, rape and pregnancy, and the social revulsion most feel about seeing women wounded or killed in combat (or tortured or beheaded by the enemy) - not to mention that these are policies that should be set at the top and not by lower ranking military and civilian authorities - overturning restrictions on women in combat will weaken our military and weaken its effectiveness in fighting and winning wars.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Military families get a helping hand - Buy Dell

Wow....this is just great. Hmmm. Where's the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation????

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is donating the money to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides $5,000 grants to each dependent child and $11,000 for each spouse of U.S. or United Kingdom armed service members who were killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Michael Dell, of Dell computer fame, and his wife, Susan, launched the foundation in 1999 to help needy children. Their donation will pay specifically for the grants for children.

At the end of the article:
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will make the $17 million donation with a first payment of $5 million in December and additional payments over the next four years.
Military families who have lost a loved one in the war are encouraged to contact the organization at or 800-340-HERO.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas Display Orgasmatron

Last night I convinced a certain someone to go to see a Christmas Display of which I had seen a write-up in the Friday paper at work. Thinking it was fairly close to the homestead (close is a relative term when you live in exurbia, I found out I live in exurbia according to the lefties who run the city of Mpls). So we go tripping around the back county roads with me mastering the map! That was the first mistake. I'm the worst with directions and I had us almost to Shakopee which is about 10 miles beyond the target. By the time we finally found our destination, the line up of cars was like rush hour. Mind you this is in a fringe burb. We get closer and no kidding but there's a big orange diamond shaped sign which says "Home Christmas Display". Then there were the orange cones and traffic, traffic, traffic. I got to take like 4 pictures with the jeep moving or barely moving and people walking in front of the camera. The place was amazing for the little bit I saw. Think I'll have to try again bring the Mom with me maybe on Christmas night. Hopefully the traffic and wind will have died down by then. Oh, I forgot to mention the wind and the cold. Negative temps plus 20 to 30 mile winds make it VERY cold.


Here's the story from Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds):

Power Line is calling it one, and has this: "At the time the question was asked, the planted question, the unit had 784 of its 804 vehicles armored." Reading the followup, I think the number was more like 810 out of 830, but the ratio is still colossal, and it's rather shocking that we're just now hearing this.

UPDATE: Meanwhile
Jason van Steenwyk is busting Dick Durbin for phony numbers. ("What's the deal with the idiots on the pentagon beat? Why are they just taking the claim at face value?Why does it fall to me to dig this obvious crap out?")

Donald Sensing has more, and observes:
My long-term readers may recall that I am no member of the Donald Rumsfeld fan club myself, but the calls for his head from US Senators over the phony armor shortage is absurd - especially from Republican Sen. John McCain; I increasingly wonder whether he knows he often seems to disconnect brain from tongue when making the talk shows. McCain's Senate duties have included direct oversight of DOD expenditures since the years of the Clinton administration.

Yet the Tennessean reported,
The Pentagon is spending $4.1 billion over the next year to add armor to vehicles in Iraq. [Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey] Sorenson said 35,000 of them need armored protection, of which 29,000 have been funded by Congress.

Got that? The Army's funding for armor is 6,000 vehicles short because John McCain won't choke up the money.

All of which is to say that it's business as usual on Capitol Hill: to seem rather than to be.

Thoughts On Michael Moore

If you're a Michael Moore fan then I don't think you'll be interested in reading this posting by a soldier. If you're anti-Michael Moore then you'll absolutely love this posting:

He is saying that we, as soldiers, are victims. He has also described us in the past as unwitting pawns and violent killing machines.

Listen up Jabba, you fat fucking loser, the only victims are the poor souls that actually buy into your fecal-infested thinking. I'm not a fucking victim, I'm a soldier who willingly signed up to defend this country against those that want to harm us. I also signed up to play a small part in spreading freedom and democracy in parts of the world that have only known oppression and tyranny.


I guess in Hollywood one is only anti war as long as it doesn't affect your pocket book! From Tim Blair:

Harrison Ford last year:
"I'm very disturbed about the direction American foreign policy is going," said Ford, according to the Australian Associated Press.

"I don't think military intervention is the correct solution," he said. "I regret what we as a country have done so far."

And Harrison Ford now:
Harrison Ford is set to play one of the main characters in the first major film about the war in Iraq.

Variety reports that the film will be based on the upcoming book 'No True Glory: The Battle for Fallujah', which will be published next May.

Ford is to play Jim Mattis, the General who led the US assault on Fallujah following the murder of four Americans.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

ARMOR GEDDON: 8 November(D-Day): First In

Go read this posting on the Fallujah Battle. If you have no clue how this goes like me you'll learn something.

Friday, December 17, 2004

What purpose does the UN serve again?

Here's another example of aggregious behavior by the UN in the Iraqi struggle for establishing a free and democratic Iraq. If you've read my blog ever you will know how much I despise the UN and Kofi Anan. Rich links from Roger Simon on a report by a USMA Law intstructor .....excerpt from Rich:

Unfortunately, their pleas for assistance are going unanswered. For example, some of the most experienced practitioners from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia had initially agreed to participate in the London sessions. At the last minute, however, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan lamely insisted that these experts were all too busy in The Hague to help the Iraqis, and he ordered them to stay home.

Just how do we butt kick this incompetent and corrupt UN Secr General and the UN out of our existence? This is getting way too lame and I am for one am sick and tired of our country's politicians and Administration dancing around this issue when the writing is plainly on the wall.

Someone You Should Know

I love this story cause I'm involved with Soldier's Angels Wounded Backback project. It's great to read a story from someone who's there and was helping. My Mom pulled together enough from a couple of my other sibs at Thanksgiving for me to donate a whole backpack and I'm involved in making the lap blankets included int he backpacks. 4 needing to be finished and mailed out sitting on the table.

After reading this you'll see how great this is this project. There's a link at the top of for the Wounded Warriors Foundation and you can go there and donate yourself!


I have to tell you that the first thing the soldiers pulled out of every stocking and backpack were the LETTERS and CARDS. The candy, etc. went almost unnoticed but the letters were torn open and read immediately. We went into the TV room where a bunch of guys were watching a movie and handed out stockings and 2 minutes later I peeked in and every single one of them had an opened letter in his hands.

Willie had been sent a small box from SA that was full of additional letters. You could tell that people had written like 10 or 20 and sent them in. One pack had "To an American Hero" on each envelope. We put at lot of them into the stockings so they each had 2 letters, and gave the rest to SSG Ferrar to hand out to new guys in a week or two. SSG Ferrar again explained that the guys are often very low-key because of the "decompression" thing, but that the thoughts and wishes from back home make a HUGE difference in morale. He also thanked each one of us individually in a very heartfelt way which of course embarrassed us all again for about the 100th time that day.

Create your own visited States map

Thanks to Blog City Machine for the link. I actually saw this awhile ago someplace else but the site must have been overwhelmed at the time. Nice to run into it again. I've got some work to do on my Eastern States!

create your own personalized map of the USA
or write about it on the open travel guide

Donald Rumsfeld, patriot

The American Thinker

This is more like it or more like how I think of Donald Rumsfeld!

Lance In Iraq: A little alternative history

A new blogger in Iraq from the TN NG.

(AP) - Eighteen American soldiers were killed today after the U.S. Secretary of Defense refused a request for existing armored vehicles to use against members of a Third World insurgency tied to Usama Bin Laden.

Actully, that's not alt-history. It really happened. Here's the key graf:

In September General Powell asked Aspin to approve the request of the U.S. commander in Somalia for tanks and armored vehicles for his forces. Aspin turned down the request. Shortly thereafter Aideed's forces in Mogadishu killed 18 U.S. soldiers and wounded more than 75 in attacks that also resulted in the shooting down of three U.S. helicopters and the capture of one pilot.

Loose Canons...Don't Play "Misty" for Me

Just why have'nt we heard anything about this? Why isn't someone screaming like they did for Valerie Plame and her useless husband Joseph Wilson?

By Jed Babbin
Published 12/16/2004 12:08:30 AM

How long are we going to tolerate senators and congressmen who divulge our most closely-held secrets to the public in search of cheap political gain? We have laws that make those leaks serious federal crimes. We're spending enormous resources on finding out who leaked Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA agent to the press. Leaks that are vastly more important -- and which should be pursued with no less determination and resources -- are regularly ignored because the culprits are sitting members of Congress. These leakers should be thrown out of office and prosecuted.

It's been about two years since Sen. Richard Shelby (
He's a Republican) blew one of our most important secrets -- that we were bugging Osama bin Laden's cell phone, a fact that could have led to the capture of America's most wanted terrorist -- by bragging about it to a reporter. Shelby's action (if it really was him) has never been prosecuted. Why not? Now, another huge leak comes in the form of the disclosure by members of the Senate of a highly-classified satellite program. Three members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have apparently committed a very serious crime by blabbing about a highly-classified satellite program to the press last week. If these men actually did what it appears they did, we ought to throw the book at 'em for divulging one of our most-protected secrets: stealthy reconnaissance satellites.

And then we have this most recently:

As a result of their revelations to the public and the press, three U.S. Senators -- Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who's also the ranking Dem on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) -- are the subject of a "criminal referral" made on Monday for speaking publicly about this satellite. Such referrals are made to the Justice Department by the administration when criminal conduct is suspected. In this case, it's not only suspected, it's evidenced on the front pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. A highly reliable intelligence community source told me that the referral had been made because senior administration officials were beside themselves that the three had taken the controversy on funding this project to the press.

With friends like these people, who needs enemies. Disgusting if all of this is true!

Islamophobia's Big Day at the UN by Alexander H. Joffe

After you read this can you honestly say that the UN is not a useless and worthless organization that is just robbing the US taxpayers?

The tone was set from the top, by the aristocratic Kofi Annan, whose platitudes included the ritual assertion that Islam is not “monolithic," and stunningly, that questioning the compatibility of Islam with democracy, modernity and womens’ rights were forms of Islamophobia. The “Other” was invoked, along with Islam’s ‘tolerance’ for Christians and Jews (as legally defined second-class citizens), as was the qualification that the “historical experience of Muslims included colonialism and imperialism by the West, both direct and indirect.” Terrorism and violence “in the name of Islam” were merely cases where a few give a bad name to the many.

At Ivy League schools, ROTC, long banned, plots a comeback

I think this is a good. I don't understand why on earth we as taxpayers should be funding these colleges if they are not in compliance with Federal funding rules and regs. They don't want ROTC fine, but then de-fund the school. That's it, no discussion. Maybe when some of these radical socialist and communist professors lose their ivory tower positions they'll think twice about slurring the USA.

I've just taken different excerpts to highlight from this article.

In a letter that is about to be sent to Harvard alumni, Lt. Col. Brian Baker, the commander of the ROTC Army battalion at MIT, says he plans to meet with Harvard President Lawrence Summers in the spring to lobby for a Harvard beachhead. "Our nation needs a cross section of America represented in its officer corps," he writes, adding that he wants to double the number of Harvard cadets to 100.

The latest effort comes after the Defense Business Board, an advisory group to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, issued a little-noticed report this year that called for a return of ROTC to elite, mostly Ivy League, campuses. Members focused on Harvard, but also discussed Columbia and Stanford.

Congress has also ratcheted up the pressure by passing a measure sponsored by Rep. Chris Cox (R., Calif.), a Harvard alumnus. The bill, recently signed into law by President Bush, strengthened an earlier law and made it clear that Congress has empowered the government to withdraw millions of dollars in federal funding from schools that bar military recruiters or the ROTC.

Great - now Enforce it!

The recent developments at the Pentagon, in Congress and in the courtroom have put presidents like Harvard's Mr. Summers in a tight spot.

Oh boo freakin' hoo for Mr. Summers. My heart bleeds.....not!

Here's some example's of what those who do join ROTC go through:

At Harvard, the top-ranking Army cadet this semester is senior Elliott Neal, who grew up in Camdenton, Mo., a one-stoplight town in the Ozarks. More than a dozen of his high-school classmates enlisted. Mr. Neal says he views the Army as a form of public service, though he also appreciates the full Harvard scholarship.

He says fellow Harvard students often treat him as a curiosity. "Gosh, you don't seem like you want to shoot people," Mr. Neal, 21, recalls being told recently.

Are Harvard students really this ignorant? OMG...that is just pathetic.

But Brown currently has only two cadets, who travel a couple of miles to Providence College for Army ROTC. At Yale, the three Air Force cadets must drive 75 miles to the University of Connecticut at Storrs. "I bet we lose three to five a year" because of the inconvenience, says Jerry Hill, Yale's ROTC adviser.

One day recently, Justin Elliott, a Yale senior and Air Force ROTC student commander on the UConn campus, picked up a rental car to drive more than an hour to Storrs. In his crisp olive flight suit, he walked by a war memorial honoring Yale alumni. "It's amazing to think how many graduates had fought and died," he says.

In public statements, Mr. Summers has stressed his pride in Harvard ROTC cadets. He has made it a practice to speak at ROTC commissioning ceremonies and, last spring, mentioned by name those serving in Iraq. Harvard now lets ROTC send mailings to students, and it allows cadets to appear in uniform in the yearbook.

Wow - he even stooped down to mention those serving in Iraq! And now cadets can appear in uniform in the yearbook.....ooooooooh. I'm so impressed.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


What is it with Republican politicians? It seems they like to eat their own! You've got Trent Lott, John McCain (well, I already know the answer to that one since McCain has a huge ego and anger management 'issues'), Arlen Spector, Bill Kristol....the list goes on and on. Republican supporters came out in droves to vote on Nov. 2 and it paid off. But now the nitpicking is starting and it isn't pretty. Remember when William Jefferson Clinton was up for impeachment? Did you hear about any Democrats condemning him? Voting for impeachment? No. Guess the Republican Lights have no loyalty even though conservatives got them elected. I tell ya, each time I see this it makes me more and more jaded towards the Republican Party. You got George Bush endorsing Kofi Anan, against the House Republicans. Looking to Joe Lieberman as a Cabinet member, what Conservative Republican did Clinton or Carter ever appoint? Also, George Bush leaves in place one of the most worthless Cabinet members Norman Minetta as Secretary of Transportation!! He's a freakin' liberal. If Bill Kristol thinks that 'Mainstream' America thinks like Kristol, I've got a great bog in Northern Minnesota for Bill to purchase. I'm so sick and tired of this bandwagon to fire Rumsfeld. Armchair quarterbacks - all of them. Has Rumsfeld done every thing perfect, no. How will Rumsfeld look in 20 or 30 years. I'm guessing pretty darn shrewd and more than amazing myself. But David Frum makes some excellent points in this column.

David Frum's Diary on National Review Online

DEC. 16, 2004: LOYALTIES
2. On the other hand, not everything that has been called a mistake really was a mistake.

A second example: It's often said that the US made a mistake dissolving the Iraqi army in 2003. I'll concede that it was probably an error to stop paying salaries to former soldiers and (especially) officers. ....... But as we saw at Fallujah in April 2004, trusting them would probably have had consequences even more disastrous than firing them.

3. Some of the problems of the post 9/11 period can be traced to specific decisions by specific individuals. You can indeed blame Donald Rumsfeld for sending too-few troops to Iraq - if you think that the number of troops is too few, and that this fewness was an important cause of the failure to contain the insurgency (two large and I'd suggest maybe over-simplified assumptions).

Other mistakes can be blamed on other individuals who usually escape censure: Tommy Franks, for example, who rejected demands of Pentagon civilians to plan for war's aftermath (on the age-old bureaucratic principle that it wasn't his department) - and indeed retired almost as soon as Baghdad fell. It was Franks too who insisted on micro-managing the battle for Tora Bora from his office in Qatar, more than 1200 miles away. Or on Louis Freeh who ran the FBI through the years when it was failing to notice the warning signs of 9/11. Or Bill Lann Lee, the assistant attorney general for civil rights in the late 1990s, whose office forbade the Department of Transportation to proceed with passenger screeding techniques that would have caught the 9/11 hijackers on the ground. Etc.

4. Beyond that, though, the faults begin to look less personal and more institutional. Richard Clarke's memoir is actually quite good on this point: He describes again and again how the Army balked at carrying out unconventional missions against al Qaeda. When President Clinton called for plans, the Army presented him with scenarios based on a five-division expeditionary force - and Clinton flinched, which is what the scenario was intended to make him do.

You get the idea from David Frum. It's a good entry.

The Heart of America

This is just the most awesome story you will have heard in a long time. It's about a Marine patrol, Toys to Iraqi kids from the Marines, a little Iraqi Girl sitting in the middle of the road and an IED!


Media’s bad intelligence on the intel bill

There's quite a few items in the intelligence bill which Joel points out of which I wasn't aware. Even though, I still think the Intelligence czar is stupid and another layer of government that is not needed and perhaps will hinder efforts in the future. But that's Congress's job isn't it, to complicate and obfuscate!

While true that Chairman Sensenbrenner lost his bid to close security loopholes that could be exploited—particularly drivers licenses for illegal aliens that could be used to board flights—he was perhaps the biggest winner in terms of ensuring the inclusion of controversial clauses in the bipartisan bill.

Ironically, the steely Wisconsin Republican scored several significant victories precisely because his even more controversial “immigration” provisions dominated Democrats’ focus.

The Robert Jensen deportation fund

Here's another anti-American, anti-military screed from an American college professor. The number of college professors who are anti-American is stunning and a concern. What's even worse about this one, he's a journalism wonder the media is a bunch of liberal, whining, pathetic weenies.

In an article written for The Austin American Statesman, Jensen recently claimed that “The United States has lost the war in Iraq, and that's a good thing.”

While Jensen was careful to say that the loss of American lives is not to be celebrated, he insulted our soldiers deeply by saying that their deaths “haven't protected Americans or brought freedom to Iraqis.” Instead, he brushed off their service to our country as merely part of “a quest to extend the American empire.”

In his article, Jensen proudly states, “I welcome the U.S. defeat.” He also says “it's essential the American empire be defeated and dismantled.” Why? Because, according to Jensen, “In Iraq, the Bush administration invaded not to liberate but to extend and deepen U.S. domination.” He also says that the invasion of Iraq is “about control over the flow of oil and oil profits,” though he concedes that it is not about outright ownership of Iraqi oil.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Small Town Veteran:

Oh - you have to go to Small Town Vet and read this Christmas poem. Maybe then you'll pick up the phone and dial that number I gave in this post to say thankyou to our armed forces who are deployed.

God bless Hillary Clinton?!

Tony Blankley: God bless Hillary Clinton?!

Tony Blankley sees HRC's sudden concern for illegal immigration a godsend and he may be right. I hadn't thought of it in this way. Hmmm. I had posted about this a few days ago here.

But I have a hunch that there will be a large unwanted guest in Washington next year -- immigration and border control reform legislation. .......
What I suspect may be a gathering storm on President Bush's horizon in 2005 is a confluence of factors that will force on Washington a fundamental immigration reform -- one that will seek to genuinely secure our borders.
This is something that up until now neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party has wanted, and that the mainstream media have not pressured the politicians to deliver on.

In the last few weeks, the ever cold-blooded Miss Hillary has started to stake out a position to the right of the Republican Party. Just listen to her Pat Buchananesque defiance:

[I do] not think that we have protected our borders or our ports ... we can do more and we can do better ... I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants ... Clearly we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we are going to let people in for ... work … let's have a system that keeps track of them ... People have to stop employing illegal immigrants.

These are hardly idle pensees coming from The Iron Maiden of Chappaqua. Rather, it is a part, and a big part, of her calculated strategy to shed her liberal image and seize the White House from the Republicans in 2008 by attacking them on the most vulnerable part of their right flank: open borders, illegal immigration and lax anti-terrorist security.

I never thought I would write the following words, but: God bless Hillary Clinton. Though her motives are cynical, their effects may well be vital both to our national security and to our sovereign responsibility to control our borders.

But they ignore Hillary at their mortal peril.

The funny thing about Hillary though is the speak of triangulation. What is she really saying and will Hillary truly come down on illegal aliens. I think not! She thinks we can take care of it with another government system of tracking illegals coming IN and going OUT of the country. Now what good will that do? But, if nothing else, Hillary's new tactic will mobilize Republican politicians to ahhh maybe LISTEN to their constituents. How's that for a novel approach!

Walter E. Williams: Higher education in decline II

Walter Williams is such an interesting person and I really like his commentaries. I have no problem believing any of these related stories to Walter.

Walter E. Williams: Higher education in decline II

Last week's column discussed the sad and tragic state of affairs in higher education. According to loads of letters received in response to that column, it's worse than I thought. Let me share just a few of them. One person wrote that he knows an elementary school teacher and said, "She believed, until just this past summer, that the state of Alaska was an island because it is so often shown as an inset on many U.S. maps, appearing somewhat like an island."

A professor said that while he was trying to help a student with a problem, he asked her, "What is 20,000 minus 600?" He went on to say, "She literally could not answer without the calculator." He rhetorically questioned, "Should a person receive a college degree that cannot answer that in their head?"

An English professor wrote, "One of the items that I assigned was a two-page essay that described a favorite vacation or holiday. One student turned in two pictures drawn with crayon depicting the beach. When I gave her a failing grade, she was indignant and said that she put a great deal of work into the pictures. When I told her that she did not do the assignment and that she was supposed to write an essay, she said, ‘But I don't know what an essay is!'"

Several devastating consequences result when colleges admit unprepared students. First, it lets high schools off the hook by allowing them to continue to confer fraudulent diplomas. Second, it leads to a dumbing down of the academic curricula and the creation of Mickey Mouse courses for students who can't make it in more challenging courses.

Editorial writers miss the boat on why we buy SUVs

Joe Soucheray hits the nail on the head with this column. Just for those who aren't from MN, Joe calls the Mpls Star Tribune the "Enemy Paper". That's because he writes for the St. Paul Pioneer Press which has a substantially lower circulation number. The Strib is about as left leaning as you can get without calling it the Communist Manifesto but the Pioneer Press isn't exactly right leaning either. It's just less left leaning than the Strib. It's too bad someone in the newspaper industry hasn't realized they could increase their circulation numbers significantly if they did adopt a conservative leaning. Maybe it's because there just are too few editorialists and news managers out there to recruit. I don't know but it seems to me to be simple economics. Haha! I've answered my own question, journalists don't understand business or economics or for that matter the military, so it makes sense to me now.....or not?

Here's some interesting stats Joe points out:

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota ranked fourth in the nation in 2002 in boat registrations, the most recent year for rankings, behind only Michigan, California and Florida. In 2003, there were 845,379 boats registered in Minnesota. This probably terrifies editorialists as well, many of whom believe that boats and motors are as problematic to their view of life as the vehicles needed to trailer them.

How do you think those boats get to the lake, behind a Geo Metro?

In 2002, Minnesota was second only to Michigan in snowmobile registrations, at 277,290. I suppose you could tow a snowmobile or two up north every weekend behind a Honda Civic, but I bet you'd choose a SUV.

Not to mention ATVs, off-road motorcycles, hunting, fishing and camping equipment.

People buy SUVs because they are just the ticket for how they are living. There's the rub. It's how we are living that irritates editorialists. Look at the way poor old John Kerry had to answer that famous SUV question asked of him on the campaign trail. Asked if he owned an SUV he said he didn't but his family did. What a wimp. He should have answered honestly.

"You're darn tootin' I own SUVs. Couldn't get along without them. Heck, we own four or five homes, and we're always hauling stuff.''

BTW - I own an SUV and before that I had a truck for 11 years. I love my Ford Explorer, it's a wonderful vehicle. One of the best vehicles I've ever purchased.

Sgt Hook is hanging it up

Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend Clear the Air

He will definitely be missed by me for one!

Update: Guess he's gone with all posts and comments cleared from the blog. :-((

Aliens Cause Global Warming

Thanks to Sarah for this link. It's a good speech and so true. Last Saturday I was working with my nephew/godchild on our Christmas present for his parents project. Somehow we got to talking about "Global Warming". He's 13 and has been brain washed like most into believing the 'bowing at the altar of environmentalism' crowd regarding global warming. I told him that yes I did believe in global warming but only in the sense that it was a naturally occurring phenomenon just like the ice ages which occurred over thousands and thousands of years. He looked at me like I had been smokin' crack or something. Then we got on the cigarette smoking issue and I also told him that while I didn't think smoking was good for you and didn't like the smell I didn't believe in the second hand smoke theory. Told him it was what was called 'junk science'. He gave me another look like I was an 'alien'. By the time he I took him home I think he thought, oh...that Auntie Toni is just such a radical! Hopefully, when he's a bit older and his critical thinking is more mature he will think...hmmm, maybe Aunt Toni was right.

Anyway, look at what Crichton says....

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.


Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

Hmmm....doesn't some of this sound just like the Neosocialists (oops, I mean 'Progressives') of our time! Crichton has examples of junk science thru the ages proven incorrect.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Retired Army colonel, 70, sent to Afghanistan -

Thanks to Jason for the link. This is amazing!

Dr. John Caulfield thought it had to be a mistake when the Army asked him to return to active duty. After all, he's 70 years old and had already retired - twice. He left the Army in 1980 and private practice two years ago. .........Today, Caulfield, a colonel from Satellite Beach, Fla., is an example of how the continuing demands of keeping ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are forcing the military to go to extraordinary measures to keep its ranks filled. He's attending to patients - U.S. troops, Afghan soldiers and civilians - at the Army's 325th Field Hospital in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend and Support the Troops (You Fat Bastard)

I just love this posting of Sgt Hook for Michael Moore on behalf of Fisher House.

Now, to the point: a Michael Graham of WMAL Radio has written a letter inviting Michael Moore (the fat bastard) to put his newfound money where his fat mouth is. Oh, the money he’s challenging Mr. Fat Bastard to produce, if indeed he supports the troops or is just trying to make a few million bucks off the backs of the troops, would go to the Fisher House.

I just wonder if MMoore ever donated ANY of the profit from F'911 or the book he has out on Letters from Soldiers? I'd bet not.

Monday, December 13, 2004

KRQE News 13 - Gov wants investigation into child support scam

How often have you heard about scams like this? Maybe not where no 'real' child existed but too often women are playing games with the paternal parent. The courts and child services agencies have skewed so far in the other direction from 30 years ago that now men are the ones getting scammed all the time. Is it not possible for Social Service Agencies and Judges to have just a little bit of common sense. Is that too much to ask of a public servant? I guess it is!

Gov wants investigation into child support scam
Source: AP

ALBUQUERQUE -- Governor Richardson's office is calling for an investigation into how a man was forced to pay child support for a child that didn't exist.
Steve Barreras was hauled into court, peppered with threats and paid out $20,000 in child support. Then his ex-wife was ordered to produce the child in court.

So last week -- Viola Trevino picked up a two-year-old girl and her grandmother off the street and promised them a trip to see Santa Claus. Instead, she allegedly took the girl into court and said she was her daughter.

The elaborate ruse stretched over five years and involved fake DNA evidence, a forged Social Security number and birth and baptismal certificates.

State District Judge Linda Vanzi ruled the child did not exist.

Omar and Mohammed Come Calling

The power of the blogosphere is amazing!

The two brothers from Iraq the Model Blog were in the USA for a conference. There were many bloggers who were able to meet with them including Roger (above), Powerline and Matt at Blackfive. They've all done a write up of their impressions of the brothers.

But Roger went a step further and had them over for dinner:

Omar and Mohammed Come Calling

Omar and Mohammed-two of the three brothers who make up Iraq the Model-came to Sheryl's and my house last night for a small party of some bloggers and other interested folks. I would have invited everyone I knew... in some ways I wish I had... but I was selfish. I wanted a small enough group so we could all talk with them (okay, so I could talk with them).

One thing I would like to say at the outset is that they were terrific people and I was instantly comfortable with them in the way you are with old friends. This is one of the miracles of the blogosphere. We all know each other to an extraordinary degree before we meet.

But it was more than that in this is case. I think I can speak for the others present when I say both brothers exuded a unique combination of calm, warmth and intelligence. They are also deep lovers of freedom in a way it is difficult to be for those of us who grow up with it. If many Iraqis are like these two young Baghdad dentists, I am quite anxious to go to Iraq.

Walter Reed Hospital Open Houses

This is so nice, I'd never heard of it before. Guess I need to pay more attention to The Corner.

Thanks to all the NRO readers who contributed to Karen Theobald's Christmas bags for the Helping our Heroes Christmas party. (Here's a link to the group's website.) The party was held Saturday and was truly an inspiring event. Wounded soldiers mingled with veterans, children, cabinet secretaries and appellate judges, military families, supporters of all ages from all over the Washington area.

Volunteers spread a lavish buffet and home-baked goods. Choirs sang, country music was performed, corny jokes told; more than 300 gift bags were given away.

It was hard to say which was more astonishing: the courage and spirit of the injured or the skill of the doctors who treated them. One soldier cheerfully quipped: "In any other war, I'd have been one of those they left behind." Instead, he was helicoptered out, operated on again and again, and after months of therapy - he is walking once more.

It matters enormously to these magnificent men and those who care for them to know that they are admired and supported by the American people: that their fellow-citizens know and feel their sacrifice and are grateful.

The open houses at Walter Reed are regular events: The next one will be January 8. Karen Theobald will have a new set of gift bags for newcomers to the hospital; anything you can contribute will be gratefully received. You can reach her c/o Cannon Design 1100 Wilson Blvd. Suite 2900 Arlington VA 22209. Questions can be directed to her at And if you can spare the time, why not come yourself? You would be most welcome - and I'll look forward to seeing you there.

Hillary goes conservative on immigration

Peggy Noonan was correct in her assessment on Hillary. And the Republican Party had better take note because they'd prefer to ignore the illegal alien issue. Reps like Tom Tancredo are viewed as a 'problem' by the RNC. Nothing will take away votes from Republicans like the illegal alien issue!

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is staking out a position on illegal immigration that is more conservative than President Bush, a strategy that supporters and detractors alike see as a way for the New York Democrat to shake the "liberal" label and appeal to traditionally Republican states. Mrs. Clinton — who is tagged as a liberal because of her plan for nationalized health care and various remarks during her husband's presidency — is taking an increasingly vocal and hard-line stance on an issue that ranks among the highest concerns for voters, particularly Republicans.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Soldiers Radio now recording holiday greetings for troops

Got this email from friend Kathleen. Take a few seconds out of your day and record a greeting to our troops!

Soldiers Radio now recording holiday greetings for troops
By Gary Sheftick
Heidi Lawton, Soldiers Radio and Television intern, edits holiday messages for broadcast on
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 9, 2004) -- Holiday radio greetings to Soldiers overseas can now be recorded via a toll-free number.The Holiday Audio Postcard Program, now entering its third year, allows people to leave a 15-second message of support and encouragement to Soldiers deployed worldwide by calling 1-800-706-1050.The program received thousands of calls last year from all over the nation, said Sgt. 1st Class Matt Howard, the greetings producer for Soldiers Radio and Television. He said more than 1,500 of those calls aired on between songs and spot announcements.

This year, only about 100 messages have been recorded so far, and the deadline is Dec. 17. Last year, the toll-free number was posted on the Web site, Howard said, and he hopes the site will list the number again this year.The publicity last year brought in thousands of callers, Howard said, explaining that some were repetitive and only one message per person will air. Family members call with greetings, Howard said, but so do friends, old war buddies, veterans, and even mom and pop Americans with no connection to the service members. Last year quite a few veterans from Desert Storm and Vietnam sent sympathetic greetings to Soldiers in Iraq, Howard said.Soldiers in Iraq may be able to hear some of the greetings over the air on the American Forces Network radio station there, Howard said, as he plans to send the broadcasters there audio files to play. In the meantime, though, the greetings can be heard on beginning Dec. 13 through Jan. 2.
To tune in, log on to, and click on the SRTV Radio Player button.

More on France and Canada

The Diplomad

I love it when anyone dishes it out to France and Canada, why, because both are so deluded and thin-skinned. It's ok for anyone in France and Canada to continually criticize America and Americans but ohhhhhh you'd better not say anything about France or Canada cause otherwise they'll well they'll ...... say something back? We all know they have no military to speak of so they've got no muscle to exercise just words.

Here's an exerpt from the Diplomad and go read the comments cause they are interesting:

Not unlike the Canadian left. Now there's another group that just loves to dump all over the USA and especially President Bush, but say something back, and the Girlie Boys are all in a twitter! Remember how worked up they got over Conan's SOCK PUPPET!

And if you really want a Girlie Boy comment check out this one on The Diplomad by some "reality based" Canadian blog. It seems that if you don't like how Canada, once one of the world's great countries, has been systematically run into the ground and emasculated over the past 40 years, well, you are a hater of Canada and "Brain-dead ignorant."

The true "Brain-dead ignorant" haters of Canada are the cry-baby lunatics who now control the place and want to ignore the great role that Canada has played historically in the defense of the West. We wonder what the Canadian kids who stormed ashore and died at Dieppe or on the beaches of D-Day under their famous Red Ensign (not that weird washed out Maple Leaf) would think of what has happened to their country in the past four decades; a country now content to disarm itself -- except for a few rusty smoky second-hand subs -- and to destroy its traditions and culture in the name of diversity.

Other postings of mine about Canada are here and here.

WWW MyView