Saturday, April 30, 2005

Help Create Traumatic Injury Insurance for All Active Duty Service Members

Back in January I posted on this bill promoted by the Wounded Warrior Project. I got an email requesting support since they have made some progress with this legislation.
On Thursday April 21st the United States Senate passed legislation yesterday creating Traumatic Injury Insurance that will issue active duty service members a payment ranging from $25, 000 to $100,000, should they incur a life altering injury while serving their nation. This legislation, known as the Wounded Warrior Bill, was introduced as an amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Funding Bill by Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, at the urgent request of three injured soldiers from the Wounded Warrior Project. The Traumatic Injury Insurance will make an immediate payment to the service member and their family within days of sustaining their injury to support them during their hospitalization. Additionally, the legislation passed will make Craig’s measure retroactive to the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, which began in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.

This payment will ensure that newly injured soldiers can concentrate more fully on their recovery and transition back into civilian life rather than on the financial hardship that their disability will have on them and their families.


ACTION NEEDED:The Emergency Supplemental bill must now go through conference Committee, where differences between the House of Representatives and Senate versions of this bill will be reconciled. As this Traumatic Insurance provision is only in the Senate version of the Legislation, we must make sure that it remains in the final version of the bill to be approved by both the House and Senate.

Please Call the Members of the Conference Committee and Demand That They include the Craig Amendment That Creates Traumatic Injury Insurance Coverage for Our Troops

For more information please visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

What One Iraqi Woman Can Do and Did!

boots in baghdad: courage

B in B has a really interesting story he tells about Courage. Courage from an Iraqi Woman to help them take down the 'Bad Guys'.

She continuously grabbed her wedding ring and said, “insurgents, Ali Baba (bad guys).” At first I thought maybe her husband had been arrested and was being held in a prison by coalition forces. This was the only day this week we didn’t have a translator with us. SSG P radioed battalion requesting a translator. Another unit a few miles away had one available. SSG P had me and SGT H stay with the women while he took two of the five humvees that made up the mounted element to go and get the translator. The rest of the dismounted element was about a hundred meters down the road pulling security on our location with the three humvees that stayed. They did a great job of being discreet and not revealing there was any of us behind the wall.

Operation Welcome Home

While driving back to Minnesota from Tennessee yesterday I of course was scanning the radio dial. On the way down I listened to Ann Coulter read her book 'Treason', that was a first for me to listen to a book cd. Five hours just zipped by - I was amazed. Anyway, I happened to catch a radio program (and sorry but I don't remember who the talk host was), but he was interviewing Mike Jackson and Tara Dixon-Engel who wrote the book 'Naked in Da Nang'.

Mike Jackson didn't intentionally end up naked on the streets of Da Nang. In retrospect, however, he's kind of glad he did.

"I guess if I hadn't, I'd have to call my book 'Fully Clothed in Vietnam,' which just doesn't have quite the same ring," he laughed. "As a title, 'Naked in Da Nang' works…it's a little strange, a little curious and slightly off-color…"

Not unlike the author himself...

When Jackson retired from the United States Air Force in 1991 as a lieutenant colonel, he took with him numerous commendations, medals, memories and an incredible assortment of off-beat stories.

"For years I've been telling tales - all true - about my 23 years in the military and my 366 days as a combat pilot in Southeast Asia. But I discovered when I came back from my tour in Vietnam that America really didn't want to hear about the war. In fact, as a returning veteran, full of stories and thoughts and observations,
I quickly learned that the only way I could share my combat experiences with people was if there was humor involved."

Along with the book these two people are trying to organize a national event called Operation Welcome Home for Vietnam Vets.


Operation Welcome Home will take place over Veteran’s Day weekend 2005 -- November 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada -- and throughout the nation. If you are interested in coordinating an event in your area they will help.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Taking The Pep Out Of Pep Boys

SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse

From Slaglerock:
Today I received this in the comments of an earlier post regarding Pep Boys mistreatment of its military employees:

Hello, I just saw this on a search and was so glad to see the support. They still have not compensated me a penny and keep canceling meetings for settlement and depositions... COWARDS!!!!!!!
I am now disabled and I've lost my home, but I will fight 'til my death to see justice for our Sailors and Soldiers. Some of my friends who served by my side and also some who died to fight for freedom so stupid ass Pep Boys can sell scooters and M&M's...

Let’s start it up again and email & write Mark Page. He was my friend and is a Vice President. He paid to move me as a store Manager from NH to Arizona to become a District Manager...... SO Mark Page needs to know people are pissed please help me, Mr. Eric Balodis

If you remember the original post it garnered about a dozen trackbacks from other great bloggers and got coverage in the milblog community. For those of you who aren't familiar with Mr. Balodis, here is the original post in its entirety.

You should go read the entire posting which includes the original posting on the story.

It's What She Does, Not What She Says That Is Important

Pro-Life Activists Question Hillary Clinton's Sincerity -- 04/26/2005

Like this is a big shock to those of us following the attempt by Hillary Rodham Clinton to re-invent herself.

The Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said pro-life leaders, including himself, have been trying for two months to arrange a face-to-face meeting with Sen. Clinton, but she has declined.

In late January, Sen. Clinton urged a group of abortion rights supporters to find common ground with pro-lifers. "We should be able to agree that we want every child born in this country to be wanted, cherished and loved," Clinton said in a speech near Albany, N.Y.

It now seems that the statements Senator Clinton made concerning finding common ground on abortion, were politically motivated and not sincere," Mahoney said in a press release.

"These comments should now be viewed as an attempt to reinvent herself and appear less radical on the issue of abortion in light of the 2008 race for the White House."



Just keep the focus on what she does and you won't be confused by her phoney statements. HRC seems to be good at the meaning of the word "is", just like her hubby.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Korean Union recommends strike at US installations

European and Pacific Stars & Stripes

Lance in Iraq noted this story. Lance is correct in that the US needs to get out of South Korea. It's pretty obvious the South Koreans don't want the US in their country and are also ungrateful for the US protection from North Korea since the '50's. This is along the lines of the attitude of the Germans towards the US and why do we still have any bases in Germany. To me, I don't care what the rational would be, it's time to get out of these countries. If the US needs footprint bases I'm sure there are willing host countries. But, I don't think the US should ever build up permanent bases again like we have in Europe or South Korea. I don't believe there is ever goodwill created from this permanent base structure in the host countries. There will come a time when Americans are going to be fed up with this setup and the tax dollars sponging into the foreign economies of nations who hate us.

<......>
Kang In-shik said he met with USFK Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Charles C. Campbell and other senior U.S. officers to discuss the military’s proposal to lay off 1,000 South Korean workers.
<....>
The announcement came as the United States and South Korea are trying to agree on how much that nation should pay toward the $1.2 billion cost of maintaining USFK. Last year, South Korea paid about $621 million. This year, it has proposed cutting that amount by $60 million,
<....>
Kang said he understands that the funding shortfall might mean some workers would lose jobs but that cutting 1,000 employees is a “big ‘no-way’ for us, no matter what.”

The union will go to its 12,000 voting members beginning this week to see if they’ll vote for a strike, Kang said.


Imagine that....12,000 South Korean workers employed by the US!

There They Go Again - The NY Times That Is!

Mudville Gazette

I saw this article yesterday from one of my email alerts. Since I don't have a registration with the NYT I couldn't read the story. I just have a thing about giving the NYT's even the appearance of my support so in my little way I snub them. Am I surprised they've written another story with wrong information about the military - No. I do usually check out Jason because he does such a great job of deconstructing the NYT's military reporting. Greyhawk does it here along with Jason. Maybe, the NYT's will possibly wise up but I wouldn't count on it. After 4 years of war, it hasn't happened, so why think another 2 years will make a difference.

TERROR IN THE SKIES: ANNIE JACOBSON FINALLY GETS A VISIT FROM THE FEDS

WomensWallStreet.Com - Columns

If you haven't read Annie Jacobson's account of NW Flight 327 last year, you should read her series. In her 4 hours with agents from the Dept of Homeland Security you for one thing find out: James Woods flight prior to 911 which he reported to the FBI involved Mohammed Atta as a dry run. The other thing you find out is the Federal Air Marshalls pretty much ignored Annie and her husbands account and did little or no investigating. Keep in mind some of Michelle Malkin's articles regarding the Federal Air Marshall higher up being more concerned with how their agents were dressed than their agents effectiveness.

Link from Lucianne.

Plug for Eric at The Southern Beat

The Southern Beat

I want to give a plug of encouragement for Eric at The Southern Beat. He's a high schooler from Virginia who loves news and politics and is a big supporter of our military people. Also, he's got a really cute dog. ~grin~

Go visit and say hi.

THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA---FROM WITHIN

THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA---FROM WITHIN : The Immigration Blog

Bonnie Eggle posted this over at The Immigration Blog and it is chilling.

The following remarks by Richard Lamm are remarkable and hard-hitting. I was one of the many attendees at this conference and was as spellbound as the rest of the crowd. Please read and think of the 8 points....how many are already accomplished? That is a frightening thought.

Point One:
Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country.
Point Two:
Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture.

Point Three:
I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.

Point Four:
I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated.

Point Five:
My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.'
Point Six:
My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity.
Point Seven:
Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult 'diversity.'
Point Eight:
Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America.

I strongly advise if you have not read VDH's Mexifornia to be sure to read it. From someone with a family history from Mexico and California this book is an unusual topic for VDH to write about.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Emotional Roller Coaster

A Day In Iraq: God, Hope, and Johnny Cash

This is just a beautiful and heart rendering posting from A Day in Iraq.

God, be my bridge, and give me safe passage over this water. The bridge is long and the water dangerous. Help me cross it. Ease my mind. I’m weary. I’m weak. Strengthen me. I feel small compared to you. My tears are dry, but I sometimes see hurt in their eyes. Show yourself to these people. Fill their heart with light. Be on our side. We’re all the same. Another little girl peers around a gate. Look at her smile. There are millions like her, young and old. Sail on little girl. God, let it be their time to shine. Let their dreams be on their way. Let her shine. I’m on the streets and night has come. Deliver me from the pain. Show me the light that will guide my way. Help me to see. Help me to feel your presence amid the darkness that surrounds me. Is that you in that girl’s smile?

HOW HILL GAINED

New York Post Online Edition:Dick Morris

So now I finally understand the deviousness behind the Hillary Clinton fundraiser. It was a bit fuzzy prior to reading Dick Morris' explanation. How much ya bet she doesn't get even touched by this!

Under the arcane rules of the Federal Election Commission at the time, campaigns could use soft money to pay for fund-raising events — provided the gathering's costs came to 40 percent or less of the total of hard money raised. (Soft money was far easier to raise: Donors could give up to $25,000 of soft money, but only $1,000 of hard money).
<.....>
Here's why he would have done it: If the real cost of the event were $1.2 million instead of $400,000, the campaign would have had to use hard money to make up the difference. The Hillary Clinton campaign would have had $800,000 less of hard money to spend running TV ads and funding get-out-the-vote operations.

So if Rosen had owned up to the full cost of the fundraiser, the campaign would have had to cough up $800,000 of hard money at exactly the time that it needed the funds the most.

Did Hillary know? Paul and Tonken say she did, and it seems obvious that she must have: Hillary followed every dime in her campaign, personally calling donors for most of it. How could she possibly not have known of a decision that saved her $800,000?

Link from Lucianne.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Wounded servicemembers fill plates, nourish spirits at weekly Steak Night

Lance in Iraq: Fran O’Brien’s Stadium Steakhouse

This is such a great event for wounded soldiers.

In less than two years, Steak Night at Fran O’Brien’s has become a cultural landmark for veterans of the war on terror.
<...>
“It’s not just the meal, although the food is great,” said Capt. Marc Giammatteo, who was enjoying his 10th Steak Night. “You’re sitting at a table where you can’t see below, where the injuries are. It takes you back to where you and who used to
be,” the 27-year-old West Pointer said.
<....>
To help defray the costs of feeding prime-aged steaks to so many people, several groups have stepped up to the plate to help — particularly the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which has raised almost $100,000 by tapping major defense contractors such as Rolls Royce, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics. Another major contributor is the Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs Program, which has pledged $25,000 to the dinner. Rolling Thunder, Inc., has contributed $2,500.

Fran O’Brien’s regular patrons have been known to buy the entire back room drinks, or offer donations on the spot as soon as they realize the identity of the Steak Night revelers, Koster said.

Go read the article.

First Annual Baghdad Custom Auto Show

Trolling For Tinfoil: Why I love Fark Photoshop Contests

Found TFT's blog from Major K. TFT has some great postings but instead of focusing on that, I loved the picture below. Isn't it great?
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Elephants and Crickets

Firepower Forward: Elephants and Crickets

Sometimes the most obvious is the most difficult to talk about.

There's an elephant in the room. There's an Elephant standing right in the middle of the family room here and no one is mentioning it. We're all just trying to carry on our normal conversations with each other and pretending not to notice, and assuming that since no one else is saying anything, they must not notice. It's an elephant folks, and it's standing in the middle of the room leaving pachyderm sized poops all over the carpet. Trust me, it's not that the other person hasn't noticed, they're just ignoring it too.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Advice from LtCol North to John Bolton

I had posted this back on March 14th and thought it was a bit more timely now considering the wailing and gnashing of teeth the Dems and Not-Really-Republicans are exhibiting.

I get a kick out of Ollie's snarky advice to John Bolton on Bolton's upcoming Senate Confirmation hearing. There's no mincing of words here:

Ollie's almost prescient!

First, recognize that the Senate Libs really do hate your guts.
Second, remember, you know a lot more about the important issues than they do.
Third, it's the sex thing, John. If you want to see the Libs on the raised dais squirm, bring up the sexual malfeasance that infects every level of the United Nations.
Fourth, call 'em as you see 'em, John. The bloated big-wigs attacking you aren't used to plain English.
Fifth, Kofi's corruption. Lots of the guys who don't want you at the UN love to be seen on the cocktail circuit with their pal Kofi Annan.
Sixth, "Eurocrats" in our Senate will want to know your views on giving Germany a permanent seat - and a "veto" - on the Security Council. Counter by suggesting....a better option would be to give the French "seat" on the Security Council to the EU...

Finally, remember that the guys trying to peel your hide are "tax and spend" experts. Ask 'em how the UN's madcap idea of taxing American citizens under their so-called "Millennium Development Goals" will go down with their constituents.

'Positive' Dean calls GOP 'brain dead'

'Positive' Dean calls GOP 'brain dead' - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - April 23, 2005

Oh yeah.....Howie is going to be a continuous source of stories for the next few years!

The fiery former presidential candidate and Vermont governor was elected to run the Democratic National Committee after promising to reach out to voters, especially in Republican states, with a new and more positive outreach message aimed at expanding his party's shrinking base.

Let's see, since becoming head of the Democrat Party he's called Republicans: Evil, brain-dead, intolerant.......
I think that will work to bring Red Staters into the fold of the DNC. Don't you?

I especially like his statement on Apr. 15th:
At a homosexual rights breakfast in Los Angeles the day before, he vowed to "use Terry Schiavo" to attack Republicans who rallied on behalf of the brain-damaged Florida woman who died March 31 after her feeding tube had been removed.

Good to know the DNC takes the high road and cares about the 'little people'.
Link found on Lucianne.

Feel-Good Alert: A son's late-night call from Iraq

North County Times - North San Diego and Southwest Riverside County columnists

Again, the phone connection between our Oceanside house and my son's cell phone in Iraq was crystal clear.

The phone rang at 3 a.m. My wife picked it up, going from a sound sleep, to excited mother talking to her son who, as an infantryman, remains in harm's way daily.
<.....>
... he's an interpreter who works with us ... here, talk to him.' "
<........>
As she grabbed for a handful of tissues she continued, "He wanted me to know that he appreciated Evan being there and for the Americans being there. He thanked me for himself and for his family.

"He told me 'Evan is a good soldier, a good man, a great hero to his family ... At night when you put your head on your pillow I don't want you to worry about him because I'm looking out for Evan ...

" 'We have a saying here in Iraq, I hope you understand it, I see Evan in my eye, I'll take care of him.' "

There's more. What a great call for any soldier's family.
Link found on Lucianne.

Yoga - Montana Rancher Style

The Billings Outpost

I originally was going to post about fmr Gov Mark Racicot being targeted by Texas Democrats but then I saw this picture and all thoughts of Racicot vanished. You can see why!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Friday, April 22, 2005

Anti-Smoking 'Whackers' Hit U.S. Camp in Iraq

Hurl's BLOG: Smokers

If this wasn't so pathetic it would be funny. All I've ever heard from soldiers I've sent things to is how bad the stench is in Iraq. So, amidst all the other hazards plus the stench there's now designated smoking areas at this camp! Isn't this getting a bit absurd?

It seems the hostility to smokers knows no bounds. Even here in Iraq, strict measures exist to confine smokers to specific areas called “Smoke-pits.” They sit huddled together puffing away…. Sharing what used to be a somewhat enjoyable enterprise, but now they are sneered at, complained about, demonized, and literally cast out of society.


Update: Seems that I may be spoken too soon on this little issue.
Got a comment:
The main reason there are designated smoking areas is so the butts won't wind up all over the camp. The best thing they sould teach smokers in basic is how to field strip their damn butts and put what's left in their cargo pockets. SFC SKI

Both of the comments reminded me of a short video I got from a friend. It's hysterical and has a segment relating to what SFC SKI mentions. The video is called Cpt. Wedley. It's about 2mg. I still have it but have no clue where I could host it, anyone got any ideas??
SFC SKI

ACLU At Work Protecting Illegals to Get Across U.S. Border

South East Arizona Republican Club

Found this link from The Immigration Blog submitted by Bryan Preston of which the tip came from Blue State Conservatives. You have to go see the pictures of the finest the ACLU has to offer! heheh

Yeah - I'd want these dopers protecting me. Right!

An Asian student confesses -- 'we work harder'

Townhall - Larry Elder: An Asian student confesses -- 'we work harder'

Guess Larry Elder can get away with writing this since he's Black. It's unfortunate that you need to have certain ethnic or race qualifications before writing certain stories. But Larry as usual does a great job of reporting what the Education Unions and Lover's of Big Government don't want you to know. Larry is actually writing a story written by a H.S. Senior for his H.S. Newspaper.

Why do students from some racial or ethnic groups outperform students from other racial or ethnic groups?

Don't bother raising that question at California's Alhambra High School, where Asians make up 54 percent of the population and Latinos 38 percent. On the school's 2004 STAR Test, which measures student proficiency, Asian students' scores in English Language Arts for the 11th grade are 44 percent, with Latinos scoring 26 percent. In Mathematics, Asians in Algebra I scored 49 percent, and Latinos 12 percent. In Algebra II, Asians scored 55 percent, with Latinos at 19 percent. For Geometry, Asians scored 51 percent, and Latinos 11 percent.

The diversity/inclusion/multicultural crowd wants not only equal rights. They want equal results. But results require hard work, sacrifice and discipline. Either that, or a really good government program.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Pictures from Istanbul from Jim Geraghty

The Kerry Spot on National Review Online

Geraghty has some beautiful pictures from the city of Istanbul. Almost makes me want to visit there. Hmmm....


There's more if you go back to the main page.

Clinton Case Mystery

Clinton Case Mystery - April 21, 2005 - The New York Sun

Link from Powerline.

As a testament to the Clintons - again, it doesn't look like this criminal activity will touch them at all. How do they do it?

Mrs. Clinton's campaign has claimed that the August 2000 event cost about $600,000, up from lower figures in earlier reports. In the September 2002 recorded conversation, Mr. Rosen allegedly said, "We probably spent a million, which is 400,000 more."

The government filing also stated that Mr. Rosen said he could not be convicted because he was only a "staffer."

The court records do not indicate whether the informant who taped Mr. Rosen was ever asked to tape Mrs. Clinton. However, Tonken, who also claims to have worked as an FBI informant in the case, told the Sun he was asked by the FBI to tape phone conversations with Mrs. Clinton. The agent who made the request, Tonken said, was Mr. Smith, the same one who described the agency's relationship with the mystery witness.


As I've said before - Beware of the 2008 Election - She's Coming!

Loneliness

thejman021's Xanga Site

Jason is a new milblogger. He talks about what it's like to leave your family and friends behind. Even though there are those who sympathetic until it happens to you & yours, it's difficult to understand the separation.

People can hear about having a spouse overseas, and think they can put themselves in that scenario and feel what it’s like, before going to bed for a good night’s sleep with their husband or wife. Don’t get me wrong, generally the public of the U.S. feels for those overseas, but the majority can’t quite feel like those overseas, or those back home who have spouses overseas, unless they are the separated couple.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Poor Widdle Hasan - - was bullied.....

ABC News: Father of Accused Soldier Wants Probe

Get out your hankies for this pathetic excuse for a soldier. Poor poor widdle Hasan, his Daddy is saying he was bullied and it was all because he was black and Muslim.

The father of an Army sergeant accused of killing two officers at the start of the Iraq war urged the military Wednesday to investigate religious and racial harassment he said his son faced from fellow soliders before he unleashed the grenade and rifle attack.

See - that's why poor widdle Hasan just had to throw a grenade and shoot and kill Air Force Major Greg Stone and Army Captain Christopher Seifert.

But of course he's not responsible for his actions because he was bullied....
Akbar allegedly confessed several times to tossing grenades into the tents of sleeping soldiers and then raking them with rifle fire.

Akbar's lawyers don't dispute his responsibility but are trying to spare him a possible death sentence by portraying him as mentally incapable of premeditating the attack.

The statement from Akbar's father is similar to entries from Hasan Akbar's diary that were introduced by the prosecution to show how he had planned the attack.

"I suppose they want to punk me or just humiliate me," Akbar wrote more than a month before.

"I am not going to do anything about it as long as I stay here. But as soon as I am in Iraq, I am going to try and kill as many of them as possible," he wrote.

Welcome Stop for Warriors

LAT: Welcome Stop for Warriors

I've read about this group plenty of times but it's just such a great story. I have to give these Veterans and Seniors alot of kudos. What they do is truly a gift and we should all be grateful for their efforts.

Just imagine this is how many troops they've welcomed home!
Locals in Bangor, Maine, are on a mission to greet every military plane, at any time, in any weather. Their tally so far: 200,000 troops.


Excerpt:
BANGOR, Maine — Tired and bleary-eyed, Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, based at Twentynine Palms, Calif., were finally back on U.S. soil after seven months on the front lines in Iraq.

Composed mostly from the generation that served in World War II and Korea, they call themselves the Maine Troop Greeters. They have met every flight bringing troops home from Iraq for nearly two years — more than 1,000 flights and nearly 200,000 troops.

Kay Lebowitz, 89, has such severe arthritis that she cannot shake hands. So she hugs every Marine and soldier she can. Some of the larger, more exuberant troops lift her off the ground.

Like the Marines, the greeters have had casualties. Four have died since the group started meeting the planes in May 2003.

Marjorie Dean suffered a fatal heart seizure while she and her husband, Bill, were on their way to meet a late-night flight a year ago. She was 79.

Goodwin missed three days of flights when she was in the hospital for heart surgery.

"I felt like I was in withdrawal," she said. "It was awful not being able to be here for the boys."

Bill Knight, 83, one of the group's organizers, came to the airport just hours after his doctor told him that he has advanced prostate cancer. "It never occurred to me not to come," said Knight, who served in the Army and Navy for three decades.

Francis Zelz, 81, who served in the Navy during World War II, said it is a point of pride to respond even with only a few minutes notice. Many of the greeters were part of a similar welcome-home effort during the Persian Gulf War.

"You get a call at 3 a.m. about a flight in 30 minutes, and you think about staying in bed," Zelz said. "Then you realize, no, I can't do that. That wouldn't be right."
Just think, these people are getting calls at all times of the day and night and in 30 minutes get to the airport to welcome the troops home.

Link from Lucianne and Mudville Gazette.

Possible 2008 GOP Presidential Runner

Fraters Libertas

People are always talking about who would possibly be the GOP 2008 nominee. I think back to the year 2000 and who had heard of George W. Bush? So, I take this governor as a real potential candidate due to his credentials and what looks like honor to his committments. This information is from the National Review as linked by Fraters.

South Carolina's Governor, Mark Sanford

Sanford was elected to Congress in 1994 and became an early advocate for Social Security reform:
Excerpt:
His main focus, however, was Social Security. Sanford began offering reform ideas -- beta versions of what President Bush advocates now -- shortly after his 1995 swearing-in ceremony. His first bill was his most ambitious one. It would have allowed workers to redirect a chunk of their payroll taxes into private accounts.


and
After six years in Congress, Sanford honored a term-limits pledge and stepped down. He indicated that he had no plans to run for another office, and he even joined the Air Force Reserve as a logistics officer who coordinated medical crews aboard C-17s. (He still belongs, and may be called up -- which would present an interesting problem.) "It was an odd midlife crisis," he says. "We've disconnected the rights of being Americans with the responsibilities. I wanted to have some juice in the deal, and to set an example for my boys." (Sanford and his wife have four sons.)

Sounds better and better as Fraters says. Go read about him. If you know anything about Sanford, do tell in the comments!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Incredible Hulk

The National Guard Experience: Soldier Profile: The Incredible Hulk

You have gotta get a load of this guy. JP is kind enough to provide a profile. You can even send JP an email and get more info on 'The Hulk'!!

New York Magazine Article Out on Pantano

E u p h o r i c R e a l i t y - New York Magazine Article Out on Pantano

If you are interested in Marine Lieutenant Ilario Pantano and his story then here it is, it's long and intense. Without knowing any of the people involved in this case, my instinct is to side with Pantano's version. You have to read the whole story to get a 'feel' for Sgt Coburn and the dynamics of intertwining personalities causing the rift between the two men. Then there's a discrepancy with Navy Medic Gobles which is where I start to think there's more to this than Pantano just shooting two men.

In my mind you give the 'boots on the ground' the benefit of the doubt. Right or wrong this is what I believe.


Pantano in a school east of Fallujah, 2004. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ilario Pantano)

How Normal Are You?

Who would have ever guessed this about lil 'ol me? ~grin~ Here I always thought I was one of those 'salt of the earth' boring types! Good thing I hide it well.




You Are 45% Normal

(Somewhat Normal)









While some of your behavior is quite normal...

Other things you do are downright strange

You've got a little of your freak going on

But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself


Big Mission--The News Media Was There---BUT?

boots in baghdad: brick wall rolling

I'll tell you why. Because this was a very successful mission. The US Military was professional and methodical and treated everyone (ahem except for the to be prisoners) very well.

Snip - to the media. No story here. Move on til we find something either of an explosive nature or where the US Military screwed up. I don't honesty know where the disconnect occurs with the media, whether it's with the reporters or if their work ends up on the editing room floor. Whichever it is though, it's a shame.

B-in-B has a really good story where they caught some bad guys and gathered great evidence. What surprised me is this:
The search was extremely thorough. While we were inside the property one of the other platoons searched all of the fields with the assistance of a civilian explosives expert and his bomb dog. We had positively identified one of the men from our wanted list. It was important we handled all evidence perfectly to make sure it could be used in his trial. With two evidence experts present to make sure everything was handled properly, every square inch of the house was searched. Everything was photographed and all evidence was organized in bags by room number. Nothing was damaged, but a mess was made. All the blankets were unfolded, furniture moved, pictures taken off the walls, cabinets emptied. It sounds extreme but in the end it paid off. We found lots of documentation, abnormal amounts of cash and some weapons.

Sounds like police work to me. What do you think? The other side to this story:
<...>By the time we got to the back of the target house the other dismounts had already cleared it of personnel. The men were separated and the women and children were kept together. We are always careful to make sure that the men can see their families so they know that they are being treated well.
<...>When the women and children entered the house and saw what we had done they just cried. The unit commander and SSG B got the elder man and the translator and went to talk to the women. The commander handled the situation very well. He explained why we had to do what we did, assured them that nothing was broken and explained why we had to take some of the evidence. After they were all calmed down SSG B and I continued to talk to the man. The only detainee we were going to bring back with us was his little brother. The man thanked us for being polite and professional. We assured him his brother would be treated fairly and fed well.

Go give B-in-B a pat on the back and thank you for a job well done.

Monday, April 18, 2005

You Know You're From Minnesota When...

Blogthings - You Know You're From Minnesota When...

Thanks Mustang 23 for the link to Blogthings.

I've deleted a few since they don't really apply to me and we all know this is ALL ABOUT ME! ~grin~

The weather is usually 80% of your conversation.
This is definitely a MN standard
You call highways "freeways."
Yup - that's how it's done here.
Snow tires came standard on your car.
Well, I don't have snow tires but I do have all weather tires which are absolutely needed.
You've never taken public transportation.
This is no longer true what with MN becoming the Nanny state where government knows best how to spend your money. You can't be trusted. Ride the Light Rail to no where or the BUS.
75% of your graduating high school class went to the University of Minnesota.
I did attend Univ of MN (both in Duluth - brrrrr and Mpls) but I graduated from (drumroll) The College of St. Catherine. Yessiree - a Catholic Women's College.
You assume when you say "The Cities" people know where you're talking about.
Absolutely.
You can list all the "-dales."
Absolutely.
People from other states love to hear you say words with "o"s in them.
I didn't know this?
In a conversation you've heard someone say "yah sure, you betcha" and you didn't laugh.
Ya sure. Dats how dey tak.
You know what Mille Lacs is and how to spell it.
See Photos on right sidebar. LOL
You have fish boiled in lye for Christmas.
Gag...my Grandpa (Mom's Dad) used to love the stinky stuff (btw - it's called lutefiske). He had it every year for Christmas Eve Dinner right along with the Green Jello Salad with shredded carrots and a dollop of mayonaise on the top. The P's used to cut off the milk supply after the first gallon was drunk. LOL
You know what "uff-da" means and how to use it properly.
Ya sure, you betcha.
You've frozen your tongue on a metal handrail before.
Ahhhh...for me it was a lightpole. Dang that hurts.
You own an ice house, a snowmobile, and a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
Pretty common I'd say. My Dad used to have a hobby of building Ice Houses and then he'd turn them into storage sheds in his Italian backyard.
You have gone trick-or-treating in 3 feet of snow.
Ya sure, you betcha!
You've not only walked across a lake, you've driven across one.
Hasn't everyone?
Everyone you know has a cabin or, at least, access to one.
Ya sure you betcha!
You have friends who schedule their wedding in the middle of January without a thought about weather conditions.
Wouldn't want to waste a nice summer weekend on a wedding of all things, now would you?
Your local Dairy Queen is closed from December through February.
Ya sure you betcha!
Your town isn't trying to be ironic when it plans a "winter carnival."
See sidebar on the right for the St. Paul Winter Carnival Photos.
You laugh out loud every time you see a news report about a blizzard shutting down the entire East Coast.
Pussies!
You think happiness is owning a "piece of lakeshore."
I have that.
You never meet any celebrities except The "BODY"
Annoying man!
You know what and where "Dinkytown" is.
Ya sure, you betcha!
When you talk about "opener" you are not talking about cans.
Every Mother's Day weekend!
You have refused to buy something because it's too "spendy."
Guilty as charged.
Your town has an equal number of bars and churches.
More churches.
You (or your parents) voted for Mondale.
I'd bet money that they did.
You've seen "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in Uptown.
Guilty
You know that everyone has a city preference -- Minneapolis or St. Paul.
St. Paul.
You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Minnesota.
My Dad will love them.

The Iraq/Boston Marathon

Military.com

I thought this was pretty cool. This isn't the first dual city marathon for deployed troops.

Monday on Patriot's Day, as 20,400 runners tackle America's oldest marathon, in Boston, 265 soldiers in southern Iraq will be joining them in spirit to run the first-ever "Iraq/Boston Marathon."
<....>
The Iraq/Boston Marathon is one of several races run by deployed soldiers over the past half-year that have been complete with T-shirts, timing chips, and finisher medals. In December, 184 soldiers and civilians working for the U.S. military ran a marathon in the thin air of Tirin Kot, Afghanistan, timed to finish just a few hours before the Honolulu Marathon began. Last August, 10 runners finished the Baghdad International Freedom Marathon inside the Green Zone. A month earlier, 250 runners competed in the Peachtree Roadrace Baghdad Division, coinciding with Atlanta's world-famous 10K race.
<....>
Many of the soldiers participating are not regular runners, but support from the organizers of the Boston Marathon and Outdoor Life Network (OLN) helped to spark interest. All finishers of the Iraq/Boston Marathon will receive official Boston Marathon medals. OLN plans to televise portions of the run as it winds past some of Iraq's most famous archaeological and religious sites, and it will give troops a chance to send greetings to loved ones back home.

Not-so-secret agents

Clifford D. May:Townhall

May talks about Michael Schuer towards the end of this article. If you haven't seen Schuer (former CIA) on one of the political talking head programs or even on CSPAN you're missing the exposure of someone who WE supposedly depended on to assist in our intelligence game who is a completely and totally clueless moonbat. The left loves him because he says everything they want to hear, of course none of it makes any sense but when has that ever stopped a lefty or Democrat (synonymous heh). What I wonder is why do we even have a government intelligence agency when they usually seem pretty clueless and have been so for decades. So, just when did the CIA perform to expected levels? Then of course we have the FBI which has been such a exemplary agency......yeah. Both agencies have failed miserably in the intelligence arena as institutions. I would guess that the DOHS will be the same situation in a couple decades too.

Excerpt:
<....>Nowadays, by contrast, former spooks seem to be everywhere: writing books, columns and op-eds, making the rounds of the TV and radio talk shows, speaking at conferences, lunching at the Palm in Washington DC, posing for photographs in Vanity Fair. And they're not just discussing “tradecraft.” They're proposing policy, dabbling in politics and engaging in gossip.

<...>There are exceptions. Bob Baer is sharp. Reuel Marc Gerecht is brilliant. James Woolsey, who wasn't an operative but a CIA director, is a man of immense wisdom. But as two recent blue-ribbon commission reports on intelligence make clear, the CIA at some point was transformed from a razzle-dazzle espionage agency to another plodding Washington bureaucracy

<....>Certainly, Vincent Cannistraro is no Sydney Bristow. Author David Frum notes on his blog that this former CIA official recently suggested (in an interview with Pacifica Radio, a voice of the far-left) that a forged document about Saddam Hussein shopping for uranium in Africa may have been produced by Michael Ledeen, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

To those who know Ledeen – a congenitally grumpy professorial type – that allegation is uproariously funny. “What's next?” asked Frum. “That Ledeen kidnapped the Lindbergh baby?” Frum added that Cannistraro “has lost either the ability or else the desire to distinguish between fact and vicious fantasy.”

That assumes he once had such ability/desire. Alternatively, perhaps, it was intelligence officials of Cannistraro's ilk who, in the years prior to 9/11, chased phantom conspiracies while failing to notice that a Soviet mole, Aldrich Ames, had penetrated and compromised the CIA, as did Robert Hanssen at the FBI.

And that was not all. The Economist magazine recently noted: “At one point every CIA case-officer working on Cuba was a double agent. All but three CIA officers working on East Germany allegedly worked for the Stasi.” The intelligence community “failed to predict both the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in1979 and the Soviet Union's break-up a decade later. In 1998, America's spies were surprised when India tested a nuclear bomb. They also advised Bill Clinton to flatten one of Sudan's few medicine factories, wrongly believing that it made nerve gas. The next year, on the agencies' mistaken advice, an American warplane bombed China's embassy in Belgrade…The CIA had not a single agent in Iraq after the UN's weapons inspectors were expelled in 1998.” And, of course, no serious attempt was made to infiltrate al-Qaeda during those years.

Another poster child for what went wrong at agency headquarters is Michael Scheuer, for 22 years a senior CIA official. Scheuer became famous for writing “Imperial Hubris,” a book designed and timed to prevent President Bush winning re-election (another failed mission). He wrote it while collecting a CIA salary and he used the byline “Anonymous.” It took about 20 minutes for savvy Washingtonians to see through that clever disguise and figure out who "Anonymous” was.

In a recent op-ed in the Washington Times, Scheuer demonstrated the kind of analytic thinking that apparently afflicted much of the intelligence community. He wrote: “America's ‘Muslim problem' is not that Muslims do not understand our policy, but rather that they believe they understand it precisely…Muslims believe that American policy is meant to destroy their brethren and faith, seize their oil, occupy their sanctities and arm Israel to batter Palestinians.”

He added: “These perceptions are not true, I trust” – he trusts? – “but they are reality for tens of millions of Muslims.”

Oh, so perceptions become “reality” when people “believe” them. If that's so, it must follow that since quite a few people believe the CIA carried out the 9/11 attacks, it's also “reality” that Scheuer and other CIA officials should be prosecuted for those attacks. You and I may “trust” that Scheuer had nothing to do with such atrocities -- but if a different reality is real for others, who are we to judge?

Anyone who is different from "PC" accepted opinions is labeled extremist whether that person works in State or Foreign Service and what do we do to solve our intelligence problems? Create a monstronsity in the Dept of Homeland Security! Another bureaucratic money sucking machine which will be inefficient, dogmatic and ineffective for the most part. So here we have a true change master in John Bolton and just what are the Democrats doing? Demonizing him for an inability to "play nice" with the UN which is a totally corrupt and useless body.

About Time - Metrosexuals Are Out, Out, Out!!

Doug Giles: Metrosexual or Medieval? - TownHall

And you too might be metrosexual if:
*You use more than three words when ordering your Starbuck’s,
* You’re still into rollerblading,
* You put on cologne to go to the gym,
* You have an Armani Exchange or Banana Republic credit card,
* You Tivo Sex in the City and/or Will and Grace,
* You watch Friends with a note pad,
* You have panic attacks (look, either have a real heart attack or cut the crap. That feeling you’re feeling is not death; it’s called responsibility and most everybody feels it. So … suck it up, drink a Guinness and get a life)
[I think this is my favorite]
* You shave any part of your body except your face or skull,
* You buy your shampoo at a salon instead of a grocery store,
* You take more than two, that’s two, minutes to fix your hair,
* You think Ben Affleck, Colin Farrell, and Orlando Bloom are really, really good actors,
* You think you have a feminine side to get in touch with, and/or
* You must have Evian and only Evian for hydration (Hey, thongmeister. What’s Evian spelled backwards? That’s what you are).

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Air Force's Smooth Talkin' isn't Foolin' Ralph Peters

New York Post Online Edition:

Whoa boy, Ralph Peters does a knock down punch on the Air Force higher ups and takes no prisoners with this article.

Morally bankrupt, the Air Force is willing to turn a blind eye to the pressing needs of soldiers and Marines at war in order to get more of its $300-million-apiece junk fighters. With newer, far more costly aircraft than the Marines possess, the Air Force pleads that it just can't defend our country without devouring the nation's defense budget.

Meanwhile, Marine aviators fly combat missions in aging jets and ancient helicopters, doing their best for America — and refusing to beg, lie, cheat or blame their gear.


Link from Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette of which he has up one of those golden oldie cartoons.

Red2Alpha - Part II to Donkey Show

This is Your War: Rules of Engagement

We see here how public opinion and the media can affect missions for this Soldier. It sucks, but we the public who support what these soldiers do have to continue to hammer the media and public opinion so these troops never think or believe Public Support for them and what they do is wavering.

"No! Stop!"
"What?!"
"We can't do that."
"Why, why not? We were told we could in the ****ing OPORDER! We can tear this place apart; we should be tearing this place apart. These are bad dudes. ***k 'em. We can do whatever we want here. We ****ing own this country! Are you shitting me?"
"Higher doesn’t want us to do too much damage?"
"Too much damage to an enemies house?" Rage, impotent rage flooded through me.
We are going to make the same mistakes in Iraq that we made in Vietnam. Letting public opinion, people in Washington, and the Goddamn media run the war. We are so afraid of offending these people it puts us at risk. I was disgusted. I wanted to shoot holes in the walls, smash things with a sledgehammer, break furniture, dump gasoline all over everything and burn the house down. I wanted to breathe fire and smoke. We came here ready to kill people, the OPORDER stated to capture or kill the main target and now the chain of command wants to play nice? Are we here to win this war or what?
I guess we were back to hearts and minds with the bad guys. Give me a break. How can you change the rules on us in mid stream?

John Kerry - Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

Well not exactly, but Cpts Quarters has this great cartoon on John Kerry's promise to Tim Russert.

ICRC made up Protocol I Additional to Geneva Conventions

OpinionJournal - Extra - International Committee of the Red Cross

Do you know what this says? I didn't.

Among other things, this document granted privileged, Geneva POW status to guerilla fighters--requiring them simply to "distinguish" themselves from the civilian population at the time of attack or shortly before. Of course, regular armed forces--like those of the United States--must distinguish themselves by wearing uniforms at all times during hostilities.

Protocol I would create a substantial advantage for guerilla fighters, permitting them effectively to hide among the civilian population up to, or shortly before, the point of attack, while at the same time guaranteeing them POW status if captured. It was primarily on this basis that the United States rejected the protocol in 1987.

Predictably, the ICRC's Customary Law Study now claims that this rule--which the ICRC effectively invented--has become so widely accepted that it is a universally binding customary international law norm, binding on the United States even without its consent. Indeed, through the peculiar alchemy of language, the ICRC claims the same status for much of the rest of Protocol I based on the wide acceptance of its "basic principles"--even by the U.S.


<......>In this respect, the group has been particularly active in efforts to ban the types of landmines that remain critical to U.S. defense needs, particularly in Korea, and the cluster munitions that have proven their worth against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. More generally, it has pushed for legal rules mandating a zero-level approach to collateral damage, thus encouraging rogue states and guerrilla forces to fight from civilian areas so as to inhibit the operations of their law-abiding adversaries.

On the ledger's other side, and contrary to widespread public beliefs, the ICRC has done precious little for the United States--at least since World War II. Captured Americans were treated barbarically in Korea, Vietnam, and by Saddam's forces in the first Gulf War. Yet the ICRC neither provided effective assistance to individual American POWs, nor did it undertake the kind of determined, public campaign against those governments that it has launched against the U.S. over Guantanamo Bay.

<....>In particular, of course, this question should be asked by Congress. The ICRC is an advocacy organization that has all but abandoned its primary mission as an impartial humanitarian body under the Geneva Conventions. Unless it mends its ways soon, the ICRC should no longer receive American tax dollars to fund so many activities that are against America's national interest and the U.S. should seriously consider transferring its Geneva Convention functions to a truly impartial entity.

Written by: Messrs. Rivkin and Casey served in the Justice Department under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush
.

Then I learned even more --- we, the taxpayers of the U.S.A. , give tax dollars to the ICRC to support terrorists (which the ICRC calls guerillas) who kill our troops and innocents.

For the life of me I do not understand how politicians can be advocates for corrupt and bankrupt NGO's such as the ICRC and the UN. I don't care what stripe of party the politicians wear, if these NGO's are anti-American then they don't get our money. That's it. I don't care if potentially the NGO does other good, politicians are too lax in the governance of American Tax Dollars.

Friday, April 15, 2005

You Know You have been in Iraq too long when. ...

Consul-At-Arms: You Know You have been in Iraq too long when. ...

Go read this.....you'll enjoy it! I did.

Samples:
Your idea of a fun Thursday night is to go to the Palace pool to watch the State Department folks get drunk, naked and try to pick each other up

When you go on R&R, you duct tape your child to the roof of your car, hand him a pellet rifle, and assign him a sector of fire for the ride to "The Olive Garden."

You find it completely acceptable to pick your nose while talking to a complete stranger or member of the opposite sex

and finally:
When you actually get excited to get a package that contains 3 pair of socks, 12 bars of soap and a Victoria Secret Catalog

The last one is funny because that actually happened with one of my packages. I had included a couple of Victoria Secret catalogues and SSG Joe told me that was the 'hit' of the box. There was grabbing for those catalogues. The funny thing about the catalogues was I had gotten them from a co-worker but they were addressed to her boyfriend. After sending packages to the troops for awhile I got a link on ebay to purchase a 3 year subscription to Maxim, Stuff and then they through in a couple of other magazines all for $1.99! So, here you have a middle aged, single female having Maxim and Stuff delivered to her home. I was kind of hoping the mags came in some sort of wrap but no they don't. So, I'm sure the Postal Delivery person thinks I'm a pretty strange individual. When I need someone to pickup my mail I make sure it's this one neighbor because she knows why I'm getting the magazines. Just one of those funny little querky things supporters do for 'their' soldiers.

Thanks Consul at Arms for the laugh today.

Secretary Rumsfeld Townhall Meeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan

DoD News: Secretary Rumsfeld Townhall Meeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan

I've found by reading some of these little reports a person can pick up many different tidbits of information and the transcript from this town meeting with Secretary Rumsfeld is no different.

Here I found a soldier with whom I'd been sending packages for quite a long time but had not heard anything for 3 months either directly to me or to AnySoldier.com. Now I know he's still there and I would guess is doing ok.

QUESTION: Staff Sergeant Joe Selski, [inaudible] Bobcats out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
It's well aware the 25th hasn't participated in a major conflict or a war since the Vietnam era. Now that we're back in the game I wanted to see how personnel at your level view our performance over this last year's deployment.

RUMSFELD: The performance has been -- I talked to General Barno about it, and the performance has been truly excellent. It is impressive. The amazing thing to me is that folks will come into a combat zone, into an area of conflict, and from private life and personal life, whatever they were doing, and perform with such skill and such dedication and such courage. So I have great respect for the active force which has done such a wonderful job, as well as for the Guard and the Reserve that have made the total force concept work so brilliantly. Thank you very much.

Hey Joe - it's good to know you're kicking and going strong.

Secretary Rumsfeld did this same dog and pony show at Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan. I love this guy. After the townhall meeting Secretary Rumsfeld stood to have his picture taken with 300 troops one at a time. Love him or hate him the man is awesome in my book and I sure wish or hope I have his stamina and endurance when I get into my seventies.

Yo DB you're famous! Or is that infamous...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

REPLACEMENT ARM, GOOD AS NEW

Defense Tech: REPLACEMENT ARM, GOOD AS NEW

Wow, this sure does look promising. One thing from seeing the CSPAN "Conversations with U.S. Soldiers Wounded in Iraq" told me was that medical technology with prosthetic arms and hands was behind technology for prosthetic legs due to the focus on leg amputees from landmine injuries around the world.

Darpa, the Pentagon's blue-sky research division, now wants to ratchet that work up about ten notches, by developing a "neurally controlled artificial limb that will restore full motor and sensory capability to upper extremity amputee patients. This revolutionary prosthesis will be controlled, feel, look and perform like the native limb."

So, basically, what Luke Skywalker gets in Empire Strikes Back, after Darth chops off his hand. Except, researchers won't have a long, long time to get this limb ready. Darpa wants the robo-arm stat -- in four years or less.

The limb would have to be wired directly into the peripheral nervous system, instead of the brain-controlled arms being demonstrated today, Darpa tells researchers interested in working on this "Revolutionizing Prosthetics" project. Under agency guidelines, the arm will need enough finesse to pick up a raisin or to write in longhand. It needs to be sensitive enough for the wearer to handle day-to-day tasks in the dark. And the limb will have to be strong enough to lift 60 pounds at a time.

OPERATION : DONKEY SHOW

This is Your War: OPERATION : DONKEY SHOW

I'm not going to say much except be sure to read Red2Alpha's story about a mission to take out some bad guys.

MSM Solution to Image is Condescension towards Public - That'll Work! NOT.

Carolina Journal Media Think the Public is the Problem

Great commentary and Jon Ham nails the MSM. It's almost comical if it weren't so pathetic.

Excerpt:
<....>This editor diagnosed the symptoms accurately: lost circulation, lost credibility, lost relevance. But the reason is not through any fault of the mainstream media itself, he said, but, instead, due to Fox News, cable opinion shows and right-wing bloggers that have conditioned the American public to accept only news with which they agree.

So, if it weren’t for the ignorant, easily led, mind-numbed American public duped by talk radio, the problem would not exist, was his view (though not stated in such blunt
terms).


Link from Lucianne.

Ben Stein on Tom Delay

The American Spectator


Some of the words from Ben:
Herewith a few truths about Tom DeLay, the embattled GOP Majority Leader in The House of Representatives.

1.) Tom DeLay is morally probably the highest level public servant I have ever met. With virtually no political gain to be had from so doing, he has been the most enthusiastic supporter of Israel in the U.S. Congress. He has stood with Israel against terrorism and international anti-Semitism without reservation or fear. This is a man with more moral decency in his little finger than his detractors have in their whole bodies.


Minnesota has such an Attorney General in Democrat Mike Hatch. He might be a bit more indirect about his methods but he's capable of the same devious tactics.

Link from Lucianne.

Lacing Body Piercing - - - - Gaaaaa

White Lightning Axiom: Redux - Make It Stop

This just looks painful. I thought tongue piercings were gross but this is right up there. mdmhvonpa found this via The Tish File.



You should check out the other picture and what Tish and mdmhvonpa have to say. The other picture is even weirder.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Warren High sour on allowing Marine uniform at graduation

Daily Herald Lake County

So what do you think about this? Although I wouldn't say the school is exhibiting anti-Military behavior, I would say it's exhibiting an unnecessary rigidity.

<....>Brenten Kostner, 19, and John Shymanik, 17, graduated early in December to become Marines. They hope to attend the graduation ceremony wearing their dress-blue uniforms during a 10-day leave from boot camp.

However, the Marines’ mothers said they’ve been told by school officials their sons must wear Warren-issued caps and gowns like everyone else during the May 28 graduation event at Northwestern University.

Kostner’s mother, Julie Hamil, said Warren District 121’s position doesn’t make sense. She said the young men are against covering themselves with the caps and gowns because they want their peers to see their pride in becoming successful graduates as Marines.

“I’m shocked,” Hamil said. “Do you only show your patriotism when something bad happens?”

Hamil appealed to the District 121 board Monday night. Outgoing school board President Mari Carlson directed administrators to re-examine their stance on the uniforms.

“These are special times we live in,” Carlson said.

Nearly 350 students and teachers at Warren signed a petition Monday requesting Kostner and Shymanik be allowed to wear the dress uniforms. Kostner’s sisters, Sherri and Audrey Hamil, circulated the petition.


Link from Lucianne.

Disabled Girl Raped (Students Videotape Crime), School Says WHAT?

The Southern Beat:Disabled Girl Raped and Videotaped

Prepare to get very ill.

Here's an excerpt:

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A 16-year-old disabled girl was punched and forced to engage in videotaped sexual acts with several boys in a high school auditorium as dozens of students watched, according to witnesses.
Now to make it even worse:

School officials found the girl bleeding from the mouth. An assistant principal cautioned the girl’s father against calling 911 to avoid media attention, the statements said. The girl’s father called police.

Update: The Southern Beat has another update on this story. This is so hard to swallow.
The School administrators(as noted by The Southern Beat):
They concluded the sex was consensual? What the hell? THEY PUNCHED HER IN THE FACE! How is that consensual!?

This is Brilliant and a Sad State of Politics

shadesofgray :: So . . . you want to be a politician
What a clever guy. His criteria are oh so true and that is the sad state of politics in our world.
Couple of items from Shades of Grey:
**The importance of elective success outweighs any demand for truth.
**The use of political interns during any campaign is a cost-effective utilization of available personnel. They are cheap, young, a great deal of fun, and they are easy to . . . work with.
**Remember that kissing ass is an art form; it always deserves your best effort.
Just remember for those brown nosers - don't get any hair caught between your teeth! Oops! Did I just write that? It was a favorite saying we used from when I used to do system implementation and conversion projects.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What's Your South Park Character?

Found this link at Outside The Beltway. Go to Planearium to create your own South Park character.

Here's mine.

What I learned serving in Iraq.

OpinionJournal - Coming Home BY GREG MOORE

All I can say is dang, this is a tear jerker.

"Easton! Easton . . . your Daddy's here!" she said in an electrified whisper.

My son's head snapped around. The excitement and disbelief on his face is something I will never forget. I motioned him to me and he ran into my open arms.

Bavarian Grafenwoehr Home of New US Army Training Base is also New Home to NeoNazi AntiAmerican Hall

Davids Medienkritik: Neo-Nazis Plan Large "National Center" for Anti-American Rallies Near Major US Base

Initial link for this came from The Daily Demarche which led to Heard Here.

I had previously posted on the expansion of the base in Germany, wondering in amazement just why the US was expanding on a training base in Germany of all places.

From Medienkritik:
US Troops and Families Can Expect Hostile New Nazi Neighbors in Grafenwoehr, Germany

This is unbelievable: The German NPD, a hard right nationalist Neo-Nazi party, has purchased a large indoor tennis hall in Grafenwoehr, Germany, the site of a major US military base, to hold large anti-American rallies, festivals and events.

But it gets worse: According to the NPD, the new hall is to be dedicated as follows:

"On the occasion of the separation of the USA from Great Britain on the 4 of July (so-called Independence Day) we plan on Sunday evening, July 2, 2005 to inaugurate our liberated zone with a large anti-American culture festival.

Motto: "No to slavery, the rule of money and imperialism: Dissolve the USA now!" Further major events are planned."

The frightening part of this all: The slogans of the Neo-Nazis are strikingly similar to those of the hard left in Germany. The last time the two combined politically in this manner, they overthrew the Weimar Republic and destroyed German democracy. Anyone worried yet?

There's more so check it out.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Soldiers Angels Wounded Backpack Program Needs Help

I was involved in the Wounded Backpack Program at Soldiers Angels but had to back off for a little while due to other circumstances going on with me at the moment. But that doesn't prevent any of us from donating a few dollars to help them out. You just can't imagine what a difference these packs make to the wounded troops. I actually had a couple of thank you's I received just from attaching a name and address tag to the blankets I was making to include in the packs.

Soldiers Angels has contacted Greyhawk to drum up some help. Give what you can because anything will be much appreciated and these folks work so hard to support our wounded.

Thanks

Are You Searching For Kiran Chetry?

Back on January 6th I posted a link to Beagle Express who had a photo of Kiran Chetry. Ever since then people searching for Kiran have been stopping by. I kid you not, there are at least 5 a day who come to my blog because they are searching for Kiran.

Samples of the search:
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=chetry&toggle=1&ei=UTF-8&xargs=0&pstart=1&fr=FP-tab-web-t&b=11

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=kiran%20chetry&ei=UTF-8&amp;amp;fl=0&fr=FP-tab-web-t&b=21

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=KIRAN%20CHETRY&toggle=1&amp;amp;ei=UTF-8&fr=FP-tab-web-t&b=21

So, here's the photo they are all searching for without further adieu!

Kiran Chetry ala Lara Croft.


Are ya happy now?

Smackdown Time for the Republican Politicians

Combat politics – not for the faint of heart by Dennis Sevakis:The American Thinker

The fellow says it exactly right with Republicans caving and slinking back with their tail between their legs. Sevakis actually starts out by trying to answer the question of why President Bush's numbers are going down. He looks at what Victor Davis Hanson and David Brooks have to say but he comes up the better response:

<....> The Republicans seem not to have planned for the Democratic response before launching their original trial balloons. And that’s the problem. The voters see these things as trial balloons and not policy initiatives.

If the Republicans let the Dems scold them into dumping Tom DeLay for what are
being touted as ethics offenses, but that are not in letter nor spirit any more offensive than what Dems themselves do, they may as well do nothing other than pass a Democrat’s budget and shelve any initiatives until after the next mid-term elections – if that next plebiscite they can manage to survive. If Republicans can’t bring themselves to go to the mat for fully qualified judicial candidates, cut the pork out of the budget, do something meaningful regarding illegal immigration, and quit playing the diversity game with national security, why should anyone expect the President’s numbers to go up?


And that is the smackdown punch!

Link from Lucianne.

Tourism Comes to Afghanistan!

Afghanistan tourism promotes its virgin peaks to climbers - [Sunday Herald]

Not quite sure what to say about this except I wish the country the best of luck. I'm not so sure that I have all that much confidence in this statement:


He said: “We have fantastic mountains in Afghanistan, and we are ready to accept anybody who wants to come.

“If they are nervous about security, they shouldn’t worry. We will provide them with an armed police escort.”

Here's some of the attractions:
Afghanistan’s new tourism minister has promised the dawn of a new age. Professor Nasrullah Stanakzai wants to develop the country’s mountaineering potential by setting up a school for training guides and providing armed escorts against the threat of bandits.

And:
It even plans to open a camp for curious tourists and adventurers near Osama bin Laden’s old headquarters at Tora Bora, in the Spin Ghar mountains.

And:
More conventional tourism also looks set to take off, with a trickle of backpackers already making their way to Kabul where they stay in the Mustapha Hotel, made famous for its association with US bounty hunter Jack Idema.

Apart from seeing the sights – or the ruins of the sights – they can enjoy Kabul’s crazy nightlife in the Elbow Room bar, where tourists rub shoulders with South African security men and veteran aid workers and drink Tora Bora Sunrise cocktails.

This sounds kinda ghoulish:
Afghanistan’s mountain ranges are littered with landmines, wrecked tanks and helicopters … and the bones of foreign soldiers who came to fight its guerrilla armies.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Bittersweet

CaliValleyGirl: Bittersweet

Cali puts into perspective what many of us will never have to endure. She put into words from this ordeal facing the family waiting at home and the soldiers waiting in Afghanistan. Pretty tough stuff. When the mundane events of our everyday lives seem to be overwhelming and you lose track of the importance of your children or husband/wife or significant other maybe you should think about something like this hitting you square in the eyes. I can tell you that will slap you awake. I don't have Cali's experience but that little buddy of mine (Aaron who wrote the wonderful Ode to me) was in a very serious accident 3 1/2 yrs ago and that was a slap for myself and many in my family. But at least we didn't have to wait around for 2 days or so to find out, what agony.

Hillary Blames The VRWC Again!

New York Post Online Edition:

Hillary was in the Democrat enclave of Minneapolis, MN last night. She was the money draw (errr, I mean keynote speaker) for the fund raising event. Strangely enough, when good old Hill is in front of 'her own kind' she let's that wacky left wing radical personality of hers shine as compared to oh let's say a speech in the Bible Belt.

Anyway - here's an example:
We are headed to a brave, new world of extremism, and we need to make clear we're not going there," she told a sellout crowd of 2,000 who paid $100 a head to see her. "We stand against their radical, reactionary right-wing agenda."

Clinton sounded every bit the stumping presidential contender as she slammed the Republicans for driving up the national debt, wrecking overseas alliances and leading the nation on a domestic path "well outside the mainstream."

She lambasted Republican members of Congress as "extras in the movie 'I Robot' " who "mindlessly rubberstamp the agenda of this administration" and want to do "little more than fund the military and build some highways."

And she scolded President Bush for flaunting a "prideful unilateralism" in the war on terrorism and warned the commander-in-chief that the United States "cannot direct the rest of the world to follow our orders merely because we said so."

On the local Fox Affiliate News last night a reporter was interviewing a woman attending the event. First the reporter was so gushingly pumped up from the event her color Blue was shining brightly. The woman interviewed in a straight face and a very sincere and serious tone said of HRC:
She was wonderful and her sincerity and truthfulness just shines. She has bi-partison plans to right the country and you can trust her completely.

I'm not kidding! I just wonder what rock this woman has been under for the last 12 years.

Shadow Warrior

American Soldier: My Pulitzer Prize Photos
I especially like this one:

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Yale Elites Plan for New Bill Of Rights

Power Line:The $80,000 misunderstanding
Powerline received this from a reader:

Recently I got an invitation from the YLS to register for an upcoming conference at YLS called "The Constitution in 2020." Their plan is simple - they plan to congregate to produce a vision of what the Constitution should be for 2020 and then to colloborate on how to use their influence and judicial power to accomplish it. Their posts with their plans for the conference are here.

If you can make it through the notes it's well worth the read to scare the living crap out any conservative. BTW - YLS is Yale Law School.

Here's just a couple anedotes for change:
--first: idea of political citizenship. Has eroded (the draft, the political party)-design institutions that will allow us to assert interactive citizenship
--idea: $ for voting-give $ to whichever candidate people choose-this would encourage people to talk. We would have block parties to discuss this. "Patriot Dollars"
--people really are ignorant but are tremendously good learners-one day's discussion motivates ppl to find out things-causes 10 percentage point shift in opinion-national holiday called "Deliberation Day" two weeks before the election. This would force pols to redistribute sound bites-creates an interest for politicians to offer more.

In left wing/socialist/elitist jibber jabber what in tarnation does "interactive citizenship" mean? I'm also happy to hear that even though I'm ignorant, I can be a tremendously good learner!!

Gaaaaaaa. I can't even comment any further on this load of drek. But, people need to understand just where people like Dean and Hillary Clinton are heading. Everyone (meaning conservatives of many stripes) all complain about President Bush but sometimes we do have to keep in mind what the alternative could be.

Linked this post to Outside The Beltway and The Daily Demarche.

Update from Powerline: Guess who is the major sponsor of the Yale Conference? GEORGE SOROS! Yes, that Soros who is the money behind MoveOn dot Org. Yes, that Soros who is (allegedly) buying up oil futures which is a factor in the increase cost of gas.

The House That Mary Berry Built

Civil Rights Agency Cuts Budget by 9% (washingtonpost.com)

Finally, with Mary Francis Berry being forcibly removed from the commission they find out the agency is in such a shambles that they can't even find an Audit Firm to come in to audit the books. Avoidance of such audits can also be attributed to the Sarbanne Oxley law, there's too many possibilities of lawsuits. Aside from that, I found a humorous comment from one of the members who was suggesting how to "fix" the budget problem:

During the meeting, commissioner Michael Yaki, a new member of the liberal wing, suggested the agency develop a three-year plan for balancing its budget and requesting more money from Congress.
Oh sure, just give us more money to throw away and another 3 years to do nothing but spend, spend, spend!

The new chairman brought in by President Bush says:
Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds said the agency must right itself now. "These problems have been festering for a long time. All the options we have are bad. It's just a matter of picking the best of the bad choices," he said.
I sure wish small business had the option to say: Oh just give us more money and 3 more years!! No, what small business does is cut salaries, cut discresionary spending to the bone and many times the Partners/Owners go without a salary. There's no taxpayer to give them more cash!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Friday Photos

Got my new Mudville Gazette Tee so I thought how would it look on my photogenic Spreedsheet Expert?



Then of course, there's shameless me:

This Looks Like A Good Idea: Pentagon to Stress Foreign Languages For Officers

Pentagon to Stress Foreign Languages (washingtonpost.com)

Where could you go wrong on this? If a language requirement for officers is required this would still benefit the US. Once that officer leaves the service this skill translates to many other government functions and businesses.

The moves reflect plans by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his team to better prepare U.S. forces for more operations and training missions in foreign countries and for working with international coalitions. In recent strategy statements, the Rumsfeld group has made clear that as part of the war on terrorism, it expects the U.S. military to take more action abroad to prevent ations from falling prey to terrorists or being undermined by such other threats as insurgency, drugs and organized crime.
<....>
According to Pentagon figures, about 84,000 service members have some language proficiency. Of those, about 19,000 have had their language skill certified and receive "proficiency pay." About 1,900 service members are listed as proficient in Arabic.

No decision has been made on how many more professional linguists are needed or what percentage of the U.S. military should receive language training, Chu said. But he described last week's report as meant to signal that quiet efforts begun in 2002 to address the language issue would be giving way to bolder action.

TSA Role to be Downgraded......Yippee

Air Security Agency Faces Reduced Role (washingtonpost.com)

It's about time.

Under provisions of President Bush's 2006 budget proposal favored by Congress, the TSA will lose its signature programs in the reorganization of Homeland Security. The agency will probably become just a manager of airport security screeners -- a responsibility that itself could diminish as private screening companies increasingly seek a comeback at U.S. airports. The agency's very existence, in fact, remains an open question, given that the legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security contains a clause permitting the elimination of the TSA as a "distinct entity" after November 2004.

I'm pretty sure there will many people giddy over this one. I for one will be happy to hear that Secr. Norman Mineta will no longer be driving policy decisions relating to security for Air and Road travel. Hopefully, we can do something about Amtrack too. But I'm sure that will be too much to hope for.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

New Director of Tourism for Iraq

A Day In Iraq

Aside from Michael telling us about the dangers of driving on Iraqi roads, he has a funny rant on what he could do to promote tourism for the country.

Makes you just want to jump on a plane and come visit. I should become the Director of Tourism for Iraq. I could print up some brochures in no time, appealing to sadist adventurers around the world. We could have a Cannonball Run, with people racing up the Iraqi highways.
<......>
I’d personally like to see a celebrity race, with everyone from that fat chick from the Dixie Dicks, to that fat man Michael Moore. Did I just say Dixie Dicks, sorry, I meant Dixie Chicks. Actually I meant Dixie Dicks. Who else could participate? Let’s see, Donald Trump would be good. He could make it his last big hurrah before he and his hair hopefully fade from our memories. Paris Hilton, her rat dog, and Lionel Ritchie’s daughter could bring their Simple Life series over here as well. Oprah would be nice, maybe she could walk the entire trip, documenting her weight loss.


There's more, it gets even funnier.

Chinook Crash in Afghanistan - Keep Military Family and Friends in Your Prayers And Thoughts

The New York Times - At Least 16 Are Killed in Copter Crash in Afghanistan

With the news being 24/7 on the Pope's Funeral be aware that a Chinook crashed near Kabul, Afghanistan. Remember your Military Friends and Family who may have someone serving there.

ABUL, Afghanistan, April 6 - At least 16 people were killed when an American military helicopter crashed in bad weather near the town of Ghazni, south of the capital Kabul, an American military spokeswoman said.

The American spokeswoman, Cindy Moore, said that 18 people were listed as having been aboard the helicopter. It was not known, however, whether the two people unaccounted for had actually boarded the aircraft.

Nor had the nationalities of all the victims been determined, she said.

"We don't know yet whether they were all Americans or if non-Americans were among them - and we do not know if they were all military," she said in a telephone interview.

She said the crash was most probably caused by bad weather, and did not mention any hostile activity. The transport helicopter, a CH-47 Chinook, was one of a pair returning from a routine mission to southern Afghanistan. The second Chinook returned to base at Bagram airfield, north of Kabul, a press statement said.

Who Do You Think Is Right About The Stryker?

My Experience during OIF: .................and a wake up.

Scottie caught this story in the Washington Post - Study Faults Army Vehicle and he's pretty disappointed in the WP. I read the same story because I get highlights by email. My reaction was one of surprise but since I'm not really conversant on the Stryker I thought wow, must be a problem.

Well Scottie has something to say about that!
Some how the Post got an document from the CALL that talked about the Stryker vehicle. In this article they discussed some things that could be improved. Now before I go any further I want to state that the Stryker is, in my opinion, the greatest vehicle the military has ever had. It has saved countless lives here in Iraq and recently saved the life of one of my best friends. The Washington Post took an article talking about improvements that could be made and printed an article about how bad the Stryker was and how it was putting our soldiers lives at risk. I want to tell you that that is absolute bullsh@#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so glad Scottie is willing to tell us what he really thinks. Seriously though, I am glad because I probably would have somewhat believed the WP until I perchance heard someone refute the story.

Request for Children's Shoes in Afghanistan

Firepower Forward - The Cutting Edge of Freedom

Found this request:

A Plea for Help

We need children's shoes!!!

As 1LT Burt was walking through medical facility here on the FOB, she saw one of the local Afghani children who are all too often treated here when their needs exceed what can be provided at the community hospital. The young lad of 8 or 9 was receiveing excellent treatment for his injuries, but what caught her attention was that he had outgrown his shoes and new shoes either could not be afforded or were not available. She knew this because the toes of his shoes had been cut off to allow his own toes to stick out.


If you are able to help go and find out the address.


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