Friday, November 11, 2005

I'VE MOVED......

Hi all. I've moved to a new location. Since my move in September from Minnesota to Tennessee I decided to clean up my blog digs too. It's still a work in progress but I'll be getting the photo's hung and furniture rearranged in the next few days. I'm a bit disoriented so Bear (heheh) with me.

New Address: Bear Creek Ledger

Please bookmark.

Help Our Heroes Stay In Touch-Project Valour-IT

This is my Salute to All Veterans. Thank you for your service!

Project Valour-IT(Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops) in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. This allows voice to text for emails, surf the internet and operate a laptop without having to use the mouse. The inspiration for this came from CPT Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss who was injured in Iraq.

The contest to raise funds runs through November 11th. This is a contest between military branches. I confess I chose the Air Force since it's lagging way behind in this contest. I've got no affiliation with any particular branch so I went for the underdog.

Go to Soldiers Angels Project Valour IT to learn more and to donate go here and be sure to look towards the bottom of the page to the Air Force box and click to donate.

What Valour-IT Needs From You:
Blog and email regularly about Valour-IT and the competition
Tell your friends, family and neighbors about Valour-IT
Put up these flyers around your community

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Congressional HiJINKS!

Don't you just want to scream "Stop The InSanity!"?
Hows this one?
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) proposed an amendment that would effectively allow the Senate to dictate the programming our troops listen to on their Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). Harkin’s amendment would create an Ombudsman for the AFRTS who would identify circumstances under which the AFRTS "has not adhered to the standards and practices of the Network in its programming, including circumstances in which the programming of the Network lacked integrity, fairness, or balance."
Then there's this:
On Thursday, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on a bill that would trim back government spending by $54 billion.
You might say, oh this is so bad. But here's the truth:
But in claiming the bill cuts too much spending, they fail to acknowledge that in reality, the cuts are only in the rate government will grow. Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Pence explained this on the House floor, “Where else but in Washington, DC could a Deficit Reduction Act that actually increases entitlements by 6.3 percent instead of the planned 6.4 percent be called a cut?” :: Columns :: Liberal Talk for the Troops: Whether They Want it or Not by Tim Chapman

It's Your Party.......

Happy Birthday USMC!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dedication is visible among new soldiers

This is an uplifting tribute to our Military Members today. This is probably one of the first non-milblogger commentary I've read which isn't negative about recruiting goals. There's an interesting distinction made between WWII/Vietnam Veterans and how today's Veterans have been shaped due to the voluntary aspect of todays military. In fact, for a refreshing change there's not really anything negative in this commentary.
That war should be a life-changing experience is hardly a surprising thought. But in his interviews with troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Morten Ender of the United States Military Academy notes that three-quarters of them describe their deployment as a "turning point" - a number that strikes him as high.

"In World War II, soldiers knew what they had to do, and they wanted to do it and come home to get on with life," he says. "In Vietnam, [the war] became a turning point, because there was a sense [among the conscripted soldiers] that they had no control."

Since the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are all volunteers, the war was very much part of a conscious career choice, and the intensity of the experience is focusing their lives. For some, it is a desire to get out and move on to anything else. Yet the reenlistment rates also suggest that many are finding a deeper love for service and a connection to something greater than themselves.

Dedication is visible among new soldiers

Slouching Toward Pampering the Enemy

Mark Levine (author of the best-selling Men In Black, president of Landmark Legal Foundation) has this to say about the current case about the holding of unlawful combatants going to SCOTUS and John McCain's SA 1977 on torture:
snip.....In 1950, in Johnson v. Eisentrager, the Supreme Court held it did not have the authority to take up a challenge by 21 German nationals held in China, who were tried and convicted by U.S. military tribunals. In 2004, in Rasul v. Bush, the Court reversed course and held that U.S. civilian courts would be open to foreign enemy combatants held overseas.

snip....The judiciary's increasing involvement in an area where it has historically understood the limitations of its competence and reach is extremely troublesome.

Regarding McCain:
Third, while it is true that the judiciary no longer seems willing to exercise restraint in these cases, codification typically leads to more litigation which leads to more judicial intervention. (I should note that McCain has actually argued that these detainees should be brought to the U.S. and tried in U.S. civilian courts, which would be disastrous for many reasons, including recruitment in our prisons, the further conference of due-process rights on the enemy, and the criminalization of the war on terrorism — where detainees’ rights are emphasized over detention, interrogation, and national security.)

Mark R. Levin on War on Terror on National Review Online

The bolding is mine. Can anyone explain to me how McCain's mind works? I don't GET him at all.
h/t Lucianne

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Powerline Doing The Work of Major Media: Three years of the Condor

Scott at Powerline phoned the CIA and as a followup sent the CIA some pertinent questions regarding Joseph Wilson and Michael Scheuer (who was allowed by the CIA to publish a book while still an analyst at the CIA).

Questions about Wilson:
(1) Why wasn't Wilson's February 2002 trip to Niger made subject to a confidentiality agreement?
(2) Did the Agency contemplate that Wilson would publicly discuss the trip at will upon his return?
(3) Did the agency anticipate that if he did so, it would attract attention to the employment of his wife by the agency?
(4) Why did the Agency select Wilson for the mission to Niger to check out such an important and sensitive matter given his lack of experience in intelligence or investigation?
(5) Was the Agency aware when it selected him for the mission of his hostility to the Bush administration?

Questions about Scheuer:
(1) Has the Agency ever before in its history authorized the publication of a book by a current Agency employee attacking the incumbent administration?
(2) Was Scheuer's employment status classified at any time between 1999 and the time he resigned from the Agency? If so, over what period?
(3) Can you cite any previous instances in the history of the Agency of currently employed Agency analysts attacking the incumbent administration?

Go read the responses to these very pertinent questions by the CIA.
Power Line: Three years of the Condor

Monday, November 07, 2005

Scenario: US Bows to Anti-War Left and Abandons Iraq

The Daily Demarche has posed "What if... we bowed to the anti-war left and pulled out of Iraq tomorrow?".

We've all seen what has been occurring in France over the last 12 days. Doesn't look pretty does it. Did France's anti-war stance help them at all with the Muslim citizens of it's country? I don't think so, pandering to a specific ethnic group accomplishes nothing for a politician.

This is what the anti-war left wants, to pander to Islamic Facists under the the guise of being either anti-war or their other mantra is to support the troops by bringing them home. Knowing that the anti-war left is mostly comprised of Socialist and Communist party members this slogan is absurd. What the anti-war left does support are murdering dictators and totalitarian regimes. The protesting of Code-Pink outside of Walter Reed Hospital demonstrates the shameful behavior of this group. All these groups want to do is use our Troops to advance their own causes.

What happens then if the United States withdraws from Iraq, NOW. Remember South Vietnam? Remember how many South Vietnamese were slaughtered by the North Vietnamese? Iraq as it stands today will lose just as South Vietnam lost. The Islamic Facists have the support of Iran, Syria and many other groups in the Middle East. By cowardly withdrawing the United States will show it truly is a "Paper Tiger" which no longer has the gumption to protect itself. It's a country far away from the United States of WWII. As France has splintered itself into Muslim vs Non-Muslim so will the United States splinter itself into a multicultural divided nation. If anyone thinks that the Islam we see is a peaceful religion then I'd like them to explain the propensity of Muslims to blow up children, to cut off heads all in the name of Allah. Islam is a conquering religion and France, Denmark, Norway, Britain, Belgium, Spain.........are all part of the quest. Why shouldn't the United States be a part of that quest?

The GWOT is a real war with real enemies. To blindly ignore this war will not abate the advances of Islamic Facists and an ocean or sea will not protect us. They are in our midst just waiting for the anti-war left to hand over our country to them.

Update Nov. 8: The Daily Demarche has posted his scenario on The New Caliphate . Then from American Future we read about Iraq: Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat . This is definitely an omen of what could be in our future. And for those in the Republican Party who think capitulation to the anti-war left is a better option than holding steady on the course in Iraq, think again. American Future hits the nail on the head on what the election outcome would be for these Republicans. From Gallios (who is a frequent contributor at Daily Demarche) writes at My Blog is Your Blog: What would happen?

Convicted Immigrant Felon Released and Why Would That Be?

In October, immigration authorities released Vanian — a convicted felon who served a sentence for carrying a loaded firearm — because they could not get a valid passport to deport him.

snip....Immigration authorities are bound by a U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibits keeping detainees for more than six months beyond their prison sentences if deportation is unlikely. In some cases, the government finds a third country to accept the immigrants, but more end up back on U.S. streets.

Here's a clue. CHANGE THE LAW! How about we also change the law from the 1990's which requires hospitals to treat anyone who comes into the emergency room and the hospital can't ask if they are citizens of this country. I know the LA Times was writing this as a hard luck good news story cause they think this is so wrong. I think DHS (actually I'm beginning to think maybe DHS is figment of the government's imagination) should audit ALL the employees of the LA Times and then move on to any other publications associated with the corporation.

Deportation to Nowhere - Los Angeles Times

h/t Lucianne

Someone You Should Know - Army SPC Matthew Drake

SPC Matthew Drake was able to finally spend a night at home after being severly injured in a suicide car attack in October 2004.

The Northview High School graduate, who wrestled in school and was a certified personal trainer before joining the Army, said he holds no ill will against the military or the war.

"I would recommend the military to anyone. Yeah, I got hurt. Oh well," he said with a laugh.

- -

h/t Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Tributes Through Tattooing

I know tattoos are something many in the different military services use to brand themselves with a particular 'band of brothers' or event. Looking at the tattoos fascinates me although I'd never get a tattoo myself. The tattoo of Capt. Michael Pretus is a work of art on his body.
Commemorating combat experience with a tattoo is a warrior ritual that stretches back centuries, a practice "as old as war itself," said C.W. Eldridge, a historian for the National Tattoo Association and owner of the Tattoo Archive, a Berkeley, Calif., tattoo studio.

Like their counterparts in past wars, Iraq veterans are choosing traditional patriotic symbols -- U.S. flags, eagles, names of units -- for their tattoos. But some images are strikingly personal. Aided by improved pigments and more sophisticated equipment, they reveal in graphic detail the pain and permanence of war.
Indelible Memories For Veterans of Iraq

Beyond The Often Heard Numbers From Iraq

Mudville Gazette shows the charts which enumerate the daily attacks by insurgents and the number of multiple fatality bombings but there are some additional numbers which are not often cited or shown. The attacks by province is certainly telling along with tips received from the Iraqi Population. As Greyhawk points out the success of the Kurds which is starting to be written about could be an example of a future Iraq.

With the number of daily deaths of American Soldiers recently, it's good to read something that points to hope for the future.

Mudville Gazette:Graphic Violence

The UN - Living In A Bubble

According to John Bolton, the UN is ignoring the findings of the Volcker commission. Not a big shocker is it.

He (my insert - John Bolton) accused them of living in a "bubble" as they disregard the damning findings of the Volcker commission established by Kofi Annan, the secretary general. The inquiry criticised the UN and Mr Annan for their failings in running a scheme from which Saddam Hussein skimmed off an estimated $2 billion (£1.2 billion).
Now why in the world should anyone at the UN give a flip what the Volcker Report says? Who's going to do anything about it? Will the US Congress withhold funds? Norm Coleman and his committee?

Did you know?
As an example, he cited the fact that UN staff could accept gifts worth up to $10,000 in a year without any requirement to disclose them.

In a rare breakthrough for American pressure for reform, the UN announced last week that it planned to reduce the $10,000 figure to $250 under rule changes proposed by its new under-secretary for management, Christopher Burnham, a former Bush administration official.

Yup, standard fare for bureaurocrats from the 3rd World and Europe I guess.

And one of the more ironic stories came out in the last couple days:
U.N. audit: U.S. should repay Iraq $208.5M The UN can't keep track of over $2Billion with the Oil for Food Scam but supposedly they can audit funds in Iraq.

Telegraph News UN ignored corruption findings, claims Bolton

h/t Lucianne

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Hypocrisy of CIA Leaks: Plame-gate vs Able Danger

Vox Taciturn (a former member of the intelligence community) does a guest post on CQ about how the CIA works in regards to the Plame/Wilson hoax. As Vox says we should all be very concerned about how this story transpired with the duplicity of the CIA.

I find this interesting:
Still think rogue Bush-haters in the CIA aren’t getting reporters who cover the national security beat to carry their water? Let’s go to an impartial source. I don’t have a LexisNexis account so we’ll use Google News to search for the non-issue that is “Valarie Plame”: 21,800 hits. Now a search for the real intelligence related controversy that is “Able Danger”: 72 hits. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that what is known as a blow-out?

It's difficult to believe those reporting in the MSM don't know that Plame/Wilson is a hoax perpetrated on the American public with the complicit hand of the MSM. What is shameful is that the real story of Able Danger has been left blowing in the wind because the story doesn't fit the picture of the MSM which is to demonize Karl Rove and President George Bush.

What a tragedy that Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer has been abandoned by everyone except for Rep. Curt Weldon. This past week Shaffer lost his appeal for his security clearance which means he will lose his job probably within 30 days.
Captain's Quarters

More Disturbing Chinese Espionage in The U.S.

Looks like the stealing of Military secrets never stopped by the Chinese. Not that this is any big surprise. But this is reminicent of the Soviet Spy Machine where you have naturalized citizens who have lived in the country for 20 years stealing secrets.
Federal authorities in Los Angeles have quietly charged four people in an alleged conspiracy to steal U.S. military secrets — including a quiet propulsion system for Navy warships — and turn over the intelligence to the People's Republic of China, it was learned late Thursday.

Though U.S. officials declined to comment, an FBI agent's 42-page affidavit unsealed earlier this week identifies the four suspects as Chi Mak and his wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu of Downey, and Chi's brother, Tai Wang Mak, and his wife, Fuk Heung Li, of Alhambra. Chi and his wife are originally from China and became naturalized U.S. citizens 20 years ago. Tai and his wife both entered the United States from China in May 2001 and are lawful permanent residents.

Four Accused of Stealing U.S. Secrets - Los Angeles Times

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