“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday Monday Hero

This week's hero was suggested by Cindy & Kathi

Arlington Christmas Wreaths
Each year, around this time, since 1992, the Arlington National Cemetery has something happen to it. It gets covered in vibrant green Christmas wreaths. The wreaths are donated by a man named Merrill Worcester who is the owner of the Worcester Wreath Co. in Maine. From the Worcester Wreath Co.'s website:

Each year Worcester Wreath donates Maine wreaths to adorn the headstones of those who serve and those who sacrificed to preserve our freedoms. In 2007, over 10,000 wreaths are destined for the annual wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington. In addition, 2,500 wreaths will be sent to Togus National Cemetery in Augusta, Maine. Worcester Wreath also donates ceremonial wreaths that will be used as part of the Wreaths Across America events at over 230 State and National veterans cemeteries all across the Country.

Sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices everything in their life to help others. And sometimes a hero is one who sacrifices nothing more than their time.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wedensday hero: SSgt mike Mills

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Leo

SSgt. Mike Mills
SSgt. Mike Mills

On June 14, 2005 SSgt. Mike Mills's life was forever changed. The HETT(Heavy Equipment Transport System) he was riding in was hit by an IED. The attack resulted a cracked clavicle and scapula bones, dislocate shoulder, broken left hip, 4 out of 5 bones broken in his foot and being set on fire. The driver in the truck behind him ran with a cooler of melted ice which he threw on Sgt. Mills to put him out.

He spent three months in the Brooks Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston, TX with the injuries listed above plus 2nd, 3rd and deep tissue burns to 31% of the left side of his body. The first thing he remembers thinking after the attack was that his soldiers needed him and he needed to get back to them.

"Then the guilt set in about what I did to my family. I've totally screwed that up. Look at me, no don't. I look hideous. How can I face my kids looking like this. They'll be embarrassed to be seen with me. What if they won't love me anymore? Speaking of love, my wife, oh my god. How can I expect her to stay with me. I'm not a man anymore. She's not going to want be intimate with a freak. What if I can't work, how do I support myself, my family.

I had the nightmares and couldn't sleep. I wasn't eating and was loosing weight. I didn't really care. If I didn't start eating, they where going to put the feeding tube back in. Who cares, I've totally screwed up my life anyways."

But he found out just how much is wife loved him, when she stood by his side throughout the entire ordeal. She was there for every wound dressing and even learned how to change the dressings herself.

SSgt. Mike Mills now runs the site For The Veteran... By A Veteran in which he helps veterans, soldiers and their families find information they may not have been given after their medical discharge or retirement.

Some may say that Mike gave his country more than enough when he was severely maimed by an IED on that fateful day of June 14, 2005, but Mike continues to give to his fellow servicemen, as well as to his nation!

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Remember Me

I am off for Christmas. My internet will be spotty at best. And, i wanted to take a minute and bring us all to remembrance. It's good to remember.

Any Soldier

Take time this Christmas, and throughout each year, to let a soldier know they are not forgotten. Visit Any Soldier to find out how. Enjoy your holidays. And, remember, freedom is not free, just ask any soldier.

Friday, December 14, 2007

12/14 Morning Report

Tired of TV reruns? Well, it’s going to get worse. The Writer’s Guild filed a complaint with the NLRB. Nothing new. Lots of groups do this to turn up negotiation pressure. Unfortunately, it will be up to 30 days before an investigator is assigned to the case. With the main issue being streamed or downloaded content, this could take a while. And, to make matters worse, the contracts for directors and actors expire in June.

(…wow…a total shut down of Hollywood!...why does that seem like a good thing?...)

In related news, Democrats lamblasted Bush again. This time, it’s over the appeearance of a hostile Labor Board.

The NLRB "is supposed to protect the voice of American workers, but the board is no longer fulfilling that responsibility," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and ally of the labor movement.

California Democratic Rep. George Miller said, "Workers' rights have been under near-constant assault in the years since the start of the Bush administration."
Republicans countered the hearing was a PR stunt to appease labor unions, who more or less won Dems control of Congress. The NLRB was created to reduce strikes, and foster collective bargaining. Apparently, Democrats think the role is to give unions power over business.

(…my question is when do the rights of business get equal treatment with those of workers?...stay tuned…this is going to get ugly as the election draws closer…)

Meanwhile, in Argentina, possible illegal campaign financing has been labeled as a ”dirty trick by the U.S. President Fernandez even went so far as to say it’s happening because of her gender.
The charges of a clandestine attempt to contribute nearly $800,000 in August put both the Argentine and Venezuelan governments on the defensive as opponents sought to turn the case into a political liability.


It's not against Argentine law for foreigners to contribute to a presidential campaign, but it is illegal to do so secretly. It also is illegal to bring undeclared cash into the country.
It doesn’t seem to matter that no one involved is addressing the issues or the charges. The money may have come from Hugo Chavez, it may not. There are players involved from both Venezuela and Argentina. Yet, in typical leftist fashion, the whole thing is being covered with enough mud that no one has had to address the issues.

(…yep…the media seems to be rightly comparing her to Hillary…)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12/12 Wednesday Hero: Bill Juneau

This Week's Hero Was Suggested By Louie

Bill Juneau
36 years old from Rush City, Minnesota
November 27, 2007

If there was one thing Bill Juneau loved as much as his country, it was his dog, Jake.

The accident-prone black Lab, who has been hit by two cars, had a toe amputated on his right paw and survived eating 42 candy bars in one sitting, once fell off a dock and through the ice on a lake while Juneau was hunting with his best friend, Dan Bock.

Bock said Juneau jumped into the icy, chest-deep water to save his dog.

"He threw that wet dog on the deck and sacrificed everything to save him," said Bock. "Bill's just that type of guy."

Juneau, a 10 year veteran of the Chisago County sheriff's deputy, was in Iraq helping to train Iraqi police recruits when his convoy was hit by and IED 50 miles outside Baghdad. A spokesperson for DynCorp, the private firm Juneau was working for, said Juneau was driving the lead vehicle in the large convoy that included U.S. Army personnel as well as members of the Iraqi National Police Force. The convoy was headed for a scheduled training mission. An Iraqi translator and a U.S. Army soldier sustained injuries in the blast as well.

His twin sister, Bridget Sura, said he wanted to help Iraqis rebuild their country and create better lives. "He would often sugar-coat the bad stuff, because he wanted us to know about the positive things," she said. "But we still worried every minute of every day." Another reason he joined was because he loved adventure, she said. While with the Chisago County Sheriff's Department, he started and led the country's SWAT team.

Jake, his dog, has been embraced by Juneau's sister's family. "He has more lives than a cat," Sura said, adding that they recently discovered a chocolate stash he'd hidden in his kennel.

"Jake is a part of my brother," she said. "He[Bill] will be missed by a lot of people. This will leave a hole in a lot of people's hearts."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/11 Morning Report

Hugo Chavez is making a lot of moves these days, despite having lost his referendum push at home. The Banco del Sur is slated to take the place of the IMF, which Chavez describes as a “tool of Washington.”

Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela have all joined the initiative.

Chile and Peru decided to remain on the sidelines, while Colombia, which had expressed interest, has put its decision on hold following recent disagreements between Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Mr Chavez.
Believing the IMF plays favorites with developed nations over emerging and developing ones, Chavez has been pushing this since December 2006. Some of the difficulty getting funds is due to a wave of industry nationalization in the region. Of course, withdrawing from the World Bank and IMF would mean Venezuela would default on its bonds.

(…can’t imagine why a dictator would want to get out of his debts…can you?...)

In other South American news, Christina Frenandez has been sworm in as President of Argentina. She ran a very unorthodox campaign.
Refusing to debate any of her rivals and granting few interviews, Fernandez preferred to be photographed overseas meeting world leaders - projecting a flair for diplomacy while masking a lack of executive branch experience.
She faces a lot of tough challenges. High on the list are strengthening the courts, continuing economic improvement. She expected to govern from the center-left political position. She also expected to continue the relationship with Chavez.

(…unfortunately she is being compared to Hillary Clinton, too…)

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, NATO and Afghan troops took back a Taliban stronghold. Breaking a deal with the British back in February, the Taliban took over the town and began terrorizing the area, bringing a death toll of some 6000. French media reports the Taliban simply walked out of town, supposedly to protect civilians from bombings. But, according to the BBC report, reminiscent of al-Qaeda tactics in Iraq, people seem to be turning against the Taliban once again.
President Hamid Karzai said the decision to enter Musa Qala came after local Taliban commanders agreed to side with the Afghan government because of brutality committed against townspeople by the Taliban, al-Qaeda and foreign fighters.


He told of a 15-year-old boy accused of spying by the Taliban who was hung from a ceiling and roasted to death by a gas-fed fire started beneath him. The next morning the militants told the boy's mother she could pick up her son, the president said.

(…fear will keep people cowed for a while…but hope of something better will bring a change…amazing how with all it’s problems, people keep turning to coalition forces for that help…)

Friday, December 07, 2007

12/07 Morning Report

The good news? Employers added 94,000 jobs in November, and unemployment held steady at 4.7%. The bad news?

The jobs report showed a loss of 33,000 jobs in goods-producing industries during November while 127,000 jobs were created in service-providing businesses. Manufacturing industries continued to shed employees, cutting 11,000 jobs last month on top of the 15,000 that were dropped in October.
. Unfortunately, service sector jobs do not have the salary range of manufacturing jobs. Still, this increase is believed to raise the probability of a rate cut when the Fed meets next week.

More bad news? According to this NY Times article, The subprime bailout announced by the White House may not do as much as people expect.
“The approach announced today is not a silver bullet,” said Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., who hammered out the agreement. “We face a difficult problem for which there is no perfect solution.”
On top of that non-revelation, one industry analyst believes only about 20% of those facing rate increases in the next 18 months will be helped by it. BUT, analysts agree that a “sweet spot” must be found, and that this is what Bush is trying to find.

(…does the Times, and everyone else, seem to think this can be quick fixed?...it took years to get into this mess…Americans…well people…are so short term focused…)

Meanwhile, Democrats their own tax conundrum.
Trying to find a way out of a sticky tax problem, the Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to prevent the alternative minimum tax from hitting millions of middle-class Americans without replacing the $50 billion that would be lost.
So, the AMT would reduce taxes by $50 million to the middle class and the Dems gave it the ax? The very people who voted them into office yanked the rug out? I understand the need to find a source for the money before cutting the taxes. But, you would think the Democrats would have had solutions for that before now.

(…maybe they were just too busy bashing Republicans and posturing for election…think the media will bash them the way they do Republicans over similar issues?...oh yeah…no media bias…how silly of me…)

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the decline in violence seems to make each new attack that much more spectacular. Now using female suicide bombers, al-Qaeda struck once again at the offices of those who have turned against them. Actions such as this, and wiping out villages for sake of power and control, demonstrate al-Qaeda’s total disregard of people—much like the Taliban was doing in Afghanistan. Frankly, the whole thing reminds me of the history lessons on how organized crime families (i.e. “the Mob”) had to be taken down by the feds after shooting lots of people and blowing up lots of stuff. They haaven’t been eliminated, but their power has been reduced and in some cases broken. Unfortunately, I think the same will be true for al-Qaeda. And, I think the Democrat ”phased withdrawal” has more risks than people want to see.

(…I wonder when that will actually come back to bite them in the @#$#...)

And finally, but not least important, did you remember—without media help—today was the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

Of the 16 million who served in WWII, only 2.9 million are still alive. There are even fewer who were actually on the island of Oahu that morning. In Ft. Worth, one of the few still alive who were there tells his story.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

12/5 Wednesday Hero: Marty & Sue Horn

This Week's Hero Was Suggested By Mark Bell

Marty and Sue Horn

Go to AnySoldier.com
 Go to TreatAnySoldier.com

Born in Philadelphia, Marty Horn spent 20 years in the Army as a Military Policeman, retiring in 1993 and going to work in Internet technologies. In 2003, his son Brian Horn deployed to Iraq. Trying to support their son’s unit, Marty and his wife Sue, who also served as in the Military Police, put together the concept of Any Soldier. In essence, Any Soldier is an effort to provide support and encouragement to those who are in harm’s way. Due to overwhelming requests for ready-made care packages on the AnySoldier.com site, Sue Horn started TreatAnySoldier.com.

Using his background in Internet technologies, Marty built and maintains the web site. The Any Soldier program slowly expanded to include other Army units. In 2004, the program opened up to include all service branches.. In 2005, the websites for AnyMarine.com., AnySailor.com, AnyAirman.com, and AnyCoastguardsman.com were launched.

In the words of the Any Soldier web site: "The success of Any Soldier has far exceeded expectations and continues to grow with the invaluable help and guidance of our supporters, board members and Support Team."

In the words of Marty Horn: "It is the supporters who deserve the credit."

Thanks to the efforts of Marty and Sue, their son Brian, and a dedicated staff, over 950,000 servicemen and women received support and encouragement they would never have been able to get through the Any Soldier program.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Monday, December 03, 2007

12/3 Morning Report

What does the media tell you? And what does it leave out? Well, let’s consider sex education for a moment. The Associated Press reported on a study showing two-thirds of adults think giving out condoms aat school is a good thing. But, there seem to be quite a few inconsistencies in the report—and the survey. For example, a large majority of those surveyed were not parents, and only 30% who were survey in that poll thought condoms from school was good. So, abstinence supporters did another poll. And,, the results no surprise. But, since this occurred a couple of weeks ago, and the pro-contraceptive survey got big media play, is it any surprise that this one got nothing? Just like Jamal Hussein, faked photos from Lebanon, and a few other instances, the media does not like to have their errors pointed out.

(…sometimes, you have to find truth on your own…contrary to the MSM and most journalists…)

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, Chavez lost out on ”president for life”. The numbers indicate some 56% of registered people voted. And, Chavez’s socialistic proposals were rejected by 51% of the voters. Several explanations are mentioned, most involved fear of reprisals for voting against the referendums or confusion over them. But, buried in the story is the growing evidence of dictatorial qualities in Chavez:

In the days before the referendum, Mr. Chávez recalled his ambassador from Colombia and threatened to nationalize the Venezuelan operations of Spanish banks after Spain’s king told him to shut up during a meeting. Mr. Chávez said he would cut off oil exports to the United States in the event of American interference in the vote.
The Times however, doesn’t go as far as this AFP report that said:
A fiercely anti-US leader who has nurtured ties with Iran and China, Chavez has repeatedly accused Washington of setting up resistance in the country, without advancing any evidence.


Chavez has dismissed those ranked against him as "traitors" acting to further US "imperialism."

Still the media darling, however, Chavez’s actions are not being denounced.

And, at home, the political arena is providing some interesting information. Did you know, for example, that Guliani and Clinton are both facing problems over secrecy? It plagues both of their campaigns.
Neither Clinton nor Giuliani was seen as particularly honest or ethical. Just 38 percent viewed Clinton as honest, while just 40 percent called her ethical. Forty-two percent called Giuliani honest, 40 percent ethical.
People don’t think they are ethical or honest? But, as it stands right now, one of them could end up in the White House.

(…and, of course, the right wing candidate gets most of the bad press…are you surprised?...)

Friday, November 30, 2007

11/30 Morning Report...delayed

As expected, the new Australian PM has declared they will be out of Iraq by mid-2008. Kevin Rudd still calls the U.S. our ‘great friend and allay.” But, the liberal Pm has made his stance on Iraq clear :

He has previously described the decision to go to war in Iraq as the "single greatest error" of Australian national security and foreign policy decision-making since the Vietnam war.
The 550 Australian troops are in the south of Iraq, providing much needed security, and training Iraqi forces. Bush is worried their abrupt withdrawal would send the wrong signal to insurgent and terrorist forces.

Meanwhile, the NYTimes finally recognized that Iraqi refugees are trying to return home. Of course, they only recognized after a problem was found! U.S. military officials are worried that no plan exists to re-absorb these people back into society. Over the last few weeks, attacks against military and civilian targets have dropped to the lowest since 2006. The real concern is the influx may spark increased violence.
“All these guys coming back are probably going to find somebody else living in their house,” said Col. William Rapp, a senior aide to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq.
The expectation is that sectarian rifts will flare all over again as, for example, Sunnis or Shiites return to neighborhoods they fled in fear because of actions by the other sect against them. The other guys are still there.

(…this will be a true test of Iraqi government…I hope they can pass it…)

In other Middle East news, if you doubt the power that Iran and it’s lackeys, Hamas and Hezbollah, have in the Middle East peace process, you should read Time’s “Can Iran And Hamas Sink Annapolis.” The article details how Iran and these groups have used violence and intimidation to repeatedly undo the peace process. And, no surprise, the Iranians are still not making any nuclear concessions.

(…still think Ahmadinejad is a pretty nice guy who is just misunderstood?…like most of the media portray him?...)

Closer to home, could the media be talking us into a recession? Some people are wondering. And, it may be worth giving serious thought to the power of the words we use. There is no question that calling a child worthless repeatedly will build that mindset. Well, if all we hear from the media is “recession”, what might happen...simply because we act on what we hear repeatedly? Food for thought.

(…not to mention the liberal agenda the media pushes constantly…are we surprised that liberalism is spreading?...of course, the media thinks we should be…)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28 Wednesday Hero: Antwan Walker

Sgt. Antwan L. Walker
Sgt. Antwan L. Walker
22 years old from Tampa, Florida
2nd Forward Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division
May 18, 2005

Sgt. Antwan Walker was excited about coming home from Iraq to celebrate his 23rd birthday with his family and friends. His mother, Andrea Pringle, was busy planning the party when an Army official unexpectedly came to her house.

She said he told her Thursday that her son was killed the previous day by a bomb blast in Ramadi. The Department of Defense hasn't publicly confirmed his death.

Sgt. Antwan Walker, known as Twan to his friends and family, joined the Army in 2000. Pringle said her son joined to earn money for college.

"Twan had a lot of goals in life," She said. "He was very ambitious and very smart."

Sgt. Walker had been in Iraq for about a year. He called his family often but didn't want to talk about war. Instead, he talked about starting a real estate career and his three children.

"He was such a good dad," his mother said. "All he wanted to do was make a good life for his kids."

In April 2005, Walker wanted to talk about the fighting. He told his mother five soldiers he was traveling with were killed. His phone calls became more frequent after that.

Pringle said she had days when she couldn't eat or sleep because of her worries. But she never forgot to give her son her support.

"I always told him I'm proud and be safe".

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

11/27 Morning Report

Isn’t it encouraging that Iran has TWO long range missiles? Modeled after Chinese and North Korean devices, and some modified US weaponry, these rockets can reach targets up to 1250 miles away! Isn’t that exciting!

(…oh, but don’t worry about those nuclear non-compliance issues…Iran has no military ambitions…besides the declared purpose of wiping Israel off the map…)

The White House announced a deal with Iraq to define long term relations issues. That is somewhat god news. Among the issues in the agreement is the legal status of American troops in Iraq, and how local law applies to them. Given recent incidents, such as the Blackwater shootings, having those issues defined is critical. The agreement pledges to extend the UN mandate “one final year.” Politically, this is tough for Maliki since it magnifies belief among some Iraqis that they do not govern their own nation. Still, many Iraqis don’t want American forces to leave, yet. In the agreement, the US pledges continued support to Iraq militarily and economically. The signal of the agreement, though, is that Iraq is stronger, and able to take on more serious matters. And, that is a huge step forward.

(…wonder what kind of hay the lefties will make out of this…I have to admit, even the NY Times wasn’t overly negative about this one…surprise, surprise, surprise…does leave me wondering what else is in it…anyone want to fill in the blanks?...)

Meanwhile, riots have returned to France. Once again, the accidental death of two youths has sparked rioting against police.

Police sources have said that in Sunday's incident, the motorcycle was going at top speed and was not registered for street use, while the two teenagers were not wearing helmets and had been ignoring traffic rules.

The police car was on a routine patrol and the teenagers were not being chased by police at the time, the officials added. But local youths have said the police car's stoved-in bonnet suggests it rammed the teenagers.
A state prosecutor has ordered an investigation. But, after two days of rioting, it appears that police are being specifically ttargeted. And, there is reason to believe outside agitators may even be involved.
(…it couldn’t be the motorcyclist’s fault…no, of course not…after all the police are involved…should we call this a French consipiracy theory?...)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

11/24 Morning Report

Liberal rumblings are being heard in several countries. Australia’s Labor Party is claiming victory in the elections there. Conservatives are split. Prime Minister John Howard says Labor, dominated by trade unionists, would end the economic growth in Australia. That would be bad for Australians, as well as the global economy. But, what would a Labor victory mean for Americans?

[Kevin] Rudd has pledged to withdraw combat troops from Iraq and sign the Kyoto Protocol, further isolating Washington on both. The Mandarin-speaking former diplomat would also be expected to forge closer ties with China and other Asian nations.

Not good news.

The NY Times, meanwhile, feeding a Liberal bias, notes that market bombs spell the end of the lull. Showing that security can be undermined in “safe areas,” terrorists killed 8-13 people in the Ghazil animal market. It’s interesting that the Times puts all blame on the Bush administration. It makes no attempt to place blame on terrorists—those who wantonly kill innocent people for the sake of their desires. US military officials blamed Iran-backed militants. The bomb was packed with ball bearings, according to Rear Adm. Smith.
"In raids overnight, Iraqi and coalition forces were able to identify and detain four members of a militia extremist group we assess as responsible for this horrific act of indiscriminate violence," he said at a news conference. "Based on subsequent confessions, forensics and other intelligence, the bombing was the work of an Iranian-backed special groups cell operating here in Baghdad."

(…so, if Bush is a criminal…what does that make the bombers…or Iran? interestingly, the NYT does not say…)

Unfortunately, in Lebanon, things have become even more precarious. Unable to hold elections, due to actions by Hezbollah and other pro-Syrian opponents, President Emile Lahoud stepped down, appearing to declare a state of emergency. And, he handed power over to the army. His departure has been a long standing goal of anti-Syrian groups, who are trying to gain control of the presidency. In some ways, the hand over is sensible. The army has tried to stay neutral. But, the constitution requires the cabinet to declare any state of emergency. With the boycott of cabinet activities by Shiite/Hezbollah members, the legitimacy of government is on questionable ground. And, that leaves many afraid of violence breaking out on a greater scale.

(…it pointedly states things against Bush…yet against those who thwart the will of the Lebanese people—like Hezbollah--it says nothing…but, of course, there is no media bias…)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

If Dogs Sent Letters To God...

(...something fun for Thanksgiving...remember to say thanks for those who are standing in harm's way for their loved ones and their country somewhere on the earth...but especially our own soldiers...Happy Thanksgiving everyone...)


Dear God: Why do humans smell flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another?

Dear God: When we get to heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it the same old story?

Dear God: Why are there cars named after the Jaguar, the Cougar, the Mustang, the Colt, the Stingray, and the Rabbit, but not ONE named for a dog? How often do you see a Cougar riding around? We dogs love a nice ride! Would it be so hard to rename the 'Chrysler Eagle' the 'Chrysler Beagle'?

Dear God: If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God: We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent IDs, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God: More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God: When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in?

Dear God: Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God: In Heaven, will I still have to take the blame for people's farts?

Dear God: Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good dog:

1. I will not eat cat's food before they eat it or after they throw it up.

2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.

3. I will not munch on "leftovers" in the kitty litter box; although they are tasty, they are not food.

4. The diaper pail is not a cookie jar.

5. The sofa is not a face towel; neither are Mom and dad's laps.

6. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.

7. My head does not belong in the refrigerator.

8. I will not bite the officers hand when he reaches in for mom's Drivers License and registration.

9. I will not play tug-of-war with dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.

10. Sticking my nose into someone's crotch is not an acceptable way of saying 'hello.'

11. I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm laying under the coffee table.

12. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house.

13. I will not throw up in the car.

14. I will not come in from outside and immediately drag my butt across the carpet.

15. I will not sit in the middle of the living-room and lick my crotch when company is over.

16. The cat is not a squeaky toy; so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it's usually not a good thing.

Dear God: May I have my testicles back?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday Hero: Spc. Roger G. Ling

Spc. Roger G. Ling
Spc. Roger G. Ling
20 years old from Douglaston, New York
Company C, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team
February 19, 2004

When Spc. Roger G. Ling's Humvee was struck by a homemade bomb in October of 2003, he survived the attack and he worked to keep his superior officer, Lt. Matt Homa, alive. Spc. Ling was riding in the backseat of the Humvee when it was hit. It destroyed Lt. Homa's door.

"It almost killed me. From what I've been told, Roger helped keep me awake until my medic arrived." said Lt. Homa. "Ling was a good kid. You could count on him to do anything."

Spc. Ling was killed, along with Second Lieutenant Jeffrey C. Graham of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, when their unit came under fire from insurgents in Khalidiyah, Iraq. Only two miles from where he'd survived the attack just four months earlier.

Leona Ling said she was grateful her brother came home in August of 2003 just before leaving for Iraq.

"He had to have his tonsils taken out," she said. "It was a blessing in disguise because we got to see him again."

In phone calls home, the soldier spoke wistfully of returning to New York and going to college. "He wanted to hear about what was going on at home and all the latest family gossip," Leona Ling recalled.

Survivors include his father, Wai Ling, a U.S. Army veteran.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Media Spin Defined....

OK…First of all, I know this is not true. Visit snopes.com if you want the details. So, second, this is not aimed at passing on muck about Sir…I mean, Madaam… Hillary. She does just fine at generating this stuff on her own. I am posting this because…well…if this isn’t the perfect description of how politicians of all stripes twist things around, I don’t know what is! Besides...it's election time again! So, enjoy!

A professional genealogical researcher,
discovered that Hillary Clinton's great-great uncle,
Remus Rodham, was hanged for horse stealing and train
robbery in Montana in 1889.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing
on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this

"Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana
Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the
Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton
detectives, convicted and publicly hanged in 1889."

Judy e-mailed Hillary Clinton for comments. Hillary's
staff of professional image adjusters sent back the
following biographical sketch:

"Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana
Territory. His business empire grew to include
acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate
dealings with the Montana railroad.

Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his
life to service at a government facility, finally
taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.

In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation
run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In
1889, Remus passed away during an important civic
function held in his honor when the platform upon
which he was standing collapsed."

Monday, November 19, 2007

11/19 Morning Report

The news from Europe is nothing new. Speaking to Kosovo, EU officials basically said independence is OK…IF…the rest of the world agrees.

European Union countries on Monday urged Serbia's breakaway Kosovo not to rush into a declaration of independence, with its backers insisting any such move should be coordinated internationally.
The EU did a bad job of addressing issues in the 90’s, which is how the US got tied up in the peacekeeping force. The US backs independence, while the EU wants to wait until the UN gives approval. And, of course, the Kosovo Albanians just want independence.
"This is a European challenge. It is not one we can ask the United States to solve for us," British Europe Minister Jim Murphy told reporters.

(…I suppose that’s why our troops are still on peacekeeping duty there…right?...)

Meanwhile, in Iraq, even the NY Times is having to recognize that violence is below 2006 levels.
Data released at a news conference in Baghdad showed that attacks had declined to the lowest level since January 2006. It is the third week in a row that attacks have been at this reduced level.
Having said that, of course, they downplayed it. They also pointedly stated that American data does not effectively measure sectarian violence, and Iraqi people seem to be exhausted by the violence. They notably failed, among other things, to make mention of the Sunni insurgent groups that have come to support the government and coalition forces.

(…maybe I just hope too much for a change from the MSM from just doom and gloom and failure reporting…)

And what do you think of this? King Juan Carlos’s “Shut up” rebuke to Hugo Chavez is a ringtone hit across Spain!
An estimated 500,000 people have downloaded the insult featuring the words "Why don't you shut up?", generating a reported 1.5m euros ($2m).
All kinds of items—mugs, t-shirts, etc—are showing off the row between the two leaders. The ringtone is even being downloaded by protesters in Venezuela! It’s really disgusting that Chavez can get away with being rude and arrogant, but everyone else gets blamed for it.

(…hhhmmm…can I get it downloaded to all the cell phones of the radical lefties without getting arrested for hacking?...just a thought…)

Friday, November 16, 2007

When A Soldier Comes Home

I had a really good post to load up…but my laptop just turned off and I can’t get to it. However, in it’s place, I found an awesome report on MSNBC. If you haven’t read or seen it, be prepared to cry a few tears of joy. And, make sure you watch the video! This is what it means when a soldier comes home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Enough Said?

Doesn't this make you really love the man?

(...even Sir Hillary has more sense than Barack Hussein Obama...)

Wednesday Hero

Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle
Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle
21 years old from Los Angeles, California
Company L, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6 ("Darkhorse" Battalion)

Cpl. Jordan M. Moehnle takes time out of leading his squad in a patrol through Fallujah's Nazaal district to spend some time interacting with local children. Moehnle, who is on his second tour in Iraq, said the changes he has witnessed since he was last here in 2006 have been dramatic. "The city was like the Wild West, we'd put our heads and and drive down (the middle of Fallujah) and hope not to get shot," he said. "Since we've been here (this year), we can stop and shoot the breeze."

You can read more here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

11/13 Morning Report

While the Turks and the Kurds are busy blowing each other up, the Kurds and the Iraqi government are arguing over the oil. It seems the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) has awarded 12 new exploration contracts, including 6 to foreign companies and 1 to itself.

"It is the first and only constitutionally based legal framework to attract investments to Iraq, which is designed for Iraq-wide revenue sharing, an essential element of future stability in Iraq that the constitution also rightly mandates," Hawrami added, and that the KRG hopes a similar framework will be adopted throughout Iraq.
Baghdad, on the other hand, has continually said such contracts are illegal, pending the ratification of a draft oil law. But, that draft and a resolution on Kurdish status in Kirkuk are still in limbo.

(…given the speed of Iraqi government accomplishments, the Kurds will be rich before it gets settled…then what will Baghdad do?...)

In other Iraq news, the troop surge is being reversed. 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry division, is already heading home to Ft. Hood, leaving combat strength at 19 brigades.
Between January and July - on a schedule not yet made public - the force is to shrink further to 15 brigades. The total number of U.S. troops will likely go from 167,000 now to 140,000-145,000 by July, six months before President Bush leaves office and a new commander in chief enters the White House.
True, there had been no timetable for withdrawal. However, the plan had been to put a surge of troops in to provide some stability, and then withdraw. In some areas the plan succeeded, in others it did not, and in others the results are mixed. The best news result is that more and more Sunni insurgents are joining against al-Qaeda, and showing a trust for American forces. It seems Bush has kept his promise, or is at least trying to.

(…I wonder what the lefties will make of all this…I also wonder if this will do anything to help Republican candidates this fall?...probably not since they can’t seem to focus on anything…)

In case you wondered what the lefties would do with the situation…they attack from the left! The WahsPo (…of course…) released this story. Citing such things as higher oil costs and unemployment costs due to veteran related issues, Democrats are saying the real cost of the war will be some $1.5 trillion. This is according to a report by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee who, according to the WashPo, examines the hidden costs of wars. While Republican members of the committee could not be reached for comment, other experts (…according to Reuters…) say calculating the effect of the war on oil prices is difficult.

(…well…hasn’t stopped the lefties, yet...)

Friday, November 09, 2007

11/9 Morning Report

(...be warned...today I just felt like going on a rant...I've been nice for too long...)

It’s really sad that all the MSM can do is recognize how bad some things are. You would think, somewhere along the way, they would recognize successes. Like the report 3 days ago that IED deaths are down. Some estimates say by about 50%! What does the media report? There was this NY Times article that proclaimed 2007 deadliest year for troops. It is a true statement. However, the Times blames the increase on the surge. Ground commanders say the surge has worked, to a degree. Some independent journalists are saying there has been a significant change among Iraqis that is making a difference. Michael Yon has done a good job of pointing fingers in all directions during the conflict. He was among the first to see a civil war brewing. Now, he reports that various local insurgent groups are joining the government, and American forces, to get rid of al-Qaeda. A month ago, he said something profound in his dispatch Hunting al-Qaeda:
Their end goal still includes getting us ushered out the door: something they are clear about. This means we have further common interests; we want to walk out that door just as fervently, but we don’t want to watch the house full of kids burn down behind us when we leave. Neither do they.
The question for our nation will be did we run away and let the house burn down, or did we make every effort to do right by the Iraqi people? Given the changing political winds in Washington, I suspect that will prove to be THE question that defines the next Administration and the Congress.

(…by the way, if you re not reading Michael Yon, you should be…)

Speaking of things the Liberals should have to answer for: Illegal Immigration. More specifically, they should answer for refusing to control it. 23 were found working at O’Hare Airport. Many in sensitive areas. And, yet, Liberals decry any attempt to control the problem. The claim of discrimination is absurdly placed as an overarching concern, when in fact, it really isn’t the issue in the first place. Certainly, it appears from time to time. And, it should be dealt with accordingly. However, the issue is ILLEGAL immigrants. And, frankly, I don’t see why the one is discriminating against the other.

But, then of course, they would also have to respond to the latest moves of the Liberal darling Hugo Chavez. Portrayed as the benign, loving dictator of Venezuela, his supporters re apparently pretty violent, killing two after the anti-Chavez rally the other day. Funny thing…I didn’t catch much about it in the MSM. Nor do I hear any cries of dictitorialism for his moves to consolidate and perpetuate power. But, here in the US, the Liberals are going after various conservative icons again. With their return to power, they are back after televangelists. Do I believe they live extravagantly? Yeah, they probably do. But, who said they have live in poverty? And where do you draw the line? And…more importantly…why is the line more sharply drawn for Christians and preachers than other groups?

(…now there is a question Liberals should have to answer…think they ever will?...)

And, for those that want to use Yahoo to help our troops, Any Soldier now has a Yahoo toolbar available. When you use it, it helps keep that site alive. They exist because people give to the site, as well as the troops. Do what you can. They are more than worth it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

11/7 Morning Report

In Georgia, a man was arrested, charged, jailed and convicted by a municipal judge for distributing religious pamphlets. Supposedly, he violated the city’s “parade law” by not getting permission to pass out tracts. In August, the charges were dropped—after the case got to Superior Court. Well, now the issue is in Federal Court in hopes of gaining a preliminary injunction.

Baumann spent two days in jail for violating the parade ordinance. ADF (Alliance Defense Fund) attorneys have since asked for the preliminary injunction, which would allow Baumann and others to share their faith in public without having to gain permission from government authorities.
Maybe I’m just naïve, but freedom of religious expression is a constitutional right. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government, since the constitution gives this power to the Feds, to protect religious freedoms—Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, whatever. So, can anyone tell me why I think the Feds will duck this issue?

In another “public safety” item (…this one really is…) Mattel recalled more toys. These toys were made in Mexico. Small parts could break off and create a choking hazard. And, so far, there is only one reported case of a problem in the UK. Meanwhile, Mattel is facing a liable suit from China after the company announced that 85% of those August recalls were caused by a company design problem—not Chinese manufacturers.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, some Shi’ite groups are seeking the same autonomies as the Kurds. For some, that type of government is proving successful. Al-Najaf, for example, is beginning to thrive due to religious pilgrimages, and using the money through local power building. But, that same religious power could create problems among various Islamic groups. The discussion of federalism is a hot issue. Sunnis claim it will lead to an unequal sharing of oil wealth. It will be interesting to see where this goes in the end.

(…personally, I think there will be either separate states, or autonomous regions…your thoughts?...)

And, contrary to the voices of the media, people are returning to Iraq.
"As a result of the improvement of the security situation in the capital Baghdad the total number of Iraqis returning from outside through Iraqi border exit points during October reached 46,030," Baghdad security spokesman Brigadier-General Qassim Moussawi told a news conference.
With civilian deaths for October the lowest in over a year, some are giving credit to the success of the Surge. While not commenting on the figures, because they had not seen them yet, even the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says the numbers of returning Iraqis has been increasing.

(…let’s see what the cut-and-run crowd does with this…)

Wednesday Hero

Army Spc. Eric S. McKinley
Army Spc. Eric S. McKinley
24 years old from Corvallis, Oregon
Company B, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, Army National Guard
June 13, 2004

An avid outdoorsman, Spc. McKinley worked as a baker at Alpine Bakery in Corvallis, Ore. Upon his return from Iraq, he hoped to open a juice bar in the college town to provide a drug and alcohol-free environment for young people. Friends and co-workers remember Spc. McKinley as a quiet, caring young man who dyed his hair, sported several tattoos and loved ska and rock music. His senior yearbook picture showed a grinning young man with spiked hair dyed red and green. In other 1998 yearbook pictures, he has purple and blue hair in a mohawk.

Spc. Eric McKinley was killed when a roadside bomb north of Baghdad detonated destroying two vehicles and wounded four other Oregon soldiers. They were identified as Staff Sgt. Phillip Davis, 23, of Albany; Sgt. Matthew Zedwick, 23, of Bend; Cpl. Shane Ward, 23, of Corvallis and Pvt. Richard Olsen, 23, of Independence.

Almost 500 people attended the memorial service for Spc. McKinley at Starker Arts Park in Corvallis. There was a mix of people dressed in either military or punk attire — including McKinley’s six-year-old cousin, who, in tribute, wore his hair in a bright green mohawk.

Coventry Pacheco, McKinley’s fiancee, sat in the first row at his celebration-of-life service. They hadn’t set a wedding date, but were planning to get married.

He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service, a Purple Heart and the Oregon Distinguished Service Award. U.S. and Oregon flags were presented to his parents, Tom McKinley of Salem and Karen Hilsendager of Philomath.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

11/6 Morning Report

Rugrats and Power Rangers may really be bad TV for children. A recent study showed possible links between violent content and attention lapses. It links these problems to children as much under 3 who watch this type of content. And, the problems can show up as much as 5 years later.

(…and ADD is a biological disease?...right?...what do you want to bet no link is substantiated…)

In related news, Oregon voters will decide on a state funded child healthcare expansion.

"If Oregon votes in the affirmative for this, it will be a shot in the arm," said U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland. "It will be harder for some people to ignore what the public sentiment is. Maybe they can ignore the polls, but this would be a signal victory."
As a liberal state, Oregon’s vote could add pressure for a national program, despite recent Presidential vetoes. The proposal would be funded by an increased cigarette tax, which has prompted a $12 million campaign against the tax by Phillip Morris. I am left wondering, on the other hand, what happens when everyone quits smoking? How do you fund these things then? Where will the money come from? Isn’t it interesting that you never hear about those things?

(…I can see an eventual budget shortfall…can you?...)

Meanwhile, more ministries are coming under government scrutiny. A Senate panel is demanding records be delivered within one month. At issue is whether ministry leaders use their tax-exempt status to live lavish lifestyles. I would counter with the question: who said they should live in poverty? Executives of major corporations as big as some ministries get larger salaries. Why shouldn’t these men and women? My second question is why is the Senate doing this? Admittedly there are tax implications. But…seriously…the Senate? The IRS has their own courts for issues such as these.

(…I think the government may be making a move to get more money from the church…which is really kind of dumb…if you give to a church for the tax deduction, I wonder if you are even giving it to God in the first place…)

And, finally, the National ID plan has hit a bunch of snags. Resitsance is ciming from several quarters, now.
One reason is the price tag, estimated at $14.6 billion. Congress has so far appropriated only $40 million and twice this summer voted against additional funding.
This is on top of conservative resistance because of invasion of privacy concerns. And (…are you sitting down?...) event the ACLU has come out against the program, claiming is too watered down to accomplish anything.

(…yeah, I know…they would still go for it…but take the support where you can find it…eh?...)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

11/4 Morning Report

Sounding like most “benevolent dictators” of the past, Gen. Pervez Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s constitution. With troops surrendering to militants in some areas, police raising the jihadist flag, and suicide attacks in major cities, Pakistan is a growing trouble spot. I think former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, recently returned from exile, made the most telling statement:

"I agree with him that we are facing a political crisis, but I believe the problem is dictatorship, I don't believe the solution is dictatorship…The extremists need a dictatorship, and dictatorship needs extremists.”
In this BBC article, another political rival, Imran Khan, is quoted as saying:
"When you stop all legal and constitutional ways of people challenging [the president], then the only ones who challenge him are people with a gun".

(…so…having gained power by military coup…are we surprised that he decides to keep power with the same methods?...I wonder what this will do for the GWOT…)

Meanwhile, in Libya, Islamists joined al-Qaeda. According to an internet audio message, the Fighting Islamic Group has joined bin Laden’s network. Interestingly, the message called for opposition to and the toppling of North African and Palestinian leaders, calling on Fatah to depose President Abbas and branding Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “an enemy of Islam.” Islamic influence is growing all across the Middle East. Even Azerbaijan is having a resurgence of Islamic influence. Mostly beginning from the vacuum created by the break up of the Soviet Union, Islamic teaching of both Sunni and Shia ideas has been spreading, although under state control. Given the changes in Pakistan, iraq, Libya and other places, it does open the question of how long it will remain such an open society.

Closer to home, a pipe bomb was found at the Palo Verde nuclear plant. It was in the bed of a contractor’s truck, who claimed no knowledge of the device.
The pipe bomb was probably powerful enough to damage the vehicle but not the power plant, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said…."The mystery is how did it get in the truck and how he knew nothing about it. It's all very puzzling,"
In our open society, it would be quite simple to put something in a truck unnoticed. So, the question, on the surface, sounds kind of stupid. But, it does open the subject of social restrictions and searches that will further erode constitutional freedoms and protections—in the name of maintaining social order.

(…maybe one day we can say we are Pakistan!...)

And, in political news, reports from Arizona show that Democrats are out-fundraising republicans again. Through more efficient use of the internet, Democrats raised more cash than Republicans in the last Presidential election. You can visit Act Blue to see just how they are doing this year. Ignoring the political bias of the source, there was a lot of interesting information in today’s NY Times. And, let’s not forget the reported plan to manipulate Google data to bias the elections. Republicans need a focused vision for the future, and a united voice. Republicans and conservatives once took over Congress by successfully using the airwaves of talk radio. Now, the Democrats are showing you have to learn to use the internet to be really successful.

(…I hope conservatives learn this lesson quick…)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

11/1 Morning Report

Think the U.S. is the only country with immigration problems? Think again. British authorities have said for years that migrant workers benefit the economy. But, yeasterday’s news story on more recent information revealed:

More than half of new jobs created under Labour since 1997 have gone to foreign workers, it has emerged.
Among other things, the statistics revealed it is incredibly hard to keep track of people. The government used wrong population data to make their original conclusions. And, then it revised those conclusions twice.

(…and the Democrats on this side of the pond wonder why we don’t trust their version of immigration impact…)

In, another scary report today U.S. officials are ready to say Russians nuclear missiles ”are secure”. Isn’t it wonderful that it’s done two years ahead of schedule? Meanwhile…
On Monday, the Russian military claimed to have conducted more than 20 long-range flights with its aging fleet of strategic nuclear bombers, and said a similar number of flights were planned for this week.
Russia has also taken to broadcasting state-controlled news reports of tests of cruise missiles and powerful conventional weapons, drawing comparisons to American systems and suggesting that the tests are necessary because of threats from the West.
(…Oh…and radiation detectors will be installed along the borders by 2011…does anyone really that that means only four more years of dirty bomb possibilities…very encouraging…)

Still over in Russia, it seems that corporate America, in this case Ford, has gone another step into hyper-political correctness. RFE reports:
Andrei Kurayev, who is a deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church and a professor at the Moscow Theological Academy, was quoted by Interfax as saying on October 30 that the management of the Ford plant in Vsevolozhsk in Leningrad Oblast refused to allow him to tour its premises in clerical attire, Interfax reported. Kurayev added that he is currently giving lectures in that town and was interested in seeing the factory. He said that he was "told that the plant has a multiethnic work force, and it might insult someone if I came in wearing my cassock." He was accordingly told he "should wear ordinary clothes" on his visit. Kurayev stressed that the ban reflects not bureaucratic arbitrariness but an "ideology, a new totalitarian form of censorship in the name of political correctness." He added that there is "a part of this transnational corporation that does not want to take into account the character of our cultural and political climate.... [This shows] disrespect even for its own workers and for the country in which they work."
Meanwhile, another report states that Haloween events are banned in Moscow schools.

(…I guess you can’t have everything…some things are just better than others…)

In other weird news, there was yesterday’s report in the NYT that Iran is hiding art. Billions of dollars worth of art, at that, by artists such as Renoir and van Gogh all the way to Andy Warthol.

(…Sadaam hid lots of cash…maybe the Iranians have a different take on valuables?...)

I think the most concerning thing I’ve read the last few days was this report on Sir Hillary, from yesterday. Supposedly, there are photographs showing she was involved in President Bill’s presidential pardon extravaganza. However, the most frightening thing is not that photos exist which show it may be true. No, it’s the comment threads that follow, demonstrating the politicized apathy of America, that is truly frightening.

(…remember, Halloween never ends…just watch the politicians constantly putting on their new constumes…)

And, in sad news, Any Soldier reports the following:
Spc. Hugo V. Mendoza, 29, of Glendale, AZ, died of wounds sustained when he came in contact with enemy forces using RPG, machine gun, and small arms fire during combat operations on Oct. 25, in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 530rd infantry Regimentm 173 Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.
Well, Specialist Mendoza, at our house we remember your cry—the cry of all warriors:
"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today."
--The Kohima Epitaph--
We remember what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your family more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wedensday Hero

Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas R. Anderson
Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas R. Anderson
21 years old from Sauk City, Wisconsin
1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force
March 13, 2006

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Anderson lost his life after the Humvee he was riding in rolled over as a group of Marines pursued a suspicious vehicle near Jalalabad, Afghanistan. He suffered head injuries in the crash and died as he was being transported to a hospital.

Nicholas Anderson joined the Marines in January 2005 and began a six-month tour of Afghanistan two months ago with the 3rd Marines Weapons Platoon, his father, James Anderson said.

"I just know that he died fighting for what he believed in," he said. "He wanted to be a Marine and even though it was a major risk he just wanted to go."

James Anderson said his son, a 2003 Sauk Prairie High School graduate, enjoyed riding his motorcycle, lifting weights, going fishing and hanging out with friends.

He joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard when he was 18, but an injured shoulder forced him to drop out. He then enlisted in the Marines.

"I was very nervous when he first joined the Marines because two words jumped into my head: Afghanistan and Iraq," his father said. "I just supported him and prayed that it would end before he had to go over."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hey, Coach? Where Ya Been?

Well, I had the surgery I mentioned a couple weeks ago. I had a combination of ulnar nerve entrapment and nerve compression in the left elbow. Yes, it hurt. It also caused nerve fire all the way up my arm and into the neck. Here is a good site for information on what was going on, and what the surgeon did.

So, now, I am on the mend. The fire is gone. Full elbow mobility and movement is returning quickly. However feeling is returning very slowly. The symptoms developed over about 3 years, so that's no surprise. The Doc says no strengthening work for at least another week. And, since my job requires a lot of keyboarding, and I am also in class at university of Phoenix (on-line), I cut back on how much writing I’ve been doing…specifically blogging. Rest assured, though, I will return (no…I don’t have a MacArthur complex…) to previous form as quickly as possible.

And, before I forget, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been asking about me via email. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Hero

This Week's Hero Was Suggested By Cindy

Lt. Michael P. Murphy
Lt. Michael P. Murphy
29 years old from Patchogue, New York
SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1
June 28, 2005

On Monday, Lt. Michael P. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal Of Honor. His father was the one who accepted the award. Lt. Murphy will receive the award for his extraordinary, selfless heroism and steadfast courage while leading a four-man, special reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines east of Asadabad in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan June 27 to 28, 2005

"We are thrilled by the President's announcement today, especially because there is now a public recognition of what we knew all along about Michael's loyalty, devotion and sacrifice to his friends, family, country, and especially his SEAL teammates," the Murphy family said in a statement released earlier in the month. "The honor is not just about Michael, it is about his teammates and those who lost their lives that same day."

Murphy was the officer-in-charge of the SEAL element, which was tasked with locating a high- level Taliban militia leader to provide intelligence for a follow-on mission to capture or destroy the local leadership and disrupt enemy activity. Taliban sympathizers discovered the SEAL unit and immediately revealed their position to Taliban fighters. The element was besieged on a mountaintop by scores of enemy fighters. The firefight that ensued pushed the element farther into enemy territory and left all four SEALs wounded. The SEALs fought with everything they had. despite being at a tactical disadvantage and outnumbered more than four to one. Understanding the gravity of the situation and his responsibility to his men, Murphy, already wounded, deliberately and unhesitatingly moved from cover into the open where he took and returned fire while transmitting a call for help for his beleaguered teammates. Shot through the back while radioing for help, Murphy completed his transmission while returning fire. The call ultimately led to the rescue of one severely wounded team member, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Marcus Luttrell, and the recovery of the remains of Murphy and Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz and Sonar Technician 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew Axelson.

Eight more SEALs and eight Army "Nightstalker" special operations personnel comprising the initial reinforcement also lost their lives when their helicopter was shot down before they could engage the enemy.

Murphy was also inducted into the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon during a ceremony yesterday. His name was engraved beside the names of some 3,400 other service members who have also been awarded the nation’s highest honor.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Hero

Sgt. Robert M. McDowell
Sgt. Robert M. McDowell
30 years old from Deer Park, Texas
2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
April 01, 2007

Sgt. Robert M. McDowell was a military police noncommissioned officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion.

Originally from Deer Park, Texas, he joined the Army in February 1998 and completed training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

In June 1998 he was assigned to Fort Hood where he served until being reassigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment at Katterbach Kaserne in Germany in January 2003. While a member of 1st Infantry Division, he served as an AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter repairman.

McDowell was assigned to Fort Drum in March 2006 after completing military police reclassification training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

He was deployed to Bosnia from February to September 1999.

His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge and the Army Aviator Badge.

Sgt. McDowell was killed when and IED struck his vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq. He is survived by his wife and son, of Evans Mills, N.Y., and a daughter, Madison McDowell, of New Mexico.

Also killed in the attack were Staff Sgt. David A. Mejias, Staff Sgt. Eric R. Vick and Sgt. William G. Bowling. You can find more information about them at this site.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pro Choice And Verizon

Verizon has reversed it’s stand on Pro-Abortion text messaging. At issue was whether it should allow NARAL to use a text messaging program via Verizon systems. It would have been a sign-up program. Verizon originally said no. And, though the article doesn’t say it, they were probably the victim of a lot of pressure.

But, the issue is not that Verizon caved to Naral. In fact, it’s probably a good thing that they did. It opens a wider debate. There is a much deeper issue at play here. Would they, or any other carrier, do the same for Pro-Life groups? The pro-abortion message has no problem getting media presentation. That presentation leaves out a lot of details regarding legal abortions—lack of medical oversight, lack of medical responsibility for errors, deliberate exclusion of parents and guardians, etc. How much will the Pro-choice groups scream when the political realm of texting begins to involve conservative agendas? Will they be as welcoming and tolerant of the process then?

Given their history, I am not counting on it. But, that is the real issue. And, that is what must be fought for.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Personal Note

For those who are once again wondering about the scarcity of posts, I have a pinched nerve in my left arm. I will be having surgery to correct it in about ten days. Until then, aside from work, i will be doing as little typing as possible.

Thanks for your continued reading. And, of course, your prayers.

Wednesday Hero

Lance Cpl. Cory Jamieson
Lance Cpl. Cory Jamieson
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
Personal Security Detachment, Headquarters and Support Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, attached to Regimental Combat Team 2

Hippocrates once said, "Art is long, life is short".

Cpl. Jeremy David Allbaugh lived a short life. But, he was immortalized recently in acrylics by a Lance Cpl. Jamieson who painted a mural in his honor.
"I feel sad because it is for him, but it makes me happy because I can still do something for him," said Lance Cpl. Jamieson. "I thought about it during the ceremony in the chapel. I looked up at the stained glass windows and I thought 'I should do something like that'".

Along with help from family, a fellow Marine and a Morale, Wefare and Recreation manager, Jamieson had the paint and tools needed.

"I would paint eight or nine hours in the gym and time would fly by," Jamieson said.

Cpl. Jeremy David Allbaugh, 21 years old from Luther, Oklahoma, was killed by a roadside bomb on July 5, 2007 while conducting combat operations in Qaim, Iraq.

"He believed very strongly in what our country's doing," said his mother, Jenifer Allbaugh. "They were doing good things over there, and we don't see that in the news or media. There's a lot of progress being made. I wish more people would talk to our boys who are in it and not our politicians because they see it firsthand".

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

9/19 Wednesday Hero

1st Lt. Forrest P. Ewens
1st Lt. Forrest P. Ewens
26 years old from Tonasket, Washington
1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)
June 16, 2006

The love of Megan Ewens's life arrived at Arlington National Cemetery on July 7, 2006. His ashes inside a small wooden box, the box inside a coffin, the coffin draped with an American flag and carried on a caisson pulled by six black horses.

Lt. Forrest P. Ewens had shipped out for Afghanistan in March of that same year. His wife, being the same rank in the Army, understood the risks, telling a colonel at Fort Drum, N.Y., that if anything happened to her husband, she didn't want to hear about it from a stranger.

On June 6, 2006 Lt. Ewens and Sgt. Ian T. Sanchez were killed when ATV struck an IED while on combat operation in Pech River Valley, Afghanistan.

A few weeks before his death, Lt. Ewens called his wife from an Afghan mountain to inform her that his unit had been subsisting on melted snow and rations and that he had been writing his impressions down in a notebook he carried.

"This was the love of her life," Megan Ewens's mother said. "They were so well-matched and made such a good team. We couldn't ask for a better son-in-law."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

9/14 Morning Report

Why is everyone so surprised that Bush stated the war in Iraq will stretch beyond his administration? When it all started, he said it would be years before this was completed. Admittedly, he thought it would be around the end of his administration at the time. I seem to recall hearing others who thought it would be longer. Nevertheless, he was up front about it. Our problem, as Americans, is we are so short sighted on the future. We tend to think everything can be solved quickly and efficiently, when in fact the problem really requires a long term fix. I really snorted over the MSM’s idea that Bush is “finally agreeing to troop cuts”. The truth is he is following the directives of the man he put in charge, General Petraeus, just like he promised. You might want to check out Frederick Kagan’s view of how the surge has gone. He is believed to be it’s chief architect.

The assassination of Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha is a blow to Coalition efforts.

On Thursday, Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said Abu Risha "was one of the first to come forward to want to work with the United States to repel al-Qaeda."

"Remember, al-Qaeda was killing some of the sheiks' children and, in one instance, severed several heads from young children and put them in a cooler to deliver to the sheiks," Perino said. "This is the type of enemy that we're dealing with."

She said that while the death was not a setback to the U.S. efforts in Anbar, U.S. officials would "have to redouble our efforts to work with the local populations to get the support they need to prevent other such murders."
At the same time, it is also a blow to al-Qaeda forces in Iraq. It has seriously damaged al-Qaeda’s efforts to separate Iraqis and Coalition forces. Of course, they haven’t been doing themselves any favors through their murderous deeds among the people. Michael Yon did a great job of documenting some of it—though the rest of the media has not paid nearly enough attention. It has left the American people thinking al-Qaeda is not a major presence in Iraq.
(…but we trust the MSM to tell us everything that matters…right?...yeah, sure whatever…)

The good news of the day is someone is hitting back at MoveOn.org. After their “Betray Us” ad denouncing Petraeus’s as yet unmade Congressional testimony, Freedom's Watch is mounting a multimillion dollar ad campaign against the liberal foul-mouth piece. Democrats as yet have not denounced the campaing, although Sen. John Kerry (?) did cal it “over the top.” And, how is the liberal media reacting?
The Hill reports that presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who criticized the ad as "abominable," is asking The Times for the “same heavily discounted rate they gave MoveOn.org” for an ad.

The New York Post has reported that The Times charged MoveOn $65,000 instead of its standard $181,000 for the ad. The Times, according to Reuters, responded that there are many different categories of ads, with varying rates depending on variables such as multiple buys.
(…I’m glad there is no bias in the media…aren’t you?...)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/12 Wednesday Heroes

Staff Sgt. Richard P. Ramey
Staff Sgt. Richard P. Ramey
27 years old from Canton, Ohio
703rd Ordinance Compan, supporting the 82nd Airborne Division
February 8, 2004

Richard Ramey always knew what he was going to be. Once, while in the third grade, his teacher asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. His response? "I’ll go to war and fight" Concerned by his answer, his teacher called his mother, Julie Ramey. She told her "No, that's my son".

SSgt. Ramey was killed when insurgents attacked his and other convoys in Mahmudiyah, Iraq.

"Richard loved to do his job. No matter where it would take him," said his mother. "He really felt deeply that he wanted to protect people that couldn’t protect themselves"

In a statement released through Fort Knox, the Ramey family said, "He was adventurous and smart, combining both qualities in what he did for the Army. We knew his work was dangerous but also knew he wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else".

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your blog, you can go here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where Were You...

Everyone is asking each other these days, "Where were you? Do you remember?" AS if we could ever forget....

I was driving into work. I remember it was the day of the week I usually spent the morning in quiet prayer. I wish I could say I was doing some super spiritual thing--praying protection for the president or whatever. But, honestly, I don't remember praying over anything specific before I left the house. Anyway, I was oblivious to what was going on.

I was actually just getting on the highway when something didn't feel right. I noticed there was very little traffic, considering the time of day (late rush-hour). I normally leave the radio off on the way to work and enjoy the quiet. But, I turned it on then. And, my blood froze.

It actually took a few minutes to figure out what was going on. Then, it was everything I could do not to cry, so I could keept seeing well enough to drive. The only thing I could manage was a strangled cry, "Oh, God! Help them!" I just repeated it over and over. I arrived at work and let myself just cry in the parking lot for a bit. I think the south tower fell as I went inside.

Through out the day I alternated the mantra, "Just carry on," in my head, and with the heart cry, "Oh, God! Help them!" The term "Them" kept taking on a different identity--the families of the lost, or the police and firemen, or the survivors. A lot of the time, though, it was just a blind cry to God.

I remember little of work that day. I know I did my job. I remember my wife called me to see if I had heard the news. I remember going by the sales office at one point. They had a TV hooked up. I saw a live picture of the North tower burning, but still standing. I had a recurring flashback all day about my high school graduation dinner. My parents took the family to the restaurant on the top floor of the Trade Center. And, I remember crying when the second tower fell. In fact, I remember crying several times through out the day. I remember barely being able to talk most of the time. And, I remember calling home just to tell my wife I loved her and ask about the kids.

I remember thinking of friends I had in New Jersey, during high school. I hadn't thought of them much over the years. We lost touch and moved around a lot in the years afterwards. But, back in high school, many of them had parents who worked in the City. I cried wondering if any of those I'd known worked their now. And, whether any of them were gone.

But, that's all I can honestly tell you about that day.

The thing I remember most happened at church that evening. Many there had to talk through the hurt and fear and anguish. I just cried quiet tears. Until an ex-Marine (please don't give me an arguement on there being no such thing here, ok) told of being at work--as an air traffic controller. He described the tears as they pulled out the book on how to ground all the planes in the air. He told of how his son, also a Marine, called as he boarded a ship--unable to tell his dad where he was going. The son simply called to say he loved his dad. I thought of my daughter, who had just entered military service. That ex-Marine and I looked at each other and cried.

That's where I was. Sounds pretty mundane. I know a lot of people had a similar day. I know there were many who experienced much worse. But, I also know no one was untouched by it all. I also realize there is a bigger question. And, it's a question that, personally, I don't have an answer for.

Where am I now? Even as I write this, I'm feeling the same deep ache all over again. And, I'm crying those same anguished tears. Yes, it still hurts with an intesity I can't describe. It hurts partly because there's been no closure to it all. It also hurts because the terrorist's goal was achieved. You see, despite my faith in Christ, I am very much afraid it will happen again.

So, where are you now?