“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”

Thursday, May 24, 2007

05/24 Morning Report

Well, what do you know! Bin Laden and Iraq were connected after all. Can I be not surprised? I have always found it a bit hard to believe that al-Qaeda could get so well entrenched so quickly without having some kind of network in place. And, I will grant it could be done using appropriate exploitation of local discontent. But, the level of organization that existed when it announced it’s “official” presence far exceeded that, in my opinion.
(…before you ask…no I can’t prove that…it’s just what I believe…)

On the subject of the war in Iraq, what were insurgents doing with large sums of Iranian cash? Given the availability of money in just about any currency, why would terrorists want Iranian money? I only have two questions, really. How much influence and power is being bought with it? And by who? I know there will lots of accusations about terrorists using it to buy Iranian arms. And, I am quite sure some of that is going on. There is already a good bit of evidence that Iranian weapons and technology are being used by the terrorists and insurgents. But, personally, I think Iran would be more interested in getting foreign currencies for the exchange rates, and the influence that could generate on foreign governments. But, again, that’s my opinion.

So, I guess it should come as no surprise that Iran is continuing to UN nuclear requirements. Two telling statements about where things stand were:

"There are no obstacles to lawful and legal IAEA inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities," said Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of Iran's atomic energy organisation.
In March, the UN Security Council imposed a second round of sanctions on Iran for failing to suspend uranium enrichment, prompting Tehran to limit its co-operation.
My summation of Iranian actions would be something like, ”we are cooperating as long as you don’t interfere and let us do what we want.” It comes on the heels of this announcement on Tuesday:
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency revealed that Iran has solved its technical problems and is now capable of making fuel suitable for nuclear reactors…The findings come after a short-notice inspection by the agency at Iran's main nuclear facility at Natanz on Sunday.
Of course, the UN being the UN is doing nothing but talk. In this case, that’s probably a good thing. At this point in time, I doubt enough soldiers could be brought together in a coalition strong enough to take on AND defeat Iran. Unfortunately, it also means it will be that much harder to accomplish when (…yes…I said when, not if…) the fight actually happens.

And, when the whole thing blows up, should we be surprised to find Muslims in America turning to some sort of violence in the defense of their faith? Well, it depends on what the definition of defending their faith is, at the bottom line. And, it will depend on who you talk to. NPR had a good discussion of the Pew Research survey that’s causing so much concern. And, the Daily Banter had a good discussion of what could be some statistical flaws in the research.
(…personally, I think there will be a lot of it going on…just like it is in Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Gaza, and points European…I think America will se it as well…)

Meanwhile, catching up, the follwing two reports of sad news come from Any Soldier:
Spc. Kyle A. Little, age 20, of West Boylston, MA, died May 8 in Salman Pak, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an IED detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

Lance Cpl. Jeffrey D. Walker, age 21, of Macon, Ga., died May 14 while conducting combat operations in al-Anbar province, iraq. He was assigned to Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, NC.
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 families more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

05/23 Wednesday Hero

Pfc. Joseph Allen Jeffries
Pfc. Joseph Allen Jeffries
21 years old from Beaverton, Oregon
Army Reserve’s 320th Psychological Operations Company
May 29, 2004

Below is all the information that could be found on Pfc. Joseph Jeffries.

Pfc. Jeffries was killed with two fellow soldiers, Capt. Daniel W. Eggers and Sgt. 1st Class Robert J. Mogensen, and an unnamed sailor, when their vehicle drove over an IED in Kandahar, Afghanistan. All four service members were attached to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife, Betsy, and his parents Mark and Linda Jeffries.

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. To find out more about Wednesay Hero, you can go here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

05/16 Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Cindy

Lance Cpl. Steven Chavez
Lance Cpl. Steven Chavez
20 years old from Hondo, New Mexico
2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
March 14, 2007

Tears ran down cheeks and strong men choked back emotion as the city of Hondo, NM payed tribute to fallen Marine, Steven Chavez. LCpl. Chavez lost his life on March 14, 2007 in a non-combat incident in which he was accidentally shot.

Chavez enlisted in the Marine Cops. right after he graduated in 2005. "You pray and you pray that the day never comes, and then it does," said Novelda Chavez, Chavez's mother. "Your emotions are mixed — it’s not true, it’s a bad dream, a bad dream you never wake up from."

In a letter Chavez wrote before he was sent to Iraq, he wrote:
"First of all I would like to thank everyone for your support. When I'm home on leave and when I'm away. That is so important to me. Thank you for your kind, supporting words in your letters and for the packages I've received. Those are awesome.

I've been through some pretty hard times, in the short time I've been in the Marine Corp. None harder then what I'm about to face. Yes I'm scared; nothing is scarier than the uncertainty of what your future holds for you. I'm prepared to face whatever lies ahead.

I put my life in the hands of the Lord. And pray that He guides my fellow soldiers and I down a safe path, that He will calm our fears, and give us the strength to do the job we have been trained to do, and to do that job well.

There are many lonely nights, when you're lying in your bunk thinking of family and friends, wondering what they are doing at that very moment. Wondering what mom is cooking for supper. I can almost taste the tortillas on the griddle.

I want to say to all of you tonight, I wouldn't change one thing about my life.

I've never been more proud of the choices I made in my life than the day I graduated from basic drill instructor placed that Anchor, Globe and Eagle Pin in my hand I knew then I was a UNITED STATES MARINE!

I'm Proud to protect and serve My Country

I'm Proud to protect and serve My Community

I'm Proud to protect and serve you

Thank you so much for your Support. Keep those letters coming. Mail is a precious commodity when you're so far from Home.



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. To find out more about Wednesay Hero, you can go here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Pastor's Ass

The rural pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won. The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and It won again.

The local paper read: PASTOR'S ASS OUT FRONT.

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.

The next day, the local paper headline read: BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR'S ASS.

This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.

The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day: NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN.

The bishop fainted . He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10.

The next day the paper read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.

This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild.

The next day the headlines read: NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE.

The bishop was buried the next day.

(...the moral of the story is....being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery...and even shorten your life. So be yourself and enjoy life...

Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll be a lot happier and live longer!...)

Friday, May 11, 2007

05/11 Morning Report

Well, the Democrats and Republicans seem to have finally agreed to approve overseas unions. Don’t get me wrong, there are rights that workers should have protected and upheld. However, the effectiveness of unions for other than raising prices and controlling the workplace have been declining for years. And, despite the media uproar on the issue, it was the Democrats holding up all the trade agreements. As stated in the New York Times, April 21, 2007:

At issue is the Democratic demand that pending trade deals with Colombia, Panama, Peru and South Korea include a provision guaranteeing certain rights for labor in the trading partner countries, including a ban on child and slave labor and the right to organize.
(…I’ll ask an honest question here…would someone refresh my memory…when was the last time unions brought about an industry change besides raising of wages through a strike?...I honestly don’t remember hearing of one…)

Good news from the abortion front. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled parents should be informed and be able to make decisions regarding their daughters medical care. It really is a puzzle to me how abortion gives the state, specifically schools, rights that in all other medical situations belong to parents or legal guardians.
(…it’s good to see state’s taking their authority in this arena…too bad it won’t hold…this will move up the chain to federal court…)

Meanwhile, in Iraq, al-Sadr and, presumably, the Mahdi Army, trying to make new alliances. His latest moves bring him more in line with Sunni goals than Shiite. But, among other things, it seems he is trying to distance himself from failures in the current government:
Moreover, by distancing himself from the ruling Shi'ite coalition, he absolves himself of any failures associated with the current government, including the absence of an oil-revenue law, the lack of progress on constitutional amendments, and the inability to pass legislation to allow Ba'athists to resume their positions. Most importantly, if the current government is not able to deliver on security with the Baghdad security plan, it may create the opening for a figure like al-Sadr to step in.
It’s important to remember that all al-Sadr seems interested in is power. His most recent activities to stop coalition forces from enforcing the rules on his own group, followed by his demands for US withdrawal, are good indicators of this.
(…leaves you wondering where he’s going with playing on the Sunni side now…)

Speaking of Iraq, the MSM always has an outcry over despicable actions by coalition troops. Just once, I would like to see something like last as long over something like the video of prisoner executions. I know this isn’t the first. And it won’t be the last, either. But, where is the outcry?
(…I suppose the outcry will probably be “It’s Bush’s fault”…maybe we could all say it was the gun’s fault, not the trigger puller…)

Finally, I have been remiss in not posting the report of a soldier in need. There are a lot of important details here. But, the short version is Chris Cooper, Jr’s father passed away from cancer. The family has been financially wiped out. And, this soldier has taken out loans against his future military pay to pay for his father’s funeral and medical bills. Please help this servant of our country. A Paypal account has been set up, and there is a website set up with more information. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

05/09 Wednesday Hero

Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip
Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip
21 years old from Irving, Texas
2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division
October 14, 2004

Louise Vandertulip fussed at her son about his spending. He bought wild, overpriced hats that had flames on them or horns coming out of the top, she said.

While in Army basic training, he bought portraits of himself. His mother told him to save his money.

She's glad he didn't listen.

The hats and the pictures are all a part of her memories now.

Spc. Josiah H. Vandertulip was killed in Baghdad when his patrol came under small arms fire.

Josiah Vandertulip joined the Army right after his graduation from Irving High School in 2002. He spent a year in South Korea before being stationed at Texas' Fort Hood in February. Against his mother's advice, he volunteered to go to Iraq. She told him to wait, to go to college.

"When he was determined to do something in his heart, he would do it and hell or high water couldn't keep him from it," she said

By going, he knew someone else with a young family could be saved from serving, relatives said.

He always had the important things right, Louise Vandertulip said.

"There's a lot of rest in knowing that he died doing what he believed in and doing what he thought was right," she said.

"We have a much more real sense of the cost for the freedom that we enjoy now," said his father, Robert Vandertulip.

"Josiah was the first brand new soldiers I recieved as a dismounted team leader in Korea. He was one of the Best soldiers I have had the honor to train and work with. He loved being a soldier as much as any guy I have met. He was a great leader in the absence of his superiors. I could always count on him to make sure the mission was accomplished. I watched him change over the year I had him from a goofy kid, to a hard charging soldier."
Sgt. Nickolas Faul

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. To find out more about Wednesay Hero, you can go here.

05/09 Morning Afternoon Report

This is just really stupid. I mean, I understand the point of the law, which is to keep prices fair. But, to penalize someone for supporting the community via discounted products is really bad.

Center City BP owner Raj Bhandari has been offering senior citizens a 2 cent per gallon price break and discount cards that let sports boosters pay 3 cents less per gallon. But the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says those deals violate Wisconsin's Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price. Bhandari said he received a letter from the state auditor last month saying the state would sue him if he did not raise his prices.
I’ve coached youth sports, I know how hard it is to keep a team equipped. And senior citizen discounts?
(…come on…let’s be real about this…)

That wasn’t the only stupid piece of legislative work that came to light. If Iraq was a construction project, and there were no lives on the line, I probably wouldn’t have too much trouble with the Democrats latest war funding proposal. This kind of funding initiative will get soldiers killed. Fortunately, it seems a large portion of the Senate understands that.
Under the bill, which is not expected to become law, Bush would get a $42.8 billion down payment. Then, after getting White House war progress reports in July, Congress would cast votes late that month on whether to release an additional $52.8 billion to continue fighting in Iraq through September, or whether to use the money to withdraw most of the troops by the end of this year.
Of course, President Bush is promising to veto this one, too.
(…I would love to see the Democrats fund the Senate like that. Can you imagine what would happen if they only got so much money IF they met some sort of real-world performance measurement?...)

Vice President Cheney, meanwhile, told the Iraqi government to get their act together. No one is oblivious to the fact that Shiites and Sunnis are killing each other over desire for power and control in Iraqi society. Iraqi leadership must hammer out those power sharing agreements, or most everything will fall apart. US officials have even put pressure on for the Iraqis to forgo a parliamentary recess in order to get this done. The US troop surge is only a short term measure. So, the Iraqis have to step up.

And, there was this announcement from Any Soldier.
Ssgt. Christopher N. Hamlin, 24, of London, KY, died May 4 in Baghdad, Iraq. He died of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX.
As with the team at Any Soldier, the prayers of our family go out to the family.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A New Virus

There is a new virus circulating. It is called "WORK." If you receive WORK from your colleagues, your boss, or from anyone else, do not touch it under any circumstances.

This virus wipes out your private life completely. If you should happen to come in contact with this virus, take two friends and go straight to the nearest bar. Order drinks immediately and after three rounds, you will find that WORK has been completely deleted from your brain. If you don't drink, check out the Dairy Queen Hot Fudge Brownie Supreme! Chocolate is a good substitute!

Forward this virus warning immediately to at least five friends.

Should you realize you do not have five friends, this means you are already infected by this virus and WORK already controls your life. If this is the case, go to the nearest bar and stay until you make at least five friends.

(...I think I have five friends, but I am not entirely positive, so I'm headed for the DQ anyway...it never hurts to be safe...)

Monday, May 07, 2007

05/07 Hockey Notes

Well, so far no huge surprises in the playoff race. The Ducks and The Sabers both won their series. The surprise for me is Detroit. I expected them to wash out of the first round…again. I expect the Ducks to soundly beat whoever wins that series, though. Buffalo and Ottawa, though…that’s a tough call. To hear John Muckler talk about it, the Senators have struggled and overcome to go all the way. Personally, I’m still expecting Buffalo and Anaheim to play for it all, and Buffalo to hoist the Cup in the end. We’ll see.

Of course, come next season, we will all get to see if Lou Lamoriello stays off the bench. Can he really do it this time? After all, he’s made the announcement a few times about giving up coaching. It all comes down to finding a better coach this time than he has the last 14 times.

And, it seems the Russians are at it again.

The NHL and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) agreed in principle to a new transfer agreement on Saturday before a hesitant Russia again prevented a quick ratification.
The new deal would run for four years, instead of two, and bring some $12 million to the IIHF. But, the Russians are apparently wanting more. Of course, they are probably still stinging from their legal losses in all the cases they tried to sue over last year. I hope they have sense enough to be reasonable this time around.

Speaking of deals, the Edmonton Oilers owners group were offered $145 million for the team, and turned it down. With the team currently valued at $96 mill, that was a hell of a deal. I don’t know if I could turn down almost 150% of value on any deal.
(…we’ll see how good a choice this was in the next couple of seasons, I guess…)

So, what about al those free agents? What are they going to do next season? Well, in Dallas, it seems they want to stay. that says a lot about how the team feels about each other. I think we’ll start seeing a lot more longevity throughout the league, since payroll is going to pretty static under the CBA. Most trades will have more to do with fitting the right person in the right slot, than about buying playoff runs (…that don’t usually work out anyway…). You might want to go check out the Trade Rumors over at Spector

Sunday, May 06, 2007

05/06 Morning Report

Oh, my God! Hell is freezing over! The NY Times reports that liberal professors are changing their views on gun controlThe Liberals have said for years that the Second Amendment does not cover the individual right to have guns—only for state militias to be armed. Well, there are now several liberal professors who are changing their minds. And, their views are beginning to change a judiciary opinions. Professor Levinson, at the University of Texas said:

If only as a matter of consistency, Professor Levinson continued, liberals who favor expansive interpretations of other amendments in the Bill of Rights, like those protecting free speech and the rights of criminal defendants, should also embrace a broad reading of the Second Amendment. And just as the First Amendment’s protection of the right to free speech is not absolute, the professors say, the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms may be limited by the government, though only for good reason.
Of course, the Times, being staffed by liberals, also did it’s best to undercut the potential of these changes by further stating:
The individual rights view is far from universally accepted. “The overwhelming weight of scholarly opinion supports the near-unanimous view of the federal courts that the constitutional right to be armed is linked to an organized militia,” said Dennis A. Henigan, director of the legal action project of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The exceptions attract attention precisely because they are so rare and unexpected.”

Scholars who agree with gun opponents and support the collective rights view say the professors on the other side may have been motivated more by a desire to be provocative than by simple intellectual honesty.
It took two decades for the idea to break loose that the individual has gun rights as liberally interpreted as free speech (aka pornography publishers). I wonder what the next two decades will hold in this arena.
(…well…it just goes to show that wonders never cease…)

Meanwhile ABC seems to have discovered that Evangelical Christians are ”suddenly” supporting adoption. Well, I admit it is becoming more main stream. However, adoption has been advocated nationally by many ministries over the years. In fact, on thing Christians were known for in ancient Rome was taking in homeless, abandoned and orphaned children. My suspicion, though I cannot prove it, is more of the moderate (…yes, read that liberal…) elements of the church are re-discovering how important this action is. Here is what I believe: If you claim to be a Christian, and you do not take personal action to help those in need (…yes, read that mean not letting the government or church leadership take responsibility for doing everything…), then you are a hypocrite. Your personal action may take the form of writing soldiers to let them know they are not forgotten. It may take the form of adopting orphans. It could take many different forms. But, it must be a personal action—not something another party does for you. It’s time the Church began being the Church, again.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, an al-Qaeda video declares the Democrats recent withdrawal proposal is proof of America’s defeat. Is anyone really surprised by that? Critics of the liberal cry for departure dates have said this claim would be made. And, the liberals have denied it would be an issue. The fact that the video played the race card—using video from the 1960s to claim US racism—is really pathetic. Sure, there are still problems among different races in America—and it isn’t just between whites and other races (aka the Asian/Hispanic turf wars in many West Coast cities). But, at least there are efforts being made to work through those issues. Why don’t we compare apples to apples, for just a moment. Can someone show me similar efforts being made by al-Qaeda? Iran? Hamas? In fact, al-Qaeda seems to have been behind the suicide bomb aimed at Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi. They also warned Sunnis not to cooperate or work with Shiites. Their brand of racism (aka religionism) is much more destructive, not to mention bloodier, than what we see here.
(…do I really need to go on…)

Finally, there was more sad news reported in the Dallas Morning News.
HOUSTON – A 19-year-old soldier from a Houston suburb died this week in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said Friday.

Pfc. Joseph G. Harris, of Sugar Land, died Thursday. His death is under investigation, officials said.

Harris was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Pfc. Harris, 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.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Despair, Inc.

Here is something to get your weekend started with a laugh. These images are from Despair Inc..

Personally, I thought they were perfect stand alone statements on the Dhimmicrat Congress, and government in general here in the US.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

05/03 Morning Report

How far will the reaction to Don Imus’ recent troubles really go? Would you believe to the point of refusing to play “hip-hop” music? That probably wouldn’t be such a big thing except the company that made the decision owns a hip-hop radio station!

Less than a week after Imus's firing, Roberts Broadcasting Company, owners of TV station WRBJ Channel 35 and hip-hop radio station WRBJ-FM in Jackson, Mississippi, sent out an internal memo banning its radio station and other broadcast operations from playing music with lyrics "degrading women and other members of our community."
(…makes you wonder what the liberals will do in response, though…doesn’t it?...)

In other media news, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Russia as 3rd worst among 10 countries for journalistic freedom. At least 12 journalists have been killed there in the last 5 years. The State Department ranks Russia right along side Afghanistan in terms of media freedom.
(…but it does make you wonder why there was the huge fuss over TWO journalist incidents involving US troops in combat…apparently the MSM doesn’t care so much about their brethren in foreign lands…)

Meanwhile, in other Middle east news, the US reported today that it had al Quaeda’s Iraq “information minister”. Unfortunately…
Gen Caldwell said he could not confirm Iraqi statements that other top militants, including the country's al-Qaeda head, had also died this week.
Either way, it seems there is ever more evidence that General Petraeus’ plan seems to be working.
(…I wonder what the Democrats will do about a timetable now…)

In something “kind of” related to the Virginia Tech shootings—or young adult deaths in general really—the Feds are making a REQUEST of drug manufacturers. Personally, I find that kind of unnerving. These drugs can change our thinking patterns enough that we may get suicidal or homicidal, and never know it. But, we are only to ask manufacturers to maybe, kind of sort of, put a small note on the packaging to let people know. More effort goes into making people believe that Bush is responsible for all the ills of the world!
(…hey!...if we say Bush did it, do you think the lefties would get upset enough to get involved on this?...hhhmmmm…that may actually be more frightening…)

Finally, there was this sad announcement a couple days ago, in the Dallas Morning News:
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A 24-year-old soldier from Texas was among three Fort Benning soldiers killed in Iraq on Saturday, military officials said Tuesday.

Army Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks Jr., of College Station, was killed in Salman Pak when the soldiers' vehicle was struck with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire, the Department of Defense said.

Also killed were Pfc. Jay-D H. Ornsby-Adkins, 21, of Ione, Calif., and Pvt. Cole E. Spencer, 21, of Gays, Ill.

The three were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.
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--
Sgt. Hicks, Pfc. Ornsby-Adkins, and Pfc. Spencer, at our house, we remember what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your families more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.

Installing Vista

For those who have been terrified..or terrorized, for that matter...with installing the Windows Vista on your computer, this video should help.

(...there...don't you feel better now?...)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

05/02 Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Soldier Was Suggested By Echo9er

Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca Jr.
Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca Jr.

On August 11, 2004, Naval Hospitalman Luis E. Fonseca, Jr. was awarded the Navy's second highest decoration. The Navy Cross, which is awarded for extraordinary heroism while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States and must be performed in the presence of great danger or at great personal risk, was awarded for his actions while serving with Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, Task Force Tarawa, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

On March 23, 2004, Fonseca, Jr.'s unit were trying to take the Saddam Canal Bridge. Five Marines were injured when their vehicle was hit by an RPG. Fonseca, while still being fired upon by machine guns and RPG's, pulled the Marines to safety and established a casualty collection unit inside his own medical evacuation vehicle. After his vehicle was hit once again, Fonseca organized litter teams and directed the movement of four of the Marines, while personally carrying one wounded Marine over open ground to another vehicle. On November 15, 2004, Seaman Fonseca was awarded the "Grateful Nation Award" from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs for his actions.

"I was doing my job," said Fonseca. "I wish I could have done more."

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. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

05/01 Morning Report

One bright spot in the legal arena came from SCOTUS yesterday. Police officers can end dangerous chases, while protecting human life, without fear of lawsuits. It would be nice if this would cut down on the number of frivolous lawsuits in America. I’m not holding my breath mind you. We live in a culture that says if I don’t get my way I can sue, cost everyone lots of money, time, and effort, win and probably never collect because no one can pay those kinds of fees. (…yeah I know…except corporations…) And, I do understand the rights of those who have legitimate grievances need to be upheld—which is the liberal lefties cry every time someone tries to place limits on these kinds of suits. What will it take for liberals to figure out this type of behavior is only bankrupting society financially, not to mention bankrupting our moral character.
(…there really is a time when personal responsibility has to count…)

On the subject of "personal responsibility", the Dumb Ox News had this report TFrench elections. Quoting the Ox, as he quotes the media...

" As a tough Interior Minister until last month, the ambitious Mr Sarkozy earned the dislike of many young people — especially those from the immigrant ghettos. His doctrines of radical economic reform and individual responsibility — never before aired by a senior French politician — have been welcomed by many as a revolution, but cast by opponents as divisive, cruel and unFrench."
French officals with doctrines of personal responsibility? And real economic reform?
(...no wonder the Leftists there have turned to viscious personal attacks...)

Speaking of legal swamps, immigration activists are at it again. A slate of demonstrations are in the works demanding more rights for ILLEGAL immigrants. I know all about what they bring in terms economics—the cost is higher than the benefit. I also really don’t see the legal ground for this. What it amounts to is public pressure. If there is enough public noise, they get what they want. Who cares about the rule of law? You might also check out yesterday's read by El Capitan as to what is really going on behind the scens of these rallies.
(…the left can scream all they want to about Bush doing this and that illegally…but the left still has to answer for stupidity like this…)

In economic news, to no one’s surprise I’m sure, Hugo Chavez is renationalizing the oil fields. The rules of accounting are going to cause some problems, though.
Negotiations are continuing about ongoing shareholdings and the possibility of compensation for the refineries.

Venezuela has only considered agreements based on the book value of the projects rather than their much larger current net worth.

Oil minister Rafael Ramirez has said that there may not be compensation at all in some cases.
Now, isn’t that special? But, what else would you expect from a dictator? A Left wing, communist dictator at that! He has also ordered his finance minister to withdraw Venezuela from the World Bank and the IMF.

Meanwhile, the Brits have released a report that says al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, was killed Tuesday in an internal squabble. However,
the authorities do not actually have al-Masri's corpse in their possession.

The US military says it has been unable to verify the claim.
It would be nice if this were true. Given the reported tensions between al-Qaeda and other Sunni groups, it would indicate deeper fractures—and maybe portend good news for the near future. The real problem is that eliminating the leadership will not be enough to stop the insurgency. That will take stable government and a working economy, among other things. But, developing those will take a weakening of the insurgency.
(…talk about a viscious catch-22…)

05/01 Hockey Thoughts

Well…as usual there is no doubt all of the series in round two (…and hopefully the finals…) will be long ones. Most prognosticators are saying all of them are due to go 6 or 7 games. But, that’s why we love the Second Season!

Some one is figuring out that the players are making the game great. I wonder where that concept got lost? Of course, the point is the players are the draw…in the midst of bad officiating and other problems. EJ Hradek had some of his own thoughts on the impact of Sundays Rangers-Sabers game. It was a great game, played on national media. And, I agree with him that the NHL could use a whole lot more of that. It could use a few more things than that, of course…
(…better media coverage, league management that knows what it’s doing, more scoring, consistent officiating…OH! Were these thoughts out loud?...)

Over at The Hockey News, Crag McCaig had the interesting thought of Buffalo and Ottawa playing for the East. Despite my predictions earlier, I think the Sabers against the Devils would be even better.

By the way, if you’re looking for playoff history and records information, TSN has all the links.

Meanwhile, the Canucks are continuing to have problems with opponents running over Luongo. Dallas did a lot of the expected bump and tussle during Round 1. And, Vancouver complained. It seems the Ducks, though, are out to run Luongo down. I didn’t see it, but if it’s true, the officials have a lot answer for.
(…of course, so do the Ducks…)

Much to my surprise, Dave Tippet will be back in Dallas next year. Frankly, I saw the inability to keep the team consistent and get production from the main producers as a management failure. Losing their way into the playoffs, as far as I was concerned, was a sure sign of first round failure. (…yeah…I know their last ten regular season games were good…but how many of those were overtime, and how many were shootouts…can’t win the playoffs on shoot outs…) The real surprise is that Nashville’s Barry Trotz may not be coming back. And, of course, Columbus and Phoenix are looking for new GMs.
(…I bet we see a few more teams taking it out on the front office…some of them actually need to…)

And, there are the World Championships.

The Americans and Czechs are 2-0 in Group B, and Finland and Russia are 2-0 in Group D.
The Russians are trying to make their first bid at their first title since 1993.
(…this one may prove pretty interesting…)

Looking into the future of hockey, and sports in general really, there was a really good article on the treatment of post concussions syndrome. Having had one that took six or seven weeks to clear the last symptoms, I for one am glad to hear it.
( thanks to Kukla’s Korner for the link…)