“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”

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

7/31 Morning Report

I loved this report today over at Conservative Thoughts. And, I agree. I wouldn’t have expected it to even make print—given the leftist/anti-Republican/pro-Islamic stance of the media. Somehow, the fact that people think there might actually be something worthwhile going on in Iraq, and headway may be in progress, just never seems to make print anymore. According to the New York times/CNN poll:

--42 percent of Americans said that looking back, taking military action in Iraq was the right thing to do
--In May, when only 35 percent of Americans said the invasion of Iraq was the right thing.
--The number of people who say the war is going “very badly” has fallen from 45 percent earlier in July to a current reading of 35 percent.

(…this next was the real kicker for me…)

When asked specifically about their opinions of how the Democrats and Republicans in Congress are handling the war, disapproval ratings are similar — 65 percent disapprove of the Republicans’ handling of Iraq and 59 percent disapprove of the Democrats’.
So the public hates the Dhimmicrats as much as the Republicans?

(…that is somewhat reassuring, since they may take control of government in the US with the next elections…)

On the subject of little known facts, it seems in Britain you can receive an indeterminate sentence for crimes committed. Admittedly, this involves sex-offenders and there special criteria should be involved. But, there are a couple of stipulations that bear important scrutiny:
Under the sentence offenders have a minimum tariff, but must prove they are no longer a danger before they can be released.
I’m curious to see where this type of sentencing expands to include.

(...can’t you see this measure of guilt/innocence being applied to politics, or even Sharia law…).

On the subject of things Middle Eastern, Another South Korean hostage has been found slain. Unfortunately, there is a growing furor for the world to stop refusing to give in to terrorist demands.
South Korea today urged the United States and Afghan governments to show ”flexibility” over Taliban demands to exchange the remaining 21 Christian aid workers from South Korea for imprisoned militants.
The really sad part is the results of this terror campaign.
Afghan officials have also advised against any movement or travel, especially by humanitarian-aid workers, outside Kabul.
The terrorists have only succeeded in denying help to the people of Afghanistan. But, the media seems to have missed that part of the whole thing.

(…interesting that they are all Christian aid workers…don’t you think…)

Finally, Any Soldier reports this from Afghanistan:
PFC Juan S. Restrepo, age 20, of Pembroke Pines, FL, died July 22 in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.
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, Private Restrepo. 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.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

6/13 Wednesday Hero

(…as you go about your day…remember…not all heroes wear a uniform…)

Suggested By Malinda

69-year-old Bert Brady has never stepped foot in Iraq or Afghanistan, yet many soldiers who have know who he is and appreciate what he's done for them. You see, for the past year Mr. Brady has made a trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport nearly every morning to welcome home returning American troops. Bert Brady, along with fellow veterans, is a member of the Welcome Home a Hero program. They make sure that every soldier who steps off a plane in Dallas gets a special homecoming.

Brady shows up each day with the goal of making soldiers feel appreciated and proud of their service. He's often joined by veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars who did not get a warm reception when they returned from battle.

"We are not going to forget them like a lot of Vietnam soldiers have been forgotten," Brady said. "We are not going to forget the soldiers of today."

To read more about Bert Brady, you can go to ABCnews.com

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 Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How Are YOU Going To Deal With Fanatics?

(...this is from my email box…you may not like what it says…but it still leaves the question to be answered…)

A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.

"Very few people were true Nazis "he said," but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is that the "peaceful majority" the "silent majority" is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia comprised Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population, it was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold; we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

7/25 Morning Report

Well, my goal was to leave today just for the Wednesday Hero post. And, then I found this article:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Dozens of people lined up at City Hall on Tuesday for municipal identification cards, the first city-issued ID cards specifically designed to bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows and give them access to community services.
An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 of New Haven's 125,000 residents are believed to be in the country illegally.
We are fooling ourselves into thinking being so gracious as rewarding those who break the law is a good thing. It is not good for our society, or culture. This is not, despite media cries otherwise, about being anti-immigrant. It is about being anti-criminal. American has become a nation that does little more than reward criminals for their behavior. The old saying that “crime does not pay” is a lie. Criminals get free room and board, an education if they want it, and once released they can go right back to it if they so desire. Gang networks are run from prisons. No, in America there is no real deterrent to crime. We are, once again, rewarding without penalty those who willfully and knowing break the law. And, as the TV commercial said, “That can’t be good.”
(...check out this story provided by Conservative Beach Girl for another eye opener along these lines...)

That news led me to the latest news out of Libya (…as predicted Monday…). The medics, jailed on trumped up charges, arrived home yesterday. As I expected, the EU caved to Libya:
They were freed after the EU, which Bulgaria joined this year, agreed a last-minute deal that Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Shalgam said would allow "full cooperation and partnership between Libya and the European Union."
I understand the need for compassion on the families of those six. I feel for the families, 8 years is a long time. Truly my heart goes out to them. However, terrorism by a government bent on getting what it wants by whatever means was just endorsed. And, the payback for Libya is far greater than what those families will receive. And, I expect it will cause greater problems down the road.
(…and I put it on record here…my family is NEVER to pay for my release from terrorists…organizations or governments…I would rather die than reward them…)

That, in turn, led me to announcements about Iran. New sanctions by the Treasury Department were announced.
The move targets the Iran-based Martyrs Foundation, an organization the Treasury said channels financial support from Iran to Hizballah and Hamas, as well as to its U.S. branch, called the Goodwill Charitable Organization, and two individuals who worked for it.
This announcements follow on the heels of other recent news reports. Iran appears to be sending weapons into Afghanistan. There is also evidence that Iran is using Hezbollah and Hamas as proxies against coalition forces in Iraq. But, since no one has done anything about Iranian weapons being given to insurgents in Iraq (…except soldiers on the ground…), it leaves me wondering what will be done in response to this.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

07/25 Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Solider Was Suggested By Robert

Lt. General Lewis B.
Lt. General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
June 26, 1898 - October 11, 1971

Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller was a colorful veteran of the Korean War, four World War II campaigns, and expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua, and Haiti. He is one of only two Marines to win the Navy Cross five times for heroism and gallantry in combat earing him the distinction of being the most decorated Marine in the history of the USMC.

A Marine officer and enlisted man for 37 years, General Puller served at sea or overseas for all but ten of those years, including a hitch as commander of the "Horse Marines" in China. Excluding medals from foreign governments, he won a total of 14 personal decorations in combat, plus a long list of campaign medals, unit citation ribbons and other awards. In addition to the Navy Crosses, the highest honor the Navy can bestow, he holds its Army equivalent, the Distinguished Service Cross. A list of his awards can be found here.

Born 26 June 1898, at West Point, Virginia, the general attended Virginia Military Institute until enlisting in the Marine Corps in August 1918. He was appointed a Marine Reserve second lieutenant 16 June 1919, but due to force reductions after World War I, was placed on inactive duty ten days later. He rejoined the Marines as an enlisted man to serve with the Gendarmerie d'Haiti, a military force in that country under a treaty with the United States. Most of its officers were U. S. Marines, while its enlisted personnel were Haitians.

After almost five years in Haiti, where he saw frequent action against the Caco rebels, Puller returned in March 1924 to the United States. He was commissioned a Marine second lieutenant that same month, and during the next two years, served at the Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia, completed the Basic School at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and served with the 10th Marine Regiment at Quantico, Virginia.

In July of 1926, Puller embarked for a two-year tour of duty at the Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor. Returning in June 1928, he served in San Diego, California, until he joined the Nicaraguan National Guard Detachment that December. After winning his first Navy Cross in Nicaragua, he returned to the United States in July 1931 to enter the Company Officers Course at the Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. He completed the course in June 1932 and returned to Nicaragua the following month to begin the tour of duty that brought him a second Navy Cross.

In January 1933, Puller left Nicaragua for the United States. A month later he sailed from San Francisco to join the Marine Detachment of the American Legation at Peiping, China. There, in addition to other duties, he commanded the famed "Horse Marines." Without coming back to the United States, he began a tour of sea duty in USS AUGUSTA of the Asiatic Fleet. In June 1936 he returned to the United States to become an instructor in the Basic School at Philadelphia. He left there in May 1939 to serve another year as commander of the AUGUSTA's Marine Detachment, and from that cruiser, joined the 4th Marine Regiment at Shanghai, China, in May 1940.

After serving as a battalion executive and commanding officer with the 4th Marines, Puller sailed for the United States in August 1941. In September, he took command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, at Camp Lejeune. That Regiment was detached from the 1st Division in March 1942 and the following month, as part of the 3rd Marine Brigade, sailed for the Pacific theater. The 7th Regiment rejoined the 1st Marine Division in September 1942, and Puller, still commanding its 1st Battalion, went on to win his third Navy Cross at Guadalcanal.

The action that brought him that medal occurred on the night of October 24-25 1942. For a desperate three hours his battalion, stretched over a mile-long front, was the only defense between vital Henderson Airfield and a regiment of seasoned Japanese troops. In pouring jungle rain the Japanese smashed repeatedly at his thin line, as General Puller moved up and down its length to encourage his men and direct the defense. After reinforcements arrived, he commanded the augmented force until late the next afternoon. The defending Marines suffered less than 70 casualties in the engagement while 1400 of the enemy were killed and 17 truckloads of Japanese equipment were recovered by the Americans.

After Guadalcanal, Puller became executive officer of the 7th Marines. He was fighting in that capacity when he won his fourth Navy Cross at Cape Gloucester in January 1944. There, when the commanders of the two battalions were wounded, he took over their units and moved through heavy machine-gun and mortar fire to reorganize them for attack, then led them in taking a strongly fortified enemy position.

In February 1944, Puller took command of the 1st Marines at Cape Gloucester. After leading that regiment for the remainder of the campaign, he sailed with it for the Russell Islands in April 1944. He went on to command it at Peleliu in September and October 1944. He returned to the United States in November 1944, named executive officer of the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Lejeune in January 1945, and took command of that regiment the next month.

In August 1946, Puller became Director of the 8th Marine Corps Reserve District, with headquarters at New Orleans, Louisiana. After that assignment, he commanded the Marine Barracks at Pearl Harbor until August 1950, when he arrived at Camp Pendleton, California, to re-establish and take command of the 1st Marines, the same regiment he had led at Cape Gloucester and Peleliu.

Landing with the 1st Marines at Inchon, Korea, in September 1950, he continued to head that regiment until January 1951, when he was promoted to brigadier general and named Assistant Commander of the 1st Marine Division. That May he returned to Camp Pendleton to command the newly reactivated 3rd Marine Division in January 1952. After that, he was assistant at division commander until he took over the Troop Training Unit, Pacific, at Coronado, California, that June. He was promoted to major general in September 1953, and in July 1954, assumed command of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. Despite his illness, he retained that command until February 1955, when he was appointed Deputy Camp Commander. He served in that capacity until August, when he entered the U. S. Naval Hospital at Camp Lejeune prior to retirement.

In 1966, General Puller requested to return to active duty to serve in Vietnam, but was turned down because of his age. He died 11 October 1971 in Hampton, Virginia, after a long illness. He was 73.

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 Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

Dog Food Diet

(...I hadn't planned on posting today...but this came to my email box and was just too good not to share...)

I have 2 dogs & I was buying a large bag of Purina at Wal-Mart and was in line to check out.

A woman behind me asked if I had a dog. On impulse, I told her that no, I was starting The Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn't because I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry & that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again.

I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story, particularly a guy who was behind her. Horrified, she asked if I'd ended up in the hospital in that condition because I had been poisoned. I told her no; it was because I'd been sitting in the street licking my balls and a car hit me.

I thought one guy was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard as he staggered out the door.

Stupid lady...why else would I buy dog food??

Monday, July 23, 2007

07/23 Morning Report

”Militants die”. Kind of strange way to say that. It implies that maybe the dead aren’t militants after all. Of course, the focus is all about how the terrorists (…and you now the BBC doesn’t call them terrorists…) action is because the government assaulted the Red Mosque in Islamabad on July 3. The underlying tone of the article is if the military would leave them alone, there wouldn’t be all these dead bodies.
(…I suppose they also believe that leaving bin Laden alone didn’t have any relation to 9/11, too…)

And,, Libya wants money, or at least restored access to the EU markets and businesses. In their charitable mood, they are offering to free the jailed medics. Fortunately,

the EU is reported to be unwilling to agree any compensation deal that appears to gives the impression that it accepts the six medics are guilty.
But, given the action of EU nations and friends in negotiating with terrorist organizations in the Middle East, I for one will be less than surprised to see this stance change in the wrong direction.

Speaking of the Middle East, it seem that people are mad at Congress over the way it has handled Iraq. And, more and more people are in favor of getting out.
(…and, so we continue to slide into government by public opinion instead of sound policy…but at least the Dhimmcrats are suffering now, too…)

And, in closing, there was this announcement from Any Soldier:
Sgt. Ronald L. Coffelt, 36, of Fair oaks, CA, died July 19 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps, FT. Bragg, NC.
Sgt. Coffelt, 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.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wednesday Hero 5/27

(…I will be going back and catching up on some of the missed Wednesday hero posts from the lsat 6-8 weeks…It is important that we never forget…)

Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie
Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie
41 years old from Ann-Arbor, Michigan

Specialist Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie is a Iraqi American U.S. Army linguist soldier, from Ann-Arbor, Michigan who was kidnapped on October 23, 2006 in Baghdad and has not been seen since.

al-Taayie joined the Army in 2004 to help not only his country, the United States, but also his birthplace of Iraq and was deployed in 2005. On October 23, 2006 he was visiting his wife in the Karrada Shiite neighborhood in central Baghdad when he and his cousin were kidnapped by a group calling themselves Ahel al-Beit Brigades. His cousin was released shortly after. On November 2, 2006 al-Taayie's uncle received a ransom demand of $250,000 for his return. Along with the ransom came a grainy video that showed a man beaten up who was identified as al-Taayie. No more has been heard from al-Taayie or his captures.

For more information on Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie you can go 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. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

I Have Returned...Sort Of...

I made an important discovery. The light of revelation went on back in May.


Well…I still have two weeks left of that class. But, I have reached the point where I am ready to check back into blogdom…and update this site. (…I bet everyone got tired of that announcement at the top which expired on June 9…) I’ll be starting small—once or twice a week, plus the return of Wednesday Heroes. And, we’ll see where it goes from there.

I play a lot of games these days. If you like Soccer, you might check into Sokker (…under the name Coach Mark of the River Rats…), a really cool simulator that my two sons and I are enjoying immensely. If you are into hockey, like me, you might try checking into Hockey Arena (…as Mbell82 with the Skalleywags…). And, if you are a fan of the game of Risk, you should definitely check out Conquer Club. You can play the game on some 40 different maps! (...it's amazing how much stuff you can find to fill up time in the middle of the night...they also make great diversions from class...)

And, while I’m thinking about it, I want to say thanks to Flag Gazer and Ros over at Tanker Brothers for remembering me with a few e-cards, emails and notes about events. It’s that type of community life that brought me back.