“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?...)