“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, October 29, 2008

10/29 Wednesday Hero - SAS Soldier

Wednesday Hero was started to put a spotlight on the men and women of the United States military and the bravery their show day in and day out. But on a few occasions a service members of an allied nation has been profiled. Such is the case this week.

Despite being shot twice during an ambush in Afghanistan, an SAS (Special Air Service) soldier from Australia lashed himself to the front of his patrol vehicle so he wouldn't be left behind if he passed out from loss of blood and kept on fighting.

The Digger is expected to be recommended for a high level bravery award.

Suffering from serious upper body wounds, the soldier struggled on to the front of his SAS long range patrol vehicle (LRPV) and, under heavy fire, used a rope to attach himself firmly between the vehicle's bull bar and radiator.

Once he was secured, and there was no chance that he would fall off if he fainted, he picked up his rifle and resumed firing at the enemy during a two-hour fighting withdrawal.

SAS troops and their special forces comrades from the Commando Regiment are well aware of the slow and painful death that awaits them if they are captured by the Taliban.

The Digger, who cannot be identified, faded in and out of consciousness, emptying several magazines as volleys of enemy rounds and rocket propelled grenades, rained down around him.

He was finally evacuated from the battle field at high speed still lashed to the front of the LRPV.

A source told The Courier-Mail the Digger was now "up and about" and would recover fully from his serious gunshot wounds. His heroic deeds will be recognised when he is recommended for a high level bravery award.

Several others engaged in the do-or-die battle on September 2 are also in line for top honours.

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 site, you can go here.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10/28 Morning Report

The Democrats are guilty of dishonest politics again. They are using misinformation to do it in Texas specifically. Let’s take the battle for Texas courts as an example.

In a campaign called “Fair and Balanced Court”, the liberal s are saying the Republicans are out of line, and side with the rich and corporate interests. The TV ad (see the YouTube video on the web site) includes something else. It says that the Supreme Court is supposed to weigh the evidence and rule accordingly. And, that is not true. All the appeals and Supreme Courts are supposed to do is rule on procedure. In other words, they look at what the lower court did and how it reached it’s decision. It does not rule on the evidence.

While the facts they state, that 82% of cases are overturned, are probably true…maybe that’s because of real errors in the lower courts. After all, that’s how these cases are supposed to be treated in the higher courts. Clearly the liberals are trying to bring increased legislation from the bench in courtrooms across America.

For the absolute record, I’m glad the FBI caught those murdering skinheads. They stepped way outside the boundaries of acceptability in political discourse. It is terrorism, nothing more. The role of American politics is to provide an arena to discuss our differences, and eventually unite behind the leadership chosen by the people. The role of people in American politics is to use discussion and debate, not guns, to reach consensus. Racism, therefore, is just another form of terrorism. None the less, Obama has played the race card repeatedly. And, the media lets him—but no one else—get away with it. The media has even gotten into the act of already blaming possible failure on race. The first possible issue raised by the BBC in their analysis was racial. Anyone making the same comments about an African-American gets crucified. There are plenty of quotes from Obama’s books to demonstrate it. He bluntly says, several times, in both books that he is anti-white. Why is this is not considered racist? But, the media has their “darling.” I would write more, but , Judith A. Klinghoffer did the job well enough I don’t have to.

One final comment on the incongruity of the media…How come they have comments and understanding of every voting group in America…except the Arab-American populations (Christian, Muslim, whatever)? Jonathan mark takes a look at that, and the vagaries of candidates on both sides as it relates to the subject. It’s worth reading.

Friday, October 24, 2008

10/24 Morning Report

Did you know that Obama considers children to be a punishment? While I agree there are situations children may not be an optimal situation to be in, they are NOT a punishment. Punishment is something you work to do away with and avoid. Small wonder that Roe v. Wade is such a water mark legal case. But, it really has defined how our society views children.

Couples, women specifically, are having children later in life--if at all. And, if you boil it all down, the reason is money and control. No children means more money for things, or savings, or whatever. No children means you get to decide what you do with your life, instead of having to meet the needs of another--physical, emotional, and spiritual.

And, men, we can blame women for this all we want to, but us guys are just as much to blame for allowing it, or worse encouraging it. As far as i am concerned, there is no greater joy than being around children--your own children--as they grow up. Passing that up is why Americans specifically, and westerners in general, have such a lousy concept of what a mother and father should really be.

We need to lose this perspective that children are a punishment. When leaders, taking ultimate authority in our nation, publicly declare children something to be avoided or to be done away with, what are my children supposed to learn from that? What are my daughters supposed to learn from that?

Why should someone who says those things about our children be elected to the highest office in the land? What does it say about us as a nation when the majority think this is a good outcome?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

10/23 Morning Report

The media seems to be really convinced that Governor Sarah Palin is not qualified to be Vice-President. It is a common theme when the elections are being discussed—by the media. It wasn’t an issue among people. Just the media. Well, I have a question for the media. If the Governor of Alaska is not qualified to be Vice-president, what made the Governor of Arkansas qualified to be President? Or the Governor of Georgia? Apparently, it only matters when it involves conservatives.

(…but…there is certainly no bias in the media…no favoritism at all…)

Speaking of the media nitpicking Palin, there’s the story from Politico about her wardrobe. But, then again, there is this story in USA Today that picks apart Politico’s arguments.

(…sorry…forgot…no such thing as media bias…)

Meanwhile, the candidates have been spewing lots of new plans and ideas for saving the American economy. The Economist had some interesting thoughts on that. It seems that, for all his talk about McCain’s plans only benefitting the wealthy and those that don’t need it, Obama has slipped into the same pattern:

on October 13th the Democrat upped the ante. The priciest part of Mr Obama’s new two-year plan would be a $3,000 tax credit for each new employee a business hires, which presumably is likely to benefit a lot of companies that would be hiring anyway. Mr Obama also wants to allow everyone to withdraw up to $10,000 from their retirement accounts tax-free (as with the McCain version, not a good way to encourage saving), and he wants a 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures. Such indiscriminate intervention in the mortgage market may be very nice for homeowners whose prospects are looking up, but it would do little in itself for those who can’t afford their mortgages in the first place.
Benefitting those that don’t need it…not helping those who have already been hurt and only assisting those who might later…sounds like the things McCain is being accused of by Obama. And, Obama’s plan to finance everything with taxes on the oil companies seem to be going into the toilet with the drop in crude prices.

(…I wonder where he will make up the money now…)

Meanwhile, India launched a moon mission!
The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft blasted off smoothly from a launch pad in southern Andhra Pradesh to embark on a two-year mission of exploration.
The robotic probe will orbit the Moon, compiling a 3-D atlas of the lunar surface and mapping the distribution of elements and minerals.
The launch, clearly a step into the long expected commercialization of space, will leave whoever “wins” the White House in a difficult position. The US is India’s 3rd largest trading partner. But, what that means and how it will be handled remains to be seen. Will Obama, who hasn’t ever seem to have made a decision on his own without changing his mind actually make a decision and act on it? I bet the media portrays McCain as laying down the law that “we were there first”? One thing is certain: it will make for interesting politics.

Friday, October 17, 2008

10/17 Morning Report

I wish I gone with my the guts to say in yesterday’s post what I was thinking after the debate. As soon as I heard Joe the Plumber was outspoken against Obama and liberal policies and plans, I knew the media would be quick to find fault with him. I have to admit, I loved the way some commentators were just left flat footed and out of things to say when he said he was against redistribution of wealth. That was priceless. And, true to form, dig up the dirt they did. The sudden political darling was equally as suddenly a threat. So, the media went out and in less than 24 hours found all kinds of “dirt” on Joe.

Let’s see what we now know about Joe. He works as a plumber, though he is not licensed. But, even according to his boss he should have been, at some level. Interesting how you don’t hear the media screaming about that, though. We also know he owes some $1200 in back taxes, which means like most Americans he is financially strapped, and the state has attached a lien to his house—which is perfectly normal anytime someone falls behind in property taxes. They do it here in Texas, even if you file an appeal. Did anyone check to see if he has? Or worked out a payment plan for it? I don’t find those possible redeeming points in any media article I read.
(…I even had to work out a payment plan with the IRS once…does that make me less than acceptable to the media?...)

We also know he makes less than $250,000, making him exempt from Obama’s tax plan…huh…?

Yep. According to Ploitico, Joe current income was the point of the discussion during the debate. Once again, the media is out of touch…and changing the subject. The discussion was not about what Joe makes now. It was about what he would make after buying the company. Leave it to the media to change the entire focus of the issue so that the issue is no longer an issue. In fact, the article goes to great lengths to make McCain into a dolt for checking these facts a little more closely. The problem here is the media. I have yet to see why these points change the point of the issue: Obama’s plan hurts small business.

It’s just like the race issue. Wesley Pruden goes through the history of how the media twists everything in favor of Obama…and against his opponents…as it relates to race. Obama’s opponents are racist or racist leaning. Obama has not issues that need to be addressed. But, of course, conservative candidates are not eligible for the same treatment.

The media sets the political agenda. The media shape public opinion by only discussing things they want discussed…the way they want them discussed. This isn’t something new. It’s been used for hundreds of years. I wonder if more American’s will ever catch on…

Thursday, October 16, 2008

10/16 Morning Report

My wife has been pretty much oblivious to politics the whole time I’ve known her…at least until this election, and the previous elections. I amazed at how fast she is picking up on things, though. We watched the final debate tonight. She was catching both of them in ridiculous statements.

Which brings me to the subject of this posting…the media. How did I make that very strange leap, you may ask. Simple…the MainStream Media did not pick up on half the number of things my wife did. And, then, they only really picked on things McCain did. The MSM even fabricated a few things against McCain. Not 10 minutes after the debate, we listened to CBS analysts say McCain brought out the subject of Ayers and ACORN. In fact, it was Obama, prompted by Sheaffer. (…my wife had a fit over that, by the way…even as a neophyte, she is very quickly recognizing the bias of the media…) And, in fact, Obama lied about that—in such a straightforward eloquent way that people love about him. Admittedly, the RNC is kind of biased over stuff like this, but at least they included more substantive information in their press release than Obama did on national TV.

What I found fascinating was that so many liberal analysts and media members were saying immediately after the debate that McCain won this debate, but had not done enough to change the voter’s minds about choosing Obama. And, yet, by the time Nightline came on, the media was unanimously saying something different: Obama was the winner. But, in fact McCain did win the debate. He directly answered the most questions. He kept Obama from leading with his own points by forcing him to follow up McCain. And, he got in several zingers, which Obama never did. Analysts were also saying the McCain spent more time talking about Joe the Plumber than anything else. Maybe so. But, prior to the debate, the analysts were all saying McCain rarely connected with the average person. saying the whole “Joe the Plumber” thing was really a useless issue, since Joe wouldn’t have any tax issues even if he bought the company. And, that is, as far as I have been able to determine, a lie. It would put his income over the $250,000 mark, subjecting his company to the new requirements, and therefore reducing his income.

But, there are other things I have against the media besides their obvious bias. They keep feeding Americans a political line that just is not true. For example, the media in is continually telling Americans that whoever is elected will have to solve the economic problems so Americans can borrow money for cars, homes, college, etc. That is an out right lie. This problem will not be solved in 4 years. It may be solved in 8 or ten years. Anyone who believes that the President alone can solve this, or should be held responsible for it, is crazy. As I wrote once before, this problem was created over the course of 20-30 years—minimum. Democrats and Republicans had a hand in creating it—in the White House AND in Congress. It will take Congress and the President, whoever that is, working together to even set a framework that might help the situation. Based on track records, I would vote for McCain on that one point alone. He has proven he’s willing to do that more than Obama has.

So, despite the lies of Obama, and the mainstream media, McCain won the debate. And, after a day or so of putting spin on everything in Obama’s favor, it’s probable many Americans might as well. But, the question remains: was it enough to turn voters? The MSM answer is a resounding “No.” My answer is, as long McCain shows his ability to fight as opposed to just looking like someone’s kind grandfather, I think the MSM, and the rest of Liberaldom, is in for a rude shock.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

10/15 Wednesday Hero

Sgt. Anton J. Hiett
Sgt. Anton J. Hiett
25 years old from Mount Airy, North Carolina
391st Engineer Battalion, Army Reserve
March 12, 2006
U.S. Army

Misty Hiett, the widow of Sgt. Anton Hiett, said in an interview that he, Sgt. Hiett, asked to transfer to the 391st Engineering Battalion when it looked like his reserve unit would not be deployed.

Sgt. Hiett was a truck driver who joined the military right out of high school because he "wanted to go help out" during the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. After his transfer to the 391st, he was deployed to Afghanistan on April 22, 2005.

On March 12, 2006, Sgt. Hiett, and three fellow soldiers from the 391st, Staff Sgt. Joe Ray; Spc. Joshua Hill and Sgt. Kevin Akins, were killed when an IED detonated near their Humvee during combat operations west of Asadabad, Afghanistan. He left behind his wife and their then 2(now 4)-year-old daughter Kyra.

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 site, you can go here.
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Thursday, October 09, 2008

10/09 Morning Report

Does anyone remember that 10 years ago, some experts were already predicting the financial crisis we are in today? A Fox News report shows that indeed they were. So why is everyone so suddenly surprised that it happened?

(…maybe the media ignored it rather than make people worry about their credit levels…that conservatives were saying needed to be paid down rather than built up…which might have caused economic decline due to less money being injected into the system through purchasing…hhhmmm…)

And, at least one journalist is saying the media itself has a share of the blame for the financial meltdown. According to Howard Kurtz’s column at the WashPo:

But while these [financial problems] were conveyed in incremental stories -- and a few whistle-blowing columns -- the business press never conveyed a real sense of alarm until institutions began to collapse.
Of course, I doubt the rest of the media will be so candid. It the same as saying Bush lied about the weapons of mass destruction, while forgetting or ignoring all the Democrats and foreign leaders who said the same thing.

(…I wonder if Kurtz gets to keep his job…hhhmmm…)

Speaking of Iraq, the media is pretty quick to only focus on the cost of the war. No one is mentioning the drop in casualties. No one is mentioning that the Bush agenda of waiting until the Iraqis were ready to govern themselves is finally going to be accomplished. No one is recognizing that several different methods attempted trying accomplish this. All the media seems to notice is that everything failed up till now. Yes, there is still violence, as evidenced by the killing of Shiite leader Saleh al-Ogayly. Evidence of the success of American efforts?
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed on Thursday to capture the assassins of an anti-American Shiite MP, the first lawmaker to be killed in 18 months, and ordered a top-level investigation.

(…wonder what kind of spin this gets in the anit-bush, anit-military, liberal American media…)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wednesday Hero - Cpl. Lance M. Thompson

Cpl. Lance M. Thompson
Cpl. Lance M. Thompson
21 years old from Upland, Indiana
2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
November 15, 2004
U.S. Marine Corps.

The father of Cpl. Lance Thompson said his son would be proud knowing he fought and died to help Iraqis vote in an election.

Cpl. Lance Thompson died in during fighting in Ramadi by a truck bomb. His father, Greg Thompson, said his son sent him a letter in September of '04 which said, "Freedom is not free. It requires sacrifice."

Greg Thompson said the millions turning out to vote in Iraq was "fantastic" and said it was a "momentous day in the Middle East."

"Are you asking me was it worth Lance losing his life?" he asked a reporter. "Being the gung-ho Marine that he was, he would say yes. So I'll say yes. That is a tough, bitter pill to swallow. It hurts. God, I didn't want to give up my son."

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 site, you can go here.
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10/08 Morning Rant

Let’s see if I have all of this straight…or at least mostly. The Democrats blame 8 years of failed policy under Bush for the economic crisis in America. The Republicans blame failure of Democratic oversight groups—like the committees in Congress chaired by Democrats—for not doing anything to derail a crisis. And both Presidential candidates take credit for having tried to do something about PART of the problem. McCain did scream about abuses at Freddie and Fannie…and Democrats in Congress (including Obama) who should have been overseeing did nothing. Obama, on the other hand, saw a problem with sub-prime mortgages…and screamed about it. And, Congress (including McCain) ignored it. The warning signs were there. Different people saw different signs. But NO ONE did anything. And, now, the two of them, along with the pundits, just want to point fingers and cast blame.

The truth is there are a lot of people in government at fault. First, removing the wrong regulations was a mistake. The mistake was made by both parties, though. Deregulation was sought by Democratic Congressmen during the Regan, Clinton, and Bush administrations. So the claim that this is the culmination of 8 years of Bush policies is kind of absurd.

Second, not holding legislators accountable for their jobs was, and still is, a mistake. Barney Frank, and other leading Congressmen and Senators, refusing to deal with things at Freddie and Fannie should have Congressional hearings going on. The government in general not properly applying rules and laws that could have protected the American people should be causing massive re-election bids on both sides of the aisles.

And the media…is silent on all of this…except for blaming Bush and letting the Democrats off the hook…and sharing mundane, empty “headline stories” like this one about Sarah Palin’s family tree--which apparently includes FDR and Princess Dianna. (…haven’t actually read it…just saw the headline…)

Meanwhile, tonight after the debates, I heard pundit after pundit whine about how neither candidate had any real plan for solving the financial mess. Of course they don’t. This is so big, and hit so quickly, despite the warnings for years that it was coming, that no one has a plan to deal with this. Even the best experts only have ideas on how to deal with various parts of it. Anyone who has finished high school…even those that haven’t…knows this thing is huge, and it will take time to solve it properly.

Politicians and the media are so worried about scaring people with the reality that our “I want it now” and “give me more credit” society has brought itself to. Get a grip. The American people need to know the truth. Not platitudes. Maybe it’s been so long since someone in Washington…or wherever (including the media)…has out right told the truth no one remembers how. Maybe it’s time they started.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

10/05 Morning Report

I haven’t done a “sermonette” in a long time. But, I was thinking on the way home from work about something, and thought I would share it.

“Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
James 2:13.

(…the whole verse by the way reads, “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!”…)

Wouldn’t we all like that to be applied to us? Well, whether anyone applies it to you or me, we should be applying it to others. The cycle of accusation and blame only breaks when we chose not to pass it on to others. This is a choice we must make in our private life as well as our public life. That, by the way, is one reason there is no such thing as “private religion.”

But, let’s take that Biblical principle a bit further. What about applying it in politics? There is nothing wrong with recognizing wrong doing. And, there are always consequences to our actions. But, if all we do is point fingers and find fault, when will there be any reconciling? When will there be any healing of wounds?

We need to be asking ourselves if we are judging others without mercy. If we are, what are we doing to change that?

Food for thought.

On the subject of mercy, Any Soldier reported the following:

Capt. Richard G. Cliff Jr., 29, of Mount Pleasant, S.C. died Sept. 29 in Yakhchal, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device during mounted operations. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Well, Captain Cliff, 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, October 03, 2008

10/03 Morning Report

It could have been any country that started the financial crisis cascade, as an article at The Economist indicates. Unfortunately for America, it wasn’t another country. The crisis exists in America, and is affecting other countries as the waves of illiquidity spiral out. . The governments of several nations have already stepped in to bail out their banking industry.

Step forward, Peer Steinbr├╝ck, Germany’s finance minister, who rashly declared on September 25th that America was “the source…and the focus of the crisis”, before heralding the end of its role as the financial superpower. Within days, the focus shifted and Mr Steinbr├╝ck and his officials were obliged to arrange a €35 billion ($51 billion) loan from German banks and the German government to save Hypo Real Estate, the country’s second-biggest property lender.
I talked a couple days ago about how debt obligations are bought, sold, repackaged, and so on. Well, the painful truth is that debt obligations are traded on a global scale. That fact will drive the US government to do a bailout/loan package. It is a foregone reality because of the international realities involved.

Meanwhile, we have the Hot Topics of the elections. Iraq: US combat deaths down 86% from a year ago. Strange we did not hear about that in the Vice-presidential debate, considering how much they talked about Iraq. But, then again, inspite of Tom Brokaw’s statement ON CAMERA that “The Democrats are lucky there is only one Vice-presidential debate,” the NY Times claims the GOP merely survived a test. All things considered equal, I think Sen. Biden did a better job in the closing statements than Gov. Palin. But, over all, the fact that she could go step for step with him is telling of the ability of the McCain/Palin ticket. I suspect that if they can create distance between themselves and the Bush administration, the GOP just might be able to hold the Whitehouse this election.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

10/01 Wednesday Hero - SSgt. Renee A. Deville

This Week's Post Was Suggested And Written By Kathi

SSgt. Renee A. Deville
SSgt. Renee A. Deville
44 years old from Webster New York
401st Civil Affairs Battalion
September 1, 2008
U.S. Army

SSGT Renee A. Deville was an Army Reservist who deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion from Webster, N.Y. She arrived at Walter Reed August 10, 2006, after being injured in a mortar attack.

While at Walter Reed, Deville was assigned to Chosen Battery, Warrior Transition Brigade, and was among three graduates of the Army's first Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course Stand Alone Common Core offered to Warriors in Transition.

Deville, who successfully completed every aspect of the course from a wheelchair, was lauded by SGT Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston as exemplifying the Army's 'Warrior Ethos', at the graduation ceremony for the course on March 28, 2008.

Deville was also the impetus for a new playground being built behind the Mologne House at Walter Reed in 2007.

An October 2007 Washington Post article about the opening of the playground says that SSGT Deville's mention of her children's limited recreational options to Col. Bruce Haselden, the garrison commander, helped set in motion the playground project.

Staff Sgt. Renee Antoinette Deville died September 1, 2008 in her room at the Mologne House at Walter Reed. She was 44.

She is survived by her husband and 4 children, her mother, a brother, and two sisters.

SSGT Deville was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery on September 19, 2008.

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 site, you can go here.
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