Day by Day



Saturday, December 29, 2007

We Will Bear-y Them With Bears

I wrote about the Teddy Bear in Sudan previously.

Perhaps you've wondered... What Can I Do?

Now, YOU can have an opportunity to make a difference.

Over at Teddy Bear Muhammad, you can purchase a Teddy Bear with an adorable t-shirt reading, "My Name is Muhammad".

A portion of the cost goes to support the USO.

But, perhaps you're wondering, who would want one?

Might I suggest the following shipping address? I'm curious how many they would receive and what the reaction might be...

Embassy of Sudan
2210 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008


Just a little something to let them know we care.

Some Died to Give You Freedom

To people throughout the country, our war in Iraq is many things: a noble struggle of Good versus Evil; an example of government or a President run amuck; or many other things... to everyone, it's something different.

And now, apparently it's a way to get free tickets to a Hannah Montana concert.

???

Yes, a winning essay in a contest for free tickets was submitted by a six year old girl (and likely with substantial help from mother). It's opening line was suitably gripping - "My daddy died this year in Iraq."

Just one little tiny, niggling detail. It wasn't true.

While many families, and particularly children, have lost their loved ones in Iraq - this little girl had not.

Her mother is quoted as saying, "We did whatever we could to win."

She taught her daughter how to lie, to sacrifice her integrity for the temporary joy and thrill (and what a thrill for the young girls) of a HM concert.

She taught her daughter that the real sacrifices of those who aren't coming home, and their families left behind, is something to be exploited, the emotions to be be manipulated.

Sigh.

Here's a link to the article in USA Today.

There is good news: the girl lost her tickets when the truth was discovered. And while it's possible that she'll get another chance to get tickets to HM, whether purchased or otherwise... there are some little girls (and boys) who can write "My Daddy died this year in Iraq." And nothing will change that truth for them, no matter how many HM tickets come their way.

One of My Favorite Aussies

IS BACK!!!

Oh, how I've missed this guy. Periodically, he'll come and check in on the blog, usually spend close to an hour, and leave me all sorts of motivational comments.

So, in case you've missed what the pleasant chap from Melbourne has to say, here it is.

(hehehe)

From the post Protection from Highly Offensive Material:
Anonymous said...

The word is; OFFENSIVE, you poor illiterate yank der.
You certainly are a believer in free speech eh. Like the rest of your inbreed you are pathetic.
"yore eever wid us or yor agin us"
We're all "agin" you, got it yet. What you gonna do, invade 6 billion?
America the only country to have been found guilty of international terrorism by the UN.
What hypercritical scum you are.

And then there is this one from The Barbaric Six:
THE YANK BUSTER said...

I suppose that when a group of Yank 'soldiers'(???) run amok, burst into a home kill he family, including children, they find there and then rape a 13 year old girl before murdering her is not barbaric then eh?
I suppose they are defending freedom and saving the world from terrorists.
You are a seriously deluded, chauvenistic creep, I suggest you get help, quickly, or at least before NOV 08.
Oh yeah, another neo nazi has bit the dust, Howard ex Aussie PM. Not only did his party take a beating but he lost his own seat, and put them out of contention for what will probably be another 10 years. The new PM's first two acts; ratify the Kyoto accord, and pull combat troops out of Iraq.
Ahh how refreshing to be amongst sane, rational, normal Human beings again. Tell me have you got any in your toilet of a country?

And finally... A New Low:
What do you call 10 Yanks at the bottom of a river?.... A good start. said...

Your troops commit mass murder and illegally invade other nations. I wouldn't put it past them to have come up with a con, especially a lame one like this. Although it would be reaching the extent of their imaginations at least they aren't killing anyone for a change.

:)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Drew Carey Project Continues

In this episode of the "Drew Carey Project", Drew continues his discussions about eminent domain.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Did You Notice?

Yesterday. Friday. Truth be told, not much happened. End of the work week... Everyone looking forward to getting away.

It actually was mentioned in many of the papers I took a peek at.

Day of Infamy...

December 7th...

An earlier generation's 9/11 (though not as quickly forgotten and pooh-poohed as ours)...

While "Remember Pearl Harbor!" has no more cachet these days than "Remember the Maine!" or "Remember the Alamo!" (though if you ask any Texans, they'll tell you that that last one is still pretty catchy), it still holds many lessons for us.

History often does, if one is willing to go to class.

Pearl Harbor introduced the American public to the concept of "It *CAN* happen here" as the Japanese ('Japs' in the no longer PC vernacular) reached out and touched American territory in a way not imagined.

Imagination. That is often our greatest failure, isn't it? So often, the warning signs, the information, is readily available to those who have the imagination to solve a jigsaw puzzle never before seen. Too often easily done in hindsight, the oft-ignorant conclusion is that accomplishing the same in foresight is simple and expected.

That in this War for Oil (WWII, folks), a nation could sortie a massive naval force, sail thousands of miles undetected, and launch a surprise attack that could massively cripple our forces, and violate the gentlemanly rules of war? Pah! All evidence to the contrary, it was difficult to *imagine* that such was possible... Or at the very least, remotely PROBABLE.

In the late 60's, NASA (and the nation) suffered the first deaths of astronauts aboard a spacecraft. No, not thousands of miles away, but on the ground, in full view of everyone... Why? For a myriad of reasons, but the fundamental one being a failure of imagination. For all the contingency plans, no one imagined a routine test aboard an unfueled rocket to be hazardous.

In aviation, many accidents are the result of the crew and aircraft getting trapped into a corner that no engineer ever imagined possible or a risk.

And with 9/11, we never imagined airliners being used as human-guided missiles to be a real, cogent threat.

Yet, it happened.

One of our first lessons, as a nation, in the need for imagination, was Pearl Harbor. We were pulled kicking and screaming from our safe cocoon into a war that had already enveloped the rest of the world for several years.

These days, there are fewer and fewer stewards of that memory walking amongst us. They are joining their shipmates at a rate that is sapping their dwindling number. Often, local Survivors' Associations have disbanded, due to a lack of membership. There's not many left to tell the tale, and even if there were, would we stop to listen?

December 7th comes annoyingly in the midst of the shopping season, party whirlwinds, and the more mundane facets of our hectic, blessed lives.

If we were to stop and listen to the tale, as it softly becomes a hoarse whisper, we'll be taught. We'll be reminded of the lesson that it *can* happen here; if only, you can imagine it. And remember, imagination does not solely belong to those who believe the American cause to be just and right.

Anyone can imagine...

Imagine what we will be remembering in the years and decades to come.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thank You to Ben Stein

I've been a big fan of Ben Stein. From first seeing his deadpan delivery in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (is that movie really 21 years old?!?!), to enjoying his writings in his columns.

He's delightful. Witty. Intelligent.

Here's a little video for you...






(Thanks to "My Daily Rant" for both the link and the blogroll.)

Protection From Highly Offensive Material

We, as a nation, are blessed. We know this. And now, we've been happily saved from having to endure some extremely offensive material on our public airwaves.

Yes, NBC has refused to sell ad space to a despicable organization known for obscene and vile hate-filled material.

However, in the interest of free speech, I will be happy to enlighten you to those materials right here.

Click below to watch the rejected ads, foolishly submitted to NBC for airing to the nation. Be warned, this is SICK stuff.







See? Disgusting.

Oh wait, maybe it's just disgusting that NBC wouldn't want this material to air on their networks. Just so you know who you're watching...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Drew Carey Project - Episode 4

In this latest episode, Drew Carey explores the Dallas Police Department's raids on poker games at the local VFW.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Eminent Domain

The latest from the Drew Carey Project.

Eminent Domain is one of the quiet concerns that many people are unaware is even happening to the egregious level that it's reaching.

Take a peek.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Offensive to Religion


Just a short question... something to ponder, if you will.

Which do you think would be more offensive, insulting, and threatening to a world religion...

The artistic work "Piss Christ"...






or

a Teddy Bear named "Mohammed" by some seven year olds...




(Image from Teddybearfriends)


Just something to ponder...

Disgusting! or... You Get What You Pay For

Michelle Malkin has a wonderful little blurb up... I highly recommend you take a peek, but perhaps not after eating.

We always hear, as she reminds us, that people are doing the jobs Americans won't do. That Americans have priced ourselves out of certain jobs.

Perhaps, and I'm just going out on a limb here, we get what we pay for. And just maybe, we should be willing to demand a little bit more...

The Barbaric Six

A friend sent this to me from another blog, apparently Jerry Pournelle.

Thought it was worth sharing. Click on the link to go look.


The Barbaric Six

Well, in Louisiana the Reverend Jackson and other black leaders seem to be saying that if some high school students hang a rope from a tree, they get to burn down the school, beat a white kid senseless, and generally act like barbarians.

Liberals, who expect blacks to behave this way rather than to behave like citizens, encourage this sort of thing. They like feeling paternalistic. Having grown up in an aristocratic society where we were supposed to look out for blacks and defend them against the lower class crackers, I can tell them: it's not a job you really want. Encouraging people to be in tutelage rather than grow up doesn't have a very high payoff either psychologically or economically. I got the hell out of that society by joining the Army at age 17 (having convinced the recruiting officers I was 18; after all, I was a high school graduate), and I have not missed that aspect of the Old South since. I don't want to be responsible for other people who are expected not to act like adults.

Hanging a noose from a tree is not a crime. It's not a nice thing to do, but then rap music played at high volume accusing all women of being ho's and inviting violence against the police and authorities is not nice. Does that mean that if a group of kids decides to destroy the boom box and beat its owner senseless they should be justified and defended by marches? If so, then we are talking about revolution and ethnic cleansing, open warfare. Let them fight it out to exhaustion. Bring Iraq to Louisiana and Mississippi and California.

Is that really what the liberals who are flocking to Louisiana want?

I expect black and white citizens to act civilized, and finding excuses for barbarism does not seem like a worthwhile activity.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A New Low

A good friend from the great state of Alaska sent me this tidbit:

FROM: Sgt. Smith David Fitte,

Important Message,
Good day,
My name is David Smith Fitte, I am an American soldier, I am serving in the military of the 1st Armored Division in Iraq , as you know we are being attacked by insurgents everyday and car bombs. We managed to move funds belonging to Saddam Hussein’s family in 2003. The total amount is US$25 Million dollars in cash, mostly 100 dollar bills, this money has been kept somewhere outside Baghdad for sometime but with the proposed troop in increase by president Bush, we are afraid that the money will be discovered hence we want to move this money to you for safe keeping pending the completion of our assignment here. You can go to this web link to read about events that took place there:
(Link removed)
We are ready to compensate you with good percentage of the funds, No strings attached, just for you to help us move it out of Iraq. Iraq is a war zone, so we plan on using diplomatic means to shipping the money out as military cargo, using diplomatic immunity. If you are interested I will send you the full details, my job is to find a good partner that we can trust and that will assist us. Can I trust you? When you receive this letter, kindly send me an e-mail signifying your interest including your most confidential telephone numbers for quick communication also your contact details.
This is risk free.
With regards from,
Sgt. David Smith Fitte.


This is just a new low. It's a variation on the theme of the famous "Nigerian" e-mail. And to imply that our troops are involved in this? Oh come on... What's worse? Just as the Nigerian e-mails keep coming because somebody replies to them, so will someone read this, believe it, and it will keep going.

Disgusting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Just a Thought on Security

This passing thought occurred to me the other day.. Are we TOO secure?

Now, before you start ranting back with, "No, you fool! Don't you know the _____ are about to attack us ANY minute?! They could even already be here," let me explain.

At work, there's a sign listing our various threat conditions. There's FPCON ALPHA, THREATCON ORANGE, INFO ALERT LEVEL ONE, and HOMELAND SECURITY LEVEL ELEVATED.

I'm sure up at the Pentagon, there's still the DefCon.

And who knows what other threat scales are out there.

To send an email (once I've already logged on to our super-secure system, though the level of its neediness leads me to believe that it's a super-insecure system) requires THREE separate security checks. And that's just to forward the latest ha-ha that someone else sent to me.

To get onto base, we have very diligent guards carefully checking each ID. But, I also saw some Jehovah's Witnesses seeking some converts (even on a military base, I guess it never hurts to try to make a convert or two), so how tight can it be, even after the Fort Dix incident (and others I won't discuss here)?

Part of the problem is that there are so many threat scales. Is a condition of "Three" good or bad? Well, if it's on a scale of one to four, maybe not, but who's to say the scale doesn't go to twenty? Usually just the current status is displayed, not the whole scale. And is a "One" high or low?

If someone ran into the office saying, "They've just upped the InfoCon level to Bravo!" what do I do? Should I start burning important documents or maybe just not surf to the CNN.com website? Oh my!

Is Orange a good color or a bad one? And we've been at it for so long... What are the other colors like? I think a nice paisley alert level could be fun.

Oh, and when you fly (wait for it... I'm not going to go into the charade that we call Screening Security )... Want to amuse yourself? Often posted on clip-on signs above the "Wait-Here-in-This-Ridicuously-Long-Line-That-Has-Osama-Laughing-As-We-Pat-Down-Elderly-Wheelchairbound-Ladies" meandering maze of belts, you'll find warnings. Warnings! You may be flying out of Podunk International Airport, but the Director of Homeland Security, and the TSA, would blike to warn you that the airport in Kuala Lampur does not meet their standards of security.

Oh my! I quickly will point this out to the one hundred and fifty people behind me in line, in case their plans had them going there. Of course, it's more likely that they're going to another US airport, which recent news reports say have security that does NOT meet the standards of the Director of Homeland Security, and the TSA. (For those who aren't familiar, recent tests of security showed that the lil' ol' ladies, and possibly others from their bridge(bombing) clubs, were able to smuggle plenty of suspicious bomb parts past our crack security forces. And we worry about Kuala Lampur.)

Ok, so what's my point?

We, as a whole, make a big show about doing SOMETHING for security, but in the process, we end up doing nothing.

You can imagine the meetings, can't you? The Commander or Director goes around the table and asks, "In two weeks, I want to know what your departments are doing about security."

And two weeks later, they all come back. "Sir, we've instituted this Five-Level scale to let us know what our threat level is!" "Excellent work, Smith!"

And lo and behold, not to be out-done, the others ALSO develop scales in their departments. "Sir! Our scale is more nuanced... It has Six levels." "Ours uses colors so people can easily understand the threat.." (Because if there's anything more confusing than colors, it's the numbers one through five or the letters of the alphabet!)

So, we have all these systems to show just how hard we're working on security. Just like standing in that long line at the airport, it's a big show.

No one truly seems to understand our threats (pretty colors and letters aside) because we've become too focused on the show instead of the substance.

Let's put and end to this nonsense. Either we can ditch all this acting and admit what the enemy already knows (and deep down, so do we) - that it's a show OR we can come up with a coherent approach and really be serious about our security.

Otherwise, we're just inevitably making it easier for them by tangling ourselves in multicolored knots.

Support Our Troops

We continually here about how everyone "supports the troops". Right.

The "troops" need money. The Democrats are again playing with the funding bills trying to forestall them getting the money in hopes of convincing President Bush to pull them out.

He's said he has no intention of doing so.

They've made over one hundred attempts, all of which have failed.

And the troops still don't have their money.

But, they support the troops.

So, Senator Reid, while you're doing your political maneuvering to keep the Senate in session over Thanksgiving break (so the President doesn't sneak a recess appointment by you), how about PASSING THE APPROPRIATION BILLS?

Before the troops start running out of money.

Idle threat? Yeah, there are bottomless funds. Read here.

Support the troops. Put the money where your mouths are.

Kudos to Restaurant Manager

Yes, yes, I know... he's against the children.

But, he's also right.

When a mother could not quiet her screaming child (and possible allegations of her being disruptive as well), he asked her to leave the restaurant.

Yes!

Way to go.

And I say that as a single father. It's not always easy to get out. BUT, my enjoyment does not come at the expense of other's. All part of the joys of parenting. Sometimes, you don't get to eat out. Not with your kids.

If you're in the Louisville, KY, area, please patronize this restaurant.

And maybe, it wouldn't hurt to drop by www.ocharleys.com and let them know you support this manager!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

With Soldiers Like These...

I know I am honored... and believe we ALL should be honored, to count Specialist Hoyt as one of our Army Strong Soldiers.

Don't know who he is?

Not surprised. I did a search for him on CNN.com. Nada.

So, maybe you'll need to mosey over to FoxNews to read about him.

Specialist Hoyt was injured in an IED blast on 13 November while he was on foot patrol. Five feet away from him, one of his comrades was killed by the blast.

What was his reaction?

Specialist Hoyt told his officers his job wasn't finished, and then... RE-ENLISTED!

Like I said... we should all be honored.

2nd Amendment Up for Review

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a case about the District of Columbia's personal handgun ban.

For the past 31 years, DC has banned private ownership of handguns. In CNN's story, Police Chief Cathy Lanier is quoted as saying, "I see the results of gun violence every day. The weakening of the district's gun law will inevitably lead to an increase in injury, and worse, death."

So, here's my question.

If guns are banned in DC, then... how are those gun deaths occurring? You mean, people are breaking the law??? What are those people called.... oh yes, Criminals. So apparently, the people using guns are the ones who are already predisposed to breaking the law. And the law-abiding ones aren't using guns.

And can't defend themselves.

Is the gun ban working?

I invite you to take a look at these statistics. DC is a small area. Very small. Look at all those murders, and other crimes. Rapes (last thing a woman needs when she's being raped is a handgun...), burglaries (can you imagine how relieved burglars are to know that the homeowners have NO defense?), etc...

It'll be interesting to see how the SCOTUS rules on this case. We can only hope that they don't parse "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"... those of us out in the hinterland, even those educated at government indoctrination centers, can understand the simplicity of those words.

Previous postings on this subject: "Gun Control" and "I Mourn".

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mike Huckabee's First TV Ad

Mike Huckabee, Republican Candidate for President of the United States, has distributed his first TV ad.

It's different. A candidate with a sense of humor.

I like it.

Not your typical ad.



And when you're done, please wander over to his official website.

You Have GOT to be KIDDING Me!

The Associated Press is reporting that the mother and step-father of Tawana Brawley are wanting the State of New York to re-open the investigations into the `incident'.

"New York State owes my daughter. They owe her the truth," said Glenda Brawley. She reiterated her stance that her daughter was indeed raped by a group of white men who smeared her with feces and scrawled racial epithets on her body.


The truth.

If I recall, an investigation was thoroughly done. No evidence of any sexual assault was found.

In fact, subsequent allegations went a long way to disprove her allegations. To the point that legal liabilities were found against the Brawleys and Rev. Sharpton.

But now, the State of New York owes her. What, pray tell, will come forward twenty years later that wasn't discovered during the INTENSE media scrutiny twenty years ago?

She's even changed her name - to escape, no doubt, the stigma that has become associated with this case and how it's gone down in history. Yes, back in 1988, she was given a new, "beautiful" Muslim name.

By whom?

Louis Farrakhan. He did get a fairly good quote in the article...
Mr. Farrakhan, who had invited Miss Brawley to the convention, told an audience of 10,000 on Sunday that he also rejected the grand jury's findings, and he vowed vengeance on those who, he said, had attacked the girl. ''You raped my daughter and I will kill you and dismember your body and feed it to the fowl of the air,'' he said.
How very special. Once again, the Religion of Peace shines through.


Perhaps, just perhaps, it's she, and her family, who owe the state, and owe something to The Truth.

Until then, we're just wasting time.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Civilized Religion

Some people write better than I... one of those is Orson Scott Card. Want to pleasure your perusing palate? Take a peek.

Thoughts on Warren Buffett

On my other blog, I posted a quote by Warren Buffett, the ultra-rich uber-billionaire.

Recently, he testified before the Senate Finance Committee. He asked them not to eliminate the estate tax, saying, "I think we need to ... take a little more out of the hides of guys like me."

Mr. Buffett, may I make a suggestion? If you feel you have too much money, you could certainly help your country by writing a check (feel free to throw in a few extra zeroes) and mail it to:
Attn Dept G
Bureau Of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

The government requests you write "Gift to Reduce the Debt Held By the Public" in the memo space.

And since you don't think you pay enough, feel free to put extra stamps on the envelope, too.

But to arrogantly suggest how the government should tax those who make far less than you... well, that's spending other people's money. Speak for yourself. Write a check. It'll increase your credibility score.

Politician Wastes Words - Citizens Protest

Perhaps you've heard. The Southeast is suffering an extreme drought. Georgia is particularly anxious as they watch their lakes and rivers dip lower and lower.

The Governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue (You can't make names like that up, can you?), has tried numerous efforts to alleviate the crisis. Encouraging water rationing, conservation... even negotiating with the Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the flow of water to other states.

And there's not water water everywhere... perhaps soon, not enough to drink.

So, what's a Governor to do?

Governor Perdue decided to pray for rain. Apparently, it's not just a cliche.

And atheists are staging a protest.

Now, here's my question. Atheists don't believe in God. Or any god for that matter. So, therefore, in their mind and belief, Governor Perdue is... wasting his breath. Talking to thin air. Perhaps, at worst, offering a salve to his believing constituents.

So, if the Governor is merely talking, and not really praying, since there's no deity to which to pray, what's the fuss?

Heaven, er... God, er... hmmm, John Doe forbid that a politician ever give an empty, pointless speech... which to an atheist, is just what praying for rain would be, right?

This Threat Doesn't Seem to be Going Away

The topic is being raised, again. What topic?

Why, what I, and apparently Doug Ross, think would be one of the most devastating attacks upon our country. And also, a quite likely one.

The children.

Previously, I wrote both here and here.

Please, take a look... and keep an eye out.

Global Warming

“It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create in allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the ‘research’ to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus... I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party. However, Global Warming, ie Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you ‘believe in.’ It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won’t believe a me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it... There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril... In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped. The sky is not falling.” —John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We Always Hate to Know You're Faking It

News reports today (I'll add links later) detail that Mrs. Clinton's campaign has admitted planting questions at a news conference.

Stupid.

First, wasn't anyone on her staff paying attention when a few weeks prior, FEMA staff had the genius idea of faking a whole news conference? Apparently so, yet instead of taking the expected Democrat outlook (expected because FEMA is currently under a Republican administration, or more exactly the most evil doer of all, Bush) that this was a colossal error to be focused upon and made fun of... No, someone took notes thinking, "What a GREAT idea!"

Did I mention stupid?

This is actually simple. There are some truths (dare I use the word?) that Americans rely on. One is that the news is REAL (isn't that correct, Mr Rather?) . We do not like the idea of it being faked or created (Dateline got in trouble awhile back for gas tanks falsely exploding).

It is also true that we expect our politicians to lie. It wouldn't be such an enduring punch line if it weren't true. We certainly expect anyone with the surname 'Clinton' to do it. The catch is... You're expected to at least not be obvious about it ("I did not have sex with that woman"... Ohhh, THAT woman, then yes).

We dumped the FEMA guy who oversaw faking the news conference. Does the Clinton campaign expect a different standard be upheld?

It comes down to this, and if I may be so crass, since Mrs. Clinton is playing the gender card, she SHOULD know this... If you're going to fake it, and we'd like to believe you're not, be convincing and don't get caught. Few things bruise a man, or a voter's ego, such as discovering that it was all an act.

Friday, November 09, 2007

From Another Time, Another Era

Sent by a good friend and angel:

I'd like to say I have something to add, but... it really speaks for itself.

Please, go take a peek over here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Videos to Peruse

As I've said in a previous post, my political views lean more Libertarian.

One of my favorite actor/comedians is Drew Carey. He also classifies himself as Libertarian.

Recently, he's begun to film a series of film spots for Reason TV.

Here are the first two:

Drew Carey Discusses Traffic and Gridlock



Drew Carey Discusses Medicinal Marijuana



More as they become available. I hope these are both entertaining and educational.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

She Raises a Good Question

I've wondered this myself, but Michelle Malkin says it a bit better.

Forget for a second whether you adore or loathe her...

We hear, repeatedly, how you can be against the war and support the troops. So, here is a perfect opportunity - non-partisan, pure support the troops effort. No statements about the war being made.

And even better, you can host it on your blog without even having to donate yourself (though, I would recommend doing so.)

Sure, you are asked to join a "team" that represents a military service, and so if you don't have a fondness for the military, that can be a bit hard to swallow... but still, it's an opportunity to support the troops. And if you're ardently against the war, this is a bonus, as it's for the troops who've been savagely used by the em Bush Administration in their vicious, private war to secure outrageous oil profits for their friends in Texas (did I get that right?).

So, where are the blogs from the liberal side of the field?

The silence, as they say, is not only deafening, but it's speaking volumes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Is a Racist?

What is a racist? Good question. The definitions of racism and the use of the term have grown over time. It once was rather simple - one who believed that his race was superior to another's.

Most often, and in the conventional wisdom, this was used in terms of whites who believed that blacks were inferior - based upon their race alone.

It could be used in terms of other cultures, too... for example, Japanese have long felt a superiority toward gaijin.

But now, it's a word that it thrown wildly about, and through PC, it quickly silences the opposition. It's a power word.

So, what IS a racist? We have a definition from the University of Delaware. Through their residential life program, they have given us this: “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

Lovely. It's like the concept of predestination. Apparently, all whites are racists... no matter what your thoughts, your beliefs, your life choices, or anything. You're doomed to the damnation of your racist attitudes.

Anyone else see the problem with this viewpoint? First, if you lump everyone into the racist category, then even those who aren't racists (contrary to the theory, but let's assume it's possible) may succumb to the inevitableness of their inherent racistness.

Second, why bother attempting to reform? Hey, you're already damned to be a racist... why try to reform? You're doomed. There's a chance some will revel in their inevitable racistness. Uh oh.

Third, can no one else be racist? The theory doesn't truly address this... Can we doom other races to inherent and inevitable racism?

And, lastly, isn't the concept of classify an entire race as being deficient... racism?

Victory for Decency / Defeat for Freedom of Speech

I'll admit to being torn on this. It would seem like such an easy decision.

We've all (sadly) become familiar with "Reverend" Fred Phelps and the members of his Westboro Baptist Church, many of whom happen to be his family as well. They have a tendency to show up at funerals for Soldiers (and other servicemembers) and to loudly protest the funeral. Their basis of reasoning is that homosexuality is a sin, and the military endorses homosexuality through "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Therefore, God is mad at the US and supports the killing of the Soldiers.

(If I got that wrong, please correct me.)

Understandably, these actions really tick off grieving family members. I know I would have been livid.

Well, one father of a slain Marine (Semper Fi, Marine!) sued the good reverend and his church for damages for protesting at his son's funeral. And from these (and here) news stories, a jury has awarded the father nearly $11 million in damages.

Will they collect? Not likely. But, it's a good victory.

Or... is it?

I've always said that freedom of speech, true freedom, means to support and defend the right of someone to stand on a street corner, and to shout at the top of their lungs, the very beliefs that you find most abhorrent to your own.

And that is precisely what Westboro Baptist Church does. They stand in public places, stand on the flag, or other such desecrations, and shout obscenities about how "God loves dead Soldiers" and things like that... at the funeral for the Soldier.

Makes my blood boil. Yours?

Good. It should.

What they do is a demonstration, in perhaps its coarsest, vile form, of precisely what our country stands for, and what our Soldiers fight for... the true vitality of that First Amendment we hold so dear.

I can't endorse what they say... it makes me ill. However, I will fight to the death for their right to say it. Or, what's the point of it all?

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Thoughts on a Few Issues

Tis the season for politics. So, why not share where I stand on a few points of interest?

I classify myself as Libertarian, but I refuse to join the Libertarian Party. Why not? Because, they refuse to support the effort to stop the Islamofascists, at least, not until they come directly to our shores.

Taxes


I am a supporter of the FairTax. Do you realize that the budge allocation in the 2008 Budget Proposal for the Internal Revenue Service is over eleven billion dollars!? That means that the service that manages our ever convoluted tax code has to take in eleven billion dollars before a single penny goes to any other part of the government... like the Army, or roads, the CDC, or what have you... That's INSANE. Take a look at the FairTax... and study it. It's a very valid proposal, and for starters, we can save approximately eleven billion dollars.


Amendment X


I'm a strong believer in the Constitution. It's the roadmap to our government and our country, and I'm willing to bet that most people are only sketchilly familiar with it. Are you? Take a look here for the whole thing.
Amendment X is a special one though. It's designed to limit the role of the Federal government. We all hear about the government being too big, having grown larger, or the famous quote, "The era of Big Government is over." Candidates campaign on the issue all the time. But, did you know that the Bill of Rights already has taken care of the issue... if we merely held our government to the fire? Amendment X reads "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
How about that? It limits the powers and growth of the government right there. Let's get back to that, shall we?


Term Limits


Unnecessary. What we should be asking for are informed voters with spines. Every two years, we as Americans are given the opportunity to completely replace the ENTIRE House of Representatives and a third of the United States Senate. Term limits are offered right there. Don't like your representative? Vote him/her out. Instant term limits.



War


Not the Iraqi theater or the Global War (World War IV, as some call it). No, war in general. The last time our country declared war was World War II. Since then, we've committed our forces numerous times (Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Desert Storm, OEF, OIF, Cambodia, Laos, and that's just the Top 10). All without a declaration of war.

It seems such a triviality, but... declaring war shows a level of committment. That the Country is formally determined to defeat an enemy. Why don't we do this anymore? We declare war on poverty, hunger, AIDS, drugs, crime, what have you... but actually declare a military war? Nah, no guts for that.


Education


Abolish the Department of Education. $58 billion. And we're still slipping... Return control of schools to the local communities. Who better to know how to teach the local kidlets? The local parents. That's where the funding comes from... and the kids... and the values. Imagine the drive to ensure your community has good schools if it's truly up to the community.


Drugs


Legalize them. Yep, I know, lost a lot of folks right there. We've been told how evil drugs are. And, in truth, they do some nasty things to people. But, it's their choice. But, SCEagle, what about what an intoxicated person does? Well, do we not already HAVE laws? Person is high and drives their car and kills someone. We HAVE a law against killing someone. Vehicular homicide, for instance. Also DWI. But, if you want to sit in your home and get high... go for it. Prohibition didn't work... why do we expect a different result with a "war" on drugs? By the way, DEA = $1.8 billion.


Defense


We need to increase our spending here. Obviously, we have quite an enemy right now, and we are stretching our resources to the bone. Let's get serious about this, shall we? Nuff said.


Abortion


Personal opinions aside, why do we feel that one law can fit a nation of over 300 million people, of such diversity (hey, I've paid attention in my diversity classes) spread out over such a large area...? Each of our states is more in tune for the people in that area... If Rhode Island's populace votes for full abortion, then that's what they decide; and if New Mexico says no, then no there. Yes, it's a patchwork. But that's how it SHOULD be. Each state is different, each population different, and the laws should reflect those folks' wishes and intents.


Crime


There are way too many federal offenses. How often do we hear that a citizen was arrested on local charges, acquitted, and now the feds are pursuing the same charges, but on a federal level? Sure, there are crimes at the federal level - treason, for one. Kidnapping (across state lines) would be another. But this is ridiculous. Let's trim it back down. If it's a local crime, then leave it local.


Apologies


No, I'm not apologizing for something. It's done way too often. Every time someone ruffles someone else's feathers, there are vocal demands for an apology. And soon, a well-worded, carefully crafted apology is trotted out. We're even apologizing for actions by now dead people against other now dead people. Huh? An apology made by someone who was not at all responsible carries weight? Pah. Apologies are becoming worthless because they're so overused. Stop it! An apology is most sincere when it's offered, not when it's demanded.


Health Care


We're serious? We're actually saying that because our own health care is not a priority to us, we expect the whole country to take care of it? Because the government has shown such success with every other public welfare priority.
And the idea that people don't have health care... pah. First, anyone can go to the emergency room for an emergency. Also, for the poor, truly poor, we have MedicAid. For seniors, MediCare...

For the rest of us... health care is like anything else. I'd like a bigger house. Should the country buy it for me? No. I'd like a nicer car? Same question. Now, for me personally, health care is free. And folks, let me assure you, while it's nice to not pay anything, the bureaucracy and quality can be nightmarish. We DO NOT WANT THIS nationwide. Don't believe me? Enlist... try it out. We either make health care a priority in our lives or not. We buy the health care that we can afford and that we feel is appropriate. That's how it should be.


Immigration


What we're really discussing is Illegal Immigration. It's illegal. Thus, the name. So, what's the question?


These are just a few of my thoughts and positions... more to come later.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Reading List Suggestion

Quick... can you name some of the last politically correct groups to make fun of?

Women? Pshaw... come on, you know better.

_______________ - Americans? Nuh-uh. It doesn't matter which hyphenated group it is, there's an advocacy group to ensure that no sense of humor of any kind may be applied towards that group, at least, not without proper and prior screening, focus groups, and test subjects.

Oh, I know... the homose... nah, let's not even consider that.

Give up? Well, of course there's obese Americans. They are ok. Men in general are ok, after all, pick any commercial on tv. And sitcoms. And movies. Well, you get the idea.

And let's not forget one of the most enduring groups - Southerners! (You can just hear the hissing.)

Southerners are dumb. Right?
Southerners are uneducated. Dolts.
Southerners are throwbacks, still fighting the Civil War Between the States, aren't they?
Southerners... don't they realize the deal with that flag?
Southerners all have guns! And we know what type of people use guns.

That is the prevailing view. We all are familiar with it. If you look deep into our eyes (behind the mirrored sunglasses), you'd see the familiarity with this stereotype.

Yet, the truth is out there. I'd like to recommend this article for your perusal.

Quit stonewallin', and go take a peek.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Very Cleverly Done

Did you see the movie "300"? Ok, it was pretty good. And below, here is a clever parody of the movie trailer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Freedom of Expression






Blackfive asks the question, Would you let this in your neighborhood?

Yes.

Absolutely.

I encourage the Hammer's to do this. I don't want everyone to agree about the war. There are going to be disagreements. That's one part of what we are supposed to love about this country.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Great Action Heroes

This summer, there are quite a few action movies out, including another installment in the 20 year old "Die Hard" series (which I'm looking forward to seeing).

What you're not likely to hear about is an incredible tale of heroism coming out of Iraq.

These fine pilots are from a unit based out of Illeshiem, who just deployed to Iraq for their fifteen months.

They just got there.

From Blackfive:
Apache pilots evacuate critically-wounded Soldier, kill several extremists in Ramadi firefight
Staff Sgt. Lorin T. Smith
36th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office

LSA ANACONDA, Iraq – Apache pilots from Company B, 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack), 36th Combat Aviation Brigade and Company A, 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, engaged extremists and saved a critically-wounded Soldier’s life during a firefight in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on June 30, 2007.

Two attack weapons teams (with two AH-64 helicopters making up a team) flew to Ramadi in support of Coalition Forces in search of insurgents and weapons caches.

The teams reached Ramadi and received notice that Coalition Forces were taking heavy small arms fire. To maximize the helicopters’ time over a potential target, one team immediately went to the Ramadi forward arming and refueling point and the other attack weapons team flew into the fight.

They engaged extremists with 30 millimeter cannon fire neutralizing them. The team then supported other Coalition Forces engaging extremists using two tractor trailers as cover. The crew took small arms fire and multiple enemy rounds to their aircraft.

Despite the small arms fire, the attack weapons team destroyed the tractor trailers, causing secondary explosions, indicating to the crew that the trailers were possibly used as vehicle-born improvised explosive devices.

The crew stayed on station with the Coalition Forces until fuel levels became low, and returned to the FARP to refuel. Due to battle damage sustained, the Apache team performed a battle handoff to the second attack weapons team and flew back to LSA Anaconda.

The second team entered the engagement area in Ramadi. Coalition Forces were still taking heavy enemy fire. The attack weapons team shot hundreds of cannon rounds and rockets, expending their ammunition. As the team returned to the FARP to rearm and refuel, the ground forces commander informed the crews that he was coordinating a medical evacuation of wounded Soldiers including one critically-wounded.

Approximately 40 minutes later, after rearming and refueling, the team went back to the area and learned that the MEDEVAC aircraft had not arrived. Due to the critically-wounded Soldier and despite continued enemy activity, the Company B aviators landed and extracted the critically-wounded casualty with the Apache helicopter. While the Company A crew provided overhead security, the Company B crew landed within two kilometers of the enemy position.

Upon landing, the co-pilot/gunner helped load the injured Soldier into the front seat without further injury. Despite the heavy small arms fire and surface-to-air fire events in the area, the co-pilot/gunner strapped himself onto the left side of the aircraft and hunkered down on the wing. The pilot flew to Camp Ar Ramadi medical pad, where emergency medical personnel provided treatment. The team went back to the fight and continued to provide support for Coalition Forces. Upon neutralizing the extremists, the crew returned to LSA Anaconda.

Due to the extent of the battle damage, one extremists was confirmed killed in action, but multiple extremists were killed in conjunction with ground forces. The wounded Soldier has been transferred to LSA Anaconda and is in stable condition.


Chief Warrant Officer 2 Allen Crist and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kevin Purtee, Company B, 1st Battalion, 149th Aviation Regiment (Attack), 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, checks on the medical condition of Spc. Jeffrey Jamaleldine, Company C, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, after an unusual Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on June 30, 2007. (U.S. Army photos by Maj. Gregory T. O’Connor)

If We Don't Know Where We've Been, We Won't Recognize Where We're Going

William J. Bennett, author of such great books as America: The Last Best Hope (Vol. 1), America: The Last Best Hope (Vol. 2), and The Book of Virtues.

His books have proven to be an interesting romp, and I enjoy his writing. So, with the upcoming Independence Day holiday, please take a peek at his latest column.

Curses to Iran

Curses to Iran.

One of the most magnificent, beautiful, and downright sexy aircraft that has graced the skies is being forced to suffer an ignominious death. Why? Because there are only two countries in the world that flew it: the United States (yay, us!) and Islamic Republic of Iran (boooo).

Which aircraft? The F-14 Tomcat.

Most of you may know her from her starring role in Top Gun (Sorry, Mr. Cruise, but the Tomcat was the star. Ask Naval Recruiters from that era.)

Anyway... since the US has had an embargo on Iran ever since Iran invaded the United States in 1979, thus severely limiting the Iranian Air Force's ability to acquire spare parts for the F-14. Understandably, with the recent retirement of the F-1 by the United States, Iran has drooled over the prospect of acquiring parts from the F-14s being stripped for military use.

Congress acted, and declared that it must be ensured that no parts that could be useful to Iran be available.

And there's only one real way to do that.

Destroy the F-14s we have. Viciously. Savagely. Reduce them to tiny little bits.

So, the beautiful beast that once owned the skies the world over... is being reduced to rubble. She was once lovingly maintained by crews who showered her with affection, and now... a mechanical monster sinks its teeth into it like a lion pruning the weak gazelle from the herd.

If you can stomach it, watch here:



Link: sevenload.com

Thanks, Iran. May your birds meet the same fate one day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Too Secure

At work, we (and by "we", I mean "I") often have a saying that we've secured ourselves into ineffectiveness. Meaning, our computers are locked down so tightly, we can hardly get anything accomplished. Downloading photos from the official camera can take 2-3 people, different computers, and utilization of a compact disc instead of the super-easy USB cord accompanying the camera.

And let's not explore the internet lockdown.

So, along the lines of making us "too secure", please take a moment and read this posting.

Press One for English

I was, of course, hoping to embed this video into the blog, but seems like the producers of the video don't want it embedded.

So.

Here's a link. Now, I like the song, if not the over-sung vocals... Towards the end, it sounds a bit like border-line screeching, but that's just oversinging the song.

But, enjoy the video.

(And, I claim NO responsibility for the lack of vocabulary demonstrated by some in the Comment section.

Click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Operation Arrowhead Ripper

From where I sit, I have no greater access to information than most of you reading this (and let's be honest, by the counters, there aren't that many coming to my corner of the world.)

Anyway, this shows great promise. It seems that the gloves are off and our Soldiers are being unleashed. Fewer restrictions.

In other words, our Soldiers are being allowed to fight as Soldiers.

Wish I could be there to help support the fight.

Let's continue to pray for our Soldiers, and that the enemy either has the brains to surrender OR at least die quick deaths. And civilians... please stay down or away.

Hooah!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Surge Has Failed

Yes, it must be admitted. After about five months, we need to face facts.

The DNC had announced a surge of Democrats to Congress, with the stated mission of turning things around, and making progress that had not been achieved in the several years leading up to the decision.

It had been hoped by many that this "surge", rushing so many new Democrats into the troubled halls of Congress, would bring about peace and prosperity. Alas, it has not done so and many of the benchmarks that had been set to demonstrate "success".

Cries are getting louder over the incompetence of Generals Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi... their failures to achieve the goals are leading to calls for their replacement...

How many more bills must die in committee? When will there be a new plan to deal with the Republican "insurgency" that is proving such a challenge for them to overcome???

Just curious...

Ban This Chemical NOW!!!

This was sent to me... Penn & Teller, besides being great comedic magicians, often produce intriguing commentary videos.

Take a look at this one, for example...

Yes, it's an old joke that often makes it's way around the Net, but... these are real people.

Would you have signed (I hope not)? Do you know people who would (I'm sure)?

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Creative Approach to Remind Whom We're Fighting

Michelle Malkin and her crew at Hot Air have put together an excellent video that captures eloquently the people we're fighting... and what they do and how they approach this war and our culture.

Take a look... watch the images and listen to the words... It's worth it. Here.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Celebrate Memorial Day

This has really begun to get under my skin. I'll be watching tv, and a commercial comes on asking us to help such-and-such a store to "Celebrate" Memorial Day.

What?


Just how do we "celebrate" Memorial Day? Memorial Day being the day where the country honors those who've died in service to the country's armed forces, what would be appropriate?

Perhaps we could throw a wild party?

Maybe drop a couple thousand dollars on the latest entertainment system?

What's a great way to celebrate?

I'm not quite sure how I am expected to revel in the deaths of fellow servicemen, past and present. Perhaps the sales managers could help explain it to me?


I know, let's ask the folks who've come up to me, no doubt meaning well, who have come up to me wishing me a "Happy Memorial Day!" I suppose we could go to the nearest cematary and blow party whistles and throw confetti?


If people today don't understand the concept of Memorial Day, then how are we to expect them to understand the concept of the sacrifices of our modern day Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coasties?

Just generally disgusted with where we've gone...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

After the Goodbye

I was traveling this past weekend, and on my return, I came across a scene in the airport. It's a common scene that's played out in airports all around the country, and one that I'm painfully familiar with.

And sadly, it's likely one that the majority of people are (blissfully) unaware of.

I watched the whole scene, as it played out, from beginning to end. I recognized it, and was captivated, not so much by what was happening, but the surrounding action in the airport.

What was it?

I spotted a Soldier on his way back from his R&R. From reading his uniform, I could tell he's serving in Iraq. His wife was there, as they clung to every last second they could. Trying to avoid the inevitable.

She looked spectacular - having dressed well for this last time together. He was in his uniform. (Hint: Generally speaking, Soldiers travel in civilian clothes, so when you see one in uniform... odds are good they're enroute to/from the war zone. There are exceptions, but... odds are.)

Surrounding them was a boisterous crowd of folks going easily amongst their lives, unaware of the drama unfolding before them. Literally completely surrounding them, lives were going on, while theirs was coming back to a skidding halt. The two weeks of bliss in the midst of their (now) fifteen plus month hell having come down to the final minutes.

I recognized the emotions. They both were quiet, not saying much if anything at all. And then, the decision was made. It happens to all. Whether it's the urge to exert some control over something they have so little control over, or just the desire to stop putting off the inevitable, it's the same every time. Sometime before it's actually necessary to say goodbye, the couple suddenly stiffen up, share a last goodbye, a kiss, maybe a tight hug. And then, as this wife did, the spouse will exit. Quickly.

I watched her leave. She couldn't have walked any faster, any more deliberately, unless she'd broken out into a run.

And he... he went and sat down. I took the picture below. I was moved to take it as the contrast between the Soldier as his world has crashed down, and he's trying to transition his mind back to where he's going, and seal off the feelings from his R&R, and the crowd around him.

I admit, it's a poor quality picture. It was on my cell phone. But, if you look in the center, you'll see this Soldier.

This scene plays out very often, too often. I remember playing the part myself.

Just wanted to share something that happened in one corner of the world today.




Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Sick !$@!

Did you see this in the news?

Probably not.

Some sick... there aren't even words to describe this person... poured sulfuric acid on the slide of a children's playground.

And when two year old Payton slid down the slide... through the acid... he of course began to cry uncontrollably. He suffered second- and third-degree burns to his body.

Shockingly, the police spokesman sounds like he's making excuses for the cretins who did this:
"We don't know that the suspects even knew what they were dealing with, whether they knew it was this caustic. They may have been burned themselves," said Cpl. Mike Hill.


Apparently, the stars of society wanted to kick in the door of the school's storage area. To their amazement, there was a gold mine of industrial strength chemicals there. Having been raised to respect property not their own, they decided to pour some of the liquid onto the slide to see if the plastic would burn. When there was no reaction, they left it there. And later, Payton slid through it.

Amazing.

Gun Control

From the AP:
Mayor Shot Dead

Apparently, in a mob hit, someone walked right up to the Mayor and shot him at point-blank range.

In Japan.

Where handguns are strictly banned.

(Caveat - yes, the murder rate with handguns is less there, but I attribute that to the culture difference.)

So, if we can just ban and confiscate all the handguns... there will be no more murders.

Right.


I post this as I saw on another blog someone commented that the idea of Gun Control is to ban all the guns, and then there will be no more deaths, like in Japan. Well, ironically, today... a Japanese Mayor was shot by a handgun.

Because CRIMINALS don't follow the laws ANYWAY!!!!

With Support Like This

It's now after 15 April. And the money is getting tight, as the military is awaiting the supplemental appropriations bill to pass through the government.

The Army is Delaying Maintenance in order to ensure that the operating forces in Iraq and Afghanistan (and elsewhere) receive the money they need to meet mission.

Last thing we need to do is ensure all of the equipment is repaired and in working order.

Think the Democrats in Congress would mind supporting us just a little less? Because at this rate, their Supporting the Troops (But Not the Mission) will get people killed.

I Mourn

Drug-Free Zones... aren't.

Smoke-Free Zones... aren't.

No-Wake Zones... nope.



Gun-Free Zones... sigh. Sadly, no.

In all cases, people violate the law. Laws have always been violated, thus the need for police.

The Massacre at Virginia Tech is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for the lives lost. I mourn for them. Young folks cut down in their prime. Dreams unfulfilled. The repercussions rippling throughout familes, friends, fellow students... the nation.

It is another tragedy. We have rendered ourselves meek. There are a few notable stories where people resisted.

I wonder what the story would have been like if one other person had had a gun. You know the headlines: "Hero Stops Mad Gunman." Part of our society cries out for gun control, yet when the example of an armed populace is demonstrated by a criminal being stopped... we all applaud.

Mr. Cho violated the Gun-Free Zone. He will not be punished, as he is dead. Those students who abided by the Gun-Free Zone were punished, with their deaths.

We remove from ourselves not just the ability, but the will to self-defend. That's the true insidious nature of such bans on guns. It's because, as a society, we are collectively giving over our defense, in toto, to someone else. We surrender before the first shot is fired.

And the ultimate fallacy is that a criminal will violate the law anyway, so the only ones affected by the bans are those who end up dead because they were disarmed.


And because we've removed our will to self-defend, we don't even try. Look around your office, your home... how many weapons do you see? (Those of you in the police or military, it's no fair counting your side-arms.) I count quite a few, without walking into the kitchen - which is a veritable bazaar of weapons - and I can imagine that if properly motivated, I could come up with a few more.

But we have removed the will to self-defend, and so we don't try so hard. A bullet in the back of Mr. Cho's skull would have done wonders. So would a fire extinguisher, lots of big heavy textbooks, desks, whatever. Not deriding those who died or were wounded... their loss is a tragedy.

I mourn. I mourn for all the loss. The senselessness of it all.

I mourn that there wasn't one more gun

Saturday, April 14, 2007

1000 Words


Image from Sack over at the Star Tribune.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Conspiracies Abound

A while back, a friend shared a book with me. It was Silent America by Bill Whittle. You may, or more likely may not, recognize him from his blogging at Eject!Eject!Eject!.

His latest post (H/T - Michelle Malkin) is incredibly well written (as is often true) and puts into words what has often frustrated me about conspiracy theorists. That to believe the conspiracy, you have to believe the absolute worst about everything and everyone... the worst about the country, the worst about those who serve it, and the worst about your fellow neighbors.

And what it takes to reach that point in your mind... is hard to understand.

Please, take a look at what Bill has to say. And if you'd like to read more of his, click the link to Amazon at the beginning of the post.

The Week In News

With nary a peep from some of the usual channels, I'd like to recommend that you take a look at this blog here. I was laughing uncontrollably. I've also added the embed below so you can view it here...

(H/T to Michelle Malkin.)



Sunday, April 08, 2007

Darfur

Today, in church, the pastor took a moment to include in his litany of areas of the world crying out for our help... Darfur.

It's a tragedy. It absolutely is. Over 400,000 are suspected of having died already.

The reason for this is, essentially, a conflict between the Janjaweed and various rebel groups. Most of those killed are caught in the cross-fire.

And there are quite a few calling for our involvement. They want us to fly in with our military strength and put a stop to the violence.

To end the civil war.

To place our troops in between two sides shooting each other.

In an area of the world with no national security significance to the United States.


But... wait. Aren't these the same concerns that are raised on why we should withdraw from Iraq? It's a civil war. Our troops are caught in a crossfire. Iraq has nothing to do with the United States.


(Freebie for radical leftists... Darfur doesn't even have oil.)

So, in all seriousness... why Darfur? It doesn't meet the requirements that the anti-war folks are stating for getting us out of Iraq.

What's the Brainstorming Session Like?

This is beyond the pale, but not completely surprising given some organizations' tendencies to protest through inappropirate means.

Many are familiar with the White House Easter Egg Roll. It's history goes back to the 1870's.

This is usually a joyous, happy time... children are invited onto the normally restrictive White House grounds and they have a great time.

Luckily, we have people in the country who can help us see those festivities through a more balanced view.

Take a look here.

Classy.

Nice touch.

I don't mind the message they're trying to get across - unexploded ordnance IS a problem. But, isn't there a better way?

I would love to sit in on the brainstorming sessions that eventually evolve into events like these. How do you get to the point where you take a festive children's activity and thrust the brutality of war into it? There's such a thing as time and place - the message can still be spread without ruining a wonderful childhood activity.

Shame.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fred Thompson

Former Sen. Fred Thompson, and quite possibly a future presidential candidate, has posted a column over at RedState.com.

Take a peek. It's a good read.

President Ahmadinejad the Proctologist

We were probed. As surely as a visit to a proctologist, the West was just probed by Iran.

What do I mean?

Iran, under President Ahmadinejad, is trying to achieve an ascendancy. As is classic and time-worn, when trouble brews domestically, focus the populace elsewhere.

President Ahmadinejad would like to achieve his goals of making Iran a super-state in the Middle East. Subduing, and quite possibly annexing, Iraq next door (not the same as our version of quelling the insurgency - his version of subduing means that the West is out of there). Giving Israel ample reason to wonder if there will be a tomorrow for the Jews. Restoring pride and power to Persia.

The West stands in his way. Much like Germany saw the the need to conquer Europe to consolidate control and to facilitate goals of a super-race, and Japan needed the United States pacified to free its access to natural resources for its empire, Iran (Persia) needs the West to back away.

Iran (Persia) could easily close off trade through the Straits of Hormuz. But, they know (or now, may only suspect) that quick military reaction would result. Thirty years of Western embargoes have affected their navy and air force, but luckily, they can still shop at Russia's flea markets, so they are not toothless.

What's important before waging war is having some idea of how your enemy may react. Will they fight back Will they stand by? Will they capitulate? How much fire is in their belly?

So, you probe. You test your enemy. See how they respond to low provocation.

And that's what Iran is doing. Between putting forces in Iraq - where they can formulate dissension AND closely observe Western forces - and the snatch and grab of British sailors and Marines... Iran is studying us.

And they're not disappointed. We have emboldened them with the latest reaction by the Brits. The culture in that part of the world respects strength. And allowing your uniformed personnel to be taken with, at most, stern talk, and quite likely prisoner trades and other rewards for your behavior, doesn't strike fear in the hearts for future operations.

"They" are coming.

Iran has not suddenly rolled over and realized thirty years of chanting "Death to the Great Satan" was a bad idea... they're just becoming more motivated and mobilized.

They are rejoicing in the weakness that is enveloping the West, as the United States' forces are stretched amazingly thin and hampered by strict rules of engagement and lackluster support at home, and its allies are few and far between. They have made sufficient economic inroads with a majority of the big players (Russia, China, Germany, France) to make them think twice about risking their money for a war or sanctions.

So, let's be prepared, and realize what's coming. President Ahmadinejad did not get a wild hare in his head just before Easter for nothing; you do NOT rise to his level in a country (any country, ours included) by being a complete idiot (sorry, liberals).

We were probed. We will be probed again. How will we react next time?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Questions for Her Majesty's Sailors

I've been quiet. Not wanting to say too much while the crisis was going on. But, they have now been released and are back in England.

I first raised some concerns in a chat with a friend last week. She seemed rather shocked by some of my questions and statements, but I tried to show her where I was coming from.

I was surprised about how this all started. Really, a foreign navy takes fifteen sailors and Marines prisoner (* - let's get the lingo right, too... they weren't hostages; what Iran did was an act of war, and thus, the fifteen were Prisoners...) and not a single defensive shot is fired?

Not one?

Iran shows up, says, "You are my prisoner", and the Brits shrug and say, "Ok"?

No one got on the radio and said, "Hey, Captain... there are some Iranians here trying to capture us..."? There's a big FRIGATE over there... surely force could have been brought to bear to protect those sailors.

I can't imagine the betrayal to find out that no one's got your back when another country comes up, points weapons at you, and takes you away.


Something else that bugged me about this... how quickly the Sailors "confessed". This was a big debate between my friend and I.

In the United States, we have the Code of Conduct. Memorized it in Basic training. It's posted everywhere, and we even carry it around with us.


Article I
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.


Article II
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.


Article III
If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.


Article IV
Should I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.


Article V
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.


Article VI
I will never forget that I am an American fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.


Article 1 is very simply put, and eloquent. It reminds us of what our mission in the military is, and the stakes.

Article 2. This is what I'm talking about above. There were means to resist. The Sailors were armed. Plus, there was that FRIGATE nearby.

Article 3. The reason for this is clear. You don't cease being in the military when captured. You're expected to still resist. And one of the means to resist is to not accept any favors. Accepting such favors is one way that captors can make inroads and begin to "break" you and divide the group.

Article 4. Basically, I won't cooperate. Remember, as a prisoner, you do not have the whole picture. You're separated, and unable to remain a cohesive unit. You must "keep the faith". Each prisoner must do their part and take comfort that all other prisoners should be doing the same thing.

Article 5. Very simple. Keep your mouth shut. (But, SCEagle... what if they are tortured? Or holding a gun to their comrade? See Article 1 and Articles 3 and 4.) You do not have the big picture. And your statements, or "confessions", can easily circumscribe whatever efforts your nation is trying to accomplish.

Article 6. Don't lose faith. Don't lose faith in your God, and in your nation to get you back.


Sure, it's easy to sit here in the comfort of my home and pontificate. *I* wasn't captured. Didn't go through what we didn't see on Iranian TV.

Right.

Being in the military, one has to accept certain terms. Part of it is covered in Article 1. I am prepared to give my life. It doesn't say under what conditions... (Well, if my helicopter is shot down, sure... but, if I'm a prisoner, all bets are off... nope, that's not the way it goes.)

It's not easy... maybe they're threatening to remove fingers of your buddy? Or have one of those big knives held to your friend's neck? Maybe you're not prepared to watch your fellow comrade in arms get raped? Keep in mind, they also have Article 1. Everyone has to stay strong.

Imagine how this would have turned out if one of the sailors had been hurt? Can you imagine the President of Iran getting the word that one of the sailor's had been mutilated or killed? How do you say, "Oh $!@*" in Farsi? He would have realized that a line had been crossed (in addition to the MANY other lines already crossed, but this one would be big and bold) and Iran may soon have wrath raining down on it. No way to cover that up.

The first "confession" came very quickly. And supposedly, all fifteen confessed. Shame on them.

I hope that all of Her Majesty's armed forces are not as weak, though I fear they are. There have been so many cutbacks, and reductions... they're a shadow of what they once were. Note, it was United States Navy carriers that were doing exercises off the coast of Iran, not the Royal Navy.

Still surprised the HMS Cornwall didn't intervene and allowed her Sailors and Marines to be captured. Without a shot.

There are a lot of questions that need to be asked now that the prisoners are home. Judging by how quickly they gave in to the Iranians, we should have our answers by Monday.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Free Bi-Annual Vacation to Middle East

It seems there's a memorandum put out by the Staff Director of the House Armed Services Committee. The "Global War on Terror" may no longer be referred to as such, according to language on page 11.

Now, I've read it. And I understand the purpose of a "style guide". I don't truly believe there's a nefarious element here.

However, I can't resist one little jab.

So, if there were a reference to one of those nice and pretty ribbons the Army handed out by the bajillions, would it be okay to still call it the "Global War on Terrorism Service Medal" (or Expeditionary Medal, as the case may be)? Or, will it be like the BINGO song from our youth...

(clap)(clap)(clap)(clap) Service Medal...
(clap)(clap)(clap)(clap) Service Medal...
(clap)(clap)(clap)(clap) Service Medal...
and Medal was it's Name-o...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Government Health Care

Talk to anyone who is a vict..., er um... user, of the government's free health care, be it VA, military, local clinic... what have you.

You'll hear all kinds of stories - usually about how long the wait is, or you can't get seen, or you have schedule appointments months later just to be seen (frequent occurance to me).

And it occurs to me.

All Pro-Life advocates (aka, anti-abortion) should immediately contact their representatives to enact national socialized medicine.

Why?

Because, in that world, the waiting list for an abortion will be at least 10-12 months.

Passing thought.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pointless Maneuvering

I would be negligent if I didn't comment (again) on the Iraq Supplemental vote.

Both the House and the Senate have now passed, albeit just barely, their own versions of the bill. Two notable qualities of the bills - they both set a deadline for our surrender and they fund more than the military needs, although Popeye does love his spinach.

What stood out today was the Honorable Rep. Pelosi's comments to the President (side-note: some of you may notice that one of the features of my posts is that I will ALWAYS use respect to those in their various positions, personal feelings aside. I feel it's lacking in today's discourse, and that lack is hindering debate. Compare with other blogs - you know where...).

"On this very important matter, I would extend a hand of friendship to the president, just say to him, 'Calm down with the threats, there's a new Congress in town. We respect your constitutional role. We want you to respect ours.' This war must end. The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of the war. Let's see how we can work together."

"I just wish the president would take a deep breath, recognize again that we each have our constitutional role and we should respect that in terms of each other."


Oh really. She wants respect. And, she wants the Commander-in-Chief to respect Congress' Constitutional role (please, show me where, Madame Speaker) in restricting the military conduct of our military.

Respect.

Wow.

The Democrats are insisting on pursuing a piece of legislation that is doomed to a veto, and is not veto-proof. For what purpose?

Why is the Democrat leadership going to the mat for this?

The naive view would be that the House would do two bills, one to fund the military, and then one bill, perhaps a very short one, saying that the Congress is curtailing the Commander-in-Chief's authority to deploy troops to Iraq. That way, the troops get their funding (see: "We Support the Troops") AND they get a very clean, no manipulation, vote.

But, that's not happening here. There's all kinds of bait, bribes, pork laden into this bill. If the principle were so clear, and from what I read in the MSM, and hear from the Democrats, there is a loud hue and cry from the American people demanding the Democrats take action (and to think, it's almost April... I'm glad it's something important.)

So, with 18 days remaining before the military starts running out of funds, according to a projection by the Defense chiefs... the money is tied up in political game-playing.

And Rep. Pelosi wants respect.

Madame Speaker, will that respect come when the military must begin curtailing training flying hours for its pilots? Or, will it be when deploying units can't practice live fire ranges because there's an ammunition shortage, and the troops downrange need the bullets? Maybe we'll respect you more when the fitness centers, family centers, Yellow Ribbon Rooms, and other MWR facilities are forced to reduce their hours due to lack of funds?

Speaker Pelosi does have a response to the concern about the military running out of money:
"The fact is the president of United States as the Commander-In-Chief has weakened our military. Why would he be saying to us we're running out of money when it's only a few weeks. Leadership would have required for him to have anticipated these needs."


'It's only a few weeks.' (For a Congress that historically has never been known for it's speed.) My favorite: 'Leadership would have required for him to have anticipated these needs.' Madame Speaker, earlier you were quoted referring to your Constitutional roles. In the quote, you mistakenly alluded to a role governing the military. Here, you again make a Constitutional mistake. You say the President had the Leadership responsibility to authorize the funding. How? In the Constitution, Article 1, Section 7, paragraph 1, "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives...".

Madame Speaker, the President has no Constitutional role to introduce a spending bill in the US House. Exactly how would you have preferred he demonstrate the leadership you felt he lacked?



In short, today Congress failed the troops. They announced our willingness to surrender, or run away within a set period of time, to our enemy. They announced that the Congress no longer supports the mission. And, I'm sure that message was not lost upon the enemy - either our known enemy now, or future enemies we haven't met yet.

Finally, I'd like to share where some other folks have posted their views.
  • Tanker Brothers
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