Tuesday, February 27, 2007

No Excuses Anymore

Once again the tv faux news show, '60 Minutes' was turned off in our house Sunday night. I saw it coming. I was in the next room as the show came on. The upcoming stories were introduced. The husband voiced potential exploding head syndrome. I heard the reporter's name. Oh no. Lara Logan strikes again. As the story gets underway, the husband raises his voice and bellows, "Who the hell is Lara Logan?" I try to explain she is a faux reporter of British origin, utilized by CBS News to bash America and President Bush at every opportunity. Dan Rather in drag.

Her faux reporting has been catching the attention of the blogosphere. She has been outed as using, shall we say, dubious sources for her 'reports' concerning the military and operations during the war on terrorism.

Her latest hit piece concerned a story about a group called Appeal for Redress. She described them as "It's basically a grass roots movement amongst active duty, serving members of the U.S. military." She claimed "We were very careful to look thoroughly at the group, and to look into their military backgrounds, and to make sure that this wasn't people with something hidden in their past or some reason that wasn't the stated reason to be involved in this." That spoke volumes to the cynical side of my mind. If she is stressing her disclaimers so ardently, for her, then I knew it was another faux piece.

Many military bloggers took her story on after it aired. They did the research she claimed to have done. Their conclusions about the group were a little different than Lara's. Interesting.

The husband swore at the tv just into the report and changed the channel. He has absolutely no patience with being taken for a fool. I did a little research, too.

From the blog, Mudville Gazette, I learned of the term in public relations known as Astroturfing. From Wikipedia: In politics and advertising, the term describes formal public relations campaigns which seek to create the impression of being a spontaneous, grassroots behavior. Hence the reference to the "AstroTurf" (artificial grass) is a metaphor to indicate "fake grassroots" support. The goal of such campaign is to disguise the agenda of a political client as an independent public reacting to some political entity - a politician, political group, product, service, event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both over ("outreach", "awareness", etc) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by anything from an individual pushing heir own personal agenda through to highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations.

Which takes us directly to "Appeal for Redress" and their website. This alleged group of anti-war soldiers was pimped out by Fenton Communications, the public relations firm for MoveOn.org. Need I go further?

The President of an Indiana based non-profit, the Fourth Freedom Forum, who brags of raising more than $300,000 or Win Without War coalition, is the brains behind this Appeal for Redress publicity campaign.

Back in October, the New York Sun did a story about all this. Hundreds of newspapers covered the story of this campaign but the New York Sun was the only one to tackle who was behind it all. No surprise, the other outlets were complacent in swallowing it whole.

The group's self proclaimed front man is Jonathan Hutto. Hutto is quite the piece of work. He is in the Navy, based out of Norfolk. He enlisted in the Navy in January 2004, according to his words, after graduating from Howard University. He taught 5th grade and worked for a non-profit after graduation, then enlisted. The non-profit? Amnesty International. In 2002, Hutto is listed as the Membership Program coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2001 Hutto spoke at an event billed as The Fight against Police Violence. A co-speaker was Glova Scott, member of the Socialist Workers Party. In 2003, as the U.S. went into Iraq, Hutto was involved with anti-war demonstrations. In 2004, he joins the Navy. On the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, he serves as a Mass Communications Specialist and Photographer. In the summer of 2006, he is recognized as the carrier's outstanding "Blue Jacket of the Quarter".

He is a native of Atlanta. He is a black American.

In September, 2006, Hutto published an article in a socialist newspaper claiming racism and discrimination suffered by his service in the Navy. In October 2006, Fenton Communications launches "Appeal for Redress" web site. Hutto is described only as a "Navy seaman based in Norfolk, Va., who set up the Web site month ago."

Got that?

So, we have Socialist organizations in bed with public relations firms promoting faux grassroots organizations using the American military against the war effort. And don't forget CBS News and Lara Logan as willing participants.

If the military bloggers uncovered the front man's true history, why didn't CBS or Logan? Or, did they, and just don't care? Anything for a sensational story, no matter the consequence?

Who's Logan's mentor? Dan Rather?

You remember what happened to ole Dan, don't you?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Gonna Be A Bright, Bright Sunshiney Day

Spring is here, my dear. We flirted with a couple of days last week with temps in the upper 70's and requiring the running of air conditioning. We are there again today with the bonus of cool evenings.

Do you know what time it is? It's Rodeo time here in Houston. Houston may be Space City the rest of the year, but for the 75th year, it is time for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It's big. It's Texas. Lots of bar-b-que consumed at the cook off challenge held over the weekend. The rodeo and livestock show officially kick off tomorrow. Lots of big name entertainment. Lots of fresh faced young people showing off their lovingly raised animals for auction. The proceeds of the livestock sale go to college scholarships for the exhibitors.

A trail ride from the San Antonio area to Houston is the traditional ritual, covered wagons and all, and it rolled into town Friday.

I've read some interesting articles about the traditions of the rodeo here, as I am not a native Texan. I learned of the international outreach of the rodeo. A special international committee arranges, but does not pay for, trips for those interested in experiencing all there is to offer. Two visitors highlighted were a father and son from Israel. They are being hosted by a man who grew up in South Africa before moving to Israel and meeting the visiting duo. He came to the U.S. in the '70's and is an estate planner in a Houston suburb now.

The father and son are ranchers, the son a third generation horseman. They are happily anticipating some shopping here for Western attire and horse supplies. The clothing attire available in Israel but the horse supplies are shipped from the U.S., often from the Houston area. They enjoyed the parade Saturday, even in the light rain and were surprised by the big turnout in the weather. The father would clap his hands when a marching band passed by playing 'Deep in the Heart of Texas', the article said. He and the son had a picture taken in front of a group of wagons. "I am going to enlarge these pictures," he said afterward. "And stick them to the stall walls of my stable back home."


Most impressive of the articles I read over the weekend, however, were the two I read on two different women, champion barrel racers. One article was in the Houston Chronicle coverage and one article was in the current issue of 'Texas Monthly' magazine. As a woman my age, I was astonished that a 58 year old woman was still competing and winning championships in barrel racing. When I think of rodeo competitions, I confess, I think of cowboys and cowgirls in their twenties and thirties. Hats off to Mary Burger of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, the 2006 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's World Championship winner. Her horse's name is Rare Fred and she says he's "the smart side of dumb". He's rewarded with an apple when he does well. "He doesn't have to win, he just has to try." I like her.

Martha Josey says of her age, "I'd tell you, but I don't believe it myself." Her hometown is Marshall, Texas. That's up in the northeastern part of Texas. Not far from Shreveport, LA, where I grew up. Her father was one of the first directors of the National Quarter Horse Association. She and her husband set up the first barrel racing school in the sixties. She says they've had over 80,000 students and their horses attend. She will be inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame with her husband, R.E. Josey, a calf-roping champion in April. She is already a member of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

Giddy up.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday's Finish Up

So, from my perch, I'd say Obama won the dust up theatre with Hillary. His Hollywood heavyweight was able to vent a bit about Hollywood's former idols, Bill and Hill, and Obama was able to show the panicky side of Hillary's campaign.

Obama was here in Houston last night for a fundraiser. No press allowed, as has been his strategy so far. The least expensive ticket went for $250 so I thought that sounded like a bargain after the Hollywood soiree.

The big headline from Obama was he now calls for a May 1 redeployment, surrender, of the troops with completion still by March 2008. He supports the amendment being crafted in the Senate by 30 or so Dems calling for the micromanagement of Congress of the war.

Contrast that bit of unconstitutional legislation being drafted with the cries by the unserious and silly Americans belittling the Bush administration's efforts to keep us safe at home and charges of losing 'rights' here. It's nonsense, of course, but we continue to hear it. Those crying loss of 'free speech' are not silenced. We always hear their complaints, for heavens sake, in the press. What loss? The Dixie Chicks? Well, besides treason on foreign soil by the chubby one's 'free speech' opinion, did those not agreeing with her actions not have the same freedom to voice their opinion? Does it only go one way? All they had to do was wait a year and their base at the Grammy's rewarded them. Big Deal. They became very wealthy off the very audience they now claim they never were a part of. Those stupid country people, they say.

The only constitutional standing Congress has is the power of the purse in time of war. They can cut the funding, period. They cannot micromanage the war from Washington, D.C. Let's remember that lesson from Vietnam.

Yet, the Dems do not truly have the courage of their political calculations. They pander and hope for defeat. It's disgusting. The polls show the American populace doesn't want to cut funding to the troops and that is the only power they have to undermine the president. Except the constant bombardment of how horrible things are and how they've been lied to. It is so unserious. How come no one claims Clinton was lying with his conclusions from the very same intelligence? Regime change in Iraq became foreign policy under Clinton in 1998. Because no war with Iraq was declared? Because he didn't have the stomach for disapproval by those who don't get the world picture? Well, that brought 9/11 and we all had to wake up, didn't we? Our national slumber was over.

I was as asleep as everyone else. bin Laden was a threat but not of immediate pursuit, I thought. Clinton was offered bin Laden several times by foreign governments, as it happens. He wimped out. He chose to use court action against terrorists. It seems so crazy now to look back. Hindsight. I'm awake now.

John Howard, Australia's Prime Minister, is sending more troops, not less. Prince Harry is being deployed to Basra. Good on him.

My coffee for the troops was sent this time to FOB Jalalabad Airfield, I've been notified. I hope the troops get their Girl Scout cookies soon.

I hope I get my Girl Scout cookies soon!

The Dems now want to produce a resolution taking away the powers given to Bush to invade Iraq. They were for it before they were against it...

Wasn't a winning strategy for Kerry the last time around. They might want to ponder that a bit now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I Heart Tony Blair

Yeah, Tony Blair is my kind of guy. Strong leadership, confident intelligence, able to open his mind and eyes to see the big picture in the world. Doesn't get better than that. Congrats to his soldiers on the work done in Basra. He's announced his targeted withdrawal plan, if all goes as he hopes, that will be spread out over 2008. I heart Tony Blair.

Contrast true leadership and intelligence with some voices here at home. We have Rep. John Murtha's words after the vote in the House on the non-binding resolution, on his upcoming resolution to be offered: "won't be able to continue. They won't be able to do the deployment. They won't have the equipment. They won't have the training and they won't be able to do the work." The deployment is almost complete by now, I guess he missed that fact. So, I think each and every military family - wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, siblings, children - should let Rep. Murtha know how they appreciate his version of supporting the troops.

According to James Taranto of WSJ online - "Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats would be "relentless". "There will be resolution after resolution, amendment after amendment... just like in the days of Vietnam," Schumer said. "The pressure will mount, the president will find he has no strategy, he will have to change his strategy and the vast majority of our troops will be taken out of harm's way and come home." So, Schumer is finally showing his true stripes openly. Bush Derangement Syndrome trumps victory and the safety of our country. First he says Bush has no strategy, then insists Bush will have to change his strategy.

Still think it's not all about politics and the Presidency in 2008?

Not hearing much from anyone today after a poll has come out with interesting results. It won't get much coverage because it is contrary to what the media and Dems want to continue to spout but : 57% of Americans want to finish the mission
32% favor timed withdrawal
17% favor immediate withdrawal

There is nothing honorable about leaving too soon. The military has won every battle it has been engaged in. Some early results are promising in the Baghdad area. Even al-Sadr turned tail and ran to Iran on the eve of the new Commander's arrival. Gen. Petraeus wrote the book on counter-terrorism. Let him do his job. Let the military take the gloves off and finish the job. Then get the hell out of there. The Iraqis will have to write their own history.

There is absolutely nothing moral in sending troops into harm's way and then ham-stringing them.

And this tidbit from John Edwards: "Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, he remarked, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities." This from a 'Variety' article by Peter Bart. Edwards didn't say the greater threat was the fact that Iran was moving forward on nuclear weapons. No. It's Israel's fault if they decide to protect their nation. Wow. Who's his mentor? Jimma Carter?

I am seeing some interesting signs out there. The primaries and general election are a long way off, in political time. Much will be said between now and then. We'll soon know if the Iraq strategy is successful. One party so indebted to the radical left, so invested in the defeat of their own country, will have questions to answer.

Did they forget they swore to defend and protect the country, hands raised in the air?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mardi Gras

Happy Mardi Gras to all those celebrating today. We have a yummy looking King Cake waiting to be served this evening as dessert. Then the rest will be wonderful with coffee in the morning and so on. With only three of us, it might last several days. Maybe.

Our son is celebrating Mardi Gras by taking a TAKS test at school today. It's the Texas Assessment exam and today's portion is English/Language Arts. He excels in this area so he wasn't stressed out this morning. Just another day.

On the political front, I read Barack Obama is attending a Bevery Hills fundraiser thrown for him by biggies in Hollywood like Steven Speilberg. He did a fundraiser for Barbara Boxer yesterday in California. Boxer isn't up for re-election until 2010 but is nervous about the rumors she may be challenged by Gov. Arnold when the times comes. Wouldn't that be interesting?

Boxer, doing the weasel routine, was sure to say she didn't necessarily endorse Obama for President. Guess she really can't so early on as she was related by marriage to Hill and Bill when her daughter married and had a child with Hill's brother, Tony. That marriage lasted about a half hour, big surprise. He was about 20 years older than her.

Hillary, who now wants a complete withdrawal out of Iraq in 90 days, is claiming she has been speaking for this withdrawal for 2 years. What? I guess that's what her advisor's polling told her to say but crap, who's falling for that nonsense? I really don't know of a more polarizing public figure than this woman. Her husband and her, along with their feel good, let the good times roll administration of the 1990's, because it was a co-presidency you remember, emboldened Saddam by one U.N. resolution being ignored after another. She made the little 'let's go get Saddam' speech like all the others on the Senate floor. I agree the war hasn't been run well but that doesn't mean I want her and her ilk running it from Washington, D.C. with the upcoming election in mind. Obama wants the withdrawal done by March next year so I guess she had to outdo him on the road to surrender and defeat.

She feels quite entitled to the presidency, that one.

Yesterday while campaigning in South Carolina Hillary felt the need to tell the audience she doesn't approve of the Confederate flag being flown. She actually said while we are at war our country should be united under one flag. Yeah, that Hillary. She's a real uniter.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lundi Monday

I would wish you a happy Presidents Day but I refuse to give credence to the holiday. I continue to think it is further proof of the dumbing down of American history to her people.

Presidents Day was created, why? For convenience only. Two very important presidents have a birthday in the month of February so in order for government employees to take another paid day off work, let's lump the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. It's absurd.

The country shuts down for the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., doesn't it. I don't argue that MLK doesn't deserve his national day of recognition. I simply say the president commonly referred to as the father of our country should have his own day of recognition. The same applies to Honest Abe, who freed the slaves. They are all three important days to remember, yet I think we can honor these men and continue on with our daily life.

My husband is at work today. My son is in school today. Notable dead people are remembered every day. A person could argue that if all three of these men were striving for better lives of everyday people, for freedom, then every person of value to a society should be remembered. All citizens doing good works and trying to make a difference are worthy.

So, today I wish you a happy Lundi Monday, the day before Mardi Gras. If I were still a citizen of the great state of Louisiana, my son would be enjoying today off from school. The days around Mardi Gras are non-school days and many people take the time to use for family vacations. I took my son to Montana one year during Mardi Gras week break so he could see and play in snow. Mardi Gras is a holiday in Louisiana. Yet the rest of the country continues on.

Happy Lundi Monday. Makes as much sense as Presidents Day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year

I know my blog is banned in China, as the husband told me so. Mostly all American blogs are, apparently. Still, a shoutout to the Chinese today on the beginning of their new year. Did you know the tradition is to only think good thoughts and positive energy stuff today so that the new year will be focused on what a person wants to happen?

I have a mind full of useless facts. I'm great at trivia games.

A lifetime of obsessive reading does that to a person.

Last night on the BBC America channel, a new show began. It's called 'The State Within' and it was 2 1/2 hours of enjoyable suspense. It's like a Brit/American collaboration of a '24' style show. Tonight and tomorrow night bring more of it as it rolls out for the viewing public. Sharon Gless, if you are old like me and remember 'Cagney and Lacey', plays the U.S. Secretary of Defense. I'm in it for the British accents. So nice.

Check out the website, www.victorycaucus.com, to see if your Republican Senator voted yesterday to betray our country in the war in Iraq. If so, time to let your voice be heard. I wasn't worried about mine but there were seven who voted with the Dems. Every one of the Dems voted yes on the resolution. Ten Senators were absent. Only one was a Dems, Johnson of S.D. who is still hospitalized. The resolution failed anyway, thanks to strong leadership from Mitch McConnell, who I am relieved to see in his position. Fortunately, for the military, he is a leader with a couple.

The encouraging news, a glimmer of hope, coming from the new plan in Baghdad is that since it began last week, violence is markedly down. No soldiers from the coalition have been killed, knock wood. I know the Dems are so strongly invested in our military's defeat there, but, just suppose the surge works and victory wins the day. The sheer dangerousness of the full tilt Bush Derangement Syndrome on the left will be undeniable. Political micromanagement by unworthy foolish old men is, again, not a plan for victory.

Sometimes I feel as though I am a lone voice in the wilderness. I know sometimes I feel as though I'm the only person around with my hair on fire over the implicit threat to our way of life.

I prefer to be Churchill, not Chamberlain. Fortunately, for all of us whether we acknowledge it or not, does President Bush.

Friday, February 16, 2007


"Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that
(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and
(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on Jan. 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.

This is the written text of the legislation your Congress will vote on today, in the House and an attempt of a vote for cloture in the Senate will be offered up. The vote in the House will happen sometime today. It will pass. The vote in the Senate, a rare Saturday vote, will not happen. It's a technical vote and the senators running for the presidency are not happy about interrupting weekend fundraising and working on the most important issue of our day, but there you go. The problem in the Senate is that the majority is not allowing the minority to present a resolution of their choosing to be put to a vote. As the Senate is so closely divided along party lines, nothing can be accomplished without strong bi-partisan support.

Good for Senator McConnell, the Minority Leader, for holding a strong opposition to the tactics of Senator Reid and his minions.

From the Wall Street Journal: "As for how "the troops" themselves feel, we refer readers to Richard Engel's recent story on NBC News quoting Specialist Tyler Johnson in Iraq; "People are dying here. You know what I'm saying...You may [say] 'oh we support the troops.' So you're not supporting what they do. What they's (sic) here to sweat for, what we bleed for and we die for." Added another soldier: "If they don't think we're doing a good job, everything we've done here is all in vain." In other word, the troops themselves realize that the first part of the resolution is empty posturing, while the second is deeply immoral."

If you are a Republican voter, I strongly recommend you search the vote tally when the vote is taken. If your representative is in the 'yes' column to the passage of the resolution of defeatism, do whatever you can to insure your rep doesn't return to Congress in 2008. Let your voice be heard.

The white flag Republicans will be stopped.

If you are an informed, serious voter, note how this vote came about. Note how the majority didn't allow the minority to introduce amendments for a vote.

I direct you to a brand new website, begun only 4 days ago. It is www.victorycaucus.com and it is an offshoot of the petition online that I posted about when this whole non-binding resolution crap began. I invite you to read what is written there. If you agree, Join them.

I did.

Make no mistake about it, this resolution is the beginning of the end, as the Dems proudly proclaim. And, yes, it is an exercise in immorality. Why else would Congress so strongly support a new leader heading up the President's strategy in Iraq, Gen. Petraeus, and then vote to make his success impossible? Why else would the Congress jerk the rug out from under those who have volunteered to fight for our freedoms? This is how you support the troops?

Murtha did a radio interview as part of a fundraising event for MoveOn.org yesterday. He spoke of his upcoming actions to cut the funding for the surge and then the war in general. He is a pathetic, dithering old man, long past his prime and an embarrassment to all of us. His words are broadcast worldwide and the enemy celebrates.

"A newly confirmed commander is about to lead 20,000 American soldiers on a dangerous and difficult mission to secure Baghdad, risking their lives for their country. And the message their elected Representatives will send them off to battle with is a vote declaring their inevitable defeat."

Those words from the Wall Street Journal ring true.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


What do you do if you don't have the nerve to tell a fellow lawmaker with an office next door that his cigar smoke bothers you? You call the Capitol Police and tell them to let your neighbor know of your displeasure. Rep. Keith Ellison, that first peaceful, love your neighbor first Muslim in Congress, seems to be lacking on simple office courtesy. Instead of first, finding out the rules, which do indeed allow a member of the House to smoke a stogy in his/her own office, and then send over an aide if you are chicken, to voice complaint, no, he saw fit to just call the police. They then told Rep. Tom Tancredo, the neighboring officeholder, a complaint was lodged and they were sent to check it out. Then the police told Ellison's office workers that, in fact, Tancredo was not breaking any rules.

Love your neighbor indeed. By the way, the two have never met. And Tancredo uses an air purifying system in his office with three running units.

What do you do, as a member of a State Senate, if you, as an elected lawmaker, don't have the courage of your convictions when it comes time to vote on the Senate floor? You vote 'present' instead of yes or no. It is the coward's way out. Then you write a book about your personal lofty ideas for the country, because you are just a good guy leading the way for all us fellow citizens, and state in said book that sometimes hard choices have to be made and lawmakers have to cast difficult votes.

Senator Obama, running for President of the U.S. now, was such a politician. Oops. These recorded votes made in Illinois' Senate were not the 'who cares?' type of votes. These votes require thought, research and personal conviction. Some examples were: partial birth abortion, carrying a concealed weapon charge lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor, privacy of sex abuse victims with sealed records, two parental notification abortion bills, prohibiting strip clubs 1,000 feet from schools, churches and day care facilities. His votes of 'present' counted as no votes under the rules of the Illinois Senate.

If you feel the need to lecture the country on how we should all be feeling and doing good for the country, it seems to me you should walk the walk yourself. If you are an elected legislator, do you not have a responsibility to represent your constituency and vote your conscience? If there is a technical problem with the way the bill is written or if it contains what is known as a poison pill, then you owe it to your voters to explain your failure to lead with your voting record.

Is there a conflict of interest if you are a recognized elected leader in your state who also has an advertising agency, and a candidate running for President gives your company a big contract for said candidate's campaign, which requires you to support publicly this candidate over the others in your party running for President? Seems Rep. Darrell Johnson of South Carolina, courted by all Dems running for President and a supporter of the Edwards campaign last time around, is such a legislator. The Clinton campaign bought his support. Johnson, a popular black Representative and a go-to guy in South Carolina politics for the minority community, is publicly supporting Clinton.

Do you view the fact that rather than stay in Baghdad and rally your supporters to fight the U.S. and coalition forces, you flee to Iran because you fear the new military surge policy as a victory for the coalition? Muqtada al-Sadr has fled as the beginning of the new strategy, the last chance for the Iraqis, is beginning. He is believed to be in Tehran with family. He is viewed as the main threat to the struggling unity of Iraqis and a high value target for the military operations in Baghdad. al-Sadr is a radical Shiite cleric and loud anti-America critic. As Saddam was ousted from power, al-Sadr hoisted himself on the Iraqis by harnessing the support of young, poor males opposing the U.S. military action and longing for Shiite control of the country.

al-Sadr is a young thug, in his mid-30's and possessing a talent for street politics. He and his young supporters are capable of rounding up thousands of marching protesters when the situation calls for a good street protest. He is suspected in killing a cleric and is a strong supporter of al-Maliki.

Rather than let the beginnings of hints of progress flourish in Baghdad, the U.S. House of Representatives continues to stoke the divides of U.S. politics in response to the surge. Pelosi and Murtha are implementing a tactic known as the slow bleed. Instead of having the courage to bring a vote to cut funding the war in Iraq, as they hold as the endgame of their political course, they are bringing votes on non-binding resolutions as a pre-cursor of the binding resolutions to come. They intend to bring forth benchmarks impossible for the military, our military, to meet in order to refuse to fund the troops to participate in the surge. It is a back door way of leading as the majority in the House. They are partnering up with anti war groups, flush with funding, to produce commercials coming to a tv near you, in order to pressure supporters of the military action. The intent of the ads is to force those in the House and Senate unwilling to vote to cut off funding because they feel it does not show support of the military, rightly so, and vote to leave the military hanging in the wind.

They vote to send the troops into harms way, with Presidential authorization, then when times are tough and the battle is not yet won, they publicly criticize thru their willing cohorts in the American press which is broadcast throughout the world. They try to micromanage the war. When all else fails, cut the funding and force the military home. There's your 'we support the troops' in action.

There is a member of the Texas delegation in the House, Representative Johnson, who is a former POW of the Vietnam war. He encourages the House members to vote against the resolution being speechified, not debated, on the floor this week. "Words can't fully describe the unspeakable damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground," he said. He is a former F-4 Phantom combat pilot, now 76 years of age. "When they pulled the funds for Vietnam, we were still POWs. We thought we were going to be there forever."

Murtha, a former Marine held up as a veteran against this continuing war in Iraq, is using the low polling numbers of this president and the American public's growing weariness with the daily news from Baghdad to push his agenda. It's his right. It is also the right of the opposing views to be here in the People's House. Johnson is praised by both parties as a hero and patriot. His bill, however, competing with the purposed resolution is not being allowed on the floor of the House. These kinds of tactics, when used by the former Republican majority, were loudly criticized by Pelosi and Murtha and all of the others. When she took over control of the House, Pelosi said such tactics would not be used anymore.

The resolution works to demoralize the troops on the ground. To think otherwise is utter folly.

Things to ponder.

In the present.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Consuming Valentines

The winner of the Westminster Dog Show is an English springer spaniel named Diamond Jim. Seems an appropriate name for a winner at Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day. Did you go out and do your part to make cash registers ring? I gave my guys gift bags of candy. The husband is a fan of dark chocolate so he got his favorite brand in a heart shaped box. The son was given a bag full of plastic heart shaped containers filled with his favorites. Plus one gigantic size candy bar.

I'm a giver.

I made brownies yesterday as a pre-holiday treat so I enjoyed one with coffee this morning. Seemed like the thing to do.

Do you wonder where the penguin fascination comes from here in Pondering Penguin land? Well, it comes from the first Valentine's Day celebrated with the husband, the future husband at that time. It was February, 1982. Known for a flair for the dramatic, the husband gave me one of those huge valentines that first Valentine's Day. The design on it was a big colony of penguins in the traditional artic setting. I loved it and the penguin has been a sentimental favorite since.

Come on, who doesn't smile at penguins?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Not Ready For Prime Time

As the non-binding resolutions are spoken to in the House, no debates, no counter-resolution by the Republicans allowed to be entered, only 5 minutes speeches on the House floor by those wishing to make them, we are told this is the first of the actions to 'bring the soldiers home'. Speaker Pelosi says the Dems support the troops but not the surge.

For the first time, as the leadership in the military and the administration try one last chance to succeed in turning over Baghdad and the Anbar Province to the Iraqi people, the House of Representatives is on the way, gleefully, to cut funds and support to our troops on the battlefield. Pelosi is treating the message of the last election as a demand of surrender from the battle. By playing to the far left in the election season, Pelosi, who voted against the war in the first place, is determined to go hand in hand with her pal Murtha at the expense of the military. The two of them are so heavily invested in defeat, they are past the point of no return from the argument.

Barack Obama, the freshman senator from Illinois running for President, said at a political rally, the date to get the troops out of Iraq is March 2008 and the money and lives of the soldiers lost have been 'wasted'. There's some support for ya. As soon as he began to hear some of the blowback from that thoughtless statement, he apologized. Kinda. The quote was: "We ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged, and to which we now have spent $400 billion and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted." "Even as I said it, I realized I had misspoken". So, why not apologize on the spot? Because the red meat was already thrown to the slobbering crowd.

John Edwards hired two bloggers, both young women known for foul mouthed, far left rhetoric blogging posts, yet refused to fire them when the blowback of that move began. Then one resigned from the campaign. So, instead of showing the courage of a leadership decision about his own campaign, he just let the bloggers hang in the wind and finally one resigned. His wife, Elizabeth, in the mode of Hillary Clinton, blames the controversy on the 'right wing'. Ok, then. Not a bad choice of hiring these two, it's the 'right wing'.

Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. is on the exploratory committee for Sen. Sam Brownback from Kansas. She likes his conservative views in governing, she said. As I watched her talk of her support for Brownback, I was reminded of an interesting article I read written by a woman member of a think tank about the Republican party membership of the King family. The article made sense to me concerning ideas and attitudes of a past time. Dr. King would be booted out of the party now, though, as they vote 90% for Democrats. It's amazing, isn't it that this one group in our country votes exclusively for one party, with few exceptions. Never mind their votes are taken for granted and once in office, the white politicians continue to talk and not produce for them. But they'll pull that lever the same way next time. And they'll call conservative blacks the usual names: Oreo, Uncle Tom. Pretty shallow. The social programs promised to minority voters produced generations of welfare dependent families, poorly educated young people and runaway fathers of babies. All in the name of buying votes and keeping citizens dependent. I don't see great results coming from that.

President Bush has done more for minorities in this country during his terms in office than even Clinton did, the first black president according to Toni Morrison.

John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia, has called out Obama for putting a date certain on withdrawal from Iraq. He said he will not back down from criticizing Obama for his naive look at foreign policy. Obama says if the U.S. will just leave Iraq, then the Sunni and Shiite will talk and work things out. Right. Obama balked at Howard's statement by calling Howard an allie of Bush. Well, Barack, Australia is an allie of the U.S., not just Bush. Barack demanded Howard commit 20,000 more troops to Iraq before he criticized him again. Where did that particular number come from, Barack? I thought you wanted less troops there.

Not ready for prime time.

Monday, February 12, 2007

You Go Girl

Saturday night the guys and I attended the performance of a new play, debuting this weekend in town. Locally written and produced, it was called 'You-Go-Girl.com. It was a musical with a cast of about 20 women, young, old, all shapes and sizes. Each scene introduced characters from different periods in time and the woman's point of view. Included was a scene of an Afghan woman's story, sending her young daughter and son to America for a better life. A performance of the play on Sunday night was also a benefit for charity benefiting women in today's Afghanistan.

I had high hopes for the play. I am sorry to say I was bored out of my mind. The last couple of scenes of Act Two were good, but they were the exceptions. It just seemed to be so passe for today. The whole empowering women theme seems so yesterday. This is what women my age were doing in the 70's, for goodness sake.

I know it's not a perfect world. It's just how I felt.

I watched the stories of two women this weekend that seemed so much more worthy of passing time with, I must say. They were both two brave, outspoken women who have moved to his country to escape the clutches of extreme Muslim laws that truly take freedom from the ordinary woman. Both are under threats of death and both have published books telling their stories.

My favorite Muslim woman today is Irshad Manji, the author of 'The Trouble with Islam'. She is Canadian and still a practicing Muslim today. She lives in a house with bullet proof windows and receives death threats on any given day. She is a voice of moderation and intelligence.

She is very brave.

I first saw her on tv over a year ago and watch her whenever I stumble across her. Her book is on my to-read stack. Her intelligent, articulate voice is what draws me to listen to her.

The second woman is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman from Somalia who escaped a forced marriage by fleeing her country for Europe. She has lived in Holland for many years and was an assistant to Theo van Gogh. You may have read of van Gogh's murder by radical Islamists last year. They didn't approve of van Gogh's art.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was so distressed over bin Laden's words after 9/11 that she denounced his quotes from the Quran. "when you meet the unbelievers, strike them in the neck" being one. She went from a voluntarily cloaked Muslim in Somalia, to show her true belief in Islam, to a voice for Muslim women. Her book, 'Infidel' is also in my to-read stack. I would be much more rushed to read these two books if I hadn't listen to these women so much recently. Finally we hear more moderate voices of Islam. There is a huge void out there that need filling.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has since converted to Christianity.

She lives with the death threats. She speaks out anyway. How many girls born in Digfeer Hospital in Mogadishu in November 1969 are even alive today", she asks. "And how many have a real voice?"

She is a brave woman.

When I read and watch these women and others recently, finally able to begin to get the messages of moderate Muslims out against the backdrop of radicals bastardizing the religion of Islam, so many other issues seem so small.

Americans ask, 'Where are the voices of moderation in Islam?' Many are not speaking out due to fear. The radical arm of the religion has infiltrated into this country of ours. To ignore that fact is to ignore the threat to our way of life. You may think this sounds a bit alarmist but I listen to those who warn us.

They've lived it.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Heads in the Clouds

So, today it is official - the campaign season's favorite son is in the race. Barack Obama declared his intentions in Springfield, Illinois. Springfield? Sure, why not. Home of Abraham Lincoln. Nevermind the two have nothing in common, politically speaking, other than American citizenship. I think that's about it.

Tomorrow night, it is reported, Obama and Mrs. Obama will be interviewed on "60 Minutes" by Steve Kroft. I'm sure it'll be the standard puff piece done to benefit those they are slobbering over in real time. Here's an interesting quote from the upcoming interview; "I'm not sure I decided it. I think ... if you look African American in this society, you're treated as an African American." Since he was raised in a white household, the Kroft was asking when Obama decided to 'be black'. Yep. There's your 60 Minutes style question.

Kroft asked Mrs. Obama if she feared for her husband's life since he declared his intention to run. "I don't lose sleep over it because the realities are that ... as a black man... Barack can get shot going to the gas station," she said.

Quite the pair of deep thinkers there. This kind of interview will, in the long run, do more to hurt Obama than Kroft knows. Jesse Jackson and his ilk are not running to support Obama because he isn't 'black enough' for them. So, the Obamas throw out the race card in the first national interview post-declaration as a candidate for President of the United States. Nice.

We'll see how he handles the new level of scrutiny he must face now that he is on the national stage. Hillary Clinton is not Alan Keyes. I think she will make short work of him and either offer the VP spot to him or he will go back to finish his term in the Senate.

He is nowhere near ready for prime time. Nor is the wife.

And speaking of not ready for prime time: Pelosi just keeps on giving ammunition to her opponents in the House, doesn't she? This past week it was all about her demand of the military jet that could transport 43 members of her family and staff back to her home in California without stopping to fuel up in a red state. Sure, we all dislike layovers, but that's a fact of life. When the demand was let known in the press and the blowback began, she first tried to blame it on others, that it wasn't she who asked for the jumbo jet. Right. Then she played the victim, why I just want what the men have had before me. Well, that is exactly the plane she was ok'ed for and it wasn't big enough for her highness. It only held 11 and wasn't a military jet.

Even Katie Couric understood the problem with the request.

You may remember when Nancy and the Dems took back the House, she made much hay over the fact that there would be a big crackdown on congressional perks, longer work weeks, less ethical questions. Remember when she said they would be the most "moral" Congress ever? That was your first clue as to what would happen. Just like when Clinton said it.

Poor Granny MiMi. She wants the king size bed and the game room. Hey, those grandkids need some comfort on that long trip and you should just be quiet and pay for it.

The ethics are being well-documented: trying to elevate Murtha to Majority Whip, considering Alcee Hastings for Judicial chairman, slighting Jane Harmon on the Intelligence committee, etc. Then there's the financial reports Pelosi and others had to scramble to file as it became known to the press that they hadn't done so, all the while mouthing off on her 'climate of corruption' campaign against Republicans.

So, Jack Murtha, unhappy that his gal Pelosi was being criticized, reminded all that he is the chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee and he wants the Pentagon to know if they don't produce Granny MiMi's jet then they may not be getting the allocations necessary for the Pentagon. And, with him as chairman of this committee, you are to forget his brother is a lobbyist for defense contractors in Washington. No ethical conflicts there.

Pelosi has already allowed Guam to opt out of the new minimum wage hike. Did she forget to mention that Starkist is the major manufacturer there? And that her hubby is on the board of that company?

For the first time since the early 1900's the territories of the U.S. will be allowed to vote on the House floor unless it is a tie-breaking vote on a major piece of legislation. Sure, why not. Don't let that bother you. Of course they are all Democrats and vote with the party as such. You don't think that had anything to do with the decision, do you? It was just the 'fair' thing to do.

And, who decides what is 'major' legislation? Granny MiMi.

She's just the common woman. In custom Armani suits.

Friday, February 09, 2007


The husband opened our conversation yesterday morning as we were going about our early routines with the following: "You'd support Guiliani, wouldn't you?" My answer: "Yes, in a heartbeat."

Nothing will get the blood pumping quicker in the morning than a good question. I have thought about the candidates offering themselves up for presidential nomination and I am intrigued by what I see. It is so early in the political season, and anything can and will happen, so your guess is as good as mine on who will end up with the nominations. I conclude, as of this day, the nominees will be Hillary and Rudy.

I have no problem with the candidacy of Rudy Guiliani. For me, the central, most important issue facing this country is national security and the war on terrorism. Rudy would be a firm, strong leader, as he proved with his leadership after 9/11. He showed calm, steely determination to get that city up and running while continuing to protect its citizens.

To those who say, without the events of 9/11, Rudy would only be remembered as a standard issue to not so great mayor, I say that's nonsense. To those of us who remember the city he inherited from his predecessors, he was a miracle worker. He cleaned up Manhattan when it was sorely needed. Tourists returned to the city in droves as the word got out that Times Square and all the usual tourist spots were once again safe and clean. You'll find it is the Democrats who are bad-mouthing Rudy's performance as mayor. Why? Because a careful examination shows good success. They are worried that early polling continues to show that a race between Hillary and Rudy would provide a Guiliani presidency.

I am an old-style Republican. I am a fiscal conservative and social liberal with a strong libertarian streak. I am pro-choice, pro-death penalty, minimum taxation, states rights, anti-gun control but strongly demand background checks for felons, gay rights supporter, and all about power to the people. I think if a citizen doesn't vote, the right to complain is lost. Don't like what is going on, get out there and work for change.

I refuse to vote on a single moral issue. I have no patience for a potential voter who will not support a pro-choice Republican and stay home on election day rather than protect the country from another Clinton reign. I think a candidate must be viewed in total, not through tunnel vison. I understand all sides of the issue of a woman's choice. My generation of women was at the forefront of the issue. I think we are all human and it is a very personal issue. I don't think the federal government has any business in the decision. It's a states right issue. It's between a woman, her God, and her doctor. Period.

I don't understand the hypocrisy of those who are claiming to be pro-choice yet do not support the death penalty. Is one life more sacred than another?

John Edwards has hired two female bloggers to lead his campaign on the blogosphere. Both women are bigoted, foul-mouthed twits. They put forth screeds of anti-Catholic and anti-traditional family values posts in sharp contrast to the all-American image Edwards is working to promote. He says he has spoken to both women and they have apologized for the previous posts on their blogs. He doesn't plan to fire them now that he is fully aware of their blogging history. Interesting. I was taught that a person is known by the people he/she associates with in life.

If a candidate doesn't have the courage of his basic beliefs on a personal level to stand up to those he views as offensive, than how could that candidate be trusted with the security of our nation against those working for our destruction?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Column A, Column B

Tonight the husband began holding forth with the computer lessons/bestowing of knowledge to the Boy Scouts so that they may acquire the Computer whatever it is called Merit Badge. When they returned home I asked son if his father lost his patience or raised his voice to those not paying attention. Son said, "No, but it was only the first session!". Hope springs eternal.

So, do you think it is the real skeletal remains of Romeo and Juliet that were found near Verona, Italy? I choose to think it is until proven otherwise. Come on, it's almost Valentine's Day.

The only story I am more tired of hearing than the Space Lust story is the dog/cat fur story concerning the manufacturing of winter coats for humans. It is so disgusting that when it comes on I reach as quickly as I can for the remote and change to something else. That's the downside to cable news on in the background during the day. It's my white noise.

I leave the tv on for Max when I go out of the house. He needs the white noise, too.

I made the crab casserole recipe I stole from Paula Deen again tonight. It was the second time for it and I tweaked it a bit. The guys really like it. I used my brand new covered one quart casserole dish with the matching trivet. It's cast iron covered with enamel for non-sticking purposes. My life? Yeah, nothing but excitement, baby.

The husband received a call from an Iraqi he worked with in Iraq during the 2003 trip pre-war tonight. The guy's in Michigan now and apparently working on a green card as he asked the husband to write a letter of something or the other vouching that he worked with the guy and knows him. Needs American letters of support, I guess. Now he's working for Snapple.

NASA held a press conference over the Space Lust story. I thought that was so strange. It's not like they can really say anything other than that NASA is a family and they support each other, yada, yada. The story is non-stop here, as you can imagine. So sad for the kids caught in the whole thing. The woman astronaut that went over the edge has three young kids, a set of twins and a boy. I think the oldest is 10 or 11 years old. She was recently separated from her husband, the story goes. The guy being pursued is the father of two and martial status hasn't been mentioned.

The thing is, for me anyway, the fact that the story is so surprising. Astronauts are human beings, just like everyone else. They are superior in intelligence and dedication to the space program, true enough. They are not, however, gods. We put them on a pedestal because they become heroes to us and there's the rub. Just like doctors or professors or entertainers. All just human beings.

Must be hard to stay balanced on that pedestal.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"You'd wish you had a whole class full of Hectors"

The above quote is attributed to Robert Austin, a retired agricultural science teacher in Raymondville, Texas. Raymondville is about an hour's drive north of the Mexican border with Texas. It is in the Rio Grande Valley.

Robert Austin was a teacher of Hector Leija. Staff Sgt. Hector Leija. Sound familiar? He is the American hero of whom the New York Times felt compelled by their own political agenda to publish graphic images of his death, complete with front page story and even a video for their web site a week ago. Rather than show respect for a grieving family and an American soldier, it's all about Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Well, the Leija family was understandably upset at the blatant use of their son's death in battle for a political agenda of a newspaper. The newspaper did issue an apology to the family, after public outcry and statements made on behalf of the greiving family became known.

Staff Sgt. Leija was 27 years old. He was buried Monday afternoon in Raymondville. The staff and students from a Head Start program in town lined the road in front of their school as the funeral procession passed. They held posters proclaiming Hector as their hero. Raymondville is a town of 9737, a town struggling to make the move from agriculture to more of a business environment. Hector had the opportunity to go to college and expressed a desire to do so, but enlisted to serve his country first. As he continued in service, he is said to have enjoyed his leadership role and felt a calling to protect his country. "with Hector it was a desire to serve. I know that sounds corny, but he really wanted to be in the Army," said Jim Scarborough, a former counselor at the high school.

Leija was known as a hard worker and his parents, Domingo and Manuela, are credited with instilling discipline and respect in Hector and his three brothers. Manuela was involved in the boys' education and received an award for her volunteer work at the high school. The Mayor of Raymondville, Orlando Correa is a former counselor at the high school. He said he overheard a family member repeat Hector's reply as he was asked why we chose a dangerous profession: "He said, 'If not me, who? If I don't go, who's to go in my place?'"

Shame on the New York Times. Shame on ingrates like the Washington Post and NBC contributer (Military Analyist, self described) William Arkin. Shame on John Kerry. Shame on Russ Feingold who is introducing legislation to not fund the surge to allow the Army to do its job, previously denied to them in these politically correct times.

Thank you, Staff Sgt Leija.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Three's Company

There is a story breaking on the local news that is quite juicy, in a voyeur sort of way. I'm calling it Astronauts Gone Wild.

Seems there is a female astronaut, Capt. Lisa Nowak, in jail with no bond. She's in the Orange Co. jail in Orlando. The charges are reported to be attempted kidnapping, attempted battery, and attempted burgulary. What?

Seems Capt. Lisa drove the 1,000 miles from her home, which she shares with her husband, here in Houston to Orlando. She went so far as to purchase adult style diapers so she wouldn't have many stops. I know. Just bear with me.

She dons a wig and trench coat in Orlando and is arrested on the charges mentioned above as she attacks USAF Capt. Shipman, also an astronaut, with mace. In Capt. Lisa's car a folding knife and an air pistol are also found.

Seems Capt. Lisa thought Capt. Shipman was moving in on her man. Not her husband, mind you, another astronaut. Um-huh. Lt. Bill Oefelein is the object o'attention of the ladies. Capt. Lisa told authorities she had a "more than professional" relationship with the Lt.

Capt. Lisa was last in space last year as a mission specialist on Space Shuttle Discovery, traveling to the international space station and operated the robotic arm. She's 43 years old and has been an astronaut since 1996.

Lt. Bill was also on Discovery and has over 308 hours in space, being selected as an astronaut in 1998. He last flew in December.

Capt. Lisa is to be arraigned tomorrow morning. I'm sure it'll be all over the morning news.

"Everyone is stunned", said a co-worker.

Ya think?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Football?

I'm watching NASA tv. The two astronauts are outside in space, doing their mechanics and I am in awe of anyone able to calmly hang in utter nothingness while performing so ably. Sunita Williams, the Flight Engineer, is expected to surpass the standing record of a female astronaut for elasped time outside. I see her arm and hear her voice performing mechanical duties along side her male counterpart, the Commander of the mission. Spacewalkers. Nothing average about their day at the office.

The Super Bowl happens this evening. You may have heard. I do enjoy the commercials and the wackiness of the whole thing. My parents where lucky enough to attend several Super Bowls, with excellent seats, as I was growing up. My father's career afforded them some good perks along the way.

Today we'll continue eating the spiral cut ham from last night. I can't believe the terrific price I got on that. I put a mustard and garlic coat on the top of it and slowly heated it in the oven. The guys around here won't eat 'sweet' glazes on ham. Almond rice pilaf and green beans accompanied the meat. The lemon buttermilk cake was a hit. Tasted good with coffee this morning, too.

I've been thinking about a new bit of legislation put into effect in the great state of Texas by Executive Order of the Governor. Governor Perry, aka Governor Goodhair, has put into motion mandatory vaccination of all girls entering sixth grade for the human papilloma virus, HPV, responsible for cervical cancer in women. We are the first state in the nation to make this mandate. Some raise the question of constitutionality about the Executive Order used to put the mandate into place. The legislature is in session so, technically speaking, an Executive Order is not practiced. I don't know about that aspect of the controversy, it's above my paygrade.

So, what to think of this? Let me preface this by saying I don't have a daughter and won't have to actually make the decision. I'm just going by a hypothetical conclusion after reading both sides of the argument.

I'd have to go with supporting the mandatory vaccination of the girls, aged 11 to 12. I think it just makes good sense. This is the first vaccine against cancer! How incredible is that? Throughout my lifetime the medical community, along with the scientific community, have been searching for tools to battle cancer. This is one. The vaccine has been ready and tested for a year now. No, long term effects are not available yet but those vaccinated now will be monitored over the next few years.

Cervical cancer takes 3,700 lives a year. Worldwide, it is the number 2 cancer in women and takes 233,000 lives a year, with 470,000 new cases each year. Each year. In order for the vaccine to work, it must be given to girls before they are sexually active. The disease turns up after many years of infection. Most insurance policies will cover the vaccine, administered in three spaced doses. Low income parents will have the vaccine available to them with state assistance. And, there is the opt out alternative available for girls with medical issues, religious, moral or philosophical reasons against the vaccine, just like with the other vaccines students need for school admittance.

I think the vaccine is good public policy, too. This eliminates a disease. The upcoming generation will be cervical cancer-free if this policy moves forward across the nation. No future medical costs for those not insured or otherwise unable to pay for treatment and hospital stays. Think polio. Or ruebella.

Some are crying foul in this state over an alleged conflict of interest between Governor Perry and Merck, the manufacturer of the vaccine, Gardasil. Merck contributed to the Perry campaign and is on record of contributing $6,000 to him since 2005. Frankly, I think this is just silly. The governor of the state of Texas can be bought for $6,000? In today's political world, that's chump change.

Some conservatives are against it on moral grounds. Again, this rings hollow to me. A vaccine does not encourage promiscuity. The vaccine is not a cure for sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy. It wouldn't be viewed as a majic bullet by young people. They would be educated about the same issues as now when it comes to sex. Also, to not deal with the fact that your child will, one day, be sexually active, whether with a married partner or not, well, that's just courting danger.

I agree with a vice president of clinical research for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center here in Houston, Dr. Maurie Markman. "I think it's wonderful". "I think it is wonderful to be in the first state to make a statement about preventing the infection shown to cause cancer." M.D. Anderson is internationally known as a huge medical facility on the cutting edge of cancer research and treatment. I'll take the opinion of that medical facility any day.

The vaccine will be available for 6th graders for the 2007 school year beginning in August. The mandate goes into effect for school year 2008, beginning in August 2008.

And now, back to the matter at hand - Go Colts! I'll be feeling a bit old rooting for Archie's boy, Peyton, but c'est la vie. Time marches on.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It's a Zoo

Where to begin? The Democrats are having quite the parade of wannabe presidents at their Winter Conference. The Ringleader, Howard Dean, produced an Imam from the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center, a Shite Mosque in Dearborn, Michigan to do the opening prayer. Do you think the oh so tolerant and intellectual attendees fully understood the prayer? If so, I doubt they would have all joined in with the final Amen. He called for the end of the occupation and oppression in the prayer. I'm sure these people thought it was an excellent anti-Iraq war jab. This Imam, however, is an active pro-Hezbollah, anti-Semite Muslim and his prayer was for the elimination of Israel and the conversion of the audience to Islam, according to people who analyzed the content of the prayer.

Nice. Idiots.

Then the steady stream of speechifers included John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary one upping each other in the 'I'll end the war now' chorus. No plans produced, no thoughts as to what happens next, but the crowd lapped it up. The best was Hillary claimed if she was president in 2002, the war would never been executed. She didn't however, say it was the culmination of 8 years of 'negotiations' and talking to our enemies that led up to 9/11. Will she bring back Maddie Albright to do the macarena again in North Korea while drinking champagne at the annual Communist Day parade?

The Dems used to cry that there were not enough troops in Iraq. Now that more are being sent, well, it just won't work. Let's pack it in and go home. Wait for the attacks here. It was only 3,000 in New York and Pa. That's not so bad, is it?

Hillary wants her major donors to pledge to raise $1 million each. She who decried President Bush as a candidate when he had his "pioneers" who pledged to raise $100,000 each. That was then. This is now, as she is so sure she'll be sleeping in the White House in January, 2009.

Just may, too.

She and Bill will be about impossible to stop. She'll change her persona for each part of the country. She'll wear pink suits and aw shucks the common folk. And everyone will jump up and woot and applaud.

John Edwards will continue with his inane two Americas theme. He's building the largest estate in North Carolina, but, nevermind that.

Barack Obama will continue to be an empty suit. He is too much a rookie with these folks. He can talk about his feelings all day long. That's no way to lead. It's good for People magazine, though. And Oprah.

So, we're a nation at war with politicans who head off overseas with the swells in Europe and bash our country. The Europeans love it. We'll concentrate on what, global warming? We'll see panels with opposing views since the scientific community is at odds with each other over it. Remember in 1970 when the whole Earth Day thing started? Well, back in those days the 'environmentalists' were positively certain we were headed into another ice age. Yeah.

Kyoto? The Senate overwhelming voted against it during the Clinton years. Those voting against it included Kerry, who now speaks as if he didn't. The vote was unanimous.

Kerry was bashing the U.S. for not doing enough for the AIDS crisis in Africa while he was bloviating in Devos. The Bush administration has devoted $4 billion annually to that cause. That's billion, with a B. That number is triple what the Clinton administration was sending. No praise from the haughty looking Bostonian, though. Just making it up as he goes.

So, Kerry and Hillary and Edwards are now denouncing their votes for the war in Iraq. They are proving they cannot be trusted yet don't care. Say anything to get the votes.

I don't relish the thought of another eight years of a Clinton pointing her/his finger at me and telling me what's good for me.

Hillary is going to 'take the profits' of Big Oil and use it for a commission on alternative energy. Take the profits? What does that mean? Taxes raised or money just confiscated? Someone should tell her we are not a socialist nation. Yet. She'll work on that.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Any Questions?

In light of the battle going on between William Arkin, blogger for the Washington Post and 'military affairs' reporter or NBC news and the American military, I will reprint this. It was written by A Soldier and I have seen it on a couple of blogs. It is long. It is well worth reading. And, if you don't know about the blog, www.blackfive.net, well, it is one to check out. The person responsible for it is Matt Burden, author of The Blog of War and Army vet.

I am tired of people/liberals saying they are patriotic and then insulting my commander in chief and the way he goes about his job.

I am tired of people/liberals who tell me they support me, the soldier on the ground, and then tell me the best plan to win this war is with a "phased redeployment" (liberal-speak for retreat) out of the combat zone to someplace like Okinawa.

I am tired of the people/liberals whining for months on T.V., in the New York Times, and in the House and Senate that we need more troops to win the war in Iraq, and then when my Commander in Chief plans to do just that, they say that is the wrong plan, it won't work, and we need a "new direction."

I am tired of every Battalion Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major I see over here being more concerned about whether or not I am wearing my uniform in the "spot on," most garrison-like manner, instead of asking me whether or notI am getting the equipment I need to win the fight, the support I need from my chain of command, or if the chow tastes god.

I am tired of junior and senior officers continually doubting the technical expertise of junior enlisted soldiers who are trained far better to do the jobs they are trained for than those officers believe.

I am tired of senior officers and conmanders who fight this war with more of an eye on the media than on the enemy, who desperately needs killing.

I am tired of the decisions of Sergeants and Privates made in the heat of battle being scrutinized by lawyers who were not there and will never really know the state of mind of the young soldiers who were there and what is asked of them in order ot survive.

I am tired of CNN claiming that they are showing "news", with videotape sent to them by terrorists, of my comrades being shot at by snipers, but refusing to show what happens when we build a school, pave a road, hand out food and water to children, or open a water treatment plant.

I am tired of following the enemy with drones that have cameras, and then dropping bombs that sometimes kill civilians;because we could do a better job of killing the right people by sending a man with a high powered rifle instead.

I am tired of the thousands of people in the rear who claim that they are working hard to support me when I see them with their mochas and their PX Bags walking down the street, in the middle of the day, nowhere near their workspaces.

I am tired of Code Pink, Daily Kos, Al-Jazzera, CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CBS, the ACLU, and CAIR thinking that they somehow get to have a vote in how we blast, shoot and kill these animals who would seek to subdue us and destroy us.

I am tired of people like Meredith Vieria from NBC asking oxygen thieves like Senator Chuck Hagel questions like "Senator, at this point, do you think we are fighting and dying for nothing?" Meredith might not get it, but soldiers do know the difference between fighting and dying for something and fighting and dying for nothing.

I am tired of hearing multiple stories from both combat theaters about snipers begging to do their jobs while commanders worry about how the media might portray the possible casualties and what might happen to their carer.

I am tired of hearing that the Battalion Tactical Operations Center got a new plasma screen monitor for daily briefings, but rifle scope rings for sniper rifles, extra magazines, and necessary field gear were disapproved by the unit supply system.

I am tired of out of touch general officers, senators, congressmen and defense officials who think that giving me some more heavy body armor to wear is helping me stay alive. Speed is life in combat and wearing 55 to 90 pounds of gear for 12 to 20 hours a day puts me at a great tactical disadvantage to the idiot, mindless terrorist who is wearing no armor at all and is carrying an AK-47 and a pistol.

I am tired of soldiers who are stationed in places like Kuwait and who are well away from any actual combat getting Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay and the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion when they live on a base that has a McDonald's, a Pizza Hut, a Subway, a Baskin Robbins, an internet cafe, 2 coffee shops and street lights.

I am tired of senior officers and commanders who take it out and "measure" every time they want to have a piece of the action with their helicopters or their artillery; instead of putting their egos aside and using their equipment to support the grunt on the ground.

I am tired of senior officers and commanders who are too afraid for their careers to tell the truth about what they need to win this war to their bosses so that the soldiers can get on with kicking the ass of these animals.

I am tired of Rules of Engagement being made by JAG lawyers and not Combat Commanders. We are not playing Hopscotch over here. There is no 2nd place trophy either. I think that if the enemy knew some rough treatment and some deprivation was at hand for them, instead of prayer rugs, special diets and free Korans, this might help get their terrorist minds "right."

I am tired of seeing Active Duty Army and Marine units being extended past their original redeployment dates, when there are National Guard Units that have yet to deploy to a combat zone in the last 40 years.

I am tired of hearing soldiers who are stationed in safe places talk about how hard their life is.

I am tired of seeing Infantry Soldiers conducting what amounts to "SWAT" raids and performing the US Army's version of "CSI Iraq" and doing things like filling out forms for evidence when they could be better used to hunt and kill the enemy.

I am tired of senior officers and commanders who look first in their planning for how many casualties we might take, instead of how many enemy casualties we might inflict.

I am tired of begging to be turned loose so that this war can be over.

Those of us who fight this war want to win it and go home to their families. Prolonging it with attempts to do things like collect "evidence" or present whiz bang briefings on a new plasma screen TV is wasteful and ultimately, dulls the edge of our Infantry soldiers who are trained to kill people and break things, not necessarily in that order.

We are not in Iraq and Afghanistan to build nations. We are there to kill our enemies. We make the work of the State Department easier by the results we achieve.

It is only possible to defeat an enemy who kills indiscriminately by utterly destroying him. He cannot be made to yield or surrender. He will fight to the death by the hundreds to kill only one or two of us.

And so far, all of our "games" have been "away games," and i don't know about the ignorant, treasonous Democrats and the completely insane radical leftists and their thoughts on the matter, but I would like to keep our road game schedule.

So let's get it done. Until the fight is won and there is no more fight left.

- A Soldier

Beantown Bamboozled

So, Boston came to a screeching halt yesterday, thanks to the Cartoon Network. I'm guessing the Einstein responsible for this stunt is looking for a job this morning. My son is a huge fan of the Adult Swim shows on the network and was amazed to see the coverage on tv as he came home yesterday.

Joe Biden launches the shortest presidential campaign in U.S. history! On the very day he announces he is running, not even bothering with the standard exploratory committee, he bashes his competition. The bashing extends to the flavor of the month, Barack Obama. Obama is slipping in the polls against Hillary but may see a little boost, thanks to Joe. Poor Joe. The man has a well known habit of talking on and on and on, clearly in love with the sound of his own voice and under the belief he is the smartest person in the room, but this is bad for even him. He makes the remark that Obama is the first mainstream, articulate, 'clean' African American to run for president. Interesting adjectives. Articulate, yes, an Ivy League educated career politician would be, usually. Mainstream? No. One of the most liberal records in the Senate and the most liberal of all the Illinois legislature while there. What's the clean thing?

You may remember Joe seems to have problem with this sort of thing, describing people to the press. Last year he made news for saying Indians immigrating here were successful businessmen. "You can't go to a Dunkin Donuts or 7-Eleven without being Indian American, now." Nice.

Is Joe a bit of a racist? If his name was Trent Lott, he'd sure be called one.

Double standards, anyone?

President Bush received a strong, warm reception on Wall Street yesterday. The economy continues to go nothing but up and his tax cuts are credited with that growth.

The Democrats are having a retreat in Williamsburg this weekend and have invited President Bush to come visit. He will and will take questions from them.

And, the New York Times is at it again. Determined to aid and abet the enemy in the war in Iraq, they published a photo of a fallen soldier from Texas, as well as run video of it on the web. His parents are furious and distraught from the episode. The Times will write a letter to the parents, it says in the newspaper today. Terribly big of them.

And , CBS is doing the Dan Rather thing, too. Lara Logan, the blantant anti-Bush 'reporter' is using video from al-Qaeda in her reports. She was caught and is trying to weasel out of responsibility. Oops.

The AP continues to make it up as they go in Iraq, too. They reported 4 mosques in Hurriyah neighborhood in Baghdad were destroyed, burned, torched,blown up. They credited a source, Jamil Hussein. Hussein's very existance has been questioned. Many believe the source doesn't exist. The mosques are all standing and not destroyed at all. Oops.

But everyone supports the troops, right?