"In some ways," Mr. Rahmatullah told the New York Times. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale." One of the courses he has taken is called Terrorism-Past, Present and Future.This is an excerpt from an article John Fund wrote at Opinion Journal. (free subscription required) If this doesn't rock your world, ask yourself this: "Why are they so upset about the port situation? After all, they are the ones teaching them them how to murder us!" [read more].
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
WASHINGTON, Feb 25: President George Bush has said the United States and Pakistan “is a relationship that’s much bigger than just the war on terror.”
“There are ways for us, beyond the war on terror — and by the way, the war on terror is a critical aspect of our relationship, don’t get me wrong,” he stated in an interview with the PTV telecast on Saturday.
About his upcoming visit to Pakistan, he said: “It’s a trip that’s of goodwill and importance.”
Asked what was his vision for making this trip “more meaningful and productive,” he said “the first thing that’s really important for people to understand is that relations between our countries often times depend on the relations between the leaders.”
In other words, he added: “President Musharraf and I can set a tone for the relationship because of our capacity to talk to each other,” and he added, “it’s important” to “share concerns and to talk about ideas.”
“So, one object of the trip is to continue what is a good relationship. A good relationship between me and the president tends to permeate throughout our government.”
“One reason we’ve got a good relationship is we speak frankly with each other.”
And so he’s not only a man who’s shown great courage in the face of adversity, but
he does have a vision of how to work together to achieve common objectives.”
He said that he wanted the people of Pakistan to know that the American people care about them, “that ours is a relationship that’s much bigger than just the war on terror; that when our Chinooks flew supplies into the rural part of Pakistan, it wasn’t out of a sense of just kind of pure diplomacy, it was out of a sense of care and concern about the individuals. And I understand sometimes people may wonder about our motives, wonder about America’s true concerns.”
The visit, he added would give him a chance to speak to the people of Pakistan “and say, look, we care for you,” and remind people that in our country there’s great Pakistani Americans.”
He commended the contribution of Pakistani Americans, saying: “We’re a rich society because we’ve got people from around the world, including people who were born and! raised in Pakistan and have now chosen America as a home. And so it’s a trip that’s of goodwill and importance.”
President Bush said: “We want people to understand this relationship is a vital relationship that will exist throughout the years.”
The question was that the relations between the United States and Pakistan have fluctuated in the past, and what measures would you suggest to make it more durable and sustainable for the days to come.
He said: “One way we can do that is increase trade opportunities between our countries,” and disclosed that both the leaders would be talking about a bilateral investment treaty.
STUDENT EXCHANGES: Student exchanges, he added was another matter to be discussed. “I understand there’s been some issues with visas and we’ve got to work through those, because I believe the more Pakistani youngsters who come to America to study will get to really see what America is all about.”
On the other hand, he said as more Americans go to Pakistan to study, “they will see what Pakistan is all about.”
He said the other thing that’s interesting and important for the people of Pakistan to know is “that President Musharraf, in his democracy initiative, can show the whole Muslim world, and the world itself, that it’s possible to have a religion that is not extreme, and a state that listens to people and responds to the needs of people. And that’s a really important message that Pakistan can show the world.”
President Bush said that he would “continue to talk to my buddy and my friend about his goals for a democratic Pakistan.”
TRADE: “Trade is very important,” he replied asked what economic incentive would you offer to Pakistan during the forthcoming visit.
“And one of the steps on a robust trading relationship is what’s called the Bilateral Investment Treaty, and that’s an important part of the process.”
He said “every time the President (Gen Musharraf) talks to me, he’s talking about markets, and I understand that. But he also understands that there’s some steps needed before this robust trade.”
“I must applaud the President’s vision for the Pakistan economy, “he said, adding “and in our world, politics, there’s a lot of talk and a lot of kind of big noise. But the truth of the matter is what matters is results.”
He said Pakistan’s economy is strong, “and that’s good news.”
“That’s really good news for the people of Pakistan, first and foremost, because, obviously, if people can make a living and do well, they can see the benefits of democracy — tangible benefits of living in a system where people are free to express themselves, but where the marketplace is the economic determinant.”
TERRORISM: Asked as to what strategy US has adopted for tackling terrorism, he said “first of all, freedom defeats an ideology of hatred.”
He said he calls them “the enemy” because “they’ll kill innocent Pakistanis, they kill innocent Americans.”
President Bush added that “more Muslims have died at the hands of Al Qaeda and these extremists than anybody else,” and added: “I don’t view these people as religious people. I view them as people who have taken a great religion and kind of twisted it to meet their means.”
He said: “It’s a vision that doesn’t recognize the freedom of people to worship.”—APP
Technorati tags: Pakistan, Foreign Relations, War on Terror,President Bush, President Musharraf, Foreign Trade, Student Exchange, Al Quaeda, Muslim, Extremists, Freedom, journalists, Opinion
Saturday, February 25, 2006
On a lighter note than what I usually post, here is an odd Article that was obtained from BBC. One has to admit that this is classic.
Sudan man forced to 'marry' goat
A Sudanese man has been forced to take a goat as his "wife", after he was caught having sex with the animal. The goat's owner, Mr Alifi, said he surprised the man with his goat and took him to a council of elders. They ordered the man, Mr Tombe, to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) to Mr Alifi. "We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together," Mr Alifi said. For the rest of the story go to the BBC article
Oil prices jumped more than $2 a barrel on the news of the blast and would have gone up a heck of a lot more if they had succeeded. That particular facility handles two-thirds of the Kingdom's oil output.
Notice how Al-Qaeda quickly took credit for the attack. Bin Laden has it out for the royal family because they have supported United States strategic activities in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia is the west’s largest oil supplier. Al-Qaeda is determined to damage western economic interests and topple that government. We are in this fight for the long haul.
This war is destined to boil over into the moderate countries afore long. It was destined to happen regardless of us invading Iraq or not. Bin Laden and the rest of his maniacs are bound and determined to establish their Caliphate Kingdom from sea to shining sea around the world. Let’s get with the program and win this war on terrorism.
There is so much at stake. One does not have to be a military strategist to study the complexity of the Islamofacist problem. Through the centuries this has come up before and is a repeat of ancient history.
Islamization appears to be locked in a medieval empire time period. One would suppose that is why they (Islamofacists) can cut off infidels heads with dull knives, and blow the dickens out of innocent women and children or anyone else who does not go along with their firebrand islamization.
Sites of interest:
Monday, February 20, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Ramblings of a Wandering Coyote
-Japan lived under the delusion she was impregnable. Her people were assured that no power on earth could break through her “impenetrable walls”- that no foreign foot could ever step on the soil of their heavily fortressed homeland. Drugged for generations by this narcotic of inviolability, they awakened from their age long stupor when the mighty American naval forces with their intrepid Marines blasted at their inner defenses while huge swarms of Superfortesses laid their great cities to ruins.-
From a clipping of a long forgotten London newspaper
Those who know me from this message board know that around anniversaries of significant events in WWII I like to ramble on.
I dig deep into my memories chest and Lil Coyote helps me to put together stories from my past.
Armed with my haphazard journals all written in my native tongue, newspaper clippings from long ago, notes gleaned over the years, and the odd photograph or two, Lil Coyote and I piece together those long ago days.
I am a singer. I am Dinteh. It is what I do.
This is the story of my most embarrassing moment.
*(a note: I do not know if my babysitter would have wanted for me to use his name. I can no longer ask him, so he is simply “my 2Lt.”)
It is morning. At least I think it is. Surrounded by fog, or smoke, or maybe some combination of both. I am tired, but so is everyone else.
We are measuring our progress in inches and feet when we should be moving yards and rods. I spent seven nights here before the landing force. I was here when the last saturation bombings took place. I know that one night of hell had been repeated almost daily for the last 5 months. How can there be anyone left alive, let alone so many of them.
My voice is raw. Forget the Code. The time for secrecy is gone. I have done nothing but call fire for three days. It is February 22, 1945.
I have lost track of how many bunkers I have seen blasted apart. We reached the first few yesterday and got a first hand look at what we had been shooting at. The towering wall of Mount Suribachi is a honeycomb, but its nectar is tears not honey. Some Japanese pillboxes I had seen destroyed had come back to life as if the enemy would not give up even when dead. The tunnels were more and deeper than we had been lead to believe.
Napalm and diesel fuel was now being pumped into each opening we found. Just to make certain.
At least now we are climbing. Here on the mountain there is some cover. Not like the flat blasted plain we had crossed to get here.
I am now with the 5th Joint Assault Signal Company. I have been move around so much I am no longer sure who owns me. The 4th is further north. I think I once belonged to them. I only go where they tell me to go. At least I am no longer cooped up on a ship. Their tiny radio rooms are not for me. I know I started at Blue 1 the night we landed, but by the time the rest of the force joined us, we had moved up to Green.
A sudden burst of machine gun fire rings out to the left and upwards of me. I am still looking to see where it came from when my 2Lt. lands on my back. His look is angry. He shucks his backpack and belt, tells me “Injun Joe, y’all stay put, and for Christ’s sake keep your feathers down.” Down the incline he heads, angling towards what is now the right. Minutes later he returns to tell me what I already know. There is a Japanese pillbox above us.
My 2Lt. had gone down to check on the platoon that follows us. One of their men had been shot as they breached a rise. I did not know his name, but still my heart aches. He tells me the pillbox sits about three hundred feet above the platoon. We are close to even with it, but about four hundred feet to the side. 2Lt. asks if I could call fire, and if I could please make sure not to hit the nice white men that are following us. I explain to him that if I wanted to hit them, I had already had plenty of chances. I also explain that our angle is wrong and our best chance is for me to get below, but closer.
2Lt had seen a small channel dug into the volcano by run off when he had gone back to check on our party. He felt that if I could keep my fat butt low enough, we might just have a chance to get closer.
When we reached the channel, just before we turned back up the mountain, I caught a glimpse of our charges. One was on his knees before someone lying down. I assume he was praying over our fallen comrade. The others I could see were laying back smoking. Years later I was reminded of this while at a friend’s house watching football. I am not sure anything rattled them.
Up the channel we went. Slowly. Very Slowly.
When we had reached where I guessed would be a good spot, I very carefully raised my head. There it was. Not one hundred fifty feet away. I could not see in, but that was a good thing. They could probably not see me. I had my pad and map out plotting what information I had to relay.
By this time, a few pieces were set up on the island. This was my best chance for accuracy. My first call went to yellow. I knew the ground there was a bit more hard packed and chances were they could get off the most accurate shot. Calling fire in this circumstance would be very similar to back at the canal. Very close. A safe margin of error was going to be one hundred feet. Vertical. Horizontal was another story. If we were more than fifty feet to the west of the target, I would not be making any more phone calls.
Yellow was busy. With the inhabitants of Suribachi focusing on the 5th, the 4th was making a move north. With the detail I needed, it would be more than an hour before they could lock in. Operation Detachment was fully engaged.
That is when “The Horse” stepped in. Colonel Liversedge put out a call for any available gun. He knew we were getting close and wanted Suribachi taken NOW!
I heard Texas calling. The battleship Texas. Not only could they provide support, the spotter had eyes on to our target. He could not see us, but some eagle-eye in the gun crew followed my coordinates and swore he could see the tiny opening of the pillbox. We put our faith in God and the US Navy.
I counted to ten, then raised my hand to slowly pull myself above the small embankment separating me from the Japanese. I had the RT handset in that hand, hoping to tilt my head and watch the incoming round with only one eye while I called in any corrections needed.
Then it happened.
My most embarrassing moment as a Marine.
I heard the clatter of Machine gun fire. A spray of blood and crushed bakelite showered my helmet. It took a while to realize my hand had been hit. The incoming round hit seconds later. The explosion had me stunned for a bit. It was a bit more than an artillery round should have been. It was a direct hit. The tunnel itself had formed a funnel effect that amplified the explosion.
2Lt was up and celebrating when he turned to help me up, he saw me staring at the handset now broken in half. Then he saw the blood coming from my hand. He tells me I looked like I was going to cry. All I could think of was how could I fix the handset.
We carried spare parts for the RT, but not the bakelite protective cover for the mike and earpiece. For those who remember, this was somewhat like the telephone handset on phones in the 50’s and 60’s. No dial or anything fancy, just a plastic like piece that you held between the part you listened to and the part you talked into. Ours also had a switch you could push to talk.
The switch was shot, but that I had a spare of. The problem was how I was going to hold the earpiece and mouthpiece while in use. I suppose I could have held one in each hand, but there were many circumstances where that would not work. At least not in the field.
The answer came as 2Lt was wrapping my hand. We ran the cord down my sleeve, then taped the earpiece to my index and second finger. The mouthpiece we taped to my wrist. The push to talk button went on my palm so that I could push it with my last two fingers.
It hurt to push the button, but more importantly, it worked.
The next morning, Suribachi was ours.
Chindi Lha cha eh Atse'hashke' -Coyote First Angry- Wandering Coyote
War, Honor, Courage, Wandering Coyote, Indian Culture, Wind Talkers, Suribachi, Marine, South Pacific, Military
Cross-posted: Knickerbocker News, The Bos'un at MSN
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
“George Orwell feared that technology would enable dictators to enslave the masses. Glenn Reynolds shows that technology can empower individuals to determine their own futures and to defeat those who would enslave us. This is a book of profound importance-and also a darn good read. -MICHAEL BARONE, senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and author of Hard America, Soft America.Not to be outdone, there will also be:
Adding his own unique insight and perspective to the topic will be longtime technology industry editor and publisher Paul Gillin. Paul has had a distinguished career in IT journalism, working as senior software editor at PC Week and later editor and publisher of Computerworld Magazine. Paul was also founding editor of TechTarget.This is going to be a very good program. I hope you will tune in. You do not know how? No problem!
You can listen online by going to WRKO and you can join the conversation by calling 877-469-4322. To listen to Instapundit’s previous visit with us, click here. About Pundit Review: RadioIf you do tune in, I am sure you will enjoy yourself. These are all fine and intelligent gentlemen. I hope to hear you call in while I listen.
Pundit Review Radio is where the old media meets the new. Each week Kevin & Gregg give voice to the work of the most influential leaders in the new media/citizen journalist revolution. This unique show brings the best of the blogs to your radio every Sunday evening at 8pm EST on AM680 WRKO, Boston’s Talk Leader.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Oh....my...God! I was laughing so much in my car yesterday. I had to go into work at 4:30 pm, but hung in the car for as long as I could, as 2nd hour, Hugh Hewitt had an interview with the venerable old fossil, Helen Thomas. You could call it the comedy hour (the first hour with Lawrence O'Donnell could be characterized as much the same, too). I wrote Generalissimo last night, begging for an audio, and *presto*: It's up at Radioblogger, along with transcript. Sometimes wishes do come true! A must listen. Go listen now, and report back here!
This interchange between Hugh and Helen is a good peek into the mind of not only an irrelevant old relic of a bygone journalistic era, but also of a moonbat journalistic elite, who fails to understand the nature of partisan journalism as it applies in the 21st century, where media bias is more clearly evident in contrast to the conservative outlets of blogs and talk radio
More on Lawrence O'Donnell from Hugh: Here and here. (Picture of Helen is just for you, Gayle!).
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
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BLAME BUSH FOR EVERYTHING
Posted By Rick February 15th, 2006
This is such a great parody of exactly just how far the liberal media and politicians have gone. I just had to share it with you….
Bush Fails To Prevent East Coast Blizzard
Date: 2006-02-12, 5:53PM
Minorities Hit Hardest
NY Slimes 02/15/06
As President Bush and his staff cowered in the White House, the snow continued to pile up on the many poor and African American victims who could not afford to get out of town or to safety in Florida. Crucial supplies of blankets, hot cocoa, popcorn and dark rum - so essential to surviving the stress of any major snowstorm - lay in stores undelivered.
“Where is the government? I need my sidewalk shoveled so I can get out to buy my damn lottery tickets!” said one D.C. resident from his living room. “Why are we wasting money in Iraq when we could be spending it here on me?”
Progressive blogs blasted the President for his inaction. “We find the timing terribly suspicious - just as the Domestic Spying hearings kick into high gear, what happens? A major northeast Blizzard. Why now?” wrote blogger IHATEAmericanNBush2.
Hearings into the Blizzards’ effect on hearings are almost a certainty. Howard Dean has suggested he will call for an investigation once his new medications kick in and John Kerry took a break from the sporting activities of the glamorous super-rich in some exotic locale (random choice: Ice Sailing in Finland) to call for new legislation outlawing snowstorms. “The Republican Congress has dropped the ball once again. I have always been a staunch supporter of anti-snow legislation, except for certain locations where I ski. Snow has no business on our roads and the President and Congress knows that.”
Calls for impeachment over “SnowGate” as some are calling it already are mounting as deeply as the snow itself, and what will be discovered underneath will prove to have a truly chilling effect on the Republicans, as the inevitable thaw proceeds.
NOW…HERE IS AN ACTUAL HEADLINE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:
House Report: Gov’t Could Have Prevented Katrina Deaths
Yes…I’ll admit…the Government both local, state, and federal could have reacted better, but come on. It’s not the fault of the government that people died in a natural disaster that they knew was coming.
But if you do want to believe that the Government is your daddy and should take care of you then you should learn this very valuable lesson: The Government is flawed, and therefore you should not put your life in their hands.
Technorati tags: President Bush, Blame Game, White House,Liberalism, Government, Rick Roberts, 760 KFMB, Talk Radio, San Diego, , news feed, journalists, Opinion
Sunday, February 12, 2006
In recent years, there have been a few books on Abraham Lincoln, minimizing his accomplishments and questioning his sexual orientation. Whatever.
I'd like to share with you today (now that I think about it...I'm sure I blogged this last year- ah well!), a book review by one of my favorite conservative thinkers, Thomas Sowell. I just may go out and get the book, as part of my "black history month" reading:
Trashing our history: Lincoln
August 11, 2005
Since Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863, you might think that there would be no need for a new book about it today.
Unfortunately, there is very much a need for a new book on the subject, not only because of the gross neglect of history in our schools and colleges, but also because of the completely unrealistic view of the world — past and present — that prevails, not only among the ignorant but among the intelligentsia as well.
Since the 1960s, it has been fashionable in some quarters to take cheap shots at Lincoln, asking such questions as "Why didn't he free all the slaves?" "Why did he wait so long?" "How come the Emancipation Proclamation didn't just come right out and say that slavery was wrong?"
People who indulge themselves in this kind of self-righteous carping act as if Lincoln was someone who could do whatever he damn well pleased, without regard to the law, the Congress, or the Supreme Court. They might as well criticize him for not discovering a cure for cancer.
Fortunately, there is an excellent new book, titled "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation" by Professor Allen C. Guelzo of Gettysburg College, that sets Lincoln in the context of the world in which he lived. Once you understand the constraints of that world, and how little room for maneuver Lincoln had, you realize what courage and brilliance it took for him to free the slaves.
Just one fact should give pause to Lincoln's critics today: When Lincoln sat down to write the Emancipation Proclamation, the Supreme Court was still headed by Chief Justice Roger Taney, who had issued the infamous Dred Scott decision, saying a black man had no rights which a white man needed to respect.
This was a Supreme Court that would not have hesitated to declare the freeing of slaves unconstitutional — and Lincoln knew it. The Dred Scott decision was not yet a decade old at the time.
There would have been no point in issuing an Emancipation Proclamation that didn't actually emancipate anybody. Ringing rhetoric about the wrongness of slavery would not have gotten the Emancipation Proclamation past Taney and his Supreme Court.
Since Lincoln's purpose was to free millions of human beings, not leave some rhetoric to be preserved in the anthologies, he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation in dry legalistic terms that disappointed thoughtless critics in his time and ours, but got it past the Supreme Court.
Nothing in the Constitution gave a President the authority to free slaves. The only thing Lincoln could use to make his actions legal was his authority as commander-in-chief in wartime. But that meant that he could only free the slaves in territory controlled by enemy forces.
It took not only legal shrewdness but much courage to do what Lincoln did. There was no big political support in the North for freeing slaves. In fact there was much opposition to the idea by Northerners who feared that such an action would stiffen Southern resistance and prolong a war that cost more lives than any other war in American history. More than ten times as many American died in the Civil War as in Vietnam.
Lincoln was out on a limb, both politically and legally. He could have been impeached. At a minimum, he expected to lose the next election and was surprised when he didn't. But today we see the spectacle of pygmies sniping at this giant.
As for the other slaves not covered by the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln worked behind the scenes to try to get slave-holding border states to emancipate them by state actions that would be beyond the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Failing that, he prodded a reluctant Congress to end slavery by amending the Constitution. He did a lot of political maneuvering on a lot of fronts to accomplish his goal.
Professor Guelzo's book does more than give us some sense of realism about a major event in American history. Perhaps if we come to understand the complexities and constraints of Lincoln's turbulent times, we might not be so quick to seize opportunities to reduce other times — including our own — to cartoon-like simplicities that allow us to indulge in cheap self-righteousness when judging those who carry heavy responsibilities.
Gregg is stuck in Washington, DC, due to a snow storm. That is also why this news is coming a little bit late, but not too late! lol. Poor Kevin got stuck shoveling his driveway. Wear your gloves so you don't get blisters!
You can livestream the program at WRKO. I look forward to reading what you think of the program. To call in and participate in the program, the number is toll free at 877-469-4322.
What is Pundit Review Radio?
Pundit Review Radio is where the old media meets the new. Each week Kevin & Gregg give voice to the work of the most influential leaders in the new media/citizen journalist revolution. This unique show brings the best of the blogs to your radio every Sunday evening at 8-10pm EST on AM680 WRKO, Boston’s Talk Leader.They have already gone from one hour per night, which certainly was not enough, to two hours per night. Gregg even has a book that he's written called "Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies." It should be released soon. Have a great evening!
Update: The first hour is being preempted by the Celtics (basketball already?) game. The program will start at 9pm EST.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
The small terrorist from Iran blamed our President for Denmark's cartoons that have rocked the Muslim world and cannot get his facts straight. Iran: U.S. at Fault for Cartoon Riots Apparently this man of little statute says U.S., Europe should pay heavy price for publication of Muhammad cartoons. What a crock!
New York Slimes continues to blamer our President for Hurricane Katrina and cannot get their facts straight. NYT Corrects Its Bush "On Vacation" Error, But Offers No Explanation According the John Matthews, the New York Slimes, on Feb. 10, in their page one story, "White House Knew of Levee's Failure on Night of Storm," reported that the President was vacationing in Texas the day after Katrina hit. Here is another crock!
While I'm at it, remember our LA Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, cring foul and say that the purported 2002 hijacking plot, discussed by President Bush was "nonexistent."
Seems like our demogos overseas, yellow news media, and demogogs here at home spend all their time trying to besmirch our President. When is Amercia going to say enough is enough and begin to understand that as Jon Stewart said, "Those who complain about the blame game? They're usually to blame."
Last week, Mary Katharine Ham and I decided to start an ambitious new project. We wanted to find all of the fiscally conservative newspapers in the country (Here's my original blog post, here's Mary Katharine's). More specifically, we wanted to find those hidden editorial pages that promote economic freedom amidst the din of liberal hysteria found in most newspapers. Below is the official list that we hope will continue to grow. If you want to suggest a free market editorial page to us, send an email to myself (aroth at clubforgrowth dot org) or Mary Katharine (marykatharine at beyondthenews dot com).It is quite extensive, surprisingly, and it is well worth your time. Be you a Liberal, a Conservative, or an Independent; at least you will be able to find programs and thoughts that can challenge your mind, and help you to either prove or disprove your own wisdom.
There may be only 57 at this time, but it is a breakthrough. There is now a debate on the ideas, instead of the old 'beat each other over the head' strategy. Who knows? Maybe most Americans truly are capitalists!
EDITOR'S NOTE: I am a member of the Club for Growth. I appreciate full disclosure.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Mike's America left a comment in a previous post:
Time to start a new category guys:
The Difference between Republicans and Democrats!
How many relativists have you heard suggest there is no difference? Of course it’s a subtle way of implying that you might as well vote for their guy.
I thought I'd take the humorous approach, and share a clip from a short-lived animated series, "This Just In" (from the episode, "Labidocrites":
Here is some context for the clip:
Newport struggles to pretend to be a liberal to have sex with the hottest girl he's ever met. He is about to make a speech in front of a bunch of liberals and cracks under pressure, admitting that he's a Republican and what exactly that means to him.
Hat tip: Richwatch.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Villaraigosa was elected mayor in 2005. Villaraigosa has his years mixed up and should not have been briefed on a previously national security issue at the time it occurred. He was not cleared to hear about national security matters.
According to Wikipedia, In 1994, Antonio Villaraigosa was elected to the California State Assembly, and just four years later, his colleagues in the legislature voted to make him the first Assembly Speaker from Los Angeles in 25 years. During those four years before he was named Speaker, he served several other positions in the Assembly leadership. He eventually became one of the leading progressive voices in the state. He ran for mayor of Los Angeles in the 2001 citywide contest but was defeated by eight percent by fellow Democrat James Hahn in a run-off election. In 2003, Villaraigosa defeated incumbent Councilman Lauro "Nick" Pacheco to win a seat on the Los Angeles City Council representing the 14th District.
In the Los Angeles mayoral election that took place on March 8, 2005, Villaraigosa placed first and continued on to the run-off election held on May 17, in which he won 58.7% of the vote to Hahn's 41.3%. He is the first Latino mayor of Los Angeles since 1872, when Mayor Cristóbal Aguilar (mayor from 1866 to 1868 and again from 1870 until 1872) governed over Los Angeles at a time when its population was barely 6,000.
The Nation attributes his success in 2005, as against his failure in 2001, to his adding significant number of African Americans to his earlier coalition of "Latinos, labor and white lefties", noting 2005 endorsements by Representative Maxine Waters (a Hahn supporter in 2001) and City Council member (and former police chief) Bernard Parks.  He also won handily among West L.A.'s liberal Jewish population, and to a lesser degree, the west Valley's more conservative Jewish community. Indeed, there were only two demographic groups he did not win: white conservatives in the north west Valley, and Asian-Americans, although the latter only by the narrowest of margins.
On July 1st of 2005, he was sworn in as the 41st mayor of Los Angeles in an enormous ceremony, which involved an interfaith service at the Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral, followed by a large procession to nearby City Hall.
Leftists, liberals, demogogs, and those against President Bush will try their darndest to discredit our sitting President, slander his name, and insult his oath of office. We are in a fine state of affairs when any nickle and dime died in the wool liberal democratic mayor can open his mouth and accuse our President to grandstanding and exagerating the truth.
Liberal Main Stream Media and liberals yelling show me the proof, but, when some truth is revealed, they immediately raise cain and call foul. We are being brought to our knees and destroyed from within. We do not need islamofasists or terrorists to mess things up. All we need is the Main Stream Media and demogogs. What we have here is the typical demogogic response to reality. Deny, deny, deny, and when all else fails dazzel them with what the definition of is, is.
Technorati tags: Villaraigosa, demogog, President Bush, liberal, leftist, Al Gore, MECHa, denial, library tower, and mechista
The speech will follow the unveiling of a commemorative bronze bust of Texas Air National Guard 1st Lt. George W. Bush. The bust was made possible through funds raised by the National Guard Association of Texas Educational Foundation.
Visit NGAUS here.
I wasn't going to blog on this, since many have already weighed in, and everyone from the right-side of the spectrum pretty much are unified in waxing indignant. And if Coretta Scott King's family were fine with the lack of class on the part of speakers such as Lowery and Carter, then so be it.
But then I thought of a few things, that I haven't heard blogged about.
In afterthought, no one should have been surprised about the politicization of Coretta King's funeral. President Bush, least of all.
And of course I don't mean that it was not inappropriate to discuss her politics and ties to the civil rights movement. Mention of those things are within bounds and it would hardly be called a celebration of her life if one left out her political activism, anymore than it would make sense not to talk about Reagan's political accomplishments at his funeral. But what was tasteless, was the political pot-shots taken at President Bush. A funeral is just not the forum for political partisanship and a show of disrespect for the sitting President...especially when he's sitting right there at the funeral! It is in bad taste, and makes it about the "speakers" and the "spoken of"....and the "spoken of" being President Bush over Coretta King.
I said, this probably came as no surprise to President Bush, because we've seen Wellstone moments before from liberals. It happened at the funeral of another civil rights figure, one who has been called the first lady of the civil rights movement: Rosa Park. This is how one speaker, Jesse Jackson, chose to eulogize Rosa Park on November 2nd, 2005 (audio excerpt- also includes Lowery's bombastic bloviation):
Perhaps George Bush who also gave her ceremony can sign the Voting Rights Act and extend them with enforcement powers?
President Bush on yesterday gave homage to Rosa Parks and then put forth to the nation an extreme rightwing judge, antithetical to everything Rosa Parks ever stood for. He put forth an anti-Rosa Parks judge, not unlike last year he put a wreath on Dr. King's graveyard, and the next day, allowed the Supreme Court to kill affirmative action. Whenever he sticks out his hands, there's always something up his sleeves.
Perhaps a White House conference on civil rights, why not 50 years later? Watching bodies float down the rivers of New Orleans, no plan for rescue, no plan for relocation, no plan for reconstruction that's fair. 50 million Americans with no health insurance. The surplus culture for the few and a deficit culture for the masses. Just maybe we need a White House conference on civil rights. Mr. Mayor, why not right now on the river in Detroit, the Rosa Parks Park where we can entomb her body and have the generations unborn know this woman whose sacrifice made America better? Why not now some action to turn our mourning into some living memorial?
And when many Democrats (no...not all, but many) had the good taste (and sense) to lavish praise upon Ronald Reagan during the moment of his passing, when they were his harshest detractors during his Presidency.....did you hear any Republicans speaking at his funeral, taking political cheap shots at the Democrats? Remember: Ronald Reagan died on June 5th, 2004 and his private funeral service was June 11th. It was an incredibly heated election year. Both Parties were fighting tooth and nail for control of the Presidency. The only person who I recall using Reagan's funeral as an opportunity to score a political jab at the opposing side, was Ron Reagan Jr. :
Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency, he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.
This was an obvious, not-so-subtle shot at President Bush. It's as obvious as Jimmy Carter's wiretap comment at Coretta King's funeral. I've been listening to liberals try to spin it, that Carter's insertion about wiretaps had nothing to do with the situation today with the NSA wiretap hearings. Then why include it in his speech? How can anyone be so daft as to believe Carter didn't intentionally mean for parallels subtle and not so subtle to be drawn, between what happened then, and what goes on now? And what a peanut-for-a-brain, chowderhead Carter is (I rarely allow myself to speak so disrespectfully of a former President, but- my God! This man does a lot to earn disrespect), that he'd fail to see the mention of wiretapping the Kings would do more to reflect badly upon Democrats of their era, than the Republican Administration of today.
And it seems former President Peanuthead has a history of impropriety at funerals:
Contrast these liberal speakers with the speech President George W. Bush gave at Coretta King's funeral. Who is the unifier and who is the divider of this nation? Who carried himself with class and graciousness, making the funeral about honoring her; and which keynote speakers behaved with self-righteous political pontificating, making it all about themselves? Who, in the end, scored political points? The one who went there, devoid of political partisanship in his speech; or the ones who went there, engaged in political demagoguery?Mattie J.T. Stepanek, a 13-year-old Rockville, Md., boy who "wrote books of inspirational poems that climbed the bestseller charts," died last week of muscular dystrophy. Among those attending his funeral, the Washington Post reports, was Jimmy Carter:
Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, spoke of . . . Mattie's devotion to peace. "He was deeply aware of global affairs," Carter said, recalling that Mattie was in Children's Hospital's intensive care unit when the war in Iraq began last year.
"Mattie burst into uncontrollable sobs and grief," Carter said, and soon after, the former president received a letter from his then-12-year-old friend: "I feel like President Bush made a decision long ago about the war," Mattie wrote. "Imagine if he had spent as much time and energy . . . planning peace."
The letter continued, "Even though I want to talk to Osama bin Laden about peace in the future, I wouldn't want to be alone with him in his cave." The congregation dissolved into laughter.
"In the same letter," Carter added, "he asked if I would join him."
There is a longstanding tradition that ex-presidents do not publicly criticize their successors, a tradition for which Carter has shown such contempt that when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded him the Peace Prize in 2002, its members made clear they meant it as a poke in the eye of President Bush and America.
But using a child's funeral as a forum for this kind of attack is a new low. Just when you thought Bill Clinton was the tackiest ex-president, along comes Jimmy Carter to outcrass even him.
With deepest respect to Mattie, his message, however pure and well-intentioned, was a naive and deadly one. Stepanek was, however, a young boy suffering under the burden of a terrible illness.
What is appeaser Jimmy Carter's excuse?
As a footnote, I will add that former President Clinton might have given the best speech delivery. He's always been great at doing so; and thankfully, had the class not to engage in the political swiping.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
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Posted By Rick
February 8th, 2006
DOES IT GET MORE DISGUSTING? DO DEMOCRATS HAVE NO SHAME?
HOW PARTISAN DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO VIRTUALLY STAND ON THE CASKETT OF THE WIFE OF AN AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER — AT HER FUNERAL SERVICE — AND SLING POLITICAL MUD INTO THE FACE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?
Well, that’s exactly what two prominent liberals did yesterday at Coretta Scott Kings funeral. And they did it to a crowd of cheering and braying democrat donkeys.
It was a sick display of ignorance.
Bush was attacked to his face on Weapons of Mass Destruction… AND THE CROWD CHEERED.
Bush was attacked to his face on wiretapping… AND THE CROWD CHEERED.
Bush was attacked to his face on racism and Hurricane Katrina… AND THE CROWD CHEERED.
THE CROWD CHEERED OUT OF COMPLETE IGNORACE.
The crowd should be cheering at the fact that President Bush is strong enough to conduct a War on Terror that keeps us safe in America.
The crowd should cheer at the fact that this President pursued a Monster that had WMD’s that he had used on his own people, and that he said he would use on Americans.
The crowd should cheer at the fact that this President continues to fight this war to keep these braying donkeys safe by listening in on conversations of people connected with Al Queda…ESPECIALLY IF THOSE CONNECTIONS ARE ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES!
And finally…the crowd should cheer at the fact that this President has done more for the African Americans with employment, White House appointments, Katrina Aide, etc than even their precious Bill Clinton.
But I guess it’s easier to believe a soundbite repeated over and over on the liberal media, than actually look into the facts of a situation.
HERE ARE SOME FACTS OF WHAT BUSH HAS DONE FOR BLACKS IN THIS COUNTRY:
Bush has done much more for blacks than did any of his predecessors. Under his leadership, the No Child Left Behind Act was implemented. That law holds public schools accountable for the education that every single child receives. The Bush administration has spent more on education over the last three years, than Bill Clinton did during his eight years in office. Since 2001, President Bush has increased funding for black colleges by a full 30 percent.
Bush also led the fight for the funding of private school vouchers. A policy which Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams (a devout liberal) favors. 1,000 D.C. children began attending private school this year, because of Bush’s determination. John Kerry is strongly opposed to school vouchers. Kerry would be content to leave students black and white, in failing schools.
President Bush has also appointed blacks to the most important cabinet positions. Colin Powell is this nation’s first black Secretary of State and Condoleezza Rice is not only the first woman to hold the position of National Security Adviser, she is also the second black American to do so - the post having also been occupied during the last part of the Reagan administration by then-Lieutenant General Colin Powell. Ms. Rice of COURSE HAS now become the next Secretary of State. Both of these most capable people are key members in a wartime cabinet.
The highest ranking elected state official in the country is AFRICAN AMERICAN Maryland Lt. Gov. Mike Steele. He was a top Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign adviser. Recently, Steele made the following statement: “Many people ask me how any African-American can support President Bush. Short answer: He has done significantly more for African-Americans than his challenger, Sen. John Kerry, ever did or has promised to do.”
President Bush has made history by appointing capable black men and women to the most prominent cabinet posts.
Bush’s education policies will benefit a much higher percentage of black children than of any other ethnic group.
During the Clinton administration, AIDS tore through the sub-Saharan continent, infecting an estimated 35 percent of the adults. Only a fraction had access to life-extending drugs. The rest had to simply wait and die. Despite the ballooning toll in human life and suffering in Africa, the U.S. budget for total nonmilitary aid, including the funding of AIDS prevention and literacy programs, health care, etc.- remained stuck during the Clinton years at $10 billion. Get it? Despite nice sound bites about how “Africa matters,” Clinton barley lifted a finger to help the impoverished and war-torn continent.
President Bush, on the other hand, has tripled what our government previously expended on nonmilitary aid to Africa.
President Bush pushed through Congress a $15 billion package to stem the spread of AIDS/HIV in Africa. The plan’s goal is to cut the death toll in Africa from HIV infections by half and new infections by 60 percent over the next three years. With this one piece of legislation, President Bush will help save more black lives than all of President Clinton’s legislation put together.
President Bush has met with 22 African leaders, increased economic and humanitarian assistance to Africa and strongly advocated for democratic change in Zimbabwe.
President Bush OFFERED 10 BILLION DOLLARS TO REBUILD NEW ORLEANS AFTER HURRICANE KATRINA!
Despite these facts, only 10 percent of black voters supported Bush’s reelection, that figure represented no gain from the 2000 election.
THE FOLLOWING MIGHT EXPLAIN WHY…
HERE’S JUST A FEW THINGS BLACK ACTIVISTS HAVE ACCUSSED BUSH OF DOING AGAINST AFRRICAN AMERICANS…. NO FACTS NECESSARY.
1. PURPOSEFULLY KILLING BLACKS BY BLOWING UP THE LEVEES DURING HURRICANE KATRINA.
2. OUTRIGHT “HATING” BLACKS
3. POISIONING THE AIR FOR BLACKS
4. COVERTLY THROWING AWAY BLACK VOTES THUS STEALING THE PRESIDENCY FOR HIMSELF
5. USING THE WAR ON TERROR TO KEEP BLACKS AND HISPANICS FROM VOTING
ONE BLACK COMMENTATOR WROTE :
Condoleezza Rice: The Devil’s Handmaiden
“Condoleezza Rice is the purest expression of a race traitor. No polite description is possible.”
I may be wrong here, but I’m getting the feeling that you just can’t win with these people.
Thought you needed a laugh after all of that.
Many people are speculating on what Bush should have done when he was confronted like this.
Some say he should have fought back.
Some say he should have gotten up and walked out.
Honestly. I think he did exactly what he should have.
He sat there. But I’m sure while he sat there he had his mind on the BIG PICTURE.
The big picture is that it doesn’t matter what insults are hurled at him, he’s responsibility for the safety of our lives.
It doesn’t matter if they yell “Racist” or “Hitler” at him. I’m sure it hurts, but it doesn’t matter. The President is far more concerned about keeping our Homeland from being attacked.
We have a President that has been attacked day after day after day. And what has he done? Gone back and looked at the big picture.
Now… lesser Presidents…Clinton, Carter, would put their fingers in the air, check polls, and TRY TO KEEP THEIR PRECIOUS EGOS AND IMAGES PERFECT.
Not Bush. He doesn’t care about image. He cares about doing the job he was elected to do. PROTECT AMERICA.
So I’m sure the braying… the disgusting braying… yesterday, just gives him resolve.
Rest assured, these pathetic liberals wouldn’t have a casket to dance on or a place to preach their hate and ignorance if there wasn’t a free and safe America today.
And for that I say THANK YOU PRESIDENT BUSH!
"The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., drew a roaring standing ovation when he said: "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor" _ a takeoff on a line from a Stevie Wonder song. The comment drew head shakes from Bush and his father as they sat behind the pulpit."
Jimmy Carter, also in the Lowery article, needs to shut-up and go away.
Carter brought up the government response to Katrina, saying, "We only have to recall the color of the faces of those in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi" to know that inequality exists. He also noted that the Kings once were "victims of secret government wiretapping" _ echoing Bush's domestic spying program.Funerals and Churches are not the place to try to fight your political enemies, especially when we have real enemies who would prefer chopping off your head!It appears they have learned nothing, not one thing, from the Weldon situation. How sad.
Residents of the Cite-Soleil slum line up to cast their vote in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2006. Haitians jammed polling stations as U.N. peacekeepers fanned out to guard the country's first presidential election in nearly six years. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
If there is an opportunity for the UN to make a mess out of things, they never miss it. People spent hours waiting for polls to open, some were turned away, etc. Will anyone ever learn how to run an election? Good grief.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Ok....here's the thing: I've seen a few protest signs during these Muslim demonstrations, where the signs say something to the effect that "Muslims revere Moses and Jesus too", as great prophets.
Strange then, that they did not express all of this outrage when Andres Serrano published his photograph, Piss Christ. Where has the Muslim outrage been over the disrespect shown to these other two prophets? They've been caricaturized a gazillion times over in different mediums. Yet, passions have not been aroused over offenses to Moses and Jesus.
Remember the 1600 year old Buddhist statues that were destroyed by the Taliban? Did anyone see Buddhists take up protest signs calling for violence, and set about burning embassies? Condemning the whole of Afghanistan, and the Middle East?
People think the battle waged over Piss Christ was about freedom of speech; but it wasn't. It was about whether or not the art piece should be government funded. And no Christian issued a fatwa, calling for the assassination of Serrano.
A great question posed by Dennis Prager yesterday is this: If Muslims are banned from depicting what Mohammed looks like, for fear of idolatry, why should the rules of conduct apply to nonbelievers? Shouldn't it only matter and apply only to those who believe? If not, then every religion can impose its will on everyone outside of itself.
If you are secure in your faith, it shouldn't matter to you, what other people think. Some of the very tenets in Islam (and I know it isn't exclusive to Islam, if one really wants to find it) seem to breed intolerance. The evidence is in the violent actions of its followers.
Islam has an anger management problem. They are quick to offend and easy to inflame. Moderate Muslims who don't want me to generalize like that need to stand up, then, and take charge of their "religion of peace"...because I'm not alone in this! And, to be frank, I am one of the more moderate voices reacting to the reactionary Muslims rioting in the streets. I like Hugh Hewitt's caution, in not being coerced to engage in a clash of civilizations which some wish to bring about and others believe to be inevitable.
Some people are mad at MSM showing their PC-sensibilities...I have mixed feelings on that. And some feel let down by the Bush Administration for their sensitivity-stance, as well. I think it is diplomatically a smart move. We are making great strides in Iraq and Afghanistan; anything that sets that back, endangers our soldiers and our mission for achieving peace there. You do not want to alienate those we are still trying to win over from the insurgents, there.
Muslims need to reciprocate what they wish to have imparted onto them. It is difficult to give respect, as much as one wants to do so- to a religion that proves intolerant in its actions and destructive in how it interacts with the non-Muslims of the world. To criticize, is not to slander. And rather than being apologists for the problems within their religion, moderate Muslims need to acknowledge it, and take ownership of their faith. The cartoons haven't made Islam look bad. Their violent reaction to it makes Islam look bad.
This "faked but accurate" photo that Anna has up on her blog is funny, because it sums it all up in a bumpersticker slogan:
Islam is becoming a caricature of its own self. And it has no one to blame but its own hypersensitivity. Tolerance and respect are earned. Do they really think that setting embassies on fire and condemning an entire continent puts Islam in a good light?
That is only the beginning of the analysis. You have to look to see what Congress has done subsequent to that. And then, of course, you have to look at the Constitution.
There have been many statements today about “No one is above the law.” And I would simply remind — and I know this doesn’t need to be stated — but no one is above the Constitution either, not even the Congress.
Hat Tip to Flopping Aces for finding it for me. Click on to read more from the transcript....
Monday, February 06, 2006
What a game! How do they get that high in the air? lol.
Bettis "The Bus" is leaving the game. He came home to play his final game. This is where it all started.
What can I say about Ward? He did wonderfully! I had one of the best times of my life. Seattle did well, also. Although it doesn't say so in points, it says so in stats. It also says so on the field, if you were watching. lol.
Yes, this was a Super Bowl well worth watching. If you did not have the opportunity to watch it, too bad. The live stream seems to have disappeared! Actually, I was not live-streaming it, so I did not tape it onto my RealPlayer. I don't even know if that's legal...?! Anyway, you will find most of the details you are looking for at the link right here, here, here and here.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
There's hope, yet. Click on the photo for more. Muslims should not allow their feelings to be manipulated into a culture war with the West. The cartoons and the faked cartoons are not a bad reflection of Islam; they are what they are: tasteless jokes on the one hand, and an intentional act to incite a clash of civilizations on the other. What is a bad reflection of Islam is how easily many Muslim people can be manipulated into a desire for a war with the West. Why is the so-called "religion of peace" so ripe and rife with anger management problems?
...the leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, which recently swept
parliamentary elections there, told Italian daily Il Giornale on Saturday that
the cartoons should be punished by death.
"We should have killed all those
who offend the Prophet and instead here we are, protesting peacefully," said a
top group leader, Mahmoud Zahar.
What say you, Steven Spielberg?
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Rage against caricatures of Islam's
revered prophet poured out across the Muslim world Saturday, with aggrieved
believers calling for executions, storming European buildings and setting
European flags afire.
Hundreds of Syrian demonstrators have stormed the
Danish Embassy in Damascus, and they've set fire to the building.
building that's been set on fire in the Syrian capital also houses the embassies
of Chile and Sweden.
Protesters have been staging sit-ins outside the embassy
almost daily since the uproar over the drawings broke out last week...
"We will redeem our prophet, Muhammad, with our blood!" they chanted.
All this over cartoons? And I'll be damned if I ever give up my Legos, even if I were submissive to Islam!
I thought this was pretty good:
It's just ink.
Imagine. A man stands before you in a boardroom, holding an inkwell.
"With this little jar of black liquid, I can make images that can get me fired, write words that will get me arrested. I can incite hate, and I can make pictures that would cause me to be executed in some countries. I can create international incidents.
"I can also leave a lasting legacy. I can inspire my children and others to attempt new things and change the world. I can make testimonies and promises to the world I will no doubt leave behind one day.
"With ink like this, Bibles, Torahs, Baghavad Gitas and Korans are printed. Millions file past old parchment in the national archives just to glimpse the ink put down two centuries ago outlining our freedoms.
"Don't let it go to waste. But never let it become more important than another liquid: never let it become more important than blood."
Right now, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, and other Muslim nations are demanding that the Danish government punish a private newspaper for printing 12 drawings of Mohammed (the prophet of Islam). Furthermore they are demanding Danish laws and UN resolutions that would forbid such "offenses" from occuring again. Ambassadors have been recalled. Flags are being burned. Threats of death are being made. This is an international incident.
It's just ink.
Hat tip: Eye of the Storm for some quotes. (Click on some of the photos for more).
U.S. Army Spc. Sam Rogers, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 48th Brigade Combat Team, receives a hug from a young Iraqi girl who is overjoyed with her new shoes. Rogers helped deliver donated shoes to the Abu Tubar School near An Nasiriyah in southern Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Britt Smith
It's been a while since I posted anything military-related. Here are more positives to counterbalance the negatives coming out of Iraq :
Troops and Nike Deliver New Shoes to Children
School children cannot attend school unless they are dressed properly and that means shoes on their feet.
Shoes represent the difference between a child in a classroom, learning and a child outside watching as other children study their daily lessons. In a country where a little bit of money goes a long way, some parents simply do not have a spare dinar to put shoes on their children’s feet, opting instead to feed them. An education comes in second or third on the priority list of parents who must have their children work the fields and tend the herds of sheep that is often their sole source of income.
U.S. Troops Deliver Donated English Soccer Jerseys
U.S. Army Col. Vic Grace, assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan's Defense Reform Directorate, hands out pens to children at the Bagrami Village refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 16, 2005. Personnel from Camp Eggers in Kabul visited the camp to provide toys, snacks, clothing and other supplies to needy Afghans there. Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. David B. Huxsoll U.S. Air Force Maj. Jeffrey Greenwood passes out candy to children at the Bagrami Village refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 16, 2005. Greenwood, a counternarcotics future operations planner with Combined Forces Command — Afghanistan, visited the camp with other personnel from Camp Eggers in Kabul to provide toys, snacks, clothing and other supplies to needy Afghans there. Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. David B. Huxsoll U.S. Air Force Maj. Jeffrey Greenwood takes a donkey cart ride with some children at the Bagrami Village refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 16, 2005. Greenwood, a counternarcotics future operations planner with Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan, visited the camp with other personnel from Camp Eggers in Kabul to provide toys, snacks, clothing and other supplies to needy Afghans there. Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. David B. Huxsoll
Jim Norman, a Defense Department contractor, and U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jim Thomson provide first aid to an Afghan girl at the Bagrami Village refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 16, 2005. Personnel from Camp Eggers in Kabul visited the camp to provide toys, snacks, clothing and other supplies to needy Afghans there. Norman serves with the Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan as the personnel program's mentor to the Afghan Ministry of Defense and General Staff. Thomson serves as Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan first sergeant. Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. David B. Huxsoll
Saturday, February 04, 2006
I have been wrong about a many things in my life. After much reflection, I am correcting my weblog originally written on 02/04/2006.
I was graciously turned away from the Armed Forces Service Center because it is their policy not to allow military retirees use of their facility.
I was flying from Washington DC to Seattle with what I thought was a two hour plane change and layover. I was looking forward to a relaxing time at Minneapolis - St. Paul because I had been through the airport about four years ago and had used the Armed Forces Service Center before. After inquiring where it was located from the airport information traveler aide counter, I purchased baggage locker space inside the security section of the airport to leave my computers and carry-on baggage. As we all know, it is a hassle to go through the security checkpoint with two laptops, cell phone, keys, change, etc. Had I known that retirees were not allowed to use the Armed Forces Service Center, I would have purchased a cup of coffee at Starbucks and not have left the concourse.
When I went into the center, volunteer hosts were on duty. They politely explained to me that retirees were not allowed to use the facility. They explained, "Our scope of service at Minneapolis - St. Paul Airport is narrow. We are privately funded and cannot support servicing retirees."
Well, after finding out the name of the Armed Forces Service Center Director's name, I asked the hosts if I could at least get a cup of coffee. They said it was "ok to look around a little and get a cup of coffee." I got a cup of coffee and sat down on the sofa to drink it. One of the hosts, a man of middle age, came up to me and said. "we really have a very strict narrow scope of operation here, you have to leave." So, I left.
Needless to say, several emails have gone back and forth to Minneapolis - St. Paul since. I would like to share an email that I received from the President of the Board of Directors of the Armed Forces Service Center:
There must have been some confusion that evening as the hosts did not point out that I could have taken a seat outside the center to drink my coffee. The subsquent chain of events have not been pleasant and I have been reminded by two individuals that my weblog and correspondence have not been appropriate.
"Let me begin by saying that I am a 21-year Air Force retiree, know the importance of those of us who have "gone before" and realize the support given to active duty troops by the retired force.
There are several reasons the center is opened only to "active duty." When the center was founded in November of 1970, local veterans’ organizations were approached to assist with the funding and volunteers - to insure the center would be open 24/7. The consensus among the veteran organizations was, the center should be available to active duty military and their dependents, since they have the greatest need for our services during their travels. Therefore, under the founding charter of the Armed Forces Service Center, we are charged with supporting "active duty" military personnel and have done so for 35+ years with an all-volunteer force. Further, our insurance coverage and 501c3 status (IRS-designated, non-profit organization) is directly tied to that charter. Finally there is the space issue. Since September 11, 2001 and the resulting "War on Terrorism," there have been many days when the center was packed to capacity.
We take great pride in having a one-of-a-kind center, it is unlike the USO's throughout the U.S. (i.e.some USO's charge our veterans to use the facilities and accept donations. The Armed Forces Service Center provides EVERYTHING free of charge to our active duty guests and their dependents; Many USO's are open limited hours - we are opened 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have proudly never had our doors closed in 35 years; USO's are funded by the government, our funds come from veteran/military organizations, their auxiliaries and private donations). I have used many of the USO's, and it is an excellent organization and provide outstanding facilities.
I can positively assure you that all organizations donating funds know fully the extent of our operations. As a veteran, I find it disheartening that you disparage the center in a blog without first finding out what its all about. You bad-mouth an organization that has served over 700,000 active duty veterans, many returning as disabled veterans, by providing a place for them to relax between flights. Also, the executive director, Debra Cain, is not responsible for the establishment of the rules - she is charged with carrying out the day-to-day operations of the center.
A couple of "tidbits":
Many of our all-volunteer staff are retired military and served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf - from Staff Sergeant to Admiral.
Many members of the Board of Directors are also retired military personnel.
Many organizations comprised of retired veterans support us with volunteers, funding and make up members on our board of directors, including the Submarine Veterans of WWII, the Military Officers of America Association and the Reserve Officers Association.
To underscore our appreciation for all those who have served, the AFSC offers veterans a cup of coffee, pastry and seating in front of the Center.
I know that USOs and other service organizations have extended the welcome mat to retirees. I am sure that they to have insurance, tax exempt status, and other regulations that they have had to comply with.
I find it disheartening is that an individual with 100% service connected disability would be placed under the same restrictions as a regular retiree. We have a lot of fallen heroes who need much help from the rest of us fortunate citizens. That in itself may be reason enough for you to explore extending the welcome mat to retirees or at least those with service connected disabilities.
I regrete that I have uttered hurtful words and should have been more responsible in my weblog. I had no intention to besmirch the reputation the Armed Forces Service Center. This has been a bitter sweet topic for me because I understand full well hardships active duty personnel and their families encounter and a kind hand extended makes the world of difference. I commend the Armed Forces Service Center for serving active duty personnel and their families over 30 years, and on a volunteer basis.
However, I am not sure about the resistance to change regarding thier retiree policy. Perhaps it is time for them to extend the welcome mat to retirees on a space available basis. We retirees are still part of the family, although should provide the most assistance and care to the active duty personnel and thier immediate families members.
Technorati tags: MSP Airport, Armed Forces Services Organization, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Airport, retired military, military retirees, travel alert