April 07, 2005
This is why I will never be more than a Large Mammal
If you haven't been there yet, you really should drop by Captain's Quarters and bear witness to Ed Morrisey's own version of the South Park movie, starring in the real life role of Kyle's mom (but he's no b*tch!). Update: looks like Kyle's Mom wins in this one!
Ed is single-handedly taking on the nation of Canada and their idiotic law which allows them to keep the proceedings of public hearings out of the media. How ironic it is that Canadians can't report the goings on, but an American can.Read More "This is why I will never be more than a Large Mammal" »
Some would object that this law is akin to our rules regarding Grand Jury testimony, but it's quite different (Grand Jury testimony always comes out anyway) This is not an in camera (private) proceeding. These are public hearings, and the Canadian legal system is barring Canadian citizens from reading about what's happening out of worries about what the media coverage would do to a potential jury pool.
Please. Didn't OJ get acquitted? I doubt the Canadian media is any more persuasive than the American media. The people of Canada have a right to know what their government is doing and what the truth is in this matter. Abridging the rights of 12 million (well, ok, more than that) so that 12 individuals will be unbiased is blatantly stupid. I'm sure that there are plenty of people in Quebec who are eligible to serve on the jury who won't have read the papers anyway. Just like here.
Holding the media hostage in a case of government corruption is even worse.
Most of you know just how much I love the MSM, but they have a right to report public proceedings. And people have a right to hear them.
I bet all those idiots who made a run for the border are asking themselves just which totalitarian state is worse, the one with the Chimp for a President, or the one that abridges their rights.....
(cross posted to the old blog)
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April 15, 2005
Now that the cat is out of the bag
The Bear Flag League has filed an amicus brief in the Apple case many of you have heard so much about.
Here's the press release (lifted from SoCalLawBlog):
April 15, 2005.
Today, the Bear Flag League -- a coalition of 80 bloggers who are current and former California residents -- filed a friend of the court brief with the California Sixth District Court of Appeal in O'Grady v. Superior Court. The O'Grady case is an appellate proceeding arising from a lawsuit filed by Apple Computer in Santa Clara County in December 2004. Apple sued unnamed individuals who are accused of leaking information regarding Apple's new products to several news websites. Apple has initiated discovery procedures available under California law to identify the source of the leaked information, including serving a subpoena to the Internet service provider for one of the news websites. Apple hopes that the subpoena will reveal the identity of its employees or other parties involved in the leaks. The publishers of the news websites have asked the Santa Clara County Superior Court to block Apple's discovery in order to protect the publishers' confidential sources. When the Superior Court denied that request, the publishers filed a petition with the Sixth District Court of Appeal. The lawsuit involves the competing interests of the First Amendment guarantees of a free press on the one hand and Apple's rights to protect the unlawful dissemination of its trade secrets on the other.
The Bear Flag League is an unincorporated association of current and former residents of the State of California who operate and/or contribute to 80 blogs. The League was formed in July 2003 in order to collaborate and publish articles concerning California culture, current events, legal issues and politics for the reading public.
The brief filed by the League today urges the Sixth District Court of Appeal to afford these website publishers and all bloggers the same privileges and protection from discovery that traditional print and broadcast journalists enjoy under the United States and California Constitution. Because these website publishers targeted by Apple are engaged in the same news gathering and reporting activities as print journalists, broadcast reporters and Internet bloggers, they have the right to protect their confidential sources and thereby maintain a strong, independent and free press.
The League's brief was prepared by a number of the League's lawyer members, including, Justene Adamec of Pumilia & Adamec LLP and Jeffrey Lewis and Benjamin P. Pugh of Enterprise Counsel Group, ALC.
For more information on the case, go here and here.
The brief can be found here. (PDF format)
May 03, 2005
It doesn't matter where you die
A hero is still a hero. DeoDeuce of The Daily Spork lost a dear friend this week when he was killed in an accident during training prior to his upcoming depolyment to Iraq.
My deepest condolences to his family, and all the families who've lost a soldier here and overseas.
May 13, 2005
Bleeding (and Blogging) Dodger Blue
Seems blogging has found its way into the clubhouse and the front office... Guess who's got a blog now?
If you click through to the MLBlogs page, there are links for the blogs of a number of other baseball notables, including Brooks Robinson.
(h/t Cap'n Ed)
May 30, 2005
Memorial Day 2005
On Memorial Day, take the time to remember the soldiers in your life, and what they mean to you, as well as what their service has meant for all of us. Take the time to think about it, and you might be surprised at how many people in your life have served our country.
These are mine:
My maternal grandfather, who worked in a transportation company in WWII, deployed to Canada. He helped to build the Al-Can highway.
My paternal grandfather, a recent immigrant to this country who volunteered for the army and was sitting on a platform, waiting to ride the train to basic training on November 11, 1918.
My maternal grandmother, a Red Cross nurse at Camp Stockton. Incidentally where she met my grandfather, before he went to Canada.
Her sister, also a Red Cross Nurse, a WAVE, too if I recall, and her husband, a naval officer.
Uncle L who went from a Captain to a Private in France in WWII because he told a general that "Engineers are not lumberjacks" and that the general's men could "cut their own f*cking wood".
My mother's cousin, a Marine who volunteered for 4 tours in Vietnam, and is now the proud father of a Naval Academy graduate (and another NA student)
Uncle D who was a radio operator for 13 months in Vietnam and came home with a bronze star for bug watching which led him to see the enemy approaching...
Cousin D who flies B-2s and once saved the Air Force $1 billion.
His Brother B who just finished medical school and will be a USAF doctor
My sweet husband who fixed artillery in peacetime, and stood guard after 9/11.
My B-I-L who has spent less than 6 months living as husband and wife with my S-I-L; their 3 year marriage encompassing a tour in Korea, a brief return to Ft. Hood, and a year long deployment in Iraq. Now they'll be able to be together.
My friend's husband, who served in the Navy, and then switched to the Army and became a Blackhawk pilot.
Our good buddy H, who served with my hubby, as well as a year in Korea followed by another in Iraq. He's off to Germany next.....
And don't forget the milbloggers who bring us the real stories of what's going on in the "Sandbox" these days, and who do their duty unselfishly and with pride.
August 22, 2005
Fusileer reporting for duty
Have you contributed to Project Valour- IT yet? If not, click here or on the button on the left to make a donation. Every little bit helps!
What I hope will be my LAST post on the Sheehan mess
I was inspired to write this by the words of a commenter calling himself File Closer on this post at protein wisdom, in response to a previous comment by someone calling himself "patton". File Closer was there in Iraq, in an artillery unit attached to Casey Sheehan's battery. He has some choice words for the left. Go read his words. I'll wait
As some of you may have noticed, the moonbats have got it under their tin hats that the BEST argument in favor of Cindy Sheehan and her position is this: you have no right to talk if you haven't been there. Put up or shut up.
Basically, these maroons are throwing the word "chickenhawk" around a lot and claiming that supporting a war that you have not fought in is morally bankrupt.
Ahh, the irony there.....
Anyway this is sooo wrong on so MANY fronts, so I apologize if what follows isn't a smooth piece of writing.
First, serving this country in wartime means a HELL of a lot more than calling 1-800-GO-ARMY (as was suggested by commenter patton at protein wisdom). For every young man or woman who raises their hand and swears to defend this country against all enemies, even at the cost of their life, there are dozens of family members, friends, and coworkers who sacrifice their lives and plans because someone they care about is miles away, doing a very important job. Beyond this there are the thousands of folks who volunteer their time to run a USO room at the local airport, make sure soldiers get care packages, or just take a moment to say "Thank you" to a vet of ANY war. All of these people are serving in their own ways, some at more personal risk than others.
I've been there, you know. I know what it's like. Luckily, my own DH was never deployed overseas, but that was sheer luck and timing. DH was a mechanic in a sister unit to Casey Sheehan's. If he hadn't been discharged, he would have been there too. My BIL was in the SAME unit as Casey Sheehan. He was there. As a family, we serve this country together by supporting our loved troops and putting our lives with them on hold until they get back. It's about unselfishness, putting your nation's needs ahead of your own.
Next, it's a logical fallacy to say that someone CAN NOT have a valid opinion on something they haven't experienced. By that same token, moonies, you need to give up your opinions on Gay Rights (unless you are homosexual) or Abortion rights (unless you have had one). Oh wait, that's not fair, huh? I call BS. It's the same argument. Put up or shut up, right? Except that there's no cute phone number to become gay or have an abortion (or tp get a uterus for the guys, for that matter).
I want to close by reminding people about what happened the day Casey Sheehan died. C 1-82 1CD (C battery of the 1st batallion 82nd Field Artillery, 1st Cavalry Division) was on a rescue mission in Sadr City, just 1 week into their time in Iraq. They were new in country, new to real battle, and definitely not trained for this. This platoon from C 1-82 are MECHANICS for God's sake. They spend every day fixing diesel engines on tanks and artillery. Yet these very brave young men went in to do their duty and resuce their comrades, and they were pinned down by RPGs in an ambush attack by insurgents. Seven men died that day, not just Casey Sheehan. It would have been 8, except that my BIL was shot in his Kevlar vest and went home with a nasty bruise instead of a coffin.
When we talk about SPC Casey Sheehan, we need to remember SGT Eddie Chen, SPC Israel Garza, CPL Forest Jostes, SPC Stephen Hiller, SPC Robert Arsiaga, and SPC Ahmed Cason as well.
August 23, 2005
A project you can get behind
Dean tells the story of William Ziegenfuss, father of CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss, and an all-around American hero, from his days serving his country in Vietnam to his decades-long battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, almost certainly caused by exposure to Agent Orange.
Bill Ziegenfuss was the inspiration for Project Valour-IT and it is carried out in his memory.
August 25, 2005
Do you read Michael Yon?
If you don't you should.
Soldier's Angels has managed to raise over $7500 already! That's thanks to all of you who've contributed. But our goal is $600,000 to fully implement Project Valour-IT in ALL military hospitals, so we have a long way to go.
Here's a Project Valour-IT update at Cool Blue Blog....
August 26, 2005
Way To Go!
Chris Muir's Day by Day honors Project Valour-IT today:
Drop by the URL above, and make a donation, or just hit the Project Valour-IT button on the left!
Almost 2 years after landing on the Martian surface and unfurling its solar panels, the rover Spirit is now poised atop the highest point on the nearby Martian plain.
"When we started the mission, if anyone had told us that we would not only drive all the way over to the Columbia Hills, but also drive to the highest point there, I think we would not have really believed it," [team scientist William]Farrand told Space.com.
Farrand said that a lot of credit goes to the rover planners — the engineers who plot out the drives and movements of the instrument-tipped mechanical arm carried by each of the Mars rovers.
"They’ve done a fabulous job with both rovers and getting Spirit to the ‘top of the hill’ is an amazing accomplishment," Farrand added.
Amazing. Read the whole article.
(h/t Jack of Random Fate)
August 31, 2005
Somebody's actually doing something
Someone famous that is, but this guy is SO not a hollywood type....
WKIT-FM 100.3 here in Bangor, Maine is a radio station owned by Stephen and Tabitha King. They're holding a pay for play day on the station - call with a request and a pledge, and they'll play any song you desire. All donations are going to the American Red Cross, with the Kings matching all donations dollar for dollar.
He may be a liberal nut job, but at least Steve King is a real person with a real heart. The radio station's website is here, although they don't have any links to the pay-for-play day. However, the phone # is there if you'd like to participate....
UPDATE: BET is also on the ball. The BET network is hosting a telethon to aid Katrina's victims on Friday, September 9th, one week from Friday. Their webpage also lists many links for place to donate, get help, find relatives, etc.
Way to go BET!
September 01, 2005
A letter from beyond
IMAO of all places posts a letter "from" Casey Sheehan to his mom.
This hits the nail on the head:
"...But here's the thing,[Mom,] I chose to go to Iraq. I re-enlisted in 2004, when all the arguments against the war there are now were already out there. I also volunteered for that mission in which I got killed. I was a grown man, and I made my choices. Maybe they were stupid choices and I got duped into this whole thing - I certainly didn't mean to die - but they were my decisions and I thought what I was doing was right.
You know how back when I was a kid you used to spit on napkin and wipe my face in front of my friends and I'd get all embarrassed? Well, this whole "Camp Casey" thing is like that times a million. I know you don't mean it that way, but you make it sound like I was some dumb kid led by the pied piper to Iraq. I knew exactly what I was doing, though, and I wasn’t a kid. Now, through your camp, my name is associated with all this people I wouldn't want anything to do with - people I don't think are your real friends either. Then the media has all these statements from you and everyone is trying to make it sound like you're some nut when I know you’re just trying your best to do right by me."
Well said, even for a ghost.
September 07, 2005
Long time readers will remember Roy Hallums, the American hostage held in Iraq for nearly a year. Well. word came today that Roy has been freed!
Rusty Shackelford, who has done so much to get Roy's story out there, has the details.
October 12, 2005
Damn Good Dog
If you haven't seen this story, you should.
Ranger, a 4 year old Belgian Malinois, and an officer of the Long Beach Police Department was shot and killed in the performance of his duties last week. Today was his funeral, and he will be buried at the Long Beach Police Academy in their K9 cemetary.
Long Beach police were attempting to capture a gang member who was suspected of parole violations on October 4th, when he fired at officers and crawled under a porch. Despite several warnings, the criminal did not come out and so Officer Mike Parcells sent in his partner, Ranger.
Ranger brought out the bad guy, but he was mortally wounded in the process.
The bad guy didn't make it either.
Everytime I see this story on the news, it makes me cry to see the officer cradling his partner in his arms as he rushed him to the emergency Vet clinic where he died after 3 1/2 hours of surgery.
Ranger leaves behind his partner, Officer Parcells, and his family, Mrs. Parcells and the two Parcells kids who were his best friends and who used to sneak him hot dogs behind their daddy's back.
Ranger is the third K9 officer to be memorialized by the Long Beach PD.
October 27, 2005
The Dogs of War
Just a reminder that our young men and women aren't the only ones in harm's way. Many of them owe their survival to their K-9 partner, known in military speak as their MWD (military working dog).
The US War Dogs Association is dedicated to supporting these brave and loyal soldiers, and has a great slideshow of MWDs in action, both deployed and in training.
This guy is now my desktop wallpaper at work.
Click him to enter the slide show! (may need to allow pop-ups) Be sure to browse around the site for more info and other great pictures after the show.
(h/t Sgt Hook)
November 02, 2005
Soon to be appearing in this space
In the Valour-IT competition, nearing the end of Day 1....
We've raised twice as much as the Zoomies, with almost
$2700 $3000!! so far! (5pm PST)
Donate Early, Donate Often!
Clicky Clicky on the button! (on the left sidebar)
November 03, 2005
Imagine being thousands of miles from home, battling heat, wind, sand, and an enemy that is too cowardly to face you on the street, preferring to throw RPGs and IEDs at you, or blow themselves up in a car bomb.
Imagine being attacked by one of these cowards. Hearing the explosion, feeling the heat and the wind, and looking down to see blood, feeling the pain.
You're rushed to the field hospital by the medics, and suddenly everything is out of control: needles, pain meds, fluids, bandages, your whole world upside down in a matter of minutes.
Next thing you know, you wake up in a hospital, look down at your hands and see bandages. Maybe you were lucky enough to keep your hands, maybe they're gone. In either case, you can't use them.
Imagine how helpless you would feel. You can't feed yourself, dress yourself, read a book, change the channel on the television. You can't pick up the phone and dial your Mom, even just to tell her you're ok. No really, you are OK.
Imagine days on end like this. What you would give just to be able to be a little independent. To have something you can do for yourself, even just to be able to call up your family on your own.
Now imagine an Angel walks into your room one day, with a laptop and a microphone. This Angel, not a heavenly Angel, but a real Angel, a Soldier's Angel, has a Valour-IT laptop, and it's yours to use. You can get back in touch with the world on your own terms. The voice activated software lets you write letters, surf the web, send email, watch videos, even blog, all without your hands. And you can use it whenever you want, as long as you're still there.
Imagine how this marvelous gift would make you feel.
Supporting Valour-IT means that such a feeling is no longer a dream for many of our wounded soldiers. Just $685 buys a fully outfitted laptop, complete with the voice software, and ready to help a wounded service person reconnect. Any small amount of money will go a long way towards buying these computers and getting them into our military hospitals where they can be put to good use.
Even $5. It's not hard to set aside a few $$ to help out. Think you can skip that venti latte for one day to help out a wounded soldier? There's $5. Take lunch to work instead of the Cafeteria or McDonalds, another $5. Making dinner at home instead of going out gets you $20. Running errands in one trip to save gas gets you another $5 saved.
So dig deep. We're almost a quarter of the way to our goal. Help us help our soldiers.
To donate with a credit card, click the button on the left. To send a check, click here for the address.
Remember all donations to Valour-IT are tax deductible and every donor gets a Soldier's Angels coin. Every donor over $50 who uses my button (email me) gets a minimum 500 word essay on the topic of your choice (within reason) and gratuitous linkage (in lieu of a blog ad, which we don't do here)
Bloggers participating in Team Army:
Keep My Soldier Safe
Most Certainly Not
My Life As A Military Spouse
One By One The Vultures Pick Away At My Sanity
Some Soldier's Mom
Not Exactly Rocket Science
Just My Opinion
By The Way...
The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill
Winds of Change
Iraq War News
When the Smoke Clears
Right-Wing of the Gods
Target Center Mass
Linked to the 11/4 OTB Traffic Jam
November 04, 2005
Try this at home!
Here's comic man Mike Wallster's (of Ipso Facto Comics) contribution to Valour-IT:
That's what it's like for our wounded troops without the use of their hands and arms.
Every little bit you can give to Valour-IT helps! Especially now that those Squiddies got two very large donations and have pulled ahead!
Click on the button to the left to donate to our team, the First Team, Team Army!
(bonus points to anyone except my DH who gets where that phrase comes from)
in deference to those of you who might have other opinions on which group is best, try these links to donate:
To credit the Zoomies go here.
For the Squids, go here.
And if you love the Jarheads, go here.
November 08, 2005
Even Dear Abby buries the Lede
The lede of yesterday's Dear Abby column was a letter from a Dad who is hurt when his ex throws birthday parties for their kids and doesn't invite him.
This was the second letter:
DEAR ABBY: I was a soldier serving in Iraq. Last April, I was in a vehicular accident while part of a military convoy and was MEDEVACed to the nearest medical treatment facility.
When you're a trauma patient in the United States, you're put in a cubicle in an emergency room, blocked off from the rest of the patients. That is not the case in the military during a war.
I didn't mind sharing the trauma room with the Marine who had arrived there before me. He had been shot three times in the face. While I was in the room with this brave Marine, the trauma crew fought valiantly to save his life. He flatlined seven times in just the short period after I got there. The nurses, doctors and medics worked tirelessly on him, not giving up. Finally, the doctor told them it was over, and they covered him up. I never knew his name. I lay on my litter while they started to work on my arm, which had been pinned under the truck during my accident and crushed, crying silently for the life that had been lost.
I'm writing this to you, Abby, to let that Marine's parents and friends know how hard the doctors and crew fought to save his life. Besides the medical crew, I'm the only one who knows. He wasn't just a face, or a name on a memorial to them. He was a life, and many people tried hard to keep him alive. If he had been my child, I would want to know. -- ANOTHER SOLIDER, CLARKSVILLE, TENN.
Not much from me here, I wanted to highlight this amazing testament.
If this was my son, I would be profoundly grateful for the thoughtfulness of Another Soldier who took a few moments out of his day to let the world know how hard the medics fought for the life of that Marine. But I would also be profoundly saddened that even Dear Abby chose to print this letter as an afterthought.
In honor of this soldier, this marine, and the medics who worked tirelessly on both of them, why don't you make a donation to Valour-IT and tell our troops that we support them, both well and wounded? Click the button on the left sidebar or go here.
November 10, 2005
we interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging.....
...to bring you this Project Valour-IT update.
Although Navy is ahead right now, Team Army was the first to go over the $21,000 mark (our goal!), some time last night!
Also, Carren Z was on MSNBC yesterday, discussing the project and she did an AWESOME job. If you missed it, click here to go to the page. If you click on the Project Valour link underneath the picture of the Ziegenfuss family with President Bush, you can see the video. However, you can only see it in IE (damn Microsoft) so if you're running Firefox, get the IE viewer extension first, then right click the link to view in IE.
Finally, since the competition is almost over, and today is the Marines' big day, why don't you throw them some lovin'. To donate to Team Marines, go here.
November 11, 2005
Take a moment today to reflect on all our veterans, and what their service means to your life.
December 03, 2005
Everything's coming up Roses
Trojans Win!!! 66-19
Sorry, (f)UCLA fans, but we all knew this was gonna happen today.
See you all here in Pasadena for New Year's!
December 08, 2005
I ran across this idea today while reading through some new (to me) blogs.
Code Red Women for the Troops has a mission as well: To show the troops we support them and their mission. It's is our responsibility to teach our children that freedom is not free and comes with a great price. Our military men and women are to be honored and respected. It's repulsive that an organization such as Code Pink would use "peace" as a facade to degrade and disrespect our soldiers. Our troops are the only chance for peace that we have. We want them home too, but not until they finish what they started.
December 14, 2005
For our Heroes!
I received this email today from CPT. Chuck Ziegenfuss, who as many of you know was wounded in OIF and was the inspiration for Project Valour-IT. If you know someone who qualifies, PLEASE pass this info on to them!
Hi there. My name is Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss, and for those of you who
don't know me, I was wounded during OIF. And, for the last six months have
struggled to regain my health. During that time, I helped to found Project
Valour -- IT... I was the test bed/guinea pig. You can read more about me
and a long strange trip it's been from Iraq to my living room at
But that's not why I'm writing you today. I am begging you to please post
about an organization called Salute America's Heroes. They are donating
$500 to every wounded Soldier, Sailor, Airmen or Marine who registers with
them in the next few days. I don't know when the end date is on this, but
they did extend it beyond the date listed on their web site. This has been
approved by and coordinated through the Department of Defense office of
General Counsel Standards of Conduct office.
I'm simply trying to get the word out about this project. Please help me
by writing something about it in your blog, and telling any wounded veterans
that you know about this. If you prefer, you can simply link to my post on
You can check out the organization at:
And our veterans can register for the $500 award at
I was called this morning by a representative from the Veterans
Administration, who pointed me to this site so I myself could register. I
felt that I would be doing a disservice to my fellow wounded veterans if I
did not do everything that I could to spread the word about this program.
Thank you very much for your time,
Go over to Chuchk's blog and check it out for yourself!
Update from Chuck: Supposedly the VA is contacting all the servicepeople who qualify. HOWEVER, given the fact that this is the VA, if you know someone who might qualify, it doesn't hurt to make a phone call.....
December 18, 2005
DH's long-awaited Rant
Prompted by an assholish conversation we were forced to listen to at the next table during breakfast this morning, and a post over at Smash's place, my DH presents his long awaited rant on Mama Moonbat and the prostitution of her son's death.
January 06, 2006
For Ariel Sharon
Say a prayer for the prime minister.
Say a prayer for the man who could not be broken.
Say a prayer for our shattered present. Say a prayer for our shuttered common future.
Pray for the man who could not be stilled. Pray for the man who could not be swayed.
Say a prayer for the future only he knew.
Say a prayer for the people he has left behind. The Jewish People, the people he loved, at times despite himself, despite them. The people who could not bring themselves to love him.
Pray for those of us who once embraced him, and came to curse him.
Pray for those of us who once cursed him, and could not bring ourselves to forgive him.
Pray for those who call themselves religious and see in this, the hand of God.
Pray for those who call themselves non-religious and need now to pray.
Pray for the leaders who, unable to replace him, will now succeed him.
Pray for a miracle. Pray for all of us. Pray that we may know to heal each other.
Pray for this land. That it may know the peace that he never will.
January 18, 2006
Sweeet. Score one for the snipers!
h/t Master of None
January 20, 2006
Rusty Shackleford to the rescue!
Our friends at the Jawa Report have actually helped nab a terrorist!
A dumb terrorist, but a terrorist nonetheless.
Excellent Job Rusty!
BTW, it's also the Jawa's 2nd Bloggyversary!
January 30, 2006
The Good Stein
One more before I go try to take a nap, Ben Stein takes on Joel Stein.
I knew there was a reason I liked this guy.
PS Watching C-SPAN 2 right now, and for the record, John Kerry is a blowhard who has ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what the fuck he is talking about. Flip Flop alert!
January 31, 2006
Congratulations Mr. Justice!
Samuel A. Alito, Jr. was confirmed as the 110th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States this morning by a vote of 58-42.
He was subsequently sworn in and will make his debut as Associate Justice at tonight's State of the Union Address.
It's nice when good things happen in spite of a**holes, don't you think?
February 03, 2006
Oh the Irony
Journalist and Blogger Michael Yon has consistently been one of the most strident voices in support of our Troops and the marvelous things they do in Iraq that don't get reported elsewhere.
You know the old saying don't sh*t where you eat? Well, it looks like the Army is doing just that.
Since last fall, Michael has been trying to claim the rights to his own photograph, including any compensation the Army recieved for its publication, and has been denied.
According to the Boston Herald, the Army is denying his claim based on their assertion that the
""hold harmless" waiver that [he signed at the ouset of his trip] absolved the government of responsibility for any "injury" Yon might suffer as an embedded blogger.Michael Yon has consistently supported our troops and brought their stories to light out of his own pocket, having recieved no compensation for his time in Iraq, funding his trips to the Middle East on his own. By denying Michael his due compensation for this photograph, the Army is, ironically enough, shooting themselves in the foot by preventing one of their best weapons in the battle of public opinion from reloading.
The army also said that Yon uploaded his photo onto government computer servers, creating an "implied license" agreement for the Army to distribute the photo.
Yon, whoâ€™s become something of an online celebrity because of his vivid battle dispatches from Iraq, said the Army's arguments are "preposterous". The injury waiver applies to physical wounds, not copyright infringements, he said.
He added he gave the Army permission to use the photo for purely internal purposes."
February 08, 2006
Good News for a change....
Chuck Z. posts his account of the Sooper Bowl here. Thanks indeed to the wonderful folks from Soldiers Angels who made it possible for Chuck to watch his beloved "Stillers" beat the Seahawks!
Fatwas accepted here
We, the undersigned, agree that:
Liberty to express and discuss any issue including religion is a basic principle of a free society and human dignity.Wanna join the party? Go here and leave your name and URL in the comments.
Accepting free speech is an essential quality of free people.
Fear of free speech is the mark of one whose beliefs are weak or based on force.
...Because we so despise those who would use violence to silence others, and because we laugh at the thought that their voices speak for any power beyond their own weakness and fear of open talk, we hereby:
Request, invite, and laugh at the issue of a FATWA, CURSE, SPELL, or any other fancied ignominy that any enemy of human liberty may choose to place upon us.
March 04, 2006
Eat this Coach K
AP courtesy tarheelblue.com
In honor of our victory, Our Alma Mater:
Hark the sound of Tar Heel voices
Ringing clear and True
Singing Carolina's praises
Hail to the brightest Star of all
Clear its radiance shine
Carolina priceless gem,
Receive all praises thine.
I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred
And when I die I'm a Tar Heel dead.
So it's RAH, RAH, Car'lina 'lina
RAH, RAH, Car'lina 'lina
RAH, RAH, Car'lina
RAH! RAH! RAH!
'Neath the oaks the sons true hearted
Homage pay to thee
Time worn walls give back their echo
Hail to U.N.C.
Though the storms of life assail us
Still our hearts beat true
Naught can break the friendships formed at
Dear old N.C.U.
Click the link to hear the music and words by the UNC Band and Choir, and sing along!
Don't forget to stomp.
March 23, 2006
How do you salute?
I gathered some 16 of my old military friends who agreed to sponsor a movement for Veterans to salute rather than place their hands over their heart when honoring the flag, fallen comrades, and/or the country. I have some from each of the four principal services. Three of them were former Vice Chiefs or Assistant Commandants of their services, and several were former CINC’s.
We refer to saluting when we do the pledge to the flag, when the National Colors pass or are presented, when the National Anthem or honors are played, or when taps are played and firing squads or guns render honors.
At first glance, it seems ludicrous, but the discussion has gotten pretty interesting. I myself am not sure where I stand. Traditionally, the salute is reserved for uniformed soldiers, but as a mark of respect from the duty-bound, a salute seems appropriate from a veteran who has taken an oath for life.
And I admit, I would love to see this:
Just imagine thousands of fans salutiing at NFL, MBA, and Major League Baseball games when the National Anthem is plalyed. It will telegraph a message to all others of how many have served this country in the Armed Forces—it will be a positive and patroitic message.
March 27, 2006
Blogburst for Guillermo Fariñas Hernandez
Senor Fariñas has rejected food and water for 57 days to protest the lack of freely available, uncensored internet access to the people of Cuba.
57 days. The latest updates indicate that he will die soon.
You can. You're reading this now, after all.
April 28, 2006
We want you...
Are you a Conservative blogger?
Support the War on Terror?
Support the Troops but are unable to serve in the Armed Forces?
Tired of being called a Chickenhawk?
Embrace your talons, and join the 101st Fighting Keyboardists!
The Chickenhawks are here, and we're ready to chew up all the Liberal Chickens!
For more information see IMAO, Captain's Quarters, and Freedom Dogs
May 01, 2006
Something you can do for Fran's
Even though the Hilton asshats threw them out, it's not over for Fran O'Briens.
Chuck had a great idea of how we can get the word out about how heartless the Hilton people have been.
Go to Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels.com, etc. and leave a review of the Capital Hilton on each page. Tell the story of the dinners at Fran's, and what you think of Hilton's corporate decision. Be sure to tell them that you will never patronize any of their establishments again. Believe me, their PR people DO read the reviews at these sites since thier customers utilize these sites!
Crossposted at the Cotillion!
May 22, 2006
Data Stolen from more than 25 MILLION US Veterans
Everyone discharged since 1975 (including my husband) has had their personal data compromised because some IDIOT took it home on a laptop without authorization.
Full story here. Mike Hampton has more, including a letter that will be sent to affected veterans(h/t Jawa Howie)
June 03, 2006
An Inconvenient Truth
Life's a bitch, War is Hell, and commitments are hard to keep. We all know this, yet so many people believe that if we simply ignore these truths, they might just go away.
Cassandra of Villainous Company also nails it:
It's long, but well worth it. Read the whole thing!
"If only we could go back to the good old days, when there was no news coming out of Iraq and we didn't have to confront the horror. When we could tell ourselves, even if it wasn't true, that our hands were clean.
I hope one of these smart people, who are so disturbed over our "failures" in Iraq and Afghanistan can tell me what they propose to do when we pull out? What do they think will happen? Why do they think a small minority of Iraqis are planting bombs and practicing terrorism against their fellow Muslims - innocent civilians - in order to prevent a democratic government from being formed?
The insurgents, too, long for the good old days. And right now, we are the only thing standing between them and their heart's desire. And that's an Inconvenient Truth we all too often forget when the media is parading an endless stream of sensationalized stories about Abu Ghuraib and Haditha before our eyes."
June 12, 2006
That's longer than a bad TV show....
July 19, 2006
It's not always the assholes who get the breaks....
Chuck and Carren Z got the star treatment in Vega$. Courtesy of Mr. Wayne Newton. A class act if there ever was one.
July 24, 2006
What an awesome trip....
July 31, 2006
Love those Milbloggers
Two posts of special note today:
First, Cpt. Chuck Z posts your guide to the semantics of the War on Terror, based on the work of leading Islamic scholars
Second, Smash posts on his encounter with the leaders of the Code Pinkos.... and their demonstrations of bizarre willful ignorance.
A lack of Education on your part.....
The always interesting Dafydd ab Hugh brings us the tale of MA Gov. Mitt Romney, who recently described the Big Dig fiasco as a "tar baby". Correctly, too, I might add.
Now, in this day and age, as you would expect, certain groups got their panties in a collective twist over THEIR interpretation of the phrase, which they incorrectly assumed was a negative term referring to black people. And made him apologize.
If these asshats would stop banning GOOD literature and movies because of their PC BULLSHIT, and had actually read Uncle Remus or seen Disney's "Song of the South", instead of mindlessly chucking them for the invocation of an unfortunate sterotype or two, they would know that the phrase "Tar Baby" refers to an inanimate object, covered in a sticky substance, that serves no other purpose than the trap the person unlucky enough to touch it.
A "Tar Baby" therefore, is really just a big, sticky, messy problem that will not go away. Sounds like the Big Dig, no?
So let's call a spade a spade, and drop this whole pretended affrontery, ok? As Dafydd says:
"I reckon with some people, God was a bit niggardly in passing out brains."
August 28, 2006
Happy 20th Birthday
May you have many more, and may this be the only one you ever spend in pain at the hands of terrorists.
Don't know who this good looking kid is? Try here, here , or here.
September 07, 2006
This is why I chose not to participate
September 11, 2006
Tributes from the Cotillion Ladies
Michele remembers two dear friends
A true sportsman's legacy
Cox and Forkum Sum it Up (with a good link round up, below, as well)
This post stays on top today. Scroll down for more content.
September 12, 2006
Funny how football season and the 9/11 anniversary coincide....
So this is supporting the troops, huh? Try actually speaking to them
SMASH has the definitive, straight from the horses' mouths. Including Code Pink's reaction to ACTUAL soldiers.
October 19, 2006
More catching up.
This one got to me. Can't wait to see it on TV.
October 27, 2006
An honorable tribute
Read John D's account of the tribute to Cpl. David Unger at Ft. Leavenworth today. I dare you not to cry.
November 03, 2006
British Soldier wins Gulf War Syndrome case
Even though he never served in the Gulf:
"Alex Izett, a former lance corporal in the Royal Engineers, won a case at the War Pensions Tribunal in Manchester, northwest England, in 2003 attesting that his ailments developed after vaccinations he received in 1991.More importantly, though, the UK court ruling in effect declares that Gulf War syndrome is real and that soldiers SHOULD be compensated and treated for the after effects of vaccinations, other medications, and environmental exposures during their service in the Gulf and pre-service staging.
That ruling allowed him to to receive a pension for individual conditions such as the brittle bone disease osteoporosis that developed after army medics innoculated him against chemical and biological agents.
This stands in stark contrast to the "official" US view that there is no such thing as Gulf War Syndrome, based on a VA-funded study conducted on soldiers returning from the Gulf since 1990. In the US, veterans may only claim special disability benefits if they suffer from an UNDIAGNOSED illness that can be directly related to their Gulf War service.
Do you know how hard it is to get NO diagnosis? You must have at least a preliminary diagnosis in order to treat a patient appropriately. Sure, you can treat symptoms individually, but you must be able to draw some conclusions in order to avoid iatrogenic injury or disease.
Maybe our sick vets should go to Britain to get sicker be treated for their illnesses. At least they'll be appreciated and not belittled.
December 07, 2006
Two in a row
Go read the whole thing, and maybe leave a comment telling PBS how much you appreciate the story.
...While most of the bloggers who supported Valour-IT have been on the conservative side of the political spectrum, FbL notes that the project cuts across ideology by focusing on helping out wounded veterans.
"Doing a program like this is so beyond politics," FbL said. "You have someone here who is hurt, and you have the ability to make their lives better, why wouldn't you do that? That's part of our success with this. How do you say no to this without looking like a total jerk? [laughs] You can say, "It's all George Bush's fault." Yes, it is, but how are you going to help? It's beyond politics and it's so human. It's a winning concept and I am lucky enough to know brilliant people who have made this project work."Valour-IT is another result of average folks banding together online to make a difference, getting beyond petty politics and government bureacracy to get something done and do it right. It's one of those classic holiday stories of people giving of their time, their money and even the bully-pulpit space of their blogs to help others in need.
December 16, 2006
Light a Candle for Hope
Hanukkah is a time to light candles and celebrate victories of the past, but it's also a time to remember those lost or left behind.
Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were abducted more 5 months ago.This Hanukkah - the holiday of lights, Ynetnews, in coordination with the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, invite you to light a Hanukkah candle in their honor.
As individuals our light is weak, but together we will shine brightly and light a huge flame to express our common concern and hope that Gilad, Ehud and Eldad return safely home.
Remember Gilad, Ehud and Eldad. Help bring them home
Clicking either of the pictures will take you to the Candle Site. More than 10,000 have been lit so far. Let their families know how many people out there remember and care.
h/t Linda SoG
December 26, 2006
Gerald Ford Dead Today....
President Ford died today at age 93.
Of course, this means that yet another of my favorite jokes goes by the wayside.....
Rest in Peace, Mr. President. You were always loved for your grace under fire, your candor, and your humility.
December 29, 2006
J.R. Salzman, the blogger behind Lumberjack in a Desert has been wounded in Iraq by an IED.
"it is hard for me to tell you all this but i was hurt by an ied here. my right arm has been amputated below the elbow, my left has four working fingers. my legs are fine so l can still logroll! i am on my way to the hospital in germany, then back to the states for more care. i am in high spirits. i am going to be ok, but i will have a long road to recovery. please remember me in your prayers, as well as those who were injured with me. i will let you know more as time passes."I never read J.R.'s blog before today, in fact I never knew about it, but I'm a big fan of his from the Great Outdoor Games. I knew he looked familiar.
J.R. in full battle gear
The Good news is that J.R. is already at Walter Reed, doing the every-other-day surgery thing until the doctors can get his wounds healing appropriately. His wife and parents are with him.
The Better news is that The Usual Suspects are already at work getting JR a Valour-IT laptop so that he can continue to communicate with the world at large.
Please keep J.R. and his family, and all the men who were wounded with him and their families in your thoughts and prayers
January 10, 2007
Good News For A Change
Laughing Wolf (at Blackfive) posts an update on JR Salzman's condition, including a way you can help, if you are so inclined.
January 11, 2007
Everything you ever wanted to know about The Surge*
* but were afraid to ask...
Dean Barnett has a great FAQ about the new Iraq strategy posted at Hugh Hewitt.
Here's a brief sample:
Now go read the rest!
1) How in the hell are an additional 20,000 troops going to make such a big difference when we already have about 140,000 troops in Iraq? It makes no sense! Cut and run!!
First, calm down. We're going to walk through this analytically, not sprint through it hysterically. The current troop level in Baghdad is only 13,000. Most of the 20,000 new troops are going to be headed to Baghdad. That means we're going to increase our troop complement in Baghdad by roughly 150%. In other words, as regards the Battle of Baghdad, this is an enormous tactical adjustment, not a symbolic gesture.
January 12, 2007
That stench in NYC the other day?
It was emanating from the NJ statehouse...
"For World War II veteran Sam Stia, a legislative proposal that would cease requiring New Jersey schools to teach about Veterans Day and Memorial Day can be summed up in two words.Observe the holiday without understanding why, eh?
"That's wrong," Stia, 83, said Thursday from his Hamilton home, where he flies an American flag at half-staff to honor fallen soldiers. "We're just giving our flag away and our patriotism away."
Stia and other veterans are steamed about the proposal, which the state lawmakers unanimously passed last month and now awaits action by the governor. It was included as part of a larger measure designed to help control property taxes, mostly by abolishing some laws on school purchasing and public hearings.
Other holidays about which schools no longer would be required to teach include Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Arbor Day and Commodore Barry Day, which commemorates Revolutionary War hero John Barry.
New Jersey schools must observe the holidays under a 1967 law designed to promote "the development of a higher spirit of patriotism." Florida, Nebraska and Washington are among states with similar laws."
February 07, 2007
Joe Lieberman is my hero
I've been on record for years saying that I'd cross party lines to vote for him for President, but the left seems to be too stupid to realize that UNITING this country means appealing to all facets of the political spectrum, something Joe seems to do almost universally. Sure, the wingnuts hate him because he's a socially liberal demotard, and the moonbats hate him because he's a hawk and anti-abortion.
But his is the only consistent voice of conscience on the Hill, and for that, I respect him. For this statement made to the Senate on Feb. 5, I respect him even more:
Read the Senator's entire statement here.
It is altogether proper that we debate our policy in Iraq. It should be a debate that is as serious as the situation in Iraq and that reflects the powers the Constitution gives to Congress in matters of war.
But that, sadly, is not the debate that the Warner-Levin resolution invites us to have. I am going to speak strongly against this resolution because I feel strongly about it. I do so with respect for my colleagues who have offered it, but I believe its passage would so compromise America's security, present and future, that I will say so in the clearest terms I can.
What we say here is being heard in Baghdad by Iraqi moderates, trying to decide whether the Americans will stand with them. We are being heard by our men and women in uniform, who will be interested to know whether we support the plan they have begun to carry out. We are being heard by the leaders of the thuggish regimes in Iran and Syria, and by Al Qaeda terrorists, eager for evidence that America's will is breaking. And we are being heard across America by our constituents, who are wondering if their Congress is capable of serious action, not just hollow posturing.
This resolution is not about Congress taking responsibility. It is the opposite. It is a resolution of irresolution.
For the Senate to take up a symbolic vote of no confidence on the eve of a decisive battle is unprecedented, but it is not inconsequential. It is an act which, I fear, will discourage our troops, hearten our enemies, and showcase our disunity. And that is why I will vote against cloture.
If you believe that General Petraeus and his new strategy have a reasonable chance of success in Iraq, then you should resolve to support him and his troops through the difficult days ahead. On the other hand, if you believe that this new strategy is flawed or that our cause is hopeless in Iraq, then you should vote to stop it. Vote to cut off funds. Vote for a binding timeline for American withdrawal. If that is where your convictions lie, then have the courage of your convictions to accept the consequences of your convictions. That would be a resolution.
We cannot have it both ways. We cannot vote full confidence in General Petraeus, but no confidence in his strategy. We cannot say that the troops have our full support, but disavow their mission on the eve of battle. This is what happens when you try to wage war by committee. That is why the Constitution gave that authority to the President as Commander in Chief.
Cynics may say this kind of thing happens all of the time in Congress. In this case, however, they are wrong. If it passed, this resolution would be unique in American legislative history. I contacted the Library of Congress on this question last week and was told that, never before, when American soldiers have been in harm's way, fighting and dying in a conflict that Congress had voted to authorize, has Congress turned around and passed a resolution like this, disapproving of a particular battlefield strategy.
I ask each of my colleagues to stop for a moment and consider this history carefully. Even during Vietnam, even after the Tet Offensive, even after the invasion of Cambodia, Congress did not take up a resolution like this one.
Past Congresses certainly debated wars. They argued heatedly about them. And they clashed directly with the Executive Branch over their execution. But in doing so they accepted the consequences of their convictions.
This resolution does no such thing. It is simply an expression of opinion. It does not pretend to have any substantive effect on policy on the ground in Iraq.
But again, I ask you: what will this resolution say to our soldiers? What will it say to our allies? And what will it say to our enemies?
We heard from General Petraeus during his confirmation hearing that war is a battle of wills. Our enemies believe that they are winning in Iraq today. They believe that they can outlast us; that, sooner or later, we will tire of this grinding conflict and go home. That is the lesson that Osama bin Laden took from our retreats from Lebanon and Somalia in the 1980s and 1990s. It is a belief at the core of the insurgency in Iraq, and at the core of radical Islam worldwide. And this resolution "by codifying our disunity, by disavowing the mission our troops are about to undertake" confirms our enemies' belief in American weakness.
This resolution also sends a terrible message to our allies. I agree that we must hold the Iraqi government to account. That is exactly what the resolution Senator McCain and I have offered would do. But I ask you: Imagine for a moment that you are a Sunni or Shia politician in Baghdad who wants the violence to end, and ask yourself how the Warner-Levin resolution will affect your thinking, your calculations of risk, your willingness to stand against the forces of extremism. Every day, you are threatened by enemies who want nothing but to inflict the most brutal imaginable horrors on you and your loved ones. Will this resolution empower you, or will it undermine you? Will it make you feel safer, or will it make you feel you should hedge your bets, or go over to the extremists, or leave the country?
And finally, what is the message this resolution sends to our soldiers? I know that everyone here supports our troops, but actions have consequences, often unintended. When we send a message of irresolution, it does not support our troops. When we renounce their mission, it does not support our troops.
Thank you Senator, for having the courage of your convictions to stand up and remind your colleagues that politics and personal pettiness should always be secondary to the support of the men and women who defend our freedoms.
February 14, 2007
My nappy time pillow is calling
So I am off to try to get some sleep, or else finish watching the Poirot movie I fell asleep to...
But I want to leave you with this:
Happy VD everybody!
h/t Sparkle via email.
February 15, 2007
And it's not because of the ear pain. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Moonbattery at its FINEST:
The whole thing is insane. This paragraph in particular, is a MASTERPIECE:
I knew in that moment that this was what the future of teaching about justice would include: teaching war criminals who sit glaring at me with hatred for daring to speak the truth of their atrocities and who, if paid to, would disappear, torture and kill me. I wondered that night how long I really have in this so called "free" country to teach my students and to be with my children and grandchildren.
These military and mercenary terrorist-students are trained in terrorist training camps all under the USA, funded by American taxpayers. In fact, people under the USA are "sacrificing" their healthcare and their children's educations while donating their tax dollars to these terrorist training camps. These terrorist camps train money hungry working class stiffs to murder, steal and plunder for the powerThe author of this quasi intelligible twaddle is June Scorza Terpstra, Professor of Social Justice at Loyola University in Chicago.
hungry US corporate war lords.
Read the whole thing. No really, I'll wait.
People like this woman give all academics a bad name.The same free speech and social justice that she worships for the poor, the downtrodden, and the left, she refuses to extend to the very ones who allow to keep those freedoms. The irony drips. How naive do you really have to be to think that what our troops are doing in the Middle East is all about Greed and Power and Neocon ego-stroking???
I have just one question for this so-called social justice proponent: Which is better, social justice-wise: To live in the US as it is today, with Freedoms of Speech, Press, Religion, etc; where women are free to wear as many or as few clothes as they like, drive, speak their minds (including YOU, lady), and vote; where you can walk about (in the daylight at least) in most cities without fear of imminent death; etc, etc? Or would you like to live under sharia law as it is practiced in much of the Muslim world? Would you like to wear a burqa or hajib, have NO rights under the law, be vulnerable to rape and murder on a whim, be uneducated, and unable to drive, choose your husband (or not), or go anywhere alone? Do you want to live in fear of terrorism or the secret police who come after you just because they don't like you?
These "war criminals" allow you to keep you job, your lifestyle, your right to vote. In case you forgot, 20 of those fuckers came over here and told us in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS 5 years ago that they mean business, and they don't care. If the terrorists out there are willing to sacrifice themselves, their children and old people, and everything they have to end our way of life, then we must be EQUALLY DETERMINED to keep it.
You cannot negotiate with terrorists. You cannot use diplomacy in the face of nuclear weapons. Or even IEDs.
The lesson of Vietnam is NOT that we walked away. The lesson is that walking away leaves chaos in its wake. And we cannot afford to do that this time around.
February 18, 2007
Calling the Democrats' Bluff
Dear Sir and Madam:
You have said often enough that you don't believe in the war in Iraq and that you want to bring the troops home. Yet all you do is talk and sign non-binding resolutions which only goes to show that you really don't mean what you say about ending the war or that you're just playing political games and in doing so giving aid and comfort to a dedicated enemy.
Now if you're serious about ending the war you have the means and the votes to do just that. Simply cut off the funding for the troops, bring them all home and the American people can transfer the deed to this war and the ramifications of what you do to the Democrat party and you can live with the results.
You say you support the troops, but that has to be a lie. If you supported them and you truly think the war is wrong, you'd bring them home or either dispense with the poisonous rhetoric and get in behind them and help them get the job done.
You can't have it both ways. If you support the troops do something. Your party won a majority in both houses, so you have control so take the responsibility.
Of course, I think you should remember that when the terrorists follow us home from Iraq and start their attacks on American soil it's too late, so you'd better have a plan to deal with it. Do you have a plan?
And if Iran goes into Iraq and makes it a staging ground for Al Qaida to plan and carry out attacks all over the western world you'll need to deal with that. Do you have a plan?
And if Iran decides to go into Kuwait and cut off the oil flow from the Persian
Gulf, you'll need a way to make up for the shortfall. Do you have a plan?
The world would look at us as a country that has not finished a commitment to war since 1945. Do you have a plan for dealing with that?
The purpose of this letter is to call your bluff. I don't believe you have the guts to do anything but talk and talk is cheap. Oh you have no shortage of words but I seriously doubt the amount of backbone you have.
Do you really think that signing a non binding resolution is really fooling anybody into thinking you're anything less than career politicians trying to tip the scales of the O08 Presidential Election?
What you're doing is silly and dangerous. If you really don't like what's going on, chang
Pray for our troops.
What do you think?
God Bless America
February 16, 2007
H/T Linda SoG
A Real Hero
Unlike these 17 cut-and-run pussies (scroll down at link for the list).....
h/t AWTM and Denny via C&S
February 21, 2007
The Walter Reed Fracas
By now if you read any MilBloggers, you probably have heard about the "outpatient mess" at Walter Reed and all of the subsequent blame being shifted around because of it.
Blogger and Walter Reed frequent flyer CPT. Chuck Ziegenfuss has some interesting things to add to the debate:
Look at the charities who help the wounded--whether flying them or their families to hospitals, making Velcro clothes so they can dress themselves, helping to take care of the soldier's kids, getting them a drastically discounted rental vehicle so they can get from hospital to hotel and back, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam. Every single gap that a charity had to fill equates to a leadership failure--a failure to recognize the unique needs of the soldiers and their families. Please don't misconstrue this as my dislike of charities, the exact opposite is true, they are lifesavers. But when a wounded soldier has to rely on the sympathy and charity of others to simply live day to day, to meet his most basic needs, then the Army, and the government as a whole, has failed them.As for getting that job done, Chuck's not alone. There are plenty of folks who would be more than happy to pitch in. Myself included.
As a leader in the Army, who has gone through this system, I SHOULDER PART OF THE BLAME FOR NOT TRYING TO FIX THE PROBLEM. I left my brothers behind, and got myself home. After recovery, I moved on to other things, even though the complaints made today are the same as they were 2 years ago. Families are in the dark, medhold is a ridiculous and poor taste joke and apparent cover-your-ass move by the chain of command. I am an officer. I am a leader. By allowing this to happen, and continue to happen, I am at fault for not getting it fixed earlier or fixing it myself.
Other people who share the blame: The soldiers and family members who didn't use normal channels, like the Inspector General, the Chain of Command, or even letters to congressmen to fix the problem. They ran to the press, and embarrassed the Army. The chain of command, and more to the point, the NCO support channel and "chain of concern." Every Sergeant from the newly-minted Corporal to the Command Sergeant Major is tasked with looking out for the health, safety, and welfare of the soldier, and advising the command on the soldier's needs. As a matter of fact the ONLY role of a Command Sergeant Major is to advise the commander on enlisted matters. Clearly, the ignorance of these issues by the chain of command indicated an extreme dereliction of duty on the part of the Non Commissioned Officer (Hey CSM: maybe if you'd spent more time with the soldiers at the Mologne house, Fisher house, and other places the wounded congregate, instead of chasing me another 25 feet up the hill to the designated smoking area; or making sure that there were plenty of signs in the right areas to tell people they couldn't smoke there.)
Maybe you, hospital commander, and all of your high-ranking staff could move your designated parking spots to the other side of post, forcing yourselves to walk up and down the hill to the Mologne house every day, through winter's ice and snow, spring's rain, and summer's heat, just like the men on prosthetic legs and wheelchairs do. (But hey, thanks bunches for the chain link handrail, it sure does come in handy when trying to pull yourself up the hill.
As a company commander, I made time to walk through my billets, and even in combat I made soldier's living conditions a priority. I agree with Dr. Harvey. The command is to blame for this. I will accept the challenge of fixing it, assuming that I receive the commensurate promotion and pay raise. It'll be fixed in 6-12 months--but I need the authority to hire and fire anyone working on Walter Reed, military and civilian, to move people and organizations as I deem necessary, and the authority top bring in other officers and soldiers who I know will get the job done. (not that it'll happen, but hey, I'd take the job in a heartbeat.
April 03, 2007
We must never forget
The oldest living Naval veteran of WWI has made his last call.
As these brave men (and women) leave us behind, we MUST remember their service and sacrifice in the name of freedom against opression.
In 1918, a young man from the Ozarks lied about his age - he was only 16 - to enlist in the Navy and "see the world." He served aboard a battleship, the USS New Hampshire. His name was Lloyd Brown, and he was our oldest living naval veteran of the First World War.
He died Thursday at age 105, survived by three daughters.
Else we are doomed to render their service and sacrifice fruitless in the long run.
May 05, 2007
Shout Out to the Milbloggers!
The second annual Milblog conference was held today in Washington, DC.
I participated via web feed and the live chat room, and it was a privilege to interact with many of the leading voices of the Military Blog community. The folks who participated in the chat are here. I enjoyed speaking with all of you!
One of the highlights of today's conference was the opening address, presented via video by President George W. Bush:
Kudos to Andi for putting the whole thing together so brilliantly. Thanks to all the panel participants and speakers for sharing your thoughts. And last but not least, thanks to BloodSpite and Mrs. Greyhawk for running the live chat and streaming video!
RG has pictures of the Tiara Gals who were present for today's festivities.
May 15, 2007
Putting it into perspective
Ladies and Gentlemen, the wussification of America, illustrated:
June 11, 2007
I am not worthy to call myself your friend
I couldn't do what you have just done. But I am so much more than proud. Godspeed.
June 19, 2007
There are no words
Charleston, SC mourns nine of its bravest today:
Fire swept through a furniture warehouse, collapsing its roof and killing nine firefighters inside in a disaster the mayor described Tuesday as "difficult to fathom or quantify."My heart goes out to their families and they are in my thoughts and prayers.
"Nine brave, heroic, courageous firefighters of the city of Charleston have perished fighting fire in a most courageous and fearless manner, carrying out their duties," Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley said at a morning news conference. "To all of their loved ones, our heart goes out to them."
Two employees in the building were rescued from the blaze, which broke out at about 7 p.m. Monday in the Sofa Super Store and warehouse, Riley said. One was rescued quickly, and firefighters punched a hole through a wall of the warehouse to reach the other, he said.
Firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers saluted as the firefighters' bodies were carried from the warehouse during the night.
"To lose nine is just a tragedy of immense proportions," Riley said. "To lose nine is just unbelievable."
The department has 237 firefighters in 19 companies located throughout the city of about 106,000.
UPDATE: The nine Firefighters have been identified
Capt. William "Billy" Hutchinson, 48
Capt. Mike Benke, 49
Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34
Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40
Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, 37
Assistant Engineer Michael French, 27
James "Earl" Drayton, 56
Brandon Thompson, 27
Melven Champaign, 46
July 04, 2007
I want this dude driving MY cab
Best Headline EVAR, too:
4 July 2007Oh hells yes.
HERO CABBIE: I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON
A HERO cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.If NHS wasn't free, I do believe that someone would be picking up this man's tab. I guess if the fucktard dies of his burns, he won't be able to use those 72 virgins....
Alex McIlveen, 45, kicked the man, whose body was in flames, so hard that he tore a tendon in his foot.
But he said last night: "He didn't even flinch. I couldn't believe he didn't go down.
"A doctor told me later I'd damaged a tendon in my foot."
October 28, 2007
It's that time of year again......
Time for a friendly competition to help Soldier's Angels and Project Valour-IT!
As always, this blog supports the team representing the US Army!**
Go Army! Beat Navy! and Air Force! and the Marines!
Look for more info on donating to Valour-IT and what Valour-IT does for woulded soldiers in the next two weeks!
** This is a friendly competition in the name of improving our fundraising efforts only. All soldiers who are eligible can benefit from Valour-IT regardless of branch.
October 30, 2007
A latte a day...
It won't keep the Doctor away, but skipping that latte might help someone in need!
Doesn't seem like much, right? But even the $4 you save in skipping your caffeine fix today can go a long way towards helping a wounded soldier.
Project Valour-IT provides laptops loaded with voice-activated software to service members who have lost the use of their hands and/or fingers in the service of our country.
We're well on our way to making this the best year yet. The Army team has already raised over 10% of our $60,000 goal! Won't you help us get there first?
look out for an oldy but a goody in tomorrow's Valour-IT post.....
November 06, 2007
Valour-IT Needs YOU!
Don't forget! If you haven't donated, now is the time! This year's fundraiser ends November 11!
Don't forget to check out the auctions page, too!
January 23, 2008
There's a thin line between order and chaos...
April 17, 2008
"Dude, I saw that coming a mile away..."
Karma at work.
Wanna-Be murderer jihadists planting an IED without sufficient training, as captured by a US AC-130.
June 06, 2008
Cotillion Sister Makes a Difference
Jane Novak, who some of you know from her own blog, Armies of Liberation, and also from her frequent postings at My Pet Jawa, was on Fox and Friends this morning talking about her efforts to work for regime change in Yemen. Nice Deb beat me to the video editing and posted Jane's interview on YouTube, so check it out (below) and then go sign the petition! Learn more about Yemen and more reformers in the Middle East here. Finally, tell Fox how happy you are that they highlight these issues and talk to bloggers! Leave a comment here for FoxNews' Alisyn Camerota (who Jane tells me is very, very nice!)
July 04, 2008
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one
People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is in the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.
Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let the Facts be submitted to a candid World.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People; unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.
He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.
He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.
He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond the Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule in these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.
He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic Insurrections among us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Signed by ORDER and
in BEHALF OF THE CONGRESS
Happy 4th of July, everyone!
November 11, 2008
What else to say, but thank you?
November 12, 2008
An even BETTER way to say Thank You
In keeping with yesterday's post, a better way to say thank you to our vets is to give a little back to help a lot.
Long-time readers know that Soldier's Angels is one of my favorite groups, and in particular, Project VALOUR-IT which provides voice-activated laptops and other technological devices to wounded servicefolks who can't otherwise easily communicate with the outside world or who need help with rehabbing their injuries.
Imagine being stuck in a hospital in the Middle East or Germany, your family and friends thousands of miles away in the US, and your hands and arms are casted up. How do you hold the telephone? How can you type an email, even just to say, "I'm fine, and I love you?". VALOUR-IT makes that possible through our donations.
And VALOUR -IT depends on all of us. Without donations, they are quickly running out of funds with a waiting list hundreds of names long. Even a small donation ($5) goes a long way.
Each year, bloggers team up in a friendly competition to see which service can raise the most funds for our wounded vets. All the money goes to VALOUR-IT, regardless of which team you donate to, but it's fun to compete.
As usual, I am soliciting donations for Team Army (Go Army, Beat Navy!) in honor of my precious husband's service.
Just click the button to make a donation, either here or at the top of the left sidebar. If you'd like to "join up" and help as well, click here.
Thousands of wounded vets (and a hundred or so bloggers!) thank you!
August 04, 2009
GoogleVoice for military families
One of my most favorite new technologies (not that new really, but new to me) is Google Voice. If you haven't heard of Google Voice, it's a service that lets you 1) receive all your calls and texts from a single number (and rings whichever number you designate) and 2) transcribes voicemail to text or lets you listen to it online. You choose the number from a list they provide, and you may choose any area code or locality you like, so it can be a toll-free phone call for your family and friends.
It's actually quite convenient, and you can give people just one number and they can reach you anytime. Especially if you're like me and drop the cell phone next to the front door and spend the rest of the evening in another room.... Or if you're like me and people don't want to call you because your cell is a different area code...
It's also a wonderful resource for anyone far from home with limited access to a phone, since you get voicemail directly over the internet, just like checking your email. Especially for our overseas troops.
Which is why I was especially pleased to see this morning that Google is offering Google Voice subscriptions (free) to anyone with a .mil email address that activate in 24 hours. Army Live posted it this morning. In general, you have to request an "invite" to activate the service, and that can take several weeks. This invitation would activate in 24 hours for military personnel.
For more information, the Google Voice info page is here and the invitation link for service members is here.
If you or someone you know can take advantage of this service, please do, and let Google know how much you appreciate what they're doing for our troops!
h/t Jeff Quinton (via twitter)
September 11, 2009
Eight years later, there's one memory of 9/11 that still haunts my dreams. I can't speak of it, but Cathryn Friar does at RightPundits, and sums up my feelings more eloquently than I could have today.
Desperate people jumped from all four sides of the north tower. They jumped alone, they jumped in pairs and they jumped in groups. They jumped holding hands.Nobody survived on the floors from which people jumped. Ultimately the jumpers, often called the day’s most public victims, chose not whether to die but how they would die. I am quite certain I would not have such courage.Click over and read more of this thoughtful piece on some of the most courageous of the 2996.
h/t Kate at Blatherings via Twitter
March 07, 2012
Fair Winds and Following Seas
My heart is leaking out my eyes.
Lex was an amazing man. One of the few bloggers I respected deeply, and about the only one whose comments here on this wasted space could make me SQUEEEEE when I saw he had left one. We only ever had one actual conversation, in a Milblog conference chat room, but that is so often the way of the internetz.
My love and condolences to his family, who I know much about but have never had the privilege of meeting. Thanks for sharing the Captain with us. He was one of a kind.