07. April 2012 · Comments Off on Your Saturday Morning Funny · Categories: A Href, Fun and Games, General



24. December 2011 · Comments Off on Merry Christmas! · Categories: A Href, Ain't That America?, Domestic

Flash Mob in a mall food court sings Hallelujah Chorus



Everyone living in my house hopes that everyone living in your houses has a wonderful holiday season and that 2012 will be your best year yet.

13. December 2011 · Comments Off on Vader, did you know? · Categories: A Href, Fun and Games, Geekery, General, General Nonsense

A Star Wars take on a popular Christmas tune.  Very ingenious, I think


26. October 2011 · Comments Off on Don’t Remember Hearing About This… · Categories: A Href, General, General Nonsense

It’s been far too long since I”ve wandered over to Babalublog….


State Dept. uses $70,000 of our tax dollars to buy copies of Obama’s book, “Dreams From My Father“.

Money goes to book’s publisher.

Royalties go to Obama.

I know $70K is a drop in the bucket, but still…

25. October 2011 · Comments Off on Great Take on the OWS Crowd · Categories: A Href

Found at Scratching to Escape:

a teaser:

Father: “Son I saw you on the news with a sign protesting Wall Street.”

Son: “Yeah Dad. It was cool. We sat around, told them how we feel and let them know that Wall Street won’t get away with what they’re doing. In fact, I’m calling from the protest. We’re going to stay until they listen to our demands”

Father: “It looked more like you were eating pizza and texting”

Son: “I had to let my girlfriend know I would be on television.”

h/t Leeann

14. September 2008 · Comments Off on MSM v. Palin · Categories: A Href, Domestic, General, Politics

MSM v. Palin

Looks like the cartoonist should have added another wolf named “Air America.” Or maybe a coyote/jackal would have been a better critter choice for that.

h/t Baldilocks for the cartoon, Hot Air for the additional wolf name.

10. September 2008 · Comments Off on Another Sarah Palin Post · Categories: A Href, General, Politics

Ran across this on OpinionJournal.com yesterday…

Notable & Quotable
September 9, 2008

Howard Fineman writing in Newsweek on the Republican vice-presidential candidate:

Democrats dare not issue [Sarah] Palin a pass—she’s too dangerous a foe. Normally vice presidential candidates fade into the background. Nobody is expecting that with Palin; indeed, her newfound celebrity has made even Obama look dull.

The usual rule is that voters don’t trust attacks from people they don’t know, but Palin is turning the adage on its head. Democrats are determined to attack her credibility, even if it gives her more visibility. “We’ve got to go after her, and fast,” a top Democratic strategist, who asked for anonymity when discussing strategy, told me.

08. September 2008 · Comments Off on The Anchoress Hits One Out of the Park · Categories: A Href, General, Politics

Read me. NOW.

I’ve never watched any of the Godfather movies, but even I recognize the brilliance in The Anchoress’ latest piece.

She titled it: The Humbling: “The One” goes to Don Clinton, and not only is it hilarious, it’s replete with sources for each of her points. Funny & factual – who can ask for more?

So, it appears that “The One” is going begging to Don Clinton, hat in hand:

The One strides in confidently and extends his hand to The Don. The Don looks up, contemplates the proffered hand, and watches The One’s smile fade as it is not shaken. The One retracts his hand, and tilts his head, comprehending, but not liking it. Still, he needs this meeting.

Don Clinton nods slightly, and with a silky hand motions The One to take a seat. Don Clinton’s blue eyes are grave, but there is a noticeable twitching about his mouth, as though he is suppressing a smile, or sucking on a peeled grape. He remains silent. The One looks about the room in discomfort, waiting for an opening. Don Clinton makes a point of playing with his pinky ring, and gives him none. Finally, clearing his throat and assuming a cavalier affect, The One speaks:

The One: Uh, thank you, Mr. President, for seeing me in your beautiful offices.

Don Clinton nods, but says nothing. More praise is due.

The One: I, um, think it’s er…a wonderful, a wonderful testament to your, eh, your um, unquestionable commitment to em, the uh, your solidarity with the black community.

Don Clinton, remembering when The One played the race card on him, narrows his eyes and does not smile. He leans back in his chair and waits, squinting through the smoke, his cigar tilting upward in his mouth, ala FDR. More praise is due.

The One: It – it was a masterstroke of erm, brilliant racist-baiting, erm…a stroke of masterburbating, uhhhh, stroking, ermmm…a master…stroke…of getting back at the Republican jerks who impeached you and foreplaying, I mean forestalling any future innuendo or scandals intern erm…in turn.

Don Clinton’s eyes are ablaze with anger. The One, too cool to cower, crosses his legs and wishes for a teleprompter.

28. July 2008 · Comments Off on Baldilocks Gives a Helping Hand (and needs one, as well) · Categories: A Href, General

Baldilocks has a new project underway. Seems that once upon a time (clear back in 2006), a certain senator of Kenyan descent made a promise to a Kenyan village. The village school needed help, and the Senator, while visiting there, promised that help would come – He would make it happen. Oddly enough, the village interpreted that as financial help, since the Senator was a wealthy man. They renamed their school in his honor: it’s now the Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School.

But alas, the good Senator got distracted by life and political campaigns, and the Kenyan village got thrown under the bus (a very crowded place, the underside of that bus — but I digress).

Baldilocks also has a Kenyan father, who came to the States via the same program that brought the Senator’s father to the States. Baldilocks is not a fan of the Senator or his political/philosophical beliefs, but she does believe in helping those who need help, and in keeping promises. You can read more about it here and here.

She wants to help that Kenyan village with their school. But she can’t do it alone. As Sgt Mom and Timmer can attest, military retirement paychecks don’t exactly give one a lot of discretionary income. She needs knowledge and expertise about fund-raising, among other things.

What the Obama School needs:
• Water
• Sanitation
• Electricity
• Remodeling
• Security
• Maintenance
to bring water to the school by sinking a borehole and building a water tank, erect a perimeter fence, complete the science laboratory and add much needed new classrooms, additional latrines, and a school dining hall

For the things that are in constant demand–e.g. school supplies, wages for security guards, spare parts–I’d say that a two year funding is enough.

The school’s principal suggested a minimum of 8.2 million Kenyan shillings which is equal to roughly $129,220 at today’s rate. That shouldn’t be too tough.

So here’s what we have:

• Domain name: obamaschool.org
• Email address: obamaschool@gmail.com

What we need:

Someone to assist in setting up the website … And someone here in the states who knows about the logistics of these things.

If you can help Juliette help the school, regardless of what name it bears, please do.

11. July 2008 · Comments Off on The Lost DaVinci · Categories: A Href, General, Science!, Technology

Or is it just hidden?

There’s some interesting stuff going on over in Italy, related to discovering artworks that have been painted over. Technology continues to amaze me (I’m easily amazed, but even so…).

Seems that once upon a time, DaVinci began a mural – a battle scene. For centuries, common wisdom was that he’d been unsatisified with his efforts, and destroyed the mural, and it was painted over by another artist, Giorgio Vasari. But in 1977, a young art apprentice was inspecting Vasari’s frescoes, and found two words painted near the top of the wall: “Cerca Trova.” The words were practically invisible from ground level. They translate to “Seek: You will find.”

Skeptical colleagues discounted the discovery. Yet they were the only words on the six enormous frescoes that cover the walls today. To Dr. Seracini, it could mean only one thing: The da Vinci mural must still be there, concealed behind Vasari’s paintings. “We are talking about the masterpiece of the masterpieces of the Renaissance,” says Dr. Seracini, “way more important than The Last Supper or the Mona Lisa.”

Da Vinci and those who commissioned the work left no direct account as to why the master gave up on the mural. Whatever its technical flaws, the painting’s inventiveness and savage passion dazzled artists throughout Europe for a half century before it disappeared from view. “One writer at the time says it is the most beautiful thing in existence, twice as beautiful as the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel,” says Syracuse University art historian Rab Hatfield, a member of the Italian commission overseeing the project.

Dr. Seracini, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, wasn’t the first art scholar to be seduced by the mystery of Leonardo’s missing mural. No one, however, has pursued it with such technical acumen.

Not long ago, art conservationists had only a trained eye to guide their work. Today, sophisticated scientific techniques are becoming part of every art expert’s tool kit. This spring in Vienna, for instance, restorers relied on X-ray fluorescence to analyze the solid gold of a priceless 16th Century sculpture. In France, University of Michigan physicists probed the walls of a 12th Century chapel with nondestructive terahertz beams. In Pittsburgh, NASA scientists used molecules of atomic oxygen to wipe a Warhol painting clean of the lipstick smear left by a vandal’s kiss.

Since that discovery in 1977, Seracini has made use of every technological advance to pursue his search for the DaVinci mural. That search will culminate next year, using a portable neutron-beam scanner that is still in development. Seracini is hopeful the hidden DaVinci will be found.

I hope so, too.


12. June 2008 · Comments Off on Discuss Amongst Yourselves… · Categories: A Href, General, Politics

…Because I’m really curious to see some thoughts on this.

In Peggy Noonan’s column today (Friday), she compares the Old America and the New America. She’s talking about the election, of course, but I found her thoughts interesting.

… 2008 will also prove in part to be a decisive political contest between the Old America and the New America. Between the thing we were, and the thing we have been becoming for 40 years or so. (I’m not referring here to age. Some young Americans have Old America heads and souls; some old people are all for the New.)

Mr. McCain is the Old America, of course; Mr. Obama the New.

* * *

Roughly, broadly:

In the Old America, love of country was natural. You breathed it in. You either loved it or knew you should.

In the New America, love of country is a decision. It’s one you make after weighing the pros and cons. What you breathe in is skepticism and a heightened appreciation of the global view.

Old America: Tradition is a guide in human affairs. New America: Tradition is a challenge, a barrier, or a lovely antique.

The Old America had big families. You married and had children. Life happened to you. You didn’t decide, it decided. Now it’s all on you. Old America, when life didn’t work out: “Luck of the draw!” New America when life doesn’t work: “I made bad choices!” Old America: “I had faith, and trust.” New America: “You had limited autonomy!”

Old America: “We’ve been here three generations.” New America: “You’re still here?”

Old America: We have to have a government, but that doesn’t mean I have to love it. New America: We have to have a government and I am desperate to love it. Old America: Politics is a duty. New America: Politics is life.

The Old America: Religion is good. The New America: Religion is problematic. The Old: Smoke ’em if you got ’em. The New: I’ll sue.

Mr. McCain is the old world of concepts like “personal honor,” of a manliness that was a style of being, of an attachment to the fact of higher principles.

Mr. Obama is the new world, which is marked in part by doubt as to the excellence of the old. It prizes ambivalence as proof of thoughtfulness, as evidence of a textured seriousness.

Both Old and New America honor sacrifice, but in the Old America it was more essential, more needed for survival both personally (don’t buy today, save for tomorrow) and in larger ways.

The Old and New define sacrifice differently. An Old America opinion: Abjuring a life as a corporate lawyer and choosing instead community organizing, a job that does not pay you in money but will, if you have political ambitions, provide a base and help you win office, is not precisely a sacrifice. Political office will pay you in power and fame, which will be followed in time by money (see Clinton, Bill). This has more to do with timing than sacrifice. In fact, it’s less a sacrifice than a strategy.

A New America answer: He didn’t become a rich lawyer like everyone else—and that was a sacrifice! Old America: Five years in a cage—that’s a sacrifice!

In the Old America, high value was put on education, but character trumped it. That’s how Lincoln got elected: Honest Abe had no formal schooling. In Mr. McCain’s world, a Harvard Ph.D. is a very good thing, but it won’t help you endure five years in Vietnam. It may be a comfort or an inspiration, but it won’t see you through. Only character, and faith, can do that. And they are very Old America.

Old America: candidates for office wear ties. New America: Not if they’re women. Old America: There’s a place for formality, even the Beatles wore jackets!

What do y’all think?

And while you’re at it, what do you think about the classified documents that were found on a British commuter train? (oops)

18. April 2008 · Comments Off on It’s a war? · Categories: A Href, Ain't That America?, Domestic, General

I’m hoping Sgt Mom will turn her brilliant sarcastic wit loose on this topic, but until then, in case you’ve not seen it yet…

time rag

I read about it over at Baldilocks, and then I followed her link to the transcript of the interview with Time’s managing editor, whose justification was the following (all emphases mine):

And by using that famous Iwo Jima image and saying basically what we have to do iswhat we did before World War II by creating a great national effort, national endeavor, to combat this problem.

Gee, and here I thought that when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor we had decimated our peacetime military so much that our guys were training with wooden cutouts of rifles and shouting “bang” when they’d shoot someone. Or have I confused my wars? Then again, maybe accuracy isn’t important if it gets in the way of whatever the point you’re making – what’s that old line? My mind’s made up – don’t confuse me with facts.

I think since I’ve been back at the magazine, I have felt that one of the things that’s needed in journalism, is that you have to have a point of view about things. You can’t always just say “on the one hand, on the other” and you decide. People trust us to make decisions. We’re experts in what we do. So I thought, you know what, if we really feel strongly about something let’s just say so. And we’ve done that a number of times since I’ve been back. We did the case for national service, a cover story last summer. The end of cowboy diplomacy where we said that foreign policy had to change. I think readers expect that. I think, look. You guys are up there all the time. On cable television, people are giving you their point of view, giving their opinions on something and people want to know that.

Funny – I always thought it was only in editorials where journalists were supposed to show how they felt, not news articles. But what do I know? I never went to journalism school – I’m just an ignerant amurrken who loves her country and respects its veterans and their sacrifices.

12. September 2007 · Comments Off on Vietnam Veterans Memorial Defaced · Categories: A Href, General, Home Front


Volunteers and National Park Service rangers on Saturday discovered a “light, oily” substance on the memorial’s wall panels and the paving stones in front of it, Bill Line, a Park Service spokesman, said yesterday.

The substance, which has not been identified, was spread over an area of about 50 to 60 feet, mostly on the paving stones, Mr. Line said.

The article states that they’re not sure if the substance was intentionally spread, but when I look at the photos taken by Rob Bluey, it’s hard to imagine it being accidental.

h/t: Baldilocks, who got it from Red State

25. June 2007 · Comments Off on Winds of War · Categories: A Href, General, Iran

Interesting article in this morning’s OpinionJournal.com. It’s not all that different from points that our very own Sgt Mom has made, on occasion.

The article, written by Joshual Muravchik, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is titled: Winds of War: Iran is making a mistake that may lead the Middle East into a broader conflict. It looks at recent actions by Iran and compares them to actions that have occurred at other points in history – actions that led to two world wars and other, “lesser” conflicts.

Several conflicts of various intensities are raging in the Middle East. But a bigger war, involving more states–Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, the Palestinian Authority and perhaps the United States and others–is growing more likely every day, beckoned by the sense that America and Israel are in retreat and that radical Islam is ascending.
Consider the pell-mell events of recent weeks.

Two important inferences can be distilled from this list. One is that the Tehran regime takes its slogan, “death to America,” quite seriously, even if we do not. It is arming the Taliban, with which it was at sword’s point when the Taliban were in power. It seems to be supplying explosives not only to Shiite, but also Sunni terrorists in Iraq. It reportedly is sheltering high-level al Qaeda figures despite the Sunni-Shiite divide. All of these surprising actions are for the sake of bleeding the U.S. However hateful this behavior may be to us, it has a certain strategic logic: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”


A large portion of modern wars erupted because aggressive tyrannies believed that their democratic opponents were soft and weak. Often democracies have fed such beliefs by their own flaccid behavior.


Israel could handle Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria, albeit with painful losses all around, but if Iran intervened rather than see its regional assets eliminated, could the U.S. stay out?

With the Bush administration’s policies having failed to pacify Iraq, it is natural that the public has lost patience and that the opposition party is hurling brickbats. But the demands of congressional Democrats that we throw in the towel in Iraq, their attempts to constrain the president’s freedom to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the proposal of the Baker-Hamilton commission that we appeal to Iran to help extricate us from Iraq–all of these may be read by the radicals as signs of our imminent collapse. In the name of peace, they are hastening the advent of the next war.

Read the whole thing, and tell us what you think. Does Muravchik make sense, or is he all wet? In either case, where do we go from here?

11. June 2007 · Comments Off on A New Memorial is Dedicated Tomorrow · Categories: A Href, General

On June 12, 2007, a new memorial will be dedicated in Washington, D.C. Almost 20 years have passed from concept to reality, 14 years since then-President Clinton signed a bill donating land.

The monument for the memorial is a replica of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue erected by the Chinese students at Tiananmen Square. The memorial is the Victims of Communism Memorial, dedicated to the over 100 million people who were killed in Communism’s wars, revolutions, and purges.

The idea for the project came to [Lee] Edwards – once an aide to Barry Goldwater and now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation – two months after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. “I was having Sunday brunch with my wife and one of my daughters,” he says. “We were concerned that people didn’t seem interested in discussing the crimes of Communism, and that a general amnesia was settling in everywhere.” On a paper napkin, he jotted down “memorial – victims of communism” and stuffed it into his pocket.

Originally planned along the lines of the Holocaust Museum, the lack of donations forced them to a smaller project. The monument will be in a small triangular park where Avenue G intersects New Jersey Avenue. When deciding upon an appropriate statue, they thought about trying to build a Gulag replica, the Berlin Wall, or a boat such as those used by those fleeing communist oppression. In the end, they decided on the Tiananmen Square statue as something that would be easily recognizable by many, and also stand as an indictment against China’s continuing commitment to Communist ideals (the Chinese government “expressed concerns … to Bush Administration officials,” but the design stands).

The sculptor, Thomas Marsh, agreed to work for free. “When I saw the courage of those students at Tiananmen Square, I made a vow that I would try to rebuild their statue,” he says. He produced a version that now stands in San Francisco’s Chinatown and has prepared castings of it for other sites. The version that will appear in the Victims of Communism Memorial is an armature, which means that it’s derived from his original but also contains unique qualities. “It’s the biggest of the bunch and the facial features look more like the one the students made,” says Marsh.

Representative Tom Lantos (D) will give the keynote address at the dedication. President G.W. Bush has been invited to speak.

h/t: Opinion Journal

10. May 2007 · Comments Off on R.I.P. Master Sergeant Wert · Categories: A Href, Domestic, Military

From FoxNews.com

Master Sergeant Michael Wert, a Marine stationed at Cherry Point, was on vacation. He and his family were soaking up the sun at Atlantic Beach when he noticed two boys in trouble. They were drowning.

Wert ran into the water, swimming to the boys to help them. His wife ran to call 911. His daughter grabbed her boogie board and paddled after dad.

The boys are safe. Wert saved them, and his daughter got them onto her boogie board. But Wert was nowhere in sight. Rescue personnel found him, but it was too late.

Thank you, Master Sergeant Wert, for putting others before yourself. Not that we would expect anything else from a Marine.

h/t Blonde Sagacity

31. January 2007 · Comments Off on Rambo is an Afghani · Categories: A Href, General

Sgt Hook tells us a story about an Afghan hero, who saved lives.
He got it from an email sent to him by a longtime reader. The email was from an Army Captain currently in Afghanistan.

Anyway, there is this one Afghan that we call Rambo. We have actually given him a couple of sets of the new ACU uniforms (the new Army digital camouflage) with the name tag RAMBO on it. His entire family was killed by the Taliban and his home was where our base currently resides. So this guy really had nowhere else to go. He has reached such a level of trust with US Forces that his job is to stand at the front gate and basically be the first security screening. Since he can’t have a weapon, he found a big red pipe. So he stands there at the front gate in his US Army ACU uniform with his red pipe. If a vehicle approaches the gate too fast or fails to stop he slams his pipe down on their hood. Then once the gate is lifted the vehicle moves on the 2nd gate where the US Army MP’s are. So he’s like the first line of defense.

Last Thursday at 0930 hrs a Toyota Corolla packed with explosives and some Jack Ass that thinks he has 72 Virgins waiting for him approached the gate. When he saw Rambo he must have recognized him and known the gig was up. But he needed to get to that 2nd gate to detonate and take American lives. So he slams his foot on the gas which almost causes the metal gate to go up but mostly catches on the now broken windshield.

Rambo fearlessly ran to the vehicle, reached thru the window and jerked the suicide bomber out of the vehicle before he could detonate and commenced to putting some red pipe to his heathen ass. He detained the guy until the MP got there.

Go read it. It won’t take long, and it’s worth your time.

01. January 2007 · Comments Off on OK, now this bothers me… · Categories: A Href, General, GWOT

From the Telegraph:

Britons flying to America could have their credit card and email accounts inspected by the United States authorities following a deal struck by Brussels and Washington.

By using a credit card to book a flight, passengers face having other transactions on the card inspected by the American authorities. Providing an email address to an airline could also lead to scrutiny of other messages sent or received on that account.

The extent of the demands were disclosed in “undertakings” given by the US Department of Homeland Security to the European Union and published by the Department for Transport after a Freedom of Information request.

About four million Britons travel to America each year and the released document shows that the US has demanded access to far more data than previously realised.

Not only will such material be available when combating terrorism but the Americans have asserted the right to the same information when dealing with other serious crimes.

This is apparently something we/ve been trying to get since just after 9/11, and up until now our requests have run afoul of European data protection legislation. But a recent agreement between Brussels and DC has cleared the way.

Are we asking too much? At what point do we say “Enough!” and stop invading privacy? While there is no reciprocity in the current agreement, is it only a matter of time before European countries demand the same data access for Americans flying to their countries?

What is the benefit of this information? Do we really even have a right to be demanding it?

I honestly don’t know the answers, nor do I know what I think on this one. It strikes me as overkill, but that might be because I’m not aware of all that it involves, just what I read in the Telegraph article.

Does anyone have more info on this?

h/t: Cap’n Ed

31. December 2006 · Comments Off on Here’s a different way to pass the time…. · Categories: A Href, Fun and Games, General

I’d love to see what Julia could do with this one.

1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
2. Book #1 — first sentence
3. Book #2 — last sentence on page fifty
4. Book #3 — second sentence on page one hundred
5. Book #4 — next to the last sentence on page one hundred fifty
6. Book #5 — final sentence of the book
7. Make the five sentences into a paragraph.

My result:

In a sheepfarmer’s low stone house, high in the hills above Three Firs, two swords hang now above the mantelpiece.
“I want from you an alert, a query, transmitted to all your agents around the world, barring none.”
“Who decides what to do?” So did the alcohol: the sinners who drank it became more insolent; the prohibitionists who reviled it grew enraged at its proximity. He might as well have been singing.

The instructions seem a little vague, though… “Make the five sentences into a paragraph.” Does that mean simply copy the five in straight sequence, with no additions, as I’ve done above, or does it mean to be a little creative?

In a sheepfarmer’s low stone house, high in the hills above Three Firs, two swords hang now above the mantelpiece. “That’s irrelevant,” he snarled. “I want from you an alert, a query, transmitted to all your agents around the world, barring none.” He might as well have been singing, for all the attention his words received. The tension in the room increased. So did the alcohol: the sinners who drank it became more insolent; the prohibitionists who reviled it grew enraged at its proximity. But who decides what to do?

I’m thinking this would be a good writing exercise, or another tool for combating Writers’ Block.

Oh, and my five books were:

The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon
A Palm for Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
Sporting Chance by Elizabeth Moon
Rising Tide:The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America by John M. Barry
The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey

These are just the five that were closest to my sofa, not requiring me to get up and search for books to use.

h/t: Joshilyn Jackson (who, it seems, has written a book titled after my favorite Georgia town name. Must. Get. Book.)

30. December 2006 · Comments Off on Spirit of America still standing fast · Categories: A Href, General

Today’s Opinion Journal online has an editorial by Daniel Henninger about Jim Hake’s Spirit of America.

I love his subtitle: “Cut and Run is Not in Their Vocabulary.”

It is ironic that despite the years of our daily engagement in these places, the “information age” has brought us so little knowledge about the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Psychologically, much of America has already cut and run from these two countries.

Some Americans, though, simply won’t.

In April 2004, this column told the story of Spirit of America, organized by Jim Hake, to provide citizen-supported aid to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then in May 2005 this space was given over to an account of American businesswomen working to help women in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

Here in the U.S., the political new year will fill up fast enough with politicians and pundits offering ways to unwind and spindle the commitments America made to Iraq and Afghanistan. So this seemed a good moment to revisit the folks running Spirit of America and the Business Council for Peace. They’re not going to leave.


With the SonoSite ultrasound company, SoA delivered handheld ultrasound machines to the primary hospital in Al Qaim, Iraq, near the Syrian border. “Before this,” said Mr. Hake, “they were using seashells to listen to the sounds of a pregnant mother and baby; the Marines couldn’t believe it.”

Jim Hake says Spirit of America’s contributions have fallen off since 2004 owing to general fatigue with Iraq, “but under the circumstances people continue to be quite generous.” An end-of-the-year funding request raised more than $150,000. “The emails we send to donors are not a good-news operation,” says Mr. Hake. “We don’t want to put a happy face on it. But the information is more encouraging than what they typically hear. The destroyed projects are hardly good news, but there are lots of guys and gals in the military there who are not just marking time, who want to see this work.”

If you’re looking for groups to support with your hard-earned dollars, after you’ve sent your share to Valour-IT, think about Spirit of America and the Business Council for Peace.

01. November 2006 · Comments Off on And the Troops Respond… · Categories: A Href, Ain't That America?, General, Politics

A West Point graduate emails The National Review, regarding Kerry’s botched joke.

Ms. Lopez,

Thanks for link to U-toob. Me not understand big words bout kerry. Like pictures better.

BOY, it Hard to rite e-male with crayon.

Very respectfully,


Camp slayer, Bahgdad, iraq

And my personal favorite is this photo.

halp us

h/t AllahPundit at hotair.com

24. October 2006 · Comments Off on Sgt. Hook Wants You… · Categories: A Href, General, GWOT

… to send up prayers, warm thoughts, white light… whatever your preferred methodology… for a missing US Soldier, presumed kidnapped in Iraq.

The Army has not identified the soldier, who works as a translator.

06. June 2006 · Comments Off on Update on VA data theft · Categories: A Href, Veteran's Affairs

1.1M Active Duty troops data stolen

They originally said 50K of active duty folks were impacted by this theft. Now it’s 80% of all active duty personnel, and another million of Guard/Reserve folks.

Several veterans’ groups have filed a class-action lawsuit, charging that their privacy rights were violated by the theft.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday demands that the VA fully disclose which military personnel are affected by the data theft and seeks $1,000 in damages for each person — up to $26.5 billion total. The veterans are also seeking a court order barring VA employees from using sensitive data until independent experts determine proper safeguards.

“VA arrogantly compounded its disregard for veterans’ privacy rights by recklessly failing to make even the most rudimentary effort to safeguard this trove of the personally identifiable information from unauthorized disclosure,” the complaint says.

In response to the lawsuit, the VA said it is in discussions with credit-monitoring services to determine “how veterans and others potentially affected can best be served” in the aftermath of the theft, said spokesman Matt Burns.

I have a simple opinion on how the VA can “best serve” the affected persons (which in my mind should be every veteran from 1975 onward, as well as those discharged before 1975 who have active claims – you know, people like my 76 year old father, who has a service-connected disability dating back to the Korean Conflict)… embrace the idea of a commenter on my previous post, and pay for one year’s worth of identity monitoring for each of us. I’m not holding my breath on this one, though.

Meanwhile, if y’all have not yet requested copies of your credit reports, please do so. You’re authorized one free per year, in most states (GA residents are authorized two free copies per year). Used to be, the credit agencies required you to request the free copy by snail mail, although you could download the forms from their websites. I don’t know if that’s changed or not – the last time I requested a copy of my credit report was probably five years ago.

The three major credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

29. May 2006 · Comments Off on Other Memorial Day Blogging · Categories: A Href, General

A La, over at Blonde Sagacity, has a Memorial Day post that includes suggestions of how to put the “Memorial” back into the day. She also lists out various wars since WWI, with number of deaths.

Paying homage to all who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country (always, but especially today):
1917-1918 World War I 116,708
1941-1945 World War II 408,306
1945 Okinawa US Navy 5,000, USMC/Army 8,000
06 Jun 1944 D-Day 1,465
1945 Iwo Jima 6,503
1950-1953 Korean War 54,246
1957-1975 Vietnam War 58,219
1983 Beirut Lebanon 241
1990-1991 Persian Gulf, Op Desert Shield/Storm 363
2001-Present Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan 295
2003-Present Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq 2,464

She also links to a Memorial Day Quiz. (I got 7/9)

Capt Ed remembers an Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal of Honor winner.

Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers.

Citizen Smash posts a letter from the mother of a fallen hero.

God may have been ready to call my Marine to heaven on April 18, 2004 but I wasn’t, and I can’t wait till the day we will be together again. Rick is a hero to me and all that knew him and loved him. He left behind a legacy that will endure forever. A Marine camp in Iraq was named for him (Camp Gannon). An award for Leadership to the top graduate at the Naval Academy carries his name. These are two reminders of his dedication and sacrifice to his country, but there are thousands of personal reminders that are seared in my heart forever.

His Memorial Day post will be up later.

And Sgt Hook brings it home with memories of a career-long buddy and former roommate, who volunteered to help rescue 4 Navy Seals trapped and surrounded on a mountaintop in Afghanistan. MSgt Tre Ponder was in the ‘Stan for training, not duty, but he went anyway, and died with most of the rest of the rescuers and rescued when the helicopter crashed.

Most of the crewdogs could be found at our place on the weekends where we would bar-b-que meat from the commissary and share war stories over several cold beers. The old adage of “working hard and playing hard” certainly was our mantra, and nobody worked harder than Tre.

Tre could always be counted on, with his easy going, dedicated attitude you never doubted that he’d come through. He always did, and usually with a “shit eating” grin on his face.

Some of the fondest memories from my days as a crewdog involve Tre Ponder.

When our tour on the ROK was over, we went our separate ways, I to Italy, Jay to Georgia, and Tre to Kentucky. I ran into Tre five years later, after my Italian adventures, when I moved to Kentucky. He and his then pregnant wife helped me move into my apartment, lending me some tools and a ladder. Though a little older and now a family man, Tre was still that same old easy going southern boy that you could count on.

I just popped back over to Smash’s site and read his official Memorial Day post.

Every year, two days before Memorial Day, hundreds of Boy and Girl Scouts from all over San Diego County converge on Fort Rosecrans to honor these veterans by placing a single American flag in front of every gravestone and internment marker – all 85,000 of them.

After the opening ceremony, I grabbed a bundle of flags and rushed ahead of the torrent of Scouts, towards the far end of the cemetery. I had some people that I needed to visit. (snip)

My final planned stop was the resting place of Lieutenant Thomas Mullen Adams, my brother’s friend who was killed in a tragic helicopter accident in the opening hours of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I arrived at Tom’s grave just ahead of the leading edge of the scouts, and reverentially planted the flag. We had a few moments of quiet before the masses arrived, so I told Tom about Grant’s wife and new baby, and their new home in Hawaii. (snip)

I stood up and walked a few feet away while the scouts passed through, taking only a few seconds to methodically place a flag on each grave, salute, and move on.

A man, one of the scoutmasters, paused in front of Tom’s grave. “He’s just pining?” he said, “What does that mean?”

“It’s a joke.” I told him. “It’s a line from Monty Python’s ‘dead parrot sketch.’ You know: ‘E’s not dead, e’s just pining for the fjords.'”

“Oh!” he said. “Did you know him?”

“Yes, he’s my brother’s friend; they served in the Navy together.” I told him the whole story;” (snip)

I could see it on the man’s face, something had changed. These weren’t just tombstones anymore, they were real people.

Let’s remember that, if nothing else. These honored dead, these hometown heroes, were real people. They lived, loved, and laughed, and because they served, we are free to live, love and laugh. May we also serve as honorably as they did, in whichever way we choose to serve.

24. April 2006 · Comments Off on Always Remember · Categories: A Href, General, Military

Americans are often accused of thinking we are the only warriors in a battle – we know we’re not, but sometimes we forget to say that out loud.

If you’re on the other side of the international date line, it’s ANZAC Day. So thank you to the Aussies and Kiwis who fought (and died) for freedom. The battle for freedom didn’t end in 1918 – it’s on-going and never-ending, and the Aussies and Kiwis didn’t hang up their rifles then, but have continued to join the rest of Freedom’s allies around the globe.

If you’re not sure what ANZAC Day is, or why it matters, you can read more about it here. And I’m sure that we have readers who could enlighten us further, as well. For now, here’s a brief quote from the linked page:

What is ANZAC Day?
ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia’s most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day.

As you take a moment to remember the brave souls from Australia and New Zealand, pop over to Rude1’s RamPage and read his take on why it is our duty to remember our combat veterans.

Update: I was just re-reading Rude1’s post, and thought I would share a portion.

It is not the job of the combat vet to remind society of what they did, it is the responsibility of society to remember the sacrifices of the combat vets and to honor them. The combat vet doesn’t want sympathy. All he wants is acceptance and possibly a thank you.

Reading that reminded me that I had the privilege and the honor last week to say “Welcome Home” to 2 VietNam vets who were attending the class I was teaching. I love it when I get the chance to do that.

h/t Shayna (from the comments to this post about her friend Eugene)

09. April 2006 · Comments Off on War Protestor makes good in Military · Categories: A Href, General

I was wandering by Blackfive’s blog this morning, and ran across an interesting post.

Seems there’s a Hungarian immigrant, one Andras Elder, whose parents escaped to the US with their two kids back in 1980 (you remember – when Hungary was a communist country). Young Andras grew up, went to college, got a double Masters’ degree in Latin & ancient Greek literature, and “carried protest signs denouncing the Operation Desert Shield in 1991.”

Now he’s a Navy Corpsman, and recently received a battlefield promotion to Petty Officer 2nd Class.

It seems that somewhere along the line, he realized that he was a peacenik without really understanding what war was, or what it entailed, and so he needed to experience it. Accordingly, he called a Navy recruiter, who wanted to make him a Supply Officer. He called back and said he’d rather work with the Marines.

“I just thought you have to put your foot where your mouth is,” Eder said. “I had to experience war. Now when we talk about war, we can be more serious. We can now understand what peace is because we understand war.”

Three years later, he’s got two tours in Iraq under his belt.

I love what Eder said about his Marines.

“These guys are just as intelligent and smart as anyone I know,” Eder said. “When I first came to the battalion, I felt like the dumb one. It was a hard thing to convince them they were the smart ones in the fellowship.”

It’s an interesting article, and I agree with Blackfive – this Petty Officer is someone you should know.

28. March 2006 · Comments Off on Things that make you go hmmm…. · Categories: A Href, Ain't That America?, Domestic, General

Baldilocks points us to a UPI story about one of former president Bill Clinton’s chauffeurs.

Seems that while 3 cars were waiting for Clinton to arrive at Newark Airport, a Port Authority cop checked their license plate numbers. Turns out one car belonged to a Pakistani native who was a wanted man. He skipped out on his residency hearing six years ago, and has a deportation order against him.