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Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Marine's perspective on serving, Iraq, and the military

I ran across a thread on the Democratic Underground, upset about a USA Today story about three former Marines and Iraq veterans-turned-anti war activists set to stand trial for participating in anti-war rallies in uniform. This conduct, of course, breaks military policy forbidding any member of the military to participate in any political activities or demonstrations while in uniform.

When can veterans stop saluting and start speaking out?

The question is more than a matter of protocol. As some returning Iraq veterans join anti-war protests, free speech advocates say disciplinary cases against three outspoken former Marines could stifle dissent by those who may know the most about conditions in Iraq.

The cases involve members of the Individual Ready Reserve, a group most servicemembers enter after active duty. Unlike regular reservists, they receive no pay and are not required to drill or attend annual training. Their only obligations are to inform the military of a change of address and to return to active duty if called. There are 150,000 members of the IRR.

Adam Kokesh, who served in Fallujah, is one of them. A member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Kokesh wore his camouflage uniform, with all insignia removed, on March 19 during a mock "combat patrol" past the White House. Soon after his picture was in The Washington Post, Marine Maj. John Whyte e-mailed him that he may have violated regulations that forbid wearing all or part of a uniform "while engaged in political demonstrations or activities."

Kokesh, 25, e-mailed back, addressing the officer with a profanity.

Monday, Kokesh faces an administrative discharge hearing that accuses him of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Pentagon policy on the wearing of uniforms and being "disrespectful" to a superior. A military board could convert his honorable discharge into an "other than honorable" one, which could reduce his veterans benefits. Today, he and supporters will board a "peace bus" in Washington to take him to the hearing in Kansas City.

"I'm a civilian with the full rights of a civilian until I am called back by the Marine Corps," Kokesh says.

The military doesn't see it that way. The Marine Corps would not comment on specifics of Kokesh's case because it is pending. Marine Maj. Stewart Upton, a Pentagon spokesman, said all troops are instructed that they are forbidden from wearing a uniform at a political event, regardless of whether they are on active duty or retired. "If he says he's a civilian, then why is he wearing the uniform?" Upton asks. "What is he trying to communicate by his action?"

Two other Iraq veterans, Sgt. Liam Madden, 22, of Boston and Cpl. Cloy Richards, 23, of Salem, Mo., also face disciplinary proceedings because of anti-war activities.

From what I can glean from the story, it seems to me that the military's only objection is participating in the demonstrations while in uniform, and not necessarily the participation itself. But, DU members responded with the typical hysteria:

  • It's amazing. It's not enough to send 'our troops' over to Iraq without armor, without any real plan to accomplish 'the mission,' and without proper long-term medical care for them if they get hurt. No, now we have to remind them that they are slaves for life to the military and can't have any civil rights, even when they get home. Excuse me, what are they fighting for again in Iraq. Oh yeah, freedom.
  • You shall not speak... unless you agree with all your government says.
  • If veterans can't speak out, then who can?
  • When can veterans stop saluting and start speaking out? That is the question; when can vets who are OUT not have to fear condemnation and perhaps punishment from the government they so faithfully served?
  • 5. You're not supposed to wear the uniform to a political event... whether still in the military or not...but, this is weird, too. I can't begin to count the times I've seen service members in uniform at republican political events and yet nothing happened to them. I hope the lawyer shows photographs and explains these guys are being singled out because of their opposing views.

  • Given the response on the Democratic Underground, I thought I'd ask a buddy of mine, a Marine fresh out of Iraq, his thoughts on this "controversy" and the Iraq war in general. He asked for his name to be left out, but here is what he had to say:

    Lance Corporal.

    Position in the Corps:

    Length of time served:

    Where have you been stationed/served?
    1)Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion
    2)1 Bat 6th Mar 2nd Mar Div Camp Lejeune, Deployed to the Anbar Province in Iraq

    What is your opinion about the USA Today article criticizing the military's Uniform Code of Military Justice, stating that all troops are instructed that they are forbidden from wearing a uniform at a political event, regardless of whether they are on active duty or retired?
    It isn't regardless -- he wasn't retired, he was on IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) which means he is still held to the UCMJ until his time is served. He caused his own problems by failing to obey the regulations. Rules are Rules.

    Do you feel that this policy would be considered censorship?
    No, we chose the day we enlisted to set aside some of our rights to defend those of others. We live with set rules and regulations, It was our decision to join so the "censorship" technically is self imposed.

    What kind of progress do you feel we have made since our occupation in Iraq began four years ago?
    More than you could possibly imagine. We have reopened countless schools, hospitals, and police staions. Area's which once rivaled Baghdad for the worst area in Iraq, now have gone a couple months without a single firefight, when averaging 60+ a week less then a year ago.

    How does negative press in American media affect soldiers serving overseas? Does it affect the level of support you (soldiers) feel you are receiving?
    It does and it doesn't. It does not affect the level of support we are feeling, because everyday we received letters from people across the nation that none of us knew thanking us for our sacrifice. As for some of the media, at times it angered us passionately, such as with Cindy Sheehan. But for the most part it didn't bother us, though I think we all could agree it would be nice if they [the media] showed what we accomplished while over here, rather than concentrating all of their efforts on finding the negatives.

    What was/were your job/duties while in Iraq?
    To provide security for my convoy.

    Given the chance, would you go back to Iraq again? Yes or no, and why?
    Yes...I just have to think back about my time there and I can think of an endless amount of reasons, so it is kind of hard to narrow it down. I love my job. And I can't stand the fact that there are men out there [in Iraq] hurting innocent people.

    Did you get to meet anyone interesting while in Iraq?
    I got to meet Chuck Norris in Iraq. Real nice guy. He was cool, thanked us for our service, posed for close to a quadrillion pictures, don't even want to contemplate the amount of fake punches he threw. He wore Marine Corps cammies and he thanked us for our service and sacrifice. He treated us like we were the famous ones and he was just a fan. It was pretty awesome.

    Thanks to my friend for the interview and the invaluable service to our country -- he is truly a hero.

    I ain't giving up steak, no matter how big the tax break

    Well, Ingrid Newkirk is back (she's ba-a-a-ck)!

    The crazy animal lover who kills animals while ridiculing (and paying the defense funds of crazies who commit arson against or bomb) shelters that kill animals wants vegetarians to get federal tax breaks because -- wait for it -- it helps fight global warming.

    Are you kidding me?!

    That is the most ludicrous thing I think I have ever heard.

    The notorious animal rights crusader, who famously uttered the words "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy", and asked Yasser Arafat not to use a donkey in his bombings (without, ya' know, worrying about the actual bombings themselves), says she got this information from a University of Chicago study switching to a vegetarian diet is more effective in countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius, the favorite car of enviro-moonbats -- you know, the car which causes more environmental damage to make it than it does to make a Hummer.

    How vegetarianism helps against non-existent global warming, I have no idea. But hey, Ingrid Newkirk says we should do it, so that's all that counts.

    Unfortunately, I got news for Ingrid Newkirk, her hypocritical PETA followers, and all of the other enviro-moonbats: I ain't giving up steak no matter how big the tax break! I won't give up chicken, or fish, or seafood, or beef, or pork, or any other kind of meat. I like my hamburgers. I like my steak. I like shrimp, I like chicken, and pork chops. I know that the "slaughterhouses" where chicken are killed for my dinner are just as bad as the Holocaust for Newkirk, but oh well. She can cry herself a river.

    I'm still gonna enjoy myself a nice, juicy, medium rare steak.

    Hat tip: Moonbattery.

    A kid-friendly comic from PETA.

    The arms race is on!

    According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, anyways.

    From Yahoo! News:

    In a clear reference to the United States, he harshly criticized "imperialism" in global affairs and warned that Russia will strengthen its military potential to maintain a global strategic balance.

    "It wasn't us who initiated a new round of arms race," Putin said when asked about Russia's missile tests this week at a news conference after talks in the Kremlin with Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

    Putin described the tests of a new ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and a new cruise missile as part of the Russian response to the planned deployment of new U.S. military bases and missile defense sites in ex-Soviet satellites in Central and Eastern Europe.

    He assailed the United States and other NATO members for failing to ratify an amended version of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, which limits the deployment of heavy non-nuclear weapons around the continent.

    Putin described the tests of new missiles conducted by Russia on Tuesday as a necessary response to the Western action.

    "There is no reason to fear these actions by Russia, they aren't aggressive. It's merely a response to tough and unfounded unilateral actions by our partners," he said. "These actions are aimed at preserving a global balance."

    Why is this not bigger news? I'm interested to hear how the Bush administration will handle this.

    Photoshop of the Day!

    Some kid caught a Rosie-monster out in the wild!

    Hat tip: MJ Morning Show

    NASA scientist "unsure" of validity of global warming

    From ABC News:

    NASA administrator Michael Griffin is drawing the ire of his agency's preeminent climate scientists after apparently downplaying the need to combat global warming.

    "I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists," Griffin told Inskeep. "I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with."

    "To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change," Griffin said. "I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take."

    Griffin's comments — released in transcript form by NPR — immediately drew stunned reaction from James Hansen, NASA's top climate scientist at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

    "It's an incredibly arrogant and ignorant statement," Hansen told ABC News. "It indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change."

    Interestingly enough, James Hansen was featured heavily in Al Gore's mockumentary, An Inconvenient Lie, I mean, An Inconvenient Truth. Mixed interests, much?

    This is exactly the way enviro-moonbattery always seems to work. Global warming should just be accepted as an absolute truth, and any climatologist or scientist who dares dispute or question that truth is out of their mind.

    Funny thing is, Griffin wasn't even really disputing that there is some global warming going on -- he just wasn't buying into the apocalyptic hype that Al Gore, Laurie David, Sheryl Crow, and the rest of the moonbats are spewing. Temperatures rising one degree will cause the world to end! Start building dome cities on the moon! We must abort Earth now! ABORT, ABORT, ABORT!!

    He said it perfectly: which human beings are allowed to say what is causing global warming, and what makes them more authorized to do so? And how is it that Al Gore is the most knowledgeable person on the planet when it comes to global warming? He usurped that position at the forefront of "the fight against global warming!", just like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton appointed themselves leaders of the civil rights movement.

    And funny, again, how questioning the validity of global warming "draws the ire" of climatologists at NASA. Aren't scientists supposed to be continually questioning and testing their theories? I didn't realize that science was so easy to predict, especially climatology.

    If that's the case, then why can't the local meteorologist even predict whether or not it's going to rain this afternoon?? Maybe he needs to drink some of Al Gore's Kool-Aid.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    A simple memorial

    Over at Chuck Ziegenfuss' blog, he posted a Memorial Day entry about a simple memorial site that I found rather touching (and at the same time, infuriating):

    I'm not that good a neighbor. I was even cutting anyone's lawn. I was cutting the knee-high grass in the divider strip. And no, I'm not that civic minded. I was doing was cutting the grass around a memorial site erected at the start of the war. it's not that much, a few flags stuck in the ground, a streamer or two and a message board. But it is a memorial.

    To me, this simple memorial across the street has more meaning than all of the marble and granite memorials in Washington D. C., Arlington, Gettysburg, and every town square and post office/fire hall in the country. Those memorials all have meaning. A remembrance of was gone by, sacrifices made, fathers, brothers and sons lost for the cause of liberty. Those memorials stand in mute testimony of all we hold dear-- the values, lifestyle and freedom for which we will sacrifice our brightest and bravest.

    But not across the street. Across the street is a simple memorial made by one man, a man whose only real connection to this fight is a cousin who works rebuilding Iraq. He's had the memorial of since the first day of the ground war, He's even had legal battles with neighbors who didn't appreciate what he was doing. Those neighbors accused him of creating an eyesore, (out of American flags!) Of not having "the right" to display the flags in the public's space, and of not asking permission from the landowner of the rental community he lives in. He fought them tooth and nail, and even though he received many letters of support, the landowners wrote him a letter telling him to either take down the memorial or face eviction. Eventually, he had to take the flags down. He said it was the saddest day in his life, and he cried the entire time he was doing it. In the end, a few of our state representatives became involved, and told him in no uncertain terms: "go ahead and keep the memorial off and let us know if you have any more problems."

    I’m glad all this happened before I moved here or I would have a few less neighbors to sit around and b*tch. I would also, had I known sooner, have completely lined my yard with flags, covered the house in banners and bunting, and generally made the largest red-white-and-blue eye sore you've ever seen.

    I'll never understand people who get "offended" by displays of the American flag. Maybe I'm delusional, but isn't this... well... America? Agree or disagree with the war or not, the proper and decent thing to do is keep your mouth shut and stand behind your troops. Obviously, no one has to. But again, it's just the decent thing to do. Be patriotic -- it ain't gonna kill ya! Our soldiers need our support -- they need to know that their country is standing behind them, more than I think some people know. Just imagine how it must feel to hear, as a soldier who is or has been fighting in Iraq, or Afghanistan, that a memorial with American flags is being forced to take down because it is an "eyesore". I mean, my God... how much more unpatriotic can you get?

    And even if -- IF -- this was in "public space" in a neighborhood and he wasn't "allowed" to have it up, does it matter? Is it a fight that needs to be fought? Seriously now. What these neighbors should have done as good, principled, decent, proud, and patriotic Americans is follow his example and hang a few flags of their own. But no. It's an eyesore.

    Chuck is an Army officer who fought in Iraq and was injured by an IED. He's undergone over 30 surgeries in, I believe, a little more than two years. And he's out there cutting the grass for memorial of a war he not only fought in, but was injured in -- and seriously so. Chuck, and the man he's speaking of who built the memorial to begin with, are true patriots. We should all follow their examples.

    Make sure you read the whole story.

    Ben Affleck, Meet the Kettle

    Political Analyst Ben Affleck picked Mitt Romney to be the GOP's nominee for the presidential election in 2008:

    Chatting about the upcoming presidential race on the season finale of "Real Time with Bill Maher," the Cambridge homey said he thinks the GOP will end up with Romney because the ex-gov looks good, has nice hair - and the Republicans really don’t have anyone else.

    "He says he doesn’t like abortion and he’s all clean-cut and he looks like a Ken doll," said Affleck who was doing a rather amusing imitation of our ex-gov during the Romney rant.

    "The Mormonism thing is really suspect," he added, "but they’ll take it at this point. I mean, who else do they have? Crazy (Rudy) Giuliani and (John) McCain who’s completely insane? They don’t have any other options."

    "‘I hate liberals,’ is what he’s [Romney's] basically now saying. He’s holding his nose saying, ‘I wish I didn’t even have to be in Massachusetts. I’m sorry I was there. I hated them when I was governor. I hated Massachusetts. I was governor because I wanted to kill them all!’"

    The GOP has no one better than Romney, McCain, or Giuliani?

    Well, we have Duncan Hunter, a Vietnam Veteran who was an Army Ranger as well as a member of the 173rd Airborne Division, and was the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and also wrote the Secure Fence Act to build 854 miles of fencing along our border. He's my pick, anyways.

    And at least we aren't stuck with Shrillary "Let's-socialize-all-industry-and-turn-into-a-communist-nation-because-I-know-better-than-you" Clinton; or Barack "I'm-so-tired-that-I-keep-saying-stupid-things-but-I'm-only-in-my-forties" Obama; or John "I'm-on-my-way-to-a-$400-haircut-but-is-that-an-ambulance-I-hear??" Edwards.

    But on to the real juicy part: Ben Affleck called someone else a Ken doll as an insult?!

    Uh, Ben, honey? You might wanna take a look in the mirror before you insult someone for being a pretty boy-Ken doll look-a-like. Just a suggestion. I mean, hello! Pot, meet the kettle. Notice how you're both black?

    Maybe he and John Edwards can go to a spa and get $225 in "services" together!

    Cold War, Part 2?

    Russia announced it successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of penetrating through any missile defense systems.

    From The Guardian:

    The missile tests follow months of anger in Moscow over the Bush administration's determination to install parts of a controversial missile defence shield in eastern Europe.
    President Vladimir Putin has been incensed by the Pentagon's plans to site missile interceptors and radar shields in Poland and the Czech Republic. The row has contributed to the worst relations between Russia and the west for 20 years.

    But as well as confrontational rhetoric from Mr Putin, Russia has also been preparing a secret military response, analysts said yesterday. They said the new RS-24 missile was capable of:

    · carrying multiple independent warheads, making it almost impossible to shoot down

    · travelling inter-continentally to hit targets thousands of miles away

    · using sophisticated navigation systems which allow the warheads to lock on to different targets

    ... The treaty between the US and the Soviet Union banning intermediate range nuclear weapons was no longer effective, warned Mr Ivanov, Russia's former defence minister, because it did not apply to Russia's neighbours such as China.

    The Bush administration insists its new missile defence system is aimed at rogue missiles fired by Iran or North Korea. But Russia says the system destroys the strategic balance of forces in Europe and is a direct threat to the country's nuclear arsenal.

    Interesting development. Are we looking at another Cold War arms race between the United States and Russia? And if so, what presidential candidate do we have that can accomplish was Reagan did in putting a stop to it?

    All we can do for right now is watch and wait.

    This is why we're fighting

    From Fox News:

    An American member of Al Qaeda warned President Bush on Tuesday to end U.S. involvement in all Muslim lands or face an attack worse than the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a new videotape.

    "Your failure to heed our demands ... means that you and your people will ... experience things which will make you forget all about the horrors of September 11th, Afghanistan and Iraq and Virginia Tech," he said in the seven-minute video.

    Gadahn, who appeared in an Al Qaeda video last September in which he called on Americans to convert to Islam, demanded that Bush remove all U.S. military and spies from Islamic countries, free all Muslims from U.S. prisons and end support for Israel. He said a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq alone would not satisfy Al Qaeda.

    Ben Venzke at IntelCenter, a U.S. government contractor that monitors Al Qaeda messages, said the group likely did not believe any of its demands would be met.

    "It essentially allows Al Qaeda to say that it has provided fair warning and is thus no longer responsible for the outcome," Venzke said in a statement.

    But... but... but Islam is a religion of peace! And... and... its really the United States who are the terrorists! And Al Qaeda was never in Iraq to begin with! It's our own fault anyways, for murdering 650,000 "innocent civilians", eh, Rosie?

    Every now and then something like this pops up. Let it be a reminder to all: this is why we're fighting. Al-Qaeda will never rest, and neither can we.

    Who will replace Rosie?

    So I guess now the big question is, who will replace Rosie on The View? My guess is it will be another conspiracy-theorist liberal. The first guest host they had to fill in for Rosie's now-vacant spot was Whoopi Goldberg, who is definitely drinking the Kool-Aid.

    You know who I would love to see join the panel? Michelle Malkin or Mary Katherine Ham. Seriously. They're both smart, talented, beautiful women who could eat Joy Behar and Baba Wawa for breakfast -- and then, the panel would actually be (gasp!) balanced, as far as the conservative-liberal ratio goes. Ratings go up whenever there are heated debates, right? I'm sure there'd be a lot more than that when you put a strong conservative voice on the panel along with the moonbat liberals.

    Unfortunately, it is never going to happen. They'll find someone else who has the same opinions as Rosie and poor Elisabeth will be there all by herself.

    Mary Katherine Ham and Michelle Malkin: next hosts of The View

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Cindy Sheehan: So Long, and Good Night!

    Cindy Sheehan posted a long, rambling, anti-American message on DailyKos entitled "Good Riddance, Attention Whore" in which she says she's FINALLY going to stop exploiting her son's death to push her own political agenda and dishonoring the sacrifice he made, and just go home and quit speaking for the Democratic Party.

    All together now: WOO-HOO!

    I mean, honestly -- it is about time!

    I have come to some heartbreaking conclusions this Memorial Day Morning. These are not spur of the moment reflections, but things I have been meditating on for about a year now. The conclusions that I have slowly and very reluctantly come to are very heartbreaking to me.

    The first conclusion is that I was the darling of the so-called left as long as I limited my protests to George Bush and the Republican Party. Of course, I was slandered and libeled by the right as a "tool" of the Democratic Party. This label was to marginalize me and my message. How could a woman have an original thought, or be working outside of our "two-party" system?

    So now, she's a "feminist", too. Not only are us Republicans blood-thirsty cretins who want to steal oil from the innocent little civilians in the Middle East who don't wish us any harm at all, but we hate women, too. And "so-called left"?! How much more left does she want the Democratic Party to lean? Scary thought.

    However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the "left" started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used. I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of "right or left", but "right and wrong."

    I am deemed a radical because I believe that partisan politics should be left to the wayside when hundreds of thousands of people are dying for a war based on lies that is supported by Democrats and Republican alike. It amazes me that people who are sharp on the issues and can zero in like a laser beam on lies, misrepresentations, and political expediency when it comes to one party refuse to recognize it in their own party. Blind party loyalty is dangerous whatever side it occurs on. People of the world look on us Americans as jokes because we allow our political leaders so much murderous latitude and if we don’t find alternatives to this corrupt "two" party system our Representative Republic will die and be replaced with what we are rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland. I am demonized because I don’t see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person’s heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?

    She held the Republican Party to the same standards as she did the Democrats? Please. And Democrats are not supporting this war just like Republicans are. They have been trying to get us out of there with everything they have, no matter how catastrophic the results would be. But that's not enough for Psycho Sheehan... oh, no. Although, she is right about the blindness to corruption in their own party, although I'm sure she was referring to Republicans. Democrats never acknowledge corruption in their party -- they are too busy looking for problems with the GOP. And I love hearing liberals harp on and on and on about Republicans being fascists, or turning us into, as Psycho Sheehan puts it, "a fascist corporate wasteland". Uh, the socialism and nannyism that they love so much is exactly what would turn this country into a fascist wasteland.

    And its funny how someone who "doesn't see party affiliation" uses Republicans as examples for all of her negative smearings.

    I have also reached the conclusion that if I am doing what I am doing because I am an "attention whore" then I really need to be committed. I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others. I have spent every available cent I got from the money a "grateful" country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings. I have been called every despicable name that small minds can think of and have had my life threatened many times.

    ... The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

    You know, she hit the nail on the head with that last sentence: she failed her boy. She is a disgrace to the sacrifice he made -- to fight and die for a country he believed in. I don't think I have ever seen someone so shamelessly exploit their child's death. I don't know that even John Edwards would sink so low -- or perhaps he just hasn't had the opportunity. And of course, she just HAD to throw in some anti-Americanism there. I don't think she's capable of opening her mouth without bashing the United States. And where does she get off thinking that we are killing innocent people? THEY. WANT. TO. KILL. US. And given the opportunity -- like, for example, if we were to pick up and leave Iraq without stabilizing the region first -- they will. We will see another 9-11, and probably on a much larger scale. No doubt about it.

    Our brave young men and women in Iraq have been abandoned there indefinitely by their cowardly leaders who move them around like pawns on a chessboard of destruction and the people of Iraq have been doomed to death and fates worse than death by people worried more about elections than people. However, in five, ten, or fifteen years, our troops will come limping home in another abject defeat and ten or twenty years from then, our children’s children will be seeing their loved ones die for no reason, because their grandparents also bought into this corrupt system. George Bush will never be impeached because if the Democrats dig too deeply, they may unearth a few skeletons in their own graves and the system will perpetuate itself in perpetuity.

    If Democrats dig too deeply they may unearth a few skeletons? Honey, that ain't a possibility. It's a certainty. You don't even have to dig to find skeletons in the Democrats' closets -- they're right out there, for anyone to see. But mainstream media bias keeps it from being reported.

    This is my resignation letter as the "face" of the American anti-war movement. This is not my "Checkers" moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

    Good-bye America ...you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

    It’s up to you now.

    She'll never give up is really just her way of saying she'll be gone until she figures out a new way to exploit her son's death, or the war, or a little butterfly that flew by her window, or the fact that fictitious polar bears are floating away on fictitious icebergs, or any other "movement" she feels she can capitalize upon.

    Oh, and Cindy? There are plenty of countries that are exactly what you want to turn the United States into. They're called Venezuela and Cuba, and until we overthrew Saddam, Iraq. You can "sacrifice" all you want, with book deals and appearance fees, and coffee-and-ice-cream diets, but you're right. We won't do it.

    And no one will cry any tears if you leave. So go. Sequester yourself, and hopefully we never have to hear from you again.

    Although I won't hold my breath that this will be the last of you.

    Chuck Norris gives a tribute to his brother and our troops

    On World Net Daily, Chuck Norris writes a touching column about the death of his younger brother in Vietnam.

    For a long time I couldn't function. I simply sat in shock, thinking about my little brother, Wieland, my best friend whom I would never see again in this life. Right there, in front of anyone who cared to see, I wept uncontrollably.

    I learned later that Wieland had been killed while leading his squad through dangerous enemy territory. He had spotted an enemy patrol laying a trap and was trying to warn his men when the Vietcong cut him down.

    When Wieland had been 12 years old, he'd once had a premonition that he would not live to be 28. Wieland died June 3, 1970, one month before his 28th birthday.

    ... It's fitting for a soldier like Wieland that Memorial Day falls every year a week or so before the anniversary of the day he gave his life for the cause of freedom. Though we didn't win the war in Vietnam, my brother did not die in vain, just like no soldier does today. Whether it's for our freedom or another's, the words of Jesus are true for all, "There is no greater love than this: that a man lay down his life for another."

    It's a genuinely sad thing that true patriots, like Chuck Norris, are so hard to find in Hollyweird. If only more empty-headed celebrities realized that the troops they protest are the ones that give them their right to spout hate-filled drivel day in, and day out.

    It's a great column -- make sure to read it all... or Chuck Norris will make you read it.

    Memorial Day, Washington-Liberal Style

    How do residents of Orcas Island, WA celebrate Memorial Day? By desecrating the final resting places of our fallen soldiers:

    Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans' graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas, authorities said Monday.

    Forty-six flag standards were found empty and another 33 flags were in charred tatters Sunday in the cemetery, authorities said. Swastikas drawn on paper appeared where 14 of the flags had been.

    Members of the American Legion on this island off Washington's northwest coast replaced the burned flags with new ones Sunday afternoon.

    The vandals struck again on Memorial Day after a guard left at dawn, the San Juan County sheriff's office said. This time, the vandals left 33 of the hand-drawn swastikas.

    "This is not an act of free speech. This is a crime," Sheriff Bill Cumming said in a statement released Monday afternoon

    I just have to wonder sometimes -- do these people have no sense of decency? Attacking recruiting stations, protesting at funerals, desecrating graves... and for what? What point are they trying to make... what goal can they accomplish by disrespecting our fallen soldiers? How much more despicable can you get?

    Liberals will tell you that while they "don't agree", they won't speak out against these actions because the soldiers died for their right to protest. Maybe so, but just because you can do something does not, by any means, mean that you should -- or that the rest of us should condone it. Whoever did this should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and made to pay reparations to the family members of those soldiers. They should be made examples of.

    What I want to know is, would this be considered a hate crime for liberals? They're introducing legislation to specify "hate crimes" against minority groups, as opposed to just regular old "mean" crimes against us normal people. Would this count as a hate crime, even though it wasn't committed against the liberals' favorite groups (i.e., gays or minorities)? Probably not.

    Don't expect to see this in the mainstream media, either. I doubt this will even make a blip on the national radar.

    Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.

    The mean View targets poor, defenseless Rosie

    I've been holding back on commenting too much on the whole Rosie-Elisabeth fiasco. I thought it all spoke for itself -- that Rosie thought it was Elisabeth's responsibility to defend her poor choice of words should have been ridiculous enough, and then Rosie had the gall to call Elisabeth cowardly? I have never been able to understand why anyone likes Rosie anyways. She's loud, obnoxious, and rude. She's the epitome of the "liberal" in the opening chapter of Ann Coulter's book How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must). I couldn't help but think back to the chapter of that book as Rosie spoke over elisabeth, interrupted her, and never gave her the chance to defend herself. This is a great tactic for her, and for most liberals, because as Ann says, this means they never hear your argument and thus, never have to actually argue.

    Rosie is used to being in liberal circles, cheered as she spouts conspiracy theories and spews hatred and condescension towards our troops by BaBa WaWa, Joy Behar, and the studio audience. Did no one else but me notice that, before the blowout between Rosie and Elisabeth, Joy pulled out a list of what she calls "facts" to be used as reasons to impeach President Bush? And on top of that, the audience cheered.

    What I want to know is why this studio audience, and viewers across America, want to hear Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar's views on politics. They are celebrities who don't know the first thing about what's going on in the world beyond what they hear on CNN or read on Al Gore's "I Hate George Bush" mailing list. I mean, when Rosie went off on how on 9-11 it was the first time fire ever melted steel, I would think that would have been enough for people to realize the sheer stupidity of that woman!

    Seriously... fire has never melted steel before? Really, Rosie?

    Poor Elisabeth really has her work cut out for her there, and usually she's polite and well-spoken, albeit soft-spoken, unlike the rest of the panel. I was so happy to actually see her put her foot down and defend herself, finally, against Rosie.

    So now, Rosie is harping on and on about it on her blog, saying that she hasn't spoken to Elisabeth and probably won't. How sad for Elisabeth (or not). She also says that the director -- the director! -- of The View has turned it into the Jerry Springer Show.

    Rosie, Rosie, Rosie. Do you not understand? You turned it into the Jerry Springer Show. You, with your boisterous arguments and ridiculous theories, you with your childish, kindergarten feuds with Donald Trump... you lowered and debased the show, if that was even possible.

    And look at the maturity difference between Elisabeth and Rosie. While Elisabeth has publicly said that she hoped her friendship with Rosie wouldn't be over because they had one heated argument, Rosie is going on record saying she doesn't want to speak to her ever again.

    I guess to be in Rosie's circle, you gotta be drinking the Kool-Aid.

    If someone could just put duct tape over her mouth for the rest of her life, so the rest of us wouldn't have to listen to her moronic drivel, it would be a public service.

    Rosie vs. Elisabeth: The Party's Over

    Duncan Hunter says thank you

    Congressman Duncan Hunter, running for President in 2008, posted a touching message on his official website today:

    On this Memorial Day, let us remember the Americans who died on the battlefields of the world for us.

    You know the Bible tells us “greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for another.” In the last century alone 619,000 American service members laid down their lives for us. They fought in Bellawood, Guadalcanal, the Chosin Reservoir and Kason Vietnam. Today they fight in places called Fallujah and Baghdad and Kabul.

    They are America’s greatest generation. We owe them our heartfelt support and the gratitude of a free nation.

    Read it all. People need to remember what patriotism looks like every now and then.

    Monday, May 28, 2007

    The new definition of hero

    For the first time in years, I decided to buy a
    Glamour magazine last week to read through. I was bored, I figured, why not? I'd stopped reading magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan because I had started to find them boring, cliched, shallow, vapid, and completely empty of anything that could remotely connote intelligence. Every issue to me seemed the same: clothes, make-up, hair, boys, sex, the caveats of being a housewife and/or having kids too early, and celebrities. Oh, and an occasional story about a "deep" topic, although they were all really the same topics being recycled over and over again: dealing with a death in the family, domestic abuse, rape, coming out, etc., etc., etc.

    I don't really know what compelled me to read the magazine, now that I think about it.

    Anyways, this issue is the "Heroes" issue, apparently, just chock full of celebrities and us "ordinary people", doing heroic things. So I checked it out.

    The first section I came across was filled with celebrities, the first of which was Eve Ensler, notorious feminist and writer of the controversial play, The Vagina Monologues, which features women shouting the word "vagina" over and over and over again, as well as a scene in which a 24-year-old woman gets a 13-year-old girl drunk and then rapes her (the girl's age was later changed to sixteen). The girl's response is, "If it was rape, then it was a good rape. I'll never need to depend on a man." This play is somehow supposed to make all women everywhere erase the shame we supposedly associate with our vaginas, but I guess that's another post for another day. Eve Ensler also has "crusaded" against domestic violence by saying we need to get rid of Valentine's Day and re-name it V-Day, for Victory-Over-Violence Day (because, you know, Valentine's Day is the number one cause of domestic abuse). I'm sure this will make me a woman who does not support the fight against domestic abuse, but that's not the truth, and I know it, so oh well. Eve Ensler is a hero, and that's that.

    So, here is a sampling of the oh-so-heroic actions and quotes from our oh-so-heroic celebrities:

  • "My friend Dilyn, who wrote a love letter to her body after she gave birth. She decided to thank it instead of beating herself up for going back to her regular size." - Actress Tracee Ellis Ross, on what woman inspires her most.

  • "I'm paying for my brother to go to college, and I have two godchildren I help support. They are family, so I'd automatically give them my time and energy, but now I can help them financially, too, which is really incredible." - Actress Rosario Dawson, on the most heroic thing she's ever done.

  • "Learning to be capable of intimacy with a man. I'm very brave, except in the area of emotional intimacy. I'm approaching 70, and I can finally say I'm breaking through those barriers." - Hanoi Jane Fonda, on the most heroic thing she's done lately.

  • "Speaking at today's event. If all these powerful women are fighting on behalf of others, I will try to get over my fear of public speaking!" - Actress Marisa Tomei, also on the most heroic thing she's done lately.

    Only in Hollyweird would helping your family financially when you strike it rich be considered heroic, or becoming emotionally intimate with a man once you hit your 60s, or overcoming stage fright. Helping your brother through college is incredibly generous and a great thing to do, but heroic? Not so much. Maybe just more... the decent and right thing to do. If I were to strike it rich, and had unlimited money at my disposal, you can bet your life that I'd be paying off all my parents' bills and signing my not-yet-born sister up for Florida pre-paid tuition. It's just what a decent, good person would do, but it doesn't make you heroic.

    They also featured the following lovely interview with Pioneer Pelosi and her lovely daughter, Alexandra:

    Alexandra Pelosi: You're my hero.
    Nancy Pelosi: Why, because I'm the first woman to be speaker of the House?
    AP: No, because you had five kids in six years. How did you get from our kitchen to Congress?
    NP: I never thought I'd run. But back in the 1980s, when my friend Sala Burton, a U.S. representative from California, was on her deathbed, she asked me to run for the seat.
    AP: Who are your heroes?
    NP: All the women who paved the way for me. I remember in 2001, I went to a leadership meeting at the White House. Of course, those meetings had always been men only. But I felt like there were ghosts in the room -- Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Shirley Chisholm -- women who had helped me get there.
    AP: I get tired just watching you in action.
    NP: Politics is a difficult line of work. But if I had one piece of advice for women, it is this: Just run. Run for student government, local office, higher office. Anything is possible.
    AP: So tell me, what gets you out of bed in the morning?
    NP: Chocolate ice cream for breakfast. That is just one of the reasons my grandkids love staying at my house.

    Now, for the "ordinary women". While some of them could indeed be called heroic -- like 22-year-old Jessica Gaulke, who gave up her beauty queen title to fight in Iraq as a Black Hawk gunner -- some were just as disappointing.

    There were three girls who -- gasp!! -- left their sorority after 22 girls were taken off active status, which is obviously a heroic act. There was a girl who surfed a monster wave in Teahupoo, Tahiti. Then there was a girl who got pregnant in college, and -- brace yourself -- didn't have an abortion or drop out of college! I know, that's an unbelievable feat in liberal circles.

    But are those acts of heroism? Let's see, by these standards, let me name some heroic actions I've taken in the past few days:

  • I overcame horrible pain, but bravely worked through it at my job as I waited for the aspirin to kick in, refusing to let the headache run my life.

  • I got mad at someone the other day, but held in my anger rather than letting it overtake my emotions, and eventually learned to forgive her for... well, whatever it is she did to make me mad.

  • I was selfless at Target the other day, thinking of my unborn sister instead of myself. So I bought her a "I love my big sister" bib and a Precious Moments plush doll.

    Man... if I keep this up, I could win the Nobel Prize!

  • "It was an honor to be his father"

    Sad news: the body found in the Euphrates River has been confirmed as one of the three missing soldiers: 20-year-old Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr.

    His body was bullet-riddled and showed signs of possible torture. But former classmates, family members, and friends all agreed that he was doing exactly what he wanted to do.

    Anzack, who graduated two years ago, should be honored for "his service to America and for representing South High and Torrance so proudly and so well," Principal Scott McDowell told students in a second-period classroom announcement.

    Outside, the front steps became a makeshift shrine of flowers, flags and balloons, marked with a sign reading: "You're our HERO."

    ... In Iraq, members of Anzack's platoon choked back tears at news of his death and said they would not stop looking for the other two missing soldiers.

    "We can't leave them behind. I just hope that they have enough faith to keep them going. What they're going through right now, I can't imagine," said Pfc. Sammy Rhodes, 25, of Albuquerque, N.M.

    His family, obviously grieving, seems to be holding up surprisingly well. Rather than exploit their son's death to further their own agendas, or blame it on President Bush, they are choosing to honor his choice and his sacrifice.

    ... late Wednesday afternoon, an Army representative turned up at the Anzack apartment on the second story of a stucco building in Torrance.

    "The mourning started right then," the soldier's father told the Breeze in a telephone interview last night. "His sister, she can't believe it. His mom, she's doing OK," he added.

    Anzack said his immediate family and several extended family members held a vigil inside the apartment, along with an Army chaplain.

    "We said a prayer for the other two boys, then sat around and talked about Joseph," he told the Breeze, "just sharing the love of my son and why we all loved him."

    "I'm not really sure where I'm going to go from here," Anzack told the Breeze. "I don't know what I'm supposed to do tomorrow. But I have to keep living. I have to keep my family strong."

    "I was honored to have him serve this country," Joseph Anzack Sr. told the Breeze. "I know he went over there and made a difference... It was an honor to be his father."

    Take a moment away from your barbecues and parties this Memorial Day Weekend to remember not only this fallen soldier -- this hero -- but his family as well, who (to me) are just as heroic as he is. This country needs more people like them.

    Rest easy, sleep well my brothers.
    Know the line has held, your job is done.
    Rest easy, sleep well.
    Others have taken up where you fell, the line has held.
    Peace, peace, and farewell...

    Sign this petition today

    Rep. Eric Cantor has set up a petition for people to sign showing their disapproval of the awesome Teddy Kennedy's amnesty bill. It reads:

    The rule of law is vital to the success and character of our nation.

    I strongly urge our nation's leaders to oppose the Ted Kennedy Amnesty Bill currently being considered by the United States Senate.

    Almost two decades ago, amnesty was attempted - it failed. Repeating that mistake will do nothing to secure our borders today.

    America's insecure borders are an enormous threat to our national security - a liability we can not afford in the struggle against gang violence on our streets or in the Global War on Terror.

    We must take steps to secure our border, but amnesty is not the way.

    Our message is simple - do not support amnesty.

    Sign it here.

    Hat tip: RightWingNews

    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    Myspace Image for the day

    Knowing what we're up against

    Robert Spencer is blogging the Qu'ran (or Koran) over at Hot Air:

    To understand the motives and goals of Islamic jihad terrorists, one good place to start might be to explore what they themselves say about why they’re doing what they’re doing, and what they want. That in turn will lead you to the Qur’an (or Koran), the Islamic holy book. The jihadists quote it frequently and portray themselves as those who are following “pure Islam,” the genuine article as it is taught in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition. So in the course of my work explaining the jihadists’ objectives, I’ve quoted the Qur’an a great deal – and hardly a day goes by without my being accused of “cherry-picking” violent passages, and quoting them “out of context.” Meanwhile, the Council on American Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups say that in order to understand the true, peaceful Islam, we should read the Qur’an.

    Make sure to check back every Sunday and read it.

    The United States: Paving the Way for Violence Against Women!

    Ever wished you could rape a woman whenever you want? Think stoning women is fun?


    Well, you'd be surprised to learn that apparently the United States advocates that kind of thing -- or at least, according to blogger Sapphire Blue at the Democratic Underground:

    This girl is 17. She is being stoned to death, half-naked, by the men of an Iraqi village for fraternizing with a boy from another religion. And all the while it is happening other men look on cheering and take pictures of the carnage with their mobile phones. The police stand by and do nothing while other men disrobe and dishonor a woman for the sake, they say, of restoring their own.

    By the end of the television news report, the girl is not writhing anymore. She is dead. And not one man did one thing to stop it.

    Yanar Mohammed, president of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), in an interview with Women's Human Rights Net highlighted the effects of this war on women (whrnet.org/docs/interview-yanar-0603.html <1>).

    ... Mohammed, in a CNN interview, May 19, 2007, made two points no U.S. citizen wants to hear.

    First, she said, the number of honor killings in Iraq have increased by the hundreds since the invasion.

    Second, she went on, 10 years ago, long before the country was "freed," honor killings did not exist.

    Pressed by the CNN reporter to explain the difference, Mohammed was short and to the point: "Someone came in from the outside and gave us "democracy," she said. The problem, she went on, is that the new democracy became Islamic -- not secular.

    Now, she reports, men come to a house, bang on the door, say "This is a whorehouse" and murder all the women there. … It is sectarianism hiding behind religion."

    The situation is even worse than that, however. With the change in the Iraqi Constitution, articles that protected the rights of women were eliminated. Now discrimination against women is, indeed, "honorable," is "religious," is legal.

    Honor killings didn't exist before the United States freed Iraq?? We made discrimination against women honorable, religious, and legal?? Is this person serious?! What's funny to me is the contradiction made by Mohammed in the same breath. Honor killings didn't exist before the country was freed, but they've increased since the invasion. Hmm.

    Of course they are, and most the commenters jumped right on the blame-US bandwagon.

    Sadly enough for the Democratic Underground, honor killings are not a new concept, and they are not unique to Iraq. According to the U.N., liberals favorite organization in the whole world, they take place in countless countries, such as: Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen, and other Mediterranean and Gulf countries, and that they had also taken place in such countries as France, Germany and the United Kingdom within migrant communities.

    Only in crazy moonbat liberal circles would democracy be pointed to as the cause of honor killings.

    This Memorial Day, remember.

    My friend Andy Hefty wrote a great column about Memorial Day, entitled Memorial Day: A Proper Perspective.

    I am interrupting the three-part series on limiting government to share my thoughts on an appropriate way to observe Memorial Day. Please notice that I did not say, “Celebrate.” That is because we should not “celebrate” a day of remembering fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardsmen. We must observe the remembrance. Thus the term “Memorial Day.”

    In that light, I offer a stark reminder for everyone to contemplate.

    Go ahead and have a barbecue with friends and family. Yes, you should even invite the in-laws. But instead of just “fun in the sun,” try to bear in mind that Memorial Day is more than the unofficial start of summer vacation. It is a day to ponder the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform gave to us when they stood boldly between the enemy they faced and us.

    To hold someone “In Memory” means that they would have died. Memorial Day is no exception. We honor the living members of the Armed Services on Veteran’s Day. Our fallen heroes have long deserved their day that we remember them. Naturally we should remember them every day. But setting aside a special day just for them is as appropriate as any holiday -- if not more so in some instances.

    Be sure to read the whole thing.

    Lindsay Lohan caught with drugs

    Some mindless celebrity gossip for today: after being arrested for a DUI, Lindsay Lohan's car was searched and -- surprise! -- cocaine was found.

    From Perez Hilton:

    After being busted by police and charged with DUI, the LAPD are now revealing that cocaine was found in the troubled pAArty girl's car.

    ... Officers believe that Lindsay was speeding - under the influence of drugs/alcohol - and lost control of her car on Saturday morning. The car ... crashed into a curb and a tree on Sunset Blvd, and Lohan was taken in another car to the Century City hospital.

    Police received a 911 call about the accident after Lindsay abandoned her banged up Mercedes and fled the scene of the incident.

    Officers "tracked Ms. Lohan to the local hospital, where she was ultimately placed under arrest" for investigation of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    Lohan was cited and released. She faces serious drama when the matter heads to court. In addition to the drunk driving dilemma, she will also face felony criminal charges for the illegal narcotics in her car.

    Well, is anyone really surprised? Only in Hollyweird can so many celebrities get caught with DUIs and drugs with so few actually paying the price for it. So few so, in fact, that when one (Paris Hilton) actually has to face the music, it's national news for weeks and weeks on end.

    So let's take some bets on what will happen now. My guess is Lindsay -- or her publicist, more like -- will hold a press conference and tearfully confess how the stresses of Hollywood are just overbearing for her, and how she wants to be a good role model for her fans (does she have any left?), and will quickly enter rehab to help "clean up" her image. Legally speaking, will other judges follow the example set with Paris Hilton and start actually, I don't know, sending celebrities to jail for breaking the law? My guess is no. She'll get away with this scot free.

    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    A City That Really Cares!

    Maggie's Farm gives us a glimpse into the future of New York City under RINO Mayor Mike Bloomberg:

    The Mayor's approval rating of 76% has been largely due to his efforts to safeguard city residents from tobacco smoke, trans fats, cars, guns, and other ills with which the ignorant masses are too stupid to deal with on their own. He seeks to build on this foundation with his ambitious new program, entitled "A City That Really Cares."

    This futuristic iniative would put into place a 1,000 police force charged with enforcing new requirements such as:

  • The banning of all sales or wearing of women's heels over 2"

  • Required serving of broccoli and carrots with all New York City meals

  • The banning of sunbathing

  • Requiring the wearing of hats during sunny days, and wool hats when the temperature drops below 40 degrees F.

    And so on and so forth. Seem implausible?

    New York City cab fleets are being forced to phase into "environmentally friendly" hybrids by 2012, with all new vehicles required to be hybrids as early as two years from now. Ford Crown Victorias obviously are out as well, because politicians should be allowed to mandate how our businesses are run.

    New York City: the greatest city on Earth!