Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Judge to Justice

Alito was confirmed 58-42.

It went exactly as predicted. The Democrats were unable to swing enough Republicans to their side. They only had Lincoln Chaffee voting with them.

The swearing in will happen quickly and Sandra Day O'Connor can finally retire - six months after giving her notice!

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Moving Tribute

Beth at Blue Star Chronicles has written a most loving and beautiful tribute to a fallen Marine and the family who loves him.
He was buried in a cemetery next to a church a long way down a country road on the outskirts of a very small southern town.

This middle-of-no-where place is familiar to most of us Americans. You probably have a place very similar to it down the road and over the hill from where you are. Hundreds of people came to this middle-of-no-where place to pay respects to the man who was killed in service to his country.

Law enforcement officers escorted the horse drawn caisson from the church to the cemetery. Dozens of other law enforcement officers attended out of friendship and respect for the service he had given to his community. A group of military veteran bikers stood guard at the entrance of the cemetery.

And the Marines ….

The Marines honored him with the dignity, ceremony and respect fitting this fallen Marine.

This man was respected and emulated by his sons, adored by his daughters, loved and admired by his parents and siblings, and held in high esteem by his community.

His wife cherished him. And he cherished her.

A life well lived, ended too soon.
Beth describes him not only as a noble Marine, but as a common man. "A common man who holds this country together." Her post is one that everybody should read.

Just an Observation

Is it me, or did Ted Kennedy look like his head was going to explode as he ranted and raved on the Senate floor today? He gave new meaning to the term apoplexy! I really thought he was going to drop to the floor from a heart attack or stroke. I'm sure he's steaming even more now, since the filibuster ploy didn't work despite Obama and Hillary's backing.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Not Your Average Chef

This particular chef has been awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for rescuing five soldiers during an ambush. Chief Warrant Officer 3 David J. Longstaff was familiar with the procurement convoys and hadn't experienced any problems priviously, but he learned that first and foremost, he is a soldier!
“The Humvee was hit by an RPG and an ambush was in progress,” said Longstaff. “We just happened to be coming down the road, so we got in there and supported them.”

Longstaff’s convoy included two Humvees and a 5-ton truck. Longstaff ordered two vehicles to secure the rear as the other vehicle, driven by Sgt. 1st Class Richard Bryant, 1st Armored Division, proceeded to assist the five ambushed Soldiers trapped behind a civilian vehicle.

Longstaff provided covering fire toward a building where most of the incoming rounds were shot from. With hostile fire coming from buildings on the north and south sides of the street, he continued engaging the enemy with suppressive fire for 10 minutes, and helped evacuate the casualties away from the area.

“I stayed behind our Humvee, walking as we maneuvered across the street,” said Longstaff. “Once we laid down suppressive fire, they were able to run across the two sections of the street and get back into their area.”

Longstaff also engaged enemy fire from the rear flank with 2nd Lt. Juan Florez, assistant DISCOM S-4..

Longstaff’s quick reaction to the situation allowed the ambushed Soldiers to move out of the kill zone without further injury, according to Bryant. Longstaff volunteered as rear security on the convoy out of the area and the injured Soldiers were evacuated for medical treatment. Longstaff’s team had no injuries.
He learned that you always have to be prepared and that, chef or not, he is "a warrior first."

Army

Saturday, January 28, 2006

20 Years Ago Today


The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

Ronald Reagan - January 28, 1986

Friday, January 27, 2006

Culture of Corruption

I don't know about you, but I am really tired of that phrase especially when uttered by the extremely hypocritical Democratic party. They have begun to sound like a bunch of parrots. Well, here's a little bit of history for them to chew on...
According to an article by Bruce Bartlett, the actual tally of Dems vs. Republicans in regard to comparative party corruption might surprise you. The proof comes directly from the source. The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has been keeping records of misconduct under their roof since 1798. Bartlett added up the results by party, and the facts show: Democrats are far and wide the biggest violators of the rules of ethics.
Dave of The Paladin Blog did a count of his own and of some 70 different members of the House who have been investigated for serious offenses over the last 30 years (including many involving actual criminality and jail time), only 15 involved Republicans, with the remaining 55 involving Democrats. Interesting, yet somehow, not surprising!

Townhall-Bruce Bartlett
The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Bad Move

UPDATE: 1/27/06 Good ol' Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein have jumped on the band wagon with the Massachusetts "K" boys. But they still won't have a chance since there are at least three Democrats who have said they will vote for Alito and several who, though they won't vote for Alito, said they will not support a filibuster, including, believe it or not, Dick Durbin!

John Kerry doesn't know when to quit. He has called for filibuster against the Samuel Alito nomination. I have no idea what he thinks this will accomplish as there is no legitimate reason to filibuster. He is making himself and his party look like idiots especially after Alito gained enough backing by Democrats to up the "ayes" to 60 which will squash the filibuster before it even starts. Not a smart move. Kerry is only making himself look worse than he did before.

Stop the ACLU

What Will This Mean?

The newly created Hamas political party has won the elections for the Palestinian Prime Minister and cabinet positions. Maumoud Abbas is still the leader of the Palestinian Authority, but the government will be re-organized and run by the terrorist Hamas. The party has stated that they will govern by the Koran.

What does this mean in the peace process with Israel?
The result could have a devastating effect on the peace process with Israel. Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas official, said Thursday that recognizing Israel and negotiations with the Jewish state are "not on our agenda."
...
A senior Fatah member, Saeb Erekat, said he could not confirm the unofficial results, but blamed Israel's refusal to resume peace talks with a Fatah-led government for the party's poor showing.

"Israel has declared us non-partners about four years ago and they were not speaking to our elected president," he told Israel Army Radio. "Everybody was blaming Fatah for every mistake in the world. Everybody was tying our hands and our legs and throwing us into the sea. And now I think all these things, including our mistakes in Fatah, led to this result."

Olmert said Wednesday that Israel cannot trust a Palestinian leadership in which the Islamic group has a role, according to a statement by his office.

"Israel can't accept a situation in which Hamas, in its present form as a terror group calling for the destruction of Israel, will be part of the Palestinian Authority without disarming," Olmert told U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden in a meeting, according to Olmert's office. "I won't hold negotiations with a government that does not stick to its most basic obligation of fighting terror."

Israel is willing to help the Palestinians and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas "a great deal" but only if they crack down on militants, Olmert said.

Israel has repeatedly asked Abbas to force Hamas and other militant groups to disarm but Abbas has refused, warning such an act could cause civil war. Hamas has committed dozens of suicide bombings against Israel.
Will this become a full-out war against Israel? Will Hamas, now that they have control of the Palestinian government, declare open season on all Israelis?
Hamas' success has alarmed Israel and the West, but Abbas has argued that luring the group, which has been behind dozens of deadly attacks on Israel, into politics would tame it and increase the chances for peace. The election will usher in a new parliament and Cabinet, but Abbas, who was elected president last year, will remain head of the Palestinian Authority regardless of the results.

"We are coming into a new phase. In this phase, we are calling for the international community to help us return to the negotiating table with the Israelis, conclude the peace process and implement it," Abbas said after the voting ended.
Abbas seems to think that by dressing the wolf up in sheep's clothing, the wolf will give up it's taste for the sheep. The next few months are going to be very tense as no one is quite sure what will happen.

Fox News

ACLU Hypocrisy

Crossposted from Stop The ACLU

Convincing liberals that the ACLU is leading us down a dangerous path is about as productive as talking to a rock. Perhaps this is because I mostly deal with far left liberals who share the same insane views and have the same radical agenda as the ACLU. Anyone who believes that the ACLU is there to purely defend the Constitution is naive at best. Surely there are some moderate liberals out there that can concede that the organization is in need of reform.

A balanced society can not survive resting in the fringe. A Nation only concerned with security will drift toward a police state, and one that follows the absolutist views of liberty like the ACLU will drift toward anarchy.

The ACLU proudly display a banner that states, Keep America Safe and Free, but any honest person will admit that the ACLU have done nothing for the safety of America. As a matter of fact, all evidence leads to quite the opposite. The ACLU are always ready to put the security of America at risk in the pursuit of its absolutist views of liberty.

Many of the ACLU's former leaders have noticed the irresponsible shifting of the ACLU away from true civil liberty protection into a much more dangerous agenda. For example take the words of this former Executive Director of the ACLU
The right to express unpopular opinions, advocate despised ideas and display graphic images is something the ACLU has steadfastly defended for all of its nearly 80-year history.

But the ACLU, a group for which I proudly worked as executive director of the Florida and Utah affiliates for more than 10 years, has developed a blind spot when it comes to defending anti-abortion protesters. The organization that once defended the right of a neo-Nazi group to demonstrate in heavily Jewish Skokie, Ill., now cheers a Portland, Ore., jury that charged a group of anti-abortion activists with $107 million in damages for expressing their views. Gushed the ACLU's press release: "We view the jury's verdict as a clarion call to remove violence and the threat of violence from the political debate over abortion."

Were the anti-abortion activists on trial accused of violence? No. Did they threaten violence? Not as the ACLU or Supreme Court usually defines it, when in the context of a call for social change.

The activists posted a Web site dripping with animated blood and titled "The Nuremberg Files," after the German city where the Nazis were tried for their crimes. Comparing abortion to Nazi atrocities, the site collected dossiers on abortion doctors, whom they called "baby butchers." ...

This is ugly, scary stuff. But it is no worse than neo-Nazi calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people, or a college student posting his rape fantasies about a fellow coed on the Web, both of which the ACLU has defended in the past.

None of the anti-abortion group's intimidating writings explicitly threatened violence. Still, the ACLU of Oregon refused to support the defendants' First Amendment claims. Instead, it submitted a friend-of-the-court brief taking no one's side but arguing that speech constitutes a physical threat only when the speaker intends his statement to be taken as one.

...Before anti-abortion zealots started getting sued, the ACLU had much more tolerance for menacing speech. Few of the 20th century's great social movements were entirely peaceable. The labor, civil-rights, antiwar, environmental and black-power movements were an amalgam of violence, civil disobedience and highly charged rhetoric. But to gag fiery speakers who call for harm to the establishment because others in the movement pursue their political goals with fists, guns or bombs would do terrible damage to strong, emotive pleas tot social change. It is something neither the ACLU nor, thankfully, the courts have countenanced in the past.

That's why in 1969 the ACLU helped defend a Ku Klux Klan member who had called for violence against the president, Congress and the Supreme Court. At the ACLU's urging, the Supreme Court ruled that speech advocating violence was constitutionally protected unless it incited imminent lawless action and was likely to produce such action. This case was later used to defend the speech of black militants.

The ACLU also applauded a 1982 Supreme Court decision that found that speeches promising violent reprisals were protected by the First Amendment. During the civil-rights movement, a leader of the NAACP called for "breaking the necks" of blacks who violated a boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi, and published a list of those who did. Some of the boycott violators were beaten. The court ruled that despite the atmosphere of fear, all the speeches and lists were part of a debate on a public issue that needed to be "uninhibited, robust, and wide-open."
I would argue that the Constitution doesn't protect all of these extreme positions of the ACLU, but that isn't the point he is trying to make. The issue is the ACLU's curious commitment to "uninhibited, robust, and wide-open" free speech when it involves things such as virtual child pornography, but not when it involves a something like a boss making racially offensive statements.

Unfortunately, there are some people who are so hypnotized by the ACLU's absolutist views and of the ACLU's campaign for pedophilia and child pornography that they are prepared to defend an organization that has become a shadow of its former self--a group that lets its idealistic and skewed understanding of the establishment clause trump freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Stop the ACLU had the opportunity last year of interviewing a former ACLU lawyer. He was concerned with much of the same things.

The ACLU played a helpful role in the civil rights movement defending these people, and I can't turn my back on that. I have to give credit where credit is due." "But�.that being said, what they have done in the past is completely eviscerated by what they do in the present. The ACLU has become a fanatical anti-faith Taliban of American religious secularism."

"The ACLU is involved in the secular cleansing of our history. This is not just a fight about free exercise, but about the protection of our American history. The ACLU want to deny America the knowledge of their Christian heritage."
It seems that the many of the ACLU's greatest critics came from their very ranks. The division within the ACLU will continue as long as the ACLU continues on the irresponsible, hypocritical path it is on. America needs a civil liberties union, sadly the ACLU isn't doing that job. If the ACLU succeeds in the dangerous direction it is steering America, they will ironically be putting in jeapordy the very liberty they claim to protect.

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at GribbitR@gmail.com. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 115 blogs already on-board.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

He's Awake

Randal McCloy, the sole survivor of the Sago Mine disaster, has come out of his coma. He is responding to stimuli, simple commands, follow movement with his eyes, and is even eating, but so far he has been unable to respond vocally. They may not be able to tell how much, if any, brain damage he may have until he is able to speak to them. It is still good news and I'm sure that his wife and children are thrilled.

Fox News and photo: WOWK TV

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Alito Confirmed

Well, as expected, Samuel Alito has been confirmed by the judiciary committee. It was 10 to 8, right along party lines because not one liberal could accept his answers and only wished to see him as they wanted...a conservative looking to change Roe v. Wade and executive powers.

Now the vote will go to the full senate and will probably go along party lines there as well. There might be a couple of Democrats voting for him, but the Democrats of the judiciary committee have been calling for all Democrats to vote "No" on Alito's appointment.

There is no reason for a filibuster, but I would not put it past them as they have been causing problems through this whole process. We shall have to see what happens in the Senate which the vote may not come until next Tuesday. They certainly like to drag things out!

Further information at:
Stop the ACLU
Michelle Malkin
The Political Teen
Blogs for Bush

Fraud at the U.N.?

Can you believe that there are now over 200 investigations into fraud and corruption at the United Nations? Yes! The U.N. has got to be one of the most crooked organizations on the planet. I often wonder what possible good they could be doing. Or are they even doing anything good, anywhere? How much of every dollar spent on peacekeeping or humanitarian aid is actually going into someone's pocket?

These investigations could bring light potential financial fraud ranging in the tens of millions of dollars. Many people could potentially lose their jobs. Well, more than likely, many of them will get a slap on the wrist as they often do to the crooked diplomats. It will be the diplomatic minions who will pay the larger price because they will be the scapegoats for the "bigger fish" within the U.N.!

Christopher Burnham, the undersecretary general for management stated that eight staff members were asked to take paid leave while they are under investigation. Assistant Secretary-General, Andrew Toh, is one of them.
In 2005, the U.N.'s Procurement Department handled almost $2 billion in purchasing for the Department of Peacekeeping, officials said.

The U.N.'s Office of Internal Oversight Services on Friday completed an internal audit into the allegations of fraud that "raises a number of serious allegations and concerns," Burnham said.

While the audit will not be made available to the public, Burnham read a few passages, including one stating that "important controls" into ensuring transparency in procurements "were lacking, while existing ones were often bypassed."

But Burnham underscored that the U.N. is working to police itself.

"We're doing all the right things to ensure that the global taxpayer's money will be protected going forward, and that we are ferreting out corruption and fraud where it existed and exists," he said.
Why am I skeptical about the United Nations policing themselves? Probably because it's a little like the fox policing the chicken coop? John Bolton, the United States Ambassador to the U.N., stated his concern is that this investigation points to larger issues:
"It's not simply this incident or that incident of mismanagement," he said. "It is a culture problem we're facing here."
We will have to see if these investigations bring true change to the U.N., or if it will be like every other investigation and end with a slap on the wrist and a "don't do that again!"?

Cross-posted at Warm & Fuzzy Conserva-Puppies.

O Canada

Seems Canadians are as tired of the liberal party as we seem to be. Stephen Harper and the Conservative party won not only Prime Minister, but also as many as 122 seats in Parliament.
The Conservative victory ended more than a decade of Liberal Party rule and shifted the traditionally liberal country to the right on socio-economic issues such as health care, taxation, abortion and gay marriage.

Many Canadians had grown weary of the broken promises and corruption scandals under the Liberal Party and were apparently willing to give Harper the benefit of doubt, despite fears the 46-year-old economist was too extreme in his views opposing abortion and gay marriage.

During the campaign, Harper pledged to cut the red tape in social welfare programs, lower the national sales tax from 7 percent to 5 percent and grant more autonomy and federal funding to Canada's 13 provinces and territories.
Congratulations to our Northern neighbors and may the next years bring great changes for the Canadian people.
Fox News


Michelle Malkin has more.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Another Great Cause

At a request by Michael Yon and his wonderful online magazine, Dave at The Paladin Blog is throwing down the gauntlet and asking for donations to the Operation Iraqi Children fund.


He just donated ten school supply kits for the children there. He's asking that we all try to do the same or at least make a monetary donation. Operation Iraqi Children is the non-profit group created by actor Gary Sinise to address the needs of the Iraqi children as they enter school again, some for the very first time! It's a good cause and something worth donating to!

Photos courtesy of: Michael Yon, of course!

Great Comments

Here are some great lines and comments from today's speech by President Bush:

In regards to his feelings on the decisions you have to make as President:
"First of all, when you make decisions, you've got to stand on principle. If you're going to make decisions, you've got to know what you believe. I guess the best way to summarize me is I came from Texas and I'm going back to Texas with the exact same values I had when I arrived in Washington, D.C."

In regards to bin Laden, Zarwahiri, and their minions:
"They've got a -- they have no heart, no conscience. They kill innocent men, women and children to achieve their objective. These folks cannot be appeased. We can't hope that nice words will change their point of view."

In regards to NSA 'wiretapping':
"It's amazing when people say to me, 'Well, he's just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing congress?"

"And one of the ways to protect the American people is to understand the intentions of the enemy. I told you it's a different kind of war with a different kind of enemy. If they're making phone calls into the United States, we need to know why -- to protect you.."


In regards to protecting the U.S. after 9/11:
"I knew right after Sept. 11, though, the attack would begin to fade from people's memories. Who wants to go through life thinking you're going to get hit again? … I want to assure you and our fellow Americans I'm not going to put it in the past … for me, it's not an isolated incident, I understand there's still an enemy who lurks out there."

"Threats must be taken seriously now, because geography doesn't protect us and there's an enemy that still lurks."

In regards to Iraq's WMDs:
"The world thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, it wasn't just me or my administration."

A member of the audience, a woman from Iraq, praised the President. She thanked him for freeing 27 million people. She then got a little angry about Bush's detractors who say there were no weapons of mass destruction. She stated emphatically that Saddam Hussein and his 'cronies' were the weapons of mass destruction. "Please stop questioning the administration and their decision, it was the best decision anyone could take, freeing 27 million people," she said. She also told him that both her sister-in-law and her aunt not only voted, but are now elected members of Parliament.

In regards to conditions in Iraq and troop levels:
"Now, I want to emphasize something to you, you heard me say, "our commanders on the ground said," you see, sometimes in the political process people feel beholden to polls and focus groups. You don't have to worry about me. I'm going to be listening to the people that know what they're talking about, and that's the commanders on the ground in Iraq."

In regards to the foundation of peace:
"Some day an American President will be sitting down with elected leaders from a country like Iraq talking about how to keep the peace. This generation is rising to the challenge. We're looking at history, we understand our values, and we're laying that foundation of peace for generations to come."

A closing remark:
"I'm just confident that if we don't lose our will, and stay strong, and that as that liberty advances, people may look back at this lecture and other speeches by people who profess the same devotion to freedom that I've had, and say, you know, maybe they're just right. Maybe America, that was founded on natural rights of men and women is a ticket for peace. Maybe that kind of view -- that every person matters, that there are such things as human dignity and the basic freedoms that we feel, that becomes a huge catalyst for change for the better.

These troops are defending you with all their might, but at the same time, they're beginning to help change that world by spreading liberty and freedom."



If you were unable to see or hear his speech today, I encourage you to read the full transcript at White House.gov.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Fantasy Ends

In May, President Bartlet will be ending his overly long term as the President in the liberal political heaven called The West Wing. I really enjoyed this show when it first started, but something happened to Martin Sheen somewhere along the way. It was almost as if he believed he were really the president! Delusions of grandeur, I suppose.

A strong cast made this show a winner during the early years, but the show's ratings have really been suffering in the last couple of years. Suffering to such an extent that there is no saving it. I'm sure that the death of actor John Spencer, was part of the decision to cancel as his character, Leo McGarry, really was one of the cornerstone of the show.

It is somewhat of an end to an era, though I can't say I'm sorry to see "President Bartlet's" fall from power. But I'm sure that Martin Sheen will find infinite ways to keep himself in the spotlight.

The Four Meme

I told Groovy Vic at Fiddle Dee Dee that I would answer this meme that she took on from Thirdee at Code Red* Women for the Troops.

Four jobs I've had:
1. Orange Julius (first job)
2. ChiChi's Mexican Restaurante (good food, stinky job)
3. Santo Tours (good job, stinky company)
4. Baker & Hostetler (corporate lawyers...yippee)

Four places I've lived:
1. San Diego, CA
2. Anaheim, CA
3. Bellevue, WA
4. NE OH

Four vacations I've taken:
1. Myrtle Beach, SC
2. Tierra Verde, FL (Tampa area)
3. Yellowstone National Park
4. Glacier National Park

Four vehicles I've owned:
1. Dodge Aries "K"
2. Nissan 280 XZ
3. Dodge Caravan
4. Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

Don't worry, I won't tag anyone...just link or trackback if you decide to answer the Meme!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Childish Glee

Seems our "friends" at Code Pink fell down on the job and lost out on their protest corner in front of Walter Reed Hospital. Poor, poor babies! Nah, nah, nah! Somehow, someone forgot to renew their permit for that corner, so our friends at Protest Warrior and Free Republic picked it up! For the first time, in a very long time, the wounded soldiers did NOT have to look at those nasty signs and listen to the shrill cries from those hideous people. You know the ones...the ones who claim to hate the war but support the troops. The ones who hold up signs that say things like "Mothers don't let your children grow up to be killers" or "Special Package Deal! Join the military and get a free body bag!" And yes, it's the same group who just lauded Jack Murtha this way:
We presented him with our pink badge of courage and pink flowers sent by CODEPINK members nationwide. Rep Murtha was very appreciative of these gestures as he has been receiving many responses to his public denouncement of the war.
To see the latest pictures and more in depth coverage see Tom's articles at Warm & Fuzzy Conserva-Puppies or The Red Hunter

Friday, January 20, 2006

25 Years Ago Today

Not only was Ronald Reagan sworn in on this date 25 years ago, but miraculously, 52 Americans were released from their captivity in Iran. They had spent 444 days as hostages of the Ayatollah Khomeini. For all that time, we never knew if they would be killed as Iran was in chaos. Khomeini had seized power, the Shah took exile in Egypt and Iraq had invaded. Wanting the Shah returned, the students had originally planned only on protesting at the American embassy, but somehow it all got out of hand and suddenly, the diplomats and embassy staff became hostages. There were 90 hostages in the beginning, though many were released immediately (mostly women, blacks and non-Americans). The situation became a blur of yellow ribbons, televised messages to their families, a tragically failed rescue attempt, so much happened while their lives became a tense waiting game. After much negotiating and wrangling, they were finally released on Ronald Reagan's inauguration day. It was joyous time for so many families. Sadly, these 52 would not be the last hostages taken and some tragically, would not see home again.

CBS News

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Shocker

Now here's a shocker...NOT. Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy are voting against Alito. Gee, isn't that just such a surprise.

Interesting Quiz

You scored as English. You should be an English major! Your passion lies in writing and expressing yourself creatively, and you hate it when you are inhibited from doing so. Pursue that interest of yours!


English

92%

Journalism

75%

Psychology

67%

Philosophy

67%

Linguistics

67%

Mathematics

58%

Theater

58%

Art

58%

Sociology

50%

Dance

50%

Engineering

50%

Anthropology

42%

Biology

33%

Chemistry

33%

What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com


Well, it certainly makes sense. Especially having chemistry last!
h/t: Ith at Absinthe & Cookies.

Shazam!

Chris Muir of Day by Day fame, has done it again! Check out today's (01/19/06) cartoon...it's great!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Case for Term Limits

After sitting through the judiciary committee meetings last week, I realized that many of these senators really need to go. They are no longer representing their states and constituents but their own political views and agendas. So I decided to look into the whole idea of term limits.

I also realize that voting someone else into office is limiting the term of an incumbent, but some states and congressional districts don't even go through the effort of putting someone else up to run against an incumbent. They have had that senator or representative for so long that it's become a "just who we vote for" mentality and more than likely not the best choice for the job. Some people have even been in office so long that they are getting votes by a third and possibly fourth generation of voters!

Just to give you an idea of who these lifetime politicians are here are a few:
MI D-Rep. John Dingell first elected in 1955
WV D-Sen. Robert Byrd first elected in 1958
HI D-Sen. Daniel Inouye first elected in 1962
MI D-Rep. John Conyers first elected in 1964
MA D-Sen. Edward Kennedy first elected in 1964 (seems I had incorrect info. 1st elected 1962!)
AK R-Sen. Ted Stevens first elected in 1968
WI D-Rep. David Obey first elected in 1969

And no, I am not being partisan. These are just the politicians who have been in office the longest according to Project Vote Smart, a non-partisan political fact site. But, it does make me wonder about the areas and states that they represent. Is no one would willing or able to defeat them in an election?

Here are more from the 1970s that should be gone, too:
NY D-Rep. Charlie Rangel 1970
CA D-Rep. Peter Stark 1972
DE D-Sen. Joseph Biden 1972
NM R-Sen. Pete Domenici 1972
AK R-Rep. Don Young 1974
CA D-Rep. Henry Waxman 1974
CA D-Rep. George Miller 1974
IL R-Rep. Henry Hyde 1974
MN D-Rep. James Oberstar 1974
PA D-Rep. John Murtha 1974
VT D-Sen. Patrick Leahy 1974
IN R-Sen. Richard Luger 1976
MD D-Sen. Paul Sarbanes 1976
UT R-Sen. Orrin Hatch 1976
WV D-Rep. Nick Rahall 1976
CA D-Rep. Jerry Lewis 1978
CA R-Rep. Bill Thomas 1978
MI D-Sen. Carl Levin 1978
MN D-Rep. Martin Sabo 1978
MS R-Sen. Thad Cochran 1978
MT D-Sen. Sam Baucus 1978
VA R-Sen. John Warner 1978
WI R-Rep. Tom Petri 1979

There are still many more in the 1980s, but you get the idea. Then there are also those who have moved around the political arena. Those like NY D-Sen. Chuck Schumer. He's moved from the House ('80 to '98) to the Senate ('98 to present) and that's after being in his state assembly ('74 to '80).

Yes, new Congressmen and Senators may have their problems such as not knowing the ropes, but that in itself can be a very good thing. They are new, fresh, and not cynical like those who have spent the last three or four decades in DC. They are also more involved in their constituents and they want to do what's right for their state or district. That would be wonderful, don't you think? It would certainly beat these people who have been there so long it's become all about them and their power and not the people who elected them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The ACLU Wants to Hurt Us

The ACLU along with some like-thinking groups/people are suing the National Security Agency. They claim that they are a subject of wiretapping because of the people that they represent. Well, if they are defending terrorists, they probably should be afraid of wiretapping. They are a hazard to our safety if they are defending known terrorists. Here is the list of plaintiffs along with the ACLU:
Authors and journalists: James Bamford, Christopher Hitchens and Tara McKelvey

Afghanistan scholar: Barnett Rubin of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation and democracy scholar Larry Diamond, a fellow at the Hoover Institution

Nonprofit advocacy groups: NACDL, Greenpeace, and Council on American Islamic Relations, who joined the lawsuit on behalf of their staff and membership
Greenpeace is a terrorist organization as far as I'm concerned. They may have started out wanting to help protect the environment, but they have gone off the deep end by destroying property as well as harrassment of companies who, in their opinion, are "bad for the environment."

Greenpeace's tactics aside, these people want to take our national security and open it up to those the government is trying to protect us from. The NSA does not want to have to prove that what they did or are still doing is not illegal because the only way to prove it is to show what is being done. But, it is a secret for a reason...it's call national security. If the NSA is forced to prove it, it will let the terrorists know exactly how we are getting the information. The information that stopped a man in Ohio from blowing up the Brooklyn bridge.

They are suing over more than just supposed spying on US citizens. They are also claiming that Bush and the NSA overstepped his bounds. Their claim states:
In the legal complaint filed, the ACLU said the spying program violates Americans’ rights to free speech and privacy under the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution.

The ACLU also charged that the program violates the Constitution because President Bush exceeded his authority under separation of powers principles. Congress has enacted two statutes, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Title III of the federal criminal code, which are “the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance. . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan, seeks a court order declaring that the NSA spying is illegal and ordering its immediate and permanent halt. Attorneys in the case are Beeson, Jameel Jaffer, and Melissa Goodman of the national ACLU Foundation, and Michael Steinberg of the ACLU of Michigan.The lawsuit names as defendants the NSA and Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander, the current the Director of the NSA.
The White House and NSA has stated that if you are not talking to or aiding terrorists or known terrorist groups then you have nothing to worry about.

These calls are being monitored outside of the US and they are continuing the monitoring even if the call goes to a US phone number. Has there been anyone to come forward stating that they have been targeted or harrassed by the NSA? I would imagine that if someone in the US is being harrassed they are people who do not fall into these catagories:
Federal law and executive order define a U.S. Person as:

* a citizen of the United States
* an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence
* an unincorporated association with a substantial number of members who are citizens of the U.S. or are aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence
* a corporation that is incorporated in the U.S. (*)
If they do not fall into one of these catagories, they are an illegal alien and are not covered by the Constitution. And chances are, that if they are an illegal alien and are contacting known terrorists or terrorist groups, they are a terrorist.

It is as if the ACLU and the others involved in this suit would like to have our country attacked again. That is the only conclusion I can come to because they are trying to stop any way that the government is using to protect us from another attack. I don't have a problem with them listening in on phone calls between known terrorists and phone numbers in the US and I am not the only one to feel this way either:
Should the National Security Agency be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States?
Yes 64%
No 23%
Rasmussen Reports
For further posts regarding this lawsuit see Stop the ACLU and their accompanying trackbacks.

Cross-posted at Warm & Fuzzy Conserva-Puppies

Monday, January 16, 2006

Had to Share

I just love Cox & Forkum. While bouncing around the blogosphere, I check out their site and they had this great cartoon that I had to share here!

25 Years Ago

"...On the eve of our struggle for independence a man who might have been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, president of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans, "Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of . . . . On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important questions upon which rests the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."

Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children's children. And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom..."
Inaugural Address 01/20/81
It was a Tuesday and I was a junior in high school. I did not see the inauguration because I was at school, but I distinctly remember the headlines the next day. The hostages were coming home. I almost felt sorry for Jimmy Carter. It was the last in a long line of humiliations he suffered during his administration.

A new day was dawning. Ronald Reagan had taken the helm and we would see what direction he would take this country. Many were unsure of this President. After all, he was from California and a former actor to boot, but America wasn't happy with Jimmy Carter and wanted a change. He turned out to be a great leader who helped to bring down the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism in Europe among many other events.

There are many things I remember about the Reagan years. First and foremost, he was the first President I voted for when he ran again in 1984. But there are so many snippets of events that come to mind when I think about the first year of his Presidency...the assassination attempt not long after he was inaugurated, Jelly Belly jelly beans, the air traffic controller strike, his nomination of the first female Supreme Court judge - Sandra Day O'Connor, Anwar Sadat's assassination, and others. He seemed almost fatherly (or grandfatherly) and offered a sense of security. For all the doubt about his abilities and those who would label him a puppet who did not really lead, he is now considered one of the U.S.'s greatest statesmen. It is only now, looking back, that I realize how my life, our country and our world was changed by his presidency.

(For more memories about Ronald Reagan and his presidency, visit Mike's America for the Reagan 25th Inaugural Anniversary celebration.)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Incommunicado

Just wanted my readers (and those whose blogs I read) to know that I wasn't ignoring anyone. I was offline yesterday and actually left my computer off and didn't watch the news either! Very odd, I know, as I don't think I have been offline for an entire day since I started this blog! But, I recently started working at home and it involves the computer, so my eyes, fingers, hands, and behind really needed a break from the computer and computer chair! I am back today and hopefully, I won't be offline again, but you just never know! I will be here off and on most of the day, so stop on by!

ACLU At It Again (As Usual)

The ACLU just doesn't want any traditional representations in any courtroom in America. This is their latest foray into taking apart our history.
In each of the counties, the Ten Commandments is displayed among historical documents. The Rutherford County display includes copies of the preamble to the Tennessee Constitution, the National Motto, the National Anthem, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the United States Constitution and the Mayflower Compact.

Last June, the Supreme Court in a split 5-4 decision upheld a preliminary injunction against McCreary County because the court said the prior history of the countyƂ’s evolving display suggested a religious purpose. However, the court permitted the case to return to the trial court for a final ruling. (*)
This is getting so tiresomely ridiculous. The ACLU doesn't even want displays that incorporate other historical documents. For me, I'm tired of them being the big bully on the playground stealing everyone's lunch money. We need to take a stand and stop this anti-American behavior!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Why?

In yet another case of fatal child abuse, the child in question was known to be abused not only by friends, neighbors and teachers, but also to child welfare services.

Nixzmary Brown was only seven when she died. She had signs of sexual abuse, physical abuse and even restraint marks on her ankles from where her step-father (charged in her murder) tied her to a chair. AP

There are two things that I do not understand about child welfare. 1) Why is it that there are children who are known to be abused by parents, step-parents or guardians, left in the custody of their abusers? And 2) Why does this same system, who is failing so many children, hound parents who have never abused their child(ren) at all, ever?

Lately there have been numerous cases of child abuse that had been reported by multiple people, child welfare was involved and yet, somehow, these children went back to the "homes" where they were abused, only to die there. Nixzmary Brown and Kelsey Briggs being just two among thousands. In both cases files had been opened with child welfare and the abuse signs had been witnessed.

Nixzmary was underweight and malnourished as well as bruised. Child welfare had been notified, twice.
ACS Commissioner John Mattingly said, in Nixzmary's case, the family was uncooperative, ignoring repeated phone calls from caseworkers and turning them away at the door. He said the agency should have obtained a court order to enter the home.*
While they claim that they tried to find out what was going on, they did not attain any court aid in order to force an interview with her parents. Her case and life were left to slip between the cracks. Though her death has caused an investigation in the child welfare system of New York City.

Kelsey had broken bones and bruises, and at the end of her very short life, an apathy towards life itself which was completely different than her sunny personality.
A Meeker fire department emergency medical technician told investigators he knew Kelsey was dead when he arrived at 3:27 p.m. She was blue and had no pulse. Kelsey was taken by ambulance to the Prague hospital.
In a report, an OSBI agent described what the medical examiner’s chief investigator told him: “Kelsey had a lot of bleeding in her intestines. Kelsey had bruising on pressure points of ribs, front of chest, side and back.
“Kelsey also had bruising between the vagina and anus. ... The injuries could have been caused from possible kneeing, punching or squeezing. Kelsey also had upper lip bruising.”
A pathologist reported Kelsey’s injuries were recent. *
She had people, loved ones, willing to fight for her. The courts had even taken her out of the home, but for some inexplicable reason, she was sent back only to die days later.

The child welfare system completely failed these children. But that is not all child welfare has done. They have harrassed, followed, arrested, and labeled good people who had no claim of abuse against them.

Due to privacy issues, I will not name the people in the two stories that I relay here.

One is a couple who had two children with one on the way. While pregnant with their third child, the mother got quite sick. She was in the hospital where she received medications. Within a short amount of time, a random drug test was given to her and of course, having been given presciptive strength medications, the test came back positive. A notation was made and the parents were questioned. They explained what had happened and believed that was the end of it. No, sadly, a few months later, after suffering through surprise inspections of their home, psychological exams and more questioning, a social worker along with a pair of policemen showed up on their doorstep and took their children into state custody. The parents wanted to fight, but the more you fight, the more you are labeled "uncooperative" and the file is red tagged so the process takes even longer. They eventually got their children back, but they have been "labeled."

The second was a young couple who owned their own business. While the wife was helping her husband close up the store, their young son started getting cranky. The mother held him on the counter while she finished up some paperwork. The child didn't want to be there and threw himself backwards (anyone who has a child has probably had experience with this stiff body tantrum). Needless to say, the child fell, hitting his head. The parents immediately placed a call to their doctor. He told them that since he had not lost consciousness, nor was there anything more than a small bump, to just watch him overnight and take him in for possible x-rays if there were any problems in the morning. Not sure about this, the couple did take their son to the emergency room within a couple of hours because they wanted to make sure he was okay. But, because they waited, because they had no witnesses to the incident they were labeled "a threat". The parents didn't even know it until they had another child and the mother noticed that there was always a nurse in the room with her or her family when the baby was in the room. After demanding to see her child's medical file, they found that they had been labeled a possible threat to their child and the nurses were told not to leave them alone with the baby! It took years to have that label removed, but in many eyes they are still guilty.

Now in these two cases, there was never a claim of child abuse placed. In the first a report was apparently made by a nurse at the hospital (someone who obviously hadn't read the mother's medical chart to see that she had been medicated!). In the second case a report was filed by someone at the hospital because they were suspicious. But both cases were investigated and no evidence was ever found, yet both families suffered repeatedly at the hands of welfare services.

The flip side of the coin is the children who have files and the abuse is known, yet they are left to die, to "fall through the cracks". How is it that some social workers, who are either overworked or apathetic to the truly abused children in their care, fail them, while other very zealous social workers can make allegations of abuse out of whole cloth against parents who have done absolutely nothing wrong? All of it is wrong and the deaths are tragic and stoppable, so why aren't they?

Amusing

The judges who spoke on Samuel Alito's behalf yesterday were referred to by the Democrats as being "stacked in his favor." Apparently, they cannot imagine having people, both Democrat and Republican, believe that anyone was a good and honest judge. Or that he's just being like them and trying to stack the deck in his favor.

The ABA (American Bar Association) is supposed to be a completely unbiased group and they found that he was "well qualified" to be a Supreme Court Judge, while Sandra Day O'Connor, whom he would replace, only received a "qualified" rating.

He has also had politicians from both sides of the aisle singing his praises.

Now, I'm not sure how I feel about Alito personally (he's a little off-putting to me), but I cannot say the guy isn't qualified for the job. And from everything that's been said (by those other than Democrats on the Judiciary Committee that is) about his rulings, he is an unbiased judge and will not be legislating from the bench unlike some currently on the Supreme Court.

As Steve O., a commentator at The Right Place stated in regards to activist (liberal) judges and conservative judges:
Liberal appointees are universally activist, but consider what would an activist conservative resemble? Perhaps an appointee from the Christian Coalition would find it illegal for Hollywood to make R-rated movies. Can't Conservatives legislate from the bench just as Liberals do?

So why doesn't that happen? It doesn't happen because Conservatives pick judges who will be neutral, who interpret only the constitution without bias. WHY?? (forgive me for shouting here...) BECAUSE THE CONSTITUTION ALREADY EMBRACES ALL THE PRINCIPLES OF CONSERVATIVES!!
Food for thought, eh?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

An Apt Quotation


"Avoid the base hypocrisy of condemning in one man what you pass over in silence when committed by another."

Theodore Roosevelt - Cambridge, Massachusetts
March 11, 1890

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Most Moving Post

Just about anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that I love the soldiers and I avidly read the military blogs and the blogs of their families. One of my favorites is One Marine's View. Capt. B. is a wonderful writer who can put you right in the thick of things with his descriptions. This particular post touched me so much that I had to share it.
While in this country of Iraq, I have seen a lot of great things transpire, people stand up and a country become proud and strong. I could tell you how your Marines brave small arms attacks; tracers in the cold night, IEDs exploding just feet from them, sometimes underneath them, nightly Islamic prayers played on loud speakers during sundown and intermingled with a low base IED explosions off in the distance. The smell of trash and tires burning continuously throughout the day. I could explain how during a cold brisk morning we went out and about through the city escorting a few more “passengers”. Life is good, things are just freaking chipper. The schedule is on track and we pause and stop to observe some new Marine Corps equipment and as we begin to get briefed from the Soldiers who run the gear, two enemy sniper rounds fired from at least a mile away hit in close proximity. The Marines know what they heard and move to protect our passengers when a 60mm round hits about 30 yrds in front of us. We had a good berm to cover us and we continued to move into our hummers to evacuate the area before they can bracket us and lock onto our position and do some real damage.

But what I will tell you about is the smell inside an envelope from home. Where you can actually smell some of the things that where there when the letter was written. You can close your eyes and recognize the smell of the familiar little one who wrote you the letter. You can pick up on familiar surrounding’s like the pledge cleaner that was used on the table where the letter was written on or remember where the flowers are in your home that are neatly placed and accompany your letter. The smell of the room where the letter was written in cuts through the familiar burning tire trash smell you’re currently surrounded in. It’s a nice treat to get mail regardless who it is from. You get the letter here in a country that doesn’t even have a mail system. It might have been a week old which is better than past wars where it could have been months before you received a piece of mail, it’s a special piece of home...
This is only part of the post, so please go to his blog and read the rest. This is only part of the reason why I "adopted" several soldiers and I try to write to them as often as I am able.

A few months back I had read a post by Holly Aho A Soldiers' Angel. It was about actually supporting the troops by more than just saying "I support the troops." So, I adopted a soldier and then another and then another. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I haven't heard from any of them, but that's okay, they are hearing from me!

Along the same lines as my previous post regarding Valentine's for the troops, Soldiers' Angels is doing a similar program and you can find the details here at Operation Love Our Troops. Help put a smile on the face of a soldier and at the same time you will help get this Valentine into the Guinness Book of World Records!

Another Possible Threat

Our soldiers in Iraq have another possible threat against them. It is the bird flu. Turkey shares a border with Iraq, so it is quite possible to have the flu go across the border. I certainly hope that it doesn't or that our government does whatever is necessary to immunize the troops or make the drugs available that they would need.

So many of our men and women are due to come home soon. I pray that this flu doesn't threaten them.

EERrrrr!

I feel like I need to take another day off from the news. Edward Kennedy drives me crazy! The questions of Vanguard and the controversial Princeton group CAP have been asked (repeatedly) and answered (repeatedly).

Alito states that he should have recused himself from the Vanguard case despite the ruling of the case being exactly the same as when he ruled on it. Kennedy spent several minutes trying to get Alito to give him an amount of time he had meant to keep his promise to the Judicial committee. Does it make a difference? No!

What possible difference do these things make now? You can't tell me that Kennedy never signed up for something that he finds out later was not what he thought it was! Most people have done it. I made donations to Greenpeace and then found out how the operated (terrorist tactics). I no longer made any donations, but that didn't stop Greenpeace from sending me their literature. It simply would go in the trash.

My point is, what difference does it make? I do not believe that Alito is lying about the Princeton group and that he did not know they were so controversial and he admitted that he was wrong about not recusing himself from the Vanguard case. It is as Senator Grassley said, "There are some who are beating a dead horse."

Kennedy wants papers released from the Library of Congress in regards to the Princeton group and asked Alito if he had a problem with that. Alito doesn't care one way or the other because he isn't lying and there will be nothing about him in those papers. Here is why it doesn't matter how much of a dust-up Kennedy makes about this. Even if Alito knew what "Concerned Alumni of Princeton" was really about, his record as a judge proves that he is neither a bigot nor a sexist.

Personally, I think Kennedy is a has-been and is doing whatever he can to make himself seem more important than he actually is. He is trying to put importance on issues that really have no bearing on what kind of Supreme Court Justice Alito will make. But then, I don't believe that Alito is lying and apparently Kennedy thinks that he is.

UPDATE: Well, I'm not the only one with this viewpoint. Seems Judie Brown of The Conservative Voice feels much the same way. She writes about it in her article here.

Not A Big Surprise

Well, the ACLU is completely opposed to the nomination of Samuel Alito for Supreme Court justice. Hmmm, is anyone really surprised about this? I'm certainly not as they (the ACLU) seem to be against anyone or anything that shows signs of being conservative. There have only been two other occasions when the ACLU has actually opposed a Supreme Court nominee. Robert Bork was one and the other? Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Here is part of their announcement:
NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that it will oppose the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the United States Supreme Court.

“At a time when our president has claimed unprecedented authority to spy on Americans and jail terrorism suspects indefinitely, America needs a Supreme Court justice who will uphold our precious civil liberties,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Unfortunately, Judge Alito’s record shows a willingness to support government actions that abridge individual freedoms.”

Throughout his career, Judge Alito has promoted an expansive view of executive authority and a limited view of the judicial role in curbing abuses of that authority. Two years ago, Justice O’Connor eloquently expressed what is at stake in these critical times when she wrote: “A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation’s citizens.”

Romero also noted that Judge Alito has written a series of troubling decisions on race, religion, and reproductive rights while sitting on the federal appeals court. These are precisely the issues in which Justice O’Connor often cast a critical swing vote on a closely divided Supreme Court.
Jay at Stop the ACLU has even further, though not particularly surprising, information.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Quote


"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice."
-- John Adams



I read this and immediately thought of political correctness.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Share the Love

I received an email this evening with a request to let people know about this wonderful opportunity! It is a program to send Valentine cards to the troops! Now I realize that Valentine's Day is at least 5 weeks away, but with all things military post, it's best to be early!

So, it you would like to send a Valentine wish to a special soldier you can do so using this link:
Visit Operation: A Bit of Home, and click on the big red heart. We will send a valentine to a soldier in your name with your Valentines message. We are fundraising to send more boxes to the Freedom Rest R&R Facility in Iraq. Valentines are $1.00, but you can give more!
There is more to Operation: A Bit Of Home than just Valentines. Here is more about this program and what they are doing for our men and women in uniform serving in Iraq.
Our Troops In Iraq Need Your Help......
Send them "A Bit of Home"
Imagine being thousands of miles away from anything familiar... wearing full battle gear in incredible 140 degree heat, no family, no TV, nothing to remind you of home..... Or think about not being able to sleep in your own safe bed, instead, there are deadly bombs and mortars going off just yards away...

This a normal occurrence for our American Soldiers in Iraq

Operation: A Bit of Home is an organization founded in Rolesville NC, and has spread from the East Coast to the West Coast. Operation: A Bit of Home sends needed items to a Rest and Relaxation facility called "Freedom Rest ". Located in central Baghdad, the facility services approximately 150 different soldiers every day. The three day retreat is arranged for soldiers who have been in combat, on convoy duty, and under fire. It helps them to relax and recuperate in a safe resort-like atmosphere. While at Freedom Rest, soldiers receive high quality treatment and have access to clean linens, real beds, swimming pools, entertainment, movies, good food, and sports like basketball, football. This is very important to the well being of the soldiers mental, physical, and emotional needs. We also provide hygiene items to Forward Operating Bases, Called FOB's where soldiers frequently have to stay for the night unexpectedly, and have little or no access to any hygiene supplies. They are lucky just to get a cot!

These facilities' needs are not supplied by the government, but by normal folks like us. They aren't supplied with soap, shampoo, deodorant or feminine products, books, movies, or entertainment items; thats where Operation: A Bit of Home comes into action.

Operation: A Bit of Home sends several boxes of needed goods to our soldiers every day. Not only is postage expensive but gathering and boxing supplies is time consuming. That is why help is needed in so many ways. We can help you get started collecting and shipping your own items to the troops! Just e-mail us and ask! We can provide special mailing labels, certificates of appreciation, and great advice! Our supplies are used by troops at Freedom Rest, FOB's and are also taken by departing troops and spread to other soldiers in every corner of Iraq.
So check out the site and if you've wanted to show your support for the troops but you weren't sure how...well, this is a really great way to do it!

(Don't forget Adopt-A-Platoon and Soldiers' Angels, either!)

Cross-posted at The Right Place

The Sad Story Continues...


A while back, I linked to a very sad story about a beautiful little girl named Kelsey who had been beaten to death. A case of abuse that could have been stopped, but like so many, poor little Kelsey fell through the cracks of child services. The Oklahoman newspaper (also appearing on NewsOK.com) is running a series of articles about this devastating story. Please read them. Maybe there will be something in them that you recognize and you may be able to help stop this from happening again.

(A quick registration is required to view the articles, but please take the time to do this.)

Lost in Lima, Ohio is a blog dedicated to keeping stories of abuse and abusers in the public view with the hope of stopping these crimes from happening to other children.

4th Largest Killer in the U.S.

An estimate 90,000 deaths a year. Sounds like it has to be heart disease, or car accidents, or cancer, but it's not. It's fatal infections acquired during a hospital stay! For the most part, this is happening for two reasons; 1) lack of sanitary habits by hospital employees and 2) because more and more germs are becoming antibiotic or drug-resistant. For example, in 1974, only 2 percent of staph infections were drug-resistant. By 2003, 3 of 5 staph infections were drug-resistant or 70 percent of hospital-acquired infections are caused by drug-resistant germs.

For most of us across America, we cannot even find out the statistics for these infections should we need to go to the hospital. Only Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Pennsylvania requires hospitals to publicly report their infection rates. Ohio might have been the 5th, but alas, the bill was rewritten to set aside infection reporting for now. As you can imagine, the Ohio Hospital Association was against this bill and got the House Health Committee to remove this portion of the bill. It only requires average charges for the top 60 procedures, average length of stay, and re-admission, complication and death rate. By doing this, the death rate would be attributed to the specific procedure, not the infection that may have caused it.

There are four infections that occur most often. The first is a form of staph infection called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is most responsible for sepsis (bloodstream infection), wound infections and dialysis-related infections. Pneumonia is another. This usually occurs in patients who have had surgery or illness requiring the use of a ventilator. It is also one of the deadliest, killing between 20 percent and 33 percent of those it infects. Another is a urinary tract infections. These occur most often in patients requiring the use of a catheter. It is also the least dangerous of the infections. Lastly, there is Clostridium difficile or C. diff. This is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea that can lead to conditions as serious as a strain of bacterium that causes severe symptoms which may eventually require surgical removal of the colon.

What is the simplest way to have the rate of infections to plummet? Hospital staff and doctors simply need to wash their hands more often and more completely! Proof of this comes from a Swiss hospital who increased hand washing and just that caused their infection rate to go from 16.9 percent to 9.9 percent and for drug-resistant infections to be cut from 2.2 percent to 0.9 percent.

So, the next time you have to go to see your doctor or to the hospital, make sure your doctor and nurses (and anyone else who may be in your room) wash their hands thoroughly! Also, send a message to your state congressmen and harrass them until they pass a bill requiring that the infection statistics be made public. If the statistics are made public, hospitals are more likely to demand that their employees all wash their hands more thoroughly! Isn't that sad? The necessity to pass a bill that for all intents and purposes will force hospital staff to wash their hands!

Information from Ohio.com Akron Beacon Journal

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dog Blogging

Sadie looks like she speaking when she gets her lip stuck like that.
"Would you take the picture already?!"
Sorry, just felt the need to have a friendly face on the blog today!

Hear Them!

Dave at The Paladin Blog has a post that must be read. It is the comments of two veterans. One a Vietnam vet, General Louis C. Wagner, and the other an Afghanistan vet, Sgt. Mark Seavey. They are confronting two congressmen in a Town Hall meeting. The congressmen? Jack Murtha (D-PA) and Jim Moran (D-VA). Did they make a difference with these guys? No probably not, but had I been there, I would have at the very least, shook their hands, but more likely I would have hugged them both! Here is a bit of both of their statements, but you can see more at Dave's blog.
From General Wagner, "I have faith in our military leaders and believe that they are making the necessary steps to train the Iraqi forces and provide for our eventual withdrawal. I also have faith in our executive branch, that they are taking the necessary steps to help the new Iraqi government to get a democratic style government in place and to give them at least a chance of success. Although mistakes were made in the execution of the war and its aftermath, the goal itself is worthy, and in spite of all the negativity that we are constantly bombarded with I believe that there have been some remarkable successes..."

"...It is a difficult struggle and will require patience and fortitude both on and off the battlefield. If we lose our will at home, it makes the task for our soldiers all the more difficult. I believe your comments were irresponsible and are contributing to the loss of national will. If they were made to obtain political advantages I would find that abhorrent and unworthy of a former Marine."
He also reads a letter from a woman who is pleading for these men to stop saying what they are because it's putting the troops at risk. How their words are encouraging the insurgents. Her son was there...he died the day of the Town Hall meeting.
And Sgt. Seavey's statement: "Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause) The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.

"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."
The answers from Moran and Murtha were sputterings of the usual liberal talking points. They never actual addressed these men or their comments. I just don't know how they could sit there and not be moved.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Selective Memories

As Tom DeLay finally announces that he won't seek to keep his position as Majority leader (which in my opinion, he took too long to do), we have the left throwing their accusations of the Republican party being the party of corruption. Why is it that they are allowed to spout this when their party is just as bad, if not worse in some cases. Let's take a look at an example of what their selective memories have forgotten.

The first one, as usual, to throw out this accusation directly after DeLay's announcement. That would be Nancy Pelosi.
The House Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, contended DeLay had engineered a "culture of corruption" among majority Republicans "that a single person stepping down is not nearly enough to clean up the Republican Congress." Fox News
Okay, she is more than welcome to her opinion as we live in a free country, but let those "without sin" cast the first stone.
In its Complaint, NLPC (National Legal and Policy Center) alleged that Pelosi violated federal election law by operating two “leadership” political action committees (PACs) in order to circumvent contribution limits. Members of the Democrat and Republican leaderships in the House and Senate may legally have one so-called leadership PAC in addition to their own campaign committee. The purpose of leadership PACs is to make contributions to the campaigns of other Congressional candidates.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has fined two leadership PACs associated with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in response to a Complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) on October 25, 2002. The FEC also has fined three campaigns that failed to return excessive contributions from Pelosi’s PACs within 60 days, as required by law.NLPC
Now you probably never heard anything about this story. Would it be selective memory of both the MSM and Nancy Pelosi? It gets so annoying to have her make these comments about the corruption of the Republican party. There is so much corruption on the left, that they really have no right to talk. Corruption isn't just about money, either...

Edward Kennedy (a)-Chappaquittick/Mary Jo Kopechne: "Senator Kennedy killed that girl the same as if he put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger" - George Killen ~ State Police Detective-Lieutenant

Robert Byrd (b)-Ku Klux Klan leader: "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia" and "in every state in the Union." The ex-Klansman later filibustered the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Joseph Biden (c)-Plagiarism not only during his failed presidential campaign run in 2000 but also an incident while he was in law school.

Hillary Clinton (d)-Whitewater, health care scam: "The managed competition-style plan the Clinton's have chosen virtually guarantees that the five largest health insurance companies- Aetna, Prudential, Met Life, Cigna, and The Travellers- will run the show in health care." Patrick Woodall of Public Citizen. According to the evidence compiled by Judicial Watch in the last ten years, Hillary Clinton is among the most corrupt politicians in our nation’s history. (Bill is a whole other story!)

Harry Reid (e)-Abramoff contributions to his coffers of at least $68,941. (f)"In the last four years alone, their [Reid family members'] firms have collected more than $2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington."

John Kerry (d)-Secret FBI Documents Reveal Kerry Accepted Laundered Contributions (for his 2004 Presidential campaign) Let's not forget Swift Boat, either.


(a) YTedK
(b) Jewish World Review
(c) Washington Post
(d) Judicial Watch
(e) CNS News
(f) LA Times via Insignificant Thoughts

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Old Adage

Is it me, or does someone need to remind Pat Robertson of the old adage, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all"? Or better yet, "Shut your yap!"

So, he has a direct link to God? He knows exactly what God thinks? He's been appointed the divine earthly mouthpiece for God? Pat, grasp reality with both hands and hang on! You may be a pious man, but I don't believe that you can actually speak for God. (He might get a little ticked about that.) Best to keep the comments to, "I believe..." or "According to scripture...,".

Yes, we live in a free country where you are more than welcome to say whatever you like, but remember, before you (and I mean anybody) open your mouth, remember that the things you say can 1) come back to bite you in the butt and/or 2) hurt your credibility with those you would profess to lead or counsel.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Adopt-a-Platoon

Recently, I have received two different emails from Adopt-a-Platoon requesting that anyone who is able to adopt one or two more soldiers to please do so as soon as possible. There has recently been a large rotation of troops and they have received requests from hundreds of soldiers and/or their families to be a part of the Adopt-a-Platoon program.

I have an adopted soldier through Adopt-a-Platoon, as well as two through Soldiers' Angels. I would love to take on more, but I just can't at this time, so I am asking my faithful readers to consider adopting a soldier or two. It is a fantastic way to show your support for our troops and since I'm unable to attend the weekly rallies at Walter Reed, this is my way of doing my part. (Plus, it's great knowing that I can make a soldier's day just by sending a goofy card or a care package!)

So, if you would like to adopt a soldier, please go to
Adopt-a-Platoon
or
Soldiers' Angels.
I promise you won't be sorry that you did!

ACLU Founders-Did You Know?

Many people believe that the ACLU is a great organization whose chief reason for existence is to help the "little guy." Well, that is certainly what they would like their public persona to be, but Gribbit at Stop the ACLU shows us just one of the founders of the ACLU and her true colors!

Ronald Reagan Quotes

"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."

"Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

"It is up to us...to work together for progress and humanity so that our grandchildren, when they look back at us, can truly say that we not only preserved the flame of freedom, but cast its warmth and light further than those who came before us."

"There are some who've forgotten why we have a military. It's not to promote war; it's to be prepared for peace."

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A New Ovarian Cancer Treatment

To date, most chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, has been done intravenously. The medications have to travel throughout the blood stream before they would even reach the cancer cells. This "new" treatment is intraperitoneal. A port is put into the abdomen and the chemotherapy drugs are put directly into the abdomen and literally "sloshed" around using saline solution so that the organs and abdominal cavity are literally washed in the medication. It is said that this treatment will add an additional 16 months to the woman's life. I hope this is true.

My mom was diagnosed in 1999 with stage C-3 ovarian cancer (one step from inoperable). And though she had chemotherapy it was prior to the use of this treatment. She went through traditional chemo, surgeries and finally radiation treatments that literally ruined her abdominal organs. She lost her battle a little over four years later (July 21, 2003). Eight months after her death, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with primary peritoneal cancer. This is a type of cancer that is often misdiagnosed as ovarian as it mimics ovarian, but it is treated in the same way. What made matters so difficult for us and the whole situation harder to deal with, is that there is/was no cancer in either family.

My mother-in-law, however, has been treated in this new way. It was not an easy treatment. She had to wear roomy clothing because it would expand her abdomen for hours afterwards until the saline and medications could be absorbed by her body. After the medications were in and the while the saline was going in, she had to lay with her head lower than her feet. She then had to turn from one side to the other every 20 minutes in order for the medication and saline to bathe her entire abdomen. It is because of the way this treatment is done, that so many women have not been able to withstand it. But, if it adds months to a woman's life, it has to be worth it because the mortality rate for ovarian cancer is so high.

On average, 22,000 women are diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer and of those, 16,000 will die within 3 to 5 years. Most of the time ovarian cancer is not diagnosed until it is in an advanced stage because there are no definitive warning signs and there is no early detection test. So, for me, any increase in life span is wonderful because not only does it affect my mother-in-law, but it could very well affect my daughters as well as myself.

Early detection would be the best deterrent against ovarian cancer mortality, but there is no test at this time. Through donations and corporate funding there is research being done. A charity that works locally here in Ohio is OROC. (OutRun Ovarian Cancer) There are also several national charities including, The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

Some information from Reuters.

A Horrible Tragedy Compounded

No one knows how it happened, but as of 2 a.m., when I finally went to bed, the word was that 12 of the 13 miners had been found alive. This morning, when I got up at 6 a.m., the news was tragic. It was that only one was alive and in critical condition while the other 11 had perished.

The families had been joyous. They were singing "How Great Thou Art" to praise the Lord that the miners were alive. Three hours later, shock and disbelief as they are notified that the news had been false and that their loved ones had died in the mine. Apparently it took that long to correct the notification because they wanted to make sure they knew definitively about all 12 of the miners.

One young man, 27-year-old Randal McCloy, is in critical condition. He is fighting for his life while his fellow miners are being brought to the surface. It is believed that the 11 died from carbon monoxide poisoning, but that has not been confirmed. The canister re-breathers had been used, but it was not enough for the men to survive. It was found they had tried to barricade themselves in a small space, but even that was not enough to hold off death while they waited for rescuers to find them.

Speculation is that a mine worker overheard a conversation between a rescue worker and the command center. At that point, they had pulled Randal McCloy out and they were trying to get him to the hospital. It is because they had pulled one out alive that this mine worker believed that they must all be alive. That false hope spread like wildfire. Jubilation was turned to shock and despair as word came through that just the one man survived.

My heart goes out to all of these families and this close-knit community. Now comes the inevitable finger-pointing and the investigation into the 208 violations sited against this mine in 2005 and how this tragedy may have been avoided.

UPDATE: 1/4/06 8:15 a.m.-Randal McCloy in critical, but stable condition. He has a partial collapse of a lung, dehydration, and hypothermia. There is no evidence of broken bones nor of carbon monoxide poisoning at this point.
8:36 a.m.-Doctor's report. He does not have hypothermia. He is dehydrated. He is moving and responding to stimuli, though he is again sedated to keep him comfortable while he is still attached to the ventilator. Despite the ventilator, he is breathing spontaneously. He is also suffering from prolonged immobility and some carbon monoxide in his blood. He is still listed as critical.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What Happened to the Democratic Party

What happened to the Democratic party of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and John F. Kennedy? They all stood for something and stood up for America. They knew the importance of protecting the United States and did what was necessary to keep us safe. Some things weren't very good ideas historically (the Japanese internment camps), but they only had the security of our way of life in mind.

These days it's all about how to make the Republican president look bad. Much of the Democratic leadership inflame their followers with lies and innuendo. It does not matter if the information is true. They have come to the conclusion that if they say something loud enough and long enough it will be considered the truth and sadly it seems to work.

JB Williams at The Conservative Voice has an opinion on what the Democratic party has become and that is Anti-America. Or if you are Pro-America, you are anti-Democrat.
Today, being pro America - supporting America, its founding principles, its fundamental ideals, its policies and its national interests, most likely means that you are anti-Democrat. No matter how hard the Democratic Party works to drive Bush or Republican approval rating into the toilet, the effort just doesn’t seem to take root with the American people. Even when Democrats are successful in undermining public support for their political opponents in the polls, those polls indicate that their own ratings drop even faster and farther in that effort.
They speak of Bush's terrible poll numbers, but they don't talk about their own. Did you know that the approval rating for Democratic congress was only 33% in November 2005? And that the disapproval rating was 47%? Yes, Bush's approval ratings were abysmal at that time, but he was still slightly higher than Democratic congress at 35%. The disapproval of the Democrats may be directly related to the lack of support for so many issues that the average American feels are important.
The simple fact is, most Americans are not anti-religion or religious speech, not anti-capitalism or free market society, not anti-military or national security, not federal dependents and not interested in relying upon any commune to raise their young or determine their place or worth in society. Today, this also means that they are not Democrats…

Though Democrats bristle at any suggestion that they are in any way anti-American, the fact is, their agenda is at odds with nearly every American principle today and average people able to see that, just can’t get over it, no matter how bad the alternatives might appear.

If you understand and support our mission in Iraq, you are anti-Democrat. If you seek to secure our borders, you are anti-Democrat. If you support hunting and killing terrorists on foreign soil to avoid another 9/11, you are anti-Democrat. If you believe in a free market capitalist economy, you are anti-Democrat. If you believe in limited federal government, you are anti-Democrat. If you believe that a right to life itself is the first personal liberty, you are anti-Democrat. If you have more faith in the US than the UN, you are anti-Democrat. If you believe in national sovereignty and autonomy, you are anti-Democrat. If you believe in free religious expression in the public square, you are anti-Democrat. If you believe in personal property rights, you are anti-Democrat. If you believe our justice system is based upon equal application of existing laws, not an unbridled extension of our legislative branch, you are anti-Democrat.

But if you believe in most or all of these things, you are most importantly pro-America. If you fight to support and defend true American ideals, even just at the polls, you are by definition, a true patriot, one who loves, supports and defends his/her nation and its principles. And you are not a Democrat today…no matter where your voter registration card might be filed.
It seems by almost every comment coming out of the mouths of the Democratic leadership that they want Bush to fail and in turn that they want America to fail. They claim to support the troops and be for "everyman," but their words and actions are showing this to be a false claim.
Today’s Democratic Party platform is based almost exclusively on anti-American ideals and sentiments. What was once the party of the average American has evolved into the party of the average anti-American. Today’s Democrats don’t only hate George Bush - I could live with that… They hate everything America is, has ever been or was ever intended to be, their policy platform says so and that, I can not live with. Neither can most Americans…

In the central federal government they trust, not the people. In communal socialist principles they believe, not the free right to self-determination. They can’t even support the most fundamental personal liberty of all, the right to life, let alone the liberty to pursue one’s own happiness without the constant interference of the federal government.

While our soldiers fight and die for freedom abroad, they attack our soldiers, their missions, their commanders and the military leadership as a whole, here at home. They attack the earned assets of investors who create jobs in search of profits. They attack corporations who employ Americans in the production of their products and services. None of these ideas or negative sentiments are American. Yet they are the foundation of today’s Democratic Party platform.
Luckily the public in general is no longer listening to the Democratic machine or the DNC. They may still classify themselves as Democrats, but they are for so many things that the current Democratic leadership is against. The proof may come at the end of the year when the 2006 mid-term elections take place.
The point is this… no matter what the polls of the liberal propaganda machines say, being pro-America today equals being anti-Democrat. Even Democrats know it, though they can’t afford to admit it. Instead, in their minds, pro-American means mindlessly pro-Bush.

So I look for the trend of removing democrats from office to continue in 2006 and 2008 and until such time that the DNC decides to distance itself from the anti-American policies and sentiments of the secular socialists currently running roughshod over their party.

Fortunately, the average American is not as foolish as the DNC has bet. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that anti-American is as anti-American does. Regardless of their rhetoric, their policies remain anti-America on almost every issue. As long as it does, real Americans will continue to remove them from office with some pleasure. A few liberal Republicans along the way too…
We will have to see what this new year brings. I believe that Iraq will soon learn to stand on their own and our soldiers will come home. The economy will still be on the rise and the interest rates will be reaching a plateau in the near future. And I truly hope that the American people will show that they have more faith in themselves and American values than they do in the Democratic party.