Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Public Service Announcement from Technography

I read this earlier and laughed out loud. BS is a funny guy.

This is a Public Service Announcement brought to you by someone who is going stir crazy. Enjoy.
I have laughed at the soap and shampoo movement for years.I threw away my "Raspberry Banquet Basket of Love and Fruit with Apricot Scrub with Hawaiian Beach Breeze 2 days after a Tropical Storm" scent.
I junked my "Peach, Milk, Dandelion, and Fresh Mountain Floral Arrangement from Switzerland" Shampoo.
I stopped caring if my Shampoo was Orgasmic, Organic or erogenous.
Now, years after my revolt against the soap and shampoo companies of America....I am finally vindicated.

I, of course, will be hanging on to all the scented products I have..............but's ok for me.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

February 27, 1942


A fabulously detailed post over at CDR. Salamander.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Who deliberately joins the Navy just to sabotage our military?

Jonathan Hutto. "60 Minutes" aired his/their side without questioning anyone's motives and no airing of the other side and no context. Typical.

You must go to Greyhawk and read about the "Petition for Redress" and Hutto's part in it.

I first read about this over at Op-For, so go read John's take on it too.

The best thing to do is go here to the Victory Caucus and see what you can do to counteract this crap.
So, you read all this and you followed all the links. You're thinking, "What else can I do?". OK, here's something else. Carla over at Some Soldier's Mom has posted a request for children's clothing to be sent to Iraq. Remember, there are many fronts in this war and there is a way for everyone to help. Murdoc's photo doesn't have to be true, we don't have to be "at the mall".

LTC Bruce P. Crandall

Today on the Pentagon Channel
1430 - Medal of Honor Ceremony: Commander in Chief George W. Bush presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to LTC Bruce P. Crandall (Ret.) for his heroic actions in the Battle of Ia Drang, while serving with A Company, 1, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the Vietnam War. (Live)
Encore presentation at 1900

The Armorer, Barb and have the details.


Iran is just a country that is trying to find it's own way, stand up for itself against the world When the current Administration points out that Iran is being non-compliant............when the U.N. (those useless twits) announce passing's nothing more than evil Bush-Cheney-Halliburton machinations. It's not as though Iran's neighbors sense any danger.

February 26, 1993

In 1993, a powerful bomb exploded in the parking garage below the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

Proof of Dr. Rice's statement........
"The terrorists were at war with us, but we were not yet at war with them."
I pulled this up from the comments because this is a great line. Frankly, everything Shawmut writes is worth the read.
"The 1993 bombing of the underground levels of the WTC still shows that we had wake-up calls long before 9/11 but we continually pushed the snooze button."

It's Late

So just a few random thoughts. I was a super slacker today. I blew off the symposium today and had breakfast with Jen.

I caught two of yesterday's panels. Education and Entrepreneurship: Are Asia’s Top Minds Thinking Outside of the Box had Brian Klein, an excellent speaker. The panel on "New Asian Great Game" had several interesting speakers. I learned a lot. The thing that absolutely floored me was the chart showing per capita use of energy. The leader'll never guess..........even SB didn't get it(he guessed UAE)........Kuwait! WTF? So Southie ventured a guess that it's because of water desalination. SB guessed UAE because of their huge desalination plant at Jebel Ali. However, I could have done without the crack the German made. Hermann Scheer was discussing energy and when he got to the military aspect he made a remark to the effect that he wondered if we would be in Iraq if it were on land full of fruits and vegatables. Kiss my ass. The actual question is could Saddam have become the terror he was if Iraq was a land of fruits and vegatables. Whatever.....asshat.

I really didn't accomplish anything today. Joe came by to look at the front door and the saggy floor around will, of course, cost more than I have budgeted for it. I hate owning a home. I want to just pay rent somewhere and when something goes wrong, pick up the phone.

So Jen & I finished "The State Within". Overall, two thumbs up.

We recorded the Oscars and the news afterwards in case it ran long. That way we got to FF the commercials and stupid catagories. It ran so long we missed Best Picture. Oh well, the right movie won and that's what mattered. I love that Jack Nicholson announced it. It makes you wonder if Departed really did win or did he just say that. It would fit the whole theme if Frank Costello stole the Best Movie Oscar. Will Farrell gave due respect to the Dot Rat and Jen and I thought that was funny.

What the fuck was Meryl Streep wearing? She was up for an Oscar for her portrayal of arguably one of the most fashionalbe women on earth, Anna Wintour......and she wore something goofy. A brown shirt with orange beeds and a gray plastic looking thing. It looked like some sort of medical monitoring device.

Now I am listening to FoxNews Sunday. I love Bill Kristol.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

John Foster Dulles

Born on this day in 1888, Dulles said;

The United Nations was not set up to be a reformatory. It was assumed that you would be good before you got in and not that being in would make you good.

Kinda makes you glad he's not around to see the nonsense that goes on there today.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Temper Tantrum

Clearly, with all the briefings and meetings SECDEF Robert Gates has been to...........he's missed a really important one.

Next month, a certain someone is going to be in a certain middle eastern country, and will be completely out of comm.........unable to even call and sing Happy Birthday to me on the 20th.


Happy Birthday Admiral Nimitz

Adm. Chester Nimitz, World War II commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, was born in 1885.

Favorite quote.

"A ship is always referred to as "she" because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder."

Friday TILIP

Gowher Rizvi spoke of "The Future of India". Interesting, good background for what was to come on other panels.

Next was Fighting the Tide: Responding to Pandemics
Pramit Mitra spoke of the AIDS Epidemic in India. It was not something I'd given a lot of thought to. He wants more attention paid to AIDS prevention and education because as India becomes more industrialized AIDS is spreading. However, I never get when the AIDS prevention people try to equate the attention paid or money allocated to their cause with other diseases. In this case Mitra was trying to say that AIDS was getting zero attention and a lot was being paid to polio and tuberculosis. But polio and tuberculosis are bigger problem in terms of contagion and incidence, they should get more money. Plus one of the advisors from Annapolis (there are more than a dozen Mids and Cadets and their faculty advisors attending) , who was clearly Indian corrected him. Mitra relented somewhat and conceeded there was a public education campaign, but he countered by saying it needed to be more. Well, of course, he's going to say that.
Then, came bird flu. The presenter Zongchao Peng. I understood ecery fifth word and his power point was not translated very well. Sorry, I am the Ugly American. I had a hard time staying awake. I believe his conclusion was that the US is doing a better job than China, but both countries were being held back by a natural tendency of human to look on the bright side.

Next panel was "China and India: Up-close and Personal". Now this was good! This was my favorite segment yesterday. Tarun Khanna was engaging, informative, smart and funny.

Then I dashed over to Grace's and raided her fridge, caused chaos.....the usual. There was one panel left at 7 pm.

Asia's Rising Giants: China and India
Favorite speaker.....duh.....Will Arnest, Midshipman, Third Year, United States Naval Academy. LOL, the kid did a good job, but no power point.........I thought the Navy was all about the Power Point?
Steven Weisman was smarmy and managed to slip in some nonsense about the Clinton impeachment proceedings avtually being about Republican displeasure with Clinton reaching out to China..........what?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mount Suribachi

In 1945, six members of the 5th Division of the U.S. Marines planted a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi on the strategically important Pacific island of Iwo Jima at the end of one of World War II's bloodiest battles.


Asia's Rising Giants: China and India The 2006-07 TILIP International Symposium Program

I missed tonight's lecture.......
"Empire As Culture", due to my prior obligation as designated driver for Girl's Night. However, I will be front and center for the rest of the weekend.

Friday's offerings.....................
"The Future of India"
"Fighting the Tide: Responding to Pandemics"
"China and India: Up-close and Personal"
"Asia's Rising Giants: China and India "

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jen & Steve Bonding

Last night while Jen & I were driving to BI Deaconess, Steve called. After a few minutes he asked who was the voice in the background (he knew it wasn't Jen). I said it was her GPS. He asked what kind and I replied "Whatever GPS is embedded in her nifty Bose system in her new Nissam Altima." "Nice" came the reply. "Wait" he said "Are you supposed to be the navigator?" "No" I said, "The GPS is, but Jennifer keeps second guessing it." "She should, it's just a machine, you are the navigator" This went on for a while. He takes Jennifer's side in everything.

This morning it was the other side of the coin. I was trying to express some dismay with something Steve said and Jen defended him to the hilt. She capped it off with this exchange. "You can't argue with how people feel" I told her. Jen put up her hands and said "Wait a minute, there's how everyone feels......and then there's you. You don't think like everyone's what makes you Maggie." Keep in name is not really Maggie and the only time Jennifer uses it is to point out behaviour that she thinks is ridiculous.

So there they are, bonding, conspiring against me. Traitors.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hey SB!

Is your forehead dirty?

I went up Bunker and got "real" ones myself. Father Mahoney was magnificent as always.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Political Courage

February 20, 1938

Anthony Eden resigned as Britain's foreign secretary to protest the "appeasement" policy of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain toward Nazi Germany.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A New Guy Over At OPFOR

....and he's Navy! Of course, he's not SWO, but you can't have everything.

So, wanna weigh in on this SB?

Uniform Administrivia
by Bull Nav
After lurking around the blogosphere, reading, commenting, and occasionally emailing authors, I am now part of this great communications platform. My Brother Rat, LTCOL P, sent me an invite and John was kind enough to allow me a forum here. I will try to stay focused on Navy stuff, but I may digress (ever so slightly) into hunting, shooting, or perhaps NASCAR. Enjoy. Comment. I have thick skin.
I guess that too many Navy folks on IA assignments have not been following the rules when it comes to wearing the ACU, which Navy personnel are allowed to wear when attached to an Army unit. If that was not the case, then this NAVADMIN ( )would not have come out which explains what you can't wear on your (N)Army uniform. Essentially this means that you can't wear your warfare pin on the Army uniform, nor can you wear any of your patches from a past unit. Only what the Army permits can go onto the uniform.
If we are going to be in the Navy, then we should wear Navy uniforms. If in combat, this means the DCU or the BDU. If embedded with an Army unit, the Navy folks should still wear the Navy uniform because THEY ARE IN THE NAVY. There is a certain pride that comes with each of the service's uniforms (yes, even the Air Force blue uniform) and once you take that away, you are taking away a part of the individual's motivation. I did not join the (N)Army, I joined the Navy and I have always worn Navy uniforms. Do the Marines wear Army uniforms when they are working with Army folks? No.
Admittedly, the DCU is somewhat outdated and the ACU is more functional. Hell, it was designed to be functional in the current combat environment. Perhaps a compromise could be reached in which the Navy folks can personalize their ACU's with the proper insignia (i.e., US NAVY, warfare qualification pins, etc.). Yeah, I know we are all supposed to by "joint" and all but we are still separate services, with our own traditions and customs. The uniform should reflect that uniqueness.

Remember, despite my adoration for MG Rick Lynch, I am a Navy girl.

Hey SouthieBoy!

I've missed you!

Kisses..............Love, Maggie

February 19, 1945

From the New York Times on February 19, 1945.

U. S. Marines Storm Ashore on Iwo Island
Nimitz Reports Invasion of Volcano Isle 750 Miles From Tokyo
Advanced Headquarters, Guam, Monday, Feb. 19 - American Marines, their path cleared by the most intensive neutralization campaign of the Pacific war, have landed on strategic little Iwo Island, one of the Volcano group, 750 statute miles south of Tokyo.
The landing was made this (Monday) morning. The Fourth and Fifth Marine Divisions made this first Marine Operation since the Palaus were invaded last September. [Lieut. Gen. Holland M. Smith, victor over the Japanese on Saipan, was in command of the Marines, The United Press said.]

Never Forgetting Easy Company

Jason at CounterColumn has a link to this great article about some little boys who "get it" better than many adults around them.

My wife and I recently watched as our three boys marched off to join Easy Company of the Army's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Their stoic faces belied their youth — ages 8, 6 and 4 — as they faced the horrors of dropping into Normandy 1944 as part of their best friend's birthday party. There was plenty of action, of course, but nothing like what the parents would experience a few days later.

It appears that, as casualties and opposition rise with the Iraq war, even Liam Bowman's 8th birthday party can become fodder in our national debate. Outraged parents complained that we were perverting the minds of children by glorifying war. Yet, there is something to learn from war — as we found out later with a visit to a small Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in rural Maryland.
Read the whole article.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The State Within

The State Within is a new series on BBC America. I heard a review on NPR early this afternoon and it sounded like something Jen & I would like. The NPR assessment was that it was a British "24". I called Jen and told her to DVR it. The first episode was two and half hours. Just before it ended Jen pronounced us hooked. It's true. Despite the British accents, thank God for rewind, we really liked it. Of course, it is hard to take the basic premise that the smartest, most honorable man in DC is the British ambassador. LOL The SECDEF is Sharon Gless and she is a bloodthirsty hothead. The FBI are oafs that need help from the British top spy (what is the equivilant to a CIA chief of section?). The Governor of Virginia is a hysterical racist. Senators need moral prodding from the lone voice of reason......the British ambassador. There is another story line involving a Falklands war hero on Florida's death row. It's the sketchy guy from Jericho. I always thought he sounded like a guy with an accent.

Two thumbs up.

Rep. Sam Johnson

You need to go over to OPFOR and watch the clip of Rep. Sam Johnson, Texas. He is who we should be listening to, not Murtha. Johnson was a POW, one of those released on Febraury 12, 1973. What he has to say on supporting the troops is very important.

Thanks, John.

A Gathering Of Eagles

The Gathering of Eagles Mission Statement.

1. Gathering of Eagles is non-partisan. While each member has his or her own political beliefs, our common love and respect for America and her heroes is what brings us together.
2. We are a non-violent, non-confrontational group. We look to defend, not attack. Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds.
3. We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such, we will not allow them to be desecrated, used as props for political statements, or treated with anything less than the solemn and heartfelt respect they–and the heroes they honor–deserve.
4. We are wholly and forever committed to our brothers and sisters in uniform. As veterans, we understand their incredible and noble sacrifices, made of their own accord for a nation they love more than life itself. As family members, we stand by them, and as Americans, we thank God for them.
5. We believe in and would give our lives for the precious freedoms found in our Constitution. We believe that our freedom of speech is one of the greatest things our country espouses, and we absolutely hold that any American citizen has the right to express his or her approval or disapproval with any policy, law, or action of our nation and her government in a peaceful manner as afforded by the laws of our land.
6. However, we are adamantly opposed to the use of violence, vandalism, physical or verbal assaults on our veterans, and the destruction or desecration of our memorials. By defending and honoring these sacred places, we defend and honor those whose blood gave all of us the right to speak as freely as our minds think.
7. We vehemently oppose the notion that it is possible to “support the troops but not the war.” We are opposed to those groups who would claim support for the troops yet engage in behavior that is demeaning and abusive to the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform.
8. We believe in freedom at all costs, including our own lives. We served to protect the freedoms Americans enjoy, and we agree with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
9. We will accept nothing less than total, unqualified victory in the current conflict. Surrender is not an option, nor is defeat.
10. We stand to challenge any group that seeks the destruction of our nation, its founding precepts of liberty and freedom, or those who have given of themselves to secure those things for another generation. We will be silent no more.

Uncle Jimbo says this needs to be up on more places, so here it is.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

MG Rick Lynch Is Deploying

Fort Stewart general, HQ troops, deploying to Iraq next month

FORT STEWART, Ga. The commanding general of the Army's Third Infantry Division and his headquarters of one-thousand troops will deploy to Iraq next month to take command of U-S forces in southern Baghdad.Major General Rick Lynch told reporters today his command staff will deploy about five months sooner than expected as part of President Bush's order to send 21-thousand additional troops to Baghdad, where attacks against coalition forces as well as civilians have risen dramatically.
Lynch said -- quote -- "Baghdad is without a doubt a more dangerous place this time. The insurgents know if they don't do something now to stop this democratic society from continuing to build, then they're going to lose."
In Iraq, Lynch will command a task force of about 20-thousand troops in southern Baghdad. He said his Third Infantry headquarters has orders to deploy by March 25th.
The Third Infantry began deploying for its third combat tour to Iraq in January, when the division's First Brigade Combat Team of four-thousand soldiers left Fort Stewart. The division, which helped lead the charge to Baghdad in 2003, is the first in the Army tapped for a third tour.
The division's remaining three combat brigades are preparing to deploy as well.
The Third Brigade, based at Fort Benning in Columbus, has orders to be in Iraq by March 15th. And the Second Brigade from Fort Stewart will deploy by mid-May. Both units had their deployments moved forward by about two months because of the troop surge ordered by Bush

You and all your soldiers are in my prayers. Godspeed and home safe.

Friday, February 16, 2007

"You should take a ride in it, it's nice"

Yes Gov. Patrick, I am sure it is.

Patrick Upgrades State Vehicle From Ford To Cadillac
Vehicle Being Leased For $1,166 Per Month

BOSTON -- Gov. Deval Patrick, who has asked all state agencies to cut their spending by 5 to 10 percent as the state copes with what he says is a $1 billion deficit, has upgraded his state-provided transportation from a Ford Crown Victoria to a Cadillac DeVille.
The jet black vehicle, with tinted windows and security features including concealed blue lights and sirens, is being leased by the state for $1,166 per month. His former vehicle was part of the State Police fleet.
"You should take a ride in it, it's nice," he told an Associated Press reporter who asked him about the Cadillac as he arrived at the Statehouse on Friday.
"I tried to get the car like the one my predecessor had," the new governor said, referring to the black Crown Victoria used by former Gov. Mitt Romney. "They don't make it any more."
Patrick said, "I took the counsel of the State Police" in selecting the Cadillac, since the agency supplies the troopers who provide his personal security and drive him throughout the state. He said the vehicle Romney used had 90,000 miles on the odometer and a broken heater.
Romney frequently rode in other Crown Victorias used by additional troopers in the governor's protective detail, as well as a Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Yukon maintained for emergencies when four-wheel drive is necessary.
Asked about the symbolism of driving in a vehicle usually associated with a luxury lifestyle, the governor grew exasperated and said, "It's a car. It's American-made."
Earlier this week, Patrick deflected questions about his use of a State Police helicopter, an asset Romney said he used only once during his four-year term.
The new governor took the chopper from North Adams back to Boston last month to rush between a meeting with municipal officials in the Berkshires and the inaugural festivities for state constitutional officers at the Statehouse. Earlier this month, he took a second flight to return to Boston after attending a funeral on Cape Cod for a soldier killed in Iraq.
When asked about his helicopter use, Patrick said, "You should call that family from Hyannis that lost their son in Iraq and see if they have a problem with me using the helicopter."
He added, "I have a really crowded calendar and a very ambitious agenda, so I'm going to use every resource available."

Wow, the previous car had 90,000 miles and a broken heater!!! Oh no!!!!!

Listen asshat, here in the real world you fix the heater and you drive the car. My car has a 184,000 miles on it. Even if you had a problem that was not cost effective to fix, there are a million deals better than this one.

I voted for Kerry Healey.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Girl's Night

I am waiting for the cohort to assemble. We are hitting East Bay Grille. They may never be the same.

Murtha's Slow Bleed

This is being discussed many places including the Castle and Blackfive. However, I think it should be posted everywhere on the 'Net. I think everyone needs to understand that Murtha intends to make sure that he gets his way even if it endangers our military. How can it not? What is more dangerous than denying reinforcements to soldiers in battle? That's step one in the plan.

House Democrats' New Strategy: Force Slow End to War

Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration's options.
Led by Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., and supported by several well-funded anti-war groups, the coalition's goal is to limit or sharply reduce the number of U.S. troops available for the Iraq conflict, rather than to openly cut off funding for the war itself.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Guess We Know...........

........where Maggie's next vacation will be!

FORT STEWART, Ga. - On weekends, Army Pfc. Keith Smith used to drive 45 miles to Savannah to find a nightclub with hip-hop music, single women and a bar open well past midnight.
The 24-year-old soldier would often have too much fun to make it back to the barracks. “There’s been times I went to Savannah and had to sleep in the car because I didn’t want to get a DUI,” the New Yorker said.
But now he can do his drinking, dancing and lookin’ for love just blocks from his Fort Stewart billet, without even leaving the Army post.
Deciding too many soldiers were dying behind the wheel after partying out of town, Fort Stewart commanders spent $300,000 turning a defunct sports bar on the Army post into Rocky’s, a bar and nightclub that aims to mimic the after-hours party scene of Savannah’s hippest spots.
Knowing booze and dance tunes wouldn’t be enough, commanders also eased security restrictions at the post’s front gate to encourage civilians — namely women, who get free admission between 10 p.m. and midnight Fridays and Saturdays — to party at Rocky’s, which opened in November

Tell me MG Rick Lynch stops by once in a while for a drink!!!!!!!

Jack Bauer Valentines

Number 3:

Damnit, we don’t have time for your expression of love!!!

Go read the rest at Blogs4Bauer.

Happy Valentine's Day...........although I am more of a fan of Eros than St. Valentine's.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Word To The Wise

That's something the nuns used to say to us.
Not that I think there are any *wise* people running things over in Iran right now............but maybe there's one that's not completely retarded.
This story is on the BBC this morning
Iran drones 'can attack US ships'
By Frances Harrison BBC News, Tehran
An Iranian website close to the Revolutionary Guard has said they have drones that can launch attacks on American warships in the Persian Gulf.
This comes as the US has sent a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf in a move it says is intended to warn Iran that it intends to have a regional presence.
Both sides have increased the talk of war readiness in recent weeks.
This comes as concerns mount internationally about Iran's nuclear programme and its involvement in Iraq.
The Baztab website quotes the acting commander of the Revolutionary Guard's land forces as saying that Iran has unmanned aircraft that can fly long distances and launch attacks on American warships.
The commander reportedly said this would make the Americans leave the region in shame.
He added Iran had all US activity, including the slightest changes of the enemy, under constant surveillance.
And the website also quoted the commander claiming that Iran had managed to put the logo of the Revolutionary Guards on the side of an American warship in the Gulf to demonstrate how insecure they were in this region.
There is no independent confirmation of these Iranian assertions, but they show how Tehran is trying to counter what it says is the psychological warfare of the Americans with claims of military superiority.
Every few weeks, there are new Iranian war games and state television shows pictures of fresh military hardware like missiles and torpedoes being tested
Now here's my gift to you, Iran. My 'word to the wise'. My one good deed for the year. A kindness from a small, atrophied, bloodless heart. Advice from Princess Crabby.

Not that I think this sage advice will help Iran. Why not? In the article above "The commander reportedly said this would make the Americans leave the region in shame. " YGTBFKM!!!!! LOL! I don't fucking think so buddy! Not even with cooler heads than mine at the helm.

Monday, February 12, 2007

February 12, 1973

This was the first time I saw someone cry because they were happy. I didn't understand and I cried as well. I was not quite 12 and I had only seen my father cry once before when my grandfather (my mother's father) passed years before. We were watching the evening news in the living room. I don't remember who was anchor, but my Dad was not a Cronkite fan, so it wasn't him.
***************************************** First Prisoner Release Completed
142 Men Seem In Reasonably Good Health
By James P. Sterba
Special to The New York Times
Clark Air Base, the Philippines, Tuesday, Feb. 13 -- The first released American prisoners of the Vietnam war were greeted with cheers of welcome and tears of joy here yesterday as they stepped off military evacuation jets. They looked in better physical condition than most onlookers had expected, and the hospital commander here pronounced their general health "reasonably good."
The last of four evacuations, planes touched down here at 11 P. M. (10 A. M., Monday, New York time), carrying 19 military men and seven civilians released in South Vietnam. Three other planes, carrying 116 prisoners released in Hanoi, had arrived yesterday afternoon.
The first prisoner to step onto the red carpet was Capt. Jeremiah A. Denton of the Navy, the ranking officer aboard the first plane back from Hanoi, Captain Denton, in captivity for nearly eight years, stepped to a microphone and said:
"We are honored to have the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander in Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America."
Alvarez Arrives
He was followed by Lieut. Comdr. Everett Alvarez Jr. Of the Navy, a prisoner for more than eight years and the first American pilot shot down and captured in the Vietnam war.
By 11:45 P.M. all the men were in the Air Force hospital here. The earlier arrivals from Hanoi held reunions with one another in the wards and were allowed to choose their own rooms. After preliminary medical checks - which found their conditions "reasonably good," in the words of the hospital commander, Col. John W. Ord - the men were offered steak, chicken, baked potatoes, french fries, corn on the cob, cream puffs and strawberry shortcake.
Maj. Miriam W. Fortune, the hospital's head dietitian, said steak, eggs and ice cream were the most popular items.
"Many ate ice cream in the line before they got their main dishes," she said.
Because of their late arrival time, the prisoners from South Vietnam - whose release was delayed because of a dispute over an exchange of Communist prisoners - were fed a light meal before going to bed, military spokesmen said.
Many of the arrivals from Hanoi telephoned their families in the United States and met military escort officers assigned to accompany them back to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., after medical examinations and debriefings here.
From Travis, the men will fly to local military hospitals to met their families.
[Some of the prisoners could be returning to the United States "in a matter of days," according to a Reuters dispatch from Washington that quoted the Pentagon spokesman, Jerry W. Friedheim. Reuters said that while Mr. Friedheim would not be more specific about the timing of the flights home, he did say that many of the men were well enough to leave now.]
Yesterday's arrivals here completed the first phase of the prisoner repatriation. Similar numbers of prisoners are to be released by the Communists at intervals of about 15 days, in proportion to the American withdrawal of troops from South Vietnam. The protocol on prisoners in the Paris agreement of Jan. 27 said that all prisoners of war must be released within 60 days.
Only four of the released prisoners - three from the North and one from the South - had to be carried off the planes in litters. The rest walked out, down a ramp, and over a red carpet to waiting ambulance buses. For a few it was difficult, and the expressions of determination to do it by themselves brought tears to the eyes of many of the military officers and newsmen.
Some of the prisoners stepped briskly out of the planes, smiling and pointing their thumbs up.
Chants of "Welcome Home!" by spectators from the base greeted the prisoners as they stepped from their planes. More than 1,000 base residents - boys in baseball and Boy Scout uniforms, women sitting on lawn chairs, babies, airmen with movie cameras - looked on.
Many people wept. John Ward, a 13-year-old sixth grader, said, "I was crying and they were real tears. I just felt very emotional." He was wearing a prisoner-of-war bracelet bearing the name of Leonard C. Eastman, a Navy commander who arrived on the third plane from Hanoi.
The first plane from Hanoi carried 40 repatriated prisoners, 29 of whom the North Vietnamese had listed as sick or wounded. Some of their ailments were obvious as they walked off - stiff legs, shriveled arms, joints that did not work. One man came out on crutches he has been using for more than five years.
There was also an evident lack of muscle coordination for some. There was little color in most of their faces.
Spirits, however, were extremely high. A public affairs officer accompanied each plane from Hanoi and later described some of what went on during the flights.
"After we got onto the airplane and closed the doors, there was hugging of each other and hugging of nurses and a tremendous elation on their faces," said Richard Abel, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who accompanied the first plane back from Hanoi.
"Tears in some eyes, yes, but they were certainly tears of happiness," Colonel Abel said "Their spirits were just fantastic. They were alive, they were happy to be home, they talked and talked and talked some more."
He said the men were glad to get American cigarettes, that they avidly read Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper, and news magazines, and that they liked the rather tasteless nutrient drink they were served because it was cold.
There were prayers, Colonel Abel said, adding that one of the senior men on board told him, "You know, Dick, I couldn't have made it if it wasn't for Jesus Christ, and being able to look up and see Him in some of the trying times."
Colonel Abel said he asked Captain Denton, as senior man on board, to make a brief statement on landing at Clark but that he did not brief the captain on what to say.
Each of the three senior officers made statements when they arrived here from Hanoi.
Col. Robinson Risner of the Air Force, senior prisoner on the second plane, said; "It's almost too wonderful to express. On behalf of all the other men who have been prisoners, I would like to thank you all. I would like to thank our President and the American people for bringing us home to freedom again. Thank you ever so much."
And Capt. James A. Mulligan of the Navy, senior officer and spokesman on the third plane from Hanoi, said, "It has been our privilege to serve you Americans these many years and during this time our faith in our God, our country and in our families had never wavered. Today I'd like to thank the President of the United States and our families for maintaining their faith with us and making this wonderful day possible. Thank you."
Maj. Raymond C. Schrump of the Army, the first man off the final plane, from Saigon, said simply, "it has been a long time. I want to thank each and every one of you for such a very, very fine welcome."
While the prisoners released from South Vietnam wore Vietnamese sandals and hospital garb issued during the flight, those returning from Hanoi wore clothes that they had received from the North Vietnamese shortly before they were released - blue trousers, light blue shirts, brown belts, black shoes, and light gray-green jackets. The North Vietnamese had also given each man a black flight bag.
All but the three litter patients released by Hanoi today lived in the Hoa Lo prison camp. Officials did not say where it was, other than near Hanoi.
Describing the departure of the second plane to leave Hanoi, Lieut. Comdr. Milton S. Baker said of the men he accompanied, "They were rather solemn as they were escorted up to the aircraft. Once inside the aircraft they really became elated. The reaction on take-off - shouts, cheers, thumbs up, that sort of thing, elation generally."
Commander Baker said medical treatment on the flight was limited to two aspirins and some nosedrops. The men drank coffee, tea and the nutrient drink, smoked, read, and asked dozens of questions on subjects ranging from sports to women's liberation."
The first thing the prisoners who boarded the third plane noticed was the perfume of the flight nurses, according to a military spokesman who was on the plane.
"Wow, smell that perfume!" he quoted one of them as having said. There was also a contraband copy of Playboy magazine aboard that was thumbed through avidly, although some prisoners were said to have been taken aback by photos of totally nude women. Most of the men have been in prison since the days when the nudity was less than total.
Frank A. Severest, the State Department's specialist on prisoner-of-war affairs, went into Hanoi along with the advance team this morning. He said several of the prisoners asked him who had won the war. He said his answer was: "The South did not lose and the North did not win."
Roger E. Shields, the Pentagon's prisoner-of-was expert, who also went to Hanoi for the pick-up, said he was satisfied with today's operation even though it was delayed two hours by bad weather in the North and more than 12 hours by disputes in the South. He said the prisoners from Hanoi "said they have some things they want to tell us and they are very concerned about giving us information on other prisoners on our lists." Some 1,300 Americans are listed as missing in action.
On the first flight to the Clark base, Captain Denton said, he told the men that on arrival he intended to salute the flag and fellow officers and to shake hands with military dignitaries there to greet them - Adm. Noel A. M. Gayler, Commander in Chief of United States forces in the Pacific, and Lieut. Gen. William G. Moore Jr., commander of the 13th Air Force. He said that he did not tell the men they also had to do so, but that each did.
When the planeload of 27 prisoners from South Vietnam landed late tonight, completing the pick-up, Col. Leonard W. Johnson Jr., commander of the evacuation mission into Saigon, turned to Roger Shields of the Pentagon and said, "Well, we got them back."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

MG Rick Lynch Tells You What You Need To Know

Just the facts!
Most provinces of Iraq are not paralyzed by violence
As some senators craft measures to undercut the president — without having to explain what they would do in his place — Americans should follow information about the situation in Iraq.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Baghdad, went over the facts this week:
Iraq suffers 75 attacks a day, a level that has stayed the same since August. Major violence is confined largely to three of the nation’s 18 provinces.
“Seventy-five percent of the attacks still take place in Baghdad, al-Anbar or Salaheddin (provinces),” he said. “And in the other 15 provinces, they all averaged less than six attacks a day, and 12 of those provinces averaged less than two attacks a day.”
Steven R. Hurst of the Associated Press noted that Lynch’s list omitted Diyala Province, where insurgents recently stormed a jail, freed 33 prisoners, and killed 20 police.
But Hurst also wrote that “the nature of the violence in the country has shifted from
assaults on American troops to battles rooted in sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.”
Yes, there has been a spike in what Lynch called “ethnic-sectarian incidents,” and they are horrendous.
But as Lynch put it: “There is not widespread violence across Iraq. There is not.”
War is hell. But abandoning people to it would not be any prettier

US Navy Back In Cambodia......

......three decades later.US ship's landmark Cambodia visit
By Guy De Launey BBC News, Phnom Penh
The Cambodian port of Sihanoukville has given a warm welcome to a visit from the US Navy.
It is the first time since the Vietnam war that an American warship has docked in Cambodia.
The arrival of the USS Gary is a symbol of the closer military and political ties between the two states and part of a concerted charm offensive by the US.
The crew have instructions to engage with the local community through outreach projects.
The local governor and Cambodian navy officers were guests on board the Gary as it arrived at the port.
The ship's crew manned the rails in their crisp, white dress uniforms.
Unhappy memories
The commanding officer, Joe Deleon, described it as the highlight of his time with the ship.
Over the next five days Sihanoukville and the surrounding area will see plenty of the US sailors.
They will be helping with construction work, and hope to attract thousands of people to medical and dental clinics.
Some basic training for the Cambodian navy is also on the agenda.
Cambodian waters hold unhappy memories for US forces.
Their last major operation here was a mission to rescue the crew of a merchant ship captured by the Khmer Rouge.
It was successful but at a price - 41 US troops died and it marked the start of a long period of US antipathy towards Cambodia.
Thawing relations
During the 1980s, the US refused to recognise the new Vietnamese-backed government in Phnom Penh.
Members of that regime have continued to dominate Cambodian politics, which explains why US ambivalence continued beyond the return of democracy.
But, recently, relations have thawed remarkably and it is not the first time that the USS Gary has played a played a diplomatic role.
It is one of several US warships to have made port calls in neighbouring Vietnam over the past four years.
US officials are also keen to increase the frequency of visits to both South East Asian countries.
The Vietnamese response has been cautious - but with limited forces of its own, Cambodia may be a more enthusiastic partner

Friday, February 09, 2007

This Day In History

In 1943, in a major World War II strategic victory, the Allies retook Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands from the Japanese.

I'm going to be really lazy and wait for the Armorer to put up his post about this........his are always better. Then I'll just link.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Nancy Pelosi

Humble servant of the people.

Speaker pursues military flights

The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing the Bush administration for routine access to military aircraft for domestic flights, such as trips back to her San Francisco district, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The sources, who include those in Congress and in the administration, said the Democrat is seeking regular military flights not only for herself and her staff, but also for relatives and for other members of the California delegation. A knowledgeable source called the request "carte blanche for an aircraft any time."

Born on This Day in 1820

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don't like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don't solicit their opinions or votes.

-William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) American General
A hundred years later.....................Lana Turner.
She was in my favorite John Wayne movie "The Sea Chase". My God! When he kissed her.........I think I was eleven or twelve the first time I saw that. But I knew someday I wanted someone to kiss me that way.
So there you are, something silly.............something serious.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

William Arkin

This has been hashed over many places, The Castle, Op-For, Blackfive........I don't have much to add. I just wanted to point out a funny response I heard tonight on O'Reilly. He had two retired generals on to discuss Arkin's wrongheaded disrepect for the US military. Fox News military analyst Maj. Gen. Robert Scales & author Lt. Gen. Michael DeLong both stated unequivocally that while they disagreed with everything that came out of Arkin's mouth, they would defend with their lives his right to say it. Then Scales said "I know what his problem is and how we can solve it" (I'm paraphrasing here, watch the video) "Mr. Arkin has a problem with the obscene amenities enjoyed by our troops. I can talk to Gen Petraeus. I'm sure we can get him a billet there. Maybe the lovely resort town of one of those condos."

Good one Sir!

v/r Maggie

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hey Gracie!

Bird Flu Detected on Turkey Farm in England

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, February 4, 2007; Page A14

The deadly H5N1 Asian strain of bird flu, which has killed 165 people since 2003, has been confirmed on a commercial turkey farm in eastern England, health authorities said Saturday.
Officials said the disease had killed 2,600 turkeys on the Bernard Matthews company turkey farm in Suffolk county, northeast of London. All 159,000 turkeys at Bernard Matthews, one of Europe's leading producers, were being slaughtered as a precaution, and television footage showed thousands of carcasses being dumped into trucks

Each symposium has a pandemic going with me?

Fighting the Tide: Responding to Pandemics, 2:00pm

Deadly Migration: Confronting Avian Flu

Hehehe....just like when we were kids, I am trying to freak GracieBaby! When we were young we would go to the movies at the Coop (open air, 8mm movies that Red got from somewhere for all the kids in the neighborhood). This was at our summer place. At night it got sooooooo dark. Trees blocked out what few street lights there were. I never missed a movie, I loooooove movies. Grace would want to skip the scary ones and I wouldn't let her. So after making her watch Frankenstein or the Wolfman we would have to run back to the cottage holding hands. The first 250 feet to the street corner was actually pretty well lit and people would be milling around. But once we rounded that corner.......darkness! My father would be standing on the porch watching us. We'd be nearly hysterical by the time we ran the last 200 feet. LOL . Surprise! I was a hysterical little girl. What? You're not surprised? My father always knew when the movies were over because they would say goodnight and announce the next movie with a bullhorn....easily heard at the cottage. Those were great summers. Red managed to show "The Green Berets" at least once a summer.............sigh............John Wayne!

Poor Gracie!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

So, I'm Sitting In Work......

....wrapping up a few things before I head off to watch the SuperBowl (alright, watch the commercials) and I was in the mood to hear the song "My Maria". It was a hit in the summer of '74...........if I had met SB then, life would have been a lot different..........Anyway, I search it on Yahoo music and they don't have the B.W. Stevenson version that I love, but they have Brooks and Dunn. I'm not a big country music fan but I look at the other videos available from Brooks and Dunn. One is "Ain’t Nothing Bout You" and it really struck me. I really liked it, lol.

The way you look, the way you laugh,
The way you love with all you have,
There ain’t nothing bout you that don’t do something for me
The way you kiss, the way you cry,
The way you move when you walk by
There’s ain’t nothing bout you (there ain’t nothing bout you)
That don’t do something for me

This is exactly how I feel about you, Southie...........and better still, I know it's the same for you too.

Another Meme - Weird Things

AFSis came over and tagged me. The meme is "6 Weird Things About Yourself". I've asked for clarification. Things I think are weird? Or things people think are weird about me? No answer.

So, here goes.............

1. Today is Superbowl Sunday and I would rather read. The vast majority of my friends, coworkers and acquaintances will watch with varying degrees of enthusiasm. My level of point shit.

2. I yell/talk back/cheer at the TV when political shows are on the way other people do with sports. The boys just shake their heads.

3. When I am very stressed and upset I put M&Ms into a bottle of Coke, shake it up, let out as much carbonation as possible............and mainline the caffeine and sugar. Also, I prefer my Coke in a glass bottle, as cold and as flat as possible.

4. As much as I like hanging with my friends, my sisters, my family, SB, my sons.........I really like to drive into Boston, attend a lecture, drive down to East Bay, sit at the bar with a good book or magazine and eat dinner......all by myself.

5. I can't stand to THINK about anyone I am blood related having relations (in the Biblical sense) and I can not speak of my relations with them, either. I do not allow these subjects to be discussed in my presence even if it means I have to stick my fingers in my ears and sing. This of course, means that I am relentlessly taunted with information I do not want to hear. My friends have tried all sorts of logic on me. "It's a perfectly natural thing!" I don't care. "Your sons should be able to tell you anything." They have a father. "You are so close to your sisters." Yes, I am! So?

6. I sleep naked. My parents, my sisters, my children, my friends all wear something. Me? Nothing. I love nightgowns, lounging pajamas, robes, but when it is time to sleep, off it comes. There is nothing more delicious than a nice long bath, followed by tons of body cream and then to slip between cool, clean sheets.

So....there you go.
I was supposed to tag six people with this. But most people I would have been interested in have already been tagged. I enjoyed reading all of them. So instead of six, I have two.

Pia @ Fatekisminy ***** Pia's response is part of a recap of her weekend, which you should read..
Googiebaba @ Mama and Mommy ****** Googie knows how to belly dance (me too! Well sort of, kinda)

When ADD Slides into Alzheimers

It took a while but it is officially winter here in New England. I spent November and December in sweaters with no problem, but when the chill finally arrived I couldn't find my winter coat. I thought about it every time I was running somewhere with my teeth chattering. I checked my closet. I looked in the storage boxes. I called the dry cleaner. Nothing. Then last night as I was getting ready for bed, kicking off my shoes, I lost my balance for a second. I put my hand out to steady myself. My hand should have touched wood on the back of my bedroom door. But there was plastic. I turned the light back on. There, hanging on the back of my bedroom door was my winter coat, in a dry cleaning bag. Apparently, last spring in a fit of organization, I had it cleaned and hung it out of the way on the back of the door. I only close the door when I am going to sleep, after I turn out the light, or on my way out of the room. So I literally never saw it.

Alzheimers is tragic in one so young and beautiful.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sad But True

FbL pointed out a list of cartoons over at Sparks From The Anvil. I stole one which is more sad than funny because it's so true.

Presents in the Mail

I just got my invitation to the 2006-07 TILIP International Symposium Program EPIIC Symposium! This years subject "Asia's Rising Giants: China and India" February 22 - 25, 2007.
Friday's 2 pm lecture is "Fighting the Tide: Responding to Pandemics". I should take Grace (my bird flu sister) huh?

You know what this means, don't you? The EPIIC Symposium, Global Crises: Governance and Intervention is coming up soon!

Friday, February 02, 2007

I Am Peeved

I am hearing a lot of criticism of Boston's handling of the bomb scare the other day and I don't like it.
For example, this discussion over at Ala's.

Many sneered at the Boston Police Department's E.O.U.

My response:

Speaking as a taxpayer here, yes Turner Broadcasting should foot the entire bill. Also, there should be punative damages for the marketing company out of New York that told those two morons to keep quiet about it. They could have ended this several hours early. Turner should pay the whole million. It's no skin off their noses and it bought them more publicity than they could have ever dreamed. I realize those two nitwits didn't intend to cause a "terrorist" alert, but their conduct in court calls for some punishment. Had they walked into their arraignment showing any remorse, I wouldn't have given them another thought.
Why didn't it cause a panic in other cities? Because they were not placed in such odd locations. They were on the sides of buildings in trendy neighborhoods. They *looked* like what they were, ads. Boston's were placed in just exactly places you would want to damage if you were attacking Boston, transpostation hubs; bridges, public transit sites, major highway overpasses. Menino does sound like an idiot, so what? Streets get plowed and paved and people feel he delivers on constituent services. No I've never voted for him and no, I can't understand him half the time.
The BPD did everything by the book and deserve no criticism whatsoever. A circuit board with batteries hanging from the bottom of a major traffic artery should be treated as a threat. What exactly were they supposed to do? Being as they are gainfully employed, productive members of society who don't live in their parents basements and weren't high....the E.O.U didn't recognize Aqua Teen Hunger Force....go figure. I guess the next time a suspicious package is found, we should drop it over by the BU dorms and have some co-eds identify it for us?
Also, as far as this comment/questions: "Did the incompetent Boston authorities pay for the damage they allowed on 9-11?" *Boston* didn't allow anything. Globe Aviation Services Corp & Huntleigh USA Corp handled security at Logan that day, not the BPD. They didn't do a good job, but they weren't laughing afterwards either.
The very fact that shutting down these areas for the purposes of investigation caused such overwhelming chaos illustrates perfectly how very sensitive these areas are.
We send these officers to all kinds of special post 9/11 training courses and we are surprised when they see an electronic device hanging of off 93 as a threat. WTF! What do you want?

Quite the rant, huh? LOL I don't want to hear anymore MMQs talking smack. You weren't there and if you had been, you would have been one of the people running. There is a huge difference between seeing one of those shitty things hanging on the side of an office building while you sip you grande double cap latte at Starbucks and seeing a circuit board with batteries hanging from the bottom of 93. If you've never been in Sullivan Square then you are talking out your ass and you should STFU.

Ok, I Haven't Said Much About This Nonsense

But I watched them briefly at their arraingment and now I want their heads on a platter. You think it's funny? Asshats! I'll tell you something funny. You two doing any kind of time in general pop. Now that will have me laughing.........and my hair will look a lot better.

I Know You Know About The Yellow Snow.......

.....but watch out for the orange snow too!

Russia probes smelly orange snow

Russia has flown a team of chemical experts to a Siberian region to find out why smelly, coloured snow has been falling over several towns.
Oily yellow and orange snowflakes fell over an area of more than 1,500sq km (570sq miles) in the Omsk region on Wednesday, Russian officials said.
Chemical tests were under way to determine the cause, they said.
Residents have been advised not to use the snow for household tasks or let animals graze on it.
"So far we cannot explain the snow, which is oily to the touch and has a pronounced rotten smell," said Omsk environmental prosecutor Anton German, quoted by the Russian news agency Itar-Tass on Thursday.
"We are waiting for the results of a thorough test on samples."
But Vladimir Gurzhey, an official with the civil defence ministry in Omsk, told the Russia TV channel that the snow had four times the normal levels of iron in it.
The TV also reported that coloured snow had fallen in the neighbouring regions of Tomsk and Tyumen.
Omsk, in western Siberia, is a centre of Russia's oil industry. About 27,000 people live in the areas affected by the snow, Russian officials said

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Couple of Things

This Day in History - February 1, 1968, the communist Viet Cong began a major offensive of the Vietnam War with a fierce attack on the South Vietnamese city of Hue.

You know who covered this in an interesting way? Dan and Peter Snow on 20th Century Battlefields on the Military Channel. Their episode "Episode 1: 1968 Vietnam" was really great.
Last night Joe Biden went on "The Daily Show" to 'splain himself. Objectively speaking, not a bad move. Morning Edition had a blurb on the controversy. Juan Williams said the best comeback was from Al Sharpton. I agree, it was funny and to the point. The exchange between Biden and Sharpton was reported in The New York Times:

Mr. Sharpton said that when Mr. Biden called him to apologize, Mr. Sharpton started off the conversation reassuring Mr. Biden about his hygienic practices. “I told him I take a bath every day,”.
Charlestown in the news! Two days in a row. Yesterday the first "suspicious bomb", to quote Da Mayah, was discovered in Sullivan Square T station at one end of Charlestown. Today the suspects were arraigned at the other end. If you watch the coverage of the suspects being walked into court, they are clearly in City Square. They walk past Harvard Park (yes, that Harvard, he was from Charlestown), past the old Shawmut Bank and into the Court House.