Saturday, May 31, 2008

Love In The Time Of Cholera

Last night Jen, Grace, Deb and I watched "Love In The Time Of Cholera". We were decompresing after after all our Gen-Prom-prep, lol.

Here is my review



Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!



Cut. The. Shit.

Scream! (this woke Jen who had fallen asleep)


OMG, thank Heaven it's over!

This is a user review at IMDB
"If I had to choose between cholera and sitting through this movie again, I'd choose cholera, it's far less painful. While the cinematography is great and the soundtrack beautiful, the rest of the movie is the stellar opposite."

The Buried Life

I Have Always Loved Bob Dole

I'm sure that's no surprise to readers of this blog. He is a decorated veteran, conservative Republican politician, and a man of integrity. Not one to suffer fools gladly. I have always found him to be interesting and his dry, sharp wit put him head and shoulders about his peers.


There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don't have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.

In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you. No doubt you will "clean up" as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm.
When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, "Biting The Hand That Fed Me." Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years.

I have no intention of reading your "exposé" because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job. That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You're a hot ticket now but don't you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?

LOL, Bob Dole rocks!
Other blog reaction
CDR Salamander

This Ain't Hell

Stop the ACLU
Ed Morrissey at HotAir

I'm Not Talking To Frankie

The other day in the store, I picked up a new antiperspirant. Yesterday I went to use it. I pulled off the black cover and there was a molded plastic piece. I pulled the tab. I didn't budge. I pulled several times. I went out into the kitchen to look for something that I could use to grab the little tab and pull. No luck. I got my already open one out of my gym bag and used that.
Last night Tommy and I got to the house at the same time. We were discussing our days and life and milling about the house. I walked past my bureau and saw the antiperspirant. I showed Tom and explained I couldn't pull the top off. He tried for a few minutes while we talked and couldn't do it.
I got up this morning and Frankie happens to be awake. I show him.
"Mum, are you kidding me?" and he starts laughing.
Just then the solution hits me. I walk up to him and try to take it away.
"Did you try to pull it?" he laughs. "Yes" I reply. "Give it to me, I am not talking to you!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Forgotten Assassin

From Solomonia
The Forgotten Assassin
Hillel Stavis
Having gaffed yet again by invoking the memory of Robert Kennedy's assassination in a desperate attempt to snatch victory from the Obama jaws of defeat, Hillary Clinton nevertheless reminded us that we are approaching the 40th anniversary of that momentous event that occurred shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968.
You should read the whole thing.

You Shouldn't Use The Word Pudding If You Don't Mean It

I laughed so hard, I crossed the solid line. It was ok, I was alone on the road. I was driving Jen home from dinner with Ed & I. We went to the new restaurant in Plymouth, Chroma. They opened on Wednesday, we were there on Thursday. It was a soft opening, we only knew it was open because Ed heard someone talk about it.

First impression, light. It has a very clean look, high ceilings, white walls, wide open room, diffuse lighting. I liked it. We wanted to sit at the bar, but there weren't three seats together. It's so new, you can smell the fresh paint in the ladies room.

The hostess - eh. We wanted a stand up table by the far wall. She pointed out that they only seated two people. Ok, so pull two of them together. She led us to a six seater in the center of the restaurant. No problem, Princess Crabby loves the spotlight. But I am big on - "if I ask and you can.....comply". Then a few minutes after drinks arrived she randomly came up and made a show of moving a small vase of flowers "out of your way". It wasn't, so it was odd.

The waitress - friendly, attentive, a little nervous.

The busboy - flustered, but that had more to do with being peppered with multiple requests and questions (you know, wherever I am, there is a circus). He wasn't great, but I got what I wanted and in the end...that's all that matters.

Appetizers - Ed and I ordered the capaccio, Jen asked for the baked dough balls. Ed thought she was making fun of something. She asked where Jen saw them. Turns out Jen's menu was different than ours. Then the waitress told us that they weren't supposed to be on the menu but the kitchen had decided to make them especially for Jennifer. She liked that!

When they arrived with their garlic butter and olive tapenade, they were nearly irresistable. Ed and I found the capaccio to be too thick. She didn't like the aioli, I did. Ed explained the waitress, very nicely, that the beef should be much thinner. They were asking for feedback, they got it.

Dinner - I got crabmeat stuffed sole that was utterly fabulous. If I had fallen off Atkins and stolen one of Jen's dough balls, I would have wiped the plate clean. Jen had a pizza that she really liked. Ed had a salad that looked ok and got no comment.

Dessert - Only Jen got some, Ed & I are on Atkins. Jen ordered the English Toffee pudding. Well, you know the Americans and the English are two people separated by a common language. It was some kind of cakey thing. She didn't finish it. I made her pack it, Nic & Rachael in the office will do it justice.

Ed's Stroke - So the waitress commented that she thought we would probably be regulars and she should learn our names. I was about to answer when Ed pointed to me and said "Maggie" (ok, she used my real name, they only call me Maggie when I am being outrageous), then she pointed at herself and announced "Ed".....then she gestured toward Jen........silence. I had to cover my mouth! We have been hanging out for years. And I have known Ed for just about 18 years. Jen worked with is for a while. She just completely blanked and couldn't stop laughing. I finally got the words out and and told Susan, our waitress, that our third was "My sister, Jennifer". Jen was a riot. Totally "en fuego" as she riffed on Ed not knowing her name.

I think the night out was good for Jen who has been stressed with work. She got to rant and rave and eat and drink wine. It was fun for us all. Although the most fun was Jen's mournful statement about her dessert. "You shouldn't use the word pudding if you don't mean it"

Chroma - Six thumbs up (there were three of us!)

Memorial Day, May 30th

So you went to a BBQ last weekend, maybe watched a parade. Memorial Day is a rolling Monday holiday.
But today is really Memorial Day.
So I will reprint my Memorial Day post from last year.
Memorial Day 2007
Today is a day for remembering as The Armorer and Mike Nachshen point out. So, I will remember.I will remember my Uncle Danny who gave his life on Iwo Jima on March 3, 1945.I will also remember my Uncle Jim who died on November 28, 1942. Jim was home on leave from the Marines when he lost his life at the Coconut Grove fire. Jim got his date and the couple they were with out safely before going back inside.

Bob Lets Tim Use The Phone

China Quake Prompts Hotline Call from US
May 29, 2008Military.comby Colin Clark

The hotline connecting the Pentagon and China's Peoples Liberation Army got a one-hour workout when the top American commander in the Pacific used it to discuss how to speed relief supplies to China after its massive May 12 earthquake.

Adm. Timothy Keating, head of U.S. Pacific Command, told reporters May 28 at the Pentagon that he spoke with a Lt. Gen. Ma -- believed to be Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the PLA's general staff -- during the call. Keating said "it was very easy to set up the connection" for the call, noting that the hotline has only existed for a short time.

U.S. officials have pushed for establishment of a hotline between the two countries for several years, arguing it would demonstrate Chinese commitment to transparency about intentions and military capabilities required of a responsible major power.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Liang Guanglie used it for the first time on April 10 when they inaugurated the service. In an interesting turn of phrase, Keating noted that the Chinese "were quite willing to accept [his] phone call," seeming to imply that there have been times when the Chinese refused to use the link.

Really Good News

Sarah at Trying to Grok has some. Sarah is the one who defined the MilBlog conferences for me.
They are "like a high school reunion of people you didn't go to high school with" LOL


"And this right here, this little grain of rice that's half a centimeter long, this is your baby." She zoomed in, and like magic we saw a rapidly beating heart. "That's the heart, right?" I cautiously asked.
It was. Beating 160 beats per minute. Going to town

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Congratulatons, Rick!

No. 461-08May 29, 2008
General Officer Announcement
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has nominated Army Maj. Gen. Ricky Lynch for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as commanding general, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas. He is currently serving as commanding general, 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized)/Multi-National Division - Center, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq.
H/T Barb

"...arch-enemy the United States."?

What? Who? LOL

Henery Hawk is issuing statements on behalf of the Myanmar government?

Myanmar lashes out at "chocolate bar" foreign aid

By Aung Hla TunThu May 29, 6:13 AM ET
Myanmar's junta lashed out at offers of foreign aid on Thursday, criticizing donors' demands for access to the Irrawaddy delta and saying Cyclone Nargis' 2.4 million victims could "stand by themselves."

"The people from Irrawaddy can survive on self-reliance without chocolate bars donated by foreign countries," the Kyemon newspaper said in a Burmese-language editorial.

As with all media in the former Burma, it is tightly controlled by the army and is believed to reflect the thinking of the top generals, who until now have shown signs of growing, albeit grudging, acceptance of outside cyclone assistance.

The editorial also accused the international community of being stingy, noting that the United Nations' "flash appeal" was still a long way short of its $201 million target nearly four weeks after the disaster, which left 134,000 dead or missing.

The level of aid stands in stark contrast to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, when governments around the world promised $2 billion within the first week.

"Myanmar needs about $11 billion. The pledging amounted to over $150 million, less than the $201 million mentioned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as emergency aid," it said, adding a thinly veiled swipe at arch-enemy the United States.

"There is one big nation that even extended economic sanctions on Myanmar although it had already been known that Myanmar was in for a very powerful storm," it said.

Further nonsense is found in the rest of the article including:

Private donors, who received assurances in state media this week that they could go where they wanted in the delta, have also run into problems, with 46 drivers and vehicles being impounded on Sunday night after a trip out of the former capital.

"They told us not to make any donations to people begging by the road," one of those held overnight told Reuters. "It is said that our donations will spoil their appetite for hard work. We completely disagree with it."

Yup! Nothing spoils my appetite for hard work like that first morsel of food after starving for weeks!

RDML Driscoll Has A Headache

I'm feeling you baby. What the hell! Like you don't already have enough crap to deal with!

Iraqis: Marines Try to Convert Muslims
May 29, 2008Knight Ridder
FALLUJAH, Iraq - At the western entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah on May 27, Muamar Anad handed his residence badge to the U.S. Marines guarding the city. They checked to be sure that he was a city resident, and when they were done, Anad said, a Marine slipped a coin out of his pocket and put it in his hand.
Out of fear, he accepted it, Anad said. When he was inside the city, the college student said, he looked at one side of the coin. "Where will you spend eternity?" it asked.
He flipped it over, and on the other side it read, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16."
"They are trying to convert us to Christianity," said Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. At home, he told his story, and his relatives echoed their disapproval: They'd been given the coins, too, he said.
Fallujah, the scene of a bloody U.S. offensive against Sunni insurgents in 2004, has calmed and grown less hostile to American troops since residents turned against al-Qaida in Iraq, which had tried to force its brand of Islamist extremism on the population.
Now residents of the city are abuzz that some Americans whom they consider occupiers are also acting as Christian missionaries. Residents said some Marines at the western entrance to their city have been passing out the coins for two days in what they call a "humiliating" attempt to convert them to Christianity.
In the markets, people crowded around men with the coins, passing them to each other and asking in surprise, "Have you seen this?"
The head of the Sunni endowment in Fallujah, the organization that oversees Sunni places of worship and other religious establishments, demanded that the Marines stop.
"We say to the occupiers to stop this," said Sheikh Mohammed Amin Abdel Hadi. "This can cause strife between the Iraqis and especially between Muslim and Christians . . . . Please stop these things and leave our homes because we are Muslims and we live in our homes in peace with other religions."
"Iraq is investigating a report that U.S. military personnel in Fallujah handed-out material that is religious and evangelical in nature," said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, a U.S. military spokesman, in a statement e-mailed to McClatchy Newspapers. "Local commanders are investigating since the military prohibits proselytizing any religion, faith or practices."
In interviews, residents of Fallujah repeated two words - "humiliation" and "weakness".
"Because we are weak this is happening," said a shop owner who gave his name as Abu Abdullah. "Passing Christianity this way is disrespectful."
"The occupier is repeatedly trespassing on God and his religion," said Omar Delli, 23. "Now the occupier is planting seeds of strife between the Muslims and Christians. We demand the government in Fallujah have a new demonstration to let the occupier know that these things are humiliating Islam and the Quran."
The controversy over the coins that Iraqis said some Marines are passing out comes on the heels of a tempest triggered by a U.S. sniper who used the Quran, Islam's holy book, for target practice. The sniper was pulled out of Iraq after tribal leaders on May 9 found a Quran with 14 bullet holes and graffiti on the pages.
In Islam, the holy book is never to touch the floor, let alone be defaced. Iraqi leaders condemned the actions, U.S. generals apologized and President Bush offered a personal apology to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
In Fallujah, Mohammed Jaber saw one of the coins and said he thought of the bullets lodged in the Quran, the torture of Iraqi men at the Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 and the rape of a 14-year-old girl and her murder and that of her family in Mahmoudiya.
"Now we have this missionary way by these coins," he said. "We feel the Muslims are weak and we hope that we will reach a point when we are strong to let them know what is wrong and what is right
I am really steamed about this for several reasons. First off I am Boston Irish Catholic. Now, I don't know how other Catholics handle this, but I really hate having anyone try to aggressively convert others to or from Catholicism. I would resent the hell out of this if it were done to me. I can't imagine how much worse it would be if I felt powerless to tell the person to effffffff offffff!

I know there are some people who think they are doing God's work. Well guess what? When you put on the uniform and swear the oath, you are there to do America's work. So concentrate on that. I don't care if this was just one person or a dozen, stop it now! You are damaging the overall mission.

I don't need or want Iraq to be Christian. I need it to be our ally.

Cut this crap out! Admiral Driscoll has enough on his plate without dealing without this nonsense.
Once again the Navy Coterie comes to my aid. Lt. Nixon points out that it's RDML and not RADM. Thanks baby!
Another country heard from!

Osama Memo via SK

To: All Al Qaeda Fighters

From: Osama bin Laden

Subject: The Cave (Do Not Distribute Outside the Organization).

Hi guys. We've all been putting in long hours recently but we've really come together as a group and I love that! However, while we continue to fight a Jihad, we can't forget to take care of the cave, and frankly I have a few concerns:

First of all, while it's good to be concerned about cruise missiles, we should be even more concerned about the dust in our cave. We want to avoid excessive dust inhalation, (a health and safety issue) - so we need to sweep the cave daily. I've done my bit on the cleaning rota ..have you? I've posted a sign-up sheet near the cave reception area (next to the halal toaster).

Second , it's not often I make a video address but when I do, I'm trying to scare the s**t out of most of the world's population, okay? That means that while we're taping, please do not ride your scooter in the background or keep doing the 'Wassup' thing. Thanks.

Third : Food. I bought a box of Dairylea recently, clearly wrote "Ossy" on the front, and put it on the top shelf. Today, two of my Dairylea slices were gone. Consideration. That's all I'm saying.

Fourth : I'm not against team spirit and all that, but we must distance ourselves from the Infidel's bat and ball games. Please do not chant "Ossy, Ossy, Ossy, Oy, Oy, Oy" when I ride past on the donkey. Thanks.

Five : Graffiti. Whoever wrote "OSAMA FUCKS DONKEYS" on the group toilet wall. It's a lie, the donkey backed into me, whilst I was relieving myself at the edge of the mountain.

Six : The use of chickens is strictly for food. Assam, the old excuse that the 'chicken backed into me, whilst I was relieving myself at the edge of the mountain' will not be accepted in future. (With donkeys, there is a grey area.)

Finally , we've heard that there may be Western soldiers in disguise trying to infiltrate our ranks. I want to set up patrols to look for them.

First patrol will be Omar, Muhammad, Abdul, Akbar and Dave.

Love you lots,
Group Hug.

PS - I'm sick of having "Osama Bed Linen" scribbled on my laundry bag. Cut it out, it's not funny anymore.
It's crude and immature...........I like it! Thanks Sherri

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Tree

There is a tree on my property line. It's in rough shape. But I love it and encouraged successive neighbors to leave it alone.
Monday, Deb & Gen & I were in my living room, sorting all my crap. It was very windy and all the doors and windows were open. We heard a strange noise. Not too loud, but I thought maybe a branch had fallen in the roof and then to the ground. Deb & I looked out the window we were standing near. Nothing.
A few minutes later, Deb called me to the front door with a funny look on her face. LOL About a third of the tree came down. It didn't quite hit the ground because it fell on wires.
Que the fire department.
The police department.
The highway department. LOL Paul had paint on his jeans and arms. Guess we puled him off of a home improvement project. He said something to the others in the street and all I caught was my name. I yelled out that whatever he said I catagorically denied it! Paul called back the he had told them how wonderful I was. BS! Paul and I have been friends for over 30 years. It would be the first time he said I was wonderful.
They taped off my yard and the street.
Jen avoided this circus since she was down at her house in the middle of her own cleaning project.
They cleared everything in time for us to go down to Jen's and eat the dinner I bullied her into making, lol!
Believe me I paid, she made us watch Superman.....again!

Flight 93 Memorial Blogburst

Plan your trip to the Flight 93 crash site for the weekend of August 2nd!
Blogburst logo, petition
Are you thinking of visiting the Flight 93 crash site? If you plan your visit for the weekend of August 2nd, you can help stop the gigantic terrorist memorial mosque that will soon start rising from the ground there.
August 2nd is the next scheduled public meeting of the Memorial Project, where anyone can sign up to speak during the public comment period. Tom Burnett Sr. (whose son Tom Jr. broke into the cockpit of the hijacked airplane) announced last Friday that he and Alec Rawls will be traveling to Somerset for the August meeting. They will be rallying outdoors, speaking at the public meeting, and visiting the crash site.
Mr. Burnett is asking other concerned parties who can make it to please come. The crash site is a beautiful and meaningful place to visit in any case, and here is a chance to make your visit even more meaningful. It is an opportunity to in some small way follow the lead of the heroes of Flight 93 by helping to stop the re-hijacking of Flight 93.
Mr. Burnett's announcement came on the Mancow Muller radio show, where Congressman Tancredo was also a guest. When controversy over the Crescent of Embrace design first arose back in 2005, Tom Tancredo was instrumental in forcing the Park Service to alter the design. Last fall he noted that the giant crescent remains unchanged in the so-called redesign and asked the Park Service to scrap the design entirely. On Friday he said that he would help Mancow Muller and Tom Burnett to stop the crescent design (audio, 19 seconds):
Certainly I will do everything I can to help you. I will bring it to the attention of my colleagues. I'll use the time I have on the floor of the House to rail against it.
Mr. Burnett said that he would join Mancow in going to jail for taking sledgehammers to the crescent memorial if this tribute to the terrorists actually gets built. (Audio, 25 seconds.)
Cao has the whole segment of Mancow and the two Toms up as a YouTube video, with her own background graphics.

To join our blogbursts, just send your blog's url.

Scott McClellan

So Scott writes a book. He trashes "W" and the White House.

Here is coverage by Politico.

Here is an interesting take by Jake Tapper over at his blog for ABC News.

My thoughts are best expressed by Barry Fitzgerald at 7:49 in this clip.

A traitor and a snitch is a traitor and a snitch no matter who he is ratting on. You may think I feel this way about Scott because it's "W" he's backstabbing.

You are wrong.

I think Dick Morris is a weasel too and he wrote about Bill Clinton who I abhor.

SB's Friend Tim Live ....

...on the Pentagon Channel
1130 - Pentagon Briefing: ADM Timothy Keating, Commander of US Pacific Command, speaks with reporters at the Pentagon, providing an update on recent relief operations to Burma and China . (Live, VoD, Podcast)
Encore presentations at 1800 & 0600hrs.

LOL, I Heart Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn: Your car can't run on Congress' hot air
Syndicated columnist
I was watching the Big Oil execs testifying before Congress. That was my first mistake. If memory serves, there was lesbian mud wrestling over on Channel 137, and on the whole that's less rigged. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz knew the routine: "I can't say that there is evidence that you are manipulating the price, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not."
Had I been in the hapless oil man's expensive shoes, I'd have answered, "Hey, you first. I can't say that there is evidence that you're sleeping with barnyard animals, but I believe that you probably are. So prove to me that you are not. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence and prima facie evidence, lady? Do I have to file a U.N. complaint in Geneva that the House of Representatives is in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?"
But that's why I don't get asked to testify before Congress. So instead the Big Oil guy oozed as oleaginous as his product before the grand panjandrums of the House Subcommittee on Televised Posturing, and then they went off and passed 324-82 the so-called NOPEC bill. The NOPEC bill is, in effect, a suit against OPEC, which, if I recall correctly, stands for the Oil Price-Exploiting Club. "No War For Oil!," as the bumper stickers say. But a massive suit for oil – now that's the American way.
"It shall be illegal and a violation of this Act," declared the House of Representatives, "to limit the production or distribution of oil, natural gas, or any other petroleum product ... or to otherwise take any action in restraint of trade for oil, natural gas or any petroleum product when such action, combination, or collective action has a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on the market, supply, price or distribution of oil, natural gas or other petroleum product in the United States."
Er, OK. But, before we start suing distant sheikhs in exotic lands for violating the NOPEC act, why don't we start by suing Congress? After all, who "limits the production or distribution of oil" right here in the United States by declaring that there'll be no drilling in the Gulf of Florida or the Arctic National Mosquito Refuge? As Rep. Wasserman Schultz herself told Neil Cavuto on Fox News, "We can't drill our way out of this problem."
Well, maybe not. But maybe we could drill our way back to $3.25 a gallon. More to the point, if the House of Representatives has now declared it "illegal" for the government of Saudi Arabia to restrict oil production, why is it still legal for the government of the United States to restrict oil production? In fact, the government of the United States restricts pretty much every form of energy production other than the bizarre fetish du jour of federally mandated ethanol production.
Nuclear energy?
Whoa, no, remember Three Mile Island? (OK, nobody does, but kids and anyone under late middle age, you can look it up in your grandparents' school books.)
Whoa, no, man, there go our carbon credits.
OK, how about if we all go back to the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe, and start criss-crossing the country on wood-fired trains?
Are you nuts? Think of the clear-cutting. We can't have logging in environmentally sensitive areas such as forests.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz believes in "alternative energy," which means not nuclear (like the French) but solar and wind power. At the moment, solar energy accounts for approximately 0.1 percent of U.S. electricity production, most of which is for devices that heat swimming pools. So if there was a tenfold increase in swimming pool construction you might be able to get it up to 1 percent, but the only way all those homeowners would be able to afford to build their new swimming pools is through the kinds of economic activity that depend on oil, gas and other forms of federally prohibited energy.
So, instead, Congress hauls Big Oil execs in for the dinner-theatre version of a Soviet show trial and then passes irrelevant poseur legislation like the NOPEC bill. The NOPEC bill is really the NO PECS bill – a waste of photocopier paper passed by what C.S. Lewis called "men without chests."
The New Yorker ran a big piece the other day called "The Fall Of Conservatism." Indeed. This November isn't going to be pleasant for those of us of a right-wing bent. Many conservative voices in the media say: This is the way it is, get used to it. Voters want the government to "fix" health care and "fix" gas prices and "fix" the environment and, if all you're offering is the virtues of small government, you too sound small – and mean and uncaring about the real issues in real people's real lives. Standing athwart history yelling "Stop!" was a cute line from William F. Buckley, but it's not a practical position for a political party that wishes to stay in business. "The fact of change is the great fact of human life," writes my National Review colleague David Frum in "Comeback," his thoughtful critique of the conservative movement.
Frum is right. Change is a constant. You're a big railroad baron,and things are going swell, and then someone invents the horseless carriage and a big metal bird that holds hundreds of people and you never saw it coming – because you thought you were in the train business rather than in the transportation business. That kind of change is the great exhilarating rhythm of American life.
But government "change," Obama change, NOPEC change is nothing to do with that. In fact, it obstructs real dynamic change. On energy, on environmentalism, on health care, government "change" generally does nothing more than set in motion the next crisis that the next change-peddling pol has to pledge to address.
So we complain about $4-a-gallon gas, and our leaders respond with showboating legislation like NOPEC and feel-good environmental regulatory overkill like putting the polar bear on the endangered-species list, while ensuring that we'll continue to bankroll every radical mosque and madrassah on the planet. In Britain, new "green taxes" do nothing to "save" the planet, but they are estimated to cost the average family about $6,000 a year. That's change you can believe in.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Memorial Day Guest Post

A Memorial Day Guest Post - re-posted from Memorial Day 2007

Officer remembers the fallen on Memorial Day
Commentary by Maj. Mike Nachshen
Public Affairs Education with Industry Partner5/18/2007 -
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Soon it will be Memorial Day, and I'll remember.
I'll remember Eric. I'll remember how even though I only met him two or three times, his wife was my deputy and I knew him through her eyes. I'll remember that every time she talked about the love of her life, her face would come alive and her sparkling eyes would light up the whole room. I'll remember that even though my wife and I couldn't make it to their wedding, we got the newlyweds a silver-serving spoon they had listed on their registry. I'll remember when I last saw him, Eric and his wife were holding hands, and they looked the way people do when they're madly in love with each other.
And because it will be Memorial Day, I'll remember. I'll remember hearing we lost a plane in Iraq. I'll remember how I figured the odds were pretty slim that it was someone I knew. I'll remember the sepia-toned West Texas landscape as we drove for what seemed like an eternity to the memorial service, 90 long miles away. And I'll remember the way the eyes of Eric's wife glistened with tears as she contemplated being a widow at 26 while walking down that long aisle dressed in black and all alone.
And because it will be Memorial Day, I'll remember my friend Sarah. I'll remember how Sarah would stop by my desk every time she had business in my building and how her smile and laughter would burst into every nook and cranny and drop kick your rotten mood into the trash can. I'll remember how she would put funny pictures in my staff meeting slides when I stepped away from my desk for more than 30 seconds without locking my computer. And I'll remember Friday evenings at the officer's club, as we tried to solve world hunger and cure cancer while we washed down fried food with endless pitchers of frosty beverages.
And because it will be Memorial Day, I'll remember. I'll remember how excited Sarah was when she told me about her upcoming deployment ... and how as I looked at her, I recalled what it felt like to be a high-speed, low-drag young lieutenant headed overseas for the first time on what promised to be a giant adventure. I'll remember being deployed for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, opening that e-mail from my boss back home, and reading the message which began "Mike, there is no easy way to tell you this ..." And I'll remember what the dirt felt like on my hands as I threw it on her coffin while her parents and brothers cried and tried to understand what strange law of physics could allow a small wooden box to contain Sarah's irrepressible energy.
And because it will be Memorial Day, I'll remember to make my way down to the local Veteran's cemetery and remember the lives that were and the lives that should have been. I'll remember Eric and Sarah had dreams and goals and aspirations. And while Eric and Sarah are surely heroes who died for their country, I'll remember them not as towering figures to be worshipped, but as people who laughed, loved and brought others happiness while trying to make the world a better place. And perhaps most importantly, I'll remember that they had people who loved them, and still miss them and think about them every day.
And I'll remember I'm on sacred ground and that each marker represents the crushed dream of a wife, a parent, a brother. I'll run my hand over the marble stone that marks some stranger's final resting place and remember that below my feet lies someone's Sarah, someone's Eric.
And because it will be Memorial Day, I'll remember my other brothers and sisters. I'll remember the Irish soccer fanatic we nicknamed Pikey, and his beautiful baby girl who will grow up never knowing her father. I'll remember Meagan, whose warmth and can-do attitude infected you from 6,000 miles away. I'll remember Ben, who lived three houses down from me and was always working in his yard. They are all heroes now. But they are all real people to me. Now they're gone. I'll never forget them.
And, because it will be Memorial Day, I will forget some things. I'll forget the killer deals on new cars, plasma-screen TVs and deluxe dining room sets. I'll forget the crass commercialism. I'll forget the things that don't matter in life.
Because it will be Memorial Day, I'll remember the important things instead. I'll remember to kiss my wife and tell her I love her. I'll remember the friends I lost and the friends I'll never get a chance to meet. I'll remember they had names and faces. I'll remember ... I'll remember.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rolling Thunder 2008

Jonn at "This Ain't Hell....but you can see it from here" has some pics up at his place of this year's event.

".....before I left, I saw Fox News interviewing actor John Amos (from Good Times) who had joined the Rolling Thunder organization just yesterday. He said in the interview “I don’t see anybody rowing boats to get to Cuba…so I think we’ve got a pretty good thing going here [in the US]”. That stuck in my mind as I walked across DC and photographed the event today."


Go on over and have a look.

Msg. Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez, US Army

Msg. Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez, US Army
Vietnam War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

Receiving his Medal of Honor from President Ronald Reagan, MSG Benavidez was honored for actions during the Viet Nam conflict. Benavidez, a native Texan, was born 5 August 1935. On May 2, SSG Benavidez was assigned to Detachment B-56, 5th SFG(A). After a 12-man reconnaissance team had been inserted west of Loc Ninh, they encountered enemy resistance and requested emergency extraction. After three helicopters had unsuccessfully attempted to extract them, SSG Benavidez volunteered to return with the helicopters for another attempt. Directing the helicopters to a protected clearing, Benavidez ran to the crippled team. Even though he was severely wounded in his right leg, face and hands, he dragged or carried the dead and wounded to the helicopters. In order to recover the remaining team members, Benavidez threw smoke canisters directing the helicopters to the site. As the enemy fire intensified, he hurried to recover classified documents on the dead team leader. Hit in the abdomen and back, he continued to gather the classified documents. Simultaneously, the pilot of the helicopter was killed and the chopper crashed. Although in extremely critical condition, Benaaidez assisted the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy fire, Benavidez went around the perimeter distributing ammunition and water, instilling in them the will to live. He, although extremely weak, began calling in tactical air strikes and directing fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and to permit another extraction attempt. Again wounded in the thigh, Benavidez kept administering first aid to the team members until the extraction helicopter was able to land. He then began ferrying the wounded into the helicopter. Upon his second trip, he was clubbed from behind and he became involved in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy whom he subsequently killed. He continued to carry wounded to the aircraft. Upon reaching the aircraft the last time, Benavidez spotted two enemy soldiers and killed them. Only after all the wounded had been placed on the helicopter did he allow himself to be treated. Benevidez died in El Campo, Texas 1999.
So on my way to work, my Bad Boyfriend was reading to me. It's a short trip, so only got one story out of "Why Courage Matters". I can't find the audio of it to load on the blog, but it's a great story and you should read and/or listen to it.

USNS Benavidez

The Man In The Arena

"The Man In The Arena"
Speech at the Sorbonne Paris, France
April 23, 1910

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
The entire speech is here.

Crushing Disappointment

Ok, I am heartless and cruel. If these things offend you, don't continue reading. Go find something with sweetness and light, because there is none here.

I got up around 0930. I am doing laundry and stuff. I had the TV on ABC's ThisWeek with George Stephanopoulos. I moving around the house, straightening things up. In the last few minutes they are running the "In Memorium" segment. I hear the music, I know what it is, but I am not looking. Then I hear a voice saying that Jimmy Carter was a man of honor. My arms are full of clothes from the dryer. For a sec I am frozen. Then I fling the clothes onto the table and dash to the TV. I grab the remote and rewind.


It's about Hamilton Jordan.

Not Jimmy Carter.

I listen again to the clip of Jordan explaining "Integrity and confidence, those are two qualities Jimmy Carter very naturally has ... and those two qualities that I think are essential for the man who will be the next president of the country." One for 2 Hamilton, you're batting .500. Jimmy Carter has NO integrity. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Of course Jordan leaves out anti-semetic, which makes sense, since he was the architect of the Carter presidency.

Then the announcer points out that after the Carter presidency, and his own cancer episode, Jordan devoted his life to working with kids with cancer.

You know what that's called, don't you?


I know a lot about that. I'll have to do more just for thinking this, much less writing it.

John and Abigail

Saturday, May 24, 2008

BZ PO2 Anonymous!

The Phibian has assigned a task to Kristen (his frequent commenter) and yours truly (Goddess of the Navy Blogger Strike Group - no Galrahn, I will never get over it!).
We are more than up for this mission, right, Kristen!
A regular reader, commenter, Fleet spy, and friend to this blog (who wished to remain anon .... ), has done it the way it should be done. This man is no one's "administrative burden."
Second Class Petty Officer in 25 months from getting his sexy haircut in a rate whose advancement rate can be measured in the amount of eggs you get at Food Lion. BZ. How do you do this online, I don't know; but I'll let Maggie and Kristin do the smoochie stuff.

Finally, the Navy might actually get some work out of him.

The "smootchie stuff" is right up my alley baby! Princess Crabby sends her congratulations along with this kiss.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Perfect For This Weekend!

The Pritzker Military Library has a YouTube Channel
The Mission of the Pritzker Military Library is to acquire and maintain a collection of materials and develop appropriate programs focusing on the concept of the Citizen Soldier as an essential element for the preservation of democracy.
There are seven vids in all, here are some.

Matty from BlackFive
In this clip, Matthew Currier Burden discusses the reasons why he started his very successful milBlog Blackfive.
MOH recipient Leo K. Thorsness Interview
Leo K. Thorsness describes his thoughts and feelings when President Nixon presented him the Medal of Honor on Oct. 15, 1973.
"We wear it for those who can't." Wow!
Jim Lovell Interview
Formal Naval pilot and NASA astronaut Captain James A. Lovell visits the Pritzker Military Library for a one-on-one interview with John Callaway. In this clip, he discusses the story behind the famous quote "Houston, we have a problem".
Maggie Megellas (All the Way to Berlin)
In this clip, Author and WWII veteran Maggie Megellas reflects on his war time experiences.
MOH recipient Walter D. Ehlers
WWII veteran Walter Ehlers describes his experiences at Normandy on D-Day (June 6, 1944).
Sgt. Ehlers is one of the MOH Recipients that will be honored tomorrow night on the USS Midway as explained in this post.
The red links go to YouTube videos. They are short snippets and you can watch complete interviews at the Pritzker Military Library's site.

Rep. Pete Stark is an Asshat!!!!

Holy moly! I thought the biggest asshat in Congress was Sen. Dick Durbin.....well, yeah, he's still #1, but Stark is definitely giving him a run for his money.

Congressman questions DOD presence
By ERICA WERNER – May 16, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — An anti-war Democratic congressman is demanding to know why there were uniformed Defense Department personnel watching House proceedings from a public gallery Thursday, who they were and what they were doing.
"If they were here on official duty, this was an abhorrent misallocation of our military resources at a time of war," Northern California Rep. Pete Stark asserted Friday in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Stark, an 18-term incumbent known for his liberal positions and outbursts of temper, said he observed the contingent of 20 or so officers, apparently Army generals, in the gallery for a couple of hours while the House debated and voted on an Iraq war spending bill.
"At a time when our nation is at war, our troops are overextended, and the administration is literally asking for emergency military spending, what good to the 'war on terror' is having U.S. generals and other top-ranked officers — who were likely accompanied by staff and escorted by their chauffeurs — spending hours sitting in the gallery of the House of Representatives?" Stark asked.
The query drew a stinging response from a Pentagon spokesman.
"It seems that Rep. Stark issued his press release before sending his letter to Secretary Gates because we have yet to receive it, but without knowing the particulars of the incident he is inquiring about I can tell you that there is nothing unusual about military officers visiting and/or observing the workings of Congress," said spokesman Geoff Morrell.
"Secretary Gates has actively encouraged the military to recognize the important role Congress plays in defense and national security," Morrell said. "For that very reason, visits to the Hill and interaction with members and staff is a routine part of many professional military education programs."
Stark said he didn't have a problem if the military personnel were there on their own time, but if they were there on official duty he wanted to know why. He asked Gates for an accounting by Monday of the name, rank, branch and duties of each of the officers as well as how many staff members and drivers were involved
Here's the follow-up again from AP
Congressman OK with military visit to House
By ERICA WERNER – May 16, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — An anti-war Democratic congressman backed off complaints about Defense Department personnel watching a House vote after the Pentagon told him they were students from the Army War College.
Northern California Rep. Pete Stark wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday demanding to know what the uniformed personnel were doing in a public gallery Thursday as the House debated and voted on an Iraq war spending bill. Stark claimed he saw some 20 Army generals or other officers there for a couple of hours.
"If they were here on official duty, this was an abhorrent misallocation of our military resources at a time of war," said the letter from Stark, an 18-term incumbent known for his liberal positions and outbursts of temper.
Stark's office released that letter around noon Friday. About four-and-a-half hours later came a shorter release in which Stark said he'd been informed that the onlookers weren't generals, but a class from the war college in Carlisle, Pa.
"I appreciate the swift response," Stark said in his follow-up statement, without retracting or apologizing for his earlier complaints. "However, if these officers were hoping for a lesson in how Congress ought to work, then perhaps the Iraq supplemental wasn't the best debate for them to witness."
In the course of the somewhat chaotic House action Thursday, the war spending bill fell to defeat after Republicans withheld their votes to punish Democratic tactics — probably as good as an example as any of how the House operates.

Rep. Stark is "ok" with "a class from the war college in Carlisle, Pa." on what was basically a field trip. Oh good for you, jackass!
Contact Congressman Stark and let him know your feelings on the subject.

A Gaffe, an Absurdity, and a Policy

A Gaffe, an Absurdity, and a Policy
Charles KrauthammerFriday, May 23, 2008
WASHINGTON -- When the House of Representatives takes up arms against $4 gas by voting 324-84 to sue OPEC, you know that election-year discourse has gone surreal. Another unmistakable sign is when a presidential candidate makes a gaffe, then, realizing it is too egregious to take back without suffering humiliation, decides to make it a centerpiece of his foreign policy.
Before the Democratic debate of July 23, Barack Obama had never expounded upon the wisdom of meeting, without precondition, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il or the Castro brothers. But in that debate, he was asked about doing exactly that. Unprepared, he said sure -- then got fancy, declaring the Bush administration's refusal to do so not just "ridiculous" but "a disgrace."
After that, there was no going back. So he doubled down. What started as a gaffe became policy. By now, it has become doctrine. Yet it remains today what it was on the day he blurted it out: an absurdity.
Should the president ever meet with enemies? Sometimes, but only after minimal American objectives -- i.e. preconditions -- have been met. The Shanghai communique was largely written long before Richard Nixon ever touched down in China. Yet Obama thinks Nixon to China confirms the wisdom of his willingness to undertake a worldwide freshman-year tyrants tour.
Most of the time you don't negotiate with enemy leaders because there is nothing to negotiate. Does Obama imagine that North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela are insufficiently informed about American requirements for improved relations?
There are always contacts through back channels or intermediaries. Iran, for example, has engaged in five years of talks with our closest European allies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, to say nothing of the hundreds of official U.S. statements outlining exactly what we would give them in return for suspending uranium enrichment.
Obama pretends that while he is for such "engagement," the cowboy Republicans oppose it. Another absurdity. No one is debating the need for contacts. The debate is over the stupidity of elevating rogue states and their tyrants, easing their isolation and increasing their leverage by granting them unconditional meetings with the president of the world's superpower.
Obama cited Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman as presidents who met with enemies. Does he know no history? Neither Roosevelt nor Truman ever met with any of the leaders of the Axis powers. Obama must be referring to the pictures he's seen of Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, and Truman and Stalin at Potsdam. Does he not know that at that time Stalin was a wartime ally?
During the subsequent Cold War, Truman never met with Stalin. Nor Mao. Nor Kim Il Sung. Truman was no fool.
Obama cites John Kennedy meeting Nikita Khrushchev as another example of what he wants to emulate. Really? That Vienna summit of a young, inexperienced, untested American president was disastrous, emboldening Khrushchev to push Kennedy on Berlin -- and then near fatally in Cuba, leading almost directly to the Cuban missile crisis. Is that the precedent Obama aspires to follow?
A meeting with Ahmadinejad would not just strengthen and vindicate him at home, it would instantly and powerfully ease the mullahs' isolation, inviting other world leaders to follow. And with that would come a flood of commercial contracts, oil deals, diplomatic agreements -- undermining precisely the very sanctions and isolation that Obama says he would employ against Iran.
As every seasoned diplomat knows, the danger of a summit is that it creates enormous pressure for results. And results require mutual concessions. That is why conditions and concessions are worked out in advance, not on the scene.
What concessions does Obama imagine Ahmadinejad will make to him on Iran's nuclear program? And what new concessions will Obama offer? To abandon Lebanon? To recognize Hamas? Or perhaps to squeeze Israel?
Having lashed himself to the ridiculous, unprecedented promise of unconditional presidential negotiations -- and then having compounded the problem by elevating it to a principle -- Obama keeps trying to explain. On Sunday, he declared in Pendleton, Ore., that by Soviet standards Iran and others "don't pose a serious threat to us." (On the contrary. Islamic Iran is dangerously apocalyptic. Soviet Russia was not.) The next day in Billings, Mont.: "I've made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave."
That's the very next day, mind you. Such rhetorical flailing has done more than create an intellectual mess. It has given rise to a new political phenomenon: the metastatic gaffe. The one begets another, begets another, begets ...

H/T to Bigg Bill

Last Night's Rain

Jen and I got manicures last evening around 6:45. When we went in it was a sunny spring afternoon.....when we came out the sky was light to our right and dark to our left. By the time I got to Jen's the dark clouds had moved South and almost totally covered us. The rain was just beginning to fall, a few fat drops. These pics are from Jen's driveway when I showed up with my contraband (pizza, chips, Coke).South east toward Plymouth you can see the Cordage, the twilight and then the low, dark clouds. Yeah, I know my pics suck, but I like 'em.
This one is a little more easterly, but you can still see the Cordage.
Was trying to branch out from "I'm Not Really A Waitress"..........don't think I like it. To blah.........not enough omph!

Bloggers Can Be Cruel!

So, I pop into today's roundtable with just a few minutes to spare and Jack asks who just came on.
I say "Hi, it's Maggie" and Chuck of America's North Shore Journal taunts me "Maggie, aren't you in New York for Fleet Week?"


Sniff......... I was invited!

So anyway, as I said Chuck was there, so was Grim from Blackfive and my pal Will of Steeljaw Scribe. You should also keep an eye on on DOD Live, a blog that Jack and Jennifer contribute to. among others.

Audio for today's roundtable is here. Jack's write-up is here.

USS Midway Honors WWII MOH Recipients

*****UPDATE*******Pics of the event are posted here as well as information on another Midway Museum event*******

Tomorrow night, May 24th the USS Midway Museum will host a gala honoring six, possibly seven living WWII Medal of Honor recipients.
On Saturday, May 24 beginning at 6 p.m., our annual gala will honor the surviving recipients of the Medal Of Honor in World War II. “Beyond the Call of Duty” is a joint effort of the USS Midway Museum and The National WWII Museum in New Orleans. This black-tie affair promises to be a star-studded lifetime memory that you’ll treasure.
It will take place on the flight deck, surrounded by a glittering skyline. We’ll start the evening by enjoying Susan Anton as she sings the National Anthem. Our emcee is network newsman Sam Donaldson who promises to share some stories and memories of his own from nearly 50 years of covering national and international news.
In addition, our recipients will receive the Midway American Patriot Award as well as The National World War II Museum’s American Spirit Award.
The honorees -

Lt. John Finn, USN - Of course, I put the Sailor first, lol.Private First Class Jacklyn Harold Lucas, Company C, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division - If you pick just one of these bios to read, this is the funniest.Marine Corporal Hershel Woodrow 'Woody' Williams - This guy looks like a movie star!

First Lt. Charles Patrick Murray Jr., US ArmyThis is a picture of the Ehlers brothers, who both served. Roland was killed on D-Day.
Sgt. Walt Ehlers, U.S. Army2nd Lt. Van Barfoot, U.S. Army
1st Lt. Vernon Baker, U.S. Army - The only living African American World War II hero to receive the Medal of Honor.

BZ to the Midway Museum and Scott McGaugh for speaking to us today at the Blogger's Roundtable. I think there will be video of tomorrow night's festivities available later and I'll try to get some of it.

Scott reminds us that 97% of the visitors are civilian and one of their primary goals is to bring the Midway to life for young people. So, if you are in San Diego, stop by.

Thanks Jack. Audio of today's roundtable is here.

Who Votes For Dick Durbin?


On my drive to work I caught the first few minutes of the BBC World Service NewsHour....with Julian Marshall...

OK, so the opening headline?

Military rulers in Burma are going to allow all aid workers in their country.


Why? To scoop up the dead bodies?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Pic of CPO Eberhart

This one with his wife and mother. Goes with this post. Read it.
080515-N-9758L-030 HONOLULU, Hawaii (May 15, 2008) Honorary Chief Aviation Ordnanceman David Eberhart, assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 24 at Marine Corps Base, Hawaii, receives his chief petty officer anchors from his wife, left, and mother during a ceremony at Tripler Army Medical Center in which Eberhart was appointed an honorary chief petty officer by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Joe R. Campa Jr. Eberhart, 35, was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer on Sept. 2, 2002 and has continued to serve on active duty in his attempt to become a chief petty officer while fighting the disease. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael A. Lantron (Released)

Too many honors and recognition come too late.

Reprinted whole from the Castle this morning.

Too many honors and recognition come too late.
It's nice to see some that beat the curve.
Meet Chief Petty Officer David Eberhart.

My fellow Chiefs,
I wanted to share with you this picture as well as a short synopsis of how it came about.
AO1 David Eberhart (pictured) is terminally ill with cancer. I was his Chief for his first tour on the USS INDEPENDENCE and even then his goal in the Navy was to be a Chief Petty Officer. His career, though very successful, has been interrupted with cancer treatment, periods of remission and finally with the news of being terminal.
He is currently assigned to MALS-24 at Kbay. A few months ago he requested to see the MCPON. MCPON Campa happened to be on the island visiting and went to the hospital to see AO1. It was explained to him [MCPON] how badly AO1 wanted to be a Chief and that he even took the Chief's exam from the hospital during a three day period -- he didn't have the strength for more than an hour at a time. On his good days he would put on his uniform and make his way to work though the time there took a severe toll on him physically.
He did not make board as he was six-points shy. It was requested by PACFLT Chiefs that AO1 be made an Honorary Chief Petty Officer. We talked about it in Newport and MCPON was in concurrence. The intent was for MCPON himself to make the presentation.
News came this week that AO1 Eberhart may not make it through the weekend as his health is rapidly declining. FLTCM Tom Howard along with a ton of Chiefs (including CMDCM Don Krampert from CPRW-2) from the area banded together to make this happen as quickly as possible. On Thursday, AO1 David Eberhart was designated an Honorary Chief Petty Officer.
I personally called and talked to Chief David Eberhart following his promotion Thursday and the excitement in his voice came with a strength and commitment that cannot be explained in words. He remembered well our time on the INDY but his short term memory is fading quickly.
Chief Eberhart's terminal prognosis remains listed in days. He is married with two children.

Thank you for all you do.
V/r Aaron
Aaron A. Shipley
Sailor and Command Master Chief
Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance GROUP

As of this writing, Chief Eberhart is still with us. Which is why I wanted to get this up.
H/t to a Senior Chief for letting me know, and High Five to the Chief community for getting it done. If a bunch of senior NCOs think it's the right thing to do - it usually is wise to go along with them.
Princess Crabby adds her Bravo Zulu to all those involved and her best wishes to Chief Eberhart and his family.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fleet Week 2008 NYC

May 21: Sailors and Marines "Line the Rails" of the USS Kearsarge, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship, as it passes The Statue of Liberty, during entry into New York Harbor for Fleet Week. (Smadanek says "Oh, and what the hell is this "Line the Rails" crap?)
This pic and others are here, thanks Pinch.
From NewsDay
NEW YORK - The annual U.S. Navy invasion known as Fleet Week opens here on Wednesday with a flotilla of five American warships and three Canadian entries to add an international flavor to the 21st annual observance. Some 3,000 sailors and Marines will disembark from the ships during the eight-day event that includes public tours and a variety of aerial and simulated combat technique demonstrations by Marine Corps units.

The opening procession will be led by the USS Kearsarge, a 40,500-ton amphibious assault ship that carries both helicopters and surface boats. Others are the guided missile cruisers USS Leyte Gulf and USS Monterey, and guided missile destroyers USS Nitze and USS The Sullivans. Two Canadian frigates, HMCS Toronto and HMCS St. Johns, and an oiler, HMCS Preserver, and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Ida Lewis round out the lineup.

Fleet Week!

"........Fleet Week! It's my favorite holiday!" - Samantha of "Sex & The City"

Truer words were never spoken.

Me too, Samantha!

So I was invited to view the ships enter the harbor today, but I couldn't get down to New York. But I demanded a report and pictures.

Courtesy of Fishmugger (commenter at The Castle of Argghhh!!!)
At the dock on time, 0600 hours, casting off and heading out from under the shadow of the famous twin light houses atop Atlantic Highlands bluffs. Sun barely up.

Heading out estuary between Sandy Hook and the mainland into Raritan Bay. Seas light to calm - air temp 52 water temp 58, light breeze accelerated by 20 knot boat ride.

Passing Earle Munitions Pier, must be careful, trigger happy Marines don't fire more then 3 times before the klaxon horn sounds to warn you off from crossing the buoys of death.

(Pix to follow)

If Earle ever blows you can buy nice beach front property in Scranton PA. Picatiny and Bristol arsenals ship through Earle along with any other such manufacturing facility.

Question to follow up on - what are they doing with all the 16 and 8 inch rounds the Navy no longer can use? The biggest gun today is a 5 incher.

Mist on the water, big bridge clouded, Kearsarge anchored just east in the lee of Brooklyn.

(Pix to follow)

Nothing much happening, doing a drift, hooking up Yellow Eyed Devils (Blue Fish) and some Stripers (Striped Bass). Waiting for the Navy; sky getting bluer, sun full up, light breeze broken clouds, air temp up to 58 water still 58.

After checking ESE for the hundredth time, form of a war ship appears out of the mist. We are still in Raritan Bay and distance to ships will be great as they move up main channel of New York Bay. Tiagonderoga Class Cruiser leading the way and every few minutes an Arleigh type destroyer breaks out from the mist in trail. The lead Cruiser and 5 destroyers cruse past us and under the Veranzano Bridge. NYC Fire Department has fire boat at harbor entrance doing chrysanthemums of water in solute of the Fleets arrival.

(Pix to follow)

Air temp 62, water still 58. Full Sun.

The last ship in line is some type of auxiliary vessel flying a big Canadian flag. At that point the Kearsarge slips from anchorage and follows. The Army cannon from Fort Hamilton fires a solute. We counted at least 15, but we were over a mile away and the breeze made hearing difficult. We didn't know if they were saluting the ship or the Flag officer.

No fly by this year.

We then turned our backs to the bridge and headed back to home dock. All Blues still swimming, Stripers in the box
These emails usually open with an appropriate salutation..........but he was up at 0300, so I'll cut him a little slack.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Does It Hurt More Than Drowning?

I'm getting a few calls and emails. Why can't I be nice?

Hello? Who are you talking to?

As Barb commented in the earlier post "I don't agree with the Senator's politics, but I wouldn't wish a brain tumor (or any cancer) on anyone." I agreed. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
But that's about the extent of it for me. I'm not going to be crying like that senile old fool Senator Byrd. I'm not going to pretend I feel any sympathy for him. Sure I'm sorry Teddy, Patrick and Kara are going through this. He's there dad, no matter what.

But him? His suffering?

My only question - Does it hurt more than drowning?

Cause I know for damn sure it can't hurt more than having someone tell you that your 29 year old daughter has drowned in the back of a Senator's Delmont 88 and the Senator swam away to safety.
I am positive that it doesn't hurt more than watching that Senator walk out of a coroner's inquest, found guilty of nothing more than leaving the scene of the accident & receiving a suspended two-month jail term and one-year driving ban.

So, no, I didn't wish it on him, but I'd understand if Mr. or Mrs. Kopechne did. We'll never know. You see Senator Fatboy outlasted them. Gwen passed away last December, Joseph five years ago.

Handicapping Kennedy's Replacement

Howie's callers are starting.

First up - Marty Meehan.......NOOOOOOOO! LOL Although Howie points out that Marty is sitting on a sizable war chest.

Howie says Joe K won't try and it's too soon for his son. And you can't appoint seat warmers anymore. He also points out the irony of the Dem's (Marty, chief among them) taking the power away from the Governor. In their greed to hang onto Kerry's seat, they undid themselves.

Howie is working really hard to keep the discussion above the fray. But people are sneaking in the crimalians, the anmesty, the neck brace and the MaryJo Kopechne remarks.
Howie thinks Deval is going to take a stab at it.
And Ogonowski doesn't have enough signatures to run....WTF? Who's running that campaign. I am seriously peeved. But there is still Beatty.

So, What Happens Now

It used to be that in Massachsuetts the Governor appointed a replacement to finish the term of a Senator who was indisposed. But when it looked like Kerry had a chinaman's chance at the Presidency, the State Legislature took that power away from Romney.

I'm not overjoyed that Sal DiMasi has this power................but I am thrilled Deval doesn't.

Not that there is a vacancy yet.

Well This Explains A Lot

******Clarification - Barb (who knows and likes me, go figure) left a comment "I don't agree with the Senator's politics, but I wouldn't wish a brain tumor (or any cancer) on anyone."
Just to be clear - me neither. I just think he has gotten even nuttier in the recent past and a brain tumor would explain it.*******
Sen. Kennedy has brain tumor
By Glen Johnson
AP Political Writer / May 20, 2008

BOSTON—Sen. Edward Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor.

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat said Tuesday that preliminary biopsy results showed a malignant glioma in the left parietal-lobe. It was detected after Kennedy, 76, was airlifted to Boston on Saturday after having a seizure at his Cape Cod home.

The usual course of treatment includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy, but Kennedy's treatment will be decided after more tests.

"He has had no further seizures, remains in good overall condition, and is up and walking around the hospital," said a joint statement issued by Dr. Lee Schwamm, vice chairman of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Larry Ronan, Kennedy's primary care physician.

Kennedy's wife and children have been with him each day since he was hospitalized but have made no public statements.

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year -- and the most common type among adults. It's a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types -- such as glioblastomas -- or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

Monday, May 19, 2008