Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Just a Couple of Things

First - Why Joe Biden won't ever be President.

Mr. Biden is equally skeptical—albeit in a slightly more backhanded way—about Mr. Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

This was lifted from The Corner OnLine.
Next funny video from Freedom Folks. H/T, the Castle.
Major John's post reminds me that because the Colts knocked the Pats out.....I am a Bears fan for now.
NPR had a disturbing little story. It was about a new movie in Turkey that is anti-Iraqi Kurd. The statements about possible Turkish intervention in the Kurdish north were what caught my ear.
Film fans in Turkey have made the comedy The Masked Five in Iraq a box-office smash. But the film reflects historical mistrust and hatred between Turks and Iraqi Kurds.

Listen to the NPR story here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Insurgencies Rarely Win – And Iraq Won’t Be Any Different (Maybe)

This is from the recent issue of Foreign Policy magazine.

Vietnam taught many Americans the wrong lesson: that determined guerrilla fighters are invincible. But history shows that insurgents rarely win, and Iraq should be no different. Now that it finally has a winning strategy, the Bush administration is in a race against time to beat the insurgency before the public’s patience finally wears out.

They're a little left, so I was pleasantly surprised.

The cold, hard truth about the Bush administration’s strategy of “surging” additional U.S. forces into Iraq is that it could work. Insurgencies are rarely as strong or successful as the public has come to believe.

Not sure I want make the case by comparing ourselves to the Reds, but....

Similar misunderstandings persist over the Soviet Union’s defeat in Afghanistan, the other supposed example of guerrilla invincibility. But it was not the mujahidin’s strength that forced the Soviets to leave; it was the Soviet Union’s own economic and political weakness at home. In fact, the regime the Soviets established in Afghanistan was so formidable that it managed to survive for three years after the Red Army left.

Read the whole article here.

In Answer To A Constant Milblogger Complaint.....

.....although I am not a member of the military, so I am not technically a Milblogger. However, preferential treatment is given to military and veterans in applying for the "Rotation". Anyway, this is nonsense. On to the story. Millbloggers and others who support the war are commonly heard to bemoan the lack of "Good News" from the MSM (mainstream media). I tend to just go look for my own. Tonight I found it over at Op-For. Lt Col P has a great Q&A with Lt. Col. Kurt Wheeler, USMC.
I have been privileged to interview more than 300 Marines, soldiers and sailors all across the AO and I see a real trend in the perspectives they have shared. #1, nearly all see steady (sometimes dramatic) progress. Everyone says the key word is patience. You don't win a counterinsurgency in 3 years. This will take time. Standing up an army and a police force in the middle of a war is an impossible task, but our transition teams are doing the impossible every day. The center of gravity here is the Iraqi people and young corporal squad leaders are winning the grudging respect and trust of the people in their AO everyday via their courage, temperance and determination to do the right thing.
Head on over and read it.

Poor Justin!

One day a fourth-grade teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living. All the typical answers came up -- fireman, mechanic, businessman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, and so forth.

However, little Justin was being uncharacteristically quiet, so when the teacher prodded him about his father, he replied, "My father's an exotic dancer in a gay cabaret and takes off all his clothes in front of other men and they put money in his underwear. Sometimes, if the offer is really good, he will go home with some guy and stay with him all night for money."

The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some exercises and then took little Justin aside to ask him, "Is that really true about your father?"

"No," the boy said, "He works for the Democratic National Committee and is helping to get Hillary Clinton to be our next President, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the other kids."

The True Story Of Black Hawk Down

Jen and I sat down last night to watch this special on the History Channel (actually we had it in the DVR, the only thing we watch live is "24"). So Jen thought it was going to be the story of Scott O'Grady, so it was a total surprise for her. I had seen the movie "Black Hawk Down" years ago, so I was familiar with the story. The year before last SouthieBoy was taking a course that included reading about failing states. I was doing the reading along with him a) because it was interesting and b) because I wanted to be able to converse with SB in an intelligent manner. So I read quite a bit about Somalia. When I finished the reading on Operation Provide Relief, Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope, I remember thinking I wanted to go back and watch "Black Hawk Down" again.
So, we watched this special with Mark Bowden, the author of "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War" and several vets who were there that day. I really got so much more out of this than I would have before I read about Somalia. It didn't hurt that I have picked up all this knowledge about the military since I have been surfing around the 'Net, either.

Anway, Jen was so horrified that we went in to help and it ended the way it did. "That's it!" she exclaimed. "We're not helping anyone else! No more. Let them starve. I don't want to hear another word about Darfur. Ever!" (I have been pushing the boots-on-the-ground-in-Darfur thing for a while). I asked "Will you write to me when I'm over there, handing out food?". The answer was an emphatic "NO!"

Gee, I was counting on Jen to drop ship me Hershey-ets when I am there.

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Politics must end at the water's edge."

Hey! John "F"ing Kerry! Read the title of this post carefully and take it to heart. Those are the words of Arthur Hendrick Vandenberg (R) Michigan, U.S. Senator (1928-1951). That's the only acceptable attitude when you are overseas. Going to Davos and talking smack about your own country is the lowest.

Kerry, seated next to former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, said the United States has become an “international pariah”:

Mr. Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, made the comment as he responded to a question about whether the U.S. government had failed to adequately engage Iran’s government before the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.“When we walk away from global warming, Kyoto, when we are irresponsibly slow in moving toward AIDS in Africa, when we don’t advance and live up to our own rhetoric and standards, we set a terrible message of duplicity and hypocrisy,” he said.“So we have a crisis of confidence in the Middle East — in the world, really. I’ve never seen our country as isolated, as much as a sort of international pariah for a number of reasons, as it is today.”

Would someone please remind the Senator he voted against Kyoto.

Brit Hume on my favorite panel discussion, FoxNews Sunday had a great zing. I think he was trying to lighten the mood as much as catch the spotlight. Bill Kristol was really angry and I agree with him.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Is It Wrong......... say I didn't know he was still alive?

Drinan: Priest, Politician, Activist

The Rev. Robert Drinan, a Massachusetts Jesuit who -- over the objections of his superiors -- became the first Roman Catholic priest to serve as a voting member of Congress, died Sunday.
Drinan, 86, had suffered from pneumonia and congestive heart failure during the previous 10 days, according to a statement by Georgetown University.
"His death was peaceful, and he was surrounded by his family," said the Rev. John Langan, rector of the Georgetown University Jesuit Community where Drinan lived.
An internationally known human-rights advocate, Drinan represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House for 10 years during the turbulent 1970s, and he stepped down only after a worldwide directive from Pope John Paul II barring priests from holding public office.

Can't say as we agreed on much, but it was quite a life.

Comparing Iraq to......

....whatever. Everyone's got an Iraq analogy. The antiwar people like to use Vietnam. I've recently heard it compared to Algeria (1954-1962). Now, Badgers Forward compares it to Malaysia in 1948 - 1960.

We Must Have A Plan, We Must Have A Man
In December 1951, Oliver Lyttelton, the British Colonial Secretary had a meeting withe Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chief of the Imperial General Staff Field Marshal Montgomery. Lyttelton had just returned from Malaya. The British were tied down in a quagmire, a guerrilla war. They had been there for four years with no end in sight. Following the meeting Field Marshal Montgomery sent the Colonial Secretary this note:
Dear Lyttelton,
We must have a plan.
Secondly, we must have a man.
When we have plan and a man, we shall succeed; not otherwise.
Yours Sincerely,
Montgomery (F.M)
Read the rest here.

I sincerely hope he is right. I have high hopes for General Petreaus. I feel he is the man with the plan. We need to support the mission.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


SB caught me looking in more ways than one! When I was driving home early this morning I was listening to the BBC discuss Myanmar. There is a question of some religious/ethnic cleansing at worst, repression at best. It's tough for those who are not Buddhist. They were discussing that to be a citizen you must have the three "B"s, Burmese ethnicity, Burmese language and Buddhist religion. But I was so tired all I could think was.....

On curves ahead
Remember, sonny
That rabbit's foot
Didn't save The bunny
Mama Kelley used to tell/sing these to us.
Worth every minute, Stevie......both ways.

Matt Sherman.... back in Iraq and has a newish post up.

This Is A Sad Anniversary

Forty years ago today.

On January 27, 1967, tragedy struck the Apollo program when a flash fire occurred in command module 012 during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted flight, the AS-204 mission. Three astronauts, Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, a veteran of Mercury and Gemini missions; Lt. Col. Edward H. White, the astronaut who had performed the first United States extravehicular activity during the Gemini program; and LCDR Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his first space flight, died in this tragic accident.

Can't say that I actually remember it, I was five. But, I do remember hearing about it.

Friday, January 26, 2007

SB Caught Me Looking....

....on this day in history. I think he wanted to remind me that despite all my MG Rick Lynch nonsense lately, he knows ........... I'm a Navy girl. LOL I am. SouthieBoy knows everything.

The casket of John Paul Jones was finally re-interred in the crypt of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel on 26 January 1913.

John Paul Jones (1747–1792), American Revolutionary War naval hero, often called the “Father of the American Navy,” was born in Kirkbean, Kirkcudbright county, Scotland, on July 6, 1747. He died in Paris in 1792.
General Horace Porter was a man obsessed with the desire to locate the grave of John Paul Jones.
Appointed American Ambassador to France in 1899, Porter's painstaking search lasted six years. He knew he was looking for a "leaden coffin." Jones did not die broke, but his investments (his heirs inherited over $30,000) took some time to collect. Gouverneurr Morris, afraid he would be liable for the funeral costs, ordered a cheap coffin. But a French admirer of Jones donated 462 francs, three times the price of an average funeral, to pay for a top-of-the-line coffin. Col. Blackden had confirmed that fact in a letter written in 1792 to Jones' heirs. The intention, Blackden wrote, was to preserve the body in case America decided to one day reclaim its war hero. But where was the he buried?

The site of the burial of John Paul Jones was rediscovered by Ambassador Horace Porter in 1905. After a grand procession through Paris, the coffin went first by train to Cherbourg, then by torpedo boat to the USS Brooklyn. The transatlantic crossing took 13 days and French ships joined the USS Maine and others making a total fleet of 11 military vessels

MG Rick Lynch News Conference

3rd ID Trained and Ready for Deployment

One brigade is already in Kuwait on its way to Iraq. In the next few months, first in mid March, then mid May, and finally June, the rest of the 3rd Infantry Division will follow.

It's a deployment that comes two to three months faster than originally expected, the result of President Bush's plan to increase troop levels by 21,000 soldiers. But Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the 3rd ID commander, says the plan doesn't come at the expense of training for his soldiers.

"We as an Army, and we as a division, will not send untrained or poorly equipped soldiers on combat operations," said Gen. Lynch.

That's the message the general wanted to get out to everyone. At a media luncheon at Fort Stewart, he said his soldiers will be well-trained and ready to go to Iraq when the call comes.

That call could send the 2nd and 3rd Brigades to the center of the action in Baghdad.
"The insurgents realize that the eyes of the world are on Baghdad," said Lynch. "So goes Baghdad, so goes the rest of Iraq.

"Security has to be job one," he added. "Create a secure environment and everything else might, might flourish."

The 3rd ID 1st Brigade Combat team left home earlier this month and is currently staged in Kuwait. Soon they are off to the Al-Anbar province in western Iraq.

Lynch says he knows how hard it is for the families left behind to see their loved ones go into battle again, but he wants them to stay strong, so the soldiers can concentrate on their jobs.

"If you are deployed in combat operations spending all your time worrying about your family, your morale is not good," according to Lynch. "If your wife, your spouse says things here are going fine, you're okay, we're okay, then they're going to be just fine. So if I can keep the families' morale up, I can keep the soldiers' morale up as well."

Lynch says the 3rd ID soldiers face a daunting challenge, but not an impossible one. Fourteen of 18 provinces are already secure. The next job will be to stabilize the others, and gain the trust of the Iraqi people, so progress toward democracy can continue.

"There are 26 million Iraqis and only ten to fifteen thousand insurgents," said Lynch. "Taking these 26 million Iraqis there and make them love the coalition, make them glad we're there because we're bettering their society. That's what we have to do every day."

Lynch says while he hopes the troop surge will help, Americans shouldn't count on a quick resolution to the war.

Lynch believes conflicts like this take up to nine years to complete. He will be on hand to help his soldiers this time around. He plans to deploy to Iraq himself in June, and will be in charge of military operations in one half of the country.

Reported by: Andrew Davis,
Why isn't there video!

Yet another “good news” story out of Iraq that you won’t read in your local paper.

This is from Chuck over at America's North Shore.

Army Engineers Help Develop Port Capacity

Natalie J. Sudman, a project engineer with the Gulf Region South District, oversees the $13.8 million project helping to expand the capacity of the port located south of the city of Basrah near the Kuwait border. It is Iraq’s only port, which helps to export and import commercial goods and services for the people, and its security and safety is a priority, Sudman said.

Chuck found it over at Defend America and you should read the whole thing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

MG Rick Lynch to Americans:Quit Complaining

Ft. Stewart general says time to 'quit complaining' about Iraq

The commanding general of the Army's Third Infantry Division says war-weary Americans should "quit complaining" and prepare themselves for the conflict to continue for years.As his troops head into a third combat tour in Iraq, Major General Rick Lynch spoke to reporters today at a news conference.

Lynch said it's not soldiers and their spouses who are complaining about the war, but rather people in outside the military.

More than four-thousand soldiers from the Fort Stewart division's First Brigade Combat Team deployed earlier this month to Kuwait and will soon begin moving into Iraq. The division of 19-thousand troops has already served two tours, including the 2003 invasion.

Two other brigades of the Third Infantry are scheduled to follow in March and May, their deployments accelerated by two to three months because of President Bush's plan to send 21-thousand, 500 additional U-S forces to Iraq.

Lynch cautioned that Americans shouldn't expect the troop surge to bring a quick resolution to the war. He said success in Iraq could take more than twice as long as the nearly four years American troops have already spent there. He said that historically it takes at least nine years to complete a counterinsurgency operation.

My God! I love him!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Defining Victory

A lot has been said about victory in Iraq. I have been asked (as a supporter of the war) to define victory. It's not easy because Iraq is not America. It's not Vietnam either. It's not Algiers for that matter. Victory would encompass a lot of things. So tonight I was watching Hannity and Colmes and there's Newt Gingrich being asked the same question. I liked his answer.

While I'm not quite sure what victory is, I'll tell you what defeat is. Defeat is al-Qaeda showing the last American soldier leaving while people are being slaughtered. Defeat is the British Broadcasting Corporation telling the planet "The Americans have been defeated. Defeat is the Iranians telling every terrorist in the world "We'll give you more money because the Americans are cowards and they can't take pain and they are running".

It reminds me of T.F. Boggs. "War sucks but a world run by Islamofacists sucks more."

Or, the next POTUS, Sen. John McCain. Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, about the ISG Report, he said, "There's only one thing worse than an overstressed Army and Marine Corps, and that's a defeated Army and Marine Corps. I believe this is a recipe that will lead to our defeat sooner than later in Iraq."

Freeze-Dry Blood

I am behind on absolutely everything. This is from the November/December issue of Foreign Policy.

Blood for Battle
By Yaakov Katz
A small Israeli biotechnology company could help dramatically reduce battlefield casualties in war with a technology it is pioneering to freeze-dry blood. The technology, which is being developed by the Israel-based company Core Dynamics, would allow soldiers to carry a unit of their own dried blood as part of their personal equipment. In case of injuries, the freeze-dried blood crystals could be mixed with purified water and transfused into soldiers by medics in the field. Such transfusions could help save lives since militaries rarely send medics into the field with blood, for fear of its spoiling. “Blood can only be kept for a month and in fridges,” says a Core Dynamics spokeswoman. “Our blood, if freeze-dried, can … basically be kept forever.” The Israel Defense Forces funded the initial research, and the company is now trying to interest the U.S. Army. It’s one revolution in military affairs most soldiers would welcome.
Mr. Katz writes for the Jerusalem Post

January 24..... 1776, Colonel Henry Knox reached the headquarters of the Continental Army in Cambridge. The young Boston bookseller had pulled off a daring plan. He had led a small group of men on a 300-mile journey from Boston to Fort Ticonderoga in New York State. Once there, the party disassembled cannon taken when the British surrendered the fort and retreated to Canada in May 1775. In less than two months time, Knox and his men moved 60 tons of artillery across lakes and rivers, through ice and snow to Boston. On March 7th, 2,000 Continental soldiers maneuvered the guns to a hill overlooking the city. The British had no choice but to evacuate Boston.

Which is why, in Boston, politicians don't work on March 17th.

Monday, January 22, 2007

MG Rick Lynch's Email

****** 23 JAN 2007 0953 ***** UPDATE: Welcome to visitors from Stand-To. This is a lovely surprise. I don't know how this came about, I am an exceedingly small blog devoted almost entirely to nonsense. The person who directed you here almost certainly means for you to read the really great story below (which I *found* and did not *write*). However, I am sure MG Rick Lynch would be alarmed should he come to find out all the nonsense I write about him in this blog. There is really no need for him to know what a crush I have on him, right? So, read the story and keep the rest under your hat, ok? Thanks, Maggie ********

So this sentence pops up "Major General Rick Lynch, commanding general of Fort Stewart, probably regrets giving me his e-mail address at a press luncheon last November. ..." And I thought "Gee, I'd love to have that!". But just as quickly, I thought "Oh, that would not be good!" But I read the story anyway and even though it's not really about Rick, it's a good read.

When Humble Sacrifice Met Awkward Gratitude
by Carol Megathlin

He was going off to war. I was the one he was fighting for.
When I stumbled upon an episode of "Combat Hospital" on CNN a couple of months ago, I thought I couldn't bear to watch. But I did.
The 30-minute slice of life inside a field hospital in Iraq spares the viewer almost nothing. The sundered chests, bleeding stumps, and shattered faces overwhelmed me with fury. I felt powerless to help the situation I saw unfolding on the screen. That's when I e-mailed the general.
Major General Rick Lynch, commanding general of Fort Stewart, probably regrets giving me his e-mail address at a press luncheon last November. I asked him to give me a soldier to support during the 3rd Infantry Division's upcoming deployment to Iraq.
I wanted a private, someone who didn't have much family, someone who had enlisted after 9/11. I wanted a guy who stood a better than average chance of ending up in a combat hospital. The general gave me Joe.
PFC Joseph Dana is 25 years old, a gunner on a humvee. He has one sister, his parents live in Iowa, and his mother is seriously ill, so he told me in an introductory e-mail last week. He said he was leaving for Iraq the next Tuesday, flying out of Hunter Army Air Field.
"I'm a Red Cross volunteer so I will be able to come out to Hunter to meet you on Tuesday," I wrote back. "Just so you can identify me, I will be wearing jeans and a black turtleneck sweater and a big nametag with 'Joe' printed on it."
The plane was scheduled to leave at 1:20 p.m. I allowed enough time, or so I thought, but I ran into a glitch getting through the Hunter gate. By the time I rushed into the Hunter air terminal, the soldiers were no longer milling about, but standing in two lines on opposite sides of the room.
Carroll Baker, head of the local Red Cross chapter, corralled me immediately. "Carol, two soldiers have been looking for you for an hour!" One of the soldiers was instantly at my side. "Are you looking for Dana, Joseph?" he asked.
I nodded. He sped off, then returned with a blue-eyed, gentle-faced soldier in tow.
"Are you Joe?" I asked, eyeing him intently as I extended my hand.
"Yes, ma'am," he said shyly.
We groped for words, we two Americans - I in my jeans with "JOE" in big black letters stuck to my sweater, he in his helmet and body armor with a weapon strapped to his back. We were strangers, suspended in a moment of clarified truth.
He was going off to war. I was the one he was fighting for. Humble sacrifice and awkward gratitude stood face to face, unable to speak.
As his unit leader called Joe to get back in line, I dug into my jeans pocket. "I have something for you." I pressed into his hand a four-leaf clover made of silver and mother-of-pearl.
"A friend gave me this a long time ago when I was starting out on a perilous journey, too," I said.
I have heard that a talisman may help a soldier cope when he faces life or death situations for long periods of time. I don't believe in luck, but there's one thing I do believe in - the power of praying intensely for someone, especially by name.
Just before the soldiers board the plane, the Army secludes them in a "sterile room" at the terminal, focusing their minds on what they are about to face. The Red Cross and USO volunteers formed two lines on the tarmac, creating a path that led from the doors of the sterile room to the idling World Airways jet. Two large American flags lifted in the breeze, one on each side.
As the soldiers emerged in an orderly line, some of us quickly handed out small flags as they passed, others clapped and said "thank you" over and over again. I stood silently, scanning each face, looking for Joe.
It was probably against the rules, but when I saw him, I stepped forward and hugged him.
He put an arm around my shoulders. "Be careful," I murmured. "I'll be praying for you."
"Yes, ma'am," he said, and moved on toward the plane

Thanks Carol.

January 22, 1944

In 1944, U.S. troops invaded Italy, landing at Anzio beach in a move to outflank German defensive positions.

Gee, I Actually Feel Pretty Good

But according to these guys, today is...........

Blue Monday: The unhappiest day of the year

If you are feeling a little down then you can take solace in the thought that things are unlikely to get any worse.
Today, say experts, is the unhappiest day in the entire year.
Unpaid Christmas bills, nasty weather, and failed New Year's resolutions combine to make January 22 the gloomiest in the calendar.'s 22 where I sit right now and it's 75 in Dubai............

Sunday, January 21, 2007

More River Rat Stuff

Mideast Stars and Stripes
January 20, 2007
Navy Soon To Resume River-Patrolling Mission
By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes

ARLINGTON, Va. — For the first time since the Vietnam War era, the U.S. Navy is set to start patrolling rivers again, said Rear Adm. Sharon H. Redpath. Redpath is vice commander of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), which was established last January to serve as an umbrella group for sailors involved in taking the war from deep to shallow water and far inland. One of the command’s accomplishments over the past year has been to resurrect the Navy’s riverine capability, which largely disappeared after Vietnam, Redpath said. Realizing it needed to resume its river patrol mission, NECC established a squadron of about 200 riverine sailors who are about to finish their preparations to deploy to Iraq later this fiscal year, Navy officials said. The command plans to establish a second riverine squadron next month and a third squadron later this year, according to the Navy. NECC has about 40,000 sailors in specialties as disparate as construction, explosive ordnance disposal, coastal warfare and logistics support, Redpath said. The sailors in NECC have a distinctly different appearance from sailors in other commands. “We wear the camouflage uniforms on a day-to-day basis,” Redpath said. “We don’t wear the khakis or the dungarees.” Not only do the NECC sailors look like ground troops, but many are also tasked with helping ground forces nowhere near the water. NECC is responsible for individual augmentees, who are sailors sent to theaters of operations to supplement other branches of the service, such as the Army and Marine Corps. About 8,500 individual augmentees are now serving in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. In the past year, NECC has established the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, which is in charge of training and equipping the augmentees, Redpath said. Despite their variety of missions, all NECC sailors share a common definition, Redpath said. “We’re an adaptable force,” she said. “We take our core competencies and apply those to the requirements that are placed before us by the Department of Defense.”

Hey Stevie! He said "dungarees", lol! That's what all the peas in this pod say, huh?

The Good News and The Bad News

The good news:
Pipes are all set. I can shower in the morning. Today's shower was a flashback to my youth complete with Grace knocking on the door while I was finishing up. I had to wrap up and step out so she could use the facilities. She has an evil laugh.

Frankie's birthday was the usual fun family chaos. Kids running around. My parents trying to feed everyone. I had to serve the cake and ice cream. It's so unfair! I am being so good on Atkins and I had to cut cake with chocolate frosting!

The bad news:
Well, you know the bad news..........

Southie, you're in trouble with Jennifer! Your prediction that the Pats would score 34 points....yikes! Was she mad. "There's your 34 points!" "There's your damn 34!" I wouldn't want to be you.

Distracting Myself

I sit here at my computer trying not to think about my frozen hot water pipe. This has happened to me several times over the years and only once did it result in a I am hopeful. Frankie had friends over late and they left after I was in bed. No one remembered to leave the water running a trickle. I am a terrible home owner. Things are supposed to be insulated and blah, blah, blah. I was not meant to own a home. So I am changing sheets and dusting and trying not to think about the water and the plumbers bill that could ensue.........

A Tale To Distract Myself

19 years ago today...............Frankie arrived. The Princess was a different person. I wasn't as good at saying "No, this is what I want." I was afraid of being wrong. I was quick to defer to authority figures.

I woke up feeling crappy and Frankie was my second, so I kinda knew something was up. However, there were no classic symptoms. I couldn't say "My water broke" or "My contractions are two minute apart". I had experienced false labor during my first pregnancy with Tommy and I feared being embarassed again. Now I know that soooooo doesn't matter! But back then.......

Anyway, I had a regular checkup scheduled for around 1 pm and I figured I could last that long and then I'd have a professional opinion. Even though we had moved 42 miles from where we lived when Tommy was born, I kept the same OB-GYN. Doctor's appointments were a hike. Another huge difference was that I didn't drive. I had only just gotten my license and I stuck close to home. So doctor's appointments always involved other people, my ex, my Dad, my sister.

Today was supposed to be my ex, but the car wouldn't start. So our neighbor was driving us to meet other family members. We were in the car in front of the house and I was in the back seat of her jeepy thing and leaning forward into the front seat. It was the only comfortable position. She asked if I was in labor. I said "No, no, everything is fine". Why? I don't know, I felt awful. So we make it to the doctor's office. It was always crowded, there was always a huge wait. When my Dad would take us (Grace went for her four, too) he always fell asleep in one of the deep leather sofas. I never understood that furniture choice. Every visit you'd see some hugely pregnant women being hauled out of one of those sofas. So there I sit, in one of the regular chairs on the sides. Grace was pregnant too, three months behind me. I was so uncomfortable, John, Grace and I were having whispered conversations about my situation. Time is ticking by. Two hour waits were not uncommon. The doctors would often leave to go up the street and deliver babies. Finally, a woman wiser than myself, went up to the receptionist and announced that I had to go in next, I was in labor. Everyone was looking at me. Someone asked why I wasn't saying anything. I said I didn't want to cut the line. Everyone laughed. So I was next, the doctor looked at me for two minutes and told me to head over to the hospital.

Once we arrived at Winchester Hospital they tried to put Grace in the wheelchair, she looked much more pregnant than I did. After three hours at 6:33 pm....there he was. Three hours seems quick from all the tales I've heard over the years, but I was awful. I cried and told them I had changed my mind. I really didn't protest when I was having Tom because I didn't know what was going to happen, but this time I did. I kept telling them to call my father to come and get my father so he could take me home. Poor John. My anesthesiologist had a funny accent and he kept reprimanding me "Don't scream, breathe!" LOL, finally the nurse said "All men, out!" Even John, poor John. She said that I didn't even realize how close I was, if I could just stop crying and push, it would be two pushes max and I was done. I calmed down and they all came back in. She was right....two pushes.

Now, let's back track for one moment. When Grace came up with this brilliant idea 9 monthes earlier (that we should have babies together) she had a girl already and I had a boy. so naturally, she was hoping for a boy and I wanted a girl. This plan was hatched during March, birthday month. We would have a party a week, our grandmother, Mama on the 13th, me on the 20th and Grace on the 27th. So within a few weeks I was pregnant. Grace took a little longer. Over the summer, my father announced Grace would have a boy, but so would I. He told me I only knew "one trick"! LOL He was rooting for a name sake, he knew I was naming a boy after him. I wanted a girl. I planned to name her Aislin, it's the Gaelic word for "dream". That's what she remains, a dream.

The doctor held my son up "It's a boy, what's his name?" "Francis Xavier" I replied. "Francis Xavier, makes me think of a priest or a crooked politician." Well we all know which way Frank went.

So they rolled me away and I slept. As soon as I could walk I brought a big box of chocolates over to the delivery room nurses with card apologizing for my terrible behavior. They laughed and said I had been a piece of cake. They told me some wild stories and thanked me for the chocolate.

Now here we are, 19 years later. He is tall and dark and handsome (no really, even other people say so). He is arrogant and quick to anger. He has always been a handful. But he is the one that people come to. They are drawn to him. And he can be kind, amazingly, incredibly kind. Little kids knock on my door and ask for Frankie to play wiffle ball or soccer with them. Jennifer laughs about passing kids at their bus stops who get all excited. She says it's like driving a rock star. Kids come to him to arbitrate their disputes. He is an incredible athlete. And in a fight, there is no one else you want backing you up. He has proved it time and again.

So I guess I will concede....Grace has a pretty good idea nearly twenty years ago.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh, One More Thing

So a funny exchange over at the super secret place.

"I'm involved in a discussion about the remaining uses of morse code, and I'm wondering: Do ships still use it with signal lights and masthead lights? If so, how extensive is its use?"

"Given the fact that the Chinese just shot down a satellite, maybe we should practice a little more."


Second favorite line about the Chinese incident was over at OP-FOR where John says:

"Meh. Welcome to 1985, Chicoms. The year when --presumably with REO Speedwagon cranked-- we sent an F-15 soaring to the edge of space to kill a target sat."

Great! Just What I Need!

Another book to read! Do you know how far behind I am? While I am sitting here blogging....when I should be in bed, I have full day tomorrow, I am listening to Charlie Rose. Normally, he bugs me, but it was the topic was "A Discussion about Iraq, Counterinsurgency and Lessons Learned from the war in Algeria" with Alistair Horne, Andrew Bacevich, Henry Kissinger, and Tom Ricks. Mr. Horne's premise is that the French fighting in Algeria from 1954 to 1962 is a better parallel to our current situation that Vietnam. The show was hugely interesting and now I have another book to read!

A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962
This is an excerpt from the The Washington Post's Book World/ review.
When Americans talk about the raging insurgency in Iraq, they often draw parallels with the Vietnam War, but a better analogy is probably the French war against nationalist rebels in Algeria from 1954 to 1962. That's one reason why the landmark history of that conflict, Alistair Horne's A Savage War of Peace, has been an underground bestseller among U.S. military officers over the last three years, with used copies selling on for $150. Indeed, "Algeria" has become almost a codeword among U.S. counterinsurgency specialists -- a shorthand for the depth and complexity of the mess we face in Iraq. Earlier this year, I referred to Horne's book while conversing with one such expert in Taji, Iraq, and got a grim nod of agreement.

Kissinger and Ricks also recommend watching "Battle of Algiers".

Now I am going to bed. I have to be sitting in the hairdresser's chair first thing tomorrow morning so I can be young and beautiful again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Little MG Rick Lynch..... just what I need to cheer me up.

I asked Major Gen. Rick Lynch in late October whether he thought the Iraqis were doing enough to end the sectarian violence in their country and relieve the burden on U.S. troops.
Lynch, the blunt-spoken and approachable commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, believed they were.
He blamed a minority of insurgents for Iraq's problems. He also pointed to the 26 million Iraqi people who want peace and stability as a solid foundation on which to build a nation.
The two-star general made sense then. I hope he's right now, as soldiers from the Savannah-area bases leave this week for their third tour of duty in Iraq.

The rest of the article is so-so......I just liked it because my favorite Army guy is quoted in it!
As far as the last line above...........hoping Rick is right..........of course he is! LOL

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Could Just Weep

I found this by way of Ace Of Spades and Hugh Hewitt.

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll
18 January 07
Polling was conducted by telephone January 16-17, 2007, in the evenings. The
total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3
percentage points. Results are of registered voters, unless otherwise noted.

19. Do you personally want the Iraq plan President Bush announced last week to
Yes No (Don’t know)
Democrats 51% 34% 15%
Republicans 79% 11% 10%
Independents 63% 19% 17%
Who the fuck are these people answering "no"? Who's answering "I don't know"??????

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Leap Into The Unknown

Over at Rogue Gunner I read this really great story.

"Royal Marines have carried out one of the most daring rescue missions ever staged to retrieve the body of a fallen comrade in Afghanistan."
Read the rest of the story.....

You really should follow the link to the story. There are photos and links to video. It's also covered at the Telegraph.

Thanks Mack!

Brink's Roberry

On this day in 1950.......
On the evening of January 17th 1950, a group of armed gunmen entered the Brinks Building on Prince Street and robbed the company of $1.2 million in cash and $1.6 million in checks and securities. Donning Halloween masks and chauffeur's hats, they held up five Brinks employees at gunpoint, and near perfectly executed their well rehearsed plan. The great Brinks Robbery or Brinks Job is one of the FBI's most famous cases. The robbers were later captured, but most of the money was never recovered. The robbery was the largest in U.S. history until that time, and was considered the Crime of the Century.The Brinks gang planned the robbery for about a year. They meticulously observed the employees' daily routine from a building across the street. They removed the lock cylinders of many doors and had a locksmith make keys. Members of the gang went into the building several times after-hours to memorize the layout and practice their planned entrance and escape. The gang even broke into an alarm company in Boston to review the plans of the security system inside the Brinks building.Boston Police and the FBI rounded up every suspect they could find. Rope, adhesive tape, one hat, and a witness observing the getaway car were the only initial evidence. Hundreds of leads led to dead ends, but the investigation was relentless. Constant pressure was put on the narrowing list of suspects by surveillance and personal interviews. Some of the gang members could not stay out of trouble, and ended up in jail for other offenses such as firearms possession in other states. The need for money to defend themselves legally, and other reasons, led to distrust amongst the members.On January 6th 1956, one of the gang confessed to the robbery, having been pressured by the FBI and facing unrelated criminal charges and jail time. On January 11th 1956, 11 men were indicted and arrested for the Brinks Job. A break in the prosecutor's case also occurred in June 1956, when a $10 bill from the robbery was passed to an arcade employee in Baltimore Maryland. This money was eventually traced to an office building in Boston, concealed inside a wall. About $52,000 in Brinks loot was recovered from the wall. In October 1956, eight members of the gang were found guilty of multiple charges and given life sentences.This famous robbery was made into the 1978 film The Brinks Job with Peter Falk. The film conveys the sense of urgency by the police to pressure and arrest members of the gang, especially as the statutes of limitation were about to expire for some of the criminal acts involved.The former Brinks Building is located along the Freedom Trail, at Commercial and Prince Streets, and is now a parking garage. It's about two blocks from Copp's Hill Burying Ground.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

SouthieBoy Is Not Perfect

He has this habit of telling me stuff I already know. For example, in the post below, "Naval Expeditionary Combat" he makes the following comment:

"You've been very busy. And NO I did not turn the game off early to watch 24. After all it is only a TV show and the game is real. See how busy NECC is? SB"

Do you imagine for one minute that I didn't know he would watch the Pats to the last second?

Do you think that I do not know what the priorities are?

Also, do you imagine that NECC has a bigger cheerleader than the Princess?


Although, giving credit where credit is due......I loved my little Iraq guide. I didn't know the different meanings behind the colors of the hijab. That was very interesting.

Navy Expeditionary Combat Command

By way of the Early Brief.

Navy Expeditionary Combat Command proves its worthiness

VIRGINIA BEACH — Just over a year ago, the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command existed as a broad concept worked over by a dozen busy senior Navy officials.
That small group has swelled to a 200-person headquarters at Little Creek Naval Amphibious base that is responsible for 32,000 sailors around the globe.
Their tasks include building roads and schools in war-torn countries, guarding ports and oil terminals, and defusing scores of roadside bombs in Iraq, The command also established a riverine force from scratch to patrol waters in hostile countries.
“Obviously, it’s been a challenging year,” Rear Adm. Donald Bullard, commanding officer of NECC, said in an interview.
The growing command has pushed to consolidate training and forces, and ultimately prepare its sailors to move closer to combat. It will further seek to expand training for sailors in their new combat roles, Bullard said.
“It’s about the Navy contributing however it can in the war on terrorism,” Bullard said.
The command has collected various Navy specialties – maritime protection, interdiction, civil affairs – under one umbrella to standardize training and equipment for ground and brown-water missions.
The command has re-established the Navy’s riverine force, which was largely abandoned by the active-duty Navy after the Vietnam War. The new so-called “River Rats” are expected to deploy to Iraq this spring to relieve a Marine Corps unit.
The riverine force has one mission-ready squadron of about 220 sailors and 10 boats and will eventually add two more squadrons. The second squadron is expected to stand up next month.
The command also has been challenged to train and support the growing number of “individual augmentees” – reserve and active duty personnel called from their units to relieve strained Army and Marine Corps forces. The Navy has 7,000 sailors from its active duty and reserve units as augmentees.
Capt. Bob McKenna, the command’s training director, said the Navy needed to standardize combat skills for the augmentees. Many reserve sailors received different small arms and combat training before deploying, he said.
McKenna said that besides training for ground combat, the curriculum will eventually include more advanced skills such as convoy security, communications and tactics for small unit combat.
It will also add language and cultural skills for sailors in frequent contact with foreign troops and vessels, he said.
During its first year, sailors have deployed to ground combat and security posts around the world.
Bullard has pinned sailors with Silver Stars and other decorations for valor and merit, and also has consoled families at the funerals of expeditionary sailors killed in the wars. The command has lost about 10 sailors and 20 more have been wounded during fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We’re asking a lot of these sailors,” he said, “and they perform.”

• Reach Louis Hansen at (757) 446-2322 or

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Great Molasses Flood

On the date in 1919 a wave of molasses washed through the streets of the North End of Boston. There's actually a book about it and I met the author, Stephen Puleo, once at a Bostonian Society event. The picture above is from the Bostonian Society Archives. The puddle is molasses.

This summary is from Mass Moments. 1919, people in Boston's North End were startled by a loud rumbling noise. They watched in horror as a five-story tank broke apart, unleashing a wave of molasses 15 feet high and 160 feet wide. Moving at 35 miles per hour, it traveled over two blocks and engulfed everything in its path. The disaster killed 21 people, injured 150, and caused property damage of more than 100,000,000 in today's dollars. The tank's owners claimed that anarchists had dynamited it as a protest against the American government. In fact, the tank had been hastily constructed and overloaded. Years later, the tank's owner was found liable and ordered to pay compensation to the victims.

When I was a little girl, on really hot days, people used to swear you could still smell it.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

As Good As I Remember It!

I'm off to bed after a satisfying dinner, a two hour "24" and some fun blogging over at Blogs4Bauer.

Some good lines:

900 people dead? Car bomb in New York....Muslims late for work.... I love 24BOOOOOOMMMMM 23 more dead."Lock up everyone who prays to Mecca"? Is Sean Hannity president?

Tckkk...LA hit by terrorists.......Personally I'm glad that I'm not counting each kill on the kill counter. Maybe we should count Chloe's bitchy comments...1,2,3,4...I smell mole......Hot muslim chick is a mole. Chloe will steal her keycard, log into her computer and check her Myspace page and see if Assad is in her top 8.

Jack Bauer kills using his mouth (4 points)He didn't say anything cool or have on aviators. However, he probably has not brushed his teeth in 2 years, so his breath had to be torture.Jack Bauer vampire. Lestat is a sissy
(Jennifer and I were screaming!)

Someone called in the US Marines....the next best thing after Jack Bauer. (no comment)

"Respond he will guaranteed" - what is he? Yoda? (this is exactly what came out of my mouth, lol)
In the kneecap.....oooooohhhhh Camel Nuts that hurts.

Jack Bauer killed an arab with explosives/feet (1 point)

The comments are funny too.

Jack in T-17 minutes

Live blogging over at Blog4Bauer

The Guerrilla War on The GWOT

There are Democrats and not a few Republicans along with much of the MSM who have been conducting their own little guerrilla war on the Global War On Terrorism. Because they have no *real* power to stop how the GWOT is being conducted, they must harrass. I am all for free speech. I understand being in the minority. Hello! I am a pro-military Republican living in Massachusetts! However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about these things. If you want to protest.....protest. If you want to find civil means of making your opposing view point all means. But don't be a hypocrite. Don't do things that if they were done to you, you would howl.

Much is being made of Sen. Barbara Boxer's statements to Dr. Rice when she appeared before the Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Boxer was childish and she was playing for the crowd. She has yet to apologize and I don't know that she will. Although I will say, would that what she said was true! If decisions in military matters were made by the loved ones of those on active duty with the potential to be deployed..........I get to vote and she doesn't, huh Southie? Anyway, enough of that silliness. Sen. Boxer needs to reread her Robert's Rules of Order. Dr. Rice is there to testify and answer question, not to be a punching bag. There are no points awarded for personal jabs. My reprimand extends to Sen. Hagel who repeatedly spoke over Dr. Rice as she attempted to answer his questions and Sen. Biden, who as chair, didn't keep order. It's ridiculous that the moderator at Town Meeting would have had better control and stopped the Senators from making it personal.

Next up..........freshman Rep. Steve Kagel and his nutty little story. Are we so far removed from civility that being rude to the President and the First Lady is something you brag about? Nevermind that White House is saying he made it up......that just sounds like high school.

Lastly, the press. Where to even start? There are so many stories where the press spins Iraq, I'll just pick one. Iraq is not providing their own security and they rely too much on us. the truth of the matter is that 80% of the country is under control. Iraqi forces are standing up in a number of places. This is not to say that things are not very grave in Baghdad and Anbar. They are. And success there makes or breaks the whole country. But the press is trying to pursuade us that the entire country is chaos. It is not. For a little perspective, go over to DOD and look at this map showing the Iraqi Army taking the lead.

In conclusion:
Sen. Boxer if you want to ask questions...ask. Leave the personalities out of it.
Sen. Hagel, if you want to ask questions.....ask. Then shut up and listen to the answers. If you want to make speeches, there is time allotted for that in the process.
Sen. Biden, enforce the rules, stop playing coy. You have announced for President, you have a dog in this fight. Letting others do your dirty work is underhanded and unbecoming of a Senator.
Rep. Kagel, sorry you got stuffed into lockers in high school, grow up and get over it.
Sen. Webb, you are still a boob, look what you started!
MSM, think back on the ethics classes I know you took in college. You are supposed to *report news* not make it, slant it, spin it. Report it. Give it a shot.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I first saw this video over at Jarhead John's blog. I was going to post about it, but his link stopped working. But while poking around somewhere entirely different, a YouTube link for the same video popped up. It's not the same quality as the one at JJ's place, but it's good enough. You really should watch it.

JJ's post also contained some very interesting information. If the video link works, his video is longer.

Craig Akers

FoxNews is covering the Hornbeck/Owensby kidnapping almost continuously this morning. A lot of it is just hashed over stuff we've already heard. I have it on in the background while I get ready to go to work. But they just said something I hadn't heard before. Shawn Hornbeck's stepfather, Craig Akers quit his job as a software designer and devoted all his time to a foundation set up in Shawn's name to find Shawn and help other children. Shawn's parents depleted their savings and borrowed against their retirement. They did everything they could possibly think of. I'm going to have to poke around the Internet and see if there's a way to throw a couple of bucks their way. I'm sure there is. But right now that website is experiencing problems. They're going to need it to rebuild their lives and get Shawn the help he will need.

Friday, January 12, 2007

For Those Who Protest Our Lack of Diplomacy

For those who think the UN is still useful and protest the fact that Americans act unilaterally. For those who thought John Bolton was wrong for the job. For those who believe in resolving the worlds problems in Turtle Bay.


Here's why it doesn't work.

U.S. draft on Myanmar abuses vetoed at U.N. Council

China and Russia on Friday vetoed a U.S.-drafted resolution calling on Myanmar's military junta to stop persecution of minority and opposition groups, killing the measure in the U.N. Security Council.
The United States, which softened the draft from the original, received backing from nine of the 15 nations on the council for the draft resolution on Myanmar, formerly Burma. But among the other six were China and Russia, permanent council members with veto rights.
South Africa also voted "no," while Qatar, Indonesia and Congo Republic abstained. Voting with Washington were Britain, which co-sponsored the draft, France, Belgium, Italy, Ghana, Peru, Panama and Slovakia.
"The United States is deeply disappointed by the failure of the council to adopt this resolution," Alejandro Wolff, the acting U.S. ambassador, told the council.
"This resolution would have been a strong and urgently needed statement by the Security Council about the need for change in Burma, whose military regime arbitrarily arrests, tortures, rapes and executes its own people, wages war on minorities within its own borders, and builds itself new cities, while looking the other way as refugee flows increase, narcotics and human trafficking grow, and communicable diseases remain untreated." Wolff said.
Myanmar's U.N. ambassador, Kyaw Tint Swe, said cooperating with the United Nations was the cornerstone of Myanmar's foreign policy and "we are encouraged by today's Security Council decision."
The military has run Myanmar since 1962, ignoring a 1990 landslide election victory by the National League for Democracy party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate, who has been in prison or under house arrest since then. Thousands of her supporters have been jailed.
The U.S. measure called for the release of Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners and for her party and all other groups to be able to operate freely.
No one denied abuses by Myanmar's junta, which has been condemned in the 192-member General Assembly. At issue was whether rights violations are a danger to peace and security in the region, the council's mandate.
Otherwise, human rights violations are an issue for the assembly, whose resolutions carry less weight.
Russia and China have not cast a double veto since September 1972 on a proposed amendment to a resolution calling for observance of a ceasefire in the Middle East.
Beijing has only used its veto four times in the past, the last time in February 1999 on extending a peacekeeping force in Macedonia because of the Balkan's nation's ties with Taiwan. Russia last used its veto in April 2004 on a Cyprus resolution for technical reasons.
Moscow's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said he opposed "attempts at using the Security Council to discuss issues outside the purview."
China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, said Myanmar's neighbors did not consider it a threat to peace and security.
"Similar problems exist in other countries as well," Wang said, adding the council could arbitrarily consider the situation in all 192 U.N. member states as a threat to peace and security.
Indonesia, a regional neighbor of Myanmar, said the issue was not bilateral or one for Asia only but had international ramifications. "Myanmar must respond to the imperative of restoring democracy and human rights," Ambassador Rezlan Ishar Jenie said.
Still, Jenie said he had to abstain because the Security Council was "not the appropriate body" to address the issue.
Britain's U.N. ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry, told reporters he helped push the resolution because "I want tomorrow morning to be able to reassure myself that we did the right thing, the right thing by the people of Myanmar."

Please note: No one denied abuses by Myanmar's junta, which has been condemned in the 192-member General Assembly. At issue was whether rights violations are a danger to peace and security in the region, the council's mandate.

That's how useful the UN is.

Oh. My. God.

This is like a movie.

Two missing boys found alive in Mo. home
A 13-year-old boy missing since the beginning of the week was found alive in a suburban St. Louis home, along with a 15-year-old boy missing since 2002, authorities said Friday.
The boys were found in a Kirkwood home belonging to Michael Devlin, 41, who has been charged with one count of first-degree kidnapping, Sheriff Gary Toelke said.
William Ownby, who goes by Ben, disappeared after he stepped off his school bus on Monday. The straight-A student and Boy Scout was last seen running the few hundred feet down a gravel road to his home.
A friend who left the bus with the boy told authorities that after the two parted, he saw a small white pickup with a camper shell speeding away from where Ben had been walking.
Toelke said the break in the case came Thursday night. Kirkwood city police officers were serving a warrant on an apartment complex when they noticed a white truck matching the description of a vehicle authorities had been searching for in the Ownby investigation.
Kirkwood officers contacted the Franklin County Sheriff's Department and determined where the owner of the truck was. Authorities then searched Devlin's house and found both boys.
Toelke said authorities were surprised to find Shawn Hornbeck, who identified himself when found at the home.
Toelke said authorities were still investigating the motive behind the abductions.
"There are a lot of things we don't know right now," Toelke said.
Hornbeck disappeared from his home in rural Washington County in October 2002, when he was 11. He went for a bike ride and never returned.
The sheriff said both boys appeared unharmed. Ownby has been reunited with his family, and the Hornbeck's parents were coming to meet their son in Union, the Franklin County seat, Toelke said.
Franklin County Prosecutor Robert Parks said more charges are likely to be filed

This is absolutely unbelieveable. Shawn Hornbeck has been missing since October 6, 2002. His family searched endlessly for him including emails to strangers causing an entry on Snopes.

Something Very Moving

Much has been written in the blogs I frequent about Cpl. Jason Dunham. This is an absolutely beautiful tribute that you should see. I found it by way of The Corner OnLine.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Funniest Reaction Line!

Over at the Corner

Cliff May writes something that made me laugh out loud!

I wish Bush were sending in at least a couple of brigades of Ethiopians. Posted at 12:21 AM

I couldn't agree with you more, sir!

Turning the Tables 17 Years Later

While the CINC was speaking last night, something else was happening.
US forces storm Iranian consulate
US forces have stormed an Iranian consulate in the northern Iraqi town of Irbil and seized six members of staff.
The troops raided the building at about 0300 (0001GMT), taking away computers and papers, according to Kurdish media and senior local officials.
The US military would only confirm the detention of six people around Irbil.
The raid comes amid high Iran-US tension. The US accuses Iran of helping to fuel violence in Iraq and seeking nuclear arms. Iran denies both charges.
Tehran counters that US military involvement in the Middle East endangers the whole region.
A local TV station said Kurdish security forces had taken over the building after the Americans had left.
Irbil lies in Iraq's Kurdish-controlled north, about 350km (220 miles) from the capital Baghdad.
Reports say the Iranian consulate there was set up last year under an agreement with the Kurdish regional government to facilitate cross-border visits

Past my petty thoughts of "How do you like them apples?".....what are we looking for? What do you suppose the repercussions will be?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

OK, This Sounds Bad

...but I'll be honest and say I need to read a lot more before I am sure.

First off, this deals with something called PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative).

On Tuesday, January 9th, the 110th Congress voted on H.R. 1 "Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007".

The problem comes up in Section 1221 "Proliferation Security Initiative Improvements and Authorities"

(a) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress, consistent with the 9/11 Commission's recommendations, that the President should strive to expand and strengthen the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) announced by the President on May 31, 2003, with a particular emphasis on the following:
(1) Issuing a presidential directive to the relevant government agencies and departments that establishes a defined annual budget and clear authorities, and provides other necessary resources and structures to achieve more efficient and effective performance of United States PSI-related activities.
(2) Working with the United Nations Security Council to develop a resolution to authorize the PSI under international law.
(3) Increasing PSI cooperation with non-NATO partners

This sounds bad to me. It also sounded bad to RedState and to Ramesh Ponnuru.

John Boehner issued a statement on this.
“I was proud to support a Republican proposal to prohibit transferring authority for the Proliferation Security Initiative to the United Nations. America’s national security is the sovereign responsibility of America alone. It should not be outsourced to foreign governments and international bodies.

RedState asks:
Does anyone remember the comotion stirred by John Kerry during the 2004 election when he talked about America needing to listening to foriegn leaders and pass some sort of a global test? Well to my suprise Democrats decided to put this into law.

I remember. That's why my favorite sweatshirt shows Uncle Sam infront os the UN logo angrily pointing and saying "I Don't Do Global Tests!". When people see it and ask what it means my answer is "It's an obscure, belligerent poreign policy statement."

So, I will read about this and think a little longer on it. I don't want to give into any Dubai-Ports-Security" hysteria.

Knowing More Than I Should

So, I'm discussing world events with SB and I am laughing about being the first at the Castle to give the Zoomies a "Bravo Zulu"...don't they have their own groupies...I'm a Navy girl. He says to me "Yeah, Somalia....that wasn't supposed to get out." LOL So I didn't tell him I knew about this.

Now It Makes Sense

Bravo Zulu to the crew of the AC-130!

On my way home from Mass/CCD Sunday I was listening to NPR. They were reporting that assistant U.S. Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer had cancelled a planned stop in Somalia. Instead, the Somali leader met her somewhere else, Kenya I think.

Now we learn

A U.S. Air Force AC-130 gunship attacked suspected al-Qaeda members in southern Somalia on Sunday, and U.S. sources said the operation may have hit a senior terrorist figure.
The strike took place near the Kenyan border, according to a senior officer at the Pentagon. Other sources said it was launched at night from the U.S. military facility in neighboring Djibouti. It was based on joint military-CIA intelligence and on information provided by Ethiopian and Kenyan military forces operating in the border area.

That might be a heads up for the bad guys. When State cancels a visit at the last minute with no explanation, it might be time to get out of Dodge.

Monday, January 08, 2007

3rd ID In The News

First Brigade Combat Team Final Run Before Deployment

The Third Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart is being called to duty yet again. This week more than 3,500 soldiers will deploy to Iraq, but before they go one brigade had one last run as a whole.
Monday morning was the last time the First Brigade Combat Team would be together for a while. First Brigade commander Col. John Charlton said, "I wanted to get them all together to say a few words and tell them how proud I am"
Col. Charlton wanted his unit to have one last run together before they all start deploying this week. In a speech to the soldiers Charlton said, "Your nation has called upon you once again to go over there and defend our freedom."
The group run has one main purpose. "It's about getting together;" said Staff Sgt. Matakiah Fogle, "knowing that were all on one accord getting ready to go over there."
The weather was not favorable Monday morning. The soldiers stood by as the rain poured down on them, listening to every word Col. Charlton and Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch had to say, but there was a little humor in the pouring conditions. "When they look back on this day they will enjoy this weather," said Gen. Lynch, "because of the weather they're about to get in Iraq."
Soldiers commented on their deployment. "At this point we're so ready, we're anxious," said 1st Lt. Andrew Prescott. "We've been training to do this for a while, so we're ready to go."
However, this isn't this unit's first time in Iraq. Ninety percent of these soldiers have been deployed not once, not twice, but three times. "Multiple deployments, that's a call of duty," said Gen. Lynch. "We do what we have to do for our nation so our kids and grandkids won't have to worry about terrorism."
Soldiers agree. "That's my job. I have no problem with it," said Sgt. Fogle.
Before they go, Col. Charlton had one final message: "Spend as much as you can with you friends and family before you go."
That's exactly what these soldiers are planning to do
Reported by: Christy Hutchings

Godspeed 1st Brigade.

Cold Comfort

I never quite got that phrase. Now I do.

A few days ago I was pissing and moaning about the tests at the Military Channel. In particular, the test on the Korean War. So SB called and while we talked on the phone, he took the tests. Of course he disposed of "The War In The Pacific" and "Vietnam" right off.

Then came "Korea". (sound of crowing) He only got 3!!!!! "Do you feel better now, baby?" he asked. "Yes! Yes, I do!"

So what does he do?
He emails me this!!! Bastid!

Programming note: New episode of 20th Century Battlefields tonight "1973 Middle East".

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lifehouse in Dubai

Before I went to Dubai, I knew the band Lifehouse. The had a hit that was on the radio "Hanging by a Moment". I thought they were ok.

While I was in Dubai I watched and listened to the international version of most channels. It was there that I first heard Kosheen sing "All In My Head" and this version of Lifehouse "Take Me Away" from a concert in Amsterdam. I absolutely fell in love with it.

There were three TVs in the apartment and generally I had them all going in sync as I moved about. That's how big the apartment was, if you went from the bedroom to the kitchen you could not hear the TV in either bedroom, much less when I was out on the balcony. If Kosheen or Lifehouse or Beyonce (this was the summer of "Crazy In Love") came on I would race about the apartment turning up the volume. It's a wonder that someone from the management didn't complain. then I would have been in trouble with SouthieBoy.

When I got back I bought the CD, but the studio version was different. The one in Dubai was slower, more plaintive.

this time what I want is you, there is no one else who can take your
place, this time you burn me with your eyes, you see past all the lies, you take it
all away, I've seen it all and it's never enough, it keeps leaving me needing you,
take me away take me away, I've got nothing left to say just take me away, I try
to make my way to you, but still I feel so lost, I don't know what else I can do,
I've seen it all and it's never enough it keeps leaving me needing you take me
away take me away I've got nothing left to say just take me away don't give up
on me yet don't forget who I am I know I'm not there yet but don't let me stay
here alone this time what I want is you there is no one else who can take your
place I've seen enough and it's never enough it keeps leaving me needing you
take me away take me away I've got nothing left to say just take me away take me away take me away I've got nothing left to say just take me away

Jen Had A Good Question

Tonight we watched "Iran: The Next Iraq?" on the History Channel. It popped back and forth between the present day Iran and the history of the Persians. The most famous and beloved Persian was Cyrus the Great. Cyrus's most spectacular victory was Babylon.

After victory over Babylonia, Cyrus The Great presented himself not as a conqueror, but a liberator and the legitimate successor to the crown. He took the title of "King of Babylon and King of the Land". Cyrus had no thought of forcing conquered people into a single mould, and had the wisdom to leave unchanged the institution of each kingdom he attached to the Persian Crown. In 537 BC he allowed more than 40,000 Jews to leave Babylon and return to Palestine

So, Jen turns to me and asks......"How do Iranians reconcile their intense hatred for Jews and Israel with their great hero Cyrus? Good question, Jen.

We had some laughs (we always do) over the descriptions and pictures of the rally that occur every Friday where the shout "Death to America" and march through the streets. They've been doing this for a quarter century. We know it's serious and they could get nukes and attack us.....but it just seems like a Monty Python skit. "Are you going down to the Death-to-America rally Friday, Amir?" "Yes, Firouz, I have a new sign where I spell America with 3 Ks....Amerikkka!" "Ah, very cool Amir!" Jen wants to bring Hanukkah Harry to the rally.

We also saw W. Patrick Lang who blogs here. He was very interesting in the show, but a quick peek at his blog today finds me disagreeing with him. He does not see the wisdom of Fox Fallon taking over as Commander of CENTCOM and most of his readers think the appointment is a precursor to invading Iran. I, of course, just see that "W" has finally realized that what he needs is more Sailors......doesn't everyone? LOL Seriously, I applaud Fox Fallon's appointment as well as that of Admiral Mike McConnell USN(ret) to replace Negroponte.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Navy News with Charlestown Ties

Ramage, Bunker Hill keeping an eye on Somalia
by William H. McMichael (Navy Times)
Navy and coalition ships are deployed in international waters off the coast of Somalia in response to “recent events” there, the Navy’s 5th Fleet confirmed Thursday.
The State Department said Wednesday the mission is specifically aimed at making sure al-Qaida and allied jihadists are not able to escape the country by sea, now that the once-dominant Islamist forces in Somalia are in retreat from Ethiopian forces.
While confirming the presence and rough location of the ships, the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, responsible for all Navy operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, did not refer to that specific mission in statements released over the past two days.
While I doubt I have to explain the USS Bunker Hill (the Sword of the Fleet) connection, you may not realize the USS Ramage's connection. In 1997, for the USS Constitution's 200th birthday, she sailed unassisted out into Boston Harbor and beyond. The destroyer USS Ramage (named after Vice Admiral Lawson Patterson Ramage, born in Massachusetts) was part of her escort. Also, I particularly like this "While confirming the presence and rough location of the ships........did not refer to that specific mission in statements released over the past two days." An answer that doesn't tell you anything is classic Charlestown.

Just Because I Thought It Was Funny

I read this over on Yahoo News looking for some kind of confirmation that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is dead.

A French court ruled Tuesday that an organization with far-right links can continue offering pork soup to the homeless, rejecting police complaints that the food distribution was racist.

Police banned the soup kitchen last month, arguing that the handouts discriminated against Jews and Muslims who do not eat pork on religious grounds.

The administrative court said the distribution was "clearly discriminatory," but could not be stopped because the organizers offered to feed anyone who asked for help.

The mayor of Paris condemned the ruling and urged the police to appeal the ruling.

"Faced by this initiative which stinks of xenophobia, I want once again to express city hall's desire to fight all forms of discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism," mayor Bertrand Delanoe said in a statement.

The food handouts are organized by a nationalist group called Solidarity of the French (SDF). It says its "pig soup," which uses pork fat for stock, is country fare much loved by French traditionalists.

"No-one has ever been able to prove that anyone has been refused soup or clothes on the grounds of their religion or race," SDF lawyer Frederic Pichon told France Info radio after Tuesday's court decision.

The real Soup Nazi! No soup for you!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Maryann @ Soldier's Angels

John at the Castle of Argghhh directs our attention to this really great post by Maryann. After you read it, hit home and read the rest of her stuff and then....make a donation.

Yet Another Reason My Family Thinks I Have An FBI File

From this morning's BostonMaggie inbox..............

Thursday, December 28,2006 8 Dzul Hijjah 14277:00 A.M PST
Eid Mubarak!
On the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, 1427, we would like to take a moment to send our sincere greetings to you and your family on this blessed occasion and to share the good news of the Islamic awakening that is upon us.
As the end of the year approaches, we would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Muslims on the progress we have made during this past year. Many more of you now see that the Ummah is a nation at war against an aggressive American foreign policy that will not stop until our lands are decimated, our resources are pilfered and our religion has been subdued. Many more of you now see that the events of 911 were not the beginning of this war but were a response to a decade of abuse beginning with the occupation of the land of the two holy mosques, the brutal embargo that killed over 1 million of our children in Iraq, and the indiscriminate bombings of Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq and the continuing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians that has gone on for half a decade.
It is no longer hidden from any of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, that America’s agenda has nothing to do with “terrorists” and has everything to do with controlling Muslim land, resources and minds. Five years on in this so-called war on terror the Mujahideen have proven once again that Allah is capable of all things.
In Afghanistan, Commander of the Faithful Mullah Omar has waged an unprecendeted defense after US forces claimed to be “moping up” in 2002. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been formed, Shariah law has been implemented in the that lands it controls and Afghans are flocking to support the Mujahideen.
Moreover, in Iraq, three years on in the illegal occupation of the country, our second Islamic Emirate has been formed, the new Islamic State of Iraq, and our Mujahideen have put up an impressive and relentless resistance against the worlds largest superpower proving that all the military hardware in the world can not defeat the hand made weapons of the Mujahideen if Allah wills it. The Islamic awakening is indeed occurring among the youth and the sincere ones and Allah has honored their efforts. The US is now entrenched in a war it can not win and both Muslims and non-Muslims are awakening to the real agenda behind this current assault on Islam.
While the media battle remains front and center in this conflict, like all the others, it is also a difficult battle. With mainstream news reporting having digressed to merely party-line propaganda, now more than the Muslim voices must speak. At JUS, over the past year, we have brought back the popular Jihad Unspun as a free daily news source in order to counter the sea of misinformation. We have repositioned JUSone to a news magazine with indpeth articles that relect the thoughts and views of Muslims and we are working on a variety of initiatives to better our reach and effectiveness.
As the US now says it will send a “surge force”, we also must surge our efforts and this requires your help. While the JUS team remains strong, our ability to disseminate information is directly tied to your ability to support us. If you are a Muslim reading our newsl, you have an obligation to support our work. If you are a non-Muslim that benefits from our uncut and uncensored information, you should consider supporting out work to ensure this type of content continues.
As the years draws to a close, please take a moment to support our work by either clicking donate on the following page, ordering new selections from our store or signing up for JUSClub. The Islamic awakening is in full swing and now is the time that we must all rise to the occasion. I thank you in advance for your support, inshaAllah.
May Allah’s peace and blessing be on those who follow his true path.
Khadija Abdul Qahaar
Publisher, JUS