Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pat Tillman: The Fame Game

For give the absence, Folks! New job and lots of transitioning around the house ...

Yet, I did start a post that I am sure is going to reign down Hell on me but I am going to say what is in my heart, that is what the men and women in the Middle East are risking their lives for after all.

I really have some issues with the Pat Tillman story and how his family, it seems predominantly his father and brother, is handling the details surrounding his death. Read more here. My question to the Tillman Family is this, How do you want Pat remembered? Do you want him remembered as someone who gave his life in the line of duty? As a NFL player who gave up a high paying career to waste his life for an unjust cause? As a hero?

I just can't seem to find an answer as to what this family wants. No matter how many rants they post, how many officers' careers and families are destroyed, none of this is going to bring Pat Tillman back. It seems to me that they simply have a vendetta that will never be satisfied. They want to embarrass the military, the government and the administration at any and all costs. Yet to what end?

It is because of who Pat was before he put on the uniform, his fame, that earned him an 18 month probe conducted by the Department of Defense. Just like John McCain, who because of his father, was the poster child for the POWs during Vietnam, it would seem that Tillman's notoriety is providing his family with much more that the family of a single mom whose only son is still Missing In Action from Vietnam would ever receive. This woman's family couldn't even get the military to go out and look for her son after his capture and still today the decades of lies is so deep and so thick, the family may never get the only thing they truly want; some piece of their loved one to bury and say goodbye. Then, as time passes, a place to go to be with him, to visit him and to talk to him.

It is clear that the Tillman's have gotten much more than just about any other military family could dream of in like circumstances. It is the Fame Game. Might I be so bold as to suggest that the Tillman Family regroup and make an effort to use the public stage that Pat's life has offered them and find a way to make his life mean something; focus on The Pat Tillman Foundation, support gold star military families or dare I say, be thankful that they had a body returned to them to bury and say goodbye. Why not turn around and try to help the not so famous families of those being held in Columbia, the families of those British Sailors held in Iran or even POW/MIA Families of those still unaccounted for.

Those things would make Pat's life mean something and have an everlasting impact far beyond his NFL notoriety ...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Italy Swaps 5 Talibans for La Repubblica Reporter

Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin for this NYT piece in which the Italian government made a deal with the devil i.e. the Taliban in exchange for one of their Leftinistra reporters.

After the exchange, the Times reports;
The concern was underscored on Tuesday just after the release of one of the prisoners, Ustad Yasir, who was identified as a Taliban spokesman. He said he would return immediately to war, and was “grabbing two rifles to begin jihad again to hunt down invaders and fight nonbelievers,” according to a statement attributed to him on the Internet.

This incident hits me personally on levels that are worth discussing here. First, as an Italian-American, it bothers me to no end that my quasi-countrymen could be so narrow minded as to consider this a victory and did not have the foresight to see this as a catalyst for kidnapping of many more reporters in the hopes that a similar deal will be struck. The Taliban and Al Qaeda now know that the Italians will negotiate with them, now making Italian reports a hot commodity in the Middle East.

Secondly, the Italians lack of historical epistemology leaves them with a horrible precedent that may haunt them as the international WOT continues. It is quite possible that this decision will not only put Italian reports at risk, but also the Italian people on a grander scale. The possibility of a terrorist attack in Italy will now be more like a probability. Recollections of the bombings in Madrid have not been wasted on the jihadists. Within days of 3/11 in Madrid, Spanish troops were redeployed.

Another avenue of discussion is the little known activity of the French being blood-letted by the Vietnamese for decades as POWs were quietly and gradually returned to their homeland as millions upon millions were paid to Communists in exchange for their countrymen captured in the 1950's.

We can now expect to see more reporters; nationality will be non-descriminant, being kidnapped or worse. Also expect to see reporters taking fewer risks to get closer to the story, meaning their reporting will be less accurate and more inclinded to being tainted by other sources before being put to print. That can never be a good thing for those of us who are pro-Victory.

The backdrop for all of this is the fact that, with the exception of England, our supposed European allies are just as weak as our shortsighted Congress members who voted for the anti-funding bill this week. Maybe we could get them kidnapped!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nancy Pelosi: $24.5 billion in pork ...This is fiscal responsibility?

Is it just me? or does this article make you feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone?

The House is scheduled to vote on Thursday on the $124 billion bill, which includes more than $95.5 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill also would demand that troops come home before fall 2008 and possibly earlier if the Iraqi government does not meet certain benchmarks.

Now, recent articles from the past hour have the total amount of the bill at only $121 billion but regardless, we are looking at some $20 billion in pork added on to this bill. President Bush, if given the opportunity to veto this bill, should simply do so on principle. There is no reason for that much pork to be added to a bill of this magnitude. Some are voting on this bill because of the relief that it would provide for hurricane victims across the country instead of the leading reason, the future of our nation.

I know that may sound melodramatic but I think if we were to ask the 30,000 from The Gathering of Eagles what their opinion would be, then I think we would get a good barometer for whether or not this idea is an exaggeration.

The protesters are truly living in the Twilight Zone as they keep drinking the Koolaid thinking that "no war is good", "war is bad", "give peace a chance". That is all well and good in the abstract but really, I would suggest that one of them get in the face of one of the terrorists and ask them to just sit down and talk. The irrationality of the mindset of both the terrorists and the Code Pink folks is the scariest part of this whole issue. Yet, as I have said before, the Code Pinkers will be the first ones screaming for someone to protect them when these fundamentalist Muslims come knocking.

In honor of Mr. Griffin, my high school history teacher, one needs only to examine the epistemological starting point of this dictomy to realize that logic will not be recognized by either side. One is just as narrow minded as the other. The terrorists see the Code Pinkers as an asset, much like the anti-war ilk of Fonda and Kerry was for the VC during Vietnam. Yet the Code Pinkers look at this issue, dare I say, through rose colored glasses. They don't want to end just this war, they want to end all wars. The naivite of their thinking is in the fact that it is not full circle. They see the end of the war as a victory and cannot look beyond that. They do not, nor does it appear some in Congress, grasp where our nation will be after Iraq ...thankfully, there are others of us who do.

The Silent Majority is silent no more.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

John McCain: The POW/MIA Factor on Election '08

The Many Faces of John McCain

What do you really know about John Kerry and John McCain and their treatment of the POW/MIA issue?

Have you ever spoken to anyone that has been on the receiving end of one of McCain's rants? I have. Three as a matter of fact. One was actually caught on tape during the 1992 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.

Tell me why McCain can embrace his Vietnamese captors yet turn his back on the POW/MIA Families, many of whom were instrumental in seeing to it that he came home alive. McCain's first wife was one of them and he rewarded her loyalty with a divorce just a few years after he returned from capivity. Something that McCain has descretely kept close to the vest.

Do you know about documents that McCain and Kerry covered up during the Senate Select Committee that stated that the Vietnamese had ACKNOWLEDGED taking men into captivity that they never mentioned before? I have them and would be happy to share them with you. Here is a link to just get you started. 19 New POW cases

Maybe you should check out all of the discrepancies in McCain's story based on news reports and his very own biography before you assume that these people are, in McCain's word, "zealots", here. Ted Sampley was the man who investigated the remains that were in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington and because of his hard nosed investigating that man was identified and returned to his family. He was also a Green Beret, a tad more impressive than a Navy pilot with only some twenty hours or so of flight time. Yet McCain wants us to take his word over Sampley's when it comes to Vietnam and the POW/MIA issue.

Most don't know anything more about the POW/MIA issue than what has been spun, controled and then passed on to the MSM. If you want facts, talk to a family member of a missing man and find out their story. That is where you will get the truth. McCain and Kerry had much to gain by burying the POW/MIA issue. McCain, has regularly supported political move of his former captives; normalization of relations, re-establishing trade and membership in the WTO. He has even been photographed embracing one of the Vietamese men who pulled him from the water after his aircraft went down.

McCain with Mai Van On

This is just the tip of the POW/MIA iceburg for John McCain ..... check back from time to time for more on the not so public side of this presidential candidate.

Gathering of Eagles: One HELL of a job!!!

Gathering of Eagles Supporters

This is for you, Snooper!

Hi Folks! There is so much I want to say today. I am so proud to be an American. I have spent the better part of the morning seraching for info on the Gathering of Eagles counter protest yesterday. Instead of repeating what has already been written by those who were there, I decided to give you an array of what I found and proudly share it with you all. The only thing left to say is that I wish I could have been there. I really do .....

Washington Post

My buddy Snooper's Place

Michelle Malkin's Amazing Report

Hot Air

Right On The Right (2 parts)

There are lots more out there and lots more yet to be posted I'm sure but the jist is this; GOE definitely out numbered the ANSWER folks. Some sources say 3:1 other go as far as 6:1.

This may well be a turning of the tide for The Victory Gang!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Duncan Hunter, General Pace and reading lessons for Justin Schafer

Justin Schafer is already slinging the mud over at Daily Kosbased on his poor reading of Presidential Candidate Duncan Hunter's op-ed piece in USA Today. In reaction to General Pace's comments on gays in the military, Hunter contributed his support of the present status quo on the issue. Hunter's opinion can be summarized in the final sentence of his piece, "Present policy barring open homosexual conduct should be maintained."

Justin needs to work on his reading comprehension skills as Hunter is merely supporting the present "Don't ask, Don't tell Policy" saying that things need to stay as they are. Yet, Schafer felt the need for a nutroot rant;

So people can't live in "close quarters" with others whose behavior they find morally questionable? There is a lot of conservative behavior that I find morally questionable: attacking other countries without provocation; sending troops into battle without training, armor, or proper leave between combat rotations; cutting taxes for the rich while defunding education programs for the poor; allowing pharmaceutical companies to make record profits while healthcare costs for Americans skyrocket; the list goes on. I don't see anyone saying that those people should be banned from the military. Of course, many of the people who do those things managed to avoid serving anyway, so I guess it's a moot point.

That is all nice and sweet, Justin but..

1) No one made reference to having gays quartered separately from heterosexuals.

2) The word "behavior" isn't a political term (see here), it refers to the way an individual (meaning one) person acts or behaves. It has no relationship whatsoever to political policy, it refers to a visible behavior.

3) Then you shot yourself in the foot stating that the fact is moot yet General Pace states, "These moral principles also reflect the position of the predominantly conservative families who send their young men and women to serve in the U.S. military". Take a look at the list of Democratic Candidates for President, how many of them served in the military? Now look at the Republican Candidates ....Does the name Bill Clinton ring a bell?

4) Hunter didn't say they should be banned, you need to learn to read! He said things should stay as they are! Nothing more. Do we need to get you Hooked on Phonics?

5) Like it or not, General Pace and Duncan Hunter both serve or served in the Military, they know what open homosexuality would do to a unit. You don't, like it or not.

And lastly ... regarding your brother-in-law who is in the Air Force, you should be proud of his service yet I would be curious to know when was the last time he was in combat? On the ground with the enemy shooting at him knowing that his life was in the hands of those around him? The USAF is in the air (usually with only 2 in a plane at a time), not on the ground in numbers of 10, 25, 50 or more in direct contact with the enemy. Don't make the USAF, USMC and USA mutually inclusive, it only shows your ignorance about the military.

More on Texas and Merck's HPV Vaccine

Merck and Texas

One of my first blog posts was about the issue of mandating the HPV vaccine for girls ages 12 and up in the state of Texas. Many have moral issues with the mandate others have political issues with Gov. Perry circumventing the political process and even more have issues with the necessity of the vaccine and the Govenor's connections to the pharmaceutical company, Merck, who developed it.

It appears that Texas Governor Perry may be in for more than her bargained for, here. The Texas House has already passed legislation to block Perry's move and a similiar act is working its way through the State Senate.

As I said back in February, I really have to wonder what Merck is offering that would make such a gamble with the lives of millions of women acceptable.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Duncan Hunter: Making an Impact at CPAC

Making a Name

I was very happy to see Hot Air post an Interview with Candidate Duncan Hunter. The more I read and hear of this guy, the more optimistic I become about the possibility and hope for the future of this nation that I love so much. I don't mean that to sound clique but, even if it does, it truly is how I feel. This nation, with all its quirks, complaints and flaws is still, bar none, the best thing going on this planet.

Duncan Hunter is articulate with a calming voice; a presence that gives you the impression that this man is ready for the job. His ideals appears to be things that he has spent a life time developing and fine tuning to get him to this point. When I look at all the other candidates in both parties I see politicians, when I look at Duncan Hunter I see a true statesman.

My esteemed colleague from The Victory Caucus, Snooper, over at Take Our Country Back at TownHall is also beginning to see what I see in Duncan Hunter. For Snooper's take on it, visit him here.

Once you are done at Snooper's place, go to The Official Site of Duncan Hunter for US President in 2008 and learn more. Then come back and tell me what you think of Duncan Hunter. I will be anxious to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Surge is Succeeding: Because they stand on a wall, and say nothing is going to hurt you tonight ...

....Not on My Watch!

Yes, Folks, our faith in journalists may be on the rise. In today's WaPo, The Surge is Succeeding! More here and even Brian Williams, anchor at NBC Nightly News is reporting that there is positive change in Iraq.

a la "A Few Good Men"

"And what do we have for the losers, Johnny! Thaaaat's right, after showing complete disregard for the men on the ground, their families and the fate of our nation, the Democrats, lead by Nancy Pelosi and Jack Murtha, will get an long vacation at exotic Fort Bush Was Right, You Were Wrong. And .... for all the White Flag Republicans, start updating those resumes boys and girls because next term you will be teaching typewriter maintenance at the Rocco Clubo School for Traitors.

Thank you for playing "Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid?"

(Damn! That felt good!)

Not so happy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

It appears that not only is the SURGE working, the Dems claim to only have 71 of the 218 votes needed to block the funding for it and, as I have stated several times, the honeymoon is over for Nancy Pelosi and she is at the point in her speakership where she has to prove her metal. She has been ALL talk since taking office and this is her first opportunity to "put her money where her mouth is". Yet, that mouth has been rather quiet lately.Additionally, one might speculate that with the collective nature of Brian Williams' reports from Iraq and NBC/MSBC/MSN all gently pushing the agenda that a) Surge is working and B) That the House Majority may not have the majority needed to thumb their noses at the White House. All of this is going to make the next year and a half quite interesting. N'est pas?Read more here!

Friday, March 9, 2007

McCain and Kissenger: Strange Bedfellows?

I just love this political cartoon. Kudos to the artists at Cagle Cartoons!

NewsMax just reported that former Secretary of State Henry Kissenger has thrown his support behind the McCain 2008 Campaign. For some this may not be anything to write home about but this article might well be the reason why Kissenger is suddenly being thrown into the limelight during his 2008 Campaign.

Now, in his latest shift to the right, McCain is openly embracing Kissinger. Hotline On Call reports that McCain has chosen Kissinger to be the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.

Ok, understandably, McCain may well feel that he needs a boost in New York considering the grasp that Hillary has on NYC and her "home state". If you ask this New Yorker and just about any other, we will tell you that Hillary isn't a New Yorker. She may live here but she isn't one of us. Regardless, McCain may want a voice in Hillary's backyard as well as Rudy Guiliani's. An obscene amount campaign donations come from the New York City area and obviously, McCain wants a piece of that pie.

Yet, if you look at the second link above, you will see quotes from Kissenger such as;
Kissinger sensed wobbliness everywhere on Iraq, and he increasingly saw it through the prism of the Vietnam War. For Kissinger, the overriding lesson of Vietnam is to stick it out.

In his writing, speeches and private comments, Kissinger claimed that the United States had essentially won the war in 1972, only to lose it because of the weakened resolve of the public and Congress.

In a column in The Washington Post on Aug. 12, 2005, titled “Lessons for an Exit Strategy,” Kissinger wrote, “Victory over the insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy.”

McCain is making his friendship with Kissenger more public because of Henry's POV on Iraq and it's inevitable comparison with Vietnam, a war that Kissenger claims the US had won but didn't have the longevity to stay the course. Yet, due to the atmosphere at home, very similar to the air today over Iraq, we left before the job was done. This is the one campaign issue that McCain doesn't seem to be flip-flopping on (too much). So Henry gives him, as well as Bush, some credibility on Iraq.

McCain has made Kissenger his honorary co-chairman of his finance efforts in NY. Here is another place that lists many prominent New Yorkers who have agreed to join the McCain Train. One of them being former Ambassador to Vietnam, Pete Peterson. It seems that McCain is attempting to discretely campaign on his Vietnam experience, something that groups like the US Veteran Dispatch, the soon to be Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain, and just about every POW/MIA group you can think of, will do all they can to discredit.

Yet, it appears that Kissenger may well be taking a page from McCain's book of tricks as you can see here . A November 2006 Washington Post article cites Kissenger as saying that victory in Iraq was not possible. So I guess flip-floppers enjoy each others' company as well. Imagine my surprise!

Katie Couric: $15 million a year and not good enough

Last month the ratings for the evening news were released and CBS's Katie Couric was not able to gain her network the number one spot which many at CBS thought would be a no-brainer. There were many reports in the days that followed stating that this was possibly due to the fact that she was a woman and evening news viewers were simply not ready for a female anchor woman. That seemed to be the only justification that many at the time could muster. I had planned on blogging about it but got caught up in other issues that seemed more pressing. I felt then and still feel now that the reason for Couric's decline has little to do with her gender and more to do with her lack of experience. (Read about it here)

Take a step back and think of the scenarios in which we have seen Couric over the years. She did very little hard journalism to be perfectly honest. She was regularly part of the NBC parade brigade, the Olympics and her obvious long time post at the Today Show and the like. But we are accustom to seeing her doing segments that involved soft topics with guest interviews that allowed Katie to flash her smile, laugh and be America's girl. We have followed her relationship with Kevin Costner and raving over her selection of evening gowns and outfits at various charity and Hollywood style events. She has not proven herself as a hard-nosed journalist to the American people. A five minute segment with a politician on the Today Show is not hard journalism, it's orchestrated fluff.

We have watched her play around in an innocent yet flirting manner with Matt Lauer and just about every male to grace the Today Show set. Now, she has toned down on the amount of skin she exposes at any public appearance she makes, suddenly wanting America to take her seriously yet I doubt it will ever happen.

It was announced yesterday that CBS has hired an image guru for Katie Couric, a well known executive producer Rick Kaplan whose resume includes former president of CNN and MSNBC and onetime executive producer of ABC's "World News Tonight" and "Nightline". Here is more on Kaplan and his past Clinton connections. Sailor in the Desert seems to think that Kaplan may be having Couric do some shill work for Clinton. Very Interesting! Kaplan will replace Rome Hartman who reportedly wanted a change of scenary regardless. Kaplan will have his work cut out for him as the above cited Washington Post article states;

..the shake-ups reflect the growing intensity of a ratings war in which millions of dollars in advertising revenue are at stake. ABC's "World News" with Charlie Gibson has seized the ratings lead from Brian Williams's NBC broadcast in three of the past four weeks. Gibson drew 9.56 million viewers last week, Williams 9.39 million, and Couric 7.51 million.

Kaplan will have approximately two million viewers the earn for CBS. Honestly, I do not think this is the right move for the network. No matter how much polish you give to Katie Couric, America will never be able to shake the school girl image we have of her.

If CBS is hell-bent on having a female anchor, I am sure there are better choices out there. Deborah Norville comes to mind as well as some of the more conservative anchors out there. Yet getting a conservative to jump ship into the waters at CBS might prove more difficult than gaining two million viewers for Couric.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Obama and Parking Tickets? Come On!!

Parking for Barack Obama Only

I just found this over at Fox News. It appears that two weeks before officially announcing his candidacy for POTUS, Obama finally paid for 15 outstanding parking tickets from his time at Harvard Law ('88-'91), totaling $375 including late fees.

First off, I had a parking ticket from Nov.of 2005 that I paid but wasn't aware of the late fee of $20. I started getting hounding phone calls from a collection agency and called the City to find out that I still owed the late fee. Notice, I said from 2005 not 1990.

What does this say about Obama? Are we supposed to believe that he couldn't afford to pay for them all these years? He was unaware of the outstanding tickets yet took care of them just before announcing. Hmmm .. Did he think that because he was a Congressman that he didn't have to pay them? That may work at the Congressional Bank but not at Harvard it appears. And most importantly, why did he pay for them just two weeks before officially announcing? It would have been smarter to act like he didn't know than to pay them when he did. Did he really think that someone at the parking office wouldn't blow the whistle on this?

Upon reading this article all that came to mind was "How Clinton of him". Everything is an oversight until the political microscope comes out looking for some dirt before a significant election. What does this say about Obama's character? I mean honestly - 15 parking tickets? I am amazed that the fees were so little. My ticket (singular) was paid late and it was $20. We are talking about tickets that are over ten years old. Many universities do not release your diploma until you have paid ALL outstanding fees. How did he slip by on this one?

This reminds me of the story of the kid at school who stole three dollars worth of candy from the school store. His father came to school, tossed three dollars on the principal's desk and considered the case closed.

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, dismissed the tickets as not relevant.

"He didn't owe that much and what he did owe, he paid," Psaki said on Wednesday. "Many people have parking tickets and late fees. All the parking tickets and late fees were paid in full."

I hate to break it to Jen but, if you can't be trusted with the little things ....

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Pelosi's Honeymoon is over .... Thank God!

E. J. Dionne, Jr. at the Washington Post has a great piece yesterday, "Testing Time for Democrats". It is truly worth the read. He strikes on something that I suggested a while back, the honeymoon is over for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has been extremely quiet these past few weeks since the Senate put the kibosh on her attempt to give the White House a congressional raspberry and single handedly put an end to the war in Iraq. Well, I think that Nancy was on the receiving end of a sincere reality check and is learning that things in Washington work a little differently at the top and that in order to lead, she must be a true leader. Her odd alliance with Jack Murtha has been quite a bit of smoke and mirrors and he too is realizing that he has to think more realistically if he truly has the troops in mind with his proposed legislation. I think they are both beginning to see the light.

Their power is not omnipotent, it has to be earned.

March on the Pentagon: Will ANSWER have control over their people?

We all hope that the anti-war protesters use their heads and appreciate their right to protest on March 17th. Yet, as it is with many of these events, others join in with different ideas, goals and objectives. I have always been an advocate for the expression, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. With that said, check out what the anti-war protesters from ANSWER are discussion on their message boards. I would encourage you to take a look at their "List of Endorsers" link at the top of the page. Quite a potpourri of groups, beliefs and motivations. With ANSWER being more concerned with visible numbers for the MSM to report, I have to wonder if they will have control over such a diversely motivated group.

I hate to say it, but I see things getting ugly quickly with this event. It is obvious from reading their message board that many will be attending to simply follow their anarchistic tendencies. Ending the war is not their motivator. Some appear to be welcoming the opportunity to simply "Rage Against the Machine".

Even with all of this, I feel sorry for them. Not just for their twisted beliefs but for what lies in waiting for them. There will be more participants from
Gathering of Eagles than the protesters are imagining and their motivation is singular, the protection of our war memorials and those who gave their lives in each of those conflicts. I wrote about this last week and even more examples of vandalism have been discovered, here.

I have the honor of knowing many Vietnam Veterans and I know their resolve. There will be some who will have a short fuse and there is no doubt that there will be protesters well armed with a verbal barrage of taunts for our Vets.

Just remember, the blame goes squarely on the Chief of the Capitol Police who ordered officers on the scene of a January, 2007 protest there to not interfere and not arrest anyone. Here is his statement after the fact. This act of cowardice gave the anti-war crowd the shot in the arm they were looking for and on March 17th, I want to see just how well the Capitol Police handle their own mess. I shudder at what this all will hold.

UPDATE: It seems that one of the splinter groups has a plan for the 19th of March as a follow up to the 17th. See here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Jonah Goldberg: Reviving the Vietnam War

It has only been recently, due to all of the comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam that I have been able to truly see just how Walter Cronkite and his minions honestly did effect the outcome of the War in Vietnam. I was well aware of the impact that John Kerry, Jane Fonda and Tom Hadden had on our POWs and the propaganda that the Communists used with such efficency against us to win the war on paper.

I just read a very eye-opening op-ed piece by Jonah Goldberg in USA Today (he is a good guy from over at National Review Online) and felt like he had been sitting here with me all of these years as I attempted to grapple with where Vietnam fit into our national history and what lessons we were supposed to glean from it.

Please read it, it will give you insight and clarity that has been missing for over 30 years. It will also give you a strong grasp on our present day situation and not just the importance of victory but the necessity of it.

Walter Reed: Possibly the beginning of something?

For some, it may be difficult not to see the present awakening at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) as a political stepladder due to the obvious ramifications on both sides of the aisle. Yet, just for a moment, I would like to think that there isn’t an American alive who isn’t thankful that this issue, politics aside, is being addressed in what seems to be a correct and appropriate manner. There are some that may not be able to separate the politics of this from the simple fact that these heroes are going to get better care, better facilities and over all recuperation will dramatically improve for all of them.

I am sure there are patients at WR today whose lives will be forever changed for the better due to that handful of people who had been worn down by the system to a depth of despair that made it clear they had nothing left to lose. Many have questioned the Washington Post reporters who broke the story for having waited almost four months to bring this issue to the forefront. For whatever the reason, we truly must ask ourselves, who else was in a position have a similar impact? My thoughts are better late than never. Here,here and here you have some less slanted reporting eventhough still staying failthful to the MSMs "Bush is to blame" mantra.

Getting back to the politics of this, we already have our fans on the left pointing fingers, placing blame and in some cases, enjoying the rainstorm that is befalling Washington right now. Here is a perfect example. I had to laugh because Benen’s title, ””The Right Explains the Walter Reed Scandal” gives you the impression that he is going to give that side of the aisle’s perspective, yet all is does is give his sides typical blame game rhetoric. My question for the left is, how many of you have sat down and written a letter of support to a deployed soldier or Marine? Because after all you don’t support the war but you support the troops, right? How many have quietly and without fanfare gone to Walter Reed or Bethesda Naval Hospital to visit the wounded without cameras rolling?

This reminds me of the horrific story of the Ziegenfuss Family as US Army Major Chuck Z was recuperating at Walter Reed in 2006 from one of his 34 surgeries after being wounded by and IED in 2005. He and his wife were visited by Arizona Senator and 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain, this alone should keep McCain out of the White House, read here. This event may surprise some, but not me. Yet, this serves as a perfect example of those who still consider the wounded as a necessary evil for those much needed photo ops.

I sincerely hope that this is just the beginning of the exposure of many other military agencies that are charged with providing care and assistance to our heroes and their family members both past and present. Walter Reed will surely be the beginning of peeling pack the layers of chronic problems with the VA and it’s care not just for present day heroes but those from the Vietnam Era as well who continue to go through similar difficulties over their care and benefits from three decades ago.

I can only dream that this will be a springboard for not just those Vietnam Vets who still have the internal and external scars but for those family members of those brave men who are still MIA who have fought for decades to get answers to the questions that they know our government and those of our former enemies may well have. They too have been forgotten and hidden away in the hopes that they would be worn down by the system much like these wounded warriors of today.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Rosa, Rosa Rosa! What are you thinking?

Rosa, Rosa, Rosa …

I wanted to touch base with you over a few major inconsistencies in your op-ed piece in today’s LA Times, “The lunatic right returns”. Initially, you claim that the statements made by the Swift Boat vets were “defamatory insinuations”. If these men served with Kerry and witnessed how he carried out his duties as an officer in the US Navy, how can you term their statements as insinuations if they were there and you weren’t? You must admit that Kerry receiving three purple hearts in approximately four months in combat is somewhat questionable. Could the fact that you were an advisor on the Kerry-Edwards Campaign in 2004 be the catalyst for your piece?

Regarding Col. Bud Day, he was not a Swift Boat Vet but a POW along with John McCain in Hanoi, in fact he never even served in the Navy, instead he proudly served our nation in the US Air Force. Another significant piece of information that you conveniently omitted was that Col. Day is also a Medal of Honor winner. You might want to read the citation, it tells of his amazing bravery and leadership while a POW in Vietnam. So how you can refer to Day as one of the Swift Boaters from Kerry’s last presidential bid is a bit confusing. Additionally, Mary Jane McManus is the wife of a former POW who also served in the Air Force, again not the Navy as Kerry did. If anyone knows first hand how the left influenced the lives of POWs, it would be Day and McManus. Carlton Sherwood was a Marine during Vietnam who later became a journalist and was the producer of an amazing documentary, Stolen Honor, that chronicles the story of about a dozen Vietnam POWs who tell of their harrowing experiences and how their captivity was directly and negatively effected by the anti-war movement. Are you going to deny the veracity of these men and what they experienced at the hands of their captors?

Are you denying that the left doesn’t have a campaign against the American Soldier just as it did during Vietnam? I have seen Stolen Honor, spoken personally with former POWs and these men are brave, honorable, and the most patriotic men you will ever have the pleasure of knowing. Are you also denying that Murtha is using the troops as a pawn in the left’s War on Bush? He himself has said, “Our troops have become the enemy. We need to change direction in Iraq.” Our Troops? Those who defend our nation and her beliefs are “the enemy”?

You claim that the situation in Iraq has gone from bad to worse and back again. Oddly enough, you are again taking the word of those simply reporting the war from those on the ground and in uniform who strongly believe in their mission and regularly report success and advancement in the lives of civilian as well as military Iraqis for those who are willing to listen.

You quoted that the casualties from Iraq have tripled since 2004. That quote is the definition of disingenuous as the war started in early 2003. In your way of calculation you are comparing the first year of the war with years 2 and 3. In 2003 there were 486 casualties, 2004 had 848, 2005 had 846 and 2006 had 821. You claim that Americans are dumb, well maybe in this case, this American saw through your rouse, not quite so dumb after all.

You state that, ‘What's depressing about the reemergence of the Swifties, though, is that it's symbolic of the increasing takeover of the "conservative" movement by unprincipled, right-wing extremists.” So, am I correct in assuming that you are referring to Col Bud Day, as an “unprincipled, right-wing extremist”? Well, in the very next paragraph of your piece you quote John McCain as saying that Swift Boaters are “dishonest and dishonorable” yet McCain himself has referred to Col. Bud Day here as, “one of the greatest men I have ever had the honor to know.” If I'm not mistaken, that quote came directly from McCain's autobiography. So again you have me confused, if McCain, who was held with Day calls him “the greatest man”, then how can he also be dishonest and dishonorable?

Your closing comments on Oliver North and Michelle Malkin truly show your lunatic tendency. North was a decorated Marine who fearlessly served his country and Malkin’s recognition, while obviously difficult for you to swallow, is well deserved as she and those that collaborate with her truly investigate and dig deep into the layers of a story to find the truth. She will call a spade a spade no matter what their political affiliation.

In closing Ms. Brooks, you might benefit in a bit of accuracy in your reporting as the entire premise of your op-ed piece is a misnomer.

*PS -Kudos to the editorial and research team at the LA Times by the way for obviously not validating who you wrote about as Day, McManus and Sherwood had nothing at all to do with the Swift Boat Vets of 2004.

Update: I have contacted the LA Times and asked for a correction/retraction as well as an admission on the part of Ms. Brooks that she served as an advisor to the Kerry-Edwards 2004 Campaign. I will keep you posted if I hear anything more from the LA Times.

Oh No! Howard Dean is Mad (again)!!

The DNC's Howard Dean

I don't know what should be a bigger surprise, that Ann Coulter said something offensive or that Howard Dean is mad? here

After Coulter's tongue and cheek remark Dean is reported to have immediately issued a press release is which he said,

“While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the issues, we should all be able to agree that this kind of vile rhetoric is out of bounds. The American people want a serious, thoughtful debate of the issues.”

This quote is out loud laughable. Does Dean issue statements to Pelosi, Murtha, Levin and their minions? Has Dean ever heard the expression calling the kettle black? Has he taken a look at the liberal blogosphere and read all the anti-Bush and anti-Christian fanfare that is out there? (Does the name Amanda Marcotte ring a bell?) Has he called on all Democrats to "agree that this kind of vile rhetoric is out of bounds?" If he has, I can make a long list of those who didn't get the memo.

Was Ann wrong for using the word "faggot"? Absolutely! She was and why she felt that was necessary is beyond me. I have always hoped that people in the public eye learned a hard lesson from the Dixie Chicks in as far as the backlash for their comments about President Bush while on tour in the UK two years ago. The Chicks knew better than to make those claims to their US audience who is staunchly Republican and pro-military. This is the kind of mistake that many make thinking that comments like these are safe when you are with an audience of like minded individuals.

In the age of paparazzi we should always take heed to the fact that someone is always watching, always listening, always looking for the story that is going to get their by-line on the evening news. I have no doubt that there were Democratic moles at CPAC looking for some dirty laundry.

Regardless, Dean's press release isn't worth the paper is was printed on. Nice try, Howie!

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Desecreation of War Memorials has begun ....

I know in my last post I said I would look into more on Duncan Hunter's run for the White House but something else has taken center stage. An e-mail from a Vietnam Vet came into my inbox a few minutes ago and the title of this post says it all.

An obviously little seen story, Melanie Morgan, Chairman of MoveAmericaForward.Org tells of gruesome vandalism to some local war memorials all over the nation, here. It appears that the antiwar folks, discontented about the "Gathering of Eagles" raining on their parade by protecting the national war memorials during the upcoming March 17th antiwar rally in DC, they have decided to go after the local war memorials. The WorldNetDaily article states;

In a late January anti-war rally, a contingent of protesters broke off and spray painted the U.S. Capitol building and steps with anti-war and anarchist messages and slogans.

Anti-war protesters spray painted anti-Bush slogans and smashed glass panels at the Medal of Honor Monument in Indianapolis, Ind.

In Boise, Idaho, the son of a Democratic state senator was accused of vandalizing flagpoles and desecrating flags at the State Capitol. The flags are memorials to soldiers who lost their lives in the war on terror.

In Pennsylvania, someone attacked the South Connellsville War Memorial, destroying the lighting grid at the monument.

Another war memorial was desecrated in Vermont. A Vietnam memorial was vandalized in Chicago. The list just goes on and on.

The rage and anger that I feel inside me is like little I have felt in my life. My first thought is of the son of the Idaho State Senator, did he believe that he would get away with this because of his father's position and I want to know what this State Senator has said and done in the wake of this behavior. Events like this make we want to reinstitute corporal punishment. Not only that, I want to know what kind of son the State Senator raised, like it or not, this falls squarely on his shoulders.

I really hate to say this but the simply fact that the major media outlets have NOT picked up on this story speaks volumes. One would think that these people, these reporters who truly live under the umbrella of the freedoms that those honored by our nation's war memorials gave their lives for, they among all of us would be the first to speak out against these types of deviant behaviors, yet they have remained silent.

Let's just hope that this isn't a precursor to the antiwar ANSWER people have planned for March 17th. One thing I do know, let them go after The Vietnam Wall and all bets are off.

Duncan Hunter - Moving into the Limelight

Presidential Candidate,Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA)

NewsMax is reporting that Duncan Hunter is running a "close second" to Rudy Gulliani is a straw poll completed in South Carolina yesterday,more here. I have read up on Hunter, listened to his recent interview with Pundit Radio available here and I like the common non-sensical way he looks at things. He is strong on defense, strong on the border security yet wants illegal treated respectfully as he shows here by his recent firing of his South Carolina advisers for recent comments and actions that do not reflect Hunter's views and ideals. This is the exact kind of leadership action that the Edwards' Campaign should have shown when they allowed their debacle with the hiring of their bloggers become an issue over weeks rather than days.

Another positive for Hunter is that he is a student of Reagan and if anything is going to save us, it is that Reagan-like mentality that America is strong, proud and defiant in the face of any adversary. You can find is campaign website here.

It also appears that many of those at the Conserative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held this weekend in DC are anxious to hear more as his "close second" in the straw poll will most likely peak the interest of those at the Conference. Once can only hope. The fact that the press is already looking at his campaign ads in the hopes of finding campaign finance violations, read here, is a sign that they are at least taking notice of Hunter at this point.

I am going to spend some time today reading with the lefties have to say about him and will try to play devil's advocate in my next post. For now though, I am glad that Hunter is moving closer to center stage.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

More disdain for John McCain

Presidential Candidate John McCain

Great stories here:

Michelle Malkin
Mary Katharine Ham
Rob Bluey

McCain's roadshow continues. I really have to think that McCain is making up his campaign as he goes along. Announcing on Letterman? Come on! Many of the nation's most seasoned reporters have been regularly asking him about his potential candidacy yet he remained elusive. Then he gives the carrot to David Letterman. What was he trying to say with announcing in that fashion? We have always joked that politics in a cheap form of entertainment but this is truly taking things to a new level.

While on Letterman, as we all know by now, he appears to be attempting to distance himself on the troop surge that he claimed to support by now pulling an Obama and referring to the lives lost in Iraq as "wasted". At the McCain level of politics things are very meticulous and it is difficult to gauge what his motivation was for his performance on Letterman.

It all seemed to backfire on him as he was hoping to have his announcement be the main story in this news cycle but instead it was his use of the word "wasted" that seemed to be the hot topic today. Check out the above links, it appears that since Conservatives have taken strong note of McCain's absence at this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference, he is attempting to pull something together at the Conference to appease the masses. Sadly, appeasement seems to be his only campaign strategy which will not get him into the White House. The American voter is much smarter today than they were in 2000. Sorry Senator ...