Monday, July 31, 2006

American Public Trusts Our Military and Police

In June, USDoD released this press release via the Armed Forces Information Service. It seems that, according to a Gallup poll conducted in May of this year, 74% of those who took part in the survey said that they "have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the military - more than in a full range of other government, religious, economic, medical, business and news organizations." Police officers ranked second in the poll, gaining 63% confidence level. Both the military and police officers ranked above banks and even organized religion.

Surprisingly (that's sarcasm, folks), big business and Congress tied for the second and third lowest rankings in the poll.

Who was the lowest?

Yup, you guessed it: mainstream media, such as television and newspapers.

Now raise your hand if you've heard anything about this poll before now.

I didn't think so.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Truth of the Matter...

Meet The Real Mel Gibson

I confess, I love the movie Braveheart. I chuckled through the Lethal Weapon series and thought Mad Max was a nice, wholesome family movie. Maybe that makes me a Mel Gibson fan, maybe not. But I found the emerging facts of his recent DUI arrest disturbing.

Consider these partial pages of the police report, courtesy of TMZ. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Office reports that, after Gibson was arrested, he went on an anti-semitic rant, exclaiming, among other things, that "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Now that's news to me. Maybe Gibson knows more about world history than I do.

Gibson also threatened the arresting officer and insulted a female officer. The day after his arrest, Gibson's image people went into spin control, and had him apologizing for his comments and behavior. Too late asshole buddy. Time to go the way of your pal, Danny Glover

I, for one, will not attend your movies in the future, or support any project you are involved in. I hope every police agency and association follows suit. I hope every parent whose children watch Disney programming follows suit. I hope that intelligent, fair-minded, unprejudiced movie-goers everywhere express their contempt of your conduct and hate speech and threats by boycotting all of your projects.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is America!

New 9/11 Plot?

I found this article from CBS News interesting. It concerns a Saudi Arabian citizen named Rayed Abdullah. Abdullah is the former roommate of Hani Hanjour who, as we all know, piloted the plane that flew into the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001. Abdullah was also taking flying lessons in the United States, and was one of the terrorists named in the now famous "Phoenix Memo," which warned, two months before 9/11, that al Qaeda might be planning attacks against aircraft in the U.S. Abdullah was never charged with anything related to 9/11, and later left the country.

Since then, he has entered New Zealand, with a false passport and name, with the "intention" of studying English. After entering New Zealand, he applied to several flight schools, and tried to get a commercial pilot's license. He ultimately was arrested and deported from New Zealand as a "national security threat." He returned to Saudi Arabia, where he was detained and released. He has, since then, vanished.

So my question is this: why is this scumbag still breathing? Why hasn't Delta, or the CIA, or a CAT unit killed this guy and spared us whatever sick and twisted evil he may be planning? We have seen more al Qaeda messages of late, are they trying to re-assert themselves in the midst of the turmoil in the Middle East, or are they signalling people like Abdullah?

Maybe Abdullah has since re-entered the U.S. through our wonderful southern border. Or maybe his "vanishing" act is more than a coincidence. Maybe the Saudi's did us a favor and sent him along to his blessed virgins.

Whatever Abdullah's ultimate fate, we need to be much more proactive in dealing with these people. When we find them and their intentions are clear, overt act or not, we need to apply the "ounce of prevention" principle. Kill them, not capture them. That way, we don't offend anyone by sending them to Gitmo.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

How Not To Beat A Traffic Ticket

A friend of mine directed me to this article about how to talk your way out of a traffic ticket, from These articles pop up periodically, and I always laugh when I see them. However, this article is worse than most, so I had to take a moment to comment.

Obviously, the author of the article, Kelli B. Grant, never bothered to interview the people with the greatest knowledge of the subject: police officers. And the article assumes that every cop you talk to is dumber than a doorknob, a dangerous assumption that is rarely true. But the article does have a few good points, so let's give credit where it's due.

Grant is correct when she says that tickets will adversely affect your auto insurance rates, especially moving violations like speeding, reckless driving, unsafe passing, etc. And if you're under the age of eighteen, your premiums will really skyrocket. And paying those hefty fines isn't fun, either.

Grant also writes that "there are many alternative ways to get out of a ticket. Mastering these skills is bound to prove financially rewarding." She then suggests these pathetic strategies:
  • Name dropping: Grant suggests that you hand the officer another police officer's card to gain favor. But in truth, this rarely works. The officer who stopped you doesn't care that you live next door to someone whose sister knew a girl that dated a cop. Most officers will politely look at the card, hand it back to you, then proceed to write your ticket. And the cop that cited you is going to track down the other officer and tell him/her you were dropping their name, which also can come back to bite you in the ass. Chances of success with this strategy, in my opinion: less than 10%.
  • Play dumb and feign ignorance: Also not a good strategy. You know what you did wrong, and so does the officer. When you play dumb, the officer will usually see it as lying, which means you have absolutely ZERO chance of getting a warning. "The cop might have you for speeding for example, but not notice that you've got a blown-out headlight." Hmm. The cop has you for a $250 dollar speeding ticket, but you got away without a "fix-it" ticket for the headlight. Brilliant. Chances of success: Zero.
  • Kiss up and don't argue: This is good advice to a certain extent. I don't recommend "kissing up" because it sounds insincere and obvious. Saying "yes sir/no sir" is fine, since some respect and humility are in order, but don't go overboard. And never argue, because you will not win. The place to argue is court, not on the side of the road. Every cop knows that the most dangerous place to be is next to your window, so they don't want to stay there long. Arguing is not on the menu. Chances of success: 20%.

Now that you know how NOT to act, you might try this: be polite and do exactly what you are told to do. Don't argue, don't name drop, don't cry, don't flash your boobs (we'll look, but you'll still get a ticket). I think that the best way to get out of a ticket is to simply tell the truth. "I know I was speeding and I'm sorry" is much better that the "Who, me?" routine. You may still get a ticket, but at least you will have gained a measure of respect from the officer. And you can always ask for a warning, as Grant suggests. Maybe it's your lucky day.

Remember that traffic cops may make fifty or more traffic stops per shift. Any cop who has been on the job more than a year will have heard every excuse, every sob story, every con job. Traffic cops will rarely give a warning for a moving violation, but you might get lucky if a patrol officer stops you. They usually have a lot going on and your honesty and courtesy may just buy you a warning.

When you get to court to fight your ticket, plead not guilty, as Grant suggests. But remember that most traffic citations are a simple matter of your word against the officer's. And your word is now highly biased. The officer will present his/her training and experience, in addition to radar documents, speedometer calibration documents, photographs, etc. as evidence. Many police agencies also are A/V equipped now, so you expect video and audio tapes of your stop. And most importantly, the officer has academy training on how to testify, in addition to many hours in front of traffic court judges, most of whom the officer already knows. And you can bet that judges will take the officer's prior court appearances into consideration. All of this works against you.

You should go to court prepared. Take whatever documents you have (photographs, speedometer verification, etc.) and present your case calmly and politely. A police officer's notes are their own. You may ask to see them, but I wouldn't count on it. Tell the truth from your point of view and hope for the best. If found guilty, you can then ask for traffic school or a fine reduction, either of which you'll likely get if you behave properly.

My best advice is to obey traffic laws and make every attempt to drive safely. Then, you'll not only avoid a ticket, but you'll eventually get wherever you happen to be going. If you are stopped, be polite and co-operative, tell the truth, but be prepared for the ticket you are probably going to get. Don't complain or argue or try to talk yourself into a jail cell. Accept responsibility for your actions and understand that we are trying to keep you, and everyone else on the road, as safe as possible.

See you on the road.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Now This Is Scary

Anyone who will get drunk with Hillary Clinton is a braver man than I am. Yikes! Hasn't McCain already suffered enough?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

POW/MIA Updates

I found this recent post at One Marine's View, detailing the continuing search for Army Sgt. Matt Maupin, the only U.S. servicemember still missing from Operation Iraqi Freedom. Insurgents claimed to have murdered Maupin in June, 2004, but those reports have not been confirmed. Maupin is still listed as POW/MIA.

LtCmdr. Michael Scott Speicher crashed his F-18 Fighter in Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1999. He apparently survived the ordeal and was taken captive by Iraqi forces. He is the only casualty of that war still missing, and is listed as POW/MIA.

We haven't forgotten.

Leave no man behind.

Ben Stein, You Old Softy!

Ben Stein wrote an article called America! and it's at The American Spectator. Go check it out. And if you disagree, you're visiting the wrong blog. And living in the wrong country.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Middle East News

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian peacekeepers are being recalled from the U.N. "peacekeeping" mission in southern Lebanon. Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said that "it is very important that Australians appreciate, no matter how affronted we are by what Israel is doing, that they are dealing with Hizbollah and Hamas who are committed to the abolition of Israel as a state. But at the moment let us hope an appropriate longstanding resolution comes to this conflict. We can't afford to have a situation where bandaids are being applied to it again." Good on ya, mate! Love those Aussies!

UN SecGen Kofi Annan backed down from yesterday's moronic assertion that Israel deliberately attacked and killed UN "peacekeepers" in Lebanon. "I am shocked and deeply distressed by the apparently deliberate targeting by Israeli Defense Forces of a U.N. Observer post in southern Lebanon,” Annan said in a written statement yesterday. “I call on the government of Israel to conduct a full investigation into this very disturbing incident and demand that any further attack on U.N. positions and personnel must stop,” he said in the statement.

Today, however, there are new facts regarding the incident. Michelle Malkin has a post up that demonstrates how UN "peacekeepers" are used as a shield by Hezbollah terrorists. She also reports that several missiles had been launched from the area before the position was hit by the Israeli's. Annan's position in all of this is troubling to me. He is condemning Israel, demanding a cease-fire, yet he seems oblivious to the fact that the Israeli's are fighting for their very existence against an enemy that attacked them without provocation. The UN is growing more impotent by the day.

Here's a great post on the subject: Flopping Aces: Who’s Fault Is It Again Kofi?

FOX news reports that the U.S. has blocked a UN Security Council statement that would have condemned Israel for the bombing of the UN security post.

Haaretz/Israel News reports that Israeli troops are incurring more losses in the fighting among mounting rumors of "friendly-fire" incidents, including the accidental downing of an IDF helicopter yesterday. Meanwhile, over 150 rockets were fired into Israel yesterday by Hezbollah terrorists, the largest number yet.

This isn't going to be over any time soon, folks.

The Cost Of Freedom

The Associated Press has this story today about the Velez family, of Lubbock, Texas. Their story will not bring you to tears, but will fill you with pride, as well.

On November 13, 2004, Army Spc. Jose A. Velez was killed in action during the battle for Fallujah, Iraq. He had been a member of the 1st Cav. out of Fort Hood, Texas. He was 23 years old. After his death, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

His younger brother, Andrew, was also in the Army. After the death of his older brother, Andrew was offered the chance to avoid combat duty, but he declined. Andrew Velez wanted to return overseas to fight for his country. "You always do it for your buddy next to you," Andrew Velez told his father.

In June, the family's home in Texas was burglarized and Jose Velez' combat medals were stolen. They were replaced by the DoD just this past Monday. On Tuesday, the Velez family learned that Andrew had been killed in Afghanistan. He was 22, and had three young children.

When I read this story, I was reminded of a letter Abraham Lincoln once wrote (which was showcased in the movie Saving Private Ryan). A mother in Massachusetts had reportedly lost five sons in combat during the Civil War, and President Lincoln was asked to write her a letter of condolence on behalf of the Unites States Army. Here are the contents of that letter:

Executive Mansion,Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,--
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant
General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died
gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt
to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain
from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the
Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your
bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost,
and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice
upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln
After the letter was printed in the newspaper and made famous, it was learned that only two of the sons had been killed in combat. One had deserted the Army, one died a prisoner of war, and one was later honorably discharged. The mother, Mrs. Lydia Bixby, promptly destroyed the letter, since she was a Confederate sympathizer and hated Lincoln vehemently. Copies of the letter have been widely circulated, and many collectors paid handsomely for a forged copy, believing it to be authentic.

The above paragraph notwithstanding, the pure emotion and heartfelt respect in President Lincoln's letter cannot be argued. And it certainly applies to the Velez family some 140 years later.

May they find peace.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Whew! That Was Close!

Richard Allen Davis, the murderer of 12-year old Polly Klaas more than ten years ago, nearly died of an overdose today at San Quentin Prison, where he is serving his sentence. Thankfully, he was revived by the prison medical staff, and is expected to recover. I would hate for him to die before he served every single second of his sentence. After that, the asshole guy can die anytime he wants. Cheers, Richard!

A True Man Of Honor Dies

CNN is reporting that Carl Brashear, 75, has died of respiratory and heart failure. Brashear was the first black Navy diver and served thirty years in the Navy, even after losing a leg while recovering a hydrogen bomb off of the coast of Spain in 1966. He was the sole inspiration for the movie "Men Of Honor." Cuba Gooding Jr., who played Brashear in the movie, said today that "The African-American community lost a great leader today in Carl Brashear."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Rest in peace, brother. H/T to Matt and Tracy.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bruce Lee To Get Factual Biography

I was watching a special on Bruce Lee the other day with my son, and started thinking about what an influence he's had upon me. When I was a kid, I remember training in Kenpo Karate with a friend of mine. His instructors were both world champions, and he would go to class, then teach me every thing that he had learned. Not the best way to learn Kenpo, but it was a start. I had heard of Bruce Lee by that time, but really knew nothing about him. All that changed one day at the movies. When Game of Death came out in 1978, I went to see it with my Kenpo friend and was hooked.

It wasn't so much about the fight scenes, although the combat with Danny Inosanto is some of the most incredible ever filmed. It was more about his presence, about the way he moved and made you believe he could do anything. It was also my first exposure to the philosophical side of the martial arts, but hardly the last. I think I saw GoD five times in the next month, and I rushed right out and bought a copy of Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Soon, the walls of my room were covered with Bruce Lee posters (they were right next to the Farrah Fawcett ones), and I had read Tao cover to cover several times. There weren't a lot of JKD schools then, so it was Kenpo until I joined the Army. In the Army, I went to one of those badass schools where they teach you the ugly stuff, and was first exposed to JuJutsu. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, I've trained in JuJutsu and Judo, Aikido, Gracie Jiu Jitsu and even Krav Maga. One of these days, someone will open up a local JKD school and I'll be in heaven. Until then, I have his movies to interpret, his books to read and study, and his philosophy to analyze.

And then I found this story about a new Bruce Lee biography film, but this one made with the consent and input of Lee's family. Lee, of course, died 33 years ago, and his son, Brandon, 20 years later. Their combined influence on the world of martial arts can never be gauged, and I, for one, can't wait to see the the new biography.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

George Is Getting Angry!

How Many Cops Does It Take To Shoot A Pit Bull?

Well, here's your answer: at least four!

One to shoot the dog, and three more to shoot each other!

Friday, July 21, 2006

National Guard On Mexifornia Border

The Army Times reports that the National Guard mission to help secure the southern border with Mexico is nearing full strength. Now if we could only give them a legitimate mission, like, say, actually closing the border or building a fence that will actually keep people out.

Maybe then there wouldn't be stories like this, courtesy of Michelle Malkin.

Or this story, from The Conservative Voice, about the Border Patrol seizing over a million pounds of narcotics in the last nine months, alone. That's almost enough for a Hollywood party!

Here's a report from ICE about the increase in smuggling of counterfeit pharmaceuticals into the U.S..

We do, however, need more stories like this one, about Customs officials arresting illegal aliens attempting to access Fort Bragg, North Carolina, one of our most critical bases in the GWOT.

And it seems that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's appeal among Hispanic voters has taken a dive, lately. Apparently, they don't like his support of the Minuteman Project. We'll have to wait and see if Arnie caves in to gets the Hispanic vote, or if he sticks to his guns and does the right thing for all of America.

Maybe we need more cities like Hazelton, Pa., which I discussed in this post: Cities Take On Illegal Immigration. And here's another post about the subject: Close The Border Already!

Maybe President Bush is waiting for another Pearl Harbor moment to galvanize the country and finally do the right thing, Hispanic votes be damned. And maybe it won't be too late.

Day Twelve In Israel

Reuters reports that a missing Israeli soldier has been found dead in southern Lebanon, but the Israeli's aren't releasing any more details at this time, according to Al Arabiya television.

The report comes at a time when mass evacuations are continuing and the IDF seems to be preparing for a ground assault. Incredibly, some Americans who were recently evacuated from Lebanon are complaining about the U.S. response to their plight. Of course, they were warned not to go there in the first place, and now the American taxpayer has spent at least $200,000 getting them out.

U.S. SecState Rice plans on going to the region soon, but won't be asking the Israeli's for a cease-fire. "We do seek an end to the current violence, we seek it urgently. We also seek to address the root causes of that violence," Rice said. "A cease-fire would be a false promise if it simply returns us to the status quo." She also said that Syria "knows what it needs to do, and Hezbollah is the source of the problem."

Not much support for Hezbollah there.

U.N. SecGeneral Kofi Annan demanded an immediate cease-fire, but apparently offered no comment on why the UN did nothing to prevent the war in the first place. Perhaps he's forgotten about UN Resolution 1559? Ah well, details.

The Jerusalem Post offers an interesting take on the Israeli military and its leaders.

Also blogging:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Where's McKinney? Not That Anyone Cares..

FOX News reports that Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, a true Adam Henry, has missed nineteen votes this week, including votes on gay marriage, stem cell research and on banning "under God" from the pledge of allegiance. She will soon be facing a runoff for her seat in Georgia, and several police groups are supporting her opponent. Maybe striking a police officer wasn't such a great idea, after all. But then again, this picture says it all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What Do The Troops Think?

Stars & Stripes reports on a survey of deployed U.S. troops.

Overall, they gave their present missions around the globe a thumbs -up, but morale among the lower-ranking troops seems to be waning a bit.

Guess which part you'll see in the MSM?

Muslims v. The Terrorists

Here's a great OpEd piece from Youssef Ibrahim, courtesy of USA TODAY.

Could it be that Muslims around the world are finally getting tired of hate groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda? Wouldn't that be something? If the "good Muslims" that we are always claiming not to be at war with actually stood up and told these terrorist scumbags to knock it off? Could it be that Muslim exremists are actually hurting Muslim and Arab causes the world over? Is it possible that Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Bahrain are going to side with free and democratic people everywhere? What an amazing picture that would make. A couple of swift kicks to Russia and China, and then this could be one big blue fuzzy marble again.

As far as the rest of the world goes, Ethiopia may invade Somalia to stop Islamic militia. Well, both the U.N. and the U.S. failed, why not let Ethiopia give it a try? Here's more.

Israel continues to pound Lebanon, and many experts believe that Israel will prosecute a limited ground war within the week. Look for SecState Rice to put off a visit until sometime after that occurs. Go Israel!

Chechen rebels vow to continue efforts against Russia. Russia has also released a list of terrorist organizations. Seems that they aren't without their own troubles...

North halts inter-Korean reunions in protest of South Korea's decision to halt food shipments.

Blogs of War reports that India bans some blogs.

All in all, it was just another Tuesday. Let's hope Wednesday dawns brighter.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Navy Intel Officer Sentenced

George Bundez II, a retired Naval Intelligence officer, was sentenced in San Diego today for selling aircraft parts that were ultimately destined for Iran. Bundez was caught selling parts for T-36 Trainer jets, F-5 fighters and Chinook helicopters to a Pakistani arms dealer, who was also convicted. In court, Bundez testified that the arms dealer "took advantage" of him. He was sentenced to one year in federal prison.

Time to bring back the firing squad!

The Ultimate Hotel

I'm one of those guys who is always looking for the ultimate getaway, a remote and peaceful vacation spot free of noise, bustling crowds and chattering tourists. Then yesterday, I came across this: POSEIDON UNDERSEA RESORTS.

Yup, an undersea resort complete with 5-star amenities, including a revolving restaurant, a diver lock-out chamber and rooms with panoramic views of the undersea world around the resort.

The rooms will be about $1500 a night, which means that the only way I'll ever visit is if I find a rich girlfriend before the resort opens in 2007.

Yeah, I didn't think so, either!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Earthquake Causes Tsunami

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake in Indonesia sent a six-foot tsunami smashing into the tourist resorts on Java Island, Indonesia, today, reports Fox News.

Early estimates there indicate that at least 100 people are dead, while scores are either missing or have fled to safety. The area was sit with a 6.3 magnitude earthquake some two months ago, killing nearly 6,000 people. After the quake, tsunami warnings were issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and parts of Bali and Australia saw waves up to eight inches high.

Rescue efforts in Indonesia are continuing.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hezbollah In The U.S.?

Here's a great post by Herschel Smith at The Captain’s Journal: Are we Prepared for Hezbollah Attacks in the U.S.?

It's no secret that there are terrorist cells operating in the North America. Some might be hiding amid the local populace, waiting to be activated. Some may be actively pursuing intelligence in and around potential targets. Others may be fully ready to implement whatever cowardly act they have been assigned. We have been lucky enough to expose and shut down some of these cells in recent months and years, but with the still open and porous border, there's no way to tell who is here and what their intentions might be.

The list of potential targets here is endless. Everything from military and government targets, to bridges, buildings and other civilian infrastructure, to targets with the highest potential for human loss, such as crowded theaters, shopping centers and schools. The possibilities are staggering, especially when you consider that terrorists want the biggest bang for their buck. That means lots of casualties with the maximum damage to our infrastructure, all highly sensationalized, exaggerated and replayed 24/7 by the media.

Clearly, law enforcement and the military cannot protect every potential target. Even Israel, where terrorist bombings among the populace are commonplace, must rely heavily on private security guards, which can be found at the entrance to bars, stores, theaters and bus station. And the presence of security personnel doesn't necessarily mean that the target will not be prosecuted. There have been numerous occasions of suicide bombers blowing themselves up as soon as they were confronted by security teams.

We cannot prepare for every eventually not protect every target.

Now, knowing that these cells are among us and that their ultimate goal is to wipe out whoever isn't them, we can reasonably assume that it isn't a matter of if, but rather when, they will strike us here at home. And with the aftermath of last year's hurricane season fresh in our minds, we all need to take steps to ensure our survival.

We all should have a survival kit ready and emergency plans for the family should any disaster strike us. If you need more information on how to prepare for an emergency, you can visit this Red Cross/CDC website. There's also a wealth of information at the Department of Homeland Security site.

Make preparations now, while it's still fresh in your mind. The U.S. has been bombarded with floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires in the last year, so having disaster preparedness kits and emergency plans at the ready is a must for every American. The threat of a terrorist attack is just one more thing to plan for.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

UN Tut Tuts North Korea

Reuters reports that the United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed to impose weapons-related sanctions on North Korea today, while simultaneously condemning DPRK's missile tests earlier this month. The resolution, which was immediately rejected by DPRK, also demands that North Korea suspend all ballistic missile related activities.

Little late for that, isn't it?

The sought-after Chapter 7 resolution, which would make the demands mandatory and provide for military action if they were not followed, was not imposed. However, several nations, including the United States, Japan and Britain, considered the language of the resolution tough and binding, despite the lack of Chapter 7. US Ambassador John Bolton said "the United States and other Member States have the opportunity at any point to return to the Council for further action."

Bolton also said that the resolution demands that North Korea "suspend your ballistic missile program; stop your procurement of materials related to weapons of mass destruction, and implement your September, 2005 commitment to verifiably dismantle your nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs."

Here are some of the demands from the resolution, from Reuters. The UNSC:

  • Registering profound concern at the DPRK's breaking of its pledge to maintain its moratorium on missile launching ...
  • Expressing grave concern at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea launch of ballistic missiles, given the potential of such systems to be used as a means to deliver nuclear, chemical or biological payloads ...
  • Demands that the DPRK suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program, and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching;
  • Requires all member states, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, to exercise vigilance and prevent missile and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology being transferred to DPRK's missile or weapons of mass destruction programs;
  • Strongly urges the DPRK to return immediately to the Six-Party Talks without precondition, to work toward the expeditious implementation of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement, in particular to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, and to return at an early date to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards ...

The UNSC met for days and came up with that? And we need the UN why? The next time DPRK fires missiles at our allies, maybe the USNC will use a curse word or two, like "darnit" or "dagnabbit" before saying all of the above. Pointless, really. The North Koreans will continue to do whatever they want, despite the above resolution, just as they always have.

Granted, options are limited. It seems to me that our only choice to avoid a major conflict with these people is to somehow earn the support of the Russians and Chinese, who seem to be able to exert major influence over these people. Quick, Las Vegas, what are the odds of that happening?

But let's look at another opinion on this. Read this partial interview transcript from a July 14, 2006, Hannity and Colmes interview of Reverend Franklin Graham, one of only a few Americans who have actually visited North Korea. Very interesting.

I also find it interesting that DPRK has virtually vanished from the front pages of the MSM, in light of what's happening in the Middle East. More proof that Iran and North Korea are working together?

Cities Take On Illegal Immigration

The Los Angeles Times calls Hazelton, Pa., the "most hostile environment in America for illegal immigrants." Not surprising when you consider the left-wing politics of the paper, or the fact that Los Angeles in a "sanctuary city" where law enforcement officials will not enforce immigration laws. You see, Hazelton, Pa., has just passed the Illegal Immigration Relief Act.

The Illegal Immigration Relief Act "imposes severe penalties on landlords who rent space to illegal immigrants, suspends the licenses of businesses that employ them, and declares English the city's official language." The act, passed by a 4-1 margin, will put pressure on businesses that hire illegal aliens and the landlords that rent to them.

The measure was enacted after repeated complaints of graffiti and gang-related crime.

Several other cities around the country will soon be voting on similar measures, including Escondido, California.

Naturally, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund vows to sue the city on the "grounds that the ordinance unconstitutionally infringes on federal jurisdiction over immigration".

Stay tuned, folks.

Also check out:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hey, Blogs Are Popular!

iMedia reports on the popularity of blogs and has some interesting stats:

  • blogs grew by 56% last year and represent 34% of the internet audience
  • is the top blog network with 20.8 million visitors in May, 2006. Blogs were second.
  • Blog visitors tend to be from higher income families. Families with an income of $75,000 a year or more are almost 10% more likely to frequent blogs.

Go check it out.

War In The Middle East

The situation in the Middle East scares me. It scares me because the ongoing war there isn't about about Israel vs. Hezbollah and Hamas, and it's not about three kidnapped Israeli soldiers. It's about radical Islam creeping across the globe. It's about the world being on the brink of catastrophic war. Yes, the stakes are high.

Hamas and Hezbollah are controlled by Syria, which is controlled, ultimately, by Iran. Iran gives, by some estimates, more than a $100 million dollars a year to Hezbollah, and Hezbollah is at the beck and call of the Iranian radicals. The recent incursions and hostage-taking by Hezbollah is the design of the Iranians (notice that the recent escalations started on the same day that Iran was supposed to respond to the UNSC). The Iranians want to take the heat off of themselves, and, at the same time, show the West that they do have muscles to flex. So, why not push Hezbollah and Hamas to start a Middle East war, and give themselves more time to develop nuclear weapons, while putting pressure on the U.S. at the same time? Aha!

Enter the Russians and the Chinese. They aren't saying or doing much publicly, and why should they? Anything bad for the U.S. and our allies is good for them. But our futures depend upon these two countries. We are at a point in world affairs where the Russians and Chinese MUST decide on which side they really belong. They want to be world players, and they know that ultimately, working with the U.S. and her allies can bring them into that realm. And there appears to be some indication, behind the scenes, they are responding to talks with the U.S.

Israel is an ally. We have publicly vowed to protect her, and President Bush today rejected demands for a cease fire. But if Israel needs us militarily, should we go to her aid? She is the military power in the region, and certainly capable of taking care of herself, but I think she is on her own here, at least publicly. With recent progress with China and Russia (regarding both the Iran and North Korea issues), I don't believe that we will leave a fingerprint in a Mid East war. Doing so would certainly jeopardize relations with China and Russia and, sadly, we need them now. But both China and Russia must do more to further the cause of democracy, and they must do it now. The entire world is watching and waiting.

More on the Mid East:

And, as an item of interst, what about the French? Where are they on all of this? In typical French fashion, they are backing the bad guys. French president Jacques Chirac today called Israel's offensive into Lebanon "totally disproportionate". Chirac openly agrees that Syria and Iran are behind the attacks: "I have the feeling, if not the conviction, that Hamas and Hezbollah wouldn't have taken the initiatives alone," he said. But he's still against Israel. What does that say about our pals, the French? In a word, enemy!

The Spanish, who folded like a deck of cards when they were attacked by terrorists in 2004, joined the French in condemning the Israeli's. Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told Punto Radio "One thing is defense, which is legitimate, and another is a counteroffensive of widespread attack. It won't bring anything other than an escalation of violence." He must have been reading over Chirac's shoulder. It's clear that we cannot count on them, anymore, either.

The United Nations Security Council discussed the issue but took no action on Lebanon's call for a cease-fire. Comments there included, via Yahoo! News:

US Ambassador John Bolton: "Syria and Iran must be held to account for supporting regional terrorism and their role in the current crisis. All militias in Lebanon, including Hezbollah, must disarm and disband immediately."

"We are meeting in the shadow of a widespread barbaric aggression waged by Israel against my nation," Lebanese representative Nouhad Mahmoud said, adding that the Israeli action was aimed at "bringing Lebanon to its knees and subverting it by any means."

Israel's UN ambassador, Dan Gillerman, responded by calling Lebanon a breeding ground for terror and said Israel had "no choice' but to react to the "unprovoked" attack on its soldiers and rocket attacks on its territory. "Israel's reactions were a direct response to an act of war from Lebanon. I believe that most members around this table, as well as many in this chamber, including our neighbours, realise this reality."

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

All Over But The Shoutin'

You ever get those emails from a friend or family member that say "Hey, check this out"?

I do. All the time. And it's usually a bunch of fat guys in speedos doing a "Topless Car Wash" or something like that. Ew.

But then a rare gem comes along.

A former SFer sent me something that I immediately fell in love with. When I went to the site, I also found some of the giants in Milblogging had already been there. No wonder I was never a Pathfinder.

Check it out, you'll be glad you did. Trust me. Homemade Sin: "The Boys" got new clothes

Also blogging:

Hey Al, You were Right!!

Middle East War Continues....

Apparently, my blog, and this post specifically, aren't required reading for Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria.

Yahoo news has just reported that the war in the Middle East has escalated even further. Israel has set up a naval blockade, and has used air strikes to hit several targets in Lebanon, including airports and army airbases. Israel has also attacked other targets in recent days, including Hezbollah's TV studios and foreign ministry buildings. At least 50 people have been killed so far.

Incredibly, Hezbollah chose to up the odds earlier today by firing more than 100 rockets into Israel, including one lone-range rocket that reached the city of Haifa. Then they immediately denied that they had done so, but warned that they did have the capability.

Where I come from, we call that a mistake.

Daniel Ayalon, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, said that rocket attack on Haifa was "a major, major escalation." And David Baker, from the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, said that "those who fire into such a densely populated area will pay a heavy price."

Israel seems to have had enough, this time, and their response to the Haifa rocket attack is continuing.

President Bush blamed the current situation on Hezbollah terrorists and acknowledged that Israel has a right to support herself. "The soldiers need to be returned," he said. "It's really sad where people are willing to take innocent life in order to stop that progress (for peace). As a matter of fact, it's pathetic." He also warned that Syria needs to be held accountable for sponsoring and supporting groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Fox News story

Lebanon has asked the U.N. Security Council to step and stop the Israeli attacks, and the U.N. should get to that right after they for all the unpaid parking tickets their diplomats have accrued in New York. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he would send three officials to the Middle East to try to de-escalate the situation (and collect bribes).

Neither side will back down in this one, and I don't think Israel is about to do prisoner swaps with these folks. In fact, I don't think this is even about those three hostages anymore. I think Israel has finally gotten to the point where they feel that they have stop these terrorists for good. The situation is rapidly deteriorating and could draw much of the Middle East into the conflict, including Iran, Lebanon and Syria. And the president has made it clear that we will support Israel, should it become necessary. This one is only going to get worse, so we'd better pay attention.

Also blogging:

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Quote of the Day

"I think we should take Iraq and Iran and combine them into one country. Call it Irate! All the pissed-off people can live in one place and just get it over with."

Denis Leary

That's for Katey at - Katey's Kafe-, who just joined the blogroll. Stop by and say hello.

ACLU Wants Porn For Prisoners

Two convicts, I mean inmates, are suing the Indiana Department of Corrections over a new policy that bans adult magazines and other printed material that depicts nudity or sexual content. It seems they really want their Playboy, Easyriders and Hustler.

"The policy is written so broadly that it includes within its prohibitions such things as personal letters between prisoners and loved ones and much of the world's great literature and art," says the complaint, filed by the good old ACLU of Indiana on behalf of two murderers.

Yup, Hustler ranks right up there with A Tale of Two Cities and The Nike of Samothrace.

Here's a tip: don't murder people, then you'll stay out of prison, and you can subscribe to whatever you want! Thanks ACLU!

FOX News story.

Damnit, We're Serious This Time!

Note to Hezbollah.....

Israel doesn't seem to be kidding around this time!

Hezbollah guerrillas launched a cross-border raid today that lead to the capture of two more Israeli soldiers, and the deaths of several others.

Israeli PM Ehud Olmert called the raid an "act of war by the state of Lebanon against the state of Israel" and promised a "very painful and far-reaching" response.

And Syria wants to play, too: "Occupation is what provokes the Palestinian and Lebanese people," said Syrian VP Farouq al-Shara.

PM Olmert has called an emergency cabinet session, as has the Lebanese cabinet.

I guess we'll see who blinks first.

Reuters story.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Allies Facing Terrorism Threat

USA TODAY reports on the new terror threat levels being adopted by Britain. The new threat assessment system is similar to that used by the U.S., except that citizens will not be notified when the threat level changes, as they are in America. The public, however, may check government websites for updates to the threat level.

The Sydney Morning Herald says that Muslim extremists are flooding Sydney web sites and chat rooms with support for Islamic terrorists. It seems that at least some Muslims intend to turn Australia into an Islamic state.

The Toronto Star has an interesting piece today about the morale of Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan. Retired MG Lewis Mackenzie, formerly of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, cautions against confusing a soldiers normal "gripes" with a lack of morale. "You can be really pissed at the mission, or whatever, but your morale is still high. You're with your buddies, you're doing your job, you're very professional, you're gung-ho."

Train Bombing In India

My friends at Redneck's Revenge have a new post up about today's train bombing in India that have killed at least 150, and injured some 400 more. It seems that Pakistani extremists in the Kashmir region are high on the list of suspects. You can find more details at The Times of India.

Monday, July 10, 2006

America, Meet Your Enemy

I'm not one who likes to do things for shock value alone. I'm a simple guy, really, and I like a simple life. I've been serving my country since I was 17, as a soldier and then a cop. Maybe I've earned some easy time, I don't know. My philosophy as a young Paratrooper was simple: I served my country in the same spirit as the men and women who had done so before me, and I did it with pride. And I hoped that my service, OUR service, would one day mean that my kids would never have to hear a shot fired in anger. Well, the kids are in high school now, and that hope is fading fast.

One of the first rules of warfare is know thy enemy. I learned this philosophy in the 82nd Airborne from fantastic Sergeants and the best Battalion Commander in the Army. I later taught this philosophy to my troopers as a young NCO. I've taught a similar philosophy to many, many police officers, and I teach it to my martial arts students.

Sun Tzu once said that "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

So it is in that spirit that I share this link with you: The Jawa Report: Beheading Desecration Video of Dead U.S. Soldiers Released on Internet by al Qaeda (Video/Images).

The video and pictures come from an internet site used by al Qaeda to promote their brand of hatred and filth.

Don't click that link lightly. Don't look at those pictures or that video unless you really want to meet the enemy that our troops in Iraq are facing everyday. But if you really want to see what we are up against, then be my guest.

We should know by now, shouldn't we? I mean, what kind of fanaticism does it take to fly a plane full of people into a building? What kind of hatred and rage does it take to blow up innocent women and children? These people are evil, and they mean to kill every single one of us if they can.

I think Americans need to see this. Maybe then more of us will understand what we are doing in Iraq, and around the world, and why it's so critically important that we beat these bastards.

Related post: PFCs. Menchaca and Tucker Funerals

It's Monday And I'm Lazy

New links!

Stop by and say hello to The Drunken Samurai at Peace Through Strength. Swords are optional.

And visit Curt and the team at Flopping Aces. He's a Cop and a former Marine, but a good guy despite all that!

Major Dad was cursed by a classical education, but still gets it right!

If you aren't reading Blogs of War, you should be.

And a special thanks to Lisa and Chris at Two Babes and a Brain for the shout-out. Lisa lives in the mountains of North Carolina, and you know what they about mountain girls! Now if I could only get them to send me an autographed copy of Colonel Hunt's book....

Sunday, July 09, 2006

More Proof We'll Win In Iraq

Army Spc. Justin W. Johnson, 22, from Rome, Georgia, was killed in Iraq on April 10th when his vehicle hit an IED. He had been in Iraq for twelve days. A highway interchange in Georgia was recenly named in his honor.

His father, Cpl. Joe Johnson, 48, of the Georgia National Guard, had initially planned to go to Iraq at the same time as his son, but a training accident two months earlier had prevented him from deploying. After learning of the loss, Cpl. Johnson volunteered to go to Iraq, intending to avenge his son's death. But when the elder Johnson got to Taji, Iraq, his point of view changed. He was deeply affected by the friendliness of the Iraqi people, especially the children, and the complete poverty in which they lived.

"I believe the Lord changed my heart because I do have a heart for the children," Johnson said after his son's funeral. "The kids changed me. I still had hate in my heart for Muslim people, for the insurgents, but the Lord changed me."

The elder Johnson, who had previously served in the Army and Navy and done missionary work in Central and South America, openly spoke of the joy he felt when he delivered candy and school supplies to Iraqi children.

"In a lot of the areas we went into, we weren't rebuilding the country, we were starting from scratch," he said. He also noted that the Iraqi people, by and large, were always happy to see American troops.

Another one of Johnson's son's is in the Army Special Forces, currently awaiting orders.

With troops like this, how could we possibly lose?

Things That Piss Me Off...

Remember the days when people were nice and friendly and didn't sue each other for every minor trifle? When the words, "I'm sorry" or "Please excuse me" were enough? When lawyers didn't chase ambulances or advertise on t.v. for fall victims? Remember when one idiot was actually a minority and couldn't run roughshod over the rest of us? Here's a sampling of what I mean:

A San Diego lawyer named Alfred Rava actually filed a lawsuit recently regarding a Mother's Day giveaway at an Anaheim Angels baseball game. He felt that the giveaway, which offered a tote bag to women over the age of 18, discriminated against men, since they didn't get a tote bag, too. The class action lawsuit asks the Angels to pay $4,000.00 to every man that was in attendance that day. Minus the lawyer's cut and fees, I'm sure. The Angels have filed to dismiss the lawsuit. If you're a man who was traumatized by not getting a tote bag, you can join the lawsuit here. You don't even have to pick up a phone.

A woman in Georgia filed several complaints with the Gwinnett County Board of Education over the mega-successful Harry Potter series. The woman, who never read the books because they are "too long", complained that the books had "evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder, evil blood sacrifice, spells and teaching children all of this." Educators, parents and students shot down the idea of removing the books at a public hearing. The woman, naturally, is appealing.

In the City of San Diego, California, there sits the Mount Soledad National War Memorial. Atop the memorial sits a 29 foot cross. The memorial has been there for decades, and I remember visiting it as a boy when my father was stationed in San Diego with the Navy. Along comes Philip Paulson, a Vietnam Veteran-turned-atheist, who objects to the cross, a symbol of Christianity, being on public land. A lawsuit has raged for years and the the Supreme Court recently intervened to stop the removal of the cross, after a lower court had ordered the city to remove it or pay $5,000 a day in fines. Mind you, this is because one idiot objected, while San Diegans overwhelmingly support it.

And just wait 'til Christmas, when we have to wish people a "Happy Christma-Hannuh-Kwanzaka." Yikes, people, get a grip!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Deb Frisch Meets The Bloggers

Having a PhD. in Psychology and teaching at the University of Arizona's Psychology Department sounds impressive, doesn't it? And you would think that such a person would be intelligent, fair-minded, even-tempered and knowledgeable about, well, Psychology. Not so fast!

Prof. Deb Frisch, of the above-mentioned Arizona University, recently took on a blogger she disagreed with, Jeff Goldstein. Her initial tirade directed at Jeff is nothing less than sick and psychopathic and it got worse from there (see Blogs of War post here). Then Froggy at BLACKFIVE, as well as several other MilBloggers, got involved. Now, poor Deb had been forced to resign from the University and slither off into the mulch to join Ward Churchill. She almost apologizes here but still seems to blame Goldstein for the whole thing.

She, of course, deserves everything she gets. To threaten the two-year-old child of another blogger, simply because you disagree, is the lowest form of filth. And we'll have to see if any criminal charges follow.

We'll keep an eye out for ole Deb, and see where she turns up next. Happy job hunting, Deb!

Friday, July 07, 2006

FBI Stops NY Bombing

The Associated Press reports that three suspects have been arrested, but at least five more suspects are still outstanding. Apparently, the suspects were planning to bomb the Holland Tunnel, outside of Manhattan, and flood Wall Street in an attempt to disrupt the U.S. economy. The investigation is on-going, as is the search for the still-outstanding suspects.

Of course, that begs the question: why are we hearing about it?

Kristofferson Receives Star

Singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson was inducted into Hollywood's RockWalk yesterday. Now I don't follow this kind of thing but Kris is a special case: he is also a former U.S. Army Officer, helicopter pilot and Ranger. I'll bet you didn't know that!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Columbine Massacre Details Released

Fox News reports that nearly a thousand pages of documents, including diary pages and specific plans, were released today by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Ted Mink declined to release home videos made by the killers, however. The documents were released after a lawsuit by The Denver Post, although the Colorado Supreme Court ultimately left the final decision up to the Sheriff's Office. The move came more than seven years after the most horrific school shooting in U.S. history.

I find it impossible to believe that the parents of these two psychos didn't know that their kids were planning something like this. Parents like this are why abortion is legal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cindy Sheehan Hearts Hugo Chavez

I admit to feeling some compassion for this woman. Her son, after all, gave his life in the service of this country, and she has earned her right to free speech. But what ever happened to her dignity and self-respect? She has turned into a prostitute and puppet for every whacko and extreme left-wing cause on the planet, and she doesn't seem to care!

This week, she started a hunger strike to demand that the U.S. immediately remove all troops from Iraq. She was immediately joined by the usual Hollywood whackos like Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon and Mr. Arms Inspector Sean Penn. When these folks are on your side, you know something's wrong! But not eating was apparently too much for our heroes, so they decided upon a "rolling hunger-strike." You know, the kind where you don't eat for a little while, then someone else takes over for you? Utterly laughable.

Today, while on the television show Hardball, she told guest host Norah O'Donnell that she'd rather live under Hugo Chavez in Venezuela that here under President Bush. Here's more:

O'Donnnell: "Americans may hate the war but they don't necessarily hate the president. How do you expect to get change by going around the world and trashing the President of the United States?"
Sheehan: "I don't hate the president either, and I don't trash the president. I trash the president's foreign policy."
O'Donnell: "But you called him the biggest terrorist in the world, so you are trashing the president."
Sheehan: "Well he says a terrorist is somebody that kills innocent men, women and children."

I, for one, think that if this greedy, attention-starved, left-wing whacko nutcase wants to move to Venezuela, we should take up a collection and buy her a ticket! Don't go away mad, Cindy, just go away!

And I say that with all of the respect in the world for your son.

Army Charges Watada

The U.S. Army announced today that it will charge Lt. Ehren Watada with conduct unbecoming an officer, missing movement and contempt toward superior officers. If convicted, Watada could receive a dishonorable discharge and eight years in military prison. The Army has refused to let Watada resign his officers commission, and has not yet announced a date for court-martial proceedings.

Whatever Watada gets, it won't be enough.

North Korea On The Hot Seat

It turns out that North Korea fired as many as seven missiles yesterday, all of which ended up in the Sea of Japan after relatively short periods of flight. Although the U.S. did not actively engage any of the missiles, the situation was monitored closely by NORAD. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said today that "each and every launch was detected and monitored and that the interceptors were operational during the missile launches that took place."

The U.N. Security Council met today to consider the problem, and, as usual, the Russians and Chinese were against any type of sanctions in response to the crisis. Japan, backed by Great Britain, the U.S. and others, is insisting on sanctions and strong actions by the U.N., but without the backing of China and Russia, the U.N., as usual, will do nothing. Yet another example of the U.N. having outlived its usefulness.

Most experts are claiming that the missiles, especially the inter-continental Taepodong II that the North Koreans test-fired, failed miserably. But how do we know that, without knowing the purpose of the test flights? We know that the North Koreans are developing plutonium. And the purpose of the Taepodong II delivery system is to deliver NBC payloads over long distances, so clearly, the North Koreans are trying to put the two together. And anyone who thinks that they are doing so just to get us to bargain with them is seriously delusional. Just ask Bill Clinton.

Quite simply, ladies and gentlemen, this is nuclear terrorism. The North Koreans are using the threat of nuclear missiles to effect policy change of the U.S. and other western nations. They want to deal with us directly, and are trying to ratchet up the stakes to gain more of what they want, whatever that is. And sadly, it's working.

We need to put the maximum amount of pressure on Kim Jong Il's regime, but I think we are past the talking stage here. Past the "they're only kids and they'll grow out of it" stage. You can't negotiate with people who don't keep their word, right Bill?

Sanctions won't work here, because they will only hurt the already starving North Korean people, not the military or the regime. China's fear is that, if the regime topples, all of the starving North Koreans will stream over the border into Manchuria, severely overwhelming the Chinese government. An equal number will probably flow into South Korea, as well. And our "friends" the French, Russians and Germans will just make deals behind our backs to benefit their own pockets. So sanctions are probably not going to be effective.

But what's left? Regime change? In a closed society like North Korea, developing agents or promoting an insurgency is not going to be a possibility. Military action? We definitely DO NOT want to engage these folks in a ground war. Pre-emptive strikes? Possibly, but who knows what they will do if we take out their missiles on the launch pad.

We're backed into a corner here, folks, and this one isn't going away anytime soon. I don't know what the answer is, but the outcome will affect the future of the entire world.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 230th America!!

Two hundred thirty years ago, fifty-six men changed the history of the free world. In signing their names to a document that announced their independence from Great Britain, those brave men set in motion the ideals that shaped this nation, proclaiming:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (Link: Declaration of Independence)

Today, we gather with family and friends, share food and company, celebrate the birth of our great nation, and honor those courageous men and women who have given their very lives for the United Stated of America. So grab a burger, sip a coke, thank a veteran and have fun!

Happy 230th America!

Special Forces Needs You!!

While I am not a fan of USA Today, I did find this recent article interesting. It seems that the best-of-the-best, the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and Rangers, AF ParaRescue and CCT, all are facing troop shortfalls.

To hear the President's comments on the accomplishments of some of these great troops, read the speech he gave at Fort Bragg, N.C., the Home of the Airborne, today. What a great bunch of troops!

Also, check out these audio/video presentations for the Army Rangers and Army Special Forces.

Oh, to be twenty-five again!

North Korea Gets My Attention

The North Koreans want our attention, and that of the entire world. Today, they got it. Initial reports are that North Korea has test-fired at least three missiles today, and one of them was the Taepodong II long-range missile that could, conceivably, reach the U.S. The three missile launches were first reported by Japan, but have since been confirmed by NORAD.

The first two missile launches appear to have been scud-type Rodongs, and both fell into the Sea of Japan. The third missile fired has been sitting on the launch pad for some ten days, while the DPRK posed and postured before the world. It apparently failed within minutes of being fired, and was not engaged by American patriot missile systems, since the U.S. was in no danger.
The timing is not lost on me. We in America celebrate our nation's birthday today, our 230th. And earlier today, Discovery was successfully launched for the first shuttle flight in over a year. It seems that the North Koreans didn't feel like sharing the spotlight today with the American people. They are-and have been for some time-engaged in a very serious game of one-upmanship with the free world, but today they set a whole new precedent.

For years, our policy was to talk to the North Koreans. "Diplomacy" I think it's called. And while we talked, North Korea has beefed up its military, developed nuclear weapons, and purchased dangerous and deadly technology from our "friends" the Chinese and Russians. There is also some indication that they have worked with the Iranians (see post Iran And North Korea United?). And now they are test-firing long-range missile technology. And the whole world was watching.

So now what? The Japanese must be terrified. They have repeatedly warned the North Koreans not to fire that missile, as have many other countries, including the U.S. But is it too late to demand sanctions from the U.N. Security Council? Will isolating them even further do any good? They already spend most of their money on their military while millions of their people are starving and living in darkness. Any sanctions will just hurt the innocent North Korean population even more, especially bans of food and medical aid (see CIA report and summary on DPRK). And their government will continue along their current path militarily, especially with Kim Jong Il in charge. The same Kim Jong Il who last Friday threatened the U.S. with annihilation if the United States attacks pre-emptively.

It seems to me that, with the firing of that long-range missile, that major act of both defiance and intent, the DPRK has finally crossed a line that there can be no going back from. Now it's time for the rest of the world to act. Before it's too late.

Also blogging: Blogs of War; Captain's Quarters; Redneck's Revenge

Saturday, July 01, 2006

New Friendly Fire Incident

Pvt. Justin Davis, 19, of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, was killed on June 25th in the eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan by indirect fire, and now his loss is being investigated as a possible friendly fire incident. The Army reported earlier this year that friendly fire deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan total some seventeen losses in eleven separate incidents, the most notable of which was Army Ranger Pat Tillman, whose death is still under investigation.

Cindy Sheehan take note: Paula Davis, Pvt. Davis' mother, told The Frederick News- Post the following: "We are holding up pretty well. He was passionate about joining the service. He would always say, 'This is my dream. I am going to follow it' ... He died doing what he loved. It was a calling," she said. "It was a life that fit him."

Fittingly, Pvt. Davis will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on July 10th with full military honors. Home at last.

The Frederick News-Post Story