Monday, September 3, 2007

Postings July 25th - Aug 29th 2007

Alberto and I
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 9:53 PM
Monday was an odd day in a way for me. It was the day I resigned from my job. I then flipped on the 'tube' and FOX NEWS ALERT !!!!!!...... Alberto Gonzalez announced his resignation as Attorney General. I thought, that's cool, we both resigned on the same day, course he handed his 'letter' in on Friday, I worked the weekend and sent it off bright n' early on Monday morning. Believe me, I've never just quit on my employers or myself in the past, not with 22 years of military service behind me. But being a civilian, makes one see things in a different light, especially in the business world, and after a short stint with this last company, it just came time to seperate myself from them like a band-aid. Rip it off. So dear reader, much of my time now is job hunting, my better half said I need to get a job to pay for my truck. Major truth in that, I like my truck. Coming preview on Bird's Eye View: Russia - History repeats Nazi's growth, "US Americans" and the lack of maps.
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I don't CAIR
Friday, August 24, 2007 5:54 PM
Here we go again, just more fuel to the fire that is burning. CAIR, in all it's hidden Islamo-fascist glory, is attacking the Federal Bureau of Investigation for protecting American citizens. Namely, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddist, atheist, and especially those of European decent. Am I an Islamophobe??? No, just recognizing and brave enough to say a truth. Our Fore Fathers did not consider Islam and all of it's implications when designing the Constitution. In their minds, it was Europeans that would come over and populate the New Americas, because that's what their influences, experiences, education, were all based upon. Japan was still a closed society at the time of our American Revolution, so how could our Fore Father's even entertain a thought of just the Japanese people as becoming Americans when they didn't even know who they were or all about? Now take this step to Islam, would Thomas Jefferson penned something different if he really understood that Islam is about conquering other religions? Submit to the will of Allah or perish is pretty much the standard of Islam. There is no room for compromise. If there was, then why does CAIR so vehemently decry the actions of the FBI in just doing their job in protecting America??!!FBI's release of ferry passenger photos resented

For Arabs and Muslims across the Puget Sound area, a rise in the nation's threat level or a bombing halfway around the world often can mark a period of unease.
In the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leaders in that community say incidents of profiling and harassment have ebbed and flowed — increasing when Muslims are linked to news of the day.
Now the FBI's release of photographs of two men of unknown origin, who the agency says were observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Washington ferry routes in recent weeks, is creating new worries in the community.
Muslim- and Arab-American leaders are upset that the FBI didn't consult them — as it has done in other instances — before releasing the photos on the Internet and to news organizations. They worry that the action may fracture the relationship the agency and the community have carefully built.
The FBI has stressed that the release of the photos is a rare move, taken only after it had exhausted other efforts to identify the men. The agency also has said the men's actions could be innocuous, but it needs to question them.
The photos were snapped by a ferry captain last month after crew members alerted him to suspicious activity. The men seemed inordinately interested in the operation of the vessel, took photographs of the interiors of the boats and went into areas tourists and commuters don't normally go, the FBI has said. The agency has received many tips but has not yet found the men.
Dozens of Muslims and Arabs have complained to community leaders about the photographs. The fallout has led to a meeting planned today between Muslim- and Arab-American community leaders and law-enforcement officials.
"We need to get some type of apology from them and figure out how to get back to where we were," said Rita Zawaideh, head of the Arab-American Community Coalition.
Community leaders also expect to raise questions about another recent incident. On Aug. 12, leaders say half a dozen men of South Asian and Middle Eastern descent were stopped and questioned for up to six hours as they left a ferry in Seattle following a trip to the Olympic Peninsula. Those men contacted Zawaideh to report the incident as profiling.
David Gomez, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Seattle office, said he was aware of an incident in which five or six ferry passengers were questioned, but wasn't clear whether it was the same one.
Zawaideh said she met with FBI officials about the August incident three days before the agency released the photos of the two men. But the FBI didn't bring up that subject.
"Why not ask us then and we would have had a way to ask people in the community," she said.
Gomez said the agency needs to address certain sensitive issues, but "people in those communities have to get over this sensitivity toward feeling victimized."
Many passengers have been stopped and questioned recently, as the ferry system has stepped up security once the FBI concluded the men might be watching the system. The stops are based on activities, not skin color, Gomez said.
Two days ago, a Seattle Times photographer, who is white, was stopped and questioned after taking photographs near the Mukilteo ferry terminal.
The FBI didn't take the photos of the two men to the Arab- and Muslim-American community because the agency doesn't know if the men are Middle Eastern, Gomez added.
"That seems potentially prejudicial to me, and in some ways worse than simply putting [the photos] out the way we did," Gomez said. "It is not us saying these guys look Middle Eastern."
Zawaideh countered: "They're not saying these men are Arabs, but insinuating they are."
This all comes at a time when some local Muslim and Arab-American leaders say they've seen a new spike in discrimination complaints.
The concerns over profiling following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had begun to ease about three years ago, they say. But with each new incident tied to Muslims or Arabs — bombings in the London subway or a raising of the terror alert — has come a rash of new complaints.
Both Zawaideh and S. Arsalan Bukhari, president of the Seattle chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), say their organizations have been receiving more reports lately involving allegations of discrimination.
Bukhari said he's heard of delays at the border, as well as cases of people being asked questions at the airport and searched so thoroughly they missed their flights.
Aziz Junejo, who hosts a cable TV show on Islam and who writes a column from the Islamic perspective for The Seattle Times, said a group of Muslim kids who were planning a trip to the Olympic Mountains this weekend phoned to ask if he thought they should take the trip.
"I said: 'I would stay off the ferry if I were you.' " Now here's one big question: how is CAIR and the Arab-Muslim community so sure that those two men are a) Muslim b) Arab. Maybe they're Albanian, Greek, Argentinian, or back wood country boys from Louisiana of French-Creek heritage. But for SOME reason, CAIR and Muslims seemed to already know who they are, or else they wouldn't be so up in arms over those photos and the actions of law enforcment out to protect the American public. Now for my other observation/question to you dear reader. Is Islam really compatible with the Constitution of the United States? As a Christian, I put my Country first when defending it, for without my Country and it's Constitution, I would have no liberty or freedom to live the way I like. That's the way the Constitution is designed, to protect religions and personal freedoms, whereas Islam, would surely take it all away under it's Sharia laws, and I would be dead, my wife and daughters slaves. Do you enjoy the NFL? How about NASCAR? Nude beaches, gay, straight? I have a blog posting somewhere back you need to read about Islam and it's affects on the American way of life, individual liberties and freedoms. I need to update that as well, so keep an eye out for it. I wonder why this exchange happened??
Aziz Junejo, who hosts a cable TV show on Islam and who writes a column from the Islamic perspective for The Seattle Times, said a group of Muslim kids who were planning a trip to the Olympic Mountains this weekend phoned to ask if he thought they should take the trip.
"I said: 'I would stay off the ferry if I were you.' "
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Pit Bulls attack AGAIN!!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 10:53 PM
How many times does this have to happen before responsible politicians and communities take a very pro-active stance against such a dangerous breed of animal??!! How many??!! Again....from what, last week, more attacks by Pit Bull dogs. They are the most dangerous, unstable breed of canine that exist. Far more dangerous than wolves, wild African dogs, nor any other domestic or wild breeds. Act now...or more needless deaths and attacks will surely soon follow.
Pit Bulls Break Into Home, Maul WomanAug 21, 11:27 PM (ET)
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GIG HARBOR, Wash. (AP) - Two pit bull terriers broke into a house through a pet door Tuesday and attacked a woman in her bed, mauling her badly, a Pierce County sheriff's spokesman said.
The woman was able to grab a gun and try to shoot the dogs, then break away from the attack and lock herself in her car, where she called 911, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.
The woman, who was not immediately identified, was taken to a hospital in Tacoma, where she was listed in serious condition.
Officers planned to talk to the dogs' owner.
The pit bulls also killed a neighbor's Jack Russell terrier, which entered the house during the attack, Troyer said.
"The thought is that the Jack Russell heard noise in the neighbor's house, came in and was attacked by the dogs," Troyer said.
Firefighters responded first, locking the dogs in the house, treating the woman and calling for an ambulance.
Officers "had to pepper spray and fight the dogs until they were detained. We almost had to shoot them on site," Troyer said.
The dogs were taken to a Humane Society and will probably be destroyed, he said.
It was not immediately known why the dogs entered the house, whether the woman had dogs of her own or what set off the attack.
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Seriously - this is going to do what
Saturday, August 18, 2007 2:28 PM
This group of people are standing next to the Aletsch glacier in Switzerland. Hundreds of people posed naked on Switzerland's shrinking Aletsch glacier on Saturday for U.S. photographer Spencer Tunick as part of a Greenpeace campaign to raise awareness of global warming. Now seriously, do you think the Muslims that are killing everyone they possibly can - care about the environment? Do you think the Chinese in building their global empire care about the environment? Or the people in India's slums who just trying to survive another day, do they care about the environment? Or just about anyone struggling to make a living for themselves or their families really care about a bunch of naked people next to a glacier?? Now here's the truth, the truth why there are so many guys there. It was a way to get women (and some other guys) naked and get next to them in a deep dark hopeful chance to get laid. Period.
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Third World USA - The Fifth nail - Foundation that holds America
Saturday, August 18, 2007 2:09 PM
I've seen this one coming for awhile: Run on banks in LA amid crisis; Wal-Mart CEO says customers are 'running out of money' 08/17/2007 @ 9:23 am Filed by John Byrne Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. says customers are "running out of money." Earlier this week, consumer juggernauts Home Depot and Wal-Mart reported softer than expected earnings. Penned the New York Times, "the sober forecasts reverberated across Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index down by nearly 2 percent, with the Dow dropping more than 200 points. Shares of both Wal-Mart and Home Depot fell around 5 percent. "Economists said the sluggish performance of the chains — Wal-Mart missed its profit forecast and Home Depot’s earnings dropped — could signal broader troubles in the economy." Buried in the article was a sobering remark indeed: “Many customers are running out of money at the end of the month,” said H. Lee Scott Jr., the chief executive of Wal-Mart. In Los Angeles, economic concerns hit close to home. Anxious customers of Countrywide Bank jammed its phone lines, branches and website after the nation's largest mortgage lender -- which owns the bank -- announced it was facing problems from a credit meltdown. "Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest home-loan company in the nation, sought Thursday to assure depositors and the financial industry that both it and its bank were fiscally stable," wrote the LA Times Friday. "And federal regulators said they weren't alarmed by the volume of withdrawals from the bank." "The rush to withdraw money -- by depositors that included a former Los Angeles Kings star hockey player and an executive of a rival home-loan company -- came a day after fears arose that Countrywide Financial could file for bankruptcy protection because of a worsening credit crunch stemming from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown," the paper continued. "At Countrywide Bank offices, in a scene rare since the U.S. savings-and-loan crisis ended in the early '90s, so many people showed up to take out some or all of their money that in some cases they had to leave their names," the Times added. "Bill Ashmore drove his Porsche Cayenne to Countrywide's Laguna Niguel office and waited half an hour to cash out $500,000, which he then wired to an account at Bank of America." "It's because of the fear of the bankruptcy," Ashmore, president of Irvine's Impac Mortgage Holdings, which escaped bankruptcy itself recently by shutting down virtually all its lending and laying off hundreds of employees told the paper. "It's got my wife totally freaked out. I just don't want to deal with it. I don't care about losing 90 days' interest, I don't care if it's FDIC-insured -- I just want it out." The American consumer, the average, born and raised American, is running out of money. The average American is what holds this Country up. It's not the big CEO's and their companies that make the 'jobs'. It's not the 'concerned' Washington D.C. politicians who tell you what you want to hear in every sound bite. It's not Rush Limbaugh's, Sean Hannity's, Neal Boortz's, Michael Savage's, Ring Of Fire flavor-of-the-week announcer's advice and opinions. It's the average American who trudges off to work day in, day out. The people that ARE at the stores you go to when you want to buy something, it's the people that pick up your garbage, it's the people that come at all hours of the night and day in ambulances, fire trucks, law enforcement cars when you call or someone calls for you. It's the farmers you never see face to face but who produce you use daily. It's the men and women that stuck are in the Iraq quagmire due to the lack of intestinal fortitude of our Politicians (see them twice here for a reason don't you??!!). It's those annoying radio personalities you hear in the morning on your way to work. It's those men and women you drive by on the roads who are fixing the roads you drive upon. It's that kid in the drive up window of that fast food place you just left. It's the teachers in the all the public/government schools who endure your brat/undisciplined/unconcerned kids day in, day out. It's those people in all those delivery vans, trucks, and semi's. It's the multitude of people you pass by on the subway and sidewalks on their way to a nine to five job. These and more, who are struggling to make ends meet on a weekly to daily basis. While our Government for the past forty years has wasted our tax dollars overseas, kissing the derriere of governments and groups overseas, those tax dollars and our jobs have gone overseas leaving 'us', weaker and weaker. Did you watch Fox & Friends this morning?? We had it on when F&F showed the implosion of a building somewhere, a rather good looking new builiding, but it was brought down, expertly and well done to that crew of demolitions experts. Do you know why it was brought down? To build, get this, a 'shopping mall'. A primo example of Third World USA-itis. Customer service industry. No manufactoring/factory jobs, no high tech production jobs. No dear reader - customer service which pays what?? Diddly. And where will most of the goods for this 'shopping mall' come from? China of course for one, and two - anywhere but 'Made In USA'. The DOW closed over what 12,000 on Friday (12845.78) . Who really is making this money? What, 5% of America's population. The rest are most likely comes from the average American investing into a hopefull retirement. But most Americans make peanuts in the grand scheme of things on the stock market. But even the supposed rich (Countrywide Financial Corp) are in big trouble and that spells even bigger trouble for the average American. The foundation that holds this Nation up. The fifth nail in America's coffin as a great Nation before it becomes just another Third World playground for the empires of China and Islam. Mark my words.....if the road our Politicians and CEO's keep on......Third World USA.
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Pitt bull dogs kill again
Thursday, August 16, 2007 10:25 PM
I'll keep it short, since I've started noticing the increased maulings and killings by Pit Bulls, no one of significance, i.e. Presidential politican or present day member of Congress has addressed this growing threat to humans and animals. I know this breed is unstable and dangerous and would have no qualms about seeing it become extinct worldwide. Why? Read on:Pit Bull Kills Seven-Year-Old Boy in Minneapolis Last Edited: Thursday, 16 Aug 2007, 9:05 PM CDT Created: Thursday, 16 Aug 2007, 5:34 PM CDT --- A seven-year-old boy was tragically killed after being mauled by a Pit Bull in the basement of his home in Minneapolis. FOX 9's Paul Blume has the details. SideBar Pitbull Attack in Uptown Minneapolis Last Edited: Tuesday, 24 Jul 2007, 3:47 PM CDT Created: Monday, 23 Jul 2007, 6:05 PM CDT --- A man and his dog are recovering tonight after a horrible attack. A pitbull jumped out at them while they were walking in Uptown, Minneapolis. FOX 9's Scott Wasserman explains how you can protect yourself. Pitbull Attacks 11-Year-Old Girl Last Edited: Sunday, 10 Jun 2007, 11:03 PM CDT Created: Sunday, 10 Jun 2007, 10:12 PM CDT --- An 11-year-old girl is recovering tonight after a Pitbull attacked her. She was injured in the attack, but was well enough to speak with FOX 9's Dawn Stevens, who has more on the attack and the girl’s recove Pit Bull Attacks 4-Year-Old Mpls Girl Last Edited: Monday, 23 Apr 2007, 11:55 AM CDT Created: Monday, 23 Apr 2007, 11:31 AM CDT Related Items Stories Dog Attack Leaves 8-Year-Old Hospitalized Dog Mauling Victim Responds Condition of Woman Mauled by Dogs Downgraded to Critical MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minneapolis is reporting its third dog attack in a month. In the latest case, a pit bull attacked a four-year-old girl outside her north Minneapolis duplex. Authorities say the girl needed 13 staples to her head after Friday night's attack. Officials say the girl may have startled the dog, which apparently attacked while it was still tethered to a fence. An order to destroy the dog was expected to be issued over the weekend. The dog's owner is a friend of the girl's family. He would have until tomorrow to contest the order. In two previous dog attacks, a northeast Minneapolis woman was nearly killed by an American bulldog and a pit bull at her neighbor's home. And an eight-year-old boy was mauled by an Akita while he walked to school in south Minneapolis.
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To my fans
Wednesday, August 15, 2007 9:19 PM
Sorry folks, it's been one of them weeks. You know, when Monday is a 'Monday' and it just keeps going throughout the week. So my time has not been well spent enlightening you with witless and wisdomlessness, that I"ll leave to the Democrat candidates. Nope my dear reader, you, the one person who is probably awake at one thirty a.m. and can't sleep and needs something dire to enduce sleep....welcome to my blog, sure fire cure for insomnia, careful you head doesn't crash down upon your keyboard. Yeap, lost out on a good job opportunity this week by giving of myself to the lousy company I am currently employed by. Had a meeting for a second interview on Monday morning and guess what....everyone else called out 'sick' Monday morning except yours truely, and being the 'lead' - which terms allows my company to not have to pay me more by calling me a supervisor...had to man the battle stations until a second shifter arrived early. Made the calls in the morning and had a chance for an interview at one p.m. Flew downtown (but really officer, I was doing the speed limit) and waited for an half hour which was fine by me. The look on the decision maker told me a lot, but I met with most of the rest of 'the management team', had a nice chat, showed me around, that was a sweet office I would have had. The letter arrived yesterday with Monday''s post mark on it!! Yep, that's what I thought too. Thank you, good luck, blah blah blah. A thought crossed my mind today while I was outside taking a non-smoking break (it's that a racket - smokers get breaks off the clock to support an addiction and it's tolerated, but non-smokers, oh no...managers give the evil eye and bad fitness reports for non-smokers who take breaks). This thought was a bit religious in nature. I'm the third, last born (yeah I heard about that report a few weeks ago too) and I was not 'planned' like my older two siblings. But as I thought about it, no, my parents didn't plan on my arrival in this World, but God did. He planned on me being born. Gave me the best parents I could've ever had. Always had food, clothes, and a warm or cool place to sleep. Made sure I had an education....well, they did their part, me.....one of my best friends always relates a few of my day dreaming moments for a huge embarrassment factor. But it kind of struck me, that though my job sucks, my bosses are playing outside of their league, God has put me in spots to do 'something' for a reason He only knows. Just thought I'd share that with you. Politics, that too still sucks. Iraq....we need to just start bombing sites in Iran every time a suicide bomber or road side bomb goes off in Iraq since everyone knows that Iran is the country supporting, funding, training, arming, the terrorist inside of Iraq. Wall Street....read this:
The Associated Press
June 3, 2003
New York — Wall Street shot higher Monday on better-than-expected manufacturing data, but gave up much of its gains after the Dow Jones industrials surpassed the 9,000 mark for the first time since December.
Analysts said investors were upbeat about an economic recovery, but some were cashing in profits on concerns that the market's recent surge might have come too far, too soon.
"The economic activity is slow to improve but the market is optimistic," said John C. Forelli, portfolio manager for Independence Investment LLC in Boston. "For the market, the glass is half-full -- as opposed to three-quarters empty as it had been for a while."
The Dow closed up 47.55, or 0.5 percent, at 8,897.81, following a weekly advance of 2.9 percent last week. It was the best level seen since Nov. 27, 2002, when the Dow closed at 8,931.68. Tonight's NBC News with Brian Willimas, made it sound like the sky is falling, the Mongols are coming, Paris and Lindsey are out driving tonight, things that strike fear into a person. Oh my, it's falling to 12,000. And? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand what goes up must come down. So, what is D.C. and Big Business going to do??? If the bottom falls out, so does the top, they better realize that, and that the top have farther to fall. I guess a good thing about being on the bottom rung, step off and oh, that's it? Geez, oh, I have to make big sacrifices in my life and can't go out for supper this week, or go to a movie, whoopie dee. What D.C. and BB need to do is quit wasting our money in Iraq, police actions are always a loosing bet, South Korea may be prosperous, but unless they figure out how to unify the Korea's peacefully, the Northern madmen will again cross the border in tanks instead of cars. What also DC and BB better realize is that all this crap made in China is a) killing our children, b) killing our pets, c) killing our economy and in the end, will become a factor in Third World USA. Well sports fans, that does it for me this week. Unless something really major urges me to blog, you have a great weekend.
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Photo says it all
Sunday, August 12, 2007 9:52 PM
US marines asleep at their base in Falluja, Iraq. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty images I doubt that this is a staged photo. The unit is probably on 50/50 watch at the moment and this Marine does what millions before him have, catch a nap wherever you are at. But what it also says to me, is that our military is bogged down in a WW1 'trench warfare' mode - because our civilian leadership lacks intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to secure a real victory. And so, our Soldiers and Marines will continue to catch rest when they can.......God bless them and them safe - and hold our politicans accoutable at their time of judgement.
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Outside view of our Military
Sunday, August 12, 2007 9:42 PM
I'm going to copy n' paste this story that is breaking across the internet concerning the breakdown of our troops in Iraq. The part about divorce and the stress on personal relationships is nothing new to me, nor hundreds of thousands of others. Only thing, it happens to those in the Service all the time, you never see/read about it happening to the damn politicans who keeping pushing and pushing from the rear. Democrats and Republicans, doesn't matter, they're one in the same when it comes to handling our military. Here's the story, you be the judge:
Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq
Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis
Peter Beaumont in BaghdadSunday August 12, 2007
Observer
Lieutenant Clay Hanna looks sick and white. Like his colleagues he does not seem to sleep. Hanna says he catches up by napping on a cot between operations in the command centre, amid the noise of radio. He is up at 6am and tries to go to sleep by 2am or 3am. But there are operations to go on, planning to be done and after-action reports that need to be written. And war interposes its own deadly agenda that requires his attention and wakes him up.
When he emerges from his naps there is something old and paper-thin about his skin, something sketchy about his movements as the days go by.
The Americans he commands, like the other men at Sullivan - a combat outpost in Zafraniya, south east Baghdad - hit their cots when they get in from operations. But even when they wake up there is something tired and groggy about them. They are on duty for five days at a time and off for two days. When they get back to the forward operating base, they do their laundry and sleep and count the days until they will get home. It is an exhaustion that accumulates over the patrols and the rotations, over the multiple deployments, until it all joins up, wiping out any memory of leave or time at home. Until life is nothing but Iraq.
Hanna and his men are not alone in being tired most of the time. A whole army is exhausted and worn out. You see the young soldiers washed up like driftwood at Baghdad's international airport, waiting to go on leave or returning to their units, sleeping on their body armour on floors and in the dust.
Where once the war in Iraq was defined in conversations with these men by untenable ideas - bringing democracy or defeating al-Qaeda - these days the war in Iraq is defined by different ways of expressing the idea of being weary. It is a theme that is endlessly reiterated as you travel around Iraq. 'The army is worn out. We are just keeping people in theatre who are exhausted,' says a soldier working for the US army public affairs office who is supposed to be telling me how well things have been going since the 'surge' in Baghdad began.
They are not supposed to talk like this. We are driving and another of the public affairs team adds bitterly: 'We should just be allowed to tell the media what is happening here. Let them know that people are worn out. So that their families know back home. But it's like we've become no more than numbers now.'
The first soldier starts in again. 'My husband was injured here. He hit an improvised explosive device. He already had a spinal injury. The blast shook out the plates. He's home now and has serious issues adapting. But I'm not allowed to go back home to see him. If I wanted to see him I'd have to take leave time (two weeks). And the army counts it.'
A week later, in the northern city of Mosul, an officer talks privately. 'We're plodding through this,' he says after another patrol and another ambush in the city centre. 'I don't know how much more plodding we've got left in us.'
When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. 'Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this army is exhausted?'
It is a weariness that has created its own culture of superstition. There are vehicle commanders who will not let the infantrymen in the back fall asleep on long operations - not because they want the men alert, but because, they say, bad things happen when people fall asleep. So the soldiers drink multiple cans of Rip It and Red Bull to stay alert and wired.
But the exhaustion of the US army emerges most powerfully in the details of these soldiers' frayed and worn-out lives. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaints: soldiers talk about divorces, or problems with the girlfriends that they don't see, or about the children who have been born and who are growing up largely without them.
'I counted it the other day,' says a major whose partner is also a soldier. 'We have been married for five years. We added up the days. Because of Iraq and Afghanistan we have been together for just seven months. Seven months ... We are in a bad place. I don't know whether this marriage can survive it.'
The anecdotal evidence on the ground confirms what others - prominent among them General Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State - have been insisting for months now: that the US army is 'about broken'. Only a third of the regular army's brigades now qualify as combat-ready. Officers educated at the elite West Point academy are leaving at a rate not seen in 30 years, with the consequence that the US army has a shortfall of 3,000 commissioned officers - and the problem is expected to worsen.
And it is not only the soldiers that are worn out. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the destruction, or wearing out, of 40 per cent of the US army's equipment, totalling at a recent count $212bn (£105bn).
But it is in the soldiers themselves - and in the ordinary stories they tell - that the exhaustion of the US military is most obvious, coming amid warnings that soldiers serving multiple Iraq deployments, now amounting to several years, are 50 per cent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress.
The army's exhaustion is reflected in problems such as the rate of desertion and unauthorised absences - a problem, it was revealed earlier this year, that had increased threefold on the period before the war in Afghanistan and had resulted in thousands of negative discharges.
'They are scraping to get people to go back and people are worn out,' said Thomas Grieger, a senior US navy psychiatrist, told the International Herald Tribune in April.
'Modern war is exhausting,' says Major Stacie Caswell, an occupational therapist with a combat stress unit attached to the military hospital in Mosul. Her unit runs long group sessions to help soldiers with emerging mental health and discipline problems: often they have seen friends killed and injured, or are having problems stemming from issues at home - responsible for 50 to 60 per cent of their cases. One of the most common problems in Iraq is sleep disorders.
'This is a different kind of war,' says Caswell. 'In World War II it was clear who the good guys and the bad guys were. You knew what you would go through on the battlefield.' Now she says the threat is all around. And soldiering has changed. 'Now we have so many things to do...'
'And the soldier in Vietnam,' interjects Sergeant John Valentine from the same unit, 'did not get to see the coverage from home that these soldiers do. We see what is going on at home on the political scene. They think the war is going to end. Then we have the frustration and confusion. That is fatiguing. Mentally tiring.'
'Not only that,' says Caswell, 'but because of the nature of what we do now, the number of tasks in comparison with previous generations - even as you are finishing your 15 months here you are immediately planning and training for your next tour.' Valentine adds: 'There is no decompression.'
The consequence is a deep-seated problem of retention and recruitment that in turn, says Caswell, has led the US army to reduce its standards for joining the military, particularly over the issue of no longer looking too hard at any previous history of mental illness. 'It is a question of honesty, and we are not investigating too deeply or we are issuing waivers. The consequence is that we are seeing people who do not have the same coping skills when they get here, and this can be difficult.
'We are also seeing older soldiers coming in - up to 41 years old - and that is causing its own problems. They have difficulty dealing with the physical impact of the war and also interacting with the younger men.'
Valentine says: 'We are not only watering down the quality of the soldiers but the leadership too. The good leaders get out. I've seen it. And right now we are on the down slope.'
'War tsar' calls for return of the draft to take the strain
America's 'war tsar' has called for the nation's political leaders to consider bringing back the draft to help a military exhausted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a radio interview, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute said the option had always been open to boost America's all-volunteer army by drafting in young men in the same way as happened in Vietnam. 'I think it makes sense to consider it,' he said. Lute was appointed 'war tsar' earlier this year after President Bush decided a single figure was needed to oversee the nation's military efforts abroad.
Rumours of a return to the draft have long circulated in military circles as the pressure from fighting two large conflicts at the same time builds on America's forces. However, politically it would be extremely difficult to achieve, especially for any leader hoping to be elected in 2008. Bush has previously ruled out the suggestion as unnecessary.
Lute, however, said the war was causing stress to military families and, as a result, was having an impact on levels of re-enlistment. 'This kind of stress plays out across dinner tables and in living-room conversations within these families. Ultimately the health of the all-volunteer force is going to rest on those sorts of personal family decisions,' he said.
A draft would revive bad memories of the turmoil of the 1960s and early 1970s when tens of thousands of young men were drafted to fight and die in Vietnam. Few other policies proved as divisive in America and the memories of anti-war protesters burning their draft cards and fleeing to Canada are still vivid in the memory.

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The military and civilian leadership Part 2
Thursday, August 09, 2007 8:42 PM
Article on another website caught my eye tonight since it does pertain to something near and dear to me, the U.S. Military.
Did President Bush disregard military expertise prior to the Iraq war, in effect "neutering" his generals?
That's the question raised in a criticial essay in the Council on Foreign Relations' journal and rebutted by a former Joint Chiefs chairman and others. It seems every President that comes along believe's he (and I hope never she-you-know-who) that they know a) what the military is really about b) how to fight war. Unless that person has spent a majority of their life in the Military, they have only Hollywood and maybe a nice rear echelon tour of duty to base their decisions upon. The Iraq War, Afghanistan 'campaign', are going to make fine leaders in the future who understand the reality of the U.S. Military.
Michael C. Desch ·who holds the Robert M. Gates Chair in Intelligence and National Security Decision-Making at Texas A&M's George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service · started the debate, declaring it "defies common sense" to presume the president or secretary of defense would have a better grasp of the tactics needed to wage a war than professionals in the military.
Desch's assertions, published initially in CFR's Foreign Affairs, now have been countered by Richard B. Myer, who was vice chairman, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between 2000 and 2005 and holds the Colin Powell Chair of Character, Leadership, and Ethics at the National Defense University; and Richard H. Kohn, professor of history and peace at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, Meyer and Kohn contend Bush officials did not "overrule" the military and in the end, "all involved supported the final plan regardless of the disagreements along the way."
Desch argued the "best system is one that allows for substantial military autonomy in the military, technical, and tactical realms (how to fight wars) in return for complete subordination to civilian authority in the political realm (when and if to fight them)."
Admittedly, he wrote, "this approach is not perfect, but ·I believe that it strikes the best possible balance between military effectiveness and civilian control." Ditto...ditto....ditto. Let the warriors fight the war the way a war needs to be fought....this after a). some stupid moron(s) killed Americans and deserve to die b). our politicians failed in their jobs in keeping the peace and war becomes a necessary step in safety and security of the common good.
Although there had been conflicts in the past, the "relationship" between the U.S. military and civilians under Bush "deteriorated markedly since the start of the Iraq war," Desch maintained.
He contended Bush administration officials "did not hesitate to overrule [military leaders] on the number of troops to be sent [to Iraq] and the timing of their deployment."
Desch said there are those who believe civilians should have the final say not because they have any greater expertise but because the political rationale for war should be paramount in guiding state policy.
"This important distinction highlights just how radical a departure the Bush administration's approach to civilian control has been," he continued. "That approach ·is that civilians are more competent than military professionals."
"This latter argument defies common sense: professionals by definition have greater expertise in their particular fields than do those who deal with them in only part of their careers and then only episodically, as is the case for most senior civilian leaders in regard to the military," he said.
Intimidated into silence?
Responding to Desch, Meyers and Kohn insisted no officers were "intimidated into silence" about the Iraq plans and to imply that "is misleading."
"Desch recommends returning to 'an old division of labor' in which 'civilians give due deference to military professional advice in the tactical and operational realms in return for complete military subordination in the grand strategic and political realms," the two wrote. "In fact, that 'old division of labor' never disappeared. ·"
Meyers and Kohn wrote, "Ultimately, there is no such thing as a 'proper civil-military balance.' What is necessary for effective policy, good decisions, and positive outcomes is a relationship of respect, candor, collaboration, cooperation ·and subordination.
"The fact is that the president and the secretary of defense have the authority and the right to reject or ignore military advice whenever they wish. That is the law, in accordance with the Constitution and consistent with U.S. historical practice. Even if Desch does not understand or accept that, the military does ·and so, too, do the American people," they wrote.
Desch replies
Replying to Myers and Kohn, Desch argued, in contrast, there is "not much evidence supporting the proposition that civilians make superior decisions in the narrow military realm than do military professionals."
"Winston Churchill, whatever his heroic political leadership during World War II, pushed more than his share of harebrained military schemes that resulted in disaster (Gallipoli in World War I and Norway early in World War II) or would have had they been implemented (landings in the Balkans instead of western Europe)."
Desch, in his reply in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, said the end result has to be considered.
"If taken at face value, Myers and Kohn's assertion that 'in the end, all involved supported the final plan' is a damning indictment of the competence of the senior military leadership, including Myers himself, who assures us he had Rumsfeld's ear. I see it, instead, as an indication that after enough time and pressure, generals will eventually give their civilian bosses the answers they want.
"In fact, I do not argue that civilian leaders should rubber-stamp military policies, even in the tactical or operational realms, so this charge is a red herring. The problem with civilian meddling in the run-up to the Iraq war was not that [civilians] overruled the senior army leadership on the number of troops necessary for 'Phase IV,' or reconstruction, but that they did so claiming superior military expertise, rather than offering a compelling political reason for ignoring these military recommendations," he said.
Also joining the debate was Mackubin Thomas Owens, the associate dean of academics and professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College. He said Desch correctly observes a "troubling rift" between the military and civilian leaders.
But he said the "uniformed military" deserves a significant share of the blame.
"In the case of (former Secretary of Defense Donald) Rumsfeld, it is clear that he was guilty of errors of judgment regarding the conduct of the Iraq war. However ·Rumsfeld's critics were no more prescient than he. Rumsfeld failed to foresee the insurgency and the shift from conventional to guerrilla war, but so did his critics in the uniformed services. The army's official historian of the campaign has placed the blame for this failure squarely on the army."
Owens said, "Uniformed officers have an obligation to stand up to civilian leaders when they think a policy is flawed. They must convey their concerns to civilian policymakers forcefully and truthfully. If they believe the door is closed to them at the Pentagon or the White House, they also have access to Congress. But the U.S. tradition of civil-military relations requires that they not engage in public debate over matters of foreign policy, including the decision to go to war. And once a policy decision is made, soldiers are obligated to carry it out to the best of their abilities, whether their advice has been heeded or not," he said." Nuff' said here. Civilians failed from the jumpstart of the 'war'. Civiilan 'control' of the military has caused military personnel their lives and families, their loved ones. I said it before, I'll say it again, and again, in the end....it's either their children or ours who will die....choose. That, is the reality of war. That is the reality of not acting when action would be prudent. That is the reality of denial. War is hell. There is no glory, just survival. So, when war comes, or the necessity arises to use the military, in the end, it will be their children, or yours who die. Venezuela....Chavez, Hilter, what should have the French and British done? What should have they done to 'help' the Germans with a cancer? Ignoring cancer does not make it go away.
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Slick, Queen, and the GI
Tuesday, August 07, 2007 1:25 PM
Slick Willy was at his best, he slipped into town, had a private $300.00 a plate 'dinner' to stump for his wi, wi, wi...hard to say it...wi, wife.....who didn't show, and slipped out without the local news even knowing it. It was announced on the Florida Radio Network today. Bill was in town to stump for Der Konijin Des Reich and her 'so-called' love and support for the U.S. Military. ROFL Okay, I caught my breath. That is so funny to say that or even think that she would be in favor of the U.S. Military. Hillary, who 'loathes' the military and 'get those fracking uniforms out of here' (White House). The U.S. Military, the one institution that stands between the U.S. Constitution and her dreams of World Socialism. The U.S. Military, who Bill Clinton and his Administration did their best to destroy through insane social experiementation programs and by not supporting the troops under fire (BlackHawk Down-Somalia), Bosnia. Yeah, Slick Willy showed the American People what they (he, Hillary and Co.) are all about, sneaking in, taking, and leaving. He, too cowardly to face an audience in this military town. She, too cowardly to face any non-handpicked audience. Any vote or dollar of support for them is a knife in the back for America, a tear of the Constitution, a spit on the grave of our Fore Fathers and Mothers. Why wasn't she here herself for her 'fund rasier'? Why did Bill avoid the media?? Today's headline in on our newspaper: "Publix offers free drugs". Healine in the 'local section' of today's paper: "Peanut allergies addressed". Why? Why would the Clinton's avoid the newspaper, a Gannett owned newspaper?? What are they afraid of? Facing a crisis? Facing confrontation? Facing a challenge? Yeah, just the people we need in the Presidency.
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Bridges and more, I told you so
Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:07 PM
I've been watching the news this evening as most of you have no doubt, people who care about what is going on around you. I've watched in sadness, of the bridge collapse in Minnesota, of the carnage and human life real drama. Who to blame?? Please go back and read my blog I did on Sept 4th, 2006 called Labor Day Reflections and what I back then, called for our/your politicans to do. Hold them accountable.
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My advice to GenY
Monday, July 30, 2007 9:36 PM
Today's little jaunt comes from a dinner conversation this past weekend with one of my family twentysomethings. After her little head bobs and half eaten breakfast, I said to my better half, don't try to give her advice, she doesn't like it when people tell her what to do. I began thinking more of the mornings events as I worked on our yard. I recalled reading not so long ago about business and GenYers. The finding by professionals studying the GenYers in today's U.S. workplace discovered that GenYers react more to praise than they do instruction or fact based hard work reality gets the job done. It seems that GenY needs coddling more so than any other generation before it. Thank you California is all I can say. Dig up and grab at where the root of our social problems are coming from, California. The ultra liberal mentality towards handling any problem, confronting any issue, allowing any sort of depravity to spread, it's just created monster after monster that is devouring any kind of law and order and/or conservative type valued societies. Sometimes it's hard to refute the Islamo Fascist claim of America's decedent society. But back to GenY. Should you ever find yourself confronting a GenYer over a problem and trying to give that GenYer 'advice' that wasn't asked, even though you know, most likely from experience, think twice. Think of this, the GenYer is going to do what they want no matter what, often which conclusion someone has to bail them out of a dire predicament. I think like this now.....I see a GenYer driving down a road I had just come from. I know that the bridge is out that crosses the big pond. I know that now trying to flag them down, tell them to turn around and not go that way is totally futile and often ends in very abrasive arguements that resolve nothing. I say this to GenY: "Have a nice swim".
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R U Mexican or American
Thursday, July 26, 2007 9:53 PM
Like that chat lingo in my headline??? Pretty hip huh? Okay, thought I'd try a little funny before launching into a diatribe about tonight's Bird's Eye View. Been seeing the following story across the wires in the past few days: Sheriff urged to close immigrant hotline
Thu Jul 26, 9:04 AM ET
Latino leaders and faith-based organizations want Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to disconnect the hotline he created for people to report information about undocumented immigrants, saying it raises the chance of racial profiling.
But Arpaio said Wednesday that he won't disconnect the hotline and stressed that deputies would investigate people only if authorities had probable cause.
The hotline began last Friday and has received about 300 messages, which include tips about family and friends, employment, day laborers, drop houses and crank calls.
Arpaio said officials are analyzing the tips and officials have not acted on any of the calls.
"There's nothing unconstitutional about putting up a hotline," Arpaio said, pointing out that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have similar hotlines.
The hotline is part of an expanded immigration enforcement plan Arpaio unveiled last week that also includes sheriff's deputies cross-trained to enforce immigration law.
Some Latino advocacy groups will launch a hotline of their own to take tips from people who believe they've been unfairly reported to Arpaio's hotline, said activist Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor.
Meanwhile, some faith-based organizations are circulating a letter among church leaders and members that decries Arpaio's hotline.
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The hotline number is 602-876-4154.
___ Now tell me, what AMERICAN would protest the notification of illegals in the United States?? What American would protest the capture of a person that is illegally here in the USA that already broke the laws of the USA by coming into the Country illegally? What else is this person guilty of already? No real AMERICAN would protest the actions of notifying law enforcement of a law breaker, but those who would aid and abet criminals would not notify law enforcement. No real American would allow illegal immigrants to run around loose without consequence. Break one law, no problem, break two, three, more.....no problem. The illegal immigrant has a status to allow them to continue to commit crimes in the United States without consequence. No real American would allow this to continue...only those that are criminals themselves and betrayers to the Constitution of the United States.
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Who created al Qaida
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:02 PM
With everything we see and hear, the credit goes to Osama Bin Laden and his second in command, Aymen Al Zawahiri. But OBL gets the lion's share of the credit for giving his group of terrorist milita a name. But that's as far as it went until 9/11. Then the Western Media, especially here in the United States took off with the Al Qaida, al Quida, al Qaeda....does anyone really know how to spell it??? But Al Q. really had a small following and was very compartized until our Media began building 1000 man units of al qaida in every country across the globe. So, anyone who wants to instill fear into the local population or government claims to be al qaida and the media just runs with it, spreading the lies for the terrorist. Looking at this, it's like any time in recent history when there is a popular criminal movement, a bunch of whannabees claim membership be it the Mafia, Crips, MS13, Red Brigade, Bahder Meinhoff, IRA (almost wrote IRS....now there's a group of...), the PLO, now it's al Qaida. So TV news, world newspapers, radio, are you going to keep helping the terrorist by spreading their lies, or just tell the truth, another group of terrorist were caught or killed. The hard corps group that makes up a 'named' entity is often only in the early days of growth and expansion, everyone else are like papparazzi, just hanging around for the fame.

1 comment:

Tara said...

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