Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Here are two links I was referred to:
Friday, March 28, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
1. Saddam Hussein actively supported al-Qaeda, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups.
2. "Because Saddam's security organizations and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance of and, in some way, a 'de facto' link between the organizations."
3. "In 1993, as Osama bin Laden's fighters battled Americans in Somalia, Saddam Hussein personally ordered the formation of an Iraqi terrorist group to join the battle there."
4. "There is much, much more. Documents reveal that the regime stockpiled bombmaking materials in Iraqi embassies around the world and targeted Western journalists for assassination. In July 2001, an Iraqi Intelligence agent described an al Qaeda affiliate in Bahrain, the Army of Muhammad, as 'under the wings of bin Laden.' Although the organization 'is an offshoot of bin Laden,' the fact that it has a different name 'can be a way of camouflaging the organization.' The agent is told to deal with the al Qaeda group according to 'priorities previously established.'"
This is just a partial listing, but it's enough to show that Saddam Hussein's regime provided money, Iraqi passports, training, equipment, and other forms of support to terrorist groups.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Military losses, 1980 through 2006
Source: Congressional Research Service,
As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider the following statistics: The annual fatalities of military members while actively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006:
1980 .......... 2,392 (Carter Year)
1981 ......... 2,380 (Reagan Year)
1982..........2,319 (Reagan Year)
1983..........2,465 (Reagan Year)
1984 ......... 1,999 (Reagan Year)
1985...........2,252 (Reagan Year)
1986...........1,984 (Reagan Year)
1987...........1,983 (Reagan Year)
1988 ......... 1,819 (Reagan Year)
1989 ......... 1,636 (George HW Year)
1990 ......... 1,508 (George HW Year)
1991 ......... 1,787 (George HW Year)
1992 ......... 1,293 (George HW Year)
1993 ......... 1,213 ( Clinton Year)
1994 ......... 1,075 ( Clinton Year)
1995 ......... 2,465 ( Clinton Year)
1996 ......... 2,318 (Clinton Year)
1997 ........... 817 ( Clinton Year)
1998 ........ 2,252 ( Clinton Year)
1999 .........1,984 ( Clinton Year)
2000 ........1,983 ( Clinton Year)
Clinton years (1993-2000): 14,000 deaths
2001 .......... 890 (George W Year)
2002 ........1,007 (George W Year)
2003 ....... 1,410 (George W Year)
2004 ....... 1,887 (George W Year)
2005 .......... 919 (George W Year)
2006........... 920 (George W Year)
George W years (2001-2006): 7,932 deaths
2007............899 (George W Year)
If you are surprised when you look at these figures, so was I.
These figures mean that the loss from the two latest conflicts in the Middle East are LESS than the loss of military personnel during Bill Clinton's presidency; when America wasn't even involved in a war!
And, I was even more shocked when I read that in 1980, during the reign of President (Nobel Peace Prize winner) Jimmy Carter, there were 2,392 US military fatalities!I think that these figures indicate that many members of our Media and our Politicians will pick and choose the information on which they report. Of course we all know that they present only those 'facts' which support their agenda-driven reporting. But why do so many of them march in lock-step to twist the truth? Where do so many of them get their marching-orders for their agenda? Obviously there is one shared agenda, and I believe it is clear it comes from the most powerful Democratic family of the decade.
Do you want further proof? Consider the latest census, of Americans. It shows the following FACTS about the distribution of American citizens, by Race:
European descent ............. 69.12%
Hispanic .................................. 12.5%
Black .......................................... 12.3%
Asian ........................................... 3.7%
Native American ................... ..... 1.0%
Other ........................................... 2.6%
Now... here are the fatalities by Race; over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom:
European descent (white).........74.31%
Hispanic .................................. 10.74%
Black ........................................ 9.67%
Asian ........................................ 1.81%
Native American ........................1.09%
Other ........................................ 0.33%
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI has just baptized Magdi Allam, a non-practicing Muslim who condemned Islamic extremism and defended Israel. This took a great deal of courage on Allam's part, as he is now in danger of being murdered in the name of Allah. He figured that he had nothing to lose, after receiving death threats from Hamas.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Schools' morale front and center
By Tracy Jan
Globe Staff / March 22, 2008
To soothe the bruised egos of educators and children in lackluster schools, Massachusetts officials are now pushing for kinder, gentler euphemisms for failure.
Instead of calling these schools "underperforming," the Board of Education is considering labeling them as "Commonwealth priority," to avoid poisoning teacher and student morale.
Schools in the direst straits, now known as "chronically underperforming," would get the more urgent but still vague label of "priority one."
The board has spent parts of more than three meetings in recent months debating the linguistic merits and tone set by the terms after a handful of superintendents from across the state complained that the label underperforming unfairly casts blame on educators, hinders the recruitment of talented teachers, and erodes students' self-esteem.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Blackfive: A blog that dares publish positive news about the U.S. military.
The Long War Journal: Bill Roggio is embedded with the Military Transition Team for the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division in Western Mosul. He has the advantage of not being beholden to terrorist sympathizers.
Milblogging.com: "A daily snapshot of the top milblogs" (military blogs).
Michael Yon: Another embedded journalist who regular scoops the legacy media in Iraq.
Mudville Gazette: A military-friendly Web site that also presents home-front news.
U.S. Department of Defense Press Resources: An official news source that's apparently not used very often by the Big Media.
Asylum's Renaming Insults Advocates
WESTON, W.Va. - It's an intriguing and provocative name that translates to Web hits, phone calls and tour tickets: the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
To some, the title acknowledges history by readopting one of the many names previously held by the long-vacant, 19th century mental institution known most recently as Weston Hospital.
But others say the new owners of the massive Gothic Revival hospital have gone too far, disparaging the suffering of former patients and reopening wounds with planned events like "Psycho Path" dirt bike races on the grounds.
The hospital is one of the world's largest hand-cut sandstone structures, a National Historic Landmark that once housed more than 2,000 patients but has stood largely silent since 1994.
After struggling to find a suitable, sustainable use, the state sold it at auction last summer for $1.5 million to Jordan's father, Joe, an asbestos demolition contractor from Morgantown.
The Jordans plan events on the grounds year-round: "mud bog" races, in which trucks try to speed through a pit without getting stuck; a reunion of former employees; "Hospital of Horrors" haunting tours in October; and a "Nightmare Before Christmas" tour on Dec. 23.
But their approach to marketing "cheapens and denigrates the whole field of psychology," argued Jerry Kirkpatrick, an international business and marketing professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Historian Joy Gilchrist-Stalnaker has worked for nearly a decade to save the building where three of her ancestors died. She said the new name serves as a reminder of a past no one should forget.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
John Stossel of ABC News, in the article, "Anger: Myths and Management," asserts a point that I had slowly been gravitating towards, that giving in to feelings of anger is bad for your health.
"Like many people "20/20" talked to, [Wendy] Galfund [of New York] believed that venting her anger was healthy, and that holding in anger can cause illnesses like ulcers, colitis, even cancer. And that's the first widespread myth about anger: 'Venting your anger is healthy.'
"Mind-body researcher Dr. Redford Williams, in the department of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, said that venting your anger is, in fact, quite unhealthy. With his wife, Virginia, Williams has written two books on anger management: 'Anger Kills: Seventeen Strategies for Controlling the Hostility That Can Harm Your Health' and 'In Control: No More Snapping at Your Family, Sulking at Work, Steaming in the Grocery Line, Seething in Meetings, Stuffing Your Frustration.'
"When you vent your anger, 'your blood pressure's going up more, your adrenaline levels are going up more. You're nicking those arteries a little bit more,' Williams said.
"'When you are getting angry, things are happening inside your body that are taking hours, days, years off your life,' he explained. 'The research is unequivocal in this. It shows that people who get angry a lot, every day, are more likely to die by age 50.'"
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
UPDATE: Jeff Jacoby has a few choice words to say about Obama's choice of spiritual advisor in "It's Still a Question of Wright and Wrong."
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
After years of feeding my habit, this political TV junkie finally suffered from total, absolute burnout. I became tired of the same talking heads babbling about the same sets of talking points; the pundits who were almost always wrong, and, when they were proven wrong, would go on to explain why things didn’t go as they should have; and the “strategists” who shared their Machiavellian concepts with the rest of us. I couldn’t take one more split-screen set of so-called experts yelling at each other, pontificating and prognosticating. I had it up to here with CNN and Fox News and MSNBC. I couldn’t bear the superficial interviews on the network morning shows or the self-important musings of the nightly newscasts. I became sick of the polls and the stories about the polls and the analyses of the polls.
So I quit. Cold turkey. No more news on television. None. No Hardball, no Meet the Press, no Good Morning, America. Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, I was free at last!
So, during this election cycle, I have gained virtually all of my political news from written sources. As a result, I’ve found myself caring more about what has been said rather than how it was said. I no longer see—nor do I miss—the instant analysis that follows debates. I don’t have to subject myself to on-air advisors telling candidates what they must do to perform better in the next primary.
In the print and online worlds, there are so many more sources and options. The only shouting involves exclamation points and capital letters. The junk is easier to recognize and ignore. I’ve even found myself reading the transcripts of debates rather than watching and listening to them, which has allowed me to concentrate on substance and disregard the theatrics. There have been some absolutely moronic questions asked by debate “moderators”, but, if you think they sounded stupid on television, you should read them.
I feel more informed than ever, and I find all the talk about the irrelevant aspects of the race to be, well, irrelevant. I’m no longer a part of the electronic echo chamber, and I’m very happy. I may never go back.
EDITORIAL NOTE: While it's true that you can't always believe everything you read in print or on the Internet, at least there is more intellectual diversity, a definite plus.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
"Fusilier Hields showed extraordinary courage under intense fire,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Huw James, his commanding officer. “I was astonished at the state of his vehicle. There were so many holes in it, it was like a teabag. The Taliban did everything in their power to neutralise [him] and Fusilier Hields was having none of it. His actions allowed his patrol to come out of the ambush in which they were outnumbered by three or four to one and probably saved a lot of lives.”
For his conspicuous gallantry and total disregard for his own safety Hields was awarded the Military Cross and the NATO Meritorious Service Medal.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer faces the unappealing prospect of being forced to resign after he allegedly paid thousands of dollars to a high-priced prostitution ring (the Emperors Club VIP) under the alias, "Client 9." If he quits, Lt. Gov. David Paterson will take over as governor for the remainder of his term.
"I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself," he said. "I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."
The Smoking Gun Web site has more information on this case, which will continue to unfold in the weeks and months to come.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Sources said Karnes frequently sends politically themed material to Democratic lawmakers, and the ones received Thursday did not contain any threatening messages.
FBI investigators interviewed the man and determined the photo was taken several years ago and made into a holiday-type card bearing the message "Happy New Year. We did it." What he was referring to, the sources said, was the 2006 elections in which the Democrats regained control of Congress.
Investigators also continued to determine whether there is any connection between the bombing and two similar blasts in 2005 and 2007 at the British and Mexican consulates in New York.
In the earlier attacks, the bomber used black-powder bombs fashioned out of dummy hand grenades and set off with a lit fuse. While bomb experts were still looking over the evidence, it is believed that a similarly constructed bomb - although packed into a metal ammunition box - was used
The same article describes how the Ross bicycle used by a possible suspect on a blurry surveillance video was disposed of in a dumpster and later recovered in good condition.
Friday, March 7, 2008
The preceding quote is a curious way to render a resignation, but Samantha made it official today:
"With deep regret, I am resigning from my role as an advisor [to] the Obama campaign effective today. Last Monday, I made inexcusable remarks that are at marked variance from my oft-stated admiration for Senator Clinton and from the spirit, tenor, and purpose of the Obama campaign. And I extend my deepest apologies to Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and the remarkable team I have worked with over these long 14 months."
Thursday, March 6, 2008
C/Net has a neat article about environmentally friendly cardboard furniture that saves trees and is free of toxic glues. Europe is well ahead of America in adopting this material, which, as you can see, does not have to look plain and utilitarian.
Home-grown terrorists planted a crude bomb at a recruiting station on Time Square in New York, according to an Associated Press/MSNBC story. They also sent a manila envelope to congressional offices in Washington with a manifesto and some photos of the recruiting office prior to the attack.
This differs from similar incidents during the Vietnam War in that nowadays there is no draft to protest against, and that the person or persons responsible have found common cause with Islamic extremists who seek to destroy our religion, our democracy, and way of life. One concern about this bombing is that it could start a wave of copycat crimes, such as a bomb scare that emptied out the City-County Building in downtown Denver later this morning.
New York's Mayor Bloomberg made the following statement: "...the act “insults every one of our brave men and women in uniform stationed around the world.”
“Whoever the coward was that committed this disgraceful act on our city will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Bloomberg. “We will not tolerate such attacks.”
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Meanwhile, liberal pundits, who were ready to write off talk radio just a few months ago, are now blaming talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh for "corrupting" the electoral process! Rush and others, they charge, have used their influence to persuade many Republicans to vote in Democratic primaries, accounting for the recent surge in support for Hillary. Actually, she has several fallback positions:
1. The states that haven't yet held primaries or caucuses
2. Revisiting Michigan and Florida - she will probably fight to have them hold primaries again and be granted full representation in the Democratic convention
3. The superdelagates - this is where Hillary is believed to have an advantage
4. Between now and the convention, Hillary is in a better position to exploit Obama's weaknesses and limitations than any Republican
5. When all else fails, she can light up the fireworks at the convention!