Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vets For FreedomSign the Petition

Dear Vets for Freedom Members:

Today Vets for Freedom released two ads: Marines call on Mr. Murtha to "Stop the Smears", and Mr. Murphy "I Was There" the surge worked.

Representative Murtha and Murphy continue to use 2007 talking points provided by, rather than the facts on the ground. In November 2005, Representative Murtha said in a television interview, 'The soldiers can't speak for themselves.' We are here to tell Rep. Murtha that, yes, we can, and we will speak out in defense of the truth.

Also, please sign our petition asking Mr. Murtha to stop the smears and support our troops. We are circulating this petition from now until Veterans Day when it will be presented to Congress.

Click here to sign our petition - Stop the Smears and Support our Troops

Move out and draw fire,

Pete Hegseth

Vets for Freedom

David Bellavia

Vice Chairman,
Vets for Freedom

Please - do this for Abbey

Today, one of our own needs you all to become pro-active. Last week Robert Stokely sent an email out to the blogosphere. Many of us know and love the Stokely family. The Stokely family has already given much to America. Robert and Retta have already lived every parent's worse nightmare. Please read Robert's email below. I need you all to make a few simple phone calls. That - and pray. Please, do this - for Abbey. Thank you.

The Stokely's need your help as does many many others around the country to get Congress to act - please see the links below to versions of the U.S. House and Senate bills for Lyme Disease Research below:

Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)[H.R.741.IH]

Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education, and Research Act of 2007 (Introduced in Senate)[S.1708.IS]

Abbey Stokely was bitten by a tick about 20 months ago. We have been to doctors - the best we can find and she is very sick to this day and I fear she may even die. Yesterday, as a home health nurse came to treat her under the orders of an infectious disease doctor, she suddenly collapsed, stopped breathing and then responded again. I buried a son, SGT Mike Stokley KIA 16 AUG Yusufiyah Iraq and that nearly did it for me. I don't think I can bury a daughter, much less I know my wife Retta can't, for like Mike and I were best friends, Retta and Abbey are the closet mother / daughter I have ever known, and on top of that, they have the closet friendship I have ever seen in my life.

The other day, Abbey became so ill and fatigued at school that a friend had to bring her home from school. We, like many other families, are desparate. We nearly lost Abbey in a car wreck five months after Mike died when she and I were struck in her door, sheering it away, by another car running a stop sign. We rolled and then flipped end over end for 180 feet. We spent 18 months gettng Abbey well from that wreck.

It was during that recovery time that Abbey was bitten by the tick. Since then she has had to endure something no emerging teenager wants - to have your life taken away and unable to be with your friends. Going to church is a struggle, yet her faith and committment to God leads her to save up her strength to go to church for an hour. She went to school half days, not even going other days. Amazingly, she maintained the high straight A average she has had everyday of her entire school career, and moved from 15th in her class to 4th (and she is in a very competetive 2010 class).

We understood and accepted what we were in for when Mike went to Iraq. Yet, his death continues to be a heart break to us every day. While other thirteen year old girls might have attended their first funeral to bury a grandparent, Abbey attended her first to bury a treasured and loved brother in a most public setting, TV cameras and Reporters in her face at the State Capitol prayer service, and then again as over a thousand attended Mike's funeral. Instead of a simple graveside service and prayer to get through for a grandparent, Abbey said goodbye to her brother to the report of a 21 gun salute, watching the flag draping his casket be folded, and then the playing of taps.

There are a lot of unknowns about Lyme Disease and a lot of "blowing off" of patients like Abbey and our family by the medical community. Some doctors have even had their license taken away or suspended because traditioanl medical community views tend to discount Lyme even exists in many states or that the regimen of treatment is two weeks of an anitbiotic and the patient is cured, and if not, they are depressed and need a psychiatrist.

If what I describe above is not enough for Abbey to go through from age 13 - to 16, she has had to endure going through every known medical test and being told we don't know what you have, but it is not Lyme Disease because Lyme does not exist in GA and you are just depressed because of what has happened in your life. Such is how it goes for many others like Abbey Stokely - they are blamed for not getting better and told there is nothing wrong with them.

Abbey Stokely wants to get better, she wants to live a full life, and she wants to be happy. Yet, in the face of the the physical setback of Lyme Disease and only able to go to school half days, some days not at all, she carried a full advanced placement high school load, elected to be the President of her Student Government, doing homework on weekends when her friends are out having fun so she can maintain her lifelong high straight A average. She is in a very competetive academic class of 2010 at her high school and has managed to achieve being ranked 4th in her class. She continues a strong faith in God even given what has befallen her, continuing to read and study her bible and carry on a committed prayer life. She is respectful and considerate of the needs of others even to the point the other day when she was rear-ended by another driver, and hurt again, she was more worried about how they were than her own self, and now worries if the other driver will get in much trouble with their parents and insurance company. She is chaste and would not dare consider a drink or illegal drug. She saves her allowance for college and dreams of being a doctor or doing something to contribute to the betterment of life for others. She was trying to walk several miles a day and build up strength to walk in the three day breast cancer walk and had raised considerable money to donate to the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by making crafts to sell and holding late night dinners for the staff at her mom's hospital. Does that sound like someone who is depressed and needs a psychiatrist?

Abbey Stokely is sick and could die from Lyme Disease. Now, we as a family need your help.

Congress has two bills pending - one in the House and one in the Senate - links above and for a tenth straight year will die if not passed out of Congress in December. We need to look at this disease and study it with an open mind and not take the hasty and closed minded positions as those with a conflict of interest due to ties in the research and pharmacuetical field have. A video "Under Our Skin" which is gripping and compelling to ask questions why not study and learn more rather than misdiagnois or outright ignore the problem. A legitimate question exists why the medical community, including CDC, is not responding and families like us, and people like Abbey, are being left with no answers, even being shunned and blamed with "the problem". Please help us and the many many others like us around our country.

I am not one who shows fear but I am really scarred for my daughter. Please guard your family from ticks, for Lyme Disease, while recognized as a disease in some states on the eastern seaboard from Maryland north, there are many states it exists in great numbers like Georgia but is ignored by health authorities. Remember, thirty years ago no one had heard of Lyme Disease until it was discovered by a doctor who studied the unusual onset of child hood arthritis in large numbrs of children in Lyme Conneticut. While the medical community blames the patient in many cases today, or misdiagnosis the patient altogether, we are very likely to look back one day and ask ourselves as a nation who we could have ignored it for so long and let so many suffer needlessly.

Thank you my friends for any contacts you can make and please share this with your friends if you like.

Robert Stokely
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely KIA 16 Aug 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq
and proud but very concerned dad of Abbey Stokely, suffering from Lyme Disease
My signature on SA says: Every soldier is one of our own. Every soldier's family is one of our own.

One of our own needs you to take the few minutes and call. Thank you.

Quote of the Day

From Family Security Matters here:

October 30, 2008

"What the Middle East fanatics want is not just our resources or even our lives, but our humiliation first, in whatever sadistic ways they can think of. Their lust for humiliation has already been repeatedly demonstrated in their videotaped beheadings that find such an eager market in the Middle East. None of this can be prevented by glib talk, but only by character, courage and decisive actions – none of which Barack Obama has ever demonstrated."
Thomas Sowell

Since I cannot vote (no, really I can' in the upcoming election - and am therefore officially non-partisan - I am asking all of you to think about what is above here. THEN vote!

Cpl Chris Mason speaks to YOU

If you know me, you KNOW I always take the word of our boots on the ground above all others. Cpl Mason has some truths to share with youi all, before you vote.

Hear Cpl Chris Mason's words before you vote, and I mean listen to the entire video, not just part of it.

America you need to hear this American soldier speak before you make a choice, you need to hear why he made his choices. He is speaking from within a bunker to you, the American people.

Cpl Mason was killed in action 28 Nov 2006 - Northern Iraq - FOB Summerall just 16 days after producing this video report.

Cpl. Mason: "We chose to believe that the patch we wear on our right shoulder stands for something that's greater than ourselves. That's greater than where we are from. We are the fabric that holds the flag together."

H/T to Janet

"In case you missed this..."

My pal, CJ, over at A Soldier's Perspective, sends me regular emails under the title "In case you missed this." He keeps me informed, so I am duty-bound to keep YOU informed. Read on:

Don't fall for the mantra that "they don't want us there" or "our presence makes them want to kill us." Having been there myself and speaking to troops deployed almost daily, I can tell you this simply isn't true to a large degree. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are quickly becoming extinct thanks to the mercy and justice of American troops and the murderous extremism of theirs.

More Than 1,000 Afghans Shout "Death To Taliban"

For Killing And Beheading Innocent Civilians In Bus Attack

Anti-Taliban demonstrators in Afghanistan hold portraits of some of the young men slain in the southern Kandahar province last week, 24 Oct., 2008.

(Associated Press)

Associated Press: "More than 1,000 people shouted anti-Taliban slogans in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, protesting the slayings this week of 26 young men from their community by militants in the south.

The unprecedented demonstration in the eastern Laghman province was one of the largest anti-Taliban gatherings since the fall of the hard-line Islamist regime following the U.S. invasion in late 2001." (Fisnik Abrashi, "More Than 1,000 Afghans Protest Taliban Killings," Associated Press, 10/24/08)

  • Last "Sunday, Taliban stopped a bus in southern Kandahar province's Maiwand district, a militant-controlled area, and killed 26 of the passengers – beheading at least six of them."

  • "Protesters from Laghman's Alingar district – where most of those killed came from – shouted 'Death to Taliban' and 'Death to killers' in the provincial capital of Mehtar Lam. They waved black flags in a sign of mourning."

  • "'They were innocent people, trying to find jobs, and they killed them,' Abdul Wakil Attock, the spokesman for the provincial governor, said about the victims."

  • "An anti-Taliban protest by Pashtuns, like Friday's, will likely provide the U.S. and other international forces with an opportunity to exploit the rift to drive a wedge between the insurgent group and the civilian population."

An Afghan demonstrator shouts anti-Taliban slogans yesterday in Laghman province, as he carries a portrait of a man from his community killed this week by the Islamic fundamentalists

(Associated Press)

Voice of America: "Thousands of ethnic Pashtuns in eastern Afghanistan Friday marched in protest against a Taliban massacre of civilians last week. Marchers demonstrated in Mihtarlam, the capital of Lahgman province, as well as the city of Jalalabad. The anti-Taliban protests took place one week after Taliban fighters ambushed a bus in southern Kandahar province and killed about 30 civilians." ("Thousands Of Afghans Protest Civilian Massacre By Taliban," Voice of America, 10/24/08)

  • "The Taliban claimed responsibility for 27 killings, saying they attacked the bus because it was carrying army recruits. Afghanistan's government and survivors of the violence say the passengers were civilians."
Thank YOU, CJ, for all that you do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The End is Nigh?

From Pam at Iraq War Today. (And yes, I DO know

My Two Cents: The End is Nigh?

So here we are, less than a week from an election that could quite literally mean the end of the United States of America as we know her. Paranoia? Perhaps. I never would have believed that my nation could truly be on the verge of voting itself out of existence. But here we are.

The golden child of this presidential election has deep, obvious cracks in his hallowed facade. There are signs that few could miss if they actually look - signs that indicate severe issues. Besides his associations with radicals and terrorists, there are scores of trouble markers.

He appears not to care who supports him. His website does not utilize credit card matching for donations; a test using the names Osama bin Laden, John Galt, and Saddam Hussein to make donations with the same credit card revealed that all the donations went through. In fact, a lot of interesting people have been donating to Obama; and foreign credit are also being accepted. Donations have come from Palestine. Good Will, Loving, and Dela Ware have also made donations. Obama also accepts donations from largely untraceable pre-paid credit cards. His campaign’s response to questions was that “no campaign can fully insulate itself” from these types of issues. John McCain and Hillary Clinton used computer matching (ABS) and citizenship checks for their donations. Obama checks neither....

And you know there is more - much more. Go read this well-articulated piece NOW here!

Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero was started to put a spotlight on the men and women of the United States military and the bravery their show day in and day out. But on a few occasions a service members of an allied nation has been profiled. Such is the case this week.

Despite being shot twice during an ambush in Afghanistan, an SAS (Special Air Service) soldier from Australia lashed himself to the front of his patrol vehicle so he wouldn't be left behind if he passed out from loss of blood and kept on fighting.

The Digger is expected to be recommended for a high level bravery award.

Suffering from serious upper body wounds, the soldier struggled on to the front of his SAS long range patrol vehicle (LRPV) and, under heavy fire, used a rope to attach himself firmly between the vehicle's bull bar and radiator.

Once he was secured, and there was no chance that he would fall off if he fainted, he picked up his rifle and resumed firing at the enemy during a two-hour fighting withdrawal.

SAS troops and their special forces comrades from the Commando Regiment are well aware of the slow and painful death that awaits them if they are captured by the Taliban.

The Digger, who cannot be identified, faded in and out of consciousness, emptying several magazines as volleys of enemy rounds and rocket propelled grenades, rained down around him.

He was finally evacuated from the battle field at high speed still lashed to the front of the LRPV.

A source told The Courier-Mail the Digger was now "up and about" and would recover fully from his serious gunshot wounds. His heroic deeds will be recognised when he is recommended for a high level bravery award.

Several others engaged in the do-or-die battle on September 2 are also in line for top honours.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Wednesday Hero Logo

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just in case

Canada's Preparedness & Readiness Plan
-November/December 2008-

My friend Sylvia sent me this. She is American.;)

It gave me a giggle in the midst of the current madness!

Thanks Sylvia - and to all of my American friends? COME ON UUUUUUUUUUUP!

Media Matters1: The Media is Not Getting The Message

This past weekend was Media Democracy Day in at least three Canadian cities. Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver held day long workshops. Media democracy sounds like an oxymoron, especially in the last few frenetic days of the US election, but the goals of this group appear lofty enough:

Is the mainstream media democratic?
Media Democracy Day

For the rest, go here to NewsBlaze.

Media Matters 2: Memo to Nick Meo

To: Nick Meo

From: Not an American blogger

Re: Your “defence” of your actions in Afghanistan

(Your original article here, and rebuttals here, here and here )

I have been reading the ongoing discussion that has arisen from your ill-advised column in the Telegraph when you were embedded with a US unit in Afghanistan.

Nick: You are a fool, a dangerous fool.

First, let me assure you, I am NOT an American blogger, although I DO – indeed – write for a few American blogs, (milblogs as well as political sites) as well as have my own site. I also write for an international online news site.

However, first and foremost, I AM British and a trained, professional journalist. (I have the parchment to prove that.) Just like you, you might say!

However, Nick, there is where our similarities end.

To read your original article, and then your pathetic attempts in your own defence is to know you are a sorry specimen of what SHOULD be a noble profession. During the course of my own journalism training and studies, I was required to grasp a working knowledge of both the ethics and the legalities relating to reporting. From both examples of your work relating to Afghanistan, I am presuming you didn't take those classes.

I am not going to enter into a line by line analysis of all the things I find abhorrent in your work, since that has been taken care of far more eloquently by American military. You would do well to study what these fighting men, with first hand experience in the sandbox, have shared with you.

I have a number of issues to raise with you. First of all you say “the taleban tried to kill me.” Well, sheesh Nick, what did you THINK they would do to you? You are in a war zone, and you ARE the taleban's enemy. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the damn kitchen.

You are on the record as saying that you kept your camera rolling, despite being told by the US troops with you, to stop filming. Yes, I understand that you may have felt you had a legal “right” to keep filming, and oh yes, it would have been rare footage, but Nick: at what price? Are you too young to remember how there was worldwide condemnation for the footage of American soldiers being dragged through Somalia? Where the hell have you been?

As a journalist, we all know our legal rights, and those can be taught. But ethics are not a teachable subject; you either have them or you don't. Your callous filming of one of the fallen American soldiers proves to me you do not have ANY ethics at all. Filming this US soldier would add NOTHING to your story. Really. You write and poke fun at the American soldiers and their hairstyles and their behaviour. Quite apart from the fact that various military have already taken you to task for the LIES you told, it seems to me that you need to get out more, and explore the real world, other cultures.

You are a fool. To openly mock, in print, those very soldiers who were going to do all in their power to keep you alive, was beyond foolish, on so many levels. The total lack of respect you showed for them, or their mission, is incomprehensible to me. Did you honestly think that our American allies don't have access to British papers? Did it not for one minute cross your mind, that the soldiers who were there, would call you out for the untruths you tried to hold up as gospel? Idiot. It may surprise you to know that most of the soldiers in the sandbox do have access to phones and the internet. No sooner would your story hit the wires, and the troops who were THERE were able to correct your inaccuracies. And there are many inaccuracies from what I have read.

You are a fool for confirming what many global readers and media consumers have long believed: journalists are NOT to be trusted to tell the truth.

You are a fool for pandering to an ill-conceived stereotype of the American soldier. I am guessing you don't personally know any American military or their families as friends. Yes, I understand all too well about objectivity and “getting the story at all costs”, but not at the expense of lies, or by broadcasting video which can only add to the grief of the fallen's family and loved ones. You also are apparently clueless as to the protocol that is followed for informing families back home when their loved one has fallen in battle. There is a reason for that protocol.

You are also a dangerous fool. Do you not understand – at all – that video such as you so proudly refused to give up to the military can and will be used as propaganda by the people trying to kill the troops? Where have you been?

Your whining tone that the military could not tell you what to do, was beyond absurd. Newsflash, Nick. In a war zone, when you are embedded in ANY unit, they can tell you to do whatever they deem in the best interest of the mission, and you DO IT! Part of their mission is to ensure that as few lives as possible are lost, and yes, that does include the innocent (or in your case, ignorant) civilians stay alive.

NO military unit has to take an embed with them. After your behaviour, I wouldn't blame any of them for refusing to take either you, or any journalist along with them. You were a liability. And I won't even get into your nonsense about how you got out of there. Nonsense that has been more thoroughly debunked by those who were there. KIA indeed! NOT!

I am not suggesting that you throw your objectivity away when reporting. I know what your job is, and believe me, I would do it in your place in a heartbeat. But, I would suggest that while you are busy filming your scoops, or trying for the clever language as you describe (inaccurately as it turns out) what is going on, that you remember that every one of those men and women there are loved by somebody.

Try this next time you feel the urge to rush to print or film with your scoop: Imagine that the person who has just been killed, or the driver who you are glad you didn't talk to because he died, or the young warriors who are drawing enemy fire all around you; imagine for just one minute that they are your son, your brother, your sister, your mother, your friend. Imagine that they are someone you love. Try that, and then honestly tell me, you would repeat what you did.

If you can't do that, imagine that those men and women were British troops.

Nick, you are a fool, and I do feel great pity for you. In your rush to tell an untrue story, with rare footage and all, you forgot your humanity, your decency.

From where I sit, and knowing what I know, that makes you a fool; a very dangerous fool, both to the men and women you embedded with, and to yourself.

Finally Nick, a little guiding principle I have lived with for many years: Just because I know something, does not mean I have to share it. No matter what the circumstance of ANY story, I always ask myself: What or who is served by my sharing this?

Bottom line, being a journalist is not – EVER – about self-aggrandizement. It is, or should be, about serving a higher calling. In this instance, your self serving stories – and the abysmal defence you offered in hindsight – did a disservice to every professional journalist.

I will not tell you what I think you should do in this aftermath. It is my humble hope that you will KNOW what needs to be done now, and do it.


[Brat note: Yes, I did send this to Meo, AND his bosses. No word back - yet! *gasp*]

*Also at NewsBlaze here*

Media Matters 3: The CBC is OVER!

It is now official, for me at least. The CBC - affectionately called "the Mother Corp" by some, is now OLD news for me. I am done with them.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is the publicly funded media for Canada. For many, the CBC IS Canada. In many rural areas of the country, CBC radio is the only station they can tune in to; there are no other options.

Over the years. CBC Radio has been an integral part of my life, even to the point of proudly displaying a sticker created by a long ago "Save the CBC" when it was threatened with funding cuts. In this most recent federal election, Stephen Harper (re-elected minority government Prime Minister) caused an uproar - among the merry few - when he talked, again about cutting arts funding, labelling most arts projects "elitists" and "irrelevant to "ordinary Canadians." Loyal 'Mother Corp' fans raised their voices in protest across the land.

My loyalty to the CBC is now over. They are now old news in my household. The reasons are simple: I can no longer tolerate the incessant "noise" which apparently passes for civil debate, or discussion on the airwaves.

I fully understand that these days acceptable "debate" really is a metaphor for a shouting match. This phenomenon has been growing at an alarming pace on CBC, and I can't take the intrusion of angry voices along with my first coffee of the day anymore. It seems irrelevant what programme I am listening to, the format of debate seems to be whoever yells loudest attemtps to drown out the other participants of the forum. Despite trying to make any sense at all of the disrespectful cacophony assaulting my eardrums, I have now come to the only conclusion possible: CBC Radio no longer has a place with me. It doesn't matter one whit to me that screaming over each other now is the accepted norm on the airwaves. I am done. The final straw was two-fold. First was the political "debates" during the recent election campaign. UGH! Dismayed at being unable to make any sense of the babbling crescendo of the candidates, I ended up turning the radio off. Enough of this uninformative, unenlightening free for all. The CBC is not free, and this taxpayer has made the decision that, while my tax dollars will continue to be spent on the CBC, I will no longer give them my ears.

That's my news. And talking news brings me to the second reason I am abandoning the Mother Corp. I cannot believe that I have been the only Canadian who quite regularly writes to CBC management complaining about the quality of the news broadcasts on CBC Radio. In one of my recent missives, I called the news as presented by the CBC, "amateur hour", and really that IS what it has become. I have done an informal, anecdotal study of the news broadcasts and I am totally frustrated with the level of professionalism, or lack thereof. I understand that there are some strange place names, people names, out there in radio-land, but when the news reader stumbles over simple monosyllabic words, time for me to call it quits. Frankly, if I want to listen to not only mangling of simple words, or an abundance of "errrrr, ummm, stumble stumble", I can tune into Barack Obama.

Maybe the CBC has spent too much time listening to his inarticulate speech? Be that as it may, I do expect my news readers to be able to read simple sentences clearly, so I GET the news - so I understand a) where the story originates, and b) who the major players are. A radio journalism instructor I had must be rolling in his grave.

In one of my recent letters to the CBC, I thanked them for giving me the "adventure" of attempting to decipher what any news story was actually about. I wondered, in print, if perhaps their mangling of the news - any news - was a deliberate attempt on their part to see if any of us are paying attention. Need I tell you? No reply from anyone within the CBC hierarchy. Silence.

So now, silence will reign in my house. As I wrote in my latest to CBC, just yesterday:

"I can no longer tolerate the juvenile, disrespectful behaviour of any so called "discussion panel" on yours or any other CBC radio "show".

As was so aptly said this morning:

"Enough IS enough."

CBC radio, I am finally, totally done with being abused over the airwaves by your in house "experts."

CBC radio, GOODBYE!"

*also on NewsBlaze here*

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Get in their faces": Your Parents

Just when I thought the Obama campaign couldn't sink any lower? I find this via Little Green Footballs.

They call it "political cynicism". I am speechless....

The Obama campaign’s attempted use of children to influence their parents is absolutely open and blatant. Why doesn’t this outrage people? This is political cynicism of an amazing degree.

Barack Obama | Change We Need | The Talk.

Do’s & Don’ts

Do share your personal reasons for voting for Barack Obama;

Do have confidence — your opinion matters to people who care about you;

Do read up on Barack’s positions on the issues you know matter to them;

Do find a good time when both you and they will be open to a conversation;

Do talk to them in person if you live nearby, or on the phone if you don’t;

Do ask your friends to talk to their parents and grandparents as well;

Don’t worry about knowing everything about policy positions before you have this conversation;

Don’t feel defensive. Stay calm, cool and collected;

Don’t wait until the last minute — it might take a few conversations for you to convince them, so start as early as possible;

Don’t catch them at a bad time — make sure you have their attention and enough time to have a conversation.

Unbelievable. And it gets worse.

Ideas to Get the Conversation Started

Approaching your parents about who they are voting for can be intimidating if you’ve never talked about politics with them before. But this campaign has been built by supporters sharing their stories about what inspires them and why they want to see change in this country. Here are some ideas for ways you can talk to your parents about why you support Barack:

Call or ask in person if they saw the debate and what they thought about it. Tell them why you are voting for Obama and why it’s important to you.

Print out for them information on some issues you know are important.

Share Barack’s speech from the Democratic National Convention or Meet Barack, a video about who Barack Obama is, where he comes from, and what his values are.

Email them and tell them why it’s important to you that they vote for Obama.

Think about their perspective. If they are Republican, or are concerned about Barack’s policies, think about where they are coming from and what makes them think the way that they do.

And they’ve produced a video to go with this outrageous effort:

Go over to LGF and see the rest.I refuse to link to the original on Obama's site. There, they have a form you can fill in to share your experience about the "talk with your parents."

UPDATE: I just found yetr another obscenjity via KGF, I am not going to give you an excerpt here, but let's just say the title is a give-away:

Obama Robbing the Cradle for Votes

And they are NOT "kidding". Go read here..

And if that isn't enough to get your blood pressure through the roof? Try this one on for size:

Obama Compared America to Nazi Germany

Politics | Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 5:10:01 pm PST

The audio recording of Barack Obama espousing his socialist philosophy of “redistribution of wealth” is all over the Internet and Fox News today (although most other media outlets are ignoring it), but there’s another disturbing section on that tape that has so far escaped notice.

The link to the audio is here: Chicago Public Radio - Audio Library: Odyssey.

At about 15:30, Obama compares what was going on in the United States during the time of Brown vs. the Board of Education to ... Nazi Germany. Yes, really. Here’s the quote:

“...just to take a, sort of a realist perspective...there’s a lot of change going on outside of the Court, um, that, that judges essentially have to take judicial notice of. I mean you’ve got World War II, you’ve got uh, uh, uh, the doctrines of Nazism, that, that we are fighting against, that start looking uncomfortably similar to what we have going on, back here at home.”

There you have it. America is close to electing a President who compares his own country to Nazi Germany.

(Hat tip: On the Mark.)

Also from Little Green Footballs, via Knee Deep in the Hooah!

Someone PLEASE make this insanity STOP!!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just because

If you sit and get really quiet, fully expecting your answer, it has to come.


Faith unlocks all doors, lights all paths, and frosts all cakes.

Every Day Heroes

Sgt. Montcalm

Give me a U....yes, I mean YOU, Butch!! Can you hear me????? ;)
Give me a C

*triple toe flip backward somersault double forward tuck
triple cartwheel and a BIIIIIIIIIIIG forward splits*

Watch out for flying pom poms BUUUUUUUUTCH!

And I chose this hero today because:

"Every soldier is one of our own. Every soldier's family is OUR family."

And this is especially true for THIS Sgt, and THIS family....

Thank YOU - and your family - for YOUR service! Thank you, from my heart.

Update on Military Absentee Ballot Issues in VA

From Knee Deep in the Hooah! comes this:

...The good news to this story is the issues are being dealt with and it looks like the ballots will be counted after all.

I am pleased with what I read and it sounds like this group is not just counting on the problem being taken care of — they plan on following through and keeping a careful watch.

The following article excerpt is from The Atlantic:

…The problem is that the Fairfax County government had originally interpreted Virginia law to require all Federal Write-In Absentee ballots to have a witness’ signature, printed name and address on the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot. However, the underlying Virginia law only requires this witness signature, printed name and address if they are taking advantage of the special Virginia provision that allows the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot to ALSO serve as the absentee ballot application. Because that’s different from what the federal Voting Assistance Guide says, hundreds of Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots received to date were potentially going to be rejected....

Go read the rest here.

Music and Me

Did you hear? India launched a moon mission .:)

India has successfully launched its first mission to the Moon.

The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft blasted off smoothly from a launch pad in southern Andhra Pradesh to embark on a two-year mission of exploration.

The robotic probe will orbit the Moon, compiling a 3-D atlas of the lunar surface and mapping the distribution of elements and minerals.

The launch is regarded as a major step for India as it seeks to keep pace with other space-faring nations in Asia.

Indian PM Manmohan Singh hailed the launch as the "first step" in a historic milestone in the country's space programme. ...

Go here to the BBC and watch.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Military Prevented From Voting In Virginia

And the insanity continues. When I found this - on A Soldier's Perspective here, and From My, I almost couldn't believe it. But both those sites are active duty soldiers, so you KNOW they have it right. Read what they say, and then do what NEEDS to be done, NOW!:

CJ Military Prevented From Voting In Virginia

October 22nd, 2008 by CJ

The Fairfax County Registrar—and possibly other Registrars in Virginia—is rejecting most Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots (FWAB) cast by our men and women in uniform.

The FWAB is a federally mandated write-in ballot that allows military servicemembers and their dependents to cast an absentee ballot when they have not received a ballot before the election. It is a safety net that allows a servicemember to vote even if the mail truck hasn't reached his or her remote base in Iraq or Afghanistan in time to cast a regular absentee ballot.

Why is the Fairfax Registrar rejecting these ballots? The Registrar states that the witness who signs the envelope containing the FWAB must include his or her address—but most of the ballots don't include the witness' address.

Virginia law does not require a witness address for any other type of absentee ballot. So, for example, a Virginia resident attending college out of state does not need to include her witness' address on her absentee ballot envelope. But the Fairfax County Registrar is holding servicemembers, including those currently defending their country in war zones, to a much more exacting standard, requiring the witnesses who sign their FWABs to include their address.

To make matters worse, the Federal form (SF-186A) that is used for the FWAB does not have a space for witnesses to include their address. And the Department of Defense's official Voting Assistance Guide, which it provides to servicemembers as an instruction manual for casting votes while overseas, does not tell servicemembers that they must include an address for their witness. The servicemember would thus have no way of knowing of this requirement.

Federal law does not allow this type of disparate treatment of servicemembers. The Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act (UOCAVA), 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff-2, requires states to process FWABs "in the manner provided by law for absentee ballots in the State involved." (emphasis added). In other words, the FWAB must be treated like any other absentee ballot under state law and may not be subject to more restrictive requirements. Yet that is precisely what is being done here.

Express your feelings to the state directly:
Virginia State Board of Elections
Suite 101, 200 North 9th Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3485
Telephone: 804 864-8901 Toll Free: 800 552-9745 FAX: 804 371-0194

GO! NOW! This cannot stand. Thank you.

Marine Corps Marathon Forward

TEAM Iraq at the MCM Forward

Running in support of TAPS!

Last week I told you about the Marine Corps Marathon. See that story here.

This weekend will see thousands of runners - Marines, Marine families and friends - running to honour their fallen brothers and sisters in arms. One special team is team Eli, and Eli's family will be participating in the run raising money for TAPS.

TAPS team - Running for Eli
Parker family

What you may not know is that while the Run and Remember is taking place in the US, in Washington, thousands of miles away, Marines in Al Asad, Iraq will also be running.

These 150 servicemen and women are part of MCM Forward. This is the third year that the Marathon has been run in Iraq simultaneously with Washington:

More than 6,000 miles away from the start of the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in Arlington, Virginia on October 26th, 2008, hundreds of service members and contractors will run to honor our fallen heroes - but they'll be doing it in the sands of Al-Anbar Province, Iraq. And there's a way for you to show your support for their service and help families of the fallen!

Their 26.2 mile test of endurance, known as the "MCM Forward," will honor service members from all service branches in Iraq and Afghanistan who have given their lives in service to our country. You can honor their commitment by contributing funds to help those left behind. We are asking the American public to pledge $1,000 per runner to honor their run and support TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.


From TAPS official Press Release:

It's especially poignant and fitting that the first steps of the Marine Corps Marathon this year will be run in Iraq in memory of our fallen heroes," said Bonnie Carroll, founder and chairman of TAPS.

Funds raised by the runners in Iraq will support TAPS programs to help families losing loved ones who serve in the military, providing much needed support for Good Grief Camps for children, case management support services for grieving families and the quarterly magazine TAPS produces for surviving families...

They are unofficially dedicating this year's run to US Marine Corps Major Megan M. McClung. McClung promoted the Marine Corps Marathon Forward in 2006, and was killed in December 2006.

Running in memory of McClung is very important to the runners, say organizers. "Thanks to her witty and charming personality and dedication to mission and commitment to fitness challenges, we are able to continue this annual event here in Iraq in support of the service members who wish to challenge themselves and dedicate this race to our fallen heroes," said Nadeau. "I know she will be smiling at all the runners and volunteers as they take part in the event in Al Asad on October 26, 2008 to coincide with the stateside race."

More information about donating to support a runner participating in the Marine Corps Marathon Forward in Iraq is available on the TAPS website here.

Major Megan M. McClung (April 14, 1972– December 6, 2006) was the first female United States Marine Corps officer killed in combat during the Iraq War. Maj McClung was serving as a public affairs officer in Al Anbar Province, Iraq when she was killed. (source)

For those of us unable to be in Washington - or in Iraq - we can watch the Run live. The Marine Corps Marathon: The People's Marathon, can be followed every step of the way. On their site, they have full instructions and links to lead you to the action. That is here: MCM

There will be approximately 30,000 runners in Washington this weekend. Through the miracles of modern technology, we CAN cheer on all the amazing runners in this 33rd Marine Corps Marathon - TAPS Run and Remember - from anywhere in the world.

Semper Fi, Marines.

Be sure and read below for stories of a couple of the special runners in Marine Corps Marathon.

Marine Corps Marathon - Special Runners

Some of the TAPS runners include:

Sixteen-year-old Katrina Wert, lost her father, US Marine Corps Master Sergeant Michael Wert, when he drowned while saving two boys at a North Carolina beach. Katrina helped her father in the water rescue, hauling the boogie board for the two boys who nearly drowned. Master Sergeant Wert was an intelligence chief for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point and had served in Operation Desert Storm and supported Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following his death, Katrina, an avid cross country runner, gave up her sport. But after hearing about the TAPS team in the Marine Corps Marathon, she decided to run to honor the memory of her father. Her younger brother, Michael, age 8, will honor their dad in the Healthy Kids Fun Run.

Jaime Boris will run the Marine Corps Marathon this year only weeks before the first anniversary of her husband's death in Afghanistan. US Army Captain David Boris, was killed with his gunner, Sgt. Adrian Hike, when an IED exploded on November 12, 2007.. Jaime wrote: "I am running to honor Dave and Adrian and to fulfill the plan that Dave and I had to run the Marine Corps Marathon together. Dave was not only my husband and my best friend; he was also my favorite running partner. I ran my first marathon, the 2004 Marine Corps Marathon, while he was deployed to Iraq. After he returned, we trained for and ran two marathons together (Berlin 2005 and Vienna 2006) and planned to run the MCM together after we moved back to the US from Germany. This October 26th I know he will be with me for all 26.2 miles as our friends and I run for TAPS in his honor."

When Renny Parker ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006 for the very first time, it was only months after the death of his son, US Marine Corps Sergeant Eli Parker, who was killed while conducting combat operations in Iraq. Renny ran again in 2007, and now has recruited nine of Eli's friends and family members to run with him. His wife Donna is also running the 10K at the Marine Corps Marathon this year. Renny wrote, "I live in central New York and I'm running the marathon in memory of my son, Marine Sgt. Elisha Parker, who was killed in Iraq on May 4, 2006. I also run and remember those close to Eli who gave their lives in Iraq: Cpl. Tyler Fey, LCpl. Robert Moscillo, Cp. Stephen Bixler, and others."

Xiomara Hall's husband left for Iraq in February 2008, leaving her at home with their four children. Then in March she received the knock on the door that every military family dreads, and found out that the love of her life, US Marine Corps Lt. Col. William G. Hall, had been killed in combat operations. Xiomara will run her first marathon at the Marine Corps Marathon and has organized an entire team of friends and family members to run alongside her for TAPS as Team Semper Fi. Their daughter, Tatianna, age 7, will run the Healthy Kids Fun Run in memory of her dad.

Mark Hurst (bib #25,226) is running in memory of Captain Eric "Boot" Das, who was killed in action in 2003 while flying an F15-E over Iraq. Hurst was part of the ground team send to recover his remains from the failed mission. He and his family have become close with Das' widow, Captain Nicole Das. During a deployment in Afghanistan in May 2004, Hurst was wounded in action and would later lose an eye.

Amanda Dodson of Anchorage, Alaska, will run the Marine Corps Marathon with the helping words of her father and running partner, Gary Dodson, alongside. They're running in memory of Amanda's fiancé, US Army Corporal Jason Corbett, who died in Karmah, Iraq on January 15, 2007 while attempting to help a foot patrol from his platoon under enemy fire. Amanda writes, "Jason was an active athlete and outdoorsman. As much as Jason enjoyed running, participating in this marathon is a wonderful way to honor him." On her run, she will carry a photo he gave her before deploying.

The TAPS "Run and Remember" team began with one runner. In 1996, Marie Campbell lost her husband, US Air Force Sergeant Dee "Soup" Campbell, when a terrorist truck bomb exploded at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and took the lives of 19 air men. "TAPS helped me so much in those early years, and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon as part of my own healing," said Marie Campbell.

"Now I do this to give back to others who need grief and recovery support, so TAPS can continue to support the many surviving families who've lost someone serving in the military and are walking the road I once walked down," said Campbell. Today, Campbell is the director of the TAPS "Run and Remember" team, and organizes a 3-day event for the TAPS team. She'll be running her 8th marathon this year.

*I will be cross-posting these everywhere you usually find me..including NewsBlaze here;)*

Friday, October 24, 2008

Quote of the Day?

From Family Security Matters here:

October 24, 2008

Quote of the Day – Friday October 24

"I think [Sarah] Palin will continue to be underestimated for a while. I watched the way she connected with people, and she's powerful. Her politics aren't my politics. But you can see that she's a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman. This was her first time out and she's had a huge impact. People connect to her."

Lorne Michaels

Executive Producer, Saturday Night Live

Just sayin' ;)



The following came to me via CJ, and it should be read fully and understood. I am copying it in it's entirety here since I believe this IS what the mission in Iraq is all about. Now, more than ever, I believe it is important that ALL American voters understand the progress that has been made in Iraq:

Two-Thirds Of Iraq's Provinces Now Under Iraqi Control

"Earlier Today, In Yet Another Sign Of Security Improvements In Iraq, Primary Security Was Turned Back Over To The Iraqis In The Province Of Babil … South Of Baghdad And Home To The Ruins Of The Ancient City Of Babylon … It Becomes The 12th Of 18 Provinces To Take A Lead For Its Security Operations In Iraq."

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino

Watch Bill Hemmer's Report:

Associated Press: "The U.S. relinquished control of a southern province that includes Sunni areas once known as the 'triangle of death,' handing security responsibility to the Iraqi government on Thursday."

  • "Babil is the 12th of 18 Iraqi provinces to be handed over and a sign of the improving security. U.S. forces will remain in the area to assist the Iraqis when needed."

  • "At a transfer ceremony held near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, said security gains have been remarkable – with the number of attacks falling about 80 percent from an average of 20 per week a year ago. But he cautioned that 'while the enemies of Iraq are down, they are not necessarily defeated."

  • "With Babil's handover to the Iraqi government, the only province left under U.S. control in southern Iraq is Wasit, a rural desert region that borders Iran and has been a conduit for the smuggling of foreign fighters and weapons into Iraq."

  • "Salim al-Musilmawi, Babil's provincial governor, credited tribal leaders and Sunnis who turned against al-Qaida in Iraq in a U.S.-funded revolt with the downturn in violence."

Ambassador Crocker and General Odierno: "The United States Embassy – Iraq and Multi-National Force-Iraq welcome the transfer of security in Babil Province to Iraqi responsibility as a positive step on the path to Iraq's self-reliance.

Babil is the twelfth province to be transferred to Iraqi security responsibility. The first province transferred to Government of Iraqi security control was Muthanna in July 2006, followed by Dhi Qar, An Najaf, Maysan, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah, Dahuk, Karbala, Basrah, Qadisiyah, and most recently Anbar in September 2008.

The achievement in Babil Province means that now fully two-thirds of Iraq's provinces have assumed security responsibility.

Iraqi Security Forces in Babil have been operating independently for the past several months. Working with local government and military officials, they have demonstrated their readiness to assume responsibility for the provincial security of Babil. Today this responsibility is theirs.

The transition of responsibility for security in Babil Province is an important step. The provincial and military leadership in Babil will have to work cooperatively in order to maintain the security necessary for long-term economic prosperity. We will assist as needed. The United States Embassy and Multi-National Force-Iraq congratulate the Government of Iraq on this important milestone." (Joint Statement by Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and General Raymond Odierno, Press Release, 10/23/08)


Babil is the twelfth province to achieve Provincial Iraqi Control.

Transition Overview:

In June 2005, Iraq's Prime Minister announced a joint decision between the Iraqi government and Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) to systematically hand over security responsibility in Iraq's 18 provinces to the Provincial Civil Authorities under the control of the province's governor. The responsibility for security in each province will become that of the Local and National Iraqi Police Service (IPS), the Iraqi Army (IA), and elements of the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Ministry of Interior (MOI).

The Joint Committee to Transfer Security Responsibility (JCTSR), comprised of Iraqi, MNF-I and Embassy representatives, was commissioned in July 2005 to develop a set of conditions assessing the readiness of each province for Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC).

The Selection Process:

The selection of a province for transfer of sovereignty is based on an exhaustive examination of criteria:

  • The perceived Security Threat Level

  • The ability of the Iraqi Security Forces to accept the responsibility for maintaining security

  • The proficiency of the Provincial Governor in managing security enforcement matters

  • The ability of the Multi National Force - Iraq to react to any request from the Prime Minister of Iraq for assistance with the maintenance of security, should such a request be received.

Thanks CJ!


Debbie Kilpatrick, a former member of the Women's Arrmy Corps and now an environmental protection specialist at Fort Lee, Va., looks through the history of the WAC at the U.S. Army Women's Museum at Fort Lee. Photo by Amy Perry

File under: I didn't know this:

Army observes 30th anniversary of integrating WACs

Oct 20, 2008
BY Melissa K. Wiford

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 20, 2008) -- Thirty years ago, on Oct. 20, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed Public Law 95-485 disbanding the Women's Army Corps as a separate corps within the United States Army following 36 years of dedicated service.

Beginning today and until mid November, the Army will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the full integration of women into the regular Army, said Lt. Col. Mike Moose, spokesperson for the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, G-1. He said the G-1 is looking for former members of the Womens Army Corps who might like to share their stories and memories with both internal and external audiences.

Originally established as the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, or WAAC by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II, the WAC went through many different organizational statuses throughout its history...

There is lots more here.

And there is more, on the links on that page:

WAAC Recruiting Poster
Photo by Army Heritage Museum
October 20, 2008

Womens Auxiliary Army Corps Recruiting Poster in the Army Heritage Museum Poster Collection at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. (here)

Go check it out.


Iraqi Police demonstrate room-clearing techniques as part of the Iraqi Police graduation ceremony at the Provincial Directorate of Police headquarters in Baghdad, Oct. 21, 2008. Photo by Sgt. Daniel Blottenberger, 18th Military Police Brigade.

Iraqi Police Media Relations Graduates Will Tell the IP Story

Thursday, 23 October 2008

BAGHDAD — Baghdad’s top Iraqi Police (IP) officials and members of Multi-National Division – Baghdad’s 18th Military Police Brigades’ Provincial Police Transition Team (PPTT) gathered at the Iraqi Directorate of Police headquarters Oct. 20 to witness the graduation of 401 new Iraqi Police Media Relations Officers.

“The IPs will be assigned at every IP facility throughout Baghdad to work with the community and the media to help improve the public perception of the IP at the local level,” said Maj. Larry Dewey, 18th MP Bde.’s PPTT chief.

The graduates’ mission will be to tell the story of the IP to the citizens of Baghdad.

“This is a great opportunity for IP to tell their story,” said Lt. Col. Michael Indovina, who is the 18th MP Bde.’s public affairs officer and works with the Iraqi Directorate of Police public affairs officer to develop the IP public affairs program.

“The IP are doing great work over here,” said Indovina, a native of Parma, Ohio. “They are making great strides to improve the security in Baghdad. With the new IP media personnel, they will now be given the opportunity to tell their story from their perspective.”...

Go read the rest of this B*N*S*N here.


On the Ball

Cpt. Olivera Rodriguez of the the 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, gets in a little soccer practice with the local youth and adults during a pickup soccer game Saturday in the Ad Dujayl area. The 2-320 FAR, provided security while local children and adults participated in pickup soccer games to help strengthen the relationships between coalition forces and Muslims in the area. Photo by Spc. Michael Behlin.