Friday, July 31, 2009

Endeavour is HOME!

Space shuttle Endeavour
Image above: Space shuttle Endeavour lands at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
Photo credit: NASA TV

Endeavour Lands at Kennedy Space Center

Space shuttle Endeavour landed at Florida's Kennedy Space Center today with a touchdown at 10:48 a.m. EDT. The shuttle began its descent from orbit with a deorbit engine firing at 9:41 a.m. (NASA here)

Congratulations on a great job, well done! Gooooo Canada! (I had to say that, since Canada DID make history on this flight.


Capt. Hayder Adnan Ali, Iraqi police liaison to coalition forces, instructs trainees on proper shooting techniques from the prone position while Sgt. Hayder Sahib Silan, Iraqi police mobile training team instructor in Wasit province, Iraq, demonstrates at the police provincial headquarters, July 20, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson).

Massachusetts MPs train Iraqi police to self-sufficiency

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson
Massachusetts National Guard

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq, (7/24/09) - National police in Iraq's Wasit province now are capable of sustaining their own training needs after coalition forces leave here, military officials said, thanks to the efforts of a Massachusetts National Guard police company. The 772nd Military Police Company, attached to the 41st Fires Brigade, worked with Iraqi police advisor teams to establish a mobile police training team. The team will serve at the police's provincial headquarters and Iraqi police stations in the province along the Iranian border, as well as train other police trainers to train their own.

"It's most important to me to let the world know that with the support of coalition forces, the 41st Fires Brigade, 772nd [Military Police] Company and the Iraqi police training teams, the creation of this mobile training team not only readies the progress for the future, but we are ready to stand by and stop any kind of enemy," said Capt. Hayder Adnan Ali, the Iraqi police liaison to coalition forces. "When you get good training and good policemen, you can fight the enemy and protect your community."...

An important story about the ongoing gains being made daily in Iraq. Read the rest of this one here.


Jason Garn checks on his goats, which are being used by the Utah Army National Guard to create a firebreak on Camp Williams, located near Salt Lake City. The goats have proved their worth during more than one fire season. (Photo by LTC Hank McIntire, Utah National Guard)

Utah Guard enlists the help of a few, good goats

By Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
National Guard Bureau

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah (7/27/09) - When it comes to fighting wildfires, many immediately think of water or fire retardant dropped from helicopters and other aircraft, or soot-covered firefighters using hoses and foam to battle back towering blazes.

Few people, however, think of goats as a firefighting tool, but goats are exactly what the Utah National Guard is using to lessen the potential of wildfires here at Camp Williams, located near Salt Lake City.

The Utah Guard has enlisted more than 1,200 goats and sheep to consume fire fuels, such as sagebrush and oak brush, before this year’s fire season, said Sean Hammond, manager of the Utah Guard's Integrated Training Area.

Who knew? This is an interesting story, so go read the rest of it here. Your high tech military dollars at work.


07/25/2009 - U.S. Navy Yeoman 1st Class Datrice Peterson, assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic, chats with a child aboard a yacht July 25, 2009, during the 18th annual Easter Seals Cruise for Kids in Baltimore, Md. More than 40 Sailors volunteered to help special needs children, adults and family members board private boats and yachts for the cruise. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Anderson, U.S. Navy/Released)


Commander Mark Southorn, Commanding Officer of HMS Richmond, was met on the ship's gangway by his wife and children [Picture: LA(Phot) Chris Mumby, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

HMS Richmond returns home after Gulf deployment

A Military Operations news article

31 Jul 09

Royal Navy warship HMS Richmond has been welcomed back to the UK after returning from the Middle East where she spent six-and-a-half months supporting two security operations.

HMS Richmond

HMS Richmond returns to Portsmouth after six-and-a-half months in the Middle East
[Picture: LA(Phot) Chris Mumby, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

The Type 23 frigate and her 200 crew left Portsmouth in January and returned on 29 July 2009 after six months patrolling busy shipping lanes in the Gulf and Red Sea.

HMS Richmond spent the majority of time in the Gulf in support of Operation TELIC, providing force protection against insurgent attacks in the area. The operation includes the security of Iraqi maritime infrastructure by protecting the country's two oil-exporting platforms which are vital to its economy.

While en route to the region, HMS Richmond carried out anti-piracy patrols in the Red Sea in support of Operation CALASH.

Her Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Southorn, said he was proud of the performance of his personnel under challenging conditions:

"I'm extremely proud of the sailors on HMS Richmond who have worked so hard over the past seven months. Their contribution has been exceptional and I wish them a really good and well-earned leave with their family and friends."...(read more here)

You all know that these are my most favourite stories. Oh, and I found a very cool site: Jack Speak - Blog of the Royal Navy. Don't know what Jack Speak is? Check it out here. All part of the B*N*S*N service.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

What health insurance reform means for you: THIS just in!

From my other email inbox, today's campaign announcement from the White House:

The White House, Washington

Dear Friend,

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to
you about health care than peace of mind.

Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often
denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep
out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become
seriously ill.

It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new
foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your
health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:
  • No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
  • No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
  • No cost-sharing for preventive care
  • No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
  • No gender discrimination
  • No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
  • Extended coverage for young adults
  • Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid
Learn more about these consumer protections at

Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation
and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo.
But we know the cost of doing nothing is too high. Health care costs
will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured,
and state and local governments will go bankrupt.

It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and
guarantee the health care security and stability of every American family. You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the
hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social network.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

Enquiring minds need to know: Did he get this from the parts of
the Healthcare Bill that he admitted he is "not familiar with"?????? Just askin'.

ObamaCare: Send $1 a day!

The campaign continues! As BO's policies continue at breakneck speed, his campaigning also continues unabated. During the current healthcare legislation debacle, as Americans who can read wade through the gazillion pages of small print gobbledygook - you know, the healthcare bill that the politicians are determined to pass before THEY have read it - Obama and Co, are STILL begging for your money. Again, they are asking for your direct donation. This is apart from all the indirect "donations" you are unwillingly paying as owners of banks, and auto companies, etc etc.

From my inbox today comes this gem. Read on:

Mitch Stewart,

Something unusual

Organizing for America

You've probably seen the headlines: Opponents of change are doing everything they can to delay health insurance reform. As a Republican strategy memo concluded, "If we slow this sausage-making process down, we can defeat it."

They're betting that as time goes by, our energy will flag, our movement will weaken, and they'll ultimately be able to block any change.

But they just don't get it -- thanks to the regular Americans who are reaching out in neighborhoods nationwide, our movement is expanding every day. In fact, over the weekend, we surpassed our big goal of 1 million people taking action for health insurance reform. And with your help, we'll keep growing and prove that our opponents' strategy of "delay, delay, delay" simply won't work.

So I want to ask you for something unusual: Can you chip in $1 each day until we pass real health insurance reform? A huge response will show the insurance companies and their allies in Congress that their delay tactics will only make our movement stronger.

Chip in a dollar a day

Here's how it works: We'll bill your credit card for 30 days' worth of donations now and once a month until the President signs real health insurance reform into law.

The cost of inaction on health insurance reform is astounding. Every day, 14,000 more Americans lose their coverage. Premiums continue to rise at three times the rate of wages. And each day, more small businesses are forced to choose between covering their employees and keeping their doors open.

But that doesn't stop our opponents from trying to bog down the process with legislative tricks. And at the same time, they're attacking the President for "moving too fast," even though Washington has been talking about the need for comprehensive health insurance reform since the days of Harry Truman!

What they don't realize is that outside of Washington, our campaign keeps growing. We've reached our "million" milestone, but the stories behind that number are even more impressive: grassroots press conferences with small-business owners in Missouri, more than 1,200 people at an organizing meeting in Minnesota, huge events outside local Senate offices in Florida, and so much more.

That's why our dollar-a-day campaign is so important: If the few senators and representatives who are opposing reform understand that dragging their heels makes us stronger every day -- and that the grassroots pressure on them will increase -- they'll be far less willing to keep slowing down the process.

Can you help? Please donate $1 per day until we pass real health insurance reform:

Thank you,


Mitch Stewart
Organizing for America


Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee -- 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

"Something unusual"?????? Not so much! This is pretty much business as usual for this "candidate". Speak up, America. Tell BO and his cronies that you will not send one more cent to them. Tell them that they will get no more "change" from you.

The campaigning continues.

[Here is what one American sent to their representatives:

Dear Representative:

I strongly urge you to oppose the government take over of the health care
industry. Rationing of health care, implementing euthanasia and denying
services to the elderly are not acceptable. In addition, we should not
add another two trillion dollars to our national debt which is already
taking us toward financial chaos. It wont stop with the elderly! Children
born with birth defects, or children with illesses due to environmental
issues or genetics will also be affected! YOU will not have this dumbed
down version of Health Care, and I NEVER want it either! Nor do I want to
PAY a penalty for NOT accepting the Obamacare reform.

I am an AMERICAN with freedoms and liberties that THIS healthcare reform
bill will EXTERMINATE! YOU can NOT let that happen to this Nation! You
were elected to PROTECT the people, not just in Alabama, but ALL
Americans. I expect to see your NO vote when this reform bill is presented
again. I also expect you to personally read it. I HAVE been doing just
that! You learned from your parents, teachers and minister to never
succumb to peer pressure. EXERCISE those precious values by standing up to
the Democrats now! Even if you are a Democrat--you KNOW in the depth of
your soul, this is WRONG. STAND UP!



If you vote for ObamaCare and refuse to require Congress to be covered by
ObamaCare, I will vote against you in the next election. My friends and
family base runs in 50 miles radius' from my location. Including but not
limited to a 200 strong military unit. I WILL exercise my rights to speak
to them all, and bring your track records with me to each meeting. The
people are tired Sir's. ]

Speaking UP!

Yankee Go Home!

From Monkey in the Middle:

Yankee Go Home!

There was a time in the 1960's when a US Politician or even the President would visit a Latin American nation and see signs all over the country stating: Yankee Go Home!

It was a way for people to protest an opposition to US Foreign Policy.

These so-called People's Protests were usually cooked up by the local Communist Party in the area as a way of giving the United States a Black Eye.

It has largely stopped, except for one place: Israel....

"How dare he (Obama) tell the Jews where they can or can't live? The era when Jews were banned from living in different places has ended," said Rabbi Waldman.

There is more, and it IS a must read. Oh and take note of this statistic from the article:

...recent Israeli polls showing that Obama's approval rating in Israel is at 6%.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Hero

This Week's Hero Was Suggested By Deb

SSgt. Darrell
SSgt. Darrell "Shifty" Power
86 years old from Dickerson County, Virginia
E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
June 17, 2009
U.S. Army

The world lost one of it's true heroes a couple of weeks ago. Darrell "Shifty" Powers passed away on June 17 of cancer. "Shifty" was part of the famed E Co/2/506 of the 101st Airborne Division. Easy Company. The Band Of Brothers.

"I loved everything about my daddy," said Margo Johnson, daughter of SSgt. Powers. "He never bragged about what he did in the war. And for a lot of years, he never even talked much about what he did – unless someone asked him about it. But he truly was a hero to me. Just like he'd been to the people who know him as a soldier in a [mini-series]."

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, July 28, 2009

"ObamaCare for thee, but not for me"

As the Dr-in-Chief Obama again tries to convince Americans that his plan for their health is good for them, comes this out of the New York Post:

NICE DEAL: Rahm Emanuel, having fun on Inauguration Day, and other White House staffers get the best medical attention.
NICE DEAL: Rahm Emanuel, having fun on Inauguration Day, and other White House staffers get the best medical attention.

'THIS isn't about me," President Obama allows. "I have great health care."

So the president should -- but Obama's checkups aren't the problem. It's the fact that our nation's entire political class lives in an alternative health-care universe -- and will do so even after the rest of us are stuck with the disaster of ObamaCare.

Start with the top White House staffers, assistants to the president. These are Obama's closest advisers, the people who have his ear.

Like most on the federal payroll, they have access to government-subsidized private insurance. But they can also get treatment above and beyond what is available anywhere else -- courtesy of outstanding military medical staff on-site at the White House and at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda.

Bethesda is one of the world's top hospitals, with a staff of more than 4,500. There, according to people familiar with the situation, Obama's senior advisers have access to a health-care Shangri-La.

Prescriptions for any condition under the sun are written and the drugs swiftly dispensed; virtually unlimited tests and blood work are conducted; and any medical procedure, including in-patient surgery, is performed at no cost to the patient. (Any expenses above what private insurance covers are generally waived.)

As one former senior White House official put it: "If you were an assistant to the president and you needed open-heart surgery, you could have it done at Bethesda for free."...

The list of medical services accessible to your political employees - for free or at very reduced cost - is mind-boggling. It has been suggested by some that if the proposed healthcare plan BO daily presses on the general population is good enough for "ordinary" Americans, then it surely must be more than adequate for the politicians. However, don't hold your breath waiting for the politicians to lead the way and sign on. You will turn blue waiting for such a show of good faith in what they are proposing for YOU! As you turn blue, there may not be a doctor available.

One of the phrases that jumped out at me from this article?:

...the Office of the Attending Physician in the US Capitol, which, according to its Web site, provides "acute/urgent care for all that work on or visit Capitol Hill.

See that? "..or visit..." Maybe if ailing Americans decided to "visit" Capitol Hill, they, too, would be given first class medical care.

Go read the rest of this article here, but be warned: blood pressure meds are a good idea before you do.

Arab Festival 2009: Sharia in the US

You have all seen what struggles Britain is engaged in, as muslims try to foist their beliefs on all us infidels. I have written on that topic more than a few times. Have you seen what British "leader" called Choudry is up to these days? If not, I suggest you google his name. Fact is, he and his ilk are running amok all over England, with no apparent comeuppance from the justice authorities. I have showed you pictures of muslims "protesting" at a recent welcome home parade for our troops in Luton. There is LOTS of evidence in plain view for anyone who chooses to see, that sharia law, Islam, is fully intent to making their 'religion' the prevailing way of life in the west. They do not deny it, and proudly flaunt their beliefs in OUR streets, and they flout the laws of the lands that give them safe haven to practice their thuggery - as they actively recruit.

Americans may have many issues at play in their land right now, but this clearly stated goal - to wipe out all infidels - is already IN America. Am I suggesting all muslims believe the venom spewed? No, I am not, but those who do NOT agree with these "leaders" need to step up, speak up, and become part of OUR solution. Take a look at this:

There are explanatory notes attached to this video over at YouTube, which bear printing here. For the benefit of any Americans who are still unconvinced (not my regular readers, of course!) read on:
This is a video of David Wood and Nabeel Qureshi asking questions at Arabfest, Dearborn. The date is June 21st, 2009. There was a booth at the festival which had a banner titled "Islam: Got Questions? Get Answers." From their table, we picked up a pamphlet claiming that Islam promotes peace. We noticed that it was full of poor logic and errors, so we decided to make a video refuting it. We went to the booth that gave us the pamphlet to give them the opportunity to defend their claims. Security, however, stepped in and forced us to turn off our camera.

We left the booth, received advice from police, and found out that the actions of the security guards were illegal. We went back to the booth to record a potential answer again. Realizing that the Muslims present had no answer, we left.

When we came outside, we were asked some questions by two young men, who had been sent by security to entrap us. While we responded to them, festival security started assaulting us, as you will see in this video. The conclusion of this video is a mob of festival security attacking our cameras, pushing us back, kicking our legs, and lying to the police.

We ask you, is it a coincidence that the city with the highest percentage of Muslims in the United States is the city where Christianity is not allowed to be represented (let alone preached) on a public sidewalk? Is it coincidence that in this city, people will say "No way!" when we say "This is the United States of America"?

Is this what will happen when Islam takes over the United States? (You can find that all here)

The emphasis is mine, of course, but these ARE questions that every American should be asking.

(H/T Mike for the video link)

Should We Riot?

The header here was in the subject line of an email I got, leading me to a Wall Street Journal article. This article is based on an interview with Joe Biden; he is giving his opinions on eastern Europe:

Biden Says Weakened Russia Will Bend to U.S.

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that Russia's economy is "withering," and suggested the trend will force the country to make accommodations to the West on a wide range of national-security issues, including loosening its grip on former Soviet republics and shrinking its vast nuclear arsenal.

Mr. Biden said he believes Russia's economic problems are part of a series of developments that have contributed to a significant rethinking by Moscow of its international self-interest. The geographical proximity of the emerging nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea is also likely to make Russia more cooperative with the U.S. in blocking their growth, he said.

But in the interview, at the end of a four-day trip to Ukraine and Georgia, Mr. Biden said domestic troubles are the most important factor driving Russia's new global outlook. "I think we vastly underestimate the hand that we hold," he said....

There IS more, with some typical Biden pronouncements, but one quote is what prompted the above header:

On whether Moscow will assist the U.S. in clamping down on nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea:

"I can see Putin sitting in Moscow saying, 'Jesus Christ, Iran gets the nuclear weapon, who goes first?' Moscow, not Washington."

There are more gems just like that one under the title: Excerpts: Biden on Eastern Europe

and you can find them here.

The email with that header goes on to say:

Should we Christians riot in the streets now like they did when the Mohammed cartoon came out? Or are only Muslims allowed to riot, rebel, and pillage when their savior is cursed??

All valid questions, I reckon..

(H/T CJ)

Monday, July 27, 2009

SONIA SOTOMAYOR: The final verdict is a resounding "NO"

As I recently watched the confirmation hearings Sonia Sotomayor I couldn't help but wonder how many were fooled by her performance. On the surface, it really was a masterful piece of theatre, but I guess when you are almost within grasp of one of the top jobs in America - a job that guarantees you a lifetime of influence - the stakes are high enough to be extremely mindful of how you are perceived.

Having said all that, and notwithstanding that meddler in chief BO seems determined to set Sotomayor up for life, it seems that not all Americans are buying into the faux dedication to the LAW of the land on display, versus her 'wise Latina woman' interpretations in her career to date. .

Read on:

JCN News Hub
July 27, 2009

DATE: JULY 27, 2009

Based on our pre-hearing examination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s record, we asked Senators to oppose her nomination. After completing our review of Judge Sotomayor’s hearing testimony and written responses to Senators’ written questions, we are today reiterating our recommendation that Senators vote “no” on her nomination.

Judge Sotomayor’s written and oral responses to Senators’ questions were evasive, contradictory, and frequently characterized by semantic acrobatics or feigned ignorance, exacerbating our concerns instead of alleviating them.

Judge Sotomayor’s testimony reinforced our conclusion that her three decades of political activism, speeches, law review articles, legal advocacy, and judicial decisions demonstrate that, if she is confirmed, Justice Sotomayor will be a supreme liberal judicial activist, outdoing and outflanking the Justice she is replacing, David Souter, in this regard. Her belief that judges should rely on their own views, instead of the law as written, in deciding cases would take our nation a critical step further away from the Rule of Law and toward the Rule of Nine Lawyers.

The pre-hearing polls conducted by CNN and Rasmussen Reports revealed that more Americans oppose Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation to the Supreme Court than any other successful nominee in the last two decades. According to the post-hearing polls conducted by USA Today/Gallup and ABC/Washington Post, opposition to Sotomayor INCREASED (by 3 percentage points and 5 percentage points respectively).

Simply put, the more Americans learn about Judge Sotomayor’s record, the more they oppose her nomination. A growing number of Americans are concluding that she is a very liberal judicial activist in the mold that President Obama promised when he told Planned Parenthood he would appoint judges who decide the “hard” cases based on personal politics and feelings. It should be noted that important parts of her record have never been disclosed (such as what input she had into the legal strategies advancing racial quotas and late-term-abortions-for-minors-at-taxpayer-expense-without-parental-notification that the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund advanced during her years of leadership).[emphasis mine]

Gee, "It should be noted that important parts of her record have never been disclosed". Where have we heard that before?

There is more, much more, clearly explained and justified, and you MUST go read that here at the Judicial Confirmation Network.

As usual, I did check out who this JCN is, as it always a good thing to check who is saying what:

About Judicial Confirmation Network

The Judicial Confirmation Network is an organization of citizens joined together to support the confirmation of highly qualified individuals to the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition, JCN works to ensure that the confirmation process for all judicial nominees is fair and that every nominee sent to the full Senate receives an up or down vote.

We believe that the qualifications desirable in a nominee include:

  • integrity
  • common sense
  • education and experience in the law; and
  • devotion to the Constitution

We believe that the proper role of a judge or justice is to interpret the law and the Constitution – not make up the law and deprive the people of the right to govern ourselves.

We believe that a judge or a justice should not use the power of the court to impose his or her personal or political agenda on the people. (here)

Consider the whole thing emphasised! As your President is determined to set his mark on America, I sincerely urge all of you to pay close attention. As each day goes by, yet another distraction surfaces, while BO continues on reshaping the USA.

The Supreme Court does important work as guardians of the law of the land. WHO gets to sit on that court, and interpret the laws and the Constitution is far too important for Americans to just ignore.

He may not think so, but POTUS and all the elected officials are YOUR employees. They work for YOU. Keep calling, and make sure your views are heard.

H/T Cindy

Sarah Palin: “Alaska: We Don’t Give a Darn...

The actual complete quote above reads:

Do you remember that years ago we sported the old bumper sticker that read, “Alaska: We Don’t Give a Darn How They Do It Outside.” I remember that. It was because we would be different, and we would roll up our sleeves and diligently sow and reap. We can still do this. We can carve wealth out of the wilderness and make our living on the water – with strong hands and innovative minds, now with smarter technology. It is what our First People and our parents did, and it worked because they worked!

I found her complete speech on her page at FaceBook, and it is a wonder to read. Her love for Alaska, her country, her family, shines brightly.

My favourite quote of the week, though? Sarah has some 'advice' for the media. The msm has hounded her - and her family - mercilessly. The media's behaviour has been nothing less than that of a pack of rabid dogs, determined to bring down their prey. Sarah tells the media

Our new governor has a very nice family, too. So leave his kids alone!

But the words I would like to see those 'reporters' pay special attention to? I was actually very surprised to hear this pulled out and highlighted as clips for news reports yesterday. Sarah said:

Some straight talk for some -- just some -- in the media, because another right protected for all of us is freedom of the press. And you have such important jobs, reporting facts, and informing the electorate, and exerting power to influence. You represent what could and should be a respected honest profession, that could and should be a cornerstone of our democracy. Democracy depends on you. And that is why, that's why our troops are willing to die for you. So, how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up.

Go to NewsBusters here and read the rest, and watch the videos.

I would like to think the msm would really pay attention, and learn something here. I'd like to.

Stay tuned.

Out of Israel

Two very interesting articles out of Israel:
PA to Name Streets After Terrorists in Israeli Prisons

by David Lev


Dozens of streets in PA cities will be named for Arab terrorists in Israeli jails, commemorating their "heroic" actions.

Hundreds of streets, schools, and other institutions under the control of the Palestinian Authority are already named after "martyrs" - terrorists who were killed by the IDF when they attacked Israeli civilians. The PA now plans to commemorate the actions of terrorists who are still alive, serving sentences in Israeli prisons.

At least 100 streets in PA cities will be named for these terror prisoners, said PA Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqi announced last week.

The terrorists to be honored in this manner have all been convicted for directly participating in or helping plan terror attacks in which Israelis were killed,...

According to this article, this decision is "... an official PA act of solidarity with the terrorists, ..." [direct quote].

Go read the rest of this one here.

As if that isn't provocative enough, then we have this:
Parade of US Officials Expected to Increase Pressureby Yehudah Lev Kay

( A parade of four senior U.S. officials due in Israel this week are expected to increase pressure on Israel to agree to a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria and avoid any action against the Iranian nuclear threat.

The special U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, lands in Israel Sunday after a short visit in Damascus. He will meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday and with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

Mitchell has spearheaded U.S. President Barack Obama’s efforts to pressure Israel into a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, but Netanyahu has so far maintained that building for ‘natural increase’ must be allowed. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly told EU officials last week that Israel would soon agree to a freeze.

The U.S. State Department said Mitchell would continue to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict in his visit. “He wants to be clear that, you know, all sides are creating the conditions, putting themselves in position so that when we begin a formal negotiating process, we’ve put ourselves in the best position to have a successful outcome,” State department spokesman Phillip Crowley said.

On Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is to land in Israel and will meet with Netanyahu....

The comments attached to this article see this ploy for what it is. Be sure and check them out, as you read the whole article here.

I Never Thought It Would Come To This!

An important post from Monkey in the Middle:

I Never Thought It Would Come To This!

I was raised to believe that all people living in the United States would be safe and secure in their homes, schools, temples or churches and businesses. But in the last few years it seems that is no longer the case. Especially for Jewish Americans.

We have witnessed an upsurge in the number of violent acts either committed against Jews, such as the attack in Seattle which the killer was given a mistrial. Or the attack on the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. Then there was the group of American Muslims who planned a series of attacks on Jewish targets.

The authorities did a good job with those, but the Jewish community knows they and our elected leaders allow behavior such as this:...

To refresh your memories as to what "this" is, and one group's answer, head over to Monkey in the Middle here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Every Day Hero: Private Andrew Troup

Meet Private Andrew Troup:

1 YORKS soldier honoured for bravery in Afghanistan

A History and Honour news article

22 Jul 09

A 20-year-old soldier from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (1 YORKS) has been recognised in front of his battalion, friends and family for his courage during a battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Private Andrew Thomas Troup

Private Andrew Thomas Troup
[Picture: Corporal James Williams RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

During a recent medal parade at 1 YORKS base in Munster Germany, when soldiers from the battalion were being presented with their Iraq campaign medals, Private Andrew Troup had his Mention in Dispatches read out for his actions while on operations in Afghanistan.

Private Troup was deployed to Afghanistan during the winter of 2007 – 2008, working as part of an OMLT (Operational Mentor and Liaison Team) providing military training to the Afghan Army.

His Mention in Dispatches was awarded for his actions during a patrol, consisting of six British and 28 Afghan soldiers, which was ambushed from a number of firing points to the front and flanks. Some of the inexperienced Afghans fled to a safe location creating a loss of morale in what seemed to be an overwhelming enemy ambush.

Private Troup's Mention in Dispatches explains what he did next:

"Despite heavy fire he broke cover, sprinting to where they had gone to ground. Through strength of character, a powerful and courageous display of determination - brought them back into the fight. This single act of bravery allowed the Afghans to regain composure and have the will to fight."

Soldiers of 1 YORKS on parade

Members of 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment parade at their Barracks in Munster, Germany, on the day of the presentation of their Operation TELIC 13 campaign medals
[Picture: Corporal James Williams RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

Private Troup said he volunteered to go to Afghanistan because he missed out on Iraq as he was too young to go at that time.

Explaining his brave actions, he said:

"I had to go and get them back and bring up the morale of the others despite not speaking the language or having an interpreter with me."

The ensuing contact lasted a further several hours with reinforcements arriving and forcing the Taliban to retreat....

There is more about this hero here.

Thank you for your service, Private Troup.

Feel Proud

New Forces' sweetheart 'feels proud' to sing in BasraInternational recording artist Laura Critchley is hoping to raise awareness of the work done by Britain's Armed Forces through music. She has released a new single called 'Feel Proud', the proceeds of which will go to a forces charity, and spoke to MOD reporter Leigh Morrison about the song and her recent trip to Basra.
Singer Laura Critchley

Singer Laura Critchley visited troops in Basra in April 2009
[Picture: via MOD]

In the first half of this year, worldwide successful artist Laura Critchley packed in plenty of work involving the UK's military which has awoken a deep passion within her.

After visiting troops in Iraq in April this year, Laura had a taste of what life is like in the military in theatre and was amazed by the dedication and perseverance of our servicemen and women.

This visit prompted the release of 'Feel Proud', a song which is raising money for the charity Help for Heroes and aims to draw attention to the challenging work completed by the UK's military:

t was a song I incorporated in a set that I did in Basra. I did about ten performances out there, very impromptu, sometimes even just wherever the squaddies were based in their barracks or in their canteen, so it wasn't like I was going out and doing Live 8, I was literally singing wherever I thought that someone could do with a bit of cheering up really!

..."I just wanted to go out and see what people do on a day-to-day basis and just pop into their barracks and say 'hiya', rather than say 'come to my performance tonight'. I wanted it to be a bit more personal as that is what I'm like and that's what I'm about."..

Although Laura is more used to performing to audiences of thousands in China, India and Japan, she was humbled by spending three days with UK troops in Basra. She said:

"How they do what they do, I just don't know. But if they weren't doing it, we wouldn't be living in this country as they protect us. I do feel very proud what they go through, risking their lives....(read more about her visit here.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher: "Hello mum"

Just about every day, I hear news that kicks me in the heart. THIS is one those of those things. I really have nothing to add to this:

'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'

Here Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher, who was 19 when he was killed by an explosion near Gereshk seven weeks ago, tells his own story, through letters home and the last letter he left behind to bid farewell to his family – his mother Helena, father Robin and brothers Zac, 21, and Steely, 17. Following are the words of a proud soldier described by his officers as possessing "a rucksack full of potential", and by his friends as a rascal always cracking jokes and helping to keep morale high. Most of all, they are the words of a young son to his mum, dad and brothers....

Cyrus Thatcher was killed on 2 June 2009. This is the letter he wrote to be delivered to his family if he died:

Hello its me, this is gonna be hard for you to read but I write this knowing every time you thinks shits got to much for you to handle (so don't cry on it MUM!!) you can read this and hopefully it will help you all get through.

For a start SHIT I got hit!! Now Iv got that out the way I can say the things Iv hopefully made clear, or if I havent this should clear it all up for me. My hole life you'v all been there for me through thick and thin bit like a wedding through good and bad. Without you I believe I wouldn't have made it as far as I have. I died doing what I was born to do I was happy and felt great about myself although the army was sadly the ending of me it was also the making of me so please don't feel any hate toward it. One thing I no I never made clear to you all was I make jokes about my life starting in the Army. That's wrong VERY wrong my life began a LONG time before that (Obviously) but you get what I mean. All the times Iv tried to neglect the family get angry when you try teach me right from wrong wot I mean to say is I only realised that you were trying to help when I joined the army and without YOUR help I would have never had the BALLS, the GRIT and the damn right determination to crack on and do it. If I could have a wish in life it would to be able to say Iv gone and done things many would never try to do. And going to Afghan has fulfilled my dream ie my goal. Yes I am young wich as a parent must brake you heart but you must all somehow find the strength that I found to do something no matter how big the challenge. As Im writing this letter I can see you all crying and mornin my death but if I could have one wish in an "after life" it would be to stop your crying and continueing your dreams (as I did) because if I were watching only that would brake my heart. So dry your tears and put on a brave face for the rest of your friends and family who need you.

I want each and everyone of you to forfill a dream and at the end of it look at what you have done (completed) and feel the accomplishment and achievement I did only then will you understand how I felt when I passed away...

Go - NOW! - and read the rest of this here.

There is much written about this incredible young man, who was so wise beyond his years. Go here, and here.

As one of his officers said about him:

“The darker and colder the night, the bigger was his smile. The hotter and longer the day, the louder was his laugh.” (here where you can also find a condolence book to leave a comment)

"The soldiers live in peace, the angels sing 'Amazing Grace.' "

Rest in peace, Hero.

H/T Pat

Friday, July 24, 2009


Sgt. 1st Class Juan Almonte (right), a senior medic assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, instructs an Iraqi National Police medic on how to apply a pressure dressing during a combat medic training exercise at Joint Security Station Loyalty, July 22. Photo by Jared N. Gehmann, 82nd Airborne Division.

Iraqi Police Sharpen Combat Medic Skills
Thursday, 23 July 2009

BAGHDAD — U.S. Paratroopers showed Iraqi National Police medics Combat Lifesaving techniques during a day-long training event here on Joint Security Station Loyalty, July 22. The training exercise allowed Iraqi medics to hone their skills through several real-life scenarios.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team Soldiers taught their ISF counterparts the basics of combat medical care, to include applying a pressure dressing to a wounded leg, placing a trauma dressing over an injured abdomen and properly using a tourniquet on a severed arm.

"We try to go slow and focus them on understanding why we do each step of care," said Sgt. 1st Class Juan Almonte, the primary instructor during the event. "This was just basic trauma training, throwing on bandages and giving intravenous therapy was the focus of today."

Almonte added that this is about the seventh time he has done training events like this with the Iraqi medics. Usually the events are held in small groups of one or two personnel to ensure each Iraqi medic receives step-by-step instruction on an individual level.

Ammar Nijeb, a NP medic who participated in the training, said that he learned a lot of new techniques during the event. Nijeb feels the training he received will better equip him for real combat operations....(Read more here)


Officers and Soldiers from 26 Regiment Royal Artillery parade in front of the Council Offices in Birmingham [Picture: Cpl James Williams RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

West Midland Gunners given freedom of Birmingham

A History and Honour news article

23 Jul 09

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Birmingham's city centre yesterday to show their support for troops from 26 Regiment Royal Artillery who have recently returned from Afghanistan and Iraq.

26 Regiment Royal Artillery with the Casket containing the Freedom of the City Scroll

26 Regiment Royal Artillery with the Casket containing the Freedom of the City Scroll
[Picture: Cpl James Williams RLC, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

Crowds packed around the Council House in Birmingham yesterday, Wednesday 22 July 2009, to see over 200 soldiers from the unit, known as the West Midland Gunners, on parade.

Having been granted the Freedom of the City, the gunners were led by the Band of the Parachute Regiment, with drums playing, colours flying and bayonets fixed, on what was their fist ever march around Birmingham.

The Freedom Roll was carried ahead of the troops in a silver casket on a circular route through Birmingham.

Lord Mayor Michael Wilkes said:

"Birmingham will be giving the warmest of welcomes to the 26th Regiment Royal Artillery. It has given courageous service in both Afghanistan and Iraq and I am very proud to be granting them the Freedom of the City."...

Read more here.