Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Indoctrination 101

[Update-] The University of Delaware has removed all publicly available links to the program’s content. Thanks to Jason Steck from The Van Der Galiën Gazette, for the email alerting us. Go read about it.... Via another email from Emily it seems that President of U. of Del. has called for the immediate elimination of this program. I will update with a supporting link s soon as it is available.....VERIFIED, Hat tip to Hot Air[End Update]

"Something's wrong with the world today, I don't know what it is. Something's wrong with our eyes. I'm seein' things in a different way and God knows it ain't his. It sure ain't no surprise..." Aerosmith

Atlas Shrugged

"Capitalism demands the best of every man – his rationality – and rewards him accordingly. It leaves every man free to choose the work he likes, to specialize in it, to trade his product for the products of others, and to go as far on the road of achievement as his ability and ambition will carry him." Ayn Rand.

There is a quote that is used several times in Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, used by several characters throughout the book: "There is something wrong with the world." I tend to agree. Like the characters in the book, first published in 1957, I see a general decay in the world around me today as I travel and work. I see people who frankly just don't give a damn; not about their work, or how well they do their work, not about the way they look, not about the conditions in which they live...not about anything. This isn't limited to any one race, any one sex, any one segment of social standing. My work puts me in contact with people from all walks of life, and the decay is there, in all but one segment of society: older people. It begins with people my age, those in their forties; a general lack of self-respect and contempt for others, a sullen resignation to things. With the next generation down, there is not only the lack of self-respect and contempt, but a blatant embracing of such attitudes. Think I'm wrong? Look around you at what you see when you walk out the door tomorrow. How many well dressed, well groomed twenty somethings do you see? How many overweight young people (and I'll confess here that I'm certainly no John Basedow, far from it, but self-realization comes from reflection upon one's self and reflection of the mirror, as it were.)

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Ready? It's a shocker. Those who don't respect themselves can have no respect for others.

I can't exactly pin point an exact period in time when it began. Perhaps it's always been there, just under the surface, festering, growing, a malignancy upon the collective soul of mankind. Some who see problems and have concerns are more than willing to point their fingers at the flower power generation, the free love society, the "dawning of the age of Aquarius."

I'm not so sure.

What I DO know is this, and I've said it for a long time now, starting before my soiree into the field of education, and more critically after I walked away from the field in utter disgust at the entire system. Our children are being indoctrinated. OUR generation was indoctrinated. I would dare say that our PARENTS were indoctrinated to some degree as well.

There are phases to this indoctrination; I'm going to touch on just a few of them. I hope in doing so that I may spark some recognition within you to see them, and that we can all begin to start undoing some of the damage that has already been done.


The first I'll mention is the vilification of industry and corporations. I don't even see the need to cite any references for this one, as it's so heavily prevalent in the attitude of the American worker and the American media. Anyone who makes money, anyone who generates a means by which others make money, is under fire. How many of you would like to be Bill Gates? How many out there would like to hold stock in Halliburton? Exxon? In fact, the only corporate giant who seemed to be able to win the love of the American people in the past several years was Sam Walton. Or Oprah Winfrey.

But Oprah CARES. She CRIES and she TOUCHES us...


But how did Sam Walton amass his fortune? He WORKED for it. He used his mind and his abilities. He competed. He did what he needed to do and he reaped the benefits of his labor. How, then, is he different from Gates and Trump and any other mogul you may want to name? He isn't. Each one of these people has worked for the position that they have attained and have been successful in doing so.

But if we are to listen to SOME in our society, they have no right to enjoy what they have worked for. They have to share. It's not right for people to be wealthy. According to one caller in to the Steve Gill Show yesterday, anyone making over $200,000.00 a year should have to pay one hundred percent tax on anything OVER that mark.

October 30, 2007 - 09:19

A West Tennessee caller suggested today that taxing the super rich folks who earn over $200,000 should pay 100% of their income above that level as taxes because anybody with that much money has "made enough." The "evil" top 1% of earners in this country already pay 40% of the total federal income tax burden, but Sarge and the Democrats think they are "taking" too much without paying their fair share...

Do you think you're paying enough in taxes? Or do you agree with Charlie Rangel that you should be paying more of your hard earned money in as taxes?


Two more from Ayn Rand:

"What objectivity and the study of philosophy requires is not an 'open mind,' but an active mind - a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically."

"In order to live, man must act; in order to act, he must make choices; in order to make choices, he must define a code of values; in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is – i.e. he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in which he acts – i.e. he needs metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, which means: philosophy. He cannot escape from this need; his only alternative is whether the philosophy guiding him is to be chosen by his mind or by chance."

I've written before about revisionist history and my strong stance against it. School should be a place for learning HOW to think, not what to think. History, philosophy, civics, mathematics, and language skills. We've allowed politically correct thinking and mindset to infiltrate our "social studies" programs.

Case in point: during my senior year in high school, one of my teachers presented our class (I won't mention the name of the teacher or which class was being taught) with a "documentary" on the conditions of the children in Ethiopia. This was the mid-80's, the conditions in Ethiopia were civil war, famine, and plague. I can't remember which group had sent him the film, UNICEF if I'm not mistaken, but it only showed the starvation and the hunger of the citizenry. The entire classroom had felt the tugs of the heartstrings. I raised my hand and asked "what about the reports of the army (communist regime at the time) confiscating all incoming shipments of food and using it to feed the troops instead of the people?" Stunned silence on the part of my teacher. I was the only senior male in the room, I was already enlisted in the army, and was keeping an eye on potential hot spots that I might be deployed to during my time in service. I don't recall anyone stepping forward to contribute any money for the Ethiopian cause that day.

Why is this important, you ask? I made a point NEVER, EVER, to let my political opinions or my "causes" infiltrate my classroom setting, and I was a teacher of history and government. It's unprofessional, it's improper, and in my mind, it's unethical. Had he presented the facts of the situation, that there was a war in Ethiopia, that people were starving, that UNICEF was taking donations, that the government was not allowing the people access to the food that was being sent, blah blah blah blah BLAH, I would have no problem with it.

My problem was with the "agenda."

Education is filled with people with an "agenda" today. That's one reason our schools are turning out graduates who think two plus two equals five, and that "cat" is spelled k-a-t.

This brings us to another point in our look into indoctrination; the agenda that makes whites responsible for all the suffering and hardship of the world, thus making them the modern "bourgeoisie" for our budding communist generation. Let us first revisit the Communist Manifesto to read what it has to say:

The distinguishing feature of communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.

In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man's own labor, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence.

In the time of Marx and Engles, the bourgeoisie would have been today's Trumps, Gates, and so forth. Today, it's an association of guilt for being white because of the actions in the past of our European ancestors. I suppose that for someone like myself, of mixed European and American Indian heritage, that I should feel a special self loathing for myself because part of my ancestors were mean to other parts of my ancestors? Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? Yet and still in Delaware, we have a situation at a PUBLIC UNIVERSITY where they are being indoctrinated with such racist attitudes against whites. Hat tip to Hot Air for this:

University of Delaware Requires Students to Undergo Ideological Reeducation

October 30, 2007

FIRE Press Release
NEWARK, Del., October 30, 2007—The University of Delaware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech.

“The University of Delaware’s residence life education program is a grave intrusion into students’ private beliefs,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “The university has decided that it is not enough to expose its students to the values it considers important; instead, it must coerce its students into accepting those values as their own. At a public university like Delaware, this is both unconscionable and unconstitutional.”

The university’s views are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to “sustainability” door decorations. Students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The RAs who facilitate these meetings have received their own intensive training from the university, including a “diversity facilitation training” session at which RAs were taught, among other things, that “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

The university suggests that at one-on-one sessions with students, RAs should ask intrusive personal questions such as “When did you discover your sexual identity?” Students who express discomfort with this type of questioning often meet with disapproval from their RAs, who write reports on these one-on-one sessions and deliver these reports to their superiors. One student identified in a write-up as an RA’s “worst” one-on-one session was a young woman who stated that she was tired of having “diversity shoved down her throat.”

According to the program’s materials, the goal of the residence life education program is for students in the university’s residence halls to achieve certain “competencies” that the university has decreed its students must develop in order to achieve the overall educational goal of “citizenship.” These competencies include: “Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society,” “Students will recognize the benefits of dismantling systems of oppression,” and “Students will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality.”

At various points in the program, students are also pressured or even required to take actions that outwardly indicate their agreement with the university’s ideology, regardless of their personal beliefs. Such actions include displaying specific door decorations, committing to reduce their ecological footprint by at least 20%, taking action by advocating for an “oppressed” social group, and taking action by advocating for a “sustainable world...”

Um, right. I thought we were supposed to be trying to STOP racist attitudes, not turn them around on white people?

"Guilt is a rope that wears thin." Ayn Rand.

The expected reply from the university:

October 31, 2007

Samantha K. Harris
Director of Legal and Public Advocacy
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Dear Ms. Harris,

Thank you for your letter to President Patrick Harker dated October 29, 2007 detailing your concerns about the University of Delaware’s residence life educational program. I appreciate your commitment to the role of free speech in education. Though we may articulate views quite differently, a commitment to free speech is one we share. As noted in our own literature, “the central mission of the University of Delaware is to cultivate both learning and the free exchange of ideas.”

Your letter asserts a number of conclusions that can be supported by a selective citation of documents, but are not actualized. The idea that students are “required to adopt university approved views” on the issues listed is not a goal of this institution or of the residence life department. This type of goal is both highly undesired and wholly unattainable. Students are challenged to express themselves as free-thinking citizens. The indoctrination you speak of serves no educational purpose and does not exist as part of a systematic effort on this campus. I assume that you have noted the absence of any policy, rule, or regulation pertaining to your concerns about disciplinary action being taken against students for unwillingness to be changed in the manner that you describe.

There is in fact a program within the residence halls that engages students in self –examination of the roles they hope to take in society. This effort is consistent with the mission of the University which states, “Our graduates should know how to reason critically and independently…communicate clearly in writing and speech, and develop into informed citizens and leaders.” The program is designed to encourage students to think about and to consider a number of issues, but all make their own decisions about the outcome of this reflection. FIRE’s assertion that students are told what to think is inaccurate. In common with FIRE, our institution values free speech, active voice, and open dialogue. We believe that students learn and grow in part by engaging in significant discussions on both sides of the classroom door.

I do acknowledge that there have been some missteps with the implementation of our program. This is a new effort involving over two hundred staff. As with any University educational endeavor assessment and feedback measures have been established to identify issues or concerns. Each of the issues FIRE presents are currently under review. In fact, we recently became aware that students in several residence halls were told their participation is mandatory at these activities and we have taken steps to clarify this misconception and to notify students of their rights in this area.

Additionally, I would like to briefly comment on several of the other concerns expressed in your letter.

* The information about "best and worst" RA/resident one-on-ones are certainly of concern, but taken out of context. This terminology has only been used by supervisors to ask Resident Assistants to reflect on their facilitation skills and never to describe students or the outcome of a conversation.

* Students are not required to participate in any residential activity, educational program, or to maintain the University provided nametag on their door. We do, however, encourage students to participate in as many experiences as they are able as we believe this enhances their life at the University.

* We share your concern about the language used in our assessment plan. The term “treatment” is commonly used in research and assessment literature. Admittedly, this language is easily misinterpreted and may be construed as inappropriate for use in this educational setting. On the other hand, your assertion that “progress is apparently determined by examining whether there is an increasing proportion of ‘right’ answers over time” is not an accurate way to describe the aim of the program or assessment goals.

I have tremendous respect for the ability of our students as well as their emotional and intellectual capacity. My main point of contention out of the multiple assertions is that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education seems to presume that our students are so empty-headed and ignorant that they would be "indoctrinated" with ease. I believe you have underestimated the quality and caliber of our students. You have examined many internal and public documents in your search for concerns. I invite you to explore our web site more fully to get a better picture of the capacity of a University of Delaware student. You will find that they are highly intelligent and capable to assert their viewpoints and to face challenges from a variety of areas. Our students are fully able to encounter multiple values and perspectives and remain true to their own identity. As they emerge from college, their ability to use their free speech rights will be only one of many talents they possess. While I consider many of your points to be open for legitimate discussion and debate, the supposition that University of Delaware students are simply empty vessels to be filled by any willing authority figure is an unstated assertion where we can find no common ground...

Yadda yadda yadda. As I said, the expected reply from the university.

Let's see what the rest of you think. From the University of Delaware website:

Diversity Initiatives
Diversity Vision Statement

"The Office of Residence Life, within its offices and its residence halls, will become a place where diversity among people is recognized, valued and demonstrated. Racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism and other behaviors and systems that empower some while oppressing others will not be tolerated. Programs, policies, and procedures will reflect the importance and acceptance of diversity. Actions that encourage and promote diversity will be valued and rewarded."
Diversity Committee Information

The Office of Residence Life Diversity Committee is a group of professional staff members and graduate assistants working to encourage and support the diversity vision of the Office of Residence Life by integrating diversity values into all aspects of the department culture. The committee coordinates the campus-wide diversity efforts of the Office of Residence Life and supports the many other diversity programs offered by Residence Life staff to residents on a complex, building, or floor community level. The Diversity committee develops diversity training modules for all levels of Residence Life staff and coordinates initiatives such as the Unity Project and Multicultural Leadership Retreat. For more information please contact Michele Kane, Assistant Director for Residence Education and Chair of the Diversity Committee at
Multicultural Leadership Retreat
Unity Project

Whole New World Training
Minority Student Network

The Minority Student Network (MSN) provides a social network and support system for students of color living on East Campus but is open to all. The group provides programs, trips, hot topic discussions, and social gathering for students. For more information contact the MSN advisor, Ivet Ziegelbauer.

Quest plans, sponsors, and supports diversity programming on campus. The group is comprised of Residence Life staff and residence hall students committed to diversity issues. Quest projects include initiatives like the monthly Being Educated About Diversity (BEAD) Project, the Diversity Film Series and Black History Month Task Force. Quest also actively supports diversity programming on campus. The Graduate Assistant for Diversity Initiatives is the advisor for Quest . For more information about Quest, please contact Michele Kane at

Did you catch that "Whole New World Training" segment? The title alone speaks volumes, in my way of thinking.


A great part of the problem, I think, is the altruistic mindset that is pervading the world today. You see it everywhere. Volunteer to help do this, pitch in a hand to help do that. There is NOTHING wrong with pitching in and giving a hand to others, as long as it doesn't become the be all, end all of your existance.

What is altruism?

Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and central to many religious traditions. In English, this idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. Some newer philosophies such as egoism have criticized the concept, with writers such as Nietzsche arguing that there is no moral obligation to help others.

Altruism can be distinguished from a feeling of loyalty and duty. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, God, a king), a specific organization (for example, a government), or an abstract concept (for example, patriotism etc). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition.

The concept has a long history in philosophical and ethical thought, and has more recently become a topic for psychologists, sociologists, evolutionary biologists, and ethologists. While ideas about altruism from one field can have an impact on the other fields, the different methods and focuses of these fields lead to different perspectives on altruism.

Rand on altruism: "Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one's own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value – and so long as that beneficiary is anybody than oneself, anything goes."

Indoctrination of our youth has even reached to the point of coming to them across the television. Nickelodeon television has entered into this trend by using children to show other children how to "stand up to the man." Hat tip to ArmyWifeToddlerMom, Michelle Malkin, and STOP the ACLU for this one:

Nickelodeon is trying to brainwash your children in the morning, or a leftist primer
My Husband sent me this link this morning. Please watch this, in its entirety. It is imperative that you SEE what Nickelodeon is showing at 5:00am.


Linda Ellerbee is the host, that should be enough said.

Pay particular attention to the second and fourth stories.

This Nickelodeon "news program", is not a news program. It is a leftist primer on how to be a "left-wing radical REBEL".

I am not a blind follower of our Government, and I also think that Government should be watched by it's citizens. It is our civic duty.

However this program led by Ellerby, is anti-war, anti- GWOT, anti-military.

This "news program" is not about people changing the World around them.

Ms. Ellerby uses leftist propaganda buzz words like "taking on the establishment".

She shows a group of "tweenagers" walking around in orange jumpsuits, hooded and yelling from a bullhorn. "We are not ok, with people being tortured by American soldiers!" "Are cooperation's priority over human lives?"

There is also a call for the impeachment of the President in the second segment of the video, "democracy is at stake because of the President violating the Constitution".

The fourth segment of video shows another tweenager, who has put together a video of wounded Iraqi children, with the song Jesus Loves Me playing over it. This teenager blames America, the military, for what is happening in Iraq. This young girl says "she finds, videos and facts on the Internet" to show what is REALLY happening in Iraq. I am guessing she is getting these images from Al Jazeera.

Nickelodeon is the new training ground for leftist propaganda.

Amazing. You really must watch this video...

Children making anti-establishment statements. It brings to mind something said by someone back in the 1950's (surprise, it's not Ayn Rand this time):

Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev famously used an expression generally translated into English as "We will bury you!" ("Мы вас похороним!", transliterated as My vas pokhoronim!) while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception in Moscow in November, 1956.[1] The translation has been controversial because it was presented out of context as being belligerent. The phrase may well have been intended to mean the Soviet Union would outlast the West, as a more complete version of the quote reads: "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you"(Нравится вам или нет, но история на нашей стороне. Мы вас похороним)—a meaning more akin to "we will attend your funeral" than "we shall cause your funeral".

Several online sources incorrectly claim that he made this statement at the United Nations General Assembly on October 11, 1960, when he is said to have pounded the table with his shoe, or with an extra shoe he had brought with him explicitly for that purpose. [2] (Occasionally these incorrect reports give the date October 12, the date this incident was reported in most newspapers.)

Speaking some years later in Yugoslavia, Khrushchev himself remarked, "I once said, 'We will bury you,' and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you", [3] a nod to the popular Marxist saying, "The proletariat is the undertaker of capitalism." Khrushchev later went on to explain that socialism would replace capitalism in the same manner that capitalism itself supplanted feudalism. (This is an orthodox view of Marx's theory of history.)

It would seem that his prediction has been put into practice. I can't imagine these children doing this for Nickelodeon without the approval and permission of their parents. But then again there are a lot of things children do that are done without their parents approval today that sometimes leave me wondering at the fitness of the parents...

"When you come to a fork in the road....Take it." Yogi Berra.

The bottom line is this. We are reaching an ideological crossroads. If our society is to survive, we must truly do as the title of this blogsite says and WAKE UP, AMERICA!

The freedoms we love and cherish today are not free. They have been bought and paid for with the price of the blood of patriots; of men and women who believed in freedom and in the rights of the individual. That fight continues today. Like it or not, agree with what you think the motives might be or not, that fight continues today in the sands of the Middle East. We are under assault not just by Islamic jihadists, but by a mindset within our own nation that the greater good outweighs the needs and rights of the individual. And that mindset is choking the will out of the American people. It suffocates the spirit of creativity. It stifles individual achievement.

We complain that our jobs, our factories, our manufacturing, have gone overseas, and yet we put in office the very people who tax our producers to the point they are driven to take their industries overseas. Why? Because it isn't fair that one person should make more money than someone else.

We leave our borders open so that millions upon millions of illegal aliens have entered our country and we see our own culture diluted and diminished. Why? Because the evil white men have oppressed the rest of the world, and it isn't fair.

Our children graduate from high school unable to cope, compete, or function in society. They can no longer rely on industry for work because we've created a situation where there is little industry, or what industry there is has hired cheap labor from a growing pool of illegals. Why? Because it's more important that our children be taught their self worth based upon what they can do for others so that they'll feel good, rather than teaching them the importance of diligence and self worth through their own accomplishments.

Why do we do these things?

Because we have become inverted.

But we can not live in an inverted world.

"The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth." John Galt quote that ended Ayn Rand's last public speech (New Orleans Nov 1981)

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Don't worry about the dog, beware of the owner...

Who is ultimately responsible for the protection of the home, those who live in it, or the police? Who is responsible for personal safety and well being away from the home, the individual or the police? What role does the police force have in our lives? "To protect and serve" is the motto seen on so many patrol vehicles around the nation. But how often do they actually catch the bad guys in the middle of committing a crime? How often do they come onto the scene while someone is breaking into your home?

Very seldom.

The fact is, they aren't mind readers. They don't have psychic powers to know ahead of time when a crime is being committed and where. They aren't supermen and superwomen. They're humans. And the majority of the time they don't arrive until after the crime has been committed and try to collect as much information as they can so they can go out and catch the bad guys AFTER the crime is committed.

To whom does this give the advantage, the criminal, or the cops? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

So what do you do when you're home and someone breaks in? I know what I'm prepared to do. Do you?

I have long been and advocate of an armed citizenry being a responsible citizenry. NOT JUST armed, however; a citizenry that is armed should know how to use their firearms. And know when to use them.

'Shoot first' laws make it tougher for burglars in the United States

Burglars in the United States could once sue homeowners if they were shot, but now a growing number of states have made it legal to shoot to kill when somebody breaks into a house.

John Woodson, 46, found that out last week when he ambled into Dennis Baker's open garage in a Dallas suburb. A surveillance video showed the robber strolling inside, hands in his pockets.

From the shadows, Baker opened fire and killed Woodson.

"I just had to protect myself and that was it," Baker told reporters despite the fact Woodson had not tried to enter the bedroom near the garage where Baker had been sleeping.

The incident made national headlines since it was Baker's parrot that gave the alarm when it innocently squawked "good morning" at the intruder.

But Woodson's death seemed anecdotal compared to another Dallas resident who a few days earlier had killed his second robber in three weeks inside his home.

Police are investigating both cases, but it is unlikely charges will be filed. Texas recently passed a law branding anybody breaking into a home or car as a real threat of injury or death to its occupants.

In contrast with traditional self-defense laws, this measure does not require that a person who opens fire on a burglar be able to prove that he or she was physically threatened, that force was used only as a last resort and that the victim had first tried to hide.

Florida was the first state to adopt in 2005 a law that was dubbed "Stand your ground" or "Shoot first."

But now they have proliferated largely under pressure from the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), the main weapons lobby in the United States.

Today 19 out of 50 US states, mostly in the south and the central regions of the country, have this kind of laws, and similar legislation is pending in about a dozen others.

"This law will bring common-sense self-defense protections to law-abiding citizens," said Rachel Parsons, a spokesperson for the NRA.

"If someone is breaking into your home, it's obvious that they are not there to have dinner with you," she continued. "You do have a right to protect your belongings, your family and yourself.

"The law needs to be put on the side of the victim, and not on the side of the criminal, who is attacking the victim."

Common sense in my mind.

There are, of course and as always, those who disagree. There always will be. To me, they do nothing more than create a situation in which the criminal has more rights under the law than those whom they prey on. Amazingly enough, if you look into it, some of the same groups who advocate self-defense classes for women also advocate gun control legislation.

But for the Freedom States Alliance that fights against the proliferation of firearms in the United States, these new laws attach more value to threatened belongings than to the life of the thief and only serve to increase the number of people killed by firearms each year, which currently is estimated to stand at nearly 30,000.

"It's that whole Wild West mentality that is leading the country down a very dangerous path," said Sally Slovenski, executive director of the alliance.

"In any other country, something like the castle doctrine or stand-your-ground laws look like just absolute lunacy," she continued.

"And yet in this country, somehow it's been justified, and people just sort of have come to live with this, and they just don't see the outrage in this."

It's up to you, America, to decide for yourselves, as individuals. But in deciding as individuals, LEAVE IT at the individual level whether you decide to be armed or not. Our founding fathers recognized the need for an armed citizenry and guaranteed that right be handed down through the generations in our nation. We as individuals have a right to defend ourselves, and a responsibility to do so.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Friday, October 26, 2007

It's No Wonder

It's no wonder more and more people in our country are gritting their teeth and saying "Enough!"

It's no wonder that there is talk (again) of secession from the Union.

No wonder our children are not being taught the traditions of our nation in our schools and in our homes.

Our traditions are being destroyed.

Flag-folding recitations for vets banned because of religious content

Associated Press
October 26, 2007

RIVERSIDE,California - Complaints about religious content have led to a ban on flag-folding recitations by Veterans Administration employees and volunteers at all 125 national cemeteries. It all started because of one complaint about the ceremony at Riverside National Cemetery in California.

During thousands of military burials, the volunteers have folded the American flag 13 times and recited the significance of every fold to survivors. For example, the 12th fold glorifies "God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost."

The complaint revolved around the narration in the 11th fold, which celebrates Jewish war veterans and "glorifies the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob."

The National Cemetery Administration decided to ban the entire recital at all national cemeteries. Details of the complaint weren't disclosed.

Administration spokesman Mike Nacincik said the new policy outlined in a Sept. 27 memorandum is aimed at creating uniform services throughout the military graveyard system. He said the 13-fold recital is not part of the U.S. Flag Code and is not government-approved.

Veterans and honor detail volunteers, including Bobby Castillo, 85, and Rees Lloyd, 59, are furious. "That the actions of one disgruntled, whining, narcissistic and intolerant individual is preventing veterans from getting the honors they deserve is truly an outrage," Lloyd said. "This is another attempt by secularist fanatics to cleanse any reference to God."

World War II Navy veteran Castillo said it's "a slap in the face to every veteran."

"When we got back from the war, we didn't ask for a whole lot," Castillo said. "We just want to give our veterans the respect they deserve. No one has ever complained to us about it. I just don't understand."

Lloyd and Castillo are part of a 16-member detail that has performed military honors at more than 1,400 services. They were preparing to read the flag-folding remarks at the Riverside cemetery when graveyard staff members stopped them.

This is outrageous, and we want you to speak up and be heard.

Sign the petition at this link and make your voice count. Help save our traditions.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man

[Update] More on this topic from:

Military Times and Michelle Malkin.


Of Rubber Chickens and Federal Emergency Response Agencies...

(A special note to my brother and sister firefighters putting their lives on the line; this in no way includes nor implicates you in the mishandling of things by FEMA administrators. As with our soldiers, our nation is damned proud of you and the fine hard work you are doing in fighting this monster.

God Bless each and every one of you out there fighting the Dragon.)

Hurricane Katrina was a huge, huge disaster both in terms of the storm itself and the destruction left in it's aftermath. Couple that with the flooding of New Orleans after the failure of the dike system, and the HUGE, HUGE public relations nightmare that FEMA faced in the days and weeks after Katrina swept across the Gulf Coast, you would THINK that FEMA would have learned a thing or six after all was said and done.

That would be reasonable to expect, right?

If we were talking about anything OTHER than an agency of the federal government, we might possibly expect a bit of a learning curve.

We're talking about an agency of the federal government however.

The same people that Hillary Clinton wants to put in charge of...


Oh my.

Okay, so what has FEMA done to deserve the prestigious Wake Up America Rubber Chicken Award?

They held a press conference. No big deal, right? Nothing out of the ordinary. We have a disaster situation going on in California, fires everywhere, burning like HELL (literally). So it's only natural to think that FEMA would be conducting press conferences.

But how do you hold a press conference without the press? You put people from your agency out there as an audience and have them POSE as "the press:"

FEMA Meets the Press, Which Happens to Be . . . FEMA

By Al Kamen
Friday, October 26, 2007; Page A19

FEMA has truly learned the lessons of Katrina. Even its handling of the media has improved dramatically. For example, as the California wildfires raged Tuesday, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator, had a 1 p.m. news briefing.

Reporters were given only 15 minutes' notice of the briefing, making it unlikely many could show up at FEMA's Southwest D.C. offices.

They were given an 800 number to call in, though it was a "listen only" line, the notice said -- no questions. Parts of the briefing were carried live on Fox News (see the Fox News video of the news conference carried on the Think Progress Web site), MSNBC and other outlets.

Johnson stood behind a lectern and began with an overview before saying he would take a few questions. The first questions were about the "commodities" being shipped to Southern California and how officials are dealing with people who refuse to evacuate. He responded eloquently.

He was apparently quite familiar with the reporters -- in one case, he appears to say "Mike" and points to a reporter -- and was asked an oddly in-house question about "what it means to have an emergency declaration as opposed to a major disaster declaration" signed by the president. He once again explained smoothly.

FEMA press secretary Aaron Walker interrupted at one point to caution he'd allow just "two more questions." Later, he called for a "last question."

"Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?" a reporter asked. Another asked about "lessons learned from Katrina."

"I'm very happy with FEMA's response so far," Johnson said, hailing "a very smoothly, very efficiently performing team."

"And so I think what you're really seeing here is the benefit of experience, the benefit of good leadership and the benefit of good partnership," Johnson said, "none of which were present in Katrina." (Wasn't Michael Chertoff DHS chief then?) Very smooth, very professional. But something didn't seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA's greatness.

Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We're told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of external affairs, and by "Mike" Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John "Pat" Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.

Asked about this, Widomski said: "We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute."

Man-made disaster: Phony FEMA press conference

by Mark Silva

Hurricanes? Wildfires?

They aren’t half the disaster that a FEMA press conference has become.

Earlier this week, in an attempt to get the word out about relief efforts in the Southern California wind-fanned wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency staged a press conference. And we mean staged: Lacking actual reporters, the agency planted FEMA workers to ask the questions that FEMA wanted answered.

And FEMA today stood ready with a mea culpa for the “stunt’’ – suggesting that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was none too happy about this agency-made disaster in the wake of natural disasters that have tested the agency's mettle.

“It is simply inexcusable and offensive to Secretary Chertoff that such a mistake could be made,’’ Laura Keehner, deputy press secretary for Homeland Security, said in a call with actual reporters today. “ We have made it clear that such a stunt will never be tolerated or repeated."

Real reporters had been invited, she said, “but clearly (were) not given enough time to be able to attend… As I understand, a few camera crews were able to arrive in time take B-roll toward the end.’’

B-roll is footage that television stations use – footage that captured the actual questions of the fake reporters at the FEMA press conference.


A fake press conference.

Makes you want to just go JOIN RIGHT UP for work as a federal worker, doesn't it? Make things up as you go along, create fictional situations, stir or sooth mass hysteria...Does man-made global warming come to mind with any of the rest of you, or is it just me?

Just a thought.


Congratulations to FEMA, particularly Michael Chertoff who heads Homeland Security, for showing us once again how much we can trust the agencies of our federal government, and please accept this Rubber Chicken Award as a token of the depth of our gratitude in keeping ourselves ever vigilant in calling the hand of corrupt and inept government.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Disgusted General Speaks

We hear so much rumbling from some of our retired generals about the war in Iraq. The dinosaur media is quick to put a camera and microphone in front of them and give them a world wide audience so that they can condemn our policies and criticize our war efforts. Hat tip to Bill Shannon for forwarding us in email to the website the views of one of our retired generals who isn't aspiring to political ambitions.

The following can be found in full at


I wrote recently about the war in Iraq and the larger war against radical Islam, eliciting a number of responses. Let me try and put this conflict in proper perspective.

Understand, the current battle we are engaged in is much bigger that just Iraq. What happens in the next year will affect this country and how our kids and grandkids live throughout their lifetime, and beyond.

Radical Islam has been attacking the West since the seventh century.

They have been defeated in the past and decimated to the point of taking hundreds of years to recover. But they can never be totally defeated.

Their birth rates are so far beyond civilized world rates that in time they recover and attempt to dominate again.

There are eight terror-sponsoring countries that make up the grand threat to the West. Two, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, just need firm pressure from the West to make major reforms. They need to decide who they are really going to support and commit to that support. That answer is simple. They both will support who they think will hang in there until the end, and win. We are not sending very good signals in that direction right now, thanks to the Democrats.

The other six, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya will require regime change or a major policy shift. Now, let's look more closely.

Afghanistan and Iraq have both had regime changes, but are being fueled by outsiders from Syria and Iran. We have scared Gaddafi's pants off, and he has given up his quest for nuclear weapons, so I don't think Libya is now a threat. North Korea (the non-Islamic threat) can be handled diplomatically by buying them off. They are starving. That leaves Syria and Iran. Syria is like a frightened puppy. Without the support of Iran they will join the stronger side. So where does that leave us? Sooner, or later, we are going to be forced to confront Iran, and it better be before they gain nuclear capability.

In 1989 I served as a Command Director inside the Cheyenne Mountain complex located in Colorado Springs, Colorado for almost three years.

My job there was to observe (through classified means) every missile shot anywhere in the world and assess if it was a threat to the US or Canada. If any shot was threatening to either nation I had only minutes to advise the President, as he had only minutes to respond. I watched Iran and Iraq shoot missiles at each other every day, and all day long, for months. They killed hundreds of thousand of their people. Know why? They were fighting for control of the Middle East and that enormous oil supply.

At that time, they were preoccupied with their internal problems and could care less about toppling the west. Oil prices were fairly stable and we could not see an immediate threat. Well, the worst part of what we have done as a nation in Iraq is to do away with the military capability of one of those nations. Now, Iran has a clear field to dominate the Middle East, since Iraq is no longer a threat to them.

They have turned their attention to the only other threat to their dominance, the United States. They are convinced they will win, because the United States is so divided, and the Democrats (who now control Congress and may control the Presidency in 2008) have openly said we are pulling out.

Do you have any idea what will happen if the entire Middle East turns their support to Iran, which they will obviously do if we pull out? It is not the price of oil we will have to worry about. Oil will not be made available to this country at any price. I personally would vote for any presidential candidate who did what JFK did with the space program---declare a goal to bring this country to total energy independence in a decade.

Yes, it is about oil. The economy in this country will totally die if that Middle East supply is cut off right now. It will not be a recession. It will be a depression that will make 1929 look like the "good-old-days".

The bottom line here is simple. If Iran is forced to fall in line, the fighting in Iraq will end over night, and the nightmare will be over.

One way or another, Iran must be forced to join modern times and the global community. It may mean a real war---if so, now is the time, before we face a nuclear Iran with the capacity to destroy Israel and begin a new ice age. I urge you to read the book "END GAME" by two of our best Middle East experts, true American patriots and retired military generals, Paul Vallely and Tom McInerney. They are our finest, and totally honest in their assessment of why victory in the Middle East is so important, and how it can be won. Proceeds for the book go directly to memorial fund for our fallen soldiers who served the country during the war on terror. You can find that book by going to the internet through Stand-up America at or www.rightalk. com.

On the other hand, we have several very angry retired generals today, who evidently have not achieved their lofty goals, and insist on ranting and raving about the war. They are wrong, and doing the country great harm by giving a certain political party reason to use them as experts to back their anti-war claims.

You may be one of those who believe nothing could ever be terrible enough to support our going to war. If that is the case I should stop here, as that level of thinking approaches mental disability in this day and age. It is right up there with alien abductions and high altitude seeding through government aircraft contrails. I helped produced those contrails for almost 30 years, and I can assure you we were not seeding the atmosphere. The human race is a war-like population, and if a country is not willing to protect itself, it deserves the consequences...

And he has SO MUCH MORE to say about the Bush administration, the Clinton administration, all the way back to the Nixon administration; it's an incredible read, and gives the insights of an incredible mind.

The bottom line is this: he's right on target with the things that he says, and he backs up the opinions of many Middle East analysts and observers. By his own admission he has nothing to gain politically by stating his observations, and his credentials are more than sufficient to back up what he says.

This is the difference between a general who is a warrior and one who is a politician. George Patton, at the end of World War II, had the foresight to realize that the United States needed to deal with the Soviet Union RIGHT THEN, but the politicians would have none of it. The result of not listening to one of our warriors was decades of "Cold War" between the U.S.A and the U.S.S.R.

Who will we listen to this time? The warriors, or the politicians?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Anniversary of War - 24 Years and Counting

That's right. The title says TWENTY FOUR YEARS. One year shy of a quarter of a century.

Think this thing is going to be a short term, kick ass and win thing? We've already been doing it for TWENTY FOUR YEARS.

And that's just the anniversary of the date we mark it as having started when we were attacked in Beirut. Hat tip to Captain's Quarters, and a salute for their remembrance.

From Rick Moran:


The driver of the yellow Mercedes Benz truck in Beirut that awful day 24 years ago knew precisely where to go. According to intelligence reports, two members of what was then the underground terrorist organization known as Hizbullah had mapped the layout of the Marine barracks so that the suicide bomber could carry out his mission to maximum effect. He knew the Marines pulling sentry duty had pocketed their ammo clips thanks to some ridiculous rules of engagement. And he was aware that there were no barriers protecting the structure so that his truck laden with 12,000 pounds of explosives would only have to crash through ordinary wood and plaster in order to be positioned perfectly so that detonation would have catastrophic effects on the building.

The truck had apparently been prepared with the help of Syrians and Iranians in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon where several Revolutionary Guard units had been stationed under Syrian protection. An NSA intercept revealed at a trial that convicted the Islamic Republic of Iran of being behind the attack, stated that a message sent from Iranian intelligence headquarters in Tehran toAli-Akbar Mohtashemi, the Iranian ambassador in Damascus and directed the Iranian ambassador to get in touch with Islamic Amal which has since been identified as the military arm of Hizbullah at the time, and instruct him to “take spectacular action” against the Marines.

When the bomb detonated, it may have been the largest non-nuclear explosion in history up to that time (we used the “Daisy Cutter” in Afghanistan which weighs 15,000 lbs). The entire barracks building was lifted off its foundation and when it came down, it collapsed in a heap of cinder blocks, plaster, and dust. A few seconds after the blast, another suicide truck bomber crashed into the French military headquarters detonating a similar device. All told, 241 Americans lost their lives in the blast. Another 58 French paratroopers died in the other attack that day. It was the worst day for the Marines since the battle of Iwo Jima and the worst day for the US military since the first day of the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam.

While it is not a rock solid certainty that Hizbullah, acting on direct orders from Iran, was behind the attacks, the preponderance of evidence certainly points that way. At the time, Hizbullah was in its initial stages of formation, being trained by Revolutionary Guard units who had infiltrated Lebanon through Syria. At first, Hizbullah was not an independent actor in Lebanon, receiving its orders directly from Khomenei’s Iran. The US had just given Sadaam Hussein more than two billion dollars in aid to fight Iran and the thinking is that Khomenei wanted to get back at the US for our support of Iraq. When US forces pulled out the following February, it was simply gravy from the Iranian point of view.

And for those of you in doubt that Iran is responsible in the eyes of the judicial system in this country, this from spree earlier this year:

US court fines Iran 2.65 billion for attack on U.S. Marines

Fat chance collecting but good for the court for finding Iran responsible and fining them a 2.65 billion dollar judgment.

A US federal court on Friday ordered Iran to pay 2.65 billion dollars to the families of 241 soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut.

"The court hopes that this extremely sizeable judgment will serve to aid in the healing process for these plaintiffs, and simultaneously sound an alarm to the defendants that their unlawful attacks on our citizens will not be tolerated," judge Royce Lamberth said in his ruling from a federal court in Washington DC.

A previous court ruling in 2003 held that Iran provided financial and logistical help for the lethal 1983 attack carried out by the militant group Hezbollah.

"It is clear from testimony presented to this court ... that intense suffering experienced on that day has had a tragically lasting effect on the plaintiffs who have brought this action," Lamberth wrote.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled Friday the families could pursue legal action on a state level, if appropriate.
I know that people are apprehensive about having to deal with Iran. Truth be told, we should have dealt with them long before now.

How long does the war need to last? That question is asked all too often. It's been going on, really, for twenty four years. We can NOT stop until we have taken every measure to ensure victory, and eliminate the enemy we have been fighting for these many years already.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Behind Enemy Lines...

In the old days they were called "sappers." From the earliest conflicts of man against man, there have been special groups, elite units, who were tasked and trained with doing the exceptional and the extraordinary.

Special Operations took on a new life during World War II with the use of Army Rangers and Airborne troops so heavily during the Normandy invasion, and the reliance of Navy "frogmen" for disarming sea mines.

Out of necessity for changing warfare came the Navy Seals, the Green Berets, and their forerunners from the British Commonwealth, the Special Air Service, or SAS.

We see today how important a role SpecOps plays in conducting modern warfare, and in preventing it, with this report from the Times Online:

SAS raiders enter Iran to kill gunrunners

Michael Smith

BRITISH special forces have crossed into Iran several times in recent months as part of a secret border war against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Al-Quds special forces, defence sources have disclosed.

There have been at least half a dozen intense firefights between the SAS and arms smugglers, a mixture of Iranians and Shi’ite militiamen.

The unreported fighting straddles the border between Iran and Iraq and has also involved the Iranian military firing mortars into Iraq. UK commanders are concerned that Iran is using a militia ceasefire to step up arms supplies in preparation for an offensive against their base at Basra airport.

An SAS squadron is carrying out operations along the Iranian border in Maysan and Basra provinces with other special forces, the Australian SAS and American special-operations troops...

This is where it's very important to know exactly what your enemy is up to. Joint operations between allies, in this case the UK, Australia, and the US, means that information can be shared more quickly and efficiently between the three nations to conduct other operations.

UK special forces operating in Iran

Talkbacks for this article: 2

British special forces have carried out several operations inside Iran in recent months in an attempt to prevent the Revolutionary Guard's Al-Quds force from shipping weapons to Iraq, the Sunday Times reported.

The British and Australian SAS forces are reportedly working with American special forces to patrol the border to prevent weapons - including surface-to-air missiles and parts for IEDs (improvised explosive devices) - from reaching the hands of Iraqi insurgents.

According to the article, the SAS have engaged in at least six "intense firefights" with both Iranian and Iraqi Shi'ite arms smugglers. The fighting has reportedly taken place on both sides of the Iran-Iraq border, and Iran has fired mortar shells across the border.

The Times said that officials have stated that while the British troops are working to prevent arms smuggling, they do not cross the border into Iran...

Analysis of the information that comes back from these operations is vital for regular forces in knowing exactly what sorts of measures they need to take in their own operations. It also allows for more direct analysis of doing things to prevent the smuggling of weapons from Iran INTO Iraq. It also gives insights on how to secure our own southernmost border here at home; the border we share with Mexico:

U.S. to build watchtower at Iran-Iraq border
Structure to target smuggling of shipments that authorities allege are illegal arms for war

By Sam Enriquez
October 21, 2007

ZURBATIYA, Iraq - About 300 trucks cross the border here every day, ferrying fruit, rugs and building supplies from Iran - and, if U.S. authorities are to be believed, illegal weapons.

Intercepting the smuggled arms should be simple enough, because shipments have to be unloaded from Iranian trucks and transferred to Iraqi trucks at the border. The trouble is, the reloading is done on the Iranian side, behind a wall.

So the U.S. is planning to build a 100-foot watchtower for Iraqi border agents. This solution is one of many to seal a 900-mile desert and mountain border that U.S. authorities allege is used by smugglers to ferry Iranian-made explosives and rockets used in attacks against Iraqi civilians, police and U.S. forces.

Critics say the U.S. hasn't proved that the weapons come from Iran or that the Iranian government is complicit with trafficking. But the allegations have heightened tensions between Washington and Iran, raising the prospect of U.S. military action.

The crossing station here in eastern Wasit province, a moonscape desert with summer highs pushing 120 degrees and the dangerous litter of Iraq's eight-year war with Iran, illustrates the challenge of setting modern controls on an ancient frontier.

Although the United States' latest border problem is half a world away from Mexico and its illegal drug and immigrant traffic, the U.S. military hopes to incorporate some of the techniques used on the U.S.-Mexican border. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is lending border patrol and customs officers to help, and some former officers are working here under private contracts.

"This is a lot tougher than the Mexican border," said Army Col. Mark Mueller, who is in charge of U.S. forces advising Iraq's Department of Border Enforcement and the Iraqi army in this region. "There are leftover mines and munitions everywhere."

Don't expect, however, after reading this, to be able to pull up Special Operations mission reports at random and read them. The vast majority of them are classified information that is not available to the general public. There are a great many reasons for this, none the least of which is the safety of the soldiers and sailors and marines involved in these missions, and the safety of their families.

Keep these specialists in your thoughts and prayers. They put themselves very heavily in harms way to keep you safe.

Once and Always an American Fighting Man
(That last one is my regimental crest. Notice the tie in with the one at the top of the page?)


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Of Cat Herding and Gay Wizards...A Strange Week for News

It's been sort of a surreal week for news. The typical stupidity of the Beltway notwithstanding (nothing that goes on in DC surprises me any more), it's been sort of a strange week for news, and the weekend has kicked off with a gala of even more weirdness.

Definitely not normal news.

I suppose from time to time the dinosaur media and even the NEW media have to find things that are, for lack of a better word, different. The "different" for this past week, however, have the taintings of the ghost of Rod Serling to them...

Let's start with the dinosaur media itself. I used to like Charles Gibson; he came across as personable, likable, and someone you could actually sit down with in the morning and discuss the issues of the day over a cup of coffee. Perhaps that's why he had such staying power on Good Morning America. He really, really showed his true self this week, however, on World News Tonight:

A Depressing Lack of Bad News
By Rich Tucker
Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bad news, folks. We’re winning in Iraq.

According to a front page story in The Washington Post, “The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group.”

Wait -- isn’t that good news? As Charlie Gibson put it on ABC’s World News Tonight, “One item from Baghdad, today. The news is that there is no news. The police told us that to their knowledge, there were no major acts of violence. Attacks are down in Baghdad, and today, no bombings or roadside explosions were reported.”

Oh, come on, Post. Come on, ABC. You’re not trying hard enough. Any story can be bad news if you’re willing to dig deep enough.

Luckily for us, the Baghdad bureau of McClatchy Newspapers did just that. “A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months,” Jay Price and Qasim Zein reported. “That’s cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.”

You can almost hear the late Peter Jennings in the quote that has been covered up and not to be found but I and other people I know heard him say one night, "We did not mean to mislead you more than we had intended."

Moving right along.

Ernest Hemingway remains one of the best known authors of modern time. Tourists can still visit his mansion on Key West and see where he lived and wrote for more than a decade. Among the other things visitors can find while touring the grounds are the descendants of Hemingway's six toed cat Snowball. It would seem, however, that some people at the USDA have decided that they HAVE to step in on private property and make assertions:

The plot thickens for Hemingway's cats

By Laura Parker, USA TODAY
Literary legend's six-toed legacies live on in Key West — much to the dismay of some. The fight over the felines has grown to include the USDA and the courts.

The legendary American novelist Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for a decade in the 1930s, in a stone mansion on Whitehead Street with his wife, Pauline, and a six-toed cat named Snowball.

Hemingway divorced Pauline in 1939, but Snowball stayed on. Today, about 50 of Snowball's descendants roam the grounds, to the delight of many tourists who visit the Hemingway Home and Museum. But the cats won't be roaming much longer, if the federal government has its way.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited the museum for violating a 1966 federal animal welfare law, and has threatened to impose stiff fines or confiscate the cats if the Hemingway Home does not do more to control the felines. Department inspectors say that the museum must be licensed as an exhibitor of animals, and that the cats, which sometimes climb over the wall surrounding the grounds, must be confined to the property.

After initially moving to comply with the government's demands, the Hemingway Home now is fighting them. The dispute has festered into one of those big-government-vs.-the-little-guy showdowns that involves a growing cast of characters, including locals in Key West, members of Congress, the U.S. Department of the Interior and, last week, a federal judge.

In an effort to resolve the spat, the museum sued last July in federal court and asked a judge to determine whether the USDA has jurisdiction over the museum. On Dec. 18, U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore dismissed the museum's suit, saying that it first should pursue remedies in administrative hearings and appeals.

Darby Halladay, a USDA spokesman, says the agency will schedule a hearing before an administrative law judge.

"There's always a possibility of confiscation," he says of the cats. "The likelihood of that occurring, I can't state. But that is a remedy."

The museum also could face thousands of dollars in fines.

Cara Higgins, the museum's attorney, says that the federal Animal Welfare Act, which sets care standards for animals in zoos and circus acts, should not apply to the Hemingway Home.

The cats "are born and raised and live their lives in Key West," she says. "They've been doing so for over 40 years. They're not sold, they're not distributed, they're not taken across state lines."

Neighbor's complaint

The dispute began when a USDA inspector showed up at the museum in October 2003 in response to a complaint about the cats.

Long negotiations and multiple inspections ensued. The USDA suggested several methods for containing the cats, including hiring a night watchman, adding an electrified wire to the top of the property's 6-foot stone wall, or adding to the stone wall, which Hemingway had built in 1937.

The museum countered that a wire could shock tourists as well as cats, and that altering the wall would put at risk the house's designation by the Interior Department as a National Historic Place.

At the height of the USDA's investigation of the museum, the agency rented a room in a guesthouse near the Hemingway property in order to videotape the cats.

In a report of one inspection, on Dec. 1, 2004, the USDA noted that "during the inspection, a cat was seen scaling the fence and leaving the property." Another report cited the death of a cat named Toby, which had been fatally struck by a car after leaving the property.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican who represents Key West, wrote to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, calling for a compromise over the Hemingway cats. Ros-Lehtinen, noted that "this extraordinary museum serves as an essential bond to past and revered American culture."

The Hemingway Home flunked three inspections. When the USDA declined to grant it a license, the museum sued to try to avoid having to get a federal license.

The Hemingway Home is one of Key West's most-visited attractions. Although Hemingway wrote most of his novels in Key West, including To Have and Have Not and A Farewell to Arms, Higgins says many tourists come just to see the cats.

Key West is known as much for its cats as it is for its zany festivals and eccentric charm. Located 159 miles from Miami and 90 miles from Havana, it is the southernmost point in the continental USA. Cats arrived in Key West long ago with visiting sea captains, who employed them as shipboard rat catchers. Today, cats wander Key West.

The neighbor who complained about the Hemingway cats is Debbie Schultz, a former official at the local animal shelter who lives four doors away from the museum.

"I contacted the USDA," Schultz says. The museum "made it appear I am the villain, that I am out to undermine everything they stand for in cats, which is absurd. My whole thing is the cats need to be cared for properly."

Those interested in positions as cat herders should contact the office of Senator Hillary Clinton, who is rumored to have much experience with cat fights and cat herding...


Speaking of cat fights, who could have seen this one coming? Any Harry Potter fans in the audience? Of course there are, even I like the Potter movies. But you know, watching the movies, I frankly didn't catch something that must have been obvious to J. K. Rowling. I haven't read the books yet; my 17 year old son has all of them and now I may have to borrow them from him and do a little digging to see if there is anything that suggests what Rowling revealed this week to fans in New York:

Dumbledore was gay, JK tells amazed fans

David Smith
Sunday October 21, 2007
The Observer

There could hardly have been a bigger sensation if Russell Crowe, Rod Stewart or Sven-Goran Eriksson had come out of the closet. Millions of fans around the world were yesterday digesting the news that one of the main characters in the Harry Potter novels, Albus Dumbledore, is gay.

The revelation came from author JK Rowling during a question-and-answer session at New York's Carnegie Hall. It instantly hurtled around the internet and the world. News websites in China and Germany announced starkly: 'JK Rowling: "Dumbledore is gay".' One blogger wrote on a fansite: 'My head is spinning. Wow. One more reason to love gay men.'

After reading briefly from her mega-selling book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, on Friday night, Rowling took questions from an audience of 1,600 students. A 19-year-old from Colorado asked about the avuncular headmaster of Hogwarts School: 'Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?'

The author replied: 'My truthful answer to you...I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.' The audience reportedly fell silent - then erupted into prolonged applause.

Rowling, 42, continued: 'Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald [a bad wizard he defeated long ago], and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent, but he met someone as brilliant as he was and, rather like Bellatrix, he was very drawn to this brilliant person and horribly, terribly let down by him.'
Can you say "making it up as you go along?" Interesting that Rowling waited until after finishing the series to make this "outing." I wonder if George Hamilton will play a "younger" Dumbledore. I can see it now, Dumbledore, the Gay Wand. Has a ring to it.

Speaking of goofy gay things, what about Ellen Degeneres and the the whole puppy adoption breakdown this week?

Ellen DeGeneres' Pooch Gets New Home

By SOLVEJ SCHOU – 1 day ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The pooch at the center of the dog-adoption drama between Ellen DeGeneres and an animal rescue agency has found a new home. Iggy was placed with a new family earlier this week, a spokesman for the agency's owners said Friday.

"We're not revealing the family's identity to protect their privacy," attorney Keith A. Fink told The Associated Press. "The dog is fine."

The tug of war over the little dog named Iggy began after DeGeneres, who had initially adopted the terrier mix, gave the dog to her hairstylist after Iggy couldn't get along with her cats.

Marina Batkis and Vanessa Chekroun, who own the nonprofit Mutts and Moms adoption agency, said DeGeneres violated her signed agreement, which called for Iggy to be returned if things didn't work out.

Iggy was removed from the hairstylist's home on Sunday during a confrontation that DeGeneres said left the woman's daughters in tears.

You know, she KNEW up front what the conditions were. Did she think that she was an exception because she's Ellen? Maybe she should have just built a four foot fence, like the following story discusses:

Congressman Questions Mich. Turtle Fence

Associated Press Writer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A congressman disputes the state's contention that it's worth $318,000 in federal money to keep turtles from becoming roadkill.

Installation is expected to begin this week on a 2-mile-long fence along both sides of U.S. 31 in Muskegon, in west-central Michigan. It is intended to prevent hundreds of turtles, some of them protected species, from being killed as they migrate to nesting sites along the Muskegon River, which the highway crosses.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., questions why the Michigan Department of Transportation did not consider using the money on other projects "more related to the movement of people and products."

"Serious times require a serious approach to the very real problems Michigan faces," Hoekstra said in a news release issued Wednesday.

The 4-foot-high chain-link fence has been planned for two years. State officials consider it a relatively inexpensive solution to a problem that affects traffic safety and the environment of rare turtle species.

The fence will cover a stretch of road that is Michigan's deadliest for turtles and one of the nation's worst for the reptiles, Tim Judge, manager of a Transportation Department service center in Muskegon, said Thursday.

Two state-protected species - the wood turtle and Blanding's turtle - are common traffic victims, as are snapper, painted, box and map turtles.

Department spokeswoman Dawn Garner didn't know whether any drivers swerving to avoid turtles have gotten into crashes, but said: "There is definitely the potential for improving the safety of motorists."

Yes, let's all watch out for those turtles jumping out in front of us as we drive along not suspecting that we're in danger of TURTLE ATTACKS. Such horrid criminals these turtles can be, catching drivers off guard and causing huge amounts of damage each year.

Speaking of criminals, our last piece comes from Japan, where those creative and ingenious Japanese police officers are trying to be like the Canadian Mounties, and always get their man:

Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place

TOKYO, Oct. 19 — On a narrow Tokyo street, near a beef bowl restaurant and a pachinko parlor, Aya Tsukioka demonstrated new clothing designs that she hopes will ease Japan’s growing fears of crime.

Deftly, Ms. Tsukioka, a 29-year-old experimental fashion designer, lifted a flap on her skirt to reveal a large sheet of cloth printed in bright red with a soft drink logo partly visible. By holding the sheet open and stepping to the side of the road, she showed how a woman walking alone could elude pursuers — by disguising herself as a vending machine.

The wearer hides behind the sheet, printed with an actual-size photo of a vending machine. Ms. Tsukioka’s clothing is still in development, but she already has several versions, including one that unfolds from a kimono and a deluxe model with four sides for more complete camouflaging.

Hat tip to Steve Gill for that one. His comment is that the Diet Coke one is more slimming...

Once and Always, a Still Highly Amused American Fighting Man


Philadelphia Punishes Boy Scouts of America

I was a Boy Scout. When my son entered Cub Scouts, I took on the mantle of Cub master, and later held other positions with Scouting while he was involved with the organization. According to the Supreme Court of the United States, Scouting, as a private organization, is protected by the Constitution of the United States to screen it's membership, i.e. leadership, and bar membership to whomever they see the need to bar.

Obviously, the "City of Brotherly Love" has taken on a new meaning in Philadelphia, where the city has taken punitive action against Scouting for their stand on not allowing homosexuals into their ranks. Hat tip to Miss Beth's Victory Dance for this one:

Boy Scouts' Rent Skyrockets in Philadelphia to $200K Over Gay Ban

Friday, October 19, 2007

By Catherine Donaldson-Evans

The Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy is turning out to be a pricey proposition for its Philadelphia chapter — one that will cost about $200,000 a year, to be exact.

The city has ordered the organization to pay a fair-market rent of $200,000 — $199,999 more than its current $1 annual rate — to maintain its longtime offices in a landmark Philadelphia building because of its refusal to allow openly gay Scouts and Scout leaders.

City Solicitor says Romulo L. Diaz Jr. contends that Mayor John Street, City Council and the Fairmount Park Commission (which oversees historic properties) have been asking the Scouts for the past year to submit a clear-cut anti-discrimination policy, and they haven't done so. In order to comply with Philadelphia laws, he said, he has given the Scouts a choice: agree definitively in writing to stop discriminating, or pay a new rent at market value.

"They had been put on notice over the last year by the mayor, the City Council and the Fairmount Park Commission that they had a choice to make," Diaz said in a phone interview. "They need to provide evidence that they would not engage in discriminatory practices against gays as either Scout masters or Boy Scouts. .... They have either not responded or essentially played the victim."

The Boy Scouts' Philadelphia branch, called the Cradle of Liberty Council, argues that its hands are tied because of the national chapter's refusal to reverse its anti-gay policy — even though, it says, it tried to fight it a few years ago.

The city Scouts say they agreed on a compromise with the prior solicitor — which involved the adoption of a promise not to engage in "unlawful discrimination" similar to one the New York chapter has — and claims the current solicitor has an ulterior motive because he himself is openly gay.

"We adopted a non-discrimination policy in 2005 with the city's help, which is ironic now," said Cradle of Liberty spokesman Jeff Jubelirer. "Since that time, there's been no one challenging the policy, no reports of discrimination. Nothing has come to the public's attention. And yet the current solicitor thinks this language is not clear enough.

"It's been reported that the solicitor is openly homosexual — and who cares — but I wonder if it's something that he and members of the activist gay community want: to kick the Boy Scouts out of their building."

Diaz declined to answer questions about his sexual orientation, but said it was irrelevant because his job was to enforce what the city has voted and agreed on.

"I'm doing my job," he said. "I'm taking it on because I was directed by the mayor, City Council and the Fairmount Park Commission..."

Methinks some people take great pleasure in doing their jobs. I doubt very seriously Mr. Diaz ever uttered THESE words that I will now post because I know them so well by heart, having learned them long ago: "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the scout law; to help other people at all times, and to keep my self physically straight, mentally awake, and morally straight." For those of you unfamiliar with that oath, that's the Scout's oath. Those who know me best will tell you I'm still a Boy Scout to this day. I don't take that as an insult, nor do I find that oath in conflict with the oath I took when I became a soldier.

Run over to Miss Beth's site and click on the link to contact the City of Philadelphia.

Boy Scouts of America

Girl Scouts of America

Support Scouting. It's an organization that really IS for the children.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Restoring Rights for Felons?

According to Wikipedia:

The term felony is used in common law systems for very serious crimes, whereas misdemeanors are considered to be less serious offenses. This distinction is principally used in criminal law in the United States legal system, where the federal government generally considers a crime punishable by more than five days up to a year in prison to be a misdemeanor, while considering crimes punishable by greater than a year in prison to be felonies; crimes of five days or less in prison, or no prison at all, are considered infractions.

Serious crimes. VERY serious crimes.

So why is the ACLU interested in restoring the rights of full citizenship to those convicted of felonious crimes? Oh yeah, they're the ACLU, that's why. They're "inverted."

Hat tip to Jay at Stop the ACLU for this one:

American Criminal Liberties Union
by Jay @ 9:03 pm. Filed under ACLU, Illegal Activities, 2nd Amendment, News

The ACLU has begun a campaign to restore the rights of felons. People with felony convictions automatically lose the right to vote, run for or hold office, circulate candidate or referendum petitions, or to own, have, buy or use guns.

Which of these rights are the ACLU concerned with? The right to vote. It isn’t surprising that such a leftist organization would be concerned with this. Afterall, criminals trend to vote liberal. The way the ACLU’s argument goes is that once people have served their punishment, their debt to society is paid and they should be granted their full rights as a citizen. This is one reason they fight so hard for sex offenders and child molesters to live across the street from Elementary schools. Of course the arguement is flawed. If the ACLU really believed their own arguement they would be fighting just as hard for the other rights of felons, including their Second Amendment rights.

Go check the rest of it out at his site, it's well worth the read.

Give'em HELL, Jay.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Friday, October 19, 2007

Black Thongs Preferred, but Silky Sheer French Cut Are More Than Acceptable...

You know, there are times when I look through the news and have to reread a story. The following definitely fits into that category.

Activists send female underwear to Burmese embassies

Martin Hodgson
Friday October 19, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

Activists exasperated at the failure of diplomacy to apply pressure on Burma's military regime are resorting to a new means of protest against the regime's recent crackdown: sending female underwear to Burmese embassies.

Embassies in the UK, Thailand, Australia and Singapore have all been targeted by the "Panties for Peace" campaign, co-ordinated by an activist group based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The manoeuvre is a calculated insult to the junta and its leader, General Than Shwe. Superstitious junta members believe that any contact with female undergarments - clean or dirty - will sap them of their power, said Jackie Pollack, a member of the Lanna Action for Burma Committee.

Obviously Tom Jones isn't in their government...

"Not only are they brutal, but they are also very superstitious. They believe that touching a woman's pants or sarong will make them lose their strength," Ms Pollack told Guardian Unlimited.

So far, hundreds of pairs of pants have been posted, according to another campaigner, Liz Hilton. "One group sent 140 pairs to the Burmese embassy in Geneva," she said.

The campaign was a serious attempt to allow ordinary women to express their outrage at the regime's response to democracy demonstrations led by Buddhist monks, Ms Pollack said.

"Condemnation by the United Nations and governments around the world have had no impact on the Burmese regime. This is a way of trying to reach them where they will feel it," she said.

"The junta is famous for its abuse of women: it is well documented that they use rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities. This is a way for women around the world to express their outrage..."

If this is how women are expressing their outrage today...Let me just leave that thought right there before I get myself in trouble. I'm NOT saying that women have OTHER ways of expressing outrage that are more, um, err...Yeah, leaving that one alone.


Look for more on the situation in Burma in the coming days.

Once and Always, A Highly Amused American Fighting Man