Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Traveling time

The time has come. After some time off it's time to go back to work again, and I'll be out for probably about a month. I should be able to pop on here from time to time for a bit, but probably won't have much time, if any, for writing, while on the road.

Ya'll take care, and I'll be back in soon as I can.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Denver Imposes Restrictions on Protesters Tactics

Field commanders and generals know that the best way to win a battle is to be prepared ahead of time for any tactics and tricks the opposing side will use in a pending conflict and confrontation. Denver is making plans now for the DNC convention.
There will be no urine tossing in Denver. Nor will there be any buckets filled with feces nor "cut-proof" devices that protesters can use to thwart local police officers as protesters gather outside the Pepsi Center in Denver when the DNC gathers there to meet next month for the party's convention. Denver law enforcement and lawmakers are working together to make sure that they have as many bases covered as possible to keep protesters from blocking traffic and creating undue disturbance in the Mile-High City.

"Protesters are getting pretty sophisticated," said Councilman Doug Linkhart, chairman of the council's safety committee.

"In other cities, they're not just handcuffing themselves to each other," he said. "They put their handcuffs inside PVC tubes, which are inside concrete. They've figured out ways that keep the police from just using bolt cutters to cut them apart. They also use buckets of urine and feces and various noxious substances to pour on themselves or the police."

Denver's proposed ordinance would make it illegal to carry any "tool, object, instrument or other article" that can be used to obstruct streets, sidewalks and entry or exits from buildings or for hindering emergency equipment.

"We're just trying to very narrowly define an area where, if they have these kinds of tools and we can prove intent, then we can arrest them," Linkhart said.

Among banned items will be chains, quick-setting cement, and locking devices resistant to bolt cutters, along with containers used to transport urine and feces, and any other items that might be seen as being used as a tool for disrupting order. Arapahoe County, where some delegates will be staying during the convention, has also placed bans on items that could be used as weapons, including gas masks that protesters might be carrying to use in case of tear gas being employed by law enforcement officials for crowd control.

Personally, I'm kind of amazed at the mindset of some protesters. I can understand picketing, I can understand the chants used by marchers, but there are some things my mind can not fathom. Urine and feces? Are we talking about people protesting, or chimpanzees here? Mind boggling.

In all honesty, while I can see why there would be a lot for Democrats to protest in regards to their party, especially those who belong to such groups as PUMA, I can't really say that I see many of the Hillary Clinton supporters that would be attending being the feces flinging type.

Of course I could be wrong.

What does sinking to this level of primate behavior accomplish, really? It smells, it potentially spreads disease, and we won't get into the whole concept of that one has to actually take the time to collect containers filled with feces or urine in order to take that one pride filled moment in which they can proclaim, "I tossed my shit on a cop!" I'm sure they have a mother somewhere who would be very proud of them for such adult behavior.

Protesting in such manner does little to accomplish actual real political change. It creates a breeding ground for violence, lawlessness, and potential injury to both the protesters and public safety officials who are there to maintain order. The rare exceptions were the non-violent protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King in which he urged passive resistance. But the days of King are over, and I'm certain that he would have highly disapproved of the use of human/animal waste as a means of attempting to make a point.

I wonder if they've also banned jamming devices for the undercover officers who will be communicating by shoe phone? Just a thought.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Monday, July 14, 2008

McLaughlin Steps In It, Calls Obama an Oreo

Perhaps the question of the day for John McLaughlin could be "got milk?" The long time host of "The McLaughlin Group" is catching heat for his comments on last Sunday's edition in regards to Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama.
It's one of the signs that something has been going on for far too long. People start getting edgy, tense, and, using the word used by someone near and very dear, "punchy." This is what we are seeing out of Presidential race that has gone on for way too long in the United States. And the tension begins to show in everyone closely watching or participating in the races.

A prime example of this was found on Sunday's "The McLaughlin Group," when host John McLaughlin, a long time journalist and correspondent, referred to Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama as an "oreo" when discussing how Jesse Jackson must feel about Obama's reaping the benefits of the votes from the black community without having put in the work that Jackson is seen to have done through the years.

The veteran Washington journalist was discussing the recent comments from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was caught last week by an open microphone on Fox News saying the Illinois senator is "talking down to black people" as he campaigns for the White House. Those remarks were largely seen in reference to Obama's recent admonishment at a Chicago church of some black men who he said were not living up to their responsibilities as parents.

Referencing Jackson's comments, McLaughlin said Obama "fits the stereotype blacks once labeled as an Oreo — a black on the outside, a white on the inside."

"Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that…an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for?" McLaughlin asked his panelists.

The term "Oreo" is often viewed as a derogatory term toward some African-Americans who appear not to exhibit certain stereotypes of their race.

Heat of the moment freudian slip? True inner feelings coming out? Or is it, as Obama called a his recent stand on Jerusalem, a matter of "poor phrasing?" In any event, McLaughlin is certainly taking heat for his choice of words. Panelists from McLaughlin's show and other commentators have spoken out against McLaughlin's use of "oreo" in describing Obama, expressing their disappointment in the turn of phrase and the meaning behind it.

Race certainly has been an issue in this election cycle, and rightly so. It's been a very important thing to many members of the media and many politicians in the Democratic party that Obama become the first black President. His skyrocketing career from practically out of nowhere bespeaks of some sort of behind the scenes maneuvering to ensure that he is the one to take the place in history, should he be elected, to become the first black United States President. His race, especially his mixed race of being African and white, has been an issue of discussion in many quarters during his rock star rise to the top, and anyone who even mentions it is generally labeled as a racist, a label McLaughlin has seemingly hung upon his own neck of his own accord. Given the context in which the statement was made (watch the video archive), he may very well be innocent of such a labeling. It still doesn't detract from the fact that the term was used and used in such a manner as to be seen as a racial slur.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Bush Lifts Presidential Ban on Off-Shore Drilling, Congressional Ban Still in Place

There is an old saying, "Desperate times call for desperate measures." Given the state of the nation's economy and the exorbitant price of fuel, President Bush has removed the Presidential ban on offshore drilling, and calls for Congress to follow suite.
Recent polling data has shown a shift in the American desire to drill off our coastal shores. Soaring fuel prices over the past two years, despite Democratic promises to work to bring them down, have put a strain on the American economy and the wallet of the average American family. Rising fuel prices have driven up the cost of nearly everything, from food to services, and American's are demanding something be done to truly change the situation.

The introduction of bio-fuels in certain markets has proven unreliable as a current alternative and remedy to the fuel situation; even the blending of grain fuels into petroleum products have left consumers complaining of decreased fuel mileage and performance in their automobiles. The auto industry itself is suffering from a lack of sales, and a look in the vehicle section of the local classified ads in newspapers around the country show a significant increase in the number of SUV's, pick-up trucks, and larger cars being offered for sale at near give-away prices.

Today, President Bush took the first step in doing something from a governmental level to help take the stress off of consumers by signing an executive order rescinding the Presidential ban on off shore drilling along the United States coastal regions, and called for Congress to remove the Congressional ban, as well. (Full text of speech here)

"This is a difficult period for millions of American families," Bush said. "Every extra dollar they have to spend because of high gas prices is one dollar less they can use to put food on the table or send a child to school. And they are rightly angered by Congress' failure to enact common-sense solutions."

Bush said increasing access to offshore exploration of the Outer Continental Shelf is one of the most important steps the country can take. He laid blame on Democrats who he said have rejected "virtually every proposal" to expand domestic oil production.

"... Congress has restricted access to key parts of the OCS since the early 1980s," Bush said. "Experts believe that these restricted areas of the OCS could eventually produce nearly 10 years' worth of America's current annual oil production. And advances in technology have made it possible to conduct oil exploration in the OCS that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills."

Historically significant is the fact that the original Presidential ban on drilling was signed into being by the President's father during his term in office as President in 1990. The Congressional ban came around the same time period.

This is President Bush's second call for Congress to remove their ban, having made the first request in June.

Environmental groups and activists are already denouncing the executive order, with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) proclaiming that such a move will destroy the economy of the country's coastal region.

Frankly, I'm not sure how that would be the case, given that there would be a migration of oil workers to towns along the coast for access to transportation to and from work on ocean based oil rigs, a move that would bring commerce into those regions in the form of housing sales, goods and services being sold and rendered, and the addition of jobs in those fields to support the influx of new population into those regions.

It is by no means going to be a quick fix, if and when Congress does lift their ban on off-shore drilling, but such an action would clear the way for oil production domestically, and perhaps the reinvestment of refinery processes on American soil, thereby creating more jobs in that area, as well.

The next move is up to Congress, leaving the American people to wait and see if their Congressmen and Senators are paying attention to what the American public is demanding of them.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


And We're Back to Global COOLING Again...

To hear the media and any number of politicians and climatologists who have come on board with the concept, the world is facing a crisis because of the onset of global warming. Not so fast, say paleontologists, who are coming out to show otherwise.
Back in May I did a piece regarding the changing of weather and temperature patterns around the globe and the back and forth teeter-tottering that climatologists have been putting the world through since the 1970's, as well as other agenda driven science. Before that there was my article showing how 400 scientists around the world disagreed with the man-made global warming concept, and of course there is the report by Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, entitled 35 Inconvenient Truths, The Errors in Al Gore's Movie.

Needless to say, I'm a huge skeptic of the whole man-made global warming hysteria, and there is a reason for it. Other than my required science courses for my education degree in college (I chose geology, and there's a reason for that), I have always had a fascination and more than a passing layman's interest in natural science, geology, paleontology, and archeology. According to my geology professor, when I was considering switching majors to geology (a move I still regret not making, actually), most of his converts into geology and paleontology come from the history disciplines. Needless to say, I've more than just the passing knowledge of how research is done than just to listen to the news or read an article in a newspaper or magazine. There are procedures that are followed, and there is data that is collected, correlated, researched, so on and so forth.

Any respectable scientist will tell you that there is nothing that is ever conclusively proven, there are only hypotheses that become accepted as fact due to sufficient evidence supporting them. Despite the hysteria created by Al Gore, Hollywood, and the main stream media, there is more sound and verifiable evidence to support that we are NOT facing a crisis because of man-made global warming, and that overall, the planet is actually going back into a cooling pattern, as discussed by Dennis T. Avery, co-author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years, in an interview with Right Wing News.

Over the course of the interview, Avery answers questions and discusses the effects of solar radiation upon the Earth, how that geological records are obtained and studied, and what evidence is obtained from those records from the very planet itself, including taking samples from ice shelves. He also discusses in the interview how that, despite the claims of the alarmists, geological evidence shows that the current warming cycle that the planet is coming out of, which peaked somewhere in the 1940's, is much milder than other warming periods the Earth has gone through in the history of mankind, stating, "The...warming before our last ice age was much warmer than anything we've had since. We had a warming that peaked 9000 years ago, another warming that peaked 5000 years ago. Both were warmer than today. Probably the Roman warming and the medieval warming were both warmer than today -- and we've had 8 warmings of the earth since the last Ice Age."

According to Al Gore, who is heavily invested in has a great financial interest in the promotion of global warming and the subsequent "green" industry to counter it, "the debate is over," but according to scientists like Avery and Lord Monckton, it hasn't even "warmed up."

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Satyrical or Offensive? You Decide

The new issue of The New Yorker Magazine has a very interesting political cartoon on it's cover, and people are going nuts about it even though it's only been out for less than a day. The cartoon features Barack Obama in Muslim garb and his wife, Michelle, with an AK-47 slung across her back. Both the Obama and McCain camps have issued statements denouncing the cartoon and The New Yorker Magazine for publishing it, but what does it really say for political opinion in America in regards to candidate Obama?

Here is the picture:

The cartoonist has issued a statement in which he said, "Retrospect? Outcry?" The magazine just came out ten minutes ago, at least give me a few days to decide whether to regret it or not..."

What do you say, America?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Obama Creates New Dance Step, the Jerusalem Two-Step

Jerusalem is and has been a hot spot of controversy and contention between Israel and the Arabic nations through the Palestinians for several years. Each side claims it, neither has been willing to back down, and Obama has stepped in it. Literally.
How many times can a Presidential candidate in the United States change his position on an issue? No one knows, yet, because Barack Obama is still in the running for the Presidency, and today has issued yet another reversal of position on a significant issue.

In early June, speaking before the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee, Obama stated that it was his belief that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city, and the capital of Israel:

Egypt must cut-off the smuggling of weapons in the Gaza. And Israel can also advance the cause of peace by taking appropriate steps consistent with it security to ease the freedom of movement for Palestinians and improve economic conditions in the West Bank and to refrain from building new settlements as it’s agreed to do with the Bush Administration at Annapolis. Now let me be clear; Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable; the Palestinians need a State--the Palestinians need a State that is contiguous and cohesive and that allows them to prosper, but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish State with secure, recognized, defensible borders. And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.

This is an utterly fantastic and strong statement to be making in front of a group comprised of a large Jewish representation. Exactly the right thing to say to them in order to garner their trust and their favors, as well as catching a few votes for the General election cycle.

And yet it brings to mind and to bearing another Obama expression that I use when he says something and then tries to backpedal. "Just words, Senator?"

In the following month since the speech, the Arab world has expressed their absolute shock and dismay at Obama's speech before the AIPAC, which was broadcast live over several Middle Eastern news channels.

Palestinian and Arab hopes were dashed by a speech that U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama gave to a pro-Israeli lobby, in which he promised his full support to Israel and went further by adopting Israeli policy that sees Jerusalem as the "undivided capital" of the Jewish state.

After having discreetly vouched for Obama since the party race to the White House began last year, his speech – just hours after he won his party's backing on Wednesday – has prompted second thoughts about what changes the African-American could bring to Washington's Middle East foreign policy.

Millions of Arabs were able to watch the address to the powerful American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which was aired live on some Arab television networks, serving as a "rude awakening" that the United States, regardless of its leadership, would continue to favor Israel at the expense of Palestinian and Arab rights.

In other words, it's not enough that Obama has thrown American Muslims under the bus, he's also tossed the Palestinians and Arabs there along with them, and now he's throwing bricks at them from the platform of Jerusalem. Muslims living in Jerusalem, who had been closely following the Obama campaign and were holding out hope that he truly was the candidate of change, have changed their minds as well, with one shop keeper in eastern Jerusalem, Ayman abu Syrieh, stating, "We were looking at him differently, from Bush and the others. We thought he would bring real peace to the Middle East. I have to be honest with you, I am shocked now."

Not so fast with the dismay, Syrieh, because Barack Obama, the candidate of "change," has exhibited once again his definition of the meaning of the word "change" by changing his position on the subject of Jerusalem, stating that in his speech he used "poor phrasing."

"You know, the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech. And we immediately tried to correct the interpretation that was given," he said in an interview aired on Sunday on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria -- GPS."

"The point we were simply making was, is that we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war, that it is possible for us to create a Jerusalem that is cohesive and coherent," Obama said.

Just words?

Just words that were poorly phrased?

Not if one returns to the text of the speech and reads them, then watches footage of the speech at the time it was given, in which he proclaims himself as a "true friend of Israel," and pledging the unbreakable bond between the U.S. and Israel. Poorly phrased? His entire speech was a proclamation of his understanding and appreciation of Zionism, acknowledging the centuries that Israel spent without a homeland and the importance of American support of the security of Israel as a nation.

Just words?

Apparently Obama's concept of "change" applies to his position on any given issue whenever it is politically expedient to do so.

"Change you can believe in." You can believe there will be a change from Barack Obama whenever the political winds shift, evidently.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Friday, July 11, 2008

Obama - Mission: Implausible

Barack Obama just might need the help of Tom Cruises "Ethan Hunt" character to pull of one of his biggest campaign promises. Some things sound great when discussed, but the actuality of the situation may not always make things come off like promised.
Members of the United States armed forces face a unique situation that other American citizens generally are unaware of. While members of the armed forces can participate in the electoral process of the nation's business like anyone else, they are not as free to express individual political opinion as civilians, especially in regards to candidates who will potentially become their commander-in-chief. That doesn't mean, however, that they can't express their opinions on the feasibility of ending a mission before it's completion, or giving their analysis of the consequences of premature termination.

One of the key elements that put Barack Obama ahead of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race for the party nomination was the issue of bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq. Senator Clinton, in a reasonable and sensible approach, maintained that the war in Iraq should be ended as quickly as possible, but maintained that she would reserve judgement on the return of combat and support forces for after being briefed, as President, by top military officials on the effects and eventualities that a sudden exodus of forces from Iraq would bring.

Senator Obama, on the other hand, has maintained that he will begin bringing troops home, withdrawing all combat troops, two brigades per month, over the first sixteen months of his presidency. Such a withdrawal, according to many military personnel, could have dire and long term effects in Iraq, and for the rest of the world as well.

Military personnel in Iraq are following the presidential race closely, especially when it comes to Iraq.

The soldiers and commanders we spoke to will not engage in political conversation or talk about any particular candidate, but they had some strong opinions about the military mission which they are trying to accomplish, and the dramatic security gains they have made in the past few months.

We spent a day with Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond in Sadr City. He is the commander of the 4th Infantry Division, which is responsible for Baghdad. Hammond will likely be one of the commanders who briefs Barack Obama when he visits Iraq.

"We still have a ways to go. Number one, we're working on security and it's very encouraging, that's true, but what we're really trying to achieve here is sustainable security on Iraqi terms. So, I think my first response to that would be let's look at the conditions.

"Instead of any time-based approach to any decision for withdrawal, it's got to be conditions-based, with the starting point being an intelligence analysis of what might be here today, and what might lie ahead in the future. I still think we still have work that remains to be done before I can really answer that question," Hammond said when asked how he would feel about an order to start drawing down two combat brigades a month.

Asked if he considered it dangerous to pull out if the withdrawal is not based on "conditions," Hammond said, "It's very dangerous. I'll speak for the coalition forces, men and women of character and moral courage; we have a mission, and it's not until the mission is done that I can look my leader in the eye and say, 'Sir, Ma'am, mission accomplished,' and I think it is dangerous to leave anything a little early."

This doesn't even begin to touch on the logistical considerations for moving that many troops, and that much equipment, in that short of a time frame, without creating a situation that affects the military budget and capacity to wage an effective combat operation if redeployed elsewhere because of having to abandon equipment in country in order to meet a political time line.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has this take on it:

This is the kind of information that policy makers usually get before formulating policy. We can rotate troops out of Iraq on the kind of timetable Obama suggests, but we’d have to leave all of our heavy equipment in Iraq. Unless Obama plans some kind of nationwide garage sale, that would be a rather large loss for the American military in materiel as well as making our exit look more like Dunkirk.

Obviously, Obama didn’t have any awareness of logistics when he made this proposal — and that’s the point. His lack of experience, combined with a hubris that he has consistently shown on the campaign trail, makes clear that he is in way over his head at this point of his career. He has no sense of military policy at all, and got the biggest call of the war — the surge — completely wrong. Yet he insists that he’s ready to lead this nation’s military during a time of war as Commander in Chief?

Realistically, it's not plausible. Obama himself has even begun to waffle on the issue verbally, but maintains, on his official website, that this is still one of his key campaign promises that he will fulfill upon taking the office of the President, if he is elected to such.

Just words?

Words mean things, and if one is going to make such a straight forward and committed position as Obama has made, one should be prepared, in advance, to be able to achieve such tasks as one promises to deliver. Obama, in true political fashion and demonstrating a marked lack of experience and understanding of the deployment of military forces, has committed himself to a politically suicidal position, should he gain the office of President. On the one hand, if he is elected and is unable to deliver on his promise to bring the troops home from Iraq within the first sixteen months of his administration, he has delivered, upon the proverbial silver platter, ammunition for a Republican opponent (as well as potential Democratic opponents) for the 2012 election cycle. On the other hand, should he manage to move 2 full brigades of troops back to the states per month, forcing a wholesale abandonment of equipment in country in Iraq (which undoubtedly will fall into the hands of those whom we would prefer not to have said equipment, provided the military doesn't render it unusable prior to departure), our military will face a state of unpreparedness unseen since the days of the Carter administration.

Should Obama become President, his lack of experience and understanding of the military, and his lack of willingness to listen to expert advice, has caused Obama to create for himself, within the less than a year and a half of taking office, the ultimate political death; he has backed himself into a no-win situation.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Thursday, July 10, 2008

If a cow farts in a plastic bag, does a global warming advocate inhale it?

There is an ancient Chinese curse that says, "May you live in interesting times." Sometimes, it seems, the world must surely be damned, for these are definitely interesting times.
I truly wonder where PETA is on this?

Some time back, over the course of the past few years, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore referred to methane gas from cattle flatulence as being a contributing factor to global warming. Now there is a study being undertaken to determine how diet affects the gas a cow produces in the digestive process.

Brace yourselves (and that isn't meant as redneck foreplay. This time): there are backpacks that have been made for Argentinian cattle with devices being used to capture their farts and burps so that researchers can measure the amounts of methane and carbon dioxide produced when the cattle eat certain feeds.

Experts said the slow digestive system of cows makes them a key producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide.

In a bid to understand the impact of the wind produced by cows on global warming, scientists collected gas from their stomachs in plastic tanks attached to their backs.

The Argentine researchers discovered methane from cows accounts for more than 30 per cent of the country's total greenhouse emissions.

Right. Cow farts, gas goes into plastic container on the backpack, and then it's off for research and study. A study on cow farts?

Bill Clinton said he didn't inhale, during his campaign for the Presidency years ago. An astonishing number of people actually believed that, just like they believed Al Gore when he said "the debate is over" on the subject of global warming.

Gore didn't ask for the opinion of Lord Monckton.

And looking at this contraption strapped to the back of that poor cow, somebody obviously must have inhaled, at some point, and figured out a new way to inhale a lot more...

Perhaps in a related study research can be done on the gas of college guys after ingesting beer and pickled eggs?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Bush Trimming Deemed to be Discriminatory against Gays

It's a matter of gay rights activists versus the city council in Bristol, UK. The city wants to clear undergrowth from an area called the Downs, to "encourage rare wildlife" into the area, a move that local gays say is discrimination against them.
Nature lovers of more than one kind are heating up over the issue of the Downs, which has become a popular social spot for local gays, who claim that the city's plans to clear the area of undergrowth in an effort to cut down on the accessibility of the area as being a "hot spot" for gay lovers to meet. Their claim in effect, is that bush trimming is discrimination against the local gay community.

Bristol City Council wants to prune bushes and remove cover from an area known as the Downs to improve the landscape and encourage rare wildlife.

But its own gay rights group has opposed the move, claiming that cutting back the bushes was "discriminating" to homosexual men who used the area for late night outdoor sex known as dogging.

Work on the beauty spot has been temporarily delayed while talks with gay rights groups take place to try and break the deadlock.

The Downs is located along the top of the Avon Gorge, in the Clifton suburb of Bristol, and is the home to various species of wildlife and plant life. Over the past twenty years, the area has become overgrown with thick brush that covers an area along Circular Road, and has become a hot spot for gay men and couples seeking an outdoor area for sex.

The area hit the headlines within the last year after four firemen were fined for shining lights into the brush on couples engaged in sexual activities.

Personally, I'm not sure that the city council's reasoning for attracting wildlife will stand up to close scrutiny. Wildlife tend to flourish in areas undisturbed by human clearing, and it's quite possible that if one looked closely, abundant nocturnal wildlife could be found, such as certain varieties of lizards and quite possibly, though I must admit I'm not familiar with the local fauna, the occasional beaver, perhaps seeking to partake of the local wood. I'm sure that there is probably an abundance of squirrels and a great many birds, likely several Great Tits flashing about from tree to tree, which I'm sure include, possibly white oak, Dutch elm, and perhaps pussy willows.

A few lines from Bob Seger's Horizontal Bop come to mind:

If we cant find a house
Then someone better find a field
Grass is good as carpet
Anyplace is fine
Its time to get to rockin
Babe its time to make it shine

It's sure to be an interesting debate as it unfolds, but perhaps, in retrospect, the city council might have taken a more honest direction with their announcement to clean out the area, simply by saying that they wished to remove the undergrowth to discourage illicit behavior outdoors. But it remains to be seen if neatly trimmed bush will indeed be a discouragement, or will only make for a smoother access to an area that has already become a hot spot.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man
(with tongue firmly planted in cheek)


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kennedy Receives Standing Ovation on Senate Floor

Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts made his return today to the Senate. Under normal circumstances, not a big deal for a long term Senator to return to work, but for Ted Kennedy, today was important, as being there meant not breaking his word.
It's been a rough couple of months for Ted Kennedy. Recently diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his brain and having undergone surgery and radiation and chemical treatment for it, Kennedy's health has not been the best over the course of the summer. Cancer patients can tell you, the treatment saps your energy and your strength, leaving you feeling weak and tired more easily than before the illness.

But Ted Kennedy has a tenacity about him, that, love him or hate him for his political views, has to be admired. It is this tenacity and integrity that prompted the senior Senator from Massachusetts, who is chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and is an influential Democrat on health care issues to, despite the advice and urgings of friends and family, return to the Senate floor today in order to be present for a vote on a Medicare bill that he had pledged his support for. Upon casting his vote the Senate chambers, he received a standing ovation from the assemblage.

Today, the Senate chamber erupted into loud cheers when Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) returned to cast his vote on long-stalled Medicare legislation. Senators gave Kennedy, who has been battling a brain tumor, a long standing ovation. As he registered his vote, Kennedy said in a loud voice, “Aye,” and made a thumbs-up gesture.

In a statement today, Kennedy explained his return:

I return to the Senate today to keep a promise to our senior citizens and that’s to protect Medicare.

Win, lose or draw, I wanted to be here. I wasn’t going to take the chance that my vote could make the difference.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Kennedy's record. His controversies, both personal and public, leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion, for some of the issues he tackles and makes a stand for. However, one does not necessarily have to be a student of the teachings of Sun Tzu to realize respectability in one's opponents. Ted Kennedy has definitely earned that respect from me today.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Press 1 for English - you do know what a 1 looks like, right?

In a gathering at Powder Springs, Georgia, this week, Barack Obama responded to a question in the audience regarding the number of high school drop outs and his (present) position on bilingualism.
The "English-first" debate seems to be far from over. While out of the headlines in recent months, it's still a topic of debate for those who believe that the U.S. should pass legislation declaring English as the national language to those who don't see the need for a national language at all. It's interesting to note that the United States is one of the few nations, if not the only nation, that does not have an official national language.

Many Europeans, as Obama points out in his reply to a question regarding bi-lingual education, speak more than one language. A great number of Europeans are multi-linguistic. Not so for the majority of Americans, who speak only English, or a great number of Mexican illegals who speak only Spanish. It is because of the catering of a large number of businesses to the non-English speaking Hispanic population that has created such an uproar throughout the nation, with many Americans growing increasingly frustrated with business machines and automated telephone systems with a "Press 1 for English" menu at the beginning of the menu features.

You know, I don't understand when people are going around worrying about, "We need to have English- only." They want to pass a law, "We want English-only."

Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English -- they'll learn English -- you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.

You know, it's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say [is], "Merci beaucoup." Right?

You know, no, I'm serious about this. We should understand that our young people, if you have a foreign language, that is a powerful tool to get ajob. You are so much more employable. You can be part of international business. So we should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age, because children will actually learn a foreign language easier when they're 5, or 6, or 7 than when they're 46, like me.

Admittedly, Obama has a point. Our education system should be geared, in my opinion, to ensuring that there is a variety of secondary and tertiary language curriculum available as an option for students who wish to pursue a more international means of communicating. And while I personally see Obama as an elitist over other issues, and perhaps even a bit so in his approach and reasoning behind his desire to see American children learning foreign language skills, it isn't for the reasons stated by Andrew Leonard at Salon:

There's nothing particularly exceptional about Obama's position, unless you are an English-only partisan cowering in fear of your cultural identity being swamped by funny-looking people from strange lands. Or one of the similarly insecure patriots who believe any criticism of the U.S. is a sign of "blame-America-first" treachery. And I suppose the whole comment about "going to Europe" opens Obama up to more charges of elitism, and disconnection from the lives of those who, right now, can't afford to even think about going to Europe.

My problem with Obama's views lies in other areas, and they are all directly related to the way that we conduct public education today, and for those who think this is going to be a partisan take on public education from a conservative standpoint, think again. What I'm going to say is going to be broad sweeping and will cover what I see wrong with public education be it under the administrations of the Democrats or the Republicans, and I will say up front I was never and still am not a supporter of President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" faux pas.

America's public education system today is the victim of two things: corporate textbook and testing and political correctness. I'm not going to dive into the statistical data supporting this, as this is an opinion piece, but it is out there to support what I'm saying. Those of you with children in school know what I'm talking about. Students are being taught a curriculum that is designed to teach them what they need to know in order to pass standardized tests that are required by the state for them to advance from one grade level to the next. They are spoon fed this information to ensure that it stays in their memories long enough in order for them to take their tests and move on to learning the material that will be required for them to pass the next level of testing, an endless cycle of spoon feeding and testing that begins at the kindergarten level and extends on through college.

Gone are the days of children learning at a young age the art of critical thinking. Indeed, it is a rare thing today to find students in whom this now rare trait continues to exist, generally amongst the intellectual rebels classified by school psychologists as "the classic underachiever (I fell into that category myself)."

Despite Senator Obama's contention that our problem with the education system is that we aren't geared to bi-lingual education, a much more deep rooted problem exists: our education system isn't geared to education.

And requiring, by law, that students who don't belong in a classroom and have no desire or interest in staying there, simply because it keeps funding coming into the school system for the body count on a daily basis, doesn't help matters in the least. It creates, often, a classroom setting where those who can and wish to learn can not because of the interference of those who would be better served in some sort of vocational program and not being forced to drag down others simply for the sake of "no child left behind."

Senator Obama's approach doesn't work, and it doesn't make sense, when the system itself can not do the job that it is supposed to do in the first place. The first focus needs to be ensuring that little Johnny and Peggy Sue can comprehend what they are reading and writing in the first place, as well as being able to come up with an answer of "10" when adding 8 + 2. Instead, they're being taught such concepts as why that it's not a bad thing for Heather to have two mommies, when such decisions and morality is the responsibility of the parent to instill, not public education.

This is the thinking of Senator Obama's "nanny state" mindset. "Government knows better." Obviously, it doesn't, unless the goal of government is to create generation after generation of a population that can be controlled and programmed on a whim, and the way to achieve this is the breakdown of true education of the youth of the nation.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Call in the roughnecks, the majority of Americans want off-shore drilling

For years, our nation has had a noticeable lack of off shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, an area where vast stores of crude are both known and believed to be located. What is the United States to do now, though, if the Gulf is being pumped by others?
If you want to make an environmentalist extremist sweat drops of blood (or maybe crude) mention two topics, ANWR or offshore drilling. For years, the environmentalist movement has kept big oil from drilling in the oil rich region that feeds from the foot of the Mississippi River, arguing that drilling has such a huge negative impact on the environment that it isn't feasible to drill under the floor of the ocean to recover the "black gold" that we all rely upon for heating and energy. And for years, the American public has nodded their collective head, yeah-yeahing the environmentalist lobby, relying on an ample supply of relatively inexpensive fuel supply from the Middle East, so the nation didn't really NEED the Arctic or Gulf Oil.

How quickly a nation forgets the fuel lines from the Carter administration.

The American people have found themselves in a pinch, having allowed governmental agencies to put such heavy restrictions on the oil industry that there have been no new refineries built in the United States in literally decades, existing refineries are operating far below capacity because investment in new equipment to replace old has been lacking, due to funds being allocated for overseas projects, and a heavy reliance on OPEC for a large percentage of our oil.

Through in a little sales process called "speculating," and the American people are facing the highest fuel and oil prices on record. And they're getting very tired of being over a barrel, in a very literal sense.

And they're starting to look at ANWR and at the Gulf of Mexico with the activity going on in international waters by other countries and asking, "Why aren't we getting in on this ourselves?" Polling data from a mid-May Gallup poll shows that 57% American voters are ready to start drilling for oil again on our own soil, both in the Gulf of Mexico and in the frozen northern wastelands of Alaska. This information has put Congress in a bit of a tizzy.

House Democrats are in a bind on the focal point of their energy plan.

Worried that a floor vote on any energy-related measure would trigger a Republican-forced vote on domestic drilling, the leadership has scrubbed the floor schedule of the energy legislation that it vowed to tackle after the Fourth of July recess.

Just before leaving for their districts, a number of House Democrats called a press conference to declare victory on a number of energy bills — including overwhelming passage of a bill to rein in excessive oil market speculation.

Democrats declared victory on a bill they failed to pass on the suspension calendar — their “use it or lose it bill” to force energy companies to either start drilling on their federally leased land or give it back — saying they had put 176 Republicans on record as siding with the oil companies over consumers.

And they vowed that the bill, the centerpiece of their energy message, would be back.

So far, there are no energy related bills slated for discussion in the first week Congress has reconvened following the Independence Day holiday weekend, leading the Republicans to cry "foul," accusing the Democrats of backtracking on their word after realizing that the Republicans could shoot down any marketing changes with legislation of their own calling for new and expanded drilling. Democrats counter that they are simply discussing their options and looking to bring forward the best plan to the table first before making an official presentation out of committee.

At this point, Democratic plans lean toward reforming how oil is sold, putting an end to the practice of speculating, or at the very least putting limitations on how speculating is done in an effort to keep prices from skyrocketing as they have done over the last year. Republican plans call for drilling that would begin immediately, with the intended results of adding more available crude and refined oil products into the market; a larger supply driving prices back down to reasonable figures. The problem here lies in the age of existing drilling and refinery equipment and the urgent need for more and newer equipment in order to significantly increase production of domestic oil, as well as the number of new wells that would need to be drilled to operate along with standing wells that are operating with older pumps, and would include, despite the outcry of the environmentalist left, actually drilling for oil where it can be found such as the Gulf of Mexico and ANWR.

Perhaps, looking objectively outside the box for a moment, some bright soul in Congress (don't hold your collective breath looking for that individual to appear) can come up with a plan that would incorporate both ideas into one piece of legislation that actually does something that benefits the American public for a change, rather than benefiting either one party or the other in the race to make tally marks on who's winning more pieces of useless legislation coming through the government.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Monday, July 7, 2008

Killing your child in the name of "honor"

It seems to be a growing trend outside of the Middle East that has crossed over into Western culture with the migration of Islam. If your children disgrace you, kill them.
There is a line where culture and rule of law have to come to an agreement. The line exist because it has been determined that there are things that are not going to be permitted, regardless of the culture one has come from. In the United States, there are no laws that allow for family members to kill family members over matters of "honor," and arranged marriages are something that generally went by the wayside long ago. And yet we are seeing an incident involving both of these situations coming out of Georgia today as a Pakistani man, Chaudhry Rashid, has allegedly killed his daughter, Sandeela Kanwal, after she expressed the desire to be released from an arranged marriage to a man, who lives in Chicago, that she has not seen in months.

According to police, there was "friction between father and victim" in the weeks leading up to the killing. Rashid had not spoken to his daughter in more than two months.

Police said Rashid was so angered that his daughter planned to divorce her husband that he killed her after a heated argument at the family's home, FOX News affiliate MyFoxAtlanta reported.

Police who arrived at the scene said they found Rashid's two sons at the end of the driveway and their father sitting behind a car smoking a cigarette. Officers said that Rashid appeared "distraught and possibly mournful" and told police "my daughter is dead" when they arrived.

After entering the home, Kanwal's body was discovered in the doorway of a bedroom, cold to the touch, officials said.

All indications are that the girl was strangled to death, according to ligature markings on her throat and neck.

So many random thoughts run through the mind in these instances.

So many questions.

There are many times when parents are displeased or disappointed by the desires or actions of their children; there are many times when the inverse is true, as well, and children are disappointed by their parents. There is no excuse, however, in the case of divorce, or the expressed desire for a divorce, that justifies the murder of one's child for seeking to remove themselves from a situation that they find untenable.

Honor killings are carried out for a number of reasons. From refusal or trying to leave an arranged marriage to even finding ones self (female) the victim of a sexual assault, the results wind up being the same; a woman is killed at the hands of a man or men for bringing about "dishonor."

I'm curious how someone who has been the victim of a sexual assault is the one doing the dishonoring? That line of thinking seems to be inverted, in my way of thinking. And it would seem that the law is on my side in this matter.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." This is another one of those things in which a mountain is made of a mole hill in it's meaning. There is no "seperation of church and state" implied here other than that "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free expression thereof."

Law's prohibiting murder are not a prohibition of "the free expression thereof."

Western culture is at a crossroads, and many do not seem to realize the very nature of the situation at hand as it plays out daily in towns and communities across the area once referred to as Western Christendom. The foundations of nations and their cultures are being challenged by an influx of a mind-set that has not, in some instances, left the Middle Ages and progressed into modern time. One can not refer to ones self as being "progressive" in ones thinking when one is allowing a mindset that victimizes the victim.

The "honor killings" are a misnomer. There is no honor, nor is there valor, in the murder of one's child for seeking to leave a marriage.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Obama still in uphill battle against Clinton supporters

Senator Hillary Clinton may have suspended her campaign for the Presidency, but that doesn't mean that her supporters have embraced the presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama. Despite his top spot, he's still battling to gain their support for him.
In a move being called dissent by some, top Hillary campaign supporters and funders have basically shut down in transferring their support to Barack Obama, ensuring that their displeasure with the treatment of Clinton by Obama, the Party, and the media, are being heard in the most effective way possible; financially.

Some have gone so far as to create anti-Obama websites and grass roots organizations urging Hillary supporters to back Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain. Sources close to this rebellion by the top tier of donators say that it involves around 300 Clinton "Hillraisers" who have, individually, raised at least $100,000 each for the Clinton campaign.

The Clinton holdouts are typically most angry about what they say was the media's sexist treatment of Sen. Clinton during the campaign. And though few, if any, blame Sen. Obama directly, they fault the Illinois senator and other party leaders for what they say was failing to do enough to stop it.

Susie Tompkins Buell, a Hillraiser from San Francisco, said, "What really hurt women the most was to look back and see all this gender bias." Ms. Buell said she hasn't decided whether to vote for Sen. Obama and plans to skip the August Democratic convention.

The impact of such efforts could extend beyond the hurt feelings that typically emanate from losing campaigns. Sen. Obama has built a formidable fund-raising machine that has scooped up money from donors large and small. But his general-election bid could suffer if he fails to mobilize a group that raised tens of millions of dollars for Sen. Clinton.

I don't think the Democrats, currently under the leadership of "Screaming Howard" Dean, have been this fractured since the election of 1860. I think we can all take a look back and see how well that turned out for everyone. While I'm not willing to go so far as to predict a Civil War in my writings, one can't help but wonder, in noticing the heavy splt on the Democratic side of the aisle, what the plan is that will bring ultimate unity back in the Democatic party come convention time.

After all, Obama IS supposed to be the "Unity" candidate...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Denver Democratic National Convention: A Logistical Nightmare in the Making

How do you take a scheduled event and turn it into a fiasco before it even gets started? Perhaps the Democratic Party should write a "How-To" book on convention planning so that others can learn what NOT to do to attract donations and vendors.
The clock is ticking on the Democrats in bringing together final arrangements for the national convention in Denver. There are less than two months left for them to finalize planning and coordinate things, and yet they are facing dire straits in their efforts, despite their best intentions to the contrary.

The road to hell truly does seem to be paved with good intentions.

Despite the successful fund raising by their presumptive nominee, Barack Obama, the DNC is having problems when it comes to financing their upcoming convention. One can't help but notice the parallels between money mismanagement for the convention and for the nation. The problems the Democrats are facing in bringing the convention together range in size from very large (they are $6 million OVER budget for their renovation of the interior of the Denver Pepsi Center) to the ridiculously simple, such as attracting caterers for the Convention, due to budget problems and some very interesting food requirements that are sending prospective caterers walking away saying, in effect, "thanks for considering us, but hell no."

The convention is being organized by the Democratic National Committee, which is run by Howard Dean, with his chief of staff, the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, leading the effort. Only in the last month has the Obama campaign been able to take over management of the convention planning with the candidate claiming the nomination, and his aides are increasingly frustrated, as the event nears, at organizers who they believe spent too freely, planned too slowly and underestimated actual costs.

The Obama campaign has dispatched 10 people to Denver to help “get a handle on the budget and make hard decisions” about what has to be done and how to move forward, said Bill Burton, a campaign spokesman.

With Democrats seeking to use the convention to move past the bitterness of their bruising primary fight, the gathering in Denver Aug. 25-28 is likely to draw intense interest as the Obama forces try to show a once-divided party rallying around the nominee. And their convention comes a week before the Minneapolis gathering of the Republicans, whose convention efforts have been much smoother.

The list of financial missteps in planning the convention under the leadership of "Screaming" Howard Dean include the rental of a number of top-end office spaces in Denver, rather than choosing less expensive spacing, and then determining that only half the space that was rented was actually needed, at a cost of $100,000 a month, and filling those offices with rented furniture and office equipment at a cost of $50,000 per month. On top of that, campaign organizers informed their potential donors that donations would not be tax deductible, causing many would-be donors to close their wallets and check books, instead of ensuring that the tax-deductible status was pending and donors would be informed when they could claim the deductions on their taxes.

The next in a long series of mis-steps is the convention's plan to be "green," a program that only three states have signed on to in expected participation. There is still controversy over how to handle protesters outside the Pepsi Center during the convention, with plans currently to locate them possibly next to the media tent (probably not the best strategic move, giving the media full and open access to all protestations).

Perhaps one of the more significant and telling of the list of faux pas made by the DNC in planning events is in regards to how to feed the mass influx of people planning to attend the convention. Given the complex and stringent requirements for the convention in regards to the food to be served, one has to wonder if planners weren't intending to "cater" to Nancy Pelosi.

And then there is the food: A 28-page contract requested by Denver organizers that caterers provide food in “at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple and white.” Garnishes could not be counted toward the colors. No fried foods would be allowed. Organic and locally grown foods were mandated, and each plate had to be 50 percent fruits and vegetables. As a result, caterers are shying away.

Despite all of this (and more), Denver DNC Committe spokeswoman Natalie Wyeth claims that the planning for the convention “is on track and we are confident that we are where we are supposed to be at this point in the game. We are exactly where we intended to be at.” The party intended to be $11 million short of the projected $40.6 million needed, a figure which does not include over-budget costs, at this point? And with no food vendors slated and under contract at this point? It would appear, given the sliding of Obama's support within the Democratic party and his string of flip-flops in recent weeks, a poorly planned and thrown together at the last minute with what's left available convention is exactly what the Democrat's do not need if they expect to gain steam for candidate Obama.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Friday, July 4, 2008

Neo-con Obama?

The left is going crazy, and they're going crazy because their guy, suddenly, doesn't seem to be "their guy" any more. Given his recent changes of position on issues, Obama is coming across as a died in the wool Neo-con convert than a liberal.
Barack Obama has his base in an uproar. With his recent reversals on such key issues as FISA, campaign contributions, and the Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment, many on the left are, seemingly, suffering from the effects of political whiplash as they watch their candidate abandon them on the issues that the deem to be important. The most recent issue change, the war in Iraq and the withdrawal of U.S. forces, is sending the left into a near frenzy as they try to figure out what, exactly, is going on with Obama.

There is a very simple answer, and it's one that Hillary Clinton understood and tried to make work earlier than Obama; liberals don't bring in the numbers of voters that moderates do. And now Barack Obama, showing himself to be the politician rather than the statesman, has decided to give his image a makeover by attempting to come across as more appealing to a more moderate voting group.

We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the general election. But Mr. Obama’s shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games.

There are still vital differences between Mr. Obama and Senator John McCain on issues like the war in Iraq, taxes, health care and Supreme Court nominations. We don’t want any “redefining” on these big questions. This country needs change it can believe in.

Despite evidence that the die-hards still realize the true nature of Obama, as the Marxist section of Obama's website continues to show, other left leaning supporters are not so sure. One observer says that the only question that would be raised where Obama to announce Dick Cheney as his running mate would be that of "what took you so long?" Left wing outlets have been up in arms about the seeming changes of stance, most notably Ariana Huffington (a usual), but Republicans are a bit more jaundiced of their view of the changes of the candidate of change.

Conservatives, meanwhile, led by John McCain's Republican campaign, say that the presumptive Democratic nominee's pivot shows that, for all his talk of offering a new kind of politics, he is really just another cynical politician who will say anything to get elected.

I suspect that all this worries Mr Obama not at all. The louder the Left complains, the deeper the satisfaction at Obama headquarters.

Can you remember a time in, say the past 100 years, when the American people have rejected a presidential candidate because they thought that he was insufficiently left-wing? As for conservatives, they should be cheering Mr Obama, not complaining.

Political observers should have expected this sort of softening on the issues of the hard left by Obama. Between now and November, Obama has to make himself as attractive to moderate candidates as possible without alienating his left wing base in the process. It's a tricky dance, and if the dance continues as it has this week, the left can begin to look for steel toed dance shoes. Their partner is going to continue to step on their toes on the dance floor.

The attempt at beginning a swooning of moderate voters has come across as too much, too fast, all at the same time, and with the sincerity of a porcupine attempting to court a balloon. If Obama isn't careful, the balloon is going to pop.

Perhaps it isn't rock star appeal, but rather a fatal charm behind a whiplash smile?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Thursday, July 3, 2008

More Obama changes, but don't CALL them changes...

It's an interesting thing to listen to a politician over time and keep a running track record of what they say on certain issues and how that position changes dependent upon their audience. In the case of Barack Obama, a full encyclopedic is forming.
All one has to do is to look on Barack Obama's campaign website to see what his plans are for our troops in Iraq. It was this stance that led to the defeat of Hillary Clinton and played a great part in his skyrocketing into position as the Democratic party front runner. The Obama plan calls for the return of our troops from Iraq within 16 months of his taking office as President.

Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

That statement is in black and white on his website as his promise that it will happen if he is elected President of the United States of America.

And in reading Obama's website, and listening to him speak, the American people must ask themselves once again, "Can Obama be trusted at his word? And if so, which word is that, exactly?" Especially in light of his latest comments regarding the war made today in Fargo, North Dakota.

“I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed,” he said. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

Um, no, that is NOT what Obama has always said, as is shown by looking directly at his own website at the earlier quotation, which can be found under the heading of "Judgement You Can Trust."

Judgement you can trust.

Right...and the moon is made of green cheese, isn't it?

This can be added to a growing list of changes in position from Obama, including his changing position on the FISA issue as the possibility of a bribe lurks hidden under the surface, sort of, a little, okay pretty much in plain view for anyone who is looking at the issue beyond his other gaffes and distractions.

But according to Obama, they aren't changes at all.

There appears to be no issue that Barack Obama is not willing to reverse himself on for the sake of political expedience,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “Obama’s Iraq problem undermines the central premise of his candidacy and shows him to be a typical politician.”

You know, somewhere the has GOT to be a parody of a David Bowie song about this sort of thing...

UPDATE: John McCain welcomes Obama to "his position," while RNC members call Obama's Iraq plans a "guessing game." Actually, I think both are correct...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man who isn't likely to be changing, any time soon...


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

9 out of 10 Marxists Agree, Obama Beats the Other Brands...

It's almost as if the flood gates have opened since the end of the Clinton-Obama fight for the Democratic top spot for the party. Flood gates that seem to be bringing one negative thing after another on a daily basis for Obama.
There is an old Chinese curse that goes, "may you live in interesting times." I don't know, maybe it's just because I see things from having lived my life as a political independent for so many years, but I've gotta say, I'm absolutely not amazed by this news, and if anyone is, they're either lying to themselves or in a great state of denial, OR completely ignorant of anything other than what they have been spoon fed by the dinosaur media.

It's an interesting thing in today's world. Information is literally at one's fingertips. All you have to do is sit down at a computer and go online and you can find pretty much anything you want to find out about anything. It's also another way of people networking with each other to discuss things of common interest, common causes, common beliefs, so forth and so on.

And on Barack Obama's official website, like minded Marxists, communists, and socialists are doing just that.

One popular community group on the Illinois senator's official MyObama website calls itself "Marxists/Socialists/Communists for Obama."

"This group is for self-proclaimed Marxists/Communists/Socialists for the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency. By no means is he a true Marxist, but under Karl Marx's writings we are to support the party with the best interests of the mobilization of the proletariat," states the groups charter.

"We support Barack Obama because he knows what is best for the people!" exclaims the group's online creed.

And on Obama's site, the declared Marxist, communist and socialist bloggers rant against such varied targets as Republicans, capitalism and the Fox News Channel. According to author profiles, the bloggers range from registered voters to underage high school students who state they are looking to foment revolt.

Ah yes, isn't that just what we want from a Presidential candidate? An inspiration for a Marxist revolution, as called for in another posting entitled "The Nature of the Proletariat." There are many such entries to be found along the same vein, all speaking of "The Revolution."

Just words?

There seems to be a drawing of this sort of commentary from other groups, as well, on Obama's site, with groups such as Atheists for Obama, Jedi Knights for Obama, Muslims for Obama, and even one mysterious sounding group called "The Secret" Believers for Obama.

I have a feeling that the "secret" that they're referring to has nothing to do with an antiperspirant that is strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.

And then there are the anti-Semitic postings, some of which are no longer found on the site as of this writing.

Yesterday WND reported a blog posting on Obama's official campaign site urged Americans to take action to secure the release of imprisoned terrorist fundraiser Sami Al-Arian, comparing the controversial former professor to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

The posting, which has been removed since publication of the story, is just a sampling of a large volume of racist, anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian rhetoric published on the user-friendly MyObama community blog pages.

One recently removed posting claims Jews control the media. Another referred to Jews as "puppet masters" and "war criminals." Yet another posting, titled "The Israeli connection to 9/11," claimed Israeli intelligence was involved in the mega-attack and planted "false flags" to blame Arab countries.

Other MyObama posts have warned of "Judeofacists and their Neocon comrades" who "already destroyed America" and declare the "entire Congress should be overthrown by revolution for having sold America to the Israelis."

Is this the sort of "change" Obama means when he refers to it in his speeches? Is this the "hope" that he has for "unity" in the United States? Marxism?

To be fair, the Obama site does make the disclaimer that it can't regulate each and every posting that comes through on the site. But it's a question of character, and the inspiration that that character instills and brings forth from the voting public that has to be examined.

Marxism has been tried, and has failed, everywhere that it has been brought into play. The former Soviet Union is the best example of the failure of Marxist ideology, and yet there are a number of Obama supporters who would have that same sort of system installed in the United States.

They're even announcing that they want the revolution to come. And they're putting their support behind Barack Obama because they see him as one of them.

Just words?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Breaking - Body of Missing Vermont Girl Possibly Found

After a week of searching and investigating, Vermont law enforcement officials believe that they have located the body of 12 year old Brooke Bennett.
Police have announced that the body, presumed to be the missing Bennett, was found on property near Crocker Road in Bethel, Vermont, near the home of Bennett's uncle Michael Jacques, who has been under investigation for the girls disappearance. The body was found around 4:45 pm EST, after which the girls parents were informed that police believed that they had found the missing girls remains. An autopsy has been scheduled to confirm the identity and cause of death.

It's been a week filled with rumors and speculations as the search for the missing girl was underway, including tales of an initiation into a sex ring, sexual abuse, rape, and now homicide. The rumors have been hard on Bennett's family during the week that the girl has been missing.
Missing poster signs hang in the windows of storefronts in downtown Randolph, where Brooke Bennett was last seen on Wednesday morning. On many, people have added the words, 'still missing.' That's because there have been rumors that the young girl was found dead yesterday in Sunset Lake in Brookfield.

"There was an issue yesterday in South Royalton that they were taking posters down," said Brooke's father, Jim Bennett. "She wasn't found dead. The rumors aren't true."

The rumor wasn't just spread by word of mouth. On the social networking Web site, Facebook, people were writing on a special "Find Brook(e) Bennett" page that the 12-year-old was dead.
Adding to the rumors are allegations of an affidavit filed in district court by a 14 year old girl who alleges that she was involved with 42 year old Michael Jacques, Bennett's uncle, in taking the girl to Jacques home for initiation into a child sex ring. The 14 year old alleges that she herself has had an ongoing sexual relationship with Jacques, and that part of Bennett's initiation into the ring was that she was to have sex with adult males.
The teenager said she understood that as part of the initiation, Brooke "would have sex with adult males," according to the affidavit in U.S. District Court.

She and Brooke watched television for a while before Jacques told her to leave and took Brooke upstairs, the teen said. The girl left the house with her boyfriend and did not see Brooke again, she said.
Bennett's stepfather, Ray Gagnon, 40, of San Antonio, Texas, was to appear in court on Wednesday on charges of destroying evidence in Bennett's disappearance. If convicted, he could face life in prison for obstructing justice.

More as this story develops.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Conservative Christians Back McCain

It's been a difficult pill for them to swallow, but conservative Christian leaders have united together and decided to put their support behind John McCain.
The conservative right has long been considered a very important base for the Republican party. The advent of the McCain lead in the party has led to a hard decision for this important voting bloc. With a great number of the members of this branch of the party having put their support behind Mike Huckabee, many were highly disappointed at his withdrawal from the race, leaving a lack, to the conservative way of thinking, of a viable conservative front runner in the Republican race.

Given the option of either supporting McCain or withholding support in light of the presumed nomination of Barack Obama for the Democratic party, however, the conservative Christian leadership has met and decided to make their stand with McCain.

At a Tuesday meeting in Denver, around 100 leaders met, traveling in from around the country, to discuss and ultimately agree to support John McCain, despite their initial distrust of him as a candidate for the Presidency. With this backing finally achieved, McCain has achieved a much needed support for his bid for the White House, and has significantly improved his chances of winning come November.

"Collectively we feel that he will support and advance those moral values that we hold much greater than Obama, who in our view will decimate moral values," said Mat Staver, the chairman of Liberty Counsel, a legal advocacy group, who previously supported Mike Huckabee's candidacy.

"There are people who came through the primary with very mixed emotions of the candidate," Staver continued, noting that many in the group had been in Denver to attend a separate meeting for pastors. "This event was to put those aside."

The group included leaders like Phyllis Schlafly, the long-time leader of Eagle Forum; Steve Strang, the publisher of Charisma magazine; Phil Burress, a prominent Ohio marriage and anti-pornography activist; David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders and Donald Hodel, a former secretary of the Interior, who previously served on the board of Focus on the Family. Jim Dobson, the head of Focus and an outspoken critic of McCain, did not attend. The McCain campaign was also not directly represented at the meeting.

One attendee of the conference summed up the main reason for the decision to support McCain as being, "None of these people want to meet their maker knowing that they didn't do everything they could to keep Barack Obama from being president. You've got these two people running for president. One of them is going to become president. That's the perspective. That that's the whole discussion." The reason? Despite his claim of Christianity, the conservative Christian movement doesn't see eye - to - eye with Obama on certain key issues such as gay marriage and abortion, and find themselves, especially in recent weeks with McCain making his own stands against these issues, more in line with McCain.

Initially, there was much speculation that the religious right would sit out this election, leading to much speculation and prognosticating as to what their absence would mean both to the Republicans as well as to the Democrats. With the exit of Huckabee, a number of Christian leaders expressed their disillusionment with the Republican party. Faced with the prospect of an Obama Presidency, it seems that the disillusion was quickly replaced with resolve, a situation that bodes well for McCain.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Three Killed, Others Injured Before Terrorist Shot Dead by Israeli Soldier, Police

A Palestinian bull dozer operator used his tractor as a weapon today, attacking pedestrians and vehicles in downtown Jerusalem, killing three people and injuring thirty, before being shot dead by a member of the IDF and an Israeli police officer. It's a scene that sounds like it could have come from a horror movie, but it happened on the crowded streets of downtown Jerusalem around noon Wednesday. A Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem was operating his bulldozer at a construction site, and suddenly turned his tractor into a weapon, attacking nearby pedestrians and vehicles, killing three women and injuring some thirty other people, overturning two transit buses in the process.

The driver, who reportedly had a criminal record and was the holder of an Israeli (blue) identification card, was shot dead by a SWAT officer near the old Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The terrorist was identified as 31-year-old Hossam Dawiath, a father of two from the village of Tzur Baher.

The terrorist continued on his killing spree, but a short while later a soldier and a SWAT officer jumped on top of the vehicle. The officer then shot the terrorist in the chest and leg and killed him.

The attack came with no warning; there was no indication that the man was going to go on the rampage today that took three lives. The dozer was from a nearby construction site for the Jerusalem Tram system.

I know that there are those who feel that Israel has badly mistreated the "Palestinians" in the period since the reformation of the nation of Israel. I know that there are those who believe that the nation of Israel has no right to exist in it's present incarnation simply due to the fact that Israel had not existed as a nation for nearly 2,000 years. Their claim is that Palestine has every right to oppose Israeli occupation of the region because they had secured the area and made it their own. But yet and still, there was never an established nation called Palestine. Since the diaspora of 136 AD, the region had gone without having an established governmental structure until the mass return of the Jews from around the world in the last century.

The Palestinian "problem" exists as much at the fault of the Arab nations as it does anyone else for not allowing their fellow Arabic people to do anything but live in refugee villages between nations, a position Palestinians found themselves in for the early on terrorist activities against the newly formed Israeli regime.

But Palestinian apologists won't hear any part of this, because they don't think the Israeli's should be back in their traditional homeland to begin with.

Let me take a moment to point out the hypocrisy in this mindset; I have heard the same people who will not allow for a the notion of a return for the Nation of Israel to their homeland turn around in the same conversation and demand that white Americans make apologies to blacks for slavery.

In any event, an attack upon an unarmed civilian populace is an act of cowardice, in my estimation. I sincerely hope that this isn't the beginning of a new trend of terrorist tactics to be employed by terrorist organizations.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stepping in it with Both Feet: Wesley Clark and the Question Who is Smearing Whom?

There is a long standing tradition of rivalry between the branches of military service. Each branch sees theirs as being superior to the others, and there is a lot of good natured ribbing back and forth in between. When it crosses into politics, though...
Anyone who has been in the U.S. Army among it's ground forces will tell you that aviators are looked upon as the most spoiled and pampered members of the military. While ground troops, especially infantry, armor, and engineers, slog it out in the mud and muck, through forests and jungles, in the desert heat or arctic cold, pilots generally get more cushy, comfortable rear area quarters for their time out of the cockpit.

But there is a price for such "luxury" digs for pilots. Combat pilots have some of the most intense, stressful training and duty of any members of the armed forces, special forces aside. Survival training is intense, with high-stress escape and evasion scenarios included in their training in order to prepare pilots for the worst case scenario; being shot down behind enemy lines.

That is exactly what happened to Senator John McCain in Vietnam, and an injured Lt. Commander McCain found himself in the hands of the enemy, and spent the next several years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. And yet retired General Wesley Clark, a soldier with who made his early military career in the armored division and with political aspirations of his own, has taken it upon himself to belittle McCain's service record.

Gen. Wesley Clark, acting as a surrogate for Barack Obama’s campaign, invoked John McCain’s military service against him in one of the more personal attacks on the Republican presidential nominee this election cycle.

Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be president, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” And in saying so, he took a few swipes at McCain’s military service.

After saying, "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war," he added that these experiences in no way qualify McCain to be president in his view:

“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn't a wartime squadron,” Clark said.

“I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.”

And with that, the gloves came off. McCain supporters blasted Clark, with one McCain surrogate questioning Clark's own record as NATO Supreme Commander in Kosovo and his political ambitions, and McCain responding, when asked if he felt he was owed an apology, "I think it is up to Senator Obama now to not only repudiate him but to cut him loose.” This comment may serve to keep the Clark controversy alive and well for the coming days, dependent upon how Obama handles the situation as time progresses.

For Obama's part, the Senator from Illinois has denounced Clark's statements in an attempt to distance himself from the controversy stating “For those like John McCain who have endured physical torment in service to our country, no further proof of such sacrifice is necessary. And let me also add that no one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign — and that goes for supporters on both sides.”

It is interesting to note that through all of this, the McCain camp, even prior to Clark's statements this weekend and his attempted clarification (i.e. backpedalling) of what he said, has yet to really pull out the mud in dealing with other candidates. McCain has taken the high road, not playing into the typical dirty tactics that typically comes with Presidential politics. In fact, McCain has been the first to denounce such tactics when they have been attempted on his behalf.

Obama, on the other hand, has already set up his own site to deal with the rumors and innuendo surrounding him personally, possibly in anticipation of the "dirty deeds" of the Republican campaign. The site has already dealt with such issues as his nationality and his religious views, issues that have plagued the Obama campaign from his rock star rise to the top of the Democratic ticket. But what of Obama's own campaign strategies as the election cycle unfolds? The campaign against fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton went into the mud on both sides, a place McCain seems stubbornly determined to stay away from. With Clark's comments regarding McCain, and Obama's seemingly less than whole-hearted denouncement of them, one has to ask, who is truly smearing whom in this campaign?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man