Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith is our first Medal of Honor recipient in the War on Terrorism.
Here is a section of the Citation, summarizing the effect of his brave actions :
Sgt. 1st Class Smith’s actions saved the lives of at least 100 Soldiers, caused the failure of a deliberate enemy attack hours after 1st Brigade seized the Baghdad Airport, and resulted in an estimated 20-50 enemy soldiers killed. His actions inspired his platoon, his Company, the 11th Engineer Battalion and Task Force 2-7 Infantry.
I suggest that you go there to read the complete details on the heroic actions this fine soldier, learn a bit more about the man as well, by reviewing his profile.
Thanks to Jack Army for providing the links.
John of Castle Argghhh reminds us why we should pray there are no more reasons to award this honor, in An Army of One.
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Posted by Barb at 9:11 PM
Terri Schindler Schiavo died this morning, ending a 14-day ordeal of starvation. Sadly, her parents and other family were not with her at the end.
At least her ordeal is over. Our prayers go out to her family.
Words have failed me, here are some worthy thoughts from others I trust ...
"May Spirit touch (and heal) the hearts of all involved."
"...we think the fight needs fighting, and isn't over."
For today, that is enough.
Posted by Barb at 6:50 AM
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Some updates on the status of Terri's case ...
On the positive side, one effect has been the continuing dialog regarding Living Wills. On the surface, this sounds like something one has to sit down and create for the express purpose of directing medical care. But what about written evidence from other sources??
Other updates ...
Red Guy in a Blue State has a weird item to consider - check out Is this Ironic or What?
Posted by Barb at 8:10 AM
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Have you ever imagined what would happen when a helicopter meets a wire in flight? As a rare survivor of just such an event, helicopter pilot extraordinaire Chief Bill explains Why he Hates Wires.
Posted by Barb at 11:22 AM
Monday, March 28, 2005
After more than 30 years of flying helicopters for the Army and Guard, Bill the Rotorhead of Castle Argghhh! is talking about retiring. He has compiled a long and impressive resume, which is a joy to read...
Posted by Barb at 11:45 AM
Saturday, March 26, 2005
New friend and blogger Frank stopped by to fill the final interview spot yesterday. Frank has been exploring many avenues in the Blogosphere since he started blogging ... Go here to read the Q&A, on Frank's CondiPundit site ... there is even a free joke to demonstrate his fine sense of humor! You should also check out his support for the Military on He That Shall Live This Day, and for general links of interest, scan Poor Frank's Almanac.
Posted by Barb at 9:33 AM
Friday, March 25, 2005
My friend FuzzyBear Lioness, another denizen of Castle Argghhh, has agreed to be interviewed here! If you're counting, that makes my fourth interview, so feel free to leave a comment with 'Interview Me' if you want to play the game.
[Of course, I would never fall for something like that. But here's the leopard's eternal problem... in order to make him so fast, God had to keep him lean and light--and grey matter is pretty dense stuff!]
4. What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
Kid? Kid??!! Now, there may be some confusion about my specific classification, but I am NOT a goat!*Harrumph*
However, I will respond to the intent of your question... That's a hard one, but my favorite toy was probably the out-of-doors. I raced around on my bike, climbed trees, looked under rocks, caught turtles, tadpoles and garter snakes, and laid in the sun in the tall grasses of the backyard. *Purrrrring at the thought of warm sun on my tummy and dry grasses at my back*
5. What is the worst job you've ever held?
I've held a lot of jobs I didn't like, mostly when I was in college, but none of them really stand out. The worst ones usually involved cleaning men's bathrooms. Ugh. "Pigs" doesn't even begin to describe it!
Thanks again for playing, FBL! I hope your day is full of warm sun and happy purrs :-)
Thursday, March 24, 2005
The Armorer of Castle Argghhh!, aka John Donovan, has posted his responses for the Interview game today. Oh, he whined a little about the Rulez, but I think it's just a cry for attention - so go read his answers.
Would it be okay if someone walked up to her bed right now and punched Terri in the face? Why not? Why can't someone just physically beat on her until she dies. She can't defend herself any more than she can feed herself. The courts have declared that she is to die, so why not speed it up? Choke her. Put a pillow over her face. You don't even have to be violent about it, just use tape to close off her nostrils and cover her mouth completely. It will only take a few minutes.
Go read the whole thing - it'll help you build up a nice head of steam as well...
For some good news out of Iraq, which actually made the major news outlets, check out Major K's Another Big Score.... Of course, he also points out the other story that the newsies may have missed.
On the Lighter side ...
Chief Bill the Rotorhead provides some background on how just reading the regs will cause mental anguish. Is it any wonder that pilots are a bit teched??
Finally, you should not leave a Gnome on guard duty when traveling away from your blog! Boudicca explains why here.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
INTERVIEW 2 of 3 (so far)
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
All right, in my previous post, I answered the questions put to me by Sgt B. Now it's my turn to be the interviewer!
Well, I got suckered in by the Interview game, thanks to Sgt B at The Gun Line. What happens is that I will respond to the 5 interview questions posed by the Sarge, and in turn, I'll see if I can convince some other interesting folks to let me interview them. Make sure that you go over to the Sarge's place and check out his interview questions and answers as well !!
Monday, March 21, 2005
I decided to start a new post to track the current action in the Terri Schiavo case, to highlight the activities of the last 24 hours. There has been progress, but this is merely another notch in the belt, we have a ways to go yet.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Updates - Sunday March 20
Michelle Malkin has a rundown of the last minute action taking place to save Terri, on this Palm Sunday and first day of Spring.
Gramaugus weighs in on the topic, pointing out that doctors first analysis of a patient is sometimes wrong. In addition, he ponders why this is such a polarizing issue :
I am in favor of Living Wills, and if there was one available to tell us what Terri wanted, I would not stand in the way of it being followed. But I have to agree with Grau and others - we should err on the side of Life. It will be so hard to undo the damage after her death.
Updates - Saturday March 19
John Donovan notes that under Florida law ...
Read the rest here. John proposes that Mr. Schiavo should suffer exactly what he is putting Terri through.
A more interesting variation on that theme was proposed a few days ago by another Castle Denizen, Chief Bill (see the comments of my previous post on Terri's plight) :
I like the way he thinks.
Friday March 18 / 9pm eastern
Beth of SWWBO ponders "How can a woman who has harmed no one be put to death by order of her unfaithful husband?"
Fr. Rob describes the medical 'Exit Protocol' - how the doctors plan to treat someone they are starving to death.
Friday, March 18 / 1:45pm eastern
Terri's feeding tube was removed...
Friday, March 18
There is some good news on the Blogs For Terri site today. Many thanks to Chief Bill from Castle Argghhh! for pointing out this item :
BREAKING NEWS ON TERRI SCHIAVO
A stroke of genius! This should provide time for the House and Senate bills to be worked out. Information on how to contact key members of Congress is found in this post on the Blogs for Terri site today.
Here are some other sites with interesting takes on the issue ...
Corie at Insane Troll Logic has a New Hero : Sen. Mike Enzi, who deserves recognition for doing the right thing.
Fr. Rob at Thrown Back points out that, in contrast, the senior senator from Massachusetts is leading the charge against a Senate bill.
John at Blogotional writes about the political abuse of the power over life and death.
Tim at Blogicus has several worthy items, start at the top and scan down.
Wednesday, March 16
Update from my post here.
I just read that the Florida Dept. of Children and Families (DCF) will not take any further action to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. The DCF has arrived at the conclusion that "there is insufficient evidence of abuse to proceed."
This is a complete Cop Out - apparently driven by the refusal of the court, specifically Judge Greer, to extend the deadline. Rather than force the issue, they are bowing out, and leaving Terri to her death sentence. Currently the court ordered removal of the feeding tube is planned for Friday, the 18th.
I fail to understand how any agency of the state of Florida can stand by and permit a cold-blooded killing to occur. The concerns of abuse raised by Terri's parents, the incredible denial of all treatment to help Terri herself, and the amount of money that Mr. Schiavo stands to inherit, all add up to foul play. It's happening in slow motion, and we are unwilling witnesses to the action.
From John at Castle Argghhh, here is a list of suggestions for action :
Blog about Terri's plight and these action items. You can join the list of BlogsforTerri here.
I don't know how much one more piece of email will help, but I sent one to Governor Bush with my plea ...
Please find a way to halt the removal of the feeding tube from Ms. Schiavo this Friday. To permit this helpless woman to starve to death would be a horrible mistake, and would demonstrate a callous disregard for the well-being of individuals with no ability to stand up for themselves.
I beg you to act, to send in some department of the state to take action, and protect this woman from a cruel death. She deserves our protection and treatment, which has been denied to her, to permit her to regain some function. It is apparent from the videos that she is responsive to those around her, and clearly is NOT in a Persistent Vegetative State at all.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Warning - discussion of bodily functions ahead! Proceed at your own risk ...
Posted by Barb at 12:03 PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
I'm a little behind in my blog reading - I just scanned SarahK's Links of the Day from yesterday. Naturally, I had to check some of them out, and ended up locating a few fun items for the gun lover in me.
L. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.
At Guns and Glory I found a quick 8-point list on how not to get shot by the US Military.
And finally, if guns alone were not enough, I offer you Boomershoot. An event mixing shooting with explosives, and only a short 5 hour drive from where I live. From the FAQ ...
Q: Shouldn't it be illegal?
Posted by Barb at 9:22 PM
Three days and counting ...
Posted by Barb at 8:43 AM
Sunday, March 13, 2005
If you run a blog, and link to an item on a political candidate's web site, should that be considered a 'political contribution'?
But last September U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly overturned the decision, arguing that the "commission's exclusion of Internet communications from the coordinated communications regulation severely undermines" the law's purpose. Interpreting this, Mr. Smith told CNET News that "any coordinated activity over the Internet would need to be regulated, as a minimum." This includes, but is not limited to, blogs and other sources of political news and opinion that might link to a candidate's Web page. (Washington Times / March 4)
There are some big blog names on the petition, from both sides of the political spectrum. This is not a partisan problem - it will affect all of us, unless we speak up now.
If this concerns you, as it does me, then please sign the online petition at The Online Coalition. When I signed it there were around 2360 signatures, and we need to spread the word.
Hat Tip to Bunker Mulligan. Also, take a look at what Cass at Villainous Company has written - as always, she provides much food for thought.
Bunker has more in-depth analysis on the need for Real Reform.
The Big Trunk at Powerline talks about what it is that Reformers really want at the Daily Standard.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
I blew out of the house early this morning to chase little white balls around a golf course, and am just getting caught up!
Friday, March 11, 2005
I received an email today from Rob, a friend serving with the 81st (see my previous post on the returning Washington National Guard unit). He was letting us know that he expects to be home soon! We are looking forward to having him back after his year in Iraq, and I will have a formal flag return ceremony when he comes back to work.
Good to hear from you, Rob! We are counting the days until you are back with us :-)
I managed to install the Haloscan Trackback code last night, and was s-o-o-o proud of myself. Until I realized that I blew away all my existing comments in one fell swoop as well.
Posted by Barb at 8:09 AM
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Hat tip to Grayhawk for the link to this item from Major K in Iraq. I've noticed questions in various news reports on the effectiveness and training of the Iraqi Police (IP) and Security Forces (ISF).
... The IP’s had successfully put themselves between the vehicle and the US convoy. Unable to deter the vehicle from approaching the US convoy or make it pull over, the IP’s fired at the engine of the encroaching vehicle. At this point, the driver detonated the IED inside his vehicle....
Go read the complete account, it's worth your time. Leave a message while you're there, it's a great way to let him know his work and observations are valued!
Some other blogs writing about this ...
Castle Argghhh! : Oh, BTW
The Jawa Report : Why We Shot at Sgrena and Killed Nicola Calipari
Cdr Salamander : Iraqi Police give their lives so American Soldiers will live
Villainous Company : Hearts of Fire
Posted by Barb at 11:25 AM
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Gramaugus at Frizzen Sparks poses a great challenge : Respond to the Meme " If money were not an issue, what 5 Really Expensive Toys would I buy for myself?"
An editorial in the NY Times today shows again that they will take any anti-US personnel stance possible. This is a follow up to the wounding of Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena when her rescuers sped towards an Army manned checkpoint, and failed to heed warning fire and signals.
The news of the Italian journalist whose car was sprayed by American gunfire on the way to the Baghdad airport stunned the world. But perhaps the worst thing about the wounding of the reporter, Giuliana Sgrena, and the killing of the Italian intelligence agent who was shielding her is that the attack wasn't unique.Attack? What attack?
A car approaches a military checkpoint on a dangerous stretch of road, refuses to slow down and continues in the face of warning shots - this is not an 'attack' at all, and it is deliberately misleading for the Times Editorial to present it otherwise.
The procedures for manning checkpoints are no mystery, and placing the blame on the soldiers is a cheap shot. Any changes to these procedures would place our troops in greater danger - and that is completely unacceptable.
Cox and Forkum has a great image to further illustrate just how important it is to hold our line on this issue.
** UPDATE **
Reader CW4BillT provided a great example for enhancing your understanding. Rather than leave it hidden in the comments, I am adding it here for easy reading and comprehension...
Hypothetical situation for you:
1. You and your child are being approached in an alley by a running pit bull.
2. There have been confirmed sightings of a rabid pit bull in the area, but there are other pit bulls in your neighborhood, too.
3. All the neighborhood pit bulls have been trained to "sit" on command, no matter who commands them.
4. You command the approaching pit bull to "sit" and it keeps running toward you.
5. You holler "sit" louder this time and it keeps running toward you.
6. You have a loaded double-barrelled 12-gauge...
... There - does that help?
Others have some great viewpoints on this topic as well - check out :
Posted by Barb at 9:41 AM
Monday, March 07, 2005
First item of consideration today is the approval of the first blogger to be given White House press credentials. As reported today in the NY Times technology section :
Here is a link to Garrett's first entry, I encourage everyone to add this blog to their BlogRoll, and patronize it well and respectfully to help encourage this brave new venture! Thanks to buddy Max for the hat tip.
MilBlogs in the News
In other blogging news, Matt at Blackfive notes that this week's edition of Army Times will carry a piece on MilBloggers. He includes this link to a preview list of the blogs to be reviewed, which includes some great MilBlogs that I have included on my blogroll, and adds some new ones that will bear checking out :
If you want to read news from the folks who bring you the freedom of the press, check these sites out. If you want more, scan the MilBlog ring from Mudville Gazette, or roll down Blackfive's sidebar - opportunities abound!
So go read, and leave comments to let them know you've come to visit.
** UPDATE -- Band Of Bloggers on ArmyTimes**
According to Blackfive , the ArmyTimes issue is live online.
Posted by Barb at 8:06 AM
Friday, March 04, 2005
It's a busy Friday, and I don't have bandwidth to blog much, so here are a few links to enlighten and amuse you ...
Posted by Barb at 7:45 AM
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Yesterday's post on Operation Support Our Troops mentioned a rally this weekend for the returning 81st Brigade at Ft. Lewis. What I didn't realize is that the first soldiers of the unit have already returned.
Also meeting her husband was Rachel Suits of Issaquah. She and her husband, Lt. Bryan Suits, a KVI radio talk show host, had married last September when he was home on leave.
This past year Lt. Suits was able to report several times on the local situation by calling in to talk with Kirby Wilbur on the KVI morning show. While deployed he earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
The King County Journal story discussed the 81st involvement in Iraq ...
... Many more will be coming in the next three to four weeks as more than 3,500 members of the 81st Brigade come back to civilian life.
You can read the entire article online here. Hat tip to Brian Crouch at Sound Politics.
Welcome Home 81st!! Good Job!
Actually, only one decision is on my mind today. That would be the one handed down recently from the Supreme Court of the United States, regarding the legality of executing minors for committing capitol crimes. You can view/download a PDF of the decision here.
"...Although one can easily disagree with the practice of capital punishment, especially when it comes to the execution of minors, the reasoning behind the recent decision in Roper v. Simmons is hard to defend..."
I encourage you to read her takes on the topic here and here.
My question for you is ...
Should we allow the trends in the EU and other countries to dictate to our legal system, or should we demand that the Court follow its core role as the interpreters of the Constitution of this country?
Posted by Barb at 7:47 AM
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Listening to the radio today on the way to work, I heard of a Pacific NW group called Operation Support Our Troops. These folks try to provide links and resources on events like welcome home rallies and other events where we can show our support for the troops.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Instructions from the Armorer today, on behalf of She Who Would Be Obeyed -- go forth and discover what kind of Dungeons & Dragons character I would be.