Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lots of ways to help

My friend Snarkatron has pulled together some great reminders on how to help the hurricane victims, and also has a reminder about Project Valour IT. Take a minute to visit - every little bit will help!

In case those were not enough, Sgt. B at The Gun Line has another option.

Blast from the Past

Stole this from Rammer and Punctilious.

Oooh - and John is playing as well!

UPDATE : For a different list (in fact - a different era!), visit Brian at Point Two Percent. And check out MSG Keith's list as well!

The Rulez :

1) Go to and, in the search box provided, enter the year you graduated high school.

2) From the search results, click the link for the top 100 songs of that year.

3) With the resulting list:

  • a) bold the songs you like,
  • b) strike through the ones you hate
  • c) underline your favorite
  • d) and ignore the ones you don't remember or don't care about.

Like Punctilious, I will let you figure out the year for yourself...

1. Love Will Keep Us Together, The Captain and Tennille
2. Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell
3. Philadelphia Freedom, Elton John
4. Before The Next Teardrop Falls, Freddy Fender
5. My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli
6. Shining Star, Earth, Wind and Fire
7. Fame, David Bowie
8. Laughter In The Rain, Neil Sedaka
9. One Of These Nights, Eagles
10. Thank God I'm A Country Boy, John Denver
11. Jive Talkin', Bee Gees
12. Best Of My Love, Eagles
13. Lovin' You, Minnie Riperton
14. Kung Fu Fighting, Carl Douglas
15. Black Water, Doobie Brothers
16. Ballroom Blitz, Sweet
17. (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song, B.J. Thomas
18. He Don't Love You (Like I Love You), Tony Orlando and Dawn
19. At Seventeen, Janis Ian
20. Pick Up The Pieces, Average White Band
21. The Hustle, Van McCoy and The Soul City Symphony
22. Lady Marmalade, Labelle
23. Why Can't We Be Friends?, War
24. Love Won't Let Me Wait, Major Harris
25. Boogie On Reggae Woman, Stevie Wonder
26. Wasted Days And Wasted Nights, Freddy Fender
27. Fight The Power, Pt. 1, Isley Brothers
28. Angie Baby, Helen Reddy
29. Jackie Blue, Ozark Mountain Daredevils
30. Fire, Ohio Players
31. Magic, Pilot
32. Please Mr. Postman, Carpenters
33. Sister Golden Hair, America
34. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Elton John
35. Mandy, Barry Manilow
36. Have You Never Been Mellow, Olivia Newton-John
37. Could It Be Magic, Barry Manilow
38. Cat's In The Cradle, Harry Chapin
39. Wildfire, Michael Murphy
40. I'm Not Lisa, Jessi Colter
41. Listen To What The Man Said, Paul Mccartney and Wings
42. I'm Not In Love, 10cc
43. I Can Help, Billy Swan
44. Fallin' In Love, Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds
45. Feelings, Morris Albert
46. Chevy Van, Sammy Johns
47. When Will I Be Loved, Linda Ronstadt
48. You're The First, The Last, My Everthing, Barry White
49. Please Mr Please, Olivia Newton-John
50. You're No Good, Linda Ronstadt
51. Dynomite, Bazuka
52. Walking In Rhythm, Blackbyrds
53. The Way We Were / Try To Remember, Gladys Knight and The Pips
54. Midnight Blue, Melissa Manchester
55. Don't Call Us, We'll Call You, Sugarloaf
56. Poetry Man, Phoebe Snow
57. How Long, Ace
58. Express, B.T. Express
59. That's The Way Of The World, Earth, Wind and Fire
60. Lady, Styx
61. Bad Time, Grand Funk
62. Only Women Bleed, Alice Cooper
63. Doctor's Orders, Carol Douglas
64. Get Down Tonight, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
65. You Are So Beautiful / It's A Sin When You Love Somebody, Joe Cocker
66. One Man Woman-One Woman Man, Paul Anka and Odia Coates
67. Feel Like Makin' Love, Bad Company
68. How Sweet It Is, James Taylor
69. Dance With Me, Orleans
70. Cut The Cake, Average White Band
71. Never Can Say Goodbye, Gloria Gaynor
72. I Don't Like To Sleep Alone, Paul Anka
73. Morning Side Of The Mountain, Donny and Marie Osmond
74. Some Kind Of Wonderful, Grand Funk
75. When Will I See You Again, Three Degrees
76. Get Down, Get Down (Get On The Floor), Joe Simon
77. I'm Sorry / Calypso, John Denver
78. Killer Queen, Queen
79. Shoeshine Boy, Eddie Kendricks
80. Do It (Til You're Satisfied), B.T. Express
81. Can't Get It Out Of My Head, Electric Light Orchestra
82. Sha-La-La (Makes Me Happy), Al Green
83. Lonely People, America
84. You Got The Love, Rufus
85. The Rockford Files, Mike Pos
86. It Only Takes A Minute, Tavares
87. No No Song / Snookeroo, Ringo Starr
88. Junior's Farm / Sally G, Paul McCartney and Wings
89. Bungle In The Jungle, Jethro Tull
90. Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance), Leo Sayer
91. Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Elton John
92. Misty, Ray Stevens
93. Bad Blood, Neil Sedaka
94. Only Yesterday, Carpenters
95. I'm On Fire, Dwight Twilley Band
96. Only You, Ringo Starr
97. Third Rate Romance, Amazing Rhythm Aces
98. You Aint Seen Nothin' Yet / Free Wheelin', Bachman-Turner Overdrive
99. Swearin' To God, Frankie Valli
100. Get Dancin', Disco Tex and The Sex-O-lettes

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Milblogger events

Holly Aho definitely qualifies as a Soldiers' Angel, one of those amazing volunteers who do their best (and then some!) to add value to the lives of returning servicemembers. One of her tasks recently was to interview Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss, still under treatment as an outpatient at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Please visit Holly's site, read about Chuck and listen to the Podcast.

There is a fact-filled update posted today at the Project Valour-IT blog site ... check it out!

And for another piece of Good News, check out the demonstration of support that Smash was able to provide for Secretary Rumsfeld!

I've got Flair?! (updated)

I found the Classic Dames quiz at Techography. Bloodspite took the version for Men, from now on I'll have to call him Duke! Others playing include Contagion and Tammi.

Now Keith has joined in as well - or should I say Jimmy ...


Linda at Right as Usual is another Hep Kat!

I like my result ...

Katharine Hepburn

You scored 19% grit, 19% wit, 52% flair, and 19% class!
You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 0% on grit
You scored higher than 0% on wit
You scored higher than 99% on flair
You scored higher than 66% onclass

Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the

Monday, August 29, 2005

Where do we find these great people?

That isn't really a question, because I know the answer even as I say it. Who am I talking about? The incredible men and women in our military. The ones who give up a 'normal' life (if there is such a thing) to put on a uniform, swear an oath, and defend this country "against all enemies, foreign or domestic".

People like American Soldier, who is writing a new chapter, and Saturday took that oath when he re-enlisted. And he explains why :

... I didn’t need to re-enlist. I did it because in this day and age, where there is so much unpredictability, there needs to be Soldiers who will stand to defend our beloved country and freedoms. No matter if you are a supporter or not, you can count on a Soldier to preserve what many people take for granted. Freedom!

That's what I'm talking about.

Over at Firepower Forward, Firepower5 reflects on why he fights as well. And he answers the question of how to truly support the troops, and how to show gratitude for that support.

Monday Morning Sync Up

FbL has a great update on the Valour-IT blog - so far over $10,000 has been raised, and great things are starting to happen. The first 10 laptops are on their way, with 10 more to follow close behind. Soon these first laptops configured for voice control will be ready to match up with the wounded who need them.

She also has a great post at Fuzzilicious Thinking, reminding us that this project is about more than just a laptop.

Kat's Sunday update at The Middle Ground explains that her usual erudite writing has taken a back-seat to the cause. Most important, she reminds her readers that the project needs time as well as money - if you can donate your time, check out the type of support and skills that are needed.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for mentioning the fund-raising efforts on her blog!

This project is for any one who truly wants to show support for the wounded servicemembers. Your political leanings aren't important, only your willingness to help.

Donate to Project Valour-IT

Over 55 blogs are participating in the Fusileers effort to spread the word ... so far. If you have blogged on the Project, and would like to join the Fusileers - send me an email, or trackback to this post at Castle Argghhh!

Show Your Support Today!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Take That, Code Pink!

Gunn Nutt has an awesome post about the FreeRepublic counter-protest at Walter Reed to offset the Code Pink twits. The pictures are priceless, and they show how well the counter-protest fared against the pink pansies.

Click to read story

H/T to The Armorer, who has a fantastic set of links gathered for your reading pleasure!

Also on the action at Walter Reed - Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has a link to a video story.

I do have to call out one of the links here, because Michael Yon's Gates of Fire post cannot be mentioned often enough. He was in the thick of the battle last week in which LTC Erik Kurilla was wounded, and his photographs and description of the action is incredible. While you are there, feel free to pop something into his tip jar, as Michael is an independent journalist and totally self-financed.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Project Valour-IT *updated*

If you don't already read Day By Day by Chris Muir as part of your daily routine, you should bookmark it Now! Today's cartoon is about Project Valour-IT.

Thanks, Chris!!!

Thanks also to Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters, he's helping the Fusileers to spread the word today.


Kat at The Middle Ground points out that the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal mentions Soldiers' Angels today. Read about it in The Quiet Majority.

Also, HomeFront6 has a nice collection of links for other posting on Valour-IT (including here). She also had a terrific post about the project yesterday ... go read.

And Da Goddess reminds us that we can all be heroes by helping out.

Technorati Tag:

Another Gold Star Mother speaks

As I noted here before, I'm afraid that Mrs. Sheehan is becoming a caricature of a grieving mother, and honestly is undermining her very cause by allowing herself to be used.

Susan Sutter in Bothell, Washington (near Seattle) recently wrote an eloquent response that was printed in the King County Journal. My friend Dunnermeister has the report. Of note - this letter was printed in the paper version of the Journal, but was not available online. I don't subscribe, so I'm not sure if this is a standard practice.

Mrs. Sutter also spoke about her support for her son's mission in a letter to the Seattle Times recently. (free registration required)

I think this statement wraps up her position quite well :

When my son signed on the dotted line to protect his country with his life, I signed with him. He accepted the risks and so did I as his parent, and I respect him for his decision to join. Your son knew the risks, too.

Support your fellow man by helping to support the troops and their families — help them get the job done so they can come home.

Well said, Mrs. Sutter.

*UPDATE* Dunnermeister has a new post related to the previous letter from Mrs. Sutter. He also has a picture of her son, Jake Herring, who was killed while serving in Iraq.

In other places ...

There is a group sponsored by Move America Forward which has been making it's way to Crawford (trip itinerary here) The "You don't speak for me" tour is due into Crawford today.

Mrs. Sheehan has announced that her vigil won't end when the President returns to Washington, she will start a bus tour that will land in the capital in September. (From the Mudville Gazette Dawn Patrol)

Chuck at From My Position shares a different kind of letter, from a President to a grieving mother. He also shares his responses to some questions posed by a reader.

On the flip(pant) side, if you would like to be offended, feel free to visit Snark Patrol, and let Snarkatron do the job for you. Don't say you weren't warned!

Who's your buddy?

Katy at The Dirty Days (formerly The Grass Isn't Greener -- I know, must change sidebar!) continues her Self Portrait Friday with 'You and Your Friend'.

My hubby is also my friend, and I love him dearly. But my best friend that does not live with me is my sister, Becky. She is an absolute hoot to spend time with, so much so that Hubster and I have gone on joint vacations with her and her roommates several times. In addition to a veering sense of humor, she is smart and artistic, and a pretty decent golf coach *grin*.

Two years ago we ended up in France together (on a trip we didn't actually plan together - total serendipity!), and went to Versailles - where this pic was taken.

Love Ya, Beck!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

This makes my blood boil ...

My heart skipped a beat this morning when I heard that two soldiers recently returned to Ft. Lewis after service in the middle east are in the hospital. Not from wounds received in the war - these men were beaten by thugs in downtown Seattle! My first thought was "Why am I just hearing this, when it happened 3 weeks ago?". But that is a rant for another post.

On July 31st, these two soldiers came to the aid of women who were being harassed by three men animals on 2 legs. At that point the three thugs turned on the soldiers, and proceeded to beat them severely. Not satisfied with knocking them both down, they continued to beat them while they lie on the ground.

There's a video (* update - this link works better for the video *) of part of the event, which graphically shows one of the punks kicking the head of an unconscious man, which makes me see red everytime I watch it.

The police are looking for these men, or any information that can be used to trace them down. Please call the Seattle Police if you have any information that might help.

I'll update this post with more on the status of the soldiers and their names when I find that information.

(Updated to add the missing pictures)

Checkin' things out

At the Castle, John has a great quote from down under on Project Valour-IT, and a funny bit about submarine testing in Idaho - all to be found here.

Cool Blue covers the quote as well, and rounds out with the latest update on the project with Tally-Ho. Not a bad start folks, but there's more to do!

The best news today is revealed by the WereKitten over at Castle Argghhh - Today we celebrate CW4(ret)BillT's birthday!


So what do you get for a man who has given up his Rotorhead title for ground level pursuits? Since Bill has been spending his spare time rearranging rocks and digging holes in the backyard to complete his beautiful pond, I think he just needs a little mermaid to keep watch over his fish.

Or maybe just a picture of a mermaid for his desktop.

Go visit the Castle and leave Bill a birthday greeting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Modern Technology

We are surrounded by more gadgetry and technology today than ever before. Cell phones, computers, cordless phones at home, DSL, Satellite HDTV, DVDs ... high tech all the way.

The technology in the business of war has improved as well. We've lost a lot of good people in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it could have been worse without the body armor.

The effectiveness of the body armor means that we have soldiers and marines surviving what might otherwise have been deadly blasts from IEDs and sniper bullets. But the price is sometimes counted for these men and women in arms and legs.

Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss is one such survivor. Thanks to his body armor, and the quick actions of his XO, Captain Jason Spencer, Chuck is recovering - and blogging again.

He taught us that you can face frustrating and painful times with perserverance and wit, when you have an outlet. Being able to write on his blog is one way to communicate, for others it might be the desire to write a letter to the family, or a wish to browse the web for information or entertainment.

Whatever the outlet or reason, the challenge of using a computer can be overcome with voice control software. The purpose of Project Valour IT is to fill that need.

"Every cent raised for Project Valour IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of laptops, software and equipment for the wounded servicemembers.

Currently we are forming "libraries" of laptops equipped with the voice-controlled software for wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines at each major military medical center to check-out for a few hours at a time. In the next stage, a fully-equipped laptop will be provided to each servicemember for use throughout in-hospital recovery. Finally, copies of the voice-controlled software for use on home computers will be supplied to servicemembers who still need it as they leave the medical center."

There's a lot to do - You can help in many ways ...

Donate money or software, and check the Project Valour IT Blog for ways to help out (Know anything about managing PR, for example?).

If you are close to The National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda) or one of the other medical centers in the project, and have a technical background - volunteer to assist with set up and training.

As Lawhawk says ... Serve those who Served.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Who was SFC William Ziegenfuss?

You've probably read about Project Valour IT here and at the other blogs in the 'neighborhood'. Perhaps you've wondered about the name or inspiration for the project. For some background on Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss, and his father and hero, Sergeant First Class William Ziegenfuss, Dean's World has the scoop.

The Route to Democracy

Two Ft. Lewis soldiers were killed August 18th in Afghanistan. That other war front that is sometimes neglected in all of the news coverage, what with Cindy Sheehan and others taking up front-row-center.

According to the DoD release, the soldiers were killed when an IED detonated under the HMMWV. They were both assigned to the Army's 864th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (Provisional), Fort Lewis, Washington :

  • 1st Lt. Laura M. Walker, 24, of Texas.
  • Sgt. Robert G. Davis, 23, of Jackson, Mo.

I was pleased to find that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer carried a good story on them, especially regarding 1LT Walker.

Walker, recently named the public affairs officer for the Fort Lewis-based 864th Combat Engineer Battalion, 555th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, nicknamed the "Triple Nickel," and Davis, from the same unit, were riding in a convoy during an assault when the explosion occurred, the Pentagon said.

Walker, who graduated with a degree in political science from West Point, had served in Iraq in 2004 with the Triple Nickel. She went to Afghanistan with the unit's Company B, completing her 15 months as platoon leader before taking over as public affairs officer for Task Force Pacemaker, the Army construction unit in Kandahar.

In that capacity she was chronicling what it takes to build a road that will help people cut 15 hours of travel to three hours, a road built through mountainous terrain where the Taliban still operates.

You can read the complete P-I story here. On the face of it, there is balance between the loss of the soldiers, and the positive mention of the good work of the Triple Nickel.

I can't help wondering, though ... Why couldn't the story about the building of this amazing road have been reported before the loss of these two soldiers??

This is just one tiny example of the good work our military is doing, either directly - in the building of roads and other infrastructure, or indirectly - by providing training and security. But we only get to hear this as a counter to the bad news.

Why didn't we hear before about the piece that Lt. Walker wrote about the Route to Democracy before she was killed? It's a good article, explaining the problems faced in the planning and building of this 117 km long road :

Fifteen hours is a tremendous barrier. It is the obstacle preventing one village from attaining the assistance of another and surviving a drought. It is the reason a trip to the hospital, or receiving an education, aren’t realistic options. Fifteen hours is what stands in the way of commerce between two provinces. It prevents communication between neighbors only 80 kilometers apart. Fifteen hours is the reason for isolation. Before Task Force Pacemaker began work, the drive between Kandahar and Tarin-Kowt took fifteen hours. Upon completion of the road it will take only three. The end of geographical isolation will be a new beginning for hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan.

I especially liked her description of the care needed to deal with the local residents along the path of the road :

...It is critical to establish the projected route prior to entering any towns. Soldiers must be able to articulate their intentions to the surrounding locals, in particular the village elder, before barging through. There are often different factions within a town and the path of the road has been adjusted by mere feet to accommodate the wishes of local farmers. 1LT Brian Meister, the earth moving platoon leader of C/864th lists civilians on the jobsite as the single biggest security challenge in the south. “They are everywhere and impossible to keep entirely off. The enemy is not easily identified, so anyone driving a pickup through the jobsite could pose a potential risk.” 1LT Patrick Sullivan, the earth moving platoon leader in A/864th has experienced the same type of concerns on the northern effort.

While we were standing on the hill, looking down at the proposed route, an audience began to form. The children came out first, and then the men of the village... as the crowd grew larger. I began to get just a little nervous. I told the captain who has been in the country for about a year; he quickly turned around and began shaking hands with the crowd, so I followed… It was an event that I will never forget. There are some bad people in the area, but for the most part, the population is tired of the last twenty years of war and corruption. They were just happy to see the guys who were building them a road.

Please read the complete article, it's worth the time.

Farewell, Lt. Laura Walker ... I'm sorry that I'll never get to meet you. But I'm mighty glad you chose to serve.

Linked from the Mudville Gazette Dawn Patrol

Quick Links

If you've already donated to Project Valour IT ... Thank You! If you haven't, or are curious what it is all about, head over to their site to catch up on the latest. Meanwhile, Sgt B takes a look at Hands and accomplishing tasks.

Also - go listen to Fuzzybear Lioness in her first podcast for Project Valour IT, thanks to Holly Aho and the wonderful Soldiers' Angels folks!

Chuck, meanwhile, proves that his sense of humor is totally intact (or at least as broken as it has ever been) with a little Tank Pr0n.

MSG Keith tells what he did for summer vacation.

Over at Villainous Company, Cassandra has seized the Moral High Ground on Judge Roberts. The picture alone is worth the visit!

Sean from Doc in the Box provides directions on how to get bloggers to shut up!

Other attendees at the blog-b-que included John and Beth Donovan, Neptunus Lex, Da Goddess, and the Smashes. By the way - Smash had a little surprise after returning from his 2 weeks at Mabel - he needs to find a new job! Help him out, if you can.

Monday, August 22, 2005

What's it all about?

Just in case the meaning and importance of Project Valour IT is new to you, please go to Techography, where Bloodspite has a complete run-down.

The word on this wonderful is working it's way through the blogs ... keep it spreading any way that you can. You can make a difference!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sunday Links and Happenings

Chuck (CPT Z) is out of the hospital, having made his escape the other day. He is blogging pretty regularly now, such as today's item on being Almost Famous.

The fact that he can blog at all is thanks to the voice control software he received for his laptop. His freedom has inspired the Valour IT project, which you can read about at Thoughts by Seawitch today.

In other places, AFSister has decorated her side of the puddle, and offers up some creative custom license plates to puzzle out.

The Armorer and SWWBO are visiting San Diego, where Beth writes about the SD Wild Animal Park. She's right - you need to walk a lot to see the whole thing, but it is worth it!

At Blogoram, Rammer notes an intriguing way to get attention, while Punctilious has bed head.

For a little dark military humor, check out Go Jack Army's military cartoons. Meanwhile, Erik rambles on a bit, while endorsing Snickers!

On the serious side, Michael Yon writes more from Mosul, where some serious action has been taking place. Go read his Saturday dispatch, and support him if you can. He is one of the good guys reporting the real news from Iraq.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Kelo v. New London ... Part II

Gee ... I'm still getting over the dismay at the Supremes for their decision on Kelo v. New London, as in allowing the use of Eminent Domain to justify the taking stealing of property, when it benefits the government (in taxes, don't ya know).

So when I had this article forwarded to me, I was so stunned I could barely react.

A New (London) Low
A refrigerator box under the bridge: The Kelo Seven prepares for the worst

by Jonathan O'Connell - July 14, 2005

Those who believe in the adage "when it rains, it pours" might take the tale of the plaintiffs in Kelo v. New London as a cue to buy two of every animal and a load of wood from Home Depot. The U.S. Supreme Court recently found that the city's original seizure of private property was constitutional under the principal of eminent domain, and now New London is claiming that the affected homeowners were living on city land for the duration of the lawsuit and owe back rent. It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation.

So, the government Can take your property purely on the justification of the taxes it will be paid (for the Public Good) ... AND they can charge you Rent while you fight the decision in court.

Don't you just love it? Because, it's for their own good, you see.

But wait - it gets better ...

In some cases, their debt could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Moreover, the homeowners are being offered buyouts based on the market rate as it was in 2000.

Cha-Ching ! That's right - the government ...
  1. Gets to take the property
  2. Pays 5 year old property values, and
  3. Charges back rent to the owners!

You can read the whole thing here. Property ownership is a fleeting thing, it appears, and the government 'of the people' seems to be a concept that is in dire need of review.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Understanding the culture

The MSM is a source of frustration as we try to gauge progress in Iraq, but there are other barriers that we need to understand as well. I've done little travel outside of the U.S., but it seems obvious that people the world over share basic human concerns - safety, health, care for family, etc. What continues to surprise me is how much variety exists in the means used to satisfy these needs in other cultures.

Our troops in Iraq have the chance to see these differences every day as they deal with the Iraqi people. For example, over at RightBrains, one returned soldier describes some of the Divisions that hinder Democracy in Iraq. It is from one man's perspective, but it opened my eyes a little more on the challenges that are in front of us, and in front of the Iraq people trying to unify their society.

Occasionally I hear the viewpoint that we can't make Democracy work in Iraq, as if the people aren't ready for it, and maybe never will be. Aside from the fact that I find this to be a depressing thought - I just find it hard to believe. I believe that there are many who are afraid to change their patterns, in the face of danger from the terrorists. But more and more, they will see that the terrorists are losing, and that the future allows them to build new patterns.

Besides - as Bill points out today at the Castle, we must continue this fight, and win it ... because the alternative is no safety - for the Iraqis, or for the rest of us.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sgt B has a Way with Words

He may class himself as a grunt, but I love it when blog-brother Sgt B of The Gun Line settles in and writes. Read his take on Grunts and the Press ... it's a treasure!

Also, you may have read about the construction of the USS New York over at Blackfive yesterday. But you have to read the comments to get the best part!

I can see it now...

Two shipfitters walking back to the timeclock at the end of the day:

"You know, it's amazing," says one, "I've been slapping these ladies together for fifteen years, and I've never had a ship come together like this. I mean, the metal almost welds itself, the nuts and bolts go on smoothly every time, and I'd swear that I saw one of the bulkheads kinda move to let a guy get into a confined space to touch up some tack welds..."
"Yeah..." the other man said, "She's not gonna let all that 'waitaminute' stuff get in the way of getting out there. But, ya know, I swear that she wants to get out of here and into the fight."
"How so?"
The man tipped his hardhat back and looked fondly at the huge grey hull, "I was talking with Joe, we wuz x-rayin' some of the hull plate welds - you know Joe, his kid's in the Corps, over in Iraq-"
"Yeah, I know him."
"Yeah, well, he pulled out a letter he got from his kid, I guess they got into it a while back."
"Yeah, and..?"
"I swear to God, man, as soon as Joe finished readin..."
"She growled..."
"Who growled?"
The man reached a hand up to caress the part of the hull he could reach.
"SHE did..."

Posted by: Sgt. B. | Aug 17, 2005 2:50:03 PM

A caricature of grief

The stand-off in Texas continues, with Cindy Sheehan demanding that President Bush talk with her again. When I first heard of this story, I was sad to see how the loss or her son had affected the grieving mother.

But now, as this continues to drag on, and the statements get sillier and more bizarre, all I see is a cartoon figure. Cindy Sheehan has tried to hold herself up as a symbol for all grieving mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the war. Instead, she has created a caricature of grief, and no longer resembles reality.

Her Sheehanigans (to borrow Bloodspite's phrase) include founding a group that wants to impeach President Bush. Not just for the war in Iraq, but for the Afghanistan war as well!

But wait ... it isn't all bad. There are benefits to her passing over to the dark side where reality doesn't visit. We don't have to take her seriously any more. Which makes ridicule much more fun.

Such as Cindy in stocks, from Andrea at Least Loved Bedtime Stories v. 2.0.

Or the wonder of finding an image in your grilled cheese sandwich ... sheer genius from Robb at Sharp as a Marble.

I wonder if Cindy will be like the old Star Trek (original show) episode, where the floating light entity fed off of the fighting between the Enterprise crew and the Klingons, until Kirk convinced them all to laugh ... and drove the evil spirit away?

We can hope, can't we?


Go check out Adventures with Cindy at This Blog is Full of Crap, much more fun to be had. H/T to James at The Partamian Report.

And further thanks to Andrea for pointing out Ace of Spades' list of Top Ten Questions Cindy Sheehan has for President Bush!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Freedom lost ... and restored

We are blessed in this country with great freedoms ... we can speak our minds, move about from city to city, work where we can find jobs, and generally do what we like within the bounds of law and public acceptance.

We can do thing big and little, and sometimes it is the little things that irk the most when we can't do them. Small things like writing a note, researching an interesting news story on the web, looking at pictures of family far and wide. If I could not type or operate a mouse, these things would be hard, maybe impossible.

So many of our service men and women are dealing with these encumbrances day-to-day. Project Valour IT is all about freedom. It will fund laptops with voice-control and dictation software, and provide them to military hospitals, so that those with limiting injuries can more easily accomplish these simple tasks.

April Shah of Randomosity thought about how this might have been needed to help her sister. Michelle was injured in Iraq a few months ago, and her best friend and fellow soldier, Gavin Colburn, was killed. Go visit April, and check out her thoughts on this Good Cause, and especially read the comment that Michelle left from Iraq.


We want to raise $600,000 to fully fund the laptops and software for the project, and every small donation helps. You are free ... and your dollars can help them to be free as well. Please look at the project, and donate if you can.

For other news of the project, including open needs to volunteer help, check at the Project Valour IT Blog. Also, feel free to scan down the blog roll of the project in the sidebar, and check out what some of the other Fusileers have to offer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Something for the Soul

I've added a new link in the Eye Candy section of the sidebar, so that you can explore the photographic art of Jordan for yourself.


Dior / Gdynia

Monday, August 15, 2005

Another Al-Zarqawi cohort killed

This is almost becoming commonplace. In fact, I will be interested to see how many of the MSM heavy hitters will even mention it.

Wanted Al Qaeda Member Killed
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2005

Terrorist Abu Zubair, also known as Mohammed Salah Sultan, was killed Aug. 12 by Iraqi security forces in an ambush in the northern city of Mosul, officials said today.

Zubair was a known member of al Qaeda in Iraq and a lieutenant in the operations of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Mosul. ...

Any time that I see that another of Zarqawi's cohorts has been captured or killed, I am pleased. The more terrorist organizers removed from the scene in Iraq, the better.

I am also happy to see that more and more of these raids and ambushes are being run by the Iraqi forces, as they become confident and take over the security of their country.

I found this very interesting :
When Zubair was killed, he was wearing a suicide device consisting of an explosive pack across his stomach armed with pellets, officials noted.

One possible reason for this would be that the trusted leaders are rigged to die if captured, which would make sense. Any who are captured will certainly be interrogated for their knowledge of the organization and other terrorist plans, weapons, and safe houses.

I'm curious ... I don't recall reading before about suicide bombs being found on the leaders - if any one knows stats on this, I would be interested. It makes me wonder if he was actually preparing for a specific suicide attack on the ISF or some other target when the ambush occurred. That would indicate a new level of desperation to me, if leaders are now prepared to use themselves rather than dupe some low-level bomb fodder into blowing himself up for the cause.

I could be very wrong - and Abu Zubair may have been relatively small potatoes in the scheme of things. But the fact remains that the Iraqi forces are growing in skills every day, and more are being trained constantly. There are many terrorists left, and our forces and the Iraqis are still meeting up in deadly encounters. But every bit on the scale helps tip it in the right direction.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Denizens Alert!

Today is another Natal Day celebration for the Admiral of the Castle Argghhh! Moat Fleet.

Happy Birthday, Boquisucio!!!!
...and many happy returns!

After my past recently on the attitudes of some schools regarding the Junior ROTC programs for high school students, Boq provided some interesting commentary on his own experiences in the program as a youth. As a way to mark his Natal celebration, I offer you these remembrances ...

As I stated before, I'm glad to have been a JROTC Cadet. It served me well in gaining self respect, discipline, and leadership traits, which I have carried forward all of this years in the civilian world.

8th grade

For the most part, my high school was just like any other, except that every night I had to shine my brass, and shoes, and prep my uniform for the morning's inspection. Every morning would start with Raising of the Colors / Morning Formation and Inspection. This lasted for half an hour; after which we would fall-out for classes. At noon we would fall-in formation once more and march in units to the Mess Hall... 'nuther 20 minutes formation. For the most part, that was the extent of Martial Activities for the day.

There were few exceptions, as we had Leadership Development Classes once every week. This hour a week, was spent studying military history, citizenship, marching and drilling with Demiled Springfield '03's. Those Springfield 03´s were a beaut. They had the barrel plugged, and the bolt-face soldered-in. Other than that, all mechanisms were operational.

We had an armory in the basement, next to the indoor range. One of my jobs was to clean and lube them prior to our annual inspections. Did a good job, for our school always got the coveted Yellow Star.

10th grade

What I loved the most was qualifying twice as Expert with Small Bore Rifles at the Indoor Range. Ah, the smell of single based propellant going off in the indoor range. Finally, we had two pass-in-reviews per year, at the Parade Grounds/Soccer Field.

For the grand majority of students that was the extent of Toy Soldiering. However I quickly figured out that standing in attention for 50 minutes a day under the Caribbean Sun was no fun at all. For the ambitious amongst us was HQ Company. There, those musically inclined could join The Band. The True Gung-ho could join either the Rangers or the Black Jacks. They would meet every week-end and recreate The Vietnam War at the local jungles and forests.

I first tried out for the Drill Team, but flinging at each other 12-lbs. worth of Ashwood and Steel in the form of WWI rifles was not my cup of tea. But then I found out that the Color Guards would always be on the move; a great plus when the rest of the battalion was forced to stand in rigid attention during the semi-annual parades. The kicker was, that The Color Guard would also be amongst the most called upon to cut classes, as every month there would be a civic activity somewhere in the region requiring the flags to be present. Be it the Rotarians cutting a ribbon downtown, or the Governor of the island giving a speech somewhere.

Of course, we would Raise up, and then Retreat the Colors at the traffic circle every morning and afternoon. More movement and cutting of classes. When I joined at 9th Grade, I first started by escorting the colors either with a sabre, or rifle, then moved up to carrying the school, then the commonwealth flags, and finally the Old Glory itself. During my senior year, I made it to SFC, being in-charge of my little gang of Color Bearers.

Graduation, with proud Mother


Arise, Castle Denizens! Leave Natal Day for Boq greetings here, or at the Castle. I am off to enjoy visiting friends and lovely weather - good cheer to all!!

OOPS - Almost forgot the Present!! Boq - Given your love of language, and mastery of Italian and Latin, I offer a pass to the Vatican Library exhibit. Cheers!


Note that Fusileer6 posted an update on Project Valour IT today, including a link to the new blog for the Project, hosted by Sgt B. Please bookmark it, link it - and spread the word to keep the project rolling!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Fun!

This week's Carnival of the Recipes is beautifully hosted by ALa at Restaurant Sage today. Check out the menu ... the presentation is glorious!

ALa also adds her voice to the Fighting Fusileers for Freedom in support of Project Valour IT.

Katy will have another installment of Self Portrait Friday at The Grass Isn't Greener today ... sometime ... go ahead and pester her - she likes that ... *grin* ! The theme today is Relaxing, maybe she's just slackin'?!

Erik already has his SPF picture posted -- from the sandbox, no less! I love to read his tidbits, too ... go read and drop him a note.

Over at the Castle, John is extending his previous rant, for an astral projection, he projects quite well! And MSG Keith is back from his wanderings with a review on what it means to be an American. He gets to meet his new girlfriend this weekend for the first time. Granddaughter Eleanor is two weeks old now, and has been waiting for Granpa Sarge to show up for the pinky fitting ...

Kat at The Middle Ground is on a tear -- just start at the top and read down to read her further musings/rants on Over There, keeping tabs on the media, and the latest PC stupidity. And if you haven't read the compelling prose from Sgt B, go now...

In other places, AFSister is still on vacation, Punctilious has returned from hers, SWWBO has returned to blogging after a quick hiatus - and reminds us of the definition of Guardian. BCR talks about Project Valour IT, Jack at Random Fate has some follow up on Last Words (or not), and Cass offers Conserva Babe blogging at Villainous Company!

Project Valour IT update

The big news this week is the fantastic new project from the Soldiers' Angels organization, called Project Valour IT, the brainchild of Fusileer Captain Fuzzybear Lioness. Take a laptop, add software that lets you talk while it types, and give it to the men and women at Bethesda and other military hospitals. Let those who don't have (and may never regain) the use of their hands and arms write emails to their friends and family, give voice commands to browse the web and keep in touch with their loved ones. This is the promise and potential of Project Valour IT.

Take a few minutes to go to the Gun Line and and absorb Sgt B's description of just how important this project is for the wounded troops. The warrior has the soul of a poet, and knows how to pluck the heartstrings...

Also, go see what John's astral projection has to say on this, as well as Jack, Kat, Bad Cat Robot, and of course, BillT and Fusileer6 at the Castle.

Others who are covering this include Blackfive, in his Caring for the Defenders series, Neptunus Lex, Bloodspite of Techography, and Teresa of Technicalities.

Click to donate

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fusileers : Project Valour IT needs YOU

[This post is going to stay on top for a few days. Please scroll down for new posts.]

The Fusileers have been standing by since receiving Orders from Castle Argghhh! in the Tuesday dispatches. The Fighting Fusileers are being recalled to duty, to spread the word of a new way to help out the wounded troops.

Thanks to the inspiration of CPT Chuck Ziegenfuss, and the drive and hard work of Denizenne Fuzzybear Lioness, and Soldiers' Angels like Holly Aho and the amazing Patti Bader, there is a new segment of the Soldiers' Angels organization.


Project Valour IT
Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops

In memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss

Every cent raised for Project Valour IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of laptops, software and equipment for the wounded servicemembers.

Currently we are forming "libraries" of laptops equipped with the voice-controlled software for wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines at each major military medical center to check-out for a few hours at a time. In the next stage, a fully-equipped laptop will be provided to each servicemember for use throughout in-hospital recovery. Finally, copies of the voice-controlled software for use on home computers will be supplied to servicemembers who still need it as they leave the medical center.

There's much more at the Project Valour IT site, about the project and the need, and especially about the history behind the project.

Please go there, read about the project, and help in any way you can. These guys and gals deserve our help!

CPT and Mrs. Z

Swordfish with Orange Sauce

The best part of this recipe is the Orange Sauce. It has a touch of tang to it, to counter the sweet ... yummy! The sauce does well on other things also - we've tried it on other fish, and it's terrific on baked ham.

What you'll need :
Orange Sauce

  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • Dash hot sauce

  • Swordfish
  • 4 (6 oz.) swordfish steaks
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

  • Preparation :
    Orange Sauce
    Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

  • Place swordfish steaks on lightly greased grid of broiler pan.
  • Combine lime juice and butter. Brush over steaks.
  • Broil at Lo Broil setting about 4 inches from heat for 10-15 minutes. Turn fish over and continue broiling 10-15 minutes or until done. Brush occasionally with lime-butter mixture.
  • Serve with Orange Sauce.

    This one is so easy, even *I* can make it. Not that the Hubster actually lets me do anything except cut up veggies and such.

    You can vary the tang in the sauce a bit with the amount of horseradish, and potentially by using various hot sauces - although we are simple folks, and just use Tabasco.

    For the record ... I like my spice on the light side - and this sauce fits me to a 'T'. Try it this way first, then moosh it around to suit your fancy!

  • Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    More on the loser Phelps

    Fred "the dipstick" Phelps is once again planning to disrupt the funeral service of a fallen warrior. This word came via Go Jack Army, where the news was received and relayed, and members of the SF community in the Arlington / Washington DC area were encouraged to help Counterprotest.

    The fallen soldier is Sgt. Jason T. Palmerton, who was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group this February, and was killed July 23rd in Afghanistan.

    Phelps and his so-called church group are hate-mongers of the worst stripe. They have sunk so low as to protest at the services of fallen warriors - because they know that this garners them publicity.

    Opelika-Auburn News, Aug. 7th : "... The Rev. Phelps, who was not present at the protest, said during a phone interview Friday the WBC uses the funerals of soldiers from the war in Iraq for its demonstration to garner extra public attention."

    This guy just gives the title 'Reverend' a bad name.

    Combining Rifles and Billiards?

    Well, not really - it just looks like the targets are billiard balls :

    This fun little target is to be used for an e-Postal Rifle Match. I found this over at Random Nuclear Strikes, including the rules for this e-competition -- titled Killiards ...

    No time limit - take as long as needed.

    Ten points per ball for a total possible score of 150 points.

    One hit per billiard ball. Two hits on any ball counts as a miss.

    Only 15 holes are allowed in any one target.

    100 Yards minimum distance for centerfire rifle calibers (50 yds for rimfire and pistol caliber)

    The Analog Kid has his target posted, and a lot more details on how to take part, if you are so inclined. E-mail the resulting score for your target to The Analog Kid by August 22nd to take part.

    Note also that you can strive for longer distances, as these will be considered separate categories. 100 Yards is plenty long enough for me, though, thanks.

    I haven't had a good reason to take the rifles out for much too long - this sounds like fun. Guess I'd better get the long guns out and clean 'em up!

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Shining examples of Wrong

    I get so tired of people who can't do their jobs, and who are so lame they don't even care about the consequences of their incompetance. I found this latest example at ALa's.

    Then we have another fine example of Political Correctness gone off the deep end, because apparently White People are not allowed to be proud! You tell 'em, Grau!!

    For a more humorous example of wrongness, check out the pic at NoHoldsBarred. Is it worse than the thongs-for-men pic?? It's a matter of personal viewpoint, I think. Either way ... Spew alert!!

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    Sunday links

    Toni talks Thongs - for Men! Warning ... Spew alert!

    When I saw "the asshole is back" over at the tiny blog, I was intrigued. Partly because Seattle was mentioned, and partly to find out if she really is an asshole. So I went to I, Asshole, and scanned, read, wandered about ... until I found "She drives me Crazy"! Go read ... she's a hoot - and she totally nails the average Seattle driver!!!

    Thanks to Beth of SWWBO for a fine collection of links today, such as Cassandra's announcement re: Judge Roberts, and the reminder about the Carnival of the Recipes hosted at SarahK's place.

    AFSister contemplates giving birth to a stick of butter ... kinda! She's on vacation this week -- feel free to leave a comment or ten to welcome here home. *Grin*

    Thanks to James over at Partamian Report, I know now that Simunitions will hurt, when they find the right spot! Plus, I am certain that James and I share a rude sense of humor!!!

    Be sure to catch up with Fuzzybear Lioness on the yet-to-be-named project to assist the wounded at Walter Reed (and elsewhere). Her story of Two Fathers made me misty-eyed today - go read!

    Finally - Mustang23 has a Caption Contest you can participate in. And if you are really bored, you can try out get addicted to the snazzy little game he posted a few days ago. I can't touch his high-score, and believe me ... I've Tried!!

    Saturday, August 06, 2005

    Good new about Iraq

    Chuck Z is blogging again, with the aid of voice to text software, and he's still got the wit and wisdom to make me laugh and think.

    Today he reminds us that there are some fantastic and generous people out there who deserve more attention and recognition. Soldiers' Angels provides relief in various forms to injured military, and to those deployed.

    One of these Angels is Holly Aho, whose blog is both a tribute to the men and women she supports, and a great source of positive information and inspiration.

    Today, as part of her Positive News series, she offers the following :

    When is the MSM going to start mentioning THIS informaion about Iraq?
    Per the Multi-National Force - Iraq

    As of 15 May 2005 , and despite years of neglect by the Saddam regime, an insurgency intent on intimidating teachers and students, and the damage caused by war, 3,105 schools have been renovated and another 950 schools are currently under rehabilitation.

    Iraq 's Ministry of Health (MoH) on 4 September initiated the first polio immunization program in the country since the start of the war to topple Saddam Hussein in March 2003, in an effort to protect 4.7 million children from the infectious disease. With support from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union (EU), who contributed over US $2.5 million, the Iraqi authorities succeeded in immunizing the vast majority of children in the first three days of the campaign, UNICEF said. A total of 25 million doses of vaccine were purchased with help from a $3.2 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

    She goes on to offer news on the Iraqi Security Forces, The Ministry of Defense, the Economy, and much more. Please go read the whole thing, and leave her comments - she deserves to know how much we need and appreciate this kind of update!

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    What we lose

    John of Argghhh! reminds us how much war hurts, in reference specifically to the Marines who were killed this week, and to war in general. We have the tiger by the tail, and must not let go. The only thing to do from here is ride the tiger until we stop it.

    Also, be sure to check out today's LinkFest and see what the Castle Denizens are writing about.

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Chuck is back

    The speech-to-text software seems to be working, and Chuck has his second post up in two days. Yay! Go check out today's What to do entry. And if you have any ideas on gloves for the man with one pinky - he'd love to hear about it.

    This technical miracle would be useful for any servicemember who can't type due to injuries. Fuzzybear Lioness has been thinking about that, and working on a project to help out. Check out her update on the project.

    Most Americans

    According to a New York Times editorial titled "Guns in the Parking Lot", 'Most Americans' agree with employers like ConocoPhillips when they ban employees from driving around with firearms in their cars.

    Apparently, that puts me in the minority, since I don't actually agree with this concept. Then again, is the generalization really true? Do 'Most Americans' agree with the sentiment?

    I am certain that most people wish to feel safe and secure when they go to work. They probably don't want to fear being blown to bits when one of their co-workers blows a gasket and takes out a handy gun to commit mayhem. But is there a majority of concern that no law abiding Joe or Jane should be allowed to have their handgun in their personal vehicle?

    Look at it another way. If guns are not permitted in the company-owned parking areas, what about knives? I am guessing, without having seen the full document, that there is no mention of knives, or crossbows, or garottes. If violence in the workplace is the concern - these are all potentially lethal!

    I'm curious ... if you own one or more guns, and you occasionally take them to the range for practice, or even to participate in matches, how do you feel about companies telling their employees what can and can't be stored safely in their cars? This essentially means that you cannot plan events directly after work, since you have to go home to retrieve the items you want to take to the range with you.

    If the objects are legal to own, if there are no laws broken, why have this restriction? I'm really curious to hear how you feel on this one. Whether you own guns or not, should this be something that companies can control?


    Speaking of guns ... check out the sweet little item that John has posted. Can I have one, pretty please??

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Godspeed Smoky Smith

    Blackfive adds to his Someone You Should Know series, raising his glass to the last Canadian Victoria Cross winner: Ernest Alva (Smoky) Smith -- someone we Should Have Known.

    "You never know when your last sunrise is going to be." ... Good words to live by.

    Denizennes in Action (updated)

    AFSister's thinking about Parental Responsibility, or when is it not the parents fault, perhaps? Speaking of parenting - she's on her own this week, sans hubby and kids - so go give her a kind word, eh?!

    FuzzyBear Lioness is continuing to fine-tune her ideas on helping the wounded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as well as other places.

    We don't have pictures yet, but Bad Cat Robot and I ripped into several helpless pieces of paper tonight, proving that the physics of high-speed lead versus thin papyrus-like material has predictable results. Watch her space for more details...
    UPDATE : Picture posted now!
    UPDATE 2 : I didn't keep my targets from last night, but here is a previously posted target that I'm a bit proud of.

    SWWBO confesses that she sings silly stuff (and maybe sells seashells down by the seashore) - but mostly to her horse, Petey!

    Cassandra continues to have feminine issues ... er, issues with feminine behavior, that is!

    Meanwhile, Kat uses very few words to say what she has to say about Jihad Jane, while using all of the spare words on other topics ... like the murder of Steven Vincent in Basra.

    Not to ignore the guys ... Bill muses on Life with a Luddite, while Rammer has some words about words, and John provides my History homework.

    Fleet Week in Seattle!

    This one is for both Sgt B and JMH ... It's Fleet Week in Seattle! This weekend will mark the end of the month-plus long chain of events called SeaFair, and includes the opportunity for civilians to tour several military vessels.

    Military ships arrive for Fleet Week

    Eight ships from the Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy and the Canadian navy arrived at the Seattle waterfront yesterday. The vessels will be open for public tours tomorrow through Sunday at Pier 91.

    The largest vessel available for tours, the USS Bonhomme Richard, is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship that was part of the Indian Ocean tsunami-relief effort last winter.

    Also here for Fleet Week is the USS Ogden, an Austin-class amphibious transport dock, and from the Canadian navy, the HMCS Nanaimo, Yellowknife, Saskatoon and Whitehorse — all Kingston-class coastal-defense vessels.

    Click here for an image of the USS Bonhomme Richard in Elliott Bay, with Mount Rainier in the background.

    Having toured the USS Abraham Lincoln on Independence Day, I don't know whether I'll make it downtown this weekend. If I do, JMH, I'll be heading for the Canadian ships!

    According to the article, all of the tour reservations are full, but there will be a wait list sign up at pier 91.

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Generals vs. Editors

    "Why, it appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all of our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all of the defects plainly from the start but didn't tell me until it was too late. I'm willing to yield my place to these best generals and I'll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper."

    So who do you think said this? Leave your answer/guesses in the comments,.

    No Googling allowed, by the way!!

    This oughta be fun ... Thanks, Max!

    Role Models

    I don't really care whether Rafael Palmeiro used steroids or not, lied or not, any of it. Most sports figures are not great role models - they just happen to be people with physical gifts, who get paid way too much money.

    Everett (WA) resident Jennifer Cabanayan hasn't done a lot yet, either. But she's young, and she's working on something worthwhile. Last year she wore a sash that said "Miss Everett Teen USA 2004". In a little over a week, she will trade that for something a little more on the green side.

    Miss Everett Teen USA Enlists In The Army
    August 1, 2005

    EVERETT - Miss Everett Teen USA 2004 is putting away her sash to put on a U.S. Army uniform.

    Last summer, Jennifer Cabanayan appeared at community events, including the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival and the National Night Out Against Crime, as Miss Everett Teen USA 2004. Now she has enlisted in the Army and will leave for boot camp at Fort Jackson, S.C., on Aug. 11.

    The petite brunette says Army service has always been in the back of her mind.

    "I'm capable, I'm healthy. This is the right thing to do," said Cabanayan, who attended Cascade and Marysville-Pilchuck high schools before earning her GED. "I cannot wait for that moment of putting on a uniform. It gives you that honor."

    Her plan includes airborne jump school after basic training. Her grandfather served with an Army Airborne unit in Vietnam -- the apply truly does not stray far from the tree!

    The Miss Everett Teen USA title was a way to have a voice. "If smaller kids think you're a princess, they might listen more," Cabanayan said. Last November, she competed in the state pageant. Her Everett reign ended in May.

    This young lady is someone that a young girl (or boy) can look up to. Instead of being a princess, she will become a soldier ... and I congratulate her on the choice.

    Thanks again, Ry!


    The Anchoress also has a post on this, and points back to her source at Ace of Spades.

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    Some schools Like the military

    The anti-recruiting forces in Seattle have been active this year, with the protest at SCCC in January, the vote by Garfield High School to deny recruiters access to the students, and the protest that I attended in May (see archives) as prime examples.

    What a relief it was to read that the Federal Way school district invited the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program into their high schools.

    Wait - don't get too excited yet. Check out the title of the article first :

    Military classes are off course
    By Danny Westneat

    In Seattle, the public schools are hostile territory for the military, as parents shoo away recruiters and are pushing to bar them entirely.

    In the suburbs, though, the armed forces are welcomed for more than just visits. They're teaching some of the classes.

    This sounds benign, doesn't it? No big deal, just some military involvement in teaching history or something. But wait ...

    Seattle is overly viperous toward the military. It's a vital institution, as well as a major source of jobs, and Seattle's schools ought to educate kids about both. Let the Army set up a booth at career day. It's better they buttonhole kids there, where they can be supervised.

    But ensconcing the military inside school walls, and subsidizing it with school dollars, is over the line the other way.

    But what other government agency, corporation or special-interest group gets to design what is taught in a public-school classroom, and then run the classes themselves?

    Take this fall's first course. It features the role of the military in history, taught by an officer using material provided by the military. That's like having a course on environmental policy taught by Greenpeace.

    First off, the school receives federal funding, so the classes are really not being paid for with 'local dollars'. Besides - the parents and school administrators feel these are valuable ... so it is their dollar to spend, isn't it?

    Comparing the Military to Greenpeace is just plain silly, nuff said about that. Besides, the topics of these classes aren't exactly HUN-101.

    Federal Way officials were drawn to it because it features courses in aerospace technology, a subject the schools couldn't offer otherwise.

    Finally, the Ultimate Goal of JROTC is uncovered ...

    It's also clear that a goal of JROTC is to groom future enlistees. Students are given information on how to sign up. The Defense Department testified to Congress in 2000 that JROTC is one of its premier recruiting devices.

    Armed-forces recruiting is essential. Without it, we'd have a draft. Schools must by law allow it, but it's their duty to supervise it, not subsidize it.

    There's a war on. Education devoted to exploring diverse points of view about war ought to include bringing the armed forces into our classrooms.

    They shouldn't, however, be handed the keys.

    Yes - the JROTC is a tool of the recruiting forces, it provides a way for youth to meet with servicemembers, to learn from them, and to explore the world of the military from their safe high school environment.

    It is not, however, brainwashing. Call it a Diversity program, if that helps make it less scary.

    Thanks to Ry for the hat-tip !
    [Linked to Mudville Gazette's Open Post]