Monday, February 27, 2006

The Ports issue discussed

I wanted to point to some of the many good items out there with thoughtful viewpoints and details on the ports issue...

Varifrank reminds us that cargo comes into this country by air as well, with Thank you for flying Hyperbole Airlines. My favorite part ...

You want to go all "nativist" and start a policy of "keep the darkies out", you go right ahead. Let's do that, lets get this country on a policy of not allowing Air Cargo in the United States that follows the same line of logic that some of you are setting for ship based cargo and we can all go line up at the unemployment office now and beat the christmas rush.

The Patriot Post outlines the process of review in Port of Public Opinion.
Approval of the DPW proposal underwent three months of interagency review. According to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, "This review definitely was not cursory and it definitely was not casual. Rather, it was in depth and comprehensive." This is the same review that management companies based in China, Denmark, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan underwent before being authorized to manage terminals in the port of Los Angeles. We might add, China now manages some terminals on both ends of the Panama Canal.

Foreign investment in the U.S., including port management, is nothing new.

As for the assertion that President George Bush should have known about the proposal, Frances Townsend, his senior advisor for Homeland Security, counters, "Rarely do these [reviews] wind up on the president's desk and that's only after there has been an investigation and there is some disagreement. This didn't get there because none of the agencies who reviewed it had any objection."

A personal viewpoint from a friend, an Army officer who travels through Dubai on his way in and out of Afghanistan ... "I've passed through Dubai twice in the past 3 months and the place is more pro-US than King County."

[Ed. note : This was written on Monday, but did not publish - just catching up!]

Sunday, February 26, 2006

It IS about Security

But not the way some people have positioned it. The deal to allow Dubai Ports World to operate port facilities in the US has been debated everywhere. I've read much that I agree with, some that I don't. But I recognize that most people are concerned with our safety, as individuals and as a nation.

So I was glad to read Ollie North's take on the issue in The Freedom Alliance today. He refutes the knee-jerk view that we were talking about a foreign power controlling our security.

Contrary to the canard that “an Arab government will be in charge of security at six of America’s biggest ports,” all security operations will continue to be handled by Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard. DP World, like the British firm before it, will have nothing to do with security operations at the ports in question. But, it’s understandable that casual observers believe there is a security element involved when high-ranking administration officials like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice say that the port deal "serves our security interests and serves the commercial interest [of the U.S.] as well.''

In fact, not only is this not about losing our security at home, it's about maintaining and gaining security at the source ports:
Like international commercial air travel, port operations do not start at home – they begin abroad and strong, trusted allies are essential to ensure the safety of cargo being loaded onto U.S.-bound ships in port terminals all over the world before it heads for an American port. Lost in all the noise is the fact that Dubai was the first Middle Eastern entity to sign-up for the Container Security Initiative to pre-screen cargo destined for the U.S.

We NEED strong allies in the Middle East and around the globe. We need this deal. Unfortunately, we also need the administration to pay attention, and understand how this whole issue was blown out of proportion. Can we have some dialogue, please??

Go read "Misunderestimated Disconfirmation". I want to hear your thoughts on this.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

UW discussed on FOX, Scarborough Country

I caught actor Robert Conrad on FOX news this afternoon, talking about the University of Washington student senate furor. (Previous posts here, here and here) The discussion covered the initial failed resolution, and some of the reported comments made by students.

I turned on the TV after the interview started, after I received an email tip. So I may have missed key discussion points. Mr. Conrad was very unhappy about the whole situation, expressed his concern over the lack of respect shown to "Pappy" Boyington and other war heroes. As I write this, I cannot locate an video for the interview, but if anyone finds a link, feel free to leave it in comments, and I will update this post.

One thing I did not hear anything about was the new resolution proposed last week, to honor not just Boyington, but all of the UW students who were awarded the CMOH. I've been scanning the student senate discussion forum, and it seems likely that this second resolution will have fairly broad support.

Also, one of the points that I, and others, neglected to emphasize in the initial posts is that the vote was very close. In fact, the initial resolution was a 45-45 tie, broken by the deciding vote of the senate student president. This bodes well for the new resolution, and I hope to see progress made.

On the flip side, I missed seeing Scarborough Country on Monday. On the show, Joe talked with several students, as well as my favorite radio host, Kirby Wilbur. I wish that I had seen it, but I think I might have thrown something at the TV in places. Here's the complete transcript of the show, with the UW discussion falling about in the middle.

One excerpt to highlight:

BAPTISTE: Let's talk about heroes. A lot of people—obviously, a lot of young people nowadays don't see war as a heroic sport. It's not an adventure. It's a brutal, really inhumane thing. And...

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you think the Marines...


SCARBOROUGH: ... over in Iraq right now? You think that they think it's a sport when they're getting their legs blown off? Do you think they're over there to have a thrill?

BAPTISTE: No, I'm not saying that the soldiers are—I'm not saying that the soldiers think that. I'm saying people who whip up nationalism, and try to whip up support for the war, and try to convince people to sign up and go fight in wars like the Iraq war, they think—a lot of times these people think it is some sort of a sport, some sort of a rite of passage for people in our society, like I have to go fight a war because my father and my grandfather fought a war.

So, we just invented a war to go fight so our young men could have a 'rite of passage'? Of all the ignorant and silly thoughts on reasons for war ... that has to take the cake.

By the way, Andrews Dad researched Mr. Baptiste a little bit. Seems he is a member of the group SocialistAlternative-dot-Org. Think back to the recruiting protest last May in Seattle. One of the main organizers ... SocialistAlternative. He may not (Please, Lord, I hope Not) represent the majority of the students at UW, but students like Andrew Everett, the author of the Memorial resolutions (R-12-18 and R-12-26) represent my hope for the future! Andrew ... should you ever run for office here in Washington, let me know - I'll help!

H/T to Ry for the link ... thanks!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Recruiters on Campus

This resolution from the UW Student Senate, proposed this past week, will be interesting to watch. Especially as the case before the Supreme Court (FAIR v. Rumsfeld - oral arguments were made in December) will provide a national response sometime this year.

A Resolution in Support of the Right of Military Recruiters to be Present on Campus

WHEREAS the military provides meaningful career opportunities for many students; and,

WHEREAS the military is also the defender of our freedoms and way of life; and,

WHEREAS at the Seattle Central Community College campus military recruiters were attacked by protesters last year; and,

WHEREAS we want to make sure this kind of intolerance does not happen on our campus, therefore


THAT we support military recruiters' right to be on our campus, and

THAT we support ROTC's continued right to be present on campus, and

THAT we further support and respect the fine men and women who serve our country.

History of Legislation
02/17/2006: Submitted for consideration

Which begs an interesting question. IF the court rules that the schools still have to permit military recruiters on campus, or lose funds under the Solomon Act - what difference will a local resolution by the UW Student Senate make? Similarly, if the court rules against the DoD, will the local resolution be maintained?

BTW - If you have not been following the state of military recruiting here in the Seattle area this past year, here are some links to fill the gap ...

Jan 2005
Anti-war group targets on-campus military recruiters (Seattle PI)
Support Recruiter Threatened At Seattle Central Community College

June 2005
You Know Why...

May 2005
Seattle Recruiting Protest
Combat the Moonbats

Looking around

America's Son has wrapped up his Iraq experience to head for home, sharing one last chapter before he says Buh-bye to the sandbox.

John of Argghhh selected a few images of today's troops, in which the vets may see echos of the past as well.

Lt. K at Wordsmith at War compares Leadership and Parenthood.

Good news about our military from Camp Katrina - rescuing people in the Philippines, helping women and children in Iraq, and taking weapons away from the terrorists.

Speaking of the troops - check out the latest on Project Valour-IT. There's more good to be done for them, if you can help.

I've stayed out of the issue of the Veep's hunting incident, but this take from Mark Steyn is Priceless, as Cassandra notes.

AirForcePundit reminded me that Feb. 22nd will be the natal day of our first president, George Washington. Monday's holiday (if you had one ... I didn't) is a contrived date to make a 3-day weekend for some. So, remember to celebrate for real on Wednesday!

Also, go celebrate with MSG First Sergeant Keith, since he's moved into his dream role. Congrats, Keith!

Some responses from my Meme victims are up : Sgt B and Bad Cat Robot have posted their responses, must wait a little longer for the others.

Sgt B is trying out his new pipes ... go encourage him, so he can progress past the wounded goose stage!

I must be as big a sap as Sgt Lori, since this post at Confessions of a Military Recruiter caused me to sniffle a little as well.

Any of you Milbloggers who haven't yet looked into attending the Milblog Conference on April 22, heads up! Check it out, registration is no charge, and there are some great panelists lined up already.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

No-Name Meme

I was tagged by SWWBO with a new meme, which came to her from Ala. I guess we'll call it the No-Name meme.

1: Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?

My preference is color - but I do love watching old Charlie Chan movies in B&W!

2: What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?

Strangers giving me excruciating details of the medical problems.

3: MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music?

CDs right now. We tossed all our old vinyl records about 10 years ago.

4: You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going ... ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?

No thanks. I have a great travel companion in the Hubster, couldn't leave him behind for anything!

5: Seriously, what do you consider the world's most pressing issue now?

The Global War on Terrorism

6: How would you rectify the world's most pressing issue?

Police our borders and immigrants/visitors better. It won't solve the terrorism, but we need to ensure our survival so we can continue to work on a 'cure'.

7: You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be?

I couldn't change one thing - it's a great life! But if I could say "I Love You" to my parents more often, that would be great.

8: You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be?

End WWI with utter victory and surrender of the German forces. Maybe we would have avoided WWII, then again ... maybe not.

9: A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole' Opry --Which do you choose?

I've seen opera, and enjoyed it. But I'd love a night at the Grand Ole' Opry!

10: What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you'd like to solve?

Where did my 20-year old body go? I want it back!

11: One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?

Robert Heinlein, and for his sake I would take him out to the Calcutta Grill for fine food and wine with an awesome view of sunset over the Olympic mountains.

12: You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky -- what's the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?

Whatever it is - I'd lie about it. So you'll never know ... *grin*

So, who shall I tag? It's been awhile since I actively tagged someone. Hmmmm ...

Bad Cat Robot ... because I really want to know what she will say.
Blog Bro Sgt B ... to make him stop practicing the pipes for a while.
Teresa of Technicalities ... To infect the MuNuvians. MwaHahahaha!
Bloodspite of Techography ... To push him closer to 1 Million Hits!

More on Memorials - Someone you should know

Something very important was lost in the outcry over Ms. Edwards and others at the UW and their statements against honoring Lt. Col. Greg "Pappy" Boyington. I am as guilty of this oversight as any who have been following the story. Remember the reason that this whole controversy began ... a student senator at the University of Washington (affectionately called U-dub in these parts) created a resolution to memorialize and honor Lt. Col. Boyington.

That student in Andrew Everett, and I wish to apologize to him for rushing so quickly to decry his fellow student as to ignore his immense contribution. I am tickled pink to see that Mr. Everett has not been holding still this past couple of weeks. While the discussion raged over the poorly chosen words of Ms. Edwards, Mr. Everett has been busy writing a new resolution. Some had questioned whether a memorial to one man was called for, or whether all of the Medal of Honor recipients who attended UW should be memorialized.

This past week, a new resolution was added to the active legislative roll.

A Resolution Calling a Memorial for UW Alumni awarded the Medal of Honor

WHEREAS the Medal of Honor is the highest award an American can receive, which is awarded for "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force.", and,

WHEREAS the University of Washington has produced five men who have been awarded the Medal of Honor, two of those awards being at cost of their lives, these men are:

- Col. (then Maj.) Gregory Boyington, USMC (Class of 1934) – who during the period 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944 as commander of Marine Fighting Squadron-214 in the Central Solomons area, the highest scoring Marine fighter ace of World War II, did “consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces…and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.”

- 1LT Deming Bronson, USA (Class of 1914) - who during the period 26-27 September 1918 near Eclisfontaine, France, while repeatedly wounded, refused treatment and evacuation multiple times, and while so doing affected the capture of many enemy prisoners in capturing an entrenched position, engaged in the capture of Eclisfontaine, France, and “After the capture he remained with Company E and participated with it in the capture of an enemy machinegun, he himself killing the enemy gunner. Shortly after this encounter the company was compelled to retire due to the heavy enemy artillery barrage. During this retirement 1st Lt. Bronson, who was the last man to leave the advanced position, was again wounded in both arms by an enemy high-explosive shell. He was then assisted to cover by another officer who applied first aid. Although bleeding profusely and faint from the loss of blood, 1st Lt. Bronson remained with the survivors of the company throughout the night of the second day, refusing to go to the rear for treatment. His conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to the members of the entire command.”

- Brig. Gen (then Maj.) Robert Galer, USMC (Class of 1935) – who from May 1942 to March 1943 as commander of Marine Fighting Squadron-224 in the Central Solomons area, did demonstrate “conspicuous heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as leader of a marine fighter squadron in aerial combat with enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area. Leading his squadron repeatedly in daring and aggressive raids against Japanese aerial forces, vastly superior in numbers, Maj. Galer availed himself of every favorable attack opportunity…His superb airmanship, his outstanding skill and personal valor reflect great credit upon Maj. Galer's gallant fighting spirit and upon the U.S. Naval Service.”

- 2LT Robert R. Leisy, USA (Class of 1968) – who on 2 December 1969 in the Phuoc Long province, Republic of Vietnam, did demonstrate “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. Leisy, Infantry, Company B, distinguished himself while serving as platoon leader during a reconnaissance mission. One of his patrols became heavily engaged by fire from a numerically superior enemy force located in a well-entrenched bunker complex. As 2d Lt. Leisy deployed the remainder of his platoon to rescue the beleaguered patrol, the platoon also came under intense enemy fire from the front and both flanks. In complete disregard for his safety, 2d Lt. Leisy moved from position to position deploying his men to effectively engage the enemy. Accompanied by his radio operator he moved to the front and spotted an enemy sniper in a tree in the act of firing a rocket-propelled grenade at them. Realizing there was neither time to escape the grenade nor shout a warning, 2d Lt. Leisy unhesitatingly, and with full knowledge of the consequences, shielded the radio operator with his body and absorbed the full impact of the explosion. This valorous act saved the life of the radio operator and protected other men of his platoon who were nearby from serious injury. Despite his mortal wounds, 2d Lt. Leisy calmly and confidently continued to direct the platoon's fire. When medical aid arrived, 2d Lt. Leisy valiantly refused attention until the other seriously wounded were treated. His display of extraordinary courage and exemplary devotion to duty provided the inspiration and leadership that enabled his platoon to successfully withdraw without further casualties. 2d Lt. Leisy's gallantry at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army.”

- PFC William K. Nakamura, USA (non-graduate, left the UW in 1942) – who on 4 July 1944 near Castellina, Italy, “During a fierce firefight, Private First Class Nakamura’s platoon became pinned down by enemy machine gun fire from a concealed position. On his own initiative, Private First Class Nakamura crawled 20 yards toward the hostile nest with fire from the enemy machine gun barely missing him. Reaching a point 15 yards from the position, he quickly raised himself to a kneeling position and threw four hand grenades, killing or wounding at least three of the enemy soldiers. The enemy weapon silenced, Private First Class Nakamura crawled back to his platoon, which was able to continue its advance as a result of his courageous action. Later, his company was ordered to withdraw from the crest of a hill so that a mortar barrage could be placed on the ridge. On his own initiative, Private First Class Nakamura remained in position to cover his comrades’ withdrawal. While moving toward the safety of a wooded draw, his platoon became pinned down by deadly machine gun fire. Crawling to a point from which he could fire on the enemy position, Private First Class Nakamura quickly and accurately fired his weapon to pin down the enemy machine gunners. His platoon was then able to withdraw to safety without further casualties. Private First Class Nakamura was killed during this heroic stand. Private First Class Nakamura’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.”


THAT we consider these men to be a prime example of the excellence that this university represents and strives to impart upon its students, and,

THAT we desire for a memorial, consisting of stele, for these men be commenced by the University of Washington as quickly as funding can be secured, and the design, arrangement & placement of stele have been agreed upon, which will be publicly displayed, so that all who come here in future years will know that the University of Washington produced five of this country’s bravest men, and that we as a community hold this fact in the highest esteem, and

THAT for all future instances of a UW alumnus being awarded the Medal of Honor, that the addition of a stele for that person should be commenced without delay and added to the memorial.

This is fine work by Mr. Everett! He has proposed a method of honoring those who had already been awarded the MOH, and laid the path for future alumni recipients to be honored as well. Great thinking, and well planned.

Two other new items on the active legislation list also caught my eye. The first is a proposal to acknowledge and support those who have fought for freedom: (An Act Supporting Those Who Work for a Free and Democratic Society, and while a good start - it appears to need a little polishing. Specifically because it names only two of the CMOH awardees.

The other new resolution regards the access of military recruiters to the University of Washington students, and the ROTC on campus. This is too important to mention here as a footnote - look for more on it soon!

Meanwhile - if you remember the name of only one current UW student, make it Andrew Everett. Someone you should know!

Also, check out Blackfive's post regarding the apology resolution, and the new scholarship fund to be established. This is something I plan to support!

Lt. Col. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington Memorial Scholarship Fund

Friday, February 17, 2006

For something completely different

I have been listening to Keni Thomas' album, "Flags of our Fathers", a lot lately. It's in my car, and on my computers at work and home, so I can put the headphones on and listen any time.

Country music doesn't take up a big space in my personal music universe, but these songs are very special. This album is all about honoring warfighters, and the songs cover everyone from my father's WWII generation through today's deployed warriors. Check out the music on the sampler page, you won't be disappointed. If you can listen to "Circle on the Cross" all the way through without at least getting misty-eyed, then I will worry about you.

The other great reason to buy this album is that Keni, as a former Army Ranger who fought in Somalia, has chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds from the CD to the Hero Fund, to benefit the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF).

Benefitting the
Special Operations Warrior Foundation

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides college educations to the children of our special operations personnel killed in training or combat. SOWF currently has over 600 kids committed to college. Why? Because that's what their fathers would have wanted.

We started the HERO FUND to raise awareness of SOWF and the importance of supporting our military and their families. It all started with the song HERO which I wrote as a tribute to a buddy who died in the fighting in Somalia. You may know of the battle from the book and movie "Blackhawk Down" . For those of us who make it out of something like that, you spend the rest of your life thanking the men on your left and your right. By the grace of God, they are the reason I am here today.

When you buy the CD "Flags of Our Fathers- A Soldier's Story" a portion of your money goes to the HERO FUND which donates those funds entirely to the SOWF.

These songs are for anyone who has ever put on the uniform and stepped into battle in defense of our nation. Your sense of duty and self sacrifice will always be appreciated.

Do something good today - for yourself, and for the children of fallen warriors.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

UW student to apologize

The waves expanding from the University of Washington Student Senate rejection of a memorial to "Pappy" Boyington have been interesting to follow. As I noted in Sunday's post, there were several statements of an objectionable nature reported in the minutes from the meeting.

One of the most egregious, however, was the statement from student senator Jill Edwards that 'she didn’t believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.' The minutes note that all statements are paraphrased, unless "" are present in the document, so this is a paraphrase. Still, there is little doubt of the speaker's intent.

[Ed. Note: My original post indicated that the following legislation had passed the student senate. This has not occurred. Thanks to NOTR for the correction.]
I discovered Wednesday via RofaSix that she is going to be forced by her fellow students to recant those words. The student senate, you see, has approved submitted this legislation:

Edwards Apology

WHEREAS Student Senator Jill Edwards offended all members of the United States Marine Corps, past or present, dead or alive; especially those who were, are, or will be students at the University of Washington with her comment that she "didn't believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce." This commented brought shame and dishonor to not only the UW Student Senate, but also the University as a whole, all its members who have served in the Marine Corps and all Marines past and present.



Student Senator Jill Edwards will submit, in writing, a signed apology letter seeking forgiveness to all students, staff, and alumni who are now or ever have served in the United States Marine Corps. In said letter it will contain a formal apology and a recognition that her very rights and freedoms are guaranteed by such members of the armed services, to include the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, past or present, living or dead. Additionally, said letter will be printed in all its form and substance in that day's edition of the UW Daily newspaper as well as being recited on the UW Radio station. To realize her mistake, she must acquaint herself with the history of the person she is so keen to dismiss, by reading Col. Boyington's book, Baa, Baa, Black Sheep. All of these requirements are mandatory, under pain of losing her seat on the Student Senate.

History of Legislation
02/15/2006: Submitted for consideration

I wonder how they plan to test the young lady's compliance regarding the study of Col. Boyington's history?

By the way ... the original draft minutes that I linked to originally are still posted on the ASUW senate. However, the final minutes are also posted now. I've read comments on various blogs from students who claimed that the first release of the minutes were a draft, implying that the final notes might be different in some ways. I've compared the two versions for the key areas that have been the focus of attention, and they are identical as far as I can see. However, if you would like to look closely at the two versions, I'd like to know what you think of the details of the final resolution vote. I have my thoughts on this, but I'd like to hear yours.

A small snide voice in my head wonders that the senate members did not share this feedback directly to Ms. Edwards *during* the discussion in last week's session. But then, some of it seems to be directly related to the Forum discussion on the UW site, where students (including one identified as 'A Navy Chief') debated the meaning of the students' statements, and suggested remedial actions for better understanding.

Regardless - I hope that Ms. Edwards complies with this resolution. I will follow up when (and if) I see the public apology. And it truly remains to be seen whether she, and like-minded fellow students, will truly learn the lesson of this whole event.

Other Takes

Rule of Reason
University of Washington should honor 'Pappy' Boyington

The Chief Brief
UW Senate Discusses Boyington Issue

Student Senate at UofWash Needs Chops Busted

Ace of Spades
Pappy Boyington-Dissing Nitwit Will Publicly Apologize

A letter to the UW Senate

One of my favorite comments to this post on the UW kerfuffle was from James, who tried to share the letter he wrote in reaction to the story. However - the comment limitation chopped off the last part of his quote, cutting off the end of the note. I wanted to pull this out to help visitors find and read it, so I emailed James and asked if he would mind, and he didn't. He also added a preface to frame the letter for us.

After reading the Student Senate minutes, I was pretty livid. I could tell there was some heated debate, and that a few students stood ground. Unfortunately, the minutes also cited some bonehead comments. I couldn’t believe such a state of denial existed. Worse, these are the supposed to be the sharp ones, the intelligence continuum our country needs now more than ever. I authored this letter and sent it to the top three student senate leaders, in addition to the university president. I hope it gets to those who really need to read it.

"Hi guys. I just finished reading the minutes of your meeting on the Pappy dedication, and must say, I'm pretty much speechless. I'm not speechless because of the insults to the military. That's pretty much an expected thing from the liberal students. I'm speechless because I can't believe your some of council, as student leaders, said probably the dumbest things I've ever heard in a public forum. Your council is now a globally known example of how to say something really stupid - without an ounce of knowledge on the subject - and making your university look just as bad in-turn.

First, pass a word to Ashley Miller that Mr. Boyington is a SIOUX indian, not a "rich white man". Thanks for putting another post-pubescent bruise on the historic work of our civil rights leaders. I'm sure they will be proud of her comment. If not, I'm confident most have a high desire to rise from the grave. She deserves one of those "foot in mouth awards" you see on late night TV.

Second, your council is due congratulations on making history. I will mark down that this was the day our veterans were (un)officially labeled "baby killers". No, Jill Edwards never said those exact words, but the rest of the world certainly took it as such.

Third, on a more personal note, let me pass to you the disgust I feel as a veteran. Aside from hanging a large virtual sign in front of your campus saying "VETERANS NOT WELCOME HERE", your leaders have added additional credibility to the case that veterans will continue to pull your weight on top of our own when dealing with a dangerous world.

When will your fellow students understand that in most of this world, they are hated with no regard to life, or property, or really anything at all? Not because they are American, but because they are different in (insert reason here). Pick any reason, it doesn't matter. These people want to chop you and every other western world person into little bloody squares because some psychotic religious leader told them Allah wants them to.

I really wish I could transmit to Jill Edwards or Ashley Miller the picture memories of Kurdish torture rooms where prisoners scribbled (in arabic) "I love you" to their wives and children with whatever they could find, nails, rocks, charcoal. We think they locked them up until they starved to death, but couldn't tell. Or... how I felt seeing the bones of what we thought were Kurdish children, scattered throughout the soil of a shallow field. You see, they were little bones - a little arm bone here, a little leg bone there, tossed up by our trenching machines. No one really knew because there were no witnesses, no records, and we were pretty much used to seeing this kind of thing around the area.

I never thought I would break down and sob in a war zone, but this was the exception. I held it in, keeping a straight face, and found a nice private place behind a building to cry like a frikken baby.

But I can't transmit to you those memories, which in true honesty, were only about 1% of what our Army brothers and sisters were dealing with - every day for a year. I was only there for a couple of months before moving on to other locations, but had seen enough.

I was considering graduate work in engineering at UW, but it will be a cold day in hell after reading those minutes. I'll go elsewhere - I'm not welcome.

(An AF Reserve Captain happy to be home)"

My thanks to James for sharing, and my humble thanks for his service. If you do make it here to the PNW, James - the first beers are on me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Thank You to the 3rd ACR

As the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment leaves Iraq to return to their loved ones at Ft. Carson, Colorado, they can take with them the thanks of the people of the city of Tall' Afar ...

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

Go and thank Greyhawk for sharing this great letter, because without him and the blogiverse, this story would be unknown. I personally wish the town of Tall' Afar and its people all good things.

This is what it's all about, and the people of Tall' Afar understand, they Get IT. It's a shame the MSM doesn't.Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and an Iraqi soldier pause to chat with children during a patrol in Tal Afar. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon II)

Thanks to the Soldiers of the 3rd ACR for a job well done. Many made the ultimate sacrifice, in this deployment and throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I found their Memorial page, which solemnly displays the name and rank of Soldiers lost in Iraq since OIF began. Each Soldier's name, in a slow roll call, appeared against the memorial backdrop, the list seeming without end.

As I watched the names appear, one reached off the screen to grab me.

MAJ Schram, Matthew E.

I will never meet Mat Schram, which is a damn shame, but thanks to his good friend Matt of Blackfive, Major Schram is not a stranger.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More on "Pappy" Boyington

Many people dropped in here yesterday to check on the item about the U-Dub student senate passing on a memorial to "Pappy" Boyington - especially helped along by a link from The Armorer. (Thanks, John!)

Since a few popped in from searches, I decided to do a search of my own to scan the alternate offerings on the subject. The following nuggets rose to the top in my search ...

My personal favorite - both for the content and the killer title:
Rich White Male Kills 26 Japanese Tourists at BlameBush.

Education Does Not Equal Intelligence at The Chief Brief.

Medal of Honor winner need not apply at Strait-Talk.

University of Washington “progressives” STAND UP TO EVIL MURDERING IMPERIALIST STATUE at Evolution, which also had the Best Quote ... "Probability of someone named “Ashley Miller” being rich and white: 1"

Pappy Boyington Not Welcome at University of Washington at The Dougout.

As an added bonus, I now have several more Pacific Northwest bloggers to add to my list.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Col. Greg "Pappy" Boyington not worthy?? (updated)

My favorite morning radio host, himself an alumnus of the University of Washington, passed along a sad little tale last Wednesday. It seems that the Student Senate of the U-Dub had voted down resolution R-12-18:

A Resolution to Calling for a Tribute for Col. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, USMC

WHEREAS Col. Gregory Boyington who as a student at the University of Washington from 1930 to 1934, was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, served as an ROTC cadet, and represented this university as a swimmer and wrestler and held the Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate middleweight wrestling title before he graduated in 1934 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering with a 2nd Lieutenant's Commission in the Coast Artillery Corps, served as a combat pilot in the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group (the "Flying Tigers of China") and served subsequently as a Marine Corps combat pilot in the Pacific Theatre as Commander, Marine Fighting Squadron 214 ("The Black Sheep Squadron") from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944, during which time he was awarded the Navy Cross, America's second highest combat decoration, and the Medal of Honor, America’s highest combat decoration...

And just "Why" was this resolution defeated? You can read the complete minutes of the Feb. 7th meeting, but here are a few especially telling quotes :

Jill Edwards said she didn’t believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.

Ashley Miller commented that many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men.

Okay - I cherry-picked those statements, although they do appear together in the minutes. But I wonder whether Ms. Edwards truly intended to imply that all Marines are unsuited to be honored by any UW students? Then again, given the troubles we've had here in Washington with recruiting on campuses, maybe that is exactly what she meant.

Gee, I wonder how many of her current fellow students have served in the Marines?? I'd be lookin' over my shoulder if I had made such an ill-conceived and rude statement. Just sayin'.

I also have to wonder if Ms. Miller realizes that she is discriminating against Pappy because of his race?? Sounds anti-tolerant and non-inclusive to me.

Share this little item with your Marine friends, and any interested UW alumni you may know.

Hat/Tip to Ry, who pointed me to the post by AndrewsDad for the links.


I was certain that America's Son would have something thoughtful to say on this matter - and he did not disappoint. Please go read his Opinion vs. Truth for the view from a deployed Marine.

Also, Sgt B pointed out in his comment below that "Pappy" Boyington was not exactly a paragon of virtue. In fairness, this is true - he struggled with demons of his own in the form of alcohol, at least. If the students had chosen to balk at a memorial for reasons of this type, it would make more sense (although I would still disagree). It's the fact that they explicitly chose to ignore him and his character completely, and rejected the resolution for generic reasons like those above that is the telling point.

I also would like to add that young Andrew Everett, who initiated the resolution deserves high credit for taking this step, and for standing and defending his resolution during the debate shown in the minutes. He is exactly the kind of young man I think the U-Dub should be proud to have among its student body.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Milblog linkfest

I've spent more time reading blogs than posting lately - there's a lot of great stuff out there to read ... the task is endless!

To Do List

Bill Faith and his family survived the house fire okay, but could use a little help with repairs. H/T to Mrs. Greyhawk.

If you haven't voted yet today for Best Master Gunnie in the Gun Blog competition, hop on over to Countertop Chronicles and Vote for Argghhh!

News and Updates

Tbone65 thinks we should 'give in to terrorists' incarcerated at Guantanamo - and let 'em starve.

America's Son again demonstrates the versatility of Marines - turning the challenges of a recent mission into poetry.

Camp Katrina posts new entries in the ever expanding Weapons Cache Roundup.

Partamian Report shares the good news of the arrival of the smallest Partamian! Congratulations to the proud parents!

And continuing the Someone You Should Know series, Matt of Blackfive links to a great story about Sergeant Steve Markhill

Entertainment in the Sandbox

Capt B wasn't too thrilled with the Super Bowl, especially the severe memory lack of the producers and announcers - they mentioned the Katrina victims and others, but hardly a word about our men and women in uniform.

His buddy, Tacobell, shared a glimpse into the ways of Marines at play, both inside and outside. Oooh-Rah!!

Great Reading / Series

John Donovan continues his 25 Lessons Learned from OIF and OEF with Lesson #20 - Buddies Still Matter. If you haven't followed the series, jump to #20, and use the links there to work your way through.

Sgt Hook has me entralled with his Jackie O'Shea series. You'd better catch up, so you'll be ready for the next one!

I almost forgot!! Check out Shayna's interview with Sgt Hook at My Music Highway. And spend some time following her story of Eugene, proof that a single good act can create wonderful and far-reaching side-effects!

While you're in a reading mood, go encourage Lex to carry the Rhythms series forward. Ignore the occasional odd punctuation mark - he's herding stray HTML tags through some of the transferred archives. Kinda like herding cats.


Charlie at the Officers' Club features an image from Ft. Lewis - Follow Me.

Sgt B shares more of his old friend Sgt. Remington.

Sure, Cowboy takes pictures for a living - that's his Army duty at Ft. Carson. Still, these photos are worthy of mention, especially the one of his little cowboy Ethan!

... That's it for now. Check the Daily H&I Fires posts at the Castle for tidbits thru the day!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Once a Steeler fan ...

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Finally, after 35 years, Mr. Rooney has his fifth championship ring ...
One for the Thumb.

*** Original post below ***

I haven't watched football regularly since we left San Diego, and our season tickets, behind in '97. But any time the Steelers make it to the big game, I hafta watch. I was born in Pittsburgh, and lived the first 22 years of my life within 40 miles of it.

Through junior high, I didn't pay attention to football, although both my parents were loyal fans. Then little sis and I got these shirts from Uncle Moose - who himself played college ball at Florida State. Figuring out who number 59 was sucked me into watching the games, and the reward was 4 Steeler Super Bowls in 6 years!

So I'll give in to the genetic imperative, and root for the guys in black and gold once again. And if we win, I'm wearing my Dad's old Steeler jacket to work tomorrow!!


Go Steelers!  Beat Seattle!!