Sunday, May 03, 2009

Off to Afghanistan

When our kids were growing up we could have never imagined that they would be sent off to war.

The picture here is of my niece, her husband and their daughter. Both my niece and her husband are in the Navy. Rusty was deployed to Afghanistan last week; Liz is working in the hospital at Camp Lejeuene.

If you have a minute, here's a link to a story about the deployment of Rusty's batallion. A few prayers for his safety would be appreciated by all.

If you known me for a while, you know that my son, Allen, was deployed to Iraq for about a year in 2004. He left Iraq on Inauguration Day in 2005; the same day that he reenlisted in the Army National Guard for three more years. Al's enlistment was up late last year; and he plans to re-up again this fall.

From the beginning, this blog has been mostly focused on military matters, from a military mom's point of view. That will continue, and I'll post news about the 2nd MEB here from time to time. Let's hope and pray that there will be very little bad news and that this deployment will fly by.
Update: Here's a television news story with Rusty and Liz.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reading the Tea Leaves

Much has been said about the tea parties that were held on April 15th. Janeane Garofalo called the attendees racist. Several television anchors snickered about the "tea-baggers" apparently knowing the sexual meaning of the term. CNN's Susan Roesgen seemed to think that the protestors were a threat that she needed to quash herself.

Well, my husband and I attended the tea party event at the Minnesota State Capitol grounds. During the event, it was announced that there were between 8,000 - 10,000 people there. Who knows? It could have been more...or less... Almost all were pretty normal looking people. Like these:


Tea bags were a fashion accessory that were worn by men and women alike.

At the end of the event, people were invited to throw their tea bags into a large bin that was going to be presented to lawmakers at the capitol.

These two ladies don't look especially scary to me.

Are there some concerns? Sure. There did seem to be a lot of Ron Paul supporters, and so I would not want my presence to at the rally to imply support for Ron Paul if it was indeed his followers that really were behind the organization of the event. Also, there were a LOT of "Don't tread on me" flags. One has to wonder what type of folks have flags like that laying around the house.
For the most part, the crowd was quite mild. Some carried pretty creative signs. The motivation for most people's presence seemed to be out of control government spending. There were also many signs that displayed folk's feelings about guns and liberty.
Was this a historic moment? Probably not. But if the tea parties on July 4 grow by a factor of just two, they are going to be very hard to dismiss.




Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yes, they did!

You know, being a supporter of President Bush for eight years was a sometimes frustrating experience. It seemed that the entire journalistic world was against him, only being able to find flaws and never seeing the good. Slate.com still keeps track of current "Bushisms."

In the presidential campaign, there was a cone of silence about reporting on Barack Obama's flaws and so our nation plunged headlong, uniformed, into the election of a man whom they thought was the most gifted speaker in the history of the human race.

Well, the good folks in the U.K. are no longer star struck. From the Telegraph.co.uk, here's a top ten list of Obama Administration gaffes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bien venidos a Venezuela

In the 1980's and early 1990's I worked in the finance department of an international heavy equipment manufacturer. One of our larger accounts was in Venezuela. I traveled there and found the country and people to be not that different from home. There was a healthy middle class, an entrepreneurial class, and all the rest. Over the years, I've watched as Hugo Chavez has gained and consolidated power, and observed warily the nationalization of the petroleum, cement, and steel industries. I've thought: "How sad for the people that I used to work with."

Amigos mios, bien venidos a Venezuela.

This morning, I read an article in the Washington Post titled: "President of Everything." I expected it to be a criticism of the power grab by President Obama's administration. The article even begins: "This is a presidency on steroids." This is something that you would have expected critics of the Bush administration to utter. But, no, opinionist Eugene Robinson thinks that a presidency on steriods is now a GOOD thing.

Here's some more from the article: "Now it's time for the administration to get to work. For his next act, Obama must set the parameters of a new presidential role that he did not seek but cannot avoid: managing the big chunks of the private-sector economy that are now more accurately described as semi-private at best. "

My heart sank as I read this paragraph, and it made me think of my old friends in Venezuela. You see, it's unavoidable (and not a bad thing in the view of this columnist) that big chunks of the American private-sector economy are now nationalized. Just like in Venezuela.

A lesson for today

If you read one article today, let it be this one by Ed Kaitz at American Thinker. It's titled: How Democracies become Tyrannies. I have to say that American Thinker is slightly reactionary, even for me. However this article rings true as it contrasts Plato's Republic to the rise of socialism in America, with inferences to our current President. It's a sober story and worth reading.

Cross posted at Fight On

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Silence is complicity

Cross-posted at Fight On:

This week, I've read two articles that are particularly chilling and I'm at a loss as to what to do.

The first is this opinion piece by former President Jimmy Carter. Found in The Washington Post and titled: "An Unnecessary War," the article starts thus:

"I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided. After visiting Sderot last April and seeing the serious psychological damage caused by the rockets that had fallen in that area, my wife, Rosalynn, and I declared their launching from Gaza to be inexcusable and an act of terrorism. Although casualties were rare (three deaths in seven years), the town was traumatized by the unpredictable explosions. About 3,000 residents had moved to other communities, and the streets, playgrounds and shopping centers were almost empty. Mayor Eli Moyal assembled a group of citizens in his office to meet us and complained that the government of Israel was not stopping the rockets, either through diplomacy or military action. "

The article then spends the next nine paragraphs explaining how Israel is totally to blame for the current hostilities in Gaza. If I have seen such a maniacal screed by someone of the stature of a former president of the United States, I cannot recall it. I have read Carter's writing in the past; this one has me floored.

My question is: "How do common citizens respond to things like this?" Do we simply whine about the crazy old man in the corner, hoping that no one is paying attention? Do we write the author and newspaper in order to try to set the record straight? Do we send emails to our friends in the media and ask them to write a rebuttal? At this point, none of this feels as if it's enough.

So, this blog post is one small way to not be silent.

The second article that absolutely stopped me in my tracks is a blog post from Melanie Phillips at the website of The Spectator. Very bad things are happening in Europe in regard to the rise of anti-Semitism. Ms. Phillips includes eye witness accounts of violent demonstrations in England. She ends her post with this:

"For silence is complicity, as once gentle, decent, civilised Britain changes before our horrified eyes into something very ugly indeed."

In a trip to Europe this summer, my husband and I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The visitors to the museum slowly and silently made their way through the different levels of the home, going from the normalcy of Anne's father's business that was run from the lower floors of the building to the betrayal of the Frank's, their friends, and the whole of the Jewish population of Europe in the 1940's.

I doubt that one person in that building on that day believed it could happen again.

I do believe that we are close to it happening again.

And we cannot be silent.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Well, we'll just call those combat troops 'civil engineers' now"

Here's a news analysis piece from the New York Times that gives us a glimpse of how Obama will be able to claim that it is he who won the war while delivering the retreat that he promised to the anti-war wing of his party.

From the article:

There always was a tension, if not a bit of a contradiction, in the two parts of Mr. Obama’s campaign platform to “end the war” by withdrawing all combat troops by May 2010. To be sure, Mr. Obama was careful to say that the drawdowns he was promising included only combat troops. But supporters who keyed on the language of ending the war might be forgiven if they thought that would mean bringing home all of the troops.

Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama’s goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be “re-missioned,” their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis.

Read the whole article. It's actually pretty balanced and points out the revisionism that's going on in regard to Obama's promises on the campaign trail.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Victory in Iraq Day - November 22


Yes, it's true. The war is over and victory has been achieved.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

An American Dream

You GO girl!

This is all we need to see

If you look very closely at the ring finger of the young man's hand, you'll see the name "Bristol."

God bless the three of them.


















Update: Ooops. Levi may need to alter that tattoo. Well, that's a shame, and best wishes are still sent for the three of them...together or apart.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Next time you see one of the troops, say "Thank You."

Have you ever seen a soldier, seaman, airman, or marine in uniform and wanted to say "Thank you"...but you couldn't because you were too far away, or you weren't able to stop and say the words? Here's a way to communicate "Thanks for your service!" without saying a word.

(Thanks to my sis, a proud Navy mom.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

So close to being home

There is sad news from Army Battalion 2-16 this week. Two soldiers, so close to coming home, were killed: Spc. Durrell L. Bennett, 22, of Spanaway, Wash., and Pfc. Patrick J. Miller, 23, of New Port Richey, Fla.

Bennet and Miller would have returned to Kansas in April with the rest of the 2-16.

May both soldiers rest in peace in the loving arms of their creator. God grant solace to their families.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

General Odierno's Lessons from Iraq

Ralph Peters wrote another fine column this weekend titled: Lessons from the General. In it, General Odierno reflects on what he has learned about fighting an insurgency and the progress that is being made in Iraq.

As part of the interview Peters asked Odierno what he learned about our soldiers. The general replied: "They are compassionate. They genuinely care - not just about each other, but about Iraqis, too. I saw it again and again. They are compassionate young men and women."

Peters asked if there were any surprises about our soldiers. "They've surprised me with their resilience. . . They continue to re-enlist, continue to perform. . . Both leaders and soldiers have shown incredible resilience in the way they've adapted" to the changing situation in Iraq. "And I realized how much we can trust our soldiers."

If you're reading this blog, I'll bet you're not surprised at all with the compassion or resilience of our soldiers. God bless 'em all - from the grunts all the way up to the generals.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Glass breaking in the night

Seventy years in the future, will the danger of Islamic radicalism in Europe be seen as clearly as we now see the evil of Hitler's facism in the late 1930's?

Across Europe for a few years now, European "youths" have been burning cars as a form of protest. Oh-so-perceptive journalists never seem to be able to put their finger on the profile of the protestors or the reason for the protests. However, after years of review maybe, just maybe, they will be able to connect the dots between perceived slights against Islam and shattered glass on the streets of Europe.

This week in Denmark, "youths" torched more cars and now garbage trucks in the same week that Danish newspapers reprinted the infamous "Mohammed Cartoons."

Here's a clip from a story from one correspondent in Copenhagen:

"Five youths were arrested in the capital after 28 cars and 35 garbage trucks were burned, Copenhagen police duty officer Jakob Kristensen said.

Danish media said arrests in other towns brought to 29 the number of people police were holding.

Scores of cars and several schools have been vandalised or burned in the past week.


Police could give no reason, but said that unusually mild weather and the closure of schools for a winter break might have contributed."


Wait, wait...it's GLOBAL WARMING that's causing the unusually mild weather in Europe that's led to the rioting. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

For Crying Out Loud

There she goes again.

"You know, for me, politics isn't a game. It's not about who's up or who's down."

She said it in Virginia yesterday.

She said it on Super Tuesday.

But when she's down...

Three, two, one... cue the tears...

Yesterday in Maine (above.)

In New Hampshire:



And in Connecticut:



Sheesh! The first time, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. The second time, I was becoming skeptical. But three times? Come on, Hillary, buck up.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Why I'll be caucusing for Mitt Romney

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of conservative elites at the prospect of John McCain being the GOP nominee for the presidential race this year. They cite things like McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, and the proposed McCain-Kennedy immigration and Lieberman-McCain anti-global warming bills. In a nutshell, he is accused of not being conservative enough for the Republican party.

It seems, however, that a plurality of the Republican party disagree with the the opinion shapers of talk radio, the blogosphere, and some print media.

Well, I won't be so presumptious as to say that the unwashed masses of the Republican party are wrong and that the deep thinkers at the top have got it right. However, I'll be caucusing for Mitt Romney on Tuesday. Here's why:

When I think of John McCain, I think of this video where he gleefully sings into a mic: "Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb Iran." A few months ago, I heard John McCain using Abu Ghraib as a campaign talking point. I wish I could find the quote, but it was in the context that such things would not happen under his administration. Finally, a Republican congressman from California was praising John McCain last week on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. He was talking about how although he disagreed with McCain on many things, McCain's credentials for the War on Terror overrode all else. This congressman talked about McCain's anger and that he wanted an angry president to sit across the table from our enemies.

Well, I do not.

I do not want an angry president making rash decisions about sending in troops. It seems to me that it is likely to get soldiers needlessly killed.

I do not want a president who uses a one night shift in a stressed out military prison as a talking point. There is no "integrity" in gaining favor with those who have used that scandal to try to bring down the administration's efforts in the War on Terror.

I do not want a president who has such a tin-ear that he does not find anything wrong with publicly joking about bombing a country.

My son is currently part-time Army National Guard. His enlistment is up in October. For a while, it seemed that he would not be reenlisting after ten-years in full-time and part-time service, including one year serving in Iraq. As the time gets closer, he's reassessing the benefits of being in the Guard, and even contemplating going back to full-time service.

I am very interested in who will be our Commander-in-Chief. Mitt Romney has a record of achievements. John McCain is seen as a hero because he spent five years in a prisoner of war camp. Well, I had an uncle who was a prisoner of war. He marched in one of the death marches in Nazi Germany. My uncle was an unsung hero. That did not make him qualified to be President.

I believe that it's going to take more to win the War on Terror than simply killing the enemy, somthing that John McCain seems all too eager to do. It's going to take strategy, a "can-do" attitude, and can I even say - a Godly spirit. That sounds more like Mitt Romney to me.

So, I will be caucusing for Mitt Romney on Tuesday night.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The problem with the left and the war

Many on the left see the war more as a stick to beat President Bush with than anything else. In this article at Mother Jones: Iraq: Dem's Dream Dashed? all of the focus is on "how to confront him on Iraq" or the failure of Congress to make him take a "new direction." Only is it briefly mentioned that the goal is to end the war. There is no thought on how ending the war will benefit the U.S. or Iraq. In their mind, the end goal is simply to humble President Bush by making him end the war, the consequences are not considered.

Well, I would like to see an end to the war, also...after the mission is accomplished. I'll leave it to the generals to decide when that has happened.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Duncan Crookston Funeral Information

The Patriot Guard Riders will be at Duncan Crookston's funeral and has posted information about the time that it will take place:

Saturday, 02 Feb 08 services are scheduled for 1100 (11 a.m.) at:

The Church of Latter Day Saints
2710 S. Monaco Pkwy
Denver, Colorado 80222

I will be there in spirit, as will hundreds of others who will not be able to make the journey. It is sure to be the celebration of the life of young man who made a difference and will not be forgotten.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Upon the death of a young soldier

Over at roodawg.blogspot.com, PFC Duncan Crookston's squad leader describes the soldier who joined his squad in late 2006. Duncan would have been 18 years old at the time.

Duncan Crookston was a very smart young man who was the unofficial but very capable computer tech support guy for his fellow soldiers. He was funny, and caring, and always willing to help. The description of Duncan sounds just like my own son.

Duncan was injured on September 4, 2007 in an EFP attack that killed three other soldiers and severely wounded another. There is a video remembrance of them that can be viewed here.

On January 25th, 2008, after five months of a valiant fight, Duncan died with his mom, Lee, and wife, Meaghun, at his side. He would have been 20 years old on January 26th.

His death will surely go mostly unnoticed by the New York Times, or even the Washington Post who covered the deployment of the 2-16. However, those that matter will know our country has lost one of our finest.

Rest in peace, young man.

My deepest condolences go out to Meaghun, Lee, and all of Duncan's family and friends.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

PFC Duncan Crookston R.I.P.

A hero has died.

For a letter from Duncan's mom, go to http://roodawg.blogspot.com/.

Damn.

Will post more when I get back to my computer.

Update: For information about Duncan's funeral, go to this post.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Poor Martha Raddatz

ABC's Chief Whitehouse Correspondent is all fired up. In this video she shows her displeasure with Saudi Arabia. Here's what she had to say about it on ABC's blog:

Saudis Get Bombs---I Get Booted

January 14, 2008 6:09 PMAlessandra L.-->

By: Martha Raddatz

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The administration wants to sell 900 JDAMs ..those big, precise GPS controlled bombs, to a country that won't let me go to the hotel gym because I am a woman. And it is an American owned hotel--a Marriott. Yes, the announcement that the JDAMS would be added to the 20 billion dollar weapons package for the region came at almost the precise time I walked into the gym to inquire how late it would be open. "Sorry, ma'am---but ladies are not allowed in here." As you might imagine, this did not sit well with me. After eight brutal days on the road hopping from country, you grab a workout whenever you can. So I offered what I thought was a reasonable compromise---let the men work out for a few hours, then let "the ladies" work out. "Let me check," the man at reception offered. I knew it wouldn't happen, but I had to try. After a few minutes, the answer that I expected. "Sorry, ma'am, but that is not possible."

Don't get me wrong, I respect other cultures and am a seasoned traveler in the Mideast. I know in some places they separate women and men (which is what my solution addressed I thought!) But it is the first time in decades I was made to feel like a second class citizen---and it is not a pleasant feeling. I also wondered how President Bush, an exercise fanatic, would feel if he was turned away from a gym. He touts the positive changes that the US invasion of Afghanistan brought...and criticizes the human rights record in Saudi ( compared to that record the no gym action pales) but judging from the fact we are spending two days here (and only 4 hours in Egypt) Saudi is very high on the president's BFF list.


And I am sure all the men on the treadmill were pleased about the news that 123 million dollars worth of bombs might be coming this way. I don't know how the women feel--there weren't any around.

Poor Martha. Yes, I'm sure it was a tramatic thing for her not to be able to use a work out gym in Saudi Arabia. Athough I doubt it was nearly as tramatic as this story where two female domestic workers were beaten to death in Saudi Arabia. Or this story where fifteen girls were burned to death because they were prevented from escaping a blazing building - they were not wearing proper Islamic dress. Or this story where a gang-rape victim was sentenced to ninety lashes.

You, go, Martha! And when you get done feeling sorry for yourself then, maybe you can start reporting on real abuse of women in the Middle East.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chilling

On January 11, 2008, Ezra Levant had to appear before Alberta's Human Rights Commissions. A complaint was filed against his magazine "The Western Standard" for publishing a cartoon that was critical of the prophet Mohammed.

Over at LGF, there are two videos from the hearing. Here is the written text of Mr. Levant's opening statement.

We feel safe in the U.S., thinking it cannot happen here.

As I'm writing this post, I'm listening to Hillary Clinton defending herself against comments in which members of the black community have basically called her a racist. Now, I am no fan of Hillary Clinton. However, what difference is it that Ezra Levant is charged with being a racist for publishing a cartoon critical of Mohammed and Hillary Clinton being charged with racism for criticizing her black opponent?