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/.


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


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?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The trouble with polls

I am having major email problems right now and am again facing the prospect of losing easy access to a little more than three years of email exchanges starting at the time that my son was called up for duty in Iraq. They are backed up and we'll see if they can be restored.

In the meantime, I ran across this email which is reminiscent of what is happening with the polling data in the current primary races. How soon we forget how wrong the polls were in 2006, too:

Here's most of an email that I wrote in an exchange with a journalist on October 31, 2006:

"I do agree with you about not being able to read what is going on. In Minnesota, for instance, a University of Minnesota poll is now reporting that our incumbent governor, Tim Pawlenty (R), is behind 39 to 45 against the former attorney general, Mike Hatch (D). The last approval poll I saw for Pawlenty (about a month ago) had him at 54 percent approval among Minnesotans. The economy is very good here. Frankly, life does not get much better anywhere else. How can this incumbent be losing?

I do appreciate hearing, too, your inside thoughts. They make sense...the one I'd like to respond to, though, is your irritation with Iraq. Here's what jumped out:

You said: 'When they made the decision to go to war, Bush and the cabinet should have discussed and thought about the enormous nation-building exercise they were signing on for, and the American people's limited patience for it.'

My friend, *we* all made the decision to go to war through our elected representatives - not only Bush and his appointees, but also through my senator, Norm Coleman, and my representative, Mark Kennedy and all the other senators and representatives who overwhelmingly approved of our military action in Iraq.

*We* did it.

And it is our responsibility to finish what we started.

Trust me, ********, I have glimpsed the ravages of war... I've watched a pro-American Iraqi journalist (********* *******) turn into a hate-filled Bush-basher, I will never forget the tragedy of Steven Vincent's death at the hands of religious fanatics, and I very recently went through a weekend with a close friend who mistakenly thought her marine-reserve son was being called up for duty. None of this is pleasant.

But do you want to talk about irritation? It would be beyond irritation to watch 26 million people being slaughtered by each other as we pull out. It would be beyond irritation to think that my son spent a year in 120 degree heat and gave it his all for a mission for which now one eager-war-supporter after another wants to throw in the towel. And it would be beyond irritation to live in a country where, like in Europe, the population is too timid to face the evil of shari'a. Because if we lose in Iraq, there is no stopping Muslim radicalism anywhere else. Not in our lifetimes.

Sorry if I sound a little preachy. I am very worried, however, about a Speaker of the House Pelosi, and folks like Carl Levin and Charlie Rangel being in charge of important committees in the Senate and House. I do not want to live through the late sixties and early seventies again. Although I am barely old enough to remember much past a fairly idyllic childhood in rural Minnesota, I know that Dems running wild through the chambers of Congress cannot be a good thing. Last week Peggy Noonan said something about folks not wanting to associate with being part of a political base anymore, they see themselves as independent thinkers. Well, not this woman...I am voting for Mark Kennedy as senator simply because he is a Republican. I guess I'm now part of the Republican base."

By the way - the polls were very wrong in Minnesota in October 2006, too, and I'm happy to say that Tim Pawlenty is still our governor.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Duncan Crookston Update

If you've reached this page by searching for news about Duncan Crookston, here is a link to something that was posted today on a military forum page.

Duncan is making progress. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Remember the trust fund: You can donate by stopping at any Chase Bank and directing your donation to: Duncan Crookston Trust, Chase Bank, Acct. # 1635716796, Routing #102001017. Also, you can make a check payable to Duncan Crookston Trust. Mail it to: Meaghun Crookston c/o Powless Guest House, 3298 George C. Beach Rd, Ft. Sam Houston, TX 78234.