Tuesday, November 29, 2005

'Tis the Season

Five days ago, Thanksgiving dinner graced my dining room table. Tonight, it was covered with Christmas wrapping paper, scissors, tape, and labels. It's that time of year again--disappearing calendar time.

How, exactly, does this happen every year? You barely get the cranberries into Tupperware before you're off to the mall for the early bird breadmaker sale. The ensuing days of the year's last month are packed ever more full of errands, chores, activities and events. Then suddenly, it's Christmas. Then, almost immediately, New Year. And then, you're a year older.

'Tis the season to stop and reflect for just a moment, before it's gone and we're into the January doldrums again. Think about how lucky we are in this country, how very fortunate. Remember to enjoy the season before it's over.

And remember, too, as House Speaker Dennis Hastert so wisely affirms: "If it's a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it's a Christmas tree and that's what it should be called."

Ho-ho-ho! You've got to love it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Correction from Nov. 15

Since I'm not the New York Times or CBS network, I have no problem letting you know that I posted inaccurate information recently. As the MSM used to say before it became immune to wrongdoing, I regret the error. It was not intentional

Although the letter "This War is for Real" is an actual document, it was written by an attorney to his sons, not by Gen. Chong. At least, according to the urban legend busting website "Snopes," it was. Through the cyber minefields of multiple e-mail forwardings, it became attributed to the general.

It's a good reminder for bloggers to check all sources very thoroughly. Oh, and MSM might want to try that approach someday, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Freedom to Give Thanks

"I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving." ~ Psalm 69, v30

Norman Rockwell's famous painting is as timely today as it was when it first appeared over sixty years ago. The countless blessings that we and our families enjoy and benefit from in the U.S.A. are worth fighting for, then and now.

I'll be busy cooking tomorrow, so today I'm wishing a Happy Thanksgiving Day to all...most especially to our troops at home and abroad. Please know that most Americans understand and appreciate what you are fighting for.

To our active military and to all our veterans, thank you for your service to our country.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Blog Surfing

Hugh Hewitt has some terrific milblog links today. Some are required reading for anyone who cares to know the thoughts of a soldier who has walked the walk.

The Anchoress has very cogent and interesting points regarding the unheralded Arab protests against Al Qaeda.

From Victor Davis Hanson, a stark and unsettling historical depiction of the American Indians in the era of the first Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, can Christmas be far behind? Not unless it's outlawed, as John Gibson is concerned it may soon be.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Who's Sorry?

You may remember that I was recently assigned my third troop as a Soldier's Angel. I should have mentioned that I received a letter from him early last week.

He opened with "I first want to start off by saying I'm sorry." Yes, you read that right. I struggled with that one for a few seconds, too. He was apologizing for not thanking me sooner for his first care package from me. "I have been busy, it's crazy," he explained.

Stop. Please. You're killing me, Private. You, who set your heroic self between my family and Al Qaeda, are not permitted to apologize to me. Ever. I'm the one who's sorry.

I'm sorry that you're away from your home and family.
I'm sorry that you can't be with your baby at Christmas.
I'm sorry that you're in danger every minute.
I'm sorry that Congress is a bunch of jackass-blowhards just making your days more difficult.
I'm sorry more people are not doing more to support you.
I'm the one who's sorry.

In response to my question about any special requests he might have, he couldn't think of what he wanted. He said my letters and package were more than enough. "It was good to get home from a mission to some goodies," he wrote.

A mission. I shivered. God only knows what that entailed, but it certainly wasn't complaining about the traffic backed up at the stoplight or the dinner not being defrosted. Nothing in my safe and ordinary day would approximate "a mission."

As he signed off, he did think of one item he might want. "Peanut M&Ms." Then he said he had "so much to do before bed," and God only knows what that entailed...and then he thanked me again.

No, no, no, Private. You've got it all wrong. All the thanks go to you. And so do several pounds of peanut M&Ms, coming right up in your Christmas package.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

We Said, They Said

We said troops should stay and fight,
They said troops should leave tonight.

We said vote upon that measure,
They expressed extreme displeasure.

We asked them to back their word,
They said we are too absurd.

We were told we're a "disgrace;"
Their vote showed they have no case.

They said the vote was a "deception,"
We said they're gearing for election.

Meanwhile, troops are in Iraq,
Fighting and under attack.

Let "we" and "they" for once agree;
Troops keep us free to disagree.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Choose One

Which message would you prefer to send to our troops:

... the U.S. cannot accomplish anything futher in Iraq militarily ~ Democratic Representative John Murtha

Those who say it can not be done should not interrupt those who are doing it ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What Happens Next?

Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

"The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home," said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania.

Okay, let's pretend Mr. Murtha gets his wish. Tomorrow, all U.S. troops are on their way home to baseball and apple pie. What happens next?

Here's my theory:

Within hours, Iraq is thrown into panic, chaos, and civil war, with no protection from the invasion of Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic militants. Men, women, children, entire families are slaughtered in the streets by the tens of thousands. The embryonic new government falls apart. The new Iraqi military is destroyed. Al-Zarqawi rushes to seize control and imprison the Iraqi people in a fundamental Muslim jihadist state.

And that's during the first week. Aren't we Americans just the reliable Big Brother? Do you wonder, as do I, if our so-called "leaders" ever give a moment's thought to our obligations to the Iraqi people?

What happens after Iraq's bloody debacle? Afghanistan falls back into the hands of the Islamo-terrorists in full alliance with the newly terrorist state of Iraq. There's now plenty of time and space for jihad against the Western infidels to grow exponentially. Life is good for Al-Qaeda.

Europe has immediate fallout, with France already weakened by constant Muslim rioting and neighboring countries starting to experience the same. Whatever allies the U.S. had, bereft of our leadership, will never trust or follow us again. They run home to hunker down for the coming terrorist invasions. The United States is finished as a "world leader."

Here at home, the terrorist cells already embedded among us in cozy condos and tract homes, laying low in fear of our government surveillance, are emboldened into action. Within months, there are various acts of violence that I can vividly imagine but don't care to enumerate here. With our cities and citizens under repeated attacks, our economy collapses. There are food shortages, utility outages, civil unrest. America is no longer a safe or happy place to be.

And what of the over 2,000 brave heroes who have sacrificed their life's blood to protect our home, our freedom, and our way of life? Our fallen troops have been dishonored by those self-obsessed "leaders" who feel inconvenienced before an election year by such untimely military deaths. Sorry, guys, it has become too much trouble, too much work, too much political effort, to fight the war through to victory. The next election is what really counts, fellas. Surely, you soldiers would understand us pulling out over your dead bodies.

That's my theory. Now, here is my question:

When the next American city lies crippled in smoking ruins, at whose feet do we lay the blame?Al-Qaeda's? Al-Zarqawi's? Or our very own?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


"This war is for real"
By Major General Vernon Chong, USAF, ret.
October 1, 2005

Read every word. Pay particular attention to the paragraph on France, which is chilling in its prescience.

Then read Radioblogger's posting of interviews with Republican Senators Coburn, DeMint, and Burr. Hugh Hewitt has plenty more on the subject of today's travesty in the U.S. Senate.

We, as a nation, are in trouble. Al Zarqawi is directing our foreign policy from his secret undisclosed location. The vast majority of senators are far too preoccupied checking their bleached teeth and eye jobs in the mirror, ordering new toupees, and practicing their president-elect waves and smiles to realize, or even care about, the peril they have placed all of us in.

The Senate turned on President Bush while he was out of the country, distancing themselves from a policy that might harm their political amibitions. These fools are more dangerous than mere cowards. Cowards can be quite cunning; just observe the Islamo-terrorists. But the senators who rushed into a vote to show the enemy our hand are stupid cowards, and stupidity kills faster and with greater efficacy than does cowardice.

This war is for real, and we need to win. There is no room in the calculus for either cowards or fools. Sadly, today's vote leaves us hamstrung by both.

UPDATE: From Hugh Hewitt's blog:
Senate Majority Leader Frist, (202) 224-3344, e-mail
Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, (202) 224-2541, e-mail
Armed Services Chairman John Warner, (202) 224-2023, e-mail
You can also use the Congressional switchboard: 202-225-3121.

Demand the resolution be withdrawn. At a minimum the Senate must allow a few days for the American people to weigh in on this proposed retreat. ~ Hugh Hewitt

Monday, November 14, 2005

Built on Guilt

"Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind"
~ William Shakespeare

I've heard about enough of the slanderous, borderline treasonous accusations against the president. Most of those throwing bricks at him were lining up to vote in favor of invading Iraq, based on exactly the same information that President Bush possessed. Many of them were even more outspoken than Bush in their claims about the dangers of leaving Saddam Hussein in power.

Suddenly, the critics would like us to forget their vigorous support of the president as we entered the war. We're supposed to believe that the dog ate their homework and that wasn't what they "really" meant to say. They were "misled." The truth was "cherrypicked." And these phonies wonder why they can't get the majority vote.

Read their own words for yourselves before rushing to any MSM-induced judgment against the president. In today's Opinion Journal piece by Norman Podhoretz, see what Bill and Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, William Cohen, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Carl Levin, Jay Rockefeller, John Kerry, and Al Gore had to say about the dangers posed by pre-war Iraq. It's a jaw-dropping stroll down short-term memory lane.

If you'd like to see the same hard facts stated less elegantly, but more passionately, check out Froggy Rumination's Veterans Day post on unpatriotic liberals. His bottom line is that these Iraqi war political turncoats are dirty, rotten sc--no, scoundrels wasn't the word he ended his post with. It's a very strong word, not a word I'd put in my blog. But that doesn't mean it wasn't the right word to use.

When you point one finger, lefty critics, remember that there are four fingers pointing back at you.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Soldier's Saint

November 11, Veterans Day, appropriately enough is the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. When he was a young man Martin, son of a Roman tribune, served as a soldier in the Roman army. A famous story recounts him seeing a beggar shivering in the cold by the roadside. Feeling compassion, Martin cut his soldier's cloak in two pieces, giving one half to the needy man.

The following night, the story continues, Martin had a dream of Jesus Christ standing clothed in the half cloak he had given to the beggar. Our Lord asked Martin if he recognized it, and then said to the angels attending him "Martin...has covered me with his cloak."

Very soon after, Martin was baptized a Christian. He is the patron saint of many places and vocations. No doubt due to the dramatic and inspiring cut cloak story, St. Martin of Tours is patron of tailors. He is also named as one of the many patron saints of soldiers.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank You to Our Veterans

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
~ Dorothy Bernard

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Random Musings

"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers..."
~ William Wordsworth

This has been the proverbial "hell week" at work, and it promises to continue sucking the marrow from my bones (figuratively speaking) straight through Friday. There's not much time, let alone mental energy, remaining for me to address the numerous and momentous world events unfolding all around us. But I do have my random thoughts as I scurry through the days.

Paris is Burning--wasn't that a movie? No, wait, I'm thinking of Is Paris Burning?, a 1966 flick. Without replowing the grim news of the past two weeks, it appears the answer is yes. Pity, that. Just don't expect any U.S. troops this time, Monsieur. We're otherwise engaged.

Speaking of movies, "Jarhead" is in the top ten at the moment. But Froggy hated it, so I won't be wasting my hard-earned $$$.

Al Qaeda has dropped in again, this time in Jordan. Three hotels bombed to blazes. Casualty count may not be complete. Yet Great Britain's Labor party today voted down Tony Blair's request for a 3-month detention period without charges for suspected terrorists. It appears that last July's London bus and tube bombings are a mere memory, and a fuzzy one at that.

Yes, three months is quite an unreasonable amount of time to hold a suspected terrorist. The explosives sitting dormant in their basements might go stale, and that would certainly be a violation of their civil rights. Or some such rot.

Here at home, all of Gov. Schwarzenegger's ballot propositions went down to defeat. So it's business-as-usual in sunny California. That's a scary thought, but we're stuck with the status quo for now. Probably forever, or at least until bankruptcy.

It could be worse. We could be in Paris.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

God and Science

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
~ Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium", 1941

The debate currently raging over Darwin's Theory of Evolution vs. the concept of Intelligent Design seems, to me, to be besides the point. While interesting, the passion being poured into arguing one side against the other seems as though it would be better spent improving life in the here-and-now.

I doubt we humans will ever know with true certainty how life began. Such knowledge may be beyond our ken. That is not to say the quest for the origin of life is unworthy; learning about our world and ourselves is always of benefit. In order to learn, a mind must open its doors and windows and let the facts circulate. Sometimes, facts are threatening to a comfortable belief system. In such cases, emotion starts slamming mental apertures shut.

I have no hardened position on the origin of life, and I see no discrepancy between God and Science. When people of faith talk about our Creator, are we not referring to the Creator of Science? I view God and Science as the yin and yang of existence. For a theistic person, scientific facts should be seen as evidence of God's wisdom rather than a menace to His power.

The way I see it, God certainly isn't afraid of science. He created it. Why should his creations be apprehensive? Or, to quote Pope John Paul II, who was very fond of quoting this frequent message of Our Lord: "Be not afraid." (Matt 14:27, 17:7, 28:10; Mark 5:36, 6:50; Luke 12:4; John 6:20)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Full of Baloney

Do As I Say (Not As I Do) : Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy, by Peter Schweizer, looks to be a very entertaining read. It reveals Michael Moore, Ted Kennedy, and the Clintons, among many other famous liberals, to be real phonies (pardon the oxymoron).

As I told my kids when they were growing up, watch what people do instead of listening to what they say. Anyone can talk a good game, but actions scream.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Legislative Tantrum

Oh, please.

The SCOTUS nomination of Judge Alito has knocked the liberal agenda off the table. Scooter Libby is already stale news, and his indictment was just last Friday. The Democrats can't control the news as they used to, largely due to conservative blogs and talk radio, so they're taking their toys and going home. Or at least, shutting the Senate into closed session.

Here's my message to Harry Reid and Co. It's the same one I would give my two-year olds when they threw tantrums: Go ahead, knock yourselves out. You can yell, scream, lock yourselves in your room and throw things. You still won't get what you wanted. And you'll look very silly when it's time to open the door.