Texas This I Know...

Texas This I Know...
Texas Farm to Market Road

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Pretending it's 9-10 in a 9-11 World...

Why does the American Left hate George Bush so much? Because he "stole" the 2000 election? Because he's a "smirking, brainless, chimp"? Because he is "in it for the oil"?

I don't think so. The reason George Bush is the focus of so much white hot animus is simply because he happened to be President on 9-11-01. Anyone who was in that position would be blamed by those who believe they are entitled to the riskless, worry free existence people in America had before 9-11. Even if he did nothing. He would still be blamed for letting it happen. The reason would not matter. The point is, he would still be held responsible for the world changing so drastically.

Consider: Every paradigm of foreign policy that has been established in the last hundred years was shattered on that day. Our comfortable reality went up in a puff of concrete dust and fellow citizen's body parts.

The new, 9-11, reality was that we had an enemy that simply wanted to kill us, that's all! The Islamic terrorists don't want land, they don't want treasure. They want death for the people of the West, and the Western secular worldview. They want death for all people who do not worship Allah.

They will attack anywhere on Earth where there are US citizens, or US allies. Inside our borders, or out. Soldiers or civilians, they make no distinction. Without regard to standards of any kind.

If the terrorists could set off a nuclear blast that would kill everyone in America, they would do it. If they could release a disease that would cause everyone in the USA to die, they would do it. If the continent of the Americas, North and South, had to be turned into a lifeless wasteland for 500,000 years in order to kill all the citizens of the USA, the Islamic terrorists, or jihadi (holy warriors)would not blink an eye. There is one thing we can count on, whatever they do will not be constrained by an ounce of consideration for innocence or guilt, age, or sex. Because in their view we are all guilty.

This is different from anything we have ever faced. It is going to require new tactics and new ways of thinking if we are to survive. If we fail, if we don't prevail, the flame of secular humanism will be snuffed out on this planet. To be replaced by a worldview that is dark and cruel. With superstition and reliance on the religion as its most salient features.

The Bush Haters,... correction, the folks who would blame the President, any President, are too enamored of the 9-10 world to ever give it up. They will never reconcile with the 9-11 reality. They blame Bush for the world of 9-11 and believe they could get back 9-10 if he would just let them!

And because he won't, because he can't, even if he wanted to, they will hate him with the rage a spoiled child reserves for anyone who forces him to do what he doesn't want to.

What they don't realize is that the 9-10 pretend reality will be pried out their desperate clutching hands, one finger at a time, Bush or no Bush. No matter who is President.

I wish it could be different, I would like to go back to 9-10 too, but I can't, and it can't.

I hope, for their sakes, that the Bush-hater's are strong enough to stay sane when they can pretend no more.


Friday, July 30, 2004

So, the soldiers had armor after all... kinda.

In his Thursday, July 29th acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, John Kerry said the following applause line:

"You don't value families if you force them to take up a collection to buy body armor for a son or daughter in the service,....."

The implacation was that Bush failed to provide any armor for the soldiers, and their families were forced to buy it for them.

Turns out the US soldiers who "lacked body armor" actually had armor but not the latest generation. NRO tells the whole story.

Previously the armor was made of Kevlar and was used to line vests and Humvees, helping to protect soldiers from enemy fire.

"The material is heavy and deflects only shrapnel, not bullets. In 1999, the vests were modernized: The new armor, known as "Interceptor" body armor, is about ten pounds lighter and offers protection against machine guns fired at point-blank range. The new technology is also used to make removable ceramic plates that line both vests and Humvees, and was first used in combat operations in Afghanistan.

Since the Interceptor technology emerged in 1999, the military has been gradually replacing the older vests. At the outset of the war, about 40,000 troops lacked the new Interceptor armor, although every soldier on the ground possessed the older armor. According to Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, industries are producing the new armor "as fast as they can and as fast as they're making it we're getting it to Iraq." Three manufacturers worked overtime to produce the vests and plates required to outfit everyone in Iraq by the end of the year, and by mid-January 2004, all troops in Iraq possessed the up-to-date vests. By mid-summer, sufficient numbers of armored Humvees will have arrived."

Would this be another case of Kerry lying?

What About this Mr Kerry?

In his Thursday, July 29th acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, John Kerry said the following applause line:

"You don't value families by kicking kids out of after school programs and taking cops off our streets, so that Enron can get another tax break. "

The implacation was that Enron only got favors and help from Bush.

Then what do you think of this Mr Kerry?

In 1994, the Washington-based Export-Import Bank approved a $302 million loan toward a $3 billion Enron-controlled power plant in India. President Clinton took an interest in the deal, asking the U.S. ambassador to that country and his former chief of staff, Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty, then a presidential adviser, to monitor the proposal. Mr. McLarty - who was later hired by Enron- spoke with Mr. Lay on several occasions about the plant. In 1996, four days before India granted approval for Enron's project, the Houston-based firm contributed $100,000 to the Democratic Party.

Source: The Washington Post, "Enron Also Courted Democrats, Chairman Pushed Firm's Agenda With Clinton White House," By Dan Morgan, January 13, 2002; The Washington Times, "Enron Gave Cash to Democrats, Sought Pact Help," by Jerry Seper, January 16, 2002

The Clinton administration threatened to cut Mozambique's aid in 1995 if the world's poorest country did not award a pipeline contract to Enron.

Source: The Washington Post, "Enron Also Courted Democrats, Chairman Pushed Firm's Agenda With Clinton White House," By Dan Morgan, January 13, 2002; The Washington Times, "Enron Gave Cash to Democrats, Sought Pact Help," by Jerry Seper, January 16, 2002

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Think He Mighta Danced a Little Victory Jig?

Think Saddam might of danced a little victory jig on 9-11? He was happy enough to have his picture painted with the WTC as background. I wonder what he was trying to convey? Think it might of been, "I did that,...me!!"?


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Spermatazoa from "EYAWTKASBWATA"??

Some people would say that John Kerry resembled one of the sperms from Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex, But Were Afraid To Ask , when he visited NASA. But not me. I think he looks like a garden variety dork!

Update: 7-28-04
Seriously though, Kerry is showing great judgement by allowing himself to be photographed in that outfit, isn't he? His handlers are doing a bang up job, aren't they? Nothin' gets past that group does it?

If Kerry wins, he and his handlers are going to be running the country, and the War on Terrorism!

Reassuring, isn't it? Makes you feel reeeal comfortable, don't it!


Iraq/Afghanistan, Not in Vain, Far From It...

Some people say our soldiers died, and are dying in vain. I don't think so.

In November 1979 a group of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. The attack on this sovereign U. S. embassy set the stage for events of the next 23 years. The Marines stationed at the embassy followed orders and did not protect themselves, or the embassy. They were taken hostage.

A Marine sergeant present that day believes that passivity was a mistake. The Marines should have defended the embassy, even if it cost their lives. "Had we opened fire on them, maybe we would only have lasted an hour."

Standing their ground would have sent a signal that the United States of America cannot be attacked with impunity.

In contrast, the embassy's surrender sent the opposite signal - that it's open season on Americans! "If you look back, it started in 1979; it's just escalated," he concludes.

Since 1979 terrorists have been attacking, kidnapping, torturing, maiming, and killing Americans. A total of about 4000 Americans have died at the hands of terrorists since then. An uncounted number have permanent physical and psychological scars from the experience.

This is one of the primary reasons our soldiers are in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are finally taking the fight to them. In the long run, fewer Americans, and fewer citizens of other countries will die by terrorist's hands because of what we do today.

Our soldiers have not died in vain.

But they will have given their lives for nothing if the US pulls out of the fight now.

Monday, July 26, 2004

TLS (Terminal Leftism Syndrome)

TLS (Terminal Leftism Syndrome)

TLS afflicts individuals who have stayed too many years in the Left. Their brains atrophy and shrink. They lose the ability to think independently due to years of chanting Leftist slogans. Then they can never get it back because the brain has become permanently damaged by non-use.

Men are more prone to TLS than women. The few women victims of TLS usually become violent man haters before the end. Glue sniffers, heavy pot smokers, and butane huffers are brain damaged much in the way TLS victims are, except that their brains, instead of shrinking, actually get cooked from the inside out by the chemicals they ingest.

Since the CDP (Chemically Damaged Person) will act the same, talk the same, and have the same political beliefs as a TLS victim, it is almost impossible to tell the difference at first glance. They both have the same vacant stare, the same terrible smell, the constant steam of babble-talk, and the same rivulet of drool coming out of the corner of the mouth.

However, whereas the CDP is usually homeless and spends at least some of his time hunting for food, begging for money, and finding a place to sleep for the night. The TLS victim has none of these worries.

He is always supported by an academic institution, or has a do-nothing government position, or is given money and a place to stay by wealthy, doting relatives who never discipline him, or nag him to get a real job. He always has a place to sleep,food to eat and a lot of free time. His clothing will be only a little better than the CDP. Not always cleaner, but newer and more expensive.

There's no hope for TLS victims, but there is hope for the those who have to endure his company. That is because TLS victims eventually lose the ability to hold a train of thought long enough to act upon it.

At this point they become silent, stop bugging people and spend the rest of their lives watching "The Munsters", "Gilligan's Island", and "The Beverly Hillbillies".


21,759 Alive due to US Intervention

July 26, 2004

The total number of Iraqis NOT murdered by Saddam since the invasion is now 21,759.


Saddam Hussien became "President" of Iraq in 1979. The Coalition invaded Iraq March 22, 2003.

This makes his total time in power equal 23 years , 2 months, 22 days. Or 8,477 days.

The conservative estimate of the number of Iraqi civilians murdered by Saddam's regime and placed in mass graves is 400,000.

Assuming that the murders stopped when the invasion started that would make Saddam's average number of people killed per day to be 47.2

As of midnight July 26, 2004 Saddam's murders had been stopped for 461 days.

We did that! One of many things our soldiers fought and died to accomplish.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Home Security...

A couple of years ago, I realized that if I ever had to use my .38 to shoot a goblin, and I missed, I might end up killing one of my neighbors.

I thought about buying some of those Glazer bullets that disintegrate on impact, but the guy at the ammo store said those kind of slugs can be stopped by a thick leather coat.

So I went to the pawn shop and traded my Long Tom for a short barreled pump shotgun, like the cops use.

For maximum agility, I cut the stock down to a hand grip. Having cut the stock down I could no longer aim it from the shoulder. So I went down to the Trinity river bottoms and practiced shoot-from-the-hip until I could hit anything I aimed at as long as it was within 25 feet.

I realized then that a man could shoot any size weapon from the hip and not suffer from the recoil if his handgrip arm is bent at about a 15 degree angle, and he tightens his shoulder, bicep and tricep muscles. When the weapon fires the crooked arm absorbs the recoil by straightening out just a little before resuming its original angle.

On later target practices, I found that I could pump, load and fire all of the five rounds in the shotgun, with accuracy, in less than three seconds. A comfort to know if I ever need to hose someone down.

I believe now, I have a more effective home security weapon, and I don't have to worry about overspray if I should have to go after a goblin. Which will make me have that much more of an edge in a confrontation. Not having to worry about neighbors that is.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Terror In the Skies

After reading this (and this a few day later), I have made a personal decision about what I will do if I am ever unfortunate enough to encounter conditions like those described in Annie Jacobsen's article. This course of action is not limited to Arab men. That level of suspicious activity from any group would set it in motion.

First I am going to intrude myself upon their space.  I am going to ask if I can cut in line to the bathroom 'cause I really, really got to go!  I am going to take every opportunity to make friends with them and feel them out.  If I am rebuffed, if none of this works, I am simply going to confront one of them and ask what's going on. Firmly and politely, I am going to ask if he knows these other men and if so, how so. I am going to ask him what's in the bag. If I don't get the response I want, which is a prompt and plausible explanation for my questions, I am going to start a fight and assume his buddies will jump on me too.

From what I gather, the Air Marshals, and flight crew need an actual event, before they can take action. Their procedures are hobbled by Political Correctness.

My goal will be to create enough of an incident to give the Air Marshals reason to take charge.

And if the Air Marshals are not on the flight, give the captain and crew a reason to act, and time to call for help. While I, hopefully, get enough help from the other passengers to subdue them.

My secondary goal is to screw up their plan if indeed they are terrorists. A quick read the Al Qaeda Manual, gives the impression that one of the things terrorists hate most is for a operation to be uncovered, or things not to go according to plan.

If they are NOT terrorists, then I'll be real sorry about it and hope they understand that I couldn't take the chance. They will be able to take some comfort when they see me bein' lead away in chains.

But this might not happen at all.  Very likely, I would discover that they are airplane passengers, just like me.  Or the guy could just answer my questions. And no harm, or ruckus would be necessary.  If the details of the story are correct, these guys were having fun at the other passenger's expense. They were playing the "Let's scare the Americans" game.  A firm, straightforward question would probably have ended their fun and de-fused the situation.

In any case the rights of everybody will be maintained and no rules will have to be changed.

I am only one guy and the chances of me getting in one of these situations is pretty remote, but if others decide to do the same thing, the likelyhood will increase that the terrorists will encounter one of us, and it will become harder for the them to succeed.

By posting this I have taken the first step. The terrorists now know that at least one individual will be on the hyper lookout, and will not sit still if they attempt anything. And they don't know who he is. Shoot, I might even be a woman! Or dressed as one!

If a terrorist reads this he will incorporate it into his plans and the attempts will become more furtive and less likely to succeed.

The terrorists can always study the procedures of the airlines, and the FAM, and devise a plan that will overcome it. 

But I and, hopefully, others like me will be the unknown quantity that makes any plan they come up with just that much trickier.

Terrorists will always strike at the softest target, and they will keep on trying until they succeed. This'll make it a little harder for 'em, and push the day of success that much farther into the future.


Friday, July 16, 2004

The Fatboy's M.O.

Ah, the Fatboy, what a facile and prolific liar. 
I don't need to see his movie to know what's in it.  It's  been described ad nausem all over the Internet.

The reason I won't go to his movie is because I believe he's scamming everyone. In particular the hard core Bush haters.  He is taking those kid for a ride. But he ain't gonna get my eight dollars, nosiree!

The Fatboy is a very intelligent and cunning individual and I've seem him work before. 
 This is his M.O.:

1. Choose a controversial subject that already has lots of exposure in the media. "Roger & Me", "Bowling for Columbine", and "Fahrenheit 911" all fit this requirement.

2. Create a story that will appeal to a definable segment of society, and slant it so that their predjudices are confirmed.  Accuracy and truth are secondary to the confirmation of the target market's predjudices, and producing an entertaining story.

"Roger & Me" appeals to anyone who has ever lost a job to corporate change.   "Bowling for Columbine" appeals to every parent who is concerned by violence in schools.   "Fahrenheit 911" appeals to the Bush haters and anti-Iraq war zealots in America and the world.

The Fatboy has produced and starred in films of other formats, none of which has been as successful as his "documentaries".  The reason he uses the documentary format is because it lends itself to low budget filmaking.  Also, what better way to make people believe their most heartfelt sentiments are being validated than by an objective "documentary".  Of course the films are documentaries in format only, not in content of truth.  That's not saying that he
won't tell the truth.  He will, but only if it fits in with the predetermined storyline.

3. Make the movie.  This is where the Fatboy's talent for filmmaking come into play.  He is a master storyteller and makes entertaining films.

4. Once the movie is in the can. The Fatboy begins the free publicity hunt. Besides the usual talk show promotions he does the following: He says outrageous things. He picks fights with high profile persons, and organizations.   If he can coax someone into boycotting his movie, or better yet trying to shut it down, his day is made.

5. Tailor the publicity campaign to the predjudices of the target market.   With "Fahrenheit 911", he saw the way the left in America and opinion in Europe was shaping up and realized he could make a killing off it. He saw the bitterness and bile created in the wake of the 2000 elections.  The Democrat's shift farther and farther left because of it. The reaction of the French to Bush's Iraq war. He realized he could exploit all this to make money, lots of it.

His exploitation of organizations like Moveon.org seems to be revolutionary, but actually, cynics like the Fatboy have been sucking money out of the pockets people caught in the throes of emotion, since time began.

Once he has mined all the silver out of the American Left mother lode, he will discard them like yesterday's cucumber peelings. In the process he will have lead them over a cliff, and into the abyss of ineffectualness. Then he will go back to New York to count his money. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

This Many Iraqis HAVE NOT Been Murdered by Saddam...

July 12, 2004

The total number of Iraqis NOT murdered by Saddam since the invasion is now 21,098.


Saddam Hussien became "President" of Iraq in 1979. The Coalition invaded Iraq March 22, 2003.

This makes his total time in power equal 23 years , 2 months, 22 days. Or 8,477 days.

The conservative estimate of the number of Iraqis murdered by Saddam's regime and placed in mass graves is 400,000.

Assuming that the murders stopped when the invasion started that would make Saddam's average number of people killed per day to be 47.2

As of midnight July 12, 2004 the killing had been stopped for 447 days.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Easter Firefight, Iraq....

Below is the blog post of a soldier stationed in Iraq. She is a forty year old National Guard reservist. It is about a firefight she was caught in and it's aftermath. It's good reading if you want to know what really goes on over there. It was written July 11, 2004 but tells of an incident during Easter. She wrote it hurriedly so there will be misspellings and other writing boo-boos. I've tried to break it up into paragraph so you can catch a breath once in a while. I'm not posting a link because I don't want her ISP to be flooded.

July 11,2004, Iraq

I know a lot of people have added me to their friends' lists recently (God, I hate that term) but in the wake of the Easter Uprising and that post, I pretty much assumed that that piece was what got them to do so. After it attracted so much attention, I got freaked out and locked it. Now I'm wondering if it's not time to re-open it.

The reason is this: our experience that day was reported in the press in such a way as to leave out the vast majority of what happened that day. Two days afterward, we had a CNN reporter, a Major General, and a battalion in town, but the reportage was still so innacurate it made me wonder. Now that I've read some other comments recently i5 makes me sort of horrified at what's being reported. I read specifically that someone thought that the insurgents were composed of perhaps 5% percent foreign fighters, and that they must be supporting themselves somehow. I'm not picking on anyone, you realize, but it just seemed to me that this needs to be corrected.

The other thing was that another person thought that the locals were sort of being friendly so as to lure us into 'strolling' up to IEDS. It's with that in mind that I think about what happened to us that day, and I remember the headline I saw: "Coalition forces abandon city without firing a shot."

I wrote that piece the next morning, sitting in my bed, unable to sleep because every time the door slammed I thought it was another mortar. I wrote it out, I got rid of it, and I haven't looked back since, except to edit out place and nationality names. That's something else that irritated me, too---the stories I read seem to apply that another nation's troops behaved cravenly. I fought alongside them that day. They were the same as any other soldiers----scared, pissed off at their leadership, and trying to make jokes about it.

To make a long story short, that April day didn't happen all at once. The previous day, two guys from another unit were shot while driving through town, and they saw RPGs in the crowd. I saw the vehicle afterwards, too---its windshield was full of bullet holes. It was being carried in a forklift later on post in a grim processional to the scrap heap, with a row of tanks behind it. The two wounded guys are still at home, and one of them still can't use his arm properly, his wounds were so bad.

That day there were demonstrations around the CPA compound, but there'd been demonstrations before. What made people really nervous was that the people in this one were armed. By evening, the Mahdi Army had taken over the city, closing the bridges and occupying all the high buildings with snipers---giving them range to attack our base.

At four that morning, coalition forces rolled out and took back the city. Or so we thought. At nine thirty we rolled out to meet someone. At about ten thirty one of our local friends came running to us, desperate: "Get out! Get out! They're coming! They're coming!"

They were already there. We got him off the site, then ran to the roof to looks for approachihng forces. In front of us was the river, and crossing it was the bridge that led to the base. Across from us were high buildings with, as it turned out, snipers on them. To this day, I wonder about the coalition soldiers that we actually saw on those buildings as we rolled out. We got shot at a few times from those buildiings, but it happened infrequently enough that they could just have been mistakes.

As we watched from the roofs, the insurgents attacked the soldiers at the far end of the bridge with everything they had. After a battle there that we later found claimed three lives, these troops were ordered back to base by their general, who got his orders directly from their president.

The insurgents then turned on us, and surrounded us. They hit us from all sides, off and off, with heavy weapons, for twenty hours while we retreated from the fire. We had to. They kept moving closer and closer around us, and we really couldn't shoot back effectively because it was an urban environment, and we couldn't take that chance. As they moved closer and closer to the compound, they started taking out the towers with mortars and RPGs, and we were forced down from the roof and from building to building till we finally hunkered down in a central hallway, figuring that there was concrete on all sides.

Nevertheless, we took turns outside, guarding the captain at the vehicle who was trying to get us more ammo, more soldiers, or evacuation from Higher. I was very critical of Higher that day, but in their defense, they were listening to third-hand information relayed bit by bit up the chain. They gave us air support, and that saved our butts. When the insurgents saw those choppers coming in after every refueling stop, they backed off. Then, too, our company comannder and a bunch of our guys from the post where I am now, volunteered to jump in to resupply us and get us more ammo. I found out later, too, that Special Forces adn the marines were chomping at the bit at the gate to get out here and fight alongside us, if not actually just grab us and go, as if a thousand insurgents were a minor inconveniance.

Then, too, it was the Marine commander who vetoed some of the locations we called in firepower on, because he knew the families that lived at those locations, and he had to balance getting us out with keeping the civilians alive.

It went on and on and a dark kind of reality started to set in: We're not going to get out of this. One thing I remembered sort of surprised me, because I wondered if I was going to be able to do it. When the insurgents broke the cease fire with mortars that night, I was sitting in an exhausted stupor on the ground near the vehicle where my captain was yelling at somebody who I think outranked him. When the firing started, I jumped up and ran straight toward it. I took aim across the wall and tried to give that mortar something to think about. I don't know if I did, but it felt good. Only later did I realize how instanteious it had been. While I was dropping the empty magazine, I thought: they can see my tracer rounds, I better switch spots. Too late. A mortar round landed about twenty feet in front of me. I thought I'd lost my hearing. I said I wasn't going to go on and on about this, and I'm running out of time, so I'll have to edit this later.

Here's what finally happened: we got an Apache escort, and we jammed all the civilians into what armored vehicles we had, and we snuck out before it got light. The ones that didn't have weapons got them, all right, and a one-minute course in pulling the trigger. "It's locked and loaded. If you say anybody with a weapon, take them out." One of the helicopters was basically there for show; its guns didn't work. It took us two hours to get back to base, because we couldn't take the five-minute trip across the bridge. It had been covered with IEDs. I also found out that at least three soldies died earlier in the day, from the first battle.

That, guys, is what's called 'abandoning a city without firing a shot.'

What gets me really angry is the way that Iraqis get reported in the press as if they're all these stupid, well, Muslims,who are bloodthirsty and ignorant. The poeple in Iraq might be very poor, but they're not stupid, and they know what's going on---better than a lot of American reporters, it seems. They're also friendly. If we could give them jobs, the fighting would stop, because a lot of the insurgents take money from various organizations , fire their weapons into the air or the ground, collect the money, and go back home.

The other thing are the insurgents themselves. A lot of them are from other countries, and they're supporting themselves, basically, by robbing the locals. Nor are they averse to various other things. They kidnap, rape, and hold people who've done something they disagree with, and the locals are terrified of them.

I have one final note about IEDs. These are improvised explosive devices, but in their simplest form they're roadside bombs. The standard practice is to conceal them in trash at the side of the road, then run a wire to a concealed position, wait for a convoy, and hit it. Sometimes, there's an ambush, too.

A lot of the time, IEDs aren't that effective, though they're responsible for a lot of the casualties we've suffered here; that might be because they're using all the old ordnance that's lying around. Then, too, we're trained to look for wires. You see a wire, it's an IED. That's what we look for when we go out on convoys---those bombs alongside the road. Iraq is full of garbage, so there's plenty of
cover for them. Sometimes, too, there's strings of them--'daisy chains.' They're in a row, designed to hit every vehicle in the line. Sometimes they do. When one actually works---and doesn't kill the bombmaker, that is----they result in blood splashed all over the inside of a windshield. It's not something you think about.

Imagine driving to work every day, and looking for lumps in the concrete, or patches of new asphalt. Those are also popular places for these bombs. I passed a crater from one monster that was six inches deep. I read the report on that one. I know how many soldiers died there. Every day, all day, you look for bombs, and you look for snipers on the roofs.

And people wave at you from the roadside, especially now after the handover, because suddenly the Iraqi cops are arresting criminals and standing their ground, because it's their country. And then you think, just to yourself: Maybe I helped do that. Maybe it's okay to wave back.

If there's one thing I'll be proud of here, it's the idea that I did my little part in that endeavor, no matter why we really came here. It's no light thing, deposing a tyrant, and we might have done this eleven years ago. But I keep looking at all the Iraqis we work with, and I keep thinking it's been worth it.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Why do some Americans hate America?

I've puzzled over this a lot and one reason I have come up with is Americans who hate America, some of them, are victims of the survivor syndrome.

The survivor syndrome is a complex set of emotions some people are victimized by when they have been through a disaster in which a large number of people have been killed or seriously injured.

The survivors, the ones who came through without a scratch because they were lucky, feel guilty and ashamed. They keep wondering, "Why did they all die and not me."

Americans who are aware of the living conditions of the vast majority of the people in the world come to the realization that Americans have a very, very easy time of it. There are places on Earth where people actually starve to death while one of the biggest problems of poor people in America is obesity!

Some Americans, just like some survivors of a disaster, feel guilty and ashamed because they were lucky enough to be born in America and not Bangladesh. But nobody is there to tell them it was just fate, that they took their chances like everyone else but through blind happenstance lucked on to something better than most humans who have ever been born.

Most of them don't ever verbalize this, even to themselves. They see others in the same situation who don't feel guilty. They begin to think that the reason America are is so much better off than other countries is because we steal from everyone else.

And that is where it begins, eventually they blame America for anything and everything bad that happens, anywhere in the world. Either we did something we shouldn't have or we didn't help someone when they needed help. This is bolstered by the fact that some Americans, individuals and government officials, do bad things.

Americans who hate America can't recognize that Americans and America have done far, far more good than harm. That we have freed a million people from horrendous conditions for each one that has had an injustice from American hands.

Americans who hate America are to be pitied. They will never know the joy giving a helping hand because they think they are not capable of it, being American you know.

They hate themselves, and they hate anyone who is comfortable with being American.

And of course, they reserve the white hot, boiling hatred for those who are actually proud of America, and glad to be one.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Hair Splitter Dave Leiber...

"If GOP is one party under Jesus, what's this Jew supposed to do?"

Fort Worth Star Telegram ace reporter and Northeast Tarrant County political kingmaker, in his own mind at least , Dave Leiber got his panties in a wad on the Fourth of July.

It seems the Texas Republican Party has said in its platform that the United States is a Christian nation. Specifically it states: "The Republican Party of Texas affirms that the United States of America is a Christian nation."

Most people know that a Constitutional provision prevents anyone from ever being compelled to embrace a certain faith. Thereby rendering the statement just so much meaningless window dressing. (The preceding sentence is for the benefit of those who are afraid they're going to be force marched down to the chuchhouse some Sunday.)

And they also realize that this means the United States is a Christian nation as opposed to say a Hindu nation, or a Muslim nation, or a nation of Satan worshippers. All of which are practiced in the United States, but not to nearly a degree as Christianity.

But not Kingmaker Dave. Nope, he agonizes over it. Well, actually he pretends to agonize. Dave practices the Jewish religion and doesn't believe that Jesus Christ was sent by God, etc. And therefore is not a Christian.

So he called up local Republicans and asked them what, what!, what! did the Republican Party intend when it said such a thing!? Did they mean to exclude him from the fold?

Most Republican leaders took him at his word, that he was honestly trying to resolve a gut wrenching dilemma.

One pointed out that in another part of the platform was the phrase: "Our nation was founded on fundamental Judeo-Christian principles based on the Holy Bible."

Others gently hinted at the real meaning."The United States is a nation that believes in God, and I think its citizens believe in God in a lot of different ways."

Still others apologized, "I guess as a member of the party I apologize to you for offending you individually as a member of the Jewish faith, and perhaps they ought to look at their language a little more carefully in that instance."

One was confused, "Wouldn't you say the United States is a Christian nation?"

Still others couldn't believe he was asking such a stupid question. "How else should we have referred to the nation? Should we have called ourselves the barbaric nation?"

But one finally saw through his mock dilemma and hit the nail squarely on the head. "You sound like a liberal that just wants to make an argument."

This is true. Dave Leiber, for all his recitations of Republican bonifides, and hypocritical touting of his Republican voting record, is a man who will search until he finds the phrase with which he can split semantic hairs in order to pick a fight with the party he supposedly supports.

Now, this is OK. Politics ain't bean bag. But Dave shouldn't pretend to be something that he is not.

We shouldn't be surprised though, most liberals pretend to be something they are not.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

A View From A Broad....

Below is an excerpt from the blog of a soldier stationed in Iraq. She's a forty year old National Guard Reservist. She is a writer, a feminist, and pretty much of a liberal. Her present assignment is reading and correcting field reports. She wrote this on June 20,2004

Every day, I read and I correct, and what I’m reading about is what’s going on. The deaths. The ambushes. The bombings. Police stations get attacked in broad daylight. Convoys get ambushed, hit by RPGS, IEDS, and small arms fire.

Bit by bit, though, what seeps to the surface of these reports, are the[stories of the]Iraqi people affected by them. "My brother was captured by Sadr. Can you help me find him?" A grand ayatollah takes his life in his hands to set someone straight. "You should have put the people of Iraq first! Not yourself!"

Common people, one after the other, clinging to decency, no matter what. A crusading police chief leads a special team from city to city, building up his troops against the insurgents, reminding that soon they will be independant again.

An American translator is re-united with the son he hasn't seen since the first Gulf War, when he had to flee the country. Once persecuted by Saddam, he now has to visit the graves of two brothers who didn't escape---and the palace of a brother who did, and will soon be a governor.

Simple people, decent all of them, but their words could come from any country. "Americans and the Iraqis---they are the same people to me.", " I can go to the marketplace and say anything I want.", " It is against the Koran to take a life!" "I saw these men and they had weapons. They might hurt us---or you.", " He is not a good Muslim."

Ordinary people, unarmed, even, taking on armed men. It goes on and on, the voices that rise out of these reports, bit by bit, and sometimes the bordom gets relieved because I have to sniff just a bit.

My favorite movie is Camelot. Why do I keep thinking about it more and more as I read these things, and put in them the faces of the people I've met since I got here?

If you spend time reading her blog, what comes through is her humanity and her regard for the ordinary people of Iraq. I have a feeling that if she were asked whether or not the sacrifice of our soldiers was worth it, she would say yes.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Summer at Grandma's, 1952...

In the 1950s, I would spend summers at my grandparent's farm. My parents would drive up there in our 1941 Chevrolet Coupe on State Highway 77, two lanes of graveled asphalt, a big deal in those days.

It took 6 hours to get from Fort Worth to their farm near Marietta, Oklahoma. It seemed like we'd drive forever but it would always end.

We would stay the weekend and when they went back, I would stay behind.

I would put my shoes in the suitcase when we got there and not put 'em back on until they came to get me, two months later. By that time the soles of my feet would have developed a callus 1/8" thick and I could walk across rocks or hot sand with hardly a twitch.

My aunt and I would amuse ourselves by making designs in the soles of our feet with thread. We'd get one of Grandma's needles and put some thread in it then stick it into the callus and bring it over a little then stick it back in. In this way we sewed a design into the bottoms of our feet.

It didn't hurt because we would only stick the needle into the thick callus. Once the design was walked on for a while the thread would wear through and then we could amuse ourselves again by pulling the bits of thread out.

The place had no electricity or indoor toilets. The outhouse was about seventy five feet from the back door and we used old magazines for toilet paper.

The house was on top of a hill so there was always a cool breeze blowing off of Lake Texoma. For a little while after sundown we would burn coal oil lamps.

My grandma cooked on a wood stove. She would get up at four o'clock every morning to start the fire and fix a breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits, and coffee, by 6 am. Us kids drank milk that came from the cow the evening before.

She made the biscuits from flour, salt, lard, and water. Mixed, kneaded, cut out and baked immediately, no rising. She would cook enough extra biscuits and bacon so we could snack on it and eat it for lunch. And she always started a big pot of beans that would be ready to eat by suppertime.

We would eat fried potatoes, beans and biscuits for supper, with tomatoes and cucumbers. The potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers came from Grandpa's garden. Grandma hoed the garden three times a week.

There was a stand of little bitty persimmon trees about a quarter mile from the house and every year my grandpa would give me a whole dollar to chop 'em down. I used my US Army machete and would swing from the waist so when I was finished, there would be 25-30 stumps, two feet tall and 1 1/2-3 inches in diameter. They would grow back by the next year and I could earn another dollar.

These are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. Staying on that farm, watching grandma churn butter from the cow's milk. swimming in the stock tank, exploring the erosion "canyons" near the creek, doing the chores, sitting on the front porch and watching the cars drive along the highway a mile away.

Doing all these things with my aunt, who was two years older than me. I had an another aunt too. She was a teenager, though, and didn't have much to do with us little kids.

I feel sorry for the youngsters of today because they will never get the chance to experience life like that. Of course they won't miss it because they will have never known what it was like.

And they will make their own unforgettables too. It may be a memory of a certain video game but it will be just as precious to them as mine are to me.

Perhaps they too will feel real sorry for the others who never got the chance to live in that place and time. I think they will. I hope they will.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

We Are Truly Blessed...

If you live in the USA, you have hit the jackpot in the cosmic lottery of the Human race.

You belong to that sliver of humanity who, out of all those that have been born and died since time began, live under a political system that allows ordinary people to choose the individuals who govern them.

You have access to the richest material of things that anyone has ever had laid out before them.

And you have the opportunity to live a richer, fuller, longer life than just about anyone else on Earth.

On this, our nation's birthday, we should all reflect for a moment on just how well off and blessed we truly are.

Happy and Patriotic Fourth of July Ya'll


Saturday, July 03, 2004

Sometimes, The Wife's True Thoughts Are Revealed.....

WIFE: To husband as he finishes using the bathroom; "Spray some spray!"

HUSBAND: "Okay." Psssst! Shake,shake,shake. Pssssst! "Honey, be sure and shake this can of spray before you use it next time, it's got to where it won't even come out unless you shake it"

WIFE: "Maybe we need to get another can."

HUSBAND: "Yeah, how long we had this one, two or three years?"

WIFE: "Okay, I'll put it on the grocery list......... You know, we really don't have to worry about it except when you use the bathroom, 'cause my shit don't stink."

The Scam What Am #1: Penis Enlargement Pills

All guys want a bigger penis, unless they've already got one big enough to use for batting practice, or they belong to that group of folks to which sex and it's attendant mechanical functions are still taboo. By and large though, it would be safe to say that men in America, especially young men, would spend any amount of money to have a bigger schlong.

Enter the penis enlargement pill vendors. The people who make and sell penis enlargement pills follow the venerable tradition of snake oil salesmen from time immemorial. In this tradition the seller specializes in offering the public what they want but, because of the physical laws governing the universe, they cannot have. The prospect of having the un-attainable will cause people to part with large amounts of hard earned money if they are convinced it is genuine, or to part with smaller amounts of money if they think it might be genuine.

The sales pitch is of vintage construction. Start with documented facts, or facts that are well known, stir in a little speculative fiction, top off with a big dose of hope and you have the perfect spiel. It'll rake in the suckers and even pull down some who should know better.

This is a typical explanation, found a website, of how the pills work. It is contained within a larger sales pitch.

"The penis is made up of 3 chambers, 2 large ones on top, which is your erectile tissue (Corpora Cavernosa), and one smaller chamber on the bottom from which you urinate and ejaculate (Corpus Spongisum).When you are sexually aroused, your brain releases a hormone causing blood to enter the penis and fill your erectile tissue (Corpora Cavernosa).Corpora The cells in the Corpora Cavernosa are filled with blood until an erection is achieved.

You can have a BIGGER PENIS! Big XXX pills will increase the capacity limit of the Corpora Cavernosa thus allowing more blood to enter the cavern creating a longer and thicker erection. Big XXX stimulates cell growth within the corpora cavernosa itself. An increase in cells allows for more blood to enter the penis making the penis larger and the erection more intense. The corpora cavernosa are the two bodies of erectile tissue on each side of the penis. Big XXX is 100% natural with no known side effects. All growth is permanent."

The first paragraph is documented fact. Every word is true. In the second paragraph the speculative fiction and hope are mixed with a repetition of facts from the first paragraph, with standard boilerplate sentences thrown in for good measure.

Let's examine the last paragraph sentence by sentence.

"You can have a BIGGER PENIS!"
This is the hope exciter. This is the promise of the unattainable. This is one the most important sentences in the entire pitch.

"Big XXX pills will increase the capacity limit of the Corpora Cavernosa thus allowing more blood to enter the cavern creating a longer and thicker erection."
This couples the documented fact with speculative fiction. In this as well as other sentences, the medical terminology gives it gravitas.

"Big XXX stimulates cell growth within the corpora cavernosa itself. An increase in cells allows for more blood to enter the penis making the penis larger and the erection more intense."
This is pure speculative fiction. Notice it does not go into the mechanics of how the pill ingredients identify and home in on only the tissues of the penis and not the tissues of the big toe.

"The corpora cavernosa are the two bodies of erectile tissue on each side of the penis."
Another restatement of fact to re-enforce the other statements.

"Big XXX is 100% natural with no known side effects."
All good products are 100% natural. This is what is called boilerplate.

"All growth is permanent."
And the the clincher. Another boilerplate. The mark is assured that it won't go back to what it was before.

Any medical doctor will state unequivocally that pills WILL NOT lead to a larger penis. Then why do guys continue to spend money on this scam?

Because....because we so desperately want it TO BE TRUE!!

Friday, July 02, 2004

What Are We Going to Do????

The way I see it, we are compelled to deal with Islamic terrorism. We can't get around it, or ignore it. If we ignore it, it will grow to the point that it takes us over. The only way to deal with it is to deal with it!

There are two ways for us to be free of the threat of Islamic terrorism.

One way is simply to kill 'em all. Kill every last Muslim in the entire world. I don't think it would be possible for us to do that, there are 1.3 billion of them all over the Earth, but if we did, I don't think we would last a whole lot longer after that. Because we would know that we had killed all those people to get rid of, at most, a hundred thousand bad guys.

Then we would think of ourselves, rightly, as the kind of country that the Michael Moore's of the world say we are: a bad, bad country not deserving of existence. We would commit national suicide. I don't mean that every individual would kill him, or herself. Just that this thing we call the USA would cease to exist.

The other way is to get rid of the terrorists. Either by locking them up, or killing them, then change the conditions that breed them. The conditions that breed terrorists are despotic governments coupled with violent religious sects. I believe if we bring freedom and secular democracy to Muslim countries the religious fanatics will fade away.

It will be very hard, and it will be very messy, and it will take a long time. But relative to option one, it will be a walk in the park. At the end of that road, we will be secure and, as a side benefit, we will have the satisfaction of having freed millions of people from a Tenth Century existence.