Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Toby Keith in Concert

Toby Keith

Keith and band member/song writer

Old Glory

Toby Keith was in Iraq this week. He did at least 12 shows in 4 days on the different bases in Iraq and then I think he was headed to Afghanistan to do more shows there. He did a few of his popular songs and of course he sang "Taliban Song", "American Soldier" and "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue." It was definitely a nice break in the pace that is Camp Victory life.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Until We Meet Again...

Awesome video in honor of our troops!

Where There's Smoke...

Not only is LSU not hosting a regional for the first time in 16 years, we are not even playing in a regional for the first time in 18 years!!! Baton Rouge must be going insane with calls for Smoke to be fired.


First he invents the internet. Now he predicts the end of civilization. What's next...he reveals he is really an alien from Mars?...wait...we already knew that =)

Good post on the topic by Flynn Files.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Will Smoke Become "Fired"?

For the first time in 16 years (an NCAA record), LSU is not hosting an NCAA Regional for baseball.

Thank You for Your Sacrifice!!!

Fallen Soldier Memorial for today's Memorial Day service

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Desert Experience

It never ceases to amaze me how everything happens for a reason and God has it all under control.

I've been asked by one of the Chaplains here to be one of the leaders for a men's study on the book, "Every Man's Battle." This book helped me tremendously back in Sept. '04 when my sexual addiction was broken, and I look forward to helping other men gain the same freedom and victories.

It gives some very solid scriptures on battling lust and impure thoughts as well as setting the standard God desires. That standard is Eph 5:3, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people." Not even a hint! That is a very solid standard with very little wiggle room.

Another scripture that helped me tremendously was 2Cor 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." That is a scripture I quickly deploy anytime a thought comes to mind that doesn't honor Christ. It has been a very effective Sword in cleaning my mind. Another great one is Phil 4:8.

A devotional that comes along with the study had a line in Thursday's entry, "As history has shown, God will give every man a desert experience to prepare him for his future." It was discussing lots of men from the Bible and their experiences to say that we also will experience a "desert experience" to prepare us for the future God has for us. It just so happens my desert experience is turning out to be spiritual and literal and I'm very glad for both!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New Blog Links

I've made a few additions to my links. I've added a link to MilBlogs which is a list of the best blogs by military folks.

I've also added two friends, Straight and Craft. Both are on staff at HPC in Baton Rouge and should be great reads.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Victory Over America Palace...OOPS!!!

Victory of America Palace
On the way back from the airport a few weeks ago, I snapped this pic. It is the Victory Over America Palace. Saddam started building it in '93, but ironically never was able to finish it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Silence is Deafening!

I'm not surprised one bit by the lack of outrage by the Dems. Any time there is even a hint of a scandal for a Repub the calls for resignation are deafening. However, now with one of their own, Rep. Jefferson (D-LA), caught on tape taking a $100K bribe from an FBI informant, the silence is deafening!

Editor's Update: Here is a great post that really nails the Culture of Corruption. A little hint: neither party is free from blame.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Will They Ever Learn???

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinions," said the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "but not to his own facts." Moynihan was a liberal. Today's liberals--led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)--would not agree.

She denounced the tax cuts of 2003, saying then we can't afford them, they won't create jobs, they'll damage economic recovery, and they'll create a larger deficit. The American Shareholders Association has fact-checked those comments against proven results.

The economy has created 5.3 million new jobs since the Bush tax cuts. Unemployment has dropped from 6.3 percent to 4.7 percent, the lowest in decades. The economy has grown robustly since the tax cuts took effect. And the deficit--while still far too great--is $38 billion lower today than it was in 2003.

By every measure, the tax cuts have been successful. Congress recently moved to extend the Bush tax cuts. Without this timely action, you and your family would have gotten a huge tax hike next year.

Liberals' reaction to all this? The Washington Post's columnists respond with "the return of Voodoo Economics." How predictable. In their zeal to stick pins in President Bush, the Post pundits are willing to puncture a growing economy.

Tony Perkins
Family Research Council

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Two Cents on Da Vinci Code

You know, as soon as all the threats of protests and boycotts start, film makers start smiling because it usually means big bucks at the theaters. "The Da Vinci Code" will probably by all indications do just that, even albinos are now protesting.

Here's my two cents. I picked up the book a few weeks ago to see what all the fuss was about first hand.

It is very entertaining. The style reminded me a lot of the "Left Behind" series which kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. However, it is FICTION. It is no more reality than the recent movie, "National Treasure" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark," both of which used similar ideas used in Da Vinci Code about secret organizations and wild conspiracies to paint a fun adventure. If the movie captures that feeling, it will be a great movie.

First and foremost, if your faith in Christ is rocked after reading a Fiction book or watching a movie, then that faith wasn't very strong to begin with.

Second, Christians should welcome the chance to debate the "facts" in the book with the Truth. The three main ones being: the Divinity of Christ, the reliability of the Bible, and attitude toward women in the Church and the Bible.

Third, while I haven't decided yet if I will see the movie or not being I've already read the book, this does show the rest of the world how a civilized religion responds to attacks on their religion and their most revered figure.

Can you imagine if instead of Christ, the book talked about Mohammed in such blatantly false pretenses. The entire Arab world (not just the radicals) would be burning down embassies and calling for the heads of anyone involved in the book or even read the book.

Unlike Mohammed, Christ taught to love your enemy, not cut their heads off.

A Great Question

Dan sent me this from an email yesterday that makes a very interesting point on the ILLEGAL immigration issue and a possible very easy solution:

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington and they tracked her calves to their stalls? But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give them all a cow.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Newt vs. W

Newt's newsletter this week had a link to his Working Paper on ILLEGAL Immigration under his Ask Newt section. It is the most comprehensive approach to the problem I've seen to date. I haven't had a chance to read every word yet, but from my quick scan, I agree 100% with his approach. It is definitely well worth a read to see how this issue can be solved.

The President laid out his plan on the issue last night during a primetime national address. He started well with a couple of positive take-aways. They were moving National Guard troops to the border along with increased measures to enforce border security, end of catch and release, guest worker program that requires applicants to apply in their home country, holding companies accountable for the hiring of ILLEGAL immigrants, and making it easier to identify ILLEGAL immigrants.

However once again he failed in convincing anyone that he isn't for amnesty with this statement:
"...recognizes that there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently - and someone who has worked here for many years..."

I'm sorry, but there is no difference between these two people. Both are here ILLEGALLY. Both broke our laws to enter the country. Both are working ILLEGALLY. There is no statute of limitation on entering our country ILLEGALLY! This is AMNESTY and to say it isn't ridiculous. In fact the one who has been here longer is worse than the other because he has been continuously breaking our laws over an extended period of time which shows he has developed it into a skill and lifestyle.

A Newt presidency is looking better and better every day.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Changes to Iraq Blogs

Due to people leaving, I'm making a few changes to my Iraq links. Maureen is leaving on Friday and Dan is leaving in a month (he hasn't posted anything in months anyway b/c he got annoyed with blogger here), so I'm taking their blogs down.

A recent visitor to my blog and commenter though will make up for the departures, HouseDiggity. I haven't had a chance to read too much on his site yet, but it appears he is in the IZ (downtown Baghdad where the US Embassy is located) and working for USAID on some interesting endeavors. He appears, from the limited reading I've done so far, to lean a little to the left which may have qualified him for my Lefty blogs, but being in Iraq will trump that for the moment.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Slippery Slope Gets Slipperier

So much for the abortion rights and assisted suicide crowds saying conservatives are crying wolf when we bring up the slippery slope. Now in Britain, if an embryo has the possibility of maybe one day when they become an adult possibly developing cancer, then that embryo can now be destroyed. What's next? Maybe we should look for the liberal gene ;)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tough Question - Great Answer

I don't normally pass on email spam, but here is on that I really enjoyed!!!

Cindy Sheehan asked President Bush, "Why did my son have to die in Iraq?"
Another mother asked President Kennedy, "Why did my son have to die in Vietnam?"
Another mother asked President Truman, "Why did my son have to die in Korea?
Another mother asked President F.D. Roosevelt, "Why did my son have to die at Iwo Jima?"

Another mother asked President W. Wilson, "Why did my son have to die on a battlefield in France?"
Yet another mother asked President Lincoln, "Why did my son have to die at Gettysburg?"
And yet another mother asked President G. Washington, "Why did my son have to die near Valley Forge?"

Then long, long ago, a mother asked, "Heavenly Father, why did my Son have to die on a cross outside of Jerusalem?"

The answers to all these are similar -- "that others may have life and dwell in peace, happiness and freedom."


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Go Joe

Some people never cease to amaze me!!!

A friend of mine's husband served in the Army (he spent at least a year if I remember correctly here in Iraq in '03). I'll call him Joe to protect the innocent. Joe went to Walmart a few days ago like every good red blooded American does at least once a week. On the way out, a guy sneaks up behind Joe and grabs him. That in itself is not really a bright thing to do, but it gets worse.

The guy then proceeds to ask Joe, "How does it feel to be a baby killer?"

The next part of the story makes me very proud of Joe. Instead of engaging in useless debate with this idiot, with one punch, he laid him out cold then proceeded to leave with the guy unconscious on the ground as Joe went back home with his Walmart merchandise completely unharmed.

When his wife relayed the story to me, I advised that next time the only thing different he should do is say first, "I'm feeling really threatened right now and fear for my personal safety. Please step back or I will have to defend myself." Then if the idiot was stupid enough to stay in his face, he was properly warned before being knocked unconscious.

Personal note to Joe: my co-workers here (1 Marine, 2 Sailors, and 4 Soldiers) said they would have handled the situation in exactly the same manner. There is just no excuse for such idiocy, so he got what he deserved.

Winning the Future

Newt Alert!!! Newt Alert!!!

Ok, now that I've given fair warning to liberal readers, I want to introduce ya'll to Newt's latest endeavor. He has started writing a weekly newsletter for Human Events Online entitled, Winning the Future. It is a must read for all conservatives.

This week's one that I linked above has lots of great material from ending bilingual federal ballots to repealing McCain-Feingold (you receive a little extra if you sign up for the newsletter) to Iran being elected as vice chair to the UN's Disarmament Commission (and why do we still support the UN???).

I don't know if he is planning a run for President in '08 or not (if I was forced to guess, then I absolutely think he will give it a shot), but he sure is staying in the forefront of conservative policy. The fact that he is still around and still very influential must make liberals' blood boil, which is fine by me =)

Monday, May 08, 2006

MAJOR Sandstorm

Sandstorm approaching...

...just like in the movies Hidalgo and Mummy

Apparently the sandstorm is a Texas fan.

One of my co-workers took some pics today of our first major sandstorm. It was just like in the movies where it just rolls in like a wall. You definitely didn't go outside during the middle of it if you didn't have to, except to take cool pics of course. I have no idea why the sky turns orange, but it is just freaky.

Editor's note: Two additions:

To give you an idea of how fast the storm was moving, my co-worker said these pics were taken in a span of less than 2 minutes.

The soldiers who have been here before said this was not a major storm, but still a small one. They said when a MAJOR storm hits, I will absolutely know it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Another Kennedy Car Crash Cover Up???

If this wasn't a real story, you'd think it was a Letterman joke. Guess it runs in the family. Thankfully no one died this time!

Editor's note: In light of recent developments and if he continues to be open and forthright on the incident, I'll take him at his word unless proven differently. I want to applaud Rep. Kennedy for taking personal responsibility and entering rehab for his addiction to pain killers. It is definitely not an easy thing to ever publicly face your trials, which I can't even imagine having to do while also being a Kennedy.

The above joke had nothing whatsoever to do with any recent developments of which I knew nothing about, but just purely with the car crash, being a Kennedy, and having holes in the story.

I was going to take down the joke above, but then the comments attached would make no sense. So, I left it up and added this note to reflect a different thought.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Challenging Books

I've recently finished two very challenging books: Soul Talk by Larry Crabb and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

Soul Talk's subtitle is, "Know God More Intimately and Relate to Others More Deeply, Through...Soul Talk...The Language God Longs For Us to Speak." It teaches a different way of communicating when responding to the challenges people face in life with these five steps:

1. Think Beneath
-think about the battle between religion and Christianity. Is this person more aware of his/her desire for blessings or desire for God?

2. Think Vision
-reflect on how this person would be talking about his/her life if he/she wanted God more than blessings. What would it mean for this person's life to not be wasted?

3. Think Passion
-how are you right now self-obsessed? Feel it, confess it to God, and let brokenness put you in touch with your true desire to love this person.

4. Think Story
-listen to with transcendent curiosity to hear the hidden story of fear and shame and to hear shaping events that directed this person away from God in order to find life. Ask lots of questions. Be stingy with advice.

5. Think Movement
-pay close attention to any movement toward brokenness. Then put words to repentance, encourage specific acts of trust, share your confidence in God, and celebrate release of the person's true self.

It was a very challenging book that I will definitely need to read a few more times to truly capture its lessons. However, I do know if used properly it works. After reading through it, I recognized that Jay, a friend in DC, spoke Soul Talk after the engagement being broken off. He didn't give me hardly any advice, but instead asked lots of questions to lead me to see what lessons I am to learn from this time of brokenness. I came away less focused on my problem and more focused on God, which is the goal when facing trials.

The Practice of the Presence of God is a Christian classic written in the 17th century about the life of a monk in France, Brother Lawrence. He was the epitome of what it meant to live for God in every aspect of your life. This is another book I will need to read several times before I am able to really understand the depth of it. It is also one I plan to add to my "read once a year" list because it is that powerful that I don't want to forget the lessons of it.

The book is a compilation of conversations with and letters from Brother Lawrence on how he was able and advice on how to be in the practice of always being in the presence of God in his daily activities.

I highly recommend both books, especially Brother Lawrence, to anyone who wants to take their relationship with God to the next level.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Oprah Wrong?

Apparently Oprah did a show recently on the "horrors" of living on minimum wage. Well, not surprisingly, it was completely one-sided and riddled with errors. Here is some truth on the minimum wage. The main truth is the segment of society that the minimum wage is supposedly supposed to help is the one it hurts the most.