Thursday, August 31, 2006
Update: Here is a link to the whole speech...It is definitely a MUST read!!!
Hat Tip Mike's America (I've added him to my blogroll)
In the meantime here are a couple of lines from his speech that have them all in a hissy fit:
In the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated--or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace--even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear. It was, as Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.
There was a strange innocence in views of the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. Senator's reaction in September 1939, upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed: "Lord, if only I could have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided."
Think of that!
I recount this history because once again we face the same kind of challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today, another enemy--a different kind of enemy--has also made clear its intentions--in places like New York, Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, and Moscow. But it is apparent that many have still not learned history's lessons.
We need to face the following questions:
-With the growing lethality and availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased?
-Can we really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?
-Can we truly afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply "law enforcement" problems, rather than fundamentally different threats, requiring fundamentally different approaches?
-And can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America--not the enemy--is the real source of the world's trouble?
These are central questions of our time. And we must face them. . . .
But this is still--even in 2006--not well recognized or fully understood. It seems that in some quarters there is more of a focus on dividing our country, than acting with unity against the gathering threats.
We find ourselves in a strange time:
-When a database search of America's leading newspapers turns up 10 times as many mentions of one of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib who were punished for misconduct, than mentions of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terror;
-When a senior editor at Newsweek disparagingly refers to the brave volunteers in our Armed Forces as a "mercenary army";
-When the former head of CNN accuses the American military of deliberately targeting journalists and the former CNN Baghdad bureau chief admits he concealed reports of Saddam Hussein's crimes when he was in power so CNN could stay in Iraq;
-and it is a time when Amnesty International disgracefully refers to the military facility at Guantanamo Bay, which holds terrorists who have vowed to kill Americans and which is arguably the best run and most scrutinized detention facility in the history of warfare, as "the gulag of our times."
Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths, and distortions being told about our troops and about our country.
The struggle we are in is too important--the consequences too severe--to have the luxury of returning to the old mentality of "Blame America First."
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
That's the only solid info I have so far. However the further plans as of right now are to stay in DC for two days and then fly to LA on Thursday. Go to LSU-Arizona game on Saturday the 9th...whooohooo....GEAUX TIGERS!!! Spend a couple of weeks in LA and then drive my car back up to DC. I'll then work in the DC office until the end of October while waiting for a contract that we bid on back in Iraq.
If we win it, I'll head back to Iraq. If we don't win it, they will look for a position for me in DC at either the Pentagon or one of the military bases in the area. If that doesn't work out then I'll explore other options.
I'm actually looking forward to my time home...I was almost at a point that if something would have worked out here I would have been a little disappointed.
Obviously, a lot is still up in the air, so I will definitely hang on to Jer 29:11 during the next two months!
Monday, August 28, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
"World wide WalMart employee's 1.3 million people. In the United States they employee 275,000 African Americans, 150,000 Hispanics, 240,000 Senior Citizens over 55 years of age. The average wage is $ 10.55 per hour. Most full and part time employees are eligible to health care at an average of $ 11.00 a month. WalMart is the largest health care provider in the nation."
- Columnist Ken Hughes
Friday, August 25, 2006
However, that isn't the worst part of this decision. So far at least 5 deaths are blamed on the pill. How many more deaths will it take before it will be removed from the market??? I'm very disappointed in the President that he didn't stop this in it's tracks. Hopefully, Congress will remedy it soon.
"gives you an additional, convenient level of protection from unwanted pregnancy"
That quote in the announcement floors me. So, the chance of dying is not as bad as an unwanted pregnancy.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
However, today I saw exactly what the defendants' (long list of typical looney lefties like the ACLU and Greenpeace) were suing for. They are suing the government because they feel that they have the constitutional right to talk to people in the Middle East and Asia who are members of Al Qaida, affiliated with Al Qaida, or members of an organization that is affiliated with Al Qaida or in support of Al Qaida without the government monitoring that communication.
They further claim that due to the wiretaps, people in that group are no longer talking to them on the phone or through email due to being scared of the call being monitored. So, because of that, the Defendants' First Amendment right of free speech has been violated.
Ok, let me try and understand this. Members of the above group who have some connection to Al Qaida don't want to talk on the phone or email anymore because the US Government might be tracking that communication.
This makes me even more angry at the leak of this program because obviously they were discussing things that they don't want the US Government to know about. Thanks to this leak, we are less safe as a nation b/c the ENEMY is now aware of one way we are monitoring their communications in order to stop them, so they have adjusted their behavior.
Then it comes out yesterday that the judge is a trustee of an organization that gave $125,000 to the ACLU which lends a strong argument that she should have recused herself from the case from the start. No surprise there at all.
Once again liberals prove they have no interest in protecting the safety of American citizens and only want to find ways to bash the President. Very sad indeed!
Hat Tip: Opinion Journal's Best of the Web
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Things have been pretty stressful for everyone the last couple of days, so we decided to have a little fun.
We found out on Friday that our contract is not getting extended beyond 31Aug. That started the mad dash to find new employment for everyone who wanted to stay in country. I feel I'm supposed to stay here until next summer. Thankfully, I have a few leads and am pretty confident at this point that I'll be able to stick around. I'll know more by the end of next week obviously and of course I'll keep ya'll in the loop.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Their current project is to find out which Senator is putting a secret hold on S. 2590. All this bill would require is that Congress build a website that would include nearly every recipient of federal funding. You would think Congress would be glad to highlight all the "help" they give to the populace wouldn't you? Well someone in the Senate is putting a hold on the bill from coming to the floor for a vote and Porkbusters as well as several others are trying to find out who.
Go to the site...call your Senators...and if they deny being the super secret holder of the bill, then let Porkbusters know, so they can move them from the Suspects list to the In The Clear list.
Monday, August 21, 2006
That is a quote from an article showing that this year's hurricane season is well below average and might not even reach half of last year's storms. However, I'm sure that it will be explained away somehow by the looney libs and their compatriots in the MSM.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
LSU's season will come down to QB consistency. They have all the weapons needed for another run for the title. If Russell and company can be consistent, it will be a very good year. They do have tough road schedule with Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas on the road. They also go 9 weeks straight before an open date.
All in all it should be a good season, that is if we don't screw up and lose to ULL on the 2nd...NOT!!!
Friday, August 18, 2006
Here is their response completely unedited:
I wanted to start by saying Thank you To Southpaw. I thought it was a fabulous blog and one that hits close to home.
It amazes me how the service members and their families suffer at the hands of politics. I don't care whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent. I don't care if you agree with the war, our President, or Congress. I don't care what belief system you hold to be true. Please, please support the families.
How do you support other than Southpaw's thoughts...This comes from a military brat and former military wife. Support their jobs! Remember that these men and women are dedicated to their country and do what Congress and the President ask. Remember that our service members are just doing their job as any other employee would, they simply have different kinds of jobs.
Take a tour of your local VA hospital and see what limited facilities and care we provide to men and women who have risked their lives to protect us. Contact your Congressman regarding your experience and demand changes. My husband and I have been in 3 VA hospitals. I was appalled by the conditions in Arkansas with its stained or missing ceiling tiles, rude staff and the 8 hour wait to get one x-ray. I was frustrated with the scheduling in Kansas City. How can you expect a veteran to come in at 1 pm for a first appointment if you will be fired for not being at work on time? I don't care if the physician sets his appointments or not. Why can't you be more flexible with a veteran who is trying to work! Thank God for the VA Clinic in Colorado Springs. We found a nurse practitioner who is on his game and is taking really good care of my husband. Each state is so different, what will you do to help.
Ask your Congressman to propose or support additional funding to the VA facilities, especially the mental health clinics. We wait 3 months for follow up visits with the psychiatrist and there are only 3 therapists on staff to see an enormous amount of veterans. They need more qualified staff with passion for veterans.
Support organizations who advocate for our troops. We have found such incredible support from the Disabled American Veterans. They walked us through the process of filing for disability, filing a disagreement when the VA told us there is no way my husband is service connected for his PTSD, even though he dreams about things in Iraq that I cannot mention for fear of their impact on you, my reader. We have been fighting this for 3 years and the DAV has been there every step of the way.
Allow the service members to tell their stories. Sometimes a listening ear can help. Please do not debate if they were doing the right thing or not, most service members believe in their job and take pride in what they do. If they are close friends or relatives, maybe you suggesting they should see someone will make the difference. Southpaw is right, the stigma applied to mental health issues is one of weakness inside the military, and that stigma follows our veterans.
Veterans feel disrespected and forgotten by their country. Some people have asked me why so many Vietnam veterans are homeless. The answer to that is complicated but I will do my best. First, an amazing amount of Vietnam veterans saw horrible things and therefore many have PTSD. They drink or do drugs to make the symptoms (flashbacks, anxiety, tremors, etc) dissipate. There is a certain level of control they try to gain from living outdoors. Here they control their life; there are no bills, responsibilities, etc. One final thought, when they are alone they are less likely to physically harm the ones they love. During flashbacks they are not in the same world we are, usually they do not remember their actions here, and for many that is very scary. My husband always asks after one of these flashbacks if he has hurt me.
There needs to be more training for the military spouses about Anxiety conditions and PTSD. What do they need to look for in their service member or veteran. The spouse is the first line of defense. There needs to be reintegration training for everyone returning. We had a few suicides here around the bases when my husband was in Iraq, including some officers and Special Forces individuals. Anyone is susceptible.
These brave men and women are haunted by their heroic jobs and deserve the utmost respect. I support my veteran by fighting the VA for his disability rating, by demanding the best care at VA facilities, standing by him and fighting the PTSD together, and I say thank you to every veteran I meet. As Southpaw said every one has a different way of supporting the troops, but I challenge you do put some rubber to the road and create some action. I'd love to hear your ideas.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Here is a headline of an AP article yesterday, "Rockets Hit Lebanon Despite Cease Fire." So, if you were just scanning headlines, what would be your take on that one? First thought would be, Israel is not complying with the cease fire and still firing rockets into Lebanon right?
Well, you would be wrong. If you were to take the time to actually read the article, you would read this, "Hezbollah guerrillas fired at least 10 Katyusha rockets that landed in southern Lebanon early Tuesday."
Everyone in journalism knows that the headline is the whole key to your story. This is blatant misleading and one can only assume it was done with a malicious intent!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
On my recent trip home, I was able to put several faces with names and voices I've interacted with over the last 6 months or so via this blog and work.
First was Nick(Conservative Cajun). On my way to TX, I met him for lunch in Jennings at a little truck stop cajun restaurant. Of course we mostly talked politics.
Then on Wednesday at HPC, I met Carole (FeatherIron) Dean (Steel Tiger) and their niece Candice. Here is a pic of the three of them. I also met Ron (Ron's World) the following Sunday. It was great worshiping with them!
Then on my trip to DC, I met Tina. She is a co-worker who handles our payroll issues as well as other very important things that are needed when you are deployed 1000s of miles from home. She rocks!!! I also met Yumna, Silvia, Michael and Clarence. They work for a subcontractor that works with us here in Iraq. I email or talk to them pretty frequently, so it was great getting to meet them in person even though they refused to let me post their pics ;)
Look forward to meeting more people in the future as it is always great to put faces with names!!!
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
The first one is my "currently reading" links. As you'll quickly see, I'm always reading more than one book at a time. That is a very unique skill, actually it is probably more due to my self diagnosed ADHD =)
Second addition is three new blogs under my fav blogs section:
Ron's World - Ron is from LA and ventured into my world via either Feather Iron or DanO, don't quite remember
Steel Tiger - Feather Iron's hubby and huge LSU fan...so of course we have lots to discuss
(Met them both when I was home. I'm waiting on one pic then I'll be doing a post on the people I met when I was home and was able to put faces with names.)
Joel Rosenberg - a great author who has made some very interesting predictions in his books that have come true. In his first book, "The Last Jihad" he predicted terrorists using planes as weapons and it was written before 9-11. In his second book, "The Last Days" he predicted the Iraq war before the war started. In his third book, "The Ezekiel Option" he predicts an Iranian/Russian alliance who together with other Arab nations attacks Israel. Will he be 3 for 3? I will probably order his newest one, "The Copper Scroll" soon which I think predicts the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Like the Left Behind series, he uses Bible prophecy as a foundation for his books.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Then that would mean less babies in liberal households and more babies in conservative households over time. Then being parents pass on their values to their kids, in time conservative values would once again overtake liberal ideas.
Is this poll possible proof of the Roe Effect taking place showing a turning of the tide on public opinion on abortion?
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Hmmm...I just had a thought. I'm sure it isn't an original one, but I've never heard this exactly like this yet except when used in the context of weather cycles. They are called heat WAVES. What exactly are the properties of waves. They have peaks and valleys...they rise and fall...they cycle in a pattern. Exactly as the weather has done and continues to do regardless of what we puny humans do or don't do.
Speaking of weather cycles...looks like the hurricane season will be in a down cycle compared to last year according to forecasters. Once again, expect this to be ignored in the MSM who were all secretly hoping for more Katrinas and Ritas to spike their ratings and their biases.
Monday, August 07, 2006
“Support our troops”
It’s an easy enough phrase to say, but much harder to do. How does one show “support” for our men and women in the armed forces who put life on the line every day? Some people show support through prayer. Others write letters. Some offer support through blogs and websites. Many just say the phrase and do nothing.
This, though, is what I would ask of anyone who claims to support the troops: Contact your members of Congress and demand that the men and women of the armed forces get the mental health and behavioral treatment services they need, as a result of sustaining psychological trauma in the course of their service. Not just for six months or a year, either. For a lifetime.
Soldiers who suffer from mental illness or addiction are in just as much need of health care as those who suffer from physical injuries. Yet there is a stigma that surrounds mental health and addiction treatment in this country. Too many think that those who suffer from these ailments are “weak,” or can’t “put it behind them.” Too many think that addicts have chosen to destroy their lives, when the opposite is true- an addict is not in control of his or her faculties to the point where they can make informed decisions concerning their behavior. The same holds true for other mental illnesses. Addiction and depression are diseases like any other. The American Medical Association has classified addiction as a disease since 1957, yet an addict never receives the sympathy of a cancer patient or AIDS patient, because they are viewed as having brought it on themselves. Sometimes they can be cured or treated, some cases cannot be. Some can be treated with pharmacology, some with cognitive therapy, and some with a combination of therapies.
Yes, it’s costly. It’s difficult to identify everyone who needs it. But if someone loses a limb in battle, they get disability checks. The same should hold true for anyone who suffers from depression, addiction, PTSD, or any other condition brought on by battle. We must to go beyond treatment simply for those who request it. Soldiers and other military personnel should be screened for signs of mental illness. The opportunity for treatment must remain open for a lifetime, as often symptoms of depression or addiction may not surface for years after an event that is at the root of an issue. It is a scientific fact that trauma will lead to increased drug and alcohol use. A whole generation of veterans turned out homeless, addicted, and deeply disturbed after Vietnam. We cannot let this happen again.
I heard one story about a soldier who suffered from a psychological condition upon his return. I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but if it is anywhere close to the truth, it is horrifying:
The soldier was a Pennsylvania guardsman. He was in his mid-30s, and living in his parents’ house because he could not stand to be alone. About a month after his return, he woke up in the middle of the night screaming. “I’m a murderer!” was all he would say, repeating it over and over. A few nights later, he approached his father, who was sitting in a parlor chair, the same one that was there when the soldier was a little boy. He climbed into his father’s lap, the same way he would thirty years ago. He begged his father to hold him as he shook. Weeks later, he began drinking constantly. His psychological symptoms worsened. His parents brought him to the VA. The VA told him to leave and come back “When he got his drinking under control.” They did not have the ability to treat his drinking, or even refer him to a place that could. A month later his father came home from work, and discovered that his son had hung himself.
This soldier is not considered to be one “killed in combat.” His family will not receive benefits as a soldier killed in battle was, even though the battle, combined with bureaucracy, was a factor in his death. The guardsman from Pennsylvania is not unique, and sometimes symptoms of psychological trauma do not present themselves for years.
My post is not a statement for or against the war. The war is a fact, wounded soldiers are a fact, and the psychological damage caused by combat and trauma is a fact. This post is one in favor of decency, and one that asks our government to do what is right. The men and women who put life on the line for their country deserve the best treatment their country has to offer. Don’t just ask for our nation to look after the mental health of its soldiers, sailors, marines, and pilots. Support our troops, and DEMAND it!
Thanks to Cajun Tiger for honoring his word and permitting me to post.
-The Leftist Southpaw
This would be extremely unhelpful for the war on terror and the region. One of the main reasons I've been told by Iraqis I've talked to as to why they don't do more for their country is that they are afraid of retribution when the US leaves to early like we did in '91. They have no faith that the US will finish the fight (and neither does Al Qaida) and why should they when all they hear is cut and run from the Dems who could be in charge come November (I don't believe that for one second...my prediction 3 months out is we will actually pick up one seat in the Senate and I'm still holding predictions for the House) and the MSM.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
As always, Dan has done a very professional job of setting this up. All you have to do is go to their site each day for the next 35 days and it gives you a daily devotional and prayer for the needs in the area.
While most of us can't go to Africa and do what Children's Cup is doing on a daily basis, nor do we have the money we wish we could give to help. However, we can all pray!
Friday, August 04, 2006
I'm not sure if any of you think about stuff like this but I do a lot. Do you think some prayers should not be prayed as they are too selfish or self-serving?
For example this morning at 0130 I was not listed on the roll call for the flight to Baghdad. I was not happy. However, I didn't feel it was something I should ask God for help in because what harm would come to me by staying in Kuwait one more day other than personal discomfort due to the heat and tough living arrangements. It was one of those "God has more important things to do than worry about something so trivial" moments.
So, I walked out talking to God and saying, "well apparently you want me in Kuwait one more day, please give me the patience to handle it." Then not 30 minutes later, I was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time and was added to the flight. There was a waiting list of over 80 people and I was somewhere in the 50s, yet I made the flight due to being the only one there at that exact moment.
Was it just a test to see if my attitude would be right before He worked it out or was it just an unprayed answer to something I didn't think I should pray for? So while Garth rightfully thanked God for unanswered prayers, how many unprayed answers should we thank Him for daily!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
My 12-hour layover in London was fun. I was able to ride the London Eye (biggest ferris wheel in the world), see Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Churchill's underground WWII bunker, and Buckingham Palace. Next time maybe I'll have enough time to actually go inside them...lol. I'll post some pics when I get back to Iraq (hopefully tomorrow).
FYI...Kuwait's high today is supposed to be 134!!!
Editor's Update: At the 4am (Thursday morning) roll call, I found out that there is only one flight to Baghdad "today" (it is actually at 1:30am tonight, Friday morning). There are also only 50 seats available. I'm currently 56 on the list, so unless six people miss the 1830 roll call and are bumped from the list and no one else is added above me (all very unlikely), it looks like I'll be here in Kuwait for another full day, possibly two. Oh well...at least they have Mickey D's =)