Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
This is going to be a long year as I've just now passed the one month mark and it has felt like forever. Way harder than last time when I didn't have an absolutely amazing girl waiting at home for me!
Sorry if that was to touchy feely for some of you, but that's what is on my heart right now =)
Sunday, September 23, 2007
It was a sloppy game due to the rain and had it not been for that I believe we would have beat them by even more. Once again the defense dominated by allowing only 17 rushing yards and except for the slightly too conservative defense and not conservative enough offense in the final few minutes, very few total yards. My favorite stat so far of the season is that in 4 straight games LSU has chased the starting QB. That has to be a record!
Now I think comes one of our biggest challenges of the season next week against Tulane. In no way are they capable of beating us athletically, but if we get caught overlooking that game in anticipation of the big game against Florida the following week, anything can happen.
So, as I pointed out in the last post on this topic, the reason Columbia won't allow the ROTC on campus is due to the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy of the military. And what was the Nazi policy towards homosexuality?
By German law, homosexuality was a crime. After the prison sentences most homosexuals were automatically shipped to concentration camps. In 1935, a new law legalized the `compulsory sterilization (often in fact castration) of homosexuals.' A special section of the Gestapo dealt with them. Along with epileptics, schizophrenics and other `degenerates', they were being eliminated. Yet homosexuality was still so widespread that in 1942 the death penalty was imposed for it in the army and the SS. Vera Laska
Germany even executed homosexuals in the military! Once again the question is asked of Columbia, if the military executed homosexuals, as approved by both your speakers Ahmadinejad and Hitler, opposed to simply discharging them from the military, would the ROTC be invited back to campus?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
BOTW gives three possible explanations for the MSM and lefties misconstruing of the actual quote:
Stupidity: The reporter was so bone-headedly literal-minded that he simply did not understand the rhetorical device Bush was employing.
Laziness: The reporter wasn't actually at the press conference and didn't bother to check the context of the quote.
Dishonesty. The reporter knew full well that Bush was speaking metaphorically and deliberately twisted his meaning in order to fit the stereotype that Bush "has a reputation for verbal faux pas."
You decide! No matter the reason, I won't be holding my breath for any apologies.
BTW...if you haven't noticed with my back to back postings based on BOTW, I really enjoy their daily email, and I'd highly recommend it if you aren't already signed up.
Friday, September 21, 2007
"On Sunday, November 13, the semi-official Tehran daily Kayhan reported that the Iranian government publicly hung [sic] two men, Mokhtar N. (24 years old) and Ali A. (25 years old), in the Shahid Bahonar Square of the northern town of Gorgan.
The government reportedly executed the two men for the crime of "lavat." Iran's shari'a-based penal code defines lavat as penetrative and non-penetrative sexual acts between men. Iranian law punishes all penetrative sexual acts between adult men with the death penalty. Non-penetrative sexual acts between men are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are punished with death. Sexual acts between women, which are defined differently, are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are also punished with death." Human Rights Watch
BOTW closes the article with the question wondering if the military executed homosexuals as opposed to discharging them, maybe Columbia would invite the ROTC back to campus.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Last year when I was here, one of the Iraqis we worked with, Ali (not his real name), was kidnapped. We all feared the worse. I left not knowing what happened to him but figuring he was probably murdered. Just a few days ago, I found out that he is back working with us again. He was kidnapped and tortured. Thankfully someone was able to get him released in time, or I'm sure he would have eventually been killed.
Now most people after an incident like that probably would decide that they had paid their dues to help and go about living their life in safety. Not Ali. As soon as he was able, he started working again for the freedom of his nation, which he knows is only possible with the help of America, until Iraq is able to help themselves. That is why I'm here doing whatever I can to make sure Ali's sacrifice and the sacrifices of many others aren't in vain.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
It landed less than 200 yards from my office (for those in VA who know Berkley, it was less than 100 yards from his office). I heard it incoming as it flew directly over our trailers. I immediately hit the deck under my desk. Then a very loud BOOM and the whole trailer shook so much that the light on the ceiling fell off one screw. We immediately ran to the bunker as they usually come in twos or threes, but thankfully this one was a solo act. If you have no idea how big a 240mm rocket is, check out Nancy's post on the incident.
It was a wild couple of a minutes to say the least, but I had a complete peace through it all as the Psalm that I read every morning quickly came to mind, especially a specific verse in that Psalm. Psalm 91 is often referred to in the military as the Soldier's Psalm. In that Psalm, verse 5 reads, "You will not fear the terror by night, nor the arrow [rocket] that flies by day" People often ask me how can I come here and if I'm not scared to be here. How much more clear can God's word be than that verse. Read the rest of the chapter and you will see why I will not fear as He is my shelter and refuge and fortress.
A city worker in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province, described his ambivalence in strong terms.
“The withdrawal of the occupation forces is a must because they have caused the destruction of Iraq, they committed massacres against the innocents, they have double-crossed the Iraqis with dreams,” said Ahmad Umar al-Esawi, a Sunni worker. “I want them to withdraw all their troops in one day.”
But, he added, dropping his voice: “There is something that I want to say although I hate to say it. The Americans forces, which are an ugly occupation force, have become something important to us, the Sunnis. We are a minority and we do not having a force to face the militias. If the Americans leave, it will mean a total elimination of the Sunnis in Iraq. “I know I said I want them to leave, but if we think about it, then I have to say I want them to stay for a while until we end all the suspicions we have of each other and have a strong national government.”
I've felt convicted to follow the 30 day fast as well for two reasons. First, I'm really starting to sense some major life changes after this time in Iraq. So, I'll be praying during my fasting time for direction and confirmation. I also look forward to taking another step closer in intimacy with God as this will not be easy and will produce more reliance on Him. Fasting is one very important spiritual discipline that Christians unfortunately have for a large part lost. I for one have definitely learned and experienced its many benefits to my Christian walk and look forward to looking back on this experience down the road to see where God takes me.
Second, I see it as a witnessing tool to be able to relate to Muslims. One that I work with was blown away that me and Mimi are waiting until marriage for sex. He said I was the first Christian he has met that is living what Christians say they believe. As sad as the truth of that statement is, it has opened the door of respect to allow me to have spiritual conversations with him. When I told him that I was planning on doing the Ramadan fast, he said I couldn't do it because I'm not Muslim, meaning that I would not have Allah's help so no way I could do it. I replied that Christ will give me the strength to do it being He is calling me to do it. I look forward to giving Christ glory throughout this time.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
And Moveon has dutifully taken up that call with an attack calling General Petraeus, "General Betray us" in a New York Times ad.
Hat Tip: WSJ's BOTW
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Soldier playing a very decent rendition of Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten"
Very powerful and moving singing of "America the Beautiful" played by the band and sung by the crowd in attendance
Today being the 6th anniversary of the attacks of 9-11, there was a remembrance ceremony at the palace. A couple of us on the team trekked on over and were glad we did. The Chaplain of the Army who is a Major General (2-stars) was the main speaker and gave a great speech based off of Jn 15:13, "Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends." His three points were that those here; Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coalition partners, civilians, and contractors; show the essence of this verse every day through commitment, character, and cost.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
And here is the new office "complex" of trailers:
One of the benefits of working in the palace was very good AC. That is not the case in the new office. As you can see by the thermometer, it is 105 degrees INSIDE our "air-conditioned" office at 2:00 in the afternoon. You can read more about our situation and why it is this hot inside on Nancy's post about it here.
In an attempt to try to make it a little cooler at our desks, Nancy rigged this duct system made of water bottles. It does help a little, but by the afternoon, we are sweating pretty good nonetheless.
Another drawback of the new office setting is our restroom facilities have also been extremely downgraded from porcelain, marble and gold trim flushable toilets...to...porta potties:
On a brighter note, thankfully I was able to move into a trailer right away and not have to spend 6 months in the tent again due to my company having an extra spot for me they held after a previous employee left. It is on a different base than the office is, but a very small price to pay for my own trailer room.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
My little piece of heaven =)
Doggie doing his job
One thing you quickly learn when you work with the military is that everything is reduced to acronyms. When I was in GA for training before deploying, I was technically at CRC, which stands for CONUS (which stands for Continental United States) Replacement Center. They start to acclimate you to life with the Army. You have formations at 0500 (everything is in military time), you eat at the DFAC (Dining Facility), you are part of CRC Alpha Company, you do T-SIRT (Theater Specific Individual Readiness Training), you stay in the barracks, etc. Overall it is a pretty smooth process, but there is also LOTS of hurry and wait!