Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Well, no surprise, they are wrong again. The figures just released shows the economy grew (also incomes rose and inflation was not as high as expected) again last quarter. Don't worry though, the MSM media will keep banging the recession drum until they force it to be a reality. As they say even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
It is definitely sand storm season here in Iraq and we have had quite a few lately that have lasted a couple of days. They are definitely zero fun as EVERYTHING is coated in sand and dust, including your entire respiratory system! Below are a few pics to give you a sense of what they are like. They were taken around 3 in the afternoon.
Same view on a clear day (this was taken during the Inaugural Raft Race in case you forgot)
Here is a pic to kind of give you a sense of the color difference from outside compared to inside. The orange is not funny Photoshop work. That is the actual color of the air due to all the dust and sand in it. Doesn't it look just yummy! =)
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Above Photo Credit goes toSarah due to me being a lot further back and only having blurry pics =)
When I was here in '06, one of my two favorite USO shows was Toby Keith, the other being Charlie Daniels. Once again Keith came to Iraq last night as he has come every year since the war started and performed an awesome concert. Last night's show was his 115th in Iraq since 2003! He has also been all over Afghanistan as well as many other bases around the world. That shows he doesn't just pop in and do a show here on Camp Victory to punch his support the troops card like some do, but he actually goes all over the country putting himself in actual danger b/c unlike Clinton's Bosnia sniper fire lie he has had to take unintended breaks due to incoming, but as soon as the all clear sounded the show resumed.
As you can see from the second two photos above, the troops and many others showed their appreciation with a huge turnout. Those pictures only represent about maybe 1/4th of the full crowd of several thousand there last night.
Also he announced that if any US military member goes to any of his bars across the country named I Love This Bar after one of his popular songs and shows their military id, they eat free. Now that is really supporting the troops!
Thanks Toby Keith for your great support for everyone here and for all you do to support our awesome US military!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Hat Tip: Mike's America
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The reason this is so helpful to McCain is that the longer they continue to have to fight each other, the less time they have to fight him. Also, the more divided the Dems become as they get behind their candidate the harder to win over for the eventual winner. Recent polling is showing that 1 in 7 Clinton supporters and 1 in 4 Obama supporters will either stay home or vote for McCain if their candidate doesn't win. That is very good news for the McCain camp.
Monday, April 21, 2008
First, it wasn't until last week that gas prices, when adjusted for inflation, even went higher than the prices in the early 80's. This chart shows the historical prices going back to the 1920's adjusted for inflation and in 1981 the price per gallon was $3.31. It was also over $3 per gallon in the early 20's. It was only in the last couple of weeks that we crossed that record to be at $3.38 this past week. So when you look at the real numbers we are just now approaching the numbers of the 80s, hardly the worst in history.
Second, why the big increase? Certainly the Iraq war and unrest in the Middle East has played a part in it, but there are much bigger culprits. The biggest being we haven't built a new refinery in the US since 1976! So, what happens when you have the same supply (actually the supply has dropped due to reduced capacity due to refineries also not being able to make many of the needed improvements) yet demand continues to increase due to growing populations? That's basic economics, prices will increase.
And who is at fault for no new refineries? You guessed it...liberals and their environmentalist allies. There is no reason with the technology available today that new refineries can't be built and have reasonable regulations to control pollution. Yet, any time a company even proposes a new refinery they are held up in court for decades from lawsuits from the enviro crowds, so they end up abandoning the project.
And let's not forget about taxes which are nearly 12% of the price you pay at the pump. If the Dem controlled Congress truly wanted to help with gas prices they would take McCain's proposal immediately and suspend all federal gas taxes for the summer.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
After we devoured our steaks, I had a discussion on religion with one of my co-workers. His basic belief is that as long as you choose a path, it doesn't matter which one, then you are right and you will get whatever you believe after death. Obviously I had to disagree with that because as I said, Christianity does not allow for that option. Either Christ died and rose again for our sins and accepting that is the only way to enter Heaven and Christianity is true, meaning the rest are false, or that those events didn't happen, meaning Christianity is false.
Like many people he has a hard time accepting that just because someone doesn't believe in Christ, then they spend eternity in hell. He doesn't see how, if God is supposed to be a loving God, He would work that way. We discussed that for awhile with me talking about that God is not only a God of love, but He is also a God of justice.
A couple of nights later when I was reading in Psalms, I came across Ps 101:1 which says, "I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise." It reminded me of my discussion with my co-worker. I spent some time just meditating and praying on that verse, and I really learned a lot.
That is a vital foundation of everything that it means to understand God. He is the God of love AND justice. When you take one of those and forget about the other that is when problems arise.
The Bible says of God in 1Peter 3:9, "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." That is the love of God speaking. That is the answer to the question how can a loving God let so many people just go to hell. Well, the answer is He doesn't want anyone to go to hell which is why He gave us a way to not have that fate through His system of justice.
In that justice, He cannot let sin go unpunished. As said in Luke 13:3, "unless you repent, you too will perish." Sin must be covered by a sacrifice and Christ is that sacrifice for us. He is the payment for our sins to allow us to enter again into God's presence, John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The key is to understand both the love and justice of God because both are equally important. Without love, you get legalism and works based religion because you just are trying to do enough right things to earn your way to Heaven. Without justice, the sacrifice of Christ is meaningless because if God lets some people into Heaven just because He decides to or not, then there is no assurance for anyone, which by the way is the challenge of Islam.
I could say so much more about this topic, but I think that is a good foundation. Feel free to discuss more in the comments section if you so desire =)
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
One thing I quickly figured out though was who I wasn't going to vote for based on two events. I don't remember the topic, but I saw Bill Clinton give two speeches on the same topic. The audience was different and to my astonishment at the time, he said the exact opposite to the crowds based on what they wanted to hear.
Now I'm not talking about just having a different speech for two different crowds and avoiding certain topics with certain crowds. I have no problem with that and have advised multiple candidates to do just that on several occasions. That is just smart politics to know your audience and what topics are important to them and which aren't.
What I'm talking about here is exactly what Clinton did then and Obama continues to do now. First was his anti-NAFTA rhetoric during his stump speeches to protectionist crowds while one of his main advisers was telling Canadian officials that it was just campaign talk and that nothing would change. His latest is his "condemnation" of former President Carter for meeting with Hamas.
He said, "We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel's destruction. We should only sit down with Hamas if they renounce terrorism, recognize Israel's right to exist" I'll give you one guess who his audience members were....yep...you guessed right...Jews. Yet when he is speaking to his anti-war crowd and trying to bash President Bush, he is all for meeting with Iran who also is intent on Israel's destruction and doesn't recognize their right to exist because that is the opposite of what the President advocates.
I just hope that enough people will see this duplicity and send him packing unlike they did in '92 when we had another double talker running for office.
Oh and I guess he also is now supporting the Iraq War being he is wearing an American pin again on his lapel, either that or his patriotism is unable to speak for itself anymore? I'm sure it has nothing to do with all the anti-American rhetoric of his pastor.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The only problem is he is part of the cause, not the solution. A report has just come out by the UN's Food And Agriculture Administration that shows that due to the rush to use corn for ethanol to stop "manmade" global warming (which oh by the way has never been proven to be a fact despite the so called "consensus") a crisis is developing in the poorer nations due to shortages of food.
The amount of corn it takes to fill up one car can feed a child for a year! I've said over and over that it is a major moral issue to me that we use one grain of corn for fuel as long as there still is any child dying from starvation in the world. So in an effort to get governments to regulate something that there is no proof is actually occurring, children in the meantime are actually dying. Way to go Al Gore!
Hopefully this new information will stop Bush from going over the proverbial edge on this as it is reported he is preparing to do and not given any more credence to this ridiculous propaganda that is now having deadly consequences.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The first happened here on Camp Victory where 259 members of the military from 71 different countries became US citizens in the largest naturalization ceremony to ever be held overseas. They have already fought for our freedoms and now they can enjoy all of those freedoms as well.
The second is the epitome of a true American hero. Gunnery Sgt. William Gibson lost his leg during a battle in Fallujah in 2006 when a sniper bullet shattered his knee. Two years forward and he is back in Iraq with a prosthetic leg serving once again with his Marine unit. These are the types of men and women we have fighting for us and why victory is the only option here.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The thought process behind this is that if they speak off the record or their name is withheld they will be more honest than someone speaking on the record who would just repeat the "company" line.
I have no problem getting multiple sources. In fact, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't that used to be standard procedure for the media, especially for anonymous sources? However, to say that an anonymous source could have any less than an agenda or any more likely to speak the truth than an official source is just ridiculous logic.
The real agenda is the liberal media and their method is if someone says something against the President or conservatives then whether anonymous or not, it is quickly reported without regard to verification, but if it is something that supports the President or conservatives then it needs to super duper verified first. Nah...no bias there at all.
And to the story linked above, it must be some very desperate people who are looking for anything to slam the VP who would even for a second think this non-story was reality!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Source: Open Doors
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Besides the "neighbors" outside the walls we have to be concerned with, there are also "neighbors" inside the walls that could cause problems as well. There are several wild critters running around Camp Victory. The most abundant are the jackals. They are very skittish though, so they are hard to get pics of. The little guy above is the 2nd deadliest snake in Iraq, the saw-toothed viper. He was found a couple of weeks ago slithering around our work trailers. Needless to say, he didn't survive much longer after this pic was taken.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
The problem with the story is the woman not only was she never denied service, but she also had insurance. Her baby was born stillborn and she died two weeks later of complications all under full care of the hospital.
In typical Clinton fashion she is trying to pass the blame to someone else. Sorry...that doesn't work. It is the responsibility of the campaign to verify such stories and failure to do so puts them in the position of error, not the person who told it based on a secondhand conversation. Of course several newspapers have reported it as fact as well, due to Clinton saying it, without verifying it either. Nice accoutability journalism there!
- Indiana community receives $1 million federal grant, and will lobby for an earmark for more, to extend by three miles a walking path which is expected to cost $3 million (that's $1 million per mile!!!)
- For 2008, Congress has funded 11,610 pork projects– the second highest total ever — costing taxpayers $17.2 billion (Repubs are just as bad offenders as Dems which shows they still haven't learned the lessons of '06)
Friday, April 04, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
If you have been watching any sort of news the last couple of weeks, you definitely have the impression that the economy is doomed to failure and even may be entering another Great Depression. Not so fast!
Let's compare numbers of the real Great Depression and our current economy. Back then the unemployment rate was 24.9%. Today's rate is 4.8% (btw...the EU rate is 8.5%). Hardly close. By all economic measures an unemployment rate of 5% is considered full employment being actual full employment is not economically possible in a capitalistic society.
Another stat used in the above articles to show that we are nearing our doom is that food stamps are at an all time high. However, they either don't or only barely mention that
the Farm Bill of 2002 substantially expanded the food-stamp program. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site notes, that legislation made legal immigrants eligible for food stamps, increased benefits for larger households, and expanded
food-stamp eligibility for people leaving the TANF (welfare) rolls. In other words, the government has made a conscious effort to expand the number of people on food stamps. Accordingly, the number of people on food stamps has expanded. And journalists are misconstruing government largess as a sign of economic distress. Source: WSJ's Best of the Web
Next is the stock market. As I've shown on here multiple times, any time there is a drop of 200 points or more, all headlines the next day are dire and dreadful. Yet, when it rises, like it did by 400 points yesterday, barely a peep. It has barely fallen 10% since the beginning of the year, which is by all estimates what is considered a correction in the market and not recession and definitely no where near great depression levels when the stock market fell 90%.
How about GDP? How is that fairing? What, it actually rose AGAIN in the latest quarter by 0.6%? During the Great Depression the GDP fell by 30%. The GDP has risen for I believe around 20 straight quarters. Hardly signs of the Great Depression. In order for us to even be in a recession GDP has to drop for two straight quarter, not RISE. Oh and incomes also rose again in February by 0.3%.
Finally we come to the housing market. This is what started the Economic Chicken Littles' proclamations. Once again compared to the Great Depression when housing foreclosure rates were 11% compared to a current rate of 2% they can hardly compare. Then when you add to the mix that that vast majority of the 2% is due to the mortgage companies trying to get creative in order to finance people who really couldn't afford it with no interest and balloons and other creative financing plans, you have even less of a comparison to the Great Depression when it was all straight mortgage products to people who at the time could afford them.
So, before you start stuffing cash in your mattress and heading for the hills, don't buy the hype, the sky is not falling. We are experiencing a slight correction, but if we stay focused and keep the policies in place that have allowed for great economic growth over the last few years like making the tax cuts permanent, we will come out of this time even stronger than before.