This Page

has been moved to new address

Bloviating Zeppelin

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Bloviating Zeppelin: February 2006

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Octical Occlusions

New To "The Usual Suspect" List

As is the standard BZ tradition, when adding a blog to my list of Usual Suspects, I like to make an "introduction" of sorts and, such as it is, I wish to introduce someone you've likely already read and hold in high esteem -- as I do.

I would like to welcome aboard A Jacksonian and his blog, "Dumb Looks Still Free."

A Jacksonian writes in the header of his blog:

This will be a site to record my thoughts and musings as they occur. A 'vanity' blog or website. Postings will be sporadic as the nature of this site is not a conversation with others, but a monolog to help me in troubled times.

He also writes in his profile:

Trying to save what thoughts I have in case my time for having them comes to an end. I keep many ways of looking at the world and from many perspectives, but they are each a part of a larger whole and reflect my thoughts and feelings. Diabetic, cataleptic, naracoleptic, hyperlipidemia, cerebral atrophy, allergies and *still* glad to be alive.

A Jacksonian brings, in my opinion, a clearly learned, thoughtful and scholarly slant to the topics he addresses in his blog -- as well as the comments he makes on the sites of others in the Blogosphere.

I have had the honor of his comments on my own blog, hence my referral to you all.

You should know one thing about A Jacksonian: there are no comments activated on his blog. Any correspondence made with him will be via comments he initiates within your own blog, or by his e-mail. He simply prefers it this way and we should respect his wishes.

For erudite analyses and thoughts of the day, please visit Dumb Looks Still Free. A person listing Aliens, Being There (a hugely-overlooked -- and the last film of -- Peter Sellers!) and Monty Python And The Holy Grail in their favorite film list, and then David Drake, Fred Saberhagen, Poul Anderson and Alan Dean Foster in their booklist deserves attention!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Thanks From An Iraqi Mayor

(Thanks, Steve!)

Over at Mudville Gazette, Greyhawk has posted a letter from the Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Iraq to the men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and their families (received via a family member):

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful:

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.


NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID AL-JIBOURI, Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Ninewa, Iraq


Greyhawk adds that members of the Regiment are now returning home to Ft. Carson, Colorado.

Col. McMaster is the Commander of the Regiment and a Ph.D. in American history. This past September, Col. McMaster briefed the Pentagon press corps on Operation Restoring Rights by video from Iraq that was accessible here (I can't find it at the moment). Forty minutes long, Col. McMaster's briefing was utterly compelling, including an account of the discovery of an enemy house rigged with chemical weapons. You may also wish to check out Col. McMaster's Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More About Teddy

02.25.06 (Associated Press) 1715 hrs:

"It is alleged that, possibly whilst under the influence of various substances, Senator Edward M. 'Teddy' Kennedy may have attempted to, earlier this week, sexually harrass Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice adjacent a nearby US Capital washroom."

In testimony given on Friday, Secretary Rice describes the unit by which Senator Kennedy was recognized.

If Only, If Only. . .

If only I could figure out how to add a photo to my profile -- I guess it would also become my so-called "avatar."

If wishes were fishes, this is what I would want for my photo.


Or maybe it would be the Zeppelin itself. . .


Any preferences?


Oddly enough, I kinda like the smiling toad . . .

Friday, February 24, 2006

What's The Deal With The Hair?

Sorry, just a little fluff post resulting from my flipping through The Economist today.

What's the deal with the hair of Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi -- who looks like Richard Gere -- and North Korea's Kim Jong il?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's A Bare-Knuckled Fight Between Sunni & Shiite

Iraq has canceled all police and military leave to concentrate on what appears to be the beginnings of a potential civil war between Sunni and Shiite factions of Islam.

At 7 AM Wednesday morning, the Al-Askariya Golden Mosque (above) in Samarra, Iraq, was bombed by gunmen dressed as Iraqi police commandos -- the mosque having deep historical significance in Shiite Islam.

Since then, over 100 people have been killed as Shiites have retaliated and Sunnis retaliated in kind. Bodies have been found dumped all over Baghdad, other mosques hit, people ambushed by gunfire, imams killed, and violence reported all over Iraq.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is doing his level best to fan the flames of violence, predictably blaming the United States and Israel for the Golden Dome bombing, saying it was the work of "defeated Zionists and occupiers." Ahmadinejad said: "They (US forces) invade the shrine and bomb there because they oppose God and justice."


Proving: never let the facts, proportion and reality get in the way of a good propagandist statement.


Not only is Islam the "religion of peace and understanding," it's remarkably stable and cohesive too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush Digs In His Boot Heels On $6.8 Billion Port Deal

I am occasionally disturbed and vexed by Bush Administration strategies and tactics; count this as one of those times.

The issue has ramped up even more because the Democrats have jumped into the issue with both feet as well. Being the consummate cynic: are they objecting to the actual nature of the deal or is this merely another potential opportunity for Republican and Bush denigration?


Republican Congressman Peter King ratcheted up the discussion by making a public statement earlier Tuesday, pertinent because he chairs the Homeland Security Committee. King said, in reference to the company (Dubai Ports World) slated to take over the managerial control of six major United States ports (Miami, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans and Philadelphia): "By having a company right out of the heartland of al-Qaida managing those ports without being properly cleared or investigated, to me is madness."

Technically, the ports' managerial turnover from the British company (Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.) to DPW occurred last month when the Committee on Foreign Investment, headed by Treasury Secretary John Snow, approved the deal.


Additionally, Republican Congressman Mark Foley said on Tuesday: "We're going to be asking specific questions about the transfer of management. We want to raise the level of awareness about what's happening to these six strategic ports. Remember, New Orleans is the second largest in the world."

Security concerns regarding the United Arab Emirates company include:

-- The UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks;
-- Two of the 19 original 9/11 hijackers were citizens of the UAE;
-- The UAE has been named as a conduit of al-Qaida money transfers.
-- Pakistani officials have admitted they had used the UAE to transit nuclear weapons equipment and technology to North Korea.

It was first thought that President Bush would reverse the deal himself; just this past Sunday Brit Hume from Fox News theorized: "I don't think the administration will be able to sustain this (the UAE ports deal)."

Further compounding the issue, Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist also said, on Tuesday: "The decision to finalize this deal should be put on hold until the administration conducts a more extensive review of this matter. If the administration cannot delay this process, I plan on introducing legislation to ensure that the deal is placed on hold until this decision gets a more thorough review."

Also in the mix from Monday, Republican Governors Robert Ehrlich (Maryland) and George Pataki (New York) made statements of serious concern about the deal. Pataki issued a press release which said: "Ensuring the security of New York's port operations is paramount and I am very concerned with the purchase of Peninsular & Oriental Steam by Dubai Ports World. I have directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to explore all legal options that may be available to them."

Gov. Ehrlich said he was "very troubled" that Maryland officials got no advance notice before the Bush administration approved the Arab company's takeover of the operations at the six ports. "We needed to know before this was a done deal, given the state of where we are concerning security," Ehrlich told reporters in the State House rotunda in Annapolis.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert wrote to the President on Tuesday: "I believe there should be an immediate moratorium placed on this seaport deal in order to further examine its effects on our port security," Hastert said in the letter, a copy of which was released to the media.


But now, from Air Force One on Tuesday afternoon, Bush said:

"After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward," Bush told reporters who had traveled with him on Air Force One to Washington. "I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, `We'll treat you fairly.' "

Bush said on the radio, as I wrote this post, that the UAE had been cooperative with and an ally in the war on terror.

The bottom line? President Bush stated he would veto any congressional effort to stop the $6.8 billion sale. To counter that, Bill Frist said on the Hugh Hewitt show Tuesday that Bush's veto would be overridden. The gloves are off.

From the Hewitt interview, Bill Frist makes some interesting observations while reviewing the Port of Long Beach in Fornicalia:

It's interesting, Hugh. I've spent all morning at . . . I'm in Los Angeles right now, and spent all morning at the port in Long Beach and Los Angeles, which is the third largest port in the world (my emphasis -- BZ). And I spent all day actually flying over, walking through, looking how challenging these ports are in terms of guarding, protecting our national security. And it re-emphasized to me the importance of looking at border security, looking at other places of ingress, coming into this country, to make sure that we are protected. These are vast structures with thousands and thousands of people coming through. For example, just each day, about 13,000 containers are going to come through the ports that I visited today. We need to make sure that from a security standpoint, that there is absolute control, because it does affect our national security (emphasis by BZ).

Hugh Hewitt asked Frist point blank: "So before we move onto subject number 2, Senator Bill Frist, can you imagine a Republican Congress overriding a presidential veto on this subject? Is it possible?"

Frist replied: "Oh yes."

Even Jimmy Carter kicked in his 2-cents on CNN's Situation Room Monday, saying: ''The overall threat to the United States and security, I don't think it exists. I'm sure the president's done a good job with his subordinates to make sure this is not a threat.'' Way to go, Jimmy. Spot on, once again.


Just one question continues to cross my mind repeatedly: given the current global terrorism issue affecting this country -- why would the President even remotely want to take a chance with an issue as large and overarching as major American port management and security -- in the country he loves?

Points I should like to highlight:

-- Everything comes through United States ports.
-- We search a fraction of the materials shipped in containers, the primary form of transport
-- A management company would have choice over who works for management, who works for the company, who vets the internal hiring process and more importantly:
-- Who has access to what information about the things that routinely and uniquely come and go through various ports and when, where and how long they are stored on site, and
-- Who has access to these containers unquestioned.

Yes, the Coast Guard is responsible for the physical security of ports; gunboats and sailors on port waters isn't the issue. The above items are the issue.

Granted, port management has historically been privy to a select few companies, and it is not a task envied by the business world at large, primarily because port management companies have to deal with American unions from which the phrase "New York dock" means everything. It is not a pleasant experience. A two-day 1999 Port of Oakland (4th largest US port) Fornicalia strike by longshore workers, Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, for example, showed how much muscle the union has as the "meagre" stoppage clogged transportation for weeks, affected trucking, railroads, killed schedules and idled ships off Fornicalia.


Politically, this is a poor time for Bush to exercise his first-ever veto -- a poor place for Bush to draw the "veto line." Which means one of two things: either this deal simply fell under Bush's radar, he didn't expect nor foresee the subsequent reaction and he's being stubborn or, perhaps, he cut a personal deal with the families of the UAE. And yes, this gives political opportunity for "certain persons and elements" to exercise the "look" of being "tough on security."

You do not turn over the management of ports to companies from risky parts of the world -- particularly those companies based in countries who, in my estimation, could wobble left or right at the drop of a Koran.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Death For T-Shirts!

Ah, Islam, the religion of peace and understanding.

From Yahoo News:

Conservative t-shirt maker MetroSpy set off a firestorm when their newest design depicted a caricature of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb wrapped in his turban. According to Islamic tradition, graphic depictions of the Prophet Mohammed are forbidden. MetroSpy's apparent disregard for this tradition has outraged many in the Muslim world, prompting some to voice their displeasure by sending the company hate-filled email, online viruses and even death threats.

You can see the T-shirt in its original glory at the MetroSpy website -- one place I visited in the process of locating the T-shirt in my previous post. To continue:
MetroSpy's production manager, Johnathan Alexander, said: “It's a silly little cartoon. We've sold designs far more offensive than this for years”, referring to a t-shirt which reads, “My Jesus can beat up your Allah.”

The e-mails received by MetroSpy include:

- “We kill you and burn your shop. I am Muslim with forces in the U.S.A.”
- “You only have 5 days and your company will disappear. I promise!” signed, Saalem Al Qahtani, Al Qaeda.
- “In two days we kill your family."

MetroSpy, however, began "fighting back" by posting the e-mail messages with the sender's return address. Click here to see what MetroSpy calls the "Holy Hate Mail."

Further, MetroSpy included three other active links on their home page:

-- Who is publishing the Mohammad cartoons?
-- Learn more about the religion of peace.
-- The Reality of Islam by Sam Harris.

As opposed to the quivering, sniveling, whining DEM this website has decided to not only make a stand and not back down, but to fight back by publishing information about the e-mails received and then including links to non-obsequious informational sites about Islam.

Looks like it's time for me to order some more T-shirts -- and I know where.

What I May Have Learned In Life (Or Not):

Sorry, no politics today. I'm politicked out.


What I May Have Learned In Life:

  • I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

  • I've learned that one good turn gets most of the blankets.

  • I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just jackasses.

  • I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.

  • I've learned that whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

  • I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you ever imagined.

  • I've learned that depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

  • I've learned that it is not what you wear; it is how you take it off.

  • I've learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think you're finished.

  • I've learned to not sweat the petty things, and not pet the sweaty things.

  • I've learned that age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

  • I've learned that I don't suffer from insanity, I seem to rather enjoy it.

  • I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.

  • I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  • I've learned that 99% of the time when something isn't working in your house, one of your kids did it.

  • I've learned that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Sometimes I wonder what side I'm on.

  • I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away. And the real pains in the ass are permanent.


A T-Shirt I Had To Have

I'm not a shill for this company, I don't have stock in the company nor do I play a T-shirt maker on TV. But in the course of my internet rounds I came across this T-shirt and decided it'd look good on the ol' BZ torso.

So I ordered two.

If you're interested, go here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Boston Phoenix Calls It Like It Is

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote on Sunday that another local newspaper of the "alternative" variety, the Boston Phoenix, has decided not to print the Danish cartoons -- particularly considering that, in 2002, it published the photos of Daniel Pearl's beheading.

''Our primary reason," the editors confessed, is ''fear of retaliation from . . . bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do . . . Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and . . . could not in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year-publishing history."


The truth in the Media.

So unusual; so refreshing.

DEM: More of What You AREN'T Reading -- 15 Christians Killed In Nigeria By Muslims

The DEM whines (we weren't notified first about Cheney's hunting accident -- waaaa!); the DEM cowers (we can't publish the cartoons; read: we realize these assholes are nuts).

And the media buries information in the back pages and de-emphasizes the truth. To wit, buried in the New York Times under the "international" area and, certainly, not on the front internet page:

TURIN, Italy, Feb. 18 — A day after at least 11 people were killed in Libya (Libyan security officials said 11 people were killed or wounded during the riot in the eastern city when police firing bullets and tear gas tried to contain more than 1,000 demonstrators hurling rocks and bottles. The casualties included police officers.) amid continuing violence over the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, an Italian government minister resigned Saturday for wearing a T-shirt printed with the cartoons.

In Nigeria, Muslims protesting the cartoons attacked Christians and burned churches on Saturday, killing at least 15 people in the deadliest confrontation yet in the whirlwind of Muslim anger over the drawings, The Associated Press reported. Mobs of Muslim protesters swarmed through Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, with machetes, sticks and iron rods, The A.P. said. One group threw a tire around a man, poured gas on him and set him ablaze.

Who was this man? Was his religion possibly significant? Read on:
Thousands of rioters burned 15 churches in a three-hour rampage before troops and police reinforcements restored order, said a Nigerian police spokesman, Haz Iwendi. Security forces arrested dozens of people, he said.

What kind of churches? Read on:

Chima Ezeoke, a Christian Maiduguri resident, said protesters attacked and looted shops owned by minority Christians, most of them with origins in the country's south. Witnesses said three children and a priest were among those killed.

Nigeria, with a population of more than 130 million, is roughly divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a mainly Christian south.

Thousands of people have died in that West African country since 2000 in religious violence fueled by the adoption of the strict Islamic legal code by a dozen states in the north, seen by most Christians as a move to impose religious hegemony on non-Muslims.

Ah, Islam. The religion of peace and understanding.

Ah, the DEM, working in concert with Islam, the religion of peace and understanding. If you dig far enough. . .

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Your Dinner Guest

It's 6 pm.

You've invited one person from history to attend your dinner.

You have two hours to speak with this person and understand their point of view.


It could be anyone -- who would this be? And tell me why.


I wanted to converse with General George Smith Patton.



It's Finally Snowing!

This is BZ's cabin and his CommuteMobile. I've had two meagre snowfalls prior to today, of about an inch each. Living at 4,000' in the Sierra Nevadas, that's not saying much.

This is the first significant snowfall of the year and it closed Interstate 80 and backed up traffic at Applegate for over an hour. Knowing the back roads, I was able to bypass the commoners looking to ski and clog my commute.

THIS is finally what winter should be! And, on top of that, our water content and snowpack is 120% of normal. Good news for the valley below!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Doing the Logical Extension

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

The LARK Program

(Thanks Don!)

A concerned Liberal wrote a lot of letters to the White House complaining about the treatment of terrorists being held in Guantanamo Bay. She received the following reply:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Quaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letters of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) it his might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually), since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka -- over time.

Just remember that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" -- wasn't that how you put it? Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job.

You take good care of Ahmed -- and remember -- we'll be watching.

Good luck!


Donald Rumsfeld

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today's Hero: Jessica Clement

This past Sunday, Mike Wallace, on the television show 60 Minutes, somehow managed to overcome the MSM/DEM bias and present a rather moving pictorial of a wounded soldier who has returned from Iraq, Jessica Clement.

Her statements were simply moving, and her way of thinking selfless and honest. I present them here as they are in stark contrast with today's mainstream media and society in general.

I reproduce the applicable portion here in full because we all need to know and understand the sacrifices that our young American soldiers are making and, further, understand the cherished values, mores and hopes displayed by the people who continue to make our country safe. From the 02-12-06 episode of 60 Minutes:

Doctors also worried that another vet from Iraq, Jessica Clements, might be a vegetable after a roadside bomb shot shrapnel into three lobes of her brain.

Jessica had been a model in Akron, Ohio, when she left high school to join the Army. As a staff sergeant in Iraq, she spent her days driving fuel trucks. "I remember days driving down the road thinking to myself, 'Is today the day I’m gonna get hit?” Or, 'Am I gonna get shot today?' And just praying, 'OK, keep us safe. Let us get where we need to go without any casualties,'" she explains.

Her luck ran out on May 5, 2004, when a bomb exploded under her truck, shooting shards of shrapnel – large and small – into her brain. "I still have shrapnel that’s remaining in my brain," she says. "This right portion here, you can see a little, the line. . .from where my skull was removed. The neurosurgeons physically cut the right portion of my skull and removed it."

The doctors removed a part of her skull because the swelling would have caused so much pressure that it could have killed her. They kept the right half of her skull off for four months, and for much of that time Jessica remained in a coma.

"They only gave me a two-percent chance of coming out of the coma and living, surviving," says Jessica. "Somebody has to be in that two percent, though. Why not me?"

She remembers enduring a "ridiculous amount" of pain along the way. "I hate to admit this, but there were days when I wondered to myself if I would have been better off had I not made it because I was in so much pain," she says. Asked if she is still in pain, Jessica says, "Right now I have a shooting pain that’s going from right above my ear over to this side. It’s kind of going diagonally across. But it’s nothing. I’m used to it."

The constant pain, sporadic seizures, and bouts of anger still can’t compare with what she’s already endured: re-learning how to walk and talk and more.

"Basically I had to relearn how to think again and how to figure things out. I did have to learn how to walk again," she explains. "One day I remember I sat back in bed and I moved my leg about an inch trying to get it up on the bed. I had only moved about an inch. But I had never been so happy before. I was just excited. Okay, great. It moved an inch. So that motivated me. Okay, tomorrow, I’m gonna try for two inches, see if I can get it going again."

Jessica says believes she survived for a reason and that she now knows what that reason is.

"I believe that it’s to help other people. So I decided to go into social work," she says.

"I would like to work for the VA or the DAV, the Disabled American Veterans association. So I can help other veterans. I’m still a soldier at heart," she says. "I’m still a soldier. Even though I’m discharged from the Army—medically discharged, I’m always gonna be a soldier," Jessica says.

"And I’m always gonna have that mentality. So if I can continue to help other soldiers, other veterans, that’s what I really want to do."

What message would she like to send to other wounded vets? "I would love to tell them just to not give up," she says. "And, no matter how bad your pain is, remember that tomorrow is a new day. Just keep that in mind, and just please stay positive. And you will get through this."


Hollywood cannot understand, and never will.

Jessica Clement: Today's Hero.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The DEM: Again, What You WON'T Read


The DEM (Defeatist, Elitist Media) have their collective panties in a bunch once again, only this time it's about VP Cheney sending birdshot into his 78-year-old friend -- who is sitting up in bed this morning and laughing about the incident.

If you read closely between the lines and listen to the news conference, the complaint is that it took 14 hours for the DEM to be "notified." Their issue -- I should say, the WASHINGTON media's issue -- is that some rinky-dink "local" paper (in Corpus Christi) was notified by the ranch owner but no one placed THEM, the VERY IMPORTANT Washington Press Corps, into the loop. They got scooped! Zounds! Heresy!

About the $7 upland game bird stamp? What you won't read is that this new law came into effect as of January 1st, 2006, and the Veep already had a check in the mail. From the Drudge Report:

-- A member of the Vice President’s staff wrote a check for 140 dollars understanding that this would purchase a Texas non-resident season hunting license that would permit the Vice President to hunt quail in Texas. It appears now that the license itself cost 125 dollars, and an extra 15 dollars covered the cost of a Federal migratory bird stamp. The Vice President did not need the Federal stamp, as he already possessed one.

-- The staff asked for all permits needed, but was not informed of the 7 dollar upland game bird stamp requirement.

-- Because the requirement is new, the Department has informed us that it is issuing warnings, and the Vice President expects to receive one. He will take whatever steps are needed to comply with applicable rules.

CHENEY NEEDS TO RESIGN! was the mantra at the news conference. Poor Scott McClellan -- but at least he had the huevos to counter the charge with "that's a ridiculous question." The real issue is that the DEM became offended: they got scooped by "lesser mortals!"

Remember "back then" when the public was told it was no one's business if Clinton unzipped his pants in the Oval Office? So now it's everyone's business when there's a hunting accident, off duty, on the weekend, on a private person's ranch, involving a VP "less than popular" with the DEM?

I'm certain your employer, hearing that you got into a vehicle accident and another party was injured, would fire you in response to the rest of your co-workers calling for your head.

When it was discovered that Cheney shot a Republican lawyer, his popularity jumped 20 points.

Q: What's the difference between Gore and Cheney?

A: Gore shoots his mouth off.

About that Al Gore -- and again, what you WON'T READ:

On Sunday, speaking in Jiddah on Saudi Arabian soil, at the Jeddah Economic Forum, Al Gore said that the U.S. government committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment. Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. The former vice president said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications.

"The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake," Gore said during the Jeddah Economic Forum, at the Jeddah Hilton. "The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States."

Gore told the largely Saudi audience, many of them educated at U.S. universities, that Arabs in the United States had been "indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable."

Who sponsored Al Gore's presence at the conference? That would be The Bin Laden Group among others, per Bill Bennett.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Iran Continues Pushing; Plans Are Made

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to be what I would quantify as one of, if not the "Most Dangerous Man In the World." While North Korea is a thorn in our side in terms of producing counterfeit US $100 bills and producing counterfeit American cigarettes under the name of Marlboro, etc., Kim Jong-il is not rattling nuclear sabers to the extent of Ahmadinejad.

On Saturday, Ahmadinejad said:

We ask the West to remove what they created sixty years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them.

Ahmadinejad made the comments in Tehran whilst celebrating the 27th anniversary of the Islamic revolution there; he continued more to the point when the Bangkok Post reported him as saying:
"Do the removal of Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations," the ultra-conservative president said. He once again called the Holocaust a "fairy tale" and said Europeans have become hostages of "Zionists" in Israel. He also accused Europeans for not allowing "neutral scholars" to investigate in Europe and make a scientific report on "the truth about the fairy tale of Holocaust."

Further: "Those who insulted the prophet should know that you cannot obscure the sun with a handful of dust. The dust will just get back and blind your own eyes," he said. The crowd replied to his remarks with "Death to Denmark" slogans.

Plans Are Made:

In a prior post I indicated that, before his massive stroke, when asked if Israel would use military force to take out Iran's weapons program, Ariel Sharon said they would not. "We are not going to do the world's dirty work," the Prime Minister said.

Leaving, as I pointed out, the US to once again become responsible for completing the World's Dirty Work. From the London Telegraph News:
Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Republican Senator John McCain said about a month or so ago, that "there is only only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option, and that is a nuclear-armed Iran."

So true Senator, so true. And in the meantime, Ahmadinejad does his best to fan the flames of Islamism and destabilization.

The saga continues. . .



The Associated Press indicates an unidentified "leaker" says Iran has already produced a small amount of enriched uranium.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Danger, Will Robinson!

My, things have been busy whilst I've been gone. I just flew in from San Diego and boy, are my arms tired!

First, I visited the wonderful city of San Diego the past week, one of the few cities I've attended in which I can actually kinda sorta navigate -- but only because I finally figured out the ocean is on one side and the hills on the other. Luckily that doesn't change or I'd be in big trouble.

FYI, I'll be gone one week per month on business to San Diego the rest of the year; yes, it breaks my heart to go there -- NOT. Despite the local corrupt politics and it being Illegal Immigrant and Illegal Mexican Drug (and tunnel) Central for Fornicalia, no one can deny its incredible weather, beautiful surroundings and military background.


And on to a few topics at hand:

The Cartoons Controversy Continues:

Fundamentals and/or Islamists seem to indicate that there can be no portrayals of the prophet Mohammed at all. Yeah? Says who? Seems that Islam has no hard and fast rule that The West is directly breaking.

The Koran, Islam's holiest book, condemns idolatry, but has no direct condemnations of pictorial art. Direct prohibitions of pictorial art, or any depiction of sacred figures, are found in some hadith, or recorded oral traditions. The Koran, Islam's holiest book, mentions nothing about pictorial art.

So why all the rioting? And why all the rioting since the original "cartoons" were printed in Denmark almost 6 months ago (September of 2005)? I would submit: a sense of entitlement. Provided, of course, by the Western World.

The U.S. Wimps Out:

Denmark printed the cartoons. France printed the cartoons. I reproduced the only funny one but, if you'd like, I'll reproduce them all; I couldn't care less. Come one loony Islamist, come all. Seems like our own American media, bastions of the liberal and free press, have decided to take a stand based in fright and realization.

Yes, it's apparently just fine to portray the 1987 "art" exhibit Piss Christ and then, a short time later, take those Christians to task who had the temerity to actually object to their religious symbols portrayed in such a fashion. Those damnable Christians; they should be more accepting! Let us not forget Madonna and Child II (1989), for example, in which the subject is similarly submerged in urine but not nearly so well known as Piss Christ.

But of course that was then and this is now: we have clearly loosened our inhibitions towards the portrayal of various artistic themes in the media, have we not?

Well, it's now 17 years later and the answer is: apparently not.

Here is where the media is hyper-hypocritical:

So: it's okay to portray Christianity in this fashion. Apparently NOT okay to portray Islam in this fashion by merely reproducing the cartoons so that American viewers have an idea of the nature of the issue.

They are bending over backwards to accommodate Islam in an attempt to minimize heartache, or protests, or even (gulp!) overt v-i-o-l-e-n-c-e.

The MSM DEM media maintain that Islam should be understood.

Well first: what happened to the understanding of Christianity?

What This Reveals:

That those who believe we shouldn't attempt to protect our national boundaries, that we shouldn't be monitoring transmissions between suspected terrorist parties, somehow, now, "get it" that Islamists mean business and can kill or hurt people. Only when it was personalized (i.e., via Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt) did the media remotely seem to understand lines in the sand. Some ridiculous reporter actually said on the radio: "Until Bob (Woodruff), this didn't sink home for us." Really? I suppose those 2,000 + soldiers laying down their lives didn't mean much if we go by that man's statement.

Islamists are killing and injuring people in other countries. Is it an act of courage not to print the cartoons? Or is it a decision based in fear and the ultimate knowledge that Islamists are actually Bad People -- ?

Sorry DEM; can't have it both ways. Sometimes things just are black and white.

Like you just discovered.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: ATTITUDE

It's 2006; predictions have been made and, know what? I've some to make as well.

George Soros is predicting oil up to $262 a barrel (as opposed to the $65 per barrel now):

"U.S. power and influence has declined precipitously because of Iraq and the war on terror and that creates an incentive for anyone who wants to make trouble to go ahead and make it." As an example, Soros pointed to the regime in Iran, which is heading towards a confrontation with the West over its nuclear power program and doesn't show any signs of compromising. "Iran is on a collision course and I have a difficulty seeing how such a collision can be avoided," he says.

Doom and gloom.

People wax nostalgic for not only what once was, but what can be.

Just as in 1979, there exists the trend for a popularist who can:

  • Communicate with the electorate
  • Evince they are more than the Lesser of Two Evils
  • Emphasize the Buy America Trend
  • Shove down government from Big to Small
  • Emphasize local as opposed to state or federal
  • Portray the postive instead of the negative.

Someone who can connect with the electorate on a visceral, emotional, positive level --

Will win.

Ron: we need you more than ever. . .

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Will They Or Won't They? seems to have information indicating that, if push comes to shove (at least prior to Sharon's stroke), Israel would not be willing to partake in a pre-emptive strike against Iran, similar to the one made by the IAF on June 7th, 1981, where fighters bombed the Iraqi Osirak reactor.

The Osirak attack was censured by the UN when it passed resolution 487 which "strongly condemns the military attack by Israel in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct." (S/RES/487).

History shows, however, that Iraq had purchased an MTR reactor, of French design and a type called Osiris (named after the Egyptian god of the dead). The French named the reactor Osiraq, from "Osiris" + "Iraq" (French Osirak), and the Iraqis named it Tammuz 1, for the Babylonian month in which the Ba'ath Party took control of the Iraqi government in 1968.

French involvement didn't end there; in addition to the reactor, construction, and technical assistance, the French sold around 12.5 kg of 93% highly-enriched uranium-235 fuel (HEU) to the Iraqi government. One French worker (how odd!) was killed on Iraqi soil during the Osirak bombing.

Some Iraqis referred to the reactor as "OChirac" after Jacques Chirac (then mayor of Paris and now French President), because of Chirac's involvement in the sale of the reactor to the Iraqis in the '70s.

History shows that the Israelis did the right thing at the right time, for the right reason, clearly putting a crimp in Iraq's budding nuclear program.

Now, however, some six months ago, an "influential member of the Jewish community" recently told NewsMax about a private conversation he had with Ariel Sharon.

NewsMax reports:

When asked if Israel would use military force to take out Iran's weapons program, Sharon said they would not.

"We are not going to do the world's dirty work," the Prime Minister said, our source quotes the Prime Minister as saying.

Make no mistake about it: our source says Israel views Iran's weapons program as a serious threat to the Jewish state. But our source notes that Iran also poses a risk to her Arab neighbors and the United States.

Doing what I call the "logical extension," it seems that Sharon was saying Israel viewed this as an international problem -- with the United States left, once again, to deal out the dirty work -- work that Israel, at one time, didn't mind doing.

Further: I suspect this was Ariel Sharon posturing for an individual he knew would take the information to the proper end users -- America and the international community. Do the math: Israel lies much closer to Iran than do our Atlantic shores. I believe this was Sharon attempting to gather support for the strike he was being forced to consider.

Sharon had already made a major mistake by clearing Gaza, exposing his country's "soft, white underbelly" to the PA Komodo Dragon that would see itself ripping Israel's entrails into the dirt.

Would he or wouldn't he?

More importantly, Ehud Olmert, 60, is Israel's acting PM. Pending elections, Olmert left the harder Likud party to co-found Kadima with Sharon -- a more "centrist" party. Would Olmert?

Binyamin Netanyahu, 56, former PM from 1996 to 1999, has thrown his hat once again into the electoral ring. A little know fact about him: his brother Yoni Netanyahu died in the July 4th, 1976 "Raid on Entebbe" -- the only Israeli to die there -- in the attempt to free Israeli hostages from a hijacked Air France Airbus A300. Yoni planned and led the entire rescue effort. All the hostages survived. Yoni was killed by Ugandan soldiers.

I know what Bibi would do.

If You're a Seahawks Fan:

Remember: it could be worse; you could be this cat.

Pittsburgh Steelers Win, 21 to 10!

I'm just a Black and Blue Division, Rust Belt Kinda Guy.

If I couldn't have the Packers, then I wanted the Steelers.

And the Steelers KATN'd the Seahawks though, a time or two, I had my concerns.

But the better team won.

Low scoring but still (at least for me) exciting, I was happy to see my "second" team win.

Not to say the Seahawks were bad; they weren't.

And if The Bus retires, I can't think of a better way to exit!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

In the Gunsights of Islam: Take Aim at BZ

Of the cartoons involved in the recent row about Islam forbidding any depiction of Mohammad, I say to those who (sound of forehead being slapped) are judgmental about other cultures, religions and freedom of the press: BABAGTFOI.

However, in the process of searching for the CIQ (Cartoons In Question) I only encountered one that was actually funny, reproduced here. The rest are pretty pedestrian and/or boring. Big dill.

Some associated links:

- Check out Michelle Malkin;
- BBC News
- Excellent post at The Brussels Journal

And let's not forget my Terrorists' Bill of Rights, below!

Terrorists' Bill of Rights

Preamble: This document shall be known as the Terrorists' Bill of Rights, and exists solely to allow the unimpeded disruption, paralysis and destruction of necessary infrastructure and the wanton slaying of American civilian innocents as well as military factions, with its goal being the complete and utter fall and elimination of the United States and/or the Zionist State of Israel.

To be enabled by:

Item 1: Acts of terrorism perpetrated against the United States shall be treated as a state felony or a wobbler, not as an act of terrorism committed primarily against civilian personnel and/or targets;

Item 2: The right to carry out terror events on sovereign US soil instead of that of the country of origin; if nothing else this is a matter of convenience and efficacy;

Item 3: The right to strike the US again in any unlimited number of arbitrary and capricious ways;

Item 4: The right to have a criminal case heard before jurists and districts of the terrorist's choice;

Item 5: The right to subpoena any and all intelligence records, to any degree, from any source and to any depth, in a criminal court, so that said records will be placed in the public domain;

Item 6: The right to negate and eradicate any and all sections of the Patriot Act as it would tend to have a chilling effect on the identification and halting of acts of terrorism committed against the United States;

Item 7: The right to have certain specified American Senators and Representatives tacitly condone or support the actions of outright terrorist states or terrorists themselves by bad-mouthing Presidential policy, war strategies, troop morale and demeanor, or the ability of the United States to defend itself against the predation of terrorists;

Item 8: The right to demand an obvious and clear American policy, reproduced in the American media, regarding military and strategic plans and tactics and, in particular, to ensure that any American administration adheres, due to public and political pressure, to every letter of the aforementioned plans;

Item 9: The right of all American-identified terrorist states, individuals, cells and groups to be secure in any and all forms of communications be they by mouth, in public, in private, in writing, over any electronic communications or messaging form, by mail, by cellular telephone, internet, or any storage and retrieval system, no matter the point of origin or termination, on foreign or US soil;

Item 10: The right to ensure the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree doctrine applies to all criminal cases involving terrorists and/or their acts;

Item 11: The right to ensure that Ramey, despite exigent circumstances, holds and ensures that warrantless searches within the home are per se unreasonable;

Item 12: The right to ensure that no mosque, home, building or place of known habitation or frequency of any terrorist group, cell or individual shall be monitored, at any time, in public or private, for any reason;

Item 13: The right of all terrorist cells, groups, regimes and/or individuals to be privy to classified, sensitive and serious American intelligence data, and to have it compromised and disclosed by American media sources and released into the public domain;




Al Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, et al

Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation in this matter.



From The Washington Post. Reprehensible.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

First John, Then Samuel, Then:

The Sage, Jimmy Carter, Strikes Again

You're welcome, Jimmy.

Likely bloggers today will be writing about Bush's State of the Union speech, Alito's appointment, perhaps even Teddy Kennedy's blood pressure.

I wanted to do something different.

Initially I was moved to create a Moonbat of the Week post. Then I thought: no. Just portray the facts -- facts you won't read in the DEM, the Defeatist, Elitist Media.

And no Moonbat Award? I declined that as well; Jimmy's simply too easy, combined with, well, on one hand he's so Yesterday's News. Yet, he does provide for good, clean entertainment.

To wit, from the Jim Kouri article, printed in The Sierra Times:

When asked by the media for his thoughts on the Hamas triumph in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, former President Jimmy Carter replied that while they have a terrorist past, at least they're not corrupt.

Huh. Hamas not corrupt. I guess Jimmy doesn't read my blog when I posted yesterday about the corruption rife within Fatah and Yassar Arafat's regime.

Mr. Kouri continues:

Arafat himself squirreled away millions of dollars from aid packages that were intended to help the Palestinian people. However, Carter's comment appears to dismiss the years of death and destruction perpetrated by Hamas on the Jewish State.

And Mr. Kouri concludes:

But, as Jimmy Carter said, at least Hamas isn't corrupt. There's some bad news and some good news for the people of Israel: the bad news is Hamas attained legitimate power within the Palestinian State; the good news is that Jimmy Carter is leaving the Middle East.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Draw your own conclusions.