Friday, September 30, 2005

Howdy's BLOG-The Bad Body Armor Lie

I hae read about the troops having to buy their own armor. Read this blog from one who has served in Iraq.Howdy's BLOG: "The Bad Body Armor Lie
I usually try and not re-print drivel, but this one lie needs to be framed in the correct context There is nothing more of a lie than the notion that poor defenseless American boys and girls are poorly protected as they serve in Iraq. I re-printed this picture at left showing a wounded Marine being evacuated from a house in Fallujah. He's alive because of the armor he is wearing. They are removing a Marine from the fighting who lived because of the armor he had on; armor issued to him from the Marine Corps, not armor he bought.
Nothing goes more direct to the heart than the notion that Secretary Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney or President Bush are defiantly trying to get Americans killed to save a buck.
That is an absolute lie."

LA Can Learn From Fla

Gov. Jeb Bush writes about the successdful response to a disaster such as a hurricane. His article makes a lot of sense. Think Locally On Relief: "Florida learned many lessons from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and we have continued to improve our response system after each storm. One of the biggest lessons is that local and state governments that fail to prepare are preparing to fail. In Florida, we plan for the worst, hope for the best and expect the unexpected. We understand that critical response components are best administered at the local and state levels."
I hope the national leadership reads this article before they decide that Daddy (read federal) will asume the major responsibility for all of America. This will lead to bankrupting the federal funds while irresponsible communities or states will fail to plan, fail to insure and fail to keep the local infrastructure in good repair.

Stem Cell Research

Have You Heard the Good News . . .: "For all the propaganda and hype boosting embryonic stem-cell research, ESCs are far from ready for prime time. Meanwhile, adult and umbilical cord blood stem-cell therapies keep quietly chugging along with continual advances in animal studies and the bringing of effective and safe treatments to a growing variety of suffering human patients. Maybe someday the media establishment will catch on to this real news, instead of focusing so myopically on the embryonic stem-cell story they want to tell. "

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Different Path After 9/11

Born in Egypt in 1967, Mona Eltahawy was a correspondent for the Reuters News Agency in Cairo. She writes of two young Muslim men. One goes on a quest to prove Bin Laden is not an American myth, the second a cab driver who listens to the fiery speeches of long past battles. Interesting contrasts between the two men.

"Bin Laden and his terrorist cohorts did us a favour because they shook us free of the defensiveness and denial that for decades had overshadowed an essential conversation about our religion and what had become of it."
Two years ago, when he was just 19, Fouad Gehad went to an Afghan refugee camp. He was not looking for directions to al-Qaeda but to speak to Afghan refugees who had seen al-Qaeda’s leader.

“My mission in life is to prove Osama Bin Laden exists,” Fouad, told me. To that end, he shot video tape of refugees recounting their stories of Bin Laden and on his return to Egypt paid out of his own pocket to hire an auditorium and a projection screen to show fellow Egyptians his footage.

Fouad was fed up of the conspiracy theories that painted Bin Laden as an American invention. Even after al-Qaeda released a video tape celebrating the attacks, some Muslims thought Bin Laden was an American agent who shot his videos in an American studio with a poster of the Afghan mountains as a backdrop.

The more Muslims ask the questions, lead the debates and hold the mirror up to ourselves, the more you will hear about young men like Fouad, who do not tread the tired and bloody jihad path but forge their own trails toward telling the truth to the Muslim world."

Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English):

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Soldier's Letter From Iraq

As a member of a writing team of Soldier's Angels, I write to two new soldiers each week. I always tell them I am willing to write again if they send me a brief note or Email. One young soldier wrote the following letter and I think it is important to share his thoughts.

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your letter. It's so nice to know that people are thinking of us over here. I feel that it's unfortunate that there
are those wishing for us to lose this war to achieve political victories and possibly shame the current administration

Since when did it become a crime to love your country. Since when is dethroning a murderous dictator war mongering. As much as I dislike being here away from my family, the more I am here I realize the great thing that America is doing, not just for Iraq but for the whole world.

Unfortunately, these days it's more important to be right than to support your country. Thus the liberal 'know it alls' who can't stand it when America succeeds. I personally feel that there are 3 controversial arguments that the liberals are on the wrong side of'
Issues that lost them the election
1-Abortion-honestly most Americans oppose it
2-Gay marriage, and though we shouldn't judge, marriage is fine the way it is
3-Bush Bashing/The War on Terror - I have never seen a campaign run without a platform before. Popularity built on spite and diven by anger, can the devil's influence be more apparent.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rally To Support Our Troops

Cspan is currently broadcasting the rally until 3 pm.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Federal Funds Misused

"The funding New Orleans did receive was often diverted by the city's Levee Board to other projects. For example, the Board spent $2.4 million of levee funding on a Mardi Gras fountain near Lake Pontchartrain, and $15 million more on overpasses to riverboat casinos. All the while, a big storm was on the horizon.

On Monday, 29 August, after a few days of evacuation flip-flops, tens of thousands of New Orleans residents emerged midday to the realization that Katrina's worst winds had landed to the east. Although Katrina was now tearing into Mississippi and Alabama, New Orleans had—or so it thought—dodged the bullet.

As waters continued to rise against levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain, there was some concern that Katrina's massive rainfall might yet overtop the levees. However, it appears now that the levees were not overtopped. In fact, there is compelling evidence that the floodwalls failed structurally in two locations—which would not have happened if they had been built to specifications. (Contrary to assertions by Nation of Islam agitator Louis Farrakhan, the levees were not "blown up" in order to divert flood waters from "white" to "black" parts of the city.)

Simply put, somewhere there is a contractor, and a whole cadre of well-grafted inspectors, who are accountable for the structural failure of the levees. Finding that contractor will be one of many serious tasks facing congressional investigators in the coming months.

As you recall, in the immediate aftermath of the levee failure, Democrats were waving accusatory fingers and demanding an "inquisition commission." They were hoping for colorful headlines blaming the Bush administration and, by extension, anyone on a Republican ticket in the upcoming election year. Then, when Republicans joined in the call for investigations, Democrats quickly backed down and, indeed, refused to take part altogether. Upon reflection, they determined that an inquiry into factual communication, material distribution and evacuation failures after Katrina would instead bury Louisiana Democrats—from buck-passing New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to lachrymose Governor Kathleen Blanco to hysterical Senator Mary Landrieu."

from the The Federalist Patriot 9/23/2005

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Precious Lives

Just saw the first advertisement on TV by the Gold Star Mothers. The ad is well done and I sympathize with those who have lost loved ones. The young widow with the baby her husband never held is especially sad. That said, I wonder how these bereaved people can be so blind about the very real threat of terrorism. Do these women realize who the groups are that are funding and managing the PR campaign? What do they think of the bereaved from previous wars who defended our nation to protect their freedom of speech? Do they really feel Americans are the only people in this world that deserve freedom from dictators? Should we really pull our troops out and leave the Iraqi people to the fate that befell those left behind when we pulled out of Vietnam? Are American lives more precious than any other? I understand that they have lost precious people but the heroes gave their lives to give other precious lives a better future.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Kudos To The National Weather Service

I read all of the condemnation of the response to Katina. This has become so politicized and so expensive in human costs as well as rebuilding. I have not read much about how fortunate we are that the weather officials have done such a terrific job of forecasting and tracking of these many storms. Considering the historical human costs when storms happened without fore knowledge I am so thankful we now have such capability in weather forecasts. It is my hope that people will begin to take these warnings seriously. The local, state and federal government surely have a responsibility to assist those who cannot evacuate without assistance to help them. For the able bodied it is their personal responsibility to remove themselves from danger be it by private or public transportation. I have little sympathy for those who defy the orders to evacuate or those who fail to plan ahead with emergency supplies. Where government failure to provide transportation to safe sanctuary is at fault, we need to assist the people. When people, who have the capability, fail to evacuate I lose sympathy.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Some Interesting Sites

I spent some time today looking at sites which were new to me and found three I would recommend. Two are milblogs which I enjoy reading to gain some sense of what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. The third caught my eye because of a link to the "fair tax" proposal. Why not pay them a visit.

A Storm In Afghanistan: "My wife passed along this little tidbit.

Seems my daughter, Marissa, showed up with her pooh bear backpack, and declared it was time to go.

Go where, she was asked.

'I go to Anananatan to go get my Daddy!!'"

Mach Polistew Merry discusses the "fair tax"

I am not certain from reading the blog whether or not Dkelsmith is in Iraq, Afganistan or stateside.
DKelSmith: Weblog Afficionado

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Freedom Fighters

"Colonel H.R. McMaster offers some details about Cindy's freedom fighters:

But it was his description of how the enemy occupied their safe haven that got the most attention. Col. McMaster told of beheadings, gunshot killings, a booby-trapped dead child and kidnappings. 'This is the worst of the worst in terms of people in the world,' he said. 'To protect themselves here, what the enemy did is they waged the most brutal and murderous campaign against the people of Tal Afar. ... The enemy here did just the most horrible things you can imagine, in one case murdering a child, placing a booby trap within the child's body and waiting for the parent to come recover the body of their child and exploding it to kill the parents.'
Col. McMaster said his men killed scores of the enemy in a series of firefights up and down the tight streets of the crossroads between Syria, where insurgents train, and the critical northern Iraqi city of Mosul. �
Col. McMaster said soldiers captured some associates of lead terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi. 'They are some of the worst human beings on the face of the Earth,' he said. 'There is no really greater pleasure for us than to kill or capture these particular individuals.'"

Friday, September 16, 2005

A Day of Prayer

Heavenly Father,
I come to you today to ask that you will preserve and protect those who have lost so much in the great storm. May they trust in you and have faith in their future. I pray that the leaders of the nation and those in the states affected will have the strength and wisdom to assist your people to rebuild their lives. Our nation has been blessed with many material things and comfortable living and our greatest blessing has been the willingness to care for our brothers and sisters in need. I thank you for the lives you have spared and pray that those who lost loved ones will be comforted.May we continue to serve you by helping in the many ways that will be needed. May the plans to promote development of skills to provide employment, new small businesses that lead to greater prosperity for the downtrodden and give renewed hope that they can have positive changes in their lives. May we learn lessons from this disaster so that we may be better prepared in future emergencies. May good come out of this disaster as we recognize not only the faults of this great nation but the many characteristics that helped build this nation. May self reliance of individuals increase and divisiveness decrease. May our people recognize that it is only though you that we may achieve these things. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Senate Committee on John Roberts

I watched quite a bit of the senate hearings on John Roberts. I have been impressed with John Roberts answers in that he explains things so well. I noted the rudeness of Biden and Kennedy as they interupted his answers. Today, 30 individuals, half Democrts and half Republicans, either condemned r\Roberts or expressed wholehearted support for him. The greatest fear is that Roe will be overturned and that civil rights will disappear. I did not find their arguments reasonable but merely the usual partisan line. It will be interesting to see how the senate votes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

One Nation Under God

This is not a prayer. This does not promote a specific religion. Our nation has been blessed by God and if we remove Him from all things public we will reap the consequences as all of the moral laws upon which our constitution was based will fail.
Those of us with a faith in a higher power will not give up our beliefs but the erosion of decency in the United States will continue.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Disaster Plans

Having read the reports of the doctor who overmedicated patients with morphine because they would not be evacuated and the discovery of the many nursing home patients left to drown I am bewildered by the evident lack of preparation for a disaster (bomb scare, fire, flood, hurricane, etc.)

I was an RN who was educated in Minnesota and New York. I worked in large and small hospitals there and in Florida and North Carolina. Common to all the hospitals I have worked in there was always a disaster plan which was practiced and critiqued to improve performance. It is generally understood that all employees and medical staff were expected to report to the hospital in case of local disaster. Plans for evacuation, triage etc. were developed. Are the professionals in Louisiana not prepared for disasters. Was there no plan to get the maximum number of staff into the hospital? Was there no protocol for use of ambulances, vans and private cars to get the patients out of harms way? Were the administrators not on the premises leading the disaster plan? Were there no helicopter pads for air evacuation? Buildings in the flood plain have the generators in the lower levels where they would potentially flood. What building codes are in place?

I understand that New Orleans is a party town but surely there must be someone who has some foresight other than the Picayune?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Four Years

Remember This! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Piece of My Mind

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.
You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.
You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.
You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

Hat Tip: PJ

Friday, September 09, 2005

Iraqi Soldiers Donate To Katrina Relief

IRAQ THE MODEL: "Iraqi soldiers donate to Katrina victims:
(Hat tip:ITM reader).

'On behalf of myself and all the People of Tadji Military Base; I would like to console the American People and Government for getting this horrible disaster. So we would like to donate 1.000.000 Iraqi Dinars to help the government and the People also I would like to console all the ASTs who helped us rebuilding our country and our Army. We appreciate the American's help and support. Thank you.'

These were the words of Colonel Abbas Fadhil, commander of the Taji military base.
The donated money is little, less than 700 $ and it can do practically nothing but the spirit and and words mean quite a lot."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Oil Resources in the USA

Linda Seebach is an editorial writes that Shell's ingenious approach to oil shale is pretty slickRocky Mountain News: Columnists:

"Since 1981, Shell researchers at the company's division of 'unconventional resources' have been spending their own money trying to figure out how to get usable energy out of oil shale. Judging by the presentation the Rocky Mountain News heard this week, they think they've got it.
Shell's method, which it calls 'in situ conversion,' is simplicity itself in concept but exquisitely ingenious in execution. Terry O'Connor, a vice president for external and regulatory affairs at Shell Exploration and Production, explained how it's done (and they have done it, in several test projects):
Drill shafts into the oil-bearing rock. Drop heaters down the shaft. Cook the rock until the hydrocarbons boil off, the lightest and most desirable first. Collect them.
Please note, you don't have to go looking for oil fields when you're brewing your own.
On one small test plot about 20 feet by 35 feet, on land Shell owns, they started heating the rock in early 2004. 'Product' - about one-third natural gas, two-thirds light crude - began to appear in September 2004. They turned the heaters off about a month ago, after harvesting about 1,500 barrels of oil.
While we were trying to do the math, O'Connor told us the answers. Upwards of a million barrels an acre, a billion barrels a square mile. And the oil shale formation in the Green River Basin, most of which is in Colorado, covers more than a thousand square miles - the largest fossil fuel deposits in the world.
They don't need subsidies; the process should be commercially feasible with world oil prices at $30 a barrel. The energy balance is favorable; under a conservative life-cycle analysis, it should yield 3.5 units of energy for every 1 unit used in production. The process recovers about 10 times as much oil as mining the rock and crushing and cooking it at the surface, and it's a more desirable grade. Reclamation is easier because the only thing that comes to the surface is the oil you want.

And we've hardly gotten to the really ingenious part yet. While the rock is cooking, at about 650 or 750 degrees Fahrenheit, how do you keep the hydrocarbons from contaminating ground water? Why, you build an ice wall around the whole thing. As O'Connor said, it's counterintuitive.

But ice is impermeable to water. So around the perimeter of the productive site, you drill lots more shafts, only 8 to 12 feet apart, put in piping, and pump refrigerants through it. The water in the ground around the shafts freezes, and eventually forms a 20- to 30-foot ice barrier around the site.

Next you take the water out of the ground inside the ice wall, turn up the heat, and then sit back and harvest the oil until it stops coming in useful quantities. When production drops, it falls off rather quickly.

That's an advantage over ordinary wells, which very gradually get less productive as they age.

Then you pump the water back in. (Well, not necessarily the same water, which has moved on to other uses.) It's hot down there so the water flashes into steam, picking up loose chemicals in the process. Collect the steam, strip the gunk out of it, repeat until the water comes out clean. Then you can turn off the heaters and the chillers and move on to the next plot (even saving one or two of the sides of the ice wall, if you want to be thrifty about it).

Most of the best territory for this astonishing process is on land under the control of the Bureau of Land Management. Shell has applied for a research and development lease on 160 acres of BLM land, which could be approved by February. That project would be on a large enough scale so design of a commercial facility could begin.

The 2005 energy bill altered some provisions of the 1920 Minerals Leasing Act that were a deterrent to large-scale development, and also laid out a 30-month timetable for establishing federal regulations governing commercial leasing.

Shell has been deliberately low-key about their R&D, wanting to avoid the hype, and the disappointment, that surrounded the last oil-shale boom. But O'Connor said the results have been sufficiently encouraging they are gradually getting more open. Starting next week, they will be holding public hearings in northwest Colorado.

hat tip NY girl got me looking
Crossposted at Love America First

Letter To Mayor Nagin

Dear Mr Mayor,

I have been stressed reading about and watching the mayhem unleashed in New Orleans and feel the need of a few days with my family. Please let me know how I apply for the city funds of New Orleans so that I too may regain a more relaxed emotional state. Since the city funds will undoubtedly be replaced with federal dollars if any other need arises, I am certain you can understand and will approve my request. Thank you in advance for the funding of my family vacation during this distressing


Pat in NC

Monday, September 05, 2005

Kofi Annan's record with despotic dictators is just getting better!

Kofi Annan's record with despotic dictators is just getting better!

Iran's Khatami appointed as member of 'Alliance of Civilizations'

TEHRAN, Sept. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami was appointed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Friday as a member of 'Alliance of Civilizations', the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday.

'Alliance of Civilizations' is a high-level UN organization consisting of 18 members with a task to promote communication and alliance among civilizations, especially between the West and the Islamic world.

Khatami is therefore one of the two cultural figures selected from the Middle East region. The other one is Chairman of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development SheikhaMozah Bint Nasser al-Missned, the report said.

Khatami became Iran's president in May 1997 and was reelected inJune 2001. His second term of office ended on Aug. 2, 2005.

Khatami, also a religious as well as philosophical scholar, has been active in exploiting ways to a harmonious co-existence among peoples and civilizations.

He is well-known for what he called 'Dialogue among Civilizations', which he put forward in 2000 to stand against the US scholar Samuel P. Huntington's theory of 'the Clash of civilizations'.

In May 2005, Khatami made another proposal that all Muslims should work for what he called 'Great Islamic Middle East" initiative to counter the US "Great Middle East" plan, which Iran sharply criticized as "serving its own interests".


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Justice Rehnquist Dies

Fox news has just reported that Chief Justice Rehnquist has passed away. He was surrounded by his family. My sympathy to his family and friends.

Friday, September 02, 2005

My Thoughts

Watching the news, reading blogs and online news articles is to say the least, depressing. I do not understand why in national emergency be it war or disaster that so many criticize and play politics. Undoubtedly there will be reviews of how this emergency has been handled and faults in the planning or lack thereof will be identified and hopefully corrected. Again, Texas leads the way in that they had plans as to how to respond to a disaster. They set up the Astrodome with speed and had cots, blankets and personal care articles ready for the survivors arriving from New Orleans. This is an example of good planning along with the willingness to help out the people of another state when there is a need.

I read the many hateful comments about the response of our federal services and in particualr President Bush. They seem to forget he declared a state of emergency before the hurricane hit. I do not see that those of us who believe in states rights expect that the federal government would take the lead until notified of specific needs by the local and state officials who have the primary responsibility for their citizens. The National Guard is available when called up by a governor, and any request for Coast Guard, Army and Navy resources could be deployed since a state of emergency had already been called. It seems that no matter what President Bush does or does not do is wrong by some people. At one time he is a dictator who controls everything and then he is a wimp who is unable to control anything.

The criminals who are raping, mugging and killing need to be stopped. The survivors of the devestation need to be cared for until they can find housing and work. We need to pull together as Americans and help instead of trying to assert the great wisdom of hindsight.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Best and Worst of America

First the good. Americans are responding with donations of money for the various and worthwhile agencies to provide relief to those who are now homeless due to the hurricane. While I am not well to do, my contribution will join with the large and small donations to alleviate much of the suffering. The State of Texas is leading the nation in reaching out to provide housing, schooling etc. I have never been to Texas but it surely makes me believe in the goodness of the people of Texas.

The worst encompasses all those who have nothing to do but criticize. It is the fault of President Bush, governors, or anyone who believes this nation is made up of basically good people. The American bashers are out in full force whether their gripes are that they hate our current leaders, despise our military who risk their lives and leave the comforts of home and family to protect us or those malcontents who despise those with moral or religious convictions that guide their lives and judgements. Law breakers were released from jails to avoid death in facilities that would flood. Those with a weak grasp on their mental health have been stressed beyond any sense of reasonable behavior and joinedd the criminal element so now we have armed looters/terrorists who are shooting at the very people striving to help those in desperate need.

Undoubtedly the emergency disaster planning will be revisited. Plans will be developed to hopefully prevent this from happening again, BUT FOR NOW can we just
do whatever we can to help ease the human suffering and stop bashing the leaders, the planners, the citizens who did not heed the evacuation alert. Please contribute what you are able to help our fellow citizens.