Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

My Photo
Location: Virginia

I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

Free Kareem

Subscribe to Once More Into the Breach


Monday, September 11, 2006

Find the Cost of Freedom, A 9/11 Rememberance

This picture was taken by my wife from the site of her father's grave at Arlington Cemetery just after the attack of 9/11 on the pentagon. The gravestones are of those who fought for our freedoms in various wars. It is because we have people such as them willing to go for us to defeat the people who did this to the Pentagon in the background gives us hope that we may remain free

Open Trackbacks 2006-09-11 at Basil's

Never forget: American Airlines Flight 77 at Michelle Malkin
, ,

New Blog Showcase

I am hosting the New Blog Showcase today but I have found no submissions in my mailbox. This being my first ever attempt at hosting a carnival the error is likely my own. So I went to previous Showcase carnivals and visited some of the blogs listed there and chose most recent posts that I found reasonably interesting and made up a showcase of them. Not much but hey it's something. If by some chance you made a submission and I missed it just post a link in the comments section and I'll add it to this carnival. If you didn't make a submission and are a new blog (less than 3 mo. Old) and have a post you would like to see here and it was published between 4 Sept. and 10 Sept. then post a link in the comments and I'll do the same for you. Anyway here it is.

Turning the big 5-0 this week has caused me to be more focused on fitness which is why I chose this post from "Echoes of Cold Moon", Thoughts on Exercise. And how could I not find a blog called "Help with everything" helpful with this post, Compound interest. Finally I added this bit of social Philosophy from "Check Your Premises", Link: The Real "Social Contract" simply because I'm fascinated by the various ways people view the world around them even if I don't see it that way myself.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Webb Ad Irks Nancy Reagan

Former first lady Nancy Reagan on Friday asked Virginia Democratic Senate candidate James Webb to not use a television commercial that shows former president Ronald Reagan praising Webb, his former Navy secretary.

While Democrats generally hate what Ronald Reagan stood for they seem to waist no effort to claim he would have endorsed them for elective office. Jim Webb running for the Senate in Virginia against incumbent George Allen has produced an ad using film footage from Reagan addressing graduates of the Naval Academy in 1985. In it the former President praises Webb's gallantry in Vietnam. No big deal as far as I can see but then comes the rub.
Then a voice that sounds like Reagan's, but isn't, says: "Soldier, Scholar, Leader. Now Jim Webb is running for senate." Reagan died in 2004.

In a news release issued by the Allen campaign, Ken Duberstein, who was Rea- gan's [sic] chief of staff, Ed Meese, counselor to Reagan and a former attorney general, and former U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, Reagan's campaign chairman, said Webb "should be ashamed of himself."

"We are disappointed that James Webb is dishonoring the memory of President Reagan by using an old video clip to imply that Ronald Reagan would be supporting him," they said...

...Todd said, "They are trying to put words into Reagan's mouth. Let Reagan speak for himself."
Don't you just love the " voice that sounds like Reagan's" part. I hear Mother Teresa's voice is looking for someone to endorse.

Now Webb was Reagan's secretary of the Navy. That has been the basis of his implication that he is a conservative democrat. Looking at the issues he champions he is just another liberal trying to hide behind Reagan. What stands out most though is how often he chooses to quite what he is when he doesn't get what he wants. He quit the Democratic party after Vietnam because he didn't like the way they treated veterans. He became a Republican and under Reagan became secretary of the Navy only to quit after a few months over funding of the military. Then he quit the Republican party because he didn't like the decision to go to Iraq. If elected will he quit being a Senator if he can't get his way there?

Virginia Blog Carnival for September 11th at Craig's Musings

, , , ,

Project Hero

QandO has the next Silver Star recipient tribute up on their site. They also have two others that I missed while slacking. So without further ado here the are.

Our hero this week is 1LT Stephen Boada, Silver Star, Silver Star

A few Marines on top of a hill scanned the area and spotted 10 armed individuals walking across the valley. A single rifle shot, believe to have been fired by one of the individuals, prompted the Marines to open up machine gun fire on the enemies, about 800 meters away.

The other Marines, including Boada, pushed toward their adversaries, who were fleeing up the mountainside as the machine gun team on the hill provided supporting fire.

While making their way up the ridge, Boada called for fixed-wing air support. Four A-10 Warthogs came roaring over the valley, unleashing 30mm cannon fire and 2.75-inch rockets onto the enemy locations, as Boada, with help from the machine gun team, called in target adjustments to the aircraft.

After about eight passes by the A-10s, the Marines searched for enemies killed or injured by the barrage, he said.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas C. Kirven came across a body and called out to Cpl. Richard P. Schoener to provide security.

Boada was about 25 meters from Kirven and Schoener when he heard the bursts of an AK-47 rifle and the screams of both Marines, he said.

The rest of the Marines began to circle around Kirven and Schoener, who were lying near a cave whose mouth spat out persistent gunfire.

Using a smoke grenade for concealment, Boada and Cpl. Troy Arndt made it up to the Marines.

"Corporal Kirven was dead, but the other one was still alive and talking to us," he said.

Arndt grabbed Schoener but couldn't drag him away. Boada then tried to help Arndt, but Schoener's flak vest ripped. Boada and Arndt had to take cover after more enemy gunfire came from the cave.

Boada fired his M-9 pistol and threw four grenades into the cave to eliminate the threat.

"No one was in left in [the cave], just body parts," Boada recalled.

Other Marines tried to resuscitate Schoener and Kirven, but were unsuccessful.

"Our efforts were futile, because they lost so much blood," Boada said.

On top of their loss, the Marines could not get a medical evacuation and had to carry both bodies back to the vehicles that were about six miles away, he said.

Although Boada has been called a hero, he said he believes that the two Marines who didn't walk away from that fight are the real heroes. Arndt, who earned a Bronze Star for his actions on that day, and the other Marines who were out there are heroes to him as well.

"I wasn't the only one out there. I was just put in a position to make a decision," Boada said.

Project Hero

QandO has the next Silver Star recipient tribute up on their site. They also have two others that I missed while slacking. So without further ado here the are.

Our next hero from last week is SCPO Britt Slabinski, Navy Cross

Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski led his seven-man reconnaissance team onto the snow-covered, 10,000 foot mountaintop known as Takur Ghar, to establish a combat overwatch position in support of U.S. Army forces advancing against the enemy on the valley floor. As their helicopter hovered over the mountain it was met by unrelenting rocket propelled grenade (RPG) and small arms fire by entrenched enemy forces. As a result of several RPG hits, a member of Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski's team was ejected from the helicopter into the midst of the fortified enemy positions. The badly damaged helicopter conducted a controlled crash, at which time Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski immediately took charge and established security on the crash location until the crew and his team were recovered to a support base. At this point, Senior Chief Slabinski fully aware of the overwhelming, fixed, enemy forces over the mountain, but also knowing the desperate situation of his missing teammate, now reportedly fighting for his life, without hesitation made the selfless decision to lead his team on an immediate, bold rescue mission. He heroically led the remainder of his SEAL element back onto the snow-covered, remote, mountaintop into the midst of the numerically superior enemy forces in a daring and valiant attempt to rescue one of their own. After a treacherous helicopter insertion onto the mountaintop, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski led his close quarter firefight. He skillfully maneuvered his team and bravely engaged multiple enemy positions, personally clearing one bunker and killing several enemy within. His unit became caught in a withering crossfire from other bunkers and the closing enemy forces. Despite mounting casualties, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski maintained his composure and continued to engage the enemy until his position became untenable. Faced with no choice but a tactical withdrawal, he coolly directed fire from airborne assets to cover his team. He then led an arduous movement through the mountainous terrain, constantly under fire, covering over one kilometer in waist-deep snow, while carrying a seriously wounded teammate. Arriving at a defensible position, he organized his team's security posture and stabilized his casualties. For over fourteen hours, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski directed the defense of his position through countless engagements, personally engaging the enemy and directing close air support onto the enemy positions until the enemy was ultimately defeated. During this entire sustained engagement, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski exhibited classic grace under fire in steadfastly leading the intrepid rescue operation, saving the lives of his wounded men and setting the conditions for the ultimate vanquishing of the enemy and the seizing of Takur Ghar. By his heroic display of decisive and tenacious leadership, unyielding courage in the face of constant enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Senior Chief Petty Officer Slabinski reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Project Hero

QandO has the next Silver Star recipient tribute up on their site. They also have two others that I missed while slacking. So without further ado here the are.

Our next hero from week before last is SGT Tommy Rieman, Silver Star

just 10 days away from leaving Iraq. He had orders to report to Fort Bragg for assignment with the 82nd. He was looking forward to spending Christmas with his family, and couldn't wait to leave.

As it turns out, Rieman was headed home, but not in the way he planned.

At the time, Rieman was with Company E of the 51st Infantry Long Range Surveillance Unit, part of V Corps LRS based in Darmstadt, Germany. His LRS unit had been conducting operations in Iraq since the war began. The mission that day was to investigate reports of suspicious activity at the residence of a former high-ranking general in Saddam Hussein's regime.

Rieman was in charge because he had scouted the area before and knew the terrain. LRS units are not supposed to engage the enemy, and Rieman's squad of eight men, while prepared for a fight, was not expecting one. They were driving in three light-skinned Humvees with no doors when the first rocket-propelled grenade hit.

"The thing I remember most was the sound of the explosion. It was so loud," said Rieman.

They were hit by three RPGs and a barrage of small arms fire coming from 10 dug-in enemy fighting positions. Staying in the kill zone meant certain death, so the vehicles never stopped moving. Rieman knew he had to return fire.

"I dove into the backseat, laid across the gunner's legs and fired out the door," he said.

Bullets whizzed after them as the vehicles sped away from the ambush. As soon as they were safely out of the area, they halted to assess the damage. Suddenly shots rang out, and Rieman and his squad found themselves caught in another ambush.

The squad dismounted and began firing back. Rieman scrambled for cover behind his Humvee as bullets and shrapnel flew everywhere. He tried to stay calm and assess the situation.

There were maybe 50 enemy attackers blasting away at him with small arms fire from a grove of palm trees nearby. Injuries to his men were beginning to pile up. Out of his squad, Sgt. Bruce Robinson had lost his right leg in the RPG attack and Spc. Robert Macallister had been shot in the buttocks. Rieman himself had been shot in the right arm and chest, and had shrapnel wounds to his chest, stomach and ear. Worst of all, they were almost out of ammo.

Despite the odds and his injuries, Rieman knew he had to go on the offensive.

"I knew it was a little pain now or my life later," he said.

He began firing away with his M203 grenade launcher, raining round after round down on the attackers. After being battered by 15 of Rieman's 40mm grenades, the enemy's guns were silent.

The squad wasn't out of danger, but at least they had some breathing room. Rieman quickly set up a secure perimeter, called for a medical evacuation and support from the 504th's quick reaction force, and began tending to his wounded. And then they waited.

"That was the toughest part -- the waiting," said Rieman. "Just sitting there bleeding and questioning if this bird (helicopter) was ever going to come."

It seemed hopeless. One of the badly injured soldiers in his squad started to cry, and Rieman tried to comfort him.

"I just kept telling him, it's coming, it's coming," he said.

Finally, after half an hour that seemed like an eternity, the helicopter arrived. Rieman and the rest of his squad were loaded on and whisked away. Only when he was up in the air did Rieman accept that he was going to live to see another day.

"I remember the burning sensation in my legs (from the shrapnel) and how cold the air was in the chopper, and all I could think about was my wife. That's when I knew, hey, I'm coming home, I'm going to make it," he said.

Rieman spent 12 days in an Army hospital in Germany, and was back in the states in time for Christmas. He has been with the 82nd since the beginning of 2004. He said has been concentrating on getting his health back to where it was before he was wounded, and on spending precious time with his family.

When Lt. Mike Lee, Rieman's company commander in the 82nd, learned about what Rieman had done that terrible day in Iraq, he pushed hard to make sure Rieman didn't go unrewarded.

Despite his awards, Rieman said he's no hero. He only did what he was trained to do, he said.

"I dedicate everything I was able to do to my training," he said. "We reacted the way we did because we were taught so well.".

Friday, September 08, 2006

Harry Reid Threatens ABC License

Those great champions of free speech in the Democratic Party are not so willing to stand in the gap when they perceive their ox is going to be gored by such an expression that right. Senator Harry Reid has sent a letter to ABC protesting their airing of a docudrama centered around the events leading to 9/11. Most notable is his threat to have the .broadcast license canceled if they do not alter the contents of the program.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events...

...Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.

I don't for one minute believe that ABC's intent is to be critical of, or lay the blame on the Clinton administration, but since I have not seen the film I cannot comment on what their intent is. Sen. Reid on the other hand seems to know just what is going on and wants it to stop.

He continues in his letter to admonish ABC for airing right wing propaganda. His concern of course if for the school children of the nation who might not get the truth from a television program. Duh, since when did anyone but the most naive think anything on television was factual? Anyway, he then quotes none other than Jamie Gorelick. You remember her as the author of the wall that separated the intelligence services so that the government was unable to connect the dots leading to 9/11. Even when this was pointed out as a conflict of interest on her part she remained on the 9/11 commission looking into the reasons for our failure to connect the dots. Undeterred by such obvious hypocrisy she wades into the discussion as if she were in no way responsible for being part of the problem.

As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, "It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer."

Maybe she could start by admitting her involvement in making our nation less safe and endangering the school children she is so concerned about by her actions inhibiting our intelligence analyzing capabilities.

Woe to us if the Democrats ever regain power.

, , ,

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Good News on Illegal Immigration, Maybe

One of the most beneficial things Congress can do is nothing. When it comes to illegal immigration this is what they are about to do. Their most recent effort to "reform" immigration failed because it became a typical boondoggle filled with vote buying schemes. Now with the election looming they are in too much of a hurry to get something done and we the citizens are the direct beneficiaries of their urgency.

U.S. congressional leaders are giving up on broad immigration legislation that would legalize millions of illegal immigrants and instead will concentrate on border security ahead of the elections, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said on Wednesday...

"Congress will put legislation on the president's desk this fall that will strengthen our borders," House Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told reporters on Tuesday.

Frist's comments drew an angry response from Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat who helped write the Senate bill.

An angry response from Sen. Kennedy is good enough for me. Let's hope that the border security bill they put forward will actually address border security and not be some spineless vehicle for pork spending.

, ,


The 9/11 Cover Up, The Truth is Out There

While the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks looms, more focus on the issue naturally gives undue attention to novelty theories on the origins and reasons for the attack. It should not be surprising that one of the most bizarre comes from the halls of academia. Enter the 9/11 Scholars for Truth. A collection of scholars who claim scientific evidence for a US government conspiracy behind the World Trade Towers' collapse.

Professor James Fetzer, 65, a retired philosopher of science at the University of Minnesota, said: "The evidence is so overwhelming, but most Americans don't have time to take a look at this."

Professor Fetzer seems to have set aside his quest for the Philosopher's Stone to devote his powers as a philosopher of science to unraveling this "biggest and most evil cover up in history" as his college Brigham Young University physics Professor Steven Jones says. I don't know about you but philosopher of science sounds like an oxymoron to me.

No matter, I expect that soon it will be revealed that Elvis has called someone at the New York Times from somewhere near area 51 to spill the beans on the whole plot aimed not just to steal all the oil from the Arabs, but to do so in preparation for the alien invasion to subjugate humanity. So put on your tinfoil hats people.

, , ,

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Campaign 2006

The campaign season is officially in full swing. Not surprisingly the Democrats have chosen to make the Iraqi war the issue. Having nothing to offer other than the tried and true formula for success of the Kerry-Edwards ticket they are plowing ahead with "we could have done better." The nit wits in the press are already proclaiming victory.

... House and Senate Democrats yesterday endorsed a national security report penned by the Third Way National Security Project, a group founded by Democrats who support gun control. The report, which Mr. Reid called a "stunning indictment," concluded that the Bush administration's foreign policy has failed in Iraq, the war on terror, Afghanistan and other countries. The number of terrorist attacks and terrorist recruits is up worldwide, many enemy countries are now stronger and have better weapons, and America's influence with allies has weakened, according to the report.

While the report offered no specific suggestions for fighting the war on terror, the Democratic leader said it "makes a clear case for the new direction we need." At a press conference yesterday, Democrats said the administration should use more diplomacy and fully implement the recommendations by the September 11 commission.

The only people impressed by this are the Democrats and the press. Meanwhile the American people are focused on different issues. The voters in Arizona are overwhelmingly looking for a solution to the illegal immigrant problem. Any politician who can champion real border security will enjoy wide support at the polls. Although they are living on the border and see the problem first hand they are not an isolated group. A national poll commissioned by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research "found 71 percent of people believe illegal immigration poses a threat to the country, and 31 percent of those people think the biggest threat from illegal immigrants is terrorism. More than half -- 56 percent -- said they are more aware of people from foreign countries."

Newt Gingrich has written a piece outlining 11 issues that if championed by politicians in the upcoming election would ensure victory at the polls. Of the first four on his list three are dealing directly with the illegal immigration issue.

#1 Make English the Official Language of Government. The House should pass a bill making English the official language of government, abolishing multilingual ballots and reaffirming that new citizens should be required to pass a test on American history in English. The Rasmussen poll reported that support for English as the official language was 85%. The Zogby poll had it at 84%. Why do Republican leaders find it so hard to side with more than four out of every five Americans? How many liberal Democrats who currently assume they are unbeatable would suddenly have a hard time explaining a series of votes against English to their constituents? Remember, at 85%, there are no anti-English congressional districts no matter what the elite media says.

#2 Control the Borders. The House should pass a narrowly focused bill to ensure that the United States can control the border. The current Senate bill is a disaster. It is impossible to pass a "comprehensive" immigration bill in the next two months. The American people overwhelmingly want the borders controlled and every act of terrorism reminds us that having the borders uncontrolled makes us more vulnerable to attack. The House should immediately pass a border-control bill and conservative Republican senators should move every day to bring it up in the Senate. Let Democrats and elitist Republicans block controlling the border and make that a referendum test for Election Day...

#4 Require a Voter ID Card. The American people overwhelmingly support (85% in one poll) having a voter id card so we can be sure only legal citizens are voting. Passing a bill to require this in all federal elections would be a big step toward more honest elections.

Some Republicans are hearing the call but one should never underestimate the ability if the Republican Party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The next week or so should give a clue as to whether or not they can grasp this issue and let the Democrats do what they do best which is spew nonsense.

, ,


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Judge Cashman Cashs it In

Vermont District Court Judge Edward Cashman, best remembered for his sentencing a chid rapist to 3 months in jail has announced his retirement. The timing is significant because Vermont has a judicial review every six years. Judge Cashmen's review is due in April, just after his announced retirement date.

Once considered a straight forward judge he had clouded his duty to uphold the law with a philosophy of restoriative justice.. The thinking here is that having the criminal understand the impact of his crime on the victim is more productive that punishment in solving the problem of criminal activity. Unfortunately as promising am idea this is criminals, especially child rapists don't generally care about what other people think. For the young vandal or bully there is merit in this approach. To the adult criminal it is a new way to exploit the system to avoid punishment. We can take an analogy for he world of sports. A pitcher in baseball who can throw a 90 mile an hour fast ball will strike out nearly every batter on a high school baseball team by throwing it consistently.. If he were to do so against seasoned professionals he would see one after another send the ball over the outfield fence.

In spite of the clear nonsense of Cashman's ruling he still has those who lament his fall from the bench. They are of course others in the legal profession who seemingly by virtue of their profession have abandoned reason.

State Sen. Vincent Illuzzi said Friday he would have fought to keep Cashman on the bench had the judge not opted to step down, saying the Hulett sentence had a beneficial result.

"Taking the long view, he brought about much needed, constructive change to the need for an effective sex-offender treatment in the (prisons)," said Illuzzi, who is also the state's attorney in Essex County...

... James Gallagher, president of the Vermont Bar Association, said it was unfortunate that Cashman had to endure the criticism that he did.

"He has always struck me as a thoughtful, deliberative, careful person who was trying to do the right thing," Gallagher said. "It's sad to see someone with 23 years of honorable experience in the judiciary be subjected to so much criticism for a good-faith effort in trying to find the ethical requirements."

The last statement exemplifies the problem with justice in our country. Ethics has replaced the law and morality. Judges are no longer seeking to apply the law but look to apply philosophy or an outcome. Fortunately many more citizens are taking notice and seeking to bring to the bench judges that will that will judge each case according to the law rather than their capricious notions.

, , ,