One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

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Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

For Those Of Us Who Need Reminding: They Have Names

Folks, blogging is going to be a bit light around here for a while. Priorities at home have shifted somewhat lately, which means I won't be able to devote much time to the Point.

Before I go, here's something worth keeping an eye on...brought to you courtesy of Blackfive.

According to Matt, a blogger named CJ was recently inspired to create a website dedicated to tributes to fallen soldiers who might otherwise have been forgotten in the media's rush to undermine their efforts in Iraq.

The site is called "They Have Names", and thus far, is an impressive display of honor and respect. I've checked out the site in question, and the authors seem to have gone to great efforts to deeply involve each soldier's families and friends in the process, in order to offer a fitting tribute to their fallen warriors.

Go take a closer look for yourself. It's relatively new, and so there are only a few stories posted at the moment, but I reckon you'll get the idea right quick. This virtual memoriam is worth the time to read.

UPDATE: Courtesy of the author of the site, you may now access the site at anytime by clicking on the "They Have Names" image located in the left sidebar. Thank you, CJ.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fair Tax Blogburst: Nov. 15, 2006

by Terry Dillard of The Right Track

Well, the elections are over and I've heard everything from "It's a sure thing" to "No way it'll even make it out of committee now" regarding the FairTax.

One thing I do know -- never underestimate the power of a grassroots movement. Democrats were shown in 1994 not to take their power for granted, and Republicans had that same lesson hammered home to them a week ago. The American people have no hesitation whatsoever about "flushing the toilet" as I prefer to call it.

Whatever your political orientation, it's been amply proven by now that lower taxes produce a stronger economy -- if we can keep spending in check. Giving Americans the ability to choose exactly how much they pay in taxes via the FairTax is a win-win situation for individuals and our government.

I found an interesting blog article that managed to work the FairTax into a post on national security. From "Freedom Is Always the Right Answer", the post is titled "Defeating China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran in the Cold War of Terror". The post begins:

China and Russia are allied and using all the tools at their disposal, including supporting North Korea and Iran, and to a lessor extent Venezuela, to defeat us in a new Cold War of Terror. China and Russia have supplied weapons, diplomatic cover, and economic support to these rogue states to drain American resources, our respect in the international community, and generally create chaos. China is stealing our technological secrets through a coordinated program of traditional intelligence and computer infiltration. China and Russia are threatening our satellites. China constantly threatens our ally, Taiwan. We can use the lessons from the first Cold War to figure out how to win this new one.
The author postulates that winning the war against terror and those who sponsor it -- directly or indirectly, it would seem -- will require the same tactics used by JFK to get the missiles out of Cuba, and by Reagan to defeat the Soviet Union. Part of this, of course, is economic in nature. According to the author's theory:

Once we put China in this position, it won't allow North Korea to be the tail that wags the dog. China will be upset with the U.S., as will the rest of the world who will call us dangerous cowboys, like they did Reagan, but China's only good option would be to work for a nuclear free Korean peninsula. China would suffer the economic pain (no more Kentucky Fried Chicken) of losing the world's greatest consumer as a costumer, plus it would be in the untenable position of being at the mercy of the madman in North Korea. America could get China's support for regime change or some other policy to remove the nukes in North Korea.
America would also suffer economic pain (T-Shirt prices would rise) from these trade restrictions, but domestic policy would limit that pain, and turn it into an advantage. By adopting the FairTax, America would begin to return as a manufacturing juggernaut. Reducing government interference in the free market would assist this process. American products, no longer burdened by the income tax, would compete with Chinese made products on the world market, further enriching America and hurting China/NK. This American growth in manufacturing would drive prices lower to compensate for the price increases from restricted trade with China/NK. This would put pressure on China to democratize. [TD - emphasis added]
But aside from National Security, the FairTax is just a good idea. The Kodiak Daily Mirror came out in favor of it because it is grassroots in nature. You know, "We the people" kind of thinking. In "New Tax Act Gives Power to the People", the Daily Mirror gives its reasons for supporting the FairTax:

A proposed bill, The Fair Tax Act, would change the way our government collects our tax money. It sounds the death toll for the Internal Revenue Service, paycheck withholdings and tax returns. As the replacement, a national sales tax, designed to fund our government at its current rate, would replace our old system. It relieves the burden of an overly complicated tax code as special interests lobby for loopholes.
The national sales tax will be collected on all new goods and services and takes the place of our income withholdings. The system is blind to income levels, yet ensures the basic necessities of life are not taxed through a tax pre-bate system. This prevents the government from dictating what the basic necessities are and affords us the ability to make our own decisions. [TD - emphasis added]
How cool is that? What a novel idea! Letting us make our own decisions! I like it! The Daily Mirror finishes the article by referring to no less a document than our own Declaration of Independence:

As stated so eloquently in our Declaration of Independence, we hold the power, not the government or our elected officials. It is time for a real change offered by the Fair Tax Act to encourage economical growth and investment. It is time to do away with the burdensome taxation system that we detest and political officials use to gain votes.
All I can add to that is a hearty "Amen"!

The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to host the weekly postings on your blog, please e-mail Terry. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans' Pride: A Message From R. James Nicholson

I know it's a little late for this now (sorry, it's been a busy day), but I still wanted to go ahead and put it up, because I think the below is a good idea.

While on a visit to Australia a while back to attend their ANZAC Day ceremonies (basically Australia's Veterans Day), Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson was introduced to a tradition carried out by the veterans there:
Military veterans display their medals and service ribbons all day once a year in Australia. It's a tradition that Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson would like to import to the U.S....


"...My wife and I went into a cafe and the guy who took our order had his ribbons on, and the guy who made our cappuccino had his ribbons on," Nicholson said in an interview Thursday. "It made me think, it's the kind of thing we should develop as a tradition in our country."
And so, back here at home, he has put out the call to all our veterans to do the same: Wear our ribbons and/or medals on our civvies all day on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Sounds like a helluva good idea to me. So I did.

But you know what? Let's take this one step further.

I hereby declare this post to be open to all blogging military personnel (former and current) and family members for Trackbacks....specifically, for the purpose of displaying one of your awards/medals/ribbons in your respective pages.

Here's one of mine:

Kuwait Liberation Medal

If you wish to join me in this endeavour, simply put up a post in your own pages with a picture of one of your medals, and then Trackback to this post. I will update this post with a link to each new site that does so, as I find them.

This could be a good thing to start doing on a yearly basis, if people are so inclined. Let me know what you think.

The first link goes to Don Surber, who gave me the initial inspiration for this idea. Thanks, Don.

R.I.P. -- Jack Palance: 1919 - 2006

One of the last real men in Hollywood is dead.

Take a bow, Jack.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Things to Do in D.C. When You're Out of a Job

Lessee here...

Write a book about me?
....Nah. Tried that already. Easier to just wait for someone ELSE to do it, and then sue their ass off.

Get my hair done?
....Please. Do I look like some kinda media whore to you?

Hey, I know...

Sit on some old guy's porch all day screeching like a stoned magpie, just in case somebody with a camera happens to walk by?


And Now for Something Completely Different

Excuse me while I take a station break from all this post-election stuff (I'll get back to it later, I promise) to make a special announcement:



The 2006 Weblog Awards

Yep, it's that time of year, folks. The floor will be open for nominations on November 10th.

In the meantime, the call is out for ideas for new categories. Think they're missing something good? Drop 'em a line.

And, though I'm certainly FAR too modest for any kind of virtual panhandling or stuff like that (*COUGHullshiCOUGH*)...I would be profoundly honored to receive a nomination or two.

Or, in the words of the immortal Crash Davis..."When you speak of me, speak well." :O)


We now return you to my regularly scheduled existence.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

And So It Goes....

"Today, the American people voted for change, and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a new direction. And that is exactly what we intend to do."
---Nancy Pelosi
The choice has been made.

Congratulations, Democrats.

You wished for it, and you got it.

For all our sakes, I hope it turns out to be the right choice. We'll do everything we can to help. Seriously. We are all Americans, however we may translate it. Work with us. I wager you'll find it a lot less painful than you think.

But...if it turns out to have been the wrong choice after all...

Hey, we tried. That's all we can do.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Two Words (Midterm Election Edition)

....for anyone who thinks it won't make a difference if they vote or not:


Think I've gone crazy? Perhaps.

But it cannot be argued that, if the Democratic Party gains too much power in the House and Senate today...the possibility DOES exist in the not-too-distant future.

Keep this in mind, too....we Americans aren't the only ones with a stake in this election.

I'll shut up now, and let you get on with your day. But I'll leave you with this bit of prose from one of my favorite people in the world (who, by the way, happens to be a Canadian):
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose free will

---Neil Peart, lyricist and percussionist
for the rock band Rush
Do your duty, y'all. Go out today and vote.

The only way you'll regret if you don't.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against The West

With the limited amount of time that I have to do this during my work week, I sometimes have trouble keeping up with things.

But I heard on the Jim Quinn radio show this morning about a recent film which gives an unprecedented view of what makes up the mindset of radical Islam -- in the Middle East, Europe, and even here in the States -- and how their message has been spread around the world with frightening efficiency.

I found it in this post from Sunday by the intrepid crew of the USS Neverdock, a blog which delves into multiple issues from around the world on a daily basis. The clips within the post eventually direct you to this page in YouTube, in which you may view the entire movie in a series of eight clips lasting about ten minutes or so apiece.

The film is called Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against The West, and was directed, written and edited by Wayne Kopping.

This is just one of many chilling quotes from the film:
People, think about it, yes, jihad does mean 'self-struggle', struggle within. But so does Mein Kampf. Mein Kampf means 'my struggle'. But what struggle? Nazism had a struggle with what? What did the Jews do to tango in Nazi Germany? Jihad is being used in the Middle East as struggle with the Jewish people, struggle with the West.

---Walid Shoebat, former PLO terrorist
This film contains numerous samples of real terrorist propaganda films, using everything from traditional film work to MTV-style music videos, portraying America and George Bush as Satan. One in particular shows a clip of the Statue of Liberty as seen from behind, with a blood-red sky and sea in the background. When the camera pans around to show the Lady's face, it is that of a grinning skull.

This film also goes in depth into how American media and academia was quick to rush in and ask -- very loudly -- "what did we do to make them so mad?" Whether intentionally or just by dint of how we view ourselves as people who are above such acts, these two aspects of our own society have done much to fuel radical Islam's beliefs that we are weak and easily consumed.

Folks, I can't stay up to watch the whole thing this morning because I have to get some sleep before I go to work again tonight. But I do plan on watching it a bit at a time for the next few days, and letting it sink in as I do it.

I cannot more strongly recommend that you do the same...and spread the word. America needs to see this.

FAIR WARNING: The film you will be watching contains a great many disturbing images, including parts of the Eugene Armstrong decapitation film, and several clips involving the corruption and murder of children. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN to see this without seeing it first yourself.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's Official: Saddam Hussein Found Guilty

I remember, during my stint in the Gulf War, talking to several Iraqis while visiting their towns on humanitarian missions. Every one of the villages we visited was destitute, and every one of the people I talked to blamed it on Saddam Hussein.

I also remember talking to another Iraqi man in order to keep him calm, while he was being treated in one of our medical tents for chemical burns all over his body. He said he received them when his village was bombarded by Saddam's enforcers. He said he was just happy to see someone who wasn't trying to kill his family. And, as he was being taken out of the tent after we patched him up, he insisted on planting a kiss on my forehead before he left.

Everywhere we went, the one question I was asked the most (yes, by the burn victim, too) was, "When are you going to get Saddam?"

And, of course, the only answer I could give was, "When George tells us to." Which they understood.

I've always found that strangely funny. They had never met George H. W. Bush once. But they knew his name, and they already liked him better than their own "beloved Uncle Saddam".

Flash now to the present day. Different war, different George.

How sweet it is, to me, that in the end WE aren't the ones who got him. All we did was drive him out of his glittering palaces and pull him cringing out of a hole in the ground.

This morning...the IRAQIS got him:
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Saddam Hussein, the iron-fisted dictator who ruled Iraq for nearly a quarter of a century, was found guilty of crimes against humanity Sunday and sentenced to death by hanging.

The so-called Butcher of Baghdad, who was president of Iraq from 1979 until he was deposed by Coalition forces in April 2003, was convicted of the 1982 killings of 148 Shiites in the city of Dujail.

When I heard the news this morning, I got to thinking about my friend the burn victim. I can't believe it's been fifteen years since I talked to him in that medical tent.

And I wonder what his kids are doing right now.

As for Ramsey Clark, who apparently just couldn't resist getting one last little insult in before the sentencing...

Well, I'll let the judge say it.

Bravo, Your Honor...on BOTH counts.

(Oh...and don't bother asking these folks what they think of all this. You already know.)


Here's some others covering this one. Share the love, y'all.
Right Truth
Hot Air
Sister Toldjah (as covered by guestblogger Bryan of Iowa Voice)
Mensa Barbie

Friday, November 03, 2006

And The Last Word Goes To....

...those who defend our right to have OUR words.

As for ol' Jean-Claude himself...well, I've already spoken on the subject, so I think I'll let Chris Muir finish it off. As usual, he pounds the last nail in with style.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Verbal Ballistics 101: If You Gotta Shoot Your Mouth Off, Don't Aim Straight Up


DES MOINES, Iowa A Democratic Congressional candidate from Iowa is canceling a campaign event later this week with Senator John Kerry.
Brucy Braley says Kerry's recent comments about the Iraq war were inappropriate.

Forgive me, folks....but I just LOVE watching this fool get his forward-assist tapped for him.

So how about he stand up like a man, apologize for making an all-too-human mistake, take the lumps he has ordered up for himself, and MoveOn?

Are you kidding? Apologize to a bunch of knuckle-draggers? He's John Kerry, dammit! He's no lowly human! He NEVER falls!

Sen. John Kerry held a press conference moments ago to address a controversial remark he made implying those who are uneducated serve in the military and get stuck in Iraq. Kerry made it “crystal clear” that he apologizes to no one, adding his remarks were a “botched joke” about the President, not the troops.

Translation: "Don't blame me! Blame that idiot that I lost to the last time I took a bite out of my own ass stole the White House from me! He MADE you think I said you idiots are soldiers are stupid!"

And according to Michelle, the New York Slimes (big surprise) is more than happy to help him make someone else atone for his sins:

You have to read 15 paragraphs down into the story before you learn what Kerry said. Because "the mounting death toll" in Iraq, RINO Lincoln Chafee's disavowal of the war, NJ GOP Senate candidate Tom Kean's and Washington GOP Senate candidate Mike McGavick's thoughts on the war, and the Democrats anti-Iraq war ads are all more important to the Times reporters than Kerry's actual words.

Well, there's a whole lot more people -- including Chuck and Greyhawk -- who are more than happy to help hold ol' Frenchy's feet to the fire. Preach on, pastors.