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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

To All Soldiers, Past And Present....

My humblest apologies.

I had hoped to create my very first slideshow in tribute to the fallen and still-standing amongst you on Memorial Day, but was unable to do so due to a nasty little surprise known as "DRM" -- Digital Rights Management.

Basically, I bought a download of a beautiful piece of music by Bobby McFerrin...his gorgeous rendition of "The 23rd Psalm", which he dedicated to his mother.

Then, when I tried to import the song into Windows Movie Maker to start the project...WHAM! The import was denied, thanks to a little piece of code somewhere in the clip which is apparently designed to limit how I can use the clip....

AFTER I've already paid for it. *Sigh*

Oh, well. Enough with the useless bitching. It's not getting me anywhere.

Sorry, folks. I'll get it right next time.

As a token of good faith, I hereby present a ready-made collage accompanied by another song that haunts me...considering where we buried my father about six years ago.

Keep a box of Kleenex handy, friends...this one just plain HURTS.

Courtesy of 2ndLT Mistie Beardmore, JROTC, Mesquite High School. (The Force is STRONG in this one.)

Well done, Cadet. Keep up the good work.

Friday, May 25, 2007

One Helluva Birthday Present

A little background, first.

One of my blogger buddies, Russ Emerson, has been facing off with a pretty nasty-sounding series of health problems this year, including seriously reduced control of his legs. He's had several MRIs, and has been dealing with some serious difficulties just in his daily living. (Taking out the trash, for example, has gotten rather adventurous lately.) Theories as to the cause have been bouncing around between things like tumors or multiple sclerosis.

Well, yesterday he finally got the results of his third MRI...and some really good news.

Say it with me, kiddies...."idiopathic hydrocephalus". (Google it. I did.) Suffice to say, it's still something to be looked after (brain surgery is certainly still in the foreseeable future), but it's better than everything else he's been fearing might have been the cause.

And to top it's his birthday.

So come on, y'all....stop on by and wish him a happy one. (Click on the Health tab at his site for the full skinny.) A few more new friends in his corner will no doubt do him some extra good.

Oh---and say hi to Mycah (heh...and Homer) for me.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Brief Pause to Rally The Troops

I don't have time to go into the specifics of this, but I wanted to sound off on a couple of things related to it.

There's a big story going around -- at least, it's going around in those circles who are willing to report on it -- that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius took a cue from DNC head honcho Howard Dean as to what could be done politically to gain some points from the recent Greensburg, KS tornado disaster. Sam Brownback is apparently involved as well, in one form or another.

I only have limited knowledge of the whole affair, so I refer you to Bryan of Hot Air, who seems to have the best roundup of the battle so far.

Here's the part I want to put my two cents in on.

The radio show which has stuck their necks out the most with this story -- America's Morning Show, hosted by Jim Quinn and Rose Somma-Tennent -- has been a fixture in the Pittsburgh morning radio scene for a long time. We're talking at least a couple of decades here, if not more. Longtime readers of this site know that I have referenced them in many posts past.

I myself have been an avid listener since about 1998 or so, after moving into the area about two years prior, when they were hosted only on local radio station WRRK 96.9 FM. Within the last couple of years, they have started gaining national-level attention (by way of involvements with such political talk luminaries as Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, as well as being aired on XM radio channel 165) upon attaining syndication at their new home, Pittsburgh NewsTalk Radio station 104.7 FM.

In the years that I have listened to them, I have never had any reason to doubt their bonafides as far as credibility. They have always conducted themselves as professionals, and have always been the first to make note if they have any doubt about the veracity of the news they put out. And this incident is no exception.

They have several sources that they use to check out possible show material, and (if what I understand is correct) have made extensive use of one source in particular in verifying this one. I do not believe that they would keep a source active if they thought for one second that they were being lied to.

This morning (as I was taking the kids to school), they announced on air that they have been threatened with legal action -- personally -- by a law firm representing the DNC Headquarters, if they do not immediately cease and desist from their work on this story AND put out a complete and total retraction of all material they have issued on the subject. Needless to say, they have rejected these demands.

However...they continued in their announcement that, if it is discovered that their source in this issue gave them false information, or sandbagged them in any way...they would happily not only retract the story on air, but also PUBLICLY reveal the identity of the source him/herself. (As earlier stated, they do not appreciate being lied to.) And I have never known these two to take a stand like this without following up on it.

In other words, it is my humble opinion that they would not go to air on something like this without doing their level best to be able to back it up first, or at least let everyone know that it's still a developing story that they're in the process of checking out.

There. That's my say on the matter.

I again refer you to the above link to Bryan's post, as he himself has personally been in touch with Jim & Rose to get their side of the story.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Points Of Interest: May 8, 2006

The well-read-and-equally-well-written Baldilocks is never at a loss for words (when her computer isn't screeching blue-bloody-murder at her, anyway). Lately, she has posted a quick article about things to do in Mexico when you're nekkid (no, there are no burros involved, you sickos) and a somewhat more loquacious piece about someone who may be starting to feel a bit of a draft herself.

Teflon Don of Acute Politics -- a warrior-poet if ever there was one -- wraps up a three-part missive on what he did in the war today. It is well worth the read, and (in my view, at least) gives a stellar demonstration of what would be lost if that ban on battlefield blogging ever really DOES come to fruition.

Our old buddy Pat Sajak shows how revealing those old "come-in-for-a-conference" letters from teachers to parents can be concerning a child's future achievements.

The DANEgerus one opens up a tall-boy on...hell, just about everybody. Today, that number includes:
1) ABCNews for their coverage of the recent DNC candidates' debate;
2) those who would like to conveniently forget something Billary once said about Saddam;
3) Ted Rall for...well, being Ted Rall; and
4) anyone seriously considering paying reparations to....Guam???

And finally, Val Prieto over at BabaluBlog gives us a quick picture of the Cuban-American community as seen in Florida, as a means of contradicting the statements of someone who recently made a film that apparently does not paint them in the kindest light.

(Disclosure: My brother married a Cubana a couple of years ago, and I got the chance to meet my new relations at the wedding. For what it's worth, they certainly seem like fine and decent people to me.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Welcome Back, Grey Eagle

Now THIS is something that does my heart good.

In recent months, I have noticed that Grey Eagle's blog, An American Soldier 2, has been conspicuously inaccessible. I began to worry quite a bit over this for a couple of reasons:
1) she's one of the relatively few female war-bloggers out there (and a damn good one at that), and
2) she has an unfortunate past history of attracting some pretty nasty hacker trouble.
That last one had me worried that someone had yet again managed to knock her site out of commission.

Then, of course, there's always the occupational hazard of
3) ....well, you know...not coming back.

Thankfully, all that has been put to rest. She's been home for a while now, and (if I have this right) may now actually be prepping to go back into Iraq. While she's been home, she has been resting up and making up for lost time with her family -- and put her hubby in charge of a general overhaul of her website.

Ladies and yourselves a favor, and go check out the new and improved home of Grey Eagle. There's still a few bugs to work out (hubby's not quite put the final spit and polish on it just yet), but they're mere annoyances. I'm just happy to see the gal back in the saddle.

Glad to have you back, Cin....and THANK YOU for all you and your comrades are doing.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Californistan Or Bust: Throw Momma Down The Memory Hole

Thanks to the ever-overly-informed Jim Quinn for the initial tip-off to this.


It could be argued, O faithful reader, that one of the biggest hurdles the American left faces in its battle to remake America's children to its own liking can be summed up in one word: "Parents".

Seriously. Many a lefty initiative (more than you might know) has fallen to the outcry of the average American parental unit.

Well, like any good proponent of cultural Marxism (thanks for the phrase, Jim), the California state legislature has fallen back on an old stand-by when dealing with its adversaries: legislating them off the face of the earth.

After all, it's hard for you to have a dissenting opinion if you don't exist:

A plan that has been launched in the California state Assembly – again – could be used to ban references to "mom" and "dad" in public schools statewide by prohibiting anything that would "reflect adversely" on the homosexual lifestyle choice.

It's similar to a plan WND reported was approved by lawmakers last year, but fell by the wayside when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
That's right...they tried it once already. Thankfully, Ahhhnold tossed it out the window.

But why let a little ol' thing like a gubernatorial veto get in the way, when you can simply pretend it didn't happen?

[Capitol Resource Institute Executive Director Karen England] noted that Los Angeles schools already have implemented most of the proposals now pending for districts across the state, and among the changes are:

"Mom" and "dad" and "husband" and "wife" would have to be edited from all texts.
Translation: "You don't need to listen to those grownups in your house. They'll just get in the way. Listen to us. We know you know we know better."

Cheerleading and sports teams would have to be gender-neutral.
Translation: "Why huddle when you can spoon? The coaches won't mind. They won't have a choice."

Prom kings and queens would be banned, or if featured, would have to be gender neutral so that the king could be female and the queen male.
Translation: "Either everyone gets a chance to hold the royal sceptre, or no one does. It's only fair."

Gender-neutral bathrooms could be required for those confused about their gender identity.
Translation: "We know you really don't know who you are. This way, you don't even have to think about it. Why tax your puny little brain so?"

A male who believes he really is female would be allowed into the women's restroom, and a woman believing herself a male would be allowed into a men's room.
Translation: "No, dude, really, go ahead. That hot chick won't mind if you follow her into the john. Just tell her you think you're a girl. Then she can't stop you from showing her your girl-power."

Even scientific information, such as statistics showing AIDS rates in the homosexual community, could be banned.
Translation: "No, dude, really, go ahead. Gay people don't REALLY get sick from doing it with other gay people. The Man just tells you that to keep you from exploring whoever we want you to who you really are. How can you tell if you don't try?"

Basically (at least, as far as I can tell -- logic doesn't fit well with stuff like this), the idea here seems to be this: "It'll be a lot easier to mold these kids the way we want to, if we can take everything their parents learned when THEY were growing up and turn it inside-out and upside-down again and again and again, until the only thing these little brats know what to think is what we tell 'em to."

Yet another reason I thank God every day that my folks came from Iowa.