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Archive for the ‘War’ Category

On January 9th of this year, a posting was made by Timmy called “You want what?”.   In the posting he states:  

Today’s Kick in the Ass goes to an anonymous person, or asshat, who filed a claim against the federal government for of $3 quadrillion for over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following Hurricane Katrina.For the sake of perspective: A mere $1 quadrillion would dwarf the U.S. gross domestic product, which was $13.2 trillion in 2007. A stack of one quadrillion pennies would reach Saturn.Or maybe this would be a better way to put it in perspective – compare that to $250. That’s the amount FEMA gave residents of my area when in September 2004 Hurricane Ivan dumped 9 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. Nine inches is an unbelievable amount of water to come roaring thousands of feet down mountains and into already flooding streams. The result was the worst flash flooding in the history of the area. That’s where the “impressive” numbers stop. Because unlike some other natural disasters that gained the attention of the world and the backing of disaster efforts and corporate moneys, “only” dozens were killed. “Only” hundreds of homes destroyed. “Only” thousands were displaced. The town I once lived in, Jacksonburg, was wiped off the map. The town was situated on the inside of a huge horseshoe bend in the creek. A temporary earth and culvert bridge had been put in place to allow work on the existing bridge. This became a dam as soon as the wave of water brought trees off the hills. Within minutes, dozens of homes were gone. These were homes built out of the 100 year flood plane, and no one ever imagined flood water could possibly reach them, including my aunt’s home. How did people recover? Neighbors helped them out, mostly. The company me and some other residents worked for declined to help saying the numbers just weren’t there.

But at least not one opportunistic attorney got rich.

This is certainly an atrocity with the audacity of some thinking that they are going to sue the government, especially, for such an exorbitant and outrageous sum of money.  That being said, though, I responded on his posting with the following comment:

I so concur with your thoughts on this.  Any suit would be insanity and justification in comparison to what??

True.  The Katrina victims did face great adversity in their plight; however, years have gone by, and at some point in time, a line in the sand should be drawn, and those same victims should say to themselves, “While we were victims during the Katrina hurricane storm, we are now Katrina survivors!” and work to strive to empower themselves to move forward, out of adversity, and towards a better life for themselves and their community.  At some point, the past can be remembered, but shove the memory to the past and allow all to move to the recovery and survivor mode.

Okay, okay.

Off of my soapbox — for now…

Of course, I don’t want to downplay the enormity of the devastation felt by New Orleans and its surrounding communities; however, at some point of time advocating must be done towards moving the victims from the poor pitiful me stage to empower them to say that they are victors above all because they have overcome such an awful fate of nature that day.

I am sure that there are many victims of the Katrina that have moved forward and are looking at this suit as “Oh, God, when will be able to forget and move on without this being played out and expanded in the media again and again and again??” or “When can the healing process begin without having constant reminders of the past?”

What is really going to be served at attempting to bankrupt the very government that continues to issue grants and support in many continuing situations throughout our society?  Are they really thinking this all the way through?  Do they really want to be remembered for causing a riff in the economy from a potentially bankrupt government, as well as the affect on our children and other members of the society throughout the United States, as well as other parts of the world that we, as a nation of people, do help to support???

Does anyone have a true good solution???  I’d really love to hear it…

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I, honestly, cannot remember if this was also circulated around last year or not in our emails as well; whatever the case though, it certainly would bear repeating….enjoy!!

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,

then thesure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


‘What are you doing?’ I asked without fear,
‘Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!’


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light,
Then he sighed and he said ‘Its really all right,

I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.’


‘It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.


My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,’
He sighed, ‘That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.’

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
< /S PAN>


I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.


Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.


I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..


Who sta! nd at th e front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.’
‘So go back inside,’ he said, ‘harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.’


‘But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
‘Give you money,’ I asked, ‘or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.’


In his eyes welled a tear that held no regret,
‘Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.


For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.’

——————————————————————-


PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.  Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30t h Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq

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See the inspiring speaker, Barack Obama, as he spoke in Austin on February 23, 2007:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45jM2DKwCKI]

What could be better than watching the next President of the United States at a classic Texas hillside ampitheater?

It’s going to be beautiful weather, and we look forward to seeing you this Saturday afternoon at The Backyard.

Who:
Sen. Barack Obama

When:
Doors open at 3:00pm
Saturday, November 17

What:
Live music from Fastball
Guest: $25
Student: $15
After-party at Victory Grill

Where:
The Backyard
13101 Highway 71 West
Austin, TX 78738

click here: Reserve your ticket

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While I am presently at work this morning, I was up in the wee hours of the morning (besides increasing my inventories on eBay and Half) watching the news blurps about the Memorial Wall of the Vietnam soldiers who didn’t make it back to the States.  It made me teary eyed to think that so many had died in service and how fortunate that I was to have my Dad return to our family when I was in second grade from Vietnam as a Captain in a MASH unit.

In my email this morning, I also received a wonderfully thoughtful message from the US Senator John Cornyn (from Texas):

Dear Fellow Texan:
 
Join me today in honoring and remembering the brave men and women who have answered the call to protect our freedom, defeat tyranny and advance democracy.

This year we honor an increasing number of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the greater Global War on Terror.  They join the proud and honorable tradition of American Veterans in whose name we pay tribute.
 
From World War I to the current Global War on Terror, today America stands in collective awe of the heroism of American servicemen throughout our history. It is important that future generations know these stories of American courage, character and selfless sacrifice.
 
While Texans have many thoughts on the War, there is one thing we must agree on, supporting and thanking all those who fight, and have fought, for this great Nation. 
 
Today is a day for us to honor the service and sacrifice of all of these great patriots.

Senator John Cornyn

I certainly do share Senator Cornyn’s sentiments for all of those who have and continue to serve our Country.

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Received this in my email today.  It is comforting that some businesses can and do actually go beyond their call of duty these days; so many don’t.  It is indeed a rare find and we should support those who do.

See below for full story:

Sears Walks the Walk…
 
Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up…

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.

I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department:

Received this e-mail and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it’s cheaper at that store.

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer:

Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback.

Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care
< A title=mailto:webcenter@sears.Com href=”mailto:webcenter@sears.Com“> webcenter@sears.Com
1-800-349-4358

Please pass this on to all your friends. Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!

It’s Verified By Snopes.Com at: http://WWW.snopes.Com/politics/military/sears.asp (shows the entire article).

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drG8_h9xpro]

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[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD2bxNPme7Y]

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Quite possibly! In response to another blogger’s blog posting, I responded:

“It is indeed something to think about… China, Mexico, and many other countries are mass producing things for us….

but, flags have to rise when are products are being imported tainted with things that could kill each and every one of us and the environment we know it to be.

As ecological conscience we Americans are purported to be, you would think that the ecological organizations would also rise to the occasion to speak out and alert American Businesses to quickly begin to rethink our mass productions to be done here in the States for the safety consideration of one and all here.

Can you tell? It most certainly has been on my mind lately……”

What was his blog posting…. See below:

“With a lot of manufacturing jobs moving over to China, are we setting ourselves up for failure???? Hmmmmmmm…….

Let’s look at the facts that have been uncovered in recent months. I’ll start with the mass pet food recall that killed several pets. The cause of the recall was because of contaminated ingredient glutin, which was imported from China.

It gets worse. The U.S. is importing seafood from China. Some of it is farm raised in ponds that the EPA would condem. This food is not being properly inspected and tested by the FDA. Yet, we Americans keep buying it.

And for the latest, Matel is recalling millions of toys because the paint used on them contains excessive amounts of lead. And these toys are made guess where… That’s right! China.

Are we really better off getting our food and goods from China? They could be taking us down without us even knowing it. What would happen if the U.S. got involved in a major war similar to WWII? We would not have the manufacturing capabilities to produce the goods necessary to defend ourselves like we did during WWII. We will not have the experienced workers necessay to man the factories, let alone the factories to make the goods.

Think about it………”

What do you think? Have you been trying to sort out the madness lately in the news????

 

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In regards to the blog posting entitled, It has been a long night, I submitted the following response:

“I certainly do understand all that. The spoken words of “Make Love, Not War” is certainly oblivious to the fact that there are people in other countries ready, willing and able to shake up our lives. 911 is only one instance, which shook up many lives to the fact that the bombing and fighting elsewhere has finally hit our lands. One of the reasons we don’t have 911’s every day, or an everyday occurrence of fighting and bombing in our streets, is largely due to the security that we do have in this country, albeit not perfect by any means.

Kudos for everything that you are doing in your role of security, although it is a lot of sleepless nights lurking in the sites while keeping an eye out for intruders who may upset the very way of life we are used to having….”

Honestly, the thought of pulling some of our troops out from strategic places in the world (even Iraq) has me wondering what the shift will do to the protection of our civilians out in the countries, working for such American companies such as Halliburton and others to help build up other countries. There are too many ifs, ands, and buts left to the unknowns that no one can truly predict.

One of my exes’ favorite rebuttals in life’s disdains was, “If “ifs”, “ands”, and “buts” were but chocolate, candy and nuts, we would all have a very Merry Christmas.” How do you ever resolve all the unknowns? No telling! However, if we certainly could, we would certainly be able to have peace in the world by also being able to resolve all the problems of the world. 😀

Just a bit of food for thought…

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I wanted to change the world.

But I have found that

the only thing one can be sure of changing

is oneself.

 

– Aldous Huxley

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If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.

 

– John F. Kennedy

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If you go back into my public reader blogs on the Austin American-Statesman (either the “Inquiring Minds” as txbluebonnet2006 or “Inquiring Minds” as txbluebonnet), you will see that I have written extensively about this subject matter.  They were shouting back then that it was all an “amnesty” ploy that the government was coming up with; and, things haven’t changed one iota since then.

Some folks feel, like in a recent public blog on the Austin American Statesman, called, “I am curious”, wherein the author seems to make the whole issue is about where you come from.  It isn’t at all. 

What I care about is the safety of you and me, the neighbors down the street, the communities in my State and across this great nation.  What I want to see is that, no matter where they are from, our government isn’t letting in folks that are pedafiles, murderers, terrorists, drug cartel, etc. that jeopardize the safety of where we live and exist, as well as our futures as we might know it to be.

The reform is all about figuring out the guidelines, and redefining them, to expedite some of the processes of the immigration department to not take 10 years to process applications for citizenship here in the United States due to the backlog of applications.  Some processes may take only 5 years because they don’t have as many people applying from that country as they do from a different country that might have 1,000 times more applicants.

The system is failing because, in the meantime, while they are waiting for their applications to process many of them have come on over to live here illegally; some of which are unsavory criminalistic backgrounds and thereby putting our country at risk.

In the meantime, more and more folks cross over our borders illegally – seeking freedoms and that famed “Horatio Alger’s American Dream” that doesn’t even really exist for many of the American Citizens.  Something needs to be done to curtail the illegal arrivals while we get a fix on the process procedures of the applications.

The drug cartels fighting their wars on the borders of Texas sends up a flag for many Texas Citizens.  Perhaps, those in Washington DC aren’t caring too much because the war isn’t in their backyard yet, but Texans are getting a first hand look at it — especially those in South Texas.

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SENT TO ME VIA EMAIL….thought I would share it with you….

Not that some of us ever really “forget,” but for those times when we

seem to be overcome with our own problems, it never hurts to remember

those who are going through something WAY bigger than us.

P.S. Maybe I’m a sissy or something, but I needed a Kleenex, you might

too.

_____________________________________________________

The following is the hottest thing on the internet and on Fox News recently.

Lizzie Palmer who put this YouTube program together is 15 years old.

There have been over 5,890,084 hits as of this morning (and counting). In case you

missed it, here it is.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ervaMPt4Ha0]

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Lol….Wasn’t I just saying yesterday in my post entitled “Do you think that GW might have some Missouri roots?” about the catching the bad guys???  Apparently, now, the latest in the news is that one of the leaders of the Al-Qaeda linked movement is now dead as a result of a military roundup:

“The head of al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, was killed in a military operation in western Baghdad, the al-Iraqiya news channel reported Thursday.

 

Al-Iraqiya quoted Abdul-Karim Khalaf, head of the operations’ centre of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, as saying ‘Abu Omar al- Baghdadi, leader of what is called the Islamic State in Iraq, was killed today in the Ghazalya district of western Baghdad.’

 

He was also reported as saying that the Interior Ministry had the body of the dead militant.

 

Al-Baghdadi is reportedly known on the internet as ‘the prince of the Islamic State of Iraq,’ an al-Qaeda-led militant group formed in October which comprises Sunni insurgent groups.

The reports also said al-Baghdadi was the leader of ‘Majlis Shora al-Mujahideen,’ which is comprised of several Iraqi militant groups connected to the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Hopefully, this isn’t just timely propaganda and is in fact very true.  *Sigh!* Hopefully, too, this will be one of many captured as we well know that, similar to a bloom springing forward for every bloom that dies on a growing flowering plant, there can always be more leaders coming into force.  All we can do is to continue to hope and pray that the bad guys who are like monsters in our dreams are removed from being able to continue their ill-ways towards any progress to peace being had in this world.

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Just kidding a bit; however, everyone knows that the attitude that many Missourians have is “Show Me”, which has been the motto of their state as well.

News has flied all over that President George Bush has vetoed a bill — the second only during his terms of offices — yesterday that involved in funding of the armed forces; but, also included a drawback of the forces beginning in October. It really should be no real surprise; after all, President Bush has made no bones about what his stance has been about any stance — especially, this one!

I am certainly not for any war; however, on the other hand, I am torn and certainly for getting the bad guys that are a threat to our very existence. If we are not achieving that, then we certainly need our generals to go back to the drawing board and revise their strategies; after all, that is there job — right???

After 911, we haven’t had any terroristic threats on our lands; this may be largely due to our presence in Iraq, as well as some other middle eastern countries. If we withdraw our troops in total, I wonder if we also loose some ground on having presence strategically placed.

Some of the complaints that I have seen from families of the armed forces is that they have been extending their tour of duties rather than bringing in the freshness and energies of new troops. I remember when my father was in Viet Nam when I was little. If the news kept coming back that my father’s tour of duty had been extended, I am sure that I would have been exasperated as well. Although just in the second grade at that time and not understanding the whole concept of the necessity of the war, I would be staying up each night and watching the news with my Mom — hoping and praying for his safe return to our family.

That being said though, I am certain that President Bush has his reasons to continue his stance of maintaining the troops presence in Iraq and in other countries. The funding does need to go through to support our troops; and, hopefully, for a refreshment of troops so that our troops are not continually having their tours extended.

I do know too that there are many civilians over in the war zones attempting to rebuild what has been torn down and helping them to build up a government that is more resembling a democracy form of government. Without the presence of the troops, are we not also putting our civilians there in danger?

I don’t have all the answers and do not profess to know all the ins and outs of the wars at hand. I do want the bad guys to be dealt with so that our threat to our very existence, which is often the basis of the wars, is diminished. One thing with certainty is that President Bush seems to be stating clearly, “Show Me!” that the necessity of pulling the troops will be in the best interest and safety of all. It will be interesting to see what the US Legislators come up with to resolve things in the best interest and safety for all!

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who would you vote for? Would you vote Republican or Democrat? Do you have a favorite so far???

VOTE HERE

and cast who you would vote for today. The results may surprise you. Currently one leads the pack, but not enough have voted yet, I don’t think, to give a good idea of who the true competitors are.

Will it be someone that has a certain perspective on the war or on the homelands? Will it be a hero? Is it someone that is spiritual?

Does any really know what their platforms are?

Who will you be voting for, given the knowledge that you have today??

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There are times that we all wonder whether or not we are doing the right thing in the world by trying to help others survive when we have such homeless and poverty issues to be resolved here at home as well. After all, many would say, shouldn’t we fix what is wrong in our own backyard before we try to fix what is wrong in other people’s backyards?

In my email this morning, I have received an email that is very profound with a link to an unknown soldier’s/soldiers’ two songs posted on a web page. I am sure that you will appreciate the songs as they are both very heartwarming; therefore I am passing the link to you as well. Be forewarned that both songs upload very fast and you will also want to view the slides going with the songs as well.

Sit back and be moved…

One Voice (ends with the words on the slide “In time hopefully… …Peace will prevail”)

If I die before you wake

Thanks be to the people who made it possible for us to see these slides and hear these songs and the all the heroes behind them.

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