How can you even think of pushing forward legislation to set a withdrawal date for US forces from Iraq? Do you know how much you embolden the insurgency here in Iraq? YOU ARE JEOPARDIZING THE LIVES OF US SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN WITH YOUR ACTIONS. You and your fellow Democrats are causing the Al Qaeda supported insurgency to use more catastrophic attacks against us and Iraqi forces. You will see more SVBIED’s with chlorine gas, more VBIED’s against civilians and security forces every time you and other Democrats open your mouths. You will have to live with yourself and try to sleep at night knowing all the defeatist propaganda you have spewed forth is nothing more than ammunition for Islamic extremist groups around the world and more US deaths. The ! unsuspecting people who support you know nothing of what goes on over here; you fill their heads with nonsense and talk of pullout to appease them. The only thing that will happen is the establishment of an extremist Islamic state where sharia law is the law of the land and no one is safe.
Please I implore you to not push this agenda. I have watched you on television and you seem to be using this as a steppingstone to further your political career. STOP!!! More is at stake here. Our countries word is on the line, my word to many Iraqi citizens is on the line. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines lives are at stake. We know the risks and we face them daily. Don’t make our mission more difficult.
Gunnery Sgt. Stephen F. Krueger
Platoon Sgt 3rd Recon Bn
This letter needs to be read not only by Pelosi, but by every Democrat in Congress. It will not change any minds there, the war is a political tool for them and defeating President Bush is the main goal. If they have to defeat our troops in the process, so be it. But they should read it so they will know exactly what their partisan agenda is doing to our troops. Maybe the Speaker can find some time to read it while she's in Syria sucking up to the terrorist sponsoring dictator.
The letter should also be read by as many Americans as possible. Read the whole thing and pass it on.
Via The Victory Caucus.
The pet food recall now includes Hills Prescription Diet m/d Feline Dry food.
Hill's recalled its Prescription Diet m/d Feline Dry food after melamine, a chemical used as a fertilizer in Asia and to make plastic kitchenware, was identified as the likely culprit in the Menu Foods recall - one of the largest ever in North America.
"Hill's is taking this precautionary action because during a two-month period in early 2007, wheat gluten for this product was provided by a company that also supplied wheat gluten to Menu Foods," the company said in a statement.
"U.S. Food and Drug Administration tests of wheat gluten samples from this period show the presence of a small amount of melamine."
This story is getting scarier and more confusing. It was previously reported that aminopterin found on the wheat used in canned pet food was the contaminant but FDA officials say they can't confirm the presence of rat poison on the wheat. (In my post linked above I stated the pet food was manufactured in Canada. It was not. It was manufactured at two Menu plants in the United States)
It remains unclear whether either melamine or aminopterin is actually to blame for any animal deaths.
We do know the tainted wheat gluten was produced in China and is distributed by an "unidentified" American company.
I'm pleased to announce I'm a recipient of The Thinking Blogger Award. For the record, here are the rules:
Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.
Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get you thinking!
C.A. Marks was kind enough to honor me and I will now return the favor. She not only makes me think, she makes me laugh and that's even better. So first pick, Alabama Improper.
Now I know this is cheating, I always cheat on memes, but I must include Brian at Flashpoint. (C.A. Marks tagged him too. But since I tagged her back, what the hell.) At our Alabama Bloggers meet up he mentioned Loretta Nall. I had never really thought about her except as sort of a wacky person who ran for governor of Alabama. I visited her blog the day after the meet up and read a wonderful story she wrote about her MeMaw. I loved the story and it dawned on me that I'm more than a little wacky myself and although politically we don't have a whole lot in common, I'm glad I "met" her and I thank Brian for making me think. Not only that, Brian has an indispensable blog, especially for Alabamians.
Debbie at Right Truth is a great thought provoker. She's always got information and links that I would never see if I didn't visit her blog. She's a workhorse and I have a real hard time keeping up. But I do try.
Last, but certainly not least, I'm tagging the Milbloggers. They make me think and I can't imagine going through the War on Terror without them.
Thanks to C.A. Marks for making me think.
All of the Democrats running for president (well not all, Joe Biden didn't show) got together at a health care forum in Las Vegas to plot the demise of the best health care system in the world.
It's a crying shame that millions of Americans don't have health insurance. Boo Hoo. I've met a few of them myself, and it's a heartbreaker. How on earth can you expect someone who only works long enough for one paycheck at twenty different jobs a year to pay for his own health insurance? He doesn't stay at one job long enough to qualify. Have a heart, people. How can the slacker afford his beer, drugs, week-ends in Talladega for the race, and cigarettes and pay for health insurance too? Can't be done. And whose fault is it? EMPLOYERS!!! You know, those companies that build things, sell things, work on things, provide jobs for actual workers who stay more than a week.
Hillary to the rescue! Not only is she going to take the evil profits from those evil oil companies, she's going to confiscate money from every other employer in the United States. It's for the
children slackers. She's not sure how yet, but if her previous attempt is any indication, she means business.
Clinton doesn't have a plan yet either. But she says her proposal, when it comes, will contain the most controversial element of her failed earlier effort--an employer mandate requiring all businesses to provide health insurance for their workers. "No more free riders," she declared.
No more free riders. Except the slackers, of course.
"No more companies that don't insure everybody and shift their costs onto other companies that do and onto the taxpayer."
So the employers are responsible for everybody's healthcare? Who knew? I can't believe they would shift their costs onto other companies or the taxpayer. I'm getting a little nervous here with Hillary's no plan yet plan. I guess she thinks it's just wrong for companies to shift their (so called) costs to taxpayers, but it's Okey Dokey for the federal government to do it.
Clinton warned that her plan will spark a "big political battle" because it will mean "taking money away from people who make out really well right now." And who might those people be? "Well," she answered, "let's start with the insurance companies."
She's going to start with the insurance companies.
The other Democrats have their ideas as well. John Edwards even has a plan:
His proposal is much like a model that is being tried or considered in several states and that includes a combination of features. For example, it requires employers who don't insure their workers to pay into a fund for the uninsured, and individuals who don't get coverage from their employers to buy it, and provides subsidies for those who can't afford the premiums.
He's after those evil employers, too.
If I may be so bold, I have a little advice. If you are sick, or think someday you might get sick, you should do everything in your power to make sure a Democrat is not elected President in 2008. If you have any money, or think someday you might, do everything in you power to make sure a Democrat is not elected President in 2008.
Shelton State Community College is back in the news. Less than a week after it was reported by Brett Blackledge that Shelton State was paying State Rep. Ken Guin $49,677 a year for nothing (except possibly lobbying the state legislature), we now learn the president of the college, Rick Rogers, has been using taxpayer money for housekeeping, scholarships for his friends, and a big ole house worth over half a million dollars for himself. Among other things. From The Birmingham News, Brett J. Blackledge:
Shelton State Community College President Rick Rogers gave school scholarships to his friends and had the Tuscaloosa college provide housekeeping, laundry and home maintenance services for his family, a special investigative team found.
Shelton State also used school money to help build the home Rogers lives in and sent money to the private foundation that owns the house, according to excerpts of the team's report obtained by The Birmingham News.
The investigative team, sent to the college by former interim Chancellor Thomas Corts in January, also found that Rogers and other college officials put people on the school's payroll without advertising the positions or conducting searches. In a number of cases, the draft report states it's not clear what some of those hired, including legislators, did for the money.
The two-year college system is a joke. And the joke is on Alabama taxpayers. It's one gigantic taxpayer funded shell corporation where political favors are bought, sold, and traded and a fine gravy train for insiders. Dr. Corts was attempting to clean it up, but he resigned six months after he was appointed interim chancellor.
If Alabamians need an illustration of the abuse of public trust plaguing this state, they need look no further than Alabama’s two-year college system. Nothing showcases the lack of accountability in state government quite as well as Alabama’s junior college system. And perhaps nothing will come to represent the frustration of trying to do something about it more than the resignation of Dr. Tom Corts as the interim chancellor of the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education a mere six months after his appointment.
And why was Dr. Corts named as the interim chancellor in the first place?
Dr. Corts, who retired last year as president of Samford University, was named interim chancellor after former chancellor Roy Johnson was fired. Johnson was fired following reports by The Birmingham News disclosing that his wife, son, daughter-in-law, daughter and son-in-law were all employed by, or had contracts with, the two-year college system. Together, Johnson and his family received a total of $560,000 in 2005.
Just prior to the firing of Johnson, W.L. Langston, the executive director of the Alabama Fire College resigned after it was disclosed that a foundation run by the Fire College and under his control, paid $350,000 to build Langston a home in Millbrook, Alabama. The Fire College is located 100 miles away in Tuscaloosa on the campus of Shelton State Community College.
Follow the links to the Birmingham News and the Suppressed News stories. And contact Governor Riley and your state representatives. It's going to take a massive effort to clean up this mess.
C.A. Marks at Alabama Improper is one busy girl. She has set up a Google Group for Alabama Bloggers. She spearheaded our first meet up last week and it was great. If you're an Alabama Blogger please follow her instructions:
I just created an Alabama Bloggers Google Group. It is by invitation ONLY. So, if you want to be involved, or get invited, please send me your email address to cmarks1990 at gmail dot com so I can shoot out an invitation to you.
This Google Group was created to keep you posted about times, dates, and locations of the Alabama Bloggers Meet Ups. You can also use it to share articles, stories, announcements, etc etc.
So check it out and join in. The more the merrier, as they say. And thanks a bunch to C.A. Marks for putting this all together for us.
More humiliation for Leading Seaman Faye Turney. Iran released another letter supposedly written by Turney calling on Britain to withdraw its troops from Iraq.
The letter, dated March 27, was addressed to “representatives of the House of Commons” and states: “Isn’t it time for us to start withdrawing our forces from Iraq and let them determine their own future?"
Iran had said Turney would be released but apparently she will remain in captivity.
Help is on the way, however. The United Nations sent a press statement expressing "grave concern". The U.N. was going to "deplore" the detention but Russia didn't much like that, so "grave concern" it is.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed the situation with Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki over breakfast. How civil.
Jimmy Carter must be very pleased.
......This entire episode is thoroughly disgusting. I don't hear the UN or any factions of the International community screaming about the Geneva Convention now. Iran is degrading and manipulating British sailors and marines, one of them a woman, and the world is probably waiting for America to do anything provocative so they can somehow blame this all on us.
The capture of the British sailors by Iran reminded me of something I read not long ago about what to do if someone attempts to kidnap you. Your best chance at escape is to try to do so immediately. Don't go willingly because from that point on you are completely at the kidnapper's mercy and it's unlikely you will get another chance to escape. It seems to me that if you had a weapon, the best idea would be to use it. Or if you had friends nearby who could come to your aid, certainly your chances to escape would be much better.
Why then did the British sailors go willingly?
March 28, 2007 -- IT'S been a tough month for the British Navy. On March 7, it learned that Tony Blair's Labor government was going ahead with drastic cuts in its budget and number of ships. By this time next year, the once-vaunted Royal Navy will be about the size of the Belgian Navy, while its officers face a five-year moratorium on all promotions.
If that wasn't demoralizing enough, last Friday the Iranian Navy seized a patrol boat containing 15 British sailors and Marines, claiming they'd crossed into Iranian waters. They're now hostages and may well go on trial as spies.
The latest report is that the Britons were ready to fight off their abductors. Certainly their escorting ship, HMS Cornwall, could have blown the Iranian naval vessel out of the water. However, at the last minute the British Ministry of Defense ordered the Cornwall not to fire, and her captain and crew were forced to watch their shipmates led away into captivity.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair had this to say:
Tony Blair today condemned the "completely unacceptable, wrong and illegal" detention.
"Our thoughts are with our servicemen and the servicewoman and their families and their safe return is our paramount concern.
"Those personnel were patrolling in Iraqi waters under a United Nations mandate. Their boarding and checking of the Indian merchant vessel was routine."
Addressing the House of Commons for Prime Minister's questions, Mr Blair also defended the Navy personnel's "entirely sensible" decision not to fight back against their captors.
To engage with the Iranians would have led to "severe loss of life".
Responding to calls from Mr Cameron to clarify the rules of engagement, he said: "They do allow our forces to take whatever measures necessary in their own self defence.
"However, in my view it was entirely sensible that those on the spot conducted themselves and behaved in the way they did"
But if the above report is accurate, it wasn't "those on the spot" who made the decision.
Poster Photoonist at Lucianne:
The senior officers who denied the HMS Cornwall the right to fire need to retire as they no longer serve any useful purpose in the Royal Navy. Furthermore the captain of the Cornwall needs to be relieved of his command because he has forgotten what the meaning of the word ''command'' is and didn't act to protect his crew. Or else rename the ship as the HMS Pansy.
The British sailors deserved much, much better than this.
***Update 9:09 PM CT***
The Iranians do hold all the cards:
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that Britain must admit that its 15 sailors and marines entered Iranian waters in order to resolve a standoff over their capture by Iranian authorities.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's announcement came on a day of escalating tensions, highlighted by an Iranian video of the detained Britons that showed the only woman captive saying her group had ``trespassed'' in Iranian waters. Britain angrily denounced the video as unacceptable and froze most dealings with the mideast nation.
``First they have to admit that they have made a mistake. Admitting the mistake will facilitate a solution to the problem,'' Mottaki told The Associated Press in an interview in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ``But unfortunately the British have not admitted their mistake.''
The British did make a mistake. But it had nothing to do with entering Iranian waters.
Tony Blankley's take on Hillary's prospects:
With every passing week it becomes more likely that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party nominee for president. This thought, alone, should provide the strongest possible motivation to the Bush administration and the Washington Republicans to get their acts together so that the eventual Republican nominee for president doesn't start the general-election campaign in too deep a hole.
I admit it is very early in the nomination process, but Sen. Barack Obama's and former Sen. John Edwards' campaigns are beginning to look just strong enough to induce the Hillary campaign to continually sharpen its skills (rather than succumb to the instinct to coast or sit on a lead.) On the other hand, the candidacies of both Messrs. Obama and Edwards may have fairly low ceilings, while the Hillary campaign has a solidity that should be able to grind on remorselessly to nomination.
Blankley doesn't believe Obama has the staying power to seriously challenge Hillary for the nomination:
His media-driven launch immediately captured much of the substantial anti-Hillary sentiment in the Democratic Party. But as the months have unfolded, he has not followed up his launch with continuing dramatic rises in his poll numbers or in equivalent fundraising performance — being badly beaten by Hillary's fundraising in Hollywood, New York and generally.
And, as we are still almost a year from the first primary votes being cast, his freshness and uniqueness will have long faded by then. He might have been formidable in a lightning campaign of three or four months, but in a long ground war of attrition — bet on Hillary's massive institutional strengths. Just one recent example is her purchase of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's support for the crucial Iowa caucuses. In one swoop, she has not only bought his endorsement, but the use of his formidable state machine — which is vital in the hand-to-hand combat of a caucus state.
"Purchase of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's support". I like the way Blankley put that. It's exactly what she did.
Hillary's campaign is also blessed by the continuing effort of the Edwards campaign. She needed the Edwards campaign to split the anti-Hillary vote (and money). If he had dropped out after the sad news of his wife's illness, Hillary would have had to face Mr. Obama one on one (effectively) — always a dangerous condition against an attractive adversary. But the persistence of the Edwards campaign muddies the campaign waters to Hillary's advantage, but is almost certainly not capable of knocking out Mr. Obama's campaign and taking Hillary on one-on-one. (Should Al Gore get in the race, his announcement day would be the high point of his campaign.)
Hillary's strong suit is her willingness to do anything, whatever it takes to win the nomination. Buying endorsements is nothing for Hillary, she's as ruthless as they come.
Moreover, Hillary's strengths are not yet as appreciated as they will be. Don't get me wrong, personally I find her and her candidacy detestable as the worst form of unprincipled, ruthless, nihilistic, mud-throwing demagogic politics.
And she's got all those FBI files.
Blankley has a warning for Republicans:
Beware. It will be up to the Republicans to protect the country from the increasing likelihood of a Hillary presidency.
We should heed this warning. Many Republicans, including me, are hoping Fred Thompson gets in the race. He may be playing it smart by waiting. It's a long campaign and the earlier he gets in the earlier he has to start spending money campaigning against fellow Republicans. Money we will surely need for the general election to defeat Hillary Clinton.
The longer Obama and Edwards stay in the race as viable candidates the more money Hillary will have to spend and the more endorsements she'll have to buy. With any luck she'll enter the general election with a much lighter than expected war chest. Wishful thinking, maybe.