Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, December 31, 2004
I remember two or three winters ago when the snow storm and ice storm hit DC. The radio stations were asking for anyone that owned an SUV to volunteer to bring sick and elderly people to hospitals for treatments like dialysis. I thanked God that those people did not become victims of left-wing politics that would ban SUVs.
Now, I am watching pictures of the Boxer Day Tsunami in South East Asia--the destruction looks like an atom bomb hit. And there they are, beautiful construction trucks...the same trucks that the left wanted us to boycott because some silly bitch threw herself underneath a Caterpillar buldozing a terrist family's home in Palestine.
Again, thank God the leftists didn't get their way.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
In an interview with the Independent newspaper in Britain, Stephen Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said: "No one can ignore the relentless increase in extreme weather events and so-called natural disasters, which in reality are no more natural than a plastic Christmas tree." Speaking to the same newspaper, Friends of the Earth Director Tony Juniper pressed the argument home: "Here again are yet more events in the real world that are consistent with climate change predictions." It is perhaps appropriate that the strongest, recent refutation to such feverish assertions may be found in Michael Crichton's new thriller--also about environmental extremists, a tsunami and the myths of global warming.Read the rest of this WSJ article here.
Jan Egeland can be reached at 212.963.1234 and his direct fax number is 212.963.0116. We should let him know his comments are not appreciated—especially since the UN is doing nothing for Iraq, and last time I checked Saddam murdered over a million people. The people in SE Asia who are weeping because the “sea ate their children” could really use the $23,000,000,000 lost in the Oil-for-Food scam.
I could just spit.
He fails to understand that none of us are promised tomorrow and that some disasters are not punishment for sin, but a demonstration to humble an ever increasing arrogance among men--especially environmental freaks who are arrogant enough to believe we can destroy the earth.
Religion already explained THE flood that wiped out the entire population of the planet except for 8 people...so why does he pretend that people of faith cannot reconcile this disaster either?
Monday, December 27, 2004
Entrepreneur show comes to rescue of veteran of Iraq war
BY CAROL CAIN
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
December 27, 2004
Whoever said entrepreneurs are too busy for much else other than worrying about their own affairs should spend a few minutes listening to Matthew McMurray. [THIS SHOULD READ THAT ENTREPRENEURS ARE TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MONEY--THE GREEDY BASTARDS THAT THEY ARE]
They'd come away with a different perspective.
First, some background.
Just over a year ago, the 29-year-old Rochester Hills native was serving in Iraq, driving a truck for the Army. One of 16 million self-employed business owners in the United States, McMurray was a one-man business that provided construction and home repairs for clients mostly in Macomb and Oakland counties.
He'd been in the Army 11 years and was called to active duty in Iraq in February 2003. [GOD BLESS THIS HERO]
Unlike some soldiers who left behind jobs with big companies that provided assurances of employment upon their return, as a one-man operation, he didn't have that luxury. When he was gone, so went his business. [SO A GUY WITH A THRIVING SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS THROUGH SELF-EMPLOYMENT IS WORSE THAN SOMEONE IN A MENIAL JOB REPRESENTED BY A UNION]
By the time he returned home in September 2003 most of his customers had hired other contractors to do their work.
It became a recurrent theme as the economy softened. [THE ECONOMY SOFTENED? I AM SORRY, BUT THROUGH THE "SECOND GREAT DEPRESSION" AS THE DEMOCRATS WOULD LIKE US TO BELIEVE WE ARE IN, HOME SALES AND CONSTRUCTION HAVE BEEN GOING THROUG THE ROOF--EVEN IN 2002 AND 2003. SO WHILE THIS GENTLEMAN AND HIS FAMILY MIGHT HAVE SUFFERED FROM THE SOLDIER'S RE-ENTRY BACK INTO SELF-EMPLOYMENT, THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO BLAME BUSH A SECOND TIME FOR FIRST SENDING HIM TO IRAQ THEN FOR THE STAGNANT ECONOMY THAT CLINTON LEFT HIM] Despite repeated efforts, he couldn't find much business.
Complicating matters, he used his personal credit to take out loans to buy products and items for his company, and those loans were coming due. [AGAIN, THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO DRAW SYMPATHY THROUGH PHRASING (LYING). A SELF-EMPLOYED PERSON, OR EVEN THE MAIN SIGNOR ON AN INCOPORATION, ALWAYS (REPEAT ALWAYS!!!) USE THEIR PERSONAL CREDIT FOR BUSINESS LOANS. WHO IS THIS AUTHOR TRYING TO FOOL? LIBERALS]
McMurray, who is married with two daughters, ages 5 and 7, had little money coming in. [REDUNDANT, WE KNOW HE HAS LITTLE MONEY COMING IN]
His wife, Marilou McMurray, 35, had a particularly difficult time adjusting to his absence. She suffered major depression and left her job as a medical technologist. [AH HA! MAJOR DEPRESSION. THEREFORE, SHE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO LEAVE HER JOB. HER SADNESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FEEDING HER CHILDREN. THIS IS SO SELFISH AND THE EPITOME OF LIBERAL THOUGHT. MY MOTHER FACED A POSSIBLE LUPUS DIAGNOSIS AND WOULD CRAWL INTO MY BED CRYING AT NIGHT BECAUSE MY FATHER WAS IN DESERT STORM AND SHE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO DIE AND SHE WOULD BE LEFT ALONE, BUT SHE GOT HER ASS OUT O BED EVERY MORNING AND WENT TO WORK!] Her father, Rufino Cruz, who lived in the Philippines, had been ill for some time and died in October. [EVERYONE'S PARENTS DIE AND USUALLY DO SO AT THE "MOST INCONVENIENT TIME". THAT'S A TOTALLY HORRIBLE WAY TO PHRASE THE LOSS OF SOMEONE SO IMPORTANT TO HER, BUT THAT'S WHAT THIS AUTHOR WANTS US TO BELIEVE...THAT ONLY IF HER FATHER DIED WHILE THE HUSBAND WAS EMPLOYED. BOTH MY PARENTS ARE ALIVE AND I PRAY THEY LIVE FOR DECADES MORE, BUT THE AUTHOR IS IMPLYING THAT, GOD DAMMIT, HER FATHER DIED AT THE WRONG TIME].
Enter the Sloan brothers, Jeff and Rich.
The two brothers host a weekly radio show devoted to entrepreneurs called "StartupNation'' (www.startupnation.com). It airs on WJR-AM (760) Saturdays 7-8 p.m. Their program, which includes segments on how to help people grow their businesses, also features a "Save the Day" feature, in which people with particularly difficult situations talk about their issue in hopes of getting ideas [UM, CAPITALISM???]
"Rich, I am at the end of my rope," McMurray wrote Rich Sloan in an e-mail. "My options are grim at this point. We don't have any money for Christmas, and we haven't been grocery shopping since September with the exception of milk, eggs, bread and fresh vegetables. Our food supply is getting low and we have no money or credit to purchase any. [WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE LOANS YOU HAD TO TAKE OUT ON YOUR PERSONAL CREDIT???]
"I did manage to get myself a road-kill deer, though. The deployment in '03 had devastated us. My wife's Dad died Oct. 17 in the Philippines [HIS DEPLOYMENT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS FATHER-IN-LAW'S DEATH], and we had to use the rest of our cash and credit to go. I have no other options. Please advise me. What would you do? I know that you don't know me, but I'm lost here."
The brothers immediately invited McMurray to appear on their Dec. 4 radio program to talk about his dilemma.
"The focus of our show is to talk about opportunities and improving your life by starting your business," Rich Sloan says. "It's a fundamental we enjoy here in the U.S.A. Those freedoms are protected by people who put their lives on the line, people like Matt who are putting their lives on the line for the people in Iraq." [AMEN, AMEN, AMEN. THIS IS A PERFECT STORY WITHOUT THIS REPORTING USING SELECTIVE QUOTING AND WRITING IT THROUGH HER LITTLE PRISM OF WORLD VIEW]
The outpouring from listeners was overwhelming.
"I was a little choked up," McMurray says. "People were reaching out to lend their word of praise for serving in the military and to give me ideas on what to do, and even job offers."
Off the air, McMurray was contacted by a former employer, Don Lukemire, who had heard him on the program. Coincidentally, both men had served in the same 4th Infantry Division, though 30 years apart (Lukemire served in Vietnam).
Lukemire offered him a job, complete with benefits and security that his 30-year-old company, Anytime Inc., (www.anytimeinc.com) would provide. McMurray will concentrate on helping build up the company's new division, which officially launches Jan. 1 and will focus on residential and commercial contracting projects. [WHY DIDN'T HE CONTACT THIS GUY BEFORE??? THE ARTICLE SAID THAT EVERYONE HE WORKED FOR FILLED THE POSITION. WHY DID HE NOT PLEAD WITH THIS PERSON??? ANYTIME SOMEONE COMES BACK FROM BATTLE UNEMPLOYED, HE/SHE GOES BACK TO EVERY EMPLOYER TO SEE IF THEY HAVE WORK. WHILE I DON'T FAULT THE GUY FOR THINKING EVERYTHING THROUGH, THIS SHOULD BE THE LESSON OF THE RADIO PROGRAM--DON'T BE TOO PROUD TO BEG TO OLD EMPLOYERS IF YOU'RE OUT OF WORK. IF YOU DID A GOOD JOB, THEY WILL HAVE YOU BACK.]
The Sloans say McMurray isn't alone and that the impact of the Iraqi war on businesses - big and small - has been far-reaching. Another show they aired last summer on extended tours of duty definitely hit a chord. [AGREED]
"From businesses waiting for reservists to return, to people like Matt whose businesses are destroyed due to atrophy. It's a reality we have to deal with," says Jeff Sloan.
Though he's given up on the idea of running his own company for now, McMurray feels things will work out.
"I feel secure that I will be successful and at least be able to restructure my life and manage what I have," says McMurray. "I've never been one to throw in the towel." [ALTHOUGH THIS REPORTER MAKES YOU LOOK PATHETIC, I HOPE YOUR BUSINESS THRIVES AND THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BECOME MEGA RICH, SERIOUSLY]
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
|Published December 21, 2004|
ANTHON, Iowa -- Home and business owners in this northwest Iowa town of 650 people were a little shocked at the Christmas gift they got from retired farmer Richard Hamann and his wife, Donna.
The Hamanns doled out $25,000 to pay the town's electricity bills - all due on Dec. 25.
Hamann, 75, sees the gift as returning a good deed.
``The Lord has been very good to us and so have the people of this community, so I always thought we ought to be doing something in return if we could,'' he said Monday.
Residents said they were surprised and grateful.
``I just thought it was great,'' said Beulah Sands, 64, a clerk at a local convenience store. ``I haven't talked to anyone who didn't appreciate it. It was a wonderful thing for him to do.''
Sands said the Hamanns' gift saved her more than $50.
A stack of thank you cards and letters sits in a bundle on Richard Hamann's desk in an office at his home.
One letter came from Joyce Sevening, who wrote that her sister, Fay Miller, is an Anthon resident who has been in poor health in recent months. She said news of the gift brought a tear to her eye.
``It makes me proud that such people as you exist in small towns in Iowa,'' wrote Sevening, who provided no return address. ``It makes me feel good that someone would go out of their way to help another in any way possible.''© Copyright 2004 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.
W, the Republican reindeer
Had a very political nose.
And if you ever met him
You'd be amazed at what he knows.
All of the Democrat reindeer (and liberal media)
Used to trade snickers and nudges.
They never let poor W
Appoint any conservative judges.
Then one contentious election year,
W came to say,
"Vote for me 'cause Kerry's a louse."
And W won, including Senate and House.
Then how the people loved him,
As they shouted out with glee:
"W the Republican reindeer,
You'll go down in history."
Here are 2004's top 10 stories, as voted by AP members:
1. U.S. ELECTION: After vanquishing Howard Dean, John Edwards and other Democratic rivals, Kerry seemed to have a strong chance of ousting Bush. But the Massachusetts senator struggled to explain his stance on Iraq, underestimated the sting of negative ads and - in the end - narrowly lost the pivotal swing state of Ohio after a campaign in which Bush, over and over, insisted he was best qualified to be commander in chief at a time of complex challenges to national security.
2: IRAQ: Throughout 2004, Iraq was a striking mix of bloody turmoil and tantalizing promise. Anti-American insurgents wreaked havoc with car bombings and videotaped beheadings of hostages; the death toll for U.S. military forces passed 1,300, and the toll of Iraqi civilians was many times higher. Yet Iraq's interim leaders doggedly proceeded with plans for national elections early in the new year.
3. FLORIDA HURRICANES: Four major hurricanes - Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne - devastated Florida and other southern states in August and September, killing 117 people in Florida, destroying 2,500 homes and causing more than $22 billion in insured losses. Not since 1886 had one state been hit by four hurricanes in one season.
4. ABU GHRAIB SCANDAL: Photographs came to light showing U.S. military guards at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad forcing naked Iraqi detainees to pose in humiliating positions. Prosecutions ensued, and the scandal fueled anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world.
5. SEPT. 11 REPORT: After painstaking research and dramatic public hearings, the commission formed to investigate the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, issued its report. It concluded that America's leaders failed to grasp the gravity of terrorist threats before Sept. 11 and recommended creation of a national intelligence director to oversee civilian and military intelligence agencies.
6: GAY MARRIAGE: From coast to coast, gay marriage was a volatile topic throughout the year. Massachusetts became the first state to have legal, same-sex weddings, and local officials in several places - including San Francisco and Portland, Ore. - also wed gay and lesbian couples before courts intervened. However, each time the issue reached the ballot - in 13 states in all - voters decisively approved constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.
7: ARAFAT DIES: For three decades, Yasser Arafat was a hero to most of his fellow Palestinians but considered unreliable - or worse - by leaders in the West and Israel. His death in November, at age 75, triggered emotional mourning among Palestinians but also sparked hopes of a breakthrough in efforts to end their long, bloody conflict with Israel.
8: REAGAN DIES: Alzheimer's disease had kept Ronald Reagan out of the public eye for a decade. But when the nation's 40th president died in June, at 93, Americans responded with an outpouring of affection and respect. His stately funeral in Washington brought the country together at least briefly in a year otherwise marked by bitter partisan divisions.
9: RUSSIAN SCHOOL SEIZURE: Even in a world grown all too accustomed to terrorism, the drama in the Russian town of Belsan was shocking because children were so clearly prime targets. A band of terrorists, believed led by a Chechen warlord, took more than 1,000 people hostage at a school in September. When the seizure ended, amid explosions and gunfire, more than 330 hostages had been killed - most of them children.
10: MADRID BOMBINGS: Another stunning terrorist strike occurred in March, when 190 people were killed after bombs hidden in backpacks exploded on four commuter trains during Madrid's morning rush hour. Soon after the attack, which was blamed on Islamic militants, angry voters unseated Spain's pro-American conservative government in favor of the Socialist Party, which promptly withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq. Hmmm...I wonder why people think (when putting a terrorist thug with NOTHING TO SHOW FOR HIS LIFE above the death of Ronald Reagan who defeated Soviet Communism for news stories of the year) there is a liberal media bias.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Does Cosby Help?I HATE MSNBC NOW! WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE MY ANGER! HOW DARE THEY! HOW FUCKING DARE THEY QUOTE STUPID MOTHER FUCKING CHILDREN THAT KNOW NOTHING BUT MTV BULLSHIT AND ACT LIKE THEY HAVE A VOICE. OH MY GOD I WANT TO SHOOT SOMEONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He's railed at black kids for choosing bling over books. What they think—and what Cos must do to reach them
By Ellis Cose
Dec. 27 / Jan. 3 issue - You would think the story would have died by now. What's the big deal, after all, about Bill Cosby's blasting a bunch of poor kids and their parents? While the initial salvo was fired months ago, the aftershocks are still being felt. Columnists continue to harp on Cosby's statements, and the comedian has gone on a crusade, sermonizing across the land—and being received like a revered Biblical prophet.
"It is not all right for your 15-year-old daughter to have a child," he told 2,400 fans in a high school in Milwaukee. He lambasted young men in Baltimore for knocking up "five, six girls." He tongue-lashed single mothers in Atlanta for having sex within their children's hearing "and then four days later, you bring another man into the house." "The audience gasped," reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
People have been gasping since May, when Cosby blasted "lower-economic people" for "not holding up their end," for buying kids $500 sneakers instead of "Hooked on Phonics." His words (and tone) set off a raging discussion over whether Cosby's comments make sense and whether they can do any good—over whether the problem resides in the poor people he criticized, or in forces largely beyond their control. No group has a larger stake in that debate than the poor urbanites Cosby presumably is trying to save. Yet they don't exactly seem to be rushing to Cosby's church.
Kenny, 17, a onetime stick-up man, puts it plainly. "Cosby is ... talking about me holding up my end of the bargain. Listen ... I robbed 'cause I was hungry. If he's going to put food on my table, if he's going to give me time to pursue education vigorously, then fine. But if he's not, then I'm going to hold up my end of the bargain and make sure I get something to eat."
Kenny was one of several young offenders called together, at NEWSWEEK's request, by the Fortune Society, a nonprofit that works with at-risk youths and ex-cons. None saw salvation at the end of Cosby's crusade.
April, a 16-year-old Latina from the Bronx, scoffed at the notion that poor mothers were buying $500 shoes. The only people she knew with such pricey sneakers were those "on the block pitching [dealing drugs]." "Times are different" than in Cosby's heyday, said Sonia, 20. "Back then even if [men] worked at a factory they'd get up every day and go to a job in a suit. Nowadays ... most black males don't have good enough jobs."
But even the most hardened delinquents don't dispute that there is some truth in Cosby's message. When young black males (15-24) are murdered at 15 times the rate of young white males, something is seriously wrong. Cosby, to his credit, has said no to complacency.
In "Code of the Street," sociologist Elijah Anderson wrote eloquently of the war in inner cities between "decent" values and "street" values. That is the war into which Cosby has leapt mouth first—and into which Ameer Tate was born. "I grew up in a bad neighborhood ... and I always had to fight... My grandmother was on crack ... Both my uncles were pimps. My father was never here ... [I remember] being beat up as an 11-year-old by this 36-year-old fresh out of prison just because he wanted to put his hands on my mom," recalled Tate, an 18-year-old San Franciscan.
Telling people born into such circumstances to shape up is not much of a plan. Combating "a history of inequality and disadvantage" requires "systematic solutions," argues Stephanie Bell-Rose, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, which funds programs targeting achievers in poor communities. She believes Cosby has an obligation to be "more thoughtful.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Because that's what you think of your own country, and you believe it when it comes to global warming. You may believe in global warming for other reasons as well, just because you're a coward. You may actually hear all this doom and gloom and you may actually think, "Oh, my gosh! I'm going to die!" You may actually believe all this. You may actually think that all of this is about you. You may think of yourself as powerless, and you're nothing but a victim. If you're on the left, that probably pretty much describes you. You're a victim of everything. You're a victim of fossil fuels. You're a victim of evil corporate capitalists. You're a victim of tax cuts for the rich. You are a victim of global warming. You're a victim of the pharmaceutical companies. You're a victim of Ken Lay. You're a victim of Enron. You're a victim of Bush. You're a double and triple victim of Rumsfeld. You are a victim of practically everything. Everybody's out to getcha.
The rich corporate capitalists who themselves don't care if they breathe dirty air, don't care if their kids get burnt to a crisp with global warming, you think all they want to do is get rich. While they themselves die, along with you from all of these horrible things. So I know you believe it. I know there are a number of you in this audience that believe this global warming tripe, because I know that human nature, that people will bond to doom and gloom faster than they will bond to hope and salvation. People will bond to this. It's a puzzling thing to me, but it nevertheless happens. So whatever the latest doom -- I mean, if you hear that oat bran will clog your arteries, you will stop eating it. You will not even think about it. If someone wacko geek that has anorexia gets on television and tells you that you are going to die from Big Macs, you will believe it. Without examining who this anorexic geek is. You will not examine the motives. You will not stop it ask, "What could this anorexic geek care about all this? Why would this anorexic geek try to actually get in my mouth?" You have to understand you people on the left how contradictory you are. This is how we look at you.
On the one hand, you run around and you have made a career and you have tried to identify yourselves by saying, "Keep the government and everybody else out of my womb!" and in the next sentence, you want in everybody's mouth by telling them what they can't put there. You want everybody out of your womb, but yet nobody should eat cheeseburgers; nobody should eat Big Macs; nobody should eat this or that. As long as you keep up with these contradictory statements, you will become more and more marginalized and more and more kooky and you will only affirm similar emotions and thoughts within your little group but you're not going to persuade others. This global warming thing is a great example. I think global warming is almost a hoax. I think it's almost a hoax but it's so easy to believe because anecdotally people can look out there when it's a hundred degrees in July and say, ''Man, I don't remember it ever being this hot, and even if it has been, I don't remember it feeling this hot. Gee, there's got to be global warming," and bam, everybody believes it just because it's a hundred degrees in July, when it's always a hundred degrees in July.
Or you may have the weird weather front where it's 60 degrees in January. "See? It's global warming!" So it's easy to fall for this. For those of you who know it, you believe these wacko experts that say it, the same wacko experts who say it have conceded that Kyoto will have no impact on them. Yet they believe in Kyoto. "Despite the fact the green groups at the U.N. climate summit in Buenos Aires called President Bush immoral and illegitimate for not supporting Kyoto, the groups themselves concede the protocol will only have symbolic effect on climate because they believe Kyoto's too weak. Kyoto is international treaty, seeks to limit greenhouse gases of the developed countries by 2012," but China's exempt from it and China is on its way to becoming the #2 greenhouse gas producer. China's exempt. Tell me what Kyoto is all about, then -- and so the keyword in this paragraph is "it will only have symbolic effect." Symbolic effect is all the left is interested in terms of persuading people. We are never to ask the results of their work, only their intentions. We're never supposed to dig deep to find out how their ideas work or fail.
Oh, where to begin? For starters, [Phil] McGraw relies on much the same exploitative freak-show format as Jerry Springer or Jenny Jones, with everyone from drug-addicted housewives to love-starved transsexuals spinning their tales of woe for a salivating audience. But to help himself--and his audience--feel less icky about their voyeurism, Dr. Phil exposes America's dark side under the guise of inspiring hope and change. In Dr. Phil's formulation, cheating couples who air every nauseating detail of their sex lives on national television aren't shameless media whores, they are troubled souls courageous enough to seek help. Even in cases so marginal as to have no bearing on 99.9 percent of viewers--such as parents struggling with a child exhibiting homicidal tendencies--Dr. Phil reassures us that the publicity is beneficial to other families because these problems occur "on a continuum": A six-year-old with low-grade behavior problems today could, if left unchecked, turn out to be a serial killer down the road.Check out the entire article here; subtract the nonsense about how conservatives like this guy--they DON'T!
Thursday, December 16, 2004
In the article, they say that the reserves and National Guard make up 40% of the troops in Iraq. So out of 150,000 troops only 90,000 are regular army.
Our current full-time military personnel force is 1.2 million. Now if you divide that by four for the four services (this is being very generous to the Air Force, Navy and Marines) you have 300,000 full time Army personnel. 90,000 are in Iraq and 10,000 in Afghanistan.
Where are the other 200,000? And why is everyone claiming we are stretched too thin??
Remember, I am only talking about ARMY! And if you look closer, the standing National Guard is 350,000 as stated here. So that means that only 60,000 are in Iraq (less than one fifth)--so we have 290,000 National Guard folks in our force structure. In any war situation we would also have the Air Force and Navy and such. These numbers are just not adding up for me; I do not understand the claim that if we were attacked we would be up a creek without a paddle because "all our forces are in Iraq." Can someone who knows shed some light on this?
From my outlook, we have 200,000 full time army personnel and 290,000 national guard personnel NOT IN IRAQ. I said before that I don't believe we only have 150,000 people in Iraq...and so it could be the case that we have many more soldiers in Iraq that the military is not telling us.
But if I am wrong, then where are we getting this, "the army is stretched TOO THIN!" argument?
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
What the media got wrong about Spc. Wilson and Secretary Rumsfeld.
BY JOHN R. GUARDIANO
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 12:01 a.m.
To the media, it was a dramatic revelation of Bush administration hypocrisy and incompetence: A lowly American GI courageously speaks truth to power, thus showing that the emperor has no clothes. But to this Marine veteran of the Iraq war, the hullabaloo over Army Spc. Thomas J. Wilson's question reveals far more about media bias, prejudice and ignorance than it does about the U.S. military and Iraq.
Spc. Wilson asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld why, nearly two years after the start of the war, his unit still has too few "up-armored" humvees. The media were surprised that an enlisted man would ask so direct and pointed a question of the Pentagon's highest official. I wasn't.
I enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve after Sept. 11, 2001, and served in Iraq in 2003. Throughout boot camp, combat training and subsequent preparation for war, my instructors always stressed the importance of independent thinking and initiative. Obviously, when you're in the middle of a firefight, you cannot--and must not--second-guess split-second command decisions. However, when preparing for war, thoughtful and considered questions are not only tolerated; they are encouraged--even demanded, I found.
As one of my combat instructors told us: "Marines, you're more likely to die from someone doing something stupid than because the enemy is skilled and ingenious. So make sure you've thought things through and that everyone's on the same page. Be polite. Be tactful. But don't be afraid to ask questions."
I soon discovered that this command to think and to ask questions wasn't mere rhetoric. I was serving with the First Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment at an abandoned pistol factory in Al Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad. Every three weeks or so, we were visited by Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, who was then commanding the First Marine Division in Iraq.
Gen. Mattis is a Marine's Marine, a true warrior who speaks bluntly and candidly, without being bound by the constraints of political correctness. For well over an hour, on a routine and regular basis, the general would gather together his Marines and field questions. Nothing was out of bounds. The event was entirely democratic and thoroughly American--though marked by standard military etiquette and respect for rank. Thus, newsmen and commentators who fear "retribution" against Spc. Wilson haven't a clue as to what the U.S. military is all about. Spc. Wilson asked a tough but fair question; however, for any U.S. serviceman who's ever been to war, this was hardly surprising.
Nor does his question demonstrate, as some have argued, that the Iraq war was ill-conceived or poorly planned. War is, by its very nature, surprising and unpredictable; it forces us to adapt and to be innovative. Armchair "experts" notwithstanding, the fact is no one anticipated the Baathist-Sunni insurgency, certainly not the U.S. military. We all expected to knock off Saddam Hussein and his elite Republican Guard and then head home in time for the July 4 celebrations. That's why, when I deployed to Iraq in 2003, I traveled throughout the country in a standard canvas humvee with no special armor. Nor did I have any special body vest or protection.
I thought nothing of this at the time and still don't. My team went as far north as Baghdad, but we were situated mainly south of the Sunni Triangle, in predominantly Shiite Iraq. Throughout our entire time there, the Iraqis welcomed us as liberators. We were well prepared for the threat as it then existed and as we understood it.
But when my old Marine Corps reserve unit redeployed to Iraq in September, it did so with fully armored vehicles, new sappy plated vests and special goggles--all designed to protect against shrapnel and improvised explosive devices. That's because the unit was deploying to Fallujah, and the threat there was different from what we had faced in southern, Shiite Iraq.
This type of change and adaptation has occurred in all wars from time immemorial. It reflects not poor planning but the unpredictable nature of war. That's why the Defense Department has been moving quickly to up-armor its humvees, producing nearly 400 such vehicles a month, up from 30 a month in August 2003, according to Army Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb.
The U.S. military ultimately wants 8,100 up-armored humvees versus the nearly 6,000 such vehicles that it has currently, Gen. Whitcomb told reporters last week. Moreover, according to the Army vice chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Richard A. Cody, the military long ago embarked on a "Manhattan-like project" to remotely jam IEDs with radio sensors.
If you're an American soldier or Marine whose life is on the line now, clearly that's not good enough. On the other hand, it simply isn't true that U.S. military leaders have callously ignored the troops' request for up-armored vehicles and other protective equipment. In fact, most of our troops in Iraq have up-armored vehicles, and units there take force protection quite seriously.
Delays ought to be blamed on the military bureaucracy, which Secretary Rumsfeld has been trying to reform. Indeed, that's what military transformation--a Rumsfeld priority--is all about. Yet, many of the same people who are most vociferously denouncing the lack of up-armored humvees in Iraq also fight military reform tooth and nail.
Example: When the Army decided last winter to cancel development of its Cold War relic Comanche helicopter, Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, immediately took to the barricades. "It simply doesn't make sense to pull the plug on the Comanche," Mr. Dodd said. "Obviously, this will not be an easy fight, but I intend to work with other members of the Connecticut congressional delegation to seek to retain the Comanche as part of our military arsenal."
It didn't seem to matter to Mr. Dodd that the Comanche was a $39-billion boondoggle that the Army didn't want because the aircraft isn't suitable for 21st-century urban warfare. Nor did Mr. Dodd seem to care that much of the displaced Comanche money would be used to equip existing Army helicopters with new countermeasure systems necessary to neutralize the ubiquitous threat posed by rocket-propelled grenades, shoulder-fired missiles, and man-portable air-defense systems, all of which are omnipresent in Iraq.
Yet Mr. Dodd, who has never been a champion of big defense budgets, now has the chutzpah to lecture Mr. Rumsfeld about the need to "spare no expense to ensure the safety of our troops, particularly as they confront a hostile insurgency and roadside bombs throughout Iraq." Mr. Dodd says Mr. Rumsfeld's response to Spec. Wilson--"You go to war with the Army you have"--is "utterly unacceptable. Mr. Secretary," he writes, "our troops go to war with the Army that our nation's leaders provide."
Quite true--and Mr.. Dodd is one of those leaders.
Nor does the entire hullabaloo concerning up-armored humvees show, as some commentators contest, that U.S. troops lack confidence in their military and civilian leaders. The reality is that troop morale is consistently high.
Of course, American soldiers and Marines yearn to come home; it is not in our nature to colonize or occupy a country. By the same token, however, most U.S. troops take understandable pride in a job well done. They are pleased to have the historic chance to serve and to practice, in a real-world operation, that which they have been training for all these many years. That's why re-enlistment rates are high.
As U.S. Central Commander Gen. John Abizaid told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" Sept. 26: "The constant drumbeat in Washington of a war that is being lost, that can't be won, of a resistance that is out of control, simply does not square with the facts on the ground." In fact, the vast majority of Iraq is not a war zone; it is peaceful, tranquil and doing surprisingly well. I refer specifically to the Shiite south. The Kurdish north, too, is doing relatively well, despite the recent upsurge of violence in Mosul.
"So is this fight in the Middle East worth fighting?" the general asked Mr. Russert. "Absolutely," he said. "In my mind, and in the minds of our young people that are out here fighting and sacrificing, it's absolutely worth it."
Of course you won't hear any of this in many news articles or broadcasts. The media long ago decided that its job was to put a negative slant on all things Iraq. Truth is, as they say, the first casualty of war.
Mr. Guardiano is an Arlington, Va.-based journalist who served in Iraq in 2003 as a field radio operator with the U.S. Marine Corps' Fourth Civil Affairs Group.
Copyright © 2004 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
But the ACLU (see below in X Marks the Spot) is creating this culture war--not Bush.
#25: "Well, there was no sex for 14 days." —California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on getting the cold shoulder from his wife after backing President George W. Bush at the Republican Convention
#24: "If I could only go through the ducts and leap out onstage in a cape — that's my dream." —Ralph Nader, on crashing the presidential debates
#23: "The only politician in America I know with a mandate is Jim McGreevey." —Democratic strategist James Carville
#22: "It's been a little tough to prepare for the debates, because he keeps changing his positions, especially on the war. I think he could spend 90 minutes debating himself." —President Bush, on Sen. John Kerry
#21: "The big hang-up was George Bush wanted to get life lines, you know, so he could call somebody." —Sen. John Kerry, on negotiations over the presidential debates, during an appearance on "Live With Regis and Kelly."
#20: "I think it was his battery. I think tomorrow, before the debate, John Kerry ought to pat him down." —Sen. John Edwards, after Jay Leno asked him about Bush's mystery bulge during the first presidential debate, which some speculated might have been a radio transmitter to feed him answers through an earpiece
#19: "Is he hot? Yeah. Is he hung? Yeah. Is he [she waved her hand to suggest bisexual]? Not unless you can give a better [she mimicked eating a banana] than me." —Court TV's Kimberly Newsom, at a gay rights fundraiser, on her husband, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
#18: "Can't you see it now? Cheney saying, 'You need me on that wall! You need me on that wall!' And me saying, 'You can't handle the truth!'" —Sen. John Edwards, after "Regis & Kelly" host Kelly Ripa suggested Tom Cruise could play Edwards in a movie of the 2004 campaign
#17: "I guess the president and you and I are three examples of lucky people who married up. And some would say maybe me more so than others." —Sen. John Kerry, during the third presidential debate
#16: "This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces? U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?" —Sen. Zell Miller, attacking Sen. John Kerry in his GOP convention speech
#15: "Well, here's an update. Since the election, that gay couple I knew in the red states? They've moved back to the blue states." —Sen.-elect Barack Obama, joking about his Democratic Convention speech, in which he said that "we coach Little League in the blue states and we have some gay friends in the red states"
#14: "I would like to apologize for referring to George W. Bush as a 'deserter.' What I meant to say is that George W. Bush is a deserter, an election thief, a drunk driver, a WMD liar and a functional illiterate. And he poops his pants." —Michael Moore
#13: "You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show." —Jon Stewart, bitchslapping Tucker Carlson during an interview on CNN's "Crossfire"
#11: "They said I wasn't being funny. And I said to them, 'I know that, but tomorrow I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow.'" —Jon Stewart, on his sniping match with Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on "Crossfire"
#11: "Kerry said about Tora Bora, 'I think we've been smart. I think administration leadership has done well, and we are on the right track.' End quote. All I can say is that I am George W. Bush, and I approve of that message." —President Bush
#10: "People tell me that Senator Edwards got picked for his good looks, his sex appeal, and his great hair. I say to them, 'How do you think I got the job?'" —Vice President Dick Cheney
#9: "I had hoped to be back here this week under different circumstances, running for re-election. But you know the old saying: you win some, you lose some. And then there's that little-known third category. I didn't come here tonight to talk about the past. After all, I don't want you to think I lie awake at night counting and recounting sheep. I prefer to focus on the future because I know from my own experience that America is a land of opportunity, where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote." —Former Vice President Al Gore, at the Democratic Convention
#8: "If Barbara gets her hands on John Kerry, he might get another Purple Heart." —Former President Bush, on the political attacks on his son
#7: "It really gets me when the critics say I haven't done enough for the economy," he said. "I mean, look what I've done for the book publishing industry. You've heard some of the titles. 'Big Lies,' 'The Lies of George W. Bush,' 'The Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.' I'd like to tell you I've read each of these books, but that'd be a lie." —President Bush, at the White House Correspondents Dinner
#6: "I forgot out there on the stage to thank my cast. So if I could do that now, I want to thank Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. I thought the love scene between Cheney and Rumsfeld brought a tear to my eye." —Michael Moore, after winning the top prize at the Cannes film festival for his documentary film "Fahrenheit 9/11"
#5: "I wanted to say to Governor Dean, don't be hard on yourself about hooting and hollering. If I had spent the money you did and got 18 percent, I'd still be in Iowa hooting and hollering." —Rev. Al Sharpton
#4: "The candidates are an interesting group, with diverse opinions — for tax cuts and against them, for NAFTA and against NAFTA, for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act, in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts." —President Bush
#3: "Did the training wheels fall off?" —Sen. John Kerry, after being told by reporters that President Bush took a tumble during a bike ride
#2: "To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say, Don't be economic girlie men!" —California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the Republican convention
#1: "I spent several years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, in the dark, fed with scraps. Do you think I want to do that all over again as vice president of the United States?" —Sen. John McCain
~Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman
The jury is now deciding Scott's fate. Allegedly to help, the jury was subjected to what has to be the most ludicrous, and sad, aspect of the law. Prosecution and defense are each allowed to address the jury to tell how they "feel" about the crime, how they "feel" about the victims, how they "feel" about the accused.Read the rest here.
It was exhausting and demeaning to read of the tearful accounts of lovely memories of Laci by her friends and family, and insulting to hear from Scott's side that he was a terrific little boy who saved a bunny's life and helped old people.
Reporters say the purpose is to affect the emotions of the jurors and to influence their decisions.
When did emotion become part of a legal decision? Why should it be? Facts speak for themselves. Emotions can excuse anything. I thought that justice was blind – to make fair and, if you'll excuse the redundancy, "just" decisions.
We hear it after every grisly murder or after umpteen bodies are discovered. Reporters swarm to neighbors and friends for a reaction about the accused. The answers are always the same.
"We got along great."
"He couldn't have done it."
"He was such a nice kid – never a problem."
Monday, December 13, 2004
Who are they kidding here? Even if there wasn't a purposeful attempt by the Pentagon, the New York Times is happy to fill its papers with misinformation every day!
Sunday, December 12, 2004
This raises a serious question: Are there REALLY only 130,000 troops in Iraq? Or is that what we want our enemies (Syria/Iran) to think? Could we not have black operations being undertaken by special forces in those countries as we speak?
People tend to believe that everything that happens in the world is on television or known to some politician or pundit. Look at the recent poisoning of the Ukrainian opposition leader by the freakin' KGB!!
This is what I believe:
1. There are at least 30,000 more troops in Iraq than the media knows about. This just makes sense. You want the enemy to believe that your forces are "stretched beyond belief" so that if they make a provacative move you cannot respond. No endeavor would bring us to that point with only 130,000 troops in one place and 10,000 in another when we have 435,000 ACTIVE DUTY (that does not include reserves and national guard).
2. We have a large number of troops operating in Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. This is nothing new and not beyond past alliances. Remember, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were our secret allies against the Soviet Union during the Afghanistan war. The US and Saudia Arabia split the cost of the CIA operation with the Mujahadeen with Pakistan operating as the middleman for the transactions.
3. We know where Saddam's weapons of mass destruction are and are waiting until after the elections in Iraq to make the announcement that they are in Syria and were discovered by our special forces operations there (Bush wanted better intelligence than what Tenet gave him; we will have human intelligence on this).
4. The US is allowing minor attacks to take place to win over the Iraqis. I believe that fewer and fewer Iraqis feel they are under occupation with the Sunni (Saddam loyalists) and foreigners slaughtering Iraqis. They are seeing now that the enemy of the US is their enemy as well.
That's my attempt at ESP. What do you think?
Friday, December 10, 2004
This is the MOST ridiculous thing I have ever seen and when I found out it didn't come for the ninth district I really became worried. Parents can't monitor kids' phone calls!
Excuse me? Aren't the parents paying for the phone service? As far as I am concerned, if someone uses my phone--unless they ask for privacy--I should be able to hear the whole conversation.
I just want to spit!
Thursday, December 09, 2004
This is something silly I picked up a while back (High School) when I would see the phrase "X-Mas" everywhere (Kitty has a post on this here). At first I thought it was just an abbreviation, but then I looked at it and asked, "Why would anyone put an X in place of Christ? Why not just use C-Mas?" It is a real attempt to take Christ out of CHRISTmas.
Well, just in time for the CHRISTmas season, the American Communist Liberal Union is on the hunt for the treasure at the end of the Judicial Rainbow. First, we have the Ten Commandments (the world's first CONSTITUTION!, but that's another post) case in front of the Supreme Court (our theocratic dictator favors the Ten Commandments). Next, we have the Pledge of Allegiance in front of the Supreme Court. Then we have the Declaration of Independence BANNED in Cupertino, CA, schools as supplementary materials. And now, in the biggest slap in the face, Target and Macy's are banning CHRISTmas from their stores (while they roll in all the cash).
I ask all my readers to sit back and enjoy CHRISTmas as the celebration of Jesus the Christ's birth (even though we don't know when he was born). If you don't believe that Jesus is/was/will forever be: God and perfect man who bore the burden of sin so that whoever accepts the free gift of salvation by simply believing this will be saved, then fine. But that's what CHRISTmas is about.
If you don't like it, then don't celebrate, but celebrate diversity! Celebrate that people are celebrating something they love and are passionate about; celebrate that people find happiness in things other than materialism (people who want to take Christ out of CHRISTmas but still have X-Mas for all those sales are the true materialists).
This demonstrates what liberals didn't get about "red state" voters. They say we are stupid because we vote against our "economic interests." There are people in this world whose interest are not only about the almighty dollar and what free handout the government can give them. They live their lives devoted to Someone greater than themselves and for one day out of the year, they want to celebrate the Person that gives them their happiness and who saved them.
Labor Day is about how fat-cat, union gangsters saved the "worker" from "oppression" (a holiday for Communists!). Is that day offensive? Not really. So why is CHRISTmas so bad? I think for the same reason the Declaration of Independence sucked for King George and liberated us from the State (aka the British Empire). Christianity liberates people from the bonds of earth, which consequently liberates them from the State.
Since liberals worship the State as God, they are trying to snuff out competition pure and simple.
By David Brudnoy
EDITOR'S NOTE:This article appeared in the April 17, 1995, issue of National Review. David Brudnoy, a longtime contributor and friend of NR died on Thursday night. R.I.P.
The whimsical film critic in me toyed with the idea of calling this piece "Mon Jour chez Oprah,'' in tribute to Eric Rohmer's Ma Nuit chez Maud (1970), but then I decided, a la Richard Nixon, that that would be wrong. What I have to say here is not funny, though my half-year-long ramble through the gruesomeness of AIDS has had its amusing moments. To begin at the end — at least at the end of developments as I write this — I can now say I have spent a day inhabiting the giddy air of the Oprah show, this as a decidedly second banana to Olympic diver Greg Louganis.
As a broadcast and print journalist for the last quarter-century, I am no longer surprised by anything, including the comedy of possessiveness that accompanied the charming Mr. Louganis's appearance on the show. First he was booked, as was I; then ABC's 20/20 convinced Random House, publisher of his new book, that even though that installment of Oprah wouldn't air until three days after 20/20's interview with him, he mustn't appear on Oprah. I was then asked to be Numero Uno on the show, though by the time I flew out to Chicago with my producer, Kevin Myron, the touchy media moguls had relented and allowed Greg to appear. Well, by now you've heard the high points of the sometimes horrifying life — raped at knifepoint, attempted suicide, relentless depression — of the world's greatest diver.
Andy Warhol was wrong: sometimes you do get more than 15 minutes of fame, even if you're not Greg Louganis. I figure that by now I've had at least 20 minutes of fame, and it continues.
Media outlets across the country have expressed an interest in my story. But when NR's literary editor asked me to write about AIDS, it came as rather an enormous surprise. Not because I'm unfamiliar with this magazine or with the relevant debates. I have been part of the NR family since 1968. And among my nearly ten thousand written and broadcast commentaries, essays, and film, stage, and book reviews, about one hundred have touched on homosexuality and a like number on AIDS, though never until now on my own involvement in either. In NR's issue of July 19, 1974, Ernest van den Haag and I took differing positions on ``gay'' rights, and I find that what I had to say then reflects what I believe now.
The surprise was because this journal has been less than latitudinarian on the subject of those infected with HIV. Most conservatives take a dim view of homosexual activity. But I will not try to justify myself here; arguments about the moral status of practicing homosexuals tend to be as inconclusive as arguments about the nature of God. If you have a decade or so to debate the matter, please do. Unfortunately I don't have enough time left for that.
I was diagnosed with HIV in the spring of 1988. When I recovered from my shock — I had assumed that since I didn't (and don't) do intravenous drugs or anal sex, I could not be infected — I decided to deal with the matter privately. I told my local doctor and a very few friends in Boston, where I live, and elsewhere. My local doctor did blood tests on me twice each month, and we sent the results to a physician in Washington, D.C., who is also the doctor of a couple of other well-known conservative AIDS patients. Two or three times each year I went to Washington and had the expensive tests that relate to AIDS — HIV antigen, HIV antibody, T4 cell count, and the like. In this way, and by getting my drugs pseudonymously and not collecting reimbursement for them from my insurance, I maintained perfect secrecy.
Not because I feel shame. I feel regret and sadness, and you and I know that the overwhelming likelihood is that this will all end very badly indeed. I wanted not to burden my friends and family with the knowledge, and I wanted not to be subjected to the usual media reductionism: ``AIDS-infected talk host David . . .'' and so forth.
Like innumerable others I suffered a few infections in the first six years: a little weight loss, diarrhea, thrush. But then, in Kyoto in November 1993, the side effect of one of my drugs, ddI, appeared: peripheral neuropathy, meaning an increasing pain in my feet, which by ten months later had resulted in near-paralysis. By September of last year I couldn't walk up stairs and the pain was fierce.
At that point, this rationalist realist, this no-nonsense fellow, began a six-week exercise in classical denial. I got what I thought was a bad flu — swollen legs, dizzy spells, falling in the bushes behind the radio station, clutching the walls as I walked through the hallways, fatigue, nausea, high fever. Some flu!
I carried on at my TV, radio, writing, and teaching jobs. Sort of. Several nights I was too ill to work, and on Monday, October 24, my producer yanked me off the air because I was incoherent. But the next day I went to my Boston University class on media criticism and delivered what I tenaciously believed was a brilliant lecture, my students sitting transfixed. Months later I ran into one of those students, who, in response to my question about how he and the others had taken the lecture, told me that they sat transfixed because they had no idea what I was talking about and wondered only if I would live through the day.
I almost did not. That afternoon a friend, Ward Cromer, came by to nurse me with Gatorade, Coke, and cool towels. He insisted on taking me to the doctor the next day and I, too weak to protest, agreed. He then went home to do some work and said that he would be back later in the evening and would sack out on the couch. And then the horror truly began.
I know this not from memory but only from the recitations of others. Evidently after Ward left I wandered out on the street, perhaps was mugged — my watch and wallet never turned up — and then re-entered my building, where I began to collapse. The building superintendent called an ambulance and, unconscious, I was whisked off to Massachusetts General Hospital. Ward returned minutes later, was told what had happened, and called 911 to learn where the ambulance had taken me. Finding that his car, parked in front of my building, had been broken into, he grabbed a cab, rushed to the emergency room, and saved my life by telling the doctors I was HIV-positive, at which point they immediately administered a drug that combats Pneumocystis carinii, the pneumonia that frequently kills AIDS patients. Weeks later the doctors told me they figured that from the time the medics wheeled me in, at most twenty minutes of life remained for me. (Does this begin to sound like a TV Movie of the Week?)
Nine days of medically induced coma followed. Five dear friends entered into what I suppose we can now call a death watch, observing this barely alive, shrunken thing hovering on the verge, with well over a dozen tubes coming into and going out of me, a huge tube down to my lungs withdrawing gallons (!) of water, and machines massaging my heart, which had swollen to twice its normal size and was barely pumping. The prognosis was grim. I learned much later that on the third day the doctors in the intensive care unit suggested to Ward, who has my power of attorney and the decision power in medical matters, that perhaps they ought just to disconnect me and let me die peacefully. Ward's second life-rescue occurred then as he resisted. Eventually, I began to respond, and on the ninth day the tube was withdrawn from my lungs and I was brought out of the coma, though for days I was confused, unsure of where I was or what was happening to me. My friends guarded my privacy, and the newspapers and TV and radio stations knew only that I was in critical condition from heart and lung disease.
Eventually, after two weeks in intensive care, I was moved into a regular hospital room and began to emerge from my disorientation, though I saw phantom visitors and otherwise was, as they say, not myself. I was still not allowed out of bed, and one night, at 11:15, a man I had never seen before came into my room and announced that he was a neurologist and wanted to test my feet. Twenty-five minutes later, after poking around and finding no response, he stated that he didn't think I would ever walk again. A nice way to go to sleep, alone, wondering just how did Franklin Roosevelt manage it?
Things then began to speed up. A therapist assured me that she had seen many such cases and felt almost certain that I would walk again. She quickly got me up on a walker, then helped me move a few steps with it. As my heart and lungs healed, I began to realize how dependent I had become on others — on, for instance, nurses' aides to bathe me. I had urinary problems and for several days wore a foley bag; I contracted a few bacterial and viral infections, not uncommon in long-term hospitalization, and that curse called shingles, which is the chicken-pox virus, long dormant, emerging again in adulthood.
Shingles may sound ridiculous, but it is among the most painful and unremitting of diseases, and totally resistant to painkillers. The first stages were bearable. Later, when I was moved for two weeks to the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, to continue learning to walk again (I now walk without any aid, though outdoors I use a cane, owing to the wretched sidewalks and streets of Boston), the shingles entered its itch phase, maddening, and then the worst of all: such intense pain that several times a day I lost bowel control. Then, and only then, I wanted to die. The shingles infects me still, in two spots along a nerve that services the buttocks and the genitals. Your imagination can lead you to understand the full misery of this.
In mid November, the inevitable occurred: the rumors that my condition was AIDS surfaced, and the Boston Globe's radio columnist and her counterpart at the Herald called me. I lied, but it was clear the matter would soon be publicized, if only as rumor. Whereupon my friends advised me to call the Globe and strike a deal: they would spike the rumor story and instead assign one of their best writers to interview me the next morning and do a lead story in the November 17 edition. That, and an exclusive radio interview on my own station, followed by the Herald getting the story and "borrowing'' 24 paragraphs from the early Globe edition. I like to say that forests died to provide the newsprint to tell my story.
The deluge was on: every local talk program on radio and one on TV devoted hours to me. Should I have ``come out'' earlier? Did the Globe "out'' me? Would I still be the leading radio talk host in New England if I lived and returned to work?
I watched the election coverage come and go with me in hospital gowns unable to help. I found that my life was now almost completely exposed. Meanwhile, letters and cards poured in, brought to me dutifully each evening by my producer — by now, about twelve thousand, all but about six of them loving and supportive. The hostile letters tended to be scrawled in crayon and one merrily calculated how hot the fires of Hell would be for me.
On December 4, I was released from the hospital and returned home, gradually to recuperate. One month later, on January 5 (coincidentally the beginning of the winter ratings period), I went back on the air, and a few weeks later back to school, and also back to my writing assignments. I now function about 95 per cent as I did before my hospitalization. I have intense shingles pain, pain in my feet, and fatigue, but I've already regained 15 of the 45 pounds that I lost during my illness and hospitalization. I know now that at all my places of work, discussions were begun under the grim assumption that I would either die or never be well enough to work again. It's not nice, I know, to fool Mother Nature, but I have done so — if only for the few years remaining to me.
Sunday, January 8, the New York Times carried a story, opening another deluge of attention in the media: CBS's Evening News; People magazine; bits on ABC's Day One, NBC's Today, and NBC's Evening News. Fox is nibbling, as are several publishers who want me to do the book version of all this.
I can now claim the dubious distinction of being the most famous AIDS person in New England; as a lady friend put it, the Magic Johnson who can't jump. The story isn't a bad one, of course, but it is really a one-line tale: Conservative media figure is gay and has AIDS. Certainly some of the reaction of some conservatives, not on my show but on others, has been dismay that the Brudnoy they thought was on their side must be a fraud because homosexuals can't be conservative. I have had many a grim laugh hearing that sort of nonsense but, let us be frank, many conservative journals (not, in recent years, this one) have perpetuated that idea.
Obviously I would trade away every second of media attention if in return I could be rid of AIDS. In lighter moments I've borrowed Woody Allen's classic line: I don't fear death — I just don't want to be there when it happens. I'm stronger by the day, given a 100 per cent clean bill of health for my heart and lungs. I'm injecting myself thrice weekly with a drug to help combat anemia, and my doctors watch me carefully. I'm busy, enthusiastic, never despondent or depressed, and determined to make each day count, since I'll probably have fewer days of health — and for that matter of life — than would ordinarily be the case.
So we come again to Oprah Winfrey's show and to the last minutes there at her studio before returning to Boston. Greg Louganis and I, who had never before met and had spent all of ten minutes in each other's company that day, realized that the end for the two of us will be grimly similar. Greg reached out and embraced me before we left, acknowledging our shared condition. We are a fast-growing fraternity, worldwide, we with HIV, and in America AIDS has become the leading cause of death among people ages 25 to 44, heterosexual and homosexual alike. What horrors await Africa one can only speculate, but there, and in Asia and Latin America and Europe and Russia, the word is out: HIV is reaching more and more people.
One of the TV commentaries in November featured my old TV sparring partner and dear friend Mike Barnicle, who on the Boston ABC affiliate talked of the many people who don't think that they know anyone with AIDS, and of how easy it has been for many people to speak disparagingly of those who have it. Mike said that everybody watching that station, where we had worked together for two years, knows somebody with AIDS: "David Brudnoy has AIDS."
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
As I predicted from that exchange, she would pen a piece in defense of Clarence Thomas like she did of Dr. Condelezza Rice. She shows how liberals are practicing a New and Improved Racism and are reminding us who the original racists are:
Most recently – at least as we go to press – last Sunday Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, had this to say about Justice Clarence Thomas: "I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. I think that his opinions are poorly written." You'd think Thomas' opinions were written in ebonics.Even an op-ed in the NY Daily News recognizes the racism in the democratic party's loathing of Clarence Thomas and supports my assertion that while mormons are socially conservative, they are still racists.
In the same interview, Reid called Justice Antonin Scalia "one smart guy." He said that although he disagreed with Scalia, his reasoning is "very hard to dispute." Scalia is "one smart guy"; Thomas is the janitor. If Democrats are all going to read from the same talking points, they might want to get someone other than David Duke to write them.
On the Sean Hannity radio show, Democratic pundit Pat Halpin defended Sen. Reid's laughable attack on Thomas by citing Bob Woodward's book "The Brethren," which – according to Halpin – vividly portrays Thomas as a nincompoop.
I return to my standing point that liberals don't read. Harry Reid clearly hasn't read any of the decisions Justice Thomas has written, and Pat Halpin clearly hasn't read "The Brethren."
"The Brethren" came out a decade before Thomas was even nominated to the Supreme Court. The only black Supreme Court justice discussed in "The Brethren" is Thurgood Marshall. That's one we haven't heard in a while: I just can't tell you guys apart.
How many black justices have there been on the Supreme Court again? Oh yes: two. It's one thing to confuse Potter Stewart with Lewis Powell. After all, there have been a lot of white guys on the court. But there have been only two black justices – and Democrats can't keep them straight. Two! That's like getting your mother and father confused. I can name every black guy on a current National Hockey League roster: Is it asking Democrats too much to remember the names of the only two black Supreme Court justices?
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
But his statements on Meet the Press were over the top and simply added more evidence that liberals hate conservative minorities--and their complaint is always that they are NOT QUALIFIED (i.e. STUPID).
First read Ann Coulter's, It's Dr. Rice, Not Dr. Dre.
Then read this piece by a liberal that is beginning to see the pattern here.
Monday, December 06, 2004
Don’t believe the well scripted press conference where former President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Kweisi Mfume, announced his resignation.
Mfume did not resign from the nation’s oldest and most prestigious civil rights organization. He was kicked out, following a long simmering feuded with NAACP Chairman Julian Bond. The two began feuding after Mfume nominated National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for his 2003 NAACP Image Award.
Furious that Mfume was reaching out to the Bush administration, Bond responded by nominating “Boondocks" cartoonist Aaron McGruder for his Image Award.
MacGruder had ridiculed Rice in his comic strip and later caller her “murderer” for her role in the war in Iraq.
The rift grew as Mfume continued to reach out to the Republican Party. Mfume realized that by reflexively voting Democrat in every election, the black voting populace has given away most of their political bartering power.
Tom Hayden is a traitor. And a great article in today's Front Page Magazine illustrates this perfectly:
Today's anti-war movement models itself on the Vietnam protesters, and the movement's leaders include familiar faces. Tom Hayden has written an article, "How to End the War in Iraq," that outlines how to organize an effort to ensure that the United States is defeated in Iraq. The opening sentence: "The anti-war movement can force the Bush administration to leave Iraq by denying it the funding, troops, and alliances necessary to its strategy for dominance." Hayden next lauds the success of the anti-war movement within the Democratic Party and gives proof of its effectiveness. "The pressure of anti-war voices and the Kerry campaign led Bush to delay the request for a supplemental $75 billion appropriation, the assault on Falluja, and the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi elections until after Nov. 2." In other words, giving the enemy breathing room to regroup, delaying democracy for the Iraqi people, and denying our troops the funding they need are all triumphs for the protesters. But it's not enough. More must be done to make sure that American forces are defeated and forced to withdraw. Why? Because, "Once the election was over, the Bush administration turned Fallujah into a slaughterhouse." Here is enemy propaganda, pure and simple, breathtaking in its utter disregard for the truth about the gangsters who controlled Falluja and videotaped the beheadings of innocent people.
Hayden details his plan for Vietnam-like withdrawal from Iraq. "The first step is to build pressure at congressional district levels to oppose any further funding or additional troops for war. If members of Congress balk at cutting off all assistance and want to propose 'conditions' for further aid, it is a small step toward threatening funding. If only 75 members of Congress go on record against any further funding, that's a step in the right direction towards the exit." To accomplish this, the Democratic Party must be pushed into becoming the anti-war party. "The progressive activists of the party should refuse to contribute any more resources, volunteers, money, etc. to candidates or incumbents who act as collaborators." Note the use of the word "collaborators" -- meaning, of course, those who collaborate with the duly elected government of the United States.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
The media is awash with stories now about how our nation's children, teens and college students are being inundated with steroid pushers now that McGuire, Bonds and Giambia have admitted to using steroids (or HGH).
But where was the media when Bush mentioned this in his State of the Union in 2004? Almost a year ago, Bush said:
To help children make right choices, they need good examples. Athletics play such an important role in our society, but, unfortunately, some in professional sports are not setting much of an example. The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football, and other sports is dangerous, and it sends the wrong message -- that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches, and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough, and to get rid of steroids now. (Applause.)I remember Nancy Pelosi saying that Bush was crazy for bringing up a subject that was not even a real problem...hmmm, so now that McCain says it--that's news?
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
What you see is Washington State's largest polluter, Mt. Saint Helens. So where are the environmental activists? Nature is doing more damage to our air than any factory, logging company or cars in Washington.
I think it's hilarious that people believe that the earth is so fragile that man can destroy it. In fact, that's one of the most arrogant assumptions around. This earth has survived asteroid impacts, fires that burned forests off entire continents, and volcanos that filled the skies with pollution that lasted hundreds of years (Vesuvius). Somehow man is going to destroy the planet. It will never happen. All man can do is make the environment unsuitable for habitation. If we exploded every chemical, biological and nuclear weapon in the world and killed every human being, guess what?
The earth would still be here!
And think about this? What will happen when we find out climate change is a direct result of...The Sun! How are we gonna tackle that one? It just demonstrates that the environmental movement is an anti-capitalist political movement based only on guilt--guilt of success and material wealth.
Of course we should just dump anything in rivers and not be responsible with the environment...but we must realize that environmentalism is not a science; it's politics. I could go further and say it's a secularist/humanist substitute for religion (aka "earth worship") but that's another post all together.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.
If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.
Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.
For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.
We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.
We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.
We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.
It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Alpha Patriot posted a great roundup of all the craziness at the UN. This stuck out:
United Nations anti-torture body has criticised Britain for the "unsatisfactory" conditions in its prisons, including a "substantial number of deaths in custody", urging it to act at once to improve them.Read the rest here.
The U.N. Committee Against Torture, reviewing British compliance with an international treaty outlawing inhuman and degrading treatment, also expressed concern at parts of an anti-terrorism law which allows "potentially indefinite detention" of foreigners without trial.
It called on the British government to study "as a matter of urgency" alternatives to the sweeping powers to imprison any foreigner suspected of involvement in international terrorism given by the 2001 Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
I've greatly enjoyed the post-election traumas of the Democratic party. I loved those few days when Nancy Pelosi was ostentatiously dropping a soundbite from "Matthew" into every media appearance. Who is this Matthew guy she's on such chummy terms with? Matthew Meadows, Florida state representative for District 94? Matthew P. Denn, the Democratic candidate in the race for Delaware insurance commissioner?
No, turns out it's Matthew as in the Gospel according to. Big name in Jesusland, to use the new designation. A little too big, indeed, to be cited plausibly as evidence of one's acquaintance with Scripture. Anyone can refer in a vague way to Matthew. Had Mrs. Pelosi managed to rattle off a couple of verses from Philemon or Habakkuk, all over the vast Bush-voting swamp, millions of stump-toothed rednecks would have briefly stopped speaking in tongues as their jaws hit the floor. By the way, it's only two k's in the middle of "Habakkuk" — not like Amerikkka or John Ashkkkroft.
Anyway, after a week of trying to turn the Democratic whine into holy water, the House minority leader decided to chuck the saint-dropping. As the whole Jesusland thing suggests, her base isn't entirely on board with the outreach. And frankly the Democrats never do well when they try to square contemporary liberal pieties with religion. For one thing, they recoil from the very word "religion." Al Gore prefers to say, "Well, in my faith tradition . . ." As a rule, folks with a faith tradition tend not to call it such. At Friday prayers in Mecca, the A-list imams don't say, "Well, in my faith tradition we believe in killing all the infidels."
Second, prominent Democrats seem to have great difficulty getting even the well-known bits right. Christmas, according to Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1999, is when those in that particular faith tradition celebrate "the birth of a homeless child." Or, as Al Gore put it in 1997, "Two thousand years ago, a homeless woman gave birth to a homeless child." For Pete's sake, they weren't homeless — they couldn't get a hotel room. They had to sleep in the stable only because Dad had to schlep halfway across the country to pay his taxes in the town of his birth, which sounds like the kind of cockamamie bureaucratic nightmare only a blue state could cook up. Except that in Massachusetts, it's no doubt illegal to rent out your stable without applying for a Livestock Shelter Change of Use Permit plus a Temporary Maternity Ward for Non-Insured Transients License, so Mary would have been giving birth under a bridge on I-95.
Had a Matthew principle
Since everyone's tossing in post-election generalizations, here's mine. One of the features of the geopolitical landscape revealed by 9/11 was the widening gulf between Americans and Europeans. Some of us (ahem) noted that fact in the columns we wrote that very day. Nonetheless, the Democrats spent the next three years getting more European. That was hardly likely to improve their electoral prospects, though it got them great press across the Atlantic, and continues to do so. The Guardian's Timothy Garton Ash, returning from a tour of the blue states, says Europeans need to modify the famous expression of solidarity of September 12, 2001: "Nous sommes tous amÈricains." "Hands need to be joined across the sea in an old cause: the defence of the Enlightenment," writes Garton Ash. "We are all blue Americans now." That at least has the merit, unlike the phony-baloney Le Monde headline, of being sincere.
But I doubt whether it's terribly helpful to Democrats. American exceptionalism is better understood as the exceptionalism of Americans — the refusal of a (thin but decisive) majority of the citizenry to submit to the definition of "advanced Western democracy" as it's understood by Germans, Belgians, and Scandinavians. By contrast, the Democratic party for the most part believes wholeheartedly, as the Europeans do, in the great secular religion — the state as church. That's why when Al and Hill start talking about their faith tradition it somehow veers off into a lesson on the need for social programs. It's also why Democrats remain wedded to issues that have no resonance even in blue states. The Dems are the party of gun control not because Vermonters or Minnesotans are clamoring for it but because it's part of the transnational conventional wisdom.
I doubt very much whether a Europeanñblue state alliance is the horse you'd bet on to save the Enlightenment. The EU, with its over-regulated economy, unaffordable social-welfare liabilities, and shriveled post-Christian birth rates, is a glimpse into a Democratic future. If you're chit-chatting with blue-staters in your average Ivy League college town, they express disbelief at this prognosis: Why, everything seems so much better ordered and agreeable over there. The electoral prominence of Jean-Marie Le Pen; the murder of Theo van Gogh; the banning of Belgium's major opposition party, the Vlaams Blok — oh, but these are freakish disconnected events, of no wider significance.
I think not. Over the next few years the news from Europe will get worse. We're about to witness the messy implosion of the secular West's last surviving faith, the state church. And, when that happens, what will the Democrats have left?
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Part of this is the majority's fault. If the bigots in the US didn't label AIDS as the "gay plague" or "gay cancer" we might have been able to look at it from a pure medial standpoint that would have allowed us to treat the disease and treat its victims with dignity--but also allow us to have removed them from society as we would with any other communicable disease (e.g. if AIDS was airborn).
But now that AIDS is treatable, it has become a tool--a wedge issue--for gays and "sex workers" (aka, whores). They use the charitable nature of people who want to fight the disease (regardless of who has it) and use it to promote political gains (i.e. say that if you are against the spread of AIDS you are against "sex workers" and gays, per se).
Here's a paragraph from this great article:
My visit last July to the XV World AIDS Conference in Bangkok left me with the uneasy feeling that many AIDS activists were more interested, strange as it might sound, in preserving the sexually liberated status quo than they were in stopping the disease. Why? Because the activists approached AIDS through the prism of liberation and politicization, in which the great good was human freedom, and the great "bad" was Puritanism. Oh, and of course, the profit-minded drug companies were bad, too. Human freedom, the activists seemed to think, should be protected in the bedroom, not in the boardroom.
The Times analyzed the 100 counties that the Census Bureau identified as the fastest growing between April 2000 and July 2003, the latest date for which figures were available. Stretched across 30 states, these counties grew cumulatively over that period by more than 16%, reaching a total population of 15.9 million.
These are places defined more by aspiration than accumulation, filled more with families starting out than with those that have already reached their earnings peak.
They include Union County, N.C., 25 miles southeast of Charlotte, where poultry farms are being converted into new developments so quickly that nearly one-seventh of the population is employed in construction. In Douglas County, Colo., about 20 miles south of Denver, so many young families have relocated that the budget for the local Little League is estimated at $500,000 a year.
Delaware County, Ohio's fastest-growing area, is absorbing a torrent of families leaving apartments and townhouses in Columbus for big kitchens and their first backyards. New homes are sprouting on land that grew soybeans and wheat not long ago.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Read the article here.
Economy Does Not Suck (says Newsday)
LI's jobless rate: How low can it go
As unemployment falls to 3.7 percent last month, some experts warn shortage of labor may be ahead
Long Island's Liberal rag, Newsday, admitted today that the economy is not as bad as it had reported during the election cycle. The Long Island unemployment rate fell to 3.7%. The daily's editorial/news stories painted a bleak picture just a few weeks ago. Now the paper reports that the lowest unemployment rate since October 2001 has actually produced "full employment" - which is the point at which the economy is generating enough jobs to accommodate nearly everyone who is looking. Now experts are cautioning that the expanding economy (which was called a recession before November 2nd) is going to create a labor shortage.
In other news, an audit showed that Newsday's circulation is down 98,000 from a year ago. The paper is cutting 100 workers from its newsroom. I wonder how they feel about that low unemployment rate now?