Archive for November 23rd, 2008

Valor, Navy Crosses, and United States Marines

November 23, 2008

Marines to be awarded Navy Cross posthumously

By Dan Lamothe – Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Nov 22, 2008 7:46:45 EST

Two Marines who died in Iraq stopping a small water tanker filled with explosives will be posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, the nation’s second-highest combat honor, a Marine spokeswoman said.

Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, 19, and Cpl. Jonathan Yale, 21, were standing guard April 22 in Ramadi when a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives roared toward a joint Marine-Iraqi headquarters, Marine officials said. The two riflemen opened fire and stopped the vehicle before it reached the gate, but the truck exploded, killing the two Marines.

Maj. Gabrielle Chapin, a Marine spokeswoman in Iraq, confirmed the award decision, first reported Thursday on the Web site of the Los Angeles Times.

Haerter, of Sag Harbor, N.Y., was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. The Sag Harbor-North Haven Bridge on Long Island was renamed the Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter Veterans Memorial Bridge on Nov. 15, according to the New York Daily News.

Yale, of Burkeville, Va., was assigned to Lejeune-based 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines. He was described by family as an outdoorsman who participated in the school robotics and drama clubs in high school, according the Washington Post.

In May, the Corps said the actions of the pair saved 33 Marines, 21 Iraqi police officers and numerous civilians resting beyond the gate of the outpost.

“They saved all of our lives,” Lance Cpl. Benjamin Tupaj, a rifleman with 1/9 on post that morning, said in the Corps’ statement. “If it wasn’t for them that gate probably wouldn’t have held. The explosion blew out all of the windows over 150 meters from where the blast hit. If that truck had made it into the compound, there would’ve been a lot more casualties. They saved everyone’s life here.”

Haerter and Yale were both posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and nominated for “an award for valor,” according to the statement released in May. It did not specify which award they were nominated to receive.

SOURCE

If Democracy Doesn’t Work, Try Anarchy

November 23, 2008

Chuck Norris lands a knock out blow with the following piece. Just think! Anarchy as a respectable alternative to Democracy?

If Democracy Doesn’t Work, Try Anarchy
By Chuck Norris

Protestors of Proposition 8 in California (the marriage amendment) shoved aside a 69-year-old woman who was bearing a cross. They reportedly spit on her and stomped on her cross. They then aligned themselves in a human barricade, blocking the media from getting to or interviewing the woman.

Prop. 8 supporter Jose Nunez, 37, was assaulted brutally while distributing yard signs to other supporters after church services at the St. Stanislaus Parish in Modesto.

Calvary Chapel Chino Hills was spray painted by vandals after they learned that the church served as an official collection point for Prop. 8 petitions.

Letters containing white powder (obviously mimicking anthrax) were sent to the Salt Lake City headquarters of the Mormon church and to a temple in Los Angeles. (Thankfully, the FBI said the substance was nontoxic.)
The 25-year artistic director of the California Musical Theatre, who also happens to be a Mormon, was muscled to resign because of his $1,000 donation to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California.

A pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization named Bash Back marched into the middle of a church service and flung fliers and condoms to the congregants. They also hung a banner from the balcony that featured two lesbians in provocative positions at the pulpit.

And lastly, the tolerance-preaching activists also have taken their anger to the blogosphere, where posts have planted ideas ranging from burning churches to storming the citadels of government until our society is forced to overturn Prop. 8. You even can find donor blacklists online. The lists include everyone who financially backed Prop. 8 — even those who gave as little as $46 — with the obvious objective that these individuals will be bantered and boycotted for doing so.

What’s wrong with this picture? Lots.

First, there’s the obvious inability of the minority to accept the will of the majority. Californians have spoken twice, through the elections in 2000 and 2008. Nearly every county across the state (including Los Angeles County) voted to amend the state constitution in favor of traditional marriage.

Nevertheless, bitter activists simply cannot accept the outcome as being truly reflective of the general public. So they have placed the brainwashing blame upon the crusading and misleading zealotry of those religious villains: the Catholics, evangelical Protestants, and especially Mormons, who allegedly are robbing the rights of American citizens by merely executing their right to vote and standing upon their moral convictions and traditional views.

What’s surprising (or maybe not so) is that even though 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor of Proposition 8, protests against black churches are virtually nonexistent. And everyone knows exactly why: Such actions would be viewed as racist. Yet these opponents of Prop. 8 can protest vehemently and shout obscenities in front of Mormon temples without ever being accused of religious bigotry. There’s a clear double standard in our society. Where are the hate-crime cops when religious conservatives need them?

There were many of us who passionately opposed Obama, but you don’t see us protesting in the streets or crying “unfair.” Rather, we are submitting to a democratic process and now asking how we can support “our” president. Just because we don’t like the election outcome doesn’t give us the right to bully those who oppose us. In other words, if democracy doesn’t tip our direction, we don’t swing to anarchy. That would be like the Wild West, the resurrection of which seems to be happening in these postelection protests.

I agree with Prison Fellowship’s founder, Chuck Colson, who wrote: “This is an outrage. What hypocrisy from those who spend all of their time preaching tolerance to the rest of us! How dare they threaten and attack political opponents? We live in a democratic country, not a banana republic ruled by thugs.”

Regardless of one’s opinion of Proposition 8, it is flat-out wrong and un-American to intimidate and harass individuals, churches and businesses that are guilty of nothing more than participating in the democratic process. Political protests are one thing, but when old-fashioned bullying techniques are used that restrict voting liberties and even prompt fear of safety, activists have crossed a line. There is a difference between respectfully advocating one’s civil rights and demanding public endorsement of what many still consider to be unnatural sexual behavior through cruel coercion and repression tactics. One thing is for sure: The days of peaceful marches, such as those headed up by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seem to be long gone.

The truth is that the great majority of Prop. 8 advocates are not bigots or hatemongers. They are American citizens who are following 5,000 years of human history and the belief of every major people and religion: Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman. Their pro-Prop. 8 votes weren’t intended to deprive any group of its rights; they were safeguarding their honest convictions regarding the boundaries of marriage.

On Nov. 4, the pro-gay community obviously was flabbergasted that a state that generally leans left actually voted right when it came to holy matrimony. But that’s exactly what happened; the majority of Californians — red, yellow, black and white — voted to define the margins of marriage as being between one man and one woman. California is the 30th state in our union to amend its constitution in doing so, joining Florida and Arizona in this election.

Like it or not, it’s the law now. The people have spoken.

source

Profiles of valor: U.S. Army Sgt. James Brasher

November 23, 2008

United States Army Sgt. 1st Class James Brasher was serving as platoon sergeant for 2nd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in December 2007. His company was part of Operation Mar Kararadad, a mission to clear the Taliban stronghold of Musa Qal’eh, Afghanistan. On the night of 7 December, the company flew by helicopter to a point just outside the city and occupied a hill overlooking it. At dawn, the company began taking enemy fire from a town at the bottom of the hill, so they moved to clear the town. At one point, Sgt. Brasher killed an attacking jihadi before he could injure or kill any U.S. soldiers, and Brasher also took out an enemy position with a fragmentation grenade.

Brasher then led his men against other enemy positions as they systematically cleared the town. Repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, Brasher continued to lead the Americans in pursuit of retreating insurgents, killing several more. The Taliban consolidated behind a defensible compound, but Brasher kept fighting even after he was hit in the right forearm and bicep by an enemy round. In fact, the medics had to force him to take medical care. On 9 October 2008, Brasher was presented the Silver Star for “daring acts of intrepidity and gallantry in the face of a numerically superior and determined force,” according to the citation. “SFC Brasher’s fearless actions and dedication to mission accomplishment enabled Second Platoon to destroy over 20 well trained Taliban fighters. His quick decisions and aggressive stance against the enemy saved the lives of his men.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same: Poly Sci 101

November 23, 2008

Change! That was the mantra of the Obamasia was it not? Well, so far it appears that we will be having a rerun of the Clinton years. Are we really wanting to see things going on like that again? I mean, after all is said and done can we truly be proud of the things that went on with the “Crew.” From one thing after another it was a very bad time for America. So much change that Hillary Clinton will be Secretary of State?

What follows is from last Fridays Patriot Post, enjoy.

As the Obama administration begins to take shape, “change” has become little more than a bag of recyclables from the Clinton years. On a near-daily basis, it seems, Barack Obama has stocked his shelves with Clinton retreads or other longtime Swamp-dwellers. The next attorney general, for one, will be Eric Holder, Bill Clinton’s deputy attorney general from 1997-2001. Holder was instrumental in returning young Elian Gonzales to Communist Cuba at gunpoint, and in processing that rogue’s gallery of Clinton pardons in January 2001. Nothing like the smell of change…

The post that everyone is talking about, however, is that of secretary of state. Swamp gossip points to Hillary Clinton as the prime candidate, but despite some wishful thinking, it is not a done deal. History has proven that the best secretary of state is the one who acts as the mouthpiece of the president. Think Henry Kissinger or James Baker III. Those who do not promote the president’s ideological stance tend to be failures, pushing America’s foreign policy off the rails. Think Colin Powell. With that in mind, it’s hard to picture Hillary Clinton as the person charged with acting as the international mouthpiece of President Obama.

On the campaign trail, these two held strongly opposing views on American foreign policy. It could be said that Obama wants Clinton on board precisely because she can make up for his own inadequacies in foreign policy. If that is the case, then what does one do about the elephant in the room — i.e., Bill? As we all know, he has made a cottage industry of the ex-presidency, raking in millions of dollars from overseas speeches, consulting and philanthropy. As a private citizen, he’s of course allowed to keep many of his dealings secret, but how many of those secret deals will run into direct conflict with the interests of the United States if his wife is secretary of state? Clintonistas say this is not an issue, which means it’s a huge issue.

Furthermore, Hillary still has a future to consider. She has made a name for herself in the Senate, and another run for the White House isn’t out of the question. However, if she is tied to Obama’s administration and it falters, then she is likely to absorb a share of the blame. Perhaps the best advice came from former UN ambassador John Bolton: “Obama should remember the rule that you should never hire somebody you can’t fire.”

Meanwhile, what happened to John Kerry, who was openly vying the secretary of state post? He was recently named chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — ironically, the very committee to which he testified in 1971 that U.S. soldiers in Vietnam were committing war crimes. According to Kerry, our military personnel in Vietnam “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, [blew] up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to … the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.” Kerry then added, “There are all kinds of atrocities and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed.” So now we have a confessed war criminal in charge of the Foreign Relations Committee. That’s a change, all right.

Yet more bugaboo’s from the left…

November 23, 2008

On one blog the liberals are yet again trying to push the failed ideology of universal health care as some sort of inalienable right. Well? It might be thought that is so in Canada and other places. It is not listed in the Bill of Rights or anywhere else in the Constitution of the United States. The following by Mona Charen sums things up rather nicely concerning that, as well as what I see as a pretty decent assessment of the last election cycle. This was in last Fridays Patriot Post.


Unlike some who shall, in the interests of comity, remain nameless — conservatives do not cry foul when they lose elections. They do not whine that the election was stolen, or secured through dirty campaign tricks, or otherwise illegitimately won. Instead, they ask themselves where they went wrong.

The National Review Institute, a think tank founded by the late William F. Buckley and now headed by the dynamic and perspicacious Kate O’Beirne, hosted a daylong conference in Washington, D.C., to examine where conservatives need to go from here. It was a very clarifying day.

Yes, the Democrats got a big win on Nov. 4 and there is no gainsaying that Republicans and conservatives were rejected. Then again, it would have defied 200 years of American history if the party holding the White House for two terms and presiding over a huge financial panic should have been successful. Add to that the essentially content-free McCain campaign and you have yourself a drubbing.

But did liberal ideas win? Identification with the Republican Party is down. But the number of voters who identify themselves as liberal (22 percent) is nearly identical to the results four years ago (21 percent). Thirty-four percent, the same as in 2004, still identify as conservatives. And while slightly more voters expressed a desire for more government activism in 2008 than in 2004, the panting eagerness in the press for a reprise of the New Deal (note the cover of Time magazine) is not widely shared by the electorate.

Lacking political strength for the battles to come, conservatives will have to rely on the strength of their ideas. The most important battle, Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center argued, will be health care. If health care is successfully nationalized in America, the case for a smaller and less bureaucratic state becomes immeasurably more difficult. Throughout the developed world, in countries that have adopted socialized medicine, every call to limit the size and scope of government is instantly caricatured as an attempt to take medicine away from the weak and sick. People become awfully attached to “free” medical care even though it is emphatically not free (it is supported through higher taxes), even though it requires waiting periods for care (even in cases of cancer and other serious illnesses), and even though it deprives people of the latest technology (the city of Pittsburgh has more MRI scanners than the entire nation of Canada).

National Review’s Jim Manzi stressed a theme that has been circulating in the works of Ross Douthat, Ramesh Ponnuru (both of whom spoke later in the day), David Frum, and others, namely that the Republican Party erred by failing to address concerns of the broad middle class. Republicans tended to talk only of income taxes, neglecting the FICA or payroll tax that all wage earners pay. Douthat, author (with Reihan Salam) of “Grand New Party,” expanded on that theme. He outlined three traps facing the American right: 1) Demography. The groups that tend to vote Democrat — single women, Hispanics and other minorities — are expanding. The groups that vote for Republicans — married women, white Christians — are contracting. 2) Socio-economic. Middle-class wage stagnation over the past couple of decades has made the welfare state look better to more people (also, see single mothers above — the collapse of the two-parent family is probably a greater threat to future Republican success than any other single factor). 3) Ideological. Douthat argues that conservatives have confused policy with principle and have become wedded to particular solutions (like school vouchers) instead of flexibly seeking conservative approaches to new challenges.

We will need that flexibility as well as a renewed commitment to conservative principles now more than ever as we face a charismatic new president and a Democratic Congress. Republicans have been (myopically) tax-focused, which is a diminishing asset now that fewer and fewer Americans pay income taxes.

Not all of the cultural indicators are negative. Abortion is down, as is the divorce rate (though more people are cohabiting, which is terrible for kids). Crime declined when no one predicted that it would. Conservatives have won tough domestic battles (welfare reform) before — even with Democratic presidents. The next big battle is health care. After that, we shore up the traditional family. It won’t be easy, but this is the land of opportunity — and despair is a sin.

Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc.


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