Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Wedding Anniversary

Today marks my four year wedding anniversary. My wife and I have had an incredible four years together and we are looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

To my wonderful wife, I love you and am so thankful that God put us together to share our lives. I look forward to every moment we spend together and appreciate all the good times and bad times we haved shared and will share in the future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Bush Back In The Lead

I was checking out Scott's latest electoral numbers over at Election Projection, and the President is now leading John Kerry 274-264 in electoral votes. It was just a matter of time before the Prez took back the lead, and will more than likely keep that lead into November when he will be elected for a second term.

On another note, congratulations to Scott and his wife on 18 years of marriage.

An Eye For An Eye

The cretin should be taken out into his garage and beat till he's blind. A Louisville Slugger would be appropriate for the job. Then he should be thrown in jail to rot and forced to pay for this poor dog's medical bills until he dies.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...Ebay?

I just got myself a huge helping of The Man of Tomorrow over at Ebay. No real momentous issues, but I am trying to collect all the issues since the Superman re-tooling (1987). I got myself a John Byrne (my favorite childhood writer/artist) and some issues by Dan Jurgens. And I got it all real cheap and in near mint condition. The Man of Steel is calling right now telling me to go peruse a few issues...

Monday, June 28, 2004

A Free, Sovereign Iraq

Two days earlier than promised (June 30), control of Iraq has been turned over to the Governing Council and today Iraq is a free nation, as President Bush promised. I haven't seen a response to this action by the liberals yet. Are they in "shock and awe" at the President and the Republicans keeping their promises? I distinctly remember the Kerry camp disputing whether or not the target date of June 30th was going to hold as a transfer of power date. They were right. It didn't. It was two days earlier than expected.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Bertuzzi Charged

Finally, Todd Bertuzzi was charged with assault after sucker punching Steve Moore during a game which left Moore with a broken neck.

The charges -- assault causing bodily harm -- were announced by the criminal justice branch of the ministry of the attorney general after an investigation that lasted four months. Bertuzzi was ordered to appear in provincial court July 9.

If found guilty, Bertuzzi could face a penalty ranging from prison to an absolute discharge with no criminal record. This depends on in which court the trial is heard, which could be determined by the Canadian police before the court appearance.

Bertuzzi could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if the trial is held in B.C. Supreme Court. However, that penalty is usually reserved for only the worst cases involving repeat offenders and is highly unlikely in this incident.

Possible sentence of 10 years in prison for one moment of indiscretion? If you do the crime...

But the chances are even if Bertuzzi is convicted he will recieve no jail time. Jim Kelley over at seems to thinks this is the case:

There's a better than 50-50 chance that Bertuzzi will be convicted of something, does little to no jail time and eventually returns to the NHL rinks. There likely will be a nasty little civil suit, one that could cost him and the NHL a great deal of money, perhaps shaking the game right down to its financial foundations.

Criminal charges, an expensive civil suit, and a possible work stoppage is going to put a nail in the coffin of my favorite sport. Can life go on without hockey? Probably for most but mine will be just a little less enjoyable without it.

The Washington Times Insider

The Washingtong Times has a new political blog that is one to check out on a regular basis. A free registration is required. I'll be adding it to the list of blogs at the left. Today's post:

Only the New York Times could turn a museum exhibition about Alexander Hamilton into some sort of dark conspiracy by political conservatives.

I'm really gonna like reading this one...

(Hat Tip: Hugh Hewitt)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

"You can spot a good Sergeant a mile away."

Latest email from Major David G. Bellon, USMC. Here is an excerpt:

While you were gone, the effort here continued much the same. As you have no doubt seen, the violence has escalated as predicted but the average Iraqi actually appears to be more and more fed up with the acts of the insurgents. In our area, the viciousness and undisciplined nature of the enemy has caused them to fracture somewhat even to the point of fights breaking out between them.

In the last week, the Marines conducted a number of operations to include a raid on a particular mosque. The amount of planning that goes into a raid such as this is extensive. You would be amazed at how much we study the proper approach, not just tactically but culturally. Every effort is made not to overly offend those Iraqis who are not targets of the action itself. The second and third order of effects of missions are considered by the most talented and experienced operators and commanders. If I had to categorize the operation, I would say that without sacrificing speed and security, Marines are very vigilant about displaying the proper amount of "respect" in and around the target. I mention this because we absolutely 100% know that mosques are used to plan insurgent attacks, used as terrorists meeting places, used to store weapons, used to hide hostages, and used to spread hate and lies. Of course not all mosques are nefarious, but a significant percentage in the area where our Marines operate seem to be. Even with this in mind, as mentioned above, every effort is made during planning and execution not to trespass on the cultural importance of mosques. Once the mission is complete, additional efforts are made to explain to the locals what we did and why we did it.

During raid on this particular mosque, a large amount of enemy propaganda along with weapons and a detonator for an improvised explosive device was found among the suspected insurgents. The detonator belonged to an explosive charge that was placed in the ground approximately 250 meters from the mosque on the road leading up to it. The propaganda can be best categorized as hateful (believe it or not there were even hand bills about the Marine eating spiders).

I want to close by sharing with you that the coalition put a real hurt on the terrorists and criminals this week. I know it is horrifying to see the hostages killed on television but without being able to go into detail, the coalition has compromised and successfully attacked a number of senior terrorists this past week. While this is going on, the men are training new Iraqi soldiers and police officers and continuing to reach out to the people. The young Marines that are doing the work over here are committed young men who believe that they were doing the right thing. There were losses that are tragic. Losing Marines is a profoundly personal thing to their buddies and fellow Marines. However, I have yet to see the young men's will waiver. They just continue to go out their every day and do their job. Like I said before, it is humbling be around them.

Check out the entire letter here.

"The War Dividend"

Hugh Hewitt's latest article on the benefits of the war in Iraq. Yes, liberating Iraq has had a very large price tag, but the results are worth it. The Kerry camp would undermine everything that has been accomplished thus far for the people of Iraq and the message that has been sent to other neighboring regimes, namely that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are serious about what the say and back up their words with actions. Something John Kerry is yet to do...


Why couldn't I have been born like this kid?

Monday, June 21, 2004

Bill and Dan... Slick Willie On 60 Minutes

As my wife and I were flipping through the channels last night a funny thing happened. We landed on 60 Minutes. I had no desire to watch old Dan throw soft questions to the former president who is promoting his new book on his life and times. But as I listened to Bill and Dan's friendly banter, I decided that this might actually be interesting to listen to. My wife and I were in Washington D.C. the day that Clinton went in front of whatever committee it was he was testifying for (the whole "sexual relations" thing). I also got a kick out of him answering questions, "As I wrote in my book". True promotion at its best.

I did actually feel bad when CBS showed the clip of Hillary defending her lying husband and blamed the whole situation on a "Right-Wing Conspiracy". Sorry Mrs. Clinton, your husband actually did behave badly, us right-wingers really didn't need to help him on that one. And President Clinton says that he feels his impeachment fight was a "badge of honor". President Clinton, you got friendly with an intern, outraged a nation, nearly got kicked out of office, and you call your impeachment fight a "badge of honor". If you had left the intern alone you wouldn't have almost got impeached. A "badge of honor" is fighting for your country or standing up for what is right even though it isn't the popular thing to do, not getting in trouble because you played touch and tickle with Ms. Lewinsky.

After checking out Hugh Hewitt's site I came across this article by Fred Barnes that is not critical of President Clinton's book, but his presidency:

Clinton is not a failed president, only an insignificant one. In his interview with Rather to plug My Life, he claims two great accomplishments. One is "the creation of 22 million jobs." The other is the toppling of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in the Balkan war. So Clinton takes credit, above all, for high job growth and a positive outcome in a relatively minor foreign policy crisis. One qualification: On jobs, while Clinton deserves credit, presidents merely make jobs a bit easier or harder for the economy to create. They don't create jobs themselves, except by expanding government. In sum, Clinton's twin achievements match Coolidge's almost exactly. The highlights of Coolidge's term were a flourishing economy and triumph in three minor foreign ventures.

There are three primary methods of assessing, then ranking, a president. None helps Clinton. The first, most-often-applied test, goes like this: Did the president face an unprecedented challenge, did he respond boldly, and was he successful? Because they passed this test so impressively, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt are rated by historians as the top three presidents. Clinton faced no great challenge to which he could respond boldly and successfully. He was president during the period Charles Krauthammer has dubbed a "holiday from history." In fact, Clinton has complained he had no major war or crisis to confront.

I did find it interesting that President Clinton felt that the people of Iraq were better off now that Saddam has been deposed. Of course he thought we should have been a little more diplomatic and should have sent more inspectors in, but at least he conceded that condition of life for the people of Iraq had improved and you can only inspect so much before it is time for action.

And President Clinton really doesn't like the nickname "Slick Willie". It has a certain charm about it in my opinion. Really telling about one's character.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Spinning Again... features an article on how the media is overlooking the 9/11 Commission's most interesting findings. The media spinning their own version of the truth? Never...

Check out the Staff Statements for yourself at 9/11 Commission's homepage.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Heavenly Arachnids... More News From Fallujah

Latest email post from the dad of Major David G. Bellon, USMC, over at The Green Side. Major Bellon is currently serving in Fallujah. More disturbing news about the "thugs" that are causing all the problems in Fallujah. When the insurgents aren't fighting the U.S. Marines they are attacking their fellow citizens. Any Iraqi employed at a U.S. base is subject to terror and even death. These insurgents are nothing but cowardly thugs and the Marines should be given the green light to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Major Bellon includes an article at the end of his email that was printed in Bagdad. "FALLUJAH SAVED BY "DIVINE INTERVENTION" Residents say God sent spiders, ghost riders and other creatures to join their fight against American troops." How conveniently mankind uses the name of God for it's own cruel purposes.

Dear Dad -

The past week has seen both an increase in temperatures and an increase in violence here. Unfortunately, the violence has been particularly deadly for the Iraqi citizens who have not picked up arms against the coalition. It is pretty obvious here that the insurgents have determined that their best course of action is to kill any Iraqi who assists the coalition in any way. This means that even if a man hates Americans with every fiber of his being but takes a job pulling weeds around a US base, he is subject to be killed. The mujahadeen literally wait outside the bases near the highway and watch for Iraqis leaving a base. They either flag them down or they simply pull up along side of them and empty a magazine from an AK47 in to the vehicle. This occurs daily - many times a day here. Of course we are out there patrolling and trying to interdict these murders but it simply pushes the muj back and they wait further down the road. The amazing thing is that the Iraqis keep coming to work because they want to feed their families. Lately, the workers have started to arm themselves and there have been full blown shoot outs in the streets.

The following is a recap of events that have happened in our zone in the past week. Early in the week, one of our translators (Iraqi guy out of Baghdad) left one of our outposts and walked into a local restaurant to get some food. Three masked men came in to the restaurant and took him out. He has disappeared. We have made every effort to recover the guy but of course, no one knows anything.

Two days ago, a couple of boys that do odd jobs around one of our positions came in upset. They saw three dead bodies in Falluja on their way out of town that morning. We sent the Iraqi Police in to investigate and they brought the bodies out to our position. All three were Iraqi contractors who worked on American bases. One was a generator technician on our base. All three had their hands tied behind their back. All three had been beaten severely. One was shot in the face and another was shot in abdomen. The third was beaten and stabbed to death. Just like that, these criminals went out and picked up three men, all with families and then proceeded to torture and kill them, leaving their bodies in an alley.

What is even more outrageous is that no doubt that the people who are extolling the muj to go out and commit these crimes are the same ones who later in the day demand that we provide "more jobs." However, the jobs that they want are simply hand outs. They want us to give them large sums of money so that they can hire their own people. Of course, only a fraction of the money (if any) gets to the people. The majority go to the same band of criminals who have been running this society for decades. There is one local imam who is deeply involved with the insurgents who we suspect gets 30% off the top of all contracts! Again, the hypocrisy is astounding. This same guy will get up during Friday prayers and claim that we are trying to steel Iraq's oil and subjugate its people, meanwhile he is stealing a third of the money going into the town.

We have had some successes this week that you should know about. Earlier in the week, the muj mortared the same small town that I wrote about last week. Tragically some women and little girls were grievously wounded. As the Marines in the area responded to the attack, the mujahadeen attempted to ambush them. They set off a car bomb on the patrol and then opened up with RPGs and machine gun fire. Three Marines were wounded. All will recover. However, the Marines fought through the ambush and during a running firefight that lasted for hours and several kilometers, they hunted down and killed 7 mujahadeen and captured 2. That alone is another example of the heroics that the young Marines are executing daily. However, the truly encouraging element of the firefight was the response of a few Iraqi security forces guys who were operating with Marines in the area at same time.

At one point, the firefight was ongoing near an Iraqi Police station that was attacked at around the same time as the patrol above. A truck load of muj drove up and opened up on the police station. A small group of Marines were in the Police station in a joint position with Iraqi Police. The few Marines held firm and returned fire. Most of the Iraqi police fled. However, a handful stayed and fought with the Marines. While the Marines and Iraqi police held, the joint patrol of Marines and ICDC moved in to support. The ICDC soldiers did great and actually attacked a building where the muj were firing from. They are led by a Marine lieutenant who, along with his platoon has lived with them for months (another great story).

The Marines captured an Iraqi on a nearby rooftop who was videotaping the attack on the police station so the muj could use it for recruiting purposes. Imagine that, they want to record and gloat over attacks that target innocent Iraqis who are trying to raise their country up and maybe make better lives for their children. Of course, they do not have the courage to acknowledge the mortar attack that hurt the women and children. Inevitably, they blame it on the US.

There is so much shame in this society that the people cannot believe that fellow Iraqis would do such a thing. The people simply deny such an attack occurred without bothering to reason through the facts. However, when their fellow countrymen respond courageously and with honor, the message resonates. On these occasions, the lights come on and people talk openly about how much they hate the muj. Maybe even for a little while they see that a better future is possible. Unfortunately, when this happens, the insurgents recognize it immediately and act out brutally against the people in order to re-install the atmosphere of fear and instability that is required for them to succeed.

Slowly but surely, it feels like we are gaining ground. The heat and environment take their toll but you would be amazed at what the young men and women are doing out there every day.

I am copying the text of an article printed in Baghdad that clearly illustrates the chasm that is the cultural divide here. We get a kick out of these incidents when they happen. Inevitably, we stand slack jawed during moments like this. Doubt that you get a chance to hear about them but they serve as good entertainment. Have a great vacation,



FALLUJAH SAVED BY "DIVINE INTERVENTION" Residents say God sent spiders, ghost riders and other creatures to join their fight against American troops. By Awadh al-Taie in Baghdad An image hangs on the walls of mosques in Fallujah that seems to show United States soldiers with foot-long spiders dangling off them. Some people describe the image as merely two camel spiders joined together. But many Fallujans say the picture shows a giant spider sent by God to attack US troops in the battle for their town in April. "The soldier says that it runs fast - about 40 kilometers per hour. It is poisonous and it makes a screaming sound," said a poster in the mosque, entitled "Miracle of God in Fallujah". Although no Fallujans interviewed by IWPR claimed to have seen the beasts, many had heard tales about them. "A spider emerged from the railway tracks near the Golan neighborhood," said Abid Bin Allawi Ubeid, 32, a public servant in Fallujah's electricity department. "It killed 60 Marines." The heavenly arachnid is just one of several supernatural entities, including white-robed horsemen and doves, said to have taken up the fight against US forces. Ubeid said he had heard of white doves which hovered over Marine snipers and gave away their positions, as well as phantom white-robed knights on white horses who attacked the American troops. One insurgent, who refused to give his name, claimed to have experienced divine intervention during the fighting. Although he fired 150 rounds from his PKS machinegun at two Apache attack helicopters from a hilltop near al-Thirthar lake, the fighter said he was protected from being spotted. "It was a veil made by Almighty God," he said. The insurgent even credits divine intervention for the US decision not to press its attack on the city, "God sent these creatures to support us. I can't imagine that the Coalition forces would have been unable to deal with a city like Fallujah, especially when you see their equipment and numbers," he said. Local religious leaders support such claims, too. "Such things can be, because God has soldiers on earth and in the sky," said Sheikh Jamal Shaker, the imam or leader of a local mosque. Shaker himself said he was aware of at least one miracle in which the bodies of fallen mujahadeen or fighters did not decay, but instead "smelled of musk". Awadh al-Taie is a trainee journalist with IWPR in Baghdad.

A Treatise On Why Liberating Iraq Was The Right Thing To Do

With so much critical talk about President Bush's decision to topple Saddam's regime and with many saying that it was a mistake, Daniel Drummond has written an extensive piece over at The Fourth Rail about why military action in Iraq was and is the right thing to do and that the U.S. is going to stay the course, fight the faithful fight, and finish the good work it started. Make sure to check out all the links in the post.

Link courtesy of Scott over at Election Projection.

What Have They Done?

After a rather hectic time at work, a busy weekend, and killing alien hordes on my X-Box, I decided to head over to to check out the latest headlines. I was surprised to see that they had done a complete redesign of their website. Simply put, I hate it. Their previous design was easier to use. I could easily see the headlines, and could get entertainment news off their Fox Life section easily as well. Not anymore. I don't like the pull down menus on the side. I have to search for stuff that I used to get from their front page. Hopefully they are getting feedback and like most things will do a little revamping. Boy, nothing positive about this post is there?

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Kerry During The Reagan Years

The National Review Online’s Kerry Spot features quotes by Kerry and others said while President Reagan was alive. Kerry is saying all the right things about the president now and is being very respectful (which he ought to be anyway), but Jim Geraghty suggests that Kerry ought to think about these comments made in the past and maybe re-evaluate some of his own priorities.

President Reagan should reorder his priorities. We don't need expensive and exotic weapons systems." (Lt. Gov. John Kerry, Letter To Constituent, April 1983)

The defense expenditures of the Reagan Administration are without any relevancy to the threat this nation is currently facing...." ("Kerry Asks $54 Billion Cut In Reagan Defense Budget," Berkshire Eagle, 5/30/84)

Of the Reagan White House, "They were willing to literally put the Constitution at risk because they believed there was somehow a higher order of things, that the ends do in fact justify the means. That's the most Marxist, totalitarian doctrine I've ever heard of in my life.... You've done the very thing that James Madison and others feared when they were struggling to put the Constitution together, which was to create an unaccountable system with runaway power . . . running off against the will of the American people." ("Not Too Late For A War Crimes Trial," OC Weekly, 2/1/02)

I think it was a silly and rather immature approach," of Reagan's dismissal of a "peace offer" from Sandinista junta leader Daniel Ortega.

More Kerry: "I am take the risk in the effort to put to test the good faith of the Sandinistas." (John F. Kerry, The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best, p.217) Days later, Ortega went to Moscow to collect a $200 million loan from the Soviets, leaving Democrats "embarrassed," in the words of then-Speaker Tip O'Neill.
When Reagan bombed Libya in response to a Berlin disco bombing (killed one U.S. soldier and wounded 51): "It is obvious that our response was not proportional to the disco bombing and even violated the Administration's own guidelines to hit clearly defined terrorist targets, thereby minimizing the risk to innocent civilians.... We are not going to solve the problem of terrorism with this kind of retaliation. There are numerous other actions we can take, in concert with our allies, to bring significant pressure to bear on countries supporting or harboring terrorists."

When American troops invaded Grenada, Kerry denounced the action as "a bully show of force."

While ripping Wesley Clark in a Democratic debate: "I'm not going to characterize other people, but while he (Clark) was voting for Richard Nixon and for Ronald Reagan, I was fighting against both of their policies and what they did, frankly, to the average working person in this country and to some of our hopes and dreams."

Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel

Being a huge Superman fan, I was thrilled to find this book. If you are familiar at all with the Dorling Kindersley Ultimate Guides, you will not be disappointed with this one. DK books are known for being extremely detailed with tons of photos and graphics. This book is no different. Included are sections on Superman’s background, “The City of Tomorrow”, villains, heroes, and a detailed timeline about the Man of Tomorrow. Best of all, most of the art pulled for this book is from the Superman title (1987-) and features lots of images by John Byrne and my personal favorite Ed McGuiness (in fact Ed and Cam Smith did the cover). A must for any Superman fan.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

More News From Iraq You Won't Hear From The Media

Blackfive posts a couple of different articles that you won't see in any American newspaper anytime soon. The first post is via US Marine Lieutenant General Fred McCorkle about the current situation in Iraq, and it isn't as bleak as the major media outlets are portraying it. This article has not appeared in any American publication and was originally published in the London Sunday Times. The other post is about how the Navy Seabees and the Marines are working to improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


I just bought the game Halo for my X-Box. I know it's been out awhile, but I wanted to get a deal on it and Circuit City had it on sale. So consequently blogging is going to be lighter than usual for the next few days as I destroy countless hordes of alien invaders trying to eradicate the human race. I will eventually join you all back here on Planet Earth to jump back into politics and other enjoyable pursuits.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

D-Day 60th Anniversary 1944-2004

Photo Courtesy AP and Fox News

I am going to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of D-Day with two speeches given by the late President Reagan on the 40th Anniversay of D-Day, June 6, 1984. The first speech was given at the U.S. Ranger Monument, Pointe Du Hoc; Normandy, France:

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied peoples joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers — at the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine-guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your 'lives fought for life...and left the vivid air signed with your honor'...

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith, and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you

The second comes from the Omaha Beach Memorial; Omaha Beach, France:

We stand today at a place of battle, one that 40 years ago saw and felt the worst of war. Men bled and died here for a few feet of - or inches of sand, as bullets and shellfire cut through their ranks. About them, General Omar Bradley later said, "Every man who set foot on Omaha Beach that day was a hero."

Some who survived the battle of June 6, 1944, are here today. Others who hoped to return never did.

"Someday, Lis, I'll go back," said Private First Class Peter Robert Zannata, of the 37th Engineer Combat Battalion, and first assault wave to hit Omaha Beach. "I'll go back, and I'll see it all again. I'll see the beach, the barricades, and the graves."

Those words of Private Zanatta come to us from his daughter, Lisa Zanatta Henn, in a heart-rending story about the event her father spoke of so often. "In his words, the Normandy invasion would change his life forever," she said. She tells some of his stories of World War II but says of her father, "the story to end all stories was D-Day."

"He made me feel the fear of being on the boat waiting to land. I can smell the ocean and feel the sea sickness. I can see the looks on his fellow soldiers' faces — the fear, the anguish, the uncertainty of what lay ahead. And when they landed, I can feel the strength and courage of the men who took those first steps through the tide to what must have surely looked like instant death."

Private Zannata's daughter wrote to me, "I don't know how or why I can feel this emptiness, this fear, or this determination, but I do. Maybe it's the bond I had with my father. All I know is that it brings tears to my eyes to think about my father as a 20-year old boy having to face that beach."

The anniversary of D-Day was always special to her family. And like all the families of those who went to war, she describes how she came to realize her own father's survival was a miracle: "So many men died. I know that my father watched many of his friends be killed. I know that he must have died inside a little each time. But his explanation to me was, `You did what you had to do, and you kept on going."

When men like Private Zannata and all our Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy 40 years ago they came not as conquerors, but as liberators. When these troops swept across the French countryside and into the forests of Belgium and Luxembourg they came not to take, but to return what had been wrongfully seized. When our forces marched into Germany they came not to prey on a brave and defeated people, but to nurture the seeds of democracy among those who yearned to bee free again.

We salute them today. But, Mr. President [Francois Mitterand of France], we also salute those who, like yourself, were already engaging the enemy inside your beloved country — the French Resistance. Your valiant struggle for France did so much to cripple the enemy and spur the advance of the armies of liberation. The French Forces of the Interior will forever personify courage and national spirit. They will be a timeless inspiration to all who are free and to all who would be free.

Today, in their memory, and for all who fought here, we celebrate the triumph of democracy. We reaffirm the unity of democratic people who fought a war and then joined with the vanquished in a firm resolve to keep the peace.

From a terrible war we learned that unity made us invincible; now, in peace, that same unity makes us secure. We sought to bring all freedom-loving nations together in a community dedicated to the defense and preservation of our sacred values. Our alliance, forged in the crucible of war, tempered and shaped by the realities of the post-war world, has succeeded. In Europe, the threat has been contained, the peace has been kept.

Today, the living here assembled-officials, veterans, citizens-are a tribute to what was achieved here 40 years ago. This land is secure. We are free. These things are worth fighting and dying for.

Lisa Zannata Henn began her story by quoting her father, who promised that he would return to Normandy. She ended with a promise to her father, who died 8 years ago of cancer: "I'm going there, Dad, and I'll see the beaches and the barricades and the monuments. I'll see the graves, and I'll put flowers there just like you wanted to do. I'll never forget what you went through, Dad, nor will I let any one else forget. And, Dad, I'll always be proud."

Through the words of his loving daughter, who is here with us today, a D-Day veteran has shown us the meaning of this day far better than any President can. It is enough to say about Private Zannata and all the men of honor and courage who fought beside him four decades ago: We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.

Thank you.

Thank you Mr. President for your great remarks about these brave men that fought this tremendous battle that turned the tide of World War II in favor of the Allies and thank you to the brave men the fought and died on this momentous day.

Make sure you check out the The National D-Day Museum for more information.

Ronald Reagan 1911-2004


Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of our country, died Saturday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. A tear came to my eye when I heard this news. President Reagan was the first president that I can truly remember (even though I do vaguely remember my parents complaining about President Carter). I remember seeing the president get shot by John Hinckley Jr. when I was in elementary school. He revolutionized conservative politics and set me on the path as a conservative. It is sad to see such a great figure pass away, but somewhat of a relief because of the condition he was suffering from. has a great collection of articles about the late president.

"Viva La Reagan Revolucion"

Saturday, June 05, 2004

News from Fallujah

Latest email from Major David G. Bellon, USMC posted by his dad over at The Green Side (added under Military links). Major Bellon is currently in Fallujah. No elite media filters here. His news is encouraging in terms of the people of Fallujah, but downright frightening in regards to the insurgents the Marines continue to battle there.

Email from Dave - Jun 2, 04

"Dad -

Some interesting developments out of Falluja and Iraq in general that I wanted to share with you. Since we have agreed to stay at arms reach with Falluja, we have been able to focus our efforts on the surrounding towns and villages. The result is that we have made great inroads in breaking up insurgent cells through ambushes and raids. Even more important, we have began to establish an early and still fragile rapport with the people of these areas. The areas are historical sanctuaries for terrorists so they are important.

One town in particular that we have been successful in is near Falluja. During the April fight in Falluja, the muj took the town over and used it as a base of operations of sorts. From all reports, they were brutal on the people and very quickly subjugated the town. During one of the ordered pauses in the Falluja fight, we chopped a rifle company off the line with a very aggressive battalion commander. Basically he was told that we thought the muj were running lose in the area and that he should head up there and "develop the situation." I have gotten to know this guy pretty well here. He is a very good commander and a tough guy. In fact, I remember telling him that if he went past a certain point, he would be decisively engaged. We had estimated that if he got into a decisive engagement, he could be outnumbered by as much as 5:1. You can imagine what he did. He took his Marines right to that point.

Sure enough, the fight was on. It was a 360 degree engagement that lasted 8 hours. An 8 hour firefight is an eternity. To put it in perspective, this guy was in both OIF 1 battle for Baghdad as well as the Falluja fight. He states that the firefight up near this town was the toughest he has been in. We fired quite a bit of artillery and brought in a number of sorties of close air for them. By the time it was over, the estimates (now confirmed) are that they killed over a 100 muj. We could not understand why they kept coming but they did (more on that later). Throughout it all, very accurate mortar fire up to 120mm was falling inside the Marine position. Automatic weapons and RPGs were crisscrossing through the perimeter. The Marines just
laid their in the micro terrain and squeezed of well aimed shots.

The Battalion Commander stayed that day until his guys broke the muj and he "owned the field" (his words). He then withdrew back to his original position. In the same town, we now have Marines living 24/7. They are conducting joint patrols with the Iraqi Police and the ICDC (Iraqi Civil Defense Corps). When they first arrived, the people were very standoffish and even hostile. Now we are getting more and more walk up intelligence (where the locals literally risk their lives in order to walk into our lines and tell us where the muj are). The reason for the turnaround is simple. We have pushed through the bow wave of intimidation and terror that dominated the town when the muj were there. The Marines did it through aggressive raiding and downright obstinate refusal to budge regardless of the costs. The people were watching the entire time and have made up their own minds where their best future lies. It has gotten to the point where the mujahadeen are now firing mortars indiscriminately into the town as it is the only effective means of maintaining any kind of influence over the people. Yesterday, they grievously wounded to citizens doing just that.

That is not to say that the town is a bed of roses for the Marines as we still have plenty of contact in the area and it is very dangerous but we are grinding them down and are about to put a good pounding on the enemy in the next few days. The people are talking and we are about to pay some more visits in the middle of the night. I could give you a couple more examples but it is a good illustration of what kind of work the Marines are doing every day.

As far as Falluja goes, we have not been allowed to get back in there with any real numbers yet. Initially, it was confounding. However, a very interesting dynamic has developed. Since we have stayed out of Falluja and focused elsewhere, the mujahadeen have had their run of the town. As they have had no one to fight, they have turned their criminal instincts on the citizens. The clerics who once were whipping these idiots into a suicidal frenzy are now having to issue Fatwas (holy decrees) admonishing the muj for extortion, rape, murder and kidnapping. It is unfortunate for the "innocent people" of Falluja but the mujahadeen have betrayed themselves as the thugs that they are by brutalizing the civilians. There are, in fact, reports of rape, etc from inside the town.

While the muj are thugging away inside the town, we are about 1/2 mile away paying claims, entering into dialogue and contracting jobs. The citizens come outside the city for work and money and are treated like human beings. They go back inside and enter a lawless hell. In short, the muj have done more to show the people what hypocrites they are in a few short weeks than we could have hoped for in a year. The result is more and more targetable intelligence. If we are given the green light, we can really go to town on these guys (no pun intended). However, as much as we would like to do just that, the optimal solution is to empower the Iraqis to take care of it themselves. That is precisely what we are doing.

Equally astounding is evidence that these "holy warriors" are taking drugs to get high before attacks. It true, as we pushed into the town in April many Marines came across drug paraphernalia (mostly heroin). Recently, we have gotten evidence of them using another drug BZ that makes them high and very aggressive. Cowards and hypocrites. They don't have the nerve to fight without calming their fear with drugs. Between highs, they are robbing people and raping young girls. Some jihad.

Unfortunately, Al Qaeda is here and they are some of the most brutal beings that you can imagine. I say "beings" because they do not qualify as human beings. They prey upon the "holy warriors" above and are in league with them teaching them tactics and employing them to execute attacks. Money to pay for the attacks comes from neighboring states. Al Qaeda, the same people that espouse creating a Islamic State that is global and living under the "purist form of God's laws", are working with drug addicts and rapists. Someone will have to explain that on to me some day.

For now we are gearing up for the inevitable offensive that the former regime guys, local criminals and Al Qaeda will wage this summer. It will be brutal as they are on a systematic campaign to murder anyone who is even half-way moderate. If any leader gains traction that is not 100% anti-coalition and pro-anarchy, is at immediate risk. Yesterday's positive world media coverage of the naming of the interim government will probably accelerate the mayhem somewhat. It is a fight that is inevitable. So long as we can keep the Iraqi people's nerve up and keep as many leaders alive as possible, we will crush the enemy when he surfaces. We are hopeful to take a little wind out of their sails with some pre-emptive work over the next few days.

I will let you know how it goes."

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Roger Ailes On John Carroll’s Brand Of Journalism

I really haven’t been following the whole thing on L.A. Times editor John Carroll attacking Bill O’ Reilly and Fox News as “psuedojournalism”, except what Hugh Hewitt has said at his site. But there is a great piece at about it. Roger Ailes, the chairman and CEO of Fox News, has fired back, correcting John Carroll’s hack statements. Check this out:

Mr. Carroll essentially announced that the reason Fox News Channel is the No. 1 cable news network and is gaining viewers is because the American people are stupid and gullible. In addition, he deliberately confused our highly rated news analysis and opinion shows like Bill O'Reilly with our hard news coverage. Mr. Carroll cites not a single example of what he calls "pseudojournalism" from our actual news coverage. He cites only Bill O'Reilly's opinions and an old push poll that purports to show that more Fox News viewers believed things that were not true about Iraq and the War on Terror than did viewers of other outlets. But he cites no instance of our having reported any of these things.

The American people watch Fox News because we are “stupid and gullible”. I don’t believe myself to be stupid or gullible, therefore I watch Fox News. Not only do I get the straight story, I can get opinion and analysis from people like Bill O’ Reilly. With NBC, CBS, and ABC the new is all opinion, mingled with facts. Mr. Ailes goes on refuting Carroll:

What the audience at the University of Oregon was not informed about are the many firsts and exclusives that Fox News has reported. Fox News is the network that broke George W. Bush's DUI four days before the election. Greg Kelly rolled into Baghdad ahead of any other reporter, on the back of a M-113 armored personnel carrier--video of which was requested by news organizations world-wide. Steve Harrigan ventured into danger zones from Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia and the Congo, to report on a genocidal war largely ignored by other media. Jim Angle scooped the rest of Washington on what Richard Clarke had said about the administration while he was there, as opposed to what he wrote later in his book. Fox called every Democratic primary race in 2004 first and accurately, and was praised by the Congressional Black Caucus for partnering with them on producing two Democratic primary debates. We have been the only network seriously reporting on the Oil-for-Food program, where a corrupt U.N. appears to have paid for anti-Americanism all over the world.

Breaking George W. Bush’s DUI story and producing Democratic primary debates. Seems pretty fair and balanced to me.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


I apologize for not posting in awhile. Life has been very busy with work, church, and family.

Had a busy but enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. On Monday I was in the quaint little town of Milo, Maine where I have relatives. I watched the Memorial Day parade, which was about ten minutes long, and featured the town school bands, some fire trucks, a couple of FarmAlls, and of course the local veterans. My uncle, who worked on B-24s in Italy during World War II, was in the parade. The man is 80 years old, still fits in his uniform and walked the entire parade route. My aunt was also in the parade. She was a WAVES during WWII as well. It was great to be able to be with them and to thank them personally for their service to this great country.