I thought, for an ex-military man, Kerry's salute was very sloppy. The Navy doesn't even salute that way.
If you're going to do something, at least do it right! This is not a very encouraging sign from a man that claims to do things better and smarter that Bush.
Have you ever seen Bush salute the troops? The man knows how to salute.
There is a school of thought that argues that by the time the United Nations Security Council applies its attention to a crisis anywhere in the world, that crisis will already be out of hand, or the moment to intervene effectively will have passed. That is an argument that is particularly apposite in relation to what is going on in Darfur. The same school of thought also contends that when the UN does finally accept that something must be done, it will do the wrong thing, and do it so slowly that it merely compounds an already hopeless situation. And here we have Darfur again. Given the opportunity to act firmly and decisively, for once to present a united front to face down an aggressor and to protect those who cannot defend themselves, the UN has chosen the path of least resistance. It has shied away from using its power for good in favour of mealy-mouthed attitudes and toothless threats of some future, ill-defined, approbation.
From The Scotsman
Yes. I know it's another bright yellow Begonia. I'm sorry. I never tire of looking at these flowers. If you want other flowers, get your own blog.
The Begonia flowers have different sexes. The big full flowers are male flowers. The small simple flowers are female flowers. There is a female flower in the foreground and one in the background.
Yesterday I sat through my second High Probability Prospecting and Selling class.
They define High Probability Prospecting as looking for someone who needs, wants and can afford what you’re selling and is willing and able to buy from you now if you meet their conditions of satisfaction.
They liken prospecting to going through a deck of cards looking for the Ace of Diamonds and coming across the 10 of Hearts. Normal selling is trying to change the 10 of Hearts into the Ace of Diamonds. High Probability Prospecting is simply going through the deck of cards as fast as possible until you find the Ace of Diamonds.
According to the instructors, they have done tests and found the optimum amount of time to spend with an individual prospect is 15 to 20 seconds. Go shorter or longer than this time, and your prospecting percentages will drop.
The formula for my prospecting script to.
1) Say who I am and who I represent
2) What I am selling
3) Two features of my product
4) Ask for a commitment that includes the word want.
We were given homework. Our assignment is to…
1) Come up with six or more features of my product
2) Come up with six or more benefits from these features
3) Come up with six or more detriments of my product
4) Develop three or more prospecting offers.
The offer should be 45 words or less (37 words seems to be optimal) and it should be easily understood by a 14-year old.
Here's a sample script, "This is Joe Agent from ABC Insurance Company. I sell long-term care insurance that covers the cost of nursing home care or in-home care if you ever need it. It can preserve your estate for your heirs. Is this something you want?”
In Iraq, if you are wounded, most of the time you’re going to feel it in the head. Some 65 percent of those wounded in Iraq, also have some kind of brain injury. The unusually low casualty rate in Iraq is partly because of better body armor, and decades of research on the types of combat wounds, their long term effects, and the best way to prevent them, and treat them. All this effort has resulted in the realization that there are more brain injuries than previously thought. This was only discovered after years of monitoring men who had been injured in combat, and because better methods of examining brains (scanners and the like) made it possible to detect the damage. In Iraq, new combat helmets not only better protect troops from fatal brain injuries, but also lessen the damage from non-fatal injuries. Iraq has also seen more frequent use of roadside bombs, mortars and RPG rockets. These are all “blast weapons,” and that blast often results in a head injury that, in the past, was overlooked. Now, military medical teams know better, and carefully check anyone who has been close to an explosion. There is therapy and medication available to reduce, or eliminate the long term effects of these concussion type injuries. This sort of treatment is typical of how different medical care is for those wounded in Iraq, versus those hurt in past wars. There’s been a tremendous amount of research in these kind of injuries over the last few decades, and in how to deal with it. But this sort of thing rarely makes the news, and few people know about it.
Yesterday was senior's day at the Fair. We went at 9 a.m., as they were not charging for parking we were able to drive on down to the Floral building on the Grand to park. Everyone met in the big tent in front of the Floral bld. for Coffee & Donuts. We then went on a ride around the fair grounds. They had a tram like affair & a wagon drawn by a tractor that had park benches on it. We wound up on the wagon but had a longer & slower ride so was able to see more of the grounds with out walking. At 11:30, they served a box lunch, which turned out to be very good. After which they had a short musical program & a drawing. We both won a bag of goodies.
We then borrowed one of their wheel chairs & Dad pushed me around to see the horses, cattle & sheep. Then back by the farm lane where they had tractors & farm equipment. By then we had to return the wheel chair. They also had lots of flowers in the Floral building. The biggest in years. We looked at their art exhibit. We were tired by then & ready to go home. Best of all it didn't cost one cent! Not bad for a couple of old people at the fair.
My foot has really been giving me problems. I had a second cortisone shot Wed. but still pretty painful when I try to walk on it. They say it will take quite a while to heal.
Dad took Bob Krusinga with him fishing today on Augst Lake. They came home with 19 nice gills. Bob stayed for lunch after which Dad showed him how to fillet the fish. They both had a good time even if it did sprinkle some.
Have a good weekend.
Love, Mother & Dad
Kerry says he would be able to get other countries to help us in Iraq where Bush cannot. I interpret that to mean, the Kerry is saying he is a better salesperson than Bush. Salesmanship is getting someone to do something they don’t really want to do. Kerry claims he can better persuade other countries.
On what does he base that claim?
I didn’t hear Kerry’s speech last night. I kept waiting and waiting through one boring speech after another for him to come on. But I had to go to work today and thus had to get to bed last night. Perhaps CSPAN will have recorded it and I can watch it tonight.
I did quickly peruse a transcript of the speech on Drudge. I thought it sounded like a Bush speech.
Here are some thoughts about the race and Kerry.
This reminds me a little of the 1964 campaign. I remember Linden Johnson saying, “We should not be sending American boys to do what Asian boys need to do.” Or something to that effect.
Johnson was re-elected and he proceeded to send thousands of troops to Vietnam.
Kerry’s criticisms of Bush are quite muted. He talks about how much more reluctant to go to war he would be than Bush. I wonder if, like Johnson in ’64 Kerry would campaign on that and then, if elected, proceed to send US troops into combat around the world.
I sometimes think that since Democrats are thought of as the peace party, they overcompensate by doing reckless things.
Kerry also seems to say, that he would do what Bush does only he’d do it smarter and better. But he gives no specifics.
He does say he raise taxes and spending – although he words that a little differently, that’s what he do.
UPDATE: Kerry seems to be getting more mileage out of is 16 weeks in Vietnam than any other veteran I can think of.
UPDATE: Kerry seems proud of his service in Vietnam where he admits he and his fellow Navy guys committed war crimes and atrocities.
During a college class a professor, professing that he was an atheist to the class that he was teaching told them that he was going to prove to them that there is no God.
He said, "God, if you are real, I want you to knock me off of this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"
Ten minutes went by. He kept taunting God, saying, "Here I am God. I'm waiting!"
It got down to the last couple of minutes and a young veteran service member just released from being on active duty and newly registered in the class walked up to the professor, and hit him full force in the face, which sent him tumbling from his platform.
The professor struggled up, obviously shaken and yelled, "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"
The veteran replied, "God was busy; so he sent me!"
I recorded my complete class yesterday. It ran about 90 minutes. This morning I used a piece of software called GoldWave on my recording. I shrunk the 90 minutes into 73 minutes and then burned it to a CD. A CD only holds 75 minutes of sound.
It is quite listenable as the software automatically changes the frequency so it doesn’t sound like the chipmunks talking.
After listening to it to and from the client site, I decided it needed more work. The problem is I can hear the instructor loud and clear. But I can’t hear the participants as well.
No problemo. The software can fix that too. Tonight I “compressed” the recording to knock down the loud parts. Now, when I play it, it sounds more consistent from speaker to speaker. I’ll burn it to a CD and see how it sounds in the car.
If I were Kerry, I’d use the silly NASA photo in my speech. During my speech, I’d mention the photo, put it on the screen and then make a humorous self-deprecating remark about it. In an instant, the hoopla would evaporate.
But I don’t expect him to do that. Kerry’s ego is too fragile for any self-deprecating humor.
The man takes himself too seriously.
There are many people that feel The Rock is not smart enough to be president. My contention is he is plenty smart enough. I once heard someone say, we should try to get the smartest person we can to be president.
My reaction is, “Then get Ted Kaczynski.” He was the Unabomber and his IQ is up in the genius level.
I feel, what we need is someone smart enough. Too many smarts and it screws up a person’s thinking. The brilliant people can see too many options. With too many choices, the smart person suffers from indecision. What to do? There are too many choices.
It as also been my experience that really smart people know they are smart and tend to look down their noses at the rest of us poor slubs. I have a prejudice. I am prejudiced against arrogant people. Smart people tend to be arrogant people – like the current Democratic nominee.
His only campaign rhetoric is, he would do was The Rock is doing; only he’d do it smarter. He’d do it better.
I went through my first High Probability Selling class today. It ran 90 minutes. There were eight people in attendance and then the instructor. There were people from all over the country and one chap in Melbourne, Australia. The class started at 10:30 am my time. It was 12:30 am in Melbourne. Now that’s dedication.
It was all over the phone. I used my speakerphone and recorded the whole thing on my computer. I’ll burn it to a CD so I can listen to it in my car as I drive around.
There was little interaction today as he laid out the ground rules and the rational behind their selling approach. This approach was developed observing 312 of the top 1% of all salespeople throughout the United States.
We’re going to be covering prospecting first. Here’s how they define a High Probability Prospect: Someone who needs, wants, and can afford what you’re selling and is willing and able to buy fro you now if you meet their conditions of satisfaction.
There is NO attempt to persuade anyone. It is a simple process of going through as many prospects as quickly as you can to find the ones that are ready to buy now.
He identified two poison words: Interest and interested. He said we never want to talk to an interested prospect. The only thing worse than an interested prospect is a VERY interested prospect.
My next class will be Thursday morning.
I start my sales course tomorrow. I’m enthusiastic about it. I think it will cause me some discomfort, but I will be better for it. I’ll keep you apprised of how it goes.
They have finally arrived!
Planned Parenthood is proud to offer yet another t-shirt in our new social fashion line: "I Had an Abortion" fitted T-shirts are now available. These soft and comfortable fitted tees assert a powerful message in support of women's rights.
Order yours for $15 each.
(I thought Planned Parenthood didn't promote abortion.)
Sung to the tune, "On Top of Old Smokey"
On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.
It rolled in the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.
The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer,
It grew into a tree.
The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.
So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball,
Whenever you sneeze.
In response to a question, Mr. Kerry said he has given no thought to the possibility of a terrorist attack taking place in the midst of the presidential campaign. "I don't think about it; I can't control it," he said.
Hello? We are not asking him to go to Logan and hand-check every passenger's luggage; we are wondering whether he is inclined to suggest something like a contingency plan. A terrorist attack on election day could re-create the confusion of Florida 2000 and undermine the legitimacy of the next President - he hasn't thought about it? He hasn't thought about it because he can't control it?
Lots of things will happen that a president can't control. What the President can try to control is the pre-planning, and the coordination of an appropriate response. Enough with the New Age self-help, John - Read the job description.
Now, the reporter pressed him - whether he wanted to throw Tall John a lifeline is your guess (and we've seen this before with these two):
He at first declined to say whether he thought the nation should be prepared to postpone the election if there is an attack, which is what took place with the New York City mayoral primary that was scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001, saying it was hypothetical question. But reminded that such a proposal was being discussed in Washington last week, he said he would strongly oppose any such move.
"I cannot imagine a worse signal to the world than to suggest that this, the greatest democracy in the world, could possibly be interrupted by an act of terror," Mr. Kerry said.
A hypothetical question? "How should we prepare for and respond to a possible Al Qaeda attack?"; "I can't respond to that, it's a hypothetical question". Gee, I feel safer already.
BOSTON (Reuters) - Security officers won't be the only professionals coming to Boston in unprecedented numbers for the Democratic National Convention.
Practitioners of the world's oldest profession are seeking reinforcements to help service some of the 35,000 visitors -- plus untold numbers of police reinforcements -- expected in the coming week when Democrats name Sen. John Kerry their presidential candidate.
"Every convention brings in more people, and women fly in from all over the country to work it," said Robyn Few, a prostitute on probation who runs the Sex Workers Outreach Project, an advocacy group.
"There will be girls from California and from the South in Boston this week," she said. "I hope a lot of women make a lot of money and make a lot of men really happy."
While Boston has played host to a number of conventions, a national political convention draws larger crowds than the city is accustomed to and security for the event is said to be unprecedented amid terrorism concerns.
For weeks, escort services have plastered advertisements in magazines and on the Internet asking women to work the convention.
Even local strip clubs are putting out the word that more women are needed.
"We are looking for more girls right now," said Frank Caswell, who runs the Foxy Lady club outside Boston. "Obviously, hospitality and beauty are expected and the girls must bring something that is enticing to see."
Local agencies said they charge anywhere from $200 an hour for a little company in a delegate's hotel room; rates at national agencies can be five times that much.
Several sex workers said political conventions were often particularly lucrative. Democratic organizers wanted to point out that many delegates are bringing their families.
"This really is a G-rated event," said DNC spokeswoman Mariellen Burns.
Michael Moore's contentious film Fahrenheit 9/11 has opened in Poland, with some film critics likening it to totalitarian propaganda.
Gazeta Wyborcza reviewer Jacek Szczerba called the film a "foul pamphlet".
He said it was too biased to be called a documentary and was similar to Nazi propaganda director Leni Riefenstahl. . . .
"In criticising Moore, I have to admit that he has certain abilities - Leni Riefenstahl had them too," Mr Szczerba said in his review.
From The Instapundit
Question: Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?
Daniel Okrent, New York Times Public Editor: “Of course it is.”
(As Bernard Goldberg writes in Arrogance, the Times' reporting influences not just what you read in other papers, but what you see on TV as well. Many, many TV news stories begin as Times articles, which TV networks simply hand to their reporters and say, "craft a TV story out of this".)
Which means that Okrent's admission has repercussions throughout virtually all of America's media. For example, the New York Times finally admits it's liberal, but still carries the motto, "All the news that's fit to print".
From Ed Driscoll
----(After Captain and passengers knew about the other hijackings and got warnings about possible attempts to enter the cockpit..JG)Two minutes later, the hijackers attacked Captain Dahl and his first officer.
Unlike the three other hijackings, Flight 93 continued transmitting over the radio during the struggle in the cockpit. The captain or first officer declared "Mayday," and 35 seconds later, one of them shouted, "Hey, get out of here get out of here get out of here." Later, passengers reported seeing two bodies outside the cockpit, injured or dead, probably the pilots....
---A lot of the passengers used cell phones to call the ground.
--They were stormed by the passengers. And they knew it. And they knew they were losing...so:
At three seconds after 10 a.m., Mr. Jarrah is heard on the cockpit voice recorder saying: "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?"
But another hijacker responds: "No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off."
The voice recorder captured sounds of continued fighting, and Mr. Jarrah pitched the plane up and then down. A passenger is heard to say, "In the cockpit. If we don't we'll die!"
Then a passenger yelled "Roll it!" Some aviation experts have speculated that this was a reference to a food cart, being used as a battering ram.
Mr. Jarrah "stopped the violent maneuvers" at 10:01:00, according to the report, and said, "Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!"
"He then asked another hijacker in the cockpit, `Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?' to which the other replied, `Yes, put it in it, and pull it down.'"
Eighty seconds later, a hijacker is heard to say, "Pull it down! Pull it down!"
"The hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them," according to the report, which seems to indicate that the hijackers themselves crashed the plane. "With the sounds of the passenger counterattack continuing, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 580 miles per hour, about 20 minutes' flying time from Washington, D.C," according to the report.
Can I rant about how education again? I signed up for a SQL training course through Microsoft. I’ve gone about one-third the way through it and it’s pretty tough.
It’s not the material that is tough, it’s the experience. I sit in front of my computer will the recording drones on about SQL and they demo what they are saying. I AM thankful I haven’t had to travel to a classroom and sit through this with a real person. So at least it is convenient.
Microsoft is going to require a pass a test on SQL. As painful as that is, I look on the bright side. The more difficult they make it to be a Microsoft dealer, the more it eliminates my competitors.
This course is going to be insufficient to prepare me for the test. I will need to study. Towards that end, I’m looking for an efficient study method. The best that I’ve seen is something called “Flash Cards!”
Yes, I know they’re not new. As a matter of fact, they are ancient. But they are effective. I scoured the net until I found some flash card software for my Palm. It was only $15, so the monetary investment is minimal.
Now comes the hard work, populating the database so I can review the cards. I think I’ll have the girl in my office do that. That will also give her a chance to review the data, while she is putting my flash cards together.
My question is, why doesn’t Microsoft make this available in the first place? Why is this not used at all education levels?
The computer is the perfect instrument for doing this, but I don’t see anyone taking advantage of it. My theory is, the education business is too old. Old businesses seem to be the most resistant to new technologies.
End of rant – for now.
Genius is only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it: so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it.
How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success. As the tide goes out, so it comes clear in.
In business, sometimes, prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.
There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.
- Elbert Hubbard
We have two flowerpots on either side of our side entry. Both pots have thee yellow begonias. I happen to be real partial to yellow flowers, especially bright yellow ones. I rather like the way this picture came out. It's kind of spooky.
In this sense, 9/11 has taught us that terrorism against American interests “over there” should be regarded just as we regard terrorism against America “over here.” In this same sense, the American homeland is the planet. But the enemy is not just “terrorism,” some generic evil. This vagueness blurs the strategy. The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed by Islamist terrorism —especially the al Qaeda network, its affiliates, and its ideology.
As we mentioned in chapter 2, Usama Bin Ladin and other Islamist terrorist leaders draw on a long tradition of extreme intolerance within one stream of Islam (a minority tradition), from at least Ibn Taimiyyah, through the founders of Wahhabism, through the Muslim Brotherhood, to Sayyid Qutb. That stream is motivated by religion and does not distinguish politics from religion, thus distorting both. It is further fed by grievances stressed by Bin Ladin and widely felt throughout the Muslim world—against the U.S. military presence in the Middle East, policies perceived as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim, and support of Israel. Bin Ladin and Islamist terrorists mean exactly what they say: to them America is the font of all evil, the “head of the snake,” and it must be converted or destroyed.
It is not a position with which Americans can bargain or negotiate. With it there is no common ground—not even respect for life—on which to begin a dialogue. It can only be destroyed or utterly isolated.
Steven Den Beste has in interesting take on the campaign for president. He sees the Republicans shellacking the Democrats. I recommend you read it. You might find it interesting.
Nancy Pelosi is quoted as saying about the 9/11 Commission report, “I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I salute the Commission for its excellent work, for its leadership, its patriotism and its service to our country by being so thoughtful and putting forth such a useful document.”
She is a bitter enemy of the president and as partisan as you can get. When someone like her sounds so agreeable two thoughts come to mind. Either there is something in the report that will skewer the president or there is something in the report that masks something the Democrats have done.
Either way, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I received my workbook materials for my sales course today. I was perusing them and came across a page that listed the five highest reasons a prospect decide to buy. They are. . .
1) Level of trust in the Salesperson.
2) Level of Respect for the Salesperson.
3) Reputation of the Company or Product.
4) Features of the Product or Service.
All I can say is, “Hmmm.”
I’ve had a problem with my blog when my web host moved my site from one server to another. They seem to have finally fixed the problem – although the comments still aren't right, but I think that will be easier to fix.
I’ve felt muzzled over the last week.
UPDATE: The comments ARE working correctly. I have a system that closes all comments more than 7 days old. I forgot about it. I need to to that because spammers will attack if I don't do that.
Remember those 16 words in Bush’s SOTU speech about Iraq attempting to buy uranium in Niger. It was true. Iraq WAS attempting to buy uranium in Niger.
Remember Joe Wilson. He’s the one that went to Niger to investigate that allegation. He claimed he found no evidence. He told everyone that would listen that Bush lied about Iraq trying to buy uranium form Niger. All the news organization ran stories on it.
But in his debrief to the CIA he gave them information that actually strengthened the case that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger.
Joe Wilson also claimed that his wife, a CIA operative, did not recommend him for that mission. The recent senate report on the matter concludes that Wilson’s wife DID recommend him for the mission.
We now know, Joe Wilson lied, Joe Wilson lied, Joe Wilson lied. Bush told the truth and is now vindicated.
Why don’t I see that all over the news?
What media bias?
A US Cobra Pilot talks about his experience during the war.
In e-mail from friends and family, I’ve been asked many times about fear. I do not recall, throughout my life, being confronted with a situation that combined real physical and emotional fear. I know that there were many times in my life that I was afraid of something… early last year, I almost lost my Dad and I felt completely helpless and childlike because I couldn’t make my Dad’s health instantly better… and in aviation, I’ve been in scenarios that have made me physically uncomfortable. But upon reflection, I think this was my first introduction to total fear. Let me tell you, real fear is paralyzing. Real fear has a taste and smell to it… and it’s bitter. I chalk up my survival in those situations to training. During those particularly trying times, fear consumes ninety-nine percent of your being. It’s that teeny-tiny one percent of your brain and body that defaults back to your training that keeps you from succumbing to the panic… and allows you to take the appropriate actions to survive. Every single one of the pilots in my squadron will admit to a time in this war when they were afraid. It’s the ability to control that emotion that counts toward staying alive.
In my occupational field, one thing that we discuss is “compartmentalization”, which is the act of putting away all your extraneous thoughts and emotions while you fly. That allows you to focus more on the task at hand. Before many flights, I went through an emotional rollercoaster. I had a lot of apprehension just prior to each flight. It wasn’t for questioning whether we were doing the right thing… because I knew that we were. I always took pause because I was afraid of my children growing up without their father. I was scared of my wife living a life without me in it. I wasn’t necessarily concerned with my physical safety in combat, but rather the consequences if I were hurt of killed. I remember a particular flight, when I was launching from Jalibah: On this particular day, we had received indications that the Iraqis had used chemical weapons on one of the U.S. Army units near Baghdad. I recall a very sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I walked to the aircraft. The thought of chemical weapons being used to cause massive casualties was mind numbing. That was one thing that I truly feared. I felt like I had a thousand pound weight on my shoulders as I walked to the aircraft. Thankfully, the report turned out to be false. But fear is the absolute motivator: fear of dying and fear of letting down your fellow Marine.
MY FINAL TAKE-AWAYS I’m truly humbled by what I witnessed and participated in. This has been an incredible experience for me. This one-month period alone has changed my perspective on life more than any other event could have possibly done. I had a unique opportunity to observe heroes in action, to witness the horrors of death, to help in freeing an enslaved people, and to see the power of the United States in action. Each flight, I got to experience fear, anxiety, anxiousness, and joy. I got to form friendships that will last a lifetime. I got to realize the importance of my family. I got to tell each member of my family how much I love them in e-mail or in a letter. I got to get reacquainted with my Catholic faith.
Make no mistake about it – the individual Marine rifleman won this war. Pundits, armchair quarterbacks, and talking heads on television will plug their special interests for years to come… all in the name of getting a larger slice of the defense budget for their pet project. Air power activists will gloat over precision-guided munitions and tactical jets. Naval aviation will wallow over their role. Armor advocates will flaunt the role of the tank. Even attack helicopter enthusiasts will covet the role that the AH-1W played in the war. All the particular genres of warfare will find a voice in an attempt to convince the public, and hence the Congress, which appropriates the budget, that their particular piece of gear was the reason we won the war. Never overlook that it all boiled down to the Marine rifleman… the man who held the ground, killed the enemy, fed the children, and feared death at every turn. No piece of gear will ever replace him.
For almost fifteen years, I have trained to perfect my trade. This was the ultimate test. The pilots and Marines that I was surrounded by displayed incredible heroism, uncommon courage, and profound compassion to their fellow man, whether that man is American or Iraqi. The Marines that surrounded me are men of steel – from the flight line mechanic, to the administrative clerk, from the nugget pilot, to the seasoned aviator… and especially the Marine rifleman – all heroes. We won with honor and dignity.
I close with a quote from a letter that Major General James Mattis, the Commanding General of First Marine Division, sent to his Marines just prior to the war kicking off. To borrow his words, “While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam’s oppression… ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a U.S. Marine.”
God bless America.
During the Clinton Administration I had an extremely good and well paying job. I took numerous vacations and had several vacation homes. Since President Bush took office, I have watched my entire life change for the worse. I lost my job. I lost my two sons in that terrible Iraqi War. I lost my homes. I lost my health insurance. As a matter of fact, I lost virtually everything and became homeless.
Adding insult to injury, when the authorities found me living like an animal, instead of helping me, they arrested me. I will do anything to insure President Bush's defeat in the next election. I will do anything that Senator Kerry wants to insure that a Democrat is back in the White House come next year. Bush has to go. I just thought you and your listeners would like to know how one senior citizen views the Bush Administration.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapons program and we have uncovered it. It turns out that Saddam was a savvy businessperson. Instead of working on his nuclear weapons program at home, he out-sourced it to Libya.
We conquered Iraq and then Libya turned state’s evidence and ratted out Saddam. After seeing what happened to Saddam, Qadafi didn’t want any of that. He surrendered without us having to fire a shot.
I wonder what other WMD Saddam out-sourced.
Article III of the constitution defines treason as. . .
“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”
Could those “human shields” that went to Iraq prior to the war be charged with treason?
The storm seems to have passed. We got quite a bit of rain, but that is all. I checked the rain gauge and we got about 1 1/2 inches. The temperature now down to about 64 degrees.
It’s about 6:00 pm and as dark as if it was 8:30 pm. I hear the thunder rolling off in the distance and the patter of occasional raindrops.
Not to put to fine a point on it, it looks nasty out there.
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light
And the lanthorn dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Not in sheet or in shroud we wound him;
But he lay like a warrior taking his rest
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed
And smooth'd down his lonely pillow,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow!
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that 's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him?
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun
That the foe was sullenly firing.
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory.
- Charles Wolfe (1791-1823)
"You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."
I’m getting ready to do some telemarketing. I need to generate some fresh business. I’m going to be using the High Probability Selling (HPS) technique.
I think I pretty much have my script down. Here’s what I plan on saying to each person I call.
“This is Ted Armstrong. My company sells Microsoft Great Plains accounting computer software. It supports from two to 30 simultaneous users and allows you to create reports specific to what you want to see. Is that something you want?”
According to the HPS people, I should be able to make at least 60 calls an hour.
Maybe I should give my niece a call and see what she thinks. She does quite a bit of telemarketing. I understand she’s good at it.
After I got to work yesterday morning, it started raining. It rained at a good pace all day long and it was raining when I went to bed last night. This morning I dumped about two inches out of the rain gauge. It was rain badly needed. I think we’ve been about a month without rain. Two weeks ago, I started watering the lawn. I just wish I’d put down some fertilizer in my grass ahead of time.
Our soil is very sandy. If we go more that two weeks without rain, my lawn starts to loose its green color.
Senator Edwards talks about the need to provide health care for all, but that didn't stop him from using a clever tax dodge to avoid paying $591,000 into the Medicare system. While making his fortune as a trial lawyer in 1995, he formed what is known as a "subchapter S" corporation, with himself as the sole shareholder.
Instead of taking his $26.9 million in earnings directly in the following four years, he paid himself a salary of $360,000 a year and took the rest as corporate dividends. Since salary is subject to 2.9% Medicare tax but dividends aren't, that meant he shielded more than 90% of his income. That's not necessarily illegal, but dodging such a large chunk of employment tax skates perilously close to the line.
The Internal Revenue Service takes a dim view of such operations and "may collapse the structure entirely and argue the S corporation is not truly a separate entity," in the words of Tax Adviser magazine. Attorney CPA magazine lists it as No. 11 of its "15 best underutilized tax loopholes," but warns that the IRS "has successfully litigated cases against individuals, particularly sole shareholders of personal service S corporations, reclassifying such deemed distributions as wages subject to social security taxes."
There is a member of our church, I’ll call him Joe, that is suffering from cancer of the throat and muscular dystrophy. A couple of years ago, I purchased a set of audio tapes of the Bible. Last year, I updated my car to a newer one and it only has a CD player, not a tape player.
I wondered for a while what to do with the 48 audio tapes. They take 77 hours to listen all the way through them. I’ve been through them twice.
It occurred to me, that Joe might enjoy them. I asked if he would be interested, and though he cannot talk, he indicated he would like them.
Yesterday I gave them to him. I specifically told him they were a gift not a loan. Since he cannot work, he probably sits home with nothing to do. I hope he enjoys them. He seemed genuinely pleased to get them.
This gets me on to a subject of which I have made a decision. Have you ever heard people ask, why does God allow so much suffering in the world? Well, I have an explanation. This is Bibical theology according to Ted, so be fore warned.
There is a passage John 9:1-7
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
I believe that God allows suffering in the world so that Christians that show they are Christians. This gets back to the Pastor’s sermon yesterday.
I’m not very good at that, but I do small things. Giving Joe the audio tapes was one thing I could do to help him. I have no power to help him physically, all I can do is comfort him.
We also frequently send him “Get-Well” cards. It is said that one of the true tests of grace is to do something for someone that cannot return the favor.
As I say, it is a small thing, but it is something. Joe looked like he was really pleased to get those tapes.
Al Qaeda operations in Iraq have encountered unexpected problems. Iraqis have become increasingly hostile to the al Qaeda suicide bombing campaign. Religious leaders, which al Qaeda expects to get support from, have been openly denouncing these bombings. Iraqis, aware that they are more likely, than American soldiers, to be victims of these attacks, are providing more information on where the al Qaeda members are hiding out. Most of the al Qaeda in Iraq are foreigners, and easy for Iraqis to detect. As a result of this, many of the al Qaeda men have moved back to Fallujah, which has become a terrorist sanctuary. The interim government is trying to convince the tribal and religious leaders of Fallujah to back a military operation in the city to clear out the various al Qaeda, criminal and Baath Party gangs. But the gangs of Fallujah are quick to threaten any local leader that shows signs of supporting the government. While the Fallujah leadership is intimidated, many residents of Fallujah are not, and are providing information to the coalition, which has led to attacks, with smart bombs or coalition and Iraqi troops, on buildings used by al Qaeda, or other gangs, as headquarters.
Things have calmed down in Iraq, as the Sunni Arab rebels increasingly argue among themselves over tactics, and al Qaeda tries to deal with the popular anger over the car bombing campaign. The new interim government proved very popular among many Sunni Arabs, more popular than their Iraqi, Arab and European opponents expected. Now the Sunni Arab members of the government are negotiating with Sunni Arab tribal and religious leaders who have been supporting or tolerating the violence. The point of the negotiations, as always, is the prospect of civil war, and avoiding it.
So far, the "resistance" has been mostly Saddam's unemployed thugs shooting at American troops and Iraqi police, as well as terrorizing Iraqis working for the government. This has been a futile exercise, with more than ten dead Iraqis rebels for every American soldier or Iraqi policeman killed. Moreover, the rebel strategy to gain more recruits because of Iraqis killed by American attacks, has not worked. American firepower has been applied in a very disciplined way. While there were always enough dead civilians for the media to film, there were not enough to cause more people to take up arms against the government. The main point of these negotiations is that the interim government is growing stronger month by month. The Americans cannot be defeated militarily, or via exploitation of the media. Anyone who continues to fight, with the cooperation of Saddam's old secret police and thugs, and foreign terrorists, will never gain the support of the majority of Iraqis. And continued resistance will eventually trigger a major military response, which will cause massive destruction in Sunni Arab areas. The Sunni Arab leaders are in a tough situation, as the Saddam crew are not reluctant to use their old terror methods to keep everyone properly motivated. What the interim government is asking, is for Sunni Arabs to rebel against Saddam, and his thousands of gunmen who are still out there, and still killing those who resist them. It's a question of who do you fear more; Saddam's gunmen, or the forces representing over 80 percent of Iraqis, backed up by coalition troops. The Sunni Arab leadership are beginning to turn away from the terrorists, and it's going to be a bloody process.
As the Borg say, “Resistance is futile.”
"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
Why is the Senator bypassing intelligence briefings? The administration has offered The Weathervane frequent intelligence briefings, yet the Senator has declined.
I wonder why?
My comments got spammed really badly last week. I just now got them working again. If you wanted to leave comments before, but couldn't, now you can.
Take a look a this link. I think you'll enjoy it. I'm not sure how good it'll look on dialup. Either way, give it some time to load. It has a surprising ending.
I felt the pastor’s sermon this morning was better than usual. He expounded on 1 John 2:7-11
Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
The title of his message was, "True Christianity." He spoke about the Christian’s true calling is to love. He cited to passages from the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6:5, Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. And Leviticus 19:18, Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
From the New Testament, he cited John 13:34, where Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
He said this is not so much a new commandment as a new application, extent, or reach. He said that Jesus loved us, when we didn't deserve it. He loved us sacrificially. He loved us, when we were still in our sins. This love is new in respect to the Old Testament. Anyone that claims to be in the light, but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
Visible Christianity is characterized by love. There is a difference between walking in the darkness and being in the darkness. What is hate? Hatred can be active or passive.
If you cannot forgive a person, you're not a true Christian. Love is Christianity made visible, Christianity in action.
Loving actions start with loving attitudes. We need to speak words seasoned with grace. Love is not a feeling, it is an action of the will. One important action of love is forgiveness.
Then he related the following story: During that War of Independence, in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, there was a Baptist pastor called Peter Miller. He was a friend of General George Washington. There was another man named Michael Whitman in that town. He was an evil minded man who did all he could to abuse and oppose the pastor. One day Whitman was arrested on charges of treason and was found guilty and sentenced to death. The old preacher heard about it and immediately started out on foot and walked the 70 miles to Philadelphia to plead for the man's life. He was admitted into Washington's presence and at once begged for the life of the traitor. "No Peter" said Washington, "I cannot spare the life of your friend." "My friend!" exclaimed the pastor, "he is the bitterest enemy I have." "What?" cried Washington, "You have walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon." And he did. Peter Millar took Michael Whitman from the very shadow of death, back to his own home in Ephrata - but no longer as an enemy but as a friend.
This forgiveness and loving our neighbor is so difficult for each of us. Although I have a very thick skin, it is something I struggle with. I’ve been betrayed by a couple of people that I can’t really say I’ve been able to forgive. I’ve just put it out of my mind. Somehow I don’t think it’s the same thing.
I suggested, and not in jest, that he repeat this sermon once a month. One of my complaints about many pastors is their attempt to make biblical passage relate to modern day life. After listening to some of them, I feel like I’m in the middle of a lecture on management techniques.
I much prefer for a pastor to preach directly from the bible. I think they should give their audience a little credit for enough smarts to figure out how it applies to modern day life.
I general, I feel this pastor does that.
These types of sermons remind me of one of the better football coaches, Vince Lombardi. He would start every football season with his players by saying, “This is a football.” Vince wasn’t much on razzle-dazzle. He believed his players should learn the basics until they became second nature. I think pastors might want to look at this example for some inspiration.
I think Christians need to just work on the basics until they become second nature.
In a survey people were asked why they decided to buy a non-commodity item. The following is how that survey ranked the various buying motivations. The percentages are the percent of people that ranked that item as one of their top five.
1. Level of Trust in the Salesperson: 87%
2. Level of Respect for the Salesperson: 82%
3. Reputation of the Company or Product: 76%
4. Features of the Product or Service: 71%
5. Quality and Service: 58%
6. Price: 16%
My web host had to move their entire operation. They started 12:00 this morning. My site was back up about 4:00 this afternoon. If you couldn't connect, that is why.
In the Iowa Electronic Market Kerry contracts are getting $0.48 and Bush contracts are selling for $0.52.
Want to see how sick the left has become. Take a look at this. This goes beyond partisan politics. This is depravity. Liberals will tell you that conservatives spew hatred. Conservatives can't hold a candle to hate being spewed out by today's liberals.
Liberals cannot stand to be called what they are – Liberals. Instead, they try to call themselves “Progressives.” It’s the same philosophy in different clothes.
Now the democrats will nominate the most liberal person in the Senate for president and the fourth most liberal senator for vice-president. That hardly matches the political leanings of the country as a whole.
But try and call, The Weathervane a liberal and he will take umbrage at it. He’ll deny it. He’s ashamed of being a liberal. Most conservatives are proud to be conservatives.
1. "Be Allah you can be"
2. "Aim Low"
3. "An Army of None"
4. "The Few....................................."
5. "Martyrs have more fun"
6. "Virgins. . .we got Virgins!"
7. "Free Camouflage Turbans. . .sign up today!"
8. "Uncle oSAMa wants you"
Not all military airdrops go exactly according to Hoyle. Look at this video of some of the more interesting ones. Some of these are rather humorous.
I was at a client site today. A few months ago, they got a new head bookkeeper. I was working with the new bookkeeper, when he shared with me that his predecessor had been stealing from the company. He said she took about $150,000 in total.
This is rather ironic situation. This bookkeeper replaced one that was ALSO stealing from the company. The previous bookkeeper stole nearly $1 million over ten years.
I could never understand why one would steal from their employer. Such activity is high-risk activity. To risk that much, you’d have to steal a lot of money to make it worth your while. However, you can’t hide stealing lots of money. So the whole situation becomes illogical.
Here's a slide show of President Reagan's funeral. It is very well done. Click here to view it.
I wrote another letter to the editor of our local paper again this morning.
Letter to the editor:
Senator Kerry has flip-flopped again. He just said that he believes that life starts at conception – the Pro Life position. He believes that abortion is immoral. But even though he believes that, he says he’s not going to push his belief on other people.
Let me get this straight, the Senator believes that that baby developing in its mother’s womb is a human life. But if a woman wants to destroy that human life, he would not stop her.
Isn’t that like saying that he believes that slavery is immoral, but he certainly would not push that belief on someone else? If someone else wants to keep slaves, that’s their right to do so.
Does his argument seem as illogical to you as it does to me?
Although the senator would not push his belief that abortion is immoral on other people, he seems to have no qualms about pushing his belief about taxes on other people.
The newspapers no longer report the news. The just print what they want according to their point of view.
The Washington Post stated that Bremer gave no farewell speech, when in fact, he did. If they will lie about such an easily verifiable fact, what else are they lying about?
If you believe what they print, well, I have some dandy land in Florida I’d like to sell you.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq was easy to call. As American troops closed in on Baghdad, pundits had a hard time coming up with coalition defeats. When, in less than three weeks, American troops were on the outskirts of Baghdad, enterprising journalists had their pundits going on about the bloody street fighting Saddam’s supporters were waiting to provide. When the city fell quickly, with little bloodshed, there was a lull of a few months until the Sunni Arab and al Qaeda attacks could reach the level (a few dozen a day would do it) that gave pundits a reasonable shot at gloomy predictions of “another Vietnam.”
Figuring out who’s winning in Iraq has more to do with who you want to win, or lose, as the case may be, than what is actually going on. If there are any lessons to come out of Iraq, that is one of them.
The Weathervane has just said that he believes that life starts at conception. But even though he believes that, he says he’s not going to push his belief on other people.
Let me get this straight, The Weathervane believes that that baby developing in its mother’s womb is a human life. But if a woman wants to destroy that human life, The Weathervane would not stop her.
Isn’t that like saying that he doesn’t believe that slavery is a moral thing to do. But he certainly would not push that belief on someone else. If someone else wants to keep slaves, that’s their right to do so.
Does that argument seem as illogical to you as it does to me?
The global warming has gotten so bad that it’s even starting to affect the sun. Scientists now say that sunspot activity is now the highest it’s been in 1,000 years. How much longer must we wait before those right wing wackos recognize how much damage greenhouse gases are doing? When the sun goes, we're doomed.
Karol and I went to see Spiderman 2 yesterday. We usually go to the matinee, as it’s cheaper. I would rate Spiderman 2 as an excellent movie. Aside from the great special effects, it explores the choices we all make between doing what we want and doing the right thing. Spiderman has to decide, should he continue as Spiderman and help people or should he revert to an everyday person and live a normal life. Toby Maguire gives a very good performance of an individual torn between duty and desire.
It brought to mind the men and women that serve in our Armed Forces. They have chosen duty over desire.
I recommend you see it.
Iraqi terrorists released a video showing them killing a captive American soldier by shooting him in the head. The terrorists have learned that the beheading routine is counterproductive and even offends many of their own supporters. The terrorists are probably also debating their suicide bombing campaign, which has killed over a hundred Iraqis in the past week. Perhaps the al Qaeda leadership is also pondering their long string of failures over the last decade or so. The fact of the matter is that al Qaeda, and their predecessor, the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, have turned Arab populations against them whenever they practiced their terror tactics "at home." Moreover, when al Qaeda was in control of the government, as they were in Afghanistan, they quickly became hated by the average Afghan. Al Qaeda was most popular in Arab countries when it was not operating in any Arab countries, but instead concentrating on attacks on Western targets. But the war on terror has forced al Qaeda back to its homelands, and concentrated them in Iraq. There, al Qaeda is becoming as hated as it already is in the West. This hatred led to the Moslem Brotherhood's defeat, and expulsion from Egypt over a decade ago. The same thing is happening again in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Recent surveys have shown support for bin Laden and al Qaeda shrink dramatically in Saudi Arabia (from 96 percent in late 2001, to less than a quarter of that currently.) It's easy to admire terrorists from a distance, rather more difficult when they are terrorizing you. Iraq is rapidly becoming al Qaeda's graveyard.
" ... our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor."
--Declaration of Independence
It was a glorious morning. The sun was shining and the wind was from the southeast. Up especially early, a tall, bony, redheaded young Virginian found time to buy a new thermometer, for which he paid three pounds, 15 shillings. He also bought gloves for Martha, his wife, who was ill at home.
Thomas Jefferson arrived early at the statehouse. The temperature was 72 and the horseflies weren't nearly so bad at that hour. It was a lovely room, very large, with gleaming white walls. The chairs were comfortable. Facing the single door were two brass fireplaces, but they would not be used today.
The moment the door was shut, and it was always kept locked, the room became an oven. The tall windows were shut, so that loud, quarreling voices could not be heard by passersby. Small openings atop the windows allowed a slight stir of air, and also a large number of horseflies. Jefferson records that "the horseflies were dexterous in finding necks, and the silk of stocking was as nothing to them." All discussion was punctuated by the slap of hands on necks.
On the wall at the back, facing the president's desk, was a panoply -- consisting of a drum, swords, and banners seized from Fort Ticonderoga the previous year. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the place, shouting that they were taking it "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"
Now Congress got to work, promptly taking up an emergency measure about which there was discussion but no dissension. "Resolved: That an application be made to the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York."
Then Congress transformed itself into a committee of the whole, The Declaration of Independence was read aloud once more, and debate resumed. Though Jefferson was the best writer of all of them, he had been somewhat verbose. Congress hacked the excess away. They did a good job, as a side-by-side comparison of the rough draft and the final text shows. They cut the phrase "by a self-assumed power." "Climb" was replaced by "must read," then "must" was eliminated, then the whole sentence, and soon the whole paragraph was cut. Jefferson groaned as they continued what he later called "their depredations." "Inherent and inalienable rights" came out "certain unalienable rights," and to this day no one knows who suggested the elegant change.
A total of 86 alterations were made. Almost 500 words were eliminated, leaving 1,337. At last, after three days of wrangling, the document was put to a vote.
Here in this hall Patrick Henry had once thundered, "I am no longer a Virginian, sir, but an American." But today the loud, sometimes bitter argument stilled, and without fanfare the vote was taken from north to south by colonies, as was the custom. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
There were no trumpets blown. No one stood on his chair and cheered. The afternoon was waning and Congress had no thought of delaying the full calendar of routine business on its hands. For several hours they worked on many other problems before adjourning for the day.
Much to lose
What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the Crown? To each of you the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock, and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?
I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.
Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56, almost half -- 24 -- were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, 9 were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers and politicians.
With only a few exceptions, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, these were men of substantial property. All but two had families. The vast majority were men of education and standing in their communities. They had economic security as few men had in the 18th century.
Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so "that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward." Ben Franklin wryly noted, "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately." Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone."
These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember: a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.
They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft-card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics, yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.
It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers (it was he, Francis Hopkinson, not Betsy Ross, who designed the United States flag).
Richard Henry Lee, a delegate from Virginia, had introduced the resolution to adopt the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776. He was prophetic in his concluding remarks:
Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repose. If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American legislators of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens.
Though the resolution was formally adopted July 4, it was not until July 8 that two of the states authorized their delegates to sign, and it was not until August 2 that the signers met at Philadelphia to actually put their names to the Declaration.
William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephen Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."
Most glorious service
Even before the list was published, the British marked down every member of Congress suspected of having put his name to treason. All of them became the objects of vicious manhunts. Some were taken. Some, like Jefferson, had narrow escapes. All who had property or families near British strongholds suffered.
Francis Lewis, New York delegate, saw his home plundered and his estates, in what is now Harlem, completely destroyed by British soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.
William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home, they found a devastated ruin.
Phillips Livingstone had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingstone died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.
Louis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family.
John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family.
Dr. John Witherspoon, signer, was president of the College of New Jersey, later called Princeton. The British occupied the town of Princeton, and billeted troops in the college. They trampled and burned the finest college library in the country.
Judge Richard Stockton, another New Jersey delegate signer, had rushed back to his estate in an effort to evacuate his wife and children. The family found refuge with friends, but a sympathizer betrayed them. Judge Stockton was pulled from bed in the night and brutally beaten by the arresting soldiers. Thrown into a common jail, he was deliberately starved. Congress finally arranged for Stockton's parole, but his health was ruined. The judge was released as an invalid, when he could no longer harm the British cause. He returned home to find his estate looted and did not live to see the triumph of the revolution. His family was forced to live off charity.
Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry.
George Clymer, Pennsylvania signer, escaped with his family from their home, but their property was completely destroyed by the British in the Germantown and Brandywine campaigns.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, also from Pennsylvania, was forced to flee to Maryland. As a heroic surgeon with the army, Rush had several narrow escapes.
John Morton, a Tory in his views previous to the debate, lived in a strongly loyalist area of Pennsylvania. When he came out for independence, most of his neighbors and even some of his relatives ostracized him. He was a sensitive and troubled man, and many believed this action killed him. When he died in 1777, his last words to his tormentors were, "Tell them that they will live to see the hour when they shall acknowledge it (the signing) to have been the most glorious service that I rendered to my country."
William Ellery, Rhode Island delegate, saw his property and home burned to the ground.
Thomas Lynch, Jr., South Carolina delegate, had his health broken from privation and exposures while serving as a company commander in the military. His doctors ordered him to seek a cure in the West Indies and on the voyage he and his young bride were drowned at sea.
Edward Rutledge, Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward Jr. the other three South Carolina signers, were taken by the British in the siege of Charleston. They were carried as prisoners of war to St. Augustine, Fla., where they were singled out for indignities. They were exchanged at the end of the war, the British in the meantime having completely devastated their large land holdings and estates.
Thomas Nelson, signer of Virginia, was at the front in command of the Virginia military forces. With British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, fire from 70 heavy American guns began to destroy Yorktown piece by piece. Lord Cornwallis and his staff moved their headquarters into Nelson's palatial home. While American cannonballs were making a shambles of the town, the house of Governor Nelson remained untouched. Nelson turned in rage to the American gunners and asked, "Why do you spare my home?" They replied, "Sir, out of respect to you." Nelson cried, "Give me the cannon!" and fired on his magnificent home himself, smashing it to bits. But Nelson's sacrifice was not quite over. He had raised $2 million for the Revolutionary cause by pledging his own estates. When the loans came due, a newer peacetime Congress refused to honor them, and Nelson's property was forfeited. He was never reimbursed. He died, impoverished, a few years later at the age of 50.
Lives, fortunes, honor
Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create, is still intact.
And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.
He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to the infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York harbor known as the hell ship "Jersey," where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the king and parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."
The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
By Rush H. Limbaugh II
Here is the document that created the first 4th of July.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
A couple of salient points. First, The Declaration of Independence established that rights come from God, our Creator, not from governments. Secondly, governments get their powers from us, the people. It is not the other way around. We tell the government how much power it can have. The government does not tell it citizens how much freedom they can have.
Let us not forget the sacrifices made that we might enjoy the liberties we do today. As Irving Berlin said and Kate Smith sang:
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:
God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains to the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home!
Happy fourth of July!
As I said, I had to work myself into a mindset to talk about this. To work around horror without out letting the horror seep into your soul is a spiritual battle. This week I worked with a National Guard soldier who had to clean up after a convoy of civilian aid workers were killed when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off on the road into Baghdad. He is a carpenter in civilian life, but this week he was out on a highway picking up arms and legs while watching out for snipers. He was cleaning up after monsters. Some other young Americans were put in charge of guarding monsters and then became monsters. Care of the soul is serious business. That is part of the reason why I became a Navy Chaplain.
The other reason is the people. The folks I have known in the military are more interesting to be around than anybody else I know. This leads me to Memorial Day. Earlier this month I went to Camp Cooke at Taji. (To lend perspective, Taji is really north Baghdad; I am in west Baghdad.) The 39th Brigade (Arkansas National Guard) is stationed there. I didn't know any of them, but I wanted to see my home-state Guard here in Iraq. So I badgered my way into flying up there for two days. They are stationed in the old Iraqi army air defense school. Unlike downtown Baghdad, the old air defense school was turned into rubble. It is getting better, but it was like living in a junkyard.
Their first month in Iraq was tough. These soldiers patrol the roughest part of Baghdad. While I was there, the Chaplain of the 39th told me this story: One of the old troopers who came was a 52 year-old Sgt. who had already done his 20+ years and had retired. But his son was in the 39th, and when the father found out they were coming over here, he reenlisted. On their first week in country, Camp Cooke was attacked by rockets and the first rocket that landed killed the father.
I was born in 1958 and came of age when the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were both in full swing. It has taken me years to put this into words, but I believe that as bad as that war was, the legacy of the anti-war movement was worse. The anti-war movement gave rise to the moral superiority of non-involvement and non-commitment. While that may have worked to help draft-dodgers sleep at night, it's not much of a strategy of how to go through life. Taken to its logical conclusion the message is: don't commit to your county, don't commit to your spouse, and don't commit to your kids, church, or community. Don't commit to cleaning up your own mess or any cause that demands any more from you than rhetoric. This was the mindset in which our country was firmly stuck. Until 9/11, some woke up. Kids came down and joined the service. To the dismay of some of their teachers, parents, and the media elites, they came down here and raised their hand in front of the flag. And they are still coming to the shock of the non-committers. The Marines have more enlisting than their two boot camps can handle.
And we are all here together for Memorial Day 2004. Old National Guardsmen, grandfathers, and single moms, Texans and Mexicans, Surfers and Rednecks. A few weeks ago an Illinois National Guardsman, mother of three, was hit six times, saved by her body armor, but lost part of her nose. She stayed on her 50 caliber, firing on the bad guys, protecting the convoy. She said she was thinking of her kids and the guys she was with. Commitment is love acted out. It is sad that the non-committers missed that. They and their moral high-ground haven't been near a mass grave. The kids I see and eat with every day still want to help this country, in spite of getting shot at while doing it. That is love acted out. You either get it, or you don't.
During my time in Iraq I won't be able to see any of the Biblical sites that are here. But a few weeks ago in Taji I got to stand on some holy ground, where a father died when he went to war just to be with his son.
Steven P. Unger
LCDR, CHC, USN
Every day there are news reports about more deaths. Every night on TV there are photos of death and destruction.
Why are we still there?
We occupied this land, which we had to take by force, but it causes us nothing but trouble.
Why are we still there?
Many of our children go there and never come back.
Why are we still there?
Their government is unstable, and they have sloppy leadership.
Why are we still there?
Many of their people are uncivilized.
Why are we still there?
The place is subject to natural disasters, from which we are supposed to bail them out.
Why are we still there?
There are many hostile religious sects, which we do not understand.
Why are we still there?
Their folkways, foods, and fads are unfathomable to ordinary Americans.
Why are we still there?
We can't even secure the borders.
Why are we still there?
They are billions of dollars in debt and it will cost billions more to rebuild, which we can't afford.
Why are we still there?
It is becoming VERY clear . . . WE MUST PULL OUT OF CALIFORNIA !
Two researchers have combined these two disparate ideas to come up with a measure of media bias that doesn't depend on journalists' own perceptions of where they fit on the political spectrum, or on subjective judgments about the philosophical orientation of think tanks. Tim Groseclose, of UCLA and Stanford, and Jeff Milyo of the University of Chicago used data comparing which think tanks various politicians liked to quote and which think tanks various media outlets liked to quote in their news stories to estimate two ADA scores for each media outlet in the study, one based on the number of times a think tank was cited, and the other on the length of the citation.
The authors say they expected to find that the mainstream media leaned to the left, but they were "astounded by the degree." So when people say, for example, that The New York Times may be tilted left, but people can compensate for that by watching Fox News, they don't take into account that the Times is much further from the center than Fox. "To gain a balanced perspective, one would need to spend twice as much time watching Special Report as he or she spends reading The New York Times." . . .
The predominance of liberals (however identified) in major media is well-documented, but there remains a great deal of controversy over how much that fact influences news reporting (this analysis looks only at news reports, not editorials, reviews or letters to the editor). Most journalists I know say they work hard to keep their personal views out of their news reporting (again, excepting people like me who are supposed to be expressing opinions). And most of them, I'm sure, sincerely believe they succeed. This is evidence that what they succeed best at is sounding like Democrats.
From the Rocky Mountain News
I’m sure Iraq is not ready to fly on its own yet. But so what. We’ve done the heavy lifting up to this point, now it's their turn.
Like a kid learning to ride a bicycle, we’ve just taken the training wheels off. They’re going to crash many times and spill a lot of blood, but we’re going to be there to pick them up again and send them off again.
Freedom has a price – blood. I don’t know if the Iraqi’s know that yet. If not, they will soon. Then they’re going to have to decide if freedom is worth the price.
I hope they choose wisely.
I read this and thought it was pretty funny.
Al-Qaeda added 112 jihadists to payrolls in June, less than half the media experts forecast. Bombing jobs fell for the first time in five months, suggesting to analysts that Al-Qaeda is losing population. The fanaticism rate held steady. It's 5.6% for a third month, according to the death department, reported in the Iron Triangle according to the Al-Sahib Skyhook Network. The creation of 13,000 dead jihadists so far this year in the war on terror, which is the biggest six-month gain, or loss, depending on your perspective, in a full year, seems to bolster President Bush's job approval rating ahead of the November election.
"We are truly screwed, and I'm not just jawboning the death market," said Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, who manages to live with a $25 million bounty on his head. "The feds can grease or capture me at any time. Saddam was wearing one sharp suit yesterday," was his quote. American media outlets had expected the casualty level for the U.S. to be much higher and the body count of jihadists to be much lower, but it was just the exact opposite.
In terms of job creation, Ahmed Sulamon, the chief economist at the bank of Tehran said, "Things have cooled off a bit. We're not growing gangbusters here, but at the same time we are still in a pretty healthy and expanding terror economy. We really need Kerry to come alive in Boston or we are all dead."
I’m feeling much better today. The drugs seem to finally be kicking in and all signs of any fever are gone. It’s been a less that productive week.
I’m a little frustrated with the medical establishment. Doctors don’t use email. So we play phone tag. We’ve left message back and forth a bit, but I still don’t have all my questions answered. If this had been a technical question I needed resolved by Microsoft, I would have had it resolved long ago without stooping to the old fashion telephone.
In a brief discussion with the man, who is still practicing, I asked about email. Between governmental privacy regulations and legal liability concerns, medicine is not coming into the 21st century any time soon.
It just seems so backwards to what I’m used to.