Saturday, December 31, 2005

Leftist Bias In The Main Stream Media

(Click on Day by Day to enlarge it)

When Fred Adler interviewed me on 100.5 FM, The Tide, it became one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had as a conservative on the North Coast. Fred doesn't believe there is leftist bias in the media, and challenged my assertion that there is. I thought that Fred had read my letter to the Independent Coast Observer more closely than he let on, since I had extensively covered the issue previously here and here.

Actually, many people in this area think the media has right-wing bias, and point out the Fox network. And the....and the.... Well, anyway, they point at Fox. At the same time, when I say ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS, Time Warner, Newsweek, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times (and go on, and on, and on...) they say they can't be leftists, they're part of the corporate culture of the United States, and anything that has a Board of Directors is, by their definition, right wing.

My approach to the issue is to gather as much facts as I can, and give them a "smell test." To that end, please follow this link to a collection of the "best" left-wing stinkers of 2005. If you don't have to hold your nose, you too are a leftist. A caution to right wingers - they are really bad, and don't say I didn't warn you.

The Angels Levin And "Liberty Limited"


From Ronnie Polaneczky, writing for the Philadelphia Daily News, "here's a Yule story that ought to be a movie.

And now, in time for the holidays, I bring you the best Christmas story you never heard.

It started last Christmas, when Bennett and Vivian Levin were overwhelmed by sadness while listening to radio reports of injured American troops.

"We have to let them know we care," Vivian told Bennett.

So they organized a trip to bring soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital to the annual Army-Navy football game in Philly, on Dec. 3.

The cool part is, they created their own train line to do it."

For the rest of the story, click here.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Upholding The Pajamas Media Image?


As Dan Rather sank in a sea of forged documents, the bloggers who sunk him were derisively called "a bunch of right-wing nuts sitting at their computers in pajamas." The bunch of right wingers immediately turned the pajamas slur into a salute, and formed the Pajamas Media.

I would like to be a member of the Pajamas Media, but I lack the uniform. I probably had PJs when I was little, but I outgrew them a long time - a very long time - ago, and never replaced them.

Not long ago I was faced with the need to wear pajamas at a Pajamas Birthday Party for the grandkids. In desperation I borrowed a robe.

What do you think? Is the robe a suitable substitute for pajamas, or is it too formal? Would a longer one help? If I bought PJs but never wore them, would I be acting like a Democrat, trying to exploit a technicality?

As in all things, image is important, and I want to do my part to uphold standards. Please advise.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's Legal If It Is Not Against The Law

Concerning the National Security Agency intercepts of international communications without warrants, the able constitutional lawyers and scholars at the Power Line Blog conclude:

"There are, of course, liberal law professors who would like the law to be different from what it is. They are free to develop theories according to which the Supreme Court, should it someday address this issue directly, would rule as they wish. But the administration is entitled to rely on the law as it currently exists. And there is simply no question about the fact that under the Constitution and all controlling precedents, the NSA intercept program is legal."

Unlike the Democrats, we believe in following the law as it is, not as they would wish it to be. For an excellent (and exhaustive) analysis, and the last word on this issue, go to this link to the article in Power Line. Be prepared to stay awhile, but when you are finished, you will know that the Democrats are not going anywhere with this "scandal." It is amazing that Democrats get all excited about President Bush doing something that Presidents Clinton and Carter did with impunity, and that the Democratic congressional leaders knew about all along.

To find out more on the legality of the NSA program.

And go here for the U. S. Department of Justice response.

And the affable Tony Snow adds his wisdom and insight.

As does Bill Bennett. Have I left out any useful commentators? Nope.

Those who want facts instead of misinformed opinions will come away satiated, and the rest will still be Democrats.

If the best minds on the Democrat side would leave the Democrats and join this group, the average IQ of both groups would fall.

Truly Democrats are the Hypocrisy Party.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Our 2005 Christmas Letter




Seasons Greetings
December 14, 2005

Thanksgiving lingers into Christmas with us more each year as our Christmas letter resists being composed. Alice and I are more appreciative each year for our life together on this beautiful northern California coast, yet increasingly I am at a real loss for words to express our “thankfulness.” It’s not that I don’t have a lot of words at my disposal. Maybe I have too many. After 63 years, my words all have “tried and true” meanings, many of which don’t seem to fit as well as they used to.

Now, many of our friends and relatives are struggling with illness or injury. We are particularly thankful that they, like us, have lived in the most freedom and in the most prosperous times mankind has ever known. We wish them the best, especially in this sweet time of year.

We began this year with a trip to Thailand just a month after the Tsunami. We were in Bangkok two weeks, then took the Orient Express through Malaysia to Singapore for a couple of days, and returned to Thailand. We had planned a week in Phuket, but changed to Chiang Mai. For once I lost weight on a vacation, 6.6 pounds to be exact. I had help from a lot of fine folk at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok. Alice luxuriated – daily massages, Oriental Express opulence, Singapore Zoo night safari, The Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, Monk Chat, elephant bare-neck riding – and I had fun, too.

We came back to Alice’s Reseda High Reunion (45 years) in beautiful downtown Burbank. After the reunion, I came home and Alice stayed in Canoga Park to help hostess a gala 90th birthday party for Ella Kittleson.

Alice then embarked on the Great Addition project to our house. We now have a 900 square-foot deck on the south side, an 800 square-foot sunroom with Endless Pool on the west side, and concrete retaining walls lining the driveway. It’s all finished except for some carpet, tile, and cabinet work, more plants all over the place, and decorative rock facing on the retaining walls. In other words, there’s still a lot more work to do.

We didn’t run for reelection to the School Board, so last week was the last meeting of our four-years in office. It was interesting and enjoyable, and we are proud we contributed to education improvements. Now others get a chance, and Alice will have more time for her first passion, her book club. I continue to indulge my passion, being a political “lightning rod” here, mostly through letters to our local paper. I have posted the letters, and other writings, on http://strongasanoxandnearlyassmart.blogspot.com/, my blog. I also enjoyed being interviewed for an hour on our local radio by a liberal friend, and will gladly share an audio tape of the show when he gives me a copy.

Next big trip - The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador in Jan-Feb, our first time to South America. Before we leave we will continue our perpetual Honeymoon with a week at the Donatello Hotel in San Francisco.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Chanukah too.

Michael, Alice, and sweet little Buddy

Merry Christmas
Happy Chanukah

Buddy took the timed picture of us with him on the new deck by the redwood trees.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

What Price Security?

In the San Francisco Chronicle today, an article about Iraqi expatriates voting in California ended with a statement by Salam Hassan, a 30-year-old UC Berkeley student who arrived from Baghdad seven months ago. He said he was happy to vote and pleased Hussein was gone, but has grave concerns about his future in a homeland he called a worsening "war zone."

"When you finish, you have to give my life back. I don't need a theory about democracy," he said. "I want direct results that are in touch with my life. Give me food. Give me security. Give me work."

Salam, I hate to tell you this, but if someone is giving you your life back, and giving you food, security, and work, they own you. That was Saddam, Salam.

The “theory about democracy” you dismiss is the framework for getting your life back, also known as freedom. You need freedom if you want to choose your work, and thereby earn both your food and your security.

An example of freedom squandered for security follows.

We delivered food and gift boxes to families on a Native American reservation this morning. The reservation itself is in a beautiful setting - if Four Seasons saw it, they would eat their hearts out. Nestled in rolling hills, overlooking a river valley, the Pacific Ocean and a lighthouse are not far off. Tourists come from all over, and especially from the San Francisco Bay area less than 200 miles south.

Almost everyone on the reservation would qualify for Christmas charity packages. Most of the houses are unkempt, poorly maintained and surrounded by junk. The inhabitants have free housing, and support provided by government and by Indian gaming.

With a few notable exceptions, they are among the most miserable of Americans.They have the unbearable burden of being taken care of by a benevolent government. Better for them it should be malevolent, because then they would leave or revolt, or America would throw the tyrant out.
The Indians are all Democrats, and follow leaders who tell them that they are truly poor and unfortunate, but just think how much worse it would be if the Democrats weren't looking out for them.

Are you taking notes, Salam?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Brainwashed By The Main Stream Media

In his National Review Online article, Lancing the Boil, Victor Davis Hanson says many of us live in an "alternate" universe, when good is bad, up is down, and America is universally hated.

"For some time, a large number of Americans have lived in an alternate universe where everything is supposedly going to hell. If you get up in the morning to read the New York Times or Washington Post, watch John Murtha or Howard Dean on the morning talk shows, listen to National Public Radio at noon, and go to bed reading Newsweek it surely seems that the administration is incommunicado (cf. “the bubble”), the war is lost (“unwinnable”), the Great Depression is back (“jobless recovery”), and America about as popular as Nazi Germany abroad (“alone and isolated”).

But in the real adult world, the economy is red-hot, not mired in joblessness or relegating millions to poverty. Unemployment is low, so are interest rates. Growth is high, as is consumer spending and confidence. Our Katrina was hardly as lethal as the Tsunami or Pakistani earthquake. Thousands of Arabs are not rioting in Dearborn. American elderly don’t roast and die in the thousands in their apartments as was true in France. Nor do American cities, like some in China, lose their entire water supply to a toxic spill. Americans did not just vote to reject their own Constitution as in some European countries."

Read his whole article by clicking on his name linked above.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Truth On The Ground In Iraq


The middle level officers and NCO's serving in Iraq don't agree with the Main Stream Media and popular assessment of how the war is going. They should know - they have been there, and many are going back. They have a lot more on the line than the politicians and pundits spouting the conventional wisdom that shapes the news from thousands of miles away.

"Although we hate leaving our families behind, many of us would rather go back to Iraq a hundred times than abandon the Iraqi people."

Follow this link for The Truth on the Ground.

And ask yourself, why can't the Democrats figure this out? Could it be that success in Iraq is the nightmare that makes them wake up screaming?

Europe - Thy Name is Cowardice

EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE (Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

"A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.
Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements."

This is the introduction to a remarkably candid assessment of Europe's policy of Muslim appeasement, and includes praise for the leadership of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, who I think will both live in history among the greatest leaders of all time. Click on this link to get the full story carried in Die Welt.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hoist With His Own Petard

ICO Editor

Please go here and watch the Retreat and Defeat video.

Democrats are screaming foul, that Republicans are representing Democratic leaders unfairly by showing them speaking their own words.

I must admit, it is a low blow anytime you show Howard Dean, speaking his mind, to anyone who is not a committed Dean follower - is there any Dean follower who is not "committed"?

Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman just got back from another trip to Iraq and says the Democrats are making a big mistake, the equivalent of trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Suddenly the Democrats don't like one of their most respected leaders anymore.

North Dakota Democrat Rep. Earl Pomeroy says: "My words to Howard Dean are simple - shut up."

My words to Howard Dean (and Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry) are also simple, and much more polite: Please don't shut up.

Dean backtracked on his statements somewhat, saying his assertion that the United States cannot win the war was reported "a little out of context."

(When Nancy Pelosi saw herself she probably thought: "That's not me. Only Barbara Boxer could be that stupid.") (CORRECTION: It was Barbara Boxer, not Nancy Pelosi. I can't tell those two Smurfettes apart. Barbara Boxer is that stupid! In fact, so is Nancy Pelosi.)

So watch the video yourself. Then I think you will agree that Howard Dean reports his own statements "a little out of context."

It's a neat trick, one that only the Democrats seem to have mastered - protesting furiously the unfairness of having yourself shown making ridiculous statements.

They probably think there's a law against anyone showing them making fools of themselves.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I Gave Up

I sent "United Nations Uber Alles" to the ICO twice the past two weeks, but it doesn't look like it is going to be published. This is unusual, especially if you saw what was published. One letter was particularly strange, about suspected spraying of some mysterious substance on us, with the delivery system masked as contrails of high flying jet aircraft. We do have some very strange people up here.

I met David Skibbins today, a frequent ICO contributor with whom I always find significant disagreement. He was our Rotary guest speaker. Seemed to be a very intelligent, nice fellow. A "psychological cheerleader," and a mystery writer. I had a nice chat with him, and bared my soul that I wanted to be a writer too. He encouraged me. He encourages people to identify their life's ambition, and then pursue it. If they follow his advice and do it, then he is well worth his $350 a month for three half-hour sessions. Maybe he is even if they don't grab their psychological "brass ring."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Son Reports The Real War In Iraq

Welcome, Live Journal friends!

Здравствуйте! Как поживаете?

Спасибо за то, что посещать мой blog.

I enjoy visitors and hope you'll leave a comment.

You should really go to things I wrote, rather than just to this item I copied and posted. Here's an index I started to my political posts - Link to Political Posts. And to my non-political ones - this is an INDEX to them, and they cover growing up in a small town on the northern California coast, my over two decades in the Air Force, Alice's very successful business, & Etc. The & Etc. stuff is the most fun.

I think you will enjoy the humor, and maybe the conservative politics too. Or just hit "home" at the bottom of this post, and check out my latest.

I would love to have you browse around.

Major Mike

A friend sent me the following email. A father, of whom I know nothing, passes on what his son told him while on leave from Iraq. I can vouch for nothing, except that it has a ring of truth to it that you don't get from the Main Stream Media war reporters, who write like they are seeing the war from a far off place, and don't know an M16 from an F111. As an example, read the ludicrous reports of white phosphorus use in Fallujah, and how it carmelizes the skin without burning the covering clothing. And a bunch of so-called reporters passed it on as news! Can you believe it?!


The son's letter has also been posted in its entirety on the very good and very entertaining Atlas Shrugs, which is in the running for best new blog this year.


Anyway, this is his son's report:


Hello to all my fellow gunners, military buffs, veterans and interested guys. A couple of weekends ago I got to spend time with my son Jordan, who was on his first leave since returning from Iraq. He is well (a little thin), and already bored. He will be returning to Iraq for a second tour in early '06 and has already re-enlisted early for 4 more years. He loves the Marine Corps and is actually looking forward to returning to Iraq.

Jordan spent 7 months at "Camp Blue Diamond" in Ramadi. Aka: Fort Apache. He saw and did a lot and the following is what he told me about weapons, equipment, tactics and other miscellaneous info which may be of interest to you. Nothing is by any means classified.
No politics here, just a Marine with a bird's eye view's opinions:

1) The M-16 rifle: Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there. The sand is everywhere. Jordan says you feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems also. They like the ability to mount the various optical gun sights and weapons lights on the picanttiny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits can't be reliably counted on to put the enemy down.

Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents show a high level of opiate use.

2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. Drum fed light machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of shit. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly. (that's fun in the middle of a firefight).

3) The M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns forself-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm: Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight.

4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgun: Works well, used frequently for clearing houses to good effect.

5) The M240 Machine Gun: 7.62 Nato (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun, developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that was!!). Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts them down. Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry. The 7.62 round chews up the structure over there.

6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. "Ma deuce" is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight stopper, puts their dicks in the dirt every time. The most coveted weapon in-theater.

7) The .45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put 'em down with a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK military model and supposedly love it. The old government model .45's are being re-issued en masse.

8) The M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the sandy environment and they love the 7.62 round.

9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take out vehicle suicide bombers (we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy. Definitely here to stay.

10) The M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in 300 win mag. Heavily modified Remington 700's. Great performance. Snipers have been used heavily to great effect. Rumor has it that a marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually exceeded Carlos Hathcock's record for confirmed kills with OVER 100.

11) The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at approx. 6 lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as shit to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the bullshit about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't make any difference at all in most cases.

12) Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up. Spectacular performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams. We've all seen the videos.

13) Lights: Thumbs up. Most of the weapon mounted and personal lights are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em. Invaluable for night urban operations. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and loved it. I can't help but notice that most of the good fighting weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old!!!!!!!!! With all our technology, it's the WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody wants!!!! The infantry fighting is frequent, up close and brutal. No quarter is given or shown.

Bad guy weapons:

1) Mostly AK47's The entire country is an arsenal. Works better in the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably. PKM belt fed light machine guns are also common and effective. Luckily, the enemy mostly shoots like shit. Undisciplined "spray and pray" type fire. However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons, especially sniper rifles. (Iran, again)

Fun fact: Captured enemy have apparently marveled at the marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight. They are apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for their lack of toughness. Let's just say they know better now.

2) The RPG: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys. Simple, reliable and as common as dog shit. The enemy responded to our up-armored humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank range. Still killing a lot of our guys.

3) The IED: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells. A lot found in Jordan's area were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3 155mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous. You're not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do over there. Lately, they are much more sophisticated "shape charges" (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor. Fact: Most of the ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics. That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.

4) Mortars and rockets: Very prevalent. The soviet era 122mm rockets (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of Jordan's NCO's lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside the wire". Jordan's base was hit almost daily his entire time there by mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue (It did). More of a psychological weapon than anything else. The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few rounds, and then haul ass in a matter of seconds.

5) Bad guy technology: Simple yet effective. Most communication is by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use handheld GPS units for navigation and "Google earth" for overhead views of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent. Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE. Night vision is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.

Who are the bad guys?: Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the Muslim world (and Europe). Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.) , and then travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the Euphrates River that we've been hitting hard for the last few months. Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as suicide bombers or in "sacrifice squads".Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.) These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off. The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian), are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters. (they have been fighting the Russians for years). In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt.'s, the police forces and the Army. The have had a massive spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's. Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long ago.

Bad Guy Tactics: When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses kicked every time. Brave, but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing Ak's andRPG's directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time. (see the M2 and M240 above). Jordan's base was hit like this often. When engaged, they have a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room). We have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science. The fast mover's, mostly Marine F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all.

Fun fact: The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand. That is why we're seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide bomber shit.The new strategy is simple: attrition. The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo and flee to when engaged. They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi govt. Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is common to influence people they are trying to influence but cant reach, such as local govt. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.).

The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured". They know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet. Zarqawi openly offers bounties for anyone who brings him a live American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise don't give a shit about the war. A lot of the beheading victims were actually kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi. As such, for our guys, every fight is to the death. Surrender is not an option. The Iraqi's are a mixed bag. Some fight well, others aren't worth a shit. Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is hard, but they are getting better. It is widely viewed that Zarqawi's use of suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian population was a serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were galvanized and the caliber of recruits in the Army and the police forces went up, along with their motivation. It also led to an exponential increase in good intel because the Iraqi's are sick of the insurgent attacks against civilians. The Kurds are solidly pro-Americanand fearless fighters.

According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high. They not only believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively. They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit like "Are we losing in Iraq" on TV and the print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course, permanent US bases there).

Thursday, December 01, 2005

United Nations Uber Alles

ICO Editor

While enjoying Thanksgiving with Alice’s daughters and families in Walnut Creek, I just have to take a minute and thank David Skibbins for his suggestion to turn the fate of the Iraqis over to the United Nations. I can’t think of any other organization that has demonstrated time and time again to be utterly incapable of such a responsibility, and I thank Mr. Skibbins for presenting me the opportunity to point this out.

Not long ago I mentioned that 800,000 Rwandans were slaughtered on Bill Clinton’s watch. I now add that before, during, and after the slaughter the United Nations had the responsibility for “peacekeeping” in Rwanda.

The United Nations also had peacekeeping responsibility in Yugoslavia, while 260,000 were slaughtered. More than ten years later, troops are still stationed to keep the peace, and meaningful elections haven’t been held yet.

UN peacekeepers have raped and sexually exploited women and children that they are supposed to be protecting.

The UN hasn’t done much to stop the genocide in Sudan, either.

The United Nations demonstrated corruption and incompetence of the highest degree in establishing and conducting the “Oil-for-Food” (OFF) program. This pet Kofi Annan program enabled Saddam to bribe officials in France, Germany, Russia, and to reward corrupt politicians like George Galloway in the UK. In return, Saddam amassed a fortune in kickbacks that he used to pay for smuggled armaments and to build lavish palaces for himself and his cronies. While Saddam milked OFF, the Iraqi children starved and died from diseases that could have been prevented if the UN had done its job honestly and competently.

Mr. Skibbins wants us to pay the UN what we owe. I see no reason to pay the UN for doing nothing except abuse their responsibilities, especially since they seem to be able to collect much more dishonestly.

The UN puts the Mafia to shame.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Willing Dupes Are Easily Fooled



ICO Editor,

I am glad David Skibbins is tired of the lies and the shame of Iraq. Does that include the white phosphorus (WP) hoax that the Italian communist propaganda television station Rai News24 attempted?

Expert analysts agree that the “bombs raining down on the city” segment cited by Mr. Skibbins was not filmed at Fallujah, and had nothing to do with this operation.

More lies followed. Western journalists had reported the use of WP shells and their effects on “insurgents” over a year ago. See San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post articles, 10 Nov 2004, U.S. drives into heart of Fallujah.

In actuality, there were reporters from many backgrounds and nationalities in Fallujah at the time, and none of them saw what was "reported" a year later by Rai News24.

The so-called bodies of Fallujah residents could have been filmed anywhere, but they most certainly had not been killed by WP. WP burns both flesh and clothes. It does not “caramelize” or turn flesh to leather, leaving the clothes intact. Analysts concluded from the “high quality close ups” that the bodies were actually in a state of decomposition not caused by the well-known effects of WP.

Since WP is not an illegal weapon, the Army openly described its use in Fallujah, as noted by Mr. Skibbins. I don’t know why he included this information just prior to concluding: “We are becoming so much worse than Saddam.” The quotation he included documented the legal and usual use of WP. Mr. Skibbins in his ignorance must have thought he caught the US Army confessing atrocities.

No, Mr. Skibbins, it’s not illegal unless there is a law against it.

Go to my blog, http://strongasanoxandnearlyassmart.blogspot.com/, Letters to a Liberal, and don’t be duped again.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Letter to a Liberal Continues

White phosphorus use on enemy combatants was not kept a secret, unless you consider it being reported in the SF Chronicle keeping it a secret because hardly anyone reads it (circulation down 16%, the biggest drop in a major newspaper in years). However, the Washington Post ran the same article a year ago. U.S. drives into heart of Fallujah - Army, Marines face rockets and bombs in battle to take insurgents' stronghold (SF Chronicle, 10 Nov. 2004)
U.S. Marines said American forces had taken control today of 70 percent of Fallujah in the third day of a major offensive to retake the insurgent stronghold.
[...]
Some of the heaviest damage apparently was incurred Monday night by air and artillery attacks that coincided with the entry of ground troops into the city. U.S. warplanes dropped eight 2,000-pound bombs on the city overnight, and artillery boomed throughout the night and into the morning. "Usually we keep the gloves on," said Army Capt. Erik Krivda, of Gaithersburg, Md., the senior officer in charge of the 1st Infantry Division's Task Force 2-2 tactical operations command center. "For this operation, we took the gloves off."

Some artillery guns fired white phosphorous rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water. Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that melted their skin, a reaction consistent with white phosphorous burns. Kamal Hadeethi, a physician at a regional hospital, said, "The corpses of the mujahedeen which we received were burned, and some corpses were melted." [emphasis added]

This comment was not part of the Chronicle article, but was added to point out that the use of white phosphorus against enemy combatants is legal

"Secondly, while white phosphorous is a chemical it isn't considered a "chemical weapon." Indeed, despite the very long history of its use it is not banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention or any other treaty ."

"White phosphorus is not banned by any treaty. The United States retains its ability to employ incendiaries to hold high-priority military targets at risk in a manner consistent with the principle of proportionality that governs the use of all weapons under existing law. The use of white phosphorus or fuel air explosives are not prohibited or restricted by Protocol II of the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention (CCWC), the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects."

Enemy combatants can be killed by many means. Bullets. Bombs. Burning. Asphyxiation. Crushing. The whole idea of having a military you unleash on an enemy is to kill the enemy and to break his things. If the enemy is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, certain protocols apply, but usually don't much effect the enemy combatant who has been killed. It does apply to civilians to an extent, although the bombings of London, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, etc. may cause some civilians to feel a bit threatened. Of course, they would have been in a slightly happier position if their armies had been less brutal (check out Nanking, the Bataan Death March, the Holocaust, siege of Leningrad, the slaughter of Soviet POW's during Operation Barbarossa, etc). If the enemy is not a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, we still pretty much kill him in the same way, (he is probably beyond caring, except now he can look forward to 72 virgins) but it is harder to tell who the enemy is -- no uniforms, no government allegiances and leadership, no borders or country -- so in these instances, a propagandist or apologist for such enemy combatants can call just about any terrorist killed a "civilian." And can film whatever they think useful, such as dead bodies in unburnt clothing, and make up a story about the mystical (and mythical) effects of WP.

Now your question: "As for the white phosphorus reports the next thing you will say the pictures of dead women and kids were made up."

No, I won't say that the pictures of dead women and kids were made up. But it is obvious they were not killed by WP!

WP burns, not preserves. The Iraqis themselves who examined mujahadeen killed by WP described their flesh as having been burn and melted (see the Chronicle story above, written over a year ago)

A military expert viewed the Italian film and wrote:
"The pictures of dead bodies while hideous provide no analytical value. Contrast the opening from Vietnam, with the burned little girl, running from a napalmed village. That is conclusive evidence. Nothing about these dead bodies looked any different to the many dead bodies I have seen analyzing other videos (of dead bodies) that were all made that way (dead) by Saddam’s regime and then by Jihadists. There is no way to determine what killed these people by looking at pictures, except maybe by a forensics expert."

To continue:
WP is legal to use on combatants. There is no credible evidence that it was used on civilians. The garbage about civilians having caramelized skin, but unburnt clothing, being used as proof of WP use is laughable. WP burns the Hell out of clothing! And flesh too! It does the opposite of what the Italian documentary said was found.

The US did not lie about its use. The US Ambassador to London, Robert Tuttle, mistakenly said that the WP ammunition was not used in the TWO ROLES it's specifically designed for: Screening and marking. He said it was used only for illumination. Since its main role is to obscure the enemy by producing smoke, that means it is not worth a damn for illumination. The ambassador must have been thinking of star shells.

"A recent documentary by the Italian state broadcaster, RAI, claimed that Iraqi civilians, including women and children, had died of burns caused by white phosphorus during the assault on Falluja. The report has been strenuously denied by the US. But Col Venable said it had been used to dislodge enemy fighters from entrenched positions in the city."White phosphorus is a conventional munition. It is not a chemical weapon. They are not outlawed or illegal," he told the BBC. "We use them primarily as obscurants, for smokescreens or target marking in some cases. However, it is an incendiary weapon, and may be used against enemy combatants."Asked if it was used as an offensive weapon during the siege of Falluja, he replied: "Yes, it was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants. When you have enemy forces that are in covered positions that your high explosive artillery rounds are not having an impact on, and you wish to get them out of those positions, one technique is to fire a white phosphorus round into the position: the combined effects of the fire and smoke - and in some case the terror brought about by the explosion on the ground - will drive them out of the holes so you can kill them with high explosives.'"

Another writer adds:

"So we have "insurgents" and "mujahadeen" being killed by white phosphorus which is being reported to have been used to "hide the movement" of Marines. WP is doctrinally used to cause casualties among the enemy (insurgents, mujahadeen) and as an obscurant (hide movement). If these are the uses being referenced in the story, then I have no problem with them. Said another way, if this is the incident, this is a non-story".

Letter to a Liberal

About the use of white phosphorus in Fallujah, American forces had embedded reporters from many backgrounds and nationalities in Fallujah who didn't see any of what was "reported" a year later by an Italian communist TV station. Of course, the terrorists had their own members and sympathizers covering their activities. The current misreporting that the military use of white phosphorus is illegal is just one of many such instances you see in the European press.

At any rate, there seems to have been a moral equivalence drawn between the forces -- it is bad for the American forces to demolish enemy forces using the usual and customary means of warfare, whereas it is OK that the terrorists kill huge numbers of Iraqi civilians -- and Jordanians, and Egyptians, and Indonesians, and Indians -- and conduct their activities without following any of the rules of warfare. They practice torture, beheadings, assassinations and bombings of civilians in mosques, markets, and schools, with no need to answer to any court of law or of world opinion. On the other hand, the stupid actions of a few soldiers at Abu Ghraib, which did not amount to much more than a fraternity initiation (actually less, because sometimes college students die in the initiations), are treated as if all civilized society had ceased. And some unfounded allegations about Koran disrespect at Guantanemo were treated as the equivalent of The Holocaust. Hell, in Saudi Arabia the Bible is confiscated and burned if you try to bring it with you for your own private worship. A crucifix is not allowed. In Denmark Muslims want artists killed who drew their impressions of Mohammed. In Britain piggy banks have been banned in some locales, and children's books with pigs on the covers have been removed from schools and shops. And yet, we're the intolerant ones?

The idiots who mistreated the prisoners at Abu Ghraib were tried and punished. The bastards who bomb and behead have to fear being caught or killed by us, but not being punished by their own leaders.

In Britain, George Galloway is treated as a hero, because he talked tough (and lied under oath) to Congress. All the evidence showing the Oil For Food money that flowed to him, to his wife, and to his "charity" doesn't seem to make a difference to America haters in Europe. In fact, in Europe we are considered the terrorists, and the jihadists are "freedom fighters." According to Europeans, Iran doesn't really mean it when its president calls for the elimination of Israel, and as the Iraqis democratically vote for a constitution and their leaders, the first Arab country to have free elections, the US is said to be there to take over Iraq, and steal all the oil. I wonder, has anyone noticed that, after over two years in Iraq, Iraq still has the oil and we could sure use more ourselves?

I also wonder it they notice that, until the Iraqi elections, Israel was the only nation in the middle east where an Arab could be democratically elected to office? In fact, Israel had more Muslims serving in democratically elected positions than all the Arab countries combined. And Arafat had more money in Swiss bank accounts that the Palestinian Authority had to pay its "peacekeeping" forces.

A lot of Oil For Food money flowed from Saddam to officials in France, Germany, Russia, and the United Nations. Guess who wanted to not invade Iraq, and who wanted to continue the sanctions that kept the Oil For Food bribes flowing?

To see how even "respected" news organizations like 60 Minutes attack us and Israel, go here or Google "Pallywood" and click on the first link, "The Second Draft." 60 Minutes producers and presenters were either duped by the Palestinians, or were willing accomplices. Either way, it doesn't say anything good about one of the biggest stars of the main stream media. And of course, in Europe the Palestinians are the peacelovers, and Israel and America are the warmongers.

It seems the world is upside down, like Alice through the Looking Glass, and college students cheer for dictators, and jeer those who fight for freedom. They demand academic freedom for an art plagiarist like Ward Churchill, who called those killed in 9/11 "little Eichmans" who deserved their fate. At the same time, the academic community, champions of diversity, virtually excludes conservatives from academia -- one liberal professor said conservatives weren't smart enough to be college professors. In the name of freedom, colleges practice political correctness -- students now have the right not to be offended by someone disagreeing with them, if that someone is conservative. Being opposed to affirmative action is "hate" speech. Or abortion. Or homosexual marriage. If you oppose these, you are both a hatemonger and a bigot.

In conclusion, much of the world believes the worst of the United States, facts be damned. Maybe it's because we have been too successful. Certainly, when a nation with five percent of the world's population produces over a third of the world product, and is the place where more people in the world want to live than any other, it does generate a lot of envy. Many people want to see us taken down a peg, not because they think they know a better way to run an economy, or live in freedom, but because our success annoys the Hell out of them.

That's something it's hard to apologize for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Conservatives – dumb or just wicked?

"What Hillary and other elitists... are saying is that anyone who disagrees with them -- who adheres to limited government, the free market, traditional morality and a strong foreign policy -- just doesn’t get it. The counterpart is that people with conservative values are wicked. So, either we’re too dumb to understand how depraved our positions are, or we’re motivated by malice. The Left, on the other hand, is genius personified. Clearly, considerable brain-power went into formulating the tenets of modern liberalism: Tax increases will fuel an economic boom. Reverse discrimination furthers racial harmony. Cutting defense and a foreign policy that convinces the bin Ladens of the world that we’re a bunch of wimps is the way to keep America safe. Handouts inculcate a work ethic. Gun control -- which disarms potential victims -- is the best way to fight crime. Attacking parental authority and facilitating family dissolution helps children. Condom distribution promotes responsibility among adolescents. Not drilling in the Artic Wildlife Refuge and the virtual abandonment of nuclear power contributes to energy self-sufficiency. Brilliant!... The Left sincerely believes that ordinary Americans are imbeciles -- unfortunates who are sorely in need of a keeper (big government) to bring us in out of the rain and keep us from drooling all over ourselves." --Don Feder

Monday, November 14, 2005

Who Are The Liars Now?

Editor

If you Google "Clinton Iraq 1998," all the Democratic charges that President Bush lied about Iraqi intelligence are blown apart. Or maybe you will find that President Bush believed Clinton's lies, Madeline Albright's lies, the CIA's lies, lies told by the French, British and Russian leaders and intelligence services -- all these leaders and governmental agencies were four-square that Saddam had WMD and was a threat to the world.

More recently, Senator Jay Rockefeller, in voting to authorize war against Saddam, in a speech on the Senate floor October 10, 2002, not only accused Saddam of being a threat and having WMD, but also accused Saddam of continuing a nuclear weapons program that would soon produce a bomb. Of course, just the other day on Fox News Sunday, he demonstrated that he didn't have a clue what he was saying then, or for that matter, what he is saying now. That sounds like a capsule summary of the entire Democratic Party.

As for President Bush, you aren't a liar if you believe what you are saying is the truth. And President Bush was only repeating what President Clinton, Vice-President Al Gore, and all the Democratic leadership said before and after Clinton launched Operation Desert Fox on December 16, 1998.

Who are the liars now?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

By Their Words Will Yee Know Them

Editor

The Democrats are full of liars who call President Bush a liar. Fortunately, they foolishly rush to expose their falsehoods on national television. The most recent to do so was Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and colleague of former Grand Kleagle of the Klu Klux Klan, former Democratic Majority Leader of the Senate, and still the Senior Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd.

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace played two clips of Senator Rockefeller speaking about voting for the Iraq war resolution on October 10, 2002: "I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11th, that question is increasingly outdated."

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons. And will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years and he could have it earlier."

When Chris Wallace asked about his support then for the war resolution, Sen. Rockefeller replied: “Chris, there's always the same conversation. You know it was not the Congress that sent 135,000 or 150,000 troops.”

Wallace: “But you voted, sir, and aren't you responsible for your vote?”

Sen. Rockefeller: “No.”

Wallace: “You're not?”

Senator Rockefeller and about 100 other Democrat senators and representatives weren't cutting Saddam any slack then. However, they sure have changed.

But how does the constant repetition of, ‘Bush fooled me, I didn’t know what I was doing!’ help the Democrats? Maybe they can make a winning campaign slogan, like “We Really Are Dumber than Bush!”

As always, Bill Clinton gets the last word: “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons-of-mass-destruction program.”

What changed?

Bush Derangement Syndrome


Dr. Sanity analyzes Bush Derangement Syndrome: "After 9/11, in many cases, even a mild dislike of "W" rapidly morphed into the ferocious Bush hatred we are now all familiar with. The opposition to a conservative Republican; and reasonable disagreement with his policies became a swooning hysteria; and an unmitigated, deranged hatred with all the accompanying paranoid delusions."

See what else Dr. Sanity has to say. Then think about it every time a liberal blames everything wrong in the world on what Bush did, or what Bush didn't do, or blames Bush for things that happened even before he became President. No lie. Yesterday a liberal told me Bush was responsible for Clinton and Gore accusing Saddam of having WMD! Then she followed it up by noting that Bush had not been elected president in 2004. Let's see -- delusional, in denial, anger displacement, disproportionate anger -- all the classic symptoms of Bush Derangement Syndrome. And she's a carrier! Facts and logic have no effect on her.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Shove Their Words Down Their Throats, Please

I have just three bits of advise for President Bush - Attack! Attack! Attack!

And here is some more real good advice for President Bush, from Jayson at "Countercolumn - All your bias are belong to me."

"Keep it up, and keep putting the Democrats' prewar words out there, verbatim. No question should come up from the press pool without Kennedy's or Kerry's or Gore's or Clinton's words coming back at them. Force the press to ask them for an accounting. Put them on the spot. Be combative. The American people have followed you before. They'll follow you again. You're at your best when you're in a fight.

You're in a fight now, Mr. President."

Go here for the entire post. And browse the rest of Jayson's blog while you're there. He's well worth a daily visit.

Friday, November 11, 2005

For The Veterans Today, And Tomorrow

A Last Request


"Tommy" is here, because we'll need him "someday," and someday is always now.

"For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot"

Go here for the rest of "Tommy."


For more, go here for a little history of the British in Afghanistan, and a Kipling poem that ends:

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen !


In my 21 Air Force years, I was a Cold War warrior. The only foreign combat I was involved in was breaking up a fight between some drunk British soccer fans at the train station after a match in Ipswich, England.

My oldest son, Bruce, seems to always be in action somewhere in the world - Iraq, New Orleans, Italy - serving in the Nevada National Guard, and Haiti, Guantanamo, Egypt, Germany... when he was Regular Army. There's not many similarities between his service and the service of the British Tommy Kipling wrote of - for one, the Tommy didn't need a lawyer if he imprisoned an unlawful combatant, or touched a prisoner's Koran with an ungloved hand - except we too don't appreciate their worth in peacetime as they train and prepare (and thereby prevent) war. And the many times we haven't had armed forces trained and ready to fight never prevented war - it just invited it.

The above is a fact, not an opinion. I have heard many liberals opine that if we got rid of our weapons, everyone would be our friends. "Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions. No one is entitled to have their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan, maybe the last sensible Democrat.

When Bruce and the rest come marching home again, and the world is all at peace, consider that it will stay at peace only if we are ready to fight and decisively win. We never have been ready to do that in the past, but there is always a first time for everything, and hope dies hard. Over a hundred years ago, Kipling penned his plea for respect for the soldier in peacetime, and reminded his countrymen of the terrible sacrifices endured in wartime.
What's changed?

Shalom

Democrats: "How dare you accuse us of having intelligence!"

November 11, 2005
Democrats Deny Having Pre-War Intelligence
by Scott Ott
(2005-11-11) — Democrats in Congress today rejected President George Bush’s accusation that they’re trying to rewrite history, which shows they supported the Iraq war based on the same intelligence that drove his decision to send in the troops.

“We had no pre-war intelligence,” said Sen. John Kerry, “History will show that none of the leading Democrats had substantial intelligence. Anyone who remembers what we did then knows that the president is making a baseless allegation. I think history will bear out my contention that we Democrats lacked the intelligence to make such an important decision.”
The junior Senator from Massachusetts said he continues “to faithfully support the troops who uselessly die for a lie in Iraq.”

“Our troops deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war will remain firm in our conviction that we didn’t know what we were doing at the time,” Sen. Kerry said. “It’s important, on Veteran’s Day, to remember that our Democrat commitment to our military hasn’t changed.”

White House spokesman Scott McClellan repeated his categorical denial that the Bush administration “ever manipulated anyone’s intelligence or ignorance.”

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Take One For The Slicker

Today the Chronicle headlined Gov. Schwarzenegger calling the Dems “girlie men,” and buried Sandy Berger’s “mishandling” of classified material on page three. Mr. Berger said he made an “honest” mistake, leading one to believe that Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser knew less about handling classified material than I did as an Airman Third Class in Turkey eavesdropping on the Soviets in 1964.

To compound the “mistake,” Democrat leaders such as Senator Tom Daschle called the timing of the disclosure of the investigation “suspicious.” I suppose Tom means the Republicans are using this for political advantage, but Tom overlooks the Dem’s advantage gained from hiding information from the 9/11 Commission.

Those who say that playing with classified information is no big deal are poor students of history, and don't understand “knowledge is power.” Why did Berger do it? For Bill Clinton's legacy? Did he have to “take one for the Slicker?”

Democrats Unhinged


Editor

Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., compared the treatment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo to the Nazis, Soviet Gulag, and Pol Pot. Aside from the fact that no Guantanamo prisoner has died, and tens of millions died at the hands of (National) Socialists and Communists, the “torture” he cited would make a fraternity pledge laugh. I had it tougher in Air Force Basic Training, the easiest by far of all the services.

About two years ago, my oldest son began an eight-month tour of duty in Iraq with the Nevada National Guard. For many months he endured heat, filth, and short rations that are unknown at Guantanamo.

Republicans remove leaders, such as Trent Lott, when they make dumb remarks, while Democrats honor Howard Dean and Dick Durbin for their offensive Nazi and Gulag comparisons. Democrats, please don’t change.

Clinton's BJ

Editor

The 11 April San Francisco Chronicle detailed President Clinton’s attempt to overhaul Social Security in 1998. According to the Chronicle, what Clinton said then and what President Bush is saying now are strikingly similar.

What Bill Clinton knew, the New York Times concedes, and even the Chronicle admits is that the Trust Fund only exists on paper.

Medicare expenses already exceed revenues, and would be robbing other government programs if today’s Social Security surplus was not being used to cover today’s Medicare shortfall. Soon Social Security will be broke too, and will be raping and pillaging other programs unless President Bush can rescue President Clinton’s blown job.

Faking Principles, Then Lying About It

John Kerry said he threw his medals away to protest the Vietnam War. Then he emphatically confirmed to ABC that indeed he threw his medals away. But later he said he only threw away his ribbons, and that the medals belonged to someone else. If you keep changing your story, isn’t that called lying?

And if you pretend to do something, isn’t that called faking? Clearly, in his actions, John Kerry was faking taking a principled stand. And then lied about it.

It's The Logistics, Stupid

I was in the Air Force over 21 years, and had the additional duty of Disaster Preparedness Officer at a base in the UK for over 5 years. My oldest son is in New Orleans right now with the Nevada National Guard. I know how we plan and train for emergencies, and the chain of command. From all I have read the past few days from the guys doing the work, they are doing an outstanding job of rescue and recovery, as they always do. And as always, the left parades their ignorance of logistics and planning, and belittles the hard and dangerous work accomplished by the active duty, guard, and reserve guys and gals. The left apparently thinks that each person in the military is a self-contained unit, capable of showing up and doing miraculous things anywhere at anytime, and the only problem is that the President does not unleash them to perform miracles because he does not care for blacks, because they are poor and Democrats. They probably are poor because they are Democrats, but that is another issue.
The point is, hurricanes pack a Hell of a lot of energy, and human beings in their way get damaged, whether or not they are wearing a uniform. After the storm passes, the military come in and try to find out what happened, and then what to do about it.

Of course, the local authorities performed their duties in a responsible and timely manner beginning at least as early as after the last disaster. Knowing that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they evacuate the hazard zone, because it is a lot easier and effective to help people outside the damage area than inside it.

How come all this seems incomprehensible to the left? None of it seems like rocket science. All the concepts and procedures are known, written down, and are supposed to be reviewed, evaluated, and practiced on a continuing basis. That is why, when you are faced with evacuating a large population that does not have its own transportation, you plan to move them with the transportation at hand -- New Orleans had hundreds of buses -- I've seen the pictures of buses in the flooded parking lots, spilling fuel and oil into the surrounding waters.

The first response is always local. Except the first response from the left is always, "It's Bush's fault."

Thanks, MoveOn.org

(MoveOn.org provided a service on its website to make it easy to send letters to the editor. I and many conservatives are using MoveOn.org's website to participate in their letters to editors campaign. In fact, it was so well publicized in conservative blogs, that we probably represented a large percentage of their total activity.The following is the form letter I posted using the MoveOn.org addresses and template. Their tracking system showed I was the first and only person to use their system to send a letter to many of the smaller newspapers. Mine was the first and apparently only letter from their system to the ICO. 175+ went to the San Francisco Chronicle, and 30+ to the Press Democrat.)

I am following the talking points in the MoveOn.org website to write this letter. We need to stay the course in Iraq. World terrorism is pouring its resources into the fight, which consist largely of misguided fools willing to die for a lost cause. The Iraqi insurgents and their supporters are outnumbered a thousand to one by Iraqis who want to get on with their lives and experience liberty and freedom.

I have departed from the talking points suggested by MoveOn.org, which consist of baseless assumptions that Iraqis support the insurgents who are primarily targeting them.
MoveOn.org ends its talking points that training of Iraqi forces be turned over to the international community - which is not interested or capable of doing any such training.

MoveOn.org says the Bush policy is out of touch with reality, while proving that they are totally reality challenged.

Democrats Still Counting, Still Losing

Editor,

Sunday, November 11, was a night to remember, when the results of the latest exhaustive recount of the Florida election were released showing that President Bush won regardless of Supreme Court intervention. Immediately liberal Democrats launched into a frenzy of spin and rationalization. They argued that "overvoting," which to my knowledge is not counted in any election, and specifically not in Florida elections, should have been counted, giving Al Gore at best a resounding 171 vote margin.

In other news, a recent poll showed that two out of three Americans would now vote for President Bush over Al Gore, including half the Democrats. Another recent poll reported that nine of ten Americans prefer President Bush over Bill Clinton, and Gallup polls show President Bush has sustained an approximately 90 percent approval rating longer than any previous president. Since all of these studies and polls were released before the collapse of the Taliban, I am confident that President Bush will continue to do well in subsequent polls.

Incidentally, reference the ICO Editorial "Rough Justice," I do not understand why the justice system which is good enough for the American military (and was used by FDR in WW II) is not good enough for terrorists. I was subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice for over twenty-one years (1962-1984), and I do not recall any bleeding-heart liberals protesting that I was subject to a "Kafka-esque scenario" in a nation blind to injustice. As for the details of military justice procedure which were stated in the ICO editorial, in the military trials I served on, the accused did confront his accuser and did see the evidence against him, right here in the United States of America (and overseas), Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, and birthplace of the Bill of Rights.

Let’s roll!

At the same time, the results of voting in the People's Banana Republic of San Francisco were sort of released, after almost a week of delay due to the incompetence that is a traditional part of San Francisco elections. I wonder when liberal Democrats will realize and admit that Illinois had a higher percentage of spoiled ballots in the 2000 election, and that San Francisco elections should be supervised by Jimmy Carter and his group.

The Lovenstein IQ Hoax

Editor:

Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania has published research to the education community on each new president that includes an ‘IQ’ report among others. Its latest such report detailed its "findings" concerning the intelligence quotient of President George W. Bush, and concluded that his IQ was the lowest of the modern presidents, and that on average the IQ's of Republicans were lower those of Democratic presidents. (The foregoing was the opening paragraph of the Lovenstein Institute hoax. The main stream media fell for it for several days.)

At the end of the report, the person who forwarded me a copy added a pointed question concerning the average intelligence of "Dubya's" supporters. Of course, I do not know the average IQ of "Dubya" supporters. In addition to my wife and myself, I do know a lot of bright, highly educated Republicans who are leaders in business, the military, and government, and many others who are financially "comfortable." In fact, Democrats themselves frequently stereotype Republicans as wealthy, and as leaders in business and other nonacademic fields. On the other hand, I do believe that the overwhelming support Clinton and then Gore received from low socioeconomic, abysmally educated minorities included very few measurably bright people. You may be unable to forgive my political incorrectness, but my family was poor and my parents were only high school graduates, and I believe in School Choice and the privatization of Social Security and education to give the poor and uneducated the means to raise themselves up as I did. Presently, the simple act of marking a ballot in a Florida or Illinois voting booth is too much for most hard-core Democrat supporters.

Concerning Democrat presidents, "Genius" Jimmy Carter was easily the most ineffective president of the last half of the 20th Century, Bill Clinton and JFK were the most immoral, and Clinton was only effective when he was dragged unwillingly into supporting Republican programs such as welfare reform and balancing the budget. Clinton famously did not accomplish any of his pet programs, and his (and Hillary's) failed health care plan was as big a blunder as JFK's Bay of Pigs fiasco, and would have rivaled the mess JFK got us into in Viet Nam if it had passed. LBJ continued the escalation of war in Southeast Asia, and left it to Nixon to finally extricate us. LBJ's morality was also typical of Democratic presidents, as Lady Bird recently confirmed, and his Great Society programs started the spending flood that continues to swamp the budget to this day. LBJ took Social Security "off budget" to mask the costs of his escalating war in Viet Nam, thereby speeding its collapse. FDR's so-called Social Security "Trust Fund" does not now contain any funds, only Treasury Bonds that the government will have to redeem by borrowing more when Social Security outlays soon vastly exceed income. Only the government can get away with such a "con" game for over sixty years and counting.

How bright were Republican presidents? Ike was the Allied key to victory in WW II, and as president led Republicans to achieve Civil Rights victories over intense opposition, primarily from Democrats who then dominated Congress. Nixon got us out of Viet Nam, and into China. Ronald Reagan rebuilt our military, replaced Carter's malaise with optimism, and pushed the Soviet Union to the brink of collapse. George H. W. Bush completed Reagan's triumph over the Soviets, and then superbly led allied forces to overwhelming dominance in the Gulf War. By the way, Reagan also reversed the double digit inflation, unemployment, and interest rates he inherited from Carter, and his 1981 tax cut began a period of almost unbroken economic prosperity that lasted right up to the high-tech failures during the last year of the Clinton presidency. Under Reagan, government tax revenues doubled after his 1981 tax cut, but the Democrat-dominated Congress did not keep spending cut promises, so and we ended up with deficits. Later, after Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, they reined in spending and soon achieved surpluses.

In conclusion, it seems that the education elite, who have given us a failed public education system, find Democrat presidents to be just as smart as they are, and further find that the much more effective Republican presidents do not measure up to their intellectual standards. For that we can be grateful!

If Plame Was Covert, We All Are Covert

Editor

Thanks for giving me enough rope to hang myself, or to share with others.

As an afterthought to my letter concerning the lack of Ms. Plame's "covertness," I served three years in the Air Force Security Service as a Russian linguist radio intercept operator in the mid-1960’s. We went to Russian classes at Indiana University in uniform. We had classes at the National Security Agency. We worked in a secure compound in Turkey. We knew the Soviets knew who we were, and had a pretty good idea of what we did. We also knew that the Soviets knew the names of everyone who openly worked in intelligence activities. Especially if they went to work at the National Security Agency everyday. Or the Central Intelligence Agency. Even if they always sneaked in the back way! How did we know they knew? Because it was and is really stupid to think your enemy is too dumb or too lazy to find out and keep track of the obvious.

Let’s keep hangin’ ‘em high!

What Made Pelosi Forget Saddam Had WMD?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, in a statement in December 1998 supporting President Clinton's four-day bombing of Iraq: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process. The responsibility of the United States in this conflict is to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to minimize the danger to our troops and to diminish the suffering of the Iraqi people."

A Line In The Sand

On December 16, 1998, Bill Clinton ordered a strike "to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, and its military capacity to threaten their neighbors. Their purpose is to protect the national interests of the United States..." February 17, 1998, Bill Clinton: "Saddam's son-in-law and the chief organizer of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, defected to Jordan." Here are just some of the things this defection forced Iraq to admit, as cited by Clinton: "[A]n offensive biological warfare capability, notably 5,000 gallons of botulinum...2,000 gallons of anthrax, 25 biological-filled scud warheads, and 157 aerial bombs."

Critics ignore uncomfortable facts such as this from President Bush's speech to the United Nations on September 12, 2002. Bush mentions weapons of mass destruction briefly, and then cites Iraq's support for terrorism, its persecution of civilians, its failure to obey Security Council resolutions, "release or account for all Gulf War personnel," return the remains and return stolen property, "accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues, as required by Security Council resolutions." Bush cited the Oil for Food program, which turned out to be Kofi Annan's private Enron. You want more? We got it: "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept UN administration of funds from that program to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people. If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq, and it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis."

On March 17 of 2003, Bush delivered his final ultimatum to Saddam Hussein. The president talked a lot about weapons of mass destruction in that speech, but he also addressed all these other concerns from supporting terrorism (Has the left also forgotten the Salmon Pak terrorist training facility?) to repressing the Iraqi people. When the president addressed the Iraqi people, he didn't mention a word about WMD. He talked about freedom. Those focusing exclusively on the WMDs are simply desperate, out-of-power people seeking to inflict any damage they can on Bush. What's shocking is that they're the same people who always honored themselves by speaking out in favor of human rights, yet they would've left the Iraqi people to the tender mercies of Saddam's thugs rather than see them liberated by this president.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Truth About WMD

WMD was found in Iraq! Dafydd ab Hugh, Big Lizards blog, demonstrates what the Associated Press labors mightily to overlook.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Blame Bush

The Chronicle editorial Saturday prompted me to go to the prediction I made before Katrina hit. In the jar I placed a small piece of paper, upon which I had written the anticipated Chronicle editorial response. I opened it yesterday, and found it was spot-on accurate. It read: "It's Bush's fault." To be honest, I must admit that I put the same piece of paper with the same prediction in the jar every time, and it has not been wrong yet.

I wonder if The Chronicle has someone with enough of a nose for news to go to the San Francisco City Hall and see if SF has a disaster preparedness plan, and check and see if the plan says to "do nothing, and then complain about Bush." Since San Francisco and New Orleans are both one-party towns, where there is no competition between competing philosophies and principles of municipal government (and where corruption and cronyism are expected and accepted), I expect that that is the situation. Wouldn't it be nice to find out before something bad hits the Bay Area?

Who Can We Kick Now?

Damn! These NY Times columnists are now only available online in Times Select, which costs $50 a year. As much as I enjoy pointing out their absurdities and the fact-free columns they write, I'm not paying any $50 to poke fun at them. Since Times Select will result in a vast shrinking of their reading audience, all they will have left to preach to is their choir of true believers - both of them! By reducing their exposure to critical thinkers, they may start to lose the defensiveness that has characterized their "work" of late. Krugman won't have his column held up as an example of what happens when you don't do any research.

The soon to be invisible columnists are:

Nicholas D. Kristof, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, John Tierney, David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Thomas L. Friedman, and Bob Herbert

They couldn't take the heat, so they got out of the kitchen!

San Francisco Chronicle Full of Gas, Not News

Your Mike Lukovich cartoon on the Sunday Chronicle editorial page was ludicrous. If he had an ounce of fairness or perception, he would have had the first panel of the pair with the "Help us" on the roof of the flooded house, followed by a picture of the hundreds of flooded buses in the parking lot. Don't you at the Chronicle ever give any of the crap you put on your editorial page the smell test. Didn't your mother teach you "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Move the people out with the buses before the flood hits, and you don't have people needing help on a flooded roof. Move the buses out before they are flooded, and you don't need to scream at President Bush to "Give me buses and gas. Buses and gas. Buses and gas." I think the Louisiana politicians are full of gas, and that the Chronicle is overlooking their failures to pursue the usual "It's Bush's fault."

Your Readers Representative column on Sean Penn had to be the lamest thing I have seen among a long list of lame Readers Rep columns. Are you putting out a newspaper or a lifestyle commentary? You gave more coverage to Burning Man and Cindy Sheehan each than to Able Danger, the Iraqi constitution, elections in Afghanistan, the Syrian pullout of Lebanon, and the disuse of the New Orleans hurricane disaster preparedness plan combined.

On The News Tonight

Did you see this on TV evening news?

On the screen are pictures of hundreds of buses parked in floodwater.

Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans' emergency operations: "This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."

Louisiana Governor Blanco called for a mandatory evacuation following a personal President Bush request on Sunday. President Bush had already declared a state of emergency for Louisiana.

Someone notes that The City of New Orleans has a disaster plan they didn’t follow.

"Don't give me your money. Don't send me $10 million today. Give me buses and gas," said Dem. LA state Rep. Kargen Carter.

Meanwhile, hundreds of New Orleans buses sit flooded and useless, their gas and oil polluting the surrounding water. “Did you see the picture, Mr. Ebbert? Ms. Carter?”

The Democratic Black Caucus and NAACP leaders condemn President Bush for the slow pace of rescue efforts.

“But the City of New Orleans hurricane emergency management plan did address the evacuation of poor blacks. You can easily access it and read it on the Internet,” I point out – “I did, and I am not a reporter. In fact, I live in the tiny far-off northern California hamlet of Gualala.” (How did I get on this TV news show?)

Then the black mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, says President Bush and his administration did not do their jobs. At this point the camera pans back to the flooded buses. Then to Mayor Nagin. Then to Mr. Ebbert. Stunned silence, then heads bowed in shame.

But then Nagin, Ebbert, and Carter yell in unison: "Yeah, those buses were Bush's fault!" Then Michael Moore appears: "You know, brothers! Sister too!"

ICO Editor Gives Me Enough Rope

Thanks for giving me enough rope to hang myself, or to share with others.

As an afterthought to my letter concerning the lack of Ms. Plame's "covertness," I served three years in the Air Force Security Service as a Russian linguist radio intercept operator in the mid-1960’s. We went to Russian classes at Indiana University in uniform. We had classes at the National Security Agency. We worked in a secure compound in Turkey. We knew the Soviets knew who we were, and had a pretty good idea of what we did. We also knew that the Soviets knew the names of everyone who openly worked in intelligence activities. Especially if they went to work at the National Security Agency everyday. Or the Central Intelligence Agency. Even if they always sneaked in the back way! How did we know they knew? Because it was and is really stupid to think your enemy is too dumb or too lazy to find out and keep track of the obvious.

Let’s keep hangin’ ‘em high!

Tax The Rich!

Bill Meyers uncovered part of our little Republican secret when he said that we had an agenda to eliminate taxes on the rich. Then James Oglesby tried to throw everyone off the track when he disagreed with Bill. Unfortunately, I must disclose all the sordid details of one of the most diabolical plots ever devised by man.

Unfortunately, when we devised our plot to eliminate taxes on the rich, we forgot that government always screws everything up. Think of examples such as the National Health Services of Great Britain and Canada. Social Security and Medicare here. Any systems of tariffs by any governments anywhere.

Anyway, when government implemented our plan to eliminate taxes on the rich, as usual they fouled it up royally. Consequently, each year the rich pay a larger proportion of total taxes compared to their proportion of total income. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “The tax cut enacted last year has reduced tax burdens further. This analysis' update of the Treasury data shows that in 2001, … a median family of four will pay a smaller share of its income in federal income taxes than in any year since 1957.”

Conversely, the top one percent will pay four times more than the total paid by the bottom 50 percent, who will pay less than four percent of the total. And the percentage paid by the top wage earners has been increasing steadily for years. Of course the government screwed it up! Hopefully the Democrats will pass a tax-the-rich bill, and finally give the rich true tax relief!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Keeping it simple

What am I missing? Back in March the NY Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS and about 32 other major news organizations filed a "friend of the court" brief to protect Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper against a charge of concealing the identity of a source responsible for compromising the identity of a covert agent. In essence, when the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 was reviewed, it became readily apparent that no violation of law had occurred. Simply, Valerie Plame had not meet the criteria to be a covert agent for over five years, and the CIA had not even taken the reasonable minimum steps to maintain her in a "covert" status.

So the question is, how can these news agencies be pursuing "Plamegate" so breathlessly when they already concluded there was nothing there?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

International ANSWER Is For War!

Editor

International ANSWER was in the news again, this time as a leader of the "anti-war" protests. However, the most modest research shows that International ANSWER is actually pro-war, and openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the "resistance" in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Slate go to "Anti-War, My Foot, The phony peaceniks who protested in Washington," by Christopher Hitchens.

International ANSWER is not opposed to war. They are against democracy, capitalism, and personal freedom and liberty.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

An Ounce Of Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Gov. Kathleen Blanco-Dem., on Sunday ordered a mandatory evacuation following a personal appeal from President Bush.
However, Governor Blanco, who had the sole authority, not President Bush, did not then call up the Louisiana National Guard.

About the need to evacuate residents stranded in the city, Democratic Louisiana state Rep. Karen Carter said: “Give me buses and gas.” However, photos of the flooding show hundreds of city buses and school buses that should have been used for evacuation were instead left parked in areas vulnerable to flooding and are useless.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, in a foul-mouthed rant, blamed President Bush for not doing more. If Nagin would have followed the hurricane annex of his own City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, President Bush would not have to do as much now.

Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Do the Governor and Mayor think their jobs are just ceremonial? Most of the suffering in New Orleans was avoidable, if they would have done their jobs in the first place.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Blowing Up Mosques With Korans and Muslims Inside - Desecration?

Editor

As Muslims kill Muslims by blowing up mosques, is it possible that some of the Korans contained therein were desecrated?

And isn't there something unholy about blowing up people praying in a house of worship?

Maybe even as bad as making captured terrorists listen to Christina Aguilera? I admit, that might be a tough call. Speaking for me, that threatened punishment would make me quit the mosque-bombing business, no matter how many women and children would be spared.

You also get more Big Media coverage (BM) by complaining about Korans splattered by water balloons than you do from blowing up a dozen mosques and destroying hundreds of Korans. And, oh yes, killing hundreds of people. Isn't the BM wonderful?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

People Die, Symbols Don't

Editor

Islamic terrorists murdered almost 700 Muslims last month. At the same time, a Koran was reputed to have been desecrated. With all the outrage at Newsweek’s careless error, shouldn’t Muslims be outraged at the senseless slaughter of other Muslims? When a US flag is burned, a crucifix displayed in urine, the Saudis confiscate and burn a Bible, we say: “No one was hurt, it is just a symbol.”

When will Muslims understand these are people, not symbols?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Arabs In Foreign Lands

Moisés Naím

Dear Mr. Naím

The answer as to why Arabs in America do better than in Europe or their native lands is quite simple. Arabs are assimilated into American culture, whereas in Europe they have remained separate. Add to that the greater freedom resulting from lower taxes - in Europe high taxes to maintain the social welfare system have kept total employment stagnant for over two decades - and Arabs, just as other recent immigrants to America, have a field day of opportunity. You undoubtedly will find similar success statistics among Chinese, Vietnamese, Nigerians, Indians, and other recent immigrants to America. Among current Americans, Blacks have maintained a culture that has held them back; it is unbelievable that a Nigerian refugee, black, with no English skills and just the shirt on his/her back, will in a generation have accumulated more wealth and achieved a higher level of education than a Black whose family has been here over a hundred years. Only the Mexicans, who bring their culture with them, have difficulty prospering in America as a group. Needless to say, many Mexicans also do very well in America, much better than they would in any other part of the world given that they usually start here with no education, no capital, and no marketable skills.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Put Up Or Shut Up, Ms. Foley

Linda Foley
International President
Newspaper Guild

Ms. Foley,

I saw a video clip of your accusations that the U S military is targeting and killing journalists. It sounded like an Eason Jordan rerun. Where is your proof? Show it or shut up

This is not an attempt to censor you. In fact, I demand you show the world your proof, and show it right now. The atrocities you describe must be exposed and stopped immediately. If you do not do your part, you are complicit in evil. However, if you cannot back up your words with proof, you have no business continuing in a responsible position in journalism.

Michael B. Combs, Major, U S Air Force, Retired

Saturday, April 30, 2005

I Miss What We Lost

Editor

I was glad to read that Rosemarie Brooks enjoys living in Point Arena. I not only enjoyed living in Point Arena, I loved it from 1949 to 1960, and always enjoyed returning to visit family and friends over the years.

The movie house is one of my favorites. I have seen over 1,000 movies there. We once had two thriving general stores in Point Arena, which provided incomes to support a total of ten or more families. Three service stations, two hotels and a motel, three downtown restaurants with bars, a busy bowling alley with bar and restaurant, a soda fountain, shoe store, dress shop, two meat markets, the Bank of America, an appliance sales and repair shop, a paint store, two barber shops and a women’s hair salon, and more houses and a larger population than now. Also at various times a pool hall, penny arcade, small engine sales and repairs, coffee shop, and many other signs of an energetic and robust economy in a small town.

Our energetic life style also featured activities year around. Young men played for basketball and softball teams sponsored by their sawmill employers – Bojock Lumber Company had particularly strong teams – and the 776th Radar Squadron, U. S. Air Force, also fielded strong teams. Adult and youth square dancing, and monthly dances at Point Arena High School, were very popular. The high school, with participation from teachers, townspeople, and Air Force personnel, put on an incredible performance of H. M. S. Pinafore in 1959, and presented plays and band performances frequently during each school year.

Unlike today, local people could be found in large numbers on evenings and weekends at the beaches and at swimming holes on the Garcia and Gualala rivers. The Point Arena wharf was very busy, with boats being rented and launched, and as many as twenty salmon trollers tied alongside the wharf, and a dozen more tied to buoys.

I understand our differing perspectives: Rosemarie is celebrating what she has, I miss what we lost.