May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

"May you guard the streets of heaven as fiercly as we stormed the streets of hell."

-- Lcpl. James Vick, to his brother-in-arms, Lance Corporal Antoine Smith.

"All gave some...some gave all..."

Honor our nation's fallen heroes... in word, thought, and prayer...

...and remain forever thankful for the blood that was shed for all.

“They summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue.”
--Gen. James A. Garfield
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May 28, 2006

on blogcation...

...travelling south to Mrs. Sippi for the next several days with the fiancee.

Blogging may be light to non-existent until we return on about the 5th or 6th of June.

Sit tight and don't go anywheres until we get back.

Yea, that means you. ::Points::

Sit Boo-Boo, sit.

Good dog.

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May 26, 2006

Only surviving Beslan murderer sentenced to life imprisonment

Beslan hostage-taker sentenced to life in jail

VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia - A Russian court sentenced the only surviving Beslan hostage-taker to life in prison on Friday for his part in the bloody 2004 school siege that killed 331 people.

Nurpashi Kulayev, a Chechen carpenter born in 1980, was found guilty on all charges, which included terrorism and murder. He had pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors had requested the death penalty for Kulayev, but Judge Tamerlan Aguzarov said a current moratorium on capital punishment ruled that out.

“(Kulayev) deserves the death sentence but because the Russian government has introduced a moratorium on carrying out death sentences, I sentence him to life imprisonment,” Aguzarov told the court.

Prosecutors told Russian news agencies they would not appeal the decision.

Kulayev was part of a group that took 1,300 hostages in a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan almost two years ago. After a three-day stand-off the siege collapsed into a bloodbath. More than half the victims were children.

Aguzarov rejected Kulayev’s claim that he had been forced to take part, and said witnesses’ evidence contradicted his insistence that he had never threatened or harmed any hostages.

May God save your soul, you monster.

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May 24, 2006

South Africa's booming, violent child sex trade

Via Fleshploitation:

An excellent expose written by Karyn Maughan in South Africa's periodical, The Star: Child sex trade scandal

Children as young as 9 are selling their bodies on the streets of Joburg for R30 ($4.50 US) --and child rights groups say the situation is "exploding".

In a series of interviews with child sex workers, streetchildren, clinic staff and community workers, The Star has uncovered that the commercial sexual exploitation of boys and girls is booming.

[...] [In] another incident about six months before, the friends of a teenage sex worker watched with growing horror as a luxury car pulled up outside a Hillbrow hotel and pushed her limp body out onto the street.

She was dead, with a knife protruding from her vagina. The teenager was never identified.

[...] Trawling the malls where many schoolchildren spent their afternoons and weekends, [criminal syndicates --.ed] would seek out teenagers who "had the look of want" in their eyes, Stevens said.

Community worker Elaine Johannes said: "They will start to talk to the child who is staring at a pair of Levi's, saying 'those jeans are cool, hey?' Then maybe they arrange to meet the child later on, buy them clothes and cellphones, take them out clubbing a few times without doing anything.

"They will try to get the child hooked on drugs, and after he or she is addicted, they'll demand the money for the clothes and drugs. It is then that the child gets forced into sex for money."

Thanks to Sarah G. of Captive Daughters for the story.

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May 23, 2006

"I'm proud of this town."

Though I moved from Seaford to northern Delaware when I was a small child, I still have family connections in the area. Still, it makes me proud to have some roots in a small town that knows how to honor its fallen heroes.

Delaware Online: Supporters flock to Marine's funeral

SEAFORD -- More than 1,000 people -- including hundreds of motorcyclists who call themselves Patriot Guard Riders -- quietly created a corridor of American flags outside St. John's United Methodist Church on Sunday to support the family of a fallen Marine.

Four hundred people packed the church while another 100 watched a live video feed at a nearby fire hall and hundreds of others simply stood outside, but their numbers were belied by a dignified quiet that marked the funeral of Cpl. Cory Palmer. The 21-year-old Seaford High School graduate died May 6 of injuries suffered when his Humvee was hit by an explosive near Fallujah on May 1.

In hushed tones, supporters sang "The Star Spangled Banner" and recited the Lord's Prayer as Palmer's family and friends solemnly entered the church for the 3 p.m. funeral. Wind chimes sounded; flags flapped.

Dozens of servicemen -- Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine -- wore dress uniforms as they paid their respects.

"I'm thankful everyone came out to support Cory," said one of them, Marine Cpl. Evan Rogers, 22, who attended first and second grade with Palmer.

Described by friends as "fun-loving" and "full of energy," a guy who "always had a gleam in his eye," Palmer already had served a 7-month tour in Iraq. He had been back at war for five weeks when he was injured.

"I know his parents and his grandparents and his great-grandparents," said Bill Bennett, whose family owns Harley-Davidson of Seaford. He expected a big crowd. "It's a well-known and well-liked family."

Outside the church, Carol Guilbert, a senior citizen from Bridgeville, stood quietly with her husband to support Palmer's family, with whom she attends church. She opposes U.S. involvement in Iraq.

"This has nothing to do with your feelings about the war," said Guilbert, whose husband is a World War II veteran. "We're very supportive of the family."

Looking around at the hundreds of quiet, respectful mourners, many of whom held American flags, and still more of whom didn't know Palmer personally but wanted to honor the fallen Marine, she said, "I'm proud of this town."

Motorcyclist and Vietnam veteran John O'Neill, of the American Legion Riders, had to walk five blocks from where he and his companions parked their bikes. Suffering from fibromyalgia, the Dagsboro resident must use two canes to walk, but he willingly covered the distance to honor Palmer.

"A war hero comes back home, his family has a right to respect," he said.

Palmer's cousin, Ellen Palmer, held back tears as she walked from the funeral toward home. Cushioned by distance and the large number of supporters, she never saw any of the protesters who had gathered in town.

"I was expecting support, but I was expecting, you know, 25 or 50 people," she said. "They were still there cheering as we walked out of the church."

May God bless you and your family, Cpl. Palmer.

Semper fi.

UPDATE: Another reason why I am proud of my old hometown: Angry residents confront anti-gay protesters

[The Phelps] [d]emonstrators taunted the crowd by stepping on American flags and shouting insults, separated from onlookers by a waist-high barrier and dozens of police officers. The park is out of sight and earshot of St. John's United Methodist Church where the funeral was held.

"Carry your sorry asses back to Kansas!" one man shouted to the demonstrators from across the street. People driving cars and trucks -- many waving American flags -- drew cheers from onlookers as they passed, drowning out the demonstrators.

"Get out of our county," Amanda Elzey, 18, of Salisbury, Md., shouted. Elzey's pink T-shirt read: "God Hates No One."

The group received a permit from the city to demonstrate in the park at Market and High streets from 2:15 to 3 p.m. At 3 p.m., police formed a perimeter around them and escorted them onto a waiting van. The crowd pressed forward, throwing rocks and bottles and breaking at least one of the van's windows, Seaford police Capt. Gary Flood said.

"We knew we were going to have to get [the demonstrators] out of there," said Flood, visibly drained by 5 p.m. "Things were getting a little heated."

The demonstrators "got out of town" immediately, he said.

Police arrested three adults -- all from the crowd -- taking them to the Seaford jail, according to Flood. He couldn't immediately provide details.

Despite the arrests, Flood said he believed the city residents showed "good restraint."

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May 18, 2006

Robertson: Modern prophecy #2,398


Robertson: God Says Tsunami Possible For U.S.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Rev. Pat Robertson says God has told him that storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America's coastline this year.

The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network has told viewers of "The 700 Club" that the revelations came to him during his annual personal prayer retreat in January.

"If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said May 8.

He added specifics in Wednesday's show.

"There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest," he said.

"IF I heard the Lord right..." Nice save.

This guy seriously needs to quit licking toads because he give the rest of us SANE Christians a bad name.

I hope not a blessed thing happens so he'll stop opening his mouth thinking he has the Red Telephone to God.

Posted by Kyer at 06:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 17, 2006

Homo-erotic He-Man?

Definitely not manly.

This guy has forever changed my memory of He-Man when I was a kid.

Nice job, dork: By the Power of Grayskull! Rediscovering the heroic cartoon beefcake of my youth.

The best part about rewatching He-Man, after the initial nostalgia-burst, was tracking the show's hilarious accidental homo-eroticism—an aspect I missed completely as a first-grader. In the ever-growing lineup of "outed" classic superheroes, He-Man might be the easiest target of all. It's almost too easy: Prince Adam, He-Man's alter ego, is a ripped Nordic pageboy with blinding teeth and sharply waxed eyebrows who spends lazy afternoons pampering his timid pet cat; he wears lavender stretch pants, furry purple Ugg boots, and a sleeveless pink blouse that clings like saran wrap to his pecs. To become He-Man, Adam harnesses what he calls "fabulous secret powers": His clothes fall off, his voice drops a full octave, his skin turns from vanilla to nut brown, his giant sword starts gushing energy, and he adopts a name so absurdly masculine it's redundant. Next, he typically runs around seizing space-wands with glowing knobs and fabulously straddling giant rockets. He hangs out with people called Fisto and Ram Man, and they all exchange wink-wink nudge-nudge dialogue: "I'd like to hear more about this hooded seed-man of yours!" "I feel the bony finger of Skeletor!" "Your assistance is required on Snake Mountain!" Once you start thinking along these lines, it's impossible to stop.
I can't believe I posted this.

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May 16, 2006

castro Jr. considers selling U.S.-made jets to Eastern Mullocracy.

Venezuela Weighs Selling U.S. Jets to Iran

CARACAS, Venezuela

Venezuela is considering selling its fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to another country, perhaps Iran, in response to a U.S. ban on arms sales to President Hugo Chavez's government, a military official said Tuesday.

Gen. Alberto Muller, a senior adviser to Chavez, told The Associated Press he had recommended to the defense minister that Venezuela consider selling the 21 jets to another country.

Muller said he thought it was worthwhile to consider "the feasibility of a negotiation with Iran for the sale of those planes."

Even before the U.S. announced the ban on arms sales Monday, Washington had stopped selling Venezuela sensitive upgrades for the F- 16s.

Chavez has previously warned he could share the U.S. jets with Cuba if Washington does not supply parts for the planes. He also has said he may look into buying fighter jets from Russia or China instead.


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May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

A special Happy Mother's Day prayer for all the mothers who have children fighting for our freedom... and for those who will never come back.

Posted by Kyer at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 12, 2006

Spanish High Court screws up; releases 3/11 terror suspect

You've got to be kidding me...

Madrid train bomb suspect freed after court mix-up:

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s High Court released one of the 29 suspects charged in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings on Wednesday after authorities failed to apply for the power to hold him for longer.

Saed El Harrak was set free after completing the maximum two-year period for which suspects can be kept in prison without trial. Authorities can apply for the power to hold suspects for a further two years, something they failed to do.

El Harrak was arrested after telephone records showed he called several men implicated in the attacks that killed 191 people, days before the event.

His number was also found in the rubble of a flat where suspects blew themselves up as police closed in on them a month after the commuter train blasts. El Harrak later admitted he knew one of men who committed suicide in the flat explosion.

Judge Teresa Palacios, who took the decision to release him as investigating judge Juan del Olmo was ill, said El Harrak would have to register with police twice a day, hand in his passport and is banned from leaving the Madrid region.

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Krauthammer: Right verdict, wrong reasons

Charles Krauthammer on the Moussaoui sentence: Sparing Moussaoui for the Wrong Reasons.

The Moussaoui verdict came out right, but the process was atrocious. The jury's list of mitigating factors was risible. And the entire process was farcical, a 4 1/2 -year charade manipulated by a self-declared terrorist gratuitously given a world platform by those he was working to destroy. We need no more lessons in the obvious: Civilian court -- with civilian procedures, civilian juries and civilian sensibilities -- is not the place for those who make war upon us.
'Nuff said.

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May 11, 2006

WWII Vet attacked... with an American flag

Words simply fail me.

93-Year-Old Vet Ambushed, Beaten By Man With American Flag, Attack Suspect Arrested

POSTED: 12:13 am EDT May 11, 2006
UPDATED: 9:21 am EDT May 11, 2006

A 28-year-old man in Winter Park, Fla., was arrested and charged late Wednesday with ambushing and carjacking a 93-year-old World War II veteran, according to Local 6 News.

Police said Bruno Antonietti was on his way to exercise at a YMCA Wellness Center in Winter Park when he was attacked.

Antonietti said he noticed someone approaching him carrying an American flag on a wooden pole before the attack last weekend and was not suspicious.

"What he didn't know was that (the flag) was a potential weapon," Local 6 reporter Jessica D'Onofrio said. "However, he does not recall being beaten with it."

Antonietti was beaten and left bleeding in the parking lot, the report said.

"He grabbed the keys and pushed me and I went back," Antonietti said. "I said what do you want and he says, 'I want your car.' And, I said, 'Get out of here.'"

Sunday, Antonietti's stolen Toyota was found abandoned in Parramore. And after an investigation, detectives were able to link Brian Stusalitus to the crime, D'Onofrio said.

Stusalitus was arrested and allegedly confessed to the crime, according to the report.

"It was transportation to get him to where he could buy crack," Winter Park police Lt. Wayne Farrell said. "He would steal other things and sell those things for crack."

"I would like to see him in jail for the rest of his life at least," Antonietti said.

Stusalitus is being held at the Orange County Jail on carjacking and abuse of the elderly charges.

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Ohio Ph.D student gets 54 days in prison for child porn


Man Gets 54 Days In Prison For Child Pornography

McGuirl Claims Medical Condition Caused Crime POSTED: 6:29 pm EDT May 9, 2006 UPDATED: 8:24 pm EDT May 9, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio State University student received a creative punishment for possessing child pornography after telling the judge his crime was the result of a medical condition.

John McGuirl appeared in court Tuesday, claiming that he has a psychological disorder that causes him to turn to pornography, NBC 4's Nancy Burton reported.

Four months ago, McGuirl, an Ohio State Ph.D student, was convicted of 44 counts of possessing child pornography on two computers. The judge said he wants McGuirl to take responsibility for each image found on his computers.

"(You will spend) one day in jail for each of the felony four counts, 10 days in jail for the felony three count. That adds up to 54 days in jail," said Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Eric Brown. "I do not want to get in the way of the defense of your dissertation. You would report to jail on June 2."

McGuirl's computer was also mentioned at the sentencing. He is permitted to have one, but the judge set strict limitations when it comes to the Internet.

Brown insisted that software be installed on McGuirl's computer to prevent him from visiting certain Web sites.
For the next five years, the probation department will also receive written reports about McGuirl's computer use.

McGuirl still has a case pending in Springfield, where he is charged with trying to solicit a teenage girl for sex.
The judge told McGuirl on Tuesday that if he violates any conditions of the sentence, he will spend four years in prison.

While McGuirl defends his dissertation, Judge Brown should defend his judgeship.

"Psychological disorder", indeed.

Cross-posted @ Fleshploitation and Vince Aut Morire

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May 10, 2006

U.S. Airmen connect with elderly in Kyrgyzstan

Airmen share lunch, love with local elderly

By Staff Sgt. Lara Gale
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Olga finished school 70 years ago. After graduating, she became a teacher of Russian, German and finally mathematics for more than 30 years. She has so much to share about that time, but today, she has fewer and fewer people to hear her stories. Brothers and sisters, husbands and children have passed on or moved too far away to visit.

That's why lunch with the American Airmen is such a treat, said Tech. Sgt. Victoria Querido.

Thursday, Sgt. Querido led her final trip of the rotation, with a dozen Airmen from the medical group and chaplain's office here. The trip included a stop at the store, as always, where the Airmen pitched in to buy three large bags of groceries, and a stop at the offices of Babushka Adoption.

Babushka Adoption sponsors more than 700 babushkas and dedushkas – grandmothers and grandfathers – in Kyrgyzstan. It's not uncommon to see elderly people asking for handouts on the streets in this post-Soviet nation. Since the collapse of the Soviet economy, elderly people who have worked all their lives and once earned or anticipated earning a government pension have seen their pensions decrease to often less than $20 a month. Babushka Adoption seeks out those elderly most vulnerable – those with medical problems, those without family or friends to help – and supports them financially and socially.

Sgt Querido's group supports 20 of the agency's babushkas, bringing them money, clothing, food, and comfort items like blankets and linen.

The material and financial assistance is important, said Sergeant Querido, but what the women seem to appreciate the most is the love and friendship shared during the group's bi-monthly lunch outings.

"They really appreciate everything we do for them, you can see it in their eyes," she said. "The only time they ever get to be with people, and touch and give hugs is when we visit with them. Their husbands are all dead. A couple of have sons or daughters, but most of them don't see people unless they're from the foundation."

I encourage you to read the rest of this touching account of some of our benevolent Airmen.

Posted by Kyer at 08:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Coalition doctors deliver Afghan baby

Coalition doctors deliver Afghan baby girl at PRT

By Sgt. Cain S. Claxton, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition medical providers performed an emergency Cesarean-section delivering a healthy baby girl and preserving the 22-year-old Afghan mother's life at the Tarin Khowt Provincial Reconstruction Team clinic April 23.

"We received a phone call from a U.S. Special Forces medic saying there was a young woman who was in the late stages of her pregnancy with preeclampsia," said Army Lt. Col. Kevin Johnson, the PRT's chief surgeon. "They called and asked if I could treat this."

Preeclampsia, a syndrome which may cause seizures and requires immediate delivery of a baby during the second or third trimester of pregnancy, threatened the mother's life and the health of the unborn child, the surgeon said.

A C-section was the mother's only option for delivery.

During the flight from Char Chineh, the woman's condition worsened as she began having seizures. The medical team on the ground at the Tarin Kwot PRT acted quickly. Johnson credited the successful delivery of the baby girl to the actions of Army Cpt. John Murphy, a nurse anesthetist, and Army Maj. Scott Shawen, an orthopedic surgeon.

"It was a stroke of brilliance that Dr. Shawen pulled us all together right away so everyone could share what they knew," Johnson said. "Everybody had a little bit of experience in this; none of us had a lot."

No one at the Tarin Kowt PRT had any previous experience performing a C-section. Johnson said he used the internet to watch a short video on the surgery while waiting for a helicopter to transport the expectant mother and father to the clinic.

"It was definitely a ‘see one, do one' operation," said Johnson, who used the University of Michigan's Web site to familiarize himself with the procedure. "I must say that I was quite nervous. We started and finished delivering the baby in less than five minutes."

The mother, Wahida, gave birth to the 17-and-one-quarter inch baby girl.

Johnson and Shawen said Murphy provided the bulk of the effort in delivering the baby girl.

"The key person was Captain Murphy," Shawen said. "He was all over it – everything from anesthetizing the mother, taking care of her airway, and resuscitating the baby."

After making sure the mother was asleep and stable, Murphy said the procedure went smoothly. But moments after birth, "the baby wasn't as responsive as we would have liked … she was still really blue," he said. ohnson called Murphy to resuscitate the newborn, which he did.

"Both mother and baby are just fine," Johnson said. They remained at the Tarin Kowt PRT clinic during recovery.

Wahida and her husband, Dr. Mujieb, medical providers themselves, named their newborn, Amanda, after discussing possible names with an Army nurse, Murphy said.

"I don't know why they chose that name, but she'll probably be the only kid on the block named, ‘Amanda,' here," he said.

Murphy said he is working to bring anesthesia capabilities to the Afghan hospital in Tarin Khowt. Presently, there are no Afghan anesthesia providers in Uruzgan province.

"In this case, we're the only option," Murphy said about the emergency C-section delivery. "We were just happy to be able to help."

And I am sure they are just happy to have you do so.

Wonderful story.

Welcome to a free Afghanistan, Amanda.

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May 09, 2006

Seaford Marine Killed in Iraq

Seaford Marine Killed in the Line of Duty
SEAFORD- A community is mourning the loss of a young man who died from injuries he suffered while serving in Iraq.

Twenty-one-year-old Cpl. Cory L. Palmer of Seaford was injured on Monday, May 1 by a homemade bomb in Iraq. He was being transferred to a Texas hospital for treatment when he succumbed to his injuries Sunday, May 7.

"He was proud to be serving his country and being there for the cause," said Timothy Lee, who coached Palmer at Seaford High School from where Palmer graduated in 2002.

Palmer, a Seaford native, was voted "most rebellious" in his senior year. But Lee says Palmer was unforgettable and "fun loving, definitely a real character".

Relatives say Palmer had many dreams and ambitions for his life. He planned on going hiking and fishing with his brothers when he returned home from Iraq.

After high school, Palmer attended West Virginia University for one semester. He then joined the Marines.

Palmer left Delaware for his second tour of duty in Iraq in March. Palmer was with the 2nd Recon Battalion, A Company 1st Platoon when he was mortally wounded.

Flags across Delaware have been lowered to half-staff in honor of Palmer.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time," said Seaford Mayor Edward H. Butler Jr. "It is a small token of our gratitude for Cory’s service to our country that we lower our flags in his remembrance, and we encourage all local entities to do the same."

Relatives say they're still in shock over Palmer's death. They say support from their friends and close knit family are helping them through this difficult time.

Palmer is survived by his parents and two older brothers. He would have turned 22 on Wednesday, May 10.

May God bless the family and loved ones of Cpl. Palmer.

Semper Fi, Corporal.

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Phoenix, AZ Sheriff: Round up the posse...

Ariz. Posse to Arrest Illegal Immigrants

PHOENIX May 4, 2006 (AP)— A posse of 100 volunteers and sheriff's deputies will patrol the Phoenix area and arrest any illegal immigrants, the county sheriff said.

The group likely will be deployed across parts of Maricopa County by the weekend, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday.

Volunteers will be drawn from the department's 3,000-member posse, whose members are trained and are often former deputies.

"It's important to send the message out to stay in Mexico and don't come roaming around here hoping you're going to get amnesty," said Arpaio, who in years past gained notoriety for putting inmates on chain gangs and issuing them striped uniforms and pink underwear.

Arpaio's deputies have already arrested about 120 illegal immigrants using a new state smuggling law.

"We're going to arrest any illegal who violates this new law," he said. "I'm not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I'll give them a free ride into the county jail."

Somehow, I don't think this sheriff is bluffing...

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May 08, 2006

1st Iraqi Ranger

1st Iraqi to Graduate Army's Ranger School

FORT BENNING, Ga. - A former lieutenant in Saddam Hussein's army on Friday will become the first Iraqi to graduate from the Army's Ranger School, a 61-day training ordeal that pushes soldiers to their physical and mental limits in forests, swamps and mountains.

"I have a big, huge faith in the future of Iraq and that's why I'm here," said Capt. Arkan, who was identified only by his first name to protect him and his family back home.

Arkan, 25, a lieutenant in the Iraqi army in Baghdad at the time of the U.S.-led invasion, said he felt no animosity toward the United States when bombs began falling on the city in March 2003.

"It was a situation you expect from war," he said. "They were fighting Saddam Hussein, not the people. They came for the people. You have to take these matters professionally."

[...] Arkan said he's uncertain of his assignment upon his return.

"As for the terrorist groups, their days are numbered," he said. "God willing, everything is going to be good."

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New Recruits

Duty and tuition draw US military recruits>

Coast Guard recruit Joshua Gonzalez, a Miami native nearing his 18th birthday, said he joined the military in part because his career options seemed limited.

"Jobs are hard to find in Miami, I can't pay for college."

Gonzalez was one of 144 recruits sworn into the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard during a ceremony in a sweltering hangar at the Opa-locka Airport near Miami last week.

Gonzalez said he chose the Coast Guard in part because he wanted to defend his homeland, from its own shores.

His mother, Linda Murray, watched the ceremony proudly from a row of folding chairs and tried not to dwell on the chance her son could be assigned to a ship on Iraq war duty in the Middle East.

"I think it's a good thing, an honorable thing. It's his duty," Murray said. "It's a big contribution. Then if they don't come back, it's a sacrifice. You kind of tuck that deep down. ... You've got to have some faith."

[...] Rene Carbonell said he joined the Army and asked for an infantry assignment because he wants to be on the front lines.

"I wanted to be right there where everything is. I'm ready to go," said Carbonell, 18. "I want to serve my country. I think that's what most people want to do when they join the military."

[...] Quasan Browne, an 18-year-old Air Force recruit, said he joined because, "Someone has to do it."

"We've got to protect our families. War is not a problem, as long as we can keep everyone at home safe."

Browne wants to work in the Air Force Intelligence Service and likes the idea of launching into a career now rather than spending years in college and then starting a job hunt.

"They're going to give me college credits while I get the experience. ... I'm going to get my life started sooner," he said.

"I know there's a risk. You've got to take a chance," Browne said.

Joshua Vakili, a 20-year-old Marine recruit with his hair shaved into a mohawk, said it might be "a bad time to join," but that he wanted to do something that would push him hard.

"I always wanted to do something very tough," said Vakili, who hopes to join a Special Forces reconnaissance unit, serve 20 years in the military and then join the CIA or FBI.

"It doesn't bother me that much that a war's going on. It scares me sometimes but I'm not too worried," Vakili said.

God bless these young men and women for their courage, determination, and patriotism.

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May 06, 2006

Black Hawk Down: .... Basra?

Eerily similar, dare I say, to what happened to our boys over 12 years ago: Iraqis Cheer 'Copter Crash.

Updated: 21:03, Saturday May 06, 2006

At least four British servicemen are feared dead after a helicopter crashed in the Iraqi city of Basra, sparking violent clashes between locals and troops.

A policeman at the scene claimed the aircraft had been shot down and that four bodies were seen in the wreckage.

There are fears the eventual death toll could be higher.

Hundreds of Iraqis swarmed to the crash scene waving their arms and grinning in apparent jubilation.

Their reaction prompted clashes with British troops attempting to seal off the area.

Soldiers faced gunshots, petrol and blast bombs and a hail of stones.

[...] There were cries of "we are all soldiers of al-Sayed", a reference to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

I shuddered when I read the headline... the rest of the article didn't do much for me either.

Notice how the headline says "Iraqis"... yet it is not mentioned until the very bottom that this was the work of al-Sadr's men?

Almost as if the author of this story wanted to produce the notion average Joe-Iraqi celebrated the crash...


Posted by Kyer at 07:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

American Justice, not Moussaoui, has the last word.


Moussaoui Offers Final Diatribe in Court

[U.S. Judge Leonie] Brinkema firmly refused to be interrupted by the 37-year-old defendant as she disputed his claim that his life sentence meant America had lost and he had won.

"Mr. Moussaoui, when this proceeding is over, everyone else in this room will leave to see the sun ... hear the birds ... and they can associate with whomever they want," she said.

She went on: "You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison [...]"

"It's absolutely clear who won."

And she said it was proper he will be kept away from outsiders, unable to speak publicly again.

"Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory," she said, "but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper."

At that point, Moussaoui tried again to interrupt her, but she raised her voice and spoke over him.

"You will never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending."

Brinkema sentenced Moussaoui to six life terms without the chance of parole.

She informed him of his right to appeal the sentence and said she would ask his court-appointed lawyers to file the required notice as a precaution before relieving them from the case. "I believe it would be an act of futility," she said of an appeal, "but you do have a right."

Lisa Dolan, who lost her husband Bob in the attack on the Pentagon, was one of three family members of victims allowed to speak at the brief sentencing hearing.

She turned to Moussaoui said, "There is still one final judgment day."

Simply. Awesome.

Posted by Kyer at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mexico: "...there is no lack of governability here."


Mexico police swarm riot town, free hostages.

SAN SALVADOR ATENCO, Mexico (Reuters) - Over 1,000 riot police firing tear gas flooded into a town at the edge of Mexico City on Thursday to hunt for agents taken hostage in a riot sparked by flower traders that left at least one dead.

[...] Violence exploded in the area on Wednesday when police arrested roadside traders suspected of illegally selling flowers. Dozens more were arrested later in the day.

[...] During the chaos, angry demonstrators cornered 11 policemen and took them hostage. The protesters released several of the men in the early hours of Thursday morning but some reports said up to six of them had not been found yet.

[...] Presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar told reporters on Thursday the violence in Atenco was the work of a small group of people opposed to democracy and not a sign that the country was slipping into further violence.

"I can categorically assure you there is no lack of governability here" he said.

San Salvador Atenco is known for its machete-armed peasants, who five years ago blocked President Vicente Fox's plan to build a new airport there with a standoff that lasted several days. ["...known for it's machete-armed peasants..." like Cuba is known for its cigars and Colombia for its coffee?? --ed.]

Zapatista rebel leader Subcomandante Marcos, who headed a brief but bloody uprising in the Indian dominated southern state of Chiapas in 1994, said his guerrilla army was on red-alert following the clashes.

Yea, it's on.

Posted by Kyer at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 03, 2006

United93: "The Best of Us"

Stumbled onto a website called that posts snippits of reviews from major news outlets across the country.

I read through a dozen or so of them... some were a bit wordy, others cut to the chase.

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) finished his review with what I believe is one of the best things you could say about the reality of the film:

This is the best of us.
Further down the page they posted a few reader reviews... all 10's except for the one (expected) comment left by what must have been one of Kos' dungeon dwellers,
John B. gave it a 2:
Way overrated! Dramatic and well directed, but, honestly, there was nothing new or worthwhile here for anyone who knows what happened (which is everyone) on Flight 93 on 9/11. The acting was good, except for the air traffic controller who played himself. I've seen better acting in my kids school play. Enough is enough on 9/11. Let's get on with life.

Now go play in traffic.

Chad S., who gave it a "10" had an interesting observation and final remark...

The highlight of "United 93" is when events are at an obvious impasse and both sides engage in duelin' prayers. [I noticed that too, I found it very interesting... --ed.]

Personally, I felt a little less ultra-liberal walking out of the theater.

Maybe there is still hope.

Posted by Kyer at 10:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2006

Morales' Bolivia: "Does not play well with others"

A day late, a peseta short, but postable nonetheless:

"The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources," Morales said in a speech from the San Alberto petroleum field in southern Bolivia to decree what he called a nationalization of the natural gas industry. The field is operated by Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA in association with the Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA and France's Total SA.
Val's insight on Bolivia's gas nationalization:
Val: And ten years from now, just like in Cuba, half of the fields wont be in operation and then let the foreign subsidies begin!
Val is a bit more generous than I; I'll give 'em 5.

Commenter Alberto-Q pondered, "It will be interesting to see Lula's reaction to this. After all, isn't a fellow socialist doing it?"

To which I ask, "Isn't that like, socialist on socialist violence?"

Posted by Kyer at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2006

Marines stationed in Pacific to aid in fight against human trafficking

A few months old, but very noteworthy, nonetheless: Pacific Marines take stand against human trafficking

Online education instilled to combat slave trade
Cpl. Martin R. Harris

CAMP FOSTER (Jan 19, 2006) -- In a series of official messages beginning last year, the under secretary of defense and service chiefs directed that all members of the uniformed service complete awareness training in trafficking in humans.

Sex trafficking, only one part of TIP, is defined as taking part in an activity in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. Sex trafficking is illegal for service members stationed abroad.

In a recent message, Brig. Gen. Joseph V. Medina, the deputy commander of Marine Corps Bases Japan, directed that commanders and managers ensure their Marines, sailors, civilian Marines and contractors be trained no later than Jan. 30, 2006.

Read the rest over at Fleshploitation.

Posted by Kyer at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AP: The difference between hard-line and holy warrior Islamic terrorism

And yes, there is a difference(./?) Rift Grows Between al-Qaida, Muslim Groups.

Scholars of Islamic movements and some Western policy-makers, [sic] say distinctions now must be made between hard-line Islamist organizations and "holy warrior" groups such as Osama bin Laden's terror network.

"There is a fundamental difference between Islamic groups: Most are sociopolitical reformists, others are religious extremists," said Dia'a Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on radical groups.

Hamas and Hezbollah, for example, have national agendas, he said. They want to reorganize society according to Sharia, or Islamic law.

Extremist religious movements such as al-Qaida are international revolutionaries who excoriate not only non-Muslims but also Muslims who fail to follow their views. Theirs is a holy war to spread their views among Muslims and to repel any "infidel invasion" of Islamic lands.

"Branding these two branches of radicalism the same way, as terrorist organizations, reflects a complete misunderstanding of the issue," he said.

It's a very interesting and informative article, though I did not agree with this part entirely:
Rashwan said the confusion was a "fatal mistake" of the Bush administration in its war on terror.

He said that to fight an enemy, one had to define it correctly: "America doesn't, and this is why it is losing the war on terrorism."

Define "losing", loser.

Posted by Kyer at 12:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack