October 31, 2006

Bob Barker to say 'Farewell!' from TV, next June.

Bob Barker, on his plans post-retirement next June:

He said he'd take on a movie role if the right one came along, but filmmakers, take note: "I refuse to do nude scenes. These Hollywood producers want to capitalize on my obvious sexuality, but I don't want to be just another beautiful body."

Posted by Kyer at 08:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 23, 2006

"Ruszkik haza!" - Hungary, Magyars Worldwide, Observe Solemn Anniversary

Ruszkik haza!

Chicago Tribune [...] Half a century after those turbulent events, Budapest still carries the scars of the Soviet invasion. Buildings pocked with bullet holes remain a common sight in the capital, and Hungarians continue to disagree bitterly over what it all meant and how it should be remembered.

The anniversary comes at a particularly awkward moment for the government of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany. A former communist youth leader who is now one of the wealthiest men in Hungary, Gyurcsany was embarrassed last month by a leaked recording in which he admits "we lied morning, noon and night" about the true condition of the economy during the last election campaign.

The revelations triggered several days of violent demonstrations. Protesters burned cars and attacked the state broadcasting headquarters. A determined hard core now occupies the square in front of the parliament building and says it won't leave until Gyurcsany resigns.

The square, of course, is where the `56 uprising began, and it is the main venue of the anniversary ceremonies to which scores of foreign leaders have been invited.

"Fifty-six has always been used as a political instrument in Hungary, even when it was officially suppressed," said Attila Szakolczai, a researcher at the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

"Outside Hungary, views of `56 tend to be over-simplified and exaggerated - good versus evil. In Hungary, it's more complicated," he said.

Historians generally agree that what began in Budapest on Oct. 23, 1956 was a spontaneous uprising against the Soviet military presence in Hungary and Moscow's heavy-handed interference in Hungarian politics.

Some who rebelled were anti-communists who wanted to bring down the entire system, but a majority were committed communists who wanted to replace "bad" communists with "good" communists.

The only thing they agreed on, according to Victor Sebestyen, the author of a new history of the uprising, was "Russkik haza" - Russians out.

"Mainly, it was a nationalist uprising against the Soviets. Within that, the people on the streets completely disagreed on everything else," said Sebestyen.

[...] After dithering for 12 days, Moscow launched a massive invasion. In less than 48 hours it was over. More than 2,700 Hungarians were dead, 20,000 wounded. Afterward, thousands were arrested and 229 were executed. More than 180,000 fled the country.

Whatever the reasons historians may cite, it is important to honor those who stoop up to the Soviet juggernaut at the cost of life and limb. Blood was shed 50 years ago today, in the eyes of some of us -- for freedom.

(Concentrate on the third stanza.)

National Song

by Petfi Sndor

Rise up, Magyar, the country calls!
It's 'now or never' what fate befalls...
Shall we live as slaves or free men?
That's the question - choose your 'Amen"!
God of Hungarians, we swear unto Thee,
We swear unto Thee - that slaves we shall no longer be!

For up till now we lived like slaves,
Damned lie our forefathers in their graves -
They who lived and died in freedom
Cannot rest in dusts of thraldom.
God of Hungarians, we swear unto Thee,
We swear unto Thee - that slaves we shall no longer be!

A coward and a lowly bastard
Is he, who dares not raise the standard -
He whose wretched life is dearer
Than the country's sacred honor.

God of Hungarians, we swear unto Thee,
We swear unto Thee - that slaves we shall no longer be!

Sabers outshine chaine and fetters,
It's the sword that one's arm betters.
Yet we wear grim chains and shackles.
Swords, slash through damned manacles!
God of Hungarians, we swear unto Thee,
We swear unto Thee - that slaves we shall no longer be!

Magyar's name will tell the story
Worthy of our erstwhile glory
we must wash off - fiercely cleansing
Centuries of shame and condensing.
God of Hungarians, we swear unto Thee,
We swear unto Thee - that slaves we shall no longer be!

Where our grave-mounds bulge and huddle
Our grandson will kneel and cuddle,
While in grateful prayer they mention
All our sainted names' ascension.
God of Hungarians, we swear unto Thee,
We swear unto Thee - that slaves we shall no longer be!

(March 13. 1848)

Tr: Adam Makkai


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October 16, 2006

CENTCOM: Heroes in Action

I like CENTCOM's version a little better than the AP's: Heroes In Action

According Merriam-Websters On-Line, a hero is a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities; one that shows great courage.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, 25, of Garden Grove, Calif., died Sept. 29 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ramadi, Iraq.

Monsoor was a Navy SEAL assigned to a West-Coast based command. Monsoor gave his life in order to save the lives of his brothers in arms. An Iraqi insurgent threw a grenade into a position occupied by Monsoor and three other SEALS. According to a report in the Associated Press Monsoor was struck in the chest by the grenade. Monsoor immediately threw himself on top of the grenade saving the lives of the other three. Two other SEALs where injured and the fourth was unhurt.

From Rear Adm. Joe Maguire, USN - Commander Naval Special Warfare Command, "On behalf of the entire Naval Special Warfare community, we mourn the loss of Master at Arms Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, who died conducting some of our military's most important missions.

It's been said that we cannot decide whether we live or die - we know one day we will die - but as people, as men and warriors, we can only decide what we will die for.

This Sailor along with our two wounded teammates chose a life of significant meaning -- to defend freedom and protect America and its allies from terrorism. We grieve with and support the family and friends who support our warriors on a daily basis. We hope that in time Michael's family is comforted in knowing that he died fighting for what he believed in and we will not forget his sacrifice."

According to The Navy Times, Monsoor was a native of Garden Grove, Calif., and joined the service in March 2001, according to Navy records. He was a member of BUD/S class 250, and had been serving with SEAL Team 3 since April 2005.

Monsoor is the second SEAL to die in Iraq.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, the definition of the word hero.


Posted by Kyer at 07:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 14, 2006

Petty Officer 2C Michael A. Monsoor: Epitome of Biblical Love

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Gospel of John 15:13
SEAL falls on grenade to save comrades
CORONADO, Calif. - A Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade Iraqi insurgents tossed into a sniper hideout his unit had discovered, fellow members of the elite force said.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor had been near the only door to the rooftop structure Sept. 29 when the grenade hit him in the chest and bounced to the floor, said four SEALs who spoke to The Associated Press this week on condition of anonymity because their work requires their identities to remain secret.

"He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it," said a 28-year-old lieutenant who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. "He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives, and we owe him."

Monsoor, a 25-year-old gunner, was killed in the explosion in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. He was only the second SEAL to die in Iraq since the war began.

Two SEALs next to Monsoor were injured; another who was 10 to 15 feet from the blast was unhurt. The four had been working with Iraqi soldiers providing sniper security while U.S. and Iraqi forces conducted missions in the area.

In an interview at the SEALs' West Coast headquarters in Coronado, four members of the special force remembered "Mikey" as a loyal friend and a quiet, dedicated professional.

"He was just a fun-loving guy," said a 26-year-old petty officer 2nd class who went through the grueling 29-week SEAL training with Monsoor. "Always got something funny to say, always got a little mischievous look on his face."

Other SEALS described the Garden Grove, Calif., native as a modest and humble man who drew strength from his family and his faith. His father and brother are former Marines, said a 31-year-old petty officer 2nd class.

Prior to his death, Monsoor had already demonstrated courage under fire. He has been posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions May 9 in Ramadi, when he and another SEAL pulled a team member shot in the leg to safety while bullets pinged off the ground around them.

Monsoor's funeral was held Thursday at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. He has also been submitted for an award for his actions the day he died.


May God bless your family and comrades, Monsoor. He surely has blessed us.

A gracious tip of the hat to Eric.

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