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|WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)|
Superman's product of the century (so far):
Spaceweather is reporting on a monster sunspot that is presently about five earth diameters in size - there's going to be a whopper of an M-class solar flare coming up soon - maybe May 1st.
Photographer Sylvain Weiller captured this image of the monster - probably using a filter that collects film image in response to the hydrogen fires of the sun.
That dark spot is about 40,000 miles across folks. Whoa!
After a great deal of effort and some terrific assistance from some very talented people - we have a new site design coming real soon now!
I'll put up a thanks all around post once we get it all working. Just don't be surprised to see some things change in the next couple of days. By the end of the weekend we should be live!
I have an amazing amount of first hand knowledge that I would love to share with the public. I've been to Bosnia twice, Kosovo in 1999, and now Iraq twice. I am just getting started as a junior author and I figure putting everything in segments would be the best way to spread the wealth.
On my second trip to Iraq I workied out of Camp Baharia, Fallujah. Before we destroyed the city my partner and I were tasked with training volunteer Iraqi Army Special Forces. At first I was mad we were tasked with teaching people our tactics, troop movements, immediate action drills, etc. Just so they could be like every other Iraqi we taught previously and disappear back into the city to use the knowledge against us. Or better yet we were going to be expected to intergrate the ISF soldiers into our ranks for the attack on Fallujah. "The enemy from within" - was the first thing to come to mind. One eye on the insurgents and one on the man who is expected to cover my back.
Through the time we trained the ISF soldiers I got to know five or six as friends. Hard working, insurgent hating, patriotic killers. After a few months of building each others trust I was sitting eating an outstanding dinner they had prepaired for us and struck up a conversation about culture. I was curious why the two thousand Iraqi national guardsman the Marine Corps had trained for over four months had just upped and walked out into the city to fight us. The response I got blew my mind. According to them it is considered dishonorable to be on the losing side, no matter what. What I mean is they can grow up all their live as loyal Iarqis and then the second it looks like the Insurgents are going to win they switch sides and go around killing their neghbors. This is the honorable thing to do. To stay loyal and be a patriot, or die for something you believe in is dishonorable. So at a drop of a dime the tides can turn.
This is only half the problem. The other half of the enemy believes that if they are martyrs under our blade they will go straight to heaven and are rewarded with handfulls of virgins. Fighting these guys is madness! They don't have escape routes, they don't use published tactics and they don't want to live. They hide and wait for us inside houses or walk up to us on city streets with white flags, then they blow up and kill or injure Americans. They don't care about the future. They don't care about cause and effect or how many people they kill, American or Arabic. They are brainwashed. With one goal: to die and take as many people with them as they possibly can.
As we ate dinner I wondered wich one of the ISF guys I would have to kill once we entered the city. What made these six men any different from the thousands that walked back into the city? Which ones of the six were really insurgents?
Another prolific commenter has accepted my invitation to be an author on the site.
You might remember the Heroes of India Company post. James first commented there that he was with American hero Lance Corporal Antoine Smith as Smith breathed his last - and wrote of his own harrowing tale getting shot up in the process. I commemorated his comment in the post Comment from a hero. Since then James has been a regular comment contributor.
It makes me so proud to introduce you to James Pell - one of the heroes of India Company and someone who has stories to tell of his service in Iraq (as well as Bosnia and Kosovo) - service in which he lay down his life for you and me.
Laura Ingraham - one of my favorite conservative heavy lifters - has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It's time to rally around one of our best voices in America for freedom and life. Please do what you can - and if nothing else, please pray for her healing. This is a prayer request from her web site:
PRAYER REQUEST FOR LAURA: You know I hate Drama Kings or Queens, but I am asking for your prayers today and for the forseeable future. On Friday afternoon, I learned that I have joined the ever-growing group of American women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. As so many breast cancer patients will tell you, it all came as a total shock. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who love me--my family, a wonderful fiance (if he thinks he's going to get out of marrying me because of this little blib, he's sadly mistaken!), my friends, and my church. I am absolutely blown away by how helpful and kind everyone has been--including total strangers who have experienced the same rollercoaster of emotions. The sisterhood of breast cancer survivors is inspiring. I am truly blessed. On Tuesday I will have an operation and within a few days will know more about the future. I am hopeful for a bright future and a "normal" life (well, scratch the "normal" part). Anyway, people have gone through much worse, and I know I'll obliterate this. I am thanking you in advance for your prayers. You are my family. And remember, I'll be back sooner than you think.
There's also a reminder and exhortation for all of us to insure that the women we love go get a check up:
SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE TODAY!: Laura's breast cancer was picked up during a simple breast examination by her OB/GYN. The tumor was not even visible on a mammogram! You MUST make sure that you, and every woman in your life does a monthly breast self-examination. Learn to do it correctly, slowly, carefully. If you feel ANYTHING that seems strange or unusual, go immediately to your OB/GYN. Make sure that you and/or the women you know go for an annual gynecological appointment for a comprehensive check up. Laura is embarrassed to admit she had not been to her doc in more than three years. Really stupid (her words, not ours). Don't be afraid to ask your friend, girlfriend, sister, mother, or wife if she has done everything to detect breast cancer. We all need someone to remind us, get on us, demand that we take care of ourselves.
My dear ladies: you have been reminded!
The Left Stream Media has wasted no time in attempting to implant their stilted views on the new pope.
The Media Research Council has the most egregious examples.
In the Opinion Journal yesterday, my favorite UN watcher, Claudia Rosett, brews up more of the foul stench that the UN has become - pointing out that Annan's recently touted reforms are simply regurgitated, stale promises from the near past.
Annan promises a litany of empty reforms - but Claudia points out:
All of which sounds terrific. Except that the reforms cited above, heralding the new era of openness, coherence, competence, integrity and improved peacekeeping are all plucked from a U.N. dossier released almost three years ago, in June 2002. These reforms were shepherded through by Mr. Annan starting in the late 1990s, with the help of his handpicked special adviser, Undersecretary-General Maurice Strong.
And what of Mr. Strong? Well, if he's not UN Official #1, or UN Official #2 in the Justice Department's recent indictment of the illegitimate founding of the Oil For Fraud program - he just demonstrates the infilitration of the world's favorite bagman into the UN and also shows that almost anything that the UN offers up is permeated with the blood of innocents:
...Mr. Strong did confirm that he has been friendly for years and had a business relationship back in 1997 with a Korean, Tongsun Park...Even if Mr. Strong had the best of intentions, his decision as a high-ranking U.N. official to be involved in any business relationship with the star bag man of Koreagate suggests seriously odd judgment. That should have been obvious even before U.S. federal prosecutors charged Mr. Park last week with accepting some $2 million from Saddam Hussein to convey yet more millions to two (so-far unnamed) high-ranking U.N. officials in an effort to shape the 1996-2003 Oil for Food program to facilitate Saddam's sanctions-busting embezzlement of billions meant for the people of Iraq.
Further, Claudia recounts that Anann's promises are not only stale but that he presides over a cesspool:
Since the U.N.'s self-described dawn of integrity three years ago (one of several such sunrises since Mr. Annan became secretary-general in 1997), we have seen the sex-for-food scandal in the Congo, featuring the rape of minors by U.N. peacekeepers, which continued well after press disclosures last year prompted a U.N. internal investigation. We have seen theft at the World Meteorological Association, scandal in the U.N. audit department, the resignation over sexual harassment charges of the refugee high commissioner Ruud Lubbers, turmoil within the Electoral Assistance Division, and allegations of corruption involving the U.N.'s Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization. We have seen rebellion by the U.N. Staff Union against "senior management, and a raft of resignations by senior U.N. officials who nonetheless linger on the premises on official salaries of a dollar a year, plus the various perquisites and connections the place affords.
But even all of this mess pales in comparison to the "Krakatoa" of OFF.
Claudia concludes by delineating the surprising lack of interest at the UN in determining who it might be that the United States Department of Justice is investigating in the latest indictment - showing once again the haughty arrogance that characterizes the august body - it is much reminiscient of Saddam's regime itself isn't it?
It is of some importance that there be a body politic of some kind in which the nations of the world enter together to work collectively on their mutual interests - but it is not the body that we presently have. This one needs to be razed and its memory wiped from the face of the earth.
April 19th was the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Vice-President Cheney and President Clinton were on hand to speak to and support those who gathered there to commemorate the loss of life and the courage of fellow citizens in the face of terror.
What they nor the media discussed was that there is a very clear link to Iraqi terrorists that participated in this barbaric act in our heartland ten years ago.
Reporter Jayna Davis (she was a local TV reporter at the time of the attack) has published The Third Terrorist, an investigative expose with evidence of Iraqi terrorists involved in the Oklahoma City bombing.
This is no drummed up conspiracy theory - brave Ms. Davis has 22 eyewitnesses, classified documents, and stories of FBI involvement. The most compelling part to me are the eyewitness descriptions from multiple employees at a hotel of - what in hindsight - are dry runs and preparations for the bombing - and their accounts demonstrate the use of 'lily whites' McVeigh and Nichols in the process. There's much more that needs to be discovered and our government should certainly look into this much more significantly than they have thus far. It is insidious that prosecutions have been conducted with the Americans that were involved and that those prosecutions were apparently tailored to keep out any evidence of international treachery.
Now that the Justice Department has issued a complaint that names a group of conspirators - including Saddam regime Iraqis - in a scheme to create the outrageous Oil For Food program more than ten years ago - a scheme that exceeded the expectations of those evil men that conspired to create it - Iraqis, UN Officials, a bagman, and one or more US government officials - it doesn't seem so far fetched that Saddam's regime was involved in this bombing, does it?
Breaking news: We have a new Pope! - In Latin: "Habemus Papam!".
The TV is showing thousands of people rushing to St. Peter's from around Rome to catch a glimpse of the new pope as he appears at the main balcony at St. Peter's - as news has spread that on only the second day a new pope has been elected by a two-thirds majority of the gathered 114 cardinals.
White smoke poured from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and the bells of St. Peter's tolled to herald the news.
The world waits in anticipation.
UPDATE: He is the conservative German cardinal Josef Ratzinger who has taken the name Benedict the 16th.
Stefan Sharkansky has stayed after King County like the proverbial bulldog - for weeks he has been awaiting King County to fulfill his public disclosure request for an "Absentee Ballot Audit Trail" - something that is required by Washington state law.
Well, Stefan presents his analysis today at Sound Politics - and it delivers multiple smoking guns. In the universe of just absentee ballots for King County - the accounting for ballots just doesn't add up.
An error in a state required audit trail that exceeded the 'margin of victory' of an election is grounds enough to void that election. At least nine such sets of errors not only should void the election but clearly points out either the complete incompetence of King County elections or, more insidiously, evidence of an attempted cover up of fraud.