A few of you have sent the link to this post at Sound Politics about a politician using Mike Yon's "Strength and Compassion" photo (of Major Beiger and Farah) in a campaign. I think Mike would be highly offended at it's intended use.
The Junior Senator from Massachusetts released this statement:
...If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.
I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.
The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.
Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.
Wow. Holy crap, he's freakin' lost it.
Yes, Senator, all of the Republicans (and Dems and Independents) who visit this site and wear the uniform pretty much think you're an Asshat. And, por ejemplo, here's why we think you would castigate an entire group of servicemen and women:
I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command....
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
Still an Asshat.
An Army pal of mine just acquired a German Shepherd female pup and requests your help in picking out a name. He specifically asks for names that will upset the jihadis. I said, "name it Mohammed". Call her, Mo.
Put your suggestions in the comments.
Okay, all of you Vets and active/reserve/guard folks can stop emailing me now. I've got the emails. Basically, most of you have said "@#$% that guy." I've got 120+ emails about this jacka$$ before 0800...
I've posted many times before that I have never been interested in investigating what he claimed he did during the Viet Nam War (I know many of you disagree with that). I still hold that it's what he did afterwards that makes him unfit for public office. His lies, protests, lack of support while in office, and his treatment of our troops while a Senator (yes, the story of how he treats the air crews is true) are certainly enough evidence that he is a huge, huge, tool...and, certainly, unworthy of your support.
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Veterans Day came a week early in 2004 when former and present military kept him from being President of the United States. Instead of being the POUS, he's just a POS.
And, now (as if we needed it), we have more evidence of how much disregard he has for the military.
During a campaign stop to support the Democrat gubernatorial candidate for California, Phil Angelides, John Kerry spoke about Education...and Iraq:
“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
Thanks to Joanie for sending the audio clip. I'll provide it below - I know my hosting charges are going to go through the roof for distributing this, but this is worth it - download, email, distribute - make sure everyone that you know hears this *cough* "patriot":
Update: If you want to turn a negative into a positive, please see the post below about supporting our wounded troops. Let's show them that the only one who thinks the way John Kerry does is John Forbes Kerry.
Update 3 - John Kerry got D's in college:
...The transcript shows that Kerry's freshman-year average was 71. He scored a 61 in geology, a 63 and 68 in two history classes, and a 69 in political science. His top score was a 79, in another political science course. Another of his strongest efforts, a 77, came in French class. Under Yale's grading system in effect at the time, grades between 90 and 100 equaled an A, 80-89 a B, 70-79 a C, 60 to 69 a D, and anything below that was a failing grade. In addition to Kerry's four D's in his freshman year, he received one D in his sophomore year. He did not fail any courses...
"At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers' Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed." - Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss at TC Override (wounded in Iraq)
Want to be part of something big?
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss (Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss' father), provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.
Valour-IT's online fundraising competition begins today! Let's see who can raise the most money to help reconnect our wounded warriors with the world!
WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT.
WHEN: October 30th through Veterans Day, November 10th .
WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else.
WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world.
HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians "up for grabs."
The lines are drawn by service rivalry:
Non-military bloggers should choose
a branch the Army to support.
Now, normally, I don't take part in the
brutal gentle inter-service rivalry, especially during war. But this is for a very important charity. So, civilian bloggers, choose your branch. Choose wisely...
Sign up for the Army team by enlisting at the Project Valour-IT site and click (under Army) "Join". We'll generate links, buzz, and get these heroes some Commo support!
What Valour-IT Needs From You:
- Blog and email regularly about Valour-IT and the competition
- Tell your friends, family and neighbors about Valour-IT
- Put up these flyers around your community (I put one up at my local Starbucks).
So all you bloggers sign up with your choice of service and get the word out. Donate NOW!!!
It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious).
The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248
San Antonio, TX 78248
Let's be a part of something big.
A bunch of stories hit yesterday - some mentioned or reviewed "The Blog of War":
Wired - Xeni Jardin wrote a piece on the new Military Intelligence unit evaluating blogs for OPSEC violations.
Xeni also is producing a segment for NPR's Day to Day program today.
The Stars & Stripes has an article about monitoring military bloggers.
Mark Danziger reviews The Blog of War in the Examiner.
The first time that I was ever "published" was centered around an event when my son was injured and needed surgery at the age of two. I've been through a lot in my life, but nothing ever like that terrible night in 2003. We were at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago - a phenomenal organization. I remember asking our amazing nurse if she went home and drank herself numb every night because I couldn't understand how someone could be that strong and not need a crutch. My wife, at one point, thought we should set her up with one of my friends. I thought about it, and then said, "None of them are good enough for her." (Sorry guys)
I wrote a letter about my experience feeling helpless as father and asked for support for Children's Memorial Hospital. It was published by a major Chicago paper on Father's Day. And my son was fine a few days after our visit. I remember thinking about all of the parents at the hospital who's sons and daughters had bigger problems than we faced. Parents will be strong because they have to be strong. But exactly how strong can one dad be?
So, this brings us to the world's strongest dad - a father among fathers. Ron sends this story from Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly about Dick and Rick Hoyt (Dick is a retired Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel). It's a great story about a father and son who saved each other. It's been making the email rounds and I thought it would be a great story to read before the weekend:
Strongest Dad in the World
Sports Illustrated Issue date: June 20, 2005, p. 88
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.
But compared with Dick Hoyt, I'm suck.
Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day.
Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?
And what has Rick done for his father? Not much -- except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."
But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain."
"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.
Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."
That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"
And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.
Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"
How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.
Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 -- only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.
"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."
So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.
"The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."
Like Rick Reilly, compared to Dick Hoyt, I suck.
Here is a glimpse of the remarkable father-son bond of Dick and Rick Hoyt, and their inspirational journey together in a triathlon and life itself - it's amazing:
If you would like to sponsor Team Hoyt, contact information is below:
241 Mashapaug Road
Fax: (413) 245-9554
If there ever was a candidate for the proverbial bullet between the eyes and his 72 goat reward, it is Muqtada al Sadr. Mookie is the idiot son of a family that can trace its lineage directly to Mohammed but he has failed to distinguish himself at any religious scholarship. He excels at gathering groups of thugs together, getting them jacked up on old time religion, and collecting satchels of Mullah money. He is currently causing considerable difficulty as Bill Roggio notes.
The media loves to talk as if all aspects of our campaign in Iraq were awful ideas, well in the case of Mookie they are right. We should have sent him along to Allah the first time he poked his head up with a religious militia. It's not like his allegiances to Iran were too tough to suss out. We have far too much aversion to the use of precision-aimed rifle fire or bombage to ensure that bad guys running bad groups stop acting bad. I had always been an advocate of shooting Sadaam and seeing what happened next. Doesn't sound so bad now, does it? Well, same logic applies to Mr. Sadr. A judiciously placed round a year or so back might have made the rest of the wannabe religious rabble rousers a little less froggy. Granted I am a big fan of dirty tricks, but the logic is very compelling.
Bloggers' take on military life
...[Rachelle] Jones says she stumbled on the world of milblogs in an attempt to get information of her husband's unit, which was in the area of Taji, Iraq. She found the blog of a private contractor working in the area and read it — and later other military blogs — for news.
"The whole time he was deployed … I didn't watch the TV news. I didn't want the kids picking up on it," she said, relating how she'd do her searching from 10 p.m. to midnight, after the youngsters were put to bed.
She read news not from journalists or pundits, but soldiers and civilians actually in the field who wrote not to entertain or push political agendas, but merely to share their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, be they harrowing firefights, mundane monotony, tales of dozens of soldiers and volunteers pulling together to save one life, or the shared, cathartic release of mourning a friend lost in the line of duty.
"I don't think it's hyper-patriotic ranting or anything like that. Most people just feel they really need to do this for their families," Jones said. "It's not journalism and it's not meant to be. It's just an account of what happened to you...
And John at Op-For writes of TBOW in order to avoid some chops bustin'...
Jules Crittenden of the Boston Herald writes of the Censorship issue of MilBlogs and of TBOW:
Blog of War Now Camouflaged
When something good is happening in the military, you can rely on someone high up and behind the lines to try to kill it. Slowly. Bureaucratically. Bleed the life out of it.
That is what is happening to milblogging, the Internet phenomenon that lets soldiers in Iraq tell us what they see, do and think...
Be sure to read the whole piece.
[Edit. note: This has gone viral. Thank you, everyone, for sending links and telling people about Beccy Cole. Reposting today]
Photo Courtesy of Australian Ministry of Defense.
Seawitch sends this awesome video of Aussie lass Beccy Cole who is singing "Poster Girl" in response to some of her fans who disagree with her supporting the Diggers, the Australian soldiers fighting in The Long War.
Simply put, it is amazing...turn it up: