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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Breaking News from Fox

Secret Session
Closed Senate meeting on Iraq
Democrats force a classified conference about what they call 'misinformation' given during lead-up to war

Watchfires - Tonight at 9pm

Received from Christina

Just a note to remind you of the "Watchfires" Event on November 1 -- lighting a bonfire, candle, turn your porch light on, hold a flashlight or whatever at 9 p.m. in one's own time zone -- groups and individuals.

The purpose of "Watchfires" is severalfold -- not only to salute our dead of the War but also to acknowledge the living power they still have to touch us in so many ways. Their examples of courage, honor, and sacrifice set a standard for those who survived them; and our memories of them add strength and depth to our lives. Watchfires also serves to acknowledge the powerful spiritual event that the Vietnam War was. Whatever one's personal spiritual beliefs may be, Vietnam touched that in some way and touched this Nation where it lived, as well.

Watchfires go way back in history. Watchfires have been lit to establish aperimeter in military times, as a beacon for stragglers and the lost, and to guide ships to the homeward shore. The connection of this idea to the above Vietnam commemoration was to establish one night a year on which to light afire -- a bonfire, if one can do that where one is or a fire in an outdoor grill or in a fireplace or even just a candle, if that is all that is workable.

The night selected for this purpose is November 1st (annually). November 1, in both ancient and some modern calendars (for example: the Catholic Church calendar), is the evening following All Saints Day. In ancient times, it was believed that the souls of the departed on that night were enabled to come close to us, the living, that the "veil between" was the thinnest then.

In ancient practice, people lit bonfires to "light the way" so that the spirits of their passed-on family and friends would know they were being welcomed. And the burning of the fire signalled a time of communion, anacknowledgement of gifts given and received between the dead and the living.


Lest the young soldiers be strange in heaven,
God bids the old soldier they all adored
Come to Him and wait for them, clean, and new-shriven,
A happy doorkeeper in the House of the Lord.

Lest it abash them,the strange new splendor
Lest they affright them, the new robes clean;
Here's an old face, now, long tried and tender,
A word and a handclasp as they troop in.

'My boys!' He greets them; and heaven is homely,
He, their great Captain in days gone o'er;
Dear is the friend's face, honest and comely
Waiting to welcome them by the strange door.
-- Katharine Tynan

Search For Missing Soldier May Have Turned Up Clues

Channel Cincinatti has the latest on the search for Matt Maupin, who disappeared in Iraq in April of 2004:

CINCINNATI -- Soldiers searching for Matt Maupin's body in Iraq may have discovered clues about the missing Clermont County sergeant, News 5's Amy Wagner reported.

A company of 32 soldiers from New York spent seven hours searching an area near Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, over the weekend, Wagner reported.

After digging in 45 places, they bagged 10 items, including a patch of military clothing, and sent them off to a lab for analysis.

Read the rest here.

Maupin is the only American missing servicemember in Iraq. Our hearts are with his family and friends.

Hat Tip to Christina
Falcon's perch
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon awaits takeoff here. The aircraft is currently supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. John E. Lasky)

Full Story

Newswatch - Allan Wall

Allan Wall, a deployed hero who's written some articles I've posted about recently (here and here) is going to be having regular articles posted online in his "Dispatches from Iraq" at World Net Daily.

Make it a regular stopping point in your internet travels!

Here's a snippet from his latest:

Since 9-11, National Guardsmen, long derided as "weekend warriors," have been doing their fair share of U.S. military operations, both stateside and abroad. The Guard has made its contribution. And more than a few guardsmen have fallen in defense of our nation.

Guardsmen are proud of the work they do. Many specifically volunteered for duty in Iraq. Like other soldiers, they desire to complete the mission and return home. Activating a National Guard unit has some things in common with the deployment of a regular Army unit. But some things are different. Guardsmen are civilians with a military commitment. In a normal year, a guardsman does about 40 days of service.

But since 9-11, no year has been a "normal year." Guardsmen from across the nation have deployed, again and again. They have secured military bases stateside. They have served abroad. Today, guardsmen and reservists comprise a
significant proportion of troops in Iraq.

Read the rest here.
Marines from 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit's Fox Company standby to board a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter on the flight deck aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Juneau (LPD 10) during Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHILBEX) 06. PHIBLEX is an annual bilateral Republic of the Philippines and United States exercise designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue professional relationships between the United States and Philippine Armed Forces. Photo by: Navy Seaman Adam R. Cole

Read Story Associated with this photo

Blogwatch - Michael Yon

Paying Respect to Those Who've Earned It

Michael Yon is back in the U.S. for a bit - honoring the Deuce Four at the Deuce Four Ball on November 5th.

Also attending will be Bruce Willis - visit Michael Yon: Online Magazine for details.
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Oct. 30, 2005) - Family members wave to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as she passes the missing man memorial on board Hickam Air Force Base, and enters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for a brief port visit. Nimitz is returning to her homeport of San Diego after a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Ryan C. McGinley

Naval Officer To Receive Music Award

U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Jared R. LoStracco
By Lt. Lesley Lykins
USS Nassau Strike Group Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va., Oct. 31, 2005 — A junior officer attached to USS Austin has been selected to receive the award for “Country Single of the Year” for his song “Angel” Nov. 9 at the Los Angeles Music Awards.

Lt. j.g. Jared R. LoStracco, 25, from Nacogdoches, Texas, performed for servicemembers in May prior to a USO concert while his ship was moored at the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay to support Operation New Horizon.

“The head of MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) for the base, Craig Basal, heard me play, thought it was good, and while we were there set up a night at the Officer's Club so I could play,” said LoStracco.

Al Bowman, the executive producer for the Los Angeles Music Awards, was at the ‘Gitmo' Officer's Club that night and heard LoStracco play. “He heard me play and asked me for a CD of my original work,” said LoStracco. Later that evening Bowman invited LoStracco to Hollywood to be presented with an award at the Los Angeles Music Awards.

The Los Angeles Music Awards were founded in 1991 by Bowman after nearly 10 years of successfully operating a small limousine and entertainment company that catered mostly to music industry professionals. Now in its 14th year, the organization is the longest running major awards show for independent artists in the country.

“I just booked my plane ticket and hotel stay at the Biltmore in Los Angeles where the awards show and after party will take place,” said LoStracco.

He plans to bring his best friend from high school as well as his booking agent to accompany him down the red carpet.

“I thought it (the show in ‘Gitmo') would go over really corny when my executive officer first asked me if I would play to kill time before the USO show,” said LoStracco, who knew the crowd was there to see country music singer Toby Keith.

LoStracco is still amazed that the approximately 450 servicemembers appreciated his music.

“It was really cool having that many people out there and they were all really supportive,” he said.

The captain and crew of Austin are excited about the success of their administration officer.

“We're very pleased with Jared's professional performance in the last seven months. He's a recently qualified surface warfare officer and a good officer of the deck who demonstrates a natural flair for shiphandling,” said Cmdr. Kevin Flanagan, Austin commanding officer.

The crew of Austin appreciates LoStracco's music, as well as his personality.

“Whether he's playing a guitar at wardroom functions, or hitting the beach for some liberty with other wardroom members, he's a good shipmate,” said Flanagan.

"Jared LoStracco represents the best of what independent music has to offer,” said Bowman. “Not only did he record an album while being an active-duty service member, he was also the fourth highest vote getter on the Mercora Radio Network's Performance Contest. Jared received over 200,000 votes from a worldwide listening audience. With hundreds of artists competing for those same votes, Jared proved that true talent always shines through.”

Because of that achievement, LoStracco will receive an additional honor at the 15th Annual LA Music Awards from executives at Mercora.

“I love to play. Music is just inside of me,” said LoStracco, who is eagerly awaiting his trip to Hollywood .

After the awards ceremony LoStracco will report to his next command, the USS Harry S. Truman.
HEAVY-DUTY HELICOPTER — U.S. Marines assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2 hook up a UH-1N Huey helicopter onto a CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter, assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466, during an external lift operation in Al Qaim, Iraq, Oct. 25, 2005. The UH-1N Huey, belonging to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, is being lifted to Al Asad, Iraq, for repairs. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. James P. Aguilar

In Today's News - Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Quote of the Day
"The truth of the matter is that you always know
the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."
-- General Norman Schwarzkopf

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Seven GIs Killed in Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
U.S. Forces Stop Potential Attacks

Troops on Trial
GI Set for Court Martial in Alleged Fragging Deaths

Cheney Fills Libby Posts
Wilson: Leak Put U.S. at Risk
White House says no to shakeup, apology

Supreme Court
Bring It On
Both sides gird for battle

Pakistan Earthquake
U.S. to Keep Flying Quake Relief Missions
Tents are only protection against winter

Media Covering Media
Producer of report on Bush: CBS only wanted to protect itself

City tackles titillating mannequins
Firefighters capture python in shop

Moonbat Watch
Student walkout to protest war

Other News of Note
Unit Wins Prestigious Award
German Gov't May Collapse

Fox News
Big Easy Rings in Halloween

Wash. State Witch Robs Bank
Philly Transit Strike Goes On
Cops: Boy, 15, Killed Teacher
Fed Set to Raise Rates
Fifth Night of French Riots
Syria Wants Arab Summit
Tough U.N. Resolution Passed
Video: Message to Damascus
Today's Stocks to Watch
Pluto Gets Two New Moons
Putin Won't Seek Third Term
$22M Church-Sex Settlement
Detroit Says Farewell to Rosa Parks
Preventing a Pandemic

Reuters: Top News
P&G profit tops estimate
Syria: UN resolution "very negative"
U.S. frees 500 prisoners from Abu Ghraib
Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza: witnesses
No easy way out for Assad
Israeli ministers approve Gaza border crossing
House Republican Oxley may retire - sources
AOL founder resigns from Time Warner
Top US cable co's land Sprint Nextel deal-source
Companies to develop AIDS defense for women
Bush to announce bird flu plan
N.Korea revives state handouts but hunger still looms
China's farmer army defends forgotten frontier
Maersk to buy into Shanghai port
Business faces pressure on climate change stance
One offer dismissed, but could anyone buy Exxon?

AP World News
Group Denies Involvement in India Attacks
Palestinian Militant Group Figure Killed
Two Koreas Want to Field One Olympic Team
Zanzibar Police Clash With Protesters
Four Inmates Killed at Two Kyrgyz Prisons
Italian Teens Shot While Trick-Or-Treating
Asia-Pacific Region to Stage Mock Outbreak
Three Kidnapped Children Rescued in Haiti
Experts Want Access to Guantanamo Inmates
India Sees Foreign Tie to Deadly Bombings
France to Step Up Security After Riots
Israeli Security Cabinet OKs Border Deal
Third Colombia Police Official Resigns
Prince Charles to Visit U.S. With New Wife

The Seattle Times
"View tax" triggers revolt in rural New Hampshire
Evangelicals protest new Air Force religion policy
Canada expanding immigration plans

Chicago Sun-Times
No mercy for jammer of cops' radios
U.N. Security Council warns Syria to cooperate
Disease discovered in Canada -- but probably not deadly kind
Nebraska retires official state seal after 138 years
Lisbon recalls quake that nearly wiped it off map
Pro-American government takes over in Poland

Boston Globe: World
In Russia's courts, double jeopardy can be the rule
Foreign connection to blasts seen by India
UN eyes annual day to mark Holocaust
Sharon assails Syria and Iran for roles in terrorism
Zanzibar opposition leader alleges vote was rigged
U.S. Issues Report on Iraqi Roadside Bombs
Soldier Killed in Iraq Promoted
Seabees Work Their Miracles at MASH Camp
Stress Constant Companion for Combat Medics
Planes Attack Suspected 'Safe Houses'
Nimitz Visits Pearl
N. Korea: U.S. Flew 180 Spy Missions in October
U.S. Shrugs Off Anti-War Advice

CENTCOM: News Release

Department of Defense
Bush Praises Italy as 'Partner for Peace' — Story
Roadside Bombs Kill 8 U.S. Troops in Iraq — Story
Terrorists Fail to Stop Progress in Iraq — Story
U.S. Army Medic Saves Iraqi Police Officer — Story
Deployed Troops Run Marine Corps Marathon — Story
Marine MP Battalion Gets Back in Fight — Story
Engineers Train, Bring Skills Home to Iraq — Story

Airmen Perform Non-traditional Security Duties
Stryker Soldiers Patrol Streets of Mosul Photos

Former Al Qaeda Site Resembles Ghost Town

New Tanker Ramp Improves Safety, Efficiency

Air Force Combat Communcations Answers the Call

Naval Officer to Receive Music Award — Story

Steakhouse Recognized for Support — Story

Hurricane Coverage
Iraq Transition of Power

Sewer Work Begins in Mosul Suburb
Tal Afar Citizens Get Compensation
Forces Disrupt Terrorist Ambush
North-Central Iraq Makes Progress
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

U.S. Soldier Dies in Afghanistan
Afghanistan Daily Update

Bush: Iraq Part of War on Terror
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

4ID Begins Second Iraq Deployment
Unit Tests Chem Weapons Gear
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Army Casualty — Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
0079 - Mt. Vesuvius erupts, buring Pompeii.
1210 - King John of England begins imprisoning Jews.
1512 - Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel are exhibited for the first time.
1623 - A fire at Plymouth, Massachusetts destroys several buildings.
1755 - An earthquake in Lisbon kills more than 50,000.
1765 - The Stamp Act goes into effect in the British colonies.
1776 - The Mission San Juan Capistrano is founded in California.
1784 - Maryland grants citizenship to Lafayette and his descendants.
1800 - John Adams becomes the first President to live in the White House.
1861 - General George B. McClellan becomes general in chief of the Union armies.
1863 - U.S. troops build fortifications built on Angel Island (San Francisco Bay).
1870 - The U.S. Weather Bureau begins operations in 24 locations.
1894 - Dr. Roux of Paris announces the development of a vaccine for diphtheria.
1913 - Notre Dame becomes the first to use the forward pass effectively, upsetting Army 35-13.
1918 - 97 die in the NYC subway's worst accident.
1922 - The Ottoman Empire is abolished.
1924 - The first U.S. NHL franchise, the Boston Bruins, is founded.
1928 - The Graf Zeppelin sets an airship distance record of 6384 km.
1932 - Wernher von Braun is named head of the German liquid-fuel rocket program.
1936 - Mussolini describes alliance between Italy and Germany as an "axis."
1939 - The first animal conceived by artificial insemination (a rabbit) is displayed; the Heinkel HE-178, the first jet plane, is demonstrated for the German Air Ministry.
1940 - Fleetwood, PA, becomes the site of the first U.S. air raid shelter.
1946 - The West German state of Niedersachsen is formed.
1951 - U.S. troops witness the first atomic explosion in NM.
1952 - The first hydrogen device is exploded at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific; Fusion occurs for the first time on Earth.
1955 - A time bomb aboard a United DC-6 kills 44 above Longmont, Colorado.
1956 - The Nagy government of Hungary withdraws from the Warsaw Pact.
1959 - Jacques Plante becomes the first NHL goalie to wear a hockey mask.
1960 - The Benelux treaty goes into effect.
1962 - Greece enters the European Common Market; the U.S.S.R. launches Mars-1, losing radio contact lost before its arrival at Mars.
1963 - Revolt begins against the Diem regime in South Vietnam.
1966 - The NFL awards New Orleans its 16th franchise; William Dana reaches 93km in the X-15.
1970 - A Discotheque in Grenoble, France burns, killing 142 (all exits padlocked).
1971 - The Eisenhower dollar is put into circulation.
1974 - In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a fire kills 189 in less than 25 minutes.
1976 - Britain grants Gilbert Island (Kiribati) internal self-government.
1979 - The tanker Burmah Agate spills 10.7 million gallons of oil in the U.S.'s worst oil spill disaster.
1981 - The cost of Class Mail goes from 18 to 20 cents; Antigua gains independence from Britain.
1988 - The Staten Island ferry gets its first pay phones.
1990 - Deputy PM Sir Geoffrey Howe, the last of Margaret Thatcher's original cabinet, resigns.
1993 - The European Union is born.

1762 - Spencer Perceval, British PM (1809-12)
1782 - Viscount Goderich, British PM (1827-28)
1815 - Crawford Williamson Long, surgeon/pioneer (use of ether)
1853 - Jose Santos Zelaya, ruler of Nicaragua (1893-1910)
1859 - Charles Brantley Aycock (Gov-NC)
1871 - Stephen Crane, novelist/poet (Red Badge of Courage)
1889 - Philip John Noel-Baker, statesman, disarmament advocate, Nobel Prize winner (1959)
1920 - James J. Kilpatrick, columnist (60 Minutes)
1953 - N. Jan Davis, Ph.D. / astronaut (sk:STS-47)

1947 - Man O' War, famous racehorse
1959 - Gershon Agron, mayor of Jerusalem
1963 - Ngo Dinh Diem, South Vietnamese PM, assassinated in a military coup
1985 - Phil Silvers, comedic actor (Sgt Bilko)
1986 - Paul Frees, animation voice (Bullwinkle)
1987 - Rene Levesque, Quebec premier (1976-85)

Reported Missing in Action
Gillson, Peter R., Australian Air Force (Australia); KIA, body not recovered

Knight, Billy, US Army (GA); PRG says DIC January, 1973; Gov't says remains recovered at time of loss, with a loss date of 10/22/68.

Carpenter, Allan R., USN (ME); A4E shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Weaver, George R., Jr., USN (PA); MSB-54 exploded when it hit a mine - KIA, body not recovered

Kenney, Harry J., USN (OH); LSD-1167 struck by floating mine and exploded, KIA, body not recovered

Adventio, Rudolpho Andres, USN; AWOL

Bailey, Daniel T. , US Army; AWOL

Partington, Roger D., USMC (IL); CH53A crashed in water (crew),