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Monday, December 19, 2005

Not Done with Your Holiday Shopping?

Well, check out EBay...

Good morning:

We are a family from Wisconsin with a son presently stationed in Afghanistan...we would like to make you aware of a project we are working on through Ebay. The idea is to post auctions for digital photographs supplied by Soldiers stationed in the mideast, with the proceeds benefiting a Charity chosen by the contributing Soldier.

This is simply an effort to make life a little more bearable for our Soldiers while benefiting a good cause.

100% of the proceeds of the auctions are used to make charitable donations. 90% of the winning bid is collected by the Soldiers chosen Charity, with the remaining 10% being used for real expenses such as Ebay commissions (5.25%) and PayPal fees (2.9%). Ebay listing fees are recouped through a Shipping and Handling charge. With this system we come very close to breaking even, unless an auction has no bids and we end up paying the listing fee again.

This is where we could really use your help. With thousands of items running on Ebay at any given time we are basically lost at sea. Very few people are actually finding our auctions. We were hoping that you would consider mentioning our efforts somewhere on your website in an effort to both create traffic and to make the Soldiers aware that they are welcome to participate.

Any mention you can give us would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions regarding our efforts please don't hesitate to contact us. Check out our auctions on Ebay at:

Or by doing a Ebay Search-for-Seller: Aid4Soldiers

Thanks in advance for your consideration,
Ric Daus
Appleton, Wisconsin USA

I can't vouch personally for these auctions, so I would encourage you to check them out for yourself, and to ask any questions you like of the seller. I can tell you that I am bidding....

Today in History

0401 - St Anastasius I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1055 - Seldjuken under Toghril Beg occupy Baghdad
1154 - King Henry II of England crowned
1562 - Battle at Dreux: Anne de Montmorency & huguenots under Condé captured
1686 - Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years (as per Defoe)
1688 - King James II's wife & son flee to France
1732 - Benjamin Franklin (under the name Richard Saunders) begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanack"
1776 - Thomas Paine published his 1st "American Crisis" essay, in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls"
1777 - Washington settles his troops at Valley Forge PA for the winter
1788 - Chinese troops occupy capital Thang Long Vietnam
1795 - 1st state appropriation of money for road building, Kentucky
1823 - Georgia passes 1st US state birth registration law
1828 - South Carolina declares the right of states to nullify federal laws
1835 - HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin approaches New Zealand
1842 - US recognizes independence of Hawaii
1843 - Charles Dickens publishes "A Christmas Carol" in England
1854 - Allen Wilson of Connecticut patents sewing machine to sew curving seams
1861 - Battle of Black Water
1862 - Skirmish at Jackson/Salem Church TN (80 casualties)
1867 - Victims of "Angola Horror" burned to death (Angola NY)
1871 - Albert L Jones (New York NY), patents corrugated paper
1884 - Italy recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
1888 - Stanley's expedition reaches Fort Bodo, East-Africa
1907 - 239 workers die in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek PA
1910 - 1st city ordinance requiring white & black residential areas (Baltimore); Rayon 1st commercially produced, Marcus Hook PA
1918 - Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" column (New York Globe)
1919 - American Meteorological Society found
1928 - 1st autogiro (predecessor of helicopter) flight in US
1934 - Japan agress to fleet treaty of 1922 & 1930
1939 - Russian air & ground attack against Finnish positions near Summa
1941 - German submarine U-574 sinks; Hitler takes complete command of German Army; US Office of Censorship created to control info pertaining to WWII
1943 - Military coup in Bolivia
1945 - Austrian Republic re-establishes
1946 - War breaks out in Indochina as Ho Chi Minh attacks French in Hanoi
1948 - 2nd political action of Java/Sumatra
1950 - General Eisenhower named NATO commander; Tibet's Dalai Lama flees Chinese invasion
1951 - Nazi General Christiansen leaves Netherlands
1958 - 1st radio broadcast from space (recorded Christmas message by President Eisenhower: "To all mankind, America's wish for Peace on Earth & Good Will to Men Everywhere")
1960 - Fire aboard USS Constellation, under construction in Brooklyn (50 die); Mercury-Redstone 1A reaches 210 km in test flight
1961 - British government begins decimal coin system; Indonesian President Sukarno proclaims general mobilization
1962 - Nyasaland secedes from Rhodesia & Nyasaland; Transit 5A1, 1st operational navigational satellite, launched
1963 - Zanzibar becomes independent from UK
1965 - French President De Gaulle re-elected (Mitterrand gets 45%)
1971 - NASA launches Intelsat 4 F-3 for COMSAT Corp
1972 - Grenada adopts constitution
1974 - Nelson A Rockefeller sworn-in as the 41st Vice-President
1975 - John Paul Stevens becomes a Supreme Court Justice
1976 - President Brezhnev receives his 5th Lenin order
1980 - Iran requests $24 billion in US guarantees to free hostages
1985 - STS 61-C scrubbed at T -13 seconds because of SRB auxiliary power problem
1986 - USSR frees dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile
1988 - NASA unveils plans for lunar colony & manned missions to Mars; Unexploded WWII bomb found in Frankfurt, Germany-5,000 evacuated
1991 - Boris Yeltsin takes control of Kremlin

1036 - Su Tung-p'o China, poet/essayist/painter/calligrapher
1683 - Philip V Versailles France, King of Spain (1700-24, 24-46)
1814 - Edwin M[cMasters] Stanton Ohio, US Secretary of War (1861-65)
1817 - James Jay Archer Brigadier-General (Confederate Army) died in 1864
1819 - James Clifford Veatch Brevet Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1895
1821 - Mary Ashton Livermore American reformer/women's suffrage leader
1824 - Hercules Robinson Ireland, South Africa Commissioner (1880-89, 1895-97)
1837 - John Carpenter Carter Brigadier-General (Confederate Army), died in 1864
1852 - A[lbert] A Michelson Strelno Prussia, US physicist (Nobel 1907)
1884 - Antonín Zápotocky premier/President of Czechoslovakia
1891 - Edward Bernard Andre Maria Raczynski Poland, president-in-exile (1979-86)
1906 - Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev Ukraine, 1st Secretary of the Community Party/President of the USSR (1964-82)
1926 - Jeanne Kirkpatrick US ambassador to UN
1943 - William De Vries Brooklyn NY, surgeon-inventor (Symbion artifical heart)
1951 - Fred W Leslie Ancon Panamá, PhD/astronaut (STS 73)

0401 - Anastasius I Bishop of Rome (399-401)
1370 - Urban V [Guillaume de Grimoard] 1st Avignon Pope (1362-70)
1804 - Mary Bright British PM Rockingham
1915 - Alois Alzheimer German neurologist (first described Alzheimer's Disease), dies at 51
1953 - Robert A Millikan US physicist (Nobel 1923), dies at 85
1968 - Norman Thomas founder (ACLU)/Socialist Party (1926-55), dies at 84
1977 - Nellie Taylor Ross 1st woman governor, dies at 101

Reported Missing in Action
Payne, Norman, US Army SF (OH); disappeared after his unit was ambushed

Forame, Peter C., US Army (VA); OH6A shot down (w/Skiles)

Johnson, Kenneth R., USAF (MN); F4D shot down (w/Vaughan)released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Poynor, Daniel R., USAF (OK); F4D shot down (w/Thomas), remains ID’d June, 1995

Skiles, Thomas W., US Army (WY); OH6A shot down (w/Forame)

Thomas, Leo T., Jr., USAF (KY); F4D shot down (w/Poynor), remains ID’d June, 1995

Vaughan, Samuel R., USAF (SC); F4D shot down (w/Johnson), released by DRV March, 1973 – alive and well as of 1998

The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their B52D was shot down:

Alexander, Fernando (TX); released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Barrows, Henry C., (NJ); released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Brown, Charles A., Jr. (MA); released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Cooper, Richard W., Jr., (MD); navigator, presumed KIA

Poole, Charlie S., (LA); tailgunner, presumed KIA

Wilson, Hal K., (NY); released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Major - alive and well as of 1998

News and Highlights

Traumatic Injury Insurance Payment Forms Now Available:

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Service Member Group Life Insurance has recently released the form that MUST be filled out for severely injured service members to qualify for payment under the newly created Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) program.

To Download the Application Form (with instructions) Click here.

For a detailed presentation on the Traumatic Injury Insurance program and eligibility requirements Go here{279F00F6-7AEF-4E77-9462-B707D698D169}/TSGLI%20APPLICATION%20FORM.PDF

Veterans' Day Message from the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee

By U.S. Senator Larry Craig

"... I later met with three younger veterans, all in their early 20s, who also made me proud to be an American, and who put another lump in my throat.

Ryan Kelly, from Prescott, Arizona, lost a leg in Iraq. Heath Calhoun, from Clarksville, Tennessee, lost both of his legs. Jeremy Feldbusch from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, lost his sight. They explained the financial difficulties they faced with long recuperation times, and wives and family members who gave up jobs to be near them as they were in hospital rehab.

They sought legislation not to help themselves, but to help others. I was inspired by their courage and selflessness. Only a few weeks later, Congress approved legislation I authored, which will provide anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 to our nation's "Wounded Warriors" to offset the costs families incur when they have to leave jobs and homes to be with loved ones who are recuperating at military hospitals."

Blogwatch - Michael Yon

Michael Yon sends this link to a must-see video...

Turn up the Volume
I am working on a dispatch about the incredible Iraqi elections on 15th December. Meanwhile, the following video was sent to me by a caring citizen who closely follows the events in Iraq...please turn up the volume and click here.

From Soldiers' Angels Germany


we had a very hard day yesterday! We open so much boxes with Christmas Stockings for soldiers here in Germany. Today we are in Kleber, too, we are hand out the sick und injured soldiers the stockings. This year we had 550 from the States and 160 we filled here in Germany. Monday we are in Landstuhl!

Take care and have a great Sunday.


Check out what they've been up to here
IRAQ VISIT — Vice President Dick Cheney visits the 9th Mechanized Infantry Division Headquarters at Taji Air Base to greet Iraqi troops and view tanks and armored vehicles they have refurbished into working fighting vehicles, Dec. 18, 2005. White House photo by David Bohrer

In Today's News - Monday, December 19, 2005

Quote of the Day
"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out and meet it."
-- Thucydides

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Bush: 'We Are Winning'
President certain of Iraq victory
Transcript: Bush Oval Office Speech
Cheney Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq
Video: Bush's Speech From the Oval Office
Baghdad Bombs Kills Two; Ex-Saddam Officials Freed
U.S. Hostage 'Killed' on Tape
U.S., Iraqi Troops to Open Army School

Operation Enduring Freedom
Watchdog: U.S. Had Secret 'Dark Prison' in Afghanistan
Newly Elected Afghan Parliament Convenes

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Video: Blair Was Warned of London Attack, Report Says
Spain Arrests 15 on Terror Charges

Fox News
Leftist Leads Bolivian Election- Video: A Radical Agenda?
Sharon Still in Hospital
NYC Transit Strike Begins
GOPers Strike Deficit Deal
Stocks to Watch: Pfizer, BAA
Chargers Upset Colts 26-17
Survey: Gasoline Prices Up
'Kong' is King at Box Office

Reuters: Top News
WTO sighs with relief but trade treaty still far off
Honda to mass-produce solar batteries - report
House passes torture ban, war funding Video
Israel's Sharon recovering after minor stroke Video
Interim farm deal saves world trade talks Video
House approves $39.7 bln spending cuts
House approves $29 billion Katrina aid plan
US defends decision on domestic eavesdropping
South Korea panel seizes stem scientist's computer
House passes compromise digital TV plan

AP World News
Car Bomb Kills Two Outside Iraqi Hospital
Sharon to Be Released From Hospital Tuesday
U.N.: Tsunami Generated Unprecedented Aid
Mexico's Fox Raps U.S. on Plan for Fence
Iran Dismisses Criticism of Israel Remarks
Chavez and Uribe Put Aside Differences
Egeland: Rich Nations Must Give More Aid
Israeli Leader Sharon Suffers Mild Stroke
Son of Family Linked to Terror Is Caught
Nigeria Aircraft Check Strands Thousands
Lebanon Closes Military Route Into Syria
Russians Await Holidays - and Toxic Slick
Russian-Ukrainian Gas Spat Heats Up
500 Rebels Attack Village in Colombia
Bush Says US Is Winning Iraq War
Powell Disappointed in U.S. Intelligence
Lawmakers Call for Spy Probe
Cheney Visits Iraq Amid Violence
For a Moment, I Was Back in Iraq
The Job Ahead: 'They're not Going Back'
FDA: Anthrax Vaccine Is Safe
Officer Divorce Rates Fall
441.5 Billion Dollar Defense Bill Includes Benefits Changes
Rice Defends Bush Approval of Wiretapping
Sunni Leaders Split on How to Oust US

CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
President Bush Addresses the Nation - Transcript
Cheney Visits Iraq, Lauds Historic Vote - Story
Iraqis Support Ongoing Anti-Terror Ops - Story
Iraqi Leaders to Have Say in Troop Levels
Flexible Force Imposes Different Stresses - Story
Former Prison is a Testament to Evil - Story

Rennovation to Focus on Accessibility - Story
Group Embraces Military Families
Californians Provide Holiday Spirit

Ops Review Yields No Wrongdoing
Incident Shows Iraqis' Spirit
Secure Elections Set Milestone
Projects Change Minds
Police Restore Order at Poll Site
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (pdf)
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (pdf)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

National Assembly to Convene
Troops Assist With Hajj Journey
Afghan Insurgents Show Weakness
Coalition Forces Kill, Nab Militants
Afghanistan Daily Update

U.S. Troops Embody American Spirit
Iraqi-American Casts Vote
Review for Intel-Gathering System
Ship Awarded Combat Ribbon
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Military Always Has Banned Abuse
New Rules Reinforce Job Rights
Chairman Gives Holiday Message
Human Rights Expert to Visit Gitmo
National Guard, Reserve Update

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