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Friday, January 20, 2006

Blogwatch - Michael Yon

Michael has changed formats - and URLs.

He's gone from a blog to an actual site, and it looks great.

Here's a bit of his latest dispatch, Operation Iraqi Children: A Bright Shining Hope

Soldiers love to visit Iraqi schools. The teachers are welcoming, and
the kids are always excited. The children burst into smiles and waves, but seem to be almost nailed to their seats: they do not get up without the teachers’ permission.

The soldiers often arrive just to say hello, but at other times they unload trucks full of supplies: pencils, paper, and books. I visited a school far out in the boondocks near the Iranian border [...] In one of the classrooms, children were studying to identify mines and bombs, so they would not get blown up.

Read the rest at Michael's new site, and don't forget to bookmark it!

Atlantic Coast (Jan. 17, 2005) – A SEAL delivery vehicle team (SDV) performs a fast-roping exercise from a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter to the topside of Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769). SDV teams use "wet" submersible vehicles to conduct 100 percent long-range submerged missions, or to secretly deliver SEALs and other agents onto enemy territory from a submarine or other vessel at sea. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Davis J. Anderson

Joshua Sparling Update

Tony sends the news that The Political Teen has the latest interview with Joshua Sparling posted.

Joshua has some great news - after his 19th (ugh) surgery, the chances are looking really good that the great folks at Walter Reed can save his leg!

MaryAnn also passes along the word that if you visit Landry's Life, you can leave a message for Joshua in the comments section. Landry Fan goes to Walter Reed weekly, and delivers messages to Joshua and his Dad.

What it Takes...

Yesterday, I posed the question "Have You Got What It Takes to be a Soldiers' Angel?"

Exchanging emails yesterday with MaryAnn of Soldiers' Angels Germany, I started a somewhat tongue-in-cheek list of what it takes.

I started with the first six, below. I've expanded it some.

Here it is (and Angels, please feel free to add additional ones in the comments section!). I'll add more as they come to me.

1. Lots of stamps. Seriously. Lots.

2. An Orphan Annie secret decoder ring, military address edition.

3. Lots of envelopes. Seriously. Lots.

4. Happy-dancing ability (for use when you receive "free mail")

5. Lots of mailing tape. Seriously. Lots.

6. Oodles of support for our Heroes.

7. Priority mail boxes. Yeah, you know it - lots.

8. A space in your house to stock "soldier stuff" (Two large boxes - in my kitchen, and half of the hall closet)

9. The ability to brag shamelessly about your adoptee.

10. The ability to brag shamelessly about all Soldiers.

11. The ability to brag shamelessly about all Sailors.

12. The ability to brag shamelessly about all Airmen

13. The ability to brag shamelessly about all Marines.

14. The ability to brag shamelessly about all Coasties.

15. Numerous joke sites saved in your internet "favorites"

16. A patient spouse / significant other (Get away from the brownies. That's not for you - it's Soldier stuff.)

17. The knowledge that Marines are Marines, not Soldiers :)

18. When to say HOOAH, and when to say OOO-RAH

19. The address of the nearest Target / WalMart / military surplus store - and knowing the best route to get there.

20. A copy of Cliff Knizley's "Letters to Baghdad: a tribute to our troops." OK, it's not a requirement, but I figured it was an opportunity to remind you to get a copy!
ROCK DRILL — U.S. Army soldiers with Alpha Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade conduct "Rock Drill" on Forward Operating Base Orgun-E, Afghanistan, Jan. 10, 2006. Rock Drill takes place a day prior to the actual mission and allows soldiers to get familiar with the sequence of events. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael Zuk

In Today's News - Friday, January 20, 2006

Quote of the Day
"We do not negotiate with terrorists -
we put them out of business.
The terrorists started this war, and
the President made it clear that we will end it,
at a place and time of our choosing."

-- Scott McClellan, White House spokesperson

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
A Mother's Plea
Calls Mount to Free Hostage U.S. Reporter
Iraq and US differ on detainees in kidnap case - Video
Baghdad Blasts Kill 23
Despite Problems, Group Praises Iraq Vote

Homeland Security / War on Terror
New Terror Tape - CIA says voice is bin Laden's
US on bin Laden tape: no negotiations
Gonzales makes legal case for domestic spying
Nigerian militants to kill hostages if US man dies
'American Taliban' Dad Calls for Clemency
Blair Faces Demands for CIA-Flight Inquiry
Death of Operatives a Blow to al-Qaida
Pakistan seeks bodies of militants killed by US
France Warns of Nuke Response to Terrorism (France is taking a [sort of] strong stand on terrorist acts?? Where did THAT come from?)
New border-crossing card could be used as other ID

Military News
Plan to cut 6 Guard combat brigades criticized
State to offer health care to some vets not covered by VA

Supreme Court
Top Senate Democrats oppose Alito nomination - Video
Leahy to Vote Against Alito
Why abortion isn't likely to keep Alito off the court

Democrats unveil plan to limit lobbyists
Sen. Clinton's "plantation" remark draws more criticism

Naked woman on a muscle car.
A difference between men and women
Swedish Man Admits Cannibalizing Victims (Umm...Egads)

Other News of Note
Prosecutor: Clinton White House Stymied Probe
US demands quick U.N. action on Iran dispute - Video
Palestinian suicide bomber wounds 30 in Tel Aviv - Video
Canada Conservative Vows Better U.S. Ties
At Least 16 Die in Slovak Plane Crash
"Gun that won the West" fading into history

Fox News
Pluto Probe Lifts Off - Video: Blast Off
20 Hurt in Tel Aviv Bombing - Hamas, Fatah: No Vote Violence - Video: Israeli Bombing
Former President Ford Remains Hospitalized
Abused Mass. Girl Breathing Without Life Support
White House Subpoenas Google in Porn Probe
Two Missing in West Virginia Coal Mine Fire
'$1 Million Homepage' Hacked
Knicks' Davis Suspended for Entering Stands
Wilson Pickett Dies - Heart attack kills soul legend at 64

Reuters: Top News
Mexico Presidential Election
Fighting for votes in Mexico
Leftist candidate gives priority to poor
Soul singer 'Wicked' Wilson Pickett dead at 64 - Video
Bush faces battle to regain political clout
World's first Pluto mission blasts into space
Geometry may be hard-wired into brain, study shows
No raised cancer risk from mobile phones: study
Lebanese stay away from Syria as tensions rise
Madagascar gold rush attracts foreign interest
Why stress at work raises odds of heart disease
New cancer warnings added to two eczema creams
Motorola shares drop despite rise in profit
Pixar, Disney deal could change digital landscape
New allegations emerge around Japan's Livedoor
Home Depot to scale back new-store openings
Pfizer profit falls, but drugmaker beats forecast
Hollinger to reorganize Sun-Times, cut staff by 10 pct
Less waiting, fingerprint check coming to your bank
Digital Music Group ups IPO price range to $9-$11
UnitedHealth misses some expectations
Movie Gallery shares up nearly 8 percent
Stocks rebound as tech improves profit view - Video

AP World News
Syria Supports Iran in Nuclear Standoff
Venezuela OKs Anti-Drug Pact With U.S.
Violence in Haitian Slum Kills Four
Scores of Activists Detained in Nepal
Colombia Reclaiming Coca-Infested Region
Mexican Candidates Begin 5-Month Campaign
Tel Aviv Bombing Comes a Week Before Vote
Tokyo Stock Exchange's Weakness Exposed
South America Seeking Energy Independence
Kerry Says 2006 Is 'Crunch Time' for Iraq (Do they NEVER tire of listening to this guy??)

The Seattle Times
Two rivals forge deal for single, once-a-day AIDS pill
Unrest in Nigeria may send gas prices even higher in U.S.
6 ex-chiefs at EPA say Bush failing on global warming
Mystery guest toasts author Poe once again
More than 3,200 still listed as missing after Katrina
27 new species found in California caves
Dog treat under fire from consumers
FEMA ex-chief concedes he shares blame for Katrina chaos
U.N. calls for end to attacks on Ivory Coast peacekeepers
North Korea's leader returns from China trip
Russians plunge head-first into deep freeze

Chicago Sun-Times
Cell call lists reveal your location
Source: Top war crimes suspect in Serbia
Mine survivor seems to be waking up
Foes chip away at Roe, backers say
Deadbeat dad who faked death caught
Europe says no to Iran's request for nuke talks
Palestinian leader might resign if peace blocked
Explanation for 10 dog carcasses a mystery
Face transplant recipient smokes with new lips
UCLA alumni group offers $100 in hunt for leftist profs
Last-minute reprieve sought for historic E. German landmark

Boston Globe: World
International donors pledge $1.9b to battle avian flu
N. Korea leader stirs nuclear talks hope
As Palestinian elections near, attacks continue
Aiding an ally, US looks to ease concern over India reactor
Twin Bombs Rock Baghdad
Commanders to Get Bigger Budget Role
Iraq Insurgents Fighting Foreign Militants
Three Top Al-Qaida Operatives Killed

Department of Defense
Cheney Cites Steady Progress in Terror War - Transcript
Iraqi Forces Move Toward Independence - Story Video
18th Airborne Corps Returning Home - Story

Windmills Provide Water Source for Farmers - Story
Zakho Military Academy Key to Iraq's Future - Story
Mess Night Gives Marines Chance to Unwind - Story

Millions Get First Tap Water in Eight Years
Marines Train New Iraqi Logistics Regiment
Units Transfer Authority in Iraq Ceremony
Marine Mortarmen Support Infantry Near Hit

Vendor Day Educates Business Leaders
CENTCOM Air Forces Chief Visits Troops
Photos: Operation Counterstrike

Sailor Volunteers to Help Afghan Police - Story

Body Armor Continues to Improve
U.S., Iraq Begin Ops in Anbar
Pentagon Looks Into Helo Crashes
Suicide Bomber Kills 5, Wounds 18
Iraq, U.S. Troops Find Weapons
Al Basheer Celebrates Water Work
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
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

Police Discuss Internal Security
Security Force Members Demobilize
Afghan Troops Aid Bomb Victims
Troops Learn Vehicle Maintenance
U.S. Medics Treat Wounded Afghans
Afghanistan Update

Bush Meets Saddam's Victims
Americans Must Understand
Leader Details U.S. Iraq Strategy
Detainees Released; Bombs Found
Proceedings Face Unique Issues
Hearing Deals With Publicity
Capabilities Key, Rumsfeld Says
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Military, Diplomats Need 'Jointness'
Soldiers Get Reimbursed for Gear
Bush, German Leader Discuss Iran
Cheney, Rice Warn of Threat
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


Today in History
0250 - St Fabian ends his reign as Catholic Pope (236-50)
1045 - Giovanni di Sabina elected Pope Sylvester III
1265 - 1st English Parliament called into session by Earl of Leicester
1320 - Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek becomes king of Poland
1356 - Scottish king Edward Baliol resigns
1503 - Casa Contratacion (Board of Trade) founded in Spain to deal with American affairs
1513 - Christian II succeeds Johan I as Danish/Norwegian king
1613 - Peace of Knärod ends War of Kalmar between Denmark & Sweden
1667 - Treaty of Andrussovo-ends 13 year war between Poland & Russia
1778 - 1st American military court martial trial begins, Cambridge MA
1783 - Hostilities cease in Revolutionary War
1785 - Samuel Ellis advertises to sell Oyster Island (Ellis Island), no takers
1801 - John Marshall appointed US chief justice
1807 - Napoleon convenes the great Sanhedrin, Paris
1840 - Dumont D'Urville discovers Adélie Land, Antarctica; Dutch King Willem II crowned
1841 - China cedes Hong Kong to the British
1850 - Investigator, 1st ship to effect northwest passage, leaves England
1860 - Dutch troops conquer Watampone in Celebes
1866 - Prim's Insurrection in Spain ends
1868 - Florida constitutional convention meets in Tallahassee
1869 - Elizabeth Cady Stanton becomes 1st woman to testify before Congress
1870 - City of Boston vanishes at sea with all 177 aboard; Hiram R. Revels elected to fill unexpired term of Jefferson Davis
1879 - British troops under Lord Chelmsford set camp at Isandlwana
1887 - US Senate approves the naval base lease of Pearl Harbor
1892 - 1st basketball game played (Massachusetts)
1921 - Mountain Autonomous Republic established in RSFSR; Turkey declared in remnants of the Ottoman Empire; British submarine K5 leaves with man & mouse; Dagestan ASSR forms in RSFSR
1925 - USSR & Japan sign treaty of Peking, Seychelles back to USSR
1926 - 2nd German government of Luther begins
1929 - 1st feature talking motion picture taken outdoors, "In Old Arizona"
1930 - 1st radio broadcast of "Lone Ranger" (WXYZ-Detroit)
1934 - Japan sends Henry Pu Yi as regent to emperor of Manchuria
1936 - Edward VIII succeeds British king George V
1937 - 1st Inauguration day on Jan 20th, (held every 4th years thereafter)
1939 - Hitler proclaims to German parliament to exterminate all European Jews
1942 - Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin deciding on "final solution" calling for extermination of Europe's Jews; Japanese air raid on Rabaul New Britain; Japanese invade Burma
1943 - Operation-Weiss Assault of German, Italian, Bulgarian & Croatian
1944 - RAF drops 2300 ton bombs on Berlin
1945 - FDR sworn-in for an unprecedented 4th term as President
1946 - F. Gouin follows De Gaulle as temporary leader of French government
1947 - Brigadier General Edwin K. Wright becomes deputy director of CIA
1949 - President Truman announces his point 4 program; J. Edgar Hoover gives Shirley Temple a tear gas fountain pen
1950 - Suriname becomes independent part in Realm of Netherlands
1952 - British army occupies Ismailiya, Suez Canal Zone
1953 - 1st live coast-to-coast inauguration address (Eisenhower)
1953 - 1st US telecast transmitted to Canada-from Buffalo, NY
1957 - Gomulka wins Poland's parliamentary election
1961 - Arthur M. Ramsay becomes archbishop of Canterbury; Yugoslav ex-Vice-President Milovan Djilas flees
1965 - JPL proposes modified Apollo flight to fly around Mars & return; Generalissimo Francisco Franco meets with Jewish representatives to discuss legitimizing Jewish communities in Spain
1969 - Richard M. Nixon inaugurated as President
1977 - George Bush ends term as 11th director of CIA; Mr. Knoche takes over, serves as acting director of CIA through March 9
1980 - President Jimmy Carter announces US boycott of Olympics in Moscow
1981 - 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed; Admiral Stansfield Turner, USN (Retired), ends term as 12th director of CIA; Ronald Reagan inaugurated as President
1982 - 7 miners killed in an explosion in Craynor, KY; Honduras constitution goes into effect; Piet Dankert elected chairman of European Parliament
1986 - 1st Federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.; Chunnel announced (railroad tunnel under English Channel); Military coup in Lesotho under General-Major Lekhanya & premier Leabua Jonathan; Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite taken hostage in Beirut, Lebanon
1988 - Arizona committee opens hearing on impeachment of Governor Evan Mecham
1989 - George H.W. Bush inaugurated as 41st President; Dan Quayle becomes 44th Vice President
1989 - Reagan becomes 1st President elected in a "0" year, since 1840, to leave office alive
1990 - US 64th manned space mission STS 32 (Columbia 10) returns from space
1991 - Iraq parades captured Allied airmen on TV; US Patriot missiles begin shooting down Iraqi missiles
1993 - Admiral Studeman begins serving as acting director of CIA; Bill Clinton inaugurated as 42nd President
1997 - Comet Hale-Bopp crosses Mars' orbit

1716 - Carlos III, King of Naples/Spain (1759-88) Pompei/Jesuits
1732 - Richard H. Lee, US farmer (signed Declaration of Independence)
1763 - Theobald Wolfe Tone, Irish patriot
1775 - Andre-Marie Ampere, discovered electromagnetism
1782 - Johan BJFS, Archduke of Austria
1812 - Ralph Pomeroy Buckland, Union Brevet Major General
1813 - Jacon Gartner Lauman, Union Brevet Major General
1831 - Pieter J. Joubert, General (South Africa)
1843 - Pierre-Paul Cambon, French diplomat (Madrid, Constantinople, London)
1865 - Friedrich A.H. von Waldeck brother of queen Emma/last ruler of Waldeck
1883 - Betram Home Ramsay, English Admiral/Commander Allied Naval Forces
1896 - George Burns (Nathan Birnbaum), actor/comedian (Oh God)
1899 - Kenjiro Takayanagi Vice President (JVC)
1907 - Roy Welensky Premier (Rhodesia/Nyasaland 1956-63)
1916 - Jopie (Johan A.) Pengel, premier of Suriname (1963-69)
1920 - DeForest Kelley, actor (Dr McCoy-Star Trek); Federico Fellini, director (8½, Satyricon, La Dolce Vita); Sam M. Gibbons (Representative-FL)
1922 - Lord James Hanson, English industrialist/House of Lords (Conservative)
1925 - Edwin Gordon, VOA correspondent
1928 - Martin Landau, actor (Mission Impossible, Tucker, Space 1999)
1929 - Arte Johnson, comedian (Laugh-in, Don't Call Me Charlie)
1930 - Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr, USAF/astronaut (Gemini 12, Apollo 11)
1936 - Eldred G. Maduro, minister (Netherlands Antilles)
1943 - Roeland H.G. "Roel" van Duyn, Dutch Provo politician
1945 - Peter Beckwith, English real estate developer/multi-millionaire
1948 - Jerry L. Ross, Lieutenant-Colonel USAF/astronaut (STS 61B, 27, 37, 55, 74, 88)
1948 - Anatoly Shcharansky, Soviet human rights activist/émigré
1949 - Ivana Trump, former wife of Donald
1951 - Magomed Omarovich Tolboyev, Russian cosmonaut
1955 - Joe Doherty, IRA activist (jailed in US)
1956 - Bill Maher comedian (Politically Incorrect)

0250 - Fabianus, Pope (236-50)/saint
0820 - Abu Abdallah M ibn Idris al-Sjafi'i, Islamic (Book of Mother)
0842 - Theophilus, Byzantine kaiser (829-42), dies
0882 - Louis II/III the Younger German king (876-82)
1479 - John II, King of Aragon/Navarra, dies at 81
1612 - Rudolf II von Habsburg, Emperor of Germany (1576-1612), dies at 59
1639 - Mustapha I, sultan of Turkey (1622-23), dies
1666 - Anna of Austria, Queen of France/daughter of Philip III, dies at 64
1745 - Charles VII Albert, German emperor (1742-45), dies at 47
1862 - General Felix Zollicoffer killed after mistakenly riding into Union lines
1891 - David Kalakahua, Emperor of Hawaii
1936 - King George V of Britain dies at 70, succeeded by Edward VIII
1948 - Mahatma Gandhi India's pacifist, assassinated
1959 - Carl Switzer actor (Alfalfa-Our Gang), shot to death at 31
1973 - Amilcar L. Cabral, fought for Guinea Bissau independence, murdered 51
1990 - Barbara Stanwyck (Ruby Stevens), actress (Big Valley), dies at 82; Naruhito Higashi-Kuni, Japanese PM (1945)
1992 - Muhammad Abd al-Khaliq Hassuna, Secretary-General of Arab League (1952-72); Roberto d'Aubuisson, leader of El Salvador
1993 - Audrey Hepburn, actress (Breakfast at Tiffany's, Roman Holiday), dies of colon cancer at 63
1994 - Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenyan Vice-President (1963-66), dies at about 81
1995 - Mehdi Bazargan, director Iranian oil corp/premier (1979), dies at 86
1996 - David Robin Francis Guy Greville 8th Duke of Warwick, dies at 61; Ellis Hillman, politician, dies at 68
1997 - Edith Haisman, the oldest survivor of Titanic, dies at 100
1998 - Zevulun Hammer, Vice PM of Israel

Reported Missing in Action
Holley, Tilden S., USAF (TX); F4C shot down (pilot, w/Ketterer), ejected, KIA in shootout, body not recovered

Ketterer, James A., USAF (WI); F4C shot down (w/Holley), presumed KIA, body not recovered

Berdahl, David D., US Army (ND); UH1H shot down on rescue mission (doorgunner, w/Edwards), KIA, body not recovered

Edwards, Harry J., US Army (SC); UH1H shot down on rescue mission (rifleman, w/Berdahl), remains ID'd July, 1985