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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May Day or Mayday?

So why is it, exactly, that the Day without Mexicans (oops, wait, they scrapped that name for it) Day without Immigrants (wait, they scrapped that, too) National Day of Action for Immigrant Rights (yeah, I think that's it) was planned for May 1st, which despite Celtic origins, is in modern times a largely communist / socialist holiday?

Oh, I don't know....must just be coincidence, right?

These people, I could stand a lot of days without. Let this agenda rule the day, and it's "mayday" indeed.

H/T to BlackFive


Life Sentence

Jury decides Moussaoui should spend life in prison for 9/11 role
Jurors reject death penalty for Al Qaeda conspirator, decide he must spend life in prison for role in terrorist attack

Raw Data:
Jury Form (FindLaw pdf)

Related Stories
Fast Facts: Moussaoui Jurors
Timeline: Moussaoui Case
FOX Facts: Sept. 11, 2001

The Flag on the Hill

High on a mountain in Pennsylvania, some people hung a flag to honor a Marine hero. The flag was a way to say that this hero mattered. A way to express untold grief, and immeasurable pride. A way to bid farewell to a friend, a son, a comrade.

The flag was there to honor Lance Corporal Jacob W. Beisel, who was killed in Iraq on March 31st of this year.

It's not there anymore.

From J.W.:

There is an outcrop of rock on the mountain beside the Lackawaxen River. The view from this must be magnificent. Recently a few people in town climbed to the top, rappelled down the side and hung a flag on this rock. After they hung it they played Taps. It was hung there to honor a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a friend, a Marine. A Marine that gave his life fighting for that flag.

As it hung it was as a reminder to count your blessings each and every day for no one knows what that day will bring as his family knows all to well. It hung as a symbol of the pride we have in this country even with all it's faults. It hung for Jacob.

It hung....and now it doesn't. Somebody went and took down that flag and not in one piece but by slashing it into pieces.

Now, we see the flag flying in front of Post Offices, schools, fire departments and we think nothing of it. It's there, it has always been there. We salute, pledge etc but most of us never get to feel the flag. And by feel I don't me the silk threads I mean feel, the pride, the love, the fear and the pain. You never give it another thought really unless you have been in the military or been one of the one's waiting at home.

Most people don't know that the red stripes stand for valor and bravery, the blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice and the white is purity and innocence. These are all traits that Jacob held. The person responsible for taking down that flag had none of them.

Did the people that put it up there do it with permission? Probably not- but they didn't do it to be malicious. They did it in pain and grievance and love. The person who took it down did it with malice and hatred. The price of the flag I hear was over $300 but the price of the flag to the family was priceless. And with cutting that flag he ruined more than threads but he probably doesn't care.

So the next time you hear "Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" know that it doesn't in our town anymore

When trying to obtain permission to post this story, one of the things that I was told was that the family did not want to see Jacob's death and the destruction of the flag to become a political circus - they didn't want to see this exploited for a partisan purpose.

And in the end, this is less about war and anti-war, and more about a lack of respect. Whether or not one agrees with the reasons that Jacob was sent to Iraq, his willingness to serve his country makes him worthy of respect. And his loss is important. His family is worthy of respect. His friends are worthy of respect. And the flag is worthy of respect. For all that this country makes mistakes, for all that this country may do things that its citizens don't agree with at times, it is the one place in the world that holds freedom sacred above all things. And whether or not you agree with the specific occasion, Jacob died serving that country.

And in the end, slashing this flag is less about freedom of expression, and more about incomprehensible disrespect to a fallen hero and his grieving loved ones.

So this post, when all is said and done, is about this:
I am more grateful than words can say for the sacrifices and service of Jacob and all the heroes that are willing to risk all to protect me, and to the families that raise and are raised by such fine heroes, and endure so much.

If you feel the same, please use the comments section of this post, or my email, to pass along your thanks and condolences. I will pass them along. You can also send them here

To learn more about Jacob:
DoD Release
WYOU News (with news about a scholarship in his honor)
Record Online (and here)

Thanks to Cyndy for the pictures (posted with permission), and to Debey and Cyndy for their assistance with this post.

UPDATE: Additional Link:
American Heroes' Memorial
Norfolk, Va. (May 2, 2006) - Sailors man the rails as the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) departs Naval Station Norfolk. The Enterprise Carrier Strike group is commencing a scheduled deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Recruit Jeff Hall

Blogwatch - Michael Yon - "A Virgin Market?"

I’ve never posted a rebuttal to a news story. Today is an exception.Last week I participated on a panel at the Marine Command General Staff College in Quantico, Virginia. The dais was stacked with distinguished journalists — I was the baby in the room — who addressed a large group of military officers. I traveled from Afghanistan just to speak there after a scheduling conflict with their first choice, Joe Galloway, resulted in his recommendation that I fill his seat. When Joe Galloway talks, people listen. I was honored by his recommendation and privileged to join the panel in a vigorous debate of the symposium theme: “Selling the Truth: Media Portrayal of Insurgents, the Government, and the Military.”

As the day opened, a Marine officer was asked to pick a story about current events and comment on it. He held a copy of the Wall Street Journal, a paper I first started reading as a teenager. The WSJ is a reliable source, and so I’ve stuck with it through the years. The Marine was holding a WSJ in front of this distinguished group of military officers that also included DEA and FBI officials, not to mention the representatives of CBS, CNN, Al Jazeera and others. As the Marine opened the paper, I said something like, “That’s yesterday’s Wall Street Journal? That’s easy. Turn to page A16 and there is a commentary about Afghanistan. It’s pure b---s---t.” [ediing mine --P] There was a microphone in front of me, but luckily, the crowd was mostly military and they laughed off the language....

Read the Rest
MAHMODYAH PATROL — U.S. Army Sgt. Swainston talks to Iraqi locals during a foot patrol in Mahmodyah, Iraq, April 18, 2006. Swainston is assigned to 4th Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Desiree N. Palacios

In Today's News - Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Quote of the Day
"Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men
and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower
cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
At least 18 dead in Iraq suicide bombing - Video

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Top Al Qaeda Leader Nabbed- Video: Big Catch
Yemen court sentences key al Qaeda suspect to jail

Immigrants rally unlikely to break Senate impasse

Worldwide Wackos
Iran Ready to Nuke
Iran: Israel Will be Target if U.S. Attacks
Western powers make case on Iran to U.N. council
Torture "widespread" under U.S. custody: Amnesty

One More Term (D.A. Nifong)
Senate OKs Protecting Homestate Projects
Ties in doubt as US thwarts Taiwan president's trip
Aides Say GOP Lawmakers Near Tax Bill Deal
Bush Economist: Gas Tax Cut Not the Answer

Man Getting Lethal Injection: 'They're Not Working'
PM 'eats babies' sign flashed at commuters
It's really appalling: China waxworks snubs Charles
Teen With Broken Neck Survives in Woods

Fox News
Harvard Teen's Book Deal Cancelled by Publisher
Public Hearing on Sago Mine
China Installs Second Bishop Without Vatican Approval
Lay: Enron's Collapse 'The Most Painful Thing'
Video: Jet Makes Emergency Landing in Houston
Black Sea Tragedy
Stocks to Watch: Starbucks
April Auto Sales Hurt by Higher Gas Prices
States Sue Over Fuel Standards
African Union Extends Darfur Peace Talks
New Big Easy Evacuation Plan- Video: Better Prepared?
Bird Flu Plan Predicts Chaos- Video: White House Plan- Flu Tracker
Many Young Americans Can't Find Louisiana on Map
MySpace Cells Hit Market
Small Business Page
Cybersecurity Center

Reuters: Top News
Darfur talks drag on, African leaders to weigh in - Video
Bird flu plan stresses school closures
Study: US mothers deserve $134,121 in salary
Ohio secretary of state wins governor's slot
Japan unveils African medical "Nobel" prize
Poultry shipments also likely spread bird flu: expert
Apple renews flat-rate iTunes music contracts
Microsoft settles California antitrust claims
Hurricane destruction powers global warming debate
Japan mulls matchmaking ads to boost birth rate
US urges junk food makers to restrict ads to kids
One of two available alcoholism drugs works-study
Glitter set for appeal in Vietnam
Time Warner quarterly profit up with cable subscribers
Warner Music rejects EMI takeover approach
Boeing sees quickening dialogue in subsidy row
Nobel Q1 net profit beats forecasts, shares rise
AT&T seeks delay in eavesdropping questioning
BSkyB subscriber growth slows, Q3 profits up
Adobe sees profit at low end of range, shares drop
Pilgrim's Pride reports loss, shares rise
Sirius raises subscriber forecast
Administaff outlook disappoints, shares tumble
Kansas City Southern profit up, stock jumps
No Stern warning here
On the Radar: Holly Corp.
DeMartino: Apple's Music Victory

AP World News
Post Office to Issue 'Forever Stamp'
Report: Federal Bird Blu Aid May Be Tough
Television Host Louis Rukeyser Dies
Suns Beat Lakers, Extend Playoff Series
Study Shows Americans Sicker Than English
Wade's Heroics Help Heat Beat Bulls 92-78
Sabres Rout Flyers to Win Series in 6
FBI Probes Military Gangs
Life at Iraq's Camp Victory
Jury Ends Day 6 With no Verdict
ACLU: Military Knew of Iraq Abuse
McCaffrey Offers Tough, Frank Iraq Review
CENTCOM: News Releases






Department of Defense
Command Focus: Current, Future Ops - Story
U.S. Sailors, Iraqi Marines Defend Terminals - Story
Small Boats, Crews Provide Maritime Links
Alliance, Coalition Affirm Successes, Obstacles - Story
Famed Medical Center to Continue Legacy - Story

Comm Center Aids Iraqi Police Response - Story
Iraqi Soldiers Graduate from Boot Camp

Joint Effort Works to Improve Saab al Bour - Story
'Harvest Light' to Help Iraq's Date Industry
Combined Patrols Foster New Relationships

Space-Age Drinking Water System Tested - Story
Joint Effort Provides Medical Care to Village - Story
USS Typhoon Operates in Horn of Africa - Story

Dental Clinic Gives Iraqis Reason to Smile
Air Force Flight Brings Smiles to Iraqi Children
Reward of Dangerous Job Is Saving Lives

C-130 Hercules Support Coalition Operations

Djiboutian Town Brighter with Task Force Help

Soldier Recovers From Wounds, Returns to Unit - Story

Rolling Thunder to Hold Fundraiser - Story
Steak Night Dinners Help Vets Heal
Arizona Bikers Roll Out for Troops

Terrorists Killed; Vests Destroyed
IED Kills Soldier South of Baghdad
Rice, Rumsfeld Brief Bush on Trip
Casey: Iraq Marks Milestone
Rice: Politics Help Defeat Insurgents
Forces Kill, Capture Insurgents
Forces Nab 10 Terrorism Suspects
Renewal In Iraq
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (PDF)
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

Forces Kill Enemy Fighters
Leaders Discuss Coalition Efforts
Successes Continue in Ops
U.S. Troop Injured in Copter Landing
Commander Meets With Governor
Afghanistan Update

'Ring of Steel' Encircles Platforms
GEODSS Satellite Provides Vital Info
Iran Maritime Relations 'Courteous'
Democracy Will Hurt Terrorism
Al Qaeda Terrorist Leader Killed
Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

JCOC Special Report
JCOC: Trip Gives Civilians New View
England Signs NSPS Into Effect
U.S. Repatriates 10 Somalis
National Guard, Reserve Update

Defense Officials Identify Casualties - Story

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

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
1294 - John II becomes duke of Brabant/Limburg
1342 - Count Hartmann II becomes ruler of Vaduz (Liechtenstein)
1382 - Battle on Beverhoutsfield near Brugge
1455 - Jews flee Spain
1494 - Jamaica discovered by Christopher Columbus; he names it "St Iago"
1515 - Persian Gulf: Portugese fleet occupies Ormuz
1616 - Treaty of Loudun kills French civil war
1624 - Spanish silver fleet sails to Panamá
1629 – French Huguenot leader duke De Rohan signs accord with Spain
1640 - English Upper house accept Act of Attainder
1654 - Bridge at Rowley, MA begins charging tolls for animals
1660 - Sweden, Poland, Brandenburg & Austria sign Peace of Oliva
1661 - Johannes Hevelius observes 3rd transit of Mercury ever to be seen
1662 - Royal charter granted Connecticut
1678 - French conquering fleet at Curaçao, 1200 die
1715 - Edmund Halley observes total eclipse phenomenon "Baily's Beads"
1747 - Willem IV appointed viceroy of Holland/Utrecht
1765 - 1st US medical college opens in Philadelphia; founded by John Morgan, the School of Medicine belonged to the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania).
1802 - Washington DC incorporates as a city
1810 - Lord Byron swims the Hellespont
1815 - Battle at Tolentino: Austria beats king Joachim of Naples
1830 - 1st regular steam train passenger service starts
1845 - 1st Black lawyer (Macon B. Allen) admitted to the bar (Massachusetts); Fire kills 1,600 in popular theater in Canton China
1846 - Mexican army surrounds fort in Texas
1851 - Most of San Fransisco destroyed by fire; 30 die
1855 - Antwerp-Rotterdam railway opens
1861 - General Winfield Scott presents his Anaconda Plan; Lincoln asks for 42,000 Army Volunteers & another 18,000 seamen
1863 - Battle of Chancellorsville-Beaten Union army withdraws; Battle of Fredricksburg, VA (Marye's Heights); Battle of Salem Church, VA
1864 - 3rd day in Battle at Alexandria, LA: Confederate assault
1901 - Fire destroys 1,700 buildings in Jacksonville FL
1906 - British-controlled Egypt takes Sinai peninsula from Turkey
1919 - Afghánistán Emir Amanoellah begins war against Great Britain; America's 1st passenger flight (New York-Atlantic City)
1921 - West Virginia imposes 1st state sales tax
1923 - 1st nonstop transcontinental flight (New York-San Diego) completed
1926 - British general strike-3 million workers support miners; US marines land in Nicaragua (9-months after leaving), stay until 1933
1929 - Prussia bans anti-fascists
1936 - French People's Front wins elections
1938 - Concentration camp at Flossenbürg goes into use; Vatican recognizes Franco-Spain
1941 - German air raid on Liverpool
1942 - Japanese troop attack Tulagi, Gavutu & Tanambogo, Solomon Islands; Luftwaffe bombs Exeter; Nazis execute 72 OD'ers in reprisial in Sachsenhausen, Netherlands; Nazis require Dutch Jews to wear a Jewish star
1943 - Strike against obligatory labor camps ends, after 200 killed; US 1st armour division occupies Mateur Tunisia
1944 - Meat rationing ends in US
1945 - 1st Polish armour brigade occupies Wilhelmshafen; Allies arrests German nuclear physics Werner Heisenberg; British troop join in Rangoon; German ship "Cap Arcona" sinks in East Sea, 5,800 killed
1946 - International military tribunal in Tokyo begins
1947 - Japan forms a constitutional democracy
1949 - 1st firing of a US Viking rocket; reached 80 km
1952 - 1st landing by an airplane at geographic North Pole
1956 - A new range of mountains discovered in Antarctica (2 over 13,000')
1962 - Express train crashed into wreckage of a commuter train and a freight, killing 163, injuring 400 (Tokyo, Japan)
1963 - Martin Luther King Jr delivers his "I have a dream" speech
1965 - 1st use of satellite TV, Today Show on the Early Bird Satellite; Cambodia drops diplomatic relations with the US
1967 - Black students seize finance building at Northwestern University
1971 - Erich Honecker succeeds Walter Ulbricht as East German party leader; National Public Radio begins programming; 112 NPR stations premiere "All Things Considered"; Nixon administration arrests 13,000 anti-war protesters in 3 days
1982 - New York Times reports that military will get 25% of NASA's budget; President Reagan begins 5 minute weekly radio broadcasts
1983 - Soviet leader Andropov decreases nuclear weapons in Europe; US bishops condemn nuclear weapons
1986 - Air Lanka crashes, killing 22; NASA launches Goes-G, it failed to achieve orbit
1988 - 4,200 kg Colombian cocaine in seized at Tarpon Springs FL
1991 - 356th & final episode of CBS 2nd longest running series Dallas, 2nd only to Gunsmoke
1994 - D66/Dutch Liberal Party win Dutch 2nd Parliamentary election; US space probe Clementine launched

- Margaretha, English princess/duchess of Bourgondie
1455 - Joâo II the perfect, King of Portugal (1481-95)/took in Spanish Jews
1469 - Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian politician/writer (The Prince)
1692 - Jan J. Mauricius, Dutch Governor-General of Suriname (1742-51)
1816 - Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, Union Brevet Major General
1826 - Charles XV Louis E, King of Sweden/Norway (1859-72)/poet
1844 - Edouard A. Drumont, French anti-semitic journalist
1849 - Jacob Riis, reporter (New York Tribune, New York Evening Sun)
1898 - Golda Meir [Meyerson], 4th Israeli PM (1969-74); Septima Poinsette Clark, civil rights activist/educator
1916 - Henry Barbosa Gonzalez, (Representative- TX)
1921 - Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves, Portuguese leftist colonel
1923 - Ralph M. Hall (Representative- TX)
1935 - Donald P. Hodel, US Secretary of Interior (1985-89)
1949 - Albert Sacco, PhD/astronaut (STS 73); Ron Wyden (Representative- OR)

1010 – Ansfried, 9th bishop of Utrecht (995-1010)/saint, dies at about 69
1294 - Jan I, duke of Brabant/Limburg/poet
1410 - Alexander V [Petros Philargi], Kreta's Pope (1409-10)
1442 - Engelbert I Earl of Nassau-Dillenburg
1481 - Mohammed II [Fâtih], sultan of Turkey (1451-81)
1737 - Abraham Patras, Governor-General of East-Indies (1735-37), dies at 65
1758 - Benedict XIV [Prospero L. Lambertini], Pope (1740-58), dies at 83
1764 - Francesco Algarotti, Italian earl/encyclopedist, dies at 53
1774 - Heinrich A. Fouqué, Prussian general (7 year war), dies at 76
1841 - Cornelis T. Elout, Dutch minister of Finance/Navy/Colonies, dies at 74
1863 - Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton, Confederate Brigadier-General, dies at 35
1916 - Pádraic Pearse, Irish nationalist, executed by British firing squad
1925 - Clément Ader, French engineer (steam engine airplane), dies at 84
1926 - Napoleon V Bonaparte, French pretender to the throne, dies at 63
1939 - [Karl Eduard] Wilhelm Groener, German general, dies at 71
1942 - Johan H. Westerveld, Lieutenant-Colonel/leader Order Service, executed
1945 - Louis L. H. de Visser, Dutch MP (CPN), dies at 66
1955 - Philips C. Visser, explorer/ambassador to Moscow
1965 - Otto Forst de Battaglia, Austrian diplomat/genealogist, dies at 75
1978 - Wim van Doorne, Dutch auto manufacturer (DAF), dies at 71
1991 - Gerrit Mik, child psychiatrist/Dutch MP (D66), dies
1992 - George Murphy (Senator-CA)/actor, dies of Leukemia at 89
1994 - Haty Tegelaar-Boonacker, Dutch MP (CDA), dies at 63

Reported Missing in Action
Moore, Ralph E., US Army (IN); Killed / BNR

Avery, Robert Douglas, USMC (NC); A6A disappeared on mission (w/Clem)

Clem, Thomas D., USMC (IN); A6A disappeared on mission (w/Avery)

Chaney, Arthur F., US Army (VA); AH1G shot down (w/McKain), KIA/BNR

Clark, Stephen W., USMC (CA); F8E shot down, KIA/BNR

McKain, Bobby L., US Army (KS); AH1G shot down (w/Chaney), KIA/BNR

Terry, Oral R., US Army (IL)

Churchill, Carl R., USAF (ME); F4D shot down (w/Conaway)

Conaway, Lawrence Y., USAF (OH); F4D shot down (w/Churchill)

The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their C130 was shot down:
Bracy, Lester, Jr.; remains recovered August, 1972 – ID’d June, 1974

Hopper, Joseph Clifford (TN); remains recovered August, 1972

McIver, Alexander (CA); remains recovered August, 1972

Slater, Freddie Leon, (MD); remains recovered August, 1972

Unger, Don Lee (FL); remains recovered August. 1972

Widerquist, Thomas Carl (IL); remains recovered August, 1972 – ID’d June, 1974

Also reported MIA this day in 1972:
Ayres, Timothy R., USAF (TX); F4E shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

McDonald, Joseph W., USMC (NY); A6A shot down (w/Williams)

Sienicki, Theodore S., USAF (NJ); F4E shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 – retired as a Major - alive and well as of 1998

Williams, David B., USMC (LA); A6A shot down (w/McDonald) - remains returned October, 1989

Moreau, Ron; released May, 1973