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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Thunder Run: I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own!

The bio says it all: “Witcover is one of the nation's leading political columnists. Author of 15 books on American politics and history, Witcover has covered the Beltway beat for 50 years, giving his Baltimore Sun column considerable historical perspective. He is one of the most critical voices in American journalism of the radical turn in U.S. foreign policy. Witcover's liberal column is an aggressive, outspoken examination of politics and foreign policy.” It is no wonder then that in his Dec 10 column Bush clings to unreality in Iraq (via TMS) that Witcover himself is the one that finds him self clinging to “unreality.”

How can one honestly respond to the conclusion’s Witcover presents when his argument is couched in terms of Bush’s “grandiose visions of spreading democracy through the Middle East…” and that the only solution is “to find not ‘victory’ in his terms, but an honorable way out of his muddled foreign-policy overreach[?]” When those terms are used how is it even possible to escape “unreality,” when Witcover and the rest of the liberals have all determined that their reality is the only correct version? For a group that has constantly been harping about an honest accounting and dialogue on Iraq , they sure seem bent upon framing the discussion in terms of failure and totally ignore the possibility of any type of victory...

Read the Rest

My Hero...

I always love doing these posts, but it's especially fun when it's one of my personal Heroes.

Meet Janette, my adopted Hero, currently serving in Iraq:

Janette, Mercedes, and Liz (Janette's the one in the middle)

Janette and "Chilly Willy" the penguin

Janette, I love these pictures, and I'm very proud to be your Soldiers' Angel. Keep your helmet on - take care, and stay safe!

Please feel free to leave your messages for Janette in the comments section of this post.

You Are the Weakest Link...

How many of these can you answer?

1. Is Al Qaeda Sunni or Shiite?

2. Who is Hezbollah?

Wanna know how many of those incoming House Intel Chief Silvestre Reyes got right?

None. Zero. Zip.

In fairness, he may have just been confused because the questions were in English - he asked if he could answer in Spanish.

Scary. Someone fetch me the duct tape.

GRENADE THROW — U.S. Marines prepare to throw simulated grenades at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 1, 2006, during basic level training. After completion of their basic training, Marines go through combat training to be certified to deploy overseas in support of the war on terror. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Johansen Laurel Hi-Res Lead Photo Archive

In Today's News - Tuesday, December 12, 2005

Quote of the Day
"When an American says that he loves his country,
he means not only that he loves the New England hills,
the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains,
the great mountains, and the sea.
He means that he loves an inner air,
an inner light in which freedom lives
and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."

-- Adlai Stevenson

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Car Bombs Kill at Least 57 in Central Baghdad
Bush to be Briefed on Iraq, Meet With Iraqi VP
Americans more pessimistic on Iraq: poll
Chronology: Deadliest attacks in Iraq
Gunmen kill Iraqi cameraman in N. Iraq
South African security workers kidnapped
Bush reviews options on Iraq policy

Operation Enduring Freedom
U.S.-led raid, suicide bomber kill at least 12 Afghans

Other Military News
Tuskegee Airmen Record Disputed

Mid-East Conflict / Religion of Peace??
Hamas Shoots Up Fatah Protest
Israel agog at Olmert's "nuclear slip" of tongue
Rival security forces clash in Gaza after killings
Somali Islamists tell Ethiopia to leave or face war

Worldwide Wackos
China sees no deadline for North Korea talks
Pinochet to be cremated after military funeral - Video
Iran students disrupt president's speech

Homegrown Moonbats
Clint Eastwood Makes a Huge Anti-War Statement With 'Iwo Jima'
Sheehan convicted of trespassing in NYC

Politics / Government
U.S. Officials Deny Spying on Princess Diana
U.S. warns China of possible trade cases
Democrat Kucinich to launch 2008 bid
Fed expected to leave rates unchanged
Gore chases Oscar nod, possible 2008 bid

U.N. News
Annan demands U.N. rights body acts on Darfur - Video (Act? The U.N.? Are you kidding?)

Science / Nature
161-Year-Old Shipwreck Found in Lake Ontario
Astronauts Prepare to Make Space Station Addition
Weather Hinders Search for Missing Climbers
Deadly sea snail venom offers pain relief potential
Baby plesiosaur bones found in Antarctic

Two-timing cops cause admin havoc
Trademark battle: cash and Carey

'Tis the Season
Christmas Trees Back at Airport

Other News of Note
Massachusetts Strip Club Shooting Kills 3, Injures 2
Missing S.C. Couple Found Dead in N.C. Swamp
Taco Bell outbreak not over, officials say
Interpol has joined Litvinenko poisoning inquiry

Fox News
17-Year-Old Gets 90 Years for Brutal Party Attack on Hispanic Teen
Tony Blair's Wife Cherie Posed Nude in Her 20s

Reuters: Top News
Skilling won't have to report to prison: WSJ
Antarctic hut eerily intact after nearly a century
Yahoo opens Panama ad system upgrade to newcomers
Video technology allows casting in real time
In epochal shift, half humanity to become urban
U.S. home lenders brace for bad news, legislation
Scientists take key step toward Alzheimer's test
Two more reasons to exercise, studies find
Dylan, Gnarls top Rolling Stone's 2006 picks
L.A. judge sides with "Borat" against frat boys
Oil creeps higher ahead of OPEC meeting
Gold steadies ahead of Fed meeting but vulnerable
UK's FTSE falls as interest rate fears weigh
Futures dip as Fed, Texas Instruments eyed
Nikkei adds 0.7 pct as exporters, fishery firms up - Video
Reuters Summit: Investment Outlook
Pimco manager sees lower Fed rates
Bill Gross discusses the dollar and rates
St. Joe could be a target
LSE reiterates rejection of $5.3 bln Nasdaq offer
Fed seen holding rates steady as economy slows
LCD price-fixing probe spreads; LG.Philips shares sink
BP execs worried about cost cutting, safety: paper
Airbus to get certification boost for A380
Sabre agrees to be sold for $4.3 bln: paper

AP World News
Foxy Brown rapped over probation terms
Hester makes history as Bears beat Rams
Search for Gainey's daughter suspended
NBA to go back to old leather ball
Clooney says he's too old to have game
Dow ends up 21 as investors wait for Fed
Actress gives $1 million to arts school
Ore. settlements spare church property
Christmas tree growers battle poachers.
UCLA probes computer security breach
Discovery Docks
Coast Guard Combats Pranks
Op-ed: Leave Iraq Now
Blog: Aussies Ban Milblogging
Def. Tech: Google Monkeys Go Nuke
Kit Up! For the Holidays
How Will Santa Find Us?
Orders Next Year? Get Smart Now
Gear in the News: CH-53E Super Stallion

CENTCOM: News Releases













Command surgeon hosts joint task force medical seminar - podcast

Department of Defense
Success in Iraq Protects the U.S. - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Joint Operations Combat Insurgency in Diyala - Story
Marine Engineers Focus on Repairing Vital Runway - Story
Air Force Secretary Thanks Airmen for Service - Story
Military Policemen Prepare for Return to States - Story
U.S. Army, Iraqi Engineers Attend Training - Story

Rumsfeld Thanks Troops for Service, Patriotism
Secretary Receives Warm Welcome from Troops
Marine Commander: U.S. Troop Morale in Iraq High
'American Heroes’ Help Iraqis Every Day
Marine Tankers Search Desert for Weapons

Afghan Farming Communities to Receive Tractors
Reconstruction Team Hosts First Vendor Fair
Reconstruction Team Brings Supplies to Orphans

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

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

Officials Identify Casualties - 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
0627 - Battle at Nineveh: Byzantine emperor Heraclius beats Perzen
1098 - 1st Crusaders capture & plunder Mara Syria
1474 - Isabella crowns herself queen of Castile & Aragon
1479 - Jews are expelled from Schlettstadt Alsace by Emperor Frederick III
1524 - Pope Clement VII approves Organization of Jewish Community of Rome
1653 - Barebone-parliament ends
1677 - Brandenburgs army occupies Stettin
1715 - Russian/Prussian troops occupy Stralsund
1777 - Reverend Benjamin Russen executed at Tyburn, England for rape
1787 - Pennsylvania becomes 2nd state to ratify US constitution
1791 - Bank of the US opens
1792 - In Vienna, Ludwig van Beethoven (21) receives 1st lesson in music composition from Franz Joseph Haydn
1800 - Washington, DC established as capital of US
1822 - México officially recognized as an independent nation by US
1858 - 1st Canadian coins circulated (1¢, 5¢, 10¢ & 20¢)
1862 - Battle of Dumfries, VA; Naval Engagement at Yazoo River, MS (USS Cairo torpedoed)
1870 - Joseph Rainey (South Carolina) becomes the first Black sworn into House of Representatives
1871 - Jules Janssen discovers dark lines in solar corona spectrum
1897 - Anti-Jewish violence breaks out in Bucharest Romania; Rudolph Dirks' 1st Katzenjammer cartoon strip in New York Journal
1899 - George F. Grant of Boston (first black graduate of Harvard College, and a dentist) patents the wooden golf tee; 1st case of plague on Oahu, HI
1901 - Marconi receives 1st transatlantic radio signal, England to US
1903 - Roger Casement completes report about abuses in Belgian Congo
1906 - Oscar Straus, 1st Jewish cabinet member, appointed Secretary of Commerce
1913 - "Mona Lisa", recovered after being stolen from the Louvre Museum in 1911; Hebrew language officially used to teach in Palestinian schools
1915 - 1st all-metal aircraft (Junkers J.1) test flown at Dessau Germany; Aristide Briand forms French war government; Russian troops overrun Hamadan, Persia
1917 - Worst train disaster (derailment near mouth of Mount Cenis tunnel) ever (Modane France-543 French troops killed); Reverend Edward Flanagan founds Boys Town outside Omaha NE
1925 - Arthur Heinman coins term "motel", opens Motel Inn, San Luis Obispo; Last Qajar Shah of Iran deposed; Rexa Shah Pahlavi takes over; Cossack officer/ex-premier Reza Chan becomes shah of Persia
1930 - Baseball Rules Committee greatly revises the rule book, when a ball bounces into stands now a double, not a homerun
1931 - Japanese Government of Imukai forms
1932 - USSR & China resume diplomatic relations
1936 - Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek declares war on Japan
1937 - Japanese aircraft shell & sink US gunboat Panay on Yangtze River in China. (Japan apologized & eventually paid US $2.2 million in reparations); NBC & RCA send the 1st mobile-TV vans onto the streets of New York
1939 - Soviet prison ship Indigirka, carrying 2,500 prisoners, capsizes in blizzard off Japanese coast; 2,470 die
1940 - British troops conquer Sidi el-Barrani
1941 - German occupying army do a house search in Paris looking for Jews; European reservists on Java mobilize; Russian 20th army recaptures Soljetsjnogorsk
1942 - German offensive in South Western Stalingrad
1945 - Special Court of justice convicts NSB-leader Mussert; sentenced to death
1946 - Ice plant collapses, shearing a tenement building & burying 38; UN accepts 6 Manhattan blocks as a gift from John D Rockefeller, Jr.; Tide detergent introduced
1947 - United Mine Workers union withdrew from AFL
1951 - Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement
1953 - Chuck Yeager reaches Mach 2.43 in Bell X-1A rocket plane
1955 - 1st prototype of hovercraft patented by British engineer Christoper Cockerell
1957 - US announces manufacture of Borazon (harder than diamond); rocker Jerry Lee Lewis weds his cousin Myra Gale Brown, 13, while still married to his 1st wife, Jane Mitcham; Major Adrian Drew flies 1,943 kph in F-101 Voodoo
1958 - Dutch social democratic party-ministers/premier Drees dismissed
1959 - UN Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space is established
1961 - Ham radio satellite Oscar 1 launched with military Discoverer 36; Martin Luther King Jr & 700 demonstrators arrested in Albany GA
1963 - Frank Sinatra, Jr., is returned after being kidnapped; Argentina asks for extradition of ex-President Peron; Kenya (formerly British East Africa) declares independence from UK
1967 - US launches Pioneer 8 into solar orbit
1968 - Arthur Ashe becomes the first African-American to be ranked #1 in tennis
1969 - Bomb attack on bank in Milan, 14 killed
1970 - Small Astronomy Satellite Explorer 42 launched to study X-rays
1973 - Canada begins selling Olympic coins ($5 & $10 silver coins)
1975 - Gas stove explodes & starts fire killing 138 (Mecca Saudi Arabia); Sara Jane Moore pleads guilty to trying to kill President Gerald Ford
1979 - Rhodesia becomes the independent nation of Zimbabwe
1980 - US's copyright law amended to include computer programs
1981 - Gambia & Senegal sign agreement to be known as Senegambia in Feb 1982
1982 - $9,800,000 in cash stolen from money transport car in New York NY
1983 - A truck bomb explodes at the US Embassy in Kuwait
1985 - 248 US soldiers & 8 crew members die in Arrow Air DC-8 charter crash (Gander, Newfoundland); NASA launches space vehicle S-207
1986 - Microlite aircraft circles world non-stop; Russian Tupolev-134 crashes in East Berlin, 70 killed; South African journalist Zwelakhe Sisulu arrested
1988 - PLO leader Yasser Arafat accepts Israel's right to exist
1990 - US ambassador to Kuwait, Nathaniel Howell, leaves Kuwait; US accuses Iraq of dragging its feet on dates for talks
1991 - Maastricht Treaty signed to create a European Community
1992 - 6.8-7.5 earthquake strikes Flores Island (tsunami kills 3,000)
1993 - Ultra-Nationalists make strong gains in Russian elections
1995 - Amendment to make it illegal to physically desecrate the flag turned down by senate 63-36; Israeli PM Shimon Peres addresses both houses of US Congress
1996 - Assassination attempt on Uday (Iraqi heir - Saddam's son)
1997 - Carlos the Jackal, "professional revolutionary," goes on trial in Paris; Japanese train builders (Maglev) claim world speed record at 332 MPH; SWAT team shoots John E Armstrong in Florida, freeing 2 young hostage; TWA 800 hearings end in Baltimore, MD

- Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully / Baron of Rosny / PM of France
1673 - Ahmed III, 23rd sultan (Turkey, 1703-30)
1712 - Charles Alexander, Duke of Lotharingen
1745 - John Jay, diplomat (NY-Governor)
1792 - Alexandros Ypsilanti, Greek resistance fighter
1805 - Henry Wells, founder (American Express Company / Wells Fargo & Company); William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist publisher (The Liberator)
1806 - Stand Watie, Confederate Brigadier-General
1818 - Paul Octave Hebert, Confederate Brigadier-General
1821 - Gustave Flaubert Rouen, novelist (Madame Bovary)
1830 - Joseph Orville Shelby, Confederate Brigadier-General
1832 - Abraham C. Wertheim, Dutch banker/MP
1833 - Matthias Hohner, German manufacturer (harmonica)
1838 - Sherburne W. Burnham, US astronomer (binary stars)
1848 - William Vanderbilt, yachtsman (donated Vanderbilt Cup)
1859 - Edward Bradley, racehorse owner (1st to own 4 Kentucky Derby winners)
1863 - Edvard Munch Norway, painter/print maker (The Scream)
1866 - Alfred Werner, Swiss chemist (Nobel 1913)
1879 - Friedrich Christiansen, Nazi commander, Wehrmacht, Netherlands
1913 - Jesse Owens, US track star who spoiled Hitler's Olympics (4 golds in 1936)
1922 - Arthur R. Hawkins, US pilot/captain (WWII, downed 14 Japanese planes)
1924 - Edward I. Koch, (Mayor-NY, 1977-89)/judge (People's Court)
1946 - Emerson Fittipaldi, Indy-car racer (over 10 wins)
1951 - Steven Alan Hawley, Ph.D. / astronaut (STS 41-D, STS 61-C, STS 31, STS 82)
1952 - Cathy Rigby McCoy, gymnast (Olympics-4th-1968, 1972)
1959 - Scott D. Vangen, astronaut

0884 - Carloman, co-king of France (879, 882-884)
1112 - Tancred, monarch of Galilea/Edessa/Antioch
1204 - Maimonides, (Moses Ben Maimon), Jewish philosopher/talmudic scholar, dies in Cairo at 69
1263 - Hakon IV Gamli, King of Norway (1217-63), dies
1600 - John Craig, Scottish church reformer/James VI's court vicar
1677 - Jacob Binckes/Benckes, Dutch admiral (Chatham), dies in battle
1843 - Willem I, Frederik King of Netherlands (1814-40), dies at 71
1872 - Willem A. Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, Dutch politician, dies at 72
1877 - José M. de Alencar, Brazilian writer/minister of Justice, dies at 48
1912 - Luitpold von Bayern, prince-regent of Bayern, dies at 91
1961 - Daiun Sogaku, Harada Zen founder of Sanbo Kyodan lineage, dies at 91
1971 - David Sarnoff, US TV pioneer (RCA), dies at 80; Jack Barnhill, Northern Ireland senator, assassinated
1988 - John Canning, "New York Post" managing editor, dies at 56
1993 - Gerard "Gé" Nabrink Dutch anarchist/NVSH-founder, dies at 90; Jozsef Antall, historian/premier of Hungary (1990-93), dies at 61
1994 - Antoine Pinay, French PM (1952)/foreign minister, dies at 102; Stuart Allen Roosa, astronaut (Apollo 14), dies of pancreatitis at 46
1995 - David Lincoln Lightbown, politician, dies at 63; David Saul Marshall, diplomat lawyer/politician, dies at 97; James Altgens, JFK assassination photographer, dies at 76

Reported Missing in Action
Angell, Marshall J., US Army (VA); CH37B shot down (flight engineer)

Flesher, Hubert K., USAF (WV); F4C shot down, released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Duckett, Thomas A., USAF (GA); O2A shot down (w/Skinner)

Skinner, Owen G., USAF (OH); O2A shot down (w/Duckett)