Thursday, September 28, 2006
China has secretly fired powerful laser weapons designed to disable American spy satellites by "blinding" their sensitive surveillance devices, it was reported yesterday.
The hitherto unreported attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to co-opt China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.
Sources told the military affairs publication Defense News that there had been a fierce internal battle within Washington over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon's annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat.
"After a contentious debate, the White House directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line," Defense News said.
Now, I want to bring up another point. Recently, another blogger has joined BARC and is very active in her reports about China. Toastedbread has covered two stories about China very extensively and has given me permission to use and link her posts. Here's a link to a post that I insist everyone read on the ever-growing arsenal of Communist China. This is a must read, both compelling and vigorous.
Another post that is more gruesome is linked here, a post over the surplus of organs. Very interesting...
Saturday, September 23, 2006
After reading the transcripts, watching the videos, and hearing the reviews, I feel we need take a stand against Chavez's remarks and begin a boycott. As some of you may know, Citgo's majority stockholder is Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. So, all of the Citgo gas stations in America fuel Chavez's tyranny. We need to show him that his words will have repercussions - that we will not tolerate his propaganda. With that said, I'd like to introduce two new blogrolls for all to join: the Bloggers Boycotting Communist Citgo (in honor of the Venezuelan president) and the Devil's Advocates (in honor of our president).
I put these together not for my blog's gain or for any publicity but because I think this is important. Together we can prove that bloggers not only have a voice but an impact on the economy. We're strong and together people will feel the repercussions. Chavez had no right to step on our soil and insult our Commander in Chief. Democrat or Republican, those comments were inappropriate.
Stop supporting communism. Stop supporting anti-American countries. Stop supporting the Non-Aligned countries. No more Citgo. Be a Devil's Advocate.
If you'd like to join, please upload the respective image, code, and then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your blog title and URL. I'll then confirm that you've uploaded the image & roll and then I'll add you to the blog. If you don't get an immediate response, have no fear, I'll get to everyone.
About the two images. I've posted these two that have dimensions of 200x200 pixels. Now, for most blogs, that might be a little big. If you want something smaller, just resize the image in your computer's photo editor. 144x144 is widely used but you can even go smaller. I'd upload smaller images to save you the trouble but of course, Blogger won't let me upload any more images.
Here's the code for BBCC (make sure to replace the parentheses with brackets and remove any breaks; there should be no large gaps in the code but my blogger template spreads it out.)
Here's the code for DA (make sure to replace the parentheses with brackets and remove any breaks; there should be no large gaps in the code but my blogger template spreads it out.)
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Initially, I didn't feel the need to cover this story but after reading article upon article, I felt the need to comment. As we all know, B16 recently caused an uprising over a quote that he recited during a speech in Germany. As usual, the MSM has blown in it way out of proportion, causing some bloggers like Dad29 to believe that they are the real culprits.
By the MSM misquoting B16 and inferring something that wasn't said, the Moslem community is getting bad information and is lashing out. Now, I'm not justifying the reaction however, I too believe that media outlets like the AP and Reuters are both throwing gas on the fire. This has escalated to logarithmic levels and we're feeling the repercussions.
As usual, the Moslem population is taking it way out of proportion ignoring the context of the actual speech and beginning the usual murders, death threats, and effigy burning.
While B16 is apologizing for the reaction, he still stands firm on what he said. That's what I like to see. Some believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg for B16, as he is expected to ruffle more feathers in the years to come, not only outside the Church but inside as well.
B16 is expected to visit Turkey but what concerns me are the recent fatwas that have been issued over B16's remarks. I for one fear the worst. The Moslems are acting very inappropriately and with that said, I pledge my allegiance to both the Church and it's leaders - in this case B16. I hope this doesn't escalate further as the Islamofascists will suffer.
They claim to be the religion of peace, wanting dignity and respect, all the while killing, torturing, and harassing those who do not believe in Mahomet. It's kind of ridiculous how they can condemn the Jews and ostracize the Christians, while begging for acceptance and understanding.
Osama Bin Laden, your time is short; We'd rather you die, than come to court.
Why are you hiding if it was in God's name? You're just a punk with a turban; a pathetic shame.
I have a question, about your theory and laws; "How come you never die for the cause?"
Is it because you're a coward who counts on others? Well, here in America, we stand by our brothers.
As is usual, you failed in your mission; if you expected pure chaos, you can keep on wishing
Americans are now focused and stronger than ever; your death has become our next endeavor.
What you tried to kill, doesn't live in our walls; it's not in buildings or shopping malls.
If all of our structures came crashing down; it would still be there, safe and sound.
Because pride and courage can't be destroyed; even if the towers leave a deep void.
We'll band together and fill the holes. We'll bury our dead and bless their souls.
But then our energy will focus on you; and you'll feel the wrath of the Red, White and Blue.
To slither and hide like a snake in the grass; because America's coming to kick your ass!!!
In the past here at NCT, we've had caption contests over pictures. I couldn't pass up this picture, there's a couple real good explanations out there.
I'll go political right away with mine...
"After months and months of barking, the United States had just about enough of Iran."
Thursday, September 14, 2006
People who consume alcohol earn significantly more at their jobs than non-drinkers, according to a US study that highlighted "social capital" gained from drinking.
The study published in the Journal of Labor Research Thursday concluded that drinkers earn 10 to 14 percent more than teetotalers, and that men who drink socially bring home an additional seven percent in pay.
"Social drinking builds social capital," said Edward Stringham, an economics professor at San Jose State University and co-author of the study with fellow researcher Bethany Peters.
"Social drinkers are out networking, building relationships, and adding contacts to their BlackBerries that result in bigger paychecks."
The authors acknowledged their study, funded by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, contradicted research released in 2000 by the Harvard School of Public Health.
"We created our hypothesis through casual observation and examination of scholarly accounts," the authors said.
"Drinkers typically tend to be more social than abstainers."
The researchers said their empirical survey backed up the theory, and said the most likely explanation is that drinkers have a wider range of social contacts that help provide better job and business opportunities.
"Drinkers may be able to socialize more with clients and co-workers, giving drinkers an advantage in important relationships," the researchers said.
"Drinking may also provide individuals with opportunities to learn people, business, and social skills."
They also said these conclusions provide arguments against policies aimed at curbing alcohol use on university campuses and public venues.
"Not only do anti-alcohol policies reduce drinkers' fun, but they may also decrease earnings," the study said.
"One of the unintended consequences of alcohol restrictions is that they push drinking into private settings. This occurred during the Alcohol Prohibition of 1920-1933 and is happening on college campuses today. By preventing people from drinking in public, anti-alcohol policies eliminate one of the most important aspects of drinking: increased social capital."
The researchers found some differences in the economic effects of drinking among men and women. They concluded that men who drink earn 10 percent more than abstainers and women drinkers earn 14 percent more than non-drinkers.
However, unlike men, who get a seven percent income boost from drinking in bars, women who frequent bars at least once per month do not show higher earnings than women drinkers who do not visit bars.
"Perhaps women increase social capital apart from drinking in bars," the researchers said in an effort to explain the gender gap.
Maybe we should up our Drinking Right nights to three times per week...
BEIJING (AP) -- The official Xinhua News Agency defended controls on foreign news agencies' access to China's media market, saying it won't seek to profit from its new monopoly and promising that financial firms will continue to receive economic information.
In a statement late Wednesday, Xinhua said it "seeks no economic gains" from the regulations, which give it control over distribution in China of news, photos and other services from foreign agencies.
China paper suspends cartoonist for drawing Hu crying
HONG KONG (Reuters) - A newspaper in southern China has suspended a cartoonist after he drew a weeping Chinese President Hu Jintao, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Thursday.
Depicting national leaders in cartoons is considered politically incorrect in China, although it is periodically done without repercussions, the South China Morning Post said.
But artist Kuang Biao's cartoon of a teary-eyed Hu replying to a letter from the daughter of a university professor who died from overwork aged 48 was regarded by mainland censors as unacceptable, the newspaper said.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
The Iranian Ambassador to the UN had just finished giving a speech, and walked out into the lobby where he met President Bush.
They shook hands, and as they walked the Iranian said, "You know, I have just one question about what I have seen in America."
President Bush said, "Well, anything I can do to help you, I will."
The Iranian whispered, "My son watches this show 'Star Trek' and in it there is Chekhov who is Russian, Scotty who is Scottish, and Sulu who is Chinese, but no Arabs. My son is very upset and doesn't understand why there aren't any Iranians on Star Trek.
President Bush laughed, leaned toward the Iranian ambassador, and whispered back, "It's because it takes place in the future."
The following 15 Police Comments were taken off actual police car videos around the country.
#15 "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while."
#14 "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."
#13 "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."
#12 "Can you run faster than 1,200 feet per second? Because that's the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you."
#11 "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?"
#10 "Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I'm the shift supervisor?"
#9 "Warning! You want a warning? O. K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."
#8 "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"
#7 "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs, and step in monkey poop."
#6 "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
#5 "In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC."
#4 "How big were those 'Just two beers' you say you had?"
#3 "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."
#2 "I'm glad to hear that Chief (of Police) Hawker is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail."
The envelope please...
AND THE WINNER IS....
#1 "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here."
Saturday, September 09, 2006
From what I've read, he was a great man to both his family and colleagues. Always dedicated to work and leisure, he seemed to have a bright future ahead of him. His spirit will live on in his family and he'll be missed.
The United States lost over 3,000 citizens that day and it is a shame that we lost a wonderful man like Robert E. Russell.
From the Washington Post:
"He loved to cook. People used to come over all the time to eat what he made. Nobody comes over to eat anymore. My own children didn't even come over to eat what I had cooked on Thanksgiving. It hurt my feelings a little, but he was the cook. He had lots of specialties."
- Teresa Russell, wife
Source: The Washington Post
Robert E. Russell
Robert E. Russell, 52, met his wife at her 16th birthday party. When he proposed to her four years later, he promised to buy her a large house with a white picket fence, take her to Paris and, in their eighties, sit together on their porch with their great-grandchildren.
"Every dream's come true, but not that last one," said Teresa Russell, 50, a human resources specialist at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Her husband, a civilian budgetary supervisor for the Army, worked at the Pentagon and hasn't been seen since the attack. He was born in Columbia, S.C., and raised in Capitol Heights and had received degrees from the University of Maryland and Boston University. He and his wife had three children: Cydne, 30, Robert, 28, and Valerie, 14.
On Friday evening, Teresa Russell sat in her multilevel home on Lindsay Road in Oxon Hill holding two of her six young grandchildren, and she thought of the days ahead. "How can I go back to work and concentrate when there's no closure?" she asked. "My husband's not even buried -- if he is, in fact, dead."
Russell got up from her living room sofa, looked at one of the dozens of pictures of her husband on the walls and smiled. His face, it seemed, brought her some peace.
-- Steven Gray
Robert E. Russell
At first, those who knew Robert E. Russell clung to the hope that--somehow--the veteran Army soldier would have found a way to survive after American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into his Pentagon office.
The 52-year-old civilian supervisory budget analyst and retired Army sergeant major worked in the outer ring of the building's first floor. One friend called him a survivor. His wife, Teresa, whom he met in high school, said her husband was open-hearted, vivacious, a prankster.
"He was that type of person, always keeping something going," she said.
After the crash, Russell's wife, children, grandchildren and friends gathered in the 18th Century home Russell had worked so hard to renovate in Oxon Hill, Md.
"You have to go with your first instinct of hope," said Wilmore Ritchie Jr., a longtime friend and fellow Army retiree who has camped out in the home with Russell's family. "Being that he's a soldier, you would think that he would have found some way."
The pastor notified the family two weeks after the attack.
Russell's body was identified by his fingerprints and his remains were flown to an Air Force casualty center for autopsy. Like the families of many other military victims of last week's terrorist acts, Russell's family plans to have him interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
All that remained now was to receive the body, said Ritchie, still waiting in Russell's house for his friend to come home.
"You couldn't even see this house from the road when he first got it," Ritchie said. "He was always in the process of doing something with it."
The Arlington National Cemtery
University of Southern Alabama - Memorial Scholarship
September 11th Victims List
Friday, September 08, 2006
On that note, I'd like to point out that BARC has gone international, now boasting three pro-American bloggers from Italy:
The Right Nation
I'd like to welcome them all and I for one am very excited to see Italians that stand with America, especially on the War on Terror.
Speaking of the War on Terror, you might have noticed a new image on the left side of my bloc showing a pilot from WWII and stating what I'd like to call the obvious. The image is linked to this site, which is created by the government to keep us up-to-date with the WoT and our under-covered successes.
Not undercover as in secret but under-covered as in the minimal amount of press that these successes are getting. Please take the time to check out the site, its actually quite uplifting. I also have no qualms against you taking the image or the link but I must warn you, the picture isn't Defend America's image, its something that I found will browsing blogs and thought the two fit well together. In other words, use at your own risk.
On the topic of images, you may have noticed that on the right-hand side of my blog I have three new images. I created these on my own in my spare time for two fellow bloggers and myself. I began blogging in August of last year (can't believe its been over a year) shortly after Dad29 and DCS. We've pretty much been linked to each other since my inception and I read both of their blogs daily as they do mine. So, I thought it would be cool to have some images that link to there sites. Click them with ferocity!
Finally, I'd like to say that Monday will be a hard day for all of us, especially those who have joined the 2996 project. I'm working on my honoree and hope to have it up that morning.
Again, thanks everyone for their continued support, I've enjoyed all of my blogging company as I hope you've enjoyed me. And Gayle, I'm sorry if my page takes a week to load, I know its getting kind of heavy!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
My gaze lingered on a group enjoying their meal. They wore no uniform to identify their branch of service, but they were definitely "military:" clean shaven, cropped haircut, and that "squared away" look that comes with pride. Smiling sadly, I glanced across my table to the empty seat where my husband usually sat. It had only been a few months since we sat in this very booth, talking about his upcoming deployment to the Middle East.
That was when he made me promise to get a sitter for the kids, come back to this restaurant once a month and treat myself to a nice steak. In turn he would treasure the thought of me being here, thinking about him until he returned home I fingered the little flag pin I constantly wear and wondered where he was at this very moment.
Was he safe and warm?? Was his cold any better?? Were my letters getting through to him?
As I pondered these thoughts, high pitched female voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts. "I don't know what Bush is thinking about invading Iraq . You'd think that man would learn from his old man's mistakes. Good lord. What an idiot!? I can't believe he is even in office. You do know he stole the election."
I cut into my steak and tried to ignore them, as they began an endless tirade running down our president. I thought about the last night I spent with my husband, as he prepared to deploy. He had just returned from getting his smallpox and anthrax shots. The image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gives me chills. Once again the women's voices invaded my thoughts.
"It is all about oil, you know. Our soldiers will go in and rape and steal all the oil they can in the name of 'freedom'. Hmmm! I wonder how many innocent people they'll kill without giving it a thought?? It's pure greed, you know."
My chest tightened as I stared at my wedding ring. I could still see how handsome my husband looked in his "mess dress" the day he slipped it on my finger. I wondered what he was wearing now. Probably his desert uniform, affectionately dubbed "coffee stains" with a heavy bulletproof vest over it.
"You know, we should just leave Iraq alone. I don't think they are hiding any weapons. In fact, I bet it's all a big act just to increase the president's popularity. That's all it is, padding the military budget at the expense of our social security and education. And, you know what else? We're just asking for another 9-11.? I can't say when it happens again that we didn't deserve it."
Their words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering outside our base. Did no one appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and women, who leave their homes and family to ensure our freedom?? Do they even know what "freedom" is? I glanced at the table where the young men were sitting, and saw their courageous faces change. They had stopped eating and looked at each other dejectedly, listening to the women talking.
"Well, I, for one, think it's just deplorable to invade Iraq , and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to trai n professional baby-killers we call a military."
Professional baby-killers?? I thought about what a wonderful father my husband is, and of how long it would be before he would see our children again. That's it! Indignation rose up inside me.
Normally reserved, pride in my husband gave me a brassy boldness I never realized I had. Tonight one voice will answer on behalf of our military, and let her pride in our troops be known. Sliding out of my booth, I walked around to the adjoining booth and placed my hands flat on their table.
Lowering myself to eye level with them, smilingly said, "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. You see, I'm sitting here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. And, do you know why? Because my husband, whom I love with all my heart, is halfway around the world defending your right to say rotten things about him."
"Yes, you have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my business. However, what you say in public is something else, and I will not sit by and listen to you ridicule MY country, MY president, MY husband, and all the other fine American men and women who put their lives on the line, just so you can have the "freedom" to complain. Freedom is an expensive commodity, ladies. Don't let your actions cheapen it."
I must have been louder than I meant to be, because the manager came over to inquire if everything was all right.
"Yes, thank you," I replied. Then, turning back to the women, I said, "Enjoy the rest of your meal."
As I returned to my booth applause broke out. I was embarrassed for making a scene, and went back to my half eaten steak. The women picked up their check and scurried away. After finishing my meal, and while waiting for my check, the manager returned with a huge apple cobbler ala mode.
"Compliments of those soldiers," he said. He also smiled and said the ladies tried to pay for my dinner, but that another couple had beaten them to it. When I asked who, the manager said they had already left, but that the gentleman was a veteran, and wanted to take care of the wife of "one of our boys."
With a lump in my throat, I gratefully turned to the soldiers and thanked them for the cobbler. Grinning from ear to ear, they came over and surrounded the booth. "We just wanted to thank you, ma'am. You know we can't get into confrontations with civilians, so we appreciate what you did."
As I drove home, for the first time since my husband's deployment, I didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of the other diners who stopped by my table, to relate how they, too, were proud of my husband, and would keep him in their prayers. I knew their flags would fly a little higher the next day.
Perhaps they would look for more tangible ways to show their pride in our country, and the military that protect her. And maybe, just maybe, the two women who were railing against our country would pause for a minute to appreciate all the freedom America offers, and the price it pays to maintain its freedom.
As for me, I have learned that one voice CAN make a difference. Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, I will proudly stand on the opposite side with a sign of my own.
It will simply say, "Thank You!" To those who fought for our Nation: Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
GOD BLESS AMERICA ! Please pray for and support our troops in your own way. Of all the gifts you could give to anyone in the US Military, be it Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines or National Guard, public and private support is the best way!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Simply put, they don't want to lose the Hispanic vote they have. They also don't want the Democrats to begin with the name-calling like 'bigot,' 'racist,' or the classic 'hate monger.' And finally, they don't want to disagree with each other. This issue is very decisive, even to the point where our 'Republican' president's opinions align more with the Democrats then Republicans.
The New York Slimes has a lengthy article on it and I've taken some excerpts:
"WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 - As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.
With Congress reconvening Tuesday after an August break, Republicans in the House and Senate say they will focus on Pentagon and domestic security spending bills, port security legislation and measures that would authorize the administration's terror surveillance program and create military tribunals to try terror suspects.
"We Republicans believe that we have no choice in the war against terror and the only way to do it is to continue to take them head-on whether it is in Iraq or elsewhere," said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the majority leader.
A final decision on what do about immigration policy awaits a meeting this week of senior Republicans. But key lawmakers and aides who set the Congressional agenda say they now believe it would be politically risky to try to advance an immigration measure that would showcase party divisions and need to be completed in the 19 days Congress is scheduled to meet before breaking for the election.
President Bush had made comprehensive changes in immigration laws a priority, even making the issue the subject of a prime-time address, but House Republicans have been determined not to move ahead with any legislation that could be construed as amnesty for anyone who entered the country illegally. They held hearings around the country in recent weeks to contrast their enforcement-only bill with a Senate measure that could lead to citizenship for some."
All I have to say is this. These politicians need to stop acting like this is their jobs and they don't want to get fired. Their duty is to the American citizen and we've spoken. Fix the borders, remove the illegals, and don't let it happen again.