Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith - Nominee, Medal of Honor

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.
Smith was atop the 113 shooting toward the gate, over the wall, at the tower.

"He was firing, firing, firing - reloading - firing, firing, firing," said Sgt. Robert Nowack, 37. "It was like a director saying, "I want you to look intense."'

The sight reminded Pfc. Pace of To Hell and Back, the film about the WWII exploits of Army 2nd Lt. Audie Murphy, who climbed onto a burning tank, manned a .50-caliber machine gun and mowed down dozens of attacking Germans.

Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945.
More here.

Via The Pink Flamingo Bar and Grill and A Collection Of Thoughts.

How To Support The Troops 2

Dean Esmay explains his methods for supporting the troops.
If Bush wins I will support him, as I always have. If Kerry wins, I will support him as best I can, with cogent, specific criticisms and always under the assumption that he is doing his very best for the nation even if I sometimes think I'd do things differently if I were in charge. I will assume I don't know everything, and that he's doing his best and, even if I campaign against him, will assume that he is an honorable man, and that he is not a "liar" simply because I might sometimes disagree with him.
If Kerry does win, I intend to do likewise, and if I don't please call me on it. I mean it.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

American Woman, Mama Let Me Be!

Pom-poms, Squad Automatic Weapon, what's the difference?
The man then claimed he had the grenade because he was going to turn it in to the U.S. soldiers. But they did not believe that story, because he had not mentioned it, or indicated anything like that, until after the soldiers had found the grenade and after he had been subdued and was handcuffed with the plastic zip-strips.

“I really don’t remember exactly how I got him on the ground, but it was practically instantaneous,” she said, blushing. “I don’t remember the details of putting him down. I just remember, suddenly, I had him down on the ground with his face pressed into a sandbag and I kept holding him there.”

She said the man then started crying and someone said he might have been embarrassed because it was a shame for a man in Iraq to get beat up by a woman.
Via Hell In A Handbasket.

Mrs Wince Says #1

When perusing the Office Max Copy Center flier, Mrs. Wince was heard to slyly remark, "I wonder why there's no price for double sided transparencies."

Winfield Scott Hancock - Someone You Should Know

Awhile back Dave Kopel & Co. wrote about the great American and Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in the National Review Online.  He is a man you should know.  This hero of Gettysburg worked hard to reconcile with the south:
During Reconstruction, Hancock was appointed Governor of the 5th Military District, which encompassed Texas and Louisiana. Hancock refused to bully the defeated and vulnerable citizenry of Texas and Louisiana. His General Orders No. 40 of November 29, 1867, announced how he intended to govern. Predicting "they will crucify me," Hancock wrote:
[T]he great principles of American liberty are still the lawful inheritance of this people, and ever should be. The right of trial by jury, the habeas corpus, the liberty of the press, the freedom of speech, the natural rights of persons and the rights of property must be preserved. Free institutions, while they are essential to the prosperity and happiness of the people, always furnish the strongest inducements to peace and order.
General Orders No. 40 was soon published all over the country. Hancock's policy was joyfully received by the south as a sign that the war was finally over, and by Northerners who looked forward to reconciliation and the restoration of constitutional government.

But for the radical majority in Congress who believed that the southern states were conquered areas deserving punishment, Hancock's words were anathema.
Here's what his contemporaries said of him:
General William T. Sherman told an interviewer, "if you will sit down and write the best that can be put in the English language of General Hancock as a soldier and as a gentleman, I will sign it without hesitation." When Winfield Scott Hancock passed away in 1886, former President Hayes said succinctly, "he was through and through pure gold."
Democrat Hancock defended the election of Republican President Hayes in 1876, when Hayes beat Tilden in the most disputed (and probably the dirtiest) election in our history.

Garfield (also a principled man) beat Hancock by less than ten thousand votes (the totals are disputed) in 1880, and if Hancock had won New York (where he lost by 21033 votes) he would have won the election. According to Edmond the Libertarian, he only lost New York due to voting irregularities. Check this out: 79.4% of the eligible voters participated.

Update: Edmond the Libertarian has reminded me that I should reread carefully before I post. The last sentence was: "Hayes defeated Hancock for President in 1876, in what may be the most disputed election in American history." I corrected this egregious error and added more information above.

Update 2: I added "According to Edmond the Libertarian, he only lost New York due to voting irregularities." If Edmond finds a source to back up his memories, I'll be updating again. Thanks, Edmond!

Title Idea: Via Blackfive.

Why Floods Remind Me Of Armored Personnel Carriers

Today it's been raining a lot. Enough so that the intermittent stream has appeared in my folks back yard. And also enough there are flood warnings for Indian Creek, which is a little over a mile from my house. Indian Creek flooded most memorably about fifteen years ago (my memory is not helping on the year). A couple of teenagers were stranded in the flood and were rescued by an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier owned by the Lenexa, Kansas Police Department. As I remember it members of their SWAT team were fond of the M113 from their service in Vietnam, obtained a surplus M113 and restored it.

If you click on the Lenexa link, you will learn that Wild Bill Hickok got his start in law enforcement when he was elected constable of the Monticello township, which is now split between the cities of Lenexa and Shawnee.

Kansas may be flatter than a pancake, but this was the Wild West. If that seems incongruous to you, perhaps it's because the West was never really that Wild. New York City has always been much, much more dangerous.

Still Rumbling Along

I was looking for M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) Vehicles, and discovered we still use them. The M113 was introduced in 1960. Does the military ever throw anything away? They must, otherwise no Army surplus stores, yet my Air Force friend has told me of WWII C-Rations still being, err, consumed in the 70's.

Never Mind Patriotism, An Attempt At Objectivity Would Be Nice

Commentary Page gave us The Untouchable Chief of Baghdad, which shows that our press is not even trying to be objective. [About a month ago. Cleaning out your drafts? - ed Err, yes.]

Via Instapundit.

Brian Chontosh: A Reminder

Rich Lowry in National Review Online reminded me of a hero of the Iraqi campaign, Brian Chontosh. The fact that the media has ignored Lt. Chontosh's heroics shows that they don't have either the patriotism or the marketing savvy they should have. If Lt. Chontosh had shown such bravery in the Civil War, the Spanish American War or either World Wars he would be a household name by now. We hunger for heroes. The American media produces sympathetic victims instead.

If you cannot celebrate the heroism of our soldiers, if there is not a spark of hunger in your soul to celebrate that heroism, you aren't a patriot. You may be some other things that are quite wonderful, but a patriot, nope.

Friday, July 23, 2004

John Kerry Is Not A Catholic

In this old post, Rosemary Esmay points out that John Kerry is pro-abortion is spite of his belief that life starts at conception. As I understand his comments Kerry believes that, while life starts at conception, personhood starts at birth. This is not a principled, spiritual stand. It contradicts Catholic belief, which is that both life and personhood start at conception. Dad the Catholic Democrat marches against abortion every year, and I the Protestant Republican often stand with him, so I know there are pro-life Democrats. I think of all the Quakers, including those elected to office, who stood strong against slavery, risking their own lives running the Underground Railroad. Where is the principled sacrifice in Kerry's stance?

One difference between Bush and Kerry is that Bush clearly believes in God and wants to act on his beliefs. If Kerry didn't show up at Mass once a week I'd have no reason to believe that he is a Christian.

In the comments on Rose's site I try to get an abortion supporter (who thinks he's conflicted, but won't make one move against abortion, because he considers it a right) to discuss personhood. He dodges questions on the subject for the entire thread. I suppose if one admits that Africans are persons it makes owning them easier, but if they aren't persons a slavery supporter might be forced to change his mind. Better not to talk or think about it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Roosevelt's Secret Catalog

I asked Winchester to send me the owner's manual for the Winchester Model 25 Hammerless Repeating Shotgun which I inherited from my brother-in-law. When I got it, I was sure it was a notice telling me the manual was no longer available. Owner's manuals have certainly gotten thicker over the years.

The Model 25 was manufactured in between 1948 and 1954, if I recall correctly. The owner's manual is one sheet, printed front and back, with two columns on each page in large print. The last column is blank. There is nary a diagram nor a picture to be found, unless you count the Winchester logo. My current owner's manual for my Ruger Model 10/22 carbine is fifty-one pages, and littered with pictures and diagrams. Since my ignorance of pump shotguns is profound, I am rendered helpless by such timeless prose as this:
TO DISMOUNT PARTS ATTACHED TO BARREL - Remove magazine band screw and slide forward on barrel, remove Magazine Lock and screw in face of receiver, unscrew Magazine with action slide handle from receiver. Unscrew magazine plug screw and remove magazine plug-spring and follower. Unscrew action slide sleeve screw cap and pull off handle, slide magazine out of sleeve, be sure action slide spring is on rear side of stop collar on magazine. Assemble in reverse order.
Imagine my surprise about a week later when Winchester also sent me a copy of The Roosevelt's Secret Winchester 2004 Catalog, complete with diagrams of bullet drop and oodles of full color pictures, including the naughty bits like a close up of the Controlled Round Push Feed Bolt. My mouth is starting to water just writing about it...

Hey! That Package Is Marked Fragile!

Stanley Kurtz of National Review Online reviews the evidence from Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. The evidence is not conclusive, but it strongly suggests that persuading people that marriage has nothing to do with child-rearing is bad for the institution. That is a crucial point in the arguments people make in favor of same-sex marriage. I'd say that those who argue for civil unions and same sex marriage are destroying the village in order to save it. Take a gander at Stanley's evidence and reasoning. It may not persuade you, but I find it persuasive, and there are many who would agree with me. It's my society you are planning on changing, not just yours. I say we wait at least fifty years and watch those three countries carefully before we chance such destruction.

I Agree, It's Very Funny

Go watch (and listen to): This Land.

Via three-fourths of the blogosphere.

UPDATE: Changed the link. The old one ran out of bandwidth.

A Local Hero: Sgt. James "Gabe" Gough

The Johnson County Sun reports that Sgt. James "Gabe" Gough recently won The Bronze Star. Here's what he did:
One day after leaving a meeting with the mayor, Gough and his party came under fire from gunmen on rooftops on each side of the street.
The soldiers grabbed cover quickly, Gough said, but one of his fellows was shot twice in the calf in the middle of the street and was unable to walk.
Gough said he was going to get him, but was told to wait because enemy fire was too intense. Gough disobeyed that order, entered the street and helped his comrade walk to safety.
The bullets continued to rain down, striking the other soldier's canteen. Gough said he thought the injured man had been shot again and was afraid that he had been mortally wounded, so he was relieved to find they were soaked only with water and that his friend would survive.
Now note the modesty which is the hallmark of so many heroes:
For Gough it was the only thing to do.
"You know, when it comes down to thinking about giving your life for your friend, I don't think it takes a split second to make that decision," Gough said.
This wasn't his only time in action:
The other incident that helped earn Gough the Bronze Star occurred in Jaurfa'sukhr, a small town 45 minutes south of Baghdad.
Gough had already completed two missions that day, which had started at 3 a.m., and was assigned another late in the afternoon when a convoy had been ambushed and the another convey sent to assist them also came under attack.
After rendezvousing with the two ambushed convoys, the group was attacked a third time. The Humvee in front of Gough's was disabled by an improvised explosive device, and the convoy was forced to fight.
Gough said there was little alternative.
"You're just fighting to make it home," Gough said.
Thanks, Gabe. You've made us proud. (Note: The odd paragraph formatting is from the Sun web site.)

Monday, July 19, 2004

Political Honesty Exists

It seems Kansas Senator Nick Jordan of Shawnee, during a video-taped debate, accused his primary challenger, Lisa Benlon, of voting for concealed carry in 1999 (which would be good - ed.) when she was a Kansas State Representative. Benlon, who has always opposed concealed carry (which is bad - ed.), was stunned.  Jordan checked the record, discovered he was mistaken, called Benlon and apologized.  He taped a disclaimer, which was added to the videotape.  The debate will be shown on cable later this month.
 
Nick Jordan was Mrs. Wince's and my Senator when we lived in Shawnee.  He was an elder at Full Faith Church of Love there, which we attended for a time, and took over as senior pastor when the senior pastor ran off with his secretary.  Nick was a dark horse for that spot, but he lead the church through the difficult times which followed until a more experienced pastor took up the reins.  He was a good preacher, too.  Once his tenure there was done, he ran for office.
 
For the morbidly curious, our former senior pastor repented and has been reunited with his wife.  He went from being the senior pastor of a large church to the assistant pastor of a small one.
 
It is good to know honest men, including forgiven ones.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that Nick is a Republican. Anyone familiar with Johnson County Kansas politics would suspect this. The Democratic party is weak here. I can't remember a local Democratic primary with two candidates.

Via the Kansas City Star, Sunday, July 18, 2004. No link to be found.

The Moral Bankruptcy Of Abortion Is Revealed

Amy Richards describes, in her own words, why she killed two of her babies. Amy had an abortion earlier in her life.

Her words remind me of slave owners breaking up families to sell their property down river to pay off their gambliing debts, with no care for the lives destroyed.

Pro-abortion, pro-slavery. Same thing.

Via half the blogosphere.

Welcome to Eternity Road

Francis W. Porretto has started a blog called Eternity Road.  And he hasn't stopped writing essays.

Senator Edwards - A Double-Minded Man

Read this Edwards quote.  I don't know about Edwards's two Americas, but Edwards is clearly of two minds about the personhood of the unborn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

BLACKFIVE: Letter From Iraq - Army Engineer Officer's Candid Take on Iraq

Worth reading: BLACKFIVE: Letter From Iraq - Army Engineer Officer's Candid Take on Iraq

Now The Apologies Are Done

Ralph Stefan does a marvelous job fending off the Psychological Troop Abusers at Ara's place. I, on the other hand, lose my temper and decide to apologize.

I Will Read This

After I catch up on my apologies and sleep. Via Dean Esmay: Terrorism Unveiled: USMC Cobra Pilot's Story

Can Anarchy Work?

I was checking out Kevin's work at The Smallest Minority when I noticed he was having a discussion with John Lopez on how much government we should have. Kevin has additional follow up here, here, here, some counter-arguments here, and back over the net here.

Amazingly, Sofia Sideshow had a post on Bulgarian car insurance which I thought was related.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Regime Change: Required

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey revisit the necessity of regime change in Iraq, in The Reality of Saddam’s Threat on National Review Online.

The reality is that we had to deal with Saddam. He had adopted a strategy of keeping his research and development going while trying to get the sanctions shut down. Here's a sample:
Yet, the existence of this state of affairs in 2003 does not, contrary to the claims of the administration's critics, validate the wisdom of the U.N. sanctions/inspections strategy or demonstrate that the U.S.-preferred regime change strategy was unnecessary and unwise. To begin with, a "virtual" WMD strategy enabled Saddam to wait out the sanctions/inspections regime, which, by the late 1990s, was already beginning to break down — with claims (by France among others) that the innocent Iraqi people were suffering more than the guilty Saddam regime. It should be recalled that the administration's pre-September 11, 2001 efforts to bolster and "smarten" anti-Saddam sanctions were met with strong opposition from Russia, China and France, all of which were arguing that Iraq should be allowed to rejoin the international community as a normal sovereign state. There were no indications that those who have been critical of "regime change" as the most effective means for dealing with the threat posed by Saddam would have had the bureaucratic and political staying power of sustaining for years, and even decades, a policy of de facto international trusteeship, enforced by weapons inspectors, to be imposed over Iraq (as well as on other WMD-aspiring, rogue regimes).
In short, containment was turning into detente. And here's why WMD program related materials are important:
Significantly, this "just-in-time" approach to WMD deployment was no less dangerous, from the U.S. perspective, than possession of a WMD stockpile. At least with respect to chemical and biological agents, the most important assets appear to be the availability of suitable expertise and the necessary industrial base. Both of these Saddam had in plenty. Thus, a rogue state, capable of reconstituting its WMD arsenal at a time of its own choosing, poses as much of a threat as a regime with the WMD forces in being.
The authors go on to point out that the myth of perfect intelligence is extremely dangerous. Read the whole thing.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

How Jesus Might Respond To Abortion

Via marcland: A compassionate response to abortion. Do click on all the links (although I duplicate them here, except the first "Page Not Found"). The backstory is alarming, yet uplifting. The teacher's response is truly ennobling. Marc is right to praise this man. Boy does he grok Jesus.

I'm so glad Dean let Marc guest blog.

I Smell Smoke, Therefore Someone's Pants Must Be On Fire, Right?

Les Jones collects quotes from prominent Democrats in his article: Democrats Alleged Saddam Had WMDs, Supported Use of Force. Here's a sample:
"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.
According some of my Democrat friends these men are liars who should all be thrown out of their offices, at least if they fairly apply to them the same standards they apply to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc. But since those standards aren't fair, I predict the application won't be either.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Just One Percent

Would you donate 1% to save a life?

Not 1% of your money but 1% of your time?

You see, 9 months -- the time it takes a baby to grow to maturity in its mother's womb -- is just 1% of a woman's life expectancy. Just 1%. Can we not all donate 1% to see that a life is saved?

When a woman is shocked by an undesired pregnancy, it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the sudden surprise, the recognition of the long-term implications, the gravity of the situation. But if we can just look for a moment from the broader perspective of our lifetimes we can realize that this unexpected shock does not equal catastrophe. Women are strong, resilient, and used to fulfilling a wide variety of roles throughout their lives. Yes, donating 1% is a sacrifice. But not an unmanageable one.

And balance the sacrifice with the certain knowledge that there are literally thousands of couples vying desperately for the opportunity to provide the best home and upbringing possible to the child you bear. Every child is a very wanted child -- though it sometimes takes just a small amount of effort to locate the ones doing the wanting, by making a phone call or two to an adoption agency.

We do not need Supreme Court appointments to overturn abortion law (but I'll take 'em). We don't need more pro-life politicians (but I'll be voting for them). We need every woman and girl in America of child-bearing age, or who will one day be of child-bearing age, to decide in her heart and in her mind right here and right now that by whatever unforeseen circumstance she should find herself pregnant at a time when she does not want to be, she will follow through with the mere 1% required to save that life within her. Women and girls need to proclaim their bodies are a sanctuary, and they will not destroy any life found growing therein. No matter what.

Avoid pregnancy until you are ready. But if it occurs, spend 1% seeing it through to birth, and spend the rest of your life with the certain confidence that you did the right thing.