Heh. Just be aware that they "may be praying.." Much like the "six Imams" that were "praying" when they terrorized a flight last month. As I have said again and again, if you, as a Muslim, want the American people to stop eyeing you with suspicion, then you and your brethren will need to do something about those who use Islam as an excuse for perpetrating mass murder. It would also help if you quit acting like terrorists when you board an airliner. Don't ask for special treatment. Be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. You want us to view you as just another American? Then start acting like someone who's actually on the team.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. airport security screeners are getting "cultural sensitivity training" to help them understand the Islamic pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia that starts Thursday.
"We put out information telling everyone that hajj is coming," said U.S. Transportation Administration Spokesman Darrin Kayser, referring to the huge global gathering in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Kayser told the State Department News Service USINFO that the training, which he described as "refresher" briefings, would cover information like the dates of the pilgrimage; "individuals are going to be traveling with these types of items; just to be aware that they may also be praying," Kayser said, adding, "I guess you would call it cultural sensitivity training."
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 9:25 AM
Radio Interview about the Pendleton 8.
December 29: Coverups and Corruption
Written by Kit Jarrell 23 December 2006
Listen at 10 PM on Friday, 12-29-06.......
It’s my first show on BlogTalkRadio, and it’ll be absolute, MUST-listen radio! If you’ve followed the saga of the Pendleton 8 cover-up at Euphoric Reality, then you’re well aware of the lengths that certain folks have gone to in order to keep their dirty little secrets buried. But no more. We’re hitting the public.
The story we’re telling is beyond important, because it goes to the heart of the problem in the War on Terror: Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are being offered as sacrificial lambs for the political gain of those in power.
Do I agree with the War on Terror? Absolutely. I support the mission. However, the military justice system is broken. Instead of being a system for justice and integrity, a place where the innocent are exonerated and the guilty punished, it has become a place where the end is known before the first witness is called; the winners are the generals and admirals and attorneys.
The losers are the men who go out day after day and hold their fire when they’re shot at for fear that they will be charged with murder. Just in case you still don’t think what I’m talking about is really happening, allow me to tell you a story.
In 1990, the executive officer of the USS Mars was court-martialed and convicted of dereliction of duty. It was just another court-martial, another win to chalk up for military prosecutors–who have a 97% conviction rate. But this case was different. Even the prosecutor is on sworn record as saying there was not enough evidence for conviction.
We have hard copy proof of the following: The admiral who started the investigation against the XO not only ignored all evidence proving the XO innocent, but he actively engaged in unethical conduct throughout the investigation, Article 32, and trial.
In fact, this admiral named himself as the convening authority for the case and handpicked the jury from his own staff. The admiral’s Staff Judge Advocate, contrary to ethics and military law, continued to advise the admiral in secret throughout the case, even though he was the accuser against the XO. In one memo, he assures the admiral that “there is no copy of this memo” on his computer or in his office.
The Staff Judge Advocate also complained about the prosecutor on the case, claiming that he didn’t want to “win” bad enough. The defense attorney forged the XO’s name to an official Response to the Letter of Reprimand after the court-martial. The XO never even knew this document existed for years after, and yet the Navy maintains that the XO’s signature is real and that the document is a true and legal one. A handwriting expert, however, says that’s not true.
The NCIS is involved, as well, doing the bidding of those who stand to be embarrassed by the information coming out. Last year four NCIS agents showed up at the XO’s residence. The armed agents told him to leave the situation alone, to stop making waves or they’d have him arrested by the county sheriff. In the last few weeks, the Department of Homeland Security have been to the XO’s residence six times.
What does all this have to do with cases like the Pendleton 8? I’ll give you a hint. The head NCIS agent outside the XO’s home that day last year just happens to be the same man in charge of the investigation of the Pendleton 8.
This story has it all: lies, betrayal, treachery, and dishonor. I’ll be talking about it on the 29th, live. I will have Tim Harrington from the Warrior Fund with me, going over the piles of evidence implicating everyone from the former head of Combat Logistics Group One, all the way to members of the current Congress. And, we’ll be taking your calls.
This is not a show you can afford to miss…but if you do, the archive will be available both as streaming and download on BlogTalkRadio and at Euphoric Reality.
Stay tuned…this is about to be a hell of a ride.
Listen at 10PM on 12-29-06.......
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 6:53 AM
December 27, 2006If I get over 500 hits per week on this blog, would I then be considered one of the "accidental lobbyists? How about Captain's Quarters, which gets 500 hits in 15 minutes?
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid Plan to Silence Conservatives in Opening Days of the Next Congress
Dear fellow conservative:
Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and liberal Washington insiders plan to silence the conservative movement under the guise of lobbying reform unless we act fast.
In her “First 100 Hours” as Speaker, Pelosi plans to rush legislation written by liberal special interest groups such as Public Interest, Common Cause and others who brought us the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which regulates political contributions. The Pelosi/Reid plan would regulate speech to the general public. This is worse than McCain/Feingold!
The first or second conservative organization, group or individual to be fined or even subject to criminal penalties for failure to register or report will cause us to stop or at least pull our punches on what we say and do. This will effectively shut down the conservative movement, and the liberals know it.
The Pelosi/Reid plan is perhaps the most comprehensive regulation of political speech ever proposed, and would make small grassroots causes report quarterly to Congress the same as K Street lobbyists representing wealthy interests before Congress. Communications to as few as 500 citizens would trigger reporting under lobbying laws.
The reporting requirements and more severe penalties being written in response to recent congressional corruption scandals would apply to those who have no Washington lobbyists, who make no political contributions, and who do not provide gifts, travel or anything of value to politicians.
This is intended to cripple the conservative movement, for which the grassroots are our valuable – sometimes our only – means of affecting public policy.
Reid says he plans to introduce in the Senate the same bill that was passed in 2006. Senators Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin, co-sponsors of the Senate version in 2006, told America not to worry because the bill is targeted at only “paid efforts” to inform and motivate citizens to contact Congress on policy matters. Their bill doesn’t define “paid” except by excluding communications to fewer than 500 citizens, with no other conditions or qualifiers.
That, of course, means that your emails, blogs, editorial ads in newspapers, direct mail and other forms of the new and alternative media, regardless of costs, could trigger reporting and potential penalty (civil and even criminal) provisions.
Besides adding new, unprecedented reporting to Congress, the Pelosi/Reid bills provide loopholes so large corporations, labor unions and even foreign interests could spend hundreds of millions of dollars communicating to shareholders, officers, employees and members, yet still not report those expenditures the same as even the smallest, most financially burdened conservative causes and even individuals.
Many small, start-up and under-funded conservative causes and individuals will not be able to afford costs of quarterly compliance, so will not be able to engage in their communication efforts, or will face stiff fines and potential criminal penalties simply by engaging in First Amendment rights.
Critics who can afford to report quarterly to Congress, often the deserved object of grassroots criticism, will be under the thumb of lawmakers. That, in First Amendment terminology, would “chill” First Amendment rights, resulting in censorship of political speech.
This is why Pelosi, Reid and liberal Washington insiders want to regulate grassroots speech.
I am starting a new effort called GrassrootsFreedom.com to help organize the conservative movement on this one issue, and stop Pelosi, Reid and their liberal friends from silencing us.
We must flood Congress with petitions, emails and phone calls. We must also generate OpEds against this bill. We need to call into talk radio shows.
Mark Tapscott wrote an excellent piece for The Washington Examiner and Amanda Carpenter also wrote a brilliant piece for Human Events. I enclose copies for you, and you can link to these at: The Examiner, and at Human Events.
I also enclose a letter signed by 47 conservative and other leaders, such as Dave Keene, Paul Weyrich, Morton Blackwell and Don Wildmon to Public Citizen opposing this legislation. You can link to the letter at:
Remember, during the Clinton presidency the liberals made an attempt to silence conservative talk radio. Conservatives labeled that the “Hush Rush” bill. And if Pelosi and friends are successful in silencing the grassroots conservatives, you can fully expect their next target to be to abolish or at least cripple talk radio with the Fairness Doctrine to silence conservative talk radio.
Well, one NewsMax.com piece discusses how this new bill could even regulate and impede conservative talk radio. Link at:
We only have a few days to alert the entire conservative community. GrassrootsFreedom.com will be sending you more news, and will be helping lead the charge. Please get this information to your grassroots networks, and let’s stop Pelosi, Reid and the Washington Establishment from trying to silence us.
Richard A. Viguerie
P.S. GrassrootsFreedom.com will have more information, petitions, etc. up soon, and I would appreciate hearing back from you particularly describing any action you take to help stop this assault on our freedoms and the conservative movement in particular.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 5:51 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 1:23 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 12:15 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 8:09 AM
In 2001, Murtha announced the creation of Scialabba's nonprofit agency for the disabled in Johnstown, Pa. The next year, with Scialabba still on his staff, Murtha secured a half-million dollars for the group, the Pennsylvania Association for Individuals With Disabilities (PAID), and put another $150,000 in the pipeline for 2003, according to appropriations committee records and former committee aides. Since then, the group has helped hundreds of disabled people find work.To residents of PA-12, the Tribune-Democrat and others. You have helped to install a political majority whose ostensible aim is to clear up corruption in Washington, yet you have again elected a dinosaur politician who is the literal embodiment of that corruption!
But the group serves another function as well. PAID has become a gathering point for defense contractors and lobbyists with business before Murtha's defense appropriations subcommittee, and for Pennsylvania businesses and universities that have thrived on federal money obtained by Murtha.
Lobbyists and corporate officials serve as directors on the nonprofit group's board, where they help raise money and find jobs for Johnstown's disabled workers. Some of those lobbyists have served as intermediaries between the defense contractors and businessmen on the board, and Murtha and his aides.
That arrangement over the years has yielded millions of dollars in federal support for the contractors, businesses and universities, and hundreds of thousands in consulting and lobbying fees to Murtha's favored lobbying shops, according to Federal Election Commission records and lobbying disclosure forms. In turn, many of PAID's directors have kept Murtha's campaigns flush with cash.
But, yeah, I know--it's the pork, stupid:
In turn, the lobbyists and businesses associated with PAID have become supporters of Murtha's campaigns, contributing a total of nearly $125,000 in the past three election cycles, when Murtha raised a total of $7.2 million, according to campaign records. And those same players have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at three lobbying shops with close Murtha ties: the PMA Group, Scialabba's KSA Consulting and Ervin Technical Associates.But yeah, I know--it's the pork, stupid:
Under Murtha's watch, for instance, Windber Medical Center has been transformed from a struggling hospital outside of Johnstown into a burgeoning cancer research center, thriving on Defense Department funding. Hospital officials have paid the PMA Group some $380,000 in lobbying fees since signing on in 2001. And hospital employees have financed Murtha's political campaigns to the tune of nearly $25,000.So, you wanna clean up Washington, eh? Did you ever stop to think that all the pork that Murtha's sending your way is the same money that comes out of your paycheck???? That you're being robbed blind by a Machiavellian fat-cat middleman who empties your wallet and continues to tell you it's a good thing while pissing all over your leg?
But Yeah, yeah I know... it's the pork, stupid:
Yeah, yeah, I know. It's the pork, stupid.
After PAID's founding, Scialabba approached Kuchera to get involved. Kuchera jumped, not only joining the group's board but ramping up hiring of disabled workers, who now compose a third of the 200 employees in his company's defense business. The federal government picked up Kuchera's $7 million training bill. This year, Murtha earmarked $1.3 million for Kuchera's chemical and biological weapons detection research.
Kuchera employees donated more than $31,000 to Murtha in the past three election campaigns, according to federal election records. Between 1990 and 2000, contributions totaled $1,000. And congressional lobbying disclosure forms tally $140,000 in payments since 2001 from Kuchera to Ervin Technical Associates, whose chairman is former representative Joseph M. McDade (R-Pa.), a close Murtha ally.
Well, as Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as stupid does."
Congratulations, PA-12. At least for the next two years, you have become stuck on stupid.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 8:08 AM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 9:10 PM
KABUL, Afghanistan — A top Taliban military commander described as a close associate of Usama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar was killed in an airstrike this week close to the border with Pakistan, the U.S. military said Saturday.Enjoy your afterlife, Osmani.
Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani was killed Tuesday by a U.S. airstrike while traveling by vehicle in a deserted area in the southern province of Helmand, the U.S. military said.
Osmani was the Taliban's chief military commander in southern Afghanistan and played a "central role in facilitating terrorist operations" including roadside bombs, suicide attacks and kidnappings, the U.S. said.
He was part of a group of "co-equals" at the top of the Taliban leadership chain just under Omar, U.S. military spokesman Col. Tom Collins said.
"This guy had been deeply involved in terrorist acts against the people of Afghanistan, NATO and the government," Collins said. "He was a top commander of Taliban operations in the south and now he's no more."
Osmani was also in charge of the Taliban's finances, Collins said.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 9:05 AM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 11:17 PM
At issue were three television and radio ads that Wisconsin Right to Life aired in 2004.This is huge. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act is, IMO, in direct violation of our First Amendment right to freedom of political speech at its most basic level. The FEC, on behalf of McCain-Feingold, argued that the ads were "a thinly disguised attempt" to influence the 2004 election. The federal court disagreed. But even if they were attempts to influence the election, what of it? Do we now live in a nation where the First Amendment has become irrelevant in the very process which ensures governance by the people and for the people?
The ads informed the public that U.S. senators were filibustering President Bush's conservative judicial nominees, and the ads asked viewers to urge Sens. Russ Feingold and Herbert Kohl (Wisconsin Democrats) to oppose the filibusters.
Wisconsin Right to Life filed a motion to air the ads within 30 days of the Wisconsin primary election.
The McCain/Feingold law established a blackout period 30 days prior to a primary election and 60 days prior to a general election where groups may not mention the name of a candidate on the ballot. In 2004, Senator Feingold was on the primary election ballot.
"Wisconsin Right to Life successfully argued that grassroots lobbying ads which do not mention or refer to elections should be allowed to be aired as a free speech right protected by the First Amendment, and the court agreed," said Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
"One of the most basic rights enjoyed by our democracy is one which allows citizen groups to petition the government on issues of public interest. It is extremely gratifying to know that our courts are willing to protect such a basic right," she added.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 9:59 AM
Inspector General Paul Brachfeld reported that National Archives employees spotted Berger bending down and fiddling with something white around his ankles.Err... excuse me, Mr. Burglar...errr.. Burger... are those documents in your pockets, or are you just happy to see us?
The employees did not feel at the time there was enough information to confront someone of Berger's stature, the report said.
Later, when Berger was confronted by Archives officials about the missing documents, he lied by saying he did not take them, the report said.
Brachfeld's report included an investigator's notes, taken during an interview with Berger. The notes dramatically described Berger's removal of documents during an Oct. 2, 2003, visit to the Archives.
Berger took a break to go outside without an escort while it was dark. He had taken four documents in his pockets.
"He headed toward a construction area. ... Mr. Berger looked up and down the street, up into the windows of the Archives and the DOJ (Department of Justice), and did not see anyone," the interview notes said.
He then slid the documents under a construction trailer, according to the inspector general. Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.
"He was aware of the risk he was taking," the inspector general's notes said. Berger then returned to the Archives building without fearing the documents would slip out of his pockets or that staff would notice that his pockets were bulging.
So, ya think that the linguini-spined Republicans will call for a special prosecutor to see just what national security secrets were compromised?
The notes said that Berger had "destroyed, cut into small pieces, three of the four documents. These were put in the trash."
After the trash had been picked up, Berger "tried to find the trash collector but had no luck," the notes said.
Significant portions of the inspector general's report were redacted to protect privacy or national security.
Don't hold your breath.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 7:28 PM
I always love it when a terrorist-loving, American Armed forces-hating lib gets his ass handed to him on a silver platter. Our son is in the Guards, and has been in the thick of combat since arriving in Iraq this past March.
Matthews: "Do we have the troops to dramatically increase our complement of troops in Iraq, sir?"
Punaro: "Absolutely. Between our active military and the number of troops we have in the Guard and Reserve, should the Commander-in-Chief, on the advice of the combatant commanders in the field and with the concurrence of the Congress make the decision that we want to increase the size of the force in Iraq, we certainly have the ability to surge those forces."
Whoops! Matthews tried a tactical retreat, thinking he might achieve his goal by denigrating the abilities of the non-active military: "What about the National Guard people and the Reservists, are they the kind of people it's appropriate to send into house-to-house combat in the middle of that huge city of Baghdad, where they'll be getting shot at every moment and where they'll be killing Arabs. Is that the right place for them?"
Again, the Major General wouldn't sing Matthews's song: "First of all, over 550,000 Guard and Reserve personnel have been mobilized since 9-11. Many of them have served extensive tours in Iraq and Aghanistan. They've been side-by-side with their active components. They've been in the thick of the combat. The Marine Corps and Army ground forces are trained the same as their active duty counterparts. They're every bit as capable of closing with and destroying the enemy as their active counterparts."
Matthews gave it one last try: "And you believe that's an appropriate use of Guardspeople to put them into house-to-house like we're talking about? We're talking about going in and cleaning out Baghdad, something that the Iraqi forces haven't been able to do, that the 17,000 regular Army and Marine forces haven't been able to do. You're saying throw in the National Guard to do it?"
Punaro: "Well the question you first asked was are they capable of carrying out those kind of missions, and the answer is 'yes'."
Surge that, Chris.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 4:42 PM
A U.S. Islamic advocacy group Tuesday called on the country's largest retailer to stop selling a video game it says glorifies religious violence and could negatively affect interfaith relations.Ahhhh... now we get to the meat of the matter.
The game, "Left Behind: Eternal Forces," is described on the game's website as a real-time strategy game based on the best-selling book series "Left Behind."
It allows gamers to "join the ultimate fight of good against evil, commanding Tribulation Forces or the Global Community Peacekeepers, and uncover the truth about the worldwide disappearances" - a reference to the end-time rapture.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which says it received complaints about the game, charged that players are rewarded for either converting or killing people of other faiths.
In a letter to H. Lee Scott Jr., CEO of Wal-Mart, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said the game was promoting a message of "religious intolerance."
"The game's enemy team includes people with Muslim-sounding names," Awad said, urging Scott not to sell the game.
Frichner said CAIR's stance was "based on hearsay."Of course, I haven't heard CAIR or any other of the anti-Christian zealots caterwalling about this game or this game. The anti-Christian bigots are perfectly fine with a steady diet of porn and/or violence. But a Christian-based game??? Why that's just over the top!
He acknowledged that in the "Left Behind" book series the Tribulation Forces are Christians but said that was not mentioned anywhere in the game.
Frichner said the game encourages players to avoid conflict, because "if you end up having to defend yourself ... you actually are penalized as well."
"So it's really just the complete opposite of what people have written and reported about."
On the "convert or die" allegation, Frichner said there was no element of people of other faiths being forced to convert to Christianity or die.
The game called for people to join the Tribulation Force rather than die at the hands of the anti-Christ. "You're trying to save other people from that and ultimate judgment by God," he said.
Consumers who have bought the game love it, he said, because they can play it with their kids instead of "all the yuck that's out there."So, even if you're not into video games, why not go to your local Wal-Mart and purchase this one (and thank them for carrying it, for that matter).
Frichner charged that there was a "religiously motivated bias" in calls to boycott the game. Those pushing for a boycott were not boycotting other games - even though there were "some terrible games out there."
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 11:50 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 11:21 PM
New Zawahiri video expected within 72 hrsTo tell you the truth, outside of informing us of his intentions of gorging himself to death on camel manure, or of sucking the exhaust out of a humvee, I couldn't give a flying crap in a rolling donut what Zawahiri has to say. But, given that Señor Scumwad has gone through all the trouble of making a video to send out a "message of love" to the masses, the least I could do would be to respond in kind.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Analysts who monitor jihadi web sites say a new video message from al-Qaida's number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri is expected within the next few days.
Al-Qaida's audio-visual distribution arm, the As-Sahab Media Institute announced the upcoming release of the new video Monday, saying it was titled "The Facts behind the Conflict between Islam and Non-Belief."
"May the fleas of 10,000 camels infest your groin area. May you die a slow, excruciatingly painful death, entrapped in a vat of porcine-variety entrails. May each of your "72 virgins" weigh over three bills; be nicknamed "Bubba," be forever horny, call you "bitch," and think you have a "purty mouth."
BTW--your "god" sucks.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 5:55 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 5:46 PM
December 7,After reading this correspondence, I felt compelled to respond:
Mr. Leo Pusateri
Dear Mr. Pusateri:
Thank you for writing to me about the botched
joke about President Bush I made on October
30th. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify
First, it was a dumb joke and I slipped up,
dropped a couple words, and made it worse. I
take responsibility for my misstatement.
I still believe this Administration didn't do
its homework before going to war and didn't
study the lessons of history. But I shouldn't
have made a joke about it.
First and foremost, I regret that the men and
women of our military were swept into the
political spin storm that followed my
misspoken joke. The White House and their
allies spent a lot of time and energy trying
to convince our troops that I meant to insult
American troops have done a remarkable job in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and all of America
should be proud of their selfless service to
our country. I have had the opportunity to
visit with our soldiers abroad and was always
impressed by their high level of
professionalism, dedication and skill.
As a combat veteran, I was dismayed that my
misspoken joke about the President was taken
as an insult to our troops. I would never
intend to do anything but praise our troops.
My poorly stated joke was not about and never
intended to refer to any service member. I
personally apologize to any service member,
family member, or American who was offended.
I was also disappointed that my comments
detracted from the real tragedy; the
inadequate planning for the war, insufficient
body armor, and no real plan for success. I
will not be dissuaded from pressuring the
Administration to find a direction in Iraq to
get the policy fixed and bring our troops
home from an Iraq that's stable.
Thank you again for writing me with your
concerns. Be assured that I am committed to
our troops and their families, and will
continue fighting for their safety and well
John F. Kerry
United States Senator
Dear Senator Kerry:
Thank you for response.
I wish that I could tell you that I accept your "apology," but I could not begin to do that in good conscience. For to accept an apology is to accept the notion that the person making that apology is sincere.
Your insincerity is apparent immediately at the outset of your correspondence. You continue to maintain that the incident in question was a "botched joke." Mr. Kerry, if you had a history of true support for our troops, I may accept that explanation at face value; but your very history, both short- and long term, screams otherwise. Rather than support our troops, you are someone who has repeated ad nauseum that their mission has been a mistake (at least as soon as you found it politically advantageous to do so). Given also the grave disservice you did to our brave Vietnam veterans during your "Winter Soldier" testimony, I have no choice but to question the veracity and depth of your alleged sincerity.
I have seen the videotape of your "botched joke." Usually, when one tells a "botched joke," especially one so potentially damaging, one usually gets a sheepish look on one's face; and in recognizing the folly takes immediate measures to correct the verbiage on the spot. What I saw on the video was a man who told a joke, smiled, and waited for rimshot laughter connected to the punchline (laughter which, thankfully, never came). No attempt was made to correct nor clarify. While I have no doubt that the dearth of positive accolades in response to your "botched joke" made for an awkward moment, I nonetheless am led to believe that you meant every word you said.
To add insult to injury, you continue in your correspondence to perpetuate your disingenuousness and condescension by blaming the Bush administration for our troops' justified reaction to your "botched joke." Our troops (inclulding my son) are more intelligent and independent-minded than you think, Mr. Kerry. Make no mistake. In staging the now-infamous "Halp us Jon Carry" sign viewed 'round the world, our troops read your comments (and your sentiments) loud and clear.
You speak of the "real tragedy" of the Iraq war. Yes, in every war, tragedies happen. I have wept at the funerals of brave, young soldiers from my son's outfit who have made the ultimate sacrifice for a cause in which they believed; a cause that they were more than willing to die for.
Make no mistake; those are tragedies. But with respect to being an American, the "real tragedy" of this war is the fact that you, Jack Murtha, and other elected representatives of the People of the United States of America continue to dishonor our soldiers' efforts for reasons of political gain; and in doing so, give aid and comfort to our enemies. You have not once, to my knowledge, gone out of your way to proclaim any good that is being done in Iraq. Not once did I hear you talk about new schools being built. Not once did I hear you talk about new hospitals being built; or of infrastructure being not only replaced, but improved upon. Not even once did I hear you talk about any soldiers who heroically saved an Iraqi family from attack, or saved their platoon from slaughter, although such stories are no doubt legion. Rather, in your arrogance, you choose to portray them as "terrorizing Iraqi women and children in the dead of night."
Mr. Kerry, until this past year, never in my life would I have thought that I would live to see the day when elected officials would, during wartime, so cavalierly, publicly and seditiously go out of their way to speak ill of our soldiers' mission; while in the same vile sentences have the unmitigated gall to proclaim that they "support the troops."
Freedom of Political Speech, a gift given us not only by our Founding Fathers, but by the lifeblood of every Soldier, Sailor and Marine since the founding of our Nation, is a multi-edged sword that can cut in varying directions. A prudent, judicious American will recognize that with such an awesome freedom, comes an equally awesome responsibility to use it wisely. You sir, have wielded it with a reckless abandon befitting not a statesman, but a brigand.
Once again, Senator Kerry, at the very least, I wish to thank you for taking the time to respond to my correspondence. But accept your apology?
Thanks, but no thanks.
Leo J. Pusateri
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 8:41 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 4:52 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 6:17 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 10:44 PM
Esther Medley of Centralia is legally blind, but when she bowls she can glimpse a bit of the floor to line up with the lane.Ninety four years old? Legally blind? Bowling 244?
Medley, 94, can't see straight ahead, so her 86-year-old husband Ralph tells her which pins are left after her first ball.
That's how Medley recently bowled a score of 244, which included eight strikes, at Fairway Lanes in Centralia. It was the second-highest score of the year for her league.The Medleys have been bowling in the senior league since 1979.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 11:07 PM
The Palm Beach Post yesterday had an editorial that chided U.S. Airways for its treatment of the "six Imams":
US Airways is standing by the decision of one of its crews to kick six Muslim clerics off a flight last week in Minneapolis because some passengers believed that the men behaved suspiciously.These weren't Roman Catholic nuns fiddling with rosaries. As a matter of fact:
Some details about the incident remain murky, but two points are clear: More than five years after 9/11, Americans still have little confidence in how the government screens fliers; and Americans know so little about Islam, and are so quick to reach for the worst stereotypes, that even acts of prayer can take on sinister interpretations.
By most accounts, the six bearded men were behaving suspiciously at a time when airports were on high alert for sky terror during the holidays. "There were a number of things that gave the flight crew pause," an airline spokesman said. According to witnesses and police reports, the men:Hardly just "praying" now, were they? It remains unbelievable that, after having lived through the events of 9/11, not to mention the first WTC bombing in 1993, a newspaper editorial board would pretend like a similar event perpetrated by like-minded people could never happen again:
• Made anti-American statements.
• Made a scene of praying and chanting "Allah."
• Asked for seat-belt extensions even though a flight attendant thought they didn't need them.
• Refused requests by the pilot to disembark for more screening.
Also, three of the men had only one-way tickets and no checked baggage.
Given the heightened screening procedures in recent months, it's hard to imagine what plausible threat the six men - one of whom is blind - posed to the other 140 people aboard the plane.And it is even more difficult to imagine that an editorial board of a newspaper that was in existence during 1993 has so conveniently forgotten that it was a "blind sheikh" who masterminded the 1993 WTC bombings, among other atrocities, both planned and carried out.
In terms of subtlety, the imams' behavior was hardly something out of the terrorism playbook. Their public expression of faith was also an expression of innocence that some passengers chose to ignore.Again, their public expression of faith was not the main concern here (although admittedly, public expressions of faith have been known to be in quite a few terrorism playbooks). it was their expression of faith, coupled with failing to sit in assigned seats, taking no luggage on the plane, spouting anti-American rhetoric--well-- you do the math. Not to mention:
"Omar Shahin is one of the imams removed from a flight in Minneapolis. He was involved with Kind Hearts, which has been closed down for its connections to Hamas. He also acknowledged a connection to Osama bin Laden in the 1990s in a September 28, 2001 story in the Arizona Republic."
But that still doesn't seem to be good enough for the likes of the self-righteous, pompous elites at the Palm Beach Post; who, if all indications are correct, would rather see another September 11th occur than offend the sensiblities of a few suspicious-acting Imams with a history of terrorist involvements.
I personally took the time today to email U.S. Air, to praise them for their courage (it took a lot of it in the face of today's politically-correct climate), and for putting customer safety above all else. I also let them know in no uncertain terms that the next time I fly, it will be on their airline.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 7:16 PM
[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots. But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.
Eighty-five times he
's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he 's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.
's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right? U.S.
And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in
, 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs. , Winchester Mass.
'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;" Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."
But the Hoyts weren
't buying it. They noticed the way Rick 's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told. "There Tufts University 's nothing going on in his brain."
"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.
Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."
That day changed Rick
's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn 't disabled anymore!"
And that sentence changed Dick
's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren
't quite a single runner, and they weren 't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for the following year. Boston
Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"
's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn 't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.
've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don Hawaii 't you think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you
'd do on your own? "No way," he says.
Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon , in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time
'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don 't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.
"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn
't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would 've died 15 years ago."
So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in
, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Boston , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father , Holland Massachusetts 's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.
"The thing I
'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once. ' '
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 6:49 PM
Thomas Sowell delves into that question in today's piece on National Review Online:
One of the most pervasive political visions of our time is the vision of liberals as compassionate and conservatives as less caring. It is liberals who advocate "forgiveness" of loans to third-world countries, a "living wage" for the poor and a "safety net" for all.Some interesting factoids that I knew but liberals continue to deny:
But these are all government policies — not individual acts of compassion — and the actual empirical consequences of such policies are of remarkably little interest to those who advocate them. Depending on what those consequences are, there may be good reasons to oppose them, so being for or against these policies may tell us nothing about who is compassionate or caring and who is not.
A new book, titled Who Really Cares by Arthur C. Brooks examines the actual behavior of liberals and conservatives when it comes to donating their own time, money, or blood for the benefit of others. It is remarkable that beliefs on this subject should have become conventional, if not set in concrete, for decades before anyone bothered to check these beliefs against facts.
People who identify themselves as conservatives donate money to charity more often than people who identify themselves as liberals. They donate more money and a higher percentage of their incomes.Sowell has his theories of why this is so:
It is not that conservatives have more money. Liberal families average 6 percent higher incomes than conservative families. You may recall a flap during the 2000 election campaign when the fact came out that Al Gore donated a smaller percentage of his income to charity than the national average. That was perfectly consistent with his liberalism.
So is the fact that most of the states that voted for John Kerry during the 2004 election donated a lower percentage of their incomes to charity than the states that voted for George W. Bush.
Conservatives not only donate more money to charity than liberals do, conservatives volunteer more time as well. More conservatives than liberals also donate blood.
According to Professor Brooks: "If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply of the United States would jump about 45 percent."
Professor Brooks admits that the facts he uncovered were the opposite of what he expected to find — so much so that he went back and checked these facts again, to make sure there was no mistake.
What is the reason why some people are liberals and others are conservatives, if it is not that liberals are more compassionate?It is my theory that liberals, being the dependency-driven people that they are, expect the government to tow the line when it comes to charity; thus easing themselves of the burden. Satisfied that "the government will provide," they are content to rely on the producers/taxpayers of this country to do the heavy lifting (as long as it isn't them, as Mark's piece on Warren Buffet, et. al, will attest). Even rich trust-fund liberals like Ted Kennedy, Al Gore and "Jon Carry" are willing to let others lift the load when it comes to assisting those who are less fortunate.
Fundamental differences in ideology go back to fundamental assumptions about human nature. Based on one set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a liberal. Based on a different set of assumptions, it makes perfect sense to be a conservative.
The two visions are not completely symmetrical, however. For at least two centuries, the vision of the left has included a belief that those with that vision are morally superior, more caring and more compassionate.
While both sides argue that their opponents are mistaken, those on the left have declared their opponents to be not merely in error but morally flawed as well. So the idea that liberals are more caring and compassionate goes with the territory, whether or not it fits the facts.
Unquestioning loyalty no longer an option
Mr. Sowell's opening line in the article says it all; not only regarding liberals and their lack of generosity, but of liberal dogma in general:
More frightening than any particular beliefs or policies is an utter lack of any sense of a need to test those beliefs and policies against hard evidence. Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts but dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.Although Sowell no doubt has it correct, I would add that liberals heretofore had not felt the need to test the veracity of their dogma; for they had long had the luxury of their fellow travellers in the media unquestioningly parroting their tenets; devoid of truth as they were. So accustomed have the old guard liberals become to this past media complacency, that they make the mistake of continuing to think it exists to this day, and to the same degree.
This is more than reflected in Rangel's insistence that an overrepresented majority of soldiers joined the Armed Services due to lack of opportunity, despite mounds of evidence to the contrary. Why would Rangel make such an assertion in the face of so much contradictory evidence? It is my sincere belief that Rangel and other liberal democrats, for many years assuaged in the comfort of having their dogma unquestioned by an adoring media, continue to operate in that mode; while completely forgetting and/or ignoring the presence of talk radio and the blogosphere.
They will no doubt continue to do so at their own peril.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 7:05 AM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 10:59 PM
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 10:28 PM
Now I can't say for sure, but it's something how this guy would be that upset over "paying for a barbaric war" and to "finance the mass murder of innocent civilians;" and yet he probably wouldn't have thought twice about ponying up to the trough that has funded the murder of innocent, yet-to-be born human beings to the tune of millions. And it would also be a safe bet that this felt had not one iota of shame for the publicly-funded mayhem caused in what should have been the safety of a mother's womb, to the most innocent of all innocent beings.
Protester immolation virtually unnoticed
By ASHLEY M. HEHER
Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) -- Malachi Ritscher envisioned his death as one full of purpose.
He carefully planned the details, mailed a copy of his apartment key to a friend, created to-do lists for his family. On his Web site, the 52-year-old experimental musician who'd fought with depression even penned his obituary.
At 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 - four days before an election caused a seismic shift in Washington politics - Ritscher, a frequent anti-war protester, stood by an off-ramp in downtown Chicago near a statue of a giant flame, set up a video camera, doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire.
Aglow for the crush of morning commuters, his flaming body was supposed to be a call to the nation, a symbol of his rage and discontent with the U.S. war in Iraq.
"Here is the statement I want to make: if I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country," he wrote in his suicide note. "... If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country."
There was only one problem: No one was listening.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 6:05 PM
Prayers are in order, here.
RED LAKE, Minn. (AP) -- Dozens of trained searchers took to the woods, lakes and air Friday to continue the search for two young brothers who had gone missing two days earlier from the remote Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota.
Alicia White - the mother of Tristan Anthony White, 4, and Avery Lee Stately, 2 - appealed for anyone who knows or has seen anything to come forward.
"They were just playing outside the last time I seen them, just playing outside," she told reporters.
The boys disappeared from a yard in a heavily wooded area in the town of Red Lake.
FBI Special Agent Paul McCabe said authorities are trying to determine whether the boys wandered off or foul play was involved. "We don't have any information that would lead us either way," he said.
Tristan has a medical condition that requires medication, and he didn't take it Wednesday morning, White said. He "loves water" and had wandered off before, "but we always found him. This is the first time we didn't find him."
Family members said they were preparing for the worst because it's been cold and searchers have found nothing since the boys disappeared Wednesday. Temperatures reached the mid-40s Friday afternoon and were expected to drop below freezing overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 12:25 AM
But never let a simple issue like "presumption of innocence" get in the way of a heretofore obscure dinosaur of a politician's ambitions. Murtha proclaimed Sharratt, Wuterich, and other Marines in their outfit guilty of a "crime" before any formal investigation had take place; before any charges were filed (they have yet to be filed); even before he had read any reports on the matter. Murtha's unfounded public pronouncement of guilt led the Haditha Marines to be found guilty in the court of public and world opinion, as well.
WASHINGTON - Darryl Sharratt often breaks into tears when trying to start sentences that include the word ``Al-Hadithah.'' A stoic Pennsylvania foreman, he struggles with painful concepts such as betrayal and helplessness. His wife, Theresa, puts her hand on his shoulder and tries to talk through the anguish.
``I love my son. He's my hero,'' Theresa Sharratt says calmly. ``He's not what they're portraying him as. I can't believe that this is happening to us. To him.''
Their son is Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt, a 22-year-old Marine who had dreamed his entire life of joining the military. Now the Sharratts are fighting to preserve his reputation, as he is one of a handful of Marines who are being investigated over the slayings of two dozen Iraqi civilians Nov. 19, 2005.
The Sharratts have remained silent until now because they did not know what to say. They have avoided learning details of their son's possible involvement in the shootings while they have struggled to understand what might have happened in a war zone thousands of miles away. They have privately fumed about politicians -- such as Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa. -- who have publicly stated that their son was part of a brutal, vengeful slaughter. They are livid that no one in the Marine Corps has stepped forward to defend their son.
``He's very confident he did nothing wrong, and we believe him,'' Theresa Sharratt said in a recent interview in the family home in Canonsburg, Pa. Her husband wiped his eyes and added: ``He felt he was doing his job. And, now, the Marine Corps has betrayed these guys. All of them.''
The incident in Al-Hadithah was not widely known until the past spring, when Time magazine wrote an account of the civilian deaths in a small group of homes in the insurgent hotbed. Early reports alleged that Marines with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, snapped after a member of their unit was killed by a roadside bomb, sending them on a rampage through nearby homes. There also were allegations of a coverup.
Attorneys for the Marines -- including Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the most senior non-commissioned officer at the scene of the shootings -- have said repeatedly that their clients followed the appropriate rules of engagement and killed the civilians as they were hunting insurgents responsible for the roadside bombing and for a volley of shots from what the Marines believed were AK-47 assault rifles.
``They responded the way they were trained,'' said Jack Zimmerman, an attorney for Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, 25, who officials think was one of the Marines who fired shots.
Posted by Leo Pusateri at 7:14 PM
Glenn Reynolds says, "psycho who?"
"When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money."(MN Rep. Cy Thao, DFL 65-A)
"Teacher says, everytime a bell rings, another democrat wants to raise your taxes."-Zuzu Bailey-