Wednesday, January 31, 2007

WIN THE WAR signs in SWAC area

WIN THE WAR signs are going up in Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, Albemarle County, and Lexington/Rockbridge County areas, and we've had inquiries from folks in Tennessee and other areas.

We've heard comments such as, "We've been waiting for something like this." We delivered signs yesterday to military families including one whose Marine son is heading to Iraq for the third time. Other signs are going to folks in the community who want to show support for our Troops, our President, and our Country.

CANDLES IN THE WINDOWS: Don't forget to put an electric candle in the window to show support for our troops and to thank them for their sacrifice for our freedoms.

Build morale on the homefront and on the battlefield. Spread the word ... START A TREND!

In Memory of Jason Redifer, USMC ... Semper Fi

"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless
coward, and freedom will be defended."
-- President George W. Bush, 9/11/01

In Memory of

Lance Corporal Jason Redifer
First Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Alpha Company
from Augusta County, Virginia

Killed in Action in Iraq two years ago today
January 31, 2005

"If our country does not lead the cause for freedom
it will not be led."
-- President George W. Bush

Semper Fi.

An American Marine.... Jason Redifer was just 19 years old when he was killed in action in Operation Iraqi Freedom ... battling the terrorists there ... instead of here ... protecting the freedoms we all enjoy every day of our lives. His death occurred just one day after Iraq's successful free elections in January 2005.

He had grown up on Twin Springs Farm in Stuarts Draft and was a self-described cowboy who loved God, family, and America ... in that order. He rode horses; he worked the farm; he had many friends, and he loved his brothers: Sgt. Justin Redifer, 23, a military policeman in the Army scheduled to deploy to Iraq in March and a part of SWAC since the George Bush campaign in 2004; and the little guys Courtland, 10; and Carter, 8.

Jason graduated from Stuart Hall School in May 2003 and left for Marine boot camp three days later. His bunk mate was fellow Augusta County native Ben Rexrode who recently returned from Iraq.

Jason was chosen to be part of the elite White House Presidential Guard in Washington D.C. But he didn't feel right doing that ... and decided he would go to Iraq so a husband or father wouldn't have to leave a family behind.

In July 2004, Jason went to Iraq. He was impressed by the kindness of the Iraqi people who were grateful to the American Marines and invited them into their homes. He connected with the children. He kept pictures of his family in his camouflage helmet.

He survived six IED (improvised explosive device) explosions ... before the one that killed him nine days before he was scheduled to leave Iraq and return to the States. He had called and talked with his mother at 4:00 that morning ... just two hours before his death.

Jason's funeral had an overflow of family, young people, veterans, friends, and strangers at Calvary Methodist Church in Stuarts Draft on a balmy mid-winter day. His flag-draped casket at the front of the church was surrounded by the things that had made up Jason's life: his cowboy boots, a rocking chair with a fishing pole leaning against it and his black cowboy hat hanging on the back, Marine uniform, flak jacket, camouflage combat helmet, work boots....

He had chosen three songs "just in case" -- God Bless the USA, The Dance, and Go Rest High on That Mountain, the song by Vince Gill.

Jason's burial was at Arlington National Cemetery the next day. A poignant picture in the newspaper showed a Marine in dress blues handing the tri-fold American flag to his mother ... and she with her hand touching the Marine's face comforting him because, as she later said, his eyes reflected such deep sadness that she instinctively reached out to him.

In Stuarts Draft there's a flag pole dedicated to Jason. It stands on a small knoll with benches and plants surrounding it. It's a peaceful area where the wind almost always blows, where the view of the mountains and countryside is beautiful and serene. And overwhelming. The presence of Jason seems to be there.

Today, as you drive to work ... or watch your child skip through the front door at school ... or run errands around town, pause to utter thanks for young men like Jason who feel the call to serve our country and protect our freedoms. They have made the ultimate sacrifice for us. And pause to thank their families who also have made that sacrifice ... and for a strong leader like President Bush whose concern is the protection of the American people in this time of war.

Take a moment to thank that Marine ... soldier ... sailor ... and airman who passes you on the street ... that police officer, fireman, rescue worker who protects us on the home front. May God bless the U.S.A.

"We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail."
-- President George W. Bush

For those who have fought for it,
Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Support the Troops: Bachelors' auction for Bunky

Supporting the Troops ...

includes supporting those who come home wounded

"Men With a Heart" Bachelor Auction
Bunky's Friends for Sale!
To benefit Sgt. Arthur "Bunky" Woods
Saturday, February 10, 2007
6:30 p.m.
Front Royal Fire Hall
Tom Eshelman, Auctioneer

About Bunky:
Sgt. Arthur “Bunky” Leo Woods IV graduated from Warren County High School in 2001 and enlisted in the Army. His goal was to complete his 4 years of service with the military and then attend Virginia Tech to obtain a degree in Landscape Architecture and return to Front Royal, VA, to pursue his career. When his tour of duty was up, the Army had issued a stop loss order until August 2007. Always the one to make the best of a situation, Sgt. Woods chose to attend Army Ranger School and became an assault team leader for the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division.

Sgt. Woods was near the end of his second tour of duty in Iraq and due to return to Fort Campbell in November when he was shot by a sniper on August 26, 2006. The bullet entered the back of his neck on the right side and made a diagonal cut through and came out the left jawbone. He had emergency surgery in Iraq to reconstruct his left jawbone, and to repair his esophagus and pharynx. At Walter Reed Army Medical Center he had spine-stabilizing surgery. Although the bullet did not sever the spinal cord, it caused traumatic injury to his spine and he is currently paralyzed from the neck down. He is in rehabilitation in Richmond at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center.

Sgt. Woods was applying for early release from the army so that he could attend the fall 2007 semester at Virginia Tech. The sniper's bullet changed all that.

Described by his friends as one of the toughest individuals they know, both in ability and personal determination, they are hoping that he will regain the use of his limbs. That outcome, they say, is in the hands of Bunky, the doctors, and God.

Bunky has also been described by his friends as the person they most respect. It is that respect and friendship that has motivated them to do the best they can for him. The “Men With a Heart” Bachelor Auction is their way to raise funds to assist Bunky and his family in the many expenses involved with his recovery and care. The biggest expense will be the purchase of a van that can be equipped with a wheelchair lift and, second, the renovation of his dad’s house to make the bathroom handicapped equipped and a wheelchair ramp from the driveway to the house.

Bunky’s parents and family have been at his side 24/7 since his injury. Their goal is to give him as much support and care as they can so that his recovery has the greatest chance of success. His mother Connie, a teacher at Ressie Jeffries Elementary School, has exhausted all her leave and is taking a leave of absence for the remainder of the school year. She has the day shift with Bunky at the Rehab Center. His dad Art is a civil engineer with Burgess & Niple in Chantilly, VA. He has been able to work some out of their Richmond office when Bunky’s sister Mary Lou is able to come down and help out. Art has the night shift with Bunky.

It is our goal to try to take some of the stress off of the family by assisting them with the items needed so that Bunky can come home to his family when he is through with rehabilitation. We are asking the community (businesses, friends, co-workers and any other folks who can help) to help with the auction.

This is what we need:

  1. Businesses or families to sponsor one of our bachelors. This money will be used to help advertise the event and pay for event expenses. Sponsors will be listed in the Bachelor Auction brochure and in all of our advertising.
  2. Donations of items for the “date packages.” Volunteers will be putting together a date package for each bachelor. We are looking for Restaurant Certificates, Concert Tickets, Movie Tickets, Golf Packages, Event Tickets, Wine Tastings, Limousine Rides, Spa Treatments, Skiing, Speedway Tickets, Hot Air Balloon Rides, Airplane Rides, Sporting Events, Weekend Getaways or anything that could be used to put together a “date package” for the bachelors. All businesses and donors will be listed in our Bachelor Auction brochure unless they wish to remain anonymous.
  3. Cash donations. This money would be used to purchase anything that we didn’t receive to help fill out the date packages. Any amount would be greatly appreciated.
  4. Silent Auction Items. This can be anything you would like to donate that you think people would like to bid on. The silent auction will be held during the 1st hour of the bachelor auction. The first hour of the Bachelor auction will be a social hour with drinks and hors d’oevres so that the bidders and bachelors can mingle. Bids on silent auction items will also be accepted prior to the Bachelor Auction in case you are unable to attend. A list of items will be available at least one week prior to the auction and we hope to have them all listed in the Bachelor Auction Brochure.
  5. Bachelors. Any single men (or legally separated) are encouraged to make an application. Applications will be reviewed and voted on by the committee. Applications are available by contacting any committee member.
  6. Single ladies to bid! Ladies it’s your turn. Buy yourself the date of your dreams. Ladies know that the kind of guys who stand up for Bachelor Auctions are good guys! Low on funds? Encourage your friends and family to chip in to help you win!
  7. Volunteers. Anyone interested in helping on the bachelor auction committee.
  8. General Donations. If you want to make a donation directly to the trust fund that has been established for Bunky, you can do that by sending a check made payable to: The Sgt. Arthur “Bunky” Woods Trust Fund. C/O Heather Tweedie, CPA, 316 Mountain Lodge Drive, Winchester, VA 22602.

Please, help us make this Bachelor Auction a success! Sgt. Arthur “Bunky” Woods is an exceptional person who through serving our country has been tragically injured in the line of duty. It’s time we step up to the plate to help one of our own!

For further information on donations or the bachelor auction, please feel free to contact one of the committee members below.

Martha Buracker – Chairman 636-1879
Dusty Cornwell – 683-1485
Heather Hadley 434-607-6801
Chris Merchant 636-1102
Debbie LLewelyn 636-6606
Debbie Morfit
Christi Boies 671-6494

Churchill: "Never ... believe any war will be ... easy...."

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter."

Winston Churchill, Great Britain's World War II leader and Prime Minister

Monday, January 29, 2007

VCAP's coverage of Republican Transportation Proposals

This week's issue of the online VA Conservative Action PAC newsletter covers the Republican Transportation Proposals and VCAP's views on the debate. Check it out at VCAP's website.

Just say NO to John Warner

Hey, John! Why not try standing united with the President?

It only takes a minute to sign this online petition telling John Warner that you do not agree with his resolution questioning the President's plan to send additional troops to Iraq. Here is the Petition's wording. Click on over and join the 28,000-plus who have already signed.

NRSC Pledge

If the United States Senate passes a resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged, and if the Senate does so after the testimony of General Petraeus on January 23 that such a resolution will be an encouragement to the enemy, I will not contribute to any Republican senator who voted for the resolution. Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Vote YES for citizens; NO for criminals

Support HB 2458 (Delegate Ben Cline). It would protect a person from civil liability if that person was justified in using force, including deadly force, against a home invader.

There is every reason to pass this bill because it is time to support law-abiding citizens and stop criminals from having the right to sue a victim of a home invasion in civil court.

HB 2458 reads:

Self defense and defense of others. Provides that any person who lawfully occupies a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling, has committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling, and the occupant reasonably believes he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent danger of bodily harm. The bill also provides that a person who uses justifiable force against an intruder shall be immune from civil liability for injuries or death of the other person.

H/T: Journal of the Common Man

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Troops authorized to kill Iranian terrorists in Iraq

American troops, trying to stabilize Iraq, have now been authorized to kill or capture Iranian insurgent terrorists in the country.

The Washington Post reports:

The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

This is good news for soldiers and Marines who said they needed their hands untied so they could fight insurgent terrorists who continue to plant IEDs on roadways and hide explosives in vehicles, causing death and destruction in Baghdad and other locations.

Read the entire article here.

Jim Webb unfavorable - 47% of Virginians

Since a lefty blogger loves to flaunt polls I thought I'd revive this one from Survey USA. Jim Webb's rating with Virginians: 42% favorable; 47% unfavorable.

Flip-Flop Democrats ... # 2

They were for more troops before they were against it

Remember when Democrats were complaining that President George W. Bush did not send enough troops to Iraq?

Flip-flop: Once the President announced plans to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq to help stabilize the country, many prominent Democrats started tripping over themselves to get to the TV cameras to proclaim that they disagreed with the President.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
Dec. 17, 2006
"If the commanders on the ground said this is just for one short period of time, we'll go along with that."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, May 30, 2004
"We need more troops on the ground. ... We have a responsibility now in Iraq there. And we have to get more troops on the ground."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Dec. 19, 2004
"One of the biggest mistakes we've made is we have not put enough people on the ground in Iraq to stabilize, to prevent the chaotic situation that now exists and foments and assists the insurgency."

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Dec. 18, 2004
"We've seen a litany of serious miscalculations from Pentagon leaders, stretching back to the earliest stages of this war when Secretary Rumsfeld ignored warnings from top military experts that success in Iraq would require far more troops. ...Those responsible for planning this war were not prepared for the reality on the ground, and many of our soldiers have paid the price."


Statement on Jan. 11 from Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer, and Durbin

"Escalating our military involvement in Iraq sends precisely the wrong message and we oppose it."

Flip ... flop.

Source: Investor's Business Daily, 1/25/07

Flip-Flop Democrats....

They were for more troops before they were against it

Remember when Democrats were complaining that President George W. Bush did not send enough troops to Iraq?

Flip-flop: Once the President announced plans to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq to help stabilize the country, many prominent Democrats started tripping over themselves to get to the TV cameras to proclaim that they disagreed with the President.

Senator Hillary Clinton

Then --

Dec. 7, 2003 ...

"What I have said is that I do think we need more troops."
Oct. 28, 2004 ...
The U.S. "did not have enough troops" in Iraq.
Aug. 3, 2006 to Don Rumsfeld ...
"You did not go into Iraq with enough troops to establish law and order."

Now --

Jan. 17, 2007 ...

"Rather than escalation of U.S. troops -- which I do not believe will contribute to long-term success in Iraq -- we should begin a phased redeployment of U.S. trops as a way to put pressure on the Iraqi government to take responsibility for its own security and future."

Flip ... flop.

Source: Investor's Business Daily, 1/25/07

Friday, January 26, 2007

9/11: Take Back the Memorial

January 24, 2007

September 11th Families Kick-off National Campaign Appealing to the American People to Urge Change at Ground Zero Memorial

New York, N.Y., January 24, 2007 - Family members of relatives lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 representing major 9/11 family organizations held a press conference today in New York City and unveiled a national media campaign asking the American people to help them “Save the 9/11 Memorial” at Ground Zero. Family leaders object to current plans that will list most of the names of 2,979 people who perished in the attacks of 2001 and 1993 without reference to age, affiliation, location and, in the case of uniformed service members, rank. The group plans to place 60 second television ads in New York City markets.

The campaign’s first ad, entitled “Missing at the Memorial,” features the familiar images of the missing flyers which were posted all over New York City in the attack’s immediate aftermath by relatives of the victims and which identified their loved ones by age, company, and floor location in the World Trade Center. The flyers became the first spontaneous memorials embraced by the public. The ad says that Mayor R. Bloomberg, chairman of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, wants a “cold, random list of names.” Families and former co-workers contend that the current plan to list victims without any personal references, and in an order intended to appear random, robs victims of the human qualities that rallied and sustained the nation. The 9/11 groups believe that narrative information associated with the names will enable future generations to better appreciate how the historic attacks were actually experienced by the country.

“We do not accept that these people died ‘randomly,’ or ‘in no discernable order’ which to future visitors will be exactly the same thing,” said Edith Lutnick, whose brother Gary, 36, worked for the firm of Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the North Tower. “Turning human beings into featureless casualties is a distortion of history. Instead of conveying the story of 9/11, this memorial will express the dark point of view of the terrorists who murdered them.”

Family members believe that leaving the 2,400 mostly civilian victims without affiliations and in no discernable order, creates a two-tier memorial consisting of flesh and blood people on the one hand and anonymous casualties on the other. The disparity is particularly painful for families of more than 1,000 victims whose remains were never recovered.

The families and representatives of uniformed service associations contend that World Trade Center Memorial Foundation is building an extravagant memorial that will not resonate with visitors because it does not convey the attacks in personal terms. They believe that leaving the civilians without identification diminishes the noble sacrifice of first responders because it ignores the people whom they gave their lives to save.

Family members said that identifying group affiliations for New York City first responders is a step in the right direction, but stripping them of their rank is a slap in the face to their service and sacrifice. 100 officers, including Chief of the Department Peter J. Ganci, Jr. were among the 343 members of the FDNY who perished.

“My brother, Capt. Billy Burke with Engine 21, didn’t send his men into those towers,” said Michael Burke, who spoke at the press conference, “he led them in. And he did not leave, telling a friend who begged him to get out after tower two fell, ‘This is my job, this is who I am.’ How will visitors get a sense of that, if we don’t tell them?”

Family organizers, survivors and representatives of uniformed service personnel are asking the public to come to the website, Save the Memorial, and sign their online petition asking that the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation list the names of the victims in the manner leaders of 32 family groups and representative supported in a 2004 agreement.

The :60 ad can be view by logging onto

About the Organizers: The following September 11 victims family organizations supported today’s press conference: Advocates for 9/11 Fallen Heroes, Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, Coalition of 9/11 Families, 9/11 Families for Safe & Strong America, Skyscraper Safety Campaign, Take Back the Memorial, W. Doyle Support Group, Where to Turn, WTC Families for Proper Burial, WTC Family Center, World Trade Center United Family Group.

To speak with any of the leaders of these respective groups, please call: Edith Lutnick at Save the 9/11 Memorial (212) 294-7852

The Save the 9/11 Memorial Ad - Share the ad with your friends

Sign the Save the 9/11 Memorial Petition

U.S. takes down insurgent terrorists....

From Iraq comes a report that the U.S. military killed at least 30 Sunni insurgent terrorists in Baghdad this week during a battle to retake the streets in one of the most violence-filled areas of the city. From Investors Business Daily (1/25/07, p. A1, "U.S. Steps Up Baghdad Offensive") is this:

Apache helicopters strafed gunmen in high-rises, and armored vehicles fired machine guns from streets as U.S.-led forces fought to regain control over a major Baghdad street. At least 30 Sunni insurgents were killed during the battle. Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports that 4 U.S. security workers whose copter was shot down in a Sunni area were executed.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

SWAC bloggers' phriendly invasion of West of Shockoe

I must admit we had fun yesterday phooling around with West of Shockoe's Phriendly Jaime.

The SWAC bloggers were in Richmond for Bill Bolling's Bloggers Day and, when it came time for a lunch break, we had a mission.

Our Mastermind: Spank That Donkey.

Accomplices: Johnathan Maxfield and SWAC Girl.

Mission: Duplicate the photo on WOS's blog taken at Capital Ale House.

Mission Accomplished? Absolutely ... and then some!

Spank That Donkey is mischievous anyway but this was one of his best! We set his laptop up at Capital Ale's bar, pulled up WOS's website to look at the photo we had in mind, and started "setting the stage." John was photographer: "Lean more forward. Tilt your head. More tilt...." It was hilarious.

But the piece de resistance has yet to come because I don't believe Jaime has been to the bar since we were there yesterday.

Jaime, get thee to the Ale House and have a drink on us! The manager took care of it ... you have a little "SWAC" gift waiting for you. :)

Go to the following posts to catch the "real" photo and the "recreated" photo:
- West of Shockoe - Hahahahahahah - might a truce be in the works?
- Journal of the Common Man - West of Shockoe Invaded!!!
- Spank That Donkey - LG Bolling Day at the Assembly: West of Shockoe

It was a pfun time in the capital city!

Bill Bolling's Bloggers Day at the Capitol

I want to thank Lt. Governor Bill Bolling for the invitation and hospitality extended at the first Bloggers Day at the Capitol. We had approximately 20 bloggers in attendance and, I must admit, I was hesitant to go. Spank That Donkey, Flora McDonald, and Johnathan Maxfield talked me into it ... and I'm glad they did. Not only was it an informative day with the chance to see many legislators going about their business ... but it also offered a wonderful opportunity to visit and get to know my fellow conservative bloggers.

I'll have more on this later....

SSgt. Herb Harman and his family are coming over tonight for chili supper with local Republican friends who want to hear first-hand about his experiences in Iraq. He just returned two weeks ago (see "Conversations with a Soldier ... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3") so I'm busy in the kitchen.

I'll post more info on Bloggers Day when I get a chance....

Bill Bolling's Bloggers Day at the Capitol

I want to thank Lt. Governor Bill Bolling for the invitation and hospitality extended at the first Bloggers Day at the Capitol. We had approximately 20 bloggers in attendance and, I must admit, I was hesitant to go. Spank That Donkey, Flora McDonald, and Johnathan Maxfield talked me into it ... and I'm glad they did. Not only was it an informative day with the chance to see many legislators going about their business ... but it also offered a wonderful opportunity to visit and get to know my fellow conservative bloggers.

I'll have more on this later ...

SSgt. Herb Harman and his family are coming over tonight for chili supper with local Republican friends who want to hear first-hand about his experiences in Iraq. He just returned two weeks ago (see "Conversations with a Soldier ... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3") so I'm busy in the kitchen.

I'll post more info on Bloggers Day when I get a chance....

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Address: The Issue of National Security

"The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others."
--President George W. Bush, January 23, 2007
Excerpts from State of the Union Address by President George W. Bush - the issue of National Security:

For all of us in this room, there is no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this country from danger. Five years have come and gone since we saw the scenes and felt the sorrow that terrorists can cause. We have had time to take stock of our situation. We have added many critical protections to guard the homeland. We know with certainty that the horrors of that September morning were just a glimpse of what the terrorists intend for us - unless we stop them.

With the distance of time, we find ourselves debating the causes of conflict and the course we have followed. Such debates are essential when a great democracy faces great questions. Yet one question has surely been settled - that to win the war on terror we must take the fight to the enemy.

From the start, America and our allies have protected our people by staying on the offense. The enemy knows that the days of comfortable sanctuary, easy movement, steady financing, and free flowing communications are long over. For the terrorists, life since Nine-Eleven has never been the same.

Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented - but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terrorist cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them.

Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this enemy. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in Nine-Eleven is still at work in the world. And so long as that is the case, America is still a Nation at war.

In the minds of the terrorists, this war began well before September 11th, and will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled. And these past five years have given us a much clearer view of the nature of this enemy. Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology. Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats ... instruct with bullets and bombs ... and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent.

Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions. They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty. They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology. Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse." And Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

These men are not given to idle words, and they are just one camp in the Islamist radical movement. In recent times, it has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who are just as hostile to America, and are also determined to dominate the Middle East. Many are known to take direction from the regime in Iran, which is funding and arming terrorists like Hezbollah - a group second only to al Qaeda in the American lives it has taken.

The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat. But whatever slogans they chant, when they slaughter the innocent, they have the same wicked purposes. They want to kill Americans ... kill democracy in the Middle East ... and gain the weapons to kill on an even more horrific scale.

In the sixth year since our Nation was attacked, I wish I could report to you that the dangers have ended. They have not. And so it remains the policy of this government to use every lawful and proper tool of intelligence, diplomacy, law enforcement, and military action to do our duty, to find these enemies, and to protect the American people.

This war is more than a clash of arms - it is a decisive ideological struggle, and the security of our Nation is in the balance. To prevail, we must remove the conditions that inspire blind hatred, and drove 19 men to get onto airplanes and come to kill us. What every terrorist fears most is human freedom - societies where men and women make their own choices, answer to their own conscience, and live by their hopes instead of their resentments. Free people are not drawn to violent and malignant ideologies - and most will choose a better way when they are given a chance. So we advance our own security interests by helping moderates, reformers, and brave voices for democracy. The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security . . . we must.
In the last two years, we have seen the desire for liberty in the broader Middle East - and we have been sobered by the enemy's fierce reaction. In 2005, the world watched as the citizens of Lebanon raised the banner of the Cedar Revolution ... drove out the Syrian occupiers ... and chose new leaders in free elections. In 2005, the people of Afghanistan defied the terrorists and elected a democratic legislature. And in 2005, the Iraqi people held three national elections - choosing a transitional government ... adopting the most progressive, democratic constitution in the Arab world ... and then electing a government under that constitution. Despite endless threats from the killers in their midst, nearly 12 million Iraqi citizens came out to vote in a show of hope and solidarity we should never forget.

A thinking enemy watched all of these scenes, adjusted their tactics, and in 2006 they struck back. In Lebanon, assassins took the life of Pierre Gemayel, a prominent participant in the Cedar Revolution. And Hezbollah terrorists, with support from Syria and Iran, sowed conflict in the region and are seeking to undermine Lebanon's legitimately elected government. In Afghanistan, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters tried to regain power by regrouping and engaging Afghan and NATO forces. In Iraq, al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists blew up one of the most sacred places in Shia Islam - the Golden Mosque of Samarra. This atrocity, directed at a Muslim house of prayer, was designed to provoke retaliation from Iraqi Shia - and it succeeded. Radical Shia elements, some of whom receive support from Iran, formed death squads. The result was a tragic escalation of sectarian rage and reprisal that continues to this day.

This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in. Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned, and our own security at risk. Ladies and gentlemen: On this day, at this hour, it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle. So let us find our resolve, and turn events toward victory.

We are carrying out a new strategy in Iraq - a plan that demands more from Iraq's elected government, and gives our forces in Iraq the reinforcements they need to complete their mission. Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people, provides them security, and is an ally in the war on terror.

In order to make progress toward this goal, the Iraqi government must stop the sectarian violence in its capital. But the Iraqis are not yet ready to do this on their own. So we are deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq. The vast majority will go to Baghdad, where they will help Iraqi forces to clear and secure neighborhoods, and serve as advisers embedded in Iraqi Army units. With Iraqis in the lead, our forces will help secure the city by chasing down terrorists, insurgents, and roaming death squads. And in Anbar province - where al Qaeda terrorists have gathered and local forces have begun showing a willingness to fight them - we are sending an additional 4,000 United States Marines, with orders to find the terrorists and clear them out. We did not drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.

The people of Iraq want to live in peace, and now is the time for their government to act. Iraq's leaders know that our commitment is not open ended. They have promised to deploy more of their own troops to secure Baghdad - and they must do so. They have pledged that they will confront violent radicals of any faction or political party. They need to follow through, and lift needless restrictions on Iraqi and Coalition forces, so these troops can achieve their mission of bringing security to all of the people of Baghdad. Iraq's leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks to achieve reconciliation - to share oil revenues among all of Iraq's citizens ... to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq ... to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's civic life ... to hold local elections ... and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province. But for all of this to happen, Baghdad must be s ecured. And our plan will help the Iraqi government take back its capital and make good on its commitments.

My fellow citizens, our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options. We discussed every possible approach. In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance of success. Many in this chamber understand that America must not fail in Iraq - because you understand that the consequences of failure would be grievous and far reaching.

If American forces step back before Baghdad is secure, the Iraqi government would be overrun by extremists on all sides. We could expect an epic battle between Shia extremists backed by Iran, and Sunni extremists aided by al Qaeda and supporters of the old regime. A contagion of violence could spill out across the country - and in time the entire region could be drawn into the conflict.

For America, this is a nightmare scenario. For the enemy, this is the objective. Chaos is their greatest ally in this struggle. And out of chaos in Iraq, would emerge an emboldened enemy with new safe havens... new recruits ... new resources ... and an even greater determination to harm America. To allow this to happen would be to ignore the lessons of September 11th and invite tragedy. And ladies and gentlemen, nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East ... to succeed in Iraq ... and to spare the American people from this danger.

This is where matters stand tonight, in the here and now. I have spoken with many of you in person. I respect you and the arguments you have made. We went into this largely united - in our assumptions, and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq - and I ask you to give it a chance to work. And I ask you to support our troops in the field - and those on their way.

The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others. That is why it is important to work together so our Nation can see this great effort through. Both parties and both branches should work in close consultation. And this is why I propose to establish a special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties. We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. And we will show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory.

One of the first steps we can take together is to add to the ranks of our military - so that the American Armed Forces are ready for all the challenges ahead. Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years. A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. And it would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time.

Americans can have confidence in the outcome of this struggle - because we are not in this struggle alone. We have a diplomatic strategy that is rallying the world to join in the fight against extremism. In Iraq, multinational forces are operating under a mandate from the United Nations - and we are working with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf States to increase support for Iraq's government. The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran, and made it clear that the world will not allow the regime in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons. With the other members of the Quartet - the UN, the European Union, and Russia - we are pursuing diplomacy to help bring peace to the Holy Land, and pursuing the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. In Afghanistan, NATO has taken the lead in turning back the Taliban and al Qaeda offensive - the first time the Alliance has deployed forces outside the North Atlantic area. Together with our partners in China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea, we are pursuing intensive diplomacy to achieve a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons. And we will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in places like Cuba, Belarus, and Burma - and continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Priorities, please ... have you forgotten?

If we all have our heads sliced off or our families blown up, nothing else will matter. Some perspective, please ... get your priorities straight. Think back to 9/11 and what a scary situation it was and how terrified we were for family members in harm's way. Have you forgotten?

Come on, NLS ... don't become an RK

Check out Southwest by Southeast's post in response to Not Larry Sabato's brouhaha making unsubstantiated accusations about CRs at the GOP Advance.

Insurgent terrorists shot down copter?

Did insurgent terrorists shoot down a Black Hawk Army helicopter that killed 12 U.S. soldiers on Saturday?

Evidence at the scene, according to, included a tube that could be part of a shoulder-fired weapon, and an al Qaida-linked organization has claimed responsibility. Investigators are still searching the crash site located northeast of Baghdad.

An Islamic website had the following claim from the "Islamic State in Iraq":

"... the lions of Iraq's Islamic state managed to down a Black Hawk on Saturday, which was followed by a clash with the Crusaders, and that led to the destruction of two Humvees and the annihilation of those inside, thanks be to God."

The claim reported the annihilation of those inside ... that would be American soldiers.

The claim mentioned "clash with the Crusaders" ... that should prove to doubters that this is a Holy War and, in the eyes of radical Muslims, we're back in the Crusades. They are fighting to take over the world.

In "Conversation with a Soldier ... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3," a local soldier just back from Iraq said, "Untie the hands of the military so they can do their job in Iraq. Exterminate the insurgent terrorists."

From "Conversation with a Soldier ... Part 3":

Iraq needs to get their oil refineries up and going to pull in revenue to run the country. Insurgent terrorists continue to blow them up ... exterminate the insurgent terrorists.

They need to stabilize the streets by ending car bombings and homicide bombers ... exterminate the insurgent terrorists.

The Iraqi people need to feel safe from random acts of violence and bombings ... exterminate the insurgent terrorists.

When are Americans and politicians going to let our military do their job? Until our soldiers and Marines are allowed to go after the insurgent terrorists, we will continue to lose those American soldiers and Marines.

Take the politics out of this war.

Take the political correctness out of this war.

Let our military do what is necessary to finish the job in Iraq and come home safely.

Early morning travels in the Valley....

It was 28 degrees at my house this morning as I left to navigate my way along the Valley. The light blanket of snow we received on Sunday was still on the ground ... the mountains' slopes were a white winter wonderland ... and it was a beautiful sight in the crisp winter air.

Staunton's Libby Loop continues to be one of my favorite roadways and I constantly use it to travel from the western side of Staunton to points east, north, and south. However, merging traffic on the ramps hasn't become any better ... they will still run you off the road instead of yielding. I think part of that is because entering traffic is building up speed on the uphill, and part is blind merging at some points where the lane entering the main highway is hidden behind hills. But still ... those on the main roadway have the right-of-way over those entering ... but I continue to see folks having to slow down to avoid accidents with on-ramp traffic.

Over on Rt. 11 where the speed limit is 55 mph there are school zones and little towns along the way. This morning I noticed a red pickup truck quickly gaining on me in the 55 mph just as it was slowing down to 45 mph entering a small town. I slowed and the truck was on my bumper. The speed limit then slowed to 35 mph in an area that sees radar occasionally and when I slowed to 35, the truck was practically pushing me down the road. I pulled over on the shoulder to let him pass -- I am not driving with a vehicle hooked on my tail -- and as he zipped by I noticed the WEBB sticker on his bumper.

That's a good reminder to all of us who have our candidates' bumper stickers on our vehicles ... if we drive erratic or engage in road rage or push someone off the road, other drivers will see the candidates' names on our vehicle -- not the best way to represent our candidates. Perhaps he was irritated at my BUSH and ALLEN bumper stickers....

Gray and overcast this morning ... roadways weren't bad except for a stray icy patch here or there. Schools were running an hour or two behind so there weren't any buses out and traffic was light.

They're calling for seasonal temps this week with the possibility of some white stuff toward the end of the week. The ski areas need it. My snowboarding kids were on the mountain at Massanutten last night ... the resort had made snow and had several trails open. The kids reported a brisk business as skiers flocked to the area for the first "Monday Night Madness" of the season. Let's hope there will be more before the warm weather returns....

Monday, January 22, 2007

Spank That Donkey gets it

Trot over to Spank That Donkey and read News Flash: Muslims Not Joining British Armed Forces. It's a well thought-out post proving, once again, that those concerned about growing Muslim numbers are not overreacting.

Happy "Sparking" Birthday, Kilo!

Carl Kilo over at Spark It Up!!! is 42 years old today ... and birthday wishes are sent his way from all his friends here in the SWAC area.

Flora over at United Conservatives of Virginia posted the following that was on Kilo's site last year on his birthday. I found it especially touching considering today thousands of pro-life supporters are in D.C. for their annual Roe vs Wade march and rally.


In a small town not far from Chicago, 41 years ago today, a life was spared. A drug addicted mother gave birth to a child. This child was now to endure weeks of blood transfusions and treatments.

In the city a few miles away a young husband and wife dreamed of having a child of their own. The husband was a dirt farmer from Mississippi who went in the army young and then to Illinois to find work after his discharge. The young wife was a honors student, her family rooted deep in coal from the dark hollows of Dickenson County was in Illinois doing the same. They met in church and were married a few months later.

They adopted the unwanted child born on this day in 1965 years after that. The hospital where the child was born was closed a short time later for abortion issues and a black market baby selling deal. The parents provided this child with love and a home. They afforded this child a chance to dream, to become what he wished, even though working in coal was not their wish for him. We should not forget the biological mother. You see, she afforded him the same dream. She chose not to hold her mistakes against him. She chose to offer him life and a chance to dream. She should be commended for her unselfishness. The child had never told her this until today. She said it gave her such great peace to hear that. Her child responded he was just glad she gave him the chance to be here. So many are not given that chance.

Happy Birthday, Carl!

Victory in Iraq! Conversation with a soldier ... Part 3

"If our country does not lead the cause for freedom, it will not be led."
President George W. Bush, 2001

Part 1 & Part 2

He's an American soldier just back from Iraq ... and he has many memories to share, many experiences to relate, and many thoughts about the way the war is going. This American soldier knows why he's fighting and why he's in the military.

The mission in Iraq can be won and should be won, he says. Iraq has the will ... but they need assistance. He uses the anology of the kid who is picked on by bullies and needs his big brother to step in and help out.

He says again that the military needs their hands untied to go after the insurgent terrorists and exterminate them. To win a war, he says, you must cripple and subdue the opponent until they are pleading with you to come up with terms for peace. The U.S. is not allowing our military to do that. So, for now, they're maintaining the peace.

All the negative news reports about Baghdad made me wonder if he thought he would have his head blown off everytime he looked out a door. He laughed and said he was shot at more in South Korea than in Iraq. There's violence ... but when it's played up on TV it appears that is all there is to Baghdad. And that simply is not true.

Unfortunately, stabilizing a country doesn't happen overnight, he says. John Q. Public is impatient and the mainstream media helps with that impatience. It takes years to work through situations like this ... and he mentions we still have troops in Germany 60 years after the end of World War II. John Q. Public doesn't know his history because, if he did, he would have past history to go by. American history is taught less and less in school.

Iraq will be able to take care of itself

Can Iraq take care of itself? He says absolutely yes.

What is happening now in the U.S. Congress is a surrender plan. We don't need to go with a surrender plan. Iraq needs economic stability ... and they're working on it.

The civilian economy is recovering nicely.

Iraq needs to get their oil refineries up and going to pull in revenue to run the country. Insurgent terrorists continue to blow them up ... exterminate the insurgent terrorists.

They need to stabilize the streets by ending car bombings and homicide bombers ... exterminate the insurgent terrorists.

The Iraqi people need to feel safe from random acts of violence and bombings ... exterminate the insurgent terrorists.

Most of the insurgent terrorists are not Iraqi ... they are Syrian, Saudis, Iranian. It is almost impossible to completely keep them out of the country ... if they want in, they will get in. However, beefing up security forces along the corridor between the Iran/Iraq border and Baghdad would help deter many of the terrorists who now plant IEDs on the roadways and make their way to cities to cause havoc and mayhem. That is part of President Bush's plan with 20,000 reenforcements for the military.

Of those who are Iraqi terrorists ... they are led by a radical Muslim cleric in Sader City who wants to destroy the American spirit (it's working, isn't it?) and drive the military out of there. Because he has 100,000 militia, he is a big problem for the new government.

Jihadists hijacked Muslim religion

The Jihadists, he says, are not true Muslims. He became friends with locals who told him their religion had been hijacked by the radical, fundamental faction of the Islam faith who want a world-dominated society.

While working at protecting high-ranking political officials, he met the Prime Minister, the President, and the Vice Presidents (they have two). They are from differing sects within the country but they are working to stabilize Iraq. He has been in their offices, their palaces ... he has had their safety and protection in his hands.

One is Suni, one is a Kurd, one is Shite ... these new leaders are grateful to the American soldiers for their help.

As an MP our American soldier's unit contacted chiefs of police around Iraq and worked with them, visiting their areas to train and teach them to monitor corruption and reports of sectarian violence and human rights violations. The process is working ... if Congress and the American people don't demand that we cut-and-run and leave behind all the work already in place.

Reenlistment in Unit at 65%

Many American soldiers who are deployed to Iraq are faced with a reenlistment decision while they're in the desert of a country we are trying to stabilize. More than 65% of those men reenlisted. Why?

They reenlisted because our mission is essential. These men do not want to tuck tail and run. They do not want to turn their backs on a bad situation and hope things work out for the best. Their fear is if America drops Iraq we'll be back to Square One.

Stabilizing a country does not happen overnight. Fighting an enemy who doesn't wear a uniform but, instead, looks like every other citizen on the street is a difficult situation.

Don't ask Congress if this war can be won. Ask our military men and women on the ground in Iraq if this war can be won. They are there. They know the Iraqi people they're working with ... they know the Iraqi people will feel abandoned if we leave without completing our job.

His suggestion to Americans? Read your history. War doesn't happen overnight; peace doesn't return overnight.

He continues the sacrifice

He's back home in the States but his sacrifice won't end.

He's fresh from the field ... he has volunteered to train soldiers deploying to Iraq. He has the knowledge and he feels it's a contribution he can make to help those who haven't been to Iraq so they will know the culture and background. He will be working with enlisted of all ages, male and female ... some older ones who have been in for 20 years but never been to war. They are now stepping to the plate when their government calls them to service, making sacrifices the average American does not understand.

Sadly, the average American doesn't want to understand because, if they did, they would not take the word of the evening TV news or CNN or liberal newspapers for what is occurring halfway around the world.

They would talk to a soldier, ask questions of a Marine, read the military websites, get another perspective of the mission.

They would do their homework.

But it's easiser to let the mainstream media do their homework so they won't have to pull their heads out of their X-Boxes or sporting events.

He quotes Benjamin Franklin's statement from 1775 when engaged in debate about breaking away from Great Britain:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

He has a passion to protect America

Not many people in society ... not many even in the military ... have the passion and bearing that my friend does. But spend an hour with him and you may begin to see things in a light you had not before. You may begin to understand the background in a way you didn't before. His passion is contagious; his patriotism is more so. He's the real deal ... an American GI who is fighting because he loves his country.

He fights to give the anti-war protesters the freedom to stand on the street corner and protest the war.

He fights to give citizens the right to be "subjects" and not citizens.

He fights to keep the streets of America safe.

He sacrifices, his family sacrifices, his friends sacrifice ... it's his life.

An American soldier. We owe him our gratitude ... we owe him our respect ... we owe him admiratation. He is the reason we have our freedom, our safety, our lives free from terrorism here at home.

He's an American soldier....

"We've defeated freedom's enemies before, and we will defeat them again."
President George W. Bush, 2001

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Super Bowl ... Bears vs Colts!

Da Bears versus the (former Baltimore) Colts!

We now know who the players will be for our annual Super Bowl party.... Fun, fun, fun!

Military not risking their lives for our freedom?

In my opinion, Krebhiel got it wrong when he made the following statement:

"Men and women in Iraq aren't risking their lives for our freedom."

He went on to say:

"At best, they're risking their lives for the Iraqi peoples' freedom, and at worst, they're risking their lives for American political and economic interests in the Middle East."

Our men and women in uniform most certainly are risking their lives to protect your freedoms, Mr. Krehbiel. Our freedoms include our lives ... and I go back to 9/11/01 when 3,000 innocent people lost their lives.

Even more moving is the fact the troops are voluntarily risking their lives for our freedoms. Most people I know are grateful to these brave heroes for their part in homeland security because if we are overrun by Muslim terrorists we will no longer be under American law....

... but maybe it's the old tale of having to lose something before you truly learn to appreciate it....

Snow in the Valley....

Woo-hoo! It's snowing in Shenandoah Valley!

Finally! First snow of the winter!

It's finally here ... the first snow of winter in the Shenandoah Valley! A blanket of white is creating a beautiful winter wonderland on the mountains and fields, lining tree branches and settling on the backs of cattle on a nearby farm as they graze unfazed at the weather around them.

The temp at my house was 24 degrees this morning and the gray sky looked like snow when the first flakes began to drift down around 9:00. I was getting in my vehicle to head out and, as I drove our rural mountain road, the snow quickly picked up so that by the time I was on the Libby Loop, "snow snakes" were swirling on the roadway. Since temps have been freezing and in the teens the past few days, the ground was frozen and the snow was not melting as it hit the pavement. Within an hour there was at least an inch of packed snow on the road ... slick and treacherous for those still zipping along at the speed limit.

We've all been waiting for it. Young employees at a Staunton restaurant had their noses pressed to the windows gazing out at the snowy scene before them ... and I gave them a thumbs-up as I walked by. I'm happy to see it, too! Excitement hung in the air as out-of-towners expressed surprise at the heavy snow ... after all, it arrived three hours earlier than forecasters had predicted.

As I returned back to my house the homey smell of wood smoke hung in the air ... the woodstove was cranking out heat to combat the cold drafts creeping in around the edges of the house. The snow lights were on, the chili pot was going, and all my family was back in safe harbor ready to stay close and enjoy the storm.

My snowboarding kids have already checked with Massanutten where three slopes are open and they're busy making snow to go with the natural stuff. The kids and their friends will be on the mountain tomorrow night ... it's unusual to be hitting the slopes for the first time this late in the season. Everyone is going to be heading in that direction....

Meanwhile we're all in for today, warm and snug, for a movie/game board day together. As I look out the window the snow is heavy and coming down at the rate of about 1" an hour. Looks good to me!

Woo-hoo! It's snowing in the Shenandoah Valley!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sleeping giant beginning to stir ... Victory in Iraq!

"We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail."
President George W. Bush, 2001

Silent Majority beginning to speak up....

My telephone rang at 7:30 this morning. It was the manager of a local store that I frequent and, when I answered, he very boisterously said, "Good morning! I want one of those signs!"

I knew the story had hit the morning newspaper.

Earlier this week I submitted letters to the editors of local newspapers asking folks to put an electric candle in their windows if they supported the troops.

Frustrated with the lack of accurate coverage in the news and left with no voice in the mainstream media, local residents had discussed how they could publicly show support for the troops, the war, and President Bush.

A friend called with the idea of the candles in the windows. Another friend contacted me about a WIN THE WAR sign he had put together after watching the President's speech asking to send 20,000 additional troops to Iraq.

The sleeping giant known as the Silent Majority was beginning to stir....

A reporter with the Staunton News Leader called after reading my letter to the editor and was interested in pursuing the story. After explaining how the idea came to be, I put her in contact with other area residents. She contacted them and talked with them about their reasons for displaying candles in their windows and signs in their yards ... and put together a story that appears in today's edition, Candles support troops; signs call for victory.

The reporter talked with a 22-year-old who has a candle in the window for her friend, Lance Cpl. Nate Salatin of Augusta County who is currently deployed to Iraq ... she talked with the mother of a 22-year-old Army lieutenant who will most likely be deployed to Iraq within the year ... and still another who was the mother of a young man who recently returned after deployment to Afghanistan. All strongly back the troops ... all believe in the mission ... all understand and support the President.

More about candles in the windows and WIN THE WAR signs can be seen here, here, here, and here.

Update: New related story here.

"I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people."

"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended."

President George W. Bush, 9/11/01

The Mouse Story....

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

"What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered ... but he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning.

"There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap-- alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.

To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life.

We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.


One of the best things to hold onto in this world is a friend.

My mom passed this on to me....

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hezbollah terrorist cells inside America....

Forget al Quaeda ... beware of Hezbollah

Saturday on Fox News Channel ...

Smokescreen: Hezbollah Inside America. Saturday, January 20, 2007. 8pm ET. Hosted by David Asman.

Money laundering, smuggling, and ID theft - all done through Hezbollah terror cells in the U.S. Fox follows the money trail as millions of dollars in legal cash is moved from our country to deep inside the heart of Lebanon. Now, in this exclusive investigation, Fox exposes this network of well-trained, highly organized criminals.

It begins at the heart of tobacco country in North Carolina. Read more here.

• Video: Infiltrating the Charlotte Hezbollah cell

• Video: Taking down the Charlotte Hezbollah cell

• Photoessay: Smokescreen: Hezbollah Inside America

Victory in Iraq!

WIN THE WAR ... Victory in Iraq!

"Conversation with a soldier ... Part 1"
"Conversation with a soldier ... Part 2"

Next: "Conversation with a soldier ... Part 3"....

WEBB WATCH ... is Jim Webb a bigot?

It's the WEBB WATCH ... is Jim Webb a bigot?

Put candle in window to support troops

A way to show your thanks....

Here in the SWAC area we are huge supporters of our troops. Those guys volunteered to go into the military to protect us and our families, and we have many from this area who are active military, in the reserves, or are veterans.

The true story of the war, as told by the men coming back, is not printed in the MSM. Those who support the war don't get equal coverage from the MSM.

How can we let the world know that we support the troops and we thank them for their sacrifice in protecting us? Many people don't like to stand on a street corner with an American flag and a "Support the Troops" sign for a variety of reasons -- they have to work, they have young children, they are intimiated by the anti-war protesters.

Here's something we can all do to show our support.

Put an electric candle in the window.

Mine is already there.

It's for Nate who is still in Iraq, for Herb who just came home from Iraq, and all the others. It's my way of saying...

Thank you.

WIN THE WAR! Victory in Iraq!

Frustrated at the mainstream media's slanted coverage of the war in Iraq without regard to everything good accomplished by American troops in that region of the world, and disgusted at an anti-war sign in a nearby yard, local residents in Staunton made their own signs:


This is their way of showing support for our troops and thanking them for their sacrifice in keeping us free and safe, and a way to show support for their Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush.

Americans are getting fed up with the constant negative doom-and-gloom representation of the war. But, unlike Vietnam War era, these citizens are speaking up!

Start a trend! Make a sign for your yard to WIN THE WAR. Put an electric candle in the window to say thanks to the troops.

Take the politics out of the war. Let's WIN IN IRAQ!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

WIN THE WAR! Victory in Iraq!

Frustrated at the mainstream media's slanted coverage of the war in Iraq without regard to everything good accomplished by American troops in that region of the world, and disgusted at an anti-war sign in a nearby yard, local residents in Staunton made their own signs:


This is their way of showing support for our troops and thanking them for their sacrifice in keeping us free and safe, and a way to show support for their Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush.

Americans are getting fed up with the constant negative doom-and-gloom representation of the war. But, unlike Vietnam War era, these citizens are speaking up!

Start a trend! Make a sign for your yard to WIN THE WAR. Put an electric candle in the window to say thanks to the troops.

Take the politics out of the war. Let's WIN IN IRAQ!

Victory in Iraq! Conversation with a soldier ... Part 2

Part 1 here

He volunteered to serve his country after 9/11 ... reenlisting at the age of 40 to fight Muslim terrorists who attacked America and killed 3,000 innocent people that day. He spent a year at Guantanamo Bay guarding military prisoners before deploying to the war zone in January 2006.

He's an American soldier who returned home from Iraq less than two weeks ago after serving a year in the desert with men half his age. During his time in Iraq he grew in his religious faith and in his love for country. His blood probably runs red, white, and blue in his veins ... he's that patriotic. He doesn't suffer fools easily ... but his heart is as big as the mountain he lives on. He gladly shares both his faith and his patriotism with younger soldiers who look to him for leadership and protection.

Is this another Vietnam?

This is not another Vietnam, he emphasizes.

This is an all-volunteer military ... everyone has volunteered. The United States government can send you anywhere it deems necessary at anytime ... that is understood when you sign up. These men and women have volunteered to go in harm's way ... it's what they do ... especially those in the combat areas of the military. They are the guys who stand out there with rifles and machine guns to do their job when their country allows them to.

Propaganda against the United States is everywhere in the Middle East. Insurgent terrorists, most not from Iraq, appear on al Jazeera TV. He reemphasizes how much the American press does not publicize the atrocities of Saddam Hussein nor the good that has been accomplished and continues to be accomplished by American forces ... an underhanded propaganda.

He's convinced the media are trying to get John Q. Public to quit in Iraq because the public does not understand this type of conflict. The enemy is everywhere and, yet, the enemy looks just like everyone else ... wearing no uniform ... sliding across the border from Iran to do terrorist deeds for a few dollars.

Many Americans don't care

Political correctness, he says, does not belong in the U.S. playbook. Political correctness came from people who want subjects, not free-thinking responsible citizens.

America is full of "subjects" who want comfort, safety, and security ... and they are willing to trade their liberties and freedoms for comfort, safety, and security.

Americans, he says, can't get their heads out of their football games or wrestling or reality TV or X-Box long enough to concern themselves with national security and elections. They don't care. They're happy being subjects. They are desensitized to the way things happen in the real world and are used to immediate satisfaction, immediate pleasure, and want absolute closure.

Many Americans don't understand that the war on terrorism is an on-going battle even though they were warned of that by President George W. Bush immediately after 9/11.

The Founding Fathers were subjects of Great Britain and didn't like it. They fought for their freedom ... and through freedom they became citizens.

Our country and our values, he says, are worth fighting for ... but we're held back by pacifists, non-committal people who have no passion for this country and have no interest in preserving it.

However, if another 9/11 occurs they will be some of the first crying in the streets -- victims --looking for people like our military friend and others who are interested in helping people by keeping the bad guys away from them.

Iraqis thank Americans daily for freedom

He worked with the Army MPs in Baghdad protecting high-profile Iraqi politicians ... he's learning the language and culture ... he's been inside the palaces and watched the night sky from the roof tops. He has looked out over the Tigris River ... been in the homes of the Iraqi people ... and he has heard them thank Americans for their freedom.

He says the Iraqis thank the soldiers daily for setting them free. They are very, very grateful to the Americans for releasing them from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, something they could not do themselves because they were oppressed. We freed the oppressed. And, yes, he realizes it wasn't the only oppressed country in the world ... but now there is one less.

Hussein's wretched work

He got to know people who were personally affected by Hussein's gruesome works. There was mass genocide. Citizens were gassed. Thousands were tortured. Thousands disappeared. Thousands died.

He met family members of citizens who were fed to the lions. Yes ... fed to the lions. Have you heard that on the news? He saw the cages where the lions were raised ... lions that were used by Hussein on Iraqi citizens he perceived as enemies ... Iraqi citizens who were literally fed to the lions ... left to be torn apart and devoured by the man-eating beasts.

It was a violent world for Iraqis who were considered enemies of Saddam.

Some say it's a violent world today with random bombings from outside insurgent terrorists ... but the people of Iraq are grateful for their freedom.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Open your eyes!

If you care about national security you must read Spank That Donkey's post Goode Bashers: Al Jazerra Itself Has a Message For You.

Other terrorism-related posts include Johnathan Maxfield's "24" Understands, General Grievous' Dog's I Can Only Answer With One Word: Victory, Kilo at Spark It Up!!! has Troops Respond to Bush Plan, and Alton at I'm Not Emeril has Spend 12 Minutes With Your Eyes Wide Open.

It's difficult to understand how anyone can continue to ignore the danger.

Thoughts from the Valley....

Winter is back in the Shenandoah Valley. It was 14 degrees at my house this morning .... brrr. But it was a welcome brrr. I actually was able to put on a turtleneck again to ward off the cold after days of 60- and 70-degree weather. The woodstove is cranked and the heat is appreciated.

I was out early and made several observations as I drove the Valley.

Kids wear the darndest things ... it was 14 degrees and I was bundled in heavy coat and gloves. As I pulled into the parking lot of a college campus, I noticed a student walking toward the building on his way to class with shorts on. Shorts! O-kay....

Gasoline at the Pure station in Ft. Defiance was $1.99 a gallon. Not bad. Spank That Donkey told me he found gas in Bath County for $1.89 over the weekend. Even better.

South of Ft. Defiance I noticed the cold hadn't stopped the Willow Spout from flowing ... but the runover water in the trough had frozen into long icicles reaching to the ground which made a very wintry-looking picture.

I got a scare following a jeep that was driving ahead of me. In this neck of the woods we have many blind curves that wrap around mountains -- you'd better stay on your side of the road. The driver of the jeep was distracted by something he was doing and crossed the double solid lines in the road going around a particularly wicked curve. Dangerous ... to him and any possible oncoming vehicle. He was lucky. No one was coming.

Back home ... bright sun and a high in 30s today. With this cold expected to last the week the ski resorts will be able to make snow. That's a good thing. Now if we could just get some of the natural stuff....

Victory in Iraq! Conversation with a soldier ... Part 1

Returning home from war

He just returned from the battlefield of Iraq less than two weeks ago and sports a tan from months in the desert. He's been in the Army, the Reserves, and the Army National Guard. He's worked with the Navy and the United States Marine Corps.

He reenlisted in 2001 after 9/11 occurred because he knew Muslim terrorists had attacked this country. He had studied those people ... he had read all about them ... and he knew they were behind the attacks.

He relishes his mountain home ... basks in the love of family and friends ... and yet he feels the call to protect this country he loves from a vicious enemy.

He is willing to sacrifice time with his family, time on the mountain, to go halfway around the world because he would rather fight terrorism in the desert sand than fight it on the streets of Staunton. And if you don't think that can happen, he says, you're naive and have no sense of the real world.

He makes no apologies for his political affiliation ... Republican.

He angers at the lack of factual coverage in the mainstream media which leaves Americans with a negative impression of how the war is going in Iraq. He pounds his fist into his hand to make a point. In his military uniform he is all business.

But he can get a tear in his eye at the sight of an American flag waving in the breeze ... at the sight of everyday Americans standing on a street corner showing support for him and his fellow warriors ... at friends and family welcoming him home from war on a cold, rainy night.

He is ... an American soldier.

He lives in the mountains of western Virginia ... but he spent a year in Baghdad protecting and talking with the highest ranking Iraqi government officials ... the President, Vice Presidents, Prime Minister.

He has thoughts to share. Just ask him. He will tell you. But he is also mindful of the uniform he still wears.

This is a war we can win

We talked the morning after President George W. Bush's address to the nation asking for an additional 20,000 troops to go into Iraq. I wanted his perspective of the situation and whether the President's plan would work.

His first response: The troops need to have their hands untied and allowed to fight this war. No political correctness, no kid-glove treatment, no we-might-offend-someone attitude. This is war ... and war means breaking things and inflicting hurt.

In his opinion it's almost too late for that. However, that doesn't mean we won't succeed or can't succeed. This is a war we can win.

But those 20,000 troops need to know what their mission will be. There's nothing wrong with beefing up the troops if they are used effectively ... they need to eliminate the insurgent terrorists whose only job is to kill GIs. It needs to be done. Exterminate them. They are trying to kill American troops. Let our military do what they need to do.

He bristles when anti-war protesters and Democrats are mentioned. He feels betrayed by both.

He also feels the American people abandoned the military with their actions last November when they turned leadership of this country over to Democrats. It was like a vote of no-confidence ... as if they had no recourse other than throwing up their hands and giving in.

The public abandoned the military.

He repeated that a number of times. The unwashed masses of the U.S. elected legislators who were interested in nothing more than just plain getting us out of Iraq ... bringing the military back ... and not worrying about finishing the mission.

It's all political, he says. The Democrats have no plan other than to just withdraw -- cut and run -- so they can make a statement to the President.

No matter how much they proclaim to "support the troops" ... the troops don't feel that support as long as Congress doesn't back the mission and what they have done and are doing.

Iraq is a stronghold in the Middle East. We went in and toppled a dictatorship. The people are grateful, and we need to stay there to finish the job.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Victory in Iraq!

"You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

-- Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC
Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943

Put a candle in the window for our troops

A way to show your thanks....

Here in the SWAC area we are huge supporters of our troops. Those guys volunteered to go into the military to protect us and our families, and we have many from this area who are active military, in the reserves, or are veterans.

The true story of the war, as told by the men coming back, is not printed in the MSM. Those who support the war don't get equal coverage from the MSM.

How can we let the world know that we support the troops and we thank them for their sacrifice in protecting us? Many people don't like to stand on a street corner with an American flag and a "Support the Troops" sign for a variety of reasons -- they have to work, they have young children, they are intimiated by the anti-war protesters.

Here's something we can all do to show our support.

Put a candle in the window.

Mine is already there.

It's for Nate who is still in Iraq, for Herb who just came home from Iraq, and all the others. It's my way of saying...

Thank you.


Okay, I admit it. I'm one of the handful of people who don't watch the TV show "24." I hear Rush talk about it and my friends discuss it ... but I don't watch much on TV.

So when the new "24" season started this week a friend said I absolutely must watch! I protested that I had not seen the previous five seasons; wouldn't it be a handicap not knowing the background of the show?

No, he insisted, I didn't need the other seasons ... as long as I started with the first episode of this new season.

Well ... I missed it. I was at the computer Sunday night and on the phone and next thing I knew ... I had missed the show. Oh, well....

But then I remembered ... we have the California TV stations that televise network shows three hours behind the east coast. I still could catch it.

Involved at the computer, I forgot until it was 20 minutes into the show. I turned on the TV and started watching ... a guy was tied in a chair (Jack?), he was being interrogated, he had blood running down the side of his head as if he had been bashed with the butt of a gun or something ... and then the interrogator took a long, slim rod and stabbed it into the man's back ... the man gasped and slumped ... and he was dead. I jumped in my chair. Geez.

Next thing I knew that same man (Jack?) was with the interrogator in a room with another man tied in a chair. Wait! Did I miss something while I was typing away at my computer? Jack wasn't dead? The interrogator was his friend? Who was the guy tied in the chair? Must be the bad guy because Jack was trying to get information from him ... he did something (tightened a tourniquet on the man's wrists?) to make the man flinch and yell in pain. Jack quit torturing the guy and the other fella asked why. Jack said the man didn't know anything and, when asked why he thought that, he said he could see it in the man's eyes.

The "interrogator" looked at Jack, looked at the man in the chair, looked at Jack again, then picked up a knife, slowly walked over to the man in the chair, and in one quick movement stabbed him in the knee.

I physically jumped in my chair. The man tied up in the chair screamed in pain and, with an added twist of the knife, started singing like a bird ... names, places, whatever info they were looking for was now being spilled. Jack watched, somewhat startled, then looked at the interrogator and said something like, "I don't know how to do this anymore."

Oh, man. I've decided this is definitely a guy show.

Maybe I just haven't given it enough of a chance ... maybe if I had watched from the beginning of the series ... maybe if I had watched from the beginning of that night's show. I admire that they are going after the bad guys ... and I have NO problem with what they're doing to get information because obviously whimpy tactics don't work.

But I'd rather watch Fox News or National Georgraphic. I turned off "24" and went back to work on the computer.

I'm sure my friend is going to try and get me to watch again. He has taped it and I may give it a try....