Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them . .
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them!
-- Lawrence Binyon

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I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement,
and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.
-- Abraham Lincoln, November 1864

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Remember Me

Sent to me via my friend and coworker Ken.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

CBS to celebrate Barker's 50 years on TV

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By SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer Thu May 10, 3:46 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Bob Barker's road to retirement is passing through prime time.

The legendary daytime game-show host won't tape his last "Price Is Right" episode until June 6, but CBS will honor Barker next week with a pair of prime-time specials celebrating his five decades on television.

"After 50 years in show business and 35 years on CBS, we want to give Bob a prime-time send-off befitting of an entertainment icon," Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, said in a statement.

The 83-year-old Barker told The Associated Press he picked "just the right time" to say goodbye to the cameras.

"I do not have any regrets about retiring," he said. "Isn't that strange? I expected to have second thoughts."

Barker started his national television career in 1956 as host of "Truth or Consequences." The CBS special features footage of a black-haired Barker cajoling contestants through tricycle races and flapjack-flipping contests.

There are also clips of Barker's appearance as a "cowboy Romeo" on "Bonanza" and memorable moments from past "Price Is Right" seasons, including a montage of overexcited contestants falling down and various men and women who've kissed and mightily hugged the affable host.

CBS president Leslie Moonves makes a guest appearance, praising Barker's "wit, charm and class."

"The stage will never be the same," Moonves said. "You are a legend and I will always be proud to have worked with you."

The prime-time specials, set to air at 8 p.m. May 16 and 17, also feature snapshots from Barker's personal collection, including pictures of his mother, his wife and an AP photo of the fitness buff himself jogging shirtless on a Biloxi beach.

"When I saw that picture, I said, `Get it out in every city in the country,'" Barker recalled. "I said, `I've never looked that good before and I'll never look that good again.'"

Barker said he's looking forward to resuming his daily exercise regimen in retirement.

"I've been so busy here lately that I've had to stop even working out. I hate that," he said. "I'm anxious to just get back into that."

He also plans to travel with his brother and continue working with his animal-welfare charity, the DJ&T Foundation. Named for his late wife, Dorothy Jo, and his mother, Matilda ("Everybody called her Tilly," he said), the organization provides grants for spay and neuter services nationwide. Barker has financed the program since he established it in 1995.

An overflow of fans turned out when the two Barker specials were taped last month. Many wore customized T-shirts commemorating their favorite host's reign.

One read: "T-shirt: $5. Plane ticket: $500. Last chance to see Bob: Priceless." Another, worn by 63-year-old Margaret Boor of Wilmington, N.C., said, "Bob's the most from coast to coast." She decorated it with dozens of jingling gold coins.

"He's one of those G-rated ones," she said of Barker. "He's excited every day and he connects with contestants.

"He's handsome for an 85-year-old," added Boor's daughter, Amanda Hancock, 36, adding a couple of year's to Barker's longevity. "He makes everyone feel special."

"That warmth is genuine," said Roger Dobkowitz, a 35-year "Price Is Right" producer who said he's in "total denial" about Barker's retirement.

"What you see on stage is what he is backstage," Dobkowitz said, calling the longtime host "a wonderful human being" and "a great showman."

"He knows what the people want and because of that, people want the show."

Barker was coy when fans asked how the show would change without him.

"`The Price Is Right' will not continue," he joked. "In fact, when I retire, all of television is going to end. There will be no more television. You can just put potted plants in those sets."

His replacement, still to be picked, is expected to start in September.

"I don't think it's going to be as good without him," said fan Nicci Siggson, 27, who wore a T-shirt that said, "Things to do before Bob retires: Make it to "Price Is Right," kiss Bob's cheek, spin the wheel."

She was among those who gave Barker an extended standing ovation at the show taping.

Barker said he was "absolutely delighted" by the network tribute.

"For them to celebrate my 50 years on television was just a wonderful climax to the whole thing for me," he said. "It was fun, fun, fun, wasn't it?"

Here She Is!

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The USS New York

It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center

It is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite , LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003 , "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there."
Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

The ship's motto? "Never Forget"

Thank you Janey!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Another Islamo Turd Dead

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Published: Sunday, May 13, 2007
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP) - Coalition forces have dealt the insurgency in Afghanistan a "serious blow," NATO said Sunday as it confirmed the death of the man known to some as the "butcher of Kandahar" - top Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah.
Dadullah, a senior military lieutenant of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was killed Saturday in a U.S.-led coalition operation after he emerged from his sanctuary in battle-racked Helmand province, NATO's International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, said in a statement.

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Don't Forget Mom !

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Defeatism in the 40's news media

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We are in a cabin deep down below decks on a Navy ship jam-packed with troops that’s pitching and creaking its way across the Atlantic in a winter gale. There is a man in every bunk. There’s a man wedged into every corner. There’s a man in every chair. The air is dense with cigarette smoke and with the staleness of packed troops and sour wool.

“Don’t think I’m sticking up for the Germans,” puts in the lanky young captain in the upper berth, “but…”

“To hell with the Germans,” says the broad-shouldered dark lieutenant. “It’s what our boys have been doing that worries me.”
The lieutenant has been talking about the traffic in Army property, the leaking of gasoline into the black market in France and Belgium even while the fighting was going on, the way the Army kicks the civilians around, the looting.

“Lust, liquor and loot are the soldier’s pay,” interrupts a red-faced major.

The lieutenant comes out with his conclusion: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” You hear these two phrases again and again in about every bull session on the shop. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “Don’t think I’m sticking up for the Germans, but….”

The troops returning home are worried. “We’ve lost the peace,” men tell you. “We can’t make it stick.”

A tour of the beaten-up cities of Europe six months after victory is a mighty sobering experience for anyone. Europeans. Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. They cite the evolution of the word “liberation.” Before the Normandy landings it meant to be freed from the tyranny of the Nazis. Now it stands in the minds of the civilians for one thing, looting.

You try to explain to these Europeans that they expected too much. They answer that they had a right to, that after the last was America was the hope of the world. They talk about the Hoover relief, the work of the Quakers, the speeches of Woodrow Wilson. They don’t blame us for the fading of that hope. But they blame us now.

Never has American prestige in Europe been lower. People never tire of telling you of the ignorance and rowdy-ism of American troops, of out misunderstanding of European conditions. They say that the theft and sale of Army supplies by our troops is the basis of their black market. They blame us for the corruption and disorganization of UNRRA. They blame us for the fumbling timidity of our negotiations with the Soviet Union. They tell us that our mechanical de-nazification policy in Germany is producing results opposite to those we planned. “Have you no statesmen in America?” they ask.

The skeptical French press
Yet whenever we show a trace of positive leadership I found Europeans quite willing to follow our lead. The evening before Robert Jackson’s opening of the case for the prosecution in the Nurnberg trial, I talked to some correspondents from the French newspapers. They were polite but skeptical. They were willing enough to take part in a highly publicized act of vengeance against the enemy, but when you talked about the usefulness of writing a prohibition of aggressive war into the law of nations they laughed in your face. The night after Jackson’s nobly delivered and nobly worded speech I saw then all again. They were very much impressed. Their manner had even changed toward me personally as an American. Their sudden enthusiasm seemed to me typical of the almost neurotic craving for leadership of the European people struggling wearily for existence in the wintry ruins of their world.

The ruin this war has left in Europe can hardly be exaggerated. I can remember the years after the last war. Then, as soon as you got away from the military, all the little strands and pulleys that form the fabric of a society were still knitted together. Farmers took their crops to market. Money was a valid medium of exchange. Now the entire fabric of a million little routines has broken down. No on can think beyond food for today. Money is worthless. Cigarettes are used as a kind of lunatic travesty on a currency. If a man goes out to work he shops around to find the business that serves the best hot meal. The final pay-off is the situation reported from the Ruhr where the miners are fed at the pits so that they will not be able to take the food home to their families.

“Well, the Germans are to blame. Let them pay for it. It’s their fault,” you say. The trouble is that starving the Germans and throwing them out of their homes is only producing more areas of famine and collapse.

One section of the population of Europe looked to us for salvation and another looked to the Soviet Union. Wherever the people have endured either the American armies or the Russian armies both hopes have been bitterly disappointed. The British have won a slightly better reputation. The state of mind in Vienna is interesting because there the part of the population that was not actively Nazi was about equally divided. The wealthier classes looked to America, the workers to the Soviet Union.

The Russians came first. The Viennese tell you of the savagery of the Russian armies. They came like the ancient Mongol hordes out of the steppes, with the flimsiest supply. The people in the working-class districts had felt that when the Russians came that they at least would be spared. But not at all. In the working-class districts the tropes were allowed to rape and murder and loot at will. When victims complained, the Russians answered, “You are too well off to be workers. You are bourgeoisie.”

When Americans looted they took cameras and valuables but when the Russians looted they took everything. And they raped and killed. From the eastern frontiers a tide of refugees is seeping across Europe bringing a nightmare tale of helpless populations trampled underfoot. When the British and American came the Viennese felt that at last they were in the hands of civilized people. But instead of coming in with a bold plan of relief and reconstruction we came in full of evasions and apologies.
U.S. administration a poor third
We know now the tragic results of the ineptitudes of the Peace of Versailles. The European system it set up was Utopia compared to the present tangle of snarling misery. The Russians at least are carrying out a logical plan for extending their system of control at whatever cost. The British show signs of recovering their good sense and their innate human decency. All we have brought to Europe so far is confusion backed up by a drumhead regime of military courts. We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease. [Emphasis mine]
The taste of victory had gone sour in the mouth of every thoughtful American I met. Thoughtful men can’t help remembering that this is a period in history when every political crime and every frivolous mistake in statesmanship has been paid for by the death of innocent people. The Germans built the Stalags; the Nazis are behind barbed wire now, but who will be next? Whenever you sit eating a good meal in the midst of a starving city in a handsome house requisitioned from some German, you find yourself wondering how it would feel to have a conqueror drinking out of your glasses. When you hear the tales of the brutalizing of women from the eastern frontier you think with a shudder of of those you love and cherish at home.

That we are one world is unfortunately a brutal truth. Punishing the German people indiscriminately for the sins of their leader may be justice, but it is not helping to restore the rule of civilization. The terrible lesson of the events of this year of victory is that what is happening to the bulk of Europe today can happen to American tomorrow.

In America we are still rich, we are still free to move from place to place and to talk to our friends without fear of the secret police. The time has come, for our own future security, to give the best we have to the world instead of the worst. So far as Europe is concerned, American leadership up to now has been obsessed with a fear of our own virtues. Winston Churchill expressed this state of mind brilliantly in a speech to his own people which applies even more accurately to the people of the U.S. “You must be prepared,” he warned them, “for further efforts of mind and body and further sacrifices to great causes, if you are not to fall back into the rut if inertia, the confusion of aim and the craven fear of being great.”

Stolen from Jessica's Well

Sunday, May 06, 2007

U.S. forces find bombs at rebuilt Iraqi schools

Stars and Stripes,
Mideast edition, Tuesday, May 1, 2007

U.S. soldiers in Baghdad have found and defused “numerous” improvised explosives planted in a school for girls that was set to reopen later this month, military officials said Monday.

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division searched the school in Tarmiyah after “discovering a command wire leading from the school’s outer perimeter to one of the rooms” at the school, a news release read.

The Huda Girls’ School is located just north of Baghdad and was in the final stages of a reconstruction project led by the Tarmiyah government, officials said.

“This is the second time this month explosives have been found in the facility,” the release read.

Soldiers found five artillery shells fashioned into explosives in the classroom. In addition, two large explosive-filled propane tanks were buried underneath the school’s floor “and numerous projectiles [were] emplaced underneath electrical conduits in front of each classroom,” the release read.

U.S. officials attributed the planted explosives to members of al-Qaida in Iraq.