Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pentagon Report Cites Gains In Iraq, Despite Rifts

by John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (March 31, 2009) – The security and political situation in Iraq continues to improve, but ethno-sectarian agendas and other obstacles remain, according to Defense Department findings.

Iraqi oil police fire their rifles during the ceremony for the graduation of the first 200 Iraqi oil police officers from the Northern Kirkuk Oil Police Regional Training Center in Kirkuk province, Iraq. A Pentagon report cites growing security capabilities as one of the many reasons for gains in Iraq.Pentagon officials released a congressionally mandated quarterly report on Iraq that focuses on December through February, a period during which pivotal security arrangements between Washington and Baghdad took effect.

“With the signing and implementation of the strategic framework agreement, the relationship with Iraq has become more mature and what we would consider a more normalized U.S.-Iraqi relationship through economic, diplomatic, cultural and security ties,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said today. A status-of-forces agreement, implemented Jan. 1, calls for U.S. troops to begin transferring a greater share of power to Iraqi security forces, and provides a time frame for withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq.

The report to Congress, known colloquially as the 90-10 Report, characterized the transfer of authority to Iraq as “an important milestone” in relations between coalition and Iraqi forces. The agreement is highlighted by coordination on detention operations, it says.

“There have been no major issues to date in the coordination of detention operations,” the report’s executive summary states. “Multinational Force Iraq continues to release security detainees captured prior to Dec. 31, 2008, in a safe and orderly manner in consultation with the [Iraqi government].”

The report notes that President Barack Obama last month announced a plan to commence a phased drawdown of U.S. combat brigades from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, and spells out U.S. goals prior to that deadline.

“By this time, U.S. forces will have completed the transition from combat and counterinsurgency activities to a more limited mission set that focuses on training and assisting the Iraqi security forces, providing force protection for U.S. military and civilian personnel and facilities, conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations, and supporting civilian agencies and international organizations in their capacity-building efforts,” it reads.

The overall security situation slowly continues to improve, with security incidents remaining at low levels and a sense of normalcy returning to Iraqis’ everyday life in much of the country, the report states.

Violence levels are on par with early 2004 figures, Whitman said.

"With respect to the security situation, we continue to see that improve, though with security incidents remaining at the same low levels as experienced in early 2004,” he said. “During this reporting period, there were 35 percent fewer civilian deaths than during the last reporting period."

The report notes that although these security achievements are increasingly positive, they remain fragile in some places, most notably in Ninevah and Diyala provinces, as well as in some parts of Baghdad.

Whitman said that the round of safe provincial elections held in 14 of 18 Iraqi provinces in January demonstrates Iraqis choosing the political process over violence. But he added that sectarian allegiances within the country’s population still play a divisive role.

"Despite some of these positive developments, national reconciliation continues to be hindered by the pursuit of ethno-sectarian agendas and disagreement over the distribution of power and resources at all levels."

Iraqi oil police fire their rifles during the ceremony for the graduation of the first 200 Iraqi oil police officers from the Northern Kirkuk Oil Police Regional Training Center in Kirkuk province, Iraq. A Pentagon report cites growing security capabilities as one of the many reasons for gains in Iraq.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

LB Tea Party Moved

I've spoken with the Special Events people for the umph number of times, and we just found out that the Post Office cannot be permitted due to the Long Beach Grand Prix. As if this was a secret? It happens every year. It must have slipped both of our minds. Oh well.

I am moving it to Bixby Park in Long Beach. This park is located between Ocean Blvd and Cherry to Broadway and Cherry; and it is from Ocean Blvd and Junipero to Broadway and Junipero on the other side. Ocean and Broadway being the constants. I think First Street and Cherry, which is in the middle on one side, would be a good place.

I am now trying to get in touch with the Parks people. I've spoken to the Police, and he thinks it is wonderful. If it is going to be a small gathering of people, it should be no problem. No blocking the streets, no getting in people's way, no misconduct period. Those are my rules, too.

We will have registration forms to sign people up to vote. I am going to try to make some signs. If you have any suggestions, now's the time to let me know. I could really use the help!

I actually have no idea what I'm doing, but the police officer said he thought I had it all together. If he only knew! I've never done anything like this before, but I've had it! There is no Tea Party near for me to go to, so I'm going to throw one myself.

Everyone who's planning on coming, please e-mail me. I have to give an estimated number of people to this nice police officer by Monday, April 13, for the party on the 15th. It's only a precaution because they have special rules they follow.

If you feel you cannot behave yourself in front of these fine men and women who protect us day and night, don't bother showing up. I don't want any trouble. I just want to let these politicians know that they can't continue to steal our money without us getting madder and Madder and MADDER! We're simply not going to take it anymore.

Until that day, be blessed.

PS. Do we have a national site for the Tea Party? Maybe there is someway we could organize so that others who would like to put together a Tea Party don't have to start from scratch. Just sayin'...Oh, I did not have to pay anything, and I did not need a permit. It is a free speech event, so it is not considered one of their 'events'. Woohoo!

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having an open trackback courtesy of Linkfest. This means you can (track)post your best post here. Remember to link me to your article before you trackback. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

Friends I am sharing this post with The Pink Flamingo: Part XI: Democratic Religious Bigotry - Sarah Palin, third world county: R&R, Right Truth: Children on Terrorist Watch List in UK. What makes a child become a terrorist?, Conservative Cat, and The World According To Carl: Lamenting The Mississippi Seawolves: Suspending Operations For The 2009-2010 Season (Will They Ever Return? Probably Not.), thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Pearls of wisdom from my friends:
1. Woman Honor Thyself: MK Haneen Zuabi: Get the H*ll out of ISRAEL!
2. Adam's Blog: Congress Move Towards Economic Fascism.
3. Right Voices: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expect to pay about $210 million in retention bonuses to 7,600 employees over 18 months...as Congress adjourns for Easter break.
4. Woman Honor Thyself: MK Haneen Zuabi: Get the H*ll out of ISRAEL!
5. Adam's Blog: Congress Move Towards Economic Fascism.
6. Adam's Blog: Congress Move Towards Economic Fascism.

Cross-posted @ TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Americans Preparing 'Sons Of Iraq' For Peacetime Job

Gulf Region Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2009) – U.S. forces in Iraq increasingly are focused on educating Iraqis as they move toward returning Iraq to national sovereignty. In recent days, they have overseen job skills training of former “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group members and taken part in the reopening of two schools.

"This is an excellent example of cooperation between coalition forces and our Iraqi counterparts," Christopher Crowley, mission director for the U.S. Agency for International Development said at the March 24 reopening of the Salman Pak Industrial School in Baghdad’s Madain neighborhood.

Former 'Sons of Iraq' civilian security group members learn basic mechanical skills while attending a demobilization, demilitarization and reintegration center in the Adhamiyah neighborhood of Baghdad.Soldiers from the 1st Armored Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 6th Infantry Regiment, Task Force 2nd Battalion, attended the grand reopening of the school, which was made possible by $600,000 from USAID.

The school underwent major reconstruction after being virtually destroyed during insurgent-led attacks at the height of the capital city’s sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007.

The school will offer eight courses available for up to 700 students to learn skills on sewing generator maintenance, welding, automotive repair, plumbing, electrical installation, masonry and carpentry. The school also received new equipment for a women's sewing room, a machine and metal working section and a computer room.

Iraq’s Education Ministry will maintain the building grounds, hire and retain qualified teachers, and provide a full-time guard for the school.

"This school has a 30-year history and always represented a chance for learning and helping the youth of the Madain progress, but because of the violence in the area after the war, it stopped," Qassi Mrweh, Madain council chairman, said.

The improved security enabled contractors to rebuild the industrial school, Mrweh said.

In Baghdad’s Adhamiyah neighborhood, former members of the Sons of Iraq, the civilian security group that worked alongside coalition and Iraqi forces to secure the country, are filling the classrooms at centers opened by the coalition to provide job training.

The city’s four demobilization, demilitarization and reintegration centers teach courses in surveying, electricity, mechanics, generator repair and solar energy.

"We here in Adhamiyah are so happy coalition forces are supporting this project. The project helps the people of Adhamiyah by providing trade skills to local, unemployed people. After graduating the program, they continue to assist the people of Adhamiyah by providing a local work force," Mokdad Hassan, a local tribal support council member, said.

Under the program, each neighborhood may nominate 10 people for attendance to each cycle of the program. Each of the four DDR centers in the district of focuses on a different trade skill.

While attending a six-month class rotation, each student receives a monthly stipend of $350. At the end of the program, after passing the final exam, the students are awarded certificates of completion.

The program is designed to take selected Sons of Iraq members from their checkpoints to the classrooms. The goal is to provide them with essential, high-demand job skills, officials said.

In Iraq’s northern city of Dahuk, 600 middle and high school students will benefit from a bigger and better school, thanks to the Gulf Region Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq.

Engineers with the division’s Mosul Area Office participated recently in a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new 12-room, $1.1 million Shindokha School. Local dignitaries at the ribbon cutting included the provincial governor, education, police and transition team officials.

The new school greatly reduces an overcrowding problem and allows for a longer school day while comfortably accommodating 600 students in grades 7 to 12.

The school is unique in that the entire curriculum is taught in English, according to school administrators. To prepare for the English curriculum, prospective teachers must undergo four months of intensive language training, with only 50 of the top prospects offered positions at the school.

Since 2005, USACE has managed school construction projects totaling $16.3 million in Iraq’s Dahuk province. Those projects include 94 school renovations and 17 new school construction projects, according to Terry Samson, the USACE resident engineer in Dahuk.

Samson said the renovation and new school projects provide educational facilities for more than 10,000 students. These new schools also will give an economic boost to the area by offering 500 new jobs for teachers, administrators, janitorial and security personnel, said he added.

“These new educational institutions increase the scope and quality of education for Dahuk area students,” Samson said. “This, in turn, will better prepare students for the future and improve their employability, lifestyle and the living conditions of all residents. It also demonstrates that the United States is a caring nation and is extremely interested in the educational process in Dahuk and in the future of the region.”

Former 'Sons of Iraq' civilian security group members learn basic mechanical skills while attending a demobilization, demilitarization and reintegration center in the Adhamiyah neighborhood of Baghdad.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

ACLU Hates Disabled Children

Margaret Sanger would be proud of the Arizona Supreme Court decision on Wednesday, March 23, 2009. If you are disabled or have children with disabilities, the ACLU, the Perverts for the Amerikan Way (to hell), and all other children haters have won a case Against disabled children getting a proper education, because these children's parents chose to use their vouchers to go to a Christian school.
John and Dina Phipps and Brendan and Susan Fay, founders of Father’s Heart Christian School for the disabled, removed their developmentally and physically challenged children from the Arizona public school system because of the inadequate education they received there. Two of the children suffer from autism and the other from learning and physical challenges.

Upon receiving the customized instruction they needed at Father’s Heart, their behavior and participation improved remarkably and their academic performance rose several grade levels in just one year after leaving the government school system. The children receive vouchers through the Arizona Scholarships for Pupils with Disabilities program to attend Father’s Heart, but Wednesday’s decision from the Arizona Supreme Court effectively kills the program.
Lovely. What these 'people' would prefer you do, since you embarrass them and should not exist in the first place, is to shut up and take it. Don't you know you are inferior? You should have been aborted! Well, that's how scum think when the only thing you value is self.

Do you believe this is a religious battle? Maybe, but only against Christians and Jews.
Meanwhile your tax money is paying to install footbaths for Muslims in a public school somewhere and the ACLU remain silent. Somewhere CAIR is teaching school children about Islam, and the ACLU remains silent. However, they won’t sit idly by and allow autistic children to receive a better education. Absolutely not if it involves attending a Christian school. [Continue reading.]
Do these idiots know it was the CHRISTIANS who started this whole schooling thing when they came here so that children and adults could learn how to read the BIBLE? I don't rightly know, but I have my suspicions. What say you?

Hat tip: John from Stop the ACLU.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

U.S. Military To 'Refocus' On al-Qaida

by Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2009) – President Barack Obama said Sunday his new strategy for what he calls “America’s war” is intended to zero in on the heart of the matter at hand in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The focus over the last seven years, I think, has been lost,” the president told Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “What we want to do is refocus attention on al-Qaida."

Army Spc. Andrew Soria scans for possible enemy locations during a patrol in Nishagam, Konar province, Afghanistan, earlier this month. President Obama said his new strategy 'refocuses' American troops' efforts on al-Qaida.Obama unveiled his new Afghanistan-Pakistan policy review March 27. “We’re going to go with a strategy that is narrowly focused, that is narrowly targeted on defeating al-Qaida,” he said. “We are going to make sure that they cannot attack U.S. citizens, U.S. soil, U.S. interests, and our allies’ interests around the world.”

This depends, in part, on denying al-Qaida safe haven in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It also means making the Pakistani people understand that the “creep of extremism” into their country is the greatest threat to them and the stability of their government, Obama said.

“One of the concerns that we’ve had building up over the last several years is a notion, I think, among the average Pakistani that this is somehow America’s war, and that they are not invested,” he said. “What we want to do is say to the Pakistani people, you are our friends, our allies. We are going to give you the tools to defeat al-Qaida and to root out these safe havens.”

The administration is prepared to help Pakistan grow its economy so it can provide basic services to its people. If Pakistan’s government doesn’t have credibility or is weakened, it will be much more difficult for its people to deal with the extremism within their borders, Obama noted.

“We have to recognize that part of our task I’m working with Pakistan is not just military,” he said. “It’s also our capacity to build their capacity through civilian interventions, through development, through aid assistance.

“That’s part of what you’re seeing -- both in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- I think is fully resourcing a comprehensive strategy that doesn’t just rely on bullets or bombs, but also relies on agricultural specialists, on doctors, on engineers, to help create an environment in which people recognize that they have much more at stake in partnering with us and the international community than giving into to some of these extremist ideologies,” he said.

In return for the assistance, however, the administration expects much greater accountability, Obama said.

The president also said reports that Pakistani intelligence may be communicating with the Taliban and al-Qaida aren’t new, and just one of the contingencies the United States will face in defeating al-Qaida.

All contingencies can be overcome by combining military, civilian, diplomatic and development approaches, Obama said, if the United States does a better job of coordinating with its allies. Part of the plan includes training the Afghan National Army so it increasingly takes the lead to deal with extremists in the country.

“We realize there are going to be a lot of hurdles between now and us finally having a weakened al-Qaida or destroyed al-Qaida to the point … it cannot pose a danger to us,” he said. “And we will continue to monitor and adjust our strategies to make sure that we’re not just going down blind alleys.”

Shifting to talk of Iraq, Obama said despite the current situation in the country, the plan put forward is the right one; a very gradual withdrawal schedule through the national elections in Iraq.

“There’s still work to be done on the political side to resolve differences between the various sectarian groups around issues like oil … [and] provincial elections,” he said. “I’m confident we’re moving in the right direction, but Iraq is not yet complete.”

Closer to home, the president doesn’t see the drug fighting in Mexico as an “existential threat,” but said it is a serious threat to U.S. border communities.

“[Mexican] President [Felipe] Calderon, I think, has been very bold and rightly has decided that it’s gotten carried away,” Obama said. “The drug cartels have too much power, are undermining, and [are] corrupting huge segments of Mexican society.”

With some threat to U.S. interests, namely the communities on the Mexican border, the president is considering putting National Guard troops on the borders. But before that happens, he’ll wait and see if some of the other steps already taken will quell the violence.

Army Spc. Andrew Soria scans for possible enemy locations during a patrol in Nishagam, Konar province, Afghanistan, earlier this month. President Obama said his new strategy 'refocuses' American troops' efforts on al-Qaida.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

25,000th Hit

Friday, March 27, 2009, I received my 25,000th hit. Unfortunately, I do not know who it was, so I want to thank each and every one of you for your support. I understand the chances I take when I go on vacation, and you've hung in there with me. Much gratitude! The post this person visited was Reaction To War Movie. A very fitting tribute. Have a blessed day.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Victory In Iraq By Omar

Some Americans say we have won the war in Iraq, others proclaim it was lost long ago. Since we are not there, why not ask someone who is from Iraq?
The Security Council resolution 1859 states, among other things, that Iraq is no longer a threat to its neighbors, region, or the world. The United States has succeeded in transforming a bellicose, autocratic state into a friendly one that is making steady progress towards becoming a self-sustaining democracy — the international community is finally coming to recognize this transformation.

This resolution is bound to make a positive impact on the domestic and regional levels. First and foremost it is a testimony to the United States’ true desire to help Iraq get on its feet and relieve it from restrictions that belong to a past era — the United States is indisputably a friendly protector of Iraq, not an occupier as many like to claim.
That, my dear friends, was written by an Iraqi. He is writing about a UN Security Council resolution that never made it to the light of day here in America or in the Middle East. Why is that? This was written on January 9, 2009. Who was president at that time? That is all you need to know. THAT IS SAD.

Everyone here wants peace for the Middle East, or so they proclaim and protest. So why is victory not newsworthy? Could it be that victory in Iraq would prove my fellow Americans wrong for believing differently than I did? Yes.

There is more written that really touches my heart.
Whereas Arab nationalists and Islamist extremists ended up with a pair of shoes, Iraqis ended up with their sovereignty, democracy, and friendship with the United States. Those hypocrites did not lift a finger to help Iraq at a time of hardship. On the contrary, they used all the means they could muster to bring democratization in Iraq and the Middle East to a halt. But despite the vicious attacks, Iraq and the United States moved hand in hand to overcome the countless obstacles and present the model of reform and democracy that is taking shape with every dispute Iraqis resolve in the parliament and every new brick they lay in a new building.

The headlines for those cynics do not go beyond the throw of a shoe, whereas my headlines look into the future and speak of a new Iraq. My headlines speak of agreements with our friends in American industries who will help us have 24 hours of electricity and equip a strong army dedicated to serving and protecting the Iraqi nation. This is a future where Iraq’s billions are used in transparent contracts to build the country and improve economic ties with our true allies and friends, not in shady deals for building palaces, supporting terrorists, and procuring tools of aggression. [Read the whole article.]
Omar and his brothers have taken us through some of their struggles and good times, and it is has been a wonderful, terrifying, worrisome, and hopeful experience for me. Maybe if everyone had been reading this blog, we would have been able to come together against the true enemy...the jihadis...instead of each other.

God bless Iraq, America, our Troops and theirs, and God bless you. May we come together now and lay down our disagreement over whether or not it was right to stop the genocide in Iraq. They are finally free and safe. I'd say that's the best we could have prayed for, wouldn't you?

PS. Please read the CNN article. If it is no longer available, you will find it over at Love America First-2 (it is sourced below).

Source: ITM: New Iraq Emerges from Tyranny and War, CNN and Love America First-2.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Friday, March 27, 2009

President Outlines New Strategy In Afghanistan, Pakistan

The White House

"Good morning," began the President today. "Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. And this marks the conclusion of a careful policy review, led by Bruce [Reidel], that I ordered as soon as I took office."

The President stressed the perilous position we find ourselves in there, and the threat that would arise should safe havens on Pakistan go unchallenged or should the government in Afghanistan fall to the Taliban again. He also noted that 2008 was the deadliest year to date in that war.

The President put forth the central question:

"Many people in the United States -- and many in partner countries that have sacrificed so much -- have a simple question: What is our purpose in Afghanistan? After so many years, they ask, why do our men and women still fight and die there? And they deserve a straightforward answer."

And gave his answer:

"So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That's the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just."

He described the need for a comprehensive strategy in the two countries, including a "standing, trilateral dialogue among the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan."

The President expressed his profound respect for the Pakistani people and their history, and pledged that the United States would so all it could to help Pakistan fight against the terrorists who have so often attempted to destabilize the country, including with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. So too did he express his admiration for the people of Afghanistan, before going on to describe the shift coming on the ground there as well:

"Our troops have fought bravely against a ruthless enemy. Our civilians have made great sacrifices. Our allies have borne a heavy burden. Afghans have suffered and sacrificed for their future. But for six years, Afghanistan has been denied the resources that it demands because of the war in Iraq. Now, we must make a commitment that can accomplish our goals.

"I've already ordered the deployment of 17,000 troops that had been requested by General McKiernan for many months. These soldiers and Marines will take the fight to the Taliban in the south and the east, and give us a greater capacity to partner with Afghan security forces and to go after insurgents along the border. This push will also help provide security in advance of the important presidential elections in Afghanistan in August.

"At the same time, we will shift the emphasis of our mission to training and increasing the size of Afghan security forces, so that they can eventually take the lead in securing their country. That's how we will prepare Afghans to take responsibility for their security, and how we will ultimately be able to bring our own troops home.

"For three years, our commanders have been clear about the resources they need for training. And those resources have been denied because of the war in Iraq. Now, that will change. The additional troops that we deployed have already increased our training capacity. And later this spring we will deploy approximately 4,000 U.S. troops to train Afghan security forces. For the first time, this will truly resource our effort to train and support the Afghan army and police. Every American unit in Afghanistan will be partnered with an Afghan unit, and we will seek additional trainers from our NATO allies to ensure that every Afghan unit has a coalition partner. We will accelerate our efforts to build an Afghan army of 134,000 and a police force of 82,000 so that we can meet these goals by 2011 -- and increases in Afghan forces may very well be needed as our plans to turn over security responsibility to the Afghans go forward.

"This push must be joined by a dramatic increase in our civilian effort. Afghanistan has an elected government, but it is undermined by corruption and has difficulty delivering basic services to its people. The economy is undercut by a booming narcotics trade that encourages criminality and funds the insurgency. The people of Afghanistan seek the promise of a better future. Yet once again, we've seen the hope of a new day darkened by violence and uncertainty.

"So to advance security, opportunity and justice -- not just in Kabul, but from the bottom up in the provinces -- we need agricultural specialists and educators, engineers and lawyers. That's how we can help the Afghan government serve its people and develop an economy that isn't dominated by illicit drugs. And that's why I'm ordering a substantial increase in our civilians on the ground. That's also why we must seek civilian support from our partners and allies, from the United Nations and international aid organizations -- an effort that Secretary Clinton will carry forward next week in The Hague.

"At a time of economic crisis, it's tempting to believe that we can shortchange this civilian effort. But make no mistake: Our efforts will fail in Afghanistan and Pakistan if we don't invest in their future."

The President described a new regime of accountability in the execution of this war, beginning with contractors, and stretching to demanding clearly understood goals:

"There is an uncompromising core of the Taliban. They must be met with force, and they must be defeated. But there are also those who've taken up arms because of coercion, or simply for a price. These Afghans must have the option to choose a different course. And that's why we will work with local leaders, the Afghan government, and international partners to have a reconciliation process in every province. As their ranks dwindle, an enemy that has nothing to offer the Afghan people but terror and repression must be further isolated. And we will continue to support the basic human rights of all Afghans -- including women and girls.

"Going forward, we will not blindly stay the course. Instead, we will set clear metrics to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable. We’ll consistently assess our efforts to train Afghan security forces and our progress in combating insurgents. We will measure the growth of Afghanistan’s economy, and its illicit narcotics production. And we will review whether we are using the right tools and tactics to make progress towards accomplishing our goals."

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Jihadis May Be Freed In USA

Some of these pig-eatin' thugs may be released in the United States of America. You can thank President Obama and AG Eric Holder. Some others may face a trial as criminals instead of warring enemies. If this is the case, the gov't has a greater burden of proof to find these Islamofascists guilty. If they are found not guily, they must be let go. Thank you very much, President Obama.

When the next attack comes, and it will, don't look at the Conservatives and ask why. We already told you, but you were too busy hating President George W. Bush to care. What a wasted shame.

There is a some more at Obama Administration May Release Some Gitmo Terror Suspects in U.S., written by BrianinMo.

Update: Gateway Pundit also has an article about this title, Unreal!... Welfare For Gitmo Detainees Released in US. It includes more information and it is damning. The Weekly Standard has something to say about this, but you need to go to Gateway Pundit to read about it. ;)

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having an open trackback courtesy of Linkfest. This means you can share your best post here by trackposting it. Remember to link me to your article before you trackback. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

Sharing this post with Nuke's: WFFOT Linkage Edition, Blog @ MoreWhat.com: Open Trackback Linkfest Haven Weekend, The Pink Flamingo: Part V: Attacking Palin To Destroy Her, Woman Honor Thyself: Woman Honor Thyself, Right Voices: "Here it is, Mr. President", The World According To Carl: Earth Hour – Another Empty Feel-Good Event For A Bogus Cause, and The World According To Carl: Heartburn Medication Or Parody Ad?, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Here are some posts from my friends over at Linkfest for your reading pleasure:
1. Faultline USA: Does No "Freedom Tower" Name Symbolize What We Have Become?
2. Potbelly Stove: Stop the Insanity.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Reaction To War Movie

This is just a snippet of this great movie, 'Brothers At War', which should be coming to town near you. I urge you to go to this movie. It was done independently, because no one in Hollyweird would produce this type of movie. If you would like to see the reaction of the people who can tell you whether it is a political or a honest, personal story type of movie, here is the link: Brothers At War, Press Premiere. Thank you, and God bless them and you all.

Hat tip: Dave Scantling.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Founders' Daily Quote(s): 3/23-27/09

Monday, March 23, 2009.
"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others."

--James Madison, Federalist No. 48

Tell me about it...

Tuesday, 3/24/09.
"Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them."

--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Causes and Necessities of Taking up Arms, 6 July 1775

Amen.

Wednesday, 3/25/09.
"It has ever been my hobby-horse to see rising in America an empire of liberty, and a prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them. You say it is impossible. If I should agree with you in this, I would still say, let us try the experiment, and preserve our equality as long as we can."

--John Adams, letter to Count Sarsfield, 3 February 1786

Woohoo!

Thursday, 3/26/09.
"Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other. The divine law, as discovered by reason and the moral sense, forms an essential part of both."

--James Wilson, law lectures at the University of Pennsylvania

Yes, indeed.

Friday, 3/27/09.
"The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy."

--Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, circa 1774

If only it were so...

Source: PatriotPost.us - Subscribe here.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sea Of Japan Could Go From Cold To Hot In A Ballistic Moment

Those pesky North Koreans. They insist they are only going to launch a satellite into space on this rocket they plan to launch between April 4-8. Ha! So says the Navy.

We do not trust these lying cretins and with good reason. They are liars. They have yet to keep their word on anything they agree to, so you can see why we are skeptical.

As of this moment, CNN is reporting that "[t]he USS Hopper, a destroyer with the Aegis radar system aboard was scheduled for a port call in Japan in coming days, [b]ut the port call was canceled and the ship will remain in the Sea of Japan ahead of the launch, the official said."

There are two other destroyers, the USS McCain and the USS Chaffee, that will be in the waters near South Korea.

There are usually destroyers with Aegis-capability in the Sea of Japan due to North Korea's belligerence, so this is not new. What is new is that plans have been changed because of this North Korean launch. They have launched long-range missiles over the island of Japan and near the island, and Japan was angry when those incidents occurred.

So you can see why Japan and the US may feel a little hesitant to believe anything that shrimp leader of North Korea has to say. If he does decide to launch this missile, President Obama has 5 minutes or less to decide whether this is a dangerous launch or not, and he will have to give the order to shoot it down or leave it alone. Let us pray he makes the correct decision. There are people counting on us to do so. All politics aside...

Source: CNN: U.S. destroyers on move as N. Korea prepares rocket launch and/or Love America First-2.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Today I am having an open trackback courtesy of Linkfest. This means you can (track)post your best post here. Remember to link me to your article before you trackback. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

Friends I am sharing this with: Woman Honor Thyself: Judging Women by their Looks, The World According To Carl: Godly Wisdom — March 24, 2009, The Pink Flamingo: The GOP Budget Plans - House Pepublicans Are Fools, Leaning Straight Up: LSU Preseason Injury Report With a Mini-Rant, Democrat=Socialist: Rep. Nunes (R) CA Warns of Radical Environmentalist Economic Damage, Conservative Cat, and Right Voices: "Here It Is, Mr. President.", thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

'We're Not Drones; We Fire Back'

by Staff Sgt. Zachary Wilson
U.S. Air Forces Central News Team

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (March 26, 2009) – The door to the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here features a drawing of an MQ-1 Predator armed with Hellfire missiles underscored with the words "We're not drones; we fire back."

Often referred to by news reporters as "drones," unmanned aircraft like the MQ-1 Predator and RQ-4 Global Hawk are weapons systems flown remotely, in-country or stateside, from ground stations using satellite uplinks. They're also far more complex than the U.S. military's relatively more simplified radio-controlled drone aircraft used for aerial target practice, experts said.

Aircrews perform a preflight check on an MQ-9 Reaper before it takes off for a mission in Afghanistan. The Reaper is larger and more heavily-armed than the MQ-1 Predator and in addition to its traditional ISR capabilities, is designed to attack time-sensitive targets with persistence and precision.For the airmen flying and maintaining the lethal Predator and its big brother, the MQ-9 Reaper, from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, and from Creech Air Force Base, Nev., the message is demonstrated to their adversaries on a regular basis.

Both the MQ-1 and MQ-9 are weapons-carrying aircraft, “and both have a hunter-killer role in addition to their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities," said Air Force Lt. Col. Scott Miller, the 62nd ERQS commander, who is deployed from the 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Base.

Performing dual missions of close-air support and ISR taskings, the Predator can stay airborne for more than 12 hours at 50,000 feet, and the Reaper can stay up longer and at even higher altitudes, squadron officials said. Boasting a full-motion video camera with various modes that can detect enemy movements, the Predator and Reaper also carry the Hellfire missile. The unmanned aircraft bring to the fight a set of two 500-pound, laser-guided bombs that allow operators to not only observe and detect hostile forces, but also eliminate them if called upon to do so.

"Both aircraft can initiate and complete the 'kill chain'," Miller said. "With their ability to loiter for long periods of time over a target, eliminate it, stay on station and then provide the [bomb damage assessment], they provide continuity to a mission and prove to be invaluable assets."

The aircraft are flown jointly by the 62nd ERQS crews stationed here with the 451st Air Expeditionary Group and by crews back at Creech. They use satellite uplinks that transfer control from the local pilots who taxi, launch, land and recover the aircraft -- all from trailers adjacent to the flightline -- and the Creech aviators flying inside of mission control elements.

General Atomics contractors perform maintenance on the Reaper, while responsibility for Predator maintenance is undertaken by 62nd ERQS airmen.

"As this aircraft is like 90 percent avionics, it's a pretty unique experience to work on it," said Senior Airman Doug Cox, a 62nd ERQS MQ-1 avionics specialist deployed from Creech. "We're asked to do a lot more than our traditional specialties, and most of us are trained up on crew chief duties such as performing 60-hour inspections, changing spark plugs, engine oil and things like that."

Air Force 1st Lt. Andrew Dowd, also deployed from Creech as the unit's maintenance officer, agreed.

"This aircraft does not have hydraulic fluid and operates using electro-servos," he said, noting the aircraft recently reached a 500,000 flight-hour milestone. "It's a very unique platform, but of course, when it's all said and done, it's the $1.2 million camera that runs the show."

After the aircraft are airborne and are handed off by the Kandahar crew, Creech aviators perform the majority of traditional mission taskings. However, the 62nd ERQS airmen increasingly are taking responsibility for executing missions within the local area to aid and protect coalition forces stationed around Kandahar who are fighting the enemy. Sometimes weapons are dropped, demonstrating the lethality and uniqueness of the 62nd ERQS' mission and aircraft to friend and foe alike.

Notably, some missions often are generated to fly only within the local area, putting the responsibility for the entire mission on the shoulders of the Kandahar-based aircrews.

It's great to have a direct impact on the war," said Airman 1st Class Patrick Snyder, an MQ-9 sensor operator who maneuvers the system's cameras and sensors as well as directs its munitions when launched. "We provide over-watch for the Canadians fighting the Taliban and then have coffee with them at the end of day [here at Kandahar.] It really makes us feel connected."

Air Force Capt. Ryan Jodi, a B-1 pilot who now flies the Reaper from his cockpit position in a ground control element, also acknowledged his preference for performing missions locally as opposed to Creech.

"I really enjoy doing the launches and landings from here," Jodi said. "It really gives you more of a flying feeling. And doing local missions is also great because we can really appreciate the camaraderie we have with our coalition partners who we live with here."

With spring arriving in Afghanistan, Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents once again will likely ramp up hostile operations against coalition forces around the country as they have demonstrated each year during the duration of Operation Enduring Freedom.

However, with the planned increase of forces within the area, that means more assets are on the way, with 62nd ERQS leaders preparing for additional aircraft and more mission sorties generated from combatant commanders. With nearly 10 additional Reapers coming to supplement the squadron's MQ-9 aircraft, which number about a dozen, Miller said that means more work.

"In 2005, we were generating about two sorties a day," he said. "We've more than quadrupled that now, and we are going to expect a lot more coming in the future."

Air Force Col. Ted Osowski, the 451st AEG commander, agreed with Miller on the demand for the ISR hunter and killer platforms in theater.

"No other asset is more sought after," he said. "Close-air support and ISR are very valuable to the ground commanders."

Aircrews perform a preflight check on an MQ-9 Reaper before it takes off for a mission in Afghanistan. The Reaper is larger and more heavily-armed than the MQ-1 Predator and in addition to its traditional ISR capabilities, is designed to attack time-sensitive targets with persistence and precision.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

'T-Walls' Come Down In Samarra

25th Inf. Div.

FOB BRASSFIELD-MORA (March 26, 2009) — Scores of Samarra citizens joined provincial and community leaders March 23 as concrete barriers were removed during a ceremony reminiscent of the opening of the Berlin wall nearly 20 years ago.

Children jump onto a flat-bed truck and celebrate as a crane removes several concrete barriers from a marketplace in Samarra, Iraq, March 23.The concrete barriers, commonly known as T-walls, surround several government and military buildings throughout Samarra to provide a layer of protection against insurgent attacks. While T-walls have become a familiar site in Iraq, they are a sign of more dangerous times, and most citizens agree it’s time for them to go.

Samarra’s mayor, Mahmood Khalaf Ahmed, joined Lt. Col. Sam Whitehurst, commander, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, to witness the first step in a city-wide barrier removal project.

“Samarra has become very peaceful,” said Omar Khaled, a local produce shop owner. “The barriers remind us of bad times, but it is time to look toward the future and enjoy our peace. It is time to reopen Samarra.”

To the sound of cheering and clapping, a young Iraqi man dressed in sweatpants and sandals strapped hooked chains onto the lifting points of the barriers. Ten individual barriers were lifted, removed and placed on a flatbed truck.

Both Ahmed and Whitehurst spoke with Iraqi media, echoing Khaled’s sentiment.“The people of Samarra have a sense of security now,” said Ahmed, “a security they have not known in many years.”

“Many exciting events have transpired in Samarra over our last five months here,” said Whitehurst. “Today is, without a doubt, the most exciting of those events.”

Whitehurst concluded by saying “the progress and security that has come to Samarra is a direct result of the cooperation and partnership of the Samarran people. None of this would be possible without your help.”

The site selected for the initial barrier removal is in a section of Samarra that was once used for public executions in darker days. Today it is a peaceful marketplace.

The removed barriers will be given to the Iraqi Army and used for security around military compounds.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE BRASSFIELD-MORA, Samarra, Iraq - Several children jump onto a flat-bed truck and celebrate as a crane removes several concrete barriers from Samarra Mar. 23, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Terry, 3rd Inf. Bde. Combat Team, 25th Inf. Div. Public Affairs.).

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

PJTV: 'The Third Jihad'

Today on Sharia and Jihad at PJTV, the guest speaker was Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. I've known of him for several years now, ever since he tried to put a rally together in front of Washington, DC to repudiate the other Muslims who either were fighting and killing Muslims, Christians and Jews, and also his message was to the American people. He wanted Muslims who live here to stand up and speak out against the wrongs that were being done in the name of his religion. The twist? He is a very American kinda guy, and he wants the political poison of jihad eradicated.

This is a clip of the free TV airing: Hamas Missile Attacks Resume, Muslim Girl Burned Alive in India & Dr. Zuhdi Jasser is Interviewed. It is 16 minutes long.

Next is a 30 minute preview of the movie, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision For America.


If this video is not working, here is the link to view it: The Third Jihad - The FREE 30-Minute Version. If you would care to purchase your own copy of this movie to prove that there are Muslims out there speaking out and taking their very lives into their own hands, you may do so here.

All in all, it's a good bit of information.

Never mind the fact that it is at our doorsteps as well. But after all, we're only fighting an 'overseas contingency', right? /sarc

I guess I'm still just a teeny bit upset about trying to confuse the public with arbitrary words. Let's face it. How do you win a 'contingency'? What's the end strategy? Is there now or has there ever been a successful 'overseas contingency'? What was the name of that 'contingency'? I'll bet you anything it had the word 'WAR' attached to it. *sigh* Have a blessed day.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having an open trackback courtesy of Linkfest. This means you can (track)post your best post here. Remember to link me to your article before you trackback. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

My friends are sharing their posts for your reading pleasure:
1. The World According To Carl: Heartburn Medication Or Parody Ad?

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

North Korea At It Again

Looming yonder...
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- North Korea has positioned what is believed to be a long-range ballistic missile on its launch pad, a U.S. counter-proliferation official said on Wednesday. The official confirmed a Japanese media report. The Taepo Dong 2 missile could launch either a warhead or a satellite, the official said. What the North Koreans would be testing may not be known until an actual launch. The North Koreans have said they intend to launch a communications satellite.
Maybe they just want to be part of the 'overseas contingency'?

Source: CNN--N. Korea positions 'missile' on launch pad. CNN has a tendency of removing its 'news' articles from the web once I've sourced them. If the date is over a week or so, you'll be taking your chances on whether or not it is still good. But then again, it's only CNN. ;)

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

LBCA Tea Party Update I

Today I set out on my first ever journey to get a permit for the Tea Party Protest. Interesting it was. I have this 37 page package for which I need to fill out for my application. I am on page 5, and it is still just briefing me on how they are going to help me fill it out. I've learned that it's going to cost me, but they haven't said how much yet.

Everyone I've spoken to so far has not heard of the Tea Parties popping up all across America. I've had to explain to them what it is we are doing. When they asked how many people will be attending, I had to say just one so far. lol. I really do not know how many people, if any, will show up.

I have a question. Is it better to have it during the noon hour, say 11 am until 1 pm, or would the early evening be better?

There is really bad parking, so I recommend parking a distance away and taking one of the free buses to the site. I am hoping for an April 15th date, but I'm supposed to have had my request in at least 60 days in advance. I think they are going to work with me, though. That is what they said. I think it is because I have no idea what I am doing and the number of people is so low. lol.

Hey, if I end up being the only person that shows up, so be it. I'm going. If the Tea Parties won't come to me, I'll throw my own. ;)

Well, that's it for now. I'll let you know more tomorrow. Gotta start reading again...

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ TCU, CA State SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Iraq Drawdown Will Reduce Stress On Forces

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (March 23, 2009) – The force drawdown in Iraq, even in light of increased troop strength in Afghanistan, will enable the military to build more dwell time into deployment cycles, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.

"I think that with reduced forces in Iraq and with force levels I see in the future for Afghanistan, we can start to build more time at home," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said during a Pentagon Channel podcast interview. "I think that's absolutely vital."

Spc. Dane Bamford (left), from Shamokin, Pa., searches with an Iraqi policeman during a joint operation at Baghdad University College of Agriculture March 21. As Iraqi Security Forces step into a larger role, U.S. troops will step back, allowing for less stress on forces and more 'home time' for troops.Mullen has been a staunch advocate of "home time" or "home tempo" to balance the stress imposed by demanding operational tempos. And he's quick to clarify that being off conducting training - even if it's at the unit's home installation – doesn't qualify.

"When we are home, we need to be home," he said. "What I really mean by that is, Are you sleeping in your own bed at night? Are you spending time with your family?"

Increasing operational demands in Afghanistan make this home time critical, he said.

"We've got a very seasoned force right now. We’ve got a force that can do an awful lot of things," he said. "And as we refocus toward Afghanistan and these deployments, time at home really needs to be time at home."

Mullen called Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' decision to phase out the Army's "stop-loss" policy, which keeps some soldiers in uniform beyond the terms of their enlistment contracts, another positive development.

The chairman said he rarely goes to a town hall session, in the combat theater or at home stations, without having troops ask about the unpopular policy. "I think it is time for it to go," he said.

As the Army phases out the stop-loss program, some soldiers in critical specialties still are likely to be affected, Mullen said. "But we think those numbers will be very, very small," he said. "So I am very encouraged by the change and by [Gates'] decision, and I think it will have a very positive impact on the Army."

Mullen said his visit last month to Fort Campbell, Ky., which has experienced eight soldier suicides since Jan. 1, drove home the personal toll the overstressed force is enduring. Although the Army has the most serious problem, every other service has experienced rising suicide rates, too, he noted.

"I think that is reflective of the pressure we are under," he said.

Mullen conceded there's "no easy solution," but said the best solution boils down to an engaged leadership and a force educated about risk factors and willing to step in to help a comrade in need.

"To fix a problem, you have to admit you have a problem,” Mullen said. "We've done that. We've got leadership very heavily focused on this."

While addressing near-term issues, "we also have to stay focused on this over the long term," he said. "Leaders have to take this one on and stay with it and support their people in this area – just as we do across the board."

Spc. Dane Bamford (left), from Shamokin, Pa., searches with an Iraqi policeman during a joint operation at Baghdad University College of Agriculture March 21. As Iraqi Security Forces step into a larger role, U.S. troops will step back, allowing for less stress on forces and more 'home time' for troops.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Long Beach, CA, Tea Party

Okay, I'm in. I don't see anyone having a Tea Party out my way, so I'm going to have to take the bull by the horns. Anyone who is organizing a Tea Party, would you please let me know through which hoops you've had to jump? Permits, crowd control, costs, etc. Thanks.

I have also joined the California State Group at Smart Girl Politics, and I will be updating this over there as well as here.

If you would like to join a group of lovely and intelligent Ladies and Gentlemen, just come on over. You may also find me by going to my page. If you would like to join the California State Group, click on the first link I've provided. Any knowledge you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Have a blessed day.

Update I: Today I set out on my first ever journey to get a permit for the Tea Party Protest. Interesting it was. I have this 37 page package for which I need to fill out for my application. I am on page 5, and it is still just briefing me on how they are going to help me fill it out. I've learned that it's going to cost me, but they haven't said how much yet.

Everyone I've spoken to so far has not heard of the Tea Parties popping up all across America. I've had to explain to them what it is we are doing. When they asked how many people will be attending, I had to say just one so far. lol. I really do not know how many people, if any, will show up.

I have a question. Is it better to have it during the noon hour, say 11 am until 1 pm, or would the early evening be better?

There is really bad parking, so I recommend parking a distance away and taking one of the free buses to the site. I am hoping for an April 15th date, but I'm supposed to have had my request in at least 60 days in advance. I think they are going to work with me, though. That is what they said. I think it is because I have no idea what I am doing and the number of people is so low. lol.

Hey, if I end up being the only person that shows up, so be it. I'm going. If the Tea Parties won't come to me, I'll throw my own. ;)

Well, that's it for now. I'll let you know more tomorrow. Gotta start reading again...

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having an open trackback courtesy of Linkfest. This means you can (track)post your best post here. Remember to link me to your article before you trackback. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

Some thoughts shared by my friends:
1. Adam's Blog: The Unready (To Face Evil) One.
2. Woman Honor Thyself: Palestinian Refugees? Flat out LIE.
3. Conservative Cat: Study Abroad.
4. Woman Honor Thyself: Haifa Bomb thwarted.
5. Right Voices: "Here it is, Mr. President".

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, CA State Group - SGP and Rosemary's News & Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

God Bless This Day

Have you been meaning to lay that big prayer on our Lord Jesus Christ for a while now, but you just haven't found the right time? Take the time right now. He knows what is on your heart, and He is waiting for your words, your time, your trust, your gratitude, your prayers.

Have you been afraid? Are you worrying about your health, job, and/or life? Try reading Luke 12:22-34.
12:22 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by worrying can add an hour to his life? 26 So if you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about the rest? 27 Consider how the flowers grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 28 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, how much more will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 29 So do not be overly concerned about what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 30 For all the nations of the world pursue these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, pursue his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out – a treasure in heaven that never decreases, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ©NET.
Read More.

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How do we apply this to our daily living in these times? We read the article written by Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh (which is provided by this link). This is not the direction I wanted to take (but I'm going to leave the other article on here because it's my favorite), so I have found another text, The Fatal Failures of Religion: #4 Materialism (Matthew 6:19-34).
6:19 “Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If then your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? 27 And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? 28 Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 30 And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? 31 So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. ©NET.
Read More.

Powered By: NETBibleTagger.
What is discussed in his text both concepts, worry and materialism, for which we find ourselves in a bunch.

Okay, so you ask, "But what about my rent or my mortgage? I need a place to live!" Let me ask you this. If you have no home, do you die? No? Then do not worry about it. Have you sought the face of God today is a more appropriate question I tell you the truth! God knows you are in need of these things, but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and these things shall be added unto to you.

Please read his article in Bible.org. I am not a preacher, and I sure do not choose to mislead anyone. I would much more prefer the mulberry bush than to do this!

Below is something I wrote earlier, before I realized something was missing. I find this to be very important for us to remember as well.

Let me ask you this. Do you believe that truth changes? Is gravity still gravity, just because we wish it not to be? After all, wouldn't we love to drive our cars in the air? I know I would! But this is a law of nature, Nature's Law, created by God.

God is Truth. He has also promised to be Faithful. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So when people's attitudes change, locations change, cultures change, does that mean Truth has to change along with the times? No.

It means no such thing. God does not change with our whims. Oh, He may leave us to our own demise, but whose fault would that be? OURS for choosing the wrong path to follow.

Make this day a good one. Get back on the path your heart is yearning to be on, and start enjoying the Peace of God. (Phil. 4:2-6)

It can be done no matter who you are or how far you've gone in the wrong direction. This is why Christ died in our place, to wash away ALL of our sins. No one else could take His place on the Cross. No one but He, and He did so willingly. Will you please come home to Him and to our family? We miss you.

Yes, may God bless this day to be the first day of the rest of our lives. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.

Have a blessed day.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having an open trackback courtesy of Linkfest. This means you can (track)post your best post here. Remember to link me to your article before you trackback. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

Sharing with lovely friends: Nuke's: Bus Tour Of AIG Homes By ACORN Front Group, Blog @ MoreWhat.com: Open Trackback Linkfest Haven Weekend, Third World County: Added to My Wish List, Faultline USA: Conservative Bloggers Now Labeled “Domestic Terrorists”?, Woman Honor Thyself: Southwest Airlines Rapper David Holmes, The World According To Carl: Open Trackback Friday — February 27, 2009, Colorado Sports Desk: John Elway Weighs-in on Jay Cutler Debacle, The Pink Flamingo; Olympia Snow Enabling Obama To Take Over Net, Democrat=Socialist: Extreme Led Sheep Art Linkfest, Stageleft: Jason Kenny Sure Is An Amusing Dolt, and Highly Opinionated: Don't Tread On Me, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Here are some thoughts from my friends:
1. The World According To Carl: Barack Obama’s Teleprompter’s Blog.
2. The World According To Carl: Uncle Jay Explains The News — March 23, 2009.
3. Nuke's: Obama gives Geithner “vote of confidence”.
4. Right Voices: RECOVERY? Our Government Is Spending Billions To Save Jobs Yet Decides That Buying Chinese Versus American Will Save A Few Bucks.
5. The World According To Carl: Godly Wisdom — March 24, 2009.
6. Blog @ MoreWhat.com: Reaction to Obama Gaffes Miss the Larger Point.
7. Nuke's: Leading me home.

Cross-posted @ TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

PJ TV: Sharia/Jihad

Today I've spent a bit of my time watching all the wonderful programs on Pajamas TV, and I think you would benefit also from registering here. It does cost some money, I'm paying $15/per month, but it certainly is worth it.

For those who do not know, Pajamas TV is an offshoot from Pajames Media. They received their name when, a few years back, some smart alec decided to call of us bloggers lazy people who sat around in our pajamas and declared we were not journalist. We of course took offense. So we turned it around into a good thing, a thing to be proud of, something to embrace. No shame in our game. lol.

Here is a link to a free video from the program Sharia - Jihad. Frank Gaffney is the guest speaker this week. It is only 17 minutes long. Please watch this, because you will get information here that you will not receive from our screen reading 'news reporters'. ;)

Lebanese President Supports Hezbollah, Self- Immolation & Frank Gaffney on Obama's Mid-East Policies. I hope you learn more than you already knew. After all, isn't that the point of educating ourselves? Have a blessed day.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having an open trackback courtesy of Linkfest. This means you can (track)post your best post here. Remember to link me to your article before you trackback. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

Sharing this video with Nuke's, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, third world county, Faultline USA, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Colorado Sports Desk, The Pink Flamingo, and Democrat=Socialist, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Quick-Thinking Crew, Teamwork Help Tanker Avoid Disaster

by Tech. Sgt. Harry Kibbe
376th Air Expeditionary Wing

MANAS AIR BASE, Kyrgyzstan (March 20, 2009) - "Any aircraft, any station, this is Shell 73, Emergency. We’ve lost complete navigational capability. Request assistance."

This was the mayday call from Capt. Matthew Jaeger as he and the crew of Shell 73, a KC-135 Stratotanker from Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, blindly transmitted as it flew somewhere over the border of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

As luck would have it, Capt. Jaeger was on the 13th flight of his first deployment as an aircraft commander when both of his flight navigation systems failed, leaving the pilot of just more than two years unsure of where his current path would take his crew and plane.

"We were trying to diagnose the problem the entire time, going through our checklists, but nothing we did was solving it," said Captain Jaeger.

To make matters worse, all geographic landmarks below were hidden by heavy cloud cover, so the crew couldn’t rely on visual references to guide them back to Manas or to an alternate landing site. Even if they had been able to steer themselves home, poor weather conditions prevented them from landing at Manas, where the airfield was socked in by rain and clouds.

"I remembered the basics," said Jaeger, "Aviate, navigate, communicate…we had plenty of fuel, and we knew that our altitude was high enough to keep us safely above the mountainous terrain."

Realizing that landing at Manas was out of the question, Jaeger decided to divert Shell 73 south towards Afghanistan, knowing that he had to be particularly careful to not enter Chinese or Iranian air space.

"I knew that the weather was good at Bagram from our mission brief," he said. "We had to land at a field where we could use visual flight rules; one where we could see the runway and manually input our landing data."

Flying on standby instruments, Captain Jaeger had to think on his toes - quickly. He told the boom operator, Senior Airman McKayla Dick, to grab the handheld GPS out of the aircraft survival kit.

"My whole mentality was just to stay calm," said Airman Dick. "I had to help out as much as I could so that we could get out of this situation."

The move by Jaeger to use the handheld GPS garnered great admiration from those in his chain of command.

"In my experience, something like this has never happened before," said Lt. Col. Patrick Rhatigan, 22nd Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron commander, who has 18 years of experience as a pilot. "For him to pull out the handheld GPS shows a level of maturity and quick thinking not usually seen in junior aircraft commanders."

The out-of the box thinking worked. The crew used the GPS to verify they were on a heading to cross the border into Afghanistan, where they would be able to call for support from coalition aircraft.

"For about five minutes it was pretty tense, but once I knew we were on a vector south toward Afghanistan, that’s when it started to calm down," said 1st Lt. Vance Feavel, copilot of Shell 73 who like the rest of the crew, is deployed from the 92nd Air Refueling Squadron at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.

Now in Afghanistan, and within contact range of Kabul Air Control, Capt Jaeger was able to issue the mayday call.

"We contacted Kabul, explained our situation and gave our position using the GPS," explained Jaeger. "We then asked for a relay to see if we could get another plane to rendezvous with us."

Not far away, Moose 75, a C-17 deployed out of the 16th Airlift Squadron from Charleston AFB, S.C., was on an airdrop mission when they heard the call and diverted to intercept Shell 73.

"Judy, I gotcha!" called out Lieutenant Feavel as he established visual confirmation with the C-17 just twenty minutes after the first mayday call.

Moose 75 was then able to lead Jaeger and his crew to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, where they set up a holding pattern.

"Bagram is basically in a bowl of mountains," said Jaeger. "Moose 75 was able to take us into a holding pattern and then lead us through a hole in the clouds before guiding our descent for a visual approach."

"It was a relief to know that we were able land safely with the help of Moose 75 and Kabul Air Control," said Feavel after the crew of Shell 73 was back on the ground.

Once at Bagram, the crew's fortunes continued. The transient alert contractors that marshaled them to their parking spot were both former KC-135 crew chiefs. They responded immediately, checking out the navigational systems onboard. After successfully rebooting the systems and finding nothing wrong, Shell 73 started up for the flight back to Manas.

After just three hours on the ground at Bagram, Jaeger and his crew were airborne and Shell 73 was navigating its way back home.

Once back to Manas, the crew got a good night's rest and were back on the flying schedule the following day, flying yet another refueling mission over Afghanistan.

"We got back without any real issues," said Jaeger. "It was a real learning experience, but we couldn’t have done it without the help we were fortunate to receive from the C-17 crew and those on the ground."

"As a pilot who's flown the C-17 and KC-135, I'm really proud of how both crews teamed up, relied on their training, and pulled the rabbit out of the hat to keep us off the front page news," said Rhatigan. "The outcome is a real testimony to the level-headed professionals carrying out the mission in the air and on the ground."

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.