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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Friday, June 30, 2006
Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-121) Go For Lauch
by Cordeiro
UPDATE: We can fly into space, but we still can't control the weather. Next launch attempt is July 4, 2006 at 3:26 pm Eastern. Stay tuned.

The news cycle is a fickle thing. Between SCOTUS rulings, Britney's Bare Boobs, and the World Cup, its hard to keep track of much else.

For those of you overwhelmed by the different storylines of the day, let me point you to one you may have missed. Tomorrow - July 1, 2006 - will mark America's return to space on the wings of the Space Shuttle Discovery.

For most of us, myself included, space travel has been a fact of life. Its something we've become accustomed to - so much so that one television network once declared a trip to the moon to be about as exciting to cover as a bus ride to Pittsburgh.

Missions like Apollo 13, Challenger, and Columbia remind us that space travel is indeed rocket science and those brave men and women who undertake these missions are indeed pioneers on the final frontier. I admire them greatly and hope someday soon they will be permitted to do more than just orbit the earth. I long to see them walk again on the moon and beyond - to truly go where no one has gone before.

So tomorrow, weather permitting, at 3:48.37 Eastern Daylight Time (gotta love the time calculated down to the second) seven astronauts will once again "slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."

Good luck, and Godspeed to the astronauts of the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-121.

Thursday, June 29, 2006
ABCNews Searches For Relevance
by Cordeiro
ABCNews is searching for something to some sensational headlines to justify its existence. They have enlisted the help of John Q. Public in this quest - thus far with questionable results.

First came the request for Global Warming Horror Stories. That's right folks. Find something in your back yard that could possibly be attributed to global warming and you could find yourself face to face - or most likely face to camera lens - with Charles Gibson. Find some way to tie the three headed frog Junior found in the sewer to increased emissions from coal-fired power plants in Chicago and you might get yourself a reserved ottoman on the set of Good Morning America.

In their latest attempt to connect with John Q. Public, ABCNews.com has put forth a request for stories from "Coalition Forces who are working in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa." Evidently ABCNews has never heard of a concept called Milblogs. This is collection of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines - some current, some former, and some in an inbetween status - who write their stories on a daily basis. All one has to do is read.

I know that might be asking a lot from ABCNews.

In my never ending quest to aid the MSM in shedding its hard left, Anti-W, Anti-War bias, I submit the following stories to get ABCNews pointed in the right direction.

Aric Catron, National Guardsman from Onalaska, WA - via Subsunk at Blackfive.

Staff Sergeant Michell Caldwell, scout, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. You'll see from the pictures this amazing soldier re-enlisting only hours after suffering wounds from gun battle with Iraqi terrorists. Again, from Blackfive.

Greyhawk is another star among stars where Milbloggers are concerned. Major K., though inactive as of this writing, provides spot on analysis from a perspective seen only from Boots on the Ground.

Memo to ABCNews: These bloggers are doing the job you claim to want. They're doing it far better than you, and have been doing it at that level for far longer than you can imagine. You want to run with these Big Dogs, but you're not even on the porch yet. You have a long, long way to go. Personally I doubt your ability to report accurately from a military perspective. Will you prove me wrong? Perhaps.

But I'm not holding my breath.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Treason Of The Press
by Cordeiro
Treason is not a term I use lightly. It is a very serious crime - so much so the Framers saw fit to specifically define it in the Constitution of the United States.

Section 3 - Treason

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. - US Constitution, Article III Section 3 (Emphasis Added)
No one has been tried, much less convicted, of treason in the United States since World War II. As I see it, the New York Times, personified by Eric Lichtblau and James Risen, is attempting to make itself into a poster child for treasonous activity.

First Mssrs. Lichtblau and Risen blew the collective MSM whistle on the "warrantless wiretapping" of phone calls between American telephones and suspected terrorists. Yes, it sold papers. Yes, it gave the Congressional Jackasses some much needed ammunition against the W Administration. Yes, that ammunition turned out to be largely useless.

Having said that, the actions of Mssrs. Lichtblau and Risen exposed a hither to secret program to the world. For those of you still living in a September 10th world, terrorists do read newspapers. They can get to the New York Times the same way you and I do. Could Ahmed and Mohammed have ferreted out the information on the wiretap program by themselves? Perhaps. We'll never know because the New York Times did the work for them.

The final straw, in my not so humble opinion, came last Friday when the same New York Times authors saw fit to expose yet another secret program to the world - which by the way still includes terrorists. This program involved the tracking of financial transactions to suspected terrorists. The program's overall goal? No, its not to know how much money you have stashed in the Caymans. The purpose of this program is to strangle the terrorists' money supply. Still need a better explanation? This program helps the good guys surprise Ahmed and Mohammed when they go to the ATM and find out not only do they have no money, but they've been given an all expense paid trip to the Caribbean beach resort known as Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

The New York Times has redefined journalistic arrogance. It has now exposed at least two methods by which terrorists are hunted down, killed, and/or brought to justice. Mssrs. Lichtblau and Risen need to ask themselves the very simple question "Who's side am I on?". More and more, I believe they have crossed the line from simply reporting on the events of the day to giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy.

Yes, gentlemen, that's in the Constitutional definition of Treason. The story you wrote has no reason to be written, reported, or exposed. The information holds no benefit for the public at large and severely compromises the assets and people who do the things you only have the courage to write about. Your article benefits only one side of this conflict - the wrong one.

Do you really feel comfortable giving Aid and Comfort to a bunch of Islamofasicst Murdering Thugs? Do you hate America - or more specifically her President - that much?

One would think people living and working so close to the 20+ acre hole that used to be World Trade 1 & 2 would have better sense. Oh, wait. I'm talking about New York Times reporters.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Manic Monday Quick Hits
by Cordeiro
First I'll start with the low lights:

Connie Chung "Sings"

I don't know about you, but I personally was unaware Connie Chung and Maury Povich had a dog and pony show on MSNBC. If you didn't know this, don't be ashamed. Evidently, most of the country was unaware of the show - just as most of the country is unaware of the all news cable channel MSNBC.

Well, Connie and Maury's show was recently cancelled by MSNBC. In her farewell show, Connie attempted to sing a parody of "Thanks for the Memories". It was not a valiant attempt. What came forth from her mouth imitating song has caused Bob Hope to spin in his grave at a velocity which may just allow Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to use him as a power source.

For those of you with strong ears, the video can be seen here. And you thought the American Idol auditions were painful.

T-Shirt Fundraiser for Screech

File this under fundraising schemes that die a horrible death. Memo to Dustin Diamond: Its called a job. Get one.

The Nation Contracts Bush Derangement Syndrome

Not the United States as a nation, just the Nation as a publication.

Amy Goodman somehow manages to get herself published. The Nation, for some reason I have yet to understand, used valuable space and bandwidth to give this woman a soap box from which to spew something resembling a thinly veiled cheap shot at the W Administration.

The MSM, corporate war profiteers if you ask Ms. Goodman, do little else besides parrot the "lies" put forth by the W spin machine. Her best evidence for this claim? This action by MSNBC, NBC and CNN (don't forget the evil incarnate FOX:

...called their coverage Operation Iraqi Freedom. We expect the Pentagon to research the most effective propagandistic name to call its operation. But the media's adoption of Pentagon nomenclature raises the question: If this were state media, how would it be any different?
I'm sure Ms. Goodman would've rather given her own name to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Tell me, Ms. Goodman, was the media's use of War Department nomeclature in World War II akin to having a state run media?

Don't get her started on the practice of embedding journalists with the military. She would much rather see reports from journalists embedded in Iraqi hospitals or with "the peace movement around the world." She stopped short of asking for journalists to be embedded with the terrorists. Probably because that's already happened.

Memo to Ms. Goodman: Please reference my memo to Mr. Diamond above.

Jason Leopold Plays Secret Agent

Its been 37 days since Jason Leopold announced Karl "Sith Lord" Rove would be indicted by the Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. For those of you living under a rock on Mars, Rove has been informed by Fitzgerald that no indictment is forthcoming.

Still no retraction from Truthout.org. Mark Ash, Executive Director of Truthout, issued the following statement (HT - Wuzzadem):

Brief note to our regulars:

One negative consequence of the Rove indictment firestorm has been that so much of what we cover that is so important to the community has been pushed into the background. There's a war going on, the right to vote is in doubt, democracy itself is under attack. Let's work together to keep our focus.

Leopold's name no longer graces the front page of the site, but his last report on the Rove issue is still alive and well. I guess De Nial really is just a river in Egypt.

Joe Lauria, freelance writer for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and other publications, had the misfortune of running across Leopold as the Rove story unfolded. As he explains in yesterday's Washington Post, even coming within electronic earshot of Leopold is a dangerous journalistic act.

Short story is, Leopold impersonated Lauria in an attempt to wring information out of both sides of the Rove case.

If Leopold himself hadn't gone to such measures as to leave an obscene comment on my blog, I might actually feel sorry for the guy. Hard as I try, I can't.

Vets For Freedom Blog

Written by guys who have been there and done that. Bookmark and read often.
Friday, June 16, 2006
At Last!! A Plan From The Democrats!!
by Cordeiro
Ladies and Gentlemen, after years of whining, nagging, complaining, and good old fashioned Jackass Kvetching, Nancy "Bella" Pelosi and Dusty Harry Reid have finally released what they're billing as a the Congressional Jackass "Plan" for the future of America.

Their poll driven, marketer inspected, focus group produced "Plan" has the catchy title "New Direction For America". It has six basic points which the Congressional Jackasses believe will drive them to victory in November.

Make Health Care More Affordable: Fix the prescription drug program by putting people ahead of drug companies and HMO’s, eliminating wasteful subsidies, negotiating lower drug prices and ensuring the program works for all seniors; invest in stem cell and other medical research.
And exactly how is the nebulous "putting people ahead of drug companies" going to reduce my healthcare costs? Lack of specifics from Pelosi, Reid, et al? I'm shocked.

Lower Gas Prices and Achieve Energy Independence: Crack down on price gouging; eliminate billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop American alternatives, including biofuels; promote energy efficient technology.
This from a party who has consistently blocked any and all efforts to reduce our nations dependence on foreign oil by kowtowing to a bunch of environmentalist BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) nutcases? Again, lack of any specifics because specifics would expose them for the moonbats they are.

Help Working Families: Raise the minimum wage; repeal tax giveaways that encourage companies to move jobs overseas.
Raising the minimum wage does nothing but destroy entry level jobs and harm small business - which by the way is the major source of job creation in this economy. Increasing the cost of doing business in the United States will drive more jobs overseas, not keep them here.

Cut College Costs: Make college tuition deductible from taxes; expand Pell grants and slash student loan costs.
Again, no specifics. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

Ensure Dignified Retirement: Prevent the privatization of Social Security; expand savings incentives; and ensure pension fairness.
There is nothing here which strengthens a system which is hemorrhaging cash and will go bankrupt before today's workforce draws the first dollar of the 16% of their life's wages which was poured into the system. Nothing promised here will do one thing to increase the amount of money in the so-called Social Security Trust Fund.

Require Fiscal Responsibility: Restore the budget discipline of the 1990s that helped eliminate deficits and spur record economic growth.
This may be the only point about which the Jackasses can even begin to claim a modicum of truth. The only problem is, the budget discipline of the 1990s came predominately from spending controls implemented by a conservative Congress. There have been some glimmers of that discipline in the past 5 years, but they have been dim glimmers if they could be seen at all. Democrats would no sooner control spending than they would cut taxes. That is a given.

So, there you have it folks - The "New Direction" for America. The only problem is, its not new. Hell, its not even improved. These are the same old tired pages from a the worn out playbook the Jackasses have been using for 60 years.

If there was any doubt as to the lack of the Democratic party's ability to confront major issues with new ideas, this long awaited, much hyped, but sadly lacking "Plan" removes any and all doubt.

Here endeth the lesson.
The Lurch Plan - Appease, Retreat, Surrender
by Cordeiro
Just one day after showing his allegiance not only to the Jackass Caucus, but also to the Tinfoil Hatted Kos Caucus, the Junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2004 Presidential Loser, and Vietnam Veteran with a Virtual Memory Syndrome John F. "Lurch" Kerry has penned an editorial laying out his reasons for supporting a position which went down to defeat in the US Senate by a vote of 93-6.

The op-ed piece appears in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. Why a Senator from Massachusetts goes to a Pennsylvania newspaper for column inches is beyond me. Perhaps the Boston Globe has tired of his endless forays into Ohio voting fraud and Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Stock brokers always couch their forecasts with the disclaimer "past performance may not be indicative of future results." With Lurch and his amorphous "Plan", no such disclaimer is necessary. He has but one strategy - appeasement, retreat, and surrender. It is not surprising that Lurch's "Plan" consists of a cut and run strategy. Here are the highlights:

It is time to announce that our combat troops are coming home in 2006. It is time to set a schedule with the new Iraqi government for the phased withdrawal of U.S. combat forces by the end of the year.
Great, Lurch. You basically want to tell which ever Abu happens to be running Iraq's al Qeda bombers "Just wait until 2007. We'll leave. You can have the place."

Lurch continues:

We will not leave Iraq vulnerable. Under my plan, the United States will maintain an over-the-horizon military presence in the Middle East to fight the war on terror and protect regional security interests.
Now that's really effective. Just where will this "over-the-horizon" presence be based? As a Vietnam-Veteran (a fact about which Lurch never ceases to tell anyone who will listen) one would think Lurch had learned the lesson of fighting the same battle for the same turf over and over and over. Tasking an "over-the-horizon" force with the impossible task of repeatedly clearing Baghdad of al Qeda inspired terrorists is the equivalent of tasking the Cleveland Fire Department with fighting fires in Manhattan.

Only Lurch and his merry band of Tinfoil Hatted Kos Caucus Members - Scotch Kennedy, Sheets Byrd, Babs Boxer, Cheesbrain Feingold, and Corned Tom Harkin believe they represent a majority of Americans (Congressional Jackasses excluded, of course) in their desire to surrender the Iraqi front of the Global War on Terror.

Americans don't like losers. They like being losers even less. Lurch may attempt to cover his vote for war in Iraq with the thin veil of "I was misled" but it holds less water than his Swiftboat denials. His plan for appeasement, retreat, and surrender will result in the same defeat at the polls he so richly deserved in 2004.

We don't cater to losers, Lurch.

Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
United States Army at 231
by Cordeiro

231 years, over 10 wars and countless smaller conflicts, and a strong tradition of excellence in the service of this great nation. June 14, 1775 saw the official birth of the United States Army. Happy Birthday, Soldier.

Over hill, over dale
As we hit the dusty trail,
And the Caissons go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter march and right about,
And the Caissons go rolling along.
Then it's hi! hi! hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where e'er you go,
You will always know
That the Caissons go rolling along.

Over hill, over dale
As we hit the dusty trail,
And the Caissons go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter march and right about,
And the Caissons go rolling along.
Then it's hi! hi! hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where e'er you go,
You will always know
That the Caissons go rolling along.
That the Caissons go rolling along.
That the Caissons go rolling along.

Photo HT Blackfive
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
CAIR's Thong In A Bunch - Again
by Cordeiro
It seems to me that the Counsel for American Islamic Relations lives to complain about nearly everything. They are so intent on portraying the American people, the United States Military, and W in particular as virulent racist anti-arabs that they (CAIR) will believe anything remotely derogatory that furthers their agenda.

And yes, dear reader, they have an agenda.

Their latest complaint comes from a video which purports to show a US Marine singing a song where he glorifies having gunned down members of an Iraqi woman's family. This video was anonymously to the YouTube.com website. Take that with a grain of salt. YouTube.com has since removed the video.

CAIR, however has not. Feel free to view it here.

This video is being investigated by the Marine Corps as of this writing. Out of respect for the time of the Marine Corps investigators, I hope they allow me to save them the effort.

This video is a sham.

If you watch it, in its entirety, you'll see its pretty obvious the soundtrack doesn't match up with the video. You hear the (alleged) Marine singing when his lips aren't moving. You hear the guitar play when his hands aren't strumming it. I know many Marines, not a single one can put on a ventriloquist show while magically making the guitar play itself.

The technology necessary to alter audio and video files is very prevalent around the web. It's not hard to find, nor is it hard to use. The person who altered this video file did a fairly decent job, but not good enough to hide his/her tracks.

CAIR knows this. They don't care. What they see is an opportunity to take cheap shots at the brave men and women of the United States Marine Corps. They do this from their offices which sit less than a mile from the Marine Barracks at 8th and I in Washington DC. They demand investigations by the Pentagon and the Congress.
What they should do is take an actual look at the plain evidence before unloading baseless inflammatory accusations on honorable Marines.

Here endeth the lesson.
Jason Leopold Misses The Boat
by Cordeiro
For some time now I've chronicled the steep and suprisingly rapid descent of Jason Leopold. This delusional left wing moonbat has and continues to claim the eminent demise via grand jury indictment of W's Sith Lord, more commonly known as Karl Rove.

Every week brings a new Leopoldic claim that Rove will be indicted for his alleged role in the outing of Valerie Plame. Leopold's latest claim, according to his sources which are so deep inside the CIA leak case they exist only in Leopold's Bizzaro World, is Rove has been indicted, however his indictment is currently "under seal". Leopold has even gone so far as to give it a case number - a number which, when searched, returns the damning "No further information is available" declaration.

Jason Leopold lives on the West Coast, so this may come as a shocking surprise to him if he can somehow bring himself to function in reality along with the rest of us. Drudge reports, along with the New York Times, that DC Attorney Robert Luskin, Rove's lawyer, released this statement today:

On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove.

In deference to the pending case, we will not make any further public statements about the subject matter of the investigation. We believe that the Special Counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove’s conduct. (Emphasis Added)
For those of you factually challenged readers out there (like Jason), this means the MSM dream of a Rove perp walk out the White House gates is just that - a fantasy. Find something else to dream about.

Memo to Jason Leopold: I'm pretty sure that comment about baseless speculation was generally aimed at you. Stop listening to the voices. Get help.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Lost In Translation - Philly Cheesesteak
by Cordeiro
I read with some amusement last week of a South Philly Cheesesteak joint's requirement for ordering one if Philadelphia's most famous sandwiches. Boldly stated on a sign at Geno's is this phrase:

This is America, when ordering speak English.

For the record, Geno's owner - Joseph Vento - is the grandson of Sicilian immigrants.

Most Americans have grown up with the fact that, when ordering fast food, English isn't a requirments. In some neighborhoods, speaking English is actually a hinderance. Anyone who has ever attempted to get fast food through a drive-thru in Los Angeles can testify to the veracity of this statement.

Aditionally, most Americans have never had the opportunity to live abroad and are thus oblivious to the fact most restaurants - fast food and sit-down - cater to the local language of the country in which they operate. Few menus offer any english translations, and what translations exist are nearly indecipherable. Want to order your food in English whilst dining in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, or Germany? Good luck with your order. If what appears on your table remotely resembles what you ordered, count yourself among the truly fortunate.

My point? Geno's english ordering requirement is something most of the world would not even give a second thought. Were that the case here, however, the City of Philadelphia's Commission on Human Relations would have no issue on which to garner more of its 15 minutes of fame.

That's right, dear reader, Rachel Lawton, acting executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, believes Geno's language policy violates the Fair Practices Act. Memo to Ms. Lawton: Take a trip south of the border. See how many restaurants cater to your linguistic limitations. Let me know how you grow to love the taste of barbequed cat, dog, and other worm infested vermin, because that's what you'll be able to order.

My great-great Grandfather immigrated to this country from Denmark. The amount of english he knew could be written on the head of a pin with room left over for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He learned english because he knew his sucess in his adopted country would be limited if he did not. For him it was a very simple decision.

When I lived in Brazil, I learned to speak Portuguese. I did not expect the Brazilian citizenry (huge hearted and compassionate though they were and are) to speak english for my benefit. I learned with astonishing velocity how to read menus and order what I could understand. Why did I do this? Well, the short answer is I learned I didn't want to partake of anything I couldn't identify.

More power to the folks at Geno's. Next time I'm in South Philly I'm going to make sure to partake of one of their famous Cheesesteaks. I understand they have perfected the cure for low cholesterol.
Friday, June 09, 2006
al-Zarqawi From A Historical Perspective
by Cordeiro
Much has been made over the past day or so about the death of the #1 terrorist in Iraq, the Waste Of Skin And Breathable Air also known as al-Zarqawi. Some corners of the blogosphere were in a celebratory mood, others - highlighted best by the Daily Kos - sported a tone that was so glum you'd think they were in mourning.

Lets face some facts here. al-Zarqawi was little more than an Islamofascist Murdering Thug bent on killing as many American and Coalition forces as possible. He did not care how many Iraqi's paid the price for his blood lust. He killed indiscriminately men, women, and children - all to further his agenda of barbarism and chaos.

Some are trying to elevate him as a martyr. Others claim his death will not do much to stem the violence that is a daily part of life in the Land of Sand. What cannot be argued is the fact the terrorists have lost a leader - the face of their "organization".

The band of Islamofascist Murdering Thugs is little more than a loosely knit gang. There are plenty of them that are willing to execute the plans put forth by their leadership. That bench is pretty deep. What they do not have a lot of is leadership. Smart people don't usually associate themselves with people willing to strap on a C-4 laden vest and blow themselves up. I submit the bench players available to replace al-Zarqawi is pretty thin. Perhaps I am wrong. Time will tell.

History teaches us that decapitating an enemy force is a very traumatic event to that force. Back in 1943, intelligence information indicated the architect of Pearl Harbor, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto would be traveling via airborne convoy from a specific time and place. The US Army Air Corps undertook the longest fighter intercept mission of the war, sending 18 P-38's (the finest fighter plane ever manufactured by the US according to my High School history teacher) some 430 miles to intercept Yamamoto's plane. The mission was successful, and Japan's Navy was effectively decapitated. The blow to Japanese confidence was one from which they never recovered.

Both Yamamoto and al-Zarqawi were killed by the effective use of actionable intelligence. An enemy moves and acts with far less confidence with it believes someone is watching, plotting, and planning their demise. Second guessing leads to mistakes, mistakes lead to leaks, and leaks lead to bombs crashing through the ceiling.

Someone will rise to take al-Zarqawi's place, but in the back of his mind will always be the question of when a 500 pound bomb with his name on it will come crashing down and ruin his whole day.

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Blown To Tiny Bits
by Cordeiro
I took great pleasure in reading today that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qeda in Iraq, had assumed room temperature as a result of a US airstrike. Seven of his closest friends joined him in his demise. Perhaps I should clarify that parts of al-Zarqawi assumed room temperature. Some of him could not be found.

Tips leading to the targeting of al-Zarqawi's location came from Jordanian sources inside Iraq. In other words, somebody sold him out.

In a press conference announcing al-Zarqawi's demise, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - flanked by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. General George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, announced that "al-Zarqawi was eliminated."

Sometimes the feeling of the words get lost in transcription or translation. What the Prime Minister meant to say was "we got the son of a bitch."

Lest we forget, somewhere there's a US strike fighter pilot who executed his or her assigned duties flawlessly. Whoever you are, look me up when you get back stateside. Your choice of beverage is on me. Good shooting.

Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
BYU Daily Universe Misses The Point...Again
by Cordeiro
The intellectual brain trust of BYU's Daily Universe Editorial Board must be on the weak side now that the Spring and Summer terms have begun. This time of year the paper is published but a few times a week, and few people other than the throngs of visitors bother to actually pick the publication up to peruse it. Most of the time they're looking for baseball scores or movie show times and skip the Op-Ed page all together.

The latest editorial claiming to be on the subject of illegal immigration is barely worth the bandwidth it took for me to read it. Entitled "Overstepping Bounds ", the authors decry the practice of border state highway patrols turning over illegal immigrants to federal authorities charged with deporting such people. The authors would do well to conduct better research before issuing their denunciations upon a federal agency which no longer exists - that being the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The actual federal agency charged with immigration enforcement is ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement - not to be confused with ice delivery people.

The Daily Universe Editorial board would also do well to understand another basic principle of law enforcement. State Troopers in every state take an oath to uphold and enforce the law. While enforcing immigration laws may not be part of their day to day duties, it is wrong to assume they are prohibited from turning criminals over to the proper federal authorities due to jurisdictional issues.

You see, in a highway traffic stop, the driver of the automobile is required to show a driver's license, car registration, and in most cases, proof of insurance. Illegal immigrants cannot - in most states, especially those on the border - legally obtain a driver's license. By operating a motor vehicle without this document, the illegal immigrant has broken the law and is subject to arrest by the state trooper. Strike one against the scenario outlined in the editorial.

Strike two against the editorial is the simple fact that by entering the country in a way which bypasses normal immigration and customs laws, these people have broken the law. Hence the term Illegal Alien. People who break laws are criminals. Again, remember the State Troopers are sworn to enforce the law. Since they do not have the authority to hold Illegal Aliens on federal violations, they call the ICE Agents who have the proper authority.

Strike three against the editorial is the simple need for common sense. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents cannot be everywhere the State Troopers are. The very fact local law enforcement is turning over Illegal Aliens to ICE is an excellent use of common sense - a trait not used much in government circles. This is not, as the editorial claims, a question of checks and balances. Checks and balances are written into the Constitution to ensure no one branch of government becomes more powerful than another. The use of all law enforcement resources to ensure the security of the law abiding citizens is simply smart. The continued threat posed by Illegal Immigration is a clear and present one - one that needs to be countered on every level possible.

The argument made by the Daily Universe Editorial Board that Illegal Aliens deserve a pass at a roadside traffic stop simply because the State Trooper is not an ICE Agent is ludicrous on its face. Three strikes - the Editorial Board is out. The policy of turning over Illegal Aliens to Federal Agents by Local Law Enforcement should be applauded as good use of scarce resources.

Here endeth the lesson.
Democrats Increase Election Streak
by Cordeiro
Well, dear reader, the results are in from the special election to fill the vacancy in California's 50th Congressional District.

This is the same district which was vacated by the disgraced, bribe taking, yacht living Duke Cunningham. He's now living as a guest of the Federal Government for the next eight years.

This district represented the best chance for the Congressional Jackasses to start the 2006 election cycle with a bang. Cunningham now wears an orange jumpsuit. W's poll numbers are in the toilet. California is a solidly blue state even though CA-50 has been solidly republican for most of recent history.

So the Congressional Jackasses coupled with the MSM punditry had all but declared local school board member Francine Busby the victor over republican Brian Bilbray. Then the votes were counted.

When the dust had settled, Busby came up short by 4,968 votes. To make this understandable for election re-count weary democrats, it means she lost.

Busby didn't help her case, or her cause, much by her open-mike appeal for illegal alien votes. That said, I don't believe that was the margin of victory for Bilbray.

This election was won, and lost, on the merits of the candidates and the ideas they stood behind. Congressional Jackasses are perennially short in that column, thus their every growing losing streak in elections.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
June 6, 1944
by Cordeiro

You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41.

The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeat in open battle man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground.

Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.

The tide has turned.

The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle.

We will accept nothing less than full victory.

Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking. - General Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 6, 1944
Monday, June 05, 2006
Washington Post's Sebastian Mallaby As Robin Hood
by Cordeiro
The Washington Post’s Sebastian Mallaby is terribly concerned. He believes Congress is set to do away with a tax Mallaby believes to be the one thing separating the United States from the rigid class structures inherent in kingdoms of old Europe. Civilization is at risk. This tax must be kept in place by any means necessary. The very fabric of our nation hangs in the balance – if in fact you believe Mr. Mallaby.

Which tax concerns Mr. Mallaby so?

The Death Tax. Mr. Mallaby refers to it by its more politically correct name – The Estate Tax. Call it what you will, the Taxman cometh shortly after the Undertaker is done with your body, if not before.

Suppose you work hard all your life, and despite the best efforts of the confiscatory tax structure, Social Security taxes, Medicaid taxes, sales tax, gas tax, air tax, payroll tax, fast food tax, beverage tax, lodging tax, property tax, rental car tax, and – lest we forget – alternative minimum tax, you manage to become a multi-millionaire. The money you have is yours. The combined federal, state, and local governments and their tax funded addicts have taken their best shot at your fortune and somehow you still managed to come out on top – in the black.

Conventional wisdom would dictate the money you have somehow managed to keep from the money grubbing politicians is yours to do with as you please. You could give it to charity. You could give it to Santa Claus. You could, in fact, bequeath your money and assets to your family and therby allow your legacy to outlive your mortal existence.

I somehow doubt Mr. Mallaby suffers from anything close to Conventional Wisdom.

The tax code – far too complicated for any attempt at a brief explanation – allows the Federal Government to take one last shot at your fortune. Before any of your children, grandchildren, or anyone else for that matter is allowed to collect of your riches, Uncle Sam gets his slice first. Depending on what you have left, the percentage siphoned from your estate could reach in upwards of 50%. Yes, that’s more than half.

Mr. Mallaby would have you believe this tax levels the playing field by not allowing “Hereditary Elite” to collect “too much” wealth. Government should redistribute this wealth to allow the little guy a chance at riches.

Memo to Mr. Mallaby: Stealing for a good cause, especially if the cause is only good because of the light in which it is shown, is still stealing. No amount of perfume or lipstick will make that pig anything other than, well, a pig. Taxing a person for no other reason than they have died is, in a word, immoral. Stick that in your pointy head and justify it.

The Founders envisioned a nation where men and women would be free to enjoy their God given inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If a millionaire who has toiled his life away building his fortune, he should be free to do with his money what he sees fit. Mr. Mallaby and his Robin Hood caucus should not be permitted to have first dibs on fortunes they did not earn.

Here endeth the lesson.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Ghosts Of Tiananmen
June 4, 1989

by Cordeiro

Here they talked of revolution.
Here it was they lit the flame.
Here they sang about 'tomorrow'
And tomorrow never came.

From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
I can hear them now!
The very words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On the lonely barricade at dawn.

Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more.

-Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Miserables
Friday, June 02, 2006
So Nebulous The Plans Of Lurch
by Cordeiro
Just in case you were wondering, the Junior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts John F. "Lurch" Kerry, also known as the loser of the last Presidential election (regardless of what Bobby Kennedy and the Jackass Tin-Foil Hat Brigades may claim) has a plan.

I know this is shocking to all of you. Take a moment to collect yourself. I can wait.

Now that you've recovered from your shock, I'll fill you in on the particulars.

Lurch delivered a speech to the Pacific Council on International Policy yesterday - no doubt designed to fight insomnia. The LA Times bills Lurch as a 21-year veteran of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - something that must come as a shock to the other committee members due to Lurch's rock bottom attendance record. Having learned little from the debacle that was his alleged presidential campaign, Lurch returned to the two-note Samba he's been playing for some years now. Here are some highlights:

Emphasizing that a nuclear-armed Iran would be "a very serious threat to the U.S. and our allies," Kerry contended that the most conservative estimates are that Tehran is at least five years away from developing atomic weapons.
Why thank you, Lurch. I don't think I could've figured that out on my own. So, what you're saying is, you're willing to punt on this issue for some five years or so?

Lurch also let slip his plan for success in Iraq. He plans to

...attach an amendment to this summer's defense appropriations bill calling for a total withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by the end of this year.
Again, a little slow on the uptake, Lurch. That bill was introduced in the House some months ago and went down in a flaming defeat. Then again, you know all about flaming defeats now, don't you.

Never fear. Lurch also disclosed his inner most thoughts. He's thinking "very hard" and "a lot earlier" than he'd hoped about a 2008 presidential run. I figure - knowing how long it takes Lurch to finish a thought process - he should be done thinking about 2008 in 2024.
by Cordeiro
I have intentionally avoided writing anything about the events which took place in Haditha last November specifically because so little actual and verifiable information exists about the day in question.

Having said that, I wish I could say the same thing about the MSM, Congressman John Murtha, and the left side of the political spectrum. In their collective haste to trumpet less than flattering war news from every rooftop, they have begun to use the tried and true phrases such as "massacre", "slaughter", and "senseless killing of innocents".

The actions of the Marines involved in the events of that November, though undertaken in the heat of battle obscured by the fog of war, will be analyzed and dissected in the relative calm of a military courtroom under the rules of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Marines will sit in judgment of Marines. The innocent will be vindicated, the guilty will be punished.

This will not stop the three ring MSM circus which will no doubt seek to paint the entire military as a roving band of lawless thugs intent on committing senseless murder at every opportunity. This isn't the first time the MSM has had this opportunity. Abu Grahib was getting a little stale.

Before you go condemning the actions of the Marines that morning, may I suggest you take some time to read an account of someone who was actually present that morning. Michelle has the transcript of an interview with Lance Corporal James Crossan. He was riding in a Humvee next to Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas. You won't read an interview with Miguel Terrazas because his body was cut in half by the IED that started this whole saga.

Were the actions taken by the Marines that morning consistent with the established Rules of Engagement? I don't know. Were innocent people killed as a result? Quite possibly. Is that a tragedy? Most definitely.

What I will say in regards to Haditha is this: Given the choice between believing the MSM interpretations of third hand accounts, John Murtha's pathetic baseless accusations, or the testimony of Marines who were actually there, I'll take the Marines.

For the record, if John Murtha came to me and swore the sky was blue, I would have to go outside and verify it for myself. That ex-Marine and current spotlight seeking Congressman has shamed the uniform he wore and brought dishonor to the Corps. Note, there is a difference between a former Marine and an ex-Marine. Just ask one.

War is hell. Terrible things happen to innocent people just because they're in the wrong place at a very wrong time. You may curse the Marines for their reaction to an IED, but until you've had one of your buddies cut in two before your eyes, I'd be very careful with your condemnations.

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Thursday Highlights
by Cordeiro
The Fires At Night Are Big And Bright

[clap - clap - clap - clap]

Deep in the heart of Paris!

I still submit the riots are part of a plot by French auto retailers to increase sales.

Greenpeace - Truth in Advertising

Insert Alarmist and Armageddonist Factoid Here.

Iran Rejects Conditional Dialogue

No surprises here. Would someone please explain to me why the Appeasment Caucus believes constructive and substantive negotiations can be conducted with this group of Islamofacist Murdering Thugs?

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