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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, December 29, 2006
One Less Tyrant
by Cordeiro
On the fortunate passing of the late Saddam Hussein, I can only add but three words:

Sic Semper Tyrannis.

Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Longfellow’s Christmas Bells
by Cordeiro
As we approach Christmas Day, I thought it appropriate to revisit a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow which later became a Christmas Carol. Longfellow’s I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day is widely sung – especially when Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. The carol’s message is pretty simple – take heart for right shall prevail and in the end there will be peace.

The phrase “Peace on earth, good will towards men” has its origins in the first Christmas. It was sung by the Heavenly Host to the Shepherds in their fields as Christ’s birth in Bethlehem was announced with splendor never seen before nor since.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. -Luke 2: 8-14
In Longfellow’s world, he had much reason to despair. As he wrote the poem on Christmas Day 1864 he was mourning the tragic death of his wife and the wounding of his son in a Civil War battle.

No doubt this sorrow was the muse which inspired stanzas three and four – which are omitted from the modern carol:

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound the carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn, the households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
After which he gave voice to his despair:

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
There are no doubt many in today’s America who share Longfellow’s sorrows this Christmas. Peace on earth isn’t very evident today. Nothing I write or express here will be able to change the reasons for their sorrow. I can but offer solace in the final stanza of Longfellow’s carol:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Peace on earth is something sought after and desired by most people. I dare say it is one of the greatest blessings God desires for his children. Peace is a state which doesn’t exist without people willing to create an environment where it can thrive. Peace is something which must be defended by men and women who stand ready to defend its existence – often by the use of violent force.

While that may sound like a contradiction in terms, if you think about it, the statement is very true.

Perhaps that is why, when Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount he included a reference to those whose profession it is to create and protect Peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. – Matthew 5:9

May your Christmas be a peaceful one – where ever it is you may be.

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Hospital Corpsman Christopher “Doc” Anderson, United States Navy
by Cordeiro
The relationship between Navy Corpsmen and Marines dates back to the Spanish-American war. Evidently back then the Marines (as they are today) were better at combat than they were at patching themselves up so they looked to the Navy to provide them with field medics.

Hospital Corpsman Christopher “Doc” Anderson exemplified the finest tradition of Navy Corpsmen in the care he gave “his” Marines. You see, there’s a pecking order in the rivalry amongst the Navy Squids and the Marine Corps Jarheads. Anderson had transcended that rivalry and earned the unofficial title of “Doc” – given by Marines to “their” Doc – the one in whom they trust their wounded comrades. Marines will take bullets for their fellow Marines, but will gladly do the same for their “Doc”. When asked why, some Marines reply “because he’s the only one who can take it out.”

Doc Anderson gave his life in the service of his country – alongside “his” Marines – somewhere near Ramadi, in Iraq’s Anbar Province on December 4. The heart wrenching story of his long journey home, escorted by his best friend and fellow Corpsman, Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class John Dragneff is one every person should read and ponder upon.

I tip my hat to the people of United Airlines for the respectful and professional way in which they treated Dragneff and the honor they gave Anderson on their journey. Kudos as well to citizens of Longmont, Colorado for the way they welcomed home their native son.

There isn’t much more I can add to the Rocky Mountain News coverage, except to echo the sentiments of Petty Officer Rick Lopez:

You know, sometimes I wish they would do this for us when we come home alive.
Amen, Petty Officr Lopez. You deserve that – and so much more.

Here endeth the lesson.

HT – Hedgehog Lowell
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Grinch Is Alive And Well In London
by Cordeiro
[Cue Bass Clarinet]
[Cue Thurl Ravenscroft]

From today’s Evening Standard

A primary school has been accused of spoiling Christmas for pupils after a lesson telling them that Santa Claus does not exist.

Children as young as nine were told that only 'small children believe in Father Christmas'.
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You really are a heel. You're as cuddly as a cactus, You're as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch.

The blunder came after the Year 5 pupils were given seasonal worksheets containing various festive classroom exercises.

One began by informing the children that 'many small children believe in Father Christmas'.

It then went on to explain that thousands of letters sent by these children to Santa every year are actually answered by the Post Office.

The youngsters were then asked to write a pretend letter from the Post Office to a child explaining why their requests for presents had been refused.
You're a monster, Mr. Grinch. Your heart's an empty hole. Your brain is full of spiders, You've got garlic in your soul, Mr. Grinch.

Last week a primary school teacher was sacked for telling her young class that Santa does not exist.

The supply teacher apparently decided the pupils - some as young as nine - were too old to believe in Father Christmas.

The teacher, who has not been named, is believed to have told the class at Boldmere Junior School, in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands: "All of you are old enough to know there is no Father Christmas or fairies. If you ask your parents to tell you they will say there is no such thing.
You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch. You have termites in your smile. You have all the tender sweetness Of a seasick crocodile, Mr. Grinch. Given the choice between the two of you, I'd take the seasick crockodile.

Mel Barefield, whose son was in the lesson, said: 'The teacher had said to them that Father Christmas wasn't real, Rudolph was a cartoon character and that Christmas trees come from Germany.'

A governor said: 'It's not just Father Christmas that's the problem. We also have issues with things like the Tooth Fairy.

'From now on when a child asks if Father Christmas exists the teacher should say, "I'm not sure. Go home and ask your parents"'.
You're a foul one, Mr. Grinch. You're a nasty, wasty skunk. Your heart is full of unwashed socks, Your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch. The three words that best describe you,are, and I quote: "Stink. Stank. Stunk."

Bah, Humbug!

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
2nd Lieutenant Scott B. Lundell - Husband, Father, Hero
by Cordeiro
There are many things about which I could write today – things humorous, things serious, things trivial. I will lay those things aside today to focus on something that actually matters. Thus I humbly ask for your patient attention as you might have the knowledge and/or means for which I’m searching.

There are many reasons to rejoice this holiday season. This season, however, there is a family in West Valley City, Utah who has been given cause to mourn. I’m talking about the family of the late 2nd Lieutenant Scott B. Lundell. As I have previously written, he died in a firefight on November 25th while bravely leading his men into battle against those who would do this nation great harm. The story of Lt. Lundell’s long journey home has been ably chronicled by Lowell the Hedgehog and plugged by the Powerline’s Big Trunk.

On a chain around his neck along with his dog tags was a scripture from the 6th chapter of Isaiah which read:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!
Lt. Lundell’s country called him and he answered. His first thoughts on the battlefield were no doubt for the safety of the men under his command. His last thoughts and prayers were no doubt for the family he was leaving behind.

His family, dear reader, is my concern today. Perhaps it’s because Lt. Lundell and I are about the same age and both of us have young children. Maybe its because I grew up with an Army officer for a father and part of me always wondered if he’d be called off to fight his country’s battles on a far away plain. Whatever the reason, reality will soon set in for Jeanine Lundell and her four small children.

Reality can be very harsh. The Army will do what it can to ease the burden faced by a family whose principle provider is now gone. Ditto for the Church and surrounding community. The resources of the aforementioned groups and individuals are finite and the collective American memory is exceptionally short. The needs which will be faced by the Lundell family will be anything but finite.

The Scott Lundell Memorial Fund has been established at the Mountain America Credit Union. For some unexplained reason, there is no way to make an online contribution to this account. You actually have to get your checkbook out (its that rectangular thing in the bottom of your bag) and send contributions in via snail mail. Yes, that means you have to find an envelope and stamp. Here’s the address information:

Mountain American Credit Union
P.O. Box 9001
West Jordan, Utah 84084
Attention: Olivia
Mark your check "Scott Lundell Memorial Fund."

Why should you care enough to cut a check? Here are a few reasons. In eight years, the oldest Lundell child will start college. Allowing for inflation and a 7% annual increase in average tuition and other fudge factors, a four year college education will cost approximately $71,000 in today’s dollars. Multiply that by a factor of four – I’m not sure of the exact ages of the children – and you start to see my point.

Traditionally, one of the things said to the widow (or designated family member) as the officer presents her with the flag which draped her husband’s coffin are the words “On behalf of a grateful nation…” Well, dear reader, now is the time for you to do just a little more than watch and read.

If this picture does not bring a lump to your throat and a tear to your eye, You. Are. Not. Human. No doubt you will be giving many gifts this holiday season. Maybe you’re well off, maybe you’re not. Maybe you have that account full of money you just don’t know what to do with. What ever your circumstance, remember that someplace in West Valley City there is a family without a father. The father heard his nation’s call and said Here am I, send me. He has now gone to the Mansions of the Lord. It is for us the living now to shoulder the responsibility he left behind.

Maybe you don’t have a checkbook. I know how that is. I hardly use mine anymore too. I’ll help you with that. Next week I will be in the Salt Lake City area. Click on this button

And I’ll drop that same amount (minus whatever Paypal takes out) at a Mountain America Credit Union branch office. I know it’s not much, but it is what I can do.

I would love to be able to someday knock on Jeanine Lundell’s door, hand her a check with a bunch of Zeros behind a rather large number and tell her she doesn’t have to worry about her kids going to college.

When God the Father asked the question emblazoned next to Lt. Lundell’s dog tags - Whom shall I send, there was no hesitation from Jesus when he answered Here am I, send me! When the question comes forth as to who will provide for the children of this fallen soldier, what will you answer?

Think about that.

Here endeth the lesson.
Scots Short On Kilts
by Cordeiro
Talk about a major military SNAFU. Somebody procrastinated finalizing the kilt supply contract and now 15 Scotsmen have to share one ceremonial kilt.

I'm sure there are worse things that could happen. However, I once asked a Scot if the rumor about Scotsmen and their kilts (that being they wear nothing underneath) was true. He replied that the rumor was indeed false. "They wear socks and shoes," he said most adamantly.

Some things guys just don't share.
Monday, December 18, 2006
2nd Lieutenant Scott B. Lundell, United States Army
by Cordeiro
Bumped For Updates
This past Saturday, most Americans were recovering from turkey comas and football overload. Such revelry is, to quote Lincoln "all together fitting and proper" because as Americans it is what we as a country do during the latter part of November.

In a perfect peaceful world, Scott Lundell would have most likely been doing the same thing. As stand out high-school football player, he no doubt loved the game. He would have watched it with his wife and family.

Sadly, we don't live in a perfect peaceful world. Scott Lundell was a member of the Utah National Guard where he wore the "Butter Bars" of a 2nd Lieutenant. Scott's country called, and he found himself leading soldiers into battle in the mountainous region of Oruzgan, Afghanistan. He was killed in an afternoon firefight.

Behind each one of the casualty statistics is a real person with a real family and real loved ones. Each fallen soldier, sailor, airman or marine makes this world a smaller place than it was when they were here.

There are those who believe this war, whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan or some other battlefield, cannot be won therefore it should not be waged. I don't believe this. I don't think Scott Lundell believed it either or he would not have been where he was doing what he was doing.

Scott Lundell died defending this nation and all she stands for. His heroic actions of last Saturday afternoon far surpass any ability we have to add or detract. To further quote Lincoln,
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
It is indeed a great task that remains before us as a nation. I guess it remains to be seen just how high our collective resolve will be to finish what Scott and his fellow soldiers have thus far so nobly advanced.

Fare thee well, Lieutenant. Godspeed.

Here endeth the lesson.

UPDATE: More on Scott here. Obituary here. He leaves behind a wife and four children, all under age 10.

UPDATE AND BUMP: Lowell the Hedgehog has the story of the man who escorted Scott's remains from Dover AFB to Salt Lake City. Captain Faletto describes retrieving Scotts personal effects. Here is what he wrote:

My unsteady hands removed his watch, his dog tags, a challenge coin he had received from the 3rd Special Forces, and finally a gold wedding band. Through watery eyes I checked off each of these items on the form. I noticed Scott had a small plastic tag on his dog tag chain. I saw the familiar words emblazoned from the Special Operations Memorial in Arlington. It was the scripture from Isaiah 6:8.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
Where do we find these brave men?

Please read the whole thing.
Salt Lake's "Rocky" Anderson Confronts Important Issues
by Cordeiro
Take a moment this morning and imagine this hypothetical situation.

You are the mayor of Salt Lake City. You have the opportunity to take a stand on one of the below listed issues by using your Bully Mayoral Pulpit. Which of the following will you address?

a) Potholes
b) Snow Plow Routes
c) Crime
d) Members of your staff drinking bottled water

Take your time. This is an important decision.

Well, dear reader, if you chose any answer but "D" your priorites and the priorities of Salt Lake City Mayor "Rocky" Anderson don't mesh.

Stop laughing. I'm not making this up.

I hope the citizenry of Salt Lake sleeps better knowing their Mayor is hard at work confronting the major challenges of the city.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Jimmy Malone’s Solution For The “Mahmoud” Problem
by Cordeiro
In normal circumstances, I’d be hesitant to waste valuable keystrokes and bandwidth on Iran’s Head Nutball Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I’d prefer to leave him to his delusional fantasies and let him twiddle his thumbs whilst he waits for the return of the mystical 12th Imam.

Memo to Mahmoud: In case your translation software didn’t catch all of that, yes, I am in fact mocking you. Can you dig that? I knew that you could. End Memo.

Having said that, I prefer to live in a state unfamiliar to Mahmoud – that being the state of reality. Reality being what it the world is, not what I wish the world would be.

Iran is a nation governed by Islamofacist Murdering Thugs. This has been the case for nigh unto 30 years now. At the present time, said Thugocracy is limited as to the damage and havoc they can wreak upon the Middle East. They are obviously not satisfied with operating in their limited scope of destruction, so they have set their sights on the Holy Grail of Terrorism – the Nuclear Bomb. Depending on which intelligence sources you listen to, Iran is within a few years of attaining their mushroom cloud goal.

The world has lived in the shadow of nuclear destruction since August of 1945. The nuclear club has mercifully been limited to nations whose overall strategy for world domination was based on there being a world to dominate. Their cultures desired survival over destruction – life over death. Iran’s culture, or at the very least the culture of the Iranian Thugocracy, does not suffer from a survival instinct. Nuclear holocaust is just fine with them – some would actually prefer incineration to having to live in a world where Israel is still on the map.

You see, when Mahmoud and Company are limited to car bombs, satchel charges, and a 25 year old Air Force, I can laugh off statements like the ones he made yesterday at his Holocaust Denial Conference:

The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom.

Today, the worst type of dictatorship in the world is the American dictatorship, clothed in human rights.

The western powers created the Zionist regime in order to expand their control of the area. This regime massacres Palestinians everyday, but since this regime is against nature, we will soon witness its disappearance and destruction.
But when these remarks are made by a country who has both the means (the bomb) and the delivery system (ballistic missiles) to make good on its threat, the game changes drastically.

Some years ago, I wrote a post entitled The Jimmy Malone Guide To International Conflict. It is my singular claim to fame on Blogfather Hugh’s syndicated radio show. Every now and then he’ll play the audio clip from The Untouchables in which Jimmy Malone teaches Elliot Ness how to deal with thugs. Says Malone:

You wanna get Capone? I’ll tell you how to get Capone. If he pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital; you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way. That’s how you get Capone.’
The Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study/Surrender Group believes the first step in solving the myriad of crises facing the Middle East is to engage Iran and Syria in “meaningful” negotiations.

I’m not the first one to beg the question, but I’ll ask it anyway. How does one negotiate with an enemy who is bent on your total destruction? Add to that the question of what the negotiations would entail and you’ve got yourself a rather large conundrum.

I’m not saying dialogue with Iran shouldn’t happen. Negotiations with Iran should take place. The talks should be brief – in fact only a few demands should be put forth. 1. Iran will abandon and shutter its nuclear facilities. 2. Iran will cease any and all support, training, and harboring of terrorists and terrorism. Failure to adhere to these two demands will result in the destruction of Iran to the point that Iran ceases to exist as a nation. Some sort of timetable should be given for the demands to be met. Personally, I think two weeks is more than enough time.

Simply put, Iran cannot be allowed to acquire the tools it desires to impose its will on the Middle East. The Atomic Threshold cannot be crossed by people who won’t think twice about unleashing a power rational people have wisely seen fit to keep bottled for over 60 years. Mahmoud and Company are not rational people.

It is looking more and more like the only action the Iranian mullahs will understand is the destruction of their ability to produce WMDs. If that is, in fact, the case, then the United States and Israel need to stop the diplomatic two-step and defang the Mullahs before their car bombs morph into mushroom clouds.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, December 11, 2006
SCOTUS Shocks The 9th Circus
by Cordeiro
I'm usually not much for the details of the cases decided by the Supreme Court. Most legal briefs are anything but, and the final opinions take longer to decipher than they did to write.

Having said that, I do know that one of the wackiest enclaves in the federal court system is the 9th Circus Court of Appeals based in San Francisco. Yes, they're the ones who see fit to give Michael Newdow a platform from which to attack such dangerous American traditions as the Pledge of Allegiance.

Needless to say, the 9th Circus is the most reversed of all the federal appeals courts. Nobody is really sure, but it is rumored the howls of laughter caused by cases appealed from the 9th Circus are greater than anything ever produced by Letterman or Leno (not Carson).

Well, today SCOTUS overturned the 9th Circus' ruling which vacated the 1994 murder conviction of Mathew Musladin. What reason did the 9th Circus cite for overturning this murder conviction? The victim's family wore buttons with the victim's picture on it during the trial.

Yes, dear reader, that was the only reason the conviction was overturned.

The SCOTUS ruling wasn't even close - 9 - 0. That's the black robed equivalent of an Atomic Piledriver from the top ropes.

That's gonna leave a mark.

Here endeth the lesson.
Kofi, We’ll Hardly Miss Thee
by Cordeiro

Those of you who follow world politics will no doubt be interested to know that the monument to corruption, extortion, and bureaucracy currently taking up valuable real estate in mid-town Manhattan will soon be getting a new boss. The current Secretary of the United Nations couldn’t quietly end his scandal ridden tenure without taking a few parting shots at his host-nation and its current leader.

No doubt concerned the American people would greet his departure with a yawn akin to the Who’s classic line “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”, Kofi Annan will today deliver his farewell address not from the floor of the UN General Assembly, but from the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri.

The choice of location could not be more ironic – it show’s Kofi’s complete lack of historical knowledge.

Harry S Truman lived in a world at war. He knew evil could not be negotiated with, appeased, or otherwise accommodated. Truman understood war to be a means to an end. Truman understood the concept of absolute victory and unconditional surrender. Kofi understands only the concepts of appeasement and surrender.

Kofi made an effort to share five lessons he’s learned during his tenure as UN Secretary General. Sadly, he leaves out the lessons of how to preside over the huge debacle that was the UN Oil for Food program. Somehow the terms extortion and bribe are absent from his text. Also missing is the lesson his son Kojo learned about how to get high end Mercedes automobiles delivered to a foreign country with no questions asked as to its origin.

Yes, Kofi has much he wishes the United States would learn. Here’s his biggest lesson for his target audience:

States can no longer -- if they ever could -- confront global challenges alone. Increasingly, they need help from the myriad types of association in which people come together voluntarily, to profit or to think about, and change, the world.

How can states hold each other to account? Only through multilateral institutions.

So my final lesson is that those institutions must be organized in a fair and democratic way, giving the poor and the weak some influence over the actions of the rich and the strong.
In other words, Kofi would have international powerhouse nations such as Luxemburg and French Guyana dictate the foreign policy of the United States. He would have the United States implement a Lurch Kerry Global Test prior to defending her interests and her citizens against the forces of transnational terrorism.

Memo to Kofi: That dog won’t hunt. If you don’t understand that colloquialism, ask somebody in Missouri. Maybe they’ll explain it to you. Odds are, they’ll laugh and wonder what planet you came from.

The man who’s Presidential Library you speak from today is most likely spinning in his grave at a speed which would power most of the surrounding city’s electrical grid. Truman would no sooner have sought permission to use every means at his disposal to win the war in which he was engaged than he would have conceded electoral defeat to Thomas Dewey.

Your legacy, Kofi, is one of corruption, missed opportunity, and failed leadership. In this clash of civilization versus the barbaric menace of Islamofascism – while you may have been well paid – you’re on the wrong side.
Enjoy the cash.

Here endeth the lesson.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Defeatist Cheerleaders
by Cordeiro
This week has seen a Defeatist Parade in Washington. First we had the confirmation hearings for Rummy’s replacement, Bob Gates before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Confirmation hearings are always entertaining, even if the entertainment causes widespread depression among American conservatives.

Yesterday’s hearings featured testimony masquerading as questions lobbed by such senate luminaries as “Scotch” Kennedy, Carl Levin, and “Sheets” Byrd. The major news came when Gates stated he did not believe the US was “winning” in Iraq.

For the most part, I have to agree with Dr. Gates. Victory is defined as defeating one’s enemy. I do not believe the US is currently defeating her enemies in Iraq. In the best light, I believe we are doing little better than breaking even. If defeat can be defined as a lack of progress towards victory, then yes, the US is losing in Iraq.

This begs the question as to the reason why we are not winning in Iraq. Personally, I believe the answer to this question is quite simple. We are not allowing our military to do what is necessary to win.
There is no force on this earth, military or otherwise, which can defeat the United States. It simply cannot be done unless the United States lacks the ability to win.

Long before he became President, Abraham Lincoln delivered an address to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois. Part of the speech centered on how, in Lincoln’s mind, America could be defeated. Said Abe:

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide. -- The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions: Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois January 27, 1838 (Emphasis Added)
Lincoln’s thoughts, even at the relatively young age of 28, border sharply on the prophetic. There are those in this nation, even in the highest levels of the elected Congress, who would like nothing better than to see America withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan, and any other place where we might be offending terrorists by hunting them down and killing them.

The Defeatist Cheerleading Squad, Muqtada al Sadr, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will no doubt take heart with the Iraq Study Group’s report released today. (Bypass the MSM and actually read the whole thing here.) I’ve read most of it, and I feel comfortable saying for the record there is very little optimism contained within its pages. It is a blueprint for self-inflicted defeat in a war we cannot afford to lose.

The Islamofacist Murdering Thug Caucus knows that America, when exercising her righteous might, cannot be defeated. They therefore go to great lengths to use the tried and true strategy of turning Americans against themselves. It worked in Vietnam. It worked in Somalia. Their end goal is to have America die by suicide.

Normally I am a pretty optimistic guy. But after listening to Bob Gates’ exchange with the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning (courtesy of Blogfather Hugh’s podcast) and reading portions of the ISG report, my optimism is waning.

Either that, or I need more Diet Coke. I’ll let you know if that helps.

Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, December 01, 2006
A Civics Lesson For Michael Moore
by Cordeiro
It’s been awhile since I saw fit to expend bandwidth and keystrokes on Michael Moore. He currently holds a place of distinction on the SOTR Glossary as the personification of WOSABA. Don’t know what a WOSABA is? Look it up.

Mikey has had a busy election season working tirelessly to elect Democrats in his never ending pursuit of relevance. Needless to say, he was euphoric when the House, Senate, and a handful of governorships changed hands. He even went so far as to pen a gloating letter to conservatives everywhere promising tax hikes, gay marriage, and the capture of Binny Laden as a result of the election.

But today, Mikey is mad. Hopping mad. You see, Mikey hasn’t yet gotten what he really wanted from the Democrats now that they’re in power. Never mind the fact they don’t run the show until January 8th. Don’t cloud Mikey’s head with facts – it confuses him.

Mikey wants US troops out of Iraq. Yesterday. He even goes so far as to use the Soviet Union’s 36 week retreat from Afghanistan as a template for what he would like to see in Iraq. Nobody ever accused Mikey of having a good grasp of military history or strategy. Says Mikey:
There is only one solution and it is this: Leave. Now. Start tonight.
In whatever Bizarro World Mikey lives in, and what ever high school civics class he took, he must have missed (skipped, cut, sluffed) the lesson on separation of powers.

So let me take it upon myself to make up for Mikey’s lack of civics knowledge. I’ll try to use small words so he’ll be sure to understand.

Here’s the short lesson, Mikey: The Congress of the United States – that’s the House and Senate – cannot order the US military to do a damn thing. The power to give orders to the military constitutionally vested in one person.

No, its not Nancy Pelosi. Its not Dusty Harry. Nice try, Mikey. Pay attention.

The President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces. That means every soldier, sailor, airman and marine answers to him, and him alone. The people you helped get elected can whine, moan, complain, and demand retreat (let’s call it what it really is) until they collapse from lack of oxygen. Not one person wearing this nation’s uniform has to listen to them. That’s the way the founders set the system up. In short, W calls the military shots.

The Democratic Representatives and Senators you worked so hard to elect have but one way of influencing the way war is waged. They can cut funding for military operations. They can tell the troops in harm’s way their mission is no longer worth funding and by so doing can also tell said troops the sacrifice of nearly 3,000 of their brothers and sisters has been in vain. As far as I know, the only person advocating that in Congress is Dennis Kucinich. Yes, that's the congressman who used his presidential campaign as a way to meet single women. No, I'm not making that up.

This strategy of defeat by budgetary means has been waged by the Democrats before. Remember Saigon, 1975. I know the picture of the last Huey leaving the US Embassy gets you all excited.

The only problem is, this isn’t 1975. Don’t let that stop you from taking shots at Nancy Pelosi and Dusty Harry. When someone is beating up my opponent, I’m the first one to pass the Louisville Slugger. Swing away, Mikey.

In the meantime, however, at least try and get your facts straight. I know this is a big issue for you, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 are more fiction than fact. Separation of powers is really a simple concept. Most of us learned that in Junior High. When you talk about Americans who are “kept stupid through our pathetic education system and our lazy media,” perhaps you should take a good look in the mirror and wonder if you’re not describing yourself.

Here endeth the lesson.
Helen Thomas' "Courage"
by Cordeiro
Every now and then, Helen “Two Bag” Thomas feels the need to let people know she’s still alive. Evidently her presence at the daily White House Press Gaggle isn’t enough to prove the fact she still takes up space and uses air.

Judging from this picture, one can understand why people like me are surprised her body temperature still hovers slightly above room temperature.

Well, today Two Bag Thomas attempted to string together two coherent sentences in yet another op-ed broadside aimed in the general direction of the W White House. She utterly failed in her attempt. So complete was her failure that I fail to see why any self-respecting newspaper sees fit to run her syndicated column.

The main point of her column rests upon the comment made by a “female Arab critic” to Bush 41 during a leadership conference in the United Arab Emirates. Bush 41 effectively defended W in a deft verbal smackdown – but don’t try and explain that to Two Bag Thomas. She’s got her own agenda.

She waited until Paragraph 18 of a 19 paragraph diatribe to insert this gem:
This is unfortunate because the dire mess in Iraq demands bold action by the U.S. The real solution is a cakewalk out of Iraq tomorrow. The world would stand in shock and awe. (Emphasis Added)
A cakewalk? I'm sorry Helen, the world wouldn't stand up in "shock and awe". They'd be unable to stand due to fits of hysterical laughter in between strapping homicide bomb vests on their children to be sent to downtown Topeka.

I can’t make this stuff up. And she saved the best for last.
All it takes is courage.
My guess is, this is Helen Thomas’ idea of courage:

Helen Thomas can’t even see the bend she’s gone around.

Memo to Tony Snow: Check for a pulse next Gaggle.

Here endeth the lesson.

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