Sergeant Major Joseph J. Ellis, United States Marine Corps
His daughter called him “Superman.” Everyone else called him Sergeant Major. If you’re ever looking for a textbook definition of a Marine, try looking here.
There is very little I can add to that which has already been written and said about Sergeant Major. His actions taken to protect his Marines tell far more about the man than I ever could hope to do.
On February 7, 2007 the Sergeant Major was commanding a Marine checkpoint near a crowded place. He saw a man walking toward his checkpoint and correctly identified him as a suicide bomber. Out of any other options, the Sergeant Major did the only thing available to protect his Marines.
He put himself between the bomber and his Marines.
The suicide bomber quickly detonated himself. The Sergeant Major was killed instantly.
Usually that’s where the story ends. Today, however, I can give you, via Blackfive, the rest of the story.
I don’t know how well Sergeant Major Ellis knew Corporal David Emery, Jr. Maybe he knew the Corporal well, maybe he didn’t. Regardless of what their relationship was, Sergeant Major Ellis absorbed just enough of the blast to spare the life of Corporal Emery – for now.
Corporal Emery’s status is now “hour to hour” after a tough round of surgery yesterday. At his side you’ll find his beautiful wife Leslie who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
My prayers are with Corporal Emery and his young family. There are many reasons why Sergeant Major Ellis put himself between the terrorist and Corporal Ellis. First among them is that Corporal Emery was one of his Marines.
Another reason, perhaps, is so that another little girl can look at her father and call him “Superman”.
Godspeed Sergeant Major Ellis. Greater love hath no man than this.
Here endeth the lesson.
UN Climatologists in Camelot
Somebody over at the United Nations has been watching too many Broadway musicals. Evidently, after watching Camelot one too many times, they believe they can control the Earth’s climate simply by passing laws.
Once upon a time in the imagination of Frederick Loewe, Camelot’s King Arthur declared to his lady Guenevere that:
I’m really not making this up. This “Panel” has a list of recommendations it would like to see implemented on a Global scale. Their list of demands includes:
A law was made a distant moon ago here:
July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here, in Camelot.
The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September, in Camelot.
… a global agreement on an acceptable ceiling for temperature rise...Now this is an agreement I have to see. I wonder if important players like, say, The Sun, El Nino, and La Nina would be party to this “global agreement”.
This, dear reader, is the height of scientific arrogance. Did I miss the announcement where the ability of mankind to change or alter the weather was announced? Who will be responsible if Mother Nature refuses to comply with the demands of the United Nations climate mongers?
The Chamberlain-esque Breck Girl
If further proof was needed that Democratic presidential candidates have a poor grasp of history, one need look no further than North Carolina’s very own John “Breck Girl” Edwards.
Tonight on ABC’s Nightline, the Breck Girl Edwards will have a conversation with Terry Moran in which he will state his willingness to “compromise” with Iran in the form of the ever effective “non-aggression” treaty.
To be fair to the Breck Girl, he did put certain conditions on the hypothetical non-aggression pact, such as:
I wouldn't give away anything until it became clear what the intent of Iran was, that they've given up any nuclear ambition, that they would no longer sponsor Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations. So there would be huge jumps and these things would all have to be verifiable. We'd have to be certain that they were occurring in order to get to that stage. But I think we would consider all of our relations on the table.In short, Breck Girl would require the Islamofacist Murdering Thugs currently running Iran to cease being Islamofacist Murdering Thugs. And he’d be willing to take them at their word.
Breck Girl Edwards evidently missed out on the 1930’s history lesson where Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement efforts with Herr Hitler were mentioned. Chamberlain did in fact sign the infamous Munich Agreement with Hitler which effectively ceded Czechoslovakia to Germany and paved the way for future Nazi aggression without the threat of British intervention. In addition to that, Chamberlain also gave up the Irish Free State Royal Navy Ports thereby giving Hitler’s U-Boats free reign in the North Atlantic. All this to be able to stand before the British people in the world’s most infamous press conference and utter a phrase which will be forever linked to his name: “Peace in our time.”
1. Iran actively supports, with money and material, the terrorist forces currently seeking to further destabilize Iraq.
2. Iranian supported groups have killed several members of the United States Armed Forces.
3. Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon with which it intends to attack either the United States or Israel – most likely Israel.
Yes, dear reader, these are the people with which the Breck Girl seeks to “negotiate” a non-aggression treaty. And to think this guy came close to being a heartbeat a way from the Oval Office.
One does not negotiate with thugs. The only way to deal with thugs is to eliminate them.
Here endeth the lesson.
Pelosi Joins Obama and Hillary in Junior High
First she wanted Mad Jack Murtha as House Majority Leader, then she got bent out of shape because W’s plane is bigger than hers, and now she gets her knickers in a bunch because Big Time Dick Cheney takes a verbal swipe at her defeatist rhetoric.
Seriously, folks. Does the San Francisco Treat honestly believe she’s the only one who can take pot shots at a political opponent? All Big Time Cheney said was that the strategy championed by Pelosi, Murtha, et al, would not result in victory and would in fact “validate the Al Qaeda strategy”. This is true.
Maybe if Nancy went up to the super secret classified room and bothered to read up on the strategy Usama “Binny” Laden put forth, she’d understand what Big Time Cheney is talking about. Binny Laden’s goal is not to defeat America on the battlefield, but to destroy the will of the American people to support the Global War on Terror. Pelosi’s effort in the House, along with Dusty Harry’s Senate wrangling, does precisely that.
So when Big Time calls her on it, what does she do? Does she call Big Time’s office and chew him out? No, she calls W and in with a no doubt whiny, shrill voice that is normally reserved for three-year-old girls and junior Senators from New York and demands he rebuke Big Time for daring to question her “patriotism”.
Memo to San Fran Nan: Big Time wasn’t questioning your patriotism. He was questioning your judgment. If you feel patriotic in rooting for the enemy, may I suggest you readjust your vocabulary.
Add this to the “Hillary-Obama” dust-up earlier this week and its plain to see the Democratic Party “Leadership” resembles a Junior High School lunch room more than it does a group of serious politicians.
If Pelosi wants to take on Big Time, she should do it herself, not whine to W and hope he does it for her. I commend White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten for not collapsing into a fit of hysterical laughter until after he hung up on Pelosi’s whining.
Here endeth the lesson.
But For George...
Today is George Washington’s birthday – the day for which President’s Day was originally designed to celebrate. As this blog takes its name from a term which was originally attributed to Washington by a Heavenly Messenger, I thought it appropriate to take some time this morning to pay tribute to the Father of this great nation.
Most Americans know Washington for his heroic exploits in the Revolutionary War. The accounts of his daring Christmas Day attack on the Hessian forces in Trenton – appropriately portrayed in The Crossing – and his buoying up of the Continental Army’s spirits through the winter at Valley Forge are testaments to the character of the man whose devotion to country outweighed all else.
What is not often said of Washington is the fact he never really sought the power and office which he attained. He was often quoted as saying he would much rather spend his time cultivating his fields and home at Mount Vernon than sit as the President receiving kings and ministers from around the world. I took some time this President’s Day to visit George and Martha’s home and after sitting in the rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the Potomac River it was easy to understand why George would feel that way.
I came across an interesting video today that begs the question “What would the world be like but for George?” What if he had declined his country’s call and stayed on Mount Vernon as a private citizen? What if he hadn’t presided over this nation and the world’s first experiment in government of the people, by the people and for the people? Take a look for yourself:
Washington greatest gift to his country was his presiding over the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. His presence gave a sense of legitimacy to the proceedings through that sweltering summer. He sat in a chair with a sun carved into the seat back – a sun which Benjamin Franklin later declared to be a rising one – and he always believed the best days of this nation always laid before her.
George served two terms as America’s first President. As he left office, he gave what has come to be known as his “Farewell Address”. Since 1862, by tradition, the United States Senate calls on one of its members to read this address into the record on or near Washington’s Birthday. His last words to his country as her President are recorded as these:
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors and dangers.Take some time today to reflect upon the great gift the original Son of the Republic gave to his nation, and what a better place the world is for America's being in it.
Here endeth the lesson.
Hillary and Obama's Junior High Campaign
I got a chuckle out of Howard Fineman’s Newsweak column where he compared the current crop of Democratic Presidential “Contenders” to members of a hypothetical High School student body. He’s got the rolls pretty well cast, although I seriously doubt Hillary ever wore a poodle skirt.
Today, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that Fineman was a little off in his time-frame. I think this crowd wouldn’t survive in a High School because their mindset is still stuck in Junior High – especially where Hillary is concerned.
The Democratic party, despite the recent congressional election results, is largely a bi-coastal entity. Its major power centers are in the states of New York and California and a good chunk of its major donors come from the Hollywood crowd. That crowd has a lot of money it doesn’t know what to do with, an much of that cash makes its way into the coffers of Howlin’ Mad Howie and Company.
Recently, Hollywood Money Man David Geffen verbally dissed Hillary with this comment:
Not since the Vietnam War has there been this level of disappointment in the behavior of America throughout the world, and I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together. Obama is inspirational, and he’s not from the Bush royal family or the Clinton royal family. (Emphasis Added)Ouch. A normal, well adjusted person would’ve taken issue with Geffen’s comments and either fired back at him or ignored him and gotten on with her life. Hillary is evidently not a well adjusted individual.
Not only did she not respond to Geffen’s comments, she (through her campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson) demanded that Obama return Geffen’s donations.
Obama - quick to join in the Junior High campaign antics - pulled the race card and denouncing Hillary and for accepting the support of a South Carolina state senator who predicted Obama would drag down the rest of the Democratic party because "he's black".
Only in the minds of Junior High students do such demands make any sense.
David said nasty things about me and Bill so you better not eat lunch with him and his friends or I won’t like you any more!You know, even a Hollywood script writer would get canned for suggesting such a lame plot line as is currently developing in the race for the Democratic Primary nod.
Here endeth the lesson.
Letter To Congressman Tom Davis (r-VA)
Dear Congressman Davis:
You don’t know me, though we met briefly this past 4th of July as you walked the parade route through the suburban Virginia neighborhood I have called home for nearly four years. Like many of my neighbors, I’m a transplant to Virginia. I spent the previous half-decade living in Los Angeles where I was unfortunate enough to be represented by some of the most hard left Democrats ever to serve in the United States Congress.
Congressional representation didn’t much influence my decision to live in your district. I’m pretty much a mercenary in that I go where the paycheck is. That said, I was happy to live in a district where my Congressman shared most of my views and worked to represent my values on the floor of the People’s House. I took pride in the fact that, when the dust settled, my Congressman would get it right when it really mattered. I didn’t have to worry about my Congressman attempting to subvert and obstruct my President during time of war. I knew that my Congressman wouldn’t try to find a way to undercut the morale of troops in harms way by being part of the Democratic Party’s effort to pass “non-binding” resolutions which do nothing more than embolden the enemy by showcasing schisms in the collective resolve of this nation.
When I write, Congressman Davis, I do so with purpose. You’ll note that every single verb in the preceding paragraph describing my Congressman is in the past tense.
Your participation in and support of the “non-binding” resolution “Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq” surprised me to the point I had to read the news twice. Then I checked your website just to make sure I had been correctly informed.
I expect people like John Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, and Steny Hoyer to support such inane and useless legislation. I expect Henry Waxman to believe Iraq represents a defeat for the United States. I do not expect that from people like you – someone I’ve voted for twice with the expectation you would support efforts to win this war, not find ways to lose it.
Congressman Davis, I represent your base – the group of people who could be counted on to vote for you in good times and bad – the group of people you didn’t have to work very hard to get to the polls every other November. Now you’ve done wrong by me on the one issue I will not negotiate away. I don’t care how many federal dollars you bring to home to Virginia’s 11th District. I don’t care about your plans are for easing congestion through the Springfield Mixing Bowl. I don’t even care what your ideas are for energy corridors. The consequences of unforced failure in Iraq far outweigh anything else you stand for.
Your district, Congressman, is by all accounts a safe, reliable, Republican one. I, for one (and I do not believe I am alone) sincerely hope you have a primary challenger for your 2008 campaign. I will personally work to support whoever that may be. I want a Congressman who will support the Commander-in-Chief and the Armed Forces in the effort to win this war – not a Congressman who will try and find ways to dictate war strategy through “non-binding” resolutions. I cannot and will not support those who are so willing to pull the rug out from under those whose job it is to defend this nation.
The President’s surge plan represents what may just be our last best hope for victory in this long struggle. You of all people should be supporting those seeking victory, not emboldening the enemy.
I expect better of my Congressman. The people of Virginia’s 11th District deserve better. You’re in the wrong camp on this one, Congressman.
Here endeth the lesson.
Captain Jennifer J. Harris, United States Marine Corps
There is a special place in the heart of even the most hardened warrior for those who fly the helicopters charged with rescuing the warrior from the battlefield. In bars, those pilots never buy their own drinks. That is the ultimate demonstration of respect from the hardened warrior. They know that if the battle turns ugly, the Evac Chopper Pilot is their best hope of ever seeing the inside of a bar again.
Captain Jennifer Harris was the lone female member of the Marine Corps’ legendary Purple Fox Squadron. She did not opt for the high profile attack chopper billet, desiring instead to fill the roll of piloting the support helos charged with aiding those in need.
Her desire to be a Marine went back a long way. When she told her grandmother of her desire, her grandmother cringed and said, “Jen, the Marines are always the first to fight.” Jen answer no doubt made her grandmother cringe even further:
That’s why I want to be a Marine.
On Wednesday, February 7, 2007, Captain Harris’ CH-46 Twin Rotor Sea Knight Helo was brought down by enemy fire somewhere between Baghdad and Fallujah. All aboard perished in the crash.
Two months prior to her death, Harris sent a new squadron patch to her family. I have not been able to find it yet, but the family describes it as a “casualty evacuation insignia that shows an angel holding up a helicopter.” There is a hymn which declares that “the errand of angels is given to women”. I guess in the case of Captain Harris, truer words have seldom been more appropriate to her mission.
Godspeed, Jen. May Angels guide you home.
Here endeth the lesson.
Happy Birthday Abe!
Truly, he belongs to the Ages.
Anne Applebaum’s Answer To “Global Warming”
For some reason I have a hard time reading Global Warming propaganda on days when my car has a hard time starting because its so damn cold outside. I know its been a mild winter in most parts, but still. Today it was cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Global Warming.
I’m not a scientist. I don’t claim to have all the answers as to what is going on with the Earth and her climate. Some people, especially those who claim to have cornered the market on scientific knowledge, claim the Earth is getting warmer and its all the fault of the United States in general and W in particular. They have their climate models. They have their computer generated doom and gloom predictions. We’re all going to die next year because the oceans will rise. Polar Bears are drowning.
You get the point.
Those same prognosticators sometimes have suggestions as to how to avert catastrophic climate change. First they tried Kyoto. If you listen to Algore, the Kyoto protocol will save the world – even though I’ve only heard of one signatory nation who has met the reductions in carbon emissions required by Kyoto. I think it was Norway.
Then there are those who can take a somewhat serious look at what the environmentalists are calling for. Here’s a quick summary. To seriously reduce the amount of evil carbon in the air, here’s what would be required:
Everybody in the United States could switch from cars to bicycles. The Chinese could close all their factories.Europe could give up electricity and return to the age of the lantern.You might think there is some sarcasm in Alan Zarembo’s article. I don’t. I think he actually buys into this stuff.
[Shutting down] all truck, all trains, all airplanes, cars, motorcycles and boats in the United States.
Jules Crittenden has probably the best summation of climate change in layman’s terms:
Re Earth. It gets hot. It gets cold. This is what Earth does. No one knows why. Even the scientists who say its getting hot because of human activity, when pressed, have to admit it might be only heating up at a greater rate because of human activity, but even then, no one can really say for sure.But, stop the presses. The Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum has the answer. Steel yourself, dear reader. Applebaum has the solution – a Carbon Tax. Yep. According to Ms. Applebaum:
It’s hotter now than it’s been since the time of Jesus. What that means is, 2,000 years ago, the Earth was as hot as it is now. I’m blaming Iron Age farming practices and smelting for that New Testament uptick. Or maybe it was the righteous fire and burning passion of the age … have to go back and have another look at the ice cores. Might find some particles of faith.
By the 14th century, it was wicked cold. And I do mean wicked. Like, medieval cold. Even all those witch burnings had no effect. But not as cold as it was 10,000 years ago. We’re really only just starting to warm up from that. We have a long way to go before it is as warm as it was 66 million years ago, you know, Everglades in Montana warm.
All the time in between, I’m fuzzy on the temps. But I’m going to take a wild guess. Warm, cold, warm, cold, warm, cold. You have a water view? Look out. It might come through your picture window. Never know. Things happen. Wouldn’t be the first time.
… it should be applied across the board to every industry that uses fossil fuels, every home or building with a heating system, every motorist, and every public transportation system. Immediately, it would produce a wealth of innovations to save fuel, as well as new incentives to conserve. More to the point, it would produce a big chunk of money that could be used for other things. Anyone for balancing the budget? Fixing Social Security for future generations? As a foreign policy side benefit, users of the tax would suddenly find themselves less dependent on Persian Gulf oil or Russian natural gas, too.I don’t know what requirements the Washington Post has for its Op-Ed contributors, but whatever they are, they’re pretty low.
Memo to Anne Applebaum: The Clinton (Sorry Excuse For) Administration tried this early in its forgettable first term. Back then they called it the BTU (British Thermal Unit) tax. It was found to be an economy killer then, as a Carbon Tax would be now. Taxes, Ms. Applebaum, don’t produce a wealth of innovations. Taxes don’t produce anything. All they do is feed a massive governmental bueracracy that feeds on taxes the way an addict feeds on heroin. The only amount of taxes it wants is more. If you could explain, in a rational manner, how a Carbon Tax could balance the budget or save Social Security with a Government that spends anything it gets, I’d be most appreciative.
Don’t worry. I won’t hold my breath. If you’re waiting for the UK, Germany, China, or any other country to commit economic suicide on the advice of a climatologist’s best guess, I wouldn’t advise holding your breath either.
Here endeth the lesson.
A Peek Behind The Curtain
Every now and then a Presidential Candidate gives a little glimpse as to what lies behind (and sometimes beneath) the carefully crafted and sculpted façade which they display to the electorate. Most of the time the candidate’s true face is only seen in glimpses and soundbytes – the most recent example being John “Lurch” Kerry’s sustained implosion masquerading as a presidential campaign.
As this election cycle has begun much earlier than in times past, more attention is being focused on candidates for a longer period of time. If a candidates life and policies can stand the glaring sustained spotlight unique to the American Media, it bodes well for said candidate. Such is not the case where Hillary Clinton is concerned.
Hillary must find a way to placate those on the rabid left fringe of her party. In times past this could be done in a largely private way as the MSM would turn a blind eye to Democratic candidates’ remarks before any left leaning audience. Not so with today’s information age. Hillary evidently hasn’t gotten that memo.
She addressed the Howlin’ Mad Howie and the rest of the rabid leftists attending the DNC Winter Meeting last Friday. Here are some highlights and you can find a transcript here – scroll down unless you have a desire to read the left-wing commentary. Emphasis and commentary are added for your entertainment.
On the Iraq war and the Global War on Terror in General:
And let me add one other thing, and I want to be very clear about this. If I had been president in October of 2002, I would not have started this war.Excuse me, Hillary, but what are we to make of your vote to authorize war in Iraq? Are we just supposed to gloss over your Senate record?
I would not - and if in Congress, if we in Congress, working as hard as we can to get the 60 votes you need to do anything in the Senate -- believe me, I understand the frustration and the outrage, you have to have 60 votes to cap troops, to limit funding, to do anything. If we in Congress don't end this war before January 2009, as president, I will!End the war? Nice soundbyte, Hillary, but the ending this war won’t be like the way you ended Vietnam. Ending this war your way means it has to be ended by means of capitulation, appeasement, and yes, surrender. Your DNC lapdogs may like that idea. America does not.
The other day the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund that will begin to find alternative smart energy, alternatives and technologies that will begin to actually move us toward the direction of independence!The word “profit” is a dirty word in the democratic party’s lexicon. Hillary did nothing to produce this profit, yet she covets that money with every cell in her body. With all her alleged intelligence and so-called impressive intellect, she understands nothing about the basic pillars of economic fact. Corporations are in business to make a profit. If you tax those profits – or take them outright (as Hillary fantasizes) corporations will not end up paying the price – consumers will. That’s just a fact, Hillary. Facts are foreign concepts to you. I understand that – you do not.
She goes on, and on, and on. She trumpets her “lifetime of experience and qualifications” as things which should propel her to the Oval Office even though how eight years at the side of Slick Willy and another eight as New York’s junior Senator don’t exactly qualify her for much other than a used car salesperson.
She has no plan for the war other than to run from it. She has no plan for the country other than to confiscate what others have earned and give it to those who have earned nothing. Her rhetoric is lofty – but her solutions are lowly. Spin doctors, makeup artists, and campaign consultants can to little to hide those realities for long.
Memo to Hillary: The wind is coming.
Here endeth the lesson.