2,996 Tribute Project

eaglecries1.jpgI ran across this site by accident, but was moved to sign up. It is a tribute to the victims of 9/11 by blogger dcroe. He is trying to get 2,996 bloggers to sign up:

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers
will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11.
Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives,
and not by remembering their murderers.

They were having some initial difficulty getting people to sign up, but Michelle Malkin did a mention and things have picked up. I recieved a woman who worked in the World Trade Center as my tribute and was unprepared for the emotional jolt that I got when her face appeared on my computer screen. I just hope I can do a fitting tribute.


2996-6.jpg nofate

The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make.

Published in: on August 25, 2006 at 1:22 am  Comments (3)  

The Bigger They Are…

The best reporting on the ground in Iraq.  No green zone balcony stuff collected by questionable Iraqi stringers.  From Angels Among Us 

…he parked to allow observation of some key terrain. Directly atop a bomb. Within seconds, Mark got the willies about the parking spot, and just as he was about to come over the radio BLAM!

The heavy Stryker flew into the air, blasting tires asunder, one tire flying more than a hundred yards. The explosion was so hard that it traumatized the tailbones of the men. The blast ripped through the bottom of the Strkyer and straight into an AT-4 missile, cutting the missile in half, but neither the missile nor the propellant exploded.

The fire extinguishing system blasted away, the place was completely dark–the back hatch was jammed, but the tiny emergency hatch was blasted open, yet was behind ripped metal that would cut any survivors or rescuers to ribbons. There was no light whatsoever in the smoke, dust and fire extinquishers.

Nine men were in the Stryker….

Not one died.  Michael Yon gets the soldiers thoughts on that later in the dispatch, but I’ll let you read it.

From Jungle Law:    …But the news that never flashed is that no amount of armor can completely protect us. Armor is extremely important, but given time, the enemy will defeat it…we are 15 seconds from rolling over a large bomb buried under the road… 5 seconds: One of the terrorists does a double take at the lead Stryker, blowing his cover. The call instantly goes out to “Block left! Lock ‘em down! Two pax!”…  They all pile out, some chasing a running man, as an ambush develops…
…We had left the prisoner in the open. Bullets are snapping, and I’m crouched on a knee behind a Stryker. When I look back again, I see Kurilla standing out there, alone, next to the terrorist on the sidewalk. Bullets are kicking up dirt and Kurilla gives us a look: What the hell! You left the prisoner!

For a moment, I nearly ran back out to drag the terrorist behind the Stryker, but then I thought, Nope, he’s a terrorist! If Kurilla gets shot, I’m definitely going to get him. But the terrorist can get shot to pieces and I don’t care.

Instead of doing something useful–and I feel marginally guilty about this, but not too much–I start snapping photos as the Commander drags the guy by the collar to get him to the cover of the Stryker. I can’t believe Kurilla is still alive after nearly a year of doing this….One soldier said, “You’re not going to write about this are you? That wasn’t anything. Don’t make it sound like a big deal, okay? My mom reads your stuff, and every time you write about something dangerous she freaks out.”

“No problem,” I said, “I’ll water it down from here out.”…


From: Gates of Fire
…I seldom get letters in Iraq, but waiting for me in the mailroom while I slept was a card. The return address sticker, an American flag on it, was from Jefferson, Pennsylvania. The postage stamp had an American flag waving. The card inside had a picture of an American flag for its cover. The sweet and heartfelt message inside ended with-

Please tell our soldiers we care so much for them. -Dan and Connie Lama….
“Sergeant Lama’s been shot. We’re rolling in ten minutes,” he said….There is just no easy way to say, “Your son got shot today.” And so, according to men here, the calls sound something like this: “We are sorry to inform you that your son has been shot in Mosul. He’s stable, but that’s all we know at this time.”

LTC Kurilla likes to call before the Army gets a chance, to tell parents and loved ones the true circumstances….Chaplain Wilson came out from the hospital smiling and explained that Daniel (Sergeant Lama) was fine…It was just a flesh wound…I heard the commander telling this soldier’s mother that her son was fine…. “Really, Daniel’s okay, and don’t worry about it when the Army calls you.”…
Later, after chasing some terrorists by helicopter and on the ground, the bad guys took off running…Folks who haven’t done much urban fighting might take issue with the wild chases, and they might say that people should always “stack up” and do things this or that way, but men in Delta Force, SEALs and the like, all know that when chasing wild men into the labyrinth, soldiers enter the land of confusion. If soldiers don’t go fast, the bad guys simply get away. Just a few minutes ago, these three guys were going “105 miles per hour,” and outrunning a helicopter….
…Kurilla was running when he was shot, but he didn’t seem to miss a stride; he did a crazy judo roll and came up shooting.

BamBamBamBam! Bullets were hitting all around Kurilla. The young 2nd lieutenant and specialist were the only two soldiers near. Neither had real combat experience. AH had no weapon. I had a camera.

Seconds count.

Kurilla, though down and unable to move, was fighting and firing, yelling at the two young soldiers to get in there; but they hesitated. BamBamBamBam!

Kurilla was in the open, but his judo roll had left him slightly to the side of the shop. I screamed to the young soldiers, “Throw a grenade in there!” but they were not attacking.

“Throw a grenade in there!” They did not attack….

You don’t get writing like this in the antique media, for the most part.  Their stuff has to go through too many channels to make it into the news- editors, producers, lawyers- current events by committee.  The antique media don’t quite seem to know what to make of Michael Yon and other people like him, that just won’t fit into the neat little cubbyholes they want them to.  From the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Aug. 27, 2005:

In a sign of how technology is changing the way in which the war is
reported, anyone with access to the internet can see the graphic episode that put Kurilla in the hospital…
As Kurilla’s story finds an instant audience on the Internet, Paul Grabowitz, director of the new media studies program at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, says blogs are permanently changing war coverage.  “It’s much easier, obviously, for a freelancer to publish information that they’ve gotten for a story, whether text or photos or whatever,” he said.  “And it’s not like somebody standing on a street corner passing out flyers that they mimeographed of ‘My thoughts on the war in Iraq.’ The Internet has lent credence … to people who are independent, being part of the sort
of mix of coverage of an event. … I don’t know how far that’s going to go.”…

Hmmm, a Berkeley School of Journalism director.  Without reading anything extra into the above, it seems that he is concerned about the credibility of the blogosphere.  The fact that it is self-policing, i.e. Rathergate, seems to be lost on him.  Does he think that “It’s much easier, obviously, for a freelancer to publish information that they’ve gotten for a story, whether text or photos or whatever,” also applies in Mr. Yon’s case?  Really?  Easy?!   

The Seattle Times, Aug. 28, 2005, had this to say about Yon’s influence on Iraq reporting:

…Although not well-known, Kurilla — the highest ranking soldier from the Fort Lewis-based Stryker Brigade to be seriously wounded in battle — has a
dedicated following on the Internet.  For more than eight months, a blog
written by independent journalist Michael Yon has chronicled the battles, strategies and sorrows of Kurilla’s unit, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry (“Deuce Four”).  Yon’s periodic dispatches often describe details and tactics of the Iraq war not found in the mainstream media…
…Military-related sites on the Internet lighted up with news of Kurilla’s injuries, indicating national interest in the fate of the 39-year-old Tacoma resident…

From The Detroit News, Feb. 23, 2006:

…In the blogosphere, opinions fly with abandon. Unconventional characters,
who would make the mainstream media blanch, thrive.  What big newspaper or television network, after all, would have taken a chance on a self-taught war correspondent, who once killed a man in a barroom fight and whose last
venture had him pursuing an American cannibal around the globe?  Would the mainstream media have kept him on the job after the day he grabbed a soldier’s rifle (during an alley fight in Mosul), and fired off several rounds at the enemy?…

Sounds like somewhat grudging admiration.  Small steps.  The left and the antique’s seem to want a plan for everything, and when it doesn’t work according to plan, which is almost always, they want a scapegoat.  Thank God there are still some around that realize how stupid that is.  As Yon said in Gates of Fire:  Folks who haven’t done much urban fighting might take issue with the wild chases, and they might say that people should always “stack up” and do things this or that way, but men in Delta Force, SEALs and the like, all know that when chasing wild men into the labyrinth, soldiers enter the land of confusion. If soldiers don’t go fast, the bad guys simply get away.

For those of you that are familiar with Michael Yon’s work, bear with me.  I cannot stop there.  The testimonials and good wishes for the health and safety of this guy, and the quality of his work need to be gotten out, and since I can’t help financially, I hope this helps in some small way.  Here is Oliver North on Michael Yon’s photo.  Oh, yeah, the photo.  The heartrending photo of a soldier cradling a little girl in his arms after terrorists drove a car bomb through a group of playing children to get at the Americans.  The photo evidently went out over the wires without attribution to start with, but as far as I can tell, Yon owns the copyright.  Evidently, a big, and I mean huge, conglomerate media empire, Hachette Filipacchi Media (HFM), has decided they can just publish the photo without getting Yon’s permission.  On top of that, it is being used to bolster the point that Iraq is another Viet Nam.

 The photo in questionThe Battle for Mosul Part III was where this now famous photo was taken.  Bob Kerr, in The Providence Journal,  May 22, 2005, talks about the photo in an article that was one of the first to point out how different Yon’s approach was.  Here are interviews by Rita Cosby on two consecutive nights, that include Bruce Willis, who has expressed an interest in being part of a movie based on the exploits of the Deuce Four.  Michell Malkin has a couple of posts about this here and here.  Finally, here is where you go to help Michael Yon fight back against the giant.  These guys publish the following magazines:

American Photo  
Car and Driver  
Cycle World  
Elle Décor     
Elle Girl
Metropolitan Home    
Mobile Entertainment  
Popular Photography
Road and Track 
Sound and Vision 
Woman’s Day

And, last, but certainly not least, the main offender, Shock.  You can get all the contact info you need at the last link.  The giant has upset a lot of military guys, and gals, many of whom read Yon’s dispatches for the truth.  Let’s see if we can’t make him fall.  Good luck, Michael.  God bless you and all our soldiers.

America:  Home of the free because of the brave!


Published in: on July 6, 2006 at 2:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Salute to US

My first post.  As the default tag line reads, “Just another wordpress.com weblog”.  One of thousands out there now.  I got here from reading a post by bookworm in The American Thinker.  I started a blog several months ago on Google’s free site, but became disappointed at the censorship/hate speech issues that kept cropping up, most of all their position on Chinese censorship, so I closed it down.  A search of “free” blogsites didn’t turn up anything appealing, so it’s been watch and wait.  Today it paid off when I finished bookworm’s article and saw the link to wordpress.  But, what’s more fascinating is the confluence of events that got me to bookworm’s blog. 

I’m celebrating Independence day, bar-b-q, shuttle liftoff, and this.  The other day I read Alexandra von Maltzan’s moving tribute to her father and was nearly moved to tears.  Her writing style is polished and unique, and she has the most eye catching site I’ve seen, full of beautiful artwork.  While there, I also read the previous post, “Total War“, which linked to one of my favorite blogs, The American Thinker.  And that’s how I found bookworm and came across “The First Crypto-Conservative/Neo-Conservative Carnival“.  As a former long-haired, dope smoking,…., it rang my bell.  While not a “crypto”, I am “neo” as my epiphany moment was when, while stoned, I heard on NPR that Jimma had given away the Panama Canal.  While it took several years to get me to the point of voting for the great Ronaldus Magnus, I still remember that moment as the start of a lot of questioning and thinking.  But I guess I am a “quiet” conservative- strongly believing in setting an example rather than forcing my opinion on others, I will if engaged, let my thoughts be known.  This has been very disconcerting to some of my liberal acquaintances at times.  They hear through the grapevine that “he’s conservative- he listens to Rush Limbaugh!”.  I don’t walk around acting like an ogre.  In fact, I was raised to be polite and considerate of others and I normally work and play well with my co-workers.  So when they broach certain topics, I think they are often waiting for me to sprout horns, get out my pitchfork and spit fire.  When I speak in a normal tone of voice, just conversing, but stating my point of view, it can be surprising to those that don’t know me yet.

After voting for Reagan in 1980, though, I knew that his beliefs spoke to me, but I was sort of rudderless.  During this time I kept hearing and reading about this idiot, Rush Limbaugh, who was really tearing up the radio waves and was just full of hate and racism, homophobia and general venom.  A real snake in the grass.  Keep in mind, CNN was the only alternative to the antique media.  I can remember articles in Time, Newsweek, and reports on the evening news shows about this mean spirited ultra-right wing conservative. 

Then, our local blowtorch decided to pick him up after a disastrous experiment with a local potty-mouth shock type dj.  The callers were outraged, a group of investors bought out a weakened local station and started a new talk radio alternative, complete with many of the dj’s fleeing from the blowtorch.  I wanted nothing to do with a man who was probably the next thing to a nazi or white supremacist.  Then, by accident, one day Rush was on, and while doing something else, I listened and heard nothing that I found to be very outrageous, in fact, I found myself agreeing.  Then I realized, he was echoing what I already thought!  This was during the Hillary secret meeting healthcare take over debates.  Rush even suggested that listeners read the bill.  I went to the library to do that, and everything he said was in it was there: assigning physicians to specialties and setting up “district” type areas, like medicare does, and forcing everyone to be a part of the plan in that area.  He even used one technique that really appealed to me, illustrating absurdity by being absurd.

Rush taught me how to listen, read, think, and analyze what we are fed by the MSM, and most of the time it is only part of the story or a very slanted viewpoint.  Until Rush made it apparent, I had never realized how biased the media truly were without being aware of it.  I’m sure millions of others thought the same way, because now we finally have a readily available alternative- the blogosphere.  If you have read this far with me without becoming apoplectic, you have probably had similar difficulties finding reliable information.  My first experience with alternative publishing was Drudge.  It has now gotten to the point where I don’t even read an antique media publication unless I get there through a link.  My point of view is conservative, why should I waste my time reading liberally slanted media that can’t even admit their bias?

Daniel Okrent, the former ombudsman of the paper, delicately explains how the Times leans left. He naturally stops short of saying anything insidious, and in a May 2006 interview I heard with him on National Public Radio, he recanted much of this saying he regretted the first few words of his piece: “Of course it is.”

from:  The American Thinker , “The Worst of (the) Times”, July 3rd, 2006

I became “addicted” to NewsBusters during the last year.  It has something for everyone, including liberals, who like to come on and debate (and sometimes just rage and spit invective, making no sense).  They have a large list of contributing bloggers that keep their eyes on the MSM, many of them through the MRC (Brent Bozell’s outfit).  These bloggers are quality writers and many of them contribute to the discussions on the comment boards.  NewsBusters became my homepage, then I added The American Thinker and Counterterrorism blog to tabs next to NewsBusters.  The American Thinker got added due to mentions by Rush and posters at NB, and when I got to reading it, realized that some of the same people I enjoyed reading at NB were also on TAT.  Counterterrorism Blog was a result of a “conversation” with an NB poster that mentioned a guy named Bill Roggio and TF 145 and how the TF 145 guys are some of the true unsung heroes that we often hear about.  Counterterrorism blog has a library, where I ran across information that placed alQaeda in Iraq prior to the invasion and gave the lie to politicians claiming to not know that alQaeda was using Iraq as part of it’s strategy- i.e. “Bush is creating terrorists”. 

And that’s how I got here- Noel Sheppard on NB has a habit of replying to comments on the boards, which I found encouraging, as well as an ego boost to an old, never before writer.  Well, after commenting on a blog by this woman named Alexandra von Maltzan, she also replied to my comments.  Well, Noel is one thing, but, being male, “Alexandra” is a whole ‘nother kind of ego boost.  So I checked out her site and, as I’ve told her, the artwork drew me in- I’m real visually oriented.  But the quality and style of her writing made me put All Things Beautiful as my next tab.  And that’s how I followed the link that got me to bookworm and this blogsite.

That’s the beauty of today’s news:  read what you find absorbing and insightful.  The good ones are full of links that send you off on all sorts of side trips that help to fill in the picture.  That’s why the libs are gnashing their teeth and screaming so:  this is not China where a few elite intelleckshuals can dictate the information that is passed to the public.  We have the ability to go and find it ourselves now.  That’s part of the freedom that is ours.  God bless America!

Check out these videos at various sites- turn up the volume and get out a tissue or two:

Only Angels Have Wings

Fourth of July Tribute

Memorial Day Video

Tribute to the Troops

Shuttle Lift Off – the first time on July 4.

And read about what the founders sacrificed after signing the Declaration of Independence.  Note:  Rush doesn’t usually give this stuff away, so you may have to sign up to get it after this week, but it’s free right now.

America:  Home of the free because of the brave.


The future is not set.  There is no fate but what we make. 

Published in: on July 4, 2006 at 11:16 pm  Comments (3)