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Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Wednesday - October 18, 2006

He Seemed Like Such A Nice Young Man, Part II

UGH! See the young couple below talking to that nice (hairy) old man last year? Well, that young man just strangled her, chopped her up, cooked the body parts in the oven and then jumped to his death off a tall building in New Orleans. He looks kinda “normal” to me. She however, does look kinda “tasty”. Maybe with some fava beans ...? OK, I’ll shut up and go to my room now.

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September 9, 2005 (NY TIMES) - Addie Hall and Zackery Bowen prepared dinner in a darkened New Orleans Wednesday night. They’ve stayed at Ms. Hall’s French Quarter apartment since Katrina struck and have no plans to evacuate.

And now, the grisly tale of what happened a year after the photo above ...

Man Dismembers Girlfriend In Quarter; Cooks Body Parts
NEW ORLEANS (TIMES PICAYUNE) - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A suicide note in the pocket of a man who jumped off the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel late Tuesday led police to the grisly scene of his girlfriend’s murder, where they found her charred head in a pot on the stove, her legs and feet baked in the oven and the rest of her dismembered body in trash bag in the refrigerator, according to police and the couple’s landlord.

The man, Zackery Bowen, a tall man in his mid 20s with long blond hair, claimed in the note to have killed his girlfriend, Adrian “Addie” Hall, on Oct. 5, according to police. Hall was also in her mid 20s.

In the five-page note, Bowen claimed he strangled Hall in the bathtub, then dismembered her body before taking it in pieces to the kitchen, police said. An autopsy conducted today shows that Hall was in fact manually strangled, police said. It also appears that Hall’s body was cut up after she died, police said. “He appeared to clean up the bathroom a lot after he did it,” one officer said.

Police found the victim’s head burned beyond recognition in a pot on top of the stove, and her legs and feet in the same condition in pans inside the oven, police said. Bowen was from Los Angeles, but apparently had lived in the New Orleans area for quite a while, police said. Friends said he served in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan and displayed both pride and bitterness over that experience.

Detectives said they were compiling a detailed profile of Bowen to submit as soon as possible to the FBI’s VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) center. VICAP is a nationwide data information center designed to collect acts of violence that might be serial in nature and recognized by other jurisdictions with access to VICAP as similar to a crime that they investigated.

Shortly after Oct. 1, the couple had rented an apartment together at 826 N. Rampart Street above a voodoo shop, said their landlord, Leo Watermeier, who recently ran a campaign for mayor. The couple seemed happy at first, he said, though that would soon break down. “He may have in retrospect seemed a little troubled,” Watermeier said in an interview early Wednesday morning, shortly after he led investigators to the gruesome scene inside the apartment.

- There’s even more to this grisly story here ...

(Hat tip to Drudge for putting all the parts of this story together)


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/18/2006 at 03:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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Car Wash

It’s easy to run tanks, HumVees and choppers through the car wash when they get a little muddy but what do you do with an aircraft carrier? Simple. You send all the birds off to play war games and steer full speed ahead through the nearest thunderstorm. Problem solved. Soap optional. Towel dry and wax costs extra. Call ahead for quotes on cleaning the interior: 1-800-CVN-WASH.

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/18/2006 at 12:56 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyMilitary •  
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The Walls

The ChiComs are quietly building a wall between them and North Korea - in more ways than one. Kim Jung Il is now going to be caught between a fence to the North and a DMZ to the South. Kim says he will declare war if sanctions are imposed. Kim forgets that war was never “undeclared” and the Korean War ended with a cease-fire and a 50-year-long “truce”.

Either way, expect Kim and the NoKos to get froggy real soon. There have been massive organized rallies, military parades, threats and more threats and now a second nuclear test is expected soon. Hold on to your hats, kids. We are about to live in “interesting times” ....

China Erects Fence Along N. Korea Border
HUSHAN, China (YAHOO) - Mon Oct 16, 8:43 AM ET

China has been building a massive barbed wire and concrete fence along parts of its border with North Korea in the most visible sign of Beijing’s strained ties with its once-cozy communist neighbor.

Scores of soldiers have descended on farmland near the border-marking Yalu River to erect concrete barriers 8 to 15 feet tall and string barbed wire between them, farmers and visitors to the area said. Last week, they reached Hushan, a collection of villages 12 miles inland from the border port of Dandong.

“About 100 People’s Liberation Army soldiers in camouflage started building the fence four days ago and finished it yesterday,” said a farmer, who only gave his surname, Ai. “I assume it was built to prevent smuggling and illegal crossing.”

Though the fence-building appears to have picked up in the days following North Korea’s claimed nuclear test last week, experts said the project was approved in 2003. Experts and a local Hushan official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the project, said the military was in charge of the building.

- More at YAHOO ...

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world former Commie President Gorbachev arrived in West Texas and criticized the wall. No, not the one being built between China and North Korea - the one along the US border with Mexico. Gorby thinks the border fence is comparable to the Berlin Wall. I have only one problem with that comparison.

The Berlin Wall was built to keep people IN. I know Gorby misses the salad days of the Soviets but there is no need to gloss over the idiocy of Moscow during those days and even less need to compare the Iron Curtain to modern-day attempts to halt the flow of refugees from failed countries to sucessful countries - and that’s something the US and China have in common.

Gorbachev Compares Proposed U.S. Border Wall To Berlin Wall
Midland Reporter-Telegram - October 18, 2006

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev compared the United States’ proposed 700-mile wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to the Berlin Wall during a Tuesday visit to Midland.

Addressing a Tuesday news conference at UTPB’s Center for Energy and Economic Diversification, the JBS Public Leadership Institute Distinguished Lecture Series speaker was by turns serious and flippant prior to a reception with more than 100 people.

“You remember President Reagan standing in Berlin and saying, ‘This wall should be torn down,’” said the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner. “Now the United States seems to be building almost the Wall of China between itself and this other nation with which it has been associated for many decades and has had cooperation and interaction with.

“I think what is really needed are ideas and proposals about how to improve that cooperation and work out all of those issues regarding immigration flows. I don’t think the U.S. is so weak and so much lacks confidence as not to be able to find a different solution.

“Maybe if global warming results in melting the ice in Greenland, there will be an island where those who would like to separate themselves from the rest of the world could live,” he quipped. “But then of course we’ll have to work this out with Denmark.”

- More from West Texas here ...

Meanwhile, a little further East Dhimmi Carter decided he couldn’t let an old, broken-down Commie be the only one to act stupid. Carter obviously is in the final stages of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) because it is evident to him that the whole North Korean crisis is Bush’s fault.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot ... Carter says he was the one who saved the world from nuclear war with North Korea in 1994. Would someone please give Carter his medication and take him for a stroll around the grounds - the other inmates are getting nervous ...

Carter Blames Bush For Korean Crisis
ATLANTA (AP) - 10/18/2006 8:13:12 AM

Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday night that an agreement he brokered 12 years ago for North Korea to halt nuclear weapons development is “in the wastebasket.” Carter contends the Bush administration turned its back on the deal and labeled the isolated nation part of an “axis of evil.”

But Carter, speaking at a previously scheduled panel discussion on his 1994 mediation, said he does not foresee the current dispute over North Korea’s test of a nuclear bomb leading to war.

Carter said that in 1994, war “appeared to be imminent” if the Clinton administration had pushed sanctions against North Korea through the UN Security Council. But he said it is less likely now. Although North Korea branded sanctions imposed by the security council as an act of war, Carter said they are not as stringent as those proposed by the Clinton administration 12 years ago.

Carter appeared with his wife, Rosalynn, and former Ambassador to South Korea James Laney in the panel discussion at The Carter Center in Atlanta. They were joined by Marion Creekmore, author of the book “A Moment of Crisis,” about his 1994 trip with the Carters to Pyongyang.

Laney said it appeared that war was certain before Carter’s trip, which demonstrated to him that every opportunity for peaceful resolution of a crisis must be used.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/18/2006 at 09:40 AM   
Filed Under: • International •  
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300 Million

When I arrived in this world in 1949, there were 150 million American citizens. I came here through a hospital in North Carolina, with a little help from my mother. Yesterday, the population doubled in my time and the 300 millionth American arrived - most likely across the Rio Grande - with a little help from Congress. Press one for English, prensa dos para de habla hispana ...

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Bruce Plante - Chattanooga Times Free Press


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/18/2006 at 01:28 AM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and Immigration •  
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Two-Fer

There’s not much you can say about a story like this. I wish them both a speedy recovery. The bad news is she is all cut up. The good news is that he can’t hear her nag any more. Get well, kids. And try to stay out of trouble from now on, OK .... ?

Husband, Wife Both Awarded Purple Hearts
HASTINGS, Neb. - October 17, 2006, 8:57 PM EDT

imageimageIn a special ceremony, a husband and wife from Central City were awarded Purple Hearts for injuries suffered in separate incidents while serving in Iraq. For Clayton “Eric” and Heidi Erickson, Saturday’s Purple Heart ceremony was humbling.

“It’s almost embarrassing, the whole deal, you know,” Eric said. “I don’t deserve a star or anything.” The Purple Heart is given to members of the U.S. armed forces who are wounded as a result of enemy action.

The Ericksons are members of the 295th Ordnance Company, U.S. Army Reserve. They were wounded in August 2004, having been mobilized in fall 2003 with different reserve units. They arrived in Iraq with their separate units in early 2004.

Eric, 42, drove in convoys around northern Iraq and was wounded on Aug. 4, 2004, near Mosul. A vehicle carrying explosives drove into the convoy and detonated about 20 yards from Eric’s truck. When the convoy reached safety at a nearby installation, Eric noticed that his ear hurt.

Three days later, he went to a doctor and learned that he had suffered a blast concussion to his right ear and that his ear drum had been bleeding. “Yep, that’s my injury,” he said. “You’re not going to see the scars from that unless you stick a scope in my ear.

“I can have conversations all day long. That doesn’t bother me,” he said. But certain frequencies drive him nuts, he said, because he either can’t hear the sound or hears a ringing or pounding in his ears. Fewer than a dozen days after her husband was wounded, Heidi, 37, found herself in danger as part of a convoy headed out to pick up some soldiers.

As she was passing three tanker trucks, one exploded. One of the men ahead of her convoy in the convoy told her that when he turned around, all he could see was a hood flying across the median, then a big ball of fire.

“‘Then here come Mom driving out of the fire just like on TV,” the man told Heidi. A piece of metal flew through her windshield, missing Heidi and her co-driver but showering them with glass fragments that cut their faces.

“We were pretty lucky,” she said. “Our rear gunner, he just ended up with first-degree burns when we went through the fire. He looked like he was sunburned. That was the most severe injury: just some cuts and scrapes and a little bit of a sunburn.

“Somebody was watching out for us,” she said. “It could have been a lot worse.” Although they were within a hundred miles of each other in Iraq, visits were rare. Heidi said she enjoyed seeing her husband on those rare visits, but it was hard switching from soldier to wife.

That task was even tougher when she called their children—Nathan, 10; Taylor, 8; and Niklas, 4—who were being cared for by both sets of grandparents. “It was hard to call home and talk to my kids. You had to be in the mommy mode with them all crying and upset,” Heidi said. “And then I’d have to go out on the road and be a soldier.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/18/2006 at 12:29 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Tuesday - October 17, 2006

Through The Looking Glass

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“Hollywood”
-by-
Jon Sullivan


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/17/2006 at 05:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-Photography •  
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Let Our People Go - But Not Here

How freaking stupid and hypocritical can the governments of Europe get? They (including our Brit friends) are demanding we close Gitmo and release the terrorists but at the same time they don’t want us sending them back to them.

Memo to Euro-Peons: Either take them back or STFU.

U.S. Allies Impede Guantanamo Releases
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:19am ET144

Britain and other U.S. allies have demanded closure of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but have also blocked efforts to let some prisoners return home, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

British officials recently rejected a U.S. offer to transfer 10 former British residents from Guantanamo to the United Kingdom, arguing that it would be too expensive to keep them under surveillance, the newspaper said, citing documents made public this month in London.

Britain has also staved off a legal challenge by the relatives of some prisoners who sued to require the British government to seek their release, The Washington Post said.

While all British citizens in Guantanamo were freed starting in 2004, Britain has balked at allowing former legal residents of the country to return, the newspaper said. Germany and other European allies, which have spoken out against Guantanamo, also have balked at accepting prisoners from the facility, the Post said.

- More on this ridiculous crap here ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/17/2006 at 09:27 AM   
Filed Under: • InternationalTerrorists •  
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Quote Of The Day

When I see someone use the terms “prize male” and “castration” in the same sentence, I get nervous. The article referenced below discusses the FDA’s upcoming plans to approve the sale of meat and milk from cloned animals. Just think ... you will soon be able to eat the same steak day after day after day after ....

“Cloning could solve a number of long-standing farm problems. Many prize males are not recognized as such until long after they have been tamed by castration. With cloning, that lack of semen would not matter.”

-- Washington Post, “FDA Is Set To Approve Milk, Meat From Clones”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/17/2006 at 09:06 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningScience-Technology •  
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Blue Skies

Here it is, only mid-October and in St. Louis we’ve been sitting in cold, freezing, drizzly rain for the last few days. Yes, the Cardinals-Mets playoffs were rained out again last night. Nighttime temps are dropping as low as 32 and daytime highs are struggling to reach the mid-50’s. Yet the weather shamans say we’ll have a mild winter?

Well I have a weather prediction myself. I can feel it in my joints. I predict .... that the weather gooobers are just making this shit up as they go along - with partly cloudy predictions followed by slightly overcast mumbo-jumbo.

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Bob Englehart - The Hartford Courant (CT)


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/17/2006 at 07:57 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Most Ridiculous Headline Of The Day

I just hate it when everyone says “he seemed so normal” about some asshat who just gunned down a half dozen people. Let me give you a clue: everyone acts normal (well, except Liberals and Leftists who are beyond repair) until they wake up one morning and fail to notice that their brain went South during the night.

This is a common affliction in our modern society. You never know when one of those millions of neurons will suddenly spark a malicious firestorm in the darker regions of your hindbrain causing you to wake up and think to yourself, “Gosh, I need to go kill a bunch of people!” Then again, maybe not.

Seriously, we are all trying too hard. Stress levels are at all-time highs due to the fast pace of modern life and the competitive struggle to survive and excel over others. Drug and alcohol use are at all-time highs. The “War On Drugs” was lost decades ago. The modern human brain is overloaded and underfed. Too much to think about and not a damn thing worth watching on TV.

So lighten up people. Don’t take offense at the slightest thing. Be careful what you say to others because you never know what might trigger a dark neuron in somebody’s head. As for this asshat below, the signs were there all along but no one paid attention.

He lied at work, moved from job to job, was driving around on a revoked license with no insurance and had been caught with drug paraphernalia. Does that sound “normal” to you? Me neither. Yet everyone thought he was such a “nice young man”? Get real.

So go easy on those around you, give them a break when you can ... and keep your eye on that “normal” looking person sitting next to you. Yeah, that one ...

Iowa Man Charged With Killing Family Seemed So Normal
QUINCY, Ill. (ST LOUIS POST-DISPATCH) - 10/16/2006

imageimageShawn Bentler was polite, quiet and well-spoken, according to former employers in this Illinois river town. But the 22-year-old - accused of fatally shooting his parents and three sisters in their Bonaparte, Iowa, home early Saturday - also proved to be an unreliable employee who sometimes lied. Last month, he quit a job at an auto dealership, telling his boss that his father had died of a heart attack.

Investigators have not said what might have led the young man from an affluent family to allegedly gun them down. The victims, found Saturday morning in their home about 60 miles northwest of Quincy, were identified as Michael Bentler, 53; his wife, Sandra, 47; and their daughters Sheena, 17; Shelby, 15; and Shayne, 14. The family owned an elevator and lumber company in Bonaparte.

Shawn Bentler was returned to Van Buren County, Iowa, on Monday after waiving extradition at a hearing in Quincy. Some who knew him in Quincy said Bentler seemed to be just a normal young man. “I can’t point to one thing that was unusual about him,” said Troy McNay, sales manager at Shottenkirk Chevrolet, where Bentler worked as a salesman. “That’s what’s so disturbing.”

At Neal Coleman Auto Sales in Quincy, where Bentler also worked, sales manager Jack Bessling said he was shocked by the news of the slayings, but said he didn’t know Bentler well. Bessling said Bentler quit near the end of last month, saying his father had died of a heart attack and he was going back to Iowa to be with his mother. Bessling discovered the lie after calling Bentler’s father’s lumber company to express condolences.

“Nobody really got a chance to know him,” Bessling said. “He said all the right things when we talked to him. He said he had two kids and had to make money.” Bentler was arrested around 10:30 a.m. Saturday near his Quincy home while riding his motorcycle, and initially was charged with driving on a revoked license and operating an uninsured vehicle.

There also was an outstanding warrant for Bentler’s arrest for failing to appear at a hearing on charges of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia in Adams County. He was charged in Iowa with five counts of first-degree murder.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/17/2006 at 07:21 AM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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UN Says NO To Chavez

First, Cindy Sheehan failed to win the Nobel Peace Prize and now, Hugo Chavez fails to win a seat on the UN Security Council. It was a bad day for the Moonbats. Next thing you know, Danny Glover will fail to win an Oscar. What a shame.

Seriously, what I find interesting in the story below is that South American countries are beginning to back away from Chavez and his mad dream of becoming Supreme Leader of South America. Chavez may have overstepped himself with some of his recent alliances, most noteably Bolivia.

With Castro dying, it would be most unfortunate if Chavez died in an unexplained airplane crash while en route to his buddies in Iran or North Korea. Yes, it would be most unfortunate indeed ....

Venezuela Is Denied Security Council Seat
UNITED NATIONS (WASHINGTON POST) - Tuesday, October 17, 2006

imageimageVenezuela was stymied Monday in its bid to win a seat on the U.N. Security Council, a result that shocked diplomats who had expected President Hugo Chavez’s leftist, oil-rich government to gain a platform on the international stage.

Guatemala finished ahead of Venezuela in nine of the first 10 rounds of secret voting held by the U.N. General Assembly. But neither secured the required two-thirds vote to succeed Argentina on Jan. 1 in the open Latin American seat on the 15-nation council.

Delegates at the United Nations had predicted that Venezuela would easily receive enough support for the seat, but the opening ballot showed Guatemala ahead 114 to 74. Venezuela gained votes through the day but never did better than a 93 to 93 tie with Guatemala. Afterward, several envoys expressed surprise that Venezuela had fared so poorly.

The result came as a relief to the United States, which had lobbied actively on behalf of Guatemala. Chavez’s government, U.S. officials warned, would play a destructive role on the council, lending its support to those countries, including Iran, Sudan and North Korea, that have defied the United Nations.

It also represented a personal blow to Chavez, who had run a costly political campaign that involved millions of dollars in aid to poor countries as well as state visits to Russia, China and the Middle East.

Chavez may have undercut his country’s chances with a provocative speech last month before the General Assembly, in which he described President Bush as “the devil.” And once-solid support for Venezuela in South America, from countries including Chile and Paraguay, wavered after Chavez’s government entered into a military pact with Bolivia, which has lost territory to both those countries.

The United States, Britain, China, Russia and France enjoy permanent membership on the 15-member Security Council. The other 10 seats are distributed regionally for two-year terms; a vote by the General Assembly fills five seats each year. South Africa, Indonesia, Italy and Belgium were easily elected Monday for their regions.

But the deadlock over the Latin American seat raised the prospect of a long election and that a compromise candidate—possibly Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay or Chile—might enter the race. Mexico and Cuba received single votes on some ballots Monday.

- More on the story at WAPO ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/17/2006 at 06:39 AM   
Filed Under: • Latin-AmericaUnited-Nations •  
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calendar   Monday - October 16, 2006

Definition: Hero

BlackFive and other milbloggers covered this story last week when it first broke. At that time no one was aware of the circumstances surrounding Michael Monsoor’s death. Today CENTCOM released this briefing to all of us. I am speechless.

I have read of instances like this happening in World War II and always thought that this kind of act went beyond anything defined as the “call of duty”. I have tried to imagine how I would react if I were in a foxhole with my buddies and a live grenade came tumbling in and hit me in the chest. Two seconds left to eternity. What would I (or you for that matter) do?

The spilt-second decision you have to make is to choose either (a) you all die, or (b) you die and your buddies live. Would I have the courage to choose option (b)? I don’t know and I hope and pray I never have to find out. “Doing the right thing” would go against all the survival instincts we have. Subduing that instinct to live and sacrificing my life for others is beyond my ability to predict.

Whatever else may come out of this war, there is one thing you can say ... if our President was wrong (and I don’t think he was) and if our military planners screwed the pooch (which I think they have), our troops have demonstrated the ultimate courage in the face of an insane enemy.

Honor them. Praise them. Let them know you care. Write a letter to a serviceman or woman today. Send a care package. Do whatever you can ... because somewhere over there in Iraq or Afghanistan soldiers are walking on patrol with madmen on all sides and none of them knows if or when their time will come to face that ultimate decision.

I regret the loss of Michael Monsoor and I extend my sympathies and deep regret to his family and friends. I’m sure Michael would be proud to know that he continues a tradition begun over two thousand years ago on a hill outside Jerusalem. Go with God, Michael. Rest in peace. Your work is done ...

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

-- John 15:13

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Heroes In Action
(CENTCOM) - Monday, 16 August 2006

According to Merriam-Webster’s On-Line; a hero is a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities; one that shows great courage.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, 25, of Garden Grove, Calif., died Sept. 29 while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ramadi, Iraq. Monsoor was a Navy SEAL assigned to a West-Coast based command

Monsoor gave his life in order to save the lives of his brothers in arms. An Iraqi insurgent threw a grenade into a position occupied by Monsoor and three other SEALS.

According to a report in the Associated Press Monsoor was struck in the chest by the grenade. Monsoor immediately threw himself on top of the grenade saving the lives of the other three. Two other SEALs where injured and the fourth was unhurt.


From RADM Joe Maguire, USN - Commander Naval Special Warfare Command ...

“On behalf of the entire Naval Special Warfare community, we mourn the loss of Master at Arms Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, who died conducting some of our military’s most important missions. It’s been said that we cannot decide whether we live or die - we know one day we will die - but as people, as men and warriors, we can only decide what we will die for. This Sailor along with our two wounded teammates chose a life of significant meaning—to defend freedom and protect America and its allies from terrorism. We grieve with and support the family and friends who support our warriors on a daily basis. We hope that in time Michael’s family is comforted in knowing that he died fighting for what he believed in and we will not forget his sacrifice.”

According to The Navy Times, Monsoor was a native of Garden Grove, Calif., and joined the service in March 2001, according to Navy records. He was a member of BUD/S class 250, and had been serving with SEAL Team 3 since April 2005. Monsoor is the second SEAL to die in Iraq. Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, the definition of the word hero.

Epilogue: As I sit here writing this my eyes are filled with tears. The emotion I feel is raw. I feel so small compared to men like Michael. His example shames me, as it should all of us - especially those who refuse to support our troops. That will be all for today. I need to go lie down and think ....


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/16/2006 at 02:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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Through The Looking Glass

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“In The Shadow Of Saturn”
Credit: SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

(Click image for huge 2575x1370 image in popup window)

The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn recently drifted in giant planet’s shadow for about 12 hours and looked back toward the eclipsed Sun. Cassini saw a view unlike any other. First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn and slightly scattering sunlight, in the above exaggerated color image. Saturn’s rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the above image. Visible in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn’s E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moon Enceladus, and the outermost ring visible above.

Note: If you look carefully just above the nine-o-clock position, right outside the bright inner rings, you will see a small blue dot. This small, rather insignificant dot of light is best descirbed by Douglas Adams thusly ....

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.

Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.

“Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”

Now, would any of you hairless monkeys out there care to comment?


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/16/2006 at 11:16 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day (so far)

Sit down and relax before reading this. Now, quietly digest the following sentence: If you are an illegal immigrant from Mexico you will pay $7,143 yearly tuition to attend UCLA but if you’re a taxpaying American citizen from Kansas you will pay $25,826 yearly tuition to attend that same university (Source: USA TODAY: “2006 College Tuition & Fees Survey”). That’s the difference between tuition for in-state residents and out-of-state residents in Kalifornia.

Why are people who are illegally in this country given lower tuition at taxpayer expense? You tell me. This is not right. In fact it is so “not right” that it isn’t even wrong. It is just patently absurd and borders on criminality. Yet it is law in Kalifornia and the courts have now upheld it.

Now let’s zip across the country to Washington, DC and see what federal law says about this:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.

— Title 8, Chapter 14, Sec. 1623

That seems pretty clear and easy to understand, doesn’t it? Well, read the next-to-last paragraph in the story below and see what Judge Warriner had to say about the above federal law. The Kalifornia law is an insult to every American citizen and this judge’s ruling is a mockery of justice. It is also a violation of federal law.

When will this arrogant lunacy end? It will end when WE THE PEOPLE decide we have had enough and we hold our government accountable for these bullshit laws and asinine courts. The revolution is coming. Get ready ....

imageimageJudge Upholds In-State Tuition For Illegal Immigrants
SAN DIEGO (NBC NEWS) - 6:52 am PDT October 12, 2006

A judge has upheld a state law allowing public colleges and universities to charge in-state fees to undocumented immigrants. The law was challenged by a class action lawsuit filed last December on behalf of out-of-state students who claimed the tuition break discriminated against U.S. citizens.

Out-of-state students pay higher rates than California residents in the state’s three-tiered higher education system—the University of California, the California State University and California community colleges. In the past, immigrants who didn’t have legal status as California residents faced out-of-state rates.

But a 2001 law allows nonresidents to pay in-state fees if they attended a California high school for at least three years and graduated from a California high school. Immigrants who are in the state illegally who apply for the tuition break must certify they are in the process of getting documentation or will do so as soon as they are eligible.

Among other things, plaintiffs in the lawsuit argued the law violates federal immigration reform legislation passed in 1996. But Superior Court Judge Thomas Warriner ruled last week there was no indication Congress intended the Immigration and Naturalization Act or any other federal statute cited by the plaintiffs to determine resident tuition rates at state universities and community colleges.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they will appeal the ruling.

Just in case you couldn’t afford to go to college and never took a course in US History, let me quote you something from an obscure 18th century document that very few people nowadays have ever read .... or understand ....

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


avatar

Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/16/2006 at 05:33 AM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and ImmigrationJudges-Courts-Lawyers •  
Comments (8) Trackbacks(2)  Permalink •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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