Saturday, December 29, 2007

I am Back!

It has been a long and winding road, filled with potholes and other debris, but I am now once more back among the somewhat healthy.

To say that this has been an experience straight from Hell is putting it mildly. What began November 5th as slight problem breathing, quickly escalated to an asthmatic bronchial shut down which kept me in full respiratory distress for a thirteen hour period.

Three days later as I am sitting on my antiseptically clean hospital room, which was technically called a cardiac monitoring unit, as all patients wore a small heart, lungs, etc., monitor which constantly transmitted readings to a processing unit. I was just about to take a bit out of a lunch time turkey sandwich when my chest begins to flutter. Oh great, I, muttered, this was not going to be a good thing, it never is and I was correct on that assumption.

Things were all acting a bit strange, the chest fluttering, my throat was on fire and I see two nurses walking into my room in slow motion. I knew that was not among the normal things in life, so I was not really shocked when I saw my Doctor following them pushing the cardiac crash cart.

Perhaps it was the slow motion nurses or the sight of my Doctor pushing that cart, after all, has anyone actually seen one of the heart needles they use? My frail and still recovering body shudders even thinking about them, but I recovered and it turned out I was now in Ventricular Fibrillation, which according to Merck Manuals, is not a good thing. Here is a small excerpt, "Ventricular fibrillation is a potentially fatal, uncoordinated series of very rapid, ineffective contractions of the ventricles caused by many chaotic electrical impulses."

Here is the full link in case anyone is interested in further reading.

My cardiologist wanted to try a few days of medication specifically designed to correct an abnormal beat. After four days, it was evident that was not going to work out, so they wheeled me up to the heart lab, knocked me out for a few hours and stopped my heart. This was the normal cure and once started it took on its familiar old beat.

The major problem with spending ten days in the hospital, with the severe medical problems that I was undergoing was my muscles were not being used. In fact, they had all atrophied as we quickly discovered when I attempted to take a walk under nursing supervision and quickly fell upon my butt.

Now I was off to a rehabilitation center where they would access my medical problem situation and design an exercise routine to meet my needs as well as getting my body working once more.

I learned quickly that when a physician tells you that you are going to a rehab center, (nursing home) and you inquire how long it will take, they are going to look you in the eyes and lie. Yes they are, they will tell you,

"Oh, just a few days, just enough to get you walking once more."

That translated to four and one half weeks of extended therapy, but I was now all better and went back home, or so I thought.

I will finish this in a few days with the allergic reaction from hell. Yes, I was allergic to myself. I had so much fun.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Update on The Ranter - hospitalized

My dear friends,

I am writing on behalf The Ranter, our friend.

He was hospitalized two weeks ago with an acute pulmonary stress and arrest, and we almost lost him.

He was as close to death's door as a human being can be. It occured due to a combination of elements, some related to his smoking and its effect on his heart.

He is now in a rehabilation facility, learning how to walk again, and to breath normally which is quite stressful and fearful for someone whose lungs and heart both basically said "I give up".

He wants everyone here to know that he is thinking of them and that he will post as soon as he gets home, which could be as soon as 10 days.

It all depends on how his body reacts to the healing efforts that are extended to him.

I know we all share a deep respect, love and concern for him and I am assured that you will all pray for a quick and speedy recovery for our dear friend.

With lots of love to all of you,

Desert woman.

PS - If you wish, you can email me at desertwoman1(at)gmail.com and I will read your emails to him.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The dog needs house training

This is a bit off my beaten path, but worth talking about.

It appears that the worm has turned for Duane "Dog" Chapman, America's bounty hunter. It was not that long ago that everyone, including me, was on the "Save the Dog" bandwagon. The Dog had traced a millionaire rapist to Mexico, went in, and grabbed the scumbag, problem was, Mexico did not appreciate someone taking their cash cow, so they wanted to put the Dog in jail, a Mexican jail!

Since then, the dog has been the number one show on the A&E channel as well as tossed out a book or two and all the while wearing a mullet and Indian beads in his hair. Yes sir, the world was good for the dog, and then he had to go and blow the whole thing with a temper tantrum. He should have stuck to catching criminals and not try and change the world.

Click Here for the full story.

It seemed one of the dog's many sons was dating a woman the dog did not like too much and after a telephone call and many nasty no-no words the dog is in the dog house and without a show, I might add.

To top it all off, it turned out his son recorded the temper tantrum telephone call then sold it to a magazine! The dog simply cannot catch a break now; perhaps he needs to change his kibble.

This is truly another case of someone's head becoming too big for their brain. One thing is for certain, after what he said on the tape, the dog will be running around with his tail between his legs for quite a while now.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stupid is as stupid does

It appears that the war on terrorism is offering individuals who are ticked off at family members a way to get even.

AFP.com, Agence France-Presse is reporting that a Swedish man, angry with his daughter's husband has been charged with libel for telling the FBI that the son-in-law had links to al-Qaeda.

Click Here for the full story.

Now let us be honest here, sticking the guy in Guantanamo forever is not the best solution for your daughter's marital woes. It does tend to remove the problem, but when the FBI gets wind of what you did, well, that is not exactly the best people to be angry at you for something.

Now here is the funny part, the article reports, "The man, who admitted sending the email, said he did not think the US authorities would stupid enough to believe him."

This guy has not even seen the depths of stupidity yet, he just needs to look around his part of the globe, there is plenty of idiotic things that would amaze him. As far as terrorism, if you are stupid enough to turn in your family member on a trumped up terror threat then don't be surprised when he is never seen again.

Who is on first?

What fascinates me the most is seeing all of the election nonsense going on and some of the politicians calling for restraint with Iran.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I really do not believe we have set anything in action that would even suggest we are planning military action against them.

Of course, I realize that sanctions are in place, but where is the military build up for a so-called invasion with bombers or manpower, nothing is in place. Yet, we have Presidential candidates saying everything except, we surrender.

What else amazes me is how they are all saying what a peaceful solution each of them can bring to the table. Take the latest reported by Fox News, "Sen. Barack Obama said Friday that as president he would personally negotiate with Iran, offering economic incentives and a chance for peaceful relations if Iranian leaders would forego pursuit of nuclear weapons and support of terrorists."

Nice guy, someone needs to tell these bags of wind that the war is taking place in Iraq, Afghanistan and a few other places around the globe and that is where the work needs to be addressed.

Election time certainly does bring out just about every scenario possible with everyone offering every form of solutions, even if they are wrong and do not even exists.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a news junkie. It is true and I cannot do anything about it. For many months, I have subscribed to various news services that send out the morning headlines, news tips and breaking news events. When I was out of the loop without my vision, my inbox quickly filled up with all of the news services coming in constantly.

To combat that problem I have unsubscribed to a few and kept only two or three services. I am still a news junkie, just less items cluttering up my inbox.

One of the major benefits to my news addiction is I can tell you exactly what is going on in the world by a quick look at the topics of the important news releases. It matters not what the services are saying, I can see in the inbox what the frame of mind is for that given day.

Lately, it has all been Iran and not if we are going to attack, but where and with which country besides us. Of course, lately, every news item has pertained to our close relationship with Israel and how they have turned their views on the Middle East into the United States views and whether or not it is a success. Some of the services are painting glowing testament of that success and others are saying what a combined failure it has been.

Let us not forget that small portion of our society that could care less if anything is working, they are only concerned with the fall of civilization and the three horsemen riding to bring about its total destruction.

Take this morning for example, there were various think tanks and experts saying how badly we have failed in the Middle East. A few of them discussed the escalating tensions with Iran and why any war with them is doomed to failure. Of course, there were two articles stating that we are simply towing the Israeli party line in the Middle East and when this all comes tumbling down it is their fault.

What amazed me was not one article made any comments on how the United States could bring about a peaceful solution in the Middle East, only predictions of doom and tensions quickly escalating to a religious war between anyone who tries to intercede.

Then it struck me, these people do not want peace in the Middle East, they want war and destruction. If there were peace then these prophets of doom would be out of business.

Perhaps it is time to stop listening to the so-called experts and their predictions of doom and begin to work together towards peaceful solutions. What a concept, of course, this will never happen. But It sure would be nice if it did.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Update to last post

Update to the article I posted regarding the Father of a fallen Marine and his litigation against the Westboro Baptist Church, titled, A Father fights back.

The jury has also awarded other damages, which takes the verdict to 11 million dollars. Here is a direct quote from the article on CBS News,

"The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress."

"Snyder's attorney, Craig Trebilcock, had urged jurors to determine an amount "that says don't do this in Maryland again. Do not bring your circus of hate to Maryland again."

A Father fights back

I was just going through the afternoon news and this headline immediately caught my undivided attention.

"Jury Awards Father $2.9 Million in Funeral Protesters Case"

Click here for the full story.

If you recall, the father of a fallen Marine had filed litigation against the Westboro Baptist Church and its founder for a multitude of actions resulting from their picketing his son's funeral.

This is the same church that routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."

A number of states have enacted laws prohibiting the church's picketing and that has had little impact on their protesting. Perhaps handing over a few million dollars will change their attitudes. We can only hope that this award is not overturned.

The disgusting signs and comments made by the church towards our fallen men and women has only enraged people to do something to stop their protesting. We can only hope this verdict stays and finally puts an end to the church is protesting

Invisible Tank

A story this morning from the UK caught my eye as I was wondering the news services. It was headlined; "British Defense Researchers Create Invisible Tank" and once I saw it there was no way my imagination would allow me to pass it up.

Click here for the full story.

The British have actually done it, I was thinking as I began to read the story. Of course, I was waiting to read how they would create invisible soldiers next, but that was not to pass.

I have seen this invisibility trick done on the military channel before. They were going over the new Army's battle gear called, Land Warrior and already in use in Iraq. On the show they used tiny cameras and a parade of other photo gear to create an invisible soldier standing there. Unfortunately, unless that solder has about three million bucks worth of camera gear he will not repeat it on the battlefield.

It turned out the invisible tank was the same thing, many cameras, just a trick, but it does look pretty cool.

Friday, October 26, 2007

They are still at it

Most of us have read or written stories about the disgusting antics of the Westboro Baptist church. I have written a few articles, one was Phelps Information which went into a bit more detail on the actions of these individuals.

Honestly, for me to write more on the group would be a total exercise in futility. Their actions towards our fallen service members are well documented and already a matter of public record. In brief, the CBS article stated, "the Westboro Baptist church's members have picketed the funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming the deaths are punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality."

I recall the mixed bag of emotions that went through me while reading about their protests at service members funerals. Besides the anger and disgust, I could not understand why someone had not filed litigation against the church. Then I began reading many of the already published articles on the church and learned that many of the family running the church were practicing attorneys.

In short, they always stayed on public property and insured they were within their constitutional rights. That knowledge disgusted me to no end.

Now, the father of a Marine killed in action, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder is taking the church on in court.

Here is a direct quote from CBS news, "The father of a Marine killed in Iraq took the stand in his invasion of privacy suit against a fundamentalist church that pickets soldiers' funerals, saying protesters carrying signs at his son's burial made him sick to his stomach."

"Albert Snyder said he had hoped for a private funeral for his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder."

The father, Albert Snyder is asking for assistance in his litigation against the church and has setup a web site with information, www.matthewsnyder.org/.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ben Stein: The Real Stars

Ben Stein puts it all into perspective. It is about time someone spoke up.

Ranter

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Dalai Lama

China has never ceased to amaze me with their attitude regarding the Dalai Lama. Of course, they control his homeland and nothing on this earth will make them give it back.

For example, here is a quote from a CBS News article on President Bush giving the Dalai Lama an award.

"China, which reviles the 72-year-old monk as a Tibetan separatist, vehemently protested the elaborate public ceremony."

Now, if that does not hate for the sake of hate, then I cannot think of any other comment that would demonstrate it any better.

Here we have a man of peace, serenity and the spiritual leader to thousands, if not millions. The act by China of taking over his homeland and listing him as a separatist reeks of the fear China has towards him. Yes, fear and they fear him so badly that they will risk whatever they have to insure he does not return, never.

Disgusting, that is what it is, pure and simple disgusting. The Dalai Lama is a man of such high religious stature that throngs of humanity revere him and follow his words. This is what scares China to pieces and it is the sole reason they hate him.

Actually, a man of peace without any hidden agendas is a wonderful thought. He does not ask for millions in donations to build his universities. He does not make statements that God will call him home of his goals are not meant. He desires peace among the world; he does this without beating on your door and ramming his political philosophy down your throat. He supports religious freedom for all faiths, barring none.

China fears this man for many reasons and most of all because they realize he is right, they are wrong, and that really scares the devil out of them.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Security in Iraq

Since it became a public word, Blackwater has taken more heat than any security organization in Iraq. We have seen media reports, television documentaries, you name it and it has been written about private security in Iraq, Blackwater in particular.

The media loves to portray them as high paid mercenaries, body armor and automatic weapons at ready for any attack. What they normally fail to address is that the majority of the security in Iraq are highly trained, Seals, Special Forces, SAS and other special operations personnel. These are the individuals that our country and others once called our best, our elite, the cream of the crop and governments have spent millions of dollars training and equipping these individuals to go out and perform jobs that no one else was capable of doing.

Now, they are no longer within the fold of the militaries they once represented and because of this, the media calls them killers, mercenaries, anything, but what they once were.

The media loves to say the word mercenary, they love to portray these individuals as shoot first and ask question later and let God sort them out, this sickens me.

We place these individuals in harm's way, dissociate them from any coverage or protection afforded the military and tell them if you shoot someone you will be tried under that government' s law and as a murderer in your own country. This is just wonder job security and yet, individuals work in these high risk situations.

If one or more of these individuals make mistakes and people die, then they alone should be tried for their crimes, not the entire security community. The same applies to outright homicide, if this is done, then those individuals should pay, not the entire community.

This entire mess has sickened me and the sad footnote to it all is that it is far from over.

Friday, October 12, 2007

And he could not spell potato!

The fact that Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for his film, an Inconvenient Truth has me wondering why I never won one. I mean, I have told many untruths in my day, okay, lies, but the fact remains, if he can win, so can anybody.

Gore has always liked to tell a few tales or two. What can we expect from a man who publicly stated that he invented the Internet!

Since the film, Inconvenient Truth was released many questions have been raised about whether some of the science used in the film is correct. In fact, this week a judge in the UK ruled that schools could not screen the film without accompanying notes, which give a balancing view to some of his claims.

Apparently, an Inconvenient Truth has left out a few truths, in any case, it managed to give Gore a few awards and now the Nobel, go figure.

Gore was no stranger to inconvenient truths, he managed to take on the show, Murphy Brown for their story line of an unwed mother and lose. One thing that bothered me was how a man who could not spell potato was able to write anything at all.

It is quite an honor to take home the Nobel and we cannot take that away from him. However, it makes me wonder just how much politics played as a deciding factor.

A nominee that was passed over for the Gore award, Irena Sendler, was in many opinions more worthy of the award. Sendler is a great woman who risked her life during WWII to save 2500 children from the Holocaust, later captured by the Nazi's and severely beaten. Sendler managed to escape and today is living in a nursing home in Poland.

If you are not familiar with the Irena Sendler story, then I suggest you click here for the Wikipedia overview. She should be an inspiration to the world and her story needs to be told.

Family Values

We all are very aware that the world has become a hotbed of insanity. It has become even more evident with the current rash of school shootings being reported. The latest, a 14 year old Pennsylvania home schooled youth had compiled an arsenal and planned a repeat of the 1999 Columbine attack in Colorado.

In an AP article this morning, CBS News correspondent Maggie Rodriguez reported that officials knew the young suspect's motive: he felt bullied by the students at Plymouth Whitemarsh. But the plot for revenge was foiled when the young man tried to seek out an accomplice who led police to the suspect's house and a disturbing arsenal.

Acting on a tip from a high school student and his father, police on Wednesday found the rifle, about 30 air-powered guns, swords, knives, a bomb-making book, videos of the 1999 Columbine attack in Colorado and violence-filled notebooks in the boy's bedroom, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said.

The article also states that the youth's Mother, Michele Cossey was being charged for purchasing firearms for her teenage son. Here is the quote from the page, "Michele Cossey bought her home-schooled son a .22-caliber handgun, a .22-caliber rifle and a 9 mm semiautomatic rifle, authorities said."

After reading this I was struck with the thought that back in the early 1960 era, my Grandfather had given me a 22 rifle for a gift. He then spent the entire summer teaching me gun safety and the proper manner to conduct yourself on a hunt.

It was not the first time that I have accompanied him on a hunt, but it was the first that I was taught the ins and outs of hunting and the proper gun safety procedures.

Then it all fell into place for me, this was something that had stopped across America, gun safety, one of the male members walking the younger through that rite of passage, Today, we are bombarded with school shootings, gang shootings, the list is endless.

As a result of this new threat, our children are no longer safe inside of a school, in fact, they may even be on more danger, just attending a class.

It completely amazes me how far our society has sank into the pits of hate and despair. Back when I was given that gift, the world was different. We had strong family values, Sundays consisted of church in the morning and a mandatory dinner in the evening where the entire family sat down together.

On many Sundays, we would all pile into our Father's non-air conditioned car and head to the local ice cream shop. Those were days that are now lost to the youth of today and along with them are the family values that they once taught.

It is truly sad to see what is going on today and even sadder to think that family values in America died with my youth.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Britney and the Paparazzi

I normally fill my mornings with massive amounts of caffeine, surfing through various news services and reading even more on the internet. While going about my usual routine I have began to notice something that is either interesting or sick about celebrities, well, actually one in particular, Britney Spears.

I did not start out to read about her insane antics, but it quickly turned in that direction once I began to notice that I was seeing nothing but stories on her. I felt that she was either so newsworthy that she was pushing normal stories to the back page, or she had entered into some type of unholy alliance with the paparazzi. Little did I know that the two were feeding off one another in some form of insane plan of the universe.

Good old Ms. throw back a few beers, snort a line or two, cause a media circus by shaving her head in public, scream at the paparazzi while attacking their cars with an umbrella and then use her genuine Hollywood "get out of jail" card issued to every person who joins the celebrity crowd –REHAB!

What began as every news service and gossip magazine going for the money shot of her getting out of vehicles while blatantly exposing herself, slowly turned into exposing the truth about Britney and the paparazzi, they live for and off of one another.

This became evident when I began to see photos of paparazzi ordering food for Britney. Now, before anyone says this is silly, hear the rest of the story. We had Britney and her sister sitting in a car at a fast food drive up window. Britney was trying her best to order food for the two of them and the person at the drive up could not make out what she was saying.

Why, you may ask, well it was because Britney had not opened her window and kept repeating the order through the closed window. The parade of paparazzi cars behind her took pity and ordered for her.

Next, we have Britney pulled over on the highway with a flat tire; does she call a repair service? No, a few of the paparazzi pull up, get out of their vehicle and change her tire for her. While her car was being serviced, Britney sat in the car singing Christmas songs to her tiny dog all dressed up in a Santa suit.

After that, I see many photos on different occasions of Britney at a gas station getting gasoline. Of course, the paparazzi do not allow her to pump her own gas, no, they get out of their car and pump the gas for her while other paparazzi clean her windows and check her oil!

This went on and on and thankfully, I became sick of the research. Not only do the paparazzi survive off Britney, but they also work hard to insure she is around for more photographs, which she obviously loves to pose for, clean-shaven or not.

Now, I promise from this day forth never to mention her again.

Nothing ever changes

Everyone by now has hear the comments made that America is a paper tiger and normally we only fight a war until the losses begin to mount, then we bring the troops home.

I recall pondering this question when I first heard, or read that bin Laden made the comment. At that point, we had pulled, rather quickly out of our peacekeeping mission in Mogadishu after the now famous Blackhawk down incident.

I recall too, the feelings that I had inside of me towards the people of Mogadishu after reading the book, Blackhawk down. At that time, I knew well the feelings that the soldiers of the Ranger and Delta units involved in that fiasco and believed as they did that we needed to finish the task before pulling out.

America does have a very short attention span when it comes to war, we always have and perhaps, always shall. The people who make up our great nation tends to tire easily when trying to fix other countries problems with superior firepower.

The basic problem we now face is not the insurgents or suicide bombers, but the feelings of exasperation over trying to give democracy to a country that has no idea what to do with it, or for that matter, cannot stop fighting amongst themselves long enough to form a better government.

It is difficult for Mothers and Fathers, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers mourning their loved ones who have given the ultimate act of selflessness, their own lives, when the country they died for, Iraq, cannot stop arguing or killing their own people.

If we place all of the frustration, fears, death and many casualties into the picture, it is rather easy to understand the growing movement for withdrawal. However, from the standpoint of an old warhorse like me and many of my brothers and sisters, we have problems grasping something like this when the task is left unfinished.

We are not war hungry individuals, waving the flag at every chance we get, we have just grown tired of our country committing the military to a cause and bowing to public pressure, withdrawing before that cause is ever seen.

Perhaps it is time for the draft to once again raise its ugly head into the political arena, perhaps it is time for many things to happen, but one thing it is not time for is to abandon another country and leave the people of that country to die for nothing more than assisting our military when it was there.

It would be nice to just once finish the job, if people have a problem understanding this, ask a veteran of Viet Nam, Mogadishu or many other places in the world.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Turkey and the PKK

The major question being pondered by military analyst and armchair generals alike is what will happen should Turkey cross into northern Iraq to attack the Kurdish rebels they are holding responsible for two recent bomb attacks.

Sky News is reporting that Turkey has given the green light to its military to "take all necessary measures" against Kurdish rebels held responsible for two recent bomb attacks.

Analysts are predicting that an invasion, even a limited cross border incursion could affect Turkey's ties with the United States.

Sky News is reporting that they have seen Turkish military build-ups before, but they were always limited to hot pursuit border crossings, which due to the heat of the moment do not require prior approval. However, other analysts are reporting that America is presently urging restraint within the northern region, which is normally one of the only remaining peaceful portions of Iraq.

"In the past 10 days more than two dozen people - soldiers and civilians - have been killed in southeastern Turkey in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers' Party - the PKK," the article from Sky News stated.

This is an interesting development, according to Wikipedia; the PKK, aka, Kurdistan Workers Party is listed as a terrorist organization internationally by a number of states and organizations, including the USA, NATO and the EU. More than 37,000 people have been killed in the Turkey-PKK conflict since 1984, most of which were civilians, 4,568 being military personnel.

It never ceases to amaze me that throughout history our country has aligned itself with various military and quasi-military organizations in order to accomplish various military objectives. Then, after the fighting is over and the group is well equipped and trained by our own military and intelligence agencies, we always end up at odds with them, their leadership, and end up having to fight that group later on.

Traditionally, we have only felt sorrow for the people of Kurdistan, as Saddam Hussein did everything that he could, including dropping poison gas among entire civilian populations. Along these same lines, it is very easy to forget that the people of Kurdistan have been waging their own wars.

A Turkish cross-border incursion to battle the PKK just may ignite more sparks within Iraq, we will have to wait and see how it progresses.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Who is on first?

During my time that I just spent in never land, cloistered from television images and newsprint I kept hearing discussion of what would become of the nuclear weapons in Pakistan if President Musharraf lost everything to al Qaeda.

Of course, the logical answer to that is absolute terror within the free world as well as those that are not. If that were truly the case, that al Qaeda assumed control of weapons of mass destruction, Pakistan probably would not exists for more than twenty minutes before one of the nuclear powers dropped a multi megaton warhead on top of them to put an end the question.

Israel, for example, there is no way on this green Earth that they would permit this to occur. The state of Israel has the resources to put an end to the question and would be completely justified in using them.

The media loves to portray Pakistan standing side by side with America, fighting terrorism and bringing the good old red white and blue to the rest of the world, makes for good press, however, it is a total lie.

Pakistan only fights those along their border that they have a problem with. After all, why else would bin Laden be living there and building bigger and better forces. If we are fooled into thinking that Musharraf is America's pawn, we had better think again. He is only doing exactly what he is forced to do, nothing more.

Personally, I have grown tired of all of things that go bump in the night that our government constantly tells us is waiting to drop the big one on top of our head. Perhaps the think tanks and talking heads are correct and we are fueling terrorism instead of putting the fires out.

It just may be time for us to sit back and take stock of the situation, instead of looking for terrorists hiding under the rug all of the time. Then again, it may be time to build that bomb shelter, only time will tell.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Back soon

Today is a wonderful day; at least it feels that way to me. Due to severe vision problems, I have spent so many days alone with my thoughts lately, unable to read the news or even blog about it.

Today, I am pleased to announce that due to a wonderful eye doctor and the miracles of medicine, I am once again writing this with near perfect vision.

It was a long and winding road for me, beginning eighteen months ago, with many an obstacle to overcome. It took four surgical procedures and numerous quantities of eye drops, but now that all appears to be in the past.

The glaucoma was effectively brought under control with surgery and then as fate would have it, I was hit with severe cataracts that left me totally without vision. The last procedure on Tuesday corrected that problem. They removed the affected lens from the eye and replaced it with a corrected lens, which has given me perfect vision without the use of glasses or any of, the new laser procedures.

I am in the healing process this week with many more eye drops and a bandaged eye at night, but it all appears to be in the past now.

So, hopefully I will be back in the saddle soon.

I want to thank everyone for all of the kind words and get wells I have received during this time.

Thanks

Ranter

Friday, September 14, 2007

Update

I had mentioned in my last post, due to severe vision problems, I will not be able to actively participate in my blog for approximately one more week and I wanted to take a moment to explain what is going on.

During the last year, I was affected with glaucoma, which quickly baffled my eye physicians by not responding to any form of non-evasive treatment. The normal range of eye pressure runs anywhere from eight (8) to twelve (12), unfortunately the range of pressures I was experiencing was in the high forty (40) to the high fifty (50) ranges.

The major side affect of pressures of this high of a range is severe, irreversible damage to the optic nerves within the eyes, which is exactly what happened in my case. At the time of my initial diagnoses, my vision was correctable to normal ranges with glasses. Within six months of my diagnoses,I had lost forever, approximately fifty (50) to sixty (60) percent of my vision.

My eye physician's were actively waging a battle for my eyesight; however, it soon became evident that the standard courses of medication and laser surgeries were not accomplishing anything for me. At that point, I underwent the full glaucoma surgery a Glaucoma Filtration Procedure (Trabeculectomy), where a passageway was surgically created in the upper region of my eyes that allowed excessive fluid and subsequent pressures to escape.

That procedure was a success, but as luck may have it, I was soon hit with cataracts, once again severely limiting my vision. This will be corrected soon and hopefully I will once more be able to do the things that I care about. Until then, blogging is far too difficult. I will return soon.

Thanks,

Ranter

Friday, August 31, 2007

Important news

It never fails, every time I think my vision problems are behind me, the rise up from the ashes of fate to bite me in the butt.

They have the glaucoma under control and I am hit with severe cataracts, leaving me once again without my vision. However, unlike the glaucoma, which could be controlled with drops, the only course for cataracts is more surgery.

Unfortunately, there is a chance this may not be cataracts, but the optic nerve degenerating, as they have stated may yet occur. I will not know anything until the 17th, if it is cataracts; I should be back to normal as soon as surgery removes the bad lens and inserts a brand new one.

Until that point in time, I will not be blogging. This small bit of information has been very difficult to write. I am using all of the vision tools I can find and it is still difficult.

Thank you,

Ranter

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This and That

There is so much going on in the news that it is rather difficult to pin one thing down. After a bit of thought, I felt this is a good day for a bit of "This and That".

President Bush is apparently trying to show the embattled Iraqi President, Al-Maliki that we still support him. This is a load of hogwash and everyone, including Al-Maliki knows it to be so. The man does not even have the support of his own government, who are ready to send a vote of no confidence his way.

Click here for the full article….

President Bush also made the statement that we are in this war to win and nothing else will do. The President also made reference to Viet Nam and the fact that, yes, we did learn from our mistakes.

I applaud his sentiment and strength of his conviction, it would be a wonderful sight to see that our country learned from Viet Nam, however, it will take a lot more than rhetoric to convince my generation; we will all wait and see on this one. Especially, knowing that when he leaves office this dedication may leave with him as the next President will no doubt see things differently.

However, this article, titled, Pentagon sets goals to hit before end of Bush term, just may back up the Presidents words. Again, we will have to all take a wait and see attitude.

Click here for the full article….

Iran has been using the Iraqi border as their own personal freeway, arming and training anyone and everyone who will fight American forces. We are constantly finding their military markings on the remains of IED's as well as weapons stashes with their serial numbers. Yet, the constant denial from their government is so reminiscent of the Chinese doing the same with the VC in Viet Nam that it is darn near déjà vu.

It is evident the Middle East war will never be totally over, not as long as Iran and Syria are controlling their Iraqi puppets. Along with this intervention is the realization that this war not only is being fought in Iraq, it must be. However, if we are going to fight these silent puppet masters then we need to do it all the way.

It is constantly stated that al Qaeda and its boss, bin Laden have been searching for nuclear weapons. As it stands now, they are but a heartbeat and a coup away in Pakistan. Now that Iran, Syria and company are in the picture, this may become more than a quest.

We can only hope that the next administration has the round ones to do what it takes, either that, or if al Qaeda manages to get their dirty mitts on nuclear weapons, the world will change forever.

Troops need rest

The respected military.com has an auricle shedding a truthful outlook on our military in Iraq and Afghanistan, titled, Army's Fighting Force Nearly Exhausted.

The opening two paragraphs set the tone for this insightful look in what is happening with our military.

"WASHINGTON - Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring."

"The Army's 38 available combat units are deployed, just returning home or already tapped to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, leaving no fresh troops to replace five extra brigades that President Bush sent to Baghdad this year, according to interviews and military documents reviewed by The Associated Press."

Click here for the full article

This is already known within most circles; however, seeing it in print really hammers it home. Many of us have been privately discussing this growing trend, exhaustion of the troops and I do not believe that anyone has come up with a solution, other than implementing the draft.

Our military is the greatest in the world, bar none and the men are women are dedicated to the outcome, but they need rest.

If what this article is saying is the truth, then something does need to be done. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is the military is not broken, as some are saying. Needing rest is one thing, broken is another. Ask a soldier how they feel.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Red moon rising

It was not that many years ago that we all sat transfixed to our televisions watching the celebration in Berlin as thw wall came tumbling down.

A new era of freedom for the East Berlin residents held captive by the Russians for all those years. It was also the beginning of the demise of the once strong and proud Russian military.

Soon, news reports were filtering out of Russia of general staff officers begging for money amd standing in bread lines to feed their families. This was accompanied by the Russian military offering military junkets for anyone with enough bucks who wants to come and shoot any of their failing weapons systems or fly MIG's until the fuel runs out.

We began seeing American and Russian pilots flying one another's aircraft they had once trained to blow out of the skies. Peace had peeked her head into Russian skies lrsving the government did not have enough money to pay its military.

Former Russian KGB agents came to America and wrote books speaking of their spy game days. A few of the Russian leaders were making big bucks selling anything and everything on the black market, you want a nuclear submarine, no problem, MIG's, no sweat!

Russian President Boris Yeltsin did not help much, he may have been instrumental in freedom, but now he was too ill from years of alcohol abuse. Enter Vladimir Putin, once the leader of the dreaded KGB, now the President of Russia and changes are on the way.

Today, the Russian military is working hard to regain the military ,ight they once had and honestly, this should cause a lot of concern for world leaders.

Where all of this will end is anybody's guess, one thing is clear, it appears the Russian's want to be a world power again and very badly too.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

News that needs to be told

We have been hearing reports of the Iraqi police and citizen groups fighting al Qaeda and kicking them out of their neighborhoods. This news should be getting a lot more media time than it is.

Of course, if the media begins telling tales about Iraqi's fighting the insurgents and removing them from their areas it might look good for the Bush administration and we know the media is not about to do that.

The Stars and Stripes is reporting in an article by Joseph Giordono , that Iraqi police and armed residents in the southern Baqouba district of Buhriz waged a fierce battle with as many as 60 insurgents and killing 21 of them. Iraqi police requested airstrikes by American helicopters and effectively kicked al Qaeda out of their neighborhood.

The battle was not without casualties, the civilian fighters suffered 14 dead and as many as 20 wounded, but they made a stand and that is what is important.

Click here for the full article….

A spokesperson stated that the police and citizens were assisted by American and Iraqi forces operating within the area and liberated Baqubah — the so-called capital of the Islamic State of Iraq — from al-Qaida.

This and the other stories I have been seeing on many military sites are vital news and should be reported by our media as they are occurring. As General Patton was fond of saying, American's love a winner and do not tolerate a looser, it is a shame the great man is not here today to kick the media in the ass and get them to report all of the news, not just what makes Washington look bad.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Enough is enough

I am so fed up with all of this bleeding heart; love thy neighbor bull that is going on this election year. We have Obama, finally, a candidate with a set of them stating he would send troops in Pakistan, he would do this, do that and do you know what? The man makes perfect sense; he is saying things that should be done. He is not sitting there wringing his hands saying how bad we are and we will pull the troops out.

Does this mean I will vote for him, I really have no idea yet, there is far too much whining, oh, woe is me, the Bush administration is so bad, BULL!

Here is the way things are folks, we were attacked by terrorists who trained in our own country. These disgusting, slime crawled from the pits of hell and flew aircraft full of passengers into our buildings. This was not controlled implosion, the government was not involved and the only thing that happened is WE WERE ATTACKED!

We read that bin Laden and company is attempting to gain nuclear weapons. The truth to the matter is we HAVE these weapons and we are not afraid to use them and should make that perfectly clear to everyone, no matter what people may say. If these maniacs use a nuclear weapon, then so should we and we should not only destroy them, but the country harboring them.

They are not nice people; they torture prisoners, cut off their heads, kill children, anything and everything to gain attention. It is about time we totally let loose our dogs of war, pulled the pins on our weapons of mass destruction, whatever we have, use it and end the darn thing, for the last time.

We know this is all the meandering and ranting of an old warhorse and it matters not who will read these words, for nothing will be changed.

America has a short and selective memory, perhaps the video of what occurred that day should be replayed continuously for one week. However, all that would accomplish is litigation from individuals stating that their children were upset, or they were upset. Do you know what, the entire country should be upset, and it should be so ticked off that it demands more blood.

That will not occur, a percentage of the general population and the politicians will go quietly into the night and pretend things were different. They will hide their heads into the sand and blame Washington and everyone else except the true culprits, the true murdering scum and their leadership.

Oh my stars, I truly hate this time of the year!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tap Water?

As my brother, Wild Bill can tell you, folks it can get hotter than hell in the desert and yes, Virginia, there IS humidity in the desert; in fact, during this time of the year there is a lot of it to go around.

We have humidity because unlike other deserts, we get rain, oh my, do we get rain, but only certain times of the year. We do not get those normal summer showers that smell so good back east; we get full-blown weather cycles called, monsoons. Yes, you read that right, monsoons, the same thing we have all read about that occurs in India.

As you can see, besides the heat, it is wet and along with this, if you wish to stay healthy living in the desert, you must stay hydrated.

It is very common to see people walking about the malls, stores, streets, carrying bottled water with then. No, this is not a fashion statement, it is one of the ways we desert folk stay alive.

I have often told friends that the bottle of designer water they just forked out $4.00 for was nothing more than tap water being poured into bottles with expensive names by a guy with a hose. Of course, this always brought laughs from them, but little did anyone know just how close I was to the truth.

A report can be found on the web site, Mercola.com that is dedicated to better health, which states, Pepsi's "Aquafina" Bottled Water, is Tap Water. This does not stop there; it also states that Coca Cola does the same!

Here is a blurb from the site, "Pepsi's Aquafina, and Coca-Cola Co.'s Dasani bottled waters, are both made of purified water from public reservoirs. Coca-Cola will post online consumer information about the quality control testing that goes into their bottled water, sometime near the end of summer, or early fall 2007."

Click here for the full article…

So, remember this the next time you spend money on bottled water, as the saying goes, buyer beware.

Who is the BadAssMarine?

It was interesting going through my email; it appeared that many people were all thinking of the same thing, just who is the BadAssMarine who spoke those powerful words straight from his heart.

I was very surprised by the amount of email I received on this, some quoting his words, others asking who he is. Fox News is even searching for him, as reporter, Catherine Donaldson-Evans, asked in the article, "Patriotic Rapping Marine: Who Is This Mystery Man?"

Thanks to BLACKFIVE, the search is over. The poet extraordinaire is none other than Marine SSGT Lawrence E. Dean II. If you want more information about this man then run over to BLACKFIVE, where you can see his My Space page as well as download the interview they did.

Congrats BLACKFIVE, Blue Skies Brother.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The cowboy way

I was reading the latest poetic writing of Brother Wild Bill while he discussed my favorite genre, good old cowboy movies, good guys winning the day, and the bad guy always getting his butt beat to a pulp.

The vigilante committee of days gone by was a welcome sight to many as well and prompted me to recall something from my youth, growing up in the city.

Just about every eastern city is the same, ethnic neighborhoods, smells of wonderful cooking, celebrations where the street is closed and the people party until they drop. We do not find much of this in the west, lots of ethnic flavor and God knows I love it and all the great food, but not like the east once had and still does in some places.

One of the neighborhoods I frequented growing up was about as ethnic as it could get. It also had neighbors that watched everyone else's child, gave a hug when they fell, a welcome ice cream, and a band-aid when a torn knee or elbow came into play. It was truly a neighborhood raising children and I was always happy playing there with my cousins.

Unfortunately, it was also the exact type of neighborhood that is always portrayed in every gangster movie we see today, even though I called mine, my second home and loved it.

I never really knew who was a wiseguy and who was not, nor did I ever care. I was safe and that was all that mattered to me.

Late one evening an unknown male came into the neighborhood looking for excitement. This was not a normal person though, his excitement consisted of peeking into children's windows at night and that evening, he made the biggest mistake of his life.

It just so happened, one of the ever-watchful neighbors saw this sick creep bent over looking into a window.

The next morning we learned that someone had found a guy near death in the corner dumpster behind a store. He had been beaten to within an inch of his life, but still among the living, he was wrapped in trash bags and tossed into the dumpster, where the trash collectors found him in the morning.

The story went that he was in the hospital for over thirty days and when the police asked him what had happened, he only replied that he had fallen into the dumpster, nothing more.

One could say that this was a classic case of vigilante committee justice and one I am sure that sick pedophile never forgot until his last days.


 

History or going to the dogs

We are all acutely aware of the adage about history repeating itself. This has really been on my mind that past few days while reading the various news items.

First thing is the Russian Air force is making long distance flights once more, supposedly smiling at our responding pilots in Guam. The next item was Washington discussing the possibility of reinstituting the draft.

"Fox News - Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday."

As I was reading these I was wondering how far history would repeat itself this time, will it include a new cold war?

Let us not forget that many analysts are saying the Iraq and Afghanistan war is this generations Viet Nam, making comparisons to no means of departure. Personally, I think the analysts all need to get out more, see a movie, read a book and quit thinking so darn much.

I for one, am too old and cranky to see this generation go through another flower power, or all of the trappings of the summer of love, 1967? Lest we forget, all of the counter culture and drugs are still with us and in fact, more prevalent than ever.

Of course, the music of the 1960 era compared to the rap of this era is two completely different concepts. That does not mean that people cannot speak their peace about war, hunger, politics, whatever is on their mind. The music may be different, but the message can still be just a powerful.

One thing is certain; the world has changed and is still within a constant state of more change to come. No one can really say what the nest 100 years will be, for the sake of many, let us hope that maybe, just maybe, people may learn to get along.

Now, where did I put those bell bottom jeans?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big Brother tosses his cookies in China

China's record of accomplishment on human rights can be judged by their actions at Tiananmen Square in 1989, where several hundred protestors were shot and killed as tanks rolled through the square to stop the protest.

Today, The New York Times is reporting, "SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 9 — At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity".

"Data on the chip will include not just the citizen's name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card."

Click here for full story…

Although some security experts are reporting this is cutting edge technology, it looks more like big brother tossing his cookies in China and the people cleaning up the mess and paying the price for the rest of their lives.

I can only imagine the outcry, demonstrations and uproar if this would have been announced for any of our larger cities, such as New York. Frankly, I would have been on the front lines myself.

Some experts may call this cutting edge, but I call it government control, Once more China proves their concerns are not for their own people.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Running Cadences-US Army Rangers.

I am still in tears over that Marine's words, but, just in case any of my brothers are lonely for PT, this is for all of you.

Ranter

BadAss Marine

This Marine tells it like it is and speaks from his heart in his rap.

Private contractors in Iraq

USA Today published a story outlining the lack of accountability for private contractors in Iraq. The story, By Deborah Hastings, Associated Press, titled, "Iraq contractors avoid legal restraints" paints a picture of private contractors shooting at random and answering to no one.

I read this article and could not stop feeling this reporter for some reason or another had a very large problem with the very concept of private security operating within a war zone. This is more than evident throughout the entire story, beginning at the first two paragraphs, which sets the tone for this scathing report.

Taken from the article, "There are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers — and about half of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks."

"They operate with little or no supervision, accountable only to the firms employing them. And as the country has plummeted toward anarchy and civil war, this private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens who got too close to their heavily armed convoys."

"Not one has faced charges or prosecution."

The reporter immediately points out that the contractors do not have to answer to anyone:

"They operate in a decidedly gray legal area. Unlike soldiers, they are not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Under a special provision secured by American-occupying forces, they are exempt from prosecution by Iraqis for crimes committed there."

Let us be frank about this, there would not be one private contractor working in this country if they had to answer to Iraqi law. They are not military personnel; in fact, the majorities are not even America citizens, but hail from all parts of the globe. Thus stated, there is no physical way to in which to hold them accountable to our military code of justice.

The contractors are charged with executive protection, in fact the story points out that they routinely protect high profile individuals. This is a war zone, with IED's a way of life and death, they must take as many precautions as possible, including the use of deadly force, as long as it is not indiscriminate, they are within their rights, either that or Senators, Congressmen and foreign dignitaries would not last an hour.

This is not a walk in the park, it is war and the media constantly overlooks this. The reporter points to a few instances of the improper use of force, these cases should be dealt with on an individual basis, but overall, they are doing their job and it is a job that our military does not have time or resources to do.

Click here for full article…

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The hunt for the creep of Earth

I was reading a post on Redneck's Revenge, titled, US Planning for the Day Musharraf Flees Pakistan ...and leaves the nukes in Islamist hands, blogged by, Redneck Texan.

Click here for blog and article

This led me to a few thoughts I had recently on this exact subject. It is common knowledge that bin Laden has been actively seeking access to nuclear weapons for some time now. The question of the Pakistani nuclear weapons falling into bin Laden's hands has no doubt been one of his prime objectives in his escape into the Pakistani tribal lands, where he is suspected to be.

U.S. troops are not permitted to operate within Pakistan, but it is safe to assume that black ops have been in place actively seeking this bin Laden, to either bring him to justice for his crimes or bring justice to him.

This too, brings up another question, killing bin Laden in fierce battle, which analysts say is guaranteed event, would effectively make him a martyr and a holy object of a jihad. The only other option would be to imprison him for life, but this too has inherent problems. It would be safe to assume American would be in danger everywhere.

It matters not what the analysts or for that matter anyone prophesies will occur, it will be up to the hands of the special operations forces presently hunting him and we can safely assume that when they do catch up to this murderous terror master, he will be dealt the slow, painful death he so badly deserves.

Wild Bill’s bad day

After I posted about the story, I found on Michael's blog I remembered I wanted to touch base on the bad day our brother in arms Wild Bill had yesterday.

Click here for Redneck Central and the poetic ramblings of brother Wild Bill.

This time of the year, our days and nights are comprised of thunderstorms and power outages. Of course, being the self sufficient smart technology guy that I am I have a battery backup, surge protector, UPS.

It has my multiple processor, power hungry computer, 19 inch flat screen monitor, cable modem, router and a laptop plugged into it and has served me well during our may power outages.

That is until a few days ago, I was on my computer and heard the thunder exploding overhead and due to my trusty UPS thought nothing of it. Of course, as luck tends to go, the warranty has recently expired on my UPS and without warning, it decided not to recharge any longer. As I quickly discovered when the power went out and my computer and everything else died along with it.

Suffice to say, it is now serving as a surge protector only until I get to the electronic store and pick up a replacement for it.

I thought of this while reading through the gosh awful day that Wild Bill was rambling about and my heart went out to him. Brother Wild Bill, keep the faith and your powder dry, a better day is coming.

Fallen hero of Israel

One of our friends who frequent this blog, Michael, from Israel, has a blog titled, Oleh Musings. I am a reader of his blog and like to stay up on all of the trappings of life in Israel.

I was reading through his blog today, to catch up and came across an article on one the heroes of the Second Lebanon War, Maj. Ro'i Klein.

I was extremely moved by this man's actions, which resulted in his death and saved the lives of his fellow soldier. I highly recommend reading the article and thank Michael for sharing it with us.

'Medal of Courage' to be Awarded to Fallen Maj. Ro'i Klein

The S. Korean hostages

As most people, I have been watching the story unfold of the Taliban and the captive South Koreans they have been holding for some time now.

This morning, the Associated Press is reporting, "The Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said the two South Korean hostages would be released in part because Taliban leaders were happy with the progress being made in face-to-face talks between two Taliban leaders and South Korean negotiators."

The hostages they are discussing are two sick, female South Korean hostages, which may be the one and only reason the Taliban is even considering the release. They are in talks with South Korean officials who are no doubt requesting some proof of life on the remaining hostages. What better way for these insidious creatures to rid themselves of sick hostages then in a proof of life demand. The Taliban does not have to worry about medical treatment, which they probably cannot even provide.

Of course, it is common knowledge that the Taliban are murderous scum, with no qualms what so ever in simply killing the hostages, but they are now in the negotiation process and cannot afford additional deaths at this time.

There was talk of a rescue mission, but as usual, the media put a quick stop to that with their releasing information of combined multinational plans.

The Taliban are nothing more than a group of thugs who care nothing for the rights of anyone. We can only hope that sanity prevails and the entire groups of South Koreans are soon released before any more are murdered.

Singing Out Against Terrorism

It appears that a group of Muslims are fed up with violence being carried out in the name of their religion and have got together and released a music video stating just that.

Sky News is reporting, "Singing Out Against Terrorism 08/08/07"

"Moderate Muslims in Pakistan have released a single in a public stand against Muslim militants. Yeh Hum Naheen, This Is Not Us, is a musical collaboration which condemns terrorism throughout the world. Sky's Greg Palkot reports."

Click here for the video of the full report…

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I can only say, HUH?

While reading through the morning bovine excrement often referred to as "news", I came upon a CBS News article with a title that made me utter a loud, "Huh!.

CBS News, "Iran: U.S. Needs "Wise" Leaders".

"(AP) U.S. President George W. Bush's policies have harmed Washington's global image and the country needs "wise" leaders to regain its lost credibility, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday."

"Mohammad Ali Hosseini said Bush's policies have isolated him both internationally and at home, citing the Republican party's losses in Congress last November as proof of Bush's declining popularity."

Wait just one moment, correct me if I am wrong, but is this not coming from a country whose President has openly called for the destruction of Israel, has constantly threatened the United Nations and America with possible nuclear war, has taken military personnel of the U.K. prisoner, and ad nauseam.

This article simple boggles my mind and the fact that the associated press is giving this any coverage at all is amazing. In truth, a statement such as that should have been filed under the strange but true sections of most media outlets.

Iran has been the thorn within the lion's paw of the Middle East for so long that their absurdities are now becoming intellectual! For this war mongering, world-threatening nation to make a statement such as this in the first place is a total shock, for the media to give it so much news coverage is even more so.

The only thing the leadership of this country has ever understood is violence. Now they are saying the leadership of our country is lacking, I think it is time for a well-needed vacation.

Click here for full article….

Hearts and minds, HA!

I have been following a story in the British media, UK officer calls for US Special Forces to quit Afghan hotspot.

The article states," Tension between British and American commanders in southern Afghanistan erupted into the open yesterday as a senior UK military officer said he had asked the US to withdraw its special forces from a volatile area that was crucial in the battle against the Taliban."'

Further into the article it states, "Twelve-man teams of US Special Forces had been criticised for relying on air strikes for cover when they believed they were confronted by large groups of Taliban fighters and their supporters."

This is an absolute load of hogwash and these Brits know that. There have been many engagements within that specified area of operation involving clashes with large numbers of Taliban. This has been evident in many of the articles I have been reading.

Apparently, the British commander fails to see the big picture within this area of operation and has been relying on intelligence from those affiliated with the Taliban, who would love the Special Forces teams to be withdrawn, which would leave the area entirely up for grabs by the Taliban.

War is never going to leave this area of Afghanistan as long as the Taliban view themselves as the rightful leaders of this country. Withdrawing the Special Forces teams would only aid them in their quest.

Click here for full article….

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The sky is falling

The sky is falling – the sky is falling. Good old chicken little , little did he know it, but he saw into the future, Here we are with a whole lot of people hollering for us to pull our troops out of Iraq and a whole lot more hollering to send more troops.

What is the answer? Perhaps I can be like the great King in The 300 and go to speak to some drugged out oracle. On second thought, I have no idea. Perhaps if we had done the job right in the first place we would not be in this quandary.

I do not mean massive force, I mean going in as a conquering nation, not liberators. This way we could have dictated what we wanted. Now, before the email begins, allow me to make a few points.

As conquers we would have freed Iraq, took out Saddam and spent the next five years trying in vain to instill leadership that would work together, all the while fighting an insurgency. No wait that is what happened now. Perhaps there is a lot to be said for the more force argument.

The point that I am making is no matter what we would have done, we would still be in the same situation, fighting the same war.

The major problem we are facing is their leadership cannot see the same light of day. One says the sky is blue, the other says, we quit, you said the sky is blue, that is blasphemy.

I used to think that I had the answer, but I was completely wrong. No one will ever have the answer until the various sects can learn to work together towards the common good and wellbeing of the people and that has not happened since the warring sects began.

Perhaps a Kurd, as the great king Salah al-Din was when he took control of the warring clans and formed one continuous force to be reckoned with. That may be one of the few answers that no one has seen and just may be a working solution.

One thing is for certain, they need to discover the magic moment and it needs to be done soon. If not, after we pull out the entire country will be up for grabs, as no one is capable of working together.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Attack in Afghanistan

Here is a news item that I have not seen in my news rounds this morning. It is taken from the Combined Joint Task Force 82, Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan web site.

Click Here for site…

- Coalition forces fend off enemy attack in Oruzgan province. Four Afghan girls, aged 2-12 wounded by enemy fire. More than 75 insurgents attacked Firebase Anaconda, Oruzgan on three sides using small-arms fire, rocket propelled grenades and 107mm rockets at daybreak yesterday. The combined ANA and Coalition Force used accurate small-arms, machine gun, and mortar fire to repel the enemy advance. Close air support was called in to destroy the enemy fighters. Almost two dozen insurgents were confirmed killed in the attack. Four Afghan females, ages 2-12, were wounded by the insurgent's errant RPG fire. The young girls and two ANA soldiers who received minor wounds were evacuated to a nearby Coalition medical facility for treatment.

It amazes me that this appeared to be a full-scale multi-sided attack by insurgent/Taliban forces in Afghanistan and yet, we see nothing in our news media regarding this attack.

If nothing else, the Ranter is on the ball and is bringing the news to you.

Monday, August 06, 2007

'We Shall Continue To Target You'

An American Islamic militant has warned the White House in a new video that American diplomats and embassies will be targeted by al Qaedal.

Laura Mansfield.com, a respected terrorism watchdog website, has issued the latest warning which appeared Thursday by As Sahab, Al Qaeda's media production group. According to Laura Mansfield.com, the spokesperson seen on the video is an American, from Orange County Adam Gaddahn, aka Azzam al Amriki.

Laura Mansfield.com, reports, "In the 1 hour 17 minute video, which takes the form of a documentary, Gaddahn says that Al Qaeda will continue to target the US both at home and overseas. He singles out embassies and consulates as specific targets."

"We shall continue to target you, at home and abroad, just as you target us, at home and abroad

Video footage from the 1998 US embassy bombings in East Africa, the September 11 attacks and other bombings was included un the video.

Click Here for the full story and the translation…..

Personal Note, I view these threats made by a man who is nothing more than a traitor to his own country as a disgusting and sickening statement. I sincerely hope the powers in Washington and the judicial system work together to revoke this turncoat's citizenship and send him the message that working with individuals who have taken arms against America automatically makes him a man without a country.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Live by the sword and the U.S. Army will find you

There is an old adage that states, "Live by the sword, die by the sword", perhaps the demigod, Achilles was thinking of this on his trip to Troy or during his ill-fated meeting with Paris's arrow.

The al-Qaida in Iraq mastermind of the bombing that destroyed the golden dome of a famed sacred Shiite shrine last year, Haitham Sabah Shaker Mohammed al-Badr, was introduced to this adage, courtesy of the U.S. troops hunting him.

A military spokesperson Rear Adm. Mark Fox, a U.S. military spokesman, said al-Badri had been among insurgents spotted by U.S. aircraft moving into "tactical fighting positions."

"From the surveillance that was going on, it looked like they were setting up an ambush," he told reporters in the heavily guarded Green Zone. "So they brought in rotary wing and close air support and there was some strafing that occurred from helicopters."

"Al-Badri's body was positively identified by close associates and family members," Fox said.

Click Here for the full story....

Ride on Delta

Do you think you have what it takes? The folks over at Military.com, Defense.org have what may or may not be a recruiting video for Delta Force. They really do not have the final answer if this is the real thing or not.

One thing is for sure, it is a great ride to watch with a great soundtrack.

Click here to visit and then click on the video link to watch.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Soldiers Rally to Save Iraqi Child

We always here so many of the bad things coming out of Iraq that it is easy to forget the wonderful things are military does for the Iraqi civilians.

This is never more evident in the case of US special operations forces playing a major role in insuring an 8-year-old Iraqi girl suffering from a rare heart defect obtained a needed operation.

US ARMY MIL/NEWS, "FALLUJAH, Iraq (American Forces Press Service, Aug. 3, 2007) - Even though she's surrounded by war, Dalal is not much different from other children her age. She likes jump-rope and Cinderella and enjoys reading and drawing. Her favorite classes are religion and language, and she recently completed second grade -- earning perfect marks in all her studies. But, unlike many of her peers, the 8-year-old Iraqi girl also has fought a life-threatening battle from within since birth."

Click Here for full story…

The soldiers responsible should be proud of what they accomplished.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Politics as usual, nothing new.

If the on-going Presidential race is showing America anything, it is showing us that the candidates are all side stepping any talk about taking actions against terrorism in the Middle East.

Take the latest political no-no that candidate Barack Obama said in public that he now wishes he could take a mulligan on. Obama said if elected, he might order unilateral military strikes against terrorists hiding in this Islamic country (Pakistan).

Of course, that prompted the media to rush out to get a quote from any Pakistani leader it could find. This lead to a quote on the CBS evening news site, which stated, "Top Pakistan officials said Obama's comment was irresponsible and likely made for political gain in the race for the Democratic nomination."

In addition, not wanting to leave anyone out, ""It's a very irresponsible statement, that's all I can say," Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khusheed Kasuri told AP Television News."

When one stops and thinks of these statements and subsequent political spins the candidates are attempting to put on their quotes, well, it tends to drive you insane after awhile.

Iraq is quickly turning into another Viet Nam hot potato. No one wants to be involved with it and neither do they wish to say anything that could be tied to it. Like puppets at the local park, the candidates strings are pulled to make them say, "bring home the troops", nothing more.

It would be nice for one of them to actually say what they are thinking, not what they are expected to say. That would be something new for the voters of America, truthfulness, what a concept that would be.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Latest threats

ABC News is reporting on one of their blogs, The Blotter
a story:

"New Al Qaeda Web Ad Threatens 'Big Surprise'",

Rhonda Schwartz Reports:

"A new al Qaeda propaganda ad, headlined "Wait for the Big Surprise" and featuring a digitally altered photograph of President George Bush and Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf standing in front of a burning White House, was posted on the Internet today."

Click Here for full story…..

It should be noted that al Qaeda was warning of attacks in the UK before the recent bombing efforts that the police were able to catch before major damage.

The question remains, what they are talking about this time. Unfortunately they always speak in cryptic sentences, threats, innuendos and conjectures, we will have to wait and see what turns up.

Who’s on first

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to the Middle East arms deal. No matter how I add up all that is being planned, it still makes no sense to me what so ever, none.

Here we have President Bush, our leader and commander in chief, wanting to sell 20 billion dollars in high tech weaponry to the Saudi kingdom. There is just one small tidbit that bothers me about this pending sale, correct me if I am wrong, but that is where 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from and we are going to sell them all of this high tech weapons?

Of course, Bushy has promised the Israeli's their fair share and more, but this sale has to make a few of their leaders a bit nervous just thinking of the Saudi's having these weapons and high tech goodies.

We are told that the Saudi government, excuse me, it is a kingdom; anyway, we are told they need these weapons to defend themselves against future attacks from the Shiite bad guys in Iran.

Now, here is where I get a bit confused, but aren't the Shiite's the very same people we have instilled into power and a leadership role in Iraq? One more thing that boggles my mind is Iran was a hated enemy of Saddam. See how this all tends to run together after awhile.

No, I am not saying that we should have left well enough alone, just that this arms deal smells like a windfall for US weapons firms, nothing more. I do wonder how Israel sees all of this.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This and that

There are many stories on the wire today, let's touch on a few this morning.

Military.com ran a story on the Army's new tests on the M4 carbine. Army Agrees To M4 Sand Test Shoot-Off

"After months of heated debate, the Army will conduct a side-by-side test shoot next month with its standard-issued carbine to see how well it can withstand extreme dust and sand environments."…… Click Here for the rest of the story...

Personally, I feel it is about time the Army began testing on their M4 carbine. There have been so many negative reports from the men using these weapons and it is time to put the weapon to a test. Granted, any weapon will function properly if totally cleaned and lubricated, however, when does a combat soldier get the chance when he is engaged in a full firefight?

DefenseTech.org reports that the Special Operations community is switching out the barrels with a better functioning and better-made barrel.

When a story begins with this line, "If somebody wanted to really help the US Army, they would do something about those God awful M4 carbines that American troops are forced to endure." Then it is time to do something about this problem.

This is an interesting story and one can only hope the truth prevails.

CBS News is reporting, "Rumsfeld Denies Tillman Cover-Up" Any friendly fire fatality is bad, unfortunately, in war it does occur. However, the Pat Tillman incident just does not add up, something is not right about this case. One General has already paid the piper and still may face the loss of his third star; this story only gets worse as it plays out.

If all, of the back-story behind the Tillman, case is true and there was a cover up, then those guilty of a cover up need to be brought to justice.

Fox News reports, "Al Qaeda Commander Calls for Overthrow of Pakistani Government" Wild Bill recently threw a lot of sense into the present situation in Pakistan, but this latest threat may toss all common sense out of the window.

This latest threat may lead to nothing, or it may just bring about their destruction at the hands of the US Air Force, time will tell.

We will leave more for tomorrow.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Arms for sale

Our government is drawing more heat for its desire to strengthen the Middle East through the sale of arms to Saudi and other allies. They feel this will broaden a united stand against Iran. The major benefactor in the arms deal is Israel and frankly, I am very happy about that action, as this sale of arms could tip the balance in the Middle East, leaving Israel in the dust. Thankfully, they will not have to harbor any worries, as they will be well protected.

Washington feels this sale of arms will demonstrate to the Iranians a united front against their constant saber rattling and cries for the open destruction of Israel.

The question remains if this latest ploy will work as intended or simply provide Israel's enemies with a technological advanced weapons system should they decided once more to invade Israel.

Here is a case in point, The Jerusalem Post stated today, "Israel is looking into reports that Russia plans to sell 250 advanced long-range Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to Iran in an unprecedented billion-dollar deal."

With Israel possibly facing new Russian fighters, this arms deal could put an entirely new twist to everything. The saving grace to this new threat is Israeli pilots are second to none and the best that can be found in the Middle East and possibly many other areas of the globe.

Another question that remains is Saudi's actions; they have had little input into the area lately with their inability or decision not to stop suicide bombers and many other actions in the Middle East.

Washington's history in backing leaders, countries and parts of the globe is not all that great; we can only hope that they have made a wiser choice this time, history will be the judge.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nothing changes

The one thing that the war in Iraq has accomplished is to create as many disagreements in Congress as possible. By now, it is completely evident that no one has any idea what to do.

The major problem is everyone is listening to other politicians instead of the Generals and the rank and file in the field. The politicians see another Viet Nam, helicopters being pushed off the ships, throngs of crowds attempting to leave a war torn and soon to be abandoned country. When they should be talking to the Marine or Gi in the field, for that is the only way these self righteous individuals will ever hear the truth.

Instead they take carefully planned junkets to Iraq where they are met by hand picked individuals who are there to tell them exactly what their handlers have told them to say.

They are given body armor and driven around the safe streets of Iraq while someone in the front or back tells them this is a no win situation, nothing but a country on the edge of a civil war with our men and women unable to do anything about it.

Satisfied that they have made a difference and are now ready to tell the big bully President the get ut of this no win situation, they quickly travel back to the safety of Washington where they tell the other political rank and file, "Hey, I have been there, seen it, we can't win!"

An excellent case in pint of some of the politicians only seeing what they want to see occurred on Meet the Press, Sunday when Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina lost their tempers and began arguing on President Bush's Iraq policy and troop welfare.

The politicians should not be meeting with talking heads or political puppets, they should put on their body armor, grab a few personal protection people and get out to the individuals fighting this war, talk to them, ask their views, what they feel and what they need to succeed.

Washington will never change; they will always see Viet Nam instead of the best military in the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

They will do anything

What people in this world will go through to obtain their fifteen minutes of fame is utterly amazing.

Here is a case in point. While reading through the Sunday news I come across the heading, Waiter: I Saw Poisoning of Russian Spy. Well, this defiantly peaks my interest, apparently there was a witness that no one has ever said a thing about.

Silly me, I read through the article expecting this ground shattering, earth breaking news item and find that the whole thing is a crock of bull.

Here I am, reading the first few paragraphs and then I get to this sentence, "Though he did not see it happen, Andrade told the Telegraph he believes that at that moment the poison was sprayed into a pot of green tea on the table."

Arrgghh!!! I stopped right then and there, this guy, no; this media hound was not only making conjecture, pure guess work to get in the news! I even went as far as to look up the term, guesswork, I was expecting to see this guy's name in it, but no, so, here it is, "the formation of judgments or opinions on the basis of incomplete or inconclusive information" Bingo! That is the guy!

In case someone would like to read this article, here you go, "Waiter: I Saw Poisoning Of Russian Spy." Just remember, the article should be renamed, "I was guessing to get into the media.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bin Laden’s time is running out

The US Senate has doubled the bounty on Osama bin Laden's head, increasing it to $50 million in the face of fears that al Qaeda is gaining strength.

That amount would make an everyday Iraqi or Afghanistan citizen a very wealthy person by any standard, let alone the near poverty level some of these people are living in. However, the question remains, is this enough?

I have had a major problem with bin Laden still running around free and able to do as he pleases. It was not that long ago that President Bush said, "Bring me the head of bin Laden" and meant every word of it. Here we are a few years later and for some reason the world's most wanted terrorist is not in the limelight as much as he once was.

If we think back to our hunt for the Iraqi terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, there was a tremendous amount of media paid to the possibility that America had made a deal with bin Laden for al-Zarqawi's head. Apparently, bin Laden was publically speaking highly of al-Zarqawi, calling him today's Salah al-Din, all the while, privately hating the attention and media coverage that al-Zarqawi was getting.

As a result of this split, rumors said that bin Laden cut a deal with the CIA for al-Zarqawi, giving him to America and in return, bin Laden be left alone. This could very well be based upon rumor and conjecture, or for that matter, the mutterings of a reporter that was taken out of context.

On the other hand, it could possibly have a shred of truth. Something, somewhere must have changed for President Bush to tone his rhetoric down, if not completely ignore bin Laden's existence.

Whatever the case may be, the man that America hates so badly is still among the living and it is about time he was brought to justice for his crimes against America, as well as humanity, or a special operations unit bring justice to him.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Off with their heads

The BBC blew it so badly in a piece about their beloved monarch, Queen Elizabeth that they spent an entire day laying supplicant to their Queen asking for forgiveness. It is a good thing she does not wield the power that she once did, she may have been hollering "off with their heads" and meant it.

However, lacking that power, the Queen may have spent the afternoon muttering, "We are not amused" and in the end, apparently granted royal forgiveness to the BBC.

Here is a quote from TMZ.com on the incident across the pond, "BBC cameras caught Queen Elizabeth in a rather uncharacteristic moment of pique while being shot by Leibovitz for a portrait. The famed photog suggested that QE2 take off her tiara because the shot would be "less dressy" without it, slightly absurd given that her majesty was already wearing layers of elaborate robes."

""Less dressy? What do you think this is?" snaps the Queen, referring to her Garter robe."

"In a BBC promo for a documentary about the Queen, it looks like she ditches the shoot, muttering to a lady-in-waiting, "I'm not changing anything. I've had enough dressing like this, thank you very much." But the BBC had to grovel at the Queen's feet today, admitting that that episode actually took place before the photo shoot, and that the Queen didn't, in fact, throw a tantrum."

Click Here for full article on TMZ.com…..

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Secret Squirrel Lives

While surfing through the morning news I came across a story from the "You gotta be kidding me" department.

When I first read the headline, I actually thought it was a joke, something that The Onion would have published in their great tongue in cheek publication. However, this was not to be, the truth in the matter is it actually happened.

By now, you are wondering what the devil the Ranter is talking about, okay, you will not believe this one, Police in Iran are reported to have taken 14 squirrels into custody - because they are suspected of spying.

You have to read the entire story to get a better understanding of this. Sky News is reporting that officials in Iran actually did take the squirrels into custody. Perhaps the aforementioned officials have been watching far too much American television, specifically the cartoon show, Secret Squirrel. In any case, these guys belong with the squirrels, because they are nuts!

Perhaps some intelligence section of some country has hit on something here, after all, they do work for peanuts!