Archive for August, 2005

Pray. Hard.

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

From Reuters - Woman on I10 escaping New Orleans
[Reuters]

I took a walk tonight trying to figure out what I thought about this nightmare unfolding in New Orleans and environs. I have the same numb feeling I had watching the Indian Ocean Tsunami footage. The only thing I can do is pray. People often think praying is about talking with God. An actual conversation. How do you pray when you can’t find the words?

It’s easy really. God knows your heart. He feels your pain. As I walked around Shakertown tonight I carried a pen and pad waiting for the inspiration. Finding only a sunken, aching heart and that slight stinging sensation behind the eyes that comes before the tears, I sat down by the pond and just cried silently. I said nothing but I know God heard my cries of anger at Him for letting this happen. I know God heard my cries of help for those who still can’t be heard by the searchers. I know God heard my cries for Mercy for the injured, thirsty, lost, hungry, and the safe ones like Wizbang who can now carry all their worldly possessions in a small bag.

I’ll give my treasure to help the victims and feel just as guilty for not giving more as I did for the Tsunami victims.

I’ll also pray and know that God weeps too.

Verse 2:

This is for the widow, who now must sleep alone
When the memory of a kiss will have to do
Every night when she lays down, you can almost hear the sound
When God weeps too

Chorus:

God weeps too, God weeps too
Though we question Him for all that we go through
Still it helps me believe and my pain it does relieve
When I think that, God weeps too

Froggy GETS it…of course we already knew that…

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005

Go. READ THIS. NOW!

Thanks Ernie

Monday, August 29th, 2005

Tonight in a 6pm press conference Governor Ernie Fletcher sealed the fate of any Republican hopeful for the next 30 years.

I’ve talked about this before. Governer Fletcher should have seen this coming when he finished his victory speech. He should have made it crystal clear to EVERYONE on his staff that there would be NO TOLERANCE for “business as usual” as it pertains to running State Government. No political favors, period.

Instead we’ve had to endure this political beating at the hands of Governor-Elect Stumbo. Now, I’m a partisan no doubt about it. But I also want some LEADERSHIP out of the Governor’s Mansion. Thanks to the “disciples” and Ernie’s stunning lack of political savvy we have very REAL charges against administration officials, indictments of same, and a hungry Grand Jury.

These pardons are a slap in the face to every INTELLECTUALLY HONEST Republican in the Commonwealth. And then to add insult to injury, Ernie says he won’t answer any questions before the Grand Jury. Thanks again Ernie.

The Kentucky Republican Party needs some real leadership…and fast. We are NOT living up to the ideals we claim to hold.

Walter Reed “Vigil”

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

I wish I could say I was shocked when I heard about Code Pink’s “vigil” outside Walter Reed Hospital. I wish I could say I was OUTRAGED by the cold hearted EVIL that would make the Enemy bust his buttons with pride. I wish that I couldn’t find the words through the cloud of RAGE in my mind to write this post.

Unfortunately, I have come to expect such anti-american activities from these people who would just as soon slit the throats of our soldiers than get out of their way.

These people have every right to express their feelings about the current Administration, the War on Terror, the Battlefield in Iraq, and any number of other things. If only they would recognize that it’s the men and women INSIDE Walter Reed that have insured their right to make complete fools of themselves. The men and women inside who are fighting their own private war with wounds both physical and psychological are there because they understood the value of Free Speech. Many of them witnessed Free Speech when Iraqis freely voted for the first time in generations. Unfortunately, they are now witnessing “Free Speech” by the Code Pink crowd.

I FIRMLY believe that Code Pink’s “expression” should be protected. My “expression” is also protected. As long as my “expression” doesn’t result in slapped faces and torn up signs I can say and do anything I like. Unfortunately my “expression” would probably result in slapped faces and torn up signs because I am DEEPLY offended at their “expression”. Just as they feel that incarceration is sometimes necessary to get their point across…I’m thinking that an assault charge may be necessary to get my point across.

What they are doing is protected but it’s also dangerous.

This isn’t about Free Speech though…this is about common decency…something that Code Pink has no clue about.

Froggy chimes in here.

Blackfive chimes in here.

ISP TechSupport

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

Bellsouth Dialup tech support is a joke. Okay, I know these folks get calls from the below-Novice level users and have to go over their “list” but good grief…give us serious geeks a break!

I called last night trying to address a series of drops, timeouts, and generally poor throughput and had to put up with a person who was CONVINCED it was my machine. She wanted to adjust my IE settings(I haven’t used IE for ANYTHING since I’ve owned this computer and before that it was probably a couple years). Then she wanted to adjust my Virus scan install(I have it tweaked the way I like it thank you). Then she wanted to rebuild the dialup profile(don’t waste my time). She wasn’t going to listen to me. I told her the symptoms and the range of tools I experienced the symptoms with. I explained that if I crafted a packet with the URGENT flag set I could get reasonable throughput for about 5 minutes. The woman LAUGHED AT ME! What? Do you not trust me? TEST ME THEN! I was ready to reach through the phone and choke this innocent individual!

I hung up on her and went on the hunt for Satellite ISP that is reasonably priced. I’ll have a long LONG hunt it would seem. I know this, I won’t call for help again…it isn’t good for my blood pressure.

Suspicious Activity reporting form

Saturday, August 20th, 2005

We all live in areas where the barbarians would just love to do something mean and nasty. We may not think of our home towns as terrorism targets but the fact is they may well be. We all live near major highways, dams, power plants, sleepy military outposts such as the Bluegrass Army Depot or even your local recruiting station.

You’ll also remember that our own homegrown barbarian Timothy McVeigh was arrested for a simple traffic violation.

You may also remember the Millenium Bomber who was arrested at the Canadian Border by a quick thinking Border Patrol Agent.

Those who would lop off our heads have to get form point A to point B somehow and when they do they may drive through your town. So, let’s say you see something suspicious…what to do? Our friends at the Northeast Intelligence Network has a solution. They have developed a form that helps you provide the information that the authorities would deem important in investigating your find.

20 August 2005: We have been receiving an increasing number of reports from people across the U.S. who have witnessed “suspicious” activity or odd behavior by individuals. In most cases, they have reported such activity to the police, but in some cases, they have had a difficult time recalling all of what they saw.

It would help to write what you see down as soon as possible – it would also help if you knew what information was important to provide to authorities. To that end, we are providing you with a reporting form to assist you in reporting suspicious activity to authorities.

Print and reproduce this form, keeping at least one copy with you, in your vehicle, purse or briefcase. Pass other copies to friends and associates. (From last week’s HQ INTEL-ALERT). Download the reporting form (PDF format)

The form can be found here.

Able Danger and Poor Logic

Friday, August 19th, 2005

While we wait for more details to come out about Able Danger and the information they developed we can read all about the various Red Herrings tossed about by folks who seem to want to shoot down this story before it really gets off the ground.

Forgive me for being just alittle skeptical about some of these folks and their ideas but when they are so patently incorrect I have to wonder if their haste to cast doubt has clouded their judgement.

Mr. Maguire at JustOneMinute “tosses out” the idea that perhaps Able Danger stumbled across the wrong Mohamed Atta. As Mr Heidt at Froggy Ruminations and London’s Telegraph points out they not only stumbled upon a Mohamed Atta but they also linked him with Marwan al Shehhi, Khalid al Midhar, and Nawaf al Hamzi…all of which were part of the attacks on 9/11.

We’ve already seen Lt. Col. Shaffer attacked in the media based on an accounting irregularity in the amount of something less than $70 dollars and him having his Security Clearance frozen until the accounting thing is settled. In one of the comments at JustOneMinute the charge is made that Lt. Col. Shaffer:

violated the terms of his nondisclosure agreement and, in turn, U.S. criminal laws, and took it upon himself to be the spokesperson for the President and the Secretary of Defense and the National Intelligence Director and the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency and the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence … well, now everybody’s blogging about it.

The commenter goes on to make Lt. Col Shaffer out to be an egomaniac challenging his Chain of Command. I guess one could look at this situation and come away with that impression. Or, they could come away thinking that this guy has just ended his military career. Why would he do that? The answer is similiar to CS Lewis’s depiction of Christ…he’s either a Madman, a Liar, or ….well okay…Lt. Col. Shaffer IS NOT THE CHRIST but he might just believe what he’s presenting.

Lt. Col. Shaffer had already been chastised for pushing hard to get this information pushed up to Justice. At the time he followed orders and shutup. Perhaps now, after the 911 Commission refused to use the information, he has finally decided to put this before the GOVERNMENT(for those of you who are Constitutionally Challenged that would be the American Public)…ending his career in the process.

Able Danger and “Gorelick”tion of duty-**UPDATED**

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

By now most everyone with an ear to the news has heard about Able Danger and Congressman Weldon’s charges that the 911 Commission didn’t hear their story. Here’s a different angle unearthed by Sean Osborne at Northeast Intel Network.

Mr. Osborne states:

Clearer now is the conflict of interest of having Jamie Gorelick, the Assistant Attorney General under Bill Clinton serving on the 9/11 Commission. Ms. Gorelick worked directly for Janet Reno and was directly involved in matters that were under review by the 9/11 Commission.

Remember the reason the findings of Able Danger were not acted upon? In his testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Attorney General John Ashcroft stated the following:

“In 1995, the Justice Department embraced flawed legal reasoning, imposing a series of restrictions on the FBI that went beyond what the law required,” he said. “The 1995 Guidelines and the procedures developed around them imposed draconian barriers to communications between the law enforcement and intelligence communities. The wall left intelligence agents afraid to talk with criminal prosecutors or agents. In 1995, the Justice Department designed a system destined to fail.”

Continuing his testimony, Ashcroft stated:

“Somebody built this wall.” Ashcroft added: “The basic architecture for the wall . . . was contained in a classified memorandum entitled ‘Instructions on Separation of Certain Foreign Counterintelligence and Criminal Investigations. Full disclosure compels me to inform you that its author is a member of this Commission.”

Ashcroft was referring to Jamie Gorelick, who served as Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration as well as general counsel at the Department of Defense. Both jobs put her at the very center of the former administration’s anti-terrorism efforts.

So here we have the DoD General Counsel, who was presumably responsible for the “DoD” lawyers who told the folks in Able Danger they couldn’t pursue their evidence, sitting on the Commission investigating the events that led up to 911. Sorta puts some things in perspective don’t it.

But wait! There’s more! Over at the Counterterrorism blog Bill West, a former INS National Security Section Chief, has the following:

I have some special personal/professional interest in all this. To explain requires just a bit of extrapolation…but only a bit.

If the news about the DoD intelligence is true, that infamous intelligence “wall” truly did create a huge missed opportunity in this…along with what was then the Clinton Administration’s generally fouled-up Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), where I served in the Investigations Division for 25 years.

The INS Headquarters National Security Unit (NSU), which was created in the late 1990s in spite of considerable obstacles generated by the INS High Command, was one of the few and small success stories within the INS. The INS/NSU, circa 1999-2000, tried to post a liaison officer to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) specifically to tap into DoD intelligence on counter-terrorism matters. The NSU Director at the time approved it and DIA bought off on the plan…but INS senior management above the NSU Director nixed it so it never happened. When I was on the job, I dealt with the NSU folks regularly…at times almost daily…on various operational matters.

Mr. West goes on to ponder the what-ifs had the Able Danger information been passed on up and the INS Liaison officer were posted to DIA. My mother has a saying about what-ifs…”If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bumb his tail a-jumpin.” Mom would probably say the same thing about Mr. West’s what-if scenarios but unfortunately in this case we don’t have a tail with a sore butt. In this case we have almost 3000 American civilians murdered and a gaping hole in the New York Skyline.

Mom…forgive me but I think these what-ifs should be talked about because they will drive this investigation.

Scotland Yard, SHAME!

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

When I wrote this I was under the impression that Scotland Yard was telling the truth about the events surrounding the killing of Mr. Menezes. It took a leak and exposure for them to come clean. If I’m a citizen of London suddenly I’m very VERY concerned. Before I go into that rant I have some ‘splainin to do myself.

Scotland Yard is guilty of Murder. Similiar in concept but smaller in scope to what the barbarians themselves did on July 7 and July 21 in the very same city…on the very same subway. My assumption that Mr. Menezes was guilty of the charges levelled against him by Scotland Yard was wrong. *I* took the liberty of believing Scotland Yard and therefore *I* am responsible for my statements. I was wrong and I apologize.

I would definately support a “never work again” settlement from Scotland Yard to the entire Menezes family both nuclear and extended. I also fully support the termination of everyone responsible for this barbarity within Scotland Yard and full prosecution. Unfortunately, Great Britain does not have the death penalty because these “people” so richly deserve it.

And now, back to my rant…

My buddy Ralph said in his piece:

Unfortunately the British and most Europeans don’t have the years of conditioning most Americans have. The British people particularly are not used to seeing armed police officers on their streets.

I still think this is rubbish. His sentiment is that the Brits and other Euros wouldn’t know what to do when an armed policeman approached them. I said that was silly in my original note and I maintain that now.

Ralph went on:

Mr. Bush and his accomplice Mr. Blair have sown the whirlwind of terrorism by their actions in Iraq. Now the British people are reaping that crop and the very nature of society and culture in Britain will be changed.

Ralph said a sooth here because apparently someone in Scotland Yard decided to make an example out of someone. Finding no one to make an example of, the found someone who had a slightly darker complexion and pounced on him with 5 rounds to the head. Spread the tale that he was running from police and that they believed he could be a terrorist so they shot him. Spread fear through the community and have everyone going stiff when they see the police and then SURELY the barbarians would stand out. Nice idea guys…really nice. Now that you’ve had to come clean no one is going to trust you and you have done more to HURT your security situation than help it.

Now, let me say that I still support the 5 rounds to the head approach to stopping suspected bombers. Unfortunately, we can’t trust Scotland Yard to make that call anymore.

I love my Dad

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

I really do. We have always disagreed politically. When I was a wild eyed college student(not a generalization, I was infact wildeyed) I made Michael Moore look like Bob Dornan. Dad was all about “If you don’t like this country leave it!”. We butted heads because I was…well…wild eyed. Now, here we are some 30 years later. I’m no longer a wild eyed college student. Now, some would say, I make Bob Dornan look like Michael Moore. Dad, on the other hand, has told me that Ted Kennedy and his buddies are the only thing keeping America from falling into anarchy.

In 1987 things were different. We were mildly concerned with the Red Menace(for those of you in your 20’s that’s the former Soviet Union) and their ongoing activities around the world. Abortion was the social topic d’jour with environmental issues coming a close second. We didn’t have to worry about barbarians flying planes into building or having our heads lopped off because we happened to be Americans. Dad and I could have these political conversations and even though they got heated, neither of us thought the other was part of a grand scheme to destroy the country. Tonight’s phone call was alittle different.

It started out with a little chat about the goings on in Frankfort where our ambitious Attorney General started a witchhunt about the hiring practices of the Governor’s office. This particular witchhunt has turned up some witches and a senior Cabinet official has been indicted and now faces 25 years. There are now rumors flying around Capital City of pardons, the AG announces press events and the mysteriously cancels them, and men are hovering in dark corners of the Capital plotting their next moves. I can’t remember exactly how we got started talking about the National political scene…I probably lobbed a grenade as I have been known to do.

Dad’s take is that President Bush is truely evil. That he knew and probably planned the 9/11 attacks so he could consolidate power. That he is single handedly responsible for the prices of gasoline. All Republicans are nasty greedy b@stards…I’m not sure if I fit into that category or not. 😉

The thing that really bothers me about Dad’s thoughts on the President and the country isn’t that he thinks that way. He can be a bit contrary and I’m certain would argue over the color of the sky if the mood struck him. He’s also been an anti-government type. Not a militia nut, just very cynical and skeptical of anything that comes from Frankfort or Washington. My guess is this comes from growing up in the hill country where hatred of “revenuers” runs strong to this day. Anyway, the thing that bothers me about his feelings about this particular President is the way he expresses it. It’s all just talking points. He can’t back anything up with ANY evidence. Bush had prior knowledge of 9/11? How? and he says, “Everyone knows that’s a fact!”. No…everyone DOESN”T know that or else we would have riots in the streets of New York and real people getting really dead. The thing that bothers me about this is the fact that he only watches one station for news. It’s been the case for as long as I lived under his roof and even now, lo those 20 years later. He watches CBS news.

My Dad isn’t an ignorant man by a long LONG stretch. He isn’t highly educated in the Ivory Towers of Academia but he is highly educated in the ways of the world. He’s truely a brilliant man. He has that rare brand of intellect that can only be found in folks that have lived their lives, fed their families, and run their businesses from the blood, sweat, and tears of honest labor. So the question is, how can a man like this come to sincerely believe such nonsense?

Several times tonight Dad asked me if I wanted to see the “working man” in America taken care of. Of course I do. Dad apparently wants to see the CEOs of American businesses take substantial, government forced, paycuts so that money can be used to help the “working man”. I have never got him to tell me just how that money is to be used to “help” the “working man”. We start talking about examples of which there are plenty here in Kentucky. Fruit of the Loom closed in south central Kentucky and the region STILL hasn’t recovered. Dad blames government for letting that happen. He says the lives that were destroyed there falls squarely on the backs of the government…the FEDERAL government. I tend to think those lives could have been repaired if they CHOSE to move to where the jobs were. Life is about choices. Putting food on the table and keeping the roof over head is about choices. If you CHOOSE to put your fate in the hands of a single company and the task they offer you then you have to accept the fact that you are bound to the business decisions made by those who run the company. If they choose to end the task you are doing then you are out of a job. There is no one to blame there. That’s business. What I tried to tell me Dad is that the answer to the problem is teaching people to fish for themselves. Give them SKILLS they could use ANYWHERE….even in business for themselves.

So…cutting to the chase here. My Dad believes a pack of lies that apparently “everyone” believes but me…and the rest of the country. We have these chats about twice a month. An hour and half later on the phone and we both agree to disagree, remind each other that we love each other, and hang up. Then I’m left wondering if he thinks I’m as evil as the President that I think will go down as one of the best of the Century.

I have to wonder if this same kind of conversation took place in the days leading up to the Civil War. Father and Son bitterly divided on the issue(s) of the War. Love him dearly. But I just can’t agree with him politically.

Victory over Japan Day!

Friday, August 5th, 2005

Ya know it doesn’t pain my heart one bit to think about what we did in Japan 60 years ago today. It quite possibly saved the life of my wife’s grandfather and mine too. Ya gotta hand it to the Japanese though…it took two hits before Hirohito gave it up. Of course he was willing to send women and children into the warzone to protect his throne…sounds sorta familiar doesn’t it?

It had to be done. If the likes of Al-Kennedy and Al-Durbin were in the Senate at the time I’m sure they would say that we had Japan on the ropes and that we should just wait it out. Then they would throw a solid fit when we DID drop the bomb. Screw’m.

Another Mercenary Funeral…

Monday, August 1st, 2005

Casket of Petty Officer Suh with the Tridents of his pards

Froggy attended the burial of another SEAL recently. Go. READ. and then send your thoughts to Mr. Kennedy of Stanford University…you remember, he’s the twit who called our military “mercenary” and compared them to the Hessians that King George hired to fight us during the Revolution.

God Speed Petty Officer Suh.