Saturday, September 30, 2006

Which one are you?

This was emailed to me by someone who read and enjoyed my book. I thought I would share it.

Dave Grossman, RANGER,Ph.D., author of "On Killing."

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true.Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of
being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year.

Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep. I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me, it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell.

Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs.

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial.

The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16.

The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language:Slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a policeofficer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids'school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear, helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime.Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and out walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself..."Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other.Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

Dave Grossman , LTC (ret)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Set the facts straight?

Here is a recent quote from Mr. Soundbite himself, Howard Dean:

'President Bill Clinton fought back against the right-wing misinformation and smear campaign and stood up for the truth. President Clinton set the facts straight on his administration’s record fighting the war on terror.'

Set the facts straight? Not yet...but keep reading.

So the Left is up in arms about the recent mini-series on the events leading up to 9/11...well, mainly they take issue with the parts that depict Clinton as more or less sitting on his hands while the Islamo-fascist threat built steam. As for the former President himself, the recent interview with Chris Wallace (you know, the one where his face changed colors four times) is evidence enought that Mr. Clinton is a little perturbed about it as well. I have to admit, when Mr. Smooth-and-Slick gets so upset I kind of wonder what he's hiding...but that's another post.

What I don't understand is why can't the Dems simply admit that the Clinton administration made MANY mistakes that contributed to the 9/11 attacks? The GOP has admitted the same about the Bush administration, and they've set in place measures to prevent those mistakes from being repeated. The Dems seem more apt to point fingers, keep their distance and criticize. Then when a reporter questions their beloved ex-President, he explodes.

Maybe Clinton has a short memory. I recommend Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson's book Dereliction of Duty. Col. Patterson was the Air Force lliason responsible for following Clinton for several years with the 'nuclear football'. In short, he was close to the President on many occasions and witnessed, first hand, Clinton's "efforts" to combat terrorism. What he reveals in this book is beyond stunning. Clinton's missed oppurtunities at getting Bin Laden and other high-ranking Al Qaeda figures detailed in this book would (or at least SHOULD) have any American boiling mad. On multiple occasions one decision by Clinton, one simple commitment, could have prevented 9/11 and the ensuing invasion of Afghanistan. And before someone writes in attacking the source you should know that Col. Patterson is a retired US Military Officer with an impeccable service record who professes no allegiance to any one party (very much my kind of guy). So, be careful with the smear.

One such incident involved the Sudan, who had arrested Bin Laden, held him in prison and offered him to the US. Clinton said no (and he admitted to this two years ago). That's just one, there are others.

Yet, the Left, and Clinton himself, seem to think that Bush should shoulder most of the blame. I don't get it. One man was in office for eight years, the other for eight months. Are they trying to say that Al Qaeda only came to power over a period of eight months? Clinton would have done his credibility justice by just nodding and saying "yes, I made some mistakes, and I regret question." Instead, he made a fool of himself...yet again.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Come on Spike, be fair!

On September 11, I watched Spike Lee's recent documentary "When the Levees Broke" on HBO. Yes, I thought it was an odd night for them to show it, but that's a different post. And yes, I said before that I wouldn't watch it because it was going to be far too biased to be educational. I was wrong. I later found out it was too biased to justify the time spent watching it. But it was educational. It enlightened me on how vastly out of touch with reality many on the Left really are. Spike did not disappoint with his one-sided portrayal of events. Here are some of the highlights:

- Hugo Chavez was framed as a decent man for offering assistance and much of this framing was in the words of Harry Belafonte

- Ray Nagin was portrayed as a victim, just like the citizens of New Orleans. A small amount of blame was thrown towards the Governor but, of course, most of the blame was on Bush. Even FEMA Director Michael Brown (a white guy) was portrayed as a victim of the evil Bush machine. No one from FEMA or the Bush administration was given equal time to give their side of things...this may have been offered, I don't know, but it wasn't there

- Al Sharpton actually stated that Kanye West's comment about Bush 'not liking black people' was one of the most constructive things ever said by a rap artist....constructive?

- The increase in Houston's crime rate after Katrina was rationalized by more or less saying that the people of New Orleans had been through sooooo much in the prior months

- After screaming to be rescued for days, what was the consensus response among many when that rescue finally came? Were they grateful? Were they thankful to be out of that hell? No, they seemed to complain about being sent to multiple spots across the country....'that is not where I wanted to go'

- Then, Lee went so far as to say that the 'evacuees' were treated like slaves. Mainly because many had no choice in their ultimate destination

- Barbara Bush was skewered for making that comment that 'hopefully some of these citizens would end up better off than before'...insensitive? Maybe. But then Lee featured a woman in Utah who DID end up better off and opted not to return to New Orleans

- Mississippi was not mentioned. Granted, it was a documentary about New Orleans and I wouldn't be bothered about it's exclusion except for one thing. Lee DID show the clip of the ER physician making the medical world proud by telling the Vice President to 'go F--- yourself'. Yes, apparently that was the only thing about Mississippi's misfortune worth mentioning in Lee's documentary

- The same ER physician followed this up by saying 'this is how we feel'. Really? By 'we' does he mean the people of Mississippi? Because I heard what Governor Barber has said about the whining from New Orleans...."We have the same federal government as Louisiana, and we still did what we needed to do for our people." Take that Mayor Nagin

- There was no mention of the 200 city buses left idle before the storm. But Lee did show that Nagin waited an entire day before issuing an evacuation order that was recommended...however, Lee quickly moved onto other things

- There was no mention of the gunmen shooting at the rescue helicopters, but Bush was criticized for 'only flying over the disaster site' those first few days

I understand that Spike Lee hates Bush, just like many of the citizens of New Orleans. But I had family in New Orleans, friends in Mississippi. They lost their homes too. Not all of them are fond of Bush, but they didn't point fingers. They evacuated when told, even though they didn't exactly have the best means to do it. But they did, because they don't depend on the government to take care of them. And now, they're rebuilding.

There are lessons yet to be learned from Katrina, but films like this do nothing to help us learn those lessons. Blaming is not constructive, especially if it's misplaced. I hope the lessons are learned. I hope this tragedy will never be repeated again.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another glowing review for When Evil Prospers

When Evil Prospers - review by the Altus Times

News: Columns
When evil prospers

Evil is defined as morally wrong or bad. I personally believe there is evil in the world and it is being fostered and allowed to fester. There are bad people in the world, who demonstrate bad behavior, up to and including the killing of others, but I am not sure these people are always truly evil.Now if it is your family member who has just been murdered you may disagree. The drunk who kills your teenage daughter is not necessarily evil; criminally at fault yes, but not evil. Now the serial killer who murders multiple people and our legal system lets that person spend the rest of their life in a mental hospital instead of on death row, that person is evil. Evil is one of the hard and fast things you used to hear about at church a long time ago. Evil was out there and you needed the support of your religion to fend it off. It is not just the Christian religion that believes in evil.

Dr. John Washburn has written a new work of fiction titled WHEN EVIL PROSPERS ( I will tell you that I got hooked on the book as soon as I started reading it and finished it in two days. It has a very believable story line and it was so full of fast paced action that I did not want to put it down.The story takes place in Texas, where a sports stadium is attacked using a van full of explosives and thousands of people are killed, something in excess of ten times the destruction of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. One of the terrorists who carried out this heinous act of planned evil is caught shortly after the explosion and physically forced by a Dallas policeman to give up critical information.

The time setting is 2008 and the country has just finished eight years of Republican leadership and now has an extremely left-of-center liberal Democratic President in office. The information that is garnered from the identified Muslim extremist has allowed law enforcement agencies in the US and Europe to detect and stop other factions from destroying and killing. A young doctor who was attending the ball game at the time the stadium is destroyed, watches in horror as his wife dies in front of him and he can not save her. The extracted information from the Muslim extremist identifies what countries planned the terrorist action and what other countries assisted in the carrying out of the crime. At this point you begin to see where the new administration starts to fail the country. Instead of taking action against the nations who sponsored the attack, the new liberal President wants to hand the Dallas cop over to the UN and have him tried as a war criminal. The young doctor tries to break the Dallas cop out of custody and ends up on national news as a hero. When the Governor of Texas decides to take action in spite of the failure of the President he is attacked in the liberal press as a hate monger and American terrorist. The Governor seals the Texas-Mexican border to close off the point of entry that was used by the Muslin extremist and excites the wrath of the drug lords. “Many Americans still don't acknowledge the truth that evil exists and is bent on destroying everything good in this world” states a character in Dr. Washburn's book.The author is an active duty Air Force physician who wrote the book in all his spare time while in his medical residency. He is third generation military. While interviewing Dr. Washburn I told him that his story line was a little too real and scary. It also has the possibility of becoming a true story. He stated that was part of the intent of the book, “to create at least a small scare in the reader.” Religion plays a large part in the lives of the heroes of the book. But as it is stated in the story “this is not about religion, this is about eliminating evil.” I don't think there was a single “bad” word in the book or story description that would be considered inappropriate for any age.

I believe the book would make a great political / action movie, but it would scare the heck out of the liberals of this country and our enemies, both on US soil and beyond. Doc Washburn got it right, great read--great story--great lesson.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret.

Thanks to the Altus Times for the kind words. For more information on my book click the website below.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another UN deadline...what else is new?

New deadline to be set for Iran

Where have we heard this before? My last post dealt with the UN as a lame duck and, almost on cue, they follow with this announcement. Iran will get another deadline. Any wagers on what will happen when they violate THAT deadline? It seems that Ahmadinejad has paired up with Li’l Kim Il and Hugo to form the modern day three stooges of world politics. They are entertaining, but unfortunately quite dangerous. Can you imagine Larry, Moe and Curly with a nuclear bomb?

By the way, as I was driving to work this morning the discussion on the radio was about Hugo Chavez and his devil comment. It occurred to me that when Chavez said that for a moment he looked and sounded just like Kathy Bates in “The Waterboy”. Remember her role? “Foosball is da debil…Gurls are da debil…Did day eba catch dat gorilla what escaped from da zoo and punched you in da eye?” Just thought I’d share that with my audience. I’ll never be able to look at Hugo Chavez without laughing.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dictators on Parade at the UN

Chavez, Ahmadinejad have their day on the world stage

I’ve had it with the UN. That organization is dead to me. It is a lame duck...absolutely powerless. Yesterday, one of the three world dictators in avid pursuit of nuclear weapons was given an opportunity to make his case to the UN. He spoke of peace. He spoke of justice. He spoke of democracy. He spoke against nuclear weapons.

This is the same man who supplies Hezbollah, the organization that deliberately targeted Israeli civilians just one month ago to the point where even Amnesty International condemned them. And he speaks of peace? This is the same man actively defying the UNs order to cease nuclear research. And he speaks against nuclear weapons? This is the man who denies the Holocaust and advocates for the complete and utter destruction of Israel. He is a deranged liar. And, yet, the UN opts to give him a voice, to give him a stage to spread his maniacal words. Not only that, but he was given a STANDING OVATION when he finished. Is that the organization meant to maintain peace and stability in the world? And they’re giving a vicious dictator a standing ovation?

Today, Hugo Chavez had his turn. He calls our President the devil and demands a seat on the UN Security Council…God help us. He is getting closer to Iran and North Korea in what seems to be a new axis of evil. Yet, the UN gives him a voice and a stage.

Tell me, what purpose does the UN serve other than allowing dictatorial leaders a world stage to curse America? What good does this organization do? They failed Korea, they failed Rhawanda, they failed Iraq, they failed Iran and now they are failing Darfur, and yet we still consider this a legitimate organization that serves a beneficial purpose. How insane.

The United States funds nearly 25% of the UN budget. This is our tax dollars funding an anti-American organization that provides no real benefit to America. The vast majority of the third world nations that curse us fund less than 1%, yet they have one vote in the general assembly just as we do. We are on equal footing with Cuba, Iran and Venezuela in the eyes of the UN even though we carry the most responsibility for its budget. Why? I say, cut the funding. Cut our share to less than 1% and if this draws protest, then we resign from the UN. We can do just as much good through NATO without having to listen to Iran and Venezuela curse us as evil.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tax hikes? Think about that this November

Treasury sets record for corporate taxes, breaking last year’s mark

If there is one thing about the Republican Party’s vision that I buy into whole-heartedly, it’s the theory of ‘trickle down’ economics first implemented by Reagan – the theory that LOWER taxes leads to HIGHER economic growth and thus MORE government revenue. This article, and our recent history, helps support that. The treasury set a single day record, higher than last year and higher than any day in Clinton’s precious "good economy" administration.

It just don’t understand how the Democratic Party, as a whole, fails to see this reality. In the past 30 years, every time Americans have been saddled with high taxes it has inevitably led to an economic downturn, the last of which was inherited by Bush on the heels of Clinton’s monster tax system. And every time this occurred, it seems that a Republican administration followed with tax cuts that helped the economy bounce back. In a capitalistic system, corporations MUST be allowed to put as much revenue as possible back into the economy. Taking it for government purposes does nothing but bring growth to a grinding halt.

Say what you want about Bush, but he did rescue this economy and it still prospers today EVEN in the face of skyrocketing oil costs. There was a difficult period after 9/11, but the economy survived and is on its way to booming, mainly because of Bush’s tax cuts that left room for growth. No, the budget is not balanced, mainly because we are engaged in a global war, but it WILL be soon. Patience is key. Why on earth would the American people revert back to the Democratic high-tax strategy that does nothing but halt growth in the name of funding entitlement programs?

I certainly hope that’s not what we decide to do.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Evil and Inhuman?

Pope voices regret

Yesterday, I saw the news of the Pope voicing regret over the discontent caused by words he had spoken earlier. Apparently, during a prior address he referenced an ancient text that referred to the Muslim religion and some of Muhammed's teachings as 'evil and inhuman', and calling Islam a religion that is spread by the sword.

Much of the Muslim community was outraged...because he suggested that Islam was 'evil and inhuman'. So their response? Here are a few examples:

--Al-Qaida in Iraq warned on Monday that its war against Christianity and the West will go on until Islam takes over the world

--In southern Iraq, demonstrators carrying black flags burned an effigy of the pope.

--Al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies said Muslims would be victorious..."We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose the 'jizya' tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (being killed by) the sword."

--"You infidels and despots, we will continue our jihad (holy war) and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism, when God's rule is established governing all people and nations," said the statement by the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups in Iraq

--"If the stupid pig is prancing with his blasphemies in his house," the group said in a Web statement, referring to the pope, "then let him wait for the day coming soon when the armies of the religion of right knock on the walls of Rome."

--"Those who benefit from the pope's comments and drive their own arrogant policies should be targeted with attacks and protests," Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

--A notorious Muslim extremist told a demonstration in London yesterday that the Pope should face execution. Anjem Choudary said those who insulted Islam would be "subject to capital punishment".

--A nun was shot dead in Somalia by Islamic gunmen and churches came under attack in Palestine.

--As well as placards attacking the Pope such as "Pope go to Hell", his (Choudary's) followers outside the country's principal Roman Catholic church also waved slogans aimed at offending the sentiments of Christians such as "Jesus is the slave of Allah".

Yeah. I don't know what the Pope was thinking.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Rosie: Big mouth, small mind

Rosie compares Christians to radical Islam

Again, I hate to give extra exposure to another Hollywood idiot, but Rosie O'Donnel has gone too far. Rarely does she actually contribute anything to a conversation that could be considered enlightening and constructive. She seems to feel that Christianity is just as big a threat a radical Islam.

Either she just doesn't know her current events, or she just hates Christianity.

If she paid attention to the world, she'd know that radical Islam beheads people who don't join their religion. She'd know that they would slit her throat for saying something like this about their religion. She'd know that, as a woman, she'd be oppressed and forced to submit to the will of men. She'd know that they would kill her simply because she was a lesbian.

But, honestly, I think she does know these things. I think this statement is nothing more than an expression of her hatred of Christianity. Rosie is one of these ultra-progressive ultra-liberal freedom gluttons who hates those that would impose any kind of restriction on her extreme freedom, and Christians fit that mold with our 'rules' about obeying God's law. That's all this is.

My advice to Rosie: Live in a Muslim country for one week, then come home and complain about us.

By the way, the critics are calling Sean Penn's movie a bomb. Maybe he could get a job on The View.

Friday, September 15, 2006

One of Bin Laden's closest allies

Penn says Bush will bring fascism to America

As much as I hate to bring attention to this boneheaded actor-turned-activist, I just can’t resist the opportunity to respond to what this guy is doing. First, his words about Bush, Rumsfeld and the American Right mirror what Bin Laden would say. For a second I had to make sure this was a Sean Penn interview and not one of the infamous "tapes" released by America’s number one enemy. Although, I’m sure Bin Laden would say "well done" to Mr. Penn.

Dissent is healthy, but Penn’s words are destructive, dangerous and counter-productive to the nation and the soldiers that protect his right to say them. I personally make no distinction between him and the ‘insurgents’ that are detonating IED’s on Iraqi roadsides. In fact, he may be worse. At least the insurgents don’t try to hide their hatred of American soldiers.

As an actor, I like Sean Penn. I think he is talented at what he does. But he should stick to what he does and leave international diplomacy to those who belong in that arena. Case in point: Larry King asked him how Iraq was "going". Excuse me? Does Mr Penn have any military background that I’m not aware of? If not, then he should defer that question to those capable of answering it.

As for All The King’s Men, I will not be seeing it even though I think Penn is a talented actor. I just don’t think we should reward those in Hollywood who overstep their bounds with our hard-earned dollars.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Jewish leaders expect ban on gay Rabbis to be lifted

It appears that the Jewish church will soon be following suit with many branches of the Christian church by officially ordaining homosexuality as acceptable human behavior. I’ve already posted comments on this site about the Catholic church and their lack of opposition to the homosexual movement, so I won’t hesitate to extend those comments to the Jewish faith as well. This is a sellout…nothing more.

Like any church, the Jewish faith needs money to operate. Much of that money comes from America and anyone can see how much steam the homosexual revolution has picked up in this country. As a result, many Jewish people here have become more liberal and progressive in their views, and a lot of that has been molded by their allegiance to the progressive political party. So when something like this happens, the church must adapt or risk losing money from donations. And so they have.

It’s almost as if Caiaphus and the Sanhedrin returned with 30 pieces of silver to help the Jewish leaders make up their mind.

Homosexuality is a sin. My faith tells me that. And, yes, the Jewish faith says the same. I don’t want to hear things like "translation" and "original documents" to justify this behavior because, in my mind, the Bible is a living thing representing God’s word which is also living. And when God’s word is alive, nothing gets "lost in translation". Today’s Bible (including the Old Testament) says that homosexuality is a sin, and therefore that’s the position I take regardless of what our religious leaders say. I don’t have to modify my principles for monetary gain.

I guess it’s a debate that will rage on until the end, which may not be far off. After all, Revelations does say that the church will distance itself from God in the final days. I guess then we’ll know who’s right.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A 9-11 Tribute - Thomas J. Collins

When I began this project, I searched through hundreds of web pages looking for information on Thomas J. Collins. I first found him in one of the "lists" that seem to be so common on the internet. There are dozens of them. There he was, right below Michael L. Collins, right above Joseph Collison. The name made me pause. In a list of thousands, this was the one - Thomas J. Collins - that I was going to know, to learn about and to give tribute to. "Humbling" does not even begin to describe how I felt as I looked at that name with that thought in mind.

I wondered how many lives Thomas touched. How many people at Half Hollow Hills High School called him a friend? How many coworkers at Sandler O'Neill and Associates enjoyed his company? How many people were fortunate enough to know this man? However many, after today, there will be one more.

As I scoured the internet one repeating theme seemed to surface over and over...friendship. It seems that everyone who knew this man and took the time to write their memories of him always included the word friendship in one way or another.

"He had a gift for friendship."

"He was a genius at friendship."

How many people do you know can fit such a description? I can count them on one hand, with a few fingers to spare.

Thomas was born in July 1965 to Tom and Dottie Collins, two people who raised their children in a strong, family-centered home. His older sister, Colleen, was a mentor and a touchstone for Thomas, his proverbial "reality check". His brother, Tim, was a worthy competitor for Thomas, and the source of a healthy sibling rivalry that seemed to resurface at family functions. And he was always protective of his precious younger sister, Jen. His dad acted as the ideal father role-model, while his mother taught him the virtues of being an honorable man and a loving husband. She knew him as her most sensitive child. Despite his tough athletic exterior, he had a soft and warm heart.

Then there was Juila, his soul mate, his perfect compliment. Married in August 2000, their special bond became a template for others to follow, and a wonderful lesson for so many who failed at love and marriage. Julia was strong, smart and devoted. And they were fun to be around. They were the couple who had the funniest stories. They were the couple who would sing karoake duets at parties. They were the couple who looked at each other with looks that spoke volumns. They were the couple that everyone wanted to be around. They loved the song "More" by Bobby Darin, and it's a song that says so much. I wonder how many dances they shared to that song, how many memories. I wish I knew because as I learned about Thomas I realized how nice it would have been to know him personally. That's the kind of person he was. He possessed a magnetism that so few have. He made others feel good. That was his gift to the world. That's what I learned just by surfing the net. It boggles my mind to think how much more I could have learned by knowing him personally.

He was best man at nine weddings. I don't know if I've even been to nine weddings, my own included. When he was laid to rest, 3,000 people showed up to pay their respects. The magnetism lived on, even when his earthly body didn't.

He was an exceptional athlete, a 4 year varsity lacrosse starter at Ithaca College, and in his spare time he loved snow skiing, water skiing and wrestling, but rarely would he go out for one of these things without calling friends or family to ask "what's going on this weekend". He was always a 'genuis at friendship'.

Indeed, I think we all know a Thomas Collins, or at least we should. People like him make the world a better place, and make us better people. Even in his absence, a legacy of service to others lives on through the Thomas J Collins Memorial Fund, a charity fund that benefits the Cleft Palate Foundation of New York, the Send-a-Kid Fishing Program and the Build a Reef Foundation. Some people just refuse to quit giving of themselves to others.

As I look at that list, amazed at what I learned about Thomas Collins, I wonder how many others there were like him. I wish I could learn about all of them. And then I pause again, thankful that I learned about this one. Thankful that in the shadow of a tragedy blessings continue to flow...thankful for people like Thomas J. Collins.

Bush 'makes his case'

Bush continues attempts to make America's case

President Bush spoke to a group of military officers yesterday, outlining yet again America's strategy in Iraq and the consequences at stake. During his speech, he quoted bin Laden multiple times. Including:

One document Bush cited was what he called "a grisly al-Qaida manual" found in 2000 by British police during an anti-terrorist raid in London, which included a chapter called "Guidelines for Beating and Killing Hostages." He also cited what he said was a captured al-Qaida document found during a recent raid in Iraq. He said it described plans to take over Iraq's western Anbar province and set up a governing structure including an education department, a social services department, a justice department and an execution unit.
The White House also unveiled a letter from bin Laden to Taliban leader Mullah Omar in which he wrote about plans for a "media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government" so the people will pressure leaders to retreat in the fight.
Bush also quoted bin Laden saying:
- "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."
- Al-Qaida can cause the U.S. economy to collapse by implementing a "bleed-until-bankruptcy plan."
- The defeat of American forces in Beirut in 1983 is proof America does not have the stomach to stay in a fight. "In Somalia, the United States pulled out, trailing disappointment, defeat and failure behind it," Bush said bin Laden wrote.
- "The most serious issue today for the whole world is this third world war that is raging in Iraq. ... The whole world is watching this war and that it will end in victory and glory or misery and humiliation."

And yet we still struggle to find support for the war at home. I say this again. Iraq is the Gettysburg, the Saratoga and the Normandy landing when it comes to the global war on terror. This is an absolutely crucial campaign. Lose...and we lose the war on terror, running with our tails tucked between our legs and showing our enemies that we are the paper tiger they see us as. But if we will be crippling to Islamo-fascism and will help bring an end to the Iranian dictatorship that also threatens the world.

And yet, Bush must make 'make his case' for this.

Monday, September 04, 2006

GOP = Gutless Ordinary Politicians

GOP will ease focus on illegal immigration for upcoming campaign

The GOP has just determined my vote in each congressional election of my district. I will base my vote on each candidate's position on illegal immigration.

The GOP has made it clear that they are the same sleezy politicians that infect the Left party. ALL they care about is the next election, and then the one after that. VERY FEW actually care about the issues that affect this nation, but rather which issues affect which voting groups. At least the GOP should admit that the ONLY reason they are abandoning immigration as an issue is because the Hispanic vote is too precious, and with the DEMS favoring open borders the GOP risks losing these votes. At least admit that much...but no, they hide behind some lame 'we want to focus on national security' crap. Immigration IS national security.

I'm not buying their BS platform anymore.

If my representative doesn't have the sack to do the right thing despite the political risk, then he/she doesn't deserve my vote. My vote will go to the person who makes it clear that illegal immigration must be may not be the most pressing issue of this election, but at least a politician taking that position shows that they're willing to risk isolating a major voting group in order to say and do the right thing. That's the type of person I want representing me.

And if no one on the ballot can do this, then I won't be voting. I will abstain. I WILL NOT vote for someone who cares more about their job than their country.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Shame on us all

Prosecutor seeks the death penalty for soldiers

Amazing! In a country that can't convict OJ Simpson, refuses to execute a confessed 9/11 conspirator and "punishes" hardened sex offenders with paltry sentences, it's obscene to think that we may actually sentence our soldiers to death for their actions in battle.

I don't advocate violence against civillians. But the 'fog of war' is something that can't be explained to any jury and must be experienced to fully grasp its nature. When you're fighting a guerrilla war against an enemy that blends with the population - violating all rules of armed conflict - then it's quite easy to mistake a common civillian for an enemy combatant. We should all understand at least that much. Therefore, when one of these civillians is killed, there should be an investigation. If malbehavior is found amongst our troops, they should be punished. But I was thinking of something like a reduction in rank or suspended pay for a few months. But DEATH? I can't believe this is something even being debated...and this from someone who adamantly supports the death penalty.

Our sons and daughters are fighting their hearts out. What do we give in return? We curse their cause, call their leader a murderer, allow the media to portray them as brutal bullies, put them on trial for something that happens naturally in war, and then seek the death penalty for these so-called crimes. Amazing!

Shame on you America for tolerating this. Shame on us all for allowing our culture to reach this point.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Logic vs Emotion

Hannity and Colmes debate illegal immigrant seeking sanctuary

Let’s be clear about something. This Elvira Arellano has become the Cindy Sheehan of the illegal immigration debate. The Left has latched onto her for sympathy purposes, using her unfortunate situation in a shameless attempt to portray the ‘human’ side of illegal immigration. It’s what the Left does best. When they have no logical argument they rely on emotion, and emotion is a very powerful ally in the political spectrum.

The Left can’t argue that this woman broke the law. That’s written in black and white. So they parade her in front of cameras and say ‘look at this poor woman, she came here to support her family and now the big bad government wants to deport her… hoo!’

It’s an emotion-based argument and they’ve used it effectively for decades. But take the emotion out and what’s left is someone who knowingly violated our immigration laws multiple times and cut in front of many others who went through the proper channels to enter our country legally. The law says she is to be deported. We MUST follow the law.

As for the Church, they’ve overstepped their bounds and should be charged with harboring a criminal. It’s time that our legal system got tough and sent a message that this behavior will not be tolerated. There should be HEAVY monetary penalties imposed on this church.

Like Sean Hannity, I feel for Ms Arellano on a personal level. Yes, I want the best for her and her son, WE ALL DO, but that’s emotion talking and when we’re trying to protect our borders and preserve our security, there’s no room for emotion…only logic. Logic dictates that we follow the law. Emotion dictates that we make exceptions based on human suffering. Logic dictates that laws are in place for a reason and if we make exceptions then eventually our laws break down and society slips into chaos. Emotion says that suffering should not be allowed at any cost. And logic says that the law must be enforced or we risk threatening our national security. The Church needs to stay out of it. This is an issue of law enforcement, NOT human rights, and right now the church is violating the law. There must be penalties for that.

So for those ‘middle ground’ readers out there, pay attention to political debates. Pay attention to who is arguing with logic and who is arguing with emotion. Listen close and decide which one you'd rather have representing you in Washington.