Monday, November 30, 2009

Senate report: Bin Laden was 'within our grasp'

I saw this headline this morning and lamented. The Democrats are ONCE again trying to migrate issues away from our President. The headline was “Osama bin Laden was unquestionably within reach of U.S. troops in the mountains of Tora Bora when American military leaders made the crucial and costly decision not to pursue the terrorist leader with massive force, a Senate report says.” WASHINGTON (AP). More importantly this report seeks to blame the current state of the war in Afghanistan on President George W. Bush, Donald Rumfeld, and Tommy Franks.

The current state of the war is the lack of a decision to send in the troops/resources that the commanders in the field have been requesting for the past 80 plus days. Look, I certainly did not agree with a lot of President Bush’s decisions and believe that our wartime efforts could and should have gone better under his leadership. But, one cannot blame the loss of bin Laden on current state of the war, if you do that, you must go back much further than President George W. Bush. You must go back to formal President Clinton for that blame.

The Clinton administration did not take advantage of putting away bin Laden from offers to take him from the Sudan government. At least two offers from the government of Sudan to arrest Osama bin Laden and turn him over to the U.S. were rebuffed by the Clinton’s administration in February and March of 1996, a period of time when the president's attention was distracted “by other matters”. President Clinton has defended not taking bin Laden by saying "At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America, so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him.” Well, that’s not true. By 1996, Osama bin Laden had been named as co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing by prosecutors in New York (USA v Ali Mohamed, S (7) 98 Cr. 1023 (LBS), Plea Hearing, October 20, 2000).

I think, if the Democrats want to find blame for the current state of the war, they need to look a little closer to home than 8 years ago and get those troops/resources to Afghanistan and lets finish this thing.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


There have been a few times in my life have I been completely taken aback by something that I have seen in nature. This is one of those times. I was stunned by the beauty of this sunset earlier this year. It one of those times that you say to yourself…”wow, how beautiful this world can be.” I am thankful for all the sunsets and rises that have blessed my life.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taxing our Security...?

Our current congress/president surely loves to spend money, pretty freely too. In fiscal 2009 the federal government spent $3.52 trillion. Trillions here, trillions there and none for security? What’s going on?

After nearly 3 months, President Obama has decided that he will make a decision on troops increases in Afghanistan on December 1. Why has this taken so long? What do our soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines think of this? Commanders in the field have had to wait for month after month for personal to arrive. How many have died while they wait? Congress says they can’t pay for a troop surge. I wonder why? Maybe because of all of the domestic spending that they are doing? So, today Pelosi and company have decided that the War in Afghanistan cannot be paid for without a new tax.

David Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin, said he is absolutely opposed to sending any more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and says if Obama decides to do that, he'll demand a new tax -- what he calls a "war surtax" -- to pay for it. Obey said that all taxpayers should pay the tax, with rates ranging from 1 percent for lower wage earners to 5 percent for the wealthy.

"I want the president and every American to think ahead of time about what it means if you do add to our involvement in Afghanistan," Obey told ABC News. (Is the punishment? Think ahead of time he says?) "I am no military strategist, but I don't believe we have the tools to accomplish our mission in Afghanistan because you have to have functioning, effective government and there isn't one in Afghanistan. There isn't one in Pakistan either." Well, shouldn’t a functioning government be there? I think that is why we are there, to establish a functioning government. Didn’t we see what a can and will happen if a radical government, like the Taliban, was in place in Afghanistan and other countries? He sites the Progressives’, Johnson’s (Great Society), and Truman’s (Fair Deal) programs were stopped by wars and the current Democrats plans should not be stopped by the War in Afghanistan.

Am I hearing this right? Is Rep. Obey saying that Korea, Vietnam, and World War I were the cause of the social/domestic problems we have today? Would our nation have been off if we hadn’t got involved in those wars and spend our money of social programs instead? I think we did both. We corrected many of the social wrongs of the time AND fought wars for the freedom others and ourselves. Korea and Vietnam were conflicts that were fueled by Communistic Containment. That policy may or may not have worked, that is a debate for another time. But calling out World War I as a cause to our current social problems is just plain wrong. World War I was an aggressive action against the West, mainly Britain and France. In Rep. Obey’s line of thinking, the Democrats of the past couldn’t have their socialist programs because the Republicans started a war to prevent it. I don’t agree with this at all. It’s crazy.

We have spent more dollars in stimulus money, auto bailouts, bank buyouts, and other social programs than we have spent on our military. If Rep. Obey and other Democrats say our military is the biggest budget item in our country that is ignoring a lot of programs that spend way more. Is this line of thinking, that Pelosi and company are pushing, a cover up for increasing taxes to spend on even more of their socialist programs? I certainly hope that our decision to go to war to protect our freedoms or the freedoms of others isn’t based the notion of “can we afford it?” I say can we afford NOT to?


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is Geography a lost science?

I know geography is not stressed today. While teaching the other day, I was reviewing the expansion of our country, you know, Manifest Destiny. I was explaining and showing the states, as they were being admitted into the USA. Just as I completed the Compromise of 1850 and the admittance of California, a student asked me a question. I thought, “How cool, a question”. Man, was I in for it…

Student: “You mean, California is way over there, all by itself?”
I responded, “Yes, that’s right, until Oregon comes into the Union.”
Student: “What’s in the middle there?” pointing to the mass of empty space between the states.
I said, “Good question, what do you think is there?” Looking for American Indians, frontiersmen, pioneers, etc…
Student: “The Ocean?”

My heart sank…Is Geography a lost science?


Global Warming Stopped in 1998?

First, let me say that I know we can take better care of our planet, its people, and its resources. We have a unique responsibility to be the caretakers of this planet. That said, I have been and always will be skeptical of any claims that we are changing the global temperatures over the course of just a century and a quarter. I surely remember the “Ice Age Scare” that was reported in Newsweek magazine back in 1975 (The Cooling World). Then and now I was thinking “We can do that...change the world THAT quick?” The mainstream media has gone out of its way and spend millions of dollars to advance point of view that is beginning to fall apart under scrutiny. Of course I am referring to the BBC’s amazing U-Turn on global warming as reported by Damian Thompson. It seems that our British cousins are much quicker to report that the “scientific community” was perhaps, too quick to jump on the political bandwagon that is called global warming.


Kobayashi Maru ("Enterprise" novel)

A Star Trek novel by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin.
When I first saw this, I said, “Oh cool!” This is what acually happen to the Kobayashi Maru instead of a training exercise seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The Kobayashi Maru is an old Klingon cargo ship under the command of an Earth crew. When the ship is struck by a "gravitic mine", Captain Jonathan Archer and the crew of the Enterprise are sent to assist. Archer tries to rescue the crew of the Maru, even though they believe it is a Romulan trap. When the Enterpirse rushes in, three Klingon cruisers, controlled Romulans, attack. The story is about how Archer and crew handle “the no win scenario”.
So far this is a pretty good read. Its quick to read and doesn’t drag (even the vampire Vulcan parts) :P More later…