Friday, February 04, 2005

How Wrong Can You Be And Still Think You're Right?

Victor David Hanson gets it right again. The Liberal Elites are so wrong about everything in Iraq yet they still deny the proof and claim to be right??!! Read on. To see the original article click on the title of the post. Warning - Opinion and humor ahead!

The Global Throng
Why the world’s elites gnash their teeth.
Victor David Hanson - National Review Online

Do we even remember "all that" now? The lunacy that appeared after 9/11 that asked us to look for the "root causes" to explain why America may have "provoked" spoiled mama's boys like bin Laden and Mohammed Atta to murder Americans at work? Do we recall the successive litany of "you cannot win in Afghanistan/you cannot reconstruct such a mess/you cannot jumpstart democracy there"? And do we have memory still of "Sharon the war criminal," and "the apartheid wall," and, of course, "Jeningrad," the supposed Israeli-engineered Stalingrad — or was it really Leningrad? Or try to remember Arafat in his Ramallah bunker talking to international groupies who flew in to hear the old killer's jumbled mishmash about George Bush, the meanie who had ostracized him.

Then we were told that if we dared invade the ancient caliphate, Saddam would kill thousands and exile millions more. And when he was captured in a cesspool, the invective continued during the hard reconstruction that oil, Halliburton, the Jews, the neocons, Richard Perle, and other likely suspects had suckered us into a "quagmire" or was it now "Vietnam redux"? And recall that in response we were supposed to flee, or was it to trisect Iraq? The elections, remember, would not work — or were held too soon or too late. And give the old minotaur Senator Kennedy his due, as he lumbered out on the eve of the Iraqi voting to hector about its failure and call for withdrawal — one last hurrah that might yet rescue the cherished myth that the United States had created another Vietnam and needed his sort of deliverance.
And then there was the parade of heroes who were media upstarts of the hour — the brilliant Hans Blixes, Joe Wilsons, Anonymouses, and Richard Clarkes — who came, wrote their books, did their fawning interviews on 60 Minutes, Nightline, and Larry King, and then faded to become footnotes to our collective pessimism.
Do not dare forget our Hollywood elite. At some point since 9/11, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange, Whoopi Goldberg, and a host of others have lectured the world that their America is either misled, stupid, evil, or insane, bereft of the wisdom of Hollywood's legions of college drop-outs, recovering bad boys, and self-praised autodidacts.
Remember the twisted logic of the global throng as well: Anyone who quit the CIA was a genius in his renegade prognostication; anyone who stayed was a toady who botched the war. Three- and four-star generals who went on television or ran for office were principled dissidents who "told the truth"; officers in the field who kept quiet and saved Afghanistan and Iraq were "muzzled" careerists. Families of the 9/11 victims who publicly trashed George Bush offered the nation "grassroots" cries of the heart; the far greater number who supported the war on terror were perhaps "warped" by their grief.
There were always the untold "minor" embarrassments that we were to ignore as the slight slips of the "good" people — small details like the multibillion-dollar Oil-for-Food scandal that came to light due to the reporting of a single brave maverick, Claudia Rosett, or Rathergate, disclosed by "pajama"-clad bloggers without journalism degrees from Columbia, sojourns at the Kennedy School, or internships with the Washington Post. To put it into Animal Farm speak: elite New York Times, CBS News, and PBS good; populist bloggers, talk-radio, and cable news bad.
In place of Harry Truman and JFK we got John Kerry calling the once-maimed Prime Minister Allawi a "puppet," Senator Murray praising bin Laden's social-welfare work, Senator Boxer calling Secretary of State Rice a veritable liar for agreeing with the various casus belli that Boxer's own Senate colleagues had themselves passed in October 2002. And for emotional and financial support, the Democratic insiders turned to George Soros and Michael Moore, who assured them that their president was either Hitlerian, a dunce, or a deserter.
Then there was our media's hysteria: Donald Rumsfeld should be sacked in the midst of war; Abu Ghraib was the moral equivalent of everything from Saddam's gulag to the Holocaust; the U.S. military purportedly tried to kill reporters; and always the unwillingness or inability to condemn the beheaders, fascists, and suicide murderers, who sought to destroy any shred of liberalism. Meanwhile, the isolation of a corrupt Arafat, the withdrawal of 10,000 Americans from a Wahhabi theocracy, the transformation of the world's far-right monstrosities into reformed democracies, and the pull-back of some troops from Germany and the DMZ went unnoticed.
What explains this automatic censure of the United States, Israel, and to a lesser extent the Anglo-democracies of the United Kingdom and Australia? Westernization, coupled with globalization, has created an affluent and leisured elite that now gravitates to universities, the media, bureaucracies, and world organizations, all places where wealth is not created, but analyzed, critiqued, and lavishly spent.
Thus we now expect that the New York Times, Harper's, Le Monde, U.N. functionaries who call us "stingy," French diplomats, American writers and actors will all (1) live a pretty privileged life; (2) in recompense "feel" pretty worried and guilty about it; (3) somehow connect their unease over their comfort with a pathology of the world's hyperpower, the United States; and (4) thus be willing to risk their elite status, power, or wealth by very brave acts such as writing anguished essays, giving pained interviews, issuing apologetic communiqu├ęs, braving the rails to Davos, and barking off-the-cuff furious remarks about their angst over themes (1) through (3) above. What a sad contrast they make with far better Iraqis dancing in the street to celebrate their voting.
There is something else to this shrillness of the global throng besides the obvious fact of hypocrisy — that very few of the world's Westernized cynical echelon ever move to the ghetto to tutor those they champion in the abstract, reside in central Africa to feed the poor, give up tenure to ensure employment for the exploited lecturer, or pass on the Washington or New York A-list party to eat in the lunch hall with the unwashed. Davos after all, is not quite central Bolivia or the Sudan.
First, there is a tremendous sense of impotence. Somehow sharp looks alone, clever repartee, long lists of books read and articles cited, or global travel do not automatically result in commensurate power. So what exactly is wrong with these stupid people of Nebraska who would elect a dense, Christian-like George Bush when a Gore Vidal, George Soros, Ben Affleck, Bruce Springsteen, or Ted Kennedy warned them not to?
If the American Left is furious over the loss of most of the nation's governorships and legislatures, the U.S. House, the Senate, the presidency, and soon the Supreme Court, the Europeans themselves are furious over America's power — as if Red America is to Blue America as America is to Europe itself. Thus how can a mongrel culture of Taco Bell, Bud Light, and Desperate Housewives project such military and political influence abroad when the soft, subtle triangulation of far more cultured diplomats and sophisticated intellectuals from France, Germany, and Scandinavia is ignored by thugs from Iran, North Korea, and most of the Middle East?
Why would the world listen to a stumbling George Bush when it could be mesmerized by a poet, biographer, aristocrat, and metrosexual of the caliber of a Monsieur Dominique de Villepin? Why praise brave Iraqis lining up to vote, while at the same hour the defeated John Kerry somberly intones on Tim Russert's show that he really did go into Cambodia to supply arms to the mass-murdering Khmer Rouge — a statement that either cannot be true or is almost an admission of being a party to crimes against humanity if it is.
Second, political powerlessness follows from ideological exhaustion. Communism and Marxism are dead. Stalin and Mao killed over 80 million and did not make omelets despite the broken eggs. Castro and North Korea are not classless utopias but thugocracies run by megalomaniac dictators who the world prays will die any minute. The global Left knows that the Cold War is over and was lost by the Left, and that Eastern Europeans and Central Americans probably cherish the memory of a Ronald Reagan far more than that of a Francois Mitterrand or Willy Brandt.
But it is still more disheartening than that. In the 1960s and 1970s we were told that free-market America was becoming an anachronism. Remember Japan, Inc., whose amalgam of "Asian Values" and Western capitalism presaged the decline of the United States? Europeanists still assured us that a 35-hour work week, cradle-to-grave entitlement, and secularism were to be the only workable Western paradigms — before high unemployment, low growth, stagnant worker productivity, unassimilated minorities, declining birthrates, and disarmament suggested that just maybe something is going very wrong in a continent that is not so eager for either God or children.
Perhaps the result of this frustration is that European intellectuals damn the United States for action in Iraq, but lament that they could do nothing in the Balkans. Democrats at home talk of the need for idealism abroad, but fear the dirty road of war that sometimes is part of that bargain — thus the retreat into "democracy is good, BUT..." So here we have the global throng that focuses on one purported American crime to the next, as it simmers in the luxury of its privilege, education, and sophistication — and exhibits little power, new ideas, intellectual seriousness, or relevance.
In this context, the Iraqi elections were surely poorly attended, or illegitimate, or ruined by violence, or irrelevant, or staged by America — or almost anything other than a result of a brave, very risky, and costly effort by the United States military to destroy a fascist regime and offer something better in its place.
Yet as Yeehah! Howard Dean takes over the Democratic party, as Kojo Annan's dad limps to the end of his tenure, and as a Saddam-trading Jacques Chirac talks grandly of global airfare taxes to help the poor, they should all ask themselves whether a weary public is listening any longer to the hyped and canned stories of their own courage and brilliance.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the
Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is victorhanson.com.


Medication Versus Recreation With Drugs

The following article details the two legal recreational drugs and their effect on our society. It also can be used to show how ridiculous the DEA's position is on the Drug Inquisition. Notice that I don't call it the "War On Drugs" because it isn't. It is a War on American Citizens by the U.S. Government because they recreate with their drug of choice which doesn't happen to be one of the Government sanctioned recreational drugs, Alcohol or Nicotine. The DEA would have you believe the bald faced lie that illegal Drugs are the more dangerous. This flys in the face of the staggering statistics that show Nicotine and Alcohol are ten to 100 times more lethal per year by just calculating the deaths attributed to their consumption. All illegal drugs combined are responsible for approximately 4,000 to 10,000 deaths per year while perscription drugs, alcohol and nicotine are responsible for over 400,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Which would you consider more dangerous? Illegal drugs are not all bad as well. As example, Marijuana is very useful for the treatment of many medical conditions encountered by Chemotherapy patients and others with terminal illnesses and is responsible for NO deaths on record yet the DEA labels this beneficial natural occurring substance the "most dangerous illegal drug". There are also approximately 20,000,000 adults in this country recreating with this drug without permanent ill effects. Organizations like the DP Alliance, NORML and Change In Direction combat this illogical thinking and have had some recent sucesses in stopping the DEA from purveying this false and misleading propaganda. Read on. To see the original article, click on the title of this post.

Alcohol abuse kills as many people around the world as tobacco and high blood pressure, a new study shows.
And researchers charge that popular alcohol control measures, such as school-based abstinence programs, have proven to be ineffective.
“These programs may reduce drinking in the short-term, but within two or three years they have no discernible effect,” study researcher Robin Room, PhD, tells WebMD. “This has been shown in study after study.”
Getting Drunk Not Heart Healthy
The news about alcohol and health has been largely favorable in recent years, with an increasing number of studies touting the health benefits of light to moderate alcohol consumption. But the new research sheds light on the downside of drinking.
Room and colleagues report that alcohol is responsible for 4 percent of worldwide disease, contributing to more than 60 different medical conditions. Tobacco is responsible for 4.1 percent and high blood pressure, 4.4 percent.
Moderate drinking, up to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women, is now widely believed to help protect against heart disease. But binge drinking has the opposite effect.
“If you get drunk on the weekends you are not helping your heart,” Room says.
Room added that most people probably drink more than they need to reap alcohol’s health benefits.
“One of the special things about alcohol is that you can be both benefiting from it and harmed by it, or harming others, at the same time,” he says. “The same drink can have both effects.”
75,000 Deaths in U.S.
CDC alcohol researcher Robert Brewer, MD, says binge drinking was responsible for more than half of the 75,000 deaths due to excessive drinking in the United States in 2001.
Binge drinking is commonly defined as five or more drinks at one sitting for a man and four for a woman.
In a study published last September, Brewer and CDC colleagues reported that three-quarters of those who died from alcohol abuse were male and 6% were under the age of 21.
Figures from the World Health Organization suggest that alcohol abuse is responsible for roughly 1.8 million deaths annually worldwide.
Brewer tells WebMD that binge drinking is on the rise in the United States, increasing by almost 30 percent since the early 1990s.
“(The CDC) is not in the business of telling people that it is wrong to drink,” he says. “Our focus is on excessive drinking, and our study affirmed that excessive drinking is a very serious public health problem.”
Getting Drunk Cheaper Than Movie
In the Lancet review, Room and colleagues outlined several measures that do seem to help curb alcohol abuse, including strengthening drunken driving laws and increasing taxes on alcohol. Room researches the public health impact of substance abuse at Sweden’s Stockholm University.
The problem of excessive drinking is of particular concern on college campuses. Henry Wechsler, PhD, conducts studies at the Harvard School of Public Health about drinking among college students.
Wechsler blames the alcohol industry for targeting young drinkers and fighting legislation that could help reduce alcohol abuse. He says ease of availability and price are major factors in the culture of college drinking.
“It is cheaper to get drunk on the weekend than to go to a movie,” he says. “And around college campuses most bars and liquor stores have price-based specials.”
The promotions have gone beyond the traditional two-for-one drinks and "happy hour." Wechsler says they may now involve supersizing alcoholic beverages and single price "all-you-can-drink" specials.By
Salynn Boyles, reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

I Found An Unbiased Assessment Of The Social Security Reform Plan

The clip that follows is an excerpt of some of the great levelheaded assessment done by CATO. To visit the CATO Social Security Reform site click on the title of this post.

Crisis for the “There Is No Crisis” Crowd
The anti-reform coalition has made a mantra out of the phrase “there is no crisis” when it comes to Social Security. They have even constructed a blog dedicated exclusively to convincing the world there is no Social Security crisis called “
There Is No Crisis.
But it appears the anti-ownership crowd has miscalculated in making this their principal talking point. According to a
Cato Institute survey conducted by Zogby International, only 6.7% of all Americans agree with this sentiment. Meanwhile, a majority of Americans (52.2%) believe Social Security “is facing serious problems" and requires "major changes." Moreover, a plurality of older Americans (37.8%) feel Social Security is facing serious problems and requires major changes. You can read the entire poll by clicking here.
In addition to being untrue, the “there is no crisis” argument against Social Security choice is simply -- literally -- unbelievable.
Cato/Zogby Poll: Majority Backs Individual Accounts for Social Security
A majority of Americans agree that younger workers should be allowed to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in individual accounts, according to a new poll conducted by Zogby International for the
Cato Institute. [Read More]

Tough Guys Don't Mince Words When It Comes To Destroying Terrorists.

I know many out there are going to be shocked by this Marine's comments. Remember that this guy is a war hardened soldier that is tougher than nails and talks that way. I for one think his comment is great because it is the absolute truth for him and his troops. I really don't care if it 'offends' those who don't have the guts to put themselves at risk in front of an enemy that uses any dirty tactic they can to kill innocents and coalition soldiers. It's about time those scum learned just how tough American soldiers can be in the face of terrorism and the oppression of women and innocent. Also the Marines are truly 'Devil Dogs' when it comes to finding, killing and capturing Terrorists. They have a burning yearning to avenge all coalition soldiers, free Afghan and Iraq government officials as well as innocent civilians that have been the victims of this scourge. This is an excerpt of the original article. Read on. If you want to see the original article click on the title of this post. Also the article is a little misleading as the General never refers to law abiding Afghans as he is talking about the Taliban, Iraq Dead Enders and al Qaeda terrorists. The writer spins the General's words to infer that meaning. Another example of Media Spin! Even though the article is from Fox News it was written by an AP reporter that is famous for slanting news toward the negative to please the liberal and leftist Democrat class.

Marine General's Comments Stir Outrage
Friday, February 04, 2005

WASHINGTON — A decorated Marine Corps general said, "It's fun to shoot some people" and poked fun at the manhood of Afghans as he described the wars U.S. troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
His boss, the commandant of the Marine Corps (
search), said Thursday that the comments reflected "the unfortunate and harsh realities of war" but that the general has been asked to watch his words in public.
Lt. Gen. James Mattis (
search), a career infantry officer who is now in charge of developing better ways to train and equip Marines, made the comments Tuesday while speaking to a forum in San Diego.
According to an audio recording, he said, "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. ... It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling."
He added, "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Purple Finger Salute To Iraqi Freedom

If someone disses the Iraq election, remind them that millions of Iraqi's are giving that attitude the purple finger salute. I am dyeing my right index finger purple to the first knuckle in solidarity with the free Iraqi's that gave terrorism and the Islamofascists the purple finger salute on Januay 30th. How about you?

Social Security Reform And Private Accounts - An Informed Opinion

Although I remain skeptical, I am listening intently to all sides and I will not decide anything on this topic until I see all of the information in an unbiased fashion. This is an interesting take on the proposed private accounts that is part of President Bush's Social Security Reform Plan. Read on. If you would like to see the original article, click on the title.

Take the Krugman 6.5% Challenge
It’s dirty work (not really), but someone has to do it.
Paul Krugman and Dean Baker have a challenge for those of us who advocate Social Security reform with personal accounts.
Krugman, of course, is America’s most dangerous liberal pundit — but maybe you’ve never heard of Baker. He’s co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a leftist think-tank funded by George Soros. Krugman and Baker were recently cited as “excellent sources” on Social Security reform by the Communist Party USA.
Here’s the challenge, from Krugman’s New York Times column Tuesday:
Mr. Baker has devised a test he calls “no economist left behind”: he challenges economists to make a projection of economic growth, dividends and capital gains that will yield a 6.5 percent rate of return over 75 years. Not one economist who supports privatization has been willing to take the test.
But the offer still stands. Ladies and gentlemen, would you care to explain your position?
Krugman is using Baker’s test to try to suggest that stocks can’t possibly have the kind of returns in the future that they’ve had in the past — so Social Security reform with personal accounts that could invest in stocks is bound to fail. And he’s suggesting that Baker’s brilliance has stunned the opponents of reform into silence. Hardly — it’s just that none of us would have bothered to pay attention to someone like Baker if Krugman hadn’t elevated him to the pages of America’s so-called “newspaper of record.”
It’s dirty work, but someone has to do it.
Actually, it isn’t especially difficult. But to make the exercise interesting, I’ll limit myself to data Krugman himself offers in his very same Times column. Stand back, everybody — here goes.
Krugman states that the return on stocks from dividends and share repurchases is 3 percent. He states that “profits grow at the same rate as the economy,” and notes that “economic growth ... averaged 3.4 percent per year over the last 75 years.” It’s simple arithmetic that if dividends grow at the rate of earnings growth, and earnings grow at the rate of GDP growth, and if the dividend and repurchase yield stays at 3 percent, then stock prices must rise each year by 3.4 percent.
That’s 3 percent per year in yield plus 3.4 percent in capital gains. Sounds like a 6.4 percent return, to me. Just a hair shy of the 6.5 percent Krugman and Baker asked for, but I am still going to declare victory.
Even without the arithmetic, there’s nothing so unusual about thinking that stocks could return something like 6.5 percent, after inflation, over the next 75 years. After all, they’ve returned exactly that over the last 75 years, according to Ibbotson Associates. Stocks are somewhat more highly valued today than they have been on average in the past, but that may well be nothing more sinister than a reflection of the risk-reduction opportunities in today’s globalized economy. Besides, today’s valuations are fully reflected in the 3 percent dividend and repurchase yield that Krugman himself posited.
What does the guru of long-term stock investing — celebrated Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel — have to say about it? According to a Krugman column two weeks ago, “even Jeremy Siegel, whose ‘Stocks for the Long Run’ is often cited by those who favor stocks over bonds, has conceded that ‘returns on stocks over bonds won’t be as large as in the past.’” The point being that Americans would be better off leaving their Social Security taxes invested in the bonds held by the system’s trust funds, rather than investing in stocks through personal accounts.
But Krugman Truth Squad member Jim Glass, on the Scrivener.net blog, caught Krugman “Dowdifying” that quotation. What Siegel really said, after the sentence Krugman deceptively selected was, “I see a 5%-to-6% return on stocks, adjusted for inflation. I’m pessimistic about real bond returns.”
Okay, 5 to 6 percent isn’t quite 6.5 percent. But it’s close. And it’s a heck of a lot better than the rates of return offered by today’s Social Security system. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Social Security offers very poor returns for the median quintile of household earners — the present value of their payroll taxes is greater than the present value of their future benefits.
But Krugman does make one good point in Tuesday’s column. He states that stock returns in the neighborhood of 6.5 percent will not be possible over the coming 75 years if economic growth is as low as the 1.9 percent rate used by the actuaries of the Social Security Administration in their solvency estimates. He says that for that to occur, “you have to believe that half a century from now, the average stock will be priced like technology stocks at the height of the Internet bubble — and that stock prices will nonetheless keep on rising.”
How did Krugman figure that out? The Princeton economics professor — who some people think could someday win the Nobel Prize — had to ask Dean Baker to “help me out with that calculation (there are some technical details I won’t get into).” Indeed, Krugman probably needed the help — he never has had a very firm grasp of stock market valuation. During that “height of the Internet bubble,” Krugman wrote in his Times column that “I'm not sure that the current value of the Nasdaq is justified, but I’m not sure that it isn’t.”
Hmmm. That wasn’t exactly the unambiguous call to sell techstocks that Jeremy Siegel issued at the height of the bubble, when he wrote a piece titled “Big-Cap Tech Stocks Are a Sucker Bet.” No, as new ex officio Krugman Truth Squad member James Neel put it in an e-mail, “Krugman was for the bubble valuation of Nasdaq before he was against it.”
Today, once again, Krugman wants it both ways. He’s sure that stocks will perform poorly in the future, but he says, “if the economy grows fast enough to generate a rate of return that makes privatization work, it will also yield a bonanza of payroll tax revenue that will keep the current system sound for generations to come.” But that’s simply not true.
Kent Smetters, the Wharton professor who has pioneered the analysis of Social Security’s solvency beyond the deceptively arbitrary 75-year timeframe most often cited, told me that faster economic growth amounts to “very little over the long term.” Krugman’s analysis — which focuses on the higher taxes collected in the near term — ignores the reality that correspondingly “higher benefits come outside the 75-year window.” So you collect more now, but you just pay it out later. That’s largely because a 1977 law, passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by Democratic President Jimmy Carter, indexed Social Security benefits to economy-wide wage growth.
I’d conclude by turning Krugman’s challenge back on him: “Ladies and gentlemen, would you care to explain your position?” But I can’t — I’ve been writing the Krugman Truth Squad column long enough to know that he’s no gentleman.
— Donald Luskin is chief investment officer of Trend Macrolytics LLC, an independent economics and investment-research firm. He welcomes your visit to his blog and your comments at don@trendmacro.com.


Let's Define Media Spin For Those Who Are Confused

I have recieved several comments lately accusing me of spin. Obviously, the commenters don't understand what media spin is when reading an article or news report or, for that matter, political blogs. Media Spin is the distortion of recent events in the guise of an objective news report. Analysis of the news is OPINION not media spin. Just because an opinion appears in an Op Ed piece doesn't mean that it is spin. To be media spin, some distortion of commonly known facts about a current event has to take place in an Op Ed piece or news report or blog. I can have an opinion and state facts about an event without resorting to media spin tactics. I check my sources very carefully and I only comment on what I can prove independently from a wide variety of sources. If this constitutes spin in some people's minds, it is their failure to grasp the difference that is the problem. So it goes.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, A True American Hero And Medal OF Honor Recipient For His Selfless Service in Iraq

I have posted this article in it's entirety so you would not miss anything. Read on. To see the original article, click on the title.




Iraq hero joins hallowed group
President Bush will present America's top award for bravery to the family of the sergeant who died defending his soldiers.

By ALEX LEARY, Times Staff Writer
Published February 2, 2005

THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION
For a multimedia report on the story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, published as a special section in the Times last year, click
here.

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, who spent his boyhood in Tampa, became a man in the Army and died outside Baghdad defending his outnumbered soldiers from an Iraqi attack, will receive America's highest award for bravery.
President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Smith's wife, Birgit, and their children Jessica, 18, and David, 10, at a ceremony at the White House, possibly in March.
The official announcement will come soon, but the Pentagon called Mrs. Smith with the news Tuesday afternoon.
"We had faith he was going to get it," Mrs. Smith said from her home in Holiday, "but the phone call was shocking. It was overwhelming. My heart was racing, and I got sweaty hands. I yelled, "Oh, yes!' ... I'm still all shaky.
"People know what's he's done ... people know that to get a Medal of Honor you have to be a special person or do something really great."
What Paul Smith did on April 4, 2003, was climb aboard an armored vehicle and, manning a heavy machine gun, take it upon himself to cover the withdrawal of his men from a suddenly vulnerable position. Smith was fatally wounded by Iraqi fire, the only American to die in the engagement.
"I'm in bittersweet tears," said Smith's mother, Janice Pvirre. "The medal isn't going to bring him back. ... It makes me sad that all these other soldiers have died. They are all heroes."
With the medal, Smith joins a most hallowed society.
Since the Civil War, just 3,439 men (and one woman) have received the Medal of Honor. It recognizes only the most extreme examples of bravery - those "above and beyond the call of duty."
That oft-heard phrase has a specific meaning: The medal cannot be given to those who act under orders, no matter how heroic their actions. Indeed, according to Library of Congress defense expert David F. Burrelli, it must be "the type of deed which, if he had not done it, would not subject him to any justified criticism."
From World War II on, most of the men who received the medal died in the action that led to their nomination. There are but 129 living recipients.
Smith is the first soldier from the Iraq war to receive the medal, which had not previously been awarded since 1993. In that year, two Army Special Services sergeants were killed in Somalia in an action described in the bestselling book Black Hawk Down.
The officer who called Birgit Smith on Tuesday nominated her husband for the medal.
Lt. Col. Thomas Smith (no relation) sent in his recommendation in May 2003, beginning a process that involved reviews at 12 levels of the military chain of command before reaching the White House. On Tuesday, Lt. Col. Smith expressed satisfaction that the wait was over, and great admiration for his former subordinate.
In the Army, he said, you hear about men who won the Medal of Honor. "You think they are myths when you read about them. It's almost movielike. You just don't think you'd ever meet someone like that."
Paul Smith, he said, was not a "soft soldier" who suddenly got tough under fire. "This was a guy whose whole life experience seemed building toward putting him in the position where he could do something like this. He was demanding on his soldiers all the time and was a stickler for all the things we try to enforce. It's just an amazing story."
Lt. Col. Smith commanded the 11th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, during the American attack on Iraq, which began March 20, 2003. On the morning of April 4, the engineers found themselves manning a roadblock not far from Baghdad International Airport.
A call went out for a place to put some Iraqi prisoners.
Sgt. Smith volunteered to create a holding pen inside a walled courtyard. Soon, Iraqi soldiers, numbering perhaps 100, opened fire on Smith's position. Smith was accompanied by 16 men.
Smith called for a Bradley, a tank-like vehicle with a rapid fire cannon. It arrived and opened up on the Iraqis. The enemy could not advance so long as the Bradley was in position. But then, in a move that baffled and angered Smith's men, the Bradley left.
Smith's men, some of whom were wounded, were suddenly vulnerable.
Smith could have justifiably ordered his men to withdraw. Lt. Col. Smith believes Sgt. Smith rejected that option, thinking that abandoning the courtyard would jeopardize about 100 GIs outside - including medics at an aid station.
Sgt. Smith manned a 50-caliber machine gun atop an abandoned armored personnel carrier and fought off the Iraqis, going through several boxes of ammunition fed to him by 21-year-old Pvt. Michael Seaman. As the battle wound down, Smith was hit in the head. He died before he could be evacuated from the scene. He was 33.
The Times published a lengthy account of the battle, and Smith's life in January 2004. It can be seen at
www.sptimes.com/paulsmith
Sgt. Matthew Keller was one of the men who fought with Smith in the courtyard. "He put himself in front of his soldiers that day and we survived because of his actions," Keller said Tuesday from Fort Stewart in Georgia. "He was thinking my men are in trouble and I'm going to do what is necessary to help them. He didn't care about his own safety."
Some of the men who fought alongside Smith were sent back to Iraq last month. Keller, 26, is scheduled to return Feb. 15, but was scrambling Tuesday to delay his deployment to attend the medal ceremony in Washington.
"I want to be there to support the family and show thanks for what Sgt. Smith did," Keller said.
Mrs. Smith moved to Holiday after her husband's death, to be near his parents. Her daughter, Jessica, recently moved out on her own and is thinking about going to college. Son David is a fifth-grader at Sunray Elementary School in Holiday.
"From the beginning (David) didn't show much feelings, keeping to himself," Mrs. Smith said. "He thinks if he brings it up it will make me sad. He's trying to be the strong one. The day Paul left for Iraq he told David, "You're the man in the house now.'
"Paul is not forgotten," she said. "He's part of history now. It makes me feel proud, so honored that I was allowed to be part of Paul's life. Even today he's probably laughing at all of us, saying "You're making way too big a deal out of me.'
"He did what he had to do to protect his men, not to get a medal."THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION
For a multimedia report on the story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, published as a special section in the Times last year, go to
www.sptimes com/paulsmith.

A New Vietnam For The Left? - Warning Humor And Opinion Ahead.

Sometimes a humorous, considered opinion is a worthwhile read. Especially if it is based on current events. Humor goes a long way as well to tell the story and illustrate the point. Some will view this as 'spin". I don't as it is advertised as "Opinion" not "news". Read on. If you want to see the entire article, click on the title.

The Quagmire on Slothnor
The Left and Vietnam.
Jonah Goldberg - NRO Online

February 2, 2005


The year is 2456. The human colonies on Mars have been invaded by giant, laser-visioned tree sloths bent on crushing humanity and forcing the survivors to work as slaves in the massive dung mines of the planet Slothnor. In a last-ditch effort to save our species from extinction, the brave humans launch a counterattack on the Sloths' home world. Le New York Times (headquartered in Paris since 2018) blares in a bold holo-headline "Disturbing Echoes of Vietnam Conjured by Earth Aggression."


O.K., I'm kidding. It would probably take a few weeks before the Times actually invoked Vietnam. Perhaps they'd wait until we got bogged down in the actual marshes of Slothnor to start bleating about "quagmire." Who knows?

All I can say for certain is that I am no longer capable of being shocked by the Left's and the mainstream media's capacity to shove pegs of any shape into the round hole of Vietnam. A recent New York Times headline blared, "Flashback to the '60s: A Sinking Sensation of Parallels Between Iraq and Vietnam." A cursory search of the Nexis-Lexis database shows that the words Iraq and Vietnam have appeared together nearly 800 articles in the last year — and that's just in the New York Times. The Washington Post: 764. The LA Times: 683. The Chicago Tribune: 526. Time magazine, a weekly publication, ran more articles mentioning Vietnam and Iraq (70) than it put out issues in the last year, and that doesn't even include letters to the editor.

Now, granted, some — even many — of those articles didn't rehearse the media's usual mode of Vietnam fixation. Some were merely about the campaign of John Kerry, who boasted incessantly that his service in Vietnam made him more qualified to be commander in chief.

Even so, Kerry's Vietnam fixation shares this in common with the media's Vietnam obsession: They have more to do with liberal baby-boomer myopia than with a war that ended 30 years ago (and that bears almost no resemblance to the conflict in Iraq).

Indeed, you can tell this fixation has little to do with Iraq because the war in Afghanistan prompted hundreds of comparisons to Vietnam as well. Between October 1, 2001, and October 1, 2002, the Times ran nearly 300 articles with the words Vietnam and Afghanistan in them. On day 24 of the Afghan campaign, Times's muckety-muck R. W. Apple revived the Q-word — which to liberals can only mean Vietnam — in a thumb-sucker titled "A Military Quagmire Remembered: Afghanistan as Vietnam."

Arianna Is A Partisan Airhead.

Arianna is definitely out to lunch on this issue. She conviently ignores the worldwide astonishment of the naysayers and the Hate America crowd. Nothing they predicted would happen during the Iraq voting actually occurred. But little miss stupid toes can't deal with that. She would rather whine about the inconsequential and minimize the most significant political event of the 21st century because of partisan obstinance. Read on. To see the entire article click on the title.

Post-Election Buzzkill: Why Iraq Is Still A Debacle
February 02, 2005
Quick, before the conventional wisdom hardens, it needs to be said: The Iraqi elections were not the second coming of the Constitutional Convention.The media have made it sound like last Sunday was a combination of 1776, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Prague Spring, the Ukraine's Orange Revolution, Filipino "People Power," Tiananmen Square and Super Bowl Sunday, all rolled into one.


But it was all of that and more. Notice how the terrorist would disagree with you, idiot. And you're in denial over it. So do us all a big favor and just shut the hell up and swallow it. I suggest therapy. Maybe Dean's therapist might help.

The War On Drugs Is A Greater Threat To Your Rights Than The Patriot Act

The loss of rights to the average American is far greater when the War on Drugs is involved. This is by far a more serious problem than anyone can imagine. It pervades all of our lives in insidious ways and cost the taxpayers Billions of dollars to enforce, prosecute and incarcerate Drug offenders using the current Federal and State laws. Now the Feds want to circumvent your 4th Amendment rights as well. Read on. To see the entire article, Click on the title.

Drug War Shrinking Bill of Rights
Thursday, January 27, 2005
By Radley Balko
Fox News
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that if you're pulled over by the police for speeding or, say, not wearing your seatbelt, they may bring out drug-sniffing dogs to investigate your car without violating the Fourth Amendment.
On the
Volokh Conspiracy blog, Orin Kerr observes that Justice John Paul Stevens (search), writing for the majority, indicated that the Fourth Amendment protects not against violations of privacy or invasiveness, but against violation of property rights. Since one can't have property rights for illicit drugs, a search can't violate the Fourth Amendment.
It's a troubling precedent. It's hard to see how any police search would violate any rights under Justice Stevens' ruling, so long as the search turned up something illegal. That sort of undermines what the Fourth Amendment (
search) is all about.
That case is just the latest in a number of court rulings and pieces of legislation that have been chipping away at the criminal justice rights of substance-abuse suspects. Ours is quickly becoming a two-tiered criminal justice system, one in which there are one set of criminal protections for drug and alcohol defendants, and a broader set of protections for everyone else.
Last month in Virginia, pain physician Dr. William Hurwitz (
search) was convicted on dozens of counts of drug distribution. Prosecutors and the foreman of the jury that convicted him conceded that Hurwitz didn't knowingly participate in a drug trade, but because the pain medication he prescribed made it to the black market, he was nevertheless found guilty. He faces life in prison. Proving intent — as is required to secure a conviction in nearly every other crime — apparently wasn't necessary.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Oh NO! Bush May Have Been Right! - Liberals Are Soul Searching Over The Iraq Election

Could the Iraq Election be the turning point for some Liberals in their constant bashing of President Bush over the Iraq conflict? Read on. To see the entire article, click on the title.

What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?
February 1, 2005
BY
MARK BROWN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

Maybe you're like me and have opposed the Iraq war since before the shooting started -- not to the point of joining any peace protests, but at least letting people know where you stood.
You didn't change your mind when our troops swept quickly into Baghdad or when you saw the rabble that celebrated the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue, figuring that little had been accomplished and that the tough job still lay ahead.
Despite your misgivings, you didn't demand the troops be brought home immediately afterward, believing the United States must at least try to finish what it started to avoid even greater bloodshed. And while you cheered Saddam's capture, you couldn't help but thinking I-told-you-so in the months that followed as the violence continued to spread and the death toll mounted.
By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.
But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?
It's hard to swallow, isn't it?
Americans cross own barrier
If you fit the previously stated profile, I know you're fighting the idea, because I am, too. And if you were with the president from the start, I've already got your blood boiling.
For those who've been in the same boat with me, we don't need to concede the point just yet. There's a long way to go. But I think we have to face the possibility.
I won't say that it had never occurred to me previously, but it's never gone through my mind as strongly as when I watched the television coverage from Iraq that showed long lines of people risking their lives by turning out to vote, honest looks of joy on so many of their faces.
Some CNN guest expert was opining Monday that the Iraqi people crossed a psychological barrier by voting and getting a taste of free choice (setting aside the argument that they only did so under orders from their religious leaders).
I think it's possible that some of the American people will have crossed a psychological barrier as well.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Mickey Mouse Moore, The Fraud From Flint.

The following article exposes Moore for who he really is not what he says he is. Click on the title to see the entire article.

The Fraud "From Flint"
By
Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com
January 31, 2005

PONTEFICATIONS
MICHAEL MOORE AND HIS AGITPROP FILM FAHRENHEIT 9/11 were nowhere to be found on the lists of Academy Awards nominees released last week. And despite his commercial success, the Writers Guild
omitted Moore from consideration for its first list of documentary writing award nominees. The only award Moore received was from a gun rights group highlighting his hypocrisy after a bodyguard for this maker of the 2003 Academy Award-winning anti-gun Bowling for Columbine got arrested in New York City for carrying a handgun not licensed there.
Hypocrisy is nothing new for Michael Moore, nor the Hollywood Left. But Hollywood makes its money by anticipating which way the winds are blowing. By distancing itself from this self-aggrandizing egomaniac, Tinsel Town may be signaling that America’s cultural winds are shifting away from the Loony Left.

So who is Michael Moore, this multi-millionaire filmmaker and author of several books, who has been
called “the Left’s only well-known shock jock,” compared by Christopher Hitchens to socialist Adolf Hitler’s film propagandist Leni Riefenstahl?

Michael Moore is his own fictional character, a self-written being who soon will require another rewrite if his lucrative fantasy career is to survive.

Moore’s production company, aptly named, is Dog Eat Dog Films. His agent Ariel “Ari” Emanuel is brother of Congressman Rahm Emanuel, D-IL, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a former White House operative for President Bill Clinton.

Michael Moore never was a “working class boy from Flint, Michigan,” as he pretends. He was born on April 23, 1954, in Davison, Michigan, a lily-white upper-middle class suburb 10 miles east of Flint, where his father Frank assembled AC spark plugs, and his mother was a clerk-secretary for General Motors (GM).

For a few decades following World War II, America’s global power (relative to war-shattered Europe and Japan) and the benefits provided to employees by GM and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union made life pleasant.

Moore’s parents enjoyed ample income, free medical and dental care, four weeks of paid vacation each year, and had two cars in their well-to-do Davison home. Moore’s Irish-American father had spent workday afternoons playing golf. After he retired at age 53 with a full pension, he enjoyed a life of ease, golf and volunteer work at the local Roman Catholic church.

Who Really Won the Iraq Election?

Dateline Iraq -
Sunday, January 30th, 2005

Iraq - 10,000,000
Terrorists - 37

Who do you think won the election?