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Monday, February 28, 2011

RIP Cpl Frank Buckles: An original Every Day Hero

RIP CPL Frank Woodruff Buckles - Pershing's Last Patriot


CPL Frank Woodruff Buckles, 110, of Charles Town, West Virginia, last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, died at 12:15AM, 27 FEB 2011. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetary at a date to be determined, with special Honors from the French and United Kingdom. President George W Bush signed a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, WV, for the burial at Arlington in 2008.

(More at War on Terror News here.)

Cpl Frank Buckles was one of the first Every Day Heroes I profiled over at Tanker Bros.

Meet Corporal Frank Buckles:

Last surviving U.S. World War I vet honored by president

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Frank Woodruff Buckles was just 15 years old when he joined the U.S. Army. Soon, he was deployed to war and headed overseas on the Carpathia -- the same ship used in the rescue mission of the Titanic.


World War I veteran Frank Buckles entered the Army at age 15. "I didn't lie," he said with a laugh this week.

He drove ambulances in Britain and France for soldiers wounded during World War I.

A few decades later, Buckles was in the Philippines as a civilian, on December 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He was taken as a prisoner of war for 39 months in Manila, eating his meals out of a single tin cup.

More than 60 years later, he still clings to that cup, the one that sustained his life. Weathered with age, the cup has flecks of white paint chipped off. He keeps it as a reminder of his sacrifice for the country he so loves. He also still has his dog tags.

At age 107, there's not much the war veteran, POW and West Virginia farmer hasn't seen. But this week, this quietly accomplished man was humbled.

Buckles, the last known surviving World War I U.S. veteran, met the president of the United States and received a standing ovation at the Pentagon.

"I didn't lie; nobody calls me a liar," he said with a chuckle, referring to how he became a soldier at just 15....

Go here to read the rest of the story about this amazing man being recognised, acknowledged by President Bush.

107-year-old Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles of West Virginia met with President Bush in the Oval Office yesterday. Buckles had fudged his age to join the Army.
107-year-old Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles of West Virginia met with President Bush in the Oval Office yesterday. Buckles had fudged his age to join the Army. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Did you know that WW1 veterans still have no national memorial in America? I did not, until I read the following story:

Pentagon honors last American veteran of WWI

Corporal, 107, joined in 1917

WASHINGTON - World War I veterans still have no national memorial. There has been no Hollywood blockbuster in recent years to bring their story to life. But they still have Frank Buckles.

More than 90 years after he fudged his age to join the Army, Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, came to the Pentagon yesterday to represent the more than two million "doughboys" who braved the trench warfare and gas attacks of the "The Great War."

"It is an honor to be here to represent the veterans of World War I. I thank you," the 107-year-old Buckles, of Charles Town, W.Va., told a packed auditorium. Buckles spoke softly but clearly, and shared stories - including a meeting with General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates unveiled portraits of Buckles and eight other veterans who were photographed over the past 18 months - but seven have since died, and the eighth served with Canadian forces.

At 16, Buckles sailed from Hoboken, N.J., in December 1917 on the HMS Carpathia, the ship that saved Titanic survivors five years earlier. He drove an ambulance in England and France and later guarded German prisoners...

Be sure to go read the rest of this story here. And, please watch part 2 of the above Outlook programme:

What an amazing hero! And yes, you KNOW the President had something to say to Cpl Buckles:

President Bush Meets with World War I Veteran Corporal Frank Woodruff Buckles
Oval Office

THE PRESIDENT: Sitting next to me is Mr. Frank Buckles, 107-years-young, and he is the last living Doughboy from World War I. And it has been my high honor to welcome Mr. Buckles, and his daughter, Susannah, here to the Oval Office.

Mr. Buckles' mind is sharp, his memory is crisp, and he's been sharing with me some interesting anecdotes. I asked him where he lived, and he said, that reminds me of what General Pershing asked me. And he told the General that he was raised on a farm in Missouri. And the General said, well, you know, as the crow flies, it's 40 miles from where I was raised.

And so Mr. Buckles has a vivid recollection of historic times. And one way for me to honor the service of those who wear the uniform in the past and those who wear it today is to herald you, sir, and to thank you very much for your patriotism and your love for America.

So we're glad you're here. Thanks for coming. (Bratnote for 28.2.2011: The source for this was on the White House official site. Quelle surprise, or maybe not, but this page is now designated "404. Page not found")

America is blessed to have such men as Cpl Frank Buckles in their midst. Thank YOU for your service, Sir! (all originally written on March 16, 2008)

Rest in Peace, Sir! America is the poorer for your passing.

*cross-posted from Assoluta Tranquillita*

Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone did NOT do his homework: This Ain't Hell DID

Remember this the other day?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

On the cover of the Rolling Stone: Hastings aims at another General - the military fires back

Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone is at it again. Little punk Mikey, whose most recent claim to fame was writing a story on General Stanley McChrystal, decided to milk his 15 minutes of infamy, and has set his sights on yet another General, in this case LTG William Caldwell IV.

I really did try to read Mikey's latest breathless prose, but honestly? I just couldn't get past the first few paragraphs to know that, once again, this 'award-winning "journalist" is so intent on claiming another scalp, and yet more notoriety, he doesn't do his homework.[my emphasis added]

Fortunately, others in the military community did manage to read all of Hastings' latest, and they are firing back on all cylinders (or whatever the appropriate military metaphor is):...

You can refresh your memory here.

Today, from This Ain't Hell comes this:

Michael Holmes vs. the Army and common sense

What if I told you a story about a married US soldier in Afghanistan who repeatedly sneaked off of the base in his civilian clothes, accompanied by his girlfriend, a subordinate soldier. That they took their weapons with them, concealed in their clothing, and then willingly turned their weapons over to the owner of the restaurant where they dined. And then bragged about their exploits on Facebook and included pictures....

TAH has much more, HERE, and they confirm what even this civilian writer knows: DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you rush to print with your 'scoop.' Oh, and a smidgen of commonsense doesn't hurt! As I have written before, everybody has a story to tell, and yes, every journalist loves a scoop, but as TAH quotes Holmes as saying:

“Do I have an ax to grind? Yeah...

I am not one to yell conspiracy at every corner, (well, not much,) but once again, Hasting has proved an anti-military bias in the msm in his zeal to go with a story that shows our military in a bad light. However, as TAH has proved, if little punk Hastings had done even rudimentary research, he would have found that Holmes' story was not all as it seemed on first breathless blush.

It's called reSEARCH for a reason, Mikey. Hastings, in an interview I found somewhere when I was researching him (yes, I did research Hastings): "I am a journalist, not a stenographer." Seems to me there might be a stenographer's chair with his name on it about now.

Meanwhile, our military - our veterans - has done the research that Mikey Hastings did not bother to do. Get out your stenographer's notebook, Mikey, and take note. Better leave the real journalistic research to the big kids. THIS is how a story is really covered.

The UN sends Khadafi to bed without supper

As Khadafi commits genocide against his own people in Libya, thank heavens the United Nations is stepping in to at least debate whether to send him to bed without Supper.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

More Would Blame Democrats For Government Shutdown Than Would Blame Republicans And Here's Why

November 2010 midterms gave Republicans the largest turnover in House of Representatives seats in over 70 years, stripping the gavel from Nancy Pelosi and control from Democrats and handing it to Republicans.

That is history by now but the reason for such a negative impact on Democrats is not. They overspent, they went on a spending spree with money the U.S. did not have, borrowed more, raised the deficit higher and by more than at any time in history.

American taxpayers said enough and handed control of the House to Republicans and gave Republicans six additional seats in the Senate based on their campaign promises to get government spending under control and cut spending to more acceptable levels.

They made it clear in exit polls, interviews and surveys after the midterms that they wanted smaller government, less spending and more spending cuts to lower the debt.

Those same voters didn't just kick back and wait for Republicans to keep their campaign promises, they continued to keep their feet to the fire, insisting they keep those promises.

House Republicans did just that, they proposed and passed a budget which would cut $100 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Senate Democrats threatened to not pass it and Obama threatened to veto it if it did make it to his desk, risking a government shutdown.

Which is why we are seeing more polls like The Hill Poll, showing that more voters would blame Democrats for a shutdown than would blame Republicans.

Twenty-nine percent of likely voters would blame Democrats for a government shutdown, compared to 23 percent who would hold Republicans responsible, according to a new poll conducted for The Hill.

The results are surprising because most people blamed the GOP for the last government shutdown, which occurred during President Clinton’s first term. A week before the 1995 shuttering, polls showed the public blamed Republicans by a two-to-one-margin.

The Hill’s survey, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, comes as lawmakers are heading into high-stakes spending negotiations that will seek to avert a shutdown.

Republicans have a substantial edge among independents: Thirty-four percent would blame Democrats, while only 19 percent would blame the GOP.

Republicans are working for the favored option among voters this time and they are releasing their proposals for the public to see. They are deliberately keeping U.S. taxpayers in the loop and visibility high, focusing on debt, spending and cuts.

Everything that every day Americans are expressing concern about.

Business Insider shows very clearly with a chart of revenues vs expenses, exactly why Republicans have the winning argument here in terms of the budget fight.

It is worth reminding folks that Obama's proposed budget would spike our 2011 deficit to $1.65 trillion, showing once again that while he gave lip service to American's concerns, he truly just didn't "get it", didn't learn the lesson the midterms should have taught him.

As long as Republicans continue to keep harping on the deficit and spending cuts, and Democrats continue to fight against them, polling like The Hill's will continue to show more people blaming Democrats than Republicans if Dems force a government shutdown by refusing to stop spending money we do not have.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

CPAC Infomercial

This is a site list of the many great people I met at CPAC. Support them!

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Redistricting Louisiana

Since Louisiana has six Republican and only one Democrat Congressmen, when it loses a seat one would assume that it will come at the expense of the Republicans. Analysis shows that this does not have to be the case as a result of the effects of Hurricane Katrina. That caused a lot of damage to homes in New Orleans and resulted in a flight of a lot of people to neighboring states. However, New Orleans is the major Democrat area of the state and the loss of population has come at the expense of the Democrats. You may recall that the Democrat representing the New Orleans area was caught with his hand in the cookie jar or more accurately with the money in his freezer. That allowed a Republican, Congressman Gao, to get elected in 2008 only to be defeated in 2010 when the Democrat candidate was scandal free.

It turns out that ex-Congressman Gao can get his seat back if the Republican controlled state legislature redistricts the state in a certain way. Since there is a Republican governor one can assume he would not veto such a bill. Still when a state loses a seat, unless one incumbent retires, two congressmen have to run against each other, namely the two that live closest to each other. In this case, that turns out to be two Republican congressmen who live in adjoining parishes (that's what they call counties in Louisiana). Perhaps either Congressmen Landry or Boustany would rather retire. Here is how Louisiana can be redistricted to produce six Republican congressmen and freeze the Democrats out:

Map of proposed Louisiana congressiona districts

That blue area below the large white area (Lake Pontchartrain) is New Orleans. The white dots that represent where the various congressmen live and you will see two right together below the lake. That is because Republican Congressman Scalise lives in Metarie which is a suburb of New Orleans where Congressman Richmond lives. By taking the area north of the lake out of Congressman Scalise's district and giving it to Congressman Richmond and giving the area south of New Orleans to Congressman Scalise, the result would be six Republican districts as the following table demonstrates:

Incumbents 2010 Population Deviation
% Deviation
Dem Votes Rep Votes
New Congressional Districts Figures
Scalise (R)
752,449 -3,113 -0.4120% 60,733 132,377
Richmond (D)
757,037 +1,475 +0.1952% 90,360 122,405
Landry - Boustany (R)
757,466 +1,904 +0.2520% 85,606 133,742
Fleming (R)
757,130 +1,568 +0.2075% 59,108 128,592
Alexander (R)
756,436 +874 +0.1157% 59,371 148,628
Cassidy (R)
752,854 -2,708 -0.3584% 98,201 178,955
Total/Average 4,533,372 +/-1,940.3 +/-0.2568% 453,379 844,699

We never had to split a parish to get totals close enough to the equal population figure of 755,562. Congressman Boustany had no Democrat opposition so we were forced to use the votes from 2008 in his district. We only plugged those figures into parishes than were not part of any other district since we have no idea of how to prorate the split parishes without a precinct map. Thus the foot totals do not add up to the correct total votes for all of the congressional candidates of both parties since no 2010 results were reported for Congressman Boustany's district. Congressman Alexander had no Democrat opponent but he did have an independent candidate in opposition so we used those results for the Democrat column which no doubt under-reports the Democrat total but would not change who won.

NFL Tragedy--The Death of Dave Duerson

As I flew today today from Denver to my home in Los Angeles, I thought about the tragic death of Dave Duerson. I love football, but something has got to give to honor his dying wish.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Runaway WI Senate Democrats Just Cost Taxpayers $165 Million

American Thinker catches a deadline for debt restructuring that is addressed in WI Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill, which needed to be passed by February 25, 2011 in order to meet the deadline.

Debt Restructuring-The bill authorizes the restructuring of principal payments in fiscal year 2010-11 on the state’s general obligation bonds. These principal repayments will be paid in future years. Since the state is required to make debt service payments by March 15th. The bill must be enacted by February 25th. To allow time to sell the refinancing bonds. This provision will reduce debt service costs by $165 million in fiscal year 2010-11. The savings will help address one-time costs to comply with the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund state Supreme Court decision and make payments under the Minnesota-Wisconsin tax reciprocity program.

Due to the absence of the 14 Senate Democrats who fled the state to prevent a vote on the budget repair bill, the taxpayers of WI are now responsible for that $165 million.

Attention all veterans!

*cross-posted from Assoluta Tranquillita*

From Yankeemom:

From my inbox:

From the desk of the CEO, Veterans-For-Change

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the ground assault of Desert Storm began, or that 57 years have passed since the war in Vietnam began, or that 61 years have passed since the war in Korea began.

Many of the specific memories and details of those days-and of subsequent days after our soldiers had advanced - have faded, some memories have remained very clear. Among them are the character, the personalities, and the faces of the Soldiers you served with.

Like American Soldiers of every generation, those with whom you served were a great and diverse mixture of young people-from every part of our great country and from every culture, ethnicity, and economic background. But their differences did not define them. What defined them, was their willingness to serve, their dedication, and the way they put their hearts and souls into every assigned task-no different than the young men and women serving today, and over the past decade, in Iraq and Afghanistan. All of them personify the four simple promises of the Soldier’s Creed:

Ø I will always place the mission first.

Ø I will never accept defeat.

Ø I will never quit.

Ø I will never leave a fallen comrade.

Many of you never thought of the day you’d be a Veteran, or of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

That’s why we must double our efforts to care for Veterans, their families, and their caregivers-of every generation....

Yankeemom has more here. Please go read.

Redistricting New Jersey

New Jersey has lost a house seat so all of the districts in the state will have to be redrawn. When there is a loss of a House seat, unless one Congressman chooses to retire, two incumbents will have to run against each other. Will it be two congressmen from opposite parties or two from the same one and if so, which one? Unless outrageous gerrymandering takes place, where the congressmen live as opposed to where the people now live often dictates the answer. As was the case with Illinois, there are three Republican congressmen who live too close to each other. Both Houses of the state legislature are controlled by the Democrats so they will have to approve the map drawn by an independent commission. Unlike Illinois, New Jersey has a Republican governor, the infamous Governor Christie. Still all he can do is veto any plan that is totally biased in favor of the Democrats. First let's look at what the districts look like now:

Map of Congressional districts in New Jersey as of 2010

As you can tell from the map, these districts have been gerrymandered at some point. The problem is that each district has an incumbent who wants to be protected and in this case, the incumbent Democrats can lean on the Democrats in the state legislature to do just that. Therefore the new map must protect those incumbent Democrats to get passed by the state legislature in the first place. When a congressman lives at one end of such a district, there is no way to cut the pie and not have the result look fairly gerrymandered. Of course, the same is not true for Republican incumbents. However, there is no need to sock it to the Republicans because the geography already dictates that they are going to lose a seat. In the following map, the white dots show where the congressmen currently live:

Map of proposed new congressiona districts for New Jersey

As you can see the purple and tan districts have three white dots which represent three incumbent congressmen. There is no way without horrible gerrymandering to prevent two of these three from running against each other. Naturally a Democrat controlled legislature has no reason to help these three Republicans out. The fact that each district has to cover more territory is bound to shore up the incumbents of both parties. The Republicans have one incumbent, Congressman Runyan, who is on the endangered list and is in the orange district. The Democrats have two such congressmen, Congressman Pallone in the dark red district and Congressman Holt in the bright green district.

Except for the bright blue district, all of the districts in the lower part of the state are in Republican territory. There is no way to weaken the three Republican incumbents with endangering either Congressman Andrews in the bright blue district or the two already endangered Democrats north of the Republican area. Thus the commission might as well shore up all the congressmen in the six southern districts and let the geography kill off one of the Republicans in the northern part as is suggested in our proposed map. We never split a county subdivision and still got close enough to the required equal population as the following table demonstrates:

Incumbents 2010 Population Deviation % Deviation
New Congressional Districts Figures
LoBiondo (R)
732,109 -549 +0.0749%
Andrews (D)
733,581 +923 +0.1260%
Runyan (R)
732,907 +249 +0.0340%
Smith (R)
733,625 +1,057 +0.1443%
Garrett - Felinghausen (R)
731,889 -769 -0.0965%
Pallone (D)
733,275 +707 +0.0061%
Lance (R)
731,305 -1,263 -0.1500%
Pascrell (D)
731,559 -1,099 +0.1384%
Rothman (D)
732,431 -227 -0.0310%
Payne (D)
732,119 -539 -0.0736%
Holt (D)
731,832 -826 -0.1124%
Sires (D)
734,722 +2,064 +0.2817%
Total/Average 8,791,894 +/-856 +/-0.1168%

On the cover of the Rolling Stone: Hastings aims at another General - the military fires back

Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone is at it again. Little punk Mikey, whose most recent claim to fame was writing a story on General Stanley McChrystal, decided to milk his 15 minutes of infamy, and has set his sights on yet another General, in this case LTG William Caldwell IV.

I really did try to read Mikey's latest breathless prose, but honestly? I just couldn't get past the first few paragraphs to know that, once again, this 'award-winning "journalist" is so intent on claiming another scalp, and yet more notoriety, he doesn't do his homework.

Fortunately, others in the military community did manage to read all of Hastings' latest, and they are firing back on all cylinders (or whatever the appropriate military metaphor is):

First out of the gate was War on Terror News:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hastings Battles Generals on the Pages of Rolling Stone

LTG Caldwell When Michael Yon attacked Generals Menard and McChrystal, his readership soared. When Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone magazine published disparaging remarks by General McChrystal's staff, their hits peaked at 943,000 the day after, 600% of their norm. Their American readership soared from 100k to 753k that day. There's no telling how many copies of that issue were sold. The General was fired within hours for daring to note that the POTUS had hardly given him the time of day. Hastings got an award from his fellow journalists for taking down the General. Their online revenue likely hit 6x the norm as well.

So, it's little surprise, that Hastings and Rolling Stone have decided to try to replicate those numbers. This time, they're going after LTG Caldwell IV, and relying on hearsay and "he said, she said," with a zeal reminiscent of the Inquisition. He's aligned himself with an officer with a bone to pick: LTC Holmes (a married man) was investigated for inappropriate relations with a subordinate and evidently took issue with orders given him by the General, his boss. Hastings decided to get the hackles of Senators up, by implying they had been played.

But there are some things that don't add up in the LTC's story. He claims that his role is "PsyOps," but one insider has called him out on it. Evidently, the officer was assigned in an "Information Operations" (IO) role, and does not appear to be involved in a "psychological operations" position at all. There is a crucial distinction between the two, and an important truth. The US Army places a premium on Truth, so even when it conducts "PsyOps" against the enemy, it uses the truth in order to maintain believability in current and future operations of the kind. While IO is designed to get the truth publicized across the spectrum, psyops (now called MISO) is designed to be used against the enemy. It would be illegal and immoral for psyops to be used against Americans, even though it is still the truth. IO is important though, because the MSM is not getting the full story out. IO is designed to publicize the atrocities of the enemy and the good deeds of Our Own Troops, which seems to be the opposite of what the MSM wants to spotlight...[emphasis mine]...

WOTN has much more here, as they continue to dissect Hastings' contribution to 'truth' and the msm. WOTN presents facts - those pesky things that the msm generally, and Hastings' specifically here - choose to ignore.

A Soldier's Perspective is next, and CJ Grisham, currently serving in the US military, continues to educate peons like Mikey Hastings:

CJ Rolling Stone Targets Another General

February 25th, 2011 by CJ

Matt, from Blackfive, already beat me to writing this, so some of what I say may parrot what's already been written there. But, I know LTC Caldwell and I can't sit silent and let RS get away with stupidity.

Rolling Stone – I'm glad I ended my subscription YEARS ago – alleges that LTG William Caldwell violated laws and regulations by using "psychological operations" against American, specifically Senators and Congresscritters.

The list of targeted visitors was long, according to interviews with members of the IO team and internal documents obtained by Rolling Stone. Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister, and a host of influential think-tank analysts.

The incident offers an indication of just how desperate the U.S. command in Afghanistan is to spin American civilian leaders into supporting an increasingly unpopular war.


Like Blackfive, I wouldn't be surprised if this LTC is out for vengeance and swinging wildly trying to pass the buck. I have worked and do work very closely with Psy-ops units for years and they all know the rules. Being in the military, I see exactly what is happening from this article, but the uninformed that have never served a day in uniform will assume the worst. [emphasis mine] I'm going to try and break this down allegation by allegation in the hopes that it makes sense. Some areas I CAN'T directly respond to by virtue of my access and duties and this is NOT an official response by any means – just my personal opinions based on experience. I will completely ignore those....

*Gasp*! 'Based on experience'????? CJ does go point by point, and Hastings would do well to read it here, before writing his next ' scoop.'

The BlackFive column CJ refers to?:

Posted By Blackfive • [February 25, 2011]

By now, you all have probably heard about or read this story from muckraker Michael Hastings about Lieutenant General Caldwell utilizing Psy-ops resources (personnel) in order to influence American politiicans - specifically some very key Senators.

...The list of targeted visitors was long, according to interviews with members of the IO team and internal documents obtained by Rolling Stone. Those singled out in the campaign included senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister, and a host of influential think-tank analysts...

Like Jack Reid and Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin are weak minded fools and LTC Holmes was going to use some kind of mind-kung-fu on them? Come on...

This whole article smells of a disgruntled Lieutenant Colonel who got caught breaking the rules (drinking alcohol, inappropriate relationship, etc.) and is now in full-on reprisal mode. ...

And yes, you know there is more - here - as yet another military veteran takes Hastings' to the woodshed, and continues his education. Hello, Mikey??? You detecting a theme here yet? May I *suggest* that you widen your list of sources before you rush to print? Hmmmm?

Not to be outdone, left out of the fun of pointing out the error of his ways to Mikey, (who is apparently a legendary 'military expert' in his own mind,) This Ain't Hell enters the fray, and attempts to contribute to Hastings' education:

Rolling Stone accuses Caldwell of using brainwave deathray on Congress

Yes, it’s actually news for the pot heads at the Rolling Stone that DoD tries to convince Congressmen to finance their projects. But, apparently the military has a secret mind-manipulation process that doesn’t work so well on detainees (see Tony Camerino posts) but is easily adapted to influencing congressmen...


Who did they target?

John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister, and a host of influential think-tank analysts.

Really? Al Franken? They could brainwash him with a used wet nap if they could find the BB-sized organ.

How much convincing would it take for McCain, Lieberman and Mullen? Aren’t they all pro-victory in the first place?

I wonder if Rolling Stone even suspects that they’ve just been the subjects of a counter-intelligence operation...

An informed analysis here. And yes, TAH has other columns up that I recommend that Hastings read.

Susan Katz Keating also has her 2 cents' worth to add:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rolling Stone Journo to Get Nick Meo Award? Go, Team PsyOp!


Meanwhile, speaking of things that make you reach for the nice tall mug of Whiskey Tango Etcetera...

It appears as if Rolling Stone scribbler Michael Hastings has emerged as front runner in this year's Nick Meo Awards for Journalistic Rectumtude (uhhh... my Spellcheck is broken, so I may be a bit off on my wordsmithery, but you know what I'm trying to say).

Hastings is awesome. First, he wrote the article that likely was a reverse psyop allowing Gen. Stan McChrystal to bug out of Afghanistan. Now, Hastings has unearthed a secret project in the grand old tradition of MK Ultra and other covertness, aimed against... JSM himself, and other Senators! Or so he claims....

WTF indeed! SKK has much more to share with Hastings here. If you don't know who Nick Meo is, you have been reading in all the wrong places, and/or not paying attention. Google him.

All in all, I'd say Michael Hastings need to rethink his approach to serious journalism, that is if expects his 'work' to be taken seriously. Yet again, maybe not, since just these excerpts alone prove how inadequate he is, when set against REAL military experts.

As WOTN points out, for Hastings, Rolling Stone, and yes, most msm, any story is all about the ratings, readership, and by extension advertiser dollars. Based on just this one story alone, no reader looking for facts could/should look to pieces like Hastings' latest for truths. It surely isn't coincidence that while msm numbers continue a downward spiral, online blog sites' readership continues to climb.

It is all about credibility. Once again, Hastings proves that he is more than a tad short in that department. Once again, when it comes to military facts, stories, our military shows people like Hastings up for the inept tools that they are. Of course, I could suggest that Mikey Hastings get together with that other intrepid 'journalist' - Mikey Yon - and compare notes. They both seem to subscribe to the same school of journalism: never let the facts get in the way of a 'good' story.

Meanwhile, our real military experts continue to set the record straight. Pay attention, Mikey!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Arizona Mexican Experience

This is an anecdote of my Arizona Mexican experience. I am not advocating any policy, just offering something to ponder.

Spoke this morning to the Aurora GOP Club in Denver.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Spell Check

The many ways to spell the name of.......Well, I have another, but unfortunately, I can't post it here.
And just a side note:

I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying....It's Al Gores' Internet after all.

Fun on a Saturday, in a world of tumultuous misspelling.

En Lybarty,
(Did I spell that right?) I dunno, spell check it...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Earth to Paulbots: You don't matter

Earth to the Ron Paul supporters. Listen to me closely Paulbots. You don't matter.

Just spoke to the Douglas County GOP breakfast club in Denver.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

The Most Shelled City In The World

A couple of articles from The Most Shelled City In The World.
1 million Israelis are asking: "Who's next?"

Last night, Wednesday the 23rd of March, was the first time since Operation Cast Lead that an Iranian Grad missile exploded in Be'er Sheba, 40km from Gaza.

Arriving at the scene of the rocket strike Thursday morning, in the Northern neighborhoods of Be'er Sheba, brought me back to the terror scenes in Sderot of the past few years. For several years, rocket attacks were part of my daily routine living and working at the Sderot Media Center. When the Tzeva Adom (Code Red) sounded, I would go to the neighborhoods where the rocket exploded and film the scene. The next day, I would return, documenting the 'the day after, listening to the stories of residents on what occurred to them the day before.

Video: Noam Bedein, Sderot Media Center

In Be'er Sheba, I saw the same scenes I'd witnessed in Sderot: shattered car windshields; the shrapnel holes making "windows" on the homes; the radius of damage from where the missile exploded; the 'cover up' of the missile hole; like nothing happened and expecting the people to go back to normal; the holes in the iron doors; the Shabbat candles standing among shattered glasses; pictures of Rabbis hanging untouched on what remained of the walls; frightened and excited residents of the damaged or destroyed homes who just want to share their personal experience with the world; hearing story, counting the amount of times I heard the words; Luck, coincidence, and miracles.

Photo: Noam Bedein, Sderot Media Center

Be'er Sheba resident Chen Saban, a Sapir College student in her early twenties whose house was hit, described how she and her family were lucky enough to reach the secured room on time, saying she never expected her home to be hit. She said it was ironic because she goes to Sapir College, which is only a few km away from Gaza. Chen, who is supposed to get married in the next 3 weeks, is no longer certain about her future in Be'er Sheba and how she ill be able to plan her life living there.

Photo: Noam Bedein, Sderot Media Center
It was amazing to hear all this because it took me 45 minutes to drive from Sderot to Be'er Sheba, which is 40km from Gaza, with residents having 60 seconds to run for the shelter once the siren goes off. And still the same reaction and comments of the frightened and traumatized people.

Today, the more than 1 million Israelis who live in the range of 40km from Gaza are not feeling as secure as they did yesterday, asking themselves "who is next?"

Yitchak Akli a resident of the Be'er Sheba neighborhood said: "We should learn from
Photo: Noam Bedein, Sderot Media Center

the experience of 'cast lead'' that this would happen, they have (missiles) and hiding them, to launch and fire them at the right time, on any target in Be'er Sheba. It's a matter of time. They've learned our capabilities and they've learned us".

Since the last "cease fire" 530 rockets and missiles have been fired towards the South Western, past of Israel.

The Iranian Grad missile exploding in Bair-Sheba is a reminder how that a few months ago the Shin-Bet reported that there's a stack of over 5,000 Iranian missiles in Gaza, all of them having a range of 40 KM.

This is especially troubling because, in November 2009, Hamas test-fired a missile test towards the Mediterranean, reaching 60 KM, which is the distance from Northern Gaza to Tel-Aviv.

In November 2010, the ITIC reported that Hamas has missiles with an 80km range.

Almost everyone in the Western Negev knows not it's not "if'" but "when"' the next missile escalation starts, leading to the next Gaza war.

After living in Sderot for the past 5 years, watching the construction of 5,000 new bomb shelters, you don’t have to be a prophet to understand that the highest authorities in Israel know there has not been a permanent end to the rocket fire. Being realistic, Israel has to be prepared for many more years of conflict on the Gaza border.

Photo: Noam Bedein, Sderot Media Center
While Iran is certainly a threat for Israel, the biggest delegitimization threat for Israel, is with no doubt Gaza. Add to this the uprisings in Egypt and North Africa, bringing to power groups that have already declared they will end the "peace treaty" with Israel.

The harsh response that Israel received from the world media and many governments during and after Cast Lead, after the Flotilla incident, and right up to today is actually a modern-day version of a very old demonization of Jews and Israel. A tremendous effort is being made to delegitimize Israel, with the goal of eliminating the Jewish state. How Israel will deal with this threat?
How should Israel deal with this threat?  Brig.-Gen. (res.) Amatzia Chen believes that the current  policy has failed.
"In all of the previous wars, starting from the 1956 Suez Operation, through the Six Day War and in the Yom Kippur War as well, the IDF took the fight into enemy territory," Chen recalled. "The security concept was that of fighting the war we choose, and seizing the initiative. But since 1982, after that rally in Rabin Square, Rabin and Peres decided, for political reasons, that the strategy needs to be changed and that we should only go to war when there is no choice - i.e., when the sword is on our neck."

Chen said that since that decision was made, Israel has lost its deterrent capability. "Our enemies understood the dramatic change in Israel's security concept as a position of weakness. In any case, they had ceased threatening us with regular armies and turned instead to the weapon of terror. They murdered hundreds of Jews inside Israel, but controlled the bloodletting so as to enable Israel's leaders to maintain the concept that one does not go to war as long as there is a choice."

"Every Israeli citizen knows that the Israel of today is not the Israel of pre-1982."

Chen said that artillery fire on Gaza is not a proper response to the missile attack on Be'er Sheva. "We are a nation that wants to live, and there is no point in fair play when it comes to terrorists. That is not how terror is defeated. The State of Israel is a sovereign state that needs to formulate a proper strategy. Unfortunately, the strategy today is that if you are fired upon you fire back. We are, in effect, signaling to the enemies that they can continue using the same method in the future, too."
There is great anger in Sderot, a city with more bomb shelters than playgrounds.

By Dave Balson

Like everyone else on the planet, I have heard about the "complicated" situation in the Middle East my whole life: promises to fix it, hopeful negotiations that crumble behind closed doors, rockets, wars, treaties, stalemates, etc. Round and round it goes until, exasperated, I figure both sides are unwilling to reach the type of tough-but-straightforward agreements that brought peace to Ireland and South Africa, and I give up. "It's complicated" is a Facebook status, not a diplomatic agreement.

I spent the last two weeks in Israel. The trip was free, as it is to any Jew, through a program called "Taglit Birthright." To any students who come from a Jewish background, I suggest checking it out. It is a free trip to Israel, if nothing else.

Last Wednesday I visited Sderot, a town of about 20,000 people in the western Negev desert, less than a mile away from the Gaza strip.

Sderot has been the target of more than 10,000 rockets fired from Gaza since 2000. Gaza is controlled by the militant Islamic group Hamas. Sderot is the only town in the 21st Century where rockets are being continually fired at a civilian population.

To deal with the rocket attacks, the town has a siren that gives residents a 15-second warning to get into a bomb shelter.

Stop for a moment and consider how far you could get in 15 seconds. Could you get to the nearest bathroom? The nearest car? The nearest stairway?

Sderot is the bomb shelter capitol of the world. Every house has a bomb shelter. Apartment buildings have bomb shelters crawling up their sides. Every bus stop is a bomb shelter and others are spaced in between; there is a bomb shelter about 15 seconds away from most places.

If you are a child in Sderot, you should hope you are in school when the rockets come. Older schools have been retrofitted with huge steel shields on their outer walls and roofs. Newer schools are literally giant bomb shelters, their paltry playgrounds nothing but dust and three safe cubes awaiting the siren's call.

Other parts of town have the type of playgrounds we grew up on: ladder up, slide down, monkey bars and the wall with a clear bubble that never made sense. They have painted a castle a nice shade of purple, and made two long concrete snakes look so vibrant and fun, you could almost forget they, too, are bomb shelters. Between 70 to 95 percent of children in Sderot have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper.

So why are people still living in this god-forsaken place? There are a few reasons. For one, housing is much cheaper there (feel free to guess why). For another, Sderot has one of the most lively and productive music scenes in the Eastern Hemisphere. The town is home to more chart-topping bands than any other in Israel and rivals any in Europe.

But the real reason people stay is because they feel they must. Sderot is internationally recognized as part of Israel. If they leave, if they give up, what happens to the next town? And the next? Rockets from Gaza can hit Israel's economic and cultural centers - Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, respectively.

I saw all this from Israel's side of the border, so I cannot speak with objective moral authority on who is right or wrong, victim or oppressor. I know everyone I talked to in Israel wants peace more than anything, and would give up land if they thought it would achieve it. I also know that people suffer in Gaza and struggle for a homeland in the West Bank.

As a commentator, I am supposed to speak in shoulds and should nots.

No one should have to live like the people of Sderot. That's all I've got.

It's complicated.

Dave Balson is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-7942 or
I always allow the people of Sderot to speak for themselves.  This is their story, their struggle, their battle. What is happening in Sderot, Beer-Sheva, Ashkelon, the Negev, is the price for living in Israel.  For Sderot's residents it is the price of living on the frontier.  If they surrender their city, it will only encourage Hamas to conquer the next city, then the one after it.  Until they have conquered the whole nation.

You are not on the frontier, the front line in this battle, but you can help. The small donation that you give to the Sderot Media Center goes to help the people, especially the children of Sderot. Just a bit of your spare change will help.  To donate click here.

Children of Sderot Just Want A Little Peace

WI Assembly Passes Controversial Walker Budget Bill: Dems Erupt

All hell broke loose a little after one in the morning when Republicans cut off debate Governor Scott Walker's controversial WI budget bill after 61 hours of debate and passed it with a 51-17 vote.

JSOnline reports:

Democrats erupted after the vote, throwing papers and what appeared to be a drink in the air. They denounced the move to cut off debate, questioning for the second time in the night whether the proper procedure had been followed.

"Shame! Shame! Shame!" Democrats shouted in the faces of Republicans as the GOP lawmakers quietly filed off the floor and a police officer stood between opposing lawmakers.

"Cowards all! You're all cowards," yelled Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) as another Democrat tried to calm him down.

Most Republicans had no comment on the vote afterward and some were escorted out under police protection. Earlier in the night, Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) said that Democrats had been given more than two full days and nights to make their case - effectively turning the debate into a filibuster - and that Republicans had done nothing wrong.

"It seems clear our side wants to vote and I challenge anyone watching to say we have not held out for an adequate debate," Suder said.

“The democrats were clearly stalling,” said Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc). “That’s why Assembly rules allow for a vote on final passage. We took that vote and did what the people of this state asked us to do on Nov. 2 – get spending under control.”

H/T Gateway Pundit for the video of the chaotic scene after the vote.

Video below:

The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity has issued the results of their polling of Wisconsin voters and found "71% of Wisconsinites believe that Governor Walker’s proposed budget changes that include unions to pay 5.8% of their salary toward the cost of their pensions plans and double their contributions for health care premiums to 12.6% are “fair”."

“This poll shows that a majority of the people in Wisconsin are standing behind aspects of Governor Walker’s budget reform proposal,” said Jason Stverak, President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a national nonprofit journalism organization which operates “Wisconsin Reporter has been on the ground floor of this story reporting from the Capitol since the budget battle began. This poll reiterates the opinions and comments that the reporting team at Wisconsin Reporter are hearing while capturing the breaking news from Madison.”

With that said, the same respondents are almost evenly divided on individual aspects of the controversial bill.

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey delves into other questions asked in that poll:

Forty-seven percent say they will support the recall of Fleebaggers, and more than two-thirds think Barack Obama should focus on his own budget issues rather than Wisconsin’s. The poll does not give any sample data, but Walker voters only had a single-point lead over those who voted for his opponent; Walker won by six points. That seems to indicate that Democrats were oversampled, but the overall outcome looks pretty good for Walker. He got more credit than “lawmakers in Washington” for tackling budget issues, 46/33. Looks like the Fleebaggers miscalculated.

Fleebaggers being the WI Senate Democrats that have left town to avoid voting on Walker's bill.

Despite a week of protesting it seems the Unions are losing or have lost the support of most Wisconsin residents and liberals and Obama have, indeed, backed the wrong horse in this race.


Two And A Half Men Discontinued

CBS and Warner Bros. has decided to suspend the show Two And A Half Men, discontinuing production for the remainder of the season, according to Radar Online.

Earlier, CBS and Warner Bros. released a statement, saying: "Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of Two And A Half Men for the remainder of the season."

Sheen fires back in an open letter to his fans:

What does this say about Haim Levine after he tried to use his words to judge and attempt to degrade me. I gracefully ignored this folly for 177 shows ... I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can't handle my power and can't handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words -- imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists. I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong.

Remember these are my people ... not yours...we will continue on together...

Sheen also says he is in serious negotiations with HBO to star in his own half-hour show called Sheen's Corner and is "close to securing" a deal for a 10 show guarantee.

This has not been confirmed with HBO yet however.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Election 2012: The first set of wrong predictions

Here are some 2012 predictions for fun.

Speaking at lunch to the Steel City GOP ladies in Pueblo and at dinner to the Northern Colorado Young Republicans in Fort Collins.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Israel and Jews under another worldwide assault

While the world is rightly focused on Libya and Wisconsin, Israel and Jews are still under a worldwide assault.

Spoke at breakfast to the Weld County GOP and at lunch to the Larimer County GOP. Then drove from Fort Collins to Pueblo, Colorado.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

Libya Explodes

Libya has exploded in Arab Muslim rage not seen since last week in Egypt and UC Irvine. It is time for all of these leaders to go.

With the Denver Young Republicans.

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express