Archive for July, 2007

We just moved into a new house and as you all can suspect, we are knee deep in stuff that needs sorting out.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t give us much time to keep up with the blog.

As you can see, we got the computers running (finally), but there’s still plenty to do. 

We will be back to the blog during the week, but in the meantime, I just wanted to say thanks for all the great comments and visits to morning coffee!

Well, I am sure by now you have all heard about the steam pipe explosion in NYC.  A 24 inch steam pipe was breached by cold water which caused the pipe to explode.  According to sources from Consolidated Edison, NYC’s eletricity provider, the pipe was 83 years old andwrapped in asbestos.

If you read this, keep in mind I only wanted to give you all the perspective as it occurred.  The media’s melodrama gets a little old.

I work 2 blocks from the explosion.  The explosion actually occurred at my normal bus stop. 

I had been planning to catch the 6 o’clock bus to catch a yoga class.  Thankfully, I got sidetracked on something I was working on and when I looked at the clock, it was 5:58.  I started packing up when the first explosion hit.

It is surreal to see so many people walking the streets abruptly turn, and start running in the opposite direction.  The explosions were so loud my windows were shaking.  I immediately ducked as I was concerned they were going to shatter.  I grabbed my things and headed out of the building.  We all learned after 9/11, the last thing you want to do is linger.  When I hit the sidewalk, it was chaos.

I looked toward the explosion and saw the smoke spewing as high as the Chrysler Building.  I have to tell you, thoughts of 9/11 were racing through my mind (I happened to work across the street from the WTC, but was lucky enough to have the day off).  No one knew what had happened (I actually called Darrell and said the bastards got Grand Central), all we knew was the sirens were screaming, emergency personnel was speeding and we knew it was bad.  I took off north to get away from the smoke, and yes, I was scared; and yes, I thought it was another terrorist attack.  Fortunately, it was aging infrastructure.

Now let me tell you about NY’ers.  Admidst this chaos, people were just moving quickly (although some idiots were stopping to take pictures-gotta wonder what they were thinking about), no one was pushing and shoving, it was just a surge northward, away from the smoke.  No yelling, no screaming, albeit, I saw a few tears shed.

I really do believe we’re starting to get used to this constant threat.  It’s interesting how it occurred; it’s like a subconscious state of awareness that kicks in when it hits the fan, you just start acting, not really thinking. 

I had walked more than 10 blocks before I thought about calling home (I stopped when I couldn’t hear the explosions any longer).  Don’t let anyone tell you differently, the explosions lasted more than 10 minutes.

I did manage to flag a bus down when I walked to the West Side.  A special thanks to the Express Bus drivers who during the chaos, just stopped to pick people up and get them out of the area. 

When I got home, much wine was consumed, many calls had to be made and the utter feeling of exhaustion hit.  As I write this today, I am still feeling quite tired.

One more thank you is in order.  My guardian angel has been working overtime.  I plan on getting to church (I hope the walls won’t shake) and lighting a candle of thanks.

Airman Johnathan Schrieken is recovering after being shot through the heart by an anti-war moonbat on July 4th.

Although he says he is still too tired to talk about the attacks, his condition is improving.

He was in serious but stable condition at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J., said Senior Airman Danielle Johnson, a spokeswoman at McGuire Air Force Base. Johnson refused to elaborate.

He was critically injured in the shooting, which occurred around 5:30 p.m. on Independence Day in Willingboro Township, N.J., about 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

Schrieken had walked out of his house to get something out of his car when a man approached and shot him once in the chest with a small-caliber handgun and then turned the gun on himself, said First Assistant Prosecutor Raymond Milavsky of Burlington County, N.J.

We wish a speedy recovery and a full prosperous life to this young man.

Columbus dispatch has the story here.

After the President commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence, Hildabeast Clinton had the following to say:

“This commutation sends the clear signal that in this Administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.” And again: “[T]his is consistent with their philosophy; they believe that they should be able to do what they want to do, and that the law is a minor obstacle.”

All I can say is “wha” (in my perfect NY accent)?

I think we all believed that the left would foam at the mouth over the commutation (I have had several arguments just trying to explain Libby wasn’t pardoned-yet).  But I think many of us were very surprised that Hildabeast could actually weigh in on this topic, since her husband re-defined the term ‘cronyism’ during his tenure in office.

Let’s not forget Hildabeast:

  1. Your brothers helped many a drug dealer receive pardons.  We all remember that you and Bill didn’t realize these were serious drug dealers, however, your brothers were living in the White House at the time.
  2. In the final days of darkness, your husband pardoned members of the FALN, responsible for a number of bombings of financial institutions and Fraunces Tavern that killed 6 people in the late 70’s – all so you could procure the Hispanic vote in NY for your Senate run.
  3. Let’s not forget ROGER CLINTON (I am sure you know who he is).  Whitewater ring a bell?
  4. And my favorite……can you say:  Marc Rich?  Tell me, why is Scooter Libby’s commutation so much worse than the full pardon of Marc Rich?

I include the definition of cronyism:

cro·ny·ism       (krō’nē-ĭz’əm)  Pronunciation Key 
n.   Favoritism shown to old friends without regard for their qualifications, as in political appointments to office [or in providing pardons] my insertion

So the question to ask is:  Hildabeast, can you really afford to be calling the kettle black? 

I for one, am sick to tears of every act of the President’s being tied to some sort of conspiracy.  Hildabeast, Bela Pelosi and the rest of their ilk better deal with the fact that their approval rating is LOWER than the President’s.

List of Clinton Presidential Pardons can be found here.

One wonders just what the hell is going on here?  A Congressional Panel forms a company that has no other substance than a mailbox, and within a month received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to obtain enough nuclear material to manufacture a small ‘dirty’ bomb.

No one at the NRC investigated the application to ensure the company was legitimate.  As a matter of fact, they helped the panel with the paperwork.

Do you wonder if they helped a bad guy, like I am?

While the NRC now claims ‘all has been rectified, the Government Accounting Office unveiled that certain issues still exist, and they are now working on closing down any remaining issues in the system.

Considering the circumstances that arose as a result of governmental offices not conferring with each other (thanks to the Clintons!), one would think the first order of business would be to have the NRC completely investigating applicants together with the DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.  I mean, what the hell is going on here?

Yahoo carries the AP story.

We’ve fixed the problem,” said NRC Commissioner Edward McGaffigan in an interview Wednesday. He said that such licenses now will require visits to the company or in some cases company officials will have to come to NRC offices.

The license that was obtained allowed for the purchase of up to five portable moisture density gauges widely used in construction, in which are encased small amounts of cesium-137 and americium 241, two highly radioactive isotopes.

Individually, these devices pose little threat because of the small amount of radioactive material, radiation experts say. Still the devices require an NRC license to be purchased and must be closely safeguarded by companies that use them to avoid theft.

But the investigators from the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, found a way to purchase as many as 45 of the gauges and could have bought many more because they duplicated the NRC-issued license and removed the restrictions on the amount that could be purchased.

“With patience and the proper financial resources, we could have accumulated from other suppliers substantially more radioactive source material than what the two supplies initially agreed to ship to us,” says the GAO in a report prepared for Thursday’s hearing.

Coleman, the ranking Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigations subcommittee, said the NRC “still has this good-faith assumption. The problem is there are bad-faith people out there.”

He said “there is no question” they could have obtained enough radioactive material to make a dirty bomb because the GAO was able to duplicate the certificate and no one checked on the company or whether the counterfeit license was legitimate.

Airman Johnathan Schrieken is fighting for his life after being shot through the heart by a moonbat attempting to make an anti-war statement while standing outside his home near McGuire Airforce Base on July 4th.  Airman Schrieken, a loadmaster with the 6th Airlift Squadron based at McGuire, remains in critical condition at a Camden, New Jersey hospital.

The anti-war gunman Matthew J Marren, killed himself after shooting Schrieken, leaving suicide notes claiming he was ‘mad at the Government’.

The sad statement here is that the mainstream media is not covering this story.  The only means of this outrage being published is through the blogs. 

I ask, why hasn’t this story been published?

American Thinker has the story here.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Airman Shrieken.  If you wish to send him a get well card and thank him for his service, you can reach him at:

Jonathan Schrieken
Room 720 by the door

Cooper University Hospital

1 Cooper Plaza

Camden NJ  08103

Letters sent to newspapers nationwide threaten Goldman Sachs that “hundreds will die.  We are inside and there is nothing you can do to stop us.”

The FBI is investigating the handwritten notes received by The Newark Star Ledger, and publications in Indiana, Texas, and Idaho.

The letters were postmarked from late June and were mailed from Queens, NY.

Goldman Sachs sent the following internal memo to its employees:

“The firm is aware that a number of local newspapers in a few places in the U.S. have received anonymous letters threatening the firm. We take any threat to the safety of our people and our business very seriously. The Office of Global Security has consulted the FBI and other relevant authorities. Authorities have informed us that they believe the threat to be of low credibility. Nevertheless, they have mounted an active investigation to try to determine the source of the letters. We have a broad range of security measures in place to counter all likely threats and we continue to monitor this situation closely. We do not view this situation as a cause for concern.”

A source at Goldman who asked not to be named said that the firm didn’t think the letters were credible and that officials were satisfied with the many security provisions in place, especially in New York.

ABC News has the story here.

Trade Double Cross

As we all may recall, the Dims made broad statements about “getting the world to like us again”, or my favorite, “we don’t want the world to think we’re bullies” to gain the majority in the Congressional elections. 

Well we heard about the first hundred hours/days (yawn), now, let’s applaude how Congress is getting foreign nations to ‘like’ us again (aka:  something else not accomplished by this Democratic Congress).

The Journal is reporting on its Op-Ed page that the Democrats reneged on free trade assurances with South Korea, Peru and Columbia that are barely a month old, and in certain instances have been under negotiation for more than two years.

 In the envisioned agreement with Peru, it was full-steam ahead until the AFL-CIO started lobbying Sander Levin to oppose it.  He followed his marching orders and appealed to Bela Pelosi, done deal.  Interestingly enough, both praised the original trade deal until their union handlers said otherwise. 

Good old Charlie Rangel, head of the House Ways and Means Committee, responsible for getting these trade agreements drafted quipped, “it’s no big deal, Peru has negotiated in good faith”, all they have to do is change some laws and this will all work out in the end.

Someone want to tell me how Peru must be feeling when it has to change its laws BEFORE the US will ratify the deal?

The pact with Columbia is even worse and the Democrats look like they’re going to pull the plug.  Columbia has been trying for years to combat the war on drugs and President Alvaro Uribe has reduced murders, terror attacks, robbery and kidnapping.  But the only way to thwart terrorism is to boost the Columbian economy through trade so that lower wage workers can participate in democratic capitalism.

One would presume this is a good idea.  Alas, the Democrats do not think so (surprise, surprise).  Congress has stated that they want to see solid evidence of sustained human rights improvements before they will agree to the deal.

Just what exactly does Congress intend to do with trade?

All of this suggests that the real goal of the Levin-Pelosi Democrats is to put an end to further trade expansion. The details don’t matter; any excuse will do. If they succeed, they will do great harm to U.S. economic and political interests. Rejecting the Peru and Colombia deals would be a strategic disaster, playing into the hands of Hugo Chávez and others who want to turn Latin America against the U.S. And while America sits on the trade sidelines, the rest of the world will keep cutting its own bilateral and regional deals that leave U.S. workers and businesses at a disadvantage.

The Beltway’s favorite theme these days is the decline of the Bush Administration, but the trade story is about Democratic protectionism and a political double-cross. The President and business community should stop taking punches and start warning about the damage that the Levin-Pelosi Democrats are doing to the economy and to America’s image in the world.

sailing-into-the-sunset.jpg 

As we kick back to fire up the grills, drink some beer and watch fireworks, take a moment to remember the real reason to celebrate; that is, the men and women on the front lines that keep this nation safe. 

The Soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier,
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.

By Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC

God Bless the Troops!

Little Round Top 

The battle of Gettysburg raged from July 1-3, 1863. Over this three day period, more than 50,000 Union and Confederate casualties occurred.  This battle incurred the largest loss of US life of any war fought since the Revolution.

For those of you who have visited the battlefield, you understand the reverence this hallowed ground holds.  It was the turning point for the Union, the single battle that paved the course for the Country remaining united.

Gettysburg was a moving place for me.  To walk where those men fought was overwhelming.   We spent 3 days hiking the battlefields.  We came home with an armful of books, which I am still reading as I type this post.  To understand the acts of courage from Col. Joshua Chamberlin and the 20th Maine, who were the extreme left flank on this very hilltop and charged the Confederate line when they were out of bullets, from Patrick O’Rourke and the 140th NY who lost his life leading his men in a charge over the hilltop to ensure the higher ground didn’t fall into Confederate hands and to AP Hill who led his confederate soldiers up that hill to gain higher ground, which only resulted in their slaughter.

The question I constantly ask myself is; what drove these men to perform such acts of bravery?  How could they disregard the value of their own lives to protect the higher ground?  These acts fill me with profound awe and admiration, and make me ask myself, could I perform such acts if placed in the same situation?  It’s these very questions that make me grateful there are men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect this great Country.

I could go on longer, but there’s time to remember others in next years post.  As long as we continue this blog, we will post a rememberance yearly.  Sadly, outside of Gettysburg Pa, not much in the way of rememberance of this important battle occurs.  

In tribute this year, I post In Flanders Field, written by Colonel John McCrae in 1915, below

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

It only takes a moment to remember………………………..