Thursday, September 15, 2005


Sixty-two years ago today, September 15, 1943, my parents were married. Both were in the Army and stationed at Camp Butner, North Carolina.

They had met three months earlier in the camp library where Mom was the librarian. Mom was engaged to another man at the time. Dad had returned from leave and was astounded to find a new librarian. He had become friendly with the former (male) librarian and kept his stationery in the librarian's desk. He said "hello" and went to the librarian's desk to get his stationery to write a letter home and let his folks know he got back to camp safely.

Mom was outraged (Dad's words) to find this fresh (her words) soldier using her desk without asking! When she asked another WAC, she was told, "Oh, that's just Oley. He's okay." ("okay" meaning he was a good guy, not "okay" meaning merely acceptable). It took a few weeks, but he finally convinced her first, that he was more than just "okay", and second that she should break her engagement and marry him. Fast worker, my Dad.

Anyway, after calls to and from the Pentagon to get permission to marry and how to marry, and what to wear, and the whole nine yards, they finally tied the knot in an evening ceremony at the base chapel.

Everything had to go through the Pentagon because they were apparently the first WAC and soldier to be married. At least according to the NY Times, which carried an article about the event. I really should check their archives and get a print of the article if it's available.

If I ever get my scanner working, I'll post their wedding picture.
Comment about Cindy Sheehan

Here is Jim's comment:

She never said America wasn't worth dying for.

She said IRAQ wasn't worth dying for. And it isn't.

Freedom is not a gift to be given, but a prize to be won through the blood and struggle of a people that hunger for it. Casey and the other soldiers have died to help create what will end up being another radical islamist (sic) state.

Not the way we should spend the lives of our sons and daughters.

Jim S.Veteran of GWI, voted for the first Bush. Amazed by the ineptitude of the current Bush.

--Posted by Jim S. to My Little Corner of the World at 9/15/2005 04:09:53 PM

Sorry, Jim, you're wrong. I googled "Cindy Sheehan, worth dying for" and found many links to the SF rally where she made these remarks. Here are her own words:

"I take responsibility partly for my son’s death, too. I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people, like my sister over here says, since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I’m going all over the country telling moms: “This country is not worth dying for. If we’re attacked, we would all go out. We’d all take whatever we had. I’d take my rolling pin and I’d beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. {applause} We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if {applause}. 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant."

Quote from Cindy Sheehan in SF at anti-war rally - April 27th, 2005 (bold emphasis mine)

You may believe that Cindy meant Iraq, but that is not the way I read it. If Cindy meant any country other than the US, she didn't phrase her statement well. She spoke of her public school education, then went on to say that America has been killing people since we first stepped on this continent, that we are responsible for death and destruction. That she passed this "bullshit" on to her son and he enlisted. She stated that she is going all over the country telling moms that "this country isn't worth dying for." She then goes on to speak of Iraq. If she meant Iraq, she should have been clearer.

I put negative things in a place all their own and leave them there. I don't want negativity around me. That's where I put all things Cindy. So, if Cindy later restated or clarified her words, I didn't see it. I don't go looking for clarification of statements. If I happen to find that Cindy corrected or clarified her statements, then fine. But I don't go looking for anything having to do with Cindy Sheehan. I consider her to be a grieving mother who has been manipulated by people with their own agenda and who has become a puppet of those people.

You are right that Iraq is not worth dying for. I believe,however, that the people of Iraq deserve to be free. Saddam wasn't going to allow that to happen. Whether we went in for "weapons of mass destruction", to free Iraq, or for other reasons, I don't know. But, the fact remains that we are there and if we pull out now, Casey's death, and the deaths of all the others will have been in vain. That is not acceptable to me. The very fact that American lives have been given to free Iraq means that we must continue on until the Iraqi people are able to defend their own country. When that time comes, then it's time for us to leave.

Otherwise, I agree with nearly everything you said. We will have do agree to disagree as to whether GWB is inept or not. I don't agree with everything he has said or done, but I believe that he is far from inept.

And Jim, thank you for your service to America.

Monday, September 12, 2005

John Wayne Dude

I haven't heard much about this guy, but what I've heard, I like!

Image hosted by

Lt. General Russel Honore. An Army of One.

Yahoo! News link here.
Brown Out, Paulison In

Now that we realize there is a serious problem in Homeland Security, specifically FEMA, it's time to get on the problem and get it fixed. FEMA has been a disaster waiting to happen since 9/11. And it finally came to a head with Katrina.

I haven't read a lot about Michael Brown, the now former head of FEMA. Brown resigned today after two weeks of criticism of his agency. In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Brown said he resigned "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president." He said he feared he had become a distraction."

A distraction? I'd say that was an understatement.

"The focus has got to be on FEMA, what the people are trying to do down there," Brown said.

Sure, put the focus back on FEMA and Katrina so that no one will look at you. Some smart investigative reporter looking to make a name should look into our Mr. Brown and see just what what he did prior to FEMA, what he's done since becoming the head of FEMA, and just why he was supposedly capable of doing a job he was so obviously incapable of doing. From what I've heard, his resume was padded, and he wasn't what he purported to be. I don't know who recommended him for the job, or when he got the job (I haven't looked yet). I have no idea why Bush left him in charge. Officials close to Brown said he would probably resign as Brown "had been planning on leaving the administration late this fall to go into the private sector." Maybe he knew his time was limited and thought he could get out and on to something sweet before FEMA came apart at the seams.

FEMA needs to be headed up by someone who knows what they are doing. R. David Paulison has been picked to take over as Director. Sounds to me like someone has already been looking over the list even before Brown's resignation and had Paulison in mind.

Paulison is a career firefighter from Miami. He was an emergency responder to both Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the 1996 ValuJet Flight 592 crash in the Everglades. He was chief of the 1,900 strong Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department with a $200 million operating budget, and was in charge of the county emergency management office. Since 2001 he has led the US Fire Administration.

Will Paulison be able to drag FEMA out of the muck and mire that it's been led into? Time will tell. I usually give people the benefit of a doubt, but, like all of America, I'll be watching to see just what Paulison can do. With the possibility of another terrorist attack looming over us everyday, we need someone who is up to the job.

Paulison would do well to solicit help from cities, counties, and states that have experienced disasters of some sort. How about asking Rudy Giuliani or Governor Frank Keating about disasters resulting from terrorism or Jeb Bush about hurricane relief? Say what you will about Jeb being GWB's little brother, Florida has an experience to offer after last year's four hurricane season.

The FEMA director has to be someone who know what he (or she) is doing, much have experience in emergency managment (it is part of the aconym FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency), and must be able to know when and how to properly distribute funds or material goods. Otherwise, you have an agency giving money away for hurricane claims where there was no hurricane, or the Red Cross being turned away from places where people need food and water to live.

And if by any chance the person who heads the agency isn't up to what is required, they need to be smart enough to surround themselves with people who are. These people get the job done and make the head honcho look like they know what they are doing. If you can't do the job, find someone can and who will make you look good.

I thought all government bureaucrats knew that?
So Tired and Weary

Of hearing the "Blame Bush" crowd trying to blame everything on Bush. Look, he's not perfect. I don't like his stand on immigration for one. He's on the border pulling illegals over the fence and I'm trying to push them back. Okay, you Libs and Dems can't let go of 2000. It was five years ago. Grow up and give it up already.

Bush did not cause Katrina to hit Louisiana. Believe it or not he doesn't have that kind of power. One of the reasons there was a disproportionate number of blacks affected by Katrina is because the population of New Orleans is about 65% black - not sure of the exact percentage, but I'm not too far off. And a large percentage of that number is poor.

Many of the people who had vehicles got out when they were told to. Many of the poor don't have transportation. Okay, then it's up to the local and state authorities to start the ball, or buses as the case may be, rolling. The first people to point the finger of blame at are the ones who could have left and didn't. The next person to blame is the mayor who didn't provide bus transportation for those who would have left had they had the means to do so. He's whining that he couldn't get drivers. Oh, wah! I'm sure that had the buses been available, someone would have stepped up to drive the buses, loaded with passengers, out of the danger zone. The next to blame is the governor who failed to ask for help when she should have.

Don't give me this business about Bush being on vacation and didn't respond for two days. The POTUS is NEVER on vacation. He doesn't have a 9-5 job like most of the rest of us do. He's on call whether he's in Crawford, Washington, Camp David, Europe, Asia, or at 35,000 feet on Air Force One. He can't call in sick, he can't take a "personal" day, and he can't turn the reins of office over to Cheney or Rove. Despite the fact that many of you think Rove and/or Cheney is running the government through their Bush puppet.

My understanding from the news is that he was waiting for Governor Blanco to call and ask for help. The Federal government can't step in and send help just because it's needed. The governor of the state has to ask for help. She waited for two days before asking. Then, it took time to get the gears in motion. That is inexcusable. FEMA is a disgrace and this needs an investigation as well as the actions of Blanco and Nagin.

Those of you pointing fingers and assigning blame need to sit back and see what can be done and do it, instead of whining about what wasn't done when it should have been. There is time enough for that nonsense after the clean up is done, or at least started. Or at least when the last of the bodies have been buried. Quit whining, quit pointing fingers, and donate blood, money, time, or relief supplies. Or how about some effort in the form of physical labor? One thing they don't need is bitching and moaning. And being the South there is plenty of hot air already.

For those of you who are intent on blaming Bush for everything, it's time to, as a tee shirt I recently saw said,

"Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Never Forget - September 11, 2001

Please follow this link. Those of us who didn't lose a loved one that day may need a reminder.Those who did will carry that horrible day with them always.