Rocket Man

An amazing and moving story

Spc. Channing Moss should be dead by all accounts. And those who saved his life did so knowing they might have died with him.
March 16, 2006. Southeastern Afghanistan. A fierce ambush and bloody firefight. It was over in a flash and Moss was left on the verge of death.
He was impaled through the abdomen with a rocket-propelled grenade, and an aluminum rod with one tail fin protruded from the left side of his torso.
His fellow soldiers worried: Could he blow up and take them with him? For all anyone knew, the answer was yes.
Still, over the course of the next couple of hours, his buddies, a helicopter crew and a medical team would risk their own lives to save his.

Thanks to Ace for finding this.

Laugh Of The Day

Now I’ve often looked around and thought “Bingley, how can you show the world what kind of a committed environmentalist you really are?” I mean, heck, I already recycle by dumping stuff into landfills (since it all was ripped out of Gaia’s flesh the most logical thing to do is shove it back in); I try to feed the wondrous flora by generating as much tasty carbon dioxide for them as I can…what else can a concerned fellow do? Well, now I know:

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have bought a man-made island in the shape of Ethiopia that is part of an ambitious luxury development off the coast of Dubai, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
The Hollywood couple intend to use the reclaimed piece of land to showcase environmental issues and encourage people to live a greener life, the Emirates Today newspaper said.
The couple’s purchase is part of cluster of 300 islands, shaped like a world map, that is gradually surfacing in waters off the booming Gulf emirate.

What says “I care about the environment” better than an artificial island?
And what adjective describes a Middle East country better than “booming”?

Just Say ‘No’

Not, ‘Yo‘.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves about 700,000 students, is embroiled in a nasty debate about whether meetings of a district advisory board should be conducted in English or Spanish.
I don’t have a child in the school district, but let me say this as clearly as I can for the activists wanting to conduct meetings in anything but English: Yo quiero Ingles, por favor.
For the rest of you: I want English, please.
One parent said it was racist to demand people who come to America speak English. I think not.
What’s really odd about this debate out in L.A. for many of us is that it is not the usual clash between Anglo-nativists and newly arrived Hispanic immigrants. Instead this is a battle which pits African-Americans against newly arrived Hispanic immigrants. The African-Americans think they are getting ripped off if a key advisory council to the school district is conducting business — dividing up federal money in many cases — in a language they cannot understand.

I Think The Penalty For Running

far exceeded what would have happened had he stood his ground and ‘fessed up to the police

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. — A man who allegedly was fleeing police was attacked and killed by an alligator in a pond, Local 10 reported.
Miccosukee police, assisted by Sweetwater canine units, responded to a call on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation about vehicles being broken into.
Local 10’s Todd Tongen said police captured one man, but another fled on foot and dove into a retention pond. Signs warned of the danger of live alligators in the pond behind the casino and hotel.
Eyewitnesses said they were shouting to the man to swim back to shore. When the man finally spotted the alligator, eyewitnesses said he screamed but then disappeared under the water.

There’s a lesson in this sad tale, folks.

Well, It’s “Comforting” To Know That In England…

…Their immigration service is as screwed up as ours

The Tories say it appears the Home Office put “spin” before public safety in a row about 5,000 illegal immigrants wrongly cleared to work in security.
They say leaked papers show the home secretary knew of the problem in July.
David Cameron said it appeared it was not announced then because it was “going to look bad for the government”.
…Ministers ordered fresh checks on 40,000 people after it emerged the Security Industry Authority (SIA) was not checking applicants could work in the UK before granting licences.
The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that some of those who were not properly vetted by the SIA had been working for them. Others were employed at airports and ports.

Great, just great.

Makes Sense To Me

Although I’m not quite sure how one proves one’s status

Seventy-three percent (73%) of American voters say that when someone is pulled over for a traffic violation, police officers should routinely check to see if that person is in the country legally. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 18% disagree while 9% are not sure.
If someone pulled over for a traffic violation is found to be in the country illegally, 62% of voters say that person should be deported. Seventeen percent (17%) disagree while 21% are not sure.

Unfortunately we’re going to have to come up with some sort of Government issued ID which shows one’s status.

Second Amendment Case

This could make for some interesting times

The justices are facing a decision about whether to hear an appeal from city officials in Washington, D.C., wanting to keep the capital’s 31-year ban on handguns. A lower court struck down the ban as a violation of the Second Amendment rights of gun ownership.
The prospect that the high court might define gun rights under the Constitution is making people on both sides of the issue nervous.

I would hope that the Court would use this as a chance to clearly say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Oh wait, the Constitution already says that.

232 Reasons and Counting

… to love the Corps.

Read more »

“The Real Forest Gump”

…on Friday’s The real Forrest Gump
NBC Nightly News

Grinch and I were tickled watching. One more thing we hadn’t known about him.
If you remember, we’ve actually met that remarkable American.

Helluva fellow. But they all are, really.
Happy Veterans Day.

Ben Stein

…in today’s New York Times.

It’s Time to Act Like Grown-Ups
NOW for a few thoughts on the credit crisis and the need to prepare for retirement.
…Next, when I saw that Citi had taken a bath in collateralized debt obligations and subprime, and saw that Robert E. Rubin had been on the board in a major position and had failed to stop the train wreck, I was staggered. And now he has been named chairman. He couldn’t protect Citi’s stockholders, and now he’s in charge? And let’s remember, he was Treasury secretary when we had the first part of one of the worst bubbles in stock market history. What on earth are the Citi directors thinking?
… But it certainly hurts to spend day after day, as I did this fall, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center — where the incredibly brave wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan learn about walking and eating without their natural legs and arms — and to realize that the America for which they’re fighting is led in so many arenas, especially the money one, by such weak, disappointing specimens.
It’s high time that the America for which soldiers sacrifice so much is run on a moral standard more like theirs. And this is without even talking about Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery, where fresh graves are dug every week and the fresh tears keep the ground damp. They deserve better.

Semper Fi

Happy Birthday, Marines!
and Thank You.

To My Brothers and Sisters: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

And…alwaysSemper Fi.

MARINE CORPS ORDER No. 47 (Series 1921)
U.S. MARINE CORPS Washington, November 1, 1921

The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name “Marine”. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.
The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world’s history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation’s foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term “Marine” has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as “Soldiers of the Sea” since the founding of the Corps.
Major General

“Why Don’t You Shut Up?”

Juan Carlos to Hugo Chavez.

God save the King!

Well I guess We Know What’s For Dinner

this weekend

URBANA, Ohio — A barn fire at a fish farm near the western Ohio city of Urbana killed more than 150,000 of the farm’s half million fish.
Dave Smith, owner of Freshwater Farms of Ohio, said he moved the fish to the barn and stoked up a stove to stave off the cold. Smith blamed the direction of the wind for sparking Tuesday night’s blaze.

You Know, When I Saw This Headline…

“Clinton Stiffs Iowa Waitress”
I sure didn’t think they were talking about Hillary…
But this is one of those stupid stories, as “In fairness to Clinton, the article also notes that the meal was on the house. ”
I shudder to think we still have a year of this crap left.

Presidential Candidate Selector

From Volokh, an interesting quiz
My results below the fold.

Read more »

Why Yes

I will have another slab of ribs

About two years ago, a group of federal researchers reported that overweight people have a lower death rate than people who are normal weight, underweight or obese. Now, investigating further, they found out which diseases are more likely to lead to death in each weight group.
Linking, for the first time, causes of death to specific weights, they report that overweight people have a lower death rate because they are much less likely to die from a grab bag of diseases that includes Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, infections and lung disease. And that lower risk is not counteracted by increased risks of dying from any other disease, including cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
…Some who studied the relation between weight and health said the nation might want to reconsider what are ideal weights.
“If we use the criteria of mortality, then the term ‘overweight’ is a misnomer,” said Daniel McGee, professor of statistics at Florida State University.
“I believe the data,” said Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. A body mass index of 25 to 30, the so-called overweight range, “may be optimal,” she said.

Bring it on!

Batting .500 Ain’t So Bad

Well, for the first time in ages NJ voters defeated a ballot question, two of them in fact

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey voters on Tuesday rejected borrowing $450 million to pay for stem cell research grants in the state for 10 years.
With 95 percent of the vote counted, 53 percent of voters opposed the spending.
The rejection was a defeat for Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who campaigned heavily for the measure. He argued the money would help find cures for conditions such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell anemia and multiple sclerosis while also luring leading scientists and research firms to the state.
But the measure was opposed by anti-abortion activists, conservatives and the Roman Catholic Church because it would pay for research that destroys human embryos and would increase state debt.

Well, I know folks love to raise the ‘religious right’ bogeyman every time something they don’t like happens, but that certainly was not the reason I opposed it. In fact, I find myself agreeing with Dick Codey on this one

Senate President Richard J. Codey, a leading stem cell supporter, pinned the defeat on chronic state fiscal problems and mounting state debt.
“The taxpayers of New Jersey are not against stem cell research,” said Codey, D-Essex. “It’s clear. The message we’re getting is put your fiscal house in order and then do these things.”

I’m against the state paying for it.
Now here’s the laugh of the morning:

Said Corzine spokeswoman Lilo Stainton, “The public understands the state has serious financial issues that must be addressed first.”

Yes, the public does; the problem is that the Governor doesn’t, and neither does the Legislature.
As an aside, someone at the Associated Press needs some, shall we say, sensitivity training; look at this next paragraph in the story:

Scott Simpkins, a 36-year-old Williamstown resident who broke a vertebra and was left paralyzed after a bicycling accident in Colorado in late August 2000, was crushed. He hopes stem cell research might help him walk again.

Anyhow, so that was voted down, as was the sales tax/property tax shell game scheme; the $200 million Open Space and Let’s Have Nice Words In The Constitution measures both passed.
All in all a better day than might have been expected, but on the radio this morning there was already talk that Corzine might try and put more Stem Cell money in the budget…

Why I Love My Bride, Part MCMVXII

You’ve just got to love a gal who, as I type (and drink, natch), is cooking a meal combining organic veggies from the Commie Store and Velveeta.

Oh, This Poor Man

Just walking along, maybe going to buy a present for the wife, and WHAM

A woman died and a man was knocked unconscious, apparently after the woman leaped from the roof of a department store in Tokyo and landed on the man, police said Tuesday.
Police said a passerby found the man and woman collapsed and bleeding on the road in front of the Ikebukuro Parco department store in Tokyo’s Toshima-ku at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, and alerted police.

You just knew the japanese had to have a strange angle on this, though:

Ikebukuro Police Station officials said the woman’s shoes were found on the roof of the Parco building, leading them to suspect that she had jumped to her death and landed on the man. It is common in Japan for people to remove their shoes before committing suicide.

Yeah, really be a bummer to get some dirt on that sidewalk that you just smashed yourself onto…

Oh Blech!

He looks like some anime drawing.
(link not safe for those of delicate sensibilities)

Oh Great.

Good to know our skies are protected

Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Air Force temporarily grounded its fleet of Boeing Co. F-15 fighter-bombers, including those flying missions in Afghanistan, the service said, citing “airworthiness concerns.”
The grounding of more than 700 aircraft, which includes F- 15E fighter-bombers that carry the largest U.S. precision guided weapons, took place after the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C fighter on Nov. 2.

30 year old planes are starting to fall apart? No kidding.

There Was an Interesting Discussion About Waterboarding

…on the News Hour last week. And now I see ‘waterboarding is torture’ addressed in today’s WaPo

Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime

…thanks to this post on Volokh. At the end of the post is another which notes an ABC News story:

Bush Administration Blocked Waterboarding Critic
Former DOJ Official Tested the Method Himself, in Effort to Form Torture Policy

Add his name to this reporter’s, this guy’s, THIS guy, any given SERE School student and well, you’ll understand why I found Rich Lowry’s comments to be so true Friday night.

…I think waterboarding — look, reasonable people can conclude it’s torture, but I sort of apply a commonsense standard here. Journalists are volunteering to be waterboarded to see what it’s like. You would not do that with any infamous, obvious torture techniques. Journalists wouldn’t volunteer, “Please, pull out my fingernail. I’m really curious how that feels.

No, they wouldn’t. Neither would a suit at the DoJ. I’m not a lawyer, humanitarian or volunteering myself for it anytime soon, BUT
He makes a valid point.

The Macca Demand

There is one catch: Mills wants McCartney to tell the world that she’s no gold digger.

…the why

…According to The Daily Mail, a close friend of the disabled former model said: “Heather thinks that if only Paul would tell everyone she is a nice person, that she’s not a fantasist or a gold digger, then all his fans are going to stop hating her.”

…and the best advice he could ever get, all in the same column.

Sir Paul, if there is any chance you’re reading this, I implore you: Say what Mills wants you to say, then open up your checkbook and make this go away.

You can’t fight crazy.

“Attend the Tale of Sweeney Todd”

His skin was pale and his eye was odd.
He shaved the faces of gentlemen,
Who never thereafter were heard from again,
Did Sweeney, Sweeney Todd!
The Demon Barber of Fleet.

I can’t believe they frickin’ left the ballad out of the movie.

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