Sunday, November 21, 2004

Reactions To Violence

Reaction from around the NBA to Friday night's brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons:

"Shocking, repulsive and inexcusable — a humiliation for everyone associated with the NBA."

— NBA commissioner David Stern

"That's not what we stand for. That's not what the league is about. That's not what the fans want to see. It's just one of those situations that never should have happened. It escalated, it got out of control."

— Orlando Magic coach Johnny Davis

"I'm pro-NBA and image in total is important, that's fans and players — the whole thing. It's all about the product, so anything that's negative toward the NBA, I've certainly got a problem with."

— Charlotte Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff

Reaction from around the Democratic Party to the violence and vandalism against Republicans and the Bush/Cheney heaquarters:

" "
- John Kerry

" "
- John Edwards

" "
- Terry McAuliffe

" "
- Tom Daschle

" "
- Nancy Pelosi

" "
- Harry Reid

" "
- Jesse Jackson

" "
- Bill Clinton

" "
- Hillary Clinton

" "
- virtually all other Democrats (Zell Miller excluded)


Reaction to the silence of the Democrats on the violence and vandalism against Republicans and the Bush/Cheney heaquarters:

"Shocking, repulsive and inexcusable — a disgrace for everyone associated with the Democratic Party."

— The Monk

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Spurrier To South Carolina

Paul Finebaum is reporting that Steve Spurrier will be going to University of South Carolina.

According to Finebaum, the Ol' Ball Coach signed a contract worth $1.9 million a year.

That's a bunch of money, but less than what he got at University of Florida.



Gator fans, your world has just been rocked.


For The Record: Thanks to Finebaum, The Monk beat the following MSM to the punch: ESPN, CNNSI, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Iraq, Iran & North Korea

I believe both Iran and North Korea pose greater threats to US national security than did Iraq.

Iran's fingerprints are on various terrorist acts against the USA. Many in the intel community believe Iran aided al-Qaeda in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, the 1998 US Embassy bombings and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

Further, there is reason to believe Iran, even now, gives safe passage to and harbors al-Qaeda operatives.

Iran has long worked toward acquiring a nuclear capability. Some analysts suspect that Iran already has nukes, purchased in 1993 from rogue elements in the former Soviet Union.

North Korea probably has at least one nuclear warhead, maybe several. They have the missiles to deliver the warhead(s).

The Taepo Dong 2's estimated range is 10,000 km (capable of striking Hawaii, Alaska, and the West Coast). They are working on a third stage that could boost the range to 15,000 km (capable of striking all of North America).

So why did we take down Iraq first?

I don't know, but here are some considerations (aside from WMD) that are not often discussed:

1. Iraq never fully complied with UNSC Resolution 686, which very deliberately stated that the cease fire was not a definitive end to hostilities -- that could only be achieved by Iraq's compliance with the terms of 686. Further, Iraq failed to comply with 16 subsequent UNSC resolutions.

2. Taking down Iraq was doable. We owned 2/3 of their airspace which gave us, not just Air superiority, but Air supremacy. We've had equipment prepositioned in Kuwait since the end of the first Gulf war. We had additional equipment (floating stock) at Diego Garcia. We had access to deep water ports and airfields from which to rapidly build up combat power. Our military trained extensively for just such a scenario. We had studied Iraq for the previous 12 years (we had fat target books).

3. It was, strategically and operationally, a smart thing to do. From Iraq, the military is postured to strike Syria, if necessary. Iran is sandwiched between US forces in Iraq and US forces in Afghanistan. This military posture, by the way, has not been lost on Persians or Arabs.

Iraq is further proof that the United States means what it says (just in case there were doubters after Afghanistan); a warning that we will no longer play patty cakes at the UN; that we have the means and the will to put you down hard.

Either play ball or get the bat stuck up your ass (Incidently, Muammar Qadhafi decided he'd look pretty silly walking around Tripoli with a Louisville Slugger poking out his robe).

North Korea is included in that target audience, but they are tin-eared knuckleheads who think they can go toe to toe with us. One North Korean scenario (according to NK defectors) has the North conducting a massive ground attack on the South in a grab for as much land as possible, then go to the U.N. and sue for peace. That is extremely dangerous thinking on their part.

The danger increases exponentially with North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

No one in the world, including the North Koreans, doubts the USA's capability to wipe them from the face of the earth.

But does Kim Jong Il believe we have the will to do it .. to burn North Korea down with nuclear fire? I haven't seen any indication that he believes it. If he did, he'd be closing up shop on his nuclear weapons production.

There are some reports coming out of North Korea indicating that all might not be well for the Dear leader. More on that later .. in another post. If I've learned one thing about North Korea it is that rumors of regime problems are ususally just that, but some of the sources do appear credible.

Other things that cause intel officers to grow old before their time:

- North Korea has the fifth largest armed force in the world. The ground force has almost one million active duty soldiers.

- About 70 percent of the North Korean Army is deployed south of Pyongyang, where they are capable of attacking with little tactical warning.

- A large number of North Korean long-range artillery systems can instantly strike Seoul from their current locations.

A conventional war on the Korean peninsula would make the Iraq war look like a skirmish.

If there's an upside, it's the six-party talks (USA, South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Russia and China). While I have little confidence that major progress will occur anytime soon, this framework is the correct one.

The most asinine foreign policy decision in the latter part of the 20th Century was the Clinton Administration's decision to hold bi-lateral talks with North Korea. It demonstrated a naiveté that was utterly stunning and a recklessness on the part of the United States that was unprecedented in the history of the Armistice.

See Korea: The Unfinished War for more info about the situation on the Korean peninsula.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Apples in Wine & Cinnamon Sauce

From Justin Wilson's Homegrown Louisiana Cookin'

This is a good topping for ice cream, over fresh-baked biscuits, or over not-too-sweet cakes. Serve warm or cold.

1/4 lb (1 stick) margarine or butter (butter is better)
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups sliced apples
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, melt butter, then add the wine and stir in the apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the apples and stir. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Continue cooking for 2 hours, stirring occasionally until the apples break up.

Yield: about 3 cups

Whoooooo boyeeeeee! I gaw-RAHN-tee!

Enjoy!



"Leo calls this his Justin Wilson decor. We're wearing both a belt and suspenders -- not taking any chances." -- Justin Wilson (1914-2001).

Monday, November 15, 2004

Fallujah: Combat Footage

Watch 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) soldiers take it to the terrorist thugs in Fallujah.

This is the real deal, unedited.

Ralph Peters writes about the difficulties of urban combat.

Urban warfare is formidably difficult and dangerous. The utility of our wonder-technologies plummets when we have to fight inside wrecked industrial plants or in the labyrinths of ancient cities. Past a point, the intelligence systems can no longer see. The troops at the tip of the spear engage enemies at short range in abruptly chaotic circumstances. Who lives or dies is decided with rifles, grenades and automatic weapons.

Viewed from a distance, our victory in Fallujah was impressive from the opening round. But the sense of ease we get from 24/7 summaries isn't shared by the Infantrymen fighting their way through a booby-trapped city defended by enemies who seek death as a blessing.

In urban combat, the physical difficulties and psychological stresses soar. There are few clear fields of observation and fire. Everything seems a deadly muddle. The enemy might appear from any angle, in front of you, behind you or on a flank, firing from a window or a rooftop, waiting in a ruin to detonate a booby-trap or popping up from a tunnel or a cellar with a rocket-propelled grenade.

For the Infantry squad — sometimes reduced to a half-dozen members — there's no time-out. Even during pauses to bring up ammunition or water, the danger meter always pegs out. The adrenalin rush of combat alternates with weariness of body and soul. Nerves move outside the skin. All senses intensify.

Read more

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Radio Narada

Narada now has streaming internet radio.

This is a good thing. I've been a fan of Narada artists for years, but don't tell the guys at the barbershop .. they might not take kindly to it:

"Yew tuh'nin inta ah bluestate'uh on us, boy?"

No sir, but I do like her:




She reminds me of her --



another gifted pianist


But that's a long story from a long time ago . . .


Learn more about Narada.

Blue Bred Rednecks?

The Leftists continue to rage at the Red States: greedy, warmongering, gay-hating, ignorant, stupid, bigoted, Christian, rednecks.

Led by Lawrence O'Donnell and Geraldine Ferraro, they continue to talk of secession.

The Monk presents some inconvenient facts that the Left should ponder:


Blue Staters that voted for President Bush


West Coast/Pacific Northwest

California......4,940,674
Oregon............823,210
Washington....1,268,800
Total...........7,032,684

Upper Midwest

Illinois..........2,336,253
Michigan.......2,310,803
Minnesota.....1,345,175
Wisconsin.....1,477,122
Total..........7,469,353

New England/Northeast

Connecticut...........686,923
Delaware..............171,531
Maine..................330,416
Maryland...............951,892
Massachusetts......1,067,163
New Hampshire.......330,848
New Jersey..........1,587,494
New York............2,796,157
Pennsylvania........2,756,904
Rhode Island...........161,654
Vermont................120,710
Total...............10,961,692

Hawaii.................194,109


Grand Total.......25,657,838

That's a bunch of greedy, warmongering, gay-hating, ignorant, stupid, bigoted, Christian, redneck, Blue Staters -- by the Left's definition. A whole bunch.

And that's after massive migration of Blue Staters to Red States in the last 10 years.

Do the Lefties propose a purge?

It would fit their loony logic.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Foster in Fallujah

Cindi Barton sends this update:

PFC Foster Barton, her son, is back in Iraq and has been in the midst of the fighting in Fallujah.

"He has had several close calls. The humvee ahead of his hit an IED [Improvised Explosive Device], then they were ambushed. Then fired upon by snipers. Lost some soldiers and had several injuries."

You may recall that PFC Barton was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he suffered last August when his Humvee was hit by an IED. Foster almost lost his leg from the attack.

While back home recuperating from multiple surgeries, PFC Barton was viciously attacked in the parking lot of the Germain Amphitheater after a Toby Keith concert. The cowardly attacker, was later arrested and charged with felonious assault.

And now Foster has recovered from THAT attack and is back with his buddies in the 1st Cavalry Division as they fight the terrorist thugs in Fallujah and throughout the Sunni Triangle.

Where do we find men like this? PFC Foster Barton hails from Grove City, Ohio and he is living the legend of America's First Team and then some.

You can write to him here:

PFC Foster Barton
A/4-5 ADA 1 CD
APO AE 09344

PFC Foster Barton, his fellow Cav troopers, and the Marines are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. As they do, they are bringing hope to a place where hope once seemed forlorn. And they are securing the future for us, our children, our grandchildren .. and our grandchildren's children . . .

May we always remember and honor their sacrifices.

And may we keep them and their families in our prayers.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Remembering Rick Rescorla

It was a hectic day in the northern Arabia desert in January 1991.

We were busy when we received word that a journalist was on his way to the command post. This was not the kind of distraction that any of us wanted.

Brigadier General Tommy R. Franks set us straight. This wasn't just any journalist. This was Joe Galloway who had spent 3 days and nights at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley with 1-7 Cavalry, a squadron of 1st Cavalry Division.

Most of us were somewhat familiar with the story of 1-7 Cav in the Ia Drang. Some of us even knew the story of Joe Galloway. Many did not.

Joe Galloway not only covered the fight in LZ X-Ray, he fought along side the Cav troopers. And now here he was, 25 years later, to write a story on the present day 1-7 Cav.

Some months later back at Fort Hood, I bought the book Galloway co-authored with Lieutenant General (Retired) Hal Moore, We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young. I could not put it down. I had read a lot of war-related books, but none like this. I only thought I knew the story of the Ia Drang campaign.

Years later the book was made into a movie starring Mel Gibson. An excellent movie. The first honest look at the Vietnam War. But the movie only covers the first half of the book -- 1-7 Cav's fight in LZ X-Ray. You'll need to read the book to learn of 2-7 Cav's day of hell in LZ Albany.

If you've seen the movie and have thought that the situation 1-7 Cav was in could not get more dire, the story of 2-7 Cav in LZ Albany will wrench your gut and break your heart.

Of the many Cav troopers Galloway and Moore write about, one captured my attention for the sheer bravery he displayed against all odds. Bravery and valor that stood out among many brave and valorous men.

Rick Rescorla fought in both X-Ray and Albany and it is not by happenstance that his picture graces the cover of the book.


Lieutenant Rick Rescorla

His troops and fellow officers called him "Hardcore".

From We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young:

The most savage one-day battle of the Vietnam War had just begun. The 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry had walked into a hornet's nest.

A deadly ordeal by fire was beginning in the tall elephant grass around Albany and along the column of American troops strung out through the jungle, waiting for orders to move. It was 1:15 p.m., Wednesday, November 17. By the time the battle ended, in the predawn darkness the next morning, 155 American soldiers would be dead and another 124 wounded.

Those who survived would never forget the savagery, the brutality, the butchery of those sixteen hours.

[Rick Rescorla and his men, recovering from 3 days of intense combat in LZ X-Ray, had only been back at the base camp for a few hours when they got the word that they would be going into LZ Albany.]

"At about 1600 hours," Lieutenant Rick Rescorla recalls, "Captain Diduryk walked up. 'Get the Company together. Battalion's catching hell. We may have to go in. You're the only platoon leader left in the Company. Help all the platoons get their shit together.' Men spilled out of the Clubs and double-timed to their equipment. They worked quickly, throwing on their harnesses. No protests, but their eyes were filled with disbelief. Again? Diduryk then issued the shortest frag order in Bravo Company history: 'We'll be landing from the southeast. Open fire at anything on your left. Run to your right.' A hostile landing with one side of the landing zone held by the North Vietnamese. Situation Report from the ground: Grim. Expect to be sandwiched between friendly and enemy fires."

At about 5:45 p.m., Rescorla gathered the platoons. "They pressed in close, listening intently to every word. Eighty or more. Young faces, old hollow eyes. 'You know the battalion is in the shit,' I said. 'We have been selected to jump into that shit and pull them out. If you fight like you did at X-Ray you'll come through it. Stay together. Come out of those choppers ready to get it on.'

"Across the field the first lift ships were sweeping in. 'Head 'em up.' Captain Diduryk growled. I turned and walked ahead. The road stretched out past the permanent hooches of the rear echelon at Holloway. Word spread that we were on a suicide flight. Tumbling out of cozy bunks, Holloway's finest lined the road to watch us depart. Hawaiian shirts, aviator shades, jeans, beer cans in hand. Cooks and bottle washers, the shit-burners, projectionists, club runners. Same Army, different species."

"No one had shaved, but our weapons sparkled.

'What outfit are you?' one spectator asked.

'The Hard Corps of Bravo Company, 2nd of the 7th.

'Where are you headed?'

'To kick ass,' I replied."

"First pass over Albany I stared down into the smoke and dust. Between the trees were the scattered khaki bodies of at least a dozen NVA. They lay face up on the brown gravel of a dry streambed. Firing snapped around us. We circled out to safety. 'NVA bodies. You see them?', I yelled. Fantino shook his head. He had been looking out the other side. 'Lots of American dead down there, Sir. Mucho!' On the second pass I saw the blackened track of the napalm. American bodies and equipment dotted between the anthills and scrub brush. Getting ground fire; the pilot was clearly upset, hunched low. He jabbered into his mike, expressing doubt that we would get down. Darkness was closing in around us. I stood on the skids hovering at least twelve feet over the LZ. Too high."

The sound of two bullets hitting forced Rescorla back. "Looking sideways I saw a trickle of blood down the pilot's sleeve. The chopper dropped a few feet. The pilot yelled at the gunner. The gunner snarled, 'Get out.' I hesitated. "Get the f*** out!" Four of us dropped a bone-jarring ten feet. We were on our own. Up ahead we heard sounds of American voices. We sprinted into the perimeter."

Lieutenant Larry Gwin watched the reinforcements arrive: "I saw Rick Rescorla come swaggering into our lines with a smile on his face, an M-79 on his shoulder, his M-16 in one hand saying: 'Good, good, good! I hope they hit us with everything they got tonight -- we'll wipe them out.' His spirit was catching. The troops were cheering."


Two years ago, I was reading Bill Gertz's book, Breakdown, when I learned of Rick Rescorla's death. I felt as if I had been punched hard in the stomach.

On September 11, 2001, Rick Rescorla was at his desk on the 44th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the first hijacked airliner slammed into the North Tower. He was the vice president for security at Morgan Stanley.

As Bill Gertz relates in his book:

Rescorla sprang into action. Grabbing a bullhorn, he went to work in the same calm fashion he showed under intense combat fire in Vietnam.

The company had 3,700 employees in the World Trade Center -- 2,700 employees in the South Tower on floors forty-four through seventy-four and 1,000 employees in Building Five across the plaza. There was no hesitation. He ordered everyone to evacuate the building immediately.

A short time after the aircraft hit, an official of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the Trade Center towers, called. Everyone in the building should stay put because there was no danger, the Port Authority man said. Rescorla shot back: "Piss off, you son of a bitch. Everything above where that plane hit is going to collapse, and it's going to take the whole building with it. I'm getting my people the f*** out of here." He recounted the exchange in a telephone call to his longtime friend Dan Hill, then ran off and began helping the evacuation.

By the time the second hijacked airliner hit the South Tower at 9:07 a.m., most of the company's employees were out. But Rescorla's work was not finished. Three employees were missing. Rescorla and two assistants went back to look for them. Rescorla was last seen on the tenth floor of the burning tower. He died when the building collapsed a short time later. But he had saved thousands of lives. Out of 3,700 employees, Morgan Stanley lost only six, including Rescorla.


I met Joe Galloway again at Fort Leavenworth in 1996. He was a guest speaker at the Command & General Staff College. His topic was on the media and the military (Joe Galloway is responsible, more than any other person, for the concept of embedded media).

We were chatting backstage and I thanked him for telling the story of the 1st Cavalry Division in the Ia Drang. I asked about meeting some of the soldiers who had fought in LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany. I specifically asked about meeting Rick Rescorla. Mr. Galloway smiled at the mention of Rescorla's name and told me that it would tickle Rescorla pink to talk with a young 1st Cavalry Division veteran.

I kept that as one of my goals. To meet Rick Rescorla.

If I make it to Heaven, he'll be one of the first angels I look up.

===============

RELATED:

The FReeper Foxhole Remembers LZ Albany (11/17/1965) - Apr. 6th, 2005

Thanks for mentioning the blog,Sam. And thanks for all you've done and continue to do for our country. -- Monk

Slouching Towards Secession

I first read of secession talk the day after the election. I laughed. Afterall, I told myself, consider the sources: leftwing blogs, forums, websites and bulletin boards. Way, way leftwing. I've noted some of them previously.

When I doodled the graphic for the Bureau Of Liberal Affairs post, it was all in good fun. It was to, as Rush says, demonstrate absurdity (secession) with absurdity (reservations for Liberals).

It has been fascinating watching the Left come undone. I find myself waiting for this little guy



to pop out of one of them and go scurrying across the stage on national television.

Or perhaps one day soon we will witness Lawrence O'Donnell really lose it:





By the way, remember Ripley?



Hurt me.

Hmmmmm ... there was a point to this post, but I seem to have lost track . . .

Oh. Right.

Read Tony Blankley's editorial, Secession. Excerpts below.

Now where did I put that Alien DVD?

The apotheosis of this political dementia was put forward in my very presence on last week's McLaughlin Group by my friend and colleague Lawrence O'Donnell. Lawrence, in cool blood and in apparent full control of his senses, asserted that this election will give rise to a serious consideration of secession from the Union by the blue states.

I should point out that, though Lawrence has been barking more than usual in this election season's TV commentary, he is a brilliant political analyst and a serious Democratic Party player. He was the late Sen. Moynihan's top Senate staffer. He comes from one of the great Democratic Party families. I believe it was his uncle who was President Kennedy's White House chief of staff. He is also the most gifted writer/producer on the NBC show, "West Wing." He is not one of those no-name nitwits who the cable shows pull from obscurity to recite Democratic Party talking points.

I elaborate on his enviable pedigree and qualities of mind and experience, because if he says such a thing to a television audience of 6 million viewers, it must surely reflect some measurable body of senior Democratic Party sentiment. And although it is inconceivable that any senior elected Democratic Party officials would ever repeat or act on such a deranged notion, it is a measure of how deep is the Democratic Party elite's contempt for and estrangement from the American public.

Read more

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bureau of Liberal Affairs

Power Line reports that talks of secession are spreading among Democrats:

Threats of secession have brought out the best in our readers. Nathan Bissonette writes:

The secessionists are looking at the state-by-state Red/Blue map. A better indicator is the county-by-county Red/Blue map [on which almost all of the counties are red, even in the blue states]. Liberals don't need to secede. We need to turn Blue counties into Liberal Reservations, just like Indian Reservations. They can have their own law requiring taxpayer funded partial birth abortions, and we can have ours prohibiting it. Women who want one can visit the reservation, just as they did to get divorced in Reno, and just as they do to play the slots at Mystic Lake. I nominate Al Gore for Commissioner of the Bureau of Liberal Affairs to run the reservations, hopefully as efficiently and courteously as BIA works now.


So I got to thinking about it and I got to doodling:



Click on photo to enlarge

And I got to liking Nathan's idea even more.



Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Things We Take For Granted

Waking up in the middle of the night in a warm house in the winter to get a glass of cold water from the refrigerator.

Stepping into a hot shower and staying as long as we want or until the hot water runs out -- whichever comes first.

Jumping in the car/truck/jeep just to scoot down the road, to get away, maybe enjoy the turning of the Autumn leaves.

Punching in a number to call a friend.

Staying cool when it's hot, warm when it's cold, dry when it's wet.

Fast food, fine dining.

Pizza. Delivery or frozen.

He hardly has a free minute of time and when he does there's not a lot to do with it. But sleep. Sleep beautiful sleep. Napoleon supposedly said that he would not give up the luxury of a bed for the highest throne. Ditto.

He is abroad, thousands of miles from home, from loved ones, from comfort. He wonders if he might never see home again, might never hold her again, but he doesn't dwell on it. He has to stay focused.

Which is not a difficult thing for him to do. Not in this hostile place where he does his work.

As he laces up his boots in the dark, he wonders if Auburn's for real this year. Seems like it. Undefeated so far. It's 0400 hours. Stand to. Long day ahead. Long, long day. And probably a long night. He's operated on less than 4 hours of sleep per night for the last 90 days. Probably no sleep tonight.

He can hear his platoon sergeant outside the tent talking over the diesel engines. The ammo truck is outside and a detail is offloading crates.

He snaps the chinstrap of his Kevlar helmet, velcros his Kevlar vest, buckles his load-bearing equipment, picks up his M-16 and works the action. He cleaned it before he went to sleep. The condom is securely over the muzzle. It keeps the sand and dust out. The sand gets into everything. Hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, uniform. Clean uniforms last about 15 minutes before they get that stiff crunchy feel.

He walks outside the tent. His platoon sergeant is checking ammo crates as the detail breaks them open. Soon everyone will be issued a full load of ammo. He checks his ammo pouches to make sure he has all his magazines.

The artillery explosions have been going non-stop. He wonders how he ever learned to sleep through it. He remembers when he once thought it impossible to do so. Artillery is a beautiful thing, though. Burn 'em down, he thinks. Burn as many of 'em down as you can.

In the distance he sees a steady stream of fire pouring down (it seems from the clouds), as AC-130s work over their targets. This is followed by secondary explosions on the ground that light up the sky. Then there's a single brilliant flash and a tremendous explosion. It's either a B-52 arclight or a JDAM hitting home. He can hear the distinct sound of Apache helicopters, but can't see them. It's Dante's inferno up there! Is this what his Dad meant when he said beneath the midnight sun they had walked the edge of hell?

Fallujah.

Damn.

The Colonel talked to the battalion yesterday and said the battalion was gonna start at one end of the city and fight through until it gets to the other end. He feels a little less confident than the Colonel sounded, but he's ready. The platoon is squared away and well-led.

His platoon sergeant is grinning at something one of the squad leaders just said. Everyone is going about final preparations. Finishing up their MRE breakfast.

The artillery and rocket strikes are intensifying. The AC-130s departed at first light. They're easy targets during the day. Air strikes are still going in. F-16s and A-10s and the Apaches, of course.

The platoon sergeant raises his right hand over his head and makes a circling motion. Time to load up.

He climbs into the Bradley with his crew. Everyone is quiet. No chatter today.

She's probably getting off work about now.

The Bradley bucks forward, accelerates.

North to Fallujah.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Alabama-style Shrimp Bake

Here's one for the holidays .. or any day, really.


Mmmmm-mmmmmmm

Doesn't take long to prepare and will knock your socks off.

Note: The serving size is for 6, but get ready for a fight if you have more than 3 dinner guests. No matter what other dish you're serving. It's that good.

The recipe comes from The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Cookbook:

Alabama-style Shrimp Bake

1 cup butter or margarine, melted [The Monk uses real butter]
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 pounds unpeeled large or jumbo fresh shrimp
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

Combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl; set aside

Rinse shrimp with cold water; drain well.

Layer shrimp, lemon slices, and onion slices in an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish.

Pour butter mixture over shrimp.

Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Garnish, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings. (SEE Note above)

Enjoy!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Pray For Our Military Families

I noticed, on Drudge, a story about Marines praying before battle and I decided to do something I don't ordinarily do.

I want to share with you an email I recently received from an old friend.

Please tell everyone thanks for voting. Buy them a beer
if they voted for President Bush. What a load lifted from
our shoulders!

We are usually too busy to think about home, but the
election weighed heavily on us. The results have
confirmed for us that the American people support us
and what we're doing.

We're gearing up for a big fight. Ours will be with the
terrorist thugs in Fallujah. Beyond that I can say
little else.

I included the Psalms verses you sent when I
talked to the men.

We are ready. We are about a great work.

Pray for our families. Ask our Holy Father to give them
strength in these days to come.

v/r,

[name withheld]



Battle is hard. Watching and waiting from the sidelines is hard, too .. especially when you feel completely helpless to affect the outcome.

Our military families live this every day. Only a soldier would ask for prayers for his family and not think to ask us to pray for him.

I am reminded of what Jesus said of the centurion: I have not found so great faith.

The Psalms my friend referred to is Psalms 18:32-42

It is God that girdeth me with strength,
and maketh my way perfect.

He maketh my feet like hinds' feet,
and setteth me upon my high places.

He teacheth my hands to war,
so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation:
and thy right hand hath holden me up,
and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Thou hast enlarged my steps under me,
that my feet did not slip.

I have pursued mine enemies,
and overtaken them:
neither did I turn again
till they were consumed.

I have wounded them that they were not able to rise:
they are fallen under my feet.

For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle:
thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies;
that I might destroy them that hate me.

They cried,
but there was none to save them:
even unto the LORD,
but he answered them not.

Then did I beat them small
as the dust before the wind:
I did cast them out
as the dirt in the streets.

A National Party No More

No amount of Democratic Party regrouping and rebuilding will yield positive results if they continue to ignore what Zell Miller has been trying to tell them.

Why do I care? I want a healthy Democratic Party. It will be good for the nation. The Democratic Party today is sick, sick, sick.

They need to get his book. Read it. Study it. Learn from it. Apply what they learn.


Required Reading for Democrats who want to win

From the dustcover of A National Party No More:

With the growl of a Marine sergeant, Senator Zell Miller leaves no doubt that he believes his own Democratic Party is badly out of step with most of the country and needs to shape up.

As part of a stinging critique of the Democratic Party, Miller outlines key positions on important issues that can again make the party relevant for the entire nation. From tax cuts to welfare, gun control to the environment, the arts to education, immigration to terrorism, Miller identifies values that make sense to a growing majority of Americans.

Many party loyalists will not like what Senator Miller writes; yet his credentials are beyond question, for few Democrats have worked longer or stronger for the party and its candidates.

Zell Miller has served in elective office in each of the last six decades. When he left office as governor after two terms, he had an 85% approval rating, prompting the Washington Post to call him the most popular governor in the country. After getting to Washington, he became President Bush's biggest Democratic supporter, but steadfastly refused to switch parties.

A National Party No More is a firsthand account from the enigmatic senator who has confounded his Democratic colleagues. Driven by conscience and common sense, Senator Miller names the self-destructive direction of his party and stubbornly pulls the Democratic family toward reform.


A Winner, not a whiner

Zell Miller began his career in public service in 1959 with a term as mayor of Young Harris, Georgia. In 1960, he was elected to the Georgia Senate at the age of 28. In 1974, he won the first of four consecutive terms as Georgia's lieutenant governor. Then in 1990, Miller ran for governor and won the first of two terms he would serve as the state's top leader.

After leaving the governor's office in 1999, Miller taught at Emory University and at his alma mater, the University of Georgia and Young Harris College. Five books have been written by Miller, including Corps Values: Everything You Need To Know I Learned in the Marines. He also served on several corporate boards before joining the Senate, where he now serves.

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"No senator has had the impact on Congress and our country, and been a more popular voice among the American people, than Zell Miller. The reason is simple: Miller is cut from the same mold as Harry Truman, John Kennedy, and Henry Jackson. Miller puts America's security before his party, he proudly supports his president during times of war, and he puts the well-being of hard working citizens above the partisan demands of leftwing special interest groups.

A National Party No More is a perfect exposition of all the qualities that endear Zell Miller to the American people."

Sean Hannity

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"Zell Miller strikes many notes in this book: nostalgia for his hard-scrabble past in rural Georgia, boundless love for his family and neighbors, pride in his record as one of the state's most popular governors. But at its core is an abiding anger at the tone and direction of the Democratic Party -- a party, he believes, that has forfeited its hold on many of those it claims to represent. Miller's political adversaries may reject his premise; they may challenge his evidence; but they will ignore his argument at their peril. Given Miller's extraordinary track record, attention must be paid."

Jeff Greenfield
CNN Senior Analyst

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Democrats who don't listen to Zell Miller are not interested in winning.

The Monk
Musings of a Merry Mad Monk

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well, ok .. so I'm not on the dustcover of Miller's book, but if I were . . .

CBS vs President Bush

Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough report in Inside the Ring:

There was the bogus National Guard memos that disparaged President Bush. Then the iffy story on missing explosives in Iraq, not to mention the line of anti-Bush authors who sat down in the "60 Minutes" studio to bash the president, uninterrupted.

CBS' "60 Minutes" ended the election cycle Sunday night with another hit — a somewhat outdated story on the Army needing to re-equip soldiers once the insurgency in Iraq took hold one year ago.

We've obtained a letter from acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee to "60 Minutes." It details how the Army reacted to shortages of body and truck armor.

Read more


Gertz and Scarborough are the envy of the Pentagon press corps. They have no equals when it comes to covering national security issues. Although they have ticked off Secretary Rumsfeld from time to time, these two reporters are good guys who maintain a high level of trust with military folks.

What To Do About Arlen?

National Review makes a strong case for denying Senator Arlen Specter the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Hugh Hewitt makes an equally strong case that the target should not be Senator Specter, but the "split of the seats, the names of the new members, and reform of the rules governing judicial nominees".

I'm just glad Specter is no longer on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He did nothing to reform the intelligence community. Window dressing, yes. After Iran-Contra he authored a bill that established an Inspector General for the CIA. Whoop-de-doo.

But true reform, no.

The US Intelligence Community is not just the CIA. It includes the National Security Agency (NSA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Army Intelligence, Air Force Intelligence, Navy Intelligence, the FBI, and several other offices and agencies.

The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have oversight for these agencies.

I will never forget Senator Specter, then Chairman of the SSCI, sitting idly by while the Clinton adminsitration allowed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to infiltrate -- then set up shop in -- Bosnia.

This may seem an obscure point, but trust me -- it was not obscure to our guys in the field. It was demoralizing to see the Iranians operating freely in Bosnia. It made you want to throw up.

Specter didn't seem to recognize that this was NOT a good thing.

We paid dearly on 9/11, in part, because too many of our senators and congressmen portrayed slashing the budgets of the intelligence community as reform and modernization. Too many of them did not tend to business .. including Senator Specter.

When the 9/11 Commission Report was published, Senator Specter quickly issued this press release:

"The Senate Intelligence Committee report issued today identifies flaws that have plagued the Intelligence Community for years.

"Since my tenure as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the 104th Congress, I have fought for critical reforms that would have addressed many of the shortcomings noted today. Among them, I have been pushing for legislation that would place all of the intelligence agencies under one command. I have been working with a bipartisan group of colleagues on these matters and hope to introduce legislation shortly."


Spoken like a true politician.

Senator Specter, with all due respect, you didn't fight hard enough.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Spurrier Says No To Gators

The Ol' Ball Coach withdrew his name from consideration for the head coach job at his alma mater, University of Florida Gators.

"When I departed three years ago, there were several reasons why I believed it was time to move on," Spurrier said. "Other than simply wanting to coach in the NFL someday, I also believed that 12 years at Florida was probably long enough. Many people in football believe that around 10-12 years in the same job is about the maximum time a coach should stay."


Spurrier during the glory days

This is not what Gator fans wanted to hear, but there it is.

Will Spurrier coach elsewhere? Ultimately, I believe he will. The question, of course, is where?

Some sports analysts believe Spurrier would like another shot coaching in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins job is often cited even though Dave Wannstedt still has that job. It's no secret that Spurrier would prefer to live in Florida, but I think the pundits might be misreading Spurrier.

Spurrier is the kind of guy that likes to surprise people. I could think of no better surprise (shock, actually) than for the Ol' Ball Coach to end up at the University of Tennessee -- Florida's most hated rivalry. That job is presently held down (barely) by Phil Fulmer.

I'm not trying to stir up the pot here .. ok, maybe I am .. but can SEC fans imagine the earthquake that would cause. I know, I know. Steve Spurrier at Tennessee?? The same Steve Spurrier who caused the Volunteers faithful so much pain? The same Spurrier who once quipped "You can't spell Citrus without U-T" on Tennessee's failure to win the big game against Florida, causing the Vols to play in the second-tiered Citrus Bowl almost every year.

But don't count Tennessee out. Afterall, Spurrier was born in Tennessee. I bet he can sing Rocky Top with the best of them .. if the price is right.

Auburn University was often mentioned as a possibility during the off-season. It is definitely not in the cards now. Tommy Tubberville, whose job was on the line last year, is leading Auburn to an undefeated regular season and probably the national championship.

Not that Spurrier would ever be welcome on the plains. He once had this to say about Auburn:

"A fire at the Auburn football dorm destroyed 20 books."

"But the real tragedy was that 15 of them had not been colored in yet."


Damn, I miss that guy.

Deaniacs, Demagogues & Dementia

Democrats are starting to shift through the rubble of their party. They're beginning the arduous task of trying to reconstruct what went wrong .. and assessing what it will take to rebuild.

If they honestly go about their analyses, they cannot fail to miss one major, major problem:

Far too many of their leaders have embraced the hate-filled, wacked-out, leftist garbage represented on the sites below. They have given these sad people a national voice.

(CAUTION: Do not visit on a full stomach)

Daily Kos

Democracy For America Forums (sponsored by Howard Dean)

Democratic Underground

Moveon.org

I will spare you some of the more outrageous rantings. Here's a taste:

1. People who voted for President Bush are:

a. too stupid to know better
b. racists
c. homophobes
d. haters
e. gun nuts
f. religious zealots

2. There is no hope for The South because it is controlled by hate-filled, ignorant, uneducated hicks.
3. There is no hope for The Midwest because it is controlled by hate-filled, ignorant, uneducated hicks.
4. There IS hope for The South if we can fool them into thinking we have their best interests at heart.
5. There IS hope for The Midwest if we can fool them into thinking we have their best interests at heart.
6. We must praise God while hiding the fact that we are unbelievers.
7. We must speak in patriotic terms while hiding the fact that we hate this country.
9. We must campaign as centrists and govern as leftists.
8. The election was a fraudulent process.
9. The election results are fraudulent.
10. Karl Rove conspired with Diebold to throw the election to the Republicans.
11. The election was stolen.
12. The fraudulent/stolen election must be exposed to the American people.
13. ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN are rightwing.
14. 11/2/2004 was worse than 9/11/2001
15. Violence may be the only way we can come to power.

And so it goes .. on and on and on.

Again, I caution you about going to those sites. Not only have I spared you the nuttier rantings, I've spared you the filthy, hateful language that accompanies their rantings.

Update

In a delicious treat, The Anchoress urges the Democrats to look at the "root causes" of their defeat.

My Dear Democrats - former partymates; Look around at America, without the blinders of a harried campaign. She is strong. She is viable. She is working to liberate the oppressed in the present. She is looking to assure the freedom of all in the future. This "evil, stupid, misguided, murderous, tyranical, nazi-ish" man you so hate got more votes than any conservative candidate has ever gotten, anywhere in the world. There is a reason for it, and it's not - as you would like to believe - because your fellow countrymen are narrow-minded, bigoted, gay-hating, snarling mad dogs.

Think about it some more. Think about the Afghan women, now free, who weren't free under any previous American president. Think. That's something you used to think was a good idea! Your hate has kept you from appreciating it. Appreciate it now. If President Bush had a D instead of an R after his name, you'd be throwing roses his way, for that accomplishment, alone.

Read more.

The Great Divide

As Old Media continue sobbing about how divided we are, the two county maps below show where that divide is. Had Kerry won, I kinda doubt that the MSM would be bemoaning the divide.

Following the maps are the presidential election results for the past 60 years. No county maps available for those years .. or none that I could find.

A map making its rounds throughout the left side of the blogosphere compares the current divide with the slave states and free states of the Civil War era.

The county maps below give the lie to that.



2004 Vote by counties

Click on photos to enlarge


2000 Vote by counties


Presidential Election Results 1944 to 2004



2004
George W: 59,424,706 (51%)
Kerry: 55,905,023 (48%)

2000
George W: 50,461,092 (47.9%)
algore: 50,994,086 (48.4%)
Nader: 2,882,728 (2.7%)

1996
Clinton: 47,401,898 (49.2%)
Dole: 39,198,482 (40.7%)
Perot: 8,085,373 (8.4%)

1992
Clinton: 44,909,326 (43.0%)
Bush: 39,103,882 (37.4%)
Perot: 19,741,657 (18.9%)

1988
Bush: 48,886,097 (53.4%)
Dukakis: 41,809,074 (45.6%)

1984
Reagan: 54,451,521 (58.8%)
Mondale: 37,565,334 (40.5%)

1980
Reagan: 43,898,770 (50.8%)
Carter: 35,480,948 (41.0%)
Anderson: 5,719,222 (6.6%)

1976
Carter: 40,830,763 (50.1%)
Ford: 39,147,793 (48.0%)

1972
Nixon: 46,740,323 (60.3%)
McGovern: 28,901,598 (37.3%)

1968
Nixon: 31,710,470 (43.4%)
Humphrey: 30,898,055 (42.3%)
Wallace: 9,446,167 (12.9%)

1964
Johnson: 42,825,463 (60.6%)
Goldwater: 27,175,770 (38.5%)

1960
Kennedy: 34,227,096 (49.7%)
Nixon: 34,107,646 (49.5%)

1956
Eisenhower: 35,581,003 (57.6%)
Stevenson: 25,738,765 (41.6%)

1952
Eisenhower: 33,778,963 (54.9%)
Stevenson: 27,314,992 (44.4%)

1948
Truman: 24,179,345 (49.8%)
Dewey: 21,991,291 (45.1%)

1944
Roosevelt: 25,602,505 (53.3%)
Dewey: 22,006,278 (45.8%)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ouch


Divided Country?

George Neumayr is on target:

Elite journalists promised not to invest any faith in exit polling in this election. But they did. In the tank for Kerry all along, they took great heart from ill-informed pro-Kerry buzz early in the day based on exit polling. But results in Florida exposed the early reports as flaky conjecture, and as they did, the press corps looked quite hurt that exit pollsters had dashed their hopes again.

Republicans will hold the House, Senate, and White House. Yet reporters said ad nauseam that the country is "divided." Apparently not. What does all this talk of division really add up to? Aren't reporters really just saying that they feel divided from the country they cover? If the country is as divided as they eagerly assert, why don't the Democrats control half the branches of government? Why did they lose, not gain, votes in Florida? Why did Bush improve on his popular vote numbers so significantly? The country-is-divided chatter is not a journalistic report, but a wish -- the media's attempt to create the appearance of division so as to create division which might obstruct the progress of conservatism in the country.

Read more

Special Thanks

Thanks to the many Democrats who had the courage to stand up to your party while standing up for America.

I suspect that some of you will lead the charge in taking control of your party and moving it forward to better times.

It will be a challenge fit only for people of your character.

I wish you the best in the days ahead.

Flight Info For The Left

Flight Info For The Left is a public service provided by MerryMadMonk.

Air Canada

Air France

Lufthansa

Iran Air

Koryo Tours (North Korea)

Syrian Airlines

China Airlines

Monday, November 01, 2004

Waving Goodbye At The Airport

Novelist Tom Wolfe:

"I think support for Bush is about not wanting to be led by East-coast pretensions. It is about not wanting to be led by people who are forever trying to force their twisted sense of morality onto us, which is a non-morality. That is constantly done, and there is real resentment. Support for Bush is about resentment in the so-called 'red states' - a confusing term to Guardian readers, I agree - which here means, literally, middle America. I come from one of those states myself, Virginia. It's the same resentment, indeed, as that against your own newspaper when it sent emails targeting individuals in an American county." Wolfe laughs as he chastises. "No one cares to have outsiders or foreigners butting into their affairs. I'm sure that even many of those Iraqis who were cheering the fall of Saddam now object to our being there. As I said, I do not think the excursion is going well."

"Here is an example of the situation in America," he says: "Tina Brown wrote in her column that she was at a dinner where a group of media heavyweights were discussing, during dessert, what they could do to stop Bush. Then a waiter announces that he is from the suburbs, and will vote for Bush. And ... Tina's reaction is: 'How can we persuade these people not to vote for Bush?' I draw the opposite lesson: that Tina and her circle in the media do not have a clue about the rest of the United States. You are considered twisted and retarded if you support Bush in this election. I have never come across a candidate who is so reviled. Reagan was sniggered at, but this is personal, real hatred.

"Indeed, I was at a similar dinner, listening to the same conversation, and said: 'If all else fails, you can vote for Bush.' People looked at me as if I had just said: 'Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am a child molester.' I would vote for Bush if for no other reason than to be at the airport waving off all the people who say they are going to London if he wins again. Someone has got to stay behind."

Tom Wolfe
Member of the Manhatten Elite
Author of The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff
Interview with The Guardian, November 1, 2004