Monday, November 29, 2004


My family and I went to my mom's in Watertown, NY for Thanksgiving.  My brother and his family were there as well.  We ate way too much (who didn't?) and went to see Christmas with the Kranks (amusing movie, nothing in it that isn't family-friendly).
According to my brother, who had spoken with a member of Julia Cook's family that attends the same church he does, as of Thanksgiving day, her condition has been upgraded.  She is conscious and able to get around some.  She is facing some surgery to repair the damage done in the shooting, but she and her baby are doing well.  No word yet as to whether her husband, LCpl Justin Cook will have to head back to Iraq soon.  Hopefully, they'll give him some more time.

Monday, November 22, 2004


My mom is a retired elementary school teacher.  Periodically, she will give me news about the activities of some of her former students, some of whom I knew.  Last night the news was bad.  One of her former students is a US Marine serving in Iraq.  While he was battling terrorists in Fallujah, his wife - five months pregnant with their child - was shot in the head by some a$$hole in York, PA.
According to an article in the York Daily Record:
Cook traveled three sleepless nights from Fallujah, site of the most violent fighting of the Iraq war since the fall of Baghdad, to York Hospital to be by his wife's bedside. The Marine said he could only describe first seeing his wife in the hospital as "crippling."

Five days after Julia Cook had been shot in the parking lot of the Giant supermarket on Loucks Road in West Manchester Township, the 21-year-old woman remained in serious condition Friday afternoon in the intensive care unit.

Her husband said she seemed happy but a little disoriented.

She has undergone several surgeries and has more to endure, Justin Cook said at a news conference Friday evening at the hospital.

To add insult to injury, the shooting had no real motive.  The dimwit who did it just wanted to kill someone and Julia Cook happened to be walking out of the Giant supermarket in York at the wrong time.  More from the Daily Record:

Noel Gomez, 19, of York, was arrested Monday at a Manchester Township motel and charged with attempted homicide and other charges in the shooting. In court documents, police said the shooting was random. They said that Gomez told them he had planned to kill someone and selected Julia Cook from among shoppers at the Giant.

Gomez is being held in York County Prison without bail.

Let's hope that they lock this idiot up and throw away the key.  If he wants to kill someone so badly, there are plenty of opportunities to do so in a maximum security prison.  Of course you have to get up close and personal to do it there.  And your intended victims hit back...hard.  Maybe that's too daunting a task for poor little Noel.

The people of York, in a fashion typical of people all over the USA have rushed in to help out any way they can:

Among those helping the family is Lana Musti, who lives in a half-mile from the site of the shooting. Musti has set up an account at M&T Bank to collect donations to assist the Cooks.

When Musti heard of the shooting on Monday morning, she started making phone calls, using her contacts from the York County Chamber of Commerce and Women in Motion. Local businesses responded with gift certificates, hotel rooms and food.

"This community should be a stronghold in giving back," she said. "We are better than this, and we need to show that and give this family the feeling we are sorry and we are with them."

As Justin Cook spends time with his wife, his thoughts sometimes shift to the Marines still fighting in Iraq. Cook had been in Iraq for 3½ months and in the Marine Corps almost three years. Watching the news is difficult because he knows his "brothers" are still there, he said.

He said he cannot comment on how long he will be in York County or his specific duties in the Marines, but said he is not in the infantry.


A fund has been set up to help Julia Cook's family. Make checks payable to "For the Benefit of Julia Cook" and mail them to M&T Bank, 960 S. George St., York, PA 17403. Or inquire at other M&T locations.

If you happen to be praying, you might want to include one for Lance Cpl. and Mrs. Cook and their baby. 

You can read the whole story on the Record's website.

Friday, November 19, 2004


I've had little time for luxuries like blogging lately.  Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of it this weekend.  In the meantime, I figured I'd test blogging-by-email again.  We just upgraded our OS's on the computers at work from NT to XP.  The upgrade included a newer version of the Groupwise email program (I have no clue why they won't let us use MS Outlook).  I'm anxious to see how it works.  Using the older version, whenever I posted by email, the font of every entry in my entire blog changed to a much smaller size.  It wouldn't go back to normal until I deleted the offending post.  This version of Groupwise uses Tahoma as the default font rather than MS Sans Serif.  I'm anxious to see whether it makes a difference.

Monday, November 08, 2004

I saw this story linked on Drudge.
A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom.

Associate Professor of Public Policy Alberto Abadie examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks.

To a lot of folks, especially those in Harvard and other ivory towers, this is news. I don't find it in the least bit surprising.
Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation's wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences.

"In the past, we heard people refer to the strong link between terrorism and poverty, but in fact when you look at the data, it's not there. This is true not only for events of international terrorism, as previous studies have shown, but perhaps more surprisingly also for the overall level of terrorism, both of domestic and of foreign origin," Abadie said.

Instead, Abadie detected a peculiar relationship between the levels of political freedom a nation affords and the severity of terrorism. Though terrorism declined among nations with high levels of political freedom, it was the intermediate nations that seemed most vulnerable.

You can read the rest of it here.

The poverty-terrorism link is an extension of the poverty-crime link, which is an integral part of liberal dogma. Just as these "intellectuals" ignored the fact that the Great Depression, a time of record poverty in the US, did not turn millions of Americans into criminals, they have also failed to notice that many of history's most notorious terrorists came from well-to-do families.

The radical US group known as the Weathermen, the German Red Army Faction, and even Al Qaida were founded by children of privilige. Terrorists are more likely to be thrill-seeking idealogues than people looking for a way to support their families. The myth of the freedom fighter has been necessary to gain sympathy for terrorist causes. Let's face it, Carlos the Jackal is hardly a sympathetic character to the average person in "flyover" country.

Friday, November 05, 2004

There is one voting block that, while not crucial to winning a Presidential election, says a lot about the candidate that wins its support during wartime - our troops. Retired US Army LTC Gordon Cucullu examines the election from the perspective of service members in his most recent column.
Since we have a lot of talk floating around about "supporting the troops," it’s interesting to ask the reciprocal question: Whom do the troops support? On the morning of Wednesday November 3, 2004 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in the field answered that question resoundingly: George W. Bush. Marines actually engaged in combat operations around Fallujah, Iraq were cheering, laughing and exchanging high-fives over the president’s re-election victory.

From an outsider’s point of view this might seem odd. After all, Senator John F. Kerry ran as a war hero, a decorated veteran, and a man who pledged to "bring the troops back home where they belong." Throughout the campaign – indeed unceasingly since the 2000 campaign – Bush has been excoriated by the mainstream media as a draft-evader who hid in the National Guard, who was even absent without permission from that service (which they belittle). He was the son of an influence-peddling father who pulled strings to evade combat. He was a "chickenhawk" who dared to risk others’ lives (Bush lies; soldiers die) while avoiding risk of his own. With such a dismal, dare we say cowardly record how could it be possible that American service personnel support this guy?

John Kerry by contrast waved his medals, including his Purple Hearts around like a certain "civil rights" leader’s bloody shirt. He saluted (in an embarrassingly lame manner) to his primarily antiwar Democrat constituency as a convention kick-off then ran a Steven Spielberg-assisted editing job of a grainy black and white film that he had shot of himself during the Vietnam War engaging in heroic activities. He appeared at innumerable campaign sites in a leather bomber jacket and made certain that his advance people had sufficient number of American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars supporters in appropriate regalia seated in back of him during an appearance so that they would be highly visible in any camera angle.

Without question Candidate Kerry "talked the talk" about military experience, compassion for soldiers, and concern for their well-being. He spoke about bumping personnel levels and awarding pay raises and improving housing and all of the things that an outsider would automatically assume mattered to the troops and their families. But despite all of this he failed to pass the military smell test.

Check out the rest of LTC Cucullu's column. It's a good read, as his columns always are. Then go to this site to find out what another prominent veteran has to say about that now-famous salute.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

That flushing sound you hear is the "conventional wisdom" circling the bowl.

-Higher turnout=Dem victory: NOT!
-Young people will vote in droves and put Kerry over the top: NOT!
-Exit polls can foretell the outcome early in the day: NOT!

I'm so happy the election is finally over, and that it turned out the way it did. My stress level was well into the red zone. Time for a little decompression. Watch for the left to have a major meltdown. I'll probably head over to Democratic Underground (I always suspected that they were subterranean) or Dailykos to laugh at the tantrums. But not yet. I need a break from politics for a day or two.

If you voted for President Bush on Tuesday, I would like to thank you on behalf of my family and myself. If you prayed for a Bush victory, don't forget to thank The Man upstairs. Nobody likes an ingrate.

In the meantime, click on the link for a little victory dance.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Picture found at Sacred Cow Burgers.
After what seemed like the longest campaign in history, the big day is finally here. I voted on my way to work. No lines, no waiting. My mind was not on my work like it should have been today. I checked the Drudge Report a few hundred times for election news. I just can't believe all the legal (as in lawyer-centric) and illegal (as in vandalism, dirty tricks, etc.) hijinks going on out there. If we thought the country was divided before, I think we're in for a major shock over the next four years.

I guess I'll settle in and watch the results on FOX News while I study for an exam I have at drill on Sunday. Passing it will fill in the last square I need to have in order to get promoted. Then it's just a matter of time in grade.

A number of bloggers are live blogging the election. I've been tracking Bloodspite's ongoing election post today. He's covering the numbers, the incidents, and the things other bloggers are saying. Head on over and check it out.

Monday, November 01, 2004

George W. Bush isn't perfect. He has been weak on immigration and border control issues, even in the wake of 9/11. He proposed the "No Child Left Behind" bill, which shoveled more tax money into the sinkhole of our public education system. He signed a prescription drug bill that represents the largest increase in entitlement spending since Lyndon Johnson's administration. Even with these strikes against him, George W. Bush is still (far and away) the best candidate running for President.

1. He says what he means, and he means what he says. This was a refreshing change after eight years of Mr. "It depends on what the meaning of is is". Mr. Nuance ("I voted before it before I voted against it") doesn't inspire much confidence in his ability to get the job done in the face of adversity.

2. George W. Bush will do what it takes to get the job done, even if there are political risks involved. The invasion of Iraq proved that. War is a politically risky proposition. President Bush didn't depend on polls or focus groups in deciding on a course of action vis a vis Iraq.

3. President Bush won't predicate his actions on the approval of the international "community". He will do what needs to be done whether the UN and France approve or not. Senator Kerry talks tough, but his "global test" comment at one of the debates betrayed his real position. He has been on record as being an internationalist since the 1970's, it appears that he still is.

4. The economy is recovering under President Bush. We were in a recession before 9/11. The attacks struck at the heart of our financial and air travel industries. It is a testament to this country's resilience that our economy has recovered so well. Had the 9/11 attacks happened in one of the countries "old Europe", I would expect a total economic collapse.

5. The Bush tax cuts help working families. My family benefitted from the tax cuts. My wife and I both work for a living, we are not among the idol rich. Other families like mine benefitted as well.

6. President Bush understands that we are at war. Senator Kerry and many on the left seem to want to return to the Clinton-era strategy as treating each terrorist act as an individual crime. Al Qaida gained strength and momentum while the Clinton administration bumbled and fumbled around after the 1993 WTC bombing, the Khobar Towers bombing, the USS Cole attack, and the duel embassy bombings in Africa.

7. President Bush understands that we have to keep the pressure on the terrorists overseas in order to prevent future attacks at home. While there is still a lot of room for improvement on the homeland security front, it is impossible to build an impregnable "Fortress America". We have to go after the terrorists and the people who support terrorists, even if they are hiding behind an ally of one of our "allies". A proactive approach can win this war, a reactive approach will not.

8. President Bush and his top advisors understand that we are at war with an entire movement. Senator Kerry thinks the GWoT all boils down to UBL and Al Qaida. The wahhabist/salafist Islamic movement was around long before UBL, it will surely live on after his death. If we limit our efforts to the people who were directly invloved in the 9/11 attacks, we will surely see more attacks in the future.

9. UBL, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-Il, Bashar Assad, and the Iranian mullahs all harbor disdain for President Bush. When bad folks all agree on hating you, you must be doing something right. If President Bush didn't represent an impediment to the plans of the aforementioned thugs, they wouldn't care whether he was President or not.

10. A Bush victory will make Al Franken, Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, Barbara Streisand, and George Soros very unhappy. That alone should make your vote for George W. Bush worth your while.
I saw this on Drudge's site:
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Calls On DNC To Stop Fraudulent Phone Calls Claiming He Has Endorsed Senator Kerry

TAMPA, FL – Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf today issued the following statement:

"The Democratic National Committee is making fraudulent phone calls claiming that I have endorsed Senator Kerry. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I demand that they stop immediately.

"Senator Kerry opposed the Reagan defense build-up that won the Cold War. Senator Kerry opposed the removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Senator Kerry proposed billions in intelligence cuts after the first attack on the World Trade Center. Senator Kerry voted against funds to equip our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with supplies like body armor and ammunition.

"I am supporting President Bush for reelection, because he is the candidate who has demonstrated the conviction needed to defeat terrorism. In contrast to the President's steadfast determination to defeat our enemies, Senator Kerry has a record of weakness that gives me no confidence in his ability to fight and win the War on Terror. His attempt to make up for these deficiencies by falsifying my endorsement only confirms my impression that he is not the man we need to lead our nation."

Further proof that Senator Kerry is willing to say or do anything to get elected. Take my advice, don't get into a game of limbo with John Kerry. Odds are you can't go lower than he can.

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