Monday, July 30, 2007


Although I've been following the story of "Baghdad Diarist" Scott Thomas (whose real name is Scott Thomas Beauchamp), I haven't felt the need to comment on it.  Others--people who put a lot my time and energy into their blogs than I do--have done a more than sufficient job covering the story.  But there is one thing I feel compelled to point out.

When I first heard about Beauchamp's claims of troop misconduct, I was skeptical.  I figured he was probably a too-smart-for-his-own-good malcontent who was getting a little payback on the Army and the unit he thinks has treated him poorly.  If you've ever served in the military, you've probably met at least one of thses guys.  My guess is that he took a couple of real incidents he witnessed or (more likely) heard tell of, and exaggerated them for effect.  Essentially, adding credibility to urban legends by giving them TNR's stamp of journalistic integrity.

At any rate, the part of Beauchamp's account that really pegged my bullshit meter was the story of the Bradley driver that intentionally ran over the dog that was lying next to the street.  Aside from the usual arguments that have been put forth (all quite sensible, by the way) centering on the speed and maneuverability of a Bradley versus the reflexes of your average canine, there is one reality in play here that I haven't seen mentioned:  the Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) being employed by the bad guys in Iraq include hiding IEDs in the carcasses of dead animals.  With this in mind, who in their right mind would swerve toward a dog lying by the side of the road?  And who--among this guy's leadership or peers--would let an act this ridiculously unsafe go by without comment (or an ass-kicking, for that matter)?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Today's must-read is Gitmo Myths Dispelled by Steven Groves and Brian W. Walsh at Frontpage Magazine.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Check this out.

h/t: Mark Levin


Here's the latest form the White Plains Journal News:

Defense demands new investigation into Suffern captain slaying

Attorneys defending a soldier accused of killing a Suffern captain and another officer in Iraq claimed defective pretrial advice to their client and demanded a new pretrial investigation into their 2005 deaths.

Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez is accused of the premeditated murder in the deaths of Capt. Phillip Esposito, 30, of Suffern, who was his company commander, and Lt. Louis E. Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa., second in command of the 42 Infantry Division's headquarters unit.

A new investigation?  What's wrong with the one that was already done?  I mean besides the fact that it shows that their client is a murderer.

Court-martial postponed in Suffern Army captain's slaying

The court-martial of a man accused of killing a Suffern Army captain and another officer in Iraq will delayed until Oct. 22, the military said today.

The empaneling of a jury for the capital case against Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez was to begin mid-August, to be followed by a court-martial.

But defense lawyers for the accused told military judge Col. Patrick Parrish yesterday that their client received poor pretrial legal advice, and argued for a completely new investigation and new lawyers for the defense and the prosecution.

Parrish is expected to rule on the defense's request on Friday, said Thomas McCollum, a spokesman for Fort Bragg, N.C., where preliminary hearings in the case are being held. The court-martial is expected to be held there as well.

Parrish has scheduled an additional hearing for Sept. 5. McCollum did not say what issues that hearing would address.

(emphasis mine)

Poor legal advice?  New defense lawyers?  Don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in the rights of the accused, but this is getting ridiculous.  It's time to kick the tires and light the fires on this case.  Enough already.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Here are some headlines of note from the Drudge Report.

A look inside the war rooms on the war
Leaders are instructing Democratic lawmakers to blitz their states with anti-Bush messages as the Senate gears up for an all-night debate on Iraq withdrawal, according to an internal memo provided to The Politico by a Democratic official.

Since when do Democrat lawmakers have to be instructed to deliver anti-Bush messages?

Sweden struggles to integrate Muslim immigrants
Sweden has welcomed immigrants with open arms for decades but now it is grappling with how to integrate them into society, especially in the southern town of Malmoe amid a massive influx of refugees.

Note that it's the Swedes who are doing the struggling, as opposed to the immigrants. Is there a lesson there for us?

FBI: Iraqis Being Smuggled Across the Rio Grande
The FBI is investigating an alleged human smuggling operation based in Chaparral, N.M., that agents say is bringing "Iraqis and other Middle Eastern" individuals across the Rio Grande from Mexico.

They're coming here to do the jobs that Americans won't do, no doubt. Will the shamnesty crowd come to their aid if we try to deport them?

Icongraphy: Homer-erotic mischief riles pagans
A DOUGHNUT-wielding Homer Simpson seems the perfect accompaniment for a sexually aroused club-wielding giant, but the pagans of England disagree. A 60-metre tall Homer, painted as a publicity stunt next to the Cerne giant carved into a hillside in southern England, was described as "very disrespectful and not at all aesthetically pleasing" by Ann Bryn-Evans, who rejoices in the title "joint Wessex district manager for the Pagan Federation".

How insensitive! Paganism shouldn't be treated so lightly. It should be repsected, like any other religious belief system. Except Christianity, of course.

Friday, July 13, 2007


The sissification of America continues: 

N.J. senator proposes toy gun ban

Would make it illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase toy gun

A New Jersey senator wants to make it illegal to sell or give to anyone under age 18 toy guns that look so realistic they can be mistaken for a real firearm.

"The margin between a child's stupid mistake and a tragic ending is far too thin," said Sen. Nicholas Scutari.

Scutari, D-Union, introduced the proposal in late June and plans to push it when the Legislature reconvenes late this year. He said the bill stems from an incident in a Union Township where four students were suspended after bringing a cap gun to school.

"We need to stress to our children that guns are not toys, but deadly weapons which should always be regarded with extreme caution and handled with respect," Scutari said. "Restricting access to imitation firearms will help to drive that point home."

When I was a kid, every boy had at least one toy gun.  Some of them looked pretty realistic.  And somehow we all managed to survive childhood.  Of course society was less idiotic in those days.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Retired Army Officer Ralph Peters rips the cut-and-runners a new asshole in his latest column.  He also dares to ask--and attempts to answer-- the question that no one in the antiwar movement will touch with a ten foot pole:  What will happen if we leave now?  This one's a must-read.


Check out this story.  Via Drudge:

"Fat tax" could save 3,200 lives each year

LONDON (Reuters) - A "fat tax" on salty, sugary and fatty foods could save thousands of lives each year, according to a study published on Thursday.

Researchers at Oxford University say that charging Value Added Tax (VAT) at 17.5 percent on foods deemed to be unhealthy would cut consumer demand and reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes.

The purchase tax is already levied on a small number of products such as potato crisps, ice cream, confectionery and chocolate biscuits, but most food is exempt.

The move could save an estimated 3,200 lives in Britain each year, according to the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

"A well-designed and carefully-targeted fat tax could be a useful tool for reducing the burden of food-related disease," the study concluded.

The team from Oxford's Department of Public Health said higher taxes have already been imposed on cigarettes and alcohol to encourage healthy living.

This is what happens when the government takes over healthcare.  The need to control medical costs gives it an excuse to insert itself into the lives of citizens.  And if there's anything I don't want to give government, it's another excuse to stick its nose into my business.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Here's an interesting quote from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.--a member of the "Don't call us traitors for criticizing the war" left--at the Live Earth circus over the weekend.

"Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies," said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmentalist author, president of Waterkeeper Alliance and Robert F. Kennedy's son, who grew hoarse from shouting. "This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors."

(emphasis mine)


So, is it OK for me to start calling them traitors?  Or should I just continue to call them hypocrites?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


If the recent Live Earth concerts (I missed them myself--I couldn't afford to buy enough "carbon offsets" to watch it with a clear conscience) weren't enough to make you a Global Warming® true believer, maybe the heatwave that's currently roasting much of the nation is. But before you buy a hybrid lawnmower, you might want to check out this article in the NY Times.
Brutal? Yes. But those numbers are still nowhere near the records set in previous years for July 10, and according to weather experts, the heat today could easily be a lot worse. Back in 1936, when the record for Philadelphia was set, people there suffered through a high of 104 degrees. On July 10 in 1993, New Yorkers saw the mercury in their thermometers rise to a scorching 102 degrees.

This is also the day that the United States recorded its highest official temperature ever, which also happens to be the highest recorded temperature in the Western Hemisphere: 134 degrees, recorded at Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, Calif., in 1913. That is only two degrees short of the highest official temperature ever recorded on the surface of the Earth, on Sept. 13, 1922, when a thermometer in El Azizia, Libya, reached 136 degrees.

(emphasis mine)

It runs in cycles, people. Just like everything else in nature.

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