Iraq War Soldiers Facing Same Problems As Veterans In Other Wars

The Chicago Tribune has a good story on the problems that returning soldiers are facing when they return from Iraq. Hopefully they will receive more help than veterans have after previous wars.

I have heard talk about providing “counseling” for soldiers, but many times “counseling” from professionals who have no concept of what they went through is nothing more than a money maker for the “caring” professions. What they need is help from other veterans, people that can relate to their experiences. The same goes for their families, the ones that can help the most are those who have been there, not those with fancy diplomas, pastel offices and potted ferns.

Christy Gibson and Jonas Anderson

Who, you say? That’s what I said until this Saturday when I took my wife to Beaverton to “Thai Imports” to find some Thai Music CDs. It’s a little place on Walker Rd in Beaverton that sells imported stuff from Thailand and Laos. They call themselves “Thai Imports”, but according to my wife, they are actually Lao. My wife is Thai, so she kind of looks down on Lao and Khmer people. That’s O.K. because they do the same to Thais.

We left Thailand in 1972 and have not been back except for the occasional visit, so she knows nothing of how Thai music has transformed in the last thirty years. Imagine leaving the U.S. when Frank Sinatra was on the charts and coming back to hear rap. That is kind of where she is. Consequently she was looking for CDs of “oldies”. She (and I) were quite surprised to find out that the leading singer of Thai “oldies” are a couple of quite Western singers.

Christy Gibson and Jonas Anderson are two of the hottest stars in the Thai music industry singing rural traditional songs in Thai and Lao dialects. Both moved to Thailand when they were children and speak perfect Thai. I understand that they also speak Lao and Khmer dialects. The are so big that they have their own weekly TV show broadcast from Bangkok.

Singing in any of these languages is very difficult because they are tonal and the words change meaning depending on their inflection. The sheer complexity of learning and singing these songs often puts them beyond the reach of even native speakers.

It is amazing to me. After the Vietnam War ended and the Americans left, their place was taken by Australians and Europeans. As in most places in the Far East, mixed race children were looked down upon and exploited. But now the big movie stars and singers are mixed race and they now have the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Farangs, Jonas and Christy as one of their most popular singers. Incredible.

Of course both of them are very good looking, which works in to the fantasy aspect that is as big there as it is here. I bet there are thousands of young Thai boys fantasizing about Christy and Thai girls doing the same about Jonas. People aren’t that different. My thing was always for Asian women, I imagine the opposite is true of Asian men. There’s a reason that all those Russian women are doing so well in Bangkok.

Remind me to tell you about the “Beautiful Boxer” sometime.

Who Did He Think He Was?

How Kerry whistleblower suffered for truth

This is the story of a military veteran whistleblower. He spoke out against someone he thought was dangerous for the nation, talked to local newspapers, and appeared on talk shows. In return, he was vilified by reporters, threatened by a political operative, fired by his company, and now he’s broke.

His name is Steve Gardner. He’s also known as “The 10th Brother,” as in Band of Brothers. He’s one of two members of Sen. John Kerry’s 12 Vietnam swift boat crew members who refused to stand with Kerry at the Democratic Convention. The other man remained silent.

Do you think any reporter will be looking into the finances of Kerry’s “Band of Brothers”? I’ll bet they won’t. In their view Gardner got what he deserved for speaking out against someone as rich and politically connected as John F. Kerry.

Who did he think he was?

Links from Instapundit and Powerline.

Sorry, No Conspiracy Here.

Since the election, the left has been wildly spinning conspiracy stories to explain their defeat. It just simply is not possible that George W. Bush could have won honestly. Everyone knows that only Democrats win elections, Republicans can only steal them through one underhanded scheme or another.

One of their most popular conspiracy yarns concerns the northern Florida counties with overwhelming Democratic voter registration which voted overwhelming Bush in the election. There can be only one explanation, Republicans stole the election.

The Miami Herald decided to take a look. They picked three counties in which the disparity was the greatest and counted the ballots themselves. Their conclusion? Better look elsewhere. Just as the newspaper recount in 2000 established that Bush did win Florida, this newspaper recount established the same. Sorry, better find a different scapegoat.

Interesting Reasoning

Canada Free Press threatened with jail for supporting Bush

By your tone, and obvious despisal of the anti-Bush protestors, you and your free press is no more independent and fair than the corporate owned media.

I see, so only those who agree with you are considered “independent and fair”? That’s a sentiment that totalitarians from Stalin to Kim Jong Il can agree with. Glad to see you are taking this whole “consensus building” thing so seriously.

Bureaucrats Declare War On Voters

When the ballot measure requiring that the government pay landowners for preventing them from doing things with their land that were allowed when they bought it passed in Oregon 60% to 40%, many thought that with the voters having spoken, the things would change. But in fact, the measure just served to infuriate the bureaucrats who see themselves as the real power in this state.

They know that the people are idiots, kept from eating their children and burning their houses down by State and County bureaucrats who actually know what is best for everyone. They have the power and just because a bunch of ignorant, sister-marrying rednecks voted to curtail that power is meaningless. Now they are going to show us who is boss.

Some counties, like the one I live in, are looking at the new law to see how to comply, others are looking at the law to see how they can keep from complying. They are discussing putting up a thicket of rules to trip and delay people trying to make claims, they are considering huge fees to discourage use and imposing an interminable review process to slow things down in the hope that people will just give up. In other words, they are going to show the people just who is in charge.

Stand by for a barrage of stories from the Oregonian and on the Portland TV channels about how property owners are destroying the landscape that should be preserved for our children. That is the children of those who are affluent enough to continue living here.