Thirty years ago today I was an E-5 in the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wa. I remember watching the fall of Saigon on TV and feeling the bottom drop out of my stomach. I had been raised in an America that celebrated bravery, sacrifice and not backing down. What I saw that night was a monstrous betrayal. Not only of the Vietnamese people, but of all the U.S. servicemen that had been casualties of the war. In that one instant, when the helicopters flew off the roof of the embassy, my faith in the United States was pretty much destroyed.
Many, if not most, Americans seemed to consider Vietnam as some vague, far away location with people that didn’t measure up to our standards of openness and honesty. But to me, they were my neighbors, my friends and people that had put their trust in me. We failed them. Not from lack of bravery, but from lack of will. A pathology had gripped the country that seemed to devalue both the Vietnamese and those who went to help them. It permeated society and still lingers in some areas today.
It took many years for me to get my faith back, to start seeing America as a force for good in the world rather than a collection of spoiled children with too much money, too much free time and not enough integrity.
After the retreat from Vietnam, that country sank into repression, poverty and starvation. Millions were imprisoned, thousands were executed, many more died of starvation when the North Vietnamese tried to set up their “socialist paradise.” Millions fled, braving the South China Sea and pirates reaching Europe, Australia and the United States. Wherever they landed they worked, studied and excelled. Far from being the dregs of the world that the opponents of the war told us we were foolish for supporting, they showed themselves to be equal or superior to the natives wherever they went.
I grates on me to this day that we turned our back on these people, and it infuriates me to no end when some of those same people point to this betrayal as some kind of triumph.
Washington > News Analysis: President’s Big Social Security Gamble” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/30/politics/30plan.html?th&emc=th”>President’s Big Social Security Gamble
Predictably, President Bush’s plan to remake Social Security is termed a “gamble” by the media. His proposal to have benefits for the upper income people grow more slowly than those for lower income people is painted as a “cut.”
Incredibly, many of the left are clinging to the fiction that there is no problem, that Social Security can just go on as before. I think that is a gamble.
But Democrats are heavily invested in the opposing President Bush. They cannot and will not support anything put forth by the President regardless of the facts. They believe they can do this on Social Security because it is in a slow motion collapse.
The problems with the system will not reach crisis proportions for many years. They have decided to oppose any action now in order to buy time. They are hoping for another Watergate or Iran-Contra to happen so that they might seize power again. If that happens, they can then institute everything George W. Bush is trying to do and be painted as heroes by the MSM.
If that doesn’t happen, the American people will have shown themselves to be unworthy of the Democratic Party and will deserve everything that happens.
What is most important is that the present crop of Democrat politicians will have safely left town with their princely retirements and it will be someone else’s problem.
This afternoon I was coming back from the store, when I arrived home and got out of the truck, I detected an odor. It lasted for a fraction of a second and I don’t even know what it was. But for a brief millisecond I was nineteen, in Thailand and thinking with the little head.
It is amazing what memories and emotions can be conjured up by a smell. Evey once in a while I catch an odor and am transported to somewhere far away and a long time ago. A sniff of Gluhwein takes me to the Kriskindles Markt in Nurnberg at Christmas, I have a bar of soap in the bathroom that I dig out once in a while. It has a fragrance that I associate with cheap hotel rooms in Bangkok. A whiff of mud and mildew takes me to a village marketplace near Sattahip, manure and mint transport me to the bean and berry fields in Oregon that I worked in as a child.
Now days everything smells the same. It is all clean and antiseptic. Even Bangkok doesn’t have the same smell of mildew and rotting garbage that used to underlie the sharpers smells of curry and peppers. Or maybe I just can’t detect them anymore.
Democrats are always complaining about our dependence on foreign oil, but consistently oppose any plan to find more sources within the United States. They have said in the past that what we need to be doing is conservation, not increasing the supply.
Well, the most efficient way to make people conserve is to increase the price of fuel. For years Democrats and environmentalists have been in favor of doing that by imposing higher taxes on gasoline. But now that the market has raised the price, they are not so crazy about that idea.
Now President Bush wants to increase the number of refineries and build nuclear plants to ease the shortage of gasoline and head off shortages of electrical power.
Washington > Bush Offers Plan to Bolster Refineries and Nuclear Plants” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/28/politics/28bush.html?th&emc=th”>Bush Offers Plan to Bolster Refineries and Nuclear Plants
WASHINGTON, April 27 -President Bush presented a plan on Wednesday to offer federal risk insurance to companies that build nuclear power plants and to encourage the construction of oil refineries on closed military bases in the United States.
Mr. Bush also proposed giving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the authority to choose sites for new terminals to receive liquid natural gas from overseas.
This part is so predictable.
Democrats criticized Mr. Bush’s proposals as ineffective for average consumers.
“The Republican plan won’t help the families, truckers, farmers and small businesses suffering from skyrocketing gas prices today,” Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who ran for president against Mr. Bush in 2004, said in a statement.
OK, what does he suggest? Nothing, of course. He would put out a statement opposing sunrise if Bush was for it.
They also manage to dig up a “consumer group” that no one has ever heard of that turns out of be the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a left wing lobbying group that has been lobbying against drilling in ANWR. Some “consumer group.”
A consumer group also criticized the president’s proposals.
“The president is proposing to increase refining capacity in this country ostensibly to reduce our dependence on foreign countries, yet in the same breath he is pushing for increased imports of liquefied natural gas, which will leave us more dependent on other countries,” the National Association of State Public Interest Groups, a consumer advocacy organization, said in a statement.
National > In Rare Accord, Spurned Asylum Seeker to Get $87,500″ href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/28/national/28asylum.html?th&emc=th”>In Rare Accord, Spurned Asylum Seeker to Get $87,500
SAN FRANCISCO, April 27 – In a rare settlement, the federal government has agreed to pay $87,500 to a woman from Kenya who was denied entry into the United States even though she says she expressed fears for her life in Kenya.
The woman, Rosebell N. Munyua, was returned to Kenya by immigration officials at San Francisco International Airport in March 2001. She was admitted six months later on a tourist visa in Houston and now lives with her two daughters in Santa Rosa, Calif. She was granted political asylum in September 2002.
Does this mean that now there is an entitlement to enter the U.S. regardless of immigration status?
Her fears for her life if returned to Kenya must have been mostly imaginary since she turned up six moths later with a tourist visa. Why is she seeking asylum in the U.S. anyhow? There are several places in Europe, including Kenya’s former colonial master Britain that would gladly accept her. Let her go there.
Are we now required to grant asylum to anyone with a sob story and an airline ticket? Now every illegal headed across the Arizona border will suddenly fear for their lives if returned to Mexico.
If you had any doubt about whether the White House reporters were impartial, this story ought to remove those doubts. The White House Correspondents Association was asked for routine information by the Secret Service. They saw a chance to parlay it into a story that was embarrassing to President Bush. They showed no hesitation in doing so.
Racial Data Sought for Bush Event
The Secret Service has requested racial information on journalists and guests scheduled to attend a reception tomorrow night with President Bush.
White House reporters said they were offended that after furnishing the customary information — name, date of birth and Social Security number — they were also asked for the race of each person expected to attend the small reception scheduled before the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner.
You may note that the story is by Dana Milbank who is the Washington Post’s political commissar. He has never found anything to criticize in a Democrat or to praise in a Republican. His stories might as well have been written by the DNC, and maybe they were. Chen is the representative from the LA Times. His newspaper routinely bends over backward to suck up to Democrats and bash Republicans. Both are little more than DNC smear artists.
Joy in gallery as Portland quits FBI task force 0
Cheers tonight when the Portland City Council voted to pull out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Many were ecstatic at the prospect of Portland becoming a safe haven for terrorists and hate groups.
The City Council voted to uphold Mayor Tom Potter’s request that the city withdraw its officers from the force unless he was given unrestricted access to information on investigations.
Potter said that he needs the information in order to insure that the task force was not directing its investigation toward the wrong people, like Muslims, illegal aliens or anyone connected with the Democratic Party.
The City’s insistence that the task force and the police department should not be talking to people unless they are investigating a crime puts Portland at the top of the list of places hospitable to terrorist and hate groups. Such groups would have a safe haven i8n the city as long as they were not directly tied to any actual crimes. Leaders and financial advisers for these groups can now operate openly in Portland without concern.
Tom just wants to give everyone a group hug.
“When we look at our history, we see examples that when we blindly give people power, that sometimes the power is misused,” Potter said. “It is in our lifetime that we have seen that. We have people sitting in that room who have felt the effects of the abuse of power.”
“I don’t think whether we stay in or out of the JTTF will determine the safety of Portland citizens. I think what will determine the safety of Portland citizens is when we work together, when we watch out for each and care for each other, that our society is safer.”
Tom hopes that someone else to take up the slack to keep Portlanders safe because he’s not going to.
And what’s this “watch out for each other” stuff? That’s what you’re refusing to do.
By your own standards city government should not be gathering any information on anybody unless they’re accused for a crime.
Come to think of it, by the standards given by those who complain about the Mayfield investigation, you should not be gathering any information about anyone unless they are guilty of a crime.
Jury Returns Death Sentence in GI Killings
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – A military jury sentenced a soldier to death Thursday for a deadly grenade and rifle attack on his own comrades during the opening days of the Iraq invasion, a barrage that prosecutors said was triggered by religious extremism.
Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who gave a brief, barely audible apology hours earlier, stood at attention between his lawyers as the verdict was delivered. He showed no emotion.
It’s a military court-martial so there is a very good chance that the sentence will be carried out. It will be by lethal injection though. Instead of being beheaded with a dull knife on national TV like he deserves.
Look for him to become a liberal martyr like that other murdering scum Mumia.
Take the test and see what type of English you speak.
This is my results
Your Linguistic Profile:
65% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern