Friday, August 25, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened........

Earlier this week I decided that I was going to start this blog. (Lord knows I always have a lot to say!)

Already there are 5 postings and I was feeling pretty good about how things are going. Today I was looking around just to see if there was some way to make the site more appealing... well, as I looked at the URL address line immediately after http://, what I saw shocked me a little and I had to run back to my reference material. Stunningly enough, I wasn't wrong this time!

Here's what happened. The title for this blog was taken from The Avenue of Remembrance on The Citadel campus in Charleston, South Carolina. A truely wonderful and magical place, with deep emotional ties for me and my family. (For those of you who don't know, our son Kristopher, passed away in 2003 while he was a Cadet SSgt. at The Citadel. The Citadel honored us by placing a memorial marker for him there).

Being a below average "speller," I looked at the map provided in the Cadet "Guidon" for the proper spelling of remembrance while I was setting up the blog site. (For me there was nothing more normal than looking in there). Sure enough! On the campus map in the back of The Guidon it's spelled "Rememberance."

So even though the URL address line and my blog's title don't match - that's the way this blogsite's URL is going to stay! If it's good enough for The Citadel, it's good enough for me!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

"Kofi - the Security Counsel - and U.N. "slight-of-hand"

Since last weekend when the world breathed a unified sigh of relief over the implementation of the Mid-East Cease Fire, I've had the funny feeling that something was missing....and I just couldn't put my finger on it.

I couldn't understand at all why Israel was pulling out of southern Lebanon, while for a couple of days no U.N. "troops" were visable on the ground. Then, yesterday I got my first glimpse of a U.N. Peacekeeper. I'm sorry, but it looked very funny seeing a baby-blue turbaned soldier (?) walking unarmed alone a barbed wire fence-line in one of the hottest war zones on the planet! I may have missed his "swagger stick" and short pants, but I couldn't figure out how this fellow was supposed to stop anyone from doing anything. (But that wasn't what I had been looking for!)

When we went to bed on Friday night, we had assurances that France was going "to be leading the charge" to secure the battle lines and defend against incursions by either combatant. On Sunday morning as I watched the weekly news broadcasts...there were the French!...their naval floatilla...all 12 of two inflatable boats, with two French flags half as big as the boats! "Viva la France! We're saved!!!!"

So this morning I pulled a copy of the Secuity Council Cease Fire resolution....that was unanimously passed on Friday....and read it through. TWICE. Now I knew what was missing.

Once again the world has been "hoodwinked" by Kofi Annan and his band of merry men. It's either that - or we're all just stupid or gullible or worse! How else do you explain a cease fire agreement, that doesn't contain in it any reference or resolution to the princible reason for why we needed a cease fire agreement in the first place? What about the two Israeli soldiers that were kidnapped?? Remember them???

Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but wouldn't it have been really smart to include..."Israel returns the 50 fighters it captured during the 30 days, and Lebanon returns the two soldiers it kidnapped that started this whole fiasco!"

Oh no! Instead there we have the "Chamberlain-esque" Annon announcing his version (again) of "peace in our time." (What a load of Kofikrap!). It's bad enough that Annan plays Alibabaa to his "band of 40 thieves" in the Security Council, but where was the learned Ms. Rice, or Mr. Bolton, or the Israeli ambassador, or PM Olmert, or any of the other supposedly lucid members of the Security Council when they reviewed this resolution? Don't ya think someone - ANYONE - would have seen that the 2 Israeli soldiers were not accounted for, and made them part of the bargain?

Now someone may say that I'm wrong, that the cease fire was between the nations of Israel and Lebanon, and the U.N. can't place a binding resolution on an organiization like Hezbollah. OK, I see your point. THEN WHY GO TO THE UNITED NATIONS AT ALL?

Good Lord in Heaven, if we didn't learn during the debacle of going to the U.N. endless times during the run-up to the Iraqi War, and the U.N. can't do anything of value now when it comes to Hamas, Hezbollah, or al Quada, why in God's name are we still going back to that blackhole of diplomacy on the Hudson to participate in another round of Kofi's Parlor Tricks? Why??

This...gentleman... is supposed to be The Secretary General of the United Nations. That's nations - plural. He's supposed to represent all nations. Not all nations except The United States and it's allys! Not all nations except Israel and anyone who supports her! Not all Islamic nations. Not all nations who give his son & him millions of dollars in the Oil for Food scandal. All nations!

At this point I'm of a mind to say that Secretary Annan couldn't be the Secretary of the Men's Washroom at the United Nations.....but that would be casting aspersions upon Washroom attendants everywhere!

When are we going to learn?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A New blog begins!


I thought it might be a good idea if I told you a little about what vibrates my "mental melon." The "header" for this BLOG really defines what it'll be about. But at the start I thought I might give you a flavor of who's writing this, and what makes me tick.

For the most part, I'll write about things in this country (U.S.A.) that have affected me greatly; people and things that I'm just so proud of; things I just can't understand; things that make me laugh, and cry (there's been a lot of that lately); things I just don't think are right; things I absolutely know are wrong; and things I think we better all talk about or they're going to become big issues in about 12 seconds!!

There'll be politics (naturally), there'll be ideology, comparative religion, philosophy, sometimes a little humor. My Dad taught me about conversation in polite company..."You should never talk about politics, religion, or sex," but if we followed those rules, I don't thing 90% of the blogs out there would be able to we'll just be careful and remember that there might be "impressionable" folks scampering around our blogsites! Fair enough?

Hmm...well, one thing's for sure...getting older really doesn't prepare you for a lot of the things you encounter on life's road. This Thursday I turn 55. Ol' Double Nickels! There was a time when I really didn't think I'd make it to 40. Who am I kidding...there was a period there I didn't know whether I'd see 21! But then I got married, our kids came along and without even realizing it you straighten up, and before you know it 40 is loooong past!

Luckily, I have a wife with enough mental deficiencies that I've been able to hide her keys where she can't find them on those frequent occasions when she should have walked out on me! Honestly, I don't think there's another person alive that would have stuck it out with me for 31+ years. She's truly one-in-a-million, and it was a million to one shot that she ever said "Yes" to me in the first place. (Where: lobby of the Gulf & Western building after dinner at "The Top of the Park" restaurant in New York City, 1972.) She had been so smart the other 300 times I'd asked her! Biggest mistake of her life - that was!

Our kids - 2 - well, there's another pair of Aces I pulled out of the deck. Not only are they talented, but both of them are kind-at-heart, sometimes too much for their own good. And we lucked out on them getting their mother's good looks too! My big contribution was my height and body type, and (unfortunately) my sweat glands. Both kids were jocks, and if you gave them 2 minutes on the practice field they were just soaked! Just like me when I played ball. It wasn't so bad with our son Kristopher, but poor Kara Lynn, as a high school and collegiate softball player, geez, she had to carry around a bath sheet. (Sorry 'bout that kiddo!) But she's played on 6 or 7 championship teams and garnered a lot of personal awards, so I don't think she looks at the blood, sweat, & tears she put into it with anything except pride. Now she's completing her Master's and starting her teaching career. Lord knows I'm proud of her.

Our son Kristopher, well....we sure do miss his big strapping pressence, and his contagious laugh EVERY day. The Man Upstairs had some work he needed Kris to do, and Kris answered the call on March 25th, 2003. He was a Cadet Master Sergeant at The Citadel, home on leave when he passed. (I miss you Son!)

So, at 55 years old I feel confident in saying that I've seen more, done more, and experienced just about as much as these 55 year old bones can stand! Both good and bad. Here at home and overseas, there's just so much "STUFF" going on that sometimes I just don't know how we're collectively going to get through it. Some mornings I wake up and listen to the news and I think, "Hey, alright! That's positive! Maybe we'll make it." Other days, well...I just have to hang my head and wonder..."geez, are we really this stupid?" Maybe the BLOG will show you that there's at least one other "ditz" out there that feels the same as you do! Maybe you'll come back to visit or comment a couple of times and leave saying,
"Man am I glad I'm not carrying around his bag-o-marbles!"

So let's get to it!

Below are 3 posts (in reverse order - sorry) that I sent out as emails a while ago. They'll give you a flavor of what this BLOG is going to be like. Feel free to comment as long as you don't mind me commenting back - that's the way it works! The topics are my surprising agreement with Susan Estrich, the failings of the United Nations, and the recent conflict between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorists.

Hope you enjoy them and check back in regularly.
Always a pleasure,

Duty Bound

Dum Spiro Spero

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sometimes Shining a Light is a Good Beginning!
(a letter sent June 2, 2006)

I don’t ever remember being in agreement with Susan Estrich. (I can remember being angry at some of her liberal tirades during the last two presidential campaigns & elections). But with her most recent article, I can honestly say that I am in full agreement. A link to Susan’s article appears at the end of this piece. Her column is entitled “The Movement to Isolate Israel”

It seems that Britain’s largest association of university professors - some 67,000 members strong – recently voted and passed a resolution urging it’s members to boycott “Israeli academics who have not renounced the so-called apartheid policies of Israel.” The resolution made special note of "continuing Israeli apartheid policies, including construction of the exclusion wall and discriminatory educational practices." On its face, a boycott by British academics shouldn't stike fear into the hearts of anyone....but read on.
As you might imagine the British resolution was loudly lauded by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, whose statement after the vote was made public said, "Just as in the South African case, a comprehensive regime of sanctions and boycotts remains not only the most politically effective but also the most morally sound strategy in bringing about Israel's compliance with international law and universal principles of human rights."

I don’t know what troubles me more about the British vote, the fact that it happened in Britain, (a people to whom we are supposedly closely related), or the fact that by adopting the resolution academics were lending support to anti-Israeli and by extension terrorist groups around the world?
You might now be wiping your brow saying, ”Whew, at least it’s not happening here!” But you’d be wrong.
At the University of California at Irvine, a week of anti-Zionist programs have been presented under the title of “Holocaust in the Holy Land.” You can guess what these programs were about! During one speech the following was said, “The apartheid state of Israel is on the way down. They are living in fear, and it is about time they live in fear." After which a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Hussam Ayloush said, "If you haven't been through a bit of radicalism in college, you've missed out!" “They're very harmless, nonviolent kids, but they're very vocal."

Now where have I heard that before? “Harmless, non-violent kids.” Mr. Ayloush must be thinking of the harmless Hitler Youth who first burned books, then buildings in 1938, or of the homicide bombers the PLO and Hamas sent into Israel since the last Intifada. Those harmless kids.
I don’t know what’s more comical, Mr. Ayloush’s statement, or the fact that a Palestinian Group seeking to boycott Israel is now preaching to the rest of the world about compliance with international law and universal principles of human rights? Excuse me? A Palestinian group - an Islamic organization preaching to me about law and human rights?? What's wrong with this picture? Preaching, just like their former leader Yasser Arafat did in November 1974, when he told the UN General Assembly that terrorism is permissible as long as it has the “right” goals. And he did it with a straight face!

So now we have Islamists, who have garnered the support of British academics for their boycott of Israeli academics. Let me ask you something, how long do you think it will be before the boycott of academics grows to include Israeli products, companies, or (dare I say it) Israeli’s themselves? And while we’re at it, why stop at Israeli’s only…let’s call a spade a shovel and include Jews anywhere. How about friends of Israel, or friends of Jews in general…why not include them? Hey….how about any country who’s friendly to Israel, or who harbors Jews or Isreali’s? (Gee, I wonder where this might be leading? My antennae are starting to twitch!)

You see, Mr. Ayloush’s Council on American-Islamic Relations and many other Islamic groups have learned a number of important tactics. They've developed these tactics into a repeatable formula for success. (And I have a Doctorate in following footprints!)

· Get them young! Whether it be students in the U.S. or Britain, or homicide bombers in Palestine – get ‘em young and you have their minds forever! (At least those you allow to keep their minds).
· Tell a lie long enough and with enough conviction and people will believe it! We don’t need to look too far to see how well this works – just look at the United Nations. And - even though the Israeli wall was erected in order to protect Israel and has drastically cut down on the number of Israeli’s (and Palestinians) killed by homicide bombers, Palestinian groups are finding greater success by calling it “an exclusionary wall & discriminatory.” (Duh! I should blithely let you stroll in and blow me up? But you're right - we exclude and discriminate against homicidal bombers!)
· Blame it on the other guy!
o Abu Sayef kidnaps and kills American missionaries and European tourists on vacation, because they’re rich & trying to convert Muslims
o Iran needs nuclear weapons because the US and Israel have them, and they’re trying to destroy Iran
o American contractors are beheaded, or burned and dragged through the streets of Iraq, their scorched bodies hung from a bridge, because the US is an infidel country that set foot on Islamic soil
o 9/11 is America’s fault, they brought it on themselves because of their international crimes and their support of Israel
o Americans are like spoiled children, they need immediate gratification and have no stomach for a prolonged conflict.
· Keep up the rhetoric no matter how small each victory, support will grow!

Although she is very much more intelligent than I am, and certainly gains nothing from my support, I would like to applaud Susan Estrich for her column. She shines a light on some of the creeping & insidious methods being used to marginalize & isolate a country that we should vigorously and vocally support. Israel deserves and has earned our support.
Sometimes shining a light is a good beginning. Follow the footprints - Pass it on!

Link to Susan Estrich’s Column :
Shortcut to:

Recently I wrote to the United Nations, posing a few questions and offering a few suggestions. My letter was sent on July 27, 2006, and appears below.

Dear UN Inquiries,

I have searched the UN website and found no other address to email my letter to. Would you please direct it to the proper department. Thank you.

This morning I read in various newspapers that the UN (through Kofi Annan & others) has accused Israel of deliberately targeting UN observation posts. Later when pressed Mr. Annan changed his story to include the phrase "apparently deliberate attack."

I can't understand Mr. Annan's shock. For the last 20 years, the UN has grown increasingly less supportive of Israel. During that time, and more frequently during the last 12 -15 years, the UN has (time-and-again), sided with Islamic or communist nations who seek to destroy Israel, or at the very least seek to have it give away more of it's territories. In years past, the UN General Assembly greeted a gun-toting Arafat into its chamber as a hero, and subsequently called for Israel to seed more territory back to the Palestinians. As Israel has done so many times in the past, it complied.

Now, when Iran's leader Ahmedinejad declares publicly that "Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth," what has the UN done? When Palestinians kidnap one Israeli soldier, and then Hezbollah kidnapped two more, what has the UN done? Today, when Ayman al-Zawahri states, "It is a jihad (holy war) for the sake of God and will last until (our) religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," what will the UN do?

Hmmm...let's think about that?
When U.S. civilian contractors were shot, burned, dragged through the streets of Iraq, and their bodies hung from a bridge, what did the UN do?
When Aideed was "raping" Somalia, what did the UN do?
When thousands are dying in Darfur and tens of thousands more dying in tribal murder throughout the world, what did the UN do?
When Hussain used chemical weapons of mass destruction to kill Iraqi Kurds, what did the UN do?

The answer is simple, the UN talked...and then sent a peace keeping mission to observe...then you called on the U.S. to stop being stingy with it's humanitarian aid...and then talked some more trying to bring the parties to the table...and only in a few situations did the UN impose sanctions, and then only after incredible amounts of time - time that the perpetrators used very well to their advantage. There was the "Food for Guns" program in Somalia; the "Food for Oil" program in Iraq. And we all know how well these and other UN programs have changed the face of troubled areas over the last 20 years....not at all. Unless of course it was to chastise the United States or Israel for overstepping their bounds.

So now to Lebanon.
In an area of the world where the UN has done absolutely everything over the last 20 years to support Palestinian & other fundamentalist Islamic views - the UN has 8 or 9 Observation Posts. Well, since Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, Iran, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and even Al-Quida know that you support their goals, why would you be surprised that members of terrorist groups would inhabit buildings and neighborhoods around your Observation Posts? Isn't that just a bit naive? These are the same Islamic fundamentalists that stash weapons regularly in mosques and hospitals, or even with civilian families! Is it such a mental stretch for you to figure out that they know there would be less of a chance that they'd be bombed if they were close to a UN Observation Post?

Rather than talk Mr. Annan, Israel decided to act - forcefully. Like it did in the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, like it has always done when attacked. I hope and pray that Israel will get their kidnapped soldiers back unharmed - although my hopes are growing dimmer with each day. If they are returned unharmed, I hope that Israel will stop their military actions and pull back within their borders.

If not, I will pray for all the brave Israeli soldiers as I do for all our brave U.S. soldiers. I will ask God to keep them strong, safe and make them victorious over their Islamo-facist enemies. I will continue to pray that sane Arabic nations will fight to wipe out Islamic facists.

Finally Mr. Annan, I would suggest that the UN has no business positioning itself between any nation-state and any group of terrorists. The important phrase to grasp from al-Zawahri's quote today is "our religion prevails." Here he is admitting to the world that this isn't a fight between countries, but a fight between his form of radical Islam and the rest of the world. Nation-states demand your support, especially those who so frequently come to the aid of international victims. Terrorist groups, states sponsoring those groups, and states allowing those groups to operate inside their borders, do not.

I thank you for your time. A copy of this letter is being sent to a number of my correspondent friends who urged me to write.


PS: I might suggest adding a link on the United Nations website, where world & U.S. citizens could email you and post their views. But then again, you'd probably not be interested in hearing from Americans.

"If the Arabs laid down their arms, it would be the end of violence. If Israel laid down its arms, it would be the end of Israel. Why not throw a truth like that in once in a while?"
- Barry Farber NewsMax August 12, 2006

Hey Everybody,

The paragraph above is but one small "snip-it" from an intriguing article written by Barry Farber and appearing in NewsMax on Saturday August 12, 2006. Throughout the article Farber decried the mainstream media's one-sided glorification of Hezbollah as the only/first Arab fighting force to make Israel retreat. He was correct on every point.
For 30 days I watched the news and invariably CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, C-Span and others described the fighting in words to this effect.....
"Today Israeli fighter planes and tanks relentlessly attacked towns & villages in southern Lebanon. In a show of merciless strength Israeli forces hit buildings and homes where Lebanese women & children were hiding from the overwhelming onslaught."

While the description of Hezbollah attacks took on a very different tenor.....
"The heavily outnumbered and overmatched Hezbollah militia was fighting back valiantly with the only weapons they have at their disposal, their limited supply of outdated and highly inaccurate Katyusha rockets. All the while being pummeled by the deadly Israeli bombardments."

30 days of unrelenting media hypocrisy! Maybe once a week a reporter would briefly mention that all this started because a Hezbollah team, crossed into (to be read - invaded) Israel, killed a number of Israeli soldiers (an overt act of war) and kidnapped another 2 soldiers.

[ OK, so here's the corollary...tonight, in the dead of night, I'm going to come into YOUR house. I'm going to kill a couple of YOUR family members, and kidnap two others. And when I refuse your pleas to give them back, YOUR attack on my house is documented by everybody as being absolutely wrong. YOU'RE pilloried in the neighborhood for attacking my house, YOUR family members are still not returned, and my neighborhood is happy because I've beaten you. ]

You're OK with this right?
Because that is what just happened in Lebanon.

Barry Farber's second sentence in the lead-in is absolutely perfect. And in my opinion, that second sentence is what the Arab world wants most - it's certainly what the Islamic fascists want; behind the closed doors of their governments in France, Germany and Russia, Korea & China, it's what they want; it's certainly what the Islamo-centric, anti-American United Nations wants. The end of Israel.

Well, they're on their way to getting it! Here's my interpretation of how it'll go......

First: Israel will withdraw as an absolutely blind and ineffectual UN Peacekeeping force LED by the French (geez, it hurts to even write that!) will march into southern Lebanon.

Second: Syria and Iran will immediately begin to resupply the Hezbollah legions that will filter back into southern Lebanon at the same time. The Lebanese government will be told by Iran and others to keep their mouths shut - or they won't have mouths.

Third: After the 30 day cease-fire...OVERSEEN by that protector of democracy Kofi Annan...Lebanon will ask for some period of time to review "Komrade Kofi's" peace plan. After 3 to 6 months the Lebanese government ("guided" by their Iranian and Hezbollah handlers), will accept it.

Fourth: At some time in mid 2007, President Lahoud and Prime Minister Siniora of Lebanon will "resign" for immediate health reasons, and Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah will be named President of Lebanon and his (ahem!) 'democratic' Hezbollah party will be swept into power. The following month, Lebanon will ask for & receive U.N. sanctions against Israel for murdering Lebanese civilians. Lebanon will receive reparations of land from the U.N. up to and including...that's right, anything Lebanon wants! (snigger, snigger! who's only the Jews!)

Fifth: In early 2008 (after abdicating his throne as Secretary General of the United Nations), Kofi Annan will modestly & humbly accept the title of "Moral Compass of the World," and (joined by the Presidents of Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, Palestine, Jordan, Pakistan, & Uzbekistan) will lead "The Great Westward Hajj." This will be billed by Michael Moore and other Hollywood producers as, "An arduous walking tour of southern Europe by 5 million armed Muslims on their way to the coast of Spain for a little fun in the sun!"

Last: While the rest of the world is watching our peaceful Muslim brothers cavort their way across southern Europe to Spain.....Eureka! Iran finishes its work on their nuclear project and unveils to the world their unlimited nuclear weapons capabilities; and Oh, by the way, they're donating a few to their "friends' in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and those "naughty boys" in the rolling hills of Pakistan & Afghanistan (al-Qaeda land)!

Please read Barry Farber's article. Just go to and follow the links to him in the "Pundits" section. He's a lot smarter than I am, and (obviously) not nearly as paranoid!


Citadel Dad
"Dum Spiro Spero"