Wednesday, May 31, 2006


by Ms.Underestimated

This is not just an idea anymore…it’s a movement! The Fair Tax movement.

What else do you call an event about something as dull and boring as the U.S. Tax Code that draws almost 7,000 to a rally? About 4,500 people got inside the doors, which had to be closed due to the 50,000 square foot Gwinnett Convention Center being at capacity at SIX THIRTY P.M.! The rally didn’t start for another hour, yet another almost 3,000 had to be turned away. People drove from Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, and all over the southeast. Hindsight being 20/20, I’ve heard some of them express disappointment over radio because they only heard the broadcast en route to the rally, and at 6:30 they weren’t even in Georgia yet. They knew they had to turn around and go home, but every single one said that next time, they’ll come a day or two in advance! Some who were turned away simply went to their cars and “tail-gated” with fellow Fair Taxers so they could all listen to the rally as WSB Radio broadcast it live.

After all, who knew there would even be a thousand that would attend? Neal Boortz, the co-author of the Fair Tax Book, certainly didn’t think so himself. In fact, when Neal took the stage at about 8PM, the old curmudgeon was visibly moved. But that’s just where it all begins. Let me take you inside the event in my memory.

I left my office at 3PM, drove 35 miles through horrific Atlanta traffic, and was about the 1,500th person in line. You could feel the passion in the air as attendees clutched their books, displayed their buttons or signs, or signed petitions that were being passed around. We slowly made our way into the Convention Center, and it was packed already. The setup was fantastic, with huge screens dangling from the ceiling above just about every seating section, so everyone was guaranteed a good view of what was going on on the stage. Neal has some fantastic pictures at his site. Here’s a couple of them.

Fair Tax Line (Photos by Carrie Carden)

Fair Tax Inside

Here’s what the inside of the Convention Center looked like, and above is what a portion of the line looked like just to get inside. I am not even a SPECK at the end of this line!


These are just a few of the supporters waving their signs of support inside the center.

Once I got inside, I hunted down a t-shirt, but to no avail - sold out. I did get a signed book, well, two actually, and a “” stamp for money:

Fair Tax dollar

What the heck… I figure if I stamp all of my bills, at least ONE of them might prompt someone who knows nothing about HR25/S.25,HR5 to at least look at the bill they’ve just been given from the store clerk, go “what’s fair tax?” and then go to the internet to read about it. Oh, well... back to the rally...

Neal & IRS LogoNeal was first up, and spoke to a rousing applause. He told us of how awed he was by the turn-out, and that it spoke volumes to him of just what this had become. He was actually surprised because he thought people wouldn’t come because it was the night of the American Idol finale (oh, please!). He also let us know that not only did the Gwinnett Convention Center DONATE the facility and time, but the stage, lighting, sound equipment, video screens, etc., were also all donated for the cause!

Neal spoke about the Fair Tax, then introduced Congressman John Linder. They both engaged the audience in rapt attention, raucous applause, and cat-calls when the IRS was mentioned. Then, as we’d been promised, Congressman Linder came bearing good news. In the past week, Hastert’s office had been in contact with Linder’s office, and Hastert has set aside a one-hour block of face-to-face time for Congressman Linder to discuss the Fair Tax (HR25) with President Bush! That eclipsed the other good news we would receive by video from Sen. Saxby Chambliss later on, that finally Sen. Johnny Isaakson has signed on to co-sponsor the bill with Sen. Chambliss!

Then Sean joined the fray. Sean came prepared with written questions he’d gotten from his listeners that day as he broadcast from Neal’s studio at WSB Radio. Sean proposed the questions to both Congressman Linder & Neal, and you know that Neal brought the most howls with his wry sense of humor.

Sean Linder & Backdrop

As they talked up the Fair Tax, Congressman Linder reminded us that before the Revolutionary War, a clear 2/3 of the people didn’t want to have anything to do with a battle against the British Crown. But due to the hard work and persistent of a few determined people who yearned for their liberty, they fought all rationality and the majority who were okay with the status quo, and forged ahead to secure that very freedom that we have today. If it weren’t for those determined few, who knows what our America would be like today? Many thanks go to them.

Sean had to hurry off to do Hannity & Colmes from the Atlanta Fox affiliate, so he came in specifically to be with us for that 20-minute period of time. Sean really gets it. Next up, former senatorial candidate, Herman Cain.

Herman Cain

For those of you who’ve never been blessed enough to hear Herman Cain speak, you have no idea what you’re missing. I am really sorry he lost out that campaign to Johny Isaakson in GA, because Herman Cain is TRULY a dedicated REAGAN conservative Republican, and he is wholly behind the Fair Tax. In fact, he sits in for Neal on his show when Neal’s out. Neal’s affiliates will accept NO OTHER substitute except for Herman Cain. Otherwise, they prefer to just run a “best of” in Neal’s absence.

Herman regaled us with anecdotal stories about his grandfather, who was a poor Georgia dirt farmer. He remembered that going into town, his grandfather used to say to the kids “them that’s goin, get in the truck.. them that’s stayin, GET OUT OF THE WAY!” The audience went WILD! He reminded us that those who want to forge ahead and make change in the world should use that analogy in our lives if we want to affect change. He had the audience, at the appropriate times, shouting “GET OUT OF THE WAY!” A lot of people were yelling “AMEN, REV. CAIN!” I don’t know if he’s a reverend or not, but he definitely moves me. In fact, the gentleman next to me said “Lord, if he keeps this up, I’m gonna start speaking in tongues!” That was not only humorous, it was also true. Herman Cain is riveting. He didn’t stop there.

He continued stories about his grandfather, about when all the potatoes had been pulled from the ground and loaded on his truck, that all the kids would load in the truck with him. He said his grandfather didn’t take the smooth, already-dug grooves in the road. Herman CainRather, his grandfather drove over every bump, rock, rut, etc., and when they came to the market, he asked his grandfather, “why didn’t you just take the regular road instead of making the ride so rough?” He said it was then he noticed that back in the truck bed, all the big potatoes had risen to the top; and all of the little potatoes had settled at the bottom. Then he turned his attention directly forward, and forcefully shouted “.. and YOU people ARE THE BIG POTATOES!”

My God, I though it was the second coming! Would the roof stay on? Or would the trembling of the building turn out to be just be the response of the crowd? Either way, it was absolutely electrifying! And talk about feeling empowered.. WOW! I have goosebumps just remembering it as I write! He definitely had the crowd motivated, and that’s what made us feel so good. That we ARE the ones who want change, and are determined enough to see it through. There was also a tangible sense of camaraderie in the building, as if we have all just been reminded of our mission, and accepted the challenge.

John Stossel of ABC also came to speak for a few minutes, and he gave us this amazing tidbit: 1% of the people of this planet affect change; 9% of the people watch change being affected; and the other 90% wake up one day and say “what happened?” We ARE that One Percent!!!Neal & Stossel

I’m sick to death of those people who support the Fair Tax, but don’t participate in these events or even sign petitions because of their defeatist attitudes. “Oh, it’s a good idea, but it will never happen,” or “well, it won’t really work because of XYZ.” If our founding fathers had had that attitude, then… well, I don’t even want to ponder that lunacy.

If the patriots of the revolutionary war can do something as monumental as they did, then can’t this bunch of “potatoes” do even less? Let’s do it, everyone… let’s get rid of the IRS, and get the government out of our lives!

Folks, I’m here to tell you; after what I witnessed at the rally, I cannot and will not be defeatist about it. Everything good or bad that exists today in our country was brought about by grassroots movements. And if there’s one thing I learned last Wednesday, it is this: IT’S POSSIBLE!

The Fair Tax Book : Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS

Buy the book TODAY (click the above link). Heck, buy 2 or 5, and send them to friends! And many thanks to Ken Hoaglandthe Americans for Fair Taxation, who sponsored the event. Group President Ken Hoagland (right) also spoke to a roundly appreciative crowd.

If you have Comcast cable, you may be able to see video of this rally free from Comcast’s On-Demand service. Details are here.

The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to join us, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Spring Has Sprung, Fall Has Fell, Summer's Here

I did it all by myself. I was cleaning a window and the air conditioner fell out and the azalea underneath it took a nasty hit. We'll get the unit back in as soon as we round up some muscle.

Meanwhile global warming (we used to call it summer when I was a kid) takes it toll and it is very, well, warm in Virginia but not as bad as it is here.


Haditha Hacks Will Not Destroy the Marines

When our son left for Anbar Province Iraq in August 2005 it quickly became apparent to us that there was something horribly wrong with the news coverage coming out of there. By the time Operation Steel Curtain began the only sources we trusted were Bill Roggio, Michael Yon, Free Republic and the Milbloggers.

Our son was among the first group of Marines going into Haditha during that offensive. I first heard about the Haditha allegations sometime in March and wondered how I would feel and act if he was one of the young men now under suspicion (attack might be a better word) for killing Iraqi civilians. It is quite simple. The only source of truth would be my son and I would believe and defend him without question.

The main stream media has absolutely no credibility with us. Their oversimplified reports and editorials disguised as reports were so different from what he and other military families were telling us that we finally had to cancel the newspaper and turn off the TV.

One particularly egregious incident took place when our son's platoon had a couple of CNN babes embedded with them. Terrorists they were taking fire from were positioned behind a wall. When the Marines took out the wall it also heavily damaged a house in the courtyard next to it injuring civilians.

The first CNN report briefly mentioned the "insurgents" but later reports dropped that reference and focused on the wounded civilians with the CNN babes claiming to perform triage with no film of the corpsmen who came to the rescue. For several news cycles, video of the wounded civilians was used as backdrop for reporting of other events.

Almost lost among the gazillion lefty blogs sporting "The Few, The Proud, The Murderers!" this weekend, I came upon an excellent piece excerpted below. I urge you to follow the link and read the entire bit: Marines Are Honored Warriors.
Get ready to hear about Haditha. Hear about it. And hear about it. Will we hear the truth about it? The long history of these media frenzies to discredit the American Marines does not reassure us that we will.

We are preconditioned to expect the American media to lead the world in attempting to erase the U.S. Marines. The Marines are the target. The best warriors always become the targets. Whether you are an incomparable U.S. Marine or the great boxing champion of the stature of the late Joe Louis, the yipping pack of Media Philosopher Kings will spare no expense to bring you down.

For the media elite, the investment in wounding the American military will again pay incredible dividends for TV and radio talkers and book writers and publishers.

Did the kids commit atrocities? We don't know. However, don't be seduced by the word "atrocities." Assuming that a reliable attempt will be made to ascertain the facts, reading the facts with justice in a combat situation will prove almost impossible unless the military notation is employed. Military charges are adjudicated under the Code of Military Justice. Only combat officers are capable of understanding combat conditions.
Yes, the Corps has friends. But we lack the political leadership, global power and global wealth to oppose the unscrupulous might of the political and media forces arrayed against the Corps. We lack the genius and energy that will be required to rectify every utterance of perversity and untruth. Essentially we are ill equipped to perform our duties as protectors of the Corps.
We may be ill equipped but we damn sure better give it our best shot.


The Da Vinci Code: Clergy and Faithful Take Different Approaches

The Richmond Times Dispatch carried an article last week that intentionally or not, had some pretty funny lines.

It seems that over 100 clergy members of the Virginia Council of Churches took a field trip to see the "Da Vinci Code" Friday, May 19th.
Before the movie started, the Rev. Jonathan M. Barton, general minister of the Virginia Council of Churches, asked the clergy to think about what people in the pews are yearning for. "What is going on that Hollywood has been successful with this type of movie. What are they addressing that is not being addressed in our churches?"
(Ummmm... maybe it is the PG-13 rating for disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content.)
The Rev. Pasquale J. Apuzzo, pastor of St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Chesterfield, said: "The book was very enjoyable. The movie is superficial and kind of silly. If Christians are using a book and a movie to learn about God, the church and Jesus, they are looking in the wrong part of the library. The movie is fun and entertaining but certainly not a source of faith and theology," he added.
(That is a strange take on what used to pass for blasphemy but we'll just move along.)
Apuzzo added: "We should stop giving this movie so much attention and not assist the money makers in putting more money in their coffers."
(Whew! I was afraid they had just spent a bundle on one hundred tickets, popcorn, sodas and junior mints. My bad.)

Meanwhile, (not reported in the RTD article referenced above) some of the "people in the pews" (we'll call them the Faithful in the interests of truth and brevity), took quite a different approach.

Answering a call for a visible presence to defend the Lord and his teachings initiated by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, they assembled that evening at the Commonwealth 20 in Chesterfield and at Regal Short Pump on West Broad St. to pray quietly while holding signs. (I offered to donate this one but there were no takers.)

Both groups reported a majority of the responses from people driving in and out of the theatre parking lots was positive and uplifting. A group of Thomas Dale High School students joined the Chesterfield people and over in the west end a group of "goth" teenagers walked over to support the Faithful.

Later, the participants agreed that the local television media who interviewed them at both locations did a good and fair job reporting their position on the Da Vinci Code phenomenom.

Perhaps hoping to get some face time on TV, a group of young teenagers showed up at both locations that Friday evening. In the 15 to 17 year old range, 15 to 20 kids per group, they carried hastily made signs which were for the most part obscene.

One of the few fit to print said "It's Just a Movie!" That would have been a good opening for conversation but other signs had crude pictures representing various sex acts. One particularly nasty sign referenced the Mother of God ... well, I just don't want to go there description-wise. Both groups of teenagers were loud and unashamed.

The following evening there were no TV cameras and the mall rats (do they still call them that?) did not show up. Maybe their parents found out about it and they were grounded.

The Faithful met to pray again at the Regal Short Pump this Saturday and will also be there next Saturday evening, June 3rd.

Video on Channel 8


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Remembering a Hero: Cpt. William Meara

Beautifully written by Darrell Elder , staff writer and published in Powhatan Today 05/24/06.

In 1968 Powhatan School Superintendent Margaret Meara’s life was very different than it is today. Yet, in that same year, her life was rocked, forever changing the path she was on.

Meara was a young 20-year-old newlywed. She had moved back home with her parents while her husband, Capt. William Meara, was serving the country in Vietnam. He had been stationed on the Cambodian border for six months when his battalion got in some trouble from enemy lines. As detailed in For Garry Owen in Glory, written by Lt. Col. James Schild, information gathered from “Garry Owen Liberator,” the battalion newspaper, revealed that on Nov. 2, 1968, Company B commenced a reconnaissance mission about 32 miles west of Quan Loi. While completing the assignment, the second platoon came under extreme enemy fire. The platoon was cut off by North Vietnamese Regulars.

The article states, “The commanding officer of Company B, Captain William Meara, immediately turned the lead elements of his Company around in order to go to the aid of his besieged platoon…Deeply concerned about his stranded platoon, Captain Meara rose to his feet and personally led an assault on the first enemy bunker in their path. Disregarding the extremely heavy hostile fire, Captain Meara succeeded in knocking out the first bunker and killing two NVA. Again he rose to his feet and led another assault against the second bunker, killing one enemy soldier before he himself was mortally wounded…”

Meara’s outward appearance easily displays the pride and love she still feels for her heroic husband. Married only two short years, Meara says the two met on a ship taking them home from a military base in Germany. Her father was in the military and was stationed in Germany where Meara attended 10th through 12th grade and graduated high school. The young couple had a shipboard romance. Then they didn’t contact each other for a year. “Then he started writing letters and we got back together.”

Sitting in the conference room next to her office, Meara quietly uses adjectives like handsome, tall, blue eyes, dark hair, good-looking along with patriotic, conservative values, God and family to describe her hero. “We were both so attracted to each other. We had planned on having lots of children,” she shares.

Then her whole world shattered when, one night at 11 p.m. there was a knock on her door. “I was watching TV and eating an ice cream sandwich…It was horrible. The fear was always there but there was hope it wouldn’t be yours,” Meara explains in a sad tone.

“He believed in his country. He was a dedicated person. He believed in what he was doing and believed in serving his country,” she says about her young war hero husband.

In the following days after that initial night time knock on the door, Meara describes the numerous conversations with army officials and the lack of details. She eventually learned Capt. Meara’s point man was hit and he tried to run out and save him and he was shot. But, unknowingly to Capt. Meara, the man he ran to save was already dead.

Because communication was slow, Meara says letters always arrived weeks after they were mailed. “I even got a letter after he died. That was hard.” Then she received a box containing her husband’s personal items, including his wedding ring. Capt. Meara is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

With undeniable pride, Meara says her husband earned a number of distinguished recognitions including the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Service Cross. She insists the Distinguished Service Cross is just under the Congressional Medal of Honor. Capt. Meara did not receive the medal of honor because that honor requires a number of eye witnesses, something Capt. Meara’s death was a little short of having.

For many years all the county’s school superintendent knew about her husband’s death was from sparse accounts by army officials and the official reason for death on his death certificate citing “killed by small arms fire.” She insists that she wouldn’t have survived the loss without the support of her family and her church. “Faith in God makes you realize we’re not done here. Knowing that helps you get through this.” She adds that it was a very devastating time. “Losing my husband, particularly young and totally dependent…all my dreams for the future and security. I got through it fine and have a great career. I don’t know how people get through (something like this) without God,” she admits.

Meara has stayed in contact with her in-laws throughout the years. “His family, (they) are wonderful people. After they moved to Florida, we’d go visit them.”

Being from a military family Capt. Meara’s father did some research and eventually learned more details. “Many families never find out more details,” she insists.

Then, two years ago, Meara tapped into Virtual Wall, a site on the Internet and she posted a statement honoring her war hero. As a result, the school administrator has heard from 10 fellow soldiers who served with him. “It was really nice. One even said he wanted to re-open the file to get him the Medal of Honor but all the records were destroyed in Vietnam,” Meara says, “But that’s OK. He thought enough of him to want to do it.”

With turmoil running deep within American these days concerning the current war, Meara considers how losing a husband in the Vietnam War has impacted her opinions today. “I’m still very patriotic. It’s probably made me more so. I suppose I’m old fashioned, that our country and president deserve our respect. I don’t like anti-war demonstrators. I may not always agree or (I may) privately debate issues, but we are a family, a country. Not that public dissent is wrong. Our country is based on free expression but we should support our country. We are like a family, we can disagree, but when it comes to the outside, we (should be) one united front.”

Meara adds that losing her husband, which left her almost 40 years ago with major life changes on the horizon, has not made her bitter. “It’s made me proud of him. He made the ultimate sacrifice. I’m sure he’s proud that he did that.” Meara shares while fighting back tears.


For The Fallen

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon, 1914


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Lee Brothers On WRVA Richmond VA Monday 3pm to 6pm



The Lee Brothers will be filling in for Mac Watson on Monday, May 29th from 3-6pm on 1140 WRVA. Listen on line at and call in at 345-1140.

Thanks for listening!

Scott and Richard Lee


Senate Amnesty Bill Fallout

Ardent lobbyists of the Senate Amenesty Bill s2611 such as the Chamber of Commerce and Associated Builders and Contractors took a pause from celebrating the bill's passage to temper their enthusiasm a bit. It seems Senator Barack Obama inserted some language that could (gasp!) mandate that employers pay their "guestworkers" higher wages!

Business groups that back the bill say that section is far too broad and could result in a major expansion of the Depression-era law, which tends to ratchet up wages.

"There's a technical problem with the way the section has been written," said Randel Johnson, vice president for labor, immigration and employee benefits for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber supported the Senate bill, but said in a press release that the wage section needs "particular attention" in House-Senate negotiations on the bill.

Danielle Ringwood, lobbyist for Associated Builders and Contractors, which also backs a guest-worker program, agrees.

"If this language is not corrected (Davis-Bacon) could be expanded to include employees and workers on private construction," she said.

The provisions could even result in guest workers being paid more than similar American workers, some argue.
Excerpt from Senate Immigration Bill Could Expand 'Prevailing Wage' Laws

Cao's Blog has a good post and links to more information.
Hat tip to Spank That Donkey for the link to Investor's Business Daily.
And just for the heck of it check out Cranky Geg's View of Ted Kennedy & Osama Obama.


Friday, May 26, 2006

Fox and the Senate Hen House

El Presidente Vincente Fox's droopy mustachios have perked up tremendously as he continues his incursions into Utah, Washington state and Mexifornia. The Senate has passed its version of The Amnesty For Illegals Bill.

Back east our two Virginia Senators were able to cancel each other out, effectively neutering representation of the majority of the Commonwealth's citizens on this issue. (Senator Warner, sir: The R that follows your name stands for Republican not Regis.)

Meanwhile, the House Immigration Caucus arranges itself in battle array, claymores at the ready, constituents on the phones and faxes. Steady..... steady....

Posted on Euphoric Reality: Crime Wins
Senators voting for Amnesty for Illegals

YEAs —62
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Craig (R-ID)
Dayton (D-MN)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dodd (D-CT)
Domenici (R-NM)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Wyden (D-OR)

Here are the Senators with a brain.
Nays - 36
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bond (R-MO)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Nelson (D-NE)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)

Last but not least, here are the weenies who didn’t vote.

Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Memorial Day Va. Blog Carnival Hosted by Spank That Donkey

"It is better to have lived one day as a lion than one thousand as a sheep."

From the headstone of

Charles G. Clinger
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
June 6, 1944 - April 11, 1993

Spank That Donkey is hosting the Memorial Day Virginia Blog Carnival, May 29th, Monday. Check out this post for some suggestions and info on how to submit articles.


Delmarva Shows Westboro Baptist the Door

The community of Seaford, Delaware on the Delmarva Peninsula lost two young Marines this month. Cpl. Cory Palmer's last rites were held Sunday, May 21. LCpl Richard James' funeral was Wednesday, May 24.

Protesters from Fred Phelp's cult of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas showed up in Seaford on Sunday, the day of Cpl. Palmer's funeral with obscene signs intending, no doubt, to incite a riot. As far as I can determine, none of the Westboro cretins were charged with that offense although a riot did result from their actions.
Despite the violence, police department spokesman Capt. Gary Flood said he believed area residents showed "good restraint.
(I like this guy!)

The Westboro pervs have video of their rapid departure from Seaford. Fortunately, they had enough sense to stay away Wednesday during the funeral for LCpl. James.

The Virginia General Assembly passed Delegate Bill Carrico's HB372. Hopefully, it will be an effective tool in preventing these kind of incidents, not only at military but all funerals.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


This week we're fortunate enough to have a professional video produced by the folks at Americans for Fair Taxation. It gives a good overview of taxation in America, grassroots movements (and the FairTax initiative is definitely a grassroots issue!), and some good information about the FairTax and how it works. If you have a friend or family member who is not familiar with the FairTax, just have them watch this video. It's less than 20 minutes long, and definitely worth your time!

The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to join us, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

VA Senate and the Booby Trapped Budget

Well, let's see if I've got this right.

Led by RINO Moderate Republicans, the Virginia Senate has coughed up presented its booby trapped version of a hairball biennial budget, dropping it with all the aplomb of a sick cat dignity they could muster on the House floor.

If the following report from Larry O'Dell at the RTD is accurate I would heartily recommend the House not bend over and pick it up.

The Senate bill, which passed 24-8, includes a one-time expenditure of $339 million for transportation _ but there is a catch. The money will be spent on roads and rail projects only if the General Assembly passes a statewide transportation plan that includes tax increases by Nov. 1. Otherwise, the money will go to the school construction fund and other capital projects.

Sen. John H. Chichester, R-Stafford and chairman of the Finance Committee, said it's now up to the House to decide whether Virginia will have a meaningful transportation plan.

"We've done all we're going to do on it," he said after the committee sent the bill to the Senate floor.

Hat tip to P8riot at Free Republic.


Disaster Looms: Senate Needs To Hear From Us

From American Daughter Media:

The Senate is poised to pass S. 2611 this week, the giant amnesty bill that would change the demographics of our country and start us on the slide into rampant crime, drug culture, and third world poverty. Every thinking American is needed at this moment to phone, fax, or visit their United States Senators and oppose this legislation.

The Senators will try to convince you that this is not amnesty, just a guest worker program with provisions for a path to citizenship. Don’t be fooled. They are giving away our country to people who have not paid for it. The only legislation that makes sense, if we are to remain an educated and prosperous and freedom-loving people, is the “enforcement only” bill from the House of Representatives.

The votes on the floor of the Senate are convoluted. What is actually needed today is a NO vote on cloture for S. 2611 to allow continued discussion and prevent it from going to a vote. If you have the time and can make the effort, follow all the tricky amendments on the scorecard at


Otherwise, just find the phone numbers for your Senators here and tell them how deeply opposed you are to S. 2611.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Children of Light

Accolades to the Russell County High School Class of 2006 for defying the unconstitutional ban on prayer at their graduation imposed by a black robed elitist evidently "educated", as Fr. Corapi might say, "to the point of embicility".

RUSSELL SPRINGS, Ky. (AP) - The senior class at a southern Kentucky high school gave their response Friday night to a federal judge's order banning prayer at commencement.

About 200 seniors stood during the principal's opening remarks and began reciting The Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the Russell County High School gymnasium.

The thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer.

The revival like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman was interrupted repeatedly by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life.

Mortarboard tip to Cathouse Chat
Pictures at Gateway Pundit


Well If That Don't Take The Rag Off The Bush!

That is southern speak you don't hear much nowadays especially north of Durham and not in a city anywhere. It's roots are in cotton and the phrase is used to express amazement or disbelief similar to "Well, I'll be.....".

A link over at Freedom Watch brought it to mind and memories of the country girls working at the phone company in town years ago and moonpies and bologna sandwiches with a big orange drink for lunch.

Here's my profile. What's yours?

Your Linguistic Profile::
40% Dixie
30% General American English
15% Yankee
5% Midwestern
5% Upper Midwestern


Sunday, May 21, 2006

For soldiers, gratitude and praise from an Iraqi mayor

Lets see if the LSM picks this up and runs with it.

I am a former Marine, but I do love the Calvary.

COLORADO SPRINGS - An Iraqi mayor stood before troops lined up on the lawn at Fort Carson on Friday morning and said only two words in English.
But those two words brought the crowd to its feet.

"Thank you."

It was a telling gesture from Tal Afar Mayor Najim Al Jibouri, who spoke for about 20 minutes in his native tongue praising the 3rd Armored Cavalry for saving his city from certain ruin.

It was his first trip to the United States, arriving via Washington, D.C., then coming to Colorado Springs with his wife and son.

The mayor was invited as a part of a welcoming ceremony at Fort Carson for those who had just finished another tour in Iraq. title to finish reading


Thursday, May 18, 2006

They're right. It's not amnesty !

Amnesty – the formal act of liberating someone. Ok – they’re free to go – must not be that one. Amnesty - a period during which offenders are exempt from punishment. Ok – that implies a finite period of time – not that one. Amnesty - A warrant granting release from punishment from an offense – I guess it could be that one except there’s been no proven offense, this group is not under punishment.

Amnesty, probation, parole, pardon… all of these require a crime. Parole, pardon, and probation to some degree and for the most part involve at least some time served. If each these people were lined up against the wall, with their hands up, explaining individually to the INS how they happened to be on the wrong side of the border – and then the INS agents looked at each other and said “Ya know, these people are deserving of mercy and it’s within our power and our authority to just let them go. They’ll do the right thing and live legal lives from here on out in appreciation of our mercy” THEN: it would be truly and literally amnesty.

It’s come down to sloppy semantics again. Remember not too many years ago; hordes of illegals were forgiven without having to even identify themselves and say “sorry”. What happened then was only amnesty in some figurative sense. That term was used because it emphasized our largess and was handy for the media. It was presented as welcoming forgiveness with the vagueness of a grandmother covering up a little white lie. Even though it was actually only a few years ago; it was decades away from the sentiment prevalent today. Today, in our more “enlightened” age, there is no presumption of a crime having been committed so there is no need for forgiveness – just the welcome. It’s presented as JUSTICE. It’s called “abandoning the hypocrisy of an elitist attitude and recognizing the value of these disenfranchised brothers and sisters”. Well – that’s not what I call it. I’m not calling it amnesty any more either. I’m calling it “the great give-away” or the “first come, first served – oops, you’re already here – citizenship”.

Let me quote a good friend who happens to be a bit more liberal than conservative but is a patriotic daughter of a legal immigrant. “I usually don't take a critical view of the media, but, in this case, they definitely aren't showing the other side of the picture – that 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of this country was completely unaffected by the boycott. If someone's tractor doesn't run or a nail doesn't get pounded - well, these are things that may be inconvenient for a teeny tiny minority, but have no impact on me. At least none that I can see. The media makes it sound like huge areas of the country were completely disabled by the boycott. One thing that LA and NY and Denver and Phoenix and Dallas and Chicago need to realize is that only the people in those cities care about them. The rest of the country holds them in disdain. What part of ILLEGAL do they not understand...................maybe we should say it in Spanish.......................”

I’m taking Spanish classes.


Cosby Continuing to Force Black America to Wash Its Dirty Laundry

I don’t know what party affiliation comedian and actor Bill Cosby has, but I continue to cheer the things that he is saying. Cosby was back on the road this week passing out more of what Black liberal/moderate America needed most: conservative ideas for the problems that no one wants to openly talk about.

“Comedian Bill Cosby told a forum on family and education Tuesday night that African Americans should be proactive and fix their own communities.
‘I have a problem with people sitting there and saying God and Jesus will find a way,’ Cosby said.
He also said he had a problem ‘with churches who allow drug dealers to set up two blocks away.’ The audience cheered several times during Cosby's remarks.
The star of the hit situation comedy "The Cosby Show" was at the University of the District of Columbia as part of his nationwide tour, "A Call Out with Cosby," which is designed to spark debate about family and educational issues among black communities.”

Two things stand out here. First, what Cosby is saying is a conservative response to societal issues in the black community. The core of Cosby’s message is self reliance – both for the individual and the community. People are far better off when they take control of their own lives, than to wait for government and social workers to come up with some magical cure that won’t take any effort on their part to fix. Liberals tend to “poo-poo” any conservative message that is sent because you can’t guarantee an across-the-board, one-time-for-all fix for a problem what people won’t have to get out of their comfort zone to fix. This type of solution is not how life works, and any “solution” that one would come up with in this category does only one thing for sure; it creates dependence on others to fix your problems. Once you do that, someone else owns you – the new slavery.

Second, his message was received with applause and approval from the audience. Cosby spoke at University of District of Columbia. This should stand out in conservative’s minds because, as most people know, the District of Columbia is what we affectionately call Washington D.C. – socially, it’s a liberal Mecca. Not only this, but he spoke at a university. Institutions of higher learning, as a whole, are great bastions of liberalism – especially among faculty and alumni. So, we have a black man who went into a liberal organization inside a liberal Mecca and unapologetically spoke conservativism with conservative solutions to societal problems – a dangerous thing sometimes. How did the liberals in attendance respond? Accounts of Cosby’s “Call to Action” forum say “the audience cheered several times during Cosby’s remarks” and D.C. mayor Anthony Williams presented him with “a ceremonial proclamation naming May 16 as ‘Bill Cosby Day’ in recognition of the work Cosby has done to support African-American communities.”

This is good news conservatives! The message here is clear: people who seem not to be reachable are reachable through your ideas. Stick to your conservative message with belief, confidence, power and conviction. Your ideas work and people will listen.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006


The Curse of the Tax Refund
by Jordan LeDoux of The Politicker

Tax refunds are perhaps the worst things I have ever conceived a government doing. I'm sure you're asking "why", wondering what could possess me to deride your check that bought you the iPod in your hands, or the new TV in your entertainment room. Perhaps you are wondering what this has to do with the FairTax. Well allow me to explain.

What exactly is a tax refund? Well, a tax refund is a check that the government sends you for overpaid taxes. Overpaid, eh? Do you ever remember sending them a check for those overpaid taxes? I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't have overpaid them if you had written them a check. No, the overpayment comes from the concept of withholding. Withholding is how most income taxes are collected. You get your check, and it has gross pay, then some deductions, right? Those deductions are taxes that you are paying. Or, in other words, the government is taking your money from you before you ever get it, and before they even know how much to take.

Many people don't get this fundamental principal. In fact, you'll hear people say things like "I didn't pay any taxes this year! In fact, I got money back!" That the government has been able to convince the public of this is disturbing. Government spending would not be as hog-wild as it is, were it not for the fact that average Americans just aren't outraged. And the primary reason they aren't outraged, is that they don't see taxes as ever being their money. They never get that money, so why should they see it as theirs? This creates the illusion that government has an inherent right to take your money... to levy a tax. This is not true at all. Government is granted to right to levy a tax by the people because the people feel that the service provided by the government is worth the money paid.

But most people never understand this concept. Taxes are simply there. They just exist. You don't know your tax rate on each check... payroll takes care of that for you. I'm sure that many Americans would be shocked at the revelation that they make 15-30% more money than they think they do.

This creates a dangerous indifference to tax changes. If people never have possession of the money, they put don't put up a fight when you steal more of it. Since withholding has been enacted, taxes have increased at an unheard of rate. Because people never see this money, there is also less money to invest. I was looking at investing about $500 this month. In reality, my $500 is about $700... but about $200 was taken out before I even received it. Then, once I invest it, they will take out another 18% in Capital gains taxes if I liquidate my assets. In other words, in order to compensate for the tax money I have lost, I need to turn my $500 into $871, or I need to earn nearly 75% on my investment.

But taxes aren't an expense, you say. They cannot be counted against investments as an expense, because they are not an expense of investing. Oh really? Enter the FairTax. Because there are no Capital gains taxes in a FairTax government, I no longer have to return that 18%. Further, because there are no more business taxes, the money I am investing to is no longer taxed. And yet further, because I receive 100% of my paycheck, I'll have my full $700 to invest, avoiding triple taxation.

The FairTax will create wealth by providing an enormous amount of investment capital for the economy, and will turn nearly every American into an investor. Many claim that the FairTax would create a larger disparity between the rich and poor. But as this average middle class college student will attest to, the FairTax makes middle class investing exactly what it should be: Fair.

The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to join us, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.


Wounded Guard and Reservists Get What They Deserve

Carlos is a friend of mine.

Congressman Geoff Davis Praises Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

Davis Successfully Offers Amendment to Benefit Wounded Soldiers

Washington, D.C. -- The National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5122) passed the House today by a vote of 396 to 31. The bill for Fiscal Year 2007 reflects the House goal of ensuring that American warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan have the equipment they need.

The Act included language that Congressman Geoff Davis successfully offered as an amendment last week during the House Armed Services Committee's consideration of the bill. His amendment contained the same language as a bill he introduced in April, the Staff Sergeant Carlos Farler Citizen Soldier Equality Act of 2006 (H.R. 5083). That bill was named after a constituent from Tollesboro who, as a former member of the Kentucky Army National Guard, was permanently disabled while serving in Iraq.
SSg Carlos Farler in black t-shirt.

Congressman Davis' amendment increases military retiree pay for some reservists who are severely and permanently disabled from being wounded in action. The computation of retired disability pay is often based upon years of service. Under current law, a reservist gets credit only for the time he actually spends in uniform. For example, a soldier who has spent thirteen years in the Kentucky Army National Guard may have only four years of service when his duty days are added up. Davis' amendment will change the law so that the actual number of years spent in the reserves will be used. Any service member who earns the Purple Heart, for being wounded in action, will be entitled to the same computation of his or her disability retired pay.

Sergeant Carlos Farler said, "When it comes to being wounded in combat, it shouldn't make a difference if you're in the regular Army, the National Guard or the reserves, disability should be the same. A lot of soldiers could benefit from this bill. When I first spoke to Congressman Davis about this, I just wanted to make him aware of this inequity for those of us in the Guard and reserves. Geoff recognized the problem and went to work immediately to solve it. I am grateful that our elected leaders heard us and have taken action."

"I am personally grateful to Congressman Davis and all of our legislators for their efforts with this bill," said Major General Donald C. Storm, Adjutant General for Kentucky. "The role of the citizen-soldier has changed dramatically in fighting the global war on terror, and the dedication and sacrifices of these great American patriots should be no less recognized than those of their active duty brethren. There is no better way for the American people to thank our citizen-soldiers for their service than by helping them in their time of need."

Congressmen Davis commented, "A bullet doesn't discriminate between an active and a reserve service member. Neither should we. Now is the time to compute disability retirement pay in the same way for both active and reserve members of our armed forces who are wounded in action."

Davis continued, "Earlier this year I visited Staff Sergeant Carlos Farler who was a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. I was stunned when this great American, whose home is in the Fourth District, told me that disability retirement pay is sometimes computed differently for reservists than it is for active service members who have the same wounds from the same battle, with the citizen soldier coming up short."

Among other things, H.R. 5122, The National Defense Authorization Act, will:

· Authorize $512.9 billion for national defense;
· Provide $50 billion in supplemental funding to support current operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Global War on Terror;

· Support military personnel;
· Provide improved capabilities to counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs);
· And reform the process that the Department of Defense uses to acquire expensive new weapons.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Memorial Day opportunity

I realize that many families have already made plans but I felt this was worth sharing. The Carillon was built just after WWII and is a beautiful setting, in Richmond, just north of the James River. Follow the Blvd south (crossing over I95) and thru the parks. It is always a lovely simple ceremony. I always love hearing the carillon concerts, knowing that there are barely a dozen (if that) true carillon towers in the country and less than two dozen people trained to play.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and the Carillon Advisory Committee will present a free Memorial Day program at the Virginia War Memorial Carillon in Byrd Park May 29 at 4 p.m.
The ceremony features a rifle salute and a speaker from Ft. Lee, as well as a performance on the carillon bells by Lawrence Robinson, the city's carillonneur.

Citizens who wish to honor a loved one can purchase a carnation for $2 that will be included in a flower arrangement for the ceremony and can be taken home afterward. In addition, the veteran's name will be listed in the program and read aloud during the ceremony. To make the arrangements, call 646-1437.


Book Selecions for Conservative Warriors

I’ve got some information for those out there who are book readers. Three books that I am reading (in addition to what our book club is reading) that I think will be useful are:

“The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy” – Mark W. Smith
“Islamic Imperialism: A History” -- Efraim Karsh
“The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades” – Robert Spencer

The first book:

“The Official Handbook of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy” is now in an updated version for the 2006 election year. This new edition spans over 260 pages and twenty seven chapters, including a “survival guide” and “action kit.” Each chapter concludes with what Mark Smith calls “talking points” – a list of facts covered in the chapter that shows why liberal presumptions on numerous topics to be false. Topics covered include:

Liberal media bias
Islamic terrorism and Osama Bin Laden
The war in Iraq
Patriotism and Nationalism
Gun/Second Amendment rights
Smaller, less intrusive government
Lower taxes
The environment
Racial preferences
The war on poverty
Public schools

This book is a great tool to help anyone who considers themselves a conservative to see what data is out there that supports their side of the argument and shows them that conservativism is RIGHT.

You can buy a copy here.

next review: "Islamic Imperialism: A History"


Monday, May 15, 2006

Wounded Warrior's Heroic Struggle: Letter From Joshua Sparling's Dad

Many of us remember PFC Joshua Sparling, the recipient of a vicious piece of hate mail as he recovered from near fatal wounds at Walter Reed Army Hospital. His father has asked bloggers to post this letter for him so feel free to circulate it. Names in quotation marks have been changed for reasons of privacy.

Like me, you may weep when you read this but read it with pride and prayer in your heart. He could be my son or yours. He is America's best. - flora

April 29, 2006
Dear Mr. “John Doe”,

“John”, when I met you at Ronald Reagan International Airport, you asked that I send you an e-mail in regards to my son, PFC Joshua Sparling. You wanted to know what happened to him while he was stationed in Iraq and what he and the family have been through during this period.

Let me begin by telling you how grateful and thankful we were for you on his flight back to Detroit. As you witnessed, it was very emotional and stressful for both Joshua and myself.

Joshua is with the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He dropped out of college to enlist with the 82nd to fight in the War on Terror. The recruiter told him he was nuts, because of his testing he could be in any MOS they had to offer. Joshua told him that he wanted to go after the bastards that came after us and he could not do that by sitting behind a desk.

In July 2005, Joshua went to West Point on temporary duty with C company 504-PIR, to train cadets for two months. Joshua was given a citation and written up in the New York papers. Basically, the article said that PFC Sparling was on the open fire obstacles with the cadets and one of them lifted their head too high. Josh ran to the officer and yelled at him to keep his damn head down or it would be blown off in combat. The officer embraced Joshua, thanked him and bought him a beer.

They did such a good job with the cadets they were going to be rewarded with a two-week temporary duty in Europe to get their overseas jump wings, which nobody has received since WWII. A week before they were to leave, they got the call the Marines needed support in Iraq.

On September 2, 2005, they arrived in Baghdad, Iraq. Once in Baghdad, Joshua came down with smallpox in reaction to the shot to prevent them. He was under care for three weeks for that and still has scars on the back of his neck and shoulders. They asked him if he wanted to go to Germany for treatment, but he told them he would not leave unless everyone in the 82nd got to go with him.

Joshua then proceeded with his unit to support the Marines in Operation Steel Curtain, on the Syrian border. There were seven member squads of 101st Airborne (Paratroopers), Marines, and Joshua’s squad from the 82nd. The 82nd and Marine squads came under fire from the terrorists. During the fight, the 101st started firing on Joshua’s squad and the Marines. They thought they were engaging terrorists. “Tom”, with the 82nd was hit in the leg by the 101st. Joshua and his squad leader ran 200 meters while under constant enemy fire to the right of the terrorists and got behind a light pole to draw fire away from the two squads, while killing three terrorists, so they could retreat.

Then the 101st realized what had happened and took out the appropriate target, killing the remaining terrorists. Joshua called me and said, “Dad, I thought I was going to be killed today, but God had other plans.” Joshua was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor. “Tom”, with the 82nd was shipped to Kuwait for treatment for the rifle wounds he received. Lucky for “Tom” it was a clean wound causing no damage. “Tom” rejoined Joshua and his unit 4 weeks later.

Later, Joshua and his unit were on foot patrol when they came under fire from out of a house. Joshua was told to toss in a grenade. The terrorists sent out two kids around eight years old with the grenade. The kids were blown up by that grenade, which Joshua still cannot deal with. The remaining terrorists were killed.

“Tom” rejoins the unit on November 18, 2005. The 82nd only has two more missions and they can return home. On November 20, 2005 at 1100 hours, they were on foot patrol in the outskirts of Ramadi. They spot what they thought were terrorists and began pursuit on foot. Then the terrorist turned around and set off an IED, or improvised explosive device. Joshua saw the red detonator and yelled before it went off blowing Josh 20 yards away and injuring “Tom”, who had just rejoined the unit two days before.

I received the call by satellite phone from Joshua’s squad leader so Joshua could tell me goodbye. Joshua said, “Dad, I’m sorry, but I’ve been hit bad and they don’t think I’m gonna make it.” Joshua’s buddy tied on a tourniquet above his knee to stop the bleeding. Skin and the knee braces, that all paratroopers wear, were holding on his leg. The chopper was there within two minutes carrying doctors and medics. They started giving him blood transfusions and got the bleeding stopped on the way back to Baghdad.

I received a call saying he was being sent to Landstuhl, Germany for further treatment. On November 23, 2005, I got a call saying Joshua was being shipped to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I arrived here on November 24th, the same day Joshua did. The doctor in ER wanted to amputate his leg at that point, but it would have been an amputation just below the hip. Joshua said no, so the doctor called in another surgeon, who was on leave. Major Tis, the BEST surgeon in the country in our eyes, told Joshua that he would personally take his case up with Captain Mack and Captain Hagelson, but it was going to be a long hard road ahead. Joshua and I agreed with Major Tis.

On the way to his first surgery on November 24th, the Red Cross gave Joshua a card. Josh thanked them for the card and opened it the next day. The card said, “Have a great time in the war and have a great time dieing in the war.” Joshua hung the card on the wall of his hospital room as an incentive to get well so he could go back to Iraq and finish the job.

Brian Kilmeade from Fox News and Colonel Oliver North came by the hospital just before Christmas and saw the card. They were appalled that someone would send such a card. The story made the news on Fox and Friends. Sean Hannity was made aware of the card and interviewed Joshua on his radio show.

On December 10, 2005, I became unemployed because of the time I would have to be with my son, which is the same day Joshua had a sixteen-hour surgery and the same day he was awarded the Purple Heart. Joshua was also awarded the Silver Star, and will receive it when he travels to Fort Bragg at the beginning of June.

From November 20, 2005 through January 15, 2006, Joshua had over 23 surgeries on his right leg while being treated for depression. He has had 31 surgeries to date. Joshua was discharged from the hospital on February 4, 2006 and began physical therapy. Both bones on his lower right leg were completely gone as well as his calf muscle and nerves. They removed the muscle from his stomach and placed it just below his knee. They did skin graphs from his left leg and hip to put on his right leg and used a new drug hormone that promotes new bone growth.

Joshua suffered other injuries from the explosion as well. He has a blown eardrum, cracked teeth with cavities blown out and shrapnel wounds inside his mouth and all over his body.

In March, Joshua and I were finally able to go home to see our family and friends for the first time in nearly four months. Upon our return to Walter Reed, Joshua informed his great Doctors that he could not get the pain out of his right foot, which was not damaged. They x-rayed his leg and foot. The bone in his leg is now about the size of a spaghetti noodle. The extensive damage done to the nerves in the leg was so severe that the foot was trying to tell the brain that everything was okay, but there are no nerves left in the leg to relay the message, so the foot believes it is damaged.

Upon further testing they discovered that Joshua has no feeling in his lower right leg. The good news is in nine to ten months, Joshua’s bones, just below the transplanted stomach muscle, will be large enough to support a below the knee amputation. This news came to us about two weeks ago. Joshua is still on five different narcotics for pain and two anti-depressants, along with others for bone growth.

That brings me to the part where you, “John”, helped us. Joshua had booked a flight to go home for another convalescent leave on SPIRIT Airlines. We told them we would need a wheelchair and assistance with security because he was a wounded paratrooper confined to a wheel chair. They told us that would not be a problem. We normally use Northwest and they are great, but SPIRIT was $35.00 less so we booked with SPIRIT. I cannot fly with Joshua, because when he is home we need a car to go back and forth to the hospital and to dental and ortho appointments. I always send him first then I drive back to Michigan. This is when the incident occurred that precipitated our meeting with you, “John”. You are a great American and a great representative for your company.

We arrived at the airport at 4:30 pm for a 5:10 flight. When we arrived there was no wheel chair, no one at the SPIRIT counter and no security. I looked for a SPIRIT employee for ten minutes. Joshua said, “Dad I’m going to miss my flight, just get me to the gate and they can help us there.” Northwest gave us a wheel chair, but we still had no security. Security would not let us through because we had no boarding pass. We informed them that SPIRIT had our boarding pass and asked that he please let us go to the gate with him and he could verify it, or get someone from SPIRIT and they could give it to him. The security guard said, “You are no different than any other passenger with no boarding pass - no go.”

My son started to cry uncontrollably and told the guard to go to hell. Another lady spoke up and said, “That’s what you get for fighting in a war we have no business in.” Madder and very emotional I asked, “Can’t you remember 9-11?” She responded that was just our excuse to be in Iraq when we should not be there and we deserved whatever we got. That is when my son really lost it. Three WWII vets were coming off flights into DC, gave my son a hug, and stood up to the lady and security guard. They stayed with my son until he flew out.

In the meantime, a wonderful man who works for the Military Severely Injured Center, and assigned to the airport, was called by security. He asked what was going on. The Vets and I explained the situation and he said he would get someone from SPIRIT as soon as possible. It was now 4:50 pm and the plane leaves at 5:10. He went to the SPIRIT counter and there was still no one there. At 5:00, he found the employees in the back room at the SPIRIT counter, where they had been the entire time. He could not explain why they were not there to support their passengers.

The manager came out and told us we were too late and they could not get Joshua on the flight because it was leaving in ten minutes. He also explained that it was a non-refundable ticket, but he would let us fly tomorrow evening. The head of MSIC (Military Severely Injured Center) said to give us a voucher on another airline and get the Soldier out tonight. The SPIRIT manager said they do not do vouchers for other airlines. I then suggested they give us a refund so we can get a ticket on another airline…he said, “NO.” The head of MSIC told them to give the Soldier a refund now or we will press charges against SPIRIT. We were then given a refund.

Meanwhile, Joshua was still at security. I told him “SPIRIT would not help us, but hang tight, I’ll get you out tonight, I promise.” Joshua said, “Never mind Dad, it’s not worth it. I’m going to end it tonight." I said don’t you dare do anything stupid. There are too many people who care about you and too many people have got you where you are today. Remember they thought you were going to die and you fought hard to stay alive.

I went to the Northwest counter and the lady was crying because of what had happened. She told me she was already working on a ticket for Joshua. Northwest offered any passenger a free roundtrip ticket to anywhere they flew, if they would give up their seat for a soldier who was severely injured in Iraq.

EIGHT businessmen came forward and said he could have their seat and no compensation was necessary. Northwest then asked if anyone would give up his or her first class seat for Joshua. A gentleman came forward and said Joshua could have his seat, saying he would sit in the toilet if need be. Other passengers remarked that Joshua could sit anywhere on the plane he wants and we will sit wherever.

That is when I broke down and started to cry. Everyone on that Northwest flight began patting Joshua on the back shaking his hand and telling him what a great job he did and how proud they were of him and the other troops who serve. After helping my son board, not one person failed to tell me thanks for what my son and I have been through. Joshua made it back to Michigan and is doing extremely well. He has therapy at Port Huron Hospital and he has counseling twice a week and is doing great!

Since this ordeal began, I have lost my job, Joshua and I have missed the birth of my grandson and granddaughter, my 18-year-old son’s graduation from high school and every holiday. Joshua and I feel we would go through it again if need be. My belief has always been God, Family and Country, in that order, nothing else matters.

I am a proud father/grandfather of eight children and ten grandchildren. We will be home in May, to see all the family. We both will return to Walter Reed in June for follow-ups. Joshua should be able to return to the 82nd Airborne in the next 18-24 months or so.

Please keep all of our troops in harms way in your thoughts and prayers. Five out of the seven paratroopers in Joshua’s unit were injured in Iraq. Three of the five are still there. Joshua just got the unlucky straw because he was injured the worst. One of the two injured Marines is already back with his unit. I say already, but it has been over 5 months. Thank God, neither unit lost any lives!

Thanks again “John”, for your kind heart and your uplifting spirit. If any one wants to send a card or anything, please address it to me so I can screen it first.

God bless you and may God continue to bless America.

Mike Sparling

Among the many forums & blogs that covered Joshua's story:
Gunn Nutt, Free Republic, Landry's Life, EuphoricReality, StuckOnStupid.


President Bush Speaks on Illegal Immigration: Oil On Troubled Waters Or Another BOHICA Moment?

If you missed it, a transcript of President Bush's speech on Illegal Immigration can be found here.

As one who has watched in dismay over the last few months hordes of illegals shutting down cities to demand the rights of legal immigrants, trashing our Nation's flag and anthem, spitting on people who dare to oppose them, calling them racist and vigilantes at every turn, I had certainly hoped for a clearer vision and a brass tacks approach from President Bush's speech this evening but did not expect it.

The debate is not whether Hispanics or any other group of "illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives." The debate is about the rule of law and the security of the United States of America.

The President's proposals were not much different tonight from what he has promoted before except for the use of the National Guard (in a non-enforcement capacity) along the southern border.

This one paragraph gives me pause:
"Tonight, I want to speak directly to members of the House and the Senate: An immigration reform bill needs to be comprehensive, because all elements of this problem must be addressed together or none of them will be solved at all. The House has passed an immigration bill. The Senate should act by the end of this month so we can work out the differences between the two bills, and Congress can pass a comprehensive bill for me to sign into law."

I believe this approach is a huge mistake. If such legislation is passed we will be hobbled with a leviathan nightmare, skewered repeatedly by pork, exceptions and loopholes and no one will be satisfied. The House has the right idea on illegal immigration reform - prioritize and do it incrementally in order of importance.

In other words, how about we just quit foolin' around and secure the borders?

From the new media: NovaTownhall, Freedom Watch, MichelleMalkin, Threats Watch, Gateway Pundit, Bearing Drift


Sunday, May 14, 2006

4th District Convention & Other Reports Around the State

Yesterday, May 13th 2006, I attended my first Republican convention of any kind: the 4th District Convention and Training Session. I enjoyed every minute of it. Being on the shy side (in realtime anyway) it was a pleasure to be welcomed so warmly by the ladies of the Suffolk Republican Women's group. They made me feel right at home along with the rest of the Powhatan delegation. Chairman Wayne Ozmore did a great job organizing the event and keeping things running smoothly.

J. R. from Bearing Drift has a great rundown of the event, especially Congressman Randy Forbe's remarks.

The afternoon workshops were excellent (I wish we had had a couple more hours).
Albermarle GOP Chairman Dr. Keith Drake gave an in depth presentation on How to Build/Increase Membership of Local Committees, J. R. of Bearing Drift on How to BLOG on Virginia Politics, Israel O'Quinn on Voter Vault Training and Mike Wade on the Virginia Marriage Amendment.

My one surprise of the day (other than Wayne Ozmore being so young and not wearing plaid pants & wingtips) was the fact that quite a few of the delegates and guests were not familiar with blogging. J. R.'s presentation was timely and well received judging by the many questions he got.

I had a few myself but we ran out of time. It was a good day to be a Republican.

Links to a few reports on District Conventions this weekend:
4th District: Bearing Drift and here.
9th District: Commonwealth Conservative , Spark It Up!, Smyth County Conservative


Friday, May 12, 2006

After Action Report: Minuteman Rally Richmond VA 05-11-06

The words "Racist, Racist, Racist!" chanted to the tune of "Neener, Neener, Neener!" drifted down the hill as I walked up 8th St. to the State Capital under threatening clouds. Suddenly a heartfelt rendition of the Star Spangled Banner from the Minuteman Rally across the street was lifted up. Coincidence or not, the dark clouds drifted away and the sky lightened up for a bit.

I walked through the ranks of the local anti-Bush, anti-war, anti-leadpaint people recognizing a socialist organizer, some gay activists, anarchists and peaceniks. I suppose the irony escaped them, but also present were clinic escorts from the abortion mill in the fan.

Across the street at the Minuteman Rally (crowd estimated at 100) Jim Gilchrist and other members of the Caravan were busy giving interviews while their local supporters lined the sidewalk with American flags and homemade signs.

The Caravan folks left soon after I arrived (the rally started early and I got there late) but local people stayed behind in part because Insane Hippie was doing such a spendid and hilarious job educating the anti-everything crowd across the street. He was irresistable and even got them laughing a time or two.

One of the Minuteman supporters offered me a ride down the hill to my vehicle when we discovered someone had ripped off most of her pro-America magnetic bumper stickers. We knew exactly where to find them and they were successfully recovered. Heh.

A few shots from the end of the rally - the first one shows how the sky lightened up after our National Anthem was sung:

This is a shot of some of the people who were screaming "Racist, racist, racist" when I arrived.

Richmond Times Dispatch coverage here.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Naked Lunch The Sequel: Brad Blanton For Congress 7th District

I remember hearing about an elderly man who went door to door with a black bag telling women he was giving free breast examinations. Surprisingly, several women took advantage of the offer.

That is small potatoes compared to Brad Blanton, clinical psychologist and author, who the Democrats in the 7th District are considering running against the Honorable Eric Cantor.

Blanton is able to convince people, male and female, to pay him $2,400, to take off their clothes and get naked while he films them.... sorry, laughing a little too hard to type....

Anyhoo, he'll be in Richmond on May 20th for a funraiser.
Attire is optional.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


This week, Cao of Cao’s Blog brings us part 2 of her video disagreement with the FairTax. She makes some very interesting points here, and her logic should convince even the most brainwashed proponent of this hare-brained scheme to give it a closer look.

Click the link to see the video.

The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to join us, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.

If you haven't seen Part I, it is absolutely hiarious! fm


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

AFP-VA ACTION ALERT! Senate to Hold Meetings to Build TAX HIKE Support

Senate to Hold Town Hall Meetings to Build Support for TAX HIKE!

The State Senate of Virginia will be holding two public town hall meetings to explain their plan to provide "sustainable funding for transportation" -- a.k.a. RAISE YOUR TAXES.

Be sure to attend either of these events and let the State Senate know you don't want your taxes raised AGAIN!

Hampton Roads

6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 10
Where: Old Dominion University, Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, 1881 University Drive, Virginia Beach

Northern Virginia

When: 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 11th
Where: The Fredericksburg EXPO and Conference Center Celebrate Virginia/Central Park 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg

More Dates and Times to be Announced.

For more information on the tax proposals please click on the links below:

SB 5013 Statewide Tax Increase: Senator Hawkins
SB 5014 Hampton Roads Regional Taxing Authority: Senator Quayle
SB 5016 Northern Virginia Regional Taxing Authority: Senators Devolites-Davis, Colgan and Saslaw


Monday, May 08, 2006

MinuteMan Caravan Will Be In Richmond Thursday, May 11th, 2006

UPDATED 5-09-06 8:25pm

Here is the latest on the Minuteman Caravan which will stop in Richmond on the way to D.C.
Please check the website for updates as the date approaches.

Greensboro (N.C.) Rally
7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 10

Overnight May 10

7:00 a.m. Line-Up May 11
T/A Travel Center
I-85, exit 138

Gathering Point (gas stop)
Pilot Truck Stop
Richmond, VA
I-95, exit 58

Richmond Rally
7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 11
State Capitol

Overnight May 11

7:00 a.m. Line-Up May 12
T/A Travel Center
I-95, exit 89

I-95 turns into I-395 with exits to the Washington DC Mall

Washington DC Rally
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Friday, May 12

Rally to Stop the Illegal Alien “Guest Worker” Amnesty Program
Location: Upper Senate Park, Washington D.C.
Also participating will be:
Jerome Corsi, Harvard Ph.D co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “Unfit for Command”;
Minuteman Project Executive Director Steve Eichler J.D.;
Barbara Coe, co-author of Proposition 187 and the President of California Coalition for Immigration Reform;
John Clark of the American Immigration Control Foundation;
Minuteman group leaders and members from across the country as well as invited guests from the U.S Congress.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Officer Gary J. Buro - American Hero

Officer Had Faced Tragedy
(from the Richmond Times Dispatch, May 5, 2006)

Gary J. Buro had done big-city police work.

He was an officer in New York City for six years.

He also had faced adversity and personal loss -- the deaths of his wife and her parents in a car crash.

After service as a Marine in Operation Desert Storm, he worked as a patrol officer for the Lantana Police Department in Palm Beach County, Fla., about 50 miles north of Miami, before moving to New York.

He relocated to Virginia this year, looking for a change of pace, family members said yesterday.

"He wanted to have different roots," said his uncle, Ron Cook, who lives in New York City.

Less than four months after joining the Chesterfield County Police Department, Buro, 34, was shot to death early yesterday. Buro and officer Joseph G. Diman were responding to a domestic dispute in the Ettrick community.

Diman, 26, also was shot -- at least five times -- and is recovering at VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect, William M. Anderson, 34, died from wounds in the exchange of gunfire.

Family members described Buro as selfless.

Funeral Information

A memorial service for officer Buro will be held Monday, May 8 at 11 a.m. at Victory Tabernacle Church of God, 11700 Genito Road, Midlothian, VA.

Additional arrangements are being made for a service in Denville, N.J., and burial in Pompano Beach, Fla., next week.