Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hello, loyal listeners. I am in...


I have 2 hours until my flight boards...and I need to get a stamp for my passport. Don't know if I'm gonna be able to do that, so I think I'll just wait until I can come back here and actually enjoy the city.

Anyhow, I just wanted to put in a very brief update.

ALSO, I want to send a SHOUT OUT to my cousin Matt in Hawaii. 'Sup, dude?

Peace. And we out.
Since I think I am friends with Charlie Daniels now, I want to show you this awesome "editorial" he has on his website. Enjoy.

Charlie Daniels on Mexicans

By Charlie Daniels

Mexican Standoff

I don't know how everybody else feels about it, but to me I think Hispanic people in this country, legally or illegally, made a huge public relations mistake with their recent demonstrations.

I don't blame anybody in the world for wanting to come to the United States of America, as it is a truly wonderful place. But when the first thing you do when you set foot on American soil is illegal it is flat out wrong and I don't care how many lala land left heads come out of the woodwork and start trying to give me sensitivity lessons.

I don't need sensitivity lessons, in fact I don't have anything against Mexicans! I just have something against criminals and anybody who comes into this country illegally is a criminal and if you don't believe it try coming into America from a foreign country without a passport and see how far you get.

What disturbs me about the demonstrations is that it's tantamount to saying, "I am going to come into your country even if it means breaking your laws and there's nothing you can do about it."

It's an "in your face" action and speaking just for me I don't like it one little bit and if there were a half dozen pairs of gonads in Washington bigger than English peas it wouldn't be happening.

Where are you, you bunch of lilly livered, pantywaist, forked tongued, sorry excuses for defenders of The Constitution? Have you been drinking the water out of the Potomac again?

And even if you pass a bill on immigration it will probably be so pork laden and watered down that it won't mean anything anyway. Besides, what good is an other law going to do when you won't enforce the ones on the books now?

And what ever happened to the polls guys? I thought you folks were the quintessential finger wetters. Well you sure ain't paying any attention to the polls this time because somewhere around eighty percent of Americans want something done about this mess, and mess it is and getting bigger everyday.

This is no longer a problem, it is a dilemma and headed for being a tragedy. Do you honestly think that what happened in France with the Muslims can't happen here when the businesses who hire these people finally run out of jobs and a few million disillusioned Hispanics take to the streets?

If you, Mr. President, Congressmen and Senators, knuckle under on this and refuse to do something meaningful it means that you care nothing for the kind of country your children and grandchildren will inherit.

But I guess that doesn't matter as long as you get re-elected. Shame on you.

One of the big problems in America today is that if you have the nerve to say anything derogatory about any group of people (except Christians) you are going to be screamed at by the media and called a racist, a bigot and anything else they can think of to call you.

Well I've been pounded by the media before and I'm still rockin' and rollin' and when it comes to speaking the truth I fear not. And the truth is that the gutless, gonadless, milksop politicians are just about to sell out the United States of America because they don't have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the face reality.

And reality is that we would never allow any other group of people to have 12 million illegals in this country and turn around and say, "Oh it's ok, ya'll can stay here if you'll just allow us to slap your wrist."

And I know that some of you who read this column are saying "Well what's wrong with that?"

I'll tell you what's wrong with it. These people could be from Mars as far as we know. We don't know who they are, where they are or what they're up to and the way the Congress is going we're not going to.

Does this make sense? Labor force you say? We already subsidize corporate agriculture as it is, must we subsidize their labor as well?

If these people were from Haiti would we be so fast to turn a blind eye to them or if they were from Somalia or Afghanistan? I think not.

All the media shows us are pictures of hard working Hispanics who have crossed the border just to try to better their life. They don't show you pictures of the Feds rounding up members of MS 13, the violent gang who came across the same way the decent folks did. They don't tell you about the living conditions of the Mexican illegals some fat cat hired to pick his crop.

I want to make two predictions. No. 1: This situation is going to grow and fester until it erupts in violence on our streets while the wimps in Washington drag their toes in the dirt and try to figure how many tons of political hay they can make to the acre.

No 2: Somebody is going to cross that border with some kind of weapon of mass destruction and set it off in a major American city after which there will be a backlash such as this country has never experienced and the Capitol building in Washington will probably tilt as Congressmen and Senators rush to the other side of the issue.

I don't know about you but I would love to see just one major politician stand up and say, "I don't care who I make mad and I don't care how many votes I lose, this is a desperate situation and I'm going to lead the fight to get it straightened out."

I don't blame anybody for wanting to come to America, but if you don't respect our immigration laws why should you respect any others.

And by the way, this is America and our flag has stars and stripes. Please get that other one out of my face.

Pray for our troops.

What do you think?

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Dave's dad (Don) sent me a huge can of Jelly Bellys, and Kristy and I spent a good part of the morning fishing for our favorite flavors. Mine are, somewhat in this order, as follows: juicy pear, cantaloupe, latte, watermelon, lemon drop, buttered popcorn, and the bright red sour ones. Kristy's are buttered popcorn, blueberry, peach, very cherry, toasted marshmallow, and watermelon.

Anyway, I wanted to post the photos so you can see how we spent our morning. Don't worry, we also did some work.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Wow. Just as an FYI, we hear explosions here on a daily basis, and we usually ignore them. There's nothing else to do. Sometimes we can even feel them. Yesterday, we felt two. As it turns out, they were pretty bad, and they occurred just outside the main gated entry/exit between Baghdad and Camp Victory. We call it "Flying Man Gate", because of the statue of, um, a flying man that marks its location. Above is a photo I took of the gate on a recent run to pick up some items for work.

Well, the two recent explosions killed 17 or more Iraqis and one American civilian contractor. I pray these two cuties we nicknamed the "Pepsi Kids" (because they sell Pepsis) are ok. We hear some kids were killed, and many, many people were wounded.

Click here for full story:

At least 41 killed in weekend attacks across Iraq
2 U.K. soldiers slain; Shiite shrines destroyed; unity government in setback

Updated: 8:44 p.m. ET May 14, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A string of deadly attacks ripped through the Iraqi capital Sunday, killing at least 26 people and wounding nearly 70, police said. Six small Shiite shrines also were damaged in a series of blasts around Baqouba, a mixed Sunni Arab-Shiite region where sectarian tensions are running high.

Other attacks elsewhere in Iraq killed 15 people, including two British soldiers who were killed in a roadside bombing Saturday night.

Baghdad’s deadliest attack Sunday involved two suicide car bombs that exploded near a main checkpoint on a four-lane road leading to the international airport, killing at least 14 Iraqis and wounding six. The other 12 Iraqis were killed by four roadside bombs, three targeting Iraqi police patrols and one that exploded in an open market....con't...

Some photos for you, from the past couple of weeks...

Recently, the Iraqi Army moved into a new compound here near the palace. It is situated between Al Faw and the overflow trailers where our other team works. It's also sort of close to our tent city.

These Iraqi Army soldiers must live in the new compound. I walked by them the other day on my way to a meeting at the overflow trailers. They saw my camera and insisted I take their picture. Nice guys.

Me and my Iraqi Army friends.

An unused guard tower near the palace, on the walking route along Saddam's canal that leads to the overflow trailers.

My new favorite fixture. I think he's a type of kingfisher. There are certain animals around here that we see every day. You know about the geese. You know about the fish. This little buddy is my favorite. He hangs out by the fish and catches the smaller fishies that come to eat the bread we throw to them.

Me on the balcony during a recent dust storm. It's the middle of the day, but the sun is almost totally obscured.

Dust storm. The tree is my wind indicator.

Sabah was hungry during our recent Iraqi food party. Our big bosses were in town, so we contractors had a party. The food was delicious, but several of us spent the next week liquefying all our meals, courtesy of a bug we suspect was lurking in the cucumber salad. I knew better than to eat vegetables...

This building neighbors the Marine building at the edge of the palace lake. This is the view from the roof of the Marine building. Niiiice.

As it turns out, my old boss is leading the Marines here. Major General Moore was the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit commander in 1999, when I was his public affairs officer. I love this guy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I apologize unreservedly to my faithful followers for my conspicuous absence from the blogosphere. Here I am. I am back. I offer no boring excuses. I was bad, and I humbly repent.

Tonight, we were supposed to have a one-hour, happy, good, brainstorming, fun-ish meeting with the general. Instead, we had what amounted to a 2.5-hour "suck" that had must of us drooling and cross-eyed by meeting's end.

The most important takeaway I got from that painful slog is this:

"I think, when I grow up, that all I really want to do is sell snow cones (or the like) for a living."

I am really, really, super duper, SO looking forward to my leave period beginning Friday the 19th...