Monday, October 29, 2007

Spanish Roots

Young Spanish Woman with a Guitar_Pierre Auguste Renoir

A few years ago I had the opportunity to trace a part of my family history back to 16th century Spain. My ancestor was a Spanish sailor. The Spanish fleet was sent by King Philip of Spain to invade England but when they engaged the English fleet at the Battle of Gravelines in 1588 the Spaniards were hopelessly out maneuvered by the tactics of Sir Francis Drake. During the retreat of the Spanish fleet to the north around the British Isles and then south along the west coast of Ireland a storm wrecked some of the retreating Spanish ships and some of the crews were able to survive after making it ashore. One of those that made it ashore and survive was an ancestor of mine. My ancestor's surname was very Spanish sounding and actually meant castle builder in Spanish. My family's named evolved from there to it's present day form somewhere during the 17th century. No it is not the name you see on my profile, that is another side of my family. The Gallagher name was present in Ireland long before the Spanish Armada. After reading accounts of how the survivors of the Spanish Armada in Ireland were treated I understood better where my fighting and survival instincts come from. In order to survive that ordeal a person would have to be one heck of a swimmer, fighter, survior and be in the good graces of God.

Just recently I was reminded of all this history that I had researched a few years ago. The movie "Elizabeth" was just released and it is supposed to be about this power struggle between two powerful European nations; Spain and England in the 16th century. The Spanish King Philip sent a huge fleet of ships to invade England to wrest control from Elizabeth the Queen of England. I plan on going to see this movie because of my extreme interest in seeing an event portrayed in history that had a direct effect on who I am today.

The Doubt of Future Foes

The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects' faith doth ebb,
Which should not be if reason ruled or wisdom weaved the web.
But clouds of joys untried do cloak aspiring minds,
Which turn to rain of late repent by changed course of winds.
The top of hope supposed the root upreared shall be,
And fruitless all their grafted guile, as shortly ye shall see.
The dazzled eyes with pride, which great ambition blinds,
Shall be unsealed by worthy wights whose foresight falsehood finds.
The daughter of debate that discord aye doth sow
Shall reap no gain where former rule still peace hath taught to know.
No foreign banished wight shall anchor in this port;
Our realm brooks not seditious sects, let them elsewhere resort.
My rusty sword through rest shall first his edge employ
To poll their tops that seek such change or gape for future joy.

Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Must See!!

This is a trailer for an upcoming release of a documentary the media is hiding from you because they do not want you to see this. This is pure Clinton corruption caught on tape and making it's way through the courts in California at this very moment. The Clinton's believe they are above the law so they try to distract you from the truth with phony charges and allegations against our current administration. The Clinton's have already proven themselves to be liars and the most corrupt administration in the 20th century. Mrs. Clinton is the driving force behind it all and now she wants another term as President. Remember when Bill Clinton was running for president in New Hampshire in 1992, Mrs. Clinton told voters they would get "two for the price of one." Hopefully though people will see this and come to the right conclusion. We do not need nor can we afford another term of the Clintons as President. Haven't we seen enough of these two criminals already? Haven't these two done enough damage to our republic with their corruption?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Never Forget

24 years ago on October 23, 1983, around 6:20 am, a yellow Mercedes-Benz delivery truck drove to Beirut International Airport, where the 1st Battalion 8th Marines, under the U.S. 2nd Marine Division of the United States Marines, had set up its local headquarters. The truck turned onto an access road leading to the Marines' compound and circled a parking lot. The driver then accelerated and crashed through a barbed wire fence around the parking lot, passed between two sentry posts, crashed through a gate and barreled into the lobby of the Marine headquarters. The Marine sentries at the gate were operating under their rules of engagement, which made it very difficult to respond quickly to the truck. By the time the two sentries had locked, loaded, and shouldered their weapons, the truck was already inside the building's entry way.

The suicide bomber detonated his explosives, which were equivalent to 12,000 pounds (about 5,400kg) of TNT. The force of the explosion collapsed the four-story cinder-block building into rubble, crushing many inside.

About 20 seconds later, an identical attack occurred against the barracks of the French Third Company of the Sixth French Parachute Infantry Regiment. Another suicide bomber drove his truck down a ramp into the building's underground parking garage and detonated his bomb, leveling the headquarters.

Rescue efforts continued for days. While the rescuers were at times hindered by sniper fire, some survivors were pulled from the rubble and airlifted to the RAF hospital in Cyprus or to U.S. and German hospitals in West Germany [1].

The death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and 3 Army soldiers. Sixty Americans were injured. In the attack on the French barracks, 58 paratroopers were killed and 15 injured. In addition, the elderly Lebanese custodian of the Marines' building was killed in the first blast. [1] The wife and four children of a Lebanese janitor at the French building also were killed.[2]

This was the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima (2,500 in one day) of World War II and the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the 243 killed on 31st January 1968 — the first day of the Tet offensive in the Vietnam war. The attack remains the deadliest post-World War II attack on Americans overseas.

The 1983 Beirut barracks bombing was a major incident during the Lebanese Civil War. Two truck bombs struck buildings in Beirut housing U.S. and French members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon, killing hundreds of soldiers, the majority being U.S. Marines. The October 23, 1983, blasts led to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon, where they had been stationed since the Israeli invasion in 1982.

This is the account of the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut from Wikipedia but it doesn’t completely explain the rules of engagement that contributed so much to the relative ease at which this attack was carried out.

The Marines were sent to Lebanon to be peace keepers by President Ronald Reagan. The rules of engagement were stated by then Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger that weapons are not to be loaded and the Marines could not return fire unless it became necessary to defend the position from an attack. When the truck bomber made his run at the front gate the guards had to load their magazines into their rifles and then charge the chamber of their M-16 rifles which takes only seconds but it was long enough to make them unable to stop the truck bomber from completing his mission. Soon after the clean up of the barracks and our dead recovered the Marines were pulled out of Beirut on order from President Reagan. The leaders of the terrorists sponsoring nations such as Iran, Iraq, Syria and later Osama Bin Laden took this as a sign of weakness and called America the “Paper Tiger” which caused them to become emboldened in their endeavors to seek power through terrorists’ activities. Years later Reagan understood and admitted that he had made a huge mistake by withdrawing the Marines and not arming them to the teeth while they were there. A huge lesson had been learned from the deaths of 241 American servicemen. There is no substitute to standing your ground and fighting from a strong well defended position, appeasement never works.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Enough Said

Me and Old Glory holding the high ground_ picture taken by Barbara Cunningham 10-20-07 at the Chester County Courthouse West Chester, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

West Chester Counterinsurgency

Skye_All American girl

Barbara_US Marine

Blogger is experiencing difficulties with their image uploading tool. I was able to upload the two photos of these two wonderful women that I took last Saturday in West Chester, Pennsylvania. There are a couple of other pictures of great women that I have met in the last few weeks and I have attempted to upload them but to no avail.

I just want to say Thank You to; Skye, Barbara, Dee and all the other women and men that have turned out to show their support for our country and our troops. No longer do the peacenicks at the Chester County Courthouse have the only voice. They do not speak for me and apparently they do not speak for most of the passersby either. The reception that we have received since we have started this counterinsurgency has been overwhelmingly positive. We hear comments from many drivers stopped at the traffic lights like ; it's great you're here, God bless the troops, the antiwar people don't speak for me either. The best indication is the noise that the drivers make as they go by when we ask them to honk their horns for the troops. It's loud and consistent. We even experienced a moment last week when a large group of bikers were stopped at the light and they saw all the American flags flying and we asked them to honk for the troops. The bikers proceeded to rev up their engines all at once and a couple bikes were smoking up their tires. It was absolutely deafening and they made so much noise the peacenicks had to move away from the street with their negative impeach this, anti this or anti that bullshit signs.

This insurgency to take back the corner and voice what Americans really think has been an overwhelming success. The support for our men and women in uniform is unanimous in this part of the country. They deserve nothing less. I expect the turnout to be huge this week. Our troops have vanquished Al qaeda in Iraq and we're going to be there in front of the Courthouse to let them know just how much we appreciate all they've been through. They have endured a clever and determined enemy, incompetent leadership, severe morale draining insults from congressional democrat leadership and outright lies and distortions from a biased press. After all those things they are still able to prevail. The world has just witnessed the true character and honor these men and women have. It's a no wonder they are the envy of the world.

Bikers go whole hog for the troops

Friday, October 12, 2007

Prize Rendered Meaningless

Christopher Columbus_Alejo Fernández between 1505 and 1536

Yesterday the committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize made their announcement of their choices for the award. The winners were Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based in Geneva Switzerland that was founded in 1988. The other half of the prize went to former Vice President algore. The reason they cited for awarding this prize to such questionable nominees were "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".

Since the release of the movie that algore created called “An Inconvenient Truth” it has been shown that the facts that algore used are questionable at best and an outright lie at worst. There is no question the planet earth is in a warming mode and scientists that are free to speak agree that this is a natural and inevitable function due to the many natural and uncontrollable factors that affect the earth. We will have to make adjustments like growing different crops in areas where certain crops are grown now but no drastic measures will be needed to solve such natural changes.

I liken the scare tactics algore has used to those that I read about when I was young. Christopher Columbus was a pretty slick guy too and he used a trick on native Indians in 1504; Columbus learned that there would be a total eclipse of the moon. (Acting as if he was religious), he told the Indians that God would punish them by removing the light unless they promised to supply the Spaniards with plenty of cassava, corn and fish...The Indians did not believe this but before the eclipse was complete, they, with great howling and lamentation, came running from every direction to the ships laden with provisions, praying to Columbus to intercede with God in their behalf."

Sound familiar? I’m sure it does, it is exactly the same principle algore is using to promote himself and his phony cause to make money and possibly make another run for the Presidency. The once highly prestigious Nobel Peace that was created by Alfred Nobel to reward those that show uncommon dedication to excellence has now been rendered meaningless by recognizing algore for his petty parlor trick.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Right of Center

USS Truett FF1095_ Soviet Riga Class Corvette in background_ North Sea November 1976

I became astutely aware of the consequences of voting and how our political system directly affected my life just a short while after James Earl Carter was sworn into office as President of the United States. The year was 1977 and I was already on my second year in the United States Navy. I had just returned from a North Atlantic cruise and I had visited most of the northern European nations that were members of NATO. I witnessed the aggressive moves of Soviet Union cruisers, destroyers, bombers and reconnaissance planes up close in the North Atlantic and Artic Oceans and the Baltic and North Seas.

While still on the deployment I had requested and I had received an absentee ballot so that I would be able vote for President. I thought it was very important to vote because our government had been in a constant state of disarray since Richard Nixon had resigned only two years before in August of 1974. Gerald Ford the Vice-President was now the leader of our nation. Gerald Ford had become Vice-President after Nixon’s Vice-President Spiro Agnew had resigned in disgrace in1973 because of his involvement in a tax evasion and money laundering scandal. Then I remembered the unsavory hearings for Nelson Rockefeller when he was nominated by Gerald Ford to become his Vice President. The Vietnam War had just ended in a humiliating defeat and I had joined the US Navy just days after the famous helicopter photographs of the American Embassy being evacuated from Saigon in April 1975 were taken. That was a very confusing time to be deciding for my first time who I wanted to be President of the United States. It was very important though because the next President could have a direct effect on my life. I was more accurate about that assumption than I could ever know at that time.

As I looked upon this absentee ballot I had two choices; Gerald Ford (Republican) and James Earl Carter (democrat). I had to look back to all the things that I had learned in the past from the studies of history that Dr. Itzko, my High School History teacher made sure I had learned (Thanks Dr. Itzko). I also wanted to understand which candidate my parents would be voting for because now that I was a couple of thousand miles away from home I was starting to see that my parents really did know what they talking about at times.

Well, as it turned out I ended up voting for Carter for many reasons. First and foremost he claimed to be a devout Christian. Second; my parents were working class democrats and my favorite politician of all time, Philadelphia Mayor Frank L. Rizzo was a democrat. Lastly; Carter seemed to be a competent and viable alternative to the fumbling and bumbling character that Gerald Ford always appeared to be. It didn’t take long before the country was painfully aware that we had made a huge mistake electing Carter for our President. Inflation went to an all time high; interest rates went through the roof making it almost impossible to buy a house or automobile. Our stature as a superpower capable of defending ourselves from an attack from the Soviets came into question. The mistakes that the Carter administration made then put us into a war with Islamic terrorists that we are still fighting now. All of that can be attributed to Carter’s incompetence, weakness and poor decision making abilities. At the end of his term in office I was certain that I would have to gather a lot more information about the candidates before I cast my vote for President of the United States again.

When Ronald Reagan was sworn into office I had cautious optimism that I had voted for the right man this time. Reagan was full of optimism himself and I liked that. I was now a registered Republican and I felt that it really was “Morning in America” as Reagan would say. The things that troubled the country at that time did not happen overnight and were not going to be corrected overnight. I did what I could to help out, I bought a lot of Ketchup and I worked hard to improve myself. After some months of being a civilian I joined the active US Naval reserves because it seemed like Reagan had it in his mind to vastly improve the military instead of driving it into obscurity as Carter had almost done. Ronald Reagan did improve the strength and morale in the military and we became the strong, the proud and enthused fighting force that we deserved to be. I left the US Navy Reserves in 1985 by not reenlisting because I had landed a civilian job that required that I work six days a week but I’ll always cherish the time I spent serving my country under Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Fast forward to the late 1980’s; George H. W. Bush is now President, the democrat controlled Congress is pushing hard for more gun control laws. George Bush has reneged on his promise of “no new taxes”. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is now making headlines regularly by raiding private citizen’s homes looking for weapons and destroying people’s lives with only small bits of hear-say evidence. George H.W. Bush is making speeches calling for “a New World Order” after the fall of the Berlin Wall dividing Germany for the last 45 years. During an assault and standoff in a place called Ruby Ridge, Idaho the FBI murders family members of white separatist Randy Weaver. There were so many conspiracy theories floating about at that time that there isn’t enough space here to enumerate them all. This was the manna that the opportunist conspiracy theorists had been waiting for. The memberships with organizations that foment the despair of conspiracy theories like the John Birch Society and many others soar to new heights. This is prime time for opportunists looking to capitalize on the fears of people that think the government is “out to get them”.

The laudable goals of Ronald Reagan and the conservative movement to promote the benefits of a smaller government that taxes less and regulates less was subverted by conspiracy organizations and the politicians that pander to them. They espoused the idea that anything the government does, it does so in order that it can control every aspect of your life to benefit some sinister and all power international conspiracy. The conspiracy theorists claim international secret societies will soon be profiting from your enslavement to the government. I’m sorry to say that for a while I fell for that nonsense and I went to meetings and talked with people about every kind of conspiracy theory that can be dreamed up. The real insidious nature about conspiracy theories is; once they are started they can never be stopped no matter how much evidence is provided to disprove it. When I look back at the couple of years I believed or thought I believed in all these conspiracies, I ask myself; how could you have fallen for that nonsense? It was easy though, I was going through a difficult time in my life when things were in turmoil for me. This is exactly what cults and mind control organizations are looking for; people that are in personal turmoil because there is less resistance to their outlandish ideas.

After I was able to resolve my personal turmoil I was able to see that these conspiracy theory people are nothing but opportunists that feed upon people that have problems with being paranoid or other social detachment problems. I was able to become a functioning part of society again and I moved away from those conspiracy theory people. I hold them in complete contempt now and expose them for the detrimental effects they have on our society.

The way I see it now is; there is nothing wrong with us wanting our government to be more efficient and for them to take less money in taxes so we can use it better for our own lives and the lives of our families. We must be vigilant to not let the government control things that should be controlled by the private sector. There are however things that have to be under the control of our government that the private sector cannot or will not do. Law enforcement has to be under the control of the government. The military has to be under the control of the government. Food safety and inspection has to be done by the government and it has to be done better than it is being done now. We can afford to have our government shrink in size because it has become too large; it has become too wasteful and too inefficient. Remember though that the government is supposed to be “by the people and for the people” The government is supposed to be us, not some partisan political hack that enjoys the fact you are not watching the store.

The reason our government seems to be out of control is the fault of those people that do not take a little of their time to vote and call or write to their representatives to tell them what they are thinking about the issues. There is no international secret society that controls some cynical and lazy government bureaucrat or legislator that makes their stupidity a sinister conspiracy to control your life. What we need is for citizens to become more involved in the political process and hold the politicians and government bureaucrats responsible for their actions. Right now only a small percentage of highly partisan people choose to take part in the responsibility of voting. It’s time for every legal voter to step up and do their part. You may however, check your conspiracy theories at the door.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Really Bashing the Troops

It took thousands of words from the dishonest and dishonorable organization "Media Matters" to turn two words from Rush Limbaugh into a complete lie. The words you are about to hear from this democrat Senator speak for themselves.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid never once asked Senator Schumer to apologize for his disrespectful and untrue allegations that amount to nothing less than really bashing the efforts, the blood, the loss of life and dedication of our troops. They both should resign from the United States Senate as I have repectfully written to them and asked them to do.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dishonor and Disgrace

Dishonor and Disgrace

This is a very fitting caption for such images don’t you think? The two pictured Senators have done more to bring dishonor to the United States Senate than all the Senators that have come before and a good way into the future. Senator Harry Reid has disgraced himself and the Senate as a body and all the people the Senate represents. Senator Reid was handed a script by the much maligned and anti-American organization Media Matters to repeat a lie about private citizen and conservative Radio Talk Show host Rush Limbaugh. Reid accused Limbaugh of smearing the troops when nothing could be further from the truth. The conversation Mr. Limbaugh was having that Senator Reid is lying about was with a caller on Mr. Limbaugh’s show. The caller and Mr. Limbaugh were discussing a fake soldier named Jesse Adam Macbeth. MacBeth had made up stories about his service in Iraq and claimed he had witnessed atrocities committed by American soldiers. It turns out Macbeth flunked out of Army basic training after only a few weeks. Macbeth admitted in Federal Court in 2007 that he lied about the whole matter and only served 44 days before he was discharged as being unfit for service.

Senator Clinton in her zeal to smear all that oppose her being the first female president was behind the formation of Media Matters. The funding for this smear organization came from billionaire extremist George Soros. Senator Clinton has consistently denied she had anything to do with Media Matters but at the Yearly Kos convention she admitted to being behind the formation of this disgraceful smear organization that focuses on taking the words of commentators and news organizations and actually turns them into something that was never said. I was always taught that was lying. It does not surprise me though. After 8 years of the Clintons we all know there is nothing they won’t say or do to gain and maintain power.

As far as Rush Limbaugh goes; you may disagree with some of his opinions and you may not like his political stance. I, as a real veteran with credentials to prove it think Mr. Limbaugh is a true patriot and would never in his entire life do anything to smear any soldier or sailor that has served their country with honor no matter what political affiliation that service person may be. The term “fake soldier” that Mr. Limbaugh used to describe Jesse Adam Macbeth is accurate and Senator Reid owes Mr. Limbaugh an apology. Senator Reid has consistently insulted the fine men and women that serve this country and is now trying to deflect his contempt for those fine people. I ask the democrats to reconsider their contemptuous position and ask Senator Reid to step down and issue an apology to the troops.

Please call your Senators's office and ask them to condemn Senator Reid's remarks about Mr. Limbaugh and please call Senator Reid's offfice too.

Senator Reid's office:
202-224-7327 fax

Senate democrat Communication office:

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fightin Ship

USS Alpine APA-92 anchored at Guam

USS Alpine APA-92 anchored at Yokahama, Japan late 1945

Alpine (APA-92) was launched 10 July 1943 by Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., for the Maritime Commission, as Sea Arrow; sponsored by Mrs. Helen Marsh, transferred to the Navy 30 September 1943; and commissioned 22 April 1944, Lieutenant Commander G.K.G. Reilly in command.

Alpine joined the Pacific Fleet and during 21-27 July 1944 took part in the invasion of Guam. She returned to Pearl Harbor before steaming westward to participate in the Leyte landings (20 October). After loading reinforcements at Hollandia, Alpine returned to Leyte 18 November. Scarcely had the transport arrived off Leyte when she was hit by a Japanese suicide plane which demolished one small landing craft, killing its three-man crew, and tore a hole in the port side. Alpine completed unloading and retired to Manus, Admiralty Islands, for repairs. Repairs were completed in time for Alpine to take part in the Lingayen landings (11 January 1945) and the landings around Subic Bay, Luzon (29-30 January). She spent the next two months as temporary repair ship for the small landing craft at Leyte.

In March 1945 Alpine departed Leyte for the Okinawa landings (1 April) At 1910 on 1 April, before she could land all her troops, Alpine was hit again by a Japanese suicide plane. The plane crashed through the forward deck setting fire to numbers two, three, and four holds. Alpine had 21 of her passengers killed, 18 of her passengers and 8 of her crew wounded. She completed temporary repairs at Okinawa, 7 April, and then steamed to Seattle, Wash., for permanent repairs, arriving 30 May.