An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Archive for 4 August 2007
….I’m just sharing it.
Three Arkansas surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed.
One of them said, “I’m the best surgeon in Arkansas. In my favorite case,a concert pianist lost seven fingers in an accident, I reattached them, and 8 months later he performed a private concert for the Queen of England.”
The second surgeon said. “That’s nothing. A young man lost an arm and both legs in an accident, I reattached them, and 2 years later he won a gold Medal in track and field events in the Olympics.”
The third surgeon said, “You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a woman was high on cocaine and marijuana and she rode a horse head-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the woman’s blond hair and the horse’s rear. I was able to put them together and now…. she’s running for President.”
I am sooooo enjoying my child free day, before I head back to Tennessee, I’m sitting on my hinder, snooping around the blogosphere.Â This has got to be my major chuckle of the day, gleefully swiped from Sparks from the Anvil.
Cpl. Bryce C.K. Muhlenberg recently wrote a dispatch (and took the simultaneously haunting and charming photo above) outlining a so-called “children’s engagement.” What I think is important about this story is the fact it addresses the fact that while, yes, these things are done out of a sense of “niceness,” we also do them with showing the populace that we are not the enemy. We recognize that our readers are not stupid. We know that the average person who takes the time to seek out war reporting is savvy enough to know that every project we undertake has a dual purpose: transitioning control of the area to independent Iraqi control, as well as winning the war about information. We make the decision to support either Iraqi Security and Coalition forces or the terrorists very easy. When the Iraqi-American team move into an area, residents get stability, utilities and goodwill. When terrorists move into the area, they get instability, gunfire and indiscriminate killing.
At any rate, as we say, “Don’t tell me about the labor pains, just show me the baby.” So without further ado, Cpl. Muhlenberg’s story:
GHARTAN, Iraq â€” Iraqi soldiers with 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, did their best to put a smile on the face of local children here July 30.
The Iraqi troops were accompanied by Marines and sailors with the military transition team, or MTT, assigned to 3rd Brigade. Together, the coalition team took the childrensâ€™ minds off of the strife around them and helped brighten their day. The children were encouraged to bring their report cards as they would be rewarded for good grades.
â€œWe took donations from American children, such as soccer balls and toys, and distributed them to the local populous in order to help the needy in the area and boost public opinion of Iraqi and Coalition Forces,â€ said Staff Sgt. Eric M. Sandoval, 28, from Springfield, Ohio. â€œOut here itâ€™s all about the populaceâ€™s opinion. Insurgents use propaganda against the Iraqi Government and its people to sway them toward supporting the insurgency.â€
The rewards started small with the battalion commander, Col. Mohamed Nashmi Winays, passing out soccer t-shirts to a handful of lucky kids. After the shirts were gone, the real fun began.
As the children filtered into the sunlit school with smiles on their faces, one Marine said even the multinational troops benefited from the mission.
â€œSeeing the (Iraqi Army) interact and seeing the kids having a good time,â€ said Cpl. Guillermo L. Fargas, Company Twoâ€™s MTT advisor, â€œthatâ€™s what is really rewarding. Itâ€™s like, for a second, everybody is a kid again.â€
Operations like this are essential to defeating the terror and intimidation campaign terrorists levy against the innocent populace. A soccer ball in the hands of a child can go a long way toward ending that campaign.
â€œAlthough we are out here for the children right now, the Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces are also gathering information about what problems the locals are having and how we can help,â€ said Fargas, 24, from Bronx, N.Y. â€œToday we learned that they want to see more IA in their area.â€
The Iraqi soldiers are not from this area, having been recruited from all over the country. Despite being strangers in the village, they have been quickly accepted by the people. This area is also benefiting from their own sons who are joining forces with the IA and the Iraqi police in the form of Neighborhood Watch and Provincial Security Forces to prevent and fight the insurgency. These young men are responding to their sheikâ€™s wishes and taking up arms alongside Coalition Forces to defeat the insurgency.
â€œThis is an outreach to get (everyone) working together,â€ said Lt. Col. Thomas K. Hobbs, the MTT team chief. â€œWe are trying hard to get Neighborhood Watch into sanctioned Iraqi Police, so they can relieve the Iraqi army, and the Iraqi army can worry about protecting their own country and let the police handle policing. When that occurs, there will be no environment for an insurgency to flourish and we can begin to help them repair their economy and infrastructure.â€
It’s going to take more than a few negative headlines to shake the faith of the Fred Heads.
In recent weeks Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign-in-waiting has faced an onslaught of media scrutiny: Thompson isn’t raising enough money; top aides are shuffling in and out of his campaign; his young wife may want the White House more than he does; and when the heck is he going to make his run official, anyway?
Despite the negatives that have been dragged out by those who support other candidates, and the media, I still think Thompson is a darn sight better than the alternatives, like Obama or the Hildebeast.
None of those items appears to have made a dent in Thompson’s poll numbers, however, which consistently show the ex-Tennessee senator in the top tier of GOP hopefuls. Nor has it deterred the grass-roots activists who have pushed his candidacy from the start.
Still, those die-hards say they’re ready for Thompson to finish testing the waters and make his bid for the White House official.
“I think the longer he goes without officially declaring his presidency, speculation will abound and potentially hurt him,” said Thompson supporter Rick Bowles, of Thompson’s Station. If Thompson is “serious about becoming president, stand up, declare and you’ll discover many more people standing up with you, and your team will come together.”
One thing I don’t think most people realize, if he declared before the end of the ‘rerun season’, NBC would have to give every other candidate equal time. The cost would be prohibitive. We’ve got plenty of time before the election, let’s have a little patience. Besides, it’s not like he’s not already out there ‘campaigning’ ya know!
I think the biggest problem a lot of people have, at least on the conservative side, we’re looking for another Ronald Reagan. Well people, there will NEVER be another Reagan. He was truly one of a kind. We can, however, have someone who will take Reagan’s principles, and expand on them. Is Fred Thompson the one? I honestly don’t know, but compared to the rest of the field, right now, he is.
Built in 1935 and used by 35,000 motorists every day, the Corinth Street Viaduct connects Oak Cliff and downtown Dallas. It’s much older and carries a worse federal rating than the Interstate 35W bridge that collapsed Wednesday in Minneapolis.
Of the 16 Wisconsin bridges similar to the one that collapsed in Minneapolis, five are rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, state records show.
More than 2,000 bridges in New York State carry the same federal rating of “structurally deficient” as a major highway bridge that collapsed in Minnesota this week, killing at least four people.
Tennessee highway officials said Friday that inspections will be stepped up on an Interstate 40 bridge in Jefferson County already slated for replacement that shares the same deck truss design as the bridge that collapsed this week in Minnesota.
When St. Louis County blockaded the Old Gravois Road bridge Thursday, officials said they were moving up a safety measure originally planned for late summer.
But on Friday, infuriated mayors on each side of the bridge, in Sunset Hills and Fenton, said there had been no such plan to close the 82-year-old Meramec River crossing.
Federal transportation officials announced plans Friday to investigate the agency responsible for inspecting highway bridges, an inquiry triggered by the collapse of an interstate highway bridge in Minneapolis.
At least 18 bridges in metro Atlanta fell into such poor shape that they scored under 10, according to 2006 data, Georgia’s latest available bridge report to the Federal Highway Administration. Much about the current status of the bridges remained unclear this week, as the collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis focused attention on the safety of bridges nationwide. On Friday, Georgia Department of Transportation spokespeople were unable to confirm which bridges have been repaired or closed.
Of the 756 American bridges that share a design with the collapsed Minnesota span, almost a quarter stand in Ohio.
They’re not flashy, just roads atop trusses, a mishmash of connected steel sticks that stretch to the ground and hold the structure up. Popular in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, this type of bridge proved efficient at spanning river valleys and other long distances.
The collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis this week dredged up painful memories for residents of Mason County, W.Va., where the collapse of the Silver Bridge almost 40 years ago left 46 people dead.
Enough on bridges? I agree!
Since the horrible bridge collapsed in Minnesota, fear of bridges seems to be on the rise. Even I give it a thought, after I’ve already crossed the bridge. We’ve also heard how that bridge coming down is all Bush’s fault. “If it weren’t for Iraq, that bridge would have never fallen!” Hogwash! Pure and simple!
The war in Iraq has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT THE STATE OF MINNESOTA MAINTAINS IT’S BRIDGES! If you seriously want to blame someone, blame the public. We want new stadiums, and parks, and ‘freebies for the poor’. Blame the politicians who have no clue how to actually run a ‘company’, aka the government. Let’s face it, these people don’t know how to balance a checkbook, and haven’t figured out exactly what priorities are for the communities in general.
You can also blame the spoiled sports teams that threaten to leave a city if they don’t build them a new stadium. What’s more important? The safety of your citizens, or keeping a flippin’ sports team, full of whining spoiled brats in town? Guess what MY answer is! Want to create parks? Have a new bear exhibit at the zoo? Collect donations. Don’t use tax dollars meant for the infrastructure. I’m fairly sure the bears could care less if the money comes from individuals or from tax dollars.
Back to the rampant BDS. Here’s a question: If it weren’t for the war in Iraq, would that bridge have been replaced or repaired any sooner? Would any bridge? The answer is a simple NO. It wouldn’t matter if we were at war or not. Politicians are more worried about being nice to their constituents so they can get re-elected. If their constituents end up dying because of the failure of said politicians to remember their actual role in government, so be it. There’s always Bush to blame.