Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New GI Bill Needs to be passed

Salute our Soldiers, Pass the New GI Bill
Salute our Soldiers, Pass the New GI Bill

The New GI Bill must be passed. It is the only right thing to do.

The New GI Bill as developed by Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (and supported by John Warner (R-VA) and so many more) is being discussed right now in the Senate and I believe after taking a look at it that passage of this bill would really benefit our fighting men and women in uniform. It sets out to revamp the benefits that military members get after they leave the service. When the first GI Bill was passed to help the veterans of World War Two, the GI Bill gave these brave veterans a shot at a higher education that was completely paid for - a real boost to our economy no doubt as these people moved up the pay scale and had their minds opened to new ideas.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) however (along with Senator Lindsey Graham(R-SC) ) disagree with that position. They say by offering more money for our brave veterans' education we are discouraging them from re-enlisting. This position is ridiculous! Are we not proud of their service? We should allow them to do with their time as they please considering they volunteered to put their lives on the line! In the McCain version of a new GI Bill (although it is difficult to not call it an anti-GI Bill) the military would slowly give the soldier more money based on the number of deployments and years they put in. Is one tour of duty in Iraq not enough? Senator McCain thinks so.

I believe I stand with many veterans and common sense decent Americans in saying, let the reward fit the service, Pass the New GI Bill.


The Carpetbagger Report - Webb calls McCain out on the GI Bill
CNN Story - Here

Monday, April 28, 2008

The US Re-education Camp in Iraq

Nothing draconian going on here...

The United States military runs a re-education prison in Iraq... yes, a re-education camp with 21,000 suspected militant sympathizers. It has been awhile since I last heard of a re-education camp but when I do it mostly pertains to Chinese "re-education facilities" where people disappear or draconian facilites run by the Soviet Union, Nazi German, or some other despotic dictatorship. The "Land of the Free"run by Rule of Law not barbarism runs a re-education camp... What would Dwight D. Eisenhower say if we told him? What would Thomas Jefferson say? Have we lost our common decency and national character in trying to stay secure from terror? The sad answer seems to be, Yes.

The re-education camp of 21,000 people or so is run mostly by the Marines in Camp Bucca, Iraq. The camp has been repeatedly reported for "incidents of detainee abuse", being undermanned, under resourced, and overpopulated. Some of Camp Bucca's inmates have been held for over three years without the benefit of a hearing. The inmates are generally those picked up from the Southern Iraq and the Basra region on suspicion of sympathizing with Al-Qaeda. Thousands get rounded up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or associating with the wrong people and are sent to this prison camp (the American taxpayer just spent 2.3 million dollars building a brick factory to provide hard labor for the inmates). The inmates are then held until a hearing board hears their cases and with little or no evidence to go on either extend their detentions or let them go.

If you remember, the military operation to conquer Iraq and depose Saddam was called Operation Iraqi Freedom, Freedom being the operative word there. So, instead of freedom we go over there and detain people who probably haven't done anything (of the 3,000 people who have been released from the prison only 9 have returned to jail.) Just in case you think this is some run of the mill Abu-Ghrarib, it isn't - it also has extensive "reeducation facilities".

On first thought, the idea of inmates being taught math, civics, and other skill seems like a very good idea.. however, they also have a religious reeducation course, which make me wonder... Obviously, for the 2,000 inmates that are put aside as possibly involved with Al Qaeda religious (re)education could be helpful in teaching them the Truth of peace in Islam but the thought of mandatory religious education classes seems a bit contrary. First of all these inmates should have access to lawyers, a guarantee of speedy trials, and protection of indefinite detention. Next, the inmates should have the option of whether to go to these classes or not. If they do perhaps it would lead to some sort of earlier release so they can serve as a testament to others as reformed terrorists. If they do not attend then they do the time for the crime for which they were convicted.

Don't like the idea? Love it? Please Comment!

CNN Story: Here

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Speak of the Taliban.. there they are!

Chaos in the streets. Men with automatic weapons and mortars. Attacks on diplomats and top government officials. People fleeing in terror. Military patrols and checkpoints allover.

Sounds like an average day in Baghdad, but this was in fact the scene in Afghanistan after a failed attempt on the life of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, high-ranking government officials, and diplomats during a celebration over the triumph over the Soviets. Approximately six Taliban sympathizers came out of a building or possibly were hiding behind a barricade and armed with automatic weapons and mortars began firing on the dignitaries. Most news reports say that 3 people were killed and a few dozen wounded by the attack.

The question however remains that after Karzai reacts initially to this attack how will he react to this brazen attack. This attack bears a very striking resemblance to the 1981 attack on Anwar Sadat of Egypt with killed the Egyptian leader and led to a state-of-emergency that remains until today. Will Karzai, who just two days ago told the US military to stop going after Taliban militants, gravitate towards martial law and strengthen his executive power or will he focus on pinpoint raids and arrests of Taliban militants?

Tragedy of this type puts Afghanistan at a crossroads, what will they do about militants of the opposition? Can they move beyond putting down rebellions and opposition using blunt-force or do they still have some maturation as a nation to go?

Liberal or illiberal Democracy, Karzai. You decide.


CNN Story Here
StrongModerate's Story on Karzai's demand of US military Here

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Afghan President: Stop Killing Taliban

What is politics if not just a random mess of relationships and interests?

Yesterday in a interview with the New York Times, Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that coalition (NATO) forces, especially US forces, stop targeting and killing Taliban militants because they are killing civilians. He suggests that the US military go after "terror sanctuaries" in the wildly unstable Pakistani frontier lands across the Afghan border.

What does this all mean though?

Does he like terrorism and the Taliban now? Has he entered some kind of unholy alliance with his enemies? The answer to those questions is No. What did happen was that like any politician when you start seeing an election coming up you must ruffle your feathers and sing to the tune of the electorate. The Afghan elections are just around the corner and one of the top issues on Afghan minds is being more independent AND reducing the number of casualties from military strikes of villages. On the issue of further sovereign independence (at least topically) Karzai absolutely needs the US and NATO troops in his country to hold it all together because his Afghan Army is weaker than most militias in Iraq, so Karzai instead of enacting real change that would anger his closest allies he has opted to try to solve the problem by changing the image of the US forces.

The Taliban are still out there and attacking Afghan targets but there is no way that any military action will oust them from their positions in Afghanistan and Pakistan . The only way to oust a political foe who is among the people is have the people turn against them, and with significant amounts of villagers and innocent civilians being killed by US air strikes the people are angry at the US military and the government for not protecting them. So, Karzai's move is partially targeted towards answering the people's cry for help and partially targeted towards bringing down the popularity of Taliban and other renegade forces in the far reaches of his country. He figures, most logically, that if the majority of Afghan casualties are caused by Taliban attacks (such as one of the most recent on a police station) the people will slowly turn against them, and according to every piece of military literature (including the US War College's study on insurgency) when an insurgency loses the backing of the people it will fade out of existence very quickly.

However, I know a few of you reading this must be outraged wondering how this "peaceful" approach would ever work against groups who are so ideologically driven to kill people. My approach to the problem would be more two-pronged, part precise military intervention and part peaceful interaction. The US military is a beautiful machine of force, capable of either leveling a country or two simultaneously or silently putting a bullet in someone with ever being detected. The military is currently using its big hammer to crush targets in Afghanistan, which is not the best instrument to use when it comes to an insurgency-like movement. Instead the US military and coalition forces should be focusing on Special Operations (even more) in order to exact scalpel-like efficiency in removing and arresting the Taliban's key members, and to keep civilians happy, publicize the Afghan Army's a role in them.

Terrorists must be dealt with no doubt, but air strikes and large show of force attacks do more to help insurgencies by scaring and killing civilians.


New York Times article: Here
MSNBC Story: On Karzai's Comments
CNN Story: On the Afghan Police attacked

Friday, April 25, 2008

Something Strange in Syria... and Suspicous in the US

Syria Nuclear Site information

Today the Pentagon, White House and CIA all came out with their report about the Israeli air strike on Syria. They now claim that the building bombed was probably a nuclear reactor meant for "non-peaceful purposes" that was mere weeks away from being operational. Something about the
whole situation is a little fishy.

First of all, it is illegal and an act of war to violate the airspace of a sovereign country (and bomb it, incidentally) but of course legality and such things are of no real concern for the Israeli government so we move on...

The real issue at hand here however is "why now?" Eight months after the "Operation Orchard" bombing why would the CIA and others suddenly come forward with this information, especially since the White House and others response to it at the time was "No Comment"? Is the White House trying to: 1) ramp up support for some kind of military mis-adventure, 2) try to sabotage their own 6-party talks with North Korea, whom they allege were the technicians behind the nuclear facilities, 3) or perhaps trying to sabotage any hopes of Syria and their neighbor, Iraq, having any positive relations (because obviously Syria is waaay worse then Iraq's cozying up to Iran). All the options seem quiet depressing and just stupid, strange, and/or suspicious.

Another question that should be posed is why, if the US Intelligence system could pinpoint a "WMD-lab truck" in Iraq back in 2003 did our intelligence services not catch this allegedly nearly finished nuclear facility until the Israelis informed us they were going to bomb it. The CIA states that they have been tracking this facility since 1997 when North Korean and Syrian officials met near the site of the nuclear facility which means this site should have been under surveillance for the past eleven years. Doesn't this mean that Syria probably would have been a better candidate for invasion in 2003? They at least had a facility supposedly being built that was almost capable of creating nuclear materials, which is much further along than Saddam ever got. I guess this just goes to prove that these neo-conservatives have been obsessed with invading Iraq ever since their 1998 letter to President Clinton asking him to intervene with troops into Iraq.

Once again we are forced to sigh and ponder how an administration could become so obsessed with their own fantasy of democratic triumph and American victory that they forgot to truly weigh the matter...


CNN Story Here

CNN Story on reaction to the story Here

Sadr clarifies his call for "open war"

"Does this make me look menacing.. dangerous, even?"

In a case of "the-enemy-of-my-friend-is-my-enemy-but-actually-he-likes-my-friend-and-hates-me" Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr clarified his threat of war. He proclaimed that his war would only be on the "occupiers" of Iraq (pretty much the Americans at this point). He told his supporters, through a letter read by a top aide, during a Friday prayer in Sadr City, Baghdad that his 'war' would not be directed towards "our Iraqi brothers -- no matter what their nationality, race or sect. The blood of Iraqis are forbidden on you."

So, you see the surge IS working. It is allowing the Iraqi sects and factions to all come together.. in hate of the US occupation force. Not exactly what we were looking for, but a victory is a victory, take it as it comes. Let us not forget that it was the Mehdi Army militia that provided security and bodyguards for current Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki.

Politically al-Maliki has been trying to aid al-Sadr as much as possible in their plan for Shi'ite dominance and close ties to Iran while also trying to seem like a "good guy" for the Bush Administration. The Prime Minister has also been quoted as telling a group of Senators off-the-record that he is working to "kill all these damn troublemakers.. the Sunnis, of course", sounds like a real fair-minded guy.

Something tells me this al-Sadr fellow isn't going to go away under US pressure alone especially with such strong support within the Iraqi government (his movement is backed by about 30% of its legislators and has influence over the Interior and Transport Ministries), the Iranian government (material and spiritual support.. by the boatload), and huge support from Shi'ites allover Iraq who view him as a People's Hero.

Well.. Let's hope his "open war" plan never comes to fruition, because if last weeks skirmishes between the Mehdi Army and US-backed Iraqi troops (before a few hundred of them surrendered their weapons and joined the Mehdi Army) was a preview, it won't go too well for US troops.

CNN Here

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Virtual Fence Scraped..

In another blow to controlling the flow of immigrants at the border and reducing illegal immigrants from crossing the border the virtual border fence project has been scrapped. This sad bit of news today from MSNBC.

How can we say we control our own border with Mexico if we can't even get a mere $20 million dollar project off the ground? Homeland Security Chief Chertoff told us all that the Boeing sponsored project (dubbed Project 28) would be all the high-tech moving our border security to the 21st Century.. instead the project doesn't even respond to illegal border crossers and does not relay any information it gathers about such crossings to Border Patrol Agents.

GAO - the Gov't Accountability Office, who publish excellent reports say that the 3,000 alerts that the prototype sent to Border Patrol Agents in the past few months were a mere fraction of the actual amount that passed through that area and among those 3,000 alerts were false readings that led Agents on Wild-Goose chases through the brush.

Boeing has a $860 million dollar contract to put up the virtual border system is being replaced by a plan to go back to placing "communications towers" along the border to detect illegal immigrants. The problem still exists however that the Border Patrol neither has near the strength in agent numbers nor the equipment funding to apprehend and return illegal aliens at the rate at which they cross even if they were informed of each incident.

Such is the sad state of Immigration control along our southern border.

Also, a CNN link here

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

With a few moments minutes left until the end of Earth Day, we here at StrongModerate hope that everyone had a good Earth Day and will continue trying to be good stewards to earth everyday.

We did our part.. blogging instead of writing in to the newspaper, it certainly has been good for conserving paper.. the electricity that the computers use however may have offset that, but we digress.

Remember, no matter if you believe in Global Warming or any kind of Global Environmental Crisis, it is always important to take care of the Earth and nature not just for yourself but for future generations who want to be enthralled by the beauty and magnitude of Earth's natural wonder all around us. Happy Earth Day 2008! We Hope every Earth Day will serve as a day to reflect on Nature's greatness and beauty.

We have a Winner!


With 99% reporting, the count is the same - 55% for Clinton, 45% to Obama. A big defeat for Obama but he did make some gains in the state since five weeks ago when most polls put him 20 points behind. Obama won 7 counties, including the city of Philadelphia, and Clinton won every other county... so the Obama effect was localized mostly to the southeast corner and center of the state. Up next, on May 6th is Indiana and North Carolina, both expected to be double digit wins for Obama. Well.. a long road lay ahead, and StrongModerate Blog will be there every step of the way! Good Night and Good Luck.


93% reporting, Obama now up to 6 counties, but no gains overall still a 10 percent divide. Clinton patted herself profusely on the back in her victory speech.. Obama on the other hand tried to push the focus to the future, such as North Carolina, where the outlook is a lot sunnier. In terms of pledged delegates, 77 have been awarded - 40 to Clinton, 37 to Obama.

We'll be back one more time.. when we reach 99 or 100% of the vote.. stay tuned!


79% reporting now, and Obama has 6 counties (the 6th being only by 2 points). The lead has stayed at ten points statewide 55-45. Now with over 75% of the largest three cities reporting, Clinton has a lock on Pittsburgh and Allentown and Obama has locked in a big victory in Philadelphia. In terms of pledged delegates, 73 have been awarded - 40 to Clinton, 33 to Obama.

More analysis as more information becomes available..


Now with 61% of the vote in, Obama has control over 6 counties, Clinton doing well in every other one (there are two counties with no precincts reporting). Clinton now leads by 10 percentage points, which is above and beyond the hopes of victory the Clinton campaign had dreamed of and well above the six to eight percentage points that the Obama campaign had thought it would lose by.. I'll bet Obama is already dreaming of how much different North Carolina's Primary night will be like.


With 51% of the count in, it looks like an eight point lead for Clinton. She now has taken Pittsburgh (by 12%) but Philadelphia and Harrisburg are still Obama zones by 22 and 26 points respectively.

The state is going more and more towards Hillary as Obama has a lead in only 4 counties.

More soon..

8:37PM CST

With just 6% of the vote counted CNN, then every other news outlet known to mankind, projected that Hillary Clinton would win the Pennsylvania primary. Wow.. how predictive of them!

We all knew that HRC would win, the question is by how much. Obama is doing well in urban areas (as he traditionally has) and Hillary is doing very well.. everywhere else, guess rural voters were a little "bitter". Obama has kept it close by keeping his lead in urban areas well above double digits in people-rich cities like Philly, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh. Hillary however is keeping up with by winning almost every other country by around 60%.

As usual, the Clinton campaign is hailing this as a huge victory that will propel her to the nomination, however there is a distinct possibility that like the "victory" in Texas the majority of the state's delegates could go to Obama after the Super-Delegates make up their minds.

More analysis forthcoming...

For an interactive map, visit CNN's Pennsylvania Primary Results page
and CNN oft-updated coverage, here

Defense Secretary Gates Cares

I just read something that really reminded me why I was so happy to hear that former Texas A&M President Dr. Robert Gates was named to be our Defense Secretary a year and a half ago:

Gates chokes up among cadets

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates' voice cracked with emotion Monday night as he wrapped up a lesson to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates thanked Army cadets at West Point, New York, for enrolling.

Gates delivered a lengthy lecture about the complexities of war, underscoring the responsibility of junior officers to challenge their superiors even if it put their careers at risk. A tape of the talk was released by the Department of Defense's Pentagon Channel.

"I encourage you to take on the mantle of fearless, thoughtful, but loyal dissent when the situation calls for it," he urged.

At the end of his talk, the Pentagon chief paused to thank the cadets for their decision to attend the academy in West Point, New York, despite what he said was "the knowledge of almost certain deployment to a distant and dangerous battlefield."

Gates appeared near tears as he choked out the words, "I feel personally responsible for each and every one of you, as if you were my own sons and daughters."

He paused again, composed himself, and continued, "So my only prayer is that you serve with honor and return home safely. And I personally thank you. Good luck and Godspeed."

It is no wonder that this was the guy that President Bush (the Father) picked to be the head of the CIA and is a personal friend of his. This guy really cares about everyone who serves under him and understands the responsibility that he has to ensure that every person in the military be given the best chance to succeed no matter the consequence.

I had the distinct honor of listening to Secretary Gates speak at a gathering on Capitol Hill last summer and was surprised at his sincerity and genuine nature. It will be a travesty that he only will have had two years to fix the mess that Donald Rumsfeld created at the Pentagon when he is ousted to make way for the next Administration.

In his tears and emotion he has shown us not weakness of heart but the strength of responsibility, honor, service, and heart. Proud Americans everywhere salute you Secretary Gates, Thank you for your service.

CNN Link: Here

Are We Done Yet...? Penn Primary

Donkey Fight!

Now that about a dozen years after the end of the Texas primary, the Pennsylvania primary is finally underway.

Honestly, I have to predict that the vote will be about 5 points in Hilary's favor but since the Democrats don't care much for the popular vote it could turn out that Obama wins by virtue of the Super-Delegates (as he did in Texas).

The last "big" state in the democratic primaries (in population, Montana.. no disrespect) the competition was fierce and totally insane. Clinton and Obama will probably come out of this wishing they were born without a mouth to misspeak (anyone "bitter"?), a brain to mis-remember (duck.. its a sniper disguised as a little girl with a poem!), or a body to be present for anything (All-White Country clubs, Black Churches with disgruntled pastors, being married to Bill, being Black.. the list goes on).

I know that the madness won't stop for quite awhile.. but at least the citizens of one state won't be assailed for five long weeks of rhetoric and negative attacks for another 3 or so years when the next crop of Candidates start campaigning 2 years early again.

Now all we can do is relax while the people vote.. and wait for the results to come out.. and the news media to be filled with more spinning and scratching than a DJ Convention (or if you in Texas, that would be "chopped and screwed").

We will be back to provide to the feedback frenzy when the polls close, enjoy the peace while you can!

CNN Links:

Places to Watch In Penn Primary

Obama Lowers expectations of Primary

Monday, April 21, 2008

MIlitary lowers Entrance Requirements.. Again.

The United States Military Service is quickly turning from the pride of the US to a rehabilitation service for felons and delinquents.

Today it was revealed that the Army and Marines would give even more waivers to those who want to enlist for felonies. This after they brought down the requirements for physical discipline, brought up the age at which a person could enlist, and had earlier given waivers for other crimes. Felonies, though? Really? COME ON! Shame!

If it were just some crazy felonies like.. I dunno.. Whale Hunting in Nebraska or something, I'd be cool with it but here are a few of the felonies that were waived so scum could join the military: assault, drug possession, sexual assault, and making terrorist threats. Hmm... Assault - maybe not so bad - I mean they are going to be trained to assault people anyways but maybe having a big temper isn't a good thing for someone who will be equipped with a weapon and interacting with some of the most powerful military machines in the world. Second, Drug Possession - Do you really want people who were on drugs and possibly still are to be in the Army, again equipped with a weapon, in Countries which have A LOT of drugs? I'm talking of course about Afghanistan, Iraq, and the US. Third, Sexual Assault? Is this possibly the reason that there are at least 527 investigations of Sexual Assault and Rape in Iraq alone? Just sayin'... Lastly and most ironically, Making Terroristic Threats, isn't that what we are sending them to FIGHT? I mean if they are making terroristic threats the Army should be sending them to be tortured "interrogated" at Gitmo, don't ya think?!

This is really despicable and the only lame excuse the Army and Marines could come up with is that it is there are fewer recruits today meet their standards. So that means we lower the standards? This is an insult to those who entered the service before these Waivers were issued and a slap in the face to anyone who believes in the honor and service of the US Military. That proud honorable people who joined the military service because of their patriotism and love for service have to serve in the same Army or Marine unit as convicted criminals is a slap in the face of every current and former person in the US Army and Marines. These criminals will sully the reputation of our military and our image worldwide. Do you want to be represented by some criminal? It will be no small wonder that our reputation around the world will keep plummeting around the world when the first thing face-to-face interaction with an American could be one of these convicts.

Certainly a few of these criminals who received waivers just made a mistake during their youth or something and are now better people.. however it is safe to assume that not 100 percent of them are and even one such person is a disgrace to our Department of Defense, after all these men and women are suppose to reflect our volunteer "patriot" soldier Army.

The only good thing that I can say concerning this topic is kudos to the US Air Force who did not give a single waiver in 2006 or 2007 and I am less disgusted with the Navy who reduced their waivers from 48 in '06 to 42 in '07.

Link to CNN story here

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Obama: Wooing Republicans in Penn.

Senator Obama (D-IL) announced this week at a campaign stop that even Republicans would be better than current President Bush. At his campaign stop in Pennsylvania he stated "Either Democrat would be better than John McCain," he said. "And all three of us would be better than George Bush."

Why? Why would he do this? Obviously, he is trying to steal away any Republican support for Hillary Clinton (D-NY) before the Penn. Primary. Wooing Republicans and Independents just before the primary is a smart tactic considering how contested each democrat's vote is but now less than 48 hours before voters hit the polls he also needs to try to sway the swing voters who are still undecided.

An abysmal ABC debate hardly let either candidate state their case cohesively to the voters and now Obama is dominating the airwaves, Clinton is stepping up her rhetorical attacks and both candidates are going more negative than they had dared to go before.

So, maybe Obama did not praise McCain as much as he just tried to praise his own ability to work across the aisle no matter who is President. Smart Tactic... will it work? Only Pennsylvanians can tell us in a few days time.

Bloomberg: President is a Child

Mayor Bloomberg (I) and Governator Schwarzenegger (R) were just having a lovely little press conference, talking about everything from trade policy to jokes, when Mayor Bloomberg decided, in response to a question about backing a Presidential candidate, to give a little editorial on what he thinks of the current Administration. It wasn't pretty.

He said he needed to investigate each candidates position carefully before making a decision, blah, blah, blah.. then in praising the three candidates said that "at least we would have an adult" in the White House. Hmm... so that makes President Bush's policies childish... how true, how true Wow, Bloomy, didn't think you had it in you!

Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Schwarzenegger are a guys I respect a lot, they aren't tied to a single political party and generally do what they thinks is right not what the political winds and whims of pollsters point them to. The "I" that comes after Bloomberg's name is well-deserved, he is a credit to bi-partisan politics and the "R" for the Governator points back to the good ol' days of Republicans who could work with people across the aisle to make real progress and make this nation better for everyone.

Friday, April 18, 2008

1.7M of your tax-dollars have gone to a Polygamist Terrorist

Sometimes I wonder, why is everyone so angry with government? Is it because they involve themselves unnecessarily into our lives? Sometimes. Is it because they waste our money? Sure, a little. Is it because they do too little? No.. it isn't, it is because they usually do too little of the right things and too much of the wrong.

For instance, the Department of Defense needs some spare parts for its aircraft. OK, there is a lot of waste going on at the DoD with contractors and all that.. but spare parts for aircrafts seems like a pretty good expenditure. I, like most Americans, want the US Air Force to be the most powerful on the globe, ready for anything at comes their way. So.. usually I wouldn't complain about the USAF buying spare parts for aircraft. Oh sure, I'd complain about them being overpriced.. or ordered in too little numbers or in grossly exaggerated numbers.. but none of those problems are the subject for today's anger.

It seems that the DoD has been buying thousands of those parts from Warren Jeffs' three main companies. Jeffs is a the head of the FLDS church that supports polygamy, child rape, and other deplorable acts and was just a week ago raided (twice) and all of the children and most of the women removed or allowed to escape this cult society controlled by Jeffs and his male accomplices.

Now if the money was spent before the FBI and police knew of Jeffs' activities I would be satiated however, it wasn't. The companies that we are talking about here not only provided parts to the DoD while Mr. Jeffs was on the run from the FBI, on the FBI top-ten list, and in custody but also after he was captured and put on trial!!!!

Can you believe that?!

It wasn't as though the parts were terribly specialized or the case was something that quietly happened! The capture, trial, and conviction of this religious terrorist and child rapist were covered on every news source! His companies were being watched closely by the FBI and state police as well because the companies were making weekly "donations" to the FDLS church for more than $50,000 dollars a WEEK. That makes over TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH!

We, law-abiding tax-paying citizens, have contributed 1.7 Million Dollars to this madman's wealth through DoD contracts to his companies. Imagine the anguish that could have been avoided if as soon as Warren Jeffs came under investigation and a warrant was put out for his arrest those contracts would have been voided. Instead, the government has used our money to partially fund this sickening man and his "compound" where he prays on the young and keeps his followers in darkness to any other truth than the one he preaches. Isn't faith strongest when it has withstood the test of the challenge of others?

Just to add insult to injury a spokesman for the DoD said "nothing inappropriate" happened. The sad thing is that almost certainly hundreds of cases like this happen everyday, where our government spending money that directly goes to fund criminals.

A little more information Here

Please Leave a Comment!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In Memory of Virginia Tech

Ut Prosim - That I May Serve

Let us just take one moment's pause to think and pray for those whose lives were plucked early at Virginia Tech one year ago.

Let us put aside politics, ideology and our differences to contemplate the tragedy and its consequences.

Let us remember those who were taken from us that horrific day: [List compiled by way of Wikipedia, NBC News]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sen Arlen Specter (R-PA) has Cancer Again

In some very saddening news, we have learned that Senator Specter of Pennsylvania and a true leader on the Judiciary Committee has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease again. He was first diagnosed with this cancer of the lymphatic system in 2005.

Sen. Specter recently published his autobiographical book, "Never Give In: Battling Cancer in the Senate", about his battle with the disease which he first was aware of having in 2005. In the book he describes his battles as friends and enemies began to treat him differently and famously said that President Bush treated him like he was "contagious".

He has stated that he will continue to serve Pennsylvania in the Senate and will go through an intense 12 weeks of chemotherapy. Sen. Specter has also had other medical issues in the past which he has overcome and recovered from fully, such as two cardiac arrests and other heart problems.

We wish him good luck and a speedy path to recovery.

Other Links on this story:

Official Statement - Sen. Specter's Senate Office

Arlen Specter's Hodgkin's disease returns - CNN

Pa. Sen. Arlen Specter diagnosed again with cancer - AP

Monday, April 14, 2008

Congressional Name-Calling: Shameful Words

If there is one thing that the late and great David Brinkely taught us it is that you don't have to be disagreeable in order to disagree. The act of name-calling, however, goes beyond being just disagreeable into the realm of infantile stupidity. That is why a few a few news stories caught my eye(s) today.

First, Senator Lieberman (I-CT)...

He insinuated on FOX news radio that Senator Obama was a Marxist as Bill Kristol claims. Shame on Lieberman for that kind of name calling and disrespect! I know they both don't agree on a the war among other things but as colleagues in the United States Senate he should at the very least respect his fellow Senator and not engage in name-calling with goes well beyond the realm of common decency.

Next comes Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY)...

Well.. Rep. Davis didn't claim that Sen. Obama is a Communist.. nope, he first decided go with stating that Obama was 'weak-kneed' because he "couldn't be the guy to push the button", referring to National Security exercises they both partook in. Now that comment is up for debate, I suppose it is possible that he in fact was a little apprehensive pushing the button in a nuclear terrorism situation which I don't think is particularly bad thing.

Rep. Davis however.. couldn't just limit his comments to something that would matter like National Security... he also decided to go the RACIST route calling the Senator a "boy". Now I know a lot of people say well.. maybe he was being condescending but not racist, but let's face it folks the Representative is from Kentucky which means that he would know that calling a black man a "boy" is going to be viewed as racist. So after few hours of silence and squirming he sent a letter to the Obama campaign apologizing for his comments which I respect, but the point is he should have just limited his attacks to Issue attacks instead of belittling the person (and possibly showing a little racist edge).

Well.. that's all for now, I'm sure there's more craziness in Politics coming right around the corner, so I'll be there with ya! Good Day!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Absolut Apology: We Didn't Mean It!

Absolut Vodka apologized for the Inflammatory ad in Mexican print media and billboards saying it was not their intention that people outside of their target audience.

A recording on the consumer hot-line which was flooded with complaints (thanks to you, blog readers and so many others) had a pre-recorded message stating the following about the ad:
'In no way was it meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues''
The company also said that it was unfortunate that the reaction was so "negative" because it was only meant for a target audience to "remind them of better times". In response to that baloney a web friend sent me this graphic (a possible ad in Germany, perhaps?), but don't get mad.. it would only be meant for Nazis:

In some sad news , Charlton Heston has died at age 84 - a noted actor, he marched with MLK and was president of the NRA for five years. We here at StrongModerate blog applaud him for always fighting for what he believed in.

Friday, April 4, 2008

GOP Congressman states 9/11 a "simply a plane crash"

GOP Representative Issa: 9/11 "not Uncle Sam's problem"

Representative Don Issa (R-CA-San Diego) in a hearing on federal aid to New York Fire Department members (who became ill after the September 11th attacks) blasted the aid as babying New Yorkers who had only suffered a "plane crash" and there was no "dirty bomb.. or chemical munitions". Rep. Issa obviously thinks that if you aren't tortured to the extreme then killed you aren't worthy of aid.

Rep. Issa came under fire from all sides: Congressmen and women, first responders, and victims.

Rep. King (R-NY) who has made quite a few outrageous ignorant things in the past said "New York was attacked by Al Qaeda. It doesn't have to be attacked by Congress."

First responder, Frank Fraone, a Menlo Park, Calif., fire chief who led a 67-man crew at Ground Zero said: That is a pretty distorted view of things.. Whether they're a couple of planes or a couple of missiles, they still did the same damage" (alluding to 9/11 conspiracies as well)

One spouse of a victim of the attack called the comment "cold and heartless" and "discouraging"

Rep. Issa did (kinda-sorta-not-really) apologize "I continue to support federal assistance for the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks."

While it is true that a lot of money was wasted from excess spending and corruption in New York after the 9/11 attacks that is simply no reason to criticize the noble intentions of aid to firefighters who may suffer from respiratory illnesses due to their work in and around Ground Zero.

Contact Rep. Issa and let his office know that his "apology" was not enough.

Washington D.C. Office
211 Cannon House
Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
phone: 202-225-3906
fax: 202-225-3303

Thursday, April 3, 2008


ABSOLUT-ly Despicable: Revisionist Historians

Absolut in a Mexican magazine and on Billboards in Mexico City decided to promote its product stating that "In An Absolut World" the drinker would be transported into a 1830's right-wing Mexican image of the Mexican nation. The ad no doubt will create controversy because it not only plays on immigration fears Americans have of the "invading" illegal immigrant waves coming from the Southern border but also plays into current radical right-wingers in the Mexican political system who still claim that Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California are Mexican property because the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (signed in February 2, 1848) is illegal. So, Absolut decided to play on these latent hostile feelings in order to gain some traction in the Mexican market.

Not only that, the advertisement depicted the land of the Empire of Mexico in excess to what it actually ever had or claimed to have. This is a disgusting ploy and should not be accepted! Tell Absolut to take back their pandering lies and apologize. The issue of immigration is too important to joke about in such an inflammatory way.

Original Link: Here


Jeffrey Moran
Director of Public Relations and Events
The Absolut Spirits Company, Inc.
1370 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Phone, direct: +1 212 641 87 20
E-mail: jeffrey.moran@absolut.com

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sen. Hagel on Daily Show

Sen. Hagel was on the Daily Show discussing his book and the state of US affairs. Enjoy!

AP: Obama formally wins most Texas delegates

Sen. Barack Obama has won the overall delegate race in Texas thanks to a strong showing in Democratic county conventions this past weekend. Obama picked up seven of nine outstanding delegates, giving him a total of 99 Texas delegates to the party's national convention this summer. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won the other two.

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