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November 12, 2005

Noted in Passing.

Friday, November 11, 2005 by Scot H. Laney Bass fisherman There are things in this world that should not be commented on by those who have no actual grounding in the subject - no hands-on experience to pull from, no personal knowledge to fortify any sort of opinion on the matter.

War is one of those things for me. I have never experienced it in either its hot or cold form - have never risen to that challenge, made those kinds of sacrifices.

So I, like many others, can only imagine. We can read about the subject, see it on television and at the movies, but still not be equipped to carry one boot let alone be fitted for our own pair.

Let's face it, you've either been on the point of the spear or you have not. You have learned the hard lessons of life from the world's most unforgiving teacher or you have not. There is no opportunity to be "kind of" in this club. If you act as if you are, or are filled with some sense of bravado about what you would do if you ever were, then you have committed a gross felony on those who have. An abortion of human decency and respect to those who actually deserve it.

It seems to me that there is just no way to know the hardship, sorrow, kinship with one another, pride in a job well done, personal sacrifice, and sense of duty to something bigger and more worthwhile than ourselves, without going through that particular gauntlet.

So we (the uninitiated) are only left with a thank you on this day to the men and women who know what it means to be there, to have done it, and are doing it even now. Places with names like Lexington and Concord become Normandy and Tarawa, then Mount Baldy, Saigon, Mogadishu, Baghdad and a thousand other places in-between.

But the job is always the same. Protecting our way of life, that is. Taking it to them before they take it to us, here where we are. The cost is inscribed on marble walls, millions of white crosses, and deep lines on the faces - and cracks in the hearts - of the mothers and fathers of those who did not come back.

But that thank you, however sincere it is, regardless of how much significance we attach to it, seems to be so damn feeble. Somehow so much less than it should be for what some have done for the rest of us. Still, it is all that we have to offer on this day, and it is meaningful in that we owe it to you and you have earned it.

There are still people, lots of people, who believe this way in this great country. Regardless of what you read in the paper or see on the news, we believe in what you do now and what you have done before, and we honor you for it.

God bless the veterans.

I will add this. First Responders know. It's different, but not that much, in the end. H/t, Bill S.

It's over. We did it. Good on us!

Team Number of Donations Amount Raised Average Donation
Navy 223 $23,831.76 $106.87
Army 258 $23,652.57 $91.68
Marines 209 $19,607.00 $93.81
Air Force 123 $11,114.11 $90.36
Unaffiliated 154 $10,128.00 $65.77
Totals 967 $88,333.44 $91.35

Details here at the Project Valour-IT blog.

In the "Race to the Swift" category, first to the goal of $21K, the winner was the Army.

In the "In it for the Long Haul" category, the Navy wins thus far. I only say 'thus far' because the mailed-in donations haven't all been tabulated. I *assume* they're checking post marks...


But the *REAL DEAL* is the graphic below - Blogs Working Together, we raised $88K for Project Valour-IT. I don't know what our average exposure was, based on total blog readership (and we can't go by just sums, since many donees read several of the participating blogs, but I think we did pretty well, to get almost 1000 people to donate. At a cost of really little more than our time. Not bad for a buncha amateurs.

Big shout out to to all of you who participated - but the biggest go to CPT Ziegenfuss and Fuzzybear Lioness - whose dream-made-reality this project truly is.

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Thank you, one and all!


by John on Nov 12, 2005 | Project Valour-IT
» Neptunus Lex links with: Valour-IT - BZ Navy!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies
» BIG DOG's WEBLOG links with: Project Valout IT Results
» Cao's Blog links with: Project Valor it Results
» A Blog For All links with: Project Valour IT Competition Update

November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day 2005.

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You *really* want to honor a Vet? Then do this. Donate. Again, if you have already. So more scenes like this can happen.



It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see:http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious)

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (scroll down at:http://soldiersangels.org/valour/donate.html).

Bill got you ready yesterday, so I'll pick up the flag today.

Today we celebrate the living. The survivors. We honor the dead in May. Except today we honor the dead, too. We can't help it. The bonds of combat soldiery are tightest because of those who went with us but didn't come back, they took the low road while we took the high. Most of us have an "absent companion" or four that we drink to, when the time is right. Today it will be right. I have 14 that I will drink to. 14 little shots of tequila. Actually, I won't do it tonight when I get home, either. I spread 'em out between Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. My father doesn't even try. If he toasted all his ghosts, his liver would rip itself out of his belly and run.

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We have bonds. Bonds that sometimes our closest family don't understand. Why does Grampa Joe keep bailing that wino out of trouble? Because that wino lost two fingers tossing a grenade out of a two-man fighting position during the a vicious night fight on Guadalcanal, that's why. Because that stranger that Dad greets like a long lost brother once a year is, in fact, a long lost brother, who shared the exhilaration of the night combat drop on Point Salines. Because the quiet guy you've never seen before extracted your Dad's best friend's body from a helicopter crash in Mogadishu by cutting off his legs - so that no man would be left behind. Because that guy over there negotiated with Aideed to get the legs back.

(To save space for Dial-up visitors, the remainder of this post has been moved to the Flash Traffic/Extended entry.)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Nov 11, 2005 | Something for the Soul
» Overtaken by Events links with: Present Arms
» Garfield Ridge links with: Veteran's Day.
» Conservative Thinking links with: Veteran's Day
» The Military Outpost links with: Veteran's Day 2005
» La Shawn Barber's Corner links with: “.. to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic…”
» Dust my Broom links with: As seen at Vimy
» The Uncooperative Blogger links with: Happy Veterans Day!
» The Uncooperative Blogger links with: A Veterans Day Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
» Don Surber links with: Veterans Day
» Stop The ACLU links with: Veterans Day Open Trackbacks
» Security Watchtower links with: Around the Blogs on Veterans Day
» CatHouse Chat links with: Veterans' Day, 2005
» Jack Yoest links with: Three Misconceptions About The Military
» scoopstories links with: Thinking About Veterans
» Iraq War Today links with: Veterans' Day 2005
» A Blog For All links with: Veterans Day 2005
» Balance Sheet links with: Veterans Day - Emotionally Moving

November 10, 2005

Prepping for tomorrow

Okay, I don't get here as often as I should. Sometimes Real Life gets overly-intrusive, sometimes retreating-brain-stall sets in for an extended stay, sometimes priorities change.

But there are a few priorities that should be forged in steel...

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. As the years have gone by, this has become only another, almost meaningless, holiday to many.

Veterans of the Second World War are dying at a rate of 2000 each day.

Never forget to thank them for your way of life. They paid dearly for the freedom we all enjoy.

Think of them tomorrow and thank them.

Soon, all too soon, there will be not one left for you to thank...

http://www.managedmusic.com/beforeyougo.html

Right-click and save-as, then paste the URL to your window. It's only a three-minute show.

Three short minutes.

But that's longer than many lived after the C-47s hit the drop zone, or Lead reached the IP, or the klaxon sounded for an emergency dive, or the portside watch spotted the sunglint from an incoming raid, or the Higgins boats dropped their ramps...


Hand salute* to Vulture Two-Niner
*those who know, know...

by CW4BillT on Nov 10, 2005 | Spirit of America
» Neptunus Lex links with: Veteran’s Day
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Thank You, Veterans!
» Stuck On Stupid links with: Veteran's Day Blogfest!

If it's the second post on Thursday, I better get to the airport!

Man, how pathetic is this? I've got 1500 or so readers... and 12 votes. Geez. And here I thought you guys liked me... (sniff, sniff). How about if a smart, pretty woman tells ya ta vote for me (and a few others). You can vote here, up to midnight tonight (Aaron is on the left coast, so that might be up to 3AM for you right-coast party animals.)

The Heartless Libertarian on Officer Retention.

Garfield Ridge with Gun Pr0n.

The Right Place on Media Polling.

Overtaken by Events is offering up a custom Chris Muir cartoon - featuring you! - if you win the auction that supports Project Valour-IT.

Watch this space - after he returns to the Heartland, the Armorer at Argghhh! will have some more incentives up, to take us through today and tomorrow, when this fundraiser closes...

Go Army! Back a Winnah!



It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see:http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious)

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (scroll down at:http://soldiersangels.org/valour/donate.html).

Last, but not least, another Branch Recruiting Poster.

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by John on Nov 10, 2005 | Observations on things Military
» My Side of the Puddle links with: Blogger Rodeo
» NIF links with: Roll the dice

If it's Thursday, I must be leaving.

It will be good to go home, see SWWBO and the critters, but this has been fun. Of course, this is the fun two weeks. When it starts back up, it's 12-16 hour days... I admit I *won't* miss that part. Especially since the duty position from now on is in the White Cell in the simcenter that provides the wrap-around for the live portion of the experiment.

Here in my current cubicle, we're experimenting with a mix of current and future tech, putting it in the hands of soldiers, seeing how they use it, how they adapt, noting how the OPFOR reacts and adapts. We have stuff that's almost ready for prime time, stuff that surrogates a planned capability but in no way is otherwise ready for prime time, and running the the gamut in between.

We've been looking at Airships, for several purposes.

A couple of days ago I ran a pic for you aircraft grognards that took over twelve hours for you guys to figure out! A record!

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That was a Buster UAV. In fairness to those who had trouble figuring it out - when it's flying, it looks very different from different angles... but when it's moving, it's nowhere near as hard to figure out. The Buster capability is envisioned as a Battalion/Company level UAV. The jury is still out on which levels will eventually end up with their own UAVs - this is one of many studies and experiments, combined with operational data from the sandboxes, that will inform those decisions. Buster is ramp launched.

Raven is the platoon-level capability. Raven is hand-launched, and the operator uses a hand-held controller where he can watch the video from the bird and control it.

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Last up is the Batplane, the TACMAV. A squad level capability, it's man-packable, literally rolling up to fit in the tubes on the backpack, 1 per tube. When you remove it, it just flops into shape. You use this little controller, and the simple video feed goes to a laptop. Cute little sucker, though, eh?

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We've also looked at tech that makes the soldier a mule...

But, as I head back to my Dilbert-cubicle, I envy the Company Commander and his cube...

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...because when he gets out of it, he takes his rifle with him and does some shooting!

November 09, 2005

Snerkity-snerk-snerk!

Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

The coarsening of America is complete. And I just contributed.

H/t, who else, SWWBO. I'm not even going to *think* what she might have been searching for...

November 08, 2005

Attention!

Publicity Stunt Mkay... I dragged my drugged and temporarily one-handed body out of the hospital bed to tell ya'll about something most important.

Carren is gonna be on national TV (and live national TV at that) to let everyone know about Project Valour-IT. She will represent me (the nerd who thought of this project), and the many people who have made this project a success.

She is going to be on "Connected coast to coast" a show run by MSNBC. Don't know how long she'll be on, but for the love of god, please tune in, put your hands on the top of your TV, and talk to Jebus when the show is over. The show runs from 1200-1300 (noon to one fer ya civilians out there)(and that's eastern time) My beloved is supposed to be on around 1240, but I will rest assured that her looks, personality, and general charm will either get her on early, or the show will go into extra rounds like Rocky and the Big Ruskie in Rocky IV.

Here's how you can help. Send this to every one you know, post it on your blog, get them to post it on theirs. One side will say it's a failure of the gummint to not provide this for the soldiers, others just see it as a way to help our brothers and sisters who have fallen but will be getting up. However they spin it, just get the word out.

There's less than 18 hours to game time, so let's get our blog on!

--Chuck

p.s. I met the Secretary of the Army a few days ago. I don't remember most of our conversation (because pain killers do that to you, especially at the level I'm taking them...think chevy chase (or was it Dan Akroyd?) in "Modern Problems". But I brought two things to his attention: 1. It's stupid and a waste of manpower to hold a medical review board for a guy who's lost a finger 2. I pitched Valour-IT to him. He thinks it's a great idea. He was pressed for time, so his aide took the info sheets we gave him and gave us his card...and told us to call if we don't hear anything about it in two weeks!


--
Charles W. Ziegenfuss
Former Commander, C/2-34 AR, 3BCT
(Currently on the mend in KS)

Any questions? You have your orders. Move out!

by John on Nov 08, 2005 | Project Valour-IT
» Neptunus Lex links with: Another way to help…
» Balance Sheet links with: Project Valour-IT - Getting Short
» Jack Yoest links with: Enlist in Soldiers' Angels
» A Blog For All links with: Project Valour IT - A Soldiers' Angel Program
» Reasoned Audacity: Politics in Real Life links with: Enlist in Soldier's Angels
» Jack Yoest links with: Enlist in Soldiers' Angels
» Reasoned Audacity: Politics in Real Life links with: Enlist in Soldier's Angels
» Reasoned Audacity: Politics in Real Life links with: Enlist in Soldier's Angels

Project Valour-IT: BIG HUGE HONKING HAT TIP to Jon Jay at Stop The ACLU

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That's what it really is. Yeah, we're fighting over the bragging rights, but the reality is, the money goes into the same pot, for the same purpose, and no ID cards are checked.

BIG HUGE HONKING HAT TIP to Jon Jay at Stop The ACLU. Jon is a Zoomie. His service is getting spanked by the rest of us in the competition. But when the server hosting the Marine Contingent went down - Jon stepped up and and let Holly Aho use his server to keep things alive.

So, the Marines are hosted here.

In deference to Jon's Jay's sacrifice for the team, I'll go toss some cash in the AF pot.

You can ignore those Navy guys. Hosers.

Go Army! Back a Winnah! Even if those bassids are ahead by a smidge - we've both made our goals. Now it's purely about Pride (and taking care of the wounded, natch)!



It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see:http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious)

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (scroll down at:http://soldiersangels.org/valour/donate.html).

Let's do our part!

Visit the Boss and Enlist Now!

The group of Army bloggers supporting Valour-IT are:

American Soldier
Argghhh!
Wild Tangents
Random Thoughts
Keep My Soldier Safe
Most Certainly Not
My Life As A Military Spouse
One By One The Vultures Pick Away At My Sanity
HomefrontSix
Sgt. Hook
Some Soldier's Mom
Not Exactly Rocket Science
Just My Opinion
PlanningBlog
MacStansbury.org
By The Way...
Technicalities
The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill
Winds of Change
Iraq War News


Some observations on things military.

This has been around before... A lot of staff officers will relate. There are, *I think* some new ones in here. Regardless, the old ones are *still* funny.

In other news:

Canadian to lead hunt for Afghan insurgents Edmonton-based general commands 2,200 Canadians, 4,000 from allied forces Matthew Fisher The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, November 07, 2005
Brig.-Gen. David Fraser is preparing his troops for high-risk, high-altitude duty in Afghanistan's remote mountains.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A Canadian general is to take command early next year of all coalition forces hunting Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents in the treacherous mountainous terrain of southern Afghanistan.

Brig.-Gen. David Fraser, currently based in Edmonton, is to replace an American commander. He will oversee 2,200 Canadian troops being deployed to Kandahar, an elite fighting brigade that will include more than 4,000 U.S., British, Dutch and Australian troops, and warplanes from the U.S., Britain and the Netherlands.

When you read this, and think, "Yeah, so?" just remember the Canadians *are* playing with us in the GWOT, this frees up US troops for Iraq, and represents about 15% of Canadian combat strength. Just a few years ago, it would have represented about 25% of Canadian combat strength, and would have been almost unsupportable for them logistically. They have expanded their capacity not as a favor to us, but because they recognized how badly they had slipped. Yes, they have a long way to go. Yes, they have queer ideas and wear funny hats. And yes, most of 'em are our friends. Moreso than even their Southron-hating elites realize, I think. Just as our liberal elites are always surprised at how many people out there don't think like they do. Read the whole thing here: Canadians Militant.

Hat tip, CAPT H, Bureau of Agitprop, Canadian Forces! (He's my handler)

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Morehead City, N.C. (Nov. 5, 2005) – Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU) load an M1A1 Abrams tank onto a U.S. Navy Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) for transport to the dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50). Carter Hall is part of Expeditionary Strike Group Eight (ESG-8), which left Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va., to on load the 22nd MEU before departing on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terror. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Laura A. Moore

It's just purty, ain't it?

Most heroes aren't obvious.

They just live next door. And you don't think about it until they're gone, usually.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance, In Memoriam.

November 07, 2005

Okay, Airplane Grognards...

Impress me.

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What is it? And the one of you who has already *seen* this pic is *not* allowed to play.

Hopefully this one will take more than the 15 minutes it usually does...

by John on Nov 07, 2005 | Aircraft
» Military WebCOM News links with: A Veterans Day Salute

Monday at Benning. My cubicle is *still* better than yours!

While the core distinction here is private spaces versus public spaces... still, the dichotomy (and underlying attitudes displayed) is amusing.

RINO Sightings...!

Then there's this, from Drudge's Blurb about Brokeback Mountain.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS critic Jack Mathews predicts the gay cowboy movie, which takes place in Wyoming, may be "too much for red-state audiences, but it gives the liberal-leaning Academy a great chance to stick its thumb in conservatives' eyes."

Me, I don't care about the subject matter - I'm sure there were a gay cowboy or two, if for no other reason than there is gay sex in men's prisons because of the lack of other outlets, leave aside the issue of just liking guys... but if the film industry can't connect the dots between the attitude detailed (I won't say held, from that context) by Jack Mathews and the continuing decline of box office... well, the reason there might be sand in your eyes is because you have your head in the sand... not the onshore breeze on the beach.

Now this is funny - though I would make the following change:

1. I am in the Marines, I have a problem. This is the first step to recovery...

2. Speech:

Time should never begin with a zero or end in a hundred, it is not 0530or 1400 it is 5:30 in the morning (AKA God-awful early).
Words like deck, rack, and "PT" will get you weird looks; floor, bed, workout, get used to it.
"F *ck" cannot be used to -replace whatever word you can't think of right now, try "um".
Grunting is not talking.
It's a phone, not a radio, conversations on a phone do not end in "out"
People will not know what you are talking about if you tell them you are coming from Camp Lejeune with the MWSS platoon or that you spent a deployment in the OCAC

Read the rest here at Strategy Page.

Historical Footnote: 1793. French Revolutionaries abolish Christianity in favor of "Reason." Liberal elites still trying, even as many bend over to accommodate Wahhabism. (and of course, the whole thing is more complex than that - lea' me 'lone!)

From the Admiral of the Moat Fleet comes this... I'll take summa dat! (Warning - ads in the margin may not be worksafe. Ry - nothing about this link is worksafe in your PC-environment - so turn the sound down (even though that's part of the charm...)

It would appear that Piglet's nascent militarism has forced a response from the Big Bad Wolf... oh the bestiality (scroll to the bottom)!

Argghhh! Someone was being lax and lazy about security issues... and how much of that was from fear of profiling... one has to wonder.

I always wondered about cheerleaders...

Interesting concept of "heavy arms." And the French are comparatively lenient on firearms ownership from a Euro perspective.

Welcome to the reality of your Islamic sub-culture, France. It looks like your way isn't working that well, either. And while the riots are not perhaps caused by Islam per se, the religion suffuses the issue and must be accounted for. When does it become okay to put the knackers on Islam that have been put on Christianity? For exactly the same reasons those who decry and despise Christian fundamentalism? It isn't racism to point to the fact, as Newsweek does, that the rioters are mostly African and Muslim. But it *is* useful to note that, and note how that, in context, also infuses the problem. The solutions, if any, will have to be multi-spectral, but to simply cut out huge chunks of relevant data because of fears of being called racist or bigoted is simply going to leave you with flawed, incomplete analysis - and your solutions, absent important data, may well not work, having been developed in a vacuum. Can anyone spell Cabrini-Green, Pruitt-Igoe? Examples of well-intentioned solutions that chose to ignore key data - in those cases not the race issue, but the realities of concentrating misery and miserable people into small spaces. While not as concentrated in the Paris region as those icons of American Liberalism, creating ghettos, whether de facto or de jure, simply makes your problem tougher. No, it's *not* easy. Getting groups of people who are very comfortable in their groups to break out into the wider population is tough - but if you don't find ways to encourage it... they don't assimilate, and simply create little communities with all the pathologies they were fleeing/leaving in the first place. Not true of all groups, times, and places, certainly. But true enough it has to be acknowledged.

Changing subjects...

Now and again I get questions - and when they come with cannon pics, the Armorer *does a happy dance*. The question follows:

I was introduced to your site almost a year ago by [Monteith - good job, boyo!], since then I've been an avid reader, though not much of a commentator.

I recently got back from a vacation in Morocco, where I took these photos of a cannon in Marrakech just outside the "Market Square". Being that this is Morocco, and 'loin' seems translate from French to "far" in English, I assume that this is a French weapon, see cannon-2.jpg for elevation adjustment settings. The bore seemed to be about 75mm, but I did not have time to get any real detail on any part of the weapon.

If anyone could identify this, I would appreciate it.

Hope you had a good time here in Atlanta this weekend.

Thank you.

David C.

I've already answered the question to David directly - but let's see if any of you guys can snipe-hunt this gun. 1. There *is* info on the net. 2. I'll give you a hint. It's an 90mm gun, not a 75mm. And pay attention to the carriage. There is a detail there that clinches the deal. Oh, and the gap in the trail should actually have a door on it (see the hinges on the right side in cannon2.jpg) and the ones I found on the 'net have the door in place - that is *not* the distinguishing detail.

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Picture 2
Picture 3

Picture 2 will be the most useful to you. At least it was for me... Oh, and if *this* is the way you introduce yourself as a reader - you get to move to the head of the line!


I'll conclude this post with the next new recruiting poster: The Air Force.

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(I'll prolly get a snark from Dusty about this one)


November 06, 2005

Tidbits.

Carnival of the Recipes is up! A 'souper' post over at Pajamapundits.

Next, second in a series on the new recruiting campaign - today the Coast Guard, tomorrow, the Air Force...

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Last but not least - Project Valour-IT.

Cox and Forkum have spoken. And there's another relevant one here.

cox&forkum.gif






It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious)

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (scroll down at:
http://soldiersangels.org/valour/donate.html).

Damn Navy still leads, however. Harsher tactics are in order, methinks.

SondraK is already thinking along the lines I am...

by John on Nov 06, 2005 | General Commentary | I think it's funny!
» Overtaken by Events links with: Donate Some Money, Get Neat Stuff
» Cadillac Tight links with: Attention to Orders
» NIF links with: Go vote, Virginia!