Sunday, October 04, 2009

What We Take for Granted 

This story always brings tears to my eyes because we take so much for granted, including our education system that offers a chance for students to be what they can or dream to be with work and dedication. Yet, I've wondered if it were true. It is as indicated here.
Classroom No Desks

A lesson that should be taught in all schools and colleges. Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks from her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'
They thought and said, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'

'No,' she said.

'Maybe it's our behavior.'

She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand a longside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned..

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'

The freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U.S. Veterans. We must cherish our soldiers and remember, it is they who keep our press and country free. To ignore or tarnish their efforts and reputations will lead to losses very few of us can imagine.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Stiffing Soldiers 

Many car dealers have not yet received their promised payments from the US government under the wastefully inefficient Cash for Clunkers program. Now we have this Washington Times report that payments promised to our veteran soldiers similary have not been paid:
Out of more than 277,000 veterans who have filed for the college tuition benefits this semester, more than 200,000 claims have been processed and approved, but fewer than 11 percent of the veterans have received the funding, according to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

The group says it has been contacted by thousands of veterans who have not received their benefits and that they are forced to take out loans or pay the money out of their pockets.
The US government would be responsible for millions of payments under a single payer health care system. Washington politicians who care about their re-election should be unwilling to risk extending demonstrated government incompetence into such a huge and important sector of our economy.

My husband and I will be attending a departure ceremony at Ft Bragg, NC on Tuesday morning, as our son's army unit deploys to Iraq for a year.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 and 9/12 

We'll be quiet today and let you read honors to September 11th elsewhere. Here's an audio we played on the air last year. And check out Project 2,996; Ed Morrissey's turn at writing about one of the victims is here. (UPDATE: Chad suggests these videos too.)

Janet Adds: Today was doubly memorable for us. In addition to our remembrances of 9/11/2001, we saw our youngest son off at the airport this morning. He is an army 1st Lieutenant, deploying to Iraq at the end of this month, so it will probably be a year before we see him next. [End Janet.]

While I'm at it, for those who are wondering about the St. Cloud T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party, here's how you get to Lake George -- and pay particular attention to the construction in the area.

Lake George is across the street from Technical High School (233 12th Ave S, St. Cloud MN 56301), so using your GPS for the high school will take you there. That area is also your best bet for street parking. There is a parking lot on the south side of the lake as well. The organizers plan to set up in the northeast corner of the lake, which is where there is still construction for a new bridge and the 9th Ave underpass.

If you are coming from the east, remember that the bridge on Highway 23 over the Mississippi is still closed, so you will want to follow the detour signs. From any other direction, my advice is to come off Interstate 94 or U.S. 10 to State Highway 15, and turn east onto Division Street (which is labeled as Highway 23, Crossroads Mall will be to your west.)

I will be speaking around 10:15, just before Rep. Bachmann, and then hopping in the car to head to the Patriot. Live call-ins from St. Cloud will be on NARN Volume I, which is going to be hosted by Ed this week (Mitch will probably be there after noon.) So if you can't be there, you can at least listen to all the fun you're missing!

P.S. Yes, I'll stop by the MOB gathering too tomorrow night at Keegans. But I leave very early due to Sunday church singing, so if you snooze, you lose.

P.P.S. I'm glad Andy Levy preserved that Twitter stream. I was stretching before bed -- it's the only way my back can stay moderately healthy any more -- and as is my wont, I usually go to bed around 12:30am. My iPod Touch gave me the usual last hundred posts, which I read while listening to either Dennis (Miller, Prager) or music, and last night I chose Red House Painters. Stretching is about twenty minutes. I start reading and half my tweetstream is AllahPundit's stream. I got up, sat down, and refreshed until Twitterrific wouldn't let me any more. Music ran out at the same time, and I went to bed. I slept poorly.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Real Respect for USWar Fatalities 

One of the greatest, taken-for-granted, aspects of a free society, is the ability to think "outside the box." We just assume that we can as in "How" (can we do ____ better)? or "Why" (do we do ____ this way)? two of the most defining words in the English language.

A recent example, in the Star Tribune, is that of Eric Besvold, a worker on the baggage ramp for NWA in Minneapolis. What he saw bothered him - soldier caskets were treated like other baggage. "Why do we do this? There has to be a better way. This just isn't right." After working up the ranks within the airlines during the summer of 2006, Eric was able to order a special cart to be used only for transporting deceased soldiers. He decorated it with magnetic military emblems and American flags.

Besvold is a 3rd-generation Navy man who served in Kuwait in 2005 and has taught nearly 50 fellow ramp employees the correct procedures for honoring military dead. The process is documented so all steps are properly performed. All soldier remains are treated with respect.

In addition, all military escorts are offered free soda, coffee and food in the Worldperks Club when they have to wait for subsequent flights.

"This was a very easy thing for us to support," said Bill Lentsch, senior VP of flight operations. "These soldiers fought for our country and deserve our respect."

Mr. Besvold epitomizes what Americans do: See a problem or situation that appears wrong, study it, then do something about it. Thank you, Eric!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yellow Ribbon City, Farmington, MN 

MN has a number of soldiers serving overseas, including members of the MN National Guard. Since 73% of active duty members and their families live off base within civilian communities, Governor Tim Pawlenty gave a local branch of the MN National Guard a directive to ensure ongoing support for service members and their families, across all military branches.

Today, Farmington was honored as Minnesota's first Yellow Ribbon City because of their efforts supporting its military men and women and their families. Farmington established the first "Warrior to Citizen" program, in the nation. Their goals are:
1 - Organize support for families of deployed soldiers
2 - Educate the community about soldiers before, during and after deployment
3 - Recognized all service members and families within the community
The event at the Farmington American Legion celebrated and thanked those who made the program possible. Minnesota's Nation Guard, Adjutant General, Larry Shellito spoke as did Congressman John Kline of MN's 2nd Congressional District. Annette Kuyper, the driving force behind the success achieved in Farmington, was recognized.

Why is support needed? For every 200 of us, there is one active US soldier. Often, people don't know anyone with a soldier in the family because many soldier families are integral parts of their communities. But when their family member is deployed overseas, support is needed: in general and in reaction to the often rude, inaccurate, and nasty press coverage.

The Yellow Ribbon programs, including this initiative by Congressman Kline to provide support for soldiers returning stateside from deployment across the USA, make a difference in the lives of our soldiers and their families. We owe all of them a debt of gratitude for standing up for what is right, protecting our freedoms, and that of our posterity.

(If interested in starting a "Warrior to Citizen" program, please contact AnnetteKuyper @

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Monday, November 24, 2008

A Marine Hero in Afghanistan 

From a report in the Marine Corps News on November 18, 2008:
FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan � In the city of Shewan, approximately 250 insurgents ambushed 30 Marines and paid a heavy price for it...

�The day started out with a 10-kilometer patrol with elements mounted and dismounted, so by the time we got to Shewan, we were pretty beat,� said a designated marksman who requested to remain unidentified. �Our vehicles came under a barrage of enemy RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and machine gun fire. One of our �humvees� was disabled from RPG fire, and the Marines inside dismounted and laid down suppression fire so they could evacuate a Marine who was knocked unconscious from the blast.�

The vicious attack that left the humvee destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an intense eight-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another platoon sergeant personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions while the platoon fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear through the enemy ambush site.

�The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they�re given the opportunity to fight,� the sniper said. �A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong.�

During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn�t miss any shots, despite the enemies� rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position.

�I was in my own little world,� the young corporal said. �I wasn�t even aware of a lot of the rounds impacting near my position, because I was concentrating so hard on making sure my rounds were on target.�

After calling for close-air support, the small group of Marines pushed forward and broke the enemies� spirit as many of them dropped their weapons and fled the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and wounded several more.

�I didn�t realize how many bad guys there were until we had broken through the enemies� lines and forced them to retreat. It was roughly 250 insurgents against 30 of us,� the corporal said. �It was a good day for the Marine Corps. We killed a lot of bad guys, and none of our guys were seriously injured.�
(Noted by Michael Ledeen at NRO.)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanks, Veterans 

Today is Veterans Day, time set aside to honor those who have served in our military. Yesterday I posted the "Soldiers Poem" which aptly summarizes the gratitude we owe our soldiers.

In today's world, there are many who think all war is bad. They have no clue as to how badly humans can behave when they either are a thuggish dictator or under the thumb of one. I was sent this reminder by Vets for Freedom. This quote by John Stuart Mill says it all:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." The moment we believe our freedoms inevitable, we cease to live in history and sour the soldier's sacrifice. Our freedoms--purchased on the battlefield--are indeed "worthy of war."

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11 

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 11 is Veterans Day - a day we Americans set aside to honor all those who have served in the US military. Thankfully, it's a day we did not move to a Monday to provide another 3-day weekend that loses the special meaning of the holiday. The following poem is so relevant today, just as it has been in all the battles where American soldiers have shed blood not only for us but so that others, too, may enjoy the freedoms we take for granted.
"It's the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It's the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It's the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate.

It's the Soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

And it's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves the flag, whose coffin is draped in the flag, that allows the protester to burn the flag"

To you all,

THANK YOU ........ for the job you do or have done!

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Helping Soldiers Vote 

Earlier I wrote a post, encouraging people to get the necessary information to their soldiers so they can be sure their vote in this November's critical election counts. I will post every few weeks through October. Please spread the word to any family or friend who has someone serving in our military. Without them, we would not be free.

A soldier can register to vote absentee at this site.

Thank you.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Iraq Numbers - Very Good 

Thanks to the plans of Generals Petraeus and General Odierno, and the execution of these plans by the US Military, deaths in Iraq have plummeted since December 2006. Go here to see the charts. (HT Powerline.)

It is extremely unfortunate that the MSM refuses to tell Americans and the rest of the world the whole story. Their bias and agenda driven behavior may well backfire and we will be in a far worse place that today. The Iraqis get it, the American Military gets it, people honestly concerned about freedom get it. Why won't the Dems? They don't want to get it, they want power. Remember this when you vote this fall.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bo-chump* and The New Republic 

A few months ago Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp submitted articles describing supposed ugly behavior of American soldiers to the left-leaning New Republic Magazine (TNR). The descriptions reported were absurd to anyone who has a clue about the caliber of our military. Of course, the left is not interested in supporting our military but will eagerly publish anything that is critical, but check facts? Nah. Writers in the blogosphere took one look at the articles and immediately, red flags appeared.

Further research indicated that TNR had done minimal fact checking and ignored the full disclosure practice of identifying relationships with staff. Turns out at the time of Mr. Beauchamp's written submissions, his wife worked at The New Republic.

Over the past 10 weeks, TNR editors have refused to admit their errors, have pulled the articles, and entered the "hide in the cave" zone. Appears they want people to forget their lack of editorial responsibility. TNR accused the Army of stonewalling - yet it's TNR who has been stonewalling the truth. Our Army did its investigation and concluded the stories were false.

Yesterday, Drudge got copies of the Army's investigation and conversations between the TNR edictors and Mr. Beauchamp who now wants the whole thing to go away - I wonder why??? The Drudge documents are now gone but can be accessed through Michelle Malkin's website.

Mr. Beauchamp is the product of an education system that tells everyone they're special without providing grounding in honesty, integrity, and personal responsibility. Because Beauchamp had access to a left-leaning, anti-Bush and anti-US military magazine, by his own admission, he submitted articles based on fantasy and gross extrapolation of facts (one article appears to be an based on the actions of German soldiers in Afghanistan a couple of years ago). He dreamed about being another Hemingway.

When we teach children that everything and anything goes, and they are not accountable for what they say and do, they develop a very warped idea of life and will have major difficulties living on their own. Mr. Beauchamp got caught. Hopefully he'll learn from this experience. On the other hand, TNR does not appear to have learned anything from this experience. A once decent left of center magazine has shown its inability to deal with facts that do not support thier bias, again.

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