May 2006

31 May 2006 09:34 pm


Our grandson riding on our son’s shoulders

Our son is leaving tomorrow for his training for his deployment to Iraq. I read the following letter from a mom to her son when he deployed to Iraq and I totally agree.

I know that our country has a mission in Iraq; I know that the Army and your unit also have their missions… Just don’t confuse those missions with YOUR principle mission – which is to come home safe to us. Your job is to do whatever it takes to accomplish YOUR mission. If it’s you or them — make it them.

31 May 2006 12:46 pm

Jon Swift writes of a debilitating malady that’s keeping him and other conservatives down. It seems to be affecting conservatives in a variety of ways.

Even when I was a kid I tried hard to fight off illness so one of my failings as an adult is lack of empathy for those who don’t have that fighting spirit. So I’m not going to make a show of compassion now. My advice to conservatives? Get off the fainting couch and kick some liberal butt. Leftist/liberal thought is one of the most dangerous of all afflictions. It’s insidious and easy to catch because it doesn’t require a lot of thought.

Hat tip: Lorie Byrd

31 May 2006 09:48 am

Rand Simberg has some interesting comments about public officials misguided attempts to control childrens diets. My state has also jumped on the non-fat wagon. All public schools were ordered by the state to measure childrens body fat. Arkansas kids’ report cards now include their B.M.I., or body mass index, along with their grades. It hasn’t made any difference in the kids weight or body fat. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of schools to track or try to change childrens weight.

Kids are fed by school cafeterias at least twice a day…..breakfast and lunch…… but that doesn’t mean the food is really eaten. From what I’ve seen of school cafeterias most of the offerings are pretty mediocre and left on the plate. Kids aren’t stupid.

Schools shouldn’t be in the feed business anyway. They ought to close the cafeterias and require that kids bring their own lunches.

I remember when I was a kid. One of the most horrifying experiences I’ve ever had occurred in my elementary schools lunchroom when I was in the third grade. It was soup and peanut butter sandwich day. The vegetable soup was pretty good and the peanut butter sandwiches were……. peanut butter sandwiches. I made the mistake of admitting that I liked peanut butter sandwiches to a kid sitting near me.

Suddenly there was a stack of twelve or thirteen peanut butter sandwiches sitting on top of my plate. The teacher on duty ran over to my table and screeched at me. She called me a glutton and other names. I hadn’t even asked anyone to give me the sandwiches. I don’t think I could even eat after that.

I asked my mom to make my lunch from then on and she did. But back then we could bring our lunches but not our drinks so I still had to deal with the milk.

I remember the smelly milk cartons. I remember the response of the teacher when I told her I couldn’t stand milk and wanted to drink the juice. She had a fit.

Strange memories of school but to this day I cannot stand milk or catchup and am sure that it stems from the peanut butter incident.

School officials and politicians ought to leave kids alone. Let them bring their own lunches. Most kids would prefer that.

…like other misguided public health campaigns (remember “Just Say No”?), putting children on de facto diets at school just doesn’t work. In a 2003 experiment involving 41 schools, more than 1,700 children — many of them American Indian — were served lower-calorie and lower-fat lunches and were taught about healthy eating and lifestyles.
While the children took in fewer calories from fat at school, they experienced no significant reduction in their percentage of body fat.

Another study, in rural Nebraska in the mid-1990’s, put one group of elementary school students on lower-fat and lower-sodium lunches, increased their physical activity at school and offered more education about nutrition. Compared with students having no special program, the active, lower-fat group showed no differences in body weight or fat, or in levels of total cholesterol, insulin or glucose after two years.

Hat tip: Instapundit

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Also check out Composite Drawling’s descriptions of the brownbag lunch her mother fixed her that was totally humiliating.

31 May 2006 07:15 am

This August 22, 2005 article from the Guardian describes the conditions the U.S. Marines were having to deal with in Haditha last fall. It was called a citadel of insurgency.

The constitution talks, the referendum due in October, the election due in December: all are deemed collaboration punishable by death. The task now is to bleed the Americans and destabilise the government. Some call that nihilism. Haditha calls it the future.

Beth of Blue Star Chronicles asks, Will this get the coverage the accusations against Our Marines have gotten?

It should but it won’t.

CNN’s Arwa Damon has an interesting account of her experience while embedded with the Marines at Haditha.

Lorie Byrd has more.

Michelle Malkin writes…….

Finally, there is this incontrovertible fact: There are countless numbers of anti-war zealots on the American Left rooting for failure. They believe the worst about the troops. They’ve blindly embraced frauds who’ve lied about their military service and lied about wartime atrocities. They’ve allied themselves with socialist kooks and coddled murderous dictators. They are looking for any excuse to pull out, abandon military operations and reconstruction, and impeach the president.

31 May 2006 06:41 am

According to this article Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) said he wants Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to appear “up here to tell us how they reached the conclusion” to conduct the raid, which Sensenbrenner called “profoundly disturbing” on constitutional grounds.

I find it profoundly disturbing that our lawmakers consider themselves above the law.

The Justice Department yesterday vigorously defended the recent weekend raid of Rep. William J. Jefferson’s Capitol Hill office as part of a bribery investigation, asserting that the Democratic lawmaker attempted to hide documents from FBI agents while they were searching his New Orleans home last August.

The government questioned in a 34-page motion filed in U.S. District Court here whether it could have obtained all the materials it had sought in a subpoena if it had not launched the surprise raid on Jefferson’s congressional office May 20. According to the government filing, an FBI agent caught Jefferson slipping documents into a blue bag in the living room of his New Orleans home during a search.

“It is my belief that when Congressman Jefferson placed documents into the blue bag, he was attempting to conceal documents that were relevant to the investigation,” FBI agent Stacey E. Kent of New Orleans stated in an affidavit that was part of the government’s court submission. The document was filed in response to Jefferson’s lawsuit demanding that the government return to him documents seized during the raid on his Capitol Hill office 11 days ago.

Robert P. Trout, Jefferson’s attorney, said he would refrain from commenting pending further review of the government’s documents. Meanwhile, the recent FBI raid spurred new tensions between Congress and the administration, as a House committee chairman vowed to interrogate top Justice Department officials.

Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) said he wants Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to appear “up here to tell us how they reached the conclusion” to conduct the raid, which Sensenbrenner called “profoundly disturbing” on constitutional grounds. The chairman also said that his committee “will be working promptly” to draft legislation that would clearly prohibit wide-ranging searches of lawmakers’ offices by federal officials pursuing criminal cases.

29 May 2006 11:02 pm


We had rain and lots of wind today so it was difficult to take photos. My daughter kept chasing wreaths around the cemetery to try to put them back on the proper gravestones.



Brigidier General William O. Darby is buried near my father-in-law in the National Cemetery. Darby was born in Fort Smith, went to West Point and was killed in World War ll. Darby Junior High School is named after him.



Waldo Fisher salutes after placing a flag at the headstone of his son, Dustin, at the U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith on Thursday. Fisher, a teacher at Darby Junior High School and president of Chapter 467 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, led a group of about 130 Darby students, who placed flags on the 10,325 headstones of deceased veterans and decorated the site for a Memorial Day observance Sunday at 2 p.m. Army Spc. Dustin Fisher was killed while serving in Iraq on May 24, 2005.

29 May 2006 09:57 am


LCpl. Roger “Butch” Cecil, USMC, KIA - Quang Tri Province, RVN, July 14, 1967.


Butch (on the right) clowns around with my cousin in better days.

The following letter was written to my grandmother, and is dated June 23, 1967

Dear Mrs. Fletcher,

A few lines to let you know I still exist in the world. But, believe me, I am in a different world. Mrs. Fletcher, I didn’t know the Lord could change your life in 10 minutes. But he can. If you ever held somebody that was dying you would understand.

I don’t guess anybody really knows what war is until they’re right in the middle of it. Mrs Fletcher, since I’ve been here, I’ve seen about 13 or 14 marines die and many more wounded. When we get into a fire fight with the enemy, I look around and see dead people not two feet from me and thank God I am still alive. And I say,” he was alive only five minutes ago.” The Lord can take your life so fast. If I ever get back to the states you will never catch me out of Sunday School and church.

I’m just thankful that God has spared my life this long. I’ve had nothing cold since I got here, all the water is hot. Not a bath in three weeks. People don’t know what you go through in war. Well, so much for that.

Oh, yes. Every time you take a drink of cold water, think of me. Because, when we’re on patrol the only way we get water is to find a creek or river. Sometimes, we do without water for a day and a half. It’s about 130 degrees. You are really hurting for water. We’re out on operations and patrol 28 days out of the month. Well, guess I’d better go. By the way, how is your family doing? Hope ok. Well write soon,


Roger Dale “Butch” Cecil was killed July 14th, 1967.

In July of 1994 I went to see the Vietnam Memorial. I was searching for a name of a friend, long ago killed, among the 58,243 names on the wall. When I found his name, Roger Dale Cecil, the tears that had been welling up began to spill over and all I could do was just let them. People all around me were quietly leaving little flags or flowers and there was a hush in the air that took your breath away.

Our family got to know Roger Dale “Butch” Cecil when he became my cousin’s boyfriend. But by the time they had broken up Butch had been adopted into our family by all of us. Butch had been an outstanding football player in his high school years, and was a bright, outgoing and attractive young man with so much potential.

Everyone loved Butch and the turn out at the large white church in Alma, Arkansas for his funeral was a testimony to it. There was a twenty-one gun salute and many prayers and tears. And throughout the years we have remembered Butch for the sacrifice he made and we have suffered the loss of his presence.

He served when called, he didn’t try to run, and his name is on the Wall. So, now I will go have a drink of cold water and I will remember Butch Cecil, who served and died and his name is on the wall.

In another letter Butch said that he and his buddies fought for each other. It’s still that way today. They fight for us.

Christopher Hitchens has a worthy Memorial Day Essay.

“Always think of it: never speak of it.” That was the stoic French injunction during the time when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine had been lost. This resolution might serve us well at the present time, when we are in midconflict with a hideous foe, and when it is too soon to be thinking of memorials to a war not yet won. This Memorial Day, one might think particularly of those of our fallen who also guarded polling-places, opened schools and clinics, and excavated mass graves. They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer. This plain statement requires no further rhetoric.

Phil Carter at Intel Dump expresses my feelings about Memorial Day with this line…..

The best way for us to honor the dead, while still engaged in war, is to continue the fight.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Lorie Byrd has a Memorial Day Tribute.

Don’t forget to remember. Hat tip: Michelle Malkin


There is much to remember.

Here is President Bush’s Memorial Day Proclamation

27 May 2006 09:09 am


White House photo by Shealah Craighead

Today is graduation day at West Point. Congratulations to all the men and women who are graduating and becoming officers today. This is the first graduating class at West Point that has trained all four years while our nation was at war.

West Point has had its share of loss in the War on Terror. “We will honor the memory of these great souls,” President Bush says. “We will complete the mission.”

Austin Bay is liveblogging President Bush’s speech. Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

Here’s a story about the class valedictorian.

Thank God for such Americans…….

Here is a transcript of President Bush’s commencement address.

27 May 2006 08:57 am


Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Yesterday was graduation at Annapolis. Vice President Cheney delivered the commencement address. Congratulations to all the Naval Academy graduates!

27 May 2006 08:34 am


Nothing ever gets posted here at Wide Awake Cafe until the proprietor has had at least one cup of coffee. Jonah Goldberg also practices this policy.

bRight & Early also enjoys that first cup.

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