Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

>LCpl Thomas Rivers, Jr

May 7, 2010

>I was just joking with the “God Hates Shrimp” suggestion the other day.

But this “God Hates Fags” thing, this is no joke.

Whether they show up or not, the members of Westboro Baptist Hate Group Church have made their feeling known and the threat of their protest has spurred good hearted folks to action.

Lance Corporal Thomas E. Rivers, Jr., USMC is being laid to rest today, having been killed due to enemy action on April 28, 2010, in Afghanistan.

Westboro Baptist members (who use title God Hates Fags in their web site) protest at funerals of fallen soldiers as well as memorial services for gay people with their misguided message that God hates America because of America’s acceptance (somewhat debatable) of homosexuality.

That is all I am going to say about them, they do not even deserve that much attention on this blog.

LCpl. Rivers was an honorable man and from listening to his friends and others talk about him on the radio yesterday he deserves a dignified and respectful burial. His family deserves to not have their last moments with him disrupted by haters.

The family has asked the Patriot Guard Riders to participate today. This is posted on their web site.

Confirmed Mission:LCPL Thomas E. Rivers , Jr United States Marine Corps KIA ,
OEF (Afghanistan)6 , 7 MAY 10Birmingham AL

It is with a very sad heart that Alabama has lost another Hero.
Marine LCPL Thomas E. Rivers, Jr. of Birmingham, AL died while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.This was LCPL Rivers second tour in the Middle East, as He previously served a tour in Iraq . The parents have invited the Patriot Guard Riders to stand in silent honor of their Hero.

Since Westboro Baptist’s message is anti-gay, Equality Alabama has issued the following statement about the funeral and protest. This was also reported on

Equality Alabama has learned that Lance Corporal Thomas E. Rivers, Jr. will
be laid to rest on Friday, May 7. We are deeply saddened by the loss of
this brave soldier who has fought so that we all may live in a country that
values freedom. We respect this family in their time of grief and deplore
any attempt to disrupt this ceremony or draw the attention of the family away
from their loved one and the celebrated life that he led.

Lance Corporal Rivers gave his heart to his faith and his life for our
country. We remember his bravery and the selfless act he performed for us
and the rest of our country. He died so that we may all be free. Members of the LGBT community look forward to the day that these freedoms are
enjoyed by all of us.

In the meantime we admonish the hateful message and the disrespectful
actions of the Westboro Baptist Church as they have announced plans to protest
at the funeral of Lance Corporal Rivers.

Equality Alabama is also asking the gay community to refrain from counter-protesting at the funeral, as this would only add fuel to the fire and please the haters.

Beyond the funeral for this man, let’s just reject hatred. Hatred keeps our focus off the important issues. There are so many issues that need our attention in this nation, the most obvious is the disaster in the Gulf, but let’s not forget the situation in Nashville, which seems to have been overlooked by the mainstream media.

to be continued…

>Supporting the Pres re Afghanistan

December 2, 2009


Here’s proof that I’m not in lock-step with the left wing of the Democrats. Of course, those who claim I blindly follow president Obama will use this as evidence. But that notion has been disproved on numerous occasions, they just aren’t paying attention.

The picture above is of Marine One leaving the south lawn of the White House carrying the president to Andrews Air Force Base for the trip to West Point yesterday (official White House photo). The president can be seen reading in the ‘copter.
I listened carefully to the President’s speech last night. I was more attentive than many of the cadets in the audience, or maybe they just do their best listening with their eyes closed, I don’t know. I missed an event that I really, really wanted to go to (World AIDS Day at WorkPlay) so I could hear the president.
Just in case you were in a cave, or at WorkPlay, the president announced he will send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Quickly. They will do their job and leave, beginning deployment in July 2011.
Obama, purposely or not, is following Powell Doctrine, named after Colin Powell. The Powell Doctrine includes having a plausible exit strategy, something the Bush Doctrine and the person it was named after never thought of.

If you have followed me from before the time I started this blog you would have read letters in the Western Star and elsewhere and know that I supported the invasion of Afghanistan soon after 9-11 to rid that country of its Taliban leaders.

You would know that I was 100% opposed to the invasion of Iraq as that was an unjust war of choice.

It was a huge mistake to reduce our presence in Afghanistan and refocus on Iraq. President Bush did not finish the job he set out to do, that the American public supported him in, and that would have saved gobs of money and countless American and allied lives.

President Obama was handed a hornet’s nest (one of many) when he took office.What would have been a relatively easy completion of the task in Afghanistan now is a much more complicated situation. But that does not mean we should just throw up our hands and leave to them to deal with.

There is still the problem of Al-Qaida, and the resurgent Taliban, and Pakistan, and India.

India? Yes, they will play a role and must be considered in the solution. What do you think the president was talking about with their leader while he was in Washington? Party crashers?

We cannot rid the world of Al-Qaida. But we can take away their ability to function effectively where they are (now). They will try to regroup somewhere, no doubt, but I believe that in many countries (including Afghanistan) that the people are beginning to realize that terrorist violence does not make their lives any better, and they will pressure their governments to resist the terrorists and that gradually Al-Qaida and their like will have a difficult time getting funding and finding places to hide.

That may sound simplistic, but I am an optimist (sometimes).

Now, about this “arbitrary deadline” that Richard Shelby and others have decried. The date set is not “arbitrary.” It was chosen with careful consideration, not by throwing a dart at a calendar. Any task, from planting a rose garden to restoring a kitchen or building a highway to Memphis to fighting a war should have a timetable including an estimated time of completion. The timetable can be modified as conditions change (highway to Memphis).

“Oh, but now the Taliban knows our plans and they will see us focusing on one city and respond to that by going to another, and…” Like they wouldn’t be doing that anyway?

“The Taliban will just wait until we leave and then resurge.” Not if they are dead!

The president said last night that we were united in 2001 behind the decision to go into Afghanistan.

“It’s easy to forget that when this war began, we were united — bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again.”

The hall erupted in applause after this line. I agree. We should unite behind this president and his decision. (Photo – Reuters)

>Fair and balanced

December 1, 2009

>Well, fair, anyway. And balanced most of the time.

In a move that will surprise many, I plan to listen to the president tonight before fully deciding my views on the course our nation should take in Afghanistan. I am leaning toward supporting his decision to send in more troops, but I want to hear more about exit strategies and timetables.

Contrary to what some think, I listen to both sides of an issue before making my decision. In doing so, I can express my opinion in an educated manner.

Sometimes an issue is decided, and I no longer feel the need to listen to the viewpoints of those who disagree with my position. An example is the science of evolution. Intelligent design is not science, so I don’t listen to those arguments. This is not to say that people cannot believe in intelligent design or even creationism, and that doesn’t bother me, until they try to pass it off as science and incorporate it into our educational system. This wastes valuable teaching time, and does nothing to prepare our children for higher education and life in the real (scientific) world.

I feel the same way about the origins of homosexuality. It is not a choice, and I won’t waste my time arguing with people about that. But on occasion, I have to address the issue when somebody says something really stupid.

As for Afghanistan, there are certainly national security issues, and the very real question as to whether success is actually possible or not. American lives are at stake. So I am very interested in hearing what the president says.

I hope this does not become a daily thing, but BC (Bessemer conservative) has made some more statements about me. It doesn’t bother me that a conservative is expressing his views, but when he writes something that is wrong, I will correct it.

He wrote this:

He (referring to me) also points out that democrats did not remove prayer from schools or take the Ten Commandments from government buildings. He points out that the Supreme Court did this. Really, they just came up with this idea and ruled on it? No, democrats cried and whined that it offended them, got it to court and it was then ruled on by democratic judges and the like.

Technically, that may be correct, but it is misleading. The composition of the Supreme Court that ruled on Abingdon School District v. Schempp (which consolidated with Murray v. Curlett), the 1963 case which is associated with school prayer and Bible reading, included 5 justices appointed by a democratic president and 4 appointed by a republican president. Eight of the justices, including Chief Justice Earl Warren (an Eisenhower appointee) agreed or concurred with the majority, and only 1 justice , Potter Stewart (also an Eisenhower appointee), was in dissent.

So the decision was a pretty balanced one with 3 Republican appointees and 5 Democrat appointees in agreement.

He also says this about me:

He also finds it necessary to point out that Jefferson County and Bessemer were won by obama during the election. Maybe that is why Jefferson county almost went bankrupt… Since the democrats have taken office in the area, both city and county governments have taken a turn for the worse.

Actually, Jefferson County “almost went bankrupt” while Republicans held (and still hold) a majority on the Commission. You can’t get much more republican than Jefferson County Commission president Bettye Fine Collins.

And he’s one to talk about taking a turn for the worse, after his hero George W. Bush led the country into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

About me, he says this:

His beliefs undermine “his equality for all” stance that he is always preaching. What he does not get(because he is lead by guilt, sin and the misgivings of those in power) is that the progress he is for will never come from taxing anything and everything we Americans buy, use, do and say.

Never mind what he is trying to say (?), I am concerned with this phrase – “he is lead (sp) by guilt, sin and the misgivings of those in power.”

I am led by “guilt” and “sin”? I am really trying to understand what he means by this. I hope this is not going where it appears to be. Even though we disagree on the issues, this seems pretty judgmental to me, and I thought he at least believed in the common humanity of man. Maybe I was wrong.