The Wood Shed

You never know what you're going to find in the pile.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Poem for the Left

This was originally posted by Russ back in December of 2004 and picked up by Greyhawk. I just read it for the first time when Michelle included it as part of a post today. For those of you who may have missed it I felt it was worth repeating here (and everywhere for that matter).

Rough Men

There's a character trait that's decided by fate
Comes (sadly) to many, far too faint, far too late.
They won't face the aggressor, stand up to his ire
They have not the will to fight his fire with fire.
So they bend over backwards to see all sides as fair,
Till they're faced with dragon breath fire in their hair.
Like our brethren in France, who'd know better than we,
Yet seem never to learn, seem doomed never to see.

Yes, it seems there are some who're determined by fate,
To possess not the courage to step up to the plate,
Who shrink from all threat because nothing's worth war.
But how can they know lest they've been there before?
Thank God some have courage, the will, yes, the grace,
To stand for the shirkers, stand strong in their place.
Thank God we have stalwarts who'll stand for us all,
Who will rise to the challenge at their nation's call.

The faint-hearted, who fear, whose reaction is flight,
Have no comprehension of those who will fight.
To hide their own trepidation they attempt to demean
The rough men, who defend them, as barbaric, obscene.
Yet these rough men stand ready, hard weapons to hand,
To put placaters behind them, draw a line in the sand,
To preserve for the peaceniks what they won't defend,
So their own unearned freedom won't perish, won't end.

To appeasers, rough men are coarse government tools.
To rough men, appeasers are dumb delusional fools.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Russ is a regular over at The American Thinker.

The Original

Michelle's post on our National Anthem is dead on target. The one, the only, the original in our official language. That's English, make no mistake about it. Read her entire post, memorize the words if you've forgotten them, and sing it loud. You can't carry a tune? Who cares. Be a proud American, I'll forgive you for being off-key but not for silently standing-by at the ball game.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 25th 1976

Today is the 30th anniversary of a truly patriotic and spontaneous act. Rick Monday, who at the time was an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, snatched the American flag from some misguided protestors who had sprinted onto the field during a Cubs/Dodgers game with intent to burn it. Michele's post from this morning inspired me to dig a little deeper and research an incident that I'm old enough to remember and also old enough to have forgotten. This simple act sealed Rick's place in the American psyche. An accomplished ball player and Marine (once a Marine always a Marine or so several Marines have told me) he is best remembered for his instinctive act of patriotism. And so he should be.

From a 1998 Herald article by Larry Henry:
...Monday recognized that were he to do the same thing today, he might be arrested for violating someone else's rights.

"But to hell with them," he said. "They can come and lock me up right now because if they did it again, I'd do the same thing."

In my humble opinion we need more people like Rick Monday who are willing to stand up and do the right thing. As for the rights of the protestors, these two and all those that followed, I will certainly not violate their right to live somewhere else if they feel so inclined. The image below needs no further explanation so I'll close with a simple "Thank you, Rick."

(AP Photo/Los Angeles Herald Examiner, James Roark)

Friday, April 21, 2006


I drive a Yukon XL in order to haul three Labrador Retrievers, a boat, 4' x 8' sheets of plywood or sheetrock, tools, etc. Stuff and lots of it. Today two non-events collided with rude reality: I ran the fuel level down to the point where the low fuel light illuminated and I decided to correct the overdue need for an oil change. A hundred dollars. Damn. One hundred dollars for gas and oil. My brother's commuter scooter is starting to look good but no, in Birmingham a scooter would be a suicide ride. The whole thing developed into a Mastercard ad, you know the one.

Used 2001 Yukon: $20,000
25.7 gallons of regular: $74.60
Oil and filter change: $33.89
Needs a new fuel pump which is in the tank: $900

Replacing the 5.3 liter V-8 with a flux capacitor which burns the biomass produced by three Labrador Retrievers: PRICELESS!!

In 1981 the average price of a gallon of gasoline was approximately $1.10 but adjust that for inflation and the real price was closer to $2.25 per gallon. We've been spoiled by relatively cheap gas over the last twenty years and now several factors are forcing that gap to close. The fact remains that as gas prices continue to rise, disposable income declines and threatens to take the economy with it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

HR 609 Defeated

The Burton Amendment to the College Access and Opportunity Act would have required US institutions of higher learning to report funding received from Saudi sources. The Saudis have been pouring huge amounts of cash into our universities for decades to fund centers for Middle Eastern Studies. If ever there was a more obvious case of the wolf teaching the sheep what a wolf thinks (as he orders leg-of-lamb for dinner) it escapes me at the moment.

Contact your Representative and chastise him or her regarding the shameful vote on 609. Apparently it was a done deal as an anonymous yea/nay voice vote but a single nay from the floor forced a roll call vote for the record and, imagine if you will, with accountability on the line, support caved. Any restriction on funding for higher education, no matter the source, is bad karma. Never mind that the amendment would not have cut the funding but simply made its source a matter of public record. It seems that our universities are more than willing to take Saudi money but would rather not publicly admit it.

Lee Kaplan has a detailed post on the matter over at The American Thinker.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

18 April 1942 Western Pacific

One of the most daring missions ever conceived and executed was the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, April 18th, 1942. The volunteer crews were led by LT COL James H. Doolittle and launched from USS Hornet (CV-8). Imagine volunteering for a mission of extreme personal risk involving launching in a B-25 twin engine Army Air Corps bomber from an aircraft carrier, flying hundreds of miles over open ocean, bombing Japan, and then hopefully landing in China because you knew when you launched that you didn't have enough fuel to make it home. If that alone doesn't make you cringe, consider the following:

The B-25 was never designed to be flown off aircraft carriers.

WWII carriers were not equipped with catapults and all aircraft launched under their own power (known as a "deck run").

The Hornet was tiny in comparison to today's massive carriers.

The planned launch point was 400 nautical miles from Tokyo but detection by enemy picket boats forced an early launch in excess of 600nm out.

Here are some images courtesy of the National Archives and Naval Historical Center that really put this mission into perspective:

Guts and lots of 'em. Why, you ask, did we ever pursue such a foolish idea? To send a message. Given the small useful bomb load of a B-25 at such an extended range we had little hope of inflicting serious damage. Indeed the planners behind the mission knew this from the outset and the crews knew it when they launched. The war was not going our way in the Pacific and the prevailing thought was we needed to prove a point. We hit the proud nation of Japan squarely in the ego. We embarrassed them. Nothing like Pearl Harbor but we took the fight to them. The American public needed such a boost.

From the Naval Historical Center:

Most of the sixteen B-25s, each with a five-man crew, attacked the Tokyo area, with a few hitting Nagoya. Damage to the intended military targets was modest, and none of the planes reached the Chinese airfields (though all but a few of their crewmen survived). However, the Japanese high command was deeply embarrassed. Three of the eight American airmen they had captured were executed. Spurred by Combined Fleet commander Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, they also resolved to eliminate the risk of any more such raids by the early destruction of America's aircraft carriers, a decision that led them to disaster at the Battle of Midway a month and a half later.

Take a minute to think about what these men faced and were willing to sacrifice on behalf of their nation. Their heroic efforts played a large part in turning the war of the Pacific in our favor.

Here's a listing of the crews:
And here's the official Raiders site:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New Site for The Officer's Club

You'll note that my link to The Officer's Club is gone, replaced by OPFOR. Still all the good stuff from John and Charlie with new bells and whistles. Their overwhelming popularity caught the attention of - check out the new look. Congratulations guys.

Harmony Database Exposes WMD Intentions

The vast collection of captured documents from Saddam's government continues to yield evidence of his intent to develop and deploy WMD. Open access to this library of evil via the internet is allowing anyone with a computer and the ability to read arabic to mine for gems. The intelligence community was and still is reluctant to open these documents for public inspection fearing that subsequent translations would be in error and result in misguided conclusions. However, the sheer mass of material would take the government years to sift through it. Why not enlist the help of citizens willing to use their skills and time to dig through the pile? The intelligence experts could then concentrate on validating civilian translations of the key finds. The following is from a post by blogger JVeritas on who has been hard at work digging and translating:
In pages 63 and 64 of document Document CMPC-2003-002284 , there is secret and confidential memo dated September 16 1998 concerning a meeting of the National Monitoring Department to discuss how to destroy some “non necessary documents” and keep the necessary one in a safe place according to the memo but the most important part of the memo is a pareagraph on how to handle “The Researches That Cannot Be Declared and that is related with the previous Prohibited Programs of WMD and how to make sure that information about these researches will not leak to the outside because it will be too dangerous if this happened”. Yet another document that proves without any doubt that Saddam Regime never stopped working in his WMD programs and Research and they were just waiting for the opportune moment to produce these WMD again on a large scale.

That last sentence, JVeritas' opinion and one I happen to share, pretty much sums it up. If you're still in doubt, keep in mind UN inspectors were still in Iraq in September 1998. Big surprise: Saddam was not cooperating.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Agent 007

This could easily be out of a Bond flick or one of the latest generation of war games but it's not, it's the real thing:

Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (April 10, 2006) - U.S. Navy High-Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift arrives for a routine port visit. Swift, currently manned by its Blue Crew, is assigned as the command ship for Commander Mine Warfare Command (COMINEWARCOM) located in Ingleside, Texas. U.S. Navy photo by Mr. Paul Farley (RELEASED)

It's Just Not Right

The images of thousands of illegal immigrants and their supporters marching in open defiance of the laws of their host nation are very disturbing. The number of illegals has been quietly growing for decades and as long as they went about their business most of us were content to concentrate on other problems. Now that the population has reached critical mass, the politicians are talking amnesty partly because they fear the political muscle of the latino vote. I assume they are referring to the legal latino vote because unless the politicians grant amnesty to the illegals, they do not have a vote. They don't pay taxes either so it pains me to no end to read articles by the bleeding left referring to the civil rights of these people.

From Webster:
Main Entry: civil rights
Function: noun plural: the nonpolitical rights of a citizen; especially : the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress.

Bottom line: they entered our country illegally. It makes no difference how long they have been here. Let's place this issue within a smaller context that even the liberals should be able to grasp:

Hypothetically speaking, picture yourself as the owner of a plot of land out in the country - size really doesn't matter here so make it as large or small as you wish. This plot of land happens to be five states away from your home and three hours from the nearest airport by car which is a grueling trip along rutted dirt roads. Your spouse tends to get car-sick. Needless to say you don't visit much. It's been almost six years since you last set foot on the property but eager to get away for a while, you make the trip. When you arrive, dusty and beaten, you find a travel trailer that has obviously been there for quite some time sitting squarely in the middle of your land. Judging from the various appliances and vehicle remains embedded in the landscape, this squatter has been residing here for years undetected. Now, since he's firmly implanted on your land do you let him stay simply because he's already there or do you bring in the sheriff to run him off?

We have a problem of huge proportions that needs fixing. Amnesty is not the answer. You grant amnesty to the millions of illegals already within our borders and you will see the largest surge of illegal immigration in the history of our nation shortly thereafter. Amnesty does not fix anything - it simply postpones the issue, a move popular with politicians when dealing with any controversial topic.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another Tribute

Here's another that should send chills up your spine. Anyone with a loved one in our military deserves our support and those actually out there on the line deserve our undying gratitude.

Hat tip: Vasko Kohlmayer via Marcia Tarasovic

Monday, April 03, 2006

Immigrant vs Illegal

Herbert E. Meyer recently posted an excellent essay over at The American Thinker that is the best take on immigration that I've read in the past few weeks.

Simply put, the debate in Washington isn’t about “immigration” at all – and that’s the problem.

To ordinary Americans, the definition of “immigration” is very specific: You come here with absolutely nothing except a burning desire to be an American. You start off at some miserable, low-paying job that at least puts a roof over your family’s head and food on the table. You put your kids in school, tell them how lucky they are to be here – and make darn sure they do well even if that means hiring a tutor and taking a second, or third, job to pay for it. You learn English, even if you’ve got to take classes at night when you’re dead tired. You play by the rules—which means you pay your taxes, get a driver’s license and insure your car so that if yours hits mine, I can recover the cost of the damages. And you file for citizenship the first day you’re eligible.

Do all this and you become an American like all the rest of us. Your kids will lose their accents, move into the mainstream, and retain little of their heritage except a few words of your language and – if you’re lucky—an irresistible urge to visit you now and then for some of mom’s old-country cooking.

This is how the Italians made it, the Germans made it, the Dutch made it, the Poles made it, the Jews made it, and more recently how the Cubans and the Vietnamese made it. The process isn’t easy – but it works and that’s the way ordinary Americans want to keep it.

Hit the link above and read the whole thing.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Navy PR

Got this via email today and had to post it. It's about 5 minutes long but worth it. Great slideshow!


Visit Pinch for some more conservative fun, liberals be warned. Click on the link under his post titled "This Rocks".