Gung Ho!

Main Entry: gung ho Pronunciation: 'g&[ng]-'hOFunction: adjective Etymology: Gung ho!, motto (interpreted as meaning "work together") adopted by certain U.S. marines, from Chinese (Beijing) gOnghé, short for ZhOngguó GOngyè Hézuò Shè Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society: extremely or overly zealous or enthusiastic

Gung Ho!
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Gung Ho!
And The Cost of War!

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Gung Ho!
And The Cost of War In Lives!

Saturday, May 14, 2005 | News for Charlotte, N.C. | U.S. News

Marines' Families Await Word From Iraq

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Families of some Ohio Marines waited anxiously Saturday for word of whether their loved ones were injured during a major U.S. offensive in Iraq that has claimed the lives of four members of a reserve unit.

The families of those in the Columbus-based Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment were meeting Saturday with a grief counseling team, hoping to find out who was injured during Operation Matador near Karabilah, a village close to the Syrian border.

"There is a lot of uncertainty for the families," said Navy Cmdr. Roosevelt Brown, the chaplain who leads the stress-management team.

Three members of Lima Company were killed Wednesday when an explosive detonated near their armored transport vehicle, Marine Reserves spokesman Capt. Patrick Kerr said Saturday. Another member of Lima Company was killed last Sunday.

Semper Fi

Friday, May 13, 2005

What Is Happening in Somalia?

On May 5th Reuters International had this US Marines land on Somali coast to hunt militants.

HARGEISA, Somalia (Reuters) - U.S. Marines landed on Somalia's coast in one of their most visible hunts for militants in the country since they set up a Horn of Africa counter terrorism force in 2002, Somali officials said on Thursday.

Two boats brought about 20 lightly armed Marines to the fishing village of Maydh in the northwestern enclave of Somaliland on Tuesday, where they showed pictures of suspected "terrorists" to locals before leaving, residents said.

Then on May 6th Reuters International had Somaliland accuses U.S. of violating airspace.

HARGEISA, Somalia (Reuters) - The self-declared republic of Somaliland accused U.S. forces of violating its airspace on Friday, contradicting denials by U.S. generals that American forces had been active on the Somali coast this week.


The United States military has denied the reports, insisting that it has been active only in neighboring Djibouti, where it says it carried out live fire and landing exercises last week.

And the today AP International hadU.S. General Calls Somalia Terror Haven.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- Somalia has become a safe haven for terrorists in East Africa and the government-in-exile must take power to restore law and order to the Horn of Africa nation, the commander of a U.S. counterterrorism task force said Friday.

U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. Samuel Helland, the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, said American troops were working with Somalia's neighbors to improve their border security since U.S. pressure on the al-Qaida terror group in Pakistan and Afghanistan may force some members to seek refuge in East Africa.


Semper Fi

John Conyers, Jr. -- ConyersBlog

More GOP Hypocrisy On Iraq and Protecting Our Troops

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to learn that the GOP's support for the troops does not ordinarly extend beyond rhetoric to real life policy choices. After all, Rumsfeld admitted he was willing to go to war without adequate armor to protect the troops, their budget would gut veterans benefits, and they put the interests of greedy lenders ahead of our brave troops when it came to the recently enacted bankruptcy bill.

But yesterday, the House Republicans suprised even me when they voted in near lock step against prohibiting companies from defrauding our government with regard to Iraq War reconstruction. At the end of the debate of a broad crime bill concerning gangs and many, many other issues, Rep. John Tierney (D-MA) offered a final amendment (referred to as a 'motion to recommit') to prohibit war contract fraud. The Republicans voted it down, on a 198-227 basis, with only two Republicans voting to do the right thing. Amazingly, the GOP didn't even bother to explain why they were against the measure -- they basically just said they were against gang violence and that was it -- nothing about the Haliburton overcharges or the War. I've included the text of Rep. Tierney's statement and Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) rather meek response below in the extended entry.

Semper Fi

Fallen Warriors

DODs list of Fallen Warriors:

Broken down into, Operation Iraqi Freedom,
Operation Enduring Freedom,
or Attack on the Pentagon.
Then Operation Freedom broken down into branch of service Marines,
and Operation Enduring Freedom broken down into branch, Marines.

Semper Fi

Thursday, May 12, 2005

12 Indiana power plants on list of dirtiest in U.S.

By John Strauss

An environmental group on Wednesday named 12 Indiana coal-burning power plants, including one on the Southside of Indianapolis, among the 50 'dirtiest' in the country for producing health-damaging pollutants.

Bushcos clean air act in Indiana.

Semper fi

Parents who rejected medical care guilty

Star report

FRANKLIN, Ind. -- Dewayne and Maleta Schmidt were found guilty of reckless homicide today in the death of their infant daughter in 2003.

Jurors in Johnson Superior Court deliberated for about six hours this afternoon before reaching the verdict.

The Johnson County couple face two to eight years in prison.

Rhianna Schmidt died in August 2003 two days after she was born. According to testimony, Rhianna's delivery was difficult, and the child wasn't breathing when she was born. She eventually started to breathe on her own, but she stopped breathing on two other occasions during her first day of life. Each time, the parents turned to prayer to heal Rhianna instead of seeking medical treatment.

'I am commanded to put my faith in God in all things,' Dewayne Schmidt, 35, testified.

The Schmidt's church, General Assembly and Church of the First Born in Morgantown, does not require members to avoid medical treatment, a point the Schmidts conceded on the stand.
Testimony throughout the trial focused on the Schmidts' religious beliefs. The couple said they turn to God for guidance in every part of their lives.

'Our faith is about faith in all things in life,' Dewayne Schmidt testified.

Prosecutors tried to determine where the Schmidts draw the line, pointing out that Dewayne Schmidt wears glasses and Maleta Schmidt once had braces.

Semper Fi

Byrd, Frist Spar Over Filibuster Changes

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Irritated by Democratic chiding, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Thursday defended the "fairness and principle" of pressing a confrontation over judicial filibusters.

During an hourlong exchange, Senate dean Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., told Frist, "Don't leave this as your legacy." That was a reference to a Republican plan to eliminate minority Democrats' ability to block President Bush's judicial choices with just 41 votes in the 100-member Senate.

"You have a shirttail full of nominees, and you're going to wreck Senate tradition," Byrd said.

Annoyed, Frist pointed out that Byrd had promised to support holding confirmation votes.

"Didn't you also say as the other part of that statement to the president of the United States, being critical of the potential legacy I might have to leave in order to stand up for fairness and principle, didn't you also say you would give all of these nominees up-or-down votes?" asked Frist, who is expected to leave the Senate in 2006.

"I don't remember what I said," Byrd replied, "a few or all or three or four, I don't remember."

Semper Fi

Federal judge rules gay marriage ban unconstitutional

LINCOLN (AP) - A federal judge Thursday struck down Nebraska's ban on gay marriage, saying the measure interferes not only with the rights of gay couples but also with foster parents, adopted children and people in a host of other living arrangements.

The constitutional amendment, known as Initiative 416, passed in 2000 with 70 percent of the vote. It prevents homosexuals who work for the state or the University of Nebraska system from sharing health insurance and other benefits with their partners.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon said the ban 'imposes significant burdens on both the expressive and intimate associational rights' of gays and lesbians and 'creates a significant barrier to the plaintiffs' right to petition or to participate in the political process.

Must be one of those liberal judges everyone is complaining about, except use liberals.

Semper Fi

Herald Bulletin

Pence defends U.S. action in Iraq


LAPEL — Mark Boudrot asked U.S. Rep. Mike Pence a question that thousands of parents are wondering. Is his son, Matt, fighting for a noble cause in Iraq?

Pence, R-6th District, visited Lapel High School on Tuesday to answer questions from students and faculty members.

Boudrot, a government and history teacher, said he has some concerns about military service in Iraq.

“I’m proud of my son and want to feel good about what he is doing,” Boudrot said.

Pence said the most compelling reason for the U.S. presence in Iraq is bringing freedom to the Iraqi people.

“There were three reasons to attack Iraq,” Pence said. “One was that Saddam Hussein was supporting terrorist groups. The second was the presence of weapons of mass destruction, and the third was Saddam’s appalling record on human rights.”"

Mike, There is no link between terrorist groups and Saddam Hussein, no WMD, and no reason to invade Iraq because Saddam was a bad guy.

Semper Fi

Demise of a Hard-Fighting Squad

Marines Who Survived Ambush Are Killed, Wounded in Blast

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, May 12, 2005; Page A01

HABAN, Iraq, May 11 -- The explosion enveloped the armored vehicle in flames, sending orange balls of fire bubbling above the trees along the Euphrates River near the Syrian border.

Marines in surrounding vehicles threw open their hatches and took off running across the plowed fields, toward the already blackening metal of the destroyed vehicle. Shouting, they pulled to safety those they could, as the flames ignited the bullets, mortar rounds, flares and grenades inside, rocketing them into the sky and across pastures."

Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Hurley emerged from the smoke and turmoil around the vehicle, circling toward the spot where helicopters would later land to pick up casualties. As he passed one group of Marines, he uttered one sentence: "That was the same squad."

Among the four Marines killed and 10 wounded when an explosive device erupted under their Amtrac on Wednesday were the last battle-ready members of a squad that four days earlier had battled foreign fighters holed up in a house in the town of Ubaydi. In that fight, two squad members were killed and five were wounded.

In 96 hours of fighting and ambushes in far western Iraq, the squad had ceased to be.

Every member of the squad -- one of three that make up the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment -- had been killed or wounded, Marines here said. All told, the 1st Platoon -- which Hurley commands -- had sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a fighting force.

"They used to call it Lucky Lima," said Maj. Steve Lawson, commander of the company. "That turned around and bit us."

Semper Fi my fallen brothers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Muncie loses 18 teachers so far


MUNCIE - Seventeen non-permanent teachers were laid off and one semi-permanent teaching contract was canceled at Tuesday's Muncie Community Schools Board meeting.

The layoffs are a direct effect of the loss of about $1.6 million in state funding for next school year. In March, Supt. Marlin Creasy announced a seven-percent staff cut to help the district meet the budget shortfall. To soften the blow to schools, the state has given local school boards authority to raise local property taxes. If that were to happen, Muncie Schools would lose less than $1 million, Creasy said."

Semper Fi

Food drive to restock pantries


MUNCIE - Running an in-home day care, Jennifer Smith has plenty of hungry mouths to feed.

And she depends on the local Salvation Army for food and clothes to make ends meet.

'It has gotten harder for everyone to survive,' said Smith, who stopped by the pantry Tuesday. 'Jobs are going down, and expenses are going up.'

The Salvation Army is among 17 pantries and food banks in Delaware County that depend on the national food drive by letter carriers and postal employees. On Saturday, postal workers will pick up thousands of pounds of food for local pantries while they deliver the mail.

Debbie Simmons, food drive coordinator, said letter carriers were joined by Girl Scouts and other volunteers helping collect and distribute food. Cards and bags go out in the mail this week, reminding residents of food drive. The food will be gathered at the post office's Cowan Road facility to be distributed to local food pantries."

Rural route 6, I'll be delivering, and picking up, so please give as much as you can, Thank you.

Semper Fi

News Release - CREW

Citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington

Rep. Hart Buys Ticket to Thursday’s DeLay Defense Dinner in DC — Hart Loyalty to Delay Trumps Claims of Objectivity
CREW Asks that Hart Be Removed From Ethics Committee

Washington, DC - According to Congressional Quarterly Today, Representative Melissa Hart (R-PA) is one of 30 members of the House of Representatives who purchased either an individual ticket or a table to the American Conservative Union dinner on Thursday to defend ethically-challenged Majority Leader Tom Delay.

Representative Hart was tapped earlier this year to serve on the House ethics committee, and chosen to head-up the investigation into DeLay’s ethics violations with Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and payments to his family with his campaign funds.

This is not Representative Hart’s only link to DeLay She previously had received $15,000 from DeLay’s political action committee and held a fund-raiser at a restaurant owned by Jack Abramoff.

Semper Fi - Aircraft prompts brief White House evacuation - May 11, 2005

Bush away at the time; Cheney taken to secure location

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Parts of the White House, Capitol and Supreme Court were briefly evacuated Wednesday when a small plane violated restricted airspace over Washington, the White House said.

Fighter jets and a Black Hawk helicopter were scrambled to intercept a high-wing Cessna, said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

President Bush was not at the White House at the time. Vice President Dick Cheney was in the West Wing of the building when the alert was issued and was moved to a secure location, McClellan said.

The plane was within three miles of the White House before it was turned away by the military aircraft, McClellan said. The color-coded terror alert was raised from orange to red and then lowered when the plane was diverted, he said.

Semper Fi

'They Came Here to Die' - Yahoo! News


At daylight Monday, a staff sergeant skilled in rocketry set up a launcher in the street across from the house. Fired from a dozen or so yards, the rockets collapsed the walls over the fighters' hiding place -- a crawl space behind the door under the stairwell.

When the Marines entered a final time, the daylight finally showed them where the bullets had come from: the floor beneath their feet. The insurgents had lain faceup on the ground below, with barely enough room to point their weapons upward, Marines said. They simply blasted through the floor.

The Marines found the last foreign fighters there, dead. There were at least two, and it was unclear whether they had bled to death overnight or been killed in the morning's rocket volley, Hurley and other Marines said.

Suspecting explosives might be in the crawl space, the Marines didn't try to count the bodies closely or retrieve them, they said. But they dropped a grenade into the crawl space, just to make sure.

The ambush at Ubaydi was a new tactic, carried out lethally, Marines said.

'No one's ever seen or heard of guys getting attacked from under a house,' Hurley said Tuesday, as the exhausted young men under his command slept in other rooms of a house in Jarami. 'And just the idea of a machine gun being able to fire through concrete, to get to us,' Hurley said, without finishing his sentence."

Semper Fi

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Top News Article |

Halliburton gets $72 million bonus for work in Iraq
Tue May 10, 2005 2:55 PM ET"

By Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had awarded $72 million in bonuses to Halliburton Co. for logistics work in Iraq but had not decided whether to give the Texas company bonuses for disputed dining services to troops.

Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said in a statement it had given Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown & Root ratings from "excellent" to "very good" for six task orders for work supporting U.S. troops in Iraq.

The Army said its Award Fee Board in Iraq had met in March and had agreed to pay KBR bonuses for work it did in support of U.S. forces there.

But it said dining facility costs questioned by auditors from the Defense Contract Audit Agency had not yet been considered by the military's Award Fee Board.

The Army said it could not immediately provide more details on when the dining fee bonuses would be resolved.

Isn't this just like giving a child who just got into trouble some candy?
Semper Fi

Letter From Sen. Chuck Schumer

Dear Carl,

*Sen. Chuck Schumer
Chairman, DSCC*

In politics, it's all about momentum. Americans love to go with a
winner. And now - *thanks to you - we have the momentum and public
opinion is tipping our way.

I have been so energized by the tens of thousands of you who joined the
DSCC to show Bill Frist and the rest of the Senate Republicans that
whenever they pander to the far right, we will be there to make sure
their actions do not go unnoticed.

When Bill Frist joined that absurd Family Research Council telecast that
labeled Democratic judicial filibusters as "against people of faith," I
was outraged, but *more than 25,000 of you* told the Republican leader
to stop using religion to divide us and score cheap political points.
You forced Frist to back off from this kind of rhetoric, even if he is
too beholden to these right wing leaders to cancel his appearance entirely.

When Pat Robertson went on national TV and called the patriotic
Americans who serve on our federal courts a greater threat to this
country than the mass murderers in Al Qaeda, I was simply disgusted, but
*more than 10,000 of you responded in less than 24 hours to* tell the
Senate Republicans - Robertson's ideological allies - that this kind of
offensive and hateful rhetoric was unacceptable and that they needed to
immediately denounce it. Senate Republicans do not have the courage to
stand up to these far right wing extremists, but don't worry. We will
hold them accountable to the voters in November 2006.

The latest opinion polls show that *the public opposes the so-called
"nuclear option" *by a margin of 2-to-1. It's still a long way to
Election Day, but we've made a lot of progress so far and I know that
you'll be there every step of the way between now and then. Thank you
so much for your commitment.

Every day, I take your message to the Senate and I tell our Democratic
caucus about the tens of thousands of Americans who stand with us
against a right wing takeover of our federal courts and even the Senate
itself. I have been absolutely stunned by the massive outpouring of
support I have seen from committed Democrats just like you. Now I know
that we have to keep the Democrats together because I don't want to let
you down.

Senate Democrats are the last line of defense against the right wing's
court packing scheme. When tens of thousands of Americans like you have
my back during the toughest fights, my job is easy. *Thank you again
for your steadfast support.*


Chuck Schumer

Monday, May 09, 2005

Web Chat: Rep. John Conyers and Rep. Louise Slaughter

Join us for an online conversation with two of our great Democratic leaders in the House: Representative John Conyers of Michigan and Representative Louise Slaughter of New York.

The chat will be held on Tuesday, May 10th at 3:00 EDT right here, and we'll open it up for you to submit your questions by 9:00 that morning.

See you then!"

Semper Fi

Marine Corps Times - News - More News

The Marines’ flawed body armor
Corps recalls more than 5,000 vests that experts rejected — but some remain in the field

By Christian Lowe
Times staff writer

The Marine Corps issued to nearly 10,000 troops body armor that government experts urged the Corps to reject after tests revealed critical, life-threatening flaws in the vests.

In all, the Marine Corps accepted about 19,000 Interceptor outer tactical vests from Point Blank Body Armor Inc. that failed government tests due to “multiple complete penetrations” of 9mm pistol rounds, failing scores on other ballistic or quality-assurance tests, or a combination of the two."


Faced with the imminent publication of this story, the result of an eight-month investigation by Marine Corps Times, the Marine Corps on May 4 issued a Corpswide message recalling 5,277 Interceptor vests from 11 lots that failed government ballistic performance tests — slightly more than half the total vests issued to Marines from questionable lots.

The Corps has not said what it intends to do with the more than 4,000 other vests the testers urged to be rejected that are now being worn by Marines. Nor has it said what it will do with the remaining 10,000 that it accepted over the objections of the test labs but which haven’t been fielded.

No wonder it seems Marines are dying every day. If a 9mm will fully penetrate those vest, then you might as will be wearing nothing.

Semper Fi

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Couple's trial puts religion, law at odds

Couple's trial puts religion, law at odds

Parents who favor faith over medicine charged in death of newborn daughter.

By Paul Bird

Indiana law and a couple's faith in the power of God and Indiana law will clash head-on this week in a Johnson County courtroom.

Dewayne Schmidt, 36, and his wife, Maleta Schmidt, 30, are facing a single charge each of reckless homicide in the August 2003 death of their daughter, Rhianna Rose Schmidt. She died from sepsis two days after birth."


The Schmidts told investigators they relied on God to heal their daughter, said Johnson County Sheriff's Detective Lt. Mike McElwain.

The Schmidts are members of the General Assembly and Church of the First Born, in Morgantown. Some church members eschew medical treatment in favor of faith in God's power to heal.

Church leaders could not be reached for comment, but in the past have said the church would follow its usual procedure in dealing with legal intervention.

"We'll just pray and leave it in the hands of God," elder Thomas Nation said last year.

Rhianna was not the first child within the church to die. In 1999, 12-year-old Bradley Glenn Hamm died after his pneumonia went untreated. In 1998, 6-day-old Aspen Daniel succumbed, according to authorities, to dehydration and underdevelopment.

Semper Fi

Happy Mother's Day

I just want to say "Happy Mother's Day" to my beautiful and loving wife, Cora.

Happy Mother's Day

Semper Fi