Friday, April 30, 2010

A Letter for Family and Friends of the Soldiers Returning from Iraq

Note: This is a real letter written by Sgt Aaron A. Goddard while he was deployed in Balad Airfield, Iraq. He sent it to the friends and family of this raise spirits and share what they go through. It's a brilliant way of portraying hardship without being whiney, and is a testament to their true grit.

This is a letter for the friends and family members of personnel who have recently been deployed to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The hardships of this deployment has taken a great toll on these soldiers and we simply want to warn you of some of the things that you may experience with your returning soldier.

Upon return from deployment ensure that there is no ice anywhere to be found within your home. Shut down all refrigerators for about three hours then allow them to run for approximately 20-30 minutes at a time. This will allow the soldier to become acclimatized with his “new” surroundings. If the soldier runs into cold, or heaven forbid ice water, he/she may go into shock. If this happens proceed to the kitchen and boil some water to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit, slowly allow your soldier to ingest the warm water to allow them to return to a balanced state. Over a period of three to four weeks slowly start decreasing the temperature of the water to allow their body to adjust to the colder beverages. Within a month your soldier will be able to handle iced beverages with no problems. Also be certain that during the acclimatizing phase of this procedure stock no more than two or three bottles of water at a time. The mere sight of an abundance of water may cause your loved one to hoard every bottle in a hiding spot unknown to you or anyone else. Over time he/she will realize that they no longer need to hide their water. This realization may happen over a period of time, or it may occur to them that people will not trade cigarettes for water and it may dawn on them that it is no longer necessary to hoard water for those “just in case” periods.

When your soldier returns home ensure that there is a small amount of dust over everything that you and your soldier possess. For you this may be the most difficult thing to deal with (outside of your soldiers bathroom habits which we will discuss later in this letter) due to the uncleanliness of your home. This will take less time to overcome on both party’s part. Your loved one will clean and gripe about how much dust there is and how it gets into everything. This is normal, do not be alarmed at your soldiers’ sudden desire to clean, in fact encourage it and slowly they will realize that they no longer need to clean everything two or three times a day. However be aware that if the winds suddenly pick-up wherever you may live, your soldier will immediately proceed to close every door, every window, and might even attempt to seal up any doors or windows that they feel might let dust in. This is caused by the dust storms that they experienced out in Iraq. This is also normal, and it may last a little longer than their cleaning phase. Remember also that if your loved one starts to yell at you for not helping to “secure” your home, humor them and help them to secure your doors and windows.

Prior to your soldier coming home, ensure that you turn up the thermostat to an unbearable 100 degrees plus. This will allow them to be more at home. This will also not last as long as the water phase, but it will be difficult for you to endure the temperature as well as they do. The extreme heat that your soldier has faced has attuned his/her body to a certain temperature and it will take them a little while to get used to colder environments. WARNING: DO NOT ALLOW YOUR SOLDIER TO BE AROUND ANY AIR CONDITIONING. This may cause their body to go into shock, or it may cause them to go on a rampage about officers and how they screw over the little people time and again. Allowing them to vent their frustrations about their chain of command and/or returning them to their inhospitably warm home can only remedy this. If your soldier goes into shock, place as many blankets on their person until their body stabilizes to an above average temperature. By gradually decreasing the temperature of your home, you can overcome this phase over a period of time.

Your soldier’s bathroom habits may shock, scare or more than likely disgust you. Do not be concerned if your soldier flushes the toilet for twenty minutes or more, marveling at the sight of running water. Your soldier has not had the benefit of running water for over nine months and they will not be accustomed to the principles of how a toilet functions. Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the bathroom! For the entire duration of the deployment your soldier has been burning their own and other soldiers’ feces as opposed to flushing toilets. If you see your soldier carrying a can of diesel fuel into the bathroom, immediately remind them that it is no longer necessary for them to burn feces. As I mentioned this is probably the most disgusting part of the entire adjustment phase. It is not for those with weak stomachs and if you require assistance in this phase feel free to ask for help from another family member or neighbor. If without you knowing, your soldier somehow manages to sneak a can of diesel fuel into your bathroom and proceeds to light it on fire, instruct your soldier that you have been placed on BBQ detail, and that you will take care of it. Your soldier will not argue with you and after he/she leaves extinguish the flames and flush the toilet. As a further precaution, ensure that there are no flammable or combustible materials within a two-foot diameter of the toilet.

Your soldier’s personal hygiene may become a problem once they return. This is caused by the lack of showers available to your soldier during his deployment. Your soldier may go three days or more before taking a couple of bottles of water (ensure that it is warm water) and going outside and drenching themselves with their water. If your neighbors have a problem with seeing your loved ones naked in the front or back yard cleaning themselves, inform your neighbors that it should last only a couple of weeks and ask them not to call the local authorities as this is normal for your soldier. You can help your soldier by subtly reminding your loved one that it is no longer necessary to shower outside. Laundry was a big issue for soldiers out in Iraq. They might take it upon themselves to retrieve a bucket and proceed to clean their clothes by hand and placing it on a makeshift clothesline. This can be easily handled by ensuring that all your soldiers’ clothes are clean and kept folded in their proper places.

IMPORTANT: At no time mention the word “lightning” around your soldier. Even if there is a lightning storm approaching make no mention of the word lightning. If by some chance they hear the word lightning your soldier will immediately drop anything that they are holding and attempt to place their chemical protective gear on. Once they change into their protective suits they will run to a bunker or up against a sturdy wall. They will then start asking for accountability of all members of your family and will instruct you to get into your gear and get to safety. If this happens all you simply have to do is say the words “all clear.” Once you say this, your soldier will proceed to take off his protective suit and go back about his/her business as though nothing happened. This may last a lot longer than all of the other phases, as it was the most uncertain time of their deployment due to the helplessness of the situation. Studies are currently underway as to how long your loved one will carry around his/her protective gear until they realize that it is no longer necessary. To help your loved one sleep better at night, use a tape recording of explosions and slightly rock the bed a couple of times, this will help them sleep as they are accustomed to hearing the sounds of mortars exploding as a lullaby. If you are driving in a vehicle and your loved one may wear his/her Kevlar helmet and/or flak vest. He/she may also start to throw food out the window to children on the street. Inform the neighbor kids that he means no harm and that he is only trying to help feed an impoverished nation.

Please ask your mailman to hold all mail for approximately five to six weeks before giving them to you. The mail system was extremely slow and they will probably not be accustomed to receiving mail in a regular time frame. Your solider may also not know how to use the phone. Keep a “phone roster” handy by the phone, allow them to sign in for the phone and instruct them that it will probably be a one to two hour wait and that they may only use the phone for ten minutes. Once they pick up the phone do not be alarmed if they suddenly holler for joy when they get through on their first attempt. Slowly decrease the time increments you inform them of for a wait and allow them to talk on the phone for longer than ten minutes. This will adjust them to their return to civilization.

Ensure that all food tastes bland. Make your loved one stand in a line for approximately one hour outside your home and allow them to enter. Ensure that your cooking has no taste to it and ensure that there are only plastic utensils and plates as your loved one will attempt to throw away their plate when they are finished. Add spices over a period of time to allow your loved one’s palate to adjust to the sensation of flavor. If you feel that your loved one is ready give them a crappy flavored non-alcoholic beer and allow them to enjoy. Your loved one has been in detox for their entire duration of the deployment and any attempt by them to ingest alcohol can have an undesirable effect on your soldier. If you see your loved one sneak a drink from the liquor cabinet and lock themselves in the room, do not be alarmed if they refuse to answer the door, or even acknowledge that they are in the room. They may be attempting to hide the fact that they are drinking and it may take a little getting used to by your loved one to drink in public again.

Once again I remind you that your loved one has gone through many changes and it is difficult to say whether or not that any or all of these symptoms may be apparent in your soldier. Exercise caution and patience when dealing with your returning loved one and please remember that they love you and that they missed you all throughout the entire deployment. Over time your loved one will return to normal and you will be reunited with the loved one who was deployed to an uncivilized land.

Yours sincerely,
Sgt Aaron A. Goddard
Balad Airfield, Iraq

Monday, April 26, 2010

Anti-Semitism in the Obama administration

Obama’s National Security Advisor, General James Jones (Ret), has just been captured on video telling a joke that portrays Jews as greedy merchants.

“This happened recently in Southern Afghanistan. A member of the Taliban was separated from his fighting party and wandered around in the desert lost, out of food and water, and looked out on the horizon and saw a little shack…he got closer and found that it was a store of a Jewish merchant. The Taliban warrior went up to him and said, I need water, give me some water. The merchant said we don’t have any water but we have some ties, we have a nice sale on ties today. Whereupon the Taliban erupted into a scream of language I can’t repeat…and passively the merchant sat there until the Taliban was through with his diatribe and said I’m sorry I don’t have water for you, and I forgive you for all your insults…but I’ll help you out. If you go over that hill about two miles there is a restaurant there and they have all the water you need. The Taliban said thanks and still muttering under his breath disappears over the hill only to come back an hour later and walking up to the merchant says ‘your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”

The language of this joke is disturbing. How is it possible that a high level government official actually thinks that telling “Jew jokes” at an official speech is appropriate?

It is very interesting that while the General refers once the merchant as a “Jewish merchant” and from that point on only uses the term “merchant” for the Jew, in a manner that seems to reduce the Jewish aspect of the joke but, having set the premise, then uses a code word for the Jew from that point on. Meanwhile, the Taliban is never a “terrorist” or an “insurgent”: he is a “warrior”.

While contemplating this speech, I found that Rush Limbaugh is under attack for a comment he made in which he attempted to point out the use of code words used by the Obama regime that appear to subtly refer to Jews.

LIMBAUGH: To some people, “banker” is code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama is assaulting? He’s assaulting bankers. He’s assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there’s — if there’s starting to be some buyer’s remorse there?

The assault on Rush seems to be based upon the premise that he is anti-Semitic for pointing out that Obama is engaging in a constant attack on “Bankers”, which is, in fact, undeniable, and by pointing out that the term “bankers” appears to be a code-word for “Jews”. Take it in light of how General Jones used “merchant” as a code word for “Jew”. However, it should be noted that Limbaugh was discussing Norman Podhoretz's book, Why Are Jews Liberals?

This same topic has been discussed ad nauseum by none other than Jewish conservative talk-show host (and Rabbi), Dennis Prager.

In fact, Mr. Prager writes:

"The most frequently asked question I receive from non-Jews about Jews is, why are Jews so liberal?..." He then goes on to write about the six main reasons why Jews tend to be Liberal, and points out that "just as liberal Jews fear a resurgent Christianity despite the fact that contemporary Christians are the Jews' best friends, leftist Jews fear American nationalism despite the fact that Americans who believe in American exceptionalism are far more pro-Jewish and pro-Israel than leftist Americans. But most leftist Jews so abhor nationalism, they don't even like the Jews' nationalism (Zionism). If you believe that leftist ideas and policies are good for America and for the world, then you are particularly pleased to know how deeply Jews — with their moral passion, intellectual energies and abilities, and financial clout — are involved with the Left. If, on the other hand, you believe that the Left is morally confused and largely a destructive force in America and the world, then the Jews' disproportionate involvement on the Left is nothing less than a tragedy — for the world and especially for the Jews."

I guess, despite the fact that Limbaugh is a conservative and a staunch supporter of Jews and Israel, because he is a Gentile, he's not allowed to talk about the same topic that Prager and Podhoretz are discussing. Therefore, he is attacked. Mark Silk writes in Spiritual Politics:

“As MediaMatters pointed out, that last bit is patently untrue--unless Limbaugh wants to include himself among the Jew-haters. He begins with what "some people think" and then associates himself with the view. His speculation is that Jews--three-quarters of whom voted for Obama--may be having buyer's remorse because Obama has started attacking their co-religionists on Wall Street. Only someone a lot more familiar with traditional Gentile attitudes about Jews than with the American Jewish community could entertain the idea that the latter would have second thoughts about supporting a candidate who attacks Wall Street bankers.”

So, somehow, the Liberal left wants us to believe that it is “patently untrue” that the word “banker” is used as a form of code-word against Jews. But this is not the case. The use of the concept has been used since before the Nazis took control of Germany, and was in fact commonly used by American progressives such as FDR and his acolytes. Read a little about the Catholic Priest Charles Coughlin as just one example. Coughlin, an avid supporter of FDR blamed the Depression on an "international conspiracy of Jewish bankers", and also claimed that Jewish bankers were behind the Russian Revolution. He later said that "When we get through with the Jews in America, they'll think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing." Mind you, this Priest was the one who founded the National Union of Social Justice. (If the term “social justice” doesn’t jump out at you, you obviously have not been listening to the attacks on Glen Beck for his suspicions about the renewed infatuation by the Obama administration with “social justice”).

As Andrew McCarthy points out on his blog, Obama’s constant discussion about Economic justice “is simply the finance angle of ‘social justice,’ the idée fixe of Obama and his coven of Change-agents — like Michael Klonsky, the communist educator who ran a “social justice” blog on Obama’s official campaign website.”

There are many, more recent examples of “progressives” trashing Jews such as the Rev. Al Sharpton and Former President Jimmy Carter, to name just two.

Meanwhile, it is perfectly true that Obama’s attacks on bankers have been on-going and quite vitriolic.

Example ONE:
Speaking from the White House, Mr. Obama said, "I want to send a strong warning to this country's bankers," before turning to his economic team and saying, "I don't mean you guys."
After the President excused them from listening to the rest of his address, approximately one hundred former bankers filed out the door, leaving the room virtually empty.
Once the room had cleared, Mr. Obama resumed his attack on bankers, using his strongest rhetoric to date: "If you do not clean up your act, I am prepared to give you heck."
Example TWO:
Obama: "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.”

Example THREE:
President Obama attacks banking 'masters of the universe'

Democrats want to convince everyone that it’s the Conservatives who are the bigots, but even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to distance himself Wednesday from the views of his brother-in-law, who called President Obama "anti-Semitic" over the airwaves this morning.

Perhaps Limbaugh’s belief that there are many Jews who see through the lightly veiled code words is accurate after all. And having his National Security Advisor stand up and tell “Jew Jokes” certainly does not help matters.

Monday, April 19, 2010

70% overtaxed, but 47% pay no taxes?

I noticed two interesting statistics over the past few weeks and contemplated them for a while before I noticed something odd.

First, we saw a poll that revealed that 70% of Americans feel they are over-taxed.

At about the same time, we saw reports that 47% of Americans will pay no income tax at all.

I heard analysts speaking about both of these polls and statistics and I never heard anyone connect the two. What I did hear was President Obama mock the "anti-tax" protesters, since according to him he has "cut taxes", and should be thanked. In reality, the president imposed new policies that are going to hike the cost of living, impose new taxes, and even force Americans to purchase a product from a Government-approved list of companies (refusal to participate making the citizen subject to fines or imprisonment) and yet he then claims he has "cut taxes". How can he even try to make that claim? Simply by not having reversed the Bush tax cuts, he claims to have cut taxes.

Just like the government's tricky use of statistics such as "jobs created or saved", a vacuous shell game to try to take credit for jobs that still exist by claiming they would have been lost except for the Obama policies, or new jobs that have allegedly been created (most of the real jobs that were created were government jobs, so their inclusion is misleading from the start), this latest bit of propaganda is completly illogical. It's like saying "I cut your taxes because I didn't impose a new tax." It is doubly misleading because in reality, there have been a whole new slew of taxes created, many of which were hidden in the so-called "Health Reform Act". These taxes include increases in capital gains (such as a 4% tax on home sales), the already mentioned requirement to purchase health insurance or pay a "fine", and others. Meanwhile, the same administration proposes a VAT tax on all sales, not to mention the Cape and Trade energy tax, both of which will immediately cause inflation in all products and services.

So the reality is that YES, government-caused tax hikes and fines are in the works, and Obama's plattitudes are empty, as usual.

Which brings me back to the original topic: If the statistic is correct that only 47% of Americans have to pay federal income tax, how is it possible that 70% of Americans feel over taxed?

Clearly, the 53% of Americans that do pay Federal Income Tax feel they are paying way too much. So what of the additional 17% that apparently do not pay Federal Income Tax but still feel they are over taxed?

It occured to me that these must be individuals who are not required to pay Federal Income Taxes, but are still taxed heavily at the State and local level, and feel they are still paying too much. Many of these are likely to be the same individuals who are thrilled to get Obama-Care, because someone else will be footing the bill, and yet they also feel the squeeze from excessive local taxes. Afterall, I've heard that the tax rate in utopian cities like New York exceed 60%! It is not difficult to imagine that a NY resident who earns too little to pay federal taxes may squirm under the excessive state and city taxation in NY city.

And this leads me to believe that there is at least a 17% voting block of citizens who might be swayed against the type of government expansion of costly programs if only the right message were created and directed at them. In fact, this might just be an indication of who the independents and Democrats are that have been joining the Tea Party movement.

(I encourage you to read this article that breaks down who it is that actually pays taxes in this country. The findings may surprise you.)