Monday, June 26, 2006

More Odds and Sods

Greetings! So little to do, so much time. Wait strike that, reverse it. That's movie reference number one so let's move onward...

As I mentioned in a previous posting, the killing of al-Zarqawi has led to 452 raids, 104 insurgents being killed, 759 insurgents being captured, and the discovery of 28 significant arms caches. Such great news that needs to be mentioned more often.

Today, it was announced that seven insurgency groups have contacted the Iraqi government about a ceasefire. More great news!

According to the Associated Press, hundreds of chemical weapons found in Iraq were produced before the 1991 Gulf War and probably are so old they couldn't be used as designed, intelligence officials said Thursday. Leave it to the AP to throw cold water on any good news. Coalition forces have recovered about 500 munitions with mustard or sarin agents. Bottom line: that's 500 less munitions for the world to worry about!

The report in a new book that al-Qaeda called off a planned terrorist attack in 2003 on the New York City subway system I feel is absolute bunk. For an attack to be 45 days from being executed and then called off for an "unknown reason", is just too hard to fathom. The terrorist network has either been unable to pull off an attack or has had planned attacks foiled since 9/11, so if this one was set to go ahead unfettered, there is no way it would be curtailed. I'm not sure what the ulterior motive is for the book's author, but again I don't buy into it.

Seven men were busted in Florida for plotting an attack on the Sears Tower in Chicago, just one of several targets mentioned. Many media outlets reported that it appeared these men probably would not have been able to pull off their heinous act because of their "sloppiness". However, it's best it did not get beyond the planning stages is it not? The biggest concern, I believe, is that Miami seems to be a place to keep an eye on because many of the 9/11 hijackers either came through Miami, lived there for a while, or trained there.

I know that all the "experts" say we are spread thin. But if Kim Jung Mentally Il decides to launch a missile anywhere near our shores, I say we remove him and his family of malcontents from power with as much firepower as possible, same goes for Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. We have all this great technolgy, we should use it and not be pushed around by these twirps. I'm not for blowing everyone up, but maybe we should flex our muscles once in a while.

Thanks for absolutely nothing Larry Brown. Yes, Knicks' management is laughable, but Brown was a crybaby all season long and did not earn a dime of that $10 million salary. Constantly changing the rotation and calling out players in public. Good riddance!

The Miami Heat's six-game win over the Dallas Mavericks was one of the most poorly played NBA Finals I have seen in a long time. However, I'll give the devil his due and say Pat Reilly is a hell of a coach. Definitely the difference in this series.

New York Rangers' forward Jaromir Jagr won the Lester B. Pearson Award as Most Valuable Player as voted on by his peers. No question about this: Rangers don't get near the playoffs without him.

The Carolina Hurricanes Stanley Cup win in seven games was the best Finals I have seen in a long, long time. I hated to see Edmonton lose, but the better team won. Unfortunately, the television ratings were horrible. It seems that the World Cup got more attention than the NHL. Sad, but true.

You have to wonder about a guy who three days after his team loses game seven demands a trade due to "family considerations". Of course, I am talking about Oilers' defenseman Chris Pronger. Still, I would trade New York Rangers' goalie prospect Al Montoya straight up for the six foot six d-man. Pronger on the blueline for the Blueshirts would make them an instant Cup contender.

Speaking of d-men, the Rangers drafted lifelong Blueshirts' fan and New Jersey resident Bob Sanguinetti with the 21st pick overall this weekend. The defenseman is 6'1", 174 pounds, and put up 68 points with the Owen Sound in the OHL last season. NHL Central Scouting had him ranked at 12 and I am not sure why he slipped down, but from all reports it looks like he will be manning the blueline on Broadway sometime around 2012.

Staples. They are not just those things you use to attach your TPS reports (movie reference number two). No, they are also those consistent things in your life that you may take for granted and not notice them until they are gone. Well, it appears as though a huge staple is about to leave Rangerland as New York Rangers' broadcaster John Davidson is reportedly leaving the booth after 20 years to become president of the St. Louis Blues, following the team's sale to a group led by former MSG boss Dave Checketts. Year after year, game after game, I looked forward to Sam and J.D. coming into my living room. "Hello everyone and welcome to New York Rangers' hockey! I'm Sam Rosen along with my partner John Davidson..." Those words I heard uttered from Rosen's mouth thousands of times. I'll really miss J.D. Very knowledgeable, always provided great analysis. But mostly the camaraderie between the two broadcasters was second to none. It always sounded as if two friends were watching the games, rather than just two guys announcing. The Garden will have a tough time filling Davidson's shoes. St. Louis is a great sports city and gains big-time with J.D.

Incidentally, I have heard Mark Messier's name bandied about as Davidson's replacement. I love Mess, but from what I heard of him on OLN he's not really the most articulate guy around. I say radio man Dave Maloney gets it.

The Who opened their world tour at Leeds on Saturday night. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey unveiled a blue plaque at the University prior to the show to commemorate that night in 1970, when what many believe to be the best live album ever was recorded. The Live at Leeds album has been remastered and is now in stores. By chance, I heard the new one played on Q 104.3 and the sound is incredible. I thought I was listening to a current concert and not something from 36 years ago. Legendary New York DJ Carol Miller played the whole thing late one night this week. Incidentally, don't let the voice fool you, Miller is one hot number.

Larry King had Bruce Springsteen and Bono on this week in separate interviews. Two incredible musical geniuses! King is at his best when he does interviews with guys like these and keeps his far left-wing agenda to himself. He actually comes across as knowledgeable. I really admire Bono's work in Africa and although I disagree with Springsteen politically, I admire his passion and conviction for what he truly believes to be right.

From the New York Post...Usama bin Laden's former sex slave is now working as a writer for "Days of Our Lives"...Only In America!!!

Please keep reading...I will be posting chapter one of my novella, "Driving Toward Heaven" on Wednesday. I will be posting my usual stuff during the summer but I will really be focusing on this short story, with one chapter a week being posted through Labor Day. So please check back often and feel free to comment or make suggestions.

Finally, I'm 31-years-old and have just now figured out the meaning of Cyndi Lauper's She-Bop! Go figure.


Summer Reading

Greetings! So I was wondering what you are planning on reading this summer. Any suggestions? I will probably read a couple of Anne Rice books. Currently, I am ripping through Violin right now. I also want to read Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden, the Black Hawk Down author. But if you don't have any plans for anything here is a suggestion: Right now I am working on a novella or short story, if you prefer. I will be publishing a chapter each week on this blog. Probably around Tuesdays or Wednesdays. I have an outline for it done and have already written a couple of chapters but it is definitely a work in progress. So maybe bookmark this site and come back often but particularly Wednesdays and check it out. As always I encourage comments. I promise the final chapter will be up some time around Labor Day. If it's good, tell a friend. If you think it's garbage, print it out and use it to line your birdcage!


Thursday, June 22, 2006

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sickening News in the War on Terror

Very, very sad news to open with as most of you probably know by now. That being the discovery of the two U.S. soldiers' bodies found Monday night in Iraq which were mutilated and boobytrapped, according to military sources. The soldiers went missing on Friday after an attack on a traffic control checkpoint in Yusufiya, 12 miles south of Baghdad.

Army Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca were apparently tortured and had their eyes gouged out among other reprehensible things done by these bastards of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
I can't imagine what their families are going through and feel very sad for them.

This is an apparent shift in strategy. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi took a lot of heat from Ayman al-Zawahiri and Usama bin Laden for attacking Shiites, as Zarqawi tried to provoke a civil war inside Iraq between the Sunnis and Shiites. Now it is believed that Zarqawi's replacement has gone back to the old strategy of attacking American soldiers. The new leader is Abu Ayyub al-Masri, an explosives specialist who trained in Afghanistan, he allegedly performed the grisly murders.

I want to know where the outrage is over this! I feel sick by what happened. Yes, this is war. The al-Qaeda types fight like it was the 11th century when the crusades took place. After all their leader Usama bin Laden has been called a modern-day Saladin. Beheadings and this type of nasty fighting was common behavior from Saladin and his ilk.

I have tried to keep an open mind about this but I really have a hard time believing that Islam is the "religion of peace". Maybe the religion itself is. But there is a large percentile of folks who follow the extreme teachings either by committing violent acts or through their silence. Where is the condemnation from Muslim leaders around the world? Al-Qaeda said that the kidnapping of these soldiers was a gift from God. They call themselves "jihadists" or "holy warriors". So they are fighting in the name of their religious beliefs, extreme yes, but still their beliefs. Are there not moderate Muslims who do not subscribe to this nonsense who are willing to take a stand. I hold them as accessories to the crimes committed by these fanatics. Being a silent witness does not make someone innocent. I ask again where is the outrage?

I know the majority of Americans, according to polls, believe that the Iraq war was a mistake. Yet, how can anyone suggest that the United State pull out of Iraq. The consequences of such an action must be considered very carefully. Under no circumstances can America do a half-assed job in Iraq. If we leave Iraq in a shambles it won't be long before Iran takes over, which would expand their control over the oil market and inevitably force a showdown between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. This would produce massive fighting throughout the Middle East and destroy any chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Would a more-powerful Iran then seek to overthrow the already tenuous government of President Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan, which oh by the way, already possesses nuclear weapons.

A while back I read a book called Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War On Terror, which was originally published anonymously, but authored by Michael Scheuer, a 22-year CIA veteran, who chased bin Laden in the late 90s. Although I disagree that we are losing the War On Terror the author does make some valid points.

The premise of the book is that the United States, since World War II, has not fought wars to win, or lose for that matter. But more so for Presidents to be successful politically. Case in point: Afghanistan. According to the USA Today on Monday, the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces have retaken large areas of southern Afghanistan. Now how can this be! We need to go for the jugular and put an end to this once and for all. Do you realize that the War On Terror is almost five years old. That is longer than the United States' involvement in World War II.

So that this war is not interminable we need to be more aggressive and merciless, just as our enemy is. It seems as though President Bush is willing to go a certain point, but not enough to finish the job.

For example, I agree with several pundits that there should be strict curfews in the hotspots in Iraq and Afghanistan. I feel we should secure the borders in both those countries to prevent arms and fighters from coming in from places like Iran, Syria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It does not appear that we have done this sufficiently.

Today, 100 people were kidnapped in Baghdad. 100 people! I mean how is this possible. Look, I applauded the killing of al-Zarqawi which led to 452 raids, 104 insurgents being killed, 759 insurgents being captured, and the discovery of 28 significant arms caches. Great news there! But there are some things that leave me scratching my head. How is it possible for that many people to be kidnapped in one day in a major city?

There have been over 2,500 American soldiers killed and thousands injured. The democrats and republicans need to put aside their differences and work together to come up with a strategic plan as to how to once and for all destroy the insurgency. The deaths of these men and women cannot and should not be for nothing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Odds and Sods

Greetings! I have not been able to post in a while due to problems with blogger. So this will be kind of a potpourri of things that I was going to write about now condensed into one column. Since I am listening to The Who CD Odds and Sods, thus will be the title of this piece.

First up, the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a good thing. End of story. On the day of his demise I heard so much about the "ifs", "howevers", and "buts". I wish that for one day the American media could just celebrate the death of this animal. So many "experts" say he will be replaced. Yes, he will physically, there will be a new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq (really the terrorists call it Mesopotamia since they don't recognize the way the Middle East was carved up after the fall of the Ottoman Empire). But like I have said before, will he have the charisma, the leadership qualities, and the ruthlessness that was Zarqawi? I doubt it. This is a big win no doubt about it. Congratulations to Task Force 145 and the Iraqi people, as well as President Bush. Hey, if you are going to criticize him for the bad you have to give credit for the good.

Another good thing last week was that the USS Cole sailed again for the Middle East. Don't you remember that was the carrier that had a hole blown in the side of it by al-Qaeda in October 2000 killing 17 sailors off the shores of Yemen. Due to the timing, America never responded as President Clinton was on the way out and there was nothing to gain politically by an attack. Again, by not responding it showed America to be a "paper tiger" which is what the jihadists believe we are. If you want to understand how badly the investigation was bumbled read "The Cell" by John Miller and Michael Stone with Chris Mitchell. This non-fiction book reads like a Tom Clancy novel. That is, fast and furious.

The comments by Ann Coulter in her new book are deplorable as she insulted the four widows whose husbands were killed on 9/11. Known as the "Jersey Girls" I applaud them for not being sucked in to a battle with Coulter and also for their past work of pressuring the government to investigate the attacks of September 11, 2001 as well as implementing new security measures to prevent a future attack.

On the same note, kudos to Bill O'Reilly for taking Ms. Coulter to task on his radio show and not pandering to her like some conservative talk-show hosts. O'Reilly is about as fair and balanced as their is.

Bad news for America and the world last week as Islamist militiamen seized control of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. The New York Post among others reported that the CIA is providing arms and financial support to the tribal warlords who were defeated. So in essence we are fighting a proxy war. Which allegedly is occurring between Ethiopia(U.S. supported) and Eritrea(Islamist militiamen-supported).

However, more good news for the U.S.A. but you would never know it. The U.S. Army hit its 12th monthly recruiting target in a row in May. The Pentagon released its recruiting figures for May showing the active-duty army got 5,806 recruits topping their goal of 5,400. While, part-time Army National Guard and Army Reserve also reached their targets. This according to a report on But who would know about this. Certainly not those who only read the New York Times. It is amazing that phenom golfer Michelle Wie gets front page coverage for playing in a qualifier for the U.S. Open. She came up short, of course. Yes she is talented and probably will play in a men's golf major some day. But let's keep things in perspective. Which has a bigger impact on our country. The U.S. Army meeting its recruitment goals or a teenage-golfer? Oh, by the way how many tournaments has Wie won? Yes, the lady in the third row is correct. ZERO!!

I really wanted Edmonton to beat Carolina in the Stanley Cup Finals. But once goalie Dwayne Roloson went down it was kind of a given the Hurricanes would win. Still, although the Oilers are down 3-1 I'm pulling for a miracle.

The New Jersey Devils tapped Claude Julien to be their new Head Coach. Question: Why? Prediction: He'll be fired around Christmas.

The New York Islanders named Neil Smith their new General Manager and Ted Nolan their new Head Coach. Blogger's Verdict: Outstanding! Outstanding! Prediction: Islanders will make it to a Stanley Cup Final within three years.

I like Shaquille O'Neal. I like Dwyane Wade. But sorry Pat Reilly you screwed the Knicks therefore I am rooting for the Dallas Mavericks. Just remember there is no 'I' in team but there is an 'I' in Reilly.

I recently saw Mission Impossible III. I must admit I really enjoyed it. However, it is hard to take Tom Cruise seriously. I still can't get past him jumping up and down on couches. But he is a heck of an actor.

L.A. Confidential was on late one night. Talk about a great movie. I guess that's why cable never puts it on or they show it late at night. No they would rather put on insipid movies like Dirty Dancing! Ugggh!

Well, if you are not a wrestling fan or never have been then there is nothing left to read here. But tonight marks the return of ECW(Extreme Championship Wrestling). This is for the hardcore that want to see people get hit with tables and chairs. I went to ECW about 11 years ago at the Yonkers Raceway. I was leery at first. But my friend said the at-the-time magic words: cheap beer. The event was held in an old barn and all I can remember was some giant named the Bruise Brother taking my chair, MY CHAIR, and smashing another wrestler named Mr. Hughes over the head with it. No I didn't ask for it back. I think I chugged a couple of lagers to calm my nerves after that. But I am curious to watch ECW tonight on the Sci-Fi Channel at 10. It's like Al Pacino said in Godfather III, "Every time I try to get out it pulls me right back in."