Tag Archives: Iraq

Christmas night

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas today.

It was quiet her at Casa Poolman. Mrs. P worked yesterday and today in neonatal ICU. Eventually, both our children and their partners joined us here around 730 pm for a nice dinner and a presents-opening. All is good.

In the course of conversation with my son-in-law, my daughter and I realized that he had missed out on many of the holiday stories that are semi-legendary in our family. He has been hanging around for nearly 5 years, but he is totally unfamiliar with some of the family holiday stories that are the essential meat of being part of this family. (And we have some great stories! The story of “Naked Aunt Naomi” on Christmas Eve has to be the all-time best seller. More on that later.)  He has never met some of our family’s biggest characters, simply because they died before he met my daughter. We’ll have to work to get him into the full impact of being a part of the family

Tomorrow morning, Mrs P and I head south down I-95 (traffic permitting) to pickup our 11 year old niece who will spend the week with us.

To cap off a nice Christmas day, take a look at this story from CBS News’s Steve Hartman. I have been a big Steve Hartman fan since he was a reporter at KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities in the mid-1980s. He is very good! This isn’t one of his best, but it is a very nice Christmas story. Merry Christmas, everyone!

A battle lost in Iraq

Major General Tony Cucolo lost a battle in Iraq this week, but it didn’t involve guns and bullets. The victors weren’t the insurgents – they were a handful of liberal senators and our favorite, clear-thinking group, the National Organization for Women.

You probably heard about Cucolo’s effort to rule out pregnancies among the women in his command while they are deployed to a war-zone. If you missed the fuss, you can catch up here and here.

I wish the liberal senators and NOW had just shut up and looked for more important issues to become enraged over. Cuculo was right on target with his orders and he should not have been overruled.

You give up a lot if rights and freedoms when you join the military, even more when you are deployed to a war zone. Pregnant women are automatically sent home if they become pregnant. As Cuculo said, every soldier in his command, men and women, are vital to his mission and he can’t afford to ship them home. It isn’t too much to ask (order) his soldiers to put their family-building plans on hold until they finish the mission.

He didn’t say you couldn’t have a family when you are in the Army. All he was said was, (paraphrased) “Hey, we’re in a war here. I need every person we have to get the job done. Don’t let yourself get ‘knocked up’ and sent home until we finish the mission.”  The order applied equally to both the would-be mothers and fathers in his command so it was gender neutral.

Why is that so offensive?

There is always the other issue. A pregnancy can be a “get out jail, free” card to a female soldier who decides she doesn’t want to complete the deployment and wants an early trip home.

General Cucolo was on target with his order. It’s too bad knee-jerk politicians and activists can see the wisdom behind his policy.

$500 Bonus Babies

I now see where Congress is considering giving $500 to every baby born. The idea is to start them on a savings account.

Happy BabyThat is lovely. Why stop with babies? Why not just give everyone $500, or $1,000 or $1 million? It’s just money, right?  If you can give billions to bankers and investment firms, why not babies? Everyone loves babies!

Here is one  reason. It’s not like we — that is the US government/taxpayers — have a bunch of loose change lying around just waiting for someone to spend it. We are borrowing money from China and other countries to pay for the financial fiasco the Brainiacs on Wall Street got us into last year, not to mention the ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. So we borrow more money from China (over $3B/yr) to pay people to have babies. Yeah, this is a real good idea. Let’s just give money away —  money we don’t have — money we have to borrow, mostly from people who don’t like us and want to own us.

Do you ever get the feeling that your Congressmen are just taking your money, then giving it back to you and making it look like it’s a gift? Hello! It was your money to start with, or China’s or whoever. Actually, when you think about it, it may not be “your money,” depending on who you are. When you consider that roughly half the people in the US don’t pay any income tax to begin with, you can see that “spread the wealth around” idea in play. Take money from those who have more of it and give it to those who have less.

I think a big reason Congress is considering the bill is that as long as they can be seen as giving money to their constituents, they will get votes. How many voters really care where it comes from?

Here is a famous quote from Alexis de Tocquiville to think about.

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

I think Congress discovered that a long time ago.

That’s my rant for the day. Sorry.