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« May 2006 | Main | July 2006 »

June 28, 2006

Harry Doran, RIP

Just got back from the funeral of my friend Pat Doran's father Harry, and his burial in the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery. Quite a tribute, including eulogies by two of his best friends, a State Police escort, and burial with full military honors. Harry was loved by many, and generous to a fault. He also never bragged, although he could (and should) have. His obituary text below left out a few things that he never talked about - mainly that his B-24 was shot down over Germany and he was a prisoner of war. His future wife sent him letters often - the Germans never delivered them. What he went through as a prisoner of war makes the 'outrage' of the Left over Guantanamo et al look like the farce that it is - Harry (and all other American prisoners of war since WWI to this very day) would have given anything to be treated a fraction of how we treat terrorist prisoners of war today.

Another fact that I just found out - Harry's wife (Pat's mother), who died many years ago, was also a Vet and was given a commendation by our country for helping to decrypt the Japanese secret codes during WWII. Quite a family, and quite a legacy. RIP

DORAN, HARRY L., 84, of Twin Oak Drive, died Sunday, June 25, 2006 at Kent Hospital. He was the husband of the late Marion V. (Dunnigan) Doran.

Born in Spark Hill, NY, a son of the late John H. and Elizabeth (Newman) Doran, he had been a Warwick resident for over 50 years. Mr. Doran was a self-employed manufacturing representative in the jewelry industry for 40 years before retiring and a WWII Army Air Corp veteran. He was a communicant of St. Benedict Church.

He was the father of John H. Doran and his wife, Donna, of Lorena, TX, Joseph M. Doran of Coventry, Patrick A. Doran and his wife, Susan, of Warwick and the late Thomas P. Doran. Grandfather of Thomas Doran, Heather Matthews, David and Colleen Doran, Melissa Bready, Brent and Taylor Doran and the late Alicia Doran. Great-grandfather of 5 great-grandchildren. Brother-in-law of Marcella Doran of Redondo Beach, CA. Brother of the late Jack Doran.

His funeral will be held Wednesday at 8 a.m. from the Thomas & Walter Quinn Funeral Home, 2435 Warwick Ave. with a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Benedict Church, Beach Ave. at 9 a.m. Burial will be in the RI Veterans Cemetery, Exeter. Visiting hours Tuesday 4-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions to St. Benedict Church, 135 Beach Avenue, Warwick, RI 02889, will be appreciated.

June 26, 2006

You Can Depend on the Democrats and the New York Times...

You can always depend on the New York Times et al, the Democrats, and the Left in general to go too far and shoot themselves in their own foot. In response to the NYT's disclosure of the top secret terrorist fund tracking program through S.W.I.F.T., NYT's head honcho Bill Keller offered this insulting, irrational and sophomoric response: link

The Secretary of the Treasury corrects the record and delivers a resounding smack-down to Keller here:

"June 26, 2006

Letter to the Editors of The New York Times
by Treasury Secretary Snow

Mr. Bill Keller, Managing Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Dear Mr. Keller:

The New York Times' decision to disclose the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, a robust and classified effort to map terrorist networks through the use of financial data, was irresponsible and harmful to the security of Americans and freedom-loving people worldwide. In choosing to expose this program, despite repeated pleas from high-level officials on both sides of the aisle, including myself, the Times undermined a highly successful counter-terrorism program and alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails.

Your charge that our efforts to convince The New York Times not to publish were "half-hearted" is incorrect and offensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past two months, Treasury has engaged in a vigorous dialogue with the Times - from the reporters writing the story to the D.C. Bureau Chief and all the way up to you. It should also be noted that the co-chairmen of the bipartisan 9-11 Commission, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton, met in person or placed calls to the very highest levels of the Times urging the paper not to publish the story. Members of Congress, senior U.S. Government officials and well-respected legal authorities from both sides of the aisle also asked the paper not to publish or supported the legality and validity of the program.

Indeed, I invited you to my office for the explicit purpose of talking you out of publishing this story. And there was nothing "half-hearted" about that effort. I told you about the true value of the program in defeating terrorism and sought to impress upon you the harm that would occur from its disclosure. I stressed that the program is grounded on solid legal footing, had many built-in safeguards, and has been extremely valuable in the war against terror. Additionally, Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey met with the reporters and your senior editors to answer countless questions, laying out the legal framework and diligently outlining the multiple safeguards and protections that are in place.

You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that "terror financiers know" our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.

Lastly, justifying this disclosure by citing the "public interest" in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective. Indeed, you have done so here.

What you've seemed to overlook is that it is also a matter of public interest that we use all means available - lawfully and responsibly - to help protect the American people from the deadly threats of terrorists. I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.



John W. Snow, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury"

Remarkable. Absolutely remarkable.

And You Thought the American Military Had Scandals...

The shame, the shame...

This just in from CNN:

"LONDON, England (AP) -- A British army regiment's ceremonial pet goat was demoted in disgrace after it marched out of line before a host of international dignitaries during a parade to mark Queen's Elizabeth II's birthday, a military spokesman said Saturday.

The military mascot, a 6-year-old male goat called Billy, was downgraded from the rank of lance corporal to fusilier -- the same status as a private -- after army chiefs ruled his poor display had ruined the ceremony June 16 at a British army base in Episkopi, western Cyprus."

Watch Out for Dems' Dishonesty

Jim Gereghty has a great post over at TKS on NRO this morning, showing that you really have to watch everything the Democrats say these days. Russ Feingold was on Meet the Press and was attempting to show that the Bush Administration is ignoring Somalia as that country falls to Islamic terrorists. He states as fact that during his questioning of an Ambassador during a hearing on Somalia last week that official said that the Administration has only one person working on the Somalia crisis. Russert, as usual with Democrats, took him at his word.

Gereghty proves that Feingold intentionally misled Russert and the American people, and neglected to mention what the real problem is in Somalia - that there isn't anyone there that we can work with on a solution:

"Anyway, I was intrigued by this statement by Feingold:

You know, Tim, today it was announced that a guy named Hassan Dahir Aweys is now the head of the government that has taken over in Mogadishu in Somalia. He is on the State Department’s terrorist list. He is known as an al Qaeda operative, or somebody that is connected with al Qaeda. While we were asleep at the switch, while we were bogged down in Iraq, while we were all focused on Iraq as the be all and end all of our American foreign policy, we are losing the battle to al Qaeda because we’re not paying attention. I asked [Coordinator for Counter Terrorism in the State Department] Ambassador [Henry] Crumpton at a hearing the other day, how many people in our federal government are working full time on the problem in Somalia? He said one full time person. We’ve spent $2 million in Somalia in the last year while we’re spending $2 billion a week in Iraq. This is insanity if you think about what the priorities are of those who have attacked us and those who are likely to attack us in the future.

Could that really be true? So I went and checked the transcript on Nexis:

SEN. FEINGOLD: How many people does the State Department have working on Somalia full-time? I just want the full-time figure.

MR. CRUMPTON: Yes, sir. There is one dedicated Foreign Service officer in Nairobi that looks at Somalia, but there are a multitude of others, not just in the State Department but across the U.S. government, that work the issue.

Did Feingold misinterpret Crumpton's statement on Meet the Press? Here's a bit more from Crumpton, from earlier in that hearing:

SEN. FEINGOLD: Somalia is home to terrorist networks and illicit power structures, criminal networks, abject poverty and dire humanitarian conditions. And it's apparent that it demands far more resources and attention than we are providing.

Can you be a little more specific about what you think we need more of for Somalia?

MR. CRUMPTON: We need to have legitimate actors inside Somalia with whom we can work. That's probably the most difficult challenge right now. It is a fractured political entity with competing, conflicting tribal leadership. And we need to help them establish some type of interface, some kind of network, so we can help them right now.

A lot of this depends on the Somalis themselves. And to date they have fallen short. That's probably the most immediate challenge, to see if this fledgling government can establish some degree of legitimacy and some power. And right now they have very little.

SEN. FEINGOLD: In terms of our own governmental role on this, can you talk a little bit about the State Department's role in this effort? Is the State Department the department that's playing a leadership role on Somalia-related policy? And if not, who is?

MR. CRUMPTON: Yes, sir. And this was illustrated most recently when I was in Nairobi. We had ambassadors from the entire region that came to Nairobi to have an in-depth discussion. And I might note, that meeting had been scheduled for a couple of months before these recent events that you're talking about.

But it wasn't only the Department of State. We had representatives from the military; in fact, from OSD, from CENTCOM, from Special Operations Command. We had USAID there. We had NCTC, other elements of the intelligence community; a wide range of interagency. And we came back with some specific policy recommendations. And, yes, the ambassadors in the field had a leadership role. They chaired that meeting.

That's not a bad turnout, considering how there are no U.S. embassies or consulates in Somalia, that the U.S. military does not operate there (reportedly due to the preferences of the State Department) and the CIA was reportedly running funds to militias that opposed the African Courts Union. (That had to be more than a one-man operation.) As Crumpton pointed out, the biggest problem doesn't appear to be a lack of U.S. resources; it appears to be a lack of organized good guys on the ground to work with against the bad guys."

Another Monday, Another Death...

Harry Doran, the father of one of my best friends and next door neighbor, died yesterday at age 84. He had been active (yet ill) until his last illness, which struck Thursday. His son Pat sat with me and consoled me as my father died six months and one week ago. Harry was a true character, living his life the way he wanted to till the end. Last Wednesday he went out for the day with the sister of his late wife who had come to town from California for a visit. He drove her around RI while he did errands, chain smoking all the way. The next day he went in for dialysis, and suffered a stroke and a heart attack during treatment. He suffered another heart attack Friday night, and then it was just a matter of waiting. They gave him morphine so that there was no suffering.

Harry was a bomber pilot in Europe during World War II (as was my Uncle Matt). He was shot down late in the war, and was captured by the Germans. He survived, and made quite a nice life for himself and his family. Last week on Father's Day Harry drove over to his son Pat's house and had a great time with his family and great-grand kids, consuming two beers and a few hot dogs. As I said, he lived the way he wanted to. The obituary isn't up yet. I'll put it up when it becomes available.

June 24, 2006

Sometimes I'm Embarrased to be Irish...

Via LGF, here's a cute story from the Irish Independent newspaper:

"SIX United States soldiers on their way home from service in Iraq were placed under citizen's arrest after an anti-war activist spotted them walking around a town in their uniforms.

Shannon-based peace activist Conor Cregan said yesterday that he briefly detained the six on Thursday afternoon after finding them walking on the Limerick Road leading out of Ennis.

"I placed the soldiers under citizen's arrest because these soldiers are not supposed to be walking freely on the streets of Ireland in uniform. It is a breach of the Irish Constitution and Irish neutrality,"he said.

The six were part of a group of 238 troops who were forced to stay overnight on Thursday in due to technical problems experienced by their aircraft at Shannon airport.

They were staying at the West County Hotel in Ennis and met Mr Cregan near the hotel on a public footpath.

He said yesterday: "I immediately called for the six to stop and said to them 'I am placing you all under citizen's arrest. Do not move'."

The men remained on the footpath as Mr Cregan contacted emergency services. "I was put through to Ennis garda station, but the garda on duty made light of the matter," Mr Cregan said.


Green party leader Trevor Sargent said yesterday that US troops walking in uniform in this country "was a flagrant breach of Irish neutrality. An army of another country can't flaunt itself in uniform and it was an important gesture by the anti-war activist to ensure that the law is being upheld," Mr Sargent said."

I have relatives in Ennis, and I'm pretty certain they'd have the same reaction as the Garda, coupled with embarrassment. When I lived and owned a pub in Newport during the 80s, we'd see sailors in their uniforms all the time. We even had sailors from countries that we were not exactly eye-to-eye with at the time. A universal reaction was to go up to them, welcome them, and buy them a drink.

But to this 'peace' activist, as is true with much of the Left, the enemy is the United States. And the heroes, the ones that Cregan and Sargent would buy drinks for and welcome, is Al Quada. Morons.

June 23, 2006

Who Elected the Press?

Just saw a post from today by Kathryn Lopez over at NRO that references a point being made by Bill Bennett on his radio show this morning. They're quoting an excerpt from a speech by Alexander Solzhenitsyn at Harvard in 1978. With the press seemingly working on behalf of our enemies (ie - revealing the sources and uses of our supposedly top secret intelligence programs while hiding beneath the skirt of 'interest to the public'), it is even more important today than in 1978 to recognize this about the media:

"The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters, pertaining to one's nation's defense, publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: 'everyone is entitled to know everything.' But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.
Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. In-depth analysis of a problem is anathema to the press. It stops at sensational formulas.   Such as it is, however, the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. One would then like to ask: by what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible?"

June 20, 2006

More Hospital Stuff/Computer Woes

Last week was a busy week. My sister had surgery on her right wrist and elbow - she had broken her wrist in a car accident when my father went into the hospital in December. She never really followed up with therapy after because of Dad's condition. Scar tissue developed, and she had to have it removed and nerves shifted on Wed. As a result, she and her new puppy Boo stayed with us until yesterday while she recovered.

Then I had my first major problem with my Mac ever. The hard drive developed a bad block, which screwed up many programs. I had to buy an external 250GB fire-wire hard drive, back up my system, erase and reinitialize my eMac's hard drive, restore my system, and hope that it worked. Well, everything worked except that none of my programs allowed me access - I couldn't post, e-mail, use the web, etc. I finally got everything fixed and up and running yesterday afternoon - 4 days after my problem started!

And in a cruel irony, my Dad's six month anniversary was on Father's Day. It was a much more difficult day than I had anticipated. I miss him terribly - there's so much that I'd like to talk about and do with him now. But I'm doing what he asked of me with Mom and the rest of the family, and I'm sure he is aware of that and approves. That will have to do for now.

June 08, 2006

Why Doesn't John Kerry Just Go Away?

Two weeks ago reporter Kate Zernike had a front-page fan-letter/article on John Kerry in the Memorial Day edition of the New York Times. In it Kerry attempts to defend himself against the Swift Boat guys and his critics from two years ago. To anyone who knows even a little bit about Kerry's record and the charges made against the validity of much of what he claims to have happened during and after his Vietnam service his statements in the article and the article itself are embarrassing.

Thomas Lipscomb has a devastating rebuttal of Kerry, the article, and Zernike at Real Clear Politics.

First read Zernike's article, then Lipscomb's. And enjoy.

And then feel sorry for John Kerry, and be amazed that this master of delusion is still a United States Senator.

D-Day Anti-War Protests and Media Reports

A great post over at the Nihilist in Golf Pants blog. One of the funniest (and truest) things I've read in a long time:

Top 11 Things That Anti-War Protesters Would Have Said At the Normandy Invasion on D-Day (Had There Been Anti-War Protesters At Normandy)

11. No blood for French Wine!

10. It’s been two and a half years since Pearl Harbor and they still haven’t brought Admiral Nagumo to justice

9. In 62 years, the date will be 6/6/6. A coincidence? I think not.

8. All this death and destruction is because the neo-cons are in the pocket of Israel

7. The soldiers are still on the beach, this invasion is a quagmire

6. Sure the holocaust is evil, but so was slavery

5. We are attacked by Japan and then attack France? Roosevelt is worse than the Kaiser!

4. Why bring democracy to Europe by force and not to Korea or Vietnam? I blame racism

3. This war doesn’t attack the root causes of Nazism

2. I support the troops, but invading Germany does not guarantee that in 56 years we won't have a President who's worse than Hitler

1. I don't see Roosevelt or Churchill storming the beaches -- they're Chicken Hawks