MAXINE

"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Politics? Or Conscious Acts Of Treason ... ?

As stated in a speech by John Kerry, delivered on the Senate floor on Nov. 9, 1997, as recorded in the Congressional Record. "Plainly and simply, Saddam Hussein cannot be permitted to get away with his antics, or with this latest excuse for avoidance of international responsibility". Image Credit: www.john-kerry.com

Politics? Or Conscious Acts Of Treason ... For Simple Political Gain?

Good question.

Now that the Democrats are in power over the Congress --- Hypocrisy RULES to the detriment of national security issues. The Democrat Congress does not believe that the military is up to the task of victory in Iraq and chooses to castrate their efforts as opposed to supporting their mission --- and this "surge" in hypocrisy is effecting some jello-kneed / round-heeled Republicans.

Typical of the “John Kerry Party” - the Democrats are of one voice about the surge strategy in Iraq when in saying “I was for it, before I was against it”.

Excerpts from The Washington Times -

Advocates of troop surge about-face in Congress
By Charles Hurt - THE WASHINGTON TIMES - January 31, 2007

For many in the Senate, they were for a surge of troops in Iraq before they were against it.

"We don't have enough troops in Iraq," Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, said in 2005.

In 2004, he told NBC's Tim Russert some things he believes "very deeply."

"Number one, we cannot fail," Mr. Kerry said. "I've said that many times. And if it requires more troops in order to create the stability that eliminates the chaos, that can provide the groundwork for other countries, that's what we have to do."

He no longer believes that now. He is among at least a dozen Democratic senators who in the past have called for more troops in Iraq but now support a resolution condemning President Bush's plan to do just that. Many Republicans who voted for the war now plan to support a no-confidence resolution, including Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who in the past had warned that the war would be a long, tough slog and that Americans should "speak with one voice."
----
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. has for years advocated increasing the number of troops on the ground in Iraq. But after Mr. Bush offered his proposal to do that earlier this month, the Delaware Democrat drafted a resolution rejecting the idea as not "in the national interest."

In June 2005, he said, "There's not enough force on the ground now to mount a real counterinsurgency."

"They're going to need a surge of forces," he said in another interview.

By last week, Mr. Biden had reversed his war strategy.

"The president and others who support the surge have it exactly backwards," he told reporters.

As late as last month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was still open to the idea of a surge.

"If it is for a surge -- that is, two or three months and it's part of a program to get us out of there as indicated by this time next year -- then sure I'll go along with it," said the Nevada Democrat who voted for the war in 2002. "If the commanders on the ground said this was just for a short period of time, we'll go along with that."

After Mr. Bush laid out his plan to increase troops, the Democratic leader flatly rejected it.

"The surge is a bad idea," Mr. Reid said on CNN's "Late Edition."

Democrats say that the time for a surge has long passed and now that the war has become so bloody and so unpopular, it's time to pull the plug.

"The bottom line is that you cannot unscramble an omelet," House International Relations Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, California Democrat, said yesterday.
----
Mr. Hagel, who is considering a run for the presidency and has been one of the harshest critics of the war and the Bush administration's handling of it.

"There is no strategy," he said last week. "This is a pingpong game with American lives."

But he hasn't always opposed the war. He voted for it.

"There are no easy answers in Iraq," Mr. Hagel said on Oct. 9, 2002, before voting to authorize the war. "The decision to commit our troops to war is the most difficult decision members of Congress make.

A veteran of the Vietnam War, he also warned his colleagues that an Iraq war would be a long, tough slog.

"This is just the beginning," he said. "The risks should not be understated, miscast or misunderstood. Ours is a path of both peril and opportunity with many detours and no shortcuts."

And Mr. Hagel warned them against sowing seeds of division with hot rhetoric.

"America -- including the Congress -- and the world, must speak with one voice about Iraqi disarmament, as it must continue to do so in the war on terrorism," he said. "Because the stakes are so high, America must be careful with her rhetoric and mindful of how others perceive her intentions."

Mr. Hagel co-authored the resolution with Mr. Biden rebuking Mr. Bush and his "escalation" plan.

Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, also has drafted with others a nonbinding resolution that condemns the plan but, he said, does so more gently.
Read All>>

If you are FOR having our country stand and aid the continued freedom of the 95%+ majority of the 25,000,000 liberated people of Iraq (who have also voted to be free - 3 times), sign the pledge and get active in persuading Congress to continue to support the mission of our troops.

At the web site TheNRSCPledge.com more than 30,000 people signed the pledge of non-support for individual senators and the NRSC in the first three days of its operation. Thousands of bloggers have joined on as well. We, at MAXINE, expect the numbers to grow, and the memory of the votes of next week to remain strong for years to come.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Senator H.R. Clinton - NOT Presidential Material

A new Time Magazine national poll has New York Senator Hillary Clinton leading the democratic pack with 40-percent, 19-points ahead of Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Now all eyes are on Clinton as she heads to Iowa this weekend and her trip could tell us a lot about how she plans to run her primary campaign. Image Credit: KCRG News

Senator H.R. Clinton - NOT Presidential Material

In an "Off-With-Their-Heads" proclamation combined with whiney "If President ... I don’t want the responsibility" attitude, now Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton proves SHE is NOT up to the task of Presidential leadership.

If she had her way, the heavy lifting and responsibility of being leader of the most powerful free nation on earth would be removed so that she would be able to concentrate on what she really wants to do … create a liberal, popularity-loving, and socialist America.

Excerpts from The Associated Press via the International Herald Tribune -

Clinton wants all U.S. troops out of Iraq when Bush leaves office
The Associated Press - Published: January 28, 2007

DAVENPORT, Iowa: U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that U.S. President George W. Bush should withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq before he leaves office, saying it would be "the height of irresponsibility" to pass the war along to the next commander in chief.

"This was his decision to go to war with an ill-conceived plan and an incompetently executed strategy," the Democratic senator said her in first presidential campaign tour through the early-voting state of Iowa.

"We expect him to extricate our country from this before he leaves office" in January 2009, the former first lady said.

The White House condemned Clinton's comments as a partisan attack that undermines U.S. soldiers.
----
Pressed during a forum to defend her vote to authorize force in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, Clinton responded by increasing her criticism of Bush.

"I am going to level with you, the president has said this is going to be left to his successor," Clinton said. "I think it is the height of irresponsibility and I really resent it."

Bush describes Iraq as the central front in the global fight against terrorism that began after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "The war on terror will be a problem for the next president. Presidents after me will be confronting ... an enemy that would like to strike the United States again," he recently told USA Today newspaper.

One questioner asked Clinton if her track record showed she could stand up to "evil men" around the world.

"The question is, we face a lot of dangers in the world and, in the gentleman's words, we face a lot of evil men and what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men," Clinton said. She paused to gaze while the audience interrupted with about 30 seconds of laughter and applause.
----
During the town hall meeting, she tried to make clear that she thinks she would be a chief executive with enough fortitude to confront any danger facing the country.

"I believe that a lot in my background and a lot in my public life shows the character and toughness that is required to be president," Clinton said. "It also shows that I want to get back to bringing the world around to support us again."
Read All>>

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York speaks during town hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa. Image Credit: AP Image

Hillary ought not limit her demands to a single item (that the United States leave Iraq and its potential representative spread of Islamo-fascism throughout the world) ...

... Hillary ought to insist that Bush also complete ALL of the following, so as not to "irresponsibly" pass-on these additional items to the next President ... so that SHE may focus on more important items during her tenure:

1) Rebuild all of New Orleans to better than original. This will allow her to focus on more creative, village-supported initiatives.

2) Eradicate the H5N1 flu virus from all sectors throughout the world (don’t forget to include a plan for free vaccination to all if his administration is not successful by the end of 2008).

3) Revamp the entire automobile infrastructure so that our country is not dependent on foreign oil before the next President takes office. This includes market availability of automobiles and hundreds of thousands of ethanol stations for fuel. The will allow her (or any next President) to not have to deal with the issues of ANWAR, Mideast oil, and the other sticky issues surrounding petroleum-based economies.

4) Why not insist that Bush rebuild all of Mexico along with its failed economy and culture so that the border problem just goes away. After all, terrorist security will be a thing of the past because He will have already pulled our troops out of Iraq.

5) Oh yes, make the Social Security solvency problem just go away!

6) Sign the Kyoto Protocol -- so that Global Warming will be just a thing of the past.

7)

8)

9)

AND ETC. - Please feel free to add your own wishes of problems to be eliminated due to the fact that if the problem still exists ... it must be irresponsible that the problem remains for the next President to deal with.

At MAXINE, our reaction to Hillary's apparent fear of the challenge of leadership this stance shows -- assuming that She is elected President.

"WE REALLY RESENT IT!"

The statements made by New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton are just NOT Presidential and this episode proves she is NOT Presidential material.


Poll Answers


Comment Posted Here>>

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Tick, Tick, Tick - H5N1 Virus Hits The Rising Sun - UPDATED

Workers bury bags of slaughtered chickens from the Sato Broiler farm at a mountain near the farm in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, on Saturday. Image Credit: KYODO PHOTO

Tick, Tick, Tick - H5N1 Virus Hits The Land Of The Rising Sun

It looks as though that Chicken Teriyaki may be a little more difficult to come by in a couple of "Prefectures" (counties) in southwestern Japan.

Japan has been fairly safe from large scale bird flu infections throughout the history of avian flu spreading in populations of farm raised birds.

So this latest event in the "2006-2007" H5N1 flu season is troubling even though no human infections have been reported.

This from The Japan Times -

H5N1 AT SECOND FARM
Bird influenza feared at farm in Okayama
The Japan Times - Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007


OKAYAMA (Kyodo) The agriculture ministry announced Saturday that bird flu is suspected in the deaths of 22 chickens at a poultry farm in Takahashi, Okayama Prefecture.

The word came just hours after the ministry confirmed that the deadly H5N1 strain was detected in the second outbreak of bird flu this month in Miyazaki Prefecture.

The farm in Takahashi raises around 12,000 chickens. Two died Friday and 20 died Saturday, according to the ministry. It is having a laboratory conduct further analysis to nail down the precise cause.

Until an outbreak of bird flu is confirmed, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Okayama Prefectural Government are planning to request that farms in adjacent areas do not move livestock, officials said.

In the first case this month, the ministry confirmed that the H5N1 strain of bird flu was found in dead chickens at a farm in Kiyotake, Miyazaki Prefecture.

On Saturday, the ministry also confirmed the H5N1 strain was found in dead chickens at a poultry farm in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, in the second outbreak this year.

A government lab analyzed samples from 3,000 chickens that died at the Sato Broiler farm in Hyuga. The farm had a total of 52,500 chickens, with a large number of deaths first reported there Monday.

The analysis found that the birds had been infected with H5N1, the agricultural ministry said in a statement.

The Miyazaki Prefectural Government started culling about 50,000 chickens raised on the Hyuga farm on Friday and continued the work Saturday.

The Hyuga case followed the highly virulent case of bird flu confirmed at a poultry farm in Kiyotake, about 60 km south of Hyuga.

The government confirmed Japan's first outbreak of avian flu in 79 years in January 2004 from chickens that started dying in late 2003 at a farm in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Reports of infections of birds have been sporadic since then in Japan -- one H5N1 case in Oita Prefecture and another in Kyoto, both in February 2003, with the last report before the latest outbreaks being a weaker H5N2 strain infection in Ibaraki Prefecture in June 2005.

Reference Here>>

Two previous cases have been in Miyazaki prefecture. Image Credit: Associated Press

UPDATE -

Officials in Japan have confirmed a third outbreak of bird flu
Although they are still determining if it is the H5N1 strain dangerous to humans.
BBC - Monday, 29 January 2007, 06:02 GMT

About 40 chickens have died on a farm in Takahashi, in Okayama prefecture.

Officials have ordered all poultry there to be culled, and the movement of people and goods restricted.

Two bird flu outbreaks earlier this month in the southern prefecture of Miyazaki have already been confirmed as the H5N1 strain of the disease.

The Japanese authorities have already determined that the new case of bird flu belongs to the virulent H5 family of the virus, but further tests are needed to find out if it is H5N1, the strain potentially deadly to humans.

Officials, however, are taking no chances. They are due to start culling all 12,000 birds at the affected Takahashi farm as early as Tuesday.

Other farms in a 10 km (six-mile) radius have been banned from transporting chickens and eggs, a ministry official told reporters.

Thousands of chickens have already been killed in Japan's main chicken-producing region of Miyazaki, following two H5N1 outbreaks in two separate towns there earlier this month.

Read All>>

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

It’s A Fine Line Between Opposition And Security

Lieutenant General David Petraeus testifies to the Senate Armed Forces Committee about his nomination to be general and commander of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, January, 23, 2007. Image Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES)

It's A Fine Line Between Opposition And Security

Today, Hugh Hewitt and the website "Truth Laid Bear" are helping to define the politics of the issue that lays between honest dissent and opposition with the policies and actions of a two time elected President in a time of war and non-binding resolutions that put our volunteer armed forces at greater risk as well as signal a belief that our armed forces are not up to the mission at hand.

Hugh Hewitt, a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host, writes on the conservative weblog portal, Townhall, that many Republicans in Congress are in conflict over the recent decisions of President Bush and his administration's handling of events in Iraq.

Hugh believes that if the Republicans sign-on to the non-binding resolutions that condemn the recent decisions of President Bush and his administration's handling of events in Iraq, that the funding of the Republican political effort should take a hit!

Further, he believes that the passing of these resolutions cross the line of political opposition in that they signal (in the words of General Patraeus, President Bush’s pick to manage the Military effort in Iraq) "that any resolution denouncing the strategy in Iraq would encourage the enemy"

Excerpts from Townhall –

Take The Pledge: How Victory Trumps Party
By Hugh Hewitt - Thursday, January 25, 2007

What does it mean to "encourage the enemy?" It means to increase their will to fight on, and their courage to do so even in the face of the arrival of reinforcements. It also means to increase - substantially - the likelihood of redoubled and retripled efforts on their part to kill American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. To vote for the sort of resolution that General Petraeus addressed is a profoundly wrong action.

General Petraeus was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday -- which has to mean that the senators who voted for him have confidence in his military judgment.

Many Democrats are willing to encourage the enemy if it means hurting George W. Bush. They are willing to disregard the advice of the general they have just sent to do a mission if it serves their political purposes.
----
Because the troops and the war trump any partisan calculation, I have helped organize a campaign to alert Republican senators that a vote for the Warner resolution, or any other similar resolution, is a deal breaker for me. I will not contribute to any senator who so votes, and I will not work for any senator who so votes.

Further, I will withhold all funds from the NRSC if the NRSC supports in the '07-'08 cycle any Republican senator who voted for the Warner amendment.

I am not alone in this conviction, even though it may mean splitting with some friends, senators I have eagerly helped elect in the past with my time and treasure, and whom I know to be very good senators on almost all issues. At the web site
TheNRSCPledge.com more than 4,000 people signed the pledge of non-support for individual senators and the NRSC in the first six hours of its operation. Hundreds of bloggers have joined on as well. I expect the numbers to grow, and the memory of the votes of next week to remain strong for years to come.

There are two parties in the country - the victory party, and everybody else.
Read All>>

If you believe as we at MAXINE do ... security and safety at home is found through VICTORY and not through non-binding resolutions that give aid and comfort to our enemies ... TAKE THE PLEDGE: TheNRSCPledge.com

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

CCWS - New Year, New Chassis, New Venues, New Logo

Champ Car World Series Logo - Copyright © 2007 Champ Car World Series, LLC.


CCWS - New Year, New Chassis, New Venues, New Logo


Well, here we go!

The first offical time trials of the 2007 season are underway and the Champ Car World Series, North America's premiere open-wheel racing series is off to a blazing start.

Sporting a new chassis, a new logo, and having added six new venues (two of the venues in Europe) to a 17 race season, the Champ Car World Series (remnants of the old CART) looks to be set for one of the most exciting years yet.

Excerpts from two stories found at CCWS -

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES UNVEILS NEW LOGO FOR 2007 SEASON
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Champ Car World Series enters a new era in 2007 with six new venues, a number of new drivers and the brand-new Panoz DP01 chassis.To go along with the new-look series, Champ Car today unveiled its new logo that will be featured prominently on the cars, the driver and official uniforms as well as the new-look television package.

The logo is a sleeker, racier design than that of the past, and features the new DP01 on the right side of the layout. The traditional Champ Car colors of orange, silver and black are featured, and the style of the logo includes a chicane-like quality that stylizes the road and street courses that make up the 2007 Champ Car schedule.
----
“This new logo portrays many of the things that makes Champ Car special and unique and does it in an effective and stylish manner,” said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. “Having the DP01 in the logo is also a key for us, as it displays what Champ Car racing is all about.”The logo will begin to be displayed on the cars as early as tomorrow in the first of the year’s three open test session, which is taking place at Sebring International Raceway.
Further tests will take place at MSR Houston in February and at Laguna Seca in March as teams prepare for the 2007 season opener, April 6-8 in Las Vegas.
Read All>>

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES ANNOUNCES THE ADDITION OF TWO EUROPEAN EVENTS TO THE 2007 CALENDAR
Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Champ Car World Series today announced that it will return to Europe for the first time since 2003 with inaugural races in Holland and Belgium.
Events added to the Champ Car World Series calendar will take place September 2 at the TT Circuit in Assen, Holland and September 9 at the Zolder circuit in Belgium. It will be the first time that Champ Car has raced in either of the two European nations.

"2007 continues to shape up as one of the most exciting in recent memory for Champ Car and today's announcement raises the anticipation level even higher," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. "We considered a number of options for our return to Europe and these two events will prove to be very successful for our teams, fans and sponsor partners.

"The Assen circuit, long fabled for hosting exciting Grand Prix motorcycle events, underwent major modifications for the 2006 season, resulting in a 4.5-kilometer track that will provide a stern challenge for the Champ Cars.

Zolder is a 3.977-kilometer circuit which also underwent safety renovations for the 2006 season, after hosting Formula 1 events in the 1970s and 80s. The track will carry the process a step farther for the 2007 Champ Car visit, making further improvement to ensure a safe and challenging event.

"We are excited to bring the American equivalent of Formula 1 racing to Europe," said event promoter Bart Rietbergen. "Champ Car provides close racing that is easy for European fans to understand, and they will be very impressed with the access that they will have in the Champ Car paddock.

"The addition of the two European events brings the number of races on the 2007 Champ Car schedule to 17, marking the most races on a Champ Car calendar since 2003. The last time that the series went to Europe served as the coming-out party for three-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, who took his first series victories by sweeping races in Brands Hatch and EuroSpeedway Lausitz.
Read All>>
UPDATE:
Actual European Event Dates -
Heusden-Zolder, Belgium - August 24 - 26, 2007
Assen, Holland - August 31 - September 2, 2007

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bush’s Threat Of Surge Pays Early Dividends

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr delivers a speech during prayers in Kufa, Iraq, in this Nov. 24, 2006 file photo. Muqtada al-Sadr's bloc announced Sunday, Jan. 21, 2007, that it is lifting its nearly two-month political boycott of Iraqi parliament after reaching a compromise over its demands for a timetable for Iraqi forces to take over security and the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Image Credit: AP Photo/Alaa Al Marjani, File

Bush’s Threat Of Surge Pays Early Dividends

In Iraq, it’s the Crips and Bloods all over again. Baghdad is South Central LA and the ugliest elements of the wild, wild west all rolled into to one pot and power is the only currency that has favor.

It is good to see that a return to basics seems to be having an initial positive effect.

Excerpts from the Associated Press via Yahoo! News -

Iraqi leader drops protection of militia
By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer 1-21-07, 3:00 PM PST - BAGHDAD, Iraq

Iraq's prime minister has dropped his protection of an anti-American cleric's Shiite militia after U.S. intelligence convinced him the group was infiltrated by death squads, two officials said Sunday.

In a desperate bid to fend off an all-out American offensive, the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr last Friday ordered the 30 lawmakers and six Cabinet ministers under his control to end their nearly two-month boycott of the government. They were back at their jobs Sunday.

Al-Sadr had already ordered his militia fighters not to display their weapons. They have not, however, ceded control of the formerly mixed neighborhoods they have captured, killing Sunnis or forcing them to abandon their homes and businesses.
----
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's turnaround on the Mahdi Army was puzzling because as late as Oct. 31, he had intervened to end a U.S. blockade of Sadr City, the northeast Shiite enclave in Baghdad that is headquarters to the militia. It is held responsible for much of the sectarian bloodshed that has turned the capital into a battle zone over the past year.

Shiite militias began taking revenge after more than two years of incessant bomb and shooting attacks by Sunni insurgents.

Sometime between then and Nov. 30, when the prime minister met President Bush, al-Maliki was convinced of the truth of American intelligence reports which contended, among other things, that his protection of al-Sadr's militia was isolating him in the Arab world and among moderates at home, the two government officials said.

"Al-Maliki realized he couldn't keep defending the Mahdi Army because of the information and evidence that the armed group was taking part in the killings, displacing people and violating the state's sovereignty," said one official. Both he and a second government official who confirmed the account refused to be identified by name because the information was confidential. Both officials are intimately aware of the prime minister's thinking.

"The Americans don't act on rumors but on accurate intelligence. There are many intelligence agencies acting on the ground, and they know what's going on," said the second official, confirming the Americans had given al-Maliki overwhelming evidence about the Mahdi Army's deep involvement in the sectarian slaughter.

Earlier this month, Bush and al-Maliki separately announced a new security drive to clamp off the sectarian violence that has riven the capital and surrounding regions.

Bush announced an additional 21,500 American soldiers would be sent to accomplish the task and al-Maliki has promised a similar number of forces, who will take the lead in the overall operation.
----
The neighborhood-by-neighborhood sweep, expected to begin in earnest by the first of the month, will target Sunni insurgents, al-Qaida in Iraq and its allied militant bands equally with Shiite militias, both the Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigade.

The latter is the Iranian-trained military wing of Iraq's most power
[ful] Shiite political group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

The first government official said al-Maliki's message was blunt.

"He told the sheik that the activities of both the Sadrist politicians and the militia have inflamed hatred among neighboring Sunni Arab states that have been complaining bitterly to the Americans," the official said.

Sunni Muslims are the majority sect in key Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, all of which have shunned al-Maliki. Shiites, long oppressed by Iraqi's Sunni minority, and vaulted to power with the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Many of the leading Shiite figures in Iraq have deep historical ties to Iran, also a majority Shiite state, whose growing muscle in the Middle East is deeply threatening to the autocratic Sunni regimes in the region.
Read All>>

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Clinton Gauntlet Has Been Laid Down - Hillary In

Caption States - Question: What is your intention in 2008? Answer: Well ... That depends on what the definition of is ... is. Cartoon Credit: Stop Her Now (www.stophernow.com)

Clinton Gauntlet Has Been Laid Down – Hillary In

In her first statements she suggests that this isn’t just a campaign for the presidency, but the beginning of a conversation with the American people.

Excuse me, while we at MAXINE take time to tune out of the conversation … but seriously watch the manipulation of the American people.

Take this report for example (please note what is stated and when in the section about "Polls").

Excerpts from Bloomberg News -

Hillary Clinton Takes First Step in Bid Toward U.S. Presidency
By Kristin Jensen - Jan. 20 (Bloomberg)

New York Senator Hillary Clinton today took an initial step toward a bid to become the first female U.S. president, after months of speculation that she would enter the race.

Clinton, 59, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, said on her Web site that she is forming an exploratory committee to consider a White House run.

"I'm in. And I'm in to win,'' the senator said on her Web site. She's already the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, leading rivals such as former vice presidential candidate John Edwards and Illinois Senator Barack Obama by as much as 19 percentage points in surveys taken during the last two months.

While polls indicate that Clinton has the best shot yet for a woman to take the top job in the White House, she also faces a wall of opposition across the country. Her unfavorable ratings hover in the 40 percent range, well above Edwards or Obama. She also has to overcome what she calls "the scars'' from her failed health-care plan in the early 1990s.
----
Clinton has already shown that she can compete in the big money race to the White House. She raised more than $50 million for last year's successful Senate reelection campaign even as she lacked any serious competition. By contrast, Edwards, 53, raised just under $34 million for his failed presidential run in 2004.

Hurdles
----
Republican donor and Texas businessman Dick Collins last year set up a Web site called "Stop Her Now'' with a banner that says it's "rescuing America from the radical ideas of Hillary Clinton.'' The site features cartoons of Clinton, news on her activities and a joke of the week about her.

"It's not personal, it's political,'' Collins, 59, said in an interview. "She's a very ambitious, calculating, tough politician. I think she would be wrong for the country.''

Polls

A recent WNBC/Marist poll found that 33 percent of Democratic leaning voters support Clinton for president, compared with 14 percent for Edwards and 12 percent for Obama. The Nov. 27-Dec. 13 poll was taken before Edwards's official announcement.
----
Yet in a survey of all 967 registered voters, 48 percent said they would like to see Clinton seek the presidency; 50 percent said they would not. Only Republicans John McCain, an Arizona senator, and Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, had more people saying they should run than they shouldn't.

``There's a cottage industry that has spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to define Hillary Clinton,'' said Terry McAuliffe, one of her advisers and the former head of the Democratic National Committee, in an interview before the announcement. "Republicans are scared of her -- rightfully so. They've spent a lot of money against her.''

Health Care

Clinton jumped into the national spotlight during the 1992 presidential race when she and her husband Bill proclaimed they were a "two-for-one'' package for the White House. After Bill Clinton took office, he put his wife in charge of overhauling the nation's health-care system and providing universal insurance.

"I have the scars from that debate,'' Clinton said in a December interview. "We still have a problem. It is the single issue that CEOs talk to me about on a continuing basis.''

Read All>>

You see? It has already started ... the manipulation ... a poll that was reproted December 21, 2006 out of Iowa (caucus straw poll) had Hillary fourth behind third place (are you ready for this) Tom Vilsack - WHO? - Tom Vilsack! - WHO? - TOM VILSACK! (Political Experience: Governor, State of Iowa, 1998-present / Senator, Iowa State Senate, District 49, 1992-1998 / Mayor, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 1987-1992.)

This from KCCI - DES MOINES, Iowa -

The poll asked Iowa Democrats which candidates they would vote for if the 2008 Democratic caucus were held today.

The top three candidates were Sen. John Edwards at 22 percent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama at 22 percent and Vilsack at 12 percent. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York came in fourth at 10 percent.
Read All>>

Brave, Former VP Mondale Should Just Sit Down And Shut Up

In this May 17, 2001, file photo, former president Jimmy Carter, right, claps for his former vice president Walter Mondale, left, at a ceremony held to dedicate a hall named in Mondale's honor at the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis. Mondale on Friday criticized Vice President Dick Cheney's role in the White House, and said Carter never would have tolerated Cheney's actions. Image Credit: AP Photo/Andy King

Brave, Former VP Mondale Should Just Sit Down And Shut Up

Where was this senior Democrat brainiac over the last six years? ... let alone the last year?

I just guess he feels he is in a strong position, now that he can peek out from behind Pelosi's pant suits!

This from AP via Yahoo! News -

Former VP Mondale criticizes Cheney
By DANIEL YEE, Associated Press Writer Fri Jan 19, 11:08 AM ET


ATHENS, Ga. - Former vice president Walter Mondale on Friday criticized Vice President
Dick Cheney's role in the White House, and said former president Jimmy Carter never would have tolerated Cheney's actions.

"I think that Cheney has stepped way over the line," Mondale said.

Mondale, who was vice president under Carter, made the comments at a three-day conference about Carter's presidency that opened Friday at the University of Georgia.

Mondale said Cheney and his assistants pressured federal agencies as they prepared information for President Bush.

"I think Cheney's been at the center of cooking up farcical estimates of national risks, weapons of mass destruction and the 9/11 connection to Iraq," he said. Mondale said that does not serve the president, because he needs facts.

"If I had done as vice president what this vice president has done, Carter would have thrown me out of there," Mondale said. "I don't think he could have tolerated a vice president over there pressuring and pushing other agencies, ordering up different reports than they wanted to send us. I don't think he would have stood for it."

Academics credit Carter with expanding the role of the vice presidency during his administration.

As vice president, Mondale served as the president's senior adviser. He held an office in the West Wing of the White House, had private meetings with the president and spoke on behalf of the president before influential groups.
Reference Here>>

This criticism is from a party to a truly failed presidency (inflation and recession at the same time? come on!) - Many suggest Carter's weakness, while he was in office, had helped spawn Iran to be the nation state threat it is today.

We at MAXINE have a question - Where was Mondale's sage advice while our embassy staff remained hostage in Iran in the late 70's for over 400 days?

Hey, Wally! Sit down and shut up!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tick, Tick, Tick - Fish Trump Birds In Cure For H5N1 Viruses

Thermal Vents - banner photo used for Iceland Review Online webzine - Image Credit: Iceland Review

Tick, Tick, Tick - Fish Trump Birds In Cure For H5N1 Viruses

It has been found that an enzyme from Icelandic Cod is very effective at killing the bird flu virus.

The enzyme discovery that comes to us through experiments originally intended for beauty products, may yield the ultimate product for beauty ... Life!

This from Iceland Review Online -

Cod enzyme kills H5N1 virus
Iceland Review - 01/17/2007 - 11:56

An Icelandic cod enzyme might be the cure for bird flu, a recent experiment, which the Icelandic company Ensímtaekni hf. took part in, indicates. In five minutes, the isolated fish enzyme killed 99 percent of H5N1 viruses.

The killer enzyme, called penzim, was extracted from the intestines of cod by Ensímtaekni and is currently being developed for beauty products and various types of medicine. The experiment on the H5N1 virus was conducted in London. Fréttabladid reports.

CEO of Ensímtaekni and biochemist Jón Bragi Bjarnason said he is very excited about the results of the bird flu experiment.

“People have feared that the bird flu virus will change into a human flu virus and now we have a likely cure in case that happens,” Bjarnason told Fréttabladid.

Bjarnason also believes that penzim might prove a cure for common flu and cold, eczema in children and arthritis.

Reference Here>>

Bill M and Mate Pauly with Big Cod Fish - Image Credit: SANDY B FISHING CHARTERS

More about Penzim enzyme from Ecobrands -

Resulting from 25 years of research by biochemists at the University of Iceland. Penzim is an enzyme product for the body that comes from pure Arctic marine sources.

Penzim offers a different approach to skin-care; because it is a natural enzyme it helps the body to help itself in quite wonderful ways. Penzim speeds up the body’s natural ability to nourish and moisturise the skin and soothe away damaged cells. It is the most advanced skin care product to enrich and maintain healthy skin and is used by many people to combat skin problems of a bacterial nature that arise. Because the enzyme function in Penzim naturally occurs in our body it is used by many people on muscles and joint maintenance.

Active penetrating enzymes are the essence of Penzim; they function by hastening the breakdown of unhealthy extracellular proteins, which speeds up the body’s own natural regeneration process.
Reference Here>>

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Of E.coli, Foie Gras, Boomer Bellies, And 'Gastroporn' - 2007

It was a burger that was simple in concept but daring in use of ingredients. An almost dainty brioche bun barely holding together slices of Wagyu tataki, Bachi Otoro Sashimi, pan-seared foie gras and blue cheese. The otoro was unexpected initially because I did not read the menu and thought I was mistakenly served a fish sandwich, but soon enough the wagyu, the foie and the cheese asserted themselves and the result was one happy meaty party. Excessive? Maybe, but seriously, I could have eaten another ten pieces. Image Credit: Foie Gras Dinner by u m a m i via Casey

Of E.coli, Foie Gras, Boomer Bellies, And 'Gastroporn' - 2007. Oh, and did we happen to mention "reverse-dieting", Izakayas, mangosteen, and "fatty acid profile"?

It is never easy to predict trends in our cultural experience, especially when it comes to the gastronomic variety.

Some trends might be easy ... like, be careful around packaged vegetables such as Spinach or Lettuce.

Other trends might require a more tactile approach to detect - as in being a little more experimental while dining out.

Surfice it to say, be free to eat and experiment in 2007 for there are many areas in which to explore where food-creativity meets one's needs. Here are a few predictions for 2007 as to what one might run into while eating through the coming year!

Excerpts from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution –

PREDICTING 2007 TRENDS IN FOOD
Ethiopian bread will be popular this year. Check out what else will be on our plates.
By CHRIS ROSENBLOOM and SUSAN PUCKETT - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Published on: 01/04/07

"It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future," goes an often-quoted saying.

But that doesn't stop us from trying.

With last year's focus on the dangers of trans fats, will we see more interest in good and bad fats in 2007?

With sodium levels skyrocketing in convenience products and restaurant items, could salt be the next villain?
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How will food marketers take advantage of baby boomers' abundant disposable income as they go kicking and screaming into old age?

To answer these questions and others about what we can expect to see on our tables and in the marketplace in the coming year, we consulted experts across the country and perused the piles of magazines, press releases and new books that have already weighed in.

Here's what they were seeing in their crystal balls:

Anti-aging products for boomers

"Food products will be moving beyond liquid drinks like Ensure or Boost in marketing to older adults," says Dea Baxter, associate professor of nutrition at Georgia State University. Superfruits or their extracts like açaí, goji berry, coffee berry, guava and mangosteen will appear on a host of ingredient lists from drinks to desserts. They're loaded with disease-fighting anti-oxidants and especially appealing to older consumers. "Packaging innovations will also be implemented for older adults with arthritis or decreased grip strength," Baxter adds.

'Bellies are big'

So notes restaurant consulting firm Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. in its forecast for 2007. "Relentlessly searching for new things to serve, chefs are focusing on the nether regions of fish and animals," according to the report. Pork belly, better known as bacon, was big on menus everywhere last year, and costly tuna belly, also known as toro, was popular in upscale sushi restaurants. This year, they say, menus will feature veal, salmon, swordfish and lamb bellies — "all rich with fatty flavor, all (not coincidentally) cheap cuts that used to be trimmed away."


A 2007 prediction list "Two-Fer" - Chocolate Caramel Tartlettes with Sea Salt. Image Credit: Nordljus

Chocolate - the darker, the better [goes without saying]

Chocolate is no longer a guilty pleasure as researchers identified that dark chocolate contains compounds called flavonols that provide heart-healthy benefits.
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We will see more chocolate products from Ecuador, Venezuela and the Ivory Coast as competition for the 'best' chocolate grows."

Downsized desserts

Simple carbs are still on the no-no list for many a calorie-conscious eater.

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Seasons 52, the health-oriented chain that opened two locations here last year, serves teeny portions of red velvet cake and Key lime pie; Rathbun's pastry chef Kirk Park offers mini samples of his entire dessert menu all on one plate - a trend in and of itself.

Exotica goes everyday

"Foods unfamiliar to everyday shoppers, like Greek yogurt, jicama from Mexico, Japanese sushi rice and Portuguese peri-peri sauces, will be front and center in the gourmet groceries that spring up in newly developed areas," according to "Next Now" (Palgrave Macmillan, $26.95). "Here, trendy shoppers will visit tasting bars and attend cooking classes." Asian flavors and African specialties such as injera, the soft Ethiopian bread that serves as an eating utensil, are likely to be big in such shops.

'Feel-good fish'

That's how Bon Appétit describes the fish that's in favor now in its January 2007 issue: environmentally sound, and low in toxins and PCBs. Among the eco-friendly varieties it recommends: United States- and Central American-farmed tilapia, wild mahi-mahi from Hawaii, the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico; California-farmed sturgeon; American-farmed striped bass.

Mackerel is torched at the table at Musha in Santa Monica. Image Credit: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

'Gastroporn' invades the lexicon

Now that EVOO - Food Network icon Rachael Ray's catchword for extra-virgin olive oil - has made it into the Oxford American College Dictionary, could this term that's begun popping up everywhere be far behind?

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"The preparing, cooking, tasting and eating of food have become voyeuristic pleasures separated from physical reality."

Hamburgers and hot dogs go haute

Speaking of Ray, she is expanding her empire to include a hamburger restaurant, as is Mario Batali's partner Joe Bastianich, who's planning one serving sustainable beef, according to consulting firm Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. (Here in Atlanta, Shaun Doty uses super-high-end Japanese wagyu beef at Shaun's, Star Provisions continues to sell its foie gras burger to go, Jöel makes its lunch burger with Kobe beef and Midtown's Repast last year rolled out a foie gras hot dog.) "Perhaps they're inspired by Hubert Keller's Burger Bar in Las Vegas, where, in addition to a standard hamburger, you can blow your winnings on a $60 Rossini Burger of Kobe beef, foie gras and truffles," they say.

Izakayas as the next small-plate cuisine

The Japanese version of tapas bars is opening all over the world, notes Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. "These are homey places emphasizing modestly priced Japanese hors d'oeuvres washed down with oversize bottles of beer and overfilled glasses of sake," the consultants say.


"Musha" in Santa Monica, Calif., is an izakaya, or pub. The small dishes in izakayas typically come in traditional forms of tempura, simmered dishes called nimono and grilled dishes like yakitori skewers. Image Credit: Monica Almeida/The New York Times
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They note that the P.F. Chang's folks have opened a more Americanized version in Scottsdale, Ariz., that, if successful, could launch another chain. Look for the Kinjo brothers, creators of Midtown's MFSushibar and Nam, to open their version soon.

Junk food made over


Fiber-packed fruits and vegetables are being made into chips, ice cream is being enhanced with extra vitamins, whole grains and heart-healthy oils are replacing white flour and trans fats in cookies, and even Disney is putting a more nutritious spin on its theme-park snack foods.

Kid-aimed food advertising

Trend-spotter Salzman calls children the "masters of pester power" who are easily won over with sweet, colorful foods presented in fun formats, making them a much-sought-after target for advertisers across the globe.

Locally grown food

As concerns about food safety and the environment grow, so does the popularity of farmers markets and foods produced close to home. "Consumers want to know where and how food is being grown," says Patti Garrett, a nutrition instructor at Georgia State University. She points to the Atlanta Local Foods Initiative as an example. "This group helped in the distribution of a local foods guide published from Georgia Organics to promote local foods, decrease transportation costs, maintain and improve crop diversity in Georgia and support community gardens." A copy of the guide can be found online at www.buylocalgeorgia.org.

Mad science meets fine dining

Though the trend has yet to take off here, in a growing number of big-city kitchens, chefs are dismantling the molecular structure of fresh ingredients - "whirling them in laboratory equipment with frightening-sounding chemicals, dipping them in liquid nitrogen, inflating them with vacuum cleaners, fabricating cantaloupe caviar, deep-frying mayonnaise, turning sauces into powders, and spraying the air with flavors to suggest that what you're looking at isn't what you're about to eat," according to Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. Richard Blais began dabbling at it at his eponymous Blais here in Atlanta; now Hector Santiago of Pura Vida is planning to unleash his own experiments at his upcoming Bodega Gastronomica.

Newfangled steakhouses with name chefs

Wolfgang Puck, Bradley Ogden, Michael Mina and David Burke are among the celebrity chefs who have launched "newfangled beeferies that marry elements of serious cooking with simple but upscale grilling," according to Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. Locally, look for Kevin Rathbun's Steak to open soon.

Organic beyond the vegetable field

Expect to see the term "industrial organics" more often as giants like Wal-Mart continue to jump into the fray. Organic snack-food sales continue to flourish, while the foodie world is all abuzz about organic wines and chocolates.

Personalized diets

Forget Atkins. "There's a growing belief that there's no such thing as a diet that's right for everyone. Personalization - whether based on lifestyle, ethnicity, blood type or something else - will become an important component of diet programs," says trend-spotter Salzman.

Quick-service restaurants diversify their options

Many of these eateries, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2007 Restaurant Industry Forecast, are jumping on the wellness bandwagon, offering and promoting healthful choices. Among the fastest-growing menu items in quick service: espresso/specialty coffee, chicken sandwiches, energy drinks, deli-style sandwiches, wraps/pitas/tortillas, bottled water and entree salads.

Reverse dieting

Among the latest crop of diet books is "The Reverse Diet" by Tricia Cunningham (Wiley, $24.95). Cunningham is a young mother of two who got considerable attention on talk shows for losing more than 170 pounds by simply eating dinner for breakfast, and breakfast for dinner. The idea is to eat your heaviest meal early so you burn those calories throughout the day. Of course, she also ate healthier, too. Whether others will share her success remains to be seen, but those searching for yet another weight-loss method may well be inclined to give it a try.

Salt backlash


New York City chef and registered dietitian Kyle Shadix predicts an attack on salt in 2007, like the attack on trans fats in 2006. "The United Kingdom has taken a stand on salt with the Food Standards Agency Salt Awareness Campaign. Manufacturers have heard the call and are voluntarily reducing the amount of salt in a wide range of processed foods. "I expect to see the same thing in the U.S.," he says. "Some people are going so far as to argue that salt should be removed from the Generally Recognized as Safe list, since evidence seems to support that it is harmful."

Technology on the menu

Restaurants are finding new ways to use technology to improve efficiency and give customers more control over their dining experience, which is especially appealing to younger diners. According to the National Restaurant Association, 46 percent of Americans - and 71 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds - say they are likely to use customer-activated ordering and payment terminals if available in their favorite table-service restaurant. About half of all adults - and roughly two-thirds of those ages 18 to 34 - say they would use a self-serve order and payment terminal at a quick-service restaurant if it were available.

Upscale salt

Manufacturers may be pressed to lower the sodium in canned soups and other processed foods but - health concerns aside - the demand for gourmet salts is hotter than ever. "Not the powdery stuff in round cardboard boxes; we're talking instead about crunchy, flaky, tinted crystals from out-of-the-way places that have migrated from restaurant kitchens to dinner tables at home," says Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co.


Vegetable salads sans the bag

Sales of bagged salad greens continue to wane as consumers remain skeptical about their safety following last year's outbreaks of E. coli linked to bagged spinach. It's prompted creative cooks to experiment with other cool ways to toss veggies - a topic that's been turning up in the latest food mags, including January's Bon Appétit, which includes a feature on no-lettuce salads that call for fennel, cabbage, cauliflower and artichokes.

"Ice Rocks" - The water for Ice Rocks is drawn from the heart of the Vendée region in west central France after flowing through a granite massif formed more than 300 million years ago. The water is drawn from the 100 meters deep natural source which is protected by a clay soil surface resulting in nitrate free water with Total Dissolved Solids of 300mg/l. Image Credit: Finewaters

Waters with pedigrees

Bottled water has become a $9 billion-a-year industry, according to Michael Mascha, founder of www.finewaters.com, described as "the definitive voice for water connoisseurs and their lifestyle." And consumers are becoming increasingly picky about them. Consider his just-released "Fine Waters: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Most Distinctive Bottled Waters" (Quirk, $24.95), which not only rates the "virginality" (the degree a water is protected from its surroundings) and "minerality" of 100 brands but offers food pairing suggestions and advice on what stemware to serve it in.

X-rated cocktails take a back seat to restrained classics

Saveur magazine notes in its January issue, look for the return of classic cocktails - perhaps made with artisanal distilled spirits, and possibly served in a retro bar. "Instead of vodka, think gin; instead of 'Sex and the City's' Carrie Bradshaw, think William Powell in 'The Thin Man." (The bar at Trois, one of 2006's biggest Atlanta restaurant openings, is one spot to experience the trend locally.)

Yogurt and beyond

Probiotics, which help populate the gut with good bacteria that help strengthen our ability to fight infection and disease, will be a major buzzword in the nutrition world. San Francisco-based nutrition consultant Jo Ann Hattner says she's "added probiotic therapies to my practice using dairy foods with natural cultures," and predicts we will see more probiotic foods competing for space in the dairy case. Yogurt is the best-known source, but look for others - like Dannon's Activia and Kashi Vive Cereal.

Zero trans fats

Already, many food companies have removed these heart-damaging, chemically altered fats.

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And as New York City implements its war on these "bad" fats by phasing them out of restaurants and other food establishments, we may see other cities follow that lead. As a result, "I predict we will see more emphasis on including healthy fats such as omega-3 fats into balanced diets vs. focusing just on what not to eat," says Lisa Carlson, registered dietitian and director of professional education for Quaker/Tropicana Foods. Neva Cochran, a nutrition consultant in Dallas, adds that this will give rise to more "designer fats," or the reformulation of traditional vegetable oils to improve their fatty acid profile to make them more healthful.
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Monday, January 01, 2007

... So What?

The grave of Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry, 28, in Waco, Tex. He leaves a wife and three children. Image Credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

At MAXINE, we believe that every life is precious and should not be wasted senselessly.

But MAXINE has a problem with the Mainstream Media (MSM) and the template it uses on the reporting of many of the events that surround our military effort in Iraq.

AP wire service news item -

3,000 deaths: U.S. military hits grim milestone
From The Associated Press - Published Sunday, December 31, 2006

Spc. Dustin R. Donica will be remembered as the 3,000th U.S. military death in Iraq.

The 22-year-old specialist from Spring, Texas, was killed Thursday by small arms fire in Baghdad, the Defense Department said. That raises the death toll to at least 3,000 since the war began, according to an Associated Press count.

The grim milestone was crossed on the final day of 2006 and at the end of the deadliest month for the American military in Iraq in the past 12 months. At least 111 U.S. service members were reported to have died in December.
Reference Here>>

So What?

This is NOT a milestone.

It is only a meaningless "point of order". The figure is not relevant - it is not tied to any other measurement and/or effort that is associated with the mission to which the troops are engaged. Also, this figure is only a snapshot, not a full picture.

This reporting approach is the best example of what defines MSM bias. The information is cloaked as honoring those who have paid the highest price to maintain our freedoms without mentioning what they may have done to actually keep us all free at home.

A “grim”, "tragic", and "dark" milestone (as the reporting template ... heralds) indeed.

So I ask the MSM, again ... So What?

U.S. Army soldiers salute during a memorial service for Sgt. Robert Tucker at a military base in Dujail, Iraq. Image Credit: JOHN MOORE / GETTY

Gateway Pundit gives us the service of research on the perspective of U.S. Military losses - information that will not be found at any MSM information outlet (the MSM hates perspective and research). This information is eye-opening.

UPDATE: Time steps up with some perspective and research ... but, then again, one will not see this or hear this reported in the overall mainstream of information.
ht: Pajamas Media