Tuesday, December 13, 2011

H and S 4thLAR Training in Republic of South Africa

AUG 2011: Marines from Jump Platoon, H&S Company, 4th LAR Bn, awaiting movement back home from Cape Town, Republic of South Africa. The grunts from Jump served as the Security Platoon during Operation Shared Accord 2011, a three week joint US & RSA operation where South African National Defense Forces (SANDF) and US Marines trained side by side in infantry tactics, and US medical and veterinary personnel from the Army, Navy, and Air Force worked with the South African Medical Service (SAMS) to provide care and treatment to the poorest members of South Africa's Eastern Cape. Platoon Sergeant, Staff Sergeant Jeremiah Horton stands at the left of the sign, Platoon Commander CWO Rose to the right.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Died today: "Marc Wilson" 1996-2011

Hummingbird weight with the spirit of a US Marine, call sign "Marc Wilson" died today after a lifetime fire fight with death on his shoulder. He went out game to the end. At three years old, he woke up from his first brain operation to be accosted by the ever present cheerful ward nurse who first demand was: "And WHAT! is our name? Unimpressed he coolly replied: "My name is Bond. James Bond" A couple months ago he texted his thanks for a toy Syma R/C Gyro Helicopter I had sent him. "It will come in great for my covert operations" he added. What a kid. He was my favorite nephew.

Monday, May 16, 2011

2nd annual Lance Corporal Kane benefit run

Via the Cherryhill Fire Dept News: A tribute to LCpl Jeremy Kane.Hook and Ladder 44 welcomes new member

"On Saturday May 1st 2011, a few hundred people gathered at Cherry Hill School East to pay tribute to a home town hero. It was the 2nd annual Jeremy Kane benefit run in honor of Lance Corporal Jeremy Kane who was killed in action in Afghanistan on January 23, 2010. The weather was perfect and all of the supporters lined up for a run/walk from Cherry Hill East High School on Kresson Road to M'Kor Shalom on Evesham Road. After the race concluded, the Kane Family and members of Jeremy's platoon, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, were gathered at Ladder Company 44's apparatus to unveil its newest member. Chief Giorgio spoke to the Kane family about the importance of our Maltese Cross and our CHFD Patch and that we will proudly display the Unit Shield of 4th LAR. The members of our nations military will always be honored by the CHFD."

Mayor Platt making opening remarks

Runners lined up on Kresson Road lead by our nations Colors

Chief Giorgio with the Kane Family

Mrs. Kane with members of 4th LAR
A copy of 4th LAR Shield that is on 2 windows on Ladder Company 44.
Above the shield - Lance Cooral Jeremy Kane - USMC
Below the shield - Riding With Us

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

C3LAR spotters, Bahram Chah Valley, Operation Rawhide II Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 16. Sgt. Jeremy Ross, 3/15/2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fox Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion | Facebook
Welcome to a Facebook Page about Fox Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. Join Facebook to start connecting with Fox Company, 4th Light ...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

LAV-25 from 1st Platoon, Bravo Co, 4th LAR Bn, takes a hull up position at the Shiabot Combat Outpost, Helmand Province, IROA, October 2010.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

What is this war about?

Sgt. David Smith, HM2 Xin Qi and Lance Cpl. Jeremy Kane died in a Jan. 23, 2010 suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s Helmand province while guarding a bazaar with the 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

Will Conservative Media Elites Defend Lars Hedegaard?

Posted By Andrew G. Bostom On January 10, 2011 @ 8:15 am In Uncategorized | 28 Comments

This past Friday I received a plaintive appeal on behalf of my colleague, Danish journalist and historian Lars Hedegaard — President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society (IFPS [1]). My response to the appeal is included at the end of this essay as a succinct guide to Islamically perplexed, high-profile U.S. conservative media elites who, until now, have entirely ignored the burgeoning crisis epitomized by Lars Hedegaard’s current plight. It is well past time for these self-anointed champions of free speech to weigh-in publicly and offer a robust defense of my colleague –and theirs.

Whom am I addressing in conservative media, specifically? All of the best-known and “highest-rated” (as they are constantly reminding us, at any rate) radio and television personalities: Mr. No Spin [2], what say you? Dittos to you, Rush [3]. Don’t continue to be a mute mime clown on this matter, Glenn [4]. You’re not ringing in support of freedom of speech, Sean [5], and I’ll indeed bite you if you don’t open your loud — but highly intelligent — mouth in support of Hedegaard, Mark [6].

As for the conservative or “center-right” print/online media icons — the editorial boards of the National Review [7], Weekly Standard [8], and Wall Street Journal [9] – your continued silence is craven and hypocritical, not golden.

Here is the crux of Mr. Hedegaard’s case, and some background. As the IFPS appeal notes:

Those who have been following the Danish cartoon crisis and several subsequent attempts by radical Muslims to kill and bomb Danes and Danish institutions may be excused for believing that Denmark is in the forefront of the battle for free speech. And indeed it used to be that way. No longer. For the past year the Danish public prosecutor has been waging a lawfare offensive against outspoken critics of Islam and Muslim practices.

On December 3 following a Kafka-esque [10] prosecution in Denmark, Member of Parliament (MP) Jesper Langballe was convicted [1] and indeed confessed [10] to the “crime” of so-called “hate speech” — or as the judge in the lower court of Randers characterized it, “racial discrimination” — for having called attention to honor killings in Muslim families.

Lars Hedegaard’s prosecution is next. He is slated to stand trial in the lower court of Frederiksberg on January 24, 2011. Mr. Hedegaard’s apparent “crime” was to draw attention to the extensive (and disproportionate) number of family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture. As the IFPS appeal further notes:

This well-documented fact has brought him an indictment [11] under the Danish penal code’s “racism” clause: Article 266b [12]. Both MP Langballe and Lars Hedegaard have long ago emphasized that they did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes. This has made no impression on the public prosecutor.

In late September 2010 Lars Hedegaard recalled that at the inaugural assembly of the Danish Free Press Society (the mother organization of the IFPS) in March 2005 he observed:

Present attempts to crush freedom of expression come from several actors: national governments, supranational organizations such as the EU and the UN, and, not least, Islam. And not only from so-called “Islamists” or “terrorists” or “Islamic radicals.” They are inherent in the very core of Mohammedan ideology.

Hedegaard’s September 2010 statement continued, laying out the IFPS’s — and his own — Weltanschauung, and real world activities, for which he is now, incredibly, being prosecuted:

That has been our position all along. We have made no bones about the fact that we consider Islam — as it is presently being preached by all influential clerics and ideologues — a deadly threat to all our freedoms among which are freedom of expression. For this consistent stance we have been vilified and called every name in the book, but we will not budge.

I’m aware that some of my friends think that Islam can be reformed, domesticated, and civilized. I welcome that day, but must relate to the fact that it hasn’t happened yet — though Muslims have had 1,400 years to complete the project.

So the International Free Press Society has decided to live in the real world. And the real world demands robust defense of free speech, repeal of all blasphemy and hate-speech laws, and unwavering support of everyone who is being bullied and threatened by adherents of the caliphate. All this we have done to the best of our ability and with a fair degree of success. Whenever the likes of Geert Wilders, Kurt Westergaard, Robert Redeker, Gregorius Nekschot and so many others have come under threat, we have been the first to give them a platform and stand by them through thick and thin.

Just a few days ago, the Free Press Society received a mail from Gregorius Nekschot thanking us for the fact that after many years of harassment, the Dutch prosecutor has dropped the criminal charges against him for drawing offensive pictures. Nekschot is in no doubt that the solidarity shown by the IFPS has been instrumental in securing this happy outcome.

The January 7 IFPS statement concluded with this clarion warning, and appeal, which all U.S. media conservative elites should heed. Simply put, unabashedly supporting Lars Hedegaard is required to defend our most fundamental Western freedom — freedom of speech:

We fear that the public prosecutor intends to stifle open debate on Islam and Muslim culture. And we fear that he is doing so with the tacit approval of the governing parties, which first signaled their intention to remove the racism clause from the penal code but have recently recanted.

If the authorities succeed in silencing such critics as Jesper Langballe and Lars Hedegaard, who will dare speak out?

We must put a stop to these attempts to undermine free speech if we wish to preserve Denmark as a free country. And where Denmark — that former beacon of free speech — goes, the rest of the West may follow.

What follows is my own response to the IFPS appeal on behalf of Lars Hedegaard—a potential guide for Islamically perplexed U.S. conservative media elites:

The prosecution of Lars Hedegaard is a doubly obscene violation of the very foundations of Western freedom and the rule of law. By apparent illegal design, it a priori deliberately ignores the factual content of Mr. Hedegaard’s presentation — critical to his defense –while championing, exclusively, mendacious, bowdlerized portrayals of living Islamic doctrines — rooted in the Sharia, or Islamic “law” — and their historical consequences, past as prologue to the present.

Denying Mr. Hedegaard’s fundamental Western right to a full rational, evidence-based self-defense — including a critical examination of Islam — is nothing less than a complete capitulation to Islamic blasphemy law. The independent existence of objective universal truths is not acknowledged by normative Islamic doctrine. Thus, antithetical to Western conceptions, Islamic religio-political doctrine does not recognize individual liberties, even as an abstraction.

Is this now Denmark’s “standard” as well?

Notwithstanding Denmark’s denial of Mr. Hedegaard’s right to a fair defense, a collective wealth of unambiguous evidence [13] — readily available — reveals the breathtaking shallowness and intellectual dishonesty of this prosecution: objective, erudite analyses of the Sharia by leading Western scholars of Islam; the acknowledgment of Sharia’s global “resurgence,” even by postmodern, “anti-colonial” (i.e., against Western colonialism, not Islamic jihad colonialism!) academic apologists for Islam, combined with an abundance of recent polling data from Muslim nations, and Muslim immigrant communities in the West confirming the ongoing, widespread adherence to the Sharia’s tenets; the plaintive warnings and admonitions of contemporary Muslim intellectuals — freethinkers and believers alike — about the incompatibility of Sharia with modern, Western-derived conceptions of universal human rights; and the overt promulgation of traditional, Sharia-based Muslim legal systems as an integrated whole (i.e., extending well beyond mere “family law aspects” of the Sharia), by authoritative, mainstream international, European, and North American Islamic religio-political organizations.

Finally, has Denmark voluntarily abandoned modern human rights ideals — a unique product of centuries of the West’s agonizing, self-critical struggles — and retrogressed to the era of Beaumarchais’ Marriage of Figaro, written at the close of the 18th century? The text included this freedom of speech monologue in Act V, Scene 3:

I cobble together a verse comedy about the customs of the harem, assuming that, as a Spanish writer, I can say what I like about Mohammed without drawing hostile fire. Next thing, some envoy from God knows where turns up and complains that in my play I have offended the Ottoman empire, Persia, a large slice of the Indian peninsula, the whole of Egypt, and the kingdoms of Barca [Ethiopia], Tripoli, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. And so my play sinks without trace, all to placate a bunch of Muslim princes, not one of whom, as far as I know, can read but who beat the living daylights out of us and say we are “Christian dogs.” Since they can’t stop a man thinking, they take it out on his hide instead.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/will-conservative-media-elites-defend-lars-hedegaard/

URLs in this post:

[1] IFPS: http://www.internationalfreepresssociety.org/2010/12/the-scandal-of-danish-justice/

[2] Mr. No Spin: http://www.billoreilly.com/pg/jsp/billsbooks/tnsz.jsp

[3] Rush: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/today.guest.html

[4] Glenn: http://www.glennbeck.com/

[5] Sean: http://www.amazon.com/Let-Freedom-Ring-Winning-Liberalism/dp/0060735651/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294503004&sr=1-3

[6] Mark: http://www.amazon.com/Liberty-Tyranny-Conservative-Mark-Levin/dp/1416562877/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294503188&sr=1-1

[7] National Review: http://www.nationalreview.com/

[8] Weekly Standard: http://www.weeklystandard.com/

[9] Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-opinion-commentary.html

[10] Kafka-esque: http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2010/12/12/beyond-orwell-islamo-realism-as-hate-speech-in-denmark/

[11] indictment: http://www.internationalfreepresssociety.org/2010/09/4087/

[12] 266b: http://www.legal-project.org/blog/2010/12/i-confess-too

[13] unambiguous evidence: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/see-no-sharia/?singlepage=true

Copyright © 2011 Pajamas Media. All rights reserved.

Dude POTUS cluesless to the real world: Era of Big Yankee Gov't Is Here Now so stick'em Up...peasants

Sarah Palin:The President’s State of the Union address boiled down to this message: “The era of big government is here as long as I am, so help me pay for it.” He dubbed it a “Winning The Future” speech, but the title’s acronym seemed more accurate than much of the content.

Americans are growing impatient with a White House that still just doesn’t get it. The President proves he doesn’t understand that the biggest challenge facing our economy is today’s runaway debt when he states we want to make sure “we don’t get buried under a mountain a debt.” That’s the problem! We are buried under Mt. McKinley-sized debt. It’s at the heart of what is crippling our economy and taking our jobs. This is the concern that should be on every leader’s mind. Our country’s future is at stake, and we’re rapidly reaching a crisis point. Our government is spending too much, borrowing too much, and growing too much. Debt is stifling our private sector growth, and millions of Americans are desperately looking for work.

So, what was the President’s response? At a time when we need quick, decisive, and meaningful action to stop our looming debt crisis, President Obama gave us what politicians have for years: promises that more federal government “investment” (read: more government spending) is the solution.

He couched his proposals to grow government and increase spending in the language of “national greatness.” This seems to be the Obama administration’s version of American exceptionalism – an “exceptionally big government,” in which a centralized government declares that we shall be great and innovative and competitive, not by individual initiative, but by government decree. Where once he used words like “hope” and “change,” the President may now talk about “innovation” and “competition”; but the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.

Real leadership is more than just words; it’s deeds. The President’s deeds don’t lend confidence that we can trust his words spoken last night.

In the past, he promised us he’d make job creation his number one priority, while also cutting the deficit, eliminating waste, easing foreclosures in the housing markets, and making “tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.” What did we get? A record $1.5 trillion deficit, an 84% increase in federal spending, a trillion dollar stimulus that stimulated nothing but more Tea Party activism, 9+% unemployment (or 17% percent if you include those who have stopped looking for work or settled for part time jobs), 2.9 million home foreclosures last year, and a moratorium on offshore drilling that has led to more unemployment and $100 dollar a barrel oil.

The President glossed over the most important issue he needed to address last night: spending. He touched on deficit reduction, but his proposals amount to merely a quarter of the cuts in discretionary spending proposed by his own Deficit Reduction Commission, not to mention the $2.5 trillion in cuts over ten years suggested by the Republican Study Committee. And while we appreciate hearing the same President who gave us the trillion dollar Stimulus Package boondoggle finally concede that we need to cut earmarks, keep in mind that earmarks are a $16 billion drop in the $1.5 trillion ocean that is the federal deficit. Budget cuts won’t be popular, but they are vitally necessary or we will soon be a bankrupt country. It’s the responsibility of a leader to make sure the American people fully understand this.

As it is, the American people should fully understand that when the President talks about increased “investments” he’s talking about increased government spending. Cut away the rhetoric and you’ll also see that the White House’s real message on economic reform wasn’t one of substantial spending cuts, but of tax increases. When the President talks about simplifying the tax code, he’s made it clear that he’s not looking to cut your taxes; he’s looking for additional tax revenue from you. The tax “simplification” suggested by the President’s Deficit Reduction Commission would end up raising taxes by $1 trillion over the next decade. So, instead of bringing spending down in line with revenue, the President wants to raise our taxes to pay for his massive spending increases. It’s tax and spend in reverse: spend first, tax later.

And the Obama administration has a lot of half-baked ideas on where to spend our hard-earned money in pursuit of “national greatness.” These “investments,” as the President calls them, include everything from solar shingles to high speed trains. As we struggle to service our unsustainable debt, the only thing these “investments” will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy.

With credit ratings agency Moody’s warning us that the federal government must reverse the rapid growth of national debt or face losing our triple-A rating, keep in mind that a nation doesn’t look so “great” when its credit rating is in tatters.

Of course, it’s nice to give a speech calling for “investment” and “competition” in order to reach greatness. It’s quite another thing to advocate and implement policies that truly encourage such things. Growing the federal government is not the answer.

Take education for example. It’s easy to declare the need for better education, but will throwing even more money at the issue really help? As the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner notes, “the federal government has increased education spending by 188 percent in real terms since 1970 without seeing any substantial improvement in test scores.” If you want “innovation” and “competition,” then support school choice initiatives and less federal control over our state and local districts.

When it comes to energy issues, we heard more vague promises last night as the President’s rhetoric suggested an all-of-the-above solution to meeting our country’s energy needs. But again, his actions point in a different direction. He offers a vision of a future powered by what he refers to as “clean energy,” but how we will get there from here remains a mystery. In the meantime, he continues to stymie the responsible development of our own abundant conventional energy resources – the stuff we actually use right now to fuel our economy. His continued hostility towards domestic drilling means hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs will not be created and millions of Americans will end up paying more at the pump. It also means we’ll continue to transfer hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars to foreign regimes that don’t have America’s interests at heart.

On the crucial issue of entitlement reform, the President offered nothing. This is shocking, because as he himself explained back in April 2009, “if we want to get serious about fiscal discipline…we will have to get serious about entitlement reform.” Even though the Medicare Trust Fund will run out of funds a mere six years from now, and the Social Security Trust Fund is filled mainly with IOUs, the President opted to kick the can down the road yet again. And once again, he was disingenuous when he suggested that meaningful reform would automatically expose people’s Social Security savings to a possible stock market crash. As Rep. Paul Ryan showed in his proposed Roadmap, and others have explained, it’s possible to come up with meaningful reform proposals that tackle projected shortfalls and offer workers more options to invest our own savings while still guaranteeing invested funds so they won’t fall victim to sudden swings in the stock market.

And what about that crucial issue confronting so many Americans who are struggling today – the lack of jobs? The President came to office promising that his massive, multi-trillion dollar spending programs would keep unemployment below 8%; but the lack of meaningful, pro-free market reforms in yesterday’s speech means his legacy will almost certainly be four years of above 8% unemployment, regardless of how much he increases federal spending (or perhaps I should say because of how much he’s increased it).

Perhaps the most nonsensical bit of double-speak we heard last night was when the President said that hitting job-creators with a tax increase isn’t “punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.” But government taking more money from the small business entrepreneurs who create up to 70% of all jobs in this country is not “promoting America’s success.” It’s a disincentive that will result in less job creation. It is, in fact, punishing the success of the very people who created the innovation that the President has supposedly been praising.

Despite the flowery rhetoric, the President doesn’t seem to understand that individuals make America great, not the federal government. American greatness lies in the courage and hard work of individual innovators and entrepreneurs. America is an exceptional nation in part because we have historically been a country that rewards and affirms individual initiative and offers people the freedom to invest and create as they see fit – not as a government bureaucrat does. Yes, government can play an appropriate role in our free market by ensuring a level playing field to encourage honest competition without picking winners and losers. But by and large, government should get out of the way. Unfortunately, under President Obama’s leadership, government growth is in our way, and his “big government greatness” will not help matters.

Consider what his “big government greatness” really amounts to. It’s basically a corporatist agenda – it’s the collaboration between big government and the big businesses that have powerful friends in D.C. and can afford to hire big lobbyists. This collaboration works in a manner that distorts and corrupts true free market capitalism. This isn’t just old-fashioned big government liberalism; this is crony capitalism on steroids. In the interests of big business, we’re “investing” in technologies and industries that venture capitalists tell us are non-starters, but which will provide lucrative returns for some corporate interests who have major investments in these areas. In the interests of big government, we’re not reducing the size of our bloated government or cutting spending, we’re told the President will freeze it – at unsustainable, historic levels! In practice, this means that public sector employees (big government’s staunchest defenders) may not lose jobs, but millions of Americans in the private sector face lay offs because the ever-expanding government has squeezed out and crippled our economy under the weight of unsustainable debt.

Ronald Reagan said, “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” President Obama’s proposals last night stick the little guy with the bill, while big government and its big corporate partners prosper. The plain truth is our country simply cannot afford Barack Obama’s dream of an “exceptionally big government” that may help the big guys, but sticks it to the rest of us.

- Sarah Palin

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Remembrance Ceremony B4LAR

In the Frederick News Post Megan Eckstein, here and here, has two stories on the remembrance ceremony held Sunday at Fort Detrick.
Sgt. David Smith, HM2 Xin Qi and Lance Cpl. Jeremy Kane died in a Jan. 23, 2010 suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s Helmand province while guarding a bazaar with the 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. A year after their deaths, the community still feels the loss.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prepping the Battlefield--sweet judy--the Republicans act like John Boyd Never Lived...

This kind of political BS should have been Look Ma' No Brains stuff...So help me if the GOP blows this one, with a 70% backing from the people....bro' you need to look for another job.

Examiner columnist Hugh Hewitt: "House Speaker John Boehner needs to start talking now about the 'selective shutdown' of the federal government that is ahead if the president refuses to listen to the verdict of the voters rendered decisively in November." If confrontation and the threat of a government shutdown are all but inevitable, then Republicans must begin now defining what that means for the public. House Republicans must, according to Hewitt, "reassure Americans and especially senior citizens [in advance] that they have provided the Senate with the bills necessary to fund Social Security, Medicare and defense, but that the president is holding these appropriations hostage in order to defend Obamacare, the bureaucrats at EPA and the left-wing broadcasters at NPR." In other words, key functions of government can be maintained even as Republicans deliver what voters demanded in November.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

50th anniversary of the Vietnam War

In Accordance With Public Law 110-181 SEC. 598; the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War

The commemorative program will include activities and ceremonies to achieve the following objectives:

(1) To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW), or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

(2) To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of Federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the Armed Forces.

(3) To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.

(4) To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War.

(5) To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.

Friday, January 14, 2011


14 Jan 2011
13:36 I MEF
16:36 II MEF
00:36 OIF
02:06 OEF
06:36 III MEF

Thursday, January 13, 2011

3LAR Combat Outpost Castle 2011

Image with VIRIN: 110108-M-0158B-204
Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commander of Regional Command Southwest, stopped by the Third LAR to have his picture taken with (???package) and (sorry no names with photo) Marines from the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Combat Outpost Castle Jan. 8, 2011. Why? No idea. Checked with DVIDs they didn't have anything either or USMC news. Maybe later. photo Cpl. Paige J. Bray

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sarah Palin: "America's Enduring Strength"

Sarah Palin: "America's Enduring Strength" from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.

Like millions of Americans I learned of the tragic events in Arizona on Saturday, and my heart broke for the innocent victims. No words can fill the hole left by the death of an innocent, but we do mourn for the victims’ families as we express our sympathy.

I agree with the sentiments shared yesterday at the beautiful Catholic mass held in honor of the victims. The mass will hopefully help begin a healing process for the families touched by this tragedy and for our country.

Our exceptional nation, so vibrant with ideas and the passionate exchange and debate of ideas, is a light to the rest of the world. Congresswoman Giffords and her constituents were exercising their right to exchange ideas that day, to celebrate our Republic’s core values and peacefully assemble to petition our government. It’s inexcusable and incomprehensible why a single evil man took the lives of peaceful citizens that day.

There is a bittersweet irony that the strength of the American spirit shines brightest in times of tragedy. We saw that in Arizona. We saw the tenacity of those clinging to life, the compassion of those who kept the victims alive, and the heroism of those who overpowered a deranged gunman.

Like many, I’ve spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance. After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.

President Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

The last election was all about taking responsibility for our country’s future. President Obama and I may not agree on everything, but I know he would join me in affirming the health of our democratic process. Two years ago his party was victorious. Last November, the other party won. In both elections the will of the American people was heard, and the peaceful transition of power proved yet again the enduring strength of our Republic.

Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere. If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.

As I said while campaigning for others last March in Arizona during a very heated primary race, “We know violence isn’t the answer. When we ‘take up our arms’, we’re talking about our vote.” Yes, our debates are full of passion, but we settle our political differences respectfully at the ballot box – as we did just two months ago, and as our Republic enables us to do again in the next election, and the next. That’s who we are as Americans and how we were meant to be. Public discourse and debate isn’t a sign of crisis, but of our enduring strength. It is part of why America is exceptional.

No one should be deterred from speaking up and speaking out in peaceful dissent, and we certainly must not be deterred by those who embrace evil and call it good. And we will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.

Just days before she was shot, Congresswoman Giffords read the First Amendment on the floor of the House. It was a beautiful moment and more than simply “symbolic,” as some claim, to have the Constitution read by our Congress. I am confident she knew that reading our sacred charter of liberty was more than just “symbolic.” But less than a week after Congresswoman Giffords reaffirmed our protected freedoms, another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.

It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values. Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security. And so it is today.

Let us honor those precious lives cut short in Tucson by praying for them and their families and by cherishing their memories. Let us pray for the full recovery of the wounded. And let us pray for our country. In times like this we need God’s guidance and the peace He provides. We need strength to not let the random acts of a criminal turn us against ourselves, or weaken our solid foundation, or provide a pretext to stifle debate.

America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week. We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy. We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner, and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country. May God bless America.

- Sarah Palin

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heh! 1 Million and Counting-USMC leads the Way

Jack Burton Quotes the Milblogger:

"Way back in November,Milblogging.com wrote about the Marines amassing over 600,000 Facebook fans. Two weeks before that story ran, the Marines sat at 460,000 fans and quickly gained over 100,000 more in a matter of days.

Now as of today, the Marines fan base on Facebook has grown to
903,164 People Like This
and 1 million fans is just around the corner.

No other branch of the military comes close to the number of Facebook fans the Marines have managed to attract.

current standings on Facebook as of 11 January 2011:"

U.S. Army:
583,572 People Like This

United States Air Force:
292,427 People Like This

U.S. Navy:
256,469 People Like This

U.S. Coast Guard:
46,360 People Like This

Monday, January 10, 2011

Light Horse for War Pigs-D4LAR History

The Light Horse Marines

"Company D, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion takes its call sign and nickname from the various Virginia Light Horse Troops of the American Revolutionary War. One of the most famous of these units was the 5th Troop, Virginia Light Horse later known as Lee’s Legion or Lee’s Partisan Corps. This unit was commanded by Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee who was appropriately born close to Marine Corps Base Quantico in nearby Dumfries, Virginia. Henry’s Partisan Corps was known as being elite formations of dragoons and infantry that carried out reconnaissance missions and raids. The Virginia Light Horse served with distinction in both the Northern and Southern campaigns and for a time served as General George Washington’s body guard.

Today Company D, headquartered at Quantico, VA carries on that proud tradition of using combined arms while fighting both mounted and dismounted. Company D, 4th LAR Battalion’s mission is to perform reconnaissance and security missions just as the Virginia Light Horse did during the Revolutionary War. The Marines of Company D have traded the Light Horse for Light Armored Vehicles in performing their mission." USMC web site

Lance Cpl. Ron Sullivan,

LANCE CPL. RON SULLIVAN, bi-lateral above-knee amputee, with two Whitetail bucks he shot while hunting. Sullivan is currently assigned to Wounded Warrior Battalion East, Marine Detachment- Brooke Army Medical Center. The hunt was made possible by Combat Marine Outdoors, a non-profit organization with a mission "to provide Dream Hunts and Outdoor Adventures for severely wounded Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Navy Corpsmen,".

Saturday, January 08, 2011

The CMC at Christmas 2010

The CMC, General James F. Amos, was with Marines of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, at the Kajaki Dam, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 25, 2010, to thank them for their service and wish them a Merry Christmas.
photo Maj. Joseph Plenzler,

Friday, January 07, 2011

Andrew Wittmer, 3LAR, Sworn in Decatur, Illinois Police Dept.

ANDREW WITTMER, former sergeant 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, has been sworn in as a patrol officer for the Decatur Police Department in Illinois.

served two tours in Iraq, the first during the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom . Andrew Wittmer will join his twin brother, Tim, also on the Decatur Police force. Tim Wittmer joined the Marine Corps in 1999. Andrew enlisted a month later. Together the twins served two tours in Iraq, at alternate times, so that from 2003 to 2006 there was always one Wittmer in Iraq. source

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Brian J. Siegman 2LAR

On the net:Daily Times

Upper Darby, PA. Mayor Thomas Micozzie recently administered the oath of office to new police Officer Brian J. Siegman.

A 1999 Upper Darby High School grad, Siegman served nine years in the Marine Corps in the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and the 2nd Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Company during three tours of duty in the Middle East, including two in Iraq. Siegman and his wife, Stephanie, have four children.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The US Navy Eats Its Own:Enterprise skipper Capt. Owen Honors Is Toast

Well, wasn't that a fast trip. DADT a couple of weeks ago and I figured first the Hags and Harpies of the shore would first sent a couple of squads of unrepentant Christian Marines to reeducation camps but, hey, my bad, no we are going straight for the throat here: Fry the Captain of the Enterprise. Captain. Enterprise. Starship. Bridges all generational gaps. Why? For showing evil and raunchy flicks four freaking years ago in a mad dash effort to raise morale. For You people who have never had to wait for the one day the Eagle Shits to find joy in an otherwise suck wind outfit-hell- you will never know just how important a Skipper who is interested in raising morale can be. So now 4 years after the deed, Higher finds Captain Owen Honors conduct beneath contempt and reprehensible. Isn't that convenient. This poop smells like the Klingon tradition of officers promoting themselves by killing their commanders. Yead buddy. How convenient that only now the truth seekers at the Virginia Pilot should just happen to catch the lucky throw.

Too lucky for me. Can we look forward to the heads of command delivered on a platter for the crime of incompetence i.e. for knowing about this "heinous crime" four years ago and doing nada? Yead right. Didn't think so. So that leaves us with officers with poor performance reports and Higher echelon types seeking to check mate Captain Honors-Top Gun Graduate, Naval Academy graduate, on the horizon for promotion to Admiral. yead buddy. tell me about it. Two birds with one stone. The career of the Captain of the Enterprise is toastada and msg to Garcia aka watch your six.

Lance Cpl. Nathan Peyton, The Big WOW!

Lance Cpl. Nathan Peyton, combat engineer, 3rd Platoon, India Company, Three Five, a smile, moments after discovering an improvised explosive device during a patrol in Sangin District, Dec. 30. This IED was a directional 'frag,' set up to blast the length of the alleyway, according Sgt. David Bibi Castillo, who led the patrol. Peyton's alertness, (Marine was not just looking for IEDs but was walking POINT! when he noted a change in the dirt pattern) saved four to five lives -- an entire fire team.

Gunnery Sgt. William Price , 12/30/2010

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Staff Sgt. Roberto Castillo 1LAR

Alerts Icon
Skilled hands of maintenance Marines keep 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance rolling
Staff Sgt. Roberto Castillo, light armored vehicle mechanic, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion SINJAR AIRFIELD, IQ
Photo by Cpl. Dean DavisSmall RSS Icon12.10.2008

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sgt. William W. Rollins, Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for bravery in war.

Sgt. William W. Rollins, Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, received the Silver Star for his actions on June 19, 2008, in Farah province, Afghanistan,