Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Category: Military

Media Bias…

I discovered this morning that someone signed me up for emails from RedState.com – the Conservative Blog founded in 2004. The way I discovered this is I found their Morning Briefing in my inbox. It happens. I am also on the mailing list for the GOP. I don’t know who the person is that keeps putting my name on Republican and right-wing mailing lists, but the joke’s on them, since I don’t care.

Anyway, in the email was the following header:

Feds Force Ex-Navy SEAL To Pay $6.6 Million Over Bin Laden Book

Below it, in smaller type was this:

The Justice Department isn’t disputing the story. They’re just punishing him for telling it.

This makes it sound like the Justice Department is doing something wrong, doesn’t it?
This headline intrigued me, so I clicked on the article. The very first paragraph states this:

A former Navy SEAL who was involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is now being forced to pay the government $6.6 million for failing to get the book approved by the Department of Defense.

That paragraph is enough to piss anyone off, isn’t it? It makes it sound like the government is out to get Matt Bissonnette (the man behind the pseudonym of Mark Owen and the book “No Easy Day”).  I’m a little miffed at the thought of the government making a Navy Seal pay out his royalties for the book. Matt Bissonnette is, after all, a man who risks his life to ensure our freedom around the world and deserves our respect and thanks.  Why would the government do this?

A little further down comes the answer:

As a Navy SEAL, Bissonnette signed a non-disclosure agreement that would prohibit him from releasing sensitive information from his time in the military. His book, the Justice Department claimed, contained sensitive and classified material. Under the agreement made, Bissonnette will acknowledge his mistake of not submitting the book for review. Between that and the payments, the U.S. Government will not pursue more liability claims.

It turns out that Bissonnette not only released “sensitive and classified material”, but he had signed a non-disclosure agreement. Oh, so he broke the law and released classified information and, basically, this is what will keep him out of jail. I learned this last part when I did a search to see what was really happening here and found a Christian Scientist Monitor article released the same day. It’s first paragraph is as follows:

The former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about his role in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden will pay the government more than $6.6 million for violating non-disclosure agreements and publishing without getting the document cleared by the Defense Department, according to federal court documents.

See the difference? This one doesn’t play on your emotions. It merely states the facts of the case and let’s you know what’s up. Bissonnette violated the non-disclosure agreements and did not receive the proper clearance from the Defense Department. (Personally, I would think that his publisher would have looked into that before publishing, but that’s just me.) The article goes on to say that it is illegal for a violation of a non-disclosure agreement, it goes against the ethics of the Seals, based on this tenet: “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.”

My point in all of this is to watch what you read (and watch).  Don’t just rely on one source.  Maybe after reading the Christian Scientist Monitor article you’re still outraged, but at least you have all of the information, laid out for you.  In the Red State blog, you don’t.  I don’t even believe you should just read these two articles or even my blog.  You should try to read everything you get your hands on.

I should say that I’ve completed some research on Red State and I have to admire their tenacity in their refusal to back Donald Trump.  Based on that (and their defense of Megyn Kelly against Donald Trump), they appear to be leaning toward the Conservative of old: reasonable and fair.  I miss those guys.  On the other hand, their banning of Ron Paul supporters as bloggers leans a little bad, but since I’ve only read that in one source, I’m not going to make a judgement on it.

Blessings!

Bryan Fischer and Medal of Honor Recipients

Do you know who this man is? Bryan Fischer His name is Bryan Fischer and he writes a blog on the Rightly Concerned website, which is an arm of the American Family Association.  In addition, his blog runs on a website called “The Moral Liberal”.  Getting back to Fischer, you should know who he is.  He is a dangerous man.  People read his blog and believe the slander that he writes.  On Tuesday, November 16, 2010 – just five days after one of most important days we celebrate as Americans – Veteran’s Day; this enemy to American Soldiers every where wrote “We have feminized the Medal of Honor”.

Apparently, this so-called “man of God”  believes that it is wrong to “award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.”  He goes on to say “when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?”

And, there you have it in a nutshell the absolute truth at the heart of the entire right wing.  They’re only happy when someone (usually of a brownish color) is dead or dying.  Okay, I’m taking it a bit far.  I don’t believe every single right wing person believes this, but guys like Fischer and his band of phony Christians do.

A wise man once said: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  If you’re wondering who said it, it was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  (John 15:13)  Just a couple of facts I found out, more than half of Medal of Honor Recipients receive them posthumously.  Near as I can tell, Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta – who received his award from President Obama on the same day Fischer wrote his crappy blog – is the first living recipient since 1975.

The Medal of Honor Recipients risk their lives for not just their country, but their fellow soldiers as well. These are people who did not look out for their own best interests. They were unselfish, as a great many of our service men and women are.

And, Bryan Fischer is a despicable person to slur what the Medal of Honor means. Check this out:

“The bottom line here is that the God of the Bible clearly honors those who show valor and gallantry in waging aggressive war in a just cause against the enemies of freedom, even while inflicting massive casualties in the process. What I’m saying is that it’s time we started imitating God’s example again.”

Except, the man does not know that which he is proclaiming to speak. The definition of valor is:

“strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness : personal bravery”

The definition of gallantry is:

“1 archaic : gallant appearance 2 a : an act of marked courtesy b : courteous attention to a lady c : amorous attention or pursuit 3 : spirited and conspicuous bravery”

Neither of these definitions say anything about being aggressive or God.  Valor simples means having courage in the face of dangerous odds.  But, not to Fischer, somehow he missed all of Jesus’ turn the other cheek speeches.  He missed the part in the Bible where Peter cuts off the soldier’s ear and Jesus stops him from doing more harm.  I don’t believe that God would believe that the only act of a soldier that we as a country should honor is one in which the soldier killed multiple enemies.  There is room to honor both.

Fischer doesn’t seem to understand that.  But, he and the American Family Association are part of what is going wrong in this country.  There’s no room for tolerance in Fischer’s America.  There’s no room for laying down a life for a friend.  There’s only room for telling people who are to blame for their lot in life and just a hint — it isn’t them.

I’m not saying that Fischer shouldn’t be allowed to write this garbage, I’m just saying that an intelligent and reasonable person shouldn’t read it.

Army Hero of the Week – Army medic Sgt. Joe Lollino

Have you heard about Army medic Sgt. Joe Lollino – the Army’s Hero of the Week?

Of course you haven’t.  Not many people have heard of him or the others because we don’t often get to hear about the men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq who are risking their lives to spread democracy in the middle east.

My cousin, Howard, posted this article on his facebook page.  Since we’re fighting two wars and I don’t think we do enough for our military, I’m posting a link here.  He was just doing his job.

I think we forget in this country, when we watch TV or sit in our comfortable desks at work, that rescuing wounded soldiers who are under attack by enemy fire is someone’s JOB.

I will never complain about my job again.

God Bless

Memorial Day – Shake a Vet’s hand, tell them thank you

Today is the day that we honor the men and women who gave the absolute sacrifice for their country.  Without these men and women, our country would be very different than it is today.  We wouldn’t be free, the majority of us wouldn’t speak English and we wouldn’t be the amazing country we are today.

But, I wonder about those men and women who have survive.  I wonder, do we do enough for them?  Do we show our gratitude often enough?  Do we give them our thanks?

So, here’s what I purpose for anyone reading this article – starting today – every time you see a vet, tell him or her, thanks.  

It doesn’t matter where you are when you do so.  If you see a soldier, Marine or sailor in uniform, shake their hand, look them in the eye and thank them for their service.  If you see someone in a hat that says veteran on it, do the same thing.  These men and women put their lives on the line for us.  They serve their country with honor and for very little pay and benefits. Their families live with the separation of war and service and they’re rarely thanked.

If you can read this, thank a teacher.  If you can read this in English, thank a vet.

God Bless our vets and God Bless America.

Today’s Vote!

According to JSONLINE, the Republicans don’t expect anyone to put up much of a fight regarding today’s vote on the anti-gay ban. They figure it’s a slam dunk and they can all go home and pat themselves on the back. (And, pray to God that He forgives them for their sins, I’m sure.)

Anyway, I just received an email from a buddy of mine who let me know what happened on the floor. I’m posting it here, verbatim.

“I have to share with you what just happened on the Assembly Floor. Representative Jon Richards (Dem-Milwaukee) introduced a constituent in the gallery who fought on the U.S.S. Wisconsin. A real war hero. Everyone stood up and cheered — the Republicans cheering the loudest. (They love their war heroes). Then Representative Richards introduced this man’s gay partner to much cheering from the Democrats and much less from the Republicans. :-)”

Guess Republicans aren’t too keen on gay war heroes and their husbands.

Keep good thoughts that right will win over might and somehow this won’t pass.

God Bless us all.

Veteran’s Day

After reading any one of RepublicanVet’s posts, you would get the impression that liberals all hate the military and do not appreciate just what our fine military men and women have done, are doing and will do for us. That is a statement which I find very offensive.

I happen to be proud of my ex-Army, served honorably in WWII, grandfather, Charles.

I’m proud of my retired Navy, served honorably in Vietnam, father, Keith.

And, I’m especially proud of my Marine, served in Iraq, son, Brian.

I stand when the National Athem is sung — even when I’m home and it’s before a NASCAR race or a televised football game. (And, I’ve been known to be so moved, that I cry.) I proudly salute the flag of our great nation, even when I’m mad at my government. I thank Vets that I meet on the street. I donate to Veteran’s organizations. I know that I owe them a great debt that can never be repaid.

So, while you’re out today, take the time to thank a Vet. They’re the reason you can say what you say. They’re the reason you can go to church on Sunday without fear of reprocussions. They’re the reason that you can read my blog — whether you agree with it or not.

May God keep our serving men and women close to his heart. And, may He keep those who have served even closer.

God Bless.

In the News

Wow, where to begin!?!

President Bush announced today his Supreme Court Justice to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. Her name is Harriet Miers. She is sixty years old and has never been a judge. Let me repeat that last part, just in case you missed it. She has NEVER been a judge.

I’m not so sure I like that idea. I will stand by my statement regarding John Roberts that I wasn’t too sure he could serve because he hadn’t been a judge long enough and this new appointee hasn’t been a judge at all.

I’ll give Bush credit — she is a smart choice, as Roberts was. No rulings, nothing bad to report during the confirmation hearings, except, now we have a Supreme Court where two members have little or no experience and one of those members is the Chief Justice of the United States!

Another interesting tidbit…

Friday, I wrote in my blog that Cathy Stepp, for the most part, had lied about co-sponsoring the Eminent Domain bill in the State Senate. Today I read in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that State Senator Stepp will not seek re-election, citing that she wants to spend more time with her family. Hmmmm, did my blog run her out of office?

Well, I can dream, can’t I? I’m sure my blog had nothing to do with it. I do have to admit that it is a little bit of a letdown. I was looking forward to helping John Lehman beat her in the state senate race. Hmmmm, now what will I do? According to the blip in the Milwaukee paper, two possible candidates to replace Stepp are Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds and first-term Rep. Robin Vos. I don’t know much about either of them, but I’ll do some research and get back to you on it.

And, finally, for today, a rant against the right-wing. Cindy Sheehan visited New Orleans and wrote a blog piece for Michael Moore’s website. In it she stated, “pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans”. That’s it. They don’t tell you the end or the beginning of the quote. Pulled out of context, this sounds like a nutty idea from a left-wing nut. Even I thought it was crazy, but I (unlike the right-wingers who will pass this information around the Internet and hail it as if it is Gospel) did the research and read the entire blog. Just in case you, my gentle readers, come across the line, I wanted you to be able to read the whole piece for yourselves. Don’t just listen to my rants, form your own independent opinion and judge for yourself.

Wow — Isn’t that a refreshing idea?

Oh, wait, hold the phone, one last item. While on Michael Moore’s website, I found a link to a site called Books for Soldiers. What a great idea. The soldiers request DVDs, books, etc. and volunteers send the items to them. Help support our troops in this manner and check out the site. I’m going to leave this information up for you.

God Bless,

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