Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Veteran's Bar

A little jab at the USAF...take it in good humor guys



Four retired Army vets are walking down the street window shopping.

Then they turn a corner and see a sign that says "Veterans Bar" over the doorway of an entry into an establishment that doesn't look all that well kept up. They look at each other then go in. On the inside, they realize in this case, they could judge the 'book by it's cover'.
The old bartender says in a voice that carries across the room, "Come on in and let me pour one for you! What'll it be, gentlemen?" There seems to be a fully stocked bar so the men all ask for a martini. In short time the bartender serves up 4 iced martinis - shaken not stirred and says, "That'll be 40 cents for the round, please."

The four men stare at the bartender for a moment then look at each other-they can't believe their good luck. They pay the 40 cents, finish their martinis and order another round. Again, four excellent martinis are produced with the bartender again saying, "That's 40 more cents, please." They pay the 40 cents but their curiosity is more than they can stand. They've each had two martinis and so far they've spent less than a dollar. Finally one of the men says, "How can you afford to serve martinis as good as these for a dime a piece?"

The bartender replies, "No doubt you've noticed the decor in here. And the outside ain't nothin' to write home about. I don't waste money on that stuff. But, here's my story. I'm a retired Master Sergeant and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the lottery for $45 million and decided to open this place for real veterans. Every drink costs a dime, wine, liquor, beer, all the same."

"Wow. That's quite a story." says one of the men. The four of them sipped at their martinis and couldn't help but notice three other guys at the end of the bar who didn't have a drink in front of them and hadn't ordered anything the wh ole time they were there. One man finished his martini and, gestured at the three at the end of the bar without drinks and asks the bartender, "What's with them?"

The bartender says, "Oh, those are retired Air Force Colonels. They're waiting for happy hour."

Europe thy name is cowardice

Somebody over there gets the message!!

EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE

(Commentary by Mathias Döpfner)
Matthias Döpfner, Chief Executive of German publisher Axel Springer AG, has written a blistering attack in the daily WELT against the cowardice of Europe in the face of the Islamic threat. Hartmut Lau translated the article for us.

A few days ago Henryk M. Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true. Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to agreements. Appeasement stabilized communism in the Soviet Union and East Germany in that part of Europe where inhuman, suppressive governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo and we Europeans debated and debated until the Americans came in and did our work for us. Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore 300,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, to issue bad grades to George Bush.

A particularly grotesque form of appeasement is reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere by suggesting that we should really have a Muslim holiday in Germany. What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians and directed against our free, open Western societies.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than the great military conflicts of the last century-a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannotbe tamed by tolerance and accommodation but only spurred on by such gestures which will be mistaken for signs of weakness.

Two recent American presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. Reagan ended the Cold War and Bush, supported only by the social democrat Blair acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic fight against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed. In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary-we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to the intolerant, as world champions in tolerance, which even (Germany's InteriorMinister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic. For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy-because everything is at stake. While the alleged capitalistic robber barons in American know their priorities, we timidly defend our social welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive. We'd rather discuss the 35-hour workweek or our dental health plan coverage. Or listen to TV pastors preach about "reaching out to murderers." These days, Europe reminds me of an elderly aunt who hides her last pieces of jewelry with shaking hands when she notices a robber has broken into a neighbor's house.

Europe, thy name is cowardice.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,

HE LIVED ALL ALONE,

IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF

PLASTER AND STONE.



I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY

WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,

AND TO SEE JUST WHO

IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.



I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,

A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,

NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,

NOT EVEN A TREE.



NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,

JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,

ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES

OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.



WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,

AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,

A SOBER THOUGHT

CAME THROUGH MY MIND.



FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,

IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,

I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,

ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.



THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,

SILENT, ALONE,

CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR

IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.



THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,

THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,

NOT HOW I PICTURED

A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.



WAS THIS THE HERO

OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?

CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,

THE FLOOR FOR A BED?



I REALIZED THE FAMILIES

THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,

OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS

WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.



SOON ROUND THE WORLD,

THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,

AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE

A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.



THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM

EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,

BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,

LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.



I COULDN'T HELP WONDER

HOW MANY LAY ALONE,

ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE

IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.



THE VERY THOUGHT

BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,

I DROPPED TO MY KNEES

AND STARTED TO CRY.



THE SOLDIER AWAKENED

AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,

"SANTA DON'T CRY,

THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;



I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,

I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,

MY LIFE IS MY GOD,

MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."



THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER

AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,

I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,

I CONTINUED TO WEEP.



I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,

SO SILENT AND STILL

AND WE BOTH SHIVERED

FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.



I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE

ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,

THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR

SO WILLING TO FIGHT.



THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,

WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,

WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,

IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."



ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,

AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,

AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."