A Republic, if you can keep it

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Curtailing Illegal Arms

After I read the New York Times article, With Caveats, U.S. Backs Session at U.N. on Curtailing Illegal Arms, By Warren Hoge this morning I remembered an old quote I saw recently. It should give United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and a few others that would like to see honest citizens disarmed a clue about how much good more gun laws will do."Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."--Plato. It doesn't matter how many laws you pass or how many agreements you sign, the bad guy will always be armed.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Grover Norquist Accuses Sen. McCain of 'Lying,' Says Report 'Dishonest'

I just read a News Max.com article by Ronald Kessler, Grover Norquist Accuses Sen. McCain of 'Lying,' Says Report 'Dishonest'. Senator John McCain is one of those people that I just can't bring myself to trust. It's not just because he is a career politician. It's because of some of the things I've heard people say about him at Skidmore, Missouri's Freedom Fest. These people are real war hero's, Veterans of the United States military. They weren't looking for fame and fortune. They were just doing what they felt was the right thing to do. Ted Sampley tells why so many of them distrust McCain in a two part article he wrote for the U.S. Veteran Dispatch in July of 1995. I hope you'll read it and then decide if you feel McCain is someone you can trust.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Question Of The Week, 6/25/06

Good Morning. I'm sure most of you have heard that I wear a stainless steel POW/MIA bracelet with the name GYSGT Galen F. Humphrey on it. I have met several members of his family. I first met his Daughter Susan Montee when she ran for a seat on the Saint Joseph City Council (Saint Joseph, Missouri). She has been climbing the political ladder since then. She is now running for the State Auditor's seat. I got the idea for this weeks Question Of The Week from a June 21, 2006 St. Joseph News-Press article that mentions Susan and her Father. In fact the article asks this weeks question.



Families of MIAs left to wonder
Montee's father disappeared in 1966 in Vietnam

Aaron Bailey

It's a question Susan Montee often thinks about. Is it better to know a loved one has been killed in the enormity of war or be left to wonder if they're alive, missing and lost?

For the families of two U.S. soldiers captured last week in Iraq, the question has been answered.

The bodies of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., were recovered south of Bagdad late Monday night. Preliminary reports indicate the two were tortured and killed by members of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Ms. Montee is left to wonder.

In 1966, a 7-year-old girl learned her father, Galen Humphrey, had disappeared over the jungles of Vietnam. A helicopter carrying the U.S. Marine gunnery sergeant was shot down, beginning decades of questions.

Forty years later, that girl has grown up and currently is vying for the state auditor's seat.

But Ms. Montee and her family are still in the dark about Mr. Humphrey's whereabouts.

"We always believed he was coming home," Ms. Montee said. "It's different when a family member is missing in action than a (prisoner of war). The problem is you have no closure. You're constantly wondering if someone's coming home."

Frank Knapp's family also endured years of uncertainty. For three and a half years, Mr. Knapp lived day to day in the hands of enemy forces.

When Japanese soldiers captured the 194th Tank Battalion in the Philippines during World War II, Mr. Knapp was one of 32 members from St. Joseph who endured years of captivity as a POW.

"The conditions were terrible, then the dysentery and malaria set in," Mr. Knapp recalled. "Americans were dying so fast we couldn't get them all buried."

Mr. Knapp was one of thousands of captured American soldiers who were forced to hike 83 miles in hellish conditions without food or water, now referred to as the "Bataan Death March." He was then forced to work 12-hour shifts seven days a week, first as a metal scrapper, then in a coal mine.

He had little time to think about family when working in the scorching sun or in the depths of a cave, Mr. Knapp said.

"We didn't have time to think about it--didn't have time to think about family," he said. "All we thought about was survival."

Death for the soldiers also came at the hands of their captors. Likening al-Qaida fighters to his own captors decades ago, the mentality propagated by war tends to lend itself to brutality, Mr. Knapp said.

"They would rotate the guards, and some of the guards would be all right, but some were terrible," he recalled. "I've seen people shot, beheaded...and for no particular reason."

Those are some of the outcomes Ms. Montee fears for her father.

But is it worse to know than not? Her family often discusses this question.

"I think it all comes down to your faith," she said. "It's a difficult situation. You just have to trust everything works out for the best."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


This weeks Question Of The Week is. Just suppose you had a family member (if you don't have) serving overseas in our "War Against Terrorism". What would be worse, having someone knock on your door to tell you they are sorry to inform you that your family member has been killed in action or that they don't know what happened to them, they are missing in action or possibly a prisoner of war?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

St. Joe. Soldier Killed In Combat

I got up this morning and started my morning chores, feed and watered the cats, took the pup that spends her nights indoors out to the dog run and made sure the dogs had food and water. I figured I might as well bring in the paper while I was out there. A front page St. Joseph News-Press article tells that Saint Joseph, Missouri has lost it's second Son/Husband/Father to the War On Terrorism.


St. Joe soldier killed in combat
Brian Bradbury dies in Afghanistan

Alyson Raletz
Public Safety Reporter

The mother of a U.S. soldier who died Wednesday in Afghanistan hung his picture on the front door of her South Side home Friday.

Smiling back was the image of a 22-year-old who, along with his wife and two children, left St. Joseph in November for a new life with the U.S. Army at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Pfc. Brian Bradbury's dream of a fresh start was cut short Wednesday after he faced enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades during combat operations in Naray, Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig, 28, of Maryland, died while trying to evacuate Mr. Bradbury, as the hoist on his UH-60 helicopter malfunctioned.

Rhonda Bradbury said Army officials informed her Wednesday night that her son's arm had been severed during combat. While being lifted, the cable broke and he fell 30 feet.

The incident is under investigation.

"I can't tell you he was a kid that wanted to join the Army," she said. "I don't want people to think he was a die-hard-military-kill-em-up guy."

But she acknowledged the Army transformed her shy son from a boy--who had a rocky start as a husband in St. Joseph--into a good father and a confident man.

Mr. Bradbury, the second St. Joseph soldier to attend Benton High School who has died in the war on terror, graduated from a St. Joseph Adult Education and Literacy program in 2004. Spc. Eddie Myers, also of the South Side, died in July 2005.

Mr. Bradbury and his wife, Jessica Petty, married in 2004 and rented an apartment on South 12th Street. There they raised their daughter, Jasmine Renee, now 3 and Jailynn, now 1, was on the way.

"they were good kids. They had a lot of problems, but he had a new family to take care of, and it was stressful for him," said Donna Sanchez, who lived in an apartment upstairs.

He worked at SST, but his mother remembers him complaining that the job bored him.

So the couple put their hopes in his new career in the Army.

He graduated from basic combat military training at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla. in the fall of 2005. He and his wife became regular members of Word of Life Church before moving to New York in November.

"It gave him a purpose," said Jason Strickland, a family friend. "He was finally devoted to something."

His friend Chelsea Richman, added, "He even walked different."

By Jan. 12, he left for his overseas mission, while his wife and children stayed in New York.

"They were so excited. They were going to New York--the Big Apple," Mrs. Bradbury said. "I looked at this as a new beginning for them....I was so proud of him."

She said his wife last heard from him on Father's Day, when he expressed plans to re-enlist when his current commitment was completed under the stipulation he would be stationed in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., so he could be close to family in St. Joseph.

Now the family is planning arrangements for his funeral, which haven't yet been determined. His wife and children are expected to return to St. Joseph next week for services.

The Associte Press

contributed to this story.


You know, those morning chores just don't seem to be much of anything right now. I pray God will be with the Bradbury family during their time of mourning and Pfc. Brian Bradbury will Rest In Peace.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Hero Died This Week

I got an e-mail from Chuck and Mary Schantag of the P.O.W. Network that I'd like to share with you.

Subject: A Hero Died This Week

Apparently services will be held about the 29th according to son.

Colonel Laird Guttersen, USAF (Retired) passed away on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 in Tucson, Arizona due to complications of Parkinson's Disease and Stroke. He was 21 days short of celebrating his 81 birthday. He was born at White Bear Lake, Minnesota on July 4, 1925.

The Colonel served three wars (World War II, Korea, and Vietnam). He survived 1846 days as a Prisoner of War of the North Vietnamese, 27 months spent in solitary confinement. He was captured February 23, 1968 and released with other POWs on March 14, 1973. During his military career, he earned many awards and medals, among them four Purple Hearts.

He was the first returned POW who publicly spoke about the "Live POWS left behind." His commitment to those abandoned by the U.S. Government and to the POW-MIA families caused him to retire earlier than he had originally planned. His last public appearance was at the 18th Annual Nam Jam held on Sunday, October 30, 2005 at Reid Park in Tucson, Arizona. By then, he was in a wheelchair and experienced difficulty with speech. He received a standing ovation from the thousands in attendance-a welcome home long overdue.

The Colonel is survived by his 3rd wife, Jennifer Guttersen, and seven children. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in his memory to:

American Parkinson Disease Association
2033 E. Speedway
Tucson, AZ.

Letters and cards of condolence may be sent to:

Jennifer Guttersen
141 W. Vista Grande Drive
Tucson, Arizona
Telephone: 520-595-1516


It is really sad to hear about the loss of someone that gave as much for their country as Colonel Laird Guttersen did. I got to hear him speak once several years ago. That was what got me interested/involved in POW/MIA issues. I wish that there was something more that I could do or say. Colonel Guttersen, your mission was successfully completed, Welcome Home. Rest In Peace.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Top Ten List

If you thought I was posting a list of the ten most popular songs, I got ya. If you want to check out some of my favorite music tune in your local oldies, classic rock, or blues station. Or check out Paul, Brett, Dennis and Rich better known as Poker Face. I got two Top Ten list for you to check out. The first one is the Top 10 Anti-Gun Representatives. Ranked by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Check and see if your United States Representative made the list. If they did that should give you something to think about the next time you see their name on a ballot. The second list is their partners in crime. The Top 10 Anti-Gun Senators. I'm really happy to report none of my elected officials are on these two lists. I don't always agree with them, but I will give them credit for supporting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. There won't be much hope for us if that is lost.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Question Of The Week, 6/18/06

Good morning and Happy Fathers Day to all you Dad's. I mean to tell ya this has been one busy summer. One post between last weeks Question Of The Week and today's, which comes from a St. Joseph News-Press article.

HPV vaccine debated
Gardasil fights against STD that causes cervical cancer

Betsy Lee

Since the Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine to prevent the sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer, health message boards have lit up with debate regarding its use. One message board, hosted by MSNBC.com, had nearly 1,200 posts in just a few days.

The debate stems from the fact that the vaccine prevents the STD that causes cervical cancer, HPV or human papillomavirus. Some argue that the vaccine will promote sexual promiscuity, while others say a shot would not influence a teenager's sexual habits.

The new vaccine, called Gardasil, is approved for females between 9 and 26 years old. Because the vaccination will not treat existing HPV, most experts agree children should receive the vaccine before they become sexually active. This means it will be parents deciding if their children should be vaccinated.

"I am the mother of six children, two of them are 9-year-old girls, and I will not be running out to the doctor's office to get them vaccinated anytime in the near future," one cervical cancer survivor wrote on a message board.

This woman seems to embody the argument of at least 5 percent of Americans, according to an unscientific poll by MSNBC.com. Conservative political groups such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council have issued lukewarm statements, conveying reluctance to fully support the vaccine.

"Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex," Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told the British magazine New Scientist.

Diana Meyer, a cervical cancer survivor from Kansas City, disagrees.

So many people have HPV, she said, that people need protection. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 80 percent of Americans have HPV and most of them don't know it.

"I want my kids to stay alive," says the 28-year-old mother of two daughters. "I'm not going to put my head in the sand and believe that my children are going to do what I tell them to do."

Ms. Meyer was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 22. She'd been married for four years.

"I cried for an hour and a half at the nurses' station," she said. "I don't ever want that for my children."

Many medical professionals have come out in support of the vaccine.

Mitzi Telizan, of the St. Joseph/Buchanan County Health Department, said Gardasil is a promising development for women's health.

Ms. Telizan said the vaccine isn't an answer for all sexually transmitted disease issues, "but it is a step in the right direction."

For more information about the cervical cancer and the vaccine, visit the National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov for a fact sheet."

OK there you go. A long lead in for a short question. This weeks Question Of The Week is. Would you take your nine year old Daughter (if you had one) in for the Gardasil vaccine? Why, or why not?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Some Thoughts On Mitt Romney And Some Past Post

It sounds to me like there are some people that feel being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) could hurt Mitt Romney's chances of ever becoming the President of United States. Or maybe they are hoping that it will. On Sunday, May 1, 2005 I ask, "Would You Vote For A Member Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints For President?" That was before I ever posted my first Question Of The Week I don't think I would let it bother me, but then I am a member myself. I answered the question about voting for an LDS member for president on Monday May, 2, 2005. The same day I announced I was going to start posting a Question Of The Week. So even though it is not Sunday I'd like to ask the question that got the Question Of The Week started over again. Would You have a problem with voting for a person for president if they were a member of the LDS Church?

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Question Of The Week, 6/11/06

Good morning. I was having trouble deciding what to ask this week. Then I thought of something that might be fun. If you click on my name at the top of the page to read about me it says,"I'm a Husband,Father,a Grand Father and a concerned citizen. I spend a good deal of time reading the news and writing letters to the editor. I'm in such close contact with my congressmen that their e-mail address's are in my address book. I'm concerned about what will be left of the Republic our Founding Fathers left us by the time my Grand Children become adults." OK, for right now you are one of the United States Senators from your state (Congratulations Senator). Your going to write one piece of legislation that will help preserve our Constitutional Republic for my (and your) Grand Children. It is guaranteed to pass, all you have to do is write it. This weeks Question Of The Week is. What is your one piece of Republic saving legislation going to cover? Tell us as much or as little about it as you care to. I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Breaking News, Israel Commits Act Of War Against The United States

Did that title grab you? How can it be? Israel is our friend. Is that right? (a little sarcasm). It did happen, but maybe I shouldn't have called it breaking news. It happened thirty nine years ago today. On June 8, 1967 combined Israeli forces attacked the U.S.S. Liberty killing 34 of her crew members and wounding 173. (The number of wounded varies depending on what article your reading.) I'm not so sure it was even breaking news at the time it happened. The truth was covered up at the time that it happened. It was covered up 26 years later and it is still being covered up today. In 2005 surviving members of the crew filed a report of war crimes. As far as I know no action was taken against Israel. Israel claims they are liars or antiSemites. Last night I watched the Tito Howard video, Loss of Liberty. I'll watch it again sometime today. It's something that I do at this time every year. I'd like to suggest you get a copy, it will help you decide what really happened on June 8, 1967 for yourself. Listen to what the crew members have to say and then judge for yourself.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Westboro Baptist Church Being Sued

Some of you can probably remember me posting several massages about the military funeral protest held by members of the Westboro Baptist Church this past winter. Since I first heard of them there have been city ordnances, state and if I'm not mistaken even a federal law passed to stop them. Nothing seems to do much good. I got an e-mail from my friends Chuck and Mary Schantag of the P.O.W. Network earlier. Seems like Westboro Baptist Church is in the news again. This time someone has filed a law suit against the church for holding a protest at a military funeral. I would like to share my e-mail with you.

"Sent: Monday, June 5, 2006 10:07 PM
Subject: Marine's Dad sues funeral protesters

God Bless the Snyder Family

Marine's dad sues funeral protesters
Associated Press
Greenbelt, Md.- The father of a marine whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters from a fundamentalist Kansas church filed an invasion-of-privacy suit against the demonstrators Monday.

It is believed to be the first lawsuit brought by a serviceman's family against Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., whose members routinely demonstrate at military funerals around the country.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder is seeking unspecified damages. The younger Snyder, 20, died March 3 after an accident in the Anbar province of Iraq. He was buried in Westminster, Md.

"We think it's a case we can win because anyone's funeral is private," Albert Snyder's lawyer Sean Summers said. "You don't have a right to interrupt someone's private funeral."

After filing the suit, Snyder said at a news conference that he hoped a hefty judgment would leave church members unable to afford travel for more protests.

"I want it to stop," he said of the protests. "I didn't know there were people in the world who did that."

Members of Westboro say the military deaths in Iraq are God's punishment for America's tolerance of gays. They typically carry signs with slogans such as "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for IEDs," a reference to the roadside bombs used by insurgents.

The church has inspired dozens of state laws banning funeral protest, including a Maryland law that did not go into effect until after Snyder's memorial.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokeswoman for the small congregation, said it is the first time Westboro has been sued by a soldier's family.

"We were exercising our First Amendment rights," She said.


This might be the first time Westboro got sued for holding protests at funerals but I'm thinking it won't be the last if this works, and I hope it does. Like Mr. Snyder I want this stopped. Please don't get me wrong. I would support you being able to protest the war or anything else your opposed to, agree with you or not. But, there are some things that you just should not do. Holding a protest at anyone's funeral would be one of them. I don't care if it's the funeral of a mass murderer. The friends, family and loved ones of the deceased have suffered to much already. Don't turn their time of mourning into a media circus. I wish I was able to let Mr. Snyder know I'm sorry about the loss of his son. No amount of money can make up for that. I'd also like to wish him the best of luck with his lawsuit. If members of Westboro Baptist Church continue holding protests at funerals I hope there are many more successful lawsuits filed against them.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Question Of The Week, 6/4/06

Good morning. I had a plan for this weeks question honest I did. Then when I went to a site I needed to get some info from the site was down. If this is some kind of sign of things to come this month I'll be staying in bed all day this coming Tuesday. Do you know why? No, that's not the Question Of The Week. I got my (Plan B)idea for this weeks question when I read a column by David R. Usher, "IS THE G.O.P. TRYING TO COMMIT SUICIDE ON IMMIGRATION?" In the column Mr. Usher says, "It appears that Senate Republicans are either trying to commit mass suicide in town square, or possibly they are doing their best to assure a 2006 Democratic mid-term sweep." So this weeks Question Of The Week is. Do you think Senate Republicans hurt themselves and the G.O.P. by passing their version of immigration reform? If so how bad? I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Triumph Foods In The News Again

On Wednesday, May 24, 2006 I posted the text of a St. Joseph News-Press article that shows Triumph Foods doesn't seem to be very cooperative when it comes to sharing information about their employees with city officials. There was another article about Triumph employees in the News-Press today.

At least 15 workers seen leaving Triumph

Susan Mires
Business/Ag Reporter

Workers carrying boots and knife sharpening steels trickled out of Triumph Foods Wednesday morning.

Most of the men and women didn't speak English, but one man indicated he was looking for work.

There also were fewer cars in the parking lot Wednesday, as an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement apparently continues.

Employee absenteeism was high Monday, but Triumph spokesman Daren Williams said that wasn't unusual following a three-day weekend.

"Everything is in operation today and returning to normal," Mr. Williams said Wednesday.

The News-Press observed about 15 workers leaving the facility Wednesday, although an employee indicated as many as 40 people had turned in their gear and left the plant. Mr. Williams said the activities weren't unusual.

"Every day we have 50 to 60 people apply at the plant and every day we have people leave," he said.

Triumph informed some of its workers Friday that the government had audited its employee records and found some with documents that might not be valid. ICE asked to meet with the individuals in question. It is not known how many were affected.

Triumph Foods, which has been processing pork at its plant for five months, has 1,300 employees. The company is currently advertising for a second shift, which will require another 1,000 people.

St. Joseph is already dealing with a tight labor market with 4.4 percent unemployment.

"The biggest problem we have now is companies can't fill jobs, especially skilled jobs," said Tom Lesnak, senior vice president of economic development for the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce.

Triumph has advertised in several cities throughout the country, especially those with meatpacking plants. St. Joseph's Hispanic population has swelled since the plant opened.

"Triumph has struggled a little with filling jobs," Mr. Lesnak said. "They don't go looking for immigrant labor, they go looking for labor."

Mr. Lesnak indicated that Triumph has received more than its share of attention for hiring immigrant workers.

"We have a lot of big employers in St, Joseph who could potentially have some problems," he said.

Dave Howery of InterServ said the agency hasn't noticed any changes in the immigrant population since the ICE audit began. The situation at the plant is a local picture of the national need for comprehensive immigration reform, he said, that addresses both the needs of companies and the factors that cause people to migrate to the United States.

"It's not just Triumph Foods. Manufacturers here need a work force," Mr. Howery said. "When a business is ready to expand, they'll question if we have an available work force."

As some people left work on Wednesday, others arrived at Triumph Foods to apply for jobs."

I don't know, Triumph Foods claims could all be true, but it seems strange to me that people that don't speak English would be seen quitting around the time the investigation began.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.