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    2006 October - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Archive for October, 2006

    On Voting

    A great piece posted on The American Thinker American Thinker

    Someone’s Dying for Your Vote
    October 30th, 2006

    2,808 Americans have died in Iraq the past 43 months. Another 282 have met such a fate in and around Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Likely all are rolling over in their graves as fellow countrymen who sent them to war are threatening to boycott Election Day.

    Particularly disheartening to these fallen heroes must be the conservative abstentions, as likely 90 percent of such Americans were in favor of sending soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, while probably 100 percent supported invading Afghanistan after 9/11. It must be unfathomable to these brave souls that the very people who rallied politicians to risk lives for these efforts are now turning their backs on the honored dead, and what they died for.

    Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.—Thomas Paine

    As amazing as it might seem, due to Republican failures to curtail spending, solve illegal immigration, cure Social Security, and police corruption, many Party members are forgetting the more than a million Americans that have died in battle for the precious right to vote.

    Should we forsake that right now because this Congress has failed to address such issues? What does that say to the 3,090 soldiers that have died to give Iraqis and Afghanis such a right, or to the 170,000 Americans still at risk to protect it?

    Maybe more importantly, would any of the fallen abstain from voting as result of these other issues if they were still alive today?

    If the people fail to vote, a government will be developed which is not their government…. The whole system of American Government rests on the ballot box. Unless citizens perform their duties there, such a system of government is doomed to failure.—Calvin Coolidge

    As the elections draw near, I find myself getting angrier and angrier. On a daily basis, I receive e-mail messages from conservative readers explaining why they’re not going to vote on November 7. Fellow conservative bloggers have elucidated their views on this subject supporting the abstainers, and explaining why a Democrat victory in eight days isn’t such a bad thing.

    Every morning as I drive to work, I hear callers tell Rush Limbaugh why they’re not going to vote; every afternoon I hear the same on Sean Hannity’s program.

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. —John F. Kennedy

    So I grow angrier, because I’m saddened for the state of the Republican Party, and wonder how we have so fallen from the exhilaration we felt on November 2, 2004, when President Bush was reelected, and we miraculously added to our majorities in both chambers of Congress. We were going to accomplish so much in the next two years. In particular, finally reform Social Security, and extend the president’s tax cuts.

    Alas, as 2005 rolled on, such lofty goals were replaced by scandals surrounding former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Vice President’s former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, and a terrible hurricane in the Gulf Coast.

    The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.—Dwight D. Eisenhower

    2006 wasn’t any better, as a proposed sale of American ports to an Arabic company hit the front pages, along with illegal immigrant protests, and a disgraceful scandal involving Congressional pages just weeks before Election Day.

    Nice two years, folks. Nice job taking advantage of the mandate we gave you on November 2, 2004.

    Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.—Samuel Adams

    Like many of my fellow countrymen, I’m ashamed of the performance of this Congress, and my Party. However, that shame does not extend to ignoring the most sacred right bestowed upon us by our Founding Fathers. Forsaking that right as a form of protest is un-American and unthinkable for a true conservative.

    The ballot is stronger than the bullet.—Abraham Lincoln

    Folks that are unhappy with what the Republicans have done in the past 22 months should consider voting for the Democrat in their state or district. Or the Independent. Or the Libertarian. Or write in their grandmother Mabel.

    But don’t stay home, for that dishonors all that have died to give you this precious right. Such are certainly the sentiments of great Americans past and present:

    If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes.—Daniel Webster

    That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part. —Thomas Jefferson

    Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.—Franklin D. Roosevelt

    When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty.— Noah Webster

    In a world that might say one vote doesn’t matter…, it does matter because each person is of infinite worth and value to God… Your vote is a declaration of importance as a person and a citizen.—Billy Graham

    We have a duty to our country to participate in the political process. See, if you believe in freedom, you have a duty to exercise your right to vote to begin with. I’m [here] to encourage people to do their duty, to go to the polls. I want all people, no matter what their political party is or whether they even like a political party, to exercise their obligation to vote. —George W. Bush

    Wise words all. Yet, caution shouldn’t be capriciously thrown to the wind when exercising this right, for the consequence of error is great, especially today. The truly judicious, before demonstrating disappointment with their Party by voting for a member of another, should recall the last time Elephants behaved this way. Or have you forgotten that such protestations in 1992 gave us fourteen years of the Clintons, with possibly many more to follow?

    With that in mind, try to imagine what turning over the House of Representatives to a dove like Nancy Pelosi (D-California) would say to those that have given their lives to this war effort, and those still risking so. What a shocking statement that would be to our military to hand over the reigns of power to such an irresponsible appeaser less than five years after we sent our friends and family members to die for their country.

    So think long and hard, conservatives, about the value of your vote, those that have died to give you the privilege, and the folly of abstention. And, if you still can’t bring yourself to the polling booth on November 7, send a proxy to my e-mail address, for only death would prevent me from exercising this precious right regardless of how disappointed I was in my Party.

    Noel Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center’s NewsBusters.org, and a contributing writer to its Business & Media Institute. Noel welcomes feedback.

    Noel Sheppard

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    Posted on 31st October 2006
    Under: Politics and More | No Comments »

    More from the front

    Soldiers…. no one can understand but someone who has been one. This Corporal from the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada made this post on Army.ca recently. His post moved me (and many others) to the core. His post is now making the e-mail rounds, and is already morphing into other soldiers, different countries, etc. The members of Army.ca can tell Snopes that this one is legitimate, and we were there when it was spawned. A heartfelt thanks to RHFC_Piper for his service; good or bad - he has done things and seen things that many of us - even soldiers - can only imagine.

    October 16, 2006, 02:04:16 by RHFC_piper

    It has been 2 month and 2 days since I deployed to Afghanistan, with 8 Platoon, Charles Company, 1 RCR. I was honored, as a reservist augmentee, to be attached to such a great group of probably the best soldiers our country has to offer.

    In the three short weeks I was in Afghanistan, I learned more about commitment to my military family than most soldiers learn in a life time. It seemed both unfortunate and amazing that it took battle and blood shed to forge such a strong bond.

    It has been 1 month and 12 days since I was wounded and pulled from the battlefield. When I was in the hospital in KAF, I had hoped that I would stay in Afghanistan to recover. Why would I want to stay in such a horrible place that almost claimed my life? I didn’t want to leave my family.

    Germany and Toronto (hospitals) were a blur of Morphine, Demerol, Fentanyl, IV lines, wound packing’s, shrapnel removal surgeries, catheters, bad food, and good care. I think back on it and it seems dizzying. But when I close my eyes, only 2 images flash and they take me back to where I’m supposed to be.

    I see Panjwayi; the fields of pot. Rockets and bullets. The smell of burning and the heat. Then all I see are the bodies of soldiers I helped carry to the CCP. 2 covered by body bags (WO. Richard Nolan, Sgt. Shane Stachnik) and 2 on stretchers; my platoon warrant (WO Frank Mellish), and a soldiers I new only casually from living in the shacks in Petawawa (Pte.Will Cushley)

    While at the CCP I find out that a very close friend (from my reserve home unit) had been wounded by shrapnel from Taliban RPGs. His sections LAV had been left on the battlefield. For a long while, I didn’t know how badly he was wounded. (He’s still over there, thus no names) I’ll never forget the feeling; the sense and fear of loss.
    I will never forget those who were lost that day.

    I try to think of the good times I was privileged enough to have with my Platoon. WO. Mellish made me the unofficial piper of 8 Platoon, (shortly there after; Coy piper) and I played reveille as per his request (and everyone else’s distain) anytime I was able.
    In dreams I still hear him shouting “Piper!!! Black Bear!!”… The last tune I played on my pipes… at panjwayi. (I still don’t have them back)

    When I close my eyes, I also see the morning after Panjwayi. Sparks, smoke, fire… then the burp of the main gun of the A-10. I remember the feeling of panic as I crawled for my Weapon and PPE, thinking we were under attack. I can still feel the burning on my legs and back, the shock of thinking my legs were gone.

    I can see the faces of the injured… the twice wounded soldiers of Charles. I see the face of the soldier who saved my life by applying tourniquets to my legs and stopping the bleeding from my back and arm… (He will remain nameless for now)

    From then, everything’s a blur until I’m back in KAF. I remember asking if everyone was ‘ok’… Reaching from my gurney to other wounded soldiers walking by, trying to peace together what had happened… more confusion. I asked again and again…
    Pte. Mark Graham. An inspirational man whom I only really started to get to know shortly before deploying, a brother in our family of warriors, was dead. My heart sank even more.

    Our CSM (who was also wounded) came over to me and asked if I was going to be able to play the pipes for the ramp ceremony the following day. I held up my right hand, which was numb, and looked at my fingers. The tips of 2 of them looked like they had been chewed up in a blender. I felt tears run down my face. Not because I thought I’d never play again, but because I couldn’t play for my departed brothers the next day… I would have given both of my hands and more for their lives.

    I had hoped to attend the ramp ceremony the next day, even if I couldn’t play, but I couldn’t move my legs and they couldn’t put me in a wheel chair because of the shrapnel in my back. I was sedated that day, and came to on the plane to Germany.

    I couldn’t attend any of the funerals of my fallen family, and I feel no closure.

    It has been a month and 12 days since I lost my brothers in Panjwayi and it might as well have been yesterday.

    When I close my eyes at night I not only see the ones who have paid the ultimate price, but also the ones who are still there… and I feel as though I am betraying them.

    My life seems to be dragging me on. My fiancé and I are planning our wedding and future. My family and I get together often. I’ve been able to socialize with my friends… and yet each thing I do here makes me feel guilty, because I shouldn’t be here to enjoy this.

    I wake up every day and plan and plot. I think of only one thing; how can I get back to my family… How can I get back to Afghanistan? My wounds are almost healed. Only 3 holes left and they’re almost closed. I can walk pretty well now, but I need to run.

    My family and friends don’t understand. They don’t want me to go back. My fiancé has threatened to end our relationship if I chose to return… and yet this doesn’t dissuade me. I have to get back to my boys. I have to get back and do my part no matter the cost to me. I love my family here in Canada, but no one’s shooting at them.

    Every time I see more soldiers killed over there a piece of me dies, and I feel the urge to return grow stronger. And each day I enjoy in my freedom here, I feel as though I have betrayed their memory. I need to finish my job over there. I need to go back.

    I can only think of the families of those who have died, and I can only say this, and hope it provides some solace:
    A warrior’s sword is made from the finest steel, forged by hammer and anvil to create and edge, baptized in hot coals and flame for strength, then quenched in cold water to harden it.

    Our brotherhood of Warriors, the finest of men, has been forged by Battle; Baptized by fire and Quenched by tears…

    We became and will always be a fraternity of blood with a bond stronger than death.

    Pro Patria

    I hate to rant, but I need to vent. It’s been a hard road, and I know there are a few others here who have seen it and may or may not feel the same (HoM).

    To the mods… feel free to delete this post if you find it pointless.

    - Piper

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    Posted on 24th October 2006
    Under: General | 2 Comments »

    Riveting Accounts of A’stan

    From a Canadian Infantry Section Commander. Pretty intense stuff…

    Lessons Learned

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    Posted on 23rd October 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Gilbert Youth Fishing Day

    Gilbert’s Youth Fishing Day

    Take a child fishing! This is a great opportunity to spend the morning fishing with family or to bring a young angler that would enjoy the experience! Participants do not need to have a valid urban fishing license during the time of the event! Just check-in that morning with volunteers before fishing.

    When: Saturday, November 4, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Where: Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch Lake, which is located at the southeast corner of Greenfield and Guadalupe.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department is providing information, instruction, plus will loan fishing gear and bait to the first 100 participants who do not have equipment of their own. Our anglers will also be able to win great prizes in the kids drawing! If you are interested in attending or have any questions please feel free to contact Rob Matthews at (480) 503-6253. You can also visit the website at: http://www.ci.gilbert.az.us/parks/sports-youth.cfm

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    Posted on 22nd October 2006
    Under: Fishing | No Comments »

    Shooting flavor into game

    OK - this is weird. Or - maybe - a great idea…

    Season Shot

    Season Shot is made of tightly packed seasoning bound by a fully biodegradable food product. The seasoning is actually injected into the bird on impact seasoning the meat from the inside out. When the bird is cooked the seasoning pellets melt into the meat spreading the flavor to the entire bird. Forget worrying about shot breaking your teeth and start wondering about which flavor shot to use!

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    Posted on 22nd October 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Elk in the Rocks

    Check out where this elk landed…. glad I’m not the one that had to dig him out!!!

    Stuck Elk

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    Posted on 21st October 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Caribou killed…… in Colorado!


    GREELEY - Wildlife officials were puzzled by the rare appearance a caribou that was struck and killed by a car in Colorado this week, hundreds of miles from its normal range.

    The buck, weighing an estimated 350 pounds and sporting a large rack of antlers, was spotted Tuesday grazing beside U.S. 85 about 10 miles south of Greeley and 40 miles north of Denver.

    Startled by the horn of a passing train, the animal dashed into the path of a car and was struck and killed, said Gene Fisher, a state Department of Transportation employee who witnessed the incident.

    Caribou normally live in the arctic regions of northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland.

    “We don’t know where a caribou would come from,” state Division of Wildlife manager Chad Morgan told the Greeley Tribune in Wednesday’s editions. “We don’t know of any farms that have them in this area. I’ve been here four years, and I’ve never seen one.”

    The Colorado Department of Agriculture, Division of Wildlife and State Veterinarian’s office said they had no records of caribou in Colorado.

    The caribou was taken to a transportation department facility near Greeley.

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    Posted on 21st October 2006
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Great Babysitter!


    Sitter Shoots, Kills Black Bear Approaching Kids

    PORTHILL, Idaho A northern Idaho baby sitter shot and killed a 422-pound black bear that broke into a backyard as three toddlers played.

    The woman was watching her sister’s children at their home near the Canadian border early last week when one the kids began screaming, “Bear! Bear!”

    Becky Henslee says her sister grabbed the youngsters and ran into the house.

    As the bear pawed at the screen door, the woman — who did not want to be identified — loaded a hunting rifle.

    When the bear looked away, she opened the door a crack and fired twice, killing the animal.

    Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer Greg Johnson says the bear was likely hungry and drawn to the house by a backyard barbeque.

    The shooting was legal — the baby sitter had a valid Idaho bear hunting tag.

    (© 2006 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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    Posted on 16th October 2006
    Under: General | 1 Comment »

    Kentucky Eggnog

    You know, with Christmas coming and all…


    24 Egg Yolks
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 Jamaican Rum
    1 qt Vanilla Ice Cream
    2 Bottles (fifths) of 101 Proof Kentucky Bourbon
    1 qt heavy cream, Whipped.

    Beat sugar into egg yolks until light and well aerated. Stir in rum and let mixture stand one hour until rum flavor has cooked the eggs. Add Bourbon. Just before serving stir in whipped cream and softened ice cream.
    Pour into well chilled punch bowl, or keep half in fridge and refill as needed.

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    Posted on 16th October 2006
    Under: Recipes | No Comments »

    Leica helping out the Sappers

    Leica Wins Combat Engineer Contract For Range Finders

    Allendale, New Jersey — Leica, world renowned for premium optics, today announced it has been awarded a U.S. Army contract for the Leica Rangemaster CRF 1200 to be included in the SAPPER SQUAD LEADER PAC tool kit. This kit, which is made up of tools that will be used for specialized applications in an environment of virtual constant use, with applications requiring high torque, low slippage and strict tolerances, will include the Leica Rangemaster 1200.

    Introduced in 2006, the Leica Rangemaster CRF 1200 offers an ergonomic, compact, lightweight design that is intended for one-hand operation. The technical advantages engineered into this unit provide image stability for shake-free viewing allowing for high quality images and less eye fatigue. Weighing a mere 220 grams, this rangefinder can easily fit into a shirt or pants pocket. Its 7x magnification and ranging capabilities from 10 to 1100 meters make it the perfect rangefinder for any application, whether civilian or military.

    The Leica CRF 1200 is designed for use in harsh outdoor climates. The sturdy housing and soft finish ensures tactile non-slip handling while providing reliable durability, which is critical for military applications. It is also watertight up to one meter and will perform in all weather conditions, which is equally important to the U.S. Army.

    “It is an honor to be awarded this opportunity to help serve our Army. We are pleased to be able to provide our men and women in the military with our products to help them in their necessary role,” stated Vice President of Leica Sport Optics, Terry Moore.

    The SAPPER SQUAD LEADER PAC tool kit is specially designed to include equipment required for use by the Combat engineers. In addition to the Leica Rangemaster CRF 1200 the kit will include other durable high quality items such as flashlights, knives and a few other essential items required for field use.

    Headquartered in Germany, Leica has been an acknowledged leader in the optics industry for over 150 years. Throughout that time, the company has built a solid reputation for producing high quality, durable products due to their commitment to optical perfection and mechanical precision. Visit the new Leica Web site www.leicacamera.com.

    Media Contact:
    Karen Lutto
    (830) 755-4308

    Kimi Herndon
    (804) 346-4309

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    Posted on 15th October 2006
    Under: Products | No Comments »

    Some scenery

    Daughter and I went predator calling last weekend. Didn’t get anything, but snapped some nice photos




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    Posted on 14th October 2006
    Under: General | 2 Comments »

    Texas’ Grapevine Lake Announced As Site Of 2006 Busch Shootout

    Texas’ Grapevine Lake Announced As Site Of 2006 Busch Shootout

    Grapevine, Texas - Thirteen anglers arrived at airports Thursday morning with no idea where they would find themselves this afternoon. Unlike other tournaments, packing tackle for the BUSCH Shootout was a guessing game. But once they landed at the Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport, they soon would learn the Shootout’s location: Grapevine Lake.

    Much like the first editions of the prestigious CITGO Bassmaster Classic, the location of this two-day specialty event - taking place Friday and Saturday - was kept secret. With CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year Mike Iaconelli, Toyota Horizon Award winner Denny Brauer and other Bassmaster Elite Series winners such as Greg Hackney and Ish Monroe, competition is tough.

    “We’re thrilled with these 13 anglers who qualified for the BUSCH Shootout,” said Jim Lukowski, director of marketing, value brands, for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “I am excited to have the best anglers in the business going head-to-head on Grapevine Lake.”

    With a successful CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series season in the books, anglers will look to bolster their earnings. The angler who wins the event receives $100,000 and each of the other 12 anglers receives $5,000. Anglers will compete under a special elimination format.

    The BUSCH Shootout will air at 10 a.m. ET on Oct. 21 on ESPN2. It will re-air on Oct. 24, Nov. 7, Dec. 8 and Dec. 30.

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    Posted on 14th October 2006
    Under: Fishing | No Comments »