Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brian F. Piercy, Army Staff Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Brian F. Piercy, 27

Army, Staff Sergeant
Based: Ft. Bragg, N.C.
2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: July 19, 2010
Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan
Gender: Male
Hometown: Clovis
High School: Buchanan High (Clovis)
A soldier from Clovis who was within a month of completing his Army service was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, July 19, his brother said.
Staff Sgt. Brian Piercy, 27, was killed during a foot patrol north of Kandahar when an improvised explosive device detonated, said his brother, David Piercy.
The Clovis solider, a 2001 Buchanan High School graduate, would have completed his second tour of Afghanistan in about 30 days and was planning to move back to California from North Carolina with his wife, Christina, David Piercy said.
Piercy is the ninth Clovis resident and the seventh Buchanan High graduate to die in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Read more about Army Staff Sergeant rian F. Piercy here and here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jaime Rodriguez Jr., Army Specialist -- Rest In Peace

Jaime Rodriguez Jr., 19

Army, Specialist
Based: Ft. Stewart, Ga.
5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 26, 2007
Saqlawiya, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Carpinteria
High School: Carpinteria Senior High (Carpinteria)
Burial: Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara

In addition to his parents and his sister, Elizabeth, and brother, Alex, Jaime Rodriguez is survived by his paternal grandparents, Ben and Eloisa Rodriguez.
I'll never forget the time you spent with our family, I'm so glad Jared brought you home to NY to meet us. When he asked if he could bring an Army buddy home, we never thought you would forever have an impact on our lives. And when we kissed you goodbye we hoped it wouldn't be the last time we saw you, but it was. The thought of you two going to Iraq killed us. The day we learned of your death, was one of the hardest days of my life. You'll forever be in our hearts!! "Mom" Petteys
— Kathlene Petteys
February 28, 2009 at 10:16 a.m
Read more about Army Specialist Jaime Rodriquez here and here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Joseph A. Graves, Army, MP -- Rest In Peace

Joseph A. Graves, 21

Army, Specialist
Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
110th Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 25, 2006
Baghdad, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Discovery Bay
High School: Liberty High (Brentwood)
Burial: Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, Calif.

"One of the last conversations I had with him was -- 'Aww Dad,' he says, 'There's a lot worse places in Iraq to be than here, so don't worry about me,' " Kevin Graves recounted Thursday in the living room of his Discovery Bay home on the eastern edge of Contra Costa County where his son grew up.

The elder Graves remembers being surprised when his son, after completing basic training, went off to jump school at Ft. Benning, Ga., for airborne training. "This was a kid I could hardly get to ski down a ski slope, because it was too intimidating," he said. "And now he's jumping out of airplanes." 
The soldier's wife, Cori, 20, said she didn't press her husband for details of combat duty and knows little about the mission that took his life. The two started dating as teenagers in Discovery Bay, about 45 miles east of San Francisco.
"I'm at peace with the little things that I have been told, and it's been minimal, to protect myself from getting hurt or upset," his wife said. "I don't need to know any more. He was there, he was doing a job that he wanted, and I'm OK with that."
One memory of Joseph A. Graves
what cant i say about this guy? he was my friend my brother and great guy to just be around. the time that i new joseph we were in iraq together and he was the one that i went to if i wanted to talk to someone. we were stationed in fort hood and he was the one that always had a smile on his face and addored his wife to death. most of all he was our friend and our brother. we all miss him and wish we can turn back the hands of time.
love you man
jason rodriguez
— jason
October 1, 2009 at 1:33 p.m.
Read more about Joseph A. Graves here and here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Daniel S. Noble, Navy Hospitalman -- Rest In Peace

Daniel S. Noble, 21

Navy, Hospitalman
Based: Camp Pendleton
1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force Pacific
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 24, 2007
Rushidiyah, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Whittier
High School: La Mirada High (La Mirada)
Burial: Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier

His uncle and surrogate father remembers Daniel S. Noble as "a hands-off kid."
"You didn't have to worry about him doing the right thing," Kelly Thomas said. "If he had questions about what the right things were or had a problem, he would come to me. He always came to me for the tough problems that he didn't think he could talk to his mom about. And we worked it out."
Athletic and formidable at 6 feet 7 and 260 pounds, Noble nonetheless decided after graduating from La Mirada High School in 2004 not to pursue college-level football.
His grandfather and godfather had both served in the Navy, and Noble decided to follow their path, said his mother, Julie Ann.
He was aiming for the Seabees. But he broke a hand just before he was scheduled to start basic training. By the time he had recuperated, there were no Seabee openings, so he had to make a quick decision.
"He decided to be a corpsman, and he loved it," his mother said.
In addition to his mother and uncle, Noble is survived by his father, Barry; a brother, Andrew, 24; and a sister, Katlin, 18

Go here to see a MySpace page dedicated to Daniel S. Noble and here for a memorial page, both with pictures.

Read more here and here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shabbat Shalom -- Ben Shahn -- Art Interlude

Picture found here on ArtLex.

More by Ben Shahn here, about him here.

Islam, The Religion of Filicide -- Canadian Sharia Files

Yeah this is a week old, but we never get tired of news from the religion of peace filicide:
Calgary mother convicted of killing daughter will not serve jail term

CALGARY — A Calgary mother won’t spend a day in jail for killing her teenage daughter with a head scarf — a decision that has prompted outrage….
In October, LoVecchio acquitted Magomadova, 40, of second-degree murder and found her guilty of manslaughter in the death of Aminat, 14. He placed her on probation for three years with several conditions, including taking counselling for grief, depression and anger management...
Magomadova was charged after the deadly incident at their home the morning of Feb. 26, 2007, after Aminat refused to go to court to be sentenced for assaulting a female teacher at her school.
The devout Muslim mother claimed Aminat came at her with a knife in her sewing room, where she prayed several times a day. She said she reacted by wrapping the scarf around her daughter’s neck and twice told the girl to put the knife down before the teen lost consciousness.
A knife was found in the room, but the daughter’s fingerprints were not on it.
Read more here.

And yes, we know that the precious child of the devout Muslim dead daughter was no angel:
CALGARY - Aminat Magomadova was so aggressive and threatening at her schools that a behavioural support worker was once assigned to constantly accompany the teen, a clinical psychologist testified on Tuesday.
Harnisha Nathoo said the 14-year-old girl, who was strangled by her mother with a scarf following an argument at their southeast home on Feb. 26, 2007, was diagnosed with severe emotional behavioural disorder and disruptive behavioural disorder while at Vincent Massey Junior High.
Video of Aminat in school here:

Travon T. Johnson, Army Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Travon T. Johnson, 29

Army, Sergeant
Based: Vicenza, Italy
1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: July 23, 2007
Sarobi district, Afghanistan
Married, 2 children
Gender: Male
Hometown: Palmdale
High School: Ontario High (Ontario)
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Hollywood Hills

Michael Shotlow was the proud and protective stepfather who raised Johnson as his own from the age of 5. "A gentle giant" is how he described his stepson, who was about 6 feet 4.
"He was a cheerful kid, honest and trustworthy. A kid who never gave us any trouble," Michael Shotlow said. "He would help people."
Teachers at Ontario High School, where Johnson was a student until 1996, have similar memories. "He was not a bully," said Laurie Zappia, head of the school's special education department. "He was a sweet young man who had the best interest of everybody at heart."
Read about Sgt Travon T. Johnson here, and find pictures here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Amarillo Files: Texans4SPalin

I have an old friend, KCD, in Dallas. We used to wait tables together when we were kids; he's been hoping I'd stop in Dallas on my way to Arkansas; alas, I'm roadtripping the northerly route this year.

KCD writes tonight of his family:
They are my favorite people. My mother may be the funniest woman ever.  You waited on them. Have thought about taking you to brother Michael's northwoods cabin. You will love these people. We'll talk politics, Sarah and the Big Ten.
Yeah, Sarah. I'll talk Sarah Palin with people who are not haters. You bet.

I rolled into Texas yesterday. The panhandle. Amarillo. Immediately seeing things one nevah, evah sees in California:
Gas at $2.659 a gallon, and trucks with Palin stickers.
Yes, the lady pumping her gas said sure, you may take a pic of my Sarah sticker.
Me? I'm liking being back in the Republic of Texas, liking being back in America.

Texas Through The Windshield -- Big Panhandle Cross

VID: I'm A Liberal, I Hate Violence, But Sometimes...

NRO Newsletters (subscription required) . . .
Morning Jolt
. . . with Jim Geraghty

July 22, 2010

Shawn G. Adams, Army Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Shawn G. Adams, 21

Army, Sergeant
Based: Ft. Richardson, Alaska
3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 22, 2007
Owaset, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Dixon
High School: Vanden High (Fairfield)
Burial: Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, Calif

At 17, he enlisted in the Army and found more thrills as a paratrooper, throwing himself out of airplanes and flying in helicopters.
The night before his first parachute jump, he called his mother, Laura Gillis, at her home in Dixon, Calif.
"He said, 'Mama, I'm going to call you on my cellphone on the way down,' " she recalled. "I said, 'Oh, my gosh! You call me when you're safe and back on the ground.' "
The jump went off without a hitch -- and he didn't call while in free fall.
"He was just incredible," said his mother. "He never had any fear in his life."
In mid-July, Adams was nine months into his first tour in Iraq. He called his mother to say that he was holed up in a military base south of Baghdad. While fellow soldiers enjoyed the respite from fighting, finally able to shower and relax, the 21-year-old Army Ranger longed for action.
"He was bored and he wanted to do a job, go out on a mission and do what he was trained to do," she said.
It was the last time they talked. Adams was killed July 22 after an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle while he was on patrol near Owaset. The date marked his first wedding anniversary.

Be sure to read the whole story Army Sgt. Shawn Adams here, and more here.. And visit his guest book here.
Shawn Adams is survived by his wife, Wilhelmina Elizabeth Adams (Beth) of Anchorage, Alaska; his mother and stepfather, Laura and Robert Gills of Dixon; his father and stepmother, Darcy and Gaye Adams of Vacaville; three sisters, Lacy and Samantha of Dixon and Mary of Vacaville; grandparents, Jim and Gloria Paisley, Mike and Beatrice Bruno, Robert C. Gillis Sr. and Marijo Gillis.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1000 Words -- Mr. Todd Palin

Rape, or Rape-Rape?

From the Annals of Justice -- File: We'll always have Jerusalem

A Palestinian man has been convicted of rape after having consensual sex with a woman who had believed him to be a fellow Jew.
Sabbar Kashur, 30, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Monday after the court ruled that he was guilty of rape by deception*. According to the complaint filed by the woman with the Jerusalem district court, the two met in downtown Jerusalem in September 2008 where Kashur, an Arab from East Jerusalem, introduced himself as a Jewish bachelor seeking a serious relationship. The two then had consensual sex in a nearby building before Kashur left.

Read it all here.

H/T Drudge -- Least that's where I think I saw this story.
Perp pic from Cosmo

Yeah, rape is no laughing matter, still:

* Rape by deception: What's the statute of limitations on stuff like this?
I think I've been abused a time or two myself, surrounded by liars as I get sometimes.

Ivan I. Wilson, Marines Pfc. -- Rest In Peace

Ivan I. Wilson, 22

Marines, Private 1st Class
Based: Twentynine Palms, Calif.
2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Enduring Freedom
Died: July 21, 2008
Helmand province, Afghanistan
Gender: Male
Hometown: Clearlake
High School: Lower Lake High (Lower Lake)
Burial: Lower Lake Cemetery
Willie, we all miss you and wish you were here with us still. You were a great friend and a damn fine Marine. You will never be forgoten. Miss ya buddy.
Love ya,
— Byron McDonald III
July 9, 2010 at 10:21 a.m.

Ivan, just a note to let you know I miss you so much and as I go forth, I want you to know I will always love you and you will never be forgotten-Your in my heart forever. May you rest now...your work is done here on earth and I will continue to share your legacy with all those that have loved and supported us this past year! Save me a place where ever u are.
Love ya, mean it Your Momma
— Denise Wilson
July 19, 2009 at 4:16 p.m.
Read more about Marines Pfc. Ivan I Wilson here, here and here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Road Trip -- Two Lane Blacktop

Two Lane Blacktop 
Yeah, I'm motoring: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas.

And, oh, since you asked, yeah, I'm spending less time in Arizona than I normally do in the summer, but I'm spending more money. Just saying.

Derek J. Plowman, Army Specialist -- Rest In Peace

Army Spc. Derek J. Plowman, 20

Army Specialist
Everton, Ark.
Army National Guard
1st Battalion
142nd Fires Brigade, Rogers, Ark.
Died: July 20, 2006 
Baghdad, Iraq

Pfc. Derek J. Plowman, 20, of Everton, Ark., died on July 20, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq, from a gunshot wound.
While still a Senior in high school, he joined the Army National Guard. After he graduated, he started his basic training. He knew where he was going when he enlisted, but he wanted to serve his country and he knew it could help pay for his college. He hoped to someday be a Psychologist. Derek was always the life of the party, laughing and joking. Everybody wanted to be around him. He did whatever he could do to be involved with people. He never made it about Derek. It was about what he could do for them. He died from a gunshot wound at age 20.

Derek Plowman is survived by his mother and stepfather, Kim and Andrew Campbell of Everton, Ark.; father, Donald Plowman Jr. of Cape Coral; grandfather Bill Riley of Lakeview Ark.; sisters, Ashley Plowman of Des Moines, Iowa, Angela Campbell, Zoie Campbell, Jodie Meeks, Josie Campbell, all of Everton, Ark.; brothers, USAF Staff Sgt. Corey Plowman of Warner Robins, Ga., Mike Plowman of North Fort Myers, Bryce Plowman and Dustin Plowman of Everton, Ark.
Read more about Derek J. Plowman here and here and see his guest book here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ben Stein, Economics Teacher

Ben Stein's American Spectator piece this morning on the end of economic wishful thinking is worth a look.
1. People who bought guaranteed income in the form of annuities from insurance companies have been saved. As far as I am aware, no insurers have failed to make the guaranteed payments they were contracted to make. People who bought variable annuities with value floors and guaranteed incomes and inflation riders have been able to laugh at the economic tornadoes. There are many people who hate insurers, but for those who put their trust in insurance companies to guarantee their old age comfort, there has been security.
Read it all here.

Me? I own no insurance or variable annuities. 'Fraid I was reared as an economic illiterate or on oldish, otherworldly Biblical economics:
King James Bible
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Bible in Basic English
See the birds of heaven; they do not put seeds in the earth, they do not get in grain, or put it in store-houses; and your Father in heaven gives them food. Are you not of much more value than they?

WordMonkey Bible
Mirad las aves del cielo: no siembran, ni siegan, ni recogen en graneros, y vuestro Padre celestial las alimenta. ¿No valéis vosotros mucho más que ellas?
Hope that works out for me.
Still, Stein, teaches:

And, always, any excuse to Bueller:

Ronald L. Coffelt, Army Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Ronald L. Coffelt, 36

Army, Sergeant
Based: Ft. Bragg, N.C.
503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 19, 2007
Baghdad (eastern part), Iraq
Married, 5 children
Gender: Male
Hometown: Fair Oaks
High School: Del Campo High (Fair Oaks)
Burial: Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, Calif.
Coffelt enlisted in the Army right after high school and served eight years. He rejoined after a stint in the Army National Guard in New Mexico.
"He definitely hated the desert," his father said.
Otherwise, he added, his son did not speak much about Iraq, including the hazards he faced there as a military police officer.
"I would question him about it, and he would usually change the subject and want to talk about family," he said. "I would say something to him about it being dangerous, and he said, 'Dad, that's what I do. It's my job and it's what I do.' "
Coffelt died July 19. He served in the 503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), 18th Airborne Corps.
Among his other survivors are his mother, Janice; a sister, Kimberly Conner; and his grandmother, Pauline Coffelt, of Carmichael, Calif.
"My husband was a wonderful man," Debi Coffelt said. "He was a great father, and a very loving, caring and compassionate husband. And he loved his country."
Please look here for Army Sergeant Ronald L. Coffelt's Guest Book and messages from his loving daughter; and here for his FaceBook memorial and here for more about Army Sergeant Ronald L. Coffelt.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gabriel Allon Interlude

Allon is back.

Arrives on the twentieth.
Hugh Hewitt's annual interview with Silva is posted here.
Don't forget to turn on the wireless on your Kindle if you've preordered.

Luis E. Gutierrez-Rosales, Army Sergeant 1st Class -- Rest In Peace

Luis E. Gutierrez-Rosales, 38

Army, Sergeant 1st Class
Based: Schweinfurt, Germany
1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 18, 2007
Adhamiya, Iraq
Engaged, 1 child
Gender: Male
Hometown: Bakersfield
High School: Bakersfield High (Bakersfield)
Foreign Country of Birth: Mexico
Burial: Hillcrest Memorial Park, Bakersfield
Luis was my Godfather and my best friend. He called me his Heatherina. When he was in SC he took me up to Hilton Field and taught me how to drive his car because I did not know how to drive a stick shift. One day I mentioned a boy's name and he growled, took me outside and taught me how to handle a knife. He said I should know how to take care of myself at all times. I miss him so much--there was so much he still wanted to teach me and I wanted to learn. I miss you Luis!
— Heather
August 21, 2008 at 10:03 a.m.
Read more about Sergeant 1st Class Luis E. Gutierrex-Rosales here and here and visit his Guest Book here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sergio H. Escobar -- Lance Corporal, Marines -- Rest In Peace

Sergio H. Escobar, 18

Marines, Lance Corporal
Based: Twentynine Palms, Calif.
3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: October 9, 2005
Ramadi, Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Pasadena
High School: Rose City (Pasadena)
Foreign Country of Birth: Mexico
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Hollywood Hills
On weekends, Escobar would make it a point to have breakfast or lunch with his family.
"That was his thing," Ortiz said. "He would say, 'I'll spend some time with you guys, and then I'll go out with my friends.' "
When he became a Marine, Escobar acquired a new group of friends whom he liked to bring home with him. "One time my truck was full of soldiers," Ortiz said with a chuckle. Escobar warned Ortiz to leave his mother at home so there would be room in the truck for half a dozen of his Marine buddies.
Escobar wanted to make the Marine Corps his career: "Honestly, he would always say he would never come out of the military," Ortiz said.
Since Escobar went to Iraq and couldn't socialize with his family on weekends, he would call home instead.
Ortiz last spoke to him Oct. 7, a few days before the bomb went off in Ramadi. "He told me, 'I'm OK. You don't have to worry about me. I'm coming home soon,' " Ortiz said. "Which he did."
Sergio H. Escobar video tribute:

Read more about Lance Corporal Sergio H. Escobar here.

Shabbat Shalom -- עיניים פקוחות -- Eyes Wide Open

RT: here.
Yeah, I saw the movie, on the big screen, over in West Hollywood.
Thanks, Jacob.
Good love all around.
And those morality police? Scarey!
Still, methinks some Hasidic projection was occurring. Heh.

Into The Stacks -- Harold B. Lee Library

Big thanks to Tammy at Time Flies for this happiness.
And, any of you who know how much time I spend in the library will know why I'm liken this...

Peeping Tom Interlude

Admiring his own reflection?
Casing the joint?
Coveting my table linens?

Jason M. Evey, Army Staff Sergeant -- Rest In Peace

Jason M. Evey, 29

Army, Staff Sergeant
Based: Ft. Hood, Texas
1st Squadron, 10th Calvary Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: July 16, 2006
Baghdad (southern part), Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Stockton
High School: Corvallis High School (Corvallis, Ore.)
Burial: Ashes scattered in Oregon
In his youth, Jason M. Evey spent hours in the woods behind his parents' house in Oregon tracking deer, not to kill them, but to discover where they slept.
The solitary missions served him well when he became an Army cavalry scout and commanded a team charged with going ahead of the troops to conduct reconnaissance and report back on enemy activity, terrain and other conditions.

"He once taught me a technique he himself developed to walk across dried leaves and twigs without making a sound," Darren Barnes, who trained with Evey at Ft. Hood, Texas, wrote in a recent e-mail to Evey's father. "He was a constant inspiration to me and every other soldier in the troop."
A staff sergeant, Evey was on patrol in Baghdad on July 16 when a roadside bomb exploded near his Bradley fighting vehicle, killing him and his gunner.
In addition to his parents, John and Beate Evey of San Diego, he is survived by his ex-wife and a 9-year-old stepson.

Staff Sergeant Jason M. Evey is remembered on this Oregon.gov page and you can read more about him here and here.