Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm still here...

Well, Christmas is over. I hope the "War on Christmas" nonsense is over as well. Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings are not against Christmas. Get over it. Say Merry Christmas if you want, but don't get bent out of shape if some one wishes you well in a different manner.

Anyway, things are starting to get back to normal at the house... or the new normal, because Anne is in the home stretch on this pregnancy. Our little girl will be here soon. They told us the due date is January 30th, but she could be here any time really. That's right... SHE! So now I'll have one more woman in the house telling me how it is. We've got the room where I stored my TA-50 (army gear) and uniforms cleaned out and painted pink. New carpet is going in on Friday and I guess I'll be putting the crib together Friday night.

I know I didn't post for a little while, but sometimes you just have to step away from the computer.

Oh yeah, someone get with me on this Paypal thing. I have an account, but I want to stick a tip jar on here and I'm not sure how to do that. You know for the baby. Maybe I'll do a baby blog. I've got to start saving for braces and college and a wedding... Oh God!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Top 10 Stories You Missed in 2005

Foreignpolicy.com is wraping up 2005 buy reporting on some stuff that has been ignored for the most part.

Europe’s Zombie Constitution
The New Coalition of the Willing
Recipe for Successor
Hot Air’s Shifting Winds
Rumsfeld’s Slip of the Tongue
Back to (Terrorist) Camp
India Struggles with Maoists
The Navy Does Missile Defense Better
Oil's Opaque Outlook
Still, a Wounded Military

Here is the direct link to the story.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More from Blacksheep 6

Another update from (the newly pinned 1LT) Blacksheep Six...

Hello all and greeting from picturesque Iraq. FINALLY THE ELECTIONS ARE OVER!!! This has been a momentous occasion but man I am tired. Fortunately, there were no significant acts in our area of operations; no explosions, no threats and not a shot fired. I would venture to say that counts as success. This just means that we get to stand down for a few days before resuming normal operations.

All of the activity over the last few weeks started me thinking about what defines a warrior. According to Webster's, a warrior is "anyone in uniformed service...trained in the art of combat." That really didn't sit well with me. What about our police officers, our firemen, the doctors and nurses who work the ER and trauma centre? Aren't these individuals just as well trained and dedicated to their jobs as a soldier who fights on the front lines? Don't they all combat an enemy who is just as elusive and just as deadly as Joe Haji the terrorist? In my mind the definition of warrior is any individual, in active combat with an aggressor whose sole purpose is the degradation of life, liberty and/or the pursuit of happiness. This would encompass more of the people I consider warriors. People who get up everyday and fight and elusive and adaptive enemy. They combat fire, crime, hunger, illiteracy, poverty, despots. They battle to provide a better life for their families. They bring food and comfort to the elderly. The volunteer. All of these people are warriors and there's a warrior in all of us.

One of our patrols recently came across an infant with some serious health issues. She had a lump growing on her back that was about 6" X 4" X 2". Her family was desperate for help and our hearts went out to her. Through the efforts of 1LT JM, Mr.Chris Compton from the AJC and several motivated individuals we have made some major headway. Several major hotels have agreed to house the family and American Airlines has offered to fly the family to the US. Senator Chambliss has also agreed to assist us in any way he can. It looks like this little girl will have a shot at a healthy life. Her prognosis was that she would be dead before her 1st birthday. I really appreciate all of the doctors, medics and soldiers who have literally put their lives and careers on the line to offer assistance to this family. It is truly amazing to see the military go from seek and destroy to humanitarian efforts at the flip of s switch.

There's more good news: it is now 1LT WP! My CO pinned me on the 19th and my date of rank is 9/9/05. Just in time for us to take over our new sector next month. We also made Fox news this evening (morning for you guys). There was a KBR convoy that was attacked and they had several vehicles on fire. My A section (2 BFVs) responded to the attack and provided security to this event even though it was out of our sector! My boys did an excellent job in my absence!

I would like to send a special holiday greeting to all of you. I miss you all and hope that you enjoy the holiday festivities. Sleep well on Christmas knowing that the Blacksheep will be on station patrolling Baghdad. Blacksheep 6 out!

Court rejects 'intelligent design' in class

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) -- "Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said.
Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.
The school board policy, adopted in October 2004, was believed to have been the first of its kind in the nation.
"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy," Jones wrote.

TROP

How cute...


Touching portrait of a Palestinian mother helping her child with his belt.

Read more about The Religion of Peace.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Interesting Study on Media Bias

http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6664

Hope you all had a good weekend. Here is some interesting reading from UCLA.

M

Friday, December 16, 2005

DON'T TREAD ON ME!

I was thinking of getting a tattoo similar to this one...
Anne said that she would prefer that I didn't.












I found this image and a lot of information regarding the Gadsden Flag at gadsden.info,
which then lead me to Gadsden and Culpeper.
If you want some really cool patriotic stuff this is the place.


Gadsden and Culpeper Go there... get stuff...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Latest update from Blacksheep 6

I got another great e-mail from my buddy Will. Howard Dean can go straight to .... France... that'll work.

Hello all! Just in time for my next Iraq update is the general election scheduled for 15 December. We have been diligently preparing for this event since mid-November and I am looking forward to the results. As some of you might remember, My battalion had 10 polling sites within our area of operations and 3 in my company sector. Well, thanks to the results we experienced from the last election, we have added 2 more polling sites in my company AO. That really does not affect my platoon, the Blacksheep, because we have draw the Division Ready Reserve Force (DRRF) duty again. My platoon is on stand-by to react to any major events in the Division area of operations and we are stoked! The last voting session was a huge success last time and we are hoping for the same results. Also, since we are the DRRF, I have the unique advantage of observing all of the events in the area without a major concern for close in tactical operation (unless we are called out). The locals that I have spoken with over the last few weeks are all saying that they will be participating in the upcoming election. This should all prove to be very interesting.

As always, I try to provide some insight as to the mindset of the warriors and locals we have been working with over here so that all of you get an on the ground perspective from those of us who are doing the job. We are all very tired right now and the holidays have been rough since we are away from our loved ones. Despite all of this, morale is still high and we are doing the job well. I had dinner last night with one of the Iraqi Army commander's that I often work with, LT Hassenein. We had a dish that consisted of flat bread, meat deep-fryed with a breaded coating and vegetables. The food was great and I really enjoyed getting to know LT Hassenein on a more personal level. The LT said that he is honored to be working with us and that he has learned a lot more from this company than he has from any other group he has worked with. That says a lot for the commander and all the great soldiers that the National Guard has sent over. The IA is a taking a bigger responsibility for the actions in my battalion AO and we will soon be turning over our entire sector to them. We will be moving our tactical operations to a new location but the troops will be staying where we are now. All of us really believe in what we are doing over here and we have seen the difference a little caring can make. This conflict is not one that can be measured with a win or lose type of grading scale but the Iraqis I know and have worked with all say that they look forward to a brighter future that they ever could have had under that despot Saddam. Despite what the media may say, we are making a difference and although it is hard work, marred by violence and conflict, we will leave Iraq in better moral stead than we found it. The boys and I have all dedicated ourselves to make a difference and we are doing it. There is a plan in effect and we are successfully implementing it.

Here's the latest story from our AO: The battalion was conducting a cordon and knock operation north of the FOB. In doing so, my platoon was occupying the northern most blocking positions. A few months earlier, I had an IED blow up in front of my vehicle that resulted in a local female being injured. My platoon performed first aid and escorted the family to the local hospital since the incident occurred after curfew. They were extremely grateful, and thanked us profusely. One of our positions was located directly in front of this same family's residence.

Now those of you who know what a Bradley Fighting Vehicle is know that it is a frighteningly loud vehicle. The local tend to stay away from us and call our sighting system the "All Seeing Eye." You can hear our vehicles approaching from at least a kilometer away so we trade silence for firepower. There is nothing more beautiful to an Infantryman than hearing that beast inbound to your location for pick-up.

We were concerned about disturbing the locals so we tried to keep the vehicles as quite as we could. The father of the family that we had previously helped came out to say that this was the best night's sleep he had experienced in months. He even asked us to park our vehicles outside of his house as often as possible since they made him feel safe.

Take care all, more to follow soon. Blacksheep 6 out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"let them go to hell!"

From Michelle Malkin:

Blunt words from Iraqi voter Betty Dawisha for the Cindy Sheehan Left (hat tip: The Political Pit Bull):



"Anybody who doesn't appreciate what America has done, and President Bush, let them go to hell!"

Go, Betty.

Watch the video at The Political Teen.

M

Monday, December 12, 2005

Iraq's Economic Growth

State Of Flux: Economic Growth without Oil

Hat-tip to State of Flux for this article. Interesting blog and good commentary. Thanks for bringing out information like this. If we rely exclusively on the MSM, we would never be allowed to know such things.

also thanks for articles such as this, creatively linking F.A. Hayek and the same last named number 1 on my top 10 list.

M

Good move Delta, labor unions, and other things on my mind

So I am a lazy bastard. Well, not really, but I feel like a schmuck because I was late for my flight this morning to Leavenworth, so I am stuck here at the airport hoping to get on standby on one of the next 5 flights out today, which all happen to be overbooked. On the one hand, I could really use the time to get some work done here before I meet with the client, so it is actually better that it will be tomorrow before we get together. Really, it is a blessing in disguise and I am not upset at all. I have to get more sugar for this coffee though. Seattle's Best is definitely not the best!

I am surrounded by so many soldiers here at the airport. I wish I was going with them somewhere. It seems like it is good timing that about 20,000 of them are coming home from Iraq after the elections this week and hopefully many will get to see their families for Christmas.

I wanted to make a brief statement of gratitude to all Delta union employees. By agreeing to even deeper salary cuts, you have saved the airline, and I would personally like to thank you for your sacrifice. I am an Atlanta native, and I remember the terrible difficulty that many of my friend's parents went through in the 80's when, faced with the same situation, Eastern Airlines employees decided to go on strike, forcing the company to fail and many of my buddies' fathers who were pilots were instantly unemployed. The fortunate few that were able to get other piloting jobs had to start over on the seniority and pay scale at their new airlines, most of whom went to Delta. Delta seems to have learned from Eastern's selfish ways, possibly because of the number of pilots that made that mistake already. No matter what, it is better to stay in business than to force a labor strike that shuts down a company. I am a die-hard Delta loyalist. They are my home town company, and I fly them almost every week it seems these days. I have flown on Airtran and others and there is no problem there really, but I just feel loyal to Delta. I want them to survive, and I want be able to fly with them well into the future. There is no doubt that the airline industry will thrive well into the future, they just have to reposition themselves in today's changing market. The huge liability created by legacy costs puts a major drain on their ability to adapt to future market demands, but the willingness of the company and the unions to work together in mutual self interest, gives me hope that they will be around for a while.

This bring me to the topic of labor unions in general. I believe that the labor unions do serve an important role in this country. In the beginning and occasionally these days, companies abuse their employees unjustly and the only way the good people of this country could fight for better working conditions was through the formation of unions and the power of the labor strike. Today, however, many unions seem to be more concerned with maintaining their power than fighting for the true best interest of the employees they represent. This results in fighting for benefits and wages that price American products out of competition and tying the hands of companies from being flexible enough to respond, reducing profitablity and loading up the balance sheets with long term liabilities far in excess of their non-union competitors. This short-sighted and selfish practice makes for unionized firms with reduced returns in the short term that flat-out can't compete in the long term.

Take my grandfather for example. He retired from Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, PA. The company was one of the major producers of steel products for WWII and did a great job helping this country develop the infrastructure to establish itself as the global military power. My grandfather was a steel mill worker after returning from duty in WWII, and he retired on a company pension. Workers from his generation were guaranteed huge pensions and life long health insurance plans. At the time, the unions figured this was fair and equitable. The optimism at the time kept everyone focused on the short term gains and blinded everyone from ever thinking about what would happen if people lived longer and health care costs would rise. I will grant that the company had poor management as well, but the fact remains that Bethlehem Steel does not exist anymore. By the 80's there was something like 1 worker for every 10 retirees, meaning that every single employee had to support the legacy costs of ten people in an ever tightening market faced by international pressure. The margins were impossible to maintain. After my grandfather passed away, my grandmother still relied on the dependent's share of his retirement benefit. That check does not come anymore.

I guess I was just trying to point out, that in that case and in the Eastern Airlines case, the labor unions marched the company right out of business. Bethlehem Steel did as well as they could as long as they could, but just couldn't overcome the damage done by the liabilities they created for themselves. Eastern just flat out put the company out of business. Hopefully Delta will not do the same. I have a lot of frequent flyer miles that I would like to use one day, and right now, they rest in the hands of the Delta unions. Strike and Delta will be a thing of the past. Work together, and you still have one dedicated, loyal customer.

Still waiting at the ATL airport,
M

Friday, December 09, 2005

Some more daily humor

Here are some one liners from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week.

- Remember when you used to tie the tree to the top of your car and drive home? Now our SUV’s are so big, the trees fit inside. The new Cadillac Escalade actually has a Christmas tree holder on the dash.

- That is a big controversy this year about calling Christmas trees, holiday trees and trying to take religion out of the holidays. I was watching one of these cable news shows about this and they had on an atheist who said they were against "organized” religion. And while they were talking, they had on the screen the name of the atheist organization. So they were against organized religion but organized atheism is apparently ok.

- Howard Dean said that we can’t win in Iraq. And if anybody knows about not winning… it’s the Democrats.

- Yesterday Saddam was in court and he said he was not afraid to die. Which is why we found him hiding in a spider hole.

- Al Sharpton is getting his own show on CBS. I believe it’s called "The Amazing Race Card”.

- Senator Hillary Clinton called for President Bush to begin pulling troops out of Iraq next year. And let me tell you something, when it comes to telling a president when to pull out, no one has more experience than Hillary Clinton.

Just a few jokes to help get through a cold, dreary day. Have a good weekend. I am headed up to the mountains with the wifey and little killers for a nice little vacation before its off to Leavenworth again on Monday.

M

Thursday, December 08, 2005

some daily humor

This may be outdated, but it's still funny, just like Larry says.

"I don't care who you are--that right there's funny." . . Larry the Cable Guy

When Bill and Hillary first got married Bill said, "I am putting a box under the bed. You must promise never to look in it." In all their 30 years of marriage, Hillary never looked. On the afternoon of their 30th anniversary, curiosity got the best of her and she lifted the lid and peeked inside. In the box were 3 empty beer cans and $81,874.25 in cash. She closed the box and put it back under the bed. Now that she knew what was in the box, she was doubly curious as to why there even was such a box with such contents. That evening, they were out for a special anniversary dinner. After dinner, Hillary could no longer contain her curiosity and she confessed, saying, "I am so sorry, Bill. For all these years, I kept my promise and never looked into the box under our bed. However, today the temptation was too much and I gave in. But now I need to know, why do you keep the 3 beer cans in the box?" Bill thought for a while and said, "I guess after all these years you deserve to know the truth. Whenever I was unfaithful to you, I put an empty beer can in the box under the bed to remind myself not to do it again." Hillary was shocked, but said, "Hmmm, Jennifer, Paula and Monica. I am very disappointed and saddened by your behavior. However, since you are addicted to sex I guess it does happen and I guess 3 times is not that bad considering your problem." Bill thanked her for being so understanding. They hugged and made their peace. A little while later Hillary asked Bill, "So why do you have all that money in the box?" Bill answered: "Well, whenever the box filled up with empty cans, I took them to the recycling center and redeemed them for cash."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Fort Benning

Hello from the Home of the Infantry, Fort Benning!

I'm here for the Total Army Instructor Trainign Course. I'm busy studying right now. I need to get back to it, because I have an exam in the morning. I will tell you... I am staying in IOBC land and I get a lot of funny looks from all the Infantry LT's and instructors. I'm a engineer... I have a big engineer sticker on my car and I'm not a skinny... er... I mean lean infantry LT. I am the sore thumb.

More later.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Fort Leonard Wood

M is leaving today for Fort Leonard Wood for the rest of the week. For those of you Partamian Report faithful, you will remember that FLW was the reason for this blog in the first place; to track LT Partamian through EOBC last March. Now, M gets to experience FLW for himself, but in a much less Hooah way, since accomodations include sleeping at the Holiday Inn Express and definitely no PT at 04:30 in the snow. Next week its back to Fort Leavenworth for M, but again with the Holiday Inn Express and no snow PT. Partamian and M may have limited access to the internet to make updates to the Report over the next few weeks, as Partamian is at Fort Benning for an instructor's training course until 12/16. We will try to keep you posted on the goings on. Meanwhile, M's wife gets the luxurious trip to work on a new Air Force project in Homestead, FL (figures right?) with a weekend stay in South Beach, Miami, FL. What's that Baby? I can't hear you over all the tiny violins playing in my ear...
And just to round things out, Mrs. P's little bun is approaching 7-month status, meaning that there is officially just over 2/3 of a new Partamian in the works.

M

Thursday, December 01, 2005

US-MIL.COM




I'm joining the team at US-MIL good things are in the works. Stay tuned...

Governor Visits 48th BCT While On Visit to Iraq

Hooah to Governor Perdue!



Governor Sonny Perdue returned from the Middle East yesterday evening following a six-day trip to visit Georgia servicemembers serving in Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“To have this footprint of democracy in the Middle East is vital. It is virtually the birthplace of civilization when you think about the Tigris, Euphrates and Mesopotamia,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “This will have the opportunity to change the world for the future regarding freedom and democracy.”

Governor Perdue visited the Middle East as part of a delegation of four governors, including Governors Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.

Governor Perdue’s first destination in the region was the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar where he visited Georgia servicemembers assigned to the 116th Air Control Wing. (See Related Story) He spent Thanksgiving Day serving a meal to members of the U.S. military stationed in Kuwait and visiting with troops from Georgia’s 48th Brigade.

Governor Perdue traveled to Baghdad on Friday and visited thousands of Georgia servicemembers to personally express his appreciation and support for their service building democracy and winning the global war on terror. Saturday, Governor

Governor Perdue helps serve Thanksgiving Day meals to troops.

Perdue traveled to Afghanistan and visited with active duty troops from Georgia and met with President Karzai. He then traveled to Pakistan to witness the earthquake relief efforts. Governor Perdue’s trip concluded in London with a meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Holmes Tuttle on Monday.

“Our troops understand the mission, and they are committed to finishing their job to truly birth this democracy. The people of Iraq will determine their future, and have the right to vote for freedom thanks to our servicemen and women,” said Governor Perdue.

During his trip, Governor Perdue received requests from Georgia servicemembers to contact their loved ones and let them know they were safe and doing well. Governor Perdue spent time today making these calls personally.

WRONG... VERY WRONG

I was listening to Boortz just now and heard about this... It's just really wrong.

Mom: 4-Year-Old Girl Denied Santa Visit For Not Buying Photo

A mall in Massachusetts issued an apology after a 4-year-old girl was apparently told she was not allowed to sit on Santa's lap unless she purchased a $21 picture of the meeting, according to a Local 6 News report.

Maria Grigorian said she took her daughter, Michelle, to the North Shore Mall in Peabody to visit Santa Claus.

However, when the 4-year-old got to the front of the line, she was not allowed to sit on Santa's lap because her mother did not have cash to pay for the picture.

Grigorian said the least expensive photo offered was $21.

"I am a single mom and don't have that money right now," Grigorian said.

Michele was so upset over the incident that she burst into tears and left with her mother.

"To see her crying and saying, 'Mommy I just want to tell Santa what I want for Christmas,'" Grigorian said. "I was heartbroken, totally heartbroken."

An official with the Northshore Mall has apologized and said a meeting with Santa is free of charge.

Copyright 2005 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and Local6.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


I'd like to meet the jerks who decided to deny this little girl a minute or two of their time. I'm all for making a buck, but come on...