Friday, December 7, 2007

Soldiers' Holiday Package - More Shopping Done

Okay folks, we are getting close to the end of all of these Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Package(s) posts if only because today is the last day for donations; and what a coincidence it is also Pearl Harbor Day. In addition today was another shopping day for items for the packages. Despite being pretty much under the weather and feeling miserable today, I decided to get out of the house late this afternoon and pick up some items for another package. I purchased 12 folding knives at Dick's Sporting Goods for $260.57. I picked out two models of knives, one from Buck - the Buck Bantam, and one from Gerber - the Gerber Paraframe I (see the pic, and allow me to say sorry for the quality or lack thereof of quality in the photo, but I forgot our digital camera in my office yesterday, and there it still sits, so I had to use a cell phone camera). They look to be a pretty decent quality for the price, and they certainly are manufactured by well known knife making companies; my guess is the troops will like em a lot.

I also got several tee-shirts, and a bunch of baseball style caps - the caps all with WWF logos and the t-shirts all with wrestling pictures on them. These were donated to me by a young lady - Carmen - with whom I work in my office. I imagine they will make a big hit with the troops in Afghanistan. I tried to take a pic of them but it came out worse than the one of the knives - sorry.

Right now I have two packages all packed and ready to go to the post office tomorrow. One package contains: the knives; the other one holds: the crock-pot, the t-shirts and caps, candies, a package of 36 AA batteries, a 12 pack of decks of playing cards, a Gingerbread House kit,, chewing gum, and a box of 25 Romeo Y Julieta Bully cigars. So far I have collected a total of $670 in monetary donations to the fund, and I have spent $571.26, leaving us: $98.74 for a some more gifts for our soldiers. I have not found decent heavy weight wool socks yet, so maybe this remainder will go for the socks if I can find some nice ones. I'll try to get whatever I can this weekend, and then ship them out by early this coming week. Again thanks to all of you who either donated money, donated link space, or donated items for the package effort. This would not be possible without all of you.
All the best,
Glenn B

The 9/11 of 1941 - Today In History

I won't describe this day in as much detail as required to fully show its significance as it took place in 1941; although I will say, if you do not know about the significance of December 7, 1941 in world history I wonder what has happened to the education level in our schools. Really now, if you are not aware of what too place on 7th December 1941, I recommend that you go to some history sites to bone up on the events of 66 years ago today: (very interesting brief article: There's Nothing Wrong With Our Radar)

Of course, my guess is that most of you realize, this was the day of which Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was quoted as having said: "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.". He supposedly was talking about the United States of America, which had remained, until the events of today in 1941, neutral during World War II. The quote is quite possibly a fabrication of later years, and possibly was made only for the movie Tora, Tora, Tora, and to my knowledge it was never actually documented. Regardless of the reality of whether or not this quote was made by Admiral Yamamoto, the truth of those words could not hold any more truth than they do.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the U.S. Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory. There were approximately 2,300 dead Americans as a result of that single attack. This was, to my knowledge, the largest single battle caused loss of life by U.S. forces during time of war up until that time. On December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt would refer to the date of the attack as: "a date which will live in infamy", and the Senate by unanimous vote, and the House with only a single dissenting vote, would authorize an act of war against Japan. Within days of the U.S. A.' declaration of war against Japan, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. of America and we were brought full force into WWII.

There are more than the painfully obvious similarities between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack(s) on the USA on September 11, 2001.
Of course the main similarities were that both were sneak attacks, and there were great losses of life on the U.S. side. While it arguable that these two attacks should have been anticipated to some degree, no one can rationally argue that either could have been precisely predicted with the available contemporaneous intelligence; rest assured no one in the U.S. Government actually knew that either was coming. Yet people in 2001, as they did in 1941, screamed government cover up, and claimed a conspiracy in which each U.S. president of the day was supposedly complicit. The truth is though that the great majority of Americans stood behind their president after each of these catastrophic attacks, and rallied for war against a terrible and competent enemy. There was a rapid build up of wartime production after each attack though it was greater after WWII. Another similarity is that the economy of the USA was in some instances adversely effected, and in other ways rewarding, after each attack due to the country going into wartime production. This was much more evident after WWII than after 9/11, but it is true in both cases. In each case war time manufacturers gained greatly, and in each case there were claims of complicity between the government and wartime profit makers.
One final set of similarities that I will point out between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack(s) of 9/11 is that the enemy, in each case, was in essence already "within the gates" so to speak, both believed in the power of air assault, and both sets of attackers had a great hatred for the United States. This may seem more obvious to those of you who lived through 9/11 with regard to the attack(s) of that date, but may not be quite so obvious to you in reference to Pearl Harbor. The truth of the matter is that virtually all, if not all, of the attackers on 9/11 had been living within the United States for extended periods. They had acclimated to life within these United States. They had entered the country legally in some cases, illegally in others, but were basically accepted as members of our society. They had received their educations here, they had worked here, then they turned on us and attacked us with a devastating degree of hateful aggression by means of air raids. This is not very different from the attack on Pearl Harbor which of course was a massive air raid, and the air raid was master minded by someone who had a lot of experience living within our borders. Granted not each and everyone of the attackers on Pearl Harbor ever lived or even visited the United States, but there was at least one of them of noteworthiness who had done so, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto - commander of the Japanese Naval forces during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was both educated, and had worked within the USA prior to the attack. The major differences between him and the terrorists of 9/11 were that he was very opposed to war with the USA believing he would remain somewhat victorious for 6 months to one year, and then had little confidence in victory for Japan (a prediction which proved to show exceptional foresight because the tide of war in the Pacific changed after the Battle of Midway which ended on June 7, 1942, exactly 6 months to the day after Pearl Harbor). In addition both sets of attackers, the Islamo-fascist terrorists of 9/11, and the Japanese Military Forces of WWII, were driven by fanatical religious beliefs through which they intended to conquer the world, and through which America and her people became the object of extreme hatred.
In the end, regarding WWII, the USA and her allies were victorious. In the end of the aftermath of 9/11, one can only hope that our resolve to destroy our enemy's resources and defeat him resoundingly, will have won out despite the partisan political infighting within our gates. Yes the enemy is within our gates, and if we lose this one, it will be because we are our own worst enemy.
All the best,
Glenn B