My Weekly Thoughts
Random thoughts on God, life, work, family, country and the world. Meanwhile, take time to let a soldier know he's not forgotten. Visit Any Soldier to find out how.

12/2 Morning Report

In real estate news, here is a report on foreclosure rates that’s pretty scary. But, that wasn’t as big a concern as an article I read in “Texas Builder” magazine, November/December 2006 issue, pages 65-66. (Their website is accessable, but the articles are not, at http://www.texasbuilders.org) Their Chief Economist, David Seiders, says housing slump won’t drag economy into recession. That would be nice, except he goes on to add they project an 11.5% drop in housing starts for 2006, followed by 11.7% in 2007. He thinks the market will hit bottom in the middle of next year. The article goes on to say this is based on Global Insight’s assessment that all other segments of the economy are “doing well.” Global Insight is further quoted as saying that a soft landing is “no longer in the cards” for housing.
(…uuummm…excuse me…???…and I thought this kind of spin was only used in politics…)

In the Middle East, Iraq the Model had an encouraging post today. “Baghdad Sniper” and some 20 more terrorist have been rounded up by authorities. The Iraqis, and Pajama Media, reported it two days ago. Where is the announcement from the MSM?
(…oh…I forgot…they only report good news for the Left…my mistatke…)

On the subject of Iraq, there is a lot of good info in this post by Rightwing Guy on their military development and equipment. You can also revisit this post from Chickenhawk Express on the progress of rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure.
(…who says we’re losing?…)

The NY Times asks a good question: Is it a workable deal in Afghanistan or is it giving power back to the Taliban? Of course, they answer it in true Left Wing fashion. This was the result of the British attacks that killed civilians. Now, on the upside, the locals are supposedly going to be electing local leaders. I can accept that—we do it here in the US. On the downside, the British had to withdraw from the area. So, there is no real military resistance to the Taliban. And, in the end, “That can’t be good.”

This was so sad, I had to laugh. The UN says arms are being smuggled into Lebanon.

Of the 13 incidents of unauthorized weaponry, two were reported earlier this month by U.N. peacekeepers, who found 17 Katyusha rockets and several explosive devices in the area of Rachaiya El-Foukhar and Berghouz as well as a seven missiles, three rocket launchers and substantial amounts of ammunition, which the Lebanese army destroyed.

According to this report, Anan is fully aware of it. But, the 8 page report goes on to blame the Lebanese for not doing enough to stop the flow of arms. We can thank France, once again, for taking the teeth out of the Peacekeeping forces being deployed there.
…and the report wonders why Israel continues to do military overflights…)

Back closer to home, the NY Times reports that crime is way up, but Chavez is about to be re-elected anyway.

Analysts say Mr. Chávez is able to ignore the issue by governing through a system of extensive handouts that eases the purchase of basic goods but does little to ensure public order.
(…snip…)
According to human rights groups and a Unesco study, Venezuela has the highest rate of gun-related deaths of 57 countries surveyed.
(…snip…)
While much of the recent attention has focused on killings among the privileged, the vast majority of homicides in Venezuela occur in the country’s poorest communities — Mr. Chávez’s strongest base.

So, what does the Times conclude? That Chavez must deal with these issues? That he needs to be driven out of government by the people? Not hardly.

Meanwhile, however, a history of far graver abuses by the police has gone unchecked, some crime analysts note. Last year, the attorney general’s office said it was investigating 5,520 presumed executions by the police between 2000 and 2005, involving 6,127 victims. Of the police officials implicated, prosecutors have filed charges against 517, and fewer than 100 had been convicted, according to Human Rights Watch.
“We’re experiencing the worst crime wave in modern Venezuelan history,” said Marcos Tarre Briceño, director of the nongovernmental organization Secure Venezuela, “and the government barely acknowledges its inability to control its own police forces.”

(…I get it! Chavez does nothing about crime, because the cops are at fault!…Think any Lefties will cry out about these abuses…and one last dig…can anyone say “Pinochet”…)

Lastly, I share a report from flag Gazer. Thanksgiving night, Marine Cpl. Brian Matthews was killed in an automobile accident. Cpl. Matthews had septn 7 months in Iraq. Leaving the other issues of the post for other writers, I join Gazer in applauding Cpl Matthews for agreeing to be an organ donor. In the proudest traditions of the military, he used his life to help others live.

So, as with all those who have fallen, we at our house remember your cry:

“Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today.”
–The Kohima Epitaph–

We remember what you, Cpl. Matthews, have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your families more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.

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