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Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 03:25 PM PST

I Voted

by Peter Laesch

This past week I cast two absentee ballots for the upcoming Illinois Primary on 5 February 2008.  I am confident I won't be the only one voting for a man named John that day.  I understand there admittedly is a difference of opinion on this site regarding whom to back in the 14th CD in Illinois, and because of this and my place in the world I will try and limit my comments to a strictly narrative nature.  I am not here to persuade anybody about anything.  For my brother this is a pivotal moment in the journey of the last five years.  He has in the years I've been gone, matured and aged quite remarkably well.  John, has always had a natural knack of bringing people together.  That natural skill that God has blessed him with is something that doesn't abide in very many of us at all.  This is a look back.

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Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:46 AM PDT

Assessing women in combat

by Peter Laesch

The Rand Corporation has completed a study on women in combat.  Besides the press release at the above mentioned link, the story was also picked up by Stars and Stripes Lisa Burgess.  Is there anything new here you didn't know?

Poll

Should women be allowed into every position in the military to include infantry?

67%63 votes
22%21 votes
6%6 votes
3%3 votes

| 93 votes | Vote | Results

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I'm not sure why I start this off with an apology, but I know how some of you all are defending your work.  In case you missed Stars and Stripes  the sometimes independent newspaper of the Armed Forces, I am going to break down some of their stories they ran today.  I am going to be brief, because I have to run.  I am sure all the war watchers though, will find them significant.

Poll

Iraq is ....

11%18 votes
15%24 votes
4%7 votes
5%8 votes
3%5 votes
1%2 votes
2%4 votes
3%6 votes
0%1 votes
1%2 votes
47%72 votes
1%3 votes

| 153 votes | Vote | Results

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Sun Aug 05, 2007 at 05:50 AM PDT

A Year in Schweinfurt

by Peter Laesch

Charlie Coon and Matt Millham of Stars & Stripes  Have begun an investigative look into how life has been on the home front has been for family and friends of the 2nd BCT of the 1st Infantry Division.  I cannot even imagine to have enough empathy.

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Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 08:28 AM PDT

Taji

by Peter Laesch

Last year my brother posted a story about some graffiti photos I showed to some of his supporters.
The photos were mostly taken of a graveyard of abandoned military vehicles from the old regime and ours.  I have now published the photos at webshots and am linking you to the slide show here.  I found the photos and the location highly significant, although I am not sure if my explanation of the signifigance is accurate, and I invite you to look for meaning as well in the photos, or perhaps just tell me So what?

Poll

What should I do with these photos?

52%10 votes
10%2 votes
10%2 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
15%3 votes
0%0 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:14 PM PDT

Illinois 14

by Peter Laesch

The Illinois 14th should be quite a raucous ride this year even if Da Coach decides to call it quits.  Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun Times has the scoop.  I suppose one could wonder why they voted for Denny last year if it was inevitable he would not be speaker, and very likely he retire early, but sometimes the logic of Republican masses mystify my mind.  Details on some of the other characters running again are below.  The Illinois 14 used to be a Republican stronghold.  Thanks to the large massive incompetence of the party of Bush and people like John Laesch pointing such things out I doubt it will be again.

Added note:  After beginning writing this I have discovered that Downtowner  has already blogged about these three particular videos and you can read her blog as well.  Due to the fact that I have a different style, and will take on a different perspective I will continue.  Beat me to the punch.

Poll

Will Illinois-14 go Democratic in 2008?

46%22 votes
12%6 votes
6%3 votes
0%0 votes
19%9 votes
14%7 votes

| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 02:38 PM PDT

Departure

by Peter Laesch

This is going to be a short diary.  I went to a departure ceremony today.  OPSEC traditions tells me I can't tell you how many are leaving or when, so I won't.  Our sister unit is going to the place where GI's go quite frequently nowadays.

Poll

When do you think the Iraq war will end?

2%2 votes
11%10 votes
2%2 votes
6%6 votes
3%3 votes
1%1 votes
4%4 votes
68%60 votes

| 88 votes | Vote | Results

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It has been six months approximately since the new Secretary of Defense and DOD has instituted the new 15 months in and 12 months of dwell time policy.  John Vandiver of Stars and Stripes reports the story from Baumholder, Germany.  The company in question is Company A of the 1st of the 6th Infantry Regiment.  They fall under 2nd BCT, 1st AD.  At issue is whether or not a singular company that deployed longer than the rest of their Brigade is required to get the same year of dwell time that the full Brigade received.  So much for policy.

Poll

Do you feel the Iraq war has made our military stronger, and improved our national security?

89%43 votes
2%1 votes
4%2 votes
2%1 votes

| 48 votes | Vote | Results

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I have thought about writing a diary on this topic for awhile, but until now have been unsure about the angle to take on it.     I know I can depend on all of you to be candid with your comments and advice.  I have served with an immigrant soldier from the nation of Liberia for about three years.  For the past two years he has applied for citizenship and has been consistently been jerked around in the process being told different things at different time.  I am not going to divulge all of the details of this soldier's story, but I am going to ask a very basic question in the poll.

Poll

How many tours must someone serve in Iraq to become a citizen?

27%16 votes
3%2 votes
1%1 votes
0%0 votes
15%9 votes
0%0 votes
51%30 votes

| 58 votes | Vote | Results

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Yesterday, Governor of New Mexico and Presidential candidate criticized the administration in a Washington Post Op ed.  His essay entitled

Diplomacy, Not War, With Iran

illustrated a cool pragmatic approach to world problems that is sorely lacking in the current government.  It should pique the curiosity of the voters and reveal much about the character of the candidate.  A candidate's character and personality characteristics are going to be a viable measure for how I decide to vote in 2008.  It seems the current President seemingly wants to hum the same tune he has sung, and quite frankly the majority of the nation now wishes he would sing quietly in a corner.  Governor Richardson's pragmatism would be a refreshing welcome change to the current government.

Poll

Democratic Candidate poll

1%2 votes
9%13 votes
25%37 votes
3%5 votes
1%2 votes
0%1 votes
27%40 votes
17%25 votes
11%17 votes
0%1 votes

| 143 votes | Vote | Results

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The extremely dry, and sometimes mind numbing website of the FEC has a new link up on their homepage concerning a new AOR about to be issued in regards to the Barack Obama 2008 Presidential campaign.  Perhaps, some of you will find this insignificant, or perhaps already blogged, although "Obama" and "FEC" turned up nothing under my search.  I draw at least two conclusions from reading this document and I invite you to do the same.  If someone has already blogged about this, please let me know and I will pull it down.  I will elaborate below the jump.

Poll

2008 Presidential Primary Straw Poll

2%4 votes
32%51 votes
17%27 votes
5%8 votes
1%2 votes
3%5 votes
0%0 votes
10%16 votes
26%41 votes
0%1 votes
1%2 votes

| 157 votes | Vote | Results

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On November 11, 2005 I boarded a bus and took a four hour ride that ended with an eight hour wait, which ended with a five hour plane ride.  When the Plane touched down, I was over three thousand miles away from Germany and about to enter my own insignificant chapter in the Iraq war.  I would not return to Germany until October 31, 2006.  I hope that you find what I write to be stimulating, but I do not expect you to agree with all that I say, and nor would I want you behave as such an obedient member of the choir.  My Impressions are below.

Poll

The Iraq War must be ended and brought to a close-How do you propose to do it?

5%3 votes
37%20 votes
15%8 votes
32%17 votes
0%0 votes
3%2 votes
5%3 votes

| 53 votes | Vote | Results

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