On Charity and the US Military

Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it. –George Sand

You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them. –St. Vincent de Paul

It’s easy to run to others. It’s so hard to stand on one’s own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can’t fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It’s easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It’s simple to seek substitutes for competence–such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.
–Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

The Vietnam Healing Foundation

I worked Iraqi issues in most phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and often wondered what occurred to some of the Iraqi folks who were helpful to coalition forces. It is a question that can be asked about many of our conflicts, especially Vietnam. Bruce, over at Maggie’s Farm, has a touching synopsis by a Vietnamese vet named Del:

I am humbled to have as a good friend Del Vecchio. He writes in hopes you’ll read and give. The Vietnam Healing Foundation gets needed prothetics, food and money to the wounded soldiers, sailors and airmen of South Vietnam, who are still maltreated by the conquerors from the North. If you haven’t blown it all on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, please give:

Here is this year’s appeal from Vietnam Healing Foundation.

As many of you know, all our people here are volunteers, the only
overhead we have is the cost of getting funds to Viet Nam and distributed
to the needy there. That adds up to at most 4% of our total budget. For
every $10 in contributions, $9.60 winds up in the hands of someone
needing to buy rice or pay for medical expenses. The people we support
are all badly crippled from war wounds, and living only one level above
street people, facing still the discrimination that Hanoi put into law in
1975 to penalize them, their children, and grandchildren. . .

Please go to the link to read the rest. And consider supporting this very important cause.

Joe Paterno, the New Saddam Hussein?

Will this:

Happen to this:

Whoah, PJ Media is writing articles about it and cartoons are just popping up. It saddens and sickens me that Penn State sacrificed winning for the lives of the kids who were raped in their football team’s showers. Happy Valley is not happy right now.

Back When I Was an Iraqi Linguist

In 2005, I was an Iraqi linguist working the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) mission. So the following story hits very close to home.

12 Marines were involved in a vicious firefight in Haditha, where the distinction between villagers and combatants was blurred. 8 Jarheads were ultimately charged in the action and 7 were either found not guilty on all counts or the charges were dropped. The last Marine, SSgt Frank D. Wuterich, goes on trial this week. The incomparable Michelle Malkin has more.

It has been a tough road for the Devil Dogs involved in the struggle. John Murtha played quite a role, of which Michelle details. . .

Hand Salute: Kris. Thanks!