Monday, December 26, 2011

Where ever you are- The beginning

Another Copy-Wherever you are

Where Ever You Are-Brit song sells 556,000 copies /week

Rarely has a song that's hit the top of the charts provoked more tears and admiration than today's runaway winner, Wherever You Are.

This charity single is sung by the Military Wives Choir, the wives and girlfriends of British servicemen fighting in Afghanistan who were brought together by choirmaster Gareth Malone for the BBC2 series The Choir.

Having sold 556,000 copies in just over a week, the song has become a phenomenon - the fastest-selling single since 2008, outselling the rest of the Top 20 combined. And it's outsold by six to one the song originally tipped to top the charts by The X Factor winners Little Mix.

Really, how could it not have done so? Wherever You Are is composed from letters between these wives and their men - Britain's heroes - as they served on the battlefield. By comparison, Little Mix's Cannonball - of all titles! -- seems quite exquisitely tasteless and inappropriate.  

This triumph of The Choir over The X Factor represents the victory of courage over celebrity and endurance over inanity.

The X-Factor song stands for wannabes - however winsome - dazzled by the prospect of fame and money. The Choir's song stands for courage, patriotism and true, enduring love.

As a TV programme, The Choir shone out from the dross of reality TV and all the tawdry and vulgar shows that pass for entertainment on the box. Yet this three-part series was broadcast only as a niche programme on BBC2.  

And even now the BBC doesn't seem to appreciate quite what a gem it has  created, by tucking away a condensed  90-minute version late last Thursday evening. Surely it should have been elevated instead to the Christmas or Boxing Day schedules.

For what this series showed us was something really remarkable and uplifting - the power to enable people to transform their own lives.

We saw these military wives at first too shy even to perform in front of each other.
Purely through his blazing faith in the transformative power of song, the absurdly  
youthful Malone coaxed them first to sing in front of him, then each other, then soldiers on the base, then in a local market, then at Sandhurst and finally at the Remembrance concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Whereupon there was not a dry eye among the viewing audience. It was not just that we saw these timid women grow in confidence and blossom in hitherto unsuspected talents - and then have the guts  to display those talents in public which previously none of them would have dreamed possible.

What made it all so deeply poignant was the situation they were thus transcending through song. For this was an aspect of military life that no one ever sees - the  terrible anxiety and dread under which military wives and partners routinely live, terrified of the knock on the door bearing the news that their menfolk have been killed or injured in battle.

Worse still, these women were revealed to be so very alone. Even on the base where they lived they knew very few others in the same situation.  

With their status and social circle defined by their husband's rank, they lived in virtual isolation alongside women afflicted by  the very same loneliness, dread and  other pressures.

 They were also invisible to the outside world. When Malone asked around  the nearby town, he discovered that few knew the military base was even there - and no one had had any contact with any of the wives.  

What his choir did was not just to give these women a voice (literally) through an identity and role of their own. It also brought them together for the first time as a vital support group, united not just by singing, but doing something  that helped combat the loneliness and  the dread.  

This was not the first occasion when Gareth Malone had worked his alchemist's magic through the power of song. He had made two previous series of The Choir, involving schoolchildren, which won Bafta awards.

Yet - while truly inspiring - these shows did not catch the imagination of the public in the same way as did the military wives. For the impact of this series came from the virtues it celebrated, which are now so often denigrated or sneered at, but to which so many feel the deepest and most visceral of attachments.

Virtues such as self-sacrifice, duty and stoicism - the quiet, unassuming heroism of ordinary women coping with separation and the fear of being bereaved on the battlefield. For it is not just soldiers making a sacrifice for their country but their wives and families, too.  

And we were touched also because, in an age which has made a fetish of emotional incontinence and tells us that the worst thing we can do is repress our emotions, what these women showed us was the dignity and nobility of emotional restraint.  

They minimise their fears and their privations in order to keep the spirits of their fighting menfolk up. In other words, this restraint is itself an act of selfless love.

Singing in the choir helps them channel and release some of that emotion. So it moves us very greatly, because only then do we see the value of such restraint - and what it has cost them.

What stirs us also is the power of people to be transformed. The ability to overcome problems or disadvantage and for potential to flower is something we too often forget.
How many of us were once also told, for example, that we were tone-deaf and couldn't sing for toffee, just like some of these military wives - and have always assumed that was so?

Yet Gareth Malone refused to accept such judgments on themselves by these women. Everyone can sing, he said. And so  they did.

In so many ways, society today programmes us to despair, to assume not that we 'can do', but that we can't.

Poor people at the bottom of the social heap tend to be the most fatalistic, believing they have been dealt a bad hand by fate and unable to see how they can possibly lift themselves out of disadvantage.

Vast welfare bureaucracies and armies of well-meaning voluntary organisations all think they are helping such people. In fact, so often they do no more than pick up the pieces and try to mitigate the worst effects of criminal behaviour, drug abuse, poverty and the like.

Yet with a different attitude, such people can very often be helped to transform themselves. It all depends on somehow making them believe they can do it, that they actually have the wherewithal deep inside them.

Gareth Malone possesses precisely that transformative quality. And yes, it  is exceptional.  

But there are actually many who also possess it - inspirational teachers, for example, or those who have transformed slum neighbourhoods gripped by depression and inertia into orderly and thriving communities. And there are undoubtedly still more who have such a gift, but don't know that they do.  

The reason for the success of The Choir and its unexpected chart-topper is surely that they have inspired unaccustomed feelings of hope and optimism and pride in values that are rooted in British identity - feelings being beaten out of us by all those sour nay-sayers and professional malcontents who have such British values in their cross-hairs.  

Britain sometimes seems to be sliding beneath the weight of its own depression and sense of inexorable decline.  

Here's a New Year hope - that Gareth Malone's choir is a turning point which will inspire the whole nation to sing instead.

Monday, December 19, 2011

TEBOW values

What  strikes me is that Tim Tebow befriended this woman. Most men would avoid her and repel simply because they would fear being jeered and derided for being with someone that has these impairments.

Tebow just added to my regard for him. Plus, I am betting that he sees a gift from God here in this woman.

Dec 18, 2011

DENVER -- For the first time in seven days, each of which I spent in Denver because of Tim Tebow's polarizing impact on the NFL, the Broncos' quarterback and I finally had the chance to exchange more than the daily salutations I'd come to expect from the overbearing nature of Tebowmania.
We walked toward the exit -- among the last to leave the locker room after a 41-23 loss to the Patriots on Sunday -- as I began to ask the first of what I hoped would be a series of questions.
"How is the strength of your faith impacted after a loss?" I started.
"It puts things in perspective," Tebow said. "God is still God. I still have a relationship with Christ, and a loss doesn't change anything. Win or lose, everything is still the same. What matters is the girl I'm about to see, Kelly Faughnan. If I can inspire hope in someone, then it's still a good day."

DEC 2009

Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow didn’t win any of the awards at the ESPNU CollegeFootball Awards in Lake Buena Vista, Florida Thursday night, but he still managed to garner some positive publicity with his date selection.

20-year-old Kelly Faughnan of Clifton, Virginia was diagnosed with a brain tumor just prior to Thanksgiving 2008 and underwent surgery in December. The huge Florida Gators fan was at Disney World this week and was hoping she would catch a glimpse of Tebow, who she knew would be in attendance at the awards show. According to NBC Sports, the couple met Wednesday and Tim Tebow made the decision to bring her to the College Football Awards as his date.
“I was really touched,” Tebow told NBC.
OK, that was pretty cool. Here are some more not-so-great pictures of the “couple:”

PROOF-The Feds did the O K City Bombing

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hawaii Five NO ignorant of Pearl Harbor Dec 7

Sunday, December 11, 2011

101 Warrior Thoughts

From a 30 year Mustang Marine

      101 Warrior Thoughts

          1. Never accept an officer as competent based on his source of commission.

          2. Your right to influence the battlefield is diminished in ratio to the

          distance you are from the actual arena of action.

          3. The battlefield selects its own Generals. No school or board can replace


          4. Never call fire on your own troops, unless you stand among them.

          5. Leaders are indeed born and no military school can provide what God did


          6. Equipment procurement will always be compromised by not only being made by

          the lowest bidder, but by attempting to make it multi-functional.

          7. Attempting to lighten the warrior's load by diminishing the weight of any

          given weapon, will always result in shorter range and less firepower.

          8. Excellent staff officers rarely make good battlefield commanders.

          9. Outstanding commanders will surround themselves with excellent staff


          10. Never make command a reward for good staff work.

          11. Discipline began its decline with the demise of the swagger stick and

          centralized promotion boards.

          12. Outstanding NCO's may make good officers. But, rarely will a riffed

          officer make a good NCO.

          13. Atheists will never be trusted by their troops on the battlefield.

          14. Women can do many things men do, except for a few days every month.

          15. Going through the change, has nothing to do with the female senior

          officer's uniform.

          16. Sexual harassment is a two-lane road.

          17. Troops tell the truth about good and bad commanders. Their opinion is

          the ultimate evaluation of an officer.

          18. No commander was ever hated for being too hard. But, many are detested

          for trying to cultivate that image, without substance.

          19. The maximum effective range of any weapon is that range at which the

          individual Warrior can hit his target and not an inch further.

          20. Pretty females rarely feel harassed by male counterparts.

          21. Plain-looking female soldiers are usually the best performers and fit in.

          22. Endurance should be judged on the bayonet assault course and not on a

          marathon run.

          23. How far troops can run in shorts is unimportant, compared to how far

          they can speed march with full equipment.

          24. Pregnant females are overweight soldiers. Thus, the US Army Weight

          Control program is not based on equal enforcement of the rules.

          25. Tears on the cheeks of any Marine, regardless of gender, are only

          acceptable on the death of a relative or comrade and when "Old Glory" passes


          26. Pregnancy is self-inflicted, thus abortions should be paid for by the

          soldier, as a non line of duty procedure.

          27. Marines are not 'sent into combat," they are led.

          28. Your worth as an officer should never be judged on how well you ran with

          a football in college.

          29. West Point is a place of learning, as is Annapolis, Quantico, the Air Force Academy and

          any college. Both produce two types of officer; Good and Bad.

          30. The computer will never be able to judge the content of a Marine's

          spirit, as his Sergeant can.

          31. Esprit De Corps cannot be attained at the Battalion picnic or Sports Day.

          It must be instilled by good leadership and belief in one's fellow Marines.

          32. No new weapon or tactic will ever instill the same fear in the enemy that

          one Marine with a bayonet can.

          33. He who drinks at lunch is a drunken soldier in the afternoon.

          34. No soldier is so smart that his physical deficiencies can be overlooked

          in the Infantry.

          35. Painting rocks and serving drinks to officers, have never been soldierly

          functions. And golf is not a required skill for officers.

          36. Consolidation of all administrative personnel at battalion level has

          eroded accountability and proper reporting.

          37. Anyone who thinks that future battlefields will not contain Infantrymen

          knows nothing about war.

          38. Indecision kills more troops than any wrong decision. One can command

          his way out of a wrong decision.

          39. The only mission of the Infantry is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy.

          "Humanitarian Missions" are someone else's job.

          40. Only the Infantry and Armor can gain ground. Only the Infantry can hold

          it alone.

          41. Special Forces are not Rangers or Light Infantry and should never be

          employed as such.

          42. Rangers are light infantry and are not Special Forces.

          43. Victory is not a limited objective. There is no other reason to engage an

          enemy, except victory.

          44. Never shower or apply after-shave and cologne, forty eight hours prior to

          a night attack.

          45. Sweat is the true lubricant of the Infantry fighting machine.

          46. No American Warrior can be managed to victory. He must be led.

          47. The only color in the U.S. military ground forces is green.

          48. Use of chemical weapons and biological weapons are a crime against


          49. Not training your troops to protect themselves from them is a crime

          against your own troops.

          50. Any tactic written in a book is known to your enemies.

          51. If short hair is truly a matter of hygiene and discipline, then all

          troops must have it.

          52. No member of a soldier's family is more important than the mission.

          53. No warrior can accomplish his mission if the government neglects his family.

          54. Any soldier who sleeps with another soldier's wife or lover cannot be

          trusted on the battlefield and should be shunned.

          55. Officers are more likely to wear unauthorized awards than any NCO or


          56. Any officer who claims he is accepting an individual award for the entire

          unit should allow his soldiers to wear it.

          57. There can be no quota for awards.

          58. Any award for Valor is of more value to the Marines than any school diploma

          or certification.

          59. Heroism cannot be taught. But, cowardice is a communicable disease.

          60. The machine gun is too important a weapon to be used as a tool for

          punishing poor soldiers.

          61. Precision weapons will jam, if the Commander demands communal cleaning.

          62. No officer should be given a command, because, he needs one for his


          63. No officer should be denied a command, because, he already had one.

          64. The state of the military can be evaluated by how its men look in

          uniform, at any airport in the world.

          65. No reporter can be trusted with operational plans. A reporter who reveals

          operational plans is a traitor to his country.

          66. A combat veteran of any war should be respected by all trooops.

          67. American troops do not lose wars. Leaders lose wars.

          68. What a fighter saw with his own eyes, cannot be ignored or changed by

          higher headquarters.

          69. If Special Forces are not assigned strategic missions, they are being


          70. The "Hummer" is a vehicle and is the only thing of that name allowed in

          the Infantry.

          71. If you wish to learn about guerrilla warfare, study Francis Marion and

          not Westmoreland or Giap.

          72. The one night you don't dig in, will bring mortars on your position.

          73. Taking the easy way will always get you killed.

          74. Blank ammunition has no place in Infantry training.

          75. The more you restrict Infantrymen possessing live ammunition, the more

          accidents you will have.

          76. The Air Force and Navy are supporting arms.

          77. Intelligence Officer is usually a contradiction in terms.

          78. Inclement weather is the true Infantryman's ally.

          79. There is no special duty so important, that it takes the Infantryman

          away from his squad.

          80. Commanders who use the "Off Limits" authority to deny sex to combat

          troops will have a high V.D. rate.

          81. A Commander's morals are his own and cannot be imposed on his men.

          82. Chaplains must present themselves when the soldier has time, not because

          they have a schedule.

          83. An officer must be judged on his ability and not on how many coffees his

          wife has attended.

          84. Senior officers who allow discussions about a brother officer, not

          present, are not honorable men.

          85. A Commander who bad-mouths his predecessor will never be truly respected.

          86. Equal opportunity is guaranteed by the law and does not require a separate


          87. If a Sergeant Major suggests a unit watch, he is the supplier.

          88. The quality of food went down, with the initiation of the consolidated


          89. No NCO or Warrant Officer outranks a Second Lieutenant.

          90. Any officer who does not listen to NCO's and Warrant Officers is a fool.

          91. If you wish your subordinates to call you by your first name, go sell

          shoes. There is no place for you in the Marines.

          92. Any Army man who sneers at a Marine for being sharp and well turned out

          is no soldier.

          93. Any Infantryman who must call higher headquarters before engaging the
enemy has a fool for a commander.

          94. Warriors respect leaders worth emulating. They cannot be "ordered" to

          respect anyone.

          95. No man who refused to serve his country in war should be elected or

          appointed over men and women being sent to fight.

          96. The Warrior must obey the orders of all those elected or appointed over


          97. The "leadership genes" in famous American military families usually

          become weaker as the generations roll by.

          98. A Veteran should not be denied the right to wear his uniform anywhere in America,

          including The White House.

          99. The only truly unique headgear is the one the Army was forced to

          authorize. All others are cheap copies.

          100. There is only one reason to join the Marines and that is to fight and serve the


          101. If a Marine or soldier says he hates combat, he is in the wrong profession.