Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Art of James Dietz


I found the following article at and was interested enough to look for James Dietz's website. I was impressed with the quality of Mr. Dietz's art and pleased with his subject matter. You should give his site a look. You won't be disappointed.

Dietz Painting Portrays 82nd Soldiers in Battle

Army News Service Sgt. Mike Pryor September 25, 2006Ft. Bragg, N.C. -

At a time when many Soldiers carry digital cameras on patrols and raw footage from combat is downloadable off the Internet, using oil paint, brushes and a canvas to tell the story of battle might seem like an outdated approach.

Fans of painter James Dietz would disagree.Over the past 20 years, Dietz’ paintings have been commissioned by more than a dozen Army organizations to commemorate military campaigns and battles stretching from the Revolutionary War to the war on terrorism.

In a sense, an event hasn’t truly been captured for posterity until it has been rendered in a Dietz painting.“His paintings freeze a piece of history,” said Master Sgt. Robert Karnas of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

During a Sept. 22 ceremony at BCT headquarters, Dietz officially presented his new painting, “Bridges of Freedom: Task Force Falcon Liberates As Samawah,” which portrays members of 2nd Brigade during a 2003 battle in Iraq that won the brigade the Presidential Unit Citation.

“You captured a moment in time that we can all reflect on, and for that we owe you a debt of gratitude,” said brigade commander, Col. B. Don Farris, during the presentation.Afterwards, Dietz spent several hours signing prints for paratroopers who purchased a reproduction of the painting.

In terms of his art, Dietz said his goal was not 100 percent historical accuracy but to capture the emotion of the moment and portray it on canvas. “It may not be totally what it looked like but it’s what it felt like, and if I can capture that then I know I’m on the right track,” Dietz said.

Dietz said he relies on the input of Soldiers from the units who commission his paintings to help him make the paintings as true to what really happened as possible.“I depend on the unit and the people in it to tell me, ‘This is what it looked like and this is what it felt like,’” he said.

Many Soldiers who waited in line to have Dietz sign their prints of agreed that he had captured in a single image the raw essence of a battle that lasted days.

For Sgt. 1st Class Santos Cavasos and Sgt. 1st Class Donald McAlister, who fought in the battle portrayed in the painting, seeing Dietz’ version seemed to bring back a flood of memories.

“Remember how the rounds were coming right over our heads?” asked Mcalister.“Remember when I fell in that artillery hole?” Cavasos countered.“We’re always telling people, ‘See that guy in the picture? That’s me,’” McAlister said.

Then he stared at his print quietly for moment. “It’s cool, man. We were there,” he said finally.

Monday, September 25, 2006

From the Mel Gibson World Headquarters in Malibu, California

Mel Gibson World Headquarters Building

I really like Mel. I have a great deal of respect for him and think that, he has acted in and directed some very good movies. But, I lost some of that repect, that I have held for Mel, when he sucked up to Liberal Hollywood with this comment:
"What's human sacrifice," he asked, "if not sending guys off to Iraq for no reason?"
That comment makes me want to pick up a phone and call this number:

These signs are located throughout Malibu for your convenience and safety.

'Scuse me while I kiss this guy!

Purple rage all in my brain
Lately things just don't seem the same
Actin' funny, but I don't know why
'Scuse me while I kiss this guy!
(As sung by Bill Clinton after the Chris Wallace interview. My apologies to Jimi Hendrix)
Since, I'm sure that this story (the Chris Wallace/Prez Clinton interview) is all over the blogosphere, I'll reserve comment to this: I am disappointed in Bill Clinton's un-Presidential behavior and his intimidating, menacing attitude in response to Wallace's questions. I am also disapponted in Matt Lauer's lack of respect for the office of the President, when he interviewed President Bush in the White House.

Two reporters, one respectful, the other not. Two Presidents, one respectful, the other not. Confirmation of why I watch Fox News and support President Bush.

Yeah, right.

Said Mira Agustina (last November): "My husband was kidnapped by America but they never officially told us ... for more than three years. I don't believe that my husband was a terrorist. He is only an ordinary man who cried when he watched movies about violence."

"But a top security consultant in Indonesia, Ken Conboy, told The Associated Press last year that al-Farouq joined al-Qaida in the early 1990s and trained in Afghanistan for three years before unsuccessfully trying to enroll at a flight school in the Philippines so he could commandeer an airplane on a suicide mission.

He later plotted to stage car and truck bombings at U.S. embassies across Southeast Asia on or near the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but the plan was thwarted and he was captured, Conboy said."

The Rest of the Story.
A Related Story.

British authorities announced today that Ms. Agustina's husband, Omar al-Farouq, was shot and killed in a raid on his home in Basra. I am so sorry to see this misunderstood and much maligned gentleman go.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Flying the Country's Flag in California

I've just returned from two months in Los Angeles, where I was reminded that we are all residents of the United States and not just residents of Red or Blue states. Here are pictures I took in Southern California that should remind us all that our country's colors are Red, White and Blue. My compliments to the people of California for their love of country, the pleasant reminder that we are all patriots and for their generous and kind hospitality during my stay.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering September 11th

If I Knew

This is why you should always say I love YOU....

I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance
to say our "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you're waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you'll surely regret the day,

That you didn't take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you'll always hold them dear

Take time to say "I'm sorry,"
"Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes,
you'll have no regrets about today.

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