Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Moving Day

This site has been moved and revived with a slightly different perspective. You can find my latest ramblings at www.Where-I-Stand.com


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Need Help

I'm looking for someone in the Phoenix area who would be willing to help me by inspecting and possibly picking up and moving a trailer across town.


Monday, November 09, 2009

Veterans Day

To each of you who have served before and those who continue to serve today. Thank you for your sacrifice in preserving liberty for another day and may our nation continue to be worth the price paid.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coming out

For the past year I have been working for an organization that prohibits me from discussing much about my work. Based on that and the rather redundant work I have been doing, I have not been active here. I have not been completely inactive. I have been preparing a campaign for public office within the state of Utah.

Utah is in pretty good shape overall but I have never been someone to sit on the sidelines when good work needed to be accomplished and I have observed that my local state Senate district is in need of better representation so that is where I will begin. I have given this a great deal of consideration over the past few years and have decided that now is the time to act.

This requires me to make a significant change in my online image. For years I have managed to maintain a level of anonymity by keeping my real name and photos off the internet but, suddenly, I must be out there like the morning sunrise. So, without any further fanfare, you can find out all about me at www.votefidler.org.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


Stop using my tax dollars to reinforce failure!


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Election Day

I did this myself just three months ago back at home; it was significantly different here. The elections in Mosul, currently the hottest spot in Iraq, had all the makings of an exciting day but from everything I saw and heard, the day has been a peaceful one.

Our escort for the day was a squad of Texas based MPs in the Army Reserve and I must say that they were the most pleasant MPs I have worked with. OK, so every other time I associated with MPs they were writing me a ticket, but these guys were true professionals. They were more than courteous and are a fine example of the men and women that wear our nation's uniforms. Speaking of women, I don't work with them much in the Special Forces so I found it quite a novelty to hear our driver squeal, "Oh, that blond baby is so cute!"

I was stuffed in the back of an MRAP and heading out the gate at first light for a one hour drive east of Mosul. The anticipation was thick because we knew we were about to observe another historic election. The ride was smooth and much of it was on fresh asphalt. We passed countless shops and stores with only a few open and also a large open air market with nothing but a couple of donkeys present. The vehicle curfew made the election a holiday.

The first polling station we visited was at a school in a small village. The building was a concrete and block structure that was scarred from years of use, dirt, insects, and little maintenance. The building and its condition was nothing new to me; most of the world attends school or lives in buildings just like this. They gave me a shock when I first saw them in Uganda back in '92 but now I accept it for the way it is and only occasionally sigh and hope that someday things will be different.

As international observers, we received a warm welcome and were given a guided tour by the site manager. We first passed a perimeter of integrated Iraqi and Peshmerga forces and then through an Iraqi Police check point were all voters were searched. A sign on the wall clearly indicated that weapons, cameras, cell phones, and smoking were prohibited beyond that point.

Inside, white cordon tape with blue writing directed voters to a series of classrooms. It became evident that the village was divided into precincts and each precinct had a separate room to vote in. Each of these rooms had someone to check IDs against a voter list, another used a stamp to validate a ballot and issue it to the voter, and two or three cardboard stands about 5 ½ feet tall for the voter to stand behind while marking the ballot. Once the ballot was marked, the voter approached a table with a large, clear plastic bin, dipped their finger in a bottle of purple ink – to ensure they didn't vote again – and dropped their ballot in a slot in the top of the bin. Meanwhile, a collection of representatives from interested political parties observed the process. Some rooms had more than a dozen political observers.

Each of the locations we visited was very similar with only a few exceptions. Each had women with children clinging tightly to their mother's hands staring apprehensively at the large crowds. Each had voters enter with confused looks being directed by poll workers who, while early in the day also looked a little confused, soon became confident and helpful. One poll worker pointed proudly to a name on his list and said, "This man was born in 1914, and today, he voted for the first time in his life."

While I finish this, the polls are about to close and I have still not heard of any attacks at any of the polling stations. The crowds could almost be called festive with the only exception some displaced Iraqis who did not have the proper identification or were not on the registered voter lists. If the area they call the hottest spot in Iraq is any indication of what is happening throughout the rest of the county, they will have a record turnout with all ethnic groups and regions participating and Iraq will have its first government that truly represents the people.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Elections in Iraq

It is day 9 of A New Hope and someone forgot to tell the rest of the world. AQI definitely doesn't seem to care.

"BAGHDAD (AFP) – Al-Qaeda remains a threat to this weekend's elections in Iraq, a senior army commander warned on Tuesday, as his American counterpart said violence could erupt when the results are announced."

The rest of that here.

Meanwhile, in the region I am working this week, they are not exactly expecting peace and plenty.

The streets of Baghdad were wallpapered in campaign signs when I left there the other day and this looks like the first election that has the support of all major ethnic groups so the results should provide a proper balance of political power that reflects the actual population. We'll just have to wait and see how the details play out. Stick around and I'll let you know.

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