Friday, June 30, 2006


Fools of the Week: Those on the extreme left who view the ruling of the Supreme Court yesterday on the Hamdan case as a slap to the President and his administration.

Yesterday, in a many paged ruling, the Supreme Court ruled the military commission set up by the Pentagon to try Hamdan wa not authorized by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So now the members of Congress will craft legislation granting the "Executive Branch the authority to ensure that terriorists can be tried by competent military commissions. Working together, Congress and the administration can draft a fair, suitable, and constitutionally permissable tribunal statute." So said Senator Lindsay Graham and Jon Kyl after the opinion was made public.

The moonbats rushing to the microphones to claim this is some big slap in the face to the administration, the usual suspects, are embarrassingly wrong. Senator Teddy (murderer of aides) and House Minority Leader Nancy (San Fran Nan) Pelosi were both guilty of this. For whom are they rooting? The terrorists who certainly don't give any legal means to the men and women they capture on the battlefield? An example that pops into my mind is Daniel Pearl. What kind of protections were granted to him before he was beheaded? And filmed while he was beheaded?

The Supreme Court did not say Gitmo must be closed. It did not say the military commissions can not be continued. It did not say the prisoners must be released. It simply said that the Executive Branch must have the legislation from congress to proceed. What's the big score for the defeatist left? Even Hamdan's own attorney, Neal Katyal, said he did not view the ruling as a "rebuke" to the administration. He said it speaks to the superiority of our justice system. I agree with him. Now when these animals are tried and justice is served, the countries claiming pity for the poor things will not have anything to whine about.

The interesting thing is that now the moonbats must either vote in favor of the upcoming legislation or cast a vote seen as favoring the Islamo-Facists over their own country. Surely they want to be seen as taking seriously the obligation to keep Americans safe in this country, including their own families and themselves. Again, they will be shown for the silly, unserious people they are, still unworthy of the votes of the American public to regain the majority on capitol hill.

Works for me.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Seasoned Women

Here we are, almost the end of the week. Ready for a long 4th of July weekend. Hubby has a full five days off, beginning tomorrow as it is his Friday not to have to go into the office, and no work Monday for the holiday. I have several projects for him to attend to while he's around the house, that's for sure.

I am watching the welcoming ceremony at the White House for Japan's Prime Minister Koizumi. Is this guy cool or what? First, any visitor asking for a trip to Graceland is ok by me. He's been a guest at Camp David and at Prairie Chapel Ranch so you know he's big buds with the president. I just like him. And his semi-hippie hair is cool, too.

Now, you know I am way over Oprah. I have very little use for her but now I am disgusted to read that I must purchase the new issue of her stupid "O" Magazine. Why? Well, there is to be an interview with Harper Lee published in it. How can I not read that? Ms. Lee hasn't published anything since 1983, which was a book review. She is to discuss how she became a reader as a child in rural Alabama during the Depression. The issue is billed as Oprah's "special summer reading issue", so there you go. She is 80 years old now and it will be interesting to read what she has to say.

And about another interesting old woman - last night on tv we saw a little news story on the birthday of a woman celebrating her 103rd year on this earth. Yikes! What did she ask for as her gift? A stripper! I'm not kidding. She wanted something along the lines of a Chippendale guy but the senior's home got her a dancer dressed up in a gorilla's costume. It was all a bit bizarre, but she looked great for 103 and appeared to be perfectly lucid.

We should all be so lucky.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

That's A Lot Of Dough

Today's brew: Starbuck's House Blend. I'm going to have to make tomorrow's pot a bit stronger as today's isn't getting the job done.

Who would place an order from a local bakery for 238 loaves of stone-ground honey whole wheat bread? Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Why? The circus is coming to town July 14-23 for a whopping 17 performances and the bread is given to the elephants as a reward for doing tricks. Wow, who knew? The elephants are the bakery's biggest customers. The order is very specific, too. The elephants must receive 119 loaves of unsliced and wrapped bread in plastic bags, top quality, only, according to Jim Ashpole, the owner of Stone Mill Bakery. This must be ready for deovery on July 13 and a duplicate order ready for delivery July 18. The loaves cost $3.75 each. They weigh 2.2 lbs each, so that's a lot of dough.

I'm with the elephants, a great bread is a wonderful treat.

I took our son to the circus a couple of years when he was small. He outgrew it all fairly quickly, though. I still have a souvenir mug from one of our excursions. I use it as a utensil holder next to my stovetop.

On a sadder note, Eddie the dog has died. You remember the old show, "Frasier", right? I still love watching the re-runs on late night tv. I think Kelsey Grammer shines in that role. Anyway, the dog's real name was Moose and he was one cute Jack Russell terrier. He was 16 1/2 years old and he died at his trainer's house. The trainer saved him from the pound where he was taken when his original owners could not handle the mischievous behavior of Jack Russells. That dog gave me many laughs. He found his calling!

And on a political note, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the question of legality of the re-districting the state did under the guidance of Tom DeLay. A couple of districts may have their borders re-drawn but no big deal there. Whining democrats, losers again. Elections have consequences.

"We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude." - Charles Swindoll

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

All The Secrets Fit To Publish

Sad news story out of small town Missouri about the Elks Club roof collasping and the injuries and deaths. The building was over 100 years old. The Elks were initiating new members and the Exulted Ruler was one who was killed. I was thinking of my father in law, who was an Elk and a Mason. He reached the highest levels of membership. Every day at lunch time he headed out to the Elks Club to eat lunch with his circle of friends. Every day, it was his week time routine. These social/service clubs are an important ingredient for small towns and cities. Or at least they were in the heyday of my father and my father in law. My parents' generation used these memberships as a form of self-identity. As a rule, my father scorned most club memberships, even going so far as to ask my sisters and me not to join a sorority at college as they were elitist in nature. He was, however, a member of the Kiwanis and used it as a vehicle for community service.

My husband began the process of joining the Elks Club in his hometown when we were newly married as a way of bonding with his father. He joined the lodge in his hometown but wasn't active. My generation hasn't continued on in the tradition of their fathers, as a rule, as many of these lodges are suffering from the lack of new members to keep them operating. I guess we baby boomers tend to go our own way doing community service. Also, I think since we are such a transient society now, many traditional ways of life have suffered the toll.

My father was a Korean War veteran and my father in law was a veteran of World War II. I wonder what they would think of the current debate concerning today's press and the first amendment. The New York Times once again exposed a secret program used in our war against Islamic fanatics hell bent on destroying us and our way of life. Yes, other newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, followed suit. The New York Times, however, was in the lead at breaking the story and it was their reporters. You remember Lichtblau and Risen, don't you? The same pair that won the Pulitizer Prize for exposing the NSA surveillance program to the world. Yeah, thanks again, guys.

Many people were called upon to discourage the New York Times to abandon their plan to run the story. People from both political parties and all kinds of opinions were called upon by the administration to reason with the unreasonable Bill Keller. The co-chairs of the 9/ll commission asked him not to publish the story. Members of the intelligence committees in congress who were briefed on the program asked him not to publish the story. Cabinent members asked him not to publish the story. Keller claims it is the public's right to know that motivated him to ignore these people and go ahead with publishing the story. What an incredibly arrogant man with the sole purpose of moving ahead with his own personal agenda, which is venting hatred towards the current administration.

Over and over again we have been told that dots must be connected in the pursuit of the terrorists. National policy has changed from prosecutorial in nature to preventative actions. This is a good thing and it will take time to fully implement. It's all about taking the fight to the enemy and not allowing threats to thrive in this country. Keller knows the world is watching us and reading our publications but it doesn't matter to him. This is the same man who thinks leakers are entitled to secrecy, just not national security policies. And, yes, I'll say it - in a time of war. When the security of an alleged covert CIA agent, who wasn't covert at all, was in jeopardy in the mind of Mr. Keller's newspaper, well, he was screaming from the rooftop for investigations and a special counsel. The security of American soldiers and the American population? Nevermind.

This letter was published on Power Line's blog from Lt. Tom Cotton in Baghdad. This is what the soldier's think of Bill Keller and his treasonous acts:

Dear Messrs. Keller, Lichtblau & Risen:
Congratulations on disclosing our government's highly classified anti-terrorist-financing program (June 23). I apologize for not writing sooner. But I am a lieutenant in the United States Army and I spent the last four days patrolling one of the more dangerous areas in Iraq. (Alas, operational security and common sense prevent me from even revealing this unclassified location in a private medium like email.)

Unfortunately, as I supervised my soldiers late one night, I heard a booming explosion several miles away. I learned a few hours later that a powerful roadside bomb killed one soldier and severely injured another from my 130-man company. I deeply hope that we can find and kill or capture the terrorists responsible for that bomb. But, of course, these terrorists do not spring from the soil like Plato's guardians. No, they require financing to obtain mortars and artillery shells, priming explosives, wiring and circuitry, not to mention for training and payments to locals willing to emplace bombs in exchange for a few months' salary. As your story states, the program was legal, briefed to Congress, supported in the government and financial industry, and very successful.

Not anymore. You may thnk you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here. Next time I hear that familiar explosion -- or next time I feel it -- I will wonder whether we could have stopped that bomb had you not instructed terrorists how to evade our financial surveillance.

And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others -- laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.

Very truly yours,
Tom Cotton
Baghdad, Iraq

Any questions?

"The exposure of this program is disgraceful." - President George W. Bush

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's Hard Being A Goat

Poor Billy. Billy the goat is a military mascot for the British army. He's a "ceremonial" pet goat and marches in military parades and attends formal ceremonies. At the ripe old age of 6, Billy has fallen into disgrace after his last official performance. The Queen of England celebrates her 80th birthday this year and on a British army base in Cyprus, during a birthday celebration and march, Billy darted back and forth from side to side, throwing the soldiers off their stride. Afterwards the decision was made to demote Billy. Yeah, that's right. The goat has a military rank. For his poor performance before a bunch of dignitaries during the parade, Billy was demoted from the rank of lance corporal to fusilier - the same status as private- and soldiers are no longer expected to salute him as a sign of respect.

I can't make this stuff up.

Updating the recent history of decision making by the Presbyterian Church's leadership, now the decision has been made to "revise" the 2 year old policy on Mideast investments. Now Presbyterian holdings will be invested in Israeli and Palestinian territory "in peaceful pursuits." The official statement of the church urges an end to terror against both Israelis and Palestinians. That's more like it.

The Presbyterian Church has a ban on homosexual ministers, yet the national assembly last week voted to let local bodies have homosexuals serve as clergy and lay officers is they so wish. I didn't realize there was an official policy one way or the other. The Presbyterians are one of the more liberal under the Protestant religions umbrella, second only to Episcopalians in my opinion, so this decision was interesting. Apparently in 1997 the church passed a measure that said ministers must practice fidelity if married and chastity if single and this was suppose to handle the whole homosexual question. Whatever. A vote was also taken concerning abortion. Again, I didn't know there is an official policy outside of traditional bible teaching. The Assembly voted to establish abortion is ok up to the point where the baby is viable outside the womb. I'm a pro-choice woman, but I don't know what point that would mean. I say establish your position and stick with it, I don't like all this wishy-washy stuff. Trying to appease everyone doesn't make for good church policy.

Saturday night we watched an excellent program on the Discovery Times Channel. "Guests of the Ayatollah" is the title of the new book by Mark Bowden, author also of "Blackhawk Down". This program went through the history of what is now known as the first battle with militant Islam. President Carter's ultimate disgrace of the 444 days American hostages were held in Tehran at the American Embassy and the attempted rescue by Delta Force. Eight soldiers were killed in the desert from an aircraft collision and the Iranians paraded the dead bodies before cameras shown worldwide. The program had interviews with members of Delta Force as well as Bowden. I am looking forward to reading the book.

The new president of Iran was one of those involved in the hostage taking back in 1979. Bowden makes the point that we know who we are dealing with here. History repeats itself.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday Evening

I went out to the grocery store a little while ago and good Lord, it is hot out there. I came home and took off my clothes and put on a sleepshirt before I even put the groceries away.

The Barefoot Contessa's crumble was pretty good. Frankly I think I can do as good with the homemade version I make. The crumble topping box comes with two portions of the mix so I will use the second bag on another filing I normally use. Something from the baking aisle like fruit pie filling and it won't be 1/4 of the price of Ina's. It was worth the experiment, though.

Tonight I'm grilling steaks on the George Foreman. I'm not leaving the air conditioning again. Baked potaotes, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, celery and radishes will round out the dinner. I'm keeping it simple. Leftover crumble for dessert.

I read today an account of a speech John Murtha, the senator from Pennsylvania that is above reproach since he's a veteran, gave in Florida over the weekend. He claimed the U.S. is the biggest threat to peace now that we are delivering freedom to Iraq. Interesting take on reality, I'd say. Perhaps he didn't hear the press conference given by President Bush and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel last week as the president attended the European conference there. President Bush was asked by a journalist what he thought of a poll taken in Europe with results stating the U.S. was a bigger threat to world peace than Iran or N. Korea. President Bush replied, "That's absurd". Good response. Then, though, interestingly enough the Austrian Chancellor rose with a passionate defense that looked to even surprise President Bush. He said, "I think it's grotesque to say that America is a threat to the peace in the world compared with North Korea, Iran, a lot of countries. Europe would not enjoy peace and prosperity if not for U.S. help after World War II. We should be fair from the other side of the Atlantic. We should unterstand what September 11 meant to the American people."

Thank you.

A prayer for summer:
Lord, help me to rest a while in the cooling shade of your presence. Slow down my restless heart and fill me with gentle compassion for all your people. Amen.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Crumble's in the Oven, Let's Chat

This is a lovely, quiet Saturday around here at chez moi. I am taking full advantage of it, too. Enjoyed the Hawaiian blend coffee this morning after sleeping in a bit. I am up at least twice a night any more so it seems normal. Hubby was up at 4:00 and stayed up. He had to go have a little nap a bit ago! He's busy with the swimming pool today. It's always something.

The other day I was in a grocery store I really like but rarely patronize. It's a little pricey for ordinary shopping. You don't want to stock up for the week there, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Anyway, being a beacon of yuppiedom, it is a fun trip and I love to see what's new. They had a big display out featuring products of The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I love her show on the Food Network. She and I share the same attitude, make good food but don't get all stressed out doing it. I purchased her Berry Cherry Filling and her Oatmeal Spice Crumble Topping. It's in the oven now. I'll let you know how it turns out.

My husband is watching Star Trek, as he does at every possible time. It seems to be on 24 hours a day. It's the original series he watched as a teenager. I do love my nerd husband, I think nerds make great husbands. I told my son when he goes to choose a life partner, he should go for intelligence. Yeah, he loves my advice!

Well, the media is asked not to call the Miami 7 terror suspects "Muslims". The Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, the group founded by HAMAS, is especially pleased with the U.S. Dept of Justice refusing to describe the terrorists as Muslims. CAIR spokesman Ahmed Bedier thanked Alex Acosta, U.S. Attorney, for noting "today's not against a particular group or a particlular faith." O.K. So, don't call 7 young men professing conversion to Islam "Muslims". This is as irritating as the local news reports that no longer refer to criminal suspects as black or white or green or purple. How stupid is it to describe someone being hunted by police without describing skin color?

Today the theme by those not particularly interested in keeping the country safe is that these men weren't smart enough to pull off the incident they claimed interest in doing. They claimed they wanted to do something more spectacular than 9/ll and chose the Sears Tower and a federal building in Miami as examples. They claimed loyality to al-Queda to the FBI plant and were trying to obtain weapons and the chemicals used in the Oklahoma City bombing. What should have happened? Just let them continue on and arrest them after they killed? Being pro-active seems the better choice to me. We are to believe our country overstepped. Blame America.

This crowd continues to show the rest of the country why they are not to be trusted with the nation's security.

Taking the crumble out of the oven now...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Two For The Price Of One

It's Friday, the sun's out, what's not to like? Today's brew: Melitta's Hawaiian Estate, Lawa'i Estate. Really tasty.

So, for the Fool of the Week I have two candidates to offer for your opinion. First up, Mark Rosenzweig. Who? Rosenzweig is the ALA councilor-at-large recently ranting on a blog about the scheduling of Laura Bush to be a speaker at the American Library Association's annual conference in New Orleans next week. Her panel has a non-controversial topic : "School Libraries Work: Rebuilding for Learning" in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Her mere presence has the rabid left seething and the hissy fit has begun. As you read the title of her panel's subject you clearly distinguish it is not of a political nature. The problem arises with the fact that in today's academic chambers, the American Library Association has morphed into a far-left organization. Odd, I know, but seems to be so.

I am typing out the text of the rant so that the full effect may be read: Rosenzweig says: "I must, with the weariness and frustration that accompanies the anticipated yet still painful, hereby protest that his event turns our conference into a grand political photo-op for the administration of President George W. Bush, whose administration bears such a heavy responsiblitiy for, among other things of which I will remind you, the debacle of the response to Hurricane Katrina and for its ongoing aftermath. Mrs. Bush is anachronistically called the 'first lady', with the fake gentility which is the hallmark of our provincial cult of the presidency, but what she is, in political fact, regardless of her surfeit of - to me - rather cloying charm and her much publicized attachment to libraries as the no-political-downside way of demonstrating Bush administration largesse, is the First Supporter of President Bush and one his most valuable public-relations assets. ... She supports virtually every policy of her husband's administration - tax cuts for the rich, the destruction of Social Security and Medicare, the privatization of public lands, the hand-outs to corporations, the support for the plundering by Big Oil, the covering for the abuses of the blockade of Cuba and the threats to Latin America, the nuclear saber-rattling, the USA Patriot Act, covert domestic surveillance, the attacks on the Bill of Rights and the entire Constitution, the flaunting of international law, and, let's not forget, 'Gitmo' and Abu Ghraib and Haditha. When you see her smiling demurely on the platform that we have provided for her and basking in the standing ovation Americans love to give to celebrities, know too that the smirking faces of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld are up there too, and that every clap of the hands and whistle and whoop are taken by them - and by the media who will witness this - as endorsement of their policies and their administration."

WOW! Dude, take a breath. Laura Bush is the First Lady of the United States. She is not a regular celebrity. She supports her husband which I don't think makes her a menace to society. Last I heard, Laura Bush doesn't sit in on cabinet meetings as, say, Rosalyn Carter and Hillary Clinton were known to do, as they truly thought they were "co-Presidents".

Let's talk about personal political agendas : Rosenzweig was an archivist for the "Reference Center for Marxist Studies" in New York. He is an apologist for Fidel Castro and claims Cuba is not a dictatorship, but a republic. He recycles disproved propoganda lies about the Patriot Act, and is a vocal opponent of the War on Terror. The ALA, through their policy-making council has passed resolutions calling for the U.S. to cut and run from Iraq and expresses hostility to the Boy Scouts of America's policies.

Popular speakers at previous ALA conferences? Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Gloria Steinem, Richard Clarke, and E.L. Doctorow. They also featured benefit screenings of "Fahrenheit 9/11". Dissenters are mocked on ALA mailing lists and conference events. The 21st century librarian.

Laura Bush is a former teacher in poor, urban schools in Houston, Austin and Dallas. She holds a Master's degree in Library Science. The ALA is too foolish to be ashamed of what they have become.

And for this week's second mention: our buddy Al Gore. This week Al Gore refused to endorse his former running mate, Joe Leiberman in Leiberman's re-election bid for Senate. He told Bloomberg News that he doesn't get involved in primary races. This, however, wasn't so when he endorsed Howard Dean in the Democrat primary for the 2004 presidental race. Leiberman was also running for president when Gore endorsed Dean. Gore described Lieberman as a "good friend" to Bloomberg News. With friends like old Al, who needs enemies?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh No...They Did?

Sun is out this morning and to show my gratitude I am not even going to complain about the impending onset of humidity with the heat. I'm just happy it's not raining.

The big news last night was the release of a recently declassified document showing that troops in Iraq have found over 500 chemical weapons buried in country. They began finding them in 2003, right after the war began. More will be found as time goes on and the puzzle is solved. The weapons are probably pre-Gulf War munitions but they could still be sold on the black market and used outside Iraq. The weapons are loaded with mustard gas, which is probably not too effective now and with serum gas which is probably still effective.

The rabid left, the "Bush lied" crowd is none too please with this development. They are busy downplaying the discovery and claiming these weren't the weapons of mass destruction the administration was talking about during the run up to the war. Perhaps not, but a weapon is a weapon, isn't it? It is further evidence Saddam never came clean about the chemical weapons he refused to destroy in compliance with the agreement he signed at the conclusion of the first Gulf War. More weapons will be found and the bulk of what supplies Saddam had were moved out of country as the run up to this war happened. Saddam buried complete jets under the sand so weapon stockpiles would be a piece of cake to bury.

It is curious that the administration doesn't willingly produce this discovery to toot its own horn. One thought is that Russia was a willing partner with Saddam to move the stockpiles out of Iraq before the war. The thought goes that the administration doesn't want to make waves with Russia right now. Of course, the administration never thought that the loyal opposition in this country would make the "Bush lied" argument ad nauseum either. I say they should immediately produce the evidence of weapons as soon as they are found. Not that the braying crowd will be satisfied...

It is encouraging that the majority of the Senate democrats are not going along with the likes of John Kerry and Carl Levin and Jack Reed with their cut and run motions on the Senate floor. The votes are today. For a political year with re-elections in the balance, the democrats can't be anti-war (Bush's war, you see) enough. The base of the party demands it. They just don't want the rest of the country to think they are really supporting anything less than a completed mission. The Levin/Reed amendment states it is a "sense" that the senate thinks the troops should be out of Iraq beginning December 31, 2006. "Sense" is a non-binding agreement, not an amendment made into set law. The Kerry amendment, however, would be a law, if signed, and calls for complete withdrawal on July 1, 2007. After the original Kerry amendment was voted down, 93-6, a few days ago, I don't think moving the date by 6 months will do the trick for getting the votes, either. Just as after his Vietnamese service, Kerry is running to the lecturn to discredit the military. Soldiers dying in vain doesn't seem to bother him in the least.

Further baying at the moon as they blame America, Madeleine Albright - not so bright- is bashing the Bush administration for not caving into N. Korea's demands for unilateral talks. Albright's appeasement to N. Korea expedited our current situation but don't trouble yourself with that glaring fact. First the bashers insisted on foreign policy by committee - only acting if there is a large willing coalition. We did that with N. Korea by insisting the neighboring countries conduct the talks - with emphasis on Chinese leadership. Now that the 6 part talks haven't produced much in the way of results, it's time to criticize the administration for not handling the talks alone. Just can't win with the the squishy chorus. It's another example of if you don't stand for principle you'll fall for anything. The short chubby guy in the jumpsuit and crazy hair thinks we'll fall for his nonsense again. All major European leaders have voiced support for our handling of Iran and N. Korea.

Albright thinks otherwise, but N. Korea is not of this administration's making. I listened to a young woman, born in Korea and now living here and working for a think tank in D.C., explain that the blaming of the administration for the problems with the N. Korea weapons pursuits is just wrong. It is N. Korea that is to be held accountable, not the U.S. She was voicing her frustration with the blame America crowd and these people thinking everything lays at the feet of George W. Bush. Appeasement is not an option. N. Korea has yet to abide by an agreement and there is no indication they would begin now.

"9/11 was just a moment for Europe, it was a change of thinking for America." - President George W. Bush, 6/21/06, Vienna, Austria

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

All the World's A Stage

Almost out of the package of the Southern Texas Pecan brew. It is surprisingly good, I have to admit. We stick with non-flavored coffee around here, just the pure taste, and flavor with creamers. Full flavored and strong, or what is the point? Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

I have just finished watching the press conference from Vienna with the President and the EU president and the Austrian president. Interesting. Everyone making nice. I'm guessing everyone wants to join hands with us now that Iran and N. Korea are threatening with missiles and bombs. Europe is a lot closer to them than we are by geography. Funny how that happens.

You'll be happy to know that Cindy Sheehan safely made her way to Vienna to lead a protest against President Bush. She continues to stomp on the memory of her fallen soldier son. This trip was on the heels of her visit to Canada to support the deserters from the war. Did she forget our military is voluntary? Is this the character of Americans you choose to support?

Angelina Jolie, a celebrity rep for the U.N., says "Just because you're a Republican doesn't mean you don't care about children." Wow, how open-minded of her. You mean Republicans don't want bad air, dirty water and old people eating cat food on the street? Who knew? Thanks, Angelina, for that bit of enlightenment. What would we do without celebrity spokespeople for an obsolete international organization with corruption as standard operating procedure?

Now, go adopt another baby and shut up.

One of the two soldiers tortured, mutilated and killed over the weekend in Iraq is from here. Where are the human rights organizations voicing, screaming, protests of such treatment of our soldiers? Are human rights only for those at Camp Gitmo? What about the ministers/political hacks and Jimmy Carter who paid for the full page ad in overseas newspapers calling for the U.S. to end its policy of torture? Nevermind we have no policy of torture. Now the enemy claims proof of the policy, though non-existant. Coincidence that the soldiers were captured, tortured and killed immediately after this ad was published?

Will the ACLU file a lawsuit claiming the separation of church and state was violated when the ministers published the ad?

The difference is crystal clear. Blame America and cut and run, or stand for something and fight for freedom. Dead people don't need human rights. Let's remember that it is appeasement and burying our heads in the sand that brought the attacks of 9/ll to our shores.

The uncle of one of the two men recently killed, the one not from here said"Make them pay." I don't think he'll be advocating for cut and run. The relatives of the young man here admonished the uncle who went on the Today Show to vent his blame America views and declared on Larry King Show that he doesn't speak for the family. They remain proud and supportive of their fallen family member and the mission. God bless them. It is no mistake their soldier turned out as a strong and patriotic young person. Patriotism does matter. Some principles are worth the fight.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former." -Albert Einstein

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tired Tuesday

I think all this rain we have had the past two days is getting to me. I am so sleepy. We have been spared most of it here on the westside of Houston but I sure do feel for the east side and further south. Those poor folks are in a fix.

My church has left me. I was born into the Presbyterian church and we were faithful churchgoers every Sunday as I grew up. We belonged to the First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport, a big church downtown. It shaped my vision of a church for life. I don't feel comfortable in a small church and I won't go to a church that has stadium seating either. I like the nice old-fashion version of big church. And there has to be pretty stained glass in the windows, too. And an old pipe organ in the balcony where the choir sings.

Well, my son does not have the advantage of growing up in one particular church, I am sorry to say. We are sporatic churchgoers at best. He attended Episcopalian based private schools in his pre-high school days so he went to chapel twice a week all those years. Hubby prefers a small church setting. He wants the whole intimacy thing. I want room to breathe.

The past few years we have been quite disgusted with what has happened to the Presbyterian Church at the top leadership levels. The grand poobahs decided to divest funds out of Israel and fully support Palestine. This has lead to a huge divide in the membership of the church.

Now I read in the newspaper that the church's national assembly has decided to re-name the Holy Trinity. They claim the church's theological position will not change, "but provides an educational resource to enhance the spiritual life of our membership". The assembly, according to this article, defeated a conservative bid to refer the paper back for further study. The divine Trinity, commonly known as Father, Son and Holy Spirit can now be known as Mother, Child and Womb or Rock, Redeemer, Friend at some Presbyterian churches. The assembly seeks to add fresh ways ato speak of the "mystery of the triune God and expand the church's vocabulary of praise and wonder."

I could weep. More politically correct, gender inclusive language run amok. If it weren't so sad I would laugh at the fools.

My husband and I were married in the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Bloomington, Indiana. We liked the church and the congregation. The minister was a pleasant, kind woman around our age at the time.

Maybe we should just re-think what religious affiliation we want to be now.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Rainy Day Monday

Today's brew: Duncan Coffee Co.'s Texas Southern Pecan. Duncan is a local Houston coffee company.

My guys and I went out Saturday night for Thai food before going to the theatre. We saw "Mass Appeal" at the local nearby playhouse. It was orginally on Broadway in 1981 and it concerns the universal theme of standing up for someone you believe in. A young man in Seminary is challenged for his past behavior in pre-Seminary days and the Priest in charge of preparing him for service comes around to the loyality of friendship. Yes, it has to do with the gay question, which gets old after a while, but it is a really good, well-written play.

Hubby's assignment in Kazakhstan has been delayed a few days so he is still in town. His visa will come through soon then he'll be off. Work on the oil rig has to be far enough along before he can do his thing.

At least now the weather will be considerably warmer than 40 below like when he was there in December and January.

My front lawn is in desperate need of fertilizer. Hubby purchased the product and replaced the old spreader with a new one but now we have to wait for his return from Kazakhstan. Why? Because he is leary of getting the fertilizer on his shoes from the lawn and then going to the airport and walking thru the new screening machine they have installed at said airport. Bush Intercontinental Airport is one being used to test the new technology that eliminates some of the actual body screening from TSA personnel. Whatever.

Father's Day was quiet around here. Son joined some friends for a visit to a local mall. Then I grilled steaks for dinner. Earlier in the day, hubby had to do a bit of patching on the roof overhang on the side of the house as an upward bent shingle produced a small drip of a leak in the kitchen. I won't bring up the fact that I have been nagging, er, telling hubby about this needed repair for a while now. When it finally produced a leak, then he did the repair. He had the necessary supplies and a basic plan but didn't quite have the motivation thing going before the leak came through.

It's a very rainy Monday today. Later, hopefully during a break in the rain, son and I are heading out to the bookstore to purchase his summer reading for the upcoming AP English course. He'll be reading "Catcher in the Rye". He also wants to read the pre-AP selection, "Death of a Salesman". He's seen the movie and play but wants to get around to reading the book. That's my boy. So, we'll look for that, too.

Plus, if we go to Barnes and Noble, I've got this coupon for a free Frappuccino...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Living on Island Time

A good piece of news you won't hear played up in the dinosaur media - President Bush is a good steward of the earth, after all. Despite Al Gore and Bill Clinton, trying to remain relevant in the news reports decrying how the evil Bush administration is ruining the planet and bringing on the hurricanes, President Bush has designated the largest area ever as a national reserve. It is a marine reserve, a chain of nearly 1,400 miles of the Pacific Ocean, northwest of Hawaii. This is now the largest protected marine reserve in the world.

The reserve is about 100 miles wide and is comprised of a string of uninhabited islands to support more than 7,000 marine species. More than a fourth of these species are found no where else on earth. Who knows, my son a potential future marine biologist may do research there one day.

To further illistrate the size of this reserve, it is nearly 140,000 square miles, the size of Montana and also larger than all the national parks put together. It will surpass the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park of Australia, which has been the largest in the world. Ocean critters and marine birds alike will live a protected life.

This story brings back memories of our trip to Hawaii about 3 years ago. We went during son's spring break from school. So, in March, we were able to take advantage of off-season prices on the hotel. We used frequent flyer miles accumulated by hubby and we went to the Big Island of Hawaii. We chose the Big Island for the diversity of the landscape. It is the island where you can see the rainforest on one side and the volcano fields on the other side. We stayed on the Kona side, the rainforest side.

It was everything we hoped for. The weather cooperated and the temperatures were mild. The only drawback to being on the Big Island in March is that it is a bit early for whale watching. The whales are still around the Maui area! We went out on a whale watching boat excursion one afternoon and didn't see whales but we did see tiger sharks. That was exciting for our son as he was fascinated by sharks in younger years.

Our son loved snorkeling and took photos underwater. He and hubby rented jet skis and took off one afternoon into the Pacific. Our hotel room was on the beachfront so I enjoyed sitting on the patio off our room with a good book and watched them cavort in the ocean, motorized guy style! We did the standard tourist Hawaiian luau one night. It was cheesy but fun with the fire dancers the most exciting of the entertainment. One day we went on a tour of the island which lasted a full 8 hours. It was awesome as it included the volcano fields, the tropical waterfalls, a coffee plantation, a chocolate factory, a tropical flower plantation, we went thru a cave tube, and we learned lots of island history. Our guide was really friendly and loved to talk so she was all about answering questions. We were pooped at the end of that day.

Our Hawaiian adventure was 5 days of fun that will be remembered with smiles and laughter. It was a great spring break.

Aloha, y'all!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Fool of the Week and Other Things

This week's Fool (s) of the Week: The Dixie Chicks.

Showing an amazing amount of complete ignorance, again, the Chicks are quoted in an interview with an English paper as saying they don't understand the need for expressing patriotism. They say music artists are pandering by using patriotism as a background in their music, such as the American flag and soldiers.

And we know they don't want to be on the same 5 cd changer as Toby Keith and Reba McIntire. Talking about biting the hand that fed you. How do they think they got into the position to spout off and be interviewed? Hmm... I think country fans were their base while they were raking in the moolah. Country fans bought them the mansions and cars.

Of pandering, I say that is amusing considering they are using resentment of another Texan as the tool to gin up interest in their new cd release. Again, venues here are cancelling tour dates due to lack of ticket sales. They just don't get it.

Some people think patriotism is a good thing. Some people think when men and women are dying on foreign soil to preserve our way of life, fighting there and not here, it is best to think before you open your mouth. How spoiled and self-indulgent do they want to appear? And how completely uneducated and foolish do they want to appear?

I'm embarrassed they are from Texas. Shut up and sing.

And on another foolish point, have you seen the cathouse on webcam? Venturing into reality tv for cats, Meow Mix brand cat food has a live webcam showing ten cats living in a house made for them on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Animal Planet is featuring the kittys for 10 weeks beginning tonight. It is for a good cause as it is to spotlight the need for kitty adoption from shelters. All of the kittys will be adopted out at the end of the 10 weeks.

The kittys are from different cities. Houston's entry, Molly, is described as "a goody two shoes - or in this case, a goody four shoes - who never does anything wrong. Wholesome and innocent, she just wants cats to get along and can't understand when they don't. Jeepers!" All the kittys have a bio on the site.

You can check it out at The winner of the cathouse adventure will be the new "feline vice president for research and development" for Meow Mix.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

You Say I t's Your Birthday...

Happy Birthday to you, er, me! Woo hoo! Break out the cake and champagne.

My horoscope for the coming year, according to Jacqueline Bigar in the Houston Chronicle today:

You find that others take notice and listen when you speak. One of your greatest assets is your sensitivity. On the other hand this same trait adds to your vulnerability perhaps adding some emotional wounds as you might be taking someone's comments personally. If you detach and really listen you might be surprised at what is really going on. Your imagination properly harnessed could take you into new types of thinking and greater productivity. Travel and education are two keys to opening doors. Aquarius can challenge you mentally.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

When I'm 64

Paul McCartney turned 64 last Sunday. Holy Smokes. It was 40 years ago that he wrote the famous, and wonderful, song "When I'm Sixty Four". Word was that John Lennon never liked the song. Lennon didn't want to record it. It was, in fact, a hit from the Sergeant Pepper album even though it was rather a light weight melody from the rest of the album. It remains a favorite of my age group who grew up with The Beatles and have nothing but fondness for them. I still love the Fab Four.

Poor Paul is now in the midst of a nasty divorce from his nasty current wife. Man, talk about a contrast from the love of his life, Linda. Linda, a photographer by profession, who thought a stong marriage and raising their children was the most important role for her, was a really hard act for silly, greedy Heather Mills to follow. Heather, who claimed in an interview that she really didn't know how famous Paul was or how incredibly wealthy he was when she met him, wasn't taken with him right away. Yeah, ok. Now, however, she is going for a huge settlement and battling over custody of their now 2 year old daughter, Beatrice. Seems money matters to her now.

Yesterday the big conference in D.C. for the liberal wing of the liberals continued. Speakers included Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Hillary was booed when she stated an immediate withdrawal of troops was not in the best interest of our country. She was applauded for other points in her speech when she was doing the standard Bush and his administration bashing. It is a political year, you know.

Kerry, further proving why he was the loser in the 2004 presidental election, now claims he is regrettful of his vote to go to war with the terrorists. He voted for it before he voted against it, as the quote was on the campaign stumps. Now, hoping to run again in 2008, he is all about rehabilitating his image. He is failing miserably again. The whole reason so many couldn't get behind his candidacy was the fact that he changes his opinion according to what is popular. Flip flop. Whatever it takes to get a vote. And, he's just creepy.

Kerry did a little attempt at humor at the beginning of his snore of a speech. It involved President Bush and Vietnam service. Poor John. His heyday was when he returned from Vietnam after a quick 4 months there and pleading for medals to make it a quick visit so that he could come back and testify before Congress about what baby killers the soldiers were. He is a very. small. man.

I guess John Kerry forgets 2.1 million Cambodians were slaughtered after the last helicopter left from Siagon. Yeah, John, please keep whining about a withdrawal timetable. Self-serving, pompous ass.

President Bush, support him or don't, remains steadfast. His word is his bond and the world knows it. I'll take that style of leadership, thanks.

My husband received a couple of e-mails over the course of last night about work-related issues from Iraqi engineers he worked with during his visit there in 2003, pre-war. The engineers sending the e-mails still don't feel free enough to say whatever is on their minds. Thirty-five years of suppression will do that to a man. When a person is aquainted with people and can put a face on the conflict, wobbly knees strengthen.

Our military deserves a united front, a united resolve here at home. They deserve no less.

Happy Flag Day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Much Ado About Nothing

Good Morning. This is my second attempt to post this morning. I'll hope this goes through.

The breaking news this morning is Karl Rove will not be indicted. So three years after this investigation by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald began, Rove is free and clear. Despite the rush to judgement by the likes of Howard Dean and Harry Reid pronouncing Rove a criminal, Rove can get on with his life.

The Wall Street Journal had an op-ed in 2003 saying Lewis "Scooter" Libby was doing his job as chief of staff to V.P.Cheney by correcting false info by Joe Wilson, not leaking Valerie Plame's name to the press as a CIA agent. Wilson is out of the circles of power in D.C. and a bitter man. Boo-hoo, no one listens to me. He has been completely discredited by the Brits and by a bi-partisan senate committee. He was kicked off the Kerry campaign as he was exposed as the fraud he is.

Now Special Counsel Fitzgerald wants to use sources like the Wall Street Journal to make his case that Libby is guilty of lying to a Grand Jury. Not guilty of exposing Valerie Plame's identity as he was tasked with but lying abut facts in his questioning. Seems Fitzgerald, who both sides of the aisle praised upon his appointment, put his faith into the wrong side of this question.

President Bush is in Baghdad this morning. He made a surprise visit to the new Iraqi Prime Minister, al-Maliki, and to the troops to congratulate them on the successful mission taking out Zarqawi. Only V.P.Cheney, Sec. Rice and Sec. Rumsfeld knew of this trip as the president left last night in disguise on Air Force One, where the traveling press corp was given body armor on board.

A bad morning for the rabid left here. Despite the insane calling for retreat and withdrawal in Iraq by the likes of Murtha and Kerry and Kennedy, who all know better and solely seek to politicize the mission, the President of the U.S. is in the war zone congratulating the troops and telling the new government of Iraq we will not cut and run.

Robert C. Byrd, D-W.VA, is now the longest serving U.S. Senator, surpassing the record of the late Strom Thurman. Not bad for a former big shot in the KKK. Byrd, known for his legendary pork money to his state is running for his 9th term and expected to win.

The Federal government announced the deadline for housing subsidy for Katrina evacuees is extending another month. The new cutoff date is the end of July.

Last week an article appeared in the Houston Chronicle about the Essence Music Festival being held here instead of New Orleans as it normally is. They have partnered up with Chevrolet to build a Habitat for Humanity house for a woman, an evacuee, and her 16 year old daughter. They will move into the new house early this fall. This woman expressed her gratitude for all the opportunities presented to her here. These opportunities for a better life were not in New Orleans, her lifelong city of residence.

This is the message Bill Cosby brought to the evacuees last August. Take advantage of every opportunity presented to you and your children for a beter life. This is the message Barbara Bush brought and was ridiculed for - they will have it better than they ever had. And the indignation that Mrs. Bush was honest with them? How insensitive of this rich, old white woman. Idiots.

"We stand with you." - President George W. Bush to Iraq Prime Minister al-Maliki 6/13/06

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sweet Nothings

Today's brew: Seattle's Best, Bistro Blend.

I am watching a press conference with Gen. Caldwell in Iraq about the death of Zarqawi. The American press is unbelievable. "Was there evidence he was beaten before his body was taken away?" Because, you know, the military are just thugs. "Are Muslim burial rights being made available to his family?" Yes, President Bush asked that he be treated in respectful manner when the announcement of his death was made Friday. Unlike the manner in which Zarqawi treated his victims. A box of heads from beheadings was found recently in an area frequented by Zarqawi.

I guess they would have preferred the soldiers hold Zarqawi's hand and whisper sweet nothings into is ear. Idiots.

The Dixie Chicks are cancelling their concert here in August. Sales for their tour are way low and many venues are being cancelled or "re-worked" as their publicist says. The new album is doing very well. What does this say? Shut up and sing.

I bought Max the dog a new collar yesterday at Target. It's red to match his leash. The collar has two silver sparkly stripes around it. I think he looks very spiffy. Our son says it's a little too Liza Minelli for a boy dog.

Don't hate him because he's beautiful.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I Love Lucy

I am just back from the standard trek to Target, otherwise known as "Tar-Jay" around here. While I was browsing in the card department, as I always do, I saw two cards that jumped out at me. Both were blank inside and the designs were from 2 of my favorite "I Love Lucy" episodes. One was the chocolate factory and one was the vitamin tonic episode. I love Lucy, I was always catching her re-runs whenever they were on. Still do but I don't see her on so much these days. Pity.

So I see three of the worst humans on earth committed suicide at Gitmo yesterday. Good. They won't have the opportunity to kill again. I wasn't clear on how they could have pulled it off without being seen by the guards but then I heard a general on tv explaining that the windows in their cells are blacked out. Why are they blacked out, you ask? Because the International Red Cross doing their human rights rap for these evil men at this resort of a prison demanded more privacy for those locked up. These three were in the super maximum security area. The facility at Gitmo is divided into three sections. The detainees are placed according to the level of danger they pose to the guards - our military guys there.

And the hunger strikes mentioned in the news? Completely bogus. These detainees feign hunger strikes when the human rights lawyers are there and publicize it then they go back to eating when the lawyers leave. The average detainee has gained 18 pounds since arriving at Gitmo. Journalists fall for it and we are suppose to care if the men are not eating. Count me out.

And speaking of food fights, Rep. John Murtha, D-PA, also known for going off the deep end and demanding immediate withdrawal in Iraq of our troops, is going to run for Majority Leader if the Dems take back control of the House of Representatives. This was quite the shock to Steny Hoyer, the current Minority Leader who was expecting to move up to Majority Leader when the votes are counted.

According to one Democratic aide: "Members really think Jack Murtha has caused a huge disruption. This is a major distraction from what our focus should be. We should be focusing on taking back the House, not leadership ambitions." An article by Reuters said "Democratic aides who criticized Murtha's sudden announcement on Friday said he was proving himself to be more of a divider than a uniter." I guess the adulation of the press is going to his head.

"You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist." - Indira Gandhi

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Night's Alright

A long day yet not too hectic. I spent over 2 hours at the salon getting my hair done - cut and highlights. It's time well spent.

I watched the briefing about the details of al-Zarqawi's capture. The reporters covering the Pentagon are almost as vapid as the White House reporters. I guess they just truly don't know how downright silly the questions they ask are to ordinary people outside of Washington, D.C.

The best part is the news that al-Zarqawi was alive, barely, when the soldiers found him. He was able to see it was the coalition forces and Iraqi police capturing him and moved slightly on the gurney the soldiers placed him on. Yes, he was placed on a gurney for possible medical treatment by soldiers even though he lopped off the heads of innocent humans with abandon. He is roasting in a special place in that hot spot now. All but the most elitist, defeatist whiners know it was a good day.

Tomorrow I look forward to lunch with my oldest girlfriend. We grew up together in Shreveport and were best friends in elementary school. Turns out she moved to Houston about 20 years ago and we live very similar lives. Traveling men, only children - her son is a year older than mine - and all that stuff. It is so cool renewing and maintaining this relationship. She works downtown for a big, international law firm so I get all the business scoop, too. Her office building is across the street from the old Enron building.

Girls just want to have fun. I hope you are planning some tomorrow, too!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fool of the Week

The ultimate face of sedition has been found and his name is 1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada, our Fool of the Week.

1st Lt. Watada will be known as the darling du jour for the groups opposing the war in Iraq. Through his lawyer, he states, "I cannot participate in a war that I cannot justify or support legally and morally". Interesting, especially considering that after he graduated from college he joined the Army, going to Officer Candidate school after the Iraq campaign was underway. He joined the Army in June, 2003. Is it a surprise that he has been called to go to Iraq?

He states, "It is the duty, the obligation of every soldier, and specifically the officers, to evaluate the legality, the truth behind every order - including the order to go to war." Ummm, no. It is the duty for a soldier to obey every lawful order. Period.

As for the usual canard that the war is illegal, once again for the slow students, the Congress of the U.S. voted in support of the war and continues to fund the war through appropriations, and the Security Council of the United Nations specifically authorized coalition military operations in Iraq.

Article 94, Mutiny or Sedition:
(a) Any person subject to this chapter who--
l. with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;
2. with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with another person, revolt, violence, or disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition;
3. fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence fails to talke all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.
(b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

Rebecca Davis, Cofounder of Military Families Voice of Victory has issued a statement:
"On behalf of the members of Military Families Voice of Victory, and as a mother of three sons who have served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am demanding the Army prosecute Lt. Watada to the fullest extent under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

"The refusal by Lt. Watada to obey lawful orders to serve in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom will surely encourage al Qaeda in Iraq to continue terrorizing the Iraqi people and attacking U.S. and coalition forces, and encourage al Qaeda and allied terrorist forces around the globe to wage war against America and Western civilization.

"Lt. Watada has chosen to ally himself and accept financial aid from Not in Our Name, a front group for the Revolutionary Communist Party. He has also accepted aid from other anti-American organizations that have expressed support and/or given material aid to terrorists in Iraq.

"Lt. Watada is not standing on principle, nor is his stand valiant. He is a coward and a traitor. His actions will only serve to get his fellow soldiers killed so that he can save himself and become famous."

Any questions?

Lt. Watada's father is a high profile political figure in Hawaii. He is the former Director of Hawaii's Campaign Spending Commission. He is also a former member of the Peace Corp. So far so good. However, upon further research, discovery is made from an old Peace Corp On Line forum: after a trip to Peru in 2004, he made this statement, "We are now obsessed with a "terrorist" behind every tree, as we were obsessed with a "communist" around every corner forty-five years ago. We need to start somewhere to make a change. Bob Watada.

We need to start somewhere to make a change? Perhaps his son is his instrument. Pity if that is the case. His son is the one who will pay the price.

It would appear that by signing up for the Army - Officer Candidate school to boot - in June 2003 Lt. Watada knew exactly what he was doing.

Lt. Watada's Stryker brigade at Fort Lewis is scheduled to deploy to Iraq this month.

A support campaign has been launched in the Puget Sound area to raise funds for Lt. Watada's legal defense. One group, Courage to Resist is organizing press conferences to call for support. The group hopes to galvanize broader opposition to the Bush administration campaign in Iraq.

A useful idiot, Lt. Watada.

Great News and Coffee, Too

As I awoke this morning and turned on the news I was immediately wide awake as the news of the death of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was announced. Great news for the war on terrorism.

Zarqawi was turned in by his own people. That is great news. Our magnificent military took him out in an air raid. The sight of Iraqis dancing, rifles in arms, over the news of Zarqawi's death is great news. Zarqawi left a trail of blood unimaginable to most folks. He was the mastermind of everything from trying to take out the royal family of Jordan to beheading Americans. His evil knew no boundaries.

The nay-sayers are already talking this victory down. How sad and insulting to our military heroes. The fact that he was turned in by his own people is a further sign that a corner is turning in the war. Those wishing for our failure and the failure of President Bush in his vision of the big picture in the Middle East are not happy by today's news.

This is a death to celebrate. The war is not over. It will still be a long road to victory. The summit called by President Bush for Monday at Camp David is a positive development. Maybe it is too much to hope that our country can come together and pull for success, given the selfish climate of political opportunism of today, but I can still hope. Given the choice, I choose optimism.

Further progress in Iraq was noted today in the appointment in the final vacancies in the cabinet. A Sunni was appointed to the position of Interior Minister. That is a very positive development.

Mark Malloch Brown, deputy Secretary of the U.N. bashed Americans recently as too ignorant to know all the wonderful things the U.N. is doing in the world. His spin, not mine. He didn't bash our country, he bashed us. According to him Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are to blame. Now, I wonder why he chose those two targets of his disdain?

"The prevailing practice of seeking to use the U.N. almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable, " said Brown. "You will lose the U.N. one way or another."

Did Brown point out any inaccuracies in the public discourse? No. The U.N. was about to lift sanctions on Saddam just before the war. This is not fiction.

The U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal, the largest in history dealing with corruption, was first broken by Fox News. Fiction? Try as they did, the rest of the media was not able to ignore the growing story as it unraveled. The Security Council was proven to be bribed by Saddam for years. Fiction? No.

The U.N. peacekeepers are guilty of raping children and women in Africa and of continued accusations of succumbing to bribery. Fiction? No. Blame the journalists reporting it, not the U.N.

U.N. Secretary General Koffi Annan came out in full support of Brown's statement. Nice. This is the man who can't get his own reform package passed in the U.N. and he has the nerve to criticize the country hosting him. Fiction? No.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton immediately came out and called Brown on the carpet for his ridiculous remarks. Bolton, slandered by the rabid left as not able to handle the job, did a superior job holding Brown's feet to the fire. Bolton pointed out how condescending and disrespectful to the American people the remarks were. How unprofessional it was for a diplomat to belittle the people of a country, not the policymakers.

Brown apologized for his remarks 4 hours later. He reminded reporters he is a faithful watcher of Fox News and reminded the reporters how he complimented Americans a few months ago for supporting the AIDS fight in Africa at the level the current administration in this country has committed to doing. Idiot.

The idea behind the U.N. is good in theory. The execution of the idea? Not so much.

"More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them." - Harold J. Smith

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


James Bowman's "Honor: A History" speaks to the disappearance of honor in conduct in our American society today. To bring the term to modern day life, he looks at America's use of honor as cause and justification for going to war and for serving in the armed forces.

It may be forgotten by today's politicans but members of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations revered the toughness of American's foreign affairs and thought national honor as a principal reason for fighting in Vietnam. With the conclusion of the war in Vietnam and President Nixon's use of the term "peace with honor", honor slipped to mean this is all we can take, we're done here.

In Western society personal honor and national honor were hand in hand as part of a fighting spirit. Over time, appeals to national honor no longer worked to unite a country. Persistence in right action, despite cost, seems an outdated idea.

An example of honor and courage in the news today is Debra Burlingame, the sister of pilot Chic Burlingame. Burlingame's hijacked jet crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. An op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal almost a year ago began the public fight to end the mistake of the International Freedom Center. She leads the fight to ensure an appropriate 9/11 memorial and museum at gound zero.

The funds the memorial and museum were about to experience had own hijacking to create a museum that is politically correct in today's world. It was to include everything from slavery to the Halocaust. We have to be tolerant of the enemy who wishes us dead, you understand. We have to understand the reasons of their hate. And now Mayor Bloomberg wants a "sensible" approach to ground zero rebuilding. He suggests locating the World Trade Center Museum in the Freedom Towers, declaring it a good use of the lobby. So, the story of the day of September 11, 2001 would be put into another commercial office tower. Cramming it into a small space is not an honorable course of action.

After much public outrage and a campaign of letter writing and commercials airing on television, as well as an internet campaign, the International Freedom Center was taken off the drawing board. The $2.8 billion in cash grants to the city and the State of New York to raise buildings and bring back neighborhoods and businesses is long gone. Spent.

Ms. Burlingame is still leading the effort, almost 5 years later, to honor those who lost their lives in lower Manhattan that day. Citizens from all over the world as well as all political ways of thinking were lost that day. Where is the sense of honor shown at Normandy with the placing of all those white crosses in recognition of the brave souls of D-Day? Cramming a memorial into an office lobby hardly seems fitting.

"Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Thoughts This Tuesday

Hot and humid today. Summer in Houston. Blech.

Interesting tidbit came to light yesterday. During the past five years, $50 million has been spent by corporations, lobbyists, et. al., on trips for lawmakers. The top 10 recipients are all Democrats. Tom DeLay and his infamous golfing trip to St. Andrews, Scotland? He ranks 121st, tied with Nancy Pelosi. Hmmm.

Melanie Phillips, a columnist for the Daily Mail in London, has written a book, "Londonstan". She makes some excellent points concerning the continued threat of radical Islamism. She makes the case that the very things we value, such as tolerance, diversity of cultures, freedom of speech, etc. are the very things that will be used by the fanatics to try to destroy us. She claims it is not a war on terrorism but a war to defend the free world. Like many, she thinks this is the third world war. She also states we are losing it because we are not acknowledging who and what we are fighting. For example, the recent arrests of the young Muslim men in Canada. Reports of the arrests were noticeably reluctant to describe the people as Muslim. This is absurd. They were described by the Today Show yesterday morning as everything but Muslim, young men, teenagers, South Asian, Canadian, etc., for a full 5 1/2 minutes of the 7 minute news piece. The constant worry about political correctness is not keeping us safe. Only in the last minute of the story did the reporter mention that the men were members of a mosque run by a radical Imam.

I was reading an opinion piece yesterday about Cindy Sheehan's book, "Dear President Bush". She is quite the useful idiot, as the author claims, for the moonbat left. She doesn't appear to have sense enough to understand how she is used. The publisher, City Lights's Open Media Series is City Lights, the San Francisco bookstore famous for its dedication to free speech. Also famous for not carrying Oriana Fallaci's book as they have labeled her a fascist. That is enough to take your breath away.

From Michelle Malkin's website yesterday: The Marc by Marc Jacobs store in San Francisco has an especially built window display found exclusively in this branch. On three big glass windows, in 7 or 8 feet tall blue letters are the words "Worst President Ever". Ah, yes. Tolerance and big tent liberalism as long as you follow the kool aid drinkers.

Is gay marriage really the most pressing issue today? Do we really want to amend the constitution over gay marriage? I think this is madness. True conservatives want government out of our lives as much as possible, not further intrusion. Roe v Wade is bad federal legislation and this would be, too. These are states rights issues, not federal issues.

And finally today, have you heard of Leigh Ann Hester? Jessica Lynch? Yes, of course you know who Jessica Lynch is, as she was publicized out the wazoo, as her service to our country should have been. She was the Army private captured and later rescued in the early days to the war in Iraq. Leigh Ann Hester, not portrayed as a victim in the press, is a Kentucky National Guard vehicle commander. She was awarded a Silver Star last year for fighting off an insurgent attack on a convoy in Iraq, according to the Wall Street Journal. She is the first woman to receive a Silver Star since World War II and the first ever to receive it for close combat. Her name only appears 162 times in media reports, as opposed to Lynch's 12,992. Sergeant Hester didn't have the whole victim mentality thing going on around her.

The current trend is to fall into victimology in reporting. More stories are generated about soldiers and veterans floundering rather than those who serve out of conviction and go on with their lives. Among the elitist mentality in journalism today, the military personnel are considered to be in service due to limited options, poor education or emotional problems. What a slap in the face. This generation in particular, fighting the new age war on terrorism, can easily claim the title of the Greatest Generation. This is a wholly volunteer military and most fighting on the battlefield today signed up after 9/ll. There was no doubt that they would be called to battle. This generation of soldier knows a completely different field of battle than previous generations. The enemy today wears no uniform, serves no country and only wants to kill with abandon. Our military is trained to protect civilians and fight the enemy in uniform.

"Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works." - Martin Luther

Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday Morning Musings

Today's brew: Community Coffee's Columbia blend. Making a mental note to myself to increase the amount brewing. Not quite strong enough this morning.

The guys were hogging the computers yesterday so I am catching up today. We had a fun evening Saturday. We enjoyed the evening at the dinner theatre. "Smoky Joe's Cafe" was the play. All music, no dialogue. The music was of the 50's and early 60's so it was blues and early rock and roll songs.

I read this morning that a new Federal crackdown will begin July 1 on requirements for Medicaid. Low income people will be required to show documents proving American citizenship. Well, that's a start, I suppose. I thought that was already in place. Seems like for everything else these days a person has to show a birth certificate or something official proving she is who she says she is, whether it is to register for school or a drivers license and right on down the line. The usual people are complaining, like La Raza, the Hispanic rights group. Now, I wonder why they would be upset?

La Raza complains that poor people will feel discriminated against and shut out. What they mean is illegals will be shut out. I think that is the point.

O.K., the mystery is solved. I know why Congressman Jefferson took the bribes and was caught in the sting by the FBI. Turns out he was raised in a very poor family, one of 10 children, and "his perceived flaw among his peers has always been that, shaped by his humble beginnings, Bill loved money and desperately wanted to be a rich man," said Allan Katz, a New Orleans-based political consultant who has known Jefferson for more than 30 years. Early on Jefferson earned the nickname "Dollar Bill". Jefferson is the son of sharecroppers and made his way to Harvard thanks to his parents emphasis on education.

The article enlightening us about poor Mr. Jefferson goes on to say that those who know the congressman are shocked, shocked I tell you, by the allegations made against him. Jefferson demanded a larger stake in a Nigerian venture - from 7% to 30% - for his children. What a thoughtful father. There had even been talk that one of his five daughters may follow in his footsteps and take his seat when he retired. Looks like that seat will be open a little sooner than expected.

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for." - Epicurus

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Slowly I Turn, Step by Step

I love the Three Stooges, don't you? Mostly, though, the header is a reference to how I am moving today. It is early afternoon but not much has been done around here. I am on the second load of laundry but that's about it. I have given myself a manicure and pedicure as I am going out with my two favorite guys this evening. We are going to the dinner theatre. Dinner and a show, now we're talking. We are taking advantage of good weather and the fact that hubby will be heading out next week for an assignment at Mobile Bay. When he is finished there he will be going over to Sabine Pass to board and babysit an oil rig as it is moved to Alaska. That assignment will take probably 3 months. We are doing an early Father's Day, my birthday, and our wedding anniversary celebration all in one tonight! That's just how our life is.

Thursday night I watched the primetime conclusion of the National Spelling Bee. It was so fun. Those were some awesome young people competing and being so supportive of each other. I loved the fact that the last 3 or 4 received standing ovations from the audience and fellow competitors as they were eliminated.

The winner and the runner up were both girls. There were 19 rounds and 275 spellers. I learned that the spelling bee is open to anyone from an English-speaking country. I thought it was an American thing but there were competitors from Europe, Guam, Jamaica, New Zealand, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Katherine (Kerrie) Cross was the winning speller. She's an eight grader from New Jersey. She is a public school student. In recent years, home schooled children have dominated. She is the first girl to win since 1999 and it was the first prime time coverage in the spelling bee's 79 year history.

Upon winning, Kerrie Cross said, "You can't do anything without moral support. It feels great." She thanked her parents for their continued support. She won $42,000 in cash and prizes.

Kudos to Kerrie.

Friday, June 02, 2006

This Week's Fool

This week we give the recognition of Fool of the Week to: Al Gore. Our former vice president is proving to believe himself a little above you and me.

Al Gore is out and about promoting a movie made from his book, "An Inconvenient Truth". The movie is not exactly rocketing to number one in box office sales but still, it has the support of all the usual suspects and Al is enjoying a renewed popularity. There is talk of a political comeback for ole Al now, maybe another presidential run in 2008.

"An Inconvenient Truth" is all about Al's theory of global warming. Unlike the internet, Al Gore did not invent global warming. You would think that someone who has touted his theory for as many years as Gore would have some solutions by now. Alas, no. It boils down to that old chestnut, oil bad, do not drive your car you evil person you.

Al Gore was in Cannes for the famous film festival recently and as is often the case was found to be a little less than genuine about the human race changing its habits. He and his entourage rode in 5, count 'em 5, SUV's the distance of 500 meters from the hotel to the theatre. This action was justified as "normal practice" for events in Cannes.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Al Gore was the guy in the Clinton administration who insisted the president open up the Strategic Reserve to provide Americans with cheaper gas just before he ran in 2000. Nevermind personal principles when you are running for the big one, I guess.

Al Gore insists the evil Republicans are destroying the world and they still won't come on board with the Kyoto Treaty. Well, the president he served didn't sign the treaty, either. It is a bad agreement unless you really want the U.S. to pay for cleaning up the world's environment and stop factory production in this country.

Al Gore is surely a big fan of science fiction. We know he flunked out of Divinity school at Vanderbilt University. Does he want to be a presidential candidate promising the electorate the big government solution to all of our problems or does he want to extol the virtues of his brilliant intellect with his opinion on climate change?

Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Moonlight Becomes You

Almost Friday. Roger (The Rocket) Clemens will be playing with our Astros this season after all. His son is in the minor league team associated with the Astros so that apparently was the major factor in his decision to play one more year. The father/son bonding thing at work.

Speaking of honoring your child, I read that Cindy Sheehan, on the speaking circuit overseas, was unable to attend to the placing of a headstone on her son's grave. SPC Casey Sheehan, 1st Battelion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood, Tx, died more than 783 days before the headstone was placed on the grave. Cindy's quote? "It is important for the rest of Casey's family to have one." The rest of Casey's family? Remember the Vanity Fair magazine photo of Cindy laying on Casey's grave? Maybe a headstone would get in the way of any future photo shoots exploiting the final resting place of her son.

Casey Sheehan's birthday was Memorial Day.

A current hot topic among the community of journalists in this country is the alleged incident in Haditha, Iraq. It appears that some Marines overreacted to the insurgent dominance in this farming town of 90,000 people along the Euphrates River. It is a three hour drive north from Baghdad and run by the Taliban. Just like other areas that have been Taliban controlled in the past, they decide who lives and dies, who is paid what salary, the dress code of citizens, and what they watch and listen to. These insurgents are not freedom's best friend. They have the most to lose in a democracy.

I make note of these facts about Haditha for a little background. Parents do not object to their children watching videos of beheadings instead of cartoons. One young, blonde member of the US sniper team was ambushed and killed last August 1. He was paraded in town before he was executed. This young man is said to be on one of the videos. The locals do not rise up against the insurgents out of fear and do not trust that the coalition will remain long enough to bring the bad guys to justice.

So, when an incident happens in a place like Haditha, instead of waiting for the reports to come out with the facts of record, we are subjected to a foaming at the mouth media rubbing their hands in glee that something truly horrific may have happened. It is further proof that the media truly is rooting for failure on the part of the military. They chose to make it the story of choice over Memorial Day weekend. Not stories of true heroes in battle, not stories of proud families of military members, no, the alleged incident in Haditha by a few Marines. I actually heard the comparison to My Lai beginning to work into interviews. That is truly beneath contempt.

My Lai was a tragic event during the Vietnamese War when an entire village was burned and 500 plus people were killed by US soldiers. It is hard to imagine but it happened. People old enough to know better enjoy comparing Iraq to Vietnam, but saying it over and over doesn't make it so. Two very different countries, two different times, two different wars. This comparison is particulary disgusting when made by politicans voting in favor of the initial Iraq invasion and now that things are tough they have lost the courage of their conviction.

The report will be public soon. If the alleged facts bear out, those responsible will be punished. In the meantime, it would be nice if people were presumed innocent until proven otherwise. I think that is one of the tenets of freedom we are trying to give the Iraqis, isn't it?

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." - Abraham Lincoln