To read the tribute to SFC Marcus Muralles, please click here
Friday, December 16, 2005
The Life of the Party
If Democrats take back the House in 2006, there would be a "solid case" to bring articles of impeachment against Bush for "misleading" the country about prewar intelligence, the National Journal's Hotline quoted Kerry as saying.Uh... where do I start? I guess let's start with "Kerry's delusional (again)." Then we can go on to the fact that the fine folks who worked on his losing campaign need to get over it and get a life. After a while, we can wander to the fact that he's giving a campaign speech... at a Christmas party... at a bar.
Kerry spoke Wednesday night at a holiday party for those who worked on his losing 2004 presidential campaign. He gave a short speech at a Washington bar.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen... the mighty delusional, that is...
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Oh? There's an Election Today?
Iraqis voted Thursday in one of the largest and freest elections in the Arab world, with strong turnout reported in Sunni areas and even a shortage of ballots in some precincts. Several explosions rocked Baghdad throughout the day, but the level of violence was low.And we're losing in Iraq... how?
The heavy participation in the parliamentary voting by the Sunnis, who had shunned balloting last January, bolstered U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops next year.
But much depends on whether the sides, after the votes are counted, can form a government to reconcile Iraq's various communities, or merely fan the current tensions.
Officials were forced to extend voting for one hour, until 6 p.m. (10 a.m. EST) as long lines were reported in some precincts, which election commission spokesman Farid Ayar called a sign that the balloting "was successful and turnout was good." Results will be announced within two weeks.
Once again, the Iraqi people have given terrorism, the Left, and most of the rest of the world the finger.
They're Not Being Arrested... Why?
An eleven-year-old girl went into Planned Parenthood. She had been raped. The kind, compassionate folks at PP helped her deal with "the aftermath", and never informed her parents or the police. Here's the girl's letter to them, thanking them for their "help":
I was raped at 11, by my 17 year old boyfriend. I chose not to tell my parents because I didn't think their involvement would help, that was the right choice for me. Planned Parethood helped me deal with the aftermath of the rape allowing me to deal and cope as best as I could in my own way. I was 14 when I decided to start having sex, the day I made that choice I made an appointment to get birth control pills. I'm 17 now, I've been with my current boyfriend for about two years. During that time i've been HIV and STD tested four times. Right now I'm sitting in the waiting room while my boyfriend gets the results for his HIV test. We love each other so we're responsible and Planned Parenthood helps us to do that.Let's see... covering up a felony sex crime... providing prescription medication to a minor... medical procedures on a minor without parental consent... And they want you to send "Choice on Earth" cards. The people who did this should be sending out Choice cards, from behind bars.
This child needed help, and she needed justice. She needed the support of her family during her ordeal. But no, she was told that she didn't need any of that- she had her friends at Planned Parenthood. At 14, with obviously little or no guidance from anyone with moral authority, she decides to start having sex, demeaning the ultimate act of love and committment, as well as herself. At 17, she and her boyfriend are being tested routinely for HIV and STDs, because they are "responsible" and "love each other." Maybe, if she was really responsible, she'd wait until she found the love of her life, the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. But, no, her "friends" at Planned Parenthood have told her over and over that the idea of waiting is just plain dumb and to do what feels good.
Where will she be in 5 years? 10 years? Will they be there for her then?
This Isn't Healthy, Is It?
One military wife's relationship has become a fantasy since the Navy shipped off her husband.Hysterical? As in "arising from hysteria"? Maybe... Just plain weird? Definitely...
Kingsland, Ga., newlywed Suzy Walker goes out to dinner, movies and shops with a life-size doll that eerily resembles her sailor husband, deployed on the submarine USS West Virginia, according to First Coast News in Jacksonville, Fla. Walker cooked up the idea as a way to get through her first time apart from hubby DB Walker — and fashioned a likeness of him on the doll that friends and family have found jarringly familiar....
...she's dragged it to the gas station to buy lotto tickets, to the movie theater and even to shop at Victoria's Secret.... It took quite awhile for the word to get to her husband aboard his submarine, but when DB Walker finally heard the news he said he thought it was hysterical.
Rapid Fire News
- Faith? Answered Prayer? Desperation? All of the above?
A mother trapped in a burning third-floor apartment prayed and then dropped her 1-month-old son out a window to the crowd below. The infant was caught safely by a man who plays catcher for his employer's baseball team.Watch the video. Amazing.
- Grinch is alive and well and living in Richardson, Texas. Guess what, kids? There's no such thing as Santa Claus! That's what a suburban Dallas music teacher told first-graders on Monday — and the school's been hearing from parents ever since. The angry phone calls prompted the Richardson school district to issue a pro-Santa statement. What was that teacher thinking?! S/he is just lucky that the parents didn't organize a lynch mob!
- He's right... just not the way he meant.
Mexican President Vicente Fox denounced as "disgraceful and shameful" on Wednesday a proposal to build a high-tech wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to stop illegal immigrants.It is disgraceful... that the US has to build the dang thing in the first place.
- A convicted druggie is sueing a police dog.
County Prosecutor C. David Warren said to his knowledge, it's the first time the county's dog has ever been singled out as a defendant. Warren has volunteered to handle Andi's defense personally.Uh... yeah... good luck with that.
"That dog could've done something to me or one of my attendants," said Wayne Francis Green, 46, of Albany, who filed the suit Nov. 18 in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
Green, who is representing himself, alleges that a search of his furniture business in 2003 was illegal. He claims officers also went into an adjoining building that he owned without a warrant, but police deny it.
Green said Wednesday that he felt endangered by Andi's presence.
"They've got a mean ol' dog, you know what I'm saying? I take that pretty serious," Green said, adding, "I'm a dog lover, but that's the limit."
The search turned up 50 pounds of marijuana, and last month Green was convicted of possession and trafficking in the drug. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 6....
...Last week, Andi the German shepherd was informed that he's being sued, sort of. With a paw print, the dog "signed" the paper indicating he had been formally served with the complaint.
Green said he wants prosecutors to look into the dog's actions. "I want him charged with several different felony counts."
- What is the deal with all of these bah humbug Christmas displays? Mean spirited morons.
- This person is an expert?
A German art expert was duped into believing a painting done by a chimpanzee was actually painted by a respected artist. Dr Katja Schneider, director of the State Art Museum in Moritzburg, Saxony-Anhalt, suggested the painting was by Guggenheim Prize winning artist Ernst Wilhelm Nay."A bit rushed?" Yeah... good recovery... not.
Dr Schneider said: "It looks like an Ernst Wilhelm Nay. He was famous for using such blotches of colour."
But in reality, the painting was made by female chimpanzee Banghi, from Halle Zoo.
According to zoo workers, painting is one of the favourite pastimes of the 31-year-old ape, but her works are often destroyed by mate Satscho.
After the real artist was revealed by the Bild newspaper, Dr Schneider said: "I did think it looked a bit rushed."
- The year in review. Wow... it's been an amazing year, hasn't it?
So, I'm sitting here on the couch, waiting for my Sleepytime Tea to cool off just enough to drink, watching a little late night news. My mind starts to wander back to another time I was on the couch, waiting for my Sleepytime Tea to cool off.
I was probably 15 years old. My grandma was staying with us for a while. She had dozed off on the couch, and I was cuddled up in my SnugSack (the kind with the zipper that went up the legs to about waist level, then snaps to make "sleeves" and a neck hole- I'd draw you a picture if I had any artistic talent) on the loveseat, watching MTV or something like that, waiting for my tea to cool off. I dozed off myself, and I woke up to find my cooled mug of tea, spilled all over me and my SnugSack.
heh... I guess the Sleepytime Tea works... one way or the other...
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Just one thing... I don't think the band directors got the memo about "no religious songs." They played very nice renditions of "Silent Night" and "The First Noel." And I'm not complaining one bit.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
And The Winner Is...
Rumor has it that he's going pro. Not a bad plan.
Memo to Football Coaches
Why, yes, I'm watching the Heisman Trophy Ceremony... why do you ask?
But That's Not What the MSM Tells Us!!!
But despite such pessimism, amplified by a cynical media, we are not “broken,” On the contrary, we are winning. Hundreds of thousands of Iranian-trained Hezbollah terrorists, as well as Chechnyan, Wahabbi, and local mujahadeen militants have been pacified by our young patriots. It is regrettable that a man like Murtha, who made his career detailing his undisputed heroism under fire, is the first to chip away at my generation’s valor. Nor have we, as Senator Kerry recently claimed, “terrorized Iraqis in their homes.” And while many anti-war Democrats would have you believe otherwise, we are most certainly not “living hand to mouth.”Go. Read the whole thing. Then tell me that there's nothing good to report from Iraq and that we're losing the war.
So Much For That Whole "Inclusive Party" Thing
Lieberman's pro-war views may be winning him praise from a grateful White House, but some Democratic colleagues see him as undercutting their party's efforts to wrest control of Congress from the GOP next fall.Oops. It's so bad that they're actually trying to find an anti-war replacement for him. Geez... what about that whole Big Tent philosophy, guys? Can't you all just get along?
"He's doing damage to the ability of Democrats to wage a national campaign," said Ken Dautrich, a University of Connecticut public policy professor. "It's Lieberman being Lieberman. And it's frustrating for people trying to put a Democratic strategy together."
Oh, wait... this is the same part that demands lock-step voting in the House. My bad. N'er mind.
For the Fashion Conscious (or the Fashion Inept)
The colour-shifting garment, dubbed a chameleon shawl, was developed by Akira Wakita and colleagues at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.You can adjust the settings to choose a nice complimentary color, or go for a bold contrast.
Interwoven into the scarf material are pixels containing red, blue and green light-emitting diodes (LEDs), so adjusting the brightness of each type of diode turns the scarf a different overall shade.
A small sensor embedded in the garment also enables it to identify the colour of the nearest item of clothing. A microcomputer then selects a suitable colour for the scarf itself to adopt.
I'm all about being properly accessorized, but that's a bit much, even for me. Not that I'll be upset if one ends up under the Christmas tree.
Don't Shoot the Banana!
Banana Boy is supposed to be a superhero. But his powers couldn't get him out of a trip to the village police station Thursday afternoon.In the end, they were charged with disorderly conduct.
An actor playing the part of a mythical superhero by the name of Banana Boy was arrested Thursday along with two of his friends after police came upon what appeared to be a fight in a Main Street parking lot.
They came under police scrutiny because they were acting out a fight in which one of the actors, Luke Van Scoy, 17, of South Glens Falls, accosted a man wearing a large yellow banana custom with a knife.
A banana as a superhero? I'm just not seeing it... what are his super powers? Does he peel himself and throw the skin on the ground to make the bad guys slip? Bizarre.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Good Luck With That
The mayor of a Brazilian town is trying to bring in a law making it illegal for residents to die.Well, at least they're looking after themselves a little better.
Mayor Roberto Pereira da Silva, of Biritiba-Mirim, came up with the idea because the town's only cemetery is full.
He wants to bring in a law that would see relatives of people who die before their time face fines or even jail.
The law would make it an offence for the town's 28,000 citizens to not look after their health properly.
Mayor Pereira da Silva said there was no way of expending the cemetery or building a new one, reports Agora Sao Paulo.
He said: "Eighty nine per cent of the town is rivers, the rest is protected because it is tropical jungle."
The state government had promised to help build a new vertical cemetery - but nothing had been done.
Gym memberships have reportedly shot up since the mayor announced his plans, and more people are visiting doctors.
Don't Believe Him...
I've been told by numerous people that having a neurosurgeon injecting steroids into my lumbar disk will make it feel better. My only question is WHEN????
Yes, I would love some cheese with my whine. A nice Brie, perhaps. After I take a nap or something.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Someone's Going to Have Coal in His Stocking
Yeah, that's Santa. Blindfolded and strung up in a tree by a noose. In a guy's front yard, for all the little kiddies to see. Neighbors contacted the police, but they can't do anything about it.
What does this fine, upstanding, level-headed gentleman have to say?
Stroia would not talk with reporters, but did say by telephone that it's his right to display the Santa whether neighbors like it or not.He's right. It is his right. It's not a terribly sane thing to do, but it is his right to torment the neighbor kids.
Smarter Than The Average Bear
Upon hearing this, T1 said, "That's stupid. The electric shock could detonate the explosives, or the guy might still be able to set off the explosives. They had to shoot him."
A twelve year old gets it. I guess it's too much to ask for journalists to get it.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Name Calling Is Always Sooooo Mature
JOHN KERRY: I don't agree with that. But I think what we need to do is recognize what we all agree on, which is, you've got to begin to set benchmarks for accomplishment; you've got to begin to transfer authority to the Iraqis, and there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the -- of -- of -- of -- historical customs, religious customs, whether you like it or not. Iraqis should be doing that. And after all of these two and a half years, with all -- (emphasis Rush's)Rush used an audio clip, and did not put any words into Senator Kerry's mouth. What he said is what went over the airwaves.
How did Senator Kerry's spokesperson respond to that? (found on Drudge's main page... will add link when it gets a permanent page)
Statement by Kerry spokesman David Wade: 'Ken Mehlman’s filthy and shameful lie about a decorated combat veteran is disgraceful. Political hack Ken Mehlman and draft dodging, donut eating Rush Limbaugh have something in common. Neither of them know anything about how to make American troops safe. John Kerry will continue to speak out about how to succeed in Iraq and protect brave American troops'...Wow, Mr. Wade. You sure showed them. I mean, you couldn't actually defend Kerry's statements, so you just call Ken Mehlman and Rush Limbaugh names... innacurate names, at that. That will teach Rush to ever bring to light any of your boss's inane ramblings.
Growing up, I went to I don't know how many baseball and football games there (although my first baseball game was at the Astrodome when I was about 9 months old). My kids have come to know and love the baseball Cards almost as much as I do. This new stadium better be good. That's all I'm gonna say about it... for now...
The Legend of the Bearded One
Several years ago, it became pretty clear that our time was running short- several of the boys' friends had found out, and it was time to spill the beans ourselves, rather than let them find out from kids who might be less kind ("What?!? You still believe in Santa? What a baby!!!" or something like that).
Using a long car trip as our opportunity to have a captive audience, the boys heard the story of St. Nicholas, who lived 1700 years ago. They heard about his love of God and his wondrous generosity. They listened intently, seemingly unaffected by this news. Unsure that they really understood what was being said, the question had to be asked.
"So, if Nicholas lived 1700 years ago, that would make him... what?"
"Uh... no." Let's try this again.
Finally, they got the hint that Nicholas was long dead and buried. Once that was out in the open. We asked the boys where all the presents came from, if not from Jolly Old St. Nick. Of course, they had no idea. That gave us an opportunity to talk about unconditional giving. Parents give to their children in secret, not for the thanks, but for the joy in their child's eyes. That's enough thanks for them. And then we talked about the responsibility that comes with this knowledge- to give to others with no thought of what you'll get in return; to count the many gifts we're given; and to "keep the secret" for the younger kids and anybody else who might still believe in Santa.
"Who else besides little kids believe in Santa?"
"Mugga." (That's my mom, btw)
I thought they knew I was joking. A couple of days later, I heard them talking. "Now, remember, we can't tell Mugga, because it would make her sad if she knew about Santa."
Yeah, I've got good kids.
So... why the trip down Memory Lane? Today is St. Nicholas' feast day. Thought I'd take a moment to talk about the man who became the (loose) basis of Santa Claus.
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in Patara, a village in what is now Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.Not bad, eh? There are many legends surrounding him. There is a story about him leaving dowries for a poor man's daughters so that they could marry instead of being sold into slavery. There is the story of how he calmed a storm at sea with prayer. There are tales of his generosity, how he always gave in secret, never expecting anything in return.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra.
So, how did we get from the good Bishop of Myra to the guy who lives at the North Pole and has a cookies and milk addiction? After Nicholas' death, his story was past down from generation to generation in the Catholic Church. He became known as the "giver of gifts." Although his feast day was December 6th, it began to be celebrated along with the Christkindl (Christ Child) on December 25th. He was (and still is) revered throughout Europe.
His story came to the United States with Dutch immigrants, who called him "Sinter Klass." Newspapers, reporting on the celebrations, refered to him as "St. A. Claus." In 1809, Washington Irving wrote about him, and Clement Clarke Moore wrote about him in great detail in in 1823 "A Visit From St. Nicholas." Thomas Nast illustrated him during the late 1800s, adding details like the "Naughty and Nice" list and the toyshop. His full commercialization came in 1931 with a Coca-Cola ad in the Saturday Evening Post.
But how does the Bishop really vary from the ad campaign? Well... it's all about remembering the Reason for the Season, I guess.
Santa Claus belongs to childhood;
St. Nicholas models for all of life.
Santa Claus, as we know him, developed to boost Christmas sales—the commercial Christmas message;
St. Nicholas told the story of Christ and peace, goodwill toward all—the hope-filled Christmas message.
Santa Claus encourages consumption;
St. Nicholas encourages compassion.
Santa Claus appears each year to be seen and heard for a short time;
St. Nicholas is part of the communion of saints, surrounding us always with prayer and example.
Santa Claus flies through the air—from the North Pole;
St. Nicholas walked the earth—caring for those in need.
Santa Claus, for some, replaces the Babe of Bethlehem;
St. Nicholas, for all, points to the Babe of Bethlehem.
Santa Claus isn't bad;
St. Nicholas is just better.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Merry Christmas Happy Holidays Season's Greetings... eh- Never Mind
I already talked about Christmas trees. In a nutshell, it's not a Holiday Tree- no other holiday uses an evergreen tree as a symbol. There. Done with that.
I could go over the history of Christmas and how it didn't start as a Christian Holy Day but was a pagan festival that was co-opted by the Christians (either to blend in with the society or to blend society into the religion... or both). And that Jesus wasn't even born on December 25th. If you really want to know about all of that... Google is your friend.
And I could talk about the catch phrase "the Reason for the Season" (here's a hint- it ain't new- I remember people using that when I was a little girl). Yes, we need to put the focus back on the Savior's birth, but we already know that. Getting snippy about it to secularists isn't going to do anyone any good.
I could whine about the horrid commercialization of the holiday. But everyone knows all about it, and most of them still bite their tongues and hand over the plastic. Any suggestion to cut back or cut out gifts altogether is met with a hearty "Bah! Humbug!"
I could tell you who St. Nicholas was and what important lessons he can teach us, but that's a post for Tuesday.
I could talk about the PC insanity that has taken hold in our nation (but I guess we can all breathe a sigh of relief that "Sparkle Season" is dead and buried). We are told to be tolerant, but, to paraphrase Cal Thomas (with apologies to my dad), 95% of the population celebrate Christmas in some way, so let the liberals have their holiday on April 1st, and leave ours alone.
So... what am I going to talk about? I'm glad you asked. Christmas is my favorite holiday (and not just because of the cookies and egg nog). In all of the craziness that has become December, we sometimes forget the little things. Last year, I did a bunch of posts on some of my Christmas memories. I still remember going to church early on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass to hear the choir sing Christmas carols by candlelight, then hearing the story of Jesus' birth and being amazed, even as a little girl, that the little baby they were talking about grew up to become the man that hung on the cross and rose from the dead. I remember watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on TV, and being Santa's helper. I remember the chaos at my grandparents' house when it came time to open gifts (take turns? I don't think so!) Sleeping on the couch with the tree lights on, just because I could (ok, that was only once we got an artificial tree).
Did you notice what I didn't say? It's not about the gifts I received (although I've gotten some awesome stuff over the years). Like I said last year, to me, it's about family and friends. Giving without concern of what you might get in return. Love. And a Baby that was born to save us from ourselves.
To the 5% who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you the happiest of Holidays, whichever you celebrate (Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy New Year... take your pick). To the 20% of you who celebrate Christmas as a secular celebration of family, we need to talk. For the 75% who say there are Christian, celebrate the fullness of this special day. Celebrate family. Shower those who have not with what you have been blessed. Rest and enjoy. Watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "The Little Drummer Boy". Have some egg nog.
Celebrate Love that came down from Heaven... just for you.
Why Did He Have To Do That?
Well, he's officially off of my snippy list. In a big way.
The boys and I were watching "Extreme Makeover- Home Edition" ( they either renovate or build a home for families who have special needs or special circumstances). This week's family was a dad and his 3 daughters (6 years old and under). His wife had passed away recently, and he's struggling to figure out how to raise his kids on his own.
The oldest daughter commented that her dad makes good soup (from a can) but that's about it. So, during their week's vacation, Bobby Flay gave him a cooking lesson, then presented him with a couple of cookbooks and his phone number (with instructions to call whenever he needs to).
Like I said, he's off the snippy list.
mumble...mumble... congrats... mumble...
Saturday, December 03, 2005
New Blogger Alert
Friday, December 02, 2005
Scary, But Not Completely Unexpected
FBI agents and Homeland Security officials spent the weekend investigating the report of a possible missile fired at an American Airlines plane taking off from Los Angeles International Airport.
Sources tell ABC News the pilot of American Airlines Flight 621, en route to Chicago, radioed air traffic controllers after takeoff from LAX. He told them a missile had been fired at the aircraft and missed.
The plane was over water when the pilot said he saw a smoke trail pass by the cockpit.
FBI agents believe it was a flare or a bottle rocket, but say they may never know if that's what it actually was.
Why have we not heard about this? A bottle rocket? Out over the ocean? I know they're trying to keep the public from freaking out, but seriously. A bottle rocket can't go that high. Or a flare? I'm pretty sure that the pilot knows what one of those looks like. He would have said, "I think someone fired a flare at us," not "someone just shot a #*$@&# missile at us!!!"
We live in a new world. A very scary new world.
- At least these protestors are creative. Wrong, but creative.
To demonstrate that the president is a modern-day Nero, fiddling while global warming threatens to burn the world, a group of "citizen activists" will take part in a "global outpouring of anger at White House inaction" on the issue by wearing George Bush masks and playing violins throughout Washington, D.C., on Friday.
At least 10 masked fiddlers will perform at some of the most public places in the city... Following that unusual protest, the group will conduct a parade of at least 50 hybrid vehicles around the White House on Saturday morning.
- There is growing opposition to the TSA's decision to allow scissors, etc. on commercial flights.
Reps. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., said Thursday they intend to introduce a bill to preserve the current prohibition on sharp scissors, tools and knives in airliner cabins."The Bush administration proposal is just asking the next Mohamed Atta to move from box cutters to scissors as the weapon that's used in the passenger cabin of planes," Markey said.That's something I've never understood. Almost anything can be turned into a weapon with the right training. Yeah, AlQ might want to hijack more commercial flights. I'm just not seeing them getting away with it again.
Hawley has complained that airport screeners spend too much time confiscating small objects from innocent passengers. He wants them to focus instead on searching for what the TSA views as a more serious threat: improvised bombs.
Airlines generally support the plan. So does the pilots' largest union, the Air Line Pilots Association.
Bob Hesselbein, the union's national security committee chairman, said pilots think it's more important to focus on passengers' intent rather than what they're carrying.
"A Swiss army knife in the briefcase of a frequent flyer we know very well is a tool," Hesselbein said. "A ballpoint pen in the hands of a terrorist is a weapon."
- An ABC reporter took the unveiling of the White House Christmas decorations by Laura Bush as an opportunity to grill the First Lady on the situation in Iraq.
ABC’s Jessica Yellin, live on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, exploited First Lady Laura Bush’s tour of White House Christmas displays, cards and decorations to hit her with an emotion-laden inquiry about regretting the war in Iraq.Uh... Jessica... unlike the most recent former First Lady, Mrs. Bush is not a co-president. She lets her husband do his job without sticking her nose in everything. You want to know about Iraq? Ask him.
- Another large weapons stash found in Iraq.
Iraqi and U.S. forces have removed more than 4,200 mortar rounds from a major weapons cache found Nov. 27 outside an abandoned military base near Kirkuk, Iraq, military officials reported.... All ammunition removed so far has come from one mound located in a field full of similar mounds.Yeah, I know. They didn't find WMDs. They weren't allowed to search the Bekaa Valley or certain areas of Syria.
- Iraq is a safer place for our soldiers to be than California.
Recently released crime statistics show the homicide rate in California is 265 percent higher than the death rate suffered by U.S. and British military personnel in Iraq.
According to the report "Crime in California 2004," compiled by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, there were 2,394 reported homicides in the Golden State last year. That compares with 905 deaths of coalition forces in Iraq, chiefly Americans and Brits, during the same time period.
I am calling for the immediate withdrawl of all 47 sane people in the state of California. It's a failed battle, and those 47 people are worn out and broken. We need a new plan, and an exit strategy to bring our sane people home to the Red States where they belong.
- Chief Wannabe Keetoowah was asked to clarify his "little Eichmans" comment by a group of GOP students.
Protesters confronted controversial professor Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado yesterday, asking him to circle the names of 9-11 victims who deserved to die on a 12-foot banner memorializing them.Churchill later clarified his "little Eichmanns" comment, saying he applied it "only to those described as 'technicians.' Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-11 attack."..."I then asked him if the policemen deserved to die, and he became so flustered he just quickly walked away down to his office kind of bodyguarded by his students."It's about time people start asking the good doctor the tough questions.
- I guess you need a driver's license to drive a kiddy car in England these days.
Oliver Smith was driving his toy car at 2mph on the pavement when he was pulled over by a policeman reports the Mirror. Oliver's grandad Derek was warned by the policeman that the boy could be charged for having no tax or MoT certificate.The boys used to have larger versions of what Oliver was driving (theirs went 5mph). For some reason (I'm guessing testosterone) I think that most boys would love the idea of getting a speeding ticket, expecially at that young age. Rebel without a combustion engine and all that.
Someone Hasn't Been Reading The Book
I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Gen 12:3 NKJV)Hal Lindsey's International Intelligence Briefing (IIB) show on TBN has been cancelled for the month of December. It's unclear whether or not it will start up again in January.
After insisting the pre-emption of Hal Lindsey's television show had nothing to do with content, a Trinity Broadcasting Network spokesman retracted his statement, admitting officials were concerned, at least secondarily, about offending Arabs and Muslims.Too pro-Israel? They're joking, right? Radical Islam wants to destroy all Jews and Christians, and TBN, who routinely broadcasts shows taped in Jerusalem, says Mr. Lindsey is too pro-Israel?
As WorldNetDaily reported, John Casoria, general counsel for the network, responded yesterday to Lindsey's contention that the weekly program "International Intelligence Briefing" had been canceled for December, and possibly permanently, because its message was deemed "too pro-Israel and too anti-Muslim."
Originally, TBN said that it had nothing to do with program content, and that they want all programming during December to be Christmas-oriented. Later they said that IIB "placed Arabs in a negative light."
I'll admit it- I rarely, if ever, watch TBN. I realize that they are spreading God's Word around the world, but... they're often too... (how do I put this?) stereo-typical televangelist for me. A bit too over-the-top. The Message is usually sound, but often it's drowned out by the atmosphere. (Yeah, that sounds shallow, but imagine how many non-believers feel about it.)
I have seen IIB, and it always seemed well-reasoned and factual, not extreme or fanatical. And, it's a show meant to be shown in the West, not the Middle East. Mr. Lindsey calls it like he sees it. He's quite knowledgable when it comes to Scripture, prophecy, and the Middle East. It's informative and engaging. Will it offend radical Muslims? To quote an old friend of mine, "some people need to be offended."
I think what bothers me most about this isn't that TBN yanked IIB for the month of December (and maybe longer). I don't typically watch the show, so I won't really miss it. What bothers me more is that TBN tried to cover up the fact that they (from what we've been told) chose to cater to those who curse Israel than to stand up for Eretz Israel.
He's Too Busy Right Now
The White House said Thursday that President Bush has obtained a postponement for the summons he received to serve on a jury in Texas. He had been called for next Monday, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller.Aw, come on, Judge. You know the LLL would just LOVE to see him handcuffs. You're such a spoilsport.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the McLennan County court has been called and told the president had other commitments on Monday. McClellan said the White House will work with the court to reschedule Mr. Bush's jury duty.
State District Judge Ralph Strother said he doesn't actually expect Mr. Bush to show up in court. He adds, "I don't think I'll be sending the sheriff out to bring the president in."
Why don't you go ahead and pencil him in for duty for February, 2009? That's when his first opening is.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Pay Attention, Neo-Yuppy Scum
__ gra Falls, New York.
"Uh... hon... what does this say?"
"Via" (pronounced v (long i) (short a) "You know... Viagra Falls."
"Uh... no. That's Niagra Falls. Viagra is a medication."
"Oh, yeah. I'll change that."
It's so hard not to laugh, especially since you just know he's going to ask what's so funny.
"Viagra Falls"- that's just so... oxymoronic.
Finding Divinity in the Dirt.
You have to admit, though, that they've found some amazing stuff lately. A month or so ago, Israeli archeologists found what might be one of the first Christian churches on the grounds of the Megiddo prison.
"A discovery of this kind will make Israel more interesting to all Christians, for the church all over the world," said Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican's envoy to Jerusalem. "If it's true that the church and the beautiful mosaics are from the third century, it would be one of the most ancient churches in the Middle East."And, if that wasn't cool enough, they also found a 6th century seal with Jesus' likeness on it.
Two mosaics inside the church - one covered with fish, an ancient Christian symbol that predates the cross - tell the story of a Roman officer and a woman named Aketous who donated money to build the church in the memory "of the god, Jesus Christ".
Pottery remnants from the third-century, the style of Greek writing used in the inscriptions, ancient geometric patterns in the mosaics and the depiction of fish rather than the cross indicate that the church was no longer used by the fourth century, Tepper said.
A lead seal from the sixth century depicting Jesus was recently discovered in excavations by the Antiquities Authority in the Old City of Tiberias.Jesus told Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." (John 20:29) It's human nature to want proof. Granted, God has provided proof of His existence throughout our world, but many times people can't see the Creator in His Creation. So, we look for more "proof," and we are discouraged when we don't find it. In these archeological finds, we see that the Early Church was not just a figment of someone's imagination, and they did believe that Jesus was the Messiah, our Lord and our God.
The other side of the seal has a cross with an abbreviation of the name “Christos.”
This is the first time a seal with the image of Jesus has been discovered in excavations in Tiberias. A number of similar seals have been found in Caesaria, which in ancient times was the capital of the province.
How Now Orange Cow?
LOGANTON, Pa. (AP) -- One Pennsylvania farmer isn't taking any chances during hunting season. Friz Konieczka is painting his cows orange.I admire his creativity. Unfortunately, if you look at the pic in the article, you can't really see the orange paint. He might need a few more cans of paint.
He doesn't want any hunters mistaking them for deer. He's also painting his horses, goats and turkeys. Even the farmer's best buddy, his Dalmatian named Buddy, is getting the day-glow makeover.
The farmer says he rather spend a few bucks on spray paint than lose one of his animals to a careless hunter.
"Accountability" For Whom? To Whom?
"It has now been five years since the landmark UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS was adopted unanimously by UN Member States," the World AIDS Campaign says in a statement on its Web site.Oh. Silly me. I thought they meant accountability of the people who have the virus. I thought they were trying to get HIV positive people to be responsible and not spread the virus. My bad.
To herald the five-year anniversary of that declaration, "the theme of the World AIDS Campaign is accountability," the statement adds. "This accountability refers to promises made not only in the Declaration but in other commitments made since then."
Pledges made in the declaration included education on AIDS prevention; treatment for those infected; searching for a vaccine and cure; and treatment for those infected.
No, I'm not a homophobe. I'm not some Fred Phelps wannabe who calls homosexuals horrid names and hope they all die a terrible death. And I know that some people have become HIV positive through no action of their own (babies born with HIV thanks to their maternal DNA donor, seriously ill patients who need a blood transfusion, men and women who are faithful to their not-so-faithful spouse (who brings home the virus from a tryst)). But there are a lot of people who contract the virus through high-risk behavior- unprotected sex, sharing drug needles. Some people intentionally seek out someone to "turn them"- make them HIV positive. Where is their accountability?
What's sad but true is that, while the AIDS virus is very contageous and brutal, it is actually quite easy to avoid getting it. Don't inject drugs. If you're not going to be faithful to your partner, don't have unprotected sex. It's not exactly rocket science- avoid risky behavior, and you won't get AIDS.
I'm not saying that it's not important to do research. It is very important. And, it is VERY important to educate people on the realities of AIDS and how HIV is transmitted (there are areas in Africa where people think that if you sleep with a virgin, the disease will go away). And the patients who have contracted the virus need care.
There also needs to be accountability within the AIDS community. Those with AIDS are honestly the only ones who can stop its spread. They hold that awesome power in their hands. What have they done with it?
I Should Have Known
With all of these stories, Mark Caesar of Austin's KLBJ AM did a little research on what other cities call that evergreen tree that gets decorated with lights and ornaments every year in the downtown area. Chicago and Reno still have a "Holiday Tree." Atlanta doesn't even have a name for their tree.
Well, I'll see their Holiday Trees, and I'll raise them a "Moon Tower Tree." Yeah. Austin's tree is called The Moon Tower Tree. I don't know why I was so surprised. This is the same town whose mayor signed a proclamation for Transgender Day last month.
I realize that I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but... it needs to be said. Those evergreens with the lights and ornaments are not Hanukkah Trees or Kwanza Trees. They're not even Eid Trees. The only prominent religion that uses evergreens with lights and ornaments as a symbol for anything is Christianity, and that symbol is attached to the celebration of Jesus' birth. You may have heard of that little known Holy Day. It's called CHRISTMAS. (Yes, I know that the use of evergreens in religion goes back far before Jesus walked the earth. I'm talking about what it has become, not where the idea came from.)
Jewish groups are not offended by the term "Christmas Tree" (and I bet they're more than a little concerned that the menorah will soon be known as "The Holiday candelabra." You think I'm joking about that?) Most Muslims in the US are probably not offended by Christmas trees, anymore than they are offended by anything else we infidels do. Let's see... Christians (self-professed- I'm not judging their salvation- that's FAR above my pay grade) make up at least 75% of the population of the US. Other religions make up about 3%. That leaves 14% who have "no religion," with true atheists making up 3% of that group. (5% of respondents didn't answer the question.) So, 3% of 14% is... 0.4% of the population are atheists. And it is the atheists who whine the most about religion being "forced" on them (Barry Lynn notwithstanding, of course.) Let's say that 25% even pay attention to anything to do with First Amendment issues.
So... local, state and federal officials and business owners had to make a decision. Offend .1% of the population by calling something what it is- Christmas and Christmas trees. OR, offend upwards of 80% of the population by trying to be "sensitive to the feelings of all... diversity and all that, don't you know." Obviously, many of these people chose poorly.
Why did they choose poorly? Because religious people are nice. They don't want to make waves. Live and let live. Or something like that. Well... it doesn't look like the Christians are just going to take it anymore. Christian organizations are boycotting retail chains that won't even mention the season, much less the Reason for the Season. Walmart backed down. Target is still in the hot seat. So is Sears. (K-Mart is being boycotted, but for different reasons.) Costco and BJ's wholesale chains are Scrooges as well. Kohl's is big into "Holidays" but not "Christmas" (I really need to talk to my sister about that.)
Christmas is my favorite holiday. Always has been. I love almost everything about it. The Way of Lights. The smell of pine. Gingerbread. The Story. Angels. Shepherds. Egg Nog. Decorations. The way a child's eyes light up. My John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together cd. Sleigh bells. It really annoys me when I hear that people (companies, governments, whatever) are so sensitive to diversity that they forget what the season is all about.
Think about it. Many atheists still celebrate Christmas in some fashion. They don't give Hanukkah gifts- they give Christmas presents. Why do we need to get rid of that horrid "C" word just because it offends Barry Lynn's (lack of) sensibilities?