Monday, April 30, 2007

Oh My God!!!!

With 10 minutes left to go!!!! And there his is! SecDef Heller.

The funniest moment was when "Acting President" Daniels tells Tom Lennox about his affair. Tom looked like he wanted to gag.

Jen and I had a double header because we missed last week and had to catch up. I love the DVR. You never miss anything and you can fly through the commercials. We had to watch it at my house (we are usually at Jen's) and of course it's like Grand Central.

We continued our search for the perfect rotisserie chicken. Walmart is too salty ($4), Boston Market, available at Stop&Shop is good($6.50), and tonight was Whole Foods ($9.99) which was no better and posibly not quite as good as Boston Market/Stop&Shop.

Well, I am off to bed. BTW, did I mention how excited I am to see SecDef Heller? LOL

I Love This Article

The Will Of The Uninformed
by Jonah Goldberg

Huge numbers of Americans don't know jack about their government or politics. According to a Pew Research Center survey released last week, 31 percent of Americans don't know who the vice president is, fewer than half are aware that Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the House, a mere 29 percent can identify “Scooter” Libby as the convicted former chief of staff of the vice president, and only 15 percent can name Harry Reid when asked who is the Senate majority leader.

And yet, last week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that two-thirds of Americans believe that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’ firing of eight U.S. attorneys was “politically motivated."

So, we are supposed to believe that two-thirds of Americans have studied the details of the U.S. attorney firings and come to an informed conclusion that they were politically motivated -- even when Senate Democrats agree that there is no actual evidence that Gonzales did anything improper. Are these the same people who couldn't pick Pelosi out of a lineup? Or the 85 percent who couldn't name the Senate majority leader? Are we to imagine that the 31 percent of the electorate who still -- after seven years of headlines and demonization -- can't identify the vice president of the United States nonetheless have a studied opinion on the firing of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias?

Oh, before we proceed, let me make clear: This isn't a column defending Gonzales. This administration should have long ago sent him out of the bunker for a coffee-and-doughnut run and then changed the locks. No, this is a column about how confused and at times idiotic the United States is about polls, public opinion and, well, democracy itself. We all love to tout the glories of democracy and denounce politicians who just follow the polls. Well, guess which politicians follow the polls? The popular ones, that's who. And guess why: Because the popular ones get elected. Bucking public opinion is the quickest way for a politician to expedite his or her transition to the private sector.

More to the point, Americans -- God bless ‘em -- are often quite ignorant about the stuff politicians and pundits think matters most. They may know piles about their own professions, hobbies and personal interests, but when it comes to basic civics, they get their clocks cleaned on Fox's “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"

Though examples are depressingly unnecessary, here are two of my favorites over the years. In 1987, 45 percent of adult respondents to one survey answered that the phrase “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” was in the Constitution (in fact, it's a quote from Karl Marx). Then, in 1991, an American Bar Association study reported that a third of Americans did not know what the Bill of Rights was.

That the public mood is a poor compass for guiding the ship of state is an old lament. Here are two reasons why.

The first has to do with the laziness, spinelessness and vanity of political elites. Citing polls as proof you're on the right side of an argument is often a symptom of intellectual cowardice. If the crowd says two plus two equals seven, that's no reason to invoke the authority of the crowd. But pundits and pols know that if they align themselves with the latest Gallup findings, they don't have to defend their position on the merits because “the people” are always right. Such is the seductiveness of populism. It means never being wrong. “The people of Nebraska are for free silver, and I am for free silver," proclaimed William Jennings Bryan. “I will look up the arguments later."

Which brings us to ideology. The days when politicians would actually defend small-r republicanism are gone. The answer to every problem in our democracy seems to be more democracy, as if any alternative spells more tyranny. Indeed, once more the “forces of progress” are trying to destroy the Electoral College in the name of democracy. Their beachhead is Maryland, which was the first to approve an interstate compact promising its electors to whichever presidential candidate wins the national popular vote.

If these progressives have their way, we'll soon see candidates ignoring small states and rural areas entirely because democracy means going where the votes are. The old notion that this is a republic in which minority communities have a say will suffer perhaps the final, fatal blow.

But that's OK, because 70 percent of Americans say they're for getting rid of the Electoral College. And Lord knows, they must be right.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Might Have To Dump SB

He is affecting my family dynamic.

It is a constant struggle to maintain my supreme authority among my siblings. Grace being right about the stupid colonoscopy has not helped.

Now I have this "bonding" thing between Jen & SB. They team up against me constantly. It has progressed to the point where Jen is using him as a cudgel in arguements.

Yesterday I worked the local town election. I am an appointed election official. I think it's an important civic duty and I am happy to do my part. I also believe when you commit to something, you honor that committment. So yesterday, Grace called to say that our mother had pulled a back muscle and we should go over and cheer her up. I said that was a great idea and I would head over as soon as the election wrapped up. *Big sigh* Clearly Grace wanted me to blow off the election. Then Jen showed up at the polls and said pretty much the same thing. I laughed. It's not like our mother needed a transfusion or a ride to the hospital. She was sitting in a comfortable recliner with a heating pad and my father waiting on her hand and foot. Jen and I went back and forth. She knew she was losing this arguement. She knew that rationally it was proper for me to wrap up the election.

Then she pulled out her favorite weapon.

"Why don't we ask my friend what he thinks of you putting this election above family?" she asked, eyebrow raised, smirk on lips.

He's got to go.
***********UPDATE********
So I ask SB what he thinks about this post. When he stops laughing.......he tell me that he is not worried. He says "I will be gone when they pry me from your cold.....dead.....hands, Maggie! Now go tell this nonsense about kicking me to the curb to someone who will listen!"
What an arrogant bastid!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Being President Is Tough

You don't always know the right way. There are tough decisions. But sometimes there are clues that you made the right decision.

Sometimes the clues are in who agrees with you.

Sometimes the clues are in who disagrees with you.
"Iraq’s firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr on Saturday lashed out at US President George W. Bush for refusing to set a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops." Khaleej Times, Alril 28, 2007
In a scathing speech seemingly aimed at shaming the president into calling for a withdrawal, Reid said the Bush administration is in denial about the war, incompetent in its conduct and unwilling to listen to alternatives." FoxNews April 23, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

20,000th Visitor

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April 27, 1822

U.S. Grant was born.

"No terms, except unconditional and immediate surrender, can be accepted. I propose to move immediately on your works. I am very respectfully, your obedient servant, U. S. GRANT," Grant's Response to Rebel General Buckner's request for an armistice, at the Battle of Fort Donelson, February 16, 1862.

This terse response from the relatively unknown Union General led to U. S. Grant obtaining the now infamous nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr.

I was glancing at the headlines of the Patriot Ledger. This one caught my eye.

Bomb convict fights for release; But feds want him to die in prison

You have to get to the 9th paragraph before they mention Officer Hurley. It should be more prominent.

Anyway, my point. This worthless piece of shit should rot in jail until it's time for him to rot in hell.

The Globe article has the proper focus.

Officer's killer resentenced to 37 years

My favorite quote.

Trenkler's lawyer, Joan M. Griffin, argued the judge was obligated to sentence Trenkler to no more than 10 years in prison because jurors never made a finding that he intended to kill anyone. She said Trenkler, who wears a pacemaker, isn't receiving adequate care in the federal prison where he is confined.

Boo-fuckin'-hoo.

Another Voice...

....on an issue I think is important. Lying by omission about history. I blogged about the decision in several British schools to "leave out" the Holocaust and Crusades because it could distress Muslim students. Now, Fred Thompson has an article up at TownHall.com on this subject.

The British are, in the main, a particularly polite people, but there is a point when the desire not to offend the easily offended becomes an even bigger problem.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hypocrisy

Saturday night there was a confrontation at the White House Correspondents Dinner between Karl Rove and Sheryl Crow and Laurie David. Ms. David is a global warming activist and she had something to do with Al Gore's movie being produced. Ms. Crow is the genius behind the "One Square" movement, which asserts that using one square of toilet paper per visit will save the enviroment. (I use eleven, I will buy toilet paper offsets as soon as they are available). Ms. Crow & Ms. David were introduced to Mr. Rove at the dinner and siezed the opportunity to plead their case. There are many accounts of this conversation. I will highlight two. First is Byron York at The Corner Online, second is Ms. David's own account at HuffPo. I read both, Byron's first. I expected some he said/she said. Astonishingly they are nearly identical.

I am nearly without words.

These two women cheerfully brag in the Huffington Post about how rude they were to Rove. Sheryl Crow grabbed his arm. YGTBFKM!!!!!
Then they both expressed surprise at his reaction.
"Karl swung around and spat, "Don't touch me." How hardened and removed from reality must a person be to refuse to be touched by Sheryl Crow?" How big is your ego when you think people should be grateful to touched by you, no matter what the reason?

If Rove had grabbed her arm, can you imagine the furor? They are proud of speaking to him rudely and poking his chest. Can someone please, please tell me why liberals think they have the right to assault the rest of us (verbally & physically) with their free speech? Why they think their opinions trump Rove’s right to attend this function unmolested? Where do they get off? Worse, there are 600 some odd comments over at HuffPo applauding them.

Their hypocrisy astonishes me. Their audacity leaves me nearly breathless.

Let’s try this…..I am a conservative, pro-military, pro-victory Republican. How about if I go up to Nancy Pelosi and poke her in the chest while I tell her to stop hassling my President? How about if I go up to Harry Reid and grab his arm when he doesn’t listen to me tell him that war in Iraq is not lost?

How much bail money do I need?

April 25, 1945

American and Soviet troops shake hands on a Bailey Bridge over the Elbe River

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Drunken Posting

Had dinner with a friend tonight. 99% of the time, I am the designated driver. That's fine. Tonight with my car in the shop, I say "Hey, I have no car, I think I'll drink." My friend proceeds to drink anyway..........WTF?
It's ok, Frankie's g/f Toni (who I love) came and got me.

So, I am surfing before bed.

Reading my boys at Op-For. Excellent post linking to Rich Lowry's take on Jessica Lynch. Go read it.

Wonder who's on Jon Stewart. He's a flaming lib, but I laugh.

Battling about naming destroyers over at the Castle........I vote for USS Ernest Evans. Only go over if you agree with me, lol.

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day........raise a Fosters!

Sometime on Wednesday I will reach 20,000 hits. Wow, people like reading about nonsense!

You know there are some crazy people over at the Atlantic. And they write articles about crazy books. I was reading an article in the March, 2007 issue, while I waited for the dryer to finish. This month's issue is unopened on the bookcase because I am 27 years behind on my reading. But I digress, this article "She’s Just Not That Into You" is a review of a book by Joan Sewall, "I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido". Where do they find these people?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Long Night

Tonight after work, Jen, Grace and I trekked up to New Hampshire to say goodbye to another of our "greats". Our great aunt Madeline was married to our grandfather's brother Tim. Tim is it now all that's left on that level on either side of my mother's family. All of my grandmother's siblings are gone. My father has a sister left, nevermind aunts and uncles.
However, while it was sad, it was also a great time. We hadn't seen our cousins in a long time.

First off, we barely made it. Surprised? Well this time it wasn't my fault. We got to Grace's at 5:30 pm, but she and Jen had to go off the Greg's confirmation rehearsal. I keep saying he shouldn't be confirmed because he can't tell me what transubstaniation is.......

Anyway, we are buzzing up route 3 to Nashua, cutting it close to the end of the 6 to 8 visiting hours, Grace hyperventilating in the back. She keeps trying to tell us directions. She doesn't exactly know where it is, but she passes Nashua on her way to her summer cottage and she is distressed that we don't have directions. But we have GPS. I tell her to calm down and trust the GPS. Breathe and let go. (OK Southie, before you get all up on me, I had read the directions and knew which routes we were supposed to be on, I know how you feel about me abdicating my navigational duties to the GPS). Anyway, doesn't the stupid GPS have a hiccup and have us get off Route 3, drive around on 110 for a few minutes and then get back on!!!! Grace was very quiet. LOL There was a lot of new construction, we think that's what caused the hiccup.

Anyway, Grace announces that if we get there at 8 she is not going in. I shrug and tell that's ok, sit in the car, I'll go in. I once arrived at a cousin's wedding shower as they packed cars in the parking lot. I said "Here's my gift, this counts as making your shower" and helped them load the cars. Anyway, we actually get there at 7:45! LOL I'm practically early.

At this point, Madeline's three children and their immediate families are all that are left. Terry was close to my age and we hung out as children in the Nook. After she hugged me she told me that my mother had told her that I would be there at 7:55. Terry's brother Stanley pointed out that it was earlier than that and he would be my witness. I laughingly pointed out that this time....this one time, I was not to blame. Grace and Jen were the ones who made us late.

I spoke briefly to their brother Richard who was older than us and I really didn't remember. He was there with his two children and his son-in-law and they were very nice.

Terry had wheeled my Uncle Tim into the room. He has dementia and short term memory loss. I think he had a flicker of knowing who I was and who Grace was, but it was brief. Stanley said he absolutely recognized my mother, her brothers and my dad earlier. Jen prompted him to sing "Danny Boy" and it was like old times. Terry's husband took Tim back to the place he is living (which Stanley says is, thankfully, very nice) and Richard and his family left.

We stayed, lol!

Finally at 8:25 Stanley said "You know, we are headed down the street to Martha's to eat." "We're in!" I announced. I didn't turn to see Grace's face. Hehehe. Grace is a planner. Grace is not a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" person.

I turned to the guy who ran the funeral home. he had been very graciously standing there while we stood in the lobby holding him up. "Meet us there?" "I just might." he replied. We got in Jen's car. Grace announced "I can't believe I am caught up in one of your la-la-la's!" She sang it. I didn't realize my adventures had a name. I just laughed. I told her "Come on! We'll have a great time and I'm starving anyway." Jen remarked that Terry had 6 pets and a business working with animals. I told her that I wasn't surprised. Terry was a big animal lover. I said if I had had to guess I would have said she worked with horses. She loved horses. Then I was thinking how in movies and books young girls are often portrayed as wanting horses. I asked my sisters "Did you ever want a horse when you were young?" Jen exclaimed "Who are you talking to?!?" We dissolved in laughter. We are sooooooo not animal people.

We ended up having dinner at Martha's Exchange. It wasn't easy getting to our table. No, I don't mean it was crowded. Most people were sitting at the outdoor tables. It was 70 degrees out. But just inside there was a chocolate shoppe. But somehow I got past it to our seats. They also were a microbrewery. Jen and Grace perked right up. Good meal, good company. Lot's of fond reminiscing. Soemhow it came up in conversation that Stanley was 60. I was astonished! "How? I am only 46!" He just laughed and Jen told him he looked very young. We kept Grace out past her bed time. But I made her admit five times that she had a good time and she was glad I dragged her along on my "la-la-la".

They chose a poem to go in their mother's memorial card.

Afterglow
I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one,
I'd like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who
grieve, to dry before the sun,
of happy memories that I leave behind
when my life is done.

Very appropriate. Goodbye Madeline. You raised some great kids and created lots of fond memories.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Snippets

Today was a little discombobulated. I hate not having a car. Although being stuck at home meant that I caught FoxNews Sunday. Love the panel, it's always my favorite part.

Then Jen & I headed up to Grace's to celebrate our nephew Dan's birthday. I resisted the pizza. Two weeks to D.C., don'cha know. Grace had her nifty new chocolate fountain front and center. It was her thank you gift from SB. He wanted to convey his gratitude for Grace hounding me into my colonoscopy. When it arrived Grace called to yell that it was too much. Grace said she wasn't yelling. Grace's very diplomatic duaghter, Gen, when pressed, conceded there was "loudness". LOL Anyway, I resisted that too.

Jen wanted to go to work for a little bit, but when she got into work there was no AC and we left. She pronounced it hotter than hell. I hope Jen goes to heaven, but if she doesn't I want to be a fly on the wall when she finds out hell is actually hotter than 80 degrees.
There was a time I read a lot of Irish history. But I was very young and had no context to put it into. Tonight Jen and I watched "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" and we were floundering. This is something we were not familiar with at all. All our people had left Ireland by this point in time. The last being our father's mother who came to America in 1916. She was orphaned when the Black & Tans killed her father and her mother died shortly afterwards. We were told her mother died of a broken heart on Christmas Eve and that's why our grandmother never liked Christmas. She lied about her age and came to Charlestown to join her sisters.

The more we learn about history, the more we realize that we know so little and can never hope to catch up.

It was a very violent movie with some parts that were just absolutely senseless. As usual, our father's bloodthirsty little girls were astonished at the situations where there was no fighting. There is a pivotal scene where after a successful ambush of a British Army patrol, our main characters come upon the Black & Tan tormenting some defenseless locals. Not just any locals but "their own". Jen and I are sitting there, absolutely flabbergasted that they don't attack the Black & Tans.

Now I am exhausted and need to go to bed, but I am stuck. I am watching this incredible Red Sox game. Four home runs in one inning. The Red Sox are about to sweep the Yankees in Fenway for the first time since 1990 and I can't miss it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Long Night

Last night I was planning to attend a Bostonian Society lecture and suggested that Jen call some people we get together with occasionally and we'd have dinner afterwards. Lecture....dinner....just the usual, right?

Wrong.

Sure, the lecture part went off fine. "Building Victorian Boston The Architecture of Gridley J. F. Bryant" by Roger Reed. Interesting subject, nice slide show. However, the author was softspoken and due to some surge of what I must assume to be architects....I was in the back row. We all know what a problem that is. The nuns used to put me front and center for a reason. Jen & Roger joined me for the lecture and had pretty much the same opinion.
Then it was off to McCormick & Schmick's to meet Kathy & her brother Bobby (while I have exchanged texts, emails and phone calls, I have never met him). I had a delicious dinner, everyone had a good time, Bobby brought his pics from Iraq and Eqypt...very entertaining evening. Although, it was "No" night for Jen. She wanted the crab cake trio......"No"........Sam Adams....."No"........limoncello........"No" We were the last people still on the second floor when I got a text from SB. I called and explained we were just leaving and soon I'd be home to talk to him. He just had to tell his friend Jen, to give up on the rest of the night so we should go home. I explained that she wanted to go in search of Sam Adams. Simple, right? NO. He tells me that I should take Jen to find her Sam Adams. I hate when they team up against me. They have been rotten the last two days. I keep asking him a question he won't answer and he told Jen the answer. She of course, will not tell me. SB tells me to call and wake him at 0615. I ask if I can call earlier. He says "0600?" being deliberately obtuse. "No" I stomp my foot "When I get home!" "What do you think?" he says in that fabulous sexy voice, "Now, go find my friend Jen a Sam Adams."
Fine! We go to the Purple Shamrock. I have not been inside since it was Bette's Rolls Royce.......29 years ago. I told Jen and said she said "Shut up!". I said "No, I'm serious, we hung out there in 1978, I dated one of the bartenders." The bouncer carded me. I kid you not. I tell him that I am older than his mother. He asks how I know. I show him the ID and he tells me his mother is two years older. I tell him to say hi to her for me. We go inside.... LOUD....... LOUD...... LOUD. I am old, old, old, lol! We dance and have a great time. Two little boys try to pick me up. I explain to each that I am as old as their mothers. For heaven's sake!
There was a music trivia contest and I knew 20 out of 24 answers so several of our group won free beers. I could have gotten more, but he couldn't hear me yelling answers. Never had that happen before! Bobby asks if I'm driving, I say yes. He asks if that's why I'm not drinking, I say yes. He says we have to go out again when I can "get all liquored up and have fun". I tell him I am having fun.
So we had fun until 0130........OMG! My feet! My ears! On the way home I tell Jen that I am calling SB when I get in bed. She tells me not to. She says that if I call him at 0230 I am an ass. Humph! So I don't call.
Fast forward to this morning at 0600. And believe me, it happened very fast. I called SB and told him my tale of the night. He said "0230? I'm so glad you didn't call." Hey!!!!!! He asks if Jen got her Sam Adams. I tell him "No." when Jen & I were limping to our car, she told me that The Purple Shamrock didn't have it and she had to drink Bass Ale. He laments that I failed in the mission.
That's great, just great!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April 19, 1775

"Stand your ground; don't fire unless fired upon; but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
Captain John Parker, Battle of Lexington

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Saying GoodBye to Sgt. Adam Kennedy

Colin Kennedy kissed the casket of his brother Army Sergeant Adam Kennedy at Knollwood Memorial Park in Canton. (Globe Staff Photo / Bill Greene)
Yesterday, lost among the news coverage of the horror at Virginia Tech, was Sgt. Adam Kennedy's funeral.

Soldier Receives Grand Send Off - Boston Globe
Honor, courage, determination, humor, friendship, and faith.
Those are the attributes Army Sergeant Adam P. Kennedy represented to his brother Colin and six of the soldier’s friends, who eulogized the Iraq casualty Tuesday before several hundred mourners at St. Jude’s Church.

Adam Was My Best Friend....My Hero - Boston Globe
Adam was my best friend and also my hero," Colin Kennedy said from the pulpit. "He went out and lived his childhood dream."
When Colin Kennedy was finished and when all the tributes and consolations were over, Kennedy's relatives, friends, comrades, and neighbors stood at their pews and filled the overflowing church with the sound of a long, standing ovation
.
Norfolk Army soldier killed in Iraq blast laid to rest - Boston Herald
Monsignor Peter Conley, the church’s pastor, called Kennedy’s loss “a test of faith.”
“Let it not be whispered, let it not be thought, that Adam Kennedy died in vain,” Conley said. “He did not. This is a man who kept his promise . . . and his promise was to us.”

Norfolk mourns a son - The Sun Chronicle
At the end of the service, state police, clad in black boots and white gloves, clasped their hands behind their backs. The military honor guard gently carried the casket and some onlookers quietly shed tears as it passed them by.

***************************************

Update. This comment was left and I wanted to pull it up here.

My name is SGT Atkin, of the 10th Mountain Aviation regiment. We were honored to take part in the funeral for SGT Kennedy.

The people pictured in the photo carrying the casket from the church are;

Front Left, SPC Maddox

Center Left, SPC Morales

Back Left, SPC Kurtock

Front Right, SPC Truxell

Center Right, SPC Thomas

Back Right, SGT Atkin

Other members of the funeral team not pictured include;

1LT Turner

SSG Doran

SPC Solano

SPC Jenkins

**********************

Thank you, Sgt. Atkin.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Something Funny

There is a kind of meme circulating the blogosphere. It's called the "Thinking Blogger Award". The purpose is to recognize a blogger who makes you think. Simple enough. So who nominated me?
GoogieBaba of Mama and Mommy, Adventures in Gay Parenting. I like her blog too, and I enjoy her comments here.
Here's the funny part. Her presentation speech:
I can’t believe I am even going to tag this next woman, because I don’t agree with a friggin thing she has to say, but when I want to hear intelligent discourse from the other side of the aisle, I go to Boston Maggie’s. I think she at a military blogger conference right now or something like that, but I am tagging her anyway. (Yes, we do have republicans in Massachusetts. Here’s one – go read her blog)
All compliments are gladly accepted......backhanded or otherwise!
She tagged me in the post below where I profess my love (in a political sense) for Andy Card, lol.............very ironic!

Andy Card

Was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I really, really want him to run for the Senate.

Professor Liviu Librescu

You need to go to The Castle of Argghhh!!! and read this post. Then go over to Solomonia and read this post.

This was on Yahoo News.

In my surfing yesterday I remember reading the words "Where was Virginia Tech's Todd Beamer?". Now we know.

Matt Sherman "Gangs of Iraq"

Tonight PBS will air "Gangs of Iraq". Matt Sherman appears. The New York Times reviews the program and quotes Matt.

It is facts like that that cause Matt Sherman, a former interior ministry adviser, to say, “My greatest fear is that in our effort to train and equip Iraqi security forces, what we have been doing is equipping Iraqis for civil war.”
It is to the credit of this program that viewers will better understand Mr. Sherman’s anxiety, and the difficulties facing the United States in Iraq.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The White House

As some of you know, I will be in DC in 3 weeks for the 2007 Milblogger's Conference (put together by the fabulous Andi). Once the date was announced months ago, I emailed my Congressman, William Delahunt to request a White House Tour. This was back in January. I got an email back acknowledging my request. Then in February I got a call saying that they don't get their answers until right before the date requested. So today I got the call.

My request was declined. I was told not to take it personally and no explanation was given. No explanation is ever given. That there were lots of requests and there were lots of requests that were declined. They offered me a tour of the Capitol guided by one of the Congressman's interns. I accepted. But I am really disappointed.

Do they know who I am? Up here in this bluest of blue states I am a rarity. I am a lifelong Republican. A lifelong Republican who votes...unfailingly. I am really disappointed.

So I email out to my circle of fellow milbloggers. These are some of the responses.

After asking for clarification John of Argghhh!! responds to the question "Do they know who I am?" with "I'd say the answer is... yes." BOO!

His lovely wife, SWWBO resonds "Laura must have found out how hot you are, Maggie" That could hardly be the problem, everyone knows I gave up married men because they are bad for my karma.

AFSis - "Nah. They're just afraid you'll moon all of the dem's." Honestly, you flash one little pub crawl and they never let you forget it. Besides it was a "FLASH" not a "MOON"! I am a nice Catholic school girl!

Anthony - "How the hell did that happen?" And SK (who should blog, but doesn't) "I gotta ditto your WTF???!!!!" Now that was the reaction I was looking for! Thank you.

Robert Palmer - Simply Irresistible

For ConcreteBob! Thanks Sherri!

So down in "Two Houses" the comments were hijacked by that troublemaker, ConcreteBob. He is ditching me for the MilBloggers conference. Last year, he paid no attention to me what-so-ever and he promised to "make it up to me" this year. Now he finds he can not make the conference due to another committment and is under the mistaken impression that I will be nice about this. What? Have we met? I am Princess Crabby. I am not nice about anything! As a matter of fact in private emails I have been taunting him (there's a wicked shocka, huh?) and encouraging others to join in. First he tried to plead his case and get supposrt using reason "Sherri, I'm not ditching the conference, I have to be at my boss's wedding.But I promised Maggie after the last milblog conference I would see her at the next one, since she seems to think I dissed her at the last one. So I'm using Friday night to fulfill that promise. She's being very unreasonable and will probably pull this post." The he said something nice, trying to get on my good side (which I don't have) "I forgot incorrigible...and irrepressible..and unrelenting...and unforgettable.. " Sherri tried to help him....."I think you have now forgotten irresistible. Just trying to help out...... ;-)"......but......."Thanks a bunch...Now I have Robert Palmer in my head, singing Simply Irresistible." So I posted this. LOL

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Snippets

I am on the computer and listening to FoxNews Sunday (instead of cleaning).

Chris Wallace was trying to get Al Shapton to apologize for certain things. It gives me vertigo to be on Sharpton's side. It's a good thing I'm sitting down. Chris wanted Sharpton to apologize to the Duke lacrosse players. How silly. Mike Nifong needs to apologize. The faculty who signed that crazy letter need to apologize. Certain people who say that they are still clearly guilty need to apologize. Not Sharpton. Sharpton said (today and on his radio show Friday) that clearly we were all misled by Nifong and what happened to those Duke players was terrible. What more do you want? That's just what he should say.

Incredibly Nicolas Sarkozy is taking flak for saying just what I believe. He said some people were "born paedophiles" (BBC spelling). Some people are troubled by that. Some people are stupid. The actual quote was made during a weekend interview for Philosophie magazine, Mr Sarkozy said he was "inclined to believe that people are born paedophiles, and it's also a problem that we don't know how to treat this pathology". His closest rival, Segolene Royal said his view that some people were "born paedophiles" was "extremely serious". WTF? The 3rd place candidate, Francois Bayrou, said Mr Sarkozy's comments about paedophiles were "terribly worrying" and "chilling". Excuse me? What constituancy are they pandering too? Are Royal and Bayrou appealling to the French chapter of NAMBLA? This is French Presidential politics my friends.

I wonder if Jennifer is awake yet..........I want to go to breakfast. I have to go to work later, yesterday was very disjointed and I didn't get much done. Still no car..........I don't feel much like a Princess right now.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Two Houses

*********UPDATE - June 17, 2008 - Mr. Gore wants you to know he's made some improvements to his home. So what's happened to his energy usage? Read Dusty's post at the Castle.************
I got this in an email from SB and I'm sure it's elsewhere in the blogosphere, but it amused me and I'm putting it up anyway.
House #1
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guesthouse all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home.This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.
House #2
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% ofthe electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.
*****************
HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville,Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas.Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence ofthe President of the United States, George W. Bush. ******************
The email ends by pointing out:
So whose house is gentler on the environment? Yet another story you WON'T hear on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post.
Indeed, for Mr. Gore, it's truly "an inconvenient truth."

NO KIDDING!
*****************
Here is the Snopes link
Here is a link to a Boston Globe article on Gore's energy use.
Here is a link to an ABC news story on Gore's electric bill.
This is a link to the architect that designed Bush's house, David Heymann.
This is a link to an article about "The Western White House" by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin. H/T Basil's Blog

Sgt. Adam Kennedy

Funeral arrangements have been announced.
********UPDATE******While I have not heard any talk of asshats protesting, I am still relieved to know that the Patriot Guard will be at Sgt. Kennedy's funeral. In addition to shielding the family from the horror of some wingnut trying to hijack the proceedings, the Patriot Guard adds to the dignity of the funeral. They are most often veterans and they are a solemn, respectful presence. Sgt. Kennedy deserves no less.*******
Adam P. Kennedy
Age 25, of Norfolk, passed away April 8th, while serving in the Army in Iraq. Beloved son of J. David & Nancy A. (Smyth) Kennedy of Norfolk. Brother of John D. & his wife Kori of Nashua, N.H., Jane Kennedy of Winthrop, Maureen Daley & her husband John of Roslindale & Colin M. of Norfolk. Uncle of Eric Daley & Dean & Aren Kennedy. Also survived by many aunts, uncles & cousins. Relatives & friends invited to attend a Funeral Mass at St. Jude's Church, Norfolk, Tuesday morning at 10. Visiting hours at St. Jude's Church, 86 Main St., Norfolk, Sunday (7-9) & Monday (2-4) & (7-9). Interment Knollwood Memorial Park, Canton. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Sgt. Adam P. Kennedy Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 100, Norfolk, MA 02056. Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home (781) 828-0811
From the Sun Chronicle
Sgt. Adam P. Kennedy, 25
Sgt. Adam P. Kennedy, 25, of Norfolk, passed away Sunday, April 8, 2007 while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Born in Newton, he was a lifelong resident of Norfolk.
He graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, where he was an honor roll student and a member of the football, wrestling and track teams.
After graduating in 2000, he enrolled in the Corps of Cadets at Norwich University in Vermont and graduated in 2004.
After graduating from Norwich, he joined the Army and became the "Distinguished Honor" graduate of his bootcamp class, for his discipline and leadership skills.
He was a member of the Army's Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based out of Alaska, before being deployed to Iraq in October.
He was the beloved son of J. David and Nancy A. (Smyth) Kennedy of Norfolk; the brother of John D. and his wife Kori of Nashua, N.H., Jane Kennedy of Winthrop, Maureen Daley and her husband John of Roslindale, and Colin M. of Norfolk; the uncle of Eric Daley and Dean and Aren Kennedy; and is also survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral Mass Tuesday morning, April 17 at 10 at St. Jude's Church, 86 Main St., Norfolk.
Visiting hours will be Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Monday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Jude's Church.
Interment will be in Knollwood Memorial Park, Canton.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Sgt. Adam P. Kennedy Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 100, Norfolk, MA 02056.
Arrangements are by the Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home, Canton
In addition to the obit, The Sun Chronicle has an opinion piece up as well.
********************
There is another post about Sgt. Kennedy elsewhere in this blog.
********************
'A toast, my friends, raise your glasses to "Absent Companions!"'

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Priorities

Boston is currently in the middle of an upswing in gun violence and murder. There is an ongoing war of words between Boston's mayor, the current and former governors, Boston City coucilors and various pundits and editorialists. The Guardian Angels made a polarizing appearance. The State legislature fights about cops and funding.

But Mayor Menin-Yo (Michael Graham's nickname for the mayor) has his priorities.

Climate Action Plan for Boston
Today, Mayor Tom Menino will release a sweeping city-wide plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and some say it's the most ambitious climate change initiative yet launched by an American city.

My theory? Someone warned the mayor that violence would worsen as temperatures rose this summer...............so he's decided a good crime fighting strategy would be to fight global warming.

Thank Woo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Army Sgt. Adam Kennedy


*********Updated information with funeral arrangements can be found here***********
Fallen soldier recalled as a leader and good son
Ever since he was a Cub Scout, Adam Kennedy liked to wear a uniform.
The Norfolk boy who often wore camouflage and later heaved more than 1,000 pounds as a prize-winning weight lifter became a 25-year-old sergeant in the Army who oversaw the security detail of the colonel commanding his brigade in Iraq.
On Sunday, while on a patrol about 25 miles southeast of Baghdad, a roadside bomb tore through his Humvee, making him one of the military's more than 3,267 dead in Iraq, his family said
. (more)
Army Sgt. Adam Kennedy, a rock climbing enthusiast and Norwich University graduate who began his first tour of duty in Iraq last fall, was killed by a blast from an improvised explosive device south of Baghdad, the Defense Department said Monday.
Kennedy, 25, of Norfolk, was killed Sunday when his unit was hit with indirect fire while conducting combat control near Diwaniyah, Iraq, said Army Alaska spokesman Capt. Richard C. Hyde.
Kennedy, a paratrooper, was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division based at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and was sent to his first tour in Iraq in October. He joined the Army in August 2004 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in January 2005.
Kennedy's family members did not immediately know any additional details of the circumstances of Sunday's attack, his father, David Kennedy, and mother, Nancy Smyth, said by telephone from the family home in Norfolk.
"His lifelong ambition was to be in the military," his father said. "He really loved the discipline, and the physical conditioning."
Kennedy's unit provided security for an Army colonel, clearing hidden explosives and otherwise ensuring safe passage for convoys. The work frequently put Kennedy's unit in danger -- a reality that became clear to his family when he returned for a 10-day leave late last year.
"He was obviously subdued, and changed by the danger," his father said.
David Kennedy said his son telephoned him last Thursday and told him he would be on special duty requiring him to be out of contact for about a month.
Despite the risks, Kennedy in December made a commitment to remain with the Army for another six years, his father said.
Kennedy, who was single, graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood in 2000. He graduated from Norwich University, a private military college in Northfield, Vt., in 2004, majoring in computer science, according to a statement from the university.
At Norwich, he spent time away from his studies rock-climbing in the Green Mountains, and participated in a cold weather rescue team, his parents said.
Although he had little background as a runner, he last year finished a marathon during a break from military training in Alaska.
"He ran a respectable time his first time out," his father said.
Arrangements for a funeral in Norfolk were pending.
While Kennedy was serious about his military career and his beliefs, he could be a cut up, his father said."He was serious when it was called for," Kennedy said. "But he knew how to be a child and he could be the biggest goof-off."
Sgt. Kennedy was the second youngest of five children.He is survived by his older brother, John; older sisters, Jane and Maureen; and younger brother, Colin. Colin is a senior at Xaverian.
Honor Bound by Heather McCarron
In Norfolk there is a grassroots effort among townspeople to have as many flags as possible on display as a sign of respect and solidarity. If you are in Norfolk or know someone in Norfolk, please pass this along. Here is my contribution.

Charlestown Veterans History Project


Monday, April 09, 2007

Am I A Bully?

Elizabeth Edwards is a nitwit. Am I a bully to say that about cancer girl? Thanks for the laugh Lizzie!

Elizabeth Edwards afraid of neighbor

Elizabeth Edwards says she is scared of the "rabid, rabid Republican" who owns property across the street from her Orange County home -- and she doesn't want her kids going near the gun-toting neighbor.

Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, particularly recalls the time neighbor Monty Johnson brought out a gun while chasing workers investigating a right of way near his property. The Edwards family has yet to meet Johnson in person.

"I wouldn't be nice to him, anyway," Edwards said in an interview. "I don't want my kids anywhere near some guy who, when he doesn't like somebody, the first thing he does is pull a gun out. It scares the business out of me."

But Johnson defended the occasion he brandished a gun, saying those on his land didn't have the proper approval.

"I use the gun for protection, and I considered that an appropriate time," Johnson said. "Sometimes you have to take drastic measures."

Edwards views Johnson as a "rabid, rabid Republican" who refuses to clean up his "slummy" property just to spite her family, whose lavish 28,000-square-foot estate is nearby on 102 wooded acres.

Johnson, 55, acknowledges his Republican roots. But he takes offense to the suggestion he has purposefully left his property, including an old garage he leases for use as a car shop, in dilapidated condition.
Johnson said he has lived his entire life on the property, which he said his family purchased before the Great Depression. He said he's spent a lot of money to try and fix up the 42-acre tract.
"I have to budget. I have to live within my means," Johnson said. "I don't have millions of dollars to fix the place."

Johnson, who has posted a "Go Rudy Giuliani 2008" sign on a fence just 100 feet from the entrance to the Edwards' driveway, has criticized Edwards for the scale of their nearby home.
The property and home, which includes an indoor basketball court, an indoor handball court and an indoor pool, is valued at $5.3 million.

The Edwardses are still putting the final touches on the property, which they purchased in 2003.

"I thought he was supposed to be for the poor people," Johnson said. "But does he ever socialize with any poor people? He doesn't speak to me."

Johnson said he has put his property on the market, in part blaming the high property taxes for his decision to leave. He also wants to move for another reason.

"I don't want to live somewhere where someone's always complaining about me," he said.

OK, where to start? Did I mention I think that Lizzie comes off like an idiot here? She bought a house in 2003 and she's beefing about a guy who isn't trying hard enough to keep-up-with-the-jones'? You bought the house Lizzie, not the neighbors. Next, she engages in name calling. Isn't that nice? And what makes him "rapid, rapid"? Is it chasing trespassers off of his property with a gun? Is it the Rudi sign? Is it the sole fact that he is a Republican? Am I a "rabid, rabid Republican"? As far as I can figure the guy never said boo to her, yet she says if she met him "she wouln't be nice". Ok. Good to know. This is the sort of behavior we look for in a First Lady./sarcasm
Can you imagine if Laura Bush spoke of someone who lived near the ranch in Texas, someone she had never met and randomly said "I wouldn't be nice" if she met him? LOL, no you can't. Because Laura isn't a nitwit. Of course, most rationale people wouldn't say such a thing.

Are we supposed to let this slide because she's got cancer? Can Lizzie spew whatever nonsense now that's she's poured her heart out to Katie on CBS?

This was just a silly post about a silly, meaningless woman. If you follow the link to the story, check out the pic. What was she thinking when she put on that outfit? Meow.

USN vs. RN

RN
I have commented briefly on this subject because I do not feel it is my place to do so. So I will just relay the words of two Navy men I respect. I can't print a comment from the Navy guy that I most respect...cause my Dad just made a face, lol.

USN

Adm. Mike Mullen on CNN

ADM. MICHAEL MULLEN, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS: My expectations is that American sailors are never seized in a situation like that. And individuals and units are guided by the right of self-defense. They don't have to ask permission to take action to protect themselves.

SB, Princess Crabby's favorite Naval Consort and SWO extraordinaire!

They should have fought! What's next...Argies taking the Falklands back without a fight? Admiral Nelson is wishing he were Irish! We may not win all the fights but at least we try!

My crew is fully aware of how they are expected to (and will. I'm sure) behave if God forbid they find themselves in a similar situation. Old saying goes...."Come back carrying your shield....or on it!"

We give them guns and ammo for a reason! The taxpayers will buy us more!

For some very interesting commentary on the photo at the top, go to Murray's place.

Friday, April 06, 2007

You Should Skip This If You Get Queasy.......

This is a post about my colon, lol. You've been warned.

Three years ago Grace had multiple pre-cancerous and one cancerous polyps. It was a very scary time for us. She kept the symptoms and the first colonoscopy a secret. Only my parents knew. I found out accidently when I called her after the colonoscopy. I was calling to leave a message on her answering machine, and I was startled when she answered. I demanded to know why she was home in the middle of the day. She was groggy enough to answer me. I was devastated. It was a M&M/Coca Cola mainlining moment (mixing them and shaking the bottle and gulping it down). It took a few weeks, and more than one colonoscopy, but it all worked out. She didn't need radiation or chemo or surgery and she is cancer free. So, of course, she became the colonoscopy Nazi! She has been hounding the everliving daylights out of us to go.

So first she convinced my Dad. It didn't take much convincing because he is very health conscious. He is very healthy, fit, 72 year old. He had some polyps, but not bad ones, there you go, all clear, see you later. Next, they pester my mother and finally she goes, same deal, a few polyps, not bad ones, bye-bye. Now Grace turns her energies on us. I don't know how she convinced my brother, but she did and he had no polyps...........so I pronounced him to be, what I knew he was all along............a perfect asshole! Now it's down to Jen and I, and the pressure is increasing. Jen breaks first, she went a few months ago and the doctor told her that she had "an unremarkable colon".

Now, the cheese stands alone.

Let me backtrack for a moment. Jen, Frank and I look alike. We look like our father. Grace does not. Not in coloring or features or build. So, I have always taken great delight in speculating that Grace was switched in the nursery. I took some minor story about her baby bracelet falling off in the nursery (true) and spun it into a whole story about Grace belonging to some Italian family somewhere in the North End (not true, she looks like my mother's family). So, whenever Grace would pester me....and trust me, pester is the only word that applies.....I would explain that I had no worries because she was not genetically related to me. SB can NOT believe that I am so mean. I don't know why he can't believe it. I am that mean.

So finally I crack under the pressure. Last Friday, I give and make an appointment for today. What the hell, if you have to fast it might as well be on Good Friday! I had breakfast Thursday and then nothing. I should have scheduled a Tanker Brothers Rolling Victory Fast day, lol (double points!). So last night Jen takes me to my parent's house, after all they are 10 minutes from MGH. That was the other thing, we all had to go to Grace's doctor. Between her multiple appointments and all the rest of us, my father is recognized as an official escort, lol. I'm not kidding. When Jen went and they asked who her escort was, my Dad popped his head around and the girl recognized him and gave him a big warm hello. He told them Jen would have Lorna Doone cookies and apple juice before they could even offer the choices.

Taking that drink and purging? That took longer than both of my labors combined! Good Lord! I watched movies most of the night. I called Grace but she was out. I told Debbie (her daughter/my god-daughter) "Have her call me, I am going to yell at her all night!" Debbie said that she would probably wait until after CSI if I was going to yell. I told Deb I was calling CBS and having CSI cancelled. When I woke up this morning everything I had moved in my parent's house was put back and my clothes were washed and dried. My Dad scares me. Between their organization and punctuality and needing plans nailed down, Jen and I speculate that perhaps I am the one who is not genetically related!

Now this project took a little more planning because I had thoughtlessly scheduled on a Friday at 1300 hours. It is well known in my extended family that Friday at 1330 it's lunch at the Tavern. My parents and my aunt and uncle have lunch together every Friday, pretty much without fail. If one of my mother's other brothers is around they stop by, knowing exactly where to find their siblings and in-laws. So first my mother announced that my father will drive me to MGH and her brother will take the rest in his car to the tavern. Then my uncle Frank calls to say, no, he will pick all of us up, drop my mother and his wife at the tavern, then both he and my father will take me to MGH and return to their wives at the tavern. Then my father comes downstairs and announces that no one should be interfering in his plans. He will take my uncle Frank's car, drop me at MGH, come back for the rest and go to the Tavern. I, very wisely say nothing. My father wins and off we go.

First nurse reviews my chart and asks if I have symptoms....no....why am I there? I am not 50. I explain about Grace relentlessly hounding me. That I am going to hold this waste of time over her head forever!

Next nurse.....same questions.....same answer.

Doctor.......same questions.........same answer. He explains that he told Grace to get us all to do this. Whatever. All that matters is I will torment Grace with this tale of suffering and woe.

I'll skip the gross parts except to say...........they found something, two somethings. Their chattering excitement woke me up. You'd think they found the prize in the G-D CrackerJack box! The nurse puts her hand on my arm and says "Thank God for Grace!" Oh MY GOD! She will hold this over me forever! What am I going to do now? When I am in recovery the doctor comes over to tell me how lucky I am. If I had waited until I was 50 or until I had symptoms it would have been bad. He tells me I have a lot to thank my sister for. Oh MY GOD! The recovery room nurse reviews that chart and remarks how lucky I am to have caught this early, why did I come in? Big sigh. "My sister." Well, thank goodness for your sister." Oh MY GOD! After a few minutes the recovery room nurse and I realize we know each other from the Nook. I ask her if I have to tell anyone about my results and she laughs and tells me "No, they are your secret."

My father waits until we are alone at the elevators. "Well?" "Do I have to tell you?" "Yes! Yes! I'm your father!" (puffing up his chest). I tell him and he says I have to "...tell Mummy..." (lol, he cracks me up when he says that)"...but I don't have to tell Grace".

I tell my mother and she laughs at even the thought that I might withhold this information from Grace or that Grace would let me.

Jen calls......I tell her. "Wow." she says. "My life is over." I whine. "Grace already doesn't respect my authority as the eldest." Jen laughs because NO ONE respects my authority as the eldest.

Grace calls........I tell her. Big shout of laughter. Lot's of crowing. It was very unseemly, Grace.

SB calls.......I don't tell him immediately. He makes nervous conversation. I make him draw the information out of me. I tell him that the doctor told me that if I had waited it would have been bad. He is quiet for a moment. He tells me to call Grace back and relay a message from him...."Thank you."

I call Grace back and tell her. She laughs and says she wants a box of chocolate covered coconut.

Jen shows up to drive me home. She brings me Coke and M&Ms. I couldn't drink the Coke (no carbonated beverages for another day), but I greedily consume the M&Ms.

So...........Thank You, Grace.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Sam Fox!

I love George Bush!
President Bush named Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday, using a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress where Democrats had derailed Fox's nomination
"W" didn't let that cowardly weasel John Kerry win.
Bush Uses Recess Appointment Power to Install GOP Fundraiser Sam Fox as Ambassador
Democrats had denounced Fox for his 2004 donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group's TV ads, which claimed that Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a major factor in the Massachusetts Democrat losing the election.
Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation, Bush withdrew the nomination last month. On Wednesday, with Congress out of town for a spring break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.
This means Fox can remain ambassador until the end of the next session of Congress, effectively through the end of the Bush presidency
.

John Kerry is my junior Senator....to my everlasting mortification and he is a bully! Senator Kerry used his position to on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to exact revenge on a Swift Boat ad contributor. Kerry was punishing someone for FREE SPEECH. Because John Kerry follows the tried and true wing-nut rule "Free speech for me and not for thee!"
Sam Fox can donate money to any campaign he chooses as long as he follows the law. It doesn't matter if 99.9% of America disagrees with what he has to say - which by the way, they didn't!. Backing the Swift Boat Vets for Truth was his right as an American citizen. Sam Fox is supposed to be able to say whatever he damn well pleases Senator. Just as you got to say what you wanted. Free speech is a two way street. You couldn't refute the veracity of the charges, so like that small...... petty...... cowardly...... sniveling...... little....... little man that you are, you misused your power as a United States Senator to strike out.

Senator, you demeaned your office. You abused the privilege. I would tell you that you should be ashamed, but we all know that you are incapable of feeling shame. You are a hypocrite in every other aspect of your life and I expected no less here.

But it doesn't matter, does it? "W" got the last word.

Damn! I love you, George. I will never, ever take your sticker off of my car.

Note to one of my favorite, favorite political analysts, Bill Kristol who wrote a great piece about "W" fighting back. HE DID!!!!!! Yea!!!!! Give him a Bravo Zulu, baby!

Ladies and Gentleman.....I give you, Sam Fox, Ambassador to Belgium!
***************
Gateway Pundit has a great post on this.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

So, I've Had This Cold......

....on and off for a few weeks. I drown it in pineapple juice, garlic and chicken soup (no, not combined), but I can't quite kill it. So, last night, in anticipation of tonight's lecture, I bought some hard candy to keep the cough at bay. But, of course, I forgot it. The woman barely got rolling and I had to dash from the room. Now if you are seated at the back of the room, this is no big deal. But I was seated front row dead center. That's where the nuns used to put me and there was a reason for that. So after I bolt down two flights of a spiral staircase to the ladies room in the basement and pull myself together......I have to sneak back in. What I did hear of the lecture, I liked. The differences between the various black populations, West Indian, blacks from the south, pre-Revolutionary population, Civil War era immigrants, was not something I ever considered. I think it will be an interesting book.

Tomorrow night's lecture may have to be shelved. After dinner I got a call from Grace and she wants to go to dinner tomorrow with Frank and Jen. Oh well.....Grace does trump Ali Allawi.

Tonight's Lecture

It's spring and there are things to do.......

Tonight's Lowell Lecture at the Bostonian Society
The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston
Tuesday, April 3, 2007, 6:30PM
Violet M. Johnson, chair of the History Department at Agnes Scott College, examines the lives and aspirations of West Indians who came to Boston and their impact on the city. Prof. Johnson has written numerous articles on the experiences of black migrants to the United States.

Tomorrow night is a Cambridge Forum in Harvard Square
Iraqi Government Advisor Ali Allawi discussing his book "The Occupation of Iraq"

i heart Jonah Goldberg!

He gives it to Rosie and ABC.

The 'queen of nice' goes nuts
Rosie O'Donnell's wacky 9/11 conspiracy theories should get her kicked off 'The View.'
RENOWNED metallurgist Rosie O'Donnell proclaimed on TV on Thursday that Sept. 11, 2001, was a more significant date than most of us realized. It was, in her words, "the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel." This, of course, came as news to steelworkers, blacksmiths, firefighters, manufacturers of samurai swords and other fools who hadn't realized that steel is forged in magic furnaces using dragon breath and pixie dust. O'Donnell made this and other profoundly stupid comments on the daytime talk show "The View," ABC's update of the ancient practice of women chattering around the village well. The former "queen of nice" seems to think that the show is the perfect venue to audition as grand marshal for the next tinfoil hat parade. And if you visit O'Donnell's website (www.rosie.com), you'll find her application's supporting materials: all sorts of unadulterated moonbattery presented in the Esperanto of global derangement — a form of instant-message-style free verse. For example, she writes about the British sailors held prisoner in Iran:
the british did it on purpose
into iranian waters
as
US MILITARY BUILD UP ONTHE IRANIAN BORDER
we will be in iran
before summer
as planned
come on people
u have 2 c
i know u can
You may be unfamiliar with such psych-ward stylings, but I get e-mail written like this all the time. Perhaps if you believe the jackbooted thugs are at your door, it's reasonable to think you don't have time to spell out your words.Anyway, in last week's rant, O'Donnell focused on World Trade Center Building 7, which has become the grassy knoll for 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Asked if the government was responsible for its collapse, she coyly replied that she didn't know. All she knows is that it's "impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved" and that, for the "first time in history, steel was melted by fire." Wink, wink. For the record, fire can melt steel, and buildings also collapse when heat weakens steel. But that misses the point. The point is we shouldn't have to argue with crazy people. Regardless, it appears that not even the heat of ridicule can weaken O'Donnell's steely resolve to make an idiot of herself.You know what? That's fine. Normally we expect such outbursts from the poor souls who rage against unseen threats at bus stations and public libraries. But even the rich and famous have a right to mutter inanities, shout non sequiturs or shriek possum recipes.But ABC isn't obliged to give O'Donnell a nationally televised platform. Barbara Walters, the matriarch of "The View" and its executive producer, is supposed to be a titan of American journalism. She has all the awards any broadcast journalist could ever want. But today she knowingly gives a soapbox to a wacko. Walters and ABC no doubt will seek comfort in any number of rationalizations, from gooey platitudes about free speech to the glories of diverse opinion to the fundamental unseriousness of CafĂ© Vienna-moment television. And yes, human train wrecks make for good ratings — which is why O'Donnell may get another $40 million before her "View" contract expires in June.Granted, "The View" isn't "60 Minutes," so why should we care that much if the girl talk gets a little silly? After all, Walters has spent much of her career muddying the distinction between entertainment and hard news, what with her saccharine "What kind of tree would you be?" interviews. Yet there is a difference between taking silly topics seriously and being silly about serious stuff. When you discuss hair-care products or lavish weddings, the subject telegraphs its own triviality. Walters may risk her journalistic reputation when she jibber-jabbers about such things, but that ship sailed long ago. It's another thing entirely when ABC's most venerated on-air journalist gives a megaphone to someone who frets that poor Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was railroaded, who insinuates that the U.S. government had a hand in any part of 9/11 and who insists Elvis Presley is alive and living on an island with Bruce Lee (OK, I made that last one up).But so far, O'Donnell has gotten a pass because she isn't a mere wacko but a left-wing wacko. If O'Donnell sounded like Pat Robertson, the network would call in the butterfly net almost immediately. But because O'Donnell's crazy accusations are directed rightward at that evil George W. Bush, it's considered forgivable excess. So come on ABC, for your own credibility, send her someplace where she won't be a harm to herself or anybody else, someplace with rubber sporks.
u have 2 c
i know u can
*

Monday, April 02, 2007

Good....... Lord.

How depressing is this?
Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims
By LAURA CLARK
Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.
It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.
The findings have prompted claims that some schools are using history 'as a vehicle for promoting political correctness'.
The study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, looked into 'emotive and controversial' history teaching in primary and secondary schools.
It found some teachers are dropping courses covering the Holocaust at the earliest opportunity over fears Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class.
The researchers gave the example of a secondary school in an unnamed northern city, which dropped the Holocaust as a subject for GCSE coursework.
The report said teachers feared confronting 'anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'.
It added: "In another department, the Holocaust was taught despite anti-Semitic sentiment among some pupils.
"But the same department deliberately avoided teaching the Crusades at Key Stage 3 (11- to 14-year-olds) because their balanced treatment of the topic would have challenged what was taught in some local mosques."
A third school found itself 'strongly challenged by some Christian parents for their treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict-and the history of the state of Israel that did not accord with the teachings of their denomination'.
The report concluded: "In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."
But Chris McGovern, history education adviser to the former Tory government, said: "History is not a vehicle for promoting political correctness. Children must have access to knowledge of these controversial subjects, whether palatable or unpalatable
."
Just when I thought this story couldn't be more depressing, comes this.......
The researchers also warned that a lack of subject knowledge among teachers - particularly at primary level - was leading to history being taught in a 'shallow way leading to routine and superficial learning'.
Lessons in difficult topics were too often 'bland, simplistic and unproblematic' and bored pupils.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Shamelessly Stolen from Jules Crittenden!

I love this piece in the UK Telegraph! Jules Crtittendon posted a round-up and this was my favorite.

If the Iranians hate us, let them also fear us

It is one thing to be disliked; quite another to be despised. Iran would not have kidnapped our Servicemen without having considered our rules of engagement, our diplomatic isolation and our likely military response, and made a rough calculation of how likely they were to get away with their piracy.
There was a time when British citizenship afforded a degree of protection from foreign harassment. When the half-mad King of Abyssinia interned two of our diplomats in 1868, we sent an expeditionary force of 13,000 British and Indian troops on a nine-month rescue mission. When Gordon was besieged at Khartoum in 1884, public opinion demanded a relief expedition, whose failure to arrive in time contributed in no small part to the downfall of the government.
During the Don Pacifico Affair in 1850, when Britain blockaded Piraeus in order to secure compensation for a Portuguese moneylender who had been born in Gibraltar, Palmerston assured his countrymen that "a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him from injustice and wrong".

Not any more. Teheran is well aware that we have been taking on additional military responsibilities while running down our capacity. Struggling to meet our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are in little position to pick a new fight. Public opinion, too, has changed. Where our great-great-grandfathers clamoured for the rescue of Gordon, we have reacted to Iran's provocation with a resigned shrug. Americans, in particular, cannot understand why we seem so indifferent to the fate of our own people.
Part of this indifference has to do, disgracefully, with anti-war sentiment: there is a feeling that we have no business being in the Gulf, and that we therefore are in no position to complain when things go wrong. But our sailors were carrying out their task at the behest of the Iraqi government and the United Nations. The rights and wrongs of the original invasion have no bearing on the criminality of their abduction.
There is also, perhaps, a feeling of impotence: if we can't invade Iran, what else can we do? Plenty of things. We can, of course, pull diplomatic and economic levers. This will involve going through Brussels, not so much because we need a favour as because we have no independent trade policy: the only way that Britain can impose sanctions on Iran is if the EU does so. At the same time, we could be seizing Iranian assets. Longer term, we could be putting pressure on the regime by sponsoring its opponents. We could launch tactical strikes at Iranian military installations.
We could even, in extremis, impose the kind of armed siege, complete with no-fly-zone, that paralysed Saddam in the years between the two Iraq wars: we already maintain large coalition garrisons on both Iran's flanks. Limiting ourselves to trivial resolutions will be treated by the ayatollahs as a sign of weakness. If they hate us, let them also fear us.


BZ to the author of this piece. I poked around the site and couldn't find a name, so I figure it's the paper's editorial staff. Go, go, go! We gotcha back!

I Had A Lovely Weekend

After lots of last minute uncertainty, I ended up in Newport Friday night. What a good time! SB and I never run out of things to say to each other. Even though we talk almost every day.....it's still wayyyyyyyy better face-to-face. He had to work Saturday, so I had some good down time to boot. Although we did get to have lunch together. The weather was perfect for the end of March. I was flipping through the channels at one point trying to find FoxNews (that and CSPAN are the customary soundtrack of my life) and came upon a little John Wayne film festival on AMC. So while I did stuff, there was "Blood Alley" and "McQ" on in the background. You know, I have to be perfectly honest here....."McQ" was not a good movie, lol. I can remember pestering the living daylights out of my father to take me to see it when it came out. He did. What a good guy. When I was in Seattle this past summer some parts of Route 99 looked familiar. At the time I thought it must be because there was an elevated highway like Boston. Now I realize that it was because of that movie.

I got some reading done, including a depressing article in Boston magazine about Republicans in Massachusetts (but it gave a well deserved shout out to Matt and Aaron Margolis of HubPolitics and DevalPatrickWatch) and an even more depressing one about an identity crisis that the author believed Boston's Irish American population is experiencing..........I'm fine.
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I've not said much about the situation in Iran. I've commented elsewhere, but haven't really felt that I had much to add. However, I want to respond to people who are questioning the statements made by the British sailors and marines over in Iran. They are being compared to American POWs. That's not fair. They are not American. Their training and their military philosophy are completely different. It's also not fair to bring up Nelson. The Royal Navy is a different entity now. The attitude is different. I found an interesting take on it over at the BBC. NPR is a marvelous (if madly liberal) thing!
'To fight would not be clever'
Admiral Sir Alan West was First Sea Lord in 2004, when Iran detained eight British servicemen after they allegedly strayed over the maritime border
Here he comments on the current detention by Iran of 15 Royal Navy personnel and compares it with the earlier incident.
What training would the personnel have been given to help them in the event of capture?
These particular people would not be trained in counter-interrogation techniques because they are not expected to be captured. But I think our guidance to anyone in that position would be to say what they want you to say, let's not be silly about it. Don't tell them secrets, clearly, but if they tell you: 'Say this', well if that's going to get you out, then do it. It means absolutely nothing, what they say, to be honest.

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This morning was CCD. Palm Sunday was discussed and somehow I got off topic (lol, shut up!) and we strayed to the subject of how the date of Easter is determined. Here's one of those utterly useless things I know. First you determine the vernal equinox (which usually occurs on my birthday, but this year occurred on the 21st). Next you find the next full moon, which is tomorrow at 1715. From this point, the next Sunday is Easter.......the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Needless to say, my class ends up knowing more history and geography that religion.....although I think I hit the basics.
Then I popped in to see the parents before heading home.
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The New York Times has an interesting article about a website that urges people to vote for the worst contestant on American Idol. I have never watched "American Idol", but I am well aware of how passionate their fans are. Anyway, the hits on this guy's website have tripled since sock jock Howard Stern interviewed him. Many people feel that's why a particularly bad contestant is still on the show. The hate mail on "Vote For The Worst" is hilarious.