I've made a few changes over in the sidebar. Nothing major though. I finally made some entries under "Fave Posts" and would like to ask if anyone has a particular favourite post here, to let me know.
I added a link to my Wish List, not in any expectation of pressies, but just because I like looking at other people's wish lists. I think it's a way to get some insight into a person. You're insight into me will be that I'm really odd!
Just a note that the email address for contacting me is different. The Gaggle address was a group address, and now there's no group, I'm just using my own addie: edithna AT Yahoo DOT com.
Added another Bear Flagger -- Aaron's Rantblog.
And it occurs to me that it's time to award another "Silver Snickerdoodle of Excellence"! Stay tuned for that!
Still a Large Mammal on the Ecosystem, but expect to fall fast once the individual links I've gotten over the last few days fall of people's front pages. Of course, if you really care, you'll link to me! I mean, Paul is ahead of me! Where's the justice?
Very interesting article on the convergence of the Angloshpere and the Blogoshpere.
.... Separate as the British and American information universes have been until now, a process of convergence has begun that will continue until there is only a single Anglosphere information universe. In this, the differences between right and left (for example) become more important than the distinctions of national origin. This process is already foreshadowed in the leading edge of the information universe, which at this point in time is the blogosphere -- the world of the Web logs, or blogs.
Several interconnected and mutually reinforcing developments are driving this process. The first and most obvious is the advent of the Internet and World-Wide Web. This permits flat-rate worldwide communications, ready access to the press of all nations, and, most importantly, the ability to link documents. Two things about the blogosphere are of particular interest: the ability of almost anyone with basic computer literacy to start and run a blog, and the practice of embedding links to other documents of interest.
With this practice, a report in one media source can draw comment from a universe of commentators, many of whom will be more knowledgeable or more immediately involved, and those comments themselves can link to source documents to prove or disprove the point in contention. Still other blogs serve as clearinghouses to review comment on a particular topic or incident, linking to a large number of individual commentators.
The blogosphere was given a strong boost by Sept. 11 and its consequences, particularly the Afghan and Iraqi wars. One salient characteristic of the blogosphere debate was that the pro- and anti-war debates tended to fall out by position on the political spectrum rather than by nationality.
Each side furthermore linked indiscriminately to newspaper and network Web sites on a pan-Anglosphere basis. This meant that blog readers throughout the Anglosphere began to find themselves linking to the Guardian, Times and Telegraph in Britain, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chicago Sun Times, or Australia's Sydney Morning Herald or The Age indiscriminately. In the blogosphere, the sun never sets on the Anglosphere press.
The blogosphere is still miniscule compared to the audience for broadcast and print media. (Although reporters are more and more relying on the blogosphere for research and background, and more and more aware that the blogosphere has the power to expose quickly errors that previously could be buried.) However, its denizens are disproportionately young and disproportionately well-educated professionals. They will likely set the tone more and more for the coming generation. Furthermore, the rise of the blogosphere will likely affect Britain disproportionately to America.
Worth reading it all.
Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat and 2004 presidential hopeful, is four months delinquent in paying the property taxes on his Georgetown mansion and owes the cash-strapped District more than $11,000, city records show. Mr. Edwards is worth somewhere between $12 million and $30 million after a successful career as a personal injury lawyer, according to his financial disclosure forms. He bought the eight-bedroom, 6,672-square-foot home in the tony neighborhood for $3.8 million in September
This is not the first time the Edwardses have failed to pay tax bills on time.
In at least eight instances during the past decade, the Edwardses have been so late paying property taxes on their Raleigh home and various automobiles that bill collectors assessed them penalties, according to records kept by Wake County in North Carolina.
In 1995, for example, they were more than two months late paying their taxes on a 1989 Mitsubishi and a 1991 Acura. That same year, they were nearly a month late paying taxes on their Raleigh home.
Last year, they were late paying their taxes on a 1998 Volvo and a 1998 Buick.
That did not include the dozens of times the Edwardses paid months past the due dates on their Raleigh tax bills but were not assessed late penalties.
Do I sense a pattern of behavior here?
Looks like it's going to be nifty!
Oh, and while you're there, check out "Seven Questions About The Future".
Today's lunchtime post is the celebrity buzz here in small town Monterey. This weekend, Michael Jackson and his kids were in Borders, and rumour has it they're all still in town, staying at the Monterey Plaza Hotel.
It's all the talk this afternoon at work.
Yes, we lead boring lives.
Check out "Bloggers Select The 15 Greatest Movies Of All-Time". I think three of my choices made it onto the list.
I was asked to participate, and I did (honest!) but the email I sent with my list was lost in the black hole of the internet :)
Update! Steve has already said he's going to shoot me in the knees (for my lowbrow taste, I believe) so I have nothing to lose by sharing my list.
I'm no student of film history, so "best" was pretty much "favourite" for me. So here's my list, in no particular order:
Ghost & Mrs. Muir
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Star Wars: The Original Trilogy
Fellowship of the Ring
Lawrence of Arabia
Lion in Winter
Whenever I try and do a list, I tend to draw a big mental blank. So this was "favourite movies I remember right now while I'm typing"!
I watched "Bridgit Jones's Diary" last night for the first time. This movie is a perfect illustration of my "merry" post! I laughed out loud when they talked about her being a "woman of a certain age". I know I meant the "merry" appellation pretty much as a joke, but some days, I think I should take it a little more seriously! :)
I am "MERRY"! [insert evil cackle]
First off, I have what I think constitutes a "Blog Child"! Bryce emailed me to say I'd inspired him to try his own hand at blogging. So go check out his brand new blog, Mood Vertigo (kewl name, no?)
Next up, I noticed a refferal in Site Meter from this blog, and it's also new! I popped over and discovered I'm one of 5 links on his blogroll, so such refined taste deserves a plug, don't you think? So go visit Digital Hamster!
And one last thing: If you have a new blog, by all means drop me a line and tell me about it! I love finding new stuff :)
From an email:
TheOneRing.net brings you this exclusive first look at THE RETURN OF THE
KING! This file was sent to us by person or persons unknown, it shows 1:35
minutes in GLORIOUS quicktime a TON of shots from ROTK. Sam and Frodo in
Moria, Pippin and Merry, Gandalf at Minas Tirith, fell beats, Plennor
Fields, Orcs and Men fighting, Aragorn and MORE! !!!MAJOR SPOILERS!!!
Update: It's gone :( New Line asked them to pull it, and I never even got to see it!
UPDATE!! A little bird emailed me and said you can find it here.
Dean has a tip top post and roundup: Iraq Situation Continues To Improve
Get thee yonder and read!
Former Vice-President Al Gore is coming under pressure from political supporters and friends to jump into the 2004 presidential campaign even though he ruled himself out in December.
Delay to the Knesset via The Corner
I come to you--in the midst a great global conflict against evil--with a simple message: "Be Not Afraid." I do not say this as a foreigner, cavalier in my estimation of the dangers that surround you. Instead, I say it as an ally, in spite of the terrifying predators who threaten all free nations, especially Israel. My country is not ignorant, nor are we indifferent to your struggle. We know our victory in the war on terror depends on Israel's survival. And we know Israel's survival depends on the willingness of free nations--especially our own--to stand by all endangered democracies in their time of need. We hear your voice cry out in the desert, and we will never leave your side. Because freedom and terrorism cannot coexist. Terrorism cannot be negotiated away or pacified. Terrorism will either destroy free nations, or free nations will destroy it. Freedom and terrorism will struggle--good and evil--until the battle is resolved. These are the terms Providence has put before the United States, Israel, and the rest of the civilized world. They are stark, and they are final.
The whole speech is here. (haven't had a chance to read it yet)
I'm going to talk about Pirates of the Caribbean. Arrrrr! Avast! (Am I obsessed with this movie? Nah
So, there's a line in the movie along these lines:
"Damned to the depths those who came up with the idea of 'parley'." "That... would be the French."
Every time I've seen the movie (three times so far), the audience laughs when this line comes up.
I just had to share that.
(Parley... To talk... to discuss the terms of end of conflict... to talk about the conditions for surrender.)
I want to see the movie again. [pout]
Must... Wait... For... Weekend...
From this website:
According to a news article published on SCIFI.COM, Joss Whedon is close to a deal to write and direct a big screen version of 'Firefly.'
"What's happening with that is that I'm writing a script. And I have some interest. But I won't know really until I finish a draft whether or not it's genuine," said Whedon. "We have a pretty decent shot. It's not a crased pipe dream."
For the movie to happen, though, depends on whether the original cast from the series can get back together for another outing on the Serenity. "Well, I can't just keep putting them on [The WB's] Angel," Whedon joked. "So I have to make a Firefly movie so I can hang out with them more. Yes, the deal is contingent upon the cast. I couldn't go so far as to jinx [the deal] and say it's in the bag. It's not. I still have to write it really well [groans]. But there's no pressure."
SF author Harlan Ellison is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against America Online for copyright infringement, the Wall Street Journal reported. Ellison charges that the Internet company didn't act fast enough when a fan posted some of his stories without permission on an online forum carried by the service. America Online says it's not to blame and that it removed the stories once it was aware of them, the newspaper reported.
While he is seeking money from America Online, Ellison told the newspaper that the suit is more a crusade to hold Internet service providers accountable for material pirated by their users.
In March 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled that the company wasn't liable. Ellison appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ellison's lawyers initially sought as much as $488 million from AOL, according to a court filing. But in his deposition, Ellison said he wants only "to get recompensed for the money I laid out," plus what his contributors gave and an extra $20 for each donor, the newspaper reported.
I saw a bit of this before, but Mickey has the whole thing over at her blog.
.... Looking into that sea of khaki gave me chills even in that blistering heat. To me, those troops were there to avenge the murder of my husband and 3,000 others. When I got to the microphone I told them we had not made this journey for condolences but to thank them and to tell them that the families of 9/11 think of them every day. They lift our hearts. The crowd interrupted me with chants of "USA, USA, USA." Many wept.
What happened next left no doubt that the troops drew inspiration from our tragedies. When I was first asked to speak to thousands of troops in Qatar, after Iraq, I wondered if it would feel like a "grief for sale" spectacle.
But this time I was shaking because I was to present the recovered WTC steel to Gen. Tommy Franks (U.S. Central Command commander). I quivered as I handed him the icy gray block of steel. His great craggy eyes welled up with tears. The sea of khaki fell silent. Then the proud four-star general was unable to hold back the tears which streamed down his face on center stage before 4,000 troops. As this mighty man turned from the spotlight to regain his composure I comforted him with a hug.
I finally got the opportunity to read John Hawkin's interview with Congressman Tom Tancredo. If illegal immigration is a subject that concerns you, this is a must read.
For what I'm sure will only be a very short amount of time, A&C (aka Gaggle) is a Large Mammal over on the Ecosystem!
The last few days I'm getting comments on all the blogs on really old posts.
Just thought I'd mention it :)
So people with kids are getting money, huh? Okay, I won't start. But, can I get an advance child credit in advance of any kids I might have? Didn't think so!
Don't get me wrong, I love kids, but it continues to bug me that tax cuts always seem to go to people with kids. Yes, I know, I've ranted about it before, and probably will again. It would just be nice for single folks to get in on some of the Bush tax breaks, you know?
A little lunch time posting...
Michele asked for title suggestions on a short story she wrote. One of her readers suggested "Revenge of the Woman of Kleenex", which I thought was a hoot. (if you don't know why I think it's a hoot, check out this link) Very nice to find some other Niven fans out there! I think one of my favourites of his short stories was "Inconstant Moon" -- and what a great title!
I've always been a fan of Mr. Niven. One of the best moments of last year's WorldCon was getting to have dinner with him and some friends. I never had the nerve to actually talk to him, but it was a great night anyway!
There's an article here about bar owners who have been fined for serving underage drinkers, turning around and suing the teens for fraud.
The winning quote from the article, I think, is this:
"I feel like I made my mistake and I paid for it," she said. "I did my hours of service, I learned my lesson. And just because they were negligent, I don't think I should have to pay."
So you chose to break the law, and because the bar didn't catch you, that makes it their fault? Uh huh....
Apparently, A&C is number 25 out of 50 on Technorati's Top 50 Interesting Newcomers. After nearly two years, I'm not sure if I qualify as a newcomer, but heck, I'll take all the accolades I can get!
According to this, Paul Darrow and friends are brings Blake's 7 back.
Now, part of me is thrilled! B7 remains my all time fave SF series. And Avon... ah, Avon! Well anyway, yes, part of me is thrilled. But at the same time, I'm so hoping this doesn't end up being a real turkey. Sometimes you just can't go home, you know?
Time will tell.
When I was very little, my father used to leave home at 6am and he'd be lucky to get home by 11pm. So I'd go to bed early and get up when he came home so I could spend time with him. One of the things we did was watch Johnny Carson together. I have fond memories of the times Bob Hope was a guest -- he may be one of my earliest TV memories. We would watch all the specials, and I used to watch his old movies when they'd come on. He always made me laugh. Bob Hope has been around my entire life, and I'm going to miss him. Thanks, Mr. Hope for all the memories and all the laughter.
May God bless his soul.
I finally got around to adding inline trackbacks, and actually got it to work! Thank to Kevin for an easy explanation on how to get it to function! But boy, does the site take a whole lot of tme to rebuild as it gets bigger and bigger... I wonder if I should remove some older posts to slim things down?
Personally, I think this has more to do with the opposition not being able to stand the thought of a Black woman who's not "one of theirs" getting any farther than she has.
What is it going to take for us to shut down our border with Mexico? Now illegals are using our National Parks and Forests as drug farms!
This is me and my brother around 1970 I think. So I'm around 7 here, the epitome of a stylish child of the era!
Michele never got to use the pics I sent, so I thought I'd share them here. I'm 4 or 5 here, so 1967-68. It's me, my brother, my mum, and my grandpa.
I notice a lot of bloggers have buttons and banners, and I'm wondering if I should make one. Maybe a green fairy holding a cookie?
I'm not blogathoning, but since I'm trying to stay up and watch Michele (and Laurence, and Meryl, and Julie, and Keith, and Kevin) blogathon, I figure I should be posting while I'm at it.
I finally saw "Casablanca"!! I've owned the DVD for a while now, but just never seemed to remember it was there. But tonight, all that changed! Realy enjoyed it and was surprised at how much of it I'd already seen over the years in clips.
I got a bottle of Cazadores Reposado tequila from Jen for my birthday. On the bottle, they have recipes, so I tried one after my two margaritas. It's called a Paloma, and it's tequila, grapefruit soda, lime juice and a little soda water. Quite nice!
Paul wanted a pic of my new do, but for now, here's a pic of an old one! This is from about ten years ago -- at least!
Initially scanned today for Michele's blogathon. But I sent alternate pics instead.
I missed "Stripes" today [pout].
I love "Stripes"!
But "Ghostbusters" is on now which almost makes up for it!
Gave myself a birthday pressie and got my hair professionally coloured and highlighted for once. It loks so much better than when I do it myself! And, my hair is back to not looking like a frumpy sheepdog, so I'm a happy camper.
I've got my margarita, and am now settling in to keep up with the blogathon!
I volunteered pics of me as a child of the 60's and 70's for Michele's Blogathon effort. So keep an eye out for them!
The Blogathon has started, and the charity I'm supporting is Magen David Adom. Visit any of the three blogs below for more information.
They all have information at the top of their blogs. Help buy a new ambulance for Magen David Adom.
Other blogs on my blogroll that are blogathonning (that I know of) are:
Julie at Lone Prarie
Kevin at Wizbang
Keith at Aphoristic
Feel free to leave information in the comments if you're in the Blogathon.
You know the state you live is part of the Twilight Zone when you see headlines like this: Gary Condit Urged To Run For CA Governor.
Not to mention Arianna Huffington! Gag me with a spoon! :)
She's at work today, dispensing drugs to the masses, so go say "hi" in her comments so she has something nice to come home to.
Mark Steyn's latest is a hoot.
Good evening. Reports that the former Italian leader Benito Mussolini is "dead" and "hanging" "upside down" at a petrol station were received with scepticism in Rome today. Our "reporter" - whoops, scrub the inverted commas round "reporter", the scare-quotes key on the typewriter's jammed again. Anyway our reporter Andrew "Gilligan" is "on" the scene "in" Milan. Andrew...
Andrew Gilligan: I'm leaning on a lamp post at the corner of the street in case a certain little duce swings by, and I don't see any dead dictators, John. But then the Allies have a history of making these premature announcements...
He's just above your head, Andrew. I know you don't like to do wide shots, but, if the camera pulls back, I think you'll find that's definitely a finger tickling the back of your ear...
AG: Well, there you are. He's not hanging from a petrol station, is he? He's hanging from a rope attached to a girder on the forecourt of a petrol station. We've become all too familiar with the Allies playing fast and loose with the facts.
Thank you, gentlemen. Meanwhile, the turbulent region's only independent TV network, al-Dente, reported that most Italians refuse to believe that the former duce is really dead. Joining me now are French intellectual theorist Michel Foucault and the leading Italian fundamentalist cleric, Pastor Al Forno, a vocal critic of the Allied administration.
Pastor Al Forno: This is yet more Hollywood-style trickery from the Americans. In the bars of Rome they are certain that this is a doctored still from Esther Williams's aquatic ballet in Million-Dollar Mermaid, with Esther and the girls diving off the boards retouched to look like hanging fascists. If you look closely, you can see the outlines of the swimsuits under the blackshirts. And the cheering Italian peasants in the background are Victor Mature and Walter Pidgeon. This propaganda is so crude it's laughable.
But it's 1945 and Million-Dollar Mermaid won't be made till 1952. Isn't that the case, Professor Foucault?
Michel Foucault: Ah, mon cher BBC ami, the very concept of time is a social construct intended to produce effects of reality within a false chronological discourse. For all we know, Mademoiselle Williams's movie may already be in development at MGM.
Thank you, M le Professeur. As the situation in post-war Europe deteriorates, a new poll shows that 20 per cent of Germans believe the British were behind the invasion of Poland.
Very funny stuff! Go read it all.
After I'd decided to rename the site Absinthe & Cookies, I went hunting for more information on absinthe. I've never actually had any, but I've always found the subject fascinating. Turned out a few of the guys I work with have drunk it, and told me a bit about their experiences. Then I turned to Google, and the best website I found was la Fee Verte. It has everything from buying guides and recipes, to myths and facts about the liquor. They're even advertising a new book called "Absinthe: Sip of Seduction". (Nifty title!)
Yes, a pointless post, but it's Friday!
I lurk on an email list that tends to be rather nasty at times. I stay because there are a few posters who I really enjoy reading. So, a guy on the list asks for site-seeing advice for Toronto. Having had three wonderful trips there I thought I'd delurk and share a few of my favourites. Big mistake! I get a reply from another member of the list criticizing my choices because they're about an hour to two hours outside of the city. I can't believe it, a post to criticize something as innocuous as site-seeing suggestions! And here I thought it would be a safe topic!
Learned my lesson -- strictly lurking from now on.
Nin works this weekend, but we went and saw "Pirates" again last night to make up for it! This movie is doing a nice bit of holding action for me till Return of the King comes out!
Tonight, mum is making me my fave dinner -- roast beef and Yorkshire pudding! And I got a lovely bottle of Cardinal Zin to go along with it. Nirvana!
What are your plans?
The Blogathon is almost upon us, so if you haven't pledged, get cracking! :)
Where the action is:
They all have information at the top of their blogs. Help buy a new ambulance for Magen David Adom.
I want a garden shed!
Scots' garden sheds are dram fine places
THE humble garden shed is giving householders a much-needed refuge from the demands of daily life - but very little green-fingered work appears to go on.
While men and women may claim to be repotting the geraniums or trimming leeks, they are just as likely to be enjoying a crafty smoke, reading a book or having a dram of whisky.
Only a third of Scottish shed owners actually use their garden shed for gardening, according to a survey carried out by the makers of the Balvenie single malt.
And some 10 per cent of Scottish shed owners admitted keeping a bottle of alcohol in there for those quiet moments of solitary contemplation, compared to only 5 per cent south of the Border.
Sheds have become a popular retreat among women as well as men, exploding the stereotype of the solitary male burying his worldly troubles in the compost.
Ten per cent of Scots admit to using their garden sheds as a smoking room, while 6 per cent say it is a place to escape the demands of their family or partner.
Nine per cent enjoy listening to the radio, while almost a tenth take a book or a newspaper into their garden retreat, and 13 per cent retire there with a cup of tea or coffee.
By: CLAIRE SMITH -- 25-Jul-03
Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question--how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mahommedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognise that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not. ~ C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity
You can read the Gutenberg Bible online. It's pretty cool!
And then there's this article about dating the first people to come to America: New World Ancestors Lose 12,000 Years. An interesting read if you like this sort of thing.
I think this picture is worth a thousand words, don't you? And yeah, I have Irish ethnicity (along with the Scottish and English), so I find it even more disgusting, I think.
(via The Corner)
I had to share this. It's a line from the new J-lo movie:
In one scene J-Lo, 33, tries to seduce Affleck, 30, by laying on a bed and telling him: "It's turkey time!"
When he asks: "What?", she replies: "Come on, gobble, gobble".
One reviewer said: "There was J-Lo with her legs wide open trying to look sexy and then she opens her mouth and spoils it!
"It was possibly the worst line ever said in a movie."
But why is the rum gone??
....But - and this is key - Clinton also talked about his own 1998 bombing runs against Hussein's targets. Bill Clinton is incapable of being above politics. I quoted him from December 16, 1998 being far more specific in his insistence that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear program which could be reconstituted within months than George W. Bush has ever been. (See: National Review Online's analysis) If the DNC argument is that Bush misled the American people by manipulating intelligence information, then Clinton also lied in spades - and he knows it! Clinton didn't mention nuclear programs on LKL, because he didn't want to draw attention to what he said in that speech - which you can watch, read and listen to right here. That's what I wanted Clinton to say, and he didn't.
He also talks about how this relates to Hillary's run for the White House [shiver].
.... He's not trying to prop up Bush's poll numbers. On the contrary, if Bush's numbers keep dropping Hillary will jump into this race with both feet. They're not going to let a Democrat win in 2004, because that would defer Hillary's run until 2012.
All very interesting.
Andrea posts on the reaction of some on the Left to the death of Saddam's "kids":
I also got to miss the apparent fact that many antiwar folks, anti-Bush fellows, or just plain antis are actually a bit down in the dumps about the demise of these two. (Just look around the blogs. I'm too tired to link.) Incredible. What, did Uday owe you guys money or something? Was Qusay really that much of an asset to the world? Don't they even deserve the sneering sendoff that Strom Thurmond got? I mean gee, Thurmond was no angel, that much is true, but AFAIK he never fed anyone alive into an industrial plastic shredder and sat around to watch and enjoy the screams. Whatever.
A very good point, and one I can really relate to right now. A few weeks ago, I was at a birthday party where Strom bashing was the party game de jour. These people literally thought he was some evil monster. It would be interesting to see how they feel about the boys, no?
While I'm already monetarily supporting Michele in the Blogathon, there's so many other very worthy bloggers /causes out there! So, while I can't put my bucks into everything, I figured the least I could do is do some advertising!
FOX News is reporting that Gray Davis will face a recall election.
Let the fireworks begin!
By now, you've probably all read about Charlie Rangel's idiotic remarks last night on H&C. (One of the drawbacks to only being able to post before and after work is you miss the wave sometimes!)
If he really believes what he said, then the man needs a serious reality check. Everyone is someone's kid. Pol Pot had parents, I'm sure. Idi Amin? Yep. Castro? Sure thing (oh, I forgot, Castro is a bud of Charlie's). And he calls Saddam's kids, "bums"! These "bums" brutalized and murdered who knows how many people. Would Mr. Rangel like to explain to the parents of the daughters the "bum" raped, brutalized, and murdered, that he was just someone's kid? How about the families of the Iraqis the other "bum" put through plastic shredders?
And to top it off, he maligns our brave men and women in uniform. Men and women who are also the kids of someone -- American someones. Some of whom were injured taking down those "kids" and "bums". Why don't you talk to their parents, Mr. Rangel?
21 year old U.S. Army Specialist Heather Baldus caught herself a general!
"She was standing post with this other soldier when she saw some movement in a bush by the road," explained Baldus' mother, Kim James, of Sibley. "She told the guy to cover her while she checked it out."
As Baldus approached, she came under fire from unseen gunmen in surrounding buildings. A man bolted from the bush ahead and she pursued, knocking him to the ground with a blow to the head from the butt of her weapon.
"He looked up at her and all he could say was 'You're a woman.' Heather told him 'Yeah, but that doesn't mean I won't put a bullet through your head,' " James said. "Heather has always been outspoken."
Baldus and the other soldier brought their unknown prisoner to headquarters where they later learned he was one of the 55 most wanted Iraqis, all identified in a deck of cards distributed to soldiers by the Department of Defense. He was the six of clubs and number 49 on the DOD's mosted wanted list.
Read all of it here.
Ghost of a flea has a post on American forbearance.
American caution, forbearance and restraint in the face of the horrors of September 11 are almost as remarkable as another fact. Nobody in American political power even hinted at the sort of reprisals which would have been automatic at any point in history and from any other people. Churchill sank the French navy at Oran rather than see it fall into Nazi hands. A more recent French government sank the Rainbow Warrior, murdering a photographer in the process, because this NGO had the temerity to inconvenience French nuclear testing.
All I can say is how do they ever get anything done if it takes all that to answer a call of nature? ? Can you imagine what it would be like to have a gastrointestinal ailment? A rock or wood if there's no water!?!?! YOW! I guess they don't go camping much. And what about changing diapers? So many questions....
Oceanguy talks about this latest Arafat gem:
"This is a big crime which cannot be ignored. Before this they (the Jews) entered the Ibrahimi mosque (Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron) and tried to pray there..."
… At the meeting with the summer camp children from St Georges' School in Jerusalem, Arafat praised them as a generation "representing sacrifices and steadfastness" and urged them to learn from the example of Fares Odeh, a 13-year-old boy from Gaza who was photographed throwing stones at an IDF tank before he was shot dead. "I tell you that we will march together towards Jerusalem," he said. "You represent the strong will and determination of this people."
..... Both Democratic presidential hopefuls risked being overshadowed by the surging campaign of Howard Dean, who jumped to the front of the nine-player contest to challenge Bush in 2004 in a poll, released Tuesday, of California's likely Democratic voters.
The poll, from the non-partisan Field Research Institute, said the former governor from Vermont was the candidate of choice for 16 percent of those likely to vote in California's Democratic primary in March. Close on his heels were Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts with 15 percent and Lieberman with 14 percent. Gephardt garnered 7 percent in the poll.
The poll's margin of error was put at 5 percentage points, leaving the top three contenders in a statistical dead heat.
This is California -- of course Dean is the favourite.
The whole article here.
Bill Clinton actually acted Presidential last night on Larry King (I'm sure it wasn't out of the goodness of his heart, but whatever the reasons, I'm glad he said it)
KING: President, maybe I can get an area where you may disagree. Do you join, President Clinton, your fellow Democrats, in complaining about the portion of the State of the Union address that dealt with nuclear weaponry in Africa?
CLINTON: Well, I have a little different take on it, I think, than either side.
First of all, the White House said -- Mr. Fleischer said -- that on balance they probably shouldn't have put that comment in the speech. What happened, often happens. There was a disagreement between British intelligence and American intelligence. The president said it was British intelligence that said it. And then they said, well, maybe they shouldn't have put it in.
Let me tell you what I know. When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn't know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don't cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions.
I mean, we're all more sensitive to any possible stocks of chemical and biological weapons. So there's a difference between British -- British intelligence still maintains that they think the nuclear story was true. I don't know what was true, what was false. I thought the White House did the right thing in just saying, Well, we probably shouldn't have said that. And I think we ought to focus on where we are and what the right thing to do for Iraq is now. That's what I think.
Quite a difference from the nutball performance of Charlie Rangel last night on H&C. More on that later though.
For the rest of what Clinton said, click "MORE"...
KING: What do you do, Mr. President, with what's put in front of you?
CLINTON: Well, here's what happens: every day the president gets a daily brief from the CIA. And then, if it's some important issue -- and believe me, you know, anything having to do with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons became much more important to everybody in the White House after September the 11 -- then they probably told the president, certainly Condoleezza Rice, that this is what the British intelligence thought. They maybe have a difference of opinion, but on balance, they decided they should leave that line in the speech.
I think the main thing I want to say to you is, people can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks...
... of biological and chemical weapons. We might have destroyed them in '98. We tried to, but we sure as heck didn't know it because we never got to go back in there….
And what I think -- again, I would say the most important thing is we should focus on what's the best way to build Iraq as a democracy? How is the president going to do that and deal with continuing problems in Afghanistan and North Korea?
We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq. We can have honest disagreements about where we go from here, and we have space now to discuss that in what I hope will be a nonpartisan and open way. But this State of the Union deal they decided to use the British intelligence. The president said it was British intelligence. Then they said on balance they shouldn't have done it. You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president. I mean, you can't make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now. That's what I think.
Carnival of the Vanities is up at Da Goddess' place.
Check it out!
I see that A&C is RWN's "site of the day". I know I'm always saying, "Thanks, John!", but I'm saying it again.... Thanks, John! You're a sweetheart.
(I'm still not used to referring to the blog/me as "I" as oppsed to "we") (if that makes sense)
And on a related RWN note: great post on stopping the "catch & release" of illegals. About bloody time!
Added a bit to the F.I.Q. page, and hope to add more later.
The tweaking never ends!
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me!
Dead Men Don't Float!
No reason. Just because
Want to go see it again!
Words worth remembering over at e-Claire's.
FYI: Medi-Cal is the state run medical and prescription program in California.
I'm starting to really despise Medicare and Medi-Cal.
Medicare will pay up to $421.66 for a erectile vaccum pump. Yes, Medicare will pay that much so men can use a vaccum tube on their penis to have sex.
And, how much does this great government agency pay for hearing aides? $0.00.
How much do they pay for bathroom equipment so people do not fall down in the bathtub and break their hip? $0.00.
So, you can have sex, but you can't hear or have unbroken hips.
And, then, there is Medi-Cal. If an item is not covered on Medi-Cal, we can get what is called a TAR form. This is a Treatment Authorization Form. Basically, it's information that Medi-Cal looks over (including diagnosis and justification) on why the doctor prescribed that drug over the drug that Medi-Cal covers.
Well, I've come across something interesting.
It turns out that if the patient is HIV positive, they get anything they want. I received an approved form for Viagra and Propecia. Propecia is a drug used to restore hair loss. The moment you start on this drug, you must stay on it for life. As soon as you stop using it, you start losing your hair again.
Yes, that's right, my tax dollars are going to this person's hair and sex life.
I could submit a TAR form for paper with a diagnosis of HIV positive, and it would go through!
Granted, it is an awful disease, but I personally don't see it as an excuse to give the patient everything and anything they want. Hair loss is a fact of life. It happens. Live with it!!
Oh, I feel better now. Back to annoying my co-workers with A Pirate's Life for Me.
When John asked me to participate in his "Great Americans" survey, I had an instant brain freeze! I thought about it for awhile, and realized if I listed every person I thought was a great American, I would be listing till the cows came home. So, I decided to list people that had inspired me as a child, or whose stories had left a lifelong impression on me.
This was my list (in no particular order)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
George Washington Carver
Lewis & Clark
The Western Pioneer.
TIME has 10 questions for the Italian prime minister. One of the questions was "What do you really think of German tourists?" His reply: Ich bin ein Berliner.
Two good posts I read today:
First up, Julie comments on an article about Americans who are 'fleeing' to Canada.
Second, SDB has a great post/essay on being a State and 'getting over it'.
Back! You miss me? Had a great time at Jen's, saw Pirates for the second time, played in the pool while Nin served us margaritas, and today we went to Great Mall where we did a little shopping and had lunch at Dave & Busters.
Thanks for all the links and comments on the new look. You guys are awesome!
And check out this post over at RWN: Bloggers Select The 20 Greatest Figures In American History. Thanks, John for including me, I was proud to participate.
Wanted to mention the art I'm using. It's by an artist called Luis Royo, and I've always loved his work. Okay, most of hiw work! Some of his stuff is a little, uh, X rated :) But the stuff that isn't, I love.
There's a great online gallery here. you have to register, but it's free, and they have the best collection I've found.
Avast and shiver me timbers!
Sticking with the Pirate theme going around today, I thoght I'd share this. I got a kick out of it!
Now, I really want to blog, but we're going to Jen's for the weekend. They're taking me out to dinner for my birthday tonight, and tomorrow we're going to see Pirates again. Monday, I'm off! Nin and I are going to hit the Great Mall and see if I can find a new bathing suit, and see the Bebe outlet! oooooohhh! I love Bebe clothes, but I can't afford them. so I get my fix buying them on Ebay. This will be the first time I've been to one of their stores -- even if it just an outlet.
Update! I'm reminded that Nin and I created a drink a few years back called "Blood & Swash" (hey that might have made a good blog name.... ) It's actually the title of the book that Mrs. Muir writes for the Captain in "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir" (my favourite movie) but it has a Piratish sort of ring to it.
Half OJ, half Champagne, and Chambord to taste.
Welcome to the brand new "Absinthe & Cookies"!
Thanks to all of you who put up with my mutterings over changing the name and the look. I appreciate each and every one of you :)
For those that don't know, Gaggle started out as a group blog of 5 people a year and a half ago. But as time went on, people dropped out. That left, well, me! So it seemed that I should change the name to better reflect the new reality.
I'll be doing the majority of the blogging, but you can expect occasional visits from Ninjababe, and posts from the roster of guest bloggers.
Thanks for reading and your continued support!
I'm hoping to change over the blog tonight at some point. So, if things are wonky during your visit, that's why.
President Bush got applause and "amens" from black urban leaders on Wednesday when he pushed his faith-based initiative and talked about his emotional visit to a slave depot in Senegal. But later a top black leader in Congress turned down a White House briefing on the president's trip to Africa.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus ), said he declined an invitation to the briefing because Bush had refused to meet with the entire caucus for more than 2 ½ years.
My question? Shouldn't we be beyond having our elected representatives belonging to groups based on race? Shouldn't they be an example instead of being part of the problem? What if there was a Congressional Scottish Conference? Or maybe a Congressional German Congress? If it's racist for one, it's racist for all.
Rich Lowry says, "No one wants to say it out loud, but we are all colonialists now."
Conservatives want to provide security and decent government to far-flung parts of the world for our own good -- to protect America's interests; liberals want to provide security and decent government to far-flung parts of the world for other people's good -- to protect humanitarian principles.
The unspoken assumption of both sides is that swaths of the world have proven incapable of self-government, and they're both right. So conservative Republican President George W. Bush sends American troops to take over from the nasty dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and liberal Democrat Howard Dean wants to send American troops to take over from the nasty dictator of Liberia, Charles Taylor.
Beneath all the vitriolic partisan disagreements about American foreign policy, then, there is a sort of colonialist consensus, which is why American troops are in Afghanistan and Iraq (a Republican president's colonialism), Bosnia and Kosovo (a Democratic president's colonialism), and perhaps soon Liberia, too (a Republican president's colonialism that is pleasing to Democrats).
The covert return to colonialism implicitly admits that old-fashioned colonialism -- at least of the civilizing British Empire sort -- never deserved its bad name. The British were capable of brutality and greed, but the historical ledger of the British Empire is positive. As British historian Niall Ferguson writes in his new book, Empire: "No organization in history has done more to promote the free movement of goods, capital and labor than the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And no organization has done more to impose Western norms of law, order and governance around the world."
That we forgot all this -- buried under an avalanche of guilt and of Marxist and multiculturalist self-critiques -- is a sign of how no one can beat the West at anti-Westernism. Sept. 11 was a blunt reminder that the piratical regimes that have flourished in Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa in the absence of Western assertion are not just a disaster for people living under them, but are dangerous to us.
Read the rest here.
So Bob Graham would like to impeach the President -- or at least would like us to think about it.
I have one question, Bob... did you think Clinton should have been impeached for bombing that aspirin factory in the Sudan? You remember, the one he said was an instillation for producing biological weapons. Didn't think so.
I can't believe the Dems think the public is stupid enough to buy into all this. First they complained that the administration didn't act forcefully enough on intelligence before 9/11, and now they're screaming because they did act on intelligence. You can not have it both ways.
This isn't a Bond movie, guys. This is Real Life. There's no script, no Q type gizmos, no ends all tied up in a bow when it's all over -- because it's never really over.
There's more links and information at the top of Michele's page as well.
So give the end of the workweek a bang, and make a pledge. For the cost of a few margaritas, you can contribute to maybe saving a life someday. Kewl, no?
Check out Wizbang for all the latest on "The Blog War" & "link whoring". If it's not fun, why bother?
at Steve's latest post. It's a doozey! It brought back lots of memories of my own trials with 'the relatives'.
( I read it yesterday, then got so engrossed in working on the project, I never got around to posting about it here. But better late than never, I guess. )
One of the things that's come up here for some readers is the sidebar drops underneath the posts at the bottom of the page. I've been working on the new theme, and see that no matter how small I make the browser window, the sidebar stays put. But I have no idea why! I wish I could figure it out so that when I redo Gaggle to transform it into Absinthe & Cookies, the sidebar problem could be fixed as well.
(And I still have no idea how to administer the domain either)
The new blog theme is coming along nicely -- especially since I dumped the first one and started all over!
I'm hoping that the new "Absinthe & Cookies" will be unveiled by the weekend.
Today, I'm getting referrers from this blogdex link.
It says: The following sites are the most contagious information currently spreading in the weblog community.
I'm contagious? That doesn't sound happy!
That about covers it :)
And a very Happy Birthday to my "Birthday Twin", Dean!
The moment you've all been dreading! One of my long overly wordy posts!!
While channel surfing last night, I came across a documentary on AMC about American media and the Arab/Muslim world. Some interesting stuff and worth a watch if you come across it. I'm going to try and reconstruct some of my thoughts and comments while watching last night, so bear with me!
First off, I really do understand where a lot of these people they interviewed are coming from. (They talked to people in Lebanon, Egypt, Qatar, and to Kurds in Iraq.) Yes, American culture seems to be omnipresent: if it's not American movies and TV, it's Starbucks, Coke, and The Gap. It's pure culture shock. It brought to mind Japan from the last century, and the ones before that. They tried to quarantine Western goods and culture, and succeeded for a while. But this is the computer age, and you can't quarantine your culture like you could then. You can choose not to participate, but the people around you are changing because they are participating. That's so much harder to deal with. And some of them aren't dealing with it too well.
There's a perception by some Arabs that this is some orchestrated campaign by the United States to undermine their values by flooding them with our music, movies, and food. Like Steven Spielberg heads some secret cabal of film makers at the behest of our government to "get those Arabs". They really overestimate our sneaky quotient! Of course, what it's really about is money. You want to spend yours, we have the product for you. Our film makers don't care about our values, so you're not special in that regard! Nothing personal, guys -- it's just business. And business that not just we practice. They spoke to a Lebanese TV Network owner who is a lapsed Muslim and doesn't care if he offends people with his programming. He's got the most popular network in Beirut, and that's what he cares about.
Another man lamented the fact that 'Americans don't understand that many in the Muslim world find the idea of two men kissing on TV to be perverted.' Of course, what he doesn't know is that many Americans would agree with him. Our TV and movies are a double-edged sword. They think we can't understand them because of what they're seeing, and yet don't realize that what they are seeing isn't how the average American lives. It's fantasy. Most American women aren't emulating characters on "Sex in the City", and your average family doesn't live in "Knots Landing". Yet, two young women they spoke to felt they had a good understanding of Americans because they had watched American shows and rejected what they saw in those shows. Rejected what they saw as empty and shallow lives with no grounding in morality. Again, there are a lot of Americans who would agree with them. But they don't know that.
One man talked about Americans not understanding Arabs because he'd seen an American movie where the Arabs in it rode camels. He was upset because he said Arabs don't ride camels anymore, they drive cars, and we had no respect for his culture. Guess what? Movie makers don't have a lot of respect for anyone's culture! Ours included. Look at how Southerners are portrayed, Christians, Italian-Americans are usually mobsters, the English during the Revolution portrayed as bloodthirsty murderers in a recent Mel Gibson film, the list goes on and on. Again, Arabs aren't getting special treatment -- they're getting the Hollywood treatment that we all get.
One film maker in Beirut basically said that Arabs needed to stop being losers. That if they didn't like what America was putting on their screens, then to start making an alternative and then supporting that alternative. That it's their fault, not ours, that our culture is being embraced by Arabs. Make something better!
As long as they keep buying, we'll keep making. It's as simple as that. You can't stop time in its tracks, no matter how hard you try. Take responsibility for preserving your culture and stop blaming us for your failure to do so. Realize that while you claim that we don't understand you, you don't really know us any better. You just have a facade of understanding because of our media. It isn't really us. I think if you actually got to know the real us, you'd see we have a lot in common.
I meant to post this yesterday, but never got it out of my "notes to blog on" folder. (Found on The Corner) It's a letter from the Duke of Wellington.
Allied Headquarters, 1812
Whilst marching to Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M. ship from London to Lisbon and then by dispatch rider to our headquarters.
We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.
Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion's petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as to the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensive carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance since we are at war with France, a fact which maycome as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.
This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty's Government, so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both.
1. To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountant and copy boys in London or, perchance,
2. To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.
Your most obedient servant,
(Now, I'll admit, I imagined this in my head with Stephen Fry's voice from Blackadder III when he played "the Iron Duke")
I have some ideas on a new blog theme to go along with the name change, and I'm itching to work on it after work. So blogging may be a wee bit light while I'm being all arty and creative!
So much to do, so little time!
Thanks to the kind soul who donated through the Amazon Honour System! Amazon doesn't tell you who gave money, so that's why I'm thanking you here instead of sending a personal note :) If you'd like me to know who you are, drop me an email!
It was our first ever donation, so it's extra cool!
Finished! I met my goal of finishing "The Onion Girl". It was very good, but very depressing as it dealt with the child abuse and what happens when abused children grow up. But if you like De Lint, I'd heartily recommend it. Other than that, I was in the mood to rewatch some Methos eps, so stuck in my tape of "Comes A Horseman", "Revelations 6:8", "Forgive Us Our Trespasses", and "Modern Prometheus". (baaaaaaaaaa!) Peter Wingfield rocks!
A distinguished group of Americans joined together to send a unique request to Congressional leaders Wednesday -- a request that preparations be made to deal with the prospect of Earth being slammed by an asteroid or comet.
In an "Open Letter to Congress on Near Earth Objects," the communication underscores the danger our planet faces from near Earth objects, also termed NEO's.
A mob of about 100 Palestinian refugees stormed the office of a Ramallah polling organisation yesterday to stop it publishing a survey showing that five times as many refugees would prefer to settle permanently in a Palestinian state than return to their old homes in what is now Israel.
The protesters pelted Khalil Shikaki, the director of the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, with eggs, smashed computers and assaulted the nine staff members on duty. A female worker was treated in hospital for her injuries. "This is a message for everyone not to tamper with our rights," one of the rioters said.
Dr Shikaki, a leading West Bank political scientist, was undeterred. He said he was still putting the survey results on the centre's website and seeking the widest possible exposure. "These people," he said, "had no idea what the results were. They were sold disinformation."
The poll, conducted among 4,500 refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Jordan, was the first to ask where they would want to live if Israel recognised a right of return.
Only 10 per cent of the refugees chose Israel, even if they were allowed to live there with Palestinian citizenship; 54 per cent opted for the Palestinian state; 17 per cent for Jordan or Lebanon, and 2 per cent for other countries. Another 13 per cent rejected all these options, preferring to sit it out and wait for Israel to disappear, while 2 per cent didn't know.
The future of more than three million refugees is critical to any lasting peace. It was one of the unresolved issues that caused the July 2000 Camp David summit to break down.
Meant to blog about this yesterday, but better late than never!
If you haven't already, go take a look at this post on Instapundit about what may be a big discovery in Iraq as it pertains to connecting Saddam to Osama.
Have FNC on and listening with half an ear to whatever show's on now. Anne Coulter was on with some Dem guy (no idea who he was). She kept asking him why the Dems/John Kerry etc, voted for war in Oct when this uranium ref they keep going on about, and supposedly influenced them so much, wasn't mentioned till Jan. He wouldn't answer her. Now they're back from the advert break, so I expect more fireworks!
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl is awesome!! Big thumbs up, A++! Going to go see it again! Arghhh & avast! Yo ho yo ho, a pirates life for me!
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen could have been a rental. I give it a C+.
This came up over at Andrea's, and I figured I should ask here as well.
We've had our domain for about two years now, and I'm no closer to figuring out the usage reports and such, than I was on day one! Now, with our blogs, and hosting Mickey's and Paul's, I figure I should get a handle on it. I wouldn't even know how to figure out if we're using too much bandwidth (we get 8 GB a month), or if we're being attacked by spambots. We have lots of bells and whistles with the package we don't even use, which is good because I can't figure out how to use them! (like chat rooms and notify email lists, postcards, quizes and polls)
Does anyone know of an online resource, or a book, that would explain the basics of this sort of thing?
And you know what that means!
Okay, I don't know what it means either. So I'll make some stuff up, I guess
New Stargate tonight! And Trinny and Susannah from "What Not To Wear" are going to be on "So Graham Norton" tonight, so that should be something. I'm also going to try and finish "The Onion Girl" by Charles De Lint.
For the weekend we're actually going to try and see a movie or two: Finding Nemo, Curse of the Black Pearl, Legally Blonde 2.
Over at Paul's place, they think I need to open a Cafe Press shop. Geez louise! I'm getting so much attention today, it's freaky!
Speaking of attention, remember, my birthday is next week! As I said to my boss, "Old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be."
Name change -- it's gonna happen. I'm going to go with "Absinth & Cookies" I think. Now, I just need to find the creative energy to do a whole new blog theme. Maybe while I'm at it, I can think of a creative blogroll scheme. But how do you use blogrolling with seperate grouping headers (like Jay's)? (or are you using blogrolling, Jay?)
John's been very supportive of this blog, and I'd just like to thank him for all he's done for us. Thank you, John!
I haven't talked much about the whole "The President Lied" thing that's going around. Other people have done such a good job at blogging about it , I haven't felt I could add much. But I was sitting here thinking -- there's Dems on the intelligence committees right? And they looked at much the same information, and got the same briefings as the President, right? (I may be wrong, but that's always how I've understood this worked) So, if these Dems had all this information, and access to intelligence briefers and briefings, and they voted for war with Iraq if necessary, doesn't that make them as culpable for a bad decision as they claim the President is?
As to whether the intelligence on the Africa uranium buy was accurate, I don't really care. If they weren't trying to buy it there, they were trying to get a hold of something they weren't supposed to have somewhere. If there's smoke, there's fire. And I can't believe that the majority of the American public made their decisions on Iraq based on one line in the SOTU address. That would be silly! The amount of information out there before the war was more than ample. I, for one, had trouble keeping up with it all. There were lots and lots of reasons for going to war with Iraq, and I still think one of the big ones was to make Saddam an object lesson to others who might get any nasty ideas.
I think the Dems are desperate if this is the best they can do. But that's just me.
Terrific post over at Random Jottings (which is one of the best blogs out there, and if you aren't reading it, you should be!) on the teachers union in wonderful Sacratomato doing their best to keep kids from succeeding.
Great post at Lead & Gold on the Dixie Chicks, at it again.
John O'Sullivan writes on "Marriage American Style"
I think his idea has merit -- in fact, what he suggests is pretty close to what I've thought might happen in the future. I'll use me as an example. I'm nearly 40, never married, my brother is three years younger, and he to has never married. Neither of us has children, nor do I really expect we will at this late date. I forsee the two of us sharing a household when we're seniors -- think Anne of Green Gables (except I'm not nearly as grumpy as Marilla!) . What Mr. O'Sullivan discusses in his piece would fit us to a tee.
Yesterday in the streets of Iran, protesters against the tyrannical, terrorist theocracy braved attacks from water cannon and machetes. They were speaking up for freedom and democracy at extraordinary personal risk.
Naturally, some Americans wanted to express support for the protesters, hoping to nurse freedom in Iran. This is consistent with American values, and it also would help our national security by removing a terrorist-sponsoring regime with nuclear ambitions.
Among those Americans on the side of freedom is Senator Brownback, who, with the bipartisan support of Senators Kyl, Schumer,Inouye and others,introduced the Iran Democracy Act. That bill stated clearly,“There is currently not a democratic government in Iran. Instead, Iran is an ideological dictatorship presided over by an unelected Supreme Leader with limitless veto power, an unelected Expediency Council, and Council of Guardians capable of eviscerating any reforms,and a President elected only after the Council disqualified 234 other candidates for being too liberal, reformist, or secular.” That is a crucial point, because the American deputy secretary of State, Richard Armitage, has been going around saying publicly and incorrectly that “Iran is a democracy.”
The Iran Democracy Act went on to assert it is the policy of America to “support an internationally-monitored referendum in Iran by which the Iranian people can peacefully change the system of government in Iran.” And it included millions of dollars in funding to help spread the message of freedom in Iran.
Unfortunately, the Iran Democracy Act ran into opposition from the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, and the top Democrat on the committee, Joseph Biden. Mr. Brownback, desperate to show some signal of support to the brave Iranian forces of freedom, compromised, proposing a trimmed-down amendment to the State Department authorization bill. That proposed amendment said “It is the policy of the United States that currently there is not a democratic government in Iran, the United States supports transparent, full democracy in Iran, and the United States supports the holding of an internationally monitored referendum in Iran by which the Iranian people can peacefully change the system of government in Iran.”
Read the rest here.
Interesting expose at FNC on Jeanne Butterfield who is the director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Seems Jeanne has been a very busy girl!
A few bits from the article:
You may recall that it was Ms. Butterfield who said, just after a group of young men on student visas flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, "I don't think that the events of last week can be attributed to the failure of our immigration laws."
To understand Ms. Butterfield's history is to understand the newer and downright irresponsible positions taken by AILA. Before she was elected director of AILA, Jeanne Butterfield was executive director of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the group that acted as a front for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in much the same way that Sinn Fein acted as a representative of the Irish Republican Army -- but without participating in electoral politics and representative government as Sinn Fein has.
But its defense of terror did not stop with the action of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. David Horowitz (search) noted in a 1991 National Review article that the Palestine Solidarity Committee was "one of the few groups in the world supporting Saddam's rape of Kuwait."
The Palestine Solidarity Committee was formerly known as the November 29th Committee for Palestine (November 29th is the "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People"). The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith said the following in a 1983 report: "Close observation and analysis of the activities of the November 29 (committee) indicates that it appears to be a de facto alliance between U.S. adherents of the Popular Front...and the (Trotskyist) Workers World Party (of New York)..."
It's baffling that a person whose early career was spent apologizing for terrorism has risen to director of a mainstream, national professional organization whose members testify on Capitol Hill. It is even more baffling that Ms. Butterfield was elected to her position by members of a profession that counts among its members many Jews, while her early career was devoted destruction of the Jewish state. If Ms. Butterfield had been a leader of another group that advocated hate and violence, such as the Ku Klux Klan, she would not have the credibility or trustworthiness to find work as a bank teller, let alone lead a national, mainstream legal organization
Very interesting, very interesting indeed. The concept of "every culture is worthy" is excellent in a PURELY intellectual sense and in a perfect universe. That said, it fails, and fails miserably in this one. Is a culture "worthy" if it wants to assimilate or crush another? The answer is obviously no. Yet by the autistic nature of PC ( that should offend some PC types) we seem to inure ourselves in thinking that it "is not as bad as all that". Got news for you folks....it is. Unfortunately, it will take another, yes, another attack on our country to wake the rest of us up and to realize that while we can be "nice and accepting of others" the reverse DOES NOT hold true. While their may be "moderate" Islamists out there, the whole problem is based on the extremists. Of course the moment the extremists are smacked down, the "moderates" will not be so moderate. Any "religion" that praises death and destruction of the infidel ( whomever and what ever they may be ), is not a religion but a cult with a twist. A sick, sick twist. To sum up, we don't need them.
As an example, have you heard in France, some women are harrassed or assaulted for going through a "Muslim" section because the did not veil themselves? The fact that the women in question were not of Islam was apparently irrelevant. Try that in THIS country and I won't give a damn if you claim "freedom of religion". That freedom does NOT extend to forcing your views or customs upon another. In that event I would suggest arrest followed by persecution to the fullest extent the law allows. If the attackers are not citizens of this country, then deport them. Yes, that is correct. DEPORT them. As in "Get the HELL out, and STAY out!"
I think that covers everything.
Well, interesting to me, living here in Sam Farr land at least! It deals with the shift in CA demographics and voting patterns. Good stuff.
So I've been pondering the whole name change idea, and that led me to wondering if I should roll this blog, and my personal journal into one. Hardly anyone reads my personal journal, so I don't think it will be missed. But would my regular readers here find the combination disconcerting or off putting? My other internal question is the URL. Should I keep it as is, or should I change it to match the blog name? I'm not sure that wouldn't be confusing to change too much at once.
As always, thoughts and opinions are welcome :)
What it would be like to lose nearly 20 years of your life?
A man regained consciousness after spending 19 years in a coma as the result of a car crash, greeting his mother who was waiting at his bedside.
"He started out with 'Mom' and surprised her and then it was 'Pepsi' and then it was 'milk.' And now it's anything he wants to say," Stone County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center social director Alesha Badgley said Tuesday.
Terry Wallis, 39, had been at the center since the July 1984 crash.
His father, Jerry Wallis, said his son uttered his first word June 12, was able to talk a little a day later and has improved ever since.
Terry Wallis' wife, Sandi, said her husband was riding with a friend when their car left the road and plunged into a creek. Wallis and his friend were found the next day underneath a bridge. The friend was dead and Wallis was comatose.
"It's been hard dealing with it, it's been hard realizing the man I married can't be there," Sandi Wallis said. "We all, the whole family, missed out on his company."
Wallis' daughter, Amber, was born shortly before the accident. She is now 19 and Wallis has said he wants to walk again, for her. He is a quadriplegic as a result of the crash.
Another great read over at LGF.
This is exactly on the same wavelength with a conversation I had with April last night after watching an interview with Victor Davis Hanson. If we don't stop with the "every culture is worthy" and "our culture is no better than anyone else's" we're going to be in major trouble.
No, not every culture is worthy. I refuse to play that game. If they were, then we'd be selling human skin, hacking people up with machetes, and letting little girls burn in school because they didn't have their heads covered. Is that what we want? If not, get off the fence, because this is a war and I damn well want to win it!
To leave, that is! I wish...
Anyway, catch a look at this article over on LGF, but don your tinfoil hat first.
People who have spoken out against Bush are talking exit strategy--not Alec Baldwin style, just to make a statement, but fleeing the U.S. in order to save their skins. "Do you or your spouse have a European-born parent?" is a query making the rounds. (If you do, you can obtain dual nationality and a European Union passport that would allow you to work in any EU member nation.) Those whose lineage is 100 percent American are hoping that nations like Canada and France will admit American political refugees in the event of a Bushite clampdown.
And that's just a snippet of the loony tune ravings!
According to this article, there's talk of bringing NATO into Iraq.
Just joined a group that's putting the "cool" back into being a Californian -- The Bear Flag League. It's a group of right-of-center CA bloggers, and soonish, you'll see it listed over on the sidebar.
Check out Maripat and Lori's place for today's cleverness.
And while I'm at it, I've heard somewhere (can't imagine where) that it's some guy named Frank's blogiversary. Go wish him a happy one.
And I just discovered that he was one of Rachel's MT converts as well! So we have a warm fuzzy sort of almost family connection going. Awwwwww!
As bizarre as it seems to us, the Islamists are obsessed with the Crusades, and their Leftist apologists use the Crusades to justify the Islamofascists. Get over it! We have. It would be like us still holding a grudge against Britain -- or them us -- for the Revolution. Or still being enemies of Japan. That being said, since they're obsessed, we need to be informed. Know thy enemy and all that. This book, "A Concise History of the Crusades" is on my "to read" list. From what I've heard about it, the book presents a more realistic view of the Crusdades and the Crusaders than the PC, Christians are evil, the West is corrupt, POV we are usually taught in school and that permeates our culture.
This is a war, as much as the Left wants to deny it. This is a war, that it seems, our enemies have never really stoped fighting. 12th century or 21st, it's all the same to them.
Several readers have recommended Mozilla as a great broswer. so, being home sick today, I decided to download it. We'll see how it goes!
Some nesting hawks are making getting to work a bit of a problem for Ebay employees in San Jose.
Just thought I'd mention it :)
I bet this is a total shock to us all!
Which brings me to the question: Why on earth would you talk about something so personal with a magazine??
Old fashioned and not getting it.
My weekly dose of snark and charm will be back!
Perfect news on a sick day.
FOX News just had a report about a kitten that was hurt when an 8 year old boy picked her up the tail and swung her around, then smashed her into the cement. He said he did it "because he was bored". Bored!?!?! What kind of little monsters do we have wandering our streets? Next thing you know, he'll be bashing little kids heads in with rocks beause his Gameboy broke.
I'm glad to see ol' Gerhard is putting hs energies into such important issues!
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's battle to quash news reports that he dyes his hair has resulted in a settlement in which he shares the court costs.
Schroeder and Neue Revue magazine will share the undisclosed costs equally, said a spokeswoman for the chancellor's SDP party.
The chancellor sued when a news agency quoted an image consultant who suggested he was dyeing his hair to conceal grey.
With affidavits from his barber, Schroeder insisted that the article was false and that it had created a wave of stories that were hurting his image.
And it all ties in with the Italians (and they say we're touchy!). According to this bit in The Corner:The undersecretary for the Italian industry ministry has now done his bit for Italo-German relations by writing a letter to a newspaper in which he described i Tedeschi as “hyper-nationalistic blonds” invading Italian beaches. In response, German chancellor Schroeder has threatened to cancel his planned summer vacation in Italy.
An Iraqi motorist flashes a thumbs up sign and a smile while displaying a photo of President Bush at the U.S. military police check point Monday July 7, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Back in my "moderate" days, I used to actually like this guy. Then I got older and wiser, and realized what a maroon he is. I'm not a person who genuinely dislikes many people -- not really in my nature -- but he's one of them. Ever since his nasty remarks about the President on 9/11, I've had no use for him.
Got to go home at five, instead of spending my usual hour and a half waiting for my ride, so all my planned blog posts will probably happen tomorrow. So, in the meantime....
People don't listen!! When a person calls three times, and each time you tell them the person they want to talk to is not in the office today, well ARGH!!
I need to buy a Bush 2004 shirt soon.
Saw "Four Weddings & a Funeral" at Jen's yesterday. It's been years since I'd seen it, and it got me to wondering, "whatever happened to Andie McDowell?". And it reminded me how cute Hugh Grant is. Oddly enough, I've only seen two of his films, but he is very engaging, and I've always had a soft spot for charming Brits. My great-uncle Ralph was one, and he was so dear to me. He's been gone nearly 25 years and I still miss him.
Read somewhere over the weekend the analogy of Iraq as "flypaper" for terrorists. I like that concept.
Add strawberries to Mudslide mix. MMMMM!!
We may have a new guest gal blogger! Keep your fingers crossed.
My birthday's coming up real fast now.
I'm loving "What Not To Wear".
So we're supposed to scamper over to Liberia, and that's kewl, but Iraq isn't? Bah!!
We're going rafting in September. And riding. Adventure is us! Now how do I get out of it?
We had a good time at Jen's. Much revelry was had by all. I need to catch up on the news, but probably tomorrow.
Found this photo on Drudge
(This will stay at the top for the day)
Came back from watching the local fireworks and turned on the ones over the San Francisco bay. The camerman was being artsy by filming the fireworks through an American flag. Only problem? The fireworks weren't viewable through the flag!
Then he got some people's faces lit up by the fireworks. A girl in the corner is waving her flag and smiling like she's thinking 'go away strange camera man so I can stop this damn smiling'.
And, they just played 'I'm Proud to be an American', which shocked me after all the broohaha this country has had over using 'God' in patriotic things (And, this is in Berkley!)... After all, the last line is "God bless the USA!"
Jonah Goldberg's take on the Davis recall. He hits a lot of the points that have me concerned.
As an aside, we went in to downtown Monterey for dinner on Tuesday, where the Farmer's Market was just winding down. The Recall Davis table was on the corner, and the guy at the table was getting into it with a Davis supporter waiting to cross the street. The Davis guy was screaming, "I want to get rid of Bush!!"
This is Neil Cavuto's commentary from yesterday:
So let me see if I have this right: Now the United Nations needs us. Not in Iraq, where it argued, we shouldn't go. But in Liberia (search), where it argues, we should go.
Liberia is a mess and needs to be stabilized, the U.N. says. Funny, Iraq was a mess but apparently didn't need to be stabilized, the U.N. said.
But why quibble over the details. The administration is indeed sending at least 1,000 G.I.s to Liberia -- maybe double that number down the road.
It’s part of a global peacekeeping force that needs some clout and we just provided it.
We could have bickered and dithered and ignored. We could have said, to hell with your request. But we didn't.
We could have ignored the desperate pleas from Liberians looking to end a civil war that's already claimed hundreds of lives. But we didn't.
We could have been vindictive and said to the French and Germans, who led this request by the way, "You didn't do diddly for us, we ain't doing diddly for you." But we didn't. No, we recognized the greater good by doing some good. So it’s Uncle Sam to the rescue… again.
You know, there are a lot of people who criticize this country, but we're always there when they need this country.
Yes, we do a lot of things wrong, but when everything hits the fan, we do one thing right: We calm, protect and save people.
Sometimes I wonder why we do anything for fair weather friends, who hate us one moment and then dizzily come running to us the next.
Then I look back in our history and I realize the answer: It’s because we've done the exact same thing before, time and time again.
That’s not bad for a country the world loves to hate, until the world is too scared to move.
"We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought
to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the
setting of the sun, let His kingdom come." -- Samuel Adams
Tonight I watched the sun set on the glowing Tigris River, and as I smelled the marshland water in the cool breeze that washed over me, I wondered if a few months ago, Saddam Hussein himself wasn't watching the same scene -- I am sitting on his balcony, after all.
After months of vehicle hoods, tents and foxholes, the ground and concrete schoolhouse floors, nasty critters, stray dogs and sandstorms, I'm sleeping in a palace tonight overlooking the lights of Mosul. It's incredible to look back.
We've accomplished much in the past month of fighting. We've liberated a country, broken the back of a firmly established totalitarian regime, begun to provide for the masses and are teaching a nation how to stand on its feet. I've had so many experiences, seen and done so many exciting, strange and sometimes crazy things; I cannot begin to describe them.
Some might say we had a little luck; others would say the campaign was simply well planned. I couldn't say whether luck was a factor, but looking back, I see many things I am thankful for having happened:
Read it all here.
Apparently, there's a guy who's starting some photo project to take place on 9/11. Okay, sounds like an idea. Except his goal is to make us "get over it" .You see he's all worried about "death and hate". Oh, not ours, but the poor misunderstood souls who hate America.
Thankfully, Michele takes on his "project" with satisfying results!
Forget anthrax and smallpox, influenza could easily be turned into the next weapon of mass destruction, scientists said today.
They sounded their warning as researchers come close to completing the blueprint for the virus of the 1918 'flu epidemic that killed up to 40 million people globally.
"Taken together with the fact that influenza virus is readily accessible and may be causing more deaths than previously suspected, the possibility for genetic engineering and aerosol transmission suggests an enormous potential for bioterrorism," the University of Texas scientists said.
Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the team led by Dr Mohammed Madjid noted that last century a series of 'flu epidemics from Spain to Russia and Hong Kong had killed millions of people as the virus naturally mutated.
They pointed out that sequencing of the genome of the 1918 Spanish 'flu epidemic was nearly complete, opening the door to unscrupulous scientists to build an even more potent virus.
"Howard Dean, Democratic front-runner, is arrogant and thin-skinned, says Mark Steyn, and pretty soon he’ll be forgotten"
Head on over to Common Sense & Wonder to find out about LARK (Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers)
CBP also has something to say about John Edwards. So go take a look at this one too!
The Cracker Barrel Philosopher has a post on Howard Dean's thoughts on Liberia. Ahhh... my blood pressure!
(Howard the Duck?? [snicker])
We're heading into an election cycle, and I know I have friends who read this blog who are, how shall I put it? On the other side, maybe? This blog is going to get lots of use over the next months, especially for ranting, most especially ranting about the Democrats. Since most of my RL friends are Democrats, I need somewhere to vent, and this is going to be it. So I guess this is my version of an MPIA rating warning : rated "R" for ranting and fuming. So, to those I know and love, just because I loathe the guy (or gal) you're voting for, doesn't mean I transfer any of those feelings to you. As I said over in the comments of Michele's blog, "If I only hung out with people that agreed with me, I'd be very lonely!"
Update: Mickey comments.
Back when this blog started, there were five of us. Now we're down to me fulltime, and Nin occasionally, with some guest bloggers for seasoning [g] So it got me to wondering; should I change the name of the blog, since the current one doesn't really seem to apply anymore? Thoughts?
As I was pondering this, while falling asleep last night, I came up with a few alternates:
Absinthe & Cookies
In The Mood
Smoke Rings In The Dark
A More Permanent Hell
At the End Of All Things
In Western Lands
Council Of Ithildin
Kenny Chesney's album, "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" rocks!! Other than the "dumb, young" song, I like the whole thing. Especially the title track. I could listen to that one over and over...oh, wait, I do! The video for it is terrific as well!
Added some fresh cookies to the ever expandng blogroll this evening.
What? I'm supposed to actually tell you what's new?
Oh, very well....
Now go forth and click!
I'm on a West Wing email list, and today, someone sent an email that had this header: "Help Bartlet's Candidate win back FL and the U.S."
Hello!! Can we please seperate fiction and reality? Figures a Dean supporter can't tell the difference. Then the email starts "Here's how you can help Martin Sheen's Choice for President totally win back Florida and the U.S. in 2004" with a link to two Yahoo campaign lists for a Dean and Graham ticket.
If these people are basing their votes on what an actor thinks, they're loonier than I gave them credit for. Absolutely unbelievable!
Maybe I need to send emails telling people they can support Fraiser Crane's candidate for President....
First, I'd like to thank Bob and Dave for being great guest bloggers! And I hope they decide to stick around for awhile. Second, I'm looking for a few more summer guest bloggers -- male or female. I'm still not sure what's going to happen with the format of the blog now that the group is down to two [g], but I think I'd like to keep it a group blog.
So, if you've always wanted to blog without the hassle of having your own blog, or weren't sure it was your thing, this is your chance for a test drive! Or, if you have a blog, but would like to try something a little different, then this is your opportunity. All guest bloggers are quite welcome to flog their personal blogs here!
Drop me a line if you think you'd be interested!
edithna AT yahoo DOT com
National environmental organizations have been in full war cry over the Bush administration's "assault on the environment." Many of the same criticisms were made twenty years ago about the Reagan administration, yet the data from the 1980s show environmental improvement in most major areas. The environmental record for this decade is also certain to show improvement as well. The hyperbole of environmental lobbies should be understood for its political rather than substantive content.
From Stanley Kurtz on The Corner:
Reports that North Korea has been trying to miniaturize nuclear devices so as to mount them on its missiles are deeply disturbing. And as best we can tell, the North Koreans are already reprocessing the spent fuel rods from the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, although perhaps at a relatively slow rate. Our intelligence is unable to tell us with exactitude what is happening. Best estimates are that the North Koreans could have missile-ready nukes in as little as one year, although it could take longer. Far from denying their nuclear intentions, the North Koreans have threatened to wipe out our cities with their missiles. Are there any Democrats out there who think we have nothing to worry about? Instead of predicting that the Bush administration will lack credibility on the WMD issue in the future, why don’t Democrats straightforwardly say whether they believe that the North Korean nuclear program is a threat? The truth is, the North Korean situation is a profound threat. The possibility of nuclear terror wiping out an American city with a weapon purchased from the North Koreans is all too real. For all our efforts, we could still lose the war on terror. What is to be done? To a significant degree, we are trapped. I continue to believe that war with North Korea, whether before or after a nuclear blast here in the United States, is a looming possibility. There is very little we can do, short of a disastrous war, to solve the North Korean problem. And that is the real story. Thank goodness we acted to prevent Iraq from turning into another font of nuclear blackmail. We may someday need to do the same in Iran. And yet, a North Korean nuke in the hands of a terrorist might still destroy Washington, decapitate our government, and change our nation forever. That is the world we are now living in. Does the public still understand this?