August 9, 2008

More Than Gas Prices

This op-ed by John Shadegg pretty much says everything I've been saying for years.

GOP protest goes beyond gas prices

American colonists liked their tea, but the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against more than an unfair duty placed on what many would consider a luxury item. Paul Revere, Samuel Cooper, Thomas Melvill and 112 other men did not don costumes and throw tea from ships in the dead of night solely because of opposition to a levy on tea. Their acts that December evening were a revolt against tyranny. The Crown was infringing upon the basic rights of the colonists, limiting their ability to establish commerce and prosper.

In much the same way, the Republican protest that began in Washington last Friday is about more than gas prices. In fact, it’s about more than energy. I’ve called this the new Boston Tea Party. This is about the American economy, jobs, and national security. And, in the end, it’s about who we are as a people. Our refusal to tap our own resources - oil, and natural gas or to use nuclear power - touches every sector of American industry.

While we spend $1.2 billion a day on foreign oil, the U.S. airline industry, is laying off flight attendants, mechanics, pilots, and airport workers. The American auto industry, is laying off assembly workers and closing plants. American families are tightening their budgets and canceling vacations, hurting the tourism industry which is vital to our economy here in Arizona. From coast to coast industries and workers are suffering.

Washington Democrats’ anti-energy policies risk our economic, as well as national security. Dollars spent on oil from the Middle East or Venezuela, cost American jobs and finance America’s enemies, either directly or by providing income to the people who bankroll them. We must stop!

We can no longer defend buying oil from the Middle East, Russia, or South America when we have our own oil off our coasts, under public lands in the West, in Alaska, and in millions of tons of oil shale.

We cannot defend creating jobs for oil field workers in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, but telling American workers they are out of luck. We cannot justify saying to employees of a U.S. airline, that they must accept being laid off after 10, or 15 years on the job because the majority party in Congress is more sympathetic to views held by environmental extremists than it is to their plight.

Environmentally, forbidding domestic production doesn’t make sense. America would access oil using cleaner, more environmentally conscious methods than the countries from which we are currently buying it.

Of course we need to move beyond fossil fuels. We must stop wasting energy and make more energy-efficient homes and buildings. We should be developing cars and vehicles that are more efficient and run on clean, renewable fuels.

We can, and will, achieve these goals much more quickly if we use our domestic resources. Imagine the benefit if we shifted money spent on foreign oil back into the American economy and invested it in the development of alternatives.

Ingenuity is the essence of the American people. We are a “can do” nation, not a “can’t do” nation. We have faced, and overcome, every challenge placed in our way. We won our independence from Britain, the most powerful nation in the world at the time; we defeated fascism and communism; we conquered polio; we put a man on the moon. We will overcome this energy crisis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other defeatists notwithstanding.

-John Shadegg (Op-ed to Arizona Republic)

Posted by Ith at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 8, 2008

A Special Grace

There's a lot to think about in this article.

Posted by Ith at 9:09 AM | Comments (1)

July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The full text of the Declaration of Independence.

Posted by Ith at 10:47 AM

June 28, 2008


Looks like it finally has happened:

Jerusalem -- Just minutes ago, conservative Anglicans announced what they are calling "The Jerusalem Declaration," which states their intention to erect a new "fellowship of confessing Anglicans."

From their statement:

[W]e grieve for the spiritual decline in the most economically developed nations, where the forces of militant secularism and pluralism are eating away the fabric of society and churches are compromised and enfeebled in their witness... Sadly, this crisis has torn the fabric of the Communion in such a way that it cannot simply be patched back together.

All the details here.

Posted by Ith at 3:53 PM

May 26, 2008

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.

We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ~ Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Posted by Ith at 2:04 PM

April 30, 2008

Why So Bitter?

I've been thinking about Michelle Obama lately. I admit, I don't get her. She's my age, but that's about all we have in common. She has a loving husband, healthy children, an Ivy League education, and makes more money than me and my entire family combined. And yet, she seems so angry, and dare I say it, bitter. In Michelle Obama's world, living in America sucks. And yet, she is blessed with a life few of us will ever have. She doesn't have to worry about her next paycheck, or paying a credit card bill, or paying her rent when it goes up. I doubt she ever lived out of the family car when she was a teenager. But instead of feeling blessed at what being an American woman brings her, she's angry; all the time, it would seem.

I'm not rich, I never went to college -- I was too busy working as a teenager to help support my family. And no, not in the U.S.A., but in Canada, that perfect society, or so the liberals would have us believe. I have a roof over my head, and food on the table, and I'll never be rich and powerful like Mrs. Obama. But you know what? I thank God everyday I was born in this country. I am blessed. Mrs.Obama may not think she is, but I know I am. I can vote, I was educated, I know I won't be murdered by my family for besmirching some disgusting concept of honour, or stoned to death for talking to a man who isn't a male relative. I don't have to worry about armed gangs slaughtering me and my family, or wonder where my next bowl of rice will come from. Each and every one of us in this country is blessed beyond compare to so many who suffer in this world.

John Edwards talked about 'Two Americas', and perhaps he was right. There's the America he and Mrs. Obama inhabit, the one that's hopeless and never good enough. Then there's mine, the one I'm grateful for and wouldn't change for a life in any other country in the world. Sure, we all go through hard times. But that's life. No one promised us we'd have perfection. It isn't possible. All we can do is be the best people we can be with the life we have, and to be thankful for the blessings we've been given. And we've certainly been given many. It's sad that Michelle Obama will never realize that.

Posted by Ith at 7:32 PM | Comments (8)

April 16, 2008


Rush just played the Army Chorus singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic from the Pope thing this morning. I actually started to cry at my desk. Really amazingly beautiful performance.

Posted by Ith at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2008

A Soldier & His Dogs

Two homeless Iraqi dogs – Mama and Boris – are now safely on American soil thanks to the efforts of a soldier’s family, a U.S. senator, and the Best Friends rapid response team.

Peter and doghouseSgt. Peter Neesley, on his second tour of duty with the U.S. Army, began feeding a mama dog and her two puppies when he patrolled a Baghdad neighborhood. After one of the puppies was hit by a car and killed, Peter built them a red-and-white doghouse – equipped with blankets, a mattress and an Army insignia above the door. He lured the mama dog and her remaining puppy to the doghouse, which he placed just outside the military base wall.

And then he e-mailed his family, sending them photos of the black Lab mix and her white-and-brown spotted puppy, and said he’d decided to fly the dogs home when he returned to the states in six months.

“Our family has always had dogs or cats and other little critters,” says his sister, Carey Neesley. “Peter was always bringing strays home.”

But on Christmas Day, Peter, just 28, died in his sleep in his barracks (no cause of death has been released) before he could send the dogs home. His soldier friends continued to feed Mama and Boris and watch out for them.

The rest of the story.

Posted by Ith at 7:02 PM

November 8, 2007

Something Different

French President Sarkozy's speech to congress was a nice change. You can read all of it here, but this bit...

.... I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France. I think of them and I am sad, as one is sad to lose a member of one’s family.
Posted by Ith at 9:09 PM | Comments (1)

September 22, 2007

Hope Rides Alone

"Sgt. Eddie Jeffers was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2007. He was 23."

This is an essay he wrote in February. I encourage you to go read it all.

.... Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word "quagmire" around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or third times; some even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is interfering with our war.

Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the internet...and there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed...for doing their job.

It is absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we've done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed? It's all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of President Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show people that Bush was right.

Posted by Ith at 11:17 AM

September 20, 2007

Dead soldier's twin back in Iraq

A British soldier who watched his identical twin brother die in Iraq has returned to his regiment in Basra.

The story here.

Posted by Ith at 9:06 AM

July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

This is one of my favourite holidays, and this year is no different. In fact, the older I get, the more I appreciate the meaning of this day. One of the reasons I'm really looking forward to the trip to Philly is to see the sights of American history I've never seen. It will be wonderful!

Stay safe, watch out for stray fireworks, and don't eat too much! I'm staying home, but I'll watch the Fourth of July concert on PBS and pretend I'm there. and I guarantee I'll cry more than once. And I'll probably sing 'Proud To Be an American' at least once out loud before the day ends, though probably after Nin's gone to work so my singing will only scare the cat! (We were testing sound equipment for the parade today at work yesterday, and I was humming the National Anthem till I fell asleep last night!) And maybe I'll walk over to the street and see if I can see the fireworks above the dunes tonight.

Posted by Ith at 12:36 PM

May 28, 2007

Posted by Ith at 1:13 PM

May 2, 2007

Random Observation

I could not get over how many multiple child familes I saw in Disneyland last week. Lots and lots of people with 3 to 4 little ones. Is there some sort of baby boom in progress, I wonder?

Posted by Ith at 11:17 AM

March 12, 2007

In Support of Our Troops

Let's Say Thanks

Posted by Ith at 4:13 PM

September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

A photo essay.

Posted by Ith at 11:00 AM

August 14, 2006

For the 40th

The 40th Aniversary of Star Trek is coming up next month, and they have an official celebration blog up (on blogspot!). This post is by fan guest blogger, Army SPC Angelina Christian in Iraq.

Thought some of you might like to go read it.

Posted by Ith at 2:15 PM

July 15, 2006

Invitations to Cross Rivers In New Shoes

Yesterday, I posted the link to 'safe' churches. Today, it was linked by Robert at the Llamas, and I left a comment about my own search. Some of what I said:

... I'm going through a similar quest right now. There's no way I can ever be Roman Catholic, not to mention I don't see why I should have to abandon my church. I'd rather stay and fight, or find a related church. I have my great grandmother's Prayer Book, and I'm not giving that heritage up willingly. Now here, there is a traditional Anglican parish here that's always been 1928 BCP. But when I move to Utah, I'm in trouble. Oddly enough, for such a conservative state, it seems they have one of the most liberal dioceses going.

Confession: I really self edit on this subject. I shouldn't -- it's my blog after all. But whenever I do post about the troubles my Church is having, and my own personal struggle, I invariably get well meaning Roman Catholics telling me I should convert, 'cross the Tiber!'. The thing is, I would never say something similar if they were having issues with their church. Why would you tell someone they should abandon their faith? I just don't get that. I would offer my prayers and support, but not "Oh, you should convert!", like it's something akin to changing your shoes. The other part is that I have lots of RC friends, people I'm very fond of, and I don't want to inadvertently hurt their feelings. I don't even read a lot of religious posts on some blogs because frankly, they're hurtful. Maybe I take 'do unto others' a little too seriously. Yes, I probably do. But I couldn't say similar things about their faith, no matter what objections I have to their church, I just can't. Not only would I feel mean, but it's not very Christian in the way I was brought up to think of as 'Christian Behaviour'.

So I don't know if I'll post much about the current path I'm on or not. Experience has taught me it's not such a great idea, but maybe things can change. Who knows?

Posted by Ith at 12:19 PM | Comments (5)

July 14, 2006

'Safe' Churches

Found this website over at MCJ: '...a list of "safe" churches that worship in the Anglican style.'

Posted by Ith at 4:18 PM | Comments (4)

July 4, 2006

Nin has to work,

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Nin has to work, so I'll be all alone from 330pm on. And since it's summer in Monterey, fireworks are mostly only going to result in coloured fog [g] But I'll watch the concert on PBS like I do every year, and see fireworks on TV.

Posted by Ith at 12:44 PM | Comments (1)

July 2, 2006

Ninety Years Ago

Yesterday was the 90th aniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

The shrillness of whistles broke the silence on the killing fields of the Somme yesterday - just as they had 90 years before.

In 1916 they were the prelude to slaughter on an unimaginable scale. Yesterday the whistles gave way to a respectful hush for the thousands of soldiers who, at their signal, left their trenches and marched to their deaths in a hail of German machine-gun fire.

On the rim of a 300ft crater near the village of La Boisselle, where the Battle of the Somme began, several hundred people fell silent at exactly two minutes before zero hour - 7.30am.

Nine decades before, silence had replaced the week-long British artillery barrage, intended to soften the German defences. Moments later, on July 1 1916, a massive underground explosion behind German lines blew more than a billion pounds of chalk and mud a mile into the air and signalled the start of the onslaught.


Almost 20,000 young British and Empire soldiers - some aged just 15 - died in the opening hours of the battle, the bloodiest day in Britain's military history. During the following four and a half months of trench warfare, the Army suffered an average of almost 3,000 casualties a day.

By November 18, 1916, when the battle ended, the Allies had taken more than 600,000 casualties of whom more than 120,000 died. The German casualty rate was strikingly similar.

esterday's commemoration at the Thiepval Monument in northern France was led by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. For both, the experience was a very personal pilgrimage. In an address at the monument, the prince told the congregation, many of them veterans or relatives of those who fell, that both he and the duchess had lost great uncles in the First World War - he one, his wife three.

"Being here today can only go a very small part of the way in helping us imagine how this beautiful countryside was devastated," he said.

"Great swathes of countryside, its mountains and glens, dales and fells, its villages and towns, an entire generation of their menfolk. In fact, nowhere was left untouched as their sons, brothers, husbands and fathers fell in one terrible day."

Describing the carnage of the Somme as "unutterable hell", the prince added: "The magnitude of the Allied losses on July 1, 1916 are unimaginable in these days of instant communication and ever-present media, but even 90 years ago they caused a most profound shock to our nations and left scars that remain with us today. It was not just the huge scale of our losses - some 50,000 casualties in one day, of which 20,000 were killed or missing presumed dead - it was also the fact that for the first time in our history we put mere boys into an assault against the bomb, bullets and the terrible wire entanglements, equipped with little more than raw courage and a deep trust in their young leaders."

The Royal couple later met Henry Allingham, 110, who served with the Royal Naval Air Service on the Western Front later in the war.

Posted by Ith at 12:05 PM

June 6, 2006

D-Day Remembered

John has a wonderful photo retrospective of D-Day up here.

NRO has the article that was was written for the 50th aniversary here.

...."You are a child, you cannot understand," a Dutch colleague told me, dabbing her eyes with tissues. She had lived through the bombing of Rotterdam. "We were waiting for the Allies to come, waiting, waiting. And then they came."

Indeed they did. For the peoples of Europe, D-Day represented redemption and hope; for the Allies, the making good on a promise that erased the hesitation of 1939 and embarrassments like Dunkirk. Although terrible battles were still to come and the Germans would exhibit an awesome capacity to fight under the most appalling of circumstances, everyone knew, Hitler included, that once the Allies established themselves on the beaches it would be but a matter of time. In his attic in Amsterdam, Anne Frank's father chalked off the days. In Paris my father walks under the Arc de Triomphe in the footsteps of his uncle Tom Bartley, who marched through on his way to the German border that summer fifty years ago with men who told each other, "We'll be home for Christmas." Little could he have known then what lay ahead of him at the Battle of the Bulge.

It was precisely this restoration of hope that explains why D-Day has always resonated more fully in the collective memory than even the end of the war, tainted by Yalta. At the American military cemetery at Ste-Laurent-sur-Mer above Omaha Beach, the winds are whipping and the rains cut to the bone. In the small reception house, an official kindly offers us help. "Are you looking for someone special?" he asks. We are not, but others are. Even on this nasty day, they have come: a fiftyish woman laying a rose on the grass over a father who probably hadn't been out of Iowa before being sent over to free Europe; a veteran of the 1st Infantry Divisionthe Big Red Onewith white hair and a waist thickened by the interval of fifty summers, standing silently before the cross of a fallen comrade.

If you have a D-Day post, feel free to drop a link in the comments or trackback to this post.

Posted by Ith at 12:49 PM

May 29, 2006

"Almighty God, we remember this

"Almighty God, we remember this day before thee thy faithful servant, and we pray thee that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, thou wilt receive him more and more into thy joyful service; that he may win, with thee and thy servants everywhere, the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

~ A Prayer Book For Soldiers & Sailors

Posted by Ith at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2006

The Martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer

Russ gave me the "Collects of Thomas Cranmer" for Christmas, and I've found great comfort in his words. Now, via this newly discovered blog, I'm reminded that yesterday was the 450th anniversary of the Martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer.

Posted by Ith at 11:56 AM | Comments (2)

February 17, 2006

Gathering 2006 Early Admission

Since there seems to be a lot of advance interest for the Gathering 2006, you can sign yourself up early by either using this email address -- -- or following this link. This is an announcement list only, I swear to god. You will only get emails from me with related Gathering information. For example, last April I sent a total of 6 emails to the list. That was it. Honest. If you're totally Yahoo phobic, then send me an email and I'll do all the work of subbing you. My email is edithna AT yahoo (.) com

Posted by Ith at 12:17 PM | Comments (1)

December 24, 2005

And there were in the

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Posted by Ith at 11:13 PM | Comments (5)

More Christmas Eve Programming

You can listen to The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols live from the Chapel of King's College in Cambridge that was recorded this afternoon. (I have this service on CD. It's quite lovely)

Later, you can listen to Carols by Candlelight sung by the Chapter House Choir, in York Minster's 13th-century Chapter House. And a couple of Midnight Mass selections. Schedule info here.

Posted by Ith at 1:14 PM

Before It Goes Away

If you haven't checked out the BBC Advent Calendar, you might want to. It's really lovely, with full carols sung by King's college, Cambridge, and a variety of readings by different people like Derek Jacobi. Right now I'm listening to "A Virgin Most Pure" on the 19th.

Posted by Ith at 11:45 AM | Comments (2)

December 22, 2005

Inventing Christmas

I very much liked this article An excerpt:

.... Of course, both the anticipation and the celebration are essential to Christmas. Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem because of a "decree that went out from Caesar Augustus." How remarkable in the Gospel of Luke is this "coincidence," this linking of the first Roman emperor with the birth of the Son of Man in a manger, in that particular place at the origins of the House of David. But few knew of this event when it happened. Though angels were singing on high, it was a whole before a couple of Roman historians even hinted at it. Christmas is not a feast of great events in this world. Rather it is a feast that reminds that great things take place in small towns, in out of the way places, things that need time to grow, to flourish.

Rush Limbaugh one day talked of a book called The War Against Christmas. No doubt there is such a war. Christmas seems to bring out in some a certain kind of venom that strikes us Christians as bordering on the diabolical. "Why is this most tender of feasts subject to such resentment?" we wonder to ourselves. In these days of an often-intolerant tolerance, we hesitate to speculate. We know of the words spoken of this Child born amongst us that many would rise and fall because of Him. A sword would pierce the heart of His mother. He could not be ignored, even if rejected, perhaps especially if rejected. Such things go against the mood of our age, yet are more true in our age than ever before.

In the Breviary for Christmas Eve, we find a sermon of the great Augustine. "Awake, mankind!" he tells us. "For your sake God has become man.... I tell you again: for your sake, God became man." Is this the clue we need? "You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh." We do not like to be reminded of our sinfulness. We do not like to know what is wrong so that we are left free to do what we will.

On Christmas Eve, our redemption is at hand. But it does not work itself out as we might like, as we would have done it if we were in charge. The shadow of the Cross hovers over the Manger. But what happens is for "our sake." We are to be "awake," almost as if it is possible for us to miss the most momentous thing that has happened to our kind. We can, indeed, choose not to see. .

Posted by Ith at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

December 6, 2005

King's College Cambridge

singing This is the Truth Sent From Above is the Advent selection for the 5th. Truly beautiful performance. And this just went on my Wish List

Posted by Ith at 5:50 PM

December 2, 2005


The BBC website has a nice Advent Calendar up here. And poking around the site, I find they have a whole season of readings and services available to listen to online, including two Midnight Mass services.

Posted by Ith at 9:11 AM | Comments (1)

November 16, 2005

Appreciating America

There's a nice article in the Salt Lake Tribune about immigrants and Thanksgiving. I liked this bit:

One year, Kaufusi remembers her son's teacher coming by after Thanksgiving with a turkey. Her son had told the class that his family didn't have turkey because they couldn't afford it. "I had to keep a turkey on the table after that," says the 61-year-old Kaufusi. Kaufusi always makes a turkey for the family's Thanksgiving feast, but no one eats it. "It's a waste of time because the children don't enjoy it - only in sandwiches," she jokes. Pasa Tukuafu, Kaufusi's brother who was 8 years old when the family came to Utah, says the turkey in their family is symbolic of their appreciation. "It's not the food we long for," the now 41-year-old Tukuafu says of the big bird. "It's the food we use to pay respect to the United States."
Posted by Ith at 4:01 PM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2005

We Remember


click image for larger view

This post will remain at the top today.

Posted by Ith at 10:47 PM

Good Guy, Bruce Willis

Over on the Corner, they have a transcript up of an interview with Bruce Willis and Michael Yon. Well worth reading.

Posted by Ith at 12:10 PM

I've Been Remiss...

in getting around to Kelly's blog as often as I used to. Bad me! She's has a very worthy cause she's helping to raise money for: Help Our Troops Come Home for the Holidays.

There's also lots of good stuff all over her blog on ways to help the troops, so make sure to visit her main page. And, there's more! She and her husband are expecting! Wonderful news!

Posted by Ith at 10:11 AM | Comments (3)

November 3, 2005

Valour IT

Read -- and donate -- over at CTG's

Posted by Ith at 11:59 AM | Comments (1)

October 28, 2005

Literal Interpretation

An excellent post, "An Old Canard Quacks Again", from the Confessing Reader on biblical interpretation. There's always much food for thought at CR, and this one gave my brain a workout.

Posted by Ith at 5:45 PM

September 27, 2005

A Special Email

Look what Beth got in her inbox.

Posted by Ith at 2:55 PM | Comments (2)

September 26, 2005


Via Fugitive Jen, this post on dealing with church and the single reality:

... But they have to stop pretending it's just temporary until everyone gets married, and focus on what a single person really needs: to know they do not have to face their life - in the the weeks/months/years ahead - alone.
Posted by Ith at 11:07 AM

September 16, 2005

Remebering Cody

Stacy has been writing this week about her nephew, Cody, who was killed, along with seven of his friends, by a drunk driver four years ago. Take a moment to visit her blog and share her memories of a beloved young man.

Posted by Ith at 10:14 AM | Comments (1)

September 10, 2005

"Our People"?

This was the last line of an article about the telethons last night, this referring to the BET one:

"There's been a lot of telethons," Diddy said, "but this is our telethon. These are our people."

The whole concept of our people really rubs me the wrong way. The money I've donated wasn't earmarked for anyone of a certain colour. I wasn't thinking, "gee, I hope this goes to help white people. 'Cus, they're you know, my people". Should there be a telethon that's ours? Should there be some sort of extra feeling of do-gooding for helping your own people? Call me naive, but "my people" are Americans. Not white, or black, or brown, just Americans who need help. Silly, huh?

I'm hoping what he meant was people who live in the Gulf in general, but somehow, I doubt that's going to be the case. I'm not quite that naive.

Oh, and BTW, money raised for *our people by our people:

Less than two weeks after the storm hit the Gulf Coast, private gifts have soared to nearly $700 million, a pace exceeding the response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The American Red Cross alone had received $503 million in gifts and pledges as of Friday, nearly equaling the $534 million collected for its Liberty Fund over two months following the Sept. 11 attacks.

*our being my definition, not Diddy's.

Posted by Ith at 11:45 AM | Comments (6)

August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort

Beloved in Christ,

As you know, the Gulf States (particularly Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi) have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina and its after-effects, and the needs for supplies and other relief in that area are great. Relief efforts are underway, and the AAC has joined those efforts through the creation of a "Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort" fund. We will be coordinating with AAC chapters and congregations to distribute funds on the local level in the Gulf Coast region.

We encourage your participation in this important work. You may make a contribution in three ways:

1. Mail your contribution to:

The American Anglican Council
2296 Henderson Mill Road, NE, Suite 406
Atlanta, GA 30345

2. Make a secure financial contribution online. (Select "Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort" as the Donor Designation.)

3. Call the AAC to make a secure credit card contribution over the phone toll free at 1-800-914-2000.

In all cases, please designate your contribution as Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort".

We at the AAC mourn with those who have lost loved ones and/or property and continue to pray that God would comfort and draw each hurting person and family to Himself during this difficult time. Please keep all those affected by Katrina in your prayers during the aftermath of this devastating hurricane.

Blessings and Peace in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

The Rev. Canon Ellis E. Brust
AAC Chief Operating Officer/Chaplain to the President

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love... Share with God's people who are in need."
(Romans 12:10a,13)

Posted by Ith at 3:50 PM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2005

Do you read Michael Yon?

If you don't you should.

This is a story I'm sure you won't read anywhere else. And every man in it is a hero, except the terrorist scumbags.
(h/t Van der Leun, crossposted to NERS)

Posted by Caltechgirl at 12:12 PM | Comments (3)

August 13, 2005

In The Company Of Heros

FNC has a show on tonight, called "In the Company of Heros". They just finished an interview with the parents of J.P. Blecksmith, a Marine who was killed and is featured in tonight's program. Talk about a total opposite from the current parent in the news.

The show airs at 9pm EDT.

Posted by Ith at 12:54 PM

August 12, 2005

Tentative Victory

St. James (Newport Beach) Wins Tentative Victory in Property Rights Battle with Diocese

Ruling for Breakaway Parish: Judge rejects Episcopal diocese's attempt to get property back from the conservative St. James, which cut ties with the national church

An effort by the six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to claim ownership of buildings and other property of a conservative breakaway congregation in Newport Beach was tentatively rejected Thursday by an Orange County Superior Court judge.

St. James Church was one of three former Episcopal parishes to bolt from the diocese and national Episcopal Church one year ago over differences in church teaching and the national church's controversial decision to ordain an openly gay priest in a committed relationship with another man as bishop of New Hampshire.

The diocese sued St. James and two other breakaway parishes for the property after they severed ties and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of a conservative Anglican bishop in Uganda.

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. member of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

In the tentative ruling Thursday, Orange County Superior Court Judge David C. Velasquez said the diocese had not shown that it would probably prevail in the property dispute with the St. James congregation, a dispute that also involved issues touching on 1st Amendment freedom of speech rights.

"Plaintiffs have not presented evidence that title to the parish property has ever been held in the name of any person or entity other than the parish since the time it was conveyed to the parish," Velasquez wrote.

The judge also said the parish had made a prima facie case that it had been sued by the diocese after it had publicly disagreed with the national church's views on homosexuality and other issues by issuing press releases and severing its ties with the diocese.

"Such acts arise out of and are in furtherance of the defendants' exercise of the right to speak on a matter of 'public interest,' " Velasquez wrote. "How churches in America are reacting to the different viewpoints on homosexuality is currently a topic of much public significance."

Via the AAC

Posted by Ith at 10:40 AM | Comments (4)

July 28, 2005

"Sworn Friends"

I didn't realize such a liturgy had existed in my church.

The Church of England is being accused by a leading bishop of sexualising friendship. The charge is levelled by the Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev John Saxbee. Yet centuries ago, the church officially recognised "sworn friends" who would participate in a liturgy specially devised for the purpose, the bishop says. And in the new issue of The Lincoln Bulletin, his diocesan magazine, he gives as an example a 14th century prayer which said: Send your holy angel upon these your servants, N and N, that they may love each other, as your holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and Andrew and James, and John and Thomas ... not through the bonds of birth, but through faith and by the love of the Holy Spirit, that they may abide in the same love all the days of their life."

Bishop Saxbee says: "Sadly, such respect for friendship as a faithful commitment made between a man and a woman, or between two people of the same gender, no longer finds expression in our repertoire of pastoral services. "One reason is that the Church has succumbed to the current tendency to sexualise friendship, so that any prayers said to support or celebrate a committed friendship, say, between two men or two women are assumed to be promoting homosexuality."

The bishop describes this situation as "so sad" because in the Bible friendship is something to be celebrated "as the image of God's faithfulness and commitment" and the church through the centuries has "offered opportunities for such Christian friendship to be prayerfully supported and celebrated."

I agree with the Bishop, it does seem that the trend is to sexualize relationships. There's almost always the assumption that Nin and I are in a sexual relationship. That's why we started introducing each other as "my sister" -- it was just easier. But I do like the term "sworn friends", because that's what we are. I've always mentally used the term Anne used in "Anne of Green Gables": kindred spirits :) I wish the service described in the article was something still being performed, because I'd love to be able to participate in it.

Posted by Ith at 12:33 PM | Comments (10)

July 11, 2005

When It Becomes Personal

I try to use "must read" sparingly, but I think this post: Domine Dirige Nos, merits it.

Posted by Ith at 6:36 PM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2005


poppydrop.jpgA Lancaster bomber dropped 1m poppies over the crowds in a flypast
One million poppies have been dropped on thousands of people gathered in the Mall for Commemoration Day, marking 60 years since the end of World War II.

Part of a flypast of World War II aircraft, the poppies were released by a Lancaster Bomber over The Mall as the Queen and Royal Family looked on.

The Queen earlier addressed the crowd, speaking of the "present difficult days for London" after Thursday's bombings.

She said the people of the war generation had set an example.

In her address, she told those gathered in Horse Guard's Parade that the years of war had not been in vain - but sadly, it could not be claimed the world had been free from conflict or terror since 1945.

"It does not surprise me that during the present difficult days for London, people turn to the example set by that generation, of resilience, humour, sustained courage, often under conditions of great deprivation," she said.

"That example, and those memories, should be kept alive by younger generations as they in turn strive to keep the peace in our troubled world."

Posted by Ith at 5:02 PM

July 4, 2005

For The Fourth

Yeah, I'm still around, but barely. Thought I'd share this article from the Scotsman. It's a small piece of it, but all of it can be found here.

.... But it is also important to say, this 4 July , that one need not have ever visited the US to feel in tune with what it means to be an American. It is an empire of the mind (and the imagination) as much as it is a military and economic superpower. The principles of the American Revolution remain sound. The World Trade Centre no longer stands, but the language of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights does.

No other country has embedded the "pursuit of happiness" - the great goal of mankind - in the foundations of the state; nowhere else is the idea of liberty so revered. There is such a thing as an American sensibility and it can be felt from the Baltic to the Pacific.

Could the United States be doing better? Wrong question. If not America, then who? No-one, that's who. At its best, America and American ideals remain, in Lincoln's famous words, "the last, best hope of mankind". The United States still believes in a place called hope. As it celebrates its 229th birthday today, we should too.

A bit later: The Cotillion has a special 4th salute to Milbloggers.

A bit more later: I just wanted to thank everyone for their good thoughts with the job loss this last week. Both Nin and I really appreciate it. Even though things pretty much suck right now, we're still feeling blessed to have such great friends and to live here in the U.S.A.. God bless America, and each and every one of you. And a special shout out to all those that serve our country here at home and all over the world. You guys and gals rock! Happy Fourth!

Posted by Ith at 12:25 PM

June 9, 2005

Mail From Home

SonraK is looking for pen pals for the 82nd Airborn Division. Head over to her place for the details.

Via Claire.

Posted by Ith at 2:28 PM

May 31, 2005


Via Ilyka, this post about a trip to the beaches of Normandy. Very moving. There's something indefinable and overwhelming that you feel when you visit a battlefield or the graves of the fallen. Everyday Stranger does an excellent job of capturing that emotion.

Posted by Ith at 6:27 PM

May 30, 2005

Go Say, "Thank You"

Via Joanie, I went to this website today where you can send a message to any service member. I just sent one to each branch of the armed forces. So go tell a service person, "Thanks".

Posted by Ith at 1:40 PM

May 29, 2005

Memorial Day 2005

"Almighty God, we remember this day before thee thy faithful servant, and we pray thee that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, thou wilt receive him more and more into thy joyful service; that he may win, with thee and thy servants everywhere, the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

~ A Prayer Book For Soldiers & Sailors


Memorial Day 2004 at the Presidio in San Francisco. Click for larger photo. An entire gallery of photos from last year can be found here.

Posted by Ith at 3:12 PM

Memorial Day

You should go read Russ's Memorial Day post. He's also keeping a list of link to other Memorial Day posts.

Posted by Ith at 12:42 PM | Comments (2)

May 25, 2005

On Suffering

Much to think about after reading this post at the "Anchoress".

Suffering is a mystery, and it is an intimate one, bound up in all of your love, all of your fear, all of your hate, all of your failings and joys. It is literally for the Christian, where the rubber meets the road.

I'm saving that in my 'to keep' folder and sharing it with my mum. Suffering and faith has been a frequent topic of discussion between the two of us over the years.

Posted by Ith at 1:15 PM

May 23, 2005

Mary Musings

Peter Sean had a thread on his blog about Mary and the paper that was released recently in regards to Roman Catholics and Anglicans coming to some sort of arrangement on the matter. I'd pretty much said my piece at the time, but today, I was visiting Huw's always excellent blog, and came upon a link to the Orthodox viewpoint. I found it very illuminating.

Posted by Ith at 3:55 PM | Comments (2)

May 19, 2005


Good article here on the subject, via Peter Sean. And nicely coincidental after having just visited Fugitive Jen's blog a few minutes ago and reading this.

May God continue to bless us with the strength to live our lives the way we know He wishes us to.

Posted by Ith at 11:57 AM | Comments (5)

May 6, 2005

"He Is Responsible That We Live in Freedom Now"

Grateful Dutch still honor fallen Americans

.... As Martin Salden grew older, his parents told him many stories about the German occupiers terrorizing the residents of Kerkrade, of Dutch collaborators, and of two Jews the family hid from the Nazis in his grandmother's cellar.

And "they always told me to always pay respect for the American soldiers because they paid their lives for our freedom," he says.

After the Allied liberation of Holland, the American Battle Monuments Commission took over operation of the cemetery. Dutch residents of Margraten helped American military gravediggers break through the frozen earth and bury the American dead. And they started adopting the graves, visiting them the way family would, honoring the ultimate sacrifice they represented.

Today about 4,000 graves are adopted officially, and more unofficially, said Joseph Purnot, a volunteer administrator of the grave adoption program.

A couple that owned a bakery and lived in nearby Maastrichtadopted Rutledge's grave and sent Hamner snips of grass, photographs and chocolates for the children. The correspondence faded in the 1970s. The couple passed away.

'Getting to know my daddy'

In 2001, Ginger's brother, Robert Leron Rutledge, 63, gave her a duffel bag filled with letters that had been passed down in the family.

"I couldn't read them fast enough," writes Gregory, who is now married with three grown children.

She recently retired as vice president of a bank and lives in Statesboro, Ga. "I was 62 years old and I was finally getting to know my daddy."

She contacted Salden through an Internet tribute he had posted in honor of the Margraten war dead, and when he heard her story, he took over Rutledge's grave.

"It just makes me feel so good, because I feel that my father's not alone," Gregory said.

Salden, a retired newspaper layout man, is in training for a 100-mile bicycle race and rides horses in his free time. He says he becomes emotional every time he walks among the sea of crosses.

He brings Rutledge flowers on the anniversary of the date he died, on his birthday and for Christmas, Easter and Memorial Day. When he visits, he offers a prayer and thanks.

"He is responsible that we live in freedom now," Salden explains. "And that's what I do and I feel good."

Read the entire story here.

Posted by Ith at 9:50 AM

May 2, 2005

A Loss

DeoDuce lost a dear friend today.

Posted by Ith at 5:47 PM

April 19, 2005

Habemus Papam!

So that's what Ith was doing in Rome...

In case you haven't heard the news yet or seen it anywhere, the College of Cardinals has selected Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany as the new Pope. He has chosen the name Benedict XVI.

To see other possible names he was considering, go here.

To see what would have happened if they had chosen Jimi Hendrix, click here.

Posted by Caltechgirl at 11:34 AM

April 2, 2005

In Sympathy

My sympathies to all my Roman Catholic readers on your loss today.

Posted by Ith at 12:28 PM | Comments (3)

March 28, 2005

Holy Assertions!

Peter Sean passes on the link to this interview with David Klinghoffer, who has a new book out Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History. Sounds like a book to add to the Wish List!

Posted by Ith at 12:36 PM | Comments (1)

February 25, 2005


Robert at Llama Butchers has a post on the latest in the ECUSA/Anglican Communion wars, and points out the latest news. I don't have much to add, other than what I said in his comments section, other than it's all very sad.

Posted by Ith at 11:44 AM

January 20, 2005

Is It Just Me?

I love inaugurations, no matter whose it is. I always watch them/listen to them, and it always leaves me feeling all emotional with pride for my country and our way of life. Granted, I'm happier when it's my guy taking the oath, but regardless of who it is, my pride doesn't waver. It's in poor taste for these protesters to be physically trying to disrupt (and just generally being nimnulls) the festivities. Can't they have one moment of something other than anger and bitterness? I just don't understand people like that, they're like aliens. Maybe it's true that some people just aren't happy unless they're miserable -- and making sure everyone else is miserable right along with them.

Posted by Ith at 12:15 PM | Comments (3)

God Of Our Fathers

Always one of my favourite hymns, and the combined military groups did a wonderful job. Brought tears to my eyes.

Posted by Ith at 9:27 AM | Comments (1)

God Bless America

And God bless our President.

It's days like this that remind you just why we're so fortunate to be Americans.

Posted by Ith at 9:22 AM | Comments (8)

January 9, 2005

Troop Wristbands

Just saw the guys who make these on FNC. Nin got out her Lance Armstrong one to show me what they're like, and it's so big it slipped down my hand! Maybe the child size is for me... ya think? Anyway, this seemed like a kewl thing, and even though I'm probably the last person to know about it, I thought I'd give it a mention.

Posted by Ith at 11:59 AM | Comments (1)

December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.


No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Posted by Ith at 5:18 PM | Comments (5)

November 18, 2004

One More

DG also has a wonderful photo she's sharing, along with a story I'm glad I read -- you will be too.

Posted by Ith at 4:08 PM | Comments (1)

A Must Click

Cassandra has a photo on her blog that I'd encourage all of you to go take a look at.

Posted by Ith at 12:14 PM | Comments (1)

November 13, 2004


Prayers for the Vice President who has been hospitalized.

Posted by Ith at 12:51 PM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2004

We Remember


click image for larger view

This post will remain at the top today.

Posted by Ith at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)

September 7, 2004

He's Leaving...

on a jet plane. So go read this post.

Posted by Ith at 4:33 PM

August 19, 2004

Disenfranchised Defenders

Good news here on Donald Rumsfeld's plan to make sure that the Dems can't disenfranchise military overseas votes like they've tried to in the past.

.... This problem is not unique to Florida, and it didn't just happen in 2000. According to the results of a survey by the Reserve Officers' Association, ROA estimates that the disenfranchisement rate among military personnel who try to vote in Florida, Missouri, and South Carolina is 40-45 percent.

It's not the hypocrisy of what the Florida Dems did that still rankles; what's most bothersome is who they tried to do it to. Every American has the right to vote, but were it not for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who put themselves in harm's way, none of us would have that right. The warriors and their families have long memories, and this time they're determined to vote.

For once, at the insistence of Don Rumsfeld, the folks in Fort Fumble are acting, not reacting, to solve this problem before it repeats itself.

On March 17, Rumsfeld sent a memo to the Joint Chiefs and Combatant Commanders telling them how the services will make sure all military members and their family members who are overseas, or stationed here but are away from home, get the chance to vote, and vote so that no Mark Herrons can disenfranchise them.

At the heart of Rumsfeld's plan is putting some teeth into the old Voting Assistance Officer idea. On top of it is a strategy now underway to use both the internet and the Postal Service effectively to help servicemen and their families request absentee ballots and get them returned in time to be counted.

Posted by Ith at 3:32 PM

August 18, 2004


On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified.


An excerpt from an email I received today from Feminists for Life:

....In a peaceful revolution led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women won the right to keep their own earnings, sign contracts, sit on a jury, testify on their own behalf, to secure a divorce if a husband drank the familys income away or physically abused his wife and share custody of their children. When these two feminist foremothers were born, no women were admitted to college. By the time they died, colleges and universities opened their doors to women, and they started down the path to equal opportunities in the workplace.


Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton passed the torch to two more generations before womens suffragetheir most cherished goalwas realized. By the time the struggle ended, women had suffered greatly for what too many today take for grantedor sadly, dont exercise at all.

In 1913, Alice Paul, author of the original Equal Rights Amendment, organized a magnificent pageant to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Women dressed all in white were led by New York attorney Inez Milholland Boissevain, who was dressed like Joan of Arc on a white horse. At the end of the parade women were pulled off their horses, grabbed by jeering men as police stood by smirking. By the time the cavalry had been brought in to restore order, 100 people were hospitalizedbut not one man had been arrested.

Later, a perpetual delegation of dignified, silent, peaceful protesters were organized by Paul to hold vigil outside the White Housejust a few blocks from FFLs current office. Angry men tore their banners down. Alice Paul was knocked to the ground by a sailor and dragged down the street. Another man tore a womans blouse off in order to remove her purple and yellow suffrage sash as the police looked on. Later the women were arrested and forced to remove all their clothingone by onein front of a company of men, and incarcerated for days, weeks, or months at time. Their mail was cut off and they were made to perform hard labor. They were terrorized by the guards, some tossed like dolls headfirst into their prison cells and rendered unconscious. One political prisoner was left handcuffed above the cell door all night long.

Women became more resolved than ever to win the voteand men in ever-increasing numbers began to support the fight for womens suffrage.

By the time the 19th amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, Inez Milholland Boissevain had died of exhaustion from traveling the country with her message of votes for women. She is known as a martyr for womens suffrage.

Posted by Ith at 4:13 PM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2004

VJ Day

August 15, 1945

Posted by Ith at 7:36 PM | Comments (1)

August 4, 2004

90 Years Later


I read about this yesterday, and today . there's an article on the ceremony

Four of the 23 known surviving veterans of the First World War have led a service commemorating the 90th anniversary of the conflict's outbreak.

The veterans, who are all over 100 years old, met at the Cenotaph in London for the 11am service, which was also attended by Lord Kitchener, the great nephew of Field Marshall Kitchener, who commanded British forces during the war.

Posted by Ith at 11:09 AM

July 30, 2004

Evening Prayer

Evening Prayer from The Book of Common Prayer, Friday, 30 July 2004:

O Lord, open thou our lips
All and our mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

O God, make speed to save us.
All O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
All as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
All The Lord's name be praised.

Posted by Ith at 6:05 PM | Comments (2)

July 11, 2004

Follow Up

I've gotten two letters/comments on this post, "A Letter From Iraq", from those serving in the Middle East.

Posted by Ith at 1:17 PM

July 10, 2004

Books For Soldiers

Julie points out a great cause she's personally involved in.

Posted by Ith at 3:47 PM | Comments (1)

July 6, 2004

What A Way To Spend A Saturday

Take a look at what Smash and DaGoddess got up to this weekend.

Posted by Ith at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)

July 4, 2004

Happy 228!

Wishing you and yours a happy Independence Day!

Even the moose are celebrating :)

And don't forget I'm still looking for your Fourth of July stories!

Posted by Ith at 12:20 PM | Comments (3)

July 3, 2004

Fourth Of July Stories

I'm still looking for your Fourth of July stories!

And over at Girls! we want to know about your summer plans, amongst other things :)

Posted by Ith at 3:34 PM

July 2, 2004

Holiday Happenings

Since we're heading into a long holiday weekend, I don't know how many of you are out and about in BlogLand. But if you are around, how about sharing a special Fourth of July moment? It can be something from your childhood, something more recent, or maybe it's a family tradition or story that means something to you.

Use the comments or trackback to this post on your own blog.

Looking forward to reading your stories!

Posted by Ith at 8:57 AM | Comments (4)

July 1, 2004

Disney Unleashes Star-spangled Riposte

Walt Disney, which refused to distribute Michael Moore's controversial Fahrenheit 9/11, is using the Fourth of July holiday to launch a feelgood feature film about the American people.

Borrowing a tactic from the grassroots campaign that made Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ a surprise hit, the media giant has used early screenings for select groups and is encouraging people to "spread the word" about the patriotic film, with invitations, posters, and guidelines for group outings on its website.

America's Heart & Soul, which opens today on 100 screens across the US, offers a flag-draped look at the country. The 88- minute film, directed by Louis Schwartzberg, is told through the voices of "ordinary Americans with extraordinary stories": an Olympic boxer, a blind mountain climber, a dairy farmer and an aerobatic pilot.

The rest here.

Posted by Ith at 12:56 PM | Comments (3)

June 12, 2004

More Impressions...

... Lady Margaret Thatcher singing along with the Star Spangled Banner -- now how many Americans know the words to somebody else's national anthem, do you suppose?

... Gorbachev can spin all he wants to for the Washington Post about how "nobody" won the cold war -- but for cryin' out loud, at least he showed up! (Then again, how dare he refer to our beloved Gipper as 'nobody', on the day we buried him!)

... the stirring Wilhousky arrangement of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" performed at both the National Cathedral and the Reagan Library. For anyone who didn't get enough of that music on TV already, here is a site where you can listen to a recording of it, performed by the US Army Band, with an all male chorus. Here is a USAF Band recording with a mixed voice chorus, which I actually like better. Both sites allow you to download an MP3. I downloaded both, and will never hear it again without thinking of President Reagan.

... Mrs. Reagan's whimper as she broke down over the casket, clutching the flag, and the three Reagan children hurrying to her side to comfort her.

... Lady Thatcher giving her old friend a final bow as the sun set.


Kleenex, anyone?

Posted by CrankyBeach at 10:44 AM | Comments (5)

June 10, 2004

Reagan's Final Send-Off

For the lucky ones who have the opportunity to watch live, or for those who need to set their VCRs... the schedule for Friday's events can be found here.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 4:10 PM



(As I'm doing this post, KTOM has started playing "America the Beautiful" by the late Ray Charles.)

Posted by Ith at 2:18 PM | Comments (3)

What Can I Say?

What can I say that hasn't already been said by so many already? From the riderless horse bearing President Reagan's own boots backwards in the stirrups, to Nancy Reagan patting the casket and smoothing the flag that lay over his coffin, it was, to me, the essence of America, and the best of what we are as Americans. The celebration of a life, the grief of parting, and the promise of the reunion still to come.

Posted by Ith at 9:16 AM

Some Impressions

Just a few things from watching the proceedings yesterday....

... the spontaneous outburst of love and respect from the gathered crowd when Mrs. Reagan got out of the limo to watch the transfer of the casket from the hearse to the caisson.

... the certain conniption fits of the left, especially the separation of church and state crowd, at the blatant religious content, even in the music played by the marching military bands, although I wonder how many of them even recognized "God of our Fathers."

... the incredible honor given to those young service members who were chosen to carry the casket, and to stand guard, and their precision and professionalism in carrying out those duties. How many of those youngsters had even been born when Reagan became Commander in Chief?

... Mrs. Reagan looked like she hadn't slept in a week but still held her head high, and every time the cameras focused on her limousine during the procession, she was still waving to the crowd.

Many writers far more eloquent than I have much more to say, so I will hand it off to those folks for now.

Thanks, Ith, for letting me put in my 2 cents' worth on your airwaves.

Posted by CrankyBeach at 8:10 AM | Comments (1)

June 9, 2004

It Could Be Better

I'm tired, my head hurts, I want to go home. All of a sudden, I feel kind of sad and wistful. I dunno, I think it's just been that kind of week hasn't it?

When I get home, I'll watch the tape of President Reagan's last journey to D.C., and I expect I'll get a little more sad and that crying will be involved. I think I'll get Nin to make me one of her uber-strong Rusty Nails.

Posted by Ith at 6:04 PM

Help Me! I'm a blogger

I have been mulling over this excerpt that I grabbed from the Belmont Club for a while.

Mr Gardner, BBC's security correspondent and an Al Qaeda expert, was left for dead by the fleeing attackers, local newspapers said. But he survived and pleaded for his life, shouting to bystanders to help a fellow Muslim, a police officer told AFP.

"I'm a Muslim, help me, I'm a Muslim, help me," the father of two daughters cried in Arabic, the officer said. Mr Gardner, fluent in Arabic, was carrying a small copy of the Quran, a device used by Western reporters to try to reassure extremists.

Wow. Life is certainly different on the Arabian peninsular. Let us go over the incident. A man is shot and lies bleeding on the ground. He seems to know that the only way he will get help from bystanders is if he identifies himself as a Muslim. He calls out "I'm a Muslim, help me, I'm a Muslim, help me,".
From the article, I cannot definitively say that help was only offered to the man...

after he identified himself as a Muslim. For all I know, people may have been planning to help whether he made the remarks or not. What sickens me is that the fallen man felt that he had to yell out his religious association in order to get help in that part of the world.

The article says that the man is indeed a Muslim (he was not fibbing) and that he is fluent in Arabic. This of course means that he was not just a foolish foreigner trying to elicit help by grovelling for sympathy but rather that he indeed knew the culture very well and must have had some inkling that help would not be offered to him if he was not a Muslim.

This saddens me.

This story suggests that if I were visiting Saudi Arabia, I would have to pretend that I was a Muslim in order to get help or else I would be left to die in a pool of my own blood or vomit or entrails or whatever ailed me at the time.

Is it possible that a similar scenario could occur in North America?

I certainly don't feel like I have to explain that I am an Episcopalian to my family doctor before he agrees to treat my throbbing haemorrhoids. I am particularly glad about this because it is difficult to go over the finer points of Episcopalian theology while sitting on one cheek.

If I happen to be lying in a bloody mangled mess on the side of the highway anywhere in North America (except New Jersey), I would feel comfortable flagging down any passing vehicle no matter who was in it. I don't believe that I would have to hold up a small sign with the MovableType logo in hopes of getting a passing blogger to stop and help.
I don't think I would look at the driver of a passing car and upon seeing a turban, decide not to wave for help because the driver and I were plainly from different religions. It just would not cross my mind that such a difference would matter and I think this is true of most people in North America.

I believe I would flail my shattered arms at any vehicle that passed feeling very confident that because driver's licences are issued primarily to human beings, I have enough in common with any driver to prompt them to screech to a halt and have them help roll my carcass out of the lanes of traffic.

Then again, maybe thats just me.

Posted by at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)

Just The Radio

Rush broadcast the sounds from the ceremony in CA where President Reagan is being flown to D.C.. He did so with very little commentary, and even without pictures, I found myself getting weepy standing by the radio. It's going to be a sad week.

(I'm taping it all so I'll be able to see it when I get home.)

Posted by Ith at 9:34 AM | Comments (1)

June 8, 2004

Ae Fond Kiss


This poem of Robert Burns has been going through my head the last few days, and this photo has just intensified it. (the Alex Beaton perfomance of it set to music is what's in my mind's ear)

Ae Fond Kiss AE fond kiss, and then we sever; Ae fareweel, alas, for ever! Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee, Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee! Who shall say that Fortune grieves him While the star of hope she leaves him? Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me, Dark despair around benights me. I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy; Naething could resist my Nancy; But to see her was to love her, Love but her, and love for ever. Had we never loved sae kindly, Had we never loved sae blindly, Never metor never parted, We had ne'er been broken-hearted. Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest! Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest! Thine be ilka joy and treasure, Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure! Ae fond kiss, and then we sever! Ae fareweel, alas, for ever! Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee, Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee!

Posted by Ith at 10:56 AM

June 7, 2004

The Prisoners' Conscience

In 1983, I was confined to an eight-by-ten-foot prison cell on the border of Siberia. My Soviet jailers gave me the privilege of reading the latest copy of Pravda. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of President Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire." Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, word of Reagan's "provocation" quickly spread throughout the prison. We dissidents were ecstatic. Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us.

At the time, I never imagined that three years later, I would be in the White House telling this story to the president. When he summoned some of his staff to hear what I had said, I understood that there had been much criticism of Reagan's decision to cast the struggle between the superpowers as a battle between good and evil. Well, Reagan was right and his critics were wrong.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Ith at 6:28 PM


The Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign site has been turned into a memorial page for President Reagan.

Posted by Ith at 11:13 AM | Comments (5)

June 6, 2004

Remembering D-Day


You can find Blackfive's roundup of D-Day posts here. My contribution to the project, "The Life That I Have" is here.

Later: The Untold Stories of D-Day. I think this is a great companion to the subject I chose for my D-Day post.

This post will stay at the top till Monday. Scroll down for new posts over the weekend.

Posted by Ith at 11:59 PM

Reagan In Pictures

A few of the photos I came across today.

Posted by Ith at 1:39 PM | Comments (2)

Staying Up

Anyone else up getting ready to watch the D-Day ceremonies live?

I made dinner, Nin made drinks, we watched Master & Commander with my mum and brother, and now I'm settling in in front of the TV watching FNC for as long as I can stay awake. Isn't it odd that these two events have coincided? I was reading President Reagan's speechs in Normandy twenty years ago, and was struck by how the fates work.

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! For all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West! ~ Aragorn, "Return of the King"

Later: I can't keep my eyes open. Chirac managed to get his UN bit in. I guess France and the UN share the value of skimming money off the top. The President's speech at times made me cry. Say what you will about his speaking ability, but what he does say is from his heart, and it makes that connection.

Till later today, good night.

Posted by Ith at 12:11 AM

June 5, 2004

Remembering A President

Ronald Reagan has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was in second grade, I won a state wide art award, and I got a certificate signed by Govenor Reagan. My father often spoke of him when the governor would visit the Hotel Durant in Berkeley where we lived. He was resident manager, and Governor Reagan came for gatherings at the hotel where my father would meet and welcome him. The first Presidential election I was old enough to vote, I voted for Ronald Reagan. There are so many things I admired about him, but I suppose the top of that list was bringing the downfall of Soviet Communism. All the years of my childhood, participating in atom bomb drills at school, and being pretty sure I'd be dead by 20 due to nuclear war, and then the Berlin Wall fell. I thought I was dreaming. It was a day I'd never thought to see. He showed us that we didn't need to be ashamed to be Amreican, that we could be strong and secure. After Watergate, Vietnam, hostages in Iran, years of MAD, Ronald Reagan brought a new era, and one I'm very grateful for. Thank you, President Reagan, and may God bless you.

Later the Next Day: I really like Michele's eulogy. Her memories of the Cold War and fear of nuclear war are ones I so empathize with. One of these days I need to do a post on what happened in first grade when I thought the Soviets were going to attack while I was at school.

Posted by Ith at 4:43 PM | Comments (4)


Watching FNC and it's like a pre-eulogy right now for President Reagan. My first election, I voted for Reagan. A man I have greatly admired for so many years.

My prayers go out to him and his family.

1:50pm: President Reagan has died.

Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died today at his home in California. He was 93 years old and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Reagan, known as "The Great Communicator," was elected to office in a landslide victory over incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1980 and is credited with revitalizing the country's stagnant economy and forcing the end of the Cold War during his two terms in office from 1981 to 1989.

His charismatic personality and staunch conservatism led the nation in a Republican resurgence that kept the GOP in the White House for 12 years.

Reagan remained largely out of public view since announcing he had Alzheimer's disease in November 1994. He came to symbolize Alzheimer's, which has no cure, during the last decade of his life. Reagan turned the disclosure of his disease as an opportunity to make a final address to the nation, expressing in an open letter to the American people the same patriotic fervor that had catapulted him into the presidency.

"When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future," Reagan wrote at the time. "I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead."

Posted by Ith at 12:42 PM

June 4, 2004

Treating Our Vets Right

Good to see the French are treating our D-Day vets with kindess and respect:

With armfuls of gifts, France on Friday welcomed back American veterans who helped free Europe from Nazi occupation when they landed on Normandy's beaches 60 years ago.

One hundred former World War II fighters saluted and waved as they climbed off a chartered Air France plane that brought them from Washington, D.C., to receive France's highest honor at D-Day anniversary commemorations this weekend.

Several leaned on canes as they walked down a red carpet on the tarmac at Charles De Gaulle Airport outside Paris. Many wore military caps and medals on their chests, some toted video cameras and all placed hands over their hearts when a French military band played "The Star-Spangled Banner."


French Veterans Minister Hamlaoui Mekachera promised the Americans they'd find a warm, grateful welcome here.

"For the French people of 2004, just like for the French people of 1944 ... you are true heroes," he said.

"We are fully aware of what we owe you, we have not forgotten the immense sacrifices that you have made for the liberation of our country."

France is to bestow the Legion of Honor, its most prestigious civilian and military award, on the 100 veterans who were chosen by U.S. officials. France says it wants to honor them as representatives of all the Americans who fought against Nazism.


The honorees and their relatives traveled for free on a flight paid for by Air France and other French businesses. Some of the top hotels in Paris are putting them up without charge.

Joseph Kuhar, 87, of Washington, D.C., said French kindness had been overwhelming.

"If they keep giving me souvenirs, I'm going to have to hire a truck," he laughed. Many of the veterans carried shopping bags full of gifts, including bottles of champagne.

Posted by Ith at 5:56 PM

June 3, 2004

The Life That I Have

Last week, I received an email from Blackfive asking if I would participate in his D-Day Project. I was honoured at being included, but I wasn't sure if I could contribute anything worthwhile. He convinced me to give it a shot, so this is the result.

I've chosen the women of the SOE as the subject of this post because I've long admired their contributions to our freedom. In fact, when I was a little girl, and I first learned of them, they were some of my heroines. From movies like "Carve Her Name With Pride" and the series "Wish Me Luck", there stories were brought to life. I was nine or ten when I first saw, "Carve Her Name With Pride", about Violette Szabo, an agent with the Special Operations Executive in Britain. She was a wife, a mother, and a hero:

.... After training Violette went into France twice. On the second occasion she was captured after a shoot-out in which she killed several German soldiers.

After torture and interrogation in which she gave nothing away, she was sent to Ravensbrck concentration camp where she was eventually shot through the back of the neck with two other women SOE agents, Lillian Rolfe and Denise Bloch. Another French section agent, Odette Hallowes, was in the camp with them and gave details to the authorities at the close of the war.

There is an anonymous memorial on the wall of a chapel in Kensington to six women of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, the cover used by SOE for female agents. All six died in concentration camps. Violette Szabo is one of the names. She was posthomously awarded the George Cross, which was presented to her four year old daughter Tania Szabo by King George VI on 28th January 1947. She was also awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Government in the same year.

Violette was 23

Her story is a remarkable one, but not a unique one. There were many woman like Violette that risked their lives to get vital intelligence to the Allies. They were the girls next door, someone's wife, sister, mother, or daughter. And of these women, probably the most famous is Nancy Wake, the "White Mouse".

....Her missions with the Resistance meant her life was in constant danger. She became a suspect and was watched. The Gestapo tapped her phone and opened her mail. She took many identities. She was so good at evading the Gestapo they nicknamed her the "White Mouse". By 1943, Wake was No 1 on the Gestapos most wanted list and there was a five million-franc price on her head. It was too risky for Wake to stay in France and the Resistance decided she should go back to Britain.

"Henri said You have to leave, and I remember going out the door saying Id do some shopping, that Id be back soon. And I left and I never saw him again."

Escape was not easy. She made six attempts to get out of France by crossing the Pyrenees into Spain. On one of these attempts she was captured by the French Milice (Vichy militia) in Toulouse and interrogated for four days. She held out, refusing to give the Milice any information, and with the help of the legendary 'Scarlet Pimpernel of WWII', Patrick O'Leary, tricked her captors into releasing her.

Finally Wake got across the Pyrenees and from there to Britain. She was on safer ground, but had no news of her husband, who worked separately.

Nancy Wake, then 31, became one of 39 women and 430 men in the French Section of the British Special Operations Executive which worked with local resistance groups to sabotage the Germans in the occupied territories.

She was trained at a British Ministry of Defense camp in Scotland in survival skills, silent killing, codes and radio operation, night parachuting, plastic explosives, Sten guns, rifles, pistols and grenades. She and the other women recruited by the SOE were officially assigned to the First Aid Nursing Yeomantry and the true nature of their work remained a closely guarded secret until after the war.


No sector gave the Reich more cause for fury than Nancys the Auvergne, the Fortress of France. Methodically the SS laid its plans and prepared to obliterate the group, whose stronghold was the plateau above Chaudes-Aiguwes. Troops were massed in towns all around the plateau, with artillery, mortars, aircraft and mobile guns. In June 1944 22,000 SS troops made their move on the 7,000 Maquis. Through bitter battle and escape, Nancy and her army had cause to be satisfied: 1,400 German troops lay dead on the plateau, 100 of their own men.

Nancy continued her war: she personally led a raid on Gestapo headquarters in Montucon, and killed a sentry with her bare hands to keep him from alerting the guard during a raid on a German gun factory. She had to shoot her way out roadblocks; and execute a German female spy.

On June 6, 1944, D-Day, allied troops began to force the German army out of France. On 25 August 1944, Paris was liberated and Wake led her troops into Vichy to celebrate. However her joy at the liberation of Paris was mixed with a devastation she had secretly anticipated: in Vichy she learned that her beloved husband Henri was dead. A year after Nancy had left France in 1943, the Germans had captured Henri, tortured and executed him, because he refused to give them any information about the whereabouts of his wife.

Nancy Wake is now in her 90s and is living in England with the support of Prince Charles. You can find out more about her here.

Names -- and deeds -- that should be remembered: Lise de Baissac, Denise Bloch, Andre Borrel, Sonya Butt, Madeleine Damerment, Odette Hallowes, Noor Inayat Khan, Vera Leigh, Eileen Nearne, Eliane Plewman, Yvonne Rudellat, Violette Szabo, Nancy Wake. During this week's D-Day ceremonies, take a moment to remember these brave women.

The Life That I Have

The life that I have is all that I have,
And the life that I have is yours.

The love that I have of the life that I have,
Is yours and yours and yours.

The sleep I shall have, a rest I shall have,
Yet death will be but a pause.

For the peace of my years in the long green grass,
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Posted by Ith at 9:34 AM | Comments (17)

May 31, 2004

Memorial Day II

I'd taped the National Memorial Day concert on PBS last night, and just finished watching it. It was very well done, and I will admit I was near to tears, or in tears through a great deal of it.

Charles Durning, the actor (recipient of the Silver Star & the Purple Hearts), recounted his D-Day experiences, part of which was remembering dying comrades using their bodies to shield him and others. There was also a large segment dedicated to the wounded of war, focusing on those from the Afghansitan and Iraq theaters. There were many servicemen in the audience who were without arms and legs, many of them still in bandages. Then the performed Ave Maria to the accompaniment of the names of those killed in Iraq and Afghansitan being projected on to the dome above the stage.

The concert finished to the singing of God Bless Amercia, and there were those wounded men, missing arms and legs, standing up, some with the assistance of a friend, to sing along with everyone else. There was one Marine in particular, in his starched and pressed uniform, missing his left arm, and both arms still in bandages, standing ramrod straight, belting out God Bless America for all he was worth. You can't see that and not be moved and humbled by the sacrifice of our armed forces.

Posted by Ith at 5:31 PM | Comments (3)

Memorial Day

The San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio is the one from my childhood memories of honouring our war dead.


"Almighty God, we remember this day before thee thy faithful servant, and we pray thee that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, thou wilt receive him more and more into thy joyful service; that he may win, with thee and thy servants everywhere, the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

~ A Prayer Book For Soldiers & Sailors

Posted by Ith at 1:01 AM | Comments (2)

May 30, 2004

The Flag

I was sent this via email, and wanted to share it here:

"You've probably seen the bumper sticker somewhere along the road. It depicts an American flag, accompanied by the words 'These colors don't run.' I'm always glad to see this, because it reminds me of an incident from my confinement in North Vietnam... Then a major in the U.S. Air Force, I had been captured and imprisoned from 1967 to 1973. Our treatment had been frequently brutal. After three years, however, the beatings and torture became less frequent. During the last year, we were allowed outside most days for a couple of minutes to bathe. We showered by drawing water from a concrete tank with a homemade bucket. One day, as we all stood by the tank, stripped of our clothes, a young naval pilot named Mike Christian found the remnants of a handkerchief in a gutter that ran under the prison wall. Mike managed to sneak the grimy rag into our cell and began fashioning it into a flag... He made red and blue from ground-up roof tiles and tiny amounts of ink and painted the colors onto the cloth with watery rice glue. Using thread from his own blanket and a homemade bamboo needle, he sewed on stars. Early in the morning a few days later, when the guards were not alert, he whispered loudly from the back of our cell, 'Hey gang, look here!' He proudly held up this tattered piece of cloth, waving it, as if in a breeze... When he raised that smudgy fabric, we automatically stood straight and saluted, our chests puffing out, and more than a few eyes had tears... Now, whenever I see the flag, I think of Mike and the morning he first waved that tattered emblem of a nation. It was then, thousands of miles from home in a lonely prison cell, that he showed us what it is to be truly free."

--Leo K. Thorsness, recipient of the Medal of Honor

Posted by Ith at 10:41 PM

May 29, 2004

The Dedication

"... fought by the modest sons of a peaceful nation."

So said President Bush at the dedication of the WWII Memorial.

Posted by Ith at 12:52 PM | Comments (3)

May 14, 2004

Armed Forces Day

Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day.

"The heritage of freedom must be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance, not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms." ~ General Omar N. Bradley on Armed Forces Day 1950

Thank you & God bless each and every one of you who have served our country.

Posted by Ith at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2004

Visit The Wolf

Pray Indeed For Their Souls

He writes real good.

Posted by Ith at 5:50 PM

April 29, 2004

The Flag

One of the most memorable moments from our trip to Dland last weekend was an unexpected flag ceremony. We just happened to be near the flag pole in the main square near sunset, when an honour guard escorted out the bugler from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He played while the flags were lowered, and then the Disney band played God Bless America. I was pleased at how most everyone around the area actually stopped what they were doing, fell silent, and observed the ceremony with no prompting. The whole thing brought more than a tear or two to my eyes.

A little later, we discovered that the Air Force Academy Concert Band was playing in Carnation Plaza, so we got to listen to them for awhile, and they were great! Lots of men there who I'm assuming were WWII vets attending the concert as well.

All in all, it was a wonderful day.

Posted by Ith at 6:01 PM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2004

Thine Alabaster Cities Gleam

Undimmed by Human Tears!

.... God bless them all. Never forget them, never take them for granted, never try to diminish their sacrifice with cynical exploitation, and never doubt their dedication.

And never, ever break faith with them.

Posted by Ith at 6:11 PM | Comments (2)

April 21, 2004

Spirit Of America

A lot of wonderful bloggers are raising money for "Spirit of America". Since I'm not going to be in town, I decided to be Switzerland and not pick a team, so I encourage you to visit these fine alliances, and help them out. Any one of them would be happy to add you to the roster for a good cause.

Posted by Ith at 11:51 AM

April 20, 2004

Coming Home

Go read this post of Ian's.

Posted by Ith at 6:02 PM

Band Of Brothers

What can I say that hasn't been said? Frickin' wonderful series -- it's been a long time since I've been so involved in something on TV. It made me cry, it made me think, it made me thankful, and it made me proud to be a countryman (woman?) of those exceptional men.

Posted by Ith at 12:29 PM | Comments (6)

April 9, 2004

Why Hate?

I occasionally post snippets of the email essays of Rabbi Lapin. This one is entitled, "Why Jewish Groups Passionately Hate Mel Gibson". I'm excerpting the end of the essay this time, but you can read it all here when it's posted to the webiste.

....Thus President Bush also merits hatred. Here is Whoopi Goldberg musing in the pages of The New York Times, "Wait a minute, is this man leading this country as an American or is he leading the country as a Christian?" Just try to imagine the outcry from the Jewish groups I describe herein were Mel Gibson to have asked during the 2000 presidential elections, "Will Joe Lieberman lead this country as an American or would he lead this country as a Jew?"

Once Mel Gibson revealed himself to be, like the President, a person of serious religious faith the gloves came off. Mel Gibson has done a major favor for serious faith, both Jewish and Christian, in America. He has made it 'cool' to be religious, but in so doing he has unleashed the hatred of secular America against himself personally, against his work, and against his family. God bless him.

Posted by Ith at 12:11 PM

April 6, 2004

A Memory I Never Had

I'm probably more English than I am Scottish, but I've always identified strongly with my Scots heritage. Maybe it's because of my maternal grandmother, Amy Marie. She was born in Scotland, and she and her parents left Aberdeen when she was a teenager, first settling in Diamondville Wyoming, before moving to Smithers, B.C. where my great-grandmother had family. According to my mum's older sister, I look enough like her to be her twin -- right down to the green eyes that no one else in the family has. Amy loved to dance, music, cats, & horses. Or so I'm told. You see, I only know my grandmother through vague descriptions and stories because she died when my mum was two, after a long illness, probably tuberculoses. I've now been alive more years than my grandmother was given, and still, I wonder what she was really like. I've never even seen a picture of her, but I think I can see her in my imagination sometimes. And when I think of Scotland, I remember my grandmother, Amy Marie Smith Heal.

Posted by Ith at 6:03 PM | Comments (2)

St. Mary's

I didn't take this picture, but I went to a service at St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh on my first trip. The congregation was so welcoming, it was very much like being at my own St. Mary's at home.


Posted by Ith at 4:33 PM

April 5, 2004


I want to wish my friend Gail, and all my Jewish readers, a happy Passover.

Posted by Ith at 7:19 PM | Comments (1)

March 29, 2004


Huw has written another thought -- and prayer -- provoking post. This time, he reflects on St. Mary of Egypt and how her journey relates to his own struggles. As isn't unuusal with Huw's reflections, I was left on the verge of tears.

Thank you, Huw.

Posted by Ith at 6:30 PM

March 19, 2004

One Year Ago

This is what we heard a year ago today from our President:

THE PRESIDENT: My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war. These are opening stages of what will be a broad and concerted campaign. More than 35 countries are giving crucial support -- from the use of naval and air bases, to help with intelligence and logistics, to the deployment of combat units. Every nation in this coalition has chosen to bear the duty and share the honor of serving in our common defense.

To all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces now in the Middle East, the peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you. That trust is well placed.

The enemies you confront will come to know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military. In this conflict, America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality. Saddam Hussein has placed Iraqi troops and equipment in civilian areas, attempting to use innocent men, women and children as shields for his own military -- a final atrocity against his people.

I want Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm. A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment.

We come to Iraq with respect for its citizens, for their great civilization and for the religious faiths they practice. We have no ambition in Iraq, except to remove a threat and restore control of that country to its own people.

I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return safely and soon. Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent. For your sacrifice, you have the gratitude and respect of the American people. And you can know that our forces will be coming home as soon as their work is done.

Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly -- yet, our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities. [emhasis mine]

Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.

My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.

May God bless our country and all who defend her.

Posted by Ith at 1:09 PM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2004

An American Woman

Cam has a post you should go read about Fern Holland. Who was Fern Holland? An American -- and Iraqi -- hero.

Too bad we only hear about peopel like her after they're gone.

Posted by Ith at 7:58 AM

February 14, 2004

The Passion -- Sort Of

I was reading another interesting essay by Rabbi Lapin, this time on Mel Gibson's "Passion" movie. It reminded me of something I'd meant to blog about a while back. I have never seen a movie that portrays Christ as I was brought up that such human portrayals were wrong, and I just can't get over that "lightening will strike me" feeling even all these years later. It's the same reason I don't watch "Joan of Arcadia", even though I'm a fan of Amber Tamblyn's from her GH days.

Was anyone else brought up with similar beliefs?

Posted by Ith at 1:43 PM | Comments (4)

February 12, 2004

Gary Sinise -- American

I was watching FNC while getting ready for work, and they had Gary Sinise on, along with the widow of a Marine killed in Iraq. They were there to talk about a charity they're involved in that helps supports the families of those with loved ones killed overseas. What a nice change to see a celebrity with a sincere desire to help and to support our troops and their families. At the end of the segment, he asked if he could say one thing, and what he had to say was that there wasn't enough coverage of all the wonderful things our troops do in Iraq and Afghanistan. He talked about schools that our troops have rebuilt, kids hugging and crawling all over our soldiers, happy Iraqi people.

Gary Sinise is one of the good guys, and I'm glad to have had the chance to listen to his story this morning.

Update: if you go to FNC's video clip page, and scroll down to Foxlife, you'll find a clip of the segment from this morning.

Posted by Ith at 7:50 AM | Comments (6)

February 10, 2004

Age Challenged Drummer Person

I needed an Xmas themed subject :)

So here we have two stories, and they're somewhat related. First up, we have the Anglican "powers that be" once again embarrassing me. You'd think I'd be immune by now, really. They've decided, in their eternal wisdom [cough] that the three wise men shall be no more. In fact, they don't even get to be men anymore. Talk about making them insecure in their sexuality! [sigh]

Then we have this piece on the rise of pre-Christian paganism. A very interesting read altogether, but for the happy holiday theme we have going, this bit is the one we're going to talk about:

Christless Christmas

While paganism gains legal protection, Christianity continues to be singled out for exclusion. Last Christmas season, for example, the British Red Cross banned the mention of Jesus from its shops, the Sun newspaper reported Nov. 11. Also barred were Christmas cards with nativity scenes and Advent calendars showing Mary and Joseph and the three wise men.

Meanwhile, the Christmas card sent out by the United Kingdom's culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, featured Hindu dancers and drawings of mosques, the Telegraph reported Dec. 7. What the card failed to show was anything about Jesus or Christmas.

And, in Australia, the Victorian state minister for transport, Peter Batchelor, opted for a Christmas card with an Aboriginal dream scene, without any Christian reference, the Age reported Dec. 19.

Scotland's Parliament also abolished any reference to Christianity in its cards. That was too much, even for self-declared agnostic Jim Sillars, who complained of the move in a commentary published by the Scotsman newspaper on Dec. 3. "Such decisions aren't a matter of showing greater tolerance of non-Christian religions," observed Sillars. "I have yet to meet the Jew, Muslim, Hindu or Sikh who has ever objected to us having Christ as the center of Christmas. Take Christ out and you have a pagan celebration."

Delving into the reason behind anti-Christian prejudices, Christine Odone, deputy editor of the British magazine New Statesman, commented that the "chattering classes" share a common prejudice against Christians. In an extract of the annual Tyndale lecture given by Odone and published Oct. 28 in the Guardian, she noted that in an era that prizes individual freedom, Christians believe in authority and have a clear sense that there is a right and a wrong.

"Moral certainty grates against the spirit of the age," she observed. And this certainty "throws into relief the brittle edifice that houses the secularist's morals." Re-Christianizing an increasingly pagan society will not be easy.

It just keeps on keeping on....

Posted by Ith at 5:52 PM | Comments (3)

February 6, 2004

Yet Again

Synod to debate Pope's supremacy

The Church of England is being asked to take its biggest step towards accepting the primacy of the Pope and the concept of infallibility since Henry VIII broke from Rome 450 years ago.

A joint Roman Catholic and Anglican report arguing that the Pope should be recognised as the "universal primate" is to be debated by the General Synod next month.

The only reason this doesn't tick me off as much as it should is because I'm virtually certain it's never going to happen. But I really would like to know why the powers that be insist on bringing this up over and over again. And do they ever consider asking us peons what we think? Of course not.

Sorry, this is a subject that just makes me all grumpy.

Posted by Ith at 5:11 PM | Comments (4)

January 24, 2004

That's The Spirit

DaGoddess has pics up from last weekend's "Spirit of America" volunteer event. Go take a look at some of those real Americans we keep hearing about working from the heart.

Posted by Ith at 1:38 PM | Comments (1)

January 2, 2004

Religious Freedom Is For Everyone

This is the latest essay I received in email from Rabbi Lapin, and since it's just past "the holidays", I thought I'd share it:

Well, 2004 has arrived which means that dreaded "C word" is behind us. Put politely, "the holiday season" has passed. Having shopped in New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle lately and having listened to talk radio in each city I couldn't help noticing a startling double standard.

Overwhelmingly, store assistants and talk radio hosts bid farewell to Jewish guests with a cheerful "Happy Chanukah" while others, including those identified as Christians, received the generic "Happy holidays." With each passing year, secular fundamentalism more successfully injects into American culture the notion that the word "Christmas" is deeply offensive. Well, after watching this year's repeat of the annual "hate Christianity ritual" I think we may be mistaken in allowing this assault to go unchallenged.

Okay, maybe referring to it as a "hate Christianity ritual" is a little over the top. But it certainly is obsequious regard for faiths like Judaism and even Islam, while treating Christianity with contempt and disrespect. It is not that I want Judaism treated with less respect it is just that I think that Christianity deserves just as much respect. And I say this as an Orthodox rabbi who has spent a lifetime teaching Torah and devoting myself to the long term interests of Judaism.

Click "MORE" for the rest.

I don't think that America's Jewish community does itself any long term good by denouncing every public _expression of Christian faith as if it were a force-fed dose of castor oil. This anti-Christianism is not only unhealthy for all Americans; I think it is particularly destructive for Jews to be leading the extirpation of all signs of Christian fervor from the village square.

Palm Beach, Florida, prohibited a Christian group from placing a depiction of Christ in the manger alongside a menorah on public property. One of the plaintiffs, Maureen Donnell, told Fox News, "They've discriminated against us, they allow the menorahs but they have absolutely no interest in these Nativity scenes." Donnell and her co-plaintiff want the menorah and the Nativity scene to be displayed next to each other. But Palm Beach officials remained unmoved. Today, Palm Beach is a city with a large Jewish population. It would be wonderful to be able to believe that Palm Beach's Jews fought as valiantly for Christian religious rights as they have had to do in the past for their own.

Many Jewish parents, who remain indifferent when their children bop to rap music's obscene lyrics, recoil in horror at the same kids' exposure to Christmas carols. It is invariably a local rabbi who teams up with the ACLU to file a lawsuit against the school singing carols or the town unwary enough to allow a Nativity scene on the library lawn.

A music teacher in a Washington school removed the "C word" from the lyrics in Dale Wood's "Carol from an Irish Cabin" to read: "The harsh wind blows down from the mountains and blows a white winter to me."

Parent Darla Dowell, whose 7-year-old daughter sang the song, called the decision "absurd." "I think the most important thing that angers me is that they sent a message to my child that there's something wrong with Christmas and saying Christmas and celebrating it and performing it at her school with her peers," Dowell told Fox News. She couldn't understand why it's okay to exclude Christmas when her daughter was forced to sing Hanukkah tunes that included lyrics about the "mighty miracle" of Israel's ancient days. In that song, there were at least six mentions of the Jewish holiday.

Although I suppose it is possible, does anyone feel confident that Mrs. Dowell will think better of Jews in 2004 than she did in 2003? How exactly does this aggressively applied double standard help to maintain the mutual respect that used to characterize the relations between American Jews and Christians?

A 1989 Supreme Court decision in Allegheny County v. ACLU found a Nativity scene on the main staircase of the county courthouse to be unconstitutional. The court emphasized that the privately owned crche which included a banner proclaiming "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" ("Glory to God in the Highest") was indisputably religious. In the same case, however, a five-judge majority found that a nearby display, featuring an 18-foot Hanukkah menorah did not violate the Establishment Clause. In the interests of truth and friendship, it ought to be the entire Jewish community protesting the court's actions. Instead, in a bizarre inversion of truth, many of us Jews triumph at Christianity's suppression as if we had just replayed the two millennia-old victory of the Macabees against secularism.

Holiday greeting cards also demonstrate this syndrome quite well. Don't take my word for it, step up to the greeting card racks in your local drug store and see what I mean. Virtually every Chanukah card is tasteful, well okay, deferential at least. Similarly, every Kwanza card is a paper paean to this rootless, recent invention. Cards intended for blacks and Jews are respectful. No sir, you won't find too many cards taking vulgar, humorous shots at those holidays.

Now check out the Christmas cards. Oh sorry, I should have said "check out the holiday cards" or "check out the winter season cards." You'll be hard pressed to even find a card that mentions the word "Christmas." It is as if word is deemed so offensive that casual card browsers should be protected from accidental contamination. Alongside the decent cards you'd expect, you will also find tasteless Christmas cards that mock the holiday. You'll even find off-color risqu Christmas cards that you'd be embarrassed to be caught looking at. What secularism seems to be saying is, if we can't completely banish Christmas, let's at least turn it into a bad joke.

New York City schools encourage their students to bring decorations that reflect Judaism and Islam but Christian decorations are prohibited. Yes, that is right. Holiday displays of the Jewish menorah and Islam's star and crescent are allowed in some 1,200 public schools in New York City, but the creche, or nativity display, are verboten. (The case is currently being heard in Federal Court in Brooklyn. The suit, which should have been brought in a spirit of brotherhood by a Jewish organization, doesn't seek to prohibit the Jewish and Muslim exhibits, but to end discrimination against Christianity.) Nationwide, Christmas Nativity scenes are banned from city halls and shopping malls but Chanukah menorah's are permitted. (They are only cultural symbols, not religious, you see.) Seattle city employees are prohibited from wishing one another a merry Christmas but permitted to say "Happy Holidays" or even, "Happy Chanukah".

The storm troopers of secularism who so diligently guard the rest of us from inadvertent exposure to the Christmas virus can rest for another year. Their work is done for now, but right after Thanksgiving, they'll be back, you'll see. Hey! I have a great idea-this year, let's be ready for 'em.

Radio talk show host, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, is president of
Toward Tradition, a Seattle-based, bridge-building
organization providing a voice for all Americans who defend
the Judeo-Christian values vital for our nations survival.

Posted by Ith at 4:03 PM | Comments (2)

December 30, 2003

Bishop Orders Closing Of Church

"An Anglican bishop in British Columbia has ordered a church closed after it refused to support same-sex unions and declared itself independent, Canada's National Post newspaper said Tuesday.

Despite the decision by Bishop Michael Ingham to close the Holy Cross Church in Abbotsford, the Rev. James Wagner said his congregation would celebrate Mass on Christmas as planned.

"As far as the diocese is concerned, we do not exist. We are a non-entity," Wagner was quoted as saying, "but I will not abandon these people. I will continue to pastor and pray for them in the midst of this crisis."

He said Ingham's decision to close the church was a surprise because "it's so close to Christmas."

Ronald Harrison, executive archdeacon of the Diocese of New Westminster, was quoted as saying Holy Cross brought the closure upon itself by seeking episcopal oversight from another bishop. "

Posted by Ith at 5:29 PM | Comments (2)

December 19, 2003


Winterhart, who is one of this blog's readers and occassional commenters, has a husband who who shipped out for Iraq today. Please keep them both in your prayers if you would.

Posted by Ith at 11:54 AM | Comments (2)

December 14, 2003

For America's Best


A toast to all our men and women in uniform.

Posted by Ith at 1:10 PM | Comments (5)

December 7, 2003

Lest We Forget


Today is the 62nd Aniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor -- the day that would live in infamy. Over 2000 people were killed in the attack, and it was the event that took us into WWII.


USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Casualty List

USS Arizona Survivors List

Pearl Harbor Casualty List (minus the USS Arizona casualties)


Posted by Ith at 1:39 PM

December 4, 2003

For Andrew

Andrew is a concerned commenter, and when I found a link to this post over at Misha's, I felt I needed to share it with him.

So this post is for you, Andrew. Enjoy it, because I rarely dedicate posts!

Update: See also this for some sentiment straight from the heart.

Posted by Ith at 5:52 PM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2003

Knock Me Over With A Feather

What a great thing to turn on the computer/TV to just now!


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and special wishes to the troops overseas and their families here at home.

Update: Deb nails it. When I was watching the report of the President in Iraq, I had tears in my eyes. It really got to me.

Update II: Nathan has a roundup. (Happy Thanksgiving, Pun Guy!)

Posted by Ith at 11:57 AM | Comments (5)

November 15, 2003

Naivet C of E Style

Another fine post from Midwest Conservative Journal on the latest nuttiness from the C of E. This time, it's all about better understanding "The Religion of Peace":

I fervently pray that Muslims, both in the West and in the Muslim world, do indeed continue to "come to faith." And no civilized person wants Muslims to be treated in the West the way Christians, Jews, and members of other religions are treated in the Muslim world.

That said, the naivet of the C of E never ceases to astound. The idea that the Muslim world will treat its religious minorities decently if they see how nice we are to ours displays a positively criminal ignorance.

Please try to get this through your head, Nick; the Islamic world does not like us. Islam is not a tolerant religion and never has been. We should, indeed, be harmless as doves to those Muslims in our midst. But according to Jesus, we should also be wise as serpents.

Posted by Ith at 2:07 PM | Comments (2)

November 13, 2003


Odd how you can find expressions of your thoughts when you least expect them. Case in point: I've been thinking about wrting on the subject of a single person leading a chaste Christian life and the intolerance for that lifestyle in our modern world. It's a subject I've touched on before, but this week's episode of Law & Order: SVU really set me off! It was ostensibly about a murder and homophobia, but there was a strong undercurrent of how not leading an active sexual life was a bad thing. I haven't been blogging much, so hadn't gotten around to actually putting my thoughts down. Not to mention, it was one of those perfect posts I'd composed in my head just before sleep, only to find it had drifted away by the next day.

Today, I was reading some of my favourites, both old and new, and found so many words that spoke to me. I particularly liked this. As Peter says:

"The goals of Courage could be a credo for anyone living outside of marriage."

Amen to that! Look at #4:

"Be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life and in doing so provide encouragement to one another in forming and sustaining them."

I've been fortunate to find a "soul friend" in Nin. She's sort of like a best friend/sister/daughter all rolled up in one. Now we introduce each other as "my sister" because it seems very hard for many people to grasp that two people can have a close and loving relationship that isn't sexual in any way. They automatically assume we must be lesbians. Nope, sorry -- raving heterosexual here!

I certainly never expected to still be single at my age. But I can only suppose that this was the plan He had for me. So I try and live my life the way I think I should as a Christian woman. I just wish that the tolerance I'm supposed to have for those that choose different paths from mine would extend to those like me, who have chosen ours.

Posted by Ith at 5:42 PM | Comments (10)

November 11, 2003

(CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson) Thank

(CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)

Thank you, Brian, Marguerite, and Vince.

Posted by Ith at 2:36 PM



In Flanders Fields
John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Posted by Ith at 2:34 PM

November 5, 2003

Another ECUSA Post

This blog, and this post in particular, was reccomended over on The Corner. Another one of those posts that left be feeling contemplative. Definitely a blog I'll be checking in on in the future.

Posted by Ith at 5:41 PM

October 30, 2003

The Place

Midwest Conservative Journal is the place for keeping up with the happenings in ECUSA & the Anglican Communion. The posts themselves are informative and great reading, but as an added benefit,the discussions of those posts by the commmunity of commenters there is top notch.

Posted by Ith at 5:35 PM

October 26, 2003

Anglican Pope?

Another of my Anglican/Episcopal posts. I'm not sure how I feel about it -- still pondering. Also from an email:

'Anglican Pope' claims played down

Oct 25 2003
Rhodri Owen, The Western Mail

THE Church in Wales has played down reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury is to be given sweeping powers that would turn him into an Anglican version of the Pope.

It has been claimed that planned changes in church law would empower Dr Rowan Williams to intervene in the affairs of churches outside England.

A report in The Times said the proposals were included in a legal document to
Anglican primates who met recently at Lambeth Palace to discuss the crisis
over same-sex blessings in Canada and the election of a gay Bishop in the
American state of New Hampshire.

The paper quoted Martin Reynolds, of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement
and a priest living in Wales, as saying, "They are looking to have an
Anglican version of the Holy Office and Magisterium. They won't call the
Archbishop of Canterbury a Pope but that is what he will be. If it looks like
a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck."

Last night a Church in Wales spokesman acknowledged that the Anglican
communion had reached a critical point, but said it was far too early to
predict any such changes in church law, and reiterated the autonomy of the
Church in Wales.

"Last week's meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion at Lambeth
Palace was clearly a very intense two-day meeting," said the spokesman.

"While the statement called for the establishment of a Commission to consider
the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury 'in maintaining communion within and
between provinces when grave difficulties arise', it would seem very
premature to be second guessing the outcome of that commission's work - even
before it has been established - as [the] article in The Times appears to do.

"As the Archbishop of Wales, Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, made clear in a recent
speech, 'We do not have a centralised system of government in the Anglican
Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not our Pope ... Each province is

"Whilst recent events might have led individual provinces to consider afresh
'what is the Anglican Communion?' and the nature of the relationships which
make up that Communion, it seems unlikely that such discussions could lead to
the establishment of an 'Anglican Pope'."

Posted by Ith at 12:10 PM

September 24, 2003

Frank In Serious Mode

Frank has a great idea, and he tells us all about it here. Check it out, won't you?

Posted by Ith at 6:29 AM

September 21, 2003

Guest Post By Ellis

This was posted on a current events email list I run, and I asked Ellis if I could post it here.


Sorry, I know this is old news, but I just wanted to showcase this quotation from the speech:

"...why me? Why us? Why America?

And the only answer is: because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time and the task is yours to do."

It puts me strongly in the mind of the part in FotR where Gandalf is imparting much the same sentiment to Frodo in the foreboding deeps of Moria. Peter Jackson even saw fit (and rightly so, but then the film is nearly perfect in my eyes !) to repeat Gandalf's entreaty at the movie's end, with Frodo staring at the river with tearful purpose.

I don't know if Blair has read Tolkien; surely he's aware of the works. And if he has, I don't know if he's consciously or subconsciously echoing the notion of accepting duty: it's certainly a common enough idea. But it resembled the Tolkien stuff quite closely, and so it stuck out for me. (I also suspect that, while FotR and the others would have been HUGE hits anyway, the fact that the first installment came out just after Sept. 11th increased its attraction that much more, I'd wager.)

I also like how much of the speech turned on fighting FOR freedom and liberty and pluralism and universal civilized values, rather than "merely" AGAINST terrorism and barbarism.

Blair is quite handily the most articulate proponent for Western (human) values on the political world stage today. This speech might well fit into the top twenty of the century (20th, that is), for those who like to speculate about lists. Like me.

~ Ellis

Posted by Ith at 5:17 PM | Comments (4)

Christ's Love Compels Us

I found this excellent essay via Dean.

I had a pretty varied religious upbringing. From being Christened in the Anglican church and attending services as a child with my great aunt and uncle, to my mum getting reinvolved with the fundamentalist church of her youth, to Catholic school, and my own searching for my church home as an adult. But through it all, the in your face evangelism of many Christians has made me uncomfortable. My life, and how I live it, is my evangelism. You honour God through your actions, not your words. Your example speaks so much louder than any fire and brimstone speech.

Posted by Ith at 12:32 PM

September 11, 2003

Thoughts on 9/11

Go see baldilocks. I don't think I can add anything more than she says - maybe just the old saw from the Instapundit - A pack, not a herd.

Posted by at 7:48 PM

September 10, 2003

What Color is the Left?

Ok, my prior post evoked a furious defense of the left by Mike S. Here is why I think the left is just so wrong headed and perhaps evil.

Saddam's regime was at least as malevolent Hitler's. The mass graves are still being opened. If we attacked Saddam for the wrong reasons, that does not negate that right reasons existed and exist to get rid of that bum. The lefty cry of "Bush lied" is devoid of basis. Did Clinton lie about bombing an aspirin factory in the Sudan? I really don't think either lied, but both received faulty intelligence.

Yet the left wants the US to lose in the effort to establish a working civil government by Iraqis for Iraqis.

Here is a lefty that exposes the true colors of the anti-war crowd (from Instapundit). The money quote:

Biden says we must win the war. This is precisely wrong. The United States must learn to lose this war a harder task, in many ways, than winning, for it requires admitting mistakes and relinquishing attractive fantasies. This is the true moral mission of our time (well, of the next few years, anyway).

Now that's wrong headed. Enough said.

Posted by at 7:20 PM | Comments (3)

A Nightmare Two Years Removed

I submit this information humbly, without motive other than to share something poignant.

Our magazine has just put out a new "issue" and is featuring a reprint of an article written on September 13th, 2001, by our own Managing Editor, Stan Kid.

Stan, in addition to a Tocq editor and newspaper columnist, is a police sergeant on Long Island. He was among the first rescue workers at Ground Zero, digging for life and finding mostly dead - or worse, nothing.

He wrote down his thoughts during a break, on September 13th, two years and a world ago.

For this reprint Stan has graced us with an addendum from the perspective of two years distance, and an introduction from me. Accompanying the article are the photographs that Stan took of the devesatation while he was working there.

Check it out.

Posted by at 6:46 PM

September 9, 2003

Thoughts for 9/11

I read the Christopher Hitchens piece on 9/11 and why it should not be celebrated. Here is the essence of his take:

What is required is a steady, unostentatious stoicism, made up out of absolute, cold hatred and contempt for the aggressors, and complete determination that their defeat will be utter and shameful. This doesnt require drum rolls or bagpipes or banners. The French had a saying during the period when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine were lost to them: Always think of it. Never speak of it. (Yes, Virginia, we can learn things from the French, even if not from Monsieur Chirac.) This steely injunction is diluted by Ground Zero kitsch or by yellow-ribbon type events, which make the huge mistake of marking the event as a tribute of some sort to those who happened to die that day. One must be firm in insisting that these unfortunates, or rather their survivors, have no claim to ownership. They stand symbolically, as making the point that theocratic terrorism murders without distinction. But thats it. The time to commemorate the fallen is, or always has been, after the war is over. This war has barely begun.

For the most part I agree with Hitchens, but I disagree a bit too. As a Christian, I see thing a bit differently. I don't need to hate the Islamist aggressors in this war - which I agree is at the early stages.

In some respects I see our war against terrorism as a struggle between good and evil. The Hitchens article takes the leftist anti-war people to task later in the article. I see the anti-war people as so wrong headed that I wonder if they are on the side of evil.

I agree that 9/11 is not a day to trot out flags or yellow ribbons. It is OK to feel sad or cry. Each of us should share stories. No one in my office (on the Left Coast) has shared any stories with me. I know that there must be some because I recall that I was one of the very few that came to work on 9/11 after the attack.

It's surreal for some people to come to grips with the fact that we were attacked. Most of the lawyers in my office have as much familiarity with things military as Prosser on Torts.

The monumental wrong of the attack just eludes so many people - especially those on the left that cling to the question of - why can't we all just get along.

As a Christian, student of history and former Army officer I know why we all can't just get along - all human beings are vile, corrupt and evil yet human beings can bond, love and sacrifice for one another.

I lived through one other great calamity, one that instilled more immediate terror to my family and me than 9/11 - the great fire of Laguna Beach in 1993. We did not lose any lives, we saved out pets and our house did not burn. We evacuated our house with a 100 foot high wall of fire bearing down about 150 yards and about 5 minutes away. After we left our house the fire just stopped advancing. I don't know why it just stopped - it just did - there were no fire fighters anywhere nearby. The recovery effort was a testament to contrasting folly and good will of humans. Good will won out.

9/11 is the perfect time to consider our human condition. As Americans, we should tell each other our stories of 9/11 - tell where you were, what you thought, what you did, how you felt. That's what still happens when Lagunans get together - sometimes we talk the fire.

9/11 is a day to pray or gather your thoughts and resolve never again.

Hitchens is wrong to advocate hatrid. Do not hate the bad guys but resolve to send them to Hell as expeditiously as possible. I have no problem with sending them to Hell. Check out the 72 Virgins. Thanks to baldilocks.

P.S. I wrote this to post on Ithy's site - where it will be, but I want it on my site too - it's part of my story.

Posted by at 9:40 PM | Comments (14)

September 8, 2003

StopJoeHoeffel.Org Appears on Dems Radar Screens is a project of the Tocquevillian Magazine for the purpose of helping to stop the senatorial aspirations of leftist Congressman Joe Hoeffel of Pennsylvania. Hoeffel is a flaming liberal, and he hopes to unseat Arlan Spector in 2004.

Suddenly StopJoe has received dozens of hits today from addresses at the U.S. House of Representatives,, and from the DSCC - the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

SropJoeHoeffel.Org does nothing but quote Joe's own words and link to news stories on his activities, as well as monitor and report on Joe's speeches on the floor of the House, as documented in the Congressional Record.

It will be interesting to see if someone makes an attempt to shut our first-Amendment protected political speech site down - they are certainly showing interest.

Posted by at 7:00 PM | Comments (1)

September 7, 2003


I get tired of high-handed uncompassionate so-called Christians who think it's more important for a preacher to make them feel comfy cozy in church than to make them think.

Last week a pastor at the Lutheran church I attend committed the grave sin of encouraging people to apply the Bible to their real lives by opening up their minds and hearts and give some thought to whether a teenager's clothing is really all that important, or the fact that the teenager is in church and participating in youth group activities, as well as supporting the church is more important.

The same people who never seem to volunteer their time are the people who think a young man should not wear a tee-shirt sporting the name of his favorite punk band. They miss the fact that this young man is volunteering as an usher, and working in the nursery, and playing guitar for the youth services.

Those people are also the ones calling out for the Pastor to apologize for politicking in her sermon last Sunday.

Those people need to get some compassion.

Posted by at 3:42 PM | Comments (4)

September 1, 2003

"Shower Of Blessings"

Another wonderfully thoughtful post from Huw.

Posted by Ith at 3:46 PM

August 27, 2003


If you'd like to share your 9/11 stories, you can contribute to Michele's "Voices" project. All the background is here.

Posted by Ith at 5:37 PM

August 21, 2003

The Price

Freedom Is Never Free
Iraq learns. So do the rest of us.

Freedom is priceless, yet it comes with a high price. Ask the veterans of Normandy, Korea, or Vietnam, and they'll tell you that freedom is never free. In World War II, America lost 400,000 soldiers, in Korea, 30,000, and in Vietnam, nearly 60,000. We must never think for a moment that these men died in vain. They gave their life defending freedom.


Over the past four months in the deserts of Iraq, a new generation of soldiers is learning the heavy cost of freedom. Over 250 members of our U.S. military have valiantly given their life to aid in the liberation of the people of Iraq. When duty came calling, they stood tall and proud, and said "I will go."

Posted by Ith at 5:18 PM

August 16, 2003

The Unknown God

This is from Doxos and is commentary on the article I posted about yesterday. Well worth reading it all. A lot to think about.

.....We should expect no less: The west has birthed another Roman Empire here in America. The religious culture of America is rather like Paul found in Roman Athens and most folks worship at an altar of "The Unknown God," "having a form of godliness."

I don't doubt that soon there will come a time when Christians won't be allowed to preach and those who make more acceptable claims in the name of faith will be allowed full reign. "The oppressed" will file suits and judges will side with them. "Hate speech" will be illegal. "Sectarianism" will be equated with "racism".

Posted by Ith at 3:19 PM | Comments (5)

August 15, 2003

You Say That Like It's A Bad Thing

Americans believe, 58 percent to 40 percent, that it is necessary to believe in God to be moral. In contrast, other developed countries overwhelmingly believe that it is not necessary. In France, only 13 percent agree with the U.S. view.

I'd say that's France's loss, not ours. And after reading this post, I'm even less inclined to want to model myself on French belief! Thank God I live in America.

Head over to Midwest Conservative Journal for some excellent commentary on the above article

Posted by Ith at 5:18 PM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2003


Found this news item via Doxos

On Tuesday, August 5th, late in the night, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Graham Texas, located in the Diocese of Fort Worth, was vandalized, and a portion of it was set ablaze. The main church was littered with food from the kitchen and candle wax from the altar. The parish hall received the same treatment. The office area was set on fire. The only lead the police have is writing on the wall: "God and Jesus love Homosexuals." A hate crime, probably; committed against orthodox Episcopalians.
Posted by Ith at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)

August 9, 2003

I Was In Hell

I found this essay via a link at Jen Speaks. It's very moving and thought provoking.

I know everyone is probably getting tired of religion related posts here, but I seem to be in that stream of thought these days. Scroll down for non religion posts -- there's even a post on tequila!

Posted by Ith at 6:03 PM | Comments (3)

August 7, 2003

Render Unto Ceasar

You know, I had this whole post in my head while I was dozing at lunch, and now most of it is gone. Oh well, here it goes anyway.

For me there's two parts. One is the civil side, and the other is religious. On the civil side, I have no problem with "civil unions". Any two people would have the ability to declare a household. Two gay men, two widows, an elderly brother and sister. I've heard the argument that it's not fair that gay couples don't get the benefits that married straight couples do, but so what? Is it fair that married folk get benefits that single people don't? That home owners get to deduct their mortgage interest and renters don't get any breaks? Or the tax credits people with kids get? Lots and lots of things in life are unfair.

Marriage preexists Christianity. It's one of the few things we have that mix church and state all in a big muddle. For some people marriage is a contract, for others, it's a sacrament before God. So if we have civil unions separate from religious marriage, then maybe it would make things easier. That leaves Churches able to decide who they will and won't marry. Or it should. A coworker of mine is very involved in his non-denominational church, and he told me that the ACLU is targeting small independent churches to sue, to force them to marry homosexuals. Since these are small churches they don't have the financial clout of say, the Roman Catholic church. So these churches are forming an organization to back each other up in these cases. So, if we have a mechanism for state sanctioned civil unions, then religious bodies should be left alone in true separation of church and state fashion IMHO.

Now on to Canon Robinson and how I feel as an Episcopalian in general.

For one thing, I feel he's getting a pass because he's gay. He left his wife and children because he wanted to be with someone else. In this case, it was a man, but what if it had been a woman? I wouldn't want him as a Bishop in my Church if that were the case. No one is perfect, and that includes clergy. But is it wrong to expect a higher standard from those who are called to serve in one of the Church's highest offices? I try, as a single Christian woman, to lead a virtuous life as I think my Church and my God wants me to. It isn't easy, but no one said being a Christian was supposed to be easy -- the opposite in fact. So, for me, there's a feeling of betrayal when the Church ignores its own teaching by elevating Canon Robinson to Bishop. Are they saying that all the teachings set down that I've tried to follow are wrong?

If homosexuality isn't a sin now, then shouldn't they explain why and where the Church's teachings have been wrong, and not try and slide homosexuality in the back door by making Robinson a Bishop? It's like they're trying to avoid a full airing of the subject. Shouldn't they have the courage of their convictions and explain it to us lowly parishioners? I'm no theology expert, but I'm willing and able to listen and learn. Why won't they at least give us the courtesy of trying to teach? I know there are many in the Anglican communion disagree vehemently with the decision taken, and that ECUSA has gone against the findings of the last Lambeth Council. So you have one group of theological experts who have a totally different POV than another group does. How the heck am I supposed to be able to figure it out? On an Anglican email list I'm on, the "sides" are now using the translation of "PORNEIA" to argue the case for and against homosexuality being a sin in the New Testament!

Though I suppose I should be at least happy that Canon Robinson believes in God (at least I haven't heard he doesn't) Don't laugh! My Church has Bishops and clergy who don't appear to. The most famous being Bishop Spong. He doesn't believe in the Virgin birth, nor the Resurrection, and he writes books about it! I think I'd prefer a gay Bishop who believes to a straight Bishop who doesn't. Then there's our top guy here in the USA, Archbishop Griswold. He'd rather try and impose a far-left agenda in the Church and berate the President over Iraq than serve his flock. There's a lot of pride going on here, and that's one of those big sins.

I remember reading that Catholics love their Bishops, but can take or leave their priests, and Episcopalians have no use for their Bishops, but love their priests. I've had nothing but wonderful experiences with the Priests I've come in contact with, it's part of what I love about my Church. And maybe because many of us are blessed with wonderful priests, we don't pay enough attention to the Church on a national level. Maybe it's time we started. One thing I've come to realize over these last few days is my Church is worth fighting for. I don't have any fast and snappy answers, but I can pray and try to learn.

I think all sinners, gay or straight, should be welcome at the Table. I'm still not sure if I can accept marriage in the Church being anything but between a man and a woman. That's going to take some more soul searching for me. Same with non-celibate homosexuals in the priesthood. Some things I wonder about are, if homosexuals could marry in the Church, would they be willing to live by the same marriage rules heterosexual couples do as far as their religious lives go? Are they willing to vow to "till death do us part"? Would gays marrying in the Church strengthen marriage all around, making us less likely to turn a blind eye to cohabitation without benefit of marriage, or to multiple marriages/divorces? Is it the "cleave only unto him/her", or is it just about benefits?

If you're still with me, way down here at the end, you're a real trooper. Maybe I should have recommended all readers take a dose of no-doze first! And thanks to all the wonderful posts and comments I've read over the last few days around blogdom. Agree or disagree, you've given me lots to think about.

Posted by Ith at 5:15 PM | Comments (10)

July 28, 2003

A Constant

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.

Posted by Ith at 7:37 AM

July 4, 2003

Rockets Red Glare


Found this photo on Drudge

(This will stay at the top for the day)

Posted by Ith at 11:48 PM | Comments (1)


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!"

Posted by Ninjababe at 10:06 PM | Comments (1)

Happy Independence Day!

"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

Posted by Ith at 1:00 PM | Comments (2)

July 3, 2003

The Other Side Of The Coin

Never Forget

Just go read it, okay?

Posted by Ith at 6:11 PM

May 26, 2003

These two posts will remain

These two posts will remain at the top of the page today

"They summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and virtue." --Gen. James
A. Garfield

Posted by Ith at 11:45 PM

My Memorial Day Post

Photo from ABMC & there's also detailed info on the site. More pics here

One summer, I went to visit friends in the Army who were stationed in Heidelberg. During the course of the trip, we traveled to Scotland. On the way back to Germany, we stopped in Luxembourg to visit the American Military Cemetery there. Among the thousands of fallen U.S. soldiers buried there is General George Patton. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived, and as we approached the gates, the sound of taps could be heard in the almost total quiet. I walked in through the gates, and there in front of was a sea of white crosses, and at one of those crosses, a group of veterans and a bugler, standing at the grave of a fallen comrade. You know those moments when they say time stands still? That was one of those moments for me. I knew I was standing on hallowed ground, and the quiet, with only the sound of the bugle, and the chirping of birds as they got ready to settle down for the night, and the sun as it sat low in the sky, covering the crosses in a soft light.

Posted by Ith at 11:25 PM | Comments (2)

On Taps

From The Federalist Newsletter

Many communities will end the National Moment of Remembrance at 1500 on Memorial Day by playing Taps. From a friend at the USMA, West Point, comes this brief history of Taps: In July 1862, after the Seven Days battles at Harrison's Landing (near Richmond), Virginia, the wounded Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, General Daniel Butterfield reworked, with his bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton, another bugle call, "Scott Tattoo," to create Taps. He thought that the regular call for Lights Out was too formal. The custom, thus originated, was taken up throughout the Army of the Potomac and finally confirmed by orders. Soon other Union units began using Taps, and even a few Confederate units began using it as well. After the war, Taps became an official bugle call. Col. James A. Moss, in his Officer's Manual first published in 1911, gives an account of the initial use of Taps at a military funeral: "During the Peninsular Campaign in 1862, a soldier of Tidball's Battery A of the 2nd Artillery was buried at a time when the battery occupied an advanced position concealed in the woods. It was unsafe to fire the customary three volleys over the grave, on account of the proximity of the enemy, and it occurred to Capt. Tidball that the sounding of Taps would be the most appropriate ceremony that could be substituted."
Posted by Ith at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)


Andrea's observance for Memorial Day

Posted by Ith at 2:05 AM

May 10, 2003

A Brave American

Vet has hope after accident claimed her legs

.... Grant, a 1996 graduate of Business Careers, part of Holmes High School, was pinned under a tank that she was helping move in Kuwait on March 12.

She immediately lost her left leg, and eventually her right. But the 25-year-old, who's stationed at Fort Hood, is grateful to have survived.

A single mother, Grant has an easy smile that belies her injuries.

"I have God on my side," she said Thursday at Brooke Army Medical Center, where she's recovering. "I'm not blaming anyone for this accident."

Media-shy until recently, she decided to tell her story.

Grant has been at BAMC for two weeks. She spent more than a month being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. While there, she was able to meet "lots of generals" and President and Mrs. Bush.

"I had everybody important sign my book," she said.

She's undergoing physical therapy and will eventually be fitted for prosthetic legs that will allow her to return to her hobbies, which include working out and shopping.

For now, she keeps in contact with her unit, which remains in Kuwait.

"I miss them; I miss working over there," she said. "We have a family over there."

Posted by Ith at 1:05 PM | Comments (1)

May 2, 2003

More On Bush As 'Stud'

Ever notice Bush when he's at his ranch? Those jeans, that work shirt, clothes that have actually been worn doing manual labour, clothes that have gotten dirty time and again. Remember AlGore during the campaign (I know it's a painful memory, but our readers are strong!) when he tried to be one of the little people? Remember his jeans and shirt? The only work those puppies had ever seen were what it took to cut the tags off.

I bet there are callouses on our President's hands, and I'd feel safe betting he's damned proud of them!

Posted by Ith at 7:57 AM | Comments (4)

It Isn't "J.A.G."

This was an email sent to The Corner. I thought it was worth sharing.

All these people accusing Bush of grandstanding are know-nothing schlubs. Most of what they know about the military they got from watching J.A.G. on TV. I was in the Navy and had occasion to land on the U.S.S. Kennedy once. It was one of the most frightening things I ever did. The pilot literally crashes the plane intentionally on the deck and at the point of impact jams the throttle to full power. A hook grabs a steel cable stretched across the deck and slams the plane down hard stopping it in about 60 feet from a speed of over 120mph. There is this tremendous impact and a huge metallic KA-BLAM!! as the plane comes down. At the same instant your spine is decompressing from hitting the deck the deceleration clobbers you too. The four point restraints cut into your shoulders so hard you wince in pain. As your forehead comes to rest on your chest if feels like your head is going to pop off your shoulders. You then slam back into the seat and immediately look out the window hoping your don't see fire and the flight deck crew running away. You then say to yourself or out loud, "HOLY-_____!!" and then, depending upon your upbringing, add a religious reference or a profanity to it. I recall being very happy to get back to my "safe" job; jumping out of helicopters into storm tossed seas at night as a rescue swimmer. The Secret Service must have gone bananas over this idea and the poor flight crew that flew with the POTUS must have been a nervous wreck knowing that the life of the President was in their hands while they crashed/landed on the carrier. You see, most of the aircraft and crews we lose in the Navy are during carrier take-offs and landings. Here is what the President probably did not know. The very best pilots in flight training get to fly combat jets. The guys who do not finish at the top have to take the remaining flight assignments in the order of their academic standing in flight school. In all likelyhood, the plane he flew in was piloted by a flight crew that did not graduate flight training at the top of their class. Not in the middle of their class either. Everybody on that carrier gets what the President did. Everybody who ever experienced a carrier landing knows what he did.....What he did was this; He exposed himself to a very dangerous experience to show the troops that he was willing to take risks that they take everyday for low pay. Everybody on that ship got that message. It was meant for them, not us. It was by my measure a damned brave thing to do.
Posted by Ith at 7:50 AM | Comments (2)

A Real Man

I finally got to see some of the footage of the President on the Lincoln and I just gotta say that our Pres is a stud. And I mean that in the sense that he's a real guy, the kind of person you could hang with and trust to watch your back in a pinch. He's a man that's attractive for all the reasons Bill Clinton wasn't. Give me a real man like George Bush any day over the smarmy charm of a Bill Clinton.

Posted by Ith at 7:40 AM

Just A Random Comment This Morning...

whilst watching Fox News.

Dubya looked so in his element when he was on the USS Abe Lincoln. It was just awesome.

I think our military will remember this.

I think our military will remember that it was the Dim-o-craps who tried to get the mail in military votes thrown out in the last election.

Course I suppose that would have been okay, seeing as how Al Gore probably invented the military. *perky and cute little sarcastic smile*


Happy Friday! *throwing confetti*


Posted by at 4:52 AM | Comments (2)

May 1, 2003

Love It!

A nice pic to end the day with. Now I'm waiting for the speech!


President Bush waves as he walks on the tarmac to a Navy S-3B Viking plane at North Island Naval Station in Coronado, Calif.

Posted by Ith at 5:49 PM | Comments (2)

What's Really Important

Link via SSDB

A Marine Comes Home

.....On April 14 in Vermont, for example, mourners gathered for the funeral of 21-year-old Marine Cpl. Mark Evnin, killed in action on the drive to Baghdad. A thousand people attended the rites at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington, at which the Marine's grandfather, a rabbi, presided. Reporters related how the Marine Corps League color guard and local firefighters flanked the walkway into the synagogue, where mourners included the Roman Catholic bishop and the governor.

Crowds lined the streets in salute--some with flags, some with signs--everywhere the funeral procession passed. But what struck the Burlington Free Press reporters most were all the strangers who had been impelled to come to the cemetery to honor the young Marine. One of them was a mother who had brought her two young children and stood holding two American flags. "Every single man and woman out there is my son and daughter," she told the journalists. "He could have done a lot with his life. But he gave it to the nation."

Bring a tissue before you read it all.

Posted by Ith at 5:09 PM

April 13, 2003

Message From A Wolfpack Wife

This was left in the comments of this post, and I wanted to move out to its own post so maybe some one who reads the blog may be able to help Amber out.

Rick used to be embedded with my husband in 3rd LAR. His Capt to be exact. I wish he would have stayed with Capt Custis, but I understand Fox needed to send him where there was more of a story. If you hear anything on 3rd LAR and specifically Alpha Co. please send my way as it is my only means of hearing what is going on with my husband. I haven't recieved a letter since last month, dated 3/13. Thank you.

Amber Annan
Proud Wolfpack Wife !

Posted by Ith at 12:28 PM | Comments (1)

April 9, 2003


From Misha:

"A trust fund has been set up for the two children, ages 4 and 3, of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa of Tuba City, AZ. Pfc Piestawa was one of eight soldiers whose bodies were found during the rescue of Pfc Jessica Lynch; their unit, the 507th Maintenance Company, was ambushed on March 23 near Nasiriyah.

Piestewa was the first American servicewoman, and first American Indian, to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was a single mother; her children are living with her parents in Tuba City."

Posted by Ith at 6:22 PM | Comments (6)

To America's Soldiers

I want to thank you for my existence. I want to thank you for your sacrifices, and for your courage, because without your heroism, this world would indeed be a different place. Were it not for the brave soldiers who liberated my father from Dachau, and my mother and her family from the Nazi slaveholders, I would not be here today. Nor would millions of others, all of whom remain indebted to you.

~you can read the rest here

Posted by Ith at 5:50 PM | Comments (1)

April 8, 2003


President Bush Designates a POW Day

The Associated Press Tuesday, April 8, 2003; 7:35 PM

WASHINGTON - President Bush designated Wednesday as a day of national recognition for former U.S. prisoners of war and pledged to work for the safe return of Americans captured in the Iraq war.

"These brave men and women in uniform follow in the footsteps of these former POWs who placed country above self to advance peace in a troubled world," Bush said in the proclamation he issued Tuesday.

Seven U.S. soldiers are POWs in Iraq, and U.S. officials are trying to determine their location. The Pentagon says it is holding more than 7,000 Iraqi POWs.

Bush's proclamation declares April 9 to be "National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day."

"As we honor our former POWs, we are reminded of our current POWs, captured in Operation Iraqi Freedom," the declaration said. "We will work to secure their freedom, and we pray for their speedy and safe return."

Posted by Ith at 6:51 PM

April 7, 2003

And over coffee--

Know what? I was talking to a neighbor recently and the 4 year old was pouncing on leaves and jabbering and said neighbor and I were talking about all the war stuff going on. I told him that one of the things that bugged me was after it was all over with--it was something I worried about for these people serving. He asked what I meant.

Then I explained that quite a few years ago, my washer and dryer had died
and I'd go to the local washeteria to do my laundry every Sunday morning
fairly early, at about 8am. There got to be the usual bunch of folks in
there and a couple of them were men--one had been in WW2, one was a lady
who's now deceased SO had been in Viet Nam. I'd sit and have a cup of
coffee with them and share a Sampoerna. Finally one of these men asked me
if I realized he'd been in Viet Nam. I told him no sir, I hadn't but that
was fine with me. You'd have thought I'd given the man a million bucks
and it was only because I'd sat down and had a simple cup of coffee with
him while my family's clothes were going in the machines. Did he expect
that me being in my 30's, I would hold a grudge of some sort? I hope not!

Then I told my neighbor I didn't get it--all these guys had done was
follow orders. It was not their fault that some asshole would take a 4
year old like H and strap them up with granades and shit and point and
tell them 'go over there to those guys'--4 year olds can be very accomodating at times. Then these men would sit there and be faced with a very horrible decision. I cannot place blame on them for what they had to do even if it was something I would have done or not or been something I would have agreed with or not.

It's the same thing now with the Iraqi nepotismic oligarchy.

Thirty years down the road, I'll still be happy to sit and have coffee with someone who was in our military, no matter where they had been stationed or served.

I sincerely hope that some of you would do the same.


Posted by at 12:04 PM

April 3, 2003


Prankster Devastates Flagstaff Family With False News Of Death

(AP) A prank caller devastated the Flagstaff family of a 22-year-old soldier serving in Iraq, falsely telling them that the man was dead.

On Sunday morning, a man called the home of Wayne Hogg's uncle and said "we need to let you know Wayne died two days ago."

The report was false, but it turned into a nightmare for Hogg's family. His uncle, Danny Hogg, says it took the family a full day to get confirmation that Wayne was still alive in Iraq.

Danny Hogg had participated Saturday in a Flagstaff rally to support U.S. troops in Iraq.

Sunday morning, a photo of him taken at the rally appeared in the Flagstaff newspaper. And it was a short time after the paper hit the streets that the call was made to Danny Hogg's home.

Is it a leap to say that it was probably a "Peace" activist who made the phone call?

Posted by Ith at 3:57 PM | Comments (2)

April 1, 2003

We Won't Forget

I was absolutely disgusted and saddened when I read about the desecration at the British military cemetery in France. I don't think there's anything I can say that would adequately express how seeing that picture made me feel. I've been to military cemeteries both here at home, and in Europe, and they are indeed places of great sanctity. Imagining the kind of people that would defile that sanctity sickens me.

Steven Den Beste's post on the subject, as usual, cuts to the heart of it all. His words mirror what's in my heart.

"Rest in Peace", we say. R.I.P. adorns many gravestones. Thousands of English-speaking soldiers who died in France to defend it, or to liberate it, apparently cannot rest there in peace. Their very presence is resented; cold and silent, drawing no breath, they speak loudly and deliver a message that the French do not want to hear, against which there are no arguments.

They bear mute testimony to the fact that the French could not defend themselves. Because of their presence and their inability to speak, they puncture French pretensions to greatness. They represent irrefutable proof that the French have had to rely, again and again, on us for salvation, but we have not had to rely on them. In the last 200 years, no English speaking nation has ever required French help to defend itself.

Tens of thousands of Aussies and Canucks and Yanks sleep forever in the cold soil of France. But there are no French military cemeteries in Australia or Canada or the US.

For this crime, for speaking the truth about French weakness and decline so eloquently by not making a sound, not even our military dead can be tolerated; the French must lash out and punish even those who gave everything they had for France.

Our war dead have been targeted because they can no longer fight back.

Posted by Ith at 10:43 PM | Comments (3)

March 21, 2003

Thank you--

I think it's something that needs to be said to the Brits and the Ozzies who are fighting alongside our military folks. Thank you for being so supportive. Thank you for doing what you're doing.


Posted by at 8:25 AM | Comments (1)

The lights are on--

I don't have a flag to put up yet, but by golly, anytime I get in my van, my lights are on to support our troops! And the UK troops and the Oz troops!

WCPR is playing the Hendrix version of the national anthem for the fallen Marine who was killed. I'm gonna try not to cry, but it's hard. I hope we don't lose anyone else. I know, it's a nice hope, but not realistic. I've had candles going all week and will burn at least two a day until this thing is over with.

Hope everyone has a good Friday.


Posted by at 6:05 AM

March 20, 2003

Poorly thought out? I think so.

I got up to this post this morning:

My brother X is a Marine stationed in Kuwait. He's twenty years old, and isn't very happy there, as I'm sure you all can imagine. Please keep him in your thoughts for me, ok?

Well excuse the fuck out of me. Little ickle X doesn't like the military life? At age twenty he IS old enough to figure out his arse from a hole in the ground and comprehend what he COULD be getting into if he did join the military.

My first thought for a reply was: Well at least he's not flying INTO Iraq.

My second thought for a reply was: You know what? Maybe he shouldn't have signed on to go into the military.

My third thought for a reply was: B's nephew just left Monday for the military. I think it's nice that young men like them want to defend us.

She could have worded it better: He's intimidated or this is scary.

Fine--it's just as scary here in some ways. But like B said in AIM, she is not the only one by far that has someone over there. There is a division from Fort Drum is over there and she has several friends in that division.

Sometimes friends can be closer than family--in which case it would be hard either way.

My reply on the matter was this:

Of course he doesn't like it--who would? I mean really, when he or anyone
else for that matter signed on to be in the military, I hardly think that
Kuwait was their first thought as far as where they would be stationed.
But one must go serve where one's country sends them, regardless of if
it's where they want to be or not. I'm sure he's not the only one who'd
rather be stationed somewhere like Japan or Hawaii. *g*

Naturally as with the rest of our troops that are doing their duty to
defend their country, they will be in our thoughts and our prayers until
this thing is over and they come safely home. Although if I keep burning
'thoughts' like I've been doing for other people, then I'm either going to
need to apply for church status as a fucking catholic church or I'm going
to have a bonfire in my living room. *g*

And that was my reply to her. Several of the people on said particular list have Bush Bashed in the past. I kept my mouth shut, although it was hard.

There are bumper stickers down here that say 'I support our troops while they protect our asses.' I thought it was cute, so I added it to my sig on yahoo mail, just so they would see where *I* stood since I'd kept my mouth shut.

If, after this post, I get kicked off the list, it will more than prove to me that the majority of the Dimocraps aren't worth my time to bother with because while they call us conservatives narrow minded, I think they need to go take a look in the mirror because they are the ones who are more intolerant. *g*

But I got to speak my mind since that chick's brother is defending this country. That means I got a right to say stuff. *g*

Poorly thought out post on her part or mine? You tell me. You see, she could have said that her family misses him. She could have said he likes the military but is intimidated as fuck over where he is. Hell, if he WASN'T, I'd say he was seriously fucked up in the head--anyone who's human would be intimidated at being there. Or she could have just said 'Remember him.' And that would have been fine.

Happy freaking Thursday.

Kel, cheering on the bombs so our guys can kill some dictators

Posted by at 5:44 AM

March 18, 2003

Peacenik Pastors

From The Corner, a post by Rod Dreher that dovetails with Kel's earlier post:

Over on Touchstone's blog, senior editor David Mills, an orthodox Catholic, does a splendid job of putting into perspective the absurd comments from the Romanian Catholic archbishop, which I blogged on earlier, and outrageous remarks made by Archbishop Renato Martino of the Vatican yesterday, in which (among other risible statements) he compared President Bush to Pharaoh, one of the archvillains of the Bible.

Writes Mills: "This is what I think the various bishops, archbishops, and cardinals, with all their windy statements about 'peace,' are doing to the average Catholic. (And other religious leaders are doing to their people.) They are teaching him to ignore them, even when they speak the word of the Lord.

"By speaking as they have done, they have made it harder for their sons to listen to them with the trust and confidence sons ought to have for their fathers. And so they are partly responsible when the sons do what the fathers tell them not to."

Posted by Ith at 5:51 PM

March 15, 2003

More For The Troops

Mickey posted this on one of my other group blogs.

Just got information about this Avon Project in my Avon newsletter. Since I'm already an Avon Rep I'm going to find out about starting one of these up, I think it's an excellent idea and no, we don't make a profit, it's all at cost, which is great! If anyone is interested, please send me an E-mail

If anyone wants to send anything, please let me know and I'd appreciate it f you would pass it along. I'd especially like to send some things to the guys that I work with, a few of them have been overseas since right after 9/11 and then I signed up with another group of women and they have a list of places to send things too.


Posted by Ith at 5:45 PM

March 12, 2003


Here's a great website that has rounded up a list of the companies that are paying the full salaries of their employees that have been called up to serve.

Link via Andrea

Posted by Ith at 7:30 AM

March 9, 2003

A Letter Home

On TroopTrax there is a letter from a soldier to his anti-war mom.

Posted by Ith at 12:53 PM

March 6, 2003

Help Me Out

My nephew is on the Nimitz and he wants me to send him movies. Now, I have no idea what kind of movies to get a 25 year old sailor, and I was hoping some of our readers could give me some ideas. He said he wanted movies that were action/adventure, drama, or horror. Any ideas??

Posted by Ith at 5:28 PM

February 27, 2003


Check out operation "TroopTrax" over at Michele's

Posted by Ith at 5:39 PM

February 24, 2003

CofE Problems

Via The Corner, comes this link to a story on the decline of the Church of England. It's pretty scathing, and blames much of the Church's problems on liberal Bishops.

"The only part of the Church of England that has increased has been the number of its bishops and their bureaucracy,...."
....the Prince of Wales now seemed so pro-Islam "that the Church might well wish to disestablish itself in order to keep its distance".
...."those bishops and senior lay people in the Church's government - that is those who have inflicted their tired liberalism on the Church and presided over its continuing decline - should finally take responsibility and resign."
Posted by Ith at 7:47 AM

February 19, 2003


America's Finest

Thanks to Blogs of War for the link.

Posted by Ith at 7:40 AM