Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Very Happy New Year

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! I am off now to watch a "Harry Potter" marathon with my family. Popcorn optional!

A New Tag

L. at Lost in Lima, Ohio likes to take my quizzes, but hates the results she gets, so she has tagged me with a "5 Weird Habits"! Here are the rules:
Here are the
“Rules: “The first player of this game starts with the topic “five weird habits of yourself,” and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don’t forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says “You are tagged” (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.
So here are my five weird habits:

1) When buttering bread or toast, I have to make sure the butter goes all the way to the edges of the bread, or muffin, or toast!

2) I have to put lotion on my feet every night before I go to bed. I can't stand dry feet or hands!

3) I hate it when my day gets messed up! I always want to know what the girls are doing, where and when I will need to take them and I really dislike it when that gets messed up.

4) I cannot go to sleep at night without reading a book. Even if it's only a page, I have to read before I go to sleep.

5) When I get a carton of my favorite ice cream, the girls are not allowed to touch it! It is mine!!

Now, I have to name five people to take this quiz. Since I have harrassed my blogging friends with both the 5's Quiz and the 7's Quiz, I will let whomever wants to answer this do so, either on their own blog or here in my comments. Please link if you do answer so I can read your weird habits, too! (tee hee!)

Friday, December 30, 2005

Echo9er's "Daily Twain"

I just have to post Echo9er's Daily Twain post for today because it is so perfect for the present day press and those who rely on them for their news!
It has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper. That is the opinion intelligent people have of that lying vehicle in a nutshell. But the trouble is that the stupid people–who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations–do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper, and there is where the harm lies.
— Mark Twain (from “”License of the Press” speech)

NYT and WaPo Being Investigated

It's about darn time! There should be someone charged with treason in these last two "leaks" of information. The "black" prisons and the NSA "listening in" are both national security issues. If the ACLU and the liberal MSM have their way, they will have all the details of these programs on the front page of the papers and then we can expect the terrorists to take full advantage of it. We are at war. It is necessary for some things to remain undisclosed for the safety of all of us. Why is this such a difficult concept for so many on the left to realize?
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of classified information about President Bush’s secret domestic spying program, Justice officials said Friday. The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, said the inquiry will focus on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Times revealed the existence of the program two weeks ago in a front-page story that acknowledged the news had been withheld from publication for a year, partly at the request of the administration and partly because the newspaper wanted more time to confirm various aspects of the program.
For further information, read the post at Stop the ACLU.

Of course, you had to know that the ACLU would be chomping at the bit to stop an investigation of the newspapers and their "informants" because it's a "freedom of speech" issue. Sorry, I just can't see it that way, it's a security issue!
NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union today sharply criticized a Justice Department investigation into the disclosure of an illegal National Security Agency domestic eavesdropping operation approved by President George W. Bush.

In a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as well as two full-page advertisements in the New York Times, the ACLU has called for the appointment of a special counsel to determine whether President Bush violated federal wiretapping laws by authorizing illegal surveillance of domestic targets.
The actual letter is quoted at Stop the ACLU.

Some Interesting Numbers

There is all this hoopla about the NSA supposed "spying" on US citizens. The hoopla is, of course, coming from the same very vocal, hypocritical Democratic faction. The "do as I say, not as I do" group. Yet from what I've read and heard, what has actually been done has not been illegal.

Personally, they could listen in on my phone conversations, check my email and put a cookie on my computer and they wouldn't find anything of interest. Oh, and speaking of cookies, I went to the NSA prior to them disabling the cookies and I could care less. They were probably bored with my computer usage. The whole cookie thing is way out of proportion, too, as almost any site you go to is going to put a cookie on your computer to see what your surfing habits are like in order to adjust the pop-up ads they use for you. It is just idiotic that people are pissed off by that. It upsets me more that I get the stupid pop-up ads!

What is interesting about this whole thing is that Americans, in general, are not too ticked off about the spying issue. Rassmussen's latest poll shows that 64% of Americans polled say yes to the question: "Should the National Security Agency be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States?" Only 23% said no. Hmmm, doesn't seem like people are too upset about it. And 48% of those polled don't believe that Bush is the first President to use these tactics. Just in case you think those numbers are stacked by people not really paying attention, you would be incorrect. 68% of Americans are saying that they are somewhat closely or very closely following this story in the news.

So, once again, these Democrats are being overly dramatic and speaking for the American public when they have don't know what they're talking about. If you've hung around here very long, you will know that the use of sweeping generalities, is a pet peeve of mine. When Democrats in particular, speak as if they know what I want or what I'm thinking or feeling. They have no idea and should shut their yaps and speak only for themselves.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Stop The ACLU

Did you know that your tax dollars are paying for the ACLU to take our schools and city halls to court? Yup, they take us to court and if they win they not only get their way with the anti-religion, anti-family issue, but they also get the monetary court costs! How's that for a kick in the butt?

There is, however, a Congressman, Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind) who has put forth a bill that will stop monetary awards in civil cases. It's called the Public Expression of Religion Act, or PERA (H.R.2679). This is great. If the ACLU doesn't make money from their cases and they "don't accept government funding" then they won't have an incentive to go after any and all religious cases and rake in the cash.

Here is a part of the podcast with Rep. Hostettler and Rees Lloyd, a former ACLU attorney and the entire exchange is posted by Jay at Stop the ACLU:
Lloyd, a California civil-rights attorney, is an officer with the American Legion who wrote a resolution passed by the national organization supporting Hostettler’s bill.

As WorldNetDaily reported, Hostettler’s proposal would amend the Civil Rights Attorney’s Fees Act of 1976, 42 U.S.C. Section 1988, to prohibit prevailing parties from being awarded attorney’s fee in religious establishment cases, but not in other civil rights filings. This would prevent local governments from having to use taxpayer funds to pay the ACLU or similar organization when a case is lost, and also would protect elected officials from having to pay fees from their own pockets.

Hostettler says some organizations have created a new civil liberty – a right to be protected “from religion, which is found nowhere in the Constitution, nowhere in the Bill of Rights.” The Indiana congressman blames “a very select group” for “perverting” the original statute, including the ACLU, People for the American Way and Americans United for the Separate of Church and State.

“They use this statute to extort behavior out of individuals,” the congressman said, citing the Indiana Civil Liberties Union threatening local educators. The group sent a letter to officials saying they would be sued and be forced to pay attorney’s fees should any graduation prayers be offered at commencement ceremonies. The threat sent the message, Hostettler said, that individuals tied to school districts could be impoverished personally.
To help get this bill passed, a petition is being circulated and by signing it, we would show that we want our freedom of religious expression back! You can go here to sign the petition. Or call/contact your congressman to back the bill!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


You Are Socks!

Cozy and warm... but easily lost.
You make a good puppet.
I suppose it's better than underwear! Came across this one at Fuzzilicious Thinking. If you go over to her site, check out her "Travelogue". It is wonderful and heart-wrenching at the same time.

Clinton Makes the Grade

Okay, so he really doesn't make the grade, but he has made the history books. As pointed out in this NewsMax article.
Seven years after he was impeached in a scandal of sex, perjury and bitter politics, Clinton has become a fixture in major high school texts.

The impeachment is portrayed in the context of his two-term tenure, a milestone event, but not one that overshadows how Clinton handled the economy, crime and health care.
Notice how his indiscretions are just a part of the story (which I realize is true), but he lied to a grand jury. This is the same crime that with which Scooter Libby has been charged. Now I realize that Clinton was the President, but that doesn't make him above the law. You know, it's the same thing the liberals are screeching about Bush and the NSA "scandal."

This double standard the liberals have is very annoying. You know that when the history of Bush's Presidency is written into the books, it will be negative. This will be the case simply because the text books are written by the "academic elite" who are decidedly biased to the left.
Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, the growing-up years of today's high school students. Even today's oldest high school students were only 10 or 11 during the height of the scandal, and today's middle schoolers were just approaching or entering first grade.

So, for students, the impeachment is literally a subject for the history books.

"This is very difficult for everybody, because it's so fresh," said Gilbert Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, an independent research group that reviews history texts used in schools. "It's easier to nail down history like the transcontinental railroad. With Clinton, you're dealing with material that has by no means been settled." (emphasis mine)
Let's hope that settling the history will include Whitewater, Lewinski, and let's not forget the Barrett Report. I didn't know about this...I thought I had heard rumors of it though. It's the scandal that involves both Bill and Hillary and their unlawful use of the IRS to persecute their enemies. This particular report has been suppressed by the liberals since 1994. It has been surfacing just recently, but the liberals are trying to yell louder about Bush and the NSA hoping that no one will notice Billary's scandal.

Unfortunately, it is as The Conservative Voice has written in their article:
In other words there is no such thing as "fair and balanced" in the mainstream media. There is however: "how can we get over on these people -- or as newsman Sam Donaldson calls us, Yahoos -- and not get caught doing it" in the mainstream news media.

George Bush attempts to save American lives by spying on terrorists and their cohorts who just might be American citizens and he's portrayed as evil and a criminal. Bill and Hillary Clinton send out the attack dogs of the one government agency that totally disregards constitutional protections in order to silence critics and whistleblowers, and the media establishment and many Americans love them. Sometimes one wonders if this country is even worth protecting.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Dad's Birthday

I have been very remiss! Today is my Dad's birthday and I did not get a card or gift out to him. I will plead befuddled brain, but I still feel bad about it. So I thought I would give him a wish here since he reads my blog sometimes!

Happy Birthday, Dad!

If I could, I would bake a German chocolate cake for you...or maybe a white coconut cake, or even a pecan pie, or Grandma's cobbler! Then I would give you the ability to eat them without guilt or problems!

I hope you had a nice day and that you two could go out for dinner or have a nice dinner at home. Wish you didn't live so far away... Love you, Dad!

Post Christmas Let-Down

There is something a little sad about the day after Christmas. The garbage is full of torn wrapping paper and the refrigerator is full of leftovers. The family is off in different corners of the house using or playing with thier Christmas gifts. And the needles are giving up and falling off the Christmas tree. It's just a bit sad.

I would imagine that for the avid shoppers, the day after Christmas is just as great as Christmas because they are finding all those deals which will take them to next Christmas. (I am not a shopper and you won't find me anywhere near a mall today!) But for many of us, the frantic rush up to the holiday leads to a let-down when it is over. The thought of having to go back to work or having to deal with crowds to make returns or exchanges is tiring just to think about.

I guess I am feeling down more this year just because out of the four of us, one is getting over a cold, while the other three are getting it! It also seemed as though Christmas came before we were ready.

But dinner was great, dessert was tasty, some family was here to share the day (meaning we didn't have to pack up and travel anywhere!) and the girls were very happy with their gifts. So, all in all it's been good. And now the lull between Christmas and New Year begins.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Gift

This tree is a gift from a new blog friend, Echo9er aka David. It is beautiful and it should be shared. Thank you, David!

A very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festive Kwanza, or Blessed Ramadan to all my readers and blog friends. May it be filled with special moments to remember!

A Quiz

It is true, I am afraid...I run away...I run away...

When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned
his tail and fled!

What Monty Python Character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

cross posted at The Right Place

Friday, December 23, 2005

"The Prince of Peace In a Time of War"

I receive The Conservative Voice email newsletter and it often has very interesting articles. This particular piece caught my attention simply from the above title. Then I read it. It is an excellent piece by Oliver North. It is a news story that you will not see in the MSM and it will not be listened to nor heeded by the liberal left.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "What do you want for Christmas?" the young Marine asked. It was the middle of the night, and we were standing atop a heavily sandbagged "strongpoint" known as "Outpost Horea" in downtown Ramadi, Iraq -- long the bloodiest city in this very bloody country. In the dark, the Iraqi soldier standing watch beside the American looked toward us as a cold breeze rustled through the camouflage netting over our heads.

"What do I want for Christmas?" I repeated, somewhat surprised by the question. "I want you to get home safely."

The 21-year old Tennessean, girded in 65 lbs. of armored flak jacket, a night-vision equipped helmet, grenades and several hundred rounds of ammunition reflected on that for a moment and replied, "so do I."

Then, quietly, from the young Iraqi soldier beside us, words in broken English that stunned me: "As do I -- but not too soon."

That exchange -- just a few days ago in Iraq -- reflects a dramatic transition sweeping through this war-torn country and a fraction of the good news that is so under-reported from the war on terror. While politicians and the mainstream media here at home focus on negative news and attacks on President Bush, young Americans and their Iraqi counterparts are quietly going about the dangerous task of building a new nation from the ashes of Saddam's dictatorship and the ravages of Jihadist terror. (...)
He speaks of the cooperation that has grown between the Americans and the Iraqis. The Iraqi soldiers look forward to the day when they will defend their country on their own and the Americans go home, but they are not pushing them out the door. They know they are not ready to take on total security for their young democracy, but they are learning. They just need their "training wheels" for a while longer.
(...) When I asked Lt. Col. Roger Turner, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, now on his second tour in Iraq, to reflect on the sacrifice made by so many in this war, he responded, "Sure, this is still a dangerous place. But we're making it safer every day. We have an extraordinary stake in a safe, secure and democratic Iraq. This isn't the time to stop."

Meanwhile, here at home, the president's critics demand the impossible. No one election and no single act of government will turn Iraq from violence to peace overnight. Even the birth of our Lord and Savior did not result in the end of violence. After the Baby Jesus was born, King Herrod, after being duped by the Wise Men, ordered the execution of all males under two years of age to "ensure" the death of the One who could challenge Herrod's authority.

"Goodwill on earth and peace toward men," is the message of Christmas. It is a goal toward which men and women of goodwill work and for which we pray. Nobody wants peace more than the young American warriors serving in harm's way in Iraq. They know what the politicians in Washington and the potentates of the press seem to have missed: that progress toward peace must be judged over time. These troops have been away from family and friends for many months and look forward to coming home -- but not before their job is finished. Supporting them in their mission as we pray for their safety would be wonderful gifts in this Christmas season.
Our men and women in uniform are so awesome. Their chosen path has taken them away from their families this holiday season, yet their sacrifice is a testament to their honor, loyalty, and patriotism. They know that what they are doing in Iraq is right. It gives them such a sense of pride and accomplishment to help these Iraqi soldiers defend their own country; to help them find freedom and democracy just as the Colonials did for us.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I've Been Tagged Again!

And this time it's sevens! Bookworm got me, so I'll pass it along to seven more. (though I don't know who will answer!) Here are the questions:

1. Seven things to do before I die
2. Seven things I cannot do
3. Seven things that attract me to (...)
4. Seven things I say most often
5. Seven books (or series) that I love
6. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would if I had time)
7. Seven people I want to join in, too.

None of my answers are in any particular order.

Seven things to do before I die:
1. See Scotland, England, Ireland, Italy and Greece (I'd settle for one, but hey, it doesn't hurt to list them all)
2. Run away with my husband to a nice little house in the middle of nowhere.
3. See my daughters grow up and reach their goals and dreams
4. See, hold, and spoil my grandchildren! (in other words, live a long life!)
5. 1 or 2 more retrievers (guess that little house will have to be a bit bigger)
6. Be able earn a living doing what I love (beading)
7. Be able to read all of the books on my "to read" list

Seven things I cannot do:
1. See and hug my mom
2. Leave my laptop off all day (unless I'm camping...doesn't work then)
3. Wear spike heel shoes again (I'd probably break my neck)
4. Understand far left liberal thinking
5. Sew or crochet
6. Drink beer (can't get past the smell!)
7. Seem to keep my younger daughter off the phone

Seven things that attract me to blogging: (used same topic as Book, sorry)
1. I thought it was a good way to learn basic html as I am a "see it/do it" learner
2. It allows me to vent when I need to (usually about some garbage on the news)
3. It allows me to "talk" to other people who believe as I do
4. I find that comments and hits mean a lot because it means people are reading what I have to say
5. I have found my creative writing "voice" again (although it is still a bit hoarse!)
6. It has solidified my thoughts and views on politics
7. I have learned that there are some nasty people out there who only wish to berate and belittle people who do not agree with them

Seven things I say most often:
1. "Poor Baby" usually with sarcasm and usually to my youngest when she is lamenting her inability to actually go out on a date with her "boyfriend"
2. "Go to bed" usually to my older daughter because she stays up way too late
3. "I love you" always said to each member of my family at least twice a day
4. "Sadie come!" that would be said to the dog
5. "No!" to questions which start with "can I go...," "can I have...," "But, I..." (not always, but quite a lot as I am the Meanest Mom)
6. "They drive me crazy!" usually about some idiotic comment from one of the very vocal Dems
7. "Because I said so!" yes, it's the same line my mother used on me!

Seven books (or series) that I love:
1. Outlanderby Diana Gabaldon
2. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (I have a 1934 copy with the receipt still in the book!)
3. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
4. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
5. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
6. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (the movie wasn't bad, but I prefer the book, but alas, his other books did not live up to this one)
7. Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons

Seven movies I watch over and over:
1. The Patriot (the Mel Gibson version, not the Steven Segal version)
2. Braveheart
3. Bringing Up Baby
4. The Philadelphia Story
5. The Princess Bride
6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
7. The Lord of the Rings series

Seven people I'd to join in: (though it won't break my heart if you don't)
1. GBfan at Spottedhorse (he admitted to liking these things)
2. GroovyVic at Fiddle Dee Dee (since she tagged me with the 5 list!)
3. T.M. aka Giacomo at Joust the Facts (because he is still a man of mystery!)
4. Mr. Right and Stephen at The Right Place (because, well, they are my co-bloggers and we need to know more about them!)
5. Gina at Gee Dubya (because I have missed her...where are you?!)
6. Tom at The Red Hunter (he needs a fun diversion!)
7. Dave at THIRDWAVEDAVE (because it's silly!)

Patriot Act Extended

Jay at Stop the ACLU has the latest on the debate on capital hill.
WASHINGTON - Senators on Wednesday agreed to extend the expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act for six months to allow the bill’s critics to continue to seek additional civil liberty safeguards in the anti-terrorism law. The deal, if passed by the GOP-controlled Senate, would still need to get the approval of the Republican-controlled House and President Bush, but it would keep the Patriot Act provisions from expiring on Dec. 31.
It isn't what the Republican's wanted, but it's giving them additional time to fight for what they want.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Power of Music

At this time of year when many of us are listening to seasonal Christmas carols, I got to thinking about how much music can, and has, shaped lives. There are songs that bring such joy and there are songs that never fail to bring a tear to my eye. And don't even get me started on patriotic songs or the concerts I've been to!

Music was always playing at my house. Dad introduced me to the music of the 50s and 60s. Among his favorites were The Kingston Trio: Across the Wide Missouri, Goober Peas, and A Worried Man. Simon & Garfunkel's songs Bridge Over Troubled Water, 59th Street Bridge Song, and Cecelia. And The Everly Brothers: Wake Up Little Susie, Be Bop A-Lula, and Dream, just to name a few. He also played the trumpet, though not often enough.

Mom sang in the church choir, played the piano and the organ. She introduced me to Barbershop quartets with their tight harmonies and to thundering classical music. Her father was a music teacher. He played several instruments, tuned pianos, directed a "big band" in the 40s, and sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for many years. As you can see, music has played an important role my entire life.

I can mark the years of my life with music. A song will play and it takes me to a certain moment in time. The Jackson 5's Ben, Little Bitty Pretty One, and Got to be There and The Osmonds' One Bad Apple, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, and Puppy Love were the songs of my elementary school years. So many friends had those posters on the walls of their bedrooms. The "older" set included Tony Orlando and Dawn (who could forget Tie a Yellow Ribbon) and Sonny and Cher (Half Breed or the ever loved I Got You Babe!)

Early adolescence brought Captain & Tennille: Love Will Keep Us Together and driving the dog nuts with the end of Muskrat Love. (On the album they had these little squeeky mouse-like noises that had the dog barking at the speakers.) Then it was on to "more mature" music like Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and Tusk. Yes, it was the 70s, and while I wasn't a "disco queen," I was a Queen fan and it drove my mother crazy! Bohemian Rhapsody, Bicycle, and More of that Jazz were played over and over. My friend introduced me to The Beatles which were "old school" by that time, but great nonetheless. Then it was on to high school and lost loves and the weepy, melancholic sounds of Dan Fogelberg's Same Old Lang Syne, Leader of the Band, and The Reach.

Now that I have completely dated myself, I will say that my daughters are listening to many of the same groups I did growing up. Everything old is new again. My oldest daughter loves both Queen and The Beatles. She also loves so much of the same music that my grandpa would have known, as she is in band and loves a good Souza march, Broadway hits, and swing. My youngest has me laughing as she comes in to ask me if I've ever heard of Rick Springfield's song Jesse's Girl or Bryan Adams' Summer of '69! It sure beats her listening to Eminem, although she does listen to some hip-hop. I'll have to nip that in the bud...hmmm, I know! I'll encourage her love of country music!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I've Been Meme'd!

Groovy Vic has meme'd me with a questionnaire and part of it is to pass it along to 5 others. Not sure who will answer but these people are chosen:

1) GBFan @ Spottedhorse
2) Book @ Bookworm Room
3) Stew @ Get Stewed
4) Frau Budgie @ Red Hot Cuppa Politics
5) Mike @ Mike's America

I added this, so you don't have to answer these. Reasons for these choices:
GB and Stew will give great smartass answers. Book and Budgie will have wonderfully eloquent answers. And Mike just needs a break from politics!

What were you doing 10 years ago? I was working full time, trying not to miss too much of my girls' lives and wishing I could spend more time with my husband and girls.

What were you doing 1 year ago? Working at a job I hated, finding out my youngest was failing two classes (she has great grades now...I quit the job!) and being angry and frustrated a lot due to both.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1) Ice cream (Breyer's M&M Fudge...yum!)
2) Reese's peanut butter cups
3) Almost any bread (homemade white, beer bread, banana, pumpkin, etc)
4) Brownies (with chocolate chips)
5) Sun Chips (cheese flavor)

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1) Almost any song by Big & Rich
2) Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen
3) Paperback Writer-The Beatles
4) Hotel California-The Eagles
5) American Soldier-Toby Keith

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) The obvious: pay off the bills
2) New cars (Jeep Liberty for me)
3) Help family
4) College educations
5) Travel, blog about travel, travel some more...

Five bad habits:
1) Tend to get cranky with the girls fairly quickly
2) Get frustrated too quickly
3) Don't get enough exercise
4) Take the easy way out when cooking for dinner (frozen or prepared foods)
5) Stubborn

Five things you will never wear again:
1) Bikini
2) Spike heels
3) Stirrup pants
4) Anything with shoulder pads
5) Size 2

Five favorite toys:
1) Laptop
2) TV
3) Beads and my crafting stuff
4) CD Player (hopefully an iPod one of these days)
5) Cellphone

Have fun you all!

Cross Out Memorials in Utah

Mike Rivers, Utah director of American Atheists has filed a suit against the Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Department of Transportation for the use of crosses as memorials to highway patrol officers lost in the line of duty. According to the plaintiffs, they are not against the memorials, just the fact that they are created on crosses and that some of those memorials are on state land.
News of the suit spread quickly through the UHP community and among friends and family of fallen troopers. "Generally speaking, the crosses are to memorialize these officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice to the state," UHP spokesman Jeff Nigbur said. Nigbur said a large number of the crosses are located on private property near public highways.
As for the religious symbolism, Nigbur said, the cross symbol was chosen as a general symbol to memorialize the fallen.
"We chose the cross because the cross is the international sign of peace, and it has no religious significance in it," Nigbur said.
"I think that's less than honest," said Salt Lake civil rights attorney Brian Barnard, who represents the atheists.
Barnard said the cross is a symbol of Christianity. He has no objection to memorializing fallen troopers, but Barnard said there has to be a better, non-denominational way to do it.
"I don't think there's any question that these troopers should be honored. They have given the ultimate sacrifice," Barnard said. "They can be honored in a way that doesn't emphasize religion." (1)
Personally, it makes no difference to me if they are on crosses or not. (Not that my opinion matters one whit.) But if the highway patrol officer was a Christian then their memorial should be able to express that belief. If the officer was Jewish, it should be a Star of David or a Muslim should be able to have a cresent moon and star. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Here is the ironic part of the whole issue. More than likely, the Utah State Highway Patrol Officers who were killed in the line of duty were Mormon, as 86.8% of Utah residents are Mormon. (2) (as of 2001) They could be another religion, but it would probably be a Christian religion as only a tiny percentage (less than 2%) of the population is Jewish, Muslim or of Eastern religion. Regardless, the irony is that Mormons do not use the cross as a symbol of their religion. There is no overt symbol of the religion. (I know this because I was raised in the Mormon religion, though I am no longer a member, but that is another story.) The Mormons of Utah certainly don't seem to have a problem with the crosses as memorials.

So if the American Atheist, Inc., or ACLU for that matter, have a problem with the memorials being on state land, well, the state should just sell the land the memorial is on to the family of the fallen officer. I think they should charge...oh, a penny! Draw up the deed and file it with the state. Then the AA and the ACLU cannot complain as the cross would no longer be on state land. The whole thing is just ridiculous.

Welcome to all the readers from Mudville Gazette and Argghhh! The Home of Two of Jonah's Military Guys Thanks for the trackback, John! Thanks to Big Dog at Big Dog's Blog for the trackback, too!

Trackbacked to: Jay at Stop the ACLU

Best Posts of 2005

Mr. Snitch has opened a competition for the Best Posts of 2005. This is for the "little" blogs or obscure blogs who have really great posts, but don't get the recognition that comes from winning web awards. Here's the criteria:

• What's a great post? That's entirely up to you, but we have some ideas:

1) Something truly witty or milk-out-your-nose funny is always welcome. Everyone tries comedy, few do it well.

2) That unique piece of information or research that everyone's looking for, but only one blog has.

3) An issue that everyone is discussing, but only one post nails.

4) An unusual subject that few attempt, and fewer do well.

5) An interesting use of language, such as an entire post in the form of a pallindrome, or an Ogden Nash ditty.

6) Something of great service or interest to the blogosphere. Perhaps a link to blogging tools or resources that everyone should know about.

7) A great comment thread.

8) Lightning in a bottle. A post that captures a moment. Something you'd stick in a time capsule.

9) Originality, inspiration, insight, foresight. If it's touched by greatness, we want to know about it.

10) Anything compelling. When you're drawn to something, and you know others will be, you don't have to analyze it.
If you've read a post that really caught your attention or your imagination, a post that made you think, or laugh so hard you snorted out loud, well, you can nominate by using this link for further information:
The deadline is December 30th and the winners will be posted January 1st.

Another Quote

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."
Dwight David Eisenhower

Monday, December 19, 2005

Just Cause

Mudville Gazette has an incredible tribute to a son from his father.
...For whatever reason, the last few days what Cindy Sheehan said "Casey didn't die for a just cause" has been on my mind. Maybe it is because some people have felt comfortable enough four months out to ask me how I felt about Mike's death and whether I thought the cause was "just" enough to justify his sacrifice.

My response is that Mike didn't die for a "just cause", he died JUST BECAUSE - just because he loved his country enough to want to serve it since the time he was in middle school; just because he loved his family enough to want to protect them; just because he loved his friends enough that he would rather fight a war "there" than here; just because he believed in our order of government whereby the civilian government rules and the military obeys, and when the President, with lawful authority, calls upon soldiers to go and fight, he believed it was not only his duty, but his honor to go; just because he wouldn't let his fellow soldiers - his guys - go it alone; and just because he wanted to do for others - the Iraqi people - what he would do for his own country.

A good friend of our family, Charles Carmical, wrote these words in tribute to Mike - “Would I lay down my life for a country to defend? I willing would if it housed my family and friends."

Mike Stokely didn't die for a just cause, he died for a lot of just causes, including the ones I set out above. I wish I were fit to tie his shoe laces but I am fortunate enough to have a son who believed in God, family, duty, honor and country and who certainly turned out to be the better of the two of us.

Robert Stokely, Lucky and Proud to be the Dad of
SGT Michael "Mike" James Stokely, KIA Operation Iraqi Freedom 16 Aug 05
2nd Platoon, E Troop 108th CAV 48h Brigaded GA NATL GUARD
15 miles south of Baghdad near Yusufiyah/IED
h/t: Sgt Hook


This is a poem I received in an email from my Dad and step-mother. I just had to post it because it is so apropos.
Poem by Sharon Steege

I don't know who they are
Saying I can't greet the crowd
The way that I want to
Can't say CHRISTMAS out loud.

I walk into a business place
See things that I rather not see
But dare I not say CHRISTMAS
And ask for a "holiday" tree.

What happened to freedom of speech
And living in the land of the free
How can they take my CHRISTMAS money
But can't say MERRY CHRISTMAS to me.

Men and women have given their lives
So we could still go free
I wonder how they would feel
At saying "HOLIDAY" TREE.

Come on AMERICA let's wake up
Don't let our freedom escape
If they get by with doing this
What else will they take.

This is starting to get out of hand,
And I've begun to keep track
Well I've just about had enough

I hope this gets all over the net
If we all stand united and take freedom back
'Twill be our best CHRISTMAS YET!


Thank you for the link David at Echo9er, it is much appreciated!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Terror in the Hands of Justice

That is the name of a very popular television show in Iraq. It is equivalent to America's Most Wanted. The station director of the show, Ahmed Yasseri, has had to turn away sponsers and they have Iraqi generals giving them name after name of terrorists. The show has caused the insurgents to make the station director a target, but he isn't giving up. He knows what it is like to be tortured by a terrorist. He had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein when he was caught trading in American money. A luxury that was only allowed to Saddam.

Reality TV has made a big splash in Iraq with other shows such as Labor and Materials a version of Extreme Home Makeover or May You See Prosperity and Deserve It, which is, according to the one story reported, something like A Wedding Story.

Life in Iraq becomes more interesting each day...satellite TV, cell phones, movies, reality TV. Each, sometimes strange, small step brings an end to the terrorists there and a step closer to normalcy (Western-style) with freedom and democracy for the Iraqis.

A Silly Quiz

Here's a silly quiz I ran into at Spottedhorse

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Along the Same Lines

Frau Budgie, to whom I linked with my previous post, (Democratic Abusers) has led me to another blogger and a comparison view. This one is Republican Vet's view of atheists and the President of Iran. It's just as interesting of an analogy as Budgie's Democrats and abuse. Here is a bit, but go and read the whole post!
The President of Iran believes the Holocaust never existed after having seen the proof.
Atheists believe everyone in the history of the world has existed.....except Jesus, after having seen the proof.
The President of Iran would like to remove Israel from the face of the earth.
Atheists are trying to remove Christianity and Christmas from America.
The President of Iran believes millions of Jews just mysteriously disappeared.
Atheists believe the entire world just mysteriously appeared and nothing is responsible for creation.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


"Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Democratic Abusers

Budgie over at Red Hot Cuppa Politics has a great post about how similar the Democratic party is to an abuser. Here's a snippet, but please go and read the's a great post!
1) Blame the victim. (That's a good one, and you see it carried out in the NYT's and most major media outlets on a regular basis. Katrina was caused by global warming because a lot of Americans drive SUV's, and Bush didn't sign the Kyoto treaty. The USA brought 9/11 on itself. Etc.)

2) Never, ever permit the abused child a victory. Even if the kid does something right, ignore it. For example, if a kid is making straight A's, in school, make sure and tell her that school's worthless to begin with. (This happens when folks "support the troops" but say the war's a mistake.) Or, if the kid makes the honor roll, make sure to ground him for not doing the dishes five weeks ago. (Apply this principle to the fact that we've been treated to endless photo's about perceived abuses at Abu Gharib, and Gitmo, but hardly anything about the good our troops have done there. For that matter, there was a huge victory with the Iraqi election -- but what does the NYT's care about -- a perceived infringement of civil rights two years ago)

3) Lie to the rest of the world about abuse. For example, really, really abusive families put on a "perfect" front to their community. (Kind of like US Democrat Senators' sanctimoniousness about their own patriotism -- and notice that they managed to defeat the Patriot Act yesterday by using their favorite baseball bat, the filibuster. Notice also how Bill Frist seems to be just going along with it.)
I really think she's on to something here. The parallels are quite amazing.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's Never Too Late

Even though the holidays are just around the corner, it isn't too late to show your support for the troops. Even if you can't get a letter or package out to a soldier in theater, send cards and letters to the military hospitals. Let them know you care! It is so important. Steve at Out of the Binjo Ditch has a post with great ideas on ways to really show your support!
If you're not able to enlist, there are many other things you can do. You can send out gift packages to those stationed in the war zones. A simple relief package with a Christmas (or Chanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever) card, some cookies, a couple toys (think Nerf Footballs, Frisbees, etc.) can do wonders for people who don't have those at home. You can do simpler things, such as make a donation to the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Combined Federal Campaign, or other such support charities. You can tie a ribbon around your tree, or your car antenna. You can volunteer at the USO in your city. The major Airports tend to have USOs and are often looking for volunteers. A simple "thank you" to a person in uniform can mean a lot. I was at the movies a few weeks ago and I ran into a Lance Corporal who was here in Houston doing Recruiter's Assistance after returning from 9 months in Iraq. We talked for a few minutes, I told him of my time in the military and asked him about his time. He's here through Christmas, after which time he will be going back to Iraq for at least 6 months. When we parted company, I shook his hand and said "thank you, we appreciate your service." And he perked up ever so much more than he already was and returned the thanks. It helps.
Please check out the sites I have listed on the right sidebar. There are so many ways to help and to show your support. Sometimes, just a kind word of encouragement can make all the difference in the world to a soldier far from home. Also, don't forget the families on the homefront, they need support and encouragement, too.

h/t: Bookworm

Please Read, Very Important

I want to post this as printed because it is important for you to read the entire post from this soldier.

Reprinted Letter From A Soldier In Iraq

I am ANGRY because at 0910 on September 11, 2001, I saw the smoke rising from the Pentagon from the streets of Washington, D.C.

I am ANGRY because I have been sent to a place thousands of miles from home only to have my country quarrel about why I am here.

I am ANGRY because I have spent the last three years either in Iraq or preparing to return to Iraq.

I am ANGRY because I have lost both American and Iraqi friends, lost a marriage, have been wounded by the enemy, and have missed the births and deaths of close family while deployed away from home.

I am ANGRY because politicians quibble about why I am here and when I should return.

I am ANGRY because many across our great nation are so blinded by ideological differences that they cannot see reality.

I am ANGRY because so many Americans take their freedom for granted.

I am ANGRY because many more Americans will die in the years ahead. They will die because the world is rapidly becoming a more dangerous place than ever before.

I am ANGRY because nowadays, a small group of people can destroy thousands of lives with very little equipment.

I am ANGRY because the WEST actually thinks that by leaving the Middle East, we will somehow win or that the problem of terrorism will somehow go away.

I am ANGRY because those who sent me here cannot adequately and eloquently articulate why I am here.

I am ANGRY because I see that the progress made in Iraq thus far has been undermined and unpublicized thru the American media.

I am ANGRY because Congressman Murtha, a distinguished Veteran, should know better than to withdraw now. He should know that the Vietnamese Communists were different than the terrorist betrayers of Islam. Congressman Murtha should know that the threat is different and the threat is real.

I am ANGRY because we are working our asses off and are making a real difference, a difference that will lead to our desired Iraqi end state if we are allowed to continue.

I am ANGRY because I know that it won't be enough for me to say I did my best, I worked my hardest, I did a lot of good.

I am ANGRY because those Americans who think that they can be for the troops and against the war are betraying the very troops they profess to support by giving our enemy hope.


Despite my ANGER, on this eve of the Iraqi National Election, I am hopeful and I pray that GOD will help us to prevail.

I will be out at the polling sites tomorrow and am extremely proud to be a part of this historic day.

Very respectfully yours,

Luis Carlos Montalvan, First Lieutenant
3rd U.S. Cavalry
Tal Afar, Iraq

Reprinted from an email from Dave Hollenbeck

h/t: A Female Soldier 2


"Romeo, oh, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo...?"

You scored 0 evilness, 45 romance, 36 tragic, and 63 comic!

The classic romantic, Romeo is in love with being in love, and switches
quickly from Roseline to Juliet. Romeo is comic in the beginning, but
turns tragic when this starcrossed lover takes his life for love.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on evilness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 60% on romance
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 50% on tragic
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 82% on comic

Link: The Shakespeare Character Test written by mandi_g on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

h/t: Budgie at Red Hot Cuppa Politics

Pray For Them


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.

Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

h/t: Dr. Phat Tony

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Freedom of Their Own

Not only are they defending their own country, "from all enemies foreign and domestic", but they're voting freely for their own government. How awesome is that?

Thanks for the trackback/link: Small Town Veteran

Ah, the Sweet Sarcasm of Ann Coulter

Ann can usually grate on me, but this commentary, which appears in Real Clear Politics, was great. It just drips sarcasm!
Why Can't I Get Arrested?
By Ann Coulter

I'm getting a little insulted that no Democratic prosecutor has indicted me. Liberals bring trumped-up criminal charges against all the most dangerous conservatives. Why not me?

Democrat prosecutor Barry Krischer has spent two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to find some criminal charge to bring against Rush Limbaugh. Political hack Ronnie Earle spent three years and went through six grand juries to indict Tom DeLay. Liberals spent the last two years fantasizing in public about Karl Rove being indicted. Newt Gingrich was under criminal investigation for 3 1/2 years back in the '90s when liberals were afraid of him. Final result: No crime.


Liberals are more optimistic about the charges against Tom DeLay than they are about the charges against Saddam Hussein -- and the only living things Tom DeLay ever exterminated were rats and bugs.

In the remaining money-laundering case against DeLay, the prosecutors have acknowledged that they cannot produce the actual list of candidates who allegedly gained from the purported money-laundering scheme. But they hope to introduce a facsimile cobbled together from someone's memory.

In other words, during Rathergate, the case against the president consisted of a faked memo, whereas the case against Tom DeLay consists of an imaginary one.

Charges like these are not brought at random. They are brought against people who pose the greatest threat to liberals. (What am I? Miss Congeniality?)

(...)Emphasis mine.
There's more to her commentary and it can be found here, go and enjoy!

What Happened to Basic Human Decency?

Anyone who has read my blog for very long knows that I read many different Milblogs because not only do I enjoy the perspective of the soldiers, but most importantly, I read them and comment because I support our military. What I don't understand is the need for certain people to trash these soldiers and call them hateful names, harrass them beyond reason, and take over the comment sections of these milblogs to vent their hate on anyone who would support the military.

I don't care if you are for or against the war on terror, whether you hate or love George Bush, you should not trash the military! (especially on their own sites!) They are doing their job and whether these horrid people like it or not, the military is fighting for them and their freedom to spew their hatred. It doesn't matter if they believe it or not, it's still true.

One person in particular (I will not say his name because I don't want to give him even that acknowledgement), is so nasty, he should be banned from commenting on anyone's blog, but especially the Milblogs. If anyone addresses his hatred, he comes back with some type of garbage about how you hate America or you are trying to deny him his freedom of speech. And if someone should ban him, he simply comes back with another IP address and harrasses the person even further for trying to ban him.

He loves to refer to our President as "Fuhrer" or "Liar-in-Chief" or "Hilter." This person, I have come to realize, is completely delusional. He has no concept of morality, no concept of reality, no concept of basic human decency. He attacks our military stationed in-theater. He baits them and taunts them and goads them. He's trying to get them to ban him because he thinks it proves his point...that our military doesn't believe in freedom of speech. But he is the one who doesn't believe in freedom of speech, or freedom from harrassment, or any other freedom unless it's for him. He actually makes Jane Fonda seem like a nice person!

I suppose I just do not understand why these people (this one person in particular) must act this way. Why he and others must accuse our Milbloggers of atrocities for no other reason than because they are military. They do not know these soldiers, they simply accuse them because they wear the uniform of the USA. He has taken his freedom of speech beyond the pale. He is one of the most hateful people I have ever encountered online. He sickens me. His hate is so vitriolic that you feel soiled just reading his trash. Why does anyone feel it is necessary to act this way? I DO NOT understand it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Irresponsibility Knows No Bounds

I don't know why I am always so amazed by the irresponsibility of the Democratic party. On the eve of one of the most important elections for the Iraqi people, the Dems have decided that they cannot allow themselves to be out of the lime light. What they don't seem to realize is that they are making fools of themselves and undermining their bid for power in DC and their hope for gaining seats in 2006. Jack Reed and Carl Levin proved this point once again by jumping in and publically submitting a letter to President Bush regarding their requirement for benchmarks for withdrawl from Iraq. They seem to think that by acting tough and demanding detailed answers they are being great leaders, but they are only proving their ignorance.

In their effort to try and paint Bush as a manipulator, a liar, and in their minds, an inadequate leader, they are showing that they have no idea, or possibly that they do not care, what their words and actions are doing to the troops they claim to support. In this way, they are also giving the likes of Zawahiri and Zarqawi ammunition to believe that we will cut and run if they just wait us out.

I am not a politician, but I can see and understand that there is a plan for victory. The Democrats want answers in black and white with benchmarks, times, and dates that we will be out of Iraq. That is asinine. That is playing into the hands of those who would have Iraq and their bid for democracy fail. That shows the insurgents that if they just wait until such and such a time, we will leave and they can take over again.

This election is important, but it is not the end, it is a strong next step toward Iraqi independence. Once this election is complete there is the necessity of setting up the details of their government and constitution. While the Iraqis attend to this, the American and coalition forces will continue training their army and police so that they can build their confidence and ability to protect themselves. We are not going to walk out on them and leave them to fend for themselves before they are ready.

As the government, army, police and leaders in Iraq become stronger, we will begin to pull our troops out, but under no circumstances will we leave them stranded because that will allow those who would have Iraq fail gain power again in the Middle East. This cannot be allowed to happen. Why is this so difficult for the Democratic party to understand?

Iran Doesn't Like Democratic Voting

UPDATE: 11:49 am It appears that the claims of forged ballots coming in from Iran is false. There are no details, only that the story appears to be false. Did the NYT make it up and if so, for what purpose?
Seems that Iran doesn't want to be left out of Iraq's voting. It doesn't seem to matter if it's illegal! A tanker was seized coming in from Iran filled with forged ballots. Here's more from the New York Times story (requires registration) through Stop the ACLU:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 13 - Less than two days before nationwide elections, the Iraqi border police seized a tanker on Tuesday that had just crossed from Iran filled with thousands of forged ballots, an official at the Interior Ministry said.

The tanker was seized in the evening by agents with the American-trained border protection force at the Iraqi town of Badra, after crossing at Munthirya on the Iraqi border, the official said. According to the Iraqi official, the border police found several thousand partly completed ballots inside.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the Iranian truck driver told the police under interrogation that at least three other trucks filled with ballots had crossed from Iran at different spots along the border.

The official, who did not attend the interrogation, said he did not know where the driver was headed, or what he intended to do with the ballots.

The seizure of the truck comes at a delicate time in Iran’s relations with both Iraq and the United States. The American government has said Iranian agents are deeply involved in trying to influence events in Iraq, by funneling money to Shiite political parties and by arming and training many of the illegal militias that are bedeviling the country.

Agents of the Iranian government are believed to be supporting the two main Shiite political parties here - the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Dawa Party -with money and other assistance. Both parties support a strong role for Islam in the Iraqi state; however, compared with the Iranian government itself, which is a strict theocracy, the Iraqi version is relatively moderate.

In recent months, American officials in Baghdad and Washington, along with their British counterparts, have contended that sophisticated bombs have been smuggled across the border from Iran, and that some of them have been used against American and British soldiers. The bombs are thought to be far more sophisticated than most of the powerful but rather rudimentary ones used to attack American tanks and convoys here.
Seems that Iran really doesn't want Iraq to choose their own leaders and thought they would put their spin on things. Isn't it great that the Iraqis are learning to take care of their own borders and keep the riff-raff out?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Busy Pre-Christmas Day

Well, it is the last few peaceful minutes of my day. My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law will be here in about half an hour and we are going to do some Christmas shopping for the girls. Then it's off to the middle school for daughter #2's cheerleading at the basketball game and then grab a bit of dinner on the way to daughter #1's Christmas concert. Should be a good evening, though, as she is first chair clarinet and she has a solo in Greensleeves. We are very proud of both of our girls. They are both good kids, do well in school, and despite being exact opposites in personality, they get along okay. (Okay, they do fight, but it's getting better every year because they are getting older!)

So I'm off to pick up #1 from drama club! I will be back later tonight!

Monday, December 12, 2005

What's In A Name?

"A rose by any other name would smell so sweet..." How apropos! I'm blatantly swiping this from Groovy! (thanks, hon!)
Grace : Hebrew
Peaceful, poised and understanding you do not let anyone or anything disturb your innate calm. You are tolerant of others no matter how their behaviours or beliefs differ from your own. Not attached to material or worldly affairs you are free to express your true self. Displaying great wisdom and serenity people are naturally drawn to you for guidance and counsel. Your courage and presence of mind see you through any adversity.
And here it is, my middle name...
Christian : Latin
Courageous, intelligent and honest you are a seeker of truth and willingly accept the responsibilities of leadership. Exercising wisdom and sound judgement you base your actions and decisions on the lessons of past experience. Your alert mind and creative ideas assure you of success with any project and can bring you great financial rewards. With your ever positive attitude towards life others find you inspirational.
Want to find out what your name's hidden meaning is? Well, go here!

"Tookie" Williams

The Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected Stanley "Tookie" Williams' Stay of Execution. This leaves it up to Governor Schwarzenegger to grant clemency or Williams will be executed at 12:01 am PST, just under 12 hours from now.

UPDATE: 3:31 pm EST-Governor Schwarzenegger refuses clemency for Williams. There was not an on camera notification, but an email sent to the media. There have been threats of rioting. This will be a tense twelve hours.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas Memories or Traditions

With a big hat tip to Groovy Vic of Fiddle Dee Dee, I thought I would ask the question: What is your favorite Christmas memory or tradition? Or any winter holiday memory or tradition?

Our family was decorating the Christmas tree this evening and as my husband was putting the lights on, I was trying to remember if we had lights on our first tree. I remember that I didn't want to use any boxed ornaments. We had gotten "Our First Christmas Together" ornaments (six of them from different family and friends) and I didn't want to buy a bunch of ornaments that didn't have special meaning. So our first Christmas tree had six ornaments, a paper-ring chain, a popcorn and cranberry chain and a cardboard star covered in aluminum foil. It was one of the most beautiful Christmas trees we ever had!

Every year since then, I have purchased a special ornament for each member of the family and they are the only ones that go on the tree, along with the girls' homemade ornaments, of course. But the reason I did this is I wanted the girls to have special ornaments that they would take with them when they left home as adults.

We had one bad year, though, that took out several ornaments. Our tree fell over, not once, but twice! I was heart broken because each ornament had a special meaning, and the loss of them was very sad. Needless to say, some of our ornaments are a little off because they are glued back together! I suppose that makes them special, too.

I love our Christmas traditions. Many of them were passed down to me from my mom and my grandma. My husband's tradition that we adopted was the wrapping of all of Santa's gifts. My parents never did that, which is why my brother and I would get up and play with our toys at four in the morning! So, in our little family we had (the girls don't believe in Santa anymore) special wrapping paper for each of the girls and Santa had special gift tags, too. It was a lot of fun when the girls were little.

What makes the Christmas holiday for you? Is it the food? The traditions? The music? The family? The friends? There are so many things involved in Christmas, what makes it special for you?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

"Second Handers"

Ayn Rand wrote this in 1943 and when I read it last night I couldn't help but think how apropos it is for the political climate today.
...They have no concern for facts, ideas, work. They're concerned only with people. They don't ask 'Is it true?' They ask: 'Is this what others think is true?' Not to judge, but to repeat. Not to do, but to give the impression of doing. Not creation, but show. Not ability, but friendship. Not merit, but pull. What would happen to the world without those who do, think, work, produce? Those are the egotists. You don't think through another's brain and you don't work through another's hands. When you suspend your faculty of independent judgment, you suspend consciousness. To stop consciousness is to stop life. Second-handers have no sense of reality. Their reality is not within them, but somewhere in that space which divides one human body from another. Not an entity, but a relation--anchored to nothing. (...) Opinion without a rational process. Motion without brakes or motor. Power without responsibility. The second-hander acts, but the source of his actions is scattered in every other living person. It's everywhere and nowhere and you can't reason with him. He's not open to reason. You can't speak to him--he can't hear. You're tried by an empty bench. A blind mass running amuck, to crush you without sense or purpose.

...Notice how they'll accept anything except a man who stands alone. They recognize him at once. By instinct. There's a special, insidious kind of hatred for him. They forgive criminals. They admire dictators. Crime and violence are a tie. A form of mutual dependence. They need ties. They've got to force their miserable little personalities on every single person they meet. The independent man kills them--because they don't exist within him and that's the only form of existence they know. Notice the malignant kind of resentment against any idea that propounds independence. Notice the malice toward an independent man...
When I read it, I could only think how it sounded just like liberals today. They would rather negotiate with terrorists than to stand a fight. They are at a loss right now because their numbers are fractured. They are not agreeing and they don't know how to handle that and because of that, they are falling apart.

Famous and Infamous

At the age of 65, hard living and hard partying Richard Pryor has died. He had a heart attack while at the San Fernando Valley Hospital and died this morning at 8 am. He had been suffering from MS and a degenerative nerve disease for some time, so his health was already in a poor state.
Music producer Quincy Jones described Pryor as a true pioneer of his art.

"He was the Charlie Parker of comedy, a master of telling the truth that influenced every comedian that came after him," Jones said in a statement. "The legacy that he leaves will forever be with us."
Personally, I wasn't overly fond of his stand up routine (too much swearing for me), but the movies with Gene Wilder were funny. Silver Streak was a favorite.
Fox News

A Marine

I got this little story from my Dad in an email today and I thought I would share it as it is fitting with all the looney things the left has been saying lately and how our Marines are "Get 'er done!"
A Marine was attending a college course between missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The professor, an avowed atheist, shocked the class one day when he walked in, looked toward the ceiling, and said loudly, "God,if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent and the professor began his lecture. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God - still waiting."

It got down to the last minute when the Marine stood up, walked toward the professor and threw his best punch knocking him off the platform and out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat down.

The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the world is the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

The Marine calmly replied, "God is busy today protecting America's soldiers who are protecting your right to behave like an idiot and say stupid stuff. So He sent me."
Now I thought of someone else when I read this story...Groovy, I'm thinking if you had been in that class, you would have beat the Marine to the punch, literally! (heh!)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Reality vs. Kerry's Terrorizing Images

Here are the troops that Kerry claims are terrorizing the women and children of Iraq. Yes, those children look very, very scared, don't they?

Tom The Redhunter has more pictures and they are wonderful. They show the truth about our troops and how much they care about the people of Iraq!

Quiz Time

You are a dog. Cute, friendly, are
drawn to protecting the ones you love and you
are proud of what you do. You get along very
well with others and you have the sweetest
personality. Sadly, you may find yourself
trusting too easily and may get hurt by doing
this. Overall, you are very much loved and a
sweet friend.

What animal are you? *images*
brought to you by Quizilla

Doesn't quite jive with my Samuri persona, but what a cute puppy!! Of course, it could really be an insult...HA!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Just hit a milestone! Over 100 hits in a day. Now I realize that isn't much in the world of the Blogosphere, but it's amazing for this little blog! Thank you to all my visitors today and I hope you ALL come back!!

Who Is This Arianna Person?

Arianna Huffington was just commenting on Hannity & Colmes. She is speaking as if she is an expert on Bush, his policies, the war in Iraq and it's failure.

Now, I did a little research and from what I can tell she hasn't had a lot of successes in her life. She had one relationship fail, her marriage ended in divorce (because, well, he liked men more), she dropped out of the California gubernatorial race after the Gray Davis recall, and she then attempted to get the recall overturned, which failed as well. She's had charges of plagiarism in two of her ten books which were settled out of court. She has ties to a "cult-like" church called The Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness which apparently is a front for the church of Scientology. And she has issues with what her political affiliation. Is she a Democrat?, a Republican?, a Centrist? Who knows?

She has written books, so have millions of others. She has a blog, so do millions of others. She has an MA in Economics, so do millions of others. She has a radio program, so do millions of others. So, why is it she is considered such an insightful guest speaker and political expert?

Info from:
Arianna Online
Wikipedia-Arianna Huffington
Royce Carlton-Arianna Huffington

New Program From Soldiers' Angels

Fuzzy (FbL) at Fuzzilicious Thinking has news about a new program that is through Soldiers' Angels, but incorporates Valour-IT. It allows someone to adopt a wounded soldier, provide them with a laptop, but also to support them through care and friendship. She says that they are hoping to hook up with a computer manufacturer who will sell Valour-IT with discounted laptops, which will lower the price of each computer allowing more computers to be purchased. Soldiers' Angels Holly Aho has more details on her blog! This sounds like such a great program, I hope it can get off the ground and really fly!

Code Red

Thirdee of Excuse Me While I...Think Out Loud has had enough of Cindy Sheehan and her "Code Pink-os," so she has decided that the color Red, which is the color of Republicans, should also be the color of those who support the troops and their mission. She has created a new blog (Code Red Women for the Troops) for this movement. Please visit! She also has t-shirts through Cafe Press. Christmas is coming (and Hanakkah and Kwanza) so buy one for yourself or the woman in your life!

And This Guy Is the Head of Their Party!

As Bugs Bunny would say..."what a maroon!"

Iowa Presidential Watch

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Just Looking For A Place To Sleep!

Seems the residents of a Chestnut Hills, PA had a visitor they weren't too happy about. They knew he was around because the trash cans were being dumped over and ransacked. One family in particular didn't like this visitor's choice of sleeping places! Seems a 600 pound black bear decided he really like the space under the front porch of the Sainvil family. A family with 4 children who found the bear under the porch and ran screaming to their dad! I can't say as I blame them, but the bear really was just looking for a place to sleep...


Remembering December 7th

Sixty-four years ago today our country was attacked without provocation. 2,403 sailors died that day. Japan rained bombs down on Pearl Harbor and our sailors and their ships moored there. The country was devastated as we found ourselves fully involved in World War II. We came together as a country and backed our President and our soldiers and sailors in order to regain our peace and freedom.

Almost 60 years later, our country was hit without provocation again. This time it was not a military facility, but buildings where civilians were simply going to work. We must not forget December 7th or September 11th, ever. The above poster has a saying that we must take to heart. We should strive to do what is necessary to gain victory not only for the Iraqis, but for ourselves as well.

"...we here resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..."

Photos from: Eyewitness to History

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hope For The Future

Here is some good news. The Caring Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 1985, honors those who give of themselves to help others. Each year they award the National Caring Awards. There are several adults being honored, but the ones that gave me hope for the future are the kids being honored. There are five young people between the ages of 13 and 18, who, out of a simple desire to help others, created ways to do things that many adults told them were impossible. Here are the five being honored.
Kyle Amber, age 16, from Pinecrest, FL, founded “Kids That Care,” to help young children with life threatening or terminal illness. For the past ten years, he and volunteers have stocked hospital waiting rooms with toys, visited sick kids and brought them small presents, helped them to laugh and to fulfill their wishes; to date more than $100,000 has been raised, much of this for a pediatric bone marrow unit in Jackson Memorial Hospital of Miami, Florida.

May Lan Dong, age 18, from Cambridge, MA, founded “Operation West Africa,” and is the driving force behind it. A trip to Africa when she was 10 years old was enough to convince her to do something to help those who live in grinding poverty. Her efforts centering on Guinea have helped raise $50,000 for the support of an all girls orphanage, a vocational school and a high school.

Jacob Komar, age 13, from Burlington, CT, created “Computers for Communities, Inc.” in order to help close the digital divide. Four years ago he observed that well-off families had computers but those who were poor did not. He also saw thousands of outdated computers being discarded. Jacob put these two problems together and fashioned a solution. Given his amazing skills, he and other friends so far have been able to rebuild and give away over 1,000 computers to families in need.

Aishlinn O’Connor, age 16, from Prairie Village, KS, was told when she was nine that she was too young to volunteer at the local children’s hospital. Undeterred, she created her own organization “Kids Helping Kids,” whose mission is to bring happiness and opportunity to underprivileged children. Sensing the connection between kids and seniors, she persuaded a local home for the aged to allow their backyard to be converted into an intergenerational playground and wheelchair garden and raised $75,000 to make this happen.

Greg Sweeney, age 18, from Washington, DE, founded “Cub Scout Pack 506” to give homeless boys a sense of connection and stability, and to show them that someone cared. He felt they deserved a cozy place to meet, an opportunity to develop stable friendships, to learn from mentors and from each other, to share food, fun and adventures as well as the opportunity to work together to improve the community.
I am in awe of what these kids have done in their young lives. Kyle started his plan when he was only 6-years-old! These kids are an excellent example of what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it and don't give up!
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
–Helen Keller
More information can be found at The Caring Institute

Monday, December 05, 2005

Another Quiz

Thought I would give this one a try. GBFan at Spottedhorse had this on his site and it caught my curiousity.

You are a Samurai.
You are full of honour and value respect. You
are not really the stereotypical hero, but you
do fight for good. Just in your own way. For
you, it is most certainly okay to kill an evil
person, if it is for justice and peace. You
also don't belive in mourning all the time and
think that once you've hit a bad stage in life
you just have to get up again. It's pointless
to concentrate on emotional pain and better to
just get on with everything. You also are a
down to earth type of person and think before
you act. Impulsive people may annoy you

Main weapon: Sword
Quote: "Always do the right thing.
This will gratify some people and astonish the
rest" -Mark Twain
Facial expression: Small smile

What Type of Killer Are You? [cool pictures]
brought to you by Quizilla

May I Have My Christmas Back?

I'm getting really tired of being told that by saying "Merry Christmas" I am being intolerant. That my girls are not allowed to play Christmas carols because it is imposing religious beliefs on those who do not believe. What scares me most is the indoctrination of the kids who are now feeling that it's bad to wish someone a Merry Christmas and resort to Happy Holidays or even Season's Greetings, if they say anything at all!

Christmas is a Federal holiday and the vast majority of Americans celebrate this holiday. I do not hesitate to wish my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah and amusingly enough, I have wished a Happy Kwanza to several of my African-American friends only to have them say they celebrate Christmas and have no idea what Kwanza is or where it came from! I am not intolerant of other religions and views, so why are they intolerant to me?

Laer at Cheat Seeking Missiles has an interesting article that brings up new anti-Christmas talking points. I don't know about you, but I certainly didn't know that:
...Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and others outlawed the celebration of Christmas even when legal mobs sometimes broke in and destroyed Christmas decorations. In many states, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that Christmas celebrations were accepted. The one thing these people seem to have in common with their predecessors is a desire to impose their opinions and practices about Christmas on everyone else.'
Well, that's what Neal Conan, host of NPR's Talk of the Nation, is saying. And Adam Cohen has an editorial in the New York Times that states:
Throughout the 1800's, many religious leaders were still trying to hold the line. As late as 1855, New York newspapers reported that Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist churches were closed on Dec. 25 because "they do not accept the day as a Holy One."
Now I'll admit that I am not an historian, much less a religious historian, but I sure haven't heard any of this before.

I suppose that despite what may or may not have been the case historically, I know that for all of my life (prior to the last decade or so), for all of my mother's life and even her mother's life, Christmas has been celebrated across the country. That Christmas carols were sung in schools and creches were placed on lawns of homes and churches alike and there was no dissent or anger over it. Seemingly since the Clinton administration, all things remotely religious have been considered divisive and intolerant. How did this happen? Can we stop it? Have we lost control of this insidious practice of political correctness?

I am not insisting that stores wish people a Merry Christmas, but if they are going to profit from a religious practice or holiday, then they should really acknowledge it. What I would like is the freedom for my children to celebrate Christmas in much the way that I did growing up. That they have the freedom to wish their friends a Merry Christmas without condemnation. That there be tolerance, not from the majority of Christians (for they are more often than not tolerant of other religions), but from the small minority of atheists or PC police who have taken it upon themselves to ban all traditions that do not adhere to their twisted thinking.

Give me back my Christmas!

Thanks for the link:
Dave at The Paladin Blog