MilBlog X

The WeatherPixie
Weather Conditions, Wish we were there...

Odd things and such things, as I feel appropriate, possibly relating to the war.
Email me at

Look below for links to good sites, ebooks and such.

Jerry Lawson, Proprietor

Comments by: YACCS

Saturday, August 30 - News - Demoted Cheerleader Sues High School:
"A Westmoreland County cheerleader is taking her school to court, claiming a demotion has irreparably harmed her.

Southmoreland High senior Felicia Huffine (pictured, left) was named an alternate on the school cheerleading squad, prompting her mother to file a lawsuit on her behalf in county court.
The suit says Huffine was given permission to skip a cheerleading camp but was then demoted for missing it. The suit also seeks to have Huffine reinstated to her earlier status as a cheerleader.

The school's solicitor said that Huffine was not excused from camp. The solicitor also said the school plans to fight the lawsuit in court next week. "
Well, well, well. Irreparable harm for being demoted to an alternate cheerleader...

That girl (or her mother, it's hard to say whether the girl would have done this without the urging of the mom) is going to have a hard time dealing with what life tosses at her, imo. Will she sue if she gets fired or laid off from a job? Will she sue boyfriends when she gets dumped? What about when she gets out of high school and people won't really care whether she was a cheerleader or not?

I feel sorry for her, if this is how she deals with disappointment.


Friday, August 29
Oh, now isn't THIS lovely.

Honoring the 9/11 hijackers

Aug. 27 — As the two-year anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, a very unusual ceremony is being planned in London. Critics say the event will celebrate the tragedy and the hijackers who killed thousands that day.

WEDNESDAY, ON THE streets of London, there was a jarring poster, extolling the 9/11 hijackers as the “Magnificent 19.” It features a picture of each of the 19 hijackers, the smoking World Trade Center towers and Osama bin Laden. It’s all the work of a radical Islamic group known as Al-Muhajiroun.

In an interview with NBC News, the group’s spiritual leader, Sheik Omar Bakri, says the hijackers deserve to be honored.

“The word magnificent is to attract if you like really the attention of the people to those particular 19 Muslims who in our eyes we see as Muslims what really they are — they are more than magnificent,” Sheik Bakri said. “In our eyes, they are the people who sacrifice their own life and that’s the most valuable thing and they offer it. It must be for a good reason. It must be for divine reason.”
Yeah, it could well have been Allah's way of saying "See what this sort of intolerant crap gets you? I'm making an EXAMPLE of the Taliban and Osama- LEARN FROM THEM! OR YOU'RE NEXT!"

Look - I'm all for believing that Islam is a religion of peace. I really WANT to believe that, and that it's been hijacked by the most intolerant sects within Islam. But like it or not, what people are seeing is the foaming intolerance of the most rabid fundamentalists, and that's what the judgement of the whole religion is going to be based on.

Islam has been hijacked - and the non-violent passengers are NOT fighting back - but just waiting and seeing what happens. They'd better wake up, IMO, and take back control, or they're all going to die.


Today's a sad day - we're taking Jaspurr back to Good Mews. Jackie, our other cat, has been VERY hostile to him ever since we brought him home. We've tried catnip, Feliway, pretty much everything we could think of (short of shutting them both in a bathroom and letting them duke it out) to get them to at least tolerate each other, but Jackie just won't have it.

It's a shame - Jaspurr's a sweet little cat, very loving and gentle - but it'd be best (I think) if he were in a single-cat household. As it is, he's very jumpy and skittish, even if Jackie's closed off downstairs.

I'm gonna miss that little furball.


Thursday, August 28
N. Korea may declare itself ‘nuclear nation’:
"North Korea startled a six-nation conference on East Asian security by announcing its intentions to formally declare its possession of nuclear weapons and to carry out a nuclear test, a Bush administration official said Thursday."
Wait a sec, just a few days back weren't they saying they DIDN'T have any nukes, and weren't planning on any?

Man, I hate it when they can't keep a straight story...



Welcome home, sir! And congrats on your promotion!

Thank you, sir, for a job well done.


Wednesday, August 27 - Arafat Asks Militant Groups to Resume Cease-Fire: You know, I think he's running scared at this point. The PA seems to be splintering, and its higher ranking officers know that to expose themselves in daylight is inviting a missile up their ass the hard way.
"Yasser Arafat (search) asked militant groups Wednesday to halt attacks on Israelis, the Palestinian leader's first public attempt to restore calm following the collapse of the armed groups' unilateral truce.

But a Hamas (search) leader rejected the call, while Israel, which has tried to sideline Arafat from the peace process, dismissed it as empty rhetoric and said the army would keep rounding up terror suspects and hunting down their leaders."
Well, it IS empty rhetoric. Does anyone really think that Arafat doesn't control the PA? And did you catch how the PA police are going - "We were JUST about to go out and arrest ourselves some terrorists! But now because of the IDF, we can't!"

Whine, whine, whine. I'm sure you were JUST about to go do that thing! (not)


Customer service, for some reason, is getting more important to me.

I went looking for a new tire - first stop was NTB. I've had good experiences with them before, and the main problem's been getting in there. Uusally their parking lot was jammed, so I was rather surprised to pull in and see that there were very few cars in the lot. Midday - and only three or four cars? Hmmm.

I went in. One person in front of me, nobody behind the counter. I waited, someone came out and took care of the person, then ducked into the back again. I waited a couple of minutes, someone else came out and went to the counter - looked at his terminal (avoiding looking in my direction) and asked "Can I help you?"

I thought for a moment. Nobody in the sales room, no sounds from the back, and the salesman doesn't even look at me.

The last time I was there was, I guess, 8 or more years ago. They operated then a lot like Quik-Trip does now - noticing and acknowledging you as you walked in even if they couldn't help you right at that moment. There were several salesmen on the floor, the place was always busy... but not now.

I shook my head, said, "No, I don't think you can." And turned and walked out.

I went to Big 10 Tires next door, and though the guy behind the counter was helping someone else he nodded to me - and when it was my turn we negotiated a new tire for the CR-V. (Someone, I won't say who (cough-me-cough) had underinflated the front tires. Ahem.)

I mentioned my experience at the competition, and apparently they got a new manager there - and the company itself had been bought out by Sears. Looks to me like the manager isn't doing his job - or perhaps is, and they're going to be shutting down that NTB soon. Either way, there's something definitly wrong there.

Be that as it may, businesses live and die by their customer service. And as far as I'm concerned at this point, based on the experience I had, the NTB I remember is decidedly dead.

Sic transit gloria mundi...

The use of suicide bombers is supposed to put fear in our hearts, water in our veins, and make us think that the enemy is so determined there is no way they can be defeated.

However, in the past, it's been shown to change the game (if you'll forgive terming something like 'war' a game) from one where both sides can come out with something left to one where one side must be utterly crushed.

And it's not the side using the suicide bombers or terrorists that gets crushed.

The Belmont Club - History in the making

Suicide bombing is warfare's least cost effective weapon because it puts any consideration of a negotiated settlement between the combatants out of the question. In economic terms, it destroys the Pareto optimal frontier and reduces conflict to a zero-sum game. When the passengers of Flight 93 learned their aircraft had been commandeered for a suicide mission against the White House, ordinary men like Todd Beamer rushed the cabin without hesitation or thought of survival. When faced with a fanatical enemy bent on killing everyone the battlefield choices are rapidly narrowed to either the acceptance of your own destruction or the total annihilation of the enemy.

And it is the zero-sum game that Islam should fear.

For the value of that game is the expected value that Islam will annihilate the world minus the expected value that the world will annihilate Islam. The natural outcome of the kamikazes was the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Nothing else would do. The natural reaction of the passengers on Flight 93 was to fight on at all costs. Nothing else would do. And the eventual reaction of nuclear-armed Israel, Russia and India to the unlimited slaughter of their populations does not bear thinking upon. And it will not be surrender, but rather something else. That is the cost effectiveness of suicide bombing.
I heartily recommend this blog - it's a reasoned, rational look at aspects that will directly affect our lives in decades to come.

Quite literally, though I've been very reluctant to believe and admit it, I think we're going into an "us or them" period in history. Something's going to have to change - and if you look at which side is actively preaching about the destruction of the other, it's going to be Fundamentalist Islam's responsibility to make the accomodations this time.

Pre 9/11, the US didn't care much (if at all) about Islamic fundamentalism. Post-9/11, we don't have that luxury. The Fundamentalists have vowed to destroy the west. We can either take them at their word and respond with all appropriate measures, or we can go "it's all just rhetoric" and attempt to explain away the occasional 9/11 style incident as being random acts of hatred.

The choice we make determines whether we as a society or culture will survive. Even doing what's needed for survival will change our society in ways that are hard to imagine, but ignoring the threat, or excusing it, will lead to our destruction.


Tuesday, August 26
Well, looks like China's told North Korea they're screwed.

From Korea Times : Fear of US Attack Forced NK to Come to Negotiating Table
Shen Dingli, professor at Hudan University in Shanghai and who was visiting Korea for an international seminar, was quoted by sources as saying that Hu’s message was very clear about the possibility of U.S. military action against the communist country that is defying international calls to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Attending a workshop held on the sideline of the 12th Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations last week, the Chinese expert on international relations said, ``Hu told Kim, `If you make a problem, the U.S. will attack you. Don’t expect any help from us.’’’

He said that words of advice by the leader of Pyongyang’s only ally apparently scared the North Korean leader into accommodating Beijing’s suggestion that Pyongyang should engage in talks with the U.S. under whatever format.
Man, for once they didn't mince words. Apparently China's looked at two things... who they get their trade from, and where their trade goes without getting anything back. NK's got pretty much zilch to trade except weapons and ideology, for nearly everything that a country would need. So, like a family cutting off a wastrel relation, NK's been told "Don't call us if you're writing checks you can't cash."

Or so it seems. In the world of diplomacy, very little is as it seems.


Friday, August 22 > News > State/The West -- ELF claims responsibility for torching SoCal car, SUV dealerships:
"The radical group Earth Liberation Front issued an unsigned e-mail Friday calling the incidents 'ELF actions,' and the FBI was investigating the dealership fire as domestic terrorism, Police Chief Frank Wills said.

The underground group has claimed responsibility for a slew of arson attacks against commercial entities that members say damage the environment. It is suspected in a multimillion-dollar arson fire Aug. 1 that destroyed a five-story apartment complex under construction in San Diego, though an ELF e-mail claimed the group had not been in contact with those responsible in that case. "
And did they bother to pay attention to the pollutants they 'liberated' into the environment? The smoke in the air? The water and foam used in fighting the fire?

But that's not really a concern for them, is it? They KNOW they're the good guys - just like the folks who bombed the UN delegation in Bagdad were protecting Islam and Iraq from western influences. They're not concerned with what's actually best for everyone - they're concerned with living up to their fantasies. They're likely imagining themselves as heros now, with the entire country looking up to them in awe and respect. Fantasy vs reality - heroes? Or vandals with delusions of grandeur...


Thursday, August 21
EjectEjectEject.Com - Bill Whittle has a new essay up.

And he's pissed. Don't miss it.


Tuesday, August 19
NATIONAL POST - Lifting the veil on gender apartheid: The veil, or Hijab, is rapidly becoming one of the main symbols of Islam. The history, of it, however, is rather interesting.
France's Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has just appointed a committee to draft a law to ban the Islamist hijab (headgear) in state-owned establishments, including schools and hospitals. The decision has drawn fire from the French "church" of Islam, an organization created by Raffarin's government last spring. Germany is facing its own hijab problem, with a number of Islamist organizations suing federal and state authorities for "religious discrimination" because of bans imposed on the controversial headgear. In the United States, several Muslim women are suing airport-security firms for having violated their First Amendment rights by asking them to take off their hijab during routine searches of passengers.

All these and other cases are based on the claim that the controversial headgear is an essential part of the Muslim faith and that attempts at banning it constitute an attack on Islam.

That claim is totally false. The headgear in question has nothing to do with Islam as a religion. It is not sanctioned anywhere in the Koran, the fundamental text of Islam, or the hadith (traditions) attributed to the Prophet.

This headgear was invented in the early 1970s by Mussa Sadr, an Iranian mullah who had won the leadership of the Lebanese Shiite community.

In an interview in 1975 in Beirut, Sadr told this writer that the hijab he had invented was inspired by the headgear of Lebanese Catholic nuns, itself inspired by that of Christian women in classical Western paintings. (A casual visit to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, or the Louvre in Paris, would reveal the original of the neo-Islamist hijab in numerous paintings depicting Virgin Mary and other female figures from the Old and New Testament.)

Sadr's idea was that, by wearing the headgear, Shiite women would be clearly marked out, and thus spared sexual harassment, and rape, by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian gunmen who at the time controlled southern Lebanon.

Sadr's neo-hijab made its first appearance in Iran in 1977 as a symbol of Islamist-Marxist opposition to the Shah's regime. When the mullahs seized power in Tehran in 1979, the number of women wearing the hijab exploded into tens of thousands.

In 1981, Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic, announced that "scientific research had shown that women's hair emitted rays that drove men insane." To protect the public, the new Islamist regime passed a law in 1982 making the hijab mandatory for females aged above six, regardless of religious faith. Violating the hijab code was made punishable by 100 lashes of the cane and six months imprisonment.
Hair rays? Sounds like this guy was badly affected by them...
By the mid 1980s, a form of hijab never seen in Islam before the 1970s had become standard gear for millions of women all over the world, including Europe and America.

Some younger Muslim women, especially Western converts, were duped into believing that the neo-hijab was an essential part of the faith. (Katherine Bullock, a Canadian, so loved the idea of covering her hair that she converted to Islam while studying the hijab.)

The garb is designed to promote gender apartheid. It covers the woman's ears so that she does not hear things properly. Styled like a hood, it prevents the woman from having full vision of her surroundings. It also underlines the concept of woman as object, all wrapped up and marked out.

Muslim women, like women in all societies, had covered their head with a variety of gears over the centuries. These had such names as lachak, chador, rusari, rubandeh, chaqchur, maqne'a and picheh, among others.

All had tribal, ethnic and generally folkloric origins and were never associated with religion. (In Senegal, Muslim women wear a colourful headgear against the sun while working in the fields, but go topless.)

Muslim women could easily check the fraudulent nature of the neo-Islamist hijab by leafing through their family albums. They will not find the picture of a single female ancestor of theirs who wore the cursed headgear now marketed as an absolute "must" of Islam.

This fake Islamic hijab is nothing but a political prop, a weapon of visual terrorism. It is the symbol of a totalitarian ideology inspired more by Nazism and Communism than by Islam. It is as symbolic of Islam as the Mao uniform was of Chinese civilization.
Wow. Talk about symbolism... I'm especally impressed by the need to justify this article of clothing. So, it's not mandated within the strictures of Islam... hmmm. Think they might give it up if the opportunity arises?
"Even today, less than 1% of Muslim women wear the hijab that has bewitched some Western liberals as a symbol of multicultural diversity. The hijab debate in Europe and the United States comes at a time when the controversial headgear is seriously questioned in Iran, the only country to impose it by law.

Last year, the Islamist regime authorized a number of colleges for girls in Tehran to allow students to discard the hijab while inside school buildings. The experiment was launched after a government study identified the hijab as the cause of 'widespread depression and falling academic standards' and even suicide among teenage girls.

The Ministry of Education in Tehran has just announced that the experiment will be extended to other girls schools next month when the new academic year begins. Schools where the hijab was discarded have shown 'real improvements' in academic standards reflected in a 30% rise in the number of students obtaining the highest grades."
Take off the blinders, and the kids can see? And learn?

But when they learn, they question. And, for what it's worth, it seems that Islam doesn't like the possibility of questions. Christianity doesn't much like it either, but there's been very few public executions for heresy or questioning of the faith in the last few centuries, and not much in the way of attempts by theocratically inclined groups to take this country (or any country) by force of votes and turn it into a Christian theocracy. (You can talk about the Christian Coalition, but they not only didn't get into power except in a most limited sense, they couldn't maintain their power base.)

But Islamic fundamentalism ... is different. They have (as this article points out) much more in common with Communism or Nazism than with any regular religion.

It is used as a means of exerting pressure on Muslim women who do not wear it because they do not share the sick ideology behind it. It is a sign of support for extremists who wish to impose their creed, first on Muslims, and then on the world through psychological pressure, violence, terror and, ultimately, war.

The tragedy is that many of those who wear it are not aware of its implications. They do so because they have been brainwashed into believing that a woman cannot be a "good Muslim" without covering her head with the Sadr-designed hijab.
If you take a look at the Islamic question sites you'll see that it's a solid, cast-in-stone given that a woman has to cover her head. Whether it's right or not is another matter...

Personally, I'm starting to think that certain sects of Islam are dangerous to the world, and need to be eradicated. We are in for severely interesting times...


Friday, August 15
I should have checked the news a bit more carefully.

""The unfortunate events on the East Coast, parts of the Midwest and in Canada yesterday are further evidence that the Bush administration is inexorably tied to Persian Gulf oil and old energy, and is incapable of devising a comprehensive, forward-looking energy strategy," Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt (D) said in a statement Friday."
People - pay attention to what's going on here.

Democrats, eager to get ANYTHING to bash Bush with - have seized on an event that the Bush administration had absolutely NO control over. AND - in the unlikely event that Bush HAD identified this as a threat, the Democrats would have done everything they could to label Bush as a scaremonger, trying to use this issue for political gain - and insisted nothing needed to be done!

(Hmmm, which party was it who insisted the whole Energy thing that Bush came up with was unnecessary in the first place? Seems to me it started with a ... D?)
"If it weren't for this administration's obsession with giveaways to their friends in the oil business, Congress likely would have passed an energy bill last year, parts of which were designed to strengthen and modernize the electric grid," said Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D)."
Uh, yeah. Right. As soon as pigs fly in flocks to Bagdad.

Congrats, Dick (Forgive me if I don't call you Representative Gephardt, but you're a Dick. Deal with it.) You've just played to the party faithful with your idiotic comments and alienated a whole lot of other people. Pay heed to California, Dick. You may be an incumbent, but your comments now WILL be remembered by your opponents in the next election cycle, and you are NOT guaranteed a job at the end of it.

And, with a mentality like that, I could only wish I lived in Missouri still, to vote against your sorry carcass. And you've raised the exam bar for any other Democratic candidate I'd consider voting FOR. Before, it was just a cursory examination of what they promised - now, it'll be a much closer exam and I won't be willing to cut them any slack at all. Why so strict? I'll just be using your example of the slack on this you're giving Prez. Bush as an example...


Sorry for the lack of posting this week - no, we didn't get hit by the blackouts here.

However - for those interesting in it, there's a number of good explanations of why it happened, why you can't just flip the circuit breaker back on, and what can be done to prevent it in the future. (And the answer to that is, not a whole heck of a lot unless you do either A: completely revamp the power transmission system (Cost: $$$$) - B: build more power plants (Cost: $$$$, with an extra $$ for the nuclear option {legal fees, Green lawsuits and NIMBY infighting cost a lot!}) or C: combination of both (Cost: $$$$$).

One thing for sure - it wasn't Bush's fault, okay?

Power Grids and Blackouts
"There are a lot of folks griping about the collapse of the power grid, and the predictable voices are blaming the President, as if he had something to do with the design and construction of the grid. First of all, the thing wasn't designed; it grew. Second, it's not a monolithic system with some control room out of Star Trek. It's grunches of smaller, local systems interconnected, co-operative but independent of each other. Third, the complaint that "Somebody ought to do something" is easy; determining what to actually do is the hard part."

Isn't that always the case? What to do - and who's going to get stuck with the tab.

On USS Clueless, the Captain exhibits his technical knowledge, and explains much in "Un-Blacking Out".
So why is it going to take so long to bring everything back up again? If the power could go out in a wide area in 3 seconds, why will it take days to bring it all back up?

One reason is that they need to check everything to make sure it wasn't damaged when it went down. If a transmission line tripped its breakers because it was approaching overload, then the breakers are supposed to throw before anything is damaged – but you never know for sure, and it's better to check. (Expensive components are legendary for burning out first in order to protect fuses and breakers.)



Monday, August 11
Return of the green Luddites | CNET "Being an activist means always having to find something new to complain about."

Heh. Enjoy.


method dish soap - Every so often you go through the store and spot something that makes you go - "What the ---?"

That happened last night - I looked up and there were these odd bottles in the dish soap aisle.

No politics involved - but I might get it just to look at the valve. On the bottom, and you don't have to unseal it to use it. (At least, not after you get it home.)

Happy Monday!


Sunday, August 10
From SF.Indymedia.Org... They can't seem to grasp the fact that the Palestinians are the ones who aren't attempting to 'play fair.' It's amazing to me the convolutions behind the thinking there.

Moral cripples
by nessie Saturday August 09, 2003 at 09:51 AM

>Again, Israel-related attacks that intentionally target innocent people are EXTREMELY rare. Palestinians have for decades rejected peace offers and WILLINGLY CHOSEN to intentionally target and murder innocent people.

So what? An evil act is an evil act, no matter who commits is, or how many times.
(Note this phrase, it'll come up later... J.)

>Imagine the madness behind GOING TO THE OLYMPICS, rounding up Israeli jewish athletes, and slaughtering them. People who do that deserve land as a reward?

The people who did that are dead. If you would condemn all Palestinians for the acts of a few, then you are a racist. it would be like condemning all Jews for the bombing of the King David Hotel.

>I think not. People who are civilized and sane and nice and genuinely want peace are people who deserve land. NOt hamas/PA/PLO/islamic jihad-led people.

And Jews who are willing to live as equals with non Jews, and acquire land fairly, not by force, deserve land, not Jews led by the Likud, the IDF or that Jewish Himmler, Sharon.

add your comments

Well, guess there's evil and then there's EVIL
by or is it all relative? Saturday August 09, 2003 at 10:43 AM

"So what? An evil act is an evil act, no matter who commits is, or how many times."
(Hmmm. Where have we seen that before? J.)

Guess Palestinians are categorically unable to commit evil acts - so if what they do (bombing pizza parlors and such) isn't evil, how can what the IDF did be considered so?

Relativism cuts both ways, after all. If Hammas ain't evil, then neither is the IDF.
(Think that'll be accepted as valid? Me neither. J.)

add your comments

Your reading comprehension skills need a serious upgrade.
by nessie Saturday August 09, 2003 at 10:57 AM

>Guess Palestinians are categorically unable to commit evil acts - so if what they do (bombing pizza parlors and such) isn't evil, how can what the IDF did be considered so?

That's not what I said. Try rereading it. Go more slowly this time. Take notes if you have to.
(Ooooh, snarky. Oddly, that does seem to be the context 'Nessie' is using - to excuse the Palestinian actions. Or so it seems to me.)

add your comments

Oh, it's plain what you say.
by After all, it's quoted above. Saturday August 09, 2003 at 11:41 AM

Isn't that inconvenient? You MUST hold both sides to the same standard.
(Which the Indybots don't seem willing to consider...)

If it's evil for the IDF to kill a terrorist, then it must be evil for the Palesntinians to kill Israelies.
(Yep, works for me. Apparently this thread was about how evil the IDF was to shoot someone who was in the middle of a bomb factory, firing on IDF soldiers. Seems he was nice to one of the ISM crowd.)

To use your own words - ""So what? An evil act is an evil act, no matter who commits is, or how many times."
(Works for me...)

Or, to paraphrase Mr. Gump - "Evil is as evil does." And by my standards, the Palestinians you revere who are fighting Israel with bombs and guns are pretty far over on the Evil-meter. The ones working to make peace with Israel aren't - but I doubt you'd support them the same way you would Hamas.
And at that point, Nessie went elsewhere and never responded to that post.

I'm sick of the moral relativism shown by the Indymedia crowd. They indulge themselves in the most grotesque logical contortions and ignore any semblance of morality in order to support the thugs of the world. You've got to wonder if they're just doing the adolescent rebellion thing late in life or what - where they discard everything conventional - like ideas about 'good' and 'evil' - and embrace the philosophy that no matter what happens in the world or what a regime does it's either the United States or the Jews who are at fault. Never the regime, never the thug - but the US? Always.

To them, it's all very binary. Either the US is totally good and above reproach, or it's completely flawed and worthless. And because we have episodes in our past where we did things as a nation we weren't proud of, that we corrected, that we admitted to error in - we're flawed.

And they won't apply that standard to other countries.

Which is the part that makes them complete hypocrites, as far as I'm concerned. Or 'moral cripples'.


DefendAmerica News - Article: From a SeaBee over there - the news you won't get from CNN.
"As usual the news media has blown some things way out of proportion. The countryside is getting more safe by the day despite all the attacks you are hearing about. Imagine every shooting incident or robbery committed in LA or Portland being blown way out of proportion.

This is a country where most of the Saddam Hussein thugs are being chased around like scared rabbits by Coalition forces. It is literally open season on them! We hunt them down like animals.

There were about a million soldiers in the Iraqi army at the beginning of hostilities and most of them took off before we attacked. There are some that were very loyal to Saddam that are trying to sneak around and take potshots at us. We are cleaning them up pretty fast.

There are also thugs from other countries running around, like Iran and Syria. Well, the Iraqis hate these thugs as much as we do. So the Iraqi people are hunting them down too! I can honestly say 98% of the population of Iraq love us and they do not want us to leave...ever! They say as long as we are here they feel safe.

What is going on with the countries infrastructure?

Everything is going well!

The railroad is running again! The railroad has not run since 1991.In the city of Hillah, the power stays on 24 hours a day and it has more power than prior to the war. Some Iraqis are worried about getting too much food from the coalition because they don't have enough room in their homes to store it.

The markets are open. The Seabees have rebuilt all of the schools and put in furniture and chalkboards. The kids used to sit on the floor! Now they have nice desks to sit at. Commerce is running. New money is being printed. The Iraqi Dinar has stabilized and is now increasing in value.

Most of the Iraqi men want to buy Chevy pickups (I told them a Dodge Ram with a Cummins Diesel is better Ha Ha). They pretty much want any vehicle made by General Motors. The highways and bridges are being repaired.

In the Universities, the girls have tossed their deshakas (long black dresses with head and face coverings) and are now wearing western style clothes and even some are wearing short sleeves. The favorite drink is Pepsi, followed by Coke. They want us to bring them any and everything American. Any item made in America or that is from America is worth money over here.

The newspapers and television paint a picture of doom and gloom and that we are having major problems over here. That is just not the case. The Iraqis have a saying about the situation over here "Every day is better than the day before".

Life is flowing back in to this country and it is fun to watch and I am so glad I got to watch it happen. Some days watching the Iraqi people is like watching the faces of little kids on Christmas Day! Many of them are walking around in a daze wondering what to do with their freedom.

They are starting businesses everywhere. They want to build shopping malls and factories, they want McDonalds and Jack in the Box and Pizza Hut. Of course anything American Fast Food, because of the stories the troops are telling them.

We give them our old newspapers and magazines that you have been sending us and they are absolutely flabbergasted when they read them! They want us to keep bringing them. They read every single page even the advertisements over and over! This would be a good time for media to get their magazines going over here because the Iraqis just love them.

So in short you see I will give you the straight scoop and keep you informed of what is up over here. I will sign off for now and send this along. Thanks again to all of you for your support. My mailing address has changed. The older one is no longer working. I will tell you the new one as soon as we get it.

Senior Chief Art Messer
22 Naval Construction Regiment (Forward) Task Force Charlie
U. S. Navy Seabees
"With Compassion For Others, We Build, We Fight, For Peace With Freedom" "
Now - the Indymedia crowd would hate this, because the Iraqis wanting McDonalds and malls just shows how evil the US is in exporting our way of life. Never mind it's wanted because they don't want the old historic ways and they see value in the new - I have the feeling that if anyone tried to tell the Iraqis who want to modernize that they'd be better off without what America has they'd be politely ignored.

They've got power - and railroads. Both of which the environmentalists would object to. And they're getting too much food from the coalition! We're obviously trying to buy their loyalty!

(Shakes head.)

I've got to stop reading the Indymedia sites.


Pictures From August 9th Anti-War Protest : SF Indymedia:
"Several hundred activists gathered at the 24th St. Bart station around noon and marched to Civic Center in a protest against the Occupation of Iraq."
I posted about this - about how the media was calling it 600 people? Indymedia, which is not noted for deflating the numbers, say it's 'several hundred'.

With so many people against the war - it's obvious the tide is turning towards unilateral withdrawl and a one-sided peace. Regardless of what happens in Iraq afterwards, and what went on in Iraq before. Complete and profoud ignorance of the conditions there before we started is a prime requisite for being on the 'peace' side, imo.


Saturday, August 9
Protesters demand U.S. withdrawal from Iraq:
"SAN FRANCISCO -- A group of about 600 peace activists and veterans marched through the streets of San Francisco today demanding that the U.S. government pull all its troops out of Iraq immediately.

The protesters, sponsored by San Francisco's Global Exchange and the Bay Area chapter of the antiwar group Not in Our Name, started at Mission and 24th streets shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday and marched up to the intersection of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue in an hour.

They all simultaneously laid down in the middle of Van Ness Avenue, blocking traffic, and then got up and marched up Van Ness to a conference and memorial service being held by the Veterans for Peace at the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Hall. Several members of the Veterans for Peace organization took part in the march. "
It was partly cloudy in SF today. Temps in the mid-70s, nice weather, colleges getting ready to restart - and they could only scrape up 600 people. (And given the way the media inflates numbers on the anti-war demonstrations out there, the numbers were likely half that.)

I would say that the anti-war movement's pretty well imploded now. It's pretty well documented that we went in and broke up a dictatorship that was in serious need of destruction, it's also pretty well documented that the people over there ARE glad we did it, and that Saddam WAS killing his own people. The job had to be done, we did it, and now we're cleaning up. It'll be a long, dirty job, and for these protestors every American death will be one more reason why we shouldn't have been there in the first place and should have left Saddam alone.

And remember - these folks who are wanting to bring our boys home are the same ones who had that sign (linked to way back in this blog) that read:

We support our troops when they kill their officers.

Hey, with patriotic fevor and sentiments like that, why would I even QUESTION their integrity or commitment to peace?


LindaY wrote in response to my Hillary & The Book post - "Books as a day my mother looked at me and said "You'd go hungry to buy a book, wouldn't you?" I blinked at her and said, "Uh-huh. And?" :-)

She's got it right, as far as I'm concerned. There's been plenty of times I've eaten ramen so I could buy books, instead of steak and no book. When I was single (lo those many years back) I'd have a book in one hand while I shoveled in the food with another. I needed something to keep my mind busy - guess it's just a quirk of mine but food always tasted better when reading.

(Or maybe it was just I could ignore the taste! (grin))

Books are the key to a larger world. We're trying to teach Aaron that. And I think we're succeeding.


Thursday, August 7
"NEW YORK — Former Vice President Al Gore (search), assailing U.S. policies in Iraq and at home, on Thursday argued that the Bush administration 'routinely shows disrespect' for the 'honest and open debate' that produces the truth.

'I think it's partly because they feel they already know the truth, and aren't very curious to learn about any facts that might contradict it,' Gore said in a speech at New York University. "
Oh, the Democratic party - now there's a bunch of folks who notably want the truth. And I may well be biased, but why does what he's saying about Republicans ring a lot truer for Democrats?

Isn't that what psychologists call "projection"?


Wednesday, August 6
Iraqi 'Mach 3' MiG Buried in Sand:
"Some critics of the Bush administration have claimed that the inability of U.S. forces to uncover weapons of mass destruction is proof that the president misled the nation into the war with Iraq. However, in recent days the critics have fallen silent as word quietly leaked from Iraq that major discoveries have already been made and are now being documented completely. Bush administration officials are keeping any such discoveries secret for the moment."
There's also a good bit of speculation that the Mig 25 that was found was provided by Russia considerably after the Gulf War.

But hey, it was all about the oil.


Tuesday, August 5
DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2002®: This one probably won't stay up long, but you've got to admire the reasoning by St. Hillary...
"Hillary Clinton on NBC Leno: 'But people have been terrific. You know, they come to the line, they have stories, they tell me this is the first book they've ever bought or they bring their daughters to meet me.'

Leno then asked whether 'if they're an adult and this is the first book -- doesn't that say something about our education?'

Clinton replied, 'Well, it might say something about their income. You know, books, for a lot of people books are a luxury. You know, maybe they go to the library instead.'

Discussing protestors at her book signings, Leno said, 'And for most of them, it would probably be the first book they ever bought.' Hillary replied, 'Or read.'"
Books as a luxury...

Guess it's just a matter of priorities - but books have been a necessity for me as long as I can remember. If books are something you want - they're not expensive. Second-hand bookstores, garage sales, estate sales, bookstore overstock sales - you don't HAVE to buy hardbacks. It's a matter of priorities. If you can buy a sixpack of decent beer or two twelve-packs of coke, you can afford a book.

To hear Hillary talk, you'd almost need to take out a loan.

Guess Hillary wouldn't know what the price of paperbacks is these days, but then, why would she? She gets ghost writers to do her writing, she's probably got people on her staff to read books for her and extract the good parts...

(No, I don't have much respect for her. How could you tell?)


Sunday, August 3
Population: One: There's folks who think Steven Denbeste at USS Clueless, doesn't have a clue. But here's someone who disagrees with that conclusion.
"Randy, in his enthusiasm, confuses “being informed” with “accepting someone else’s conclusions.” This is dangerous. We have, in this era of the Internet, more sources of information available to us than ever before. Many of them are false. It’s vital that we learn to assess primary sources for ourselves; it’s vital that we learn to reach our own conclusions.
Den Beste is not running a news site, nor does he claim to be. He’s running an opinion site. We shouldn’t confuse the two. Read his opinions, by all means — but then go to the same sources he uses, and others, and decide for yourself if his conclusions match yours. Simply reading an opinion, or even many opinions, does not cause one to be informed."
Ain't that the truth. It's REALLY important to do your research. As he said - "We have, in this era of the Internet, more sources of information available to us than ever before. Many of them are false." He should have said - "Many of them are knowingly false." The trick is to figure out what's true, and what isn't.

And a lot of people fail at that, by confusing opinion and fact. Look at Indymedia, which confusing feeling with fact. But hey, it's all entertainment...

Saturday, August 2
OpinionJournal - Featured Article:
"Consistent with his punch-in-the-gut campaign style, Mr. Dean wants the full monty. In the name of his Vermont 'fiscal conservatism,' the Democrats' new Presidential front-runner proposes to repeal all three of the Bush tax cuts, right down to the last penny for every taxpayer. In addition, as he recently told NBC's Tim Russert, he'd raise the income threshold on the payroll tax, another huge tax increase on anyone making more than $87,000 a year.

Mr. Kerry, who has lost his New Hampshire lead to Mr. Dean, says this is going too far. 'Real Democrats don't walk away from the middle class,' he charges, explaining that he'd preserve the Bush tax credits for children and marriage penalty relief. But he'd still repeal the rest of the Bush tax cuts, including the rate cuts on income, dividends and capital gains. (Apparently the Massachusetts Senator thinks no one in the middle class owns stock.) Mr. Dean fired back that this is a sign that Mr. Kerry lacks the courage of Democratic 'principles.'"
"Real Democrats don't walk away from the middle class." Right. Not while they've got something that's left untaxed. (I could make a remark about bending the middle class over a barrel with their pants down, but I won't.)

Looks like it's pretty simple - if you think you're getting too much money in your paycheck, vote Democratic. If we get one of these clowns in office - kiss the tax cuts goodbye and figure you'll be paying even more. They aren't campaigning on issues, they're going for the far-left emotions. So pay attention to the ramifications of their proposals - and THINK about what they're trying to get done. But wait - there's a bit more...
Among white men age 25 to 49, only 41.5% even have a favorable view of Democrats. More than 70% of that group view the GOP favorably. As for income groups, the nearby table shows how the heart of the tax-paying middle class is abandoning the Democrats.

Mr. Penn attributes this mass defection to "current perceptions that Democrats stand for big government, want to raise taxes too high, are too liberal, and are beholden to special interest groups." They also suffer from what he calls a "security gap," or the "wide chasm" between the parties on keeping America safe after 9/11. "Today, Democrats must be strong on security to be heard on the economy," the strategist writes.

Alas, these days Mr. Penn is a prophet without followers. Democratic candidates are all chasing Mr. Dean's poll numbers in the opposite direction, competing to see who can attack Mr. Bush most aggressively on the war and for his tax cuts.

On taxes, in particular, they are listening too much to the Beltway pundit class. These sages are prodding the Democrats to stand proudly for repealing the Bush tax cuts, on grounds that they benefit mainly "the rich" and have caused the budget deficit. Stan Greenberg, the Democratic pollster who urged Al Gore to assail business in 2000, is also promoting a Democratic tax increase. "
Goes to show - the folks inside the Beltway haven't a clue about what's going on outside it - and they don't particularly care.

Remember - examine what the candidates say and don't forget that they see their job is to get elected, not necessarily do what's best for the people who elect them. And, as politicians, they'll lie like crazy to get your vote then forget what they promised.

If all else fails, look at the candidate and ask yourself - "Would I trust this man with my wallet, out of my sight?" If the answer is no - should you vote for the man?

"SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea (search) on Saturday warned that any moves to discuss its suspected nuclear weapons programs at the United Nations (search) would 'hamstring' efforts for dialogue and be a 'prelude to war.'

The warning came a day after the communist country agreed to multilateral talks to deal with the nuclear standoff. North Korea accuses the United Nations of siding with the United States to stifle the communist country, fearing that the U.N. would impose economic sanctions on the impoverished nation. "
So, instead of cooperating they threaten to go to war. Why doesn't this make sense to me? Economic sanctions... of course, the leadership won't suffer, and the population's already starving...

North Korea - a completely insane country, using it's insanity to get others to do as they want.