Saturday, March 04, 2006

In Love.

Here is another one of my favorite posts. This one about love.

A while back I decided to try and find my best friend from high school. She had married a friend a mine and settled in my hometown and I had last seen her at my father's funeral 20 yrs ago. I thought it would be fairly easy. We didn't go to the same high school, but I had many friends at hers and my boyfriend had gone there. In my search I found a 20 yr reunion website for her high school and found pictures and information on my old boyfriend. As I sat looking at pictures of this man who had broken my heart at 16, who had aged as we all have, I remembered what it was like to be so young and so in love.

The summer I was 15 I met him after a highschool baseball game. He was a gifted athlete and would later play college ball. Meeting him was literally like being hit by a truck. I was a rare confident teen. I had boyfriends since I was in 1st grade. It had all been fun and games up to this point. But this, this was love.

My usual witty responses got stuck in my throat. My confidence in my looks disappeared. He seemed to like me as well, but unfortunately his cousin liked me a lot and he didn't want to hurt his cousin. I would see him at games, at the pizza hut we hung out and I would start to shake. My heart would pound. I HATED IT! I tried to make this feeling go away. My interest in other boys disappeared. I could hardly eat. All I could think about was this guy. It was like listening to the same song all day long. And there was no way I could find to turn it off.

Finally, the situation resolved itself and he called and asked me out. I don't remember the conversation. I remember hanging up and almost passing out. I laid on my bed, put my hands to my face and screamed.

I honestly don't remember that first date either. I think I must have been in such a state of nirvana that it was almost like a drug induced high. I call it a love blackout.

I turned 16 and it was the summer of love. When I finally got to the point where I could actually breathe around him, we started to have fun together. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions for me. The high when he called and the low when he didn't. He never treated me badly, but it was clear that I was crazy in love with this guy and he.....well....he liked me a lot, but there was a wall there I could not break through. I remember lying with him on the couch in my living room and my head on his chest listening to his heartbeat. I would close my eyes and try to will his heart to love me.

Loving someone more than they love you is so painful I don't think I could have ever gone through it again. When we were together I would soar. But when he didn't call for days I would fall into a depression I have never experienced since. On the one hand I was so grateful to be with him when I was that I never complained about the times when I was not. So I made it pretty easy for him to take me for granted and he did.

Then the day came when I found out he had cheated on me. (Then that just meant he had gone out with someone else) I may have been in love, but I still had my dignity. Cheating was not something I would ever put up with. I wrote him a terse note and that was that.

For about a month I soaked my pillow each night with my tears. I didn't just feel my heart was broken, I felt it had been torn to pieces. But after a while I put the pieces back together and went forward. I will always be grateful that he never took physical advantage of the love I had for him. I thought of myself as pretty strong, but he had a way of making me pretty weak.

But the story doesn't end there.

I learned many things from my first love. I learned to never let yourself love someone who takes you for granted. I learned to never let the thought of losing someone let them walk all over you.

A few years later after we had both gone to different colleges, we saw each other at a club. He called me and wanted to see me again. I'm not saying my heart didn't flutter a bit, but the scars had kept me from the soaring feeling of love I had felt before. Over the next few years we saw each other when we could. He said to me once, "You're not falling in love with me like before." I replied, "No, I learned my lesson." Did this bother him? I am not sure. Like before there was still a wall there I could never break through. But I was in full control this time. No more broken hearts for me.

But still..... That girl who had been crazy in love was hiding behind my heart waiting for him to go crazy and be in love with her the same way. My senior year in college he called to tell me that his college baseball team was playing my college that weekend. He said he would call me when he got there. He did. He told me he had about an hour before practice and could I come to the athletic dorm and see him.

Now this may seem like an insignificant detail, but you will understand at the end. At this time in the early 80's all curly long hair was in, right? I had straight long hair. I was so excited about seeing him I didn't bother to stop and roll my hair though. I just flew out the door and drove over there. When I got to him I gave him a big hug and he looks at me and says with a slight smile, "Thanks for fixing your hair for me."

In that moment I knew that I would never make this man happy. I knew that I would never be smart enough, be pretty enough, or love him enough. As much as my heart yearned for him, my mind knew better. A deep sadness flowed through me.

He said, "I'll see you at the game tomorrow, right?" "Yes," I replied, "I'll be there." But I didn't go to that game the next day and I never saw him again.

He has married, divorced, remarried and has 3 children. He lives in my hometown. I saw a picture of his wife and wondered if she had broken down that wall.

I never did find my best friend. She had divorced my friend and remarried. Sometimes we lose things that are so precious to us and we just never find them again.

So it goes.

Don't forget.

Please scroll down to the Open Thread post and leave your response to my questions. I want to get as many as possible. Thanks!!!!!!!


Since weekends are slow I'm going to post some of my favorite posts from the past. I've reposted this before so many of you have probably seen it, but for new readers this one is my number one. I renamed it though. Enjoy.

I want to tell you about a little boy who was born in 1931. He was born to a poor 15 yr old girl who was married to an older man in the rural south. As you might imagine, it was not an easy childhood. Having a young unsure mother and a overbearing mean father along with no money brought feelings of anger out in the little boy often. When that happened his father would beat him. His mother would cry, but there wasn't much she could do.

Finally his father left them, divorced his mother and remarried. This was uncommon in the 40's and humiliated his mother and left the little boy feeling even more feelings of anger and abandonment. The small glow of rage that had been smoldering for many years, began to grow.

Luckily for his mother, she found a sweet man to marry and they began a family. By this time the little boy, growing into a teenager was rebellious and uncontrollable. Feeling it for the best, His mother and stepfather sent him to a boarding school. His mother had 2 more babies. Feeling left out and alone, the boy turned his anger outward. He started fights. He found enjoyed fights. They let a little bit of his rage out.

When he graduated high school he returned home and spent his weekends going to bars, getting drunk and getting into fights. He enjoyed the feeling of rage and anger as he pounded at someone. He enjoyed the taunting, the final insult that led to the fight, but most of all he enjoyed the fight. It didn't take a psychologist to figure out that the fight gave him an outlet for his resentment and rage.

This went on for almost 2 years, until one night everything changed. Sometimes people actually do have one specific moment in their lives when life grabs them and shakes them and nothing is ever the same.

The boy (he was called Sonny) ,was now a man of 19. He was doing his usual drinking in a favorite bar. He started his usual fight with some other redneck over the usual nothing. The fighting began, then Sonny knocked the other man into the bar. As the man fell his head hit the corner of the bar. The man fell to the floor, blood was everywhere. People rushed over. A man knelt down by him and then looked up at Sonny and said "he's dead."

In that moment, Sonny saw what the rest of his life was to be. Prison. He saw the bars and the cot and the cold hard floor. He closed his eyes, overwhelmed by the frozen fear that washed over him. He wasn't sure how long he stood there with his eyes closed. But someone shook him and he looked up. They said, "He's not dead, just a a bad gash to the back of the head."

Sonny didn't remember the rest of the evening. Back then no one called cops over some honkey tonk fight. He didn't remember getting home. He only remembers laying in bed, staring at the ceiling. He remembers thinking and thinking. He remembers that he understood how close he came to having no life at all. And that is when he made a decision.

He decided that not only was he going to have a life, he was going to have a damn good one.

That week he joined the Army. He made sergeant quickly. He worked hard and was focused. After his stint in the Army. He took his G.I. bill and enrolled in college. He studied hard and graduated. He wanted to go to law school, but he needed to work to save some money. He sold insurance. During this time he met a beautiful young girl, appropriately named Joy. He knew within a week that she was the kind of girl he wanted to love and to be the mother of his much wanted children. A week later they were married. This guy had gotten real good at making decisions by now.

He got into Law School. He worked all day as a security guard at a train station, where he could easily study, and he went to law school at night. He and Joy had 2 sons. He became a lawyer. Then they had a daughter. He had many other successes in his life. But the personal ones are the most significant. He forgave his father and even had a relationship with him. His mother had become widowed at an early age, and he took care of her and became very close to her. He also loved his little brother and sister very much. But even more than all that, he became a remarkable person. He made a lot of money and he gave it to anyone who needed it.

Because of his childhood,he felt little boys needed an outlet for their aggressiveness, so he became a Golden Gloves boxing coach. He sponsored his son's little league teams and any other team that couldn't afford one. He gave money and land to The Boys Club. He headed up fundraisers for the Crippled Childrens charity through his civic clubs. His generosity was unlimited. He was never famous or held high office. But when he died too young, at the age of 53 ,the funeral home did not have enough rooms to hold the flowers, despite his wife asking for donations to other charitable funds. There were 11 police cars and 11 police motorcycles leading the hearst to the cemetery.

He was not perfect. But he was a loving and wonderful husband and father. I know. Because he was my father.

When I was 17 I had a boyfriend who came from a poor family. Keith stole some engine parts from the gas station where he worked to sell for extra money. Instead of forbidding me to ever see him again, Daddy got Keith out of jail. He got the arrest off his record. He managed to find him a scholarship to the local Jr. College and gave him money to get started. I began college farther away and my Daddy waited patiently for the relationship to end, and it did.

What my father taught me most of all is that life is a decision you make. Every day you decide whether you will be happy or not. My dad had nothing but rage fueling him growing up. He could have let that rage ruin it all and he almost did. But that fateful night he decided to turn it all around. He decided to be a wonderful husband, father, friend, and public servant.

He chose love over hate.

He was a senator in the state legislature and then ran for Circuit Clerk of Hinds County. After the first time, no one ever ran against him again. He always ran uncontested. He was asked many times to run for Governor, but I would hear him discussing it with my mom. He didn't like the meanness of politics and he didn't want to spend time away from his kids. So he never did.

He was not a religious man. When we were young he took us to church, but when I was 12 and joined the Baptist church because of the youth group, he and mom stopped going. When I questioned him about it later. He told me, "I am Christian, but I don't like how churches focus on things that I don't see Christ focusing on. When I read the Bible I saw Christ asking us to do 2 things, love God, and help one another. So that is what I did."

My father died before I finished my spiritual journey (which is never finished, I suppose) and I wish that I could have shared with him how fufilling I have found my Church and how much it has taught me about Christ. But I figure, because of the love he gave me, because of the childhood of security and affection that I had, I started from a whole different place than he did. He climbed the mountain from the bottom, digging in and sweating his way up. I was placed gently toward the top. My climb was so much easier by all that he gave me.

He has been gone for 20 years now, but I am still thankful for him. Still thankful that somewhere out there is a man with a big scar on the back of his head. Still thankful for the decision my daddy made all those many years ago.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Even the MSM will tell the real story...

if they are actually there telling the story. NBC has a reporter (a local Iraqi journalist) blogging from Baghdad.


You guys remember last week when I was having a argument with a gentleman regarding changing the definition of marriage? I voiced my concern over the pandora's box that would be opened and he thought I was silly for thinking that incest or polygamy or bestiality would actually be put forward.

Well, in Massachusetts Rep. David Paul Linsky (D) wants the state to legalize sex with animals Here’s part of his bill:

SECTION 7. Section 34 of Chapter 272 is hereby repealed.

That section reads as follows:

Section 34. Whoever commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years.

Get it? He wants that part repealed. As I said in the comment thread, Since Roe v. Wade, I never underestimate the darkness of man's heart.

Nor do I underestimate the stupid reasons one might have for wanting to repeal such a law, which I am sure, has nothing to do with his love of animals.

via LST

Open Thread.

You can discuss anything you wish, but take a minute and answer some questions for me. You don't have to leave a screenname.

1) How would you describe your political views? (conservative, liberal, libertarian, socialistic, ect.)

2) Are you male or female? Age?

3) Why do you read this blog?

4) What are 3 other blogs you read regularly?

5) What is your profession?

6) Married or single? Children?

7) What issue do you wish I would post more about?

8) What state or country do you live in?

9) What do you like best about this blog?

10) What do you like least?

I just want to get an idea of what some of my readers are like. Thanks!!!!

Asleep at the wheel.

I see some people are making fun of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for falling asleep (head on table I understand) during oral arguments yesterday. I know it's easy to make fun of, but come on. She is elderly and she has recovered from cancer. Just because you are a Supreme Court judge doesn't mean you are invincible. Give her a break already.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Katrina is not over yet.

All I have been hearing on the news today is how President Bush said "No one could have anticipated the breach of the levees." And then clip showing someone advising Bush that the levees might overflow. (this is mentioned in the story below)

Will this part of the story get as much attention?:

"In the hectic, confused hours after Hurricane Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast, Louisiana's governor hesitantly but mistakenly assured the Bush administration that New Orleans' protective levees were intact, according to new video obtained by The Associated Press showing briefings that day with federal officials."

I don't mean to harp on the media this week, it just seems all these stories keep coming up. First of all overflow of the leeves is MUCH different than a breach. Second of all I would think that if I were President and the Governor assured me that there was no breach and she was there and the leader in charge, I would trust her too.

That has always been Bush's problem. Everytime he trusts a Democrat, it backfires on him.

I keep hearing that Bush wasn't engaged, didn't care about the people in New Orleans. Then when video surfaces that shows Bush was asking the right questions they say he knew but didn't do enough. You can't have it both ways guys.

I want a full investigation. I want to know the timeline of when people knew, what they said and how it all happened. I am tired of the hype and the spin. If we don't get this whole thing out in the open fully then Democrats will use this forever against Republicans. Truth be damned.

Update: The Captain fully explains this media hack job.

Have you seen this?????

David Gregory (the white house reporter that was so rude during the Cheney/shooting incident) calls the Imus show this morning from India DRUNK!!!!

Here's the audio.

Bad reporting continued.

Powerline has this:

" much of that controversy (Dubai Ports) was due to lousy reporting?Two items from today's news raise that question. The first is a correction in the New York Times:

Two articles on Saturday about the management deal for six American ports and its political fallout referred incorrectly to the role to be played by Dubai Ports World. It would run some of the terminal operations; it would not own the ports or take over all operations.

How is it possible for reporters to make such an elementary mistake about the central fact on which they were reporting? At a newspaper that put priority on getting the facts straight, not advancing the interests of the Democratic Party, such reporters wouldn't have jobs. But the Times was only one of many newspapers that misreported the facts of the ports transaction."

The Fourth Rail tells us about an important arrest and how it was reported:

"Abdur Rahman, one of the original signatories of Osama bin Laden’s 1998 fatwa declaring war against the West, is arrested; CNN obscures his ties to al-Qaeda

CNN irresponsibly obscures Rahman’s ties to al-Qaeda, “According to the security official, Bangladeshi security forces have been searching for Rahman since August and believe that he has ties with al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.” The fact is Rahman is intricately tied to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, as reported here last January; “Abdur Rahman is not your run-of-the-mill local Islamist terrorist leader. Rahman is one of the select signatories to the 1998 fatwa that created the International Islamic Front, the umbrella group of Islamist terrorist groups that declared war on the West. The signatories include: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri [amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt and second in command of al-Qaeda], Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha [amir of the Egyptian Islamic Group] and Mir Hamzah [secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan].”

Notice the "believe" that he has "ties." Downplay what is really great news on the war on terror with word play. This is what has been happening. Word play. Why does it always have to be against us? Is there really a hidden agenda or is it just plain lousy reporting?

This what you call a must read.

NRO directed me here. Just read it. It isn't about politics. It's about life.

It's good, really really good.

Read it and let's talk about it.

More on Ports deal.

As Jill pointed out Bill Clinton helped on ports deal while Hillary was opposing it.

What does Bill have to do with Hillary?

Oh yeah. They are "married."

Btw, it was a done deal before the controversy interrupted.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The last breath of the press.

Ralph Peters of The New York Post in Iraq: (emphasis mine)

"The reporting out of Baghdad continues to be hysterical and dishonest. There is no civil war in the streets. None. Period.

Terrorism, yes. Civil war, no. Clear enough?

Yesterday, I crisscrossed Baghdad, visiting communities on both banks of the Tigris and logging at least 25 miles on the streets. With the weekend curfew lifted, I saw traffic jams, booming business and everyday life in abundance.

Yes, there were bombings yesterday. The terrorists won't give up on their dream of sectional strife, and know they can count on allies in the media as long as they keep the images of carnage coming. They'll keep on bombing. But Baghdad isn't London during the Blitz, and certainly not New York on 9/11.<...>You are being lied to. By elements in the media determined that Iraq must fail."

You want more from Iraq? IraqPundit has this:(emphasis mine)

"Why do these reporters want to see a civil war so badly in Iraq? It looks to me that they hate Bush so much that they will stop at nothing to prove that he's wrong about Iraq and they are right. The reporters have sunk so low as to take this cheap angle of insisting that an all out civil war has been underway for three years. When will they wake up and realize that this is not a White House scandal. This is about Iraq and its people. Yes some people are being aggressive and I pray that the violence doesn't spread. But why do the media report exaggerated numbers of attacks and damage when it can only make a bad situation worse. What ever happened to checking for accuracy? Iraq the Model posted a list of numbers of what really was damaged.

The thugs of Moktada Al Sadr were responsible for most of the attacks. And the Interior Ministry's death squads were sent out by Bayan Jabr Solagh, who headed the Badr Brigades. IraqPundit is under no illusion that things are good right now. However, there is no reason to take the tabloid angle and declare a civil war when the parties who would fight that war have not yet declared one. The media appear to prefer to go for the schock approach instead of a responsible one."

Speaking of accuracy:

"Iraq's Cabinet, meanwhile, disputes a Washington Post tally of 13-hundred Iraqi dead in the past week, calling that number "inaccurate and exaggerated."

The Post cited figures from the Baghdad central morgue in its report on deaths in the violence since a Shiite shrine was destroyed. But a morgue official says as of Sunday night it had only received 249 bodies tied to the violence."

Via Mudville

I cannot wrap my mind around the clear evidence that there is reporting going on that is DETERMINED to paint President Bush and American soldiers in a bad light for what seems to be one reason and one reason make sure Bush is not proven right.

Is there no honor in the journalism profession at all? No honesty??

I have read, not one, not two, but several opinion pieces in the last few days from respected intelligent people who are either in or just returned from Iraq. What they are saying is very different from what the msm is reporting and very different from what the milblogs are saying.

What the hell is going on here???? Whether you agree with the war or not, I don't think any of us want it sabotaged in the press. We want the truth, don't we????

We deserve better. I don't know how, but we have got to start demanding accurate reporting regarding the war. The press is only shooting itself in the foot here. The more people distrust the msm, the more they will turn to the internet for news and information.

The way I see it, the biggest casualty of this war may be the press itself.

Who Runs A Cargo Terminal At JFK Airport?

You guessed it!

The United Arab Emirates.

Blogs For Bush wants to know where is Schumer's outrage?

The dueling polls.

Smash doesn't think much of this new poll saying the troops want out of Iraq:

"I CAN'T SPEAK for anyone else, but I know that if a pollster came up to me while I was serving in uniform, and asked if I'd like to participate in an opinion poll, he'd get a two-word answer from me.

The second word would be "OFF."

But that's exactly what John Zogby's polling firm claims to have done with 944 soldiers serving in Iraq. Nothing like this has ever been attemted before. The
results are interesting, but somewhat self-contradictory, and therefore difficult to analyze.

The poll, conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies, showed that 29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq “immediately,” while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay “as long as they are needed.”

What I'd like to know, is what was the ratio of those refusing to take part in the poll to those agreeing to participate? Now that's a number from which I could draw some interesting analysis..."

Smash might be interested in this poll:

"Majority of US Troops Favor Increased Troop Levels in Iraq"


As Blogs for Bush points out:

"Jason over at Generation Why ponied up the $19.99 to become a premium member of Zogby's site and found in that poll some interesting things that the New York Times didn't see fit to print. Things like this:

A majority of troops (53%) said the U.S. should double both the number of troops and bombing missions in order to control the insurgency.

Sounds to me like the troops want to win this thing - pull out, sure; but only after victory is secured. Addtionally, nearly 37% of the troops view calls here at home for a quick withdrawal as unpatriotic - so, it isn't just armchair warriors starting to question the patriotism of the war critics, but the front line warriors as well."

This is why I hate polls. One can always find a way to get the results they wish. Or...print the results they wish. Whichever.

How quickly a story changes.

And how disappointing it obviously is to the reporter.

Mudville has this:

"On February 24, as U.S. media hysteria reached it's peak in the wake of the shrine bombing in Iraq, the New York Times declared in a banner headline that More Clashes Shake Iraq; Political Talks Are in Ruins. Not jeopardized, not threatened, but ruined. All hopes dashed, over, fini, kaput. Stick a fork in it. The Iraqi Consensus Front, a key Sunni Arab political bloc, had pulled out of talks to form a government with the Shiite and Kurdish parties. According to the Times, civil war was looming - perhaps had even begun.

It had to be painful for the same reporter to file this story with the Times 48 hours later

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 26 — Leaders of the main Sunni Arab political bloc have decided to return to suspended talks over the formation of a new government, the top Sunni negotiator said Sunday. The step could help defuse the sectarian tensions that threatened to spiral into open civil war last week after the bombing of a Shiite shrine and the killings of Sunnis in reprisal.

Could defuse the tensions. Maybe. Possibly. Might. Because, it's not that big a deal, I guess.

Same reporter for both stories, by the way. Ed Wong - the Times has been passing off his deeply flawed analysis as actual news for quite some time."

A little history of Ash Wednesday.

Ashes are an ancient symbol of penance predating Christianity. They remind us of our mortality. We come from dust and unto dust we shall return.

They are made from the burned palms of last year. Placing ashes on the head was an ancient penitential custom, as is evident in the Bible (e.g. Jonas 3:5-9)

From about the fifth century, sinners confessed their sins on Ash Wednesday. They did not receive absolution but were enrolled in the "order of penitents," signified by placing ashes in the form of a cross on their foreheads. They were then assigned public penance to be performed throughout Lent and on Holy Thursday morning they received absolution.

2005 Lenten Booklet

Catholic City.

Very Interesting:

"A FORMER marine who was raised by nuns and made a fortune selling pizza has embarked on a 230m plan to build the first town in America to be run according to strict Catholic principles.
Abortions, pornography and contraceptives will be banned in the new Florida town of Ave Maria, which has begun to take shape on former vegetable farms 90 miles northwest of Miami.

Tom Monaghan, the founder of the Domino's Pizza chain, has stirred protests from civil rights activists by declaring that Ave Maria's pharmacies will not be allowed to sell condoms or birth control pills. The town's cable television network will carry no X-rated channels.
The town will be centered around a 100ft tall oratory and the first Catholic university to be built in America for 40 years. The university's president, Nicholas J Healy, has said future students should help rebuild "the city of God" in a country suffering from a "catastrophic cultural collapse."

My first thought when reading this is that it would be difficult to "spread the gospel" as we are called to do in our Christian lives, if we separate ourselves from society.

My second thought was that I would like to live there.

Let's face it, there are so many of us who want to live in a society free from abortion, porn, and an educational system that teaches our children the exact opposite of our values. I want to live in that society. I see nothing wrong with people freely choosing to do so either. But I also feel that those that do must also not isolate themselves and must also give back to the society at large.

I think people like Monaghan probably tire of fighting the immoral values of this world. The main problem I have with our society is that even the most diligent of parents are unable to protect their children from things they are too young to be exposed to and no one really seems to care about that. Everyone cares more about their own desires.

Something like this really underscores how immoral our society has become that people feel forced to pull away from it in such a dramatic way. I know I feel defeated all the time.

This should be an interesting experiment. I have a feeling there will be more people wanting to live there than even Monaghan imagines. I still am uncomfortable with the separation thing, but I understand why he feels a need to do this. I would imagine that liberals would rather something like this be built than for Monaghan to use his money to fight against them in politics, right?

Somehow, I don't think that will be the case.

via Kyrie

Let's see some outrage.

Iraq The Model brings what we may have missed otherwise regarding Saddam's trial:

"The documents revealed some unbelievably terrifying facts about the Dujail massacre; can you imagine that when orders were given to execute the 148 "convicts" the prison authorities executed only 96 of them. Why?Because the remaining 48 "convicts" had already passed away during "interrogation"!! What kind of interrogation was that killed one third of the suspects?!"

How many times have I listened to those here rant about Abu Ghraib? Even though we properly took care of the barbarians that committed those acts (and no one was killed thank God) and everyone condemned it, they rant and rant about how terrible we are.

Let's see if we see the rants about this. You hate the idea of torture? Meet the king of torture. Because, you know, torture that ends with one's death is the REALLY bad kind.

Oh, and one more thing.

He can't do it anymore.

via NRO

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Blogger Party!

Friday night the bloggers and commenters of Lone Star Times (which I link often) met for a few drinks and chat. I really enjoy meeting other bloggers and those interested in politics. The Lone Star Times is more about local stuff and local politics. Super nice people!!!

You can't really blame them...

One of the floats at New Orlean's Mardi Gras. Heh.

The War You Didn't See.

Read this excellent article that really goes to the heart of why I blog on the good news from Iraq. The press goes with a story that sells, one that sounds the worst that it can, but doesn't tell the whole story.

Remember the first national guard unit out of California to go to Iraq in 2004? The gentleman who wrote the article linked here was in that unit, the 1st of the 184th Infantry Regiment. This may jog your memory:

"From the first weeks of our mobilization in August 2004, we were in the spotlight. We were the battalion "mired in scandal." We were, according to the disgruntled, poor in training and morale. Once in Iraq, we were the battalion that suffered casualties seemingly faster than anyone could count: 17 killed in action and nearly 100 wounded in 12 months. We were the battalion whose commander, Col. William W. Wood, became the highest-ranking soldier to die in action. Our previous commander was relieved of duty after a scandal involving the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Even as we rolled out each day to confront terrorists, we were known at home primarily for things that had nothing to do with the job we did or how we did it."

And they did their job well. He goes on: (emphasis mine)

"Google us to find the litany of supposed woe. But if you want to know the real story of our battalion, go find Sgt. Thomas Kruger and ask him about April 5, 2005.

On that bright spring morning, with his legs shattered, Kruger dragged himself across 100 feet of debris and shrapnel to reach Cpl. Glenn Watkins, who had been mortally wounded moments earlier by the same ghastly roadside bomb.

You might also ask anyone from our ranks about Staff Sgt. Steve Nunez. Broken and bloodied by an IED, he was ordered home to recuperate after refusing to go voluntarily. He rejoined us to carry the fight forward, refusing the chance to stay home.

There were no front-page headlines for Kruger, Nunez or even Sgt. 1st Class Tom Stone, who covered a wounded subordinate's body with his own to protect that soldier from a secondary attack that could have come at any moment.

Stone, a Los Angeles Police Department officer, and Kruger, a paramedic on movie sets, were awarded Bronze Stars for their valor. Nunez, a Riverside metalworker, received our awe and admiration, and I hope yours too.

Equally deserving of recognition were Sgt. 1st Class Chris Chebatah and 1st Lt. Ky Cheng. One terrible September night, an armored personnel carrier in their patrol was destroyed by a tremendous blast and flipped, pinning a soldier. Even while taking enemy fire and directing the care for casualties around them, they rigged a chain to pull the 10-ton vehicle off him. The effort was successful but ultimately futile.

So far, 14 of our soldiers have been decorated for valor and another 48 have earned the Bronze Star for service. But that cannot be found in print."

Regarding the investigation of abuse of detainees:

"What was not said was that it was one of the soldiers in our own battalion who had found the video of the abuse and turned it in to our commander."

He ends with this:

"When it comes to Iraq, in my experience, that constituency is poorly served."

So true.

In other words, the story of the abuse of detainees was so juicy that it colored everything about the Regiment, even though these soldiers themselves turned in evidence as soon as they discovered it. Only 3 soldiers were sent to prison for the abuse. A disgrace that, as usual, was taken care of by our military. The heroic deeds of the rest of the Regiment ignored by the media. As the author points out, "The facts did not live up to the hype, but the hype was what we, and you, were left with."

In this wonderful age of the internet, we don't have to be left with just the hype. Now we can spread the truth with the "big picture" without it being censored by reporters with political agendas or those more interested in a dark juicy story than the whole truth.

Our soldiers deserve more than the press is giving them. If their stories are going to be told, then they deserve they be told with honesty.

It is the least we can do.


Richard Cohen of the New York Dail News puts the Port controversy in perspective:

"To overlook the xenophobic element in this controversy is to overlook the obvious. It is what propelled the squabble and what sustains it. Bush put his finger on it right away. "What I find interesting is that it's okay for a British company to manage some ports, but not okay for a company from a country that is a valuable ally in the war on terror," he said last week. "The UAE has been a valuable partner in fighting the war on terror." It is a long way from a terrorist haven.

Somewhere in the White House, a political operative must have slapped his head in consternation as Bush made that remark. The politic thing for a President with a dismal approval rating (about 40%) would have been to join with the critics, get ahead of the anti-Arab wave and announce that he, too, was concerned about the deal. Instead, the White House stuck to its guns."

Once again Bush goes against what would be a political move to be liked (which would be so easy) and goes with what he knows is right. It's the mark of a great leader in my opinion.

Cohen ends with this:

"Maybe because Bush is a Bush - son of a President who got to know many Arabs - or maybe because he just naturally recoils from prejudice, his initial stance on this controversy has been refreshingly admirable. Whatever the case, the President has done the right thing."

One has to admit that many people in this country don't want to have anything to do with anyone in the Middle East. On the one hand they want democracy to flourish there, but on the other they want it all and everyone who is Middle Eastern to stay there.

This is a global economy. We cannot isolate ourselves as much as we would like to. We have to be able to distinguish between who are our friends and who are our enemies. If you think that every Arab is our enemy, then you are wrong.

Our future will include relations with Arab nations in a way that has not been seen before. The world is changing. We are changing it. We are now a part of the Middle East and they are a part of us.

Bush understands this. It's time we all did.

Monday, February 27, 2006

There is no media bias.

Nope. Not here. No way. I mean, come on...PROVE IT.

The Iraq story the msm misses.

If you can take one more positive look at Iraq. Here it is.

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us of what we thought was impossible and what might still be possible:

It was nearly an impossible task to remove Saddam Hussein, foster democracy in the heart of the ancient caliphate and restore on a relatively short timetable what took the Husseins three decades to destroy. Meanwhile, all this must be done surrounded by Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia; in the midst of a larger war against Islamic fundamentalism; and while under global scrutiny from a largely hostile audience.Yet what amazes is not so much the audacity of even thinking the United States could attempt such a thing, but rather that it may just pull it off after all — if only we remain patient.

H/T BigDog

Shame on the Red Cross.

The Captain has this:

The Red Cross has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on promotion of its executives in the media and on celebrity parties instead of assistance to disaster victims, the Washington Post reports today:
The American Red Cross paid consultants more than $500,000 in the past three years to pitch its name in Hollywood, recruit stars for its "Celebrity Cabinet" and brand its chief executive as the face of the Red Cross -- just a year before ousting her, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

I know the Red Cross does invaluable work, but it's reasons like this my money always goes to Catholic Charities. It's a matter of trust.

Say What????

WSJ has this:

Jihadi Turns Bulldog

The Taliban's former spokesman is now a Yale student. Anyone see a problem with that?

Monday, February 27, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday's New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa.

read the whole thing.

It's like stepping through the looking glass. Hello. Let's wake up people.

Color me unimpressed.

I know this is kind of like bashing the student body President in highschool, but I saw Glenn Reynolds ( for the first time on Q&A on Cspan last night and I want to know who thinks this guy is conservative? Not only is he not conservative, he comes across as pompous and elite as any mainstream media figure out there.

He said he worked on the Gore campaign in '88 and again in "92, so where does he get the reputation of being on the right? From what I see he doesn't even really blog. He links. How is he different from Drudge?

Heaven forbid a lowly blogger such as myself should criticize Glenn, who gets on average a thousand e-mails a day, so he doesn't even have to look for his links. They are sent to him. But it seems to me that he was just lucky enough and smart enough to be in on the beginning of blogging and understood that most people just wanted links to the best stories of the day.

That is a nice service to provide, no doubt, but in my opinion, it isn't blogging.

Could Ted Rall be any more of an idiot?

Apparently so.

I have to add Darleen's parody, because Ted so deserves it.

Sometimes I can't believe what I read.

Redstate has this:

New York Times Warns Foreign Leaders: Do Not Help the U.S.

By: Nick Danger · Section: News

In a startling breach of international etiquette, the New York Times today warned foreign intelligence services not to assist the United States. The warning was backed by public disclosure of highly secretive assistance provided to the U.S. military on the eve of the Iraq War.
"German intelligence services helped the United States invade Baghdad, and will now pay the price," the Times effectively told intelligence services worldwide. As it has in the past, the Times published classified information to bolster its latest attack on U.S. interests.
Foreign intelligence services are now on notice that the so-called "newspaper of record" intends to publicize their interactions with counterparts in the United States, despite any assurances of secrecy.

Read the whole thing. Good Lord.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Unfit to Print??

Powerline has this:

The New York Post devotes an editorial to underreported news including the letter of thanks to the men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from the mayor of Tall Afar: "Unfit to print?" The Post writes:

Every newspaper in the country should have run Mayor Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jibouri's tribute to U.S. troops.

It's legitimate news — offering detailed updates on Iraq's reconstruction from the perspective of Iraqis.

And it's positive news.

The mayor wrote: "Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them...Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city.

"Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young.

"This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi's followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats."

The letter has, as The Post reported last Monday, created a swell of pride in American servicemen.

Military families, fed up with conventional reporting, spread this and other positive stories through e-mail and Web sites. The letter itself was distributed to the families of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment in Fort Carson, Colo., upon the soldiers' return from their second year-long Iraq tour.

"Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era," the mayor writes. "The mission . . . deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage."

Inspiring stuff. So shouldn't Americans hear about it?

Don't the troops deserve to?

As traditional news outlets consider how to compete with Internet-driven media into the future, they might consider why it is Americans have to turn to blogs and e-mail to learn about what our troops are accomplishing.

Across Iraq, as Iraqis and Americans together build bulwarks against jihadi violence, their stories are lost to al Qaeda's bombs, which are endlessly rebroadcast around the world.

If the good guys could count on the same kind of press, the long road toward a stable Iraqi nation might seem not quite so arduous.

I posted on this two weeks ago. I, like others on the web weren't sure it was legitimate. We thought that if it was then surely the MSM would have reported on it with great intensity. I mean, this is the mayor of Baghdad, and it does help us to remember why we are there. But since it wasn't reported much we wondered.

It shouldn't have surprised us. A commenter here thinks that there is no one that really doesn't want us to succeed in Iraq. Then how does one explain this?