Thursday, June 30, 2005

Looking around

Kate of Small Dead Animals points to this image ... Heh. Turns out the design by Hugh Macloud is available on a t-shirt at gapingvoid t-shirts. Hat tip to JMH ... Thanks!!

A great place to visit for visual stimulation is wohba! -- take a gander at this wild shot of a Tornado and Rainbow together...

Bad Cat Robot has been delving into archeology as part of her house project, and has discovered Wonderful Things. Among other things, she has uncovered the fact the Times haven't really changed much in 55 years ... the Seattle Times, that is.

Time is short for blogging today, but I wanted to point out some new items in my sidebar.

A Long Strange Trip comes from Sgt. Erik Holtan, who is currently in Iraq serving with the MN National Guard. I love today's post about clarifying his thoughts before falling asleep...

LindaSOG of Something ... and Half of Something is certainly not new to blogging, but when I read her take on the Quagmire ... in Washington D.C., I just knew I had to make her part of my daily reads!

By the way - Katy of The Grass Isn't Greener continued her weekly Wonder Blog series this week with a pointer to Kellie of Why are These Kids Following Me? , which has to be one of the funnier names I've seen in the blogosphere.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Made me laugh

Thanks to Teresa of Technicalities for sharing the Redneck Engineering Exam. Make sure you check the comments for Bloodspite's answers as well! BTW - he also presents another reason for adding Chlorine to the Gene Pool.

Meanwhile, Kermit of Bubba's Bog links to a great counter-protest idea that he found on Little Green Footballs. Make sure that you look at the pics linked to the LGF post - number 7 is priceless ...

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Just Desserts, indeed!!

Wouldn't this be a sweet piece of irony?

Press Release
For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.

# # #

Logan Darrow Clements
Freestar Media, LLC

Phone 310-593-4843

My answer, of course, is Yes. This would be a delicious piece of irony. I particularly like the touch of providing a copy of Atlas Shrugged in each room ... very nice!

Follow up on Gold Star Mothers

A month ago, Major K wrote about the Gold Star Mothers organization, and its refusal to consider Ligaya Lagman for inclusion, despite the death of her son Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Lagman in Afghanistan ...

Mom of Slain GI Denied Gold Star Status
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Associated Press

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Everyone agrees that Ligaya Lagman (search) is a Gold Star mother, part of the long line of mournful women whose sons or daughters gave their lives for their country. Her 27-year-old son, Army Staff Sgt. Anthony Lagman (search), was killed last year in Afghanistan, but American Gold Star Mothers Inc., has rejected Lagman, a Filipino, for membership because — though a permanent resident and a taxpayer — she is not a U.S. citizen.

"There's nothing we can do because that's what our organization says: You have to be an American citizen," national President Ann Herd said Thursday. "We can't go changing the rules every time the wind blows."
[emphasis added]

Predictably, there was a large and unhappy response to that decision. Many people, myself included, wrote letters requesting that the group needed to rethink its policy. Within a few days a special notice was posted up on the Gold Star Mothers site regarding the media attention. But the situation remained at status quo.

Recently the organization held its national convention in Dallas, and they met to discuss and vote on changing the rules to abolish the citizenship requirement ...

Gold Star Mothers to Let Noncitizens Join
Published: June 28, 2005

The American Gold Star Mothers, a national organization open exclusively to women who have had a child killed in a military conflict while serving in the armed forces, voted yesterday to allow noncitizens to join its ranks. Earlier this year, the group was widely criticized when it denied an application from a Yonkers woman who retained Filipino citizenship.

The organization, which includes about 1,200 women, unanimously approved the change during its national convention in Dallas.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Local 2285, in Eastchester, N.Y., had repeatedly asked the group to allow the Yonkers resident, Ligaya Lagman, to join after her son, Anthony, 26, an Army staff sergeant and an American citizen, was killed in Afghanistan last year.

The Gold Star Mothers, based in Washington, received hundreds of critical e-mails as well as a letter signed by more than a dozen congresswomen.

Judith Young, the newly elected president of the group, said in a statement that she would "reach out" to the mothers with pending applications.

But Ben Spadaro, a former commander of the Eastchester post, said he was unsure that the policy change ensured that Ms. Lagman would become a member. Ms. Lagman stopped pursuing her application last month, after widespread news media attention had subsided.

"I think she might reconsider," Mr. Spadaro said, adding that Ms. Lagman was not speaking publicly about the issue. "But I think she's been severely hurt and I can't blame her. All of the sudden it sort of just hits you in the gut."

Several Gold Star members had also petitioned the leadership to amend the organization's constitution to abolish the citizen requirement, which had been established when the group began in 1929.

"It was a 77-year-old rule that needed changing, and it should have been changed long ago," said Dorothy Oxendine, who was the group's national president in 2003. "There's no reason to think that any mother's grief is easier than any other."

Mr. Spadaro said he would use the victory to help convince the national V.F.W. and Disabled Veterans of America that they should also amend their bylaws to allow noncitizens to become members.

"It's only justified that if they can fight in the military, that they should also be able to join these organizations when they return," Mr. Spadaro said. "Instead they come back and we ask, 'Are you a citizen?' I wonder if the bullet had the same question when it came to these boys."

This is good. I hope Ms. Lagman overcomes the pain of her rejection, and re-opens her application, so that this group of mothers can heal together.


Red Guy in a Blue State weighs in with Gold Star Moms do the Right Thing.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Who says statistics are boring?

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Interesting survey ... Go check it out! The more bloggers who participate, the better the statistical universe.

The dreaded Meme attack

Sgt B just had to pass this along ... Thanks, 'Sarge'.

10 years ago:
I went to the Indy 500 for the first time. Unfortunately it was also the year that Roger Penske and Little Al went to Michigan instead. Still - we had tickets right past the yard of bricks, and I got pictures of Tony Stewart's car burning in the pits.

5 years ago:
I got laid off, we moved from Pocatello to Seattle, and I started working at my current job. I also lost my first best friend - my father ... Miss you every day, Dad.

1 year ago:
People on talk radio kept talking about this blogging thing, so I started reading a few, which led to the Milblogs ... and on.

Was spent studying for another certification, which I hope to pass today. (Yes, BillT - I am certifiable already)

Test in 2 hours.

Work ... and who knows?!

5 Snacks I Enjoy:
Tortilla chips with cottage cheese as dip
Honey Peanut Balance Bars
Homemade milk shakes
Homemade Mocha Espresso

5 Songs I Know All The Words To:
Bat out of Hell
Dust In The Wind
Most of Jesus Christ Superstar (the Rock Opera)

5 Things I Would Do With $100,000,000:
Set up a trust fund for my sibs, Hubster's sibs, the MIL, and the nieces & nephews.
Pay off the mortgage and buy a house alongside Nicklaus North in Whistler.
Visit all my blog-buddies.
Travel a LOT!
Send a big chunk each off to Soldier's Angels, Homes for Our Troops, AnySoldier (and others) who take care of the troops and their families.

5 Locations I'd Like to Run Away To:
Scotland - Golfing and castles
Banff, Alberta
Germany / Austria - See ALL of Crazy Ludwig's castles!
Africa - Photo Safari
Australia / New Zealand

5 Bad Habits I Have:
Eating while Reading
Forgetting things
Too much time on the computer
Lack of exercise

5 Things I like Doing:
Playing pool
Target shooting

5 Things I Would Never Wear:
Jeans to a good restaurant
Nose rings or other facial piercings
Spike heels

5 T.V. Shows I Like:
Law & Order
Law & Order : Criminal Intent
Actor's Studio Interview series
Band of Brothers
Sex & the City

5 Biggest Joys at the Moment:
Hubby and family
My health
Great job

5 Favorite Toys:
Canon 20D digital SLR
OK - it's really the Hubster's, but I get to play as well!
Pool table
My computer
S&W 622 pistol

Hey - I know some of those don't add up to 5! So sue me ... *grin*

Since my tag success rate pretty much sucks these days - I won't tag anyone who doesn't want it. If you'd like to play, leave me a comment - and I'll add the link here in updates.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Updates (updated!)

Good news to start off a Friday ... CPT Ziegenfuss is heading for Walter Reed today (Friday). Carren (The Mrs.) posted an update Thursday night - with the best news being that she got to talk with Her Hero! Keep those positive thoughts flowing!


The wonderful Mrs. Greyhawk was able to visit with CPT Z (aka Chuck) before he left Landstuhl for Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Go over to the
Mudville Gazette for details on her visit with him, and more info on the brave acts of both the commander and his XO, CPT Jason Spencer ...

Something he did ask me to blog about was CPT Jason Spencer, Chuck's XO. Because Chuck was wearing heavy Kevlar armor, he went bottoms up in the canal, and was drowning, Jason dove into the canal to save him, only to find himself in the same predicament as Chuck and almost drowning himself, but he managed to muscle himself upward to then help pull Chuck ashore. This man is a hero and Chuck wanted me to spread the word on this.

For other amusements ...

Stroll through AFSister's garden.

Find out what Real Science looks like - thanks to Bad Cat Robot.

Check out Desultory Girl's new wheels, and wish her (and her twin) a Happy Birthday!

Finally - for a Real Good Time, skip the picture of me and head over to Katy's place (where The Grass isn't Greener), and check out her Self Portrait Friday. This week's theme is shorts ...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

OpOrd from Blackfive / MediaSlander

If you are not familiar with the name Linda Foley, then I suggest reading the timeline and reference at the MediaSlander site to see the kinds of slanderous and demeaning statements she has made, to fully understand the mission of MediaSlander.

Received from Blackfive today is an Operation Order "for dealing with Linda Foley and the Newspaper Guild. We need your help to take action. Link, Comment, and Take Action."

The Call to Action today ... Contact Local Newspaper Guild Leaders :

Below is a list of various Newspaper Guild local unions and appropriate contacts. To email the local union representatives and ask them if their silence should be interpreted as tacit support for Linda Foley's slanderous accusations of murder against the troops of the US Military, simply click and compose your message. Available phone numbers have also been provided.

Do these elected local Guild leaders appreciate a union leadership that directly accuses the troops of the US Military of murdering journalists as a matter of strategic doctrine?

Do they appreciate a union leadership that, in defense of Linda Foley's baseless and slanderous accusations, manages to also slander the murdered victims of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center as 'Money Changers'?

As local union leaders themselves, if they aspire to one day become President of The Newspaper Guild, is this the kind of leadership they themselves would provide?

What actions are they willing to take to effect change?

While an apology and a retraction of the statements by Linda Foley is in order, an apology and retraction will not move towards restoring credibility. Only change will move to restore credibility.

Will any local union leaders have the courage to call for a special election and demand a change in leadership?

Who among them possesses the moral courage to stand up and truly 'support the troops'? Who among them will prove that it is more than a yellow ribbon or a bumper sticker?

The members of Media Slander have attempted to contact local Guild leaders. Nearly all attempts have gone unanswered.

We need your help.

Please, be courteous. We want the help of the local leaderships, not conflict. Remember, this is not a war against journalists. We need good and fair journalists. It is vital to our democracy. The majority of them surely are good and fair journalists. Their reputations and credibility, however, are being unfairly undermined by the high-profile recklessness of their union president. How effective can our good journalists ever hope to be if their credibility is regularly being undermined through no fault of their own? They deserve better.

Our purpose is to have Linda Foley, the President of The Newspaper Guild, held accountable for her irresponsible, reckless and slanderous comments. The most effective way is for her own union members to demand action and express dissatisfaction with their leadership.

Journalists love maverick leaders who foster debate and change from within. Witness John McCain and Zell Miller.

Where are the elected Guild leaders' Mavericks?

Readers are also encouraged to write letters to the editor to their local newspapers and address local journalists directly. Let them know that we think they deserve better and that they should exercise their right to demand better.

This is not about Left or Right, conservative or liberal. This is about slanderous accusations made by The Newspaper Guild's President against our troops (inseparable from 'the US Military'). Not conservatives' troops. Not liberals' troops. Our troops. Our Military. It's fundamentally about the unfair price journalists at large pay in credibility and the price news consumers pay as a result.

[NOTE: Due to the length of the contact list, I am only including the two local to Washington. The complete list, which will be updated as needed today, is in the linked post here.]

Northwest Guild

Nyssa Rogers

Steve Miletich
Vice President

Can you raed this?

I received this in the mail today from my sister ... Thanks, Beck!

"Don't delete this because it looks weird. Believe it or not you can read it .....

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia - Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt."

If you have trouble reading it, turn off your mental editing - which keeps trying to tell you that the words are spelled incorrectly. Just read ...

Just another way that your brain works to help you fill in the blanks, as it were.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Go visit Chuck Z (Updated)

Chuck at From My Position ... has been injured by an IED, according to his wife Carren. He is stable, apparently at Landstuhl by now, and expected home in a week or so.

Go visit to let him know we are thinking of him and Carren, keep him in your thoughts and prayers.


Another Milblogger fills in some first hand details on the incident above. From Phil of Phil and Becky comes this report :

Routine but dangerous
We took a casualty this morning. A soldier in one of our line companies sustained some shrapnel wounds from an IED strike that occurred while he was on a patrol.

The mission was routine enough -- route clearance of one of the major routes in our area of operations. We do multiple missions of this kind every single day. The patrol stopped at an Iraqi Army checkpoint and made contact with a civilian who said that he knew where an IED was placed and would led us to it.

He was right about an IED being emplaced in the vicinity but apparently didn't know exactly where it was because it detonated while he was leading our soldiers there. One soldier sustained shrapnel wounds and so did our civilian informant friend.

That soldier, of course, was Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss. There's more to Phil's story ... please go read the details.

By the way - this little tidbit from his wife's post made me laugh and appreciate Chuck's spirit ...
(He) did not lose his humor in all of this mess... I was told the first thing he asked when he was pulled from the canal (the blast blew him into a canal) was: "Be honest with me, guys. Do I still have my face and my 'package'?"


Carren Ziegenfuss has an update on Chuck's condition, which is still serious after at least one surgery :
1. He has severe nerve damage in his left hand and has lost his left pinky (all of it). It will be a long recovery for his hand due to the nerve damage.
2. His right thumb is pretty messed up and the docs are not sure how much he will lose or keep... he may be okay and keep his thumb, we just don't know yet.
3. ALL of his internal organs are okay. One of his lungs is bruised, but not damaged.
4. His brain, spine, and neck are all okay... paralysis is not an issue.
5. He has no muscle damage in his legs or arms, but his right thigh has been damaged.
6. His face was "peppered" by shrapnel. He has a cut on his right cheek, which has been stitched up.

Keep your positive thoughts headed their way - it all helps!

By the way, if you need to educate people who think we should yank the military forces out of Iraq immediately, she has a simple explanation ...
For those who may be thinking, "We just need to bring all the troops home and forget this war," let me tell a quick story.

As you know I told Creighton that his daddy was hurt and that he will be okay and coming home soon. One of the questions he asked was, "Why did Daddy have to go so far away to get the bad guys?" I said, "Daddy had to go far away to fight the bad guys so we are safe here in the US. We don't want the bad guys to be here in our country, so brave men and women like Daddy go far away to make sure that never happens." (A side note... a 5 year old is too young to understand that bad guys are here in the US and managed to do some serious damage on 9/11).

If a 5-year old can understand it, then it should be easy to explain to an adult.

Kinder, Gentler War?

Enjoy this view of a Kinder, Gentler War on Terror from Douglas Kern at Tech Central Station.

A small piece to whet your appetite :

"Men," growled Colonel Clueless, "there's no denying it: the Guantanamo Bay Ex-Detainee Reunion Party has clearly violated several Baghdad municipal ordinances, what with the mortar attacks and sniper fire and car bombs and all, and serious action will have to be taken."

The other officers at the Battalion staff meeting whispered to each other nervously. A captain's hand shot into the air. "Sir, does this mean we can start shooting bullets now?"

"Absolutely not. I intend to conduct every phase of Operation Sitting Ducks with scrupulous adherence to the letter of the law. And as you know, gentlemen, we are pledged never to bring any harm whatsoever to even a single page of the Holy Koran."

"So…what are we going to do, sir, about the 30-foot wall that the insurgents have built around their compound, composed of nothing except Korans stapled together?"

"First of all," hissed the Colonel, "they are not 'insurgents.' They are 'patriotic Iraqi protestors.' Second of all, their current residence is not a 'compound.' It is a mosque."

"But they've been shooting mortars out of it. They refer to it as a 'compound' in their internal communications."

"It's a mosque! A sacred place worthy of utmost respect! My God, Captain Rambeau, can't you read the sign that they posted for us? In English, no less!"


"Exactly. To defile that ancient site of culture would profane the honor of the United States. Returning to your original question: no, we will not shoot bullets at our adversaries if doing so would bring even the slightest risk of harm to the Holy Koran."

Many thanks for Go Jack Army for the great link!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Too little... Too late

So Sen. Durbin thinks that we are buying his little apology today, does he? His words today mean nothing, after the insulting and demoralizing remarks he made last week, comparing the treatment of Gitmo detainees to the regime of Pol Pot, or to the treatment of prisoners in the Soviet gulags.

If you haven't heard or read a transcript of his words, you can find both included in the post over at RadioBlogger.

I have some words for him, by the way ... Next time, Senator - THINK about the effect you have on our troops when you speak. They deserve that much, and more.


Steve at Digital Brown-Pajamas puts Durbin's words into context with the rest of his party, and suggests that maybe some people need new glasses.

Meanwhile, for counterpoint, Smash accepts the apology, and is ready to move on.


Some very diverse images today.

First, jump over to wohba! and check out this most excellent image of a jet passing the sound barrier in a very visible way. Extreme kewlness!

For more serious contemplation, study this powerful and disturbing image from Iraq the Model. This sketch captures the pain and joy of the Iraqi people as they more towards a free society, in a way that words cannot.

Thanks to my friend Snarkatron at Snark Patrol for the link. She has her own thoughts on the sketch's significance as well in her post Painful Joy.

Things I just don't get ...

The amazing Beth of She Who Will Be Obeyed managed to reach out and tag me the other day, in the midst of her whirlwind home-and-gone-again travel!

The goal is to describe the "Five things society at large enjoys, but that I, for the most part, just don't get..."

Sometimes I just ignore the oddities around me, being more of an observer than anything else. Tuning in to my reactions, I managed to come up with these - in no particular order ...

1. Reality TV shows
I have to admit that I have never watched a complete episode of any so-called Reality show. I've never watched Survivor, American Idol, Joe Millionaire or The Apprentice. The only one that sounds remotely interesting is The Amazing Race - but only for the travel component. I have no desire to watch any of these shows - the premises range from lame to bizarre, and I have better ways to waste my time ... like Blogging ... *grin*

2. Kids' clothing
Why is it that teenage boys wear pants that inhibit their ability to walk normally? The whole concept of having to walk only from the knees down is just plain stupid, quite aside from looking unattractive. Girls clothing is just the opposite - too revealing! Even the outfits for little girls show off the whole midsection. I'm glad I don't have children, I'm afraid that the battles would be endless!!

3. Celebrity politics
Why do I care what Rosie, Jane or *shudder* Janeane have to say about politics? Even those who I actually find to be entertaining don't deserve a bigger soapbox than anyone else. In fact - the very stardom that provides them with a doting fan base makes their opinions less useful, not more! I don't know how any one who constantly hears fawning compliments from strangers could be expected to be well-balanced about anything. Being popular has nothing to do with being smart, nor does it add to the level of insight into the common person - if anything, they are so far removed from the common life that they don't have any clue.

4. TV commercials in movie theaters
When did TV commercials start appearing as part of the movie theater pre-show? When I was a kid, we had a cartoon, then a preview, then the movie that we came to see. Cartoons disappeared rapidly, and slowly the preview grew to several, then to many. Now we have many movie previews -AND- TV commercials! I think for the gawdawful price we pay for movie tickets, not to mention popcorn and sodas, that we should have less of this extraneous garbage, not more! Okay - maybe this one isn't really enjoyed by society-at-large ... but I still don't get it.

5. "Support the military, but not the war"
As you can tell from my blog - I do support the military. I also support the war in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. I'd like to say I helped elect President Bush - but being from Washington, that really isn't true. But I support the President, and the mission. To say you support military people, but you think they're mission is wrong makes absolutely zero sense. It also demeans every Soldier, Marine, Sailor and Airman serving in our armed forces.
You can disagree with the reasons we got into the war, this is a free country. Support the troops by showing them that their mission is honorable and they are succeeding at it ... period.

Okay, job done ... except I have to designate the next 5 people who get to play.

Sgt B of The Gun Line
Katy of The Grass Isn't Greener
Philip of Red Guy in a Blue State
Kat of The Middle Ground
Gun Trash of Appalachian Gun Trash

Monday, June 20, 2005

You know why ...

Axel Cobb didn't really want to join the Marines, don't you?

Because they would have made him cut off the hair, of course!

Photo by FRANK VARGA / Skagit Valley Herald

Just in case you wondered what was under the cap...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

NPR echo chamber (updated)

The radio version of Bait-and-Switch :
(1) NPR contacts Marine recruiter SSgt Ron Marquez for an interview, takes the time to talk with him, and indicates that the interview will be broadcast on NPR/Weekend America, between noon and 2pm pacific time on Saturday.
(2) Then, at the appointed time, they broadcast Anti-Recruiter programming instead.

To be honest - I was prepared for a very unkind cut of the interview, expecting the questions to be slanted, and the responses chopped to suit the purposes of the interviewers. But they trumped my expectations completely!

Gee, there's no anti-military bias in the media, is there?
(/sarcasm off)

Thanks to commenters Friggin' Aye and Iaanmte at Blackfive, we know where to go to get the Rest of the story...

Stephen Spruiell at NRO contacted Paynter and the Marine recruiter for a balanced story, and has an informative follow up here.

Note especially that Paynter (author of the original hysteria piece in the PI) did not actually talk with, or request an interview with, any of the recruiters in the office she suggested used bad recruiting practices. She only reported spewed the viewpoint of an apparently over-protective mother.

From Spruiell's piece :

Marines say Paynter never called
Marquez told me the story of a young, impressionable boy who seemed eager to tell people what they wanted to hear. In such a situation, one could draw the conclusion that the Marines recruited Axel too aggressively. Yet, if Axel kept telling Marquez at the end of every meeting that he wanted to join the Marines, then Marquez’s job was to follow up with the kid. And over the course of the recruitment, Axel went bowling with Marquez and his wife, and he and Marquez often talked about private family issues and personal experiences. This was not the hostile, bullying relationship that Paynter’s column led readers to believe it was.


Monday, I asked Sgt. Chau, Staff Sgt. Marquez, Staff Sgt. David J. Adams (who runs the Burlington office), and Lt. Col. Robert Coty (who oversees all these Marines) if Susan Paynter had ever tried to contact any of them. All of them told me no. Staff Sgt. Adams said, “I actually had a conversation with all my Marines on this specific subject, and I asked all my Marines, ‘Has anyone been contacted by this writer?’ and no one’s been contacted in either Bellingham or Burlington.”


Earlier today Mrs. Marquez sent me a link to this article in a local newspaper ...

Stating their case
A Sedro-Woolley mother says the Marines went beyond the call of duty in trying to enlist her son. The Marines say he wanted to join. In a story that drew national attention, both sides say they've been misunderstood.

So it's just a little misunderstanding ... right. I think this excerpt explains the biggest misunderstanding :
The military is required to gain parental approval for recruits under the age of 18, he said. Axel turned 18 last year.

There you have it! Axel is 18, deemed an adult under the law, and (theoretically) capable of making up his own mind. No permission from the parents is required, folks - he's an adult ... at least biologically, if not in other respects.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Recruiter to be Interviewed on NPR

If you live in the Pacific Northwest and read Blackfive, then you may recall Matt's post about a Marine Corps Recruiter, after a local Seattle newspaper printed a wild tale of recruiting supposedly gone overboard.

If you haven't read that post - you should do so first, as the article is included along with very useful notations from Matt. Be sure to go through the comments as well ... very illuminating!

The story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer painted a picture of over the top recruiting, including "a relentless barrage of calls" and other actions by a Marine Corps recruiter that I found hard to swallow. In addition, the author of the story claimed her "request to speak with the sergeant who recruited Axel and with the Burlington office about recruitment procedures went unanswered."

Maybe they just didn't ask nicely? Whatever the reason, others were able to perform interviews, and NPR (among others) was able to talk with the recruiter, Staff Sergeant Marquez, regarding the story.

I spent some time last month visiting with the Army recruiters at the South Jackson recruiting office, when the local anti-recruiting forces came out in force on (of all days) Armed Forces Day. I found them to be very pleasant and easy to talk with, and extremely professional in manner. So I am looking forward to hearing the interview on NPR this Saturday between noon and 2pm, on KUOW 94.9-FM, during the Weekend America program. The interview with SSgt Marquez, who is based in Bellingham, WA, will be one of the items featured in the program.


I neglected to express my gratitude to Staff Sergeant Marquez and Mrs. Marquez for coming forward, and alerting us to the interview, and for their service to the country. Recruiters have the toughest job in the service, and military wives sacrifice in ways I can't being to understand. Thank You!!

Check out the Part Two update over at Blackfive, complete with a picture that's definitely worth the proverbial thousand words.

Not that Matt is at a loss for the right words. Here are a few describing the works of the so-called author :

Susan Paynter is a muck-raking, shrill, mean, and talentless hack who's knack for smoke, mirrors, and untruth is matched only by Howard Dean and Dick Durbin and Al Sharpton.

Friday links (updated)

Wow! I have a celebrity in the family! Blog-sister Boudicca of Boudicca's Voice has entered her Hurricane Part III post in the Carnival of the Vanities, which is hosted this week by Mister Snitch.

For today's serving of history, make your way over to Castle Argghhh!, where John dishes it up with a topping of cannon p0rn!

Meanwhile, Frank J at IMAO has done another fine job with these Fun Facts about Amnesty International, in the Know Thy Enemy series. Here is just a sampler...


* Amnesty International was co-founded by Eddie Amnesty and Louie International, and it was named after their fathers.

* It started out as more of a fight club, but eventually, as always happened, it evolved into an organization that tries to free political prisoners.

* Oh, and they don't like America executing murderers. Hey, our murderers,
our choice.

* I think technically they're against people being executed in other countries for simply practicing their God given rights, but why make a fuss?

* Amnesty International is still petitioning God to get a full account of the conditions in hell and what His trial process is.

[Use link in the title to read the complete list]


I accidentally-on-purpose forgot one of my commitments for today ... *sigh*

That crazy gal Katy, over at The Grass Isn't Greener has this weekly Self-portrait Friday thing going. I was all set to play this week, had pictures of my adorable little self as a child ...

But, NO, she had to Change the Format! She wanted pictures of us Right.After.Waking.Up ...

Well, I'm lucky to get myself out the door in the morning with the routine stuff, like keys, laptop, employee badge, deoderant, etc. Changes in routine - not happening for me!

SO, I scanned my stockpile of goofy pics, and found one that I am offering as a suitable replacement ...

Shoes Attacks
Shoes Attacks!!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

War is an Ugly thing ...

“... but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)

I remember this quote in a deeply moving email from a friend after 9/11, as he worked to wrap his mind around the events of that terrible day.

Today I found it again in Not My Son over at From My Position.

A good time was had by all ...

Wheee ... Righty's have more fun! An evening of food, beer, dead mushrooms and lively discussion among bloggers from the right side of the spectrum.

I was joined by ...

Bad Cat Robot / Snarkatron of Snark Patrol
Steve of Digital Brown Pajamas
Hanya of The Right-Stuff, and her terrific hubby Ray
Rednex of Rednex Rants

We all met at a local eatery with a nice selection of brews on tap, and which comes with free Wi-fi. Since Bad Cat Robot was the only one toting a laptop with a functional wireless adapter - she live blogged the event, the food, and the discussion.

This was a great first meeting, which we intend to turn into a regular event. So watch for future Pub-blogging from the Pacific Nut-West!

V for Valor, not Valedictorian

The word valedictorian may be losing its significance(see the post below), but the V for Valor is still extremely meaningful. In an awards ceremony today at Camp Liberty, Iraq, 10 soldiers were awarded 14 medals for their heroic actions on March 20th in Iraq.

For a complete report on the awards, check out the story on Raven 42 at Castle Argghhh! Among the 14 medals awarded, 7 carry the V for Valor, and one of the 14 is the first Silver Star awarded to a woman since WWII.

If you haven't read the story of Raven 42 previously, the details can be found in earlier posts at Castle Argghhh and Blackfive.

How many Valedictorians does it take?

I recall my high school graduation ceremony, as we stuffed 900-plus students and their parents into the sweltering gymnasium to escape the pouring rain outside ... blech! Although I can't tell you now the name of our valedictorian, I do know that it was one person.

Obviously the other outstanding students with 4.0+ averages, who were not selected for that signal honor were horribly scarred at being passed over ... Or not. After all - there is only one per class, correct?

Apparently not, and the current trend of "everyone who participates, wins" is alive and well in my own back-yard. This by way of Teresa at Technicalities, who pointed out that the Pacific Nut-West (love that term!) has done it again with the Garfield High School class of 2005. You see, one valedictorian was not enough for them, and so they have decided that all forty-four of the top graduates are equally deserving of the honor :

One high school — 44 valedictorians
By Lynn Thompson
Seattle Times staff reporter

Back in the day, class valedictorian was the standout scholar of the senior class, the acknowledged brain.

This year's 406-member graduating class at Garfield High School features 44 valedictorians. Forty-four students with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages who, over seven semesters of mostly honors and Advanced Placement classes, have never earned less than an A.

Even for a school with a reputation as an academic powerhouse, it's a record number: Last year Garfield had 30 valedictorians; the year before, 27.

I applaud Garfield High for creating an environment where 11 percent of the graduating class has not only attended courses in the Honors curriculum, but excelled. But what does this teach to the 44 students 'honored' in this way? That everyone who does the same level of work gets the same reward? Don't make me laugh! Let these poor kids out into the real world, and they will find out quickly that it just ain't so.

Farther on in the same article, however, I found this :
At Bellevue High School, seven graduating seniors earned straight A's, but the school decided this year not to name valedictorians. Instead, each will be given a medal, said Principal Mike Bacigalupi.

Auburn High School had nine 4.0 students but will honor a range of accomplishments at graduation and also will not name any valedictorians, said Terri Herren, assistant principal.

Okay, so no one of the 4.0 students at these two schools is outstanding enough to earn the honor of valedictorian?

I'm not sure which of these would bother me more if I were one of the affected students. How long will it take before the word valedictorian loses its meaning completely?

Or is it too late?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Eye Candy

Thanks to Acidman at Gut Rumbles for the link to this Optical Illusion from Professor Michael Bach ... pretty kewl! There are plenty of other time wasting illusions as well, along with explanations of the effects.

Another place for interesting eye candy is wohba!, from which I stole borrowed this picture of Mammatus Clouds ...

The wohba! archives also provided this stunning artwork by Master Street Painter - Kurt Wenner ...

Click on the picture to see the full size image

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Take Back the Memorial

AFSister of My Side of the Puddle brought the story of the IFC Ground Zero sacrilege to my attention last week, when she linked to THE SOROS-IZATION OF GROUND ZERO by Michelle Malkin.

Today, Rednex of Rednex Rants adds his Call to Arms, remembering 9/11, and making a simple suggestion ...

Let us keep the memorial for its true purpose: A place of remembrance for one of our countries greatest losses. Let us keep this as a place for families to go and visit the souls of their loved ones in peace and to remember them in their hearts.

Please go to his site and read the whole thing, and help prevent this second attack on the WTC.

Gitmo and Moral Equivalence

The whole issue of the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba has caused me hours of teeth grinding. The reason that I haven't written about it before is that I am honestly stunned at the idiocy of comparing the detention camp to a Soviet Gulag.

I commented on this at Gun Trash's 'Ying and Yang' post the other day :

No friggin' way we should shut it down just because of the whole blown out of proportion MSM crap.

If the holding of these terrorists is righteous (and I happen to think it is), then we Don't Want Them on US mainland soil en masse.

I find the whole story ridiculous, given the incredibly humane treatment those interred are receiving, and the way we are bending over backwards to 'meet their needs'

Luckily, my lack of eloquence and writing skills is more than balanced by these fine folks :

Dusty at Castle Argghhh! had a Couple of Thoughts on the Gitmo Flap, which generated a great discussion in comments yesterday, and follows up today with Gitmo Redux.

Sgt B at The Gun Line reminds us who started the GWOT.

Cassandra at Villainous Company connects several threads in Road To Hell Paved With Moral Equivalence.

Be sure that you follow her link to the Sundries Shack, and review Jimmie's post on the Washington Post column that launched all of the above.

We should feel sorry for Kathy Trant?

She lost her husband, Dan, when he and many of his Cantor Fitzgerald co-workers were killed in the terrorist attack on the WTC towers on 9/11. I can sympathize with the loss and suffering this caused, and continues to cause.

However, she received around $5 million in financial compensation and donations. While this obviously did not bring back her husband, it should have provided her with the means to live comfortably for a long time, and to ensure the comfort and education of their children.

Instead, in less than 4 years, she has managed to blow through nearly all of that money, and has only about $500,000 left, according to this article. She spent it on travel, house renovations and a variety of other pursuits. Much was spent of expensive clothes, shoes and handbags.

... Sorry, I can't find it in myself to feel sorry for her. She took a tragedy and made a farce of it - I'm not wasting my time.

Instead, my sorrow is reserved for Brigit Smith, who would rather have her husband, SFC Paul R. Smith, back instead of the Medal of Honor that was awarded to him posthumously for his valor on the battlefield.

My concern is for the future and welfare of the family of every soldier who has lost his or her life in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who did not receive millions of dollars in compensation.

I worry about the families of the men and women who are recovering at Walter Reed and other military hospitals, and the quality of life for every soldier who has faced the elephant, and must deal with the effects daily.

Here are just a few of the troops we lost in the past week :

Army Soldiers

Sgt. 1st Class Neil A. Prince
Spc. Casey Byers
Sgt. Larry R. Arnold Sr.
Spc. Terrance D. Lee Sr.
1st Lt. Michael J. Fasnacht
Lt. Col. Terrence K. Crowe
Sgt. Roberto Arizola
Sgt. Michael J. Kelley
Pfc. Emmanuel Hernandez
Staff Sgt. Mark O. Edwards
Pfc. Douglas E. Kashmer
Capt. Phillip T. Esposito
1st Lt. Louis E. Allen

Lance Cpl. Mario A. Castillo
Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Kilpela
Lance Cpl. John J. Mattek Jr.
Lance Cpl. Dustin V. Birch
Lance Cpl. Daniel Chavez
Lance Cpl. Thomas O. Keeling
Lance Cpl. Devon P. Seymour
Cpl. Brad D. Squires
Lance Cpl. Marc L. Tucker

There is nothing we can do to bring them back to their families. But we can honor their sacrifice, and help the families as they pick up the pieces.

Then we have the troops who have been wounded and are struggling to regain health and strength, or cope with the loss of a limb. They and their families need our help and concern.

Here are a few of the groups which focus on providing support for families of fallen soldiers (all services), as well as helping to care for the wounded and their families.

Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund
Freedom Alliance
Wounded Warrior Project
Fisher House Foundation
Homes for our Troops
Operation Hero Miles
Soldiers' Angels

For a growing list of groups that provide support for the troops and their families, you can visit the DoD site America Supports You.

Do something good for a soldier or the family of a soldier today. They deserve it!


Sarah of Trying to Grok weighs in on this, and shares a link to a story that helped restore her faith in humanity.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Absentee Absent Ballots ...

So what are the odds of 3 absentee ballots in the same precinct being lost? Pretty high, if you live here in King County, Washington.

How about the odds of those 3 coming from the same street?
... What if you knew they all 3 came from the same house?

Disenfranchised voters revealed

King County has steadfastly refused to release the names of the now 96 absentee voters whose ballots were not counted last November. But I now have some names. Based on best available information from other King County documents, this weekend I determined with reasonable certainty the names of 30 of the disenfranchised voters. I've also narrowed down most of the others to a field of 272. This spreadsheet lists the names. The ones that are apparent matches are at the top of the page, highlighted in yellow, with "matching" in the status column. The others are marked "possible". (Details on how I came up with these names and on King County's refusal to confirm them in the extended entry)

Among the apparently disenfranchised voters are all three voters in the Stansbury family of Bellevue -- Todd and Wendy Stansbury, who are Republican activists, and their son, Lance Corporal Kenneth Stansbury. Lance Corporal Stansbury was on active duty in Iraq last fall. He flew home at his parents' expense so he could make sure he cast his ballot in time to be counted. County records show that the Stansburys' ballots arrived on time and that they were credited with voting. Pending King County's release of the full list of uncounted ballots, we're left to conclude from the available evidence that the Stansburys' ballots were not counted. I happened to meet Wendy Stansbury at the county Republican convention on Saturday and had the unfortunate duty to inform her of her family's apparent disenfranchisement. Needless to say, she was upset by this news. She also recognized another name on the list, Janet Moore of Newcastle, who Wendy says is a Republican PCO in the 41st district.


Due to the short time between the primary in September and the general election, many people were concerned about the ability of the absentee ballots to be mailed in a timely fashion.

So the Stansbury family had their son's ballot mailed to their house in Bellevue. They then bought a plane ticket to fly their son to Washington, where they sat together and filled out their absentee ballots, including votes for Dino Rossi for Governor. Now they know that their ballots are among the 96 that are known not to have been counted.

... Once again proving that we simply do not know the true results of the November election.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Update on Officers' deaths

Dadmanley has an update to his post yesterday. There is now an investigation into the nature of the deaths of Capt. Phillip T. Esposito and 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen. (Article here)

Sadly, he also notes that the media vultures are just waiting to take advantage, as always.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Stupid MSM tricks

From Dadmanley comes a dual story of Grief and Anger. The first part is the sad loss of life from a random rocket into an FOB, the second is worse ... go read it to understand what that means.

Hat tip to Sgt B of The Gun Line.

Friday Links

Here's a bit of what's interesting around the 'sphere...


The Carnival of the Recipes #43 is up - hosted this week at the blog of Songstress7. Mmmmm, the Sloppy Joe wraps sound tasty!


AFSister at My Side of the Puddle has some rants that are must reads. Check them out here and here.

How do you feel about women in combat? There is a great post from Kat of The Middle Ground on the subject that is worth the read.

Of course, we all face danger just driving in our cars every day. The good news is that Kodiak Momma 6 at Group "W" Bench is doing well after her car accident yesterday. The bad news is that her vehicle is a goner. Take a minute to wish her well, and go console her hubby Sgt B at The Gun Line as well.

Picture time at ALa today! First - check out the comparison of females from both sides of the political spectrum, then take part in the Caption Contest. If you still have time to waste, you can take the Time Capsule Challenge & Quiz.

John of Argghhh takes a peek around at RKBA issues and related goodies.

For some trips down Nostalgia Lane, see what AFSister, Graumagus, Sgt B, and LittleJoe all miss about their childhoods. For a bonus, Grau proposes a new Meme on the Most Interesting thing you Set Fire to as a kid ... I can't WAIT to see his story!


Beth of She Who Will Be Obeyed is running a How-Weird Dean Resignation Pool! Go play - you might win a Castle Argghhh! mug ...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Adding Insult to Injury

I've been wavering between depressed and pissed all week over the state election contest and challenge decision. (See previous post here)

But now I am definitely in the Pissed column. It's not bad enough that the Democrats are leaping for joy at stealing the election (or at least allowing bumbling incompetence to award it to them). Now they want the state to pay back the money required to force the second (hand) recount ... With Interest ... to the tune of 12%!!!

I am forced to acknowledge the audacity of requiring the State to pony up 12% interest on top of the $730,000 which is to be returned to the Democratic party. It's not often that thieves are so open in their demands.

Democrats To State: Where's Our Money?
June 9, 2005
By KOMO Staff & News Services

OLYMPIA - After a court vindicated the Democrats this week by upholding the 2004 victory of Gov. Christine Gregoire, the state party now wants back the money it spent on a recount - with interest.

After Republican opponent Dino Rossi won the first two tallies, Democrats were required to pony up $730,000 in December to pay for a third and final count - an unprecedented statewide hand count. Since that count ultimately changed the outcome later that month, the Democrats were entitled to get their money back.

The argument stems over how early they should have gotten it back, and how much interest they should collect.

The Democrats, who asked for the money in late December, said they should get 12 percent interest - more than $30,000 more than the state wants to give them - because the money was wrongfully held by the secretary of state's office for six months.

"We've been penalized by them having this money all of this time," state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt said Wednesday. "There was no reason why that shouldn't have been refunded as soon as the third count was certified. The state seizure of that money is tantamount to them seizing money from any private party."

Berendt said the money could have been used toward the nearly $3.5 million in legal costs for the election challenge.

But Secretary of State Sam Reed said his office had to wait for the completion of the election challenge, which came Monday with a judge ruling in Gregoire's favor and Rossi announcing he wouldn't appeal. Reed said the state only owes the 2 percent interest the money has earned. He said the party would get its money back by the end of the week.

"I think that for them to think that the taxpayers of Washington ought to be giving them more money at this point is very inappropriate," Reed said. "I think they deserve to get their money back; they deserve to get any interest earned on that."

He said the assertion the Democrats deserve 12 percent is "not particularly reasonable."
(emphasis mine)

I'll say it's "not particularly reasonable" ... it's freaking bizarre!!

While I am stunned speechless at this point, fellow Seattle blogger Rednex of Rednex Rants is not. He is on a roll with How to steal an election and get paid for it.

Also, go check out Stefan Sharkansky's entry at Sound Politics

So many books, so little time

Desultory Girl is too sweet to turn down a request, and she loves to share!

So my assigned task is to share my library with you all.

I love to read ... mostly fiction, but I enjoy tales of history and military events when well told. My library is smaller than I would like, since I have been informed by the master of the house that I am limited to the shelf space I already have. In other words, if I want to buy new books, I have to get rid of old ones to make room ... Horrors!

Here is the shelf that currently contains the bulk of the fiction ...

This one has all of the other books such as travel, history, humor, and the fiction overflow ...

That's it, two bookcases - keep it in mind ...

1. Number of books I own:
Somewhere around 800 ...
What is not obvious in the picture is that the single Fiction shelf has all of the paperbacks doubled up front/back! The average count is about 50 - 60 per shelf, call it 55 ... and there are 10 shelves (devoted to paperbacks), so about 550 total. Chuck in the 50-odd other books on the first shelf, and the 200 or so from the other shelf, and there you have it!

2. Last book(s) bought:
Dereliction of Duty by Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, USAF, Ret.
Peace Kills by P.J. O'Rourke

3. Last book read:
The Pale Horse Coming by Stephen Hunter

4. Five books that mean a lot to me:
In no particular order ...
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Voyage from Yesteryear by James P. Hogan
The Sketch Book by Washington Irving

The reason I include The Sketch Book has little to do with its contents. It is a collection of Irving's stories, including the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. What is special about this book is the history.

I am not certain of the exact publishing date, but there is a forward which is dated 1848. The volume that I have in my possession came from my Mother-in-law - and was originally purchased by her grandmother as a girl of 13. On the inside back leaf is a note which she wrote as an adult, remembering how she came to buy the book :

When I was about 13 years old, I found after buying my school clothes and books from the money I had earned picking hops, I had a few cents left to buy My Book!
I could really own the book I had wanted so long.
We lived in town but by going through pastures and climbing fences I reached the bank of the (?) river. There, walking along the bank, I read aloud to myself and the beautiful fur trees these sketches. It was a great joy and satisfaction.

This is such a treasure! I never met Great-Great-Grandmother Inez, of course, and even my MIL doesn't remember her well. But I know that I would have liked her!

I am supposed to tag 5 more folks to carry on the meme, but I have tagged so many lately, that I can't think right now who would not hunt me down and punish me!! Let's do this, instead.
If you would like to be tagged, leave me a comment - and I'll oblige ... O-tay?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

5 Things I Miss From My Childhood...

I've been tagged by Sgt. B / Sully / Godzilla to list the 5 things I miss from childhood.

I miss ...

1) Family vacations together over summer break. We would pile into the car and drive to Lake Erie or Virginia Beach, or fly to Ft. Lauderdale and stay with the grandparents (who managed a hotel on the beach). Spending a week sharing a hotel room / cabin with my Dad was a challenge. My father could snore so loudly that he woke himself up ... so the trick was to fall asleep first! Otherwise, you were in for a long and noisy night.
Since most of our vacation spots involved water in some form, we naturally spent most of the day in it ... the Atlantic, Lake Erie (before you could walk on the pollution), even the pool at our friend's cabin near Ft. Ligonier.
Of course, the point was that Mom and Dad didn't have to work, and we all did things together.

2) Telling time by the streetlights instead of a clock. The house rule was that you had to come inside as soon as the streetlights came on. Being in western Pennsylvania, that was at around 9pm in the summer, and seemed to last forever as a kid. My sister and I, and the neighborhood girls, would play badmitten or dodge ball. We would catch lightning bugs in the twilight, and keep them in jars to watch them blink on and off.
Heh ... one time I took a jar to bed with me, and *cough* the lid came off! What a hoot!!

3) Going to barn sales and auctions scouting for antiques with my Mom. She loved finding auction notices and looking for fun pieces to refurbish. She bought one of the coolest beds I have ever seen - then or since - when I was about 10. It was wood done in a dark finish, and had a headboard that was over 6 feet tall, which was intricately designed and carved - and a footboard around 3.5 feet tall, with a wide smooth top. I would sometimes get up on the footboard and walk back and forth as if it were a balance beam ... balancing myself with my hands on the ceiling (leaving fingerprints, of course!).
To this day I still have some of the furniture that Mom refinished, although not the bed.... *sob*

4) Kid games ... like Marco Polo, Dodge Ball, Tag (real tag - not blog tag!), Kickball, etc. Made up games, too, where the rules changed to suit our whims, and the number of kids available to play. No adults required to supervise or direct us - we just played. If someone got upset, we generally worked it out by ourselves as well.

5) Dressing up for Halloween and Trick-Or-Treating in the neighborhood. We could go around the block (anybody still have blocks? with alleys?) and perform the ritual at each house - holding up our bags for treats, while the person tried to guess who we were. The times are so different today, and Halloween as an adult just doesn't intrigue me any more.

The rules: Remove the #1 item from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your blog’s name in the #5 spot. You need to actually link to each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme to kick in.

Cake Eater Chronicles
The Gun Line
Righty in a Lefty State

Next, select four new players unsuspecting victims, list and link to them.

John of Castle Argghhh
BlogPop Graumagus of Frizzen Sparks
Desultory Girl of Desultory Butterfly
Key of Key Issues

Have fun with it, gang!
*big grin*

'Scuse me, gotta go ... running like crazy

Music Meme / JMH

The other day I posted my response to the Music Meme, and referred to some of my selections as "old music", which generated This response ...

Old music????
Last week I was listening to "Gondoliers" and "Iolanthe". 'Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes' vs 'Never Faint Heart Won Fair Lady'.
And 5.7GB on the ol' iPod, with 12 to go.



To which I replied ...

JMH -- Don't wave your iPod at me and then sneer "Young'ins!", dude!
In FACT ... why don't you 'take the quiz' and send the list to me - I'll post it for you.

Ladies and Gents, and any others hanging around, I give you the music of JMH ...
*fanfare and flourishes*

Total Volume of Music:
5.72GB in my iTunes collection, although I would claim
50% more if I could get my old stuff out of storage.

Last CD bought:
Purchased "Iolanthe" and "Gondoliers" (Gilbert & Sullivan) at the same time 2 weeks ago.

Top 5 Tunes I Listen To A Lot, or Mean A Lot To Me:
a. "Soldiers of the Queen" marchpast of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians);
b. "God Save the Queen" generally makes me stand to attention;
c. "O Canada" Ditto;
d. "Tannhauser" 3 hours of sing-along music; Yes, I was around when the Beatles started up, but Lennon/McCartney/et al had nothing on Wagner; Moreso with any current/pop stuff.
e. "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah"- Charlotte Church, London Welsh Men's Choir and LSO.

Let's Be Unreasonable

There is a huge emphasis on Tolerance these days. We are expected to be Reasonable and Accepting of the slow, insidious changes in society.

You know the old story about how to boil a frog, right? You place it in a pan of cool water on a stove, and then ever so slowly turn the fire up under the pan. Because the temperature change is so slow and subtle, the frog doesn't jump out ... and eventually will be boiled.

If we continue to allow the chipping away of our core, even one tiny grain of sand at a time, we will eventually lose ourselves.

Graumagus of Frizzen Sparks promotes a different concept, instead of bending down - we should instead Celebrate Intolerance :

in·tol·er·ance- n.:
1: impatience with annoyances
2: lack of an ability to endure
3: unwillingness to recognize and respect differences in opinions or beliefs

"Intolerant!" is invariably used as a derisive malediction against anyone who only holds an opinion that doesn't pass the litmus test of political correctness, but especially against those who dare declare their views out loud. Any individual expressing ideas that aren't in step with the groupthink of mindlessly validated multicultural flotsam that passes for socially acceptable opinion in today's culture is immediately branded with the scarlet "I".

This stigma has been carefully refined to imply that the marked one is damaged goods and therefore any ideas they have are dubious at best. Once classified as "Intolerant!" by the powers that be, a person is instantly guilty until proven innocent of racism, sexism, religious bigotry, and whatever other assassination of character that can be used to taint the worthiness of their ideas to the public eye.

The merits of the besmirched one's argument, idea, or opinion isn’t even considered. If it's not included in the lexicon of acceptable viewpoints, those who arrogantly deem themselves the gatekeepers of what constitutes "Correct" thought will go to any lengths to beat it down. No matter how detrimental to their own well being, a person is supposed to be "Tolerant" at all times or they pay the price.

It may take some effort on your part, but I want you to flush the pre-programmed reflexive response that enters your mind when the term "Intolerance" is mentioned. I want you to re-evaluate intolerance with a fresh perspective.

In short, intolerance is a good thing. In fact, intolerance is a healthy, necessary part of the human psyche.

There is more, much more -- and it deserves to be read.

Thursday links

Just a few things I've noticed this morning ...

Chuck at From My Position has a proposal I like.

Take a Randall Knife with some history attached, and put it in the capable hands of Eric at Straight White Guy, and you have a real story.

About time ... AFSister of My Side of the Puddle has finally posted her response to the music meme - interesting, indeed!

Thanks to John of Argghhh for pointing out the great idea proposed by The Skipper at Barking Moonbat Early Warning System.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Plan B

I've been thinking about Monday's decision on the election challenge here in Washington, and Rossi's choice not to file an appeal.

What should we do next? How can we get started on cleaning up the election process, and how should we get rid of the entrenched County Executive and Council?

Stefan Sharkansky at Sound Politics proposed something several months ago called Plan B. To truly understand the point of the plan, you have to know two things ...

(1) Larry Phillips is the County Councilman who discovered to his horror that his absentee ballot had not been counted due to unscanned signatures, leading to 561 *new* votes in King County to be added to the 2nd *recount* (3rd count), and

(2) Precinct 1823, in downtown Seattle, had 763 registered voters, of which 527 listed their residence as the King County Administration Building

Keep these in mind as you review the gist of Plan B ...

So here's Plan B. Let everybody who voted for Dino Rossi in November re-register to vote giving the King County Administration Building as their residence. We can then all vote in this year's elections for both a Republican to unseat Larry Phillips, giving the council a 5-4 Republican majority, and also for a Republican to replace King County Executive Ron Sims. Visualize the housecleaning that will ensue when we win.

If every Washingtonian who is sick and tired of being disenfranchised by King County simply plays the game by King County rules and registers and votes in Precinct 1823, we can't possibly lose. Tell all your friends in other states and countries to "move to" Precinct 1823 too (as long as they're U.S. citizens, of course).

Of course - this is all tongue-in-cheek.

Really, I swear!

Time Wasters

I shouldn't play with toys like this, but it's too hard to resist :

If you still have time to kill after indulging your inner commedian, check out this parody of Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ... from your local grocery store.

Thanks to NOTR at ROFASix for the distractions!

I think ...

Heh ... Go check out Tom's creation at DowneastBlog (*spew alert*)

Key to the party

Always on the look-out for a good comment party, John of Argghhh found the site Key Issues. Seems that Key had some concerns over blogging etiquette and efficacy, and a Pity Party was called for.

Head over to her site, and heap those comments on, folks!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Rossi chooses not to appeal

I just found this via Sound Politics ...

Rossi won't appeal judge's decision:

Published: June 6th, 2005 05:13 PM

Republican Dino Rossi is abandoning his quest to overturn Gov. Christine Gregoire's victory last fall.

The former state lawmaker from Bellevue said he won't appeal today's decision by Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges.

"...With today's decision, and because of the political makeup of the Washington State Supreme Court, which makes it almost impossible to overturn this ruling, I'm ending the election contest," Rossi said.

"Now I don't make this decision lightly. But I don't make it also with bitterness or hard feelings. I continue to believe - and I think most Wasingtonians believe - that mounting this election challenge and shining the light on the various problems in our election system was the right thing to do."

The light has definitely been shed. The cockroaches are dancing under the furniture, though - just waiting to come back out again. Our next job will be to fix the system so that they can't get back in again ... and that is NOT going to be easy.

History: Old and New (Updated)

We should remember that today is the 61st anniversary of D-Day - but there are other events sharing this date in history. And some new history in the making...

John of Argghhh has some great pics and links to refresh our memories on D-Day and other June 6th events in our history, as it is Quite a Day!


Judge Bridges has ruled that the evidence shows that King County and Washington State elections are severely flawed - but that there is no specific evidence to allow him to turn over the 'will of the people' ... Judge rules in favor of Democrats (registration required, sorry)

Here's my favorite part ...

In turning back the Republican challenge to the Democrat, Judge Bridges said there was no evidence of fraud in last fall's election. The judge did find there were more than 1,600 illegal votes, but he said it's up to voters to fix errors in the state's election system.

*blink, blink*

Let me get this straight ... We have a broken voting system, and we are supposed to fix it IN AN ELECTION??!!

He's dead a$$ serious, too. I wish he was joking ... it sounds like Who's on First to me. TANJ ... Anyhow, the case is headed for the state Supreme Court.

Heartless Libertarian adds a succinct summary ...
In order to overturn an election, the challenger must prove that there votes were counted illegally, and who those votes were for. However, ballot secrecy laws make it impossible to know how any one individual voted. Which makes the contest statue almost meaningless.


Thanks to Stefan Sharkansky and others at Sound Politics for the fantastic coverage and background info on the case. From beginning to end, they have been the best resource on the challenge.

In case you are not from Washington State, or you live here but have been hiding under a barrel - the suit was brought by the Republican party to contest the November Gubernatorial election circus.

The evidence presented in the case includes voting by felons and dead people, lack of controls for ballots, improper handling of provisional ballots, mysterious appearance of new ballots during recounts, invalid counts of ballots, and failure to perform the proper due dilligence before certifying the results to the canvassing board.

For a complete layout of the events to date - start with the Timeline. For the results today, you can connect to the live streaming from TVW starting at 9am/pacific, and I'll add an update later today.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

In Memoriam (updated)

I was shocked and saddened to learn that Mike Reed, known to us as Bunker Mulligan, passed away Friday morning ... at only 52, much too young.

Mike was kind and funny, and always demonstrated his intense pride in his children. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Please go to Mike's site and read the Goodbye posted there by his son Andy (Slice).

Michael James Reed

Several bloggers have posted their memories of Mike ...

Dave Clary
Wallace-Midland, Texas of Big Gold Dog
Sara of Trying to Grok
John Donovan at Castle Argghhh
[Note - John has many more links to other blogs as well]

*new* Michael at the Armageddon Project has more links...


I should have posted this information on the plans provided by the family ...
Bunker will be laid to rest on Friday, 10 June, at the San Antonio National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, we request any memorials for him be made to Homes For Our Troops. Further information can be found at

In addition to being a father / grandfather - he was also A loving Husband. Andy notes that the family is definitely reading all comments - so share your memories of Mike if you feel inclined.

"When I play my best golf, I feel as if I'm in a fog, standing back watching the earth in orbit with a golf club in my hands."
Mickey Wright

Quote from 10K Truth

Music Meme

Last week it was movies, this week it's music. Thanks to Cassandra at Villainous Company, I spent some time figuring out how much space is devoted to music files on my computer ... and have some other factoids about my listening habits as well...

Total Volume Of Music On My Computer:
About 1.2GB - not a lot in the scheme of things. But I don't listen to the music on the computer very often - since the sound system in the next room has better speakers *grin*

The Last CD I Bought Was...
Alison Krauss and Union Station : "Lonely Runs Both Ways"
Selected by the Hubster, as most of our current music additions are. I tend for the older stuff, as will be evident below...

Five Songs I Listen To A Lot, or Mean A Lot To Me:

1. "Oh How the Years Go By- Vanessa Williams (Next)
I listened to this on the drive to fly to Florida (from Idaho) when my Mother died.

"... All through the changes, the soul never dies. We fight, we laugh, we cry, as the Years go by..."
It still makes the tears flow - but I love listening to it.

2. "In the Air Tonight" - Phil Collins (...Hits)
This one is very simple - the drum riff sends chills down my spine every time.

3. "Jungle Rhythm" - Lorraine Feather (Cafe Society)
The Hubster introduced me to this lady - who has a lovely voice. This song is lively and funny, and demonstrates her amazing vocal control.

4. "Would I Lie to You" - Eurhythmics (Women in Rock)
Just plain fun to listen to / sing along with at the top of my lungs while driving!

5. "Bat out of Hell" - Meat Loaf (Bat out of Hell)
I warned you - some of my favorite music is Pretty Old. This whole album is fun to listen to, and "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" was close behind - but the title song is my fav. I sing along with this one, too ... *grin*.

There you have it, my warped and varied musical enjoyments.

Now I get to select the next players victims ...
AFSister at My Side of the Puddle
Punctilious at Blogoram
Huntress at Diary of a Hollywood Refugee
That 1 Guy at Drunken Wisdom
... and Welcome to the Blogosphere ... Kodiak Momma 6 of Group "W" Bench