Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nasty MTV Employee

Here is a clip of a protest outside of MTV headquarters during the 2004 election period in which young conservatives decided to counter MTV's very partisan "Rock the Vote" campaign. MTV employees counterprotested and displayed rancorous behavior including one MTV employee telling a young conservative, "I hope your wife gets raped and can't get an abortion."

Hat tip: Right Wing News

No Motive for California Rampage?

According to USAToday, the "Motive [is] Still Not Known in California Rampage". Out in San Francisco on Tuesday, Ohmeed Aziz Popal, born in Afghanistan but now living in California, ran down and injured fourteen people with his vehicle, one of whom he killed. Although a witness testified to hearing Popal call himself a terrorist, police claim it was not an act of terrorism. USA Today says the mainstream media "discount" the possibility of terrorism because Popal "has had 'a history of mental problems.'" USA Today also quotes San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom who called Popal's aggression "road rage" as saying, "The victims are of all ethnicities and of all ages. There seems to be no pattern."

Now I'm having flashbacks to July when Naveed Afzal Haq shot six at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, killing one and wounding five and told everyone that he was angry with American policy and with Israel over their recent war with Hezbollah. Yet the LA Times could find no motive for the attacks.

First, we have a witness to Popal's claim that he is a terrorist. Next, we have thirteen people injured and one murdered, all of whom no doubt felt terror at being targeted by Popal in his SUV. So what if "the victims are of all ethnicities and of all ages"? So were those massacred at the World Trade Center. True, Popal sounds like a total granola bar, but how stable are most terrorists? Surely, strapping a belt of explosives on oneself to commit a suicide bombing cannot be considered normal behavior. Hijacking a plane and killing oneself, all other crew and passengers and thousands of others surely is not normal. If Popal tells us his motivation for attempting to murder fourteen people and actually succeeding once is terrorism, why shouldn't we believe him?

UPDATE: I just now found a site that had a screenshot of the LA Times so I added that above.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Educational Competition Now

In his column this morning, John Stossel declares that Schools Need Competition Now. Stossel points out that competition in the market place gives consumers enormous power as they "say no to one business and yes to another".

Former president of the American Federation of Teachers, the late Albert Shanker said,
It's time to admit that the public education system operates like a planned economy, a bureaucratic system in which everybody's role is spelled out in advance and there are few incentives for innovation and productivity. It's no surprise that our school system doesn't improve. It more resembles the communist economy than our own market economy.
Bottom line: monopolies rarely produce better results than competition does.

Delaware is one state that has allowed some real competition. Two of its top high schools are the Charter School of Wilmington, a math and science focused school which in past years has had three times as many applicants as seats available, and Cab Calloway School of the Arts. Additionally, Delaware seems to have a disproportionate number of private schools for its size.

Furthermore, many families in the nation have become so disenchanted with government schools that they have decided to take matters into their own hands. They have committed to educating their children themselves at home (or in co-ops, in the car, at museums, at historical sites, at get the picture). Delaware itself has quite a large homeschool community in which families support each others’ efforts to train their children to excel both educationally and morally.

Stossel himself remarked extensively about the homeschool movement:

The monopoly fails so many kids that more than a million parents now make big
sacrifices to homeschool their kids. Two percent of school-aged kids are homeschooled now. If parents weren't taxed to pay for lousy government schools,
more might teach their kids at home.

Some parents choose to homeschool for religious reasons, but homeschooling has been increasing by 10 percent a year because so many parents are just fed up with the government's schools. Homeschooled students blow past their public-school counterparts in terms of achievement.

Brian Ray, who taught in both public and private schools before becoming president of the National Home Education Research Institute, says, "In study after study, children who learn at home consistently score 15-30 percentile points above the national averages," he says. Homeschooled kids also score almost 10 percent higher than the average American high school student on the ACT.

It is indeed profound that so many parents have become so aggravated with their local schools that after paying taxes to support them, they still shell out beaucoup bucks to place their children in private schools. Others make still huger sacrifices by laying aside careers to appropriate a lifestyle of homeschooling to ensure their children's academic and moral success.

As people are already voting with their money and their time, maybe the government should take the hint. Maybe it is indeed time to allow more competition in the educational arena.

Jay Leno on the French

Jay Leno: "The formation of the new international peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon was dealt a setback when the French government only committed to sending 400 troops instead of the thousands of troops they originally agreed to send. Actually, it's not their fault. Turns out the French army only has 400 soldiers that can walk forward. Apparently, most of them, they're just not used to it."

Coming: Global Cooling

Apparently not all scientists are on the global warming bandwagon. (Then again we knew that.) Khabibullo Abdusamatov, a Russian scientist, is predicting global cooling will begin within a few years, based on solar emissions. His research leads him to believe that the global temperature has reached its peak and that Kyoto initiatives are ill-advised at this time.

Hat tip: Right Wing News

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Orphanage in Nepal under Attack

I just saw this post, and it about broke my heart. Some friends of mine were just in Nepal a year ago for a missions trip to an orphanage there to help with some much needed work and what not. What kind of sick people would attack orphans? What in the world would possess these wicked men to think that this orphanage would have money to pay them off? Or do they know that they don't and are using this demand as a way to justify an attack on children to themselves? And why aren't the police doing their jobs?

NEPAL: Gang Demands Money to Call Off Lethal Attack on Christian Orphanage

Join me in praying for the nation of Nepal this week. There are many Christians in Nepal who are under the persecution of militant Hindus. The following is from VOM Media sources.

After facing much persecution at the hands of militant Hindus for some time, a Christian orphanage located in south central Nepal has recently been mercilessly targeted by the Jota Lal Sahena gang, a group of local armed radicals.

Information acquired by The Voice of the Martyrs indicates the band of outlaws warned the orphanage staff it must pay an enormous bribe.

The ultimatum persists despite the orphanage workers pleading to the gang that they lack sufficient funds to pay the bribe.

Refusing to respond to this illegal activity or bring the outlaws to justice, Nepali police remain steadfast in their decision to offer the orphanage no protection.

Displaying No Decency toward Released Reporters

When it was reported that the FoxNews reporters who had been kidnapped by the Holy Jihad Brigades had converted to Islam in hopes of saving their lives, I said little. My main feeling was one of happiness for them that they were alive and home safely, as I would have felt for anyone. Few of us could imagine such a harrowing experience, and none of us knows for certain what we would do in similar circumstances. I suspect that many would do the same as they. I know that because of my faith in Jesus Christ I hope that I would accept death instead of conversion, but I also am aware that to remain steadfast in the faith would require total dependence upon the Holy Spirit and that I dare not believe that I could do so on my own strength alone--I'm just not that strong. Most certainly, I do not judge others for not living (or dying) for my faith.

It was my foolish assumption that all of America would rejoice with the freed reporters. But you know what they say about assuming. The folks at Democratic Daily had a very different attitude. They couldn't resist holding the reporters in derision, calling them FauxNews reporters even after their traumatic ordeal, and then stating that there was hardly any difference between their Islamic captors and American Christians so why not convert?
I guess after they learned that the beliefs of the fundamentalists extremist Muslims are not much different than the beliefs of fundamentalist extremist Christian American Taliban who make up the base of the current Republican party and devote Faux News viewers, they understood converting wouldn’t change their core beliefs much?
Then in his comments section he says:
Obviously I wouldn’t blame anyone for doing what they did to save their lives. But the hypocrisy of reporters from the most Christian Faux News being the ones to do it was just way to good to pass up.
So in the worldview of the Democratic Daily, reporters being coerced to convert to Islam provides a perfect opportunity to mock FoxNews, to make assumptions about the private beliefs of the reporters to which we are not privy, and to ridicule Republicans and American Christians (who, by the way, regularly fly planes into buildings, kidnap foreign journalists and force them to convert, kill and kidnap soldiers of neighboring countries to start wars, lob missiles at civilians...). I should have known. Obviously these people have no decency.

Illegal Immigration Demonstrators at It Again

Yesterday Michelle Malkin posted about another pro-illegal immigration demonstration in Maywood, California. Demonstrators raised the Mexican flag at a U.S. Post Office, called the police "illegal blue-eyed devils" and hurled the f-bomb at them about a gazillion times. Other than that they seemed like well-assimilated Americans. Go check out the pictures and the YouTube video clip over on her site. It's an education.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Senator Biden: My State was a Slave State

Sen. Biden Brags:

Oh, my gosh. I really don't think our state's past history as a slave state is something to brag about. Ugh. Will the fact that we had slavery here really make our Senator more palatable to Southerners as a Presidential candidate? I can't imagine.

I so wish Senator Biden would pause and think a minute before he speaks! This is hardly the first time he's opened mouth and inserted foot.

Hat tip to PolitaKid

UPDATE: Here's a link to the entire transcript.

And here's the transcript for this little clip, also from FoxNews:
WALLACE: And, finally, Senator Biden — finally, we've got about 30 seconds left, but I can't let you go without some politics. As we've mentioned, you're in South Carolina right now, on the campaign trial. Thirty seconds or less, what kind of a chance would a Northeastern liberal like Joe Biden stand in the South if you were running in Democratic primaries against southerners like Mark Warner and John Edwards.

BIDEN: Better than anybody else. You don't know my state. My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a Northeast liberal state.

Kampusch Escapes

Natascha Kampusch, an eighteen year old woman, escaped from her captor of eight years. She had been snatched off the street in Austria when she was ten years old on her way to school. Her kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, kept her in a small cell and rarely let her out for the first seven years of her captivity. Over the last year, she was allowed more freedom. Last Wednesday, she finally escaped from him, as he was preoccupied on his cell phone. Shortly thereafter, Priklopil committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. I'm pretty sure we all know where he'll be spending eternity.

This poor young woman wept bitterly when she was told of his suicide. Specialists believe she is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome in which a victim identifies with his captor as a mechanism for dealing with an unbearable situation. They believe she feels guilt over his death because her escape led to his response.

Google her name and you'll find countless stories about this young woman. I've read so many that I cannot begin to give one source for the information here. Many articles are very similar. There was one, however, that I wish I could find again because it contained an especially stupid statement. It said something to the effect that Priklopil killed himself because he had finally come to terms with what he had done and felt so bad about it that he wanted to die. I don't think so! More likely he knew that if they caught him he would be forced to live in a cell much like the one he had forced Kampusch to live in (although it would be much more spacious) and decided he'd rather be dead. He took an easy way out. Is that a good thing?

Hat tip to Cao's Blog where I first saw this story, though I was too busy to follow up until now.

FoxNews Reporters Released

FoxNews reporters were kidnapped by the Holy Jihad Brigades who demanded the release of Muslim prisoners in the U.S. They released the reporters sometime after they converted to Islam:
Centanni said he and Wiig were forced to participate in a Muslim conversion ceremony. "I have the highest respect for Islam, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns and we didn't know what the hell was going on,'' Centanni told CNN.
What a harrowing ordeal! Thank goodness they were finally released and are safe.


Hat tip to Cao's Blog

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Harry Enfield & Chums - Women! Know Your Limits

This is too funny. I guess I never knew my limits, always arguing about ideas and issues. You mean, as a female I've been over-reaching all this time? Who knew?

I'm glad that women like Abigail Adams didn't take such drivel seriously, either. But it sure is good for a laugh. Enjoy.

Hat tip to RightWingSparkle

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Plan B OTC

If it's so safe, why are lower doses of birth control pills by prescription only? Will the pharmacist watch the woman take the medications? How will he know that the woman won't walk out of the store and hand the medication to a juvenile who really should be under a doctor's care before taking drugs? This sounds like a political move more than a medical one me.

You Tube: All Your Fakes Are Belong to Us

All Your Fakes Are Belong to Us

This is kinda cool. I didn't like it at first, but it got better. There were many doctored and staged photos during the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah (Lebanon). The MSM would have gotten away with it too if it hadn't been for attentive bloggers. Good job, guys.

Hattip to The Jawa Report via RightWingNews.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Some Choice

Born alive only to be "aborted" anyway. That's what happened to a newborn in Hieleah, Florida on July 20 of this year.

An eighteen year old young woman arrived on morning at A Gyn Diagnostics Center for an appointment to abort her baby, taking medication prior to her arrival which would dilate her cervix. She was twenty-three weeks along. Frantz Bazile, the abortionist, failed to arrive at work that day.

Later that afternoon, the girl gave birth to a live and active baby which struggled to breathe. Instead of transporting the baby to the hospital five minutes away as Born Alive laws demand, Belkis Gonzalez, a clinic worker, stuffed the baby into a biohazard bag, sealing it, in order to suffocate the newborn.

Siomara Senises, the clinic's owner, surrendered her license. Two years ago, she had handed over her license for another Florida clinic after it had been discovered that unlicensed workers, including a janitor, had been permitted to perform abortions on patients there.

Shocking as this story is, this is not the only time this sort of thing has transpired. A year ago another born-alive victim of abortion died in a Florida clinic.

A journal, Pediatrics, published a study in 2003 showing that approximately two-thirds of babies born at the same age as the one in this story (twenty-three weeks) survive.

At the risk of stating the obvious, something is seriously wrong with our nation when these sorts of atrocities occur. How can we allow abortions to be performed, for any reason, at any point of the forty weeks of gestation? If babies can survive at twenty-three weeks, is it fair to label them fetuses and declare their right to live dependent solely on the whims of another? Since when does an individual's right to live depend upon being wanted and valued by someone else? Are we not all created with a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Why do we weep with a woman who miscarries at twenty-three weeks and instinctively say she has lost her baby, but defend a "woman's right" to abort a "fetus" of twenty-three weeks, the exact same age? The only difference is in the value the mother (or father) has placed upon the child, not in his actual worth or viability. It is high time for this barbarity to end.

Here is a picture of a baby in the womb at five months of gestation.
Here is one at six months.

Source: World Magazine

French Bashing Continues

For those of you who enjoyed the "If Famous Americans Had Been French" fake quotes, you may like some of Mark Levin's French jokes which are on MarkLevinFan's site. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Congrats, RightWingSparkle

Blog Primer

Congratulations to RightWingSparkle (Kathleen McKinley) on her first video blog in which she explains the political blogosphere to those who have no idea what we're about (and maybe don't even know we exist).

Well done, RWS. We hope to see more Vlogs from you in the future.

UPDATE: Here's a link to wikipedia for an explantion of vlogs.

Germany's Surprise

A Yahoo! News article on the arrest of suspects of the failed train bombing in Germany reads:
The planned attack here stunned Germans who thought the country's vehement
opposition to the Iraq war would insulate it from becoming a terror target almost five years after the attacks on Washington and New York.
Sorry, Germany. It doesn't work that way. Terrorists have been performing their murderous acts on innocent civilians long before 9/11, not only in the U.S., but all over the world. Nor is the U.S. their sole target; the West as a whole is their goal. Avoiding confrontation and playing ostrich have no effect when dealing with ruthless enemies. Germany of all countries should know this. Appeasement didn't work with them over a half century ago, either.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sleepy Kitty

Babies and children are always fending off sleep. Now it seems that this childish trait is shared by other species. Click here for a fifteen second video clip of a truly adorable little sleepy kitten. However, click only if you like cute. You've been warned.

Giving Thanks (To Our British Friends)

Yesterday was August 22. Aside from stating the obvious, there is something very special about that date: nothing happened to us. August 22 passed in the United States of America in relative peace and safety because of the diligent work of our cousins across the pond, and we have moved on to new day.

Thank you, Great Britain, for your excellent intelligence and law enforcement work, in conjunction with the U.S., in tracking down terrorists and foiling their plot against the United States of America. Without your assiduous efforts, we may have suffered another attack yesterday on an even grander scale than 9/11. You nullified the terrorists plans to use explosives and ten airplanes to massacre more innocent civilians, and August 22, 2006 will mean little to us in years to come instead of dwelling in infamy in our collective consciousness.

As much as most of us would like to live our lives with a pre-9/11 mentality, in fact there is a clash of cultures--of civilizations--as Samuel Huntington has stated, occurring, in which loosely connected networks of terrorists search our destruction. How comforting to know that our British allies across the Atlantic have our back.

If anyone would like to send thanks to our British friends, below are three places to do so:
Scotland Yard's email
The British Embassy
The Queen of England

Thanks also to Word around the Net for his reminder and for posting the information, making a simple thank-you, well, simple.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Where My Kids WON'T Be Going to College...

...University of Texas at Austin, named "best party school" by Princeton Review. It was number two for hard liquor use, number three for beer drinking, and number thirteen for pot smoking. Now there's something to be proud of--getting kids a head start on cirrhosis of the liver. Also, last December, a freshman there died from alcohol overdose.

Tell you what, Brigham Young University which was declared "the most 'stone cold sober' school" is looking surprisingly good about now. Okay, not really. It would be preferable for the kids to attend somewhere closer to home. Air travel is just no fun these days.

Beware the Evangelism Linebacker

Evangelism Linebacker

Now I am officially scared. If I admit I haven't been as evangelism-minded as of late as I ought to be and promise to do better, will I be spared the treatment?

Hat tip to Paul Smith, Jr. of Gazizza.

I'm Large and In Charge

...because now I'm a Large Mammal in the TTLB ecosystem. Hmmm. I rather liked being a 'roo of the Maurading Marsupial class. What kick!

So what shall I be now, and how large is large? Elephant large? Camel large? I just don't see myself as an elephant or a camel.

I'm thinking kitty. Choosing an appropriate cat presents far more difficulties than one would imagine. Naturally, I have always admired lions. But they've got that whole harem thing going on, and I'm just not into that. Mountain lions are cool. They can purr. They, however, don't roar, so I'm not sure that's the way to go. Tigers are awesome Puh-lease! Jaguars, on the other hand, are very strong and are supposed to be the fiercest of the cats. I have always considered my love for my children to be "fierce". Therefore, jaguar it is.

Then again, in the canine family exists a very special dog. They are especially beautiful yet built like little tanks. Friendly and gentle enough to be utilized as children-warmers on cold nights, they are brave enough to stand up to polar bears in defense of their people. While I'm not particularly fond of cold, they have gorgeous coats to keep themselves warm, and their fur has certain mysterious self-cleaning qualities. I'm speaking of Samoyeds, of course. I could be a samoyed. Or rather, I'd like to be a samoyed.

Goodness me. I just can't decide between these two phenomenal animals. Any thoughts?

update: yes, i went in and added the "not" that i was missing before. for pete's sake, why didn't anyone tell me i'd dropped a word?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Lebanon: Thoughts on an "Interesting" Perspective

Interesting perspective...
Lebanon's defense minister...warned that any group breaking the cease-fire with Israel would be "decisively dealt with" and considered a traitor...The strong words from Defense Minister Elias Murr indicated concern that factions other than Hezbollah, which he said was committed to the cease-fire, might try to draw retaliation from Israel by firing on the Jewish state. "We consider that when
the resistance (Hezbollah) is committed not to fire rockets, then any rocket that is fired from the Lebanese territory would be considered collaboration with Israel to provide a pretext (to Israel) to strike,"
Is it safe to assume that any group from within a nation that engages in acts of war against another nation, apart from governmental orders, would be guilty of treason? So is he admitting that Hezbollah is treasonous? And if so, why is Hezbollah treasonous? Is it because Hezbollah was "in collaboration with Israel to provide a pretext (to Israel) to strike", or in other words, really on Israel's side? Or is Hezbollah treasonous for perpetrating an act of war on behalf of Lebanon without their government's consent? And if he doesn't consider Hezbollah treasonous and every one of them guilty of jail time or execution (whatever the punishment is there for treason), then was it really the Lebanese government that was at war with Israel the whole time, hiding behind this group that was not "within their control"?
"What we see today is an image of the crimes Israel has committed ... there is no other description other than a criminal act that shows Israel's hatred to destroy Lebanon and its unity," he told reporters on a tour to south Beirut..."I hope the international media transmits this picture to every person in the world so that it shows this criminal act, this crime against humanity that Israel has committed..." (spoken by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora)

Perhaps if the Lebanese government had immediately declared Hezbollah guilty of treason and declared that they would be disarmed, disbanded, and all participants in the attack against Israelis appropriately punished and then actually followed through with its declarations, Israel would have backed off. But when Lebanon is unwilling or unable to punish the perpetrators of crimes, it leaves little choice to Israel than to demand their soldiers back and to take matters into its own hands. (Personally, I don't think that Lebanese television transmitting scenes of huge crowds of Lebanese a year or more ago shouting, "Death to Israel" and the Lebanese government's failure to control Hezbollah's actions gave them warm fuzzies inside and a confidence that the perpetrators of the act of war would be appropriately punished.)

Your terrorist organization, Prime Minister, committed crimes against humanity in picking a war with Israel. Your terrorist organization from your country committed crimes against their own people by setting up their military bases amongst civilians. Your terrorist organization committed crimes against humanity in purposely targeting Israeli hospitals and civilian centers while the Israeli military attempted to warn your civilians to flee Hezbollah-infested areas that they would be striking. Don't blame Israel if you won't control your own whackos and punish them when they do wrong, Prime Minister.

Source of quotes: FoxNews

Sunday, August 20, 2006

On Children

One's children are like a lot of live bombs. One never knows when they'll go off or in what direction.

spoken by Mrs. Baldwin

Source: a letter from Winston Churchill to his wife

Saturday, August 19, 2006

World Trade Center: The Movie

Last night a few of us from the DCBA took a field trip to see World Trade Center. It was a huge stretch for some of us as we aren’t the type to patronize Oliver Stone films, but with all the affirmations from right-thinking people that he did indeed “do good”, we decided to suck it up and go see for ourselves. In attendance were the lovely Miss Anonymous Opinion, Paul Smith, and Jeff the Baptist and his sweet bride.

The Film
The morning of 9/11 started out the same as any other morning for most Americans. The people in World Trade Center were no different. They began their morning performing the usual duties of Port Authority officers. Then a strange shadow glided across the sky followed by a ground-shaking rumble. The news media soon reported on the television that a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers.

With little knowledge of the magnitude of the catastrophe, let alone any knowledge of the true nature of the attack yet unfinished on innocent civilians of U.S.A., John McLoughlin (Nicholas Cage) asked for volunteers to follow him to the World Trade Center buildings to rescue people undoubtedly injured and trapped inside the burning building. Without hesitation, several stepped forward.

As they caravanned to the towers, sketchy and unconfirmed news came of a second plane hitting the other tower. Yet the assumption remained that the smoke flowing was from the initial crash. People, clearly in shock, fled, stumbled, and even jumped from the burning building. Many were bloodied, and some supported others in their attempts to get out alive.

While average moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters fled the building to safety, firefighters and Port Authority officers rushed in hoping to rescue innocent fellow citizens trapped inside despite a lack of training or equipment for an event of this magnitude. When the building began to rumble and shake yet again, McLoughlin immediately directed his men to the elevator shaft for shelter. Yet even his quick thinking couldn’t save most of his men from the implosion. Buried beneath body crushing rubble, only three initially survived, McLoughlin, Will Jimeno (Michael Pena), and Dominick Pezzulo (Jay Hernandez) who didn’t make it.

McLoughlin, though in bad shape himself, used his leadership skills to encourage Jimeno to stay awake and to survive. They talked to remain alert. They prayed as more rubble tumbled down around and onto them. Jimeno received comfort from his Savior in the form of a vision.

Meanwhile, firefighters volunteered and rushed to NYC to rescue survivors and to support rescue workers in any capacity possible. Retired Marine Dave Karnes felt God calling him to go into the destruction of the WTC to do whatever he could to assist wounded Americans. The wives, children and extended family members of the injured McLoughlin and Jimeno fretted and hoped as they awaited news of their loved ones’ status.

My Reflections
As the world learned of the assault on our people, scenes showed their horror over our suffering. Many countries did indeed grieve with us over our devastation that day. Noticeably absent from the film, however, were the news clips of the citizens of certain third world countries who cheered and jeered and danced in the streets at the news of the demise of almost three thousand of our people innocently going about their daily business. I, however, remember their response very well.

The juxtaposition of our value for life versus the terrorists’ value for death deeply impressed me also though the movie depicted no terrorists. While some sought to massacre those with whom they were not even at war, there were heroes willing to risk their own lives to save others. Gratitude for men retaining true manliness in an often wimpy world welled up within me. Although our lives are not as rough and tumble as they once were, the kind of character and raw physical courage embodied in those who will lay down their lives for others, who will rush in when others are rushing out, are still desperately needed today. Thank God for these men (and women).

The film is worth seeing. If you go, let the reminder of the fragility of our lives and the preciousness of our relationships with our loved ones sink deep into your heart as you watch. Real Americans experienced this calamity. Real people lost or almost lost their loved ones that day. Real flesh and blood human beings fretted over the last words they spoke and realized that when all’s said and done, their relationships mattered most.

Many thanks to Oliver Stone for playing it straight and highlighting what is good about the United States of America, her (not so) ordinary heroes.

Friday, August 18, 2006

If Great Americans Had Been French...

Over on Right Wing News, a few of us have been engaging in some heartless but amusing French bashing. Big, a commenter, started it all with his whimsical "If Great Americans Had Been French" quotes.

By Big:

Vince Lombardi: "Winning isn't everything, talking about winning, well actually just talking is the only thing."

General Patton: "Remember men, no bastard ever won a war... and um, that's pretty much all I know about the matter."

Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up a little freedom for security should realize that the really important thing is giving up."

Then another commenter, Lumberjack, joined in with:

James Lawrence: "Don't give up the ship, well actually you can."

John Paul Jones:"I have not yet begun to fight, because I would rather surrender now and get it over."

David G. Farragut: "Damn the torpedoes, get us the hell outta here."

I couldn't resist and added:

Patrick Henry: "Give me liberty or... well, death scares me, so give me liberty or give me oppression. Whatever."

Nathan Hale: "I regret that I have to give my life for my country. Couldn't I just collaborate instead?"

General George Patton: "The object of war is not to die for your if it looks like it's getting a little dangerous just surrender, okay?"

Anyone else want to join in the savagery?

P.S. The jokes started out as fodder for a new young blogger from Canada whose sole aim is to bash the French on his blog.

UPDATE: Here's an apparently real quote from Jacques Chirac as appeared on Word around the Net: "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure"...

to which Rush Limbaugh responded: "As far as France is concerned, you're right."

UPDATE 2: By Clint:

John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, just let us know if we're not surrendering quickly enough."

Gen. Douglas MacArthur: "I shall return, unless things get tough. Then I'll hide under the bed and send a letter of support."

Even West Virginia Isn't Safe

At a West Virginia airport, a "twenty-eight year old woman of Pakistani descent" attempted to bring four liquid items in her carry-on, two of which tested positive for explosives residue. Source here.

I wonder if she is connected to a wider terrorist plot or is searching for her fifteen minutes of fame.

H/T: Right Wing News

UPDATE: It seems this incident was a false alarm. Thank goodness.

One bottle contained a gel-type facial cleanser, Killeen said.

"Anytime a prohibited item is brought to a checkpoint, then you are going to be immediately more interested in that bag," Kayser said.
from FoxNews

I truly sympathize with her. The new restrictions on liquids and gels will make it very difficult for women who wish to carry their toiletries with them in case their luggage is lost. Imagine being stranded someplace without toothpaste, facial cleanser, and moisturizers. Ugh. But I bet she didn't want her 15 minutes of fame this way! Poor thing.

P.S. I also really hate having to check my Swiss Army Knife as I hate to be without that too.

Book Meme

Book Meme from Anonymous Opinion

1. One book that changed your life: More Than a Carpenter (and of course the Bible...honestly.)

2. One book that you've read more than once: The Bible, but I'm sure everyone's interested in other answers than that so I'd have to say Jane Eyre. Oh, also The Hiding Place and Pilgrim's Progress.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: The Bible, most definitely. I'm sure that's a top answer. I'm not trying sound cliche. If I could grab a couple more and keep them safe while being shipwrecked, I'd love to have a Vine's Expository Dictionary too, and boy, a book on survival skills would be handy since I majorly flunked that survival test Jeff the Baptist had on his site a few months ago.

4. One book that made you laugh: The Phantom Tollbooth. I know it's a kid's book, but my son and I loved all the silly word play that went on.

5. One book that made you cry: That would be Jane Eyre again. I read a condensed version of it the first time as a book choice for school. I was in fifth or sixth grade and was ordinarily a very tough kid. That story, however, moved me to tears. My mother and her boyfriend walked in as I sat on the couch reading, tears streaming down my face. My mother asked me what was wrong three times, but all I could do was reply with little sobs, eyes still glued to the book. Finally, her boyfriend asked, "Is the book sad?" At that I completely broke down. "Yes!" I wailed and ran from the room. By seventh grade, I procured an unabridged version. I've read it a few times. It's probably about time to revisit that old friend once again.

6. One book that you wish had been written: I think every child should come with a manual specifically about him or her so parents would know how to raise each one. I suppose that would, in fact, result in billions of books, though. Still, how many times have you heard a mom say she wishes her child had come with a manual because each one is different, and we parents are flying blind so much of the time.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Mein Kampf and possibly the Qur'an since it seems to motivate terrorists for some reason, although I hate to pick on an entire religion.

8. One book you’re currently reading: A book Anonymous Opinion lent me on HTML, The Case for Israel and The Middle East.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: There are three that I have started and left for other books that I really want to finish at some point. They are: For the Glory of God, The Party of Death, and The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.

10. Tag five others. Gee, Anonymous Opinion went and tagged the whole DCBA. I guess I have to go outside my "immediate family" for this. I sure hope you guys are a good-natured sort. How about Christopher Taylor of Word around the Net, Greg of Rhymes with Right, George of More than Right, Duffy of Pencader Days, Mike of Mike's Musings, and (for an even half dozen), Andy. You wouldn't let a lady down, now, would you, guys?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm a Marsupial and I'm Marauding

Check it out (over in my sidebar). I'm a Marauding Marsupial in the TTLB ecosystem!

How did that happen? For weeks I was an Insignificant Microbe, but I noticed that they had none of the inbound or outbound links, nor were links to my posts registering. Then their site went down a week and a half ago for updates. When it came back up, all my links were updated, and I was an Adorable Little Rodent. I was thrilled to say the least. I decided that chipmunks are especially cute, so I would consider myself an honorary chipmunk.

Then this morning I clicked over there and was shocked to discover that I am now a Marauding Marsupial. I think I'll be a kangaroo. 'Roos are pretty cool. They carry their little ones in pouches much as I did for an inordinate length of time. And, baby, they've got a kick too! Alriiiight! But I don't know how it happened. I hope it's not a mistake. Even if it is, being a chipmunk was cool too.

By the way, since I'm a certifiable techno-dummie could anyone explain to me how I can get a space between my TTLB information and my Previous Posts section in my sidebar? It's a wee bit too visually crowded over there. I'm wondering if a html paragraph tag would do it. (See? I am learning, ever so slowly. I'm so excited just to be able to put links in my sidebar all by myself and italicize parts of my comments on blogs, but then I'm easily amused.) So if anyone can fill me in, I'd sure appreciate it. Remember, make the advise fool-proof. I am such a fool!

I've Been Tagged! This is for You, Robin...

Okay, Robin. This is for you. However, what you think is "lighter", for me is actually rather difficult. But for you, I'll do it because you're a sweetie, and you make me laugh.

1. A friend who has blessed me: This is hard because all my friends are blessings to me. I'd say my two longest running best friends, Mare and Steph. They have both been there for me no matter what and know everything about me but love me anyway. That's a tall order. So often I meet people who tell me their troubles, and I realize that they have no one in their lives who loves them and to whom they can tell anything. And I go home, pick up the phone, and tell my friends how much I love them and appreciate them and how much money they have saved me because I've never needed to hire a psychologist to listen to me. They listen. For free. Out of love. They're such a blessing.

2. An unexpected gift: I was going to include her in my answer for number one, but I saw that I needed a good answer here. Miss Anonymous Opinion called me and invited me to attend a concert at Longwood Gardens last Saturday given by the Kennett Square Symphony. They played show tunes and even had two remarkable male singers for several of them as well as a choir for a few of the songs. The director was phenomenal. We had a terrific time together and sang with AO's My Fair Lady CD the whole way home. It was a wonderfully unexpected and undeserved gift.

3. A kind word shared with me recently: It's the recently part that's killin' me here. I would prefer it to have read "one of the best compliments you've ever received" as there are a couple of those that I cherish. But recently...a friend asked me why I'm not on Broadway. The answer is because I'm not that good (and I'm sure she knows that), but it was still very kind.

4. Something that makes me stop and praise God: When I recall where I would be if Christ had not pursued me when I was a teenager. Would I be writing today? Probably not. Let's just leave it at that.

5. Something I'm looking forward to: Definitely NOT school starting up soon. I will miss the kids. And I don't look forward to them growing up and moving away. It will be so very hard to not have them in my life everyday. But I think grandchildren will be pretty cool. And I have a lot of years to wait for that, I think.

6. A particular part of me I'm pleased with: I'm assuming by the way this was answered before that this is referring to the physical. Until recently, I would have said my face. I remember hypothetical conversations years ago, "If you were in an accident and your face was messed up and the plastic surgeon could make you look like anyone, who would it be?" I would say, "just make me me again." Not because my face should ever have graced magazine covers, mind you, but just because it's me. (The "until recently" is because I'd prefer to have been frozen at 27, but that didn't happen.)

7. Something in my life that I wanted but never expected: Getting along with my mom. When I was a teenager, I don't think I could have foreseen that we would actually like each other one day.

8. A place that moved/moves me: Niagra Falls. Awesome. Mesmerizing. It is so beautiful and so powerful. If I could have touched the water without endangering myself, I would have loved to have done so.

9. One thing/person that always makes me smile: Only one? Ha! We'll see about that! The laughter of little children. My beautiful and cuddly dog (when she's not barking her fool head off). Gazing at my gorgeous daughter or my handsome son. My husband's compliments.

10. Most recent "love note" from God: Eph 1:11 "In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined..." John 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you..." They may not be the most recent, but they are the most profound for me. It took a very long time for it to sink in that the Lord Jesus really did want me. I'm not His by accident but because He chose me. That understanding makes me so much more confident that I can come to Him with anything.

Whom to tag? Miss Anonymous Opinion, of course! And I wonder if Tasra Dawson would like to play. You're it, girls!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Spoof: NYT on Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

From The People's Cube. See their site for full articles.

Too funny.

H/T: Right Wing News

Men and Poor Body Image

I thought this was an interesting headline—“Men Catch Up to Women in Poor Body Image, Eating Disorders”.

The first line of the article remarks about the perfect bodies on magazines which give teenage girls unrealistic ideals of what they are supposed to look like. That’s been my beef for years. Everywhere we look, magazine covers for men and for women display near-perfect (perhaps even surgically enhanced) beauties. Women are used to sell countless unrelated products. Glamorous women are needed for menial tasks in game shows. In other words, women have been valued for their looks much more than men have been. This has taken its toll on young women in terms of eating disorders and a strong urge to surgically alter their bodies. (A recent trip for a mammogram led to a discussion with the technician about breast implants. She guess-timated that around 25% of the women she had been seeing lately had them.) Now, I don’t think it’s morally wrong to get breast implants, but I do think it’s a real shame that we women feel such pressure and unhappiness with our bodies that we would resort to surgery in large numbers to look more like what we are shown daily we should.

Men, however, are apparently starting to feel some of the same pressures that we have internalized for years. If I were a vindictive sort, I’d say, “Ha! ‘Bout time.” But I’m not like that. I like men. I don’t want our guys to suffer psychologically or to harm themselves physically to achieve physical perfection, either.

The article points out that due to seeing “idealized, muscular men in the media”, young men are feeling compelled to lift weights to unhealthy extremes, eat unbalanced diets, ingest excessive amounts of protein supplements, and even take steroids. When I posted on lifting weights for exercise, this was not what I had in mind!

While I disagree with the title that men have “caught up to” women in poor body image, I do agree with the article’s conclusion: "Instead of seeing a decrease in objectification of women in society, there has just been an increase in the objectification of men." Think about that for a moment. More and more, we are becoming things to one another. Although I admire beauty as much as the next person, I am deeply distressed about our society’s focus on the temporal and external over the character and inner beauty of our people. But that should be a whole other post...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You Tube: Children of the Future Jihad

Children of the Future Jihad

You've got to see this one. Ever wonder how they produce so many suicide bombers from the religion of peace?

This little video puts it all in perspective.

Does anyone else think this is child abuse?

H/T: The Jawa Report

UPDATE: The blank area on my post above where the video is supposed to be is because You Tube is in the process of making modifications to their site. If you see the pic, they're back up; click away. If it's blank, please come back a little later. I doubt they'll be down long.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Nasrallah: Thoughts from a Warped Mind

"The United States has full responsibility for the massacres, the daily acts of aggression and the severe human rights violations that the Zionist regime has perpetrated. I call upon the Arab and Islamic states to hold the US responsible. The Arab and Islamic states must understand that the US is their number one enemy, who runs the conflict and campaigns against our nation both directly and indirectly through Israel, its proxy."

-Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah

Hmmm. I thought that Hezbollah, the party of God (Allah), started the recent conflict by kidnapping Israeli soldiers when Israel and Lebanon were at peace. And talk about human rights violations. Hel-looo? Who set up their military bases amongst their civilian population? And who led his people in catchy little chants like "Death to Israel" a year ago? And the U.S. is to blame? Riiiiight.

Something tells me he wasn't paying attention when his mommy tried to teach him about personal responsibility.

H/T: Word around the Net

Happy Birthday, Carole

Happy Birthday to my brilliant and very well-preserved friend, Carole of Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy.

Cease-Fire for Israel and Hezbollah

By now, a much hoped for cease-fire has supposedly taken effect along the Israeli-Lebanonese border.

However, I don't think this bodes well for peace:

A meeting of the Lebanese government on the disarming of Hezbollah south of the Litani River was canceled on Sunday following an announcement by the Shi'ite organization that it was not willing to discuss the subject...

Joe Sarkiss, Lebanon's minister of tourism, said that "the army will not deploy in the south unless there are no arms in the south except those of a legitimate military force and UNIFIL."
Source: Hezbollah torpedoes Lebanese gov't meeting on disarmament

According to the agreement, the United Nations and the Lebanese government are each to deploy 15,000 troops to southern Lebanon from the border between the two belligerents to the Litani River in Lebanon, approximately eighteen miles from the border. Israel has stated that it will not withdraw its own troops until these troops are in place which it hopes will be within the next week or so.

Hezbollah's Nasrallah has agreed to the cease-fire, but has declared "the war has not ended". Therefore, not surprisingly, critics see this "peace" as little more than an opportunity for Hezbollah to regroup and re-arm with the help of its benefactor, Iran.

(Source: Israel Approves Truce, Continues Barrage)

And the beat goes on...

H/T to RightWingNews for links to news stories.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Alert

Perhaps you've received an email recently warning of another kind of breast cancer called Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Well, it's no hoax. It's all true.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a silent killer, a cancer that none of us were taught to recognize. While we've been encouraged to perform monthly self-exams, see the doctor annually, receive a baseline mammogram at 35, and begin yearly mammograms starting at 40, most of us have never heard of the most aggressive form of breast cancer, IBC.

IBC does not present with a lump and doesn't show up on mammograms. It may begin with the appearance of a bug bite. Some women were even given antibiotics by their doctors who had never seen a case before and didn't recognize it for what it was. Symptoms include:
  • rapid increase in breast size
  • redness
  • skin that is hot to the touch
  • persistent itching
  • thickening of breast tissue.

Click here for a link to the transcript and an embedded video of a May 7 newscast about IBC. The video is entitled "Silent Killer: Inflammatory Breast Cancer".

By no means should you stop performing your monthly self breast exams, visits to your doctor, or mammograms as that is how the bulk of breast cancer will be detected. But now you know a few more things for which to watch. Take care of yourselves, ladies. If you won't do it for you, do it for your family because they love you, need you, and want you around for a long time.

H/T to Carole of Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy who emailed me the story.

UPDATE: I just visited the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation and found another list of symptoms to watch for and lots of other information.

One or more of the following are Typical Symptoms of IBC:

  • Swelling, usually sudden, sometimes a cup size in a few day
  • Itching
  • Pink, red, or dark colored area (called erythema) sometimes with texture
    similar to the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange)
  • Ridges and thickened areas of the skin
  • What appears to be a bruise that does not go away
  • Nipple retraction
  • Nipple discharge, may or may not be bloody
  • Breast is warm to the touch
  • Breast pain (from a constant ache to stabbing pains)
  • Change in color and texture of the aureole
Check out their site here.

Jake Vs. the Vengers

One of my son's closest friends whom I'll call Jake visits with us frequently. We love him to bits. This is in spite of his unusual genetic defect--a total lack of natural inhibitions. Basically, Jake's a trip, and no one ever knows what he'll say or do next.

Since my husband and I had driven separate vehicles to my sister-in-law's house, we divvied up the family for the return trip home. I took the guys with me. Hubby and the girls were to follow later. While the boys and I were driving, we encountered a torrential downpour, but we all made it home in one piece. Once we arrived, I had the guys bring in all our stuff (I really love having kids around), while I ran upstairs. When I came down a couple of minutes later, I found Jake on the phone with my husband.

Jake said: "Mr. Venger? Could you please come by the service station to pick us up?...Well, because we had a little problem....No, actually I'm just kidding. But I heard you were stopping at the store to pick up something for Miss Anna...Yeah...Well, could you pick up something for me?...Pick me up some tampons, please?"

My son and I were rolling. We hadn't seen that one coming.

Later, when the rest of the family arrived home, they told me that they really did bring some for him. My daughter gave them to Jake who screamed like a girl and threw them on the floor.

That'll teach Jake. We don't shock easily, and if he can dish it out, he had better be able to take it. :-)

See this week's other carnival entries here.

UPDATE: If you've never heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, please read this story.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I'm Baaack (with Opinions on the Week)

I’m baaaack…from our vacation.

We traveled this week to the lovely Skaneateles, New York which has one of the most beautiful, bluest, and cleanest lakes in the world. The pictures on their site do not do it justice. The water is so pure that the town could take the water directly from the lake with little to no processing, and it is so clear that we could see up to twenty feet down. The town too is well-kept and utterly charming.

We played miniature golf. We hiked. We swam. We played games. It had been a long time since we had spent prolonged quality time together, and we had a blast. Nevertheless, I was showing signs of computer and blogosphere withdrawal. Hubby recognized the symptoms. I think after my post last Sunday, he was secretly enjoying my discomfiture.

Oddly enough, I slept very well that first night. Perhaps I was peaceful, knowing my favorite people were safe and all together in the same room. I awoke just before six in the morning and lay awake for quite awhile suffering separation anxiety over my blog.

Finally I decided to search for a computer. Still in my jammies and with no make-up, messy hair and worst of all, un-brushed teeth, I wandered into town. Making my way to the library, I asked if they had internet access and if I would be allowed use of a computer. They had one, and horror of horror, it had dial up connection. Can you imagine? I waited and waited for my annavenger site to come up, all to no avail. My frustration mounted. The librarian tried to help. Again I waited for my blog to appear on the screen, but clearly their system was having issues.

And then I awoke. Thank goodness. You have no idea how relieved I was to discover that, no, I had not wandered around in jammies, with no make-up, messy hair, and, worst of all, un-brushed teeth. Shudder. My dignity had not been compromised; it was just a bad dream.

My first contact with news of the outside world came on Wednesday late afternoon as we dined in a restaurant that had news on the television. That’s when I learned of Lieberman’s defeat in the primary. What a disappointment. I’m hardly a lib, but I do have a measure of respect for Senator Lieberman whom I believe to be a man of principle. I think it says something about the current state of the Democratic party that his home state would vote out the former Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate in a primary. It speaks volumes of the refusal of the party to allow any dissent. Furthermore, I had always thought that it was telling that he continued in his support for the war in Iraq rather than jumping on the cut and run bandwagon, especially as he serves on the Armed Services committee and is therefore privy to classified information. What does he know that others don’t and how has that influenced his stand?

Also, in the news that day was more discussion of how Hezbollah is winning the war of public opinion. What rubbish! They start a conflict with the backing of Iran, kidnapping Israeli soldiers. Lebanese television shows huge crowds of its citizenry shouting “Death to Israel” even a year ago, making their intentions quite clear. They purposely lob missiles into known Israeli civilian centers, and their people admit that they don’t mourn over innocent Israeli deaths. Hezbollah deliberately sets up military camp amongst the civilian population in full knowledge that that will lead to civilian deaths. Green Helmet Guy shows up repeatedly for photo ops, carefully positioning dead children for maximum effect.

Israel, on the other hand, did not aggress until aggressed upon. They demanded their soldiers back, a reasonable request by any standard except that of extreme international anti-Semitism. They have never amassed crowds of Israelis shouting “Death to Lebanon!” or any other Arab people. They drop leaflets warning civilians to leave the area days before they commence bombing. They establish all military bases far from civilian centers so they are easy targets and by internationally established rules of warfare should draw enemy fire away from their civilian centers, unless of course they are dealing with terrorist organizations and countries whose aim is the destruction of innocent civilians. Lastly, Israel truly mourns the loss of civilian life regardless of country of origin, and they refuse to manipulate public opinion by desecrating their dead.

Yet on whose side does the MSM routinely fall? To whom do the peace activists fly to act as human shields? Do we even need to ask?

Lastly, on Thursday came the news that a terrorist plot was foiled in England to blow up ten planes bound for the U.S. On that, I’ve already written. (My first access to a computer in days!)

It was a difficult week to be away from the blogosphere. Nevertheless, my little family ranks higher than international affairs in my microcosmic value system. Still, I missed my little blog, you--my readers, and the many blogs I visit regularly and my internet friends. I hope you all have had as pleasant a week as my family and I had.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Social Justice Theory Coming to a Classroom Near You

Don’t ya just love education schools? There’s all that research into how best to teach our children. Then there’s all that training of young idealistic teachers-to-be by morally upright professors so they can impact their world.

Note, for example, the good works of Bill Ayers. A former member of the Weather Underground who planted bombs in government buildings, smashed store window, and attacked police back in 1969 has found a new cause- to educate teachers-to-be how to teach for social justice. Of course, “social justice” can mean different things to different people. To him and some other education professionals it means training the young to abhor our oppressive free market system and to become socialistic in outlook.

Here all this time I thought education was about learning how to do arithmetic and how to read and write. You know, the three R’s? Who knew it was for indoctrinating our children in communism. Apparently now some education departments even want to modify math classes to include this “social justice theory”.

This article by Sol Stern discusses this movement to teach social justice in education schools across the country. He points out that these professors are more concerned that precious hours of instruction be spent in teaching social justice to the young than in teaching those young people most in need of social justice to learn the basics so they can move into better jobs and a better life.

My experience with the education department at the university left me with the opinion that it was banal and pointless. Teaching for social justice, however, exceeds silliness and descends into the dangerous. But you can check out the article for yourself and see what you think.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Liquid Explosive Terrorist Plot Foiled

Surely all have heard of the foiled terrorist plot to blow up ten inbound flights from London to the U.S. The terrorists were to perform a trial run of their plot in the next couple days. In carry-on luggage, the terrorists had planned to conceal liquid explosives in such things as hair gels and lotions which could be detonated later with a spark. They had targeted flights to New York, Washington, and California.

Twenty-four have been arrested thus far, and British authorities are seeking ten more for arrest. It appears that the terrorists are British residents, homegrown. It is unclear, at this time, as to whether they are British citizens.

Airport authorities have responded to this threat by banning all liquids and gels from carry-on luggage with an exception for baby formula and medicine.

Since this was to be a dry-run, one wonders if they have learned from their mistakes. Terrorists had tried this before over a decade ago with nitroglycerin in a contact solution box. Frequently, they will try a few times before they carry out their final attack, just as the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993 before al-Quaida succeeded in 2001.

What can they learn from this? Probably much more than I can imagine since my mind doesn't work that way. However, I would look for them to utilize sickly looking people with prescription medicines. Also, I suspect they may start recruiting young women with infants and using baby formula to hide their explosives. Sound far-fetched? Yes, of course it does, because we would find such a thing beyond conception. Nevertheless, in Palestine, young women have been tricked into becoming suicide bombers before, sometimes by being seduced and once pregnant told the only way to mitigate their shame is to blow themselves up and take out Israeli civilians in the process. How's that for birth control? (Shocking details in The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz.) I truly hope in their zeal they don't do something so horrible. Then again, they don't care about blowing up other women, infants and small children on flights, so why should they flinch at their own becoming martyrs in such a manner? Just something that crossed my mind.

School Bullies

School will be in session again soon. That can mean only more harried schedules, messy backpacks, homework, and bullies.

Let's face it. Kids can be cruel. Often, in their immaturity, they have no idea what effect their words have upon their victims, words which can leave emotional scars that can last well into adulthood. Even worse than the emotional abuse is the physical bullying that occurs in many schools around the country, even here in Delaware.

I know some of the kids who've been victimized and their families. No child should be faced with physical harassment and violence in school or out.

The Nemours Foundation has an article, "Bullying and Your Child", with information regarding the various forms bullying takes today, an explanation of why kids may abuse others, how to recognize if your own child is being bullied with some advice on dealing with it, and how to handle your child if he or she is the bully.

Some of the advice for dealing with bullies is helpful. Other parts I found dubious. "Tell an adult," for example, is a good starting place, but in the cases of the kids with whom I am familiar, teachers and administrators said they couldn't help even though these children were being harassed day after day in their buildings. However, when the harassed young men eventually attempted to defend themselves since the schools would not, the schools suddenly leapt into action and punished them for standing up for themselves. One of the boys was expelled for a time; another's parents pulled him and put him in private school where, incidentally, he thrived. Parents should have a back-up plan to help their kids before bullying gets to that point, should they have the misfortune of dealing with school authorities who refuse or are powerless to do what it right. Thankfully, most teachers and administrators do care and take bullying seriously if they are aware of it.

If you have kids in the schools, it may not be a bad idea to think about these issues ahead of time. Once problems arise, the emotional component of seeing your child victimized may make it more difficult to make rational decisions.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Facts about Israel

Tammy Bruce has an interesting list of facts about Israel.

Currently, I am perusing The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz. So far he has made an excellent case against the double standard consistently applied to Israel versus the rest of the Middle East. He points out that there have always been Jews in Israel and Palestine and that the Jews who began immigrating there in the 1800s and after bought land that was not being used largely from absentee landlords. In other words, few were ever displaced by the nation of Israel. In fact, the Arab nations displaced far more of their own peoples for their various building projects than were displaced by the Jews.

I can't tell you too much more now. I think it's going to be an interesting book. In the interim, check out the Tammy Bruce link for a readable summary of facts.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Raise Your Metabolism

In a recent post by Gabrielle Reece, she encourages women to weight train to boost their metabolism and lose weight. The reason? Because
If you’re doing a cardiovascular activity (running, biking, swimming, walking), you burn calories for the duration of the time you're exercising. Now if you build muscles, your muscles become a calorie-burning machine. So let's say you lift weights for an hour. Your muscles will burn calories all day long.
Worried about getting bulky?
If you're truly paranoid about getting too big, then lift very light weights and do 12 to 15 reps.
Having some experience with weight training, I can attest to the veracity of her article. For women not interested in looking like body builders, that’s easy enough to avoid by following her instructions. The big guys put on all those muscles by lifting as much as they can at lower repetitions, not to mention their bodies are designed to put on more mass than a woman’s.

I also read not long ago in a Nutrition News article, I think it was, that after 40, if you’re not building muscle, you’re losing it. So if you’re over 40 or creeping up on it, that’s something to keep in mind.

If you’re new to weight training, you might want to check out a local gym. It will usually have someone who can give you some basic training. The home gyms, such as Bowflex or Crossbow, usually come with adequate instructions also.

Higher metabolism, better overall muscle tone, and not losing muscle as one ages are all good reasons to practice some weight training. But most of all, it’s just plain fun.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Pedophile's Defense

Apparently, Cleveland has problems from Rocky River in the person of Phillip Distasio who admits to being a pedophile for the last twenty years. He has a good defense though (not). He claims that sex with boys is therapeutic (the article did not mention for whom) and a part of the new religion he has established. Distasio intends to challenge the constitutionality of the laws against pedophilia.

I'm betting his chances aren't good.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Revenge: It's What I Love about Blogging

What I love about blogging...

I love being able to stretch myself intellectually and creatively, to learn to better express myself, to share my insights and ideas and read those of others in response. I love the developing friendships both with those whom I have met face to face already through blogging and with those whom I may never meet personally. I love being in contact with others smarter than myself.

But most of all I love blogging for the revenge.

When Mr. Venger and I were first married, he had a computer. This was back when computers weren't much use and were boring as all get-out as far as I could tell. We lived in a little one bedroom apartment, and the computer had her own space in our bedroom. Night after night, I would try to sleep. However, with lights glaring and the clack-clack-clacking of the keys filling my ears, sleep would never come.

I came to realize that the computer was the other woman. Worse, she was in my very bedroom. I had beauty and brains on her, sure. But a computer does exactly what it is told. A man's dream come true! How could I compete with that? I could never be a mindless machine.

Things became so tense with my rival that I finally became unhinged. After so many nights of begging him to shut her off, turn out the lights, and come to bed, all to no avail, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I'm deeply ashamed of my behavior, but I was pushed beyond limits. Surely, you can understand. I grasped a baseball bat and threatened her life!!

Fortunately, Mr. Venger began to see the error of his ways before I did the unthinkable and resorted to violence to solve the rivalry between us. The computer was removed from the bedroom. Nevertheless, his love for her has not abated over the years. I have merely learned to close my eyes to the programming that was going on around me and to shut my ears to any talk of computers. Please understand; I had small children to consider. Denial was my only means of self-defense, my only way to maintain my dignity and self-respect and a proper home for my little ones.

Then one day the cable guy arrived at our door and installed digital cable with high speed internet access. A whole new world opened up to me. Computers have infiltrated our home, and I too have my own little side action. Now I email. I surf the net. I blog. I listen to my husband ask if I'm ever going to get off that thing. I hear him ask if I'm coming to bed yet. And I smile. Because revenge is sweet. And blogging makes it all possible.

Be sure to check out the other Blogging Chicks' posts answering the question "What I Love about Blogging" here.

This post also linked to Cao's Blog

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Parallels to the 1930s

An excellent essay on the similarities between the aggression in the world during the 1930s and the free world's response to it and the current worldwide tensions and reactions by Victor Davis Hanson appears here.

I'll not attempt to reword or summarize his work much as Hanson is incredibly knowledgeable of history and always brilliant in his analyses. Suffice it to say that Hanson sees many parallels to the West's confusion over who the good guys were in the 1930s, wondering if Churchill and Roosevelt or Hitler and Stalin were the more dangerous pair, and today's intellectual musings over whether democracies or terrorist aggressors have the higher ground morally.

Some excerpts:
Our present generation too is on the brink of moral insanity. That has never been more evident than in the last three weeks, as the West has proven utterly unable to distinguish between an attacked democracy that seeks to strike back at terrorist combatants, and terrorist aggressors who seek to kill civilians.

It is now nearly five years since jihadists from the Arab world left a crater in Manhattan and ignited the Pentagon. Apart from the frontline in Iraq, the United States and NATO have troops battling the Islamic fascists in Afghanistan. European police scramble daily to avoid another London or Madrid train bombing. The French, Dutch, and Danish governments are worried that a sizable number of Muslim immigrants inside their countries are not assimilating, and, more worrisome, are starting to demand that their hosts alter their liberal values to accommodate radical Islam. It is apparently not safe for Australians in Bali, and a Jew alone in any Arab nation would have to be discreet — and perhaps now in France or Sweden as well. Canadians’ past opposition to the Iraq war, and their empathy for the Palestinians, earned no reprieve, if we can believe that Islamists were caught plotting to behead their prime minister. Russians have been blown up by Muslim Chechnyans from Moscow to Beslan. India is routinely attacked by Islamic terrorists. An elected Lebanese minister must keep in mind that a Hezbollah or Syrian terrorist — not an Israeli bomb — might kill him if he utters a wrong word. The only mystery here in the United States is which target the jihadists want to destroy first: the Holland Tunnel in New York or the Sears Tower in Chicago.

In nearly all these cases there is a certain sameness: The Koran is quoted as the moral authority of the perpetrators; terrorism is the preferred method of
violence; Jews are usually blamed; dozens of rambling complaints are aired, and killers are often considered stateless, at least in the sense that the countries in which they seek shelter or conduct business or find support do not accept culpability for their actions.
Check out the whole article at the link above.

Hat tip: Right Wing News

Friday, August 04, 2006

My Question on RWN

John Hawkins took up one of my questions for discussion on Right Wing News today.

Question: "There are countless clips of Muslim leaders on Arab tv calling for death to Israel, Jews, United States and democracy.
Why doesn't the MSM take these threats seriously? Why don't they take these radicals at their word?"

Check out his answer and the discussion in the comments section, if you get a chance.

Ahmadinejad Again Advocating Israel's Destruction

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is again advocating the destruction of Israel.

Ahmadinejad: Destruction of Israel is solution
03/08/2006 - 11:33:33 (Aug. 3, 2006)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today the solution to the Middle East crisis was to destroy Israel, state-media reported.

In a speech during an emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia, Ahmadinejad also called for an immediate ceasefire to end the fighting between Israel and the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah.

“Although the main solution is for the elimination of the Zionist regime, at this stage an immediate ceasefire must be implemented,” Ahmadinejad said, according to state-run television in a report posted on its website today.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev accused Ahmadinejad of trying to rally the region to support Iranian-backed Hezbollah. “Our operation in Lebanon is designed to neutralise one of the long arms of Iran, Hezbollah,” Regev said. "Hezbollah is their proxy, being used as an instrument of Teheran to advance their extremist agenda and the blow to Hezbollah is a blow to Iranian interests and a blow to all extremist Jihadist forces in the region.”

Ahmadinejad called on all Muslim states to “cut their open and secret political and economic ties with the fake and outlawed Zionist regime” in response to its attacks against Lebanon. He also urged Muslim states to “isolate” the United States and Britain for supporting Israel’s military attacks against Lebanon.
This is hardly the first time Ahmadinejad has declared that Israel should be wiped off the map. He made his views toward Israel quite clear last October.

There is no reason why we shouldn't take this Holocaust-denying leader of Iran seriously. Can there be any doubt that if he obtained nuclear weapons he would hold the world hostage and quite possibly use them against Israel? That would certainly be the surest way of "wiping Israel off the map." His manipulative little fingers are all over Hezbollah in this recent battle between Lebanon and Israel.

Israel needs our continued support. Thank goodness the U.S. hasn't added its voice to those calling for a phony peace.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Welcome, Delaware Way

I always wondered why Nancy Willing didn't have her own blog. Something about the lack of high speed internet access, I understand. But now she's got the access, and now she's got her very own blog, The Delaware Way. Welcome, Nancy; it's about time.

Hat tips to: PolitaKid and Colossus of Rhodey

Brits and Breastfeeding

What is up with these British women? This is the second article I've seen in the last week out of a British paper about the horrors of motherhood.

In the article, "Sorry, but I HATED breastfeeding," Tess Stimson relates her personal experience with breastfeeding. While in the hospital, she was still having trouble getting her baby to latch on after twenty-four hours. The nurse spoke harshly to her and by her description of the situation, was most unhelpful. Later, when her child was ten days old, the health visitor accused her of dieting since the baby had not gained weight. Stimson also complained of becoming cracked and sore which certainly qualifies as an unpleasant experience, to say the least.

I am sorry that she had such a hard time with breastfeeding. Some women do, struggling with pain and infections and what not. Usually those things will clear up if one sticks with it. However, I have had friends and acquaintances that couldn't make it work for various reasons. Thank goodness that there are alternatives in such cases.

That said, it does sound as though part of her problem revolved around a bit of self-absorption and some real hang-ups about her body and a distain for infant care.
And breastfeeding is not wonderful and fulfilling, but painful, difficult, boring and humiliating."

faintly repellent

If I were a proper mother, I'd be happy and radiant like the (admittedly slightly bovine) women in all the breastfeeding leaflets the health visitor kept shoving at me, instead of feeling scared, angry, raw and above all trapped.

I'd never realised how boring breastfeeding was. No one can give you a break so you can wash your hair or make a cup of tea. I was tethered to the sofa for hours at a time, unable to do anything but watch housewife TV. Some days I didn't have a chance to get dressed until mid-afternoon.

I obsessed over all the things I could be, and should be, doing.

But I couldn't even make a brief phone call without the baby wanting to feed from me. I felt suffocated by his neediness, as if the sea of Motherhood was closing over my head.

squalling parasite
I'm not sure what she was expecting when she had a baby, but it doesn't seem she was viewing motherhood realistically. Babies are W-O-R-K, an endless cycle of feeding, burping, and changing. But how long does it last? They don't stay that way forever. After a couple months, the nursing is spaced out more and their little bladders can hold more, making diaper changes less frequent also. A couple more months and they start on solids and need mom's milk even less. By a year at the latest, they don't need anything from mom's body at all, and by that time they're only nursing once or twice a day anyway.

What a shame that she was bored. Whatever else life may be, let it never be boring! We adults, after all, are entitled to entertainment 24/7. OK, so I'm sorry you were bored, lady. But, nursing and caring for a baby are exhausting work. It runs a body down. Having to stop everything to nurse is Nature's way of ensuring that a woman rests and doesn't run herself completely ragged. It's also an incredible bonding period for mother and child. It's like falling in love, which is a crucial emotion for a young mother toward her child. If young lovers can sit and do nothing, just gazing at one another, just basking in each other's presence, then why shouldn't a mother feel the same for her child? Nursing seems a small price to pay for giving the gift of health to one's child and giving a baby the emotional closeness he needs to become secure within himself, trusting that he is loved and loveable, provided mom can do it while maintaining good health for herself. Even if one has no choice but to bottle feed, she should still take the time to hold the baby close, as if she were nursing, so baby can absorb the warmth of his mother's love. Bottle feeding is not an excuse to prop the baby up and go do your own thing.

Also in the article, Stimson also objected to the government beginning a campaign to encourage more breastfeeding in Great Britain.
Imagine how I felt last week, then, to read that the Government now wants to encourage mothers to breast-feed as much as possible in the hope of saving the Health Service £1 million a year. New guidelines aim to raise the number of women breastfeeding their babies for the first six months by at least 50 per cent.

Britain has one of the poorest records in Europe - with just 22 per cent of mothers still breastfeeding at six months.

The idea is that because there is evidence that breastfeeding protects babies from infections, raising the proportion of mothers who do it to about a third would lead to big savings for the NHS because fewer babies would need hospital care.
Well, just because some women do have difficulties with breastfeeding is no reason to avoid encouraging more women to try. After all, it's not about the adults. It's about encouraging a healthier start for babies.

One last thing that I didn't know what to make of---her complaint that women are forced to feed their babies in public toilets to avoid causing offense. Are they really? What is up with that? So England can have their Page 3 Girls, the West can be saturated with pornography, women can wear revealing clothes in the West unlike in some other nations, but it's offensive to breastfeed in public? You've got to be kidding. If it is as she says, well, talk about prudery! Breastfeeding can be done incredibly discreetly. How is that offensive? That's how babies have been eating since time began. I don't think there should be any shame in it. That's my take on it, anyway.

Most emphases throughout are mine.

H/t: Ace of Spades

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lebanese Christians for Target Practice?

Why am I not surprised?
Hizballah Spreading War to Christian Villages?
By Julie Stahl
July 31, 2006
Jerusalem (

Hizballah is trying to launch rockets from Christian villages in southern Lebanon, hoping to provoke an Israeli bombardment on Christian communities, a Lebanese source said.

Some Christians have stayed in their southern Lebanese villages despite Israeli warnings to leave. Some believe they are safe from Israeli bombardment as long as they are not in areas where Hizballah is entrenched, said one Lebanese woman who asked not to be named.But Hizballah has tried to enter those areas with portable rocket launchers and fire missiles from among the homes, hoping to provoke an Israeli response against the Christian villages, said the source who has relatives in southern Lebanon.

Israel and the U.S. have accused Hizballah using Lebanese civilians of as human shields launching rocket attacks against Israel from within civilian areas, knowing that an Israeli military response will bring more Lebanese casualties and condemnation on Israel.

Well, if Hizballah will use their own supporters for whom they supposedly have a natural affinity as human shields, why wouldn't they try to set up those whom they hate as targets for Israeli bombings?

H/t: Reformed Chicks Blabbing

Terrorism Not in Violation of Norm?

This from Greg at Rhymes with Right:

Arab Bank Asks Judge To Dismiss Suit Accusing It of Funding Terror
BY JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
August 1, 2006URL:

The Jordan-based Arab Bank yesterday asked a federal judge in Brooklyn to dismiss a lawsuit brought by thousands of Israelis who claim the bank fueled terrorism by providing payments to the relatives of suicide bombers.

Lawyers for the bank said that the 4,000 foreign citizens who are plaintiffs should not be allowed to have their case heard in the American court system. They argued that terrorism against Israel does not violate any "international norm." Lawyers for the bank said that some 80 countries, most Islamic or African, do not consider Palestinian Arab suicide bombers to be terrorists.

"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter — that holding is binding on this court," said an attorney for the bank, Kevin Walsh of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae.

The plaintiffs who are suing Arab Bank in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn are the victims of terrorist attacks during the second intifada and the relatives of victims. While the overwhelming majority are citizens of Israel, some plaintiffs are from Afghanistan, Moldova, and several other countries.

They claim that Arab Bank — which has an office in New York — used offices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to distribute payments to people who could prove they were relatives of recent suicide bombers.

The plaintiffs are suing under a 217 year-old-law, the Alien Tort Statute, which has been used by foreign citizens to bring lawsuits in America's federal courts stemming from human rights violations that occurred anywhere in the world.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling last year that suggests that only the foreign victims of the most egregious human rights violations — such as genocide and slavery — can file suit under the law. One standard the Supreme Court employed was whether the lawsuits stem from violations of norms that have been accepted by "civilized nations."

The debate at yesterday's hearing was whether terrorism against Israel constitutes such a violation. (Article continues. Check link for more.)

How anyone can argue that "terrorism against Israel does not violate any 'international norm'" is beyond me. Even if it were a norm, should we all jump on the ol' bandwagon? Let's see, a bunch of Islamic countries support the blowing up Israeli families in cafes, for example, and we're supposed to say "Gee, there's so many of them. I guess they must be right"?

"Freedom fighters", huh? What freedom are they fighting for? The freedom to kill Jews? The freedom to destroy Israel? That doesn't wash with me.

Just when we thought the world was as nuts as possible...

Rhymes with Right has been following the Israeli-Lebonese/Palestinian conflict closely. Check out his site for the latest information and commentary.