Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Fed up .... 

Dick McDonald, over at The Right Scale is fed up with his local paper ...
This morning I open my local paper, the Los Angeles Daily News, to find an eight-panel political cartoon that has been chosen by the editors to insult me, a reader, and all American patriots in general.

The cartoon pictures an American flag in each of the eight panels. The flag is speaking as it would to itself but the artist's and the editor's meaning is crystal clear:

1st. Panel.......Patriot's "gush" over the flag (too much)
2nd. Panel.......Patriots are "too heavy"
3rd. Panel.......We "overeat" and "waste gasoline" on SUVs
4th. Panel.......We are "joyously uninformed"
5th. Panel.......We "revel in the ignorance of our own govt."
6th. Panel.......Our "shapeless politicians, warped agendas ....defile our constitution".
7th. Panel......."If this is your idea of patriotism"
8th. Panel......."you may as well burn me now"

Ok fellas I will-cancel my subscription. And have a "Happy" Fourth.

Small party, great hope ... 

Ali, over at the Iraq the Model blog writes about his learning of the early transfer of sovereignty, and his response ...
I was on duty-call in the hospital all yesterday and I was in the ward when I heard the news that Mr. Bremer had already transferred the power to the new government two days ahead of the expected date. I was so happy about this news and I couldn’t wait until I finish my tour to celebrate the occasion.

My friends all seemed thrilled and optimistic, yet they seemed to have no interset in celebrating the event. I decided to do something so I asked one of my colleagues to cover for me for an hour; I told him that I have to get something from outside.I directly headed to the nearest bakery and ordered a nice cake and returned to the hospital as fast as I could. On the way, I didn’t see any large calibrations but I noticed that the streets were busier than usual and people looked lively and relaxed.

I invited some of my friends, one of us volunteered to get some beverages and we gathered around the cake to celebrate the happy event. I took some pictures but sadly not all the doctors (female mainly) agreed on me posting their pictures and I’ll respect their will.

Some of us were celebrating regaining sovereignty, some were celebrating the end of occupation, others were happy because they think the new government will bring safety and order. I was celebrating a new and a great step towards democracy, but we were all joined by true hope for a better future and by the love we have for Iraq.

After wards we sat for a while discussing different matters. The hall was busy and everyone was chatting and laughing loud. They had Al-Jazeera on (something I never managed to convince them to stop doing). Then suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.

The speech was impressive and you could hear the sound of a needle if one had dropped it at that time. The most sensational moment was the end of the speech when Mr. Bremer used a famous Arab emotional poem. The poem was for a famous Arab poet who said it while leaving Baghdad. Al-Jazeera had put an interpreter who tried to translate even the Arabic poem which Mr. Bremer was telling in a fair Arabic! “Let this damned interpreter shut up. We want to hear what the man is saying” One of my colloquies shouted. The scene was very touching that the guy sitting next to me (who used to sympathize with Muqtada) said “He’s going to make me cry!”

Then he finished his speech by saying in Arabic,”A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq”! (Long live Iraq, Long live Iraq, long live Iraq).

I was deeply moved by this great man’s words but I couldn’t prevent myself from watching the effect of his words on my friends who some of them were anti-Americans and some were skeptic, although some of them have always shared my optimism. I found that they were touched even more deeply than I was. I turned to one friend who was a committed She’at and who distrusted America all the way. He looked as if he was bewitched, and I asked him, “So, what do you think of this man? Do you still consider him an invader?” My friend smiled, still touched and said, “Absolutely not! He brought tears to my eyes. God bless him.”

Another friend approached me. This one was not religious but he was one of the conspiracy theory believers. He put his hands on my shoulders and said smiling, “I must admit that I’m beginning to believe in what you’ve been telling us for months and I’m beginning to have faith in America. I never thought that they will hand us sovereignty in time. These people have shown that they keep their promises.”
(Emphasis mine ...)

The key words .... These people have shown that they keep their promises.

Mainstream media already marginalizing Iraqi sovereignty ... 

Hugh Hewitt notes that the mainstream media are already marginalizing yesterday's transfer of power to the
Iraqi interim government ...
Thus the bigs work to minimize the accomplishment in Baghdad, and to begin gnawing away at the credibility of the new government in Iraq.

Does American media want the interim government to succeed or to fail?


Every article and commentary on the new government will either add to its legitimacy or detract from it. It is impossible to conclude that the American press want a successful transition. Like so many Michael Moores, they are in the business of delivering the worst possible assessments of all events, the better to usher in a new round of chaos and instability. The "uprising" in April and the urgent warnings relayed of a "Sunni-Shia" coaltion to challenge the occupation was so much gas, and now that Sadr is marginalized, the U.N. on board, and Bremer gone, the media chorus has to find a new song of despair to sing. Iraq isn't Vietnam, but much of the American press in Baghdad sure wishes it was.


As for the future, Victor Davis Hanson has it right: "The key, of course, will be for the United States to stay engaged as it did in Korea and the Balkans -- and not flee as it did in Vietnam circa 1974-5." The November election will be a referendum on American resolve. Kerry represents the cut-and-run ethic his entire career has embodied. Bush means staying the course. An elite media that is nearly unanimous in its distaste for Bush will do whatever it can to erode American staying power the better to erode support for Bush. Perhaps after November's vote, the editorial rooms of America might find it possible to root for democracy and freedom in the middle east.
Go read the whole thing !

A double standard ? 

John Ray at the Dissecting Leftism site notes the following letter to the editor...

Good point by a letter-writer: "I see in the news that an American soldier is going to be court-martialed for killing a wounded terrorist in Iraq. Well pardon me but isn't that exactly what John Kerry did in Vietnam and he got a Silver Star for it! While in Vietnam, John Kerry finished off a wounded Viet Cong after beaching his boat and putting his crew in great jeopardy. He wrote himself up for a Silver Star and got it. I question why this soldier should be tried for murder while John Kerry, hero of the liberal left, was decorated for doing exactly the same thing. In accordance with International Law, terrorists are subject to immediate summary execution. Perhaps that is the policy that we should adopt. Instead, we are incarcerating these clowns and are criticized for abuse, while they behead American prisoners. And the international press says nothing. We really need to grow up and stop fighting this war like a bunch of liberal social workers. If we do not get things in a proper perspective and start supporting our President and troops we are going to lose this war!"
John also notes an extremely biting comment by Swede, Lisbet Rausing, regarding the new EU constitution ...
A Swedish comment on the new EU constitution: "Our democratic, peaceful Europe is a minor miracle, well worth celebrating - as long as we, and not only the eastern Europeans, remember that it was Nato forces, US generosity and Anglo-Saxon values that for decades ensured the European prosperity, democracy and peace which now, supposedly, Giscard d'Estaing's brainchild will guard. (It is an intriguing paradox that we will live under a legal umbrella constructed by a man who would, in any country governed by Anglo-Saxon law, now be in jail.)"

Iraqi's rejoice .... 

From Captain Ed, over at the Captain's Quarters blog ...
After the surprise handover of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government took place today two days ahead of schedule, a move some Americans stretched into an expression of desperation, Iraqis would not countenance such cynicism. The AP reports that callers flooded the first independent talk-radio station in Iraq with expressions of joy and pride in their first opportunity for legitimate self-government in 35 years:
The callers clogged Radio Dijla's telephone lines to congratulate interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, urging him to be strong, while warning insurgents against continued violence.

"I send my congratulations to all Iraqis and every Iraqi home," a woman who identified herself as Um Yassin gushed, her voice choked with emotion. "I want to tell Dr. Allawi to be bold, to be strong. We need him to build up the army because we need them at a time like this."

Her message was echoed by dozens on the day Prime Minister Allawi was given a letter transferring sovereignty back to the citizens of Iraq after about 14 months of coalition administration.

But in the midst of adulation for the new government, callers urged that all must be vigilant for insurgents seeking to sow more chaos in a country plagued by violence since Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime was toppled.

"I send all the Iraqi people my blessings," said Ali, a caller from Baghdad. "But I warn these terrorists, all the Iraqis will rise up and strike them with steel."
Wow ... that doesn't sound like a nation that doesn't want to be free, that wants to be one with al-Qaeda and live in an Islamofascist theocracy. It sounds like a people who want to be free and who want to be rid of the Saddam remnants and foreign thugs who keep slaughtering their fellow citizens. In short, it sounds like a country that's ready to fight for its liberty.

Sounds like we handed over sovereignty right on time.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Where are all the nurses ?  

One of the recurring issues plaguing the health care system is a chronic shortage of nurses.

My wife has been a registered nurse, with a degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington, since 1984. After hearing the stories about patients, doctors, staffing, and long hours, it is no wonder to me that a shortage exists.

From today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the following Op-Ed article characterizes the situation ...
Here is a bit of news that every medical patient in Tarrant County -- and in Texas -- should know: A national nursing shortage is under way and is expected to get worse in the next five to 10 years. Many hospitals across the country are struggling to find enough nurses to care for their patients.

Although the nursing shortage is only beginning, we know it's not a problem that will go away soon.

Nationally, our nursing work force is older, with an average age of 46, and graduation rates are down dramatically in the past seven years.

Nursing schools are understaffed. And the demand for care will escalate as baby boomers age and the population lives longer.

The current shortage calls for dramatic interventions. The projected nursing vacancy rate for the Metroplex is 3,300 nurses by 2006. By 2020, we're facing a 28.8 percent nursing shortage nationwide -- and a 26 percent shortage in Texas, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Quick fixes are insufficient for a problem of this magnitude -- and time doesn't allow any false starts. So what are we doing about this problem?

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC), along with area hospitals, nursing schools and innovative leaders, is embracing a long-term approach to find solutions. Our Nursing Workforce Collaborative is currently focusing on four initiatives:

• Increase the capacity of nursing schools.

• Implement programs to retain students once they enroll.

• Produce "hospital-ready" nurses.

• Make North Texas the "destination of choice" for nursing students and faculty.

Another solution is through a partnership with HCCA International Nurse Staffing, a company that recruits, trains and places experienced foreign nurses in area hospitals. The first of 500 anticipated HCCA nurses arrived in late March.

We also have a partnership with the Global Scholarship Alliance to bring licensed foreign nurses to North Texas schools to complete master's programs while working 20 hours a week at local hospitals. Those nurses can then return to their homelands better prepared to teach the next generation of nurses abroad.

Additional initiatives include online nursing programs and scholarship funds for new nursing students.

For area patients, these initiatives ensure the continuation of care from nurses fully prepared to meet complex medical needs. Our entire region benefits as hospitals focus on excellent nursing care in spite of national shortages.

When your loved one needs crucial care, the last thing you want to worry about is whether the hospital has enough nurses to provide it. At the DFWHC, we're working on permanent solutions to head off a crisis in our future. As potential patients in one of our member hospitals, we thought you would want to know.

Paulette Standefer is the executive vice president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council and chairwoman of the Nursing Workforce Collaborative.

Iraqi sovereignty ... 

I was going to post about the handover of power today from the CPA to the Iraqi interim government, but the subject has been so well covered I will just refer you to:

Captain Ed's comments over at the Captain's Quarters blog.

Steven Taylor, Dean Esmay, and Arguing with Signposts have more.

Nick, over at Begging to Differ has a roundup of the reactions of the fanatic left.

Peg Kaplan, over at What If? writes that today, GWB accomplished something fine and good.

Hugh Hewitt says ...
A great day for Iraq, and a great day for America. Those who fail to see this and chose instead to carp and criticize indict their own judgment and understanding of history, not the effort to bring freedom to millions of Iraqis. "Liberty is always worth fighting for," President Bush just said in remarks on the transfer. Tony Blair added that today "freedom replaces repression." These are short, succinct summaries of the stakes involved in the war, occupation, and now the new government's assumption of power. "The cause of a different and better future for the people of Iraq," quoting Blair, has been and remains a noble one. The Prime Minister's description of the new Iraq as "a symbol of hope for their region and the wider world" is complete.

The view from the left ... 

James Lileks writes of an experience with a door-to-door solicitor for a presidential candidate ...
The other day a young girl came to the door to solicit my support for her presidential candidate. I asked her why I should vote for this man. She was very nice and earnest, but if you got her off the talking points she was utterly unprepared to argue anything, because she didn’t know what she was talking about. She had bullet points, and she believed that any reasonable person would see the importance of these issues and naturally fall in line. But she could not support any of her assertions. Her final selling point: Kerry would roll back the tax cuts.


“Why should the government have given you the money in the first place?”

“They didn’t give it to me. They just took less of my money.”

That was the last straw. Now she was angry. And the truth came out:

“Well, why is it your money? I think it should be their money.”

Then she left.
Typical view from the left ... tax relief is government giving you money, instead of just squeezing less out of you.

Read the whole thing (at the end of his "bleat") !

"Peace" lovers unite ... 


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Babs fundraiser for Kerry ... 

Barbara Streisand is performng a fundraising concert tonight for Kerry.

In anticipation, the Republican National Committee has provided the following "Kerry-oke" version of one of Babs' "timeless classics" ...
(sung to the tune of "The Way We Were")

Said along the campaign trail,
Different stands John Kerry's spoken of,
They're the flips he flopped.

Scattered issues,
At John Kerry photo-ops,
Sort of all blend all together,
With the flips he flopped.

Was John Kerry oh, so liberal then,
Or has time re-written every vote?
If John Kerry could do it all again,
Tell me, would he?
Could he?

May be handy here today.
But press coverage seems to contradict,
The things John Kerry has to say.

So it's his record,
We will remember,
Today and in November,
The flips he flopped.

The flips ... he ... flopped ...
(Hat tip to the Powerline site)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Young conservative ... 

The leftist tilt to our education system is something that our children have to face. It must be difficult to get an education when an instructor would rather "indoctrinate" the students.

My son's best friend reported to me that his US history teacher spent more time reading excerpts from Michael Moore-on's book, Stupid White Men, than teaching history.

By the time I had heard about this behaviour, the teacher had already retired.

One courageous young conservative took the fight to the liberal administration of his school.

Read about his battle here.

Parents ... do you know what your children are "learning" at school ?

On the road again ... 

I am traveling this week, so blogging may be light.

Apologies for the light blogging for the last two weeks, as work has been keeping me busy 16 - 18 hours per day.

Finally made my destination today, after spending an extra 7 hours at O'Hare due to cancellations caused by weather.

There's nothing like the boredom to be found in an airport ...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Michael "Moore-on" ...  

In today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, their staff film critic, Christopher Kelly, wrote this article, and had the guts to add the by-line "He's also the future of political debate in America."

After calming down, and rinsing my mouth out with soap, I wrote the following letter to the editor ...
Regarding your feature article about Michael "Moore-on" in Sunday's Arts section; after NOT perusing the article, I used the ARTS section to line my cat's litter box.

Now the cat refuses to use the litter box.

Let me remind you what this blatantly anti-American fool stated in April of this year ...
"The Iraqi's who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy". They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win."
Obviously "Moore-on" is not psychic ...

Friday, June 18, 2004

American generosity ... 

Earlier this week I posted about a charitable operation that was started by a soldier deployed to Afghanistan.

Sgt Hook started Operation Shoe Fly, in which he requested donations of shoes for Afghani children.

Today I received a very nice e-mail from a couple that responded to Sgt Hook's request ...
I enjoy reading your blog ( thanks to AnalPhilosopher) every day and since I dearly love our Military I was delighted to read about the Operation shoe fly.
The next day I went to my Goodwill Store and bought five pairs of good condition childrens' shoes and along with some gum, tooth paste, skin cream a couple of games sent the package off to Afghanistan today.

I love George and Laura Bush and I pray for them and our Military men and women every night.

My husband and I are senior citizens and we have seen many administrations come and go and we
are glad to see a loving couple in the White House again

Hope you have a lot of responds to the operation shoe fly. I wish I could have sent 105 instead of five.
This couple's generosity will help provide barefoot Afghani children with shoes.

Americans have always been the most generous people in the world, contrary to what liberals believe, and this example highlights the good that is America !

Please help out Sgt Hook with Operation Shoe Fly if at all possible !

Kerry's absence from Senate not reducing his effectiveness ... 

(2004-06-16) — Rejecting a call from Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to resign from the U.S. Senate, John Forbes Kerry
today said that missing 87 percent of Senate votes in 2004 has "not diminished my effectiveness in the least."

"If you examine my 16-year record in the Senate, you'll see that I'm just as effective when I'm not there as I was when I was there," said Mr. Kerry. "The major legislation on health care, energy and homeland security that I didn't introduce then, I'm not introducing now. The colleagues who I didn't rally to my causes then, remain unrallied. I think it's disingenuous for Gov. Romney to suggest that my absence from the Senate harms America in any way."

(If you enjoyed this satire by Scott Ott, you can read more of his work at Scrappleface.com)

9/11 Circus Commission: No link between Saddam and al Qaeda .. 

When Worlds Collude

(Courtesy of Cox and Forkum)

Putin: Saddam planned terrorism in US ... 

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters this morning that Russia had learned of terrorist attacks planned by Saddam Hussein and had passed the warnings on to the Bush administration following 9/11 ...
Russia warned the United States on several occasions that Iraq's Saddam Hussein planned "terrorist attacks" on its soil, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

"After the events of September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, Russian special services several times received such information and passed it on to their American colleagues," he told reporters.

The Kremlin leader, who was speaking in the Kazakh capital, said Russian intelligence services had many times received information that Saddam's special forces were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States "and beyond its borders on American military and civilian targets."

"This information was conveyed to our American colleagues," he said. He added that Russian intelligence had no proof that Saddam agents had been involved in any particular attack.
Russia, of course, opposed the US actions in Iraq, and so Putin has no obvious axe to grind.
In the intelligence world, there are likely many sources and reports that are so sensitive that they will never see the "public" light of day. These Russian reports may have been that sensitive in the wake of the events of 9/11.

This report tends to shed new light on the disinformation reported by the 9/11 circus commission.

The 9/11 Commission "report" ... 

From today's New York Times, the following letter to the editor ...
To the Editor:

It is interesting that the headline for your June 17 editorial about the 9/11 commission and the administration is "The Plain Truth."

The panel's staff report indicates that there were links between Iraq and Al Qaeda in the 1990's. There were not, however, any known ties between them regarding the 9/11 plot. This is not inconsistent with any comments made by the administration since the 9/11 attack.

We need to remember that Iraq was a closed society that American intelligence agencies were having trouble infiltrating, and that much of the 9/11 commission's information was based on secret interrogations of high-level detainees. In such circumstances, there can never be a "plain truth."

Hillsdale, N.J. — June 17, 2004

Another of Krugman's best columns ... 

From today's New York Times, another of the best Krugman columns ...
Paul Krugman is on vacation

Time for a new snorkel ... 

From today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the following letter to the editor ...
Thank you for publishing Paul Krugman's Wednesday column on John Ashcroft. With apologies to his New York Times colleague Maureen Dowd, Krugman deserves to be regarded as today's Voltaire or Jonathan Swift.

John Burns —Fort Worth
Since Paul Krugman has been shown to be a completely biased, partisan hack, whose columns seldom enjoy factual basis (as has been shown in innumerable fisks by multiple authors), Mr. Burns characterization of Krugman as a modern day "Voltaire" or "Swift" is laughable.

A word of advice for Mr. Burns ... an emergency visit to your proctologist is in order. You need your snorkel replaced, as you are obviously suffering from hypoxia...

Saudi al Qaeda kidnapping ... 

A story this morning posted to the Fox News website, details the Saudi government's search for the kidnapped American held hostage by al Qaeda terrorists. The "deadline" set by the terrorists to free jailed al Qaeda members or kill the American has almost expired, with no luck in the search to date.

An excerpt from the story reports on-the-street interviews in Saudi ...
People living in the districts, which lie in western and southern Riyadh, suggested that the kidnappers enjoy popular support, partly because of U.S. policy in Iraq and its perceived backing for Israel.

"How can we inform on our brothers when we see all these pictures coming from Abu Ghraib and Rafah," Muklas Nawaf, a resident of Dhahar al-Budaih, said as he ate meat grilled on a spit at a restaurant called Jihad, Arabic for holy war. He was referring to the pictures of Iraqis abused by U.S. soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad and Israeli military incursions and killings in the Gaza refugee camp of Rafah.

"This is not a little skirmish. It is a war," Nawaf said.

A man who was shopping in Sweidi with his family said Friday he saw little prospect of Johnson's life being spared.

"These (kidnappers) are holy warriors, heroes, who never waver, even if they will fail," Mizahen al-Etbi told the AP. "All Saudis hate Americans, not only these heroes."
Note that even Saudis on the street are using the Abu Ghraib abuse story line as an excuse to support terrorism.

Way to go mainstream media outlets ... the constant hammering of this story has definitely influenced the opinions of terrorist supporters everywhere ... and not in a "nuanced" fashion, either.

Seems to me that makes the media complicit in whatever actions taken by terrorists against Americans.

CBS (continuous bullsh*t) and other outlets succeed once again in parroting the Anti-American party line ...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Liberals and adolescence ... 

Bill Keezer, over at Bill's Comments has posted an insightful look at the ongoing comparison between the liberal and adolescent mentalities ...
Today the comparison of liberals to adolescents is the common thread on several blogs ...

... First I think we must divide the liberals into two groups, those who have a naive view of life and simply want nice things to happen for everyone and the others, who are evil.

Let's take the naive group first. In my experience they are either teen-aged or somewhat older. If older they tend to be emotionally like teen-agers. This is the group to which the immature label appears to apply the best. They have discovered that life is not easy for many other people, and in all good intent want to do something about it. The problem is that they do not understand that everything has a cost, and one cannot dictate the means for doing something just because it is desirable ...

... The other group is not immature at all. They are calculatedly evil and liberalism is the means to obtain their ends. Most of the naive group can be easily directed to do their bidding. This group of people are petty, envious, devious, and pragmatic. They are the kids that get other kids in trouble, or do something despicable then present some conflated moral issue that most adults aren't quite able to sort out on the fly. They tend to be intelligent, but that intelligence is devoted not to accomplishment, but to tearing down others' accomplishments. There seems to be a deep insecurity in their personal makeup. They are afraid to compete openly. They disparage those who do, while secretly envying them. They learn as children to stay in the background and look for something to spoil a success. As they age they become more accomplished at all this. Finally they learn to co-opt the good intentions of the naive group to promote programs that have as the real goal their own power. They play on the natural envy of people to hobble anyone that can accomplish something with skill. They use cries of "fairness" to disadvantage the strong against the weak. By lowering standards they make it less obvious that the successful have succeeded, because there is so much company in those that met the standard. In truth the successful have not succeeded, there was no challenge for them ...
Required reading ... Go check it out !

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Afghani children need your shoes ... 

Sgt. Hook is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and writes here about a recent mission in which he encountered Afghani children ...
The conversation continued with concern for the children of this place as Coalition forces fight to rid the Taliban and other enemies of Afghanistan while brining stability to the region so as to allow democracy to flourish, there are the children, the children with no shoes on their feet.

Just about every flight engineer and crew chief has noticed over the course of flying across this place called Afghanistan these past months that a large percentage of the children have no shoes to wear and of course, almost all of the girls are shoeless.

So my esteemed friends of the blogosphere, in the spirit of Chief Wiggles and minding the words of the infamous Steve Miller Band, I announce the beginning of Operation Shoe Fly in an effort to shoe the children, with no shoes on their feet. If you can collect the shoes, used or new, boys' and girls' (age 14 and under), and send them to me, my crewdogs and I will fly them out to the Afghani kids who so desperately need them.

Please send your shoes to:

Operation Shoe Fly
B Co, 214th Aviation Regiment
Bagram, Afghanistan
APO AE 09354-9998

Another way to help is of course by getting the word out on Operation Shoe Fly. I would be most appreciative for any and all help in spreading the word on our endeavor, including anyone who might be willing to make a button or banner to post around the blogosphere. Thanks.

In addition to protecting the feet of these young innocent children, we might even win some hearts and minds among their parents and who knows where the shoes might take these kids. This place is on the dawn of a future, determining how bright it will be rests on the shoulders of these kids with no shoes on their feet. What say you? Sgt Hook out.
What a worthy cause !

I can't tell you how many pairs of shoes my children outgrew before wearing out.

If you have any old shoes, or are willing to collect old shoes to help out Operation Shoe Fly, please don't hesitate.

Help spread the word about this worthy effort !

Invent the enemy ... 

From the Hello from the land of Pharaohs blog, the following post by the Eygyptian author regarding the latest violence in Iraq ...
Give Them the Enemy

Let me tell you a true story the happened today. A suicide bomber exploded his car in the middle of a convoy in one of Baghdad's busiest streets. 8 Iraqis and 5 foreigners were killed. Right after the bombing, a mob of 20-30 young men ran to the scene and added kerosene to one of the cars and set it ablaze creating a huge fireball. Others danced on top of a burned vehicle while chanting anti-US slogans. Another gleefully held the passport of a burned British citizen in front of the cameras. About 50 Iraqi police rushed to the scene, the American humvees arrived shortly afterwards. The mob started peddling US soldiers with stones. Afraid to be seen as helping the Americans, the Iraqi Police stood there and watched the scene with a wide mouth. Both forces withdrew after they failed to control the mob. Oh, I forgot, the mob also stole private possessions from the burned corpses. Interestingly, some of the dead foreigners were working with General Electric, a bad naughty occupying company that wants to help Iraqis build their power grid!

Are you confused after hearing this story? Well, me too. I just came up with this interesting riddle: what's the difference between an Iraqi and a dog? A dog doesn't bite the hand the feeds it.

Upon reading this confusing story, I logged on to Yahoo Messenger and found an Iraqi friend online. This wonderful person works as a translator with the US army, he helps them help build a new Iraqi army. I cascaded my feelings to him. "Oh, these are just stupid unemployed people" he said. "They are the thugs that Saddam released from jail" he added.

Well, after cooling off, I sat down and thought about it. Why would some Iraqis dance around a burned corpse of a Westerner who came to help them install a power grid? The answer lies in the words of one of the injured Iraqis. "The Americans made this bomb to justify their stay. OK, let them stay, but why do they bomb us? For God's sake, an Iraqi never kills another Iraqi, the Americans did it" he said. Oh yes, these words came from someone who was supposed to benefit from the GE power grids.

Ladies and gentlemen, I belong to a region where we once believed that Israelis secretly sold us chewing gum that was contaminated with some hormones aimed at increasing the sexual desires of our girls to turn them into prostitutes. I belong to a region that once believed that Israelis distributed bad seeds aimed at destroying Egypt's agricultural industry. We justify every wrong and believe every lie. Welcome to the fantasy world of the Middle East.

I am not sure if Americans fall into conspiracy theories just like us. Well, with Michael Moore, I guess Americans are eligible to join the club.

Anyway, in the past, Saddam was the bad guy. He did the bombings and the mutilations. Today, the bad guy is America. Unemployed Iraqis, who have nothing to do except go and listen to some crazy cleric in the nearby mosque, believe that. I'm not talking about my friend who earns $600 per month, or the policeman who earns $300. I'm talking about the thugs. The forsaken. Those who have nothing to be grateful for.

Those people need to see the enemy. For God's sake, I hope the new interior minister will arrest some terrorists and broadcast their testimony on TV so that Iraqis know who the real enemy is. The Jordanian King did that when his police arrested a group of terrorist who were about to carry out a huge terrorist attack in Amman. They appeared on TV and gave every single detail of their deadly plan. His majesty was smart; he wanted his people to know who the real enemy is. If Iraqis didn't see an enemy, they will invent one.

Things I don't understand ... 

Keith Burgess-Jackson recently posted a list of ten things he doesn't understand. Bill over at
Bill's Comments followed up with his take on the list.

I would add the following items to the list of things that I don't understand (and probably never will):

• Why "reality" shows are so popular ?
• Why a teenager, dressed in Goodwill cast-off clothes, is "cool" ?
• Rap music.
• Why anyone would buy a Honda Element.

I'm sure there are more things I will think about and add later ...

A mouthpiece ? 

From today's Fort-Worth Star Telegram, the following letter to the editor ...
Regarding the Wednesday column by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman: Sir, you must be one of the best stenographers that Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has.

Good boy -- now run and get your paycheck, and don't forget to kiss his feet on your way.

Doug Miles — Fort Worth

Friday, June 11, 2004

Media recognition of Iraqi bloggers ... 

At last at least one media outlet has discovered that free voices cannot be silenced, as the BBC reports on Iraqi bloggers, focusing on the three brothers, Omar, Ali, and Mohammed, who blog at the Iraq the Model site ...
One such blog is Iraq The Model, an online diary focusing mainly on politics and reform which is written and run by three Baghdad-based brothers - Mohammed, Omar and Ali.

Ali, a doctor, told BBC News Online that he and his brothers developed the blog because he wanted to send out a more positive message about events in his home country.

"More than 90% of major media outlets have a rather negative agenda and what's the benefit of us doing the same?" he asks.

"We do feel optimistic about the future of Iraq, but we see many facts about Iraq that are not covered, which is a shame."

"They [the media] ignore pictures of good relations between the Iraqis and the coalition and the good interaction between both sides, they only focus on bad events - like what is happening in Abu Ghraib." ...

Ali attributes the rise in popularity of such Iraqi blogs to both the growing number of Iraqis who have access to the internet and an emotional sense that Iraqis want to tell the world about their lives.

"There is an eagerness to reach out to the world and talk because we were silent for a long time," he says.

"They are happy that they can reach the world and that some people are listening and interacting."
It is somewhat surprising that the leftist media would even mention a source of information that contradicts the dire pollution they generally publish.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Update on my cousin and his wife ... 

As you may know, my cousin's wife was injured in the Khobar compound attacks in Saudi (see here and here).

I recently received an update, written by Owen, regarding Dianne's status.
... As of this writing, Dianne has made a remarkable recovery, and in fact the doctor stated that most people with this type of injury would require about ten days to be at the same level of recovery that she has attained in just four. We know that it is her sheer willpower, along with the power of many prayers that have made this possible. Her spirits are very goos at this point, but she still has a long road to travel to full recovery. The bullet broke her leg, damaged one minor artery in the lower leg and produced extensive muscle, soft tissue and nerve damage upon exit. The artery was repaired successfully, is performing beautifully and circulation is as good as it could possibly be. The bone was set successfully and is expected to heal nicely. The muscle tissue has shown remarkable regeneration as well and as a result, skin grafting was done on Tuesday (6-1-04) with no problems expected. The extent of the nerve damage is the only unknown at this point and it will be some time before that is known. The nerves that were damaged control the ability to move the foot up and down and often result in what is called dropsy or drop foot when you walk. On the positive side, this is something that is easily controlled and dealt with up to and including very successful transplants that minimize or even eliminate this condition.

On June 3rd an X-ray of the leg was done and the bone is healing perfectly according to the doctor. He showed me the before and after pictures and I must say it is hardly noticeable. The first X-ray was frightening, but I already knew that since I had seen it in the ER. At one point, I had studied to be a paramedic so I had just enough training to know the seriousness of the situation. She did loose the smaller bone on the outside of the leg but the docotr says that many people do not have this bone and they live a perfectly normal and active life, so this is not a concern. Also on June 3rd she was moved into a private room out of ICU, as her vital signs had been rock solid for 48 hours. All IV’s are out, and on oral painkillers at this point. The next few days, pain will be the biggest issue as her body really kicks in on the healing process but so far she is dealing with it well. Of course as most of you know Dianne, she is anxious to at least get out of bed and stand on her good leg and the doctor is saying this may be possible in another two or three days.

Again, she still has a long recovery process, so please keep her in your prayers that her spirits remain high and her remarkable healing continues. Not only keep her in your prayers but also keep this part of the world in your prayers that the hatred in men’s hearts that result in these type events will be changed. I have always believed that something good can come from something bad. Who knows, maybe Dianne will be an ambassador for peace in the future. Knowing Dianne, she will use this to figure out a way to make a difference.

God bless you all and continue to keep Dianne in your prayers.

All our Love and appreciation to everyone,

Owen and Dianne
... And I add my gratitude and thanks to so many that have expressed their kindness in both comments and e-mails.

Thank you so much for keeping Owen and Dianne in your prayers.


Join the Freedom Blogs blogring ! 

I have joined a blogring with like-minded conservative members from several states.

Our goal is to eventually have every state represented by at least one blog !

Please consider joining !

Click on "Ask me how" in my sidebar to e-mail the Louisiana Conservative ... the "conservator" of the ring (multiple puns intended) !


Monday, June 07, 2004

Teaching or Indoctrinating ? ... 

Citizen Smash attended an anti-war rally last weekend, and made a chilling, if not completely unexpected discovery ...
... But it turns out that Gillian, the spokesperson for the Los Angeles chapter of the International Socialist Organization, is no “little girl.” Because Gillian’s chapter of the ISO was part of the coalition sponsoring Saturday’s anti-war rally in Los Angeles, she was one of the final people to speak to a crowd of about two thousand enthusiastic protestors, immediately before they began to march through the streets of Los Angeles to the Federal Building ...

... So what does a young woman like Gillian do for a living? She’s a high school teacher. In fact, she’s an active member of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, and Progressive Educators for Action ...
Go read the whole thing and then ask yourself,

Do you know who's "teaching" your children ?

Do you know what your children are "learning" ?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

An update on my cousin and his wife ... 

I am on the road traveling this week, so blogging may be light and sporadic, but I thought I would provide an update on my cousin and his wife.

I want to thank everyone who sent well wishes, and everyone who remembered Owen and Dianne in their prayers.
Monday, May 31, 2004

My Aunt talked to Owen this morning, and the following is an update on Dianne:
Her wound is still draining so plastic surgery will be delayed until tomorrow. Otherwise her condition is very good. She does have nerve damage which will be treated after her bones and wound heal. The bullet hit about 6 inches above her right ankle and the nerve damage prevents her from lifting her leg. She required seven units of blood. The doctors assure Owen the nerve damage can be repaired — probably without the need for a transplant.

Owen has had 3 offers to Medivac her home at no cost. The latest from the NBC TODAY show. They want to do a phone interview with her when she is able. Owen hasn't decided whether or not to let them. However, he did do a phone interview with them himself and it should be on tomorrow morning or sometime later this week.

Owen was finally allowed back into their home yesterday and was able
to recreate the events as they occurred:

• 7:30A.M. Sat(Saudi time), Dianne hears gunfire from the office complex near their compound.
• She calls Owen(who does not work in the office where the gunfire is taking place).
• Saudi Security forces show up and the terrorists scatter.
• One terrorist enters the housing compound and goes directly to Owen and Dianne's house(which is only 30 yards from the heavily fortified guard house at the compound entrance).
• He begins shooting, trying to blast the lock off the door. It holds, so he begins kicking and breaks a panel. He also shoots through the front window.
• At this point, Dianne makes the correct decision to leave the house out the back door.
• She sees the terrorist with his back to her and she makes a run for the now unoccupied guard house.
• She gets within a few yards of the door when the terrorist turns, sees her and shoots. He did not follow up to see if she was alive, and then leaves the scene.
• Dianne makes two attempts to drag herself to the door, but cannot.
• Almost immediately a neighbor, fleeing her house, discovers Dianne and drags her into the guard house.
• Dianne is completely conscious and bleeding heavily. Despite the pain and bleeding she directs the neighbor lady to call the various authorities as well as Owen. Within 30 minutes, she is in hospital and Owen arrives about the same time.

No definite date has been set for them to come back to the U.S. It will depend on when Dianne's condition will permit travel, but hopefully it will be soon.

Under the circumstances, everything is going well. Owen told me that he had received calls and e-mails from almost all over the world.

Both are scheduled(Owen & Dianne) to be on the NBC TODAY(by audio tape) show sometime this week. Owen one day(maybe tomorrow) and Dianne another day sometime later, should Owen allow the interview.
Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers, and please continue to remember Owen and Dianne in your prayers.