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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Blog against theocracy

From Blue Gal:

There are no real guidelines to this. The idea is to post at least once from Friday to Sunday Easter Weekend, April 6-8.

The post will be against theocracy, in favor of our Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state. But there are a LOT of issues tied to this, as is pointed out in the First Freedom First website:

No religious discrimination.
PRO End-of-Life Care (no more Terri Schiavo travesties)
Reproductive health decisions made by individuals, not religious "majorities"
Democracy not Theocracy
Academic Integrity (like, a rock is as old as it is, not as old as the Bible says)
Sound Science (good bye so-called "intelligent" design)
Respect for ALL families (based on love, not sexual orientation. Hellooooo.)
And finally, The right to worship, OR NOT.

So take your pick and write your post(s). Really, the wider variety of topics makes it all the more interesting.
When you've posted, email the url of your post to bluegalsblog AT gmail DOT com. I'll be posting links as quickly as I can that weekend.

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"Traitors Don't Get to Question My Patriotism"


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DOE RE MI BEER - by Homer J. Simpson.

DOUGH... the stuff...that buys me beer...

RAY..... the guy that sells me beer...

ME...... the guy... who drinks the beer,

FAR..... the distance to my beer

SO...... I think I'll have a beer...

LA...... La la la la la la beer

TEA..... no thanks, I'm drinking beer...

That will bring us back to...(Looks into an empty glass)


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Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Nite Retro

Good evening and welcome once again to Friday Nite Retro. Tonight's edition takes a dark turn, and is designed to make you think a little bit. . .it's "War - 1980's Style":

Paul Hardcastle - "Nineteen"

Bruce Springsteen - "Born in the USA"

Nena - "99 Red Balloons"

Sting - "Russians"

Frankie Goes to Hollywood - "Two Tribes"

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Film at 11

A great Jib-Jab short about what we call "the news" today:

Hat Tip to: John's Blog

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Coming soon to Vegas - The M.J.Monster!

I've managed to come down with hopefully a slightly tamer version of the nasty cold-virus-whatever that my wife has suffered with all week long. So not up to posting much tonight, but I had to get this one out here just in case you missed it:

Fifty-foot man-machine hybrid Michael Jackson would shoot laser beams to attract tourists!

From: The Guardian:

If Michael Jackson gets a residency in Las Vegas, and if there are a few spare lasers kicking around, then the former King of Pop would very much like to build a 50-foot robot with beams coming out of its eyes to promote his show.

According to the New York Daily News, Jacko has been in discussions with tourism officials and hotel owners about doing a residency at a venue like Elvis used to or Celine Dion does now. Only the hotel owners aren't quite convinced yet, hence the need for a robot.

"It would be in the desert sands," explained Mike Luckman of design consultancy Luckman Van Pier. "Laser beams would shoot out of it so it would be the first thing people flying would see. Neon is wonderful, but it's old school."

Discussions have also taken place in regards to a stage set for the show, which would feature a giant audience-interactive video game with human cyborgs controlled by the audience. "Michael's looked at the sketches and likes them," Luckman explained.

Despite all the plans, however, there remains concern as to whether Jackson - who was found not guilty of child molestation charges in 2005 - would be able to sell the required amount of tickets to make any residency work.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tagged Again!

SpadoMan included me in his tagged list today, and said some very nice things about me. As it turns out, we have quite a bit in common. I, too, started my blog in January of 2006. Like Spado, I have also been very busy lately, but try to make my rounds as much as possible. The work I do doesn't allow me to express myself creatively; blogging fills that void for me - sometimes too much! I recently added a laptop to our inventory so that I may roam around the house on WiFi rather than disappearing into the basement for hours on end.

I am truly grateful for all of the friends that I have made via the blogosphere, on all sides of the issues. It has been simply indescribable to hook up with so many great people with like interests on issues, as well as getting to know, understand, and respect people from across the aisle who are willing to do the same.

The meme that I have been tagged with by Spado asks me to name five of my favorite blogs and tell why they are my favorites, or list five that at least make me think. As noted by Spado, it's not easy to select five out of one's entire blogroll, and preferences change daily based on one's mood, so I'll try to pick out five that work for me at this given moment in time. That being said, if you are listed in my blogroll, you could be one of these five at any given time, depending on the mood I am currently in, what kinda day I had, etc.

One of the things Spado noted, and I fully agree with:

"My absolute favorite thing is when one of the bloggers goes through and reads the comments and then writes a personal note to each and every one of the people who left a comment. I realize that some discussions are for the sole purpose of provoking thoughts and ideas, and that the task would be overwhelming to accomplish, but when it happens and I see the blogger mention my name and say something directly to me, I am thrilled."

I couldn't agree more with that statement, and usually attempt to do exactly that! I appreciate that people take the time to comment - they deserve a response! Thank you to all of you who do the same! And now to my list. . .

1. Blognonymous - My froggy friend is always on top of things, and usually has an interesting take on what's going on around us. His work is always well-researched and he links to relevant articles. And Kvatch is one who responds to all comments on a regular basis - you always feel welcome there.

2. Hill Country Gal - She makes me laugh! She's up on the latest news and spins it in her own way like nobody else can with her unique sense of humor. Add to that the fact that she cares about her blogging friends enough to stay in touch via e-mail, and offers up personal support and reinforcement. She has a heart as big as her state of Texas! (Unlike that carpetbagging vile prick)

3. Dusty - I doubt that there is a left-coast blogger more on top of current issues than Dusty - I often have to come back several times just to digest it all! She's been an activist for longer than she probably cares to admit, and God bless her for all of her work! She sets the bar incredibly high for the rest of us. And she creates some damned fine video montages!

4. The Undeniable Liberal - What can I say? Every time I click over, he has THE post that *I* was gonna do - only better! We obviously listen to the same media sources, and the man does an awesome job of reporting the daily events as they should be told. Not to mention that he's a great family guy and fellow mid-westerner. Rock on, dude!

5. Craig - This author of the weblog "Reverent and Free" is, by my own label, "cerebral and sarcastic". Hard to go wrong with that combination! Even the victims of his venom generally respect him for his work, because Craig doesn't really care what you think - He's gonna give you his side of things regardless, and one can't help but follow along!

It's terribly difficult to leave this list at only five, but there they are. I doubt that you wouldn't enjoy any of the blogs that I link to here at Left in Aboite, but rules are rules, whims are whims, and moments are moments, so. . .here we are.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Wheels

Okay, I just traded in my 2000 DeVille for a 2006 Magnum. I've always been a GM kinda guy, and usually bought Pontiacs before getting into the Caddy's recently. The new Chrysler Corp's stable of vehicles had captured my interest recently, particularly the "new" Charger and the Magnum as well as the recent 300 model.

I was sorta set on the 300, but after pricing them and checking out the Charger and Magnum, I decided that the latter two offered more bang for my buck. I test drove both of those and, while they are basically the same vehicle, the Magnum offered extra storage and rear-seat headroom than the Charger. The Charger was sportier looking, but less practical in my opinion. I sat in the back seat of the Charger and my head was resting against the rear window glass. . .in the Magnum I had six inches of clearance in the same situation.

My wife, whom I love dearly, HATES the Magnum and wishes I had bought the Charger instead despite my concerns and the fact that it was a couple thousand more. I am curious about your thoughts on this - so far it seems to be a gender thing. Men seem to like the Magnum, and women dislike it. What are YOUR thoughts? Here are some pics:


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Republican hipocrisy

This just in - Republicans now support the Constitution of the United States of America! (Now that it serves their purposes. . .) :

[From McClatchy Newspapers]

Monica Goodling, the Department of Justice official who said Monday that she'll invoke the Fifth Amendment rather than talk to lawmakers, is a frequent figure in department e-mails released so far as part of the congressional investigation into the firings and hirings of U.S. attorneys.

Goodling, 33, is a 1995 graduate Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., an institution that describes itself as "committed to embracing an evangelical spirit."

She received her law degree at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. Regent, founded by Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, says its mission is "to produce Christian leaders who will make a difference, who will change the world."

E-mails show that Goodling was involved in planning the dismissals and in later efforts to limit the negative reaction. As the Justice Department's liaison to the White House, she could shed light on the extent of White House involvement in the dismissals.

Goodling took a leading role in making sure that Tim Griffin, a protege of presidential adviser Karl Rove, replaced H.E. "Bud" Cummins as the U.S. attorney in Arkansas. Documents released to Congress include communications between Goodling and Scott Jennings, Rove's deputy.

In an Aug. 18, 2006, e-mail to Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales' chief of staff, Goodling warned of potential political problems with Griffin's appointment and underscored White House interest in getting it done.

"We have a senator prob, so while wh is intent on nominating, scott thinks we may have a confirmation issue," Goodling wrote.

At Jennings' request, documents show, Goodling agreed to meet last summer with two Republican activists from New Mexico who felt that U.S. Attorney David Iglesias wasn't doing enough to pursue allegations of voter fraud by Democrats. Iglesias believes the issue was a key factor in his firing.

In a June 20 e-mail, Jennings asked Goodling to arrange a Justice Department meeting for New Mexico Republican Mickey Barnett, who came to Washington with Paul Rogers, another GOP activist.

"It is sensitive - perhaps you should do it," Jennings suggested.

"Happy to do so," Goodling replied. A copy of her daily planner, which was provided to congressional investigators, shows that she met with the two the next day.


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The Common Sense Budget Act

Do you think our government should provide health insurance to children who don't have it? Rebuild America's crumbling schools? Cut our reliance on foreign oil? Rep. Lynn Woolsey from California certainly does, and that's why she's introducing a bill that does just that - without raising taxes. Will you help her make it the law of the land?

I'm Rep. Lynn Woolsey from California, and I've just introduced the Common Sense Budget Act,1 which I wrote with the folks at TrueMajority.org. This bill would take $60 billion in wasted Pentagon spending and use it instead on education, health care and other human needs programs that we all care about. (And regardless of how you feel about the "War on Terror", you should know that it won't take any money from our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, which are funded separately.)

Retired Generals, Admirals, even a former Asst. Secretary of Defense say it's a good idea, and most of the public agree. But to make it happen, Congress needs to hear from you. Tell your Representative that you support a Common Sense Budget and ask them to join me by cosponsoring this bill.

I've been working with TrueMajority.org and Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities on this issue for a couple of years. When we started, the idea of taking money from the Pentagon (even though it's money that's being wasted on obsolete 'Cold War era' weapons) to help pay for social programs was pretty novel. But in our first session, we got 38 members of Congress to cosponsor the bill, as well as state legislators endorsing the campaign across the country. And when you add their support to the list of retired admirals and generals, 700 business leaders, and the majority of the American public, we're a lot closer to getting a budget that takes care of our needs at home -- and cuts back on runaway Pentagon spending -- than we were two years ago.

Now we have a new Congress and a new tone in Washington, but we need to build even more support in order to see the changes we know are right. So please email your Representative today and encourage him or her to endorse the Common Sense Budget Act.


Rep. Lynn Woolsey

Lynn Woolsey
Member of Congress

Click HERE for more information on this act and it's impact on us all.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

What a great idea!!!

Every now and then someone comes up with a great idea! Kind of makes you go "gee, I wish I would have thought of that".
I may even retire to another country after reading about this brilliant idea!

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Sunlight Foundation results

Late last year, the Sunlight Foundation enlisted it's member investigators to review the websites of our senators and congressmen for transparency in a selected number of categories. The results are now in, and nobody is doing an acceptable job across the board, and from all political affiliations. This link will take you to the results for the state of Indiana.

HERE to select your state if you don't claim to be a Hoosier Bloosier! It appears that there is much room for improvement, and I strongly encourage you to contact your representatives about the Sunlight Foundation's efforts to shine a light on their job performance, disclosures of lobbyists, and contributors.

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You Tell Me

Gooooooood morning America! I'll be undergoing a "procedure" as you read this post (see last one) and due to anesthesia, I will likely think you are funnier than you really are,so. . .caption this photo!


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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spinal Tap - 1st Person Perspective

This is how I will be spending my morning tomorrow:

What is an epidural steroid injection?

An epidural steroid injection is a common procedure to treat
spinal nerve irritation that is caused by tissues next to the nerve pressing against it. The beginning of the nerve (nerve root) is most often irritated by an inflamed intervertebral disc, or disc contents, directly touching the spinal nerve.

[Drawing of a disc herniation compressing the spinal nerve root]

An epidural steroid injection involves bathing an inflamed nerve root in steroids (potent anti-inflammation medicine) in order to decrease the irritation of the nerve root that is causing pain.

How is an epidural steroid injection performed?

The epidural steroid injection procedure is quick and simple. While it is common for people to be concerned prior to the procedure, it is actually frequent to hear from patients afterwards: "Is that all?"

spinal cord rests in the spinal canal. The nerve roots branch out from the spinal cord at each level of a spinal vertebra (the bony building blocks of the spine). The cord is protected by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which serves as a shock absorber for the cord. The CSF is held in place by a membrane with several layers, one of which is called the dura, from the Greek for tough (think of "durable"). The Greek word "epi" means "outside of." So, the epidural space is outside of this tough membrane. During an epidural steroid injection, a needle and syringe are used to enter the epidural space and deposit small amounts of long-lasting steroids around the inflamed spinal nerve. A fluoroscope (a viewing instrument using X-rays) is used to visualize the local anatomy during the injection. The epidural steroid injection specifically targets the inflamed area and treats it with a maximal amount of steroids, thereby minimizing exposure of the rest of the body to the steroids.

[Epidural steroid injection with injection needle visible in the epidural space using a fluoroscope]

When are epidural steroid injections used?

Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of
radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. Irritation of a spinal nerve in the low back (lumbar radiculopathy) causes pain that goes down the leg. Epidural injections are also used to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical spine), referred to as cervical radiculopathy.

I've had problems with my back for the last fifteen years, but I generally work myself out of it in a few days or get some help from my chiropractor. This current bout has been extremely bad, however, and has gone on for nearly a month now. I'm one of those guys that can eat pain like candy, but this is even starting to wear on me, so I went to see an orthopaedist.

After initial x-rays, and then an MRI, I was advised that I had a mild and normal state of degenerative disc disease in my lowest disc with a very slight bulge in the disc. Good news overall, but even a small bulge pressing against the sciatic nerve can bring a grown man to his knees. I do well once I'm on my feet, but. . .I dread getting out of bed in the morning, or having to sit for long periods. When I first get out of bed, and my right leg hits the floor, it's like having a 6 inch knife shoved into my right hip, and I have to hang onto door frames or whatever I can find to move along until it numbs a bit. This "block" should mask the pain and give me time to heal, and I am optimistic.

If not, there's always the new and less-invasive frontal-entry form of back surgery. Typically, when one undergoes surgery of the spine, the back muscles are cut to access the area in need of repair. The healing of those back muscles can keep you down for weeks at best, and often for months. The new procedure generally allows a patient to return to work in a week or two - so I am optimistic overall.

If you are an invincible twenty-something like I once was, and enjoy lifting and tossing heavy things around because it makes you feel manly and causes you no pain, remember this. . .that was ME 15 years ago - it WILL catch up with you eventually. Lift properly now or write this tale about yourself later!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

One man's journey for peace

Bill McDannell is a father of five and grandfather of four, a Vietnam era veteran and a former pastor of the United Methodist Church. Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, he still firmly believes that, as a citizen of the United States of America, he has a voice in the activities of our country, and that his voice can be heard and can have an impact.

On Saturday, November 4th, 2006 Bill began to put that belief to the test. Mindful of our constitutional right to petition the government, on that date he left his home in Lakeside, California to begin a walk that will end in Washington, D.C. He carries with him a petition that he intends to present to both the executive and legislative branches of our government requesting that we, as a nation, declare an immediate end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The above is excerpted from Bill's website, which tells his story, and charts his progress. Bill is in Texas as I write this, and claims that, even there, 98% of the comments he receives are supportive of his effort - most people ask to sign his petition. Do take a few minutes to learn more about his journey at WTETW.COM (That's short for Walk To End The Wars), and look for him if you are fortunate enough to be in the path of his voyage to DC. For those of you who are local to me, his path DOES include Markle, Indiana. . .


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Strange Little Facts

Can you guess which of the following are True or False?

1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

2. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button.

3. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 years.

4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more.

5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart!

6. Only 7 per cent of the population are lefties.

7. Forty people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

8. Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until they are 2-6 years old.

9. The average person over 50 will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.

10. The toothbrush was invented in 1498.

11. The average housefly lives for one month.

12. 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

13. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.

14. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

15. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than any other time of day.

16. Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.

17. The REAL reason ostriches stick their head in the sand is to search for water.

18. The only two animals that can see behind themselves without turning their heads are the rabbit and the parrot.

19. John Travolta turned down the starring roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie."

20. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

21. Most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk.

22. Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane, just in case there is a crash.

23. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

24. Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from women who give birth. They are used in vein transplant surgery.

25. Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were 7th cousins.

26. If coloring weren't added to Coca-Cola, it would be green.

All of the above are supposedly true!


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Friday, March 23, 2007

Please Impeach Me

And, soon to be a classic - "Poking the Bear"! A hilarious take on Rush Limpball's statement that "Lib's are poking the bear with this Valerie Plame business". . .

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Friday Nite Retro

Good evening and welcome to the latest installment of Friday Nite Retro. Tonight's feature is Canadian jazz artist, Gino Vanelli. This first song was one of my favorites from 1978, was Gino's breakout hit in the USA, and won him a Grammy award that same year: (This is a later live version - couldn't find the original)

I Just Wanna Stop

Next up, from 1980, is Gino's #5 hit from the album "Nightwalker" (You'll need to click this one twice to view it on YouTube - it wasn't embedable):

Living Inside Myself

This title track, from 1985's "Black Cars", only hit #42 on the US charts. Perhaps it was too much of a different sound for Gino's fanbase. . .I thoroughly enjoyed it though:

Black Cars

And finally, from his 1987 album "Big Dreamers Never Sleep", this #55 hit:

Wild Horses

Although having removed himself and his family years ago from the media spotlight, Gino is still actively recording albums and now lives and works in The Netherlands.

Visit his official website HERE.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr. United States Courthouse

Newsweek Blog

Holly Bailey-

President Bush is busy doing the work of the people. On Wednesday afternoon, the White House press office forwarded reporters this nugget from the president's schedule:


On Wednesday, March 21, 2007 the President signed into law:

H.R. 342, which designates the United States courthouse in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as the Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr. United States Courthouse.

We know what you're thinking: the Rush Limbaugh? Not exactly, but close. The courthouse, located in Limbaugh's hometown, is actually being named after his grandfather, who was a pretty famous guy in his own right. Rush H. Limbaugh was a prominent civic leader and a onetime ambassador to India under President Eisenhower.

What in the world do you think Rush's grandfather would think of his grandsons career? An Ambassador to India under Ike? It would kill him again.

Do you think this courthouse will specialize?
Only drug and sex tourism cases?

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Boxer "boxes" Inhofe!


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DC - The video

Dusty has compiled a nice photo montage with appropriate music for our march on the Pentagon - Thanks, Dusty!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The iRack

Pure genius from the folks at MAD TV:

Hat Tip: PT Cruiser

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Farewell, Larry "Bud"

A national treasure vanished just two days ago - Calvert DeForest, AKA Larry "Bud" Melman as seen for 11 years on "Late Night With David Letterman" , died Monday in a Long Island hospital after a long illness. He was 85 years young. He had last appeared on The Late Show in 2002, in honor of his 81st birthday.

"It (The Melman character) was the greatest thing that had happened in my life," said DeForest. But since the Melman moniker was seen as NBC's intellectual property, he appeared under his own name on "Late Show With David Letterman" after it debuted on CBS in 1993.

By then he had starred as Larry "Bud" Melman in his own home video, "Couch Potato Workout," as well as a long list of movies and TV shows. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Bay Ridge, DeForest was a lifelong Broadway, opera and film devotee.

"Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself-a genuine, modest and nice man," said David Letterman said in a statement issued today. "To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him." Tonight's edition of "Late Show" was taped Monday, before news of the death had been received, but I'm sure that Dave will honor him tomorrow.

Thank you, Calvert, for all of the laughs you gave us over the years. For all of the times when we'd had a bad day, then watched you at work and forgot about it all for awhile. . .we're truly grateful.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Langley for city council - 4th district

"There's a new kid in town, and he's looking good"!

Okay, if you recognize the above line from a certain sit-com that I used to watch. . .yer officially an old fart! But seriously, if you're an Aboite resident, we have a fresh new face that wants to represent us on the Fort Wayne city council, Charles Langley, whom I have just written about over at our sister-site,
Fort Wayne Left.

Mr.Langley is a teacher at SWACS, and has. . .okay, I'm not gonna re-write his story here again - it's all available for your perusal at Fort Wayne Left. DO stop by and read about him, and contact him with any questions or concerns that you may have. I have included his full contact information over there.


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Lost in DC! Part Deux - Arlington

When I left off last night, Sam and I had just been deposited in front of the Station Centre mall in Arlington, Viginia by a guardian angel disguised as a cabbie:

After what we had just experienced and heard over at the Pentagon, I was naturally very concerned about our fellow travelers and made several attempts to reach them via their cell phones. All of their phones went straight to voice mail; this made me even more concerned for their well-being. I finally was able to reach Bruce Hall, who told us to stay put and he would contact our driver to see about picking us up at the mall and call me back. After I hung up I noticed that my cell phone was nearly dead! My charger cable was. . .in the bus. Great. . .my only link to getting out of this jam was nearly spent.

Sam and I went into the mall to find a restroom and get out of the cold. According to the mall directory we looked at, there was ONE RESTROOM in the entire SIX-FLOOR mall. We found it on the lower level and, surprise, a big line. I decided I would have just have to suffer in silence or go somewhere else as there was no way I was going to leave Sam alone while I waited my turn. On our way back across the lower level I saw, like a shining ray from above. . .a Verizon Wireless kiosk! I approached the young man at the counter, explained that we were from out of town and seperated from our group with a dead cell battery, and inquired about buying a spare battery. He insisted on merely charging my phone for me, which took about 45 minutes.

While we waited, we grabbed pretzels and drinks and shopped for souveneirs for Samantha to take home. She had promised to bring back a trinket for her friend Kelsey, and we looked at several stores for keychains and trinkets with both their names to no avail. We finally found DC license plate bike tags with both names, and headed back downstairs to pick up my phone. After making a quick dash to the Men's room, which now had no line, we reapproached the Verizon kiosk. The courteous young man behind the counter advised me that I had just missed a call. I thanked him for his help and we proceeded outside to try and call our friends again.

It was Bruce who had called, and he left me a voice-mail that the rally had ended early, around 4:15 and that it would be best if we could get a cab back to the bus. Hoping that the Pentagon police would let us through now that the march and rally had ended, we approached another taxi, and the driver agreed to take us to the north Pentagon lot if it were possible. We got clear to the very entrance this time before being stopped again. Nobody was getting through to the north lot without federal clearance/identification.

I again called Bruce to advise him of our situation. He said they were nearly ready to leave and, since we were at the only exit for the buses, to hang tight and they would pick us up on their way out. I relayed this to the police and went back to the cabbie, who only asked me for $6.35! Whatever else you care to say about the DC area, the cabbies there are ACES in my book! I gave him $15 and sent him on his way. Sam and I then sat down on the curb to wait for our bus to arrive, Sam still stubbornly holding onto her slurpie from the mall despite the cold. I could see that the temps were getting to her once again, and I asked one of the officers if they could possibly allow her to sit inside their vehicle.

He stated that it "was against policy and would be my job if I were to do so", but that he would have his partner call their commander to inquire if this were possible. I know these guys were probably in high-alert mode and under pressure, but sheesh. . .I never did get an answer, and we endured another 15 minutes before our bus finally came down the drive towards the exit. We entered the bus to cheers and applause from our fellow travelers. Apparently there had been several stragglers, as our agreed-upon departure time of 5:30 had been altered and a few people had ventured off (I'd really like to know how THEY got back in!). In the end, they had decided to leave without the last person they were waitig on in order to retrieve Sam and I. That person reached Bruce on his cell phone before we travelled very far, and we went back to retrieve her.

As I stated at the beginning of my first post yesterday, Robert has the rest of the story covered very well. This fills in the missing tale of our mis-adventure in DC. Overall, my impression was quite positive despite the mis-steps that befell us along the way. We found ourselves in the company of some truly great friends and, when seperated from them, in the arms of some ordinary citizens who were angels in the eyes of Samantha and I. Alot of my cynicism disappeared and alot of my faith in other humans was reinvigorated through our experience that weekend. And, for that alone, it was worth the trip.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Lost in DC! (Or how we almost marched on the Pentagon)

Robert Rouse has an excellent post about our trip to Washington, DC - I strongly encourage you to read it if you haven't yet had the pleasure of doing so. Seeing as how that has already been covered, and, having gotten my rant out of my system upon our return early Sunday morning, I offer you the details of the little side-adventure that my daughter Samantha and I had:

Our story begins as we got off of the bus at 23rd and E Street. Oddly enough, Bruce Springsteen was nowhere to be found. The first building that we saw after exiting the bus was the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery for the US Navy. My little reader stated to the goup "They do surgery there". =)

As we walked on down 23rd Street towards Constitution Street and the National Mall, I contacted my father-in-law who had already arrived via a seperate bus from Louisville, and was already in the fenced-in waiting area at the west end of the mall near the Lincoln Memorial.

We had been advised to try to stay in small groups of 2-6 people for the march, as it is nearly impossible for larger groups to remain together throughout the entire march. Robert and Lobo had quickly disappeared after exiting the bus, in search of fellow compatriots they had protested with during other marches as well as friends from their Camp Casey trips. Sam and I tried to stay with Roger McNett and our neighbors Jim and Rebecca Reeder. We were briefly seperated after the two of us forged ahead to meet Denny (my father-in-law) inside the waiting area, but all connected again shortly thereafter. The last forecast we had all heard called for a sunny day with highs near 40 - it was wrong. Although the sun did pop out, the mercury barely made the low 30's and a brisk west wind lowered that even further.

We had arrived rather early for the scheduled 12:30 march, around 10:45 if memory serves me. I knew Samantha would be fine with the two-mile march; we had walked parades together that long last summer, but the colder than anticipated temperature took their toll on her. After the first hour, she complained of being cold and wanted me to find a bus we could get on. Since our bus had left after dropping us all off, and really having nowhere else to go, I tried to keep her warm by holding her close and assured her that we would be walking soon and would warm up.

Jim Reeder graciously offered up his vest and parka, and her grandpa gave her his hat. . .we all agreed that she looked like a little Ewok - a three foot tall being in a green coat with only a small mouthhole showing, and green arms hanging nearly to the ground! I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was too concerned with her welfare to think about it. Sam can be a bit of a drama queen, and I thought we'd be alright once we started moving. . .however the start of the march was delayed as we were waiting on late-arriving buses of fellow protesters to make their way into the compound, and I began to get truly concerned as the time went by. We finally, and painfully slowly began to move around 1:00. By them time we made it to the approach to the Arlinton Memorial Bridge, Samantha was tearing up and I knew I had to get her out of there somehow, someway, ANY way I could.

If you've never been to one of these events before (like me), once everything is rolling there are almost zero options for getting out. The correlation that comes to mind is when you're at Cedar Point, et al, you've passed the PONR (point of no return) and are pretty much consigned to your fate. The difference here being that I felt my child might possibly be in danger from the cold, I was NOT going to make her cross a bridge where the temps just HAD to be much worse, and I was determined to remedy the situation no matter what. I advised Rebecca Reeder that I had to get Sam out of there. . .she suggested I approach a policeman with my dilemma.

I did so, and was advised that, as I stated above, there was no exit available. I asked another officer, who suggested that I take her to an ambulance located on the other side of the crowd. I carried her through the marchers to the ambulance, which was surrounded by "eagles", and tapped on the window. I explained our situation to the paramedic, who had us go to the back door and enter to have Sam evaluated. We removed her layers of coats, her gloves, and her shoes and socks, and the medics attempted to crank up the heat in the back of the ambulance while one gentleman went to check to see if there was any hot chocolate left up front.

They were unable to get the heat working in the back of the ambulance, and the hot chocolate supply had been depleted, but Sam and I were allowed to sit in the cabin of the ambulance until we warmed up. I watched as the last of the protesters passed, with the pro-war types harrassing them. After the last few had passed, the "eagles" melted back into the surrounding areas, and we made our exit. The medics had all agreed with the position that the police had made to me: the entry points into the area were likely still all blocked, and there was no place to go in that direction if we could get through.

Our best option was to make the short trek past the Lincolm Memorial down to US 50, and attempt to hail a cab. Not wanting to expose Sam to any more of the cold weather than I had to, I took their advice. I tried to get a cab for nearly 20 minutes before an empty one finally pulled over. I asked the cabbie if he could get us to the North Pentagon Parking Lot (where we were to meet our bus) and he said "No!" and drove off! WTF? What was going on here??

After another ten minutes, I was nearly ready to trek back north despite the medic's advice, when another cabbie pulled over for us. This one was happy to make the attempt. Another foursome that were looking for transport inquired about the fare to take them to Arlington - I'm thinking "Back off bitch! This cab is MINE". . .she was told that the fare would be $15, and she walked away. Now I, after having experiencing cabs in several other cities, asked if that would be our rate to the Pentagon as well. The cabbie replied that "No, they wanted to go into Arlington and there were four, yours will be less". Let me tell you, based on past experience, I expected a $25-30 fare to "go across the river". This is where the positive experience culled from the negative began. . .

This cabbie DID indeed get us to the entrance to that parking lot, but the Pentagon Police waved him away, saying that we could not enter that lot. Our driver pulled off to the side after that exchange, and wondered what to do. He decided to make a u-turn and talk to the cop in person about our dilemma. Ladies and gents, this is an arabic cabbie approaching a Pentagon Policeman in the middle of a Peace March on said Pentagon to protest our involvement in Iraq. This man needs a wheelbarrow to cart his nads around in! He tried to explain the situation, and I chimed in from the backseat to no avail - we were NOT getting in.

Our driver next attempted to enter the Pentagon from it's main entrance, after making a round-about journey to find that entrance. Again I explained our situation to the officer at the front gate. He advised that we could NOT rejoin our group and that I did not want take her (Sam) into the area because they were ready to fire tear-gas into the crowd. We then tried to exit the area, and seeing other people cutting across the parking lot, asked them if they were with the protest march. Although they claimed not to be, many had protest signs. At this point, a marked Pentagon Police car pulled up next to us and told us to get out. We proceeded to the nearest exit, where another squad car was parked in the median. I exited the cab and explained my situation to the officer, who advised me that things had gone bad and to exit the area immediately and attempt to contact members of our group. He pointed out a six-level mall across the way as a safe haven. Our cabbie dropped us off in front of the Station Center Mall, and when asked about his fare for our roundabout ride and all of his trouble, said "Just make it $10". Knowing the details of our situation, this man could have charged us thrice that much - I offered him a $20 and thanked him profusely!

- I will offer up the end of this story tomorrow, as it has consumed my entire evening. . .

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You Tell Me

Monday morning and time once again to MAKE YER OWN CAPTION:


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Sunday, March 18, 2007

My thanks to Team Ska

Thanks to Team 'Ska for holding the fort while I was out giving the so-called "Eagles" something to do on a Saturday afternoon other than goose step around and hurl insults and. . .oh yeah. . .same shit they usually do. I hope it was worth the drive for them. . .

These clueless bastards actually think we had some secret plan to deface the Vietnam Memorial - my Father-in-law, one of thousands of proud patriotic Vietnam vets who marched on the Pentagon today would be happy to set them straight. But there aint no use in talking when there's nobody listening to anything but the brainwashed BS eminating from their clueless propoganda-spreaders like Malkin, et al.

You see (although you won't), today's peace movement isn't just about ending this unjust war/occupation/quagmire. . .we love the troops, we embrace and welcome the troops when they are actually allowed to come home (before being sent right back, wounded or not). We care so much for our troops that we will defend them from harm within, and fight to remove them from this meat-grinder that your glorious leader has condemned them to, while fending off your attacks against us for doing so!

What are YOU doing for our soldiers? Are you helping get them body-armor and up-armor for their vehicles? Your government hasn't. Are you crying out when they are sent back for two, three, four tours of duty, even when they are no longer physically fit to do so? We are. Are you actively engaging your representatives to take action against these abuses of our finest? We are. Are you protesting and reporting upon the deplorable conditions that our wounded vets are forced to endure when they finally make it home? We are.

Stop being (a big) part of the problem and help us care for our brave men and women who have served our country!

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Sunday News Roundup

* Meet the Press: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); ex-Rep. Tom Andrews (D-ME); ex-House Maj. Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX); AEI's Richard Perle; Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA). Schumer to talk about US Atty purge; other four to discuss Iraq.

* Face the Nation: Defense Sec. Robert Gates; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Gates to talk Iraq, Walter Reed. Feinstein to talk about US Atty purge

* This Week: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT); Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX); NSA Stephen Hadley; Unity 08 & L&O's Sam Waterson; roundtable of Time's Jay Carney, Donna Brazile, Claire Shipman, and George Will. Leahy v. Cornyn on US atty purge; Hadley to talk about Iraq

* Fox News Sunday: ex-U.S. attys Bud Cummins and David Iglesias; Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA); Sen. John Kerry (D-MA); Obama for America's Alyssa Mastromonaco.

* Late Edition: ex-NSA Zbigniew Brzezinski; Rep. John Murtha (D-PA); NSA Stephen Hadley; Gen. George Joulwan (Ret); NYT's Michael Gordon; Col. Pat Lang (Ret); James Carville; Candy Crowley; Human Events editor Terry Jeffrey. Given the guests, this week's Late Edition is all Iraq.

CSpan Washington Journal
· Newspaper Headlines
· Viewer Phone Calls
· Discussion on Bloggers & Campaign 2008
· Discussion on Discussion on Iraq

Doesn't look real good for making things more even in the D/R problem.
So go to Media Matters and sign up to the petition for equality.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

War Protesters, Supporters Rally in D.C.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Denouncing a conflict entering its fifth year, protesters across the country raised their voices Saturday against U.S. policy in Iraq and marched by the thousands to the Pentagon in the footsteps of an epic demonstration four decades ago against another divisive war.

A counterprotest was staged, too, on a day of dueling signs and sentiments such as "Illegal Combat" and "Peace Through Strength," and songs like "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "War (What's It Good For?)."

Thousands crossed the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial to rally loudly but peacefully near the Pentagon. "We're here in the shadow of the war machine," said anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. "It's like being in the shadow of the death star. They take their death and destruction and they export it around the world. We need to shut it down."

Smaller protests were held in other U.S. cities, stretching to Tuesday's four-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion. In Los Angeles, Vietnam veteran Ed Ellis, 59, hoped the demonstrations would be the "tipping point" against a war that has killed more than 3,200 U.S. troops and engulfed Iraq in a deadly cycle of violence.

"It's all moving in our direction, it's happening," he predicted at the Hollywood rally. "The administration, their get-out-of-jail-free card, they don't get one anymore." Other protests - and counter-demonstrations - were held in San Francisco, San Diego and Hartford, Conn., where more than 1,000 rallied at the Old State House.

Overseas, tens of thousands marched in Madrid as Spaniards called not only for the U.S. to get out of Iraq but to close the prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Smaller protests were staged in Greece and Turkey.

Speakers at the Pentagon rally criticized the Bush administration at every turn but blamed congressional Democrats, too, for refusing to cut off money for the war. "This is a bipartisan war," New York City labor activist Michael Letwin told the crowd. "The Democratic party cannot be trusted to end it." Five people were arrested after the demonstration when they walked onto a bridge that had been closed off to accommodate the protest and then refused orders to leave so police could reopen it to traffic, Pentagon police spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said. They were cited and released, she said.

President Bush was at Camp David in Maryland for the weekend. Spokesman Blair Jones said of the protests: "Our Constitution guarantees the right to peacefully express one's views. The men and women in our military are fighting to bring the people of Iraq the same rights and freedoms." People traveled from afar in stormy weather to join the march.

"Too many people have died and it doesn't solve anything," said Ann Bonner, who drove through snow with her husband, Tom O'Grady, and two children, 13 and 10, from Athens, Ohio. "I feel bad carrying out my daily activities while people are suffering, Americans and Iraqis."
Police on horseback and foot separated the two groups of demonstrators, who shouted at each other from opposite sides of Constitution Avenue in view of the Lincoln Memorial before the anti-war group marched. Barriers also kept them apart. But war protester Susanne Shine of Boone, N.C., found herself in a crowd of counterdemonstrators, and came out in tears, with her sign in shreds. "They ripped up my peace sign," she said, after police escorted her, her husband and two adult daughters from the group. "It was really pretty scary for me."

Protesters walked in a blustery, cold wind across the Potomac River with motorcycles clearing their way and police boats and helicopters watching. Police no longer give official estimates but said privately that perhaps 10,000 to 20,000 anti-war demonstrators marched, with a smaller but still sizable number of counterprotesters also out in force. An hour into the three-hour Pentagon rally, with the temperature near freezing, protesters had peeled away to a point where fewer than 1,000 were left.

Protesters met at the starting point of the Oct. 21, 1967, march on the Pentagon, which began peacefully but turned ugly in clashes between authorities and more radical elements of the estimated crowd of 50,000 on the plaza in front of the Defense Department's headquarters. More than 600 were arrested that day.

That protest has lived on in the popular imagination because of the crowd's attempts to lift the Pentagon off the ground with their chants; they fell short of their fanciful goal. Veterans lined up at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and waved U.S, POW-MIA and military-unit flags. Not all were committed to the U.S. course in Iraq, however. "I'm not sure I'm in support of the war," said William "Skip" Publicover of Charleston, S.C., who was a swift boat gunner in Vietnam and lost two friends whose names are etched on the memorial's wall. "I learned in Vietnam that it's difficult if not impossible to win the hearts and minds of the people." But Larry Stimeling, 57, a Vietnam veteran from Morton, Ill., said the loss of public support for the Iraq war mirrors what happened in Vietnam and leaves troops without the backing they need.

"We didn't lose the war in Vietnam, we lost it right here on this same ground," he said, pointing to the grass on the National Mall. "It's the same thing now." In Sacramento, Calif., nearly 200 veterans and parents of troops gathered on the steps of the state Capitol to rally in support of U.S. troops in Iraq.

"This is not a war that can be fought under a white dome in Washington, D.C.," said Kevin Graves, whose son died in Iraq. "If politicians can't support the troops, they should go fight instead."

Opening weekend events, more than 200 were arrested in a demonstration late Friday in front of the White House and charged with disobeying a lawful order or crossing a police line.
I can't wait to see John's photos, and get his take on the protest.

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Wherein I Do A Drive By The Nutcase Kennels

Evil Shrieking Viper Woman

The silent guard of America's memorials
By Michelle Malkin · March 17, 2007 07:10 AM
Bryan Preston and I are headed down to the Gathering of Eagles. Hope to see you there, too.

Like these people are ever silent. Who do they think they're kidding?

Gathering Of Wussies Too Afraid To Fight For The War They LURVE

March 15th, 2007 | Category: Briefings
Please click here for up-to-the-minute maps.

Heidi (RedheadInfidel) will be on the site tomorrow possibly, and if there is emergency info we’ll find a way to get it to you. Otherwise, you are “cleared hot.” Press on to the objective. Godspeed, good luck, and may all of us stand proud on Saturday, as a family and as a nation.

Our time has come. Remember, even now you represent the greatest fighting force in the world, just as you did 10, 20, or 40 years ago. Act with integrity, and honor those we come to defend.

See you on the front lines.


Are these people damaged from having mummy take away their GI Joe's 'cause they were humping the Barbies with them? OH. MY. GOD.

Flopping Peni

Protecting The Vietnam Wall From The Left
On March 17th ANSWER and the rest of the Communists will be lining up for another anti-war protest where they hope to get 100,000 participants (and as usual only muster up a few thousand).

The plans for the antiwar protest on March 17th appear to be firmed up. Here's the intel I got from someone in MD. "The area where the "proposed" protesters' permit has them assemble is on the hill overlooking the Wall (about 50 yards East).

Large Pink Phonies

The simple fact is that until people such as Charles Johnson, Michelle Malkin and the milbloggers are able to get lengthy primetime coverage in the mass media, with their own shows or own cable news channel, the vast majority of Americans will not know the truth, because the mass media suppresses everything.

On first glance, I'm going with acute TTT (Toilet Training Trauma) with a slight case of DDOCD (Dungeons and Dragons Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) aggravated by excessive Cheeto and Yoohoo consumption. And I'm sticking with it.

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Happy St Me Day!!!

Quick post to give you some gorgeous to start the day with!!

Above is Kilkea Castle about 45 minutes southwest of Dublin in Kildare County.
My mother was born across the lane from the castle, (in the US we would call that lane an alley), and I had the luck to spend one wonderful night at the castle.

This is just a wonderful picture of a road in Limerick. The sky goes on forever.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Nite Retro

I'm writing this on Thursday night, and may not have a chance to edit this post before leaving for DC tomorrow evening. So, if you are still seeing this, enjoy some great Dr.Hook tunes, albeit w/o my usual commentary:

Sexy Eyes

Only Sixteen

Freaker's Ball

Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk

Sharing the Night Together

When You're in Love With a Beautiful Woman

Walk Right In

Cover of the Rolling Stone

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The way children see things. . .

NUDITY - I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a Woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!"

HONESTY - My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago."

OPINIONS - On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

KETCHUP - A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added , "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

MORE NUDITY - A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

ELDERLY - While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4- year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. The various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs, unfailingly intrigued her. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

DRESS- UP - A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit." "And why not, darling?" "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

DEATH - While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayer s and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his Father always said: "Glory be unto the Faaaather, and unto the Sonnn ... and into the hole he gooooes."

SCHOOL - A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"

BIBLE - A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out." What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"


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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Delp update

A follow-up on the death of Brad Delp. . .a "lonely soul" has left us. Read the rest of the story HERE.

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Relax - We're all safe now. . .

The war on terror is now officially over! Khalid Sheikh Mohammed today took full responsibility for the following acts:

  • "I was responsible for 9/11 from A to Z, although I speak little English and have no idea what that phrase actually means".
  • The killing of a US Marine off of Kuwait in 2002 - "Me again".
  • The 1993 truck bombing of the WTC - "Yup, that too. Please release my blind friend"!
  • Daniel Pearl's execution - "I was the slasher in that one".
  • "I attempted to assasinate Jimmy Carter, the Pope, Bill Clinton, and Musharaf".
  • The 2002 Kenya beach bombing - "Also my work".
  • "I also planned to attack the Sears Tower, Big Ben, Empire State Building, NY Stock Exchange, Panama Canal and Heathrow Airport".
  • "Nicole Brown & Ron Goldman. . .HA OJ, you were never even close"!
  • "The Unabomber is an innocent man. Okay. . he's a whackjob, but he took the fall for me on that one".
  • The Kennedy assasination - "I was the second gunman; the Warren Commission were total idiots"!
  • "It was *I* who kidnapped the Lindbergh baby. Anyone who'd hang out with Prescott Bush. . .fascist had it coming".
  • "I was the one who secretly damaged the thermal tiles and sliced the o-rings on your American space shuttles"!
  • "You know that great meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs? From my lips to Allah's ears"!
  • "I whispered my name into FDR's ear in his sleep. . .Hello, I said. . .*I* am FEAR".

*Editor's note: It should be noted that Mohammed spent several years in a black prison under CIA torture before finally being moved to Guantanano Bay - His mental faculties are definately in question! The Iraq Study Group Report indicated that he was a delusional individual with aspirations to greatness, realistic or self-authored, who craves publicity for his "acts".

So, in short, if he is actually guilty of all that he really confessed to, leaving out my obvious embellishments above, then. . .the war on terror truly IS over. So we can now:

  • Redeploy our troops the hell out of Iraq.
  • Redeploy the war funds to domestic needs.
  • Redeploy this administration to a federal prison.
  • Redeploy our destroyed world reputation by HELPING others.
  • Redeploy corporations out of political control of our nation.
  • Redeploy our true American spirit by working together for our common good.

Who am I kidding? KSM is guilty of being a member of al-Qaida, but he obviously isn't responsible for all of his torture-induced egotistical boasts. We CAN accomplish the above redeployments, however, and you know how. . .


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Max Cleland: "Where were YOU"?

Max Cleland bitchslaps Cheney and Bush:

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FOX attacks: Black America

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Sven and Ole

Two Wisconsinites walk into a pet shop near Rhinelander . They head to the bird section and Sven says to Ole, "Dat's dem." The owner comes over and asks if he can help them.

"Yah sure, ve'll take four of dem dere little budgies in dat cage up dere." says Sven. The owner puts the budgies in a paper bag. Ole and Sven pay for the birds, leave the shop and get into Sven's pick-up and drive to the top of some big cliffs near Lake Winnebago.

At the cliffs, Sven looks down at the 1000 foot drop and says, "Dis looks like a grand place." He takes two birds out of the bag, puts them on his shoulders and jumps off the cliff. Ole watches as Sven falls all the way to the bottom , killing himself dead.

Looking down at the remains of his best pal, Ole shakes his head and says: "By yumpin' yiminy, dis budgie jumping is too dangerous for me."

VAIT!!! Dere's MORE!

Moments later Knute arrives up at the cliffs. He's been to the pet shop too, and walks up to the edge of the cliff carrying another paper bag in one hand and a shotgun in the other. "Hey, Ole. Vatch dis." Knute says. He takes a parrot from the bag and throws himself over the edge of the cliff. Ole watches as half way down, Knute takes the gun and shoots the parrot. Knute continues to plummet down and down until he
hits the bottom and breaks every bone in his body.

Ole shakes his head and says, "And I'm never trying dat parrotshooting either."

BUT VAIT!!! Dere's MORE , you betcha!!

Ole is just getting over the shock of losing two friends when Lars appears. He's also been to the pet shop and is carrying a paper bag, out of which he pulls a chicken. Lars grasps the chicken by the legs, holds it over his head, and hurls himself off the cliff and disappears down and down until he hits a rock and breaks his spine.

Once more Ole shakes his head. "First der was Sven with his budgie jumping, den Knute parrotshooting ... and now Lars, hengliding .."

DON'T VAIT!!! Dere ain't no more!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gen. Eaton: 'GOP Worst Thing To Happen To U.S. Military'

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Do or Dubais

Is Halliburton trying to run away from bad publicity on their contracts?

Are they trying to run away from the obligation to pay U.S. taxes?

Or are they trying to set up a corporate presence in Dubai so that they can avoid the restrictions that currently exist on doing business with prohibited countries like Iran?

Does it fall into the category of corporate decisions that questions are starting to get asked and we have to get out of here before it gets worse?


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Notorious Quotes

How about some quotes from our enlightened leaders (Or more good reasons to vote for progressive candidates!):

"Damit, when you get married, you kind of expect you're going to get a little sex." --Jeremiah Denton, senator from Alabama, 1981-86. Denton had offered a bill providing criminal immunity for raping a spouse.

"Hubert Humphrey talks so fast that listening to him is like trying to read a Playboy with your wife turning the pages." --Barry Goldwater, 1964 Republican presidential nominee

"If guns are outlawed, how can we shoot the liberals?" --Mike Gunn, Mississippi state senator, 1991

"We have every mixture you can imagine. I have a black, I have a woman, two Jews and a cripple." --James Watt, Secretary of the Interior, 1981-83, describing an Interior Department advisory group.

"Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience is pretty much limited to having had breakfast once at the International House of Pancakes." --Pat Buchanan, 1996 Republican presidential candidate.

"Boy, they were big on crematoriums, weren't they?" --George Bush, touring Auschwitz in 1987.

"If you're worried about caribou, take a look at the arguments that were used about the pipeline. They'd say the caribou would be extinct. You've got to shake them away with a stick. They're all making love lying up against the pipeline, and you got thousands of caribou up there." --George Bush, commenting on the Alaskan pipeline.

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EXTRA!!!! You Tell Me!!!

Oh my.

Bonus points if you caption this WITHOUT using dirty words.

(totally cribbed from Americablog)

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Monday, March 12, 2007

RTZ - Until your love comes back around


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Brad Delp (Boston) dead at 55

Brad Delp was found dead in his home in Atkinson, New Hampshire March 9th. That day, the official Web site for the band was taken down and replaced with the statement: "We've just lost the nicest guy in rock and roll." He was scheduled to perform with Beatlejuice in Somerville, Massachusetts, on the day he died. Beatlejuice has canceled its upcoming shows in the wake of Delp's death.

On the evening of March 10, 2007, the family released a statement on behalf of Brad Delp :

“On behalf of the Delp family and Brad’s fiancée, Pamela Sullivan, it is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Bradley Delp, the legendary vocalist of the rock band ‘BOSTON.’ Brad was admired and loved by many, known as the ‘man with the golden voice’ and recognized throughout the music community as ‘the nicest man in rock and roll.’ Brad will be deeply missed by (all) of his family, friends, fans and the entire music community.” “We ask that you please respect the privacy of Brad and his family during this time of grieving. The family will be conducting a private funeral service for Brad and a public memorial service will be announced at a later date,” stated Peggy Rose, Delp family spokeswoman.

A couple days after Delp's passing, Tom Scholz posted a longer statement on the official Boston webpage:

As you all know by now, BOSTON'S lead singer, Brad Delp, was found dead in his home on Friday, March 9th 2007. Plans for live BOSTON performances this summer have, of course, been cancelled. My heart goes out to his wonderful fiance Pamela, his two children and other family members, his close friends and band mates, and to the millions of people whose lives were made a little brighter by the sound of his voice. He will be dearly missed.

During his set in Bournemouth, on March 10, 2007, supporting Journey, Danny Vaughn was joined on stage by Journey's lead singer, Jeff Scott Soto, and played "Rock 'N Roll Band" as a tribute to Delp.

Barry Goudreau, fellow Boston Bandmate, posted the following message on his website :

It is with tremendous sorrow that I report the death of my friend, musical collaborator and brother in-law, Brad Delp. His soaring, seemingly effortless vocals graced millions of Boston records as well as the numerous musical projects that we did together. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and his family. Anyone who met Brad knows he was the sweetest, kindest person you could have known. I hope he can rest in peace.

Boston was my favorite band when I was in high school, and Delp's vocals were a big part of that. The man's pipes were a perfect accompaniment to the band's guitars. I enjoyed every album he ever sang on from Boston to RTZ. I had not heard Beatlejuice; I'll definitely check that out as well now. . .Rest in Peace Sir. . .

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You Tell Me

Goooooood morning, blogosphere! Time to jack down some java, wipe the sleep from your eyes, and. . . caption this photo!


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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rudy's abortion views

Just for clarification. . .

. . .that should play well with the social conservatives.

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Feeding the Homeless

One way to get the job done. . .

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cool Bar Trick

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IAFF Union Letter on Giuliani

I heard this story on the radio earlier in the week, and just ran across the full text of it over at Carbon Paper. It is merely one small piece of the true Rudy that most Americans are unfamiliar with. . .Here it is in it's entirety:

On March 14, 2007, the IAFF will host the first bi-partisan Presidential Forum of the 2008 election cycle. No other union and very few organizations has the credibility and respect to attract top-tier candidates from both political parties. The lineup of speakers who have agreed to participate in our Forum is truly a testament to our great union and the reputation we have built as a powerful political force and a coveted endorsement.

John Edwards, John McCain, Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Duncan Hunter and seven other candidates will make their case before the 1,000 delegates who will be attending the Forum and to our entire membership via same-day broadcast on our web site.

Early on, the IAFF made a decision to invite all serious candidates from both political parties — except one: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

We made this decision after considerable soul-searching and close consultation with our two New York City affiliates, the Uniformed Firefighters Association Local 94 and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854, as well as our former Local 94 President and current IAFF 1st District Vice President covering New York.

The IAFF recognizes that Mayor Giuliani generally enjoys a favorable reputation as a result of his actions immediately after the tragedy of 9/11. As such, we want our affiliates and every one of our members to clearly understand the reason and rationale behind this very serious and sober decision.

Many people consider Rudy Giuliani "America's Mayor," and many of our members who don't yet know the real story, may also have a positive view of him. This letter is intended to make all of our members aware of the egregious acts Mayor Giuliani committed against our members, our fallen on 9/11, and our New York City union officers following that horrific day.

Rest assured, our exclusion of Mayor Giuliani is not about any particular contractual or policy issue or disagreement, nor is it based on his unfriendly relationship with our New York City affiliates prior to 9/11 — which we will document and explain in additional correspondence later on during the campaign. In fact, we invited several candidates with whom we have had substantial disagreement on policy issues because we feel very strongly that our members have the right to hear from all candidates, not just those who tow the IAFF line.

Regrettably, the situation with former Mayor Giuliani is very different. His actions post 9/11 rise to such an offensive and personal attack on our brother and sisterhood — and directly on our union — that the IAFF does not feel Rudy Giuliani deserves an audience of IAFF leaders and members at our own Presidential Forum.

The disrespect that he exhibited to our 343 fallen FDNY brothers, their families and our New York City IAFF leadership in the wake of that tragic day has not been forgiven or forgotten.

In November 2001, our members were continuing the painful, but necessary, task of searching Ground Zero for the remains of our fallen brothers and the thousands of innocent citizens that were killed, because precious few of those who died in the terrorist attacks had been recovered at that point.

Prior to November 2001, 101 bodies or remains of fire fighters had been recovered. And those on the horrible pile at Ground Zero believed they had just found a spot in the rubble where they would find countless more that could be given proper burial.

Nevertheless, Giuliani, with the full support of his Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, decided on November 2, 2001, to sharply reduce the number of those who could search for remains at any one time. There had been as many as 300 fire fighters at a time involved in search and recovery, but Giuliani cut that number to no more than 25 who could be there at once.

In conjunction with the cut in fire fighters allowed to search, Giuliani also made a conscious decision to institute a "scoop-and-dump" operation to expedite the clean-up of Ground Zero in lieu of the more time-consuming, but respectful, process of removing debris piece by piece in hope of uncovering more remains.

Mayor Giuliani's actions meant that fire fighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills Landfill.

Our Local presidents at the time attempted to meet with the Mayor to stop this despicable treatment of those who perished, but he refused to even see them face-to-face.

The scoop-and-dump continued. And when hundreds of family members of the fallen joined with our affiliate leadership and members to protest Giuliani's decision, he ordered senior officers of the New York Police Department to arrest 15 of our FDNY brothers, including a number of local elected IAFF leaders.

Giuliani modified his policy after the protest because public opinion was so strongly with our members. Ultimately, he was forced to put the fire fighters back on the pile. Our protests were later proven justified as more bodies were ultimately recovered and those families given a chance for some closure and a decent burial.

Giuliani argued that the change was for our own safety, but his argument was empty and without substance. Fire fighters had been on that pile since minutes after the twin towers fell — why all of a sudden, after nearly two months working on the pile, was Giuliani concerned about fire fighter safety?

In our view, he wasn't really concerned. The fact is that the Mayor's switch to a scoop-and-dump coincided with the final removal of tens of millions of dollars of gold, silver and other assets of the Bank of Nova Scotia that were buried beneath what was once the towers. Once the money was out, Giuliani sided with the developers that opposed a lengthy recovery effort, and ordered the scoop-and-dump operation so they could proceed with redevelopment.

In the first few days immediately after the disaster, Giuliani had said he was committed to the recovery of those lost "right down to the last brick." We believed him at the time. But, what he proved with his actions is that he really meant the "last gold brick."

Giuliani crucified fire fighters after our protest and publicly stated that our members were essentially acting like babies, that they didn't have the market cornered on grief. His insensitive statements demonstrated his inability to grasp what members of the FDNY were experiencing.

What Giuliani showed is a disgraceful lack of respect for the fallen and those brothers still searching for them. He exposed our members and leaders to arrest. He valued the money and gold and wanted the site cleared before he left office at the end of 2001 more than he valued the lives and memories of those lost.

Our members deserved the right to continue with a full search for their lost brothers and other innocent victims. Proudly, as you know, the fire service has a code similar to the military, where we leave no one behind. Recovering even a piece of a turnout coat or helmet gave our FDNY brothers and sisters and the families of the fallen some small semblance of peace, something to honor. But hundreds remained entombed in Ground Zero when Giuliani gave up on them.

The fundamental lack of respect that Giuliani showed our FDNY members is unforgivable - and that's why he was not invited. Our disdain for him is not about issues or a disputed contract, it is about a visceral, personal affront to the fallen, to our union and, indeed, to every one of us who has ever risked our lives by going into a burning building to save lives and property.

We have heard from some affiliates that Giuliani's campaign is beginning to reach out to our locals, looking to build support. If you are contacted by Giuliani, Von Essen, or a representative of the Giuliani campaign, we hope you will say not just, "No," but, "Hell no." And please let the IAFF Political Affairs Department know about it by calling (202) 824-1582.

Please share this correspondence with your membership. Thank you.

Fraternally and Sincerely,

Harold A. Schaitberger, General President

Vincent J. Bollon, General Secretary-Treasurer and Past President, UFOA of NYC, Local 854

Kevin Gallagher, IAFF 1st District Vice President and Past President, UFA of NYC, Local 94

Stephen Cassidy, President, UFA of NYC, Local 94

Peter Gorman, President, UFOA of NYC, Local 854

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