“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

02/28 Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero will on top of all other posts today.
To see other postings today, scroll down.

This Weeks Soldier Was Requested By Echo9er

Sgt. Maj. Brent Jurgersen
Sgt. Maj. Brent "The Rock" Jurgersen
Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division

Active Duty

Not even two near-death encounters deterred Sgt. Maj. Brent Jurgerson's passion and eagerness to serve his country and lead his troops back home.

Jurgersen celebrated his second "alive day" anniversary January 26, 2007. It was a day of mixed emotions for him because on that same day two years ago he was given a second chance to live. It was a day that changed his life forever. While on patrol in Ad Dyuliah, Iraq, two rocket-propelled grenades struck his Humvee. The explosion killed his gunner and left Jurgersen fighting for his life, flat-lining twice on the operating table in Balad.

Afterwards, during a promotion ceremony in August of 2006, Jurgersen was selected for a command sergeant major appointment. Becoming the first full limb amputee student to attend the academy.

You can read the rest of Sgt. Maj. Jurgersen's story here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

02/25 Hockey Notes

Penguins in...? No one knows. They have no where to play—in Pittsburgh or Kansas City.
(…but, they are selling tickets in Pittsburgh…)

Looking at the trends (see Last 10 in the ESPN standings) Philly could pass LA and get out of the basement. Of course, Chicago, Columbus, Phoenix and even Washington could let them slip by. It depends on who wants to play their worst game more than someone else.

Meanwhile, Philly is dumping players. Baumgartner went to the Stars. Zhitnik went to Tampa. Of course, they already got rid of Forsberg.
(…this will lead to a “rebuilding year”…ya think?...)

Wow! Flashbacks! Last time, Bowman and the Red Wings went against Crawford and the Avs. Goalies and all! This time...well Kukla's Korner gives the run down of the Senators and Sabres doing a replay on Thursday. Sports Illustrated had a more concise breakdown on what happened, along with Ruff’s $10,000 fine. Buffalo’s owners sent Bettman a letter questioning the injury policy on theses things. Given the scale of the injury, I probably would have too.
(…actually, I did—coaching kids…I hope he gets some of the changes…)

Ryan Kannedy, over at The Hockey News gives his breakdown on possible playoff match-ups. Given the trends (i.e. last 10), I think he’s being generous with some of his descriptions. If you’re interested, here were my thoughts at the start of the season. Not too close to reality, as it turns out. I think I’d like to see Nashville and Buffalo play for Lord Stanley’s Cup. I see the Ducks playing strong for it, too. But, the front runners often turn out to be no-shows at the gate. We’ll just have to see.

Speaking of moving up, Pierre LeBrun at Canadian Press has the run down on more trades. The ducks definitely improved their abilities. Well, so did Atlanta. I doubt it’s enough to make a huge difference, though, to get them through the first round.
(…hey…I didn’t think the Thrashers would make the playoffs at all...go figure…)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

02/24 Morning Report

The North Koreans seem to be continuing their course for settlement of nuclear issues. Earlier this month, they agreed to close their reactor in exchange for fuel aid. Now, they are welcoming inviting the UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei to talk some more. ElBaradei said “he hoped to discuss the suspension of North Korea's nuclear activity.”
(…does any one else see shades of Hussein and Ahmadinejad…).

Speaking of the Iranian head of state, as if it’s a big surprise, he’s defying the UN again.

The UN Security Council had given Iran until 21 February to halt uranium enrichment.

But the IAEA concluded in a report on Thursday that Iran was expanding rather than halting its enrichment programme, defying a UN resolution of December 2006.
And, as usual, the UN is choosing to negotiate—while threatening force.
(…isn’t that special!...)

Meanwhile, isn’t it interesting that “detaining at the border” is the same as seizing and then releasing? Well, according to the NY TIMES it’s the same thing. Of course, according to the article, the Iraqis—specifically the Shiites—think so, too.
“They arrested me and my guards in an unsuitable way, and they bound my hands and blindfolded me,” he said. “They took our phones, bags, money, documents and the guards’ weapons, and sent us to an American base.”
If I’m not mistaken, standard procedure when someone is detained is to take them to a facility to determine what to do next. Of course, these should be something of a clue:
(supposedly) Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite who depends on Mr. Hakim’s support, intervened to help release the son
One of Amar al-Hakim’s most prominent public roles of late has been canvassing the Shiite provinces of southern Iraq to build support for his father’s controversial plan to cleave nine Shiite provinces into an autonomous region
Amar al-Hakim was educated mostly in Iran…
Maliki depends on al-Sadra and Hakim for support? The two don’t like each other’s ideas. But, both are seeking Shiite expansion and control…just like Iran.
(…I don’t see any problems here…do you?…)

The Times is also making a point of showing that President Bush is planning a war against Iran. The idea of protecting US soldiers and interests seems to automatically mean wanting a war. When do we hear the outcry for supplying weapons to those who are murdering Iraqi civilians—along with American troops?
(…wouldn’t that be a switch…)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

02/22 Morning Report

In a surprise move, Wednesday, the NY Times reported that Tougher Tactics Deter Migrants at U.S. Border. Among other stunning items in the article, they note that Border Patrol commanders can only attribute the drop off in illegal immigrants to stricter enforcement! On the other hand, maybe it’s not such a change of heart. After all, in a Sunday editorial the Times also called the stepped up enforcement “mean and iffectual.” Among other things, it claimed that Congress and the Bush administration were enacting policies as window dressing to appease hard line conservatives. It also claimed the only real accomplishment was the militarization of the border.
(…I wish they would make up their minds…either it’s one thing…or it’s the other…personally, I’m pretty happy to see something positive being done to combat ILLEGAL immigration…)

This must have really chapped some hides. A Federal Appeals Court ruled 2-1 detainees do not have habeus corpus rights in US courts. This paragraph has one major disturbing portions.

In a 2-1 decision, the judges said the Constitution does not extend the right of habeas corpus to noncitizens held outside the sovereign territory of this country. "Cuba -- not the United States -- has sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay," Judge Raymond Randolph wrote.
First, if Cuba has sovereignty, they can demand the US not hold prisoners—which could also be applied, I think, to any military installation. Therefore, could force them to be moved to US soil, and that would give them said rights to a judge and the courts.
(…I would call this one a temporary victory…watch for the left to try to move on this one…)

In other Iraq news, following the Tony Blair’s announcement of British troop withdrawals, Iraqi officials announced they are ready to take over security in Basra. Of course, how much of that is PR damage control by the Iraqis is debatable.

US forces found chemical at a car bomb factory. Unfortunately, in the last couple of days, the specter of chemical weapons in Iraq has raised its ugly head again, although not WMD suspicions that started the War. Chlorine bombs, a device and tactic from WWI, are now being used by insurgents against the population. The belief in the media seems to be that the recent rape charges against Iraqi police forces have fueled this new development.
(…possible…I’m withholding judgment for further evidence…personally, I think they are just taking advantage of the opportunity…)

Meanwhile, Iran is scoffing at a UN threat of force over it’s nuclear stonewalling. I would scoff, too. The only time the UN has really done anything that really involved force was in Korea over 50 years ago. Since then, it has been a pretty ineffective body at enforcing anything it demands. However, Iran claims that diplomacy and dialogue are the way to solve the issue are pretty lame as well. Iran scoffs at dialogue—until it gets its way.
(…maybe he took lessons from Sadaam Hussein…it’s what he did for over 10 years…until Bush got fed up with him…I hope the US does not go after Iran any time soon…we are not ready or capable for that, yet…)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

02/21 Wednesday Hero

Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman
Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman
332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron

Staff Sgt. Kara Opperman performs a quality control check Feb. 13 on fuel coming out of a fill stand at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Sergeant Opperman ensures the fuel is safe and meets Air Force specifications before it is used for aircraft and equipment.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by going here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

02/19 Hockey Notes

Good news for the Rangers. Shanahan is OK. Being taken out of a game, on a back board, with a neck brace, was not an encouraging sign for team’s leading goal scorer (28). But, an hour later, he was released from the hospital. He even made a locker room appearance prior to today’s game!
(…now that’s team spirit…one reason he is one of the greater players…)

And, much to my surprise, someone actually gambled on putting Forsberg in their lineup! I’m not surprised the Flyers let him go. He wasn’t producing. He was barely playing, due to foot problems. What surprises me is a team doing as well as Nashville was willing to take the risk. Of course, then the Wild spoiled his debut with the team.

Meanwhile, the NHL will exhibition in London next year. Well, it could be worse…it was Tokyo last year. But, seriously, if you can’t fill the seats in the States (or Canada for that matter), why bother going after an audience halfway around the world. Global marketing is one thing. But, successful marketing somewhere has to come first. And, the NHL is losing its primary markets.

In sad news for the league, scuttling reports (hopeful ones, too) of his retirement, Bettman says he’s staying as commissioner. Unfortunately, barring something probably supernatural, he will remain until his contract expires in 2010-2011.

And, last time, it was McShane for his remarks while coaching. Now, the Edmonton Sun reports that Oilers minor league goalie, Jeff Deslauriers, IN Wilkes-Barre, has also been tagged for abuse of an official. It’s good to see officials finally toughening up on that in the minors. That’s usually a sign it will filter even farther down.
(…now if they’ll just finish dealing with the clutch and grab thing…)

Friday, February 16, 2007

02/16 Morning Report

I’ve been really busy with some school projects and tax season at the brokerage. So, I’m doing a little catch up on the news. Did you have any idea how fragmented the Democrats really are over Iraq? The Ft. Worth Star Telegram reported on Saturday, February 10 that:

In the House, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio has an 11-point plan to end the war.

Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois and Chris Dodd of Connecticut have outlined their own proposals. Sen. Joseph Biden has said he will have one, too.

More than a dozen such measures are competing for notice as Congress moves deeper into its war debate; virtually all make the safety of the troops a priority.

Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., was the first to introduce a bill on the subject in the current Congress. He proposed, the day after lawmakers convened in January, that money for combat troops be cut off after six months.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., was the first lawmaker to propose legislation denying permission for Bush to increase troop strength.

Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., supports legislation to rescind the authorization that Congress approved in 2002 for the invasion of Iraq, and requiring the withdrawal of troops "in a safe and orderly manner."

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and others have a bill to begin withdrawals within 30 days and turn all U.S. military facilities over to the Iraqis.

More than 70 members of the House Progressive Caucus announced last week they favor a withdrawal over six months. A group of moderate Democrats has filed legislation requiring greater accountability over funds spent in Iraq.

Some withdrawal measures make exceptions for targeted anti-terrorist activity or security for U.S. personnel. Sestak's plan would allow the military to provide air support for Iraqi forces.

Several bills would ban permanent U.S.. military bases in Iraq, and some place Iraq's oil off-limits to U.S. government agencies or American companies. Some provide for reconstruction aid, others endorse regional diplomatic efforts.

One bill places a limit of 500 personnel on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad; provides assistance for elimination of land mines; envisions compensation for Iraqi noncombatant casualties; and supports establishment of an Iraqi Institute for Peace.
The truth is, the Democrats probably have enough clout and bipartisan support to actually get most of this stuff passed.

The evidence is mounting against staying, that is if you count leadership by public opinion poll as a valid measure of doing what is or is not right. With Iranian support of the Shiite militias, and with Moktada al-Sadr probably living there, too, and the American media all ramped up to get the soldiers out of Iraq, all I can do is feel sorry for the Iraqi people. At the moment, US forces are all the security worth mentioning that they have.

Meanwhile, Pelosi and company are declaring Bush doesn’t have power to invade Iraq. Under the Constitution and War Powers Act, he actually could do it—short term. Technically, it only comes under Congressional oversight if it goes over 30 days. The President only has to inform Congress of his actions. All that really is meaningless. The Democrats have created a lot of fear in the American people. But, the truth is, given Bush’s work at getting bipartisan support for going into Afghanistan and Iraq, why does anyone believe he would just arbitrarily attack Iran? All it does is succeed in dividing the American people, and solidifying left wing hardliners' belief in Bush’s supposed “dictatorial agenda.” It also gets the attention of the American people off the issues America must face in Iraq—like seeing a stable government formed, even if we don’t like the shape of it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

02/15 Morning Report

Here was a really odd news story. Do you think we have highway congestion problems in the states? Well, the British government thought of a way to deal with it. How about a $2 per mile congestion tax? No lie. This was actually proposed in Britain. The cost to motorists—combined with satellite tracking to ensure compliance—raised a popular revolt against the idea.
(…something light to start the day with…)

Well, I spent the morning poking around at the NY Times. And, in a no big surprise move, the NY Times is once again revealing it’s bias on things Iraqi.

On Monday the NY Times said our military claims Iranian involvement in Iraq.

In a news briefing held under strict security, the officials spread out on two small tables an E.F.P. and an array of mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades with visible serial numbers that the officials said link the weapons directly to Iranian arms factories.
That’s pretty substantial evidence. Now, I will grant the denial of US claims, without proof, of direct control of Iranian officials is fair. I will also state that it is lame. I should believe that the Iranian government has no involvement with the Shiite insurgents who are openly using Iranian weapons—but not other nation’s devices? (…hhmmm…I can say Iran-Contra..can’t you?...)

So, the next day, the Times reported that skeptics doubt US claims because of the failure of pre-Iraq War US intelligence failures. Again, lame! There is even an additional reason. This time, we have hard intelligence on the ground. Pre-Iraq, there was little to none—allowing lots of hearsay evidence to be used.

And today, the Times reports Bush’s pronouncement that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has been supplying these weapons to Iraqi Shiites militias and insurgents. Interestingly, early in the article, the Times points out that assertions of Iranian involvement have been made, up to now, by “anonymous military and intelligence officials.” The point, of course, being to discredit any information by the administration—and by extension—the military.

(…what happened to tables full of items from Iran…on Monday…that Congressional officials all got to see?...)

Then there are the US claims that Moktada al-Sadr is already living in Iran--and has been for a while. Isn’t that encouraging! The man who has been doing so much to keep the Iraqi government from becoming established may be living in Iran?
(…of course…that’s just speculation…there couldn’t be any truth to it…heaven forbid there should be any truth to the idea that Iran would want to keep things destabilized…)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


…as it’s never been explained before…

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Kreme Donuts.

And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds.

And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad."

And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons! and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them."

And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said, "It is good."

Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food."

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds.

And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.

And Satan created McDonald's and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, "You want fries with that?"

And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!"

And Satan said, "It is good."

And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created HMOs

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

02/14 Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero will on top of all other posts today.
To see other postings today, scroll down.

Capt. Lyle L. Gordon
Ellicia Stanley & her husband SPC Reid Stanley

I received and email from Wednesday Hero Blogroll member Mary Ann in which she suggested that I profile the spouse of a soldier. Seeing as I'd profiled one such spouse in the past, I though this was the perfect opportunity to do it again. I hadn't read the entire letter before I said yes, but after reading it I'm glad she sent it to me.

I think military families, especially the spouses, while they sign no contract, serve our country just as much as the service member. They give up familiar home ties and relocate all over the country, all over the world. They give up their civilian lives for something bigger than themselves. Ellicia was a military wife for only two and a half years. Before they married, but after 9/11, Reid came to her and told her of his desire to enlist. He wanted to do his part. He tells part of the story in his blog post

She encouraged him, pushing him so he could meet his goal of serving his country. He did and took his oath in October 2002. By the time they were married in July 2004, Reid was already stationed in Germany. It was 3 months before she could join him there. In a move that, for someone who'd seldom left her hometown in South Carolina, must have come as quite an adjustment. But she did it, as do so many other military wives.

Then came deployment to Afghanistan in May 2005. They spent their first anniversary apart. Reid writes about that anniversary in this post

It was in the sixth month of deployment when Ellicia received the news — she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Devastating. However, in an email to me on the day she received her diagnosis, the phrase she used was, "not stellar news". Understated, calm, steady, no hysteria, it was another challenge to face.

I came to admire her because, I too, had been away from home, (not to a foreign country), with a one small child (not three), and my husband traveling (not in a war zone). Knowing what my experience had been like, I was amazed at how she took it all in stride. Even when faced with a terminal diagnosis, she faced it all with grace, dignity and humor. All the while supporting her husband, the mission and the country.

Reid was given compassionate leave back to Germany in November 2005. For the next thirteen months they fought their own personal war with cancer…breast, lung…and finally eleven tumors in her brain.

In November 2006 the Stanley's took compassionate reassignment back to the U.S. to Ft. Eustis, Virginia.

On 31 December 2006, Ellicia lost her battle. But her spirit lives on in her husband, her children, and the many people she inspired with her courage.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

Monday, February 12, 2007

02/12 Hockey Thoughts

Who would have thought Nashville would be leading the West? For that matter, who expected to see the Flyers owning the basement? Don't you know the landing after falling from 5th in the East last year had to hurt. There is also the continuing saga of Forsberg trying to find a place to land. The debate is also still open on whether he will be able to play to any measure of his past performance.

Personally, I expected the Hawks be the basement team, again. The real surprise there is how far the Hawks have come with such an awful powerplay.

While I would be surprised, I wouldn't mind another small market dual for the Cup. Except for what it would do for atttendance. How about the Sabres and Predators? I'm still strong on the Ducks to go for it again, though--if solve this slide problem they're in.

On the list of no surprises, the Stars are once again proving the value of a stingy defense. But, unless their offense can get jump started, their payoff hopes will be very short lived. (...dare I mention giving up 5 goals against the AVs!...) Maybe with everyone getting healthy again that iwll change. Still, with Edmonton likely to be out of it, too, that won't be so bad. (...it just isn't the playoffs without Dallas and Edmonton duking it out for seven games...)

Speaking of injuries, once again, from The Hockey News, comes the injury reports. The EAST. And the WEST.

Sports Illustrated is billing the Kobasew-Stuart deal as a pump primer for Calgary to run in the playoffs. I have no doubt the Flames got the better end of the deal. And, there's no question that Stuart has upped his play level. But, I don't think it will be enough for a Cup run.

I happend to like John Buccigross' column last week. He had a lot of interesting thoughts. But, I kind of liked his ideas for how to improve the league.

1. I would add two Canadian teams to the league. Another team in Ontario, for sure. Probably Winnipeg or Quebec City for the other. The passion and interest are there. Why wouldn't you expand there?

2. I would play four-on-four for 10 minutes before the shootout. The games are not too long and it would keep the shootout special. It would also give the NHL a good sample to explore the possibility of going to full-time four-on-four sometime this century. I really believe it is something that should be looked at. How many times have we seen four-on-four scenarios where we say, "That was unbelievable!"? Why not have the entire game be like that (four-on-four leaves the game with fewer people to trap and collapse)? The NHL used to have six skaters. Then, it went to five. Maybe four-on-four will be the final frontier.

3. I would start the season Thanksgiving weekend and play 10 fewer games. At that point, some NFL teams are out of the playoff race. There is a reason NHL attendance goes up in January. Having half the NHL season coincide with the NFL is a losing proposition in the States, and a September training camp is too early even for Canada, too. I would play preseason games in October and November and have the All-Star Game kick off the season. Players need a rest in the middle of the season.

The All-Star teams would be based on the previous season, because who cares about fan voting? I'm a huge all-around sports fan, but All-Star voting means zero to me. The NFL doesn't have exclusive fan voting and it's the planet's most successful sports league. An "Opening Day" preseason All-Star Game would get people's attention and you wouldn't have to interrupt the season later on. Maybe the All-Star Game could be on a Sunday before the NBC Sunday-night NFL game. Make it a doubleheader. It would get heavily promoted and help both the NHL and NBC. Or have it on a Saturday night. After watching the effort in the YoungStars Game last month in Dallas, I would tweak the format and add that the losing team will be eaten by lions.

4. The NHL needs to make a leaguewide and countrywide commitment with USA Hockey that will get more kids to play the sport. The league won't grow the game in America until it grows and enriches the culture of hockey. This will take millions of dollars and years of attention, but it must be done. Get those kids on the ice for just one year and you'll keep nearly every one of them for life.
What I really enjoyed was his focus wasn't just on the NHL, but how to grow the game in general. I thought that was pretty refreshing.

02/12 Morning Report

I’m going to do something different this morning. I am going to rant about the media. In case anyone is wondering, the media does not like bloggers. There have been numerous stories about how bloggers have caught the media in total falsification of fact, and the media merely responds with claims that, one way or another, put bloggers down and make sure people know they are not “real journalists.” Everybody with me so far?

Well, last week, the Ft. Worth Star Telegram ran a story about bloggers. Specifically, it ran a story about people who get so wrapped up in blogging that they leave out other parts of their lives. The article makes it seem like the worst of drug addictions. Read the headline, and then think about it for aminute…

Confessions of a failed mommyblogger

Now…what does it say to you? Well, it does not let you know what the article says.

First, the article spends a lot of time focusing on what went wrong in this woman’s life. Did she let everything else go just to blog? Yes. Did she recognize that what she did was wrong? Yes. Did she break free of the addiction? Yes. Would you know that from the headline? No.

The article labeled her a failure—in big bold print. But, this woman is a great success. She caught on to what so many of us are oblivious to. Sure…blogging is all about getting audience. Hey…we wouldn’t write if we didn’t crave having someone…anyone…read what we write and accept what we have to say. Some of us do it out of anger, others out of boredom. But, it’s all about the audience.

I probably spent the first three months here trying to find ways people could be brought around to read my various thoughts. I was, and still am, amazed at all the tools and programs and websites that are all about generating traffic and readers for your blog. I even signed up for a couple of them, just to see what they would do. It’s stunning the effect they can have!

I’m kind of like the woman in the article. I figured out the rat race of blogging isn’t really worth it. It takes the fun out of it. There are plenty of ways to enjoy blogging without cutting off your family and friends.

Let me tell you…if getting the audience means that much to you…get help. This woman did, and got her life back. But…back where we started…the media didn’t let anyone know it—up front. They refused to give honor where it was due. I’ve lost the original text to a quote I found on Blackfive’s site some months ago. For our purposes, the important part goes

Fear the media, for they can steal your honor

It’s well worth remembering when you read their stuff. They do not give real honor…merely lip service more often than not.

(...if you've got the original text and quote--I seem to recal it was a crew chief in Vietnam who said it--pass on the text in the comments...please...)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I've Been TAGGED...again...

NUTS! I thought I got away under the radar again. BUT...NNNOOOO...CavMom tagged me for the lastest blogger personal secrets game. Flag Gazer got me last time...so I think I'll return the favor with this one...

Well, borrowing from CavMom's site,

Here are the “Official Rules” :
“Each player of this games starts with 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

And, just like CavMom (…go HERE for her list…), there are way more than 6 weird things about me . So, after a dubious amount of consideration, here are the six I am willing to share:

1.) This may not be a huge surprise to some of you readers, but I would rather watch a decent minor league hockey game than the Super Bowl.

2.) I actually get slight tremors from all the sugar in Krispy Kreme donuts. It does NOT stop me from eating them...those things are highly addictive.
(...aren't they on the controlled substance list somewhere?...)

3.) I like to rock climb and rappel. I'm probably closer to novice than intermediate level, and badly out of practice. And I have no problem with it. But, when I'm working on a roof--I am afraid of heights.

4.) When I need a reality check...I watch old Monty Python's Flying Circus videos.

5.) I don't mind getting dirty to get a job done--cleaning the garage, digging up the yard...but I get really squeemish about working with toilets.

6.) I cry at most sappy movies. (…you know…the inspirational ones--like "October Sky"--that try to rip your heart out at the end…)

Alrighty!...that should do it...Now, I think I'll TAG…

1.) JR at A Keyboard and a 45.

2.) Gazing At The Flag (...I told you I would remember, Flag Gazer...)

3.) Hub

4.) Ponderings From The Path (HI, Jerri!)

5.) El Capitan at Dude, Where's The Beach?


6.) RWA and his Thought from The Heart of Dixie

02/10 Morning Report

CavMom hs the report of our troops thwarting a kidnapping in Baghdad. Want to bet you don’t see those kind of stories on the MSM? She actually has a lot of those. You should put the site on your regular reading list.
(…I’ll come back to her in another post later today…I got TAGGED…)

In other news from Iraq, the UN has filed to have a death sentence revoked. I’m not commenting on whether or not he deserves it. My concern is that the UN is, once again, making special case issues. For those who don’t know, this is an application of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

After almost two decades of negotiations and rewriting, the text of the Universal Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was agreed upon in 1966. In 1976, after being ratified by the required 35 states, it became international law.

Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The protocol adds legal force to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by allowing the Human Rights Commission to investigate and judge complaints of human rights violations from individuals from signator countries.
Placing the global desires above the needs of justice among the local people is a dangerous practice. Lawlessness—or genocide as practiced by Hussein and his cronies—should not be tolerated. There must be a swift and just end to events like this. Personally, I loved the Israeli reservation against the treaty:
"To the extent that such law is inconsistent with its obligations under the Covenant, Israel reserves the right to apply that law."
(…if you’re interested, Here is a list of the nations that have ratified it so far, and their complaints about it…)

Meanwhile, members of Congress visiting Iraq were shown Iranian explosives. Personally, I would call that solid evidence that Iran is fueling the problems in Iraq. Even if they are selling them to a third party who is distributing them, they are still involved—just like they are in Lebanon.
(…hey…how many US Presidents have had that charge leveled against them?...I can say Iran-Contra…can’t you?...wonder if it will stick to the Iranians?...)

Friday, February 09, 2007

02/09 Morning Report

Well, the Palestinians are happy with each other again. A new peace deal has been worked out. At least the bullets have stopped flying. There are still a lot of issues left to deal with. First and foremost, there is the issue of how Israel will be treated by Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel—stopping all the aid desperately needed by the people.
(…personally, I hope it lasts…but, it’s all I can do not say “Here we go again”…)

Meanwhile, Hezbollah—and possibly Syria—have some serious egg on their face. It seems that Lebanese government troops a truck of weapons that Hezbollah claims is theirs.

An opposition alliance led by Hezbollah has vowed to bring down the government, and has demanded the formation of a new cabinet in which it has the power of veto.

In a statement, Hezbollah called on the government to respect a policy statement adopted two years ago that describes the group as a resistance movement against Israeli occupation.

But under UN resolution 1701, which ended the war between Hezbollah and Israel last summer, the militant group is banned from re-arming.
Since they aren’t getting their way, they brought in more weapons—with total disregard to their promises. The truck came from the Becca valley—a long time Syrian stronghold. Which leaves me wondering just how uninvolved Syria really was in this. Of course, it didn’t help the cause any when they accused Bush of pushing Isreal into invading. There are those who will think so, one way or the other. And, this is in spite of the evidence that enough bombs and rockets had been fired without any change on the horizon. (…and, Hezbollah wonders why so many in the West don’t trust them?...)

This was a scary announcement. A $1.5 Billion vaccine fund is being set up to help vaccinate people in poor nations. According to Jeffrey Mecaskey, head of health at Save the Children,
"However, despite the great strides from this investment, political and financial support must go beyond developing and buying drugs.

"Clinics need to be built, doctors and nurses trained and fees for medical treatment scrapped so people can afford to seek medical help in the first place.
And we thought a national socialist health care plan was bad? This plan is for a global one! And, for those who believe vaccines are the way to future global health, let me ask a question…why are there so many new flu strains if the vaccine is so effective? For the record, I think vaccines do have a level of positive effect. But, I also believe they are not tested thoroughly.

For example, take Gov. Rick Perry’s recently announcement a mandate that all sixth grade girls should be immunized for hpv. On the surface, that looks wonderful. But, there are problems. For starters, it takes some 10-15 years for the virus to develop. The vaccine has only been tested out 4 years. So, how do they know it really works all the way out? There has been a huge firestorm of protest to his announcement! From all sides, too. The legislature is hacked because they weren’t involved. Even some area media thinks he’s gone too far.
(…makes it pretty obvious there was some serious money at work here somewhere…doesn’t it?...)

In another statement on the times we live in, GPS equipped shoes will soon be available. I think it was about ten years or so ago, the new rage was Kevlar backpacks and jackets. That was brought on by rising school violence. (I seem to recall it even predated Columbine.) That particular fad died off due to high prices. They are still for sale, though.
(…it does make you wonder what will happen with these shoes…and where these will lead us next…)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Another Billary Joke...

Bill Clinton started jogging near his new home in Chappaqua.

But on each run he happened to jog past a hooker standing on the same street corner, day after day.

With some apprehension he would brace himself as he approached her for what was most certainly to follow.

"Fifty dollars!" she would cry out from the curb.

"No, Five dollars!" fired back Clinton>

This ritual between Bill and the hooker continued for days.

He'd run by and she'd yell, "Fifty dollars!"

And he'd yell back, "Five dollars!"

One day however, Hillary decided that she wanted to accompany her husband on his jog!

As the jogging couple neared the problematic street corner, Bill realized the "pro" would bark her $50 offer and Hillary would wonder what he'd really been doing on all his past outings. He realized he should have a darn good explanation for the junior Senator.

As they jogged into the turn that would take them past the corner, Bill became even more apprehensive than usual.

Sure enough, there was the hooker!

Bill tried to avoid the prostitute's eyes as she watched the pair jog past.

Then, from the sidewalk, the hooker yelled...

“See what you get for five bucks!?"

(...I know it's an indication of how much public appeal she has...but there are some emails that just so bad good you have to share them...)

02/07 Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By LeAnn

On May 9th 2004, SFC Lloyd A. Heinrichs Jr was down at the Ocean front in Virginia Beach when a ‘Swimmer in Distress’ call came in to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Dispatch office about noon. Myself (Gary Couch, Dive 8), SFC Heinrichs and Petty Officer First Class Scott Weil of the U.S Navy, volunteered to respond the call. There were a total of 3 people in the water that were being pulled out to sea by the current. The temperature of the water was only around 65 degrees Fahrenheit with the air temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit. The undertow was very extreme that day with the beach already “Red Flagged” due to the strong currents and excessive waves.

Upon arrival to the scene, SFC Heinrichs and PO1 Weil identified the victims. Without hesitation and with total disregard for their own safety each grabbed a torpedo buoy and entered the water. SFC Heinrichs went for the first victim to the South of 36th Street while PO1 Weil went for the second and third victims, which were hanging on to each other to the North of 36th Street. As I observed SFC Heinrichs and PO1 Weil, once they were waist deep, the current rapidly pulled them out. SFC Heinrichs made his way to the first victim and started fighting his way back to shore. Once SFC Heinrichs reached his victim, he calmed her down, making the attempt to head back to shore. Several times SFC Heinrichs and his victim were rolled under by the enormous waves and undertow. His victim was completely exhausted from the ordeal. Once he reached shallow water, he assisted his victim to shore. The victim was an older heavy-set lady, early forties. The Virginia Beach Fire Department Paramedics placed the victim on a stretcher and the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad took her to Virginia Beach General Hospital.

SFC Heinrichs was extremely exhausted and fatigued from the rescue. He turned to check on PO1 Weil and notice that PO1 Weil had reached the other two victims, a male in his late twenties and a female in her early forties. PO1 Weil was struggling with his two victims giving a hand and arm signal for ‘Help’. The female was almost passive from near drowning, and the male who had initially swum out to help her was becoming a victim himself. Without hesitation, SFC Heinrichs picked himself up and ran back into the water to assist PO1 Weil while PO1 Weil did what he could to keep them calm and afloat until help arrived.

Once SFC Heinrichs reached PO1 Weil and the other two victims, they were all rolled by several consecutive waves, pinning SFC Heinrichs under the two victims. A few moments later, SFC Heinrichs emerged between the victims with both lanyards of the torpedo buoys wrapped around his neck, gasping for air. As the situation went from bad to worse, PO1 Weil tried his best to help SFC Heinrichs with untangling the lanyards from his neck while trying to hold his passive victim’s head out of the water. SFC Heinrichs took a deep breath and submerged himself in the attempt to free his neck. As each wave came over the top of PO1 Weil and the victims, we kept waiting for him to resurface in bated breath not knowing that the lanyards kept tightening around SFC Heinrichs’ neck. While continuous waves were tossing PO1 Weil and the victims, SFC Heinrichs reemerged on the side of the victims. He had been under for over thirty seconds trying to get loose. We began to worry weather or not he was going to come back up. You could hear the heavy sigh of relief from all the EMS personnel on the beach once he resurfaced. He grabbed a hold of the male victim and started for shore. The victims once, on shore, were taken away for medical attention. PO1 Weil and SFC Heinrichs were taken to an ambulance and checked for possible hypothermia and released.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
It Is Foolish And Wrong To Mourn The Men Who Died. Rather We Should Thank God That Such Men Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. If you would like to participate in honoring the brave men and women who serve this great country, you can find out how by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Three Arkansas Surgeons

I'm taking a few days "off." But, I'm sharing the odd or two from my inbox. And...well....I just couldn't help posting this one...)

Three Arkansas surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries
they had performed.

One of them said, "I'm the best surgeon in Arkansas. In
my favorite case, a concert pianist lost seven fingers in an accident. I
reattached them and, 8 months later, he performed a private concert for
the Queen of England.

The second surgeon said, "That's nothing! A young man lost an arm and both
legs in an accident. I reattached them and, 2 years later, he won a gold
medal in Track and Field events in the Olympics."

The third surgeon said, "You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a woman
was high on cocaine and marijuana and she rode a horse head-on into a train
traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the woman's
blonde hair and the horse's ass. I was able to put them together and now she's a
senator from New York.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

02/04 Morning Report

This is REALLY dis-heartening. I can actually agree with the ACLU on the issue of caring for the homeless…well, partially anyway.

the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit challenging the Las Vegas ban, saying it violated constitutional protections of free speech, right to assembly and right to practice one's religion.
What this says about our nation is truly sad. We don’t care about doing what is morally right and kind and considerate to others. All that matters is our constitutional rights—not that those really matter to the ACLU, but they do put up a great smoke screen.

In a similar vein, Jaques Chirac says the US should be taxed if it doesn’t sign the Kyoto accords. Aside from the fact that the accords do not address the growing industrial pollution of , say, India and blame it all on current industrial nations, there are some serious flaws in the science behind the conclusions of it. But, the EU will use it to raise money—even if it does break international trade rules!
(…talk about the easy way to gain a financial advantage in the global economy…H/T to the denizens ofCastle Argghh for the info!...)

Meanwhile, in Iraq, neighboring countries are trying to deal with the refugee problem. For the WashPo, this is the usual article that pulls at the heart strings—and tries to blame the US. But, hidden in the text are some real nuggets.
On the roads to both Jordan and Syria, Sunni insurgents have dragged Shiites from buses and executed them.
So, it’s not all about the Shiite death squads? Where is this reporting? And, just why would the other countries not want Iraqis?
Jordan's tolerance has waned, however, since a group of Iraqis bombed three hotels in November 2005, killing 60 people, according to Iraqis, aid officials and human rights groups. The government fears that Iraq's mostly Sunni Arab refugees could remain in the country permanently or become recruits for Iraq's insurgency.
(…hhhhmmmmm…cant see any logic to that argument…I wonder why the sectarian violence is all America’s, I mean Bush’s fault…oh, you may need to register to read the article…)

Is it really the end of US primacy in the Middle East? Actually, US power and influence has been dropping world wide for many years. Part of the problem has been our unwillingness to see the ugly jobs through to the end just because we get tired of being involved and want something new. And, part of it is, as this article points out, we do not factor in all the results of what we initiate. Did US action really accelerate the rise of Iran? The claim has merit. The focus on Iraq has diverted attention and resources from reigning in Iran. Would much of anything be different if the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions had not happened? Overall, the claim is doubtful. Iran already had secret nuclear development well underway. Also, Iran’s supremacy in the Middle East had been growing for sometime, via arms and monies supplied to various terrorist groups. Those terrorist groups are now in power in Gaza and Lebanon.
(…besides…the real question is not whether or even why Iran’s influence has become more visible…the question is will the world do anything about it…)

The most under-reported announcement from Iraq came on Monday.
The Sadrist bloc, or members of parliament loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Iraqi Islamic Party (Sunni Party). Signed an agreement to set up joint committees in the areas inhabited by a mix of Shiites and Sunnis with the aim of preserving security and cooperating with Iraqi security forces, according to Bahaa al-Aaraji, a Sadrist member of parliament, on Sunday.
The Sadrists are giving their full support to the new plan for plans involving American and Iraqi troops? Where is this in the media?

In related news, Virginia freshman Senator (and Marine vet) James Webb claimed the military no longer supports the war—in respsonse to the President’s state of the Union address. The interesting part is no one seems to have questioned the basis of that claim. Greyhawk dug out the truth. There are surprises for both sides in the analysis. The one I liked the most? The troops favor an increase of troops to about the level Bush is proposing. But this information came available BEFORE the “surge.”
(…I’m sorry I missed this when it was originally posted…)

And, finally, there was this sad announcement from Any Soldier:
Sgt. Alejandro Carillo, 22, of Los Angeles, CA, died January 30 while conduting operations in al-Anbar Province, Iraq. Sgt. Carillo was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 7, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Twenty-nine Palms, CA.
Sgt. Carillo, at our house we remember your cry—the cry of all warriors:
"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today."
--The Kohima Epitaph--
We remember what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your family more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

02/03 Morning Report

If there was ever a brilliant example of why the MSM needs to have some oversight, John had two great posts here and here on what an unrestrained media can spew out—and still manage to call truth. The media watches over government. The media watches over business. The media watches over schools. The media, not the people, gets to decide what is right or wrong. And, we the people accept it because we are told the “majority” accept this opinion.
(…does anyone realize only 1-2% of America is gay…why does the media ascribe so much political clout to that group?...why do we believe it?…now, go re-read what Arkin said and tell me it’s truth…)

In New Orleans, a federal judge has decided it’s now…well, sometimes…OK to sue government agencies when things go wrong. Aside from the argument that this will cost millions, it also opens the door for all kinds of legal efforts—good and bad.
(…seems to me there a Bible passage of a day when no one will want to be in charge…this would definitely move things in that direction…)

Meanwhile, the world made one more small step towards popular control of science, one giant leap towards the New World Order.

Fear of runaway global warming pushed 46 countries to line up Saturday behind France's appeal for a new environmental body that could single out - and perhaps police - nations that abuse the Earth.
I don’t have a problem with conservation efforts in themselves. But, adjusting science to fit political realities and the religious aspects of earth worship really hacks me off. Perri Nelson has a good write up on this, and links, too. Better yet, do a Google search for yourself and read both sides.
(…unfortunately, there is a lot of momentum behind this… and most people tend to believe what they read in the media…)

With fighting going on at ministry buildings, schools, and even security buildings, it doesn’t look like Fatah and Hamas will settle their differences easily. Given the gap between them, it isn’t a big surprise. Friday’s truce announcement has gone the way of all the others—though perhaps more short lived. Given the opportunity to govern themselves, the two sides appear to just want to blow everything up in order to have their own way.
(…and people think it’s still all due to the presence of the Israelis…it couldn’t be just because Islam is a violent religion…could it?...)

But, the US has apparently chosen sides in Gaza. There are reports the US will be…
Providing non-lethal equipment and training to units of Abbas's National Security Forces, and possibly the Jordan-based Badr Brigade could increase Washington's role in the power struggle between Abbas's Fatah faction and the governing Hamas movement.
(…I wonder what the Israelis think of that…)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Hillary's First Night

(...should it happen...and I hope it doesn't...this would be the perfect beginning...)


in January 2009

Hillary Clinton gets elected President and is
spending her first night in the White House.
She has waited so long..........

The ghost of George Washington appears, and
Hillary says,
"How can I best serve my country?"

Washington says, "Never tell a lie."
"Ouch!" Says Hillary, "I don't know about that."

The next night, the ghost of Thomas Jefferson
Hillary says, "How can I best serve my country?"

Jefferson says,
"Listen to the people."
"Ohhh! I really don't want to do that."

On the third night, the ghost of Abe Lincoln
Hillary says, "How can I best serve my country?"

Lincoln says,
"Go to the theater."

02/02 Morning Report

I saw this yesterday, but didn’t get to it. Nonetheless, it’s got be giving the left manic fits! A bill has been entered in the Texas legislature to allow homeowners and business owners to actually get to defend themselves! As it stands right now…

" Texas law effectively imposes a duty to attempt to retreat before using force against an intruder…Texans who do not attempt to escape before using force to protect their homes, their businesses or their vehicles may be criminally prosecuted and face possible civil suits alleging wrongful injury or death."
We’ve been told forever the way to survive a robbery or attack is to give the criminal what they want. Now, lawmakers on both sides of the fence want to make it the criminal’s responsibility to avoid harm by not acting criminally. There are 15 other states that think like this, too.
(…I like it!...I wonder what will happen to it between now and the time it gets voted on…if it gets voted on…)

Meanwhile, it seems the Flu has taken on proportions equal to terrorism. There will soon be a severity index, based on the number of deaths that may be caused by a given strain.
The mildest flu strains, those expected to kill fewer than 90,000 Americans, would be known as Category 1 outbreaks. The most severe, a Category 5 epidemic, could kill more than 1.8 million U.S. residents. State and local leaders would adjust their precautions according to the rankings, which the CDC will issue.
This was the major item of the 108-page manual to standardize procedures at state and local levels (Here is the official web site). Why do we need this index…
"Pandemic influenza is not necessarily imminent, but we believe it's inevitable….”
(…that is not encouraging…but at least it’s out in the open…think it will make any difference?...)

The short lived truce in Gaza continues to fail. Given the sectarian issues in play, it should come as no surprise. There is currently more Arab on Arab and Palestinian on Palestinian violence in Gaza AND Lebanon than there is against the Israelis—despite the bakery bombing earlier this week. Even buildings are becoming targets in Gaza now.

These are many of the same sectarian issues in play in Iraq. A new report says that sectarian violence is a bigger problem than al-Qaeda operations. This is, of course, no surprise. Why the media keep trying to report it like one is up for debate. My short version is there is a power struggle going on with the repressed Shiites backlashing against the repression of the Sunnis under Sadaam. It’s a normal historical event after regime changes. The original colonies wnet through it trying to deal with “Torries.” And, admittedly, the US should have planned better for it. Still, given that it is occurring in places the US has not taken an active role with troops, why is everyone surprised by the level of violence?

On the subject of sectarian violence in Iraq, even Iraqi generals are being investigated over the January 20th killing of five GIs. True or not, the possibility of Iranian involvement and planning is even being considered.

Though I haven’t mentioned them earlier here, these are the names of the fallen: Pvt. Johnathon M. Millican, 1st Lt. Jacob Fritz, Capt. Brian S. Freeman, Pfc. Shawn P. Falter and Spc. Johnathan Bryan Chism. We at our house remember your cry—the cry of all warriors:
"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today."
--The Kohima Epitaph--
We remember you for what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your family more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

02/01 Morning Report

This was a bizarre conclusion. Vladimir Putin isn’t happy about radr stations and rockets in the Czech Republic. Well, I can understand that. The US would get nervous if the Russians put something like that in, say, Mexico. He also isn’t happy about US sanctions because of arms sales to Iran and Syria. OK…I’ll give the benefit of the doubt on that one. The Russian economy could probably use the business. But, I want to know how he came up with this for a motive:

The real motive, he said, was to stop Russian arms firms from taking business away from U.S. rivals.
(…any ideas…or thoughts…or even wild flights of fancy to explain this are welcome…)

And…the sound you just heard was the Palestinian truce going BOOM! Hamas attacked a supposed convoy of weapons headed to supporters of President Abbas’ military guards.
"Hamas's heroes have commandeered arms shipments that came through Kerem Shalom as part of the fight against the Palestinian people," a presenter on a Hamas radio station said.
That doesn’t explain the 2 dead and 17 wounded—including two children.
(…all to keep the President from being guarded…makes you wonder, doesn’t it…)

The Cartoon Network, a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc., broke out a new ad campaign in Boston. It didn’t sit well with authorities.
The 1-foot tall signs resembled a circuit board, with protruding wires and batteries. Most depicted a boxy, cartoon character giving passersby the finger - a more obvious sight when darkness fell.
These “signs” were hung from bridges and overpasses all over the city. In our post-9-11 nation, that would be bad. But, it gets worse…
As soon as Turner [Broadcasting Systems, Inc.] realized the Boston problem around 5 p.m., it said, law enforcement officials were told of their locations in 10 cities where it said the devices had been placed for two to three weeks: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
(…no further comment from me…I’m sure you can do just fine on your own…)

Meanwhile, the Global Warming conference in France is winding down. The issues now seem to be about wording in various announcements and statements.
According to drafts and participants, the document says it is "very likely" — which means at least 90% certain — that climate change is caused by humans burning fossil fuels, and will result in a temperature increase of between 2.5-10.4 F by the year 2100.
Some participants apparently want to change that wording to "virtually certain," which connotes a 99% likelihood.
It’s interesting how changing one word—or leaving one out can change the entire gist of something. For example, the NY Times published an article on Wednesday, on a hearing in Congress regarding this very subject. It points out that witnesses, and a vaguely identified “source”, basically vilified the administrations policies. What the Times did not say (Courtesy of Times Watch) was that of the four witnesses, three were from major left wing global warming groups. It also did not say that the “source” was one of those groups--the Union of Concerned Scientists. The deception…I mean, misinformation…gets worse.
"The UCS mailed out over 1600 survey forms to climate scientists and based their assertions of political interference on the 297 that got returned. That's a response rate of just 19 percent. OMB guidelines clearly state that a response rate of less than 80 percent requires an investigation of potential biases and an even closer investigation for a response rate lower than 70 percent. A response rate of lower than twenty percent is clearly vulnerable to the charge of a self-selecting sample, perhaps those with an axe to grind against their bosses, the politically motivated, and so on. In short, it provides all sorts of legitimate reasons to dismiss the survey as utterly unrepresentative."
(…really makes you want to trust the media…doesn’tit…)