I am now at civilization-calls.mu.nu
. Come on over, and have a look around!
On my way out, I'd like to thank the support team here at Blog*Spot. They were all great, very responsive, and quite knowledgeable on the very few occasions in which I had any difficulty at all.
I've enjoyed my time at Blog*Spot. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to start a blog, who's also low on funds. Even the premium services are quite affordable.
I've moved because the good folks at Munuviana
invited me over. I like the space very, very well, love the service, feel very welcome among a group of exceptional writers, and love the results of The Bartender's hard work on my new template. Give him a ping at HammerHead Blog Design
blog template, today!
John Rhys-Davies at NRO
It's linked everywhere
, but I wanted it for myself, so I could read Mr. Rhys-Davies' comments over, and over, and over again.
Since I shan't be around until Friday, I wanted to take an opportunity to write something:
I want to wish all my friends, new and old, a very Blessed Yuletide
, and a Merry Christmas
. In the depths of winter, when it seems that the light has receded and that the darkness is rising, the Lord is reborn! The Sun returns! Let us rejoice at the sight of the winter sun, dawning with a new day and hope for mankind!
With somber celebration of this holy season comes the understanding that we also need to have some fun. With this in mind, and to get the holiday cheer flowing, I'd like to make a couple of recommendations: First, Brian Setzer's Boogie Woogie Christmas
, available on Amazon
, is a great album! It's true that his voice needs more smoke and whiskey to pull off the blues, but he has an angle on that Big Band sound. The remix of "It's Cold Outside", featuring Ann Margaret, makes the whole album, and I loved his finger-popping rendition of "The Nutcracker Suite". My baby likes it. I give it a 7 out of 10.
Also, I'd like to share this
awesome little recipe for eggnog.
Tastes just like Grandma's did.
Don't forget to keep an eye
on the jolly fat man tomorrow, while he makes his annual global circumnavigation.
Most of all, take a moment to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you. Share a smile with a stranger. Give and receive great big hugs and drink deep of the spirit of the season.
To our heroes, who are still in the field overseas; you are not forgotten. All our hopes, our prayers, our blessings and best wishes flow out to you in an unconditional stream. You are our heroes, and we love you.
Be Prepared, But Not Fearful
With the holiday season approaching, intelligence channels have received word that terrorists groups would love nothing more than to hit us over Christmas and New Year's. So, they raised the national alert level to "High."
What does this mean? Head for the hills? Point the finger at Bush and snarl, "This is all your
Nope. It's just advising us that it might be in everyone's best interest if we're all a little more observant for a while. Be on the lookout for suspicious packages, unattended briefcases or computer cases, or anything out of the ordinary in your locale. It just makes sense, anyway. Thieves often take advantage of the harried inattentiveness of most Christmas shoppers. It just makes sense to be totally aware of your surroundings, and avoid giving off the vibe of "victim".
Without going hysterical, don't be afraid to report anything or anyone suspicious to your local law enforcement. Use common sense, though. It is
possible that the guy in the yellow truck with the swan emblem on the side is jst your new Schwan's delivery guy. But it doesn't hurt to look closely, anyway.
That's why the alert has been raised. To the extremists, hitting us during Christmas would be a coup, because it is a holy season to us. Also, it could be easier to slip a dangerous package through during a time when it isn't unusual to see boxes sitting on the doorstep, waiting for the homeowners to get home to take it inside.
Also, with more people traveling, it would be conceivably more simple to leave a briefcase or laptop case unattended in an airport. Really, most of us start filtering out many of the sights and sounds during the holidays--it's a form of human coping. If we didn't, the stimuli could become overwhelming. So, it's important to make a mental note to just be more aware. Trust your instincts. If something really looks off
, let someone in authority know immediately.
Also, it never hurts to be prepared, just in case. Ready.gov
has suggestions on preparedness. Discuss the various scenarios with your family to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Again, don't panic, but do be aware. It can be what separates the survivors from the victims.
Quake in Central California
Via The Drudge Report
, and MSNBC
A magnitude 6.5 quake has hit the central California coast at 11:16 this morning. The epicenter was pinpointed somewhere north of Cambria, in a previoulsy unknown fault. Two poor souls were killed, there have been several injuries, and the power is still out in some places. Public services are working on it.
More as it becomes available.
Of Note: Forward progress in the War on Terror
I just read some interesting stories in CENTCOM
press releases. I hope you don't mind if I quote directly, and highlight the facts I find relevant:
From release number 03-12-54
, dated 12/22/2003:
"OPERATION RIFLES FURY, OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS NET WEAPONS, HIGH VALUE TARGETS
AR RAMADI, Iraq--Soldiers from Task Force "All American" continue missions aimed at assisting local Iraqis in the reconstruction effort and to stop violence in the Al Anbar province.
During the past 24 hours, the 82nd Airborne Division and subordinate units conducted 229 patrols, including 79 joint patrols with the Iraqi Border Guard and Iraqi Police. The soldiers also carried out seven cordon-and-searches and several raids. These operations resulted in one Iraqi being killed, three being wounded and the capture of 96 terrorists."
I repeat: 96 terrorists captured. Ninety-six
Just in case anyone missed that: NINETY-SIX terrorists CAPTURED.
"Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted three cordon and searches aimed at killing or capturing terrorists involved with financing and recruiting foreign fighters in Fallujah. The operation resulted in the capture of 14 enemy personnel and the confiscation of various small arms weapons. All captured personnel and equipment were evacuated for processing."
An excellent day's work. Truly, these folks do get more done in the space of a morning, than civilians do in the space of a day.
"In the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's area, elements of all four regimental squadrons began Operation Rifles Fury, a series of raids to kill or capture anti-Coalition Forces and destroy terrorist training camps in the Rawah area.
The operation was initiated with the regiment conducting 17 raids today. Forces encountered resistance to entry in one target location and used a door breaching charge to gain access to the target through a reinforced steel door. The blast resulted in the death of one Iraqi female and injuries to two other females in the house. These actions are currently under investigation. During the operation, eleven high value targets were captured and 70 other individuals were detained for questioning. Iraqi Civil Defense Corps troops established and maintained traffic checkpoints with 1st Squadron, 3rd ACR as part of the operation."
I'm sorry that the women were injured and killed. I pray for their peace, and hope that the brave shaheed
who hid behind them find out what hell is like. It may be sooner than they think.
"Soldiers from Task Force "All American" continue to foster a positive relationship with the people of Al Anbar. Coalition Forces remain committed to providing a secure and stable environment in Al Anbar Province."
This is a quagmire, huh? Funny. I thought "quagmire" was all about being forced to a standstill. Seems to me that Coalition forces are making more headway every day. "Quagmire" is kind of losing its effectiveness as a media watchword, isn't it?
Then, we've also this, posted today. Release Number 03-12-55
apprises us of the following:
"TASK FORCE "ALL AMERICAN" CONDUCTS OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS
AR RAMADI, Iraq--Soldiers from Task Force "All American" continue missions aimed at assisting local Iraqis in the reconstruction effort and stopping violence in the Al Anbar province.
During the last 24 hours, we conducted 204 patrols, including 25 joint patrols with the Iraqi Border Guard and Iraqi police. Soldiers also carried out 16 offensive operations. During these operations, there were 40 enemy personnel captured and a variety of weapons confiscated. There were eight soldiers wounded, of which one was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital. Seven were not seriously injured and expect to be returned to duty."
Get well, soon. We're thinking of, and praying for, each and every one of you.
"We denied entry to 160 personnel into Iraq at the Trebil border crossing because they lacked proper documentation. No one was denied entry at the Ar Ar, Husaybah, or Tanif border crossings.
Last night in the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division's area, paratroopers continued combat operations to kill or capture anti-coalition forces in Fallujah. Soldiers conducted multiple cordon and searches throughout the night and into the day to capture personnel involved with financing and recruiting foreign fighters in Fallujah. The operations resulted in the capture of 25 enemy personnel, three of which were targeted individuals, and the confiscation of various small arms including a box of C4 plastic explosive."
Which means that there are fewer fascists and weapons on the street, which means that they can't harm one of our men or women. Well done!
In the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division's area, a local sheik turned in a wanted individual to soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment of the Florida National Guard. The individual was suspected of selling black-market weapons and gas and financing a previous attack directed against the mayor of Ramadi."
Huh, and all
the Iraqi chieftains hate our guts, and want us gone, hmmm? Nothing more I can do besides laugh derisively.
"This afternoon, a convoy from 307th Engineer Battalion was attacked by an IED near Habbanniyah. One soldier received serious injuries to the head and has been evacuated to 28th Combat Support Hospital. Three others soldiers received minor injuries in the attack and were treated at Forward Operating Base Ridgeway."
Heal quickly. Heal completely. We're thinking of you and praying for you. Bless you all.
"Soldiers from Task Force "All American" continue to foster a positive relationship with the people of Al Anbar. Coalition forces remain committed to providing a secure and stable environment to the Al Anbar Province.
Quagmire, eh? Huh. Mainstream media and left-wing politicians must be using a different dictionary.
Our troops are wining, despite disinformation and propagandizing.
New Blog Showcase: Pragmatic Conservatism by Dan K. O'Leary
Here's my vote, for the post, "Bush, Saddam, and Howard Dean"
It's sweet, and to the point. Moreover, he hit a nerve somewhere, because he gets to deal with a troll. This blogger does it with an aplomb that left me smiling.
No, I won't be changing the template today. I tested, and hated
Change is good, but this time, it'll come later.
Listen, I'm sick of looking at the news today and cruising through the sites of various and sundry moonbats. I'm taking a weekend (not like that isn't anything new). The last thing I'll post today will be my vote for New Blog Showcase. Coming right up...
New template coming
I'm working on a new template. Just be aware: this site is going to tweak around, and may even look odd for a bit. But in the end, it'll be gorgeous. I promise.
Thanks for understanding!
This'll kill off those conspiracy theories.
I have received exclusive evidence why it took so long to find So-damn Insane:
We were busily tracking Santa Claus
You'd either have to have had your sense of humor shot off, or burned out, to not find this funny:
Brave Sir Banagor gives us the Hippy Hunting
series of tutorials:
Actually, I do know people who wouldn't find this funny. They'd think they were being oppressed. I
think they should get over it
avoid the coffee shops for a while.
At least until hunting season is over.
Den Beste and transnationalism
'"Unilateralism" is a term which the transnationalists have used pejoratively to label many of the actions of the US and its closest allies, who should instead of have embraced "multilateralism". Taken literally, the application of those two terms has been nonsense, since America had the support of many nations both in Afghanistan and in Iraq. But they're being used as code words, with new meanings. "Multilateralism" means submitting yourself to world governance and ignoring your own narrow self interest; "unilateralism" means a refusal to sacrifice sovereignty and an insistence on acting out of self-interest.'
The people would like to see Saddam dead
But human rights groups say that his trial should be used to heal the country.
Note to human rights groups: shut the fuck up, already! You elitist snobs seem to think that you've got the angle into the human heart, but you know what? You rose-vision idiots know nothing
Consider losing your entire family, violently. Consider watching the child you conceived and cared for get blinded by thugs while you're held, helpless to protect them. Imagine seeing the battered body of your daughter--if she was allowed to live--after Saddam's sons and thugs gang-raped her for hours
. Imagine seeing your children and grandchldren, twisted in death thanks to the chemicals Saddam ordered dropped.
Shut the hell up, get out of Iraq's way, and let them prosecute and kill--yes, KILL
--that son of a bitch.
Ridgway gets 48 consecutive life sentences.
As glad as I am to hear that this animal will die in jail
, and somewhat pleased at the thought that the other inmates probably won't treat him gently, I have a better idea:
Forty-eight .22 caliber hp's, fired from about 10 yards into his lower extremities: abdomen, groin, and legs. As the small caliber bounces around inside his body, liquifying his internal organs, he my get to know something of the horror and pain he inflicted upon his victims and their families.
It'd also cost a hell of a lot less then maintaining him in prison for decades to come. Although, the thought does occur to me that he may not have that long. Other inmates are notoriously harsh with cons who abuse women and children.
Dirty Bomb suspect is not to be detained...
But he can face criminal charges by civilian authorities.
The article still focuses on the wrong thing. It talks about the legalities in detaining him, but forgets to really mention the crime: the asshole
was involved in a plot to detonate a dirty bomb. There is a link to al-Qaeda, too: "The government said he had proposed the bomb plot to Abu Zubaydah, then al-Qaida's top terrorism coordinator. Zubaydah was arrested in Pakistan in March 2002."
This was kind of mentioned in an offhand way in the article.
Oh, before you start thinking that the mean ol' government is picking on a stable, pillar-of-the-community kind of guy, he has a previous criminal record
Hmm. He seems like a terrorist to me. But then, justice, like business management, doesn't seem to require native intelligence.
Found on the Drudge Report
"I mean you can't believe a word Matt Drudge says," O'Reilly told the cameras. "Now you've got the Matt Drudges of the world and these other people, Michael Moore and all of these crazies, all right, no responsibility... that is a threat to democracy, I think." O'Reilly warned: "They'll just spin it and twist it and take it out of proportion every which way."
Seems to me that Mr. O'Reilly could use a nap.
Charges to be filed against Jackson today
The county court has also returned his passport, it seems. Idly, I wonder if he'll try to make a break for it?
I'm sure he'd receive an amiable reception from France.
For Christmas morn, I'll be baking up a batch of these
. Mind you, although the recipes presented are pretty close, they're nothing compared to the recipe my Grandmother left to me.
I ain't tellin', either. We've had our recipe since before we ever left Czechoslovakia, and if Grandma wouldn't even share the recipe with the ladies in her church group, I'm not posting it on the web.
But I might be convinced to send out a few of the finished product. For a price. Heh heh heh.
As a parent, has anyone ever had one of those moments in which you thought, "That is outrageously expensive, but so
cute?" Additionally, have you ever been tempted to just apologize to your spouse later for going ahead and splurging today, knowing that they're probably going to be pissed?
This is the source of my quandary.
What do you think? Isn't that one of the sweetest things you've ever seen? I think my baby needs to wear that.
Yes, I am a sap. Why do you ask?
They have given so much to us, now we have a chance to give back to them!
This list has been removed. I have received emails from concerned family members, telling me that this information has been used by mean-spirited scumbags to send hate mail to their family members.
Out of respect for these heroes, and out of respect to the families, the post is gone.
I deeply apologize to our servicemen and women, and to their families, for any harm that this has caused. I was merely responding to the request of parties who were concerned that our people might not be receiving the care that they richly deserve. I have a cousin serving over there, right now, and I was thinking of him as well, when I posted this.
It doesn't change the fact that it was the wrong thing to do. I take responsibility for the list's appearance on my site, and responsibility for deleting it.
Please forgive me.
Now, to the human filth that used this resource to abuse our troops: I had a whole curse prepared for you, but then I realized that you are already cursed. Swallow your misery whole, while you reap what you have sown.
For interested parties, Winds of Change
offers useful ways to support our troops
And here I thought I was all alone.
, knight errant in shining full plate, armed with a broadsword, and expert Huntsman of the patchouli-reeking denizens of cannabis glades, writes of Pagan Conservatives
You thought you were surprised, good sir?
I thought I was all but alone.
"Where is the democracy, where is the immunity that presidents enjoy?"
There was a time when the daughters of Saddam Hussein had my sympathy. It seemed to me that they'd been used as pawns in their father's megalomania. But now, I'm not sure that they're innocents at all.
Raghad holds forth
in a little piece on MSNBC.com.
The sentence, "Where is the democracy, where is the immunity that presidents enjoy," especially made me shake my head.
First, Raghad, your father did not lead a democracy. He was a dictator. Allow me to present definitions from Dictionary.com
that might help you clarify the difference between the two:
n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies
1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.
1. The office or tenure of a dictator.
2. A state or government under dictatorial rule.
3. Absolute or despotic control or power.
OK, sweetie, which one sounds more like the form of government your father espoused? I'll give you a few minutes to think about it.
Also, a true leader does not know immunity. A true leader holds himself to the highest ideals, and makes himself most vulnerable to the exercise of law. A leader is an example in all ways. Answer me this: what did your father exemplify? Base your answer upon his actions while he was "president" of Iraq.
As far as the allegation that your father was drugged, it's preposterous; the desperate grasping of someone who will do anything to hold on to ground slipping out from beneath your feet. The world is tipping for you now, isn't it? But I'll tell you what--why don't you have an autopsy performed after he's dead? Analysis of his hair, fatty tissue, and blood should answer that question once and for all.
Anyway, here is how the US military works: we learn the location of a murderous despot who crushed a small country in his fist, sucking on its very life force like a vampire for decades. We move in, securing the perimeter, to make sure that he can't sneak off. We search the premises thoroughly, and get tipped off when we see a pair of minions sloppily running away. We search the area they were evacuating.
We find the bolt-hole concealing the murderer, and we move quickly to secure and cover the area, so as to minimize our losses if he comes out shooting, or chooses to toss something explosive at us. Then, we quickly open the door of the rathole, tensed and ready, just in case.
In this case, my poor, dear girl, your father cowered from the troops. He was armed, but did not give battle. He stated his name and said that he was ready to negotiate. He was taken into custody, and cuffed. The troops would not have drugged him. First, it is not the American way; second, sedating him wasn't necessary; and third, there wouldn't have been time, anyway. With Saddam taken, they would have moved to evacuate the area very quickly, suspicious of reprisal.
Speaking of which, where were his bodyguards? Where was his Republican Guard, his brave mujahedeen; the fedayeen? If he is still the lion you name him, the leader you revere, where was the defense by his brave warriors when we came for him?
They left him because they know he is no lion. He was an old madman whose time has passed. When it mattered, he did not martyr himself for the cause; he is no warrior of Allah. He is a coward, and now everyone
He was "immune", as you say, while he was president, but only because he ruled through fear. Now that his power has toppled, the people can see it for themselves: Saddam was a coward who could only lead when there were strong hands and backs to do his bidding. Alone, left to his own devices, he cowered from the men and women who came for him. Without others to bolster him, he was a moral weakling. In the end, even his charisma deserted him and we could all see the lowly serpent he is.
You do not want your father to be tried by the Iraqi people because you know that he will likely die if he is. You fear the idea because it means the loss of your own security. Tell me, Raghad, what is it you have to hide? Were you and your sister perhaps duplicitous in the murder of your husbands in 1996? Is it that you fear losing your financial security? Or, are you really a dupe; a poor lost child so brainwashed by her father's skewed reality that you cannot see that according to the morals of the rest of the world, he is evil? You are quick enough to appeal to the world to protect him. In order for that to be effective, you must first acknowledge our mores.
His accusers have the right to confront him. Let him be tried by those he hurt the most. Does the Koran not tell you that the wrong-doer owes a debt to those he wronged, and that he must endeavor to make it right? What about the laws of balance? How many men has he killed? What about the directives of a life for a life?
You hope that trying him in an international court will save him; that this type of legal proceeding will see him freed. This is a vain hope, Raghad. The United Nations was not really involved in this fight from the first. There was no real legal requirement to do so. Either way, the world knows what he is. Everyone, including his warriors, saw him cower from the Coalition fighters. If he did not fight, why should they? Moreover, why should they flock to a coward who went to ground like a rodent when the fight turned against him? Whether through execution or assassination, the days of Saddam Hussein are numbered.
I suggest you try to redeem yourself.
Ethne gives us not only two excellent
pieces today, she also provides us with a link to Iraq the Model
, wherein progress has been underscored.
Additionally, in his post entitled "Confusion"
, Zeyad provides us with excellent reasons why Saddam must
be held accountable to the people of Iraq.