Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hot Wing Blues

I'm sick. No, it's not the flu or even a cold. I ate some hot wings last night that simply did not agree with me and spent the whole night doing everything but sleeping. What a way to go into New Year's Eve.

Breaking News

The CIA engages in covert action. More at 11.

Et Tu, Brute?


I don't know. Does it work better than this, Chuck?


This is bitter-sweet. I have many good memories of Rhein-Main Air Base and it's a shame to see it go. But then I have many good memories of Hahn Air Base and that has been gone for years. Still, it is good that we are drawing down our forces in Europe. Let them defend themselves for a change.

Plugging Leaks

Good. Can't wait until they find them and prosecute them

We Can Quit Them

Box office receipts have fallen for the third year in a row and as you can see from this article, Hollywood still wants to blame the fall on DVDs and video games.

They just cannot accept the fact that is it type of movies they are making that are driving average Americans away from the theater. The give us films about gay sheep-hearders (not that there is anything wrong with that, I don't want to see a movie about straight sheep-hearders either), movies that equate murdering terrorists with those who fight them, and badly-made remakes of ape movies, and then complain when we don't go see them. They need to realize that Americans do have choices now and that until they change we will exercise those options.

To paraphrase Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain, "We can quit you."

Son Of Tookie

In all the hubbub surrounding the execution of the Stanley "Tookie" Williams, I missed this story about his son. I guess he didn't write those anti-gang childrens books in time, huh?

It's Not Right

Anyone who reads me regularly knows I am very vocal about illegal immigration. I feel we need to stop the flow of illegals into our country for social, economic, and security reasons. I believe all illegals should be immediately deported, employers who hire them should be held both civilly and criminally responsible, and there should be no amnesty for those already in the country. And I don't care what country they come from or what color they are, what language they speak or what religion they follow. If they are here illegally they need to go to make room for legal immigrants.

All that being said, this law is wrong. While I understand a community wanting to control over-crowding, it's obvious this law is targeted against Hispanics, both legal and illegal, since they are one of the few cultures in our country that still live in large extended family groups. And even if it wasn't, this is just a cowardly and ineffective way to address our immigration problem. All you are doing is moving the problem to another community. If you want to solve it you stop the flow at our border. You find and deport those already in the country.

Of course, laws like this are to be expected. Local communities are becoming increasingly frustrated by the unwillingness of the federal government to stop the flow of illegals throughout the country. Local services are being stretched beyond limits due to this human wave washing farther and farther into the heartland of America. Schools, social services, housing, you name it, all being overwhelmed one community at a time.

So local governments under pressure from residents are enacting all sorts of laws to deal with the problem. Some good and some bad. All because our federal government simply refuses to act.

And because of it families like this, in the country legally, U.S. citizens, are being hurt. That is not right and we need to do something about it.

Neil And Friend

Neil and a buddy wish their readers a Happy New Year. I've never met either one of them but they seem like nice guys.

Clear And Present Danger

The ACLU once again takes the side of terrorists. If there is any one group that stands out as clear and present danger to security of the United States of America and the safety of its citizens it is this organization.

Seat Of High Culture

Despite my earlier "Southern hunting and trailer" joke, I heartily agree that the seat of high culture is not the blue states. It is the solid South.

Reality-Based Shooting

This shooting in New Orleans gives me the opportunity to address something that has bothered me for a very long time. And that is the public's perception of when officers are legally within their rights to use deadly force. To shoot a subject.

So I am going to give a quick lesson. I'm not going to bore you with a long legal explanation of why this shoot was a good one, i.e. legal and justified. If you want one I recommend this excellent site. It provides a detailed analysis of deadly force and the circumstances in which officers are justified in using it.

What I do want to speak to is some of the ideas people have about incidents like this.
1) The officers should have tried to talk him into surrendering.

They tried. As in many incidents of this type, they ordered him to drop the knife and surrender numerous times. He refused and from what I can see, got even more agitated. All law enforcement agencies teach their officers to try to deescalate situations like this. To try to talk the people down so to speak. But it didn't work in this situation.

2) The officers should have used non-lethal methods to subdue him.

Again, they tried. They used pepper-spray on him but that did not work. Unfortunately that is often the case with extremely agitated subjects. They did not "taze" him. Not all agencies use tazers and I don't know if NOPD does, but my guess is they would have tried it if they had them. Unfortunately, there have been a few deaths involving tazers and the predictable lawsuits have made many agencies either stop using them or restrict their use.

3) The officers should have shot him in the leg.

Virtually all law enforcement agencies teach their officers to shoot center mass. Center mass being the area from the waist up to the shoulders. The reason for this is simple -- it is the largest part of the body and the easiest to hit. This is especially important when the officer's adrenaline is at its peak and shooting a gun accurately at a moving target is much more difficult than at the firing range. No agency that I know of teaches its officers to shoot at limbs. And no agency teaches its officers to shoot to wound. In fact, you don't shoot to kill or shoot to wound. You shoot to stop. You shoot to stop the action that caused you to shoot in the first place. Unfortunately that sometimes results in the death of the subject, which is unfortunate, but certainly not the fault of the officer.

Shooting at a small target in such a tense situation is inviting a miss, and contrary to what you see in the movies, bullets tend to travel quite a distance past the target. And sooner or later they are going to hit something and that something could be an innocent bystander. So officers shoot at the biggest target. Make sense? Good.

4) The officers should have shot the knife out of his hand.

See the answer to number three. This is not the Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. No trick shooting is allowed. That is for Bruce Willis movies.

5) The officers should have tried to disarm him.

Are you crazy? Do you know what a knife can do to a body. You want officers to try to physically restrain and disarm a knife-wielding crazy man knowing that one swipe could kill them or result in serious bodily harm? A cut so deep it tears into nerves and muscle and major arteries. Sorry, not gonna do it. Cops are NOT paid to die or incur seriously bodily harm just so the bad guy doesn't get hurt. It isn't in the contract, folks. Yeah, they are paid to take their fair share of bumps and bruises. And the public should expect that of them. It's part of the job and all cops know this. But no cop is required to die or lose the use of a limb just to save the bad guy from harm. I know damn near all officers would give their lives to protect the innocent, but when it comes to them or the bad guy, the bad guy is going down.

6) The officers shot him when he couldn't hurt them. He only had a knife and they had guns.

There is an old saying - never bring a knife to a gun fight. All agencies recognize that a subject with a knife is a potential deadly force situation. While this guy may not have been a threat with the knife at 100 feet, the closer he came to the officers the greater threat he posed. Once the officers developed a reasonable belief that he posed a threat of death or serious bodily harm to themselves or others they were within the law to shoot. He doesn't have to be stabbing the officer for that point to have been reached. Any move towards the officer might be justification and it appears this was the case here.

Not convinced? Try this test. Have a friend stand about 20 feet away from you and suddenly charge you with no warning. You will see that he can close the distance between you in a second or two, touching you almost before you can react in any way. Now imagine your friend had a knife and was attacking you. Could you have stopped him before you were stabbed? Even with your gun out and pointed at them? Could you have fired quickly and accurately, while tensing for the onslaught? And remember the bad guys normally don't just fall down and die immediately. You might get off one or even two shots and he still might reach you, swinging that knife down into your chest or across your face.

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, folks.
Anyway, I think that covers my major points. The problem here as I see it it that the public has gained a warped perception of these types of situations from TV and movies. They think officers can shoot knives out of hands at 100 yards and that people can be stabbed, shot, thrown through plate-glass windows, run over by cars, and still go dancing with their wives or husbands later that night. It just doesn't work that way in real life.

Leaking Thoughts

If, in the not so distant future, you happen to find yourself dead, severely injured, inhaling radioactive fallout, or simply breaking your own neck from the intensity of convulsions from al-Qaeda’s release of nerve toxin, remember, you may be going through intense pain, and being killed before your time – but you’re dying a well-informed citizen! Imagine how much worse off you would be if that leaker and that reporter had never met, and these government programs had continued in secrecy!

Read it all here.

Brunette Of The Week

Carrie-Anne Moss.

Just When I Thought I Was Out

They pull me back in by publishing national secrets that can do nothing but damage the security of our great nation and put our people at risk.
The nuclear surveillance program began in early 2002 and has been run by the FBI and the Department of Energy's Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST). Two individuals, who declined to be named because the program is highly classified, spoke to U.S. News because of their concerns about the legality of the program. At its peak, they say, the effort involved three vehicles in Washington, D.C., monitoring 120 sites per day, nearly all of them Muslim targets drawn up by the FBI. For some ten months, officials conducted daily monitoring, and they have resumed daily checks during periods of high threat. The program has also operated in at least five other cities when threat levels there have risen: Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York, and Seattle.
Damn the government to hell for monitoring radiation levels in major cities in the hopes they would find a dirty bomb before it was used by terrorists. Damn them to hell for monitoring those levels near Muslim areas of towns, despite the fact that 99.9% of those terrorists are Muslim. Damn them a third time for not getting a search warrant even though one is not required to do what they were doing.

That's what the main stream media says anyway.

Only I don't feel that way. And neither do the vast majority of Americans. In fact, here's an e-mail from a reader over at The Corner that sums up my attitude toward these traitors who reveal our national secrets at the expense of our national security.

I find it interesting that common sense just doesn't exist in many Americans and even in fewer Europeans. WE ARE AT WAR. Do any of these fools know what that means? It means you do any and everything you can to vanquish the people who are bent on killing you and your countrymen. It also means that you NEVER TIP YOUR HAND, the way the NY Times seems bent on doing for us. I don't care if the methods of collection are "obvious," you never state what they are--never.

Cliff, I've been associated with the military all my life and served in it during the decades of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Now, as a support contractor, I still work on DOD programs to this very day. I will never understand why you'd ever give any quarter to people who are galvanized in their resolve to kill you. Everyone in the Marines (the branch in which I served) understood the stakes. There was a time when other Americans did as well, but clearly Cindy Sheehan is not among them. The editors and writers at the NY Times are not among them. Harry Reid and his brain-dead colleagues are not among them. It's unbelievable to me that politics is trumping the safety of the American people.

Have a good Christmas, Cliff. Hopefully, next year, a few more lights will come on in the cranial cavities of the American left.

Skip Parker
It appears that you can count U.S. News and World Report among those brain-dead who allow politics to trump safety. In my mind this reporter and those in charge at News and World Report are traitors. The people who leaked this program are traitors. And they should be tried as such.

My only consolation, and believe me it is a tiny one, is that they would be caught in the nuclear fire brought by these terrorists. If only so many innocents would not be hurt in the bargain.


Here is a great summary of why this does not require a warrant. I knew this, why didn't the main stream media? Answer -- because they didn't want to. Either they are lazy or corrupt, or in my opinion, both.

Michele Malkin tells us more about how the MSM seems determined to sell America out to our enemies.

Christmas Vacation

I've decided to take a short vacation from blogging during this Christmas holiday season. I originally planned to take a load of leave days, but it looks like I will have a trial the second week of January so I am going to be very busy getting ready for it. I won't know for certain until Friday afternoon, but even if it is postponed I plan on taking the break.

I won't lie to you though, if something catches my eye I will no doubt rush to the computer to post about it. I just don't plan on posting every day. No early morning Diet Coke-fueled Googling. No mumbled curses when I post the wrong hyper-link and have to redo it. I might even try to sleep late for a change.

I am planning a little change around here too, so the break will give me a chance to work on that without interruption.

So if I don't get a chance again, please know that I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year.

Over The Top?

With friends like this, who the hell needs enemies. And in case you didn't know, this was a payoff to terrorists to obtain the release of a German hostage. Here's hoping the CIA kidnaps this guy, takes him to one of those secret prisons, tortures the hell out of him and then puts a bullet in his head.

Is that over the top? Maybe. But you know what? I am angry. I am angry that our allies betray us time and time again. I am angry that the liberal main stream media won't tell the truth about, well anything, and that they are making it their purpose in life to destroy the President even if it destroys our nation in the process. Disclose national secrets? No problem for them. Doesn't matter if it costs American lives as long as it damages Bush.

I am angry that corrupt politicians, mostly Democrats, but some Republicans too, would do the same, put politics over principle and virtually give themselves over to the terrorists for that one little chance to achieve power. These despicable people vote against what is arguably the best tool we have to fight terrorism, yet at the same time complain that the people fighting that war are not doing enough. And they voted for the damn thing in the first place. Shame on their hypocrisy times two.

I am angry that some people claim to love America, but clearly cannot stand anything about her. Her history. Her traditions. Her institutions. They attack them daily, and expect me to believe that they love her?


Some of my oldest and dearest friends think I am a fascist for my opinions. They read my thoughts and wonder what has come over me. Especially since not too many years ago I was probably more liberal than they are now.

But no matter how much I write I can't seem to get the reason across to them. I wish I could. Because it is important to me not only for them to understand why I feel this way, but also to realize that they need to feel this way too. I want them to see and understand the danger our nation faces today. And that danger is not from the President. That danger is from those Islamic fascists who will do anything in their power to destroy us. And from those in our own country who would either ignore that threat or assist our enemies in the pursuit of their own political or ideological ambition.

I wish I had some magic wand that would let them see what I see, but that doesn't exist. So I will just have to keep posting. Putting out there for them to see all the reasons why I feel the way I feel about these issues. That this is not a September 10 America.

And hoping that one day they will understand and maybe even agree.


Here's an example of what I am trying to get across.

Let's say a suspected al Qaeda operative in Afghanistan calls a suspected co-conspirator in New York City, who is, say, a Saudi legally here on a tourist visa.

The government has reason to believe that the Afghan is plotting an attack in the U.S. So the Justice Department goes to the FISA court with an application for a wiretap. But, in his infinite wisdom, some FISA court judge decides there is not enough "probable cause" to justify eavesdropping.

The Supreme Court has recognized, for about 150 years, that the POTUS has a constitutional obligation to protect the United States from external attack. Not just the power to do so, but an obligation to do so.

Are we really to believe that the commander-in-chief, the constitutional officer responsible for our security, is, in this example, powerless to order monitoring just because a federal judge -- who has no constitutional responsibility, NONE, for the national security of the United States -- has decided that there is not enough evidence for a FISA warrant?

Is that what we're supposed to believe? We are a superpower with a defense budget that is larger than the economies of most countries -- paid for by the American people precisely because they are concerned primarily about their security. Yet, when it gets down to brass tacks, our security hinges on whether a single, unaccountable federal judge thinks there is probable cause to monitor a telephone call that may not even involve any American citizen?

Have we gone insane?

Separate But Equal

Narnia proves boys and girls can be empowered and different at the same time.

It's 5:15 AM

And I can't sleep.

A Divisive Document?

I also missed the President's press conference yesterday, but from what I have read he slammed the clueless reporters harder than a professional wrestler. And compare this moronic babbling from the Democratic response to the President's quote I posted earlier.
The Iraqi constitution as it now stands is a divisive document...I was so disappointed that Prez failed to follow bipartisan recommendation of 79 senators to urge Iraqis to amend the constitution to achieve share Sunni Arabs can be brought on board...
A divisive document? Arguably the greatest step towards democracy and peace in the middle-east ever, not to mention the war on terror, and the best thing the Democrats can do is to call it divisive?

Does anyone seriously believe they can be trusted with our foreign policy? With the security of our people? Does anyone think they are serious at all?


Powerline likens the Democrats to Wile E. Coyote.

Catch Them, But Don't Watch Them

The Counterterrorism Blog has a great question. How do we catch them without watching them?

And Michele Malkin has a great roundup of blogger opinions on this non-scandal.

Power Line points out that, among other things, all searches do not require warrants.

Want To Eliminate Third World Poverty?

Establish the rule of law and educate people.

The President's Speech

I missed the President's speech last night as I was sleeping off my Best Buy adventure, but I have been reading about it this morning and evidently he hit a home run. I especially liked this part.
September 11th, 2001 required us to take every emerging threat to our country seriously, and it shattered the illusion that terrorists attack us only after we provoke them. On that day, we were not in Iraq … we were not in Afghanistan … but the terrorists attacked us anyway – and killed nearly 3,000 men, women, and children in our own country. My conviction comes down to this: We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. And we will defeat the terrorists by capturing and killing them abroad … removing their safe havens … and strengthening new allies like Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight we share.

We do not creat terrorism by fighting the terrorists. That is a line worth remembering.

The Spirit Of Christmas

*** Grab a Snickers, this is a long one.

I'm sleepy. But then again who wouldn't be sleepy, and achey, and cranky from staying up all night in a line outside a local Best Buy.

You see, I have been turned into one of those people. You know, those people you see on the local news. The zombie-like creatures standing outside the big glass doors of the department store slapping at them with hungry eyes, waiting for them to open so they can rush in, attack the clerks, eat their brains, and finally grab that one thing on sale that they so desperately need to live.

Yep, that's me now. And all because my middle son wanted one of the new X-Box 360s for Christmas.

If you have been paying any attention to the news lately you know that the 360 is the toy this year and, naturally, the evil that is Bill Gates didn't make enough to meet demand. The initial shipments of the game were sold out even before the original November 22nd release, and since then the only way to buy one was to pony up three to four times the $400 price on Ebay. If you walked into any electronics store and asked about them, you would be met with that pitiful laugh teenage clerks reserve for pathetic adults who should know better.

So because of this we told our son that he stood a good chance of getting a Santa IOU for Christmas. He was okay with that actually. He's a good kid and wasn't unreasonable about it at all. But even so, he kept surfing the Internet for intelligence on a second pre-Christmas release of the game. Day and night he peered into the flickering computer screen, chasing rumors of shipments much like NSA chases rumors of Moroccan-based terrorists calling florists in the United States.

So about a week ago he stumbled on intelligence about a second release of a limited number of 360s to Best Buy stores nationwide. He not only had the release date, December 18th, but knew exactly how many games would be shipped to each store. According to his sources, 24 games would be put on sale at 8:00 am at the Best Buy near us. Twenty-four. No more, no less. And if we wanted to get one we would need to be there early.

Now I admit I didn't really believe him. Most of his intel came from rumors on gaming web-site forums. But since this was Christmas and he had been so good about the impending Santa IOU, we decided we should at least make an attempt to secure one if it was possible.

Loving wife started the process over a week ago by doing some HUMINT (Human Intelligence) while shopping for other presents. She made friends with Best Buy clerks and assistant managers, culling small bits of information which she then relayed to an NSA computer for analysis. No doubt she obtained most of her information through bribery. Her chocolate-chip cookies are quite tempting, and when combined with a low-cut sweater few can keep secrets from her. I don't think she used torture, and even if she did I would deny it. But whatever she did worked because she found out that the store was indeed going to get at least 20 of the games and they would go on sale first thing Sunday morning, December 18, 2005.

It was good intel. From multiple sources. The WMD 360s were there and we made a decision to go in and get them.

Her sources told her the games would be available on a first-come, first-served basis. So after dinner on Saturday evening she and my son drove the 20 miles to the store to get in line. They took folding chairs, sleeping bags, snacks and drinks, and a tank full of gas so they could take turns getting warm in the van. I was to follow later in the night to relieve them, taking our youngest son for a modern-day "camping-trip" in the parking lot.

When they arrived there were already three people sitting in chairs near the entrance. So they set up their chairs behind them, got in their sleeping bags and settled in for the long night. Slowly but surely other people showed up and by the time I arrived, there were about 26 people in line along the side of the store. Everyone was sitting in chairs covered-up from the cold, talking and laughing. The mood was much like a pre-game tail-gate party without booze and chili.

The manager had spoken with the first people in line and recommended they start a list of the people as they arrived. She said she would use the list when the stored opened and she assured everyone it would be an orderly process. No mad Wal-Mart rushes. No crazed herd stampeding over kids and old people. It was a good plan and everyone seemed fine with it. Even the ones at the end of the line.

Of course, I was the cynic. I told loving wife I thought there would be trouble when the store opened in the morning. I had already heard some college-age boys mumbling that they were going to get one of the games no matter when they arrived, and I also knew there would be a lot of people showing up right as the store opened after they read the Best Buy circular in the Sunday paper.

It was peaceful now, but I knew how quickly things can change in the jungle.

Anyway, the night went pretty well. Loving wife sat bundled up in her chair holding our place in line and I ran errands, getting food and hot chocolate for us and several people in the line. Early in the evening the group was pretty active. Lots of conversation about families, Christmas and sports, especially football. But as the night moved into early morning people started getting tired and quiet, and like scared turtles most of them disappeared into their blankets and sleeping bags.

At this point imagine lots of muffled whispers, some loud snoring and a lot of shaking from the cold and you have a good description of the early morning hours.

The manager showed up at about 5:00 am and took the list. Things were looking up as she assured us that she would either hand out vouchers or let the people on the list in a few at a time to buy the games. I started feeling some hope. But that was short-lived because at about 6:00 am she came out and said that she had read the letter from her corporate office and she wasn't going to be able to give out vouchers or let the people who were in line get their games first. Basically she said that she was going to be forced to open the doors up and whoever got to the games first won.

This caused as stir as you can imagine, with those of us at the front of the line suddenly feeling betrayed and those at the end of the line moving forward to take advantage of the chaos. They moved up to the door, trying to get in front of the first ten or so, sensing panic in the herd. Naturally, we moved in to protect our territory and suddenly there was a big crowd pushing into the closed glass doors.

As I feared, in a matter of moments what had been a friendly atmosphere turned into one of anger, distrust and frustration.

Now most of the people tried to keep things civil. Even the ones who were trying to break in line didn't argue too much. Mostly they just held their ground, keeping quiet while those of us who had been near the front of the line advised everyone to take it easy and do what we had originally planned which was to follow the order of the list.

But the first few of us in line realized that things were going to get out of hand so I suggested we call the local police department to have an officer respond to keep control. Someone did and about 20 minutes later not one, but three officers drove up to see what all the ruckus was about.

I walked over and talked to them, explaining the situation and warning them that they might have a mini-riot on their hands if they didn't do something. They didn't seem happy about it, mostly because no one had broken a law and they didn't really have any authority to do anything, but also because shift change was coming up. But they went inside and talked to the Best Buy folks, who read and re-read some letter on company letterhead and made phone calls to what we found out later was their corporate office.

So we waited. And to tell the truth I thought we were going to have to fight for the stupid games. I figured the officers would not be able to do anything to enforce the "list" and that the best we could hope for was for them to try to keep order so no one would get hurt. (I wasn't worried about loving wife; she could handle herself. I was worried about whoever tried to take one from her, because they would end up in the hospital and I would be bailing her out of jail.)

But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when one of the officers came out and said, "I don't care what Best Buy says, we are going to go by this list."

What a guy.

He told everyone that he had decided to go by the list in the interest of public safety and that if anyone caused any problems he would have no hesitation in arresting them for Breach of Peace.

Again, what a guy.

So he gave the list to the first guy in line and told him to call out the names. And as he did, everyone got back into the original line. Since there were only 20 games, everyone past that mark were simply out of luck, but as badly as I felt for them, there wasn't much I could do. You have to get up pretty early to beat loving wife to a bargain, believe me.

Now, there was some mumbling and a lot of dirty looks, but the presence of the three officers kept anyone from getting too vocal, and most of those who were not in "The Twenty" left. A few hung around in the small hope that there might be more than twenty games, and I can't say I blame them. If I had been out there that long I would have too.

The mood lightened and all was good with the world again. The next hour went by pretty quickly and even though new people started arriving they went to the back of the line and waited their turn. Whether they weren't told there were only 20 games or they didn't believe it, I don't know. And I didn't care. All I know is loving wife was fourth in line and we were getting one of the things.

So at 8:00 am the manager came out with an officer and they let in people two at a time, and in a few minutes loving wife emerged with her trophy. The crowd cheered as they did for the first three people, and I escorted her to the van all the while scanning the parking lot for X-Box bandits.

But we made it safely and drove off home with smiles on our faces and Christmas in our hearts.

And I am not being sarcastic when I say that. Yes, I know Christmas is about much more than buying stuff. Or at least it should be.

But when you think about it, this was very much more than that. We met a lot of nice people last night. We talked about kids and families and sports and I had a long conversation with a soldier who is shipping out to Iraq on Monday. His unit is already there, but he was allowed to stay back for a couple of weeks so he could be home for the birth of his first son. He was in line to get one of the games so he could take it with him for the guys to use during down-time there.

And he got one because in the end good triumphed over evil. The evil of Bill Gates and line-breakers. And to me that is very much in the spirit of Christmas.

*** Welcome Moderate Voice readers. My blog is quite conservative, but even if that is not to your liking, feel free to look around a bit. You still might find something interesting, including my many Brunettes of the Week. And regardless of your politics, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year. Oh, and thanks, Joe, a very special Holiday Greeting to you and yours.

NSA Spies, Oh My

This is an excellent post on the NSA "scandal" I commented on in the previous post.


I notice the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers are using carefully cherry-picked "experts" from the ranks of the ACLU and the former Clinton administration to provide comment on the president authorizing the NSA to do what the NSA does, i.e., spy, among other things. Many of these "experts" -- joined by a few uninformed, media-obsessed politicians like Arlen Specter and Russ Feingold -- have claimed shock at the eavesdropping and have either suggested or pronounced the president's acts illegal or even unconstitutional.

Now, what exactly do we know from these hysterical reports? Not very much. As I wrote yesterday, the FISA permits the government to monitor foreign communications, even if they are with U.S. citizens. A FISA warrant is only needed if the subject communications are wholly contained in the United States and involve a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. Today's Los Angeles Times writes that the program "was designed to enable the NSA to monitor communications between Americans in the U.S. and people overseas suspected of having ties to terrorist networks." Fine. That's not illegal or even unusual. And these "experts" know it. But the truth is that we have no idea of the contents of the president's executive order and, therefore, we have no idea what conduct we're supposed to be offended about. Perhaps the executive order expanded the authority of the NSA or expedited the processing of wiretaps. We just don't know. Unfortunately, the administration's hands are tied for while revealing the executive order's contents to the public might well demonstrate the appropriateness and legality of its conduct, thereby deflating the effort to create a scandal, it may well be too damaging to ongoing operations.

But clearly many members of Congress who have not spoken on the record do know about the program. As the president said today, Congress has been consulted, and often. It's remarkable that the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press failed to uncover this fact. Indeed, they did the opposite. In addition to cherry-picking experts from the ACLU and the Clinton administration, the media are cherry-picking from their favorite politicians to give the opposite impression, i.e., that Congress was in the dark. And who better to react hysterically to hysterical reporting than Arlen Specter. The fact that Specter may not have been consulted, as he doesn't serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is of no consequence, except to Specter. He might want to ask his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee what they know before stomping all over their congressional-oversight turf. But for a brief mention of Jay Rockefeller's knowledge of the program in yesterday's New York Times, we've hear nothing about of from the relevant committee members. Indeed, their silence, if anything, suggests to me their likely awareness of the program, consistent with the president's statement that Congress was aware.

What is clear is that this is not some Watergate-type rogue operation, as seemingly hoped by some. In addition to repeated congressional notification, the program has been heavily lawyered by multiple agencies, including the Department of Justice and NSA and White House, and is regularly reviewed. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of State Condi Rice have both insisted that program is legal. The fact that some might disagree with whatever legal advice and conclusions the president has received does not make them right or the program illegal. But at this point, we, the public, don't really know what these news stories are really about, do we?
As I said, this is much ado about nothing. The only damning thing here is that government officials revealed classified information vital to national security and the MSM published it knowing that.

UPDATE 12-20-05:

The Moose doesn't think it is 1984, and neither do I.

The rules are different for Democrat presidents. And President Clinton claimed the authority to do just what President Bush did.

So this really is all about politics, isn't it?

The War On Terror, A Recap

The President's authorization of the NSA to monitor international calls was both appropriate and prudent after 9-11. In the end it will be proven to not only be legal, but the right thing to do. It no doubt saved American lives. And the disclosure of it by the New York Times borders on treason. Those who leaked it should be prosecuted.

The successful Iraqi election signals the beginning of the end of our military involvement there. We should continue our support until victory.

The failure to re-authorize the Patriot Act is all political and will put our nation at risk. I've read it, I've worked with it. It works.

This bill will also hurt the war on terror and grants greater protection to terrorists than it gives to our own soldiers. Our guarantee to not torture (something we cannot even define) will not keep them from cutting off heads and blowing up children. Oh, and Senator McCain, we don't need to ban torture to prove we are better than the terrorists. That is an indisputable fact.

If the Mexican government is against this new immigration bill, then it must be a good thing. It will help stop the uncontrolled flow of illegals into our country and improve our security.

Tookie's Purpose

It appears the death of Tookie Williams served another purpose. Shedding light on the wide gap between left and right. And here's more.

Southern Discomfort

I am in trouble with my Mom. Maybe my Dad too, but I am not sure.

What happened was that I made what I thought was an innocuous comment about the South being all about living in trailers and hunting and how I felt disconnected from it sometimes. I also talked about how I thought Northeastern Catholics were more "Catholic" than Southern Catholics. Both comments were made in humor, but my little sister read it and then ran and tattled on me. Shades of childhood. (She denies tattling, by the way.)

So in the interest of family harmony I feel compelled to offer up this clarification.

I am proud to be from the South. I don't think that Southerners all live in trailers or that trailers are a shelter that is unique to the South. I also know that people from all parts of the country, indeed the world, hunt, so it is obviously not a uniquely Southern thing. And even if it were it would not be a bad thing. Much of my extended family hunts, including my sister's husband who is probably sighting in his deer rifle in preparation for the next time he sees me.

What I meant by the comment was that I sometimes feel disconnected from being a Southerner because I don't hunt or fish and that, while they are not unique to the South, they certainly are a major thread of the fabric that is Southern life. I could get into all sorts of Southern stereotypes here, and while the South is obviously much more than a stereotype, what I meant was that I sometimes -- many times really -- feel very disconnected from it because I don't fall into any of those stereotypes. And let's be honest, things don't become stereotypes unless there is some truth to them.

I probably feel this way at least in part because I have spent much of my adulthood traveling and associating with people from all over the country and even the world. There is a saying in the Air Force that you don't see people as Northern or Southern or black or white or Catholic or Jewish or Southern Baptists. You see them as blue and nothing much else matters.

And maybe that is my real problem. Since I have moved often, I have a hard time identifying with any area of the country or any group of people except the Air Force which was a long time ago, but still is very much a part of me.

But I am working on it. We have lived here for eight years now -- the longest we have lived anywhere since my childhood -- and slowly but surely we are developing a local identity. One I enjoy, although I refuse to wear overalls to church.

As to the Catholic comment. Well, that was a joke too and the more I try to explain what I meant the harder it becomes to do so. Let's just say that I wasn't trying to insult Catholics or Southern Baptists and especially not the Pope.

So let me end this by again proclaiming my love for the South and the Pope and my wonderful parents who probably from time to time feel like they brought the wrong baby home from the hospital.

And as to my sister. Well, one day soon I will tell the "climbing on the roof of the Glass Kitchen diner" story and set the record straight as to who is the "good" one.

Friday Night

Beer, Chinese food, Wow playing and blogging. Not bad on this very cold Friday night.

A Chewbacca Christmas

And I bet the ACLU won't sue him either.

If Men Designed

Christmas wrapping paper.

WARNING: It's naughty, but nice.

Purple Finger Victory

For those of my readers who don't understand what we are fighting for in Iraq, here is one reason.

It's also proof of tremendous progress, although you won't hear much about it from the MSM and it will be downplayed by leftist Democrats. Seventy percent turnout? When there is the threat of being bombed? Hell, we can't get half that and some Americans won't vote just because it is raining.

And it was a joint effort with all the various factions voting, including the Sunnis who boycotted the last election. Again progress.

There is still much to be done, but we are on our way to victory and we must continue our support for this burgeoning democracy.


Early morning here again. I wake up even before loving wife's alarm clock goes off and she has to get up very early indeed to prepare breakfast and lunch for the little and not so little ones to take to school. Oh well, I can sleep in tomorrow I hope.

Ask The Guy Which Sport He Plays

This wonderful happy ending story reminds me of an old joke.

A woman was trapped on the third story of a burning apartment building holding her baby. She was screaming for help repeating over and over again, "Someone save my baby, please save my baby."

A man walked by, saw her and yelled up at her, "Lady, toss down your baby and I will catch it." The woman said, "No, you will drop her." The man yelled back, "Lady I won't drop her, I play wide receiver for the NFL."

The woman still hesitated, yelling back that she was sure he would not catch her precious little one. The man yelled again, "Lady, don't worry, I will catch your baby, I was All American in college."

The lady still hesitated, crying that she was sure her baby would hit the ground if she dropped her. The man, exasperated by this time, yelled up, "Look lady, I am the best receiver in the NFL, I have not one, but two Superbowl rings. I was MVP in both those games. Throw me the baby and I will catch her on my honor."

The woman, feeling the heat from the flames, finally let her baby drop down into the man's arms. She held her breath.

And just like he promised he caught the poor darling effortlessly.

Then he did an end-zone dance and spiked her.
I'm glad this guy was a baseball player.

My Original Quote

It's a woman's nature to deny her beauty. It's a man's duty to convince her of it.
At least I think it is my original. It came to me while driving home from work today. I was thinking about about how whenever I tell loving wife she is beautiful she will roll her eyes in that "maybe when I was young" kind of way.

I searched several quotation web sites and found nothing. If it is something I read somewhere and have kept buried in my unconcious I apologize to both my readers and the person who said it first.

I like it. I know it may be considered sexist in today's world and to some cynical people it may sound hokey, but I am comfortable with that.


Two years ago this week, U.S. forces yanked Saddam Hussein out of his miserable rathole.

Two years later, the Iraqi people are voting for a four-year parliament--the nation's first democratically elected government.
So says Michelle Malkin, who presents a roundup on the Iraqi elections.

So much progress, so little MSM coverage of it.

Iraq the Model has first person updates on democracy in the process.

Movies For The Minority

Tammy Bruce points out why movie receipts are down, down, down.

So true. I read the list of Golden Globe nominees and there were few I would even consider going to see. Brokeback Mountain? Even the name sounds stupid. A new Woody Allen movie? He stopped being interesting and relevant decades ago. Add in the new Stephen Spielberg Israel-bashing fantasy film, Munich and the George Clooney "American corporations are bad, Muslim terrorists are good" flick, Syriana and you have movies that the vast majority of Americans do not find appealing. I'm not saying people won't go to see them -- both Spielberg and Clooney demand audiences on their names alone, but I don't see either one of them being the blockbuster than turns plummeting tickets sales around.

Just check out what Hollywood thinks are Oscar worthy films. Are many of us going to see this stuff? I think not.

Of course, Hollywood can make a movie about anything they want. But if they insist on making movies about subjects that few are interested in besides film students and people with political or social agendas then they really shouldn't complain about losing money.

It's not called show business for nothing.

It's 5:10 AM

Why am I awake? I am turning into an old man. Up before dawn and wanting dinner before 6:00 pm these days.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It's evening now and we just finished celebrating loving wife's birthday. I am sure she has had her fill of one husband and three boys in the house after all these years, but I think she enjoyed our haphazard party of manly-made cake (hey, we tried), balloons, little horns and those popper things that shoot conffetti and streamers in the air. She seemed to enjoy her presents too, but then Mom's are expert in the art of appearing pleased when they are not.

Happy Birthday, honey.

Brunette Of The Week

Loving Wife. This was the brunette hair I first saw when she opened the door on our blind date. Do you blame me for falling in love with brunettes? Oh, and it just happens to be her birthday.

I Heart Most Of You

Because I tend to use the terms liberals, Democrats and leftists interchangeably and usually in a derogatory manner, I feel the need to point out that I do not believe all liberals are bad people. I do not believe all Democrats are bad people. I don't even believe that most liberals or Democrats are bad people. Nor do I believe that they are all America-haters or unpatriotic, something I felt the need to point out a while back when I was annoying some dear friends who are much more liberally inclined than I.

What I believe is that the majority of liberals and Democrats have allowed their political philosophy and political party to be taken over by nuts like Michael Moore,, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Nanci Pelosi, and so on.

And this is why, although I am an Independent and will vote for the person not the party, I am definitely in the conservative mode these days. Which is reflected on this blog as you can see.

So to my liberal readers I want to say I appreciate your reading my blog and trying to understand where I am coming from, as I do try to understand where you are coming from.

Thank you.

*** Oh, I do hate leftists though. Commie pinkos that they are. He he.

Way Too Early

Damn Neil for making me laugh so very early on this Wednesday morning.

So Many Jokes, So Little Time

One military wife's relationship has become a fantasy since the Navy shipped off her husband.

Kingsland, Ga., newlywed Suzy Walker goes out to dinner, movies and shops with a live-size doll that eerily resembles her sailor husband, deployed on the submarine USS West Virginia, according to First Coast News in Jacksonville, Fla.

She gets shot her share of quizzical looks as she dines with the mannequin.

"I think if they knew what I was doing they would probably enjoy it," Walker told First Coast News.

Walker cooked up the idea as a way to get through her first time apart from hubby DB Walker — and fashioned a likeness of him on the doll that friends and family have found jarringly familiar.

"When I put the mustache on him, I couldn't believe the resemblance," Walker told First Coast News. "It's incredible."

Walker's approximately 40-pound substitute hubby cost her $200 and she's dragged it to the gas station to buy lotto tickets, to the movie theater and even to shop at Victoria's Secret.

"I was surfing eBay and I saw a sailor for sale," Walker told First Coast News. "One day he was used for a photo shoot in Washington, and I was the high bidder."

It took quite awhile for the word to get to her husband aboard his submarine, but when DB Walker finally heard the news he said he thought it was hysterical.

"It helps me pass the time while he's gone," Walker told First Coast News. "And knowing that I'm making him a photo album so he really will know where I've been gives me a good feeling."

A Message

A video message to some of the American people from an Iraqi voter. I saw it on TV and it is priceless. It is not very long, so watch it.

Ugh, sometimes an ad pops up -- just close it.

Page Three

One of the many reasons I love the Brits. So reserved, yet so cheeky.

Oh yes, plus she is a brunette.

A Case Worth Looking Into

As evidence that I am not some pro-death penalty nut, I offer up this case where I believe clemency should be seriously considered. If not a new trial. And I say this knowing it was a police officer who was killed.

On the other hand I resent the blogger's comment, "Gotta' love the South" at the end of this paragraph.
Maye's attorney tells me that after the trial, she spoke with two jurors by phone. She learned from them that the consensus among jurors was that Maye was convicted for two reasons. The first is that though they initially liked her, Maye's lawyer, the jury soured on her when, in her closing arguments, she intimated that if the jury showed no mercy for Maye, God might neglect to bestow mercy on them when they meet him in heaven. They said the second reason May was convicted was that the jury felt he'd been spoiled by his mother and grandmother, and wasn't very respectful of elders and authority figures. The facts of the case barely entered the picture. Gotta' love the South
Juries convict and don't convict for all sorts of weird reasons and the two cited don't just apply to juries from down South. Plus, that comment about God not bestowing mercy on the jurors was moronic and the guy's attorney should have known better. Maybe an appeal based on inadequate counsel would be in order?

Anyway, I don't know all the facts but this looks like a case for Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Jamie Fox. Where are they?

Bye, Bye, Tookie, Goodbye

Stanley Tookie Williams is no more and Michelle Malkin has a great roundup of blogger opinions on his execution.

As many have noted, this was not about revenge. This was not about racism. And it was not about a bunch of children's books. This was about justice for the four innocent people he brutally murdered. All along Williams claimed he was redeemed, something every death row inmate claims, yet he never would admit his guilt or apologize.

So, in the end his fake redemption didn't save him. But don't fret for him. If he is truly redeemed then he is with God.

And if not? Well, if not, and this is my bet, he is on the Ninth Level of Hell.

I hope he brought some warm clothes with him.

Loving Wife Will Laugh, But

This is what the darn thing came up with.

I do like the handcuffs though.

Hat-tip to Babe Imparting Naughty Stimulation And Kisses.

James Lileks Reviews 2005

If you do nothing else today, read this.

Arnold Refuses Clemency

It appears Stanley Tookie Williams is going die tomorrow. It's about time.

Expect gang-generated violence to hit the streets. A final tribute to the man who co-founded the notorious street-gang called the Crips which has spread across our nation like a cancer. And a final justification for killing him.

And here is Arnold's statement.

The 40 Most

Obnoxious Quotes for 2005


Anti-Immigration Groups Targeting Businesses is the headline for this story about protestors documenting American businesses hiring illegal aliens in violation of federal law. Of course the headline is false, these people are not anti-immigration, they are anti-illegal immigration.

There is a big difference, of course, but the main stream media doesn't pay much attention to differences, big or small, unless they help their liberal agenda. In this case, making the people who are trying to get American businesses to follow the law look bad. And, yes, I know this story is on Fox News, the Satan of conservative news networks. But if you look closely it is written and headlined by the Associated Press. Fox News runs the stories unchanged and doesn't pick the headlines.

Still, this should not be happening. What should be happening is that the government should be arresting and prosecuting employers for hiring illegals. Or at a minimum fining them big bucks so they stop hiring them. If the demand dries up the supply may not stop, but it might just slow down some.

The most disturbing thing about this story is the following quote by Gomez, 30, from Michoacan, Mexico, who said he and most day laborers he knows came to the U.S. illegally.

"But someday we will be legal," he said. "We just want to work. We didn't come to do anything bad to anybody."
Someday they will be legal? That is what they believe. They believe that their illegal actions will be rewarded by citizenship while those immigrants who are waiting for legal entry are left behind. And you can't really blame them since we keep sending them that signal with guest-worker programs and amnesty talk.

For the record I am not against immigration. Legal immigration made this country great and it is one of the many things that keeps it great. But illegal immigration is destroying us. And we need to do something about it before it is too late.


Just got back from seeing The Chronicles of Narnia. It's an excellent movie and I highly recommend it for families, even though there is some violence. A tale of sacrifice and the triumph of good over evil is a story we should tell more these days, so don't let that keep you from seeing it.

Progress In Iraq

There is no good news coming out of Iraq you say? Well, how about this? If this is not progress, I simply do not know what is.

Hat-tip to The Corner.

Chrissy Robin

Christopher Robin is out and a chick is in. Big mistake.

Hat-tip to Jessica.

Moving Up

I found this over at Leesa's Snow Castle. I like the idea, but my header is too big to fit so I have to use the generic header for my blog there. On the other hand, it's kinda nice to be "to big" to fit for a change. I'm 21 19 13 with a bullet too. Ok, maybe not a bullet but I am moving up.

The Truth Is Remarkable

If you are sincerely interested in hearing what the military serving in Iraq thinks about how the Iraq war is going check this out.
Brian Lamb, in Friday's Washington Journal, hosted a call-in for members of the military who have served in Iraq. The questions were, are we making progress? Is the story being reported? The resulting hour of calls was just incredible. The most striking thing is that our news media, at least outlets like the NYT and the major network TV news programs, live in an alternate universe. If you have an hour, the CSPAN link is below. In the middle of the CSPAN's homepage about half way down you will find a link for "Washington Journal" for 12/9/2005. Click on the link and you will get the video link. It's great.
It takes an hour, but I listened to the whole thing while surfing the net and it is remarkable.

Via The Corner.

Foiling The System

Tips to foil those incredibly frustrating automated answering systems that businesses love to use now. Check em out.

Margarita Mantra

Took loving wife to a new Tony Romas for an early birthday dinner last night. The restaurant is in one of those mega-malls and it was pretty busy, but we went early enough to get a table right away. The server was attentive and capable and the food was very good. Since we hadn't been to a Tony Romas in over 20 years, I have to say I was pleased that our memories of the experience were correct. We enjoyed it then and we enjoyed it now.

I had some kind of pumpkin-spice beer which, like the server said, sounded nasty but was quite good. Loving wife had her margarita as usual. It's always fun to see her taste one for the first time because you know you are going to get an immediate review. These weren't bad she said, but were a little too "fruity." They were also a tad expensive at over six bucks a pop.

Anyway, the funny of the evening was when the server came back and asked if we wanted another drink. I ordered another beer and then the server looked at loving wife and asked, "Would you like another margarita?" She looked at the ice-filled glass and then looked at him, and said, "It's empty."

I burst out laughing and she was quite flushed with embarrassment since she didn't mean it that way it sounded, but that is her new margarita mantra.

If the margarita glass is empty, fill it up.

White Flag Democrats

The idea that we're going to win this war is an ideal that unfortunately is just plain wrong. ~ John Dean

Rally round the white flag, boys.


Jonah Goldberg points out that Hollywood really likes torture. In their movies, anyway.

Nation's Peril

It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander in chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.

Joe Lieberman, my kind of Democrat.

No Contest

The Disgruntled Chemist takes on the Indepundit and finds all his glass flasks and test tubes smashed. You gotta love it when a guy throws the chickenhawk label at a military member.

Laughably Dangerous

I was not aware that there was a "right" to enter the United States. No civil liberty exists here. And this guy is German, so why in the world is the ACLU concerned that a non-citizen is denied entry to the USA? If these people were not so dangerous they would be laughable.

Catchy, But Weird

This is disturbingly fascinating. Or fascinatingly disturbing.

WARNING: Don't watch this if you don't find songs written around serial killers remotely interesting. It's creepy to the extreme.

Dancing Lights

Dancing Christmas lights. Very cool.

Hat-tip to Chuck. If you like camping and biking, check out his blog. He just started it but I am sure he will have much to post about.

BTW, it sounds even better if you get two of them going at once in an overlay.

High Heels On Credit

Is Blogger pissing anyone else off? It is taking decades to post and half the time my blog will not load up properly. To say this is annoying is, as any blogger knows, an understatement.

Plus, someone managed to get a hold of my credit card number and tried to charge $2000 worth of shoes from some fancy on-line shoe store.

Laura? Leesa? Anyone?

Fortunately, the credit card company has a system that flags any unusual purchases (unusual for me, that is, for some gals $2000 in high heels is a routine thing), so they declined the charge and cancelled my card. For that I am thankful, but now I have to wait a week or so for a new one. Still that is a blessing since it means I will have a week where I cannot possibly charge any Christmas presents.

I think I know how it happened too. I recently made a purchase through PayPal, my first time actually, and I think someone there misused the card. The reason I believe this is that the credit card security folks said the attempted charge was made in such a way that the number could not have been obtained physically, but only electronically. I don't quite understand that, but the only time I have used the card on the Internet was through PayPal a couple of weeks ago. So the process of deduction points to that as the likely source.

Sherlock Holmes would be proud of me I think.

Brunette Of The Week

Leah Remini of the show King of Queens. I actually think she is sexier on the show because she seems to have gained a few pounds and her curves are a plus. But either way she is a cutie.

How They Really Feel

The American people rate honesty and ethics in various professions.

Nurses 82
Druggists/Pharmacists 67
Medical doctors 65
High school teachers 64
Policemen 61
Clergy 54
Funeral directors 44
Bankers 41
Accountants 39
Journalists 28
Real estate agents 20
Building contractors 20
Lawyers 18
Labor union leaders 16
Senators 16
Business executives 16
Stockbrokers 16
Congressmen 14
Advertising practitioners 11
Car salesmen 8
Telemarketers 7

Frankly, I think nurses win because of those sexy white stockings, but that could just be my fantasy alone. Otherwise I am struck at how well the "po-po" did, coming in fifth. And we aren't that far behind two, three or four. My buddy, Chuck, the pharmacist is number two, but then they have all that free viagra to give out which I am sure inflates (pun intended) their rating.

It's Not The Size, It's The Quality

I was strolling through my blogroll this evening and I noticed that several of the blogs I link to do not link back to me. At first I thought I was mistaken and I searched high and low for my link which I was sure was hidden under the potato salad in the back of the fridge. But then after much effort I discovered that I was correct, there were no links to TWM anywhere to be found.

My first reaction to this was annoyance. How mean of them not to return the favor of a link, I thought. But that feeling quickly turned to one of hurt. Much like the kid who gets chosen last (or not at all in this case) for dodgeball, I felt left out. Alone. What did I do wrong I asked myself? Did I offend them? Did they think they were better than me?

I thought and I thought but no answers came to me and in the long process of thinking I moved into the sour grape mode. Screw em, I thought. If they aren't going to link to me than I will delete my link to them. That would show them, I thought.

But as I searched for the password to my Blogroll account I realized that deleting them wouldn't "show them" at all. I mean, they weren't linked to me in the first place so I doubt they ever visited my blog and surely they wouldn't notice that I had de-linked them because of their elitist attitude. They probably didn't even know I had linked them in the first place so why would they know if I stopped.

So I settled down, took a deep breath and came to the realization that it didn't matter if they linked to me or not. I linked to them because I enjoyed their blogs and that was the important thing.

And in case they read this for some reason, no, I am not fishing for a link. No, don't pity TWM, I say. As a woman once said to me, "It's not the size of your Technorati link page, it's the quality."

And women don't lie about that kind of stuff, now do they?

*** Yes, I am just teasing the people who don't link back to me. Merry Christmas!

Paying Attention, Terrorists?

This may just be a tragic situation of a mentally unbalanced man going off at the wrong place and the wrong time, but it does prove a point.

We are not going to fool around anymore when it comes to security on a plane. You give the impression you are threatening the safety of a flight and either the passengers are going to kick your ass or a federal agent is going to pop you.

And I feel good about that.


Watch closely to see if the tide turns against these two brave Air Marshals. They were the heros of the day when this first happened, but now the media is latching onto the idea that they were just trigger happy. Evidence of this is the reporting that some of the passengers did not hear the man say bomb. Well, what of it? Just because they did not hear it doesn't mean he didn't say it and it doesn't mean the Marshals didn't hear him say it.

And frankly, he didn't even have to say it to be a valid threat. In a situation like this you use your best judgment and I am telling you now if a guy acted like this on a plane, failed to follow my commands, and reached for what I thought might be a weapon or a bomb in a backpack, I would have no hesitation with using deadly force against him. His saying bomb would make it easier, but it wouldn't be a requirement. Would I feel badly afterward knowing that he was only a sick man? Yes. But I would rather be alive feeling badly about it surrounded by my family and friends than dead along with a lot of innocent passengers. And if these guys hesitated the same passengers who are complaining about them now would be either dead or complaining that they did not shoot the guy before the bomb went off. So in my humble opinion they are stupid, ungrateful hypocrites.


I have posted Jay Norlinger's Impromtus before because I enjoy them so much. I hope you will too. It's all good, but I really loved this story that appears towards the bottom.

My next-door neighbor is a retiree who loves to travel. He and his wife took a trip to India just a few years ago, and found themselves in a smallish town or village. They were approached by a man in his fifties who asked where they were from, and upon learning that they were American he began to ask a number of questions. He had read the Bible and asked many questions about apparent contradictions. He had read the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and Democracy in America, and asked question after question about America and our customs. He was dressed rather shabbily, but spoke excellent English, and was an NBA fan!

As my neighbor and his wife had to get back on the tour bus, the conversation only lasted about an hour. But just prior to taking his leave the man said to them, "In my religion we believe that how we live in this life determines what life we will lead in the next, so that our rewards are not eternal but must be deserved again and again. I believe that you must have done something extraordinary in your past lives to have been born an American in this one."

Pearl Harbor

Today is the Day That Shall Live In Infamy. And it gave America the resolve to win World War II. Why can't the Democrats see that September 11th calls for that same resolve?

But what if Pearl Harbor happened today?

Great Photos

One of the things I miss most about the military was reading Stars and Stripes every day while I was stationed overseas.

So take some time to check out these great photos of our guys and gals serving in Iraq taken by our guys and gals serving in Iraq.

Oh and keep clicking through the previous photos -- there are a ton of them.

Just One Bullet

Can't we just shoot this bastard already?

A Chanukkah Christmas

As you may have noticed, or will notice soon, we celebrate Christmas in our household. But as you also know, Christmas is not the only religious or cultural celebration during this time of year. The other biggie is the Jewish festival of rededication, Chanukkah. And while I learned the basic story behind Chanukkah when I was a child, there is much more to it than I knew. Especially interesting to me was that statement that it is not a very religious holiday when compared to the other Jewish holy days. I assumed that it was the most holy of them all. Embarrassed, I am.

I was also struck by the following statement.

It is bitterly ironic that this holiday, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Jewish religion, has become the most assimilated, secular holiday on our calendar.
I had not realized this, and I find it ironic that the writer, and I assume other Jews, believe that Chanukkah has been secularized because of the influence of the Christmas season, while many, if not most, Christians believe that Christmas has been secularized by the influence of political correctness and oppressive liberalism in the country.

And actually, that is not correct, since Christmas was secularized decades ago by the retail industry whose commericialization of the holiday period has resulted in more Santa and less Jesus. The current war on Christmas is not one of secularization really, it is about tearing Christmas out of our national fabric as a whole. It doesn't matter if the symbols are formerly pagan Christmas trees, the totally non-religious Santa Claus, or the baby Jesus in a manger. They are all targets of people who hate all things Christian while complaining that the world is not as tolerant as it should be. Talk about irony.

But I am getting off point.

This year Chanukkah runs from sunset December 25th, 2005 to nightfall January 1st, 2006 and our family is going to celebrate by discussing the holiday with our children, trying some of the recipes, and remembering the sacrifices, trials and successes of God's chosen people.

After I open my Christmas presents of course.

Have A Cup

I stole this from Jessica. I hope she is not vexed with me, but it was too good, and too true, to pass up. And, no, not all liberals think or act this way, only the ones getting all the press. And that is a problem for the Democratic party in my opinion. More and more people see them as the party of negativity and pessimism. The party of everything is bad. Only they don't have any answers to these bad things other than it is Bush's fault. And that simply doesn't fly.

Foaming Bats

Some guy named Brian Flemming has declared war on Christmas. I've never heard of him and my guess is that, aside from a few bloggers, atheists, and some film aficionados, no one else has either. Evidently he wrote the play Bat Boy , which has a cult following, but then we know you can form a cult around people who worship vacuum cleaners so that doesn't say much.

Anyway, I have a hard time getting excited about this, since he is belatedly joining a battle which has been being waged for some time now. And silly exercises like this only help our side anyway.

Besides, Foamy the Squirrel seems to be able to handle anything he and his Christmas-hating buddies could dish out.

Hat-tip to Instapundit.

WARNING: Foamy is quite vulgar, but priceless.


Neil's ode to womens' personal hygiene products. Well, the man who will buy them anyway.

The guy slays me.

Shiney, Shiney People

Earth at night. Very cool.


Busy past few days. Had to work in Atlanta for three days and then this weekend has been busy with shopping and decorating the house for Christmas. Yeah, that's right, Christmas. Not for the Holidays. Just for Christmas. Our town also had a Christmas Parade that went off despite the sleet and rain.

I hope to be back to rampant posting soon.

Politics Over Courage

A soldier corrects Representative Murtha's assessment of the US Army. As he says, Murtha knows better, and I say he should be ashamed for letting his politics trump his courage.

Thank You ACLU

Via STOP THE ACLU, an open letter by Edward L. Daley, owner of the Daily Times-Post.
Now that December has finally rolled around again, the time has come for all of us to take a few moments out of our busy, workday lives and thank the American Civil Liberties Union for all it does throughout the year on behalf of each and every U.S. citizen.

After all, if it weren’t for the unyielding efforts of ACLU lawyers, there’s no telling how many school children this year would have been forced by their teachers to grapple with unsavory concepts like personal responsibility, religious freedom, sexual abstinence, capitalism, parental rights, the sanctity of human life, and the dreaded G-word (formerly known as God).

Although the ACLU’s exertions in these respects alone make that organization worthy of our admiration, its battles don’t end in the classroom. Indeed, who among us can forget how this courageous group of folks championed the cause of halting “racial profiling” by government agencies charged with protecting us from terrorists? And aren’t we lucky that people like Transportation Secretary Mineta agreed with the ACLU wholeheartedly when the new rules concerning airline passenger screening where first implemented?

The truly wondrous thing is that the good and honorable members of that august organization possessed the wisdom to refrain from fighting for the prohibition of profiling on the basis of age and gender. If you ask me, strip-searching elderly women at airports, no matter what their race, is a practice that was long overdue at the time of the World Trade Center’s destruction.

These highly suspicious, and potentially dangerous individuals have been allowed to roam willy-nilly through virtually every terminal, port, waystation, and depot in the country for as long as I can remember, and it’s good to see that someone has finally focussed our attention on the problem. Why we limit ourselves to probing them only in airports is a mystery to me, but that issue aside, the brain power of the people who’ve decided it’s a good idea to ignore the ethnicity of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks during air traveler searches, is truly awe-inspiring.

It’s also good to know that those same highly intelligent individuals are more than happy to supply free legal counsel to the various suspected terrorists we’ve captured, doing everything in their power to assure that guys like accused dirty-bomber, Jose Padilla, are as comfortable as possible during their pre-trial internment. As a matter of fact, he and many of his fellow prisoners may well be able to avoid enduring the harsh criminal penalties planned for them by federal prosecutors before long, and if the ACLU has anything to say about it, they will.

Furthermore, when it comes to matters such as open border initiatives, and advocating the issuance of drivers licenses to undocumented workers (formerly known as illegal aliens), few organizations can take more credit than the one about which I am writing. It certainly is comforting to know that, at some point in the future, millions of previously unqualified drivers will be flooding the highways of every state in the union.

And let us not overlook the aspect of linguistics when we celebrate the accomplishments of our most notable guardian of civil liberties. For you see, redefining common words and phrases like choice, unilateral, establishment clause, militants, and marriage, is something which can also be attributed to the ACLU, although other groups and individuals have certainly played substantial roles in that regard.

Yet, even though the ACLU has labored unendingly to achieve everything I’ve noted above and more, if one is to mark its most significant work to date, one need look no further than its attempt to remove predominantly Christian symbols from public squares at Christmas time. I know it’s a shocking concept, but some people in this country actually believe that December the 25th is an acceptable day for openly celebrating the life of Jesus Christ, and that doing so on public property does not equate to the federal government establishing a religion.

We should all be truly grateful that the ACLU knows better, and will continue fighting for our right to not be confronted with offensive images like crosses, infants in mangers, and angels whenever we walk past public grounds.

So thank you American Civil Liberties Union. Thank you for understanding what most of us are apparently too stupid to grasp, and for having the grit and fortitude to threaten anyone who fails to do as you instruct with monetarily crippling legal action.

You have staunchly upheld the proud tradition of systematically dismantling all other proud traditions, and if God wasn’t, as you’ve often pointed out, merely a figment of my imagination, I’d be wishing his blessings upon you right now.

Bright Economic News

The economy is looking good, despite what you keep hearing from the MSM.

Earlier this morning we learned that the U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in November, beating the expected mark and posting the highest number in four months. Over the past year nearly 2 million jobs have been created -- and nearly 4.5 million jobs have been added since May 2003, when the job market began its turnaround. The unemployment rate remained at 5.0 percent -- below the average unemployment rate of the 1970s, the 1980s, and the 1990s. The Labor Department report shows that the American economy not only remains resilient in the face of two major hurricanes that did enormous damage to the Gulf Coast region but that, in fact, the economy continues to grow at a remarkable rate.

Today's job figure is not the only encouraging news on the economic front. Here are a few other recent economic data points that underscore that the American economy is a wonder of the modern world:

- The U.S. economy grew at a robust 4.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the best rate in more than a year. Economic growth has been remarkably steady and strong over the past two-and-a-half years -- and the economy has now grown 3.3 percent or more for 10 straight quarters.

- Gas prices have dropped 30 percent since September (from $3.07 per gallon to $2.15 per gallon).

- Inflation was lower than projected. The consumer price index rose at a 3.6 percent annual rate, and core inflation was at its lowest level in more than two years.

- Consumer spending increased 4.2 percent in the third quarter, beating the estimated mark and setting the fastest pace since the end of 2004.

- Business spending on equipment and software grew by a 10.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

- Sales of single family homes showed the biggest one-month gain in more than 12 years, increasing by 13 percent in October.

- Orders for durable goods showed the largest increase since June of 2000, increasing by 3.4 percent in October.

- Consumer confidence soared. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence rating increased by 13 points to 98.9 for November. The University of Michigan's Consumer Confidence index also rose, growing by 7 points.

- Yesterday the Dow Jones industrial average closed within 90 points of 11,000, a level the Dow hasn't hit since June 2001.
And Jonah Goldberg points out that our good news is also good news for the rest of the world.
One point that doesn't get enough play is that US economy is keeping the world afloat. We do hear this fact fairly often, but it's always couched in bad news rhetoric, particularly in terms of trade with China. But the reality is the Japanese economy is only now (maybe, sorta) emerging from decades of suckiness. We create more jobs by accident than all the industrial planners in Europe have been able to create in years of hard strategizing around mahogany tables festooned with clever cheese. Everyone likes to gripe about American capitalism, but if it weren't for American capitalism the Frenchies would be eating Hamburger Helper a couple times a week and millions more Third Worlders would be in total poverty
Understandably this doesn't mean much to those out of work, but the best way to create new jobs is through the continued success of private enterprise and in that regard even those who are out of work now should feel some hope for the future.

Put Him Down

I don't know if many of you have been following the controversy surrounding convicted murderer, Tookie Williams, but basically he is a low-life who murdered four people in 1979 and who has been sitting on death row since. He is also the co-founder of the nortorius Crips street gang that has spread like a cancer throughout many part of the United States.

You would think he would have been put to death by now, but no, he is very much alive and the current cause-celeb of the liberal elite in California who are using the fact that he has written a couple of books and his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize as reasons for Governor Awwwnold to grant him clemency.

What they are not telling you is a) his books have only sold a little over 300 copies and b) that he was nominated for the prize by a couple of mopes soley because they are against the death penalty.

As if either one of those things negates the damage this man has done.

And this was news to me, but evidently anyone can nominate anyone for the prize. It's that easy.

So don't be fooled by the lies surrounding this pond scum. He deserves to die for what he has done. And soon.


Angry Republican Mom has a good post on some of the successes in the battle between most of America and the ACLU over Christmas. Check it out.

Merry "Mumble Mumble" Christmas

While driving back from Atlanta today, I heard this song on the radio. It is typical South Park, and therefore quite vulgar, so if that will offend you please don't click on the link as you will be assaulted by, well, vulgarity.

I couldn't find a link to him singing the song, so you have to live with the lyrics and imagine Mr. Garrison singing them.

Brunette Of The Week

Lisa Edelstein from the TV show House. Which is a pretty good show only made better by her being so hot.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Desperate Liberals . . .

I found this over at the Satan of news sources, Fox News. You would think the left would have learned this is not the way to win elections.

Left's Emerging Battle Plan
Monday, November 29, 2004
By Cal Thomas

More than three weeks after the election, the Left still doesn't have any new ideas, but they do have an emerging battle plan.

First, claim the president is surrounding himself with yes-men and yes-women, who will tell him only what he wants to hear and not challenge his policies. This used to be called loyalty, but is now considered by the Left as unhealthy.

What the critics mean is that the president will have people around him who will actually carry out his policies and not advance their own ideas, or leak to the press. This, by the way, is the media's main problem. They're used to disloyal and self-aggrandizing leakers and they don't like it when administration officials refuse to undermine the boss.

The second strategy is scandal. The left will use every opportunity to try to taint this president with something.

The third strategy, which is part of the first two, is invective. Here are just a few examples. Bill Moyers and Eleanor Clift have called Secretary of State-Designate Condoleezza Rice a liar who ignores reality. Walter Cronkite continues to peddle the line that Karl Rove was responsible for the pre-election bin Laden tape, urging Americans to vote for John Kerry if they wanted to be safe. Helen Thomas — no relation — called Dr. Rice a G-d liar and she used the F-word — fascist — to describe members of the Bush administration. CBS' "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney spoke to students at Tufts University a few days ago. Rooney said those voters who relied on religion in the election are ignorant and that Christian fundamentalism is a result of "a lack of education."

Imagine if this sort of slimy rhetoric had been directed at a Democrat by a conservative Republican. You know the editorial denunciations from the usual sources would have been severe. "Mean-spirited" and "divisive" would have been some of the milder things said about such inflammatory language.

This sort of rhetoric reveals more about the speakers than it does their targets. Maybe they could create a new TV show called "Desperate Liberals.".

Day and night . . .

Talk about night and day . . . yesterday was cold, rainy and windy and generally miserable outside. Today is cool, sunny and calm and a very beautiful day.

Which means I have to go out and take down some fall decorations and put up some of our Christmas decorations. I also may mow the yard . . . it doesn't need it really, but it will look more manicured for the rest of the winter if I do.

I stayed up till about 3:00 am playing WOW last night and got up at 9:00 am to play again. Since tomorrow is Monday there won't be any early morning playing until next weekend though.

So, I will talk to you guys later . . .

PS . . . to my niece and nephew who keep IMing me . . . don't think I am ignoring you . . . most of the time I have AOL minimized and am not paying attention to it. If I see you I will say hi :)

Blue state, but not blue sky . . .

The delusion of the Blue staters continues as evidenced by Ted Rall's comments in his "Confessions of a Cultural Elitist":

If militant Christianist Republicans from inland backwaters believe that secular liberal Democrats from the big coastal cities look upon them with disdain, there's a reason. We do, and all the more so after this election...

Every day in America, hundreds of our most talented young men and women flee the suburbs and rural communities for big cities, especially those on the West and East Coasts. Their youthful vigor fuels these metropolises — the cultural capitals of the blue states. These oases of liberal thinking — New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Boston — are homes to our best-educated people, most vibrant popular culture and most innovative and productive businesses. There are exceptions — some smart people move from cities to the countryside — but the best and brightest gravitate to places where liberalism rules.

Maps showing Kerry's blue states appended to the "United States of Canada" separated from Bush's red "Jesusland" are circulating by email. Though there is a religious component to the election results, the biggest red-blue divide is intellectual. "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?" asked the headline of the Daily Mirror in Great Britain, and the underlying assumption is undeniable. By any objective standard, you had to be spectacularly stupid to support Bush.

Inland Americans face a bigger challenge than coastal "cultural elitists" when it comes to finding high-quality news coverage. The best newspapers, which routinely win prizes for their in-depth local and national reporting and staffers overseas, line the coasts. So do the cable TV networks with the broadest offerings and most independent radio stations. Bush Country makes do with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity syndicated on one cookie-cutter AM outlet after another. Citizens of the blue states read lackluster dailies stuffed with generic stories cut and pasted from wire services. Given their dismal access to high-quality media, it's a minor miracle that 40 percent of Mississippians turned out for Kerry.

So our guy lost the election. Why shouldn't those of us on the coasts feel superior? We eat better, travel more, dress better, watch cooler movies, earn better salaries, meet more interesting people, listen to better music and know more about what's going on in the world. If you voted for Bush, we accept that we have to share the country with you. We're adjusting to the possibility that there may be more of you than there are of us. But don't demand our respect. You lost it on November 2.

This would be funny if this guy were not serious. And I know, because I wrote him an e-mail about some other nonsense he had posted once and he responded in similar fashion. In that little exchange, he stated that Red staters had no legitimate say in our fight on terrorism since we were not the ones that were attacked on 9-11. Now, aside from the obvious fact that people from all over the country, and indeed the world, were murdered on 9-11, it is simply insulting to say that all of America was not affected by the attack on a part of it, no matter who was killed.

Did the attack on Pearl Harbor only kill Hawaiians? Didn't the plane diving into the Pentagon kill plenty of Red state military members? Were all the innocent passengers on those planes from New York City?

And when I mentioned that certainly the people of Oklahoma City would have a say in the war on terror, he responded that that was only "right wing" terrorism. As if the ideology of the terrorist matters to the dead? How does one argue with that twisted logic?

When I ultimately pointed out the fact that actual terrorist plots had been foiled in Red states recently, Rall first accused me of making it up and then simply believing government lies. After I directed him to news reports on the incidents, he retreated with the comment "Well, if you truly understood what we went through you would agree with us." And then he simply cut off the dicussion. And I thought conservatives were the ones who were intolerant of other people's views - go figure.

What color is the sky on this guy's planet? It certainly is not blue.

PS . . . Yes, I know I posted this right after saying I was tired of politics, but this joker really gets to me. I just don't understand how people like this get away with such tripe. But then again, if there is an audience for Al Franken, anything is possible.

Winter pool pumping . . .

My hands are FREEZING! I just walked in from trying to clear leaves away from a pump we have on the pool cover and in a matter of minutes I could barely feel them. I could be wrong, but I think winter has finally arrived in Tennessee.

Speaking of that pump . . . I hate it. We just put this pool in and because I am a tad obsessive about everything, including safety, I had them install a "safety" winter pool cover. This is the type that actually anchors into the concrete and then stretches across the pool totally sealing it from the elements. A person could walk across it and not fall in, and I thought that would be a great thing since we have several kids living on our street, in addition to our own, of course.

The only problem is that water will collect on it and slowly weigh it down so much that I guess ultimately it might hurt the anchors in the concrete (Now that I think on this though, I guess it would simply sink as low as the water level underneath, but conceding this would end my thought too soon.)

So, to keep this from happening they give us a small automatic pump that you place in the middle of the cover to pump out water when it collects. Unfortunately, the damn thing never seems to turn on and I have to go out and clear leaves from around it and jostle it to get it pumping.

And I thought pools were only work during the summer . . .

Minutia of life . . .

I am feeling like my posts are getting boring lately, but frankly I am a little tired of politics, and I am trying to concentrate on the minutia of life as both a change of pace and a way to relax.

Harvey Pekar, the cult comic book writer famous for his American Splendor series, had one of his greatest lines when he wrote "Everyday life is pretty complicated" and I tend to agree with that. So my posts will probably be along those lines unless something remarkable pops up in the world of politics or current events.

I stayed up till 3:00 am this morning playing World of Warcraft and only managed to sleep in till 8:00 am, so I am still kinda groggy even now. I jumped back on the game as soon as I woke up, so that might be part of my lethargy too for all I know . . . staring at a computer screen for hours on end can suck the life out of you.

I was going to put up the Christmas decorations today, but it is raining and cold and I just think it will have to wait until tomorrow.

It's good to be back home. We only moved here seven years ago, but I don't want to ever leave this place. Tennessee has the perfect combination of southern charm and "almost" northern climate and the rolling hills and tall trees are beautiful. Hopefully, the government will forget about me until I can retire in eight years and get my retirement job. I am either going to teach or work in the corporate security world . . . the latter will pay more, but I have always wanted to teach full time. I was an adjunct faculty member of the City Colleges of Chicago when I was in the Air Force and I loved it, but it is harder to find those positions away from military bases. Still, it is something I am going to look into a few years out from my retirement date.

Well, I should end this. Loving wife is doing laundry and the boys are upstairs playing on the computer and I am going to do something . . .

Crazy ole uncle . . .

Hmmmm, I'm sitting here watching TV while I wait on my son to get in a few hours of World of Warcraft (I'm on my laptop, he is on the PC). We both have characters and we both want to play, but I am trying to be the nice Dad and let him get it out of his system first. I will most likely play well into the morning so it is not like I will get toooo far behind him. You see, the more you play the faster your character levels up in terms of strength and abilities and the more interesting game play becomes.

So, I will give him an hour more and then put him to bed like a concerned Dad, all the while knowing I am just doing it so I can get at the game.

Now, I also feel compelled to write things here because I told my family about my blog and they are no doubt going to be checking it now and again. They read part of it while we were together for Thanksgiving and I am not sure they were very impressed, but they will probably keep reading it on the off chance I mention them.

And speaking of my family, I got a chance to see my brother's computer yesterday and I was immediately jealous. Now, I have a good computer . . . a very capable gaming computer all dressed up in a black case with red, blue and green neon lights shining out the clear side and every nook and cranny . . . but his looks even better with a silver case and even more lights and even some gauges that measure sound and heat and other stuff. If even has a detailed paint job. Sweeeettttt! I did have a better video card though so it wasn't all bad.

I did enjoy seeing my family, especially my many nieces and nephews. I constantly tease them, but only because they are such good kids (Indeed, some of them are young adults now). Since I am older than my brother and sister, I guess I like to play the part of the "crazy ole uncle" and the kids don't seem to mind it so much (they might even enjoy it?). They may not appreciate me now, but once I win that lottery they will be giving me a call. If only we could find that out!!

Christmas frame of mind . . .

Well, we are back home! It took most of the day to get here, but that was because we stopped off with the family to shop in a "day after Thanksgiving frenzy". After a couple of hours of fighting crowds we ate a quick lunch and hit the road for home. The driving part took us about seven and a half hours which is about average.

Anyway, we unloaded the car and everyone immediately went to their different corners of the house . . . kids playing video games, loving wife taking a bath, and me to my computer to write this.

For some reason I haven't been in the holiday spirit during this trip. I think it is because my parents live very far south and it never seems like winter down there even when it is cold. They say some people go through life thinking they were born in the wrong time. Well, I have always thought I was born in the wrong state. I mean, I love the South . . . it is so much more than the simplistic Hollywood stereotype that all those Blue staters seem to buy into. But I have always wanted to live up in Vermont or Wisconsin where they always get a real old fashioned snowy Christmas.

Anyway, I noticed that as we drove back north and it started to get dark and cold and the radio station started playing Christmas music, I suddenly started feeling very festive. And as we turned off the interstate onto the small country road that leads to our house and started seeing Christmas lights, we all really got in the holiday mood.

Christmas is my second favorite holiday, by the way . . . right after Halloween.

So tomorrow we will put up our outdoor Christmas decorations which consist of a large 42" wreath that hangs about 25 feet high on one part of our two story house and smaller wreaths that hang on the outside of each window. We also string greenery around the porch railing and over the large dining room window. Dark, almost plum-red colored ribbon decorates all the wreaths and the greenery, and we spotlight the whole thing. We also have large painted wooden cutouts of Santa and Mrs. Clause and three elves holding a "Happy Holidays" sign between them, which are also spotlighted. Our house, along with most of the houses in the neighborhood, sits back about 150 feet from the road so the decorations look pretty amazing if I say so myself. If I ever figure out how to post photos on this thing I will include one of the decorations.

Well, I need to do a few things so I am going to leave you with a couple of updates:

1) We decided to buy ANOTHER fake Christmas tree that we liked better than the first fake one we purchased. We had to strap it to the top of our van, but it seemed to make the trip with no damage. Now we have to take the first one back. The new one was more expensive, but already has lights on it, so that takes still another argument out of Christmas.

2) When we got back we noticed that one of our two garage doors was up. Evidently we forgot to lower it and it was up for the two days we were gone. Not that we were worried about anyone stealing anything in our rural Red state area, but we do live in the country and now loving wife is afraid some wild animal has moved in to hibernate.