Friday, July 30, 2004

Yahoo! News - Woman Wears Sign of Shame for Gas Theft

Yahoo! News - Woman Wears Sign of Shame for Gas Theft: "Sherelle Purnell's facial expression went from one of embarrassment to defiance as she puffed a cigarette and lugged a sandwich board sign that declared: 'I was caught stealing gas.' "

A much better sentance than jail time or a fine... We need more creative judges like this.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Joe Wilson...where are you? - 'Be Very Afraid': ", a Web site the Kerry campaign had set up to showcase Mr. Wilson's accusations against the Bush Administration, now redirects browsers to the homepage."

Whoops! Looks like Kerry has flip flopped on Wilson now...

Truth and Service

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - Service to Country: "This photograph of John Kerry and 19 other Coastal Division 11 Swift boat officers was taken at Ton Sun Nuht Air Base on January 22, 1969, immediately following a meeting with General Abrams and Admiral Zumwalt."

Very interesting.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Al Jazeera covers the Dems (with love)

Cal Thomas: "The Arab TV network al-Jazeera, which might properly be renamed 'the voice of bin Laden,' has been given a booth at the FleetCenter to broadcast its version of events to the Arab world."

You can check out their coverage on line:Al Jazeera

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I wanna be a movie star! Posted by Hello

Four Women, Four Generations Posted by Hello

An Interesting Slug Ride

An interesting slug ride One thing about slugging, you get to meet some interesting people. I have been picked up by 2 star Generals, SES folks, CIA FMs and house moms. The other day I was picked up by a guy whe seemed a bit more nervous than the usual slug-drivers. I hopped in the back seat (my favorite place, since I can spread out the newspaper and read in comfort) and noticed a bunch of books and a couple of computers. As is the prescribed procedure, I thanked him for driving as I got in and confirmed that we were headed to Tacket's Mill. He turned around and nervously extended his hand.

"Hi! I am Ali." He said in a heavy Arabic accent.


He continued to fidget with some wires on his keychain, and a cell phone in his shirt pocket.

"Do you pick up slugs often?" Unsolicited questions are proscribed, but in this case I was thirsting for more info before starting off on a journey with a total stranger who seemed quite agitated about something.

"No, this is my first time. I go to med school at the Armed Forces Medical College, and was taking a shortcut back through Anacostia when someone hit me. I hopped out to see if he was OK, but he drove off. I tried to get his plate number, but there was no tag. I called the police, but after waiting an hour, they never came so I called them again, and they said I could file a report over the phone or come in, but they didn't think I should wait in that area any more."

Now I knew why he was so nervous. Driving through Anacostia in the daytime is plenty scary. Especially if you are obviously foreign, and in a nice new SUV. Ali, a first year med student, had had a rough day. I'd have been a bit jumpy, too. Another slug came up, and to head off any fright on his part, I introduced Ali and said that this was his first time picking up slugs. We showed Ali a shortcut to Tacket's, and the rest of the ride was uneventful.

Today I had to drive in, so it was my turn to pick up slugs. The light rain made things a bit slick but not too bad. As we approached the exit for the Pentagon, traffic slowed, as usual. 90% of the HOV traffic gets off at the Pentagon. However, the small white car in front of us seemed to be taken by surprise. A Ford Colt or similar tin can, it should have been able to stop fast, but the driver slammed on the brakes and put it into a skid, right into the side barricade. I was leaning on the brakes pretty well at this point too, not wanting to get in the middle of anything, when I heard a squeal from behind me and noticed smoke arising from the wheels of the small white tin can behind me. Well, I did a quick check, let off the brakes, pulled a quick swerve and coasted around the wreck in front, thankful that I'd avoided getting rear-ended, and avoided rear-ending someone.

I pulled over to see if anyone had gotten hurt and pick up the hapless slugs from the wrecked car. But they weren't slugs. That much was obvious when I walked back. Though shaken, they seemed more nervous than scared. This was confirmed as they waved me and the other two from my car (who had now joined me) away. We hopped back in the truck and continued on to the ramp. The few words the driver had said to me were in broken English, and he was talking to the passengers in Spanish. I figured that they could use some help, so I called the State Police on the cell phone, but as I hung up with them the same car, headlight and fender now mangled and parts dangling from the side, whizzed by us on the left shoulder of the road.

I guess they were late for work√Ę€¦

Monday, July 26, 2004

"I Had An Abortion" T-shirts

"I Had An Abortion" T-shirts: "Planned Parenthood is proud to offer yet another t-shirt in our new social fashion line: 'I Had an Abortion'"

Hmmm. Murder as a fashon statement....

The New Yorker: Fact

The New Yorker: Fact

A very good description of Al Quaida's 4 networks...

Heinz Kerry Tells Reporter to 'Shove It'

Seems like Sen. JK from beantown isn't the only one with a bit of a recall problem. His wife has joined him in flip-flopping...

Yahoo! News - Heinz Kerry Tells Reporter to 'Shove It': "'We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics,' the wife of Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) told her fellow Pennsylvanians on Sunday night at a Massachusetts Statehouse reception. Minutes later, Colin McNickle, the editorial page editor of the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, questioned her on what she meant by the term 'un-American,' according to a tape of the encounter recorded by Pittsburgh television station WTAE. Heinz Kerry said, 'I didn't say that' several times to McNickle. She then turned to confer with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and others. When she faced McNickle again a short time later, he continued to question her, and she replied, 'You said something I didn't say. Now shove it.' " - The ABB Democrats - The ABB Democrats: "Look for Democrats to repeat the words 'strong' or 'strength' a few thousand times this week, a mantra in lieu of policy."

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


DRUDGE REPORT 2004�: "Kerry has missed more than 80% of Senate votes this year, the AP reports."

Monday, July 19, 2004

US News Article |

US News Article | "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. agency charged with licensing gun owners is not conducting adequate checks of licensed gun dealers and does not properly investigate gun law violations, a Justice Department audit showed on Monday. "

Ummm....Last I checked, you don't need to be licensed to own a gun in this country. Something about the second amendment.

Interesting quotes

"The terrorist threat against America is all too clear. Thousands of terrorist operatives around the world would pay anything to get their hands on Saddam's arsenal, and there is every reason to believe that Saddam would turn his weapons over to these terrorists. No one can doubt that if the terrorists of September 11 had had weapons of mass destruction, they would have used them. On September 12, 2002, we can hardly ignore the terrorist threat and serious danger that Saddam would allow his arsenal to be used in aid of terror."

Sen. John Edwards, 2002

"The events of September 11 created a new understanding of the terrorist threat and the degree to which every nation is vulnerable."

Sen. John Kerry, US Senate, Speech supporting resolution on used of force in Iraq, 9 Oct 2002

Friday, July 16, 2004

Gun-Toting in Va. Educates Public, Advocates Say (

Sometimes the law of unintended consequences has a sense of humor...

Gun-Toting in Va. Educates Public, Advocates Say (

VA law PROHIBITS concealed weapon permit holders like myself for carrying concealed in a restaurant...but we can carry openly. So, if I am out and about and my family want to hit Olive Garden for some lunch, I have to either a) leave the gun in the car where it is of no use to me and might get stolen or b) move the gun to a visible holster. Hmmm...

FrontPage :: Terror in the Skies -- Again? by Annie Jacobsen

Just in case you were sleeping too well... FrontPage :: Terror in the Skies -- Again? by Annie Jacobsen Sometimes I wonder if, and sometimes I just wonder when.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

HTML test part 2

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the only time

Steve Harrigan has a blog that is very good reading. His writing is wonderfully descritive without being flowery, homey without being vulgar. But something in his blog caught my attention. Today I was coming back from my run, and stopped in CVS to see if they had any headphones since mine have died after only three years and 5 trips to the desert. As I sought the right isle I ended up walking by a gal in her BDUs checking out the lipstick. As I passed, the sight jarred me a bit, not for any other reason than it seemed so incongruous: a slender blonde, 20 something, perusing a stack of colorful sticks topped by an ad for loreal, just as you would see in any CVS store in the country; but instead of fashonable clothes or jeans and a t-shirt, she was wearing...standard Army green BDUs. The green and brown and black clashed horribly with the dozens of shades of pink and peach and moave and lavender arrainged in neat rows.

It was then that I thought of the blog:,2933,121050,00.html and Steve's story of a woman called J.B. In a company of soldiers, she was the only female and "needless to say...very popular". That in and of itself was not that illuminating, but what Steve wrote after came back to me in a flash when I saw clash of camo and color:

"In the daytime she disappeared in a khaki uniform and floppy hat, but after work she wore a white tank-top T-shirt. "It's the only time I feel like a woman," she said.""

It flashed through my head "The only time I feel like a woman" was when she was out of uniform, out of the formless pants, drab t-shirt and combat boots. When she could let her hair down and kick back in a chair. But this woman was living the feminist dream! She was 'one of the guys' and very popular, to boot! She carried a gun and shot with the best of them as they lived in tents and dust and sweat in a combat zone. She had proved herself and made the likes of Hillary Clinton and Pat Schroeder proud, and yet, "the only time..."

So it was with the girl in CVS. She was not seeking lipstick and makeup to help her looks in uniform. Not with the colors she was considering. "The only time..."

It struck me...

You would never hear words like that from a guy. On the contrary, most guys, some time in their life, pick up a stick, a toy or a gun and play army. Many dress in camo for fun, to hunt or just to look the part they want to feel. Many join the service becuase of the ads of shining Marines in their flashy garb, with a sword and a slogan:

earned, never given.

It is true that wearing the uniform may get old, and some may want to discard it after traumatic events, as my grandfather did when he got back from Europe in WW2. Others have even been known to throw parts of theirs (or someone else's uniform, whatever) over a fence in protest, feining disgust, but it was never because "the only time..."

Uniforms, military garb, military gear make a man feel like a man. It is in his DNA, his very being to be a warrior. And those same things, the same clothes and toys may make a woman proud, may make her feel strong, may make her many things.

But they cannot, will not, and I believe, should not, make her feel like a woman. Were that to happen to a woman, I believe she would have lost something vital, that same thing that makes one woman among 82 guys, "very popular".

fractured news...where I practice writing for the NYT

Sometimes you see something on the wires that makes you sat Hmm....

AP PITTSBURGH — Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is taking a two-day break from campaigning and will spend the time at his wife's country estate preparing for his party's national convention next month.

Sen. Kerry claims that he needs the rest to 'prepare', but an aide to Sen. Kerry, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that he was also doing it to help sagging poll numbers.

"We have noticed an interesting inverse correlation between 'face time' with the American people and how J.K. polls in the days following. To be quite honest, we are trying to figure out a way to let him take a 'vacation' until 2 November," said the close confidant. "He does have several large houses to look after, so we are pursuing the possibility of 'home improvement leave', something that J.K. believes is the right of every American worker, and will make his number one priority on being elected. It will be right up there with all his other number one priorities like health care, the economy, education, the war on terror, Iraq, forest fires, France, Social Security, global warming and warning labels on sheer evening gowns."

Another aide admitted that the campaign is looking to use the issue of silence to challenge the President. "We think we have a chance to take the moral high ground, by challenging the President to also take a week or two off—show the American people that relaxation and solitude is a better way to govern than jetting around, shaking hands and kissing babies. After all, hands and babies, especially those belonging to the unwashed masses, carry germs, and germs are Sen. Kerry's number one priority."

A few random thoughts

See Eli on the Web!

News Flash: Moore Makes Millions on Pseudo-documentary! His response? Americans "are possibly the dumbest people on the planet...Our stupidity is embarrassing"

Given the box office response to his feature length political ad, I agree.

Strange Behavior

The other day, as usual, I was slugging home. Unusually, however, the driver was obsessed...with license plates. She had a piece of paper in her lap, and whenever a car would go by, or she'd pass a car that had 4 numbers on the plate, she'd pick up the paper and scribble it on the end of the list. She had about 20 numbers printed on one side of the paper, and sometimes instead of writing the number, she'd cross it off. Strange behavior, to be sure, but there might have been an explanation for it. I didn't want to ask, just in case there was. I prefer to believe that people are strange.

tidbit shunned

USA Today June 25, 2004 Pg. 8 Criticism Of Kerry's Purple Heart Is Just Retired U.S. army colonel David Hackworth defends presidential candidate John Kerry's Purple Hearts. He correctly notes that they are awarded for a wound that necessitates treatment by a medical officer and that is received in action with an enemy (''The meaning of a Purple Heart,'' The Forum, June 16). I was the commanding officer to whom Kerry reported his injury on Dec. 3, 1968. I had confirmed that there was no hostile fire that night and that Kerry had simply wounded himself with an M-79 grenade round he fired too close. He wanted a Purple Heart, and I refused. Louis Letson, the base physician, saw Kerry and used tweezers to remove the tiny piece of shrapnel -- about 1 centimeter in length and 2 millimeters in diameter. Letson also confirmed that the scratch was inflicted with our M-79. We admire Col. Hackworth, but he, above all people, knows why it is unacceptable to nominate yourself for an award. It compromises the basic military principle that we survive together. To promote yourself is to denigrate your team. I hope Col. Hackworth will rethink his characterization of Kerry's swift-boat comrades as ''grousers'' passing on ''secondhand bilge.'' In our case, this is firsthand knowledge, and our integrity is unquestioned. Kerry orchestrated his way out of Vietnam and then testified, under oath, before Congress that we, his comrades, had committed horrible war crimes. This testimony was a lie and slandered honorable men. We, who were actually there, believe he is unfit to command our sons and daughters. Grant Hibbard, retired commander, U.S. Navy, Gulf Breeze, Fla. Louis Letson, M.D., Retired lieutenant commander, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve, Scottsboro, Ala.

all a matter of perspective

It was only a matter of time until some of the video got out. Now American Enterprise Institute has posted one of the reasons we are in Iraq:

Of course, there were many, many more things like this. But instead we focus on Abu Ghrab. Ted Kennedy has no idea what he is talking about when he compares our actions there with Saddam.

New York Post June 24, 2004

Saddam's Censored Sadism

By Deborah Orin


And there are other Saddam horrors on tape. Former Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke says there are thousands of tapes of rapes by Saddam's thugs, since one of his pet practices was to rape wives in front of their husbands. Sometimes the rapes were videoed from a few different angles.

In case a husband got out of line again, he'd be sent his wife's rape tape, she says. "Who's going to show that [on TV]?" Clarke asks.

In fact, Clarke recalls, she got angry complaints from three or four networks during the Iraq war when she tried to document Saddam's horrors by beginning a briefing with part of a BBC documentary on how Saddam used poison gas on his own people.

It showed a woman victim with half her face blown away.

"The criticism from several leading news organizations was intense. They said, 'Our people don't want to see this,' " Clarke reports. ...

HTML test

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pics they missed

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Another HTML attempt

Welcome to "If you have interesting, uplifting photos featuring America's Military, please register and upload them!"

Interesting tidbit

Something you won't see trumpeted:

From the 20 June Columbia State Leg Injuries Plague Trainees In New Program By Chuck Crumbo, Staff Writer

Making boot camp more rigorous might be more hazardous to the health of trainees. That's what the Army might have to look into after the completion of a pilot basic combat training program at Fort Jackson. …

One study at Fort Jackson found 50 percent of females and 25 percent of males suffer some injury during the nine-week training period. Most are treated and returned to their units. Others are treated and returned to basic training at the point where they were injured, or they must restart training. Still others wash out of the Army. ...

Does anyone but me wonder if this is cost effective? We can either 1) make training easier for everyone 2) make it easier for women 3) ignore the problem and hope it goes away 4) wonder what else we can do to get more women to sign up, so we can work toward to 40% goal. Any guess which way the Army will go?


Irony is defined as today's headlines. All the major papers and news outlets have two big stories running. The first is that the US has declassified many documents relating to treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghrab and Gitmo. The talking heads are shocked! Shocked! to find that the US Government was engaged in a discussion about what we could and could not do to prisoners and suspected terrorists. For an administration often accused of suppressing dissenting points of view and preventing policy debate, there sure seems to be a lot of documents looking at all sides of the issue. For an administration accused of not being aggressive enough going against terrorists before Sept 11, 2001, there seems to be a lot of free thinking and analysis of alternative COAs. Never mind that most of the so-called torture memos deal with such things as self-incrimination and sleep deprivation, and that the conclusion the government drew was that it was both wrong and illegal to torture. The media seems to be on a feeding frenzy. The NYT had to print a retraction of a story…nothing new there. But after CNN spent 24 hours reporting that the SECDEF had approved of 'water boarding', they spent another 5 hours recanting it…since he had specifically said the practice was not allowed. Hmmm.

So the other major headline? The beheading of a South Korean hostage in Iraq. Lets see. Daniel Pearl, Nick Burg, Paul Johnson, this has happened before. And every time we write it off as sick savages who are just doing it to get our goat. And besides, the stories imply, we sort of deserved it, anyway, since there are bad things that happen in the US, also. Huh? In what universe? There is the irony. For them to chop of the head of someone who was trying to help, that is understandable, or at least explainable. For us to engage in a debate on the moral and legal limits in dealing with those who would chop off heads, that is unconscionable.

Trying a new blog

Well, I have been using typecast for a while, and I like it, but for 80 clams a year, I figured it was worth checking out the competition. Of course, this means I'll have to figure out how to move the posts over, but that is a challenge for another day.