Monday, October 31, 2005

Confirm Alito!

As regular readers of this site can attest, I make no claims to be an expert at any level when it comes to legal matters. I feel that is best left to, well, experts. However, I can usually read my way through a ruling well enough to determine whether someone generally applies the law as written, or creates a new one in their decision making process. From what I have read and learned of Samuel Alito, his tendencies appear to lean more towards the former.

This is a nominee I can support. This is exactly the type of justice that is sorely needed on the U.S. Supreme Court. It's easy to string fancy words together in an attempt to justify why a personal opinion should be the law of the land, it is far more difficult to set aside personal beliefs and make a ruling that meets constitutional muster. It's not the glamorous thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.

I have always felt that you could confirm whether a nominee is the right choice or not by simply watching and listening to the opposition. The opposition will fear a quality nominee but will generally play nice if they feel they are not much of a threat. I see no indication that the left is anything other than livid about this one. The word filibuster is being bandied about with regularity, he is being painted as extreme in his views by the left, and I've even heard some make claims about turning back the clock on the human rights gains of the past. No direct quotes, but that the gist of the rhetoric I am hearing from the left today.

The final proof will be when Harry Reid's hair catches on fire and steam starts coming out of his ears. That will remove all doubt and I don't think it will be long. I believe Samuel Alito is just the man to make that happen!


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It's Alito!

(Hat Tip: bRight and Early)

Fox News is reporting that President Bush will nominate Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor today. Conservatives wanted a Scalia and it looks like we got one. Another good sign: There's smoke coming out of Harry Reid's ears! More later.

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Strange Saga of Jack Idema

Cao of Cao's Blog has been following the case of former Green Beret Jack Idema and two other Americans who were convicted of torturing Afghans in a private jail on September 15, 2004.

Idema claims he had support and authority from the highest levels of the U.S. Government, which included the CIA and the Pentagon, for the behind-the-scenes counter terrorism operations he was conducting in Afghanistan but was abandoned by both when he refused to turn over his sources and information to the FBI. He had made a promise to his sources not to do so, and felt that critical information vital to the success of his mission would be compromised as a result.

Cao points out there is ample evidence to show that Idema's conviction and subsequent imprisonment are the result of the U.S. Government frame up. They used his special ops and counter-terrorism expertise to support their covert operations, but when the time came for government self -protection, he became expendable and was painted as a mercenary with no ties whatsoever to the U.S. Government.

It's a story that, sadly, I knew little about before Cao contacted me today. I have read the information at Cao's Blog, and I agree that something is fishy about the whole thing. If it is true that Idema was "hung out to dry" by the very government he was hired to work for solely to save face and protect certain individuals in the highest positions within our government, then it should not be ignored or allowed to stand without a fight.

Read the rundown here and make up your own mind.

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Sunday Funny!

I originally was going to post this Cox and Forkum Cartoon and wish everyone a Safe and Happy Halloween, but this one was just too funny! The original sentiment still applies, however.

The above cartoon perhaps best describes my thoughts regarding the whole Plamegate saga. It was all a big joke, but in the end, the joke was on them. Looks like Christmas came early for the Democrats. What they really wanted was G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu grip, but got Malibu Barbie instead.

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Carnival of the Clueless #19

Carnival of the Clueless #19 is up at Rightwing Nuthouse. Consider it your go-to source for what not to do. Check it out. If nothing else, it will make you feel much better about yourself.

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Centcom News Roundup #2

Reports From The Front Lines You May Not Have Read In The Headlines:

(Via Centcom)

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces, using precision air strike capabilities, targeted a senior al Qaeda in Iraq foreign fighter who was believed to be holding a meeting with other senior members of the terror organization in Husaybah Oct. 28.Sources indicated Abu Mahmud and the other leaders were meeting to discuss an attack on Iraqi security or Coalition forces in the coming days...More
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Acting on tips from concerned citizens, Coalition Forces conducted a series of raids on suspected terrorist and foreign fighter safe houses in the town of Husaybah Oct. 29, killing at least 10 terrorists.The houses were used as launch points to conduct attacks against local Iraqi citizens, Iraqi security and Coalition forces. During the raids, which occurred simultaneously in two separate neighborhoods of Husaybah, Coalition forces were engaged by numerous terrorists. Firefights developed at both locations, during which Coalition forces called in close air support and destroyed both of the terrorist strongholds...More
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Soldiers with 1st Battalion 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment killed one enemy and detained two others after they were seen attempting to emplace improvised explosive devices in the middle of a road in the Waza Khwa District of the Paktika Province Friday...More
TIKRIT, Iraq -- Terrorists were killed and wounded Oct. 27 after a precision-guided munition was dropped on their location. The terrorists attacked Soldiers from Task Force 1-15, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division who were on a routine security patrol near Ad Duluiyah...More
BAGHDAD, Iraq --Task Force Baghdad Soldiers continued to engage enemy terrorist forces during combat operations Oct. 24-26 in various neighborhoods of the capitol city.While on patrol, the U.S. Soldiers found and destroyed several improvised explosive devices before they could be detonated. Other Coalition forces successes included discovering several weapons caches and detaining suspected terrorists who were often caught fleeing the scene of their attacks.One team of terrorists attempting to place an IED along a road west of Baghdad was spotted by U.S. forces who then engaged them with gunfire. Some of the would-be bombers fled in a truck, while other terrorists fired back at the Soldiers pursuing them. Within the hour, two of the terrorists had been detained by Task Force Baghdad Soldiers...More
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraqi and U.S. Soldiers detained 20 terror suspects and confiscated bomb-making materials during an early morning cordon and search in the Dora neighborhood Oct. 27...More
CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, AR RAMADI, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed terrorists in Ramadi Oct. 27 while conducting a cordon and search operation at the Malaab Soccer Stadium in the eastern part of the city. At approximately 11:00 a.m. a sniper team that was conducting security for the operation observed a military age male surveying the stadium with binoculars shortly after Coalition Forces were attacked with a rocket propelled grenade. The sniper team determined hostile intent and engaged the terrorist with one round, resulting in the death of the insurgent...More
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An al-Qaeda terrorist cell leader who personally assisted in at least three videotaped beheadings and his assistant were killed during a Coalition raid of a suspected safe house in Mosul Oct. 22.Nashwan Mijhim Muslet (aka Abu Tayir or Abu Zaid) was a senior operational al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell leader who operated specifically in the Mosul area. His cell was known as the primary beheading cell for Abu Talha, the al-Qaeda in Iraq Emir of Mosul who was captured in June, 2005, and Abu Zubayr, second in command to Talha and later Emir of Mosul after Talha was detained. Zubayr was killed in August, 2005...More
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces raided three suspected terrorist safe houses, detained six terrorists, and killed several others in the town of al Ushsh, northwest al Qaim Oct. 25. Acting on multiple intelligence sources and tips from concerned citizens, Coalition forces raided the safe houses suspected to be a terrorist stronghold used to conduct attacks against local Iraqi citizens, Iraqi security and Coalition forces...More
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Task Force Baghdad Soldiers sealed off a road in west Baghdad Oct. 24 after finding two large explosive devices rigged to explode.The patrol first reported finding an improvised explosive device in the median of the road. A short time later, they discovered another about 10 meters away.To ensure the safety of the local residents along the busy road, the U.S. Soldiers cordoned off the area and called in an explosives ordnance disposal team to take care of the IED...More
MOSUL, Iraq – Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment (172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team) seized a large weapons cache during a search operations in the Rawah area, near the Euphrates River, Oct. 23. The cache included over 1,000 anti-tank mines, over 250 rocket propellant, and several timed mines. The weapons were destroyed on the scene...More
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Task Force Baghdad Soldiers and Iraqi security forces detained three terror suspects and found two improvised explosive devices during combat operations Oct. 22-23.Responding to a mortar attack north of Baghdad Oct. 22, a U.S. patrol stopped a suspicious vehicle in the area. The occupants had been seen retrieving an object from a bush along the road. Upon searching the vehicle, the Soldiers found a video camera and footage recording the mortar impacts. Two individuals were detained for further questioning...More
See also:
And the fight continues...
Thanks to: Cao's Blog, Mudville Gazette, Stop the ACLU, Don Surber, Basil's Blog, Conservative Cat, Bright and early, Wizbang, and My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy who are all hosting Open Posts/TrackBack Parties this Halloween weekend.

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Friday, October 28, 2005


Rush Limbaugh has confirmed what I precicted in my post from Tuesday"Leave Her There and See If She Really Means It! " Sheehan's friends in the press have already abandoned her. I knew it would happen, but I didn't expect it to happen this fast! I'm still not sure whether she's learned anything yet, but it must be very sobering to make a speech before the National Press Club and have only two or three reporters even bother to show up.

By the way: I haven't missed Plamegate, I just chose not to comment on it. It's been a partisan witch hunt from the get-go, and has had wall-to-wall coverage practically everywhere else. There has been little I could add to the story that would have been either new or interesting. If it had actually been proven that Valerie Plame was a covert agent and she hadn't already been "outed" previously by husband Joe Wilson, maybe I would have been a little more interested in the story. In my mind, Joe Wilson is the real "bad guy" in the whole affair, but I guess since he is a liberal, he automatically gets a pass. Put him on trial and I'll be on it like white on rice.

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Snort! Snort! Snort!

I guess you can tell by the title of the post that I am in no mood to be serious today. Reason #1: I have been much too serious for the last 3 days or so, and I just don't have the steam to make it 4. Reason #2: I have felt all day as if I have been run over by a very large cement truck. Other than that, I'm fine. Thanks for asking!

Back to the post title: I was finishing up my post and sending TrackBack pings at around 2 this morning, when what to my swollen eyes did appear? This post by Independent Sources and eight tiny reindeer. Ok, I made up the reindeer part because it's really hard to find something that rhymes with Independent Sources at 2 in the morning.

It's called the Bork-o-matic. It slices! It dices!... actually it doesn't(Did I mention there are a lot of infomercials on TV at 2 in the morning?). It is actually a flow chart with instuctions for, you guessed it, "Borking" judicial nominees. Apparently the Democrats have gotten confused over the years as to which step is next and needed an easier way to stay on topic.

Independent Sources explains it this way:

Independent Sources has happened upon Senate Democrat’s secret flow chart that provides guidance to Barbara Boxer and friends on how to handle Supreme
Court nominees. It explains so much. You’ll be shocked! Dismayed! And then you’ll realize that once the President’s next selection is announced, you’re going to save an immense amount of time ignoring the Democrat’s rote opposition.

So save this and check off the boxes as the next “extreme right wing” nominee
moves toward a vote on the Senate floor

Ok, now for the instructions:

  1. Put down anything you may be drinking and take it into another room.(Trust me on this one.)
  2. Click on this link.
  3. Enjoy!

I also would like to apologize to the gang at Independent Sources for not linking this post last night. It wasn't because I didn't enjoy it, it was because I simply was not capable. I don't generally see reindeer in October no matter what my wife says. Besides, would you really have wanted to read this if I had written it early this morning? I didn't think so.

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Miers Wins By Withdrawing

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers submitted her letter of withdrawal to President Bush today saying, in part:

I write to withdraw as a nominee to serve as an Associate Justice on the
Supreme Court of the United States. I have been greatly honored and humbled by
the confidence that you have shown in me, and have appreciated immensely your
support and the support of many others. However, I am concerned that the
confirmation process presents a burden for the White House and our staff that is
not in the best interest of the country.

I voiced my opposition to the nomination earlier, exercising particular caution to point out that it was not personal. I have absolutely nothing against Harriet Miers as a person. What limited information I knew about her as a person seemed to paint a picture of an educated, decent, and competent individual.

It was the information I didn't know about her that bothered me. Was she liberal, moderate, or conservative? Each day different reports moved the compass in entirely different directions. It was impossible to distinguish the fact from fiction, the hype from the reality. In my heart of hearts, I felt if she was indeed a strict constructionist, I would have to look no further than the other side of the aisle for conformation. That confirmation never came. I knew.

I consider The United States Constitution to be one of the most important documents in the history of mankind. It is the rock on which this republic was built. It should be interpreted as to the true intent of its authors and not altered to fit circumstances. It is as relevant now as it was when the ink was wet.

Our founding fathers knew the Republic would have little chance of long term survival if the principles upon which it was founded were not rock solid. They also allowed for changing times by outlining the amendment process in Article V:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary,
shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the
legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for
proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and
purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of
three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof,
as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress;
provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand
eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses
in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its
consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

Notice the process refers to the Legislative Branch, not the Judicial Branch. The role of the Judicial Branch is to determine whether amendments pass the constitutional smell test, not write law from the bench. The Constitution does not grant them that power. It is vitally important that those who would serve on the Supreme Court understand this

This is precisely why I could not support Miers nomination. It had nothing to do with qualifications or personality traits. I simply did not know, when the moment of truth came, whether she would honor it or usurp it. She may have done the right thing, but I didn't have that assurance.

Since Miers felt, and rightly so, that she could not compromise the Executive Branch by releasing confidential documents or testifying directly about her service to same, she demonstrated an understanding of separate but equal branches of government. If nothing else, this gave me some assurance that President Bush actually nominated someone he felt would honor the intentions of our founders.

Had the nomination gone through, the naysayers, myself included, may have been proven wrong, but given the information available to us, we were well within our rights to raise the questions.

Harriet Miers may have withdrawn her nomination, but in the final analysis she won. She spared herself the agony that would surely come from being asked questions she knew she couldn't answer and she put aside any personal ambition to do what was, in her words, in the best interest of the country. For that alone, she has won my admiration and respect.

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Thanks to: Stop the ACLU, California Conservative, The Political Teen, Basil's Blog, and Euphoric Reality.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sheehan's "Die-In" Schedule

As much as I hate to give them a link, Cindy Sheehan has posted her upcoming "Grim Milestone" schedule on The Huffington Post:

As we all know, the American death toll in Iraq reached 2000 yesterday. I
believe most people in America are in mourning today whether we are pro- or
anti-war. I can speak for myself, I am.
A few dozen of us held vigil at the
White House yesterday. At 6 PM about 15 or 20 of us "died" to symbolize the
unnecessary deaths in Iraq.

We all represented one soldier and 50 Iraqis. We are hoping that 2000
Americans come out in support of us during the next 3 days and "die" with us to
show our misleaders and media what 2000 dead Americans looks like.
Today at
11 AM we will take a wreath to Arlington Cemetery to mourn all of our citizens
who have been killed in war, but especially this war. Then we will vigil at the
White House from 12 PM to 8 PM. There will be other vigils at the White House
this evening.
At 7:30 PM tonight we will symbolically die again. Tonight, I
won't get up when they tell me to.

Call me crazy, but I thought she said she was "going to tie myself to the fence and refuse to leave until they agree to bring our troops home". Apparently, she has changed her strategy from a "tie-in" to a "die-in". It must be a tough gig if you have to have a practice session to prepare for a stunt that consists of falling to the ground, closing your eyes, and being very still. Of course for it to be totally realistic, you must also stop breathing, but I doubt she will take it that far.

Does she honestly expect President Bush to be sitting in the Oval Office talking to someone on the red phone, casually glance out the window, drop the phone and exclaim "Somebody get Cheney and Rumsfeld in here!""Sheehan's playing possum on the front lawn again, so I think it's time to rethink the war plan." If that's what she expects, she will be sorely disappointed.

I would also like to point out to Ms. Sheehan that the "misleaders" have a pretty good idea what "2000 dead Americans look like". The actual number in this case is 2,986, most of them Americans. They all died in one day on American soil, and it looked something like this. Perhaps she remembers it.

Following a largely nonsensical diatribe aimed squarely at President Bush, she closes with this:

The indictments will hopefully be coming down to highlight the culture of
corruption in this criminal administration that extends down to Congress and the
What the indictments highlight to America and to the world is the
wanton disregard for laws and humanity that Bush and Co. have. They also
highlight to the world how apathetic we in America are towards letting criminals
run our country.
The upcoming indictments show me AGAIN that they stole
Casey's life and 1999 other lives. They show me that we are allowing them to
also steal our treasure and good reputations.
I have had enough. I will not
allow them to steal anything else from me.

If these "indictments" are upcoming, how can they show her anything? Don't they have to be issued first? One thing these "indictments" will not show is Bush and Co. stealing "Casey's life and 1999 other lives." Casey as well as the other 1,999 willingly put their lives on the line by enlisting. Blaming Bush and Co. for their deaths may make her feel better inside, but it still doesn't make it true.

Before I get off of the Cindy Sheehan bandwagon for what I hope is the last time, I would like to point out one other intersting tidbit: I've been scanning the news channels since 8pm EDT and here's what the media is reporting: Nothing! Not one single word!

I predict it won't be long before this "die-in" becomes a "walk-out".

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Thanks to: GM's Corner, Euphoric Reality, and Oblogatory Anecdotes,
Outside the Beltway Traffic Jam

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Media And Their Meaningless Milestones

The milestone the media has been anxiously awaiting has finally become a reality. The U. S. Military death toll in Iraq has now reached 2,000. A quick Google search using "U. S. Death Toll 2,000" as the criteria, reveals 2,740 entries, so I don't believe it is out of line for me to say the media has been anxiously awaiting this day.

Is the press going nuts over this simply because 2,000 is such a nice, round number? Is it because 2,000 just rolls of the tongue better than 1,997? Did we go from fighting the war on terror to losing it with three additional deaths?

Eric at Classical Values points out this number fascination that has the media beside themselves:

I'm having a problem with numbers. The war in Iraq is said to be on the
verge of being more wrong than it has ever been before, once the number of
American dead rises from 1997 to 2000...

Am I supposed to be more against the war when the number of killed in
action hits 2000 than I was when it was 1997?

If so, why?

The Inquirer says that the number 2000 will be "a sobering
reminder of the human cost of the U.S. presence in that country."


Just as 1997 was just as sobering a reminder, I think 1000 was also a
very sobering number. Except I'm not sure what is meant by sobriety...

But I'm no more sober than I was. At least I don't feel any more

Or is wanting a U.S. victory less than "sober"?

I could be wrong, but I'm getting the distinct impression that
"sobriety" is being used as a synonym for wanting the United States to pull out
of Iraq.

I couldn't agree more! The press treats the death that marks their predetermined "milestone" as much more significant than the deaths that immediately preceded it. I find that absolutely disgraceful. If the press were to talk to the parents of those who died, whether they be number 820, number 1,527, number 2,000 or any number in between, these parents wouldn't refer to any of them as a milestone. They would refer to them as my son or my daughter. They were a part of their lives that can never be replaced, not part of a nice round number in some imaginary milestone.

It seems to me the press wanted this "milestone" to occur precisely when it did so that it could be used to overshadow the real milestone that occurred today: The ratification of the Iraqi Constitution.

Thanks to: Stop the ACLU, Political Teen, Cao's Blog, and Mudville Gazette.

UPDATE(8:09AM): Committees of Correspondence takes us back to the first media "milestone"(1,000) and points out the harassment inflicted on the family of one slain soldier in particular.

Partisan Pundit offers perspective from a Marine's point of view.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Leave Her There and See If She Really Means It!

(Via ABC News)

The anti-war left is anxiously awaiting the 2,000th U. S. Military death in Iraq, so it should come as no surprise that Cindy Sheehan has something "big" planned to mark the occasion:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cindy Sheehan, the military mother who made her
son's death in Iraq a rallying point for the anti-war movement, plans to tie
herself to the White House fence to protest the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military
deaths in Iraq.

"I'm going to go to Washington, D.C. and I'm going to give a speech at
the White House, and after I do, I'm going to tie myself to the fence and refuse
to leave until they agree to bring our troops home," Sheehan said in a telephone
interview last week as the milestone approached.

"And I'll probably get arrested, and when I get out, I'll go back and
do the same thing," she said.

Unlike a lot of the mainstream media, I won't give Cindy Sheehan's bad behavior a pass due to unfortunate circumstances any more than I would give a mass murderer a pass due to a bad childhood. I realize the two behaviors aren't remotely comparable in their severity, but bad behavior is still bad behavior and should be recognized as such.

I understand that Cindy Sheehan lost a son in Iraq, but 1,996 other mothers have lost no less a part of their lives than she has. The difference between her and the overwhelming majority of them is they aren't making complete spectacles of themselves. Because, Cindy Sheehan is not the only mother who is grieving, her behavior should not be portrayed in the media as the standard for every mother who is. It should be viewed as the exception rather than the rule, and our treatment of her should be different that it is with others. I don't believe she needs additional sympathy, but rather a wake-up call.

That being said, if you feel a radical new approach to dealing with Ms. Sheehan might be offensive to you, then please read no further. It will not be my intention to make nice or spare feelings, but rather to be brutally honest about the way the situation should be handled. Consider yourself warned.

My suggestion is simply this: When she ties herself to the fence in front of the White House, do not arrest her. Leave her there! She wants to be arrested! That is how she gets media exposure and keeps her name in the headlines. Don't give her the satisfaction! Just leave her there and pay no more attention to her than you would a crack in the sidewalk. If she is in the way, walk around her. If she speaks to you, ignore her. If she asks for food or water, let her get it herself. Show her absolutely no compassion. Find out if she means what she says by making her prove it. If you do this, I think you will learn a lot about Cindy Sheehan and in the process, discover her true intentions.

My guess is she will have freed herself in less than a day if no one is paying attention to her. That's because this is all about Cindy Sheehan, not U.S. Military deaths in Iraq. She has discovered that if she appears somewhere, the media will follow. She sees herself as a media darling and thrives on the exposure. If this were ever about Casey, it ceased being so a long time ago. Sooner or later, most likely sooner, she will learn there is a dark side to all of this that she hadn't quite counted on: The media is a fickle friend and will consider her persona non grata as soon as a more compelling story comes along.

If she is there longer than a day, I believe you will see some other interesting things happen: The protesters who are with her will start drifting off one by one to do other things. Some will ask her to come along, while others will simply dissapear. After about a day and a half, there will only be a handful of people left, if that many. They will offer to take her with them, and if she refuses, they too will be gone before long. They'll make some excuse for leaving and will say they are coming right back, but they will not return because they know the secret Cindy Sheehan will soon learn.

At this point, Cindy Sheehan should come to the realization that those who had been standing strong with her were actually only using her as a means to an end. When the end isn't met, the means are no longer valuable to them. That end is media coverage and while that ship may not have sailed yet, it is rapidly pulling away from the dock. When the media leaves Cindy Sheehan, the other protesters will not be far behind.

Now you may be saying, but what about Crawford? They stood with her in Crawford? The reason they stood with her in Crawford was because she was the lead story all day, every day. Like her, they crave media exposure and will go anywhere they can get it.

While the White House protest may get some initial exposure, it will not receive the same wall-to-wall coverage it did over the summer. Their summer success was largely a product of good timing and a slow news cycle. That dynamic no longer exists. There are too many compelling stories in the current news cycle to warrant a repeat of the same coverage they enjoyed over the summer. Their protest will be relegated to the back burner as soon as more interesting news breaks.

Cindy Sheehan will realize at some point that the attention she was once getting from the media has disappeared and the only place she will be able to find her name listed is in the phone book. Hopefully she will also realize the people she thought were standing with her were actually stepping on her.

She may never change the way she feels or the way she acts, but when the media spotlight is gone she will at least have the chance to think about the things she has done and the effect it has had on others. She will be forced to live her own life and thankfully, we won't have to continue living it with her.


UPDATE(10-28-05)- Rush Limbaugh has confirmed it! Sheehan's friends in the press have already abandoned her. I knew it would happen, but I didn't expect it this fast!

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

I Oppose the Miers Nomination

N. Z. Bear is running a new tracking page to show where the blogosphere stands on the Miers nomination, so I thought I would end my silence on the matter and reveal my choice here.

I realize nominations to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court rest solely with the President. It is then up to the Senate to vote for confirmation, whether up or down. In this case, I hope the nomination is either withdrawn, which appears to be unlikely, or that Miers is not confirmed, which appears more likely every day.

I believe you can support the President without supporting every decision he makes. As a concerned citizen, it is my duty and obligation to voice my opinion. As a conservative, I don't believe it would be honest for me not to voice my opposition to this appointment, especially considering the stakes.

This opposition has nothing to do with Miers qualifications. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that a Supreme Court nominee has to be a judge or for that matter, even a lawyer. If the nominee is currently breathing, then technically they are qualified.

My opposition is based solely on philosophy. I simply don't know where Miers stands on anything. One minute a report will say she is pro this or pro that, ten minutes later another report will say the exact opposite. I need more assurance than that. I deserve more than that.

The President said he would only nominate strict constructionists who would not legislate from the bench. I don't know what Miers will do. She is an unknown in a vast sea of knowns. She may turn out to be more conservative than Scalia, or more liberal than Bader-Ginsburg. I simply don't know. With the stakes as high as they are, not knowing is simply not acceptable.

This is not political, it is about the potential effect it could have on our lives. Overall, I support the President, but I am not a mouthpiece of the administration nor am I obligated to regurgitate the daily White House talking points. I am a conservative first and foremost, and this nomination smells like pure politics to me. Whether it is or not, remains to be seen.

I believe the President is at the table in a poker game with our futures at stake. In his hand he holds a Royal Straight Flush, and so far, he appears to have folded. If the nomination goes through, I certainly hope my feelings are proven wrong. It would be much easier to eat crow if I am wrong, than to live with the consequences if I am right.


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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Carnival of the Clueless #18

Carnival of the Clueless #18-"The Cat Ate My Internet" Edition is up at Rightwing Nuthouse. If you aren't familiar with it already(how could you not be?), it is the go-to place for your weekly Cluebat fix (from both the left and right) in one nifty little package. Rumor has it that I may have an entry this week. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Once again, Rick, you have outdone yourself!

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Election Statistics Reveal Significant Progress

(Via Centcom)

Election Comparison January 30th vs. October 15th

Registered voters - 14.3 million voters registered in Jan. vs. 15.6 million voters registered in Oct.

Numbers of polling centers - 5,677 polling centers in Jan. vs. 5,852 polling centers in Oct. with most of the new centers going to Sunni regions.
* Al Anbar polling centers increased from 33 in Jan. to 171 in Oct. (indications are that more than 200,000 additional people voted in Anbar)
* Ninewah polling centers increased from 88 in Jan. to 230 in Oct. (nearly 400,000 more voted this time)

Poll worker applications increased from 110,000 in Jan. to 450,000 in Oct.

Total poll workers increased from 108,000 in Jan. to 171,000 in Oct.
- Early projections are that more than 60 percent voted (of registered)

Voting Rights Changes Since January
- Iraqi Security Forces guarding polling stations outside their provinces were allowed to vote
- U.S. held detainees that had not been convicted of a crime were allowed to vote

Election Security
- Total attacks in Iraq - 299 attacks on 30 Jan 05 vs. 89 Attacks on 15 Oct. 05
- Total polling place attacks - 108 attacks in 30 Jan 05 vs. 19 Attacks on 15 Oct. 05
- Total number of Civilians killed - 30 Deaths on 30 Jan 05 vs. 3 Deaths on 15 Oct. 05
* Overall 34 deaths on 30 Jan, 10 deaths 15 Oct.
- Total number of suicide bombers - 7 on 30 Jan vs. 0 On 15 Oct. 05

Security Forces
- Ministry of Interior Forces - 79,116 in January 05 vs. 106, 112 in October 05
- Ministry of Defense Forces - 56, 949 in January 05 vs. 93, 959 in October 05

- MNF-I moved most of the materials in Jan; Iraqi contractors conducted most of the movement and logistics
- Voting supplies were moved into warehouses three days earlier than in January with no shortages of supplies reported (per IECI press conference)

Overall, the statistics show significant increases in all the right places: Voter participation(notably Sunni participation), polling places, and security forces.

They also show significant decreases in all the right places: total attacks, attacks on polling places, and civilian and overall deaths. There were no suicide bombings as opposed to 7 in January '05.

Some things these statistics don't support: We are losing the War on Terror, this war is another Vietnam, and we are in a quagmire.

To the contrary they show that we are winning the War on Terror and the hearts and minds of the Iraqi People, the terrorist movement is losing support, and the supposed "jihad" is running on fumes.

It's a real shame the Mainstream Media at large doesn't find this to be as newsworthy as destroying Tom Delay or ensuring the Supreme Court doesn't overturn Roe v. Wade.


Thanks to: Outside the Beltway, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Wizbang, Cao's Blog, Citizen Smash, and bRight & Early Open Posts.

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Making Your Kodak Moment Count!

(Via The Smoking Gun)

Scenario: You are Tom Delay and you feel you are the victim of a witch hunt. An arrest warrant is issued and you appear at the Harris County, TX Sheriff's office for the required photo op and fingerprinting.

What do you do? What do you do?

Well, if you are Tom Delay you stand up straight and grin like a cheshire cat!

So much for the Democrats plans for a damaging ad campaign. But hey, if they still want to make use of the photo, I'm sure he could offer them a reasonable package that includes matting and framing.


Thanks to:

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Question of The Day

How many of you wish we would have put a peep hole in the middle of this thug's forehead when we had the chance?


At this rate, Saddam has a good chance of dying from just about anything except execution.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Note to TypePad: Basil's Not Pleased!

I'm sure some of you remember the Late 70's -Early 80's Television Series "The Incredible Hulk" starring Bill Bixby as David Banner. I realize I am dating myself here, but I haven't had a thought remotely related to that show in years: That is, until today. Today I remembered one line in particular from the entire series and that was when David Banner uttered these words:

"Don't make me angry!", "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry!"

He, of course, was referring to the transformation he made from Dr. David Banner to big green monster that liked to tear stuff up. Needless to say, it was painful to watch.

For some reason these words came immediately to my mind when I read this post at Basil's Blog. Apparently, TypePad is having some real issues with TrackBack. If you haven't guessed already, Basil uses TrackBack. A lot! A Whoooole lot! In fact, if it hadn't already been invented, I'd lay odds that Basil would have invented it. That's because he uses his "little blog", as he calls it, to bring attention to lots of other "little blogs".

Now Basil may not know very much about a lot of us, but I would be willing to bet that most of us know a lot about Basil. If you are an inexperienced template fiddler such as myself and have wanted to make a change to your template without turning it into The White Album, then chances are you have either read the Blogger Tips by Basil and Phin or you have dropped a question in one of their inboxes.

Which brings me to my point: If you are TypePad, and Basil is your customer, You don't want to make him angry!

Don't let the baby picture or the suprisingly civil tone of the letter fool you: Basil has coattails!
If he leaves TypePad, he'll be taking a lot of folks with him. There are few certainties in this life, but this is one of them.

If you are TypePad and Basil offers his troubleshooting expertise, Take it! And when he says he would have caught the problem before it made it to production, Believe it!

He may not turn into a big green monster, but he can sure make your life miserable.

I'm going to attempt to send Basil a TrackBack to let him know that I am aware of his misery. Fortunately, I'm not on TypePad.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Double Standard-Big Time!

Jay at Stop the ACLU posts this ACLU Double Standard:

ANN ARBOR, MI — On Wednesday, October 19, 2005, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, California, will hear oral arguments in Eklund v. Byron Union School District. The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, represents several parents and children who challenged the Byron Union School District’s practice of teaching twelve-year-old students “to become Muslims.”For three weeks, impressionable twelve-year-old students were, among other things, placed into Islamic city groups, took Islamic names, wore identification tags that displayed their new Islamic name and the Star and Crescent Moon, which is the symbol of Muslims, were handed materials that instructed them to “Remember Allah always so that you may prosper,” completed the Islamic Five Pillars of Faith, including fasting, and memorized and recited the “Bismillah” or “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” which students also wrote on banners that were hung on the classroom walls. A federal district court judge in San Francisco had previously determined that the school district had not violated the constitution.

According to Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Law Center, “There is a double-standard at play in this case. If the students had done similar activities in a class on Christianity, a constitutional violation would surely have been found. If the public school’s practice is upheld on appeal, all public schools should begin teaching classes on Christianity in the same manner as the Islam class was taught in this case.”

Where's the ACLU? If the tables were turned they'd be on it like flies at a barbecue.

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Centcom News Roundup

Reports From The Front Lines You May Not Have Read In The Headlines:

(Via Centcom)


BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Task Force Baghdad Soldiers, acting on a tip from an Iraqi citizen, seized a large weapons cache in west Baghdad Oct. 16.After receiving the tip, Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry Regiment, 48th Brigade Combat Team went to the location the citizen described and detained three suspects at the cache site. When the Soldiers searched the area, they found a weapons cache consisting of 103 high-explosive rounds, 151 mortar rounds, six mortar tubes, 31 mortar fuses, five mortar base plates, two mortar tripods and a mortar sighting device... More


CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, AR RAMADI, Iraq – Marines destroyed a terrorist cave complex
used as a weapons cache and bomb-making factory early Oct. 17 near Haqlaniyah.Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team - 2 observed three men place a roadside bomb and then return to a cave complex nearby.The terrorists were killed by small arms fire from the Marines. An investigation of the first chamber of the cave complex revealed a small cache, bomb-making tools and equipment, black uniforms and ski masks. Coalition aircraft destroyed the
complex using precision-guided munitions...More


BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces raided a terrorist safe house in Karabilah Oct. 16, killing several terrorists.Acting on multiple intelligence sources, Coalition forces raided the suspected safe house during an early morning operation to capture or kill terrorists operating in the town of Karabilah in western Iraq. The safe house was believed to have been used to conduct attacks against local Iraqi citizens, Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces...More


CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Coalition forces continued counter-terrorism operations in areas of Al Anbar Province Oct. 16, killing an estimated 70 terrorists in separate actions. At approximately 1:25 p.m., Coalition forces conducted an air strike against a group of terrorists attempting to emplace an improvised explosive device east of Ramadi. While conducting a combat air patrol, crewmembers from an F -15 observed 20 men arrive in four vehicles at the crater site of a previously-detonated IED which had killed five U.S. and two Iraqi Soldiers on Oct. 15. The terrorists were in the process of emplacing another IED in the same spot when the F- 15 engaged them with a precision-guided bomb, resulting in the death of terrorists on the ground...More


AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq – Texas Army National Guard Soldiers and Marines from 2nd Force Service Support Group (Forward) discovered weapons caches near a primary school slated as a polling site here on Oct. 14. The Soldiers and Marines responded after being alerted by Iraqi citizens. The cache complex, found in multiple underground locations and a house, netted buried mortar rounds, assorted ammunition, anti-election propaganda and terrorist paraphernalia...Coalition Forces continue to receive more tips from Iraqis in locating arms caches as Iraqis take a more aggressive stance at ridding their communities of terrorists...More (Emphasis mine)

And the fight continues...

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Trackback for Military Bloggers

Michael Churchill runs a blog called Vote Churchill in 2006. He posted his Good Bye post on August 8th as he reported for duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Marianne has been submitting posts on his behalf to let us know how he is doing and occasionally he has been able to forward something he has written for her to post on his blog.

He sent me an email today to let me know of his latest post "The Plame Game". I started thinking that there are probably a lot of bloggers out there who are in the same predicament as Michael: They can have someone post for them on occasion, but they really have no way to promote their work through link carnivals, trackback parties, etc. due to their present circumstances. It would be a shame for someone to be serving their country for all of us, only to have the blog they worked hard to create, suffer due to lack of promotion.

My suggestion is to trackback to carnivals, trackback parties, and open posts on their behalf.

Here's how it would work:

1. First of all, get permission from the host to do this.
2. Send a trackback just as you would for yourself only put in the information for their post.
3. Since the author of the post you are submitting will not be able to provide the courtesy link to the host on their own blog, offer to put the courtesy link on your blog instead. If you decide to post to the same carnival or open post, make sure you give them two return links instead of one.

Example: Thanks to (link to host's permalink) Open Post. Submitted on behalf of (author of post) .

Of course, there may be a better way to do this, but the idea, at least for me, is only a couple of hours old. The way I figure it is the operator of the carnival or open post simply wants a courtesy link to their post permalink and as long as they have a courtesy link for every post, it shouldn't matter what site it came from. Again, I may be wrong about this, but that's the way I see it. If you check with the host first then all the bases should be covered.

I know that bloggers are constantly looking for ways to give back something to those who serve their country and this could be a small way to give back. It's not hard and it doesn't take a lot of time, but I think it will let them know we still like their stuff and are willing to spread it around.
They'd do the same for you. Heck, they're doing a lot more than that now!

Update: I tried it out and it worked. Michael's post is now among the links in Stop the ACLU Open Trackback. Click the link below to go there. If you don't have Trackback ability on your blog you can get a free account at Haloscan or you can use Wizbang's Standalone Trackback Pinger.

Thanks to: Stop the ACLU Sunday Open Trackback on behalf of Michael Churchill.

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Iraq Vote

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi man is all smiles as he shows his purple finger to his son moments after voting in the Oct. 15 Constitutional Referendum in the Tissa Nissan district of east Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Russ Goemaere, 2nd Brigade Combat Team PAO)

(Via Centcom)

I have nothing to add. The photo says it all!


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Friday, October 14, 2005

When Sensationalism Meets Stone Cold Reality

(Hat Tip Michelle Malkin via Mark Finkelstein)

Mark Finkelstein at Newsbusters has the MSM gotcha of perhaps the decade. I realize there is still close to half of the decade left, but this is that good. Trust me! Click the screen shot to view the evidence:

Finkelstein notes the irony and unfortunate timing of the segment:

In a deliciously ironic twist of fate, shortly before airing a segment
aimed at embarrassing the Bush administration by suggesting that it had staged a
video conversation between the president and soldiers in Iraq, the Today show
was caught staging . . . a video stunt.

Of course, the circle would not be complete without the required (and lame) attempt at damage control by NBC News:

Later, an NBC News spokeswoman explained that Kosinski had been riding in
deeper water near an overflowing river down the street, but there were concerns
that the current was too strong for her.

"It's not like we were trying to pass it off as something it wasn't,"
spokeswoman Lauren Kapp said.

Of cooourse you weren't! I'm sure you had absolutely no intention of making people think it was time, once again, to start building the ark. That would just be wrong!

I'm going to go out on a very stout limb here and say that I would be willing to bet that if it weren't for my two newest heros walking through the shot, the water would have been ten feet deep and rising fast.

You've really gotta hate it when you lose this much credibility in less than a foot of water!


UPDATE: Don Surber has a great post here with links to tons of folks covering the story.

The Money Quote:

That's it. A couple of NCOs and the like get to meet the Man himself. They
try not to muck it up. And the press goes to town with this as a "staged"
event.That is just plain wrong. Knock the president for what he does, but quit
making stuff up. And certainly watch the collateral damage on our own soldiers.
They wanted to make a good impression on the boss is all.

Read the whole thing.

Thanks to: My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Open Trackback
Stop the ACLU Plug Your Site Open Trackbacks
Mudville Gazette Open Post
The Political Teen Open Trackbacks

Thanks to: Conservative Cat's Permanent Floating Ping Festival

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Madonna aka Supermom!

(This is London via Drudge)

Madonna on parenting:

"I'm a disciplinarian. Guy's the spoiler," she says in an interview with
Harpers & Queen magazine. "When Daddy gets home, they're going to get
chocolate. I'm more practical; I worry about their teeth and make sure they're
getting their schoolwork done. I'm very schedlotuled, I make lists."

The woman who made her name as a mass media idol, continues: "My kids don't watch TV. We have televisions but they're not hooked up to anything but movies.
"TV is trash. I was raised without it. We don't have magazines or newspapers
in the house either."

Ritchie, who directed Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, treats the children to pizza and bike rides. "Guy is into doing wild stuff outside, taking them out on bikes," she says.

"He's good cop, I'm bad cop. The kids watch movies every Sunday, so if they're naughty, they get their movie taken away. If they're a little naughty, then no stories before bed." (Emphasis mine)

Would this qualify as naughty? What about this, this, or this?

I'm having trouble imagining a scenario in which my parental skills could be improved by turning to Madonna for advice and guidance in this area. She has made a career out of wearing lingerie as outerwear and thrives on being controversial and lewd, and I'm supposed to take her seriously as a go-to source for teaching children not to jump on the bed and how to be model citizens? I don't think so!

Madonna calling TV "trash" brings to mind the words of Phoebe Buffet of the sitcom "Friends":

"Hello kettle, I'm pot, and you're black"


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Thursday, October 13, 2005

What Extremists are Saying

(Via Centcom)

Centcom posted a letter today from Al-Qaida’s second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaida in Iraq. It should be, at the very least, eye-opening to those who have any doubt as to the intentions of Al-Qaida and also who ultimately is winning the War on Terror (Hint: It's not them!)

There are several passages in the letter that confirm what many of us have known from the beginning:

1. This war, in their minds, is not just about Iraq, but ultimately world-wide domination if allowed to pursue their goals unchecked.

“…the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals: The first stage:
Expel the Americans from Iraq . The second stage: Establish an Islamic
authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level
of a caliphate over as much territory as you can spread its power in Iraq, i.e.,
in Sunni areas. . . . The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular
countries neighboring Iraq . The fourth stage: …[This is ] the clash with
Israel , because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic
entity. . . . [T]heir ongoing mission is to establish an Islamic state, and
defend it, and for every generation to hand over the banner to the one after it
until the Hour of Resurrection.”

It is an absolute certainty that they will not cease until the goal is accomplished or they are otherwise prevented from advancing by an opposing force.

2. They will attempt to overthrow the government in Iraq as soon as coalition troops are removed.

“And it is that the Mujahidin must not have their mission end with the
expulsion of the Americans from Iraq , and then lay down their weapons, and
silence the fighting zeal. We will return to having the secularists and
traitors holding sway over us.”

This is precisely the reason we should not consider withdrawal of troops prematurely. If we leave before Iraq is able to adequately defend herself, we leave the door wide open for terrorists to take over the country and establish a foothold in the region much like the Taliban did in Afghanistan.

3. They are intollerant of any belief or action that doesn't fit within their world view and will stop at nothing to make that view a reality.

“People of discernment and knowledge among Muslims know the extent of
danger to Islam of the 12’er school of Shi’ism. It is a religious school
based on excess and falsehood whose function is to accuse the companions of
Muhammad of heresy [in] a campaign against Islam, in order to free the way for a
group of those who call for a dialogue in the name of the hidden mahdi who is in
control of existence and infallible in what he does. Their prior history
in cooperating with the enemies of Islam is consistent with their current
reality of connivance with the crusaders.”

“The collision between any state based on the model of prophecy with the
Shi’ites is a matter that will happen sooner or later. This is the
judgment of history, and these are the fruits to be expected from the
rejectionist Shi’a sect and their opinion of the Sunnis. These are clear,
well-known matters to anyone with a knowledge of history, the ideologies, and
the politics of states.”

“[M]any of your Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about
your attacks on the Shi’a.”

It should be noted that Zawahiri is not trying to protect the Shi'a by suggesting Zarqawi limit the attacks on them. It is a stategic move designed to deceive them until they either buy into their version of extremism or they can be eliminated. They are unable to fight a two front war so they are forced to string the Shi'a along for the time being. Continued attacks on them only add additional complications to their long-term plan.

4. As the idea of freedom gains a foothold in region, support for the cause will diminish.

According to Zawahiri:

“…[W]e will see that the strongest weapon which the Mujahidin enjoy .
. . is popular support from the Muslim masses in Iraq , and the surrounding
Muslim countries. So, we must maintain this support as best we can, and we
should strive to increase it….”

“[T]he Jihadist movement must avoid any action that the masses do not
understand or approve. . . .”

If support of the Muslim masses disappears, so ultimately will their ability to continue the fight.

5. The strongest ally they have is the mainstream media.

“I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half this battle is
taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media
battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our nation.”

As long as many members of the media continue to paint an unrealistic picture of the events on the ground, the terrorists will continue to be emboldened. If at some point reality and perception become equal, they will be in a no-win situation and they know it.

6. As time passes their revenue streams will dry up and their ability to carry out operations will be greatly diminished.

“The brothers informed me that you suggested to them sending some
assistance. Our situation since Abu-al-Faraj is good by the grace of God,
but many of the lines have been cut off. Because of this, we need a
payment while new lines are being opened. So, if you’re capable of sending
a payment of approximately 100,000 [units of currency] we’ll be very grateful to

7. Cut off the head and the body will die.

“Likewise I would like you to inform us about the Iraqi situation in general and
the situation of the Mujahidin in particular in [sufficient] detail. . . . At
the least, we should know as much as the enemy knows.”

The flow of information has been disrupted to such a point that Zawahiri has to request it in a letter. One can reasonably assume from this that secure forms of communication have been either eliminated or severely disrupted.

In summary, the letter demonstrates to me not only what the terrorists wish to accomplish, but also the increasing difficulty they are facing while trying to accomplish it. I suspect it will only become more difficult with each passing day.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I'm Back

I realize I haven't been posting for the last month, but hopefully that is changing. There have been some things that needed my full attention during the last month that left little time for writing. I won't go into detail here, other than to say that my six year old son had to have some minor surgery and He came through with flying colors. Still, no matter how minor the procedure, a parent finds it hard to think about anything else until it is over and the ability to focus on other things is greatly diminished. I really appreciate the concern expressed by several fellow bloggers for my well being and that of my family during the past weeks. It means more to me than you could possibly ever know.

I did, however, manage a few hours over the weekend to revamp my blog and make it look, I hope, a little better. I would appreciate any input you can give regarding the new template and header design. I am still trying to make sure that it displays correctly in different browsers. I would really love to know what you think and if you are experiencing any problems viewing it.

I would like to offer a special thanks to Kathy Boast for allowing me to use her photo "Palmetto Moon" in my header. I had been looking for an inspiration for a redesign for quite a while and found it with her photo. I can't thank you enough, Kathy!

I know I have missed many opportunities to comment on important news stories during the past few weeks, but I hope my loyal readers will understand that sometimes life dictates the terms and all you can do is hold on and hope for the best. In my case, the best is exactly what I got and for that I am grateful.

(Also linked on Mudville Gazette Open Post)

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