Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Yasser and Me

I read this post in Daddy's Roses and naturally had to go see who my twin was. So I went to My Heritage to see what celebrity I looked like - or which celebrity looked like me.... I put a recent photo of myself and - with not a little bit of fear and trembling - clicked the go button. I was shocked to see Britney Spears pop up as the closest look alike. Now, I'm twice her age and thought that was rather suspicious, but hey, they go by face structure, so I decided who was I to question the wisdom of the computer (g). I was so relieved that my look-alike wasn't Madelene Albright that I fearlessly pressed on. They give you several look-alikes with a percentage of how close they are to your likeness. As I clicked along, I ran across a few that I had to click by quickly, fortunately they weren't anyone that anyone would know. Emboldened, I tried some different photos of myself. I was so vain by this time that I put in a photo from my college graduation thinking the computer might just explode from the sheer beauty of my 20 year old self and whoever the computer decided was my lookalike. And the results were ..... (drum roll) Here's me at my college graduation (an undisclosed number of years ago): Here's my computer generated twin: Yasser Arafat is my twin.
Sigh. My vanity got thrown into the Bonfire!
Happy New Year!

Monthly Marathon

The Median Sib has started a Monthly Marathon starting January 1st, 2006. I don't like making New Year's Resolutions, because I never keep them. However, I think keeping in shape is a pretty good resolution and this is really pretty reasonable. Get Details Here Maybe we can keep this resolution! Trackbacked to The Median Sib, Daddy's Roses

Great Quote

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt "Man in the Arena" Speech given April 23, 1910 26th president of US (1858 - 1919)

Hitting Nerves

I seem to be popular with anonymous people. Apparently my last post Are We Doomed hit some nerves with a few people. I decided to answer a second anonymous comment here because my answer to him/her wouldn't fit in the comment area. Mr. Anonymous #2 wrote that he would not read my blog again and would block me so I wouldn't darken his screen. So I don't expect Mr. Anonymous #2 to read this. But his response is just so full of the talking points we hear repeatedly from the progressives (the new word used for those of liberal persuasion) that I thought it was worth a response. Plus, he/she ended each paragraph with a question as to how I'd feel in such a situation, with great condescension. Mr. Anonymous #2, I realize you have done a fly-by, leaving your comments and then stating you will not read/listen to any rebuttal. All the same, I feel compelled to reply. Since you won't read it and you have blocked me from 'darkening your screen again', it shouldn't matter to you. You start your comment by stating I have berated Mr. Anonymous #1 and then proceed to call me a 'raving hate filled lunatic'. And that's just the beginning. Mr. Anonymous #1 chastised me for not being 'loving' enough, for not having enough 'compassion', and then implied I did not have enough insight to understand that our President is really the problem here. He couched his attack in 'loving' words. But it was an attack all the same. I suppose I didn't have to make the recruiting office comment - but you have to admit that I'm probably right about that. Where did I berate him? You accuse me of 'buying into' the hate-filled propaganda filling our airwaves. Would you consider your commects 'berating' and implying I don't have the ability to come to my own conclusions. The issue you raise in your first paragraph of imagining the roles being reversed is a complicated issue that is not so easily put into the box you seem to want to put it into. The history of the United States making promises to assist the Iraqi people in freeing themselves from the sadistic dictatorship they were subjected to goes back many years. During the Clinton administration there was a coup attempt planned and backed by the US. Clinton backed out at the last minute resulting in the execution of the Iraqi conspirators. No wonder the Iraqis were a little reluctant to trust that we would stay true to our word this time. Did that bother you? Or is it just the Bush administration that bothers you? Are you aware of how upset the Iraqi people are at the idea of the US pulling troops out prematurely? Do you know anyone who is there and knows or do you just rely on CNN to tell you what to think? Mr. Anonymous #2 - do you really believe that our soldiers are 'bullying' the citizens of Iraq? I find your statements about our soldiers particularly insulting. I suppose that was your intention, wasn't it. Contrary to your statements, our soldiers are honorable for the most part. I'm sure there are some bad apples, there always are. But this is an all volunteer Army - and the world knows that the American soldier is by far the most humane. Why else would the Germans have wanted to surrender to Americans rather than to the Russians in WWII? The worse American abuse the MSM has been able to come up with are the childish fraternity hijinks of the Lindi England episode. That certainly shouldn't be condoned and is an embarassment, but you can hardly compare that to torture. Regardless of language barriers, one can identify with compassion. Can't you? Our soldiers are not without compassion. They are citizen soldiers. They are our sons and daughters. American Soldiers are our sons and daughters, our kin, our neighbors. They are not monsters. You hide behind your anonymity and sling insults to the men and women who stand, sleep, eat and fight in that desert while you sit in the comfort of your home getting your feelings hurt sitting at your computer reading a blog. How would you feel if those roles were reversed? Regarding the Roman Empire, you need to brush up on your history a little bit. You state that you love our country, but 'find it despicable' that I would make a comparison to the Roman Empire. That's perplexing. Are you aware that our founding fathers based our Republic on the Republic of Rome? Yes, there was a time the Emperors of the Roman Empire perscuted Christians. That is part of the Roman history. Rome did thrive for 1,000 years so there is more than that to their history. As I'm sure you remember from elementary level history classes, the Emperor Constantine was a Christian and, in fact, made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine is considered one of the most powerful and influencial emperors of Rome. He spread Christianity throughout the Middle East. Contantine is credited with transforming Christianity into one of the world's major religions. So to paint the entire history of the Roman Empire by one episode in their history is just a tad narrow minded, don't cha think? Would you like your entire life to be judged on the worse year you had? And you, as a Progressive (the new word for Liberals), the 'understanding' and 'compassionate' Progressives, you call all Romans 'Christian Hating Warmongers'. I wonder if any Italians will read this. How would you feel if you were them? I agree with you that America is a generous and aware place. I agree that 'We The People' do not want to kill people who just disagree with us. That is evidenced by the great reluctance with which we have entered any war throughout our history. Your comment about the 'paternal kindness of a superpower...' is indicative of the Progressive's (the new word for liberal) overall paternal attitude towards 'We The People'. What would we do without the Progressives (the new word for liberal) telling us how to live, how to think, what views we should have, what to spend our money on, and where we can and can not do whatever the Progressives (the new word for liberals) think we should or should not do. You spend several paragraphs explaining to me why the terrorists attacks of 9/11 were really not that bad in the big scheme of things. The big Right Wing Conspiracy is 'whipping me up into a frenzy' while they steal my soul. No big deal. Right? No big deal at all. I submit to you that if you had been there, if your child had been there, if your own home were threatened, it would be a bigger deal to you. An intentional attack on our nation, into the interior of our nation. An attack on the very symbols of our financial and military might is a big deal. I submit to you that your defense of the attackers, your willingness to blame your own country for being attacked (blaming the victim), your insistance on minimizing the attacks and framing them in words like 'tragedy' rather than calling them what they were, attacks, is born out of fear. It is freightening to wrap your mind around the idea that there are people who want to kill you just because of where you were born and because you do not have the same belief system they do. You are an infidel and there's nothing you can do about that. And then you end this tirade by telling me you will not listen to anything further from me or my kind. You will not engage in debate. You will just slam me with your insults and then leave without avenue for debate. That is also typical of the talking points. You don't really want to see another point of view, hear another take on issues. Your mind is made up and you will keep it closed, shut tight. I'm sorry for you for that. Since you laced your insults with 'love' and 'understanding'. Since you associate yourself with a group that claim to be the 'understanding', 'accepting', 'liberal', 'open minded', etc. I thought it would be interesting to list the insults you slung at me in this one comment. List of insults: I berated a previous commenter; I'm a raving hate filled lunatic; I don't think for myself as evidenced by 'buying into the whole group hate thing...' ; Good intentions be damned - if they are good intentions; My reference to the Roman Empire is despicable; You imply I 'want' to kill people who disagree with me; I'm clueless; I should be ashamed of my hate filled angry call for vengeance and war; You berate me with comparisons between automobile accidents, suicides and terrorists attacks; I've been 'whipped into a frenzy'; I'm a sheep person; I see the world through a narrow angry lens of sensationalism; I'm a victim of out of control fear; I'm been sold a bill of goods to divert my attention while I'm being robbed; You don't want my blog darkening your computer screen again; I'm spreading fear and hate. I think all that added up together would make me a stupid and bad person, huh?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Are We Doomed?

Watching some talking heads on TV just a while ago, my curmudgeon dearly beloved said, ‘I guess I’m a dinosaur.’ He states this as fact and has stated it before when watching the news or certain shows on TV. I know what he means when he says that. He’s irritated that true costs of the freedoms we enjoy do not seem to be even known by the news readers or celebrities. The notions of personal discipline and personal responsibility don’t seem to be in their consciousness. In fact, these concepts don’t seem to even flicker in their sub-consciousnesses. They appear to be completely alien concepts. Watching some of the talking heads on TV I see poofy, briefcase toting, pink-fingered little metro-sexuals, stylin’ and prancing down the street, ipod and Treo in hand, taking full advantage of our freedoms without giving a fleeting thought to current events. Thinking only about their stock portfolios and when they’ll be able to fit in their next pedicure. Please don't misunderstand. I don't have a problem with metro-sexual males. I don’t think men should be a bunch of knuckle dragging cretins. I don't have a problem with how anyone wants to dress or behave. I don't care what their sexual preferences are. I really don't care. BUT - there are some serious issues at hand. We are in the midst of the most dangerous war this country has ever faced. We don't have the time our parents had during World War II. We can't afford the luxury of internal debate about isolationism and appeasement. The oceans don't protect us from our enemies as they once did. Our enemy can attack at any time, any where, without warning, without us having time to prepare. This war is not against another nation, it is a clash of ideologies. It’s a blood feud. It is a war with a religious paradigm whose adherents are fanatics. These fanatical religious extremists have declared war against not just the United States, but against western civilization. Their stated purpose is to destroy us, all of us. They've made no secret of what they intend to do. And yet, we ignore them. In spite of all evidence to the contrary. Apparently we don't think they can really do it. Or we don’t think they mean what they say. That's not all of it either. This war is being waged on two fronts. Externally and internally. We are fighting amongst ourselves. There are those of us who hear the declarations of Jihad - and believe they mean it. We are the ones that are not willing to risk that they don't really mean it and are willing to accept that it's not about Afghanistan or Iraq - but about Jihadists who will utilize any means necessary to achieve their purpose. The purpose being to kill Americans and other westerners. There are others who flat out refuse to accept that as reality. Even when it is explained in excruciating detail, they argue and flail around and refuse to accept it as fact. This faction seems to prefer to blame us for the problems we are facing and rage against their own nation for the problems of the world. Criticizing the United States or other western nations is certainly safer than criticizing Jihadists. Accepting this reality is not so simple. To accept this, one would have to accept that the way of life we take for granted is being threatened. It would mean that we will undoubtedly be called upon for personal sacrifice. Real personal sacrifice. We will have to take personal responsibility. Personal responsibility. Personal discipline. Personal sacrifice. Do Americans still know what that means? Do we still know how to do that? Are we willing to do that? Maybe we can call up the old crusty Vietnam era drill sergeants, sober them up and tell them to make warriors out of the youth of America today. Could even they make men out of these guys? What will happen when we can no longer ignore the fact that we are at war, and can no longer deny who we are at war with? Who will fight this war? The Roman Empire lasted 1,000 years. How long will the American Republic last?

Just Desserts!

I found this at The Median Sib who found it at Dr. Sanity. I thought I'd pass it along - great parody!

One personal post, then off to bed ....

For my family: Here they are on daughter's first night in Germany, out on the town. Son and daughter ... Daughter and daughter-in-law .... And son and daughter again .... Enjoy :) By the way, my son is a tanker. He really liked that I had this picture 'Bring the Noise' on my blog!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Soldier's Returning to Normal Life ....

My father was a Marine in World War II, my husband served in the Navy in Vietnam as part of the Mobile Riverine Force, and now my son is serving in the Army in the War on Terrorism. I've asked my husband what must it be like to live in a war zone, to be a soldier in battles, for a year or more and then come back to 'normal' life. He's never really answered me. He doesn't talk about Vietnam very much - at least not about his 'feelings' about it. I've never known a veteran who did talk about their war experiences that way. I just found a blog that is written by a soldier, for soldiers who are returning to 'normal life'. He describes his blog like this:

This Blog is for soldiers returning to normal life after serving in Iraq. It doesn't matter if you are active duty adjusting to family and friends or a reservist returning to work, this Blog is for you.

Check it out .... Adjusting To Live After Serving In Iraq

Schwarzenegger is Erased From Graz!

Politicians in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown of Graz, Austria apparently didn't approve of the governor declining to overturn the decisions of the numerous courts and the jury that sentenced The Gangster Tookie Williams to death for murders he was convicted of committing. Review: Local officials in Graz started a petition to have Mr. Schwarzenegger's name removed from the town stadium. They sent him a letter to this effect. Governor Schwarzenegger took the offensive on the matter and rather than biting his nails and waiting for their decision, he faxed them a letter. In his letter he told them he would 'spare them any further concern' and instructed them to remove his name from the stadium and, oh by the way, they can't use his name or identity to promote their city anymore. To bring the point even further home. He returned a ring presented to him by the City of Graz. Here's part of what he wrote in his letter:
"I considered the ring as a token of sincere friendship between my hometown and me." "Since, however, the official Graz appears to no longer accept me as one of their own, this ring has lost its meaning and value to me. It is already in the mail."
A few years ago the city council voted unanimously for Graz to be designated as Europe's 'City of Human Rights'. The Green Party, Communist Party and Socialist Party members of the city council prevailed over the minority conservative Peoples Party members. That alone should tell us what happened there. But there's more. A poll has shown that over 70% of Graz' population is in opposition of their leadership's decision on this matter. A professor in Graz, Wolfgang Benedek, explains that, among other things, this is the European elite vs. the popular opinion. That also explains a lot. Suggestions for renaming the stadium included naming it after the Crips (the gang Tookie founded). It was also suggested it be named 'Hakoah' after an Austrian Jewish Sports Club that was banned when Hitler annexed Austria in 1938. The Hakoah idea didn't go very far. It seems their ideals of human rights only go so far. It was stated they didn't want a day to day reminder of their not so pleasant past! The town officials have taken mention of Schwarzenegger from their website. They say American's are 'barbaric'. Now, here's the thing. 1. Schwarzenegger was not the only avenue of clemency that Tookie had. He was the last and the one taking the heat for not granting clemency. Even the 9th District Court of California refused clemency for crying out loud! 2. Why is this any city in Europe's business and why do they care what American laws are? I don't have a problem with it if they want to release murderers to live in their neighborhoods. That's their country. They can do what they want. 3. Lastly, I know that Österreich is not the exact same as Deutschland. However, Österreich did become a part of Deutschland during World War II and their other most famous son was ... well ... Adolf Hitler. Now, I know they don't like being reminded of that, but it is, in fact, a fact. With a history of executing an estimated 6 million Jews and Lord only knows how many Gypsys and other untermenschen the Austrians/Germans seem to have a new found compassion for their fellow human beings. But they are reformed. So it seems they can now sit in judgement of the U.S.A. How reformed are the Austrians? Not enough to name the Stadium Formerly Known as the Schwarzenegger Stadium after a Jewish Sports Club that was eliminated by their former most famous son. Will their new found compassion not embrace their Jewish citizens? Will their reformation continue in the face of an ever increasing Muslim population that is hostile towards their Germanic lifestyles? My guess is the Austrians are just about as reformed as Tookie was.
More info on this case if you want to read more: Brietbart This is London International Herald Tribune Brietbart, December 28 The Drudge Report Previous post I've written about this case:
Thanks to Cao's Blog for the Mid-Week Open Track Back Party!

Going to Frankfurt

My daughter has been enroute for Frankfurt, Germany since this morning. So I've been up late waiting till her plane is supposed to land. I still have a hard time sleeping when they are traveling. She should have landed by now and is, hopefully, on the train to the town my son and daughter-in-law live in. It's 9:00 a.m. there. (I have my Treo set to give me Berlin time). She's going over for a 3 week visit. I wish I could have gone with her! If I could stay up a couple more hours I could call and see if she got to their apartment alright - but I don't think I'm going to make it. If you read this when you get there, I hope your trip was uneventful and pleasant and that y'all are having a good time. Leave me a note here, or email. Send me pictures! Haben Sie eine gute Zeit und eine gute Nacht!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I decided to make a new template for this blog. I do several webpages and know a little about CSS (well, I know what it is anyway). So I thought I'd spruce this place up a little. That turned into a time-consuming mess! I fooled with it and fooled with it. I got all wrapped up in it and would suddenly realize I'd spent hours at the computer and still didn't have anything that looked even half-way decent. I have about 10 templates on my computer that looked terrible when I proofed them! Either the column was way down at the bottom of the page or the posts were down at the bottom of the page. One turned out where everything in the post went all the way across the page. I ended up downloading templates and using them as guides. Still didn't get very far. Although, I have to say I've learned a lot from doing this. I have found out that having a wrapper or container in the template is pretty important. So this is my current final product. I'm not 100% happy with it, but it'll do for now and I have to stop. I'll keep tweaking it and hopefully end up with something that I like better. This template is a modified version of a template I downloaded from V4-NY Templates Only. It's actually this template modified. In all my foolin' around with templates, I have noticed that the ones made by V4-NY Templates Only are well made and stand up to modifications (some don't, I've found). I'm glad there are people out there that make templates available for those of us who are CSS challenged :) So now, back to seeing what is going on in the blogging world. ciao