November 2005

30 Nov 2005 02:13 pm

Will the Democrats cheer President Bush’s resolve? Fat chance. But they may not be able to keep their stranglehold on the Iraq War coverage.

Well, not anymore if W has his way…………….

I was busy at work so didn’t get to hear President Bush’s speech at the Naval Academy today. (Go Army. Beat Navy) But from my reading of the transcript of the speech the old cheerleader in the President is coming out and even though he has said this before he needs to keep saying it. We won’t leave Iraq until we have won. Completely. Victoriously. Bigtime!

Here are some of the points the president made which spoke loud and clear to me……..(and I am sure it did also to the midshipmen at Annapolis and all of the military)………..

Whatever their chosen mission, every graduate of the class of 2005 is bringing honor to the uniform and helping us bring victory in the war on terror.

In the years ahead, you’ll join them in the fight. Your service is needed because our nation is engaged in a war that is being fought on many fronts: from the streets of Western cities to the mountains of Afghanistan, the islands of Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa.

This war is going to take many turns. And the enemy must be defeated on every battlefield.

Not just Iraq, John Kerry.

Senator Lieberman is right: Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a message across the world that America is weak and an unreliable ally.

Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends.

And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorist tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder and invite new attacks on America.

To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander in chief.

As we train Iraqis to take more responsibility in the battle with the terrorists, we’re also helping them build a democracy that is worthy of their sacrifice.

Exactly. Correct.

And this……

Some critics continue to assert that we have no plan in Iraq except to, quote, “Stay the course.”

If by “Stay the course,” they mean, “We will not allow the terrorists to break our will,” they’re right.

If by “Stay the course,” they mean, “We will not permit Al Qaida to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban, a safe haven for terrorism and a launching pad for attacks on America,” they’re right, as well.

If by “Stay the course,” they mean that we’re not learning from our experiences or adjusting our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground, then they’re flat wrong.

This is how leaders lead. They stay the course but adjust the strategy and tactics when that course gets rough. It’s easy for the wobbly Kerrys of the world to criticize and waver when the course seems as hard as it does. (in many respects because the news media has negatively portrayed the war in that light.)

It’s much harder to actually stand and deliver but that is exactly what our troops in Iraq, the Iraqis themselves and President Bush is doing.

Go George Go! Beat the terrorists! And the Democrats!

(Now I’m just afraid that Navy may have an advantage over Army)

30 Nov 2005 04:45 am

Christopher Tookey reviews Narnia…….

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe *****

When news came through that a film of CS Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe was planned, many must have dismissed the idea as eccentric.
In this age of Harry Potter, and the distinctly atheist children’s author Philip Pullman, surely CS Lewis was a little quaint, old-fashioned - and just too Christian - to work in this present climate?

How could a tale involving London wartime evacuee children, a magical wardrobe, a terrifying witch and a lion who serves as a metaphor for Christ translate to an epic film that would take on all the other major franchises?

But then, another epic from another crusty Oxford figure of the 1950s - JRR Tolkien - hasn’t done at all badly recently.

And if this amazing film is anything to go by, CS Lewis is about to enjoy a similarly spectacular and hugely well-deserved revival.

Indeed, his haunting story may even prove bigger than The Lord of the Rings.

Expect all the Narnia books to go into reprint soon.

For the fact is that The Chronicles of Narnia is a wonderful, colossal, stupendous film that should entertain anyone of any age, nationality or religion.

Go read the rest. (Courtesy of Ethos)

30 Nov 2005 04:26 am

Jeff Jacoby writes about De-Christmasing Christmas…………

WHEN A commotion erupted over the fact that the 48-foot white spruce installed on the Boston Common — an annual gift from the people of Nova Scotia — is identified on Boston’s official website as a ‘’holiday tree,” the city’s commissioner of parks and recreation sided firmly with the critics. ‘’This is a Christmas tree,” Antonia Pollak declared. ‘’It’s definitely a Christmas tree.”

Good to know Pollak knows a Christmas tree when she sees one.

30 Nov 2005 04:18 am

Max Boot on the defeatism of Democrats.

AND THE DEMOCRATS wonder why they are considered weak on national security? It’s not because anyone doubts their patriotism. It’s because a lot of people doubt their judgment and toughness.

As if to prove the skeptics right, Democrats have been stepping forth to renounce their previous support for the liberation of Iraq even as Iraqis prepare to vote in a general election. Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry, John Edwards, John Murtha — that’s quite a list of heavyweight flip-floppers.

Clinton characteristically wants to have it both ways. He says the invasion was a “big mistake” but that we shouldn’t pull out now because “there’s a lot of evidence it can still work.” (You mean, Mr. President, that we should continue sacrificing soldiers for a mistake?)

The others are more consistent. Because they now think the war is wrong, they favor a withdrawal, the only question being whether we should pull out sooner (Murtha) or slightly later (Kerry).

There are some honorable exceptions to this defeatism — Joe Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and Wesley Clark have remained stalwart supporters of the war effort — but they are clearly in the minority of a party steadily drifting toward Howard Dean-George McGovern territory.

Just a few years ago, it seemed as if the Democrats had finally kicked the post-Vietnam, peace-at-any-price syndrome. Before the invasion of Iraq, leading Democrats sounded hawkish in demanding action to deal with what Kerry called the “particularly grievous threat” posed by Saddam Hussein.

But it seems that they only wanted to do something if the cost would be minuscule. Now that the war has turned out to be a lot harder than anticipated, the Democrats want to run up the white flag.

How can we trust politicians who change their opinions daily based on polls? I don’t want any of these defeatist dems in charge of the military!

30 Nov 2005 03:05 am

The thing I remember most about Nanny was her eyes: huge, pale, worried eyes. She was so tiny that it was difficult to tell that she was my ancient great-grandmother.

She seemed more like a child, but of course no child would dress that way. Nanny wound her long tresses of white hair into a bun and dressed in what my sister, Lucy and I called “old lady dresses.”

On her feet were the old black shoes that seem to be in vogue today. In those years, they were strange and ugly to me.

When Mother took her four children to visit Nanny, she would load us into the old Pontiac along with the Phillips Milk of Magnesia and the can of snuff for Nanny.
There weren’t many occasions that I recall seeing Nanny.

There were some Thanksgivings at Papaw and Mamaw Webster’s but Papaw died when I was very young. Nanny outlived her own son.

She went to Iowa a lot. “I-O-Way” is what she called it. And she lived in “rooming houses.” Almost every time we visited her she lived in a different place. She must have been very poor, but my child’s eyes couldn’t see that.

One early December day Mother said, “Get in the car. We’re going to see Nanny.” I grumbled under my breath, “It smells at those houses.” Mother heard me, giving me a sharp look. We drove to an older section of town. What had once been a grand house was now a shabby old dwelling.

It had Victorian leanings and a beautiful beveled glass door. Nanny was waiting just inside, her eyes bright as birds. She gave my mother a little pat on the shoulder.

Nanny had on her pearl necklace, and her white hair glistened with the light. She seemed unusually cheerful. “Sing me a song, girls,” she said. Lucy, my sister and I were famous in our family for “putting on a show.”

We loved the attention.

“Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,” Lucy and I harmonized. We blended well as sisters usually do. At the song’s end I felt warmer than I had at first, because the house was cold. “only a heater in my room,” Nanny explained.

Nanny’s room was very plain. But in her window was a decoration - the prettiest I’d ever seen. It was merely Christmas wrapping paper, but it was the most beautiful shade of blue. It had the manger scene with the Christ child and stars all over. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it.

“I love your Christmas decoration.” I said to Nanny. Mother was trying in vain to talk her into coming to our house for Christmas. Nanny said something about having to tend the birds.”

Then, as we were leaving, Nanny went to her window, took the wrapping paper down and handed it to me! “There honey, now you have a happy Christmas,” she said.

I couldn’t speak. It was such a pretty gift. “Say thank you, Laura Lee.” mother said sternly.

“Thank you Nanny.” I said, hugging her waist. Her eyes twinkled and she said to my mother. “She’s got Guy’s eyes.”

You took Nanny’s only decoration,” Mother fussed at me on the way home. “You’ll just ruin that pretty paper and it will be thrown away.”

“No, I won’t.” I insisted. But I was wondering what I would do with it. Our house was small and cluttered. There was no room on the walls or windows for anything.

I sat on the bed holding the wrapping in my lap. Mary’s face was so pink and the baby Jesus looked the way he ought to look. The paper was crisp and soft to the touch. “Poor Nanny,” I thought. I was beginning to feel a little sorry that I had accepted her only Christmas decoration. Now, she had none.

“I’ll just watch the birds.” Nanny had insisted to my mother. “I like to watch the little things.” That seemed to me a sad way to spend Christmas Day.

“She didn’t want to be a bother,” I overheard mother explaining to Daddy. He always wanted family around and couldn’t understand why our great-grandmother wouldn’t spend Christmas with us.

Christmas began for me when we brought the tree in. We spent many hours admiring it and dreaming of what Santa might bring. I didn’t give Nanny much thought. That is until I was looking for my shoes and found the Christmas wrapping crumpled under my bed.

I tried to smooth it out again, but the color had worn away at the creases. It was dirty and smelled musty. I sat down on my bed, my mother’s words echoing in my head. “You took Nanny’s only decoration. You’ll just ruin that pretty paper and it will be thrown away.” I felt the hot tears welling up and tried to will them to go away. I thought of Nanny so alone, with just the birds at Christmas. I sobbed.

“What’s wrong?” Mother said, standing in the doorway. Then she saw the crumpled paper. “Honey it’s alright. It was just old paper anyhow,” she said.
I sat up, looking out the window.

The snowbirds were pecking at the ground. I got out my watercolors and paper and sat down to paint, watching out the window. Before long I finished painting the snowbirds and signed the painting, “To Nanny from Laura Lee.” I wrapped it in the Christmas wrapping paper and laid it under the tree.

Christmas came and I got my cameo ring that year. We went to visit Nanny. She opened my present to her very carefully, and she seemed pleased. She patted my shoulder and said to my mother, “I just wish Guy could see her.”

I still have a little scrap of that blue paper tucked into the family Bible. I’m just waiting for my own children to ask me about it. Maybe I’ll tell them, some Christmas Day.

I wrote this story about my great-grandmother, Tamsie Leona Nolen Webster in 1988 for the Newport News Daily Press Heart of the Holidays Writing contest and won second place. The story was published on Sunday, December 25,1988

29 Nov 2005 07:51 pm

Wives of soldiers who are training to go to Iraq are raising money for the troops to be able to come home on leave one more time before they depart.

Reading and Montgomery want the soldiers of Battery C in Rogers to receive the same community support as other troops in the area did when they left for deployment.

They both want to see their husbands again before they leave for Iraq. Currently, their husbands are in training at Fort Dix.

Reading said her husband will acquire about four days of leave time while at the fort.

If he acquires the leave time, then he can come home. However, many soldiers who get leave cannot afford to come home. “For some of them, this is a financial burden,” she said.

Because of this, Reading, who is the support group leader for the wives of the soldiers, is starting to organize a fundraiser. Already, the group raised $10,000 because of a single donation.

She says more than $60,000 is needed before all the soldiers can come home.
The troops who left Rogers for New Jersey will leave for Iraq in March. “It’s hard,” she said. “It’s going to be different, but at the same time I’m very proud of him.”

In Springdale, residents raised enough money to charter an airplane in order to bring troops from a battery there home, she said. “They did it,” Reading said. “I know we can do it.”

29 Nov 2005 07:35 pm

NORMAN, Okla. — A medical examiner’s report confirmed on Tuesday that the person killed in the OU campus bombing on Oct. 1 was Joel Henry Hinrichs.
Hinrichs blew himself up during a Sooners football game.

The medical examiner’s report not only confirmed Hinrichs’ identity, it said that Hinrichs had over-the-counter cold medicine in his system at the time of the blast. However, the examiner said it wasn’t enough to have influenced his behavior.

Courtesy of Michelle Malkin…………… who has much more about the unresolved case of Joel Henry Hinrichs.

29 Nov 2005 04:29 pm

Sarah Peake couldn’t stand to look upon history as it was so she demanded the painting be gone. This isn’t political correctness gone wrong, it’s lunacy. (courtesy of Musing Minds)

Winter must come awfully early to that little spit of sand called Provincetown.

The town isn’t exactly Mayberry to begin with, if you know what I mean. But as the cold winds blow relentlessly down Commercial Street and the gray waves slap constantly against the shore, the isolation must lead to a total divorce from reality.

Think Jack Nicholson in ‘’The Shining.”
How else to explain the bizarre behavior of a majority of the town’s selectmen at a meeting earlier this month?

To wit, Selectwoman Sarah Peake spun her chair around near the end of the Nov. 14 meeting, gazed up at an oversized oil painting depicting the Pilgrims voting on the Mayflower Compact when they first landed in Provincetown, and declared that she wanted it removed.

Mind you, it’s not that she didn’t like the look or the colors or the style. It’s not that she thought it was too big or too small for the Judge Welsh Hearing Room. It’s not that it clashed with anything around it.

No, what Peake didn’t like was that the painting didn’t include any women. That and the fact that the painting’s only Indian — Native American, I’d better call him — wasn’t holding a ballot like everyone else.

If you don’t believe me, let’s go straight to Cheryl Andrews, the chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen. She also happened to cast the only vote against the painting’s removal, making her a rare voice of sanity on the board.

‘’There’s this lovely oil painting,” she said yesterday. ‘’The thing is huge. It’s been up there since forever. It was painted by Max Bohm, who’s considered quite something in local art circles.

28 Nov 2005 06:35 pm

We made a good effort to decorate the house on the day after Thanksgiving but the celebration of being together got in the way this weekend. The trees were set up and many boxes of ornaments brought in the house but we stopped to make merry a little too much.

We watched The Polar Express, Madagascar, Steve Martin and John Candy in Trains, Planes and Automobiles and many episodes of the first season of Lost.

We saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Thanksgiving afternoon.

Next Page »