June 2006


30 Jun 2006 04:08 pm

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I found our mailbox toppled over again this morning. Our neighbor saw it knocked over when he got up at five thirty this morning. So whoever hit it did it between the hours of midnight and five thirty A.M. There is a trace of chrome on the middle edge of the mailbox which means that it was probably hit by a truck.

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This past April a ninety five year old woman passed out behind the wheel of her car and took out our mailbox. We just had the mailbox rebuilt recently. It’s beginning to get a little old.

30 Jun 2006 09:13 am

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My cousin (seen here on the right with her unidentified friend) was crazy about Elvis and was able to meet him after he enlisted and was brought to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. I remember that she didn’t wash her hand for weeks after he shook it.

This is cool. Back when we were kids our parents took us to Graceland. I wrote my name on Elvis’ wall. We collected acorns from the grounds of his estate. My Dad talked to Elvis’ Uncle Vernon. But that was back when Elvis was still alive and Graceland hadn’t become such a draw.

The king is getting big-time respect from the president and the prime minister.

Elvis, of course. As in Presley.

President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi are going to Graceland.

A private tour through the late rock ’n’ roll legend’s Memphis mansion on Friday wraps two days of consultations between the leaders. The visit has spanned military pomp, the tinkling of crystal at a black-tie dinner and two hours of discussions on Iraq, North Korea, U.S. beef exports and other weighty matters in the Oval Office.

But their outing to the home of Koizumi’s undisputed musical hero, with its oddity quotient and celebrity patina, was the most-anticipated portion.

Swiveling hips, spangled jumpsuits and over-the-top decors aren’t Bush’s usual style. And this is a president who routinely skips even the most awe-inspiring destinations on his speed-travels — such as India’s Taj Mahal and China’s Great Wall.

So it’s a sign of his fondness for the Japanese leader that Bush is taking Koizumi to a tourist hotspot. Aides said the president decided a Graceland tour was the perfect way, along with a gift of a jukebox loaded with Elvis hits, to bid adieu to a leader who is departing office in September after being one of his most loyal defenders on the world stage.

“Prime Minister Koizumi likes Elvis. He’s made no secret of that,” White House press secretary Tony Snow said. “This is a fun thing to do, so they’re doing it.”

29 Jun 2006 10:33 am

This is an excellent article. Running out the door again but posting this to read later.

One of the first things George W. Bush did after his inauguration on January, 2001, was invite Senator Edward M. Kennedy - along with his entire family - to the White House for a special screening of “13 Days,” the hagiographic dramatization of Kennedy’s brothers John and Robert’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crises. Bush, famous for his bipartisan outreach during his eight years as governor of Texas (where he garnered 69 percent of the votes in his 1998 reelection), was beginning his presidency by reaching out again.

The symbolism could not have been more obvious. With the newly elected “compassionate conservative” hosting the aging lion of liberalism, Bush was keeping a campaign promise to be a “uniter, not a divider” and taking the first step to, as he promised, “return dignity” to the office.

27 Jun 2006 12:51 am

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We arrived home safely and soundly from Chicago last night. For three days we drove through the streets of Chicago and thankfully, lived to tell about it. The morning after we arrived in Chicago we heard the news about the plot on the Sears Tower. Even though we were in the loop when it came to the news I was out. There just wasn’t enough time to worry about the news of the world so I didn’t.

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We were in town for a wedding but had some time to visit the Art Institute, go shopping and have dinner with family and friends at Fogo de Chao.

We stayed at a Benedictine Bed and Breakfast run by the Monastery of the Holy Cross. It was wonderful! We loved the quiet, the ringing bells, and the garden kept by the brothers.

Before long it was time to get in the cars again, and brave Chicago’s crazy traffic to go northwest to a more rural area of Illinois for the wedding of Jamie and Nicolas, at the beautiful Muirhead Farmhouse in Hampshire, Illinois.

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It was a breezy afternoon with enough time to prepare for the early evening wedding. There was plenty of time to mix and mingle before the wedding began at the outside altar.

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The wedding ceremony was charming with a Swedish bidding prayer, an Irish blessing and a reading of the Velveteen Rabbit recited beautifully by a nine year old boy.

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Bell ringers ran up the aisle shouting, “The bride is coming, the bride is coming.”

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The flower girl left flower petals in her wake as she walked down the aisle. The song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow was playing.

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The wedding reception was elegant and relaxing. Rob, the wedding planner made it all happen.

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Just before the ceremony was to end clouds seemed to be threatening. As the pastor prayed for the bride and groom he added a request to the Almighty, asking Him to let the rain pass us by. It did.

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22 Jun 2006 12:15 am

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June 22nd is the day Bob and I got married. We tied the knot two weeks after he graduated from West Point and a month after I graduated from college. Why did Bob think June 22nd would be a cool day for us to get married?

June 22nd was the day both Hitler and Napoleon crossed the Elbe to invade Russia. Bob figured it would make it easier to remember our anniversary.

Six years later our youngest daughter was born on the 22nd of June. No way do we ever forget that day.

22 Jun 2006 12:14 am

This is great news. I’m glad that Senator Rich Santorum and Congressman Pete Hoekstra made the annoucement at their press conference today. It’s interesting that the weapons were found by a military organization, The National Ground Intelligence Center instead of the Iraq Survey Group because they were more thorough in their search. Ed Morrisey has this wire report from Fox News

Hoekstra and Santorum lamented that Americans were given the impression after a 16-month search conducted by the Iraq Survey Group that the evidence of continuing research and development of weapons of mass destruction was insignificant. But the National Ground Intelligence Center took up where the ISG left off when it completed its report in November 2004, and in the process of collecting intelligence for the purpose of force protection for soldiers and sailors still on the ground in Iraq, has shown that the weapons inspections were incomplete, they and others have said.

“We know it was there, in place, it just wasn’t operative when inspectors got there after the war, but we know what the inspectors found from talking with the scientists in Iraq that it could have been cranked up immediately, and that’s what Saddam had planned to do if the sanctions against Iraq had halted and they were certainly headed in that direction,” said Fred Barnes, editor of The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor.

Allahpundit seems a little underwhelmed but has many links to this story. And he has one really good question from an emailer….

how can you fail to cheer the revelation about the wmds in iraq? and why haven’t you asked the next question? how long has this information been in the hands of the intel community? why haven’t we heard about this before?
it’s quite an interesting story, i think we will discover.

I think it’s very interesting that the National Ground Intelligence Center kept this news quiet. They obviously had a reason and I think it was probably because they wanted to find more munitions and didn’t want to clue in the insurgency. Plus they don’t leak like a sieve unlike the CIA.

Austin Bay has a sober analysis.

I have to crow a little. My husband said they were there all along. Before the Iraq War my husband was the assistant chief of staff for Financial Management at V CORPS for the United States Army. Prior to his transfer to the United States he was in on the preliminary planning for the invasion of Iraq.

As a senior staff officer, he had also been briefed on the terrorists capability just prior to and after 911. He was concerned after the successful invasion of Iraq because his friends who had been in the war had found the mobile labs and warehouses which had been one of the intelligence signs of the continuing WMD Programs.

When he asked one of the senior intelligence officers why everyone was saying that there was no WMD evidence he was told that although the evidence was found and reported, the congress (my husband infers the Democrats) said that this was not enough. The people my husband talked to were very frustrated by the skepticism displayed. One even asked “what do these people want, thirty thousand dead bodies killed by gas or bio?”

My husband said that he was briefed that normally bio or chemical munitions were not assembled until required and that was normally done just before using them. So to find munitions that were ready to go would be pretty hard to do.

In the past munitions that contained the chemical agents were really hard to get rid of and had all sorts of problems when being handled. So it is logical to assume that actual chemical or biological munitions should rarely be found unless they were getting ready to use them. (or had not learned the lessons of the danger of assembled chemical and biological munitions.)

My husband still believes that the discovery of these chemical weapons which were made prior to the invasion does not mean that Saddam Hussein did not have a continuing program since the handling of these old munitions should have taught him the importance of keeping the ingredients in a more stable environment rather than directly on the battlefield. Therefore any new weapons could look like bug spray or be easily disposed.

21 Jun 2006 10:29 pm

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Captain owns this chair.

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Sabby is obviously enjoying his perch. The boys spend a lot of time in their “court.”

21 Jun 2006 05:54 pm

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It’s Bush’s Fault that young merchant marines are inspired by him.

I was sick all night. Let’s just suffice it to say that I WAS SICK ALL NIGHT. I’m not much better now but I am sick of the bed. I am also convinced that it’s President Bush’s fault.

After all, I got this illness most likely from the water and everyone knows about the war on water the Bush administration has pursued for the past six years.

My grandson had the same awful stomach virus last week and I was around him because (of course) I always want to be around him and I’m sure that’s the president’s fault too. He’s always talking about family values and compassionate conservativism. I’ve got that in spades when it comes to my grandson.

What I am really upset with President Bush about is that it’s going to be difficult traveling to Chicago for my cousin’s wedding this weekend. We leave tomorrow because there are lots of festivities. The thing is, my cousin works for the Sierra Club and is a committed lib. Sweet but a liberal.

And it’s going to be hard to be at my best while running a fever. Well, maybe it will go away. But it’s obviously Bush’s fault.

Hugh Hewitt has another example of Bush being at fault.

20 Jun 2006 08:31 pm

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Before North Korea can launch an inter-continental ballistic missile at us (or Japan) we need to take preemptive action. A surgical strike with a B-2 may be called for. This situation is scary. I recall the letter my Uncle Max wrote to my grandparents right after Hiroshima. He was in the Army-Air Corps serving in the Pacific and flew over Nagasaki.

Here is what he wrote…….

Thank God the Japs didn’t have the atomic bomb. One bomb can do as much damage as six million infantrymen can do in four to five months. I know. I’ve seen what they can do. Nagasaki looks like a big black flat piece of slate.

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South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday it was unclear whether Pyongyang had put fuel in its long-range Taepodong-2 missile but it was apparently on a launching pad.

U.S. officials say evidence such as satellite pictures suggest North Korea may have finished fuelling a ballistic missile for a test launch — which Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have said would present a grave threat to regional security.

It is not sure that they have put the fuel in the rockets but it seems to be sure that they have assembled these missiles in the launching pad,” Ban told reporters in Geneva.

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Must break in here to make a comment. I’m so thankful that Cousin It managed to go under cover in North Korea although I am unsure how all that hair didn’t attract attention.

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Ban called on North Korea not to carry out reported plans to test the long-range missile and return to six-party talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear programs.

North Korea’s motive might be that it wanted to show it could deliver potential nuclear weapons by ballistic missile as a “bargaining chip” in the talks, particularly with the United States, he added.

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It’s a good thing President Bush ignored the wails and cries of the Banshee Democrats and continued the Missile Defense System………

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The United States has moved its ground-based interceptor missile defense system from test mode to operational amid concerns over an expected North Korean missile launch, a U.S. defense official said on Tuesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed a Washington Times report that the Pentagon has activated the system, which has been in the developmental stage for years.

It’s good to be ready,” the official said.

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Breaking in again. That has to be the biggest understatement ever uttered.

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U.S. officials say evidence such as satellite pictures suggests Pyongyang may have finished fueling a Taepodong-2 missile, which some experts said could reach as far as Alaska.

“There’s real caution in how to characterize it so as to not be provocative in our own approach,” the defense official said of the move to activate the system.

The Pentagon and State Department have said a North Korean missile launch would be seen as “provocative.”

While military officials also note the United States has a limited missile defense system, they have so far declined to comment on any details about the capabilities or potential use of the system to intercept a North Korean missile.

(Additional reporting by Kristin Roberts)

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At least send them a scare through the message traffic. And for once use the MSM for the good of our country.

20 Jun 2006 10:44 am

I was up at five A.M., saw this news and went back to bed.

I am praying for the families of the fallen soldiers. May God comfort them.

Two U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on a checkpoint last week have been found dead near a power plant in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, according to U.S. officials, and Iraqi officials say the soldiers had been tortured.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Muhammed-Jassim, head of operations at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, said the soldiers had been “barbarically” killed. U.S. officials would not confirm or deny that the men, who were identified Monday as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Ore., had been tortured by their captors.

Coalition forces have in fact recovered what we believe to be the remains of our two soldiers,” said Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq, at a Baghdad news conference.

Caldwell said the bodies were found Monday night after dark but were recovered early Tuesday because of concern of makeshift bombs around the bodies.

Caldwell said the area was cordoned off overnight and explosive ordinance teams went in the next day to recover the remains. He said the remains have been taken to a U.S. base in Iraq and will be transported back to the United States for DNA verification and full autopsies.

Answering questions, Caldwell said the two soldiers had been kidnapped after the attack — the first time the military confirmed the men had been abducted by insurgents.

He said an investigation was underway as to why the three soldiers were alone at a checkpoint.

My husband was very concerned about the three soldiers being alone at the checkpoint, especially since it was known to be a very dangerous area. A basic tactical error for which the commander of the soldiers company could be relieved.

My husband told me that in Somalia when they had to leave their cantonment it was always in a group of three vehicles or more.

Captain Ed offers some sympathy to the uncle of one of the soldiers and explains why it is not possible to pay a ransom to the terrorists from the seized riches of Saddam Hussein.

Michelle Malkin has much more.

Hot Air has a link to the last message of one of the soldiers to his mom.

Ala at Blonde Sagacity writes…….

The BBC is reporting that ‘the bodies showed signs of torture’ (and I can only assume that doesn’t mean they were found with underpants on their heads…I assume they mean actual torture).

Hat tip: UrbanGrounds

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