August 2006

23 Aug 2006 12:28 pm

I’m sure my children grew up thinking that “jerk” meant the rude person who drove his car into my parking place……..

I have a new definition for jerk now: John McCain.

Also backstabber:

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Republican Sen. John McCain, a staunch defender of the Iraq war, on Tuesday faulted the Bush administration for misleading Americans into believing the conflict would be “some kind of day at the beach.”

The potential 2008 presidential candidate, who a day earlier had rejected calls for withdrawing U.S. forces, said the administration had failed to make clear the challenges facing the military.

“I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required,” McCain said. “Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I’m just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be.”

Those phrases are closely associated with top members of the Bush administration, including the president.

Bush stood below a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” on May 1, 2003, after the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The war has continued since then, with the death of more than 2,600 members of the U.S. military. Vice President Dick Cheney said last year that the Iraqi insurgency was “in its final throes.”

McCain said that talk “has contributed enormously to the frustration that Americans feel today because they were led to believe this could be some kind of day at the beach, which many of us fully understood from the beginning would be a very, very difficult undertaking.”

McCain was campaigning for Republican Sen. Mike DeWine, who faces a tough fight in his re-election bid against Democratic challenger Rep. Sherrod Brown. Ohio was decisive in the 2004 presidential election, ensuring Bush’s win, and is certain to be critical in 2008.


McCain got what he wanted by bashing Bush……The David Gregorys, Tim Russerts and Claire Shipmans in the media were absolutely giddy in their reporting.

I live far away from Washington D.C. and clearly recall hearing President Bush cautioning the American people in every major (and minor) speech that the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan would be long and hard. His June 1, 2002 speech at West Point clearly spelled out how long and hard our fight against Islamic terror would be…..


This war will take many turns we cannot predict. Yet I am certain of this: Wherever we carry it, the American flag will stand not only for our power, but for freedom. (Applause.) Our nation’s cause has always been larger than our nation’s defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace — a peace that favors human liberty. We will defend the peace against threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.

Building this just peace is America’s opportunity, and America’s duty. From this day forward, it is your challenge, as well, and we will meet this challenge together. (Applause.) You will wear the uniform of a great and unique country. America has no empire to extend or utopia to establish. We wish for others only what we wish for ourselves — safety from violence, the rewards of liberty, and the hope for a better life.

In defending the peace, we face a threat with no precedent. Enemies in the past needed great armies and great industrial capabilities to endanger the American people and our nation. The attacks of September the 11th required a few hundred thousand dollars in the hands of a few dozen evil and deluded men. All of the chaos and suffering they caused came at much less than the cost of a single tank. The dangers have not passed. This government and the American people are on watch, we are ready, because we know the terrorists have more money and more men and more plans.

The gravest danger to freedom lies at the perilous crossroads of radicalism and technology. When the spread of chemical and biological and nuclear weapons, along with ballistic missile technology — when that occurs, even weak states and small groups could attain a catastrophic power to strike great nations. Our enemies have declared this very intention, and have been caught seeking these terrible weapons. They want the capability to blackmail us, or to harm us, or to harm our friends — and we will oppose them with all our power. (Applause.)

For much of the last century, America’s defense relied on the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment. In some cases, those strategies still apply. But new threats also require new thinking. Deterrence — the promise of massive retaliation against nations — means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend. Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies.

We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. We cannot put our faith in the word of tyrants, who solemnly sign non-proliferation treaties, and then systemically break them. If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long. (Applause.)

Homeland defense and missile defense are part of stronger security, and they’re essential priorities for America. Yet the war on terror will not be won on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge. (Applause.) In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will act. (Applause.)

Our security will require the best intelligence, to reveal threats hidden in caves and growing in laboratories. Our security will require modernizing domestic agencies such as the FBI, so they’re prepared to act, and act quickly, against danger. Our security will require transforming the military you will lead — a military that must be ready to strike at a moment’s notice in any dark corner of the world. And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives. (Applause.)

The work ahead is difficult. The choices we will face are complex. We must uncover terror cells in 60 or more countries, using every tool of finance, intelligence and law enforcement. Along with our friends and allies, we must oppose proliferation and confront regimes that sponsor terror, as each case requires. Some nations need military training to fight terror, and we’ll provide it. Other nations oppose terror, but tolerate the hatred that leads to terror — and that must change. (Applause.) We will send diplomats where they are needed, and we will send you, our soldiers, where you’re needed. (Applause.)

All nations that decide for aggression and terror will pay a price. We will not leave the safety of America and the peace of the planet at the mercy of a few mad terrorists and tyrants. (Applause.) We will lift this dark threat from our country and from the world.


McCain lives in D.C. Has he never attended any of President Bush’s major speeches or did he have chewing gum stuck in his ears?


Here is part of President Bush’s National Security Strategy 2006……

Strengthen Alliances to Defeat Global Terrorism and Work to Prevent Attacks Against Us and Our Friends

We are a nation at war. We have made progress in the war against terror, but we are in a long struggle. America is safer, but not yet safe.

In the short run, the fight involves using military force and other instruments of national power to kill or capture the terrorists, deny them safe haven or control of any nation, prevent them from gaining access to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and cut off their sources of support.

In the long run, winning the war on terror means winning the battle of ideas, for it is ideas that can turn the disenchanted into murderers willing to kill innocent victims.

Terrorists exploit political alienation. Democracy gives people an ownership stake in society.

Terrorists exploit grievances that can be blamed on others. Democracy offers the rule of law, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the habits of advancing interests through compromise.

Terrorists exploit sub-cultures of conspiracy and misinformation. Democracy offers freedom of speech, independent media, and the marketplace of ideas.

Terrorists exploit an ideology that justifies murder. Democracy offers respect for human dignity.

The advance of freedom and human dignity through democracy is the long-term solution to the transnational terrorism of today. To create the space and time for that long-term solution to take root, there are four steps we will take in the short term: We will 1) prevent attacks by terrorist networks before they occur; 2) deny WMD to rogue states and to terrorist allies who would use them without hesitation; 3) deny terrorist groups the support and sanctuary of rogue states; and 4) deny the terrorists control of any nation that they would use as a base and launching pad for terror.


I didn’t notice any blithe day at the beach wording in the above national security focus.

McCain has a military background so one would expect that he would understand that while we are at war in many ways the role of Commander in Chief supersedes the role of President. President Bush and the troops have a special relationship and when the troops are criticized it extends to President Bush and when Bush is bashed the troops also feel the pain.

McCain demonstrates that he has no understanding of leadership in war……although he did serve in a war the media helped us lose, so he must naturally turn to them for approval and adulation. But I don’t understand why that is, considering the years he spent as a prisoner of war.

McCain is no heir of Reagan, Lincoln, or Bush 1. He made a big mistake on Tuesday if he think he won any more Republican votes.

We will not hear Rudolph Guiliani make such disloyal, cynical criticisms of the President of the United States in a time of war and that is based on his performance as Mayor of New York before and after September 11th, 2001.

John McCain………Jack Murtha. Same initials……..Both jackasses.

ALLAHPUNDIT has more…..

Welcome Lorie Byrd at Wizbang Readers!

23 Aug 2006 07:28 am


Dean Barnett, writing at Hugh Hewitt’s analyzes the Apocalypse that didn’t happen yesterday. I was slightly aware that the crazy nutter running Iran had made some threats that something Evil this Way Comes on August 22nd but my days have been so busy lately, I didn’t have time to get goosebumps. So, thanks to Dean Barnett for explaining how it went yesterday. He played golf with his cell phone nearby just in case the Hidden Imam made his appearance.

A friend and I exchanged emails last night about how stupid this all was. What was particularly off-putting about it was the “boy who cried wolf” nature of the situation. What made it especially upsetting is that a lot of the most respected and intelligent residents of the blogosphere bought into this silliness.

So I was planning on spending the day monitoring the big fat nothing that I knew was going to happen today. The fact that Iran had singled out August 22 as a day of special significance meant it was the one day on the calendar we could be sure nothing would happen.

But instead, I got an opportunity to play a round of golf at Salem Country Club, probably the second best track in greater Boston and the site of the U.S. Senior Open a few short years ago. So my decision came down to whether I should hang around the modem and bear witness to the non-apocalypse or play golf at a magnificent course. Even though my game is currently in the doldrums (although I remain a prohibitive favorite in the annual golf outing), the decision was a no-brainer. Besides, I had my cell phone with me – I figured if the apocalypse started happening (or if the Hidden Imam became unhidden), someone would let me know.

So Dean Barnett is right. Yesterday turned out to be a big fat nothing. But today some people who were predicting possible apocalyptic events happening yesterday are now embarrassed. But none of us should be complacent about the dangers we face if the nutters in Iran get into the nuclear bomb business. That is truly frightening.

I will never forget the day I learned about the atomic bomb. I was five years old, playing dress-up with my cousin, Jeanne at our grandparents house. My grandfather was watching the news on his black and white television and I noticed the “mushroom cloud” on the t.v.

I asked my grandfather what it was and he told me it was the atomic bomb that ended World War ll. “What is war?” I asked him. My grandfather was a man of few words so he made it simple for me.

I suppose my cousin and I went back to our dress-up but that was the first day I remember knowing about war and that my Uncle Max had come home safely from it.

ALLAHPUNDIT also has some choice words for those who were all hot and bothered about August 22nd.

22 Aug 2006 10:16 pm

I’m confused. Valerie Plame is already suing Vice President Dick Cheney, White House aide Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, saying they leaked her name to punish her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, for criticizing the administration’s march to war with Iraq.

Now she wants to add Richard Armitage to the list. Is her case not strong enough? Could she be starting some kind of hair club for men? Why aren’t there any women on her list?

WASHINGTON - Former CIA officer Valerie Plame is considering suing the recent No. 2 State Department official in a case accusing members of the Bush administration of conspiring to leak her identity to the media, Plame’s attorney said Tuesday.

Official State Department calendars, provided to The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, show then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage held a one-hour meeting marked “private appointment” with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on June 13, 2003.

That was the same day Woodward met with a confidential source who spoke to him about Plame, according to a person familiar with information gathered by prosecutors. The person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the material remains sealed.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has investigated whether Bush administration officials intentionally revealed Plame’s identity as a one-time CIA covert official. Nobody has been charged with the leak but former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has been accused of lying to investigators and to a grand jury.

It looks like the Associated Press is doing some Pro bono work for Plame.

Read on….. Hat tip: Blue Crab Boulevard

Lorie Byrd writes that there now appears to be hard evidence supporting the suspicion that Richard Armitage was Bob Woodward’s source.

22 Aug 2006 09:59 pm


My daughter and niece huddle together to stay warm

It’s a dilemma …..

I’m tired of the heat and want the month of August to be over already, and yet, my daughter has now departed for law school (I miss her) and September brings the deployments of my son and my brother. I don’t want to hurry that.

22 Aug 2006 07:23 am


When I first heard about the kidnapping of Fox News Channel’s reporter, Steve Centanni and New Zealand cameraman Olaf Wiig, I refrained from blogging about it because it seemed the officials at Fox News were trying to work behind the scenes to get them back. Now it’s been over a week and still no word. That’s just not acceptable.

FNC senior VP John Moody’s internal message to Fox News personnel about the kidnapping:

“The rumors are true: two of our employees have been abducted in Gaza. We will report this fact via our Israel correspondents. Do NOT do any other segments on it. Do not book guests on this topic. Do not comment officially and of course, not on the air, about it. DO pray for their release. I will keep you posted.”

Steve Centanni’s family made a plea for his release. This has to be excruciating for them. I’ve always found Steve Centanni’s reporting informative and factual and that must have really annoyed the Jihadists.

I think it’s time we raise holy hell.

21 Aug 2006 04:26 pm


I made two of these art rule posters for both of the schools where I teach. This year I am happy to report that I have classrooms at both schools. It makes such a difference.


I created a bulletin board with artwork by some of my favorite artists. I have seen most of all of the artwork in person and some of the photos are my own. In 1978, I snapped the photo of Mona Lisa in the gold frame while in the Louvre. I doubt photography is allowed anymore, flash or not. My students were full of questions about all of the artwork on display. That’s what I was aiming for.

It was a happy first day of school. Fun to see how the kids have grown and good to see their sweet faces again. One sad note…..a new first grade boy was in my last class. When I was going over the rules about perseverance and doing our best, he said that he wanted to do his best for his Dad because he died in Iraq. Just broke my heart.

21 Aug 2006 12:04 pm


Where have I been?

Last week was a blur, getting ready to go back to school. Then yesterday, while we were at church and out and about a thunderstorm hit our city. I went home to check the damage and there wasn’t much except for a few branches but I had a shock when I checked out our backyard. I noticed that our wood pile looked especially black and I looked closer and noticed that the wood had been burned. I also noticed burned spots all around the back yard.

Recently, in our neighborhood there have been scummy looking characters at our doors, trying to sell to us, obvious scams. When my husband told the guy to hit the road he became insulting and agressive. My husband called the police but he was long gone.

That was the first one.

Then a couple of weeks later another lowlife showed up at our door just as my husband was leaving for work. The guy was trying to sell the same obvious scam. My husband called the police and told the guy not to leave, but to wait. Unbelievably, he did. The police arrived and we learned the guy had some felonies in his past and was homeless. He was dropped off in our neighborhood by the head scammer, (the Fagin) and he said he would be picked up in an hour. The policeman told my husband that the group of homeless scammers were from out of town and were told they had a day to get out of town.

It’s doubtful they did.

Just last week as I was turning into my driveway three suspicious looking characters were walking by. It gave me a creepy feeling. Then, Saturday morning we noticed that the riding mower had been uncovered so we knew someone had been in the backyard during the night.

I have no idea who started the fire but have my suspicions.


It’s just creepy. My husband asked me not to say “creepy” because it creeps him out.

19 Aug 2006 11:27 am


A man suspected of placing bombs on the trains on July 31 was captured on a surveillance camera. German Federal Crime Office photo via Associated Press

UPDATE: Scroll down to read the nationality of the suspect.

This MSNBC Reuters article is so careful in its reporting about the suspect arrested in the failed plot to explode bombs on German trains. It’s as if the reporter is typing with little fingers held aloft. So solicitous. Mustn’t alarm the German population of the terrorists in their midst.

BERLIN - German police have taken into custody a suspect linked to last month’s failed plot to explode bombs on German trains, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Saturday.

“The person appears to be one of the two suspects that have been sought since yesterday with the help of video footage that was made public,” the office said in a statement.

Police seized the suspect at the main train station in the northern city of Kiel.

When we were stationed in Germany we took trains all the time. We got tickets and got on the trains. There was no security whatsoever. After September 11th I quit taking the trains.

This Boston Globe article by Noah Barkin (still it’s Reuters) has some more detailed information including these juicy little tidbits……

Police have said the bombs — made with propane tanks, gasoline bottles and crude detonating devices — may have been part of a plot designed to show anger over the Middle East crisis.

Along with the bomb materials, they found a bag of starch with Arabic print and a shopping list in Arabic for olives, bread and Lebanese yoghurt.

Did the mediterranean looking men get home with the olives, bread and Lebanese yoghurt?

The writer notes that some in Germany may be waking up……..

It has been a wake-up call in a country where fears of terrorist attacks still rank well behind concerns over economic issues such as unemployment.

Germany has not suffered a major militant attack in recent years, although a cell including members of the group behind the September 11 attacks on the United States was based in the northern port city of Hamburg.

Dieter Wiefelspuetz, interior expert for the centre-left Social Democrat Party (SPD) in parliament, told German radio on Saturday that the bomb plot had shown that the threat of an attack in Germany had reached a new level.

“I had hoped that these were not real bombs, that it was simply a crazy person who wanted to scare the public,” he said. “But it is something much more serious. It is people who were very close to committing a horrible, deadly act.”

Spiegel Online has these chilling details…

Investigations by technical experts from Germany’s federal police have shown that the two bombs were to be detonated simultaneously, and that they were correctly wired and would in fact have exploded. “Their explosive force would have been so great that the explosion would have been on the same scale as the subway attacks in London in the summer of 2005,” a high-ranking security official told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The London attacks on three subways trains and a public bus took place on July 7, 2005 and left a toll of 52 dead and 700 injured.

This article from has a better description of the suspects and other important details…..

Surveillance video shows the two suspects in the Cologne train station. One has long black hair and wears a white shirt. He carries a hiker’s backpack around his shoulders and wheels a dark-colored suitcase behind him. The second man has close-cropped black hair and wears a German football jersey. He carries a satchel and pulls a large suitcase toward the train platform.

At some point, the two men disembarked from the trains, investigators said. Rail workers later discovered the abandoned luggage.

The bombs were cushioned in the suitcases by clothing and surrounded by gasoline bottles intended to spark a fireball when the propane tanks detonated. Police said the suitcases also contained a grocery list written in Arabic, at least one telephone number in Lebanon and bags of cornstarch manufactured in Lebanon and imported to a specialty food trader in Essen.

Still, investigators are hesitant to point toward the backgrounds of the suspects.

Investigators, however, would not elaborate on motives or whether the suspects had Muslim backgrounds.

UPDATE: The news media still cannot put Muslim and Terrorist in the same sentence……..

But they’ve now admitted that one of the suspects is Lebanese.

After wasting time searching for all the links to every nearly identical story earlier todayAllahpundit has posted about it and has something worth reading.

18 Aug 2006 12:15 pm


Today’s Friday Ark is in honor of Kyle, The Wide Awake Cafe’s Official New Hampshire Cat.


Tilly shares the title with Kyle but she’s a horse of another color. She terrorizes Kyle and her folks and once even appeared in a mirror to frighten the preening Sabby.


But this edition is all about Kyle. He’s been in trouble with his folks recently because while they were out hiking Kyle took out a few Ikea candlesticks. (which in my opinion was an attempt by Kyle to do them a favor)


But no, Kyle was in trouble for a few hours which made me sad to hear because he is such a spectacular cat.

17 Aug 2006 09:24 pm

Betsy Newmark writes the quote of the day while commenting on Jay Gress’s article in The National Review Online about parents attempts to keep their children safe from all pain and the Baby Industrial Complex that capitalizes on them…….

It’s just one small step from the baby wipes to having them walk two miles to school every day in the snow uphill every day.

Betsy worries we’re raising a nation of wimps.

Jay’s concerned that a baby who cries from the shock of a cold wet wipe on his little derriere may grow up to be a soft, characterless, lazy, video-game playing, C student.

What most concerns me about the wipe warmer is the attitude it could engender, and that I’ll one day wake up to realize that I have raised exceedingly effete and spoiled children who cower from any “jolt” or discomfort. I fear that they will recoil from worthy pursuits that involve suffering, like studying and work, and worry how they will react to the compulsory sufferings of life.

I do not know whether our kids will take up pursuits such as mountaineering like their father, or marathon running like their mother — two pursuits which can stockpile suffering, but can also develop degrees of character and confidence not found in, say, videogames. But I’d at least like them to be comfortable with austerity and quiet in the face of adversity. In short, the wipe warmer represents an affront to everything that I want my kids to be.

Both Betsy and Jay are right to be concerned about the kind of citizens todays pampered babies will become but I don’t think the baby megastores are to blame. They are merely filling a need, supplying a product. The majority of women of child-birth age are working women. To many women, baby wipe warmers are simple conveniences, just as Microwaves were wonderful helps when my children were little. I found it very helpful to be able to warm their bottles and baby food so quickly.

I don’t worry so much about pampered babies……it’s the mothers who assume their little dears (of any age) are welcome at any and every venue and everyone else must adjust to their disruptions and noise.

These are the mothers who become upset when a coffee store owner asks them to restrain their little darlings. Baby Megastores haven’t produced these kind of mothers. Unfortunately, they’ve been around a long time.

We have to flash back to the late fifties and sixties to find children walking two miles to school. Well, sort of. When I was in elementary school I walked three blocks to school, accompanied by my mother. By the time I was in the upper grades I was walking to school with my brothers and sister. Once, when it started to rain I ran all the way home. By the time I arrived home and stepped on the front porch my face was bright red. I had come down with Measles.

Yes, my brothers, sister and I had that kind of burden to endure back then. We all came down with Measles, Mumps, and Chicken Pox. When I was a toddler I had Whooping Cough.

Then there was the summer all four of us came down with high fevers, headaches, and other symptoms. Our rabbit, Samantha had died that summer. The doctor tested us for typhoid, typhus, and tularemia but nothing ever tested out. But we were sick for three months. For two weeks I had a fever of 104 degrees before it finally broke. I’ll never forget how frightened we were. When one of us would improve a little, the fever going down, we would get to go outside and back the fever would come.

So, we knew the uncertainty of illness and every night would gather with our mother for prayer and Bible Study. We gradually got well but were bothered by nightsweats and headaches for months afterwards.

The main thing I remember from those days was the tenderness of our parents. They gave up their bedroom to their sick kids and were always there throughout the days and nights, comforting us in our chills and tears. My brother was so ill he had to be hospitalized. My sister’s fever was so high she became delirious and claimed to see “little people” in the back pasture.

Our mother never let us go to sleep in tears.

Daddy brought home Monopoly games, card games, comic books…anything that would help to occupy us and make the days a little better. I still wonder what we had but am thankful it’s never returned to any of us or to our children.

When we were very young our mother marched us to the doctor for our smallpox shots. The troops getting ready to deploy to Iraq are getting a form of that shot.

And, come to think of it, one of the biggest requests our troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have are…Baby Wipes. It’s doubtful that in such a hot climate our troops would ever need baby wipe warmers but if they did I would send them in a heartbeat and not think I’m coddling them at all.

Anything I can do to make life easier for our troops I want to do.

When my son was a baby I refused to allow him to cry himself to sleep. When it was time for bed, I rocked him or walked him and when my husband suggested that we let him cry I stood my ground and refused to do it. I did the same with our daughters. My thinking was, “I’m their mother and if I’m not willing to rock them to sleep what is wrong with me?” There was nothing sweeter than holding my children and I don’t regret one moment of their bedtime routines. That doesn’t mean they didn’t get strict discipline when they needed it. Rocking them to sleep didn’t spoil them.

So yes, I’m definitely one of the parents who attempted to protect my children from pain, disappointment and all the other heart breaking events that are bound to happen to children during their growing up years. I wish Baby Megastores could prevent those inevitabilities but they can’t.

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