December 2006


31 Dec 2006 03:26 pm

As I clicked on the video of Saddam’s execution I quickly clicked back. For some reason I couldn’t, in good conscience, watch the man responsible for deaths of millions of his own people, get his just desserts. I had seen the still photos but to watch the video suddenly seemed too raw. It was enough for me just to know he had been properly dispatched.

While growing up in the greatest land in Western civilization I learned that The Golden Rule reigned in our home, neighborhood and in most respects (in my view) our country.

Wrong was made right, criminals were held to account, and justice was the highest aspiration of our nation. Children aquired consciences through the corrective measures of their parents, churches and schools. Somewhere along the way I made the sad but inevitable discovery that even in a free country, evil existed. As I studied history I learned about the despots in the world and the news on television broadcasted the atrocities committed by them daily. Most of them lived out their evil lives, dying in their beds.

Throughout the years, from Vietnam on, I watched as Americans were blamed for all the evils in the world and yet today, unlike some areas of Europe in which the leaders cower in fear under the threat of criticizing Islam, we still have our freedom of expression. I have never had to worry that my children would be hauled to jail because of opinions I expressed in a letter to the editor in our local newspaper.

Our country never had to fear the madness of a Hitler in its leadership, in fact, men all over America rushed to enlist in the military in order to fight against the evil that was rampaging throughout the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia.

Now another great generation of Americans are serving our country to protect us from the evils of Islamic jihad/conquest while we have lived, worked and played safely in our country these past five years since September 11th.

Saddam Hussein may have not played an active role in the attack on America on that particular day but he still had evil plans to promote terror and death around the world and was still refusing to cooperate with the Western World.

But the unmitigated evil Saddam inflicted on his own people was not as well known throughout the world even though there were Western reporters living in Iraq. They made a deal with the devil however, considering it more important to keep a broadcast outfit in Baghdad than in telling the truth about the fearful state that Iraq had become.

We have since learned the extent of the crimes against humanity that were commited by Saddam Hussein and mass graves are still being discovered all over Iraq. In his last moments, Saddam heard from representatives of the people he had despised, tortured and killed. Hat tip: Powerline

*****

With such brutes, entreaty, diplomacy, conferences are exercises in self-deception. Regime change imposed by superior force was the only realistic way to ensure Saddam’s fall. This is what occurred in March 2003, and it is a historic marker. The collapse of his dictatorship has created a social and political void, and a variety of hit men, as usual, are trying to make careers out of it. The only way to prevent their doing so is to introduce the rule of law and impose enough security that it has a chance to take. Saddam’s trial, for all its flaws, was an exercise in the rule of law. Justice is never perfect, especially when carrying an element of retribution. Much more important, though, this case is exemplary. Saddam’s trial and execution could yet be the building block of a future with hope in it for an Iraqi society and state at last free from his tyranny.

*****

President Bush was right. Even in Iraq people desire freedom and justice. In the State of the Union Address in January, 2002 he said this….

America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world — including the Islamic world — because we have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing resentment. We seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror.

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NOBODY who experienced Iraq under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein could imagine, at the height of the terror he imposed on his countrymen, ever pitying him. Pitiless himself, he sent hundreds of thousands of his countrymen to miserable deaths, in the wars he started against Iran and Kuwait, in the torture chambers of his secret police, or on the gallows that became an industry at Abu Ghraib and other charnel houses across Iraq. Iraqis who were caught in his spider’s web of evil, and survived, tell of countless tortures, of the psychopathic pleasure the former dictator appeared to take from inflicting suffering and death.

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Iraq the Model writes,

Executing Saddam is an execution to a dark era in Iraq’s history and it’s a message to all those who followed his ways that there is no turning back; yes, the people will never kneel to a tyrant again and will never give up.
The future is in the hands of the people and they will choose their way no matter how big the sacrifice is.
We have suffered too much for too long and we deserve a better life and that we will keep pursuing.

*****

It is fitting that Saddam was taunted by his executioners. They, of all people, had the right to tell him to go straight to hell. They were experiencing for the first time, freedom of expression and the revelation that they would not be thrown in prison or killed in revenge as they would have under Saddam’s evil regime. That was justice done and a just retribution.

As Sissy Willis wrote in her brilliant post yesterday, his execution re-establishes the right order of things.

Repeating an email from Iraq posted yesterday……

Our Chaplain has a calendar with verses on it (you know, one of those desk calendars where you pull the paper off for each day). Today’s verse was “No king is saved by the size of his army, no warrior escapes by his great strength” Psalm 33:16.

Isn’t that crazy, the chaplain just happened to pull the December 29 one off and this one popped up.

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Saddam didn’t get away with it in the end, thanks to the leadership of President Bush, the valiant work of the United States Military and five million Iraqi’s who voted to become a democracy. And like Haman, who was hanged on the very gallows he had built to kill all the Jews held captive in Persia, Saddam met the same fate. Divine justice played a large role in the fall of Saddam Hussein.

My prediction for 2007? Now that justice has been done the Iraqi people will have an opportunity to join Western Civilization.

30 Dec 2006 11:18 am

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An email from Iraq……

Our Chaplain has a calendar with verses on it (you know, one of those desk calendars where you pull the paper off for each day). Today’s verse was “No king is saved by the size of his army, no warrior escapes by his great strength” Psalm 33:16.

Isn’t that crazy, the chaplain just happened to pull the December 29 one off and this one popped up.

*****

‘Held to account’

US President George W Bush hailed the execution as “an important milestone” on the road to building an Iraqi democracy, but warned it would not end the deadly violence there.

He said: “It is a testament to the Iraqi people’s resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial.

“It is an important milestone on Iraq’s course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.”

*****

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SEE-DUBYA at Hot Air writes…..

Ever read the Book of Esther, about how a politician named Haman planned to kill all the Jews held captive in Persia? Haman built a gallows for the Jewish leader Mordechai, but in a great reversal of fortune, ended up hanged on his own construct. The feast of Purim commemorates the story and, to some degree, the execution of Haman. It’s a big party, with lots of drinking and celebration and it’s own trademark food–Hamantaschen cookies, said to resemble Haman’s hat. Now I understand it’s less a celebration of the fact that Haman died than a celebration that the Jews survived, but Haman’s death is part of the story–and part of the revelry includes cursing him and drowning out his name with noisemakers every time it’s spoken.

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Jay Tea at Wizbang has an interesting take on the waxed tyrant and a link to haiku’s by Meryl Yourish .

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Gateway Pundit has the video.

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Sensible Mom writes, Will I cheer his death? No. And I’ll give his suffering as much consideration as he showed his many victims. None.

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Kim at Musing Minds writes…..

Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, had plenty of representation, was convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence was appealed and the appeal was denied. His day of reckoning has arrived.

*****

The Random Yak writes…..

Reaction around the ‘net is hardly surprising or unexpected. No one on the right is mourning Hussein’s early morning appointment with God - and some seem downright pleased the Iraqi goverment moved so quickly to refer the case to the ultimate tribunal. And, as always, the pun-dits are already out in force.

*****

Dean Barnett writes at Hugh Hewitt…….

Our enemies were watching last night. I bet Bashir Assad was picturing his neck in that noose, knowing full well that George W. Bush’s ire would be something that John Kerry, Arlen Specter and any other sympathetic Senatorial dhimmis would be unable to save him from. Kim Jong Il and a host of loonies in Iran probably took notice as well. For them, the sad fact is that they remain alive only at the pleasure of George W. Bush. I doubt that thought gives them much comfort.

*****

Powerline has Saddam Hussein’s last words.

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Ed Morrisey writes….

Will this help or hurt in Iraq? I think this will be a net positive by a wide margin. In the first place, history has shown that leaving a deposed tyrant alive makes their return likely — Napoleon would be one example. It at least keeps hope alive among their partisans, and the Jacobites might be an example of that. That cuts two ways; it’s not just Saddam’s dead-enders who foresaw his return, but also those who would oppose him and those on the fence. His death removes all doubt and clears the deck for the future.

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Hang Right Politics has photos.

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The videographer, Ali Al Massedy, in this exclusive Newsweek interview, saw fear on Saddam’s face but heard arrogant words……

On the way to the gallows, according to Ali, “Saddam said, ‘Iraq without me is nothing.’”

Welcome Let Freedom Ring Readers!

29 Dec 2006 09:25 pm

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Saddam checking out his neck.

There are many interesting articles to read as we prepare the popcorn and settle down for a long night’s Saddam Hussein Hang-athon. It’s expected to happen very soon if it has not already.

Curt of Flopping Aces has the very graphic photographic evidence against Saddam Hussein just in case anyone of liberal, delicate, sensibilities has any doubts about the need for the Butcher of Baghdad to swing.

Gateway Pundit has more of the heartbreaking photos of the Iraqi’s who had to endure life under or were killed by that monster.

Utah Iraqis Say Saddam’s Execution is Just

According to the Guardian the execution will be photographed and videotaped.

The Anchoress has a long list of interesting links and her own thoughtful take.

Assorted Babble has more…..

Uh Oh. Even a Clinton appointed judge won’t stop Saddam’s swing from the end of a rope.

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Fox News Channel Image

al Arabiya is reporting that Saddam Hussein was executed ten minutes ago.

Pat Dollard has confirmation from a confidential military source that Saddam Hussein went out swinging over an hour ago. Hat tip: Lucianne

Mission Accomplished

Dan Rather had no comment. I remember back when Mr. Rather was a rather obsequious brown noser.

Hot Air is watching for the video and Bryan remembers the monster, Saddam Hussein.

Cheers in Heaven

Now that old Saddam has been sent to his just rewards I am listening to some of the pundits on the Fox News Channel offer their opinions about whether Saddam’s execution would be a negative or positive thing for our efforts in Iraq.

The worst reaction, I believe, was from former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger who sounded positively dismissive of the importance of the hanging of Saddam Hussein.

The Iraqis have carried out a very important act in it’s nascent Democracy but it’s probably not a surprise that a former state department figure would have such a negative outlook.

29 Dec 2006 01:10 am

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Matt and his sisters

Last year, around this time, my nephew, Matt, came over to our house to deliver his family’s Christmas presents. We were supposed to have gone to his parents’ house for Christmas Morning brunch but half of us were sick with a stomach flu. That disappointed all of us but I know it especially disappointed Matt because it was his heart’s desire for all of his family to be close.

Matt was like that, a natural leader who was able to get people together. He was one of the most loving young men I have ever known and when he walked into a room it became brighter and full of warmth.

The day he brought the gifts was one of the last times I ever saw Matt. We opened presents together and Matt took the rest of the gifts home to his parents. His favorite gift was the Motorola RAZR cellphone. We spoke often via cellphone and Matt was always known to return his calls.

So when Matt didn’t return a call for half a day in early February, his father became alarmed. He drove up to the city where Matt lived and……

I still can’t put it into words. Our Matt died on February 8th, 2006 of an undetected heart defect.

It’s still too painful to even speak of Matt around the family. We are closer in our grief to each other but to even whisper his name causes a retreat back into the vale of tears, of which, we have been entangled for the past year.

For a few weeks after Matt died I would call his cellphone just to hear his voice.

Many things have happened since last February. Our son is in Iraq and that in itself would have been of big concern to Matt.

That is really all I can write at this point. Matt is missed. Oh yes, he is missed.

28 Dec 2006 10:13 pm

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Saddam should have been executed two years ago so I am glad it’s happening soon. It will be the end to Baathists’ hopes for a Saddam comeback and the beginning of the Iraqi governments’ ability to govern. The first act of unity of any democratic government should be executing the dictator/madman who enforced a 35 year reign of terror on his people, thereby, providing justice to them.

The Iraqi government is “anxious to get Saddam’s execution done” and that it is likely to be carried out before the New Year — perhaps even within the next 24 hours, a U.S. military official told FOX News.

This official said American forces are now in the process of finalizing the former Iraqi dictator’s transfer to Iraqi custody and to the location where he would be executed. Several U.S. officials said they are not ruling out the possibility that Saddam will be put to death as early as Friday.

Iraq’s highest court on Tuesday rejected Saddam’s appeal against his conviction and death sentence for the killing of 148 Shiites in the northern city of Dujail in 1982. The court said the former dictator should be hanged within 30 days.

Good Riddance to the Mother of All Dictators. May he rot in hell.

Michelle Malkin points the way to reaction of Iraqis in America.

28 Dec 2006 01:54 pm

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Lisa Fabrizio writes in The American Spectator about the many reasons why Casablanca tops her list of great movies. Hat tip: Betsy’s Page

On the other hand, there is what every movie should be: Casablanca. But why would folks, most of whom were born long after its making, put it at or near the tops of their lists? On its preview in November 1942, popular reaction to it was called “beyond belief,” as its release was planned to take advantage of the Allied invasion of North Africa. But today, with the nostalgia for WWII movies waning, why has it endured?

Because it has everything: all of the emotions which combine to make up everyday life, intensified by the cauldron of war. Because it has “moonlight and love songs, never out of date; hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate.” Who can deny it? These emotions and the decisions they force on people even today, are transcendent.

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While Casablanca is without a doubt one of my favorite movies of all time The African Queen tops my list. Unbelievably this is the only movie in which Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart co-starred.

Based on the novel by C.S. Forrester, THE AFRICAN QUEEN is set in central Africa during World War I. It is the story of an English missionary and spinster, Rose Sayer (Hepburn), in who is forced to flee her mission after German troops destroy the village. A Canadian supplier, Charlie Alnutt (Bogart), offers to take her down river to civilization in his little river steamer, The African Queen. The contrast in their personalities (Rose is a very proper Edwardian English missionary and Charlie is a scruffy, gin-drinking seaman) becomes the first major source of their disagreements, which only worsen when Rose decides she wants to do her patriotic duty and follow the river all the way down to the lake where she plans to sink the German cruiser guarding it with homemade torpedoes. Needless to say, Charlie doesn’t take to this in the slightest, but his conscience gets the better of him and he agrees to humor Rose until she discovers for herself how futile the whole idea is. Overall it makes for a great movie — nominated for four Academy Awards in 1951.

Some of my favorite lines….

Rose: Could you make a torpedo?

Charlie: How’s that, Miss?

Rose: Could you make a torpedo?

Charlie: A torpedo?…You don’t really know what you’re askin’. You see, there ain’t nothin’ so complicated as the inside of a torpedo. It’s got gyroscopes, compressed air chambers, compensating cylinders…

Rose: But all those things, those gyroscopes and things, they’re only to make it go, aren’t they?

Charlie: Yeah. Yeah, go and hit what it’s aimed at.

Rose: Well, we’ve got The African Queen.

Charlie: How’s that, Miss?

Rose: If we were to fill those cylinders with that blasting gelatine and then fix them so that they would stick out over the end of the boat, and then run the boat against the side of a ship, they would go off just like a torpedo, wouldn’t they?…We could, what do you call it, get a good head of steam up, and then point the launch toward a ship and just before she hits, we could dive off. Couldn’t we?

Charlie: There’s only one little thing wrong with your idea. There ain’t nothin’ to torpedo.

Rose: Oh yes there is.

Charlie: There’s what?

Rose: Something to torpedo.

Charlie: What’s that?

Rose: The Louisa.

Charlie: The Louisa! Oh now, don’t talk silly, Miss. You can’t do that. Honest you can’t. I told you before, we can’t get down the Ulanga!

Rose: Spengler did.

Charlie: In a canoe, Miss.

Rose: If a German did it, we can do it, too.

Charlie: Not in no launch, Miss.

Rose: How do you know? You’ve never tried it.

Charlie: I never tried shooting myself in the head, neither. The trouble with you, Miss, is, you, you don’t know anything about boats!

Rose: In other words, you are refusing to help your country in her hour of need, Mr. Allnut?

Charlie: All right, Miss, have it your own way. But don’t blame me for what happened.

*****

I love this line…..

I’ll never forget the way you looked going over the falls - head up, chin out, hair blowing in the wind - the living picture of a hero-eyne!

In 1951, when the movie was made, Hollywood still had a sliver of respect for Christian missionaries. I can’t imagine it being filmed today as it was in ‘51 without portraying Rose and Charlie in a more negative light, perhaps as the gin drinker and Charlie as a lying, self-centered coward. Missionaries serving all over the world have had to endure much for their faith and many of them have been women.

Katharine Hepburn has always been my favorite actress and she was amazing in this movie. The chemistry between her and Humphrey Bogart continues to endure. I was a teenager when I first saw the film in black and white and it is one of the few films I will sit down to watch twice. In fact, I am watching it right now.

27 Dec 2006 12:23 pm

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Aug. 9, 1974: First lady Betty Ford stands with President Ford after he took the oath of office.

When my mother called me this morning and told me, “Gerald Ford died,” at first I was confused, because we have a close elderly cousin in our family named Gerald Ford. But he owned a chain of donut shops and was never in politics. “No”, mother said, “President Gerald R. Ford.”

My prayers are with the family of the former president. I remember how disappointed I was when he was defeated by Jimmy Carter even though back then I didn’t vote in that election because we were in the process of moving to Germany. Gerald Ford seemed like a real, honest man, almost a Jimmy Stewart kind of president.

It’s just more evidence of the fickleness of the American people that they could have been taken in by an anti-semitic, hateful, control freak as Carter turned out to be.

Sometimes being good and decent has its own rewards. Actually, it always does but, unfortunately on many occasions in our nations history having a good and honorable man serving as President was not appreciated by the American people. In President Ford’s case it didn’t help that the big three networks focused on each and every step the man took.

I remember Chevy Chase and Saturday Night Live’s merciless lampooning of President Ford’s accidental falls and the news media’s reaction when Ford pardoned Nixon. The lefts’ hatred of Nixon wasn’t cauterized by the pardon and much of the hatred was transferred to Ford.

Still, President Ford brought stability to our country at a time when the sixties counter-culture was in its last throes of indecency. Global socialism was rampant and many American women were leaving their families to find themselves.

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Mrs. Ford was an extremely valuable First Lady with her obvious warmth and grace at a time we were seeing many ungraceful acts by the likes of Gloria Steinem and her fellow bra burners.

Check out this unbelievably, crude and disgusting Wikipedia salute to former President Ford. It seems that the left still can’t get over their hatred.

UPDATE: Wikipedia took it down and the page is now locked. Suffice it to say the images posted were extremely obscene.

Outside the Beltway has much more.

Kim of Musing Minds has a tribute/prayer.

27 Dec 2006 02:18 am

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The moment Ralphie’s teacher tells him, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

This Christmas Eve was different. For the first time in so many years our family didn’t gather at my brother’s house because he is deployed to the war zone. I remember at last years Christmas Eve gathering my brother told me he wouldn’t be home for next Christmas and it turned out that, as usual, he was right. My brother also predicted that my son’s unit would be shipping out and that came about too, just as he said.

So our plans for Christmas Eve changed.

Family scattered….my daughter-in-law took our grandson to visit her family this Christmas and since she lives in our city, that was only fair but still I missed them too. But I was able to talk to them both frequently and on Christmas Eve our three year old grandson was so excited about Santa and talking to his Daddy in Iraq that my daughter-in-law said he was pacing around in circles while talking on the phone to me.

My sister-in-law decided to travel to share Thanksgiving with her youngest daughter in Arizona and Christmas with her oldest daughter in New Hampshire. So, no Christmas Eve in the yellow house. We decided to carry on the tradition of our family at ye old Donoho House.

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The morning after Christmas Eve.

The preparations became a Marathon with little sleep and a lot of work before the actual appointed time on Christmas Eve. Thank Goodness I had some help from my special Elves. (my daughters and son-in-law)

My son-in-law pulled out the fifty year old wool carpet in the dining room and refinished the beautiful hardwood floor underneath. (the living room is next)

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We had to move the furniture back in, as well as do a little decorating.

The Christmas decorating spirit was missing in me during the early weeks of December and I had too much to do at school to have any energy left for the end of the day. No Christmas card was finished again this year, unfortunately, although it was drawn.

It was just very hard to contemplate the first Christmas without my son…..and my brother.

But back to the Christmas Eve festivities. My parents arrived first. Then, there was a steady stream of family coming in the door and the room seemed brighter and warmer. My sister’s father and mother-in-law were flying in from Maine and they were supposed to come to our Christmas Eve celebration but their flight was cancelled. We wondered if it was because of the incident on the flight from New York to Portland. They had to fly in on Christmas Day.

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Maine samples the shrimp.

We had a buffet kind of supper and then sat around talking and halfway watching The Christmas Story and A Wonderful Life. Most of us have memorized most of the lines in both of the movies.

The youngest among us were so impatient to open the presents that we finally relented. It was a typical Christmas Eve. We were all very happy to be together and were wondering how my son and my brother were celebrating Christmas when we got a phone call from my brother. We were all able to hear his voice for the first time in a few months. A very nice call. Especially for our parents.

We had already heard from our son on Christmas Eve morning.

We celebrated family near and far with hopes that Christmas, 2007 will have everyone home safe.

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The day after Christmas Sabby surveys the room.

27 Dec 2006 01:30 am

Powerline has the photographic proof. John Kerry’s trip to Iraq in order regain his John-mentum was a big bust. No one wanted his autograph. No one wanted to shake his hand. No one wanted to break bread with him. He had to cancel his press conference because no one showed up.

An email from Iraq had alerted me to this earlier.

The mess hall Kerry was photographed in appears to be British from the looks of the flag hanging on the wall. What? Where were all the European pals Kerry claimed to have?

I just discovered this new blog by a soldier in my son’s Engineer Battalion and his blog has a really cool name….Camels, Sand, and Stuff. He has some interesting posts including one about John Kerry.

25 Dec 2006 10:38 pm

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Our daughters have kept up a Christmas tradition started when they were little. When they unwrap their presents the ribbons go on top of their heads as well as on top of the heads of our pets. Sabby has never minded that tradition.

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He wears his ribbons with pride.

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Captain doesn’t much care for the tradition.

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He does like to watch us open the presents.

The 145th Carnival of the Cats, New Years Edition is being hosted by Watermark. Go see the cats!

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