June 2008


30 Jun 2008 04:07 pm

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John McCain, Prisoner of War

Wesley Clark, a key military adviser for Barack Obama attempted a frontal attack on John McCain one day before Obama delivered a self serving speech on patriotism.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a key military adviser for Barack Obama, dismissed John McCain’s war record as a qualification for readiness to be president.

Appearing Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Clark downplayed the plane crash that led to McCain’s captivity during the Vietnam War, and said the squadron McCain commanded “wasn’t a wartime squadron.”

“He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility,” Clark said.

When asked by host Bob Schieffer how he came to describe McCain as “untested and untried,” Clark said it was “because in the matters of national security policy-making, it’s a matter of understanding risk. It’s a matter of gauging your opponents and it’s a matter of being held accountable. John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions,” adding, “He hasn’t made the calls.”

When Schieffer noted Obama has not had wartime experiences, Clark said: “Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.”

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers issued a statement saying Obama’s campaign is proving Obama does not stand “for a new type of politics.”

McCain has not responded directly. He is scheduled Monday afternoon for a chat with reporters following a Harrisonburg, Pa., factory tour.

“The reality is he’s proving to be a typical politician who is willing to say anything to get elected, including allowing his campaign surrogates to demean and attack John McCain’s military service record,” Rogers said.

“John McCain is proud of his record of always putting the country first — from his time in the Navy, in Vietnam and through to today. And on the biggest question we’ve faced in recent years, the war in Iraq, the facts on the ground show that John McCain was right, as Barack Obama is about to find out after failing to visit there in over 900 days,” he continued, and reiterated the standing offer to appear at joint town-hall meetings with McCain.

The exchange came a day after McCain questioned Obama’s trustworthiness at a Louisville, Ky., fundraiser.

There is more….

Admiral Leighton “Snuffy” Smith, USN (Ret.) issued a response on the McCain campaign website.

“If Barack Obama wants to question John McCain’s service to his country, he should have the guts to do it himself and not hide behind his campaign surrogates. If he expects the American people to believe his pledges about a new kind of politics, Barack Obama has a responsibility to condemn these attacks.”

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Senator John McCain at Annapolis

I was out shopping recently at a gift shop and got to talking to the lady who waited on me. As she wrapped the gift, somehow the subject turned to the presidential election. The lady looked at me and said, “There is no way I can vote for Barack Obama. The man scares me.” She went on to discuss Sen. John McCain’s service in the Vietnam War. “The man was a prisoner of war for five and a half years. He could have used his family connections to be released from the Hanoi Hilton but he had the guts to stick it out. That’s character. That’s all I need to know about the man.”

There must be some troubling polls telling the Obama campaign that Americans doubt his patriotism and character. I know I doubt Obama’s patriotism and character. Me thinks the man doth protest too much about these very important issues. Hence, the Wesley Clark attack. What’s more, this was not the first attack by the Obama campaign on John McCain’s military service.

In addition, on Oprah’s message board clueless women are hooting about John McCain’s class rank at Annapolis. (as if they could ever endure Beast Barracks or Plebe Summer) Ironically, today is R Day at West Point.

Abraham Katzman of the Jerusalem Post writes about the “private character of John McCain.”

It’s widely known that McCain, a Navy pilot, was shot down, captured and tortured by the North Vietnamese for 5 and a half years - an episode worth a forthcoming column all its own. But few are aware that he refused early release until all the POWs captured before him were freed, and that he refused special treatment offered once it was discovered that he was the “crown prince” (the son of the admiral in charge of the Pacific Fleet) because he wouldn’t provide the enemy with any propaganda victories.

Even fewer seem to know that those years were a fraction of a 22-year Navy career. Although broken and battered, after his release from Vietnamese captivity he went right back to the Navy, where he continued to serve for an additional eight years.

Clark’s contemptible attack on Senator John McCain’s service and patriotism may have an unexpected result. I have had it with Barack Obama and his surrogates and his friends in the media. I have stated in the past that I will vote for John McCain because I am more concerned with national security than any other issue but I haven’t done much blogging about McCain or spoken up in support of him.

No more. I have had enough! I’m going to put my money where my mouth is.

Contrast John McCain’s twenty two years in the U.S. military, his five and a half years of torture, and his service in the United States Senate to Barack Obama’s “service” as a community organizer om Chicago, his subsequent career in the Illinois statehouse and one term in the United States Senate. The stark contrast must worry the Obama campaign.

Consider the friends of Barack Obama: Rezko, Ayers, Wright, Pfleger. These men are not exactly models of patriotism unless as Hillary Clinton once famously screeched, patriotism is criticizing ones’ government.

Using retired general Wesley Clark as a military adviser in the Obama campaign in the first place reveals how little interest Barack Obama has in military and national security matters.

Another very liberal friend of mine, who I expected would be a big supporter of Obama is not. She is disgusted with Obama’s refusal to wear the flag lapel pin at a time when America needed unity. That issue alone, turned her off Obama.

It’s what Barack Obama didn’t do when it counted. Now Barack Hypocrite Obama wears the flag pin. He refused to condemn MoveOn.org when they ran the despicable General Betray Us ad in the New York Times. Today, he slapped them a little. He plans a trip to Iraq. He sends out hapless Wesley Clark to attack John McCain’s military service. I’m sure his new favorite food is apple pie.

Today it has become clear to me that Barack Obama will do anything to win. I am going to do everything in my power to see that he loses.

I’m urging all who read this to go to John McCain’s campaign website and get on the Straight Talk Express. After all the great accomplishments of our military in Iraq (and in the world) we cannot now take a hard left turn and undo all that has been done.

26 Jun 2008 07:47 pm

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Thanks Supreme Court (well, five of you anyway) for affirming that individual Americans have a right to bear arms. Or possess firearms. That little girls and boys can grow up in this country learning how to handle guns.

I love guns.

I should.

A gun got me my husband.

Really.

It goes like this.

Back when I was a teenager my parents didn’t allow me to date until I was sixteen, and then it was with a group. When I was seventeen I was allowed to go out on a date with a guy in a car. If a young man got me home one minute late, my father was at the door to meet us with his double barreled shotgun.

If I went on more than one date with a young man my dad put him through the trick glass quest. If he didn’t pass the sense of humor test he didn’t date me. And he went home with a wet shirt.

But quest number one? The young men I dated had to respect the gun.

My husband (back then just a cute guy who had completely caught my eye) got me home five minutes after my Dad’s curfew on our first date. I was a little nervous knowing my Dad’s proclivity to be at the door waiting with one of his guns.

A few times when I had gotten home on time Daddy was at the door with the gun and the young men turned pale and left as quickly as they could. I never heard from them again. It kind of hurt my pride but my Dad told me that they weren’t dating me for the right reasons if they couldn’t pass the gun test. If they were that sissy or afraid to face my father they just didn’t measure up. After a while (and I didn’t date that much really) I began to enjoy the idea and felt a sense of pride that my Dad was there waiting for me every time I went out.

But on the night that Bob got me home late I was nervous because I really liked him and I didn’t want Daddy to scare him off.

I needn’t have worried.

When we got home as we walked up to the house the front porch light went on. As we stepped on the porch the door opened and there was Daddy standing with his double barreled shotgun, looking serious. Bob took one look at him and grabbed the gun away from him and said, “Is that an LC Smith?” He took the gun apart, exclaiming over it and Daddy had found a kindred spirit. Before the night was over Daddy was showing Bob his barbwire collection. It got so late that I was sleepy and went to bed. Daddy and Bob were still talking.

Bob tricked my Dad on quest number two. When Daddy offered Bob the trick glass he was so thirsty he finished the glass in one drink. His shirt was dry. Daddy was really intrigued. By that time so was I.

Guns have always been a familiar presence in my families’ lives. A good presence. We have all been taught how to respect and handle a gun. It’s a tool for some, a hobby for others but for all of us it is protection from those who would harm us.

In a perfect world there would be no need for a gun but we do not live in a perfect world. We need to be able to defend ourselves against the criminals who would take away our possessions, or our lives.

Thank goodness there are still five members of the Supreme Court who abide by the Constitution.

24 Jun 2008 10:44 pm

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Babies, a photo found in my late great aunt’s albums.

We haven’t been able to identify the individual babies but they were members of my Dad’s grandmother’s family. Kathryn Ford Mackey had several sisters and brothers and they were very close-knit. Presumably, these children grew up in Bentonville in Northwest Arkansas during the turn of the century. If they lived to be adults, World War l, the Great Depression, Prohibition and World War ll would occur during their life spans.

These infants were born before abortion became legal. They were members of a family that believed in God and attended the Methodist Episcopal Church. From the appearance of the photo their mothers and fathers most likely doted on them.

This generation of babies were born before the media age. They very likely lived and died within the region where they were born. It’s possible that a few of these babies (when they grew up) were able to take a flight in an airplane. I know my great grandmother had that opportunity. Kathryn Ford Mackey saw the inventions of the automobile, the telephone, the radio and television, and the atomic bomb.

Since most children, male and female, until the age of three, were dressed alike during the early nineteen hundreds there is a possibility that one or more of the children in the photo were male. There is a possibility that one of the babies suffered from Downs Syndrome.

Unlike life today, these children were born at home. Back then there were no maternity wards. Females were skilled at that sort of thing. There was little understanding of mental and physical disabilities. But still, there were Annie Sullivans.

The parents of these children didn’t have a Toys R Us in their town to shop for toys. The mothers sewed their childrens’ clothing by hand, and made bed linens with the help of a spinning wheel and loom. I do know my great great grandfather, Thomas Weir Ford was a whittler and I suspect he may have been the grandfather of the babies in the photo. Most likely they were given handmade toys he made for them.

By 1889 Bentonville, Arkansas (hometown of the late Sam Walton of Walmart fame) was a well established small town. There was a candy store, a bank, a tobacco shop, a bakery, and grist and saw mills.

These children were sent to school but the school year only lasted three or four months my grandmother has told me. They had great literature to read, Dickens, Twain, Shakespeare and Swift. The city of Bentonville invested in a library early on.

Most of life revolved around the family, the church and the farm. Fruit farms were plentiful in Northwest, Arkansas. It was once called the “The apple orchard of America.” My great uncle Eddie recalled going to his grandparents’ apple cider farm and company and being given an apple by his grandfather.

Although Northwest Arkansas was and still is the strongest region in Arkansas for Republican politics it would be mere speculation to surmise that the offspring of the Ford family were indeed Republicans. Considering my great great grandfather, Thomas Weir Ford’s pride in going to Confederate Reunions it is doubtful that he would have voted the “Yankee way.” The family was known to be conservative in their views however.

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A happy family in Northwest Arkansas

The Americans who lived during the turn of the century did not have the advantages that their modern day counterparts do. The great advances in medicine comes to mind. Many children today have never heard of polio or diptheria but it was an ever present worry during the turn of the century.

We book a flight and fly across the globe at a moments notice. We have so much wealth that we outsource tedious and menial jobs. Our great grandparents weren’t able to use a cellphone to call for help if their buggy lost a wheel or their model T Ford ran out of gas. Life may have been simpler one hundred years ago but much more physical labor was required from both males and females.

The sweet babies in the top photo lived in a different America; there were less opportunities perhaps, but there was also much more gumption.

Some Americans in this generation grew up and stayed on the family farm, some left it to go to WWl, others simply raised up a new faithful generation which defended our country in WW ll.

One mighty generation beget another. The Greatest Generation didn’t grow on a tree of course. Little children like the ones in the photo became the parents of the GIs who stormed the beaches at Normandy on D-Day.

Perhaps in my speculation I’ve gone too far in imagining what the individual babys in the photo may have grown up and accomplished in their lives. For me it’s hard to look at a baby’s face without getting maternal in my emotions. Maybe Grandpa Ford looked at them and prayed they would never have to face war or battles like Shiloh.

One thing we do know for sure is that these children were Americans on the brink of life and would pass through amazing and perilous times.

When I look at my own grandchildren’s faces I wonder what they will see in their own lifetimes. Will they will continue to grow up in freedom?

I pray they will.

22 Jun 2008 12:33 pm

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Tasha Tudor, one of my very favorite childrens illustrators has died.

She lived out her dreams and entertained many children and adults throughout her long life. I had the opportunity to see her in person in 1982 at the Childrens Museum in Indianapolis. She was tiny, witty, whimsical and kindly. It was a happy thing to have her sign the book about her life by her daughter Bethany, Drawn from New England. I have collected Tasha’s books for years and years and recently have been able to follow her and her family on her website. I wrote to them several years ago asking about how Tasha was doing. They very graciously answered me.

Tasha chose to live in an old fashioned manner with no electricity or running water for many years. She illustrated her books with paintings of her children and Corgis, cats and ducks. In A Time to Keep, Tasha wrote for her granddaughter about what life was like when her mother was a little girl. Within the pages of this magical book was an illustration of a birthday party celebrated on a river at night.

“The table was set with birch bark plates and gourd drinking cups. There were favors made from walnut shells and families of wooden animals in little baskets and meringues made in the shape of toadstools. But best of all - the birthday cake came floating down the river.”

The images and whimsy captivated and enriched me. I was the mother of three little ones when I read this book and my husband was an Army Captain. We didn’t have a lot of money but I always wanted to make my childrens’ birthdays special. Tasha inspired me to be creative with the everyday and special happenings in our lives.

As my Dad says, she was a dandy. There will be no more like her.

To read more about the prolific Tasha Tudor go here.

19 Jun 2008 01:01 am

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What a moving experience it was.

I couldn’t possibly count all the packing boxes that went into the many military moves of the Donoho family. Thirty years of life in the military was enlightening, fun, tedious, maddening and glorious. We never really took a vacation during all those years. The vacation would invariably occur during our permanent changes of station. We would take cross country trips with loaded cars, pets in tow and somehow managed to make it fun.

After the one five-year period we lived in Indiana during which our children were in the early grades in elementary school, we moved every year or two years thereafter. I will always treasure Indianapolis and West Lafayette, Indiana for those precious years. There was always something interesting going on. Our children loved the Childrens Museum in Indianapolis.

We’ve lived in the far north and near the equator. We lived next door to a house where pro-Noriega police were planning a coup and we lived on a post where deer would appear in the front yard. We absolutely loved living in a house built by the Buffalo soldiers and for six months we more than lived on a beach.

We spent two tours in Germany, the first, early in my husband’s career and the second when my husband was nearing retirement. The travels were more enriching during the last tour because our children were older. We all discovered how much we liked travel by train.

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Afternoon in Germany

And yet, often we didn’t realize how much we liked a place until we saw it in the rearview mirror. Such is life, I suppose.

But the moves themselves were memorable and once or twice very disheartening. I will never forget the time we were moving from Fort Eustis. When the packers came in our house my heart fell. The packers were so illiterate they couldn’t spell the simplest words on the boxes and I caught a few throwing the packed items into the containers.

I gathered up all of our silver, the family Bible, photo albums and other precious things and packed them myself and put them aside. These possessions would not go into storage. We drove them in our big van all the way to Arkansas to leave with our parents.

Thank heavens we did that. After we had spent two years in Panama and had moved to Fort Drum, New York, on the very day we were to receive our household goods the inspector came out to our house and told my husband that all the things we had left in storage might not arrive because the storage company had gone bankrupt and whatever wasn’t stolen had been left out in the rain.

Missing was the beautiful oriental rug we had bought in Germany on our first tour, the old American flag with the forty eight stars that my husband had inherited from his late grandfather and many other things. Our heirloom dining room furniture was water damaged and warped; the living room sofa and chairs had rust stains all over them and the legs were broken off. It was a mess. We had no living room or dining room furniture to speak of and making matters worse, we were expected to entertain because my husband was a battalion commander.

A battalion command is a big deal in a military family. It was quite an achievement in my husband’s Army career. To prepare for the command both my husband and I attended a course at Fort Leavenworth. We met a lot of great people, some of whom were also headed to Fort Drum.

So, my expectations that we would be able to get settled quickly were dashed. Material possessions aren’t all that important of course, but the government had let us down. I wanted to find out why the storage facility had gone bankrupt and learned that it had filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Somehow, no one in the huge bureaucracy thought it important to let military families know that their possessions were at risk.

Then I discovered all the governmental red tape. We first had to file a claim with our own insurance before the government would let us even file a claim with them. Luckily our insurance would cover loss and water damage. I had to document everything and luckily I still had our photo albums and receipts since I had stored that with our parents. But the whole enterprise of dealing with the government bureaucracy took months to do. Once I got around to filing our claim with the government I discovered that all items would be depreciated.

The damaged furniture was unusable so it was put in the garage. We had to keep it around for insurance purposes.

We had our first battalion party in an empty living room and dining room.The food was excellent though (if I say so myself) and we used our old rattan outdoor table and chairs we had bought from the Indians in the interior of Panama. So we had plenty of floor space and everyone was happy with the food and drink.

It was months before we had furniture. Fort Drum is seventeen miles from Watertown, New York and I only found one nice furniture store there. Another town twenty five miles away had an Ethan Allen. We had to go to Syracuse to find a replacement for our oriental carpet. That was fun of course but meanwhile, my husband had been deployed to Somalia. My daughters and I made all the selections.

Along the way our cat family expanded. We had found Abbey in Panama at a U.S. government run humane society and a year after we got to Fort Drum we added Sabby. Then, one cold winter night Captain arrived. Pattertwig, our dog and Sabby really got along well.

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Our kids were in junior and senior high school during our two years at Fort Drum. Our son was a senior at the Catholic High School in Watertown and (while his Dad was in Somalia) he had convinced me to let him drive our ten year old van to school a few days a week instead of having to take the bus. We had 224 inches of snow that first winter. Upstate New York road workers really kept the roads clear. The school system never called off school because of the weather and, thankfully, our son drove safely.

I had to make those kind of command decisions that winter and luckily when my husband finally returned home he liked the furniture, our kids had kept up their grades and Drew hadn’t had any car accidents.

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We lived in this house just down the hill from Quarry Heights in Panama

Getting back to our move from Fort Eustis, Virginia to Panama. After we had cleared our quarters we decided for economic reasons to stay in the guest house at Fort Eustis. It was an old building but our quarters had a suite with a bedroom and living room. At first, we settled in happily.

Everyone was asleep when around two a.m. the smoke/fire alarm in the ceiling right above our bed went off. We all woke up. Our youngest daughter, Charlotte was sick with fever and a stomach virus. Her precious sleep was disturbed and brought on more moans and misery. My husband tried to get the alarm shut off but it just kept wailing. We checked to see if there was any smoke but there wasn’t any sign of a fire. We waited for the firemen to arrive. They checked out our rooms and decided that there was no fire, we just had a faulty fire alarm. They left. We went back to bed.

One hour later, the fire alarm went off again. The firemen came again. They would not disconnect the fire alarm but checked it out and informed us that it wouldn’t go off again. Of course it did. It went off every hour for the rest of the night.

We named that guest house Hotel Hell. We didn’t stay there another night.

Our van and my husband’s car was loaded and ready to go so we put Pattertwig and the kids in the cars and headed west to Arkansas.

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Little houses representing the many places we have lived perch on the bookshelf

I focus a lot on our two year tour at Fort Drum, New York. For me, it was one of my most enriching experiences in our thirty years of Army life. Perhaps it was because I didn’t work for those two years and had a lot of time to enjoy watching it snow, being with the kids and experimenting with recipes for all the parties we had. Being a Battalion Commanders wife required that I get involved in the military community, the Family Readiness Group and the battalion. I made so many friends with the wives on the post. We played bridge, were in a bowling league (I love to bowl but am not very good) and attended lots of meetings. I was vice president of the Volunteer Support Fund. I learned a lot through that endeavor.

One of my friends did lots of arts and crafts. She made the little houses representing almost everywhere we had lived shown in the above photo. I held parties for the wives and families in my husband’s battalion. I also did what I could to make their lives better. Sometimes all I could do was console.

While my husband was in Somalia his Executive Officer’s son, a yearling at West Point, was in a terrible auto accident with a group of cadets who were on their way back to West Point from Florida after Spring Break. Billy lost his left arm and two other cadets were killed. That was very hard. I still think of that time with sadness. Billy was an outstanding cadet but because he lost his left arm he had to leave West Point at the end of his yearling year. He was determined not to let the loss of an arm stop him. He spent time at Fort Drum on the golf course. His exuberant personality was an inspiration to all of us. Billy went on to finish college and is very successful.

Our children were growing up. My son was headed to West Point when we moved in June of 1994 to Fairfax, Virginia. My husband headed to the Pentagon. I became a fifth grade teacher at Washington Mill Elementary School in Alexandria, VA. We loved living near our nations’ capital and enjoyed our trips into Washington D.C.

Because the Clintons were living in the White House we didn’t take a tour.
A snub to Hillary, yes.

She was reported to have remarked during the eighties that she would “pass on a tour of the White House” during the Reagan presidency until “nicer people” lived there.

I became friends with a lady who lived in Alexandria most of her life and her son was a student in my fifth grade class. She and her husband had an annual Christmas tradition of going on a White House tour. She told me that after the Clintons moved into the White House she questioned a tour guide about the beautiful Italian creche that was always on display during the Christmas holidays at the White House but she didn’t see it in its usual place. The tour guide whispered to her that because Hillary didn’t want to insult Muslims she hadn’t allowed it to be displayed.

Our two years in Fairfax, Virginia went by fast and before we knew it we were on the road to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. My husband was in one car and the girls and I and our three cats and dog were in the van. It was raining. When we arrived at the Army War College and our little house in Smurf Village I was shocked to discover that the movers were moving our furniture into the house during the rain. Our white sofa was covered with plastic but it was sitting on the lawn.

The house was very small but we were so leery of any storage facility we decided to go with all of our stuff. Somehow we managed to make it all fit. The house had five levels. A basement was the first level and the L shaped living room and dining area with a tiny, walk-in kitchen was on the second level. Upstairs were two bedrooms and a bathroom. Third level. One level up, was another bedroom and bath and then up in the attic was another bedroom. Fifth level. It was a tiny little house stacked up like a wedding cake and we loved living in it.

Being in Pennsylvania for that one year was fun. Our son was a little closer to us, it only took four hours to drive to West Point. We brought him home every chance that we could. Our oldest daughter was off to college at Washington and Jefferson, a drive that took three hours. I spent a lot of time on the road and was able to view the exquisite beauty of the state. We went to the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia that year, and Army won in a very exciting game.

Many memories were packed into that one year. Before we knew it, it was over and we were heading to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, one of my most favorite posts. We had lived there years before during my husband’s first tour. Going back was thrilling. We lived on the quadrangle, where all the historic houses built by the Buffalo Soldiers were. Our house on Chickasaw Road was about one hundred forty years old, had five bedrooms, front stairs, back stairs, two fireplaces, a screened in porch and a kitchen with two ovens. There were hardwood floors throughout and built-in bookcases. Our house had a plaque on the wall in the front hallway which listed the names of all the officers who had lived there. After we left our name was added to it.

All the other houses had only four bedrooms. Our house had a story behind it. In the early nineteen hundreds a chaplain and his family lived in our quarters. He had a moonshine still and one day it exploded, causing a lot of damage. When the house was repaired one of the bedrooms was divided in two. I loved that old story.

Life during the two years we lived at Fort Sill was bitter sweet. My husband lost his parents within four months of each other. That was the reason we went to Fort Sill. My husband was being groomed to be a general but he chose to pass on that and move to Fort Sill because it was the closest post we could get to in order to be near his father, who had terminal cancer. We spent many hours on the road to Fort Smith.

The second and last year we were at Fort Sill I suffered empty nest syndrome. Our youngest daughter was off to college. Fortunately, she chose the University of Oklahoma which was only a two and a half hour trip. I took trips up to the University on Thursdays to take Charlotte out to lunch. Meanwhile our son had graduated from West Point in 1998 and was attending his Officers Basic course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Our oldest daughter, Kate was in her third year at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. I took road trips up to Pennsylvania to see her.

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Washington and Jefferson College

In August, 1997, my parents went with us to take Kate back to school. We took two cars because we were going to leave one of them with Kate. When we were driving through the outskirts of St. Louis I looked in my rearview mirror to check on my parents and they were nowhere to be found. This was the days before cellphones. I pulled over on the shoulder of the road, waiting and hoping to see my parents in the car and after about fifteen minutes of wondering what in the world I would do if we had lost them, we saw the car coming down the interstate.

Traveling with my parents has always been an interesting but sometimes flustering experience. On the way home my dad wanted to stop at every antique shop on the way. It was fun but sometimes frustrating for me because I wanted to get back on the road. By the time we returned home the van was loaded with items that would go into their antique shop.

I loved walking around Fort Sill. We lived on the old quadrangle and the parade ground, where all the military ceremonies took place, was just across the street. Atomic Annie was just a few blocks away. The guardhouse where Geronimo was held was nearby.

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The Donoho House

Thirty years went by as fast as thirty minutes. It seems like it was just this morning that my mother-in-law Martha Ann presented me with a copy of The Army Wife.

The military life stays with you. We moved back to our hometown and found employment. Our children live near us and we are surrounded with all of our family. I still love giving parties, pulling out all the German china, Polish artist signed pottery and French tablecloths.

Still, Summer feels funny if we are not traveling somewhere and I find myself going through all the old photographs of places we have lived. I look around the rooms of our house and have the urge to pack it all up. Moving was not so much fun but the places we lived and people we met all over our country, in Europe and Panama taught us, enriched us, enlarged our minds and made us appreciate our country.

I miss it.

15 Jun 2008 03:09 pm

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I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl.

But that was easy to be when you have a father like mine.

12 Jun 2008 10:06 pm

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Did I just hear a door slam shut?

Or is it simply that the keys to our American National Security were copied and given out freely to our greatest enemies by five elderly people who serve on our nations’ highest court?

Today, our nations’ Supreme Court, by a slim margin of one, held that foreign terrorism suspects have rights to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts, and in their majority opinion awarded these unlawful combatants the “privilege of the writ of habeas corpus”

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a very strong dissent.

America is at war with radical Islamists. The enemy began by killing Americans and American allies abroad: 241 at the Marine barracks in Lebanon, 19 at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, 224 at our embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, and 17 on the USS Cole in Yemen. See National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 60–61, 70, 190 (2004).

On September 11, 2001, the enemy brought the battle to American soil, killing 2,749 at the Twin Towers in New York City, 184 at the Pentagon in Washington, D. C., and 40 in Pennsylvania. See id., at 552, n. 9. It has threatened further attacks against our homeland; one need only walk about buttressed and barricaded Washington, or board a plane anywhere in the country, to know that the threat is a serious one.

Our Armed Forces are now in the field against the enemy, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last week, 13 of our countrymen in arms were killed.

The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.

This was not only a dissent but a scathing dissent.

Bruce Kesler writes….

The arguments persuasive to the majority are that a strict interpretation of the Constitution only permits the suspension of habeas corpus in the event of domestic rebellion or invasion, and that Guantanamo is effectively under US jurisdiction. The dissents point out that the executive and Congress followed the Supreme Court’s prior ruling to provide a practical equivalent for the detainees at Guantanamo, and now the majority disregards its own ruling.

Did they have an Emily Litella moment?

The United States Constitution specifically included the English common law procedure in the Suspension Clause, located in Article One, Section 9. It states:

“ The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

I am obviously a layman when it comes to the law but I can read very well. I would assert that the attack by al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001 constituted both a rebellion, and an invasion and that public safety does require that the terrorists being held at Guantanamo be denied that privilege.

The use of the word privilege by Justice Kennedy in writing for the majority especially rankles.

According to the Law Encyclopedia:Privilege

A particular benefit, advantage, or immunity enjoyed by a person or class of people that is not shared with others. A power of exemption against or beyond the law. It is not a right but, rather, exempts one from the performance of a duty, obligation, or liability.

As American citizens we do enjoy freedoms and responsibilities. We pay our taxes, we obey the laws of the land and up until now, we have had the freedom of dissent. We are allowed to speak out when we are in disagreement with a policy, a law, a decision.

We are privileged to live in a nation with three separate and equal branches of government, the legislative, the executive and the judicial. With today’s decision the Supreme Court has in essence superseded the executive and the legislative branches. The five justices ignored their own precedent, and ignored law, and made a political decision for political reasons.
They have usurped the power of the Executive branch, and taken away the power of the United States military and their tribunals.

Detainees’ rights (and privileges) are now considered more important than American citizens’ own right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, yes, I know that those three American aspects came from our Declaration of Independence, not our constitution.

The Supreme Court is the end of the road, a cul de sac.

To whom do we go to get our safety now?

Hugh Hewitt explains why all Americans should be alarmed.

Bruce Kesler calls it lawfare.

Here is John Podhoretz’s well written dissent.

11 Jun 2008 04:46 pm

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I made this stitchery when I was a kid. The fabric was from a dress my grandmother made me.

Kris of New England has tagged me. When I was a kid I loved to play tag. I still like the game so I will play. Sometimes it’s fun to be It.

Here goes……

The Meme

The rules:
1. Post the rules of the game at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

What were you doing five years ago?

June, 2003. My husband was still active duty and we were in Little Rock where he was the Inspector General of the Arkansas Army National Guard. I was recovering from two weddings, one January 4th, 2003 and the other, November 23rd, 2002. My son and daughter got married within two months of each other. My son’s wedding was easier because his bride and her mother planned the entire church wedding and all we did was the rehearsal dinner. Then, Christmas intervened and by the end of the holidays we were gearing up for our daughter’s wedding on January 4th in a beautiful cathedral in our city.

By the time March had rolled around my son and his wife were expecting a baby and we were very excited and looking forward to our first grandchild. We had only been back in the states for a year and in June, 2003 I was enjoying being at home but had already been hired to teach art in our hometown for the next fall.

I spent a lot of time during early 2003 watching news reports on the war in Iraq. By June, Democrats and their allies in the media were already grumbling that it was taking too long to win the war. Sometimes great things require even greater patience. I was cheering our troops on back then and still continue to cheer for our great military.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?

I could lie and say, shop for a new wardrobe, sip lemonade on the porch, give directions to the maid, and return a call to Laura Bush but in reality this day will be much more mundane.

1. Clean the kitty litter. ( a must)

2. Make arrangements for my parents’ 58th wedding anniversary which is today.

3. Clean house and prepare for a party we are having this weekend.

4. Pay bills. (done that already)

5. More housework. I love summer. I can get around to most of my chores when I want to. My great housewife, mother-in-law, Martha Ann used to say, “It’s clean under all that dirt.”

What are five snacks you enjoy?

1. Coke and German pretzel sandwiches with cucumbers.

2. Lemon Meringue Pie. Always Lemon Meringue Pie.

3. Arkansas Pie. (this is more like a meal) Cover a piece of corn bread with butter beans. Top with some ketchup and purple onions. Yum.

4. Corn dodgers. My husband’s grandmother, Mama Wera taught me how to make them right after we married.

Recipe: 1 cup of white cornmeal. 1 teaspoon salt. Pour 1 cup of boiling water into the cornmeal. Mix together with your hands after it cools a little. Form little cookie sized pones and drop into a skillet with hot oil and cook until they turn golden brown. Cover with butter. Yum. My husband tells me this was basically the recipe for johnnie cake which the Confederates carried with them in the Civil War.

5. A cup of coffee and a piece of Three Milk Cake - Pastel Tres Leches. The first time I had this luscious cake we were living in Panama. When we visited Miami on our way home from Panama we had the cake again. I’ve tried to make it without success.

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

1. Pay off all of my childrens’ student loans.

2. Fix the front door step.

3. Give to our church, Christian missionaries and military charities.

4. Buy new art materials.

5. Save and carefully invest the rest.

What are five of your bad habits?

1. Nail biting.

2. Procrastinating.

3. Staying up too late even when I have to go to work the next day.

4. Driving too fast.

5. Drinking too much coke.

What are five places where you have lived?

1. Augsburg, Germany

2. Heidelberg, Germany

3. Indianapolis, Indiana

4. Panama City, Panama

5. Fort Drum, New York

What are five jobs you’ve had?

1. Assembly line worker in a General Electric plant the summer before my sophomore year of college. (this job convinced me to finish my education.)

2. I worked the counter in my grandparents’ dry cleaning business on weekends and during the summer from the time I was thirteen to nineteen.

3. I worked as a checker in a grocery store during my college years.

4. I was a fashion illustrator for the Boston Store in Fort Smith, Arkansas when I was expecting our third child. I had to quit when my five year old son and two year old daughter came down with chicken pox.

5. Teacher. Art. First grade. Fifth grade. Sixth grade.

Five people I tag:

1. Gayle Miller

2. Lorie Byrd

3. Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings.

4. jau at Just Muttering by Myself

5. J. at J’s Caffe Nette

08 Jun 2008 01:31 pm

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“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” - Barack Obama, Super Tuesday

If birds of a feather do stick together, Barack Obama is flying with a particularly loathsome flock. Is it simply that Obama needed to ingratiate himself with the Chicago political machine in order to be politically viable? Or does he really ascribe to the black nationalism and hatred of whites of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the extremism of Father Pfleger, the anti-Americanism of William Ayers and the corruption of Tony Rezko?

With the appointment of Eric Holder to Obama’s vice presidential search committee more questions arise.

The choice of associates, past and present, doesn’t jibe very well with the hope and change theme of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Who, among the appointees, friends and associates of Barack Obama will join him in lowering the level of the oceans, healing the world and making schools work? Will the Lightworker accomplish this feat himself? Is he the reincarnated Mother Teresa?

Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn’t have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity….

Here’s where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics….

…we are finally truly ready for another Lightworker to step up.

Those of us who are grounded in the Holy Bible may have the discernment to recognize the rainmen, the false prophets and used car salesmen that come along, promising the fabulous new day. This past years’ evolution of Barack Obama from Chicago crony and lightweight into a new age Lightworker tells us more about the hopes of the deluded, Anyone but Bush crowd than it does about the ObamaMessiah, who for twenty years attended a church that steeped itself in hatred of our country and the white citizens in it.

For others, like Oprah, who prefer a more cafeteria style of spiritualism, Obama’s just alright with her. Oprah is euphoric over Obama’s win.

So to the supporters of Barack Obama (the media and journalists as well as Democrats) he is the Second Coming of Camelot, the Anti-Bush, The Solar Hero and to the French, The Good American.
To Jesse Jackson Jr., Barack Obama’s win is of such major significance that, according to him, a new chapter should be added to the Bible.

Mythmaking usually comes after a great act of a heroic character but in these latter days, the Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermanns have gone all tingly in the legs and silly in their heads in their hopes for the presidency of Obama. They ascribe to Barack Obama the great solution to the Bush problem, Perseus, holding the head of Medussa and a reasonable man who will reach out to Iran’s leaders instead of the wrongful, militaristic, paleo policy of Bush/Israel.

The Obama campaign has been running against President Bush for the past eighteen months. Now they seek to cast John McCain as a third term of Bush. This enchants the BDS crowd, gives suckle to their creed and allows Obama to ignore McCain’s difference to Bush on the issues.

It keeps Obama in his vaunted place of glory.

What neighborhood does Barack Obama live in or does he even need shelter over his blessed head?

UPDATE: Some heart-broken Hillary supporters may see Obama as a trophy wife. The Anchoress explains why.

06 Jun 2008 01:46 pm

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Eisenhower speaks to 1st. Lt. Wallace C. Strobel and Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on the evening of June 5th, 1944.

D-Day, June 6th, 1944

Google celebrates the birth of Baroque artist, Diego Velázquez instead of commemorating D-Day.

Ironically, Velázquez’ daughter was an ancestress of Marquises de Monteleon, including Enriquetta Casado who in 1746 married Heinrich VI, Count Reuss zu Köstritz and had large number of descendants among German aristocracy, among them Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, father of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

I remember D-Day. So do many Americans. Six months after the Normandy Invasion came the Battle of the Bulge.

My Uncle Ed was there. Perhaps the attic bound uncle of Barack Obama tried to teach him about the valor, fidelity and sacrifice that it took to win World War ll but seemingly, it didn’t take.

Why take the opportunity to knock Obama in a D-Day post?

He claims the mantle of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Here is the prayer the late President Roosevelt delivered to the nation on June 6th, 1944.

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944

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