July 2008


09 Jul 2008 10:56 pm

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My sister, Lucy and I went blueberry picking today. We planned to leave early this morning while it was still cool but it was raining. But the old saying, rain by seven, clear by eleven is true. We took off around ten and by the time we got to my sister’s favorite place to pick blueberries the sun was coming out. Still, it was cool for a while.

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It was cool just for a while. Last year due to the late frost there were no blueberries at all. This year the bushes were sparse. The juiciest blueberries could still be found but we had to look hard for them.

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My sister takes blueberry picking seriously. We managed to fill a gallon and a quart basket. Even though Lucy ate almost as many blueberries as she picked.

The last time I picked blueberries I was in Saalfelden, Austria with my daughters.

07 Jul 2008 01:24 pm

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Teddy Kennedy Sailing

My brother and his wife were in New Hampshire to visit my niece and her husband and the magnificent Kyle last week. They went to Hyannis, MA and the Ferry Boat Captain told them that the schooner in the above photo was Ted Kennedy’s with Kennedy at the helm.

Here is a report on Kennedy’s health.

04 Jul 2008 02:32 am

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Over thirty years ago I was a young Army wife, following her husband overseas to Augsburg, Germany. We had little ones and I was very occupied with them but still, I became very homesick and full of culture shock.

During our days in Germany we traveled around Europe and while I enjoyed it very much I began to notice the difference between Europe and my own country.

Near our housing area was a Jewish cemetery. I walked over to see it one afternoon and it was in bad shape. Grave stones were turned over and defaced. Words written on some of the stones made chills go down my spine.

This incident turned me to the history books and the more I read about Hitler and his Third Reich, the more difficult it was for me to understand a people who could follow that maniac. Hitler inflicted massive destruction to millions of European Jews and others.

The day we returned home to the United States I will never forget the emotions I felt. It was like going from a very dark place into pure light. The tears flowed.

Not only was I thankful to see my family, I was grateful that America is my home.

This gratitude has continued to grow over the years. Americans are blessed beyond their knowing.

May God continue to bless America.

Happy Fourth of July!

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Artwork by Laura Lee Donoho

July 5th, 2008

July 4th was a very happy occasion for our family. It was the first time since 2005 that we were able to celebrate the fourth with our son. He was training to go to Iraq in 2006 and was in Iraq in 2007. We grilled barbecue chicken, burgers, hotdogs and roasted vegetables. The table was spread with potato salad and baked beans. We had strawberry shortcake, cookies and apple pie for dessert.

Our city has an ordinance against setting off fireworks in the city limits. Everyone ignores it. I could look in any direction tonight and see fireworks all over the sky. Later on, my husband and I watched 1776 which has been a family tradition for over twenty years.

So I am up, wide awake (so to speak) and I discovered a beautiful photo essay by Sissy Willis. Check it out. Have a Happy 5th of July. We should never forget to celebrate this wonderful country and we must always remember our freedom is due to those who fought and died for it.

02 Jul 2008 11:47 pm

Iraq is blooming now but the media concentrates on the weeds in Afghanistan. Anything to avoid the words: victory and freedom.

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In March 18th, 2006 I wrote about the progress in Iraq after fifteen million Iraqis had voted in the Constitutional Referendum just five months earlier.

I wrote…..

Which brings me to the War on Terror

in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel and elsewhere.

We were told by the left that since there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq that President Bush lied. The left refused to believe that their favorite dictator, Saddam Hussein, could have a relationship with that Osama.

We have since been served up a whole passel of lies by the antique media including the New York Times.

Because of the insurgency in Iraq, the abuse at Abu Ghraib and a host of other real (and imagined) struggles to lift the Iraqis into freedom the left has jeered at every attempt by the newly elected Iraqi government to get up and running.

The bud’s been left with little water except that poured on by the true gardeners of freedom, the American military and by the careful clipping of the stalks by those of good will who would see a strong, healthy democracy grow in the Middle East.

The troops continue to fight for Iraq, weeding out the terrorists, homegrown and other and now, new developments are blooming out all over while other entities are withering on the vine.

Some are remembering those who were lost on the day that spurred all the heroic efforts to save civilization while others have been digging for the truth. And it’s busting out all over.

Still, the scarecrows in the media tell us don’t believe in that truth, it’s not important anyway.

And now, for some reason, even the weeds are tiring of themselves. They aren’t growing as much this season. Too much exposure to the light of the blogosphere?

So, although I may have been premature in my hopes for Iraq and its government I still didn’t give up on them. As the opponents of the war in the media and the Democrat party decried any success and stressed every setback even weak-kneed Republicans began to lose heart.

Urged on by Senator John McCain and others, President Bush changed course in January, 2007.

General David Petraeus was given the charge to surge troops into Iraq and that great military gardener brilliantly carried out his plan.

Still the media and the Reids and Pelosi’s continued their diabolical strategy of painting the war in Iraq a failure. With the help of the media this perception of failure became a reality to the American people. Barack Obama still clings to the Pelosi/Reid construct.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Ralph Peters wrote in May, 2008…..

DO we still have troops in Iraq? Is there still a conflict over there?

If you rely on the so-called mainstream media, you may have difficulty answering those questions these days. As Iraqi and Coalition forces pile up one success after another, Iraq has magically vanished from the headlines.

Want a real “inconvenient truth?” Progress in Iraq is powerful and accelerating.

But that fact isn’t helpful to elite media commissars and cadres determined to decide the presidential race over our heads. How dare our troops win? Even worse, Iraqi troops are winning. Daily.

The media now acknowledge that there is success in Iraq but on the other hand, failure looms.

The New York Times grudgingly accepts that security is better but questions linger.

There is a scarcity of news out of Iraq these days which leads me to believe that old saw: no news is good news. On the other hand, things have gotten weedy in Afghanistan. General Petraeus has been selected as the new Commander of the United States Central Command so I’m certain that in due time he will take a big honking garden hose to the Taliban.

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Engineer at work in Iraq

The Times Online in the UK asks:

Since the ‘warrior scholar’ David Petraeus led the American military surge in Iraq last year, the body count has plummeted. Will he go down in history as the man who won the war, or is it all too little too late?

All too little too late? Why is that? Civilization requires time, blood, sweat and many tears. A Democratic government by its very nature involves intensive work, cooperation, compromise and leadership. At least the writer in the Times piece had the audacity to mention, “won the war.”

We will not see those three words in that order in any elite media reports before November, 2008.

That is, if they write about Iraq at all.

02 Jul 2008 03:42 pm

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In this file photo released by the Colombian government on Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, shows Colombia’s former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt in an unknown location

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia said its military rescued former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three U.S. military contractors and 11 other hostages from leftist rebels, who had been held for years, on Wednesday.

Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos says no one was hurt in the operation in eastern Colombia.

He said army commandos captured rebels manning a security ring around the hostages and got them to persuade their comrades to turn over the captives, without any loss of life.

Click here for photos.

Santos says the other 11 hostages freed were Colombian soldiers and police.

Betancourt, the Americans Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell, and the other hostages were taken to a military base.

In Paris, Betancourt’s son Lorenzo Delloye-Betancourt called her release after six years of captivity, “if true, the most beautiful news of my life.”

There was no answer at the homes of American families of the three U.S. hostages.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, just yesterday, during his visit to Columbia, Senator John McCain said the following…

John McCain: “I’ve come down here [to Colombia] on two previous occasions. We have the issue of the drug trafficking from Colombia up through our Hemisphere across Mexico and into the United States of America. Drug cartels have basically taken control of some towns on the Mexican border. There are still a couple of thousand people being held hostage by the FARC here. There is clearly a continued threat of drugs pouring into the United States of America, which can harm us and our young people very badly. I’m happy to say there has been some success. The cost of cocaine on the street is up. I also think it’s important for our economy to pass a free trade agreement between ourselves and Colombia.”


From Investors Business Daily..

Hat tip: Instapundit

It’s an impressive and unconventional campaign stop for McCain, 1,600 miles off Florida on Colombia’s Spanish Main coast in Cartagena.

The media are baffled by it, wondering where the electoral votes are. The Wall Street Journal even said that McCain somehow needed to “to pad his foreign policy credentials.”

But McCain’s top Latin America adviser, Otto Reich, a former top diplomat under President Reagan and both Bush I and Bush II, told IBD they’re only flummoxed because it’s more about principles than politics: That is, McCain’s commitment to the region and free trade.

“In supporting our allies in Colombia and Mexico, he is carrying forward the enterprise for the Americas initiative first envisioned by Ronald Reagan in 1979, the one that changed everything,” Reich said.

Reagan’s vision of a free trade zone from Barrow, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Chile was what led to the free-trade deals now passed with Mexico, Central America, Dominican Republic, Peru and Chile, according to Reich. Those pacts have strengthened those democracies and kept populist predators at bay, as Reagan wanted.

But Colombia (and Panama) are still left out. In fact, Colombia has been hideously mistreated by the Democratic establishment in Congress, which broke its own 2007 promise to pass a free-trade deal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insulted Colombia’s democratically elected president last year, and then went one worse by shutting out all 44 million Colombians from a free-trade pact they’d spent years earning. She did so using a legislative technicality, not a clean vote.

McCain stressed in a recent ad that the U.S. “can’t go back on its word” to allies like Colombia. That’s why he’s making a show there.

There’s more….

Sometimes history sneaks up on us on balmy Wednesday afternoons. Free trade. Freed hostages.

Shades of January, 1981?

UPDATE:

Statement by John McCain on Today’s Hostage Rescue in Colombia

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain issued the following statement on today’s hostage rescue in Colombia:

“Today, I spoke by phone to President Uribe. He told me some of the details of the dramatic rescue of the people who were held hostage. Three Americans are now free and Ingrid Betancourt is now in good condition. I’m pleased with the success of this very high-risk operation. Sometimes in the past, the FARC has killed the hostages rather than let them be rescued.

“So I congratulate President Uribe, the military and the nation of Colombia. It is great news. Now we must renew our efforts to free all of the other innocent people held hostage. With regard to the three Americans and Ingrid Betancourt — they had been held many years, as many as six years.

“Last night, President Uribe and the defense minister did brief us that the operation was going to take place today.”

01 Jul 2008 05:51 pm

Barack Obama’s response to Wesley Clark’s Sunday attack on Senator John McCain?

It was an inartful distraction.

Inartful?

There’s no such word. Well, distraction is a real word. An authentic word. But inartful is not.

There’s no such word in the dictionary as of this moment.

But I expect Google to be making a change soon.

I’ve certainly seen the non-word, “inartful” all around the blogosphere recently, flowing out of Democrat operative’s mouths as easily as the words Katrina and Abu Ghraib did during their hyped up eras. It’s one of the shortest and most inaccurate words Democrats have used recently to shield the Obama Messiah from his many gaffes and it’s not even a word! (Just like Obama’s not really the Messiah.)

William Safire pegged inartful as not a word over twenty years ago when writing about then Governor Mario Cuomo’s usage of it.

The use of the non-word, inartful reflects not only on Barack Obama but on those who promote and support him.

Obama has marketed himself as an authentic man of hope and change. He would have done better to have actually apologized to John McCain and then kicked Clark off his campaign.

Obama is turning into quite the artful dodger during this presidential campaign.

But inartful?

That buzzword won’t hunt.

UPDATE: Here come the obligatory media reports following up Wesley Clark’s attack on John McCain’s military service…

Military service: A diminished campaign asset?

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