July 2009


29 Jul 2009 12:17 am

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This past week one of my husband’s best friends came to visit us. This friend is a former Army officer and for the past fifteen years a Dallas, Texas policeman. He was with us when Barack Obama claimed the Cambridge, Massachusetts police department acted stupidly when they investigated the break-in of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates home.

When I was a teenager I was at home alone one Saturday evening when my family was out shopping. I had been reading a book in my favorite chair in the living room when I heard someone outside on the porch. Thinking it was my family arriving home I didn’t take much notice. I just kept reading my book. After a while though, when they didn’t come in, I went to the window and peeked out. There, on the porch, was a hippy looking fellow with stringy long hair and a hooked nose. The man was a frightening looking creature and my heart started to pound. I closed the curtains quickly and picked up the phone but I was afraid that he had seen me.

I sat in the chair by the window, my heart pounding hard. I was afraid to move or make noise. Then I noticed that the front door wasn’t locked. I called the police and whispered to the dispatcher that someone was outside my door on the porch. There was just one lamp on in the room that I had been reading by. The sun had gone down and deep in that good book, I had neglected to turn on any lights. The dispatcher told me to get out of the house. I don’t know if that was good advice or not but when I looked out the window again the creepy character wasn’t there. But it was night-dark out there and our neighbor’s house wasn’t close. I would have to run through the yard and over an old bridge that had been built by a man who was called “Chief” because he was a native American in exchange for dinner at our neighbor’s restaurant. The trees were thick and anyone could be hiding behind them.

I decided to take the dispatcher’s advice. I figured that since I was a fast runner I could outrun the hippy. I burst out of the front door and high-tailed it over to my neighbor’s house. (I probably set a record) My neighbors had just arrived home. Mr. and Mrs. Porta were just getting out of their car and Ellen, my friend came out of the Porta house. About that time I could see the lights of a police car in our driveway. Mr. Porta and Ellen walked with me over to our yard. The police had gotten there within three minutes.

A policeman took my description of the man and told me I might have to pick him out of a lineup later on that night. About that time my family arrived home and learned the news. My Dad discovered that the stringy haired hippy had stolen his tool chest and his tools that he had left on the front porch. He had been working on something earlier in the day and instead of putting the tools up he had left them out.

Later on that night someone in the the police department called us and told my Dad that they had the stringy haired hippy in custody. He was on his way to prison for breaking and entering and drug charges in a few weeks and they wanted to know if we wanted to prefer charges. My Dad told them that he would think about it and would call them back. He called my Uncle Max, a retired Pinkerton agent. The police had told my Dad the name of the criminal and he discussed the matter with my Uncle. My Uncle contacted the man’s mother and explained to her what had happened. He told her that since her son was already on his way to prison he didn’t need anymore time tacked on to that. He suggested that since we knew he had the tool chest and the tools if someone would return them there would be no charges.

I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to go down to the police station and see the guy in a lineup.

The next day was Sunday, so all of us went to church except for Daddy. When we arrived home Daddy told us that he had been in the backyard working and heard something in the front yard. He walked around the house and saw the tool chest sitting in the driveway right next to the street. All the tools were there. Thanks to good police work and my Uncle Max, the retired Pinkerton agent, all was well that ended well.

Throughout my life my encounters with law enforcement have always been positive. Of course there were the speeding tickets I received when we lived in Pennsylvania. I spent many weekends driving from Carlisle, PA to Washington PA where my oldest daughter attended college and there was a speed trap along the Pennsylvania Turnpike around the Breezewood exit. After receiving two tickets in one day at that trap I learned to drive the speed limit. Still, the policemen were cordial and professional. I fear I offended one when I remarked that he looked like Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber. He told me that he didn’t know who Jeff Daniels was. I should have mentioned Jeff Daniels’ performance in Gettysburg, one of my favorite movies.

My experience with law enforcement when I was a teenager gave me a great respect for police. My husband’s friend Mike’s dedicated work as a policeman has given me an insight into the job of law enforcement. Most police, like those in the military have an aspiration to serve our country.

So it’s disappointing but not surprising that Obama decided to take the part of his friend, Professor Gates over that of the law enforcement officer, Cambridge Police Department sergeant James Crowley when asked his opinion of the incident by a Chicago reporter during his press conference.

Obama reveals with every passing day that his promises of a post-racial presidency were merely a media and campaign invention. After all, Obama is our chief law enforcement officer. His uninformed and ignorant remarks have set off a whirlwind of animosity and accusations of racism on both sides of the divide.

Obama’s refusal to admit he was wrong and give Sgt. Crowley a clear cut apology will come back to bite him in the future. His “teachable moment” backfired, in my view. Instead of stressing the importance of law enforcement and the good it does in protecting communities, the community organizer, Barack Obama instructed most Americans that he is more interested in helping his elitist crony than in standing up for those who truly do support and serve.

That portends badly for the rest of Obama’s health care program and his other socialistic endeavors. He’s alienated a lot of people who now know his true colors….and they aren’t red, white and blue.

17 Jul 2009 11:37 am

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My cousin, Nancy took a spill and her dog, Sir Cecil tried to comfort her.

17 Jul 2009 11:23 am

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I found this photo in a box of family photos that had belonged to a late cousin. I don’t know who it is but it’s a family member on my Dad’s side. Everyone loved horses. My Dad always had horses and with his friends would ride his horse from Fort Smith to Rogers, Arkansas and back. He did this when he was sixteen years old. Mom’s and Dad’s didn’t feel they needed to keep a tight noose on their kids back then.

13 Jul 2009 08:45 pm

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Doodle art by Laura Lee Donoho

Nicholas Wade comes to the defense of cats in John Tierney’s blog. He writes:

Cat-lovers, to arms, or at least to pen! A litany of unwarranted aspersions on our feline companions is to be found in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an otherwise objective publication.

Cats “are more attached to places than people” is the first calumny.

“Cats do not perform directed tasks,” is the second.

It gets worse. “Their actual utility is debatable, even as mousers.”

These deplorable judgments are part of the authors’ thesis that cats took a different route to domestication than did other domestic animals.

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Science, in its very essence, judges facts, not love. When Science attempts to enter that unknowable realm, it fails. Those who know the love of a cat have the experiential knowledge no scientist can comprehend. That is, unless they have their own cat at home. I much prefer poets, writers and philosophers when it comes to explaining the cat. Take Mark Twain, for instance. He said this, of cats:

A home without a cat - and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat - may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?

Mark Twain

Pudd’nhead Wilson

Yes, our late Captain loved his Poppy best. He would not allow anyone to hold him on the shoulder except for his Poppy. Our home is still bereft of the meows, purrs and love of this magnificent cat and it always will be.

And yes, Captain kept the mice at bay.

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Our late cat, Abbey was attached more to her people than her places, despite the notions of the scientists at the National Academy. Abbey was especially attached to our children and very protective of them. Our first winter at Fort Drum, New York was very hard on our health. We had moved from the tropical land of Panama to freezing New York and didn’t seem to have any immunity to the viruses that bore down on us.

Our daughter, Charlotte became very ill with a horrible sore throat and high fever. Abbey liked warmth, that is true but I don’t believe that was the reason she stayed so close to Charlotte. She kept vigil with her even after the fever broke and until Charlotte recovered. A few days later, Abbey fell ill. She became so sick we were afraid we would lose her. The vet didn’t know what was wrong with her and couldn’t tell us whether she had caught the virus from Charlotte but we knew that must have been the case. Abbey was an inside cat, despite the photo above. She recovered in a week and resumed her loving ways.

When our oldest daughter, Kate married, Abbey went with her and lived happily with Kate and her husband until she died of a stroke. She is still missed.

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Then, there is Sabby.

We have had the privilege of sharing our many homes with him for sixteen years. He is a North Country cat, born in Watertown, New York and at one time our family was run by a triumvirate of cats, Captain, Sabby and Abbey. Sabby is the most possessive cat we have ever had. He is very intense but extremely loving. He’s also an incredibly intuitive and intelligent cat.

He uses his ability to “perform” to get our attention. Sabby likes to flip paper and paper box lids. He is ambidextrous at this activity and will perform this directed task every time it is requested. I suppose he does this because he chooses to but he also basks in the attention it gets him. Earlier in the year I had surgery and complications and spent twenty days in the hospital. When I returned home it was obvious that Sabby had missed me. He was definitely happy that I was home and wouldn’t leave my side. I awoke at night and discovered that he was staring at me and possibly checking my breathing.

I am Sabby’s pet.

He is very protective of me. He loves me. Scientists have no idea about the love domesticated cats can give.

Eighty million Americans do.

Sissy Willis does.

We who are the lucky ones,

we who love cats,

shall ne’er lack their love in return.

And gentlemen at the National Academy of Sciences

now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed

They know not cats.

Sorry, Will.

UPDATE:

Ahh. There’s the Friday Ark for all of us who love and are loved by these magical creatures.

06 Jul 2009 07:31 pm

After December 7th, 1941, President Roosevelt stated that the dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese would live forever as a day of infamy. In this remark, Roosevelt warned us of a direct danger to our freedom.

On July 3rd, 2009 Sarah Palin announced her resignation as the Governor of Alaska. In the last year, she has defended herself from numerous ethics complaints/investigations, all without merit, as well as numerous attacks on her character and her family, costing thousands of dollars, which most Americans can not afford.

Why?

Sarah Palin is a woman who cared enough about the corruption in her own state and party to try to do something about it. How was this received by the leaders of her party?

In Alaska, some Republican officials were shaken by Palin’s honesty. She shook up the Old Boys Network but good.

After the election last November McCain refused to come to Palin’s support after his own staff made public allegations against her. Despite this, Sarah Palin continues to defend and support this half man. What about the other great leaders of the grand old party? I have heard none defend her. Now, I know that everyone says politics is a rough and tumble game. My point is, when are the idiots in charge going to realize that it is not a game.

I suppose the loss of credibility that has been evidenced by the Republicans during the last few elections means nothing to these cretins. I am a registered Republican who once had a tremendous faith in my party. The treatment of Sarah Palin by Republicans shows little difference between their callous belief in superiority and the dishonesty of the Democrat Party.

Teamwork is required to win. You do not win by sacrificing your best players.

Palin came from the masses. She is an American mother, a business woman, and a middle class icon. I guess only the rich elite have a chance in the Republican party and the rich elite thieves and crooks in the Democrat party need apply.

By the way, what is the difference between these two aristocracies?

When freedom is simply the permission given by the powerful, then freedom does not exist. Palin did not get permission, therefore she is not allowed to play the game.

Wake up America. July 3rd, 2009 is another day of infamy because your freedom is threatened by those who you have elected.

Robert R. Donoho

06 Jul 2009 06:47 pm

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Both of my brothers, Guy and Bobby served in the Gulf War.

My brother, Sgt. Maj. Bobby E. Fletcher has done many things in his life. He was a great college baseball player, (the best second baseman I’ve ever seen) he’s a history aficionado, (and military historian) he’s a numismatist, (and President of our local coin club) and he’s a great Dad, husband, son, brother, athlete and soldier. He is the organizer and record breaking winner of our annual Fletcher Family Football Tournament. Bobby served in the first Gulf War and he deployed to Kuwait for the Iraq War.

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My youngest brother, Guy followed his big brother, Bobby into the military.

Now my brother is a blogger and he has some very interesting posts. The 142nd Field Artillery Brigade recently moved into a new facility at Fort Chaffee. The new Armed Forces Reserve Center will have a grand opening on the 11th of July at 2PM.

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The Sgt. Major in Iraq in 2007

Bobby has been given a room in the armory to create a museum about the 142nd. He has been collecting historical information and artifacts of the unit for years.

I think readers will find his new blog, Diamond Fire XRAY very interesting! It is a military blog and so much more!

Go see!

Now I can say, “It runs in the family.”

04 Jul 2009 01:16 am

There are a lot of things to be happy about this summer but watching the news has definitely not been one of them. Without a doubt, the coverage of the Obama administration by the lame stream media has to be the number one item that has made me sick.

Physically sick. Really.

So, herewith are things that have really disgusted me this summer.

1. The news coverage of the Obama adminstration by the lame stream media.

2. The unending attacks on Sarah Palin have been sickening. After nearly a year of unprecedented attacks on not only Sarah Palin but also her family, she announced today that she will be stepping down as governor of Alaska. Many commentators found fault today with Gov. Palin for stepping down from her elected position a year and a half early.

I have a feeling that this day, July 3rd, is the start of the 2012 election.

I don’t find that idea sickening at all. I find it heartening.

3. What is truly sickening? The fact that the usual Palin haters were even more inflamed by her announcement today and in their commentary chose the most negative take. They used their appearance as an opportunity to throw out even more insults. The recent Vanity Fair hit-piece by Todd Purdum (husband of Dee Dee Myers I believe) with the nasty little snipes against Sarah’s character that were contributed by McCain staffers is a disgusting piece of politics of personal destruction.

It is more than sickening.

It is despicable and one of the reasons why so many people call themselves former Republicans. We expect the Todd Purdums of the world to do their dirty work. We don’t expect paid staffers of a failed campaign to turn on the brightest and best member of that campaign.

They are low-down schmucks. Lower than that, really.

4. David Letterman is sickening. Big-time Sickening. His attack on Gov. Palin and her daughters was disgusting. His so-called apology a week later revealed he wasn’t sorry, he was just satisfying the corporate heads. World Wide Pants needs to be run off television. Here are some things to do to make that happen. Hat tip: Instapundit

5. I’m not finished. Democrats make me sick but I’ve had their number for a long time.

6. The Michael Jackson death coverage is enough already. There is something wrong with hundreds of reporters and thousands of clueless hangers-on without lives of their own who camp out in the street simply to catch a new bit of news about that despicable and disgusting person. No, I never did like his music. His voice was feminine and thin and I didn’t care for his style of hiccupping during his songs.

7. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are downright shady characters. I don’t like them. They make me sick.

They make the Founders sick.

8. I am sick of hearing the news media pronounce Sonia Sotomayor’s name with a Spanish accent. We live in an English speaking country. It makes the reporters look silly and it makes me sick. It’s sad that the Democrats are going to force early confirmation hearings in just a few weeks. It’s even sadder that there are only a few Republicans in the senate who will fight against her confirmation.

9. I am sick of the global warming myth. Why doesn’t anyone ask Al Gore to produce his college transcripts? I want to see the kind of science courses he took and his grades. He turns my stomach.

10. Barack Obama’s leadership as president of the United States has me more than dismayed. His defense of the Honduran president, and his lack of support for the Iranian protesters is more than disheartening. Indeed, it confirms to me that America is stuck for the next four years with a leader who doesn’t like her very much. Barack Obama sides with third world dictators. That doesn’t bode well for our future and it gives me a queasy stomach.

11. The sappy governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, has become a byword for disgusting, straying, unfaithful husbands. His tears for his mistress was nauseating.

12. Barack Obama has made Joe Biden his “point man” on Iraq.

God, that’s sick.

13. There is more but it is late and I can’t dwell on the negativity anymore tonight. Perhaps I will add more tomorrow. But it is the Fourth of July, Independence Day and I choose to celebrate our freedom while I still can.

Welcome Amused Cynic and Anchoress readers!