"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

HaloScan Comments

>> Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I like the HaloScan comments on other sites, so I thought I would try it out here as well. That's why you see two lines of comments.

The first line (to the right of the post author and time) are links to HaloScan comments (marked with HS). On the second line are the links to the Blogger style comments (marked with Blogger).

If enough people like the HaloScan version, I can get all of the old Blogger comments moved over so nothing is lost.

Please use this post to let me know if you like the HaloScan comments, would like me to try another commenting service or would like me to leave the Blogger comments.

Which commenting service do you like best?
HaloScan (HS)
Blogger basic (Blogger)
Other - be sure to tell me in the comments section


Free polls from Pollhost.com


As Brenna Sleeps

Brenna is sitting on the floor beside me in her "bouncy seat". This is a great thing. Basically it is material slung over a frame with a small vibration device, so the entire seat cradles you in soothing vibration. It uses AA batteries, which it goes through quickly as I keep forgetting to turn it off when I remove the baby. It reatils for about $40. The adult model, to be found in any Sharper Image store, sells for $2000. I suppose that if I multiply the number of batteries I expect to buy by the cost of said batteries I would be able to afford the nice big leather chair for myself.

We made it out of the mall alive on Sunday. Then again, we didn't venture into the pit of mayhem to visit Santa. As you may recall, Brenna had her first photos taken. She was an absolute angel... slept through the whole thing. We did manage to get her to open her eyes for a couple of pictures, then right back to sleep. The best photo is actually the last one we had taken. She's laying on a white pillow with a black velvet background. Looks like she's laying on a cloud.

So, since waking up didn't seem to be an option, we decided to skip the Santa visit. Maybe we'll try again another day.

The princess seems to ba waking up... must be time to eat. My body is telling me it's time for her to eat... and has been for a while. :)


Why governments shouldn't be creative

Tech Central Station has a nice post titled Economics in One ($90 Million) Lesson.

It's a gripping tale of how the UK spent US$90 million on a web site that helps users get around Britain using public transportation. There are several problems with this high-minded proposition. The first being that a full-featured private sector web-site already existed prior to starting this project and it only cost $1.8 million to develop. Why not save the $90 million by spending 5 minutes to create a web page that linked to every commercial site that plans and books travel by public transportation? I guess that takes the fun (pork) out of it, now doesn't it? Problems 2, 3, and 4 are how State agencies budget and manage projects (limited functionality, frequent site crashes, incorrect info, and 4 years of development time). The fifth problem is that the State went into direct competition with private enterprise. Why take away from your tax base? Again, why not link to sites that do the booking already?

Tim takes this journey into a mini commercial by pointing out the lessons learned and ending with, "If we take the cost of this scheme, that $90 million, and allocate it per capita across the population of the UK we get something like $1.50 each. That's a once off cost, not a recurring one. Set that cost against the lessons learned, that State action is expensive, slow, inefficient, cannot be relied upon to actually achieve the tasks it sets itself, usually ends in you being told lies and in the process crowds out private companies doing a better job.

A buck and a half each to have those lessons demonstrated for us in the real world? Yup, that's a bargain. I just hope that my fellow Brits take those lessons to heart."

Priceless. Read the whole thing, Tim does a much better job.


Is it that Pat Sajak?

A Hush Over Hollywood

Somewhere in the world, a filmmaker creates a short documentary that chronicles what he perceives as the excesses of anti-abortion activists. An anti-abortion zealot reacts to the film by killing the filmmaker in broad daylight and stabbing anti-abortion tracts onto his body. How does the Hollywood community react to this atrocity? Would there be angry protests? Candlelight vigils? Outraged letters and columns and articles? Awards named in honor of their fallen comrade? Demands for justice? Calls for protection of artistic freedom? It’s a pretty safe bet that there would be all of the above and much more. And all of the anger would be absolutely justified.

So I’m trying to understand the nearly universal lack of outrage coming from Hollywood over the brutal murder of Dutch director, Theo van Gogh, who was shot on the morning of November 2, while bicycling through the streets of Amsterdam. The killer then stabbed his chest with one knife and slit his throat with another.

The presumed murderer, a Dutch-born dual Moroccan-Dutch citizen, attached a 5-page note to van Gogh's body with a knife. In it, he threatened jihad against the West in general, and specifically against five prominent Dutch political figures. Van Gogh’s crime? He created a short film highly critical of the treatment of women in Islamic societies. So, again I ask, where is the outrage from Hollywood’s creative community? I mean, talk about a violation of the right of free speech!

Perhaps they are afraid that their protests would put them in danger. That, at least, is a defensible position. If I were Michael Moore, I would much rather rail against George W. Bush, who is much less likely to have me killed, than van Gogh’s murderer and the threat to creative freedom he brings. Besides, a man of Moore’s size would provide a great deal of “bulletin board” space.

Maybe they think it would be intolerant of them to criticize the murder, because it would put them on the side of someone who criticized a segment of the Arab world. And, after all, we are often reminded that we need to be more tolerant of others, especially if they’re not Christians or Jews.

There’s another possibility; one that seems crazy on the surface, but does provide an explanation for the silence, and is also in keeping with the political climate in Hollywood. Is it just possible that there are those who are reluctant to criticize an act of terror because that might somehow align them with President Bush, who stubbornly clings to the notion that these are evil people who need to be defeated? Could the level of hatred for this President be so great that some people are against anything he is for, and for anything he is against?

As nutty as it sounds, how else can you explain such a muted reaction to an act that so directly impacts creative people everywhere? Can you conceive of a filmmaker being assassinated because of any other subject matter without seeing a resulting explosion of reaction from his fellow artists in America and around the world?

As I said, it’s a nutty-sounding explanation, but we live in nutty times.

An excellent point, but I still hear the deafening sound of silence from the "Hollywood types".


Good News

Protest for President Bush's visit fizzled. Only 39 protestors showed up to two scheduled protests, while being covered by 42 journalists. The picture on the article only shows one protestor, the rest look like bystanders. I guess the liberal dream of moving to Canada may not be a good idea.

In what seems like bad news the New York Times reports that Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo.

However, the "abuses" reported include:

  • "The military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion 'tantamount to torture'". Does this mean that they don't have TV privileges? Listening to Al Sharpton is 'tantamount to torture' too, what's the NY Times going to do about that.

  • Doctors telling guards and interrogators about prisoner medical problems. Umm, hello, the prisoners are getting medical care! Why shouldn't we use that information?

  • Prisoners not knowing when they will be released may lead to mental problems. Yes, the Red Cross actually listed this as an abuse. Name any other war in which POW's knew when they would be released.

  • "exposure to loud and persistent noise and music and to prolonged cold". Wow, would it compare to a construction worker or someone in a factory? Would it compare to a teenager's stereo? No basis is given.

  • "detainees were subjected to 'some beatings.'" This could be the only troubling item in the list, but no details are offered. You would think that if the Red Cross found this to be true it would be made apparent.

The response from the military? "Asked about the accusations in the report, a Pentagon spokesman provided a statement saying, 'The United States operates a safe, humane and professional detention operation at Guantánamo that is providing valuable information in the war on terrorism.'" And, "I'm satisfied that the detainees here have not been abused, they've not been mistreated, they've not been tortured in any way," he said.

Let's compare this to the fact that al Sadr and al Zakawi treatment of their prisoners. They behead, murder, disembowel, poke out eyes, rape, beat, starve, and cut off hands. Has the Red Cross said anything about that?


Our friends in the UN

>> Monday, November 29, 2004

via Bad Hair Blog we see that Annan's Son Took Payments Through 2004. Where can I get a gig like that? Why would someone still receive payments when not working for the company in question? hmmmmm.


Misplaced Metaphors

Read the latest from Victor Davis Hanson as he details why various liberal metaphors for the Iraq war are wrong.


Smart Health Insurance

Michael Barone discusses the Destiny Health plan

The Destiny health plan has several intelligent features. One is an annual deductible: you pay for basic expectable medical expenses before insurance kicks in. One reason for the high cost of most health insurance is that we expect it to pay for routine medical expenses: it is as if your auto insurance policy covered oil changes but didn't pay you when the car was totalled.

When insurance kicks in, it is in the form of a personal medical fund, similar to the health savings account model that was part of the 2003 Medicare/prescription drug act. Unused amounts can be rolled over into the next year, and employees who leave the company will have access to remaining balances. This encourages employees to treat the money as if it is their own -- which it is -- and to keep cost in mind while making health care decisions. Experts of all ilks agree that one reason health care costs keep rising so rapidly is that consumers have gotten into the habit of making decisions with no regard at all for cost. The Destiny plan encourages them to break that habit.

The third and perhaps most interesting feature of the Destiny plan is its wellness programs, designed to encourage healthier lifestyles. Employees' insurance premiums are cut if they abstain from smoking, exercise regularly, hold down their weight and seek preventive care such as Pap smears or prostate exams. For achieving such goals, they earn "vitality points," which can be redeemed for health club memberships and travel discounts.


Thanksgiving down, Christmas to go

>> Sunday, November 28, 2004

Brenna's first Thanksgiving has officially ended. We had 3 days of festivities.

Festive day #1: This took place at our house. Our original plan involved Doug's grandmother coming to visit and our meal being prepared by the local Village Inn (or other fine establishment open on turkey day.) That is not how it happened. The night before FD1 grandma calls and asks if it's ok if some more of Doug's family joins us as they haven't seen Brenna yet. She says that she will bring the food & be at our place about 1pm. OK, that only involved cleaning the house and a quick trip to the store for pre-dinner munchies and apple juice to mull with spices & wine. At 1:30 noone is at our house. Grandma calls, says she's running late. We assume that she has called other relatives as well. She arrives and says that since other relatives have not arrived they must not be coming. Terrific. My refrierator is filled with so many leftovers- they'll go bad before we can even get to them. Well, my house is clean, at least.

Festive day #2: This was at Doug's aunt & uncle's house, about an hour south of where we live. A nice, traditional Thanksgiving meal... turkey, veggies, stuffing, bear. Yep, bear. Doug's uncle is an avid hunter. It doesn't bother me since he uses every bit of everything he hunts. But, I didn't try the bear.

This day was tough on Brenna. She was handed around quite a bit. She doesn't mind strangers holding her and will only fuss if she's dirty or hungry. But there were quite a few younger children, so quite a bit of noise. Brenna was overstimulated and just shut down, which means she spent most of the night awake. Which I really wouldn't have minded except for...

Festive day #3: This was with my Dad's family. It involved a drive about 1 1/2 hours south of where we live. Which meant that by the time Brenna was finally sleeping soundly I had to get up and begin preparations to leave. Another large, traditional feast. Brenna was handed around and, because my aunt runs a daycare, the small children were happily playing in the basement. I vaguely remember handing Brenna to my aunt after she had been fed and changed, saying something like "She's awake & happy", before sitting in a very comfy recliner and falling asleep.

Which brings us to today. Today we are venturing into a mall. Ugh. I usually stay away from any shopping establishment during the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I have no choice- Brenna's first professional photos are scheduled for today. The real plan is to have a family portrait taken. As I have not yet checked the circles under my eyes I am not sure if this is actually happening. It may just be Brenna. And, since we will be there, why not venture even deeper into the chasm of shopping fun and have our first visit with Santa?

Yes, why not?!?!


Nope, We Can't Teach the Facts

>> Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Yep, it's time for another installment of "What the Hell is going on in our schools?!?!"

Today we feature a story out of, where else, California. The San Francisco Bay area, to be exact.

Reuters reports Declaration of Independence Banned at School. Yep, folks, the Founding Fathers' most important piece of work is not allowed.

Williams asserts in the lawsuit that since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.

Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence, George Washington's journal, John Adams' diary, Samuel Adams' "The Rights of the Colonists" and William Penn's "The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania."

OK, so I understand the whole division of church and state thing. But to delete history lessons- to delete facts pertaining to the founding of our country- because it makes mention of or eludes to God. The Delcaration of Independence doesn't actually mention God but says:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

Yep, Creator has been banned. I don't know that Creator is necessarily another word for God. Could be Buddah, Allah, Beelzebub. How ludicris is this getting?

Need I continue? There's a Christian school here in town. I may be looking into it- even though we aren't religious. At least you know this kind of crap won't be an issue...


California Education Law Section 51230 requires that students shall be read and taught the Declaration of Independence as well as other historical documents.


WebMD on the positive effects of voting

Is America the over-analysis capital of the world or what? WebMD studies the effects of voting.

When you believe you're doing something that could make your life better, that's where the psychological benefits come in, says Sanders, and all of the additional physical benefits attributed to voting are connected to those mental health benefits.

Admittedly, researchers say voting and better health are not directly related. For example, casting your vote on Nov. 2 is not going to lower your cholesterol or cure cancer.

The punchline is "Many of us look at this election and think that one way or the other would be a catastrophic event, and it might be. But it usually takes more than who gets elected president to affect our mood in an enduring way."


People you should know

They call them Charlie's Angels

The Lance Cpl.Who Left Wall St.


Please visit- and leave a comment!

We were surfed into by Texas Ducks, who left a very nice comment on our site. So do us a favor and go over to check them out. Lots of cute pictures... Leave a nice comment. And be sure to use the Jody's Favorites links to go back & visit. (Ummm, Doug, would you add this to my favorites? Please?) Remember, every time you link from our page it makes us more powerful! (Evil laugh here)


I am the plant killer...

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I have 3 plants in my house. Personally, I think that is 3 plants too many. Give me an animal and watch it thrive. Give me a plant and watch it die.

Now, one of these plants is my fault. Des Moines has a wonderful outdoor farmer's market every Saturday during the summer. You can buy anything here. Amish baked goods & preserves- check. Fresh from the farm meats- check. Every veggie you can imagine- check. And, for the truly brave, you can buy your own plant from which to produce your own veggie, potporri, fruit... (insert correct word here). So, one fine Saturday when I was feeling particularly optimistic, I bought a lavendar plant. I thought it would be so nice to plant outside and bring in fresh sprigs to add a fresh scent to the house.

Well, I didn't plant it right away because of the insane rabbit population we have living under our bushes. I wanted to give this little guy a fighting chance. And I did OK when it was living outside. But now it's in for the winter. I couldn't plant it at the end of fall, it wouldn't have been able to put down deep enough roots to survive. And now it is a shrivled mass of pointy leaves. I seem to have overwatered it. Or not given it enough sun. Or both.

Plant number 2 was given to me by my dear husband. Who should have known better. It's a cyclamen. It had such pretty green leaves and pink flowers when I got it. Now it is wilted, the leaves fading to a pale, sickly green and the flowers are non-existent. So what did I do to this one? Who knows? My thumb is brown, I guess.

Plant 3, the newest plant of the bunch. This one came from the company Doug works for as congratulations on Brenna's birth. Yep, "Congratulations on the birth of your daughter, here's a plant to kill." It's some sort of viney plant, I should probably get a hanging basket for it and put it in a sunny window before I kill it off. It's still a beautiful, healthy green. Today. Tomorrow is another day.


Conservative invasion

Pravda, yes the former mouthpiece for the USSR, has a new conservative writer by the name of Steve Darnell. See his A good week for freedom. Talk about brass $%@#*...

Take a look at his first piece too.

Is it a sign that Pravda has more conservatives opinion writers than say the Des Moines Register?


Orson Scott Card

Orson on This Election and the Next; Osama's Video


More liberal myths put to rest

Response to Liberal Jackasses. What more needs to be said?

First, I pulled up the top 100 most populated cities in the United States (Wouldn’t want to include any backwoods or rural areas who voted for a “chimp”). I then went to the registrar of voters for each city to determine their final voting results (Yes, I worked on this all day). Out of the top 100, believe it or not 50 voted for Bush and 50 voted for Kerry. Then I decided to pull statistical data on the top 10 cities that voted for each to define each city. First, I looked at population movement. The average Kerry city had an increase of just over 6000 residents, while the average Bush city had almost 36000 happy new residents. I also looked at a wide range of other factors including annual precipitation, sales tax rate, property tax per $1000, Student Teacher Ratio, average college graduation rate and median household income. Additionally, based on a Index rate formula with 100 representing the average U.S city, I looked at Air Pollution, Personal Crime Risk, and cost of living. Here are the results.

Go there and look at the results.

Can't wait? Oh, okay, here's the money quote:
While the average Kerry city had a higher median income ($43440 vs. $40655), the cost of living was significantly higher (134.84 to 105.07), crime was much worse (276.5 to 181.5), air pollution was worse (108.4 to 94.3), it rained more (35.47 to 29.08), and property taxes (with the exception of Oklahoma City) were higher. Not only that, violent crimes per 100,000, murder per 100,000, property prices, % single mothers, number of homeless, % of renters, % commute time, and avg. lifespan were also worse in Kerry cities.


Move along, nothing to see here

Task Force 1-27 Infantry Soldiers storm villages, leave as guests. Entire villages that like the US isn't news.

Omar is confused by a "man who doesn’t live in Iraq seems to know more about the history of Iraq than I do". Just goes to show that a PhD doesn't automatically endow critical thinking skills.

The Chicago Tribune reports on Falluja; the torture chambers, the weapons stashes and the small stockpiles of chemicals weapons material.
Via Powerline

News roundup for today
From the last entry: South Korean troops have been cleared by the country's cabinet to remain in Iraq for a further year, until the end of 2005.

An additional 700 troops are due to arrive in northern Iraq this week, taking the South Korean contingent to about 3,500 soldiers.

The extension to their mission still has to be approved by the parliament in Seoul.

Why is this the first time I've heard that South Korea is adding to their forces in OIF? Don't answer, it's a rhetorical question.


This is what the left thinks

Read this from the Daily Kos or this snapshot from Right Wing News to see how out of touch most die-hard liberals really are. Why is it that liberals can't hardly put two facts together in a discussion? I have a couple of very well educated friends who can hold intelligent conversations except when it comes to politics. Then, I wonder where their intellect has gone.

Oh well, see how Canadians respond to libs wanting to emigrate. (Hat tip Slings and Arrows

And Rating the most offensive liberals for 2003 for a look at last year's offenders...


Favorite Ann Coulter Quotes

Ann Coulter take on liberals in 25 quotes


The Hero Generation

>> Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sixty-three years ago our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers had to stand up to totalitarian regimes around the world. Their quiet professionalism made a difference then and for the decades following World War II. The current generation of men and women in uniform are no less heroic and their stories deserve to be told and re-told.

Here's an email from a Marine to his father recounting the most recent battle for Falluja. Be sure to check out other messages for and from Marines.

My time in Desert Storm was with the First Infantry Division. I'm proud to say that she's still kicking ass today. My war was very different than what they're going through now. Urban warfare is the toughest combat you can face. Our troops are showing the world how it's done. The Russians had an entire brigade get wiped out by Chechnyan (or was it Georgian) rebels a few years ago. A handful of soldiers barely made it out of the city. In every phase of the war in Iraq, our men and women have truly dominated the field. It's like the Dallas Cowboys playing your local high school team. I would have it no other way.


Our friends the French

>> Saturday, November 20, 2004

Not only were government officials heavily bribed by Saddam. Not only did French companies illegally trade with Iraq after Desert Storm. Not only has Paris done everything to hinder and belittle American progress on the War on Terrorists. Now, I find that France not only allowed the Ba'ath party to be reconstituted in Paris, but they actively encouraged it.

Here are some tidbits coming out of the story:

The resurrection of the Ba'th Party on French soil was further strengthened by France's proposal that representatives of "la resistance" should participate in any future conference that will be convened to discuss the future of Iraq. This position was clearly stated by Michel Barnier, the French Foreign Minister, in an interview with the French TV station " France Inter." In the interview, Mr. Barnier called for a political process in Iraq that would include "a number of groups and people who have today opted for the path of resistance through the use of weapons."

"We are numerous everywhere in the world, and particularly in the French-speaking space, to wish not only the end of the Yankee's occupation in Iraq, but more the victory of the Ba'thist resistance, which claims itself of Saddam Hussein and which is organized in the Movement Resistance and Liberation [poor translation from the original in French, meaning the Resistance and Liberation Movement] of Iraq." [8]

The newsletter extends the purpose of the "resistance" not only to defeat "the American-Zionist imperialism in Iraq," but to other fronts, "particularly in occupied Palestine and Europe, where the Yankee domination is shaken today." It goes on to affirm its agreement with Che Guevara that, "imperialism has a head, the United States, and that it should be cut off!"


Long Live Free Fallujah!

Stephen Schwartz has an excellent article at the Tech Central Station.
Here's a sample to entice you to read the whole thing...

The Fallujans have learned the same lesson the Shias learned before them, and the Afghans before them: U.S. boots on Muslim soil may be onerous, but American military action is preferable to the unspeakably vicious criminality of Islamist extremists financed, recruited, and otherwise encouraged by Wahhabism, the state religion in Saudi Arabia.

When Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge almost 30 years ago, Western media reported it as the liberation of a city. Noam Chomsky hailed the forced evacuation of Cambodian towns as a noble social experiment. But many journalists were soon forced to record the truth about Khmer Rouge cruelty.

It took longer for Western, and especially American media, to stop glamorizing the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Stalinist guerrillas in El Salvador, and to admit that the masses of people in those countries rejected their claims to represent them. An editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, where I worked, on the day after Violeta Chamorro (remember her?) won election in Managua in 1990, told me, "Nicaragua is no longer a news story for us." I asked, "is that because there will be no more violence?" He said, "No, it's because the U.S. is no longer a target." I am sure he meant "a target of our reporting."

Strangely, throughout the Iraqi struggle, Western media have joined Western politicians in a reluctance to name the "foreign fighters" in Fallujah as what they are -- mostly Wahhabis, and mainly Saudis. Those who monitor Arab media know this to be true because when jihadists die in Fallujah, their photographs and biographies appeared in newspapers south of the Iraq-Saudi border. Western media "analysts" added to the fog of disinformation by alleging that the Shia rebels of Moqtada ul-Sadr would join the Wahhabis in Fallujah. But Islamic media around the world began to produce curious items: Moqtada ul-Sadr issued an order for the execution of any Wahhabis caught infiltrating the Shia holy cities; Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in turn, supervised the beheading of an Iraqi Shia accused of spying for the Americans. Top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a fatwa saying that anybody who obstructed the U.S.-sponsored elections in Iraq is destined for eternal fire. And the 26 leading Wahhabi radicals in Saudi Arabia published an open letter to the Iraqis calling for stiffened resistance in Fallujah and forbidding any cooperation with the U.S. forces. Little of this was reported in or digested by American media, which stuck to their story: Americans bad, terrorists in Iraq good.

PowerlineBlog has a great followup.
If the Fallujah campaign had been long and difficult, and had given rise to many casualties, the hysteria in the media would have been unrestrained. Instead, however, the Fallujah campaign was one of the most stunning successes in the history of urban warfare. Consequently, it has dropped off the media radar screen. Newspaper attention immediately turned, not to the important strategic advantages of depriving the terrorists of their home base, or to the horrifying discoveries of torture and murder chambers, the "Iraq al Qaeda" headquarters, or vast quantities of munitions that have been captured in Fallujah, but to: 1) video footage of a Marine shooting a wounded terrorist, and 2) terrorist attacks in other parts of Iraq. The point of the latter coverage is not subtle; the reader is intended to conclude that the battle of Fallujah has been futile.

UPDATE: I'm number 189677:


Visiting Day

>> Friday, November 19, 2004

First I just want to say that my wedding ring fits again!!! Yippee!! The worst part of the water gain with pregnancy was not being able to wear my wedding band. I was sure people thought I was an unwed mother.

Brenna and I went visiting today. I took her to the Metro Market to meet Kim Chase from WOW FM's noon show. I met Kim about 6 weeks ago. A previous caller had mentioned a couple of books that we happen to own and I offered to let Kim borrow them. She came by the house, met Toby and the Brenna bump.

We also had the great pleasure of meeting Meritt. She recently moved to the Des Moines area and, as I have really enjoyed her blog, I looked forward to meeting her. I wasn't disappointed. I had a great time talking with her. Her kids are gorgeous. I look forward to getting to know her better.

Brenna was an absolute doll at the market. She slept most of the time we were there, waking up to eat shortly before we left. Meritt cuddled her a bit while I warmed a bottle. Nothing cuddles like a new baby. **sigh**

After we left the market we went to visit a company where I used to work. Brenna was treated like visiting royalty. Everyone had to hold her. She was awake for this visit and enchanted everyone she met. Of course.

And tonight we have family visiting. More cuddling for our little princess.

And they have arrived...


So far, it's been a good week

UN staff ready historic no-confidence vote in Annan.

This comes on the heels of Kim Jong Il posters being removed in North Korea. All we need is to find and/or kill al-Zawahri over the weekend for the hat trick.


Democrats in Denial

Willing to place blame on anyone but themselves and their ideas, Democrats are grasping at straws.

Some don't consider Kerry radical enough for them.

It seems like there isn't room for moderate Democrats in their own party anymore. Many of the ones that believe in personal choice and a strong America publicly backed Bush. The Michael Moore side of the party is more vocal and aggressive. Maybe it's time for the Democratic Party to split into the ones favoring socialist programs and America rolling over and playing dead and everyone else left in the party with any character. Read the rantings of DemocraticUnderground and MoveOn for examples.


State of the World

>> Thursday, November 18, 2004

Jerry reports that North Korea's Kim Jong Il may be stepping down.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il finally decided not to make the same mistake a s Saddam. It can dangerous to portray oneself as staunch anti-American and try to rule a country that really has no real friend. Saddam's biggest problem was he was over confident about what America and allies would do! He made a mistake in 1990 when he occupied Kuwait and stayed there for a while in spite of American warnings. He again made a mistake in not opening the doors for UN inspectors wide enough to really reveal that he did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Kim Jong II of North Korea decided it is better to step down than be challenged by the world. Sources say his age and vigor are not favoring either.

Jeff reports that the facade of Kim is slipping

Yet another coup for the Bush team if this pans out. It seems that Bush's multilateral approach will work with North Korea after all.

Jeff and I discussed (among other things) Iran last night. Iranians largely think favorably on the United States. We are in the process of killing off Iranian agents that have crossed into Iraq. I can only hope that having representative democracies to the left and right of Iran incent them to do the same.

Other events triggered by the Bush doctrine:
  • Pakistan no longer actively supports terror organizations (the Taliban and the Khan nuclear smuggling group) and are now killing terrorists on their own soil. They're not as effective as the US military and arguably some in the Pak military side with the enemy, but it's 100% better than before.
  • Saudi Arabia announced that it intends to hold elections. Again, it's not perfect as women are not eligible to vote, but it's a step towards the right direction. Remember that it took over 100 years for women to be able to vote in all but a handful of states in the US.
  • Libya surrendered WMD materials and opened up to UN monitoring agencies. This is a full-blown win for the western world. Yes, they keep trying to hide programs, but there is pressure there that didn't exist prior to December 2003.
  • The following countries have agreed (and in some cases requested) a permanent or long term military base for US forces:
    1. Romania
    2. Kazakhstan and here
    3. Azerbaijan
    4. Uzbekistan, and possibly Kyrgyzstan

  • List of countries training with the US military (with the aid of US dollars)

Let's not forget that a major impediment to Arab Palestinians long-term wellbeing is now worm food. Let's see what they do with it. If we don't see anymore suicide bombers in Israel, then I foresee an independent Arab Palestinian state in the near future.

Is the situation all peaches and cream? No, however, it is a long shot from the dire agony the media presents to us every day. I'm betting on the can-do attitude and fighting spirit of America. If you don't believe in that, then pick up a history book and look at our long history of accomplishment and see for yourself.


What a Good Daddy

>> Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tonight was bath night. Only the second "real" bath since Brenna's cord fell off. And Doug's first "real" bath experience. I don't know if it was because daddy was helping or if Brenna is just becoming more used to water, but she didn't fuss quite as much as she did on Monday evening when I bathed her myself. Daddy holds her up, mommy does the soaping and rinsing.

After bath mommy rubs on the lotion and daddy wraps her in a towel to comfort and dry her. I may be setting myself up... mommy = annoyance & frustration... daddy = comfort.

I try to make sure that Doug gets a chance to feed Brenna at least once a day, and it was the bedtime feeding today. He just came down, said she was out like a light, left the monitor with me and went to his office. Now, through the monitor I hear screaming. Ahhh, just when I was going to become jealous of Doug having such an easy time getting her to sleep. So, I am off to lull the princess to the land of Nod. Good night.


Living on Brenna Time

>> Monday, November 15, 2004

Miss Brenna has some internal way of knowing when I am on the computer. Mere moments after I sit down she will wake up, desperate for my attention. Today has been no exception. Four times I have tried to sit down to answer emails & catch up on my favorite blogs (see the sidebar). Currently I am trying to balance my laptop on my knees while Brenna rests comfortably on my lap, head nestled on my chest. This is precarious, and far from comfortable. But I was noticing that our blog hasn't been updated for days. That's practically unheard of.

Doug has been out of town since Thursday evening. He returns late tonight. Assuming, of course, that he can get out of Chicago. Flying through Chicago is the worst. They have the highest rate of delayed flights. The past few times I have flown through Chicago I have been delayed- mostly due to weather. Why one of the busiest airports in the country is located next to a lake that seems to create it's own weather pattern is beyond me.

And, on the subject of airports, I am going to vent about the one we have here in Des Moines. It is called the Des Moines International Airport. A very misleading name. It should be called the Des Moines 5 State Airport- because you can really only go 5 places from here: Minneapolis, Denver, St. Louis, Chicago and Dallas. From there you can catch a flight to your actual destination. Aggrivating, to say the least.

But I digress. Doug was out of town this weekend so, timing being everything, it was the weekend his mother and step-father were able to make it up from Dallas to see the lovely granddaughter. Unfortunately they weren't able to stay long enough to see Doug.

I have so much that needs to be done. It is amazing how much I rely on Doug to be here in the evenings to help with Brenna. Right now I wondering if washing the sheets was a good idea. I hope I can get the bed made before he gets home....


What price for safety?

>> Thursday, November 11, 2004

New x ray machines at Heathrow airport in London leave nothing to the imagination.

Apparently the machine can see through clothing, which has a British civil rights group up in arms calling it a "voyeur's charter."

Right now the machine is being tested on volunteers only who don't seem to be offended by the added security.

We flew out of Heathrow in the spring of 2003. I remember that my shoes, which had to be removed in the US because of metal in the soles, were able to be worn through the detectors and our laptop didn't have to be taken out of the case. Differences in safety standards, I suppose.

Personally I would be OK with anything that could make flying safer. Who is looking out for my right to fly in safety? What if I don't want to fly with people who refuse to be thoroughly inspected? Aren't my civil rights being violated?


The Netherlands

>> Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The latest front in the Global War on Islamofascists seems to be developing in the Netherlands. Violence there has increased after the death of film maker Theo van Gogh. Three Dutch police officers were wounded by a grenade blast while arresting Muslim militants. "Meanwhile a Muslim school in Uden has been burned down..."

France also has had problems with Muslim extremists this past year. It seems that they don't really care about the War in Iraq, but about Western culture and the desire to convert Europe to Islam.


Theo van Gogh

>> Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Here's a link to Theo van Gogh's film, "Submission." It's in Windows Media Player format. Except for the opening & closing prayers in Arabic, the film is in English with Dutch subtitles. Powerful, yes, but not worth his life.
Click on the opening front page and the download should begin:
It is not work or small child safe...


Anything sweeter?

Is there anything sweeter than a baby? Currently Brenna is curled up against me, feet & tushy in my lap, head nestled between my breasts, sleeping. Only seconds ago she was awake. Every once in a while she'll readjust and I'll pet her soft hair until she finds a comfy spot and her fingers to suck and closes her eyes. This, of course, makes typing slightly more difficult, not to mention time consuming. But this soft, warm little body, fresh & clean from her bath, fits so perfectly against me that I don't want to put her down.

I removed the bandages from my incision today. I must say that the surgeon did a very nice job. When the scar fades a bit it won't even be noticeable. Very fortunate as I have a tendancy to be a bit vain. This "new body" I have is taking quite a bit of getting used to. I hope to be back in my jeans by Thanksgiving. Maternity clothes are too big, but my regular clothes are still too small. I really don't want to buy clothes that I plan to be out of in 2 weeks, so I look sloppy. I hate looking sloppy. Doug says I "look like a mom". That's not a compliment, is it?

Well, the princess is awake & she seems hungry. I'm off....


Battle for Fallujah

Belmont Club has a thourough examination of the battle so far

The Obsidian Order compares news articles from a variety of sources

Zeyad at Healing Iraqi states that martial law should have been declared 2 months ago and that Fallujah should have been taken care of then.


Fire the Main Stream Media

>> Monday, November 08, 2004

What lengths would the media go to protect a Democratic candidate?

There was that whole Dan Rather/forged document scandal. Sandy Berger stuffing classified documents down his shorts hardly got play outside of the Internet. Pay stubs, drill records, pictures, personal testimonies and an honorable discharge wasn't enough to stop the "Bush was AWOL" fraud. When was the last time you saw a story about the economy? The reason is because the economy is very strong right now, so they have to go out of their way to say otherwise.

What are other things you've noticed in major media outlets that overtly sided with the Democrats? Can you come up with an instance where a Republican candidate was given the same treatment this election?

UPDATE: This isn't from a major media source, but fits in here. Daily Kos (Democrat Partisan) is urging liberal to lie. We've always known about liberals penchant for half-truths and mis-representing history, but now we have a source plainly calling for it. No wonder liberals are losing voters.


First Dr. Visit

Brenna had her first Dr visit today. She was pronounced healthy & perfect. (We already knew about the "perfect" part...) She gained back all the weight she lost in the hospital- an then some. She's 9 lbs 2 oz now. She also grew 1 1/2 inches. I must be doing something right.

I was going to tell you all how much the trip tired her, as we came home, she ate and fell directly asleep. However, as I finished the first sentence, she decided to wake up. And I am, again, typing with only one hand to finish this post....


Questing Cat

A First Infantry Division trooper takes on liberals who would rather believe their own propaganda than hear the stories of people actually in theater.

Now let me ask you all a few silly little questions....what in the world makes you think that you can talk to me about my war? I don't mean the war in Iraq, I don't mean the global war on terror. I mean my little living and breathing war. My fighting, my suffering, my experience. Alvaro has come seeking truth - at least he claimed. He and his ilk claim they are trying to free themselves of the lies the American War Machine is selling them. What fools. You seek knowledge in the words of others, by judging them from your experience. Then try to sell me the rehashed chewed up digestion of MY experience. Alvaro, you truly have learned nothing.

I went onto your site, and saw your many references. Not only am I impressed by the inaccuracy and bias of your sources and comments, but amazed by the general willingness to accept them. Not only do you spout off inconsistent figures, unlikely conspiracy theories, and disproven rethoric, but you then try and tell ME where and how this incident happened? Tell me the status of MY sector? Good god, have I taught you nothing.


Arafat and the PLO

Things that make you go hmmmm. However, I'm not surprised...

From London's Telegraph

As confusion over Mr Arafat's condition grew, a Palestinian legislator last night called for his financial adviser, Mohammed Rashid, who controls a multi-billion dollar network of Palestine Liberation Organisation accounts, to be investigated.

Over the past 40 years, Mr Arafat's PLO has built up a global empire of investments, worth an estimated $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion. (£2.3-£3.5 billion). Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority, which administers the territories, is virtually bankrupt.

Mr Saleh is also calling for Mr Arafat's wife, Suha, who is said to be a business partner of Mr Rashid, to be questioned. "Mr Arafat's situation has presented a chance for us to question Mohammed Rashid," he said. "He knows better than anyone else the whereabouts of all the money, all the secret accounts. This is the people's money."
A confidential report last month by the Palestinian finance ministry shows that the Palestinian Authority is running a deficit of about £73 million a month.

Last year, the International Monetary Fund said Mr Arafat had diverted $1 billion or more of Palestinian Authority funds from 1995 to 2000.

A Palestinian lawyer who has investigated PLO corruption, and who wished to remain anonymous, said he knew of three or four Arafat loyalists who held secret bank accounts. "He paid a lot of this money to buy loyalty, squandering millions of dollars," he said.

"The corruption was huge. The PLO had monopolies on cement, petrol, construction, taxes and cigarettes. It has investments everywhere. Nobody knows what has happened to all these assets."

From DEBKAfile
Prime minister Ahmed Qureia and his predecessor Mahmoud Abbas are losing ground in their attempts to assume the interim reins of government.

1. Saturday, Qureia went to Gaza City to try and negotiate a temporary halt in terrorist attacks with the heads of 13 Palestinian factions – at least until after the funeral. They turned him down. Hamas demanded that first a unified Palestinian leadership be established with a place for itself.

2. The Gaza-based Palestinian Authority secretary Tayeb Abu Rahim Qureia humiliated Qureia at Saturday’s session of the Palestinian national security council by declaring angrily that nothing in the Palestinian constitution provided for the prime minister to step in as acting PA Chairman in Arafat’s absence. That prerogative, he said, belongs to another Gazan, the Palestinian legislature’s speaker, Fathi Rouh.

3. Then, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s politburo chief, Farouk Kaddumi, who turned up in Paris Thursday, questioned Abbas’s constitutional credentials to stand in for Arafat as chairman of the PLO central committee. Kaddumi claimed that he was the rightful chairman and Abbas, who is listed as one of two deputies, must report on his every action to Kaddumi as his subordinate.

Yet more drama here...


First (Mom) Birthday

Yesterday was my first birthday as a mom. I received gift certificates for massages (and other pampering) and cards with diaper humor. I think I see a trend....

Every time I sit down & try to write something coherant Brenna decides it is time to be held. Now is no exception. And typing with one hand while holding her is near to impossible- so I'm off....


Iraq Status Report

Now that the 3rd Battle for Fallujah is underway, it's a good time to hear other News from Iraq.

I was very disappointed to hear last night that Allawi declared 60 days of martial law in Iraq in response to numerous car bombings and assassination attempts in the past week. I understand it, but I'm disappointed just the same.

The Marines are leading the assault on Fallujah with Iraqi troopers alongside. Marines, show them how it's done and win the day. I have every confidence in your drive and abilities. I hope Allawi has the determination to finish it this time.

Say a prayer for our troops and our allies in the field.


John Constable

>> Saturday, November 06, 2004

Jody took me to London in May, 2003. We loved it there. We are still in contact with Mike, the MET police officer who gave us the most amazing tour of Parliament. Jody has been teasing me with the latest rates to London, $300 will get you airfare and 6 nights in a hotel. She has also been checking out bed and breakfast establishments in Ireland. It seems that Irish BnB's like having babies as guests, unlike many in the US. We'll see how well Brenna travels next year...

Every day in London was great and tonight I was going through the book we got from our visit to the National Gallery.

Here's a few from one of many of my favorite artists, John Constable:

The Hay Wain

The Cornfield

Stratford Mill

Salisbury Cathedral



>> Friday, November 05, 2004


Technical Problems

I call it technical problems, but what really happened is that I was updating the blogger template and cut a little too much out. So if you tried to view this page earlier today and it was blank, blame the silly geek!

Let me know if any of the links are broken or if I've misspelled anything... I did a rush job to get the site back up.


Which was worse

If I were to ask you which day was worse September 11th, 2001 or November 2nd, 2004, what would you say? That question has been asked and answered at the DU.

I disagree with them on almost every point in the comments section. I think a firm response to terrorists, taking the fight to terrorist supporters [the Taliban and Saddam], and building democratic institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq make America and the world safer. As a consequence of our actions, Libya gave up WMDs without bloodshed, North Korea went back to negotiating, Pakistan has turned from supporting the Taliban to fighting al Qaeda, and Iranian and Syrian students are agitating for more freedoms. It is in our best interests to raise those countries to our levels of prosperity and freedoms.

There is still work to do.

  • State sponsored religous murder is still happening in the Sudan.
  • The Arab Palistinians need to be granted self-determination. Once granted, other Arab countries need to recognize Israel's right to exist.
  • Terrorists in Georgia [the country not the US state] and Chechnya need to be stopped.
  • Saudi Arabia has started self-determination on a small scale. More needs to be encouraged, but let them go at their own pace. Remember it took over a hundred years to get full sufferage in the US.
  • Our borders [from user comments] need to be secured to protect us from future attacks and protect against the erosure of freedoms and services because of illegals.

What have I missed?


The Marines in Fallujah

From the Marine Corps message board

Every day, insurgents from inside Fallujah drive out and wait for Iraqis that work on our bases. Once the Iraqis leave they are stopped. The lucky ones are savagely beaten. The unfortunate ones are killed. A family that had fled Fallujah in order to get away from the fighting recently tried to return. When they got to their home, they found it taken over by terrorists (very common). When the patriarch showed the muj his deed in order to prove that the house was his, they took the old man out into the street and beat him senseless in front of his family.

Summary executions are common. Think about that. Summary executions inside Fallujah happen with sobering frequency. We have been witness to the scene on a number of occasions. Three men are taken from the trunk of a car and are made to walk to a ditch where they are shot. Bodies are found in the Euphrates without heads washed downstream from Fallujah. To date we have been allowed to do nothing.

I have no idea the numbers of beheadings that have occurred in Fallujah since I have been here. I have no idea the number of hostages that have ended up in Fallujah since we have been here. I just don't know that Americans would be able to comprehend the number anyway. Unfortunately, the situation has only gotten worse. There is no hope for any type of reasoned solution with an enemy like this.

Once again, we are being asked by citizens who have fled the city to go in and take the city back. They are willing for us to literally rubble the place in order to kill the terrorists within. Don't get me wrong, there are still many inside the town that support the terrorists and we cannot expect to be thanked publicly if we do take the city. There is a sense of de ja vu with the refugees telling us where their houses are and asking us to bomb them because the muj have taken them over. We heard the same thing in April only to end up letting the people down. Some no doubt have paid with their lives. The "good" people who may ultimately buy into a peaceful and prosperous Iraq are again asking us to do what we know must be done.

The Marines understand and are eager to get on with it. The only lingering fear in them is that we will be ordered to stop again. I don't know if this is going to happen but if it happens soon, I will write you when its over...

Read the whole thing...


Great essays

>> Thursday, November 04, 2004

Brett has a great essay today called "The End of Extremism". It's worth a read.


Iraqi & Arab reactions to the US election

Omar has translated the BBCArabic website.

Most of the Iraqi posts favor President Bush. Many Arab speakers not from Iraq do not. To me that's a sign that the local elections and the national election looming in January give ordinary Iraqis a sense of hope in their future. For all but the oldest citizens, this is their first chance to have a say in their future.

UPDATE: Compare that to an appeal to the UN and the French government.


NPR Bias

I know the title of this post is a given, but hey, I have yet to drink my first cup of coffee. I'll be witty once my brain cells have been fed.

I listen to NPR on the way into work each morning. It's usually good for a few laughs as they try to explain free markets or our republic form of government.

Today was no exception. It was time for the market reports even though the market had just opened. I guess the whole point was to say that, "The market rally celebrating George Bush's re-election ended today as the market opened lower based on unemployment reports." Later in the report we get; "The DOW is unchanged", "The S&P 500 is unchanged", and the "NASDAQ is unchanged". So if all of the leading indicators are unchanged, why characterize the market as down? Also, weren't 175,000 new payroll jobs created in October? Wouldn't news like that increase market activity? Ah the joys of "progressives" trying to explain the markets, especially when the point of the segment was to backhand the economy.

Here's an idea for the next segment, a story about the armies of homeless in an America where 70% of all Americans own their own home (a new record), a record number of people are employed, and the misery index (unemployment X interest rate) is at historic lows.


County Voting Map

>> Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Hannity was showing this map tonight.

This is how the voting went county by county across the country. Click on the map above and select your state in the list titled appropriately enough "Select a State" to see the results of your state. Here's Iowa'a breakdown.

Jody just pointed out something. Take a look at the Mississippi River Valley, especially Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arkansas, and Mississippi. A river of blue in several red states.

I think Illinois is interesting. It went for Kerry, but most of the counties are red.


Father/Daughter talk...

Sent from Tamra:

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for distribution of all wealth. She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican which she expressed openly.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich & the addition of more government welfare programs. Based on the lectures that she had participated in and the occasional chat with a professor she felt that for years her father had obviously harbored an evil, even selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. The self professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.

He stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school.

She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she studied all the time, never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. That she was taking a more difficult curriculum.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your good friend Mary doing?"

She replied, "Mary is barely getting by." She continued, "She barely has a 2.0 GPA," adding, "and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies. But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often doesn't even show up for classes because she is too hung over."

Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0." He continued, "That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter visibly shocked by her father's suggestion angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!"

The father slowly smiled, winked and said, "WELCOME TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY"


What can I do?

Well, Ive been home from the hospital for 5 days. 5 long days. Because of the c-section I am not allowed to do much. No laundry. No vacuuming. Limited time in the kitchen. No going up and down stairs multiple times.

So far I haven't been doing so well. I've cheated on the laundry- instead of lifting the basket I kick or drag it. I've got the Roomba so I can vacuum, but the kitchen rug is driving me crazy as the Roomba doesn't do well on it. My mom made quite a few dishes and put them in the freezer for us but I have a HUGE desire to bake. We have a 2 level (plus a basement) home so I spend half the day upstairs doing what I can and then move downstairs to do what I can. Which isn't much.

Not that I'm complaining. I've got the most beautiful daughter- did you see her election day outfit? She keeps me busy. I'm breastfeeding and that is finally going well. Thank god. I was beginning to lose hope. Felt like my nipples were going to fall off. We've also developed a ritual. After her 4am feeding I bring Brenna into our room so daddy can see her first thing when he wakes up.

Brenna is becoming more alert every day, mostly late at night. We really have to change that. Brenna joined Doug & I in watching the election results last night. I don't think she was very impressed. Daddy & I, of course, are thrilled.


Next Steps

Well, President Bush has been unredefeated [stolen from Instapundit]. If you were in a position to hold the ear of the President, what would you recommend for the next four years? For those that don't agree with some of the President's policies, that's okay. What would you realistically say if you had a sit-down meeting with President Bush.

Keep it positive and let us know what you would ask the President to do.


Kerry Concedes Election?

More as I can get it, but it appears Kerry is taking the high road and conceding the election rather than drag the Democratic Party through the mud via lawsuits. This is unofficial, so keep your fingers crossed, but here's what I have:

From the AP, After a long, tense night of vote counting, the Democrat called Bush Wednesday to concede Ohio and the presidency, The Associated Press learned.

From South Africa (Kerry supporters) Bush win better for Iraq

Kerry 'concedes defeat'
"Congratulations, Mr President," Kerry said in the conversation described by sources as lasting less than five minutes. One of the sources was Republican, the other a Democrat.

UPDATE: I'll try to find the transcripts later, but Kerry gave a very dignified speech. Edwards did not.

Bush's acceptance speech was humourous. It looks like we don't have to move to Ireland -- like we would have had Kerry won.


Election Results

>> Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I've had a number of people asking me about the results so far. Just so you know, if you hear any numbers before the polls close, they are not official. The numbers quoted before the polls close are from "exit polls", meaning interviewers asking voters after they've voted. As with other polls, they don't mean much unless you have a huge sample size.

One US Territory, however has already closed because it's on the other side of the date line -- Guam. Less than 30,000 total votes, but it's 2 to 1 for President Bush.

Let's keep up the momentum. Call every Bush supporter you know and make sure they've voted. President Bush needs to win BIG. As Hugh Hewitt says, "If it ain't close, they can't cheat."

Here are a few sites posting results:

More here as I get them...

UPDATE: Well, it's close. It looks like President Bush took Iowa by 36,000 votes. This is without counting absentee ballots, so that total will change over the next few days.
Most news stations have President Bush at 269 Electoral Votes, but the other guy at 244. Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Mexico are still too close to finalize. Ohio was called for Bush by 136,000 votes or right around the total number of provisional ballots. Let's hope Kerry takes the high road and keeps the lawyers out of this and lets the states finish counting and accept the results. What a night.

UPDATE 11/3/2004 @ 10:30: I just checked the State of Iowa results and Bush is still up, but the margin is at 14,000 votes. We won't know for a while what the official Iowa tally is until all absentee ballots are counted. However, with Kerry conceding, this doesn't effect the outcome of the race.


Did he really mean this?

From the Opinion Journal:

Is This Really What He Means?

"If you believe, as I do, that America's best days are ahead of us, then join me tomorrow and change the direction of America."--John Kerry, campaigning in Milwaukee yesterday


Quotes of the day

From Grandma Huff:

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
---Patrick Henry

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged"
---President Abraham Lincoln


Justifications for backing Kerry fall flat

>> Monday, November 01, 2004

From the indespesible Mark Steyn

In that respect, the Qaqaagate story is fascinating. What happened and when in Saddam's al-Qaqaa facility is somewhat murky. Had the shameless gang at "60 Minutes" had their way, the missing explosives story would have aired 36 hours before the polls opened, with no time for anybody to put the alternative to the Bush incompetence scenario -- i.e., that the stuff was moved to Syria before the war began. But never mind that. And never mind that the source for this story is a discredited U.N. official, Mohammed el-Baradei, on whose watch the IAEA not only missed entirely Libya's WMD program but has proved remarkably accommodating of Iran's.

Forget all that. The main problem with this story is that it makes no sense in terms of the Democrats' own narrative. For a year and a half, they've told us there were no WMD, Saddam wasn't a threat, and "BUSH LIED!!!!!!!!!" about it all. I happen to disagree with that, but there's no doubt that simply by hammering it home all day and night the Dems had some effect. Now they're saying whoa, let's back up, yes, as it happens, these non-existent weapons that Bush lied about the non-threatening Saddam having he did, in fact, have -- and that fool Bush let the non-existent weapons get away.

My version of this story -- they were smuggled out to Syria pre-invasion -- fits the Bush view of the war. But Kerry's version of this story undermines the Kerry view of the war -- or, at any rate, the most recent Kerry view of the war. That's the best clue as to the resolve he'd show as President: He has no internal conviction of his own, and so his campaign has run on incoherent reflex oppositionism, as, indeed, his Senate career has -- if America had followed the positions advocated by John Kerry, there would have been no Reagan arms build-up, and the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact would have lingered on, and their clients in Grenada would have destabilized the rest of the Caribbean, and Latin America would not have been democratized, and Saddam Hussein would still be in power and still controlling Kuwait. Kerry's lovebirds at the Washington Post et al. are dreaming of a transformation in their unlovely swain that would be at odds not just with his last three decades but with his last three weeks.

It's only a day or so now till the chad-dangling round of Campaign 2004 begins but, when the lawsuits are over and the bloodletting begins, serious Democrats need to confront the intellectual emptiness of their party, which Kerry's campaign embodies all too well. The Dems got a full tank from FDR, a top-up in the Civil Rights era, and they've been running on fumes for 30 years. Their last star, Bill Clinton, has no legacy because, deft as he was, his Democratic Party had no purpose other than as a vehicle for promoting his own indispensability. When he left, the Democrats became a party running on personality with no personalities to run. Hence, the Kerry candidacy. Despite the best efforts of American editorialists, there's no there there.

I agree, the Democratic Party will either go the way of the Whig Party and become an also-ran 3rd party for a few years, or people who care about America will step up in the Dem Party and wrest back control.



A former Marine (and veteran of OIF) shares his view about the upcoming battle for Fallujah


The Choice This Election

Via The Daily Recycler

Defining Moments in Political History. This about sums up the difference between President Bush and those other guys.


Captain's Quarters

Captain's Quarters has several posts today worth reading this election season. Start at the top and work your way down. Most are Kerry saying stupid and/or anti-American things, and some are from high-profile Bush supporters. A definate read for the 1 or 2 undecided voters left in America.


IowaHawk Endorses Bush

Though it's not exactly a surprise, IowaHawk endorses President Bush in his usual unique way...


Voices of Iraq

Townhall columnist Joel Mowbray profiled a documentary from MTV called Voices of Iraq. The concept is simple, hand out dozens of video cameras to Iraqis and let them film everyday life for them. The end result is 450 hours of footage condensed into a 75 minute film. Go to www.voicesofiraq.com to see the unused footage and sneak peaks.

For those that want to know what Iraqis are thinking, this is a good place to start.

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