Monday, February 28, 2005

The King Returns!

('Cause "Return of the King" has been used and abused.)

Well, I have thanked you my minions of the blog. However, our battle has not yet been won. This week there are two more pretenders vying for my hard fought crown of glory. So all I ask of you is to vote and provide a trackback. One or two lines are enough. I'll even do the trackback for you if you fear the dreaded PING. Just let me know you wrote something and I'll throw the trackback in.

And if you really want to go that extra mile you can help schmooze the judges:

News from the Great Beyond
Ogre's Politics and Views

Then of course there's always slander. One of the pretenders has already threatened to kill me with the melted down remnants of my own crown. Maybe someone should tell him that a pixel crown can't get melted down.

So go forth, get out the vote! Rock the trackback and watch the sparks fly...or pixels as the case may be.


Workfare - Fixing Welfare

Something that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time is welfare. I hate it. In its current state it is completely disrespectful to not only those who pay taxes and reap no benefits, but those that are forced into the program with no opportunity to escape. Many don’t want to escape. They are content to live off of you and me for as long as we keep giving them a handout instead of a hand-up. Many other people would like to kick those people in the backside for taking their hard earned tax dollars while giving nothing in return.

What I would like to propose is something that falls under the category of workfare. No, this is not the same workfare that makes you do 30 hours of community work a month in order to collect a check. All that does is make you feel like an indentured servant to the government, a government slave if you will. That’s not what I’d like to propose.

What I’d like to propose is a transitional form of welfare. One that gives you the career building opportunities that you need while still providing financial assistance for you to live on. It’s a hand up, a chance to graduate from poverty, a chance to succeed.

The reason people don't work under welfare is that they lose their benefits at the slightest employment. If you work at McDonalds you lose your benefits. That's not right. We need to fix that so people can work and continue to be productive members of society. Now here's the dig, instead of still receiving your full welfare check and what you collect from an underemployed job you collect the difference between your welfare check and your transitional job. In addition to that, you receive an additional half of what you are receiving at work as a workfare supplemental. The 50% number can be played with, depending on what level of incentive or savings the government wishes to extract, but this is the cornerstone of the concept.

For example, lets take Bob. Bob collects a welfare check every month for 1,000$. He sits on his rump, collects a check and eats Doritos all day. If he were to get a job at McDonalds for 500$ a month he would lose his 1,000$ welfare check and only collect 500$. Under workfare he could collect 500$ from McDonalds, 500$ from welfare and 250$ from his workfare supplemental. That's 250$ that he wasn't collecting while sitting on his couch, suckling the government piggy bank. That's also 250$ the government has just saved on the welfare system. It now costs the government only 750$ to provide Bob with 1,250$ worth of workfare.

So what happens to the additional 250$ that the government has just saved? Well, there is a plethora of under funded, hand-up, educational and service based programs within the welfare system that could definitely use that money. It could pay for classes, improved services, better accounting and maybe even free or reduced price psychological services for those within the system. It creates a win-win situation all around. I can see no losers in this endeavor.

Let me modify that last statement. There will be no legal losers in this endeavor. The only losers that I can foresee will be the illegal aliens that assume the jobs that regular Americans will not take because they can do better with welfare, sitting on their duff, eating Doritos. If the opportunities for migrant workers dry up in the United States word will get out and the influx of the undocumented will subside. I guess that makes this a win-win-win situation.

Now, I have thought about the fact that some people may believe this program discriminates against those less capable. That is simply not true. The less capable would be the individuals most likely to benefit from this program. They are usually the ones that would take these lower employment jobs but don't due to their long-term welfare status. It would also be giving them better services to make the less qualified more capable of rising from their underemployed status.

So what about those already trying to better themselves through the free or reduced college services available today? Aren't they going to get shafted by this? Well, normally yes. They wouldn't be working and collecting an extra check so they wouldn't be able to benefit. However, an option that has been used with other workfare plans is to include a partial payment system for those continuing their education. I would suggest a plan that worked by examining how much time you are dedicating to college. Say, for example, a full time student would receive 10% extra from welfare while a half time student would only receive an additional 5% supplemental. From the 25% government savings to the system pay equality would be a natural consequence. How many wins are we up to now?

Another benefit of employment is a sense of accomplishment. Even if your job is adding the big white mints to the toilets at Billy's Beanatorium you are still doing something that makes an effect upon society in a beneficial way. It gives people an improved self esteem. It gives them the drive to do better, to make something of themselves, to make something of America.

Cross-Posted at: The Blogger News Network under Education & Social Policy

NOTE: BNN has just been instalanched.

Images of hope 20

Air Force Capt. Brian Gilpatrick and 1st Lt. Nils Hallberg, 351st Air Refueling Squadron, 100th Air Refueling Wing, Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England, prepare for takeoff in a KC-135R Stratotanker. About 30 U.S. Air Forces in Europe members left for Kigali, Rwanda Oct. 21 to begin preparations for the arrival of two U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft and about 120 airmen to support the deployment of African Union forces to the Darfur region of Sudan. Photo by Airman 1st Class Franklin J. Perkins, USAF

If you were wondering how any aid is getting to Darfur then wonder no longer. The U.S. is on the job again.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Correction on the glow worm

Ogre has been polite enough to tell me that it wasn't his fault last week. Something about a wardrobe malfunction:

It doesn't matter. We shall do battle on the field of Blog! Ready your keyboard!

Tweaking the template

Well, I've recieved some constructive criticism by the judges and am making the approptiate tweaks.

Lets see...Music has been silenced, but opens upon request, cut out a few language translations and put the other ones in their native tongue (I still want to put micro flags next to them), Moved the Llama to a better stable, added the king button and appropriate commentary. Looks like the only two things left to do are add more "about me" stuff and figure out a way to put better post separators in. I guess I'll be hunting through templates tonight for the answer.

I'd like to thank all three judges (News From the Great Beyond, SmarterCop and Ogre's Politics and Views) for their fair and balanced critiques of my submissions and template.

I would also like to thank Pat Santy, from Dr. Sanity for the hard fought match. I'll be voting for you when you compete in two weeks time, as long as it's not against me. You are truly blogging royalty.

I would also like to thank everyone who voted for me or did a trackback. I can remember Patty-Jo, Daisy Cutter, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Pirate's Cove and Flight Pundit. Without your individual help I would not be in the place I am today...even though I was still beaten on trackbacks.

Again, thank you to everyone involved in this great production..oops! almost forgot: Nick Queen, without his foresight none of this would be in effect.

Now on to those that wish to dethrone me. (Jeez! You'd think they'd knock on the bathroom door first!):

Blue Glow Worm - You dropped out last week, but you cannot escape me that easily. This week we do battle!

Thoughts of Mike - I already know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "Dear God, what have I gotten myself into."

Will I be able to hold onto the coveted title for another week? Will I be able to hold on long enough to be retired? Only time, and the appropriate votes, trackbacks and proper schmoozing of the judges can tell.

(..and if you find somthing that needs improving let me know and I'll see what I can do.)

Images of hope 19

Darfur, western Sudan, is witnessing the latest episode in Sudan's long history of internal conflict.

Fighting has left thousands dead, and according to UN figures, up to 1,450,000 people have been driven from their villages to camps outside large towns in the region. Another 200,000 have crossed the border into Chad.

So why is this an image of hope? It is people like you and me that can make it one. Go here and send whatever you can.

You can change it into pictures like this:

Kerinding II Clinic

Islamic Relief has opened a primary care health clinic in Keriding II to serve over 4000 people. The clinic will provide vital healthcare to displaced families.

The clinic has received a donation of medicines from Al-Geneina Hospital and malaria treatment drugs from the WHO.

It's not much, but it's a start. I'll be doing sudan images all week. The images will probably not be as hopeful as usual. Remember that you can make that change, give to the above linked charity or many others like it. I'll be highlighting more as the days go by.

(The UN could do something as well, but we really don't have a say as to where they set up their next blood-for-oil program.)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

King of Blogs directory

Those coming here from the King of Blogs tournament, let me direct you to the following three posts:

American Warmonger: A Guided Tour

Submission: Reflections of my military past - redux

Challenge: WAR!

Election reform announced in Egypt

First Afghanistan, then Palestine, then Iraq, then Saudi Arabia, and now this:
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the constitution changed to allow multi-candidate presidential elections in September, making a surprise reversal Saturday that could mean he will face a challenger for the first time since taking power in 1981.

Has anyone ever heard of the dominoe effect?

Anyone ever played dominoes before? Well, I have so here goes:


Wichita police chief: 'BTK is arrested'

Well, it looks like after 30 years they finally have their man...maybe. This wouldn't have been the first time a serial killer (not cereal) has eluded police. However, the police chief sounded pretty convinced it was none other than some guy named Dennis Rader. I haven't really been follwoing the case that well, so that's all I got.

Just a thought: Wouldn't it be fitting sickness for the BTK guy to turn into a teacher for that 15 year old that just got sentenced to 30 years? Hopefully, the Rader will get the death that Terri Schiavo will not be afforded. Maybe Rader will get life...which Terri might not be afforded either.(Yes, I know I'm stretching for this one. Hopefully, I'm not stretching too far.)

The Editor is getting Hitched!

(And I'm not just talking about theat episode with the pick-up truck.)

He had the ring stuffed away on the 17th hole. I think that's the first time anyone's ever done something like that. I'd have given him a 10, but he'll have to settle for a 9.1 because he didn't invite anyone, or set the date yet. Go by and give him your congratulations!

Friday, February 25, 2005

The importance of reading

Most of us in the blogosphere have the inate ability to read. Most of us cn even read in English. Unfortunately, most of us are restricted by the almighty dollar from reading everything we want. Twenty bucks for a book is awfully pricey when you don't know if it's any good or not.

Today I was propositioned by Mind & Media to read and review books in my blog. Unfortunately, I am preoccupied with college at the moment and won't be able to startup until around June. Hopefully I can find the time to read something besides ugly tech manuals by then.

That being said, Stacy, the proprieter of Mind & Media has given me permission to plug her site and extend her offer further. Remember, since it is her site and her decision, she reserves the right to refuse anyone she feels. Mostly though, she's worried about the mongerlaunch (see instalaunch) that may occur at her site once I've posted this. Yeah right, my minions. That's funny.

Honestly though, she didn't tell me that in the e-mail, but I'm making sure to protect her rights. I'm not sure exactly how selective she is, but I'd like to think she can chose who she wants.

Anyway, here's the text of the e-mail she sent me:
Dear Jeremy,

I was reading your blog American Warmonger and decided that I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to a new blog I've created called Mind & Media -

The reason I started this blog is because I just started a publicity company with the purpose of promoting authors, films and other media through the use of bloggers.

And since we are all bloggers I wanted to invite you to join me. I am currently in the process of selecting bloggers to review books and other things in the future, like film. I've already promoted Reagan; In the Face of Evil dvd, and now I'm starting with selected authors.

I need you to review these books and let your readers know about them.

This is how it works, I will send you a free book, and just ask in return that you link it on your blog with a review. You can blog as you read the book, or read the book first and then blog about it. But I would want the book graphic and the link I will provide on your blog the whole time you have the book - at least for a month.

If you are interested in joining me, please respond to this email by clicking the reply button and I will add you to my list. Then when I have a new book going out, I'll contact you.

You can also visit the website for the latest interviews and promotions I have going on.


Stacy L. Harp
Mind & Media

and also the blogger of E-Involved and MediaSoul

She gave me her phone number too, but I'm not going to let that out. Yes, I know you can go to the library to check out free books, but you don't actually get the opportunity to write a review, or keep the book for an entire month. I checked the size of the ads she's requesting as well. Here is a sample:

I stole her bandwidth to present this to you. I felt it only fair to make the declaration under fear of being Austined.

Now you have all of the facts as I have them. It gives you an opportunity to read free books and provide an online repository of reviews from real people like you and me. If this sounds like an interesting proposition to you plese don't hesitate to e-mail her. What could it hurt?

Blogs for Bush: Learning From Terri Schiavo

Matt over at Blogs for Bush has the right idea about the lessons we can learn from the Terri Schiavo case no matter what happens to her.
Everyone who has taken the time to talk about or blog about this case should take the time to create a living will to make their wishes known to their family.

This is something I haven't doen myself but should. Hell, I'll do it right now. This is in print and should hold up in court. If any lawyers would like to let me know the truth I'm all ears:
I Jeremy H. Bol, being of sound mind and healthy body, am submitting to the world, this day, 25 FEB 2005, this document as my living will.

In the event of my incapacitation and inability to decide my fate for myself immediate decisions requiring urgent consideration should be relagated to my wife, Young-Mi Bol. In the event that she is not available for emergencies I authorize doctor's descretion for operations and other items requiring approval.

1) If I am under a long term incapacitation requiring more than a feeding tube I request that I be kept alive for six(6) months. At the end of these six months I hereby relagate the decision to a majority vote between Young-Mi Bol, Patty-Jo Bol, John Harley Bol and my grandmother, Beverly Hammer. If in the event that a deadlock agreement is made, I leave the deciding vote to my son, Brandon C. Bol to break the tie. If one or more of the above parties are dead or otherwise similarly incapacitated, the remaining parties will have authority to vote.

If the vote is deemed to keep me alive, then another vote will be made in three(3) months time. This three month interval will continue until I regain conciousness, a vote to end my mechanically permitted life, or three years time has been reached. At the end of three years time change the voting interval to annual.

If a death vote is reached I wish to be provided medically assisted suicide medication in lieu of the natural solution.

2) If I am incapacitated and surviving on the means of a feeding tube I request that all available brain scan tests be ran to determine my mental capacity. If it is deemed by a doctor that I am effectively brain dead then I wish for a medically assisted suicide.

If any the afforementioned persons requests additional tests be ran I request that they be honored, no matter how long this may keep me alive in a seemingly vegatative state.

A vote for continued existance can be requested by any party, at any time after six months of incapacitation by any of the above parties.

If any situation arises that is not covered above a vote will be made in the same style as has been previously noted.

This concludes my living will.

If there are any situations in which someone would suggest I add please feel free to make a comment.

MSNBC - Life-support case extended 3 weeks

MSNBC - Life-support case extended 3 weeks

Yep, that's right. Terri now has until the 18th of March. This is utterly rediculous folks. I just don't understand why the court won't allow any of the requested tests. Of course, state agancies are starting to look into this case now:
State officials also are trying to intervene in the case. Attorneys for the Schindlers said the state wants a 60-day stay to investigate allegations that she is being mistreated by being denied appropriate medical care and rehabilitation.

Originally, I heard they wanted 15 days to investigate. 60 days would put her into around the end of April.

Dear Alan Colmes (of Hannity and Colmes)

I've been a long time fan of the show and have noticed something going awry with the program. About a year ago, before the elections were in full swing, I used to watch intently for your intellectual commentary that could put Sean in his place.

Unfortunately, sometime during the election season your attitude changed. You stopped being intelligent with your commentary and became mean and snippy. You've gone from being a full partner on the program to being one that just waits until the end of everything and throws an irrelevant, or irreverent comment out as a means of saying that everything we had just heard is a lie. Much of the time you even ignore important facts about the case at hand.

Lets take, for example, yesterday's conversation with Mr. Dobson on the Terri Schiavo case. I agree with you on the point that people should have a right to die. I do not agree that the word of one man, especially her husband, should have any weight on this type of statute. You see, when the death of a family member is involved relatives do not think clearly, and are frequently found lying about things in order to get their way. I'm sure you could argue the same for her parents, but there is some very compelling evidence in their favor.

Have you actually sat down and watched the videos Mr. Colmes? Have you actually made a conscious effort to sit down and see for yourself what Terri is capable of doing? The video evidence is undeniable by any sane human being that understands any similar debilitating illness. Terri has nearly the same motor functions of Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds of our time. Hawking just has the benefit of some additional computer equipment and physical therapy. Would you condemn him to the same fate that we consider cruelty to animals?

(If you have not seen the full array of short videos please go here:

If you need reference footage of those with similar physical disabilities you can go here to see some palsy kids:

If the words of the doctor still bother you please remember that it was Michael Schiavo that has bought and paid for everything, including the doctor. There have been no independent entities to actually see Terri. Michael, the legal guardian, has forbid it. Now, can you tell me one good reason Michael would refuse a second opinion?

Anyway, I've prattled on about one particular case long enough. That wasn't the full intent of this letter. I was particularly interested in asking you on a personal level to stop being the obstructionist you appear to have become. It does nothing but put you on the quality level of Tucker Carlson. I do hope that this article does not appear to be mean-spirited or an attack against you personally. I just miss the old Alan Colmes that could make a statement without making a sneer.

Thank you for your time,

Jeremy H. Bol
Chesapeake, VA
(Yes, I'm one of those dastardly bloggers.)

P.S. I'm sending this letter to Sean as well. If you delete this, maybe Sean will pick it up and be able to do something functional with it.

Images of hope 18

by Sgt. Sean Kimmons

February 24, 2005

Sgt. Jamal Kennedy, from Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, patrols an area near an Iraqi police station in Kirkuk with his 50-caliber machine gun. This photo appeared on

Thursday, February 24, 2005

KotB Press appearance

Fade into a crowded room with an empty podium and dozens...well, a dozen...okay four reporters, two camara men and a Kangaroo named Ganon in the audience. (Man! That guy shows up everywhere doesn't he?)

(Mr. Warmonger walks into the room from aside door, wlaks up to the podium, drops some notes on one of those yellow legal pads on the podium, and squares himself off, surveying his small but eager audience.)

Monger: Ahem.

(clears throat and takes a small sip of water)

Monger: In case anyone has been wondering why I've called this impromptu press conference together you need only review my opponent's latest scurrilous statements against my person.

(shuffles feet a bit and looks down at notes)

Monger: I would like to state for the record that all of these accusations are simply...

(leans forward into the camara for effect)

Monger: untrue.

(brief pause)

Monger: I was not the second gunman on the grassy knoll, nor was I the first. In fact, I was completely incapable of doing so as my DNA was still residing in Washington state at the time. Furthermore, I wasn't able to grasp anything, including my mother's finger until 1974, in a small town community known as Bellingham. My record has already shown that where I was at the time of the incident. There are no other documents that I can turn over to public scrutiny and I come to today to clear the record once and for all.

(looks down at notes again, takes another sip of water and squares off on the poduim again)

Monger: Now, as for the Anthrax scare of 2001, I was never at that concert. I was busy with some urgent paperwork and gave my tickets to a close and personal friend of mine, Nickie Goomba. Nickie said he had a wonderful time up until the Liberal stampede. I still feel a bit guilty for the damage sustained by his blog, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

(looks down at notes again, turns paper over, scribbles something, nods to Ganon and takes a deep breath)

Monger: Now that all of this is cleared up I'd like to know something from my opponent. Since I have been more than forthright with my record and have been fully investigated, why does my opponent still refuse to sign her DD form 180? All it would require is a stroke of the pen and the real truth will be revealed.

(looks intently into the camera)

Monger: What are you hiding Dr. Sanity? Are there skeletons in your closet that you don't want to share with the public? Will it show that you were never really in Cambodia on Christmas eve? Will it show that it was actually you on the grassy knoll in 1963? What are you afraid of Doctor? Yes, the truth remains to be shown, but not by me.

(relaxes a bit and eases back from the podium slightly)

Monger: Okay, does anyone of the press have any questions?

(there is a scramble of voices until Ganon smacks down the other four journalists)

Ganon: Is it true that you're nothing more than a facist Bush monkey that takes his marching order from Karl Ro...

(ten security agents jump out of the shadows and drag him kicking and and screaming out of the press room)

Ganon: How many more trees have to die before you people..SLAM!

(there's a moment of silence)

Monger: Okay, questions from any real reporters.

Monger: Angela, go ahead.

Angela: Is it true that Nickie Goomba scalped the tickets and made the whole blog story up because he screwed up his HTML on his own? Isn't that just a fabrication?

Monger: I have it on very good authority that the BLA is just about to capture the culprits that destroyed his original blog, and as for the scalping, well, Nickie told me personally that he was there and I believe him.

Monger: next question. Daisy, go ahead.

Daisy: Have you heard the one about the ping pong bal.. er... tennis testi..

Monger: Yes, and I'm sorry but we don't have time to retell it in this forum. Thank you anyway.

Monger: Anyone else? William, what's your question?

William: Is it true that you're into sex with a gay penguin named Steve?

Monger: I did not have sexual relations with that penguin. Not once.

(Monger looks at his watch)

Monger: Well, that appears to be all the time we have. Thank you all for coming and I woudl appreciate your votes in the KotB elections. Thank you and good night.

(Hat tip: Daisy Cutter for the press conference format.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Independent Music

Something I[ve been wanting to do for a while now is have some music on my site, particularly unknown and independent music. If you have speakers on your computer you've probably heard a few indie tunes. I hope to continue changing artists every day or three. I wish there was a little flash player I could drop in that would cycle through a playlist of artists from an independent artist site.

Alas, there is no flash player to be found. I am relagated to hard coding this stuff on a daily basis. It doesn't take too long, maybe a half hour or two. Maybe if I could connect one of these sites to a flash coder we could all get hooked up with some snazzy sidebar player. Until that time, you only get one song every day or so.

If this isnt' enough for you and you just gotta have more of this indie music stuff there are a few places you can go.

The one I'm going to highlight is one that will actually give you something in return for your time and effort. Garageband is a website that's been around for a while and will give you credit for free music in return for you rating independent bands. You don't get much, but you get something. You also get to hear some of the worlds best undiscovered artists competing against each other for contracts, or just trying to sell their indie records. I've had an account with them since around 2001.

I'm sure there are other similar projects that will pay you for listening to new artists, but I don't happen to remember any others. If you want to just listen to music samples from various unsigned artists here is a list of sites I've been haunting lately:

CD Street
CD Baby
Sonic Awareness

The Electras

Something recently rediscovered is this band called The Electras.

So what's so special about this band from the 60's?

Take a look at the bass player. He's the tall guy standing next to the drummer. Doesn't he look familiar? He should look familiar. He just ran for president. Yes, that's right folks. RCA has digitally remastered the one and only album that John Kerry played bass on: The Electras

I believe this album may be exclusively for sale at CD Street. I could be mistaken though. I haven't really tried to hunt it down.

C'mon! You know you want to hear a few samples of John and his band. Here's the play list and the available samples:

1. Guitar Boogie Shuffle
2. Three Blind Mice
3. You Can't Sit Down
4. Greenfields
5. Shanghaied
6. Summertime Blues
7. Bulldog
8. Ya Ya
9. Sleepwalk
10. Electra
11. Because They're Young
12. Torquay
13. Yellow Jacket

Maybe if he'd have been playing bass instead of windsurfing he'd have been able to swing a few votes while swinging with Clinton's sax. The album is currently going for 9.50$.

Schiavo - in a holding pattern

Well, from what I can gather between the MSM and the pajamasphere there will be an appeals court hearing for Terri tonight and around five P.M.

I'm not sure if she's still got her feeding tube in or what the hearing will entail. Everything is up in the air right now. I even heard a rumor that when asked by a lawyer to stand up or die she stood up. I think the only people that are more confused about this case are Floridian judges.

So what can we do, other than wait?

  • E-mails and letters still work. You can e-mail Jeb Bush, the court house, et. al. from the list found HERE.

  • There is a fund drive to put up an add down in Florida to influence the case. You can go HERE to find out how to donate. (Over 10,000 recieved already!)

  • There's an Ipetition for the president to grant a stay of execution going around as well. That can be found HERE. (Hat tip: Sunnye Teidemann)

  • What you can do most of all though is pray. Pray that eveything will work out for the better and the light of truth will shine through.

    One last note: If you've been living in a cave, or wear a black robe down in Florida, there's a mess of videos running around. Here's another one that Hyscience was given: LINK


    Ladies and gentleman, today I come to you with a heavy heart. Today we are at war. This is not the typical war in which we send soldiers to foreign lands. This is a war being fought right here on the blogfront. Today the underground war between the blogosphere and the main stream media (hitherto known as the MSM) has reached its boiling point. Yes, we are now at war with those we have struggled against for so long.

    We are not without our heroes. In fact each and every one of you that blogs against a mistruth doled out be the MSM is a superhero. Our quest for truth in journalism has lead us to hone our research skills and WPM speeds. Yes, we are now pushing the envelope in the theory of blogativity. We are no longer just men and women. We are supermen and women.

    Why Jeremy! Whatever are you talking about?

    I'm saying we have honed are skills to the point that we are better than the average typist. Things have changed in our fingertips, good things. Haven't you felt them start to tingle after many long hours? No, that's not carpel tunnel. We have evolved. Here, let me give you several examples so you may recognize them amongst regular men and women.

    Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to just some of the members of BLA, or Blogger's League and Alliance.

    Ogre from Ogre's Politics and Views is also:

    The Llamanator! Okay, yes I know that's Joe Camel. But isn't Ogre just another smooth character? Superpowers: He doesn't need superpowers! He's the Llamanator! People quake in their boots in the fear that he just may spit! (or bleat)

    and his trusty Llama steed, Rusty.

    Songstress7 from News from the great beyond is:

    The Beyonder - I had a rather difficult time discovering her secret identity. It was shrouded in mystery and I was unable to place what superhero she really was. What finally have her away was her uncanny ability to pull previously unseen things out of the blogsmos. Even then I wasn't sure. There are several superheroes with this ability. Was she Spectre? No, that's a guy. Maybe Parallax? Definitely not. Parallax was a reincarnation of the original Green Lantern, who was a guy, named Hal Jordan, who is now the Spectre...(Isn't comic book history fun?) The only one I wasn't sure of was the Beyonder. Due to the ethereality and ability to change matter of the Beyonder you could never tell. Well, now we know. The Beyonder is really Songstress7.

    Smarter Cop is obviously:

    Robocop? Supercop? No, Smarter Cop. He doesn't have a secret identity. There is only SmarterCop. He doesn't need a secret identity. He's smart enough to avoid the trouble associated with keeping a secret life.

    So now that we know SmarterCop is SmarterCop what are his superpowers?

    Well, look at that head. Could his special skill be anything other than full and compete understanding as to the theory of blogativity? I could go further into the talents derived from great intelligence, but that would go into the golden age of comics the King of blogs tournament; Back before the Llamanator was part of the council. Suffice to say that what is derived from SmarterCop is something the enemy is loathe to attempt: logic.

    Instapundit morphs into:

    Hawkman. Why Hawkman? Well, it's not because of his great hawk like abilities. I'll tell you that right now. It is 100% due to his indigestive, regurgitation powers. That's right. Glenn Reynolds has honed his blogging abilities to be reaching critical blog (part of the blogativity theory again). You see, he has taken the digestion issue out of the equation and is therefore capable of blogging much faster than other bloggers. Unfortunately, the substance of these things is much degraded, almost to the point of being non-valuable.

    Julie from Passing Thoughts... and JulieB from Julie with a B are:

    The wonder twins - Okay, yes. I know that the original wonder twins were a BOY and a girl. It's still quite alright though. JulieB has been tested and writes like a boy, so everything is still cool. So what are these girls' talents? Other than confusing the heck out of me when they leave comments they have the uncanny knack of slipping in a good jab without actually offending anyone. I'm not really sure how they do it. However it's done, it's an extremely valuable talent for a superhero.

    Norrin Radd is:

    Silver Surfer...DUH! This pretender has found his inner superhero. It has consumed him. Well, that and wrestling. I wouldn't be surprised to find him in some home movie jumping off a turnbuckle, but I digress. Silver Surfer has the distinct power of not giving a rats arse what other people think. You don't think that's a superpower? Just write something unpopular and see how you handle the severely negative feedback. It makes you think twice about what you write.

    Daily Kos Is:

    The Incredible Hulk - Who else can personify that liberal rage that lives within the Kos? When Kos is peaceful and in a happy place, he's...What the hell am I talking about? No one on Daily Kos are ever in their happy place. It's like they've turned the dial to full on rage and then ripped the dial out of the wall. Straight up, they're mean, green and full of rage. You don't think rage is a weapon either? Go check out his hit counter and tell me rage isn't powerful.

    Indepundit, aka LT. Smash is without a doubt:

    LT. Rock - No, not SGT. Smash. In order to demote him down to SGT. one would need an act of congress to enact his courts martial. Nope, we need to promote the good SGT. to LT. Every good league or alliance needs their tough as nails, seen it all, done even more middle leadership element. was blogging Iraq back when there was only a whacky Iraqi named Salam Pax blogging the war. Yes sir. He's been to the soup and back. There is no better person to lead bloggers into battle than Rock.

    Unless, of course, you have more than one army to lead. In such an event you need Jane and her Armies of Liberation on your side. So ho is her superhero persona? Jane is:

    Wonder Woman (in Amazonian battle armor) - Unlike Rock, Jane is more the blogger of persuasion. She understands the need to appeal to another generals preferences while still maintaining the prime directive. This is definitely one Amazonian you want to take onto the battlefield.

    Every legion of superheroes needs a place to hang out and wait for the next villain to strike. Scooby Doo had the Mystery Machine. The Teen Titans had Titan Tower. Well, the Bloggers League Alliance has Blogger headquarters: The Evangelical Outpost; Also known as BLAH, or Bloggers League Alliance Headquarters.

    Okay, true. It's a little bit old school. It's not as cool as the Justice League Unlimited's global satellite, but if it was good enough for Superman it should be good enough for us.

    I've been speaking of an enemy. Yes folks, we have a great enemy in the world. This enemy has been among us for many years but has never before gone on the offensive like they have in recent times. We have listened eagerly to what they say. Learning about the goings on in the world from what they have fed us through our feeding tubes, also known as boob tubes. Yes folks. I'm speaking of the evil Dan Rather and the rest of the main stream media. It's time to take the red pill.

    They have established themselves well on their lofty perch and are not afraid to sacrifice some of their own in order to save the mastermind behind everything. This dastardly villain is none other than Dan Rather:

    (Rather talking to his minions)
    Yes, this is his villain persona. Does anyone need an explanation? Isn't he villainous enough as is? He fights against everything good in the RNC. He fights against truth, Bush and us snarky, uneducated bloggers in our pajamas. He is the bane of many a good typist.

    We have received some forward intel. on a few of his senior generals. They may not be a dangerous as Rather himself but give each of them a wide birth. They are to be considered armed, with a microphone, and dangerous:

    Keith Olberman is:

    Cranial, rectal Inversion man
    This is an absolutely obvious one. How else can he get the information he does. His head is already at the source of where he's pulling his data. It seems only natural that this would be his evil villain persona.

    Larry King is definitely:

    Gollum - Just look at the arched back, the cruddy comb-over. Larry king is Gollum, pure and simple. Larry has some other Smigel like abilities as well. He appears to be a harmless and weak frog, but don't let him suck you in. The moment you let your guard down he'll jump on you back and try to bite off your He will try and steal the one ring of power to direct the minds of those who watch him. Be forewarned, if he ever utters the words "my precious" it's time to run, or change the channel.

    Rush Limbaugh is:

    The Kingpin - The Kingpin has had many dealings with drugs, so has Rush. The kingpin is a pompous, arrogant arse, so is Rush. Heck, they even look similar. Rush's main power lies with the many he's sucked in already. He has formed his army of dittoheads and is ready and willing to run a few back-alley gang beatings against all who oppose him. Don't be caught on his bad side.

    O'reilly is:

    The Pith Lord - Okay, I am Photoshop disabled. Just Imagine O'Reilly's mug under the hood.

    He means to take over the empire of the airwaves through pith and bloviation. His weapons are the constant declaration of absurdity and an over inflated ego. As of this moment he is the ruler of the empire. He is plotting to take over the young jedi of Canada for his If found trying to piece together real facts from this man quickly pick up your closest dictionary and you will discover the obvious truth: this man makes no sense.

    Al Franken is:

    The Joker - We really don't know that much about Al, except that his career before joining the MSM was as the Joker. Since that time he has gone into hiding on some form of old, deep-rooted wavelength medium known as "the radio". We at BLAH have been searching far and wide for information about this criminal, but he has gone so deep into hiding that even the internet is unable to turn up any good data on him.

    Any well formed evil alliance will have a base of operations. We have worked very hard and lost many agents to bring you the following information. Take heed and use it well. We have found their base of operations orbiting our planet. They will take to the stars with the assistance of Virgin airlines owner, Sir Richard Branson. The following image is only an artist's rendition from stolen blueprints and scale models. Deep in the heart of CBS studios we have found plans and most of the major components for:

    The Death Star - Fortunately for the BLA we have been keeping up with our Star Wars movies. We are relatively sure that a direct hit to their reactor core will destroy their base of operations if they can complete it.

    Now all we need are more superheroes willing to risk their lives free time in order to put an end to the MSM once and for all. We are fighting for truth for everyone, not just those with deep pockets. We are fighting for unbiased journalism by being as biased as we can possibly be. Most of all though. We're fighting for the Llamas!

    Do it for the Llamas!

    King of blogs

    I am no stranger to elections for myself. In fact, this King of Blogs tournament is my second major voting event. I ended up placing 9th plase in Wisbang's Blog Awards against such popular bloggers as Lileks, Victor Davis Hanson and Bastard Sword. I am no stranger to this type of war. What I did the last time is the same thing I'll do this time. Present my major pieces to the people and let them chose for themselves.

    Since this not contest contains not only content but structure allow me to provide you with a guided tour.

  • The first thing to note is the blogger search function. You can search my blog from the top of the screen for pretty much anything you've ever heard of on this site.

  • Many may recognize this as a modification of a Movable type template. You would be mistaken. It is heavily modified from a regular blogger template. You can see other blogs with the same original base template at LOSLI, Patty-Jo or Julie with a B. All three of these I helped set up to some degree.

  • On the non-standard extra sidebar on the left, let me direct your attention to the nice effect of mouseover links. You will notice that it is completely compatible with all normal browsers. I think I'm the only blog in the sphere that uses them. It is an extreme space saver.

  • Something I've had a problem with over the months is browser functionality. What renders one way in Firefox or Mozilla will not do the same in Internet explorer. I've done my best to accomodate all users. There are three points to be aware of when looking at this site.

  • The first is the red, white and blue stripes that appear to run down the sidebars. It is an Internet Explorer specific feature that I have not been able to reproduce for other browsers.

  • The second point is the flavicon you will see when in a non-Internet Explorer browser. A flavicon is the little nuke you see on the address bar and will only show up in Internet Explorer if it is in the root directory of your site. Unfortunately, blogger does not support that functionality, or any storage, save your template and articles.

  • The third anomaly is the music. I've been trying to feature some independent artists and provide a little ambiance music at the same time. It will only auto-start in I.E. and will show a puzzle piece in other browsers. I have not been able to find the proper code as of yet to auto-start music in any other browsers. As a work-around, I have installed a stand-alone link to the featured song.

  • Most everything else is fairly standard fair on this blog. The colors are something that can change on a whim. The only color I am really afraid to use is white. Many of my regular visitors can vouch for that. When I win I may be changing to more royal colors to fit the new status.

  • I hope you have enjoyed this tour. If you have seen enough you can go back to your own blog and provide a supporting tracback to the King of blogs tournament and vote for me.

    If you would like to see the vast array of content I have written you can click on the "Learn About Me By reading" section in my mouseover links. If you have questions or comments I can be reached through comments, email by the icon provided on the left sidebar or you can Skype me on Thursday or Friday evening.

    If, after all of this, you still would like to sniff out the competition you can either go back to the King of blogs tournament mainpage, or you can follow these links:

    Dr. Sanity
    Blue Glow Worm

    Gratuitus links to the Judges:

    News From the Great Beyond
    Ogre's Politics and Views

    This article will remain on top until the new king (or queen) has been crowned.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    The desert is GREEN!

    This is Death Valley!!

    Yes, that picture is not some average California hill that gets a bit or rain now and again. IT'S DEATH VALLEY! Have you ever seen the California desert so green? Come to think of it, have you ever seen the California desert green? Me neither.

    This is for Nickie Goomba and JulieB (and anyone else withing driving distance):

    If you've got the opportunity for a road trip go down to the desert with a camera. You'll never forget it. They've got things blooming down there right now that people have never seen before.

    Go see more pictures: LINK


    Notes to God

    A co-worker sent this to me earlier today. Kids say the darndest things:

    A nun asked her class of young children to write notes to God. Here are some they handed in:
    Dear God:
    I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool.
    Dear God:
    Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't You keep the ones You already have?
    Dear God:
    Maybe Cain and Abel would not have killed each other if they had their own rooms. That's what my Mom did for me and my brother
    Dear God:
    If You watch me in church on Sunday, I'll show You my new shoes.
    Dear God:
    I bet it is very hard to love everyone in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I'm having a hard time loving all of them.
    Dear God,
    In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation?
    Dear God,
    Are You really invisible or is it just a trick?
    Dear God,
    Is it true my father won't get into heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?
    Dear God,
    Did You mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?
    Dear God,
    Who draws the lines around the countries?
    Dear God,
    I went to this wedding and they kissed right in the church. Is that OK?
    Dear God,
    Did You really mean "do unto others as they do unto you"? Because if You did, then I'm going to get my brother good.
    Dear God,
    Thank You for the baby brother, but I think you got confused because what I prayed for was a puppy.
    Dear God,
    Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up.
    Dear God,
    I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big, but not with so much hair all over.
    Dear God,
    You don't have to worry about me; I always look both ways.
    Dear God,
    I think about You sometimes, even when I'm not praying.
    Dear God,
    Of all the people who worked for You, I like Noah and David the best.
    Dear God,
    My brother told me about being born but it doesn't sound right. They're just kidding, aren't they?
    Dear God,
    I would like to live 900 years just like that guy in the Bible did.
    Dear God,
    We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school they said You did it. So, I bet he stole Your idea.
    this is an audio post - click to play

    Images of hope 17

    This statue currently stands outside the Iraqi palace, now home to the 4th Infantry division. It will eventually be shipped home and put in the memorial museum in Fort Hood,Texas.

    The statue was created by an Iraqi artist named Kalat, who for years was forced by Saddam Hussein to make the many hundreds of bronze busts of Saddam that dotted Baghdad.

    Kalat was so grateful for the Americans liberation of his country; he melted 3 of the heads of the fallen Saddam and made the statue as a memorial to the American soldiers and their fallen warriors. Kalat worked on this memorial night and day for several months.

    To the left of the kneeling soldier is a small Iraqi girl giving the soldier comfort as he mourns the loss of his comrade in arms.

    Do you know why we don't hear about this in the news? Because it is heart warming and praise worthy. The media avoids it because it does not have the shock effect that a flashed breast or controversy of politics does. But we can do something about it. We can pass this along to as many people as we can in honor of all our brave military who is making a difference.

    This story was derived from: Bush Country and Operation Iraqi Children.

    I wish I could keep this one on top for a while, but there are so many images yet to be posted. I may never be able to post them all.

    Monday, February 21, 2005

    Minding the Map

    Yep, I've been neglecting the guestmap again. I don't think I've go too many people on it right now, but here goes nothing. (Remember, sign the guestmap and get a short piece written about you.):

    What can you say about All @ Sea? Well, they guy's living in Hawaii, surfing, taking pictures, surfing, getting some grub, surfing, rinse and repeat. I'd never seen a surfer's blog before now. It's not bad and rather mellow. He's got this "Children of the 80's" post that I found myself nodding me head to like a dork. It's good stuff! Go read.

    Progressive Conservatism is one of the reasons the Dems lost Florida. It's a centered perspective from the right side of the street. Yep, Mark talks out the same orifice I do...wait...nevermind. Let's just say his breath smells a whole lot better. Give him a spin. Check out his site.

    I don't think I've done Dangerous Logic yet, but I should have. I think this may actually be the first blog in a long time that can spark my interest without resorting to politics. There's some really neat stuff over there. One of which is the Darwin Award candidate that didn't know the difference between a flack jacket anda bulletproof vest. I say did because he is now in the past tense. May god have mercy on his stupidity. Anyway, that's just one of many spotlights on the blog.

    This last one is kinda cool. Capital Region People is actually the blog of a radio show taht comes on Sunday mornings at 6 over WYJB B95.5 FM. Heh. My fist radio guy! If this keeps up I'll be on with Larry King or something....NOT! Anyway, go check out what the blog of a radio personality looks like.

    Well, that's it for now. Remember that I'm in that King of Blogs tournament. Go vote for me again, clear your cache, do it again. And if you really want to be nice, a trackback expounding on your approval of my new found royalty could quite possible earn you a seat in the royal court.

    Terri Schiavo faces sentencing tomorrow

    So, what did Terri do? Was she one of those pedophiles running around with her students or son's friends? Did she pull off some bank heist? Was she the one that killed her five children in her bathtub? No.

    Terri is the one on trial for her life because she can't form full sentences. That's right, she is lacking in full vocal and motor controls. Somehow that's grounds for some humane form of death, terminal dehydration. Normally it would be starving her to death, but people will dehydrate to death before they starve.

    So what would have happened if we applied the same policies and procedures to others with similarly restrictive disabilities? Who would we be knocking off next?

    How about Stephen W. Hawking? Yes, that's right. The super brainiac behind A brief history of Time and enough galactic theories to have him considered with minds like Albert Eienstein, Aristotle, Plato and others. Sadly, he'd have to go. You see, he can't speak without the aid of his electric wheelchair. His motor skills are so limited he needs his head to be propped up or he'd fall over. Oh yes, he definitely needs to be in the same place she is. Isn't he just an empty shell without all of his gizmos?

    To be completely honest, Hawking would be put down before Schiavo. You see, Terri can talk. She has a limited vocabulary and no vocal training, ever, but she can talk. Here are the recognized words that she can speak and their sources (Taken from the Empire Journal):
    A list of Terri Schiavo's documented vocabulary references:

    Witness: Nurse Heidi Law
    * mommy
    * momma
    * help me

    Witness: Nurse Carla Sauerlyer
    * pay (meaning "pain" when she was in discomfort)
    * Haaaiii (meaning "Hi" in response to "Hi Terri")
    * mommy
    * help me ("Help me was, in fact, one of her more frequent utterances. I heard her say it hundreds of times.")

    Terri's Mediplex records:
    * stop (in reference to one medical procedure being done on her)

    Terri's family members:
    * ugh-hugh (meaning yes)
    * ugh-ugh (meaning no)
    * yea ('yea' was a word she reportedly first re-learned to speak in 2002.)
    * No

    Hat tip: Beth from My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

    Maybe we could have whacked Helen Keller too? All she could do was grunt for the longest time. She was deaf, blind and, due to her other two afflictions, mute as well; At least until someone actually trained her how to speak again. After that she became one of the world's most renowned people in the field of deaf and blind assistance. No, that would never do. Lets put her down like a bad dog as well.

    Maybe we could get someone to give Terri some therapy? Hasn't that been tried? Sadly, no, it hasn't been tried. Her husband will not allow Terri any form of therapy whatsoever, including allowing her whole foods she can swallow. Yes, she can swallow. Her motor functions and physical capabilities are thus that she could probably perform a swallow test if she was permitted to try. Alas, her husband has not allowed her to try, or have physical therapy, or have a brain scan, or be legally videotaped (some short clips have surfaced on the net, probably inadmissible in court or something), or even be outside in over two years.

    So what is he hiding? Why won't he let people try to help? Why is he so adamant on having her put to death?

    There are only two theories that I know about. Both of them point to him as a genuinely bad person. The first theory comes with a 1.7 million dollar payout from her death. The other is that he is guilty of the injury she sustained in the first place.

    The first theory is viable only to the extent that he has already used about 500,000 dollars of it for lawyers that will help him put her to rest. The other part is that the family has agreed to take complete care of her and let him have all of the money when she dies. So it doesn't look like he's in it for the money, unless he's looking for it right now.

    The other theory goes back to the nature of her original injury. You see, she was taken into the hospital with a blunt head injury sustained in the home. There were no witnesses as to what really happened with the exception of Michael Schiavo. Some experts have gone as far as saying that the head trauma was caused by another person, but Michael has never spent one day on the stand for assault. He has only been on the stand to put his own wife to death through terminal dehydration.

    That's a death not even fit for a dog. At least we euthanize dogs. Terri Schiavo will not even get that luxury if the jury decides, without even looking at evidence that she deserves to die. Thank god this guy wasn't around for Helen Keller or Stephen W. Hawking. What sort of a mess would we be in then?

    Images of hope 16

    Relief supplies brought to Banda Aceh

    BANDA ACEH, Indonesia -- Large amounts of relief supplies line the side of the runway here Jan. 10, and aircraft and vehicles from a variety of countries sit on the tarmac. More than 18,000 Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers and Coast Guardsmen with Combined Support Force 536 are working with international militaries and nongovernmental organizations to aid the affected people of Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake Dec. 26 triggered devastating tsunamis. International efforts to minimize suffering and mitigate loss of life continue as the CSF 536 servicemembers provide humanitarian assistance supporting Operation Unified Assistance. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Ben Sakrisson)

    The next King of Blogs

    Yes, it's true. I have been nominated to be the next king of blogs, along with two other pretenders. Of course, that's what they are, pretenders. I mean, who else is worthy to be king than me?...okay, okay, so I've got a chance at least. Good luck to my competitors. May you not be trounced too soundly.

    So what can you, my loyal hoarde minions do to help the cause? Well, first off you can go vote. To quote some famous old dead guy, "Vote early and vote often." Heck, if someone can find that magic Kos code from the blog awards it wouldn't hurt either. Of course, I'm not going to tell you how to cheat (clear cache and click again) the system. That would be entirely unethical (but would probably get me a win).

    The other way you can help is by tracking back to the King of Blogs post that is the control center for this contest. If you don't know how to track back or are still on blogger comments or something, there's a built in trackback pinger they link to. If that doesn't do it for you e-mail me and I'll set you straight.

    They keep calling it a contest. IT'S A WAR PEOPLE! Complete with siege engines. Heck, if I can get DC involved I'll have my own Carl Rove as well.

    I must be off. I have war preparations yet to make.

    (Almost forgot. The Llamas will be up tonight.)

    Reflections of my military past, redux

    I've run this story twice in the past and each time it has met with good review. For me it's sort of a redirect for why I'm blogging. I blog about so much more these days, but this is one of the primary reasons I started. Enjoy.
    (This is also the winning submission post for The King of Blogs tournament.)

    When the first plane hit I was on board the USS Ramage assisting some people with opening a safe that no longer had a combination but still contained classified material. That was my need for being there as I was a Cryptologist and had the clearance to decipher the material. Someone from combat (an area next to ours and the control center of the ship) asked me if we had the scoop on what was going on with the world trade center. I gave him one of those deer in the headlights stares. What the hell was this guy talking about?

    I followed him to the mess hall where they had a big screen television (the largest of probably only 10 televisions on the ship and most are only about 20 inches) just in time to see the second plane hit. What the hell was going on? When the first plane hit I thought it was just some idiot that can't steer like that guy they found flying a crop duster around the White house a few years back. When the second plane hit I knew something was wrong. After a few minutes to figure out what I was actually seeing I went back to the place where we were working and told my supervisor at the time what I was seeing. He went to the mess hall, as I could not leave the people cutting into the safe because of the potential classified material.

    Much of the next hour was a blur. I remember seeing the pentagon get hit (this is when I finally saw in my own mind what was happening). I remember seeing the towers actually fall. I remember seeing the huge dust cloud and the people running down the streets of New York. I remember the captain of the ship saying that something terrible had happened and we would be conducting an emergency deployment in about an hour (we were probably about an hour into this event). I remember trying to check but couldn't get through (I blamed the crappy internet connection that the ship had at the time). I even called my house a couple times before we were deployed and received no answer. I clearly remember though that something horrible had happened in New York and we were going north to make sure it didn't get worse.

    Within 2 hours of the first plane hit we were deployed and going north. What I found out a few days later was that we were actually the first ship to pull out of Norfolk (a point of pride). We had about one third of our crew because we were getting ready for a deployment and many people were on leave or otherwise unable to get to the ships because of a base lock-down. I only had about two pair of good underwear on the ship as I did not expect to be deployed and did not believe I needed that stuff on the ship at the time. Luckily, a buddy of mine had a few extra tee shirts and some unused underwear or I would have come back rather crusty. Another piece of good fortune is that they had just restocked the galley so we at least had a good deal of edible food (I say edible because ship food is rarely if ever considered good).

    So with none of our gear, (it was stored at a different location from the ship, It's a classified information thing you wouldn' don't even understand.) and only a third of our crew, we went forth and played "plane guard" for New York. Our job was to listen in on the different radio signals to see if we could hear anything special going on or as a second ear for the bridge when planes wanted to land in New York. (Lets just say we weren't too friendly about people flying around at the time..."This is U.S. Navy WAR Ship. State your name, call sign, .........". We didn't even say what ship we were. The response I remember most was some brit pilot scared half out of his wits saying " this is such-and-such airlines flight xxx-xxxx...umm...please don't shoot."

    At the time I thought it was sort of funny but after about an hour or two I started thinking about the guy and how we sounded and realized that yes, we probably would knock him out of the air if he even thought the words "Allah akbar" (god is great). This is not anything against Muslims, they have every right to be here and be free, just like non-Muslims, if not more. It was just as though a small dog came up to the rotweiler on the porch and took a chunk out of his soft underbelly. We were on the complete defensive and wanting something, anything to tear limb from limb.

    After about a week (10 days) of this routine, we were relived and went home to our families. When we got home it was like we had missed the most important week in the world. Everyone else in the world had the opportunity to see what was going on, watch the footage, analyze it in your own mind, to mourn the loss. We were not afforded that opportunity. We were on a ship, away from the news, and had to rely on the information our captain told us, and a few snippets of e-mail that managed to slip through to find out what was going on . (I got none by the way.)

    Pretty much everybody on the ship did not show any emotion for what had happened. It's not that we were a bunch of crass, unfeeling monsters. We feel all of it, everyday. It's just that we've been trained to do a job no matter what and we realize that if we don't do that job efficiently lives can be lost. We don't have the luxury of thinking about whose fault it is, or how we screwed up, or some hair-brained theory about how Bush planned the whole thing. It is not up to us to decide what it means. It is, however, our obligation to act out the wishes of those in leadership even if it costs us our lives, or time away from our families, nasty living conditions in a hostile environment, etc.

    Something that many civilians don't realize is that we've seen MANY more lives lost than you have. I'm not speaking of actually watching people die. I'm speaking of having people that are close to you or associates in your company dieing. These are people that could have been you in a slightly different circumstance. Here's a short list of losses I have been forced to recognize in the same way civilians recognize 9/11: The USS Cole bombing, Khobar towers Bombing, the USS Forestall fire, multiple plane crashes. These are the ones you have read about. Here are a couple you haven't heard about unless you really, really watch the news: USS Leyte Gulf lost part of a boat crew in the Persian Gulf while doing boarding operations, serviceman gets blown up by a lose mine planted by North Korea while on patrol on the DMZ.

    I think the thing that stands out most of all are these Monday morning quarterbacks. Where was the outpour of emotion when the OTHER (Khobar) towers were hit? Did any civilians or news agencies demand results when the USS Cole was hit? No. Sure, there was outrage for a bit but everyone said "Well, it's the military and that's what they're paid to do. You know, they're risking their lives and all. It's okay for our president to sit on his fat ass and collect knobbers like collecting stamps and embarrass the United States and all it stands for. We are all well aware that other presidents have had the same affliction but this was the only time I personally have had to endure the international embarrassment when a president disrespects his position like that. When you're overseas and talking to someone from the host country what do you say? Anyway, this is supposed to be about 9/11 so let me wrap this up.

    For me, 9/11 was just one of many losses. As a military member I had to accept what happened and move on to the continued defense of Democracy throughout the world. Apparently, I'm the only one who did. As people complain about how we need to concentrate more on Afghanistan I see they will be having their first free elections on October. The only reason I have a link to this is the median was trying to show how we're failing over there by highlighting how we lost 23 people in Afghanistan this year. Yeah, right, failing; of the over 9 million registered to vote, (about 90 percent of the estimated eligible electorate) 41.4 percent are women. Gee, that just says failure to me. It's a loss to me but I can accept it. We have other, more pressing matters to attend to in the world.

    We need to make the hard decisions in the world. No one else will make them. The UN has been proven corrupt; I'll prove it if you want. It's not too hard to do. Many of our allies turned their backs on us because we took the path less traveled by. Unfortunately, what we need to do in the world isn't always "PC". Sometimes you need to do the internationally unpopular thing to ensure American safety. Peace isn’t always the right answer. If my opinions makes me just another American warmonger, (blatant plug) then so be it.

    Sunday, February 20, 2005

    Images of hope 15

    Can anyone relate this to Vietnam? I didn't think so.

    by Ryan C. McGinley

    February 17, 2005

    More than 60 active duty and former military Purple Heart Medal recipients march onto the field for a salute to the veterans at the 2005 National Football League Pro Bowl in Hawaii. This photo appeared on

    Terri Schiavo - A Plea

    This message was sent to the following:;;;,;;;;;;;;

    No available direct e-mail. Sent through form"

    This is what was sent:

    Hello all,

    I’m e-mailing you because I have not seen something particularly important on any of your blogs. I may have skipped something important you may have written, as I do not frequent the top ten blogs or so. If that is the case I apologize. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you just decided to up and delete this e-mail. I’m getting used to it by those in power.

    The issue I am talking about is Terri Schiavo. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the case and seen, or been involved with, the lesser points of the case. Personally, my first impression about this case was that it was a waste of our time and she should be put out of her misery. Fortunately, I was provided a link to a few of her videos where she’s actually doing something. All I can do for you is pass on the links and a little background information:

    Some people have said that these are no more than auto responses. I can tell you from experience that this is a load of crap. A few years back I had a cousin that had cerebral palsy. I’m not completely sure of the way this particular disease works, but I’ve been led to believe that it’s a degenerative nerve disease, in which motor functions deteriorate, unless you get physical therapy. Well, Terri hasn’t had any therapy either. Here are some people with cerebral palsy so you can compare the two people:

    Some of the people on my blog site, the other place I’m putting this up, will note that this looks a lot like a post I wrote two days ago. Well, it is what I put up two days ago. This is what convinced me of the truth. I hope it convinces you as well.

    For more information about the blog effort involved with this, go here:

    P.S. Consider this the ransom part: All trackbacks, links, reply e-mails, etc. that I’m informed about will be added to this article as an update. Here’s a chance to prove that all of you high-level bloggers have a reason to be where you’re at. Call it some street cred. if you want. I’ll be waiting patiently.

    Time is 12:56AM EST I'll be updating as the comments/emails/trackbacks roll in.

    Saturday, February 19, 2005

    Wired for sound.

    Me being the type of guy who is never satisfied with his site, will be trying to do an independent music thing. We're underpaid, overworked independent bloggers, why not share the spotlight?

    If you're running Internet Explorer right now there's a really good chance you're listening to an independent artist right now and scrabling to find out where the "shut up" button is. (It's immediately to the right of the screen.)

    If you're on any other browser there's a good chance you've got what looks like a puzzle piece there. I'm crrently trying to find the right plug-ins for all of this stuff. If anyone knows the right one (or ones) to get all of the media stuf working it would be greatly appreciated. (Looking for firefox, mozilla, opera capable plugins)

    Terri Schiavo's murder part II

    Okay, I'm a bit short on time today, so I'm ruthlessly stealing someone else's work in it's entirety. (With permission of course.)
    This was originally posted by Beth over at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

    The following was in the comments of my “Gathering steam” post. You all probably could guess that I’m a die-hard Bush supporter (all of them), but this definitely warrants its own post, because despite my unwavering support of the Bushes, there are some things that I don’t agree with–and Terri Schiavo’s case is beyond politics, anyway. Doc Washburn is a radio talk show host in Panama City, Florida, and has this:

    I am a radio talk show host in Florida. I feel so strongly about Terri’s plight (and Jeb Bush’s refusal to save her life) that I wrote a 750-word column to try to get it into the msm. Thus far, there has been no response from the Washington Times or National Review. I e-mailed the editor of the Wall Street Journal this evening. I am about ready to try USA Today. It is very frustrating. Anyway, here is what I wrote:

    “Jeb Bush Could Save Terri Schiavo’s Life…If He Wanted To”

    By Doc Washburn
    Recently, the US Supreme Court paved the way for the execution of Terri Schiavo beginning February 22. She is the brain-damaged woman whose husband has been trying to starve and dehydrate her to death for years. Florida Governor Jeb Bush should have responded, ”you better believe I’m not going to allow an innocent woman to be executed in the most cruel way imaginable in my state! We wouldn’t do that to a dog, and I’m not about to let it happen to Terri Schiavo! No sir, not on my watch”! Instead, we got: “I will do whatever I can do within the powers that have been granted to me by law and by statute. I will do whatever I can. I’m not going to do more than that,” and “I really don’t know what options we have available, but I will take whatever options I think there are".

    Perhaps I can help. Florida’s state constitution says “All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness…No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.” The fact that a Circuit Judge continues to ignore Florida statutes does not change the state constitution. Jeb Bush took an oath to uphold that constitution and yet (despite receiving 120,000 e-mails begging him to save her), he let Terri Schiavo starve (and dehydrate) for six days back in October 2003 until the Florida legislature passed a law that gave him political cover. Now that the courts have struck down “Terri’s Law”, don’t be surprised if Jeb behaves as if the constitution he swore to uphold is still not relevant to Terri Schiavo. Don’t be surprised if he allows her husband to slowly starve and dehydrate her to death.

    As you know by now if you’ve seen the videos, Terri tries to communicate and is fully aware of what is going on around her. There is also medical evidence to suggest that a criminal investigation should be launched to try to determine whether her husband may have caused her current disabled state back in 1990. What you probably don’t know is: (A) there never was a local criminal investigation of Terri’s case in Pinellas County; (B) I personally handed the medical evidence to Jeb at a public appearance he made at a nursing home dedication on August 21, 2003: and © former federal prosecutors (now with the Thomas More Law Center) gave Jeb all the legal justification he would have needed to personally intervene on Terri’s behalf on the first two days of her six-day ordeal!

    Consider his track record. On Day Two of Terri’s starvation (October 16,2003), Jeb said his legal staff could find no statutory justification to intervene in the court decision that approved Terri’s death. Richard Thompson (chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center) shot back: “Nobody is asking the Governor to intervene in the civil case. We are asking him to initiate an independent criminal investigation based on a list of facts that suggest criminal wrongdoing. We have outlined for the Governor some of these facts, and confirmed his Constitutional authority to act. The fact that he has chosen to confuse the public by referring to the civil case, completely ignoring the request that we presented, reveals a lack of moral courage and political will. We expect the Governor to do the right thing, and so far, he has refused to do so.”

    In the ensuing 16 months, Jeb has steadfastly refused to order the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to do an investigation. Is he more concerned about how he is perceived by the editorial boards of Florida’s big daily papers (most of whom want Terri dead) than with saving an innocent woman’s life? Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family recently “renewed his call for the preservation of the life of Terri Schiavo". If we really want that to happen, we need to put the heat on Jeb. E-mail him at

    P.S. Did you catch what the swiftvets did to John Kerry? For that matter, have you noticed the growing influence of blogs? If Jeb lets Terri die, it probably would not be wise for him to run for office again.

    Thanks, Doc. While I don’t have quite the circulation of the NR, Washington Times, or USA Today, I’ll give you column inches here. Maybe others will pick it up as well! Good luck, and THANK YOU!

    And for what it’s worth, we bloggers know the feeling. We’ve been trying to get the attention of several of the top bloggers and right-to-life pundits, to no avail.

    [/End channeling of Beth's spirit]

    Images of hope 14

    Still on Guatemala

    Hosted by

    Escuela Chocantariy offers free education and food to all children from the community and surrounding area who would like to study.

    Escuela Chocantariy is a bilingual school (Quiché and Spanish). The children are learning the national language while preserving their mother tongue. There are classes of pre-school and primary school.

    With this school project, we hope to diminish, step by step, the rate of illiteracy of the village and improve the living standard of the community.

    Our target

    Our project’s target is to create pre-condition for a permanent primary school education for 300 children by constructing a school. A solid construction shall replace shanties built by the parents, where school was taking place till now.

    In a permanent establishment children shall receive education and be fed with nutritious food for free. This school is autonomously run by a committee and supported by private donations. It is acknowledged by the government who pays some teachers (7 out of 8).

    Education offered starts with pre-school and continues through all 6 grades of primary school as regulated by Guatemalan law.

    Bilingual education in Quiché (one of the abt. 23 indigenous languages spoken in Guatemala) and Spanish shall be pre-condition for an effective school activity.

    This project shall help to decrease the alarming high number of illiterates in rural areas and shall provide a better start into the childrens’ future.

    Furthermore we target on health care and want to fight malnutrition and undernourishment by feeding the children with nutritious food in school daily.

    For realization of school construction project “Escuela Chocantariy” following steps are necessary:

    A bricks-and-mortar construction with 9 class-rooms, a schoolyard, sanitary equipment, a kitchen and an office (total contruction area 900 square metres abt)

    School’s equipment

    Financial support of the school (current expenses, teachers’ salaries and teaching material).

    Maintenance of school’s refactory

    If you would like to give to this or any other Children's Charity project you can go to their main website.

    Friday, February 18, 2005


    By now it may have reached your corner of the pajamasphere. Terri Schindler-Schiavo is about to be starved to death. Her parents are willing to cover the feeding tube costs, but her husband doesn't want that. He wants to end her life.

    I have to admit that the way the media spin machine has had a hold on this I was very sceptical about everything. I thought she was a complete potato fit to be planted. Sure, you've seen tiny little clips that make her look like the lights are on but no one's home. I was convinced that the family just couldn't let go and should let her go. Of course, that was before I saw the following videos:

    Terri and her Mother
    Swab Test (Terri doesn't like swabs as you will see)
    Terri Responding to Music
    Tracking a Balloon
    Asked To Open her Eyes (Boy does she ever!)
    How's Your Cold?

    If you've known anyone with cerebral palsy these videos should look very familiar to you. If you've never seen what Cerebral Palsy looks like when it has gripped someone's life here are a few videos so you can compare for yourself:

    Kid in a Wheelchair
    Palsy kids in school

    Does anybody else see any resemblances? Do we murder children with cerebral palsy or do we give them physical therapy? This is what cerebral palsy looks like with physical tharapy:

    On the pilates ball

    I have absolutely no idea if she'll ever be as well off as the children in these videos. We don't even know if she'll ever be able to talk again. We already see what happens when she's not on therapy; her own husband tries to kill her. Don't you think it's about time to fix this?

    I do. I'm in. Sign me up for this blogburst. I'm all over it. You can get the blogroll from the same location. If I've been able to convince you then e-mail Pro Life Blogs to join in the fight for her life.

    Please don't delay. Her hearing to decide if she lives or dehydrates to death is on the 22nd.

    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    First Audio post.

    this is an audio post - click to play

    Images of hope13

    WFP's Latin America spokesman Jordan Dey recently returned from eastern Guatemala where some 60,000 children are suffering acute malnutrition.

    In this eyewitness report, he describes a visit to the San Ixtan therapeutic feeding centre in Jalpatagua, one of 41 receiving WFP food aid.

    The snippet and picture were taken from the World Food Programme's website. Since my other Guatemala source no longer appears to be up I'm improvising. It's all good though. They're still a charitable cause. It's just food instead of cosmetic surgery.