Saturday, August 30, 2003

A Tribute To My Amazing MaMa

MaMa will be 94 on September 1st. Labor Day seems like the perfect day for her birth, because that amazing woman has labored for most of her 94 years.

MaMa was born the oldest girl in a family that would grow to 9 children. Her mother was very often sick and by the time MaMa was 5 years old she was standing on a box in the kitchen cooking, washing dishes, running the household each time her mother had one of her "spells". Back then, of course, little or nothing was known about mental illness, so the family coped as best they could. As the oldest daughter, a very large part of the working burden fell on MaMa and during those days that burden was an enormous one.

MaMa hasn't ever talked at length to me about her childhood, but I once heard her say, "Some stories are just too bad to tell." Her sister agreed. What a tragic statement. My PaPa spotted her at church, asked to walk her home, and later walked her down the aisle as his new bride. Years later when visiting the places they'd grown up, one of the locals remarked that MaMa had been the prettiest girl in the whole county. Apparently, PaPa agreed.

As a newly married bride, she moved into her mother-in-law's house with PaPa. Her mother-in-law didn't like her. On the day after the wedding, her mother-in-law woke her up and told her to cook breakfast for all the family! Papa's brother was living in Texas and promised him a job and a house, so PaPa and MaMa decided to seek their fortunes in Texas. It was 1929. They headed south with a tiny baby, in a car with no top, and it started snowing on the way. When they arrived in Texas, there was no house or job and PaPa had to scramble to find work. MaMa made a home for them in a barn and even a grain silo as PaPa struggled to feed his family.

MaMa had a spotless house and she maintained it herself until she was 92 years old. Every time we visited I felt like a slob. My house has never been as clean as MaMa's and here she was, 92 years old, still doing a better job than me. MaMa and I both have 5 kids, but she had to raise hers without a washing machine, a dishwasher, or a microwave. If I whine about anything, she's always quick to point out that at least I 'm not doing laundry with a washboard.

As she is a wonderful cook, I had my taste buds spoiled plenty growing up. Family gatherings were a cornucopia of mouth-watering food. Since we lived in the same town, many Fridays found us all at her house for lunch eating okra, fresh tomatoes, fried peach pies, ham and beans, or fried chicken. One of my earliest memories is sitting at her kitchen table eating macaroni and cheese.

We had to eat lunch at straight up noon because "As the World Turns" was on at 12:30 and if the music came on before the kitchen was cleaned, she'd start yanking dishes off the table letting us know that "the world was turning!" When I was newly married, my cousin and I worked at the same place, and we'd sometimes have a quick lunch and stop by my cousin's house to catch "the world turning" before returning to work.

Every afternoon we'd have a snack at the table and my favorite was a Coke and a frozen Snicker. The last time I was at her house I opened the freezer door and sure enough, there were the Snickers.

She had a picture of Jesus holding a globe on the wall.
She'd point to it and sing "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" when she rocked me. She had the picture framed and matted and gave it to me when my first child was born. I rocked my kids to sleep with the same song. To give an idea of how much work she always did, she also sang "Bringing In The Sheaves", but I thought she was singing "Bringing In The Sheets". I tried for years to figure out why she'd be rejoicing over bringing in sheets.

Once when I was whining about something she asked me if I wanted a sugar-tit. I had no idea what she was talking about and she explained that it was what they'd used to hush fussy babies before the invention of the pacifier. I wanted one and she went right into the kitchen and made it for me. I sucked on it all afternoon while watching T.V. She has a very dry sense of humor, needless to say.

She always allowed us to play dress up at her house and she had a wonderful collection of colorful slips, awesome rhinestone earrings, broaches, necklaces, and high heel shoes even in red and turquoise. I spent half my time at her house sashaying around in a red slip, red high heels, and her ruby rhinestone set. I got my love of jewelry and the color red from MaMa.

One of the remarkable things about MaMa is her strength. Even in her 80's she walked to stay healthy and she'd go out and visit "the elderly" from her church. I'll bet most, if not all of them, were younger that she was, but she never seemed elderly to us because she didn't act elderly. One day she put on a brown dress, a color she rarely wore, and PaPa said, "That makes you look like a 70 year old woman!" (She was in her 80's at the time.) MaMa said, "Thanks, I'll wear it more often."

Many people say that we don't have heroes anymore , but I always did because I had MaMa. She had a difficult childhood that many people don't recover from today. She lived through the depression and hardship that I cannot even imagine during part of her married life. She didn't just survive or become bitter. She'd just always say, "I wish I'd been born a man." She rose above her circumstances and created a beautiful, warm, loving home for 5 children and later 12 grandchildren. She did it with style and a wonderful sense of humor. She made my life all the more rich and joyous for her presence in it. Even today, I stand in awe of her. I have been truly blessed simply because I have the privilege of knowing her.

Happy Birthday, MaMa. I love you very much.

The Weekend

There will be little or nothing here this weekend. Being the incredibly organized person that I am, I have no lesson plans for the school year and school starts Tuesday. This year everyone is going to be studying American History up to the Civil War. Since I've already taught this twice, it's only a matter of pulling out the materials and putting them in order on the shelves. Still, it will take some time.

Thankfully, everyone is old enough to join science classes with my best friend, Mrs. Frizzle. Hooray! Science is definitely the "go ask your father" subject here at the guillotine.

Have a great weekend.


The comments feature is gone. The only people who comment either email me or talk to me quite often anyway. The people who run the comments feature have changed their policies and in order to keep the comments I'll have to pay for the privilege. I'd rather not, so if you have any comments, shoot me an email!

Friday, August 29, 2003

Humor For Friday

The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his very life into his own hands! This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other!!

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some chocolate.

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't overdo it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRASAFE: Here, have some more chocolate.

Pass this onto all of your hormonal friends or men who need a warning! And remember: Money talks...but chocolate sings. (via Gran)

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Daily Rant

Veritas had to go "get beautiful" so after a few comments here and some thrilling cleaning, we ran off to get her coifed courtesy of the lovely Amber. For some reason the topic of pets keeps coming up in my life and we discussed her Iguana and it's untimely demise via her ex-boyfriend. I told her she'd made the right choice in losing him. If a man can't keep it together with a reptile, letting him watch a child or father one seems incredibly dubious.

Mr. G suggested that I let everyone know the children's ages since it's relevant to the commentary so here's the batting lineup at the guillotine:

Valentine:19, college sophomore, pet fanatic, drools over cowboys, went to a college where she could meet and marry one, dry sense of humor, incredibly hard worker, insists she's my favorite child, fair shot. Quote: "Every cowgirl needs a cowboy, someone has to clean the stalls! :D"

Viagra:18, college freshman, sports nut, slob, know-it-all, ironically also a dumb blonde, fond of throwing hands in air while saying "WHAT??", went to college here to try out for the baseball team, blew it for above reasons, tough as nails, babies love him, good shot, and the best babysitter of the group. Quote: (age 7) "Did I nurse when I was a baby? I bet I liked it!"

Veritas:14, brainiac, intense, high-tempered, selfless volunteer, in-demand babysitter, only child so far that loves history and science equally well, can read blogs because she gets all the jokes, might be the next Annie Oakley. Quote:(age 3) "I don't know if this is cute enough for me to wear."

Vision:11, clumsy like her dear mother, slob, memory like an elephant, artsy, loves babies and animals, clingy and dramatic, fierce defender of what's right, always has a hug on standby, plays with dolls while we shoot. Quote: "Well, at least I'm not ugly."

Willard: 9, loud, hilarious, dancing queen, last hope for the perfect child, leader, Mr. Popularity, fishin' fool, if his brother does it it's golden, can knock paper cup over with BB gun. Quote:(age 4) "Viagra's teaching vacation bible school this week. He's the impossible Paul."

That's the lineup, sports fans. Keep the scorecard handy as a reference in the event that confusion breaks up the play-by-play.

Ten Commandments

John Derbyshire wrote an article for National Review a few days ago that I enjoyed. I completely understand his confusion:

You have to excuse me. I'm a new American, not yet quite up to speed on national attitudes and approaches to things like, oh, Constitutional jurisprudence. Any time one of these church-state controversies blows up, I read the arguments pro and con, scratch my head a bit, then pull out my handy Cato Institute pocket edition of the U.S. Constitution, and try to figure out what all the fuss is about.
and I also agree 100% with his conclusion:
What is really going on down in Montgomery is, of course, another battle in the bitter, hate-filled (never thought I'd find use for a lefty phrase like that - watch out for "mean-spirited") war against Christianity. One of the principal features of American life, which jumped out at me at once when I came to live here, and which I have observed with fascination ever since, is the seething, foam-flecked detestation that large sections of U.S. society feel towards Christians and their faith.
An interesting take from the outside looking in on the whole business. There are those who will not be content until Christianity is illegal or banished to a dark closet in the basement. While I don't think this whole flap is a worthwhile hill to die on, I do believe that the folks who brought this suit really do need to get over themselves and find a hobby. They obviously have way too much time on their hands. Or as Derb says:
There is no Constitutional right to be preserved from offense, even when passing through a government building.


The Washington Post has a story on Al Franken's new book and Fox's lawsuit over it's title called Throwing Punches and Punch Lines . Compare it to the slanted article they published on Ann Coulter. Franken's assertion that the media isn't liberal is as silly as the rest of his comments. Hey, at least he's still funny. This is hilarious:

"Lies" contains lots of citations and statistics because Franken, during a fellowship this year at Harvard's Shorenstein press center, was given 14 research assistants to help him scour the media archives.
Let me see if I understand this. Franken, with the kind donation of 14 research assistants from Harvard's press center, explains to America that there isn't a liberal bias in the press. An then there is this bit:
The book's tone careens between serious analysis and playground taunts (chapters include "Ann Coulter: Nutcase" and "I Bitch-Slap Bernie Goldberg").
In the not-at-all-no-way-liberal press, one must guess which of these two chapters would be classified as serious analysis. Did Al really try to beat up Bernie Goldberg? I wouldn't have to ask but:
He once called up National Review Editor Rich Lowry and challenged him to a fight in a parking garage. Lowry declined.
Lowry had the last laugh, so read the article. Note to Al: That line where people cease to laugh with you and begin to laugh at you- wrong side.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Wacky Ads

I've been noticing the ads that Google decides to match with my site each day. They obviously have some content search that deems one ad would be better than another for the site, and poof, it shows up. Many pay a fee each month so they can get rid of the ads, but I can't imagine why when they are such fun. The week I wrote about my vacation, the ads were about traffic signs and road signs of America. The content search has to be computer driven because every time I've written something awful on a topic there is the matching topical ad, but it's a total flyby for the computer.

Mostly, the ads have been about Iraq, but since I posted regarding Pocket's mental problems, the ads lead to marriage counseling and recovering from mental illness. For a mouse! I'll never get rid of these ads. What a hoot.

Update:Oh look, now I have dating tips ads.

Quiz for the Day

Wow, I sound like a total sap.

Protector: You are the rock, the keystone of your friends and family. They look to you for support and leadership. You don't push for devotion or attention, but when the situation is dire, even the Idols and Exhibitionists will turn to you. You are the trusted, the loved. You have the capacity to love more deeply than any other type, and are fiercely devoted to your friends and lovers. Highly idealistic, you would sacrifice everything for a person or cause you believe in. But your trust so deeply and compassionately that a betrayal could shatter you. Jealousy is your downfall, and sometimes you need to give people more space and not become so enamored. Be careful who you place your trust in, for a Protector's broken heart will never fully heal. The world needs more of you but you are few. And sometimes it seems like you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Take the ULTIMATE personality test and let me know the results!

Laugh Out Loud

Amish Tech Support has a great spoof on what a Palestinian Airline preflight speech would sound like:Hijack Your Own Airline.

Welcome aboard palestinian Airlines flight 3 from our brutally oppressed and occupied territory that will one day be drenched with the blood of Jews and paved with their crushed skulls to Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Must read for those with my sick sense of humor.

Jane Galt at Asymmetrical Information points out one of the reasons the Dems continue to have problems:

"The Democrats, on the other hand, are a veritable festival of interest groups: unions, teachers, minorities, feminists, gay groups, environmentalists, etc. Each of these groups has a litmus test without which they will not ratify a candidate: unfettered support for abortion, against vouchers, against ANWAR drilling, whatever. A lot of groups means a lot of litmus tests, because with the possible exception of the teachers, no one group is powerful enough to swing an election by themselves."
And how the problems are getting worse:
But the larger problem is that those interest groups are increasingly coming into conflict. African-americans want vouchers, but the more powerful teacher's union says no. Latinos trend strongly pro-life, but don't let NARAL catch them at it. Environmentalists want stricter standards that cost union members jobs. The more interest groups under the tent, the looser the grip the party has on any one group. And as social security and medicare turn into the sucking chest wound of the budget, the money for the programs that Democratic politicians have traditionally used to cement those interest groups to them is disappearing.
Interesting points.


I like to link to things that I find interesting, thought-provoking, humorous, or even outrageous. However, many of the sites I enjoy are adult sites and would receive an "R" rating from the motion picture industry. I've been living in an "R" rated world since 4th grade, so I tend to just tune it out and read for content. Any kid my age or younger who went to public school has heard the f-word at least a gazillion times a year.

While I'll try to warn people when I'm linking to something with adult content, I'll probably forget as often as I remember. I realize that everyone has a different threshold for what is offensive and what is tolerable, so I'm just letting my readers know - click at your own risk.

Links of the Day

I'm adding two new links today. The first is Alphecca, a site I'd not come across until Jeff, the site owner, kindly mentioned me on his blog. I was astonished because I had no idea anyone besides a few family members and one friend were even reading the site. I checked Jeff's site out and he has a feature called "Alphecca's Weekly check on the bias" which is excellent for anyone interested in 2nd amendment issues. He looks at guns in the news each week and reports on the media's coverage. Good stuff!

I'm also adding Michael Williams at Master of None. Michael describes his site as:

Religion, politics, technology and computers, movies, books, periodic complaints about my day-to-day life, and pointless stories about things that happen to me.
Obviously, this makes it hard to categorize, but I enjoy reading it. More good stuff!

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Troubling News From the Home Front

Willard is now on page 68 of his snake book and what I'd like to know is who came up with this whole "No Child Left Behind" idea anyway? In pet adoption matters, I feel that every child should be left behind because as sure as night follows day, the pets are on death row. It's all my fault, dear readers, because I'm the idiot who taught him to read and thus ushered in the era of "Reptile Reloaded: The Rise of the Scales."

None of the three younger children remember our first snake, BigO. Mr. G and Viagra found BigO in the middle of the road and like kids always do, they brought him home to show their mother. I was less than thrilled and not because I harbor a terror of snakes. I'm a seasoned snake handler since 4th grade science, back when science teachers had all manner of frightening things in their rooms, some of which we were encouraged to take out and handle personally. I loved the snakes. The first time I saw the new Zorro movie with the guy's head floating in a jar I was completely unmoved because my 4th grade science teacher had shelves upon shelves of random things that might have been alive floating in formaldehyde.

When I saw the snake, I just looked into the future and saw a dead snake. Let's face it, children are hell on pets. If PETA weren't busy chasing the Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile through WalMart parking lots, they'd probably be picketing in my front yard. I shudder to think about the pet mortality rate here on Main Street. We've racked up a death count of 4 dogs, 3 fish, 3 birds, 1 guinea pig, 2 dozen grass snakes, and 1 dozen hermit crabs. Hannibal Lecter would hesitate to visit us.

But back to my point, BigO, named the way all pets of children get their monikers, was a Big Oooole Snake, hence, BigO. Mr. G and Viagra built BigO a wonderfully huge box with plexiglas front and screen top that covered the top of the 6' toy box. It was one day later that I realized why they have those signs at the zoo that say "Don't Tap On The Glass". With 3 small children tapping on the glass and BigO freaking out and attempting to attack the threat, BigO's entire time with us was spent with a bloody nose.

BigO had to eat, of course, and this led to another crisis because out there in the real world where Barney the Dinosaur holds no sway, snakes eat cute little mice. Hence the entrance of Pockets into our lives. For future reference, when buying "snake food", in the event that the snake is not hungry, one should not then bond with said food. The food being a cute little white mouse, the children immediately embraced the mouse, and gave him the playful name of Pockets because he'd hide in the children's shirt pockets. I didn't tell them it was an evasion technique aimed directly toward them, but Pockets was certainly a confused mouse and rightly so.

Everyday, we'd try to feed him to the snake. If the snake had no interest, we'd rescue him for the moment and play with him as if he were a cherished pet. Mark down an additional mouse death for our family and a much needed interview with Oprah for Pockets.

The snake never ate Pockets. I believe Pockets died of a nervous breakdown.

After Pockets untimely demise, I insisted that BigO be released back into the wild. It made us all feel better, but I'm confident that another sadistic family with small children found him in the middle of the road and starved him to death after befriending his food.

Update:Gran was kind enough to remind me that we'd murdered a turtle. My how time flies when your children are wreaking havoc on pets. Chalk us up for 1 dead in the turtle column.

Why Iraq is not like Vietnam

John Hughes has a good list of reasons:

The fact is there are many dissimilarities between Vietnam and Iraq.

The Vietnam war was fought in rice paddies and difficult jungle terrain. The continuing conflict in Iraq is confined mainly to the urban areas.

In Vietnam, the entire country was perilous for US forces. In Iraq, the opposition is confined to a relatively small geographic area. Much of the country is free of attacks against US and British forces.

In Vietnam, the US fielded a valiant, but conscript Army. In Iraq, the volunteer US forces are better trained and experienced, with a new generation of wonder weapons.
Good article. These last two points I've read about this week. The violence is contained to small areas. Equating every area in the country with the havoc in Baghdad is similiar to assuming the crime rate of New York City has major implications for my little Texas town. Also, as Con made clear in the comments section, there is a major difference between a conscript army and a volunteer force.

Bad Hair Day

Gran, take note and arm yourself accordingly. Woman stabbed her hairdresser over cut :

"A WOMAN who nearly stabbed to death a hairdresser because she was upset with her hairstyle will spend at least a year behind bars.

Mother-of-four Fahria Ali Mohamud, 34, stabbed hairdresser Luul Jimale 14 times after Ms Jimale cut and dyed her hair in her salon in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg in June last year. "
Keep a close eye on those scissors and stay safe out there in the clip and snip trenches.

Here's Your Sign

Wasp hater torches flats:

"A man who tried to fight bothersome wasps with insect spray and a cigarette lighter burned down his apartment and two neighbouring flats, Swiss police say. "
As they say, Oddly Enough!

Problem of Troop Shortage Resolved

As usual, Scott Ott at ScrappleFace has scooped the media. This time it's furture troop deployment. U.S. to Send 22 Million Troops to Protect Iraq:

The United States will send 22 million troops to Iraq this year to ensure the safety of every Iraqi and every structure in the country.

Dubbed 'Operation Buddy System' by Pentagon planners, the idea is to pair each Iraqi citizen with a battlefield-equipped soldier or Marine.
It seems for some on the left, nothing else will suffice.

Jack Kelly disagrees with those who are calling for more troops and argues just the opposite:

The low level conflict in Iraq doesn't need to be internationalized. It needs to be "Iraqized."

The Westmorelands in Congress and the news media, panicked because a UN mission which refused American protection got bombed, want to send more troops to Iraq. But more conventional troops would serve principally as targets.......

........Guerrilla wars are won not by having large numbers of troops, but by having the right kind of troops, and a strategy designed to win popular support. MacGregor noted that Sir Gerald Templer, the commander of British forces that defeated a communist insurgency in Malaya in the 1950s, actually sent troops home.


Michael Williams has a good article about education and what it can and cannot accomplish. Check it out.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Moses and Aaron Involved in Frivolous Lawsuit

Once again, Donald Sensing has the great story of the day:

Some Egyptians in Switzerland are bringing a lawsuit against "all the Jews of the world" for taking gold, jewelry and other articles out of Egypt during the Exodus of the children of Israel out of Egypt under Moses' leadership.
You've got to read this to believe it. My favorite quote:
But fear not, the world-famous Ancient Royal Egyptian Police Corps (Pharaoh's Own) were on the job, says Hilmi,

"A police investigation revealed that Moses and Aaron, peace be upon them, understood that it was impossible to live in Egypt, despite its pleasures and even though the Egyptians included them in every activity, due to the Jews' perverse nature. . . .

Those crazy Egyptian cops, peace be upon them.

War on Terror Update

Crafty British officials have devised a new way to weed out possible terrorists:

Six Brazilians have been turned away by immigration officials at Heathrow Airport after failing a quiz about the Beatles. The group said they were on their way to Liverpool's Mathew Street Festival this weekend, which celebrates the lives of the Fab Four.

Reports say immigration officials refused to let them into the UK when they failed to answer basic questions about the band.

One relates her horrifying interrogation:

She explained: "They played songs and asked us to name them. They actually made people sing Beatles songs.

I'm all for fighting terrorism, but making them sing Beatles songs may be stepping over the line into that murky area of karaoke brutality.

I read an enlightening article entitled CHRISTAPALOOZA yesterday written by an atheist who went to a Creation '99 Weekend and was less than impressed with what he encountered, to say the least. One quote will suffice:

The catch phrase of Creation '99 was "Whoever takes the Son, takes it all." This aphorism states perfectly the overarching theme of the festival. Forget the stuff about camels squeezing through the eyes of needles and the difficulties of rich people getting past the pearly gates; access to heaven is on a strictly cash-and-carry basis these days. Beneath the broad tents set up throughout the grounds there were Christian entrepreneurs hawking all manner of Jesus gew-gaws: T-shirts, bumper stickers, glow-in-the-dark crucifixes, Bibles, interpretations of the Bible, compact discs, key chains, and jewelry.

I wasn't going to comment on it here until I came across this article in the Washington Post about a Polish man hawking the holocaust:

A Polish artist has sparked controversy in the Netherlands by selling "Auschwitz souvenirs" -- from crematorium fridge magnets to "Arbeit Macht Frei" key rings -- to remind people of the horrors of the Nazi death camp.

T-shirts with the menacing skull-and-crossbones symbol from the camp's electric fences and key rings bearing the camp gate's infamous German inscription "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) have been on sale at a Dutch art show since late July.

The sheer tackiness in both of these examples is simply breath-taking. If capitalism has a down side, this is it.

Mundane, Yet Wacky Update

Valentine thanked me profusely this weekend for being a wonderful mother and for not "getting a boob job and divorcing Dad!". No problem. Huh?

Viagra was going to drop his English Lit. class in favor of Speech, but developed a burning passion for the literature of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation when he walked into class this morning and discovered the vast majority of his classmates were "really hot girls". Pushing him all the way into the Lit. column was the fact that he'd already read half the books on the assignment list. Win! Win!

I finally had the graduation pictures developed and once again must sadly note that I am not the least bit photogenic. Quite the opposite. The only picture of Viagra and I that even approaches tolerable was taken late in the evening. We both look tired, sweaty, and slightly loopy. Viagra is holding a plastic punch cup and we look like nothing so much as a happily-dazed couple at a keg party.

Vision got her rat, er hamster Saturday evening. Willard wanted a snake, but Viagra saved the day (for now) by insisting that he buy a 115 page book on the care of snakes and read it cover to cover before he could be a qualified snake owner. The good news is he's only on page 28. The bad news is he's still reading.

India Blasts Kill at Least 44, Wound 150

Car bombs exploded at a crowded jewelry market and a historic landmark in Bombay on Monday, killing at least 44 people, wounding 150 others and shaking buildings in India's financial capital....

......The explosions were aimed at targeting the economic activity of the city, as well as Bombay as a tourist destination," said Sushil Kumar Shinde, chief minister of Maharashtra, the state where Bombay is located.

Update:(via Donald Sensing) Wretchard over at Belmont Club has some thoughts on suicide bombers and their ultimate fate:

Is there nothing left but to surrender to the "ultimate asymmetric weapon", to bow before the invincible warriors armed with bombs and cameras? The Left has fielded that argument before. Finally unable justify Stalin, it attempted to portray a voluntary capitulation to tyranny as preferable to the annihilation that would attend defiance. "Better Red than dead," argued Bertrand Russell, and we meet the false dichotomy again in its modern form.
The natural outcome of the kamikazes was the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Nothing else would do.

I found a new blog written by a 24 year old woman in Iraq:

Over 65% of the Iraqi population is unemployed. The reason for this is because Bremer made some horrible decisions. The first major decision he made was to dissolve the Iraqi army. That may make sense in Washington, but here, we were left speechless. Now there are over 400,000 trained, armed men with families that need to be fed. Where are they supposed to go? What are they supposed to do for a living? I don't know. They certainly don't know.
This blog is an interesting, angry view of the occupation:
I'm one of the lucky ones... I'm not important. I'm not vital. Over a month ago, a prominent electrical engineer (one of the smartest females in the country) named Henna Aziz was assassinated in front of her family- two daughters and her husband. She was threatened by some fundamentalists from Badir's Army and told to stay at home because she was a woman, she shouldn't be in charge. She refused- the country needed her expertise to get things functioning- she was brilliant. She would not and could not stay at home. They came to her house one evening: men with machine-guns, broke in and opened fire. She lost her life- she wasn't the first, she won't be the last.
Her comments on rising fundamentalism are troubling and make visiting the site worthwhile.

Good editorial at Iraq Today:

Shortly before the UN bombing, attackers ruptured a water main and left hundreds of thousands of desperate Baghdadis without water for two days. Do you think you hurt the Coalition forces? The Coalition has their own supply of sterilized bottles; the water you spilled from the pipeline is your own. Or were you trying to turn Iraqis against the Coalition? You failed, because your responsibility for the dry taps and parched throats was clear with every gallon that spilled onto the street, and with every drop of blood is spilled on the soil of this great nation.
At least one Iraqi sees the light. Hopefully this publication has wide circulation.

Here's Your Sign

An article today about US Christian soldiers being baptised in Iraq. Confirming my belief that most reporters have zero understanding of Christianity:

Many such rituals reflect the widespread evangelical belief that a Christian must be "born again" through adult baptism.
Riiiiiiiiiight. Interestingly, this statement reflects the same basic understanding of Iraq:
Most of the Christian soldiers say they believe what they are doing is right because of the brutalities of Saddam's regime. They are only vaguely aware of objections by the international anti-war lobby and the rising dissatisfaction of Iraqis themselves with the occupation.
The soldiers who are actually there, on the ground, are only "vaguely aware" of the rising dissatisfaction of Iraqis. Thankfully the media is there to help them understand what is really happening.

Jaws 3D?
The politicians aren't the only predators in California this week:
A great white shark was seen swimming near one of Southern California's most-surfed locations, according to a report.

A surfer and other beachcombers saw the shark swimming near San Onofre State Beach. State park officials posted a shark warning there after a videotape shot by local surfer Dave Schulte confirmed the existence of the shark, a shark expert said.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Great Quotes

John Hawkins, over at Right Wing News, has assembled a great quotes from great coaches list. Excellent. My favorites:

"People of medicore ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to." -- George Allen

"The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it." -- Lou Holtz

"Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit." -- Vince Lombardi

“Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” -- John Wooden

Read 'em all.

This was a move we could all read in the tea leaves:

U.N. Places All Iraqis on Ritalin: The United Nations today began distribution of mandatory prescriptions of Ritalin for all Iraqis.

A spokesman said the U.N. hopes to reduce the incidence of violence through use of the medication, which is often prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among American school boys.

Mentally Ill

I was helping Veritas with some research and accidentally found the answer to poor Viagra's behavior issues. He's got Oppositional Defiant Disorder. According to mentalhealth.com, this is:

A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months.
A more realistic estimate in our case would be 16 years. All this time I'd thought he was just hard-headed, opinionated, and a tad rebellious. Four or more of these indicators must be present within 6 months:
often loses temper
often argues with adults
often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
often deliberately annoys people
often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
is often angry and resentful
is often spiteful or vindictive
Six months?? Our whole family is afflicted with this particular mental illness. I know I often have a flare-up once a month.

There is hope:

....if the individual is age 18 years or older, criteria are not met for Antisocial Personality Disorder.
At least we're not terminally unfriendly.

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