Saturday, September 24, 2005

Canning Summer

We're not as "Organic" as we used to be. But we like our own tomatoes for soup and lasagna in winter. It's just the two of us and a dozen plants yields all the tomatoes we need.

Today Peggy and I canned several Jars. I do enjoy this.

A couple weeks ago I made 6 pints of spaghetti Sauce using fresh tomatoes.

We froze it. Speecy Spicy Meatballeez.

I like putting summer in a jar. Makes winter more fun.

For Serious Thinkers Only – How to Balance the Federal Budget AND end up with a SURPLUS

There is a group of very wise people in Chicago. I’m not part of their conclave. I might like to be.


OK, now for the few that are left:

They have come up with a plan to trim spending such that all Iraq, Katrina, and other spending can be done and useless federal spending and federal tax loopholes are closed. After it’s all done there is a budget surplus.

It is so common sense it will never be implemented.

Everyone’s ox gets gored.

But, If we were serious about balancing the budget we would do this.

We won’t do this, but those who know will keep peoples feet to the fire. People who make the decisions to do it can do anything if they decide to. Unfortunately we don’t elect these folks. There is no bacon to bring home if the pork is trimmed. You can’t get re-elected without bringing home bacon.

There are a few of these that will happen. Agriculture is about to get the axe. Education. Energy. Prescription Drugs. Some Highway.

The wailing from Alaska will be palpable.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I Love SMART Women

I'm a sucker for a good Female Brain. Lots of men are more enamored with other parts. That's good too but not as attractive as a woman with a good head on her shoulders. Ditzy women (the blond stereotype) does nothing for me. "Is Chicken of the Sea Chicken?"

I'm not talking about bitchy brassy loud pushy women. I'm talking about a confident intelligent thinking person who happens to be of the female persuasion. That's my kind of woman.

I married one. She is my best friend and I would rather talk to her than most anyone. She sometimes says things to me I know are beyond her ability. I'm thankful for her.

There are a few in the public eye who are intellegently attractive as well.

I think that young racecar driver, Danica Patrick is very sharp. She doesn't go on preaching about women's rights and all. That's not important. She just races well. I saw her on Letterman the other day. Very bright woman.

Angela Merkel. The woman who ran against Schroeder in Germany for Chancellor in the CDU/CSU. She is fighting hard to become Chancellor. Her side got the most votes but in the parliamentary system you have to build a majority. She might not get it done. She lost in part because Germans just have a hard time voting for a woman.
I watched the debates (we get German TV feeds on our Dish Network). I watcher her with Sabine Christenson (a talk show in Germany, Germans have lots of really smart women who have talk shows). I have watched several interviews on news programs and she is one sharp cookie. I wish she could pull it off but I have doubts. I do enjoy German politics. The chat shows are the best. Not as much yelling as on American TV and much longer form. I don't think our sound bite politicians in this country could do this.

I like Condi Rice. Smart. Accomplished. Loyal. Solid. Conservative. Able. In charge. Hated by the left. She just gets it done.

Now, up till tonite, I have been a secret admirer of Hillary Clinton. She is (or maybe was) smart, clever, able, and on a solid track to become the 44th President of the US. But she has jumped the shark. She just announced she is going to vote AGAINST Judge Roberts. Why? Her base isn't going anywhere. She needs the middle. Republicans elected her in New York. This has no upside whatsoever. It was an innocuous vote. Her NO does nothing good for her future. She is too smart to make a dumb move like this. I don't get it. Please somebody explain it to me. So, maybe we will be able to elect a Republican in 2008. WHO?

Women I find unattractive because they are so infinitely beyond an intelligent conversation or thought are people like Barbara Streisand, Katie Couric, Whoopie Goldberg, Rosanne Barr, Cher, Mary Landraieu, Celiene Dionne, and all kinds of other really dumb women who stand up and mindlessly babble on without a clue as to what they are saying.

While I'm on it, dumb people come in both genders. Does anyone ever remember the time Tavis Smiley (Who I like as a person and enjoy his talk show) was on jeopardy? Or how about Bob Woodward. Both of them finished not just at the bottom of the panel, but didn't know some of the most basic things. Ill informed and uneducated people who like Bob Woodward only did one thing once (handed to him on a silver platter by deep throat) is still respected. WHY. Tavis at least admits his lack of depth. Woodward is a puzzle. Why does anyone take him seriously at all? His books don't sell, his writing is shallow. I'm not mad at him, just puzzled.

But Smart Women, Peggy Noonen, Lynn Cheney, and North Dakota's own Julie Neidlinger. Good Stuff.

Ok I admit it, a "smart liberal" is partially oxymoronic to me. How can you be smart and believe.........that?

Hillary, you had me fooled.

Thieves Thieve

I'm going to avoid party line accusation. It's just disgusting.
Katrina's wind and flood in New Orleans didn't clean out all corruption. Maybe Rita will. This is why Halliburton has to clean it up and not local folks. At least its our corruption.

I Wish I Were From Texas

Not really, but if I were I would have every right to be proud of my state.

Texans have a saying, there are only two kinds of people in the world, those from Texas and those who wish they were. I’m not wishin.

The last few weeks after Katrina have made me wish the rest of the country was just like Texas. (Excluding Molly Ivins who Texans must be keeping around for comic relief)

Houston, Dallas, taking in and organizing refugees (those who seek refuge is what a refugee is for you politically correct types) the way they have. Giving, giving and giving some more.

Now Rita.

Organized exit. No questions. No nonsense. Just Gitter Done.

Something there is about Texas. It has a southern positive attitude, it has Bible belt compassion, a conservative bent, it don’t take no crap, and is the center of the country beltbuckle wise.

Texas, I’m proud that we other 49 states are allowed to be part of the Republic of Texas for a while. We will wear the Lone Star with pride.

Thank you Texas for Crawford’s best you graciously lent to the rest of the USA for 8 years.

Thank God for Texas. Thank You Texans. Lead on. Here’s your Yellow Rose.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Can this be Correct? Who said it?

On Sunday the people of Afghanistan voted in their second successful democratic election in less than one year. These were their provincial and parliamentary elections. Terrorists have done everything in their power to try to intimidate the millions of Afghan voters and the literally thousands, in this case of the most recent election, thousands of candidates from participating in their elections. And they failed this week, just as they failed in the successful presidential elections.

Think of it. The country that hosted Osama bin Laden, that supported training camps for al Qaeda, endured decades of civil war, Soviet occupation, drought, Taliban brutality, is now a democracy that fights terrorists instead of harboring them. The Afghan people's courage should be a stunning reminder to all of those seemingly self- confident prognosticators who foresaw an Afghan quagmire. They were not just wrong, they were harmful by making the cause seem hopeless. Let me remind you of just a few examples.

"The war effort is in deep trouble. The United States is not headed into a quagmire, it is already in one." That was The L.A. Times. That was five days before Mazar fell.

"The question was suspended like a spore in the autumn air: Are we quagmiring ourselves again?" That was The New York Times.

"Without a clear exit strategy, another generation of American servicemen may be sucked into a quagmire in a foreign land." That was the Dallas Morning News. And there were many, many others.

Thankfully, millions of Afghans were determined to prove them wrong. A determined coalition put a plan in place -- yes, there was a plan -- adjusted it as needed -- and it did need to be adjusted, as all war plans do -- and followed a steady course despite the cassandras of the West echoing the predictions of the terrorists. I mention this because many who were so quick to predict gloom on Afghanistan are today eager to toss it in on Iraq, claiming that it's hopeless. But the Iraqi people and the coalition have a plan for Iraq, just as there was a plan for Afghanistan.

Consider the following. Have the Iraqis been able to form a government that realistically incorporates the views of the various responsible factions in Iraq? Yes, they have. Have Iraqis successfully held representative elections? The answer is yes. Have they now succeeded in drafting a constitution that accords respect for individual rights? Indeed they have. Are the insurgents gaining or losing the support of the Iraqi people? President Talabani recently spoke in the United States about this. He noted that the vast majority of Iraqis, including Sunnis, want to participate in the political process and have been disgusted, and indeed, outraged by the barbarism of the extremists. Finally, despite the critics, are the Iraqi security forces growing in size and capability and allowing the Iraqi government to secure areas with coalition support? Yes, this too is happening. Iraqi security forces now number over 190,000.

Last week, for example, the people of Tall Afar were liberated from the grip of insurgents and foreign extremists who had tried to turn the city into a base of planning operations and training. A number of insurgents were caught fleeing the city dressed in women's clothing -- hardly a sign of a confident group supported by the citizenry.

When Abraham Lincoln delivered two minutes of remarks that he had only finished the night before, the speech was panned. When George Marshall proposed a plan to rebuild Europe after World War II, critics viewed it as "generous at best" and "wasteful at worst." When Ronald Reagan walked away from the summit with the Soviet Union "empty- handed," as they said, in the eyes of some it seemed to many that Reykjavik was a failure. The point is that history has perspective.

Today history records the brilliance of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The Marshall Plan helped Europe recover. And Ronald Reagan's tough line at Reykjavik -- according to the Soviets, anyway -- was the beginning of the end of the Cold War. In thinking about Afghanistan and Iraq, we should ask what history will say. It will not be the daily violence or short-term setbacks, nor which person won the battle for a daily headline by predicting doom and gloom over and over. Instead, it will show that the battle in Afghanistan and Iraq was tough and ugly, to be sure, but that America was on freedom's side, and it will remember the millions of people who have been freed and the hundreds of thousands of coalition forces who helped them achieve that freedom.

1900+ American Dead in Iraq - Is it worth it??

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

BAGHDAD--There is no more important international issue today than the need to defeat the curse of terrorism. And as the first democratically elected president of Iraq, I have a responsibility to ensure that the world's youngest democracy survives the inherently difficult transition from totalitarianism to pluralism. A transformation of the Iraqi state and Iraqi society is impossible without a sustained commitment of soldiers from the United States and other democracies.

To understand why, let us recall how we reached this juncture in history. How is it that Iraq today has a democratically elected head of state, government and Parliament? How it is that members of the most repressed ethnic groups now hold the highest offices of state? All these welcome developments are a result of the courage and vision of President Bush and his allies, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard, leaders whose commitment of troops to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions liberated Iraq.

Without foreign intervention, the transition in Iraq would have been from Saddam's bloodstained hands to his psychopathic offspring. Instead, thanks to American leadership, Iraqis have been given an opportunity of peaceful, participatory politics. Contrary to the new conventional wisdom, Iraq and the history of 20th-century Europe demonstrate that force of arms can implant democracy in the most arid soil.

The rapidity of the democratization and reform of Iraq is staggering. There was no German state for four years after the Second World War. By contrast, Iraq has moved from a centralized, one-man dictatorship to a decentralized, federal republic in half that time.

Inevitably, there have been stresses and strains. In Iraq these have been amplified by the terrorism of the remnants of the fascist Baathist dictatorship and our interfering neighbors. To contain these tensions, and to defend our young democracy, requires the support of American and other troops. Foreign forces are needed to train and equip the new Iraqi armed forces and to give Iraq its own counterterrorism capability. Only the United States and its closest allies are able to provide such assistance.

Creating these Iraqi forces has not been easy, but Iraqis have been undaunted by the difficulties. Every terrorist attack on Iraqi forces leads to a surge in military recruitment--the opposite of the appeasers' myth that resisting terrorism causes more terrorism. For all the short-term problems, the soundness of the long-term strategy of building up Iraqi forces was demonstrated in recent days when Iraqis took over sole control of security in the holy city of Najaf.

As Iraqi forces gain in confidence and capability, so the need for foreign troops will diminish. The number of foreign troops will be determined in consultations between the Iraqi government and its foreign allies on the basis of operational requirements.

American forces are in Iraq at the invitation of the democratically elected government of Iraq, and with the backing of a United Nations Security Council resolution. Your soldiers are in my country because of your commitment to democracy. Moreover, during my visit to Washington, Mr. Bush reaffirmed the United States' complete support for the Iraqi political process toward sustainable democracy, and for the fight to defeat fascist and jihadist terrorism in Iraq.

That commitment to liberty has shaped our opposition to any timetable for withdrawal. There are also two practical, policy reasons to avoid such a scheduled reduction in foreign troop numbers. First, a timetable will aid the terrorists and tell them that all they have to do is wait. Second, military plans must be flexible. We should have the suppleness to respond to the often-changing level of terrorist threat. Indeed, we will require ongoing security assistance in many forms for many years to come.

If we keep progressing at the present rate, Iraqis may be able to take over many security functions from foreign forces by the end of 2006. That is not a deadline, but it is reasonable aspiration. During my visit to the United States, I was fortunate to meet relatives of some of the brave troops serving in Iraq. They were staunch, and I want their loved ones to have to serve in Iraq not a moment longer than is necessary.

Americans should be proud of what its soldiers have achieved. The presence of foreign forces has prevented a renewed civil war in Iraq--renewed because there has already been a civil war in Iraq. For 35 years, Saddam and his Baath Party made war on the Iraqi people. The liberation of Iraq ended that civil war.

Above all, American forces provide Iraq with a much-needed deterrence capability. In the past, Iraq sought an illusory security through the follies of aggression, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Today, our external security comes from our alliance with the United States. Our neighbors can thereby be assured that we will settle all of our differences with them peacefully.

Sadly, some of our neighbors have chosen not to understand this. They seem either unwilling or unable to shut off the pipeline of terrorists crossing into Iraq. And in addition to what is at least passive support for the terrorists, some of them are providing financial and material support to them, too. They must desist from this behavior now.

While the problem of some of our neighbors supporting terrorism is bad enough, we can only imagine what our neighbors might have done if American troops had not been present. Most likely, Iraq would have been transformed into a regional battlefield with disastrous consequences for Middle Eastern and global security.

Without American forces, the vision of American leadership and the quiet fortitude of the American people, Iraqis would be almost alone in the world. With its allies, the United States has provided Iraqis with an unprecedented opportunity. Iraqis have responded by enthusiastically embracing democracy and volunteering to fight for their country. By giving us the tools, your troops help us to defend Iraqi democracy and to finish the job of uprooting Baathist fascism.

Mr. Talabani is president of Iraq.


I'm no fearmonger but.........

I'm an optimist. If you have read this blog very long, I don't suffer fools well, I am often angry with opportunists and I am optimistic to a fault.
I support Bush, I think the War in Iraq is for good, There is no Oil Shortage, Katrina will not affect our economy negatively, all in all I'm an optimist.
So, it is a departure for me to bring to light an impending catastrophe that if people really knew the truth would terrify them like "War of the Worlds", and that was just a radio show.
For the last few years there has been a wholesale slaughter of fowl in an effort to contain or prevent avian flu. This effort as noble as it has been is beginning to fail.
There have been a few mentions of this in the Mainstream Media. A few. The problem is, it's not newsworthy, there's no one is to blame for this. You can't blame Bush, liberals, conservatives, communists, fascists. No one can protect you, not your doctor, government, politician or priest. There is no vaccination, cure, or remedy if (when) it takes off.
At this moment it (the bird flu strain) is mutating into the human population so that it will spread person to person. It hasn't happened yet.
Since it's an unmutated virus there is no base genetics from which to create a vaccine. The vaccine's that are available and proposed to be preventative are panaceas, a sugar pill placebo will do about as much. And when it makes the leap it will move so fast it will be too late to create and incubate enough vaccine to do any good before the pandemic does it's dirty work.
This is bullet we as humans cannot dodge.
The prospect is dire. WHO (World Health Organization) has made quiet little published predictions of the outcome. Globally a half billion to a billion dead. North America 30-40 million gone. True decimation. And, there's NOTHING we can do about it.
You can do something for yourself and your loved ones:
1. Hug your family, keep short accounts, get over it, they might not be here soon.
2. Stay healthy as best you can. Don't lean into the punch. Take your vitamins. A healthy body is more resistant to virus.
3. Avoid being angry, anger weakens the body's immune system.
4. Avoid being bitter about the situation as it evolves, bitterness will weaken your immune system.
5. Avoid crowds if you can. I'm not going to give up going to the opera, Theater (Shakespeare) or Church. But be careful.
6. Get right with God. If you or one of your loved ones should change worlds as a result of this, as they step from time into eternity be sure they know where they are going.
HMMM, number 6 doesn't seem like a bad option.
Evenso come Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

ART down low

A friend of mine sent me this link. Take a look at it. If it doesn't astound you, your astounder is broken.

It's not a painting of Elvis on Velvet or that fine example of artistic expression "Dogs Playing Poker" (by Rembrandt I believe). Those I can comprehend and keep examples of both on my gallery wall.

But This - this boggles my pea brain.

Tip of the hat to AJ

Monday, September 19, 2005

Liars lie, but this is disgusting

A couple of days ago I wrote about Aaron Broussard, the sobbing parish president from Jefferson Parish (Mom called every day, I kept telling her, someone was coming etc). I was angry that he broke my wife's heart with his alligator tears. It was all a lie. The press had been quiet on this. I got nervous.

I almost lost my guts. I almost retracted my accusation. Then, TODAY NBC, the network on which he said all this "Meet the Press"in the first place published a story questioning his veracity.

There were questions from the outset that made this story less than credible. Don't they still teach reasoning in Journalism School? Didn't Tim Russert, a good guy, maybe not so good a Journalist, see the red flags?

there was no phone service after katrina blew through town -- cell or land lines. How could Mom call?

The nursing home, St Ritas was visibly under water on Tuesday PM. She was gone, her son knew it, everyone knew it. Brossard knew it.

The son in question, Rodriquez, called the nursing home on the 27th, they said they were going to evacuate, Then on the 28th he called. They hadn't yet. On the 29th the storm hit and he couldn't get thru. Rodriguez said he called his Mom. She never called him. Brossard the liar made it all up.

I did just the most limited backgrounding on this liar. Little ole me and my trusty keyboard, the most limited Google backgrounding on this liar demonstrates the following information:

September 5, 2005

12:10 AM ET. From the Web site of the invaluable New Orleans TV station WWL, from an interview with new folk hero Aaron Broussard, president of hardhit Jefferson Parish. He received wide attention and applause Sunday when he cited the callous federal response to the disaster last week and the drowning of an associate's other. Apparently he has not mellowed today. Here are the latest entries from the newspaper's blog:

--"Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard: 'I'm not surprised at what the feds say, they're covering their butts. They're keeping the body counts down because they don't want to horrify the nation. It's worse than Iraq, worse than 9-11. They just don't want to know how many were murdered by bureaucracy.'

--"Broussard: 'I know what the body count is so far, but I won't horrify the nation.'"

Lie is in RED.

When Wal-Mart sent three trailer trucks loaded with water," the Times reported, "FEMA officials turned them away, [Broussard] said. Agency workers prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and on Saturday they cut the parish's emergency communications line, leading the sheriff to restore it and post armed guards to protect it from FEMA, Mr. Broussard said." This all turned out to be a lie.

Here's some truth about Broussard. Over the past week, Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish (just south of New Orleans) and a former Democratic candidate for governor, has become a ubiquitous component of hurricane coverage.

All this lying is about politics.

Aaron Broussard is president of Jefferson Parish.
Gretna is in Jefferson Parish.
Gretna police officers fired shots over the heads of people who tried to leave NO by walking over the bridge to Gretna.
Is it possible he would have had anything to do with that since he is president of the parish? Just asking.

The Word of God expressly states in Revelation 21:8 that, " ... All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Now, mainstream press, how about this, do you have the guts to tell the TRUTH?

The Brotherhood of Man and Katrina

Below is a guest post by a Rabbi about Katrina.  I couldn't agree with him more.

Posted Sep 7, 2005

In New Orleans, beginning Tuesday morning, August 30, I saw men in helicopters risking their lives to save stranded flood victims from rooftops. The rescuers were White, the stranded Black. I saw Caucasians navigating their small, private boats in violent, swirling, toxic floodwaters to find fellow citizens trapped in their houses. Those they saved were Black.

I saw Brotherhood. New York Congressman Charlie Rangel saw Racism.

Yes, there are Two Americas. One is the real America, where virtually every person I know sends money, food or clothes to those in need -- now and in other crises -- regardless of color. This America is colorblind.

The other is the America fantasized and manufactured by Charlie Rangel, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who constantly cry “racism!” even in situations where it does not exist, even when undeniable images illustrate love, compassion and concern.  These three men, together with today’s NAACP, want to continue the notion of Racist America. It is their Mantra, their calling card. Their power, money, and continued media appearances depend on it.

Often, people caught up in accusing others of sin neglect to undergo their own personal introspection. They begin to think they alone inhabit the moral high ground. It is high time these men peered into their own hearts at the dark chamber that causes this unceasing labeling of their fellow Americans as “racist.”  They may find in that chamber their own racism -- against Whites.

There is only one real America.  Beginning Friday morning in Houston, thousands of regular citizens poured into the Astrodome offering water, food, clean clothes, personal items, baby diapers and toys, love and even their homes to the evacuees who had been bused in from New Orleans. Most of the givers were White, most of those being helped were Black. But there was Jesse Jackson, busy on TV, accusing the country of not putting Blacks --  i.e., him -- on some type of Commission he is demanding. Where was he early in the week? Not sweating with others from around the country who had scraped their last dollar to come help. With Jesse, it’s always about Jesse.

After decades of hearing accusations from Jesse, Al, Charlie, the NAACP and certain elitists about how racist America is, it would have been refreshing to hear them for once give thanks to those they for years have been maligning. These self-anointed spokesmen for the Black community lead only when it comes to foisting guilt and condemnation, and not when it comes to acknowledging the good in those they have made a career in castigating.

As a Rabbi I have a message I wish to offer to my fellow members of the cloth, Reverends Jackson and Sharpton: It is time to do some soul searching. Your continued efforts to tear this country apart, even in light of the monumental goodness shown by your White brothers, is a sin.

There are no churches in the world like the American churches. And there are no better parishioners and members of churches anywhere in the world. These churches are saving the day. Their members -- infused by the special and singular teachings of our unique American Judeo-Christian understanding of the Bible -- are, at this moment, writing an historic chapter in giving, initiative, and selflessness. They are opening their homes to strangers.  They are doing what government is incapable of doing.

America works because of its faith-based institutions. It always has. That is what makes it America.

So next time the ACLU tries to diminish and marginalize the churches, saying there is no role for religion in American public life, that an impenetrable wall must be erected separating the citizens from their faith, cry out “Katrina.”

Next time the ACLU goes to court asking that U.S. Soldiers not be allowed to say Grace in the Mess Hall and that communities be forbidden from setting up a nativity scene, ask yourself: without the motivation of Goodness sourced in Faith, would people offer such sacrifice? Where else does this Brotherhood come from but the Bible which teaches “Thou Shall Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself.”

I saw brotherhood on Fox News, where 24/7 reporters used their perch as a clearing-house for search-and-rescue missions and communication between the stranded and those in position to save. In contrast, the Old-line networks continued with their usual foolish, brain-numbing programming. Those who always preach “compassion” chose profit over people.

The New York Times has utterly failed America. Its columnists could have used their talents and word skills to inspire and unite a nation. Columnists such as Frank Rich and Paul Krugman, however, revealed their true colors by evading their once-in-a-lifetime chance to help and instead chose to divide, condemn, and fuel the fires and poison the waters of Louisiana. In them, I saw no Brotherhood. The newspaper always preaching “compassion” verifies Shakespeare’s “They protest too much.”

Similar elitists here in the Northeast and on the West coast have over the years expressed their view of the South as “unsophisticated” and Texans as “cowboys.”  Well, the South has come through, especially Houston and other parts of Texas, whereas, as I write this on Labor Day, the limousine moralizers are lying on east and west coast beaches thinking they’re doing their part by reading Times’ editorials and calling George Bush “racist.”

How sanctimonious life becomes when proving you are not a racist depends not on living in a truly integrated neighborhood, but by simply calling others racist.

Like so often in history, facts trump platitudes. Reality reigns. Those who always preach brotherhood, thus far have acted devoid of it. Those who for decades have been accused by elitists of not having compassion are the ones living it. They are: the churches, the military, and the sons and daughters of the South.