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January 31, 2005

Howie's hate - real or calculated?

As the wags say, Howard Dean is the gift that keeps on giving

HOWARD DEAN, THE favorite to be the next head of the Democratic National Committee, made his case in midtown yesterday, promising to make his party operate more like the GOP - at least when it comes to elections.

"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization," the failed presidential hopeful told the crowd at the Roosevelt Hotel, where he and six other candidates spoke at the final DNC forum before the Feb. 12 vote for chairman.

Pretty out there, don't you think? Not "I disagree with them" or "I find that while their intentions are good, they pursue failed policies" -- just a flat out "I hate Republicans and the horse they rode in on!"

Of course, we've been seeing a lot of this Democratic hate lately towards anything remotely Redstate. Uncle Teddy off the rails about Iraq, Barbie Boxer reveling in her ankle-biting of Dr. Rice, Kerry riding the Sunday talk shows like a Nazqul spreading doom, gloom and dire predictions wherever he alights.

What the heck is going on? Is it for real, or are we actually dealing with a calculated effort by this Dems to grab uncritical MSM attention (hear any gasps or followups from the 'journalists' covering Dean's hate quote?) and generate among the truly hate-filled far-left wing of the Dem party the ca-CHING ca-CHING of donor dollars into the Dem coffers. Such are the thoughts of Jim Geraghty and Mickey Kraus where it concerns our midgetbraintagteam of Kennedy, Kerry and Boxer.* Howie may well be replaying his $ucce$$ful $trategy of playing it bare-knuckled-hate-of-Rethuglicans in front of the seething wing to carry him into the DNC chair.

*hattip to Bill at INDC

Posted by Darleen at 09:59 AM | Comments (3)

Dhimmi watch - sad

...but not surprising

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands - Citing security concerns, organizers of the Rotterdam Film Festival called off Sunday's screening of a short film by murdered Dutch moviemaker Theo van Gogh that has outraged some Muslims.

A suspected Islamic extremist allegedly shot and stabbed van Gogh to death in November shortly after the release of the film, "Submission," which is a fierce critique of the treatment of women under Islam written by an anti-immigration member of parliament.

Column Productions, which holds the rights to the film, said the decision to cancel the showing was made "on the basis of security concerns," but did not elaborate.

"We can say nothing more about the nature of this case, apart from saying that we have been advised to be careful with screenings like the one intended in Rotterdam," the company said in a statement.

Yes, I suspect Baptist Beserkers or maybe Mayhem Mormons are behind the "security risk."

Posted by Darleen at 12:05 AM | Comments (4)

January 30, 2005

Too sick for words

In defense of Saddam. Have your barf-bags at ready.

Posted by Darleen at 12:43 PM | Comments (8)

Iraqis vote - who's happy, who's not

AP "news" service reports

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Iraqi elections went "better than expected" Sunday, despite conflicting reports about the extent of voter turnout in areas plagued by intimidation and violence.

She also called insurgents "terrible thugs" who will not succeed in stopping voting and the progress of democracy in Iraq

"Every indication is that the election in Iraq is going better than expected," Rice said on ABC's "This Week."

But Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., sounded a note of caution in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press."

"It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions of the country can't vote and doesn't vote," Kerry said.

The more Senator Doom&Gloom gets MSM face time and continues down the "Iraqis are genetically incapable of democracy" line, one would hope people will be thanking God that despite all the money and physical violence and voter fraud committed by the Democrats and their minions, Kerry was unable to steal the White House. Kerry would have been sworn in January 20th and Saddam would have be reinstated as stablizing leader who promises to "be good" on January 21st. As for the "legitimacy" of a vote that blocks of disgruntled Sunnis boycott, maybe Kerry should review the history of the Election of 1864 Let's continue with another of Kerry's bon mots ...
"What the administration does in these next few days will decide the outcome of Iraq. And this is — not may be — this is the last chance for the president to get it right," Kerry said.
Is he trying to campaign for 2008 or is he still under the impression it's October 2004?

Who else is bad-mouthing the Iraqi vote - either through bigotry or BDS? Oh, the usual: KosKiddies and dem-underground-moonbats. And it appears even a "professor of history" will ignore the election of 1864 where Iraq is concerned because the election comes about under a Republican President. (Wonder if the prof recalls the term "Copperhead"... I certainly thinks it's apt.) Now at Asstrios the host and his "commenters" haven't even paid attention. They are too busy screaming hatefilled screeds at Glenn Reynolds or calling for the death of any Republican that criticizes Social Security. Gotta be almost amused by Leftists who pretend to be ignorant of the concept of private property. Wankers, indeed.

UPDATE: The irrepressible Jeff Goldstein puts on the hipwaders and posts on the sheer mendacity of willing BDS sufferer Oliver 'gimme me another Krispy Kreme' Willis. Jeff points us to John Cole's challenge on cataloging what Jeff so aptly labels as pissing in Freedom's Punchbowl.

UPDATE II: Poli Blog has an excellent round-up (with promises for updates) of what the commentary is around the blogsphere. He, too, notes the absence of comment from Asstrios and the nattering negativity of dKos, Kreme Willis and "Prof" Cole.

UPDATE III: Michelle Malkin covers "Women Voting in Iraq" and asks "Will American feminists be celebrating these amazing images and this historic day?" Well, a quick look at the front page of NOW shows that Iraq is not even on their radar. Nope, demanding Lawrence Summers' head on a platter plus getting their panties in a bunch because the FDA balks at letting 12 year olds get "emergency" contraception over-the-counter ... well, NOW really is not about "women."

UPDATE IV: Looks like the addlepated at Asstrios (though not the big-cheese himself) have finally taken notice of the election. Consensus -- they hate it, natch. Pretty funny, in a sick sort of way, reading the comments.

Posted by Darleen at 08:57 AM | Comments (12)

January 29, 2005

Public v private -- the FCC

The FCC continues to be a lightening rod pitting "absolutist free-speech" advocates against "responsible/appropriate broadcasting" advocates. We've all witnessed the dust-up Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" [guffaw] caused last year, with one group calling for CBS's head and another group calling any criticism typical American puritanism. Michele posts today on a common sense quote from GW

"As a free-speech advocate, I often told parents who were complaining about content, you're the first line of responsibility; they put an off button (on) the TV for a reason. Turn it off," Bush told C-SPAN interviewer Brian Lamb.
Now in Michele's comments section, GW's quote is criticized because he hasn't stomped on the FCC and their regulatory role. Personally, I don't see a contradiction between GW's comment and the FCC's regulatory mission (and let's not forget the FCC reports directly to Congress). The broadcast frequencies are pubic property, not private. It then becomes the obligation of the government to regulate them in the same manner that it regulates public streets, public parks, public buildings. And part of that regulation is to try and define reasonable expectations for the patrons of such public "spaces."

Before a show is broadcast, people can easily find out about content from any number of sources ... TV Guide, newspapers, TV promos, word of mouth, etc. They then have a reasonable expectation and should make decision whether or not to use the on/off button on the TV. It's just plain silly, as GW says, to turn on a show you know you're going to be "offended" by and then complain about it.

Don't like your neighbors sunbathing in the nude? Well, don't put up your 8 ft ladder against their backyard fence and peer over at them!

Now, if your neighbor walks out the front door nude and saunters down the street mid-day as the neighborhood kids are riding bikes and playing hopscotch, then we have another issue and where it is entirely reasonable to call the cops.

The neighbor has moved his/her private behavior into the public arena.

And no more can the silliness of this "absolutist free speech" advocacy over all objections be illustrated than with this:

Marion County has allowed a Portland-area skinhead group to adopt a rural Salem road as part of a volunteer litter clean-up program.

The signs proclaiming that Sunnyview Road NE between Cordon Road and 82nd Avenue is sponsored by the American Nazi Party NSM were installed Monday.

County officials say they were legally advised that excluding the organization would violate a constitutional right to free speech. Their choices, they said, were: allow the group to join the program, remove all of the signs from the program or refuse the group and risk a lawsuit.

hattip LGF

Posted by Darleen at 02:55 PM | Comments (3)

Battlestar Galactica - 'Act of Contrition'

click for larger imageJeff Harrell at The Shape of Days has been tantalizing us all over the last few months with what's to come in this season of BSG (he's been seeing it ahead of us through a British feed). And his pronouncement on the season's finale really makes me want to 'cheat' and try and get all the episodes by downloading ... but I won't. I enjoy the savoring quality of waiting and watching it fresh each Friday night, then remembering what struck me about the episode the next day.

Plot lines were only incrementally moved forward last night, but it was an emotionally taut episode that delved more into Starbuck's backstory of her relationship with the late Zack Adama and her subsequent relationship with Lee and the Commander. During the pilot episodes we found out Starbuck and Zack had had an intimate relationship and that she, as flight instructor, had cut Zack some slack and passed him on basic flying when he should have been washed out and this subsequently contributed to his death. CO Adama has been unaware of any of this. In "Act of Contrition" Starbuck is haunted by Zack's death as the tragedy of the loss of 13 Viper pilots puts her in the position of having to train rookies ("nuggets" in BSG parlance). It's nicely framed with both flashbacks and what turns out to be "flashforwards." When Starbuck dismisses all the nuggets after their first day of training, Lee goes to talk with Adama and, in a classic case of misunderstanding, believes Starbuck has already confessed her past to Adama and lets slip about it. Adama readily pounces on the slip. The riveting scene of the episode comes when Starbuck is summoned to Adama's quarters and finds she really has no option, since she truly loves and respects CO Adama, but to be fully truthful with him after he demands to know. It is both a very well-written and well-acted piece. Starbuck reveals some depths we haven't really seen before, we learn it was much more than just a "friends with benefits" relationship she had with Zack, that indeed, they were secretly engaged to be married and he had hinted as much to Adama in a letter before his death. And we again see the immense commanding presence that Edward James Olmos brings to CO Adama when he is listening, his face growing subtlely more taut, eyes radiating an inner pressure until he utters - low, deep and full of unspoken rage - "Walk out of this cabin ... while you still can."

Excellent. And kudos to the writers staying true to Starbuck's character in that she sucks it up, doesn't wallow in Adama's presence, but turns around and concentrates on "doing my job."

Another gem of a scene I absolutely loved this episode, more in the comedic relief category, was President Roslin being examined by Dr. Cottle - delightfully played by the now snow-white-haired Donnelly Rhodes who I remember from the 80's series 'Danger Bay'. I hope his character is a reoccurring one. I loved Dr. Cottle lecturing Roslin about her skipping a breast examine for five years ... while he lights up and smokes a cigarette!! Priceless.

The episode was better than last week's and ends in a cliff-hanger of Starbuck ejecting from her damaged Viper (the flashforwards from earlier in the episode) and falling through the atmosphere of a ringed planet (gas giant?). I look forward to next Friday.

Posted by Darleen at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

When they get it right ...

sometimes the MSM can surprise you.
The soldiers had multiple tasks on this day. In addition to hunting insurgents and searching houses, they were to help get out the vote for Sunday's national elections. For the next three hours, soldiers armed with assault rifles and election fliers moved warily through al-Whada's muddy streets, trying to get Iraqis to embrace democracy. The inherent danger of the mission was driven home at 3:30 p.m. A single shot rang out, and 1st Lt. Nainoa K. Hoe, 27, the popular leader of the 2nd Platoon, C Company, 3rd Battalion of the 21st Infantry Regiment, fell dead in the street.
Go.read.now.bring.kleenex. Hattip and my thanks to Bill at INDC Journal

Posted by Darleen at 06:12 PM | Comments (1)

'Islam is the solution'

for those still unclear on what Western Civilization faces

GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas swept seven out of 10 councils in the Gaza Strip (news - web sites)'s first local elections, seen as a test of strength between the Islamic militant group and new President Mahmoud Abbas, final results showed on Friday.

The Islamists, sworn to Israel's destruction, had boycotted the Jan. 9 presidential election, won by Abbas on a platform of ending violence to allow talks with the Jewish state on Palestinian statehood.

"Hamas's victory proves Islam is the solution," blared a slogan from loudspeakers as thousands of supporters celebrated in the streets beneath fluttering green Hamas flags.

And least we forget what the "problem" is that Hamas is trying to solve, they have made it quite clear
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it ...

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realised. ...

The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. ...

As for the objectives: They are the fighting against the false, defeating it and vanquishing it so that justice could prevail, homelands be retrieved and from its mosques would the voice of the mu'azen emerge declaring the establishment of the state of Islam, so that people and things would return each to their right places and Allah is our helper. ...

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day?

This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.

Emphasis added, but I will again point out to those that hold the false belief that if the Israel is destroyed then the Islamists will be satisfied. Any land that ever had any moslem claim it is Waqf and "belongs" to Islam. Spain, wide swaths of Europe..indeed, there can be found writings that America rightfully belongs to the Waqf because there was (they claim) a moslem in Columbus' crew who came ashore FIRST.

Posted by Darleen at 12:43 PM | Comments (3)

Hope, prayers,

happy thoughts, crossed fingers, rabbit's feet .... It starts

SOUTHGATE, Mich. - Joyful tears and frequent applause marked the start of U.S. voting Friday in Iraq (news - web sites)'s first independent elections in more than 50 years.

Iraqi expatriates began casting votes at 7 a.m. inside an abandoned store in this Detroit suburb. Periodically, cheers would erupt from one of the 15 polling stations.

"We feel happy now. This is like America, this voting," said Zoha Yess, 64, who moved to Inkster nine years ago. "We want fair, good government."

Unfortunately, we know some Americans are hoping that the elections fail.

Posted by Darleen at 07:13 AM | Comments (2)

What are the Democrats saying

yet again, how they really feel about regular folk?

The Democratic National Committee Thursday launched a fundraising drive it hopes will help derail President Bush's proposed reforms of the Social Security system. Bush is expected to use his Feb. 2 State of the Union speech to encourage the Republican-dominated Congress to advance his plans for partial privatization of Social Security.
Hey, you know, regular folk are too STUPID to be trusted with their own* money.

*Dems don't really believe that an earned dollar belongs to the earner. They take the philosophical positiion that the dollar is a privilege from the government.

Posted by Darleen at 06:49 AM | Comments (1)

January 27, 2005

Adventures in parenting - The ER

Skull vs Windowsill -- Windowsill wins.

I don't care how old they get, when they are hurt they are still the little kid you took to the ER for a broken wrist (soccer) or for high fevers or for various stitches because little-kid eyebrows and coffee tables don't get along.

So Heather, 21 y/o, who has worked about 100 hrs in the last couple of weeks, worked yet another double yesterday and decides to go out with friends to let off some steam. Nice restaurant, a few drinks on an empty stomach, comes home (no she was not driving...if she drives she never has ANYthing to drink) stumbles to bed and flops down backwards on it. Said bed up against the wall under her window.

2 am in the morning, Siobhan is waking us up because Heather is curled on her bed crying, in pain, a bloodstain about the size of a dinnerplate under her head.

Don't these kinds of firedrills always happen in the wee hours of the morning?

Fire Department comes out, paramedics get her to cooperate and see a 3 inch laceration near the top of the back of her head (scalps bleed like sum-bitch), bandage her head like a mummy, backboard her and onto the ER -- Where they are having a full-house night, too! Young man in the bed next to her is waiting for his brother to pick him up after being treated for stab wounds.


Maybe it's a good thing Heather is thickheaded (very stubborn child) as she's shoved out of the ER ("we need your bed for serious cases") within a few hours with 4 steel staples in her scalp and no memory between the times of leaving the restaurant and waking up in the ER.

Me? I'm going to try to function the rest of the day with two segments of a couple of hours of sleep.

When she feels better we all can give her a rash of sh*t about last night (this morning? Jaysus on a Pony my time clock is going to be all out of whack today). She kept apologizing to the paramedics who were taking care of her until one fine guy said, "Now stop that. There is not a person in this room who hasn't tied one on now and then. Hopefully we learn our lesson about too many martinis on an empty stomach." And there were agreeing chuckles.

Hope this was her epiphany. It will be a fairly cheap one, at that.

Posted by Darleen at 09:11 AM | Comments (7)

January 26, 2005

COTV #123

A bit late to the party, but I don't want you to miss this week's Carnival of the Vanities hosted by the Raving Athiest. I'm just now getting a chance to read his offerings and there are some great ones ... a least of couple I want to delve in deeper with their own posts.

Happy reading!

Posted by Darleen at 06:35 PM | Comments (0)

Oh shut the f*** up

Is there just about anything more embarrassing than watching the crass, puerile and fatuous Massachusetts' pity-fuck Kennedy, Klan Kleagle Byrd and Braindead Boxer flinging feces about the Senate chamber in an effort to damage Dr. Condi Rice?

~A killer lecturing about morality
~A ancient racist talking about the fitness of the object of his racism
~A dilettante who must have had a fellow Senator slip something to her since she so enjoyed using the phrase "seared, seared in my memory" during a non-sequitor rant

Posted by Darleen at 06:36 AM | Comments (4)

What's missing?

Across the 'net and other news media we see headlines like this:

Insurgents attack political offices, polling stations

BAGHDAD, Iraq-- Insurgents staged attacks against U.S. forces, schools to be used as polling stations and political party offices on Wednesday, as they pressed a bloody campaign to undermine Iraq's weekend elections.

Let's even ignore for a moment the sheer mendacity of Media that use the word "insurgents" without scare quotes, let alone using the much more appropriate word terrorist.
On Tuesday, a video showed an American kidnapped in November pleading for his life as the hostage-takers pointed a rifle at his head.

In the video, a bearded Roy Hallums, 56, said he had been taken by a "resistance group" because "I have worked with American forces." He appealed to Arab leaders, including Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, to save his life.

Hostage-takers?? WTF?? Well, let me tell you, in light of all this :::ahem::: insurgency and hostage taking I'm happy to report the ever vigilant, morally superior Human Rights Watch is on the job. I mean, I know I've looked over the top headlines on their website; indeed, the whole front page -- yes I have found absolutely ZERO headlines, articles or reports about the failings of insurgents and hostage takers in respecting the human rights of the infide ... er, people ... they are attacking -- but that must mean they are just poised with an extensive report condemning the insurgents....

Right? Right?

Posted by Darleen at 06:23 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2005

Cue conspiracy the rants ... 5 ..4.. 3

If this is true

In a blow to terrorists who have vowed to disrupt Sunday's historic election in Iraq, the country's interim government announced the capture of a top aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.[you know, that chimera from the brain of Karl Rove ... Ed.]

Al-Qaeda ally Zarqawi has been linked to the deadliest attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces as well as the brutal decapitations of kidnapped civilian hostages.

In recent days the Jordanian-born Sunni terrorist released an audio tape via the Internet declaring all-out war on the election, and he claimed responsibility for a car bomb Monday near the offices of interim prime minister Iyad Allawi.

And yet, while vicious videotaped records are released of the beheading slaughter of Iraqi civilians, when an Iraqi is beheaded in the middle of the street in broad daylight, with carbombs and kidnappings, what does "Human Rights Watch" do? Well, OF COURSE

In a report detailing prisoner treatment by Iraqi security forces, U.S.-based watchdog Human Rights Watch catalogues arbitrary detentions, dismal jail conditions and the routine torture of prisoners.

Based on interviews with 90 Iraqi prisoners conducted between July and October of last year, the group heard accounts of "routine and commonplace" mistreatment from 72.

OOoooo... And it took HRW, what, 3-4 months to release this report? Based on 90 interviews? No report on how the terrorists comply with "human rights?" No condemnations of the predidations of Islamism on their site? Could it be that members of HRW don't want to upset the terrorists/Islamists and become targets themselves? Naw..they are not that transparently craven and cowardly.

Are they?

Posted by Darleen at 06:16 AM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2005

Visit to Kookville

Once in a while I drive by the town of DU (democraticunderground), a place where people who are not only Republicans are banned, but anyone that holds any conservative opinion or are pro-Israel. Such a burg guarantees a concentration of Leftist kant. As the Iraqi election looms closer and terrorist Zarqawi steps up his threats and actions in attempt to stop the election, I was curious what the resident Kooks were emoting about (they rarely think ... thinking, not feeling, is a sign of maturity). Would they feel that no matter how much they hated GW that at least an election in Iraq was promising? That Iraqis who are registering and planning on going to the polls in the face of promised violence were couregeous?

Perish the thought. For the residents of Kookville, the terrorist Zarqawi doesn't even exist -- he's a myth, a chimera, a creation of Karl Rove.

Shouldn't the EPA be notified that Kookville's glue-factory is emitting too many fumes?

Posted by Darleen at 07:02 AM | Comments (5)

January 23, 2005

No sense of irony ...

... is offered by Jackie Spinner, a Berkeley-graduate writer, (ooo..who could see that coming?) of this deadly earnest article

The day after the soldiers came, Imaad ordered his mother to go through her refrigerator and pantry and throw out all the cheese that had been made outside Iraq. He went around and collected any images of Westerners in the house, threw them in a pile and burned them until they were floating bits of ash. He struck his mother repeatedly and forbade her to watch foreign news or movie channels on their new television.

The Americans were "the devil," Imaad ranted.

Omigawd. What horrors, what tortures did the "devil" American soldiers inflict on the hapless Imaad that made him slap the crap out of his mother?
The soldiers went to search his bedroom. He heard laughing, and then they called for him, he said. Imaad went to his room and saw that the soldiers had found several magazines he kept hidden from his mother. They had pictures of girls in swimsuits and erotic poses. Imaad said the soldiers spread the magazines on his bed and put his Koran in the middle.

"This is a good match," Imaad said one of the soldiers told him.

"It was a nightmare," he said. "I will never forget those bad soldiers when they put the Koran among the magazines."

Someone alert the International Red Cross! The devil Americans mocked Imaad's porn! Can we blame him for beating his mother under such horrible conditions? Can the Ramsey Clark team be far behind in bringing suit on his behalf charged Devil Americans with warcrimes? How dare the infidel mock a moslem ...

Actually, brilliant mocking of deadly Jackie is can be found at Tim Blair's and scintillating satire at Iowahawk's.

I'm hoping this really takes off and the brain-dead editor at WaPo who let Spinner's article through is more than just a bit red-faced.

Posted by Darleen at 07:20 PM | Comments (2)

Johnny Carson - class act

Johnny Carson 1925-2005Another beloved celebrity of my youth, Johnny Carson, has passed away. I grew up with him as a fixture on late-night TV .. at first only getting a glimpse or two of his opening monologue if I snuck out of bed and tip-toed down the hall. My husband and I still toss our favorite bits back and forth ... the great Carnack, the shows with Joan Embry (and some zoo creature that would startle Johnny, if not pee on him), the skits where no one could keep a straight face. I saw Steve Martin for the first time on Johnny's Tonight Show and a host of other acts got their first big boost on his show.

For me, the Tonight Show ended when he retired. Leno, Lettermen, et al, just do not measure up to the King of Late Night. They'll always be mere Poseur Princes.

When Johnny retired, it was still class all the way. It wasn't a faux retirement where he had to figure out ways to get his mug in the media spotlight on a regular basis. He did, indeed, become Private Citizen Carson.

They took the boy out of Nebraska, but never Nebraska out of the boy.

We've missed you for a long time, Johnny. We'll miss you even more now. Peace be with you.

also noting his passing:

Smoking Gun
A Small Victory
Digger's Realm
The Shape of Days

Posted by Darleen at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2005

Saturday reading - bits and pieces

We are having some beautiful weather today in So. Cal. It's about 70 degrees out, sunny. I hit the ground running this morning -- dropped off the car for new tires and alignment, hit the hardware store for gardening stuff (unplanned purchase, saw a cute little wood/wrought iron bench sized just right for the twins - now I have to put it together), filled bird feeders and more going on ... so some quick stuff and back for serious writing later.

Battlestar Galactica's third episode, Bastille Day aired at 10 pm on sci-fi last night and I enjoyed it. So many threads are shaping up and this episode felt a bit more transitory even as it had a story that resolved itself in 60 minutes. One of the ships that made it into the "rag tag fleet" was a prison transport ship with 1500 prisoners. The episode revolved around possibly using them to help in the hard/dangerous job of securing fresh water for the fleet (majority lost in last week's Water episode through sabetoge by Boomer). The conflict comes with the consideration that the prisoners not be used as "slave" labor but offered the jobs voluntarily to earn their probation. However, one "celebrity" prisoner is a terrorist, Tom Zarek (played by Richard Hatch, the original 'Apollo'), has surreptitiously organized the prisoners who riot, take over the ship and take Lee 'Apollo' Adama and his group hostage. There is some nice overlapping of themes - Cmdr Adama who mutters under his breath that Lee hasn't chosen 'sides' and then Zarek stating the same thing. IMO this episode begins a possible change in the rather vanilla, laidback Lee who does seem to gain a bit more edge by the end. If this signals a character development trend in Apollo, I'm heartened and can be patient. One of my problems with the original BSG is that Apollo never really changed (so much of 70's programming was cast-in-cement 1 dimensional characters). I find the brief shots of Helo and Sharon on Caprica intriguing in the questions it raises about the evolved Cylons. The brief interplays between XO Tigh and Starbuck hint at a back story I'd like to see more about and the scene where XO Tigh orders Boomer to end her relationship with Tryol foreshadows all sorts of upcoming conflict. I don't really watch much episodic TV any more (I'm in love with HGTV and History Channel) but I'm definitely sticking with BSG.

Other things:

The true face of the "antiwar" protesters is again revealed in this WaPo piece where anarchists (in truth, vicious anticapitalist leftist totalitarians) deliberately destroyed property.

Citizen Smash has an entry on his band of Protest Warriors in San Diego whose mere presence causes Leftists abandon their pretense at "peace, tolerance and free speech for all." Smash also points to here and here about anti-democracy Seattle college students who took their anger at American voters out on a couple of Army recruiters on campus -- assaulting them and succeeding in getting the recruiters escorted off campus. Fine little Brownshirts the taxpayers of Washington are training now, eh?

Eric Scheie at Classical Values poses a few questions about consorting with unsavory characters ... or at least unsavory opinions in this Shame on me post. He wonders what animates those that create "attack blogs" and why merely linking or taking notice of the otherside in a debate "taints" one. Have we truly become a society where the Easily Offended hold all social sway?

I ask this because #4 daughter, Siobhan, is in the midst of a bit of a controversy right along this line at her high school. Seems the advisor to the school newspaper allowed two sides to a controversial subject to be published, and a whole bunch of teachers/students/parents were "offended" at one side and now the admin has come down with both boots on the school newspaper. The issue? Gay marriage. The side that brought out the pitchforks and torches? The side that argued against gay marriage. While Siobhan is for gay marriage, she is incensed at the people who are demanding a pound of flesh from the advisor and full censorship of the school newspaper for allowing the anti-same sex marriage article to run. She and a couple of her friends are contemplating starting their own underground newspaper. Developing story ...

And as terrorist front groups like CAIR in the United States froth at any hint that moslem extremists are anything but kind, loving, PEACEFUL people, Charles Johnson posts on exactly what CAIR refuses to address ...

MOGADISHU, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Somali militiamen, allied with Islamic clerics who rule by sharia law, have dug up hundreds of skeletons from an Italian colonial-era cemetery and thrown them in the trash, sparking anger in the Italian and Somali capitals.

The motive for the mass exhumation by gunmen allied with the clerics who rule northern Mogadishu remained unclear on Friday. Witnesses said hundreds of corpses were dug up over the past five days and thrown away at a dump near Mogadishu’s airport, which drew a strongly worded protest from Rome.

“The profanation of a silent and historical place, sacred to all civilisations, is a vile and particularly hateful act which can have no justification whatsoever,” the Italian government said in a statement.

Gunmen told residents near the cemetery in south Mogadishu that the courts ordered them to clear the site of non-Islamic elements, witnesses said.

Anyone still unclear what Islamists are talking about when they say "From River to Sea, Palestine will be free"? The Left's support of Islamists can no longer be consider innocent.

Posted by Darleen at 10:54 AM | Comments (1)

January 21, 2005

Adventures in Parenting - 'bad words'

Couple of weeks ago I wrote about the Kid Rock kerfluffle. A couple of days ago, Jeff Goldstein posted about the "f-bomb" launched at the Inaugural Youth Party inspite of Kid Rock's "un"invitation (with the subsequent pique from Michelle Malkin, which frankly I just don't get). I've shared one of my own stories of Parent vs Kid Mouth a few other places but here. Hey, it's Friday night, let's start with a couple of laughs!

When #2 daughter, Erin, was about five, she and the next door boy, Michael, who was the same age loved to play together. However, they could only do it for short periods of time because they would inevitably end up fighting. Michael figured since he was a boy he should always win and my Erin would just have none of that nonsense. One day they were playing basketball -- the li'l kidsize version -- and everytime Erin would score Michael would get mad and take the ball away. Erin definitely had inherited her father’s Irish temper and it flared in this instance. Suddenly there is a knock on my door and there stands Michael.

“Mrs. M! Mrs. M! Erin just called me a ‘bitch’”

“Ok. Michael. I’ll talk to Erin.”

Now name-calling is one of my pet-peeves. I’ve always tried to tell my girls that getting mad is ok, anger is normal, but we don’t hit and we don’t call names. So I call Erin over (who is still huffing about the injustice of Michael) and tell her not to call Michael a ‘bitch.’

“That’s a bad word, Erin. You know our house rules about bad words and name calling”

So she goes back to play. Within about 10 minutes there is yet another knock on the door.

“Mrs. M! Mrs. M! Erin called me a ‘bitch’ again.”

So again I call Erin over, explain firmly what I expect. I even tell her to stop playing with Michael if it’s going to make her so mad. She really really wants to play with him. And I tell her she’s been warned twice. If it happens again, I will wash her mouth out with soap.

15 minutes later ... ::knock:: ::knock:: “Mrs. M! Erin called me a ‘bitch.’”

True to my word, I took Erin to the bathroom, put some soap on my finger and “washed her mouth” of the dirty word. She was upset, for sure. I emphasised “Erin this is what happens after two warnings. Are you going to call Michael a ‘bitch’ again? Because that will mean more soap.”

“No, mommy.”

And like all fast-bouncing little kids she soon regains her calm and wants to go back and play.

20 minutes later ... ::::knock:::knock:::

I’m rolling my eyes as I open the door to find Michael ... “Mrs. M! Mrs. M! ...”

“Oh Michael” I interrupt thinking of what to do outside of soap “Did Erin call you a ‘bitch’ again?”

“No, Mrs. M! This time she called me a ‘fucking asshole.’”

Posted by Darleen at 06:11 PM | Comments (1)

January 20, 2005

You just can't make this stuff up

Moonbats on Parade -- AP Photo/Don Ryan
Yes, that is a foil hat. All the rage with the elderly hippies in Portland Oregon.

hattip LGF

Posted by Darleen at 10:01 PM | Comments (4)

January 19, 2005

Evil EVIL beyond all words and reasoning

If I could only tar and feather each judge that supported this destruction of a small child. This is another horrible example of the elevation of BLOOD over love when it comes to children. This is yet another example of THE LIE that the judiciary considers "the best interest of the child." If they DID, the child would have been left with his real parents, the Scotts and have told the egg and sperm donors to get on with their lives.

I can't even find the words to express the depth of the anger and rage I'm feeling right now. Egg donor Amanda Hopkins and sperm donor Stephen White are some of the most disgusting excuses for human beings. They are complicit murderers of the soul of one 3 and 1/2 year-old child they claim as "theirs."

I would like to meet them in person, to spit in their faces.

UPDATE more here.

UPDATE II The child-hating judge who made the decision to send Evan SCOTT to his egg donor is Duval County Family Court Judge Waddell Wallace III -- phone #904-630-2111. Address: 330 E Bay St. Jacksonville, FL 32202-2921. Wallace destroys families in rm 227.

Posted by Darleen at 05:53 PM | Comments (3)

Pathetic and pitiful - Part Deux

I addressed those sad-sack Democrats last December here. I have since tried to adopt an attitude of bemused pity at the rants and antics of irrational and extreme immaturity on the part of chronological adults at the re-election of GW. Even the hatefilled and bigoted screeds that have spewed alternately claiming that the election was "stolen" (ie GW did not win with 51% of the vote) or those that voted for GW are really evil, stupid, racist, venal Neo-Nazis (ie 51% of voters are fascists who should be shot by the clearly superior Leftists...if only they didn't eschew guns). For all the emotionally driven anti-Clinton sentiment that simmered in the far-right wing, there was none -- NONE of this kind of sh*t.

Ever have one of those days when you're tempted to stay in bed with the covers pulled over your head?

If so, you know just how some die-hard Democrats will be feeling on Inauguration Day as President Bush is sworn in for a second term and the nation's capital swells with Republican revelers. So what's a down-in-the-dumps Democrat to do?

For some, the answer is to leave town until the whole spectacle is over.

About 35 Democratic activists and former campaign workers for failed candidate John Kerry departed Monday on a five-day trip to the Caribbean. Those who have kept their sense of humor have dubbed it the ''Democrats in Denial'' cruise.

Quite a few House Democrats and progressives plan to stay home in their districts to engage in ''official business.''

Other Democrats are planning to throw their own parties. A liberal group called ReDefeatBush is holding what it bills as ''The World's First CounterInaugural Ball'' on Thursday.

Another alternative ball, sponsored by labor unions and hosted by Democratic House members, will try to make liberals laugh away their troubles with some satiric comedy by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and comedian Al Franken.[ed. note - if Dems are waiting for "humor" from Franken, I hope they have some really good booze to make it seem so]

And if its not just the crybabies who should just shut.the.fuck.up you get the usual Kook Koalition of niche reality deniers and anti-Americans.
...dozens of groups plan activities that range from silent protest to street theater to a "festive, rowdy" march promised by a loose-knit collection of self-described anarchists.

Planned street performances include a mock New Orleans funeral by women's groups decrying the withering of a range of freedoms under Bush* and satirical auctions of the Social Security system and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by a group dubbed Billionaires for Bush.

*Never, ever has any idiotarian claiming that we are now living in a fascist dictatorship been able to actually source their claim! What f**king rights have 'withered' away?

No. They won't answer. They can't. Their claims don't square with reality. They'll just keep gnashing their teeth, rending their garments and ululating over the injustice that people who don't toe their religious line are getting on with life and seeing them for what they truly are. Pathetically pitiful people.

Posted by Darleen at 05:40 AM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2005

Woohoo, Michele!

Looks like Michele at ASV has made it to day 4 in kicking the cigarette habit. This is one of the tougher addictions to fight, not just because of the nicotine but because smokers find smoking so pleasurable. And smoking just doesn't impair one's day to day functioning in society. So the motivation to quit is almost entirely internal and certainly 100% social. When you get a chance, visit Michele and add your kudos and support.

I'm a lifelong non-smoker. Not because of any philosophical leanings -- heck, I'm a child of the late 50's through 60's, a time when everyone smoked. My parents smoked, their friends smoked. Cigarettes were advertised on TV with smoking protrayed as sexy, relaxing, masculine, even as a feminist statement (Virginia Slims). I loved being allowed to flip open my dad's Zippo lighter and lighting his cigarette. The coffee table always held beautiful ashtrays and a large lighter of marble or crystal.Dean, Sammy and Frank In grade school we made ashtrays out of clay for Mother/Father Day's presents. When the Rat Pack appeared on TV, they were dressed in tuxes with a mic in one hand and a lit cig in the other (and usually a scotch, neat, within reach). Long had cigarettes been called "coffin nails" but people chose to smoke -- for the glamour or the pleasure or the social niceties -- it was a choice. I didn't only because smoking just didn't interest me for me. I think I tried smoking one or two in high school and realized they were a lot more trouble than they were worth.

Being a non-smoker by personal rather than political choice has kept me from being a militant non-smoker. I don't harangue people in public and I don't lobby my congressman to round up and publically flog those that indulge in the politically incorrect weed.

I really don't know why the anti-smoking movement crossed the line from reasonable health warnings and offers to help those who choose to quit to a quasi-religious crusade reminiscent of Carrie Nation and Prohibition, but Dennis Prager once brought up an interesting question that puts cigarette smoking (and the modern tendency to encourage and support governmental nanny-ism) in it's proper perspective: Would you rather your teenager smoke or cheat?

Posted by Darleen at 02:02 PM | Comments (3)

excommunicating Dr. Rice - another kind of 'racism'

Do you have a child that will soon enter college? Have you wondered at how much truth there is about the insularity of the community, their religious tenets and how they treat apostates? Then here is a must read from Jim Lundgren following up on Eugene Volokh's post in regards to a "newly minted Political Science Ph.D." who sneers:

I don't think there is a tent big enough to hold me and one of the chief architects of the present war in Iraq [Condoleezza Rice]. And I have to wonder about our collective pretensions to positive social science when someone can hold onto her political science credentials while acting as one of the most persistent defenders of that "weapons of mass destruction" trope.

So I've been thinking: shouldn't political science have its equivalent to disbarment or excommunication? After all, if we want the term "political scientist" to mean something, then a doctorate shouldn't be a one-way ticket. When political scientists promulgate ideas or institute policies that violate even the most generous interpretations of our collective wisdom, they are not only disregarding their own academic training, but devaluing the intellectual authority and standards of our field. So shouldn't there be some threshold — it can be a generous one — beyond which one loses the right to practice political science?

No, that is not parody. I wish it were because the self-important writer, Ms. Samuel, flush with the credentials of her own :::ahem::: superiority, will more than likely soon be teaching ... maybe at a university your children will attend. If your child decides to write a paper that disagrees with "the most generous interpretations of our collective wisdom", would you be surprised that Ms. Samuel will probably flunk him or her? Campaign amongst other professors to ride your child out of the university on a rail? Many parents will counsel their child to just lay low and get a grade ... and with such seemingly classroom "consensus" in agreement with Ms. Samuel's anointed "collective wisdom", she, like many other clearly superior beings, will feel free to continue in the cacoon of academia forever sneering at the drooling masses who disagree with their revealed wisdom.

As my youngest daughter, the most political of my four, is now contemplating which college to attend (she's already received her acceptance at ASU, she awaits a few more before deciding). She is well aware of teachers With An Agenda. At the high school level where there is a limited number of students and said students have direct access to teachers, counselors and administrative staff, Siobhan felt secure in challenging teachers in the classroom knowing that any "revenge" on her could easily be taken handled by merely walking into the admin offices and talking with the staff. However, in a university setting with thousands of students and a staff of allied admins and professors will be quite different.

What with the now decades-old trend in universities that demand diversity of melanin content but absolute conformity in thought (and as such, can we not say Ms. Samuel embodies all the classic traits of a racist, only where it applies to thought?), then there should be little surprise at rise of projects like Evan Coyne Maloney's followup to his film Brainwashing 101.

Each college student who finds themselves in a classroom headed by a professor such as Ms. Samuel will have to make some moral decisions. The minimal advice I'd offer is tape record everything.

Posted by Darleen at 08:26 AM | Comments (2)

'Why?' 'Cuz we can.' -- when legal is not enough

Here again we come up smack dab into a situation where the people involved are substituting legality for morality

A ROMANIAN woman's decision to have a baby at 66, making her the world's oldest mother, has sparked an international outcry.

Retired professor and now single mother Adriana Iliescu gave birth to two daughters on Sunday after becoming pregnant through donated sperm and eggs. One of the girls arrived stillborn.

Victorian ethicists and church leaders have branded her decision as the ultimate act of selfishness.

This baby has no father and a mother that more than likely will be dead by the time she graduates high school. How cruel is that?

Posted by Darleen at 07:50 AM | Comments (2)

January 16, 2005

Markos takes the next logical step ...

Hi! My name is Kossie. I like bubblebaths, satin sheets, and guys that scream like Dean when they cum. I'm yours by the hour for the right price.

Some background here, here, and here.

Posted by Darleen at 08:53 PM | Comments (1)

Hate crime? Naw ...

via Michelle Malkin comes this story from New Jersey about an Egyptian Christian Copt family savagely murdered a few days ago.

Police made the grisly discovery of the bodies of a family of four tied up and gagged with their throats cut in their Jersey City Heights home yesterday morning.

The bodies of Hossam Armanious, 47; his wife, Amal Garas, 37; and their two children, 16-year-old Sylvia Armanious and 9-year-old Monica Armanious, were found in the family's Oakland Avenue home in the early morning hours, Hudson County First Assistant Prosecutor Guy Gregory said.

Sylvia, who hoped to be a doctor, was to have had her sweet 16 party today and the family had been preparing for the party, family friends said. ...

Pretty gruesome, right? Well, it gets worse.
The father of a murdered New Jersey family was threatened for making anti-Muslim remarks online — and the gruesome quadruple slaying may have been the hateful retaliation, sources told The Post yesterday. ...

Armanious, an Egyptian Christian, was well known for expressing his Coptic beliefs and engaging in fiery back-and-forth with Muslims on the Web site paltalk.com.

He "had the reputation for being one of the most outspoken Egyptian Christians," said the source, who had close ties to the family.

The source, who had knowledge of the investigation, refused to specify the anti-Muslim statement. But he said cops told him they were looking into the exchanges as a possible motive.

The married father of two had recently been threatened by Muslim members of the Web site, said a fellow Copt and store clerk who uses the chat room.

"You'd better stop this bull---- or we are going to track you down like a chicken and kill you," was the threat, said the clerk, who was online at the time and saw the exchange.

Of course the cops are keeping details of the investigation close to the chest. That's SOP. You neither want to tip off the perps nor leave yourself without signature details to weed out the sickos who love to confess to notorious crimes for the publicity. So, right now the cops are 'mum' about motivations that will help direct their investigation and being deliberately vague. However, the following details pretty well belie their statements 'several theories we are following' --

A family member who viewed photos of the bloodbath said Sylvia seemed to have taken the most savage punishment.

"When we saw the pictures, you could tell that they were hurt really, really bad in the face; especially Sylvia," said Milad Garas, the high-school sophomore's great-uncle.

The heartless killer not only slit Sylvia's throat, but also sliced a huge gash in her chest and stabbed her in the wrist, where she had a tattoo of a Coptic cross. ...

We are looking at rage. Cold, deliberate, hatefilled rage that drives a murderer to mutilate in specific ways related to the hate. Not only do chickens die by having their heads cut off (throats slit), but nothing enrages the Islamist like a young woman who doesn't know her place.
Both the deacon and uncle poured cold water on the theory that the family were the victims of a robbery gone wrong.

"This is not a robbery, Ayed said. "We found all of the jewelry in the house. They didn't take anything."

The FBI confirmed it has been called in to help with the case.

CAIR is busy intimidating Fox Entertainment over the show "24" (wow... they actually show that a terrorist just might be a moslem...no basis in reality there, eh?) alternating with incessantly pounding their chest about so-called "Islamophobia" in America. Think they'll have anything to say about this?

We already are witnessing Euro countries, including England, being threatened by moslems into dhimmitude. We cannot allow it to happen here.

Posted by Darleen at 10:22 AM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2005

Battlestar Galactica - One viewer's thoughts

click for larger image
It happens to me when I'm sitting through a really great movie -- I lose all track of time and am left thinking the 2-3 hours went way too fast. LOTR did that to me - even as the bladder was pressing, when the first episode ended you heard the collective groans and protests of the audience who wanted more.

Two back-to-back episodes of BSG last night, 33 and Water had the same effect on me. Despite commercial interruptions, by the end I couldn't believe that two hours had passed that quickly and I was even anxious to see the coming attractions for next Friday. Jeff Harrell wrote about BSG yesterday and in his comments in my post pointed out how the show, more character and plot driven than just being about the hardware, reaches out and engages one's emotions. Jeff and I share one of the points of weepiness he talks about ... where Dee is walking down the corridor where survivors have set up impromptu shrines with pictures of lost loved ones, candles, etc., the poignant, desperate hope and sorrow in just that shot was almost too much. My husband Eric and I looked at each other, eyes overflowing and said to each other almost simultaneously "9/11".

And that brings me briefly to Llama's rather nasty dissing of the new BSG.(via Bill of INDC)

I find it rather curious that the original series, which had an optomistic view of the inherent power of humanity and especially civilized humanity, should have aired at the height of the Carter malaise, while the new series, aired during a period of renewed American resolve, should have such an evident air of self-loathing.
Let me be polite and say I guess I watched a different BSG than he did. While the original BSG pilot offered a great premise, had some good writing, the series fell too soon into space opera and camp. Don't get me wrong, camp can be a great deal of fun and as a 20-something woman at the time, watching Starbuck was the ultimate in eyecandy. However, how can I take seriously a theme of "inherent power of humanity and especially civilized humanity" when expected desperation and sorrow at being the only survivors out of billions, harried across the galaxy, devolves into episodes about who's sleeping with whom and very little thought about the past or the future?

It was, in essence, a replay of Lost in Space, another TV sci-fi that too soon squandered its promise by turning into the Dr. Smith and Robot Road Show.

Don't ever wonder where people like Dan Rather get their elitist view of 'regular folk' as drooling, gapped-toothed idiots that must be hand-held and spoonfed the 'truth' as the clearly superior people of the media recognize it ... the Big 3 commercial network culture has long held the American viewing audience as such, who can handle little more than happy pablum. Serious or disturbing themes on commercial television are few and far between. It's okay to offer tits and ass, as long as it's about bed hopping sluts in NYC or Beverly Hills or any other sniggering soap opera -- that's entertainment! As I recall, Schindler's List has only aired once on network tv and only after a lot of handwringing and prefacing disclaimers when airing.

A quick aside -- the opening music over credits on 33 reminded me of the haunting score of Schindler's List.

Yes, the new BSG is grim. Hello? Only 50,000 people surviving out of billions? Not knowing when the axe will fall on them, too? Suspicion growing that traitors are among the survivors? Of course, it's grim. Five days without sleep, there are going to be dirty clothes, unshaved faces, frayed tempers, pettiness, anger ...

Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. (He is also a fool.) ~Robert Heinlein
Humanity is petty, cruel, loathsome. However, humanity carries within its individuals the potential to rise to the challenge, to exhibit courage, to endure five days of terror and still get into the cockpit and fly out to face death in order to help ensure the survival of the species. Some succeed, some fail. This is why this BSG is not a product of the Big 3. And as long as the series will not let network culture interfer in its writing and producing, I have hopes the promise of the pilot will not be squandered. The series episodes last night have reinforced those hopes.

Posted by Darleen at 10:00 AM | Comments (7)

January 14, 2005

Battlestar Galactica

A little over a year ago I spent the time, skeptical at first, watching the pilot/miniseries of the "new" Battlestar Galactica on the Sci-Fi channel.

I loved it! And that's from someone who enjoyed the original series for little more than giggling at the awfulness of the writing and lusting at the studmuffin, Starbuck. It was a great premise squandered ... Kinda like letting Aaron Spelling do Romeo & Juliet.

For sometime now, I've envied Jeff Harrell's early viewing of the new series by his tapping into the British broadcasts. I also am very grateful he hasn't been a 'spoiler' in letting anything slip so the rest of us can come to the series fresh tonight. Do check out Jeff's post, he's got a great roundup of some this-side-of-the-pond critics' quotes on the new series. I especially like the one comparing Galactica with the "Big Red One"... an underestimated, largely ignored, gem of a film. The dad of one of my co-workers is one of the few survivors of the BRO...and to this day pretty much refuses to talk about what he experienced, which raises the hairs on the back of the neck almost as much as any explicit detail might.

I digress, but I look forward to tonight's episode even if it is "relentlessly grim."

Posted by Darleen at 01:02 PM | Comments (3)

HRW - assbackwards

... and we should be surprised?

America's moral authority in the war on terror has been undermined by the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and the secretive detention and coercive techniques used against prisoners elsewhere, a human rights group said on Thursday. According to BBC News, Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, stated that the U.S. must renounce the policies that led to the Abu Ghraib scandal or it won't be able to "re-establish what had been a strong norm against torture or redeem its credibility as a proponent of human rights." Administration officials insist they do not condone the torture or abuse of prisoners, but have defended the practice of holding and aggressively interrogating prisoners suspected of terrorist ties.

Abu Ghraib was already under investigation when the "mainstream" media pretended they were breaking a story "no one" knew about. People have been or are being tried, in full compliance with the USMCJ (I guess for HRW and other :::ahem::: human rights organizations, everyone is entitled to "rights" except for Americans, especially members of the military.) US response to Abu Ghraib actually strengthens the US moral authority.

Then Roth's HRW goes on with this mendacity

In its annual report, Human Rights Watch says that when a country as dominant as the US openly defies the law, it invites others to do the same.

What f**king LAW are you babbling about?? It ain't the Geneva Conventions, because as I read it, there's nothing in the Conventions that cover Al Qaeda. Infact, the Conventions are nothing more than incentive to stop terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hizbolleh, etc, by NOT affording them any protection.

Roth, you human sack of sh*t, you are attacking and condemning a government and a people who actually follow moral concepts, even as they occassionally fail (and then correct those failures) while saying little about the terrorists who sneer and blatantly reject any morality under Geneva or "international law" [**cough**cough**]. Maybe you ought to consider that you are nothing more than a useful infidel for the Islamofascists and they'd be just as happy to behead you as they did Danny Pearl or Nick Berg. Maybe at the moment the knife was at your neck you just might realize it is NOT always the fault of America.

Please, go assert your version of "human rights" among the Islamofascists ...say Iran? ... and see how long your head stays attached to your shoulders.


Posted by Darleen at 06:49 AM | Comments (3)

January 13, 2005

Q: does alcohol abuse destroy ...

... one's ability to recognize irony?

In clarifying his vision of the Democratic Party's future and its values, U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy Wednesday slammed President Bush for his plan to partially privatize Social Security, his prosecution of the war in Iraq and his attempt at "packing the federal courts with reactionary judges." ...

"Unlike the Republican Party, we believe our values unite us as Americans, instead of dividing us." ...

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Do read what the DT's have been doing to Uncle Teddy's grasp on reality -- Iraq is Vietnam and "global warming" is a Republican conspiracy.

I used to wonder how in the world the voters of MA keep returning the Whiskey Blimp to the Senate time after time. I guess it's their homage to the Kennedy legacy ... the voting equivalent to a pity f*ck.


Posted by Darleen at 12:27 PM | Comments (2)

The French! Our Friends!

While Chirac shows compassion in the face of the tsunami disaster by keeping the French navy in port and bravery in the face of the seething Islamofascism at home by banning head scarves in school, comes this:

French state-owned television is using what some call intimidation and threatened libel lawsuits to quiet calls for an investigation of TV images that showed the alleged shooting of a Palestinian boy by Israeli soldiers in 2000.

The video from the TV channel France 2 has become famous around the world as a symbol for the current Palestinian intifada (uprising) and shows a boy trying to take shelter behind a man during a gun battle in September 2000 between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip.

Independent media analysts in France and Israel have provided what they call conclusive evidence that the video of the incident was staged and at least one member of the French Assembly has called for an official investigation of the episode, but France 2 has so far refused to undertake a comprehensive inquiry.

Never let facts, or even questions, stand in the way of producing a "news" bit that can attack Americans or Jooooos, especially the ones from that "shitty little country"

When the Islamofacists get the upperhand in France and start setting fire to the vineyards and enforcing burkas on the fashion runways, watch me yawn.

Posted by Darleen at 06:47 AM | Comments (2)

January 12, 2005

I love a mystery

Iowahawk brings you the latest in the gumshoe genre, starring everyone's favorite dick, Dan Rather, in "Farewell, My Producer."

Posted by Darleen at 06:57 AM | Comments (0)

COTV #121

Carnival of the Vanities is up, and Josh entitles it "The [adult swim] experience." Be sure to check it out.

Posted by Darleen at 06:54 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2005


When it rains, it pours...and I'm just not talking about the skies around Southern California. Many times I come home for lunch from work (where I have no internet access) so I can post at lunch ... but yesterday the skies really let loose just at noon so even the courthouse parking lot and the surrounding streets more resembled lakes and rivers than something to steer an automobile down. So I stuck at work [insert self-serving snivels and whines here]

Combined this with the facts: I just took over a desk that is literally buried under undone paperwork (rant about government employees and youth non-work ethic later) plus #2 daughter just started back to evening classes so I babysat the twins last night and will again tonight...and of course there are all sorts of things happening that have me itching to write about!

Someone hand me a tiny violin!!

In the meantime (as I try and scrape some posting time somewheres) read:

~ Charles Johnson on the CBS "greywash."

~ Eric at Classical Values muses on the "adult sign wars" he observed on his trek through Missouri (ooo...I gotta write more about this later!).

~ If you haven't been paying attention, or under the impression that illegal aliens don't have anything to do with you as long as you don't live in CA or AZ then please read Digger today. He posts often on this subject and I thank him for it! My oldest daughter is a paramedic and she, too, rails on the devestating effect illegals have on emergency medicine.

::::sigh::: back to the grindstone. Catch y'all later.

Posted by Darleen at 12:54 PM | Comments (4)

January 10, 2005

Rathergate aka Killian Memo Affair

The "report" has been released. It's long, I haven't had time to read it yet, but those up earlier than I are combing it as I write. Please read Jeff Jarvis to begin with and I'm sure more people will be posting about this soon. I was listening to Byron York on the Laura Ingraham show this morning saying he is reading the report and while it now contains what CBS is admitting (not vetting the documents) the "report" whitewashes and let's CBS off the hook where 'political bias' is concerned.

Since the "investigators" NEVER contacted any of the people who broke the story ... Powerline, LGF, Dr. Newcomber, et al ... such a whitewash was unexpected??


Posted by Darleen at 07:42 AM | Comments (1)

January 09, 2005

What would Grandma Mildred say?

A rather dismissive and snarky "report" on the inaugural festivities can be found here, pointing out again how loathsome some "blue-state" anointed media find middle-America. Reading the "report" one can just sense the flared nostrils and arched eyebrows when sentences such as these were written:

Susan Graham, a first-family friend who has warbled for the Bushes before. She may be a grand opera singer, but she's a mezzo-soprano from Midland. You can't get any more middlebrow than that.
This actually goes to the heart of the kerfluffle (royalites now owed to James Taranto for use of the word) concerning Kid Rock. The fact that the invitation has caused "outrage" in some corners of the GOP is eliciting sniggers among those elites who truly believe that Republicans are obsessive/compulsive bluenoses. And they believe that as one of the more benign Republican traits.

Certainly, the discussion on the internet on this subject has been lively, thoughtful, at times raucous, and even unpredictable. Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom ran with this yesterday and his thread is now knocking on the door of 300 comments. Enough comments for Michelle Malkin to have noticed. Michelle, herself, contributed to the brushfire that has yet to burnout here. Michelle says:

In response to a flood of calls, the inauguration committee has apparently backpedaled, according to WND.

Good. Glad to see that some conservatives aren't embarrassed about upholding decency

So, Michelle, I take it committing an indecency to "uphold" decency is ok with you? To eschew the proper and the right thing to do and thus hold yourself to public ridicule from those who do engage in such behavior on a regular basis can be excused with a sophist appeal to "decency"?

There's a saying many people use to approach the big moral questions -- "What would Jesus do?" It's a statement to give one pause to reflect. In social situations where questions of etiquette and common decency come up, my own touchstone is "What would Grandma Mildred say?"

My late maternal grandmother was born in 1904 in Michigan, moving with her parents and siblings to Los Angeles when she was 16. A lively young woman with a beautiful singing voice and an accomplished pianist, LA was the place to be in the 20's. There are old family photos of her, Millie the flapper -- her hair bobbed and dyed platinum blonde. She dated Jack Benny and generally enjoyed the glamour of Hollywood. She would meet my grandfather, Robert, there, as he worked for a couple of the studios as a camera or stunt driver (Hal Roach studios and on a couple of Harold Lloyd films). They were married in 1925. They would always maintain their ties with Hollywood as my grandfather later worked for over 40 years at Forest Lawn, Glendale, as a memorial counselor.

For all the wildness of her youth to the tinsel-town ties, my grandmother always maintained that class was not a product of income or station; it was a state attained by a person who operated with an ethos grounded in the Golden Rule. Among the things I learned from my grandmother:

Y'all remember jr. high school? Well, playing games in regards to who is invited or disinvited to parties is usually one of the uglier experiences of that trying chapter in our lives. I would hope that we all eventually outgrow that.

Oh, I know some don't. The parent who makes their kid disinvite the peer from the wrong side of the tracks or the woman who avoids phone calls from a friend for a while because she is throwing a luncheon for some "classier" acquaintances and doesn't want to explain to her friend why she's embarrassed by her.

And wasn't there that politician who was invited to speak at the Democratic Convention who was then disinvited to speak because he was a known pro-lifer? Even though his speech at the convention would have had nothing to do with his views outside of the convention?

Goodness. Nothing like Republicans acting like the snarky "reporters" from Wapo. Nothing like acting just like the Democrats we were so quick to criticise for their "disinvitation." :::sigh::: I thought Republicans were better than that.

Some more recommended reading on this subject:

Posted by Darleen at 11:03 AM | Comments (5)

January 08, 2005

Person of the Week that needs to get a life

This idiot is getting on my last nerve:

The California lawyer who tried to have the phrase "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance now wants to legally prevent President Bush from placing his hand on a Bible while being sworn in at his inauguration.
Michael Newdow, an atheist doctor and lawyer from Sacramento, has filed a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking to remove prayer and all "Christian religious acts" from the Jan. 20 inauguration.

No wonder Newdow is single.

Posted by Darleen at 08:10 PM | Comments (2)

The next time I hear

any loon who insists that all would be skittles and beer between the US and the Islamist world if only WE were sensitive to their concerns, did good deeds (like toss daycare centers at 'em) and turned our backs on Israel, I'm going to hand the loon a card where I'm going to have this Q&A printed.

Question: The west is often criticised by Muslims for many reasons, such as allowing women go to work.

But shouldnt the west also recieve praise because its always them who intervenve when muslims r being tortured,they stopped Milosovic kiling muslims and sent their own troops to the country,they r usually the first to send aid when theres a flood,they r also intervening in Isreal and condeming them killing Muslims ,so should we appreciate their efforts or not?

Answer 1394: In simple the Kuffaar can never be trusted for any possible good they do. They have their own interest at heart.

Was salaam

Not that it will change the mind of the anti-American Leftist, but maybe it might have an effect on the bleeding-heart loons that buy into Leftist rhetoric.

via LGF

Posted by Darleen at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

Saturday morning reading ...

Some great things are afoot today! Let's start with LGF's first round voting for The Fiskie. It's a long list of idiotarians to choose from, but you get to vote for five. Right now the top three are His Corpulentness Michael al-Moor, Kofi 'What tsunami?' Annan and Dan 'fake but accurate' Rather. Get your votes in!

Speaking of the Killian Memo Affair, the "Report" on Rather's fraudulent memos is due today. Hindrocket of Powerline is skeptical that anything resembling an investigation went in to producing the "report." Depressingly, he's probably correct. CBS was just another wing of the DNC and having failed to elect John 'did you know I served in Vietnam?' Kerry, they want to bury their collusion.

VDH captures the growing mood of many Americans toward the UN and EU.

In fact, an American consensus is growing that envy and hatred of the United States, coupled with utopian and pacifistic rhetoric, disguise an even more depressing fact: Outside our shores there is a growing barbarism with no other sheriff in sight. Any cinema student of the American Western can fathom why the frightened townspeople — huddled in their churches and shuttered schools — almost hated the lone marshal as much as they did the six-shooting outlaw gang rampaging in their streets. After all, the holed-up 'good' citizens were always angry that the lawman had shamed them, worried that he might make dangerous demands on their insular lives, confused about whether they would have to accommodate themselves either to savagery or civilization in their town's future, and, above all, assured that they could libel and slur the tin star in a way that would earn a bullet from the lawbreaker. It was precisely that paradox between impotent high-sounding rhetoric and blunt-speaking, roughshod courage that lay at the heart of the classic Western from Shane and High Noon to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Magnificent Seven.
Read the whole thing.

Of course, the perfect eyewitness to the reasoning behind VDH's column is the boots-on-the-ground Diplomad with a scorch-the-earth rant about the perfidious UN and their non-response to the tsunami.

This Embassy has been running 24/7 since the December 26 earthquake and tsunami. Along with my colleagues, I've spent the past several days dealing non-stop with various aspects of the relief effort in this tsunami-affected country. That work, unfortunately, has brought ever-increasing contact with the growing UN presence in this capital; in fact, we've found that to avoid running into the UN, we must go out to where the quake and tsunami actually hit. As we come up on two weeks since the disaster struck, the UN is still not to be seen where it counts -- except when holding well-staged press events. Ah, yes, but the luxury hotels are full of UN assessment teams and visiting big shots from New York, Geneva, and Vienna. The city sees a steady procession of UN Mercedes sedans and top-of-the-line SUV's -- a fully decked out Toyota Landcruiser is the UN vehicle of choice; it doesn't seem that concerns about "global warming" and preserving your tax dollars run too deep among the UNocrats.
It is well past time to Get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US.

It looks like there is a kerfluffle brewing about PR/Media types who actually might have contracts promoting ideas. Imagine that! But when its a black conservative with a government contract rather than Soros backing dKos, or Wonkette on salary from Nick Denton, well... you know... Eric at Classical Values takes a realistic and pragmatic view of the issue. Definitely follow Eric's links and also read Glenn on this, too.

Posted by Darleen at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2005

Andrea Yates - another part of the puzzle

Yesterday there was an excellent and informative post by Jeff Goldstein and a thoughtful (if at time emotional) thread at Jeff's Protein Wisdom. I'm sure most of you are aware that Andrea Yates, the mother that drowned her five children in a bathtub, had her conviction overturned on appeal.

Interestingly, this afternoon at work I received this press release from the doctor savaged by the defense in their appeal and mischaracterized by the media. It seems Dr. Dietz put this out to everyone on his email list, including my employer. It makes for an interesting read and gives further insight into the issues surrounding Yates and the whole trial system.

Where do I stand on the Yates trial? As an outsider who has not followed the case as closely as some, I believe Yates was indeed psychotic when she murdered her children. However, that fact is secondary to the murder itself and should only go towards assessing the proper facility in which she should be housed. I have no objections to her spending her life in a medical care facility. As long as it is the rest of her life and she never is allowed back into society ever again.

Our judicial system has two responsibilities, to administer justice and to protect society. Justice would be to commit Mrs. Yates to proper psychiatric care, societal safety would dictate her permanent removal from the community at large.

Posted by Darleen at 06:20 PM | Comments (1)

January 06, 2005

in the 'WTF are they thinking?' category

Go read now.

Thanks for the headsup from California Yankee

Posted by Darleen at 12:51 PM | Comments (2)

Moral depravity watch

It was one of those moments when you realize the person you are listening to ... the person who is mouthing words you recognize, in strings you take to be sentences, in a soothing, moderate tone that conveys soberness and reason ... is saying something so morally depraved you cease to recognize the person as a reasoning human being.

Yesterday I had been trying to get a handle on all the topics I wished to visit and write about over the next several days. An idea here, a few paragraphs there, I'd been engaged in a running interior commentary most of the day as I went about the more mundane chores of doing my job. Running errands at lunchtime I had the car radio tuned to the Michael Medved show (which runs locally for me on AM870 KRLA). His guests were David Horowitz (Unholy Alliance) and David Lazar* (identified as a contributor to The Nation). The discussion at first centered on Horowitz's new book and Lazar's objections to The Left being broad brushed by Horowitz as "anti-American" just because they criticized American foreign policy. Mr. Medved is not only a excellent interviewer, but he is a competent moderator, too. He allowed each man to speak, kept them on track and from time-to-time added his own questions in order to clarify a point. It was quick and lively, but I wasn't really hearing anything I haven't heard before -- Horowitz pointing out the extreme, radical Left bona fides of the movers and shakers of the so-called "peace" movement and Lazar poo-pooing the relevancy of such ties as modern McCarthy-style "red-baiting."

Then came a moment that almost had me driving off the road; a statement from Lazar that even took Medved by surprise. (**and I paraphrase as best I can since KRLA is not looping its broadcasts as it used to do). Lazar stated that he was fully behind the Fallujah "insurgents". In fact, he compared them to the French resistance against the Nazis.

Medved, up against a break, asked him if he really wanted to make that comparison and told Lazar that he'd give him the break to think about it. However, yes, after the break Lazar was adament.

**Those fighting against the American's in Fallujah are like the French resistence against the Nazis. Yes, they are different. The French resistance were Communists and the Iraqi's are Islamic, but they are both fighting against invaders. They have every right to fight against those that invade and occupy their country."
"Occupation" is a morally neutral word, as is table, chair, push, pull, enter, exit. Context is what conveys the morality/immorality of an instance. To do, as Lazar attempts, to give a specific morality to an action devoid of context is to actually turn morality on its head. Morality demands judgment. It requires people to evaluate, to think. The absolutist reductionism of a list of things deemed moral or immoral is the abdication of reasoning.

This is akin to saying there is no moral distinction between love making and rape because both involve sexual intercourse (or pronouncing all sexual intercourse either evil or good, regardless of context).

However, Lazar's moral pronouncement on Fallujah is more insidious than just a fanatical view of morality. Not only did he equate the terrorists of Fallujah with the French resistance, but he draws the parallel between Nazis and the US military. It is the tired Bu$Hitler mantra of The LEft given new life. He posits "occupation = evil, resistance = good" and then falls to the favored example of an evil context to slam and denigrate any other instance of such activity regardless of context. Lazar uses the USA = Nazi comparison in order to excuse his moral support of the terrorists in Fallujah, while a better comparison of "occupations" would have been the instance of American occupation of Germany after Hitler's defeat. Thusly:

Occupation of France by Nazis was, indeed, evil.
Occupation of Germany by Americans was, indeed, good.

Resistance of French citizens towards Nazis, good.
Resistance of German citizens (see werewolves) towards Americans, evil.

Of course, the context of American occupation where a mass-murdering dictator is ousted and the reins of government are turned over to the citizens of the country that were disenfranchised by such dictator cannot be allowed to be deemed "good". America never intentionally does "good." Ever. "Yes, defeating Hitler/Hirohito/Saddam was good, but ..."

The Left is anti-American, anti-Israeli, and basically has a lot of problems with individual liberty granted to individuals who do not worship at its altar. This is why the American cultural abberation of Abu Gharib animates them while the Jihadist cultural norm of beheading civilians does not.

Far from Lazar's purpose for appearing on the Medved show to argue that Horowitz's tome about contemporary Leftists is nothing more than unsubstantiated hyperbole, Lazar convicts himself out of his own mouth of the basic moral depravity that dominates the Leftist worldview and its philosophical odds with Western Civilization and Western Civ's classical liberal foundations.

This is the challenge to sincere and dedicated American liberals and Democrats. The time is past to purge the Leftists (such as MoveOn, which declared they "owned" the Democratic Party) from your midst.

*re: David Lazar. I'm not sure I'm spelling his name correctly as I couldn't find a collection of his articles on the internet and KRLA has taken down their show loops. If someone is more familiar with this man's writings, please do email me and I will make the appropriate corrections and updates.

Posted by Darleen at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)


Ooo... I'm sitting here when the house takes a big jolt, then continues to roll for a while, windows rattling. Eric and I look at each other and start speculating where it's centered ... we get a clue just by turning on the radio to the Los Angeles stations where they are carrying on with no comment. Hmmm... gotta be east of us, if the radio hosts didn't feel anything. High desert?

Actually, now it's being covered by the local TV stations. It was a swarm of small quakes just 6-8 miles east of us. No wonder we felt it so strongly though they are small scale quakes (3.5 - 4.4 Richter scale range).


Posted by Darleen at 06:55 AM | Comments (1)

January 05, 2005

Make time in your day

to read each day The Diplomad (now added to my blogroll) ...

...as long as your stomach is strong enough to look at the squirming, maggoty UN in all its repulsive glory. Today's post is another spectacle of depravity.

UNIDO's office was run by a former Minister of Industry from another West African country. This man was known in his home country as "Mr. Ten Percent," which was roughly the amount of his personal kickback from any contract he awarded. On Mr. Ten Percent's UNIDO staff was a young, idealistic European career UN worker, thinking she would help the poor in a needy country during this particular assignment. But Mr. Ten Percent had other ideas. The UN system had taught him that for someone from his continent, international affirmative action had no limits. He insisted that she have sex with him as part of the regular work routine. She refused. He proceeded to wreck her UN career, and then as a reward, was promoted to a very senior position at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna. It's possible that he's still there, earning big bucks.

Posted by Darleen at 06:45 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2005

I'll have some cynicism along with my coffee ...

... this morning. Make it a double shot and keep it coming. Michele first puts words to a nagging feeling I've had for the last few days.

It was only a matter of time before the self-anointed pop stars, legends and entertainment kings and queens came out of the woodwork to show an outpouring of love, sympathy and a willingness to chip in to the tsunami-ravaged lands.

I don't mean to sound cynical (wait, yes I do), but the stars and their benefits are just a bit tiresome, not to mention unnecessary.

Then there is LiveAid2 Planned for Tsunami Victims

There is no friggin' reason for a concert. It's not like the tsunami hasn't been all over the news and 'net. Awareness is not the problem here and the "nobodies" of the 'net have been organizing getting the cash from day one.

Bono? Just open your effin' checkbook and challenge your peers to do the same. Then you won't be "working against an almost impossible deadline" of January 22 (during which other humble, unheralded people are actually helping the relief efforts.)

This is form over substance. Hell, this is worse than that. I've come to expect, having grown up alongside The Industry in So. California, that the holidays will bring the usual spread of celebs who roll out of their Brentwood/Hollywood Hills/Palisades homes down for a few photo ops at the local soup kitchens, then climb back into their limos with the waiting luncheon of lemon-herb blini with smoked salmon. What Bono and company are doing is wrapping a produced commodity that profits them and calling it charity.

Of course, they could be just taking their cues from the excreable United Nations, where Kofi is busy organizing conferences to study the problem of tsunami relief and his minions are busy bad-mouthing the United States and Bush, even as within 24 hours we were putting military assets in motion ... ships with water-production facilities and helicopters to deliver supplies. While the USAID and Australia are actualling doing work on the ground, much of the EU and the UN are no where to do be seen, except in front of the media whining about how the US doesn't have the moral authority to give aid directly. Go read the last several entries from The Diplomad to get an eyeopening look at stark anti-American politics being played out on the bodies of tsunami victims.


Posted by Darleen at 06:17 AM | Comments (6)

January 03, 2005

Carnival of Stories ...

Is now up at Michele's A Small Victory. Check out all the submissions ... some great reads! This is the 9th Carnival and the second one I've participated in.

UPDATE Looks like the link at Michele's is broken right now. My story, "The Remembrance Box" can be found here

Posted by Darleen at 06:14 AM | Comments (2)

January 01, 2005

Fiction -- 'The Remembrance Box'

One of my resolutions for the New Year that I hope to keep is to start writing fiction again. So I offer up my first new story of the year, something I just finished today. There's a note at the end on the genesis of the story, too, you may find interesting. Enjoy!
She reached out across the desk and stubbed out her cigarette in an already overflowing ashtray and for one brief moment was startled that the hand doing the deed was really hers. It was leathery, spotted and roped on the back with heavy blue veins.

"When did I get so old?" Ruth thought.

Days rolled into weeks into months into years. Ruth could just glance across the office to the bookshelf where her bound ledgers were silent sentries to the passage of time. Each December she bought new one, taking a measure of delight in the clean, crisp green pages. Her eldest son had offered, still offered, to get her a computer for the business’s bookkeeping, but Ruth always waved him off.

“This has worked out just fine for your father and I all these years. Why should I change now?”

She didn’t know how to tell him how calming it was for her to see the figures all neatly entered, the numbers lining up in column after column. The security she felt in actually touching the paper, balancing the entries, drawing yet another Pilot razor-point pen from the boxes she bought when she purchased the ledger to add accounts in her concise printing. Her office smarts and pragmatism were the foundational success of Captain Buddy’s Storage.

Ruth glanced up, gazing out of the window of her office across the desert scenery. She didn’t want to short her husband, Buddy. It was his dreams that got them here.

She met him in San Diego, during the War. Theirs was one of those hasty whirlwind romances, heady and desperate with the times. She was born and raised in that Navy town and Buddy had been cooling his heels waiting for orders to ship out. The nineteen year old Ruth had been dazzled by the gregarious Richard (Buddy to his friends) who laid his eyes on her and pursued her and courted her until they wed, she with an orchid corsage, him in his Navy uniform, in front of a justice of the peace within a few weeks of their meeting.

Their marriage survived separation, war and years where so many of their contemporaries failed. It thrived and endured through children and moves. Buddy was always full of dreams and energy. They opened and operated numerous businesses, moving from home to home. He considered strangers friends he hadn’t met yet, was involved with each local Chamber of Commerce, coached the Little League teams their sons played on, organized charity drives. Many of the businesses failed, but it never fazed Buddy who always saw the next big thing ahead and embraced life as a great adventure to be savored in big bites.

Ruth caught the sight of her smile in the reflection from the office window. Over fifty years of marriage and just remembering the early years brought sweetness to the day.

After the boys were grown and married and settled, Buddy’s last dream was this business. Far from the beaches she grew up on, she followed him to the high desert where they built row and row of storage units. Ruth had been skeptical, as she always was. Her role had always been to ground Buddy’s plans in reality. It was always one area of contention in their marriage – Buddy’s big dreams and Ruth’s pragmatic skepticism. Through the years had been fights and tears and nights with one or the other on the couch. And his plan that would take all their savings for a retirement business had been one of the biggest fights of their marriage. But his plans had included a second story area that was a two-bedroom home, with a large patio and as they sat on that patio on moonless summer nights never tiring of the black sky filled with stars from horizon to horizon, Ruth had learned to love the area almost as much as she loved her husband.

So her old-fashioned bookkeeping was not just stubbornness on her part, but a daily reminder of her life with Buddy, now several years gone.

A knock on the office door brought Ruth out of her reminiscence. She opened it to a young woman who nervously shifted from foot to foot.

“Mrs. Sterling? Are you Mrs. Sterling?”

Ruth stepped back and opened the door wider, “Yes, that’s me. Come on in, Miss…?”

“Gordon. Pat Gordon. You can call me Pat.”

Pat flitted by Ruth. That’s what Ruth thought, “She doesn’t walk, she flits.” Pat was an agitated bundle of colorlessness. Ruth couldn’t even get a real gauge on her age. From dishwater blonde hair to faded, grayed clothes that hung on a thin frame, Pat could be anywhere from 25 to 45. Good lord, couldn’t she just stand still? Ruth was beginning to feel itchy just watching the fidgety Pat. “What can I do for you, Miss Gordon?”

“Pat, you can call me Pat. Uh. Mrs. Sterling, I need to, I mean I’m wondering if, well, you know I’ve had a place here and …” She thrust her hand towards Ruth offering up a crumbled letter, “I mean I’ve come about this.”

Ruth took it, immediately recognizing her own signature on a form letter she sent out to those renters who have seriously lapsed in payments. She crossed to her filing cabinet and opened the second drawer where she had her “red files.” Thumbing through them she found the file labeled “Gordon, Patricia” and as she pulled it out she saw she had already stamped the outside of it "closed".

“Well, Mrs. Sterling? I’ve got to get into my space, Mrs. Sterling. I’m sorry was late with the rent, really I am. But I have to get in …”

Ruth held up her hand, hopefully to stem the chatter, as she spread the file on her desk, “Miss Gordon …”

“Pat, you can call me Pat.”

“Miss Gordon, you were not just late with your rent, but over three months late when I sent you that letter two months ago.”

“Oh. Well, yeah, you’re right, Mrs. Sterling. I know. I let it slip. It hasn’t been easy lately. Not easy at all. But you see, I have the money now. I could make up the back rent now.”

“You don’t understand, you were more than three months late. I sent you other letters, certified letters telling you of what would happen.”

“I don’t remember those, Mrs. Sterling. I don’t remember them at all.”

Ruth sighed. How many times had she been through this scenario over the years? She pointed down at the open file, “Look here. Here is your signature for the certified letter telling you that the contents of your storage space were going to be sold at auction.”

“I signed that?” Pat stepped up to the desk and peered down, her pale eyebrows knit, “Oh. Yeah. Looks like it. But I’ve rented here for three years. Doesn’t that count for anything?”

“I sent you the letters. I put notice in the newspaper as required. I’m sorry but it’s been sold. It belongs to someone else now.”

“No!” Pat reached out and grabbed Ruth’s arm. Ruth gasped in surprise. Pat was strong! Her grip on Ruth’s arm was like a steel trap fully belied by her gray and frail appearance. Pat must have realized what she was doing. She dropped her grip and stepped back, her hands now tangling with each other. “You don’t understand. You don’t understand why.”

Ruth sat down heavily in her chair, her heart racing, “What?”

“Robert left us, Mrs. Sterling. My husband left us. Three years ago. I got three kids, Mrs. Sterling and it hasn’t been easy. You know, raising them by myself. He left us. Oh, some nice memories. And that’s why I gotta get in there. I don’t want anything, anything that’s valuable, Mrs. Sterling. I’m not trying to cheat or anything. Can you understand? My husband’s just gone and all I got for the kids to remember him is in that space.”

Ruth swallowed, listening to Pat’s rambling, trying to make sense of it. Hadn’t Ruth herself been caught up in memories earlier? Hanging onto her old ways, staying on in this business because it helped her remember Buddy.

“Look, Miss Gordon,” Ruth cleared her throat, still seeking a bit of calm “I’ve already sold the contents. I’m sorry. Legally, there is nothing I can do. However, I can get you in touch with the owner. I’m sure if you explained to her you just wanted some personal mementoes she’d be more than happy to give them to you.”

Pat was shaking her head, backing towards the door, “I don’t know, Mrs. Sterling. I just need to get in there and get those things, those last things that my husband left. It's all I got left of him.”

Ruth turned toward her desk, reaching out and pulling the Rolodex towards her, “Miss Gordon, I know the woman, I sold the contents to,” Ruth thumbed through the cards, “Janet Tyler. She’s a good egg. I’m sure if you talk to her she’ll set aside anything personal and …”

The banging of the office door brought Ruth around in a start. Pat was gone.

Ruth related all this to Janet a few days later when Janet showed up with her nephew, Hal, to inventory the space she had bought.

“It was just strange, Janet” Ruth shook her head, “That Gordon was just so dead set on getting the things of her husband’s out of the storage unit. And then she disappears and didn’t even wait to get your name.”

Janet laughed, “Ruth. How many years have we known each other now? How many really strange things have we seen people store here? I certainly don’t get rich doing this bidding on a pig in a poke, but once in a while,” Janet’s grin grew, “Remember the antique sideboard I discovered last year? My, oh my. I sold that one for a nice tidy profit!”

“Aunt Janet! I’ve got it open.”

Janet and Ruth moved to the storage unit, eyes adjusting from the bright sunlight to the dim interior. It looked like a lot of storage units, a jumble of U-haul packing boxes, a few broken pieces of furniture. Janet opened the first box closest to her. Hal started moving the boxes out into the sunlight for inspection.

“Ruth, look at this!” Janet pulled out a large silver frame, a couple in wedding attire posed within its boundaries. Ruth squinted a bit.

“Yeah, Janet. That’s her. That’s ‘Pat, call me Pat’ Gordon.”

“Looks like she wasn’t lying about storing personal things about her husband. Must have just packed up all the wedding stuff when he left,” She pulled a wedding veil from the box, “Guess she’s having her regrets now that the kids are getting older. I’ll put this aside for her and give her a call myself …”

“Aunt Janet? Ruth?” Hal’s voice sounded so different both Ruth and Janet immediately turned towards it. He was standing over a small wooden crate he had just moved out of the unit, “What was that you said about Pat Gordon? That all she had left of her husband was in this unit?” Hal looked up at them and stepped back, letting the lid of the crate clatter to the ground, “She wasn’t lying.”

A breeze stirred a flap of cloth visible from where Ruth and Janet stood. The cloth fell away and a clawed, mummified hand was starkly revealed in the bright desert sun.

Note: this is a fictionalized account of a case from my office we dubbed, in typical black-humor fashion, "Bob in the Box."

Posted by Darleen at 03:42 PM | Comments (2)

Happy New Year!

Did you have a good New Year's Eve? How many resolutions are you planning to abandon today? ;-)

Rather than New Year resolutions, Dennis Prager and LaShawn Barber offer up some New Year wishes. And some really good ones, too. Inspired by both (and after watching stuff like Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve last night) I'd like to offer some wishes of my own for 2005 (no particular order.)

1. Can Regis Philbin please retire? That man just plain annoys me. And let his retirement be as of Johnny Carson's ... we don't see him ever again.

2. People may rightfully sneer and cackle at the fashion faux pas of the 70's, but I don't ever recall guys in the 70's having to hold up their five-times-too-big pants from falling to the ground. What is so effin' sexy about these mounds of dull colored cloth shapelessly flapping and slouching off of guys who will, when they hit their 50's, wonder what happened the washboard abs and tight buns they are now hiding under gangbanger "inspired" male burkas? Watching the Dick Clark show last night when some yawn inspiring rapper group performed I was just struck again by how basically ugly and contemptuous of others this "fashion" is.

3. a post-script to #2: guys? especially those of you in places like So. California, Florida and other climes with average winter temps in the 50's ... lose the ski caps. For crissakes, I don't think I've seen any thing as ridiculous since the "style" of male mallrats wearing baby pacifiers around their necks or pinned to their oversized and layered t-shirts.

4. Parents, if you have prepubescent kidlets and you're wanting to go out and see the latest R or PG-13 rated movie, I have one word for you .... BABYSITTER ... get one.

5. In addition to number 4, when hubby and I go to a really nice restaurant, you know the ones -- with linen table cloths and a wine list that comes in a bound leather book that weighs more than most Dicken's novels -- we really don't want to see you savoring your dinner and making goo-goo eyes at your spouse while your six and four year olds are running up and down the restaurant. Either make your kids behave in this adult setting or leave 'em home.

6. On a political note, to those really wishing for an American defeat in Iraq, please stop using the phrase "I support our troops but...." The "but" gives you away and you aren't fooling anyone.

Posted by Darleen at 09:11 AM | Comments (7)