The OFFICIAL blog of Larry Faren of Illinois -- A Buckeye by birth in Delaware, OH
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), the top Democrat on the House ethics committee, has at least temporarily resigned the committee in light of reports that he steered millions of dollars to nonprofit groups in his district. Significant portions of the money went to organizations headed by folks who contributed to his campaigns. It seems his own net worth grew nicely in the process. This presents a challenge for other donkeys who carp about the elephants' "culture of corruption", one would think. Unfortunately, most Americans have been deluded by a seriously-biased media into thinking it's only those wily, heartless elephants who corrupt the Big Top. So -- how much coverage do you suppose CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS will devote to this? No news at 10:00
And now -- for your cheap entertainment pleasure -- we present the latest enhancement at our crib. It's a "surround" box for the exposed base of Ye Olde Post Receptical -- which we on the West side of the Big Pond call a mail box. Said surround is made of two 7-ft pieces of solid PVC garage door side casing. I mitered the corners of the top half for sake of a "professional" look. All corners were secured with coated deck screws (upper half also glued), and top half was glued to bottom half. The post v. surround color match is truly an accide -- er, a stroke of genius (refer to 10:04 entry on 4/19).
Surround will be filled with decorative residue from Mt. Krakatoa (Krakatau tends to be favored by Indonesians), which has been rotting in a plastic bag for, oh, about ten years. The hard-fought trench around outside of surround will be filled with top soil/potting soil to facilitate insertion of those little, colorful thingys that emerge each Spring.
NOW do you understand the need for that 4/19 entry? By the way -- COMMENTS regarding why I am not in the photo to further bolster that 4/19 blog post are not welcomed. So there.
Friday, April 21, 2006
FROM BBC News:
A California woman is going ahead with the construction of a house made of elements from a 747 Jumbo jet. Francie Rehwald wanted her house to look "feminine", have curves and be eco-friendly. Her architect's answer: "Let's use a 747!"
The wing of the Boeing jet will be used for the roof, its nose as a meditation temple while its trademark "bulge" will serve as a loft.
The plane's parts were obtained from an aeroplane scrap yard in California.
They cost around $100,000 (£56,000) to purchase, while the construction of the project, which is expected to start in June, is thought likely to cost several million dollars by the time it is completed.
Ms Rehwald's family owns one of California's largest Mercedes-Benz dealerships.
The property will be set on a 55-acre (22-ha) piece of land on the remote Malibu hills, looking out onto a nearby mountain range, a valley and the Pacific Ocean. ........ she has been asked by the civil aviation authorities to mark the elements of the plane visible from the sky to show that they are not part of a crashed aircraft.
Cool! There was a computer-generated view of the finished project, but not very good quality. Bummer.
[REFER to April 18 post.]
Excerpted FROM Noel Sheppard at The American Thinker on April 20th, 2006:
....another revelation from 2000 that the general [Zinni] actually briefed senior Clinton administration officials concerning a massive military strike to overthrow Saddam.
Hadn’t heard about this? Well, as reported by the Chicago Tribune on October 2, 2000:
Zinni has briefed senior administration officials on a secret war plan
that details how the U.S. military, with limited allied help, would seek to topple Hussein. The effort would be massive, involving possibly as many as half a million troops, according to one knowledgeable
Although he has confidence in U.S. forces, Zinni has no illusions that such a scheme could win public support, considering the cost in lives and dollars it would almost certainly involve.....
"Containment is what you do when you can’t come up with the popular will to take decisive military action." [Zinni said]
Clearly, Zinni was expressing frustration with containment, which, if
you read the entire Tribune article, put him in quite good company, for this passive strategy was certainly not achieving its intended goal. However, as Zinni made quite clear, without popular support for a grander military solution, his options were limited. By contrast, prior to the March 2003 Iraq invasion, Bush and Company were indeed able to come up with the “popular will” that Zinni spoke of so longingly. In fact, over seventy percent of the nation was behind the incursion when it first began.
If Zinni were to be totally honest today, he would make it clear that the only reason he didn’t go with this aggressive military option back in 2000 was because he didn’t think the public would have supported it.
[NOT because "There was no solid proof, that I ever saw, that Saddam had WMD."-- LF]
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Non-bracketed text is FROM Tuesday's Washington Post:
The owners of Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steakhouse in Northwest Washington have created a charity to help fund the Friday night steak dinners they hold for wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The restaurant's lease at the Capital Hilton, at 16th and L streets NW, expires May 1.
[The Hilton Corporation will not be renewing the lease due to "liability issues" in accommodating American heroes in wheelchairs.]
The dinners have become an institution [for the past 30 months] among the soldiers recovering from severe injuries at the medical center. The gatherings act as a support group for the veterans, and many fear their end. Organizers and veterans are trying to find a place to keep the dinners going while the restaurant's owners look for a place to reopen. Donations can be sent to:
Aleethia Foundation Inc.
C/O Fran O'Brien's Steakhouse
1001 16th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
This is my short treatise on how to understand the primary concept that differentiates Conservatives from Liberals, Left from Right, Red from Blue, Dems from Repubs -- in the words of Curly Washburn, that "One Thing."
The cause of "epidemic" obesity in the U.S.
Crime and Punishment
Roots of Terrorism
Where a person comes down on each is mostly determined by their position/attitude on PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Do we jail the criminal -- or the gun he used? Do we let parents have some real "say" in where their children are educated -- or do we dictate that they go to some government-chosen school? Do we sue the fast food franchises -- or change our eating habits? Do we perpetually support able-bodied people who aren't willing to work and develop themselves -- or do we apply "tough love"? Do we place almost as much blame on the victim as the perpetrator? Do we sue the gun manufacturers -- or limit our focus to the murderer? Do we award families of long-time smokers millions of dollars -- or do we admit that the "victims" of the evil tobacco companies are responsible for their own choices? [Kinda reminds me of that old George Jones song that ended, "I'm living and dying by the choices I've made." Quite a concept.]
There seem to be far too many leaders daily trying to browbeat their followers into believing that society is responsible for most of what happens to us, thus our "place" and outcome. They also seem to believe that "it takes a village" to guide and support the upcoming generation. Such village responsibility includes the long-outdated method of funding public education via ever-growing taxation of most folks' primary asset without much regard as to the actual burden those households place on the local school districts -- if at all. [I'll stop -- that's a rant for another time.] It also includes the ever-increasing teaching of non-academic matters that should be taught at home. Supposedly-free people have surrendered their power of control to these charlatans.
It just seems we've largely forgotten that this great nation was founded largely on the concept of individual freedom with its attendant RESPONSIBLITY. To paraphrase one wise fellow, freedom is the platinum Visa card, and we all want one. Responsibility is the monthly payment -- and credit rating.
FROM "The American Thinker" site:
The Seige of Western Civilization, the wonderful DVD by our contributor Herb Meyer, is being made available free for members of the United States Armed Services. I reviewed The Siege long before Herb became a contributor, and consider it a masterpiece. The DVD’s distributor explains why the extraordinary gesture is being made here. The heart of it is this:
Right now, when so many Americans are questioning the war, we believe its message is more important than ever. And we want to give members of our armed forces – and their families – some “ammunition” to defend themselves against the war’s critics. They’re the people who are on the front lines defending our civilization, and we’ve decided that making The Siege of Western Civilization available to them for free should be our way of expressing our appreciation.
I urge all of our military readers to take advantage of the offer.
Click HERE to order.
Thomas Lifson 4 19 06
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
FROM http://www.irna.ir/en/news :
"April 11, 2006 --IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official national news outlet) United Nations Commission on Disarmament on Tuesday elected Iran as deputy for Asian nations."
John Bolton, our UN Ambassador, was almost right when he once suggested the UN could do without the top ten floors.
All that follows is excerpted from a post this morning by Betsy Newmark, an AP history and government teacher in Raleigh, NC.
....the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia .... is compiling oral histories of the presidencies from Carter through Clinton by interviewing people who served in those administrations and then transcribing and putting the interviews up on the web for any researcher to use. What a magnificent research tool. And those who are just interested in reading more about modern American history can find lots to browse through.
Ken Adelman's memories of traveling to Wiesbaden with President Carter after the Iranian hostages had been released to visit them.... a priceless look at how clueless Carter was about what he had been facing with the Iranians.
....the night of the [Reagan] inauguration I went to Wiesbaden with Jimmy Carter...... The emotion in the room against Carter was quite severe. Boy, they were just angry at him. It never spilled over to be really rude, but boy they were just festering anger. I do remember that before we went in the room, there were groups standing in a circle. I was part of it. Hamilton Jordan and Jody Powell were there. The CIA doctor was talking about how many of the 54 felt battered. Some had been beaten and they were in bad shape. He was quite dismal about their condition. All of us were really, really surprised on hearing this. Carter asked the singular question, "Didn't they know that this was wrong to do?" The doctor said, "What do you mean?" He said, "They know that this was wrong to do," he says to the Iranian -- and the doctor says, "Mr. President, I don't know. I'm an American doctor taking care of business for sick Americans. I don't know what the Iranians are free to do."
It was such a profoundly imbecilic question to me that it just represented everything I didn't like about Carter and his views. (p. 11)
Yup, that's our guy, Jimmy. People should just know that it's wrong to beat up hostages and he can't believe that they would do something that their mothers should have told them was just plain wrong. His naiveté in international relations continues to astound even 25 years later.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
A homeless man in California recently found a missing wallet containing $900 and credit cards gave it to a woman who works in a nearby building for return to its owner -- a lady who was saving the money for a trip to her native Thailand. Seems she had accidentally thrown it away with her lunch. The grateful woman gave the man --who wanted to remain unidentified-- a $100 reward. Workers at a nearby relief kitchen said the man always pays for his food.
Former Clinton CENTCOM commander, Anthony Zinni — the most prominent of the retired generals attacking Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — now says that, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, "What bothered me ... [was that] I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn't fit what I knew. There was no solid proof, that I ever saw, that Saddam had WMD."
But in early 2000, [2/29] Zinni told Congress "Iraq remains the most significant near-term threat to U.S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region," adding, "Iraq probably is continuing clandestine nuclear research, [and] retains stocks of chemical and biological munitions ... Even if Baghdad reversed its course and surrendered all WMD capabilities, it retains scientific, technical, and industrial infrastructure to replace agents and munitions within weeks or months."
Monday, April 17, 2006
Pet Porpoise Pool, an oceanarium in New South Wales, helped them rally over 300 volunteers -- who produced 1,800 sweaters. Some are even being sold on toy penguins in Victoria's Phillip Island Nature Reserve gift shop, allowing the reserve to build a rehabilitation pool.
Somewhere, Morgan Freeman is smiling.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Recently, some science gurus were asked, "What is one science question every high school graduate should be able to answer?" Following are their ten selections.
1. What percentage of the earth is covered by water?
2. What sorts of signals does the brain use to communicate sensations, thoughts and actions?
3. Did dinosaurs and humans ever exist at the same time?
4. What is Darwin's theory of the origin of species?
5. Why does a year consist of 365 days, and a day of 24 hours?
6. Why is the sky blue?
7. What causes a rainbow?
8. What is it that makes diseases caused by viruses and bacteria hard to treat?
9. How old are the oldest fossils on earth?
10. Why do we put salt on sidewalks when it snows?
May The Force be with you.
"Bush LIED, People....!"
To believe that George Bush lied about WMDs is to believe that there is a vast conspiracy to lie about WMDs that goes to the highest level of both parties & that stretches across both the pro and anti-war movements -- and the Atlantic Ocean.
"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." - Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998
Ten months later, while announcing a three-day bombing of Iraq, President Clinton said: "Heavy as they are, the cost of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them and he will use them."
On the same day, Vice President Gore made this statement: "If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons. He poison-gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunction about killing lots and lots of people. So this is a way to save lives and to save the stability and peace of a region of the world that is important to the peace and security of the entire world."
[ The Clinton administration in November 1997 launched a public campaign to build support for a possible war against Iraq. On October 31, 1998, President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, which stated that "it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power. The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home," Mr. Clinton said in language later adopted by the Bush Administration. "I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian makeup. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else." ]
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D- CA), Dec. 16, 1998
"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D- MA), Sept. 27, 2002
"What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs." -- Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002
According to the New Yorker, August Hanning, chief of German intelligence, said this in March 2002: "It is our estimate that Iraq will have an atomic bomb in three years."
I could go on and on and on and...... you get the idea -- but were YOU aware of this history??