Super Duper Energy Machine

Last night, I was researching some off-grid energy options.

We are so-o-o-o-o-o-o far away from anything that will provide the necessary kw/hr in the solar and wind arena that I started looking at different gas/diesel generator options.  My little 30 amp generator will run my RV, and I have the house wired to run off the generator in case of emergency, but air-conditioning is out.  Plus, I’ve got to off-load several circuits in order to run the washer, or dryer, or dishwasher, etc.

And pricey.  Whoo-eee!  They are proud of those things.

So, I came across this video of an Aussie inventor and his energy machine. ……..

Is McCain Trying To Lose?

I’m really trying to like John McCain.  I really am.

I believe him when he says he has changed his mind on tax cuts. I applaud his position change on amnesty for illegal aliens. I believe him to be a credible candidate on the issue of National Security. I think he will make better judicial appointments than either of the two Democrats.

But, this global warming baloney may yet prove to be the deal-breaker for me.

McCain has gone public with his mandatory cap and trade program for reducing CO2, and was quoted in Concord, NH making the ridiculously grandiose statement, “I will clean up the planet.” He told a group of Concord voters, “I will make global warming a priority.”

His senior policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, says McCain is trying to focus on the issue while still being pragmatic.

“He wants to have something that he will be able to implement (as president),” Holtz-Eakin said. “His view of the lay of the land is that (his) cap-and-trade (proposal) has political viability.”

Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy for the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, says that is likely. No other candidate has a better shot of getting his plan enacted.

“The Republicans in Congress will not be able to oppose a President McCain. The leadership in both Houses will follow him,” Ebell said. source

McCain figures that his position will help him attract Democrat and independent voters.

Maybe so.

But, he risks losing a ton of conservatives in the process. Just because we have no other candidate to vote for doesn’t mean that we will automatically vote for McCain.

Especially if the fish are biting.

Here is the contact page from the McCain website. Drop them a line and let them know what you think.

Harper’s support growing

But will he have time to overtake Establishment candidate Charlie Ross?

from the Clarion Ledger

Jim Nix hadn’t heard of Republican candidate Gregg Harper before the race for the 3rd Congressional District cranked up in January.

But in a small Mississippi town such as Meadville, where the honor system is still used to pay for a weekly newspaper, word of mouth is a powerful way to score votes.

“Here it’s about who you can trust and who you can’t trust,” said Nix, 73, a resident of the town of about 500. “I’ve been knowing some people a long time who know Gregg. They told me what a great guy he is.”

Despite what some called a weakness in initial name recognition, Harper’s “Faith Campaign,” as supporters have nicknamed it, seems to be appealing to folks like Nix.

And among Mississippi’s Republican elite – such as Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, former Sen. Trent Lott and others – Harper has built up credit he can cash in on by working on many of their campaigns.

Still, it is unclear whether Harper, 51, has persuaded enough voters to overtake former state Sen. Charlie Ross.


gregg_sidney_small.jpgHometown: Pearl

Age: 51

Education: Graduate from
Mississippi College and University of Mississippi School of Law

Occupation: Prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland and private attorney

Family: Married to the former Sidney Hancock of Jackson; two children, Livingston, 18, and Maggie, 16

Hobbies-interests: Spending time with family, participating in church activities.

PreviouslyMS 3rd: Gregg Harper for Congress 

Disabled Men, Woman Beaten Over Not Paying ‘Fee’ For Being White

ORLANDO, Fla. — Four men in Orlando were charged with a hate crime after they pummeled a 62-year-old woman and her two mentally-challenged companions at a public park after they didn’t pay a “fee” for being white, police said.Investigators said the victims were walking into a Kaley Park when they were confronted by Christopher Colbert, Erick Golden, Willie Pritts and Antoniette Boone.

Police said the victims were told that since they are white, they had to pay a fee to be in the park.

When the three didn’t pay, the men beat them, officers said.

One of the victims was held up with a knife, a police report said.

Deputies stopped the men a few miles from the park and they were taken into custody.

Thugs, protection rackets, and criminal behavior like this has been around forever. The only difference is that in 21st Century America, it has become fashionable to assign special penalties if the crime involves skin pigmentation.

It is absurd.

The perpetrators committed an act which deserves the full weight of the Florida criminal legal system being brought to bear. But to single out a special category of “hate crime” requires a burden of proof on the prosecution that can be manipulated by defense attorneys, and demagogued by politicians. It is not only potentially a divisive issue, but counter-productive as well.

If justice is indeed blind, then to treat criminals and their victims any differently because of their skin color, sexual preference, religion, or sex is just plain wrong.

Unethical Behavior

Watergate-Era Judiciary Chief of Staff: Hillary Clinton Fired For Lies, Unethical Behavior

Dick Morris’ list of Hillary Clinton’s lies reminds us of a pattern of behavior covering the entire Clinton Administration. Dan Calabrese digs a little deeper, and reveals a lifelong pattern of deception from the woman who would be President…..

The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.

Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career. … Why?

“Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

And the clincher? Well, here is Hillary’s “Blue Dress,” so to speak….

Zeifman says he was urged by top committee members to keep a diary of everything that was happening.
He did so, and still has the diary if anyone wants to check the veracity of his story.”

I do hope that diary is in a safe place……..

As they say, “Read it all.”


Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, Democrat = Socialist, The Beauty Stop, Right Truth, A Newt One- MAF letter, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, Conservative Cat, Adeline and Hazel, D equals S, DragonLady’s World, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Wolf Pangloss, A Newt One, Tilting At Windmill Farms, Stageleft, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Sunday Open

Spot Check Willie got down on his hands and knees, He said oh mama, hey mama, let me check you out alright She said no, no, not tonight.

Little Feat (with LG), doing Fat Man. It just don’t get better than that!

Enjoy yo’selves!

Update:  I stand corrected… actually does get better than that.

Here is Feat, with the TOP Horn Section from the Waiting for Columbus album…..

Ohyeahbaybee where yat?

Mississippi 3rd: Gregg Harper for Congress

Tuesday’s Republican run-off offers voters in the Mississippi Third District an interesting choice for the seat being vacated by the retiring Chip Pickering. Gregg Harper and Charlie Ross were the top two finishers in last month’s primary, with my first choice, David Landrum, finishing third.

Madison County Journal offers this endorsement of Mr. Harper:

gregg_harper_family.jpgHarper is a fiscal conservative who wants to put an end to the wasteful Washington spending. He believes in a financially strong America.
He has been an advocate of the Second Amendment and is quick to tell you he is a lifelong member of the NRA.
Harper has also spoken out against illegal immigration, as did most every other Republican candidate.
He is a strong advocate of public schools, educating his own children in them.
Harper is personable and we believe will be more accessible, but he’ll need to surround himself with good people knowledgeable about important issues like transportation, education and economic development.

Ross is an expert in the practice of slash and burn politics, and made quite a few enemies in his recent loss to Phil Bryant in last year’s Lt. Governor’s race. He emerged from that race, however, with sufficient name recognition to give him the leg up in this race, but not enough to prevent him from running another dirty campaign, this time targeting David Landrum.

Ross also earned the endorsement of the nefarious Club for, chaired by Arkansas billionaire Steve Stephens, and whose major contributors include Massachussets financier and Mitt Romney supporter John Childs. Their record of campaign smear and distortion make them a logical ally for the Charlie Ross campaign.

I, for one, will never vote for a candidate who accepts the endorsement of the Club for Growth.

Good luck, Gregg Harper. I think you’ll make a fine Congressman. You’ve asked for our prayers, and you’ve got them. You’ve also asked for donations. Go here to contribute.

Inside 9/11

National Geographic’s powerful “Inside 9/11” presented for your viewing and bookmarking pleasure……

Although it originally aired almost three years ago, it remains one of the better documentaries on the expansionist mufsidin war on western civilization.

See also, the late Catherine Seipp’s review in NRO

Episode 1: War on America (1 hr 44 min)

Episode 2: Zero Hour (1 hr 45 min)

Epilogue (43 min)

Photoshop for free!

Along with 2 GB storage.

“Adobe Photoshop Express” has launched in Beta, and it is ready for a test drive.

Sign up, give it a whirl.


This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread. Please post your comments, links, track backs, questions, or your your best photoshops.

WFFOT: Some day we’ll look back on all of this …. and plow into a parked car.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisTrackposted to third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, McCain Blogs, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, The Amboy Times, Cao’s Blog, , Rant It Up, D equals S, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Fitna, the movie

Kudos to LiveLeak for releasing Fitna, and for their strong, principled stand for Freedom of Speech
Update:  LiveLeak pulled the video, due to death threats from some of the more peaceful RoPers.

But, since we hosted the video independent of the Liveleak servers, it’s still up and running here at NG.  Plus, I downloaded a copy to my video player, so if anybody wants a copy, let me know.

(Special Thanks: WordPress)

Thursday Reading List

hillary_book_finesthour.jpgDick Morris provides us with a Hillary Clinton score card of lies … ones she has admitted to and ones she won’t confess to.

Chelsea Clinton says that this college student was the first person to ever ask her about Hillary’s handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal … yeah right.

Of course a socialist, anti-American dictator would not want John McCain to be the next US president.

This list of recent Bush pardons should show you how completely asinine some of our laws are in this country.

Here’s a global warming movement I can get into … just deal with it.

When your city gets sued by the ACLU and costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, the logical solution is to declare an official “American Civil Liberties Union Day.”

In Central Florida and cities around the country, Real estate agents are starting to set up Foreclosure Bus Tours.

When the government feels it is necessary to track “adult material” in the state … something tells me that paying a $250 fee and registering with the secretary of state is going to be met with some resistance.

The IRS finally realizes there is such a thing as YouTube and dedicates it first video to sending you money.

Government at its finest … a soldier who served more than four years in the British Army has been told that he can’t become a citizen because he applied on the wrong date.

Can somebody please tell me what is wrong with this story? The building is being demolished. It catches on fire. Shouldn’t someone thank Mother Nature?

What happened when Chicago imposed a tax on bottled water? Well one thing is for sure, the politicians are upset that their constituents have outsmarted them.

A local barber shop in Michigan has been told that it can no longer serve a free beer with a cut … because the government said so.

This is absolutely the most useless information you will ever need to know about the current presidential candidates.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster displays its noodley appendages at Crossville courthouse.

(source: Boortz)

Hillary was telling the truth about Bosnia!

Barely Political has completed a tireless search for footage which will confirm the former First Lady’s claim to being under fire in Bosnia. The results are startling, indeed.


Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, Adam’s Blog, Leaning Straight Up, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Conservative Cat, Adeline and Hazel, Pursuing Holiness, D equals S, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, DragonLady’s World, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, A Newt One, Tilting At Windmill Farms, Right Voices, The Yankee Sailor, and Eric’s Writing Corner, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

The More Things Change …

h/t NB

F-35 “Phenomenal”, “Kicks A**”

From Gizmodo…

The F-35 Lightning II, allegedly the most advanced fighter in the world, has been tried for the first time by a military service pilot. Lt. Col. James “Flipper” Kromberg of the U.S. Air Force, who can be seen in the video wearing one of those scary demon helmets, took off from Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant, flying the wonderplane through different altitudes and situations. His verdict:

f35-refuelgizmodo.jpg“The aircraft flew very well, exceeding my expectations,” Kromberg said. “I was surprised by the amount of power on the takeoff roll. And the handling, particularly with the gear up, was phenomenal. The aircraft was very stable flying in formation with another airplane. It was really a joy to fly.” …

The F-35 Lightning II is scheduled to debut in 2011, after its maiden flight back in 2006. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney F135 afterburning turbofan capable of delivering 40,000 pounds of force, with an additional Rolls-Royce Lift System for the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing variant, the F-35 has been designed to be the número uno strike fighter in the world until around 2040.

Go here to see the video 

Monday Night Jam

Gone Home.

Monday reading list

Catching up with the headlines from a long, and glorious Easter weekend…

(courtesy of boortz)

Our government schools are already contributing to the wussification of America … now government schools in Massachusetts will no longer be labeled as “underperforming” because this hurts the feelings of teachers and children. The schools will now be labeled as a “Commonwealth priority.”

A private school in Arizona spent $50,000 to build a fence … but residents of the town are now demanding that it be dismantled because it is too exclusionary. These complaining residents must have gone to the local government school.

In Tampa, Florida the school board is holding an emergency meeting to figure out how they can hire teachers who might be less likely to have sex with their students. Gotta love government schools (and school boards).

Enough government school outrages? Here’s one more. Government schools in South Dakota will pay children to take Advanced Placement classes.

New Jersey may pass a law that will require teen drivers to have their cars marked with a sticker or decal.

In Boulder, Colorado, hundreds of people may be off the hook after being caught speeding by a photo-radar van because the van was parked illegally.

Environmentalists in Corpus Christi, Texas have filed an injunction to stop construction of a wind farm project because it will “kill a lot of birds.”

A British solider has been barred from joining the police force because he has a tattoo of the word “England” on his forearm and some people might feel intimidated.

Lawmakers in California are thinking of qualifying pregnant women as “temporarily disabled.” Gynecologists say this is a bad idea because these women need exercise. But just remember … government knows best.

Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board has decided to label a 1960s Denny’s as a historical landmark … and it will just sit on the property with boarded up windows and rot.

Going fishin’

Gordon James Klingenschmitt, writing at WND, cites his 8 reasons for not voting for John McCain. Gordon is a big fan of Alan Keyes, and plans to write-in Keyes’ name on the ballot for President. Frankly, I cannot think of a bigger waste of time than a write in vote, but it’s Gordon’s vote, and if he wants to waste it, that’s his business. So be it.

I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to fully support McCain with my time, money, and words. The fact is, McCain hasn’t earned it. I’m concerned about McCain for some of the very same reasons that Gordon cites. He brings some unattractive baggage to the race that should have disqualified him in the primary process. But for several reasons, and a whole lot of dumb luck, McCain survived the Primary, and now stands as the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party.

Even though I may not fully support him, I’m still going to vote for him. I decided a long time ago that I would vote for the Republican nominee. It is a decision that is completely based upon the issue of National Security. McCain will stay on the offensive in the war against the Mufsidin, while his opponents are arguing about the best way to withdraw and go on defense. Their’s is the proverbial prescription for disaster.

Gordon’s logic is puzzling. If the issues that he claims to care most about are left to the care and governance of the organized effort that strives daily to impose nihilism on the nation (euphemistically called the Democrat Party), then who will be to left to fight the good fight? Do those well-intentioned conservatives who plan on writing in a name on the ballot, or just going fishing on election day, really believe that surrendering the franchise is the way to advance their agenda? Having lost the Congress in the last cycle, losing the Executive this time around will mean losing the Judiciary for another generation as well.

I certainly believe that the social issues are worth fighting for. But, without liberty, they are moot. McCain is not my first choice to lead the Party, but I do respect his ability to make a command decision, delegate authority, and hold his subordinates accountable to task. In wartime, the primary role as CIC makes McCain the superior candidate among those still in the race.

Gordon’s criticism of Janet Folger notwithstanding, I wonder if he read her concluding remark.

First, repent on behalf of our nation; then put your faith to action.

It is important, I think, to understand that the Power to truly change this great Republic isn’t going to come from Washington. D.C. That one salient fact should give hope to believers, as well as the courage to fight on in the cultural struggles. Folger’s edification for Christians to stand and be counted is of great significance, and comes as a reminder to us to stay engaged.

Have faith, Gordon. Stand with us.

A Brand New Life

Walter Hawkins, and The Mississippi Mass Choir.

Happy Easter, y’all.

Make your own bho poster

Here’s mine….”The Cosby Kids endorse Obama”


Go here to make your own…


Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Beauty Stop, Right Truth, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, InvestorBlogger, Leaning Straight Up, Pursuing Holiness, ARISTO_GATTA, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, Miss Beth’s Victory Dance, Pirate’s Cove, , The Pink Flamingo, , Right Voices, Stageleft, A Blog For All, 123beta, Adam’s Blog, Oblogatory Anecdotes, Cao’s Blog,, Big Dog’s Weblog, Conservative Cat, Allie is Wired, Faultline USA, McCain Blogs, The World According to Carl, Walls of the City, Blue Star Chronicles, Wolf Pangloss, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

An In-Depth Analysis Of An Obama Focus Group!

They don’t ask any “yes we can” questions, or “we are the one’s we’ve been waiting for” questions, but all in all, a very thorough look at the Obamaniacs.

Weekend Smorgasbord

Starting with the Morphing Kitties,

Wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall during this conversation?

LESTER HOLT: Before we talk about what was behind your endorsement of Obama, I’ve got to ask you about the phone call you had to make on Thursday to Senator Clinton. You’re friends with the Clintons, you worked for Bill Clinton in his administration. What was the phone call like?

BILL RICHARDSON: Well [chortling], I’ve had better phone calls. I talked to Senator Clinton about 9 o’clock, and I told her, and, you know, she was, she was disappointed. It was a little bit heated. [ed: I’ll bet!]

Bill Clinton had told his wife’s campaign that he had received several assurances from Richardson that the governor would not endorse Obama.

In endorsing Obama, Richardson was not only taking sides in the most bitter of political fights, but rejecting the candidacy of a close friend.

“There’s something special, there’s something special about this guy,” Richardson said of Obama. “I’ve been trying to figure it out, but it’s very good.”

[ed: Don’t feel bad, Governor. Obama makes the best speech about nothing that has ever been made. That you can’t figure out what it is that you like about him puts you in the company of the majority of Democrat voters. Of course, you might just be campaigning for the veep spot. Heh.]

The continuing attack on Christianity, liberty, and the institutions of democracy from the convergence of the radical left, and muslim mufsidun:

Gadaffi says the Bible is a fraud

Gadaffi was speaking to a large crowd at Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium in Kampala after leading the Thuhur (afternoon) prayer, where he said any Bible and Torah (Old Testament) that does not mention the Prophet Mohammed was written by mankind and therefore a fraud.

“The Bible we have now is not the one that was revealed to Issa (Jesus) and the Old Testament is not the one that was revealed to Musa (Moses). Muhammad is mentioned in both (original versions), but the Tora and Bible we have now, there is no mention of him,” the Libyan head of state said.

Canada orders Christian ministry shut down

The Canadian government has ordered a Christian ministry that teaches doctrine and the differences between Christians and cults shut down because its reference materials were “critical” of the beliefs of those who are not Christian…

So what used to be called MacGregor Ministries with offerings in how to recognize and eliminate “faulty fads” in Christian churches has been re-created in the United States, and now operates under the name MM Outreach Media Ministries.

Jeff Head weighs in on Black Liberation Theology

“Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.”

EurabiaWatch: Taking Christ out of Christianity

That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls of Toronto’s West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.

But at West Hill on the faith’s holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”

Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity’s central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.

Obama: Religious right has “hijacked” the faith

In a 30-minute speech before the national meeting of the United Church of Christ, which supports gay marriage, the Democratic presidential candidate said, “Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides us.” Obama said, “They’ve told Evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design.” Obama said a growing number of evangelicals are concerned about poverty and the environment.

Is Obama “American” enough?

…the uproar over Reverend Wright “has legs.” The consensus among the panelists was that Obama might have stanched the bleeding among Democratic primary voters but that the issue will continue to dog him in a more virulent form with questions about where his true loyalties lie. Is he American enough?

Not to be out-flanked on the left, McCain advisor Larry Eagleburger lashes out at the Religious right.

Video Link to VodPod

Last Man Standing

So who gets the Democrat nomination in Denver? I still think it’s going to be Al Gore, Jr.

And finally, this video sums up Senator Gravitas perfectly…


Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Beauty Stop, Right Truth, Shadowscope, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, Pursuing Holiness, ARISTO_GATTA, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, Miss Beth’s Victory Dance, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, , , Right Voices, A Blog For All, 123beta, Adam’s Blog, Oblogatory Anecdotes,, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Conservative Cat, Faultline USA, Allie is Wired, McCain Blogs, The World According to Carl, Walls of the City, Blue Star Chronicles, Wolf Pangloss, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

My Personal ‘Iraqi Freedom’ Hero Is Coming Home!

My friend Omar emailed me a few days ago, and this is what he had to say:

Dear (n2l) Hi,
How are you my friend and how is every body down there in big D, I’m doing well, I just came back from my last mission, and I’m working to do some paper work and head back home, I should be back in Dallas by mid April.
I just finished my five years in Iraq, and it is time for me to take a long leave, do some thing El’s(sp=else), and see my old friends so be ready for me and I want to learn how to capture a fish and drink beer at same time, I will give you a call when I get back.

Omar and I have known each other for about fifteen years. Born and raised in the Kurdish city of Erbil, he had to flee Iraq as a young man, as he refused the order to enlist in Saddam’s Army; a death sentence was the response for refusing. Leaving his beloved Kurdistan, and his remaining family behind, he first went to Germany, then finally to the U.S. As you can imagine, it was a difficult transition, with only some acquaintances to help, as he had to learn the language, the culture, and acquire a job. He overcame all those obstacles, and despite his achievements, he often confided in me with a far away look in his eyes, how his heart ached to be back in the mountains of Kurdistan, to live a simple life in his own country, without fear of being murdered by a murderous tyrant.
After the events of 11 Sep 01, the response to the Taliban and Al Qaida in Afghanistan, and Saddam’s continued recalcitrance in complying with the UN and it’s member nations, the new approach by President Bush of “preemption” was welcomed by many of us, instead of the repeated terrorist attacks of previous years, with no response at all. As President Bush began pushing the UN to disprove what we all knew, that it was an irrelevant debating society, and he began to make the case for forcing Saddam to comply with the UN, or face removal, we could all feel the telegraphing of a round house punch. Omar and I, along with some of our friends, would discuss the situation, and we all agreed that Saddam would never capitulate, and he would rather see his entire country destroyed, than give in to the demands of the UN or it’s member nations. The stage was set, the lights were on, and we all knew what acts would follow, before the “full figured” woman wearing the Viking helmet would sing. As the run-up to the re-invasion of Iraq gained momentum, and our Armed Forces began deploying to Kuwait, and various other countries, in anticipation of the conflict, Omar became more excited, and often would comment on how much he wished he could be involved in helping liberate Iraq from Saddam, and his sadistic regime.
One day, he informed me that the State Department was accepting applications for those fluent in Arabic, that might qualify for positions as interpreters with our Armed Forces, and that he was applying. A little time went by, and he was called in for an interview, and when I next saw him, he was very dejected, as he believed he had done very poorly in the interview. He was down, and inconsolable, despite my repeated attempts to reassure him that he didn’t know that for certain. About another week, or longer, went by and I received a phone call from Omar on a Monday morning, and he excitedly asked me where I was, that he wanted to make certain he saw me before he left for Washington on Wednesday morning. I was shocked and thrilled for him, his wish had come true, and he indeed would be a part of ridding Iraq, and the world, of the “Butcher of Baghdad.” I told him that I had appointments all day, and on Tuesday, that regardless, I would definitely, most assuredly, and without a doubt, see him before he flew out of DFW International. It took until a few hours before his flight, but I got to see Omar off at DFW, and he was vibrating with excitement, he looked ten years younger, he had a fresh haircut, his shoes were shined, his slacks were freshly pressed, and he had on a new sport shirt. He looked marvelous! With much emotion, we embraced, and I told him to keep his head down, and to watch his “six” at all times, and also that I was so very proud of him for what he was doing.
On 8 Apr 03, Omar was in his hometown of Erbil for it’s liberation, one day before Baghdad fell. He had been attached to the Joint Special Forces Task Force-North, and when he came home for two weeks leave in ’04, it was great to see him, and he proudly showed me the letters of commendation he had received from his squad leader and unit commander.
Over the course of the next four years, he has been able to come home briefly on leave, once for medical reasons, related to heat stroke he suffered, due to the 125 degree heat, body armor, and other gear, and he has been wounded twice from IED blasts, but he has continued to go on patrols and raids, for all these five years. He has been involved in capturing foreign fighters, the “Surge” in Baghdad, and most recently, in the various Ops in Diyala province, trying to rid the area of Al Qaida, as well as stemming the flow of weapons from Iran.
Omar is not a young man, he is closer to sixty than he is to twenty, yet the physical and psychological demands asked of him, he was able to meet, as an American citizen “terp” was always in demand by our Forces, as they were considered more trustworthy than a local national.
I look forward to having my good friend come home safely and whole, to be reunited with his family and friends, and to live a life in peace, that includes the knowledge of having his wishes for so many years come true, and of a job very well done.
Omar, it is no longer HOKAHEY…it’s a good day to die!
For you my friend, in the words of Chief Joseph:

From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

See you soon Omar, and just for the record, it is “catching” fish.

MSU Bulldogs feast on Duck Soup


NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)Charles Rhodes (photo) kept Mississippi State in the game. When his teammates finally started helping, the Bulldogs rallied past Oregon.

And it didn’t hurt that the Ducks suddenly lost their shooting touch.

Rhodes scored a career-high 34 points and the eighth-seeded Bulldogs came back from a 13-point second-half deficit for a 76-69 victory over ninth-seeded Oregon on Friday night.

Mississippi State trailed 41-28 after Malik Hairston’s 3-pointer at the start of the second half, but Oregon didn’t make another 3 until the final seconds, finishing 9-for-38 and 2-of-21 after halftime.

Rhodes scored six straight points to start the Bulldogs’ rally – part of an 8-0 run that cut the lead to five. Mississippi State then fell behind by nine before Barry Stewart made a 3-pointer with just over 13 minutes remaining – the Bulldogs’ first of the game after 12 straight misses.

Until that shot, only four players had scored for Mississippi State. Stewart went on to make three more 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.

Stewart’s third 3 pulled the Bulldogs within one at 52-51. Rhodes then put Mississippi State (23-10) ahead with a dunk.

The Bulldogs finally took control with Stewart’s final 3-pointer, which gave them a 66-60 lead. He was so open in front of the Mississippi State bench that coach Rick Stansbury discretely pointed to him, and Jamont Gordon eventually threw him the ball.

The Bulldogs are making their fifth NCAA tournament appearance under Stansbury. He’s now taken them to the second round four times, but never further than that.

Malik Hairston scored 22 points for Oregon, but when the Ducks (18-14) stopped making outside shots, their offense went into disarray. That was the case for most of the second half.

World Famous Friday Open Pickle Thread

Today’s WFFOT pays homage to culinary wizardry of the Speedshop Deli, creator of the World Famous “Nuke Gingrich” Pickle, located in Bend, Oregon (recently admitted to the Free State of Jefferson).

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisIt is especially apropos today, as Nuke’s alma mater, the Mississippi State Bulldogs tangle with the Oregon Ducks this evening in the NCAA’s.

Since I didn’t see it on the Speedshop menu, I’ll offer this recipe for some tasty “Duck Soup” in honor of our opponent in this evening’s contest in Little Rock.

Ingredients: * 2 to 3 wild ducks, * 1 package of crab and shrimp boil or bottle, * 2 cups garlic butter
Directions: 1 Boil ducks in large pot with crab and shrimp boil for one hour, sticking fork in ducks to allow the shrimp boil to penetrate meat. 2. After boiling, put duck into oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 3 Baste with garlic butter while cooking…

Also, this tasty one-liner from Duck Soup

Mrs. Teasdale: Your excellency, the ambassador’s here on a friendly visit. He’s had a change of heart.
Rufus T. Firefly: A lot of good that’ll do him: he’s still got the same face.

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread. A free speech zone. Comments, questions, recipes, predictions, and track-backs are welcome.

WFFOT: To boldly go where no thread has gone before!

The SYM! Anger, Fear, Pain, and Alcohol!

Hello there, my old friend
Not so long ago it was ’til the end
We played outside in the pouring rain
On our way up the road we started over again
You’re livin’ a dream….as though you’re on top
My mind is achin’….Lord it won’t stop
Thats how it happens….Livin’ life by the drop

Up and down that road in our worn out shoes
Talkin’ ’bout good thangs and singin’ the blues
You went your way and I stayed behind
We both knew it was just a matter of time
You’re livin a dream….as though you’r on top
My mind is achin’….Lord it won’t stop
That’s how it happens….Livin’ life by the drop

No waste of time….We’re alive today
Turnin’ up the past….There’s no easier way
Time’s been between us….A means to an end
God it’s good to be here walkin’ together my friend

You’re livin a dream….
My mind starts thinkin’….
That’s how it happens….Livin’ life by the drop
That’s how it happens….Livin’ life by the drop
That’s how it happens….Livin’ life by the drop

SRV-Life By The Drop

The young man that became the SYM, had seldom traveled much outside of the East Texas/NW Louisiana area, that was home for him and his extended family. When the day came for him to travel outside of the U.S.A. for the first time, it was a long journey. The SYM took with him his personality, that was an amalgam of all of his limited experiences and training. One of those experiences was learning what alcohol had done to his dear grandfather, a decent, kind, and sensitive man, that had tried to drown the pain of losing his father and only son. The grandfather who drank large amounts of bourbon everyday for thirty two years, causing harm to his family that he couldn’t see, until one day, he just quit…cold turkey! All of his family were so very proud of him, and he was the happiest and healthiest he had been all of the SYM’s life, but the ravages of alcohol and time would have their revenge for his actions, and his body revolted due to the withdrawal.
The SYM loved his grandfather, he was named after him, and resembled him in many respects, which is why the profound effects of alcohol on his grandfather were not lost on him.
As the SYM arrived in the Philippines, he made some new friends that were going through the processing in procedure together, and of course when the sun went down, young men often find themselves looking for entertainment, and a cold beer, which began innocently enough by visiting the NCO Club on base, before getting the courage to venture into the local town, with it’s six hundred plus bars and clubs.
After the processing in was over, they were assigned jobs within their respective career fields, and soon the SYM and his new best friend found themselves working at Town Patrol(a.k.a. Tri-Agency Patrol). A stranger in a strange land was now his newest experience, and not just the title to his favorite science fiction novel. The SYM experienced fear unlike he had ever known, as he had no experience to prepare him for his new role, and every approaching person and every shadow was frightening, especially after hearing tales of some of the various crimes and disasters that had befallen other Airmen. However, fear had never had the effect of preventing the SYM from doing what needed to be done, it never paralyzed him, as it does some, and was most often a motivator. As he dealt with his new fears, he slowly came to accept and embrace them, and muddled through.
One thing the fear of his new environment had done, was delay his emotional reaction to the anger and pain he felt about his divorce, just prior to departing the U.S., and the fact that his two little girls were now in the hands of a woman he was very angry with, and that he worried deeply about them and their well being was also set aside, as he acclimated to his new surroundings, job, and new co-workers and friends. As he became more familiar with his new life, the anger and pain of the life he had departed, only months before, started to reemerge.
The SYM’s unit, Town Patrol, had decided that a unit party was in order, and everyone agreed it was a great idea. A date was set, a caterer was contacted, the site was selected, and all of the members of the unit contributed equally for the costs. It was to be an all day/all night party, so that everyone that had to work that day would be able to attend. It was to be a luau type party, with the roasted pig(yes, it had an apple in it’s mouth), along with copious amounts of fried rice, lumpia, and other goodies. The SYM was one of the lucky one’s that had a scheduled day off, the day of the party, so he and several friends started the party very early, at about 8a.m., first with San Miguel beer, as they ventured onto the base to the NCO Club, where the SYM purchased a fifth of George Dickel Black Label, a fifth of Jack Daniel’s Old Number 7, and a quart bottle of Smirnoff’s 100 proof Vodka, to contribute to the party. The party actually started about 10a.m., with many playing basketball, before moving to the swimming pool area, and the banquet began. It was most excellent! The pig roasted in the ground was amazing, as it’s flavor and texture were simply indescribable, and they all ate too much, and laughed often. In the SYM’s case, it was a laughter created by his inner demons, his stress and tensions from his unresolved emotions, numerous beers, and now fueled with Jack Black and coke.
As the co-workers and friends now frolicked in the pool, and enjoyed the care free day of food and partying, the SYM was now working on the bottle of George Dickel, as well as some of the other beverages that were available, such as the hourly cheer his friend Joe offered with 151 proof Rum. As it became night, the party was still going strong, as others had left for work, and those who had been at work, joined the feast and party. SYM was now completely alcohol fueled, and with his waning control over his inner demons, a quart bottle of 100 proof Vodka in one hand, and a quart bottle of orange drink in the other, he was a walking screwdriver time bomb. In this state, he was standing on the steps leading down from the pool area, and talking with two of his friends, and their wives, when suddenly, his knees unlocked, and he fell face first down the inclining steps As the SYM reached out to catch his fall, he realized that the hand he was using still held firmly to the quart bottle of Vodka, and was unable to do anything other than land with the glass bottle, shattering on impact, as the SYM slid through the shards of glass. As the SYM tried to pick himself up, his friends rushed to his aid, and upon standing, everyone, including the SYM, noticed he was covered in blood from the multitude of cuts. As they tried to render aid, the large and strong SYM broke away from their grasps, and against their protests, ran for the pool and jumped in to wash the blood off, and after doing so, looked at all of the tiny gaping slices on his upper body. The refreshing plunge into the pool reinvigorated the SYM, and he started issuing a challenge to any of those who were beseeching him to get out of the pool, to come in and get him. A couple of his friends came in the pool to talk to him, and try and convince him he needed to leave and get his cuts taken care of, but only one dared get close enough so the SYM could get his hands on him. The others had to jump in to keep the SYM from drowning that person, and still with the numerous other men, they couldn’t overcome the SYM’s besotted demon strength. They now chose to wait the SYM out, and as he became tired, the SYM exited the pool, and sat down, and after a brief conversation with some friends, agreed to let them give him a ride home, as it was now nearly 11p.m. at night.
The next thing the SYM remembered, after being dropped off at home, was the sound of men banging on his front door, yelling for the SYM to wake up, and to not light a cigarette. The SYM was aroused by the banging and yelling, but it didn’t make much sense, as he didn’t feel very well, and his orientation times three(time/place/date) was missing. The SYM tried to yell back at them, that he was getting up, but his mouth was too dry, and his voice was inaudible. So he started to get out of bed, but the sheet was stuck to his upper body, as he tugged on it. WTH? Finally the SYM yanked on the sheet, and it came off with a tearing sound, and the hundreds of tiny cuts started to ooze blood again. As he stumbled to the door and opened it, his three friends came bursting into the room, and rushed to the stove, which had the oven, and all four burners on….unlit! They lingered for a little while, to see if he was alright, and answered his questions about what had happened the night before, and the SYM became aware that it was early afternoon. As the SYM listened to all of this, and surveyed his wrecked apartment, he realized that this wasn’t who he truly was, and he became very embarrassed. The SYM asked them to leave, as he needed to clean up his home, get a shower, and go to the ER and get his cuts dressed. At the ER, the med tech that worked on him said that there was nothing he could do, that there was no inflammation, and the 100 proof Vodka had actually done a good job of sterilizing the cuts, and none of them required stitches, but only barely.
The SYM left the hospital and took public transport back to the office, where the looks he got from his colleagues only added to his embarrassment, and he went home, to ponder what had happened to him. The SYM came to the realization that there were some things troubling him, why else would he behave that way? That was not who he was, he knew that! The SYM first decided that he would not ever let himself get to the point of losing control, ever again, from drinking alcohol, and the pain from the cuts and muscle soreness was an acute reminder of his loss of control. The SYM would still party with his friend’s, but not allow himself to get out of control. While he couldn’t make his emotions of anger and fear go away, he could acknowledge them, and the pain he felt, and not get ambushed by them again. The SYM then charted a course of self-improvement, and got involved with a number of hobbies and interests, which gave him new found confidence, and enthusiasm for life.
The SYM never got out of control drunk again, after that.
The man that came from the SYM doesn’t really drink at all now, other than an occasional beer or wine with friends, it just doesn’t have the appeal it once did. That is as much a result of his own experiences, his grandfather’s, as well as a class he took in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas, where he learned that, alcohol, in it’s essence, is microorganisms drowning in their own feces and urine.
The SYM would have liked to have had that information, much earlier.


Sercan Ondem

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