Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |

 

This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?




The Lack of Evidence is Building

NBC offers more evidence/corroboration that the levee breaches in New Orleans were not the Fault of President George W. Bush. This from a member of the MSM!

Allow me to summarize by Positing a Question:

Could the Expenditure of $809,659 have spared the U.S. Economy Billions in Recovery Costs for the Flooding of New Orleans?


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:11 AM, , links to this post





On the Debatement of Media Bias...

At NewBusters.org, Kevin Corke, an NBC reporter, is pointed to as yet another example of Media Bias. In a rare move by members of the MSM, Mr. Corke chooses to respond, explaining point for point why his piece was not biased. This is a highly unorthodoxed move for a "supposedly" liberal reporter for one of the Big 3-- and the MSM as a whole --to make. They [the MSM] either consider responding, perhaps beneathe them, or they're unwilling to be grilled by commentors in this type of forum.

But Mr. Corke defended his story quite well, proving that conservatives can be blinded by their need to defend themselves in the face of seemingly constant, blatant liberal attacks, that they will see "biases in every door-knob."

However, one particular comment stands out in counterpoint, from an unlikely source, which points to another blindspot, dictating that Blacks are universally Liberal. Intellecually, I can see this as a false statement. I've been presented with numerous examples of Black Conservatism. But to be fair, I see far less Black Conservatism than I do Black Liberalism.

Here then is the comment of a Black Conservative* who doesn't seem to buy Mr. Corke's assertion that he is unbiased.

----
*If this Commentor is not conservative, he is at the very least a man who has learned to think for himself. Such a man is rare, and is to be applauded.



Keith Says:
September 29, 2005 - 17:25

Mr Corke, I would like to point out the bias in the following statement,

“As Rita’s howling winds lashed the gulf coast, it was another storm, Hurricane Katrina, that may have had the most to do with the way the Bush team responded to Rita — criticism the President didn’t respond quickly enough, leisurely wrapping up a five week vacation in Crawford, and continuing with planned events despite the unfolding tragedy.”

You wrote this even though the following is well known by you and your colleagues in the media.

1. A presidential vacation in normal times is , anything but leisurely. This particular vacation included cabinet meetings and meetings with foreign heads of state, hardly what the "working man" thinks of when he thinks of a "vacation".

AND

2. Bush was on the phone with Gov. Blanco before the hurricane urging her order a mandatory evacuation. She refused.

3. Bush then met with Blanco and the Mayor to determine an approach. At this point Bush suggested that she allow him to federalize the relief effort, cutting through any red tape and allowing the military to be used. She refused. According to Mayor, Ray "SCHOOLBUS" Nagin, she said she needed 24 hours to think about it.

Furthermore if you were doing your job you would know that..

The twenty four hours that she took to refuse Bush's mandatory evacuation suggestion, used up the time frame that the STATE OF LOUISIANA'S evacuation guide says they need in order to evacuate their population.

In other words, she sat around with her thumb up her ass not wanting a Republican President to take over her misbegotten city and she pissed away the window of time necessary to evacuate her population.

Instead of wondering what "potential" criticism of Bush might be, why weren't you highlighting the fact that Bush did all that he reasonably should have been expected to do. You say Coulter , Savage etc, would agree that there was a problem with the federal governments response, well, I wouldn't and I'm as Black as you are.

According to the state of Louisiana's evacuation guide, THEY NEVER INTENDED TO FEED THE PEOPLE IN THE SUPERDOME. Their own guide says they wanted the people to bring 2-3 days worth of food and water. They specifically did not want to feed the people because they didn't want the Superdome to become a permanent refuge. This is proven true by the statement of the Red Cross which says in it's "New Orleans Situation" section, that they had resources available to feed and water everyone in the Superdome and on that "highway of death", but THE STATE OF LOUISIANA refused to let them deliver the supplies. The state told the Red Cross " they didn't want to attract more people to the Superdome"! Sound familiar?

If you're not a liberal, do your damned job!

All it takes is going to the State of Louisiana's website and then stopping by Red Cross. org is that so hard?Stop following the stupid assed line of logic that blames the feds for what the locals NEVER INTENDED TO DO! Why accept this premise when it is factually false?

Nonetheless, I commend you for your willingness to participate in a dialog, which is certainly more than most in your position would do. Perhaps you were ignorant of the aforementioned facts, if so, I hope that you will now take the steps to check out the information presented and to correct the record. Thank You.

--ALL Emphasis is the commentors, and the commentors alone.


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:23 AM, , links to this post





3 Quotes From...

"Hamas study predicts rocket war on Israel"
Contradicts terror leader's vow to 'cease all attacks' from Gaza
--By Aaron Klein @ World Net Daily

"Now that Israel has withdrawn its troops and citizens from Gaza, Hamas will continue the next phase of its "war to destroy the Jewish state" by focusing on Qassam rocket attacks instead of suicide bombings, a research center affiliated with Hamas announced in a published study."

" "After the construction of the fence, [suicide attacks] have become extremely difficult. ... However, Qassam attacks cannot be stopped easily. ... The fence is useless against such attacks," states the study, which said Palestinian groups will move mortars and rockets into the West Bank "in large quantities." "

" "Afula, Hadera, Beit She'an, Netanya, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities will all fall within the range of the Qassam rocket. ... The implication is that this rocket, which was previously looked upon with disdain by many, will serve as the weapon of choice in the coming period of time, as the acts of suicide martyrdom served as the weapon of choice during all the previous years," the Hamas site stated. ..."From a technical standpoint, the Zionist army presently does not have any means to intercept an airborne Qassam rocket." "

Personal Note: Honestly, who genuinely believed the Palestinians wanted peace, and were willing to extend the olive branch in exchange for land? Wake up! There will never be a lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors... Or the world, for that matter. Not in this age.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:30 PM, , links to this post





Puerto Rico Rolls Out the Welcome Mat...

...to UFO's. That's right, those daring lil' aliens in their flying machines.

[Reynaldo] Rios, a 39-year-old... local elementary school teacher who says he's been communicating with alien visitors to this U.S. territory since he was a child... won't be ignored. With the blessing of a local government desperate for tourist dollars, he's dedicated himself to building the UFO landing strip.

"I can't say exactly when they will come, but I know it will happen," Rios said. "I want to keep believing in my dreams."

--By ALEXANDRA OLSON, Associated Press

And I say, "What is a man without dreams?"


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:16 PM, , links to this post





Doc Johnson's Diet. Day 3

Lunch is Past: 1 Boiled Egg, 1 Slice Wheat Toast. Only Dinner Remains. And Tomorrow! Oh, Glorious Tomorrow!! Bacon, Eggs, Cereal, Milk, Juice...

[Sigh...]


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:12 PM, , links to this post





Doc Johnson's Diet. Day 2

Made it through day 2 without cheating. My stomach is clawing at my backbone.


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:59 PM, , links to this post





Additions to Vocabulary

Encomium [n]

Inapposite [adj]


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posted by ELAshley @ 5:20 PM, , links to this post





Two Doctors, One Attractive Blonde...

Saw Dr. Turok at 8:05am, which in actuality means 9:15am after all the waiting. Doc says my field of vision in the left eye is improved. He still wanted more tests, and I groaned inwardly... Not another spinal tap!... Instead, I got shipped off to Dr. Warren Thompson, a Retina Specialist, at Retina Associates of Alabama Inc.

The nurse/assistant, at Doc Thompson's, a 39ish blonde-- whose name I cannot now recall --both slim and mui, mui attractive, conducted most of the interviews and tests, always with, a "Hon" or "Sweetie"; Nice touch that. And I've garnered no illusions from her use of endearments. Interesting conversation about the legal status of Marijuana-- Very progressive, and totally unexpected. As hot as she is now, I bet she was a stunner at twenty.

Doc Thompson, a surprisingly young fellow, injected a vegetable dye into my hand to get a clearer look at the blood vessels in the back of my eye, also to see if there was any leakage into my left eye. I had pretty much worried about my vision since February, but the Doc pretty much alleviated all that. The only residual affect of the dye is day-glow-yellow urine that will supposedly last 6 or more hours. I can't believe I had to shell out 40 bucks in co-pays this morning, but then I should be thankful I have fairly decent insurance.

Over all, good news. But I hate having my eyes dilated.


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:06 PM, , links to this post





A New Diet

Doc Johnson put me on a diet last friday. I began this morning. Thankfully it's only a 3 day on, 4 day off deal. I'm not sure I can even make it through day one.

Breakfast:
1/2 Grapefruit
1 cup of Tea
1 Cup of Cream of Rice
1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter

Lunch was even worse...
3 Ounces Broiled Tuna, no Oil, Butter, etc.
3 Slices of Melba Toast
1 Cup of Tea

I don't even want to think about dinner. I've got a caffeine headache the size of Nebraska, I want a Diet Vanilla Cherry Dr. Pepper so utterly, desperately, most incredibly bad... I'm not sure if that last bit was even grammatically proper... But that's the least of my worries right now.

For now I'm focused only on thursday morning when I can go back to the usual:
2 Eggs scrambled
2 Strips Bacon - Center Cut, and Expensive
1 Cup of that Carb Smart Special K with,
1/2 Cup Skim Milk, and an
4 Ounce Glass of OJ

The only reason I'm considering this diet is because its used by UAB Medical Center to prepare patients for surgery; by "prepare" I mean, to lose weight quickly and safely to ensure the big one's can be stitched back up. The plan says you can lose up to 40 lbs a month.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:42 PM, , links to this post





The "Galloway v. Hitchens" Spectacle

There was an absolutely amazing debate, hosted by Baruch College in New York City, September 14, between George Galloway, and Christopher Hitchens. I say amazing because the vitriolic British MP, Mr. George Galloway, took part in a verbal slugfest with Fellow Brit, journalist and author Christopher Hitchens.

The audience, much like the British House of Commons was raucous, and quite vocal in its approbations and disapproval alike. One notable quote from Mr. Galloway, speaking of Britain and the United States,

"You may very well ask, why so many people wanted to come in here and watch and listen to two British guys debating in the United States of America about a war far away. I think the reason is this: our two countries are the biggest rogue states in the world today. And it is therefore vitally important...

[Applause/Boos]

It is therefore, it is therefore vitally important that those who oppose the crimes of our governments, on both sides of the Atlantic, link hands, link arms, stand shoulder to shoulder, until we've rid the world of George W. Bush and Anthony Blair, once and for all. Thank you very much."

To contrast the two participants, Mr. Galloway was loud, clipped, and accusatory, while Mr. Hitchens was calm, witty, and typically British. I was absolutely captivated by the spectacle.

Anyone interested in the transcript-- fair warning, it's quite lengthy --can visit www.seixon.com where you will also find beaucoups of comments... also quite spirited.


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:34 PM, , links to this post





Through a Conservative Lens Darkly...

Where in the Constitution does it say Christians should be seen and not heard? It's okay to be Christian provided you keep your mouth shut? If you become Christian, you lose your precious right to free speech, and the free exercise of Religion? BenT would have us believe that Christianity is somehow flawed-- not on par with the ideologies held by the rest of America.

Cindy Sheehan? She's allowed to spew her ideology.
The Democratic "leadership"? They can spew their ideology.
The Liberal Media? They spew theirs as well.
Muslims, Buddists, Agnostics, Athiests, Human Secularists... Likewise.

Only Christians are told to sit in the corner until they're asked for.

Through the Liberal Lens, Christians are 2nd class citizens. They're accused of Hubris; of believing in our nations God-favored status. Realistically, though, since God has been forced out of the classroom, the courtroom [except when they want you to swear an oath], the public square, to mocking the people and tenets of God in media, why should we expect God to favor this country at all? This nation was undoubtedly favored of God once. But not so now.

There is consequence in action, as well as inaction, and America is suffering quite a few consequences today because of, or lack of it. Though every generation has undoubtedly believed the same, we nonetheless live in dark times.


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posted by ELAshley @ 7:34 PM, , links to this post





BenT has a Blog!!! No. 3

In regard to:

Dodged a Bird
Posted on: September 24, 2005, 3:40 am

MU WAH HA HA HA HA HA Ha Ha Ha ha haaaw!!!


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posted by ELAshley @ 5:06 PM, , links to this post





BenT has a Blog!!! No. 2

In regard to:

A flawed epistemology
Posted on: September 22, 2005, 10:17 am

"There will always be poor people. This is not the fault of the rich."
--Rush Limbaugh

You cloud fact with emotion, which has no affinity with fact. Both statements are true, plain and simple. But add emotion to the mix and fact comes across as callous, which again has no bearing on fact. Facts, or truths, cannot be callous any more than they can be loving. Truth isn't interested in hurt feelings, bruised sensibilities, or feel-good pats on the back. Truth only cares [if it can be said to care at all] about truth.

Could it be your dislike or disdain for all things "Limbaugh" that causes you to feel a sense of outrage at his statement? That's certainly fair, and even understandable, in as much as it is impossible to not be moved, one way or the other, by such a statement. But Limbaugh's statement is neither "Destructive" nor "Xenophobic" [I think you're reaching here]. "There will always be poor people," [Matt 26:11, Mark 14:7, John 12:8] is a simple statement of fact, not of emotion, yet nor does it allow us to shirk, or otherwise evade responsibility in caring for the poor, as best we may. We are in fact commanded to do so.

Don't allow your disdain for the speaker to cloud your reason. You're better than that.

There will always be poor people. And it is not the fault of the rich.


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posted by ELAshley @ 4:25 PM, , links to this post





BenT has a Blog!!! No. 1

It would seem he took my advice, but he's still got a lot of work to do-- it can't handle comments, trackbacks, and there's obviously no spell check. Since it's impossible to comment there, I'll do it here... And send him the link.

In regard to:

One Nation Under ...
Posted: September 21, 2005, 4:40 am

Whether Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, et al, were Christian is irrelevant. Their statements in public and private espousing Christian tenets are. For our founding fathers it was more than simply appropriate that God be a prominent figure in, and the foundation of our unique form of government. Their own words and writings attest to their belief that His tenets are in fact necessary to good government. But this is not the same as a theocracy. This nation was not a theocracy 50, 100, or even 200 years ago, and allowing God back into the public square won't bring this country to that feared theocratic state. Any more than overturning Rowe v Wade will suddenly made abortion illegal. We are a representative democracy. Our form of government is laid out in the Constitution; three branches in an ingenious balance of power. No where is theocratic rule implied. So this whole notion that allowing God into the public square somehow equates our government changing into a theocracy is plain foolishness.

Your selective use Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is at complete odds with its original context. You base your contention that religious life, and God Himself, is inappropriate in our government, the courts, and our schools, on verses that have no bearing on whether God is appropriate in public. These verses speak of Pomposity, of wishing to be perceived of men to be righteous and holy...
whether or not they are. That is their reward. There are quite a few televangelists, and more than a few thousand fake Christians, who fall into this category. People who are one thing in public but quite another in private. God says they already have their reward.

Instead, lets look at the verses that declare "no one lights a candle and puts it under a bushel" [Matt 5:15, Luke 11:33], and "any man who denies me before men, him will I deny before my father" [Matt 10:33]. Someone who keeps quiet about their belief, not wishing to offend others is regarded as being ashamed of the gospel. Is America then ashamed of God and what God has done for our Nation? That is dangerous ground to be on.

That Liberalism has managed to turn our people and government against God shouldn't come as too great a surprise, yet many Christians are bewildered by how seemingly swift the transformation came. But God has already declared that believers will be hated and despised in the world [Matt 10:22, Matt 24:9, Mark 13:13, Luke 21:17]. To say, therefore that America has never been a Christian nation, and God is therefore no longer relevant to government is to ask us to believe that human nature, or secular humanism is responsible for the United States of America being the shining beacon of freedom it has been for over 200 years. Which is preposterous, for God gives freedom. Men create slaves. There is nothing about human nature that is good to the extent that America could have been founded so wisely upon Godly principles, and last so long as it has as the preeminent bastion of Freedom, and the greatest country the world has ever known [completely subjective, I know]... Despite our imperfections, which are many.

God was welcome in the Public square only a mere 50+ years ago. He was welcome in our schools, our universities, our memorials, and historic documents. Why is it suddenly anathema to think that God should have just as free a reign now as before? Spiritual Morality, or a lack thereof, in society today. Moral Relativity/Ambiguity.

At the founding of this nation, acceptance of God in government was constitutional. How can I say this? There was no conflict in the minds, words, or deeds, of our founding fathers in respect to God and his proper role in our daily lives and the governance of the young nation they established. Could 190+ years of public, political, and judicial discourse, which included the acceptance of God and divine providence, have been unconstitutional all along? Did our founding fathers not understand the document they penned and ratified? I think it's the other way around. WE don't understand our Constitution. Its intent or meaning. Have all of America's great thinkers, politicians, jurists, and constitutionalists been mistaken as to the intent of our rights as Americans as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, our Bill of Rights, and Constitution? Or has it been the work of Liberalism and Revisionists in the last few decades who have pushed on the American people a delusion that is both dangerous, and unconstitutional?

Finally, ask yourself why it is Christianity that receives the brunt of attacks in America's schools, courtrooms and public squares? Christians aren't offended by Muslims worshipping in their Mosques. Nor are they offended by Jews worshipping in their Synagogues. Christianity is offended by public vulgarity, immorality, and rejection of God. As are Muslims and Jews. Islam and Judaism are devoutly opposed to abortion, but it's Christians who are painted as fanatics.

Somehow, America has become offended by Christianity, but curiously, of no other belief. They are protected, even celebrated, by America, even the invented Kwanzaa. When did America change her mind about christianity? How did she come to change her mind? That would be an interesting-- even eye-opening --topic for discussion.

With no attempt at smarmy self-righteousness, let me point you to 2 Tim 2:15. Your willingness to use Scripture in defense of a point if commendable, however, you must think in terms of context. And context is more than simply reading a few passages before and after [a] specific verse[s], it requires an understanding of history, and corroboration. Great post, though. Love the debate.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:37 PM, , links to this post





An Oprah Moment...

I've been debating the last couple weeks whether or not to post my comments on Oprah's visit to the Astrodome. I Didn't want to criticize someone who is more than able to put a face on the suffering to the extent that money could be raised for relief efforts. I have nothing against Oprah, and her show is often informative, but then there are the Cameron Diaz episodes...

"We have a voice now, and we're not using it, and women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies...If you think that rape should be legal, then don't vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, and you have a right to say what happens to you and fight off that danger of losing that, then you should vote..."
--Cameron Diaz, September 2004, pleading with the youngun's to Rock the Vote.
Right. Like rape is legal ANY where in this country, or most others. Like Congress would ever pass such a law. But what more am I to expect from the new MTV generation of brain-dead? But I digress.

I have no qualms with Oprah being public in her support of the victims of Katrina, and who knows, perhaps the victims of Rita as well, but I simply have to draw the line when she pulls out one of her famous "Oprah Moments". There she is Talking with a woman in the Astrodome, joining in commiseration over the whereabouts of this poor woman's lost [as in 'she didn't know where they were...'] family, when all of a sudden,

"Surprissse!!!! Look who we found!"
And I'm thinking, "Puh-leeze!" Talk about shamless self-aggrandisement! Well, Oprah obviously meant well, I'd be lying if I claimed to believe otherwise. I simply wish she had left the Oprah Moment on the cuttingroom floor. Better to interview the woman after the fact, and tell the audience what she and her staff had done, rather than take what appeared to be nothing more than an opportunity to paint herself in a good, beatific light.

Then there's her first "official" episode for the new season... Jennifer Anniston. "So Jen, when do you think you'll begin dating again? How hard will that be?" [paraphrased]

Good grief! Not a very auspicious beginning. Give me more of Dr. Oz!


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:13 AM, , links to this post





What did I tell you?!?

There will never be peace between Israel and Palestine. Militant groups are already firing home-made rockets into Israel, forcing Israel to defend itself, which in turn starts the whole mad merry-go-round in motion once more.

Consider the following post from Yahoo! News...

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The Israeli air force attacked three buildings in the Gaza Strip early Saturday, the first airstrikes since Israel withdrew from Gaza last week after 38 years of occupation, the army said.

Hospital officials said three people were hurt.

The attacks, which Israel said targeted militant weapons facilities, came after militants fired 21 homemade rockets from the Gaza Strip into the Israeli town of Sderot, injuring five Israelis, the army said.

Hamas claimed responsibility for many of the rockets, blaming Israel for a blast that killed 15 people Friday at a rally in the northern Gaza refugee camp of Jebaliya.

Israel denied involvement in that blast, and Palestinian security forces said it was caused by the militants' mishandling of explosives.

The Israeli army said the airstrikes targeted three Hamas weapons facilities: a weapons warehouse in Jebaliya and a weapons factory and warehouse in Gaza City.

One missile landed in a field near an abandoned workshop where militants used to make homemade rockets in Gaza City, according to security officials.

The owner of the workshop, Mahed Abu Assi, 42, denied that it was used to produce weapons.

The second airstrike hit a garage outside the house of a Hamas fighter. The third landed near the house of an Islamic Jihad militant in Gaza City.

Before leaving Gaza last week, Israeli officials said they would deal harshly with any attacks originating from the volatile coastal strip.

Militants fired a total of 30 homemade rockets from Gaza into Israel since Friday afternoon.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the first wave, saying they were retaliation for an Israeli raid near the West Bank town of Tulkarem that killed three Islamic Jihad militants.

Hamas spokesman Mushir al Masri said the group would retaliate for the airstrikes.


There can be no peace until Messiah comes. And that day is fast approaching.


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:21 PM, , links to this post





But Battlestar Galactica Kicked Ass!!!

Kudo's to the producers, writers, director, cast, and crew. Tonight's episode beautifully illustrated why BSG is a first-rate, award-winning drama of "stellar" proportions [sorry, couldn't resist the pun].

Don't let the robots and spaceships fool you, this is a human drama.

BSG has already won a Hugo award for "33", Season 1's opening salvo. Tonight's episode, "Pegasus" deserves another. If you're missing this show, you're missing out.


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:05 PM, , links to this post





It's "The Military Academy of the Damned!"

Oh, my! "Threshold", CBS' new scifi fare on Friday nite, has just taken cheese to a place no cheese has gone before... Aliens have taken over the students at a military academy and are seeking to destroy all humans!!! The heroine has just set off the sprinkler system to wash the powdered cheese dusting this second episode.

I don't hold out much hope for this series. ABC's "Invasion" looks far creepier, and better written.


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posted by ELAshley @ 8:30 PM, , links to this post





Songs Worth Acquiring --

"Comfortably Numb"
--Dar Williams (feat. Ani DiFranco)

"Refugee"
--Melissa Etheridge

"God Says Nothing Back"
--Wallflowers

"Wanna Know"
--Si Se

As Heard on Radioio


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posted by ELAshley @ 4:44 PM, , links to this post





The President's Evil Plan

Thomas Lifson has exposed the evil machinations of George W. Bush is his recent offering at RealClearPolitics.com

It would seem the President is hiding behind a mask of incompetence to drive an agenda that will ultimately have a more lasting impact on America's socio/political landscape. I'm tell you folks, this is outright evil. How can we allow this man to remain in office?


----
September 22, 2005
Misunderestimated Again: Bush and Recovery from Katrina
By Thomas Lifson

George W. Bush is well-accustomed to his political opponents handing him the invaluable asset of their misplaced contempt for his abilities. An overconfident enemy is a blessing to any strategist. But in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, members of his own coalition are beginning to express dismay and outright anger over his response, particularly his willingness to spend vast amounts of the federal budget on palliation of the immediate suffering and the reconstruction of New Orleans and the affected areas of Mississippi and Alabama.

Enemies and allies alike are once again failing to understand that a highly-trained strategist is at work, and that the foundations are being established for the achievement of long-term goals. Let the approval ratings languish in the low forties; they mean no more than did Ronald Reagan’s low approval ratings at certain moments. George W. Bush has his eyes on bigger goals, and understands the means by which they will be achieved.

As I wrote almost a year and a half ago,

[an] important lesson the President learned at Harvard Business School is to embrace a finite number of strategic goals, and to make each one of those goals serve as many desirable ends as possible. The truism of this lesson is that if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. If you can’t focus on everything, then you need to be able to focus on those few goals which will have the broadest impact, leading to a future capacity to attain other desirable ends. No exact number of goals is the limit, but three is an awfully good number to aim at. Those goals should be mutually consistent, so that the step-by-step accomplishment of each one aids in the achievement of the others.


The President’s strategic goals remain remarkably consistent: 1) position America to win the War on terror (a goal thrust upon his presidency in 2001); 2) keep America’s economy growing; 3) position the Republican Party to dominate American politics in the foreseeable future.

His response to Hurricane Katrina is being shaped by these three goals, as well as (and even more importantly) by the genuine humanitarian impulse to help fellow Americans and fellow souls when they are most in need. As a deeply religious man and a genuine compassionate conservative, the President would respond generously and vigorously under any circumstances. But he is doing so in a way which will also meet his strategic goals. The need to formulate and satisfy multiple consistent goals and prioritize actions accordingly is one of the key lessons that the first president in history to be expertly trained in management at Harvard Business School learned well, and has practiced over and over again.

Among the three meta-goals of the Bush Strategic Vision, number 1, victory in the War on Terror, is the most important overall (the future of civilization rides on it), but least relevant to recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Nevertheless, it is a consideration. Our sworn enemies as well as some of our more weasel-like supposed friends are standing ready to announce that America is reeling from this natural disaster, a “pitiful, helpless giant,” to resurrect a Nixonian phrase. The appearance of weakness is a form of actual vulnerability in this war for hearts and minds all over the globe. Suicidal terrorists are encouraged by the belief that America is on the ropes, so a demonstration of our ability to bounce back vigorously from any setback is important to our long-run victory.

Goal 2, enhancing our economic performance, is being carefully and cleverly achieved in President Bush’s response. Excessive regulation is one of the obstacles hobbling even better economic growth, and there is ample evidence that the President is using Katrina as a lever to allow loosening of counterproductive regulations. On September 8th, the Davis-Bacon Act, a cornerstone of union strength in the construction trades, was suspended in areas affected by the storm. Davis-Bacon requires that federally-financed construction projects pay so-called “prevailing wages” (meaning above-market union wages) whether or not union members are involved in the work, and grossly inflates the cost of contruction wherever it is applied. Its suspension will function as a demonstration that federal construction costs can be dramatically reduced when the government gets out of the way of the efficient functioning of the marketplace. Moreover, Davis-Bacon has its origins in attempts to keep low wage blacks out of the construction trades, and still harms blacks in its application.

Expect further efforts to allow temporary deregulation of construction and other economic activities, such as useless lengthy environmental reviews. Moreover, there is a good chance for public school students evacuated elsewhere to be offered education vouchers for private schools, especially given the overcrowding of public schools in areas housing large numbers of evacuees. Any opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of vouchers is anathema to the education establishment. But they will be harder-pressed than usual to oppose them when the needs of Katrina victims are so pressing and obvious.

To the horror of many fiscally conservative supporters of the President, he is also opening the federal treasury wide at a time of large deficits. As Nick Danger has pointed-out, the President understands debt from the perspective of a financier, while many on the right approach debt as a moral offense. Debt, per se, is merely a fiscal tool, and in the long term structural environment of the global economy, America has access to a huge amount of government borrowing from overseas lenders who have at least as strong a need to loan to us as we have a need to borrow from them.

The President is correctly convinced that tax cuts are essential to our further economic growth. Although the absolute dollar amounts of our deficits and debt are large, as a percentage of our rapidly-growing economy, they are well within historic norms. Ronald Reagan was denounced for his deficit spending and tax cuts, yet sparked a historic turnaround of the miserable Jimmy Carter economy with no significant economic downside from his deficit spending. While substantial, future deficits present little threat to our welfare.

The need to rebuild both public infrastructure and private businesses and homes will spark a new construction boom, and contribute mightily to economic growth over the next few years. Federal financing of much of this activity will help keep the economy moving, while Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve make it clear that inflation will not be allowed to rear its ugly head.

Goal three, ensuring continued and expanded GOP political dominance, is also being furthered by the President’s response. Consistent, supportive humanitarian assistance based on the principle that benefits should flow to victims, rather than to bureaucracies, will demonstrate to African Americans and others that Republicans are not mean-spirited racists. The slurs of rappers and media figures aside, money talks. The President and the GOP will inevitably chip away at the 90% Democrat vote share, as the benefits flow and people improve their lot in life.

Expect the President to supplement initial efforts with follow-up programs empowering individuals to build better lives for themselves and their families. By tying benefits to individuals as much as possible, as in school vouchers, the advantages of personal choice will be made clear to people whose habitual stance has been that of victims, accustomed to making demands rather than choices. Welfare reform has already demonstrated the happy effects of putting people in charge of their lives and getting them out of the imprisonment of dependence.

If Democrat-voting minorities do not return to New Orleans in massive numbers, there is every indication that Louisiana will become a GOP stronghold, just like its neighbors in the South. It is New Orleans votes that have sufficed to elect governors and senators of the Democrat persuasion, making Louisiana the anomalous Southern Democrat stronghold it has remained since the end of Reconstruction. An enhanced GOP majority in the Senate will be helpful in further re-population of the federal judiciary with those who believe the Constitution means what it says.

George W. Bush has more than three years left in office to implement this strategy. Let his enemies relax in the dubious assumption that they have him on the ropes. That belief has betrayed them many times in the past. It is his conservative allies who need to pay close attention, and understand that he knows and understands strategy in a way no other president ever has.


--Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.

----
This is what President's do... Shape the socio/political landscape of our nation for years to come.


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:01 PM, , links to this post





Would Anyone Like a Gmail Account???

2.6 Gigs of Storage-- free --and still growing. I have [99] Invites left. Comment with your request, and I'll send one right off.

Originally posted at 11:00am, September 16, 2005..


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:20 PM, , links to this post





"You're Stuck on Stupid..."

Standing up to the idiocy of the Media-ites, LTG Honore takes charge of a press conference in New Orleans.

Can you believe the media demanding to know why evacuation preparations for Rita are better than those of Katrina. More race baiting? Or just stupidity? Could it be that it's as simple as America not wanting a repeat of Katrina? It has nothing to do with Houston being more white than not [a statement I don't have time to validate at present], any more than New Orleans is more black than white. Nor is President Bush, with his Weather Control Machine [I kid you not, there are kooks out there who think Bush created and directed Katrina to wipe out the poor black masses in New Orleans. That, and deliberately blowing up the levee's-- You can thank Louis Farrakan for that last one].

Way to go, General! Neither you, the evacuation preps, or the rest of America has time for such nonsense.


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:08 PM, , links to this post





All My Heroes Are Going to Ground...





















                   Simon Wiesenthal
                         1908-2005

One who suffered so much at the hands
of Injustice, spent much of his life
seeking Justice. The Conscience of the
Holocaust, Dead at 96.


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:08 PM, , links to this post





Solving America's Oil Crisis...

A report issued on August 31, 2005 by the Rand Corporation pretty much lays to rest any debate about where America should get it's oil. ANWR is attractive, but in might be cheaper to go after what's available here in the better climes of the western United States? Here's the article detailing the high and low points of the study. The major problems with getting to it are primarily the Eco-Nazi's-- affectionately known, in politer circles, as environmentalists. Here's a couple of choice quotes...
The mid-point of the RAND estimate --– 800 billion barrels --– is three times the size of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves. This is enough oil to meet 25 percent of America's current oil demand for the next 400 years.

More than 80 percent of high-grade oil shale resources lie under federal lands within a concentrated geographic area. The key governance issue is the approach that the Department of the Interior will use to allow access to these federal lands.

For the actual Rand study go here.


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:19 PM, , links to this post





In My Own Backyard, No Less...

In house reporter Debra Tuff presented a package for the 5 this afternoon, wherein she alluded to President Bush's acceptance of responsibility...

"Early last week, President Bush even apologized and took full responsibility for FEMA not being organized through the whole ordeal..."
[Emphasis mine]

Aside from grammatical problems, what I most object to is her use of the phrase "full responsibility." Here is what President Bush actually said...

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility."
[Emphasis mine]

"To the extent... I take responsibility," is not the same as "I accept full responsibility." The first implies a limited acceptance, whereas the second means what it says, "Full" complete, the whole kit-and-kaboodle.

I'm not inclined to believe this mistake is part of a concerted effort by the entire news department to paint a deliberately false picture. But laziness, or worse-- ignorance of language, is not a quality news departments strive for, especially ours. I just knew if I brought it up at the time, in the middle of the newscast, I would have been blown off.

Knowing what I know about how things are run here-- little or no oversight as to what is written prior to air --it simply reinforces my belief that as far as national news is concerned we (the news dept) are neither capable or knowledgeable enough to effectively or accurately report on national events. Reporters are pretty much left to their own devices when it comes to writing their scripts. We need someone whose job it is is to review the stories before they make air. But that's not going to happen.

On local news, we beat the pants off the competition, but nationally, we get our packages from CBS, primarily, and from other agencies like CNN, and Fox. Debra's not the bad guy here, lack of oversight is. That, and an indifference to the subtleties of language.


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posted by ELAshley @ 6:56 PM, , links to this post





Who'll Pay the Price For Our Division? We Will...

This was originally a comment I left at Matt Duffy's blog...

I find this growing trend of vitriolic hatred between 2 of our nations most polarized ideologies increasingly disturbing. The MSM is complicit in subverting everything for which our nation once stood.

Half the nation is brainwashed, not just because of the MSM, but also because of our 3rd rate education system, this utter failure of a Welfare State, and the travesty of multiculturalism and political correctness.

It seems no one, or rather very few, genuinely knows how to think for themselves anymore. Conservatives will at least look and listen to the other side, but Liberals, they continually "strain at gnats, and swallow camels." They would rather drink the coolaid than honestly debate the issues, or win elections fairly. While I'm not typically a "glass-half-empty" guy. This deeping rift is getting pretty frightening.

Think about it... 9-11 didn't change America. It was November 7th of 2000, when Gore, who lost every recount, put his own ambition ahead of this nations well-being. Granted, the disease that now infects the MSM had by then already metastasized, yet they were still willing participants in Gore's folly, and GWB has been viewed illegitimate ever since. He could walk on water, and put a million bucks in every American's checking account and the MSM would still cook polls to paint him in a negative light. This insane hatred of all things Bush is destroying our nation, and we will all, in time, pay the price.

Liberal's can't debate without resorting to pettiness and name-calling, and Conservatives, because of the MSM, are always left battling to defend their positions... And the Truth.

I don't know where it will end, but it won't be pretty. And we can thank the MSM and the failed Liberal Ideology of the American Left.


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:25 AM, , links to this post





My Response to a Screed by "Layne" at...

NewsBusters.org

What is it about Liberals that they can't engage in a debate without resorting to vitriol? "Nazi's" ? Typical Liberal fare, you resort to name-calling when you get your feelings hurt.

"But surprise surprise! Georgey f--ks it alll up..."

If you can't show respect for the President of the United States, whoever he is, why should anyone take you seriously. Even Helen Thomas, when addressing President George W. Bush says, "Mr. President.." President William Jefferson Clinton, admire him or despise him, he still deserves respect. You don't have to like the man, but you do have to show some respect. To do otherwise, in my book, is simply unAmerican. On the other hand, you, Layne, are not the President of the United States, in which I case I don't have to show you any respect.

As to "Spin"... a certain phrase comes to mind... something about the pot calling the kettle black.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:18 AM, , links to this post





On Measuring Success

From the moment sperm melded with egg, before we had a mind of our own, success has been the driving force of our lives. Is it possible that we could have survived as long as we have without that driving force? How would our lives be different without that inborn desire to succeed? Is there anything of value to be learned by our struggle for success? Or is it the struggle itself from which we derive the greater lesson? Success is simply one of two possible outcomes in any given endeavor, and the only thing it really teaches is that, through trial and error, A plus B equals C. It is through failure that lessons are learned and successes appreciated. Failure, therefore, is by far a better teacher.

Success inevitably leads to complacency, whereas failure allows for continued growth. In most instances success is coupled with a feeling of personal satisfaction; a young man who, seeing the poverty of his parents, shakes off the yolk of welfare, and works toward a better life, bringing his family with him; a young girl, pregnant at fifteen, refusing to follow in her own mother's footsteps, stays in school, despite the struggle, and makes a better life for her and her child. By rising above their own mistakes, as well as those of their parents, they succeed through trial and personal growth. Had success been given to them, they could not have grown through the experiences that led them from point A to point "there." No one gets "there" without some measure of both success and failure, but failure lets one grow from the experience. On the other hand, if only viewed as the just recompense of every drop of sweat on our heated brows, success becomes a hollow victory with no real lesson learned. Having won the race, and the crown of success received, what then do we do? Do we sit back on our laurels and allow our peers to praise our strength and persistence? Or do we humbly accept their praise and give testimony to the trials we faced and overcame to arrive at the moment? Every stumble and fall then becomes the foundation upon which our success is built and we are enriched by every cut and bruise.

Every success is built upon those failures that triggered in our minds a desire for critical analysis. In other words, were it not for failure, what would drive us to analyze the roads that led to our successes? When a plan doesn't work, what do we do? We ask ourselves why, and upon discovering the why, we then alter our plan and try again. Failure makes us sit down and critique our performance. It gets the right half of our brains in gear; weighing each action and word, analyzing every aspect before offering new tactics and solutions. Should we succeed on our first attempt, we are denied this process; why expend energy analyzing a success, especially if it's one that need not be repeated? Few people will bother trying, but without any critical analysis of our successes we will never know what, exactly, allowed us the victory. How then can we ever hope to win again? Without such understanding every successive success becomes nothing more than a stroke of blind luck; a fluke, and as such, a greater failure.

But failure, like individual perception, is uniquely subjective, in that it allows one to choose between the glass half empty and the glass half full. It's certainly possible to become a successful pessimist, but wouldn't the "other guy" enjoy his success more? This is a matter of perspective. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Or is it fully half-empty? Do you dwell on failures or successes? Or are your failures indelibly linked with your successes? George Santayana once said, "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it." The Bible says the sins of a father are passed down to his children. We must learn from the past and carve our own paths, analyzing and deliberating each step. Forget perception! It clouds the waters of fact, allowing one thing to look much like another. Being human, if we cannot trust ourselves, how then can we trust our perceptions of success and failure? Who cares if the glass is half-empty or half-full? It's neither! It's fully half empty! By learning to judge our failures objectively we learn to appreciate success. But this is an individual lesson. A lesson every man, woman and child must learn for themselves.

Ultimately, success is an ideal, and as varied as every heart that ever held one. But many people feel like failures in their lives. Perhaps this is why many look to others for validation is because they haven't learned how to persist. Or perhaps they haven't learned how to recognize their success. But without failure, success cannot be truly appreciated. After all, how can one call himself successful without the yardstick of his failures by which to measure them?


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:04 AM, , links to this post





the Insensitivity of Multiculturalism and PC-ness

What is going on in America? How have we allowed multiculturalism to overtake nearly every aspect of American life? Liberal America and its philosophy of American Bad-ism has become dangerously pervasive. Liberal Media spouts the drivel day in and day out, government schools indoctrinate the malleable minds of American youth, and college campuses actively work to destroy any remaining sense of morale relativity remaining by graduation time. It is this lack of moral relativity and ambiguity that is rapidly destroying what remains of the America that was. This coupled with the belief that there is nothing special about America; no social or moral superiority. Socially, until a few decades ago, America was among the elite of the worlds nations. As to the latter, we can thank the American Left for getting us there.

In terms of Memorials, why on God's green earth do we allow the Liberals and Multiculturalists to design America's tributes to bravery, heroism and sacrifice? Societal elites*, given the task of designing two specific memorials have shown no sensitivity, or thought, to the families who lost loved ones on 9-11.

In Shanksville, Pennsylvania, designers reveal their "Crescent of Embrace", a crescent shaped grove of red maples. Just who will we be memorializing here? The passengers who fought back? Or the Muslims who lost their lives when their mission to perhaps crash Flight 93 into the White House was thwarted? The families of the passengers of Flight 93 are understandably outraged, but will the design change? God, I hope so!

In New York, at Ground Zero, another liberal appeasement effort is underway to build a museum, on that sacred and hallowed ground, whereupon the "Global Struggle for Freedom" will be the centerpiece. This was supposed to be a memorial to the 2,900+ people who lost their lives when terrorists brought down two towers filled with innocent lives and the lives of the brave and gallant men who fought to rescue them. Instead, we're being sold a multicultural, politically correct bill of goods, pandering to America's, and the worlds, less than stellar history on Human Rights rather than a memorial to the lives lost on the morning of September 11, 2001.

I'm not saying there's no place for such a museum on American soil, just not on that soil. It is both inappropriate, and a slap in the face of every family who lost what is indisputably irreplaceable, as well as the rest of America who wept with each of these grieving families, to build a museum that belittles America and Americans on the site where America-- and many other nations --lost so much.

Ground Zero is sacred not because a great struggle for human rights was fought there, but because a religion that doesn't value human rights killed-- no, murdered --3,000 people.

----
*a euphemism for the powerful


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:24 PM, , links to this post





America in a Nutshell

"Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."

--Jean Francois Revel, 1924 - present


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:40 AM, , links to this post





The Muslin Opaque

I've chosen to move my softer, more sensitive side-- the artistic me, to another site. Things here will remain current event, daily work/interest driven. Thanks for tuning in.


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posted by ELAshley @ 8:02 PM, , links to this post





What To Do If A Nuclear Disaster Is Imminent...

Not to be a Chicken Little, but information is good.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:54 PM, , links to this post





New Orleans Levee System, Down for the Count...

Times writer, Ralph Vartabedian reports that the "massive levee system protecting New Orleans has sustained heavy damage well beyond the five breaches that are widely known to have caused [the] flooding..."

According to Army Officials this leaves portions of New Orleans with "little or no protection" midway through this hurricane season. It is estimated it will take years to restore, and strengthen the levee system, which will leave New Orleans vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding for years to come.

COL Richard Wagenaar, Army Corps' head engineer for the New Orleans district estimates 90% of levee system on the eastern flank has been knocked out.

--My suggestion: Concentrate more on rebuilding and strengthening the levees than rebuilding the city proper.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:26 PM, , links to this post





When Is Responsibility NOT Responsibility?

"I take responsibility for federal failures..." is not the same as "I accept personal responsibility for failure."

Lib Media is crowing over a supposed victory here, but, these so-called masters of the English language, the very liberal soldiers who bandied the word "Nuance" continuously throughout the last presidential election, seems to have missed the subtle nuance in President Bush's acceptance of responsibility... For federal failures.

I'm being fair, here. I'm choosing to believe the media has simply missed the nuance. After all, no one can be at the top of their game at all times, as Katrina has clearly demonstrated.

----
Update: Bob Schieffer caught the nuance at the start of the CBS evening news. It's unclear, to me at least, whether the point was stressed further into the show; there were promo's to tape, scripts to mark, and mic's to check in preparation for the 6.


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:24 PM, , links to this post





3 Quotes From...

"Bush kept his head and the danger's passed"
-by Mark Steyn
  9-13-05

Personal Note: Right up front, this was a fun read despite the mild partisan slant. Enjoy! Gotta Love the British!

"On the streets you've got some poor, starving soul helping themselves to a packet of food from a ruined, deserted supermarket. And as a result, finding themselves being blown to pieces by a helicopter gunship. With the none-too-bright soldiers urged on by their illiterate political masters, the poor and needy never stood a chance. It's easier and much more fun to shoot someone than make them a cup of tea."

"Go ahead, punk, make my Earl Grey."

"Unlike other dead horses flogged by the media - Cindy Sheehan, torture at Guantanamo, etc - this was at one point a real story..."


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:25 AM, , links to this post





"Chaos and Creation in the Backyard"


























In just over an hour Paul McCartney's latest studio album will go on sale. Critics call "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" the "best of McCartney's post-Beatle works." I will reserve my own judgment until after I've listened to it more than once, and have had time to dwell awhile on what I've heard.

McCartney, for me, is one of those artists I buy without question... though I have been disappointed on occasion.

More to come...


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:31 PM, , links to this post





on the origins of "Scapegoat"

n. One bearing blame for others. --v. To make a scapegoat of.

A term originating in Jewish tradition...
Once a year, the high priest in ancient Israel would take two goats and cast lots for them [Lev. 16:7,8]. One goat would be killed [16:9] and its blood sprinkled on the atonement cover [or "mercy seat"] in the Most Holy Place of the temple to make amends for the people’s sins [16:15,16]. [In the Most Holy Place, the high priest, symbolically, came "face to face" with God].

Next, laying his hands on the other goat, the priest would confess over it all the sins of Israel; then this second goat [the "scapegoat"], carrying upon itself the sins of all the people, would be led away and released in the desert [Lev. 16:10,20,21,22]. Symbolically, then, the Israelites’ sin and guilt were transferred onto the goats and completely removed from their presence.


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posted by ELAshley @ 5:33 PM, , links to this post





The Day That Changed America

On November 7th of 2000, America went to the polls to elect a president. Al Gore, heavily favored by the media, appeared, according to exit polling data, to lead the race for much of the day. The media was delighted, Candidate Gore was in high spirits. But over-confidence and irregularities in exit polling data set the stage for everything that followed. Had Candidate Gore simply won his own state, America would be whole.

The problems began at 7:48 pm EST when Major Media called the race for Florida and its 25 electoral votes. With much of the heavily republican panhandle still voting-- The state of Florida spans two time zones, a fact everyone in media seemed to be unaware of [most of the panhandle is CST] --enough confusion and despondency was created by Media's early call to keep an estimated 15,000 voters from the polls, creating an air of acrimony, and outright hatred that has followed George W. Bush since taking his first oath of office on January 20, 2001.

A lot has been said over the weekend about 9-11 being the day that changed America. I must, however, disagree. November 7, 2000 is the day that changed America. 9-11 merely crystallized, in the minds of those desirous of such things, the importance of power and party ascendancy, and of the importance of holding the reins of government, that government might be focused on striking back, or turning the other cheek. It was an ideology that attacked America on 9-11, and both Democrats & Republicans knew it would take an ideology to lead America through the crisis. --it is unclear as to whether President Gore would have struck back, after all, his former boss President Clinton, chose either to not strike back at terrorists [1st world trade bombing, embassy bombings, USS Cole] at all, or strike back ineffectually [which is not to be criticized, he at least made an effort, albeit 'ineffectual'] or disengage when the going got tough [Mogadishu, & Somalia].

It's impossible to say with any certainty whether Gore or Bush, Democrat or Republican would have done the better job. The point is now moot, but the events of just 10 months earlier, I believe, serve as a truer representation of when and what changed America. Democrats have never been able to view President Bush as legitimately elected, thanks, in most part, to the Florida recount debacle/quagmire/fiasco. Had Gore simply won his own state... but again, the point is moot.

The press too, perhaps out of a particular guilt for botching the election for their candidate, has made it their mission in life to bring down a second U.S. President. Never mind the fact that if they had simply held back their call, Candidate Gore would have been spared the public perception of being a "Sore Loser", ensuring his viability as a presidential candidate in the next round[s] of elections. Had the press simply waited Bush might well have won the state by a margin beyond any controversy, as it now appears would have been the case.

Since that election it has been one of major media's prime objectives to hurt, malign, and possibly bring down the American President. Dan Rather of CBS-- smarter than anyone gives him credit --wanted his "gotcha!" memo's to be legitimate. He believed to the bottom of his soul that President Bush was derelict in his duties while a member of the Texas Air National Guard. He believed it so much he staked his reputation on those memo's. And lost.

Amazingly, the same story had popped up several times in the past to no effect. Simply put, it was a dog that wouldn't run, all holes and no bread. Ann Richards tried to use the Air National Guard story to discredit her then opponent for the governorship of Texas, but the story had about as much get up and go as a one-legged dog. The issue was again raised by the media during the 2000 presidential campaign. Again, a year into his presidency, and finally by Dan Rather and Mary map's [It took the professional embarrassment of CBS and Rather to final lay to rest that non-story]. President Bush was beginning to look like a cat with nine lives. What could possibly be done or said about the man that would stick... And stink?

How about the Iraq War? Abu Graff? Guantanamo Bay?

The left has been so blinded by their hatred of Bush, they have done themselves a disservice, allowing Fox News to outshine, out-perform, and garner higher ratings than many of the Left's outlets, combined. The left has lost another presidential election, and lost more seats to Republicans in both houses of Congress.

Their hatred has now metastasized. The Left is so crippled their disease manifests itself in every word of invective and insult they level at the President. In frustration? Undoubtedly. But now the Left-- to include much of the media elite --has managed to divide the country down the middle... Blue against Red, Democrat against Republican, Liberal against Conservative, Black against White [to what extent remains to be seen], Poor against Rich, American against American.

This is demonstrated perfectly in the lies and distortions, and outright omissions coming from the Left surrounding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But it has been demonstrated, on many occasions, that if you "say it often enough, the public will believe you."

"The Federal Government reacted too slowly."
Never mind the fact that the Federal Government has always moved too slowly; it's a bureaucratic animal that feeds on red tape, in triplicate, and plenty of it.

"Evacuation and Relief efforts would have arrived sooner if the victims in New Orleans had been overwhelmingly white."
Never mind the fact that the population of New Orleans [was] overwhelmingly black, so naturally, the victims were overwhelmingly black.

"Bush hates Black people..."
A statement too ignorant to dignify with a response.

"FEMA failed miserably because the Bush administration folded the department into Homeland Security."
Never mind the fact that Congress folded FEMA into Homeland Security. Bush merely signed the bill.

"The hurricane was so devastating because Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty allowing rampant global warming to whip up Katrina and destroy hundreds of lives."
a] there's no proof that Global Warming even exists, and...
b] it's preposterous to think that a mere 2 years since Kyoto, fuel emissions and American greed could contribute to global warming to the extent that "Mother Nature" would spin out a killer hurricane. Never mind the fact that established scientific fact shows that strength of hurricanes comes in decades-long cycles

"Bush cut funding for the levees."
Never mind the fact that Bush never met a spending bill he didn't like, vetoing not a one since taking office! Never mind the fact that Congress approves and appropriates funding for states, cities, etc., not the President. Never mind the fact that one levee board in Orleans Parish spent 20 million of its funding to build a casino!

But again... Say it often enough and the people will believe. The Left has no interest in the truth, only in destroying Bush. They cook polls, twist truths, fabricate facts, all to one end: To destroy Bush, and America in the process-- though they don't see it as such.

What must our enemies think of us? Do we honestly believe Osama bin Laden is blind to the fact that America has turned on herself? Is the insurgency in Iraq truly ignorant of what's going on in the Great Satan, America?

What's to keep our enemies from slipping a knife between America's ribs while we're busy bickering amongst ourselves? Absolutely nothing. If anything, Katrina has exposed some glaring holes in our defense and response capabilities. Is it the fault of one man? Hardly, we live in a representative democracy, a republic, with a balance of powers; no one branch can work without the others and still maintain the fabric that makes America what she is. Can anyone honestly believe that we could make important decisions [like folding FEMA into Homeland Security] and trust that we've considered every eventuality, every possible consequence? No mistakes whatsoever? Do I really have to answer that?

Don't look to 9-11 for any sign of change. It's not there. It won't be there tomorrow. And we've yet to learn anything constructive, except how to shoot ourselves in the foot and stab ourselves in the back, doing the work of the enemy for them. We need to step back, tend to our wounds, bury our dead, mourn together, and stand united once more, or Katrina may be the least of our worries. America, and her people can't afford Washington D.C. going up in a mushroom cloud. And don't think it can't happen or that Washington is not a target. Where would this nation be without leadership? Stumbling, initially ineffectual leadership at that? America would not survive. Believe it or not, that's where we're headed.

The recognition that terrorists could strike at us here on our own soil is not when America changed. It wasn't 9-11 that got us here. It was an election. And it's unclear what, if anything, will get us out of the hole we've dug for ourselves.


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posted by ELAshley @ 5:14 PM, , links to this post





Brown Resigns As FEMA Head

Let's check the scorecard, shall we?

*Liberal Media/Political/Race-Baiting Establishment
1

*Damned if They Do, Damned if They Don't Conservatives
0


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:28 PM, , links to this post





Let The Games Begin!!!





















Get real, folks! This is just an exercise in having fun!!! If the left can shop a photo of Bush's Sr., and Jr., fishing in the flooded waters of New Orleans, I can post an entertainment bill for the snipe-circus that's begun in Washington.

----
*From "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite" by Lennon/McCartney, exchanging "days" for "months"


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:59 AM, , links to this post





on Shrimp and the New Orleans Cesspool Outflow

Had a conversation with my sister late last night via chat. The conversation inevitably turned to New Orleans and the fecal soup being pumped into lake Ponchartrain, which will in turn empty into the gulf...

Today, I stopped by Long John Silver's for my last basket of shrimp in a very, very long while-- provided it can be established beyond any doubt that it came from somewhere other than the Gulf of Mexico. First chicken, now seafood from the gulf... especially oysters... tomorrow... beef-- who knows?


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:56 PM, , links to this post





Along Similar Lines, Miyamoto Musashi...

...has been quoted here a few times. Thought I've offer a little context.

Musashi's treatise on the Art of Strategy, called the "Book of Five Rings" is broken into 5 smaller "books"...The Ground Book, the Water Book, the Fire Book, the Wind book, and the Book of the Void. In the Ground Book, Musashi lays out the foundation of his Strategy.

"This is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy...

*Do not think dishonestly.
*The Way is in training.
*Become acquainted with every art.
*Know the Ways of all professions.
*Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
*Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for   everything.
*Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
*Pay attention even to trifles.
*Do nothing which is of no use."


Many businesses in Japan still use this classic guide in their company boardrooms. To think of the Book of Five Rings as merely a guide to being victorious in battle, is to be short-sighted... Obtuse. As a rule, anything in which the Japanese see profit should be closely examined.


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:18 AM, , links to this post





"...the Bent Backed Tulips..."

This is a line from a Beatles tune. The song itself is meaningless-- or is it? --but this one line has meaning to me. It's part of my philosophy of learning in that, to understand a thing one must look at it from as many angles as possible, ergo, "Looking through the bent backed tulips, to see how the other half lives..."

Trust me, the song itself has no real meaning as the lyrics below will show. I've simply chosen to adopt the phrase to describe part of my links list-- Those links that point to places incongruent with my own IB*

          "Glass Onion"
I told you 'bout strawberry fields
You know the place where nothing is real
Well here's another place you can go
Where everything flows.
Looking through the bent backed tulips
To see how the other half live
Looking through a glass onion.
I told you about the walrus and me-man
You know that we're as close as can be-man
Well here's another clue for you all
The walrus was Paul.
Standing on the cast iron shore-yeah
Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet-yeah
Looking through a glass onion.
I told you about the fool on the hill
I tell you man he living there still
Well here's another place you can be
Listen to me.
Fixing a hole in the ocean
Trying to make a dove-tail joint-yeah
Looking through a glass onion.

--Lennon/McCartney


*IB -- Ideological Bent


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:06 AM, , links to this post





Guilty Pleasure... Friday

Battlestar Galactica...
Lucy Lawless cameoed/guest starred. I thought it was to be just a fluff piece; something to fill the gap between story arcs, but the last 60 seconds were a real eye popper. Looks like Ms. Lawless will be a pseudo-regular. Wow!!! What an ending!!!


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:30 AM, , links to this post





Good News...,

...If any amount of death can be considered good. The new estimated death toll stemming from Katrina has been significantly lowered. I've seen 2 numbers bandied about; Under 10,000 and under 1,000. Lets pray for the latter.


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:20 PM, , links to this post





Plain & Simple

In an effort to be open-minded I've spent the last few days perusing democratic spin-blogs and news outlets. And almost without exception these "musings" are filled with slurs, hypocrisy, invective, and outright hatred of all things Bush specifically, and of Republican's in general. Admittedly I rant on occassion, as do the more credible of my IB, but not to this extent.

Which extent is that, you ask? To the extent that rational thought is thrown to the wind. After all, it's irrational to cling to a sinking raft [idea's that don't float, or are rapidly sinking] than reach out to that nice bouyant life-ring [idea's or facts that fly in the face of their accepted, "these just have to be true!!!" truths] a few feet away. I, and many like me can at least take a look through the "bent backed tulips" and find something compelling to alter my world view, but you won't find this, to even a marginal degree, on the Left. They are obsessed with hating, and blaming the Right. Plain & Simple.

As to hypocrisy. Why is it the Left can scream bloody murder about Republicans using 9-11 as a campaign tool, yet, even as I write, the Left has begun to use Katrina in like manner?


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:00 PM, , links to this post





As to which glass I am...

I'll go the pragmatic route and say, "the glass that's fully half-empty"


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:39 AM, , links to this post





The Nature of "Human" Nature...

"Human nature is a bloated bag of shite ready to burst at any given moment..."

--ELAshley


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:36 AM, , links to this post





Spent Some Time at Sashinka's Last Night...

...and came across a couple of phrases I'd never heard before. In regard to people who find fascination in death & disaster... "Disaster Tourists" & "Grief Porn"

I thought perhaps she had coined the phrases so I Googled them. As it turns out she didn't coin them at all, but they are relatively new terms, still fresh and unstained by cultural relevence. Here are the results...

Disaster Tourists      834 Occurrences
Grief Porn                    248 Occurrences

In Google terms, that's pretty darn new!


--You can find Sashinka in my Links Column


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:10 AM, , links to this post





on Timelines, & Trying Real Hard to be Fair...

BenT handed me several printouts today. The first was an estimate by a government agency called DMORT, a mortuary group within this nations bureaucracy, who has been told to expect 40,000 bodies to come out of this disaster. I'm hoping that's a "prepare-for-the-worst" senario, and not the actual figure.

The remaining 3 were timelines of the events pre, and after, Katrina. I understand why a lot of folks are enamored of timelines, but the ones I saw ranged from poor to fair... And that's being fair. The first was a mere 4 pages of printout supposedly laying out the events of 6+ days... Grossly inadequate, and obviously compiled to favor a particular view-- an agenda if you will --or to generate a few talking points. The 2nd wasn't any better, though it did have an extra page.

The 3rd was the most impressive; A whopping 28 pages of printout! This was the most "thorough" of the three, but again a failure, because it relied almost solely on reports from the Times-Picayune, New Orleans answer to daily news print.

The disclaimer on the very first page about wanting to set records straight, not point fingers, assign blame, etcetera, et al, while admirable, failed in at least one respect. The author chose to rely solely on the Times-Picayune-- hardly a good journalistic practice --like the world is expected to believe the Times-P is the repository for every bit of information relative to the events prior to and after the Katrina disaster. Still, it was the best of the three... Which isn't saying much. There was still too much left out.

I prefer to wait on a sanctioned investigation, preferably one that doesn't involve politicians, elected officials, or bureaucrats determining and assigning responsibility for America's poorest showing in a national disaster. The 9-11 commission failed because of who politicians chose to conduct the investigation. As a result, the investigation had one agenda-- aside from giving the American people a nice Tom Clancy-ish style book to read when all was said and done --which was to shunt blame from the federal government and government officials on "...either side of the political fence"* -- to include politicians, and blame the attacks on a systemic failure of law enforcement and a lack of information sharing between government agencies. Conveniently, this was not far from the complete truth.

How many of you have heard of Operation Able Danger? Not many, I'm sure, and that's because the MSM isn't carrying it. I'm not going to go into that here, except to say this... The Able Danger FUBAR does shed light on a possible explanation as to why Sandy Berger stole classified documents from the National Archives and why he was given a free pass in the end. Note I said "possible" explanation. It is pure speculation and unlikely to ever be substantiated since Mr. Burger defaced and shredded a good many of said documents before making a token return of "some" papers to the National Archive.

But back to Timelines. They can be very informative, but I'd prefer to let that particular room air out before confronting the stink that's surely to come. It would be nice if we didn't have to deal with the Race Pimps at the same time, but... file that away under "Pipe Dreams".

----
*From the song "Russians" by Sting, from the CD "Dream of the Blue Turtles"


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:57 AM, , links to this post





All My Heroes Are Going to Ground...















Say goodnight to Gilligan, everyone....
Bob Denver has died at the age of 70.

It's sad for me to think of Gilligan/Denver gone from us. He was one of those celebrities you expect to remain forever young, to always be with us. His body gave out, but everything I've seen & read over the years tell's me he was always young at heart. As trite as that may sound, it is nonetheless true. We should all strive to remain young in our hearts. It is when we allow them to age with us that we become old men and women... that we truly lose ourselves to age.

God rest his soul. My condolences to his family and loved ones.

Does anyone remember "Dusty's Trail", the Gilligan's Island clone he starred in? There was a skipper, a second mate, a professor, actress, millionaire couple and a farm girl, but on a wagon train heading west. Oh, and they were lost. Looking back, I'm thinking... "Hello! Sun rises in the east, sun sets in the west, what part of this do you people not get?" What I remember most of Dusty's Trail however, was a lot of fun. I was much younger then.

I'd really love to see "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" on DVD. I totally dug Maynard G. Krebs, man, Dobie's lovable beatnik buddy.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:14 PM, , links to this post





5 Quotes from...

"James Taranto: Myths of Hurricane Katrina"
--Appearing in "The Australian" September 6, 2005

A measure of the anti-Bush Left's derangement is that it blames him for bad weather. "Complacency will no longer suffice, especially if experts are right in warning that global warming may increase the intensity of future hurricanes," The New York Times editorialised on Thursday. "But since this administration won't acknowledge that global warming exists, the chances of leadership seem minimal." [emphasis mine]

Then we heard that the National Guard was unable to do its duty in the Gulf Coast because it had been "stretched thin" by deployment to Iraq; "deployed in a phony war", as former New York Times editor Howell Raines claimed... But as James Robbins pointed out in National Review Online, only 10.2 per cent of the US Army, including the guard and reserves, is in Iraq; 74.2 per cent, or 751,000 soldiers, are stationed in the US. In any case, this argument died down as the troops arrived in great force late in the week.

The most pernicious myth the Angry Left propagated was that the storm victims were neglected because of their race. "I feel that, if it was in another area, with another economic strata and racial make-up, that President Bush would have run out of Crawford a lot quicker and FEMA would have found its way in a lot sooner," said Al Sharpton, New York's premier racial arsonist.

The Angry Left seems finally to have settled on the claim that the Bush administration was incompetent, its actions slow and inept... There may turn out to be some truth to this, but it's far too early to apportion blame. Responding to a disaster of unprecedented proportions is a monumentally complicated task and it's likely that officials at all levels of government made mistakes.

...one claim no one has had the audacity to make is that John Kerry would have done better. President Kerry, after all, would have faced this disaster with a total of 7 1/2 months' administrative experience in his lifetime.
[again, emphasis mine]


Personal Note: In fairness, Bush only had 9 months of presidential administrative experience prior to 9-11. He did, however, have administrative experience as Governor of Texas. Kerry has been the junior Senator from Massachusetts for 2+ decades.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:17 PM, , links to this post





Lessons in Thinking for One's Self, No.4

First, Let's review...

Except in certain situations as explained in Lesson 1, our opinions carry as much weight as that of any celebrity, or politician. Never sell your own thoughts and ideas short.

In lesson 2 we learned everyone has motive for everything said or done, well intentioned or not. Therefore, everything said and done must be fully examined and evaluated to determine what, if anything, an individual has to gain or lose by your acceptance or belief.

Lesson 3 asked you to take up the fine art of listening. When determining the intent or meaning of a statement one must consider a range of aspects, or nuances. What is meant is often conveyed in how a thing is said.

Now, on to lesson 4...

In lesson 3 I introduced you to Miyamoto Musashi, and his "Book of Five Rings", the classic book of strategy. The one element he outlines that bears intensive study is to "...learn the ways of all professions." That is to say, speaking here in terms of people and organizations...

        What do they believe?
        Why do they believe such?
        How do they operate?
        Do they have a blindspot?
        Does it affect their worldview?
        Is this typical of the entire organization?
        How can this be exploited?

It is extremely important that you spend time, as the Beatles once tuned...

"Looking through the bent backed tulips
To see how the other half lives"

This can be done by perusing print, media, websites, and opinions that neither interest you, attract you, and whose ideologies differ from your own. Sometimes your studies will take you to places you find completely abhorrent, but that's not to say you should sully yourself, just make sure you have a basic understanding of it, its motives, its purpose-- if any --and its various affects on people and society.

This is what's known as being well-rounded, and by becoming such-- in some circles this is referred to as being "a Renaissance man", or woman --you become a new kind of thinker, and this gives you a distinct advantage over those who would use or abuse you. I should point out that not everyone is out to hurt you, or lie to you. Those who do have your best interests at heart can actually benefit from your studies, and intellect; with a greater pool of knowledge to draw from, pulling the wool over your eyes, and those within your sphere of influence, becomes that much harder.

More to come.

----
For Previous Lessons:
Lesson No.1
Lesson No.2
Lesson No.3

See Also:
The Object is to Become a Critical Thinker


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:12 PM, , links to this post





Heard on C-Span:

"History is not kind to people who say what they think..."

--William H. Rehnquist
   April 4, 2001


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:19 AM, , links to this post





Prime Example of Literary "Self-Love"...

And Farting "Positional" Talking-Points...

Randal Robinson's sickening piece in the Huffington Post. Typical of what's wrong with the "west-positional* -ist" mind-set.


*Assuming one is facing north, West is Left, and East is Right.


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:07 AM, , links to this post





Responding to Accusations

I have been accused of performing "literary masturbation" on this blog, as well as "farting right-wing talking-points"

As to the 1st..... Eww!
As to the 2nd... Choosing to stand for something positive is hardly                                 farting, and again... eww!


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:58 AM, , links to this post





Strong Dedicated Beliefs, Part I

1 -There is a God. He cares, & can be taken at His word. He never lies
2 -There is such a thing as absolute truth
3 -There is no truth in ambiguity, for Truth is immutable
4 -God hears, and listens to every word you say
5 -Light is the presence of color, Darkness is the absence of color
6 -God is the author of Science, Science points to God
7 -There is a purpose to each and every living soul that does not
     necessarily include a long and happy life
8 -We are born to love, and worship God
9 -In addition, we are born to discover our gifts, find our purpose,
     fulfill it, and move on when He wills it.
10 -Everything said or done has motive, be it good or ill
11  -Satan is not God’s opposite
12 -Good is stronger than Evil
13 -Few people have my best interest at heart
14 -Every sin committed under heaven is born of selfishness
15 -Not all selfishness is sin
16 -Age does not infer wisdom
17 -Philosophy is vain if it’s predicated on anything other
       than truth
18 -We are eternal. We do not cease to exist when our eyes close
        in death
19 -There is a choice to be made in this life that directly
        impacts the next
20 -Perfection is impossible to achieve, but the pursuit of
        it is not without merit
21 -Man made governments, and the politics that drive them,
        like all things, fail in time
22 -Nothing man builds in this world will endure.
        All things must pass
23 -Without mutual love, concern, and respect, friendship
        cannot flourish
24 -Everyone dies alone
25 -We are responsible for ourselves. If we fail, or do not
        achieve, it is we who are to blame


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:23 PM, , links to this post





World Events, Disasters, as They Relate to Me...

Beginning with 9/11, then the Iraq war, Terrorist strikes, and now Katrina, I have to say I am very fortunate in terms of career. Though I can't see myself still in television ten years from now, I am nonetheless thankful for where I am. Think about it, even had Katrina jogged northward when we expected her to, and made landfall at Panama City, then northward to Dothan... had such devastation destroyed businesses and lives in my city, I would still have a job. Many people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and S.W. Alabama can't say the same.

Working in Production at a television station, even if the storm knocked out radar, satellite, & microwave capability, there would still be a show to put on. The station would not cease operations just because our building, or equipment suffered damage. Our engineers would have us up and running in some capacity, albeit limited, in a day or two. Which makes me truly fortunate.


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posted by ELAshley @ 4:48 PM, , links to this post





Toying with the template...

Or trying to. There's still a couple of things I want to do to the template; change the location and look of my recent, and archived posts. I've managed to change the .gif's that controlled the look of their headings, but I've been unable to find a way to move them to their own boxes with similar look as the center panel. I want to over-lay smaller boxes that expand :y -ward to accomode the amount of recents, and archives, and links that fill their prospective lists, with dropshadows to give it 3-dimensional feel [though I'd settle for borders. I know how to do that]. In other words, just like the center panel expands downward with each successive post so too should the recent, archive and links boxes. I haven't been able to figure it out. But that'll change in time.


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posted by ELAshley @ 4:38 PM, , links to this post





A Few Articles Reflecting the Right Attitude...

And attempting to reset the record Liberals Bias has skewed...

"The Big Uneasy"
--Op-Ed from Investors.com

"After Katrina, A Juvenile Blame Game"
--Steve Chapman, at RealClearPolitics.com

"A Flood of Bush-Bashing"
--Debra Saunders, also at RealClearPolitics.com


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:39 PM, , links to this post





A Prime Example of Leftist Vitiol

I'm not even going to soil my blog with this one. Posting the link is as much as I'm willing to do. Read it for yourself, but be warned... It's beyond the typical "tearing-down-the-President-at-any-cost" fare. It's simply beyond the pale. But it's to be expected of the New York Times.

"Falluja Floods the Superdome"
--by Frank Rich


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posted by ELAshley @ 2:57 PM, , links to this post





The Befouled Waters of New Orleans...

Are No Match for What's Brewing in Washington for Sheer Nastiness. Not with the death last night of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, at the age of 80.

If the Left wasn't rabid yesterday playing The Blame Game, they'll be positively foaming at the mouth by tomorrow. Perhaps they'll have enough decency, enough respect for the dead, to hold back their slings and arrows until he's decently celebrated, buried, and mourned. But then, they haven't bothered with such niceties where New Orleans is concerned, have they?


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:06 PM, , links to this post