Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Song, The Pretender

If One Picture is Worth One Thousand Words...

Sunny - Hi 92 Lo 75 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 100 Lo 62 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Mostly Sunny - Hi 79 Lo 56 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: The Pretender, Foo Fighters


The Pretender

Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend
Keep you in the dark
And so it all began

Send in your skeletons
Sing as their bones come marching in... again
They need you buried deep
The secrets that you keep are at the ready
Are you ready?
I'm finished making sense
Done pleading ignorance
That whole... defense

Spinning infinity, boy
The wheel is spinning me
It's never-ending, never-ending
Same old story

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?

In time our soul untold
I'm just another soul for sale... oh, well
The page is out of print
We are not permanent
We're temporary, temporary
Same old story

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

I'm the voice inside your head
You refuse to hear
I'm the face that you have to face
Mirrored in your stare
I'm what's left, I'm what's right
I'm the enemy
I'm the hand that will take you down
Bring you to your knees

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?

Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?

What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?

What if I say I'm not like the others?
(Keep you in the dark)
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
(You know they all... pretend)
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

What if I say I'm not like the others?
(Keep you in the dark)
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
(You know they all... pretend)
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Song, Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

My 2 Cents

Sunny - Hi 104 Lo 83 for Baghdad, Iraq
Sunny - Hi 101 Lo 68 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Rainy - Hi 88 Lo 62 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Sitting, Waiting, Wishing, Jack Johnson


I hit a lot of different blogs this past week. Mostly, it was reading tributes for those souls lost on September 11, 2001. But I also ran a bunch of searches on Sarah Palin, John McCain... you know to get a gauge on where everyone is. I particularly hit some of the Mommy Blogs---

It's a real mixed bag out there... What I don't get is the cattiness and vulgarity of the women that hate and I mean HATE Sarah Palin...

For the record I am voting for the McCain/Palin ticket because their ideology is more in sync with mine-- Smaller government, strong defense and all the other conservative bullets- Pro-Life, Second Amendment, tax cuts for everyone...

When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs. - Maxwell Anderson

I disagree emphatically with Barack Obama. I am opposed to all the handouts he wants to offer. That money has to come from somewhere and at some point it will come out of my pocket. I am absolutely against handouts... A hand up is quite different from a handout... A moment during the Democrat National Convention that caught my attention was during Michelle Obama's speech-- she eloquently spoke about her father and mother:

"He and my mom poured everything they had into me and Craig. It was the greatest gift a child could receive: never doubting for a single minute that you're loved, and cherished, and have a place in this world. And thanks to their faith and their hard work, we both were able to go on to college. So I know firsthand from their lives -- and mine -- that the American Dream endures."

The fascinating part of this speech is that Michelle does not see the poetry of her words. Her parents worked so that she and her brother could go to college. Michelle and her brother appreciated and understood how hard her parents worked so that they could go to college... This is the American Dream personified. And yes, the American Dream does endure, but it will not if our government takes away the satisfaction of earning that dream... I speak for myself as I was taught by my Mother--- a naturalized citizen of this great nation-- work hard- save for the things you want- don't live beyond your means- depend on no one except yourself- don't covet what others have- you can accomplish anything you choose to do once you set your mind to it.

Everything that Scooter Trash Hubby and I have is ours--- we have worked for every bit of it. We live comfortably, but not beyond our means. We have a plan for unexpected issues that may come up.. like the fridge deciding to go kaput or the car behaving badly... We didn't buy a house beyond our means and we don't expect anyone to bail us out if we get into trouble. We both have talked off and on about taking second jobs to try and get ahead so we can pay off our mortgage a little bit faster.

When a hand out is given--- it doesn't solve the problem. Ever. If there are hand outs and free giveaways--- you will never run out of customers.... just go to a trade show where choxkie is handed out--- free pens, stress balls, paper tablets, etc. or to a grocery store where they are cooking up samples for you to try... always... always customers for the freebie... It's human nature... But when you work for something... when you have used your mind or your hands to build something... the satisfaction is incredible. The sense of accomplishment endures.

Our nation is suffering through more hurricanes. Gustav had the Louisiana and Mississippi coastlines evacuated. Folks were even evacuated to Louisville-- free of charge--- in fact they have been getting all kinds of freebies while here... So, how is the city of Louisville paid back? The last count was 22 arrested... and these evacuees were upset because they could not go back home when they wanted... The best part? Local tax payers won't be covering the bill... FEMA is picking up the tab for all the expenditures for about 1500 people... I'm sorry... where does FEMA get it's money? ...ahem... uhhh.... that would be me...that would be you.

They've been here nearly a week, and during that time they've enjoyed the sights of Louisville, including a trip to Zoo and a Bats game. The library has provided books to read, and Korrect Optical even provided eye exams and a free pair of glasses for those who left theirs behind in the rush to evacuate.

While they are waiting to get back on their feet, the city continues to spend money to make their stay comfortable.

"We have around-the-clock police presence there at KFEC to make sure everyone stays safe," said Kerri Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Mayor's office. "We've had fire departments out to help set up cots and prepare the medical wing. We've had the Department of Health out there."

And the arrests?

Lt. Col. Phil Turner said that on Wednesday night, 16 of the evacuees were taken to jail on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct and other alcohol-related charges. They were mainly arrested on Preston Street after drinking and causing a disturbance at a gas station and liquor store near the exposition center, Turner said.

On Tuesday, there were six arrests, Turner said. Five of those were on alcohol and disorderly conduct charges.

The other was on a felony sexual abuse charge after a man attempted to grab a teenage boy at the center, Turner said. The teen was not injured, he said. That was the most serious of the charges and the only one that occurred inside the facility, he said.

Sadly, Ike is wreaking havoc on Houston and Galveston. The complaint as it came up with Katrina is that poor people can not afford to evacuate. Bullshit. All one had to do was watch the news or the radio and a free ride out of town could be had... Mike McConnell made the comment on his radio program--- if it were a fire and not a flood... people would have figured out a way to get out... He's right.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. -Samuel Adams

Wave 3, Louisville, KY news
22 Arrested
Harriet's Daughter - You have to read this post... According to this account, the police were harassing the evacuees...

I came across a couple of great blogs.

Mommy Notes - Read her post about Sarah Palin--- more so, the debate in the comments.
Dr. Caligari's Cabinet - This is a quirky "Today in History" blog. Be sure to watch the Craig Ferguson YouTube clip.
McCain Blogette - This is Meghan McCain's blog... picture above courtesy of her.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Life Remembered: Toshiya Kuge

For three years, D.C. Roe has hosted an annual remembrance of those lost on September 11, 2001. Please click on the logo to the left for a link to other remembrances this year.
*** *** *** *** ***

Long ago there lived in Japan an old man whose name was Hamaguchi. His farmhouse stood on the edge of a plateau, a flat, open space on the side of a mountain. Behind, the mountain rose in lofty wooded peaks. In front, it sloped gently down to the sea. At the foot of the mountain along the shore was the little village, made up of a hundred or more thatched houses and a great temple.

One afternoon in late summer Hamaguchi sat on the balcony of his house and watched the people in the village below. With him was his grandson, a lad of ten. The rice crop had been very fine, and the villagers were holding their harvest festival. All the shops were closed, and the streets were gayly decorated with ropes of straw and paper lanterns. The villagers in bright-colored clothing were about to join in the harvest dance.

Beyond the village Hamaguchi could see the vast blue sea, wrinkling under the bright after noon sun. Suddenly there came a slight shock. The house rocked three or four times and then stood still. Hamaguchi had felt many earth quakes in his time, and he was not at all frightened until he looked toward the sea.

The water had become dark green and very rough. The tide had suddenly changed --- the sea was running swiftly away from the land! The villagers stopped their dancing, and ran to the shore to watch. None of them knew what this strange thing meant. But the old man on the mountain had seen one such sight as a little child. He knew what the sea would do. There was no time to send a message to the village, nor to ring the big bell in the temple, and yet the people must be warned.

"Yone!" he called to his little grandson. "Light a torch! Quick!"

The boy was puzzled, but he asked no questions. He kindled the torch at once. The old man ran to the fields, where hundreds of rice stacks stood awaiting sale. It was all his wealth. He ran from one stack to another, applying the torch to each. The dry stalks caught fire quickly, and soon the red flames were shooting upward, and the smoke was rising in great columns to join the wind clouds in the sky.

Yone ran after his grandfather, shouting and crying, "Grandfather! Grandfather! Why? Why are you setting fire to the rice?"

The old man had no time to answer, but ran on, firing stack after stack. The high wind caught the sparks and loose brands and carried them farther, until the fields were all ablaze.

The watcher in the temple saw the fire, and set the big bell booming, and the people turned from the sea to look. In Japan every one in the village must give help in time of fire. No sooner did the people see that Hamaguchi's rice stacks were on fire than they began to run. Like a swarm of ants they climbed the mountain --- young men and boys, women and girls, old folk, mothers with babies on their backs, even little children joined in the race to put out the fire.

But when they reached the plateau, it was too late. The flames had already eaten the stacks of beautiful rice.

"It is too bad," the people exclaimed. "How did it happen?"

"Grandfather did it," cried Yone. "With a torch he set fire to the rice. He is mad."

In amazement the people stared at Hamaguchi. "You did this thing !" they cried. "You set fire to the rice fields! "

"Look toward the sea," said the old man, "and know my purpose."

The people turned and looked. Far out they saw a great wall of water sweeping toward them more swiftly than a bird flies. It was the returning sea!

The people shrieked, but their voices were lost in a great sound, deeper than thunder, as the wall of water struck the side of the mountain. The hills shook, and were drenched in a great burst of foam.

When the cloud of spray had disappeared, the people saw a wild sea raving over their village. Great angry waves seethed and tumbled above the house-tops. They rolled away roaring, tearing out houses and trees and great rocks, and bearing them off. Again the wall of water struck, and again and again, with less force each time. At last it fell back once more in its former bed.

The people stood speechless on the side of the mountain. The village was gone; the temple was gone; the fields had been torn away. Nothing was left of their homes but a few straw roofs that floated on the water. But every man and woman and child was safe on the mountain side.

Then the people knew why old Hamaguchi had set fire to the rice. There he stood among them, as poor as any. And they fell on their knees to thank him.

As a little girl-- maybe 3 or 4 years old, I recall my mother telling me Japanese fables and folk stories-- This one and a story about the Little Peachboy are the two I remember the most. I thought this story of sacrifice fitting to share what little I have been able to learn about a young man named Toshiya Kuge.

Toshiya Kuge-san was born in 1981. His parents, Hajime and Yachiyo Kuge must have been proud of their son. He graduated in 1999 from Kitano High School. While in high school he was a good student and was the goalie for his high school soccer team. However, his preference was American football and was a linebacker his freshman year at Waseda University wearing a maroon jersey with number ninety-five. He loved the National Football League and would watch football via satellite in the middle of the night in Japan. He had a poster of the San Francisco 49ers on his bedroom wall, but his favorite team was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He was in his sophomore year at the prestigious Waseda University studying design and creation of materials at the School of Science and Engineering. In the spring of 2001 he attended an intensive 4 week class at the University of Utah to improve his English speaking and writing skills. In an essay for this class he wrote, "he wanted to be friends with people and to study in America."

After his time at the University of Utah, Toshiya went home to Toyonaka City to spend the summer with family and friends before coming back in August 2001 to the United States and Canada- part vacation - part preparation-- Vacation was to go to whale watching, horseback riding and rafting at Jasper National Park-- Preparation was for his goal to scout out a university for his graduate degree. Among the items he took on this trip was his Pittsburgh Steelers jersey.

"He longed to come to America, " said Toshiya's mother,Yachiyo Kuge. "Perhaps he liked the freedom. He loved the language and the music. And sports. He wanted to play sports there."

From the few accounts I have been able to locate, he was friendly and outgoing with all he encountered. He wanted to visit Niagara Falls from both the Canadian and American sides. He had a passion for the big outdoors. On his rafting trip to Jasper he befriended and shared a lunch with two women from Chicago- Kristine White and Debbie Schiies.

On that fateful day, September 11, 2001 Kuge-san was on his way home to go back to school at Waseda. Instead, he and the other brave souls aboard United Flight 93 lost their lives in an attempt to take back their hijacked plane. This young man- his entire life ahead of him stolen and gone in an instant by haters of freedom and liberty. We will never have the good fortune of knowing what this young man could have contributed to our lives---.

In April 2004, Toshiya Kuge was recognized by Professor Shirai, President of Waseda University and was awarded the status of Alumna.

It is important to remember that Americans were not the only souls lost on that dreadful day- 234 people from other countries are counted in the numbers... from those 234 foreigners, 24 were from Japan.

So, I share this fable about the burning rice fields with you--- Although profoundly sad, it is a story of sacrifice and a keen understanding of a greater good. I want to believe--- I need to believe that the men and women who lost their lives that awful day were not in vain, but stand over us as guardian angels to remind us to stay vigilant and to never forget and never ever allow this to happen again.

A Life Remembered,

Toshiya Kuge
1981 - 2001

My Other Tributes:

2006 - Marion Britton
2007 - Tom Burnett
2007 - Deora Bodley


Japan Times
Ongoing Tales
Among the Heroes - United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back, by Jere Longman
Waseda University article
Find a Grave

Monday, September 08, 2008

Project 2996

D.C. Roe is again hosting a day of remembrance at Project 2996.

He has added this beautiful Coat of Arms.

When I decided that Project2996 needed some sort of logo I wanted something a little more dignified than a standard graphic design. I've been a fan of heraldry for many years, and recently have become an student of the field, it seemed a natural fit.

The poppy is a flower that has long been associated with remembrance (including a longtime link with WWI veterans). The four stars above the poppy represent the four planes and four crash sites of 9/11. The coloring scheme where the shiled is divided into two colors with the charges inverted is called counterchanging, and is used to represent the stark change our country and world went through.

If you have time, write a tribute or link a tribute you have done in the past. But whatever you do, take a moment to read a few tributes and remember what we all lost seven years ago.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Song, Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes

Never Forget

Partly Cloudy - Hi 113 Lo 89 for Baghdad, Iraq
Mostly Sunny - Hi 91 Lo 67 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Cloudy - Hi 78 Lo 58 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes,

This song was originally done by a group called the Korgis. I remember hating it-- they were part of the New Wave of music that came over from the UK in the late 70's and early 80's in retaliation of disco music. Quite frankly, I thought this group-- this song was crap. Every song they had sounded the same... Then a few years ago, Beck did a cover of this song and changed the tapestry of the song and it became something completely different. To hear the Korgis version go here.


We are fast approaching an anniversary -- not a day of celebration, but one of remembrance- a time of reflection, a time of prayer for those who lost loved ones on a perfect crystal clear morning in September-- 7 years ago... My gosh- 7 years. I have a niece and a nephew that never experienced a world without 9/11.

Unlike Keith Olbermann, I believe it is our responsibility to remember and see pictures and video-- the horrid images of what happened that terrible morning when we were attacked and murdered. It is important to remember George Santayana's words, "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it." We must remain vigilant. We must remain a beacon for all the world.

Since I have been blogging, the post that generates the most traffic every single day for me is the Timeline for Islamic Terrorist Attacks. I find it strangely comforting to know that people worldwide are still looking for answers and information on this subject.

But more importantly, I take a great deal of comfort in the hits I receive from folks looking for news or remembrances of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines we have lost to our war on terror.

I also take comfort in those searching for information on those we lost on September 11, 2001. To date, I have completed three tributes for victims from 9/11 and this year will be no exception. This year I continue my remembrance of those first citizen soldiers on United Flight 93. As I explore the lives of each of these souls, I am moved at how different the backgrounds of everyone were- they realized they were facing evil and took action. They fought back.

I can usually guess when it is someone's birthday or anniversary... the number of "hits" will always spike on that day. I then have an opportunity to say a little prayer and ask God to provide comfort. What I treasure more than anything is the mail I have received over the years from from family and friends of those we have lost. I am forever humbled by the strength and courage these people possess. They are the very fabric of this land. It is our responsibility to remember those we have lost--- That their sacrifice was not in vain.

** photos
- never forget- WTC site, NYC, May 2005 by Cathy,
- Justin Sims funeral procession
- Yachiyo Suge, mother of Toshiya Kuge being comforted by Karen Castel in Shanksville, PA

Update: 9/8/08 D.C.Roe is hosting 2996 again. If you have a time, write a tribute and remember a soul.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

192 Become U.S. Citizens While Serving

"I am extremely honored to preside over such an important event for these great men and women," Austin said. "Today, we have the opportunity to welcome 192 of our fellow brothers and sisters in arms into our American family."

Austin took time to individually recognize two troops, Marine Corps Sgt. Sidney King III and Army Spc. Alan Wyrwa, both of whom overcame numerous challenges to become U.S. citizens.

Wyrwa lived in communist-controlled East Germany until he and his mother risked their lives escaping to West Germany when he was 5 years old. King came to the United States in 1988 and spent his first five years separated from his parents. He worked tirelessly to obtain a visitor's visa, and later a green card, to stay in the United States. For the last nine years, he has served in the Marine Corps.

Read the rest here.

192 troops from 54 different countries became U.S. citizens. And to think about what these young men and women represent... talk about intestinal fortitude... My heart wells with pride for these fine examples of what it means to be an American.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Why I Hate Sarah Palin

Thought I would do a round up of some blogs that are sharing their thoughts and hatred of Sarah Palin...

typical and irrational...

Sticks and Stones
Rational Revolution
Just Us Boys
Deadpan - I no likee Sarah Palin
Still Racing in the Street

And to finish this enlightening tour-- visit Daily Kos and Huffinton post... But I have no doubt that all this hatred is caused by George Bush...

photo courtesy of Judging Truth

Regarding the 2008 Republican Ticket

The one thing I have noticed is that many of my favorite bloggers have been energized and some have even come out of "blogger retirement" to comment on current events--- specifically the McCain Palin ticket.

Here are some links to some of my favortite folks... check out the comments too... a recurring theme is joy...

Daisy Cutter - at one time had created a very popular Bloggers against McCain blogroll-- of which I was a member.

Scooter - Peace Moonbeam has been helping Scooter during this important election for the Democrats... besides... go visit for a little comic relief... including the great pic to the left.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto - Kimosabe is giddy... I tell you simply giddy.

Laura - This lady was just as disgusted as me at the prospect of having to vote for Senator McCain.

Dakota Ranger - Ya think Chuck Norris is tough? Chuck ain't got a thang compared to DR's girl, Sarah Palin.

Jane - Explains the finger pointing by Sarah.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Barracuda

Update: Dear Nancy and Ann Wilson... bite me.

Sarah Palin is MY GIRL

I don't know about you.... but I can't wipe this grin off my face...

Ann Coulter writes over at Townhall:

Then they attacked her daughter, who actually is pregnant now, for being unmarried. When liberals start acting like they're opposed to pre-marital sex and mothers having careers, you know McCain's vice presidential choice has knocked them back on their heels.
Read the rest here.

Fred Thompson and Joe Lieberman were terrific Tuesday night-- One could hear a pin drop in that hall as Mr. Thompson spoke of what Senator McCain had to endure while in a prison camp. Senator Lieberman spoke directly to the Democrats inviting them to vote for this man. Tuesday night was about Senator McCain's character... his courage... his convictions...

Then last night... oh last night... Michael Steele, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee threw their support behind Senator McCain. Governor Romney was ok. He was not up to par last night, although he did say this:

Liberals would replace opportunity with dependency on government largesse. They grow government and raise taxes to put more people on Medicaid, to take work requirements out of welfare, and to grow the ranks of those who pay no taxes at all. Dependency is death to initiative, risk-taking and opportunity.
It is time to stop the spread of government dependency to fight it like the poison it is!
It's time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother!

and Governor Mike Huckabee, never someone I was crazy about said this:

Centralized governments may care for you from cradle to grave, but they also control you. Most Americans don't want MORE government -- they want a lot less.
Abraham Lincoln reminded us that a government that can do everything FOR
us can also take everything FROM us.

and then came the former Mayor of New York City--- so many memorable comments.. but this... this captured his moment:

On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer, and immersed himself in Chicago machine politics. Then he ran for the state legislature - where nearly 130 times he was unable to make a decision yes or no. He simply voted "present."

As Mayor of New York City, I never got a chance to vote "present." And you know, when you're President of the United States, you can't just vote "present." You must make decisions.

A few years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate. He won and has spent most of his time as a "celebrity senator." No leadership or major legislation to speak of. His rise is remarkable in its own right - it's the kind of thing that could happen only in America. But he's never run a city, never run a state, never run a business.

He's never had to lead people in crisis.

This is not a personal attack ... .it's a statement of fact - Barack Obama has never led anything.

Nothing. Nada.

The choice in this election comes down to substance over style. John has been tested. Barack Obama has not.

and then... OUR GIRL--- Governor Sarah Palin took the stage... Rudy was a tough act to follow.. but she did it... from beginning to end... she captured my heart. Scooter Trash hubby and I were cheering and applauding and high fiving during her speech as if we were watching some sporting event where our hometown team is winning (being that we are in Cincinnati-- you know THAT rarely happens). She was wonderful... she IS the American dream personified. She IS OUR GIRL.

When the cameras focused on her family as she spoke--- her youngest daughter Piper (I believe) holding Sarah and Todd's infant son Trig... licking her hand and smoothing the baby's hair... Freaking priceless..

I would imagine at worst Alaska tourism will be on the rise... at best we will have John McCain as President and Sarah Palin as our FIRST woman Vice President.

So, let me pile on-- I would like to sincerely thank the LIBERAL media--- in particular MSNBC, NBC, and CBS for uniting our BIG WIDE DIVERSE PARTY. Thank you for being the hypocrites... Thanks for reading Daily Kos and doing all that fact finding "proper journalists" are supposed to do...You folks are so entrenched and so desperately want your fella to win--- you have no idea what unbiased reporting is. Sure... you throw us a couple of bones... Joe Scarborough on MSNBC... Bill Bennett on CNN... yeah... 5 to 1 seems like a fair fight.. (in Bill's case- it is) SO--- Thank you LIBERAL MEDIA! WE have found our candidate because of you-- and Conservatives, Libertarians, and Republicans have found the winning ticket.

What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.