A Devil's Bargain

I have posted about my discontent at President Bush's seeming flip-flop on his hard line against terrorism when it involves terrorists who attack Israel.

Jonathan Tobin has written an excellent article Is the choice Abbas or the abyss? that points out President Bush's mistake. Below is an excerpt but I encourage you to read the full article.

Having stiffed Ariel Sharon on Hamas and signaled Abbas that he's under no pressure to disarm, Bush is heading toward a moment when he'll be forced to make a hopeless choice between two equally unacceptable alternatives: Once the Palestinian electorate speaks, Bush will have to recognize a Fatah-Hamas coalition government and thereby giving the lie to its anti-terror strategy. Or he can tell the Palestinians at that point that relations with terrorists are impossible and undermine his otherwise exemplary Middle East democracy project.

By allowing the "political wing" of Hamas to participate in the Palestinian elections, it puts the road map to peace on a very precipitous slope.

There can be no peace for Israel until all the terrorist groups are named for what they are. They should not be given any legitimacy. Hamas, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad: there are no differences in these terrorist groups even if some may have a "political wing" and an "armed wing".

Just a Friendly Competition

Project VALOUR-IT is gearing up for a fund drive! This time there is going to be a friendly competition between the NAVY, Army, Marines, and the Air Force. Fuzzilicious has more details.

WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT.
WHEN: November 2nd through Veterans Day (the 11th).
WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else.
WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world.
HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians "up for grabs." Prospective team leaders were approached yesterday Wednesday (waiting for replies). When the leadership is announced, you will have the opportunity to join the team of your choice.

Additional information: every donor during this time will receive a Soldiers' Angels Coin. We are also working on providing T-shirts for larger donations.

You can read the stories of two soldiers who were severely wounded and have benefited from this great program.

Captain Ziegenfuss, the inspiration behind Project VALOUR-IT, is currently back in the hospital and recovering after more surgery. Stop by his site and read about what he is going through.

Sergeant Buzz Robinson is another who has received a lap top.

My nephew, Sgt. Richard (Buzz) Robertson was wounded in Iraq last week. He had shrapnel in his liver and stomach. The worst of his injuries is a lacerated spinal cord. He is currently in Walter Reed Hospital and has a 50% chance of ever being able to walk again. Buzz and his unit were in an up-armored Humvee when they hit an IED near the border of Syria. Several of the men died so we are very lucky that Buzz is a survivor.

Fuzzilicious received this e-mail from his mother.
I can't believe it but I just called to talk to my son to see how he was doing and he said the Angels for Soldiers delivered a Dell Laptop today!!! This is really incredible! The love and support..."

So far we have purchased forty laptops--we have the capacity to assist forty soldiers. Considering the kind of impact this can have on each wounded soldier (and family) who receives a laptop, that's not nearly enough.

The Marines have already started. You can get further details at Outside the Blogway.

As for me, it's NAVY all the way!! GO NAVY!! Please click to donate.

Happy Halloween!


Iran - Action Not Words

It's not enough that Iran has said that Israel needs to be wiped from the face of the earth. Now they have promised an award of $10,000 to the terrorist group Islamic Jihad to aim rockets at the city of Tel Aviv. Patrick has another post about the "peaceful intents" of Iran in his post, Death Row, What a Mullah Know.

Israeli intelligence officials said that Iran was threatening the country on three fronts: through long-range missiles based in Lebanon; through terrorist networks around the world; and through the new arsenals of the West Bank.

Islamic Jihad is the only Palestinian group that calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. Based in Damascus, it has an annual budget of several million dollars provided by Iran. Ramadan Shalah, its leader, has a PhD in economics from Durham University. The organisation's military arm is the Al-Quds Brigades. TimesOnLine

They forget to mention the potential threat of nuclear weapons. And Islamic Jihad is not the only terrorist group seeking the destruction of Israel. There is Hamas, Fatah, and the Al-Aksa Martyr's Brigade.

But Iran is currently the one paying rewards to terrorists. That used to be Saddam's bag, when he would pay $25,000 to the families of homicide bombers who murdered innocent Israelis. Iran is a clear threat, not only to Israel but to other Arab countries, Europe and to the peace of the world. We have a chance to stop to this madness from going any further. The question is, does any country have the guts to take care of it? Going through UN channels is not the answer, diplomacy is not the answer. Direct action is needed.

Discontent With President Bush

All weekend I've been trying to formulate my discontent with the Bush administrations stance on terrorism. On the one hand, we go after tyrants such as Saddam which is a very good thing and our soldiers are doing a great job in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan and they should continue their job until it is finished. Lately, my problem has been with how our friends are being treated, especially Israel. Daniel in Brookline has a post that articulates my feelings. JPost: Spare Us the Lectures is a very good post that brings up the daily occurrence of terrorist attacks that are tried and have failed because of the diligence of the IDF and why relaxing border crossings will lead to more homicide bombings.

Israel faces the threat of daily attacks against her people and yet those in the Bush administration keep calling for more humanitarian gestures on the part of Israel.

This too is a standard refrain of the chorus within days of each attack: Why don't you make more "humanitarian gestures" to the Palestinians? Only a few days ago, Israel was treated to criticism from American special Middle East envoy James Wolfensohn that it was being too strict with its closures of border crossings. The shortsightedness of such calls is as painful as it is predictable.

As Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev told The Washington Post: "If Israel tomorrow allowed unimpeded passage at the crossings, I think everyone believes that would have negative consequences all around. There would likely be a series of suicide bombings and we would have to respond." Now that there has been a bombing Israel indeed may respond. More broadly, the basic truth must be constantly restated and implemented because it is constantly forgotten: If the Palestinians do not combat terrorism from their midst, Israel must. Jerusalem Post

So, President Bush lay off Israel. Go to the root of the problem, the PA, Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, the PLO, and all other terrorist groups that currently exist in Gaza and the Palestinian areas of the West Bank. The US does not tolerate terrorist attacks on her. Israel has the same right and duty to protect her citizens. And until the PA can rein the terrorists in it's midst, Israel is justified in taking those measures that are necessary to protect her citizens.



Your Inner European is Italian!

Passionate and colorful.

You show the world what culture really is.

A Ray of Hope

It looks like Mississippi will be receiving some much needed help for the recovery after Hurricane Katrina. President Bush requested Friday that Congress take $17 billion from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund. Mississippi would receive $6 billion of that money.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation needs $400 million to repair Highway 90 and it's two bridges.

This is what the Hwy 90 bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs currently looks like.

The money will not just be used for roads, though it is sorely needed. For Hwy 90 has been washed out in many places such as Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay St Louis and other places along the Coast. The Popps Ferry Rd bridge, which is a main north-south connector in Biloxi was also heavily damaged.

The plan also has money for small business assistance, job training and housing relief.

Its announcement comes one day after a representative of the Mississippi Department of Transportation told a congressional committee that unless the state receives money soon, it would have to choose between stopping work on regular highway maintenance projects and delaying critical repairs to U.S. 90.SunHerald

Housing relief is sorely needed. There were 65,000 homes destroyed. These included homes along the beach that over 130 years old and a lot of history was lost with those. But these home owners have a lot of hope.

What is left of some homes in Biloxi's Point Cadet. The flag is flying proudly, tattered and worn but a sign of defiance against Katrina's wrath and a sign that it will be rebuilt.

Sunset Blvd, D'Iberville MS. This is across the street from the seafood plant where I work. Though much of D'Iberville and St Martin are gone, I see flags everywhere. Again, a symbol of defiance and of hope.

Hurricane Katrina may have destroyed homes, businesses, and taken too many lives. But one thing she could not destroy was the will of people in cities and towns such as Gulfport, Biloxi, D'Iberville, Pass Christian, Pearlington, Long Beach, and the many others along the Mississippi Coast.

A ray of light and hope is shining along the Mississippi Gulf coast and there seems to be a new optimism that soon things will get to a new 'normal'. There is even talk of when the first Mardis Gras parade will be held and that one casino, the Imperial Palace is set to open sometime around December of January.


Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a couple of days ago that "Israel should be wiped off the map". Now apparently, it was all just a big misunderstanding. Iran never threatened Israel!! At least that's what Iran's Foreign Minister said when he issued a statement that Iran stands by it's commitment to the UN's charter.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to its U.N. Charter commitments," the statement read. "It has never used force against a second country or threatened the use of force." YNET

I don't know about you, but if someone states that you should be "wiped off the map", I would consider that threatening.

The foreign minister's kinda, sorta of apology came on the heels of mostly worldwide condemnation of the Iran presidents remarks. Strangely, no word of either support or condemnation from Arab countries. Maybe they didn't like hearing what any support for Israel would get them.
Ahmadinejad also condemned Iran's neighbors which seek to break new ground in their relations with Israel. "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," state-run television quoted him as sayingYahoo News

The disingenuous statement by Iran's foreign minister should not be taken as a sign of any peaceful intent by Iran. There is still the threat that Iran's nuclear program poses to the rest of the world. Mere condemnations and words will not stop these uncivil people. Action must be taken to rid the world of Iran's nuclear program.

It's nice that the majority of the world is condemning the words of the president of Iran threats that Israel needs to be wiped off the face of the earth. But something must be done to take away the very real threat of Iran's nuclear program before it's at the point where the ballistic missiles they have developed can carry a nuclear payload. Again, I say action not more words. Words didn't work for Neville Chamberlain when he was appeasing Germany. Appeasement will not work in this case either.


Some Tips for Floridians

These tips are intended for those in South Florida who are coping without electricity. They can be used by anyone but they are some things that I have learned in my experience after Hurricane Katrina. Being without power for twelve days has taught me a lot.

1) Open all the windows in your home that you can. That way cross breezes will be created and makes coping with 90 and above temps easier

2) If you have water but are still under a boil water notice, place two capfuls of bleach in the water when you are washing dishes. This will cut down on using your precious drinking water

3) It is possible to make a clothes line with twine, a basketball goal post and a oak tree. That comes in handy for all the hand washed clothes. And again, put bleach in the water and let it sit for 15 minutes. That way it won't ruin your dark colored clothes

4) Trying to use charcoal to cook is not very effective. It's best to have a propane grill or a Coleman camp grill with propane. You can cook oatmeal, eggs(before they spoil), spaghetti, and being very creative, Spam with blackeyed peas. In other words, you don't have to have Raviloi and soup all the time. A word to the wise about MRE's, most are very good but stay away from the beef terriayki

5) Take your shower in the late afternoon. That very cold water will cool you off and make it possible for you sleep at night

6) Spend a lot of time outside in the shade. You'll meet your neighbors and be able to stop all the various utility trucks going through your neighborhood and get updates. Also, if it looks like some of them are just passing by, you can stop them like I had to do with the tree trimming guys and get them to do the work at your house before they move on

7) Walgreen's has this neat little all world radio. That radio runs on two AA batteries and I ran it constantly and I did not have to change the batteries at all when I was without power

8) Cell phones may be virtually useless as was the case in Mississippi. They did not come on line until almost two weeks after Katrina hit. Land lines may also be very unreliable. If you can call out of the area, you can get friends in say, Mobile AL to leave a comment at your web-site to let everyone know you are okay. There is really no solution to the communication problems we faced down here and are still facing. It was just persistence and a matter of luck on who I was able to contact. At one point, the only people I could reach were my ex, my ex in-laws, the 800 number for FEMA, and the 800 number for my insurance company. All were very courteous and the people at FEMA and the insurance company didn't seem to mind letting me ramble

9) Choose a very good book to read. I made the mistake of trying to read Chaim Potok's In the Beginning, which is a very good book but I needed something that would take my mind off things and not make me think too much. So a good choice would be something light on the lines of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small

10) If you try to read at night, I have found the best solution for light is one large hurricane lamp in the center of your reading area and two 8 inch taper candles, one placed to the left and one placed to right of your reading area

11) Conserve your battery powered lights as much as possible. Batteries will still be almost impossible to find even when stores start to reopen

12) When after the third day without power you have to start throwing away the stuff in your refrigerator, place a least two cups of bleach in your garbage cans. This will keep the stench down because it may be awhile before garbage pickup can resume

13) After everything is cleared out of your refrigerator, wipe it down with bleach and water. After it dries, wipe it down again with bleach and water. Make sure to leave the doors open

14) Don't be too alarmed if you get electricity back before you get mail service back. It just means the bills will be delayed!!

15) Conserve the gas in your car. If you filled up before the storm hit and don't go sightseeing, you will be able to get around for the important things like ice, water, and food before the gas stations begin to reopen. It was almost two weeks before the gas stations where I live reopened. I still had enough gas to last another two weeks if necessary

16) As you probably have realized by now, you need more than a 3 - 5 day supply of food and water. Stock up on canned goods and keep at least a three week supply on hand at all times. As for the water, I learned my lesson the hard way. I was down to my last 12 8-oz bottles of water when the FEMA trucks came in. Never again. I buy water now even when I know I have enough to last a week. Got to the stores too late the Saturday before Katrina hit. Also, when the grocery stores do re-open, the supplies they have will be limited

17) Give to your neighbors. It builds a good sense of community and will keep the trouble makers out

18) Go out at night and look at the stars. You'll be amazed at how many there really are once you don't have the interference from city lights to block them


Hufu - the Great Taste of Friends

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central had an interesting segment with Samantha Bee tonight. There is a new product out called Hufu which is supposed to taste like human flesh. When Mark Levin was asked in the segment to help market it, he came up with the phrase, "The great taste of friends". Finally, a product line for cannibals!!

Kinda gross and kinda funny.

More Than Words Are Needed

Yesterday, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared that Israel needed to be wiped from the face of the earth. While some may consider these words to be mere rhetoric directed against Israel, they need to be taken to heart. More than a condemnation needs to be done to stop these madmen and mad mullahs in Iran before they develop nuclear arms capability.

Ahmadinejad also condemned Iran's neighbors which seek to break new ground in their relations with Israel. "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," state-run television quoted him as saying.Yahoo News

Let's look at his words a little more closely, "will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury". Being in a Islamic theocracy, he must be aware of the Quran and what it says about unbelievers and what awaits them.

Yusuf Ali
But if ye cannot - and of a surety ye cannot - then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, - which is prepared for those who reject Faith.

But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.

If you cannot do this - and you can never do this - then beware of the Hellfire, whose fuel is people and rocks; it awaits the disbelievers.Quran Browser

Ahmadinejad and other Muslims are taught not to question the words of the Quran. The have a fundamental believe in it's words and believe that it's words must be carried out. A special kind of hell awaits the kuffar(non-believers) and apostates of Islam. It's a hell that involves a lot of fire and other gory punishments. What better gift to Allah than to build a nuclear bomb that can speed this process and use it to get rid of those special enemies of Islamists: Israel? And what a handy tool to have on hand to take care of the rest of the kuffar and apostates?

From the news reports coming in from Iraq and Pakistan, Islamists have no compunction against killing other Muslims whom they believe to be apostates. And from the news coming in from Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia they have no compunction against killing kuffar.

Iran is a very dangerous country and it's at the threshold of having nuclear arms. It is now making threats of bringing fire down on Israel and other Arab countries that it sees as becoming too chummy with Israel. Does anyone really think that Iran, once it has nuclear arms, will be able to show self-restraint against using them? The Quran tells them that fire awaits the unbelievers. What greater man-made fire is there than nuclear weapons? More than words are needed to stop this ominous threat. Action must be taken to destroy the nuclear development that is going on in Iran. Does the world really want to see another Holocaust?

My grandfather told me back in 1983 that another Holocaust could happen. I told him that it could never be, the world has learned it's lesson. I was very naive back then. The world cannot afford to be today.

Will This Hurt the GOP in 2008?

I was talking to someone yesterday. This guy is a staunch Republican and yet he says he is strongly condsidering voting for Hillary Clinton in 2008. The reason is pure economics and he stated it succinctly:

While Clinton was getting his piece of a@@, we had cheap gas.

So, will the price of gas affect the presidential nominations in 2008? Or is the problem more deeply rooted? I am having a sense of dissatisfication on how the Global War on Terror is being done. While our Armed Forces are doing an awesome job ridding the world of terrorists, the political stance of the Bush administration seems to be misguided. We browbeat our friends such as Israel and do not hold our so called friends Pakistan and Saudia Arabia accountable. We give money to the PA and they will more than likely use it to buy more arms to kill more innocent Israeli civilians: grandmothers, mothers, uncles, teenagers, children, and others who have so much to give and whose lives have been cut way too short. Share your thoughts.

A Little Bit of Normalcy

This past Monday, we peeled shrimp for the first time since Hurricane Katrina hit. We had to use another processing plants facilities, but we peeled shrimp. I had a payroll this week. It was about 70 short of the number of checks I normally do at this time of the year, but it was a payroll. My immediate boss and I have argued at least once a day this week. Usually it's around 3 or 4 a day, but at least we are arguing again. Those arguments are a great source of amusement for all. We had our first real one on Monday. He left the office smiling and I couldn't stop laughing.

Our freezer has a small amount of shrimp in the blast room. But it has shrimp. The holding room, where the frozen shrimp is stored will have it's repairs to one section completed by next week.

The view from inside

Our retail customers have been coming by in a steady stream and seem as heartbroken as we are that it will be almost a year before the market will reopen. Our seafood market is a tradition around here and people flock to it, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas to help complete their meals. James, the market manager, is a well loved guy. He is friendly and has a great sense of humor.

James, market manager, a partial view of the market

Our commercial customers are very loyal and are waiting until we can get our production up. This weeks commercial sales were a third of what we usually have, but we had sales.

The seafood industry in Biloxi and along the Gulf Coast took a severe beating. There is only one processing plant that is operational and another that will be operational in the next week or two. The oyster plants are all gone and the waters where they are harvested have been decimated. But owners of the oyster processing plants say they will be back.

To give you an idea of the impact Hurricane Katrina has had on the shrimp processing plants, last year for the month of October, we peeled close to a million pounds of shrimp at our factory alone. So far, for October, we have peeled under 30,000 pounds.

We have not yet been able to start rebuilding the plant, the offices, or the market. The City of d'Iberville has yet to issue building permits, but indications are that they will start issuing permits sometime this week.

Most of what was left of the plant has been cleared. All that will be left is the slab from which we'll rebuild.

The only plans I haven't seen are for our new offices. I told them to be sure to include a jacuzzi. One of my other bosses is okay with that, with one caveat, we will have to wear bikinis everyday. Oh yeah, I also told them that we needed to have a patio area with a table that has an umbrella, need time to soak up some rays! I love where I work!


That Which was Lost

Hurricane Katrina tore up my beautiful Mississippi Coast. I know that we will rebuild but I had more tears after the videos below. It shows before and after images along the beach of Biloxi and Gulfport.

WLOX Hattip:St. Casserole

I wanted to share this poem of hope the Biloxi Diocese sent out in it's newsletter. No name was given for who wrote it.

A mighty wind blew night and day. It stole the oak tree's leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth,
You'll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But know I've found, with thanks to you,

I'm stronger than I ever knew."

An Early Birthday Wish

My birthday is just a little over two weeks away. I really don't like the reminder too much because it means in a few scant years I'll be the big 5 0. But I am going to use it as an excuse to help out some guys in Afghanistan.

CJ at Soldier's Perspective has a son who is in the Boy Scouts and they are taking orders to send popcorn to Afghanistan. They have just finished the orders to send to those in Iraq.

LAST UPDATE] Chris exceeded his goal with a total of $511 in sales. Thank you all for your orders. The popcorn arrives on November 19 and will be sent out that following Monday.

I have another request. The unit getting sent this popcorn has teams in the boonies of Afghanistan. The unit is an EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit, a very dangerous job to begin with in the military. These are people responsible for detonating IEDs. Anyway, some of the soldiers in Afghanistan literally live in mud huts throughout the Afghan desert. Again, I’m deeply grateful for all the popcorn bought so far.

My birthday wish is for some of you to send some very good popcorn to our guys in Afghanistan who are doing a very dangerous job and living in conditions that are awful. Clicking here will give you the details.

Thanking you in advance for making my birthday wish come true!!

Britain - Your Slip is Showing

Most have heard about the ban on Piglet and banks that have stopped giving out piggy banks in order to appease not to offend Muslims. However, there seems to be a least one group that it's ok to offend and may I say be discriminatory to, that is Jews. British society has long had a streak of anti-Semitism and today it is being disguised as anti-Zionism(anti-Israel). However, their slip has been showing lately, especially with the following:

A poem which praises the murder of Jews by the Nazis has been included in a book of children's poetry to be distributed amongst schools in the UK.

The publication, entitled Great Minds, features the work of school children aged 11 to 18 who won a nationwide literary competition.

But one poem has generated outrage amongst Jewish groups, politicians and Holocaust charities for its anti-Semitic content.

The entry by the 14-year-old Gideon Taylor is apparently written from the viewpoint of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

It includes the lines Jews are here, Jews are there, Jews are almost everywhere, filling up the darkest places, evil looks upon their faces.

Another part reads: Make them take many paces for being one of the worst races, on their way to a gas chamber, where they will sleep in their manger… I'll be happy Jews have died. American Thinker

I find such a poem very offensive and a slap in the face to all those who were killed by Hitler, including distant family members that were killed in the Ukraine. The publishers go on to defend this crap by saying that the technical writing is very good and that it shows emphaty with Hitler. Who in God's name would even want to empathize with Hitler? What are those parents of this 11-18 year old child teaching him? Why is this sick drivel being allowed in a publication that is being distributed throughout schools in the UK?

Britain your anti-Semitism slip is showing and it is not pretty. At least in the US when we have mindless, hateful drivel such as http://www.prussianblue.net/ Prussian Blue, we do not foist it upon all the school age children over here. In fact we condemn it and shake our heads over parents that would raise their children with such hate and contempt.

Hattip: Gindy


Goodbye Spunky

My sister's cat Spunky had been a guest at my house when my sister would evacuate for hurricanes. he had been doing poorly since after Hurricane Katrina. At first my sister thought it was just the stress of having to evacuate and the stress of the hurricane itself. He kept losing weight. She took him to the vet and found out he had cancer which had spread to far and to quickly. She had him put down to save him from further pain.

Mrs. Parks Helped Change the World

Mrs. Rosa Parks who sparked a revolution that changed the world, died last night. A seamtress riding home on a bus in 1955 Montgomery refused to give up her seat to a white man because she was just too tired after work. That simple refusal sparked indignation and helped to change the South and for the better. The apartheid that existed back then is hard to imagine today.

Separate schools, separate drinking fountains, separate toilet facilities, being made to sit on the back of the bus, and Jim Crow laws that made such things possible are long gone.

Her action or rather non-action speaks of the quiet dignity of a people that had long been subjected to unfair treatment and at times murderous attacks. It is a shameful part of history especially here in Mississippi where the attacks were brutal.

Her refusal was so human and poignant that it still touches me today. It is easy to imagine someone being too tired to give up her seat and to be arrested for it was so injust that it sparked outrage. It gave a very human face to the absurdity of the Jim Crow laws.

The Civil Rights movement gained momentum by her courage and by the courage of the black students in Arkansas that were spat upon, called vile names, and taunted just because they wanted to go to school. These and other acts of courage on the part of blacks throughout the 50's and 60's gave a face to the victims of the evil that existed. For that is what the Jim Crow laws were, evil. That's what the murderous acts of the church bombings in Birmingham were, evil. That's what the murders of Edgar Mevers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and the many others were, evil.

Why did I chose a word like evil which seemingly has little meaning in the world today?

Evil is a term describing that which is regarded as morally bad, intrinsically corrupt, wantonly destructive, inhumane, selfish, or wicked. In most cultures, the word is used to describe acts, thoughts, and ideas which are thought to (either directly or causally) bring about withering and death —the opposite of life.

For any society that seeks to suppress, repress, or pass laws that hold people back because of the color of their skin, their religion, or their gender is evil. Thank you Mrs. Parks for helping to rid the world of some of the evil that existed. May you rest in peace.

The Washington Post has a good article on this remarkable woman's life.


A Period of Calm?

This weekend the Israeli forces were very busy taking down those murderers of innocents. The biggest was Louie Saadi, a leading Islamic Jihad terrorist. This murderous beast was responsible for the Stage Club bombing and the Netanya shopping center bombing. These attacks killed ten Israelis who were just going about their daily lives and injured scores of others.

Palestinian terror spokesmen have responded to the killing with severe threats. Islamic Jihad chief in Damascus, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, promised revenge that would "shake up" Israel in response to the killing of Sa'adi, who he described as the "a great leader with a unique military capability." He added that Sa'adi's death would not harm the Islamic Jihad which he said would recover from the difficult blow that landed on them. YNET

As I recall, unique military capabilities do not include killing teenagers, women, or any civilian for that matter. He was a blood thirsty murdering terrorist who like the others of his ilk have no respect for life of any kind.

Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also vowed to revenge the killing of its members. These are the same gents that the PA intends to incorporate into it's security forces. A security force made up of murdering thugs will not provide much security for the PA or Israel.

Palestinian negotiations chief Saeb Erekat condemned the IDF's anti-terror operation in Tul Karem, saying it endangers the period of calm.

I guess he means the times when Israel hasn't made sweeps to round up the terrorists that the PA refuses to deal with and not the times that Islamic Jihad and the other unholy warriors are raining Qassams on Israel and threatening 14 year olds with death if they don't become suicide bombers. Or maybe he is referring to the lovely Palestinian mother who hid a grenade under her baby. Or perhaps he is referring to the calm in between the fighting between the PA security forces, Fatah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups in Gaza.

It's funny how any time Israel acts to defend herself and her citizens, the PA automatically shouts that Israel is threatening a calm that never existed. It gets old and it gets tiring. Do you think the PA will shout just as loudly when Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Fatah, and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the other terrorist groups start raining down their Qassam rockets, sending in their homicide bombers, attacking people waiting at bus stops, kidnapping and killing Israeli citizens, and any other acts of inhuman depravity their sick minds can come up with? I expect you'll be able to hear the sounds of crickets because the silence from the PA will be so deafening.


I quit my job at the major office supply store last week. There were numerous reasons. The most telling was that if you are used to a management position, you will not do well in a drudge position. I was doing a job that I would normally be checking other people's work. It wasn't difficult and had it down pat on the second day, but it was very boring. The person that was training me had a very passive-aggressive personality in the guise of politeness. She resented the fact that I was catching the mistakes the cash register operators were making before she even realized there was a problem. I was supposed to only work until noon but was having to stay an hour or two more. It was interfering with my other job, where I am making more than twice as much. The last straw for me came on Wednesday when I told her she should have left me the keys to the office. I could have been out of there by 11:00am but had to wait another 45 minutes for her to get back. I went on the sales floor and helped customers while awaiting her return and that part was enjoyable. Especially playing with all the laptops to show customers what features were on them. Even that would not have been so bad, but the little twerp had to open her mouth and say the most insulting thing while under the guise of politeness. She said, "I'm sure you are not used to making this much money". I just replied, "That's what you think". But it made me realize it was actually costing me to work there. When I arrived at my other job, I was told that my hours would be increasing as we are set to start peeling shrimp again at another facility that had been undamaged sometime this week. Easy decision, quit the very low paying job.


Sunday Walk

I took Dodger for a walk this afternoon. Being a Lab/German Shepherd mix, she points and tries to flush. She pointed at this and then tried to flush, but stopped short when she realized just how big it was.

Great Blue Heron, Scene 1

Even after Dodger stopped, the heron did not like our presence and flew further down. We followed it some more and I was able to get some other shots. This is one of them.
Great Blue Heron, Scene 2 (Clicking on images will enlarge them)

This was within a half mile of my house and while I see them every once and while, this was the first time I was able to take pictures. They are majestic birds and I can understand why Dodger stopped. The are usually between 3 to 4 1/2 feet tall. This one was right at 4 feet.

Project VALOUR-IT - Neglecting My Duties

With all that has been going on with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I've been letting other things fall by the wayside. I have not posted about Project VALOUR-IT in over two months. Fuzzilicious has a good post on Project VALOUR-IT in action. Go and check it out and do what you can. I recently made a donation. I forgot that I had collected money from co-workers before Katrina struck and when I was organizing my new desk area, I found the envelope with the money that had been collected and sent it via PayPal. In case you are wondering, I did check with those who had so graciously donated to see if they needed their donations back. All said no and to send it in.

Fuzzilicious has another post about this great project!

Linked with The Indepundit's Liberty Call

Linked with My Vast Right Conspiracy'sWLWOTPCFCD-TIME

Cross-posted at Love America First

St Michael's - Biloxi's Point Cadet

St. Michael's Catholic Church is known as the fishermen's church. It sits proudly on Hwy 90 at the tip of Point Cadet and faces the Gulf of Mexico. It is a round church that is famous for it's stained glass and it's seashell roof. The fishermen of the Point raised the money to build it.

"...That church (St. Michael) was built on shrimp pennies and women picking shrimp and shucking oysters. Yeah, all these people were Catholics. Most of the Slavonians were Catholic..." --Louis Trebotich Ole MIss

The Ole Miss article tells beautifully the history of the church and of the proud fishermen who have longed called the Point their home. Father John Kelly is currently the priest of St. Michael's and is from Ireland. He is humble and full of laughter. He baptized my son when he was the priest at the Catholic church I used to go to. Knowing him, he is busy comforting those on the Point and busy making plans with Biloxi diocese to restore the wonderful stained glass and to get the church operational to hold Mass.

It was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

This a view of the back of the church. The stained glass windows used to extend all the way down.

This statue of the archangel Michael used to sit on top of the church.

Normally, this statue of St. Joseph would be in an alcove and not at the foot of the alter. The members of the church with help from out of state Catholic youth groups are salvaging what they can.

A brief sample of the stained glass that encircles the church. (Clicking on the images will enlarge them)

A lot of people who want memories of St. Michael's have taken some of the shards of the borken stained glass. Those bits and pieces are needed back in order for the church to be restored to it's former glory. Father Kelly has put out a plea to have those shards returned.

"We want our stained glass back," said Belinda Ryle, St. Michael's secretary.

"The church is going to be rebuilt and we want to get as close to what it is like before Katrina. I know people want tokens, but we need all that to recreate the church in its original appearance."

St. Michael's pastor, the Rev. John Kelly, describes the rebuilding, "like a crossword puzzle. You have to piece things back together."

The church address is 190 East Blvd., across from Casino Magic. Details: (228)435-5578. (ed-inserted area code)SunHerald

Please, if anyone has taken some as a momento, return them. They are needed to match the colors, tints, texture, and depth of the glass in order to restore.

St. Michael's holds a place in my heart because I work in the seafood industry. It is a symbol of the hope that we all share that it like the seafood industry will soon be restored.


Taking a cue from St casserole , I indulged myself this weekend. I had a bad haircut rectified and went all out. I had the shampoo, the hair cut, the blow drying, and the styling. I further indulged myself with a Heineken and Cary Grant. My secret is out. That guy is funny, smart, tall, and very handsome. He is also a very good actor. If you haven't seen him in Arsenic and Old Lace, you are missing out on a very good movie.

During the 1940's, a movie about serial killers was handled much differently than today. You don't see any dead bodies or gore. All of that is off-screen. The focus is on the actors and the plot, not on how much you can be grossed out.

Even tough it is about serial killers who happen to be in their 60's, it is actually a dark comedy. Who could believe that those two sweet old ladies, who make broth for the sick and wonderful treats for the neighborhood kids would be murderers?

Cary Grant is wonderful who as their nephew tries to do everything he can to stop them without them being arrested. His whole family is crazy. One brother, Teddy, thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt and the other, Jonathan, has killed as many people as his aunts. The plot centers around the antics of Mortimer(Grant) who doesn't want to see any of his relatives arrested. All the action falls on the same day and you are exposed to just how demented this family truly is. Thrown into the mix is the fact he was married that day and while his new bride is telling her father about their marriage, he is learning about his aunts 'charity work' for lonely old men. It is a hilarious movie.


Much Needed Help for Pearlington

I wrote about the plight of Pearlington, a very small town in western Hancock County Mississippi. It had been flattened by Hurricane Katrina. This past week some angels arrived and have begun assembly of 20 prefabricated buildings measuring 20x16. It might seem very small, but when you've been living in a tent, it must seem like a mansion.

They are the Building Goodness from Charlottesville Virginia and usually go to Third World countries after a natural disaster hits. They joined up with a group called the Charlottesville-Pearlington Relief. The volunteers in this group have returned with two buses and a truck filled with supplies.

Thank you to the good people of Charlottesville VA!! And thank you to all the bloggers who have helped to spread the word about the forgotten small towns of Mississippi.

You can read the full story at the SunHerald

While I'm not sure if our efforts had anything to do with them coming down this past week, I know it helped!(Updated 10/23/05)

Fall Colors

This afternoon, I took the following in my flowerbed. The plant is a lantana and the butterfly is a Gulf Fritillary.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.

MS Gulf Coast Coliseum & Convention Center - Biloxi

Back on May 21, 2005, my son proudly walked across the stage at the Coliseum and received his high school diploma. Most of the area schools have longed used the Coliseum for graduation ceremonies. I too walked across that stage when I graduated from high school and when I received my Associate's Degree. The Coliseum is home to the Mississippi Seawolves, a hockey team. Many great concerts have been held there and every year is proud to have the Air Force band perform Christmas Carols. The Convention Center used to beat New Orleans out of many conventions. It is hard to reconcile the images from the Sky-Chaser video of the storm surge that came through the Coliseum and those memories of happier times.

How long will it be before I can once again needle the supporters of the Baton Rouge Gators when they are playing against the Seawolves? I don't know, maybe next year, hopefully. Maybe it can be restored in time for the upcoming graduations in the spring of next year. Of course with the school calendars so messed up, no one knows for sure when the high school seniors and college students will be able to graduate. But they will graduate. The Convention Center will once again be the host to many conventions, it's just a matter of time.


Biloxi's Point Cadet

Biloxi is fronted by the Gulf of Mexico on the south and the Back Bay on the north. Point Cadet sits where the two meet. It has long been a haven for immigrants. Yugoslavian names such as Wescovich and Covacevich have been replaced with names such as Nguyen, Tran, and Dinh. It is a community that has had ties to the sea for over a hundred years, from the shrimpers to those who make the nets. It was filled with the small homes of those who worked hard and where family came first. When I heard about the devastation there, I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong. I have been numb since going there. I couldn't even find where my friend Pete's house once stood. He is okay and is living in Florida.

The following pictures cannot begin to show you the destruction. It was street after street.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com I don't know what street this was on.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Howard Ave?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Kuhn St

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Oak St

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Second St?

The confusion from the streets comes into play because the only street that had a sign was Kuhn St. The others are guesses based on what I remember when I took them. But each of these pictures was taken on a different street. Every where I turned, it was the same destruction.

UPDATE: 10/22/05

This is an aerial view of Point Cadet from WFAA.


Small Town North of Biloxi

St. Martin sits on the north side of Biloxi's Back Bay. It's a small town of not more than 2,000. Hurricane Katrina has virtually wiped it from the earth. One of my bosses lived there in a subdivision called Langley Point. Not one single house survived. When my boss was building his house about 5 or 6 years ago, he incorporated measures to help it survive hurricanes. He went beyond the recommended construction codes. Today was the first time I went there.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Thy name is irony.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Palace Casino on Biloxi's Point Cadet as viewed from Langley Point, about two miles from where I was standing.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMy boss's house from the back.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com My boss's house from the side.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com St. Martin Middle school. It was severely damaged by a combination of the storm surge and a possible tornado. It is two miles from the bay.

You probably can't even find St Martin on many maps. When I was driving through, there were about 5 or 6 families that were camped out at where their homes used to stand. They were using everything from Army tents to pup tents. I know you hear a lot about people who are abusing the generous outpouring by Americans. But in St Martin, the money you donated to the Red Cross is being used to provide food to those families. It is being used for financial assistance to those families who had nothing more than the shirts on the backs after Katrina hit. While others may abuse your wonderful gifts, in St Martin and elsewhere in Mississippi and Louisiana, it is being used for basic necessities. Please don't let those few who are constantly in the news tarnish the nobleness of your generosity and the nobleness of those who are just trying to survive and rebuild.


Excuses, Excuses

Here are my excuses for not posting as much lately:

1: The cat jumped on the keyboard just as I was about to post and deleted it

2: Too busy feeding squirrels

3: Turner Classic Movies has had some really good ones on lately

4: The dog ate it

5: Carbs from Papa John's pizza have frozen my brain

If you would like to suggest any other excuses I might try, please feel free to share!


A Drive Along Hwy 90 - West Biloxi

My son works for a heating and air conditioning repair and installation company. Being part of the necessary rebuilding going on, while at work, he can go down Hwy. 90. Yesterday, when he came home he asked if he could take my camera to work with him as they would be working again in West Biloxi today. Here are some of the scenes that he saw:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Beauvior - The last home of Jefferson Davis, the Confedrate's president.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com The President Casino had been washed almost a half mile from it's moorings and crossed Hwy 90!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Treasure Bay Casino

Image hosted by Photobucket.com I am not sure where or what this used to be. I believe it's close to Edgewater Mall only because my son was in it's vicinity when took these pictures.

I think he took some good shots. Especially considering that the truck he was in was moving.

Working For a Living

After finishing up at the major office supply store, I went to Gollott's. I had to order some toner for the copier. That might not seem like a big deal, but it is. The major office supply store does not carry the type needed at Gollott's and I have to order from a small local office supply store. I didn't know if they would be open because the street they are located on in Biloxi suffered major damage.

But they were open. At their home. Their business had been damaged. Even though the building was still standing, all their inventory had been lost. But like most on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, they are doing what they can to operate. She said they have a phone. They have vendors they can order from and have the supplies overnighted. They lost their delivery truck, but have been using another vehicle.

She said you just have to make do for right now and we all doing what we can and what needs to be done.

Yesterday, I was watching the seafood business across the street from Gollott's. They too lost all their inventory. Their building is gone also. They have one refrigerated trailer that is operational. And yet they too were doing what had to be done. They are still in business.

Gollott's Seafood is still in business. Sales are being made but at very much reduced rate until we can start production again by peeling shrimp at another processor whose place is operational.

Grocery stores are open even though you can still see the damage done to the stores. Insurance agents are using tents outside their torn up offices to help file claims. A lot of businesses now have cell phones as their main numbers because it is taking a very long time to have phone service re-established. But everybody is making do.

We are continuing business even amidst the damage that has not yet been repaired. We are working for a living. And it is this spirit that will insure that Biloxi, D'Iberville, Gulfport, Long Beach, and the other cities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast will be rebuilt and more than likely sooner than anyone could expect. We aren't sitting around. We are working and are rebuilding.


Fall in South Mississippi

Fall in Gulfport MS can be very subtle. While the northern states have the reds, yellows, and oranges of leaves turning, down here we have black-eyed susans that turn fields golden. The roadways are lined with hedges of golden rod mixed in with argeratum. Purple and gold line our roads instead of orange, red, and yellow. The temperatures start creeping down into the 80's and 70's with bouts of dips into the 50's at night.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Does Anybody Have the Time?

I have been having time issues lately. I can't think what the problem could be. But I have my suspicions.

I think the culprit is this:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

My alarm clock. Yep, it says 10:97.

Maybe I should invest in one of those Canadian Clocks.


Pearlington - A Small Town Forgotten

I have spoken about the many small towns in Mississippi that no longer exist because of Hurricane Katrina. I have even mentioned Pearlington. I had no idea that Pearlington was still in such a desperate situation. However, Michelle Malkin received a plea for help for this small town of 1,500.

Hi Michelle, I am an aid coordinator for the Katrina effort. My entire community jumped in with me and we adopted the town of Lumberton Mississippi. I have been working with Lumberton for a month now getting to know the people. My adoped town is inland a ways and as we ship aid to them they have been sharing with towns harder hit south of them. Yesterday my distribution contact in Lumberton got a call from Pearlington for help. He and the pick up truck brigade took what they could to Pearlington. He called and said to me "Nora, is there anything you can do for those folk? It's the worst I have seen. They have 300+ people sleeping on the ground on their football field. The whole town is just flattened. "
CAN YOU HELP ME get this poor town adopted and get them help. Their population is only about 1500. They are the small whistle stop no one will care about unless we can get the word out they are in dire need.

They are right across the water from New Orleans. I am so distressed that N.O. gets all the media and the little towns get nothing. Please can you help me find a way to raise visibility to the plight of the small Mississippi towns?

If you'd like to help Nora, send me an e-mail (malkin@comcast.net) and I will put you directly in contact with her. Thanks! Michelle Malkin

Please help if you can. Thank you.

UPDATE: I have cross-posted this at Love America First Small Towns are Being Forgotten.

Linked at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy's Weekend-Link-Fest

Many, many thanks to the following who are posting as well:

Mark at Knockin' on the Golden Door

John at the Castle of Argghh

Abe at Don't Let Me Stop You

Patrick at Clarity & Resolve who placed this on his bulletin.

Spc. Van T. at Camp Katrina

Cool Blue


Dean's World

UPDATE: 10/18/05

Ms. Craig has e-mailed further details. The most pressing need is for temporary shelter such as RV's. She also provided numbers of who a town may contact if they wish to adopt a town in Mississippi: Both the Mississippi Municipal League (MML) and the Mississippi Association of Supervisors(MAS) have adopt-a-town programs set up. MML=Shari Veasey @ shari1@mmlonline.com. phone 601-960-5854 MAS is Lorie 601-354-8980. MML does incorporated towns/cities. MAS nonincorporated communities. Pearlington is in MAS.

Thanks to all who have linked or posted about this. And it's not limited to those in the United States. Anyone from from any country can call or e-mail to see how your town could help.

UPDATE: Pearlington has received some much needed help from the city of Charlottesville VA. You can read the details here.

Reality Check

While I keep bemoaning the fact that the beaches are no longer accessible to us who reside in Mississippi, I'm given a reality check. The officials of Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay St Louis, and others keep reminding us that there is too much danger and that it is possible more victims of Hurricane Katrina could be found in the debris.

That has happened. Two more bodies were found, one in Long Beach and one in Pass Christian. Now the death toll stands at 224 for Mississippi. It is expected that the death toll could rise as more debris is cleared off. There are 54 people still unaccounted for. The Harrison County Coroner does expect a few more bodies will be found.

For a list of those who died in Hancock and Harrison County during Hurricane Katrina and have been identified and their names released, you can go to Harrison County Civil Defense.

I should have stuck to my resolution not to read any news today.

Fred and Ginger With Heineken

Today is a major chill-out day for me. No news, no blogging about anything of substance. Just a day to relax and try to enjoy myself. After the 2 1/2 hour adventure at the grocery store, I made it home with all the necessary stuff and one very essential requirement for this major chill-out day, a six pack of Heineken.

While savoring the smooth taste, I watched Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Swingtime. The grace and ease with which those two glide across the floor in their dance is so beautiful.

Some things struck me about this movie. This movie was made in 1936 and yet in some ways it timeless. It is a love story told through the dancing. In the first dance scene, is the kindling of the attraction. Each dance after that progresses until the last dance which was so effective in showing the hurt and pain of a seemingly lost love.

It has been a good and for the most part, a peaceful day. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel like ranting about something in the news. For now, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is on and another Heineken beckons. Cheers all.


Hurricane Katrina's Storm Surge

Today was the first time I have seen video of the storm surge created by Hurricane Katrina. Cricket sent me a link to a video of it. I think the hotel in the video may be the Grand Casino's Hotel in Gulfport. I am not sure though. All I know is that everyone in this video by the grace of God came out alive even the hapless person in the car. Because the lights on the car came on, I thought someone was in it. Not so.

This is just a sampling of the hammering from the brutal 30-40 foot storm surge that ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Katrina Storm Surge - Gulfport MS

UPDATE: I found another site that has still photos of the video and also gives the location of which hotel they were staying at. It was the Holiday Inn which is west of the Grand Casino. Hurricane Katrina


Moderate Scholar?

I read a post at Solomonia tonight which discusses a moderate scholar that has been invited to speak at Boston Muslim Community this Sunday.

His post Salah Soltan - A moderate's guest? discusses just how 'moderate' this 'scholar' is. There are a lot of great links in his article. It is well worth the time to read. The post has excerpts in which Muslim women have written to him seeking advice.

The case of the woman who married a Muslim man and then converted is a sorrowful tale of how a woman has no say when her Muslim husband goes to Egypt and marries another women. His answer is priceless. Muslim men can have more than one wife and he doesn't even need to discuss it with the first wife.

But one of the most hateful things to come out of this 'moderate scholar' was his statements made in 1999 while at the Islamic American University in Southfield Michigan

According to a quote from this page, Sultan believes that Israeli soldiers make ash trays from Palestinian embryo skulls, and that the Talmud commands the Jews to kill all gentiles:

These words are from a Muslim scholar that is considered to be moderate. He advocates the total destruction of Israel and suicide bombers. He sounds like one of those imams that are considered extreme and needs to be booted out of the country, the welcome mat permanently removed, and the gates forever locked to this 'moderate'.

Back in Iraq

Michael Yon has returned to Iraq and is in Baghdad to cover the referendum. He also has a new post up. The Embed describes how he became an embedded reporter.


Long Beach MS Small Craft Harbor
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
Sittin' in the morning sun
I'll be sittin' when the evening comes
Watching the ships roll in
Then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooh, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay wastin' time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the Frisco bay
'Cos I've had nothing to live for
And look like nothing's gonna come my way
So I'm just gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooh, I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay wastin' time

Look like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same, listen

Sittin' here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone, listen
2000 miles I've roamed
Just to make this dock my home
Now I'm just gonna sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooh wee, I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay wastin' time

Otis Redding (Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay Lyrics

Interlude, just because.

First Day

Today I started at the major office supply store. It is going to be a piece of cake. Other than getting used to the different procedures used, it is a lot of detail work with a lot of responsibility. The people seem friendly with a cheerful attitude.

One thing I am going to have to deal with is acute internet withdrawal. No internet access at all!! Also, no more wearing shorts, jeans, or tennis shoes. Button down shirts, dress slacks, and dress shoes only. Geesh, I have to dress like a professional office worker. Oh well. I can live with that until Gollott's is up and running.

So far, the hardest thing to deal with is getting up at 4:45am. I didn't think that would be a problem since I am usually up by then but I forgot a few things. Like being able to drink a leisurely two cups of coffee and just taking it easy until 7:00am. I haven't had to deal with rushing around in the morning for awhile.


On This Holiest of Days

To all who are observing Yom Kippur, may your fast be easy and may your observance be filled with meaning.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image from Glasspainter

Burka Be Gone

The Netherlands is set to become the first European country to effectively ban the public wearing of that infamous symbol of slavery, the burka. Integration Minister, Rita Verdonk said the ban was for public safety as no one could tell who was underneath it and a terrorist could hide under it. Mrs. Verdonk is very outspoken.

Mrs Verdonk gave warning that the “time of cosy tea-drinking” with Muslim groups had passed and that natives and immigrants should have the courage to be critical of each other. She recently cancelled a meeting with Muslim leaders who refused to shake her hand because she was a woman.

The proposals are likely to win the support of Parliament because of the expected backing by right-wing parties. But they have caused outrage among Muslim and human rights groups, who say that the Government is pandering to the far Right.

Mrs Verdonk admitted that a complete ban on the garment would be legally tricky because of freedom of religion legislation. However, she said that she would prohibit the garments “in specific situations” on grounds of public safety. The ban is likely to be enforced in shops, public buildings, cinemas, train and bus stations and airports, as well as on trains and buses. London Times

The proposed ban is not the only place the Dutch are getting tough. Even their courts are showing common sense.
Last year two Muslim women lost a court case against their college that had banned them from wearing burkas during their social work and childcare course. The judge backed the college in its claim that children had to be able to see who was caring for them, prompting the women to drop the course.

Wouldn't you like to see some of these measures for immigrants to our country?
Immigrants must pass an exam on Dutch language and culture before being allowed to move to the Netherlands. That does not apply to immigrants from US, Canada, Australia, Japan and other EU states.

Legal immigrants already there must take a Dutch language course at their own expense.

Immigrants guilty of any minor crime, such as shoplifting, during their first three years in the country can be deported.

People can bring in a husband or wife only once they are 24 years old, and do not depend on welfare benefits. The measures are aimed at curbing international arranged marriages.

26,000 illegal immigrants are being deported, some of whom have been in the country for ten years and have established families.

Clampdown on foreign imams working in mosques. They must show their appreciation of Dutch values.

The Dutch clearly see the threat that Islamists are to their society. It takes a great deal of courage to face the fact and to do something about it.

Consistent or Inconsistent

Some of my posts at times seem contradictory to each other. One post might berate those in Pakistan who abuse women under the guise of Islam and the next post might ask you to pray for those in Pakistan who have been affected by the earthquake.

One post might reflect a inconsistency in political views, such as the presidential race. But are they really inconsistent or shortsighted?

No, to me they are not. I have been described by people who know me well as a tree-hugging liberal conservative. What exactly does that mean!!?

It means that I believe people should have a respect for nature and try to conserve resources as best as possible. Does it mean I am against development? No. But builders need to take great care in building in low lying areas. Especially here in Mississippi where it tends to flood a lot in those areas.

It means that people should look out for one another. I don't mind paying taxes and I don't mind those taxes going toward programs to help people help themselves. When I was first divorced, I benefited from the Earned Income Tax Credit, notice it says earned, Section 8 housing, and for awhile food stamps. The reality in our country is that someone who is making minimum wage cannot afford to live on it. These programs are designed to help people like me get on our feet.

I also believe that each person is responsible for improving their own lives. Going to college or a trade school is one way to pull yourself up. Making personal changes in your life to stop destructive behavior is another.

Now, how can I condemn the abuse of women in Pakistan under the guise of 'marriage' laws under Islam in one post and then in the next post ask you pray to for those in Pakistan who were affected by the earthquake?

It's simple really. I have always been a staunch supporter of women's rights. It started early. When I was 10, I let in my neighbor whose husband was chasing her around the yard and trying to continue the beating he was giving her. She was 8 months pregnant!! My Mom got mad at me for getting involved. I told her the poor lady was being beaten, please call the police. This was before we had the 911 emergency system.

Islam is one of the most abusive religions in the world. It is cruel with it's punishments under sharia. Women and gays are treated horribly. It goes against every principle of decency we have learned in the West.

Those principles of decency are what prompted me to ask for prayers for those affected by the earthquake. They are human beings whose world has been turned upside down. There are thousands upon thousands who are dead. If this to some makes me myopic or narrow-minded in my views so be it.

I have consistently shown my outrage against terror attacks against Israeli citizens and have consistently denounced the terror attacks against those in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have read in horror about the beheadings in Indonesia, the continued terrorist attacks in Algeria, the attacks against Christians in PA controlled territory, the recent terror attacks in Pakistan, and so many others.

I am glad that our government and so many others across the world are trying to help the victims of the earthquake. It is another example of human decency. Most learn this principle of human decency by being taught to treat others as you would like to be treated.

You tell me if I am being consistent or inconsistent.


Sights and Sounds of Recovery

Going about errands yesterday, I realized that in some neighborhoods things were beginning to look normal. On those streets, the debris from Hurricane Katrina had been picked up and there was no more dodging tree limbs and household items that had been protruding on the street. Other than the absence of shade and the houses that had the protective tarps covering damaged roofs, it almost looked normal.

In my neighborhood, and I'm sure up and down the Mississippi Coast, there is the music of nail guns. Pop, pop, pop and you know another shingle is now in place. It is heartening to see and hear the repairs going on.

The oak trees, live oaks, water oaks, and scrub oaks, are beginning to put forth new leaves. All but the live oaks will soon be losing them again because of fall. There are more and more signs of wildlife. I can hear more birds singing. The squirrels are once again engaged in their war to wrest food from the bird feeders. I put out some pecans for them so they'll leave the bird feeders alone for awhile.

Schools and colleges are opening. Makeshift classrooms abound but they are open. There are signs everywhere for help wanted, mostly for fast food places though. Restuarants are beginning to open as are a lot of retail stores, but choices are not what they used to be. That will get better also.

Mobile homes are coming in at a fast pace to provide those who lost their homes with shelter. The Seabees are building temporary housing in Pass Christian.

There are traffic jams at all times of the day on most of the major roads. There are 30-40 minute waits at grocery stores and banks. But at least they are open.

Many people are still without phone service and some will be until January, but you see the Bellsouth trucks out everyday and they have provided phone stations for people to use free of charge.

The distribution centers for water, ice, and food are closing down as there is no longer a need for them in some areas. The temporary medical centers are closing as the local hospitals are now functioning normally. There are even a few public libraries opening, though the majority are still out of commission due to total destruction, flood damage, or wind damage.

It is not normal and it will not be for a long time but it is improvement and the dazed look that many had in their eyes is being replaced with one of hope and pride.


Barbour for President?

I left a comment at Tran Sient's in which I stated that I was an independent and voted for the person I felt would do the most good for our country. I also stated that I was disgusted with both the Republican and Democrat party. It seemed that of all the candidates being bandied about for president, the one most capable was Hillary Clinton. I have changed my mind, again.

It had been said that Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour could be running for president. I discounted it at the time because this was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I couldn't help but think, yeah right, someone for Mississippi having a shot for president?

In a previous post, I had voiced my concerns about Barbour speaking before the Council of Conservative Citizens, a quasi-racist group. That and his support for current Mississippi flag have me concerned.

However, from his actions after Hurricane Katrina, he has proven a very capable leader and saved us on the Mississippi Coast from a lot of hassle in the aftermath. Even though I voted for him during the last governor's race, I wasn't quite sure of him. I am not the only one that considers him to be presidential material. The Washington Post had a long article about him today. Below are some excerpts but you should read the entire article.

Barbour makes regular trips to "the devastation" -- the operative synonym for the coastal region. Like Reagan, the governor's political idol, Barbour emphasizes hopeful rhetoric even amid despair-inducing conditions. He talks of how Katrina could, in the long term, be the impetus for a "renaissance" in Mississippi.

This renaissance, if it occurs, could be a springboard into a run for president in 2008 -- something Barbour had been considering before Katrina. "He is, in some ways, in a very enviable political position," says W. Martin Wiseman, director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. Wiseman adds that Barbour's fortunes will be determined largely by his ability to bring in federal relief dollars -- a task he is suited to.
Barbour also benefits from the chaos next door in Louisiana, which has received more scrutiny and criticism. He is often asked for his assessment of Louisiana, particularly of its Democratic governor, Blanco. He won't answer explicitly, but his critique is barely veiled. Asked about a proposal to turn over Mississippi's relief effort to a federal "czar," Barbour says, "We don't need that here," adding that neither do neighboring Alabama or Florida. "These states are capable of doing the right thing."


"That's not for me to say," he says.

Before I make a final decision about him, I need to learn more about his goals on foreign policy and the Global War on Terror and the exact relationship with the Council of Conservative Citizens. I know he is a bulldog when it comes to fighting legislators.

Gainfully Employed

I am gainfully employed!!. I start Thursday morning and the job seems a piece of cake. I had to take a drug test. That was embarrassing. I had to drink four bottles of water before I could fill the little cup!!

Time for another happy dance!!

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Job Interview

Last week, I put in an application for a cashier's job at a major office supply store. I got a call back Friday and have an interview scheduled for this afternoon. What is so neat about it is they want me to work in the cash office instead of being a cashier. I was told what the hours would be and how much I would be making per hour. I would be working from 6:00am till 12:00pm and there would be no problem with me working part-time at Gollott's Seafood in the afternoon. From the tone of the phone conversation, this interview is just a formality.

Honesty does pay off. For on my application, I put down about my desire to continue to work at Gollott's. The only bad thing is going in so early. I usually am up by 5:00am anyways but am used to spending a couple of hours on the internet, reading the paper, etc. Oh well, will just have to re-arrange.

Thirty hours a week at the office supply store and around twenty hours a week at Gollott's. Working 50 hours a week!! I was getting tired of Judge Judy anyway. I need to be working.


Don't Talk to Me

The Atlanta Braves have managed once again to choke in the division playoffs. Why do I even bother watching them throughout the year. Four years in a row they have done this. I am so glad that I don't get Fox, otherwise my TV may have needed replacing.

One out away from forcing a decisive fifth game at Turner Field, Farnsworth surrendered a two-out, ninth-inning homer to Brad Ausmus. The game-tying home run came on the 36th pitch delivered by the Atlanta closer.

Farnsworth entered with a 6-1 lead after Tim Hudson began the eighth by issuing a walk and surrendering an infield single. The Atlanta closer induced a potential double-play grounder and issued a walk before allowing Lance Berkman to deliver an opposite-field slam over the short left-field wall. Braves

I don't know what I'm going to do next year. I may have to become a White Sox or even an Astros(yuuuuuuuccccccccck)fan. The Braves were winning through the 8th inning by a 5 run lead and once again, the bull pen messes(imagine the word I actually meant)up. It was record 18 inning game. Oh, who am I kidding, Braves fan I am, Braves fan I'll always be. I wish the Astros luck against the Cardinals, NOT. On second thought I do hope the Astros win, better them than the Cardinals any day. Just don't talk to me.

Just Can't Seem to Help Themselves

While many of their Muslim brothers and sisters and others have died as a result of the earthquake on the border of India and Pakistan, the terrorists just cannot seem to stop their murderous acts. In Basra terrorists launched another homicide bomb attack which appears to be aimed at Shiites. While in Afghanistan , which was also affected by the earthquake, another homicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into a car with British officials in it. None of the officials were killed.


The earthquake that struck Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan is unimaginable. The number of dead is now said to be between 18,000 to 30,000, mostly in northern Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 9 -- Rescuers struggled to reach victims of the devastating earthquake that struck near the Indian-Pakistani border in the disputed Kashmir region Saturday. The quake killed thousands of people, most in remote parts of northern Pakistan, with figures on Sunday ranging from more than 18,000 to as many as 30,000 feared dead.Washington Post

Countries are gearing up to send aid to Pakistan with India offering help to it's neighbor. The table below is the initial amounts. More than likely those figures will be revised today and in the coming days as the scope of the disaster becomes better known.

EU: $3.6m
Australia: $380,000
UK: $177,000 and 60-strong team
US: $100,000
China: 49 rescuers, dogs, 17 tons of equipment
Japan: 50 rescue workers
Turkey: five teams of rescuers and 11 tonnes of aid
Russia: 30 rescuers, sniffer dogs, special equipment
Germany: $60,000 BBC News

Israel has offered it's assistance as well and their are hopes that Pakistan will continue the recent warming of relations and accept the help.

Large-scale Israeli assistance following a massive earthquake in 1999 in northwestern Turkey that killed over 15,000 people, and following a huge earthquake in western India in 2001 that killed some 20,000 people, helped strengthen ties between Israel and those two countries.

Following the tsunami in southern Asia in late 2004, Israel airlifted to Indonesia, with which it does not have diplomatic ties, some 75 tons of aid for Indonesian victims. Shalom met with his Indonesian counterpart last month at the UN. Jerusalem Post

Please pray for all the victims and their families.

Sunday Funnies - 10/09/05

Thank goodness for Billy G. He sends me some very funny e-mails. Hope you enjoy.

Everything Has A Gender

You may not know this but many non-living things have a gender.

1) Ziploc Bags are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

2) Copiers are Female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.

3) A Tire is Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.

4) A Hot Air Balloon is Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it, and of course, there's the hot air part.

5) Sponges are Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.

6) A Web Page is Female, because it's always getting hit on.

7) A Subway is Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

8) An Hourglass is Female, because over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

9) A Hammer is Male, because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.

10) A Remote Control is Female. Ha! You thought it'd be male, didn't you? But consider this - it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying

Another Thank You

Abe at Don't Let Me Stop You has come to the rescue again. I was having some problems with the comments appearing incorrectly when someone would look at a page view or to a post that had been linked by another site. I have been trying to correct the problem off and on for over a month and Abe was able to solve the problem in under two hours.

Thank you Abe


More Islamic 'Marriage' Practices

On Friday, I wrote Wife as Slave? about how women are perceived as nothing but sexual beings that only exist to please a man's desires. It examines Islamic belief in the relationship between husband and wife. It did not go into full detail about some of the other aspects of Islamic marriages.

Daniel Pipes had written about 'marriages' on Friday as well. His article Arabian Sex Tourism appeared on Front Page Magazine.

It describes what amounts to an illicit sex trade in which wealthy Muslim men from the Arab Gulf States abuse young Muslim girls, 13 - 16 years old, in poor countries such as India. These girls, usually virgins, are 'married' off to these men and then are divorced by the men. Sometimes the arrangements for the marriage and the divorce are made before the same Islamic judge and the 'marriages' are usually dissolved the day after the debauchery occurs.

The Arabs usually "marry" the girls for short periods, sometimes just a single night. In fact, Wajihuddin reports, marriage and divorce formalities are often prepared at the same time, thereby expediting the process for all involved. Akhileshwari notes that "their girl children are available for as little as 5,000 rupees to satisfy the lust of doddering old Arab men." Five thousand rupees, by the way, equals just a bit over US$100.

Islam, the self-vaunted protector of women's rights!! By using the current rules of marriage in Islam, the same rules which many Muslims hold up and say, "Hey, we were the first to grant women property rights", is being used to prostitute young girls. For that is what it is, prostitution. Under Islamic law a man can have up to 4 wives at a time and some of the men who go to those poorer countries, arrange to 'marry' more than one girl. It is not condemned. One official in the article made the outrageous statement that it helps out the poor girls families. No official seemed concerned about the morality of it all. Sham 'marriage' in order for 'doddering old men' to enjoy their lusts. Islam, the protector of women's rights!! What a laugh.

Biloxi Walkabout

Yesterday, I drove into Biloxi and parked my car on Lamuese St and took a walkabout. You cannot drive on Hwy 90 unless you live there or are part of the recovery effort. My walk was about 1 -2 miles east down Hwy 90 toward Point Cadet. All the beautiful homes that once graced Hwy 90 are gone along this stretch. It is mind numbing and is hard to tell what used to be where. There were certain places you could tell by what little was left. There were only three structures that were still standing though there was massive damage, the Santa Maria Retirement Home, some condos, and the Tivoli Hotel. Think about it for a moment, three buildings standing along a 1 -2 mile stretch of road. My courage failed me in going into the Point where there is total destruction of homes, some of them belonged to workers of C F Gollott & Son Seafood, Inc.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comYou don't see too many boats in bank parking lots, Lamuese St.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBiloxi Welcome Center & Town Green, Hwy 90. Those brick footings are what is left of a beautiful Victorian house that served as the Welcome Center.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comMcElroys Restaurant was a focal point in Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. Behind where it stood would have been boats moored. The concrete piers behind it have been broken up.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAt the entrance to the Small Craft Harbor is a memorial to all those from Mississippi who received a Purple Heart.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAll that's left of the Church of the Redeemer is the memorial to Hurricane Camille victims.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe Marines had set-up Camp Operation Restore.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe two barges from the Grand Casino ended up across Hwy 90. I cannot imagine the surge that must have lifted these massive buildings and set them down in new digs.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe Tivoli Hotel is barely standing and has as a new neighbor one of the Grand Casino barges.

There was one pleasant surprise. On my way home, I stopped at Bayou Bernard in Gulfport. All the piers were still standing and I could still walk over the bayou.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com You can see from the way the marsh grass is bent, the path the water took when it came in. There are reports that Bayou Bernard, which is 5 miles inland, had 13 foot waves.

UPDATE: St Casserole, another Coastal blogger has pictures from the West, from Gulfport to Bay St Louis. She is beginning to have the same type of nightmares I suffered from. Please give her some encouragement. Thanks.