Iraq and the people who call it home…

got a link to this recently. Worth looking at as a quick reference to surviving in a society with starkly different values than our own…

Carnival of the Optimists #11: Friends from afar


Hi there! The Carnival will be up tonight, but I have to skedaddle, because a buddy has come in unexpectedly from out of town, and I need to drink his health. In the meantime, check out this week’s Progress+Bootstraps Combo: the RealAge Test. Absolutely spot-on ways to slow aging and increase sheer physical quality of life.

Oh. And here’s a picture of a cute and fluffy kitten. See you in a bit…

UPDATE: Whee, that was fun…
Okay, where were we… well, since we’re going in sort of backwards order this evening, Todd MacMillan, a self-described “avid reader,” (I have an avid reader? Wow…) sends along another confirmation that there are cancer-munching viruses out there, and they seem to be perfectly harmless to us, to boot.

Okay, what’s the good news out there? Well, Soldiers’ Angel asks, “What Do The FBI, a Harley Davidson Woman’s Club, Soldiers Angels and Minimus Have in Common?” Something pretty cool…

And Autumn, of Janus Gate, couldn’t get a full post up time, but points out some good news, indeed… some folks out in Arizona just got real lucky, when the Hand of God(tm) seemed to reach out to stop wildfires from burning their homes.

And, Bootstraps for Clever Spouses… who loves headaches? Who loves not having them any longer? Well, Bad Example has figured out “what to do when the heating pads go belly up… pretty damned clever. Even more clever than Technogypsy’s lovely wife, who is a pediatrician and uses cheap bags of frozen veggies as cold pads… but truly, figuring out the hot version is a stroke of genius.

Okay, well, this has been all backwards, so… hello!

Take THAT, Mr. Souter..

(hat tip, Winds of Change)

Justice Souter’s getting KELO’d. All the gentleman who’d like to build the hotel needs is the approval of three out of five local officials…

I hate thieves.

I hate them more than most other criminals. Somebody wants to rob me, he has to risk getting hurt. somebody wants to steal my financial information and run up twentysixhundredbucks at home despot…

I have to stew in my juices knowing I’ll never find him, nor hurt him with an axe.

Damn.
Caw.

Oh, it’s about to get interesting…

Here’s the Supreme Court Nomination blog, a sister element of SCOTUSblog.

Why am I posting this? Because rumblings coming down the pipe off RealClearPolitics have suggested that it will be Sandra Day O’Connor, not Reinquist, who starts the retirement/replacement circus in motion. It true, it means

a) a HUGE political fight (and one for which the Democrats, paradoxically are itching, even though a fight of this magnitude plays directly into Replublican mid-term election hands. Court nominees are a serious motivator for the Republican base, and a big reason for why Daschle got tossed out. There is no conceivable better way of guaranteeing an increase in the Senate for the Republicans than a SCOTUS fight).
b) the potential for the traditional 5-4 balance to finally go away in favor of a 6-3 stable court, which hasn’t existed for most of my lifetime. You have to go back to the stable days of the Warren court for that.

Comedy from the Front…

Eason says:

Good Morning.

I have another funny story to relate and this one happened right here in Tikrit. We got reports of a mob of VBIEDs that have been moved into Tikrit and have been very much on our toes for the last 2 days. Yesterday, we get a radio report of a VBIED that has been
captured. Well good news for all involved. Then we heard the details of HOW it got captured and were rolling. The Suicide driver had targeted a VIP from the Ministry of Oil. He had staked out a road this guy had to drive on to get to work and when he came by he tried to ram his vehicle
into the VIPs convoy and kill him. Well, he missed the VIPs SUV and smaked into a light pole. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and received a massive head trauma. The crash also knocked all the wiring loose on the bomb so it didn’t go off. When the US patrol got there, this guy was
still trying to cross the wires to get the bomb to work, but was actually wiring up 2 wires from the car stereo (his head trauma had him seeing triple) and the Iraqi Police figured it would be cruel to stop as he seemed so intent. The bomber died from his wounds at the hospital after having to put up with numerous jokes about whether or not this would get him his virgins in heaven.

Oh my God my heart! **thud**

Thomas Friedman, in the NYT, actually comes out in favor of something Bush is doing.

(Link may require registration.)

Awww, poor kitty! Heh heh heh.

Cojones, defined. Now you know what to do if attacked by a large, predatory cat…

Yet another example…

that helps to explain my vitriolic hatred of the world-class liars and hypocrites known as PETA:

“In 2003, PETA euthanized over 85 percent of the animals it took in,” said a press release from the lobby, “finding adoptive homes for just 14 percent. By comparison, the Norfolk (Va.) SPCA found adoptive homes for 73 percent of its animals and Virginia Beach SPCA adopted out 66 percent.”

There’s more, and plenty of it, from Debra Saunders out in SF, not that far away (by Texas standards) from the latest PETA animal slaughter.

You know…

it’s stories like these that make me just how apropos the word “evil” can be.

Flypaper for asshats…

Over at Impearls, an interesting article: BBC confirms the flypaper strategy.

This has long been suspected, of course. It’s what the soldiers speak of when they talk about how it’s better to play “an away game” than a “home game.”

But for the Beeb to come up with it is pretty neat. Here’s a spiffy quote from David Warren, which gives an idea…

“It is the Islamist analogy to the way young socialists, anarchists, and adventurers from across Europe were drawn to Spain during its Civil War in the 1930s. “

Carnival of the Optimists #10

So I’m in a house with three beautiful women, one of whom sent me lovely orchids, another is my wife, and the third I’ve gotten into feltmaking for no other reason than I worked on it and she got hooked. I’m back from a funeral, I have new nephews and nieces, got to see nine out of ten of my great-aunts and great-uncles, and I managed to survive a serious round of questioning by one of my academic-article editors. Obviously… it’s Carnival Time….

Okay, I’m classifying this under “Bootstraps…” because it’s a real lemonaid-out-of-lemons kind of deal. BIG lemons. This guy is the coolest trucker you’ve never seen before over at Soldier’s Angel. Because I guarantee you, if you had seen him, you’d know.

The next one, from Steve Pavlina, is all about the classic interaction of attitude and results. Worth reading.

Not fitting into any category except plain old Good Things… Northstar has a photo of his Dad, circa 1955… If there’s anything that’s more important than family, it’s an awfully short list.

So, what’s Progress this week?

It’s not a cure for cancer… but it’s a treatment, and a good one. Check it out.

That’s it, folks. Keep those positive attitudes coming…

In 1918

a girl was born in rural Pennsylvania, a place where the valley flooded every year, and a man who completed high school was a rarity. A green-grocer with a sixth-grade education wasn’t considered an ignorant man unless he earned the label, and he could make a nice life for his family if he worked hard and lived thriftily. Electricity was rare, and “Pinkerton” meant a thug hired to come in with pick handles and beat up any of the coal mine workers who got out of line. Everybody was white, though at the time that didn’t include anything south of the Alps or Pyrenees, and didn’t always cover Irishmen, who were still barred from owning property in parts of the Northeast.

Such a different world from 2005, when all her grandkids went to college, or aimed to, her husband was Italian, her neighbors were blacks, Koreans, and increasingly, Sikhs, each prosperous ethnicity deeply suspicious of the immigrant upstarts moving into the neighborhood. Coal was quaint in an age of nuclear power, and the fact that she knew the different kinds, and which burned cleaner than the other, was rare knowledge.

The world of 1918 is gone, and so is she. She died the way she lived, quietly taking care of everybody else. God give her peace.

Carnival of the Optimists #9: The Water’s Fine!

So, what’s good this week? On the home front, we’ve rescued the kittens yet again from a horrible starvey death… wonderful fragile things, stray kittens are…

The Carnival of the Optimists is alive and back onto its regular schedule.

So what’s good news this week?

Let’s start with Willisms, and Quotational Therapy #18. And why, no matter what political party you are, there are grounds for thinking that maybe Reagan had a clue after all. Great quote. I’d love to have a blog as spiffy as this guy’s…

Technogypsy is thrilled at the continuing joys of Dad-hood, which includes plinking at lunch. I think that this kid is definitely not worried about Squirrelly Wrath…

Dubious Profundity shares one of the simple joys in life… in particular, a back porch, and the benefits that come with it…

Only one Bootstrap this week… and it’s serious political news.

AtlasShrugs2000 has a roundup of the news concerning Islamic women‘s struggles to obtain something resembling the rights we take for granted in America… and while it’s not all roses, it’s still definitely grounds for hope. Several links, all worth reading. Remember, only the pessimist is an idealist: the Optimist stares reality right in the face before saying “I can clean that up…”

And finally, here’s Progress for this week. See that cute little sucker? That’s a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.
I call him Pokey. Mostly because, when the park rangers at Padre Island let them all go, Zippy hit the waves like he was born to run, and Pokey… well, he wakes up like I do. Thus, he gets to be a rock star for a half-hour on the beach…

Y’see, a while back, we realized that too many plastic bags was a factor that was doing in the sea turtles. So they raised a bunch of Kemps Ridley’s up to maturity, and cut them loose on the beach, figuring that they’d remember this new nesting site and make it their own. Sure enough, the KR Boyz are back up to around 3000 turtles, and so far this year, 43 hatchings have happened… a bit burst over last year’s 40 total, and enough, at this rate, to be optimistic about these guys getting off the endangered list. Which is good for warming our hearts — and eating those jellyfish.

Have a good one, y’all!

Spread the Good News. Posted by Hello

I love my Dad…

but maybe the fact that Chris takes after him is why we have such communication problems.

I knew Grandma wasn’t doing great, and that Grandpa had had a rough stretch but was improving… but we’re not real communicative. And the fact that for years I haven’t been able to bring myself to call DC (had a couple real bad experiences that way, they’re not phone people any more than I am) only makes it worse — and my fault.

So Grandma’s gone from being in bad shape, to (Sunday) being bedridden but improving, to (today) being on a respirator in the hospital and not expected to make it. A lot of this is the blood pressure: that side of the family is prone to it. Grandma Beall is too, but she smoked for years.

In some ways, this has very much been my week. But I wish I were better at reading between the lines, so I’d have been ready, rather than surprised.

I need more wine.

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