Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Why we are in IRAQ

Here is a post from Raymond S. Kraft, a California lawyer, that sheds light on the Big Picture!

Sixty-three years ago, Nazi Germany had overrun almost all of Europe and hammered England to the verge of bankruptcy and defeat, and had sunk more than four hundred British ships in their convoys between England and America for food and war materials.
The US was in an isolationist, pacifist, mood, and most Americans and Congress wanted nothing to do with the European war, or the Asian war.
Then along came Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and in outrage Congress unanimously declared war on Japan, and the following day on Germany, which had not attacked us. It was a dicey thing. We had few allies.

France was not an ally, the Vichy government of France aligned with its German occupiers. Germany was not an ally, it was an enemy, and Hitler intended to set up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, it was intent on owning and controlling all of Asia. Japan and Germany had long-term ideas of invading Canada and Mexico, and then the United States over the north and south borders, after they had settled control of Asia and Europe.
America's allies then were England, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and Russia, and that was about it.
All of Europe, from Norway to Italy, except Russia in the east, was all ready under the Nazi heel.

America was not prepared for war. America had stood down most of it's military after WWI and throughout the depression, at the outbreak of WWII, there were army units training with broomsticks over their shoulders because they didn't have guns, and cars with "tank" painted on the doors because they didn't have tanks. And a big chunk of our Navy had just been sunk and damaged at Pearl Harbor.

Britain had already gone bankrupt, saved only by the donation of $600 million in gold bullion in the Bank of England that was the property of Belgium and was given by Belgium to England to carry on the war when Belgium was overrun by Hitler. Actually, Belgium surrendered in one day, because it was unable to oppose the German invasion, and the Germans bombed Brussels into rubble the next day anyway just to prove they could. Britain has been holding out for two years already in the face of staggering shipping losses and the near decimation of its air force in the Battle of Britain, and was saved from being overrun by Germany only because Hitler made the mistake of thinking the Brits were a relatively minor threat that could be dealt with later and turning his attention to Russia, at a time when England was on the verge of collapse in the late summer of 1940.

Russia saved America's butt by putting up a desperate fight for two years until the US got geared up to begin hammering away at Germany. Russia lost something like 24 million people in the sieges of Stalingrad and Moscow, 90% of them from cold and starvation, mostly civilians, but more than a million soldiers.
Had Russia surrendered, then, Hitler would have been able to focus his entire campaign against the Brits, then America, and the Nazis would have won the war.

I say this to illustrate that turning points in history are often dicey things. And we are at another one.
There is a very dangerous minority in Islam that either has, or wants and may soon have, the ability to deliver small nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, almost anywhere in the world, unless they are prevented from doing so.

The Jihadis, the militant Muslims, are basically Nazis in Kaffiyahs. They believe that Islam, a radically conservative (definitely not liberal!) form of Wahhabi Islam, should own and control the Middle East first, then Europe, then the world, and that all who do not bow to Allah should be killed, enslaved, or subjugated. They want to finish the Holocaust, -destroy Israel, -purge the world of Jews. This is what they say.

There is also a civil war raging in the Middle East, for the most part not a hot war, but a war of ideas. Islam is having its Inquisition and its Reformation today, but it is not yet known which will win the Inquisition or the Reformation.If the Inquisition wins, then the Wahhabis, the Jihads, will control the Middle East, and the OPEC oil, and the US, European, and Asian economies, the techno industrial economies, will be at the mercy of OPEC, not an OPEC dominated by the well educated and rational Saudis of today, but an OPEC dominated by the Jihadis.

You want gas in your car? You want heating oil next winter? You want jobs? You want the dollar to be worth anything? You better hope the Jihad, the Muslim Inquisition, loses, and the Islamic Reformation wins.
If the Reformation movement wins, that is, the moderate Muslims who believe that Islam can respect and tolerate other religions, and live in peace with the rest of the world, and move out of the 10th century and into the 21st, then the troubles in the Middle East will eventually fade away, and a moderate and prosperous Middle East will emerge.
We have to help the Reformation win, and to do that we have to fight the Inquisition, i.e., the Wahhabi movement, the Jihad, Al Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist movements. We have to do it somewhere. We cannot do it nowhere. And we cannot do it everywhere at once. We have to created a focal point for the battle now at the time and place of our choosing, in Iraq.
Not in New York, not in London, or Paris, or Berlin, but in Iraq, where we did and are doing two very important things.

(1) We deposed Saddam Hussein. Whether Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11 or not, it is undisputed that Saddam has been actively supporting the terrorist movement for decades. Saddam is a terrorist. Saddam is, or was, a weapon of mass destruction, who is responsible for the deaths of probably more than a million Iraqis and two million Iranians.

(2) We created a battle, a confrontation, a flash point, with Islamic terrorism in Iraq. We have focused the battle. We are killing bad guys there and the ones we get there we won't have to get here, or anywhere else. We also have a good shot at creating a democratic, peaceful Iraq, which will be a catalyst for democratic change in the rest of the Middle East, and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.

World War II, the war with the German and Japanese Nazis, really began with a "whimper" in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China. It was a war for fourteen years before America joined it. It officially ended in 1945 - a 17 year war - and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own again ... a 27 year war.

World War II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP - adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars, WWII cost America more than 400,000 killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action.
The Iraq war has, so far, cost the US about $160 billion (U.S. GDP in 2006 = 13.04 trillion dollars, which means that the IRAQ war has cost the U.S. approximately 12.5% of a full years GDP), which is roughly what 9/11 cost New York. It has also cost about 2,200 American lives, which is roughly 2/3 of the 3,000 lives that the Jihad snuffed on 9/11. But the cost of not fighting and winning WWII would have been unimaginably greater - a world now dominated by German and Japanese Nazism.

Americans have a short attention span, now, conditioned I suppose by 60 minute TV shows and 2 hour movies in which everything comes out okay.
The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain, and sometimes bloody and ugly. Always has been, and probably always will be. The bottom line here is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away on its own. It will not go away if we ignore it.

If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an "England" in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East. The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates. The Iraq war is merely another battle in this ancient and never ending war. And now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless we prevent them. Or somebody does.

We have four options.

1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.

2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).

3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East, now, in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.

4. Or we can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and maybe most of the rest of Europe. It will be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier then.

Yes, the Jihadis say that they look forward to an Islamic America. If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.
We can be defeatist peace activists as anti war types seem to be, and concede, surrender, to the Jihad, or we can do whatever it takes to win this war against them.
The history of the world is the history of civilizational clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always, win.
Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti pacifists kill them.

In the 20th century, it was Western democracy vs. communism, and before that Western democracy vs. Nazism, and before that Western democracy vs. German Imperialism. Western democracy won, three times, but it wasn't cheap, fun, nice, easy, or quick. Indeed, the wars against German Imperialism (WWI), Nazi Imperialism (WWII), and communist imperialism (the 40 year Cold War that included the Vietnam Battle, commonly called the Vietnam War, but itself a major battle in a larger war) covered almost the entire century.

The first major war of the 21st Century is the war between Western Judeo Christian Civilization and Wahhabi Islam. It may last a few more years, or most of this century. It will last until the Wahhabi branch of Islam fades away, or gives up its ambitions for regional and global dominance and Jihad, or until Western Civilization gives into the Jihad.

It will take time. It will not go with no hitches. This is not TV. Remember, perspective is everything, and America's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.
The Cold War lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Forty two years. Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany.
World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan. WWII resulted in the death of more than 50 million people, maybe more than 100 million people, depending on which estimates you accept.
The US has taken a little more than 2,000 KIA in Iraq. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6th, 1944, the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism. In WWII the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week for four years. Most of the individual battles of WWII lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.

But the stakes are at least as high . . . a world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms . or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law).
I do not understand why the American Left does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis. In America, absolutely, but nowhere else.

300,000 Iraqi bodies in mass graves in Iraq are not our problem? The US population is about twelve times that of Iraq, so let's multiply 300,000 by twelve. What would you think if there were 3,600,000 American bodies in mass graves in America because of George Bush? Would you hope for another country to help liberate America?
"Peace Activists" always seem to demonstrate where it's safe, in America.
Why don't we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, in the places in the world that really need peace activism the most?
The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc., but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc. Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy.
If the Jihad wins, it is the death of Liberalism. Everywhere the Jihad wins, it is the death of Liberalism. And American Liberals just don't get it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Techdirt: Your Sarcasm Filter Sucks

Techdirt: Your Sarcasm Filter Sucks: "Your Sarcasm Filter Sucks"

I think I mentioned once before that I've been online for a hundred years and I've seen a lot of changes, but one thing that never changes is people. Some people "get it" and some don't. E-mail and blog writing and all the other forms of written online communications are best taken with a box of salt...a grain isn't nearly enough.

I found this bit on sarcasm interesing reading and the comments a hoot for the most part.

Oh, one more thing, the BEST part about all this is that since people can't see you they don't judge you summarily by how you look, how old or young you are, etc. That's cool and the first lesson I learned was how one could effectively communicate with young and old and we're all the same behind the serif!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Xavier Thoughts

Xavier Thoughts: "The problem with guns that 'just go off' is that a person put their God damned booger hook on the bang switch."

The Four Rules
1. All firearms are always loaded
2. Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it

Those are the same four rules my grandfather taught me and my brothers and any other kid he either knew or came into contact with. I've never forgotten the rules because they were repeated often. Even if people don't have guns in their houses they should teach these rules in school, in church, on the playgrounds and in the home.

The best part of Xavier's blog is his Idiots With Guns articles. I get a kick out of each and everyone of them even as I'm shaking my head at the stupidity of those pictured.

Clotting & Passports

From time to time I like to tear out little bits and pieces from the newspaper and magazines to remind me of something. At any given time my desk is cluttered with these tidbits of knowledge. I even have file folders filled with stuff and I'd love to be able to watch the kids going through that stuff after I'm gone saying "WHAT! Did mom keep everything she ever read!?"..... the answer would be "Yep, pretty much".

The newest torn out goodies are these:

1. Did you know that by December 2006 you'll need a passport to travel ANYWHERE out of the U.S.? That means Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It's not cheap getting a passport either. I got a passport in July 1999 because I was going to the Bahamas for my best friend's daughter's wedding. It's good for 3 more years. That's not me pictured below, but how would anyone know that? Geez.

2. A recent report in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons offers reasonable guidelines for when to stop taking aspirin before surgery. It is recommended that one discontinues aspirin five days before the surgery and then have the surgery on the sixth day. That's important to know because when I had my recent "scope" I was told to lay off the blood thinners for 72 hours beforehand, but they weren't planning on cutting into me either.

I shudder to think about emergency surgeries and the implications of not stopping asprin therapy in time! Probably not a good idea to get in a traffic accident if you're going to bled either!

Chronicle's Ortiz On Ozzie The Ignorant

As a rule I try and put in links to "stuff" that I want people to read, but in this case I've just got to put the whole article. It's an article about a baseball manager written by a sports writer and before you say "I don't care for sports".... it's not about sports, it's about what's right from what's wrong. It's one of the best eye opening pieces I've read in the Chronicle in a long, long while. Jose De Jesus Ortiz has written an excellent book, Houston Astros Armed and Dangerous, that's a must-have for Astros fans.

June 24, 2006, 11:23PM


Guillen remains as ignorant as ever

Anti-gay slurs reveal manager's offensive behavior

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

CHICAGO - Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Felipe Alou broke barriers and paid heavy prices while eliminating stereotypes so America could look at Latinos and African-Americans with respect. At times, they bit their tongues. On important occasions, they spoke loud and led the chorus for the rights of their people.

Because of people such as Robinson, Clemente and Alou, now we rarely ever see characters such as Buckwheat of the Our Gang movies or the hapless Latino character that you once saw in old Westerns. Robinson, Clemente and Alou are reasons their people are no longer looked upon as caricatures.

Sadly, however, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is setting his people back with his series of ignorant and vulgar rants. Free speech is not really free. Words have meaning, and stupid words can cost you in terms of reputation.

Somehow because he was given a gift to pick grounders instead of grapes, Guillen has been allowed to become a social critic. He also has been given a pass because he's Latino and most folks aren't savvy enough to call him on his lame, "well, in my country ... " defense.

He has played the Venezuelan card way too often. He has come under fire twice in the last two years for using anti-gay slurs. Both times he has claimed his comments were appropriate because in his country those slurs are used to mean coward. Actually, Ozzie, there is a word for coward in Spanish. It's cobarde, and you are one each time you throw your fellow countrymen under the bus by lowering the expectations for them. As long as we pretend we cannot hold minorities to the same standards we hold white leaders, the underlying message is that Latinos need the bar lowered for them.

If Guillen were a white male, he would have been fired or at least suspended for his comments. Ozzie, did you ever hear of Al Campanis? Marge Schott? One lost his career in baseball over ignorant comments about African-Americans. The other drew a suspension for a series of racist and anti-Semitic remarks.

Guillen drew a fine and was ordered to undergo sensitivity training for his slurs. Nobody, however, has bothered to call him on his ignorant comments against other Latino groups.

Before Game 4 of the World Series last year at Minute Maid Park, Guillen claimed Dominican-American star Alex Rodriguez wasn't Latino because he was born in this country.

He has made similar comments about Mexican-American Nomar Garciparra.

He claims that you're only Latino if you speak Spanish or if both your parents were Latino or if you were born in those countries. Those are Guillen's dangerous comments, because some in the media give him the platform to preach that ignorance.

Asked Saturday about those thoughts and if he realized just how ignorant he sounds, Guillen stuttered through his defense while defending those beliefs.

"I'm more Latino than you," was his parting shot to a Mexican-American reporter.

If Guillen wasn't given a platform, it wouldn't matter what he says. You don't get mad at your fourth-graders for ignorant comments. You just try to educate them. Great defensive skills can buy a shortstop many things in this country. It cannot buy class.

In baseball, not many men have done more for minorities in recent decades than White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who has led commissioner Bud Selig's fight for diversity hiring and has the front office to prove it. For that reason, it is sad that Reinsdorf is being represented by a caricature in the manager's office.

Why is it fair for Guillen to spout ignorant statements about other Latino groups?

Because "he's Hispanic?" Reinsdorf said innocently Friday before adding. "I don't think I want to get into this."

Pressed, Reinsdorf tried to clarify.

"People are less likely to be offended when an Hispanic guy makes comments about Hispanics," he said. "Like, we tell Jewish jokes. People laugh at them. If you told a Jewish joke, people wouldn't like it."

Reinsdorf was asked if he would be offended if someone accused him of not being Jewish enough.

"No, because I ain't very Jewish," he said before chuckling. "You got to know who it's coming from. Ozzie has no mean bones in his body. He doesn't mean to offend anybody, but sometimes his mouth gets ahead of his brain. That's all it is."

There's a big difference between folks laughing with you and at you, Ozzie. Ozzie, you're not funny.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pot Stash Found In Nebraska Man's Fat Folds: Top News Stories at

Pot Stash Found In Nebraska Man's Fat Folds: Top News Stories at

I'm sure there are worse places to hide dope on/in the human body, but good Lord, what was this man thinking!?



Nagin whined like only he can and in comes the National Guard.

Why doesn't Mayor White whine and get the National Guard to come to Houston to help with OUR swelling murder and violent crime rates?

Why does FEMA keep extending the various deadlines when it's obvious that we are going to be responsible for the shelter, care and feeding of the evacs until they all die, then we get to bury them and continue with their kids and their grandkids and so and so forth. Nagin certainly doesn't want them back. He just wanted them to vote for him.

The bottom line: fear of riots.

Bozell Column: Dan Rather In History |

Bozell Column: Dan Rather In History |

Two things come to mind when I think about Dan Rather, one is of him almost blowing away covering hurricane Carla, his big break, and the other is that he went to Sam Houston University in Huntsville where my youngest daughter also earned a degree. Neither memory is that remarkable.

The older I get the less likely I am to watch ANY broadcast news program. The people with the pretty smiles and poofy hair that sit behind the desks, the so-called "news anchors", are merely R-E-P-O-R-T-E-R-S ..... they are there to report the news, not make it or invent it or embroider it to suit their own agendas. They tend to start believing they are some how the story and that their opinions matter. It's the same way with "movie stars" and other "personalities" that forget their job is to E-N-T-E-R-T-A-I-N and A-M-U-S-E not educated their "fans" on their political views and biases. All one has to do is observe how they run their private lives to understand just how whacked their thinking and judgments can be.

But I digress, back to Dan's departure, too bad, so sad, NEXT. I'm surprised they didn't can him immediately after the Bush bash.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The HPOU's Hurt Over Hurtt's Remarks

The HPOU's Hurt Over Hurtt's Remarks and they aren't going to ignore it this time.

Frontline Police Officers to Be Surveyed about HPD Management

Houston's First Responders Concerned by City's Crime Increases and Finger Pointing by Chief Hurtt


CONTACT PERSON: Hans Marticiuc, 832.200.3400

(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Police Officers' Union today announced it has initiated a survey of Houston police officers to determine their professional opinion on the job performance and policies of Chief Hurtt. This survey comes two years after Chief Hurtt assumed the top leadership position at HPD, a two-year period during which violent crime in Houston increased after a long-term period during which crime had declined.

More than 4,700-plus surveys have already been mailed to HPD officers, and the HPOU hopes to gather, tabulate, and announce the results on July 11.

“We believe that the people of Houston, the mayor and city council all deserve to know what the first responders of HPD have concluded about the police department’s leadership,” said Hans Marticiuc, HPOU president. Houston’s police officers have routinely expressed serious concerns about the leadership of Chief Harold Hurtt since late last year. As the first responders in the fight against crime, we have repeatedly asked that Chief Hurtt stop focusing on trivial matters that insult and alienate officers and, instead, get serious about the crime increases in Houston. Instead, the police chief has systematically returned HPD to an autocratic style of management that has put public safety second.”

When Mayor Bill White announced Chief Hurtt as the new chief, the Mayor promised that Chief Hurtt would be a progressive leader who would uphold the traditional, and successful, crime-fighting partnership with HPOU. This “win-win” partnership in years past produced positive results in public safety for the citizens of our great city, when crime dropped to historic lows.

Rather than take a positive, partnership-oriented cue from the Mayor, Chief Hurtt has instead chosen to alienate the rank and file officers while his ineffective policies have permitted crime – including violent crime – to surge on his watch. A Houston Chronicle story last week noted that “Homicides went from 272 in 2004 to 334 last year in Houston. In comparison, Dallas saw its homicides decrease slightly, from 248 to 202; San Antonio had a slight drop from 94 to 86; and Austin held steady during the two-year period at 26.” Other big cities known for violent crime, such as Baltimore, Detroit and Los Angeles, also saw declines from 2004 to 2005 according to this same report. (Edie: That pretty much puts the skids on the "all our murders are at the hands of the Katrina folks" argument seeing as how Dallas, San Antonio & Austin also got their fair share of the influx. See the article in: Houston Chronicle's archive; Date: Tue 06/13/2006; Section: A; Page: 1; Edition: 3 STAR; Violent crimes rise 2.5% in '05 / FBI statistics show Houston's increase nearly matched that)

Just three days after this disturbing news report, Chief Hurtt tried the change the subject by issuing a defensive and misleading news release in which he falsely claimed that officers don't "agree with the urgency” of police overtime initiatives. Don’t blame me, the chief seems to have said, the buck stops some place else. (Edie: I tried to find the article in the Chronicle archives, but had no luck. There's entirely too many article with "HPD" and none with "overtime initiatives".)

Chief Hurtt’s blatantly false assertions and political spin do no one any good – not the public, not the mayor who has promised to work with Houston’s police officers in fighting crime, and not the men and women who wear the HPD uniform.

Contrary to Chief Hurtt’s news release, HPD officers support zero-tolerance programs that target crime hot spots in the city. We continue to believe such a program would work better, however, if the chief tried working with, not against, the officers who are on the front lines in the fight against crime so that officers are effectively deployed, scheduled and equipped. For example, unlike the successful 655 Patrol Strategy Program implemented by former Mayor Bob Lanier in the early 1990s to deal with the Houston crime crisis, we are concerned that the temporary overtime strategies implemented by Chief Hurtt may only serve to push violent criminal activities to other less protected areas of the city.

“At a time when violent crime is increasing in Houston, we are concerned that Chief Hurtt has chosen to focus on misplaced priorities such as officers’ tattoos, facial hair, and other cosmetic matters that have little to do with an officer's ability to protect people in our city from deadly criminals,” Marticiuc summarized

I had my say on HPD's tattoo policy here. I don't ever like to see police morale low. These folks have enough on their plates without it raining down from above too. I will be anxiously awaiting the results of the HPOU's survey from Officer Marticiuc around July 11, 2006.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Good Catch, Officer Bently!

Texas Police Charge Man With Having Crack in Sundae

The Associated Press

This banana split was topped with something more potent than just a cherry.

A motorist was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance after he was caught with two rocks of crack cocaine he had stashed in his ice cream dessert.

Oscar Martinez, 41, of Richmond, had been pulled over by police officer David Bentley late Sunday after he failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing on the campus of Wharton County Junior College.

Bentley discovered that Martinez had a suspended driver's license and an outstanding traffic warrant.

Richmond police spokesman Sgt. Lowell Neinast said Martinez told Bentley that he wished he could finish the banana split he had in his car.

When Bentley saw the melting banana split on the front floorboard of Martinez's car, he noticed that it was topped with a square-shaped object that turned out to be crack cocaine.

"One of the crack rocks was sitting right on top of the bananas," Neinast told the Fort Bend Herald-Coaster. "Once he found the first crack rock, he figured there were more inside. He emptied it out and there it was."

Martinez was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license, a traffic warrant and possession of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, a third-degree felony. He was released from the Fort Bend County Jail after posting an $8,500 bond, Neinast said Friday.

"I've been doing this for 20 years and I could give you all kinds of stories, but this is really one of a kind," Neinast said. "But true."

Original article here

Texas Music

Texas Music

Jack is just so cool.

I can't stop reading one of his posts when I get started until I'm done. And, dammit, he makes me think about stuff I'd rather NOT think about.

He does conversations very well. I can see them talking in my head, that's the sign of an exceptional writer IMHO. I followed the link he provided and read some of HER stuff too and damn she's good to read as well. All in all I'd say I'm having a good bloggin' day!

The 100 Club Rocks!

EVERYONE should belong to The 100 Club! People piss $100 away on crap, why not save it up and send it to a greater cause? I've been a sticker-proudly-displayed-on-my-car member of The 100 Club of Houston, Texas for nine years and I feel good every time I send off the check knowing it's going to such a great organization completely dedicated to helping our fallen hero's families.

June 17, 2006, 3:32AM

100 CLUB
Its helping hand now extends to the entire state
1st new benefit given to family of DPS trooper killed in Hidalgo County
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Eduardo Chavez was heading west near the Hidalgo-Starr county line just after noon on May 2 to help his brother and fellow state trooper, Enrique Chavez, who was holding two drug suspects at gunpoint.

The 30-year-old lost control of his patrol car, it rolled over and he was killed. He was the 81st Texas Department of Public Safety officer to die in the line of duty and the third this year.

That very day, the directors of Houston's 100 Club, who had yet to learn of Chavez's death, voted to extend their helping hands to families of fallen state officers all over Texas.

"This is a first for the 100 Club," organization president C.F. Kendall said Friday in a news conference at DPS headquarters in Austin. "We're happy to do it. We have no agenda other than to help the families of peace officers who are killed in the line of duty."

With an investment fund that has accrued $10 million, the club said it is expanding its line-of-duty benefits to families of DPS officers, Texas Parks & Wildlife game wardens, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents and Texas Department of Criminal Justice personnel.

While that expands the number of potential beneficiaries by more than 44,300 state employees, officials said that in the past decade the average number of officers from all local and state law enforcement agencies killed in the line of duty is 15.

Chavez's widow, Iliana Chavez, who is expecting her first child next month, was the first family member of a fallen officer outside of an 18-county area around Houston to get benefits from the 53-year-old club.

"They were here the very next day," said Lt. Mario Lopez, Chavez's commander. The club gave the widow a $10,000 check and promised more.

"It meant a great deal that people cared," he added. While the state does provide insurance and other benefits for fallen troopers, there are always plenty of expenses to be borne by the family, Lopez said.

Officials of the 100 Club said that after an immediate award of $10,000 per family, they assign a team to determine special needs like children's educational expenses, medical costs for family members and other considerations. The goal is to help maintain a standard of living.

Kendall said the average total award per family ranges between $250,000 and $350,000.

A native of Edinburg, Chavez had been a trooper for three years and had been a Hidalgo County deputy sheriff for seven years before that.

"He was a good, loyal, professional officer," Lopez said.

The 100 Club was started in 1953 by a group of 100 people who donated $100 each to help families of fallen officers.

Since then the club has grown to more than 22,000 members and has raised more than $24 million. Gifts to families of fallen officers have totaled more than $7.5 million and hundreds of officers and departments have received educational grants and other equipment, such as bulletproof vests and armored vehicles.

Houston Chronicle reporter Polly Ross Hughes contributed from Austin.

Take safe.......

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Brother(s) and Me

All that's left of my immediate family is my brothers. Both of them are older than me. Yea. The 2nd oldest one, who I like to think of as my 'little brother', just celebrated his 70th year. We gathered from near and far in Many, Louisiana at the Cypress Bend Golf Resort. All his grandchildren were there, his three kids, almost all his sister-in-laws and their kids and some of THEIR kids, two of my three daughters and one of my son-in-laws, lots of nieces and nephews and 'greats' out the wazoo. Frankly I didn't do a headcount but probably my sister-in-law knows how many actually attended, but it was a BIG DO. I like to think it was proof positive of how much he's loved because he's always been a good guy. The kind of fellow that will be there for you, but doesn't try and force his will or his way onto you. My greatest joy has always been to make him laugh.

Everyone brought him a present and he spent a long time just opening and oohhhing and ahhhing. It was better than I expected it to be getting us all together again. It's a shame that ALL the family couldn't make it, but some of the nieces and nephews had other family obligations to attend to.

I think sometimes it's easy to take advantage of one's family and to take their love for granted. There are too many families that don't have the closeness that we do and any time we get together you can almost feel the presence of those that have gone before being there too. Lord knows all we have to do is look into the faces and see the resemblences of mom and dad and grandparents....some of the genes might be stronger than others, but it's sure easy to see that we all sprang from the same source.

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Favorite Firefox Extensions

UPDATE: I'm liking coComment! It actually works well and I haven't had a speck of trouble with anything. I like it when that happens! I'm currently tracking five conversations, four of which haven't been active since the first few.
Dwight's TechBlog has a link to Claus Valca's Grand Stream Dreams blog where Claus's list of favorite Firefox extensions reside. I know, it's beginning to sound like a social disease of some sort, but here's MY list, modest though it may be....

BlogThis 0.3
Adds right-click access to Blogger's BlogThis popup.

Clippings 1.2
Saves and manages frequently-entered text for pasting later. Text can be pasted from Clippings into forms and input fields without the hassle of retyping or repetitive copying and pasting. Perfect for forms, web mail, blog entries, wiki editing and forum posts.

Close Button 0.3
Adds a Close Tab button to the toolbar. This is especially handy if you put your tab bar at the bottom, but want a Close Tab button in the top right, where you'd find it in most well behaved Windows programs with child windows. I don't use this one a whole lot.

coComment (I'm testing this one to see if I like it, thanks Claus!)
This extension allows you to activate coComment! from the right-click context menu and reduces your onscreen movement time so that you dont have to move all the way from the comment text box to the Bookmarks and then back to the Submit button. (That's a terrible description, it's better to read about it at Claus's!)

Colorful Tabs 1.4
The most beautiful yet the simplest add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface. Mostly eye candy for old ladies like me!

DictionarySearch 1.5
Looks up a user selected word in an online dictionary. I love it and use it constantly since I can't spell worth a flip!

Google Toolbar for Firefox 1.0.20060515W

IE View Lite 1.2.7
This is a cut down version of IE View by Paul Roub, which is 47.4 KB. All the same UI and features are there. It has a right click menu item to open a page in IE and a list of sites to always open in IE. Everything's just been rebuilt from the ground up to be smaller and more efficient.

McAfee SiteAdvisor Firefox Extention 21.0
The McAfee® SiteAdvisor Firefox Extension protects you from a variety of online nuisances and security threats such as spam, adware, spyware, viruses, and online fraud through color indicator overlays in your search results and in your status bar. Excellent extension for the googlehearted like me!

ReminderFox 0.9.6
ReminderFox is a Firefox extension that displays and manages lists of date-based reminders and ToDo's. ReminderFox does not seek to be a full-fledged calendar system. In fact, the target audience is anybody that simply wants to remember important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc) without having to run a fat calendar application. I like this one and use it all the time since my browser is loaded almost all the time!

StumbleUpon 2.78
StumbleUpon lets you "channelsurf" the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for browsing, reviewing and sharing great sites with like-minded people. This helps you find interesting webpages you wouldn't think to search for. This one is more fun than a sack of bananas, especially when you are bored. I've found some fun things that, for sure, I wouldn't have found otherwise.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Solider Files Lawsuit Against Michael Moore


We've come to expect many things from Michael Moore, the deliriously anti-gun millionaire posing as populist who brought us such absurd and irresponsible works as "Bowling for Columbine," "Stupid White Men," "Dude, Where's My Country?" and "Fahrenheit 9/11." We've come to expect patronizing arrogance, blatant anti-Americanism, and flagrant lies.

Well, now he's being called to account by Peter Damon, a double-amputee Iraq war veteran, who's suing the rotund "documentary" filmmaker for $85 million, alleging that Moore manipulated an old NBC "Nightly News" interview to make Damon appear anti-war, and anti-President Bush in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

"I just want everybody to know what kind of a guy Michael Moore is, and what kind of film this is," said Damon, who strongly supports the President and the war in Iraq, and never agreed to be in the movie.

Damon's lawsuit states, "The work creates a substantially fictionalized and falsified implication as a wounded serviceman who was left behind when Plaintiff was not left behind but supported, financially and emotionally, by the active assistance of the President, the United States and his family, friends, acquaintances and community."

"It's upsetting to him because he's lived his life supportive of his government, he's been a patriot, he's been a soldier, and he's now being portrayed in a movie that is the antithesis of all of that," Damon's lawyer, Dennis Lynch, said.


KHOU's Bleeding Heart

How much should Death Row inmates suffer during execution?

Answer. As much as they made their victim(s) and their victim(s) families suffer times 10.

But God only knows what The Supremes will come up with...

R&C Sucks

One always hesitates to bitch about their insurance coverage when all they have to do is look around themselves and listen to the horror stories of those without any coverage at all. If you change your point of view, you find your own situation not so intolerable. I’m one of the very, very lucky ones and I thank God and my late husband for that.

When one is an ExxonMobil widow the sloop becomes increasingly slippery. I'm beginning to get the idea that maybe ExxonMobil's health insurance provider, Aetna, has decided I've lived too long. They are killing me with their nit picking of all my recent medical necessities.

My cardiologist, who I consider my primary care physician, is no longer In-Network. I don't know why. As the patient, I don't really want to know job is to take my meds and try and follow his directives. He's being very generous with his billing to me and his level of care and concern has not diminished one whit, to wit I am extremely grateful. The Dog and Cat Animal Hospital he participates in, aka Cy-Fair Medical Center, is In-Network, but it seems their ER doctor isn't. If one is taken by ambulance to the D&C Animal Hospital, woe is you when the determinations of benefits come down from Mt. Sinai located near Mt. Aetna.

The rub seems to be what is considered "Reasonable and Customary" or R&C as those in the trade like to refer to it. R&C could also stand for "Rape and Crush", but that's another story for another blog. How am I, a mere mortal, supposed to know in advance what's reasonable and customary, you ask. By a pre-determination of benefits, so says the booklet chocked full of such gems of wisdom for the insured as:

Reasonable and Customary Limits
Allowable amounts for services are determined by reasonable and customary (R&C) limits. Aetna uses the industry-wide standard for R&C limits obtained from the Prevailing Healthcare Charges System (PHCS). R&C limits are based on data from several surrounding regions rather than one specific zip code. R&C limits apply ONLY TO NON-NETWORK PROVIDERS AND SERVICES. R&C for services are set at the 90th percentile of the range of charges for a particular procedure generally in the same geographic area(s).

So, work with me here, by choosing to remain with the physician that saved my life 9 years ago and knows me like a book, inside and out, including all the turned down pages, all of the sudden R&C charges are coming out of my butt! Their solution would be to dump my doctor and follow Aetna's party line?

I've got to play one race card here so bear with me. The doctors that are given the Aetna seal of approval almost all have foreign names. Is that just a coincidence? Am I being unfairly bigoted? Did I just lose both your sympathy and your support with this tacky observation?

I could fight this thing tooth and nail. I could hire an attorney and end up spending more money than they say I owe. I could beg and plead for a break. I could just pay the money owed and shut up. Right now I'm just venting to clear my head and get my emotional ducks in a row so that WHEN I do call them I don't resort to scathing retorts and ultimately blubber like a baby who's just dropped her pacifier.

If I live long enough, I'll be eligible for Medicare in 667 days (good thing I wrote this today!!), then I’m sure a whole new set of insurance concerns will concern me. It just seems MEAN to me that it was an EMERGENCY and through no fault of my own, they are slinging dollar signs my way.

I’m happy I have this blog to vent in because I can’t find anything connected to ExxonMobil’s retirees/survivors that offers any kind of advice or place to commiserate. They just want you to contribute to the United Fund, etc. One has to get it out, it’s good mental health, and Lord only knows what kind of R&C shit I’d be swimming in if I had a nervous breakdown!


I just got off the phone with a lady that works for the billing people for the ER doctor and she gave me a fax number to use to try and get him/them to accept the assigned insurance benefits plus my 20% and forgive the rest. Keeping my fingers crossed…. I wonder if the ambulance folks are in a forgiving mood?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Baseball Analysts: The Greatest Game Ever Played

The Baseball Analysts: The Greatest Game Ever Played

It means the world to Astros baseball fans (and team members!) to have Roger Clemens coming back for one more try at the World Series.

The Greatest Game Ever Played is in reference to the 17 innings affair October 9, 2005, between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves. The Astros won 7 to 6.

I'll never forget seeing Roger sitting all alone in the bullpen and then taking the mound in RELIEF. It was truly a game for the ages.

Welcome home, Roger!