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:: Friday, September 20, 2002 ::

ECotD



Even though I like to think of myself as a writer, as the son of a photographer I've always had an appreciation of 'A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words.' Perhaps that's why I love editorial cartoons so much, because, done well, they say so much.

This one is perfect:




:: Peter 9/20/2002 04:28:00 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, September 19, 2002 ::

Senator Cleland (D-GA)



On Sept. 11, I wrote the President, Vice-President, Secretary Powell, my two Senators and my Representative. So far, only Senator Cleland responded.

I'm sure that this was a form email of some sort, but the thought was kind. I wrote to support the war, this is the response I received (I hope it's not improper to repost this):

Dear Peter:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the use of military force in Iraq. I
have a long- time concern about the use of United States military forces in
hostile situations abroad and I appreciate you sharing your views with me.

On September 12, 2002, President Bush, in his speech to the United Nations,
called on the U.N. to confront Iraq on its non-compliance with U.N. resolutions
including human rights abuses, links to terror, and especially its efforts to
develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. I believe that the President
made a very strong and effective presentation and call to action to the United
Nations and the entire community of nations. Saddam Hussein's pursuit and
possession of weapons of mass destruction continues to be a serious challenge
not only to the people and interests of the United States but to all humanity.
Therefore, it was altogether fitting, appropriate, and I believe necessary, for
the President to drive home this point to the U.N.

On September 16, 2002, the Foreign Minister of Iraq delivered a letter to
the U. N. which stated that Iraq would allow weapons inspectors back into their
country without conditions. I believe that the United States and the entire
international community must look with great skepticism at this apparent offer
by Iraq for unfettered access for U. N. weapons inspectors. As the President
and Secretary of State Colin Powell have made clear, our final objective is not
simply the admission of weapons inspectors but the verified destruction of
Saddam Hussein's store of weapons of mass destruction. I fully share that view
and I believe the time has arrived for Congress to authorize the President to
take all appropriate action to bring Iraq into full compliance with its
international obligations.

I strongly believe that sending America's servicemen and women into harm's
way is, and should be, among the most serious of all decisions facing a
President or a Congress. Three times since I came to the Senate--on Iraq in
1998, on Kosovo in 1999, and then last year on al Qaeda and international
terrorism--we have been asked to take such action. Three times, I took a close
look at the request; three times I asked the hard questions which I believe must
be asked whenever we propose to send in the troops, and three times I voted to
grant such authority, as I will do again when the Senate has the opportunity to
act in this case.

On May 25, 2000, when Bill Clinton was President and the issue before the
country was the Balkans, I spoke at some length on the Senate floor about my
views on the employment of American military forces, As I said on that day, and
as I still believe we can and must be prepared to commit all available American
resources--including military force--in defense of truly vital national
interests. In such cases, I believe Presidents should seek Congressional
approval, and I cannot imagine a Congress not granting such authority in these
cases.

Two years ago, General Hugh Shelton, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, asked the kind of questions we need to ask now, and every time we go to
war.

"In every case when we contemplate the use of force, we should consider a
number of important questions. These are not new questions, as most are
articulated formally in the National Security Strategy. They are:

Is there a clearly defined mission?

Is the mission achievable, and are we applying the necessary meas to
decisively achieve it?

Do we have milestones against which we can measure or judge our
effectiveness?

Is there an exit strategy? Or, put another way, a strategy for
success within a reasonable period?

Do we have an alternate course of action should the military action
fail or take too long?

Are we willing to resource for the long haul?

If our military efforts are successful, are the appropriate national
and international agencies prepared to take advantage of the success of the
intervention? Have we conducted the up- front coordination with our allies,
friends, and international institutions to ensure our response elicits the
necessary regional support to ensure long-term success?

The military is the hammer in America's foreign policy tool box...and it is
a very powerful hammer. But not every problem we face is a nail. We may find
that sorting out the good guys from the bad is not as easy as it seems. We also
may find that getting in is much easier than getting out. These are issues we
need to confront when we make the decision to commit our military forces, we lay
our prestige, our word, our leadership, and -- most importantly--the lives of
our young Americans on the line."

I believe the Congress needs to ask these questions, and for my part I will
continue to do so as long as I am in the Senate. But in the current
confrontation with Saddam Hussein, the case for the elimination of Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction is clear and irrefutable and I will back up the
Commander-in-Chief when he seeks Congressional authority to obtain that
objective.

Thank you once again for contacting me and please continue to keep me
informed on issues that are of importance to you.

Most respectfully,



Max Cleland
United States Senator

MC:deb

:: Peter 9/19/2002 07:45:00 PM [+] ::
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Trivia Today



I love trivia...the more trivial the better. Actually, the single most trivial piece of information I ever read was in the brilliant book The Glory and The Dream by William Manchester. In detailing the Baby Boom years after World War Two, he estimated the number of male ejaculations per year. Truly, the world's most insignificant factoid.

This, however, I found truly fascinating:

WHEN WAS THE FIRST RECORDED UFO SIGHTING IN THE US?

January 18, 1644--by pilgrims in Boston

This is courtesy of Trivia Today, emailed daily. Click on the link to subscribe.


:: Peter 9/19/2002 01:00:00 PM [+] ::
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Editorial Cartoon of the Day



In case you haven't yet read Lileks, this will have to do:


:: Peter 9/19/2002 09:22:00 AM [+] ::
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The Novel



Among the many reasons I began this blog was to work on my writing and to receive some feedback on it. My first novel, Tears of an Angel, is a fantasy, swords-and-sorcerors kind of thing. Unfortunately, even though I have hard copies of the book, I wrote it back in the early early 90's on a, drum roll please, Magnavox VideoWriter. So, unless someone somewhere out there has software/hardware which can read a Magnavox VideoWriter floppy disc, I can't easily post that novel. It would require me to type it all in and I've never felt that energetic about it. Needless to say, Tears of an Angel, like Boy Meets Girl, written in 1994, remain unpublished.

At present I am editing my third novel, a suspense novel dealing with a stalker. I've also written a dozen or so children's stories (mostly for my son, though I can't draw to save my soul so they're text only).

Somehow I found myself in accounting, but my first love has always been writing and this blog is a wonderful outlet. So, please, feel free to browse, stay as long as you'd like, make yourself comfortable.
:: Peter 9/19/2002 08:31:00 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 ::

Interactive Al Qaeda Training Manual



I haven't seen this linked anywhere else. It takes some bandwidth so be patient, it'll be worth it.

Parental Guidance alert: Animated bloodshed of Al Qaeda terrorists

There's a lede for you: Animated bloodshed of Al Qaeda terrorists

I know, I just said that phrase but I rather like the sound of it, just sort of rolls off the tongue: Animated bloodshed of Al Qaeda terrorists. All together now: Animated bloodshed of Al Qaeda terrorists


:: Peter 9/18/2002 04:09:00 PM [+] ::
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Israel Insider Graphics



Go and play here, these are highly informative (as well as being colorful). My two favorites are 'Israel's Changing Borders' and 'Security Incidents Map and Timeline.'


:: Peter 9/18/2002 03:14:00 PM [+] ::
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Shop Israel



Unable to go to Israel and protect her citizens? Still looking to support the Jewish homeland?

Shop Israel!
:: Peter 9/18/2002 02:27:00 PM [+] ::
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Token Sister



I have been remiss in my filial duties and I needed to fix the matter. Token Straight Chick is a blog-relative and I forgot to link to her, which has now been corrected. Go check out her blog!


:: Peter 9/18/2002 01:10:00 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 ::
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Coalition


:: Peter 9/17/2002 01:40:00 PM [+] ::
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The Road Not Taken



Well...ever been in one of those moods, an unknown edginess just on the border of a bad mood but unsure what, exactly, is causing it? That's the mood I'm in. Maybe it's because I've developed a cold, courtesy of my son. One of those introspective moods, where, when you look back at the footprints in the sand you wonder what would have happened if...

If this and if that. What if... A sure-fire descent to madness most of the time, to say 'I should have turned left there where I turned right' or 'I should have done this, that, the other thing.' Although the path traveled brought me here. Not a worthwhile blog at all. Just an outlet for steam and a way to clear the cobwebs.
:: Peter 9/17/2002 01:05:00 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, September 16, 2002 ::

Mike Lukovich



Oh my...this is wonderful:


:: Peter 9/16/2002 04:09:00 PM [+] ::
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Arab News Opinions



Strange opinion piece in the Arab News which actually references Arab military intelligence reports:

"Strange things are going on in the Middle East right now. Arab military intelligence reports the shifting of massive US arms shipments around the region — not just to Qatar and Kuwait, but to the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the eastern Mediterranean."

Of course, being the Arab News, the column continues:

"American and Israeli military planners and intelligence analysts are said to have met twice in Tel Aviv to discuss the potential outcome of the next Middle East war. The destruction of Saddam and the breakup of Saudi Arabia — a likely scenario if Iraq crumbles — have long been two Israeli dreams. As the United States discovered during its fruitful period of neutrality between 1939 and 1941, war primes the pumps of the economy. Is that what is going on today — the preparation of a war to refloat the US economy?"

Guesses on the author? Fisk, Robert Fisk. I think he actually Fisks himself. Leaving me nothing to do but sit back in stagnant awe.

Who is he going to write for AFTER the war?
:: Peter 9/16/2002 03:24:00 PM [+] ::
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