TurningWheels

Wednesday, April 11, 2007
  The stars at night are big and bright
 



  ~cough~
 
Wow, it sure is dusty in here. Pardon me while I clean up a bit...



Friday, November 11, 2005
  Thank you
 
"You" meaning our country's great veterans. Near and dear thanks to my brother. This country exists only because of the courage and sacrifice of our veterans.

Thank you!!




Monday, August 15, 2005
  Today, terrorism worked
 
Just like May, 2000, terrorism worked today. As conflicted as I've been about Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, today I've jumped to one side of the fence. Today is a bad day for Israelis, and a bad day for Jews. Not because Israel is trying to work with her historical foes, but because the terrorism never ceased and Israel is backing out under fire.

Dan Gillerman, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, is speaking to the press right now from New York. So much of this action puts a huge responsibility on Abbas to take control of the area, but he said it best when he said (paraphrasing), "Mahmoud Abbas needs to annihilate terror, or terror will annihilate him." Problem is, Abbas does not have the power or the influence that Hamas has. This is why I'm feeling pessimistic right now... somewhat defeated, really.

Hezbollah learned that their tactics worked in 2000. Today Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP learned that their tactics are working. So what's next? I'm afraid that Israel has just invited much more death and destruction into her borders. Time will tell, but I'm not optimistic.

Daniel Pipes, who is educated like few in Middle East affairs, says it well: [The Gaza Withdrawal:] A Democracy Killing Itself.




Tuesday, July 26, 2005
  Routine?
 
The launch of Discovery this morning was absolutely awe-inspiring. For the first time, NASA attached a camera towards the nose of the external fuel tank, offering up some incredible pictures of the Shuttle as it rocketed at MACH 25 towards space. For the first time, we got to watch the large external tank detach from Discovery with a beautiful view of Earth in the background.

My heart was in my throat the entire time. There is nothing routine about these Shuttle missions, yet we have had the tendency to take them for granted. The technology and engineering involved to get this complicated and heavy machine to withstand the massive explosion of fuel-- and defeat the forces of nature-- is unmatched by any country in the world, and it's hard to believe NASA has been doing this since I was a young child.

Today is a great day for NASA, the United States, and space exploration. It will be exciting to see what is next...

Godspeed, Discovery.




  Godspeed...
 
... for real this time.




Sunday, July 24, 2005
  Sept? Oui oui!
 



Saturday, July 23, 2005
  With all due respect, a bitch slap
 
There's something about a smack upside the head to ignorance when it comes from the British or Australians. Behold the common sense bitch slap, courtesy of our staunch ally John Howard (with agreement from Tony Blair) in response to a reporter who implied that the terrorist attacks on London were a result of our allied in Iraq.
PRIME MIN. HOWARD: Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.

Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

PRIME MIN. BLAIR: And I agree 100 percent with that. (Laughter.)

[via LGF, Trey Jackson (who has the video posted), and NRO online]

This guy gets it. This must have made our President smile.



Thursday, July 21, 2005
  Abortion, schmabortion
 
Pardon my ignorance, but when did the Supreme Court's job solely become protector of fetus killing? The extreme tunnel vision of so many Americans just boggles my mind. There are so many issues that affect all Americans, yet the only one that you'd think matters is abortion, when, in fact, abortion has no place at the federal level. Which brings up the total hypocrisy of these people-- they are on the same rung of the political spectrum that says "medical" marijuana use laws belong with the states. Huh?

And please stop referring to this as "women's reproductive rights." I, as a woman, have the right to either procreate or not. I have the right to use birth control (including abstinence-- ever heard of that??) or not. I have all power over my body, and I don't need idiots like NOW telling me the SCOTUS can take it aaaaaaall away.

These people are crazy, and driving me crazy. Clearly they slept through their U.S. Government classes in school. Shut up already and give us a real reason that Roberts should not be confirmed (ya know, one that doesn't have to do with abortion).




Thursday, July 07, 2005
  United We Stand
 



Friday, July 01, 2005
  7?
 

Hoping for one more champagne-sipping trip around the Champs-Elysees for the cancer survivor from Texas.

Go Lance!




Monday, May 30, 2005
  Remembering
 
Before the day is out... taking a moment to type what I think every day.

Millions of Americans have served this great country, countless have died throughout our short history. One thing is certain: This country would cease to exist if not for the bravery, selflessness and sacrifice of our troops, and for that I am eternally grateful to them. Too many Americans forget, too many take what we have for granted.

Just remember what this day is about. God bless the men and women in uniform.




Friday, May 27, 2005
  A book, a shrine, and some dead people
 
Apparently in the Islamic world, allegations of a wet book are more infuriating than 20 dead worshippers and the shrine that was destroyed along with their lives. If the "infidels" put as much as a bullet hole in the exterior wall of one of their "holy" places, riots ensue. But when Islamic violence kills their own innocents, it doesn't even raise an eyebrow. Apparently, when a Muslim is murdered, it matters more who killed them than the fact that they died.

The most amusing part of this article is that just hours later, some Islamists "rallied" against the alleged desecration of their book of holiness, while the bodies of the dead started to rot near Islamabad.

If this is the religion and these are the people we terrible westerners are supposed to "understand" and respect, I'll just say no thanks and move along.

20 Killed in Bomb Blast at Muslim Shrine
By SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press Writer

An apparent suicide bomb detonated Friday as hundreds of Shiite Muslims recited verses from the Quran during a religious festival at a shrine near Pakistan's capital, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens, witnesses said.

After the blast, hundreds of Shiite pilgrims, beating their chests in mourning, clashed with baton-wielding police, who charged the crowd to clear the way for ambulances. Some of the Shiite protesters chanted, "Down with America!"

The explosion at the Bari Imam shrine, the burial place of a historic saint on the outskirts of Islamabad, was the latest attack on a religious gathering in Pakistan, which has a long history of violent sectarian rivalry. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

...

Hours after the bombing, thousands of supporters of hardline Islamic groups attended previously planned rallies in Islamabad and other cities to protest the alleged desecration of the Quran at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Sectarian attacks by Sunni and minority Shiites are common in this Islamic country. The schism between the two sects dates back to a 7th-century dispute over who was the true heir to the Prophet Mohammed.

In February, gunmen opened fire on mourners returning from a funeral near the shrine, sparking a firefight that killed three people and injured several others. That violence, however, was believed linked to a feud between two families over control of the shrine.

The last major attack against a religious gathering was on March 19, when suspected Islamic militants bombed a festival for a Shiite saint at a village shrine in southwestern Baluchistan province, killing at least 46 people.

In October, a car bombing at a gathering of Sunni radicals in the central city of Multan killed 40 people. Six days earlier, a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque killed 31 people in the eastern city of Sialkot. [emphases added]




Tuesday, May 24, 2005
  Common sense, and all that
 
Why Islam is disrespected
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | May 19, 2005

IT WAS front-page news this week when Newsweek retracted a report claiming that a US interrogator in Guantanamo had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. Everywhere it was noted that Newsweek's story had sparked widespread Muslim rioting, in which at least 17 people were killed. But there was no mention of deadly protests triggered in recent years by comparable acts of desecration against other religions.

No one recalled, for example, that American Catholics lashed out in violent rampages in 1989, after photographer Andres Serrano's ''Piss Christ" -- a photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine -- was included in an exhibition subsidized by the National Endowment for the Arts. Or that they rioted in 1992 when singer Sinead O'Connor, appearing on ''Saturday Night Live," ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II.

There was no reminder that Jewish communities erupted in lethal violence in 2000, after Arabs demolished Joseph's Tomb, torching the ancient shrine and murdering a young rabbi who tried to save a Torah. And nobody noted that Buddhists went on a killing spree in 2001 in response to the destruction of two priceless, 1,500-year-old statues of Buddha by the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Of course, there was a good reason all these bloody protests went unremembered in the coverage of the Newsweek affair: They never occurred.

Christians, Jews, and Buddhists don't lash out in homicidal rage when their religion is insulted. They don't call for holy war and riot in the streets. It would be unthinkable for a mainstream priest, rabbi, or lama to demand that a blasphemer be slain. But when Reuters reported what Mohammad Hanif, the imam of a Muslim seminary in Pakistan, said about the alleged Koran-flushers -- ''They should be hung. They should be killed in public so that no one can dare to insult Islam and its sacred symbols" -- was any reader surprised?

The Muslim riots should have been met by outrage and condemnation. From every part of the civilized world should have come denunciations of those who would react to the supposed destruction of a book with brutal threats and the slaughter of 17 innocent people. But the chorus of condemnation was directed not at the killers and the fanatics who incited them, but at Newsweek.

From the White House down, the magazine was slammed -- for running an item it should have known might prove incendiary, for relying on a shaky source, for its animus toward the military and the war. Over and over, Newsweek was blamed for the riots' death toll. Conservative pundits in particular piled on. ''Newsweek lied, people died" was the headline on Michelle Malkin's popular website. At NationalReview.com, Paul Marshall of Freedom House fumed: ''What planet do these [Newsweek] people live on? . . . Anybody with a little knowledge could have told them it was likely that people would die as a result of the article." All of Marshall's choler was reserved for Newsweek; he had no criticism at all for the marauders in the Muslim street.

Then there was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who announced at a Senate hearing that she had a message for ''Muslims in America and throughout the world." And what was that message? That decent people do not resort to murder just because someone has offended their religious sensibilities? That the primitive bloodlust raging in Afghanistan and Pakistan was evidence of the Muslim world's dysfunctional political culture?

No: Her message was that ''disrespect for the Holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States."

Granted, Rice spoke while the rioting was still taking place and her goal was to reduce the anti-American fever. But what ''Muslims in America and throughout the world" most need to hear is not pandering sweet-talk. What they need is a blunt reminder that the real desecration of Islam is not what some interrogator in Guantanamo might have done to the Koran. It is what totalitarian Muslim zealots have been doing to innocent human beings in the name of Islam. It is 9/11 and Beslan and Bali and Daniel Pearl and the USS Cole. It is trains in Madrid and schoolbuses in Israel and an ''insurgency" in Iraq that slaughters Muslims as they pray and vote and line up for work. It is Hamas and Al Qaeda and sermons filled with infidel-hatred and exhortations to ''martyrdom."

But what disgraces Islam above all is the vast majority of the planet's Muslims saying nothing and doing nothing about the jihadist cancer eating away at their religion. It is Free Muslims Against Terrorism, a pro-democracy organization, calling on Muslims and Middle Easterners to ''converge on our nation's capital for a rally against terrorism" -- and having only 50 people show up.

Yes, Islam is disrespected. That will only change when throngs of passionate Muslims show up for rallies against terrorism, and when rabble-rousers trying to gin up a riot over a defiled Koran can't get the time of day.

Amen.

[Via Naomi Ragen]




Friday, March 11, 2005
  I've landed
 
I've been looking for a job for the past two-ish months (My job loss experience has already been documented). About a month ago I had a phone interview with a company whose product competed with my former employer. They are a very small company, still funded by a few V.C.'s, and growing like a weed. The week after the phone interview, I went in for a face-to-face with the hiring manager, plus four others. At the end of that interview, the hiring manager asked me to come in one more time at the end of February. That interview lasted 4 hours, and included a visit with the CEO. I probably met the entire company, which isn't saying much.

The hiring manager went on vacation last week, so on Tuesday he called for references. Yippee! On Wednesday, he called my references, spoke with one live, then called me to offer me the job... and I accepted. I'm so excited!

Speaking from more experience than I care to admit, the job market today is eternally better than it was two years ago, or even last year. I did not submit one application myself. Every inquiry I got was just from my resume being out on HotJobs or Monster. Several recruiters told me they were specifically seeking out people like me-- cut from my former employer due to the acquisition. Seems like there is high regard for people who work/worked there. It's always nice to have that little boost.

I start on March 28, and I can't wait.

Oh, and as a side note: upon my dismissal in January, I declared that I will reward myself with an iPod when I get a new job. Now I'll have a place to put all my ripped music, and I'll get to take all of my CDs everywhere I go. Woohoo!!!




  Enlightened ones
 
A couple of days ago, San Francisco State University held a job fair featuring recruiters doing their usual on-campus search for interested parties. And, as usual, the United States military was represented, just like when I was in school.

So some not-so-bright students decided to protest the presence of the military recruiters. They don't want the military to recruit any more, because they lie to people to get them to join. I suppose if I joined the military, I would think that combat would be the most remote of remote possibilities, right? After all, the recruiters sell it the same way a software company sells marketing jobs.

So anyway, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at one idiot's comment. Paraphrasing: "We don't want them to recruit anymore, because then they won't have enough people in the military and we won't go to war anymore." I wanted to laugh because of the sheer schtoopidity and ignorance of this comment (I wonder if she looks up to pacifist Europe, where service is compulsory?), but then I got the urge to cry because this is the thought process of America's future. Please tell me that all college students are not that stupid?! She should go live in those countries that were against the war in Iraq if she hates our system so much.

If she gets her way, she'd end up having to serve whether she wants to or not, because there will be war as long as we humans roam the earth. I personally want my country to be either a) so pumped up with miiltary might that nobody would be foolish enough to mess with us, or b) ready to win any war we enter. Our all-volunteer system has made our military the best in the world. If you don't want to serve, then don't. But don't try to take away the option for others. It is a very good and sensible option for many, many Americans. Also, if it's not for you, that's great, but don't paint the people who choose to serve their country as less enlightened, just dumb dogs obeying their master's commands. Get off the high horse!

By the way, these protesters disrupted the entire recruiting event. Some businesses packed up and left early because they were not able to talk to interested students. They shouted down anybody who wanted to talk to the military recruiters. As the military recruiters exited the event, the enlightened protesters sang the stupid (BEYOND stupid) "na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye", while flipping them the bird. How's that for maturity and civil discourse? One has to wonder how many students they brought to their side with their little side show. I'd be ashamed if those kids were my friends or family. So much for every individual's rights in the U.S. of A. The students that had a recruiting opportunity taken away from them should be beyond peeved. In this job market, you need every chance you can get. What these people did was selfish, unproductive, and just plain idiotic.

Good job, kids!




Thursday, March 10, 2005
  Ripped
 
My entire CD collection has now been "replicated" on iTunes. The totals:

2639 songs
7.8 days
12.60 GB

And those are just my CD's. Still have about the same number of CD's to rip from my husband's collection. I guess I won't be getting the 20 GB iPod...




Wednesday, February 16, 2005
  Finally waking up?
 
So all this news is coming out of Lebanon since fomer PM Rafik Hariri was murdered yesterday. All I can do is sit here and wonder how many Americans/westerners knew, before yesterday, that Lebanon has been under Syrian occupation for 25+ years.

This is just one of countless examples of why Arab dictators/monarchs/thugs work so hard to keep the light on Israel. Israel is NOT the problem in the Middle East. In so many of the global conflicts today, there is one common denominator. Figure it out-- it ain't Israel, and it ain't America, as much as they (meaning the 1 billion poor, oppressed Muslims of the world) want selectively ignorant Americans to believe.

The Lebanese have had the cage rattled, and now they want to get out. I wonder how many UN resolutions we'll see (I know of the one)? Or how much pressure the enlightened Europeans will put on Baby Assad? How many people of influence will finally put Syria under the microscope? How many Islamic theocracies will continue to exist with minimal criticism from the world?

I won't hold my breath, since spring is coming and I'd like to be around to enjoy it....