Sadness Category: 65 Entries

August 27, 2010

Everlasting Love?

Our love will last
So long as
The good it does for each of us
Outweighs the bad.
—Lois Wyse

Source: Lois Wyse poem Long-lasting Love in her book of poetry Who but me? American Greetings 1971
> Sadly, that's what happened in one of my earlier relationships.

Posted by niganit at 7:26 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Love | Poetry | Sadness

July 16, 2010

Hating Air-Conditioned Potties

Yesterday when I was pulling up her britches after she went potty, she said, “Boy, I hate these air-conditioned potties! They freeze my butt! Why do these people keep the potty so cold?”

And the answer I (my beautiful Bride) gave to her about the air-conditioned potty? Well, here goes:

“I guess these people want to have a high turnover in the potty. If it’s freezing cold, they can get people in and out fast. There aren’t any people outside the door waiting to use the potty right now, but if there’s ever a long line waiting to get in, we’re ready for them!”

She was happy with that, and when she’s happy, I’m happy too.
—Mama, July 15, 2010

Source: Caregiving on my Sweet Bride's Blog. This was a conversation she had with her 92 year-old Mom!

Posted by niganit at 8:55 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Grandparenting | Humorous | Love | Motivating | Sadness

July 8, 2010

Hugs for Daughter

If I had a Christmas wish, it would be to hug my daughter....
—Mark Harmon as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Source: NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service Silent Night Season 6, Episode 11, originally aired on 16 December 2008
> That would be my Christmas wish too!

Posted by niganit at 7:44 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Love | Sadness

November 25, 2009

Happiness of Life

What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. ... I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.
—Virginia Woolf

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Wednesday, November 25, 2009.

Posted by niganit at 6:44 AM | Comments (0)
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August 11, 2009

My Absent Child

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.—
I will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure!
—William Shakepeare as spoken by Constance in The Life and Death of King John

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Tuesday, August 11, 2009
>> On this day in 1596, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway buried their only son, Hamnet, who died at the age of 11 of unknown causes. At that time in England, about one third of children did not survive past the age of 10. Hamnet was named after Shakespeare's close friend, a baker, Hamlet Sadler. ("Hamnet" and "Hamlet" were virtually interchangeable names.) Hamnet had a twin sister Judith, named after the baker Hamlet's wife, Judith.

Posted by niganit at 7:25 AM | Comments (0)
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January 8, 2009

Love is a Thing

Love is a thing
you never can share

If you bring a friend
into your love affair
That's the end of your sweetheart,
that's the end of your friend
That's when your heartaches begin
—Elvis Presley's early song, That's when your heartaches begin

Source: Lyrics Mania dot com's That's When Your Heartaches Begin Lyrics
> It's the birthday of Elvis Presley, born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1935.Elvis died at his Memphis home, Graceland, on August 16, 1977.

Posted by niganit at 7:54 AM | Comments (0)
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March 9, 2008

They Shall Not Grow Old

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
— Laurence Binyon, from his poem For the fallen

Source: Australian War Memorial page: Commemoration
See also:
> Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen.
> ANZAC Day (25 April) is the most important national day of commemoration for Australians. This poem is one poem traditionally read on ANZAC Day commemorations. See the Australian War Memorial's ANZAC Day.'s Faces of the Fallen: By age: 59-year-olds
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Posted by niganit at 5:06 PM | Comments (0)
More like this: Australia | Poetry | Profound | Sadness

February 3, 2008

The Day the Music Died

If you knew Peg – gy Sue
Then you'd know why I feel blue with – ou – out Peg – gy,
my Pe – eg – gy Su – u – ue
Oh well I love you girl, yes I love Peggy Sue.
—Charles (Buddy Holly) Hardin Holley

Source: Wilkipedia's article Peggy Sue
> Buddy Holly (and other performers Ritchie Valens, J. P. Richardson, and the 21-year-old pilot, Roger Peterson) was killed in an airplane crash on February 3, 1959.
> Don McLean referred to that day as "the Day the Music Died."
> Holly was born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas on September 7, 1936.
> See Wilkipedia's article Buddy Holly

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December 31, 2007

Not Made Any of Us Safer

Out of panic and ideology, President Bush squandered America’s position of moral and political leadership, swept aside international institutions and treaties, sullied America’s global image, and trampled on the constitutional pillars that have supported our democracy through the most terrifying and challenging times. These policies have fed the world’s anger and alienation and have not made any of us safer.
—New York Times Editorial Staff

Source: The New York Times editorial Looking at America [free subscription required] published Monday, Dec. 31, 2007.

Posted by niganit at 6:38 AM | Comments (0)
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September 12, 2007

Wasting Our Brains

That image of a $6 million high-tech U.S. helicopter with a highly trained pilot blowing an insurgent off his bicycle captures the absurdity of our situation in Iraq. The great Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi said it best: “Great powers should never get involved in the politics of small tribes.”

That is where we are in Iraq. We’re wasting our brains. We’re wasting our people. We’re wasting our future.
—Thomas L. Friedman

Source: Iraq Through China’s Lens by Thomas L. Friedman. Published Sep. 12, 2007 in the New York Times. [Requires subscription]'s Faces of the Fallen: By Age | 36-year-olds
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Posted by niganit at 7:17 AM | Comments (0)
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August 5, 2007

Is There Good Judment in Politics?

Good judgment in politics, it turns out, depends on being a critical judge of yourself. It was not merely that the president did not take the care to understand Iraq. He also did not take the care to understand himself. The sense of reality that might have saved him from catastrophe would have taken the form of some warning bell sounding inside, alerting him that he did not know what he was doing. But then, it is doubtful that warning bells had ever sounded in him before. He had led a charmed life, and in charmed lives warning bells do not sound.

People with good judgment listen to warning bells within. Prudent leaders force themselves to listen equally to advocates and opponents of the course of action they are thinking of pursuing. They do not suppose that their own good intentions will guarantee good results. They do not suppose they know all they need to know. If power corrupts, it corrupts this sixth sense of personal limitation on which prudence relies.

A prudent leader will save democracies from the worst, but prudent leaders will not inspire a democracy to give its best. Democratic peoples should always be looking for something more than prudence in a leader: daring, vision and — what goes with both — a willingness to risk failure. Daring leaders can be trusted as long as they give some inkling of knowing what it is to fail. They must be men of sorrow acquainted with grief, as the prophet Isaiah says, men and women who have not led charmed lives, who understand us as we really are, who have never given up hope and who know they are in politics to make their country better. These are the leaders whose judgment, even if sometimes wrong, will still prove worthy of trust.
—Michael Ignatieff

Source: Getting Iraq Wrong [requires paid subscription] by Michael Ignatieff published August 5, 2007 in the New York Times Magazine.

Posted by niganit at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)
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April 23, 2007

Women and the Glass Ceiling

Mr. President, I don't know why it took us 200 years for one of us to get the job [of ambassador].
—Shirley Temple Black

Source: Creative Quotations from Shirley Temple Black
⇒ Shirley Temple Black was born on this day in 1928 in Santa Monica, California.
⇒ See WikiPedia's Shirley Temple.'s Faces of the Fallen: Air Force
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Posted by niganit at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)
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April 17, 2007

Oh, Such Sorrows

All sorrows can be borne, if you put them into a story.
—Isak Dinesen

It's all I have to bring today (26)

It's all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget—
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
—Emily Dickinson

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, April 17, 2007.
See also:
⇒ Online biography of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen.
⇒'s Emily Dickinson.'s Faces of the Fallen: Navy Reserves
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Posted by niganit at 7:47 AM | Comments (0)
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April 9, 2007

Lee Surrenders to Grant

On April 9, 1865 after four years of Civil War, approximately 630,000 deaths and over 1 million casualties, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, at the home of Wilmer and Virginia McLean in the rural town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
—Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

There is nothing left for me to do but to see Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths.
—General Robert E. Lee, CSA

Source: Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.
See also:
⇒ Fordham University's Modern History Sourcebook: Terms of Lee's Surrender At Appomattox, 1865's Faces of the Fallen: Air Force
U.S. Service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

Posted by niganit at 8:53 AM | Comments (0)
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March 14, 2007

Let Go of Bitterness

The nature of bitterness is rooted in the fact that the pain we feel provides us with a rationale. We may feel that we deserve to embrace our bitterness to its full extent. And to be bitter is, in essence, to cut ourselves off from all that is positive, hardening our hearts and vowing never to let go of our hurt. But just as bitter feelings can be self-defeating, so too can the release of bitterness be life-affirming in a way that few other emotional experiences are. When we decide that we no longer want to be bitter, we are reborn into a world filled with delight and fulfillment unlike any we knew while in the clutches of bitterness. The veil it cast over our lives is lifted, letting light and warmth touch our souls.
—extract from the DailyOM for Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Source: For the entire contemplation visit: DailyOM Lifting Pain's Veil: Bitterness published Wednesday, March 14, 2007.
⇒ This entry is in honor of my daughter, Jennifer, who seems to me to continue to hold a deep bitterness in her heart towards me. I prayer that I may release the bitterness I feel towards her, and move on in my life. I prayer that she will be able to find the strength and courage to release her bitterness, and let light and warmth touch her life. I love you so much, Jen Marie!

Posted by niganit at 8:29 AM | Comments (0)
More like this: Inspirational | Love | Profound | Sadness | Spiritual

March 6, 2007

150 Years Since the Horrid Dred Scott Decision

The words 'people of the United States' and 'citizens' are synonymous terms, and mean the same thing. They both describe the political body who, according to our republican institutions, form the sovereignty, and who hold the power and conduct the Government through their representatives. They are what we familiarly call the 'sovereign people,' and every citizen is one of this people, and a constituent member of this sovereignty. The question before us is, whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word 'citizens' in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate [60 U.S. 393, 405] and inferior class of beings, who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.
—Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, March 6, 1857

Source: U.S. Supreme Court DRED SCOTT v. SANDFORD, 60 U.S. 393 (1856) on
Dred Scott Decision on the US National Archives and Records Administration Web site.
⇒ "The decision of Scott v. Sandford, considered by legal scholars to be the worst ever rendered by the Supreme Court, was overturned by the 13th and 14th amendments to the Constitution, which abolished slavery and declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens of the United States."—US National Archives and Records Administration
Dred Scott Case Collection of the Washington University in Saint Louis.

February 23, 2007

Cheerful as Any Man Could Be

I went out to Charing Cross to see Major General Harrison hanged, drawn, and quartered; which was done there, he looking as cheerful as any man could in that condition.
—Samuel Pepys

Source: Samuel Pepys Quotes on
⇒ It is the birthday of the English diarist Samuel Pepys, born in London on this day, February 23rdin 1633.He died on Clapham (near London) on 26 May 1703.
See also:
⇒ Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Friday, February 23, 2007.
Samuel Pepys on

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February 11, 2007

Twas Brillig

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.
—Lewis Carroll JABBERWOCKY (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

Source: David Shaw's, and specifically his quoting of Carroll's poem The Jabberwocky.
See also: on Wikipedia, Jabberwocky

mark lewis doing his rendition of the CS lewis poem on

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January 17, 2007

Have One Hell of a Time

We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don't think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time.
—Art Buchwald

Source:'s Art Buchwald quotes.
See also:
Art Buchwald passed away on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 in Washington, DC. He was born on Oct. 20, 1925, in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Wikipedia's Art Buchwald.
NY Times Art Buchwald obituary. [May require free registration]
NY Times The Last Word: Art Buchwald. [May require free registration]

Posted by niganit at 7:43 AM | Comments (0)
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January 9, 2007

Not a Crook?

You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.
—Richard M. Nixon, 1962

On May 22 [1973], I stated in very specific termsand I state again to every one of you listening tonight these factsI had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in; I neither took part in nor knew about any of the subsequent coverup activities; I neither authorized nor encouraged subordinates to engage in illegal or improper campaign tactics.

That was and that is the simple truth.
—Richard M. Nixon

I'm not a crook.
—Richard M. Nixon, November 17, 1973, during a press conference.

Source: New York Times Richard M. Nixon obituary, The 37th President; In Three Decades by John Herbers April 24, 1994.
Former President Richard M. Nixon was born on this day in 1913, in Yorba Linda, California. He died April 22, 1994 in New York City, New York. Following the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned from the Presidency on August 9, 1974.
See also:
1.'s Nixon's Second Watergate Speech: August 15, 1973.
2. White's Richard M. Nixon

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January 8, 2007

Gotta Move

Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside.
—Elvis Presley

Source: Elvis Presley Quotes on
Elvis was born on this day in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi. He died in Memphis, Tennessee on August, 16, 1977.
It is also the birthday of physicist, Stephen Hawking, born in 1942 in Oxford, England.

Posted by niganit at 7:14 AM | Comments (0)
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December 7, 2006

Pearl Harbor Day: 2006

Congressional Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Arizona.
Place and date: Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941. Entered service at: Laddonia, Missouri.
Born: 15 October 1899, Laddonia Mo.

Upon the commencement of the attack, Lt. Comdr. Fuqua rushed to the quarterdeck of the U.S.S. Arizona to which he was attached where he was stunned and knocked down by the explosion of a large bomb which hit the guarterdeck, penetrated several decks, and started a severe fire. Upon regaining consciousness, he began to direct the fighting of the fire and the rescue of wounded and injured personnel. Almost immediately there was a tremendous explosion forward, which made the ship appear to rise out of the water, shudder, and settle down by the bow rapidly. The whole forward part of the ship was enveloped in flames which were spreading rapidly, and wounded and burned men were pouring out of the ship to the quarterdeck. Despite these conditions, his harrowing experience, and severe enemy bombing and strafing, at the time, Lt. Comdr. Fuqua continued to direct the fighting of fires in order to check them while the wounded and burned could be taken from the ship and supervised the rescue of these men in such an amazingly calm and cool manner and with such excellent judgment that it inspired everyone who saw him and undoubtedly resulted in the saving of many lives. After realizing the ship could not be saved and that he was the senior surviving officer aboard, he directed it to be abandoned, but continued to remain on the quarterdeck and directed abandoning ship and rescue of personnel until satisfied that all personnel that could be had been saved, after which he left his ship with the boatload. The conduct of Lt. Comdr. Fuqua was not only in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service but characterizes him as an outstanding leader of men.
—extract from Captain Fuqua's Congresional Medal of Honor citation

Source:'s Congressional Medal of Honor Heroes of Pearl Harbor
See also:
1. Consider This in 2005: Remember Pearl Harbor, 07 DEC 1941 About Dorie Miller.
2. Consider This in 2004: Pearl Harbor Attacked, Dec. 7, 1941 About FDR's Speech.
3. USS Arizona National Memorial (US National Park Service
4. Pear Harbor Survivors Project
5. Arlington National Cemetery's Samuel Glenn Fuqua Rear Admiral, United States Navy

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November 9, 2006

Kristallnacht: Lest We Forget the Horror

Today is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when German Nazis coordinated a nationwide attack on Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues. It's generally considered the official beginning of the Holocaust. Before that night, the Nazis had killed people secretly and individually. After Kristallnacht, the Nazis felt free to persecute the Jews openly, because they knew no one would stop them.
—Garrison Keillor

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Thursday, November 9, 2006
See also: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Kristallnacht: The November 1938 Pogroms

Posted by niganit at 7:48 AM | Comments (0)
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November 8, 2006

Tolerable and Awful

The Iraq war has turned into a sucking chest wound for our country infecting its unity at home and its standing abroad. No one can predict what Iraq will look like 10 years from now. I wish it well. But in the near term, it is clear, nothing that well feel particularly proud of, nothing that well feel justifies the vast expenditure of lives and treasure, is going to come out of Iraq.

These are our real choices in Iraq now: tolerable and awful. Its time we choose. No more expending lives and treasure for nothing good. The only way we can pursue good in the world again is by either shrinking our presence in Iraq, if Iraqis will step up, or leaving entirely, if they wont.
—Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist

Source: Extract from Thomas L. Friedman: Tolerable or Awful: The Roads Left in Iraq New York Times, November 8, 2006 [requires registration & premium subscription]

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September 24, 2006

Facing Facts on Iraq

While Iraq is a central issue in this years election campaigns, there is very little clear talk about what to do, beyond vague recommendations for staying the course or long-term timetables for withdrawal. That is because politicians running for election want to deliver good news, and there is nothing about Iraq including withdrawal scenarios that is anything but ominous.

In the real Iraq, armed Shiite and Kurdish parties have divided up the eastern two-thirds of the country, leaving Sunni insurgents and American marines to fight over the rest. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and his national unity cabinet stretch out their arms to like-thinking allies like Iran and Hezbollah, but barely lift a finger to rein in the sectarian militias and death squads spreading terror across Baghdad and the Shiite south.

The civilian death toll is now running at roughly 100 a day, with many of the victims gruesomely tortured with power tools or acid. Over the summer, more Iraqi civilians died violent deaths each month than the number of Americans lost to terrorism on Sept. 11. Meanwhile, the electricity remains off, oil production depressed, unemployment pervasive and basic services hard to find.

Iraq is today a broken, war-torn country. Outside the relatively stable Kurdish northeast, virtually every family Sunni or Shiite, rich or poor, powerful or powerless must cope with fear and physical insecurity on an almost daily basis. The courts, when they function at all, are subject to political interference; street-corner justice is filling the vacuum. Religious courts are asserting their power over family life. Womens rights are in retreat.

Growing violence, not growing democracy, is the dominant feature of Iraqi life. Every Iraqi knows this. Americans need to know it too.

Beyond the futility of simply staying the course lies the impossibility of keeping the bulk of American ground forces stationed in Iraq indefinitely. They have already been there for 42 months, longer than it took the United States to defeat Hitler. The strain is undermining the long-term strength of the Army and Marines, threatening to divert the National Guard from homeland security and emboldening Iran and North Korea. Yet with the military situation deteriorating, the Pentagon has had to give up any idea of significant withdrawals this year, or for that matter anytime in the foreseeable future.
—excerpt of a New York Times Editorial, published Sunday, September 24, 2006.

Source: New York Times Editorial, Facing Facts on Iraq of Sunday, September 24, 2006

On September 23, 2006, a Washington Post editorial observed, in part:
The president's steadfastness would be much more impressive if it seemed to be attached to a winning strategy. Sadly, the events of the past several weeks suggest otherwise, at least in Iraq. Gen. Abizaid candidly described the progress of a U.S. military campaign in Baghdad, where additional American forces have been concentrated in the hope of stopping rampant sectarian bloodshed, as slight. Asked by reporters if the war could be won, he replied, "Given unlimited time and unlimited support, we're winning the war."

The problem, as both Gen. Abizaid and Mr. Bush well know, is that neither time nor resources are unlimited. Reports in several newspapers yesterday said the continuing heavy deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan had prompted commanders to discuss whether to call up more National Guard units at the expense of breaking rules about how often they are deployed.

The same day Gen. Abizaid spoke, the chairmen of a bipartisan Iraq study group set up by Congress delivered a blunt message to the four-month-old Iraqi coalition government, which has been slow to take desperately needed steps toward national reconciliation. "The government of Iraq needs to show its own citizens soon, and the citizens of the United States, that it is deserving of continuing support," said former representative Lee H. Hamilton, who chairs the group along with former secretary of state James A. Baker III.

Unless that message is heeded, the sacrifice involved in holding U.S. troop levels steady for another six months -- in lives, above all -- is likely to be wasted.
—excerpt of Washington Post editorial published September 23, 2006.

Source: Washington Post editorial The Troops Stay On of September 23, 2006

September 11, 2006

Only a Boche or a Someone Who's an Enemy

We brought him in from between the lines: we'd better have let him lie;

For what's the use of risking one's skin for a TYKE that's going to die?
What's the use of tearing him loose under a gruelling fire,
When he's shot in the head, and worse than dead,
and all messed up on the wire?

However, I say, we brought him in. DIABLE! The mud was bad;
The trench was crooked and greasy and high, and oh, what a time we had!
And often we slipped, and often we tripped, but never he made a moan;
And how we were wet with blood and with sweat!
but we carried him in like our own.

Now there he lies in the dug-out dim, awaiting the ambulance,
And the doctor shrugs his shoulders at him,
and remarks, "He hasn't a chance."
And we squat and smoke at our game of bridge
on the glistening, straw-packed floor,
And above our oaths we can hear his breath deep-drawn in a kind of snore.

For the dressing station is long and low, and the candles gutter dim,
And the mean light falls on the cold clay walls
and our faces bristly and grim;
And we flap our cards on the lousy straw, and we laugh and jibe as we play,
And you'd never know that the cursed foe was less than a mile away.
As we con our cards in the rancid gloom, oppressed by that snoring breath,
You'd never dream that our broad roof-beam was swept by the broom of death.

Heigh-ho! My turn for the dummy hand; I rise and I stretch a bit;
The fetid air is making me yawn, and my cigarette's unlit,
So I go to the nearest candle flame, and the man we brought is there,
And his face is white in the shabby light, and I stand at his feet and stare.
Stand for a while, and quietly stare: for strange though it seems to be,
The dying Boche on the stretcher there has a queer resemblance to me.

It gives one a kind of a turn, you know, to come on a thing like that.
It's just as if I were lying there, with a turban of blood for a hat,
Lying there in a coat grey-green instead of a coat grey-blue,
With one of my eyes all shot away, and my brain half tumbling through;
Lying there with a chest that heaves like a bellows up and down,
And a cheek as white as snow on a grave, and lips that are coffee brown.

And confound him, too! He wears, like me, on his finger a wedding ring,
And around his neck, as around my own, by a greasy bit of string,
A locket hangs with a woman's face, and I turn it about to see:
Just as I thought . . . on the other side the faces of children three;
Clustered together cherub-like, three little laughing girls,
With the usual tiny rosebud mouths and the usual silken curls.
"Zut!" I say. "He has beaten me; for me, I have only two,"
And I push the locket beneath his shirt, feeling a little blue.

Oh, it isn't cheerful to see a man, the marvellous work of God,
Crushed in the mutilation mill, crushed to a smeary clod;
Oh, it isn't cheerful to hear him moan; but it isn't that I mind,
It isn't the anguish that goes with him, it's the anguish he leaves behind.
For his going opens a tragic door that gives on a world of pain,
And the death he dies, those who live and love, will die again and again.

So here I am at my cards once more, but it's kind of spoiling my play,
Thinking of those three brats of his so many a mile away.
War is war, and he's only a Boche, and we all of us take our chance;
But all the same I'll be mighty glad when I'm hearing the ambulance.
One foe the less, but all the same I'm heartily glad I'm not
The man who gave him his broken head, the sniper who fired the shot.

No trumps you make it, I think you said? You'll pardon me if I err;
For a moment I thought of other things . . .
—Robert W. Service Only a Boche

Source: Rhymes of a Red Cross Man by Robert W. Service, published in 1916
excerpted from the Project Gutenberg's online text version of Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, by Robert W. Service
I am the grateful recipient of a 1916 original copy of Service's book, Rhymes of a Red Cross Man given to me by my dear friend Ernie, at our Men's Gathering in Buffalo Gap Camp in West Virginia in October 1, 2, & 3, 2004. Thank you so very much, Brother Ernie.

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September 1, 2006

Praise the Past and Condemn the Present?

Is it not the common practice of the old men to praise the past and condemn the present? And this may probably operate much further than one would at first imagine. When those that have more experience than we, and therefore, we are apt to think, more wisdom, are almost continually harping upon this, the degeneracy of the world, is it any wonder if, being accustomed from our infancy to hear how much better the world was formerly than it is now, (and so it really seemed to them, when they were young, and when the cheerfulness of youth gave a pleasing air to all that was around them,) the idea of the world's being worse and worse should naturally grow up with us? And so it will till we, in our turn, grow peevish, fretful, discontented, and full of melancholy complaints: 'How wicked the world is grown! How much better it was when we were young, in the golden days that we can remember!

Source: Former Times, written in the 1700's, provided by my dear friend, David Roberts, on Friday September 1, 2006

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August 8, 2006

I Have a Friend

Around the corner I have a friend
In this great city that has no end
Yet the days go by and the weeks rush on,
And before I know it a year has gone.

And I never see my old friend's face
For life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell and he rang mine.
We were younger then.

And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game;
Tired of trying to make a name.

"Tomorrow, "I say, I will call on Jim,
Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
But tomorrow comes, and tomorrow goes;
And the distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner—yet miles away—
"Here's a telegram, Sir, Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end;
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
—Henson Towne

This poem usually appears on the Web with the following sage advice:

Remember to always say what you mean. If you love someone, tell them. Don't be afraid to express yourself. Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you. Because when you decide that it is the right time, it might be too late. Seize the day. Never have regrets. And most importantly, stay close to your friends and family, for they have helped make you the person that you are today.

Source: The Men's Council of Greater Washington, sponsors of the Annual Men's Gathering in 2006, at Buffalo Gap Camp in Capon Bridge, West Virginia Friday, Sep. 29—Sunday, Oct. 1.
Through the mid-1990's The Men's Council met every month (except October) in the Washington Ethical Society hall. We distributed cards with the above poem at those wonderful programs. Each meeting included a profound greeting tradition, drumming, as well as a moving and challenging program. I do so miss those endearing experiences that helped me discover the courage to find myself and reach out to men.
See also: Lori MacBlogger: Around the Corner

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June 26, 2006

Flaming Quicksand Unwinnable War

Americans need to understand that Mr. Bush's invasion of Iraq was a strategic blunder of the highest magnitude. It has resulted in mind-boggling levels of bloodshed, chaos and misery in Iraq, and it certainly hasn't made the U.S. any safer.

We've had enough clownish debates on the Senate floor and elsewhere. We've had enough muscle-flexing in the White House and on Capitol Hill by guys who ran and hid when they were young and their country was at war. And it's time to stop using generals and their forces under fire in the field for cheap partisan political purposes.

The question that needs to be answered, honestly and urgently (and without regard to partisan politics), is how best to extricate overstretched American troops some of them serving their third or fourth tours from the flaming quicksand of an unwinnable war.
—Bob Herbert

Source: Bob Herbert's New York Times op-ed piece Playing Politics With Oraq, Monday, June 26, 2006 [requires registration & paid subscription]

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June 6, 2006

D-Day: June 6, 1944

Assault Boats enroute Omaha & USS AUGUSTA

Omaha Beach, Normandy, June 6, 1944

But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
—Abraham Lincoln.

Source: Modern History Sourcebook: Abraham Lincoln: Letter to Mrs. Bixby, 1864

On the night of June 5, 1944, 1,000 ships, the greatest armada ever to set sail, left the British isles, bound for the Coast of Normandy--its mission to liberate Europe. Operation Overlord had begun. On June 6, almost 200,000 Allied soldiers landed on rugged French beaches, code-named Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Rocky cliffs fortified by the German loomed over the beaches. This was the formidable threshold of the second front, the long-awaited campaign that spelled the end of the Third Reich. Stubborn German resistance and gale-force channel storms caused a devastating loss of men and equipment in the period immediately following the landing. Some American units suffered casualties to half their numbers. The invasion of Europe often seemed on the brink of foundering.

But it did not fail. The door to Europe was opened. American, British, and Canadian forces poured in, accompanied by contingents representing the governments-in-exile of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, and Poland. In little more than two months Paris was liberated. Within a year Hitler was dead and the German Army defeated. Today, above Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery bears silent, but perpetual witness to the cost of the mightiest sea-to-shore operation ever launched.
—Naval Historical Center

Source: Naval Historical Center's Art Collection D-DAY, NORMANDY; Operation Overlord

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May 15, 2006

America the Fearful

The Bushies will tell you that it is dangerous and even against the law to inquire into these nefarious activities. We just have to trust the king.

Well, I give you fair warning. This is a road map to totalitarianism. Hallmarks of totalitarian regimes have always included an excessive reliance on secrecy, the deliberate stoking of fear in the general population, a preference for military rather than diplomatic solutions in foreign policy, the promotion of blind patriotism, the denial of human rights, the curtailment of the rule of law, hostility to a free press and the systematic invasion of the privacy of ordinary people.

There are not enough pretty words in all the world to cover up the damage that George W. Bush has done to his country. If the United States could look at itself in a mirror, it would be both alarmed and ashamed at what it saw.
—Bob Herbert

Source: Bob Herbert column America the Fearful [requires registration & subsription] published in the New York Times on Monday, May 15, 2006

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April 25, 2006

Bush's 1,000 Days

The Hundred Days is indelibly associated with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Thousand Days with John F. Kennedy. But as of this week, a thousand days remain of President Bush's last term -- days filled with ominous preparations for and dark rumors of a preventive war against Iran.

The issue of preventive war as a presidential prerogative is hardly new. In February 1848 Rep. Abraham Lincoln explained his opposition to the Mexican War: "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure [emphasis added]. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.'"
—Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Source: Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s OP-ED Bush's 1,000 Days published April 24, 2006 in The Washington Post

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April 24, 2006

Presidents and Politicians Worry

Presidents and politicians may worry about losing face, or votes, or legacy; it is time to think about young Americans and innocent civilians who are losing their lives.
—John Kerry, US Senator, Massachusetts (D)

Source: Senator John Kerry's speech "Dissent" given in Faneuil Hall April 22, 2006, Boston, Massachusetts.

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April 19, 2006

1943: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Begun 63 Years Ago

What we grieve for is not the loss of a grand vision, but rather the loss of common things, events and gestures. ... Ordinariness is the most precious thing we struggle for, what the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto fought for. Not noble causes or abstract theories. But the right to go on living with a sense of purpose and a sense of self-worth—an ordinary life.
—Irena Klepfisz, survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, on the forty-fifth anniversary of the uprising.

Source: Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac for Wednesday, April 19, 2006
See also:
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum's WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING. The uprising resisted the Nazis until May 16, 1943.

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April 7, 2006

Men Abused and Battered

When I met Leo, Paul and Tom at a domestic violence shelter here, it was hard to believe the three men's story: that they were victims of physical abuse at the hands of their female partners.
—Ted Rowlands

Source: article The other face of domestic violence by Ted Rowlands published Thursday, April 6, 2006
See also:
> Battered Men - The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence
835,000 men battered each year, silent too long ...
by MenWeb
> Domestic Violence Against Men in Colorado
> Domestic Abuse Hotline for Men and Women
> Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence by Phillip Cook
> Intimate Partner Violence: Fact Sheet by the CDC-National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

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March 31, 2006

Horror of Iraq

The fate of the entire U.S. enterprise in Iraq now hangs in the balance, as the war has entered a dangerous new phase. It is the phase of barbaric identity-card violence between Sunnis and Shiites. In the late 1970's, I covered a similar moment in Lebanon, and the one thing I learned was this: Once this kind of venom gets unleashed with members of each community literally beheading each other on the basis of their religious identities it poisons everything. You enter a realm that is beyond politics, a realm where fear and revenge dominate everyone's thinking and that is where Iraq is heading.  . . .
It is five minutes to midnight
—Thomas L. Friedman

Source: Thomas L. Friedman's New York Times Op-Ed Iraq at the 11th Hour Thursday, March 31, 2006.

This is the 24th birthday of my son, Nicholas Gerard. He was born in Houston, Texas on this day in 1982 and died the next day, April 1, 1982. I miss you so, my dear Nick, and in the arms of the angels, may you find some comfort there.
—Love, Dad

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March 23, 2006

Tears Over Answered Prayers

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.
—Truman Capote; an epigraph he chose for his last, unfinished work

Source: from the motion picture Capote

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January 19, 2006

Nevermore Said the Raven!

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!
—Edgar Allan Poe The Raven

Source: Selected Works, The Raven at the
It is the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, born January 19, 1809 in Boston, MA, and died on October 7, 1849 in Baltimore, MD.

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January 18, 2006

Politicians Rebuild!

The world hasnt seen anything yet:
Wait til the politicians start to rebuild and regulate IT!

Source: January 18th entry: Office Perpetual Calendar by Judy Johannesen, Haymarket, Virginia

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January 11, 2006

Theft From Those Who Hunger

Every gun that is made, every warship ever launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.
—Dwight D Eisenhower

Source: The Best Liberal Quotes Ever: Why the Left is Right by Wlliam Martin. Sourcebooks, Inc. 2004 ISBN: 1-4022-0309-8
See also: Dwight D. Eisenhower, The Chance for Peace speech, April 16, 1953 Washington, D.C. Social Justice Speeches Project of the Multicultural Education Pavilion

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December 19, 2005

Gravely Dangerous Actions

Warrantless intelligence surveillance by an executive branch unaccountable to any judicial officer -- and apparently on a large scale -- is gravely dangerous.
—Washington Post Editorial, Dec. 18, 2005

Source: Dec. 18th, 2005 Washington Post Editorial, Spying on Americans
See also: NY Times Nov 18, 2005 article Eavesdropping Effort Began Soon After Sept. 11 Attacks

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December 7, 2005

Remember Pearl Harbor, 07 DEC 1941

USS MILLER FF-1091 photo

Destroyers Online USS Miller (FF-1091)

USS MILLER (FF-1091) named in honor of Dorie Miller

MILLER, a KNOX Class Frigate (FF), was originally commissioned June 30, 1973 as a Destroyer Escort (DE). These ships were redesignated as Frigates (FF) in June 1975, but retained their original hull numbers. US Navy destroyers, frigates, and destroyer escort are traditionally named in honor of Navy and Marine Corps combat heroes. MILLER justly honored the memory of Ship's Cook Third Class Doris Miller, USN. The ship proudly served our US Navy until decommissioning October 15, 1991. I served in USS CAPODANNO (FF-1093) and USS BAGLEY (FF-1069), both sister ships to MILLER.

It wasn't hard. I just pulled the trigger and she worked fine. I had watched the others with these guns. I guess I fired her for about fifteen minutes. I think I got one of those Jap planes. They were diving pretty close to us.
—Ship's Cook, Third Class Doris (Dorie) Miller, USN aboard USS WEST VIRGINIA (BB-48) describing his firing the machine gun during the battle, a weapon which he had not been trained to operate.

He was serving in that battleship when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Miller had arisen at 6 a.m., and was collecting laundry when the alarm for general quarters sounded. He headed for his battle station, the antiaircraft battery magazine amidship, only to discover that torpedo damage had wrecked it, so he went on deck. Because of his physical prowess, he was assigned to carry wounded fellow Sailors to places of greater safety. Then an officer ordered him to the bridge to aid the mortally wounded Captain of the ship. He subsequently manned a 50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship.

Miller was commended by the Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox on 1 April 1942, and on 27 May 1942 he received the Navy Cross, which Fleet Admiral (then Admiral) Chester W. Nimitz, the Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet personally presented to Miller on board aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) for his extraordinary courage in battle. Speaking of Miller, Nimitz remarked:

"This marks the first time in this conflict that such high tribute has been made in the Pacific Fleet to a member of his race and I'm sure that the future will see others similarly honored for brave acts."

On 13 December 1941, Miller reported to USS Indianapolis (CA-35), and subsequently returned to the west coast of the United States in November 1942. Assigned to the newly constructed USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) in the spring of 1943, Miller was on board that escort carrier during Operation Galvanic, the seizure of Makin and Tarawa Atolls in the Gilbert Islands. Liscome Bay's aircraft supported operations ashore between 20-23 November 1943. At 5:10 a.m. on 24 November, while cruising near Butaritari Island, a single torpedo from Japanese submarine I-175 struck the escort carrier near the stern. The aircraft bomb magazine detonated a few moments later, sinking the warship within minutes. Listed as missing following the loss of that escort carrier, Miller was officially presumed dead 25 November 1944, a year and a day after the loss of Liscome Bay. Only 272 Sailors survived the sinking of Liscome Bay, while 646 died.

In addition to the Navy Cross, Miller was entitled to the Purple Heart Medal; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.

Source: US Naval Historical Center's Ship's Cook Third Class Doris Miller, USN
See also:
1. Consider this one year ago: December 7, 2004

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November 22, 2005

Men Who Question Power

JFK close-up photo Cronkite interview Sep. 2, 1963

NARA: ARC Identifier: 194259,

President interviewed by Walter Cronkite

President Kennedy ( close-up ). Hyannisport, MA, Squaw Island., 09/02/1963

The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nations greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.
—John F. Kennedy: Amherst College, Oct 26, 1963 - Source JFK Library, Boston, Mass.

Source: John F. Kennedy Quotations - the Quotation Pages

The President is shot
On November 21, 1963, President Kennedy flew to Texas to give several political speeches. The next day [November 22, 1963], as his car drove slowly past cheering crowds in Dallas, shots rang out. Kennedy was seriously wounded and died a short time later. Within a few hours of the shooting, police arrested Lee Harvey Oswald and charged him with the murder. On November 24, another man, Jack Ruby, shot and killed Oswald, thus silencing the only person who could have offered more information about this tragic event. The Warren Commission was organized to investigate the assassination and to clarify the many questions which remained.

Source: A Biography of John Fitzgerald Kennedy on the The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library
See also: The National Archives - JFK Assassination Records Collection

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October 11, 2005

Fail to Tap Ingenuity

There are young people out there cutting raw cocaine with chemicals from the local hardware store. They are manufacturing new highs and new products buy soaking marijuana in ever changing agents, and each of these new drugs is more addictive, more deadly and less costly than the last. How is it that we have failed to tap that ingenuity, that sense of experimentation? How is it that these kids who can measure grams and kilos and can figure out complex monetary transactions cannot pass a simple math or chemistry test?
—Senator Kohl, from the U.S. Senate Hearing: "Crisis in Math and Science Education."

Source: Teachers daily Calendar Saturday/Sunday June 5/6, 2004
See also: Senator Herb Khol (WI)

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August 1, 2005

Charge of the Light Brigade

U.S. Navy PH3 Konstandinos Goumenidis

USS MCCAMPBELL (DDG-85) Underway July 2004

Pacific Ocean (July 26, 2005) - USS McCampbell (DDG 85) prepares to go alongside USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) to conduct a fueling at sea (FAS), as USS Decatur (DDG 73) navigates off her starboard quarter. (RELEASED)

Half a league, half a league, 
      Half a league onward, 
All in the valley of Death 
      Rode the six hundred. 
'Forward, the Light Brigade! 
Charge for the guns!' he said: 
Into the valley of Death 
      Rode the six hundred. 
'Forward, the Light Brigade!' 
Was there a man dismay'd ? 
Not tho' the soldier knew 
      Some one had blunder'd: 
Their's not to make reply, 
Their's not to reason why,  
Their's but to do and die:  
Into the valley of Death 
      Rode the six hundred. 
Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them 
      Volley'd and thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
Boldly they rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of Hell 
      Rode the six hundred. 
Flash'd all their sabres bare, 
Flash'd as they turn'd in air 
Sabring the gunners there, 
Charging an army, while 
      All the world wonder'd: 
Plunged in the battery-smoke 
Right thro' the line they broke; 
Cossack and Russian 
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke 
      Shatter'd and sunder'd. 
Then they rode back, but not 
      Not the six hundred. 
Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon behind them 
      Volley'd and thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
While horse and hero fell, 
They that had fought so well 
Came thro' the jaws of Death, 
Back from the mouth of Hell, 
All that was left of them, 
      Left of six hundred. 
When can their glory fade ? 
O the wild charge they made! 
      All the world wonder'd. 
Honour the charge they made! 
Honour the Light Brigade, 
      Noble six hundred! 

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Source: Mediadrome's Poetry - Tennyson: The Charge of the Light Brigade

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July 31, 2005

In The Mutilation Mill

Oh, it isn't cheerful to see a man, the marvelous work of God,
Crushed in the mutilation mill, crushed to a smeary clod;
Oh, it isn't cheerful to hear him moan; but it isn't that I mind,
It isn't the anguish that goes with him, it's the anguish he leaves behind.
For his going opens a tragic door that gives on a world of pain,
And the death he dies, those who live and love, will die again and again.
—Robert W. Service

Source: Only A Boche poem by Robert W. Service included in Rhymes of a Red Cross Man by Robert W. Service 1916 published by Barse & Hopkins
Service is writing about World War I from the Allies point of view.

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July 17, 2005

Why Do Human Beings Kill and Injure?

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isnt hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possesions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say Im a dreamer,
but Im not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.
—John Lennon

Source:'s Imagine : LyricsWritten by: John Lennon Bag productions inc

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June 10, 2005

Empathize with Your Enemy

My Turn
The war in Iraq, specifically America's role of leadership in this war, is a painful invitation to ask ourselves what, if anything, we've learned from previous wars. I, like you, am revolted by the brutal killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people during any war. And, like you, I'm saddened by the apparent inability of human beings to find less violent solutions to conflict and terrorism. What can we learn from previous wars? Are there lessons from past experiences that can help reduce or minimize the likelihood of excessive and unnecessary destruction and devastation of lives and countries, and our future on Earth? I believe the answer is yes! We can learn, and there are lessons available.
—Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Read the entire article

Source: My Turn Online Article by Dr. Wayne Dyer (visited Thursday, June 9, 2005)
See also an index of Dr. Dyer's Online Articles

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May 7, 2005

Days of Remembrance 2005

Liberation of Prisoners of Ebensee May 7, 1945

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Prisoners at the time of liberation of the Ebensee camp, a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp. This photograph was taken by Signal Corps photographer Arnold E. Samuelson. Austria, May 7, 1945.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has designated "From Liberation to the Pursuit of Justice" as the theme for the 2005 Days of Remembrance (May 1 - 8, 2005) in honor of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps and the subsequent prosecution under international law of major Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, Germany. Reflection on the liberation of thousands of Jews and other prisoners from Nazi camps and the prosecution of Nazi perpetrators reminds us that we must take action to prevent atrocities and vigorously pursue justice for the victims of such acts of hatred and inhumanity.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM)

See also: USHMM Holocaust Encyclopedia MAUTHAUSEN Concentration Camp


The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.
—Justice Robert Jackson, Chief U.S. Counsel to the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, Germany, November 21, 1945

Source: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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April 26, 2005

War is Always About Sorrow

War is always about sorrow and the deepest suffering. Nitwits try to dress it up in the finery of half-baked rationalizations, but the reality is always wanton bloodshed, rotting flesh and the lifelong trauma of those who are physically or psychically maimed.
—Bob Herbert

Source: The Agony of War Op-Ed by Bob Herbert, NY Times, April 25, 2005

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April 12, 2005

Solar System: Sun-Centric or Earth-Centric?

NASA photo: The crew of Apollo 8 were the first humans to witness the Earth rising over the Moon's horizon

Apollo 8: NASA photo

Apollo 8: December 24, 1968

The crew of Apollo 8 were the first humans to witness the Earth rising over the Moon's horizon.

By my remarkable observations, the sky...was opened a hundred or a thousand times wider than anything seen by the learned of all the past centuries. Now, that sky is diminished for me to a space no greater than that which is occupied by my own body.

Source Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac for Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Also consider that Galileo wrote this in a letter to a friend after having been blinded by an eye infection. He was unable to get medical care because he was under house arrest following a conviction of heresy by the Roman Catholic Church. It was on this day in 1633 that Galileo was put on trial for publishing evidence that the sun and not the earth is the center of the solar system. He was a devout Catholic but didn't believe his ideas should threaten the church. He wrote, the "Holy Sprit intended to teach us in the Bible how to go to Heaven, not how the heavens go."
See also Rice University's The Galileo Project

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April 2, 2005

Pope John II Passes Over the Veil

photo: NY Times

Bronze Door Closes on a Life

A Swiss Guard closes the bronze door under the portico in Saint Peter's Square, where several thousand people gathered to be close to Pope John Paul II, at the Vatican April 2, 2005. This door is closed every night and over the centuries it is also closed when a pope dies and is kept closed until a new pontiff is elected.

Humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remain standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it.
—Pope John Paul II

Source: Pope John Paul II Quotes on

Pope John Paul II died on Saturday, the Vatican announced. The 84-year-old Pontiff, who had headed the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years, died at 9.37 p.m (1937 GMT), a statement said.

One who exercises as much power as the pope will never be free of controversy, no matter how exemplary his life; the secular world is not in the habit of conferring sainthood on people. But John Paul II, after his death yesterday at 84, will be seen by most, we think, as a remarkable witness, to use a favorite term of his -- witness to a vision characterized by humaneness, honesty and integrity throughout his reign and his life.
—Washington Post, Sunday, April 3, 2005

Source: Washington Post, Sunday April 3, 2005 Editorial


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February 8, 2005

How Important You Are

If you could only sense how important you are to the lives you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
—Fred Rogers

Source: The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers 2003 ISBN 1-4013-0106-1
See also: Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

I honor the memory of a colleague of mine of the last five years who passed on to the next adventure across the veil last Friday, February 4, 2005. Fair Winds and following seas to you shipmate, Michael.

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
—Dylan Thomas -- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

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February 3, 2005

Saddest Four Words....

The saddest words of tongue or pen are these words ---it might have been.
---Oliver Wendell Holmes

Source: Whatever It Takes series window card by Compendium, Inc.
See also:'s Oliver Wendell Holmes Quotations

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January 27, 2005

Auschwitz Liberated 60 Years Ago: 27 Jan 1945

Thou shalt not be a victim.
Thou shalt not be a perpetrator.
Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.
---Holocaust Museum Washington, DC


It's very important. You are the last generation that can talk to the survivors, we are every day less. We can give living let the world know, to try to get them to learn even though they don't, so that it doesn't happen again.
Auschwitz Survivor Trudy Spira

Source: Heads bowed in the snow, old and young pay silent tribute The Friday, Jan. 28, 2005

Auschwitz Liberation Commemorated
During World War II, more than 1.5 million people died at three Auschwitz death camps before Soviet troops arrived to free the remaining prisoners. 60 years later, survivors and world leaders commemorated the liberation and reflected on one of humanity's darkest chapters, the Holocaust that claimed the lives of more than 6 million people.

Source: We Will Never Forget: Photo Gallery

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December 7, 2004

Pearl Harbor Attacked, Dec. 7, 1941

World War 2 Era Poster (1942) Commemorating the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Source: Eyewitness to History

World War 2 Era Poster (1942) Commemorating the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. This morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implicationsto the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounded determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.
----President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, December 8, 1941 Address to Joint Session of the U.S. Congress

Source: Social Justice Speeches Project A Date Which Will Live in Infamy by Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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November 16, 2004

War's Shocking Fact

The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these human beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder and be murdered in quarrels not their own.
---Alduos Huxley (1894 - 1963)

Source: Military Encounters: Quotations on War & Peace edited by Robert Edwards, Barnes & Noble Books 2004 ISBN 0-7607-6324-0

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November 13, 2004

I Hate War

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its studpidity
---Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)

Source: Military Encounters: Quotations on War & Peace edited by Robert Edwards, Barnes & Noble Books 2004 ISBN 0-7607-6324-0

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November 3, 2004

Future by Yogi

The future ain't what it used to be
---Yogi Berra

Source: I found this somewhere and seems to be attributed to famous baseball player and manager Yogi Berra
My thoughts the day after Democratic Presidential candidate, Senator John F. Kerry, conceded the 2004 race to the incumbent President George W. Bush

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September 10, 2004

How Many Deaths?

Yes'n how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind...
---Bob Dylan

Source: An email signature that I received today, September 10, 2004
See also: Blowin' in the Wind, Lyrics

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August 13, 2004

In the Living Years

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I'm a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I'm a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I'm afraid that's all we've got

You say you just don't see it
He says it's perfect sense
You just can't get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defence

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It's the bitterness that lasts

So don't yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective
On a different day
And if you don't give up, and don't give in
You may just be O.K.

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye

I wasn't there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It's too late when we die
To admit we don't see eye to eye
---Song: Living Years by Mike & the Mechanics

Source: Absolute Lyrics In the Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics

I honor my Dad's Birthday today.
My Dad, Richard C (Dick) was born on this day in 1914 in Junedale, Pennsylvania, USA. He led a loving and good life, was devoted to his wife, my Mom, Minna, was devoted to my sister, Sue, and me, and was the most honest man I ever knew.
When my Mom called in February, 1992, informing me that he had been stricken down by stroke, I drove alone three hours from Washington, DC to central New Jersey. Mom was sure that he would not recover from his massive stroke. Throughout that road trip the above song, The Living Years, seemed to be playing on every radio station I found.
It struck me then, as it does now as I recall my emotions, that I had allowed other life forces move me away from a closeness with him. Our separation was, I think, a loss for both of us, but most particularly for me. I lamented that I had never found the opportunity to know what he thought was the meaning of life.
And I wish I had told him in his living years how much I loved him and honored him for his life. He reached heaven on February 29, 2004.
Thus, I do honor him for his life and all that he truly meant to me. I do now, finally, understand what he thought was the meaning of life for him.
To Do Good

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August 9, 2004

Nagasaki Atomic Bomb :: +59 Years

On August 9, only three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, (see my Aug 6, 2004 entry) another B-29, Bock's Car, left Tinian at 3:49 a.m. The first choice target for this bombing run had been Kokura. Since the haze over Kokura [on the Japanese island of Kyushu] prevented the sighting of the bombing target, Bock's Car continued on to its second target. At 11:02 a.m., the atomic bomb, "Fat Man," was dropped over Nagasaki. The atomic bomb exploded 1,650 feet above the city.

Source:'s History on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945

The pumpkin field in front of the house was blown clean. Nothing was left of the whole thick crop, except that in place of the pumpkins there was a woman's head. I looked at the face to see if I knew her. It was a woman of about forty. She must have been from another part of town - I had never seen her around here. A gold tooth gleamed in the wide-open mouth. A handful of singed hair hung down from the left temple over her cheek, dangling in her mouth. Her eyelids were drawn up, showing black holes where the eyes had been burned out. . . . She had probably looked square into the flash and gotten her eyeballs burned.
---Fujie Urata Matsumoto, a Nagasaki survivor

Source:'s History on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945

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August 8, 2004

Make a Mistake?

When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
---Hugh White: US Politician (1773 - 1840)

Source: Hugh White pages on the

The past can not be changed. The future is yet in your power.
---Hugh White: US Politician (1773 - 1840)

Source: The above quotation extract inscribed on the reverse of my late wife's grave marker in St. Athanasius Church yard, Vienna, Virginia, USA. We were married on this day in 1970 in the Charleston Naval Base Chapel, Charleston, SC. She passed over on August 15, 1997 after a year long struggle with the devastation of cholangiocarcinoma. Our relationship in that marriage included, sadly, some very tumultuos years. She was an abusive wife.

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August 7, 2004

Tonkin Gulf Resolution + 40 Years

On this 40th anniversary of the Tonkin Gulf incident it is appropriate to recall an affair that has much history wound around it, a watershed in the U.S. move toward full-scale war in Vietnam. At the time, in August 1964, the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson used the incident as a pretext to seek from Congress a joint resolution approving the use of force in Southeast Asia, which it then relied upon as legal justification for all-out war. The episode opened the way for an American military commitment that ultimately peaked in March 1969 with 548,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam plus additional supporting forces in Thailand. Some 59,000 Americans and several million Vietnamese died in the conflict.
---John Prados

Source: August 4, 2004 Essay on the 40th Anniversary of the Tonkin Gulf Incident at the George Washington University's National Security Archive Web site.

Conclusions of this Essay?

Among the most prophetic and disturbing statements in the declassified record are those by national security adviser McGeorge Bundy, at the White House staff meeting at 8 a.m. on August 4, 1964. Bundy told the staff, according to the memorandum for the record drafted by military aide William Y. Smith: "On the first attack, the evidence would be pretty good. On the second one the amount of evidence we have today is less than we had yesterday. This resulted primarily from correlating bits and pieces of information eliminating double counting and mistaken signals. This much seemed certain: There was an attack. How many PT boats were involved, how many torpedoes were fired, etc. - all this was still somewhat uncertain. This matter may be of some importance since Hanoi has denied making the second attack." We now know this denial was accurate and Washington's claims were not, and that senior officials knew of the "double counting and mistaken signals." But when new staffer Douglass Cater - attending his first morning meeting on August 5, 1964 - questioned the need for a Congressional resolution, "Bundy, in reply, jokingly told him perhaps the matter should not be thought through too far. For his own part, he welcomed the recent events as justification for a resolution the Administration had wanted for some time."

Change a few of the words in these quotes - perhaps substitute "weapons of mass destruction" for "PT boats" and "torpedoes," and "Baghdad" for "Hanoi" - and the parallels with today become all too apt.

This new evidence permits us to view more accurately the internal deliberations of the Johnson administration. Especially in combination with LBJ's telephone conversations with McNamara, recently made available to the public with transcriptions, the material clearly shows Washington rushing to a judgment on events in the Tonkin Gulf, which it seized upon as evidence in support of its predetermined intention to escalate the conflict in Vietnam. Those who questioned the veracity of the Johnson administration's description of the Gulf of Tonkin incident at the time were right to do so. The manipulation of this international situation for the administration's political purpose of obtaining a congressional authorization for the use of force bears considerable similarity to the manner in which the Bush administration manipulated intelligence regarding the possibility that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction to gain its own legislative approval for war against that country. In both cases, truth became the first casualty. In both cases, the consequences far outweighed anything anticipated by the presidents involved.
---John Prados

Source: August 4, 2004 Essay on the 40th Anniversary of the Tonkin Gulf Incident at the George Washington University's National Security Archive Web site.

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August 6, 2004

Hiroshima Atomic Bombing + 59 years

Fifty-Nine years ago on August 6, 1945, the United States of America opened up the Atomic Age by dropping an Atomic Bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower said
" [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. ...the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

"During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude..."
---Dwight Eisenhower, Mandate For Change, pg. 380

Source: Doug Long's Hiroshima Web Site, quotes

Source: Mandate for Change, 1953-1956: The White House Years. by Dwight D. Eisenhower, Doubleday, Garden City, NY., 1963

Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British Grand Slam, which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare.
---Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, August 6, 1945, first public announcement of the event

Source: Yale Law School's Avalon Project on the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Introduction

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