Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thank You Morrill Worcester

A picture of beautiful Christmas wreaths on graves at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The wreaths have been donated since 1992 by Morrill Worcester of the Worcester wreath company.
In 1992 he was faced with a surplus of wreaths and hearkened back to a memorable trip he'd taken to Arlington National Cemetery when he was 12-years old. He took the wreaths to Arlington from his business in Maine and laid them on the graves of 4,000 who are laid to rest there.
The next year he decided to plan on taking 5,000 wreaths and has been doing it ever since. He said that there were only a few volunteers the first year and it took them five or six hours to place the wreaths. Now, however, he has so many helpers each year that the work is done in about an hour.
Worcester expanded the campaign and started Wreaths Across America. He is placing wreaths in each of the more than 230 State and National cemeteries and Veterans Monuments across the country.





For more information about the project go to:
http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/

Friday, December 21, 2007

Camping Out

Or should I say Camping Up. Scary...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Global Warming


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant.
Climate warming is naturally caused and shows no human influence:

By Dr S Fred Singer, President Science & Environmental Policy Project

Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability. Therefore, climate change is ‘unstoppable’ and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.
Dr S. Fred Singer said: “The current warming trend is simply part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that has been seen in ice cores, deep-sea sediments, stalagmites, etc., and published in hundreds of papers in peer-reviewed journals. The mechanism for producing such cyclical climate changes is still under discussion; but they are most likely caused by variations in the solar wind and associated magnetic fields that affect the flux of cosmic rays incident on the earth’s atmosphere. In turn, such cosmic rays are believed to influence cloudiness and thereby control the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface—and thus the climate.” Our research demonstrates that the ongoing rise of atmospheric CO2 has only a minor influence on climate change. We must conclude, therefore, that attempts to control CO2 emissions are ineffective and pointless. – but very costly.
and: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/908
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Shutting down debate on climate change is one of the principal objectives of many of today’s environmentalist crusaders. They have written numerous tracts denouncing the ideals of journalistic balance and objectivity, since applying such ideals to climate change assumes that there is more than one legitimate viewpoint on the subject. Journalists who seek balance on climate change are labelled ‘cowards’ for refusing to take a stand against Evil. Exhorting the media to take sides on climate change, instead of upholding balance, green crusaders resort to cheap and superficial comparisons between climate change and slavery or the Holocaust.
Frank Furedi, author most recently of Politics of Fear: Beyond Left and Right
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Quote of the Week:
This Global Warming is an example of religious fervour unmitigated by rational investigation. It is the triumph of superstition over reason. Ray Evans (Melbourne)

(And I say it is promoted by facists determined to destroy our freedoms and make themself rich at the same time. It is about greed and power.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Logan The Sky Angel Cowboy


Logan is a 13 year-old boy who lives on a ranch in a very small town in Nebraska. Logan listens to Christian Radio station 89.3FM KSBJ which broadcasts from Houston, TX. Logan called the radio station distraught because he had to take down a calf . His words have wisdom beyond his years.

Citizen Soldier

In my older age I seem to enjoy soft "elevator music" more and more and I don't keep up with what group or individual is the newest latest rage, but I now like the group 3 Doors Down because they are pro-military and have a good sound. This song is a tribute song written by the band 3 Doors Down for the Army National Guard.







Founded nearly 400 years ago, the Army National Guard is America's first and oldest militia.

The National Guard Website: http://www.1800goguard.com/


Brad Arnold's (3 Doors Down) Memorial Day Message:


From the 3 Doors Down Website at: http://www.3doorsdown.com/news/

Christmas Card Arrives 93 Years Late


A postcard featuring a color drawing of Santa Claus and a young girl was mailed in 1914, but its journey was slower than Christmas. It just arrived in northwest Kansas.

The Christmas card was dated Dec. 23, 1914, and mailed to Ethel Martin of Oberlin, apparently from her cousins in Alma, Neb.

It's a mystery where it spent most of the last century, Oberlin Postmaster Steve Schultz said. "It's surprising that it never got thrown away," he said. "How someone found it, I don't know."
Ethel Martin is deceased, but Schultz said the post office wanted to get the card to a relative.

That's how the 93-year-old relic ended up with Bernice Martin, Ethel's sister-in-law. She said she believed the card had been found somewhere in Illinois.
"That's all we know," she said. "But it is kind of curious. We'd like to know how it got down there."
The card was placed inside another envelope with modern postage for the trip to Oberlin — the one-cent postage of the early 20th century wouldn't have covered it, Martin said.
"We don't know much about it," she said. "But wherever they kept it, it was in perfect shape."

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Jill Stevens


I've never been much of a fan of "beauty pageants", but I will be watching the Miss America Pageant next month (January 26, 2008) and rooting for Miss Utah Sgt Jill Stevens. She has two missions. One as a Soldier in the Utah National Guard and the other as Miss Utah 2007.
A YouTube feature about her:



For the past 6 years, Jill Stevens has been serving in the US Military as a Combat Medic in the Utah National Guard, while earning her degree in Nursing at Southern Utah University. In November 2003, Jill was deployed to Afghanistan, returning home in April 2005. She has earned 5 medals for her outstanding service. In addition to her US Military service, Jill recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Nursing program at Southern Utah University on a four-year leadership scholarship. Last summer, she placed 3rd in the Cinco De Mayo Sailboat Regatta in Mexico, and this summer, Jill was chosen one of four women for the “Women of Strength” featured in Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine September/October 2007 issue. Additionally, Jill has been a fitness instructor for Gold’s Gym for several years, as well as a bread baker for Great Harvest. Possibly one of the most unusual adventures for Jill though, has been her unexpected experience in becoming Miss Utah 2007, and looking forward to her national competition in the Miss America Pageant in January 2008.

A recent Newsweek story about Jill:

The Military's Miss America Candidate
By Linda Fantin

Newsweek Web Exclusive
Dec 6, 2007
While serving as a combat medic in Afghanistan, Sgt. Jill Stevens could always count on her Army buddies to shield her from the less sensitive aspects of a mostly male military. The soldiers, she says, developed a warning system. Off-putting jokes, racy movies and stories filled with foul language were introduced as "NFS": Not for Stevens.
Until a few months ago the Miss America Pageant would have carried the same disclaimer. Now here she is, Miss Utah, a self-described klutz in heels, competing for a crown that symbolizes femininity and well on her way to becoming the crowd favorite.
So many military members are expected to attend the Jan. 26 finale in Las Vegas that Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, mused that the televised event could resemble a USO show.
"Jill has the advantage of bringing in a big support team," McMaster says, noting that Las Vegas is only a five-hour drive from Salt Lake City. "That's exciting."
Stevens is not the first Miss America to work in the military. Miss Tennessee 1992, Miss California 1992 and Miss New York 2001 all had credentials in the service, according to pageant officials. But Stevens is the first to serve in a combat zone—and the first to enjoy the benefit of such public support from Uncle Sam, an asset that provides a boost as the big night draws near. "I love it. These guys are like brothers and, once again, they've got my back," Stevens says.
It was the Army's idea for Stevens, 24, to chronicle the journey from Stars and Stripes to star of tomorrow on a blog titled G.I. Jill , she says. Same goes for the profile in this month's Soldiers magazine, an official Army publication.
Stevens enlisted three months before her high-school graduation and six months before the 9/11 attacks. Even then her parents worried that the military might change her. "My personality is fun and goofy, and they thought the Army would take that away," she says. But once in Afghanistan Stevens took on the role of morale booster, surprising despondent soldiers with bread made with a bread machine her mother shipped to her and birthday cakes baked in an oven constructed from aircraft parts. She held muffin-eating contests and staged Family Feud game show nights. She even planned the occasional girls' night out for the 30 or 40 females on the base. "That was the first time I ever painted my nails," she says.
Complete story at:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/73936?GT1=10645

Jill's blog:
http://www.army.mil/gijill/

Jill's Photos at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gijill/

Other YouTube stories about Jill Stevens:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdWoVh-liIo&feature=related

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEIknMxvqyk&feature=related

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lml-FzRhA4&feature=related

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sg1memZ_DsU&feature=related

Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaAOt3QGn3o&feature=related

Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyD_izryybA&feature=related

Part 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q66jIHg6D2g&feature=related

Part 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTOWPxUcHFc&feature=related

Part 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8lH0RLVbRM&feature=related

Part 10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Wke3vDHbU&feature=related

Part 11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5GRIVrJfg&feature=related

Friday, December 7, 2007

Japan's Bloggers


By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
December 6, 2007
TOKYO -- Compared to the English-speaking world, the Japanese have gone blog wild. They write Web logs at per capita rates that are off the global charts.
Although English speakers outnumber Japanese speakers by more than 5-1, slightly more blog postings are written in Japanese than in English, according to Technorati, the Internet search engine that monitors the blogosphere.
Unlike Americans, who often times blog to stand out, the Japanese blog to fit in. "There is no question that in this culture the nail that sticks out gets hammered in," Pickard said.
By some estimates, as much as 40 percent of Japanese blogging is done on mobile phones, often by commuters staring cross-eyed at tiny screens for hours as they ride the world's most extensive network of subways and commuter trains.
Blogging in Japan, though, is a far tamer beast than in the United States and the rest of the English-speaking world. Japan's conformist culture has embraced a technology that Americans often use for abrasive self-promotion and refashioned it as a soothingly nonconfrontational medium for getting along.
Bloggers here shy away from politics and barbed language. They rarely trumpet their expertise. While Americans blog to stand out, the Japanese do it to fit in, blogging about small stuff: cats and flowers, bicycles and breakfast, gadgets and TV stars. Compared with Americans, they write at less length, they write anonymously, and they write a whole lot more often.
"Behavior is more important than technology," said Joichi Ito, a board member at Technorati and an expert on how people around the world use the Internet. "In Japan, it is not socially acceptable to pursue fame."
Technorati found that of all recorded blog postings in the fourth quarter of last year, 37 percent were written in Japanese, 36 percent in English and 8 percent in Chinese.
This was not an aberration. In the past three years, Japanese has been running ahead of or about even with English as the dominant language of blogging, according to Technorati. About 130 million people understand Japanese, while about 1.1 billion understand English.
Those numbers startle no one more than the Japanese. For even as they use personal computers, Web-enabled mobile telephones and a ubiquitous high-speed Internet network to blog anytime and anywhere, they keep awfully quiet about it.
About 40 percent of English-language bloggers said their primary goal was "to raise visibility as an authority in my field." Only 5 percent of Japanese bloggers said that was their primary motivation. Instead, they said they blog to create a record of their thoughts and of information they have collected.

Read the complete story at:

Hillary Fans

A grade school teacher in upstate New York asked her class how many of them are Hillary fans.
Not really knowing what a Hillary fan is, but wanting to be liked by the teacher, all the kids raised their hands except one boy.
The teacher asked Johnny why he has decided to be different.
Johnny says, "I'm not a Hillary fan."
The teacher says, "Why aren't you a Hillary fan?"
Johnny says, "I'm a George Bush fan."
The teacher asks why he's a George Bush fan.
The boy says, "Well, my mom's a George Bush fan and my dad's a George Bush fan, so I'm a George Bush fan!"
The teacher asks, "If your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot, what would that make you?"
So Johnny replies, "That would make me a Hillary fan."