Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Here is a neat page with a bunch of optical illusions.
Gaah! Blogger is a great tool, if anything because it is free. Makes doing this blog very easy. However, they often have problems with their system, and yesterday they ate my template. So, all my links and whatnot I had along the right hand side are lost. Aaauggggh. So, I'm going to have to redo those all. Waaaaah. That'll take me a little time.

I've think I've officially become a fan of Firefox. It's a free, new browser. Check it out. One of my favorite features, out of the box it will block those annoying popups.

Last night as I was getting Hanna into her jammies, Ellie came around, and Hanna said "Ellie was sniffing my butt!" Oh, thanks for sharing. And then she said, "Ellie, that is my favorite parts." rnnhhuuh? what was that all about? Kids.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Here is a link to an interesting article concerning obtuse writing in academia. At the start of my freshman year at Carleton, the welcome speech to the freshmen was given by a philosophy prof, as he usually did, and he was famous for his impenetrable speeches. I could tell he was speaking English, as I heard words like "the" and "that" now and then. But the rest of it was a complete black cloud. I looked around thinking boy, if this is what the rest of Carleton is like, I'm dead.

Oh, here was Judith Butler's 1999 winning entry in the Bad Writing award, mentioned in that link. If you have a clue about what it says, let me know.

"The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power."

And here was Homi Bhabha's runner-up entry.

"If, for a while, the ruse of desire is calculable for the uses of discipline soon the repetition of guilt, justification, pseudo-scientific theories, superstition, spurious authorities and classifications can be seen as the desperate effort to "normalize" formally the disturbance of a discourse of splitting that violates the rational, enlightened claims of its enunciatory modality."

Sigh. And we wonder why Johnny can't read. Well, who can blame Johnny!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Before lunch today, Hanna was playing with the Little People farm, and she said "Horses eat..." and John heard that in another part of the room, and he said "Horses eat ducks". Ha. Well, maybe the wild, carnivorous horses do.

When I went to get John from sunday school today, John said "I was the leader!" Not exactly sure what he did, the teacher said John was her helper today. Then at lunch, John said "I'm the leader, I'll say prayers", so he said grace, and then said Hanna couldn't say prayers because she wasn't the leader.

Last night we took the kids to the Macdonalds on Foley. It was a nicer play area. There were some wilder boys there though. John wanted to play with them and they must have told John to go away or something. That hurt his feelings. But, eventually they got along with each other, and played well together. They went down the slides a few times all at once. John cried when they had to leave. He just loves that kind of social interaction with other kids.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

This morning while the kiddies were having their Cream of Wheat, I started up the car and backed it out of the garage a bit, to warm up. When I came in, Hanna was looking out the window. She saw the car exhaust and said "steam is coming out of the car". Ha.

We listened to Cinderella on the way over to Sue's house, and as a result Hanna started singing Bippidy Bobbidy Boo (or, as she says, Bi de-Bah dee-Boo) for all she was worth.

Kids had swimming lessons last night, and we stayed for open swimming after that. Of course, John enjoyed a long hot shower when we were done.

There is trouble in Ukraine. The election results are in dispute. The Kremlin-backed candidate claims to be ahead in the vote cound by 2 or 3 percent, but all manner of other indications, like exit polls, etc... indicate the reform candidate won. International observers say there are indications of fraud. Belmont Club (link on the right side) has a good summary today of events. Aside from the political implications, I am interested in what happens there as it impacts adoptions. Many people adopt from that country. Putin's Russia has done some rather ominous things lately. Hopefully adoptions won't end up being affected in Russia, either.

No big plans for us for Turkey Day. Actually, Ham Day for us. I wanted to have a nice smoked ham, instead of turkey.

Rather quiet around work today, natch.

And, just to wrap up our discussion of Gilligan's Island. Many of Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme. Here is an example.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Here is The Gilligan's Island Theme amped up for our times...

Here is a link to the video... (This is for a new "reality show" on TBS...)

(While we're at it, the song has inspired many wacky things, such as this...)
Well, the Good Lord sure has been looking out for us. Sue has been such a blessing, in having her to watch the kids. And, his teacher at preschool is a special lady, just what John has needed. When he first started, he was in the 4 yr old class, and it was a little overwhelming for him, a little too structured. His teacher now, who is director of the program, noticed that, and moved him into the 3 yr old class. She has a special affection for John, recognizes what he needs. She said her son was like that, and knows that John isn't mean, he is just learning. We had a good talk with her last night. John and Hanna played with trains, or the computer. But Mrs. Foss is so good with him, knows how to encourage him to grow, etc... As we were leaving, Hanna, being the very shy person she is, kept going up to Mrs. Foss and talking to her, hugged her, etc... John's teacher says he is a very bright boy, which he is, is motivated to learn. He likes to have his space, when someone invades his space that's when he tends to push out. He's friends with a couple of other boys that like trains. He plays with them, and they are all learning to share.

When we got home, John wanted to "go out in the night". He often says that when we pull into the garage when its dark. He wants to go outside and run around in the dark. So, we did that for a bit. It was a bit chilly, so Hanna went inside first, but John stayed out, till I bribed him inside with some apple cider.

(John calls it "apple spider". Ha. I like that better.)

here are some books I've either recently finished or am about to finish...

Freedom Betrayed - Michael Ledeen
A Bit on the Side - William Trevor
The Soul of Battle - Victor Davis Hanson

here are the books I'll probably start in on next...

The Spire - William Golding
No Way to Treat a First Lady - Christopher Buckley

a couple of maybes...

Prague - Arthur Phillips
The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

Monday, November 22, 2004

This morning as I was getting John dressed, he was in a playful mood. I had gotten his shirt on him, and he said "Can I run away?" (meaning you chase me and try and get the rest of the clothes on me, ha)

I laid down on the couch yesterday to take a snooze. John hadn't gone for a nap, he was playing on the computer, but after awhile, he came and cuddled up next to me on the couch, and he probably slept for an hour or more.

I have no idea if this petition about the Marine involved in the mosque shooting incident really means anything, or if it will do any good. But here it is anyway.

Here is a good email from a soldier who fought in Fallujah. Another account of the fighting can be found here.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Check out this graphic of the election results by county. Forget this Red State-Blue State stuff, they're all Red States!!! (well, except for maybe a couple of those hopelessly far gone New England states. The Minutemen gotta be rolling over in their graves, that their descedants turned into such milksops.)
John has tumbling class today. Sue will take them, since Julia is in the same class. He really enjoys the class. At home he likes practicing some of the things they do, like the crab walk, etc... Of course, Hanna likes to try them as well.

School tomorrow. Rather rainy today, probably cooler for tomorrow. Rhonda got out the mower and got up whatever leaves there were, yard looks nice again. (Actually, the mower wouldn't start, I said it probably was because it was cold. So, Rhonda brought the mower in the house for a couple hours, and then it started. Ha!)

A note on some additional features. At the end of each post there are some links. The timestamp is a link to the post as an individual page. The comments link is a place to leave comments on posts. And, the little envelope symbol is a way to email an individual post to someone else.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

With this, I can rule the world! Bwwwhhhaaa-haaaaa-haaaaa!!!
Alright, obviously the music in this tribute to our military and veterans is designed to get you a little weepy. So what. We are free today because of people like this. Useless liberals are free to curse their President without fear of retaliation because people like this crawled through mud and bullets for us. Is it fair? No. Do I wish all these useless liberals who, after the election, have threatened to leave the US and go live in Canada or elsewhere, would actually do so and get the heck out of my country? Absolutely. But, that's beside the point. Let's never forget how blessed we are in this country, and the price at which our freedom was bought.
Liberals are often characterized by the word "progressives". I've never liked that word, if for no other reason than it is inaccurate. It portrays liberals as on the cutting edge, moving forward to the Promised Land. It implies conservatives are stodgy, narrow-minded sticks-in-the-mud. Bah. A more accurate word for liberals is "aggressives". That more accurately describes how liberals seek to tear down traditional morals and/or political philosophies.

Belmont Club (link on the right side) has an interesting post today about Russia's campaign in Grozny, and how bogged down and bloody that got. His closing remarks are confusing, as the Comments indicate, but comparing Grozny with Fallujah is most instructive. Two urban warfare battles, against determined, deadly enemies. Russia was pummelled, and Grozny is still not pacified. The US took 40 casualties, but against perhaps 1200 enemy dead and 1000 enemy captured. In one week. It's a tribute to our tremendously capable military, and their equipment, technology, training, tactics, and above all, soldiers. We salute them. We are blessed to be protected by them.

I'll be leaving shortly to meet the rest of the clan at John's preschool at 11:10. They'll have chapel time, and then a soup lunch.

I have a deacons mtg tonight.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

For those of you who are Star Trek fans, and especially those of you who are familiar with William Shatner's occasional atrocities committed in the music genre, see this for something truly frightening.
Reports say Margaret Hassan has probably been murdered. She was the head of CARE, an aid organization. She committed the horrible crimes of trying to help the people of Iraq. These are the people we are up against. Next time you hear a liberal whine that all the trouble in the MiddleEast is because of US actions and policy, ask them which policy, specifically, led some murderers to kidnap a woman who brought relief to needy people in Iraq and shoot her in the head. I can't think of one.

We've had higher than average temps here, in the 50s. Been foggy the last couple days.

Took the kids to their swimming lessons last night. Hanna had the goggles on for awhile, and now she can go under the water with ease.

(You'll note I rearranged the links on the right side more or less alphabetically. Also added one or two new ones.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Colin Powell will be leaving his post as Secretary of State. Can't say I'm terribly sorry to see him go, especially since Richard Armitage is going with him. With Powell, you were never quite sure if, when he was talking to semi-friendly nations or even hostile nations, he didn't lean over and whisper in their ears "Ya know, Dubya is completely loony. There are lots of us sophisticated Americans who don't agree with this policy." We can't afford that kind of thing when we're at war. We need a Secretary who can strike some fear into the hearts of opposing diplomats. I don't know yet if Condi Rice can do that, but at least President Bush will have someone at his back who won't be whispering sweet nothings to Bob Woodward whenever she doesn't get her way.

On Thursday John has some kind of soup lunch at his school, so I'll head up there for that on my lunchtime. Kids have swimming lessons tonights. We're wondering if we should pay to have John some private lessons. He's coming along so nicely, not sure if he learns all that much in his group. There are six kids or so, and the teacher has to work with all of them, and when she's with one, the other kids kinda splash around. Hanna is getting bolder in the water too. She likes to do full layout belly dives in the very shallow end.

When we were swimming last Saturday, John did something he hadn't done before with me. I took him down to the deeper end, and he jumped off the side into the water without me catching him. Sniff. My baby boy is growing up. I was there to make sure he got back up above the water, but he could paddle around pretty good on his own.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Things appear to be winding down in Fallujah, mostly mopping up, flushing out remaining pockets of individuals here and there. Here's a hearty thank-you and hats off to our nonpareil fighting troops. This battle in Fallujah has been remarkable. Here, in an urban environment, on the enemy's home turf, after the enemy had months to prepare defenses, the US took a city of over 200,000 people in a week, with the loss of about 40 soldiers. That's 40 too many, but unprecedented for this kind of fighting. On the bad guy side, reports state as many as 1200 insurgents were killed, with hundreds, perhaps as many as 1000, taken prisoner. That kind of lopsided results is most impressive. It doesn't happen by accident. Urban warfare is not so easy as those numbers suggest. The US is light years beyond anyone else militarily. That race is over. In terms of equipment, technology, tactics, and above all, the quality of soldiers, it is no contest.

No other power takes as much care to preserve the lives of its own troops, or to preserve the lives of noncombatants. And when angered, no other power is as capable of pulverizing anything before it. True, Iraq is a mess in a lot of respects. The planning for after the war could've been better. Troops don't always have the armor they need. But at the end of the day, do you want to live in a world where the US doesn't exist? I didn't think so.

OK, now closer to the home front. Mostly rested yesterday. John didn't nap, but he played on the computer while I napped. John got a little wound up by the end of the day, and was ready for bed earlier than usual. Hanna was having fun drawing in a coloring book with a pencil before we left for church. She likes "art time". By contrast, John does not like "art time". He's not much for sitting and drawing and whatnot. He does like playing with shaving cream, though.

This morning, John was saying something like "Hmm, now let's think" and he put his index finger on his cheek, like he was thinking. Then he said "now, something in this mirror doesn't belong". Ha, not sure what he was talking about, maybe something he heard in his LeapPad.

The Vikings. Bah. What a pathetic defense. Same with the Gophers. Must be a Minnesota thing. We're not forceful enough. We just like to roll over and expose our soft underbelly in a sign of submission.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Man, been so busy lately. Had a mid-term Friday, which I think I did very well on. Got back the midterm in the other class. I was a little miffed, got an 84 or so. A lot of the points I got off were because I misunderstood parts of the question, not because I didn't understand the material. Argh.

Friday night we put up the Christmas tree. I know, it wasn't my idea.

Had a meeting at church this morning, ended up taking most of the morning. I had bought bagels and donuts for treats, so brought those home. had a yummy bagel for lunch.

Had a seminar at school then this afternoon. (We have 4 during the semester. Attendanace is required but they've been interesting.)

While I was doing that, the kids went to Kyle's birthday party.

Then, we're going swimming tonight. We're using guest passes we get as members to invite a family from church. (The ones whose house we go to for small group.)

Stop the world, I want to get off!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Kids had swimming lessons last night, so we stayed for open swimming afterwards. They're both turning into fish. John likes to go underwater. And Hanna is know enjoying diving into the water. She likes to play in the very shallow end of the kiddie pool, but she dives forward, face first and does a mighty belly splash. Afterwards, John likes to take long hot showers.

Have a midterm test on Friday for school. Yay.

Been fun reading the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from broken and downhearted Democrats. Gadszooks, the things some of them say. Like, they talk about secession even! Liberals really are remarkably intolerant. It goes without saying that anti-Christian intolerance is the one remaining fashionable bigotry. And it's never very long before they start talking about how smart they are. Liberals make for exceptional snobs. I say they should all just keep it up. Voters understand very well what they mean, and the election totals reflect that. I could live with the Repubs being in the majority for a long time to come.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The fight has begun in Fallujah. I've added a link to The Belmont Club, a blog that has been doing some great reporting on the battle. That blog also has a number of other links to military-related sites.

It's hard to figure out what the insurgents care about. I mean, where
can they be squeezed where it hurts. Maybe they don't care about anyone.
But I bet the people supporting them care about something, so I'm back
again to my question of why the US isn't squeezing something elsewhere.

As I expected though, I'm starting to see reports in the media that Iran
is supporting the insurgency. Oh really! Can't get anything by the
media. That's a good sign to me though. I was sure we'd start seeing
such reports once the US started preparing to deal with Iran. They'd
start leaking such stories to prepare the public for a confrontation
with Iran. You need a reason? Oh, it's because they are supporting the
insurgency, etc...

Vikings lost last night to the Colts. Bah. The defense just fell apart
in the 4th quarter.

Here's something that's been going around...

A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been tentatively named 'Governmentium.' Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. "Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as 'Critical Morass.' You will know it when you see it.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Another weekend into the books. On Friday I took the day off so I could get the leaves in the yard raked up. Lots there, and was fairly warm, for November, and the weather was going to worsen this week, so got that done. Saturday I had class. On Sunday, I got out the leafblower and sucked up the gobs of leaves around the patio and the back corner. Then, took all that over to the dump, which was a zoo. Cars lined up all the back to Hanson Blvd. The Sheriff's Dept. was directing traffic like they usually do on the days when the dump is very busy.

On Friday John had the first of his tumbling classes. He did very well. He's so nimble and flexible anyway. He followed along with the teacher well. Sue was also there, as Julia is in the same class, so we all sat in the little vending machine room and watched through the windows.

Looks like the game has started in Fallujah. Here's prayers of safety for the good guys, and as for the bad guys, I always like Psalms 58:6; "Break the teeth of our enemy, O Lord"

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A talk-radio station here this morning was saying this is "National Gloating Day." Ha. Enjoy it.

It was not a landslide, true. Kerry did get 55 million votes. There is still a large swath of the electorate that has very different values than the majority that voted for President Bush. But, it is abundantly clear that once again the liberal media and the snobs they agree with and huddle with at cocktail parties completely overlooked the enormous numbers of people for whom morality is a big issue.

And, the news this week just keeps getting better and better. Israeli media are reporting that Yassir Arafat is dead. Witch, witch, the ding-dong is dead! Farewell, you little troll. In his press conference just now, Bush said upon hearing the report from a questioner, "God rest his soul". Well, ok, that was probably the remark of a statesman, but the correct followup is "Good riddance". The Palestinians have a choice to make now.

Usually, when liberals lose an election, they tend to conclude that they just weren't angry enough, they weren't hateful enough, they weren't condescending enough. Well, like I said, here's hoping they continue with that genius analysis, because it only means more seats in Congress, more presidential victories, etc...

Now, something very important. Arlen Specter is in line to become the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. What a joke that would be. Specter is a RINO (Republican In Name Only). In one of the truly baffling chapters of this campaign, Bush stumped for Specter against a more conservative Republican candidate in the primaries. Specter has been reported as saying Bush should be careful about what kind of judicial candiates he puts forth, especially for the Supreme Court. This is outrageous, especially coming only a day after the elections. Now, it is entirely possible the media is hyping a bogus story, to stir up trouble for the Republicans, but regardless, Specter is hostile to good conservative judges. He helped to torpedo Jduge Bork, after all.

Here's what you should do. Contact your Republican Senators, or Majority Leader Bill Frist, and urge them to work against Specter becoming chairman. It's not a done deal, there will be elections, so let's make our conservative voices heard. Specter as chairman on the heels of this great victory made possible in large part by evangelicals and conservatives would be a disaster. It'll be hard enough confirming good judges with the obstructionist Democrats, why put a roadblock like Specter in our own path?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Where can I begin?

A great day for the Republic. We had the opportunity to peek over the brink, and ponder a plunge into the darkness, but the voters made a sober, solemn choice yesterday, a choice that resounds loud and clear with the message that we will stay the course, we will not back down from a fight we didn't ask for, nor start, and we will continue to be the one true protector of freedom on this planet.

This was a historic victory for George Bush. Consider this, from The Corner.

President Bush...
*** Became the first President to be re-elected while gaining seats in the House and Senate since 1936 and the first Republican President since 1924 to be re-elected while re-electing Republican House and Senate majorities.
*** Became the first President to win a majority of the popular vote since 1988.
*** Received 57.4 million votes - more than any other candidate in history. He broke President Reagan's 1984 mark of 54.5 million. (96% reporting)
***Increased the popular vote by seven million votes since 2000 - more than twice Clinton's increase from 1992 to 1996.
***Improved his percentage in every state except four (MD, OR, VT and WY). This includes a four percent increase in John Kerry's home state, Massachusetts.

And, all this in face of a most relentless onslaught. Remember what the Left threw at Bush this time around. There was Michael Moore, George Soros, all the 527 money, a media that like no other time actively chose sides and openly worked to aid Kerry, CBS in conjunction with the Kerry campaign ran with the forged memos story, even to the last CBS was planning to hit Bush at the last minute with the missing munitions story, earlier the media had Bush all but wielding a whip himself at the Abu Ghraib prison, the aggressive resistance from Europe, and the list could go on an on.

All this, and yet the voters saw through all of that, recognized the threat that faces us, and made the right choice. The message was sent to Iraq that we won't abandon that country as it struggles to get on its feet. The message was sent to the terrorists that we are not cowed by them, we are still coming for them. The message was sent to France and Germany and the UN, and all the other corrupt, inept, powerless weaklings that we will not sacrifice our ideals just to be liked by those who long ago cast aside theirs.

Justice. That's what was done yesterday, justice. As the Psalmist said in Psalms 94, "how long, oh Lord, will the wicked prosper?" With the Left so motivated by its hatred of Bush, and the religious beliefs he stands for, with all that Bush had to face in this campaign, it's easy to wonder if there's anything left to hold back the evil. Perhaps some day the hearts of enough will grow cold, and America will finally fall away from it's unique place in history, but not today.

One conclusion that can be made is that the Democratic Party is in trouble. The South has become almost a Republican fortress. A Republican Senator in Louisiana, for the first time ever? Remarkable.

By the way, here it is, The Map.

Take a look at that amazing graphic. It illustrates so well what has happened to the Democrats. They are so far out of touch with Americans, they are mostly relegated to the liberal Northeast and the loopy Left Coast (regions, not coincidentally, that are the least evangelical in the nation) and a pocket in the Great Lakes region anchored by cities with liberal traditions, such as Detroit, Chicago, Madison, and the Twin Cities. That is it.

Lucky for us, the Democrats have so far refused to look in the mirror and do something about that map. They continue to stew in their hate, and states and Congressional seats continue to slip away from them. I believe it is because at the heart of it, liberals reject God and morality based on Biblical beliefs, and keep pushing their agendas of abortion, gay marriage, appeasement, etc...

Speaking of gay marriage, 11 states yesterdays had issues on the ballot banning gay marriage. It passed in all 11 states. When the people have a chance to vote, they reject these far left agendas. Is it any wonder the Left looks to the Courts to push their agendas?

There are still difficulties ahead. But this time, on this day, we can rejoice that we haven't yet chucked overboard those things that made this country great.

It's looking like George Bush will remain President! Was not looking good there for awhile, but that was in part due to horribly wrong exit polls. A close call for our country, our future, the course of world affairs. Too close if you ask me. But more on that later, must go get some sleep.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Today, the United States will do what no nation has ever done better. We, the free voters, will decide who sits in the seats of power by peaceful means. (Never mind the odd lie, distortion, cheat, etc...) The vote is taken, the results are final, losers leave office peacefully, and our system of government goes on. There are no jeeps in the streets manned by soldiers and their machine guns. There are no police tactics to ensure the outcome. (Remember Saddam Hussein, in his last "election", had 100%% of the vote?)

I voted before heading for work this morning. I got to the polling place about 7:20. There were lines, took me about a half hour to get through. Just citizens doing their duty. Of course, I don't understand why turnout isn't always above 90% for every election, but apathy is one of the benefits of freedom. If you're not the one who fought for this right, it's easy to take it for granted.

I wonder how the Iraqis view this, as they look on. The most powerful nation ever is deciding what to do with that power by a democratic vote. Can they imagine that same right in their country, after decades of a brutal dictator?

Speaking of taking things for granted, I think there are danger signs in this country. As I've mentioned before, it is disturbing the depth of the hatred that exists in the Left today. That cannot bode well for our country.

But tomorrow, I pray we can rejoice that President Bush won, and that the United States still exists, almost alone in the world except for a few good friends like Britain, Australia, Poland, etc... to stand against the darkness. Can you imagine a world where the US didn't exist?

(One item on the wish list: let's hope Daschle loses in South Dakota, too!)

In other news, had a great time with Mom over the weekend. She went back on the train last night. The kids enjoyed it immensely. They are always sad when Grandpa and Grandma leave.

I haven't given book reports here for awhile, have I? Here are some books I've finished reading lately.

"Between War and Peace" - Victor Davis Hanson
"An Autumn of War" - Victor Davis Hanson
"Ripples of Battle" - Victor Davis Hanson
"Slander" - Ann Coulter
"Shadow War" - Richard Miniter
"Rites of Passage" - William Golding
"The Remains of the Day" - Kazuo Ishiguro
"Amsterdam" - Ian McEwan