Saturday, April 19, 2008

Timmy Rides the China Clipper: Book of the Week

This is a very fortunate reprint of a 1939 book that technology has rendered obsolete.

The main character, Timmy, is simply someone for the reader to follow on a trip across the Pacific in a flying boat. This craft may be wholly fantastic to children of today, who leap the ocean in a single (very long!) day, whereas Timmy's China Clipper must visit several islands on the way.

The book's drawings, both black-and-white and color, describe the flying craft itself as well as the islands that children of today skip over: Guam, Wake Island, Midway, as well as Manila, Hong Kong and Hawai'i. Timmy has a few adventures which add interest, but this is not a plot-driven book; rather it is to be read and enjoyed for the journey. Timmy and his point of view are nearly as antique as hobbits, yet may be almost as interesting for their bygonity.

Author: Carol Nay
ISBN-13: 978-0807579473

Thursday, April 17, 2008

How Many Flag Pins Could You Buy For The Cost of Iraq?

It's a fact: With $3 trillion, you could buy 226 Flag Pins at $1.99 each for every person on earth!

This lovely emblem of patriotism is a "Must-Wear!" for every American, especially when running for public office. Buy one for each lapel, ball cap and pajama top so that you're never without proof of your presidentiality. Made in China of finest scrap metal imported from USA!

Or you could spend the money occupying Iraq and killing over a million people. Make your choice:
The War Prayer by Mark Twain

Mark Twain fought in one battle of the Civil War, a small ambush that brought him to confront the painful and pointless death of his enemy, so different from the glory he had been promised. He chose then to ride away. His experience shows in all his writings on war.


"It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came - next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!-then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory!

With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths.

The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation -- "God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever--merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory -

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne - bearing a message from Almighty God!"

The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention.

"He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import-that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of-except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this-keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer-the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it-that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory-must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle - be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells;
help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead;
help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain;
help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire;
help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief;
help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -
for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

(After a pause)

"Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rice Conspired to Commit Torture

As confirmed by ABC News, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chaired repeated White House meetings approving specific torture techniques before they were used.

Then she lied about it to Congress.

Torture is a crime in all civilized nations. Those who plan for others to commit torture are guilty themselves of the crimes committed as part of their plan. Rice, as well as Cheney and the others who planned torture, are counting on a Presidential pardon to immunize them. That pardon is part of the conspiracy.

You do not have to sit back and let it happen. Brave New Films put it all together in a "smoking gun" video. That's why, Democracy for America is partnering with True Majority and Brave New Films to launch an aggressive national campaign with a simple message: Condi Must Go.

Watch the video and sign the petition now:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

GI Bill 2008

On the legislative front, efforts to modernize the GI Bill press forward against heavy White House opposition.

"The current educational benefits offered to veterans are far lower than the original GI Bill. Today, after paying a nonrefundable contribution from their first military paychecks, troops can receive a total of up to $39,600 towards their education. Unfortunately, this covers only 60-70% of the average cost of four years at a public college or university, or less than two years at a typical private college.

"Today’s veterans deserve a real reintegration program to help adjust to the civilian world. At the same time, a renewed GI Bill is a practical answer to the military’s troop shortage.

Despite investing $4 billion in recruiting annually, the military has had serious problems recruiting high-caliber personnel. The Pentagon has responded by lowering age, education, and aptitude standards for new recruits, as well as upping the number of recruiters and increasing enlistment bonuses. These stopgap measures will not address long-term problems with recruiting, especially as the overall size of the armed forces is expanded.

"Rather than continuing to spend billions in bonuses for lower-standard enlistees, increasing GI Bill benefits would encourage high-aptitude young people to join the military. The GI Bill is the military’s single most effective recruitment tool..."

Learn More:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Obama Says Sky Is Blue; Pundits Denounce Blunder

MSM - In a major campaign blunder, Senator Barack Obama stated today that the sky is blue.

"This proves his elitist insensitivity," reported correspondent Karl Rove "There were clouds over many parts of America today, including states the Democrats need to win in November. He completely ignored millions of Americans."

"This shows Obama is out of touch," added Fox News Inventor Bill O'Reilly. "What are blind people supposed to think? Obama doesn't care whether they can see the sky? What about coal miners who work from dawn to dusk? And people working the nightshift? All these demographics were attacked today, and Obama must apologize to them or pay the price."

Some defended Obama's remark. "Many Americans see blue skies only on television," noted one scientist. "When you must work two or even three jobs to feed your family, you haven't much time to look up. So it may be a surprise to many that, in fact, the sky can be blue at times."

But the vast majority of pundits determined that this was a major error. "If Obama keeps talking crazy like that," explained White House News Plant Tony Snow, "What will he say next? That we need to leave Iraq?"