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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-11-11 - 1:16 p.m.

A Day in the Life of our Country

Arafat is dead. Phantom Fury Falluja is in full fiery offensive (offensive)…and I can’t begin to fathom what either portend. Operation Phantom Fury…Notice what clever names the Pentagon chooses for its “operations!” Check out the list of the names of the operations since the onslaught on Iraq began. They’ve surely called this one right – Phantom! With enough notice most of the insurgents fled - along with the innocent civilians…but be sure they will undoubtedly rise to fight another day…or as you may have noticed, terrorize and kidnap in other parts of Iraq…or who knows, just as Osama threatened in his latest video, even attack here in U.S, now that the Ashcroft has announced victory here at home. And what a coincidence that now after the election, Ashcroft has declared that the terror alert is over…we’re safe now. His work is over.

Bush has nominated his close personal friend, whom FOX has described as a “moderate,” to replace Ashcroft. As I recall, this is the same “moderate” who called the Geneva Convention rules "quaint" and obsolete. Isn’t he the one who set off the dubious detentions at Guantanamo Bay and the grotesque abuses at Al Ghraib that we saw on the news nightly for several weeks (until it was conveniently forgotten during the election). It’ll surely be handy to have someone at the AG helm who can so easily dismiss the Constitution during any 2nd term scandals and investigations – such as Halliburton, Enron, perhaps even Votergate. I’m hopeful that his stances on the Patriot Act, abortion, and the death penalty, as well as the treatment of detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay will come up in his confirmation hearings. We deserve better.

On Fallujah


from Thomas Friedman

“So lay off. Shut up. Watch Fox. Wave a flag. Visit a red state. Don't ask how we got into this fix. Shut up. Lay off. Watch Fox. ...

Alas, I'm part of that dwindling minority who believe that a decent outcome in Iraq is both hugely important and still possible. But the "déjà vu all over again" battle for Falluja only reminds me that I still have the same questions I had before the Iraq war started. Free advice: until you have answers to the following six questions, don't believe any happy talk coming from the Bush team on Iraq.”


Is it not beginning to feel a bit like Groundhog Day, rather than Veterans' Day. As of today, it is reported that an estimated half of the mosques in Fallujah have been destroyed. Surely they don't think this will win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq…and during Ramadan, too.

As the Republicans boast that it was “moral values” that swept their candidates into the White House and Congress, it has never seemed to occur to them what an immoral thing it is to send troops to a battle in Fallujah, timed not by the needs of securing the peace, but by the political clock.

After the Fallujah fight, then what?


by Peter Grier and Faye Bowers Staff writers of The Christian

The most important aspect of the battle for Fallujah may be its aftermath.

…it may be the battle after the battle that determines which
direction Fallujah and other areas of Iraq not now entirely under government control will slide. And that battle - consisting of the stability and nation-building activities that have proven so difficult to this point - will be increasingly out of US hands. "It will be Iraqi politics, governance, economic and aid activity, and military and security forces that ultimately win or lose,"…

+O+O+O+O+O+O+O+O+O+O+O+

Thank heavens we have our grandchildren and their wholesome activities to keep us sane during these trying times. Saturday we'll go to Folsom to watch our granddaughter Chelsea run. Here's a photo of her winning a recent race at Alston Park in Napa, beating the course record, 2.9 miles in 18:08.76.

Saturday night, we'll hear 16-year old grandson Connor sing at a choral recital presented by his voice teacher.

"Our only real security in life is our ability to adapt. The rarest security of all is the ability to live peacefully with oneself."

I'm workin' on it.

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