Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bad News and a Couple of Blurbs

Bad news… The First Mrs. Pennington is in the hospital with a pretty serious ailment. Her doctors originally thought the problem was her gall bladder and had scheduled surgery to remove it yesterday, but further testing revealed her gall bladder is functioning within normal limits. Now the doctors don’t know what it is, and further testing (MRIs and such) will be done today. SN1 is in California taking care of Mom and keeping the doctors honest. Say a prayer…

The NYT: Details Emerge in British Terror Case.”

“As you bomb, you will be bombed; as you kill, you will be killed,” said one of the men on a “martyrdom” videotape, whose contents were described by a senior British official and a person briefed about the case. The young man added that he hoped God would be “pleased with us and accepts our deed.”

As it happened, the police had been monitoring the apartment with hidden video and audio equipment. Not long after the tape was recorded that day, Scotland Yard decided to shut down what they suspected was a terrorist cell. That action set off a chain of events that raised the terror threat levels in Britain and the United States, barred passengers from taking liquids on airplanes and plunged air traffic into chaos around the world.

The ominous language of seven recovered martyrdom videotapes is among new details that emerged from interviews with high-ranking British, European and American officials last week, demonstrating that the suspects had made considerable progress toward planning a terrorist attack. Those details include fresh evidence from Britain’s most wide-ranging terror investigation: receipts for cash transfers from abroad, a handwritten diary that appears to sketch out elements of a plot, and, on martyrdom tapes, several suspects’ statements of their motives.

Interesting stuff, this. While it appears there wasn’t an imminent threat, as in measured in hours or days, it also appears the Brits had very good reasons to move when they did. But hey…this is the NYT reporting. One never really knows what to make of their stuff these days.

A short little blurb from Reuters, in the WaPo:

NAVAL AIR STATION FALLON, Nevada (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned potential adversaries on Monday that the United States remained capable of responding to military threats at home and abroad, despite its troop commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But, Reuters being Reuters (of course), the fourth paragraph in they say this:

More than three years into the Iraq war, the military is showing signs of stress. The Army and Marine Corps, in particular, must spend tens of billions of dollars to replace and repair equipment. Army officials have said the combat readiness of many units and their ability to take on new missions have suffered.

No sources or attributions for that generalized statement, just a well-crafted “on the other hand” sort of comment that calls into question Rummy’s veracity. A pox on your house, Reuters.

WaPo columnist Dana Milbank, commenting on an anti-AIPAC forum held in Washington yesterday:

Yesterday, at the invitation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), they held a forum at the National Press Club to expand on their allegations about the Israel lobby. Blurring the line between academics and activism, they accepted a button proclaiming "Fight the Israel Lobby" and won cheers from the Muslim group for their denunciation of Israel and its friends in the United States.

“They” are University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt of Harvard's Kennedy School, co-authors of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, a highly controversial (understatement, that) paper Christopher Hitchins called "partly misleading and partly creepy." I watched the whole thing on C-SPAN yesterday and agree with the observations Mr. Milbank makes in his article. Of the two, Walt came off as the more rational actor, taking great pains to declare himself free of anti-Semitism and emphasizing the factual nature of his and Mr. Mearsheimer’s claims. Still and even, one can present “facts” in such a way as to distort their meaning, and this is exactly what these two academics have done. And one simply must wonder about the forum these guys used to present their arguments…the sponsor of this event was CAIR. Remember what Mom said: You’re known by the company you keep.

Today’s Pic Vanity Shot: I have absolutely no idea where this was taken, only the date: May 16, 2000. It has to be somewhere in Wyoming, given that the dates of my Yellowstone pics are between 5/18 and 5/25 of 2000.


  1. I will keep TFMP in prayer and your sons also.

    I keep thinking about how Americans treated Japanese/Americans during WWII. I Don't want to be guilty of that sort of treatment and paranoia again, but when you read something like "Details Emerge in British Terror Case" you think "Gee, I don't want to be stupid either." I wish more Muslims would speak out against terrorist behavior and hate. They need to put some distance between themselves and these radicals.

  2. Deja vu on the mystery ailment. 2 weeks ago mom and I were supposed to go up to the Adirondacks to meet my brother and his wife who were going to be camping. The night before we were all going to leave, sis-in-law calls and says your bro is in the hospital having tests, they think it might be gall bladder, or maybe appendicitis (this was a Wednesday night). Next morning they were saying maybe diverticulosis. They schedule exploratory surgery, see it is most definitely the appendix and yank it out. Sent him home Friday.

  3. Buck - please give TFMP my very best. Hope all turns out well for her. You always hope that it will be something easily fixed up by a little blue pill of some kind. Or cutting something out from the diet. I'll keep my fingers crossed for her.

    That photo definitely looks like some parts of Wyoming. I couldn't make out what diagram you're looking at. Sort of mechanical?

    Lou - I know what you mean about your feelings for the Japanese Americans during WWII. My dad had a good friend, Jimmy Nishimura, whose family had simply "disappeared" by the time my dad returned from his Navy duty. I have read stuff since about how concerned our government was and how little they told the public. My Dad was on the Pacific Coast at the time and remembers being told by authorities to keep an eye out. He and his buddies would peer out over the ocean and at home it was "lights out" after dark.
    Here's an odd story, if you haven't read about it: The Japanese Fire Balloons. But when I think about how patriotic and hardworking the Japanese Americans were, and what they were put through, I feel very pained and sorrowful about it, too. :(
    Say, that was a wonderful photo of you and your sister, Kathy. What wonderful memories!

  4. Bec, the fire balloon story was very interesting. I had never heard anything about the balloons. I couldn't help wonder what would happen if today's press was asked to keep something quiet so as to not warn the enemy.

  5. Thanks for the kind wishes for TFMP, Ladies.

    Lou: Oh my, yes on the "I wish more Muslims would speak out!" Sometimes I think to myself "perhaps moderate Immams DO speak from the pulpit and I just don't hear about it." But that doesn't explain the general lack of fatwas against terrorism, kidnapping, suicide bombings, and other assorted violence. One does hear about the fatwas when they're issued, simply because they are SO rare...it's news. And I agree with you about the Japanese-Americans. Perhaps it's easy to say and perhaps it's been said before, but I don't think we, as a people, could ever do anything like that again.

    Bec: That's one of those roadside historical markers in the pic. I developed a habit of stopping at every single one during my travels the first year out... One can learn quite a lot about the country that way! And...I'd heard about the fire balloons. That's what the History Channel is for! :-)

    Wow. Here it is just past 1100; I'm still on my first cup of coffee and haven't even begun to make the rounds...


Just be polite... that's all I ask.