A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Passed along. . .

. . .by blondie, from IMAO this is one of the biggest laughs I've had in a while.

Kerry's notes from the debate

Bush's notes from the debate

Another interesting link. . .

. . .this one, passed along to me by blondie, is a static image of Mount St. Helens, and refreshes every five minutes.
Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam

A Loyal Ldotter. . .

. . .passed along to me a link to John Kerry's infamous Global Test. I did about as well as I would on a Reader's Digest "Are You Heart Healthy?" test, for what it's worth.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Ldotter Aussiegirl. . .

. . .emailed me to let me know that she has updated Ultima Thule with her post-debate analysis. She's her usual sharp, witty self:

"But I suppose what Kerry REALLY means is a summit with France and Germany. Oh yes. He no doubt will speak French to the French, and perhaps Therayza also learned some German along with all the Romance languages she speaks so eloquently. If not, the common language of leftism, defeatism, appeasement and hauteur should carry them through to the champagne and brie course very nicely (throw in some wienerschnitzel for the krauts and some lager).

Sometimes, I don't have much time to blog, and don't always get all the way through the blogroll looking to see who's updated. In fact, there are some days when I don't have time to look at all. But, if you have a post you'd like to have excerpted here, please email me with a link and I'll get it up as soon as I can.

You see, the life of a cabana boy -- contrary to the perceptions of the general public -- is quite harried and fraught with upheaval. Just ask my butler.

Captioned by CabanaBoy
Photoshopped by blondie
Posted by Hello

We Were There All Along

The Washington Post appears to be trying to learn something from the blogosphere. How else does one explain the fact that they checked the timestamp on a Letter to the Editor? Here's what they have to say to those who would send emails declaring the results of a debate that had yet to happen:

"Now, we love to hear from readers, and we admire the sincerity and passion of anyone who wants to get involved in the political process. But our goal is to present a sampling of genuine reader opinion, not to become one more battlefield in the spin wars raging all around. And we especially like to hear from readers who can think and write for themselves."

The thing is, Posties, bloggers are really just people who are tired of waiting for their letters to be printed. And, that's why most of them are conservatives.

"And now, I shall reveal my plan to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within six months!" 
Posted by Hello

Wolfgang von Skeptik. . .

. . .emailed to me a link to a great blog, called The Belmont Club. They do an excellent job of taking events and putting them into the wider perspective of the War on Terror. Also, he's been busily blogging:

"Such is the legacy of 'journalism school': a generation of dunces who have no idea how to evaluate their work in the context of the qualitative dialogue that has gone on amongst all serious writers – journalists included – down through the ages. Most of today’s reporters and editors are so thoroughly brainwashed by 'personal-is-political' deconstruction of intellectual standards now foolishly denounced as “patriarchal,” I fear they have become the equivalent of mute singers, blind photographers and deaf musicians, and their output is as accidently foretold by the Bard himself: tales 'told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.' "


That's the only way to describe this piece by Debra Burlingame, co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, at Opinion Journal. It bookends pretty nicely with my most recent post on the President's debate performance, and how he might have responded better, though I'm clearly outclassed:

"To cite but one of many examples, it states that Saddam Hussein--wanting to curry favor with other Arab governments wary of Osama bin Laden--was not responsive to a 1996 request by bin Laden for safe haven in Iraq when the Sudanese government was poised to give him the boot. After bin Laden declared war against the U.S. in 1998, two al Qaeda operatives went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. Later, a delegation of Iraqi officials traveled to Afghanistan and offered to set bin Laden up. Taliban leaders, concerned with the increasing possibility of retaliatory strikes by the U.S., urged bin Laden to go. During heated discussions with other Clinton administration policy makers about the effect of launching missile strikes on bin Laden's camps in Afghanistan, then-NSC Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke worried that bin Laden would "boogie to Baghdad" where he would put his network at Saddam's service and be all the harder to root out, given Saddam's formidable security apparatus."

Judging from reactions. . .

. . .over at Lucianne.com, people are paying more attention to the media take on the debate than what they saw and heard with their own eyes and ears. Of course, that's usually how it happens.

If the President had done half as badly as some of the comments seem to suggest, he'd be on life support right now. The truth is, unless something utterly embarrassing happens, debates have very little impact on campaigns. Even Al Gore's "Dingell-Norwood moment" and his Buford Pusser tough-guy stride toward Bush didn't change things for more than a day, and Bush suffered nothing even comparable to those two gaffes.

In my mind, the President's performance suffered from one minor problem -- he deigned to defend his positions, rather than simply point to the folly in Kerry's. For instance, instead of explaining why he feels that bilateral negotiations with North Korea are a bad idea, he could have said something along the lines of, "I would remind my opponent that it was bilateral negotiations which produced the agreement that North Korea is currently disregarding, and there's no reason to believe that another round would produce a different result."

What the President really needed to do, but didn't quite accomplish in the debate, was to make it clear that John Kerry has a basic, fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the regimes we're dealing with, regarding proliferation. And, he should point out that the reason we had to act when we did in Iraq was that, given time, the Hussein regime could have developed enough of an arsenal to force the US into sitting across a negotiation table from yet another rogue state with nuclear capability.

Kerry gave the President a perfect opportunity to gut-punch him on this issue when he stated that "the threat's not the issue," with regard to our dismantling of the Hussein regime. All he needed to say at that point is, "If the threat's not the issue, Senator Kerry, what is?"

Kerry had conceded that Saddam Hussein was a threat, and apparently has not backed away from that concession -- yet. But, for reasons only he can explain, Kerry apparently believes that allowing the threat to remain intact so that other nations may decide how to deal with it is in America's best interest. Also, Kerry has conceded that the only way to rein in Hussein was to have the threat of force behind your demands. Where he comes up short is in establishing credibility in that threat of force.

By invading and removing the Hussein regime, that credibility has now been clearly established for all the Arab world to see -- not to mention Iran and North Korea. Is there any doubt that either of those two regimes would have heaved a sigh of relief had Bush decided to accede to the the wishes of France, Germany and Russia? To sit back and allow three nations who were openly hostile to any US-led military action to dictate the terms by which we defend our nation -- preemptively or otherwise -- is tantamount to treason. But that is apparently what is called for in Kerry's "global test".¹

Bush set forth his demands, gave full warning of the consequences if those demands were not met, presented his case to the UN, and backed up his threat. That shows an understanding which Kerry lacks of the enemy we're dealing with -- an enemy that says it will behead American hostages if their demands are not met, and then proceeds to behead American hostages when their demands are not met.

¹ Sentence added later when the blogger (who still has a lot to learn about writing) realized just how jarringly that paragraph ended.

Back to posting again. . .

. . . after falling asleep on the couch after school, yesterday. The past few days have been pretty busy, with going to school, studying, laundry and other errands. I'd been running on about seven hours of sleep over the past couple of days, so I was a bit bushed when I got home, yesterday afternoon.

In fact, I got home, sat down, had a few beers, and was fast asleep before 8:00 last night. I still haven't read a single take on the debate, other than my own. I have no clue how it's being reported on, or how the public is reacting to it, so far.

However, I plan to change that today.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Debate

My first impression is that it was a forgettable debate, but that Kerry did better than I thought he would, and blended well with the carpet. I thoroughly expected him to come across as a pompous know-it-all, just like he always has. But, I have to admit he seemed more comfortable in the setting than I ever expected him to be.

Still, he did very little to help himself, other than to give a sigh of relief to his supporters. At no particular point in the debate did he say anything that would lead a leaning-toward-Bush voter to suddenly lean the other way. His overall performance might have given him a two-point bump in the polls among undecideds, but not nearly enough to give him a lead.

If most people are anything like me (which I'll grant is improbable), they don't remember much of anything that was said, save for a few soundbites. Kerry's soundbite du jour appears to be either "collossal misjudgment" or "summit". Bush's -- I'm not sure. But, if I had to pick one, it would be "Please join us for a grand diversion. . ."

Bush stuck to Kerry's ever-changing positions as an issue, and that will probably begin to show up in the polls once immediate impressions start to fade in a day, or so. Kerry might gain a few points in his favorability rating, but that will most likely fade as the little video montage of the President's reactions to Kerry's statements during the debate begins to make the rounds on the gabfests. (This is truly a childish and ultimately foolish decision by the Democrats -- mark my word.)

In the end, Bush highlighted one of the attributes people seem to like about him -- that he is decisive. And that's an area where he as an undeniable advantage over Kerry. Kerry attempted to turn that decisiveness into a negative for Bush, saying that it cost the US some important allies in the War on Terror. I don't see that taking hold among the public, and what Kerry needs to do in order to make a respectable showing on election day is to shake things up to an extent that people no longer see the President as a decisive leader -- not try to convince the public that decisiveness isn't a virtue. The public's mind is made up on that.

Final call: a draw, tie goes to the President.

More on the aftermath a little later -- possibly tomorrow. I'm still doing laundry and have three tests tomorrow, for which I should be studying.

Kickin' it Old School

Tonight, I'm blogging from my parents' home, since laundry night just happened to fall on the same night as the debate. That means I'm watching the debates in 100% 56Kbps dial-up through C-SPAN.org. I suppose I could watch it on the television in the living room, but that would require running to the computer and connecting everytime I hear or see something I find worthy of note. Also, it would mean listening to the commentary of -- well, commentators. Or, "stupid idiots", as they are often referred to in my more candid moments.

I'd rather blog on-the-fly, without being prompted by people who get paid to tell me what this means, or that. I want to see whose take is borne out more closely in reality -- mine, or Chris Matthews'.

I'll be updating this thread, rather than posting a new entry for every observation. My prediction: We'll learn very little, not much will happen of note, and Bush will gain two or three points in the polls.

UPDATE: OK, I'm already going to have to give in to the establishment press. Seems the Real Player stream is extremely choppy, and a lot of what can be gleaned from debates lies in the body language and general physical appearance of the candidates.

UPDATE: Can't live-blog. . .will blog at the end of the debate. (sigh)

Today will be. . .

. . .a light posting day. Laundry beckons, as well as a few other things. I'll be back later tonight, hopefully live-blogging while watching the debate on C-SPAN.org .

Have a great day!

Captioned by CabanaBoy
Photoshopped by blondiePosted by Hello

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

A favorite Ldot poster. . .

. . .emailed a link to the blog for Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons, and it is TOP notch work. Call your newspaper and berate them until they start carrying it.

Jim Lehrer, distracted by the presence of an open bar during debate preparations, tells Kerry staffer, "I didn't get this gin blossom from some 'tan-in-a-can' crap!"

Making another case. . .

. . .for vouchers, the Alexandria Country Day School demonstrates how matters such as this should be handled. Get out in front of the situation, and don't try to cover it up, even though no harm was committed. Still, one thing does concern me:

"It was tequila and margarita mix, to be precise, left in the refrigerator in a pitcher and mistaken for limeade by kitchen staff, who poured it into small cups and served it to children as a lunch treat, he wrote."

Do you suppose they only realized their mistake when the kids started salting the rims of their cups?

Joel Connelly. . .

of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer demostrates why John Kerry will lose. Judging from the article title, I'm guessing that the left believes that the only reason "Bush Lied, People Died" motto didn't sweep the countryside was because it lacked bile.

"Is Saddam worth the lives of 1,046 (at last count) dead Americans, and 7,000 injured Americans?"

Joel obviously has mole-like vision when it comes to foreign policy. The question isn't was the capture of Saddam worth it (and indeed, it was). The question is whether or not the removal of Saddam, his regime, and its future leaders Oday and Qusay, the bringing to heel of Kaddafi in Libya, as well as killing terrorists by the thousands before they can reach US shores worth 1,046 American lives and 7,000 injured Americans.

I bet the famous Nick Coleman. . .

. . .didn't know this (from Ldotter Remington):

Popcorn "pops" because the moisture within the kernel turns to steam. Properly conditioned popcorn is about 14% moisture by weight, and this is the secret of larger naturally aspired corn popping. Decreasing the pressure under which the popcorn is popped accentuates the pressure differential inside and outside of the popcorn hull, allowing for a fuller and more complete "puff" when the hull bursts.

I'm always finding out cool stuff like that at Lucianne.com.

According to the famous Nick Coleman. . .

". . .most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter's notebook."

According to MsFalconersCabanaBoy, neither are most reporters.

And most NASCAR drivers aren't fit to wield a buggywhip.

And most steel workers have no clue what to do with a hammer and tong.

And most typists couldn't change a ribbon on a bet.

So, there.

"First off. . .

. . .I wanna introduce you to my band -- the Vacillators!"

Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards unable to contain his youthful exuberance upon hearing that his curfew has been extended.

Taking a shot. . .

. . .at the proposed change in the Uniform Code of Military Justice,Wolfgang von Skeptik steps on a few delicate toes. Never one to mince words for the sake of comity, Wolfgang delivers a back-of-the-head smack to fundamentalists of all stripes -- Christian, Muslim, feminist -- in defense of our troops' right to seek the services of prostitutes while serving overseas, without facing court martial.

Soldiers and their counterparts in the other services seek sexual pleasure wherever they can find it; typically this means going “down to the vil” to some place with a name like “the House of the Blue Door” and hiring one of the young women who dwell and work within. The better classes of such places try very hard to protect their customers from VD. But if a military man should be unlucky and catch an STD, enactment of this new regulation will fling him back into the pre-World-War-II era: facing court martial, he will once again seek treatment outside the service, or from some quack, or in fear opt to do nothing save literally “pissing and moaning” (the original source of the phrase).

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Looks to be a keeper. . .

. . .from Ldot. And here's a link to the original article, for archiving purposes.

Belly laughs. . .

from some links emailed to me by the Tokyo Blonde. One is to a Lileks gallery I hadn't heard about before: Institute of Official Cheer. Even the title is funny!

Also, from popcultmag.com comes a collection of "The Bottom Five Most Tasteless Porcelain Figurines."

Heavens to Betsy! That's funny stuff!

Wolfgang von Skeptik. . .

. . .emailed me with a heads-up on a blog entry regarding a great article that didn't seem to take hold at Ldot, despite implications of a fundamental shift in strategy in the War on Terror.

If Spengler is right, it means the administration – or at least part of it – has finally awakened to the post-9/11 reality that pandering to Islamic victim-identity cultism hinders the war effort. The administration’s pandering-policy, apparently the result of a combination of factors – the anti-Second Amendment bias of Tom Ridge and Norm Mineta plus Grover Norquist’s curious belief that kindness might convince Muslims to vote Republican – has become increasingly controversial. . .

I'm not prepared to say that the administration is outright pandering for the sake of the Muslim vote, but I can't rightly disagree with WvS on the fact that post-9/11 reality is reflected in far too few areas of government oversight. Of course, almost half the public doesn't seem to be in touch with post-9/11 reality, which doesn't provide much impetus for the government to fix the problem.

On Norquist

Somehow, the Grover Norquist story eluded me until today, when I stumbled across it at Ldot. The Weekly Standard hashed it out pretty nicely, but there was a small bit at the end that caught my attention:

Pardo also points out that you cannot translate "un-American" directly into Spanish. He uses the Collins English/Spanish dictionary, 1980 edition, in which "un-American"--Norquist's phrase--is translated as "antiamericano"--the word Pardo used in his El Mundo piece. Of course, all this may be a distinction without a difference: the American Heritage Dictionary defines "un-American" as "considered contrary to the institutions or principles of the United States," which sounds a lot like . . . well, "anti-American."

I don't know why I have a particular beef with this passage, except that I've always undestood there to be two different ways of using un-American, albeit one is extremely rarely used, and when it is, it's always by guys like Norquist, who seem to appear on C-SPAN a lot.

Yes, "un-American" is generally taken to mean "anti-American" -- particularly in colloquial usage. But, in the other usage I've heard, people are generally careful to stress the word with a pause and use "air quotes" with it, so as not to be pelted with whatever items may be available in the room for hurling. I take it to have a more benign connotation than the usage that immediately conjures up images of Joseph McCarthy and swastikas in the minds of liberals.

Policy wonk "un-American": not generally thought of as American in character.

McCarthy "un-American": actively subversive toward the American character. Synonymous with "anti-American".

There is a distinction there, but it's not all that little -- at least not in my eyes.

CLARIFICATION: I shouln't say that I've "always" seen "un-American" as having two different meanings. Actually, it's been a relatively recent thing. But, still, it predated the Norquist interview by at least a few years.

Monday, September 27, 2004

BonnieBlueFlag. . .

. . .says goodbye to summer over at Ultima Thule . Some really nice writing going on over there. Definitely worth a regular click.

All around us there are wonders and beauty waiting for us to take notice. Fleeting moments of nature that can lift our spirits and lighten our burdens.

A simple bird feeder near a window can offer so much joy. The amazement of watching such a small living thing. The excitement of seeing a new bird nibbling away. The feelings that you get by tending to God's little creatures, especially after the snow blankets their other sources of food.

Anyone may comment. . .

. . .on posts, now. It was mentioned to me that some may not like the idea of being forced to register in order to comment on threads, and I can understand why that would be the case. I would have changed it sooner, but there were a couple of fleas in the pajamas the first couple of days, and I was afraid it was going to be a problem. So, until further notice, it's wide open. Pass the word along.

The Debate. . .

. . .draws nearer with every hour. Politcal junkies like us are anxious to see what questions John Kerry will be forced to evade. The Pajama Pack would like to contribute to that list of questions. Ldotters -- join in with your own questions.

Image created by blondie

Our humble suggestions thus far:

1. On what date - before the election - will you be signing the 180 form to release your records for Vietnam - which you are so proud of?

2. Whose name is listed as owner on the DMV registration form of the SUV you drive?

3. As president, do you expect to have weekends off to go windsurfing, yachting, biking, skiing, practicing your girly football-tossing, bobbing for hamsters, covert boating, or prone-position deer hunting? Are you aware that this little President thang is a full-time gig and weekends off are not assumed?

4. Do you have a doctor's excuse for missing those intelligence committee meetings?

5. Why do you think the death penalty is an effective deterrent for terrorists, but not for murderers?

6. What's all the rage in Paris this year?

blondie. . .

I feel for him. Times are tough for Norwegian bassists.

*Thrift Story* ¹

Salvaged this day-old story from the Ldot dumpster. A Swiftboat Vet/prosecutor suspended from his job without pay for using government office equipment to prepare his affidavit.

"We recognize that the discipline is particularly strong in light of a single incident of misconduct," Foote said. "However, in light of the impact it has had on the daily operations of this office, the discipline is appropriate and warranted."

My comment: I guess a "censure resolution" wasn't enough.

1. Stories of interest scavenged from Ldot for being stale, of limited discussion value, or other similar reasons.

I honestly think. . .

. . .the junkfood industryplants these stories. I read this story earlier today, before I went to the store, and wound up grabbing a "King Size" Snickers bar when I was in the checkout line. While I was still shopping, I also found myself momentarily transfixed by a box of Twinkies.

I've never bought a Twinkie in my life. I ate them growing up, but that was when my parents footed the bill for such foolishness. Now, as an adult who knows better, I find myself filled with regret that I didn't go to the County Fair this year -- who knows if I'll ever get the chance to sample a deep-fried Twinkie again?

I guess I can stock them in my Y2K shelter.

The old defense tactic. . .

. . .of dressing the client in the most menacing, off-putting way apparently doesn't work for everyone.

PayPal, IE and Netscape. . .

. . .obviously handle some html tags very differently. In any case, I now have the problem fixed. What WAS happening was that the failure to insert a carriage return for the text underneath the picture of Kerry screaming "Pass interference," caused everything in the sidebar to be forced to the bottom of the page. Now that that's straightened out, I can move on to a happy, productive life.

You may notice the new PayPal button over there now. Well, that's just in case anyone feels like throwing me a bone. Same thing with the Google AdSense ad. I'm not looking make a living at this, but it just seems foolish not to take advantage of the service, considering the fact that it costs me nothing to have them there.

Which leads me to the announcement of a new contest:

Between now and Christmas, there will be a contest. The rules are as follows:

The first person to donate $250,000 to the MsFalconersCabanaBoy Relief Fund will receive an autographed picture of my cat, The Cheat.

All donations must be received by the time MsFalconersCabanaBoy has to go Christmas shopping (approximately three days prior to Christmas).

If you do not turn in your donation by approximately three days before Christmas, all proceeds will then be directed toward the MsFalconersCabanaBoy Compassion Fund.

If the proper amount of money is not donated by three days prior to Christmas, The Cheat will be forced to eat cat food.

This is serious. He's already unhappy.

Wake me in five. . .

. . .years, when Conan takes over the Tonight Show. I'll actually turn on the TV for that. Assuming, that is, I'm still here in five years. There are no guarantees with men like Kerry running for office, after all.

Best regular feature: Actual Items. Hands down.

Ldotter Wolfgang von Skeptik. . .

. . .has launched a blog, and it's a privilege to announce it here on The Pajama Pack. Ldotters familiar with his posts know what a forceful and florid writer he can be. Some things Ldotters may not know:

I am a journalist, retired by disability, veteran of an award-winning writing career that spans six decades, with 28 years at newspapers and trade journals. The jobs I have held include editor-in-chief, news editor, city editor, editorial-page columnist, investigative reporter, news analyst, public-affairs reporter and rewrite man. In my long-ago youth I enlisted in the Regular Army and served a three-year hitch, 19 months of which (1961-1962) were in the Republic of Korea. I have also done purely physical civilian work that is far removed from journalism but is nevertheless relevant to the reportorial mandate to understand the human condition: this includes a year as a commercial fisherman -- engineer/deck hand aboard a Puget Sound salmon-seiner – and a few years (especially while I was attending college) in which I worked variously as a commercial printer or a carpenter or a manual laborer, including (though only once and for only about a week), the back-aching, mind-numbing torment of agricultural stoop-labor, pruning post-harvest raspberry fields by hand.

Welcome to the blogosphere, wolfgang. I think you're going to love it.

Over at Ldot. . .

. . .there's a thread on Bill O'Reilly, which ought to be interesting. As I've noted before, O'Reilly strikes me as a carnival barker, for the most part. But, as Ldotter HollywoodBill points out, carnival barkers do have their place.

He's just a "low-dosage" person in my book.

"Genuine, Authentic, Spontaneous Outreach-to-Crucial-Demographic" Moment

Kerry struggles to keep his shirt tucked in while screaming, "Pass interference!!!"

Just a bit skeptical. . .

. . .about this story of a young man (just out of high school) being clocked at 205 mph on his motorcycle by Minnesota state troopers. The first, most obvious question is how did they ever catch up to him?

It just strains credulity.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

*From the Editor's Desk*

LcomStaff has posted a link to Lucianne's house rules on the front page, calling it the "Mustest Read". Since this blog is geared toward Ldotters, it seems like a good idea to link to it.

Kitty. . .

. . .has great news! A recent chest pain scare sent her to the emergency room. It turns out she hadn't had a heart attack, but suffered pleurisy -- which is bad enough, but better than the alternative.

Visit her blog and wish her well.

"They took my complete family health history, and aside from the family health history thing, nothing was indicating heart problems. Except, of course, for the minor detail of the unrelenting stabbing pains in my chest around my heart. So they popped a nitro tablet under my tongue for the pain. Four minutes had passed when the reaction hit me. My pulse plunged to 40, I felt dizzy and sick, and the world began turning grey. I was losing interest in everything, that is until I broke out into a drenching sweat, which really pissed me off because it ruined my hair.

blondie II

Today's pictures were a collaboration of sorts, with blondie doing the Photoshop work, leaving the captions to me. Let us know what you think.

blondie. . .

John Kerry demonstrates to running mate John Edwards where he's going wrong.

Just trying. . .

. . .to generate a little revenue. That's why you see the Google ad, over in the sidebar. I figure as long as the ad is non-intrusive, it won't annoy readers. And, if I'm not mistaken, the number one rule of advertising is, "Don't annoy". If not, it should be. Whatever the case, I plan to limit advertising and panhandling to the Google ad, and a small PayPal "tip jar" link, just above it.

That way, if I write something you really like, you can click on my PayPal tip jar and send me a tip. Or, if you're like me -- in the grips of a destitution bordering on human catastrophe -- you can click on an ad link to register your approval. If I write something you hate, the email link is just below, and you can chew me out for free.

Well, gotta run. Those aluminum cans ain't gonna pick up themselves.


blondie has forwarded an email to me that I think will be of interest to all Ldotters:

Operation Santa:
The second rotation of troops to Iraq is underway. Many of our Marines will be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . and others will spend these family-centered holidays far from home. For many of these young men and women, this will be their first Christmas away from friends and family. Although they have made a choice to serve their country, it's going to be a lonely holiday. And not just for the Marines but for family members back home as well.

One of the hardest parts of this deployment for me is knowing that my son and his brother Marines will be spending Christmas away from home. Every Christmas morning for the last 20 years, my son has looked forward to a stocking, hung by the chimney with care, chock-full of carefully chosen and wrapped gifts. The week before our Marines deployed, Connie listened as I told her that I knew this would be ahard time and that I thought I'd send Christmas in a box to his platoon.

She looked at me and said, "Just his platoon?"

Okay, his company. "Just his company?"

The Marine Corps Moms are rolling again. Operation Santa will bring a touch of home to the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. While we are starting with 1/7, we hope to add other battalions, depending on volunteer commitment and energy...

Read more here...:
Marine Corps Moms

And this was a letter to Sgt. Grit from the Mom who runs this site (emailed thru a Marine Newsletter).

Dear Sgt. Grit;

I wondered if you would put a plug for Operation Santa in your next newsletter. We are a group of Marine Corps Moms working to support our Marines in a number of different ways. Last year when our sons were deployed, we sent 5,000 lbs. of school supplies to Najaf to supply the Marine Legacy Schools that 1/7 Marines refurbished. Earlier this year, we enlisted volunteers to sew 2,000 cool ties that were sent to hot troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, our sons are back in Iraq for their second deployment and will be spending their first holidays away from home. While they are intent on accomplishing their mission, it will still be a lonely time for them.

Here's a link to the announcement on our website:
Marine Corps Moms

I have sample press releases, flyers, stocking directions and patterns, and project guidelines for anyone who would like to sponsor a platoon of Marines. If you could help us get the word out through your excellent newsletter, we'd very much appreciate it.

We met Gunny Davis at the Marine Parents United convention in Indianapolis last month. We were very happy to meet him and the Sgt. Grit merchandise that we bought and brought back to Oregon was a huge hit with our families and friends. Thanks again.

Deb Conrad
Proud Marine Mom

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