Sunday, December 31, 2006

We Are Marshall

I have some fun New Year's posts that I want to do tomorrow and later this week but first I had to post about this AWESOME movie I saw today. I cannot say enough good things about it. We Are Marshall is based on a true story and is incredibly moving.

A small college town in West Virginia loses almost their entire football team and many other members of their town in a plane crash. This picture is of the real football team in 1970.

Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox star in it and they both did an incredible job. It cracked me up because I'm used to seeing McConaughey as the good-looking bachelor in most of his movies and he played such a different character this time. He had this horrible 70's hairstyle and wore these wretched plaid suits and yet he did such a good job as the coach that he was playing. I cried through most of the movie because it was so moving and inspirational.

It was also neat because it takes place in West Virginia in the 70's and I actually lived in a small town in West Virginia in the 70's so that was kind of cool.

At the end of the movie they showed a lot of pictures of the real people that the movie was about. I always love it when they do that and this is a picture of Fox & McConaughey with their real life counterparts.

Matthew Fox talking about his thoughts about doing the movie and getting to know the real life Coach Red Dawson that he plays in the movie.

LMC gives the movie two thumbs up and I highly recommend you see it. It is also rated PG so it is a great family friendly movie.

Wonderful review by Michael McBride

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Butcher of Baghdad has been executed

This is an important day in history!! A mass murderer who had no qualms even killing people in his own family has met his Maker. Justice has been served.

Father and child gassed in Halabja
Photo Hat tip:
Mike's America

Lest we forget the horrors he inflicted upon thousands and thousands of innocent men, women and children this picture is just a small reminder. This evil man's reign of terror would have continued with his even more pathological sons, Uday and Qusay had it not been for President Bush and our brave U.S. troops.

I watched several A&E biographies on Saddam Hussein and his sons and I was horrified at what I saw. When his sons were very young they were forced to watch the torture and murder of fellow human beings and even ordered to commit murder or be killed themselves. Uday breeded terror among the women at the University of Baghdad where he would pick out the most beautiful women, rape them and then kill them. Qusay was just as brutal and Saddam had succeeded in turning his sons into monsters. Here is an excerpt from a short piece on Saddam's sons:
"The stories told about Saddam’s sons, related to NEWSWEEK by several Iraqi exiles, seem almost too grotesque to be true. Some are probably exaggerated, but not by much, according to a senior administration official who has access to CIA files on Saddam’s sons. More is known about Uday, but only because he was outlandish in his depravity. Qusay is “in the shadows,” says this source. “We don’t know much.” But U.S. intelligence believes that Qusay is Saddam’s true heir apparent, for the simple reason that he controls the security that keeps his father in power and alive. Given their family history, it is remarkable that his two sons have not killed each other (though they may have tried).

Both men (Uday is 38, Qusay 36) were born and bred to violence of the most lurid kind. As infants, they were supposedly given disarmed grenades as toys. More reliably, they were said to accompany their father on outings to the torture chamber. What did they see? The methods used by the ruling Baath Party have never been subtle. When the Army briefly drove out the Baathists in the early 1960s, it discovered a chamber of horrors where Saddam worked as an officer. In the cellars of Qasr-al—Nihayyah (“the Palace of the End,” so-called because King Faisal II was murdered there in 1958), the Army found “electric wires with pincers, pointed iron stakes on which prisoners were made to sit, and a machine which still bore traces of chopped-off fingers,” according to one account based on official sources.

Saddam has always believed in the symbolic power of mutilation. “Under torture, the high and mighty are quite literally exposed as being made of the same stuff as everyone else,” writes Kanan Makiya in his study of Saddam’s Iraq, “Republic of Fear.” As Iraqi ruler, Saddam delivered the broken bodies of his victims to their families. He was aiming at the creation of “a new man” in Iraq, just as Hitler and Stalin had tried to do in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. He may well have made his sons into psychopaths."

Not only did Saddam torture and murder thousands of his fellow muslims but he had many ties to terrororism around the world.

Toon Hat Tip: Flopping Aces

It must be mentioned that had it been up to the Liberal Democrats and the Cindy Sheehans of the world Saddam Hussein and his sons would still be alive to continue their reign of terror. Thank God for President Bush and our U.S. troops who have protected the lives of countless innocent men, women and children. Even though we are still unearthing mass graves in Iraq no new ones are being created. Saddam's reign of terror is over!!

Others blogging:
Mike's excellent post: Saddam is executed!
Report: Saddam hanged; Update: Last word — “Muqtada”
Suddam Hussein 'Swinging from a Rope' Execution
"I die a martyr"
Justice Served
Swinging Saddam Watch
Together, at Last
Swinging Saddam-Live Thread
Saddam Will Be Dead By Sunday
Butcher of Baghdad is Dead
Saddam is a Done Deal! Yay!
Answering for the wicked he done
Sister Toldjah
No New Year for You-Know-Who

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to Harley & My Little Brother

My daughter Harley actually turned 9 on the 12th but today is her Birthday party. We are having an American Girls' Christmas Party at my house and then I am taking Harley and 4 of her friends to Build a Bear. My baby brother also turned 30 this month on the 14th. So I'm wishing him a belated Happy Birthday as well.

I apologize for not posting or visiting much lately. I've been busy making these Christmas wreaths and Peanut Butter cookies with Hershey kisses in them. I've also been trying to get Christmas cards out and make my house look presentable and get laundry done. Right now I have an hour before everyone arrives at my house and I have laundry all over my house and my house looks scary so I've got to get my act together. I hope everyone is enjoying the craziness of Holiday preparations as well :-)!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Flawed Heroes

I used to be extremely idealistic and perfectionistic and in some ways I still am. But realizing people's imperfections and humanness can be a breath of fresh air. It doesn't have to be a cause to become negative and bitter because no one is perfect besides God himself. We don't have to give up on heroes just because none of them live up to our expectations 100% of the time.

When I used to strive for perfection I was too hard on myself and others and Daniel was my Biblical hero. You read the book of Daniel and I don't think there is a record of anything he did wrong. He obviously sinned but for whatever reason none of them ever got recorded. Oh, that the rest of us could be so lucky :-). Yet, as I worked through my own imperfections and learned how to give myself and others a break my Biblical hero changed. I found myself identifying more with David or perhaps Rahab or another person who had faith and was praised by God but had obvious flaws. You don't condone the sin but you are also realistic about the fact that we are all just human.

I say all of this to explain my admiration for different people who have imperfections but also have done a lot of good that can't be overlooked because of their humanness. The first time I came to terms with this was with Michael Landon. I have seen almost every episode of Little House on the Prairie too many times to count. There is so much about this show that I love and it amplifies everything that is good about family, faith, life and it does it with heart and humor. Anytime life gets difficult I put in an episode of LHOP and everything is right with the world. My mom watched hours of it with me when I was in the beginning stages of labor with one of my sons :-).

Anyway, Landon's character embodies what it looks like to be a wonderful father and husband. Because of this I had a great admiration for him and even though he was acting you could often see his true heart come through in what he said and did. I also saw him in real life interviews and a biography of him showed how he would go to a camp for kids with cancer. Most celebrities would come for a day and get their photo-ops but Landon would go and actually spend the whole week interacting with the kids the entire time. There was something about him that gave you the impression that he was genuine and sincere.

So, it was very difficult when I found out that even though in real life he believed in family and faith he hadn't done a very good job of living it out. I was stunned when I learned that he had been married 3 times. But it was then that I realized that it didn't discount all the good he did. If I had known about the 3 marriages first it may have colored my view of him but I knew about the good first.

As some of you may have suspected this is leading up to my thoughts about Mel Gibson. I see the same qualities in Gibson's movies as I saw in LHOP and I see the same sincerity and heart in Gibson in real life as I saw in Michael Landon. Braveheart and The Patriot portray so much of where my heart is when it comes to passion, fighting for what you believe in, loyalty and never giving up. Gibson poured his heart into Braveheart like Landon did with LHOP and it shows.

I watched Sean Hannity's interview with Gibson last night and saw so much transparency in him and all the qualities that have garnered my respect and admiration for him. He had a sense of humor and seemed very genuine and real. He talked about faith and grace and you saw it in him. He talked about how we all have to be humiliated at times and that it leads to humility. It helps you keep perspective about your small place in this world. We are all human beings and we need a tap on the shoulder when we are getting out of line. He talked about how it is important to turn a negative into something good.

Does the drunken, anti-semitic speech bother me? Am I disappointed that he doesn't like Bush and is against the Iraq War? Yes, to all of those but it doesn't discount the tremendous good he has done with the Passion and all his other endeavors. He is a flawed hero of mine.

My last example would be Rush. This man has done more good for the conservative cause than anyone I know aside from Reagan. I adore the fact that he speaks his mind and doesn't care what anyone thinks or says. He is real and honest and believes in many of the same ideals that we all believe in.

Am I disappointed that he's had 3 failed marriages? Did the drug addiction disappoint me? Yes, but once again his flaws can't possibly discount all the good he's done.

The True Measure of a Man/Woman

All of this causes me to reflect on what is the true measure of a person. It is not whether they lived a perfect life because Jesus Christ is the only one who did that. It is whether they took the good and the bad, the strengths and the weaknesses and grew as a person. It is whether their faith in God has enabled them to bring good out of bad situations. It is whether they lived life with grace and faith and tried to make their corner of the world a little better.

(Sidenote: Many of you may disagree with me on this. You are free to do that and for some it may be because you knew the negatives about these people before the good. There are probably some people that had I known their strengths before their weaknesses I might view them differently. Such is life. But this post reflects my heart and is sincere and genuine.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Movie Stuff

There are a couple of movies that have come out this year that I want to see but haven't gotten a chance to yet. I admit that even though I am a big Gibson fan it was hard to think about going to see one of his movies since his incident. But Sean Hannity got to see his newest movie Apocalypto and said it was very good and very moving. That describes a lot of Gibson's movies so I wasn't surprised. It made me want to go and see it especially since its about the Maya Kingdom which is an intriguing subject for me. Also, I know this is a little corny but O'Reilly has this body language expert on occasionally who analyzes people's body language. O'Reilly had her observe Gibson on Leno's show and she said that his body language conveyed a real remorse about what had happened.

I also wanted to see Flags of our Fathers awhile back but never made it to the movie theater. Another one that is out right now that looks good is Bobby which is about Robert F. Kennedy. I'm in desperate need of a movie night but no time right now.

I watched End of the Spear last night and was pretty impressed. I am actually pretty familiar with this story about the 5 missionaries that were killed by tribal people but never knew the details. Elisabeth Elliott is a famous speaker and writer and she was one of the widows of the missionaries. I'm not a big fan of hers since she is a little on the legalistic side but never understood how some of the widows and children went back in to minister to the very people who killed their husbands. When you watch the movie it all makes sense. It is still pretty remarkable and it is a true picture of Christians showing the unconditional love of Christ to the lost. It is a movie well worth seeing.

Joia reminded me that I forgot to mention Clueless in my movie reviews. She lent it to me so I forgot since it wasn't on my Netflix list. This is a total gem of a movie. I was always turned off by it because it just seemed like an airhead, teenage movie to me but its actually very fun. First of all it is a modern version of Jane Austen's book Emma so that makes it neat. Also, I was so excited to see the name of one of the main characters. Alicia Silverstone is the main character whose name is Cher but her best friend is Dionne and they are both named after has been singers. This was so awesome to me because I have literally never seen a movie with a character in it with my name but also for her to be named after the same singer was very cool.

DVD Warning:

Just to save some people some stress I felt I needed to issue this warning. The two big DVD renters that send movies through the mail for a monthly fee are Netflix and Blockbuster. These are awesome services because you get unlimited movies for one low price. My warning comes in that there is a big difference in the customer service of Netflix versus Blockbuster. I started out with Blockbuster and had numerous problems. A friend and I both got frustrated and switched to Netflix. I have used Netflix for about 8 months and have never had any problems. Recently Blockbuster is trying to lure people to them with their option of enabling you to return DVDs that you get through the mail at the store and immediately get a new movie. I thought this would be a nice feature and so decided to give them another try. After going through the hassle of switching back to them I immediately encountered problems. Within one day I had 3 different issues with them. I decided it wasn't worth it and switched back to Netflix immediately. Bottom line, go with Netflix and save yourself a lot of stress.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rumsfeld & Hannity Visit Iraq

Two of my favorite men visited the troops in Iraq this past weekend. Take the time to watch both of the videos I link to below.

Rumsfeld's Farewell Tour

Talkin' with the Troops

Movie Reviews

Patrick had a great idea where he looked at all the movies he had gotten through Netflix this past year and gave mini-reviews on what he thought of all of them. I thought that sounded like a fun idea so I'm doing the same although I'm categorizing them a little differently and I'm not listing every single movie. Of the ones I can remember I'll list the movies I saw in the theater.

Netflix Movies

These are the movies/TV series that I loved:

LOST--Seasons 1 & 2--shocking to all of you I'm sure

The Outsider--I loved this movie, bought it and have watched it several times

Iron Jawed Angels--I did a whole post on this

The Inheritance--based on Louisa May Alcott's book

Reality Bites--I had seen this before but I liked it much better the 2nd time.

American Outlaws--my favorite Colin Farrell movie

Dreamer--inspirational movie with Kurt Russell & Elisabeth Shue

Tears of the Sun

Movies I liked:

She's the Man

Save the Last Dance 2--This wasn't bad but wasn't near as good as the first one which I love.

Drive Me Crazy

Last Holiday

Eyes of a Stranger

Just Like Heaven--Reese Witherspoon

Cinderella Man--I liked this more than I expected too

Miss Congeniality 2--Not as good as the 1st one but cute

These movies I thought I would really like but they were a big disappointment:

Young Guns 1 & 2--Kiefer Sutherland is awful in these. I don't think I ever liked him in anything until 24. Its almost like he's a different person in 24. He is one of those actors like George Clooney who looks and acts better in his 40's than he did in his 20's.

The Sentinel--A recent Kiefer Sutherland movie that I thought would be good but was just kind of a flop.

The New World--Huge Disappointment

La Femme Nikita (the series)--I was told this was similar to Alias. I love Alias but Nikita is nothing like Alias in terms of its appeal. They have similar story lines but I love Alias and despised Nikita.

Tristan & Isolde


Movies I just didn't like:


The Recruit

Hart's War--This had Bruce Willis & Colin Farrell in it and was a war movie but it still didn't cut it for me.


To end all Wars

Rumor has it

Movies I saw at the Theater that I loved:

World Trade Center

United 93


Failure to Launch

Movies I saw with my kids at the Theater:

Superman Returns--I got to see it in 3D with my boys. A friend had told me it was really good so I had high expectations and ended up not even liking it.

The Devil Wears Prada--I saw this with my girls and it was pretty good.

Santa Clause 3--I saw this with all my kids. It was good but not as good as 1 & 2.

Yours, Mine and Ours--Cute movie

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Iraq Surrender Group

"Consensus is the absence of leadership. To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies. So it's something in which no one believes and to which no one objects."--Margaret Thatcher

President Bush's response to a BBC reporter's question regarding the Iraq Study (aka surrender) group:
"Make no mistake about it. I understand how tough it is, sir. I understand there's sectarian violence. I also understand that we're hunting down Al-Qaeda on a regular basis, and we're bringing 'em to justice. I understand how hard our troops are working. I know how brave the men and women who wear the uniform are and therefore they'll have the full support of this government. I understand what long deployments mean to wives and husbands and mothers and fathers, particularly as we come into a holiday season. I understand. And I have made it abundantly clear how tough it is. I also believe we're going to succeed, not only do I know how important it is to prevail, I believe we will prevail. I also want the American people to understand that if we were to fail -- and one way to assure failure is just to quit, is not to adjust and say it's just not worth it. If we were to fail, that failed policy will come to hurt generations of Americans in the future.

I believe when an ideological struggle between forces that are reasonable and want to live in peace and radicals and extremists, and when you throw into the mix a radical Shi'a and radical Sunni trying to gain power and topple modern governments with energy which they could use to blackmail Great Britain or America or anybody else who doesn't kowtow to them, and a nuclear weapon in the hands of a government that would be using that nuclear weapon to blackmail to achieve political objectives, historians will look back and say, "How come Bush and Blair couldn't see the threat?" That's what they'll be asking. And I want to tell you, I see the threat. And September the 11th should be a wake-up call for the American people to understand what happens if there is violence and safe havens in a part of the world. And what happens is, people can die here at home."

What Senator Joe Lieberman had to say about talking with Iran & Syria:
"I believe that America is a mighty enough nation that we should never fear to talk to anyone. But anyone who believes that Iran and Syria really want to help us to succeed in Iraq, I just is missing the reality. Asking Iran and Syria to help us succeed in Iraq is like your local fire department asking a couple of arsonists to help put out the fire. These people are flaming the fire. They are the extremists. They are supporting terrorists in Iraq, in Lebanon and of course in the Palestinian areas."

It sounds similar to my analogy:
"Its like asking a pimp to help you with the prostitute problem on Portland street. Iran is a huge part of the problem so asking them for help is ludicrous."

Jeff Jacoby had this to say in his column ‘Conversations’ with the enemy:
"As things stand now, however, negotiating with Iran and Syria over the future of Iraq is about as promising a strategy for preventing more bloodshed as negotiating with Adolf Hitler over the future of Czechoslovakia was in 1938. There were eminent "realists" then too, many of whom were gung-ho for cutting a deal with the Fuehrer. As Neville Chamberlain set off on the diplomatic mission that would culminate in Munich, William Shirer recorded in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," Britain's poet laureate, John Masefield, composed a paean in his honor . When the negotiations were done and Czechoslovakia had been dismembered, the prime minister was hailed as a national hero. The Nobel Committee received not one, not two, but 10 nominations proposing Chamberlain for the 1939 peace prize.

Chamberlain and his admirers had been certain that Munich would bring "peace in our time." Instead it helped pave the way for war.

How many times does the lesson have to be relearned? There is no appeasing the unappeasable. When democracies engage with fanatical tyrants, the world becomes not less dangerous but more so."

In conclusion my only hope is that Bush will continue to stand strong in his stand against the enemy and ignore this insane advice. In reading Jacoby's column it amazed me to learn that King Appeaser Neville Chamberlain received 10 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. I guess things haven't changed all that much. Peace prizes are still given to appeasers like Carter who not only don't bring peace but put our country and the world in further danger. I pray that the American people wake up soon to the real threat we face so we don't wake up to another 9/11 attack or something even worse. Have you forgotten?

Other Sources:
Hat tip for the title, Thatcher quote & the President's quotes: Rush
Bush: 'Tough Assessment' refers to Iraq Report
Anger, Tears and Fears(A Must Read by Robin)
December 7th 1941 A Tragedy That Could Have Been Avoided(An excellent post by Mike on the lessons from Pearl Harbor)
America Wake Up

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Linky Love

The real meaning of Christmas

I found this awesome video at Sister Toldjah's. I love Charlie Brown and she is right that this is a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Your Birthdate: August 21

You're a restless rebel with an unpredictable nature.
Bright but unbridled, you tend to seek out wild experiences over new ideas.
People are frustrated by your great potential, but you love your unconventional life.
You're a heartbreaker. People get attached to you, and then you're gone.

Your strength: Your thirst for adventure

Your weakness: Not taking time for slow pleasures

Your power color: Hot pink

Your power symbol: Figure eight

Your power month: March

I found this over at RT's blog. I was cracking up because so much of this does describe me. Its obviously not completely true but it was enjoyable to read. Check out your birthday, I put several family and friends in there and they were all fairly close to being true.

Prison Break was awesome monday night with a great ending for the fall. If you haven't checked out our great Prison Break blog yet you need to do that, and tell your friends!!

Lost also had an awesome fall finale (although we all agree that fall finales are lame). I was excited to find a blog on Lost, woo-hoo!! I'm linking to this video of Sawyer and Kate mostly for my enjoyment but I figure there are a couple of others who might enjoy it too ;-)!!

Little Orange Fox did a really enjoyable post in response to Michael Moore's ridiculous letter to conservatives. Check it out here!!

Now onto the serious stuff!!

1)--War on Terror

I am up for a serious rant on how the Drive By Media and the Dems are undermining this War on Terror. It really saddens me that so many people don't get it. But instead of my rant I'll link to some others who make the point well. Dennis Miller is my new hero!! I absolutely love his segments on Hannity and Colmes. In this video he points out that no matter what the Dems do they need to take the War on Terror seriously and that President George W. Bush deserves an A+ for preventing a terrorist attack on our soil for the past 5 years. Extremely well said!!

Gayle makes some similar points in her post entitled, Why We Need to Stand Strong.

2)--AP is busted!!

Flopping Aces did their homework and busted the AP for repeatedly using a fraudulent source and getting their news from the enemy. And we wonder why the American people have grown so negative about the war when they are constantly being fed enemy propaganda by the Drive By Media.

Skye and Wordsmith both weigh in on this too.

Toon Credit: Glenn McCoy

3)--Climate of fear created by Global-warming alarmists

It seems Al Gore and his global warming alarmists' predictions fell a little short this year. Mike did an excellent post entitled, Why Liberals Should Not Forecast the Weather Or, How Scare Science Got It Wrong Again! But as we all know we are just anti-science, pro-God kooks because we don't buy into the politically correct BS of the day.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Live Like You Were Dying

Toon Credit: Calvin & Hobbes

Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw
He said I was in my early forties, with a lot of life before me
And one moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days, looking at the x-rays
Talking bout' the options and talking bout' sweet times.
I asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end
How's it hit 'cha when you get that kind of news?
Man what did ya do?
He said

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin'

Verse 2
He said I was finally the husband, that most the time I wasn't
And I became a friend, a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden goin' fishin, wasn't such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I finally read the good book, and I took a good long hard look
At what I'd do if I could do it all again
And then
Click here to listen to the song.

These are some of the words from Tim McGraw's song Live Like You Were Dying. I heard this song recently and absolutely loved it. It really expresses how I feel about grabbing the bull by the horns and really living. It is a wonderful and encouraging song and I hope I can apply the words to my life.

The reason I wasn't able to post this weekend is because I've been out of commission most of the weekend. I got a migraine that sent my stomach into orbit which seems to be triggering my ulcer problem. My husband was out of town so I was very thankful that my friend Joia who has struggled with a lot of medical issues herself came over and brought gingerale and badly needed drugs. I still don't have complete relief from the pain so I'm going to be trying to get into the Doctor today. Please pray that I can get in quickly and find some relief from the pain. Thanks!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Matthew & Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Birthday Matthew!!

My youngest son turns 7 today! This pic is of him in his Karate outfit. He is my youngest and thus my baby. My nickname for him is cute boy but he's almost getting too old for that name. He has some slight developmental delays but he has come really far from where he started. He didn't walk until he was 2 1/2 and he didn't really start talking until he was well over 3 yrs. old. Today he still goes to speech, OT, physical and vision therapy but he can hold his own with his siblings and anyone else. He basically can say and do anything any other 7 yr. old can. He is also my charmer so I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't love him. He has a twinkle in his eye and he can be sweet one minute and ornery the next. We are going to celebrate his birthday next week at the Karate Studio with pizza.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I read the American Girls series of books to my girls. We just finished the Kit series which takes place during the depression in the early 1930's. It is amazing what people went through back then and what they did to survive. It was another great reminder of all the things we have to be thankful for, especially here in America.

I am extremely thankful for all my blessings and freedoms!! I am especially thankful to our men and women in uniform who make our freedoms possible. I am truly blessed and thankful for all the gifts God has given!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and I hope you have a great time with family and friends! May God bless each and every one of you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Painting Hat tip: Patrick

I posted this thanksgiving pic today because tomorrow is not only Thanksgiving but my son's 7th birthday and I'll have to post a cute pic of him.

I've been collecting a lot of neat quotes lately. They are all so good I thought they would make a neat post. I found several of them at people's blogs and linked to them if I remembered where I found them. We have a lot to be thankful for this thanksgiving season and these quotes remind us of some of the reasons why.

My 1st quote is from a special 4 yr. old who is a friend of mine's daughter. As some of you may remember I did a post a year ago about my beloved pastor passing away. It seems hard to believe he's been gone a year. I can't help but think that Heaven is a little richer having him but earth is a little less special without him. My friend's family was listening to a song and the 4 yr. old granddaughter of my pastor said "I always cry along with this song when I hear it on our cd. Because of the dying Grandpa." It was beyond sweet and my friend said they all teared up hearing her say it. Out of the mouths of babes.

Now onto the rest of the quotes:

"This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks."--Ronald Reagan (Right Wing Rebel)

"In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done ask a woman."--Margaret Thatcher

"It's amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites."--Thomas Sowell(Sister Toldjah)

"All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope." ~ Sir Winston Churchill(Mark)

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you're not."--Kurt Cobain from Nirvana

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."-John F. Kennedy

"America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens." ~ George W. Bush(Mark)

"We can't accommodate terrorism. When someone uses the slaughter of innocent people to advance a so-called political cause, at that point the political cause becomes immoral and unjust and they should be eliminated from any serious discussion, any serious debate." ~ Rudy Giuliani(Mark)

"With reasonable men I will reason; with humane men I will plea; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost." ~ William Lloyd Garrison(Mark)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Take on the News

Hat tip: Anna

The list of blunders by the Dems are piling up and they aren't even in power yet. It may suck for us that we lost but them being in power sure provides a lot of fodder for conservative blogs and talk show hosts. I have nothing to add about Rangel's latest absurdity of calling for a draft except that Rangel is an idiot.

Score one for decency!!

I can't tell you how encouraged I was to hear yesterday that the OJ book and special had both been pulled. Its refreshing to know that when there is enough outrage by the American public there is a line that media types will pull back from. All of us made a difference, our voices were heard and News Corp. did the right thing.

Michael Richards loses it!

Michael Richards who is famous for his role as Kramer on Seinfeld lost it in a comedy club. He went on a racial tirade against some African Americans who were heckling him. As most of you know I am a huge Seinfeld fan so was a little disappointed to learn of this. But as we all have learned very few Hollywood actors have admirable personal lives. I guess Richards has always been known for his angry tirades so this wasn't something completely unexpected.

I watched Letterman last night because Jerry Seinfeld had already been scheduled to be on and he asked if Richards could come on as well and apologize. Watching both of them talk I came away with an even more favorable impression of Jerry and a much lower one of Richards. Richards whole statement was awkward, pathetic, sad and I didn't buy that he isn't a racist. I guess I just really got the impression that he has a severe anger problem but it doesn't explain where his comments came from. There was one phrase in particular that wouldn't even enter my thought process. I guess I just don't buy that he's not a racist. When someone like Mel Gibson is drunk you can somewhat understand that they weren't aware of what they were saying (not that it was okay) but when you are completely sober how do you say these things unless they are really a part of your thought process? The whole ordeal is disappointing but not shocking.


Check out Chas's post on Bolton entitled We Must Keep John Bolton at the U.N. He is right on the money!!

Evolution of Dance

And since "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" take time to enjoy your daily dose of humor by watching this fun video!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Despicable OJ Simpson--Part 2

I watched O'Reilly, Hannity & Colmes and Greta all have their say about this last night. I was most proud of O'Reilly and Mark Fuhrman as they talked about this. O'Reilly was outraged and urged people to not watch the show, read or buy the book and to boycott all the sponsors of the show. He had Detective Tom Lange and Christopher Darden on the show. Detective Lange described the brutal murders and it still just defies comprehension how Simpson got away with such a horrific crime. O'Reilly asked both Darden and Lange how convinced they were that Simpson was guilty. Lange said he was 99% convinced and it would be 100% except for the fact that he didn't actually witness the murders. Darden said 100% and that anyone who thought he wasn't guilty was an idiot. I enjoyed that comment.

Mark Fuhrman was on Hannity and Colmes and was outraged as well. Despite what you think about Fuhrman (I have changed my opinion of him since the OJ trial. He has described how the tape of him using the n word was a tape of him doing a fictional screenplay, he has passed a polygraph about his testimony in the trial and he has done many worthy things since then.) he did a great job of expressing the outrage that we all feel about this book and interview. He sees no redeeming value from it and even said that he will never use Regan Books/Harper Collins for a book publisher again. He asked a great question "What is this Rome?"

He described Simpson as a sociopath with no remorse or guilt. I think if we were in doubt about that before all of this there is no doubt now. I was a little disappointed in how naive Hannity was in suggesting that maybe Simpson has felt bad about this and so this was his way to get it off his chest. I see absolutely no evidence of that and his behavior is that of a narcissistic sociopath. The very fact that he cares so little about the damage that this will surely do to his children is proof in and of itself.

And I mentioned recently how Colmes has really been ticking me off lately and I found myself actually yelling at him last night. I guess he actually wrote a whole chapter in his book about how he thought OJ was innocent. Unbelievable!! So he starts being combative and taking pot shots at Fuhrman and making ridiculous arguments. I was incredulous. I guess the liberals who have been upset with Colmes for being too nice on the show have had their way with him.

Then on Greta's show she replayed excerpts from her interview that she did with Simpson in 2004. The man knows absolutely no shame. During some of the clips she showed he was trying to imply that Denise Brown was being vocal about things because she was in it for the money. That is such an unfair and grotesque accusation that I don't even know where to start. First of all Denise Brown was in the news as an advocate for her sister WHO COULD NO LONGER SPEAK FOR HERSELF because she was dead. And OJ's despicable defense team was maligning her character as part of his defense. Second she was trying to get the truth out for her sister's sake and for the sake of her kids. If you ever saw her interviews you could see she was on a mission of passion in defense of her sister and rightly so. Third, she did a lot of good and helped a lot of women deal with domestic abuse. Many women got help because of seeing Denise Brown speak out. To see Simpson accuse her of ill motives when his are so debase, it was just beyond the pale.

Judith Regan finally came out with a lengthy statement about all of this last night. To be honest I found myself going a little easier on her after hearing her side of the story. I still think she is mistaken in any good coming out of this but her own story of domestic abuse made me understand why she would do it. Here is an excerpt from her statement:
"I made the decision to publish this book, and to sit face to face with the killer, because I wanted him, and the men who broke my heart and your hearts, to tell the truth, to confess their sins, to do penance and to amend their lives.

I have not spent a lifetime in the study of deception detection, but ex-CIA specialist Phil Houston has. “When killers confess,” he told me, “the way they often do it is by creating a hypothetical”—and then they spill their guts.

For many of them, it is the only way to tell the truth.

I thought of this and the many books I’ve published over the years on the subject of sociopaths and their lack of empathy (Without Conscience and Snakes in Suits). And I thought about The Mind & The Brain, a book about the power of the human will. Is such behavior the result of a genetic flaw? Could it be caused by a head injury? Is it the result of a weak and damaged human will? Was this man suffering from a sort of emotional autism?

How did it happen? How could a man with so much have so little? And how could we, as a society, continue to protect him and others from the consequences of his wrong-doing?

I don’t know why he did it—why he did the book, and sat for the interview. Was it his own disturbed need for attention? Did he have remorse? Was he ready to come clean and make amends and do his penance? I wouldn’t know until I sat down in a chair across from him.

What I do know is I didn’t pay him. I contracted through a third party who owns the rights, and I was told the money would go to his children. That much I could live with.

What I wanted was closure, not money."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Despicable OJ Simpson

Words cannot express my disgust with learning about OJ Simpson's latest narcissistic stunt. He has written a book entitled "If I Did It" where he talks about if he had killed Nicole and Ron Goldman this is how he would've done it. He is also going to be interviewed about the book on Fox Broadcasting on November 27th & 29th (to clarify this is Fox Broadcasting not Fox News). As if I didn't already despise him enough. While looking to see what others were saying about him on the blogs I saw several very good titles that say it all.
What happened to shame?

Is this really happening?

How I got away with murder special!

Are they on crack?

Beyond the pale

In the early 90's I didn't pay much attention to current events but this is one case I paid attention to. I remember hearing enough about it to think that he would surely be found guilty. I still remember where I was when I heard he had been found not guilty because I was literally in shock at the news.

I then read several books about the case and just couldn't get over how the jury had let him go despite all the evidence. I understood the need by the African-American community to want to get back at the police for previous injustices but do you do that by letting a murderer of 2 innocent people go free? It shook my faith in the justice system and to me it surely sent the message that if you have enough money and fame you can literally get away with murder. OJ Simpson is living proof of that.

It just sickened me that Denise Brown and the rest of Nicole's family had to let Nicole's kids get raised by a murderer. That was what disturbed me the most. And despite Geraldo being a liberal this is one thing in the course of his career that he got right. He interviewed Denise Brown many times and showed her family's side of the story. I was proud of him for that.

Hat tip: Sparks from the Anvil

Fast forward to today and I am just sickened that he could do this. He is describing the murder of his children's mother!!!! It is hard to imagine anyone more despicable right now except for maybe Charles Manson. And I am also extremely unhappy with Judith Regan for publishing the book. I have never been a fan of hers but this tops it all. She says that she considers this his confession. Well how convenient that he is going to make millions off of pretend confessing to his ex-wife's murder and stay out of jail at the same time. And never mind the fact that he has never paid a dime to any of the families who won the civil suit. I hope the people at Fox and Judith Regan can sleep at night because the money they make off of this is truly blood money.

Again Fox Broadcasting is separate from Fox News and if you want to contact Fox Broadcasting to complain go here.

Wyatt weighs in on the subject with a much calmer post :-).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iron Jawed Angels

I have been dying to do a post on this movie. I cannot say enough good things about Iron Jawed Angels. When I got to visit The Henry Ford Museum this past summer a friend and I saw a clip of this movie in the Civil Rights section. We both made a mental note to get the movie from Netflix. As shocked as I was that HBO was capable of doing a great movie it was wonderful.

I love history but between my busy schedule and my short attention span I don't do well with documentaries. So I love it when Hollywood does a historical movie and actually does the history behind it justice. I watched the movie and loved it and then spent a ton of time researching to see how accurate it was. Then after spending way too much time on the research I found out there was extra stuff on the DVD itself that explained what parts of the movie were true and what was not.

I was pleased to learn that movie was very accurate. The lady who wrote the script read 15 books trying to make the movie as historically accurate as possible. There were 2 characters that were representative of people of that time but not actual people. And they had to compress some time & events to get it all in the movie but otherwise it was pretty true to life.

Hillary Swank plays the main suffragist Alice Paul who really was instrumental in getting women the right to vote. The movie was extremely inspiring in depicting women fighting so passionately for a worthy cause they truly believed in.

They showed the divide between the older suffragettes who wanted to implement change non-aggressively and the younger group who was tired of waiting. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were part of the younger group who started out by restraining themselves and joining the older group known as the National American Women's Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in the hopes of making headway. But when the older women from NAWSA undercut them they went off on their own and started more aggressive action like the suffragist movement in Britain. They started their own group entitled the National Woman's Party (NWP). Their main goal was to get a constitutional amendment passed giving women the right to vote.

One of their big events was a parade they had on March 3, 1913. Here is an excerpt from an Alice Paul biography that describes their early efforts and about the parade:
"In 1912, Alice Paul and two friends, Lucy Burns and Crystal Eastman, headed to Washington, D.C. to organize for suffrage. With little funding but in true Pankhurst style, Paul and Burns organized a publicity event to gain maximum national attention; an elaborate and massive parade by women to march up Pennsylvania Avenue and coincide with Woodrow Wilson's presidential inauguration. The parade began on March 3, 1913, with the beautiful lawyer, activist, and socialite Inez Milholland, leading the procession, dressed in Greek robes and astride a white horse. The scene turned ugly, however, when scores of male onlookers attacked the suffragists, first with insults and obscenities, and then with physical violence, while the police stood by and watched. The following day, Alice's group of suffragists made headlines across the nation and suffrage became a popular topic of discussion among politicians and the general public alike."

Then they began picketing the White House in the hopes of pressuring President Wilson to help pass a constitutional amendment. At first Wilson ignored them but they persevered and then he began to have them arrested. While in prison Paul and others staged hunger strikes which was met with being violently force fed. This was a hard part of the movie for me to watch since I saw this soon after I had gotten out of the hospital where I had a tube down my nose and throat. It showed the lengths to which these women were willing to go to advance their cause. Here is another excerpt from Paul's biography which shows that eventually their torture and imprisonment turned the tide in their favor:
"When news of the prison conditions and hunger strikes became known, the press, some politicians, and the public began demanding the women’s release; sympathy for the prisoners brought many to support the cause of women's suffrage. Upon her release from prison, Paul hoped to ride this surge of goodwill into victory."

This was the turning point where Wilson finally gave in. Here is another excerpt that describes how it all went down:
"In 1917, in response to public outcry about the prison abuse of suffragists, President Wilson reversed his position and announced his support for a suffrage amendment, calling it a "war measure." In 1919, both the House and Senate passed the 19th Amendment and the battle for state ratification commenced. Three-fourths of the states were needed to ratify the amendment. The battle for ratification came down to the state of Tennessee in the summer of 1920; if a majority of the state legislature voted for the amendment, it would become law. The deciding vote was cast twenty-four year-old Harry Burn, the youngest member of the Tennessee assembly. Originally intending to vote “no,” Burn changed his vote after receiving a telegram from his mother asking him to support women’s suffrage. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment. Six days later, Secretary of State Colby certified the ratification, and, with the stroke of his pen, American women gained the right to vote after a seventy-two year battle. August 26th is now celebrated as Women's Equality Day in the United States."

In the movie they actually show Burn changing his vote after hearing from his mother. I thought surely that didn't happen so imagine my surprise to find out it actually happened. It was fascinating!! And the title of this movie Iron Jawed Angels was an actual name given to the suffragettes by the media while they were imprisoned.

The movie was an inspiring account of one of the most exciting events in our nation's history. It inspired me to fight for what I believe in and not give up.

Unfortunately, as many of you are probably aware I was disappointed to find out in my research that many of these suffragettes were also socialists, pacifists and Eastman was even a fan of Margaret Sanger. I realized that many of them were Quakers which would explain the anti-war stance but the socialistic beliefs were disappointing. And Alice Paul was the author of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) which I'm not a fan of. But despite these flaws I think their cause was noble and I for one am thankful that because of them I have the right to vote today.

While watching the movie I pondered on whether I would've been a suffragette or not. I think I would've but I would've had more conservative views like Susan B. Anthony and others did. Also, many of the early suffragettes were also anti-slavery and fought for the rights of African-Americans to be free. Both were just, worthy and inspirational causes.

Shoprat made some excellent points in the comments section that I thought were worthy of adding to this post. He says exactly what I was thinking about their beliefs.
"Most of the women who fought for the right to vote would be sickened by what modern feminism has become. Susan B. Anthony (a great feminist hero) was fiercely against abortion and infanticide as well as divorce. Of course Margaret Sanger was a follower of Hitler but leftists don't like to acknowledge that little piece of trivia.

Yes some were Socialists, but at that point in time Socialism was not yet proven wrong and inhumane. It was quite possible for a Christian to be a socialist until the middle of the 20th century when Socialism was proven unworkable and inherently inhumane. I like to think that they would have been horrified at what socialism really did and would have repudiated it, as many others did."

Iron Jawed Angels
Woman's Suffrage
Alice Paul: Feminist, Suffragist and Political Strategist
List of suffragists and suffragettes
Photo Credits--Suffrage History
Leaders in the Women's Suffrage Movement

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Good News & Things I'm Thankful For...

Toon Credit: Glenn McCoy

1) Our Veterans!! Unlike John Kerry I am beyond grateful to all the men and women who put their lives on the line for my freedom!!

2) President George W. Bush is still President for 2 more years!!

3) Michael Steele may be the new chairman of the RNC.

4) Ann Coulter makes some really good points as always in her recent column. Here is an excerpt:
"So the left won the House and also Nicaragua. They've had a good week. At least they don't have their finger on the atom bomb yet.

Democrats support surrender in Iraq, higher taxes and the impeachment of President Bush. They just won an election by pretending to be against all three.

But according to the media, this week's election results are a mandate for pulling out of Iraq (except in Connecticut where pro-war Joe Lieberman walloped anti-war "Ned the Red" Lamont).

In fact, if the Democrats' pathetic gains in a sixth-year election are a statement about the war in Iraq, Americans must love the war! As Roll Call put it back when Clinton was president: "Simply put, the party controlling the White House nearly always loses House seats in midterm elections" — especially in the sixth year.

In Franklin D. Roosevelt's sixth year in 1938, Democrats lost 71 seats in the House and six in the Senate.

In Dwight Eisenhower's sixth year in 1958, Republicans lost 47 House seats, 13 in the Senate.

In John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson's sixth year, Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and three in the Senate.

In Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford's sixth year in office in 1974, Republicans lost 43 House seats and three Senate seats.

Even America's greatest president, Ronald Reagan, lost five House seats and eight Senate seats in his sixth year in office.

But in the middle of what the media tell us is a massively unpopular war, the Democrats picked up about 30 House seats and five to six Senate seats in a sixth-year election, with lots of seats still too close to call. Only for half-brights with absolutely no concept of yesterday is this a "tsunami" — as MSNBC calls it — rather than the death throes of a dying party.

During eight years of Clinton — the man Democrats tell us was the greatest campaigner ever, a political genius, a heartthrob, Elvis! — Republicans picked up a total of 49 House seats and nine Senate seats in two midterm elections. Also, when Clinton won the presidency in 1992, his party actually lost 10 seats in the House — only the second time in the 20th century that a party won the White House but lost seats in the House.

Meanwhile, the Democrats' epic victory this week, about which songs will be sung for generations, means that in two midterm elections Democrats were only able to pick up about 30 seats in the House and four seats in the Senate — and that's assuming they pick up every seat that is currently too close to call. (The Democrats' total gain is less than this week's gain because Bush won six House and two Senate seats in the first midterm election.)

So however you cut it, this midterm proves that the Iraq war is at least more popular than Bill Clinton was."
When you consider the fact that popular president Franklin D. Roosevelt lost more seats in congress during his sixth year than Bush did I think we can all agree this is more about the normal ebb and flow of politics than anything else. I knew this was the case going into the elections I was just hoping to beat the odds.

5) Marriage Amendments passed in Wisconsin, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia on election day. And the only reason it didn't pass in Arizona is because they basically already had the protections they needed in their constitution.

6) All of you!! I can't tell you how thank-ful I am for all of the friends I have made this past year while blogging. You have been a source of knowledge, humor and encouragement to me. And during this rough time it is nice to know others can relate and empathize.

7) My family & friends!! My husband had the kids put all of the Christmas decorations up while I was gone all election day and night. I came home to a decorated house and it was a nice sight. Also, my adorable 6 yr. old asked me why I was sad on wednesday. He said, "Is it because Claire McCaskill won?" I can't even begin to tell you how cute it was hearing his little voice say that. I didn't even know that he knew her name. It was beyond cute and then he gave me a big hug!!

My friends were wonderful too. They made sure I had support on election day and then they all called me the next day to see how I was doing.

8) Stand!! This is one of Rascal Flatt's songs on their newest CD. I was listening to it on the way home election night. This is our mantra, we've been kicked in the gut but now its time to get up and stand!! It is beyond encouraging, here are some of the words:
You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless like you’ve lost your fight
But you’ll be alright, you’ll be alright

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you’re made of
You might bend ‘til you break
Cause it’s all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand, then you stand

Life’s like a novel with the end ripped out
The edge of canyon with only one way down
Take what you’re given before it’s gone
And start holdin’ on, keep holdin’ on

Every time you get up and get back in the race
One more small piece of you starts to fall into place – yeah

9) And finally I'm thank-ful for humor. What the Democrats are really saying!! I especially liked the ones with Bill & Hillary Clinton!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My 2 Cents

I got a wonderful diversion from politics last night because there was an AWESOME episode of Lost on. As you all know I'm a huge Sawyer fan and they finally had Sawyer and Kate get together last night. It was so good that I called my friend who is a fellow Lost fan and said "There is a God and He loves me!" Quoting Kurt Russell's character on Overboard ;-). Back to politics I have been having a lot of thoughts about everything that was said yesterday in response to how the elections went. First of all Open Source decided to have me back on the radio show instead of just reading my responses. You can go here to hear the show. I was only on for about 10 minutes but I got a chance to present a lone conservative take on the elections. I think there was an audible gasp when I said I was one of 30% who still loved George W. Bush and I'm sure someone fainted when I said I loved Rumsfeld and was sad to see him go. There were several liberals on but one was extremely far to the left and condescendingly referred to me after I was off the show as an anti-science, pro-God kook. I guess I will take that as a badge of honor coming from someone who sounded like Al Franken. I am sick of hearing even good people saying that the Republicans deserved this on tuesday. Did DeWine, Chafee and Tom Kean deserve to bite the dust? Yes, they did but Talent, Santorum and Steele didn't deserve to lose. I feel like the "Michael Savages" of our party wanted to punish everyone for the sins of the liberal/moderate Republicans who gummed up the works on different issues. Was the Republican party perfect? No, it wasn't but until we weed the Specters and the McCains out we are going to have roadblocks. It doesn't help our cause to throw good conservatives overboard only to be replaced by liberals. My list of people that I am highly irritated with is growing so I'm going to have to do a post similar to Wyatt's "People I Hate" posts but with a kinder, gentler title :-). Stay tuned for that tomorrow.

The Aftermath

Well, it seemed the night from hell continued yesterday morning. Since I didn't go to bed till insanely late I didn't know about Rumsfeld resigning until a friend called me. I must admit the tears flowed freely. I make no apologies for the fact that I love Donald Rumsfeld and was sad to see him go. And unfortunately I haven't heard good things about his replacement so for the most part I do not see this as a good thing. I thought Bush made some great points about Rumsfeld and I also loved Rumsfeld's parting words. Of course, genius that he is he quoted Winston Churchill. I think that was clever on several fronts because Churchill was not appreciated until many years later. He saved England from the Nazis and his reward was being voted out of office. Rumsfeld helped remove 2 terrorist regimes and he gets nothing but criticism. Here are some excerpts from both Bush & Rumsfeld.

"Bob follows in the footsteps of one of America's most skilled and capable national security leaders, Donald Rumsfeld. Don is the longest-serving member of my Cabinet, and next month he will reach another milestone when he becomes the longest-serving Secretary of Defense in the history of our nation. I appreciate his willingness to continue serving until his successor is in place, because in a time of war, our nation cannot be without a strong and steady hand leading our Department of Defense.

Don has served in times of great consequence for our nation. Few will forget the image of Don Rumsfeld as he helped rescue workers carry the victims from the rubble of the Pentagon on September the 11th, 2001. In the weeks that followed, he directed the effort to plan our nation's military response to an unprecedented attack on our soil. Under his leadership, U.S. and coalition forces launched one of the most innovative military campaigns in the history of modern warfare, driving the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies from power in a matter of weeks.

In 2003, on my orders, he led the planning and execution of another historic military campaign, Operation Iraqi Freedom, that drove Saddam Hussein from power and helped the Iraqi people establish a constitutional democracy in the heart of the Middle East. History will record that on Don Rumsfeld's watch, the men and women of our military overthrew two terrorist regimes, liberated some 50 million people, brought justice to the terrorist Zarqawi and scores of senior al Qaeda operatives, and helped stop new terrorist attacks on our people.

America is safer and the world is more secure because of the service and the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld. As he led the Pentagon in an unprecedented war, Don never took his eye off another vital responsibility, preparing America for the threats that await us as this new century unfolds. He developed a new defense strategy. He established a new Northern Command to protect the homeland, a new Joint Forces Command to focus on transformation, a new Strategic Command to defend against long-range attack, and transformed the U.S. Special Operations Command for the war on terror.

He led our efforts to create a new NATO Response Force that allows NATO to deploy rapidly anywhere in the world. He undertook the most sweeping transformation of America's global force posture since the end of World War II. He revitalized America's efforts to develop and deploy ballistic missile defenses, and led a comprehensive review of America's nuclear forces that has allowed us to undertake dramatic reductions in offensive nuclear weapons.

Don's work in these areas did not often make the headlines. But the reforms that he has set in motion are historic, and they will enhance the security of the American people for decades to come.

Over the past six years, I've relied on Don Rumsfeld's advice and counsel. I've come to know his character and his integrity. As the Secretary of Defense, he has been dedicated to his mission, loyal to his President, and devoted to the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces.

Don once famously said, "There are known knowns; there are known unknowns; and there are unknown unknowns." Well, Mr. Secretary, here is a known known: Your service has made America stronger, and made America a safer nation. You will be missed, and I wish you and Joyce all the best in the years to come."

"Mr. President, thank you for your kind words, and the wholly unexpected opportunity you provided me to serve in the Department of Defense again these past years -- six years. It's been quite a time. It recalls to mind the statement by Winston Churchill, something to the effect that "I have benefitted greatly from criticism, and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof." (Laughter.)

The great respect that I have for your leadership, Mr. President, in this little understood, unfamiliar war, the first war of the 21st century -- it is not well-known, it was not well-understood, it is complex for people to comprehend. And I know, with certainty, that over time the contributions you've made will be recorded by history.

I must say that it's been the highest honor of my life to serve with the talented men and women of the Department of Defense, the amazing men and women -- young men and women in uniform. It's a privilege. And their patriotism, their professionalism, their dedication is truly an inspiration. They have my respect; they will remain in my prayers always."