Friday, June 30, 2006

"Crime" in Europe... or War?

“Youths” Kick Man to Death on Crowded Antwerp Bus
The Belgian state is no longer able to guarantee the security of its citizens. On Saturday afternoon Guido Demoor, a 54-year old Flemish train conductor on his way to work, was kicked to death by six “youths” on a crowded bus near Antwerp’s Central Station. The incident recalls the rush-hour murder ten weeks ago of Joe Van Holsbeeck, 17 years of age, in a crowded Brussels Central Station on 12 April.

Guido Demoor, a father of two, intervened when six “youths” got on bus 23 in Antwerp and began to intimidate passengers. There were some forty people on the bus. Demoor asked the “youths” to calm down, whereupon they turned on him, savagely beating and kicking the man. At the next stop thirty passengers fled the bus. The thugs kept beating Demoor. They then pulled the emergency brake and jumped from the bus leaving their victim to die.

Three Moroccans, two of whom are minors, were arrested today...

...Belgians do not have a constitutional or legal right to bear arms, not even purely defensive arms such as peppersprays. With the police and the government failing to protect law-abiding citizens the latter are, however, totally unprotected. Saturday’s murder has shocked bus drivers and train conductors, but they stress that they are not in the least surprised. Violence on public transport has become a fact of life.

“You see what happens if you intervene,” one of Guido Demoor’s colleagues at Belgian Rail is quoted in the newspaper De Morgen today. “If Guido had not opened his mouth he would still be alive. [...] He was a good man. I would not have dared to do what Guido did. I was beaten up once and since then I have become very careful.”

Another colleague told the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “After the Van Holsbeeck murder some whined that no-one had intervened. Guido did intervene and paid with his life.” After the assassination of Joe Van Holsbeeck Belgium’s Cardinal Danneels had said that Joe was a victim of “the indifference in Belgian society” because no-one had come to his rescue when two youths stabbed him to death for not handing over his MP3 player...

...Problems occur not only in major Belgian cities, such as Antwerp and Brussels, but also in provincial towns, such as Sint-Niklaas. Last week bus drivers in Sint-Niklaas refused to drive out in protest against the aggressive behaviour of immigrant youths on the buses. In today’s De Morgen drivers, who have all asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, relate experiences of “buses being demolished while en route” and of “youths harassing girls, who beg the driver to protect them.” One of the drivers said: “If they refuse to buy a ticket I leave it. I do not want to be beaten up for one and a half euros.”

Another driver said: “Last week an old man was beaten up on my bus. The youths were angry because he did not put away his luggage fast enough. They hit him on the eye and threw the luggage on his lap. [...] A bus drive lasts forty minutes. Sometimes they pester and provoke you for a full forty minutes. I remain calm, but some of my colleagues are not able to do so and get into trouble. If I ever get into trouble, I will do as one colleague did recently. He left his vehicle at the bus station and got off, never to return to this job.” Guido Demoor never even got off the bus.

In another article about crime in Europe, Sweden in particular, interviews were conducted with Muslim youths about why they committed crimes. They talked about themselves as if they were soldiers in a war. Crimes committed by Muslims have been increasing at an alarming rate all over Europe. The author of this next article makes a case for "crime" as an act of war by an invading force:

Swedish Welfare State Collapses as Immigrants Wage War
...It is interesting to note that these Muslim immigrants state quite openly that they are involved in a “war,” and see participation in crime and harassment of the native population as such. This is completely in line with what I have posited before. The number of rape charges in Sweden has quadrupled in just above twenty years. Rape cases involving children under the age of 15 are six times as common today as they were a generation ago. Most other kinds of violent crime have rapidly increased, too. Instability is spreading to most urban and suburban areas. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or from foreign parents. The phenomenon is not restricted to Sweden. The number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations is so extremely high that it is difficult to view these rapes as merely random acts of individuals. It resembles warfare. This is happening in most Western European countries, as well as in other non muslim countries such as India. European jails are filling up with Muslims imprisoned for robberies and all kinds of violent crimes, and Muslims bomb European civilians. One can see the mainstream media are struggling to make sense of all of this. That is because they cannot, or do not want to, see the obvious: this is exactly how an invading army would behave: rape, pillage and bombing. If many of the Muslim immigrants see themselves as conquerors in a war, it all makes perfect sense...

Déjà-Vu: Pedophile Murders Shock Belgians
...Two weeks ago the police arrested 38-year old Abdallah Aït Oud, a Belgian of Moroccan origin. He was seen near the little girls prior to their disappearance. Aït Oud denies having murdered Stacy and Nathalie. Though the police has not been able to prove otherwise, he is a major suspect. He has already been arrested twice for pedophilia, once in 1994 and once in 2001, and he has no alibi for the night and the day after the disappearance of the girls, who are stepsisters.

In 1994 Abdallah Aït Oud was convicted to five years imprisonment for the rape of his 14-year old niece. He had regularly abused his sister’s daughter since she was six. Three years later, however, in 1997, when the Belgians were still recovering from Dutroux’ atrocities, the Belgian authorities, though they had promised the citizens that pedophiles would have to serve their sentences, released Aït Oud from prison prematurely. On 7 September 1997 he was arrested for theft and sent back to prison, where he remained until 2000. In March 2001, shortly after his release, he abducted and violently raped a 14-year old girl.

This time the negligent Belgian authorities decided not even to give the pedophile a prison sentence...

...Belgium’s capital, Brussels, has a murder rate about five times higher than Paris and two times higher than London. The murder of the two children in Liège is the latest in a series that started last February in Brussels with the assassination of a 16-year old black boy, whose throat was cut by five “youths” who have not yet been found. This atrocity was followed by the murder last April of 17-year old Joe Van Holsbeeck, stabbed by two underaged Polish gypsies during rush hour in Brussels’ Central Station. Barely a month later, last May, there were the murders of a two-year old toddler and her black nanny and the shooting of a Turkish woman in broad daylight in downtown Antwerp by an 18-year old Flemish boy playing out a violent computer game in real life. In a crowded public transport bus in Antwerp last Saturday a passenger was kicked to death by six youths, described by some as “five Belgians and one Spaniard,” referring to their nationalities, and by others as “six Moroccans,” also referring to their (dual and original) nationalities...

(Bold emphasis mine) This article is also interesting because it goes into some detail about the unique political situation in Belgium, and it's increasing failure to protect it citizens.

The crime stats, when looked at objectively, seems like an invasion to me.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

How to negotiate with terrorists

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. An excerpt, from Caroline Glick (Israel's rude awakening):
...In 2000, the public realized that Barak's terrorist empowering peace plan had brought us war. Yet rather than discard the policy of empowering terrorists, our political leaders simply repackaged it. What had formerly been called "peace" was called "separation" and "disengagement" and now is called "convergence" or "realignment." These euphemisms are sold to the public in turn as new quick-fixes that spare us the need to recognize the reality of war...

Related Links:

From Tammy Bruce:

Terrorist 'Microsurgery'?
...Israel has always done its best to avoid 'civilian' casualties. And what did it get them? Those civilians voting in a terrorist government.

Now in a piece for the Wall Street Journal (HT PJM), Michael Oren calls for Israel to return to "targeted" killing. But let me ask you, What worked best--Israel terrorist microsurgery or our WWII carpet-bombing of Dresden and the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

History has made clear that a savage enemy understands nothing less than total vanquishment, complete and without question.
That complete destruction is the only thing that has made Germany and Japan functional and civilized some 60 years later...

...Being 'delicate' with today's enemy means condemning them and the civilized world to decades-more despair and war. It's time we stop this questioning whether or not civilization, and Jews who are very much responsible for the cultivation of the civilized world, are worth fighting for.

Israel: Taking Care of Business
...And this piece of politically correct "pussy"-footing which is what gives terrorists the encouragement to do as they please.

US Urges Israel Not to Harm Civilians in Gaza Raid

Oh, shut up. It was "civilians" who elected the terrorist group Hamas to "govern" their pit. Let them see what embracing terrorism brings them.

Bottom line: It's time the U.S. stops telling Israel what to do.

From Michelle Malkin:


...Notice how many media outlets took the terrorists' description of their brutal murder of Asheri--"executed" (as if the teen were a criminal)--and played it straight in their headlines without the quotation marks they always use around the word "terrorist?"...


From Nealz Nuze:

...So what has Israel so upset? The Islamic terrorists of Hamas have been holding an Israeli soldier for 4 days. So the tanks are rolling in and the planes flying overhead. Israeli troops are also making arrests. But the Palestinians are upset about all this. According to one of their negotiators, "I think that Israeli attempts to bargain through bombardment of power stations and bridges and arrests of parliamentarians and ministers is just adding to the complexities." Adding to the complexities? What? Aren't they the ones who took an Israeli soldier hostage? In what context is that not an act of war? Bargaining? How about this bargain? Give us our soldier back or we're going to kill a whole mess of you Islamic terrorist bastards.

The White House is responding to this by saying Israel has a right to defend itself, but should be careful about hurting civilians. All of this points out why the "Mideast peace process" is a fantasy. The only time you truly have peace is following a military victory. It's time to fully unleash Israel...and bring the terrorists in the Palestinian territories to their knees...

(bold emphasis mine) Yep! Strength is all some people understand.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Loose Libs Sink Ships

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. What the NY Times did is criminal. Have we become a nation that no longer enforces it's laws?

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for these posters, you can click on the link to see more.

UPDATE 09:50 am, Related links:

GOP Acts Against New York Times
Tammy Bruce:
...Fox's David Asman did ask me if I thought execution was an appropriate penalty for treason and espionage--and yes I do. I think this nation is worth defending. Anyone who puts this nation at risk by assisting the enemy, as the enemy continues to murder our soldiers as well as innocent civilians, should face the most severe punishment...

Bush Should Welcome a Fight with the Media
Jack Kelly:
...Prosecuting the Times also could be good politics. Americans are, at best, ambivalent about the war in Iraq. But solid majorities support the steps the president has taken to protect us in the broader war on terror. For instance, shortly after the Times exposed the NSA intercept program, a Rasmussen poll indicated 64 percent of Americans supported it. Only 23 percent were opposed.

Ordinary Americans are furious with the Times both for what it has done, and for its arrogance in doing it. And journalists don't have much popularity to lose. In a Harris survey in March, only 14 percent of respondents expressed a "great deal" of confidence in the press, while 34 percent had "hardly any."

In picking a fight with journalists over leaks, President Bush would be picking on one of the few groups in America less popular than he is, on the issue where he is on the firmest ground with the public...

The terrorist-tipping Times
Michelle Malkin:
The New York Times (proudly publishing all the secrets unfit to spill since 9/11) and their reckless anonymous sources (come out, come out, you cowards) tipped off terrorists to America's efforts to track their financial activities.

Guess what? It isn't the first time blabbermouth journalists have jeopardized terror-financing investigations since Sept. 11, according to the government...

(bold emphasis mine) This leaking of information will only continue, and get worse, if there are no consequences to those who commit these crimes. We are at war. The NY Times NEEDS to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, if the law is going to continue to mean anything. Laws that are not enforced are not respected and simply ignored... much to our great peril.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Fertilizer for Islamic Terror

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. An excerpt, by Keith Windschuttle:

Cultural relativism claims there are no absolute standards for assessing human culture. Hence all cultures should be regarded as equal, though different. ...

The moral rationale of cultural relativism is a plea for tolerance and respect of other cultures, no matter how uncomfortable we might be with their beliefs and practices. However, there is one culture conspicuous by its absence from all this. The plea for acceptance and open-mindedness does not extend to Western culture itself, whose history is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own.

Since the 1960s, academic historians on the left have worked to generate a widespread cynicism about the nature of Western democracies, with the aim of questioning their legitimacy and undermining their ability to command loyalty. ...

The anti-Westernism of which I am speaking is not only about the past but has as much to say about current affairs.

The aftermath to the assaults on New York and Washington on September 11 2001 provided a stark illustration of its values. Within days of the terrorist assault, a number of influential Western intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag and youthful counterparts such as Naomi Klein of the anti-globalisation protest movement, responded in ways that, morally and symbolically, were no different to the celebrations of the crowds on the streets of Palestine and Islamabad who cheered as they watched the towers of the World Trade Centre come crashing down. Stripped of its obligatory jargon, their argument was straightforward: America deserved what it got. ...

Enclosed by a mindset of cultural relativism, most Westerners are loath to censure Muslims who go on violent rampages, burn down embassies and threaten death to their fellow citizens. Many of us regard this as somehow understandable, even acceptable, since we have no right to judge another religion and culture. ...

Their real aim is not religious respect but cultural change in the West. They want to prevent criticism of its Muslim minority and accord that group special privilege not available to the faithful of other religions. Instead of them changing to integrate into our way of life, they want to force us to change to accept their way of life...

(bold emphasis mine) I cannot stress enough the importance of multiculturalism in the cultivation of Islamic terrorists. Islam hasn't changed since the 7th century. What has changed, is that Islamism senses weakness in the west, and that has emboldened them. Multiculturalism is their favorite weapon.

Tammy Bruce, in her book "The New Thought Police", has an entire chapter devoted to Multiculturalism. Says Tammy:

Multiculturalism is not about exotic restaurants and charming street fairs. Accepting the notion that all ideas and systems are equal precludes a willingness to think critically about what surrounds us.

Multiculturalism isn't about culture, it's about power. It's about stopping assimilation, and segregating people into mini-cultures as power bases for the left. The left elite who promotes multiculturalism does not value true diversity, which would embrace ALL cultures. They exclude European, western cultures as "criminal" and promote "victimized" cultures exclusively, using political correctness to shield non-European cultures from moral judgements.

What an incredibly useful tool for our enemies. Is it any wonder Islamic terrorists feel emboldened to destroy us? Multiculturalism encourages, aids and shelters them.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Collectivism, the internet and the "hive"

I know that in my searches for information and content, I often come across sources like wiki pages and Wikipedia entries. At first I had some reluctance using them, as they can be edited by visitors, so how accurate are they? Yet entries often have connecting links to sources, which is reassuring. But are there embedded pitfalls or dangers in such collective information sources?

I have come across an interesting essay written for Edge, by computer scientist and digital visionary Jaron Lanier. The title is:

DIGITAL MAOISM: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

Here are some excerpts, starting with the opening of the article:

(JARON LANIER:) My Wikipedia entry identifies me (at least this week) as a film director. It is true I made one experimental short film about a decade and a half ago. The concept was awful: I tried to imagine what Maya Deren would have done with morphing. It was shown once at a film festival and was never distributed and I would be most comfortable if no one ever sees it again.

In the real world it is easy to not direct films. I have attempted to retire from directing films in the alternative universe that is the Wikipedia a number of times, but somebody always overrules me. Every time my Wikipedia entry is corrected, within a day I'm turned into a film director again. I can think of no more suitable punishment than making these determined Wikipedia goblins actually watch my one small old movie.

Twice in the past several weeks, reporters have asked me about my filmmaking career. The fantasies of the goblins have entered that portion of the world that is attempting to remain real. I know I've gotten off easy. The errors in my Wikipedia bio have been (at least prior to the publication of this article) charming and even flattering.

Reading a Wikipedia entry is like reading the bible closely. There are faint traces of the voices of various anonymous authors and editors, though it is impossible to be sure. In my particular case, it appears that the goblins are probably members or descendants of the rather sweet old Mondo 2000 culture linking psychedelic experimentation with computers. They seem to place great importance on relating my ideas to those of the psychedelic luminaries of old (and in ways that I happen to find sloppy and incorrect.) Edits deviating from this set of odd ideas that are important to this one particular small subculture are immediately removed. This makes sense. Who else would volunteer to pay that much attention and do all that work?

The problem I am concerned with here is not the Wikipedia in itself. It's been criticized quite a lot, especially in the last year, but the Wikipedia is just one experiment that still has room to change and grow. At the very least it's a success at revealing what the online people with the most determination and time on their hands are thinking, and that's actually interesting information.

No, the problem is in the way the Wikipedia has come to be regarded and used; how it's been elevated to such importance so quickly. And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise, that it is desirable to have influence concentrated in a bottleneck that can channel the collective with the most verity and force. This is different from representative democracy, or meritocracy. This idea has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods. The fact that it's now being re-introduced today by prominent technologists and futurists, people who in many cases I know and like, doesn't make it any less dangerous...

I think it's a scary idea that people you don't even know can define you and your work for purposes that suit THEM, regardless of how it affects you or regardless of if the information is really true. If the collective or the "hive" decides you are a filmmaker, then you are, regardless of what you have to say about it? Being called a filmmaker when you aren't isn't the biggest tragedy to be sure, but think about how many other erroneous ways an individual or one's work could be ill defined by people with alterior motives?

The author also laments the loss of individual personality and authorship when information is taken out of the context the author published it in, and used as content by aggregator websites:

...Accuracy in a text is not enough. A desirable text is more than a collection of accurate references. It is also an expression of personality.

For instance, most of the technical or scientific information that is in the Wikipedia was already on the Web before the Wikipedia was started. You could always use Google or other search services to find information about items that are now wikified. In some cases I have noticed specific texts get cloned from original sites at universities or labs onto wiki pages. And when that happens, each text loses part of its value. Since search engines are now more likely to point you to the wikified versions, the Web has lost some of its flavor in casual use.

When you see the context in which something was written and you know who the author was beyond just a name, you learn so much more than when you find the same text placed in the anonymous, faux-authoritative, anti-contextual brew of the Wikipedia. The question isn't just one of authentication and accountability, though those are important, but something more subtle. A voice should be sensed as a whole. You have to have a chance to sense personality in order for language to have its full meaning. Personal Web pages do that, as do journals and books...

...The Wikipedia is far from being the only online fetish site for foolish collectivism. There's a frantic race taking place online to become the most "Meta" site, to be the highest level aggregator, subsuming the identity of all other sites.

The race began innocently enough with the notion of creating directories of online destinations, such as the early incarnations of Yahoo. Then came AltaVista, where one could search using an inverted database of the content of the whole Web. Then came Google, which added page rank algorithms. Then came the blogs, which varied greatly in terms of quality and importance. This lead to Meta-blogs such as Boing Boing, run by identified humans, which served to aggregate blogs. In all of these formulations, real people were still in charge. An individual or individuals were presenting a personality and taking responsibility.

These Web-based designs assumed that value would flow from people. It was still clear, in all such designs, that the Web was made of people, and that ultimately value always came from connecting with real humans.

Even Google by itself (as it stands today) isn't Meta enough to be a problem. One layer of page ranking is hardly a threat to authorship, but an accumulation of many layers can create a meaningless murk, and that is another matter.

In the last year or two the trend has been to remove the scent of people, so as to come as close as possible to simulating the appearance of content emerging out of the Web as if it were speaking to us as a supernatural oracle. This is where the use of the Internet crosses the line into delusion...

(Bold emphasis on above excerpts is mine) Lanier has some other interesting insights into such things as the popularity of prematurely embracing the concept of AI (artificial intellegence), and the resulting lowering of standards; about the collective "hive" mind vs the individual, the dangers inherent in that and what might be done about it. Some good food for thought, as so many of us these days turn to the internet for information.

Related Link:

Wiki page entry for Jaron Lanier

Friday, June 23, 2006

Burden our soldiers; an anti-war strategy

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. One of their links is an editorial in Business Day. An excerpt:

...The grisly deaths of two American servicemen show how hard it is to fight a war in which the enemy knows no rules and civilians can't be distinguished from combatants. Maybe it's time to make it easier.

There's a method in the madness of those who kidnapped, tortured and murdered Pfcs. Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Thomas Tucker, 25, who were manning a Baghdad checkpoint with a comrade who was killed in the assault.

The jihadists want to give momentum to those in the U.S. such as Rep. John Murtha and Sen. John Kerry who want to bring the boys home either now or by a certain date. ...

This is a war where terrorists routinely kill innocent civilians and booby-trap their bodies so others will die as well. They use civilians as shields and masquerade as civilians, hoping overly cautious Americans will become their next prey. They follow no rules. They wear no uniforms. They could be behind any door. They could be the next person you see. They could be the last.

As war critics mourn three jihadist suicides at Gitmo, we have three dead soldiers who might have met their fate simply because, after Hamandiyah and Haditha, they took too long to determine if their kidnappers were friend or foe. If they'd killed their assailants, would they now also be accused of killing "innocent" civilians?...

(Bold emphasis mine)Our anti-war movement in the west is perhaps the enemies most potent weapon. How long can a house divided against itself stand?



Thursday, June 22, 2006

Democrats inability to recognize the enemy

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. And Congrats to Cox & Forkum for their Noah Bee Award, which called my attention to this 2005 cartoon. You can visit the post to find links for their other two winning entries.

I like this cartoon a lot, because it captures so well the lefts inability to perceive dangers that are painfully obvious to the rest of us. It's this very tendency towards self destruction that is draging the Democratic party down, destroying their ability to be an effective opposition.

We're at war, and they want to focus on socialism. In France, the communists embrace the Jihadists as allies agains the status quo. Socialists all over Europe have tended to do the same, not understanding that the people they embrace as allies do not share their goals.

They should heed the example of Iran. The Ayatollah Khomeini came to power with the aid of a coalition of socialists, communists and assorted liberals. They believed he would continue with a secular government. He also promised to provide Iranian citizens with free telephone, heating, electricity, bus services and free oil at their door steps. The leftists could not resist.

But of course Khomeini kept none of these promises. In fact when he achieved power, he abolished secular government, created an Islamic Theocracy and made Sharia law the law of the land. He crushed or liquidated his gullible coalition partners, who had been far too willing to believe what they wanted to hear.

The old adage that people who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them, is as true now as it ever was.

Dee at the Chatterbox Chronicles is having good rant today:

For some more good pics and links, check out her post:


Both the Democrats withdrawl resolutions they submitted today failed. Get the latest updates HERE. Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for the link and photo.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Enabling Terrorism

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. An excerpt (from Caroline Glick):
...[E]very cent transferred in "direct aid" to the Palestinians is money that will prevent Hamas from failing. Every well-fed Palestinian welfare case will be a vindication for the Palestinian people's decision to vote Hamas into power. Every penny of Western and Israeli aid tells them that they may both escalate their war against Israel while officially joining the global jihad and eat well on the Israeli/ American/ European dole...

I've been saying this for ages. WE, the west, enable terrorist groups like Hamas by giving them money to live on, so they can then devote their time and resources to terrorism. The rest of the Islamic world can give them welfare if they want to. Why should we? If they had to WORK for a living, they might find they have less time for terrorism, and more incentive to co-operate with Israel and work to build a future where they can support themselves.

In Other News:

...This isn't the first time we've heard such talk from The Poodle. But the fact that he wants the United States to fully surrender to the Islamic terrorists in Iraq can mean only one thing: John Kerry has joined the insurgency in Iraq. OK, so he's only an affiliate member without full Terrorist Club privileges, but, after all, their goals are his goals...the anti-American rantings on Islamic websites sound just like Democratic Party talking points.

Democrats are desperate. They are absolutely and fully invested in our defeat in the War On Terror. They not only don't want the United States to win, but they're rooting for the other side. It's all they have this fall. Take away the war in Iraq at the polls in November, and the Democratic Party has nothing else save for their big-government agenda. What do they stand for? What is their vision for America? All we hear about over and over is that the troops should be pulled out of Iraq. And they act like our successes in Iraq never took place...

...But pay special attention to the media coverage of this incident, while it lasts. You will absolutely never hear the words "Islamic" or "terrorists." All the press will call them is "insurgents." But that's really not true. The killers of these men were Al-Qaeda terrorists...which we know are mostly foreign fighters. There just seems to be a great reluctance on the part of some of those who bring us the news to actually admit that Al Qaeda is active in Iraq! Remember ... the party line has long been that there was no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Some don't want that party line blurred with facts.

I predict an early demise of the story about these two savaged Americans. This is the kind of news story that would make people good and mad about the Islamic terrorists we're fighting in Iraq. This is also the kind of story that might make people second-guess their opposition to the war in Iraq. After all, if this is how our boys are being treated, we absolutely need to stay and finish business. Leftists in the media want to run stories that encourage us to run ... not to stay and kick some jihadist ass. Let's see if there's anything in the news about these two men on Friday...


An excerpt (from Military vet Jeff Emanuel):
...Interestingly silent on this and other atrocities carried out by the insurgents in Iraq are the “human rights” groups who seem to spend every day accusing the United States of torture, war crimes, and various human rights violations. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called the Iraq war “illegal,” and John Pace, former UN chief of Human Rights for Iraq, has said that human rights conditions are “as bad now as they were under Saddam,” but was it America that filled mass graves with hundreds of thousands of murdered Iraqi civilians? Last month, Human Rights Watch again accused the US of “brutalizing Muslim suspects in the name of the war on terror,” but how many times have Americans strapped bombs to their own chests and purposely detonated themselves in a large crowd of civilians? Amnesty International’s website highlights America’s use of “torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” against terrorist captives, but how many prisoners—Muslim or otherwise—have Americans brutally beheaded?...

Bold emphasis mine. Hat tip to Nealz Nuze and Michelle Malkin for the links.

But there is more... lets not forget the GOOD news:

Hat tip to The Chatterbox Chronicles for the Cartoon. Be sure and vist Little Miss Chatterbox's good news post:

The Good News Just Keeps on Coming!!

It has some great links, and may add a lift to your day. It has to mine!


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Democrats fight for the enemy


Related Links:

The Democrats' withdrawl conundrum
...Our forces found revealing documents in al-Zarqawi's hideout, including one that appeared to express al-Zarqawi's opinion that the insurgents were losing the war and steadily weakening.

The document was a validation of the president's war plan from the very beginning. Remember when he said we would fight the terrorists on multiple fronts, including diplomatic, financial, intelligence and military? Well, the document said the National Guard had succeeded in forming an enormous shield protecting American forces and substantially reducing their losses. It said the insurgency was being damaged by our military's program to train Iraqi security forces, our massive arrests and seizures of weapons, our tightening of their financial outlets and our creating of divisions among their ranks. In desperation, Zarqawi confessed that the terrorists' only hope to regain the upper hand and reverse "this crisis" was "to involve the U.S. forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups."

Zarqawi thus acknowledged that his side is losing the war. Just think if during the Cold War we had discovered secret Soviet communiques revealing that Khrushchev was just kidding when he said to the United States, "We will bury you." But leave it to prominent Democrats like John Murtha and John Kerry to offer the beleaguered and now dead Zarqawi another out: withdrawal of American troops. It's as if they're saying to Zarqawi's ghost, "Don't worry, Abu Musab, we'll take care of this for you. There is another way. We can surrender."

On "Meet the Press," Murtha, after saying that Bill Clinton made a correct decision to "change direction" when he had actually cut and run in Somalia, said (referring to Iraq), "There comes a time when you have to say to yourself, 'OK, we've done everything we could do, we can't win this militarily.'" Zarqawi must be rolling over in his grave -- with posthumous joy...

Weak Democrats like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton emboldened our enemies to believe we are weak, and the Democratic party continues in this tradition and takes it even further, supporting the enemy against our troops.

'Iraq war' truth squad
...We will not encourage the Iraqis to “get their act together” by convincing them they will shortly be abandoned to contend with the myriad enemies at home and abroad who wish to snuff out their fragile experiment with democracy and freedom. It is nonsense – not to say insufferably condescending – to ignore a central reality: People like those of Iraq, who have long been traumatized by despotic misrule and the existential threat it can pose at any time, simply will not line up with the cause of freedom unless they have reason to believe it is going to be the winning side.

If the Iraqi people abandon the opportunity we have helped afford them – a chance for a future that is far more peaceable, prosperous and free than anything they have known before – far more than just the loss of an ally and a model for the region will occur. Our mutual enemies around the world, be they al Qaeda operatives, Baathist irreconcilables or the sectarians and their foreign sponsors, will be vindicated in their belief of our susceptibility to defeat, and emboldened to pursue it far beyond Iraq, including here at home.

This is not idle speculation or fear-mongering for short-run political effect. To the contrary, it is the confident prediction and stated goal of bin Laden, the late Abu Musab Zarqawi, Wahhabi imams in Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah and Hamas terror leaders in the Levant and Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, among others...

The Democrats learned nothing from the Iranian revolution, Somalia or 9-ll. Losing is something they are very good at, and the only contribution they have to bring to this war.

Our Kidnapped Soldiers Murdered
...Even with as story as horrible like this, MSM can't even devote a single story to the sacrifice of soldiers like this who die at the hands of the enemy. Instead, the Washington Post in this instance, fill the rest of the article with various and sundry attacks on other soldiers, those accused of murder, the calls from the Italians for prosecution of a soldier, etc. They can't have, you see, anyone thinking sympathetically about U.S. soldiers. Nope, they'll try to nip that right in the bud...

Bold emphasis on all the above excerpts is mine. Sheesh.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Forked Tongue Promises

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Farm Report 06/18/06

Cecil The Rooster Loses His Head

Here is a photo of Cecil in his younger days. Here he is with his two wives, Alfie and Bettie:

He was our first rooster, and a magnificent specimen of his breed. He was a lion of the bird world, brave, strong and aggressive. Qualities that are very much an asset in the wild... but unfortunately, a liability in a farm chicken coop.

You can read Pat's post about the event HERE.

The day after Cecil lost his head, his wife Bettie died. But it wasn't from a broken heart... the autopsey showed that it was from a broken egg, that had ruptured inside of her and damaged her internally. It was most likely caused by Cecil jumping on top of her; he was considerably larger than the two leghorn hens. She died before we realised she how sick she was.

We had to keep the leghorns with Cecil, because they were vicious towards the other birds. Perhaps we should have chopped Cecil sooner, but we had no room in the Freezer. Live and learn.

Alfie, without team mates to help her bully, has calmed down and changed her ways, and is re-intergrating with the rest of the flock:

Little Bertie the Bantam Rooster watches her closely, and corrects her if she gets too upitty with the other females. The little bantam hens are also quite fierce, and hold there own with her. The pullets are more easily intimidated, but Bertie considers them part of his flock now, and is protective of them.

Meanwhile, the first set of fledglings from the bantam chicks have been moved into a partitioned section of the coop:

They share it with a new young chicken, Maria Callas. Maria is a small black hen, a replacement offering from the local farm store, when we told them that two of the chicks we bought were roosters, even though we had paid the higher price to get hens.

Maria is smaller than our pullets, yet bigger than the Bantam fledglings, so she is staying with them until she gets bigger.

We call her Maria Callas because she has an unusual talent; she sings! And trills, too. Her songs are almost as good as the canaries we keep in the house. The trills are very endearing:

"Bunty", the buff colored runt, has been keeping Maria company evenings and nights. In the morning she likes to go back with the flock, to maintain her presence in the pecking order. In the evening she usually joins Maria.

Today we added more fledglings, and Bunty didn't like them so it looks like it's just the fledglings and Maria for tonight:

The smallest, newest fledglings were huddling together on the ground, so Pat put them in a nesting box for the night:

Aren't they cute? But for how long? Some of them are roosters!

The two pullet roosters, Dumb and Dumber, have been separated out for now. Dumb is trying to learn to crow, but it sounds more like a baby elephant:

Dare we keep one of these barred rock roosters, and hope it won't be as brutal as the Rhode Island Red? All I can say for sure is, the chicken coop is much more peaceful without big roosters mixed in. Note the fierce faces:

It looks like the subject of roosters and their fate will continue to be a topic on the Farm Report for a while yet.

I'm going to end the report with this picture I found on the internet, of a rooster and his hareem:

I think it's great, I love that strut. Can anyone think of a good caption?


Friday, June 16, 2006

Environmentalism as Religion

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

There is a great deal of information that challenges the theory of global warming. The sun itself goes through cycles of burning hotter, which of course will cause warming on earth, regardless of what we do here; there have always been cycles of storms and Hurricanes, it's not new; the polar ice caps melted in the 1930s to a degree even greater than what they have done now, even though pollution was much less back then. The levels also rebounded, because it's part of an apparent cycle. The list goes on and on.

Pollution, for it's own sake, is something we all ought to be concerned about. We recycle. Clean air and clean water are good things, and most people wouldn't deny it. That's called honest environmentalism. But the left too often uses Environmentalism as a Cover for Collectivism. Al Gore, being a good Democrat, is doing precisely that, with religous ferver. Facts be damned.

Related Links:

My recent interview with Al Gore
Hilarious. And all too believable.

A religion or a cult?
David Limbaugh looks at liberal positions in the media, and the irrational cult-like mentality with which they are defended. Some excerpts:

...Let's start out with the truism that Cindy Sheehan and the 9/11 widows are entitled to an abundance of sympathy because of their losses. Perhaps they should even be given some slack for saying offensive things in the height of their grief.

But what about when they deliberately and repeatedly inject themselves into the public vortex by issuing vitriolic, malicious slander against the president of the United States, such as calling President Bush a terrorist, or embracing foreign, America-hating dictators like Hugo Chavez? Do Americans have a right to call them on it? Can Sheehan or the "Jersey Girls" say anything, no matter how detrimental to America's image or national interest, without fear of contradiction?

Should we nod with feigned approval at the irresponsible statements of Congressman John Murtha or Senator John Kerry because they were in combat? Conversely, should those with no military background be foreclosed from the public debate on the war, as "chicken hawks"? Preposterously, liberals answer yes to both questions.

But the more important point is: Liberals don't really believe that the opinions of veterans or family members of war victims are entitled to deference or "absolute moral authority."

As usual, the liberals' outrage is highly selective. It is not the people or their circumstances that are sacrosanct, but their liberal positions.
Liberals accorded none of their precious war-hero deference to John O'Neill and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Indeed, they called them liars -- when they weren't -- and much worse. They have savaged combat-decorated Marine Ollie North. They have no use for retired generals supporting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Not on their lives would they defend 9/11 widows or mothers of war victims in support of President Bush's war effort.

Nor is it harshness, offensiveness or insulting tones that bother them; otherwise, they'd have to denounce 90 percent of the Democratic Party's leadership for the vicious slander they've hurled at George W. Bush for six years or at Justice Clarence Thomas. They would excommunicate from their movement cartoonists for their racist depictions of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice...

(bold emphasis mine) It's the concepts of the leftists, like their selective outrage, like people they try to use as "human shields" who can't be questioned, and the dishonesty about their real agendas behind what they are doing, that caused me to abandon the Democratic party long ago. I used to be a Democrat, but they are now controlled by collectivist liars and worse. I despise them. One last excerpt:

...You dare not challenge liberal orthodoxy; otherwise, you are fair game for the very kind of mistreatment, abuse and intolerance they profess to decry in others...

Yep! Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. It's the pot calling the kettle black. The only real debate that happens nowadays seems to be in conservative circles. The left is too dominated by the Thought Police, who spend their time trying to silence dissent in their own ranks. Is it any wonder that there are so many Democrats who vote Republican? They don't feel welcomed in their own party.

David Limbaugh has more to say about what the leftist Dems are doing, and he hits the nail on the head, it's worth reading the whole article.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

European Media and doctored photographs

The blog Brussels Journal has an interesting post called Seeing Is Believing?, which deals with altered photographs in the European Media. Some examples:

There are even more people duplicated than the circled ones. And this next picture, from when King Albert and Queen Paola visted Flanders, is hilarious:

It seems the Belgian Royal family is not popular in Dutch-speaking Flanders, so the media "filled out" the crowd; but they didn't realise (or didn't care) that they had duplicated the queen from a different angle, making Queen Paola Twice a Queen. There is a whole crowd in the background is turned toward the 2nd queen; there is even a micrphone boom aimed towards her. Did the publisher really think nobody would notice that?

Here is a photo of the Spanish Royal Family:

It would seem that the King is missing a leg:

Royal Leg Gone Astray.

I find it amazing that any publication would try to pass off fakes like this. While I'm sure many people might not look closely and notice, some people certainly will. And what do these doctored photos say to the readership of the publications they appear in? Something like: "We are publishing these fakes, because we believe our readers are too STUPID to even notice". Showing contempt for your readers is hardly a good way to market magazines or newspapers, IMO.

The Brussels Journal is one of my favorite sources for European news, so I am adding a link to it in my sidebar.

The blog's editor, Paul Belien, is currently being threatened with prosecution over homeschooling his children. Here is an excerpt from a blogpost by his wife, Alexandra Colen:

...My husband, a lawyer by training, and I, a former university lecturer, have homeschooled four of our five children through high school. These four have meanwhile moved on to university. Our youngest child is also being homeschooled, but she has yet to obtain her high school certificate, for which she is currently taking exams. Like her four siblings she takes these exams before the Central Examination Board (CEB), an institution run by the Ministry of Education. The Belgian Constitution, written in 1831, allows parents to homeschool. The CEB exists to enable people who have not attended or who have failed school to obtain an official high school certificate.

Since we started homeschooling in the 1990s the homeschooling movement in Belgium has been growing. The number of homeschoolers is small, comprising only 202 children in primary school and 311 children in high school. Nevertheless the figure has quadrupled in the past five years, as parents are seceding from the official schools where drugs and violence are rampant and pupils are indoctrinated with political correctness and socialism.

The fact that a growing group of children seems to be escaping from the government’s influence clearly bothers the authorities.
Three years ago a new school bill was introduced. The new bill refers to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and it obliges homeschooling parents to fill out a questionaire and sign an official “declaration of homeschooling” in which they agree to school their children “respecting the respect [sic] for the fundamental human rights and the cultural values of the child itself and of others.”

The declaration does not specify what “respecting the respect for the fundamental human rights and the cultural values of the child itself and of others” means. It states, however, that government inspectors decide about this and adds – and here is the crux of the matter – that if the parents receive two negative reports from the inspectors they will have to send their child to an official government recognized school.

My husband and I have refused to sign this statement since we are unwilling to put our signature under a document that forces us to send our children to government controlled schools if two state inspectors decide on the basis of arbitrary criteria that we are not “respecting the respect for the fundamental human rights and the cultural values of the child itself and of others.”

According to the Ministry of Education we have violated the law. The judiciary asked the police to take down my husband’s statement, but he refused to sign any document. He was informed that he might soon be taken to court.

Last month Michael Farris, the chairman of the American Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), warned that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child could make homeschooling illegal in the U.S., even though the US Senate has never ratified this Convention.

According to some activist judges the UN Convention is “customary international law. [...] The fact that virtually every other nation in the world has adopted it has made it part of customary international law, and it means that it should be considered part of American jurisprudence.” ...

(bold emphasis mine) This is pretty scary stuff. The creepy UN is spreading it's tentacles.

You can read the whole thing, with embedded links, HERE.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The valor blindness of the MSM

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

Here is an portion of an excerpt they did from an LA times article:

[I]f the "chattering classes" ever wonder why those of us in the military family sometimes bitterly resent the media, they need look no further than the "Haditha story." What bothers me is that I haven't seen one recent story dedicated to the heroism of our troops given such consistent prominence in The Times or other leading papers. Nor have I read a front-page headline about a military medal ceremony and the story behind it, although every year I see front-page treatment in The Times of who wins the Oscars. ...

Related Links:

Haditha: Is McGirk the New Mary Mapes?

Evidence accumulates of a hoax in Haditha. The weblog Sweetness & Light has done an estimable service gathering together the articles which cast substantial doubt on the charge of a massacre of civilians at Haditha . Because the blog is too busy gathering and fisking the news, I offered and the publisher accepted my offer to put what he has uncovered in a narrative form.

Having done so, I can tell you that the story has a whiff of yet another mediagenic scandal like the TANG memos or the Plame “outing.” While the Marines quite correctly will not comment on the case pending the outcome of their investigation, I am not bound by those rules, and I will sum up the story for you...

Haditha a hoax? This is worth reading.

Hat tip to for the link. You can read her blog post about the story HERE.

And from Michelle Malkin:

American troops in shackles

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Murtha's Judgment...

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE.

One of their links is to a letter to the Washington Post, from
Ilario Pantano, a former platoon commander in Iraq. An excerpt:

A year ago I was charged with two counts of premeditated murder and with other war crimes related to my service in Iraq. My wife and mother sat in a Camp Lejeune courtroom for five days while prosecutors painted me as a monster; then autopsy evidence blew their case out of the water, and the Marine Corps dropped all charges against me ["Marine Officer Cleared in Killing of Two Iraqis," news story, May 27, 2005].

So I know something about rushing to judgment, which is why I am so disturbed by the remarks of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) regarding the Haditha incident ["Death Toll Rises in Haditha Attack, GOP Leader Says," news story, May 20]. Mr. Murtha said, "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

In the United States, we have a civil and military court system that relies on an investigatory and judicial process to make determinations based on evidence. The system is not served by such grand pronouncements of horror and guilt without the accuser even having read the investigative report...

You can read the whole letter here:

Mr. Murtha's Rush to Judgment.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Our soldiers under attack... by the MSM

I'm posting three links on this topic, the first from Michelle Malkin, about one American Soldier's fight against charges of murder. He won, but at great personal cost:

...Blog readers will be familiar with the basic true-life military and courtroom drama that Pantano endured last year. Last spring, Pantano was fighting for his life—charged by the U.S. military with premeditated murder in the deaths of two Iraqi insurgents. The Marine sniper who enlisted at 17, served in Desert Storm, and rejoined the military after 9/11 at 31 faced the death penalty for defending himself and his men in the heat of battle. He was accused then, as Marines are being accused now, of wantonly executing Iraqis to send a message.

Lt. Pantano and his family fought back...

The details are disturbing. Michelle recently met Pantano and his family, and is now reading his recently published book about his ordeal. You can read the whole of her article HERE.

An excerpt:
...A sergeant in charge of a squad of Marines in Haditha puts it plainly: his unit did not intentionally target civilians, the military rules of engagement were followed and the Marines did not try to cover up the shootings. This according to the attorney of Staff Sergeant Frank D. Wuterich. He says the Marines were going house-to-house after insurgents were firing at them from inside one of those houses. The bottom line: "clearing" the houses...that is neutralizing any threat...was part of the rules of engagement. Some innocent people may have died...but that doesn't pertain to whether or not these Marines did their job...

You can see the full post with embedded links HERE.

And from Tammy Bruce, a story you won't likely hear in the MSM:

An Iraqi Girl and Her Teddy Bear Save American Troops

From a soldier in Iraq. An excerpt:

...On one such patrol, our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported a little girl sitting in the road and said she just would not budge. The command vehicle told the lead to simply go around her and to be kind as they did. The street was wide enough to allow this maneuver and so they waved to her as they drove around.

As the vehicles went around her, I soon saw her sitting there and in her arms she was clutching a little bear that we had handed her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, I radioed that we were going to stop. The rest of the convoy paused and I got out to make sure she was OK. The little girl looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward me. As I knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed to a mine in the road...

As Tammy says:

God bless our troops, Teddy Bears, and little girls everywhere.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Farm Report 06/11/06

The Three Stooges make their transition.

The three young roosters known as Curley, Larry and Moe, yesterday morning made their transition, from this...

To this...

The journey from coop to table was rather arduous. I shall have to go into the gory details sometime, but I'm just too tired right now!

The pieces on the table are only about half of what we got, the other half is in the fridge. We had to end up skinning them, because the plucking didn't go so well, especially the one I did... it was the first time I ever plucked a chicken, and, well, I made mistakes. Here is a photo...

The one hanging in the center is the one I did. Notice the tears in the skin. I tried to pull out too many feathers at once. I'll know better next time.

Perhaps we should have soaked them a bit longer. Pat's and Andy's came out better, but we still thought there were too many feather points embedded, so we decided to skin them. Andy starts with the one I did first, since it had the most damaged skin:

At this point, the chicken is starting to resemble the kind of product you would get at the supermarket. Before this, it's heads, feathers, blood... another story for another time. It was only now that I got the stomach to get the camera out. But after the skinning, comes the gutting... of which I didn't take any photos, so you will have to use your imagination. I'm pressed for time today, so I'm gonna just skip to the end of this story...

... which is dinner! By the end of the slaughtering and dressing the chickens, I thought there was not much meat; it hardly seemed worth it. But this chicken has very different qualities from store bought chicken. It's very filling. Because it had no skin, we had to fry it in batter. It will be interesting to see what a properly plucked roasted chicken would be like. Perhaps next time.

In the meantime, it's a relief to be rid of the three stooges. They were so cute and friendly when we first got them. But as they got older, and that rooster personality and agression came forward, I couldn't wait to be rid of them. They killed chicks. They fought with each other, and all the others. They had to be isolated together, and then they were becoming more difficult to handle. They started to bite me. In a way that was fine; it made it easier to slaughter them. But they weren't especially bad, they were just being roosters. Now I know why so many people eat the roosters; they are too big a pain to keep around.

In the wild, I think the alpha rooster mates with the females, and chases the other males away to the edges of the colony. They live on the fringes, and protect the colony. When the alpha rooster gets old, a challenger from the younger ones takes his place.

This pecking order works well in the wild, but is a nightmare in a farm situation. In confinement, the roosters can't get away from each other and fight. On a farm, chickens have to be confined most of the time, so you can collect the eggs. A rooster is not needed, except for breeding.

We have two more roosters, who were supposed to be hens with the sexed chicks we bought. I've isolated them now because they were causing problems. We call them Dumb and Dumber.

The only rooster I'm willing to put up with is Bertie Rooster, because he's only 8 inches tall (10 when he struts). And speaking of which...

A Star is Born

Bertie Rooster has become impossible to deal with, as his already inflated ego has swelled with pride due to the publicity generated by his attack on Miss Peace Moonbeam's friend Scooter. For those who missed it, you can read about the whole diabolical story here:

The Peace Moonbeam Chronicles: Rural Oregon

Here is a photo from that story, of that silly "Scooter" person whose eyes were nearly pecked out by Bertie:

Well thanks to Scooter, I think Bertie has developed a taste for human blood. He has started to bite my hand when I feed him. I think I'm going to have to dig out the my toenail clippers and trim his beak again.

Here he is, literally lording it over Cecil Rhodes, our largest rooster:

Bertie is also so smug because he has fathered such a lot of chicks recently. Here is a photo of the older ones:

Here is a photo of the youngest ones:

I think there are about 29 so far, with another dozen or so on the way. It's an invasion!

We "candled" the remaining eggs, found 4 definite duds, but most seem to be developing. Andy determined that there were now fewer eggs than hens needed to sit on them, so he gave Zsa Zsa Gabor her redundency notice. He put her back into the general population, and she was extreamly put out. So much so in fact, that she managed to sneak back into the nesting area. We think she did this buy pretending to take a dust bath near the door, then actually half buried herself and hid. Then she must have ran through when one of us steped through and our back was turned for a moment. Either that, or she has a magic invisibility cape like Harry Potter.

Several days later, Tannie and Aida Lota Slugs got into a major bitch fight like two roosters; I think they were fighting over eggs to sit on. Tannie got her face bloodied, and so I voted Aida off the Island. She went back into the general population, along with Zsa Zsa again for good measure. Now the only nest sitters are Tannie, Smokey and Turendot.

That's the chicken report. Now, onto the other poultry...

Water Babies

The phrase "water off a duck's back" is no longer just a metaphore to me, it's something I get to see several times a day now.

The first time I filled the pool for the ducks, I filled it completely to the brim. They would dunck their heads in it, but would not climb in or stay in if I placed them there. I emptied it to just a few inches, and they liked that for a while.

Recently I filled it to the brim again, and they dove right in. Now when I let them out of their pen, they go running to the pool, in joyous anticipation.

They can't seem to get enough of it. They bathe and dunck and spash around. They eventually get out and forage in lawn. When I try to get them back to their pen, they quickly dive into the pool again for one last splash-fest.

The still photos don't capture the beauty of the motion of their movements; it's like they become one with the water and the waves they are making. It's very soothing and relaxing to watch.

They also have a repetoir of sounds they make, sounds of contentment, which is also soothing. When they are done bathing, they like me to throw weeds and slugs in the water, so they can go foraging after them. In this photo, it looks like the dog is stalking the ducks, but he was just sniffing around when I called his name to make him look up at the camera.

It's Duckie Heaven here at Robin's Wood. End of farm report!