September 20, 2006

I'm Here... Kinda

Been working like a maniac - was on the phone most of the day (my ears hurt). Now I'm too tired to think of anything to blog.

If I was as smart as this young man I might have a working brain cell or two right now. As it is, I'm beat.

(hat tip Slashdot)

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September 18, 2006

Wrap Up of Trial Number 1

I first blogged about this the other day. The trial of the century? It should be.

Richard Landes of Augean Stables has posted a review of the first trial date. There seems to be much that he found encouraging especially the court appointed official who is supposed to represent the French people at large.

Then came Madame le Procureur de la République. A screen writer could not have written a better speech. All the best tropes of civil society — honesty, accountability, fairness, transparency, context… the dangerous powers of an uncriticized quatrième état (fourth estate)… the right of the public to know, and therefore the responsibility of France2 to show the tapes of their cameraman Talal abu Rahmeh… the fact that what Phillipe had said was in fact defamation of Charles Enderlin’s reputation as a journalist, but that the evidence more than supported such an accusation… that this was not the typical case of libel, where the person slings unconsidered insults at another, but a carefully studied and considered criticism… that any sharp language was more than justified in the context of a case where one wants to attract attention… that it was not malice to want que Charles Enderlin tombe [that Charles Enderlin should fall].

There is far more - go read the rest of the post, hit the links if you are so inclined. But it's nice to know that not everyone in France is ready to roll over on their right to have a reliable press!

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Can You Help?

One of our military families needs your help. Army Wife linked to the latest bad news for the family.

Reid writes, of his wife Ellicia, who currently has a diagnosis of breast cancer (for the second time) , she has recently undergone surgery for the breast cancer. She also has 11 metastatic tumors in her brain, and multiple tumors of the lung. Reid has returned from a tour over in Afghanistan...and the couple has children.

Here's the latest news they received

Ok, we have finally received word back from the military. Hospice care is not covered. Which means, any home care we provide Ellicia here will be out of our own pocket.

This is going to be expensive. So, reluctantly, and humbly, we'd like to ask those of you who stop by...

Please help. Anything will be appreciated. Ellicia will likely need home care as her mind shuts down. And she wants to be at home, not in a hospital... home, surrounded by our children.

If you can help at all - please do. If you are unable to donate, please stop by and leave a comment of support or send an email to Ellicia. It's a hard enough job being a soldier - add this on top and you have a family with the weight of the world on their shoulders we need to help them as much as we can.

Reid has a paypal donation button on his sidebar.

Thank you.

Posted by: Teresa in Life Stuff at 08:21 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 17, 2006

Dinner With Tammi

This evening I headed out to Boston for dinner. Tammi is in town and she was able to sneak away from all the show hoopla to spend a couple of hours eating and talking.

Yes it's true, if you go read her post, she told me she wasn't going to drag her blue jeans along with her this time... so I figured I should wear my decent black pants and a presentable top, which I did. Only to see her walk off the elevator in her jeans. Ha - that'll teach me - always call before getting dressed. :-)

One of the other ladies she works with joined us for dinner. She's a very nice person. We all had no trouble chatting away like mad while we took what seemed like the grand tour to find a CVS, because Tammi needed thumb tacks. We did find them (Yay), then walked back to the hotel so we could find the restaurant where we had decided to eat.

I also got to go see what she sells now as they had things all set up for tomorrow. It's all very fun stuff. I bet they have a blast selling it.

All in all, a lovely evening. I'm glad we had a chance to get together. Boston is a great city. Not the size of Chicago, but it has it's own character and I like it very much. Now all I have to do is figure out how to drive around in the city. It's full of one way streets, not to mention it's not completely a grid... which confuses me no end. But I did (after missing it the first time and having to drive way the hell around the Commons) find the parking garage I was looking for, I'm not up for street parking quite yet. It's all in the practice. Tammi will have to come back again so we can do some site seeing together, not to mention North end restaurants.

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September 14, 2006

It Should Be The Trial Of The Century

But I'm betting most of you don't even know it's happening. First, it's taking place in France. Second, it is the French news media involved in the fray. Neither of these things encourage the US news media to actually... cover the news.

Starting September 14, three Frenchmen go on trial in Paris for questioning the veracity of the 2000 videotape of the putative murder of Palestinian child Mohammed Al-Dura by Israeli soldiers. This tape - promulgated by the French state-run channel France 2 - is often credited with helping instigate the so-called “Al-Aqsa Intifada”. Now, six years later, in the shadow of revelations about media manipulation and “fauxtography” by Reuters and others, these trials take on extraordinary unexpected resonance. Not since the days of Alfred Dreyfus and Emile Zola has the French legal system been put to such a test on basic issues of racism and freedom of expression.

Heaven forbid anyone question whether or not the French news media is telling the truth.

Richard Landes who blogs at Augean Stables has been doggedly pursuing this case. He has the raw footage video and commentary at his companion site The Second Draft. He is currently in France to testify at the trial on behalf of the men accused of "criticizing the French media". Yes folks that is why these men are being tried in court! Ah the enlightened French.

Keep your eye on this case. There are 3 scheduled trials of which the first starts today. (this via Richard who was at the blog meet last Sunday in Cambridge).

It's a scary thing when a supposedly democratic society puts people on trial for daring to question whether or not the press are telling the truth. The fact that this can happen makes me conclude that France is a democracy in name only. After all it looks good in front of the world and in the UN. And in France as in the UN - looks are everything.

Stay Tuned.

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 07:48 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Happy Birthday Harvey

It's my blog daddy Harvey's birthday. He has requested something BLUE. I'm quite happy to oblige and make it a lovely blue day for him.

First the Blue Card from American Express so he can spend money.


Next we have a pretty new blue car.


Then we have the Blue Man Group for his entertainment


And last of all we have lovely lady in blue


Happy Birthday Harvey!

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September 12, 2006

It Boggles The Mind

Beloved husband was listening to an interview on the radio tonight on his way home from work. The person being interviewed is the head of TSA at Logan airport in Boston. Guess how many people TSA employs at Logan... go on guess... more...

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Yesterday's Tributes

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday reading the tributes of the 2996 bloggers. Even with the main web site overwhelmed and crashed, I was able to find more than enough wonderful posts presented. Everyone did an outstanding job. It ended up that I didn't comment on any of them (that I remember). It was too much. I couldn't bring forth the words as the day went on to tell all the bloggers I was reading how well they all did. Nevertheless, they were all excellent.

While I'm glad I did this one thing to honor those who died that day, I don't think I'll be doing anything similar in the future. From now on, I will do what I have done for the previous years and step away from the internet and other media. I will remember the day privately. It works better for me. It's a personal preference on how to deal with these things.

We should never forget, but after taking the time to remember, once again, we need to step forward and take on life.

Posted by: Teresa in Current Affairs at 09:09 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Acknowledging A Hero

In the comments on my Rememberance Post, Skip points to his post where he asks:

In my opinion, if he had been serving in the military on September 11, 2006, for giving his life so others might live, he would have earned The Congressional Medal of Honor. I hereby call upon The Congress of the United States to make such changes to statute as are necessary to make uniformed first responders eligible for all military decorations for courage, at all times when The United States of America is at war, and the response of the first responders can be construed as a part of that war.

I was going to leave a comment for him, but decided this deserved its own post.

Naturally I am looking at this from a civilian standpoint, I have always been a civilian. I hope any military readers I have will comment and tell us what they think... but here's my view.

The short answer is... No, I don't believe that civilians should be given military decorations.

The longer answer would involve the "why" of it.

It has nothing at all to do with the bravery of the police and fire department personel - I think they are very brave indeed to take on the job in the first place. And they will risk their lives in dangerous situations to protect people. But they are different from our military in many fundamental ways. So if they were to receive a special tribute, it should be one that is a tribute specifically for civilian acts of heroism - and they are out there!

The HUGE difference between the heroic acts of the fire and police personel and the men who have been awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions during time of war, is (of course) the venue of the rescue.

When the rescue teams streamed into the Towers five years ago, they were there specifically to rescue as many people as possible, even at the risk of their own lives. However, I am certain none of them was even remotely concerned about being killed by the civilians trying to get out of the building or anyone surrounding the building. They didn't have to carry in rescue equipment AND fighting equipment. They could concentrate on the rescue efforts without considering that an enemy would kill them before they had a chance to effect a rescue or that an enemy would try to kill their fellow rescue workers in the middle of their work. That is the situation a soldier faces every time they go into a war zone.

Just watch the movie Blackhawk Down and try to imagine how the rescue workers might have attempted to get those people out of the Towers if they were surrounded by armed citizenry outside the WTC complex (a la the armed rioters in Mogadishu), waiting for people to leave the building and shooting them on their way out the door! Or even attempting to kill the rescuers on their way IN the door. Imagine if the FDNY had needed to set up barricades and firing lines, just to get their rescue teams into the building. Because we live in America and this is a pretty safe country, no one would even think of such a thing happening at a place like the WTC complex.

That the civilian rescuers are brave even to the point of sacrificing their welfare for that of the people they are helping, is not in doubt. That there should be a very high honor to present to such people, absolutely.

But not the military Medal of Honor. The situations are not analogous and the honors should remain separate.

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More On the Harvard Khatami Protests

I'm a little late, Sol has his post up about the protest on Sunday. He's not only got pictures, but he has some video too! Be sure to go watch it.

I was going to add it to my post from the other day, but that one has dropped down a bit and I don't want you to miss this.

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