Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mandatory Good News Report

As a frequent critic of the US government, I am happy to report a success. Law enforcement personnel apprehended individuals with hostility toward and a willingness to attack Americans. The arrests are the result of what appears to be a systematic surveillance of a group of wanna-be jihadis. More of this and less war, please. I think everyone will be safer and happier.

The arrests also show how amateur the would-be attackers were. Making videos? Giving others access to the video? The police had a tip, they and the FBI investigated and pulled a sting. They even had an Egyptian infiltrator. Classic tactic. It worked. That's what I want my public safety officials to do. Stop the bad guys before they can actually pull off their plans. Fortunately, most wanna-be's aren't hard to detect and disrupt but a few have demonstrated considerable finesse and skill. See 9-11. It pays to be alert and pro-active. Also see 9-11.

And remember, these were guys who came out of the blue. Imagine what this kind of talent could do to the not insignificant conspirators that we do know.


Operations sometimes have collateral damage. In this case, that will be Super Mario's Pizza and other food delivery businesses serving Fort Dix and, no doubt, other military bases. One conspirator claimed to know Fort Dix "like the back of my hand" from delivering pizzas from his family's restaurant. Sorry guys.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Light Blogging Ahead

I'm on the road for a few days, delivering darkroom equipment to the Tse Ho Tso Middle School in Fort Defiance, Arizona. In the next few weeks, I am packing and arranging to move to Olympia, Washington. The move is a longtime goal for Maggie and me both. We've been talking about it for a year and a half but events and inertia have conspired to keep us here in Phoenix. Now it's time to force the matter and just go. Damn all the uncertainties and loose ends. If I wait to figure everything out, I'll die in Phoenix.

The darkroom delivery is part of the move. My equipment has been in storage for almost 10 years. Throughout most of my career, I've worked in group darkrooms at community colleges and recreation centers. Having my own darkroom was convenient but I learned a lot more working in a group setting. I found a community darkroom at The Evergreen State College in Olympia that I can use on an occasional basis so I will no longer need my own. One of my friends from the college darkroom in Gallup, New Mexico teaches photography in Fort Defiance and will put my gear to good use.

I leave tomorrow on that long, spectacular drive to the northeastern Arizona. After that, it's on to Washington.

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Paying for CheneyBush's Lies

On the ground in Sadr City:
"What do you want us to accomplish over here? We aren't hearing any end state. We aren't hearing it from the president, from the defense secretary," Sgt. 1st Class Michael Eaglin said in a room cluttered with bunk beds, rucksacks and weapons at the Sadr City outpost. "We're working hard and the politicians are arguing. They don't have bullets flying over their heads. They aren't on the front lines, and their buddies aren't dying," he said, echoing the sentiments of a group of soldiers around him.

"It's almost like the Vietnam War. We don't know where we're going," Spec. Adam Hamilton agreed.

"We're not complaining," Eaglin said. "We're tired of being lost. Have you ever been lost and at the same time getting shot at? It's miserable," he said. "When you paint a car a pretty red . . . it makes you feel good inside. That's what we want with this war. I want to be here for a reason, not just a show of force."

Maybe you already know this guys, but all your sacrifice, courage and dedication have no reason. All the reasons your commander-in-chief gave you and the nation were lies. If you want to be charitable (I don't), the commander-in-chief was wrong. Either way, you won't find coherent for ducking those bullets or bagging up your buddies.

If it's any solace, I've been able to live with that thought for almost 40 years. You can get by but you never forget, either.

I'm sorry. We were supposed to know better.

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