July 07, 2005

We are with you, Britain

We hold you in our hearts and minds and prayers.

Let us all stand together and cry No More!.

Let the words of France and Spain and Russia and Germany be more than the empty platitudes they proved to be not very long ago, on another black day.

Let us all join together to hunt down and destroy the cowardly forces of barbarism currently cloaked in jihadist Islam.

Let the terrorists resposible for planning and carrying out the attack in London be fearful — Britain has sometimes been likened to a slumbering giant, but never forget that the British once ruled most of the known world.

You have pricked the Lion.

Awake, Britannia. You will not fight alone. America is with you.

(Yes, yes. This means that I'm back. Civilization Calls will shortly have a new face, but the general thrust will be the same.)

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posted by Linda at 04:55 PM : Comments (4) : TrackBack

December 09, 2004

A Soldier's Last Request

UPDATE: Blackfive updated his original post with a link to Spc. Mahlenbrock's hometown paper. People wishing to make contributions may send them here:

Maple Shade High School
David Mahlenbrock Memorial Fund
180 Fredrick Ave.
Maple Shade, N.J. 08052

Condolences may be sent to the family, care of the funeral home mentioned in the article.

Blackfive writes to elicit our help in making sure that a warrior's last request is honored.

Specialist David Mahlenbrock was killed by an IED in Kirkuk, Iraq on December 3rd. He is survived by his wife, infant daughter, parents, and siblings -- one of whom was born only a few weeks ago. He wrote a letter to be delivered to his squad in the event of his death, which reads (in part):

Dear 1st Squad,

If you’re reading this, then I’ve died for our country. I just hope it wasn’t for nothing.

After the IED went off yesterday, I wanted to write this in case something happens to me. There are a few more letters that I’d like you to give my wife and family.

I’d like to have a military funeral, but, if you can work please make sure that Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” is played at the ceremony in addition to the bagpipes. If they won’t let it happen, that’s ok, thanks for trying…...

I know that all the belongings I have here will go to Melissa, but there are a few more things I’d like for you guys to make sure she gets. I have a dog tag w/ our picture on it along w/ some pictures and an American flag in my left breast pocket. There is also a can that says “Son” on it that Melissa’s parents gave me that I’d like for them to have, and that angel stone should go to her grandma and grandpa Snow.

Now if I died w/ blue eyes (one blew that way and one blew the other way) and there’s nothing really left of me, that’s ok, I know you meant well.

Alright, enough with the dead guy’s last request, there’s a lot of thank you’s I wanna say to you fellas……

David will be laid to rest at 10AM, EST on Wednesday, December 15th in Arlington National Cemetery. His family and friends are asking radio stations to play Toby Keith's "American Soldier" at 1PM, EST that day.

Please email or call the radio stations in your area and ask them to play the dedication to David. Blackfive invites us to copy his post to send to them.

I've already emailed K99 in Greeley, Colorado. Please do the same in your neck of the woods.

Thanks, team.

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posted by Linda at 09:16 PM : Comments (3)

November 11, 2004

Veterans Day

Dear American Veterans,

I woke up a free woman, today. I can speak and write freely, without fear. I can practice my religion without persecution, and pursue my happiness without fetter.

I can travel wherever I wish without interference, and with my husband, raise our child according to our sense of principles and honor.

I can work whatever job I wish, dress as I please, and keep and bear arms. I can laugh, scream, dance, run, play, and sing as my heart moves me.

That is all possible, thanks to you. Thank you.

All my love and blessings forever,
"Civilization Calls"

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posted by Linda at 07:39 PM : Comments (0)

November 10, 2004

Happy Birthday, USMC!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, Marine Corps!
Happy Birthday to you.

November 10th is the official birthday of the US Marine Corps. Two hundred and twenty nine years later, they're still a jewel in the array of our armed forces -- some of the toughest, best, and most honorable men and women on earth.

While I was safely at home, tucking my daughter into bed last night, I thought of all our soldiers, sailors, and Marines out there, fighting, bleeding, and dying for my freedom, and that of my child. You are the men and women who make it so she sleeps securely at night, surrounded by people who love her. Thank you, and Semper Fi.


From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli,
We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea.
First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.

Our Flag's unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun.
We have fought in every clime and place, where we could take a gun.
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job, the United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps, which we are proud to serve.
In many a strife we've fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven's scenes,
they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

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posted by Linda at 04:30 PM : Comments (3)

November 09, 2004

Marines Sing in Fallujah

If this video linked by Blackfive doesn't lift you up, then perhaps nothing can.

The Marines are singing in Fallujah. Victory is surely at hand.

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posted by Linda at 07:20 PM : Comments (17)

November 02, 2004

With An Eye To the Future

(Hat tip: David of Ripples.)

Fifty Reasons Why by Vanderleun at American Digest.

His post summarizes everything I've been trying to say for the last two years.

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posted by Linda at 04:39 PM : Comments (3)

October 21, 2004

Some of the Strongest Women on Earth:

Marine Corps Moms

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posted by Linda at 04:29 PM : Comments (0)

October 13, 2004

A Real Baby Killer

Another mass grave was found in Iraq, with bones of toddlers still clutching toys, the bones of unborn babies, and the bones of women clutching infants who had been shot in the back of the head.

Try telling me Saddam Hussein isn't evil. Try telling me that we weren't justified in ending the rule of that fucking psychopath. Try telling me that it's "all" about the oil.

Just try.

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posted by Linda at 06:16 PM : Comments (8)

August 20, 2004

In Which Linda States It The Way She Sees it...

Patricia Ann Miles' body was found in Arkansas, and I'm sick with helpless rage. The rush of emotion: horror, and sorrow and pity and empathy for what her poor mother must be going through inevitably brought me to thoughts of what it is we're fighting for, anyway?

Some days, it seems so dark. Everywhere I look, I see another account of horror; another child is hurt, another man loses his life. Then there are the politicians, using good and evil as flashcards to advance their own agendas, and I see the darkness and the light in these men, and I have no choice but to choose the man whose inner light is brighter than his darkness, and I revile the other man with every fiber of my being.

So what are we fighting for? Why are we involved in "imperialistic" activities in the Middle East? Why do other political entities repudiate us?

It comes down to protection. Our national emblems represent a deep-seated conviction. Here, in America, is refuge for the downtrodden and dispossessed. Of all the nations on earth, this is the one where anyone, from anywhere, can come and succeed or fail by their own lights. This is the one place on earth where an immigrant can come, and during his or her own lifetime, become one of us: an American.

It's worth defending. Our very spirit is one of shelter. We welcome those without a home. Of any place on earth, this is the one that is closest to the dream of the Shining City. We welcome and protect those who are weaker than ourselves.

So, we fought in WW I and in WW II. We fought Korea and Viet Nam and Gulf War I, and now we fight the War on Terror. We fight to protect ourselves, and the small ones in our midst: our children, our mothers, our elderly and infirm. We fight in foreign lands to keep danger away from our home towns, and we even fight to protect the people of lands ground under the heel of despotism and facism.

We went most recently to Iraq because there was a chance that their despotic leader had weapons he could use against us. Our duly elected President, George W. Bush, led us into Afghanistan and Iraq in case the intelligence was true. It's better to be wrong than to lose thousands more countrymen. Bitten by 9/11, we weren't going to let that dog close with us again. Since we were going anyway, we could do something for the people of those two lands. Some of us realized that although the political structures of those nations had to go, the people weren't to blame. It was that concern for the helpless that kept us from pushing the "Instant Win button". The human atrocities committed by the Taliban and Saddam Hussein in the years leading up to the invasion are well-documented, no matter how hard the press and politicos try to hide and forget about them, now. So, we've put an end to the rape gangs and human shredders and the blinding of toddlers because Daddy one day passingly questioned an edict of Saddam's.

They can hate us. It's OK. We've still done them a service. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are alive today; unabused, free of rape, and whole of body, with food to eat because we came along. At the rate Saddam was going, those folks would be rotting in a mass grave somewhere. We intervened the same way in France sixty years ago. They revile us now, too, and I wonder how much of that dislike is due to their own shame because they didn't have the power to free themselves without a leg up from us.

Abu Ghraib acknowledged: I have damned the perpetrators of those heinous activities before, on this blog, and Gods damn them for it as well. They are a disgrace to their uniforms and their country. They betrayed the most basic precepts of human dignity and liberty; ideals upon which this nation was founded. Damn them. May they end like the dogs they are.

'Hatred!" Someone will scream, "She's engaging in hate speech!"

Perhaps, by a narrow and uneducated definition, I am. I hate anyone who would hurt a child. I hate anyone who would commit rape or murder. I hate someone who would hold the entire population of a nation under his thumb -- and by that I mean real repression, Iraqi-style; not the free dissent of ideas and opinions like we have in this country. Last time I checked, we were all still locked in acrimonious debate about what this nation should be, and exccept for those who commit violent acts, no one's been hauled off in the dead of night.

I hate people who use violence to impose their theopolitical views on others. Yes, I hate terrorists. I hate the very idea of Hamas, Hizbollah, al Qaeda, Al Aqsa, and the PLO.

I hate anyone who would harm someone weaker than themselves. I hate anyone who uses fear and propaganda to cow others. I hate liars, traitors, thieves and thugs.

That seems like a lot of hate, doesn't it? Maybe it is, but my hatred of evil, destructive people is only counterpoint to the love I feel.

I love my family. I will do anything to protect them. I love my friends and countrymen, even the ones I've never met, and yes, even the ones with whom I passionately disagree. I love my home, my gods, and my country. I will fight anything that threatens them.

That's why we Americans fight, when it comes down to it. Our richness has given us a vision of greater love, greater empowerment. We see someone who doesn't have it, and we want to share. It feels so damn good to be free that we can't stand it when someone else doesn't have what we have. We'll work to remove the block so they can breathe without fear, and have hope in the dawn.

With that said, I hope you'll understand what I mean when I say that I hope someone shoots Patricia Ann Miles' killer in the head. It may not bring her back, but it'll keep another child from being harmed by the same animal.

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posted by Linda at 07:18 PM : Comments (0)

August 17, 2004

Terrorists Intimidating the Media

Via Honest Reporting, we have another gem of an article this morning:

The Intimidation Continues

"...Two days after the liberation of Baghdad, a senior news executive at CNN disclosed that his network had for years been sanitizing its reports from Iraq. In an op-ed column titled "The news we kept to ourselves," Eason Jordan confessed that CNN routinely chose not to report on the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein's regime. To have revealed the truth, he wrote, "would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."

Suppressing news by threatening reporters with violence or death is one of the dirty little secrets of Middle East journalism. In his 1989 memoir "From Beirut to Jerusalem," Thomas Friedman wrote that "physical intimidation" was a major impediment to honest reporting from Beirut during the years when southern Lebanon was in the grip of Yasser Arafat's PLO.

"There were...stories which were deliberately ignored out of fear," Friedman admitted. "How many serious stories were written from Beirut about the well-known corruption in the PLO leadership...? It would be hard to find any hint of them in Beirut reporting before the Israeli invasion." Instead of reporting what they knew, journalists censored themselves. "The Western press coddled the PLO," Friedman acknowledged. "For any Beirut-based correspondent, the name of the game was keeping on good terms with the PLO."

My question is, how much do they continue to suppress? From scoops picked up on blogs around the blogosphere, as well as from voices like Alaa at The Mesopotamian, it's apparent that it's rather a lot.

In fact, the article from Honest Reporting (Go. Read. It.) gives us a glimpse:

The ongoing intimidation of journalists removes the presumption that media coverage is fair and unbiased, as Jacoby writes: 'Journalists like to cultivate a reputation for fearlessness, for a publish-and-be-damned commitment to putting out the story no matter what. The reality is not always so heroic.'

With the magnitude of this problem, one can't help but wonder if some important stories are being suppressed, for example:

August 2: Palestinians accused of aiding Israel are attacked first in a PA prison, then gunned down in their hospital beds. Imagine the outcry in the media and from human rights groups if Israeli troops were to storm a hospital and open fire within! But was this story even mentioned on your local news?

July 22*: When a Palestinian teenager tries to prevent Palestinian terrorists from using his family's backyard as a base for rocket fire into Israel, the teenager is shot dead by the Hamas terrorists. Did this story make your local news?

August 11: After terrorists from Yassir Arafat's Al Aqsa Brigades detonate a bomb at the Kalandiya checkpoint, killing two Palestinian bystanders and wounding more than 10 others, the head of the Jenin branch of the terrorist group apologizes, explaining, 'We didn't expect people to be killed.' And the PA cabinet secretary shows callous disregard for innocent life by stating, "These groups must avoid every spot where there is a possibility that a Palestinian will be there."

Yet news outlets such as Reuters ignore these statements, choosing instead to print PA Prime Minister Qureia's boilerplate announcement that the attack merely 'harmed Palestinian interests.'..."

So, what does this mean?

This means that anyone who relies on mainstream media for their worldview is not getting the whole story, and that everyone should dig deeper to find out the whole story, garner their own understanding, and research every side of any topic.

To be anything less is to be the mind-slave of resources who are self-admittedly tainted.

(*I edited their original link, finding another online reference at Haaretz. This one is in English. -- L.)

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posted by Linda at 06:30 PM : Comments (0)

June 30, 2004

PSA: Yield to Emergency Vehicles

I'm frankly shocked to be in position where I feel that I must post this entry.

My husband was just coming down from one of the reserviors in our area. There was a huge accident up there a short time ago. Three ambulances, six fire trucks, and a slew of police vehicles were on the scene. My husband pulled off onto a shoulder of a blind s-curve in the road as a fire truck blazed toward the scene of the accident, and saw two bicyclists coming down the curve, in the middle of the road. His window rolled down, he called, "Get off the road! Here comes an emergency vehicle!"

Their response?

"Fuck you!"

He was horrified at their display of defiant unconcern for others, and watched the fire truck swerve wide to miss them, almost resulting in another accident wherein they missed the side of his truck by about a foot.

Further down the road, he pulled off as a police car raced up the canyon. A car was in the intersection, and paused in the mddle of the road when they saw the police car come. The officer must have been doing fifty, my husband reports. Agape, he watched as the car began to make its left turn in the path of the oncoming police car, making the officer have to slam on his brakes so hard that the rear end of the car threatened to break loose.

Seconds count. Emergency response personnel don't pour on the speed for fun. They do it because someone is seriously hurt.

When you see emergency vehicles, have enough human decency to get off the road. I don't care whether you are in your car or on a bicycle. You do not have exclusive rights to the road. Yield to emergency vehicles.

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posted by Linda at 10:38 PM : Comments (3)

June 22, 2004

Bill Hobbs: "Memo to al Qaeda"

This pretty much sums it up:

"...But I bet that, if you blow up an American shopping mall and kill a bunch of innocent American kids and parents while they munch some Chik Fil A, or stand in line at Build-a-Bear or try on clothes at The Gap, a whole lot more Americans are going to reach the tipping point. The one where we say enough is enough, push the Instant Win button.

Don't go there, Al Qaeda.

Don't test our patience.

We Americans invented fast food because we don't like to wait 10 minutes to eat. We invented the microwave because five minutes was too long. We're the land of instant coffee, Minute Rice, disposable diapers, and short attention spans. We like our comedies in 22-minute sit-com increments and our dramas wrapped up in an hour. We complain when our broadband connection takes half a second too long to load a web page, and honk if the guy in front of us doesn't floor it the instant the red light turns green.

Do you really think we have the patience to put up with you for a 20-year war in which you kill us with random attacks on our soil and we bury thousands of dead husbands and wives and sisters and brothers and moms and dads and children and then respond with pulled punches? We don't. We like quick results and - unlike you - in the War on Terror we have the means to achieve them via the Instant Win button."

I was ready to push the Instant Win button on 9/11. Thank the God/s you revere that I'm not the one in charge, and that more patient souls than I are in control of that little red button.

The fact is that Al Qaeda can plot and hope to hit us like that again. I think that it's quite telling that although there have been several alerts since 9/11, thirty-three months have elapsed since a terrorist attack on our soil. Some unsung heroes are doing a very, very good job of keeping us safe.

However, should al Qaeda succeed in their unholy designs and hurt more of us on our own soil, it will signal a death knell for them and thousands of their brethren. The elitists and apologists could whinge all they wanted to, but public opinion would swing vastly toward extermination.

Note to al Qaeda: you have been warned.

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posted by Linda at 10:52 PM : Comments (2)

June 07, 2004


Since hearing the news of former President Ronald Reagan's passing, I've been trying to write something that adequately expresses my sense of loss, and the profound influence his example played in my life.

I cannot find the words. But Bob Lonsberry and James Lileks seem to understand.

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posted by Linda at 05:15 PM : Comments (2)

June 04, 2004

Sixty-six Thousand and Thirty Three

I received a chain email from my father a little while ago. Forwarding chain letters is something I have never been able to break him of.

Yet, this one is different. Sure, it has the exhortation to "pass it on to everyone you know!", but I think in this case, it may be warranted.

The email was a pictorial roll call of our WW II dead, and the French cemeteries in which they slumber. The list is grim and poignant:

  • Aisne-Marne Cemetery: 3,349 Americans killed
  • Somme Cemetery: 2,177 Americans killed
  • Brittany Cemetery: 4,908 Americans killed
  • Oise-Asne Cemetery: 6,253 Americans killed
  • Epinal Cemetery: 5,679 Americans killed
  • Rhone Dragungnan Cemetery: 1,155 Americans killed
  • Lorraine Cemetery: 10,933 Americans killed
  • Meuse-Argonne Cemetery: 15,200 Amercans killed
  • St. Mihiel Cemetery: 4,437 Americans killed
  • Suresnes Cemetery: 998 Americans killed
  • Normandy Cemetery: 10,944 Americans killed

That equals 66,033 American dead who are missing or buried in France. Many, many others made it home, and rest peacefully in their mother soil. The numbers given do not include other brave Allies who also fought and died, to be buried in France.

Sixty-six thousand and thirty three Americans, alone. That is an unbelievable sacrifice, isn't it? Ten thousand, nine hundred and forty-four of these died in Normandy. Every one of those digits has a name; perhaps their faces remain locked in yellowing family albums, or fade in dusty attics. They were men from every walk of life. They were tall, short, slim, heavy, light-haired, dark-haired; brown, blue, and green-eyed. Some were grim, others were merry sorts. Each one had friends, family; things and people they loved.

They are not numbers. They were men who felt that it was their sacred duty and calling to go forth in defense of their world. They fell in a foreign land. Some of us will never forget them.

Fifty-nine years later, in 2003, America asked France to help us put paid to another regime that would have made Goebbels squirm with delight. It was the first time we'd ever asked them for help. They declined, which is certainly their right.

The insult is the fact that the French government did more than decline. They have also sneered, scoffed, insulted, and actively sought to obstruct America from our goal of a safer world; one free of terrorism.

What's more, that government has been implicated in illicit oil deals with the regime of Saddam Hussein. They seek the establishment of an authoritarian socialist government in the form of the European Union, after so many of our own died to give them personal liberty.

The insult is the fact that despite the sacrifice of sixty-six thousand and thirty three men, the French government yet plays nice-nice with dictators and terrorists.

What's more, President Chirac is quoted as having warned East European nations that he would oppose their admission to the EU, if they sided with the US in our War on Terror.

Is this the action of a friend? Are they worthy of the blood our men spilled to free them? That's arguable. Our men in WW II seemed to think so -- Gods rest them.

I will remind readers that several WW II British and American graves have been defaced in the last year. The graffitti was in French.

Sixty-six thousand, thirty three.

Let it sink in.

Sixty-six thousand, thirty three.

To free the French in World War II.

Several ideas have been noised about in the interest of expressing the public's dissatisfaction with the actions and attitudes of the French government. There's an active and voluntary boycott on, even now, of French companies and products. Other folks have mentioned putting together a public fund to bring home the bodies of the men who rest in France. (Where can I donate?) Still others actively work to let their congresspeople know that it is not acceptable to award French contractors with American work of any sort -- especially the mess hall support of our US Marines.

If the idea of France's defection of friendship bothers you as deeply as it does me, there are several things to do. Try them all if you like.

But, this weekend, on June 5th and 6th, remember the men who had the moral fortitude and clarity of vision it took to march on foreign soil, and lay down their lives in the pursuit of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness not only for Americans, but for all people in all lands. Meditate upon courage, conviction, and principle.

Then, if you're as lucky as I, and have grandparents from that era who yet live, give them a call, and let them tell you their stories. You will learn much of self-sacrifice, and what it takes to achieve a greater good in your community and the world.

Sixty-six thousand and thirty three. May I live to be a worthy daughter of such courage.

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posted by Linda at 08:34 PM : Comments (1)
» Who Tends the Fires links with: I fought the "News" and the "News" won...
» Spacecraft links with: 66,033

May 14, 2004


I've been remiss is adding someone to the blogroll. Bastardsword is incredibly well written, stunningly well thought, and gorgeously presented.

He is linked now, and forevermore...

(Note to George: I really, really like the button you made that links back over here. Thank you! I wish I knew how to do that...)

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posted by Linda at 10:12 PM : Comments (0)

April 23, 2004

Friends of Saddam Weblog launched

Friends of Saddam is a new weblog launched to keep us apprised of the scandal surrounding Kofi Annan and the UN Oil for Food Program.

I quote from the article, "The Oil for Food Scam: What Did Kofi Annan Know, and When Did He Know It?" by Claudia Rosett. (Original link pulled from the blog cited above. Note that all emphasis will be mine. -- L.)

It worked like this. Saddam would sell at below-market prices to his hand-picked customers—the Russians and the French were special favorites—and they could then sell the oil to third parties at a fat profit. Part of this profit they would keep, part they would kick back to Saddam as a "surcharge," paid into bank accounts outside the UN program, in violation of UN sanctions.

By means of this scam, Saddam’s regime ultimately skimmed off for itself billions of dollars in proceeds that were supposed to have been spent on relief for the Iraqi people. When the scheme was reported in the international press—in November 2000, for example, Reuters carried a long dispatch about Saddam’s demands for a 50-cent premium over official UN prices on every barrel of Iraqi oil—the UN haggled with Saddam but did not stop it.

Beyond that, Saddam had also begun smuggling out oil through Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. This was in flagrant defiance of UN sanctions and made a complete mockery of Oil-for-Food, whose whole point was to channel all of Saddam’s trade. The smuggling, too, was widely reported in the press—and shrugged off by the UN. In the same period, Saddam imposed his own version of sanctions on the U.S., demanding that Oil-for-Food funds be switched from dollars into euros. The UN complied, thereby making it even harder for observers to keep track of its largely secretive and confusing bookkeeping.

Compelling evidence, which serves to make the UN's involvement in any humanitarian effort suspect. Also damning considering that the press no longer makes a single peep about activities they were formerly outraged over.

Can anyone say "manipulation of public opinion"?

Add Friends of Saddam to your blogroll to keep abreast of this putrid matter.

(Hat tip to David at Ripples)

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posted by Linda at 05:10 PM : Comments (3)
» Spacecraft links with: Friends of Saddam