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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogging Lunacy

OK, the Internet is rife with sites that aren't exactly intellectually challenging, as amusing and entertaining as some of them may be.

For instance, there's

Or, if you're so inclined, you can visit the Peeps Bunny Survival Tests

And then there's Weird Auctions. Or the Ig Nobel Awards

Yep, there's a wealth of odd sites out there. Odd blogs, too, like Nuclear Bob's Shirt of the Day, or THIS IS FUN TO MAKE A BLOG ON THE COMPUTER WEBSITE

Joining the ranks now, if you can believe this, is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yeppers, he's got a blog. In his first post, he regales us ad nauseum with heart-wrenching tales of his poor upbringing:

During the era that nobility was a prestige and living in a city was perfection, I was born in a poor family in a remote village of Garmsar-approximately 90 kilometer east of Tehran. I was born fifteen years after Iran was invaded by foreign forces- in August of 1940- and the time that another puppet, named mohammad Reza – the son of Reza Mirpange- was set as a monarch in Iran. Since the extinct shah -Mohammad Reza- was supposed to take and enter Iran into western civilization slavishly, so many schemes were implemented that Iran becomes another market for the western ceremonial goods without any progress in the scientific field. Our Islamic culture would not allow such an infestation, and this was an impediment in front of shah and his foreign masters’ way. Thus, they decided to make this noble and tenacious culture weak gradually that Iran be attached strongly to the west as far as its economy, politics, and culture was concern. After the implementation of this policy and the unreal and outward of upswing, the villagers began to rush to the cities.

To be honest with you, I was waiting for a sort of "Doctor Evil" moment. You know, this sort of thing:

"The details of my life are quite inconsequential.... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a 15-year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize; he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes, he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament... My childhood was typical: summers in Rangoon... luge lessons... In the spring, we'd make meat helmets... When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds — pretty standard, really. At the age of 12, I received my first scribe...." and you know the rest.

Then again, they don't sound that different, really... and our burgeoning blogger does apologize for the fact that his first post is a bit long. He promises to shorten things up in the future. I can hardly wait.

To check it out, go here:

** Look for the little flags on the upper right to translate the page into the language of your choice **

UPDATE: According to several sources, including this one, our Iranian friend's blog has a nasty surprise for Israeli visitors clicking on links there...and may have the same little viral gifts for others. Proceed with care.

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 14, 2006) - President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld greet service members at the Pentagon. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen

Air Fares for Active Troops

Received Via Email:

Our military is not "flying free" as most Americans believe. As a majority of the airlines do not provide discount fares for the military, the men and women actively serving our country are paying for their own flights home during leave and - in many instances - are paying higher fares than most of the public. The reason for this is that they are unable
to book their tickets in advance as their leaves are not always granted 21, 14 nor 7 days in advance.

All too often, our military are not informed of their leave dates until the last minute. Then they frequently cannot afford the "walk up" fares. As a result, many family members have difficulty seeing their sons or daughters as neither can afford the airfare. In other instances, parents are paying exorbitant airfares to bring their children home before their deployment-worrying that this may very well be the last time they see them.

Please sign the Military Airfare Reduction petition to to ask the government and 11 major airlines to provide military discounts to those on active duty. Many are unable to fly home because of the inability to afford the airline rates.

Please sign this petition in the hopes of showing our military who serve in place of those of us who will not fight our appreciation for their service and dedication.

Sign the petition online at:


Related Link:
Soldiers' Angels collects donated Air Miles to help our Heroes fly home in cases of emergency, or to help families visit wounded Heroes. To learn how you can help, go here.

RIBBON CUTTING – U.S. Army Capt. Shelia Matthews, civil military operations officer, cuts the ribbon at a sewing co-op opening in Zafaraniya, Iraq. Multi-National Division – Baghdad soldiers completed several beautification and improvements projects throughout the month of July. U.S. Army photo

In Today's News - Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Quote of the Day
"God's promises have come true...On one side, it's corrupt powers of the criminal U.S. and Britain and the Zionists .... with modern bombs and planes. And on the other side is a group of pious youth relying on God."
-- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
on the Hezbollah "victory" against Israel

News of Note
Mid-East Ceasefire
Israeli Troops Draw Down
Syria's Assad: U.S. Plan for Middle East an Illusion
Reporter's Notebook: Cease-fire on the Ground
Germany edges toward sending troops to Lebanon - Video
Refugees head home - Video
Israel plans to withdraw in under 10 days
Life back to normal in northern Israeli town
Aid groups hunt for those trapped by Lebanon war - Video
Full coverage: News, videos, blog posts (Reuters)
Palestinians seek abducted journalists
Bush says Israel defeated Hezbollah
Rockets Hit Lebanon Despite Cease-Fire - Video

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Shiites, Kurds Attempt to Oust Sunni Speaker
15 Dead in Shooting, Blast
Suicide bomber kills 9 in Mosul - Video
Army Recalling Troops to Iraq

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Report: Airport Scanners Can't Detect Explosives
Flights Nixed in UK Despite Easing of Security Rules
Bush to Get Update From Counter Terror Team
Australia wants new charges for Guantanamo inmate Video
Top Muslim policeman slams UK "terror profile" plan
US citizen may be among Nigeria hostages: embassy - Video
Charity chief's arrest unrelated to U.K. plot: Pakistan

Worldwide Wackos
Cuban State TV Airs Video of Castro on His Birthday
Iran Unveils Exhibit of More Than 200 Holocaust Cartoons
Iranian missiles ready to hit Tel Aviv says cleric - Video
Bush says Iran must stop support for armed groups

Politics / Government
Babies and balloons: US campaign hits middle America
2008 presidential contenders swarm Iowa fair

Hurricane Season / Mother Nature
FBI: No terror groups in cell phone case
FEMA changing locks on trailers
Houston: Katrina Evacuees Partly to Blame for Crime

Orangutans Go Online to Find Dates in Dutch Zoo
Breast implants save woman's life?
Current events dwarfed by pop culture...
Bringing back the woolly mammoth - maybe

Fox News
U.S. More Diverse, Census Survey Shows
Fast Facts: Survey's Findings
Dell to Recall 4.1M Batteries in Notebooks
Exploding computers a 'risk'
Japan Tanker Spills 1.4M Gallons of Oil After Collision
Mother of Cocaine-Positive Toddler Remains in Prison

Reuters: Top News
Phonak team disbanded after Landis positive test
Japan PM defies China, S.Korea with war shrine visit - Video
Mugabe says army will "pull trigger" on opponents
USDA says bird flu case no risk to humans
Car buyers are happier, but Detroit lags: survey
Scientists urge deep-sea cure for climate change
Prehistoric Australian giants starved: study
Google Maps offers discount coupons for US stores
On the move, Chinese prostitutes raise AIDS risk
AIDS sufferers bemoan lack of drugs in China
AIDS focus shifts from treatment to prevention
Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson split
Couric working behind the scenes at CBS
Nasdaq opens up more than 1 percent
Dell shares slip after recall
Wal-Mart shares fall
Deere shares drop after results
TriPath Imaging shares jump
Fed pauses, investors shouldn't
On the radar: Honda
Producer prices barely rise in July
Car buyers are happier, but Detroit lags: survey
Home Depot posts profit rise
Monsanto to buy Delta and Pine

AP World News
Inflation rises on wholesale level
Sheen, Richards amicably resolve issues
Leinart gets $51 million from Cardinals
NASA borrows ideas from Apollo program
Tigers stop slide at Fenway, top Red Sox
Seau's fist-pumping NFL days finally end
Palm Spring prostitution ring busted
60 puppies perish in Mass. trailer fire
Chicago schools lose desegregation rules
4 aboard plane die in crash near prison
Study finds states saving more money
Recruiters' Tactics Questioned
VA Upgrades Data Security
Raptor Operators Answer Critics
DoD Mulls Options for Future Spy Plane

CENTCOM: News Releases


Training team supports exercise in Kyrgyz Republic
See photos from RC 06
Media Roundtable for Multinational Experiment Four - photos
Command surgeon, wife participate in week-long bicycle ride across Iowa
Command begins contract pre-solicitation process
USJFCOM Army Staff Sergeant receives Senior Military Member of the Quarter Award

Department of Defense
Pace Focuses on Human Dimension - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Security Forces ‘Fly Away’ to Support Mission - Story
Marine Artist Renders Fallen Iraqi Hero - Story
Al Rasheed Renovation Nears Completion - Story
Medical Project Treats Villagers in Kenya - Story

Operation Combs Al-Doura Neighborhood
Helping Iraqi Youth ‘Best Part of My Job’
Combat Zone Ingenuity Protects Marines

Training Academy Gets New Motorcycles
Coalition Teams Treat Afghan Patients
Meeting Clairifies Reconstruction Team's Role

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Officials Identify Casualties - Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
1057 - Macbeth, King of Scotland, is slain by the son of King Duncan.
1519 - Panama City is founded.
1620 - The Mayflower sets sail from Southampton with 102 Pilgrims.
1748 - The United Lutheran Church of the U.S. is organized.
1858 - Regular mail wervice to the Pacific coast begins.
1863 - The Submarine HL Hunley arrives in Charleston on railroad cars.
1864 - The CSS Tallahassee captures six Yankee schooners off the coast of New England.
1870 - The Transcontinental Railway is completed.
1893 - The U.S.'s exclusive rights end in the Bering Sea.
1901 - 30 tons of nitro destroy Arch Rock, seen as a danger to San Francisco Bay shipping.
1914 - The Panama Canal opens.
1918 - "The Sinking of the Lusitania" - the first full length cartoon - debuts; the U.S. and Russia sever diplomatic ties.
1945 - South Korea is liberated from Japanese rule; U.S. wartime gasoline and oil rationing ends.
1947 - India becomes independent, with its Islamic area becoming Pakistan.
1948 - Republic of Korea (South Korea) proclaimed (National Day)
1957 - USAF Capt Joe B Jordan reaches 31,513 m in F-104 jet fighter
1960 - The Congo (Brazzaville) gains independence from France ; a UFO is sighted by three California patrolmen
1970 - Patricia Palinkas becomes the first female professional football player (Orlando).
1971 - Bahrain gains independence from Britain.
1974 - South Korean President Park Chung-Hee escapes assassination.
1978 - The House of Representatives approves a 39-month extension for the ERA.
1979 - Andrew Young resigns as ambassador to the U.N.
1986 - President Reagan decides to support a replacement for the Challenger Space Shuttle.

1688 - King Frederick-William I of Prussia (1713-1740)
1769 - Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor (1804-13, 1814-15), resident of Elba
1888 - T.E. Lawrence Tremadoc (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia), soldier/writer
1892 - Louis-Victor due de Broglie, physicist, Nobel Prize winner (1929)
1947 - Manley Lanier "Sonny" Carter, Jr., USN/astronaut (STS 33)
1950 - Princess Anne of England

1935 - Wiley Post & Will Rogers killed in plane crash in Alaska
1975 - Sheikh Mujibur Rahiman of Bangladesh killed in a military coup
1991 - Marietta Tree (UN Comm of Human Rights), dies at 74

Reported Missing in Action
Hicks, Terrin D., USAF (MD); RF4C shot down (pilot), reported Killed

Shanahan, Joseph F., USAF (IA); RF4C shot down (navigator) released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive as of 1998

Becker, James C., US Army (TX); UH1H shot down during extraction mission (pilot); KIA, body not recovered

Schmidt, Peter A., US Army (WI); UH1H shot down during extraction mission (door gunner); KIA, body not recovered