Monday, January 16, 2006

Come Visit Me at My New Home!

Hey, gang.. I've finally passed into the world of legitimacy of my own formal website. Please visit me at I look forward to seeing you there! I now have the bandwidth, server capacity, etc., that I'm going to be able to video blog! Have patience, please, as I learn this new "Moveable Type" format. I look forward to seeing you all there, and please feel free to give me feedback (and help!) on my new site!

I have to give credit, where credit is due. Gribbit has helped me A LOT along the way, and is the main designer on my new site. He's had to lovingly coax me along the way, sometimes twisting my arm a bit (LOL), but all the same, I couldn't have dont it without him.

Love to all of you, and see you there! ........Ms. U.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Update on Patriotic Girl, Rachel, in Duluth, GA

Hey, guys & gals.. I'm VERY glad to report this update after my initial post yesterday. The AJC reported a new story today, reporting what's going on now. According to the AJC writer, Steve Visser:
Fourth-grader Rachel Renbarger learned a civics lesson about Old Glory the hard way, but some in Duluth hope she taught adults a lesson about taking responsibility.
"I learned a lot about the flag and how to use it and how not to use it," Rachel said Tuesday. "I respect the flag more than I used to."

Vino Wong / AJC
'I learned a lot about the flag and how to use it and how not to use it,' says Rachel Renbarger (left), who with sister Leah, 7, helped paint a flag on a street in their Duluth neighborhood.
Monday night, Rachel stood before the Duluth City Council, her eyes tearing and voice cracking, and said she and her 7-year-old sister, Leah, had helped paint a huge flag on her neighborhood cul-de-sac and they would remove it. Her actions won admiration from adults and attention from the media.
On Tuesday, CBS and other media outlets contacted the 9-year-old's family seeking interviews.

Parents in her neighborhood had organized the painting as part of a Fourth of July celebration last year. It sparked controversy when some neighbors worried it was jingoistic, and others said it did not show proper respect for the flag.
After school Tuesday, Rachel explained that she and her dad had researched flag etiquette before the council meeting. They learned that an 81-year-old World War II veteran was right to demand the painting be removed because it violated rules protecting the dignity of the flag.
"I knew before the meeting he was right and this was a mistake," Rachel said. "I told him I was sorry and, after that, I shook his hand."
Duluth resident Don Ogden, a prisoner in Germany after his bomber was shot down, praised Rachel's courage and candor for stepping up at the council meeting.
He called the council members and mayor a "little chicken" for recommending that the Stars and Stripes be removed because it defaced public property and could set a legal precedent for street paintings of offensive symbols, such as swastikas.
The politicians, who hail from a Gwinnett County city of 23,000 that proudly displays 600 flags on patriotic holidays, could learn from Rachel how to take responsibility for their actions, Ogden said.
"I love that little girl," Ogden said. "I feel bad because I became their enemy."
Richard Hutchinson, a Vietnam War veteran who organized the painting of the flag, has said the city should leave it alone out of respect for both the flag and the neighborhood's wishes. His wife, Linda, asked the council to take a forgive-and-forget approach to the painting.
Rachel's parents, Randy and Jill Renbarger, said they supported the council's recommendation to remove the painting by April 1.
The Hutchinsons offered to lead the cleanup.
In July, Rachel and Leah painted the stripes the day before the July 4 parade. Nearly 50 children participated in the parade, which ended at the painting on Whitney Place. Each of the children painted one of the 50 stars, Randy Renbarger said.
The Renbargers were surprised when they learned last month that City Administrator Phil McLemore had agreed to order the image removed.
"We didn't mean for it to become a civics lesson, but it turned out to be one," said Randy Renbarger, as he beamed at his eldest daughter.
"I was really proud of her when she stood up at the meeting. She spoke the truth, and she took responsibility."
This may not be the end, but it's at least a great start! I'm starting a personal campaign to see if I can find a local flag pole company who will donate not only a pole, but a flag, and the installation of same on the family's property! I really appreciate you all coming forward to voice your support. I still disagree with the way it was initially handled; but I'm glad the vet Ogden came around and himself found sorrow in the fact he caused her guilt.
I'll keep everybody aprised of what happens here. If I get permission to post her mailing address, I'll also do so here, because I'd like ALL of you to send her your words of support! We need more young Americans like this who are committed to the love of the greatest nation on earth!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

GA Girl Cries "I'm sorry" for Flag Display

Okay, I know that this is not the proper way to display the flag, and it may not BE the most patriotic way to be, but DANG it! Why make a little girl cry and apologize for her patriotism? And from a vet???
According to the Al-Jazeera Constitution ~ahem~.. I mean Atlanta Journal Constitution today, a girl in Duluth got in trouble for painting the American flag on a rock in the cul-de-sac of her neighborhood. According to the story today,

Flag painters' hopes take a scrubbing

Duluth accepts recommendation to remove 'graffiti'
By STEVE VISSERThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 01/10/06

Even in Duluth, a city that prides itself in being the flag capital of the U.S.A., the star-spangled banner can a be divisive symbol — especially when everybody wants to wave it and protect it in their own way.

The City Council recommended Monday that a painted image of Old Glory be removed from a street in Mayor Shirley Lasseter's own neighborhood. Children and their parents had painted the banner the last Fourth of July in a display of civics and patriotism. But the city lawyer warned it could set a precedent for some neighborhood Nazi's planting a swastika or some other offensive symbol on a city street if the flag symbol remained.

The flag issue created angst for the council and the mayor, who elected not to order City Administrator Phil McLemore to remove the painting but instead unanimously accepted the "recommendation" of council member Jim Dugan that the painting be removed by April 1. The politicians thus avoided actually ordering a direct attack on the Stars and Stripes.

Three residents were much more straightforward: Linda Hutchinson, whose Vietnam vet husband had helped organize the flag painting, asked the council to spare the image as a patriotic message to children; Don Ogden, an 81-year-old World War II vet who spent time in a POW camp, demanded the painting be removed because it denigrated the flag; and Rachel Renbarger, age 9, who admitted to wielding a paintbrush, just took responsibility.

Her voice was both humble and candid, and she pretty much stole the show in the small, packed City Hall.

"I am so sorry," said Rachel, her voice cracking and her eyes tearing up. "We will do whatever it takes to remove it — me and my sister. I am so sorry."
Rachel Renbarger, 9, spoke during the meeting and was apologetic to Don Ogden (below) for painting the flag on the road in her neighborhood.

The mayor, the City Council, Hutchinson and Ogden all assured her she had done nothing wrong.
Ogden made it clear he never believed the neighborhood residents meant to defile the flag but had only made an error in flag etiquette, one that deeply angered him. He argued the federal rules prohibit a banner or even its image from being on the ground and at risk of being underfoot.

Don Ogden said the flag painting on a Duluth cul-de-sac was disrespectful.
'It is beautiful, but it doesn't belong
on the ground.'

Hutchinson noted that even if it were a cloth banner, they should have the right to display it in the manner they
"As Americans, we have the right to treat the flag in any manner we see fit," she said "That is what freedom is all about." "The sooner it goes, the better," he said to the council and the public. "It is beautiful, but it doesn't belong on the ground."
The controversy has its roots in a neighborhood spat that quickly spread to the broader Duluth community and beyond. Several people complained to the city administration that it was either inappropriate to paint any graffiti on city property — patriotic or not — or disrespectful to paint the flag on the ground.
The city of 23,000 claims bragging rights as the most patriotic town in America and flies 600 flags on Memorial Day to show its respect, Lasseter said.

Officials at the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars national offices, however, objected to the flag being painted on the ground as degrading the image.
The flag became a controversy when two neighbors complained to the city administrator's office in December that the flag was still there.
Please tell me if I'm in the wrong here, folks.... my heart tells me I'm not, but is there some hard and fast rule about what could and should be the proper treatment of "flags" of this nature? I know I'm not a veteran, but I am a human. Is this an egregious error? What about flag tattoos? Flag bandanas? PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong!
I wonder if the ACLU will be beating down her door to defend HER First Amendment rights? Oh, yeah, that's right... they're too busy with NAMBLA, CAIR and the other folks who are offended by Christian terms and symbols that 90% of Americans want to display.
Please, I'm urging you to email or write the city of Duluth, GA, at least in an effort to try to stop this travesty before it's too late. I am STILL in disbelief that this is happening in the deep south!?!? I know Ogden is a vet, and there are specific ways in which you are supposed to treat the flag, but can't you find some softness in your heart for this patriotic girl who loves her country?
Here is the City's contact information:
For those of you who want to write the Mayor of Duluth, GA, here is the city's webpage:

Here's the info for email to the Mayor & the City Council:

Mayor & Council
3578 West Lawrenceville Street
Duluth, GA 30096

Email Us <----------- Duluth Mayor & Council


Petition to call for ACTION!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mr. Belafonte, Your 15 Minutes of Fame Have LONG Been Up

Folks, we've seen it over and over in the past, where Hollyweird liberals think they are the know-all, be-all sources of intelligence when it comes to military and political matters. Unfortuantely we live in a world that is fascinated by everything that is commercial, entertainment, hype, and general B.S. that matters not one iota to the rest of the world who lives and practices both common sense and realism.

From the AP today, The American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush:
..."the greatest terrorist in the world" on Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including the actor Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West that met the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday. Some in the group attended Chavez's television and radio broadcast Sunday.

"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution," Belafonte told Chavez during the broadcast.

We are back to chapter 1, verse 1 of Harry Belafonte's insane ramblings that our President is one of the world's worst terrorists. Belafonte's rantings are coming straight from Caracas, Venezuela, where he's meeting with the tyrannical despot Hugo Chavez, trying to bring some kind of camaraderie between the two. I don't know about the rest of you all, but I'm SICK TO DEATH of those who decry this very country, in which they enjoy the LEAST repressive government, yet are able to engage in self-sufficient capitalism, and "live large" off of their legacies and tinsel-town accolades (both popularity and financially). If they're so concerned about the poor and suffereing in 3rd world countries, why don't they choose to live as missionaries, give up all their worldly possessions in the United States of America, and go live in poverty alongside their brethren in these African nations in question? I don't expect any of you to be able to answer that question, as it's rhetorical in nature by simple common sense.

You can live in relative comfort, observe political life as it is wherever you are, and pontificate from your place on high - just so long as YOU don't get you
r hands dirty or have to live among the impoverished of the other nations, or even those of our nation. You can't even forego your bodyguards, limo drivers, private plane junkets, and lavish shopping sprees your occupation affords you.

As the old saying goes, "practice what you preach." It's obviously something the left elitists and egalitarians are not willing to do. After all, why would you settle for tap water, when you can get an unlimited supply of Evian bottled water by simply mentioning their name in a TV interview?
Folks, this is nothing more than an orgy of self-importance, greed and gluttony. A trend I see spiraling downward and downward on that out-of-control lifestyle, wondering who will be the first to open their safety chutes (i.e., come to grips with reality) so they can land safely. For the others, there is an upcoming steep cliff as your glider comes in to land, but you're way too low to alight on the surface. You are too far gone and too far below of what it means to be "normal" anymore.

Bottom line should be YOUR bottom line, Hollywood! Yet you don't seem to realize or even
accept the fact that most Hollywood movies are tanking because of the lack of content, blantant vulgarity, lack of family values, and the re-hashing of old TV shows or movies. America is collectively yawning, and it seems there is no amount of Hollywood caffeine that will awaken the American consumer (i.e., buying public) into investing in your typical garbage that's been spewing from Tinsel Town as of late.

Don't you find it odd that the only movies that are coming out on top are ones for the younger generations, or family-oriented fare? Guess not - but then again, you do have those rose-colored glasses on that prevent you from seeing the truth. All you can do is blame Americans for being "out of touch" with what is popular, when in fact, the majority of Americans have NO desire to see a "love story" between two cowboys, or a skewed vision that the PLO members who killed the Israeli olympiads were "freedom fighters" (shades of Mother Sheehan come to mind). Go ahead and nominate that movie for as many awards as you want. In fact, I will bet these movies WILL win many awards, but they won't be for content; they'll be awarded merely to spite the rest of the TRUE mainstream America who cares not one bit about this garbage that spews from the liberal movie studios.

As you've seen in the recent past, not only is movie attendance down for the Hollyweird elite pictures, but the audience has also severely diminished when it comes to Awards ceremonies. We just don't care anymore, and you don't even realize it. We know your game, we know what your message will be, and quite frankly, we are sick of the Bush-bashing that takes place on the podium at every Oscars show that I can remember in the recent past. This next one coming with Jon Stewart should prove very interesting. He, like Chris Rock did last year, will try to make it a show about himself. His firebrand sense of humor and indignation at the Bush Administration will most likely rear its ugly head. Know what I say about that? GOOD! Keep on going. The more you idiots on the left open your mouths, the more we can see the vacuous cavity that contains what is supposed to be your brain and a window to your soul (or lack thereof).

Hope the money from royalties keeps pouring in. You're all gonna need it, because the American public is going to KEEP staying away in DROVES from the theaters, as long as you continue to belch out the garbage you call "entertainment."

Iran's Ahmadinejad - Rewriting Holocaust History

Can things can any weirder with this whack-job? He is actually going to spend money, along with many of his other colleagues to discuss the Holocaust, which they deem as a myth. According to an article on, Ahmadinejad is trying to rewrite history, holding hearings on what exactly is the truth about the Holocaust, and whether or not it ever existed (what is he smoking?).

According to the article:
"President Ahmadinejad has placed at the centre of international attention, a very important question on the truthfulness of the version that Europe and the Zionists have imposed on the world on the murder of Jews during the years of the great war, and therefore we are of the opinion that it is useful and necessary to organise an international conference on that theme, where all the historians and researchers, even those that do not believe in the official version, will be able to express themselves freely," Mehdi Afzali, spokesperson of the Association of Islamic Journalists told Adnkronos International (AKI).

"We want to offer a free and democratic platform to the historians to examine in-depth this myth, seeing that in different European countries there exist laws against democracy and freedom that to do not allow intellectuals who believe in a version distinct from that which is officially pronounced on the Holocaust," added Afzali.

"We will invite those who believe in the imposed version as well as all those who have spent years of their lives in the study of documents related to the Holocaust and have come to the conclusion that the history books in schools and universities do not correspond to the truth," said Afzali, who however refused to supply the names of the revisionist historians who have been contacted to appear in the conference in Tehran. Revisionists are those who deny that the Holocaust ever happened.
The thing that bothers me about this most is, we saw similar signs of lunacy in the tyrannical dictatorship of Saddam Hussein back in the 90s, and we let that boil fester, even after repeated attacks on Western targets. His mass graves display raw evidence of his brutality. Why are we just sitting back idly letting this madman run wild? Just as Saddam was given the time to hide, destroy, or evade discovery of his WMDs (which he had, by the way), the world body is also giving this weird-beard the opportunity to continue his uranium enrichment project, as well as further develop his nuclear arsenal.

Israel did it once to Iraq, taking out their nuclear site before Saddam had a chance to act. But that was ONE site. Iran has MULTIPLE sites, and a unilateral strike by Israel might not be enough. We need to be preparing for the battle that is to come, and political correctness needs to be thrown out with the dirty bath water, never to be seen again.

It is political correctness and the likes of the ACLU that will be this nation's undoing - unless and until good men rise and demand action as opposed to reaction.

Will you be part of that movement? I view it as a duty we have as Americans, and I'm doing my part - I hope you will, too.

New "WMD" Threats to Our Troops

In a Sunday Mirror U.K. exclusive today, it's revealed that Al Qaeda is recruiting members who have AIDS and other blood-borne diseases to take part in homicide bombings. These bombings would, according to the Mirror, cause more damage, as the blood of the bombers would be flung onto the coalition troops as they scramble to fight back. Even the most infinitesimal amount of these diseases can be deadly, and the desparate Zarqawi is using it to his advantage.

According to the article today:

AL-QAEDA is recruiting suicide bombers who are infected with the AIDS virus, according to documents revealed to the Sunday Mirror.

Terror chiefs are also targeting fanatics who suffer other lethal blood diseases such as hepatitis and dengue fever in order to increase their "kill rate" from an explosion. The chilling new threat is revealed in papers distributed to British military camps in Iraq and across Europe.

Under the heading "HIV/Hepatitis" the document states: "There is evidence that terrorists might be deliberately recruiting volunteers with diseases that are spread by blood transference."

Experts have found that bones and other blood-spattered fragments from a suicide bomber could penetrate the skin of a victim 50 metres away and infect them.

You gotta ask youself this: If they are down to recruiting AIDS-infected Al Qaeda followers and others to attack our troops, what does that say about their perceived success in fighting coalition troops? To me, this is a VERY strong sign they KNOW they are losing, and now they're resorting to the bottom of the barrel. The problem with using homicide bombers is that eventually, as with a magazine for a weapon, you will run out of ammunition. That also explains why they've been using women and children to train as homicide bombers - they're running out of young men to perpetuate this Islamofascist thuggery.

This may be a very desparate attempt by Al Qaeda to step up the fight with our troops; but desperate or not, this is a very dangerous situation for our men & women in uniform! Why don't the democraps get it? Zarqawi doesn't care of you're Republican or Democrat - he and his henchmen just want to KILL you (and me)! So, shut up already, and get on board with this global war on terrorism! Whether you on the left like it or not, you're next if they hit us here at home.

Congressman Murtha Gets Called Out

I have been WAITING for this moment since Rep. Schmidt related her message from a Marine to the Congress as they were convened, that 'cowards cut and run, but Marines never do.' Anybody and everybody thought it to be taboo to speak ill of Congressman Murtha, because he was a decorated Marine veteran of many wars, but all of us knew it was nothing more than a smear campaign spearheaded by Nancy Pelosi et. al.

Just because you have medals, are a veteran, and served in wars, does NOT mean you're above reproach! Somehow the left seems to believe you can't be criticized, but yet they enjoyed the spotlight of the Dan Rather CBS memo-gate controversy about Bush's alleged military record during Viet Nam.

Michelle Malkin got it today, from a C-SPAN telecast townhall meeting with Reps. Murtha & Moran in Arlington, VA. Sgt. Seavey got his say before the panel, and it is PRICELESS folks! This is one for the records! Hooah for this Sgt.! I challenge ANYBODY to say HE has no right to criticize a fellow Veteran for his questions/statements at this townhall meeting.

Breaking developement: Sgt. Seavey is not the ONLY one to call Murtha & Moran on the carpet! Here is Viet Nam veteran, General Wagner, who also had a few choice words for Murtha and Moran (courtesy of Michelle Malkin, also).

After watching the video of Gen. Wagner, I'm standing up cheering his words! As Neal Boortz would tell it... "Somebody's GOTTA say it!" And Sgt. Steavey & Gen. Wagner did so eloquently. Isn't it fun to watch the "cut-and-run" wimps from the left squirm? I LOVE it!

Also linked @ Michelle Malkin & PoliticalTeen.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

He Deserves To Be Impeached

Calm down, calm down, you leftie libs out there. Don't get your thongs in a bunch... No, I'm not talking about your favorite target, George W. Bush - I'm talking about Judge Edward Cashman in Vermont.
Apparently Judge Cashman cares not about the letter of the law; he supposedly has found a distorted way to proclaim he's found some kind of delusional conversion to morality. By what means you might ask? He no longer believes in punishment - only in rehabilitation.
Judge Cashman was the presiding judge over the trial of Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston, VT. Hulett is an admitted child sex offender, whose victim was 7 years old when he first starting raping her, and did so repeatedly over and over for the next 4 years.
Cashman feels if Hulett is "subjected" to an extended stay at the Gray Bar Motel, he might miss his opportunity at redemption, salvation, and rehabilitation from his deranged perversion of having sex with children. "The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul," Cashman told a packed Burlington courtroom made up mostly of people related to the victim.
So, in his infinite *cough, cough* wisdom, he sentences Hulett to a horrid SIXTY DAYS IN JAIL! Thereby, after the 60 days, Hulett will be allowed to get out and go to the rehabilitation he deserves, in Cashman's mind (never mind the research and studies that show he is likely to commit this crime again).
How many more Jessica Lunsfords, Polly Klaases, Dylan and Shasta Groenes do we have to have to sacrifice before we wake up? We know we can search and find out who and where they are, but that is conditional on the fact that they register when and where they're supposed to. Do we really want to leave this all up to the honor system of pedophiles? Hell, no! But Judge Cashman is obviously willing to take that chance.
Folks, can you even dig into the deepest, darkest reaches of your psyche and see the demented soul that would seek out a 7-year-old girl and have sex with her? Not only that, but continue to do so until she is more than 10 years old? This, my friend, is a sick, twisted pervert, and should never see the light of day.
Forensic psychologists will tell you there are two types of personalities that you CANNOT change; an asocial sociopath (Jeffrey Dahmer, et al), and a pedophile. It is just something they are; there is no hope for either of them. These are not lifestyles, life choices, or phases - it is just who these people are. No amount of psychological intervention will stop their behavior. Some even think that castrating the bastards will stop it, yet that is unfortunately not true (although it's a pleasant thought to have). For these degenerates, the mind is the most powerful sex object. If they don't have a functioning organ, it doesn't matter. They can still molest, in their minds, and use other things to violate their victims. The pleasure they derive is in the receptors in their brains. They are all about victimization, and even if they can't "achieve" physical "success," they can achieve it by other means.
Although I'm not a clinical psychologist, I unfortunately have some first-hand experience about this crime. In my opinion, the only thing that would/could curb these demons' urges is effeminization - the injection of female hormones to inhibit the testosterone that drives the male urge for dominance and control.
Want to send me the hate male for man-bashing? Go ahead... make my day. I've got a 2-hour story to tell you. And it ain't pretty. least I'm alive. The degenerate I put in prison is doing 55 years, but I was sentenced to life; a lifetime of memories of what happened that night.
I was in my 20s and mostly able to cope with what happened to me. But a 7-year-old girl??? All I want is five minutes with this jackass in a room, and THIS time I'M the one with the weapon!
Also at Stop the ACLU.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hypocricy In Action

Can you believe that now while trying to help re-build the city of New Orleans and other cities in Louisiana, that Gov. Kathleen Blanco is indulging in such blantant and obvious excesses? While she decries the lack of Federal help for her state, she does indulge herself and her staffers with that very money she's crying about not getting enough of! According to today, a Baton Rouge paper:

Blanco orders remodeling just after storms Office tab: $564,838

By MARK BALLARD - Capitol news bureau

Some members of the governor's staff will return from the three-day holiday on Tuesday to newly renovated offices at the State Capitol. Shortly after the two hurricanes, Gov. Kathleen Blanco decided to renovate some of her staff's offices. At the time of her decision, Blanco also was hinting at deep budget cuts to state programs and the possibility of laying off 20 percent of the state workforce.

The project cost $564,838. The newly refurbished office space on the sixth floor of the State Capitol includes hookups and mounts for two flat screen televisions, Swedish granite countertops, walnut paneling and frosted laminated glass.

The floor, which will not be accessible to the public, was redesigned to add three new offices, a conference room and file storage areas. About 20 members of the governor's staff – who focus on constituent services, children's issues, women's policies and other functions – will work on the newly restored floor.

Concerned about the perception of fixing up their office space while slashing others' spending, Jimmy Clarke, Blanco's chief of staff, said Friday the governor's top aides considered not fixing the 6th floor.

But the sixth floor project was bid six days before Hurricane Katrina came ashore near Buras on Aug. 29. Clarke said he became concerned that the state could be sued successfully if the restoration project were shut down.

"We certainly would not have initiated this work post-Katrina and Rita," Clarke said. "Given all that the state faces at this time, these renovations would be a very low priority."

The floor had not been improved since the early 1980s and the space needed to be upgraded to meet safety codes, Clarke said.

Restoration work began on the sixth floor Oct. 10, two weeks after Hurricane Rita struck Cameron on Sept. 24.

The week before work began, Blanco ordered a spending and hiring freeze to rein in state government expenses. Three days after crews started tearing out the old offices, the administration announced that the state's budget would be about $1 billion short because of damages caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

That day, Commissioner of Administration Jerry Luke LeBlanc told a legislative finance committee that the budgets supplying money for public health care and education would need cuts of 20 percent or more and that more that 18,000 state employees would have to be laid off.

All three floors that the governor and her staff occupy saw some upgrades, said William Wilson, director of the Office of State Buildings.

A bathroom was added to the fifth floor and new carpet was added to all three floors, he said. But the sixth floor saw the most work, costing almost $300,000 alone, he said.

"Swedish granite countertops, walnut paneling and frosted laminated glass." What??? Folks, this is the epitome of hypocricy if I've ever seen it. Why do the people of Louisiana keep electing "leaders" like these? It's very clear to me that she obviously doesn't truly care about the people of Louisiana - or else, this more than half a million dollars would be going to reconstrution! UnBELIEVABLE!

Good News from Abu Ghraib - A New Life

I first read about this story in my local Atlanta newspaper, the Al-Atlanta Journal Constitution. This was quite a surprise to me, since the paper generally leans way left of any issues. The original article posted on Dec. 30, 2005 was the original I read, and to my surprise, they've continued writing about this "good news" story from Iraq. The AJC has been typically anti-war and very liberal, so it was a nice surprise to read this.
Out of turmoil comes joy, hope
Iraqi baby's new name: Georgia

Date: December 30, 2005
Baghdad, Iraq -- The first time Georgia soldiers entered her house, Soad was scared. Americans had detained her eldest son for questioning once. She didn't like gun-toting men in camouflage uniforms poking around the family home in Abu Ghraib.
But out of that frightening moment came a gift of joy.
Gainesville-based soldiers of the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade Combat Team promised to help give new life to Soad's granddaughter Noor al-Zahra, born three months ago with a severe spinal cord defect that was untreatable in Iraq."I am so thankful for everything," Soad said. "We will call the baby Noor al-Zahra Georgia.""Georgia! Georgia!" she told her daughters when she called home from Baghdad's Camp Liberty on Thursday. "We want to name her that because the people of Georgia are helping us," Soad said. "It will be a nice name for her."
Just hours before an anticipated departure from Iraq, Soad sat in an Army trailer sorting out a host of emotions racing through her heart.She had never left her family behind or flown on a plane before; the only times she had left Iraq was by car to neighboring Syria and Iran.
Now she was about to travel halfway around the world with a sick child in her arms. She had surrendered her granddaughter's future to people she didn't know in a foreign and faraway land.
"I am amazed bythe generosity of the Americans," Soad said through an interpreter. "They came to my house so many times. They paid for everything."Soad, 45, said she never dreamed that one day she would see the United States. She was excited, even though her trip was under such stressful circumstances. She knew that even with the best medical care, there were no guarantees for Noor.
Military doctors who have examined Noor said she would probably be left with paralysis in both legs. No one knows with certainty whether potential fluid buildup has caused any significant brain damage.
Soad knew, too, that she was putting her family at risk by accepting American help -- insurgents often target Iraqi citizens who are seen as cooperating with U.S. soldiers.But she said she had to take the chance
and accept the soldiers' offer to fly Noor to Atlanta. She could not live with herself knowing that she had not done everything she could to give her granddaughter the possibility of a productive life.
The full names of Noor's family members have been withheld because of security reasons. Soad said she told friends and family that she was going to Georgia, not to America."It can be dangerous for us to be associated with America," she said, fixing the tan, crocheted scarf around her head.
Noor, nicknamed "Baby Nora" by the soldiers, was born with spina bifida. Her spinal cord had not fully closed during her mother, Iman's, pregnancy, leaving a tumorlike growth on her tiny back.Iraqi doctors
told the family that they lacked the facilities to treat the baby and that she would not survive long.
Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment's Charlie Company discovered the little girl during a search of the family's house. They were determined to save her. Noor's father, Haider, 23, cradled the frail baby in his arms, thankful that the medical treatment she desperately needed was finally within reach. He'd spent a good chunk of the afternoon getting Noor's name added to his passport.
He poured hot tea for his mother and the interpreter and occasionally stuck his head out the door to smoke a cigarette. He said he had seen America in magazines and movies. He, like his mother, was incredulous that he would soon be there himself.
Capt. Anthony Fournier, 38, commander of Charlie Company, was optimistic that, after weeks of negotiations and efforts to expedite travel arrangements, Noor and her guardians would arrive in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon.
Late Thursday night, Fournier, a schoolteacher from Augusta, drove to central Baghdad's heavily fortified International Zone and collected the visas that would enable the family to enter the United States.
Soad, Haider and the baby are expected to leave Baghdad today for Kuwait, from where they will board a commercial jet that will fly them to Atlanta.
Childspring International, an Atlanta-based charity that matches sick children from the developing world with U.S. hospitals, has made arrangements for Noor and her family to stay with an Arabic-speaking host family. Children's Healthcare has offered to perform surgery to correct Noor's spinal cord at no cost.
The traditional Muslim family decided Noor's mother, who is only 18, was too young and should not be traveling out of the country. "Iman has been crying a lot," Soad said about her daughter-in-law. "She misses her baby but is happy that she is getting help. She is very young. She doesn't leave the home."
Soad fired off a dozen questions about Georgia. "Where will we stay in America?" she asked. "How will I let my family know we are safe? How tall are the buildings there? What is the weather like?"
She worried about leaving behind the small shop she runs with her sons at Abu Ghraib market. She worried, too, about one of her daughters, Niran, 24, who is eight months pregnant."I didn't have time to make any preparations for her," Soad said.
Charlie Company soldiers traveled to Soad's house Tuesday night to fetch her, Haider and Noor. The family was given minutes to pack their belongings for the long journey ahead. Since then, the three have been housed in a trailer behind Charlie Company's headquarters at Camp
Soldiers have been stopping by to make sure the family has everything it needs.Thursday evening, Staff Sgt. David Squires wished the family a safe trip. "I hated that it took so long to get administrative and logistical things taken care of," said Squires, 47, who works for a hearing aid company in Gainesville.
"We're all hoping for the best possible outcome for this baby. It's our little project here. It's our mark on this country."
Soad sipped her tea and tried to placate her sobbing granddaughter. She held up a small stuffed animal, tickling Noor's cheeks."Georgia," she said. "Look here, Georgia."The baby stopped crying. She looked into her grandmother's eyes -- and smiled.
Three-month-old Noor smiles at her father from the lap of her grandmother at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq, hours before their anticipated departure, ultimately for Atlanta, for surgery.
Soad cuddles her granddaughter Noor in their trailer Thursday at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. "I am so thankful for everything," Soad said. Soldiers from Georgia have arranged surgery for Noor.
(Photos by Curtis Compton of the AJC)
So, you see? We are doing some good in Iraq. And thankfully now, Baby Noor is in Atlanta having the healthcare she needs to treat her spina bifida. All compliments of the U.S. Military.