Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gr-grandma and -grandpa Carpenter

This is Cell and Ethel on their wedding day. I like her hair.

Granny and Grandad Staats

This is Claire and Plusha Staats inside their home.

Claire Staats at home

Here's my Great-grandfather Claire Staats in front of his home.

Gr-gr-gr-grandfather Staats

Here lie my gr-gr-gr-grandfather and -grandmother Isaac and Anne Eliza Tolley Staats in the Old Siniaville Cemetery.

Old Siniaville Cemetery

Mom and I found the Old Siniaville Cemetery yesterday, the resting place of Riley and Alice Staats.

Gr-gr-grandfather and -grandmother Staats

Here lie my Great-great-grandfather and -grandmother Riley and Alice Staats in the Old Siniaville Cemetery. The epitaph says: Gone to a brighter home
Where grief cannot come

And here they are in their younger years.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma Carpenter

Someone else in my family must have loved watermelon, too! This is Marcellus "Cell" and Nancy Ethel Carpenter.

Craft Table

Here's the new cabinet under the craft table for Kylie to enjoy when she's at Granny's house.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Kylie's Four!

What do you know? The pictures are working after all. They just don't show up on my preview. These are some shots from Kylie's fourth birthday.

Kylie's Craft Table

When asked what she wanted for her birthday, Kylie said, "A craft table!" So that's what she got--complete with crafts. She jumped up and down with joy when I asked her if she wanted us to all sit down and do crafts with her for her birthday. Of course, she'd rather not have to put up with her little brother joining in.

Kylie's 4th Birthday Party

Friday, August 25, 2006

Lance Appleton

Looks like Lance Appleton is still going strong.
I remember him for his song:


I’m a one-God, apostolic, tongue-talking, holy-rollin’, born again, heaven-bound believer in the liberating power of Jesus’ name.
I’ve been washed in the blood, sanctified by the Spirit.
I believe in holiness, and I suggest that you do the same.
I was set free at a Pentecostal altar on my knees.
Would you pardon me if I’m not ashamed
To be a one-God, apostolic, tongue-talking, holy-rollin’, born again, heaven-bound believer in the liberating power of Jesus’ name?

I never talk to people on the street.
I’m too shy to talk to people when we meet.
But one day out on town square
Bunch of kids were gathered there
Throwin’ beer cans at the law and shoutin’ “Peace!”
Well, I did not intend to interfere
But someone started screamin’ in my ear
So I laid both hands on his head, and I prayed while he turned red
And the other kids said, “Let’s get out of here!”

I never testify at school. I figure they’ll think that I’m not “cool”
But one day I had enough of that evolution stuff
So I stood right up and said, “God’s word is true!”
My teacher did not know what to do
It seemed like she was shakin’ in her shoes
Though she knew I meant no harm, she took me by the arm
And said, “Son, what religion are you?”

I never testify at work, I figure they all know I go to church
But when my boss-man asked me in for a tonic and some gin,
I began to think, “Perhaps he hasn’t heard.”
I said, “No, Sir, I am not the drinkin’ kind.
Excepting for a thing they call New Wine.”
As he lost his cigar smoke, it seemed like he would choke,
I proceeded to explain it one more time.

During his 30 years of ministry Lance Appleton has written over 200 songs. Many of these have been recorded and now for the first time are avaliable for purchace on the World Wide Web.

Since then both of Lance Appleton's children have continued the songwriting tradition and recorded albums with their own original songs. Eric Appleton (Right This Time) in 1998, and Crista (Appleton) Garza (House of Prayer) in 2001.

This is encouraging.

Has Lanny Wolfe repented? He no longer has a gay church website. Instead, he is featured as a professor of music at a Texas Bible college. He and his ex-wife Marietta actually performed together lately at a Jackson College of Ministries reunion. Is she supporting the gay movement, too, or has he recanted?

Former members of the Lanny Wolfe Trio are pictured here with Dusty Wells, Senior Director, National Sales for Word Entertainment. L-R: Gail Elledge Kreason, Dusty and Lori Lewis Carouthers.

On this April evening in Nashville, The Lanny Wolfe Trio sang many of their
big songs, much to the delight of those in attendance for the reunion. Pictured L-R: Gail Elledge Kreason, Lori Lewis Carouthers, Marietta
Webster, Dusty and Lanny Wolfe.

Dusty presented Lanny with an award honoring his work in Gospel music and his tenure and contribution to Jackson College. Pictured L-R: Mareitta Webster, Dusty Wells and Lanny Wolfe.

The Lanny Wolfe Trio performed for the Jackson College Alumni Reunion. Picture L-R are: Lanny Wolfe, Lanita Wolfe (his daughter,) Marietta Webster and Dave Peterson.

Lanny Wolfe is one of Gospel music’s most prolific writers. The music of the Lanny Wolfe Trio has reached around the world to touch the lives and hearts of thousands of people for the Lord. You will remember “God’s Wonderful People,” “Greater Is He” and “More Than Wonderful” among the many songs Lanny has given us.

Dusty Wells, Senior Director of National Accounts for Word Entertainment shared with us a very special “by invitation only” event held recently in Nashville, Tennessee. This inspiring evening took place on April 22 at the Wallace Chapel of Christ Church and was part of the 2005 Jackson College of Music and Ministries Alumni Reunion.

Jackson College has produced such noted song writers and performers as Lanny Wolfe, Geron Davis, Phillips, Craig and Dean and Karen Harding. Lanny was the Dean of Music at the Jackson, Mississippi College for many years, leaving the position about ten years ago. The annual music conferences he conducted at the college impacted many music students over the years and many of those students were in attendance for this evening.

This evening paid tribute to the individuals and groups who graduated and moved on to use their talent to spread the Gospel. Those privileged to attendance this Friday evening enjoyed a “singspiration” featuring many of these singers. Geron Davis and Kindred Spirit, Mark and Lori Carouthers, The James Shockley Trio and Gail Elledge Kreson were among the many singers who shared their talent and reminisced about their years at the school.

The Lanny Wolfe Trio was among those performing. Geron Davis Emceed this part of the program and spoke of the many miles the trio traveled around the world, doing concerts and making music. He also noted the many awards the trio received.

Geron brought Lanny and several former members of the trio to the stage to sing. This included Dave Peterson, Gail Elledge Kreason, Lori Lewis Carouthers and Lanny’s daughter, Lanita Wolfe.

A very special highlight of the evening came when Geron asked Lanny, his daughter and Dave to one last song. They began to sing “Surely The Presence Of The Lord Is In this Place,” and when the second verse began, another voice joined the singing; that of Marietta Wolfe Webster. Marietta, Lanny’s former wife and Lanita’s Mother, was an original member of the Lanny Wolfe Trio and they had not sung together in more than twenty years. The audience quickly responded with a standing ovation, urging the group to continue.

The group sang some of their big songs, including “God’s Wonderful People,” “The Sounds Of His Coming,” “More Than Wonderful” and “Something In The Air” much to the delight of all in attendance.

Dusty Wells honored the work of Lanny Wolfe with an award recognizing his many years of service at Jackson College, as well as his faithfulness to his many fans and friends. More than 500 alumni and special guests were privileged to take part in this awesome evening, and will remember it for a long time to come. Dusty shared several photos for our readers and we hope you enjoy them!

Written by Sandi Duncan Clark

This is a shame.

This is from a discussion forum online.

I had to tell ya'll about my experience this past weekend in Long Beach, CA. My partner and I have only been out a little over a year to our friends and family, and we have gotten involved in a GLBT church in Houston, TX. They make an annual trek to Long Beach every year for this conference, and I was amazed and astonished at the people they had for speakers One was Peggy Campolo, who unabashedly supports gay rights and has for years. Her husband, Tony, does not however. They had Don Milam, a Christian publisher, who over the past 10 years or so, has been brought to a deeper understanding of God's grace and how the church has failed in showing it to gays and lesbians. His granddaughter came out about a year ago, and he was put into contact with the pastor( Sandy Turnbull) of Glory Tabernacle Christian Center in Long Beach, where the conference is held, and she helped him come to grips with his granddaughter's lesbianism. Since then, he has written and spoken about his revelation of God's anointing of gay Christians. Last but certainly not least, Dony McGuire and Reba Rambo-McGuire and their children, Destiny and Israel, provided the praise and worship. I remember Reba Rambo singing with her parents Buck and Dottie Rambo in my teens. For her and her husband to sing in a gay church, and conference was astounding. The most moving and beautiful things at this conference was Saturday night, when Dony McGuire and Reba Rambo invited all the pastors of gay churches that were there, to come up on the stage, remove their shoes and he and his wife, personally washed their feet apologizing for the years he and his wife, and the Christian church at large had thrown stones , maligned God's work in Gay churches, and had excluded and thrown out these pastors and their congregations. He and Reba wept as they washed and kissed the feet of these pastors. He said that over the past year, his church has gone through some tough times because he has invited gay people to come in and welcomed them. Several members have left and he has caught a bunch of flack (sp?) because of his inclusion of GLBT people into his church. Needless to say it was a wonderful experience, and I left with hope that maybe the straight churches are slowly coming around and seeing that God is moving mightily in gay churches.:)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dottie Rambo link

This site has lots of old and new photos of Dottie and her family.

Good Song

Here's a new song I'm learning to sing. It's on a reproduction by the Isaac's.

In God’s Hands

The storms may rage the winds may blow
Cares of life come against my soul
In troubled times I know just where to stand
No safer place to be than in God’s hands.

In God’s hands I’m in good hands
My soul is safe and secure
In God’s hands, sweet assurance
It’s good to know I’m in good hands.

Sometimes it seems a trial lasts too long
It’s scarcely past and I must face another one.
But when I’ve done the very best I can
It’s time to leave it in God’s hands.

Weary and feeble I turn
To the solid Rock strong and firm


My blogger is not posting pictures properly. That's the reason for the lack of color lately.

So I will just ramble about what I've been up to. Virgil and Josiah have been camping out of town working on his sister's house all summer, in between concrete jobs. I helped them a little one day this week, picking up the concrete and throwing it into the Bobcat to be dumped into the dumptruck. I've been doing some fall housecleaning in preparation for back to work at the after school. Back to work also includes doing some shopping for the after school. I love that part of my job. I've also been spending some much-deserved time with my daughter and grandchildren.

Yesterday we went shopping for their school clothes. They're starting preschool at a Christian School. It's hard to believe Kylie will soon be 4 years old. She helped pick out a cute little blue dress, tried it on, and danced like a princess in front of the mirror in the dressing room while Luke looked under all the doors for his Mommy (he'll be two years old in December).

We walked down to the creek while Amber got her hair done. They had to plow through the mud to get to the creek, because the water was low. They didn't like the squishy mud between their toes, so we just rinsed off and put our shoes back on.

Kylie has lots of questions. She's into science right now. We had discussions about plant and animal life, and she was full of "why?"'s. Why does the snail leave a sticky track across the sidewalk? Why don't you like to eat the nuts off the ash tree? Why does the sidewalk stick up and crack beside the big maple tree?
All the while, Luke was picking up sticks, hitting the sidewalk with them, making friends at each house, climbing all the steps, and going up and down all the ramps.

They sure do entertain whoever they're with. Too bad they're not closer so they can entertain me more.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lonesome Meadow

Here's a link to a unique young local bluegrass group. You can hear their music on their website.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Aerial Maps

Look what I found! These load slowly on dial-up, but they're worth the wait.
They have all the sites from schools to cemeteries.

Blind Hiker

Here's the first chapter in a book I will order from the library. This is the only blind person ever to hike the entire Appaliachian Trail.

Bill Irwin - A Man Whose Story Will Change Your Life Forever.

Almost the End
The night of November 4,1990, the radio weatherman told listeners to cherish memories of fall, because a cold front was due in that night. Just before I fell asleep, I heard it arrive - and a cold front in Maine is something to be reckoned with.

It was a fitting prelude to the events of the next day.

During the night, sleet began to pelt the tin roof of the lean-to that Dave, Orient - my dog guide - and I were sharing. By morning, every rock and root outside was covered with a layer of ice.

Dave and I were hiking this stretch of the Appalachian Trail together, and I could tell he was worried about the challenges that lay ahead. We'd have to make at least a dozen river crossings in the next few days, and that would be difficult, even for a sighted person.

For me and Orient, it'd be next to impossible. For the thousandth time, I asked myself what a blind man was doing trying to walk twenty-one hundred miles along a trail from Georgia to Maine.

Next morning, I slipped and fell three times just walking the thirty yards to the creek to get water. Any other day on the Trail, I would have been content to wait in the lean-to for the weather to improve. But now, if the weather changed, it would be for the worse. Every day off the Trail was a wasted day now that we were getting so close to the end. And with Dave along for this stretch, I had a pair of eyes besides Orient's to rely on, and someone to talk to about decisions that could be critical along the Trail.

We started our climb over Moxie Bald Mountain in freezing rain that turned to snow as we ascended. A quarter of a mile from the top, we encountered steeply slanted rock faces covered with three inches of snow. There was no way either Orient or I could scale them. We backtracked and took a blue-blazed by-pass that we had decided against earlier that day. I had tried to stick to the white-blazed Trail all the way, taking the blue-blazed Trail only when necessary. I guessed today the blue-blazed Trail was necessary.

We made only 5.3 miles that day and spent the night in the Moxie Bald Lean-to. Next morning, I broke my nocaffeine rule and started the day with a double hot chocolate fortified with a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee. For the first time since March, I had an intense desire just to finish the hike so I could stop hurting and go home.

But God wasn't through with me yet.

Dave and I set out soon after drinking the hot chocolate, with fifteen miles to go to the small town of Monson. With an early start and plenty of luck, we hoped to make it all the way that day.

Two and a half miles later, after we forded the kneedeep outlet of Bald Mountain Pond, my feet turned to ice.

I had to stop to thaw them out. Dave boiled water for hot cocoa, and I spent an hour rubbing my feet, trying to get them warm enough to let me walk without pain.

We reached the confluence of Bald Mountain Stream and the West Branch of the Piscataquis River late in the afternoon. Two days of rain and snow had swollen the waters to a torrent that we could hear from a distance.

The sun and the temperature were both on their way down, so there was no time to waste. We sat on the bank, took off our socks, rolled our long underwear up as far as it would go, and put our boots back on for the crossing. Dave said the river was divided into three branches, each about thirty feet wide. Although the current was swift, they appeared fordable. I sure hoped so, because I could hear the roar of the rapids not far downstream, where three bodies of water joined together.

I took Orient's harness off and told him to find his way across. He was a strong swimmer, so I knew he could make it on his own.

"See you on the other side, boy," I said, and stepped into the icy stream. With arms linked and packs unbuckled in case we had to shed them in a hurry, Dave and I inched our way across the first thirty-foot span of water. We moved slowly, one step at a time, using our hiking sticks for stability and trying to place our boots against a rock on the bottom before taking each step. The water was knee-deep, but we reached a marshy island without incident.

Halfway across the next section, waist-deep in the strong current, Dave suddenly lost his footing and fell into the water. I could hear him sputtering and thrashing, trying to reach the next island. An instant later, I was swept off my feet and carried downstream.

I went completely under, then bobbed up, lurching and clawing through the current, trying to make it across with my pack, but ready to abandon it if I had to. Meanwhile, Dave had reached the shore. I heard him yelling something, but couldn't tell what it was. The next few seconds were pure instinct and adrenaline.

I was making no headway going toward Dave's voice; the current was too strong. In desperation, I went to the bottom of the stream and tried to pull myself along with my hands, because my feet weren't getting any traction.

When I bobbed up for a gasp of air, Dave would keep talking to me, trying to direct me towards the shore, until my head went back under the water. I felt I was slipping further and further downstream each time I came up for air, and the rapids were nearby.

Finally, after a few minutes that seemed like hours, I thought I was close enough to grab Dave's outstretched hand. I reached out but couldn't find it. The bank sloped up steeply, and I knew I couldn't make it up alone. I started slipping under again, thrashing about for Dave's hand, when all of a sudden I hit a branch. I grabbed it, tight!

Most people would call the presence of the branch a coincidence. I call it something else.

Once I grabbed the branch, I was able to find Dave's hand with my free hand, and he helped me up. I was on the island. Not far below, the roar of the rapids chilled me more than the water had.

Orient, who had crossed safely, quickly came alongside me. He was shaking, too, not from the cold, but from fear.

The final section of the stream was waist-deep again, but calm, and we emerged on the other side, numb with cold and badly in need of a campsite. We were amazed and thankful to still have our packs, but there was no time now to change into dry clothes. We had to get moving. I figured we had an hour until dark and less than that before hypothermia would begin to play its strange tricks on our minds. I asked Dave to look for a level place where we could set up the tent.

We struggled up a long ridge for half an hour, then found an open spot in the thick woods. Numb fingers slowed the process of pitching the tent, but minutes before dark, we were inside, with water boiling on the stove. Orient stretched out between us and gave a big sigh.

Still shivering in our sleeping bags, Dave and I talked about the river and wondered how close we had come to being completely swept away. We kept going back over the crossing, describing our reactions and wondering what else we could have done. If our packs had been lost, we would have been miles from help without food or protection from the cold.

We didn't say anything for awhile, then Dave asked, "How are we going to make it the rest of the way?"

I said, "I don't know."

That was the first time I seriously considered ending the hike. By continuing, I was putting not only my life and Orient's in jeopardy, but also that of a friend.

As I lay there thinking, it seemed a century since I had begun this journey. But I knew that it had been only eight months.

Irwin Associates © 2004

9/11 remembered

The news about the release of the 9/11 tapes renews interest in the tragedy.
You can listen to them on Although I think they bleeped out the actual victims' voices, you can hear the dispatchers replies and get some feel for what the people were going through.
Let us never forget what the terrorists can and will do.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Optical Illusion

Here's a link to an optical illusion that is just too neat!

Unschooling school

The more I unschool, the more I realize how senseless it is to require children to spend countless hours of their valuable childhood memorizing trivia stored on the web and practicing drills which any calculator can mimic.
Instead, children should spend time with a knowledgeable adult or peer learning how to access information on the web, in books and periodicals, and by interviewing knowledgeable people in person, on the phone, by email, or by chatting online. The access of knowledge, once gained, should then be taught in the context of applying that knowledge to making wise decisions.
Job skills which were once deemed to be invaluable in job search are now becoming obsolete more quickly than they can be taught at the educational institutions. Rather than teaching job skills, schools should be teaching skill acclimation, acceleration, and adaptation.
Gone are the days of job security at an assembly-line mass production plant.
In its place are multi-level small businesses and business giants whose goals are to acquire employees with versatile backgrounds who are capable of adjusting to any requirement.
The new skills are multi-tasking, adaptability, computer literacy, and web-savvy. Set the children free to learn what they will need for their future. Give them a keyboard, a gamestick, and a wi-fi connection, and turn them loose. They will suck up knowledge like a hungry bear. They will acquire skills pertinent to their world.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Holocaust Video

Here's a link to an interesting video about the Holocaust. It's short and didn't take too long to load.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Library Thing

I discovered a really neat site where you can catalog all your books, give reviews, and link to others who are reading the same books--how neat is that? I've only had time to list one of the books I'm currently reading (I usually have several books going at the same time).

Robert Emory Hutton's Death Certificate

Here is the death certificate of Robert Emery Hutton, featured in a previous post with his future wife, Annie Carpenter.
He was tragically killed by a bolt of lightning while hauling a sled full of grain across the hill to the barn. The horse he was riding and one of his team of horses died with him.

Andrew Jackson Anderson's Death Certificate

Here is Andrew Jackson Anderson's death certificate.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Concentration Camp

Here's an interesting link to a movie from It loads quickly and plays smoothly, even on my dial-up.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Scrapbook of Life

Every summer I go through all the papers and memorabilia I’ve collected all year and make a scapbook of Josiah’s unschooling year. This is always an enlightening event, not to mention time consuming. It’s nothing fancy, just a looseleaf notebook with protector sheets stuffed with pages of game talleys, trip plans, artwork, letters and cards written and received, songs and poems penned, and other scrapbook novelties like ski-lift tags, subway tickets, and baseball cards.

I also try to keep lists of books and videos we borrow and rent so I can keep track of what all he’s imbibed mentally. I’m sure it’s nowhere near exhaustive. He comes across stuff I’m not even aware of.

I also try to list all the new skills he’s learned, equipment he’s learned how to operate, games he’s played, events he’s participated in, groups he’s been a part of, places he’s performed, and lessons he’s taken. Whew!

He’s a busy boy. There’s not much to show paper-wise—he rarely picks up a pencil. But he sure does cram his brain (and his laptop) with data.

I pray the Lord will guide him in the paths he should go and will help me to facilitate his walking those paths.

Conjoined Twins Operation

Here's a neat link to the journal of the separations of the Herrin conjoined twins:

Sunday, August 06, 2006

WV Culture

I made a genealogy find this afternoon on WV Culture and History website. They have birth, death, and marriage records available for searching online. I found the death certificate of Jefferson Davis Bell.

Neighbor Donkey

Kylie spent 4 days with me last week. We went to visit the neighbor donkey. He was very glad to see us.

The Rules of War

This from
The Rules of War
by Moshe Yaalon
The difference between us and the terrorists is clear: We endanger ourselves to protect their civilians. They endanger their own civilians to protect themselves.

The conflict in the Middle East is about much more than Israel and Hezbollah, or even Hezbollah's Syrian and Iranian sponsors. What is at stake are the very rules of war that underpin the entire international order.
Sadly, judging from how most of the world has responded to Israel's military action against Hezbollah, these rules have been completely abandoned.
The rules of war boil down to one central principle: the need to distinguish combatants from noncombatants. Those who condemned Israel for what happened at Qana, rather than placing the blame for this unfortunate tragedy squarely on Hezbollah and its state sponsors, have rewarded those for whom this moral principle is meaningless and have condemned a state in which this principle has always guided military and political decision making.
So while it is legitimate to question whether Israel should go to such extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties, it is preposterous to argue that Israel uses excessive force.
Faced with enemies who openly call for its destruction and victimized by unremitting wars and terrorism since well before it was born, Israel has risked the lives of its citizens and its soldiers to abide by this principle in a way that is unprecedented in the history of nations.
Here is but one of countless examples: In 2003, at the height of the Palestinian terror war against Israel, our intelligence services discovered the location of a meeting of the senior leadership of Hamas, an organization pledged to the annihilation of the Jewish state and responsible for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks ever carried out against Israel.
We knew that a one-ton bomb would destroy the three-story building and kill the Hamas leadership. But we also knew that such a bomb would endanger about 40 families who lived in the vicinity. We decided to use a smaller bomb that would destroy only the top floor of the building. As it turned out, the Hamas leaders were meeting on the ground floor. They lived to terrorize another day.
Imagine for a moment that the United States had advance knowledge of the meeting place of al-Qaeda's senior leadership. Does anyone believe that there would be a debate about what size bomb to use, much less that any leader would authorize insufficient force to do the job?
So while it is legitimate to question whether Israel should go to such extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties, it is preposterous to argue that Israel uses excessive force. Even more absurd was the shameful statement last week that Israel appeared to have deliberately targeted U.N. officials -- a statement fit for a knave or a fool, not for the secretary general of the United Nations. Rather than lead the fight against those who target civilians and use them as human shields, Secretary General Kofi Annan has strengthened them.
It is clear to any objective observer that Hezbollah is using Lebanese civilians as human shields.
It is clear to any objective observer that Hezbollah is using Lebanese civilians as human shields. It builds its headquarters in densely populated areas, embeds its fighters in towns and villages, and deliberately places missiles in private homes, even constructing additions to existing structures specifically to house missile launchers.
The reason terrorist groups such as Hezbollah use human shields is elementary. They try to exploit the respect for innocent human life that is the hallmark of any civilized society to place that society in a no-win situation. If it fails to respond to terror attacks, it endangers its own citizens. If it responds, it runs the risk of killing innocents, earning world opprobrium and inviting diplomatic pressure to stand down.
Hoping to retain its high moral standards in the face of such a cynical enemy, Israel has made every effort to avoid harming civilians. We have dropped fliers, sent telephone messages and broadcast radio announcements so that innocents can get out of harm's way. In doing so, we imperil our own citizens since, by losing the element of surprise, we invariably allow some of the enemy to escape with their missiles.
But at Qana, Hezbollah responded to Israel's compassion with more cynical brutality. After launching missiles at Israel, the terrorists rushed inside a building. When Israel fired a precision-guided missile to strike at the terrorists, scores of civilians, including children, were killed.
The difference between us and the terrorists is clear: We endanger ourselves to protect their civilians. They endanger their own civilians to protect themselves.
If tragedies such as Qana are not to be repeated, then, rather than condemning Israel, the world should be directing its anger at Hezbollah and at the Syrian and Iranian regimes that support it.
Terrorists are fanatics, but they are not idiots. If the terrorist tactic of using human shields helps them achieve their goals, they will utilize it. If it undermines their goals, they will abandon it.
If we want to live in a world where civilians are never used as human shields, then we must create a world in which employing such measures results in the unequivocal condemnation of terrorists and in forceful action against them by the civilized world.
If the world were now blaming Hezbollah, Syria and Iran for the innocent Lebanese killed, hurt or displaced in this conflict, then it would be sending a powerful message to every terrorist group on the planet: We will not tolerate the use of human shields. Period.
Instead, those who condemn Israel have sent precisely the opposite message. They have told every terrorist group around the world that the use of human shields will pay huge dividends, thereby providing them with a powerful weapon that endangers innocents everywhere.
Published: Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mommo's 91st Birthday

We took the party to Mommo at the nursing home this week. It was her 91st. Kylie brought the balloons and poppers.