Dozens dead after Iraqi police go on killing spree | - Houston Chronicle

And we need to stay here why? When the police start killing people in revenge...

BAGHDAD — Shiite militants and police enraged by massive truck bombings in Tal Afar went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents in the northwestern town today, killing as many as 60 people, officials said.

The gunmen began roaming Sunni neighborhoods in the city, shooting at residents and homes, according to police and a local Sunni politician.

There is no law and order, there is only rage. The only thing we seem to have accomplished in Iraq is to release the pent up hate of generations and re-supplied the ammunition  needed to carry on a civil war that is rapidly degrading into un-civil genocide.

Source: Dozens dead after Iraqi police go on killing spree | - Houston Chronicle

Join Me For A Visit...

Today for lunch I joined a friend I’ve never met. We walked along a creek with no name under hemlocks in a valley I’ve never seen. We passed a barn I’ve only envisioned in painted light upon my screen. The sun I couldn’t see glistened on grasses in the field to dry the dew I did not feel. I wasn’t there, and yet I was, visiting with Fred on Goose Creek in the mountains of Floyd County.

I’ll go there again tomorrow for lunch as I revisit a “Slow Road Home”. Won’t you come along? We’ll visit Ann’s Falls, we’ll sit a spell under the white pines, we’ll wave at the neighbors from the front porch. We’ll while away the time as we discuss the important issues of the day, the bumblebees at play, and the hawks upon the wing. We can discuss anything at all as we visit there on the creek with no name along that “Slow Road Home”.

A visit to Fred thru a “Slow Road Home” always slows the day, sets the pace to another time, and takes you to another place. The place you’ve longed for since childhood, a place that brings back the memories of grandparents and more. A time when the constant companion was a single word…Why? Walk a while and listen to another’s whys, you may discover the child you left a long time ago, far, far away.

Where else can you feel free to laze in a summer rain, loll in an open field at night to watch the fireflies rise and stars fall, or chase spiders as they glide by? There is a maple on the cover that shelters a house that seems to have been there forever. The house is nestled up to the ridge like you shelter in the covers of a bed. How do I know this? I have seen this house thru the eyes of someone who loves it, and the tree, and the ridge and all it encompasses. You can see it too. Come walk the pages of Fred First’s “Slow Road Home”…You never know, we may meet along the road.

From Slow Road Home

Ray's Weather Center - Valle Crucis -

Since I didn't mention the weather earlier today, I found this bit of trivia interesting.

Boone set another record high Wednesday: 74 breaking the old record of 71 set in 1949. Today, valley locations should make it into the 70s once again. That will make it 6 days in a row with valley highs in the 70s. So yesterday, I asked, "Has that ever happened before?" So, over lunch yesterday, I went searching through the weather archives and here's the answer... "Yes, not not in a long, long time."
The details... In Boone, March 21-26, 1929 (highs of 70, 70, 70, 76, 80, and 70), is the only run of 6 days in the 70s in March ever recorded. However, weather records for Boone only go back to 1929; Banner Elk data goes back to 1907 and Jefferson data goes back to 1896. These older archives yielded remarkable warm spells in March. In Banner Elk, March 23-31, 1910 (highs of 70, 72, 72, 71, 74, 76, 76, 74, 71), was a run of 9 days above 70--the only run of 6+ days with highs above 70 in Banner Elk. Jefferson has had 3 periods of 6 or more days in March with highs of 70+. Here they are: March 24-31, 1945 (72, 74, 71, 73, 76, 75, 74, 71); March 16-21, 1927 (72, 77, 75, 73, 77, 72); March 22-31, 1910 (70, 77, 80, 78, 76, 78, 78, 81, 71, 76). Note that last one--10 days. I'll give you a test over this data tomorrow. :-)

Y'all have a great day...

Source: Ray's Weather Center - Valle Crucis -

Wants and Desires...

I empathize with the sentiment if not the actual want...

Costal Farmlet
"A man wants nothing so badly as a gooseberry farm."
I want a costal farmlet.
I desire it very much.
I saw it advertised
in the classifieds and I presume
that coastal means our land
comes right down
to the sea with the whitecaps
lashing romantically, and farmlet
means we can grow
gnarled trees on our headland
and let sheep roam. It is about cheap
enough for us if we borrow, beg
and steal, pawn a few poems, also write
a harlequin romance or two, and it's
only 9000 miles from the place
we call home. There's not much
of a hitch except the Immigration
would not let us stay in the country
to live in our farmlet. But still,
I want it and think we should go
look at it, right now, this moment,
while tangy sweet gooseberries glow.

"Costal Farmlet" by David Ray, from Music of Time: Selected and New Poems. © The Backwaters Press.

The farmlet in my wants resides on the side of a mountain not a sea and it's blueberries not gooseberries that call me there. But, other than those discrepancies, this poem could be mine, not by the writing but by the desiring...

Source:The Writer's Almanac for Wednesday, March 28th

Other links to David Ray:

Support The Troops?

With all of the rhetoric flying around Washington these days, with the President claiming that if you don't support the surge you don't support the troops, with Congress fighting over when to end the fighting (or if to end the fighting), is it any wonder that the American People are getting confused? I have been continuing my informal survey and so far I have run across all of three cars with those magnetic decorations of self proclaimed patriotism in the last week.

Now granted, this is an informal, casual, eyes open when I think about it survey of one commuting route. My interpretation of the results isn't a lack of support for the troops. My interpretation is, the American People have woken up to the trick being perpetrated upon them. These outward displays of hyperactive patriotism that really do not do anything to support the troops or prove your real ideals are just show. You really have to walk the talk. And the President is failing in the polls proportionate to the number of magnetic ribbons that aren't replaced on cars. Yet he still blusters and accuses others of not supporting the troops...He threatens but his actions are what America (and the World) watches. And by virtue of the fact that they "serve at the pleasure of the President", it is the actions of his surrogates that America watches.

The President has failed to walk the talk, all of the President's men have failed to walk the talk...And the American people have seen how they have been played for chumps. And guess what, they don't like being taken for fools. And as he runs up a debt that will take generations of hardworking Americans to pay off, he has the audacity to tell you and me how hard he "works". Well, Mr. President, your "hard work" has failed to move me from my position that you do not belong in our White House. You were not elected. Without 9/11 you would have been a one term mistake foisted upon us by a Supreme Court who overstepped their charter to appoint you. And from the look of the evidence, America woke up in November of 2006.

Mr. President, when are you going to wake up? We, the American People, can not afford for you to sleep much longer. Do you hear that rumble? It is the beginning of the alarm that is running through America at the failure of your Presidency...Mr. President, you don't want to be the "War President" that went to war with America. You sir, will lose...

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