"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Thursday, August 31, 2006


My 30 year old daughter has been a heroin addict for around 10 years. Of course, she's had some periods of time when she was clean. I think she started mainlining in Seattle (no surprise, bad heroin scene there) and got badly strung out there. We, her mom and I, got her back to Massachusetts where she did really well for a while, had a good job etc. She's been in de-tox several times and until recently was in a program with weekly meetings and medical help with a heroin antagonist (not methadone but a newer one, bupenephrine (sp?)I think). But the last 2 years she has been sliding back into the abyss; was arrested a couple of times for possession and, most recently, was last week arrested for violation of probation. (she had tested dirty). Anyway, now she is jailed without bail with her first court appearance on 9/18. Her public defender thinks she will probably get a mandatory 30 day drug treatment program plus assignment to a halfway house deal. But, she could also get a prison sentence.

I'm sure many other folks out there have been through this. Can sitting in a jail cell shock a reasonably intelligent person back to reality? Or does it take a near death O.D. to get through to such people? Any ideas or suggestions?

Monday, August 21, 2006

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Mark Steyn is a regular opinion-page contributor to newspapers across the western world, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Wall Street Journal, the London Daily Telegraph and The Australian. These are excerpts from the text of his 2006 CD Kemp lecture at the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne last night. (8/20/06)

Steyn speaks here to world demographic changes and how this will lead to the decline of the West and Japan. Samples:

The question posed here tonight is very direct: “Does Western Civilization Have A Future?” One answer’s easy: if western civilization doesn’t have a past, it certainly won’t have a future. No society can survive when it consciously unmoors itself from its own inheritance.....

Yet, if the purpose of the modern church is to be a cutting-edge political pacesetter, it’s Islam that’s doing the better job. It’s easy to look at gold-toothed Punjabi yobs in northern England or Algerian pseudo-rappers in French suburbs and think, oh well, their Muslim identity is clearly pretty residual. But that’s to apply westernized notions of piety. Today the mosque is a meetinghouse, and throughout the west what it meets to discuss is, even when not explicitly jihadist, always political. The mosque or madrassah is not the place to go for spiritual contemplation so much as political motivation. The Muslim identity of those French rioters or English jailbirds may seem spiritually vestigial but it’s politically potent. So, even as a political project, the mainstream Protestant churches are a bust. Pre-modern Islam beats post-modern Christianity.....

Much of western civilization does not have any future. That’s to say, we’re not just speaking philosophically, but literally. In a very short time, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries we regard as part of the western tradition will cease to exist in any meaningful sense. They don’t have a future because they’ve given up breeding......

Perhaps the differences will be minimal. In France, the Catholic churches will become mosques; in England, the village pubs will cease serving alcohol; in the Netherlands, the gay nightclubs will close up shop and relocate to San Francisco. But otherwise life will go on much as before.....

But it’s important to remember: radical Islam is only the top-eighth of that iceberg – it’s an opportunist enemy taking advantage of a demographically declining and spiritually decayed west. The real issue is the seven-eighths below the surface – the larger forces at play in the developed world that have left Europe too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia and call into question the future of much of the rest of the world. The key factors are:
i) Demographic decline;
ii) The unsustainability of the social democratic state;
iii) Civilizational exhaustion....

Much, much more below:
The Australian

Steyn made an interesting guest host on the Limbaugh 8/25 show: Check It Out Here

Sunday, August 20, 2006

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Connecticut Dinosaur Notes

Exactly forty years ago the people of Connecticut were astounded by the discovery of fossilized dinosaur footprints at an excavation site in Rocky Hill. The prints are thought to have been made around 200 million years ago by a creature similar to the one pictured above. Interestingly, two days ago more such prints were found at another excavation not far from the original find. The Dinosaur State Park, in Rocky Hill, was established to preserve the orignal site and a museum was built to cover the area and provide additional exhibits.

Hartford Courant 8/20/06
Dinosaur State Park

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Former US president Jimmy Carter: "I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon."

Former US president Jimmy Carter: "I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon."

In an interview with the German magazine "Der Spiegel" former U.S. President Jimmy Carter continues his diatribes against the Bush administration, the war on terror, and the war on Hezbollah. In his remarks about religious fundamentalism you imagine at first he is refering to the Islamofascists; but no, he is referring to conservative Christians here in the U.S. Excerpts:

SPIEGEL: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?

Carter: I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no. and ....

SPIEGEL: One main points of your book is the rather strange coalition between Christian fundamentalists and the Republican Party. How can such a coalition of the pious lead to moral catastrophes like the Iraqi prison scandal in Abu Ghraib and torture in Guantanamo?

Carter: The fundamentalists believe they have a unique relationship with God, and that they and their ideas are God's ideas and God's premises on the particular issue. Therefore, by definition since they are speaking for God anyone who disagrees with them is inherently wrong. And the next step is: Those who disagree with them are inherently inferior, and in extreme cases -- as is the case with some fundamentalists around the world -- it makes your opponents sub-humans, so that their lives are not significant. Another thing is that a fundamentalist can't bring himself or herself to negotiate with people who disagree with them because the negotiating process itself is an indication of implied equality. And so this administration, for instance, has a policy of just refusing to talk to someone who is in strong disagreement with them -- which is also a radical departure from past history. So these are the kinds of things that cause me concern. And, of course, fundamentalists don't believe they can make mistakes, so when we permit the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, it's just impossible for a fundamentalist to admit that a mistake was made.

Der Spiegel

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Iranian president lambasts US on new blog

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's president has launched a Web log, using his first entry to recount his poor upbringing and ask visitors to the site if they think the United States and Israel want to start a new world war.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose speeches are riddled with anti-U.S. rhetoric, also described how he was angered by American meddling in Iran even when he was at elementary school.

Link to Reuters article

My comments: Here is the link to the Iranian president's new website and blog which he initiates with a 2500 word essay. He also presents a straw poll. The question: "Do you think that the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another word (sic)* war?
The blog is available in Farci, French, Arabic, and English.

Again: http://www.ahmadinejad.ir/

This is a transparent psy-ops, propaganda gambit to influence appeasers and leftwingers in the West.

* An interesting typo, if that's what it is.(It is copied exactly from the web site) I'm sure this is not going to be a mere "war of words"!

Here is an item from fellow blogger and podcaster "Politicking Timebomb"

Ahmadinejad and Assad...TEMPTING FATE
Body: For those of you that regularly listen to my show, you know that while I am a major supporter of the War on Terror and the War in Iraq, I generally take a more patient and tempered stance in my approach to discussing such issues. Well let me say that this patience is wearing thin.

Today we have seen both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Bashar Assad of Syria coming forth to claim Victory over the Israelis in the recent conflict in the South of Lebanon. Ahmadinejad came forward to make the statement that Gods promises
had come true with the Corrupt powers of the criminal U.S. and Britain and the Zionists ... with modern bombs and planes. Being defeated by Hezbollah and their Group of pious youth relying on God.

Of course these statements have been made in the wake of the cease-fire agreement that came out of the U.N. Security Council. An agreement, which in the eyes of Ahmadinejad, Assad, and Hezbollah has supposedly Collapsed Americas plan for a new Mideast. The question of course isAre they right?

Well, if you are asking whether or not this cease-fire agreement has created a setback in the plans to reform the Middle-East into a secure and stable region, then yes, the cease-fire has in fact set these plans back. We must realize that when our enemies view our attempts at restraint as a Victory, that obviously we have a problem.

For Ahmadinejad and Assad this is a Victory because they are the no so silent backers of Hezbollah which has allowed them to wage war against Israel and the U.S. without having to suffer any of the consequences. This leads to a larger problem in that because their support of Hezbollah they are able to appear as great Victors in the eyes of their people, only increasing their power and fueling Anti-American sentiment.

With such inflammatory comments and declarations of Victory these groups are playing off of the conflicted position we now find ourselves in. Part of our War on Terrorism is the Media battle raging where we are trying to win the hearts and minds of the very people we are fighting against. Now of course not every Middle-Eastern citizen is our enemy and in most cases they have proven to be great allies, but we must realize that the terrorist and insurgent forces have the upper hand, because they are not trying to win our hearts and minds so they are free do really do whatever they want.

Conversely our forces in essence have had both one hand and foot tied behind their backs because we have been forced into Surgical Warfare where the priority is not destroy the enemy at all costs, but is rather, destroy the enemy as long as they are not in a library or café thereby interrupting the day to day life of civilians. So we and our allies have been forced into a position of carrying a grenade in our left hand and a band-aid in there right.

Obviously this is completely insane. Would such tactics have worked in Germany or Japan during World War II? Of course not! We bombed the hell out Germany and dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. The loss of civilian life was regrettable but, it was a war and they were chalked up to collateral damage in the name of Peace. We have lost this mindset and it is costing us dearly.

Until we are ready to take of the gloves and fight these Wars as they should be fought, we will never gain the upper hand in this war. Because after all if you only remove a weed at the surface the roots are still able to grow.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A blog from Connecticut but not necessarily about "The Land of Steady Habits". Dahlias are in bloom now; almost time for the big dahlia show in Hartford.