Archive for January, 2005

Big Day in Iraq

January 30th, 2005 No comments

[ED. NOTE: I have updated the post a number of times so make sure you read to the end.]

Hey Folks, it is the big day for the people in Iraq. I will be looking forward to the outcome and hearing what the people have to see about the process. Here are a few blogs to check out that will be doing frequent updates (to a degree).

Roger Simon - He was liveblogging, but has called it quits for the night and will be back tomorrow.
The Iraq Elections Newswire
THe Belgravia Dispatch
Power Line
Iraq the Model - another blogger from Iraq.
Tim Blair
Hammorabi - another Iraqi blogger.
Democracy in Iraq - yet another blogger in Iraq.
Donald Sensing’s One Hand Clapping
Little Green Footballs has an open post discussing the elections and breaking news.
and of course Instapundit and Drudge

Also, definitely check out Friends of Democracy, they have great coverage from Iraq and will have coverage on C-SPAN and the web on Sunday from 2 to 4pm EST, check here for more information.

A great roudup of resources for the elections and posts from Iraqi Bloggers can be found at Jeff Jarvis’ blog - some duplication of mine, I guess that just shows I am not doing too bad, right? right?? RIGHT? heh (H/t to Andrew Sullivan and Instapundit).

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is listing (hopefully) up to date election info from Iraqi media sources as well as a list of current blog posts relating to the election (all Iraqi blogs).

Check out what Michael Moore has to say / show at his site on the eve of the elctions. What a dolt. (another H/t to Hugh Hewitt)

The image of the girl holding the flag from Yahoo News(h/t to LGF):

Iraqi immigrant Marwa Sadik from Seattle celebrates before casting her vote in Iraq’s election at the former El Toro Marine Base in Irvine, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005. The Independent Iraqi Electoral Commission is allowing Iraqi immigrants living in 14 countries to vote by absentee ballot. Overseas voting continues through Sunday, which is Election Day in Iraq itself. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

This image is a thing of beauty. There are some other great pictures of Iraqis voting in California over at Radio Blogger (with another h/t to Instapundit).

The picture of the man: from Friends of Democracy

Pictured here is Mehsin Imgoter, weeping after voting in Southgate, Michigan. His son was killed in the Shi’ite uprising against Saddam Hussein in 1991 and did not live to see a free Iraq. (Photo and description thanks to Hindrocket at Powerline blog.)

This is an historic day where every name on the ballot is not Saddam.

Two predictions from Donald Sensing:

1. The terrorist attempts to break up the election won’t do so and will be actually less violent than expected. In fact, I predict that election day will be a bonanza day for suppressing the terrorists through capture or counterattack.

2. When the above becomes known among Iraqis, Sunday evening and Monday will bring forth the most widespread celebrations among the Iraqi people seen since the downfall of Saddam. There will be dancing in the streets and brief period in which these newly liberated people will be drunk on democracy, for a day or two anyway.

Without intending to sound like Glenn Reynolds, Indeed! (I really do say this a lot)

As reported in the NYTimes via The Belgravia Dispatch:

“Inshalla,…we will go to the poll center…My mother, she’s an 80-year-old woman, but she will go vote.”

- Jouad Latif, a shopkeeper in a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad.

From the Mudville Gazette

I am tired of hearing the crap, the whole, well, ‘We are barely hanging on, we’re losing, the insurgency is growing.’ All that. We are doing fine. It’s just a small, a small amount of people out there causing the problems. I mean, it is a small number, and we’re killing them.

Marine Sgt Kevin Lewis , to Dan Rather during his recent visit to Iraq. (H/t to Hugh Hewitt) I know this isn’t directly related to the elections, but still important to the “feel” we should have about how things are going in Iraq.

May God be watching over Iraq and its people in their day.

(Found at Conservative Eyes)

UPDATE I:Friends of Democracy has a lot of great information at their site. They will have their webcast (that was awesome) up for viewing here.

This is a must view: a slideshow of pictures of Iraqis voting. Great stuff!

Here is an article from the WSJ with quotes from a lot of the Iraqi bloggers. (H/t to Instapundit)

From Free Iraqi:

Last night I couldn’t sleep well. I was so excited and I wanted to be at the voting center before it even opens its door. I was afraid that I was going to be among a minority who are going to vote, but I was still very happy for rather a different reason. It’s that just as I care about the outcome of this election and that democracy would work in Iraq, I cared no less about voting on a personal level. This was my way to stand against those who humiliated me, my family and my friends. It was my way of saying,” You’re history and you don’t scare me anymore”. It was my way to scream in the face of all tyrants, not just Saddam and his Ba’athists and tell them, “I don’t want to be your, or anyone’s slave. You have kept me in your jail all my life but you never owned my soul”. It was my way of finally facing my fears and finding my courage and my humanity again.

A quote from Friends of democracy:

Mouhammad interviews Mr. Kazem Abdel Jalil.

Q: What is your opinion on tomorrows election, will you participate?

A: Elections are a sign of civilization in all world countries. We hope they will bring democracy to the Iraqi people. We are going through this experience for the first time. We hope it will be a success, in the service of the Iraqi people and the democratic process in Iraq. We hope with Gods will that the impact of these elections will be positive to serve our children and future generations.

UPDATE II: A very heart-felt post at Democracy in Iraq. Read his post. Here is a quote and a picture from his blog.

Even now, I have no idea who is going to win, but it really isn’t important. It is enough for me to know that our new government won’t be the result of a sham election, that it will be the will of the people. We will not know who won for a few days, maybe weeks, but this is just a minor headache, and should not be taken by anyone to attack the election or it’s validity. We don’t have the machinery or technology available in the United States or other countries where you can find the result of elections overnight. We will one day though, and today is the first step on that path.

Let me end today’s posts with a picture I found of a woman who was so overcome with emotion at voting that she cried. I believe this picture symbolizes every Iraqi’s feelings today.

Beautiful. This is what freedom is about.

UPDATE III: Go read Hammorabi

A woman being carried by her sons to go vote.

The elderly being helped.

Also make a stop by Iraq the Model.

And Michael Moore is still a dolt.

UPDATE IV: What is wrong with Daily Kos? I generally don’t read Kos because he tends to be a massive whiner but I thought I would check out what the Left as to say about the elections. Is it just Kos, or do ALL people on the left want Iraq to fail? It seems that even if you were/are against the war, you would still want the people of Iraq to be better of than they were. Kos suggests that it is just a day of happiness and that the elections are not really a success. The fact that they ARE VOTING is a MASSIVE success. True, it doesn’t end there, there is much work to be done, but this is a MAJOR first step. Are those on the left just so jaded that nothing good can ever come in the world with Bush as president? Maybe it is just Kos, I am pretty sure he doesn’t speak for every liberal. Just pisses me off to see someone in the States be so negative about this.

UPDATE V: There are lots of good posts all over the blogosphere, many worth reading.

I do keep hearing some people say something along the lines of “It is great that they voted today, but it is too bad democracy was forced upon them and not found independantly of the US.” or “I just wish they could have earned their “independence” and not had it thrust upon them.” While it is probably true that it would have been better if Iraq could have become a democratic state all on their own, but the reality of things is that it wouldn’t have happened (at least not for a very long time) without the war there. The “it would have been better if…” people are right, but not living in reality. The reality is that people would have been stuck with Saddam and his murderous party there. The reality is that the US led removal of Saddam worked and has made Iraq a better place for the people to live there. The reality is that the insurgants have very little power and will be removed in due time. The reality is that the US is on track to help support the new Iraq government, get it up and running and then leave the new independant state. The reality is that our troops know they they are fighting for. The reality is that around 8 million Iraqis know what freedom means now, know that our troops are not there permanently, know that they have helped reclaim rights that have been withheld from them, know that today was a beginning to a difficult time ahead but worth risking their lives to stand in line to vote. The Iraqis did earn their chance to vote.

My favorite title for blog post relating to the elections: Iraqi Voting Disrupts News Reports of Bombings from Scrappleface.

UPDATE VI: This is becoming a long post, eh? Oh well, I am ok with that.

This will probably be the last updated for this topic, keep checking out those other sites. Here are a few things I wanted to point out from Instapundit.

YESTERDAY, I noted the following paragraph in a New York Times story on the Iraqi elections:

But if the insurgents wanted to stop people in Baghdad from voting, they failed. If they wanted to cause chaos, they failed. The voters were completely defiant, and there was a feeling that the people of Baghdad, showing a new, positive attitude, had turned a corner.

Reader Chris Fountain also noticed that it was moving steadily downward in the story as the day went on. Today he emails:

Glenn: as predicted, the offending paragraph was missing from this morning’s hard copy. New lede: “Bombs Kill 35.”


And Another:

ARTHUR CHRENKOFF rounds up good news from Iraq — and there’s more of it than usual. Arthur does a great service by compiling these reports, and the Wall Street Journal’s OpinionJournal does a great service by publishing them. Read the whole thing, and you’ll be amazed how much gets left out of the usual media reports. Maybe that’ll change now.

UPDATE: Reader Gerald Boisvert emails:

In your Chrenkoff post this morning you end by saying “Read the whole thing, and you’ll be amazed how much gets left out of the usual media reports. Maybe that’ll change now.”

Well, 6:00am MSNBC news leads with …. Michael Jackson. For two years they’ve come out of the chute with Iraq and all that’s wrong with it and our administration, but today Iraq just doesn’t seem that important. Go figure.

Yeah, go figure.And here is part of a post from Ann Althouse:

My colleague Gordon Smith writes:

I love the ink-stained index finger as a symbol of democracy. If I were George Bush, I would hold up an ink-stained finger in the State of the Union address this week.

It was only a few days ago that there was talk that the ink-stained finger would be a dangerous identification, that would mark people for retaliation, that people would need to hide it. Now we see the pictures of people actively displaying what was devised as a utilitarian safeguard, turning it into a proud new symbol of the love of democracy.
And to wrap it up: I am a Google guy myself, but I found that someone had come to my site through a MSN search that came back with these results: [Img no longer available]
I may not have a huge readership, but for some reason it just makes me proud to be #3 on the list and right under Instapundit. :)

[UPDATE: The original post and comments are no longer available. :( Sorry!]

Categories: Around the World, Politics Tags:

Remember: 60 Years Ago

January 27th, 2005 No comments

January 27th, 1945: Auschwitz is liberated.

Up to 1.5 million people were killed there. Human hubris is deadly.

“Key facts on the Nazi Auschwitz death camp” from The New Zealand Herald
“Auschwitz horrors remembered” from This is London
“Remembering Germany’s Darkest Place” from Deutsche World
“Survivors join world leaders at Auschwitz” from Reuters UK

The picture at right was taken while in Germany (so obviously not Auschwitz, it is actually at Sachsenhausen, near Berlin) and pictures the “slogan” at the entrance to the concentration camps: Arbeit Macht Frei roughtly translated “Work Brings Freedom” or “Work Liberates” and also shows remnants of the furnaces used to cremate the numerous victims.

May you find and remember who brings true Liberation.

God Bless and Shalom

UPDATE: Once again the Antiprotester Journal has another post of note on this subject.

Categories: Around the World Tags:

Elections and Security in Iraq

January 26th, 2005 No comments

Power Line is reporting some statistics in Iraq from an Arabic paper Alsharq Alausat. I really do hate statistics especially when I don’t know how many were polled and what the context was for the questions. None the less, the info is interesting. I would check it out. Here are a few of the more interesting stats:

72.4 % of all of those polled said they would participate in the elections. [Ed.: If so, Iraqi voting will vastly outstrip participation here in the U.S., where 56% of eligible voters contributed to a record turnout in 2004.]

62.1% of those polled said that the elections will be neutral and free.

Interesting: 75% of Iraqis say security where they live is either “good” or “average.” Not exactly the impression you would get from the American press.

Indeed. Most of the sensationalism, naturally, is centered on all the bad things going. People just living their lives, feeling relatively safe isn’t news apparently.

The picture at right is of an election poster in Najaf borrowed from Friends of Democracy: “Ground-level election news from the people of Iraq.”.


UPDATE: well not really an update, just something I found and thought others should see.
The Antiprotester Journal has put together a niece piece that parallels Bush’s inagural speech with John F. Kennedy’s. Good read. Also makes the comment that Kennedy referred to God more often than Bush did and yet the press and many others jump all over Bush if he talks about God.

REAL UPDATE: Here is a really interesting post from Friends of Democracy with an account of the first debates in Iraq and another with a first person view of the event. Good stuff! Go democracy!

Categories: Around the World, Politics Tags:

More Tsunami Satellite Photos

January 22nd, 2005 No comments

This is a followup to my initial post “Tsunamis and the news” and its followup with satellite images “Tsunami Disaster Satellite Photos“.

My webpage with many satellite photos can be found here.

NASA has posted another set of Satellite Photos to add on to their Initial Set.

Here are a few of the more striking images:

Lhoknga, Indonesia

Phuket, Thiland

Breaking tsunami waves at Vishakapatnam.

A larger, higher resolution version

An animated gif of the breaking tsunami waves off India at Coromandel.

Check out NASA’s sites for the original pictures in their original context with explanation here, here (images from the ISS), here, here, and here.

I would also like to point out this statement that I had heard before, but this is the first seeing it published:

The “mean North pole” was shifted by about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in the direction of 145º East Longitude. This shift east is continuing a long-term seismic trend identified in previous studies.

That is pretty amazing. (Although shouldn’t be exaggerated as it is part of the trend, just “sped up” the trend I guess you could say.)

They also found the earthquake decreased the length of day by 2.68 microseconds. Physically this is like a spinning skater drawing arms closer to the body resulting in a faster spin. The quake also affected the Earth’s shape. They found Earth’s oblateness (flattening on the top and bulging at the equator) decreased by a small amount. It decreased about one part in 10 billion, continuing the trend of earthquakes making Earth less oblate.

Again, another startling bit of information. I am not startled by this because I am worried that bad things are now going to happen because of the shift, but startled because of the enormity of the quake and the devastation nature holds. God is the only stable one, the unchangeable one, our hope is in Him.


Categories: Around the World Tags:

Yes, My Apartment is Small

January 22nd, 2005 No comments

I know I showed a few pics of my apartment before, but I thought I would show some that really show how small it really is. I really like my apt and I don’t need too much space it is just funny to move from having lots of space to not much at all. Anway, this many not interest you at all, but here they are none the less.

I am pressed against my door, this is essentially the entire apartment.

I would actually title this “Kitchen” not Kitchen… Good thing I don’t know how to cook very well. It works and is enough for me!

Nice and compact I say!

Who needs more room than this?

This doesn’t really represent the smallness of my apt, I just like to show off my books ;) Pride isn’t a good thing, I know. Just ask me how many I haven’t finished and that will bring me down a peg.

So there ya have it, a basement apartment in Vancouver, BC… with wireless :)


Categories: Daily Life, Photoblog Tags:

The Ultimate Lord of the Rings Collection

January 21st, 2005 No comments

Via USA Today:

Already watched all of the deluxe Lord of the Rings DVDs? There could be more coming, but not for a couple of years. Plus, a tale of two Elvi….But once the great ape [King Kong] tale is unveiled Dec. 14, he has some unfinished Lord of the Rings business to tend to such as an ultimate DVD collection of the extended versions of the Oscar-winning trilogy, not likely to arrive in stores for another two or three years….”I don’t want to add more footage,” Jackson says. “There’s as much in there as we want. Eventually you are just going to go backward and weaken the films.” Instead, he would prefer to simply show the unused deleted scenes (and, yes, there are more than a few leftovers) and explain why they were cut.

The Rings master also would like to include feature-length documentaries, put together by longtime associate Costa Botes, on the making of the movies. “There are no commentary or interviews. It’s like a reality TV show,” Jackson says.

The largest still-untapped source of amusement are the bloopers or “bleepers,” as Jackson calls them. The flubs previously were shown only during private farewell tributes for major cast members as they took their leave of Middle-earth.

Marketing genius… sounds like he is turning into George Lucas! Joking aside, I think this will be really cool, as long as you don’t have to buy the extended editions with the extra stuff as I already bought them! If he is turning into Lucas, we will have to buy the Extended Edition DVDs as well. Either way, this is still cool news.

I now leave you with this lovely … not sure what you call it … lovely bit of humor? (via this guy.):

Categories: Daily Life, Movies Tags: