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I’m Happy My Children Have the Gifts of the USA

I, innocently enough, looked around the Internet tonight trying to get inspired to put a post up, but was not having a lot of success until I found this piece here, put out by Combined Forces Command Afghanistan:

Afghan children and local police led Coalition forces to three rockets and a missile May 24 near the town of Bamian.

The children reported the location of a cache consisting of a rocket-propelled grenade, three mortars and approximately 40 small-arms rounds to New Zealand soldiers working at a Provisional Reconstruction Team site near Bamian.

"These children were doing the right thing by reporting these munitions to Coalition forces," U.S. Army Maj. Michael Hicks,

As the children took Coalition forces to the cache, local police also led the soldiers to another area where three serviceable rockets and a surface-to-surface Russian-built missile were discovered.

"These children were doing the right thing by reporting these munitions to Coalition forces," said U.S. Army Maj. Michael Hicks, commander of Combined Joint Task Force-76’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.

"We cannot do enough to remind parents and children that unexploded ordnance is dangerous and deadly. These items explode every day, killing and maiming Afghans."

"The most important thing children should remember if they discover unexploded ordnance is to not touch it and tell a grown-up," Hicks said. "Adults should immediately notify local police or Afghan and Coalition forces."

The cache, missile and rockets were transported to a nearby base where they will be destroyed.

Meanwhile, at a border-control point along the Pakistan border, an artillery round was discovered hidden inside a tree trunk after an Afghan child reported its location to forces there. Afghan forces safely destroyed the round.

Shouldn’t we count our blessings every day that we live in a country that affords our children the very precious rights of freedom?  I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday, but when I look around me, people seem to be more concerned about Paris Hilton, American Idol, gas prices, and how much it will cost to put the kids in daycare for the summer.  We tend to forget that we have men and women of the armed forces overseas fighting for the same freedoms and liberties that so often are taken for granted here.  We should be reminded of their bravery every day, but instead we are subjected to lines of crap put out by journalists who want "the story" or think it’s okay to get "creative" with their reporting (and causing riots and mayhem).

When I read the aforementioned story, my day-to-day concerns paled in comparison.  So what if I’m tired, at least I have a bed.  Who cares if I had a rough day at work, at least I have enough money to truly "live."  So, it’s my son’s last day of school tomorrow - at least he *can* go to school and doesn’t have to be on the watch-out for weapons buried in the sand. 

These Afghan children, while in a much safer and more livable environment than they had been during Taliban rule, face each day with concerns that many of us Americans would never even be able to comprehend.  Did you ever walk to school and uncover a weapons cache? 

I so admire the bravery and the tenacity of children in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.  I imagine that the challenges they face now will help to build them into the leaders those regions need to bring peace and freedom to countries that had been truly demoralized and held in fear by vicious leaders who had no qualms about slaying people for their own perverted pleasures.  Things that we have taken for granted brings the greatest joy to these children - oh, for my children to be in awe of something as simple as paper and pencils!

As a nation, we should be proud that we are contributing to something as great as helping other nations procure freedom.  It is not shameful, it is not a waste of time and it is not an atrocity.  It should not be a political bargaining chip and it should not be taken lightly.  I am personally grateful for the freedoms we have - so we *can* worry about Paris Hilton, American Idol, the price of gas, and the end of the school year…and thanks to the bravery of our men and women in uniform, I am comfortable in my belief that I will wake up tomorrow with those freedoms intact.

Update:  Chris of Two Babes and a Brain, pointed me to a story of an Iraqi girl, named Maria, who was seriously burned while lighting a stove.  American troops took care of the girl and helped her get on a road to recovery.  Please take a look at her story, one of strength, persistence and a true demonstration of the compassion our troops have for the Iraqi people.  Thanks, Chris!

Cotillion linked with Cotillion Carnival Debut!
basil's blog linked with Breakfast: 5/27/2005
Merri’s Pan Shrimp Scampi

I’m a mom who also has a full time, crazy job outside of the home. As was the case tonight, I got home at 6:30pm (work, pick up my daughter, stop at the store). I brought home some steak and shrimp, with the idea of finding a really good, quick shrimp scampi recipe out in the world. I didn’t find anything simple enough, so I came up with my own version. I thought it turned out pretty good, and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!


Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns around the pan
3-4 tbsp butter, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed from skin, but not chopped
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled with tails on (pick any size you like - I used large)
1/2 tsp (or to taste) grill seasoning (or kosher salt and ground pepper to taste)
2-3 gentle shakes of ground cayenne pepper
2-3 gentle shakes of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1 lemon
A handful of seasoned breadcrumbs
A handful of grated Parmesan cheese


Heat up large skillet and add the EVOO, butter and garlic. Let the garlic sweat a little, over medium high heat until it starts to soften, but does not brown. Add the shrimp, grill seasoning, cayenne pepper and Old Bay and cook shrimp until pink/white, tossing occasionally. Toward the end of cooking time, add the lemon juice and toss the shrimp again. You will see the sauce start to thicken nicely right away. Add the breadcrumbs (I added enough to lightly coat the shrimp once tossed) and the grated cheese. Toss the shrimp together and serve immediately. I served mine with a nice, pan seared bacon-wrapped filet. YUM!

Meanderings linked with Carnival of Recipes
Stop the ACLU! Blogburst

It’s that time of week again - time to ponder what the ACLU has its hand in today and what it plans to have its hand in tomorrow. 

Normally, I spend quite a bit of time writing a nice article, or I borrow Jay’s weekly blogburst information and post it here.  However, there are two articles on Stop the ACLU! that I encourage you to read, so I’m choosing to refer you there. 

One discussion involves the ACLU’s involvement in abortion "rights."  As a society, we are so worried about the rights of the person in the "right now" - so much that a law was passed to legalize abortion, to me known as the murdering of innocent babies.  The ACLU is involved in this due to the lucritive financial opportunities presented.  Sure, they go off on their tangents and support organizations such as NAMBLA, or prisoners who are being "mistreated" (shoot, they get better treatment than innocent babies), but the financial opportunities aren’t as prevalent there.  This article on Jay’s site has some great debate going on so I urge you to take a peek!

Also, please don’t forget to check out the Blogburst post - this ties nicely into the aforementioned post - selective civil rights.  While it’s stated that "everyone" has a right to speak their mind, have peaceful protest, etc., when it comes to pro-life, the ACLU is reluctant to support those pro-life protesters. 

"To the ACLU, anti-abortion protesters are not seen in the same light as civil rights demonstrators in the 60’s, but as lunatic fascists out to destroy freedom.

I’m so tired of the double-standard and tired of being put down for my beliefs - if a person speaks of pro-choice, it is a "right."  If a person speaks of pro-life, they are imposing their religious beliefs.  I could care less if anyone has the same religious beliefs as me, as a matter of fact, my religious beliefs are irrelevant when it comes to how I feel about abortion. 

As a woman, I know what I need to do to prevent pregnancy.  That’s my responsibility and my obligation if I do not want a child.  Abortion shouldn’t be used as birth control and if I become pregnant after being careless, I shouldn’t kill my baby because of my own stupidity.  If I don’t want my child, there are others out in this world who are incapable of bearing a child, but have a heartful of love to give.  My father was adopted and I know quite a number of others who are adopted as well, and greatful that they didn’t end up as "medical waste" following an arranged murder by their own mother. 

I would add that it is completely unfair that a man does not have the right to be involved with what happens to HIS child.  The baby didn’t arrive in the woman’s womb due to some fluke - he is as responsible as she is and should have the right to say that he wants her to carry the child to term so he can raise the child.  He should also have the right to say that he doesn’t want his baby killed and would like him or her adopted by a caring family.  Does the ACLU step up for these dads?  Absolutely not.