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I’m BAAAAAAAACK!

Well, we are back from Florida, and Florida is still standing. Barely. Oh, and I’m still standing. Barely. :-) What a great trip! I will definitely write more later, along with some great shots of the trip, but the need to wash 18 loads of laundry, pick up pets from all over town, replenish our very empty kitchen and pay bills kinda is taking up the vast majority of my time.

I first want to thank Beth, Tammy and Jody who helped out by cross-posting here at Merri Musings while I was out. I truly appreciate you helping me out in a pinch, ladies….you all ROCK! Any time you need my help, well, you know where to find me!

I also want to gush about the opportunity we had to meet some very special people down in Florida. Last Thursday, we took a trip to Tampa and met up with Linda and Wild Thing (and her dear hubby). We had a great time tooling around Busch Gardens (LOVE THOSE COASTERS!) and were treated like royalty at the lovely home of one of Linda’s friends, Steve. Click on their links above to get some great posts about our time together…what a great time! I am honored to have met all of them! We also had the great honor of driving up to Tallahassee and meeting Beth and her beautiful daughter on hubby’s birthday. I never knew another person had as much energy, if not more energy than my own daughter - but that would be Beth’s little princess! :-) We had a chance to talk, drink a little, and take in some dinner. Truly, it was hard to leave, but we did try to get Beth to drive to Orlando and hang out the next day. She’s thinking that it may have been a good idea, given her adventures on the road (click on the link to read about all her fun!). I’m sure there will be another time for us to meet, though, Beth!

What a great vacation. I almost cried boarding the plane yesterday. We were trying to figure out a way to sneak in another day to see the beach, but those damned obligations plus a need to quit spending money seemed to get in the way. More on some of the fun we had, but now, I guess it’s back to real life!

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Jessica’s Law

I received a comment on one of my Jessica’s Law posts recently. Here’s the comment:

Name: Joe | E-mail: cajl@rock.com | URI: http://www.nojessicaslaw.org/ | IP: 69.236.94.219 | Date: June 22, 2006

Jessica’s Law
You should look at Californians Against Jessica’s Law at http://www.nojessicaslaw.org/ to find out the real reasons for Jessica’s Law

Being interested in what anyone has to say on Jessica’s Law, especially those against it, I followed the link. I can’t even believe that such a site exsists, that there are people who think like this. They start out sounding reasonable:

Adult rape and the sexual abuse of a child are horrible, inexcusable crimes. No one in their right mind would argue this fact.The victims of sex crimes deserve our compassion, sympathy, and full support. We of Californians Against Jessica’s Law (CAJL) would never wish to add to the anguish, tragedy, and harm true victims have endured.

BUT….it continues with the following:

However; in the last three decades the hysteria over sex crimes, both real and fabricated, has become political and huge profits are being made off of the detection. apprehension, prosecution, defense, incarceration, supervision, control, and treatment of the sex offender and those wrongly convicted. The Sex Crime Witch Hunt Nightmare, as it is now known, is a multi-million dollar industry in California. With these kinds of profits to be made, The Sex Crime Witch Hunt Nightmare, has caught tens of thousands of innocent men and women in It’s ever widening web who now must endure the life-long Scarlet Letter of being a convicted sex offender.

The Sex Crime Witch Hunt Nightmare?!!? An industry? What kind of nonsense is that? The whole purpose of Jessica’s Law is to protect children. This group sounds as though they could care less about children.

63,000+ Californians are now required by law to register with the police as convicted sex offenders and this number continues to grow daily with no end in sight. These tens of thousands must also submit to sex offender community notification that plasters their faces, descriptions, and other personal information all over the internet warning their communities of their presence.

Well, isn’t that a shame? Poor ol’ sex offenders. What about the children who have had their lives ruined by these animals?

The drivel just goes on and on…apparently Jessica’s Law is all about money. Those GPS shackle people are fixing to make a fortune. OMG, is that not the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?

Now, I try to be fair, so I did a bit of searching on California and Jessica’s Law, and on the poor 63,000 sex offenders. Here’s part of what I learned.

Thank you for helping qualify Jessica’s Law, the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act of 2006 for the ballot! We turned in 713,787 signatures accross the state. Here are some photos from the Sacramento signature turn in event:

Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act of 2006 — Jessica’s Law

California has currently 63,000 registered sex offenders. One in every four sex offenders in California are currently missing.

How can we protect our children if we don’t even know where the sex offenders are?

One in four are MISSING?! And tracking these people is a bad idea?

I myself live in Florida, and thank God we have Jessica’s Law here. No, it’s not perfect, to be sure. But I think it’s acting as a deterrant, at least. And as for plastering faces on the internet, I’m all for it. I have three kids, if there’s sex offenders living close to me, I want to know where they are and what they look like, so that my family can be properly protected.

If you’re interested in Jessica’s Law, Bill O’Reilly has done a wonderful job publicizing it, and has information on which states are doing a good job, and which ones aren’t. I’m sad to say that Vermont is still not doing a thing to protect our kids. Makes me glad I moved to Florida.

Jessica's Law

Cross-posted at A Mom And Her Blog

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Hmmm…should I get a guest blogger for the guest blogger?

Some friends invited my daughter and I to go to St. Augustine for the weekend. So I’m leaving later this afternoon to go camping. Yes. Camping. In a tent. If you knew me, you would know to begin hysterical laughing right now… okay, enough already (I am not made of steel! sniff!).

I have my suspicions that they only invited me to go with them for purely comedy relief. You know the camping trip at the end of the Parent Trap movie (the good one, not the Lindsey Lohan one)? Where they take the witchy wannabe stepmom with them on their trip and she’s so clueless about outdoor life that she’ll believe anything they say? Yeah well that’s me minus the witchy wannabe stepmom part. Those FIVE years in Girl Scouts did nothing for me.

The funniest thing? I am going to take my three and half year old terror. When I told her we were going camping. Her big blue eyes widened and she smiled real big and said, “Yay! Camping! … What’s that?” (Yeah, that’s my girl.)

Who knows though? Ya’ll might not be done with me yet (so stop being relieved!). I might post something on Monday… if you’re lucky!

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If you’re going to do a hunger strike…

Do it right! I’m sure you’ll all be relieved to know that Saddam Hussein has ended his hunger strike… after one meal. Turns out he just didn’t like the fish. Yes I am sure you were like me, waiting on pins and needles to see how long his strike would last. Would he make it for a week? Two weeks? Would he last a month?

Honestly the tension of thing was really getting too much for me.

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To those who may have forgotten…

The war on terror is not a game. It is not something that will be easily won or ever go away. I’m sorry if some think we need to focus our energy on more “domestic” issues or that we should withdraw our troops from Iraq. That is not an option.

The arrests made today in Miami should serve as a reminder to every American that there are people out there who want to kill you just because of who you are. They want to destroy everything that you believe in. They want to cause as much pain and suffering to you as they can. It does not matter who you are, to them, to the enemy, you are just an American. And that makes you, in their eyes worth killing.

Read about these arrests by a real blogger and just remember these maniacs could have taken your family away from you, like they tore so many families apart on 9/11. Thank God for the FBI.

… As for me, I’m going to go see if I can find a rerun of America’s Got Talent

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America’s got talent

Now because Merri asked me to help pick up the slack while she was having a fun-filled magical time in Orlando with her family, I have lifted my self-imposed boycott of the news. So instead of being blissfully uninformed (because honestly, doesn’t everyone just need a break sometimes?), I actually know what’s going on around the world. After scouring news article after news article to find just the right one for Merri’s lovely page and after pondering political prose (wow, look at that alliteration) … I have finally found the most important and relevant thing going on in America right now!

America’s Got Talent premieres tonight on NBC. Who wouldn’t love a TV show that brings all of the gong show rejects into one building? It is like manna from heaven. I can’t wait.

… what? Troops being arrested? Saddam on another hunger strike? Idiotic Democrats? Yes, I guess those are all “important and relevant” too…

But did I mention that David Hasselhoff was a judge on America’s Got Talent?! How could this TV show go wrong?

Sigh. Isn’t denial grand?

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She Survived Her Mother’s Choice to Abort Her…

This is an amazing story from Ted Harvey, assistant minority leader, Colorado House. This story is about a woman named Gianna Jessen.

When her biological mother was 17 years old and seven and a half months pregnant, she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic to have an abortion. As God would have it, the abortion failed and a beautiful 2-pound baby girl was brought into the world. Unfortunately, she was born with cerebral palsy and the doctors thought that she would never survive. The doctors were wrong.

They thought she’d never survive, but she has lived a life more “full of life” in her 29 years than most do in 70 or so. You really should read this story and how - together - Ted Harvey and Gianna pulled a great punch on a Planned Parenthood anniversary celebration. As a strong advocate for pro-life, I found it very refreshing!

H/T to Linda!

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Dixie Bitches

I don’t know why I am even allowing these women to have any impact on me whatsoever, but their “almost” anti-America banter has me quite worked up. They first start by dismissing and offending the majority of the people who listen to their genre by stating they didn’t want fans who put their CD in the changer with the likes of Reba and Toby Keith (those types of fans “limit” what they can do, supposedly…WTF?). Well, they have even more to say [oh, insert sound of chirping crickets here, please]:

“The entire country may disagree with me, but I don’t understand the necessity for patriotism,” Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. “Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country, I don’t see why people care about patriotism.”

I think Natalie Maines and her little army of two should board a plane to France and never come back. Better yet, perhaps they should spend some time in Somalia or Iran, or some other country so they can fully understand what patriotism is and why the majority of Americans have it. I don’t think I could have said it any better than CalTechGirl did.

All the snark aside, I’d like to remind Ms. Maines and her colleagues that the SINGLE, ONLY, UNIQUE, UNITARY, etc. reason that she has this soapbox, that she’s made all the money in her bank account, that she can fly to France or the UK whenever she wants and spout off about this country is that she is a CITIZEN OF THE US.

Don’t love your country, Natalie, it’s ok. Really, The rest of us could give a shit. But don’t tell us we’re stupid for caring. Don’t tell us that you like your life and then spit in the face of those people who have died or sacrificed much so that you can live the way you do.

Why should people care about patriotism, Natalie? Well, because patriotism created this country, it sacrificed to preserve out way of life, and continues to do so over and over again every day. Patriotism is why you can stand on your soapbox and denounce the President. Patriotism is why you speak English, not German or Japanese. Patriotism provides you with the security to go about your business and raise your children as you see fit.

The truth is, see, that in the long run, it is the patriot whose contributions will matter. The small effort of each individual to preserve and prolong the grand experiment in democracy started more than 200 years ago by another group of patriots whose motives were questioned by ignorant fools like you. Your contributions, your songs, your rabble rousing, your chicken feet tatoos; they’ll all be gone with the proverbial wind. But this country, and the patriots who protect her, will still be here.

Me personally, I’ve never owned a Dixie Chicks CD, nor will I ever. When I see Natalie Maines on TV or hear her banter on the radio ::: click::: she’s gone.

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Ahhhh…the Count Down is Now in Hours!

Other than a severe case of the “tired bug” we are well on our way to getting ready for the big trip! Plane flies out of here tomorrow, a bit past 2pm! I can hardly wait to get to the sun and the fun!

I have some guest bloggers who have been gracious enough to poke their heads in here and keep the musings alive. More on that after I get the dogs to the boarding kennel, get the bird food and birds transported to the neighbors and wash the laundry for the trip.

Oh…does anyone want to hang out with a 5 year old and and 8 year old today? They are a *bit* excited (and, well, are driving me crazy!). :-)

UPDATE: Well - we’re off tomorrow and I’ve got some great guests popping their heads in over here to keep the momentum going. These wonderful women are all Cotillion, and all ROCK! I appreciate their kindness to fill in over here:

Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Jody at In Spite of Everything…. (she’ll tell you she’s abandoned her blog, but we refuse to believe it)
Linda at Something…and Half of Something
CalTechGirl at Not Exactly Rocket Science
Tammy at A Mom and Her Blog
Sadie at Agent Bedhead

Ladies - I heart you all! Everyone, take it easy and I’ll see you after I get some sun and fun taken care of!

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Happy Father’s Day, My Love!

My love,

When I met you, I was thoroughly taken by you. You were romantic, fun, and caring and I fell in love for you for many reasons. But I’ve got to say, that my love for you deepened more than I ever imagined when you became a father. To see you holding our two tiny ones when they were born, with tears in your eyes, is a memory that regularly plays in my head. When Bradley was born, and we were concerned because he was a preemie, you were my rock…and his, too. …and he not only has your looks, but he has your love of football, your amazing mind, and he’s definitely a young Republican in the making. And Emily….she loves you so much. She looks to you as her provider as well as her entertainment. And for me…I can’t help but love you even more since you are such a great Dad to our children.

I don’t know if you’ve read much Erma Bombeck (heh)…but this is great…and speaks volumes for how I look at you as a Dad. I love you, Honey! Happy Father’s Day!

WHEN GOD CREATED FATHERS

When the good Lord was creating Fathers he started with a tall frame. And a female angel nearby said, “What kind of Father is that? If you’re going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won’t be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping.” And God smiled and said, “Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?”

And when God made a Father’s hands, they were large and sinewy. And the angel shook her head sadly and said, “Do you know what you’re doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can’t manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats.” And God smiled and said, “I know, but they’re large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day…yet small enough to cup a child’s face in his hands.”

And then God moulded long, slim legs and broad shoulders. And the angel nearly had a heart attack. “Boy, this is the end of the week, all right,” she clucked. “Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?” And God smiled and said, “A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, and hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus.”

God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had every seen when the angel could contain herself no longer. “That’s not fair. Do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?” And God smiled and said, “They’ll work. You’ll see. They’ll support a small child who wants to ride a horse to Banbury Cross, or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill.”

God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant. Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added tears. Then he turned to the angel and said, “Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a Mother?”

The angel shutteth up.

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Rotisserie Chicken and Veggie Grill

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe, so I thought I’d share a most recent meal we had, all prepared on our backyard grill:

Rotisserie Chicken

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (mine was around 3 to 3.5 pounds)
extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, thyme, any seasoning you enjoy on chicken (I like McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning)

(below is the basting liquid)
1 bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
Several cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 cups of chicken stock (you can use water, if desired)
1 stick of butter, cut into pats
seasonings to taste (I used thyme, a couple of bay leaves, salt and pepper, red pepper flake)

Instructions:

Heat the grill for 15 minutes on high heat. Feed the bird onto the rotisserie rod, ensuring the wings and legs are either tied or tucked so they don’t fall away from the bird. Lightly coat the chicken in olive oil and rub the seasonings lightly into the skin of the bird on all sides. In a rotis pan (a pan that would fit on your grill, under the chicken on the rotisserie), combine the remaining ingredients. What’s cool is that you can pretty much personalize this basting liquid to your own flavorings. One great example would be to throw in some lemon juice to make more of a lemon-pepper flavoring. You could also toss in some BBQ seasoning or some hickory flavored salt to add new flavors - the possibilities are endless! Once you have put the ingredients into the rotis pan, use a whisk to combine. Place on the grill, then connect the rotisserie iron to the grill’s rotisserie motor. Cook for one and a half hours (approximately), basting every 15-20 minutes. The rotis pan should NEVER become dry. If the fluids are cooking away, you can reguarly add more chicken stock and/or water. The bird’s juices will drip into the pan, allowing for further flavor throughout basting.

About 45 minutes before the bird is done, you will want to assemble your veggie packet, which will need about 25-30 minutes on the grill. Again, you can personalize this however fits your lifestyle and your taste. Here’s what I used in the above meal:

Veggie Grill

Ingredients:

3 ears of corn, husked and cut into 3 pieces each
2 cups fresh green beans
1 cup fresh sliced carrot (or baby carrots)
1 container of mushroom caps, cleaned and chopped in half
1 pound of red potatoes (I used a small size), halved or quartered
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 packet of onion soup mix (I use Mrs. Grass)
thyme, salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp butter, cut into pats

Instructions:

In very large bowl, mix all ingredients except the butter. The veggies should all be evenly coated. Place in a foil pouch, spreading out the butter pats on top of the veggies. When creating the pouch, it should be made of two layers of extra heavy aluminum foil (double-fold all edges, allowing space for steam during cooking). At about 30 minutes before the bird will be ready (at the hour mark), place the veggie pouch on the grill. All of the veggies should be fully cooked and ready to eat withn a half an hour at high heat on the grill.

Enjoy!

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Mom Tries to Kill Kids with Poisoned Applesauce

How awful that a parent would scheme, plan and do this to their children:

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. — A mother is accused of trying to kill her children by giving them applesauce laced with prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Police said 33-year-old Marianne Streeter, 33, of Ogdensburg, N.Y., took her 8-year-old son, Andrew, and 5-year-old daughter, Emily, to a motel in Canton, N.Y., and fed them the applesauce mixture on May 3.

Police found the children semiconscious in the hotel room after a 911 call. They were in critical condition, but have since recovered, according to TV station News10Now in Syracuse, N.Y.

And this woman - this non-parent - left them there to die alone.

They later found the mother in a cemetery, overdosed on antidepressants, but still alive.

A part of me wants to say damn it…a little bit longer and they may have found her dead. But the “human side” of me realizes that having her alive will allow the courts to deliver some type of justice - if any truly exists - for poisoning and attempting to kill her kids.

She’s being charged with two counts of second-degree-attempted-murder and two counts of first degree assault. Of course she is pleading not guilty. It’s also reported she was recently released from a psychiatric hospital where she received treatment. The “experts” might say that she should be able to get a lesser sentence (or no sentence?) if she has some type of mental illness, etc. I say keep her off the street and, in particular, away from children. She’s a danger to them and shouldn’t be put in a position to potentially harm them again.

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Ann Coulter and the Small Town Radio Guy

I do believe most of you heard that Ann Coulter was going to be on “The Tonight Show” with George Carlin tonight, but here in Omaha, we had the distinct honor of listening to local buffoon, Tom Becka, “interview” Ann on the radio today.

I almost forgot about the interview, but was reminded when I stopped over at PTG’s place, who is a fellow Nebraskaland blogger. PTG said that it doesn’t matter how you feel about Ann Coulter, anyone would get a laugh out of the interview. Taking that advice, I sat down this evening and listened to this “interview.” You can listen to it here (hopefully it will be up for awhile).

As hubby quoted on his site, I found Becka to be thoroughly disrespectful, rude and disgusting. He was asking her to define about every word possible, not contributing to a meaningful interview whatsoever. She then asked him to define the word “define” in response to his NUMEROUS requests to define this word and that word and he got noticably irritated, at one point he even called her a bitch…yes, on public “small city” Omaha talk radio.

Normally I would just toss this aside, but I couldn’t get over his behavior and lack of respect….so I wrote him an email:

Tom,

You truly blew this one. It was so evident you couldn’t stand even being on the phone with her, you couldn’t even give her a chance to talk about her book, which was the point of the interview as I recall you saying. You kept pointing out that she was taking the inflammatory road, yet you yourself were rude, disrespectful and certainly not anyone I would want to interview with. YOU were the inflammatory one here…you wouldn’t listen to her, you called her a bitch, you were audibly snoring, yawning, yelling, berating and overall made a fool out of yourself. This wasn’t an interview and it was never intended to be…it was you being 5 years old and not getting your lollipop at the checkout. What an embarrassment to Nebraskans. It shouldn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with a person’s position…you could at least be respectful and take the high road - you, after all, invited her to be a guest on your show - and you were the one who cast the first stone. How disappointing you had to resort to behaving like nothing more than a little brat. I expected much more.

Merri

So, of course not long after I wrote him, I got his response (typos and all):

How did I cast the first stone? i asked her a question about definitions. Her response was “define define”
I wouldn’t tolerate that response from my 3rd grade neice why would I tolerate it from a grown woman? I didn’t ask her to be on the program. They contacted us. I didn’t start yawning until she refused to answer my questions and just spewed her platitudes and rhetoric. If hse had answered the questions we could have had a discussion but she refused to answer them and I got peeved. by the time I started snoring it was obvious that she wasn’t going to have an itelligent discussion so I thought I’d have some fun. sorry you feel that way.
Thanks for listening

Tom

Becka himself stated that the interview was to discuss her new book, which never happened because of his approach to the interview. By the time she asked him to define “define” it was after he repeatedly (and virtually yelling) asked her to define simple words, not listening to a word she was saying. Toward the end of the interview, she started talking about her book, virtually ignoring him. He blames her in his email stating “it was obvious that she wasn’t going to have an itelligent discussion” (yes, the typo is his!) but if you listen, it is he who NEVER had an intelligent question to even respond to.

Hubby said he doesn’t believe Ann Coulter’s team contacted them for an interview. That was my initial knee-jerk thought, but it could definitely make sense, given Becka’s attitude and lack of respect through the entire interview. But see, it’s his show. If he truly didn’t want to interview her, he could have declined. But I suspect he put her on his show because he may be much more attracted to controversy in an effort to get ratings than Ann Coulter has ever thought of being. Difference is, he’s a small city radio host and her book was an immediate best seller. A wise man has said “…this guy should stick to interviewing Neighborhood Watch captains or some of the usual low-level ineffectual city bureaucrats.” Enough said.

Update: Hahahahahah….great top 9 potential Coulter books! Check it out over at The Nose on Your Face!

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Sad End to an Amber Alert

How is it that in the case of a relationship gone bad, the children end up being subjected to a parent’s rage? Well, in this case it seemed drugs were a factor, but how tragic that a person thought the best thing to do would be to kill the children when the wife wants a divorce.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — One of two young boys allegedly abducted by their father at knifepoint was found dead in a lake, and his brother and father were pulled from the water with knife wounds, authorities said Wednesday.

Katron Walker, 32, was charged with murder and attempted murder, said assistant chief of detectives Bill Bergherm. He said Walker had stab wounds in his chest but was expected to survive.

The youngest boy, 2-year-old Monte, was hospitalized in good condition with cuts on his neck and puncture wounds in his chest, Bergherm said.

Collin, 4, was found dead late Tuesday by police divers in the lake just south of Terre Haute. The child’s throat had been cut and he had been stabbed in the chest, Bergherm said.

This man, these children’s FATHER, abducted the kids by knifepoint from their grandfather’s backyard. An Amber Alert had been issued for the kids late Thursday. When the police centered in on their location, the man ran with both boys into the lake.

Officers jumped in after them and grabbed Monte, but they couldn’t find Collin in the dark, murky water, he said. The dive team found the body in about 12 feet of water.

A woman who lives near the lake told police she had seen the three earlier in the day fishing and eating hot dogs.

The boys’ mother, Teresa Walker, said she had called her husband from work that day to say she wanted a divorce. Shortly after the call, Katron Walker showed up in the yard wielding a knife and took the boys, said Michael Dwyer, the boys’ grandfather.

“My sister went out and she was trying to get them back,” Dwyer said. “He threw her down and she came right back at him and he kicked her twice in the chest.”

Police say that Katron Walker had marajuana and meth in his system when found. His wounds appeared to be self-inflicted. If he wanted to take his own life because of the divorce, because of the possibility he may not get custody of the kids, etc., then so be it…while it would be a sad spot of time for the family and the kids, at least they would HAVE time - and life. Taking the lives of children to “get back at” the spouse or to prove a point is vile, cruel and out and out disgusting. My hope for the little two year old is that he will recover and perhaps not remember many details about what happened to him.

I hope the book gets thrown at this man. He does not deserve anything different. If I had my way, he’d not breathe another breath of life for what he did.

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President Bush is in Iraq

President Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq today!

President Bush was meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki face to face on Tuesday after making a surprise visit to Iraq to bolster the newly-formed government and discuss the next steps in trying to shore up Iraqi security after three years of war.

“I appreciate you recognize the fact that the future of your country is in your hands,” Bush told al-Maliki. “I appreciate your committment to representing the people of Iraq.”

The president arrived in Baghdad at 8:08 a.m. EDT, or 4:08 p.m. local time. It was the second surprise visit he’s made to the country in the past three years.

Plans for this trip were in the works for over a month and were carefully planned and coordinated. I imagine this five hour trip will be a long one for security personnel!

Bush is expected to stay in Iraq for five hours only, where security precautions are tightly executed in a precarious venue. Even the president’s arrival was cautiously orchestrated. Air Force One landed at a semi-deserted airstrip a good distance away from the main terminal in Baghdad. Bush and his crew then boarded a convoy of Nighthawk passenger helicopters to take them about seven minutes to the center of the city.

Everyone on the helicopters was in body armor except for the White House aides, who wore business suits but no armor. Bartlett had earlier said the president would not wear body armor. In the Green Zone, a line of Suburbans and other SUVs waited for the short drive to the Republican Palace, a 1950’s-era building which is now part of the U.S. Embassy compound.

Joining Bush on Air Force One were Bartlett, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin, Press Secretary Tony Snow and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley. Joining them on the ground in Iraq were U.S. Ambassador Zal Khalilzad and Gen. George Casey, head of the Multinational Force in Iraq.

The group arrived at the palace where the offices of Paul Bremer, head of the now-defunct Coalition Provisional Authority, had been, and is now being used as the temporary U.S. embassy. An American and an Iraqi flag had been arrayed next to the entrance to the hallway leading to the offices, where al-Maliki and one of his aides stood in anticipation of Bush’s arrival.

Bush swept into the room where he was to meet al-Maliki with his entourage and Secret Service in tow. He walked up to al-Maliki, who had been informed about five minutes before Bush’s arrival that he was to have a special guest, and shook the prime minister’s hand as the cameras flashed.

Al-Maliki said, “Good to see you,” to which Bush responded, “Thanks for having me.” They stood in the hallway for another minute and then disappeared into one of the palace offices.

…and a little bit of mischief and staging are always good when you are planning a surprise:

Bush’s departure from Camp David the night before had required some surreptitious behavior on the president’s part. While dining with officials Monday evening, the president excused himself from after-dinner discussion around 7:45 p.m. EDT, telling his guests that he was “losing altitude” and wanted to read in bed a little before falling asleep. By 8 p.m. when the dinner wrapped up, Bush was already on his way to Andrews Air Force Base, and Air Force One departed at 9:07 pm EDT.

Of course the MSM has to trump this visit up as nothing more than a publicity stunt to garner higher approval ratings:

Anxiety about the war has been driving down Bush’s poll numbers and causing Republican anxiety about holding control of Congress in the November election.

But those who know the reasons behind this visit, and what is truly going on in Iraq truly have a solid picture for why Bush decided to visit Iraq.

“I think the president is doing exactly the right thing today. … Sending a powerful signal to the Iraqi people that we are with you in the War on Terror, we are going to support this government that you have elected and we are going to win the War on Terror together,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“It’s just dynamite,” said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who returned from Iraq on Monday night and said he would have stayed there to catch a ride back on Air Force One if he’d known the president was going to be there.

Inhofe, who’s been to Iraq 11 times since 2003, said he met with Iraqi officials, who demonstrated some of the training received by the 264,000 Iraqi troops. He said he was told that when 11 divisions — or 325,000 troops are trained — the Iraqis will want to take over security for themselves, though that does not mean U.S. troops will leave completely.

“It’s a huge success story over there. I just don’t understand why the media don’t get it,” he said, adding that al-Maliki’s security adviser told him that the Iraqis are “getting very close to the time” when they will be in a position to take control of their security.

The problem is, the media don’t *want* to get it. In the days they are yelling doom and gloom about the first named storm in the gulf - grass blowing gets coverage on television I’m told - they only want those stories that can fit with their reports of death, destruction, scandal and doomsday. That’s why you don’t see reports about the *people* of Iraq - only the terrorists. I’m sure there are reports out there that the death of al-Zarqawi were carefully planned so Bush would arrive right after they happened. I think it is awesome that President Bush is there in support of the Iraqi people and leadership as well as having a positive impact on our men and women who are fighting the war on terror in the heart of it all.

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