Archive for June, 2008

Pathways to Happiness
By Molniya (reclusive nay-sayer, internet iconoclast and destroyer of worlds)

you know the way
they tried to teach you in kindergarten.
Certainly by the first and second grades.

color inside the lines

that’s the rule.
those lines were put there by experts.
Dragging across the boundaries
leads to grief.

and the sixteen crayon box is enough
for anyone!

[those who acquire 64 crayon sets will be closely watched..
and tagged for further observation of their life path.
Deviancy will be suppressed. order will be maintained.
it’s all for the best.]

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I am reblogging this from FoxNews.Com. Here’s the original link, which may or may not still be there, which is why I sometimes deem it’s necessary to re-blog:

List of Thwarted Terror Attacks Since Sept. 11
Thursday , March 06, 2008

By Joseph Abrams

The following is a list of known terror plots thwarted by the U.S. government since Sept. 11, 2001.

• December 2001, Richard Reid: British citizen attempted to ignite shoe bomb on flight from Paris to Miami.

• May 2002, Jose Padilla: American citizen accused of seeking “dirty bomb,” convicted of conspiracy.

• September 2002, Lackawanna Six: American citizens of Yemeni origin convicted of supporting Al Qaeda. Five of six were from Lackawanna, N.Y.

• May 2003, Iyman Faris: American citizen charged with trying to topple the Brooklyn Bridge.

• June 2003, Virginia Jihad Network: Eleven men from Alexandria, Va., trained for jihad against American soldiers, convicted of violating the Neutrality Act, conspiracy.

• August 2004, Dhiren Barot: Indian-born leader of terror cell plotted bombings on financial centers (see additional images).

• August 2004, James Elshafay and Shahawar Matin Siraj: Sought to plant bomb at New York’s Penn Station during the Republican National Convention.

• August 2004, Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain: Plotted to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat on American soil.

• June 2005, Father and son Umer Hayat and Hamid Hayat: Son convicted of attending terrorist training camp in Pakistan; father convicted of customs violation.

• August 2005, Kevin James, Levar Haley Washington, Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana: Los Angeles homegrown terrorists who plotted to attack National Guard, LAX, two synagogues and Israeli consulate.

• December 2005, Michael Reynolds: Plotted to blow up refinery in Wyoming, convicted of providing material support to terrorists.

• February 2006, Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi and Zand Wassim Mazloum: Accused of providing material support to terrorists, making bombs for use in Iraq.

• April 2006, Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee: Cased and videotaped the Capitol and World Bank for a terrorist organization.

• June 2006, Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin, and Rotschild Augstine: Accused of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower.

• July 2006, Assem Hammoud: Accused of plotting to hit New York City train tunnels.

• August 2006, Liquid Explosives Plot: Thwarted plot to explode ten airliners over the United States.

• May 2007, Fort Dix Plot: Six men accused of plotting to attack Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey.

• June 2007, JFK Plot: Four men accused of plotting to blow up fuel arteries underneath JFK Airport in New York.

• March 2007, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Mastermind of Sept. 11 and author of numerous plots confessed in court in March 2007 to planning to destroy skyscrapers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

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Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be’st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.

If thou find’st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

— John Donne

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A Very Tough Out

John Zahn probably weighed 200 pounds in the 6th grade. He was easily the best hitter in the Eastside Little League that year, and the Cardinals were the best team. Taking the mound that day against them for the Pirates, all I knew was I couldn’t get him out.

In fact, in my entire Little League career there were two players that I had difficulty getting out. Billy Algire was the other one. He was a small, scrappy hitter who had lead off for the Cardinals the year before, and somehow always managed to get his bat on the ball, and though he was never a home run threat, I was happy to see him gone. Of course that didn’t help me much against John Zahn this year.

The first time I faced John that fateful day, he hit a home run over the left field fence. I threw him a no-nonsense fastball, and when he hit the ball I didn’t have to look, but I did. It was a majestic shot, that easily cleared the fence and the bleachers behind the fence, and landed in the cow pasture back of that. The space for our Little League field had been donated by the nearby Norwalk Dairy, and was named Van der Ham Field after the owner.

The second time he came to bat, I threw him a curve ball, a real beaut that started right at him and broke down and over the plate, and he waited on it, and doubled it over the left field fence. I looked just in time to see the line-drive skip over the wall and disappear into the bleachers. I walked around the mound, and doffed my cap and wiped the sweat from my forehead, and looked at John just arriving on second base. I knew if I could just keep the ball in the park, we could get him out; he wasn’t very fast at all.

Finally in the 5th or perhaps it was the 6th inning, I faced John for the third time. By now we were losing the game, but not by much. I had seen him there in the on-deck circle, on one knee, swinging two bats, and he was intimidating as always. I didn’t know it at the time but my friend Jim King, from my class at Ramona School was coaching third base. Many years later he wrote an email to me, telling me how he remembered it. He wrote:

“My one moment that always sticks in my head when I think of you is when John Zahn hit that line drive bullet back to you when you were pitching in Little League. I was coaching third base and saw it clearly. You started to cry and I didn’t blame you. It scared the hell out of me too! I didn’t think a 12 year old could hit a ball that hard. Do you remember that?”

I’ll never forget that pitch to John either, I wrote back.

I tried to throw him something he hadn’t seen before, in this case, a knuckleball that didn’t knuckle. I know I was standing in back of the mound holding the ball when I came out of shock. I actually had a cousin back east, Craig Noakes, who died while pitching, when a ball hit back at him, hit him in the chest. But I wasn’t thinking about Craig then, all I could think was “I got him out.”

I don’t remember crying on that occasion, but for me every game was serious business, and I used to cry a lot when I would make a mistake, or after we would lose a game. My dad took it seriously too, and sometimes he would punish my brother and me when we got home. In fact, one of the earliest memories I have after coming to California, is of my brother Eddie getting a beating after he threw a pitch and hit a boy on another team. I don’t think my dad was at this particular game though. Somewhere along the line he had quit coming to my games, when he saw that I played better without him there.

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I hope I never get too old to appreciate what this young girl has to offer… err, innocence and ardor, I mean.

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