May 2007 be a great year for you and yours!
In case you're wondering, this picture is from Sydney, Australia, the first major city to celebrate the New Year.
-Trisagion Prayer for the Departed
"O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who has trampled down Death and overthrown the Devil, and given life unto Your world, give, we beseech You, eternal rest to the soul of Your departed servant, in a place of brightness, in a place of verdure, in a place of repose, from whence all pain, sorrow, and sighing, have fled away.
Pardon, we beseech You, every transgression which may have been committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For there is no man who lives and does not commit a sin. You only are without sin, Your righteousness is everlasting, and Your word is the Truth.
For You are the Resurrection, and the Life, and the repose of Your departed servant, O Christ our God, and unto You we ascribe glory, together with eternal the Father, and Your Most Holy, and Good, and Life-giving Spirit, now and forever, and for ages to come. Amen.
May our gracious and merciful Lord, who rose from the dead, Christ, our True God, through the intercessions of His Holy Mother and of all the Saints, establish the soul of His departed servant in the mansions of the righteous; give rest in the bosom of Abraham, and number his soul among the just, and have mercy upon us and save us".
Eternal be Your memory.
Democrats in the South (yep, a Democratic blog)
The Body Politic (as blatantly partisan as DITS above)
Former Virginia governor James S. Gilmore III has decided to form a committee to examine running for president in 2008, casting himself as a fiscal conservative with executive experience and national security credentials.
In an interview yesterday, Gilmore said his candidacy would fill a void among Republican presidential hopefuls, who he believes are not dedicated enough to important conservative principles.
While the insurgents dominate the headlines with suicide bombers, car bombs, and IEDs, an equally hopeful President George W. Bush is winning the war of ideas. He has been hotly ctisized, especially after his Axis of Evil speech of January 2002, which was strangely reminiscent of Reagan’s speech 20 years earlier, both in its truthfulness and the amount of sarcasm it has received. By challenging the tyrants and terrorists to mend their ways, or face the wrath of the people, he has placed their backward ideology on notice.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad and other demagogues may shore up their defenses, expand their nuclear arsenals, and seal their borders, yet the truth will always filter through. While they console themselves in the strength of their suicidal converts, and with the sympathy of Western elites, the very extremeness of their constant rhetoric reveals an increasing dread that their time is short.
"Nukes won't save Iran" (12/11/2006)
Here's some of what Time had to say about their choice:
To be sure, there are individuals we could blame for the many painful and disturbing things that happened in 2006. The conflict in Iraq only got bloodier and more entrenched. A vicious skirmish erupted between Israel and Lebanon. A war dragged on in Sudan. A tin-pot dictator in North Korea got the Bomb, and the President of Iran wants to go nuclear too. Meanwhile nobody fixed global warming, and Sony didn't make enough PlayStation3s.
But look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.
... interesting idea.
Of course, the signs for the interchange arrived just as we were getting ready to have the ribbon-cutting event. Talk about perfect timing!
With 200-300 acres of undeveloped land, with water, sewer, and roads in place, between Charlotte and Columbia, improving access to this park might be the catalyst for development in a fairly poor rural county that needs good paying jobs and tax revenue.
Also, I have to thank the local officials who invited me to attend the tree-lighting in Winnsboro the night before, after I looked over the event location. I didn't have much time to check it out, considering how tired I was between two events in a week, finals in grad school and a pretty bad cold, but it was definitely worth making the side trip.
Winnsboro is a nice little town, and one that hopefully will be a little better off for my company having done our part.
Mr. Branton now faces a judgment for an attempt to send out a mailing from an anonymous group, making false claims about the County Council incumbent he sought to defeat.
The damages continue to mount from a negative flier that Dorchester County Council Chairman Skip Elliott says cost him a re-election bid this summer.
A judge will tell former Sen. Bill Branton how much money he owes Elliott next month. Elliott sued Branton for libel, and Branton failed to respond to the complaint. Elliott is seeking actual and punitive damages.
Meanwhile, two companies that helped print and mail the flier have been left holding the bag for the bill.
The flier arrived in Summerville mailboxes a few days before the Republican primary in June. It implied that Elliott had voted for his own property deals on council.
Actually, Elliott's father conducted the deals, and Elliott recused himself when council voted on them. The mailing urged people to "vote for anybody but Walter 'Skip' Elliott."
The flier was labeled as paid for by Citizens for Change, an unregistered name for which nobody claimed responsibility. Branton denied knowing anything about it, as did Elliott's other opponent, Jamie Feltner.
- Charleston Post and Courier (12/9/2006)
In the center (above) is Dwight Stewart, Clarendon County Council Chairman.
In the center (above) is Jim Porth, the District 7 SCDOT Resident Construction Engineer.
1) As an average, how many hours of television do you watch a day?
Next, rate these questions, on a scale of 1 being the lowest, and 5 being the highest.
2) On a scale of 1 to 5, how influential is television advertising in helping you decide who to vote for?
3) On a scale of 1 to 5, how believable do you find positive political TV ads, which are those that make positive statements about the candidate?
4) On a scale of 1 to 5, how believable do you find negative political ads, which are those that make negative statements about a candidate?
Republican Rudy Giuliani has assembled a group of high-powered business executives, including billionaire Texas oil mogul T. Boone Pickens, to raise money as the former New York City mayor weighs a full-blown presidential bid.With Barry Wynn on his team, he'll have some solid inroads into South Carolina's GOP circles.
Giuliani headlined a meeting of the finance committee in New York on Wednesday. The group will be chaired by Roy Bailey, a former finance chairman for the Texas Republican Party and a founding member of Giuliani Partners, the former mayor's consulting firm.
Among the most notable members of the group is Pickens, a longtime contributor to President Bush and other Republican candidates. In 2004, Pickens donated more than $4 million to GOP causes, including $3 million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that made unsubstantiated allegations about Democratic Sen. John Kerry's military record.
Other members of Giuliani's finance committee include Barry Wynn, former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and the finance chair of Bush's re-election campaign. The South Carolina primary is a key early contest in the presidential nominating process.
The party's slide has been so precipitous that Republicans yesterday did not contest 130 of 200 legislative seats, fielded a challenger in only three of 10 congressional districts, and put up fewer candidates for statewide office (three) than the Green-Rainbow Party (four).
Even in 1986, the previous modern low point for Republicans in the Bay State, the GOP held a seat in Congress and more than a dozen additional seats in the Legislature. In those days, it was sometimes said that Republicans were a third party in Massachusetts, behind liberal Democrats and conservative Democrats.
The party's numbers in the Legislature have continued to ebb steadily for a decade, even after Governor Mitt Romney's aggressive, well-financed assault on the Democratic Legislature two years ago. It was a disaster as Republicans actually lost a net three seats to the Democrats. As he explores a candidacy for president, Romney leaves behind a party in ruins in his own state.
"Locally, this is a rebuke to Mitt Romney and checking out within six months after being elected and having accomplished almost nothing," said Rappaport, whom Romney rejected as a running mate in favor of Kerry Healey four years ago.
"Mitt Romney, through his stalwart efforts, has managed to bring our party back to where it was in 1986," he said.
S.C. counties can no longer only compete against each other for jobs and win. Our competitors are global.
A diploma no longer is enough; workers must have real-world technical skills to meet employer demands.
That's a big challenge for our state that, according to the U. S. Census Bureau, has as many as 600,000 workers who do not have a high school diploma or the literacy and technical skills to hold a meaningful job for three years. That's one-third of our work force.
Fox plans to broadcast an interview with O.J. Simpson in which the former football star discusses "how he would have committed" the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, for which he was acquitted, the network said.
The two-part interview, titled "O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened," will air Nov. 27 and Nov. 29, the TV network said.
One of the things that is different from 1994, is that in 1994 when Republicans won 56 House seats, all but a handful were won by a range of 10 or more percent. Last night if you look at the election, of those 28 House seats, 22 were won by 2 percent or less — 22 of the 28. And of those, 18 were won by less than 5,000 votes, and four of those by less than a thousand votes ... you can basically go back and say that we lost control of Congress by 11 seats. You’re talking about less than 50,000 votes.
I know that this is standard procedure, but I really do think that this new album is the best work we've ever turned in. It's very much a natural progression from Screaming For Vengeance, but I think the songs here are far better. There are potential singles everywhere, yet the album still retains a total rock feel.
- Dave Holland
I think DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH is the most committed album that Priest has ever made to really defining heavy metal as we feel it should be, in the '80s especially."
- Rob Halford
If I had to pick my favorite Priest album, I would say DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH, because it’s the album that defines Judas Priest. I don’t want to slander the other albums, but this one combines all the elements of the band. It’s got a variety of songs: brutal, melodic, slow, fast. This variety is absent nowadays. Most of the bands come up with one-dimension, monolithic albums. Heavy metal is not only speed metal or death metal and it never was. Heavy metal also has a most mild side, even though it combines elements from various genres, but in recent years, variety is absent. I believe that this is one of the reasons heavy metal doesn’t have the reflection it had before.
- Ian Hill
As always, feel free to join the discussion.