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Blogger Joe 2009
Author: wickedpam    Date: 12/02/2009 18:35:36

It’s that time of year again, the time when Blogger Joe travels over the internet to spread the joy and cheer of the holiday season.

If you would like to participate just...
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10 comments (Latest Comment: 12/24/2009 17:02:07 by Raine)

Promises Kept
Author: BobR    Date: 12/02/2009 12:40:46

Last night, President Obama spoke to the public about his plans for our troops and our actions in Afghanistan. His plans are angering both the right and the left, for different reasons. How the large middle of America reacts to the plan remains to be seen. One thing can't be argued - this should not be a surprise to anyone.
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40 comments (Latest Comment: 12/02/2009 20:35:15 by Mondobubba)

Ask A Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 12/01/2009 11:12:52

Good Morning.

Today is our 2,449th day in Iraq, and our 2, 977th day in Afghanistan

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the lastest casualty figures from Iraq and Afghanistan, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4367
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4228
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3904
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3508
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 139

Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 325
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 928
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 602
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,395
Journalists - Iraq: 335
Academics Killed - Iraq: 431

We find this morning's cost of war passing through:

$ 937, 802, 800, 000 .00

Much is going to be said over the upcoming days and months concerning the President's decisions and speech tonight at West Point. From what I've read, I don't like it. I don't like it at all. And what's with Mr. Obama taking a page from George Bush's playbook and making a "warron terra" speech in front of a captive military audience?

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16 comments (Latest Comment: 12/02/2009 02:25:50 by TriSec)

It's not hypocrisy.
Author: Raine    Date: 11/30/2009 13:31:09

Tomorrow, The President is scheduled to make a major announcement regarding troops levels and strategy regarding Afghanistan in a speech at West Point. It is expected that there will be an announcement of an increase of 30,000 American troops with NATO picking up the rest for support.

While I feel it is important to debate the validity of this move by the current president, I think it is equally important to remember who opened up this pandora's box. I would love for us to get out of there right now, but as I have mentioned before that region is even more fragile than it was when we went there. Imagine my surprise this morning when I read the MSM reporting something that many of us on the left were called crazy for saying:
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35 comments (Latest Comment: 11/30/2009 21:59:36 by livingonli)

Sunday Night Muse
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/30/2009 03:23:40

Good evening.

Your all read Bob's blog, "Faith", right?

I'll add a little echo to that.

I've just had the best weekend I've had since February 17 this year. It's been a long 9 months, but I feel like things have finally turned around.

I was desperate in the early going after I was laid off. Those of you that followed me on Facebook know that I was a mess this spring. I loved my job, and I felt that I might have lost my dearest friend who I worked next to for the past five years.

It was a tough summer; I worked at a couple of different places that didn't quite work out, and after I went through my second job back in September, I felt that things were pretty bleak.

But then a strange thing happened.

I went full-time at the store, right as things were starting to pick up. I've managed to get a new position at the store, doing something I love...teaching people about the gear and equipment and the skills necessary to stay warm and safe outdoors.

While that was going on, I also got called for a contract job in Boston at a manufacturing company that was having huge problems with their electronic data interchange department.

Over the past month, I feel like I've finally gotten back on the horse. My day job is going extremely well, and I'm making a real contribution to my new company in researching and resolving a lot of the problems they've been having since they converted to their new system.

But even better is the store...I've just had an extraordinary weekend running some outdoor sporting clinics. In fact, today the department manager, store manager, and the regional VP who just happened to be visiting saw me in action. Today went so well that my direct manager went to our senior leadership and wrote a recommendation for me, primarily because we didn't have a day plan for the clinics and I was able to step up and make sure everything ran smoothly. I think I single-handedly sold over $1,000 worth of snoeshoes today.

But it is all about faith. In May, Javier made First Communion, and I tried to get back to the church. Like I told my mother, I started to pray again, and this time I meant it. Perhaps God does work in mysterious ways....it took some months, but it feels like things have been answered.

Reflecting on Thanksgiving, what am I thankful for this year?

I love my wife, my son, and what I do for the youth of this city via the Scouting program. I believe my true calling is to be a teacher; in any case, I've been at this over 20 years and I'm very proud that some of the boys I had as Cub Scouts have grown into Eagle Scouts and have become men.

I'm thankful for my dear friend, who has stuck by me through thick and thin and has become my sister....something she's recently told me that she feels like I'm her "little brother".

I'm thankful that my oldest friend has turned his life around, has been 'clean' for over five years now, and recently has come through a succesful surgery and will be able to walk without pain for the first time in maybe 20 years.

But most of all, I'm thankful for the opportunities I now have.

In the end, that's what I've been praying for; just opportunity. Nothing specific, just a chance. I thank God every day for the talents he's given me. Now I just hope to make the most of them.

Thanks to everyone for being here, too. Maybe we are just a crazy little blog, but I wrote once a while ago, I'm also thankful that some people I know on the internet have turned into real friends.

So....as we all gear up for the holiday season, just remember what the truths of life are. We all may have things, expensive toys, or fancy clothes, or a good house...but it's the people we all love that are the greatest things of all.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend....one and all.


Reality, Really?
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 11/29/2009 16:08:27

NEW YORK — A television executive says the couple who crashed President Barack Obama's first state dinner is offering to talk to broadcast networks about it for a payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Why am I not surprised. After all, this couple Michaele and Tareq Salahis - I don't know from the names which is the husband and which is the wife - want to become "Reality TV Stars" (a double oxymoron if ever there was one).
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9 comments (Latest Comment: 11/30/2009 05:19:13 by Raine)

A fire burns in Boston
Author: TriSec    Date: 11/28/2009 14:15:41

I've always been a bit of a disasterphile. I don't know what it is, but I'm endlessly fascinated by historical tragedies.

Perhaps it started when I was much younger. I vaguely remember Delta flight 723 piling it in at Logan Airport. (Logan's last major crash, btw...although there have been minor ones.)

I'm also endlessly fascinated by PSA Flight 182, perhaps because it's one of the very few photos that exist of an airliner in the actual act of crashing.

Of course, the grandaddy of them all is the RMS Titanic...and I've actually been to Halifax, NS several times and stood in the museum gaping at the artifacts, including one of 7 known surviving deck chairs.

But I also have an unhealthy obsession with fire. I know I can thank the Boy Scouts for much of that; I'm the troop's acclaimed expert on setting things alight. In fact, I proudly claim that "If I can't burn it, it's fireproof." I won't bore you with some of my exploits, but I will go back in time now. I have blogged about this before, but the story is so astonishing, and today is the actual anniversary, so I can't resist.

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7 comments (Latest Comment: 11/29/2009 02:54:42 by Mondobubba)

Author: BobR    Date: 11/27/2009 13:27:07

When we think of "faith", we tend to think of one's religion. But put simply - faith is the belief in the unknowable. That's why it is the perfect word to describe religion, because religion is a belief that something is true with no concrete proof that it is.

I've discovered that I too have a kind of faith, one that may be described as a kind of spirituality, but not couched within the dogmas or ritual of any religion. I'm not sure if it even involves a single deity. I simply believe that things happen for a reason, and that the universe puts signs on the road of life to help guide us in the direction we were meant to go. It's when we choose a path other than the one we were meant to take that we struggle.
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11 comments (Latest Comment: 11/27/2009 21:37:14 by livingonli)

Author: Raine    Date: 11/26/2009 12:33:34

Happy Thanksgiving. I know that today will be a busy day for many of us so I will keep today's blog short and sweet.

Today on this day our forefathers came together with the native people of this land to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Since that fateful dinner in 1621, Thanksgiving has morphed into something a little different. We are no longer a nation of Farmers but we do still give thanks. I love this holiday because It is primarily a secular one, not filled with the commercial pressure of Christmas or the religious guilt of so many other holidays. Today is a day of thanks.

We here at 4F have seen our share of friends struggling, but thankfully we have also seen so many people right here on this blog find themselves in better situations. It may not be monetary, but in simple things like making small lifestyle changes. Each and everyone of us has changed thru the years, and I am so happy that you all have let me into your life everyday. I am grateful for my online family. I love you all, and you make life a little bit happier everyday.

However you celebrate this year, may it be filled with the bounty that mother earth gave us.


11 comments (Latest Comment: 11/27/2009 00:34:24 by livingonli)

Random Act of Kindness
Author: AuntAzalea    Date: 11/25/2009 13:48:44

I have been around for 51 years and I notice more and more it isn't so much the nasty, horrifying and sometimes deadly acts reported daily by our 24 hour news cycle that makes me well up it is the rare act of kindness. I thought I would share a couple of stories that touched my heart.

One is an example on how one person gives to another even if they are afraid of being taken advantage of and the other is how women can make huge differences in the lives of women in war torn Rwanda through beautiful handmade jewelry (Same Sky Bracelets).

Animals have been a major part of making my life worth living and I am always touched and grateful for the tireless work the Humane Society of the United States does. This recent story of rescued sled-dogs in Canada is just another example of the goodness still in the world.
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42 comments (Latest Comment: 11/26/2009 02:21:40 by BobR)

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