Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blogger War Intelligence

President Bush today used words written by an Iraqi blogger as evidence his new strategy is having an effect in Baghdad. I found this interesting because I have been a regular reader of the blog he referenced, as well as three other english language blogs from Iraq, since days after the war began. I have found them to be tremendously helpful tools for divining the truth of the situation on the ground in Iraq. It is truly astounding to be able to read the words of someone who is so affected by this thing we see on TV that is so far away.

The one blog that has meant more to me than the others is that of a girl from Mosul named Najma. She is the exact same age as my oldest daughter and for the past four years I have seen her struggle with the same life issues that my daughter faces, the main difference being that Najma's difficulties include bombs, tanks and soldiers. In spite of the war in her country, though, many of her biggest concerns and fears are about her grades and the social things that young girls worry about universally.

I have learned a great deal about Iraq, war, cultural and religious prejudice and the news media by reading these blogs. I highly recommend the practice. Here is a list of currently active Iraqi bloggers. Be warned, they vary greatly in their viewpoint from pro-America to vehemently anti-West. Some are remarkable for the way they blog about life just as most American bloggers without ever mentioning politics or the war and some are only about the war.

  • Omar and Mohammed, ITM
  • Zeyad

  • Iraq Pundit

  • Hammorabi Sam

  • Ambassador Fayrouz

  • Baghdad Treasure

  • 24 Steps to Liberty

  • Iraqi Mojo

  • Konfused Kollege Kid

  • Sooni

  • Anarki-13

  • Attawie

  • Caesar of Pentra

  • Morbid Smile

  • Morbid Smile's Photos

  • Alaa, the Mesopotamian

  • Into the Sun

  • Iraqi Roulette

  • Marshmallow26

  • BlogIraqi

  • Faiza

  • Khalid

  • Raed

  • Riverbend

  • Asterism

  • Sooni

  • Sami

  • Najma

  • Nabil

  • The Talisman Gate
  • Ibn Al Rafidain

  • Husayn

  • Beth Nahrain

  • Abu Khaleel

  • HNK

  • Baghdad Girl: Cat Blogger

  • Sunshine

  • Sunshine's Mom: Mama

  • Baghdad Artist
  • Sunday, March 18, 2007

    I64 Footage Makes National News

    AP, among other outlets, are featuring this video that was shot from Fort Hill of the Oakwood curve on I64 on Saturday.

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    $700K Going once...$700K going twice... SOLD for $650,000!?

    A couple of weeks ago a group of investors led by former Puntam County Senator Oshel Craigo made the high bid for Sandy Brae Golf Course at an auction held by the Kanawha County Commission. That bid, though less than the stated minimum acceptable bid, was for $700,000. Lots of public comment followed the auction, most notably from the lips of Commissioner Kent Carper, since the expected sale price was in excess of $1 Million. After a lot of discussion and grandstanding for the media, a second auction was scheduled. This time the high bid was $650,000.

    Now it is up to the County Commission to decide whether to accept the bid or to have another auction. Who knows? They might get $600,000 this time.

    I think they should keep on auctioning the thing until it gets down into my price range. I have a hundred bucks or so to spend and I've always wanted to own my own golf course.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Thanks for Sharing

    The scene has been repeated 3 or 4 times in the past month. The players and props change, but the story is the same:

    As I am pumping gas a car pulls up with the windows down and the music blaring. The young male, wearing a baseball hat which sits backwards upon his head, gets out and goes into the store, leaving his car running, windows down and music at full volume. He comes back out, pumps his gas and then leaves. Thankfully.

    It's not that I'm not a music lover, I am. But the "music" that always eminates from these vehicles is filled with the most disgusting lyrics that you can possibly imagine. It's as if there is an unwritten rule, some mathematical imperative that demands a direct coorelation between the level of profanity in a song and the volume it must be played. And when the volume reaches a certain level, then apparently the windows must be left open to keep them from shattering.

    There really is no other explanation that is satisfactory.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    My New Favorite Blog in the World

    From the Blog Description at Hillbilly Savants:

    This blog is about our Appalachia - the real one, not the Hollywood-stereotype nor the third-world nation-esque stereotype being sold by do-gooders, or even the neo-Romantic sylvan stereotype that Rousseau would probably buy into.

    Hillbilly Savants is one of those blogs that makes you want to just want to pull up the rockin' chair and put your feet next to the fire. Do check it out, and take your time. Look over the archives. Lots of great photos and articles from a couple dozen or so contributors.

    Of particular and immediate note is this article by April Cain. Great, great reading.

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Squirrel Birth Control

    In West Virginia, we just inject them with buckshot.