Pictures of counter-protest in Crawford

Earlier this evening at Blogs For Bush, I blogged about the counter-protesters in Crawford, TX who support the President, the troops, and our mission in Iraq.  ST reader and commenter "Melissa in Texas" (thanks, Melissa!) emailed me some photos of the goings on in Crawford this weekend, including pictures of the pro Bush crowd (which included people from the "You Don’t Speak for Me, Cindy!" caravan).  Please slowly move your cursor over the pictures to view the captions.

Signing a card for W

Signing a card for the troops

Pro Bush Crawford crowd

The view of Camp Casey

Paint 4 Truth!

Wanting their relatives names removed from crosses displayed at Camp Casey

What 'the other side' saw :)

TRUE Freedom Fighters

More: Eric Pfeiffer at NRO’s "The Buzz" is live-blogging from Crawford.  Make sure to click on the main link there for updates often (hat tip: Blackfive)

Monday morning update: Michelle Malkin has a picture up of Cindy Sheehan embracing Al Sharpton, as well a links to a video montage from the Political Teen and a link from Little Green Footballs that points to obviously staged photos of Sheehan in front of the crosses in Crawford.

Linking up with Mudville Gazette’s open post.

Monday afternoon update:  Cindy Sheehan calls Gold Star moms who support the President and the mission in Iraq "murder and mayhem moms" (hat tip: The Q&O Blog)

Sickening anti-gay protests at GI funerals

A few readers and a commenter noted this story about the militant anti-gay activities of one Rev. Fred Phelps and members of his flock who have taken it upon themselves to protest against the gay lifestyle in the most shameful of ways:

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) – Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.

The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars’ down a highway, waving flags and screaming "God bless America."

"My husband is over there, so I’m here to show my support," 41-year-old Connie Ditmore said as she waved and American flag and as tears came to her eyes. "To do this at a funeral is disrespectful of a family, no matter what your beliefs are."

The Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist in Kansas, contends that American soldiers are being killed in Iraq as vengeance from God for protecting a country that harbors gays. The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ children, grandchildren and in-laws.

The church members carried signs and shouted things such as "God hates fags" and "God hates you."

About 10 church members protested near Smyrna United Methodist Church and nearly 20 stood outside the National Guard Armory in Ashland City. Members have demonstrated at other soldier funerals across the nation.

I’ve got a message for you, Reverend Phelps:  You’re despicable.  Not just to America, but to Christianity as well.  God did not and does not "hate gays."  God loves everyone, including disagraceful  human beings like you who take His name and attach it to your pathetic little ‘crusades.’  Remember "love the sinner, hate the sin?" You have a right to feel what you want, you have a right to say what you want, but your exercising that right at the funerals of our fallen soldiers (men and women who have died for you to enjoy that right) coming home from Iraq is unquestionably reprehensible in the purest sense of the word.  As I have stated before, with freedom in this country comes responsibility and just because you have the right to say something, doesn’t make it right to say!  It’s no wonder your ‘congregation’ is so small:

The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ children, grandchildren and in-laws.

With moronic protests like the ones you initiate, it does give me some measure of satisfaction in knowing that your congregation is small, and not just small in terms of numbers, but small-minded as well.  YOU, as a Christian, *know* that God loves all people, including gays, including adulterers, including people who stray from His teachings, etc.   As a Christian, your responsiblity is to help spread the word of God and encourage people to turn to Him, to grow with Him, and accept Him into their hearts as their savior.  His love is not limited to any color, sex, race, disability, or anything else.  He may not be tolerant of sin but He is loving of the sinner.  You should be ashamed for even daring to think you speak for God when you preach the hate that you do, and you express it the way you do.  It’s a shame you even express it at all but even more shameful is you doing it during the funerals of our fallen men and women who deserve the be buried with the dignity and respect they deserve.

I am against gay marriage, and I support the Boy Scouts not allowing gay men to serve as Scout leaders.  But I do NOT support the hate you are spewing, and I especially do NOT support the venues you have chosen to express it.  You are a sick person, twisting the word of God to try and make it fit in with your narrow, perverted worldview, and the disrespect you show our fallen soldiers, as well as their family and friends is an unconscionable act.  You do an extreme disservice to our fallen heroes, to America, to Christians, to conservatives, but most of all to God.  You are not acting in His name nor mine, nor any other level-headed Christian in this country.    This should be something that both liberals and conservatives in this country agree on.  

Shame on you, Rev. Phelps.

Related: Dean Esmay notes a liberal media bias angle to this story (hat tip: Rob at Say Anything).

Katrina getting ready to slam NO

Hurricane Katrina image courtesy of Weather.comThe satellite pictures are not pretty.  Maximum sustained winds right now are at 160 mph, travelling NNW at a speed of 11 mph.  Last information I heard, this category 5 hurricane is exepected to make landfall in New Orleans between 3 and 4 a.m. CT Monday.  Our friend and commenter here Big Bang Hunter posted this in another thread (as I was remiss in not starting one sooner but I’m trying to make up for lost time):

ST – Politics aside, for those that havn’t been able to keep up with the news. Hurricane Katrina has been elevated to a category 5, with sustained winds exceeding 165 mph, with gusts to over 175. Considering that the central winds generally accelrate even more as a storm reaches a coast line, thats going to make Katrina the strongest storm ever recorded in Gulf coast history. Louisiana and Miss. have been decalared in a state of emergency, with over 100,000 people still trapped in New Orleans, the point of expected landfall. Everyone should say a little prayer for the people of the area. This could be a real disaster, owing to the below sea level topography of several places in the path of the storm. President Bush is working with the Governors of the threated states and is expected to enlist the National Guard and other available emergency services from neighboring uneffected Regions. Some people are being checked into the [S]uperdome to ride out the storm, as many as 45,000 people may take shelter there.

Most of New Orleans lies below sea level, so this hurricane could completely devastate that area.  Hurricane Katrina is being compared to Hurricane Camille, which struck the Mississippi Coast in August 1969:

It would be the strongest storm to batter the Mississippi Coast since Camille raked across the state killing 131 people in Mississippi alone, and leaving another 41 missing in August 1969.

Another 216 were killed as Camille moved through Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

Camille was the most powerful and devastating hurricane to hit Mississippi and was one of only three Category Five hurricanes to hit the U-S mainland since 1900.

The folks in that part of the country will definitely be kept in my thoughts and prayers and hopefully yours too.    Anyone who reads this blog from the affected areas, I hope you will check in as soon as you can to let us know you’re ok.

Update: Michelle Malkin has a Hurricane Katrina blogging roundup.


What a great – but exhausting – weekend this has been on multiple fronts.  I’m thismuch closer to buying my first home.   As previously discussed here, the groundwork has been laid for me to purchase a home in a neighborhood that is still under construction (the neighborhood is about 65-75% done).  The preliminary paperwork has been signed, and presuming the seller agrees to the incintives I’m requesting, the agreement to proceed may be a done deal by the end of the week! Slight change in plans, though. 

Initially, I had tentatively agreed to purchase a home they had already built, which meant that I would have had to go with the tiles and colors they’d already selected.  Once I had a chance to think about it for a few hours (yes, hours … hey, it’s my first home and I want everything to be right!) I decided those colors and tiles were not what I wanted nor did I want the area they had put me in.  So I visited the seller today, and there will be another unit in a different area available around January or February of next year.  Hooray! Assuming all the paperwork processes and the seller’s manager and I agree on the specs of the contract, I’ll now have plenty of time to decide on my carpet color, tiles, the countertops, and cabinet style.  I have been able to get locked in to the base price of the home now which is a good thing, because the rate for all homes in that development are scheduled to go up as of Thursday this week by about $3K. Whew.  Got in just in time! So very good news on the homefront – quite literally – for ST.

The other fantastic news I got this weekend: Matt Margolis, the Founder and Editor of Blogs for Bush, has graciously invited me to be a guest blogger at B4B!  I posted my first message this evening.  As I noted there, this is quite an honor! So in addition to blogging here, I’ll also be guest blogging there for the next three months.  So if you haven’t bookmarked/blogrolled B4B already, please do! And not just because I’m there, but because it’s a terrific blog.  And welcome to all B4B readers who are visiting! Hope ya stick around :)

Also, I have quite a bit of posting to catch up on and I know I’m also behind in the comments section.  If I haven’t responded to your comment, don’t take it personally.  I’ve always tried to respond to most comments here but things are picking up so much in the blogosphere for me that I  may not always have the time to do that anymore.  But please know I do read every comment here and very much appreciate the differing POVs posted, even if I don’t always agree with ’em ;)

A couple of commenters have posted about stories that I’m going to start separate blog entries for.  I’ll get to that in just a little bit.  Also, commenter Melissa in Texas" has kindly emailed me some pictures from the "You Don’t Speak For Me, Cindy!" pro-Bush rally in Crawford, TX.  I’ll be posting some of those pictures later this evening as well so that should give you something to look fwd to later here at the ST blog :)

Ok – I think that’s it for just now.  Since I just got in about half an hour ago from hammering a few things out with the seller, I’m going to grab me a quick dinner and be back to blogging here shortly.  Hope everyone has had a fabulous weekend.  I know I have!

Updated to add one more thing: For anyone new visiting the ST blog, please be sure to click on the Blogad on the right hand side of this page, which will take you to my friend Chad’s blog "4 The Little Guy."   Chad has some great posts up on a variety of issues.  He’s been experiencing some computer woes as of late so make sure to look at the archives section he has for past good reads.  Chad is the first official sponsor of this blog so a big thanks to Chad for helping to keep the ST blog going!