30 November 2005
Also, an 800 meter titan is being built in Dubai. Notably, the foundation work is being done by Turner Construction International. I've worked with Turner Construction on many school projects in the Northeast.
27 November 2005
We hope to watch the match unfold on DFH Turkish television tomorrow. We have supporters of both teams who will be present. I'm not a huge follower but I favor Fenerbahce because of my wife's and her brother's influence. Kaan and my dad are GS fans so it will be an interesting time. We had a ball at Bally's today (intentional pun) playing racquetball with Laima and Kaan, we may play some more tomorrow morning before the game, to break today's tie. Ebru and Laima played together a little bit- man do they need to practise. It was like watching a train wreck- you want to look away but you can't. Seriously though after about ten minutes they were connecting with the ball very well, and both have the potential to be good players. My prediction for tomorrow's game: Fenerbahce 3, Galatasaray 2.
26 November 2005
Roberto Heras is one of the very best in the world. Now he, Hamilton, Millar, Rumsas, Armstrong, Virenque, Mussaeuw et al are all accused of blood doping or using performance enhancing drugs. These men are all super-human role models to millions of cycling fans, young and old. Who will be implicated next? Is this evidence enough to prove that professional bike racing is among the most physically demanding sports in the world, or simply that it is too demanding period? Is there a "fight fire with fire" mentality taking root? Are honest athletes choosing [poorly] to dope themselves in order to level the playing field? This would suggest that doping is absolutely rampant among the top riders. Without walking a mile (or riding a bike) in their shoes it's hard to judge the actions of the guilty, if in fact their guilt has been proven beyond all doubt. Having raced for so many years, I do not condemn, nor do I condone those who have doped. Put a speedometer on your bike and go for a ride. After you've warmed up, try to hold a speed of 20 miles per hour for 2 minutes. Then consider that the average speed of a flat stage of the Tour de France, or even an elite criterium in the US, averages about 28-32 miles per hour, and we're NOT talking about 2 minutes- we're talking about many hours. I hope Heras clears his name. -AT
By Andrew Hood
VeloNews European correspondent:
"Spanish cycling is reeling following the confirmation that Roberto Heras tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO in samples taken in the penultimate stage of the 2005 Vuelta a España.
After the results of a counter-analysis conducted Monday by Spain's Consejo Superior de Deportes were announced Friday, Heras - who will likely be stripped of his 2005 Vuelta crown and faces a two-year racing ban - charged that the test is flawed and promised a lengthy legal battle to clear his name.
Heras is the most successful Spanish rider of his generation, winning the Vuelta a record four times and spending three years as a member of Lance Armstrong's Tour de France-winning team. The implications of this case could reach far beyond Heras himself as Spanish cycling struggles to retain its credibility with the media and fans following a string of doping scandals."
25 November 2005
An Iraqi man holds a child killed in a shooting while the family was on the way to the town of Baquba, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, November 21, 2005. Witnesses and the Iraqi police said U.S. troops opened fire on a crowded minibus north of Baghdad on Monday, killing five members of the same family, including two children, and wounding four others. The U.S. military said it was looking into the incident but did not confirm its involvement or provide any other details.
REUTERS/Hilm21 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Stringer/iraq
A man shovels star anise seeds into a box for shipment overseas in the townshiop of Gulong, China's southern Guangxi region November 18, 2005. Star anise is the main source of an ingredient that goes in Tamiflu, a drug experts think may help slow down a global pandemic of deadly bird flu. Most of the world's star anise comes from China, and most of China's star anise is grown in the hills of Guangxi.
REUTERS November 18, 2005.
22 November 2005
Rumsas, 33, will appear alongside his wife, Edita Rumsas, 31, at the Bonneville criminal court in southeast France.
On June 29, Rumsas was arrested at his home in Lucca, Tuscany, on a French warrant but released on July 8 after an appeals court in Florence deemed it sufficient to keep him under house arrest.
His Paris-based lawyer, Alexandre Varaut, said both would be present at the trial.
Rumsas faces up to three years in prison and a fine.
Edita Rumsas was released on Oct. 11, 2002, after being detained for 73 days for carrying suspected drug products in July 2002.
She was caught on the Italian-French border with 37 suspected doping products in her car, which she said were for her ill mother.
She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros (US $87,950).
French authorities are also investigating a Polish doctor in the case, Kristof Ficek. He is not expected to appear in court Thursday. -The Associated Press
I thought this story might interest my Lithuanian friends. Doping issues aside, Raimondas reached the podium at the 2002 Tour de France, and I wonder how much press he received in his home country, and how much support the Lithuanians are showing for him under the allegations.
21 November 2005
20 November 2005
So now that all of the inventory is unpacked, bundled, stacked, and counted, the overall picture becomes clearer. We have a little over ONE MILE of wood trim in our garage, not including the Duraflex crown mouldings.
I have about 120 pieces of chair rail (which we may make into about 600 coat racks and sell on ebay for $20 each, at a cost of about $5 each plus our sweat)
I have 280 pieces of casing all neatly bundled, QC'ed and stacked.
I have about 2000 LF random length of the poplar paint grade casing.
All of it is offered for sale as a lot, which would net me a fast $2500 at my asking price. If we execute the coat rack plan, we could make $10,000 +/-, but it would require a lot of our time, plus it would take many months to sell it all. Do we go for the instant gratification or the long term gain? I'm not sure. Maybe we should make some of the coat racks and try them out on ebay before we sell the chair rail. The two casing profiles we should just let go asap, to fund the cost of paint and coat pegs and tooling that the coat racks will need. Are we nuts or just resourceful entrepreneurs? Who else would go to such trouble for a buck?
The sparrow will be commemorated in a live Dutch television broadcast of the domino-toppling Friday after a wave of national outrage at the shooting.
"We know we are responsible for a lot of emotion in the country and we realize we couldn't go on without properly marking this," said Jeroen van Waardenberg, a spokesman for reality TV company Endemol, the firm behind "Big Brother."
An exterminator shot the sparrow Monday in the northern city of Leeuwarden after fears the bird could upset more of the 4 million dominoes which staff had spent weeks balancing on their edges for the record attempt.
Dutch animal rights groups are outraged, especially as sparrows are a protected species in the Netherlands.
Hundreds of condolence messages have been posted on a website for the sparrow (www.dodemus.nl), which has attracted 200,000 hits.
Recently I reached out to the Turkish community in Rhode Island. I was "phishing" for Turkish athletes or enthusiasts of cport to come forward and tell me about themselves, their sport, send me pictures, etc. This was through a Yahoo board with 200+ members. In all, I received two replies, one from a newcomer to the US named Petek Evirgen, who claims to be an avid skiier, and another from a person I met over the summer at a birthday party, Serhat. His wife Ozge, as I understand it, is a great soccer player and plays regularly in a co-ed league, or used to at least. Sorry no pictures, but Serhat was kind enough to share with me his enthusiasm for bicycling. The picture was grabbed from a website that he forwarded to me, and the picture is about 10 years old I believe. At any rate, I promised Serhat we'd find him a good road bike and have him racing in no time. He thinks I'm kidding but I'm not. He has toured with his bike all over Turkey, I think he'll enjoy touring here in the 'States a lot more.
Remember that old show about father son salvage re-seller? They would buy or claim other peoples junk and sell it for a profit. I don't exactly buy junk, but I have very keen product knowledge. Been around the block a few times on EBAY (I hold a rating of 429, with 100% positive feedback, no easy feat) I've already sold some of the new inventory in the garage that I told you about. So far, we've thought about making the chair rail stuff into either coat hanger racks or bike hanging racks. For the moment I've listed the stuff on ebay and on craigslist. Best to sell it all in one fell swoop and be done with it. The other day I picked up 25 boxes of DURAFLEX crown moulding and about 2000 LF of a nice poplar casing. Added to the stuff you see pictured, this would cost $10,000 to buy new, without any doubt. Can't wait to see what I get for it overall. So far my cost has been $0, except for the $2 it cost for the ebay listings. I have also recently listed a bunch of old carpentry nails and old machinist tools on ebay. This is hard work, make no mistake, and it takes time to organize, inventory, research the value, shoot pictures, create listing descriptions, pack, ship, collect money, deposit money, pay ebay fees, and on and on and on....
19 November 2005
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - A publisher accused of insulting the Turkish state with his translation a U.S. book has denied the charges in court.
Fatih Tas, 26, who published "Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade," said on the opening day of his trial Thursday that the book was a criticism of U.S. arms sales in the Middle East, according to the Anatolia news agency.
Tas, the owner of the pro-Kurdish Aram publishing house, was charged under a law that makes it a crime to denigrate the Turkish government or to insult Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
He maintained that the book's references to Ataturk were the opinions of its author John Tirman, who is executive director of the center for international studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tas' lawyer, Inan Akmese, said his client had no intention of insulting the Turkish state or Ataturk and asked for Tas' acquittal, Anatolia said.
The prosecution called for a sentence of between 1 1/2 to nine years in prison, Anatolia reported.
Tirman last week cricitized the case against Tas and said the charges raised questions about Turkey's commitment to fulfilling European democratic norms as it seeks EU membership.
European officials and human rights groups have been highly critical of Turkey's performance on freedom of expression, and especially of prosecutions under clauses in the penal code on insults against the state and Turkish identity.
Acclaimed Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk and the Armenian-Turkish editor Hrant Dink face similar charges.
"Spoils of War" deals with the human costs of the U.S. military relationship with Turkey, and is highly critical of Turkish nationalism and Turkey's treatment of its Kurdish minority.
Tirman said the issues raised in the book were "well within the bounds of political debate in the West" and that controversies on issues such as nationalism and ethnicity are "things that we must deal with in a democracy all the time."
Tas was earlier prosecuted for publishing a book by linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky, but the charges were dropped at the trial in Turkey, which Chomsky attended.
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - A bomb placed in a trash can exploded near a fairground in Istanbul on Friday, killing one person and injuring 12, Istanbul's governor said.
The bomb was placed in a trash can at a bus stop outside the Tatilya fairground, in Beylikduzu, a suburb on the European side of the city, Gov. Muammer Guler said.
A 36-year-old man died in hospital from his injuries, Istanbul's Ozel Avcilar Hospital said.
Guler said police believed the bomb was made of remote-controlled plastic explosives, favored by autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels, who have carried out similar attacks in the city in the past. Militant leftist and Islamic groups are also active in the city.
18 November 2005
Athens Polytechnic students, who participated a march commemorating a 1973 student uprising against the U.S. backed military junta, carry a bloodstained Greek flag from that revolt in central Athens November 17, 2005. About 6,500 marchers chanting anti-American slogans took to the streets on Thursday to mark the anniversary.
17 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
A Turkish special police force member stands on a roof of a natural gas pumping station near Turkey's Black Sea city of Samsun, November 17, 2005. Russian President Vladimir Putin, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan are expected to attend the inauguration of the natural gas pipeline carrying Russian gas to Turkey at Turkish gas pumping station near Turkey's Black Sea city of Samsun on Thursday.
17 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Umit Bektas
16 November 2005
I'm not sure whether to offer peace and sympathy for the victims and survivors, or to express my loathing and disgust for those who are responsible. Either way, it's a sad situation.
A red carnation is placed on a star of David on the gate at Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul November 15, 2005, during mourning ceremonies to remember those who were killed by suicide car bombers two years ago. Beit Israel and Neve Shalom synagogues had been devastated in twin suicide car bomb attacks on November 15, 2003, killing around 30 people including Jewish people praying as well as Muslim passers-by.
15 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Fatih Saribas
15 November 2005
This story speaks for itself:
Shukria Barakzai (C) and her children Muska (L) and Sara look at a family album at her residence in Kabul November 14, 2005. Having won a seat in Afghanistan's new parliament, Barakzai says she now aims to lead it. The 33-year-old mother of three girls campaigned for the legislative elections in September saying women should try to change the country's male-dominated Muslim society by stepping out of the shadows to fight for their rights.
14 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Ahmad Masood
14 November 2005
A demonstrator wears a headband and a bandanna in the colours of the Azeri opposition movement during a rally in Baku November 13, 2005. Up to 25,000 opposition supporters demonstrated on the outskirts of the Azeri capital Baku on Sunday to demand that the government resign if it refuses to hold a re-run of the November 6 parliamentary elections.
11 Nov 2005 REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
Kurdish men light their candles with the flame of a torch during a rally in Semdinli, near the Iraqi border in southeastern Turkey, November 13, 2005. A Turkish court has charged a military sergeant and a former Kurdish rebel with involvement in last week's bombing of a bookstore in southeast Turkey, officials said on Sunday. Turkey's government, rattled by suspicions that members of the security forces may have acted outside the law, pledged a full probe into Wednesday's bombing which killed one person in Semdinli. The protesters are demanding for state officials not to keep the incident in the dark.
13 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Stringer
13 November 2005
- At least one of your parents is Turkish and/or was born/raised in Turkey.
- You speak/read/write English much better than you do Turkish.
- You feel caught in the middle of two cultures, two sets of values, two or more religions.
In the future, I am especially interested in posting pictures of amateur Turkish athletes like myself, (both in the US and abroad) regardless of their sport- anything from chess to ping-pong to badminton to basketball to swimming. Send me your pictures, some bio info, your name age location, your best results, your mentor/role models, whatever you're comfortable about seeing online here. Those who demonstrate that they're passionate about their sport will be profiled and featured here regularly. If this isn't you, it might be someone you know!
The Airbus A380 flies over the Sydney Harbour November 13, 2005. The French-made double decker jet, the largest passenger jet in the world, has been bought by Qantas and is part of the airline's 85th anniversary celebrations. Reuters/Ho
We stopped at Hollywood video tonight hoping to rent Cinderella Man, but apparently it's not released yet. So instead I rented MILLION DOLLAR BABY and WALK ON WATER. The latter being a foreign film produced mostly in Israel and Berlin. The storyline was somwhat thin, so this is hardly an epic. The characters were uninteresting overall, but all were pretty like-able people. The movie starts out in Turkey, which came as a surprise. I don't want to dismiss the movie entirely because we rather enjoyed it, but ironically, it was the Berliner Knut Berger who stole the show. He's the gay brother of a young woman who has moved to Israel, to a kibbutz, upon discovering a secret about her family. Knut's character visits her from Germany to try and persuade her to return and make nice with their parents, from whom she's estranged. Un-beknownst (sp?) to both, Lior Ashkenazi's character is a Mossad agent posing as their tour guide, whose mission is to uncover the secrets of their family and take out a suspected target. In the process, there's some gay/hetero bonding, some brief nudity, a scene in a gay bar in Israel, a street fight in Berlin and a group of elitist Berliners dancing to Hebrew music. I won't give away the predictable endings of this story. There's one curve ball in there that had me scratching my head. The character played by Carolina Peters (the sister) was extremely cute. Don't regret renting it or recommending it to others, but I file this away as one of those "once is enough" films. I give it a 9.5 for cast and originality, but a 6.5 for execution and screenplay. It would have been nice to see a little bit more of the events preceding the story that is told, or to see some more character depth and emotion. Still, it shows some great scenery from Israel and addresses some very strong social and moral issues- ones which aren't so easy to deliver.
12 November 2005
Portraits of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, decorates the main gate of Dolmabahce Palace where he died in 1938, as a Turkish soldier stands guard during a commemoration ceremony for the 67th anniversary of his death, in Istanbul November 10, 2005. Turks observed today a minute silence to commemorate the death of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic and its first president.
10 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Fatih Saribas
I was awakened by the sound of a car idling erratically. I peered out the window at 5:00 to find that a late model Mazda had struck a boulder at one corner of our property line, at the end of our drive way. After quickly getting dressed, I walked out to the car hoping not to find anyone inside- both airbags had engaged. After realizing that this was either a stolen vehicle, abandoned by it's thief, or a vehicle left behind by a frightened drunk driver, I called the police. They arrived within minutes and questioned me. Needless to say, as seen in the picture, I couldn't leave for work until the tow truck arrived and removed the car- it blocked my driveway almost completely. A strange start to a very long and exhaustive day. I ended up arriving late to my 7:00 am appt in Hartford, by about 2 hours. I took the pictures to prove that my excuse was for real.
10 November 2005
Three terror bombings that killed at least 56 people at three hotels in Jordan's capital sparked furious protests against al Qaeda today after a Web site carried a claim that the group was behind the attacks. The Associated Press reported that hundreds of angry Jordanians rallied in Amman shouting, "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!"
Jordanian boys shout slogans against al Qaeda.
08 November 2005
Lately I've been posting a lot of news reports and very little about myself, which is as it should be I think. Let me give a Reader's Digest version of the recent aspects of my world:
1. Bike Racing- completely back-burnered since I had my last sinus infection in September. I raced at Wells Ave and dropped out because of it. The following week I was forced to skip the final road race of the season, the Jamestown Classic. Since that time I have put on a few pounds but soon I'll be at Bally's a few times a week to lift weights and crush my friend Kaan Duru at raquetball. I can't wait to hear his swearing and cursing each time he faults, ball after ball. When you hear it echo in a raquetball court at 6:15 am (we play before work), it makes you laugh.
2. Work- I am managing the same eight projects as I have had all summer. I have installation forces at four of them: Woburn HS, Sheehan HS, Hartford HS and Glastonbury HS. I have millwork in production for all but two of them including all of the above plus Wachusett HS and Brown University Life Science. I have one job severely delayed by the contractor due to roofing issues and soil problems (Dedham MS). And I have one that isn't even in production yet and doesn't start delivering until May (New Canaan HS). In all, about $6.5 million worth of woodworking and casework projects. I am bored out of my mind with these jobs. Above you see the corner of my office where I keep my mess. The other corner is full of blueprints and shop drawings. Yes that's Donald Trump sitting atop my book shelf, with a vintage SEARS R/C jeep in mint condition. Donald is too big to fit- I tried. Not pictured- my $1000 Herman Miller Aeron chair. I treated myself to one after I was hired for this position a year ago this past October.
3. Home- Our house is still on the market after two price reductions. We had a very promising showing over the weekend but no offers. Meanwhile, the home we have our eye on is still available. The day we get an offer for this place, we are making our offer on THAT place. Our kitchen is completely remodeled, except for some minor painting and touch-up. Next I need to do quite a bit of electrical work and lighting enhancements.
4. Social- We are totally out of the loop socially. We see just a few couples in our area regularly. The Turkish American Cultural Society of Rhode Island despises me for sharing views which don't agree with most. (I am one of the founders and the first/past VP of the organization) We've basically given up on certain people who used to be our friends, pruning them from our lives like dead branches. Fall is a good time for this I suppose. It's sad but true.
Toyota/Citizen key watch:This fall in Japan, Toyota is scheduled to release a wristwatch that doubles as an electronic key for its Crown car model. The gadget, developed with watchmaker Citizen, looks like an ordinary high-end watch, but it unlocks the door of the Toyota Crown when the wearer grabs the handle. A button on the side of the watch allows for keyless power locking and unlocking.
Nokia 888 phone
It may not be coming to a retailer anytime soon, but the Nokia 888 communicator concept phone is making headlines in design and communications industry journals. Designed by Turkish student Tamer Nakisci for the Nokia Benelux Open Design Awards, this concept includes a malleable interface. The ability to twist and bend the phone into many shapes, even a wristband, means users can carry the phone on their wrist or clipped onto other devices.
A demonstrator whose face bleeds shouts slogans while he is detained by riot police officers during clashes in Ankara November 7, 2005. Leftist university students clashed with police amid hurling stones and tear gas shot by riot police as they were protesting against the country's High Education Board in the country's capital on Monday. 07 Nov 2005 REUTERS/Stringer
07 November 2005
Slain Palestinian boy's organs donated
Monday, November 7, 2005; Posted: 11:02 p.m. EST (04:02 GMT)
NABLUS, West Bank (AP) -- The father of a Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli soldiers said Monday he believes his son's spirit is alive in "every Israeli" after donating the boy's organs to Israelis waiting for transplants.
This article is a must-read. Click on the title above.
06 November 2005
Last summer I was out doing errands and I saw a local man walking his pit bull, one hand gripping it's leash. His other hand was pushing the stroller carrying his 1-2 year old child. I wanted to stop, get out of the car, and tell him in no uncertain terms what a complete DICK he was. Were it not for his dog being there, and the need to avoid agitating it, I might have got into fisticuffs with him, that's how strongly I felt about it. Enough said? Click on the title for the latest reason to euthanize every single one of these unstable and unpredictable creatures.
I skipped this race and regret it, but the weather was shit on that day, and I catch colds easy. Mark was the one who processed our team photo and sent me and others a free 8x10 print of it. Thanks Mark for the picture and for sending me this picture too.
Looking forward to a great season next year at Colavita Racing. It will the first season in 10+ years where I didn't take the previous season completely off the bike, so I have high hopes for 2006. If I limit my weight gain this winter and play racquetball regularly and lift weights, I'll be a serious contender in the 35+ class, which I am now eligible for.
Last night I went to bed at exactly 11:37 pm. Ten hours later, I awoke at 11:52 PM sweating and panting and exhausted. The events of those 15 minutes in real time, or 10 hours in another dimension, were rather frightening.
Upon falling asleep, I started dreaming immediately- mostly it was myself and a group of friends, most of which I have never seen before, meeting at some kind of restaurant for the super-rich. The next thing I knew, I am half awake and feeling sensations of being lifted off of the bed. I think I was about 10-12" off of the bed when I started to spin very fast- longitudally from head to toe, as though a skewer had been thrust through my skull and had emerged at the other end of my torso. This was no doubt very frightening, but also gave the feeling of being completely free to hover, levitate or fly at will. I was too afraid to try. The spinning stopped and I found myself back down on the bed, except that now I felt completely paralyzed. My eyes were open, or the belief that they were open was there. I couldn't move a muscle, not even twitch an eyebrow. I also couldn't speak or cry out, as if my mouth was glued shut or a hand was covering it with great force. Next, there was a strong weight or pressure upon my chest, giving the feeling of being smothered, like I would eventally end up being punched through the bed and onto the floor. In front of me I could see the faint outline of a presence of some sort, but not clearly. It resembled something glowing, like it was going to eventually appear fully. It glistened like the creature in the movie "The Abyss". Shiny and metallic. Finally I started to put up a fight- I had had enough of this terror and wanted to regain control of my body and wake up. I eventually got my motor skills back and rolled onto my side, ever more tired than when I first lay down. Only now I was afraid to go back to sleep for about 1/2 hour. This has been happening to me since Iwas about 15. Mostly upon falling asleep, and usually at the tail end of a very bizarre or frightening dream. Below are some informative sites which attempt to explain this phenomenon. If you have ever experienced this I would love to hear from you:
Or try googling "sleep paralysis" for a huge selection of links.
05 November 2005
Click on the title above for the most informative website about Stanley Tools, ever created.
04 November 2005
Carter: Americans were misled on war
Friday, November 4, 2005; Posted: 10:24 p.m. EST (03:24 GMT)
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Former President Jimmy Carter said Friday that there isn't "any doubt" the American people were misled about the war in Iraq and that President George Bush's policy on the war is a "radical departure from the policies of any president."
In an interview with CNN, Carter addressed some of the comments made in his new book, "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis." In the book he says the Bush administration was determined to attack Iraq using "false and distorted claims after 9/11."
Carter said the Bush administration spoke of mushroom clouds, weapons of mass destruction and the threat of thousands of Americans dying to garner support for the war. No weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. (Watch Carter's interview -- 8:33)
Okay now I will weigh in on this issue. First of all, I salute President Carter with complete and utter respect for his post-White House efforts and successes.
Saddam Hussein is what the Iraqi people NEEDED. As with the beginning of the modern state of Turkey, sometimes a dictator is the only kind of leader capable of keeping the masses under control. To compare Saddam to Ataturk would be an affront, of course, but the general idea is there for you to ponder. The unfortunate state of Iraq and it's people were oppressed and abused, there is no doubt. We know of the mass killings, executions and torture. Everyone understands that life was not good under Saddam and his cronies. But what is clearly WORSE than a dictator like Saddam, is the islamic extremists who are now free to kill, maim, kidnap and blow-up defenseless civilians, completely unfettered. How many times a day do we hear the word "insurgent" lately? How many times did we hear of it before the war? How many news reports of suicide bombs do we hear per week lately? How many were there before the war?
Like many of you, I wish Iraq was never invaded, even if it means that Saddam was still in power. Apparently it takes a murderous lunatic to keep suicidal lunatics under control. So be it! Democracy and US force will never control it, and neither will Iraq's own security forces. An unstable country has been made far far more unstable. Kurds, Shiites, Sunnis all have designs of their own for the former state of Iraq. Whispers of "kurdistan" are heard here and there, threatening the stability of surrounding states, especially Turkey where many Kurds call home. The same Kurds who from the other side of their mouths spit on the flag which protects them from the evil that is now rampant in Iraq. If a hell exists, I hope the entire Bush Administration ends up there to account for the un-provoked invasion of Iraq and for causing such un-necessary death and misery for so many millions. It's little wonder that the United States is so hated throughout the world. As for Turkey, it brings all Turks great pride and joy to know that we refused to allow our country to be a platform used for Bush's crusade against imaginary threats.
03 November 2005
Tonight after a very hard day at the office I went home and we all got ready to out for a nice dinner at Bay Leaves Restaurant in North Kingstown, RI- a place we usually visit only on special occasions such as today. There we met Mike, Laima, Kaan and Suzan (L to R) and together we treated ourselves to superb Turkish food and wine. The owners, Kamer and Veysel were as attentive and gracious as ever. There was a little bit of sticker shock when the bill came, but that's no surprise coming from one who usually does the McDonald's $1 menu for a quick bite. We rarely go to the better restaurants, but when we do we're very discriminating, and Bay Leaves suits us perfectly. Happy Bayram everyone.