November 17th, 2003 ~ A sweet and wondrous light went out of our lives today and my wife and I are living in a darker, duller world this evening.  Our little hound, Savannah, is dead; struck down by a monster known as Lepto Spirosis.  She fought hard to stay alive.  She loved life.  I regret that her final week was spent among strangers; plugged into intravenous fluids and antibiotics 24-hours a day, but we HAD to try everything we could to save her.  Finally, this morning, her little body could take no more and began shutting down.  We made the awful decision we had to for her around 2:00 p.m.  Here, then, is a short poem I've written for my darlin' little girl...

      From the stuff of long dead stars are we born,
      By the light of living stars do we live,
      and love and hate and laugh and cry and spend our days until we die.
      To the stuff of yet born stars do we return,
      To sleep for awhile as heaven turns and we are born once more,
      From the remnants of ancient light.
      These, then, are the cycles:
      Of Light and Dark,
      Of Life and Death,
      Of Joy and Pain,
      That make us what we are.
      Beings of light and
      Beings of dark,
      Beings of life and
      Beings of death,
      Beings Of Joy and
      Beings of Pain,
      The Stuff of Stars to Be again.

      November 11th, 2003 ~ I've remained silent these last few weeks about the growing body count in Iraq because higher profile persons than I have quite eloquently expressed the outrage I feel toward this administration's arrogant and deadly mendacity.  That said, however, I can see little benefit in continuing the incessant demands to know how we got into this mess.  I think we all know the reasons as surely as we all know this administration will never admit to those reasons.
      The point is, we're there now.  We're stuck in that gooey tarpit without a single twig to help us extract ourselves and no amount of angry flailing will change that.  We must think smart and use our considerable resources to leverage ourselves out.
      The first order of business should be to set up "tent cities" on the outskirts of Falluja and Tikrit, invite every man, woman, child, cat, and dog out to their new homes and within 48 hours, pound those two Ba'athist enclaves into fine white powder.
      Next, there needs to be a comprehensive media campaign to convince Iraqis that foreign terrorists from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Qatar, and Iran are their enemies as much as they are ours.  We should also be offering a $2,500 bounty to anyone providing information on foreign insurgents with nothing but murder in their hearts.  American victims; Iraqi victims; it's all the same to them.
      Finally, we need to capture or kill Usama Bin Laden and work dilligently to move the reconstruction of Afghanistan forward.  Although the Oil Barons may consider getting Saddam Hussein more important to their Iraq operation, many of the most bloodthirsty elements in Iraq right now are Al Qaeda operatives and their sympathizers.  The strongest message we can send to them - as well as the rest of the Iraqi people - is that we ALWAYS finish what we start.