5 days notice for a public meeting on the Flight 93 Memorial

I’m guessing they aren’t too interested in having company, if they’re only announcing a public meeting five days beforehand.

A plea from Tom Burnett Sr. to the wonderful people of Somerset

(The ad copy below is running in tomorrow’s Somerset Daily American.)

My son Tom confronted a terrible moment of truth. Faced with a plot against our nation, he and the other heroes of Flight 93 fought back, and at the cost of their lives, foiled that plot to destroy the White House or the Capitol. Now it is time for the rest of us to face our moment of truth. Flight 93 has been re-hijacked, and I am requesting that if you can, you go down to the public meeting of the Memorial Project at Somerset Courthouse Saturday, sign up to comment at the end, and demand that a proper investigation be conducted.

THIS was no accident:


The Memorial Project held an open design competition in time of war, in-
viting the entire world to enter. Guess who joined in? That group of trees that sits roughly in the position of the star on an Islamic flag is the crash site. Who do YOU think is being memorialized here?

A second Islamic feature that I also protested when I served on the Stage II jury is the minaret-like Tower of Voices, formed in the shape of a crescent, with its top cut at an angle so that its crescent arms reach up into the sky.


Upturned crescents are a standard mosque adornment in many Muslim countries.

Every iota of this original Crescent of Embrace design remains completely intact in the so-called “redesign.” That is why Congressman Tancredo asked the Park Service this autumn to scrap the existing design entirely. Instead of getting rid of the giant crescent as Tancredo demanded back in 2005, architect Paul Murdoch only disguised it with a few surrounding trees.

Also remaining are those damned 44 glass blocks on the flight path. (There were forty passengers and crew and four Islamic terrorists on Flight 93.) The Memorial Project acknowledges the 40 blocks inscribed with the names of my son and the other heroes, and they acknowledge the three inscribed with the 9/11 date, but they pretend not to know about this one: the huge glass block that dedicates the entire site.

44th block close up

When this 44th glass block is pointed out, Project Partners say that it can’t be counted with the other blocks because it is not the same size. What? Because the capstone to the terrorist memorializing block count is magnificent, that is supposed to make it okay?

For every Islamic or terrorist memorializing feature of the crescent design, the Park Service has another equally phony excuse. Please read the exposé below of the Park Service’s fraudulent investigation, and please come to the meeting on Saturday to demand state and Congressional investigations into the Flight 93 memorial.

Tom Burnett Sr.
February 2008

PDF of ad copy here.

Non-locals who want to help, please contact your senators and representatives!

Dragons and History

Who could ask for a more exciting site? And the pictures are great too. Including a 1734 sketch by a missionary to Greenland of a sea monster. And an 1890 story from the Tombstone Epitaph about cowboys shooting dactyls.

Marco Polo reported in 1271 that on special occasions the royal chariot was pulled by dragons and in 1611 the emperor appointed the post of a “Royal Dragon Feeder.” Books even tell of Chinese families raising dragons to use their blood for medicines and highly prizing their eggs.

While Marco Polo was ridiculed by Europeans when he came home, many of the things they believed he lied about were true. Maybe this is too?

he familiar story of Beowulf and the legend of Saint George slaying a dragon, which are well-known in the annals of English literature, likely have some basis in fact. Indeed the “dragon” … is the dinosaur Baryonyx, whose skeleton has been found in England.

That’s a cool thought. That they were doing away with the last of the dinosaurs. Native Americans/Indians hunted woolly mammoths. Why not Brits doing away with dinos?

The city of Nerluc in France was renamed in honor of the killing of a “dragon” there. This animal was said to be bigger than an ox and had long, sharp, pointed horns on its head. Was this a surviving Triceratops?

It’s all fascinating stuff.

I used the site to show pictures and tell stories to my first days Dino and Dragons class.

2500 year old Chinese tomb

Among the most impressive artifacts found in the tomb is a black, gold, and blood-red sword inscribed with pictures of dragons. Xu described it as “the most beautiful and best-preserved sword ever found in this part of China.”

Also discovered among the dead were gold and bronze artifacts, along with elaborate silk gowns.

But the most startling discovery was that “most of those buried had been sacrificed to accompany their master into the afterlife,” said Xu, a scholar at the Archaeology Institute of Jiangxi.

via National Geographic

A memorial to the terrorists?

The crescent-topped tower

Not all of the Islamic symbolism in the Flight 93 memorial is hidden. One of the things that Tom Burnett Sr. protested from the beginning was the overtly minaret-like Tower of Voices. The Tower is formed in the shape of an extruded crescent, and even has its top cut at an angle so that its crescent arms reach up into the sky, similar to the upturned crescent motif seen atop minarets all over the world:

Up tower view (left) shows the Tower of Voices to be formed in the shape of an Islamic crescent, covering about 2/3rds of a circle of arc, with a circular inner arc. The top of the tower is cut at an angle (right) so that the crescent arms reach up into the sky.

This sky-reaching crescent is a standard mosque motif, seen from the Abdul Gaffoor mosque in Singapore:


… to Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland:


… to the Uppsala mosque in Sweden:

Swedish mosque with crescents 55%

There is no way that the Islamic shaped crescent atop architect Paul Murdoch’s minaret-like tower is an accident, any more than THIS could possibly be an accident:


That’s before you even get to the hidden stuff, like the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent; the 9/11 date placed in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag; or the fact that the Tower of Voices turns out to be a year round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial:


Every particle of the original Crescent of Embrace design remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign, which only disguised the original crescent with a few irrelevant trees.

That Islamic crescent reaching up into the sky is completely undisguised. How can anyone abide this?

Wow. My son is ashamed of our house.

M doesn’t ever want to have anyone come over to our house. I thought it was a bit odd. But it turns out that he is ashamed of our house. “Everyone else’s house is so white. The walls are white. The floors are white. Even the furniture is white. Although sometimes it’s not. Our house just isn’t as nice as anyone else’s house I have been in.”


I wonder if he realizes that we live in a very nice house. We have beautiful floors and new carpet and nice furniture (inherited).

And he’s ashamed of our house.


I’ve been looking for Protestant blogs

to add to my reading list. I now have four Catholic blogs and am not Catholic.

So tonight I was bouncing around Google and I found an article on Changing Churches. The author is against it.

He says there are no perfect churches. I agree with that.

He says YOU are responsible for your church. Er, not quite. “If you think your church can do better, accept some responsibility for that.” No. I’ve been doing in my church, volunteering and praying. But I’m not in charge of my church. I’m not the one who has decided that we can’t walk and pray at the same time. I’m not the one who has decided that women teaching is anathema. I am not the one who gave nine people a job and then, after months of work, took it away from them. I am not responsible for this church because I cannot be. And since I can’t change it, I am leaving.

It’s about Jesus. Hmm. Could he tell the elders at my old church that? Because I think they think it is about them. “The elders are the ones who must make all decisions.”

His blog entry linked to this article on changing churches.

If you feel the Lord genuinely wants you to leave and go elsewhere for good reason, go to the pastor and discuss it with him. Don’t just stop showing up for church. That is inconsiderate and immature.

There are several faulty presuppositions in this paragraph. One is that the pastor is the head of the church. Another is that the pastor knows or cares who you are and will notice if you leave. A third is the idea that leaving somewhere that you have tried to improve without discussing (again) the problems is immature.

My guess is he’s a pastor of a small church and people leave because they don’t like someone else’s mode of dress or something.

No two churches are alike in their personality or methods, any more than two people are alike, but it’s not really very mature to abandon a church over such, shallow, external things.

He says you can’t leave a church because of the style of worship or the pastor’s preaching style. Why not? If I learn more and grow more somewhere else, why should I stay at a church just because I went there?

I have always noticed that the most critical people in the church are usually the ones who do the least. Have you prayed faithfully for the church and its leaders? Have you made yourself available to serve or help in areas of ministry? Have you expressed helpful suggestions or brought your concerns to the leadership (in a non-judgmental fashion)?

And there’s his small church-ness again. I have taught children’s Bible class for three years, all but the summer quarter. In the summer I have taught VBS and one quarter I taught and created the curriculum for a class on missions for all the children. I have taught the children’s church this year. I served for a year on the youth ministry search committee. I have worked for a year with the Monday evening service projects. I have been in small groups, including hosting. I have attended ladies’ Bible class and taught a class when asked. That’s all within the four years I have been at this church.

I may not be a 20%er (20% of the people do 80% of the work), but I am involved.

And it doesn’t matter.

When an elder went outside the process that had been set up, the other elders defended him.

When a teacher was rude to my child and informed the elders that my son had been rude to him, the elders ignored the situation.

When someone went and complained to the elders because a woman was teaching a middle school class, co-teaching it with a man, they removed her from the teaching team.

When the elders set up a committee, they put in charge of it a gatekeeper, someone who desires to be in control, and someone who ultimately was untruthful. They knew about the problems early on and did nothing.

When an elder insulted someone from the pulpit, nothing was done about it.

The elders have changed the stated movement of the church. I don’t want to walk back down the path they are choosing. So I am choosing to leave.

It’s Friday and I haven’t gone to sleep yet.

I guess the three glasses of tea are warring with the melatonin and winning.

I am prepared for classes tomorrow, although I am not sure I like what I am doing. And I have WAY too much stuff to carry up. I’ll probably have to make two trips.

Tomorrow for Dinosaurs and Dragons we’ll read Job 41 and Revelation 12. That’s the leviathan and dragon section.

Then we’ll discuss the history of dragon/dinosaurs.

We’ll also make a list of all the words we can make from dragons/dinosaurs. They must have at least two letters.

is in on as id drag son sons grass sound sounds drain drains rain rains grain grains din dross door doors dour darn rag rags road roads sad sour sand sands song songs sod nod rod rods nods did suds sin sins sing sings sang groin groins grind grin grins rad rid rug rugs

I also have some dinosaur pictures to show them and some dinosaur mazes to do.

We’re doing Minoan and Mycenaean games in Games and Races. Pretty much following the same schedule as last semester. Except we’re going to work on the timeline regularly.

Art for Dielli

All of the following are images I found while searching for “why study art.”

2500 BC Sumerian necklace, gold leaves and lapis lazuli

Storage jar decorated with mountain goats, 3000s BC, Persia

Silver bull holding silver drinking cup, Persia, 3100-2900 BC

8th Century BC, King and goat?

Prancing Horse, 1350 BC, Egyptian This is a beautiful piece, but I have no idea how it would originally have been displayed. There is no flat bottom. The back feet seem to be on a ball so maybe part of the sculpture is missing. They eyes are garnets. I like the look of the piece.

Intricate model of boat and servants, 1350 BC, Egypt

Elaborate gold ornament, 1350 BC, Egypt

A scarab beetle necklace There is a gold base, a green beetle, and a gold bar across, probably to secure the beetle.

An ostracon, which archaeologists believe was used to teach artists how to make a face well. 1350 BC, Egypt It is a piece of plaster with drawing on it.

This is an ivory relief from 450 BC, Greece. However, it shows the way the art was moving for Dielli. Or maybe it just shows more realism. I don’t know.

Here is a similar relief. This one, however, has the five colors of paint they think were original to the piece based on paint fragments.


Why women DO wear high heels

Why Women Wear High Heels?

Because we want to look tall,
being so short
and we want to feel good,
feeling so sad

Why Women Wear High Heels?

Because we hate ourselves?
Or maybe love ourselves
or we want to look pretty
being unattractive

Why Women Wear High Heels?

Because you don’t have to be rich
to wear high heels
you can be very poor
you can also be fat
or skinny or just a medium size

poetry by Daisy Cubias who is apparently a Latina in Wisconsin.

Some think of heels as a modern version of Cinderella’s glass slippers. They give the wearer instant height and maybe even confidence. Others simply think high heels add elegance to any outfit.

from Asia One

High heels belong to the traditional feminine realm but do not subordinate. They instead radiate dominance; perhaps in a subversive and gendered form, but nonetheless it is dominance and most importantly – a woman’s dominance. Patricia Field, a Sex and the City stylist used stilettos to “symbolize the characters’ sexual power, as well as their independence.” (InStyle Magazine, 346)

“I can’t wear flats; I always feel like I’m walking uphill.” – Anonymous

Much of this power comes not only from the physical aspects such as height, posture and body inflections, but also from raw sex appeal. High heels are a traditional wardrobe staple of every vamp and streetwalker which makes sense since they cash in and use sexuality for their own purposes and as Gamman says, “It’s hard not to be sexy in a pair of high heels.” (Gamman, 98)

The high heel is the “zenith of the very feminine look,” (Kaite, 96) and its contribution to the construction of feminine identity is blatant. Despite possible negative consequences, they have other physical effects on the wearer. Esquire writes, “They taper the toes. They arch the instep. They lift the calves. They tilt the fanny and bow the back and oil the hips and sashay the gait…. They make the foot look shorter and more precious and yet add the formidableness of extra height.” (Friday, 463) They create the illusion of longer and more defined legs, more pronounced and curved breasts, and a rounder butt. High heels emphasize all the aspects that are considered to belong to the realm of women’s physically sexual attributes.

According to Harper’s Index, high heels raise the buttocks as much as 25 %.

The alluring eroticism of women in high heels is recognized and even feared. In the United States’ earlier history, “The Massachusetts colony passed a law: ‘All women, whether virgins, maidens or widows, who…seduce or betray into matrimony any of His Majesty’s male subjects by virtue of…high heel shoes, shall incur the penalty of the law now enforced against witchcraft.'” (Benstock & Ferriss, 10)

High heels, most effectively stilettos, embody complex paradoxes and social innuendos. There is inherent tension between sexuality and danger. They constantly revolve and play with the masculine/ feminine dichotomy. The “The high heel is a weapon…and also a phallic symbol. And at the same time that it cripples a woman, it makes her seem powerful. In heels, the woman can be evilly subdued – she can’t run very fast, she’s off balance, her feet probably hurt – but she’s also taller, wearing a spiked thing that could be driven into a man’s body: It’s called a stiletto after all.”

“Stiletto” means “thin-bladed knife” – Kaite, 96

Freudian theory says that shoes represent the female body and in dreams, they represent female genetalia. The “Shoe is symbolic of the vagina. Tension between the “active” and “passive” components of the shoe…It is an economic balance of two parts: a womblike enclosure and the phallic extremity.” (Kaite, 97) These are “heels with the potential of piercing and penetrating, and thus have powerfully invasive qualities.” (Kaite, 100)

With such meaning infused in every step a woman can take, it is no wonder that the shoe has become an object of fixation, obsession and love. In today’s world of glitzy-glam consumerism and self-discovery, every accessory can be an attempt to encapsulate and define one’s perfect self image. Ferriss and Benstock write that there is a “…satisfaction we take in having purchased a pair of shoes that ‘is us,’ that represents us… The fashionable dress of the Western world is one means whereby an always fragmentary self is glued together into a semblance of unified identity. Shoes serve as markers of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and even sexuality.” (Ferriss & Benstock, 4)

Shoes have always denoted lifestyle and one’s place both in the formal and informal sectors of society. As the famous Forrest Gump says, “There’s an awful lot you can tell ’bout a person by their shoes — Where they goin, where they been…” (Forrest Gump, 1994) In the case of high heels tend to say one of two things about a person, high class or sex worker.

“The initial association between rank, wealth, and certain styles and fabrics is made: silk and the high heel are for the leisured classes, the bourgeois classes.” (Kaite, 93) From Catherine de Medicis and the ladies of the French court to Manolo Blahnik’s “limousine shoes,” high heels proclaim wealth and status.

On the other hand, ” ‘Sensible shoes’- from moccasins to work boots- identify the wearer as a member of the laboring classes, feet planted firmly on the ground.” (Benstock & Ferriss) In sensible shoes one can plow a field, pave a road or simply walk as a means of transportation. In heels one is clearly going “somewhere” in both the literal and metaphorical sense.

Since their Venetian birth, high heels have been markers of the privileged. In the sixteenth century, both men and women of the leisure class wore heeled shoes as high as thirty inches….

“A similar psychology of wealth and status may still be operating, the richer you are, the higher the heels, and the more likely it is that you only have to walk a few short, painful steps from you limo to your destination.” (Tamsin, 11) Today this upper class connotation remains, after all, “Women may ‘wear’ slippers, ‘put on’ sneakers and ‘slip into’ loafers, but they ‘dress’ in high heels.” (O’Keefe, 72)

Another important factor speaking to the nuances of class and femininity is foot size. With 88 percent of surveyed women wearing shoes that are too small, there is clearly a remaining obsession with small feet. The high heel tapers the toes and arches the foot giving the appearance not only of eroticized curled toes but also the illusion of being small and delicate.

In wearing high heels women can choose to empower themselves – yourselves – ourselves – myself and own the power surrounding these dangerous, sexual, authoritative, proactive gendered objects- high heels.

from a paper at Bryn Mawr University

And they plain just make you look sexy.

The general rule is that sexy shoes reveal as much of the foot as they hide from view. The perfect shoe frames the foot, like a frame on a painting, and so is effectively displaying it for all to see as well as protecting the foot from the perils of walking or dancing.

from Pink Fridge

Why women should NOT wear high heels

They throw your center of gravity off, put pressure on your back and can create muscle cramps. Sounds like some kind of torture device, right? Think again. Those are just some of the health problems women who wear high heels on a regular basis can expect to have, says Dr. Machelle Seibel, professor of gynecology at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

The first rule is to wear lower heels. Dr. Larrian Gillespie, author of “You Don’t Have to Live with Cystitis” (Harper Paperbacks, 2006)…. Aside from causing lower back problems, Gillespie says that high heels force your buttocks to “stick out” especially when wearing heels that are too high for your anatomy. It causes what he calls “sway back.”

“Chronic sway back can cause bladder infections because the signals from the nerves running down the outside of the spine in the lower back become short circuited,” Gillespie says.

from Record Online

A 1998 United States study by a team of Harvard researchers found a link between high heels and knee osteoarthritis, a painful, degenerative joint disease characterised by the breakdown of cartilage surrounding the knee.

The study found that walking on 5cm heels increases strain on the parts of the knee that are most vulnerable to osteoarthritis by 23 per cent compared with walking barefoot.

Podiatrists Mind Your Body spoke to also warned of other health hazards like back problems, sprained ankles, tendinitis, hammer toes, corns and calluses.

“In the worst case scenario, women may get fractures on the balls of their feet,” says Tan Tock Seng Hospital senior podiatrist Kin Ismail.

from Asia One

Can affect the bones. The constant pressure can damage the bones of the legs
Back pain- High heels can cause back pain in the long run. They may be fashionable, but not advisable medically
Can make you look awakward, if cannot walk properly
Mobility becomes restricted you cannot run if you want to
Among teenagers or children, the bones of the legs may not form properly.

from Footcare

A memorial for the victims or the murderers?

Nasser Rabbat, a Syrian professor of Islamic architecture at MIT, told the Park Service not to worry about the giant Mecca oriented crescent at the center of the Flight 93 Memorial. He said that since it does not point quite exactly to Mecca (it is off by 1.8°) it can’t be considered a proper mihrab (the central feature around which every mosque is built).

Liar. Many of the most famous mihrabs face as much as 20 or 30 degrees off of Mecca.

Here is another Rabbat deception:

Mosques are never in the shape of a crescent or a circle. This defeats the purpose of lining up the worshipers parallel to the Qibla wall (Mecca orientation), which usually translates into a rectangular shape, or sometimes a square. [From the White Paper released by the Memorial Project in August 2007.]

It is true that most mosques are rectangular, the more clearly to mark the direction to Mecca, but this is certainly not a requirement, given that the two most religiously significant sites in Islam are round mosques. Significant site #1 is the Sacred Mosque in Mecca:

Second most significant is the Mosque of Omar, also called the Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, from which point Muhammad supposedly ascended into heaven:

Perhaps because of the prominence of these precedents, a small but significant number of mosques around the world follow the round model.

There is the Tun Abdul Aziz mosque built in Malaysia in 1975, referred to colloquially as the “Masjid Bulat,” or “round mosque.”

There is the new 5,000 person Arafat Mosque in Nigeria, which the architect claims is “the only round mosque in Africa,” but he is wrong. Another round mosque, Al Nileen, sits at the confluence of Blue and White Nile rivers in Khartoum:

[From Google Earth. Look up “alnileen mosque”.]

Africa is also home to some older round mosques. Here is a round mosque from the Ivory coast. Similar mosques have also been found in Sierra Leone.

Here is a modern Russian mosque, laid out in shape of an eight point star.

There is even a famous round mosque right in the heart of the EU, at the northwest corner of the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels.

There is a round mosque in Kuwait, a round mosque in Kadavu India, and probably many more.

At the Islamic architecture website Archnet, a Muslim architect (not a native English writer) explains the problem with round mosques:

… a circular mosque can not function well because a mousqe should have an oriantation to kibla and as we all know that a circle does not have an orientation, How can we know the kibla wall if it is a circle ?

This problem does not afflict Paul Murdoch’s mosque design for the Flight 93 memorial because Murdoch’s giant crescent does create an orientation. Face into the crescent to face Mecca, just as with a smaller size mihrab.

Geometrically, Murdoch’s Crescent of Embrace is just a gigantic Islamic prayer rug:

A Muslim prayer rug is a two dimensional mihrab, laid out to face Mecca, just as the Crescent of Embrace is.

Notice that to a person looking into the Flight 93 crescent, the irregularity of the outer arc of the crescent is not visible. The radial arbors are all behind the double row of red maples that line the walkway. The ends of the crescent are also well defined by the end of the walkway of red maples at the bottom and the end of the thousand foot long, fifty foot tall Entry Portal Wall on top. This is a perfectly comprehensible and recognizable Mecca direction indicator.

Rabbat’s comments to the Park Service do not even pretend to be objective. He lists “talking points” in defense of the crescent design without ever even pretending to weigh the merits of the case against the design.

Most obviously, Rabbat never considers the almost exact Mecca orientation of the giant crescent as a grounds for concern, but limits his remarks to possible excuses for not worrying about this obviously worrisome fact. The same for all of his other talking points. He only even considers ways to absolve the crescent design.

In short, Rabbat is as overtly biased as he could possibly be, yet the Park Service has no qualms about this overt bias. Rabbat gives them the excuses for unconcern that they want and they eagerly embrace him. The Park Service investigation into warnings of an enemy plot was a total fraud.

The sun is on! Turn it off!

The sun was shining. That might sound like a good thing but not to a family of little vampires. My kids are so used to the cloudiness of the northwest that on bright days like today Magoo walks around with his eyes squidged shut and one hand out in front of him yelling at me, “The sun is ON! Turn it OFF! Turn it OFF!” His little pale face winces and he slams into things repeatedly because he refuses to open his eyes.

She laughed her guts out later, which is funny all by itself. But this was my favorite part of the post.

Read Daring Young Mom. She’s hysterically funny.

I wanted one of her shirts ages ago, but the boys said I was too old. Alas.

Which is worse?

Voting for someone you don’t agree with 100% or not voting at all and letting someone else pick the president.

Even though my candidate has withdrawn (and was clearly not viable), I am still going to vote on March 5th here in Texas.